Practice What You Preach 

I want to wake up on time. 

The first time my alarm goes off, because I’m just THAT ambitious. 

Not on the ninth snooze. 

I want fresh hot coffee, a warm blanket, and plenty of time to spend in prayer/meditation and journaling before my day begins. Being a woman who is intentional about my thoughts and emotions…and THEN conquering my days responsibilities as an active and healthy working woman, running an orderly and efficient home.  

I want to set a positive tone for my kids and husband’s day and be present and emotionally available to them.  

I want to continue to prioritize the right time to workout and conquer my fitness goals and continue to watch my body change and grow stronger, while also eating food that makes me feel awesome and alive, not heavy and full of guilt.   

I want to continue to grow into my new position at my job with the same fiery passion burning in my heart everyday, that continually builds such a feeling of satisfaction and gratitude of being a part of changing people’s lives, that I CANT WAIT to get back there everyday.  

While somehow creating a sanctuary for my family to come home to, where dinner is planned, prepped and ready. Where laundry is kept up, and everyone knows where their socks and underwear are. Where the homework folders are not lost, but completed and signed and in the backpacks for the next day. Where everyone reads for a leisurely 20 minutes before bed without fighting. Where the sleep we get is deep and restorative because we aren’t worried about finances and repairs, and conflicts with people and obligations and burdens because we are—

Wait.  

Yep.

I basically want to BE Oprah. 

Okay, okay, this is NOT quite my daily reality just yet, but these are truly my personal goals, and adjusting to being a working mom recently, has not come without its wrinkles to iron out. All of my friends who have been working moms this whole time?!?! 

I SALUTE YOU.  

I am lucky and blessed to report that my children are champions and are stepping up to their responsibilities with great effort. I’m so proud of them, and they seem to be really proud of their mom having a job too, which is pretty cool. As well as my husband, who is blowing my mind with his constant support and additional help around our house. He is my biggest fan and am so lucky to have him spurring me on to reach for my goals. 

That being said…this journey is still SO HARD.  It’s hard to not get stuck in my head, with old negative thinking.  Even after a year and half of dedicated exercise and mindful eating, it’s hard to keep focused.   And it will continue to be hard. Because I’m not going back to “easy”.  

THIS is the exact reason I started the support group at our gym, because to stay this course, you need support.  I’m not some chick who has this all figured out!! NO WAY!! I am practicing what I’m preaching, striving to hold onto everything I’m learning, just like everyone else.  We are in this thing together! And I’m glad, without you I would have quit! Lol. 

THIS IS NOT EASY. 

So many women who try to make a healthy change in their lives, get overwhelmed and give up, because somedays you’re just out here trying to survive. Driving little people around to where they need to be, trying to make everything happen for everyone else leaves little time to put toward bettering and being good to yourself. And honestly, most days there’s nothing left over and “easy” is all we’re interested in. I get it! 
But “easy” is a lie. It robbed me of knowing all that I was capable of for a long time. This path I’m on is hard, and some days it feels like it’s all in vain and pointless…but I know it’s not. I am stronger. I see changes. I feel ALIVE. It is absolutely worth it.  
It’s EASY to set ourselves off to the side, especially when life gets crazy, 

But we are worth MORE than what comes easy!! 

So, here’s to all of you lady beasts out there, making it ALL happen in your lives. Doing the hard work, keeping your commitment to yourself, getting back on track after you fall, pushing through even when it hurts, waking up to the first morning alarm…all so that you can be the best version of you you can be, for the people who love and count on you.  

  

 

 

Greatness awaits!

Came across this post and thought it was worthy of a re-post. 72 pounds lighter, but THIS is still the prayer and cry of my heart. May we learn to be kind to each other and ESPECIALLY ourselves.

Mandimonologue

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My daughter stepped on the scale in my bathroom today while I was cleaning. It was a golden moment from the heavens that I almost missed by being distracted by my own thoughts and busyness.

She stepped on it and said,”Ok mama, let’s see how great I am!”

What.

The.

Heck.

My face still might be slightly numb.
Seriously.
Men may not get this post, but I know women will.

For many of us ladies, the scale represents so many vile things. It boasts the measurement of our worth (or so we’ve learned from somewhere) and it doesn’t lie, right? It can’t be tricked or cheated like the number that we’ve put on our drivers licenses. The scale will expose all of your secret rendezvous with the drive thru, the left overs and the chocolate chip cookies that you thought were safe from the public eye, late in the…

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When in doubt…

  
I’ve lost 72 pounds so far.  

It has been hard, slow, grueling and laden with ups and downs. There are times I feel I’ve reached a stand still because my expectations for where I’d be by now have not been met. 
I have had great days. Amazing days!!! I have had awesome workouts and have enjoyed perfectly clean and homemade healthy meals.  
I have also had crappy days, embarrassing and sluggish workouts. And I admit, in moments of weakness, I’ve stuffed my face with cheap pizza and cake and crap more times than I wanna say. It happens. This is real life. 

It feels like with every victory I have in this season, I self sabotage twice as hard. I still doubt myself and underestimate my worthiness and capability.  

But, each time I fall, I seem to learn a bit more, gain something new and just keep pressing forward. There is no other option at this point. I’ve tasted the life I’m chasing after, and I will not be stopped.  

The discipline I have had to learn and apply in fitness, carries over into the rest of my life as a wife and mom. In running our family and household, I am more active, more involved and more ALIVE.  

There is a certain kind of confidence that is built in training that cannot be earned anywhere else. I didn’t understand this mindset from the outside. I used to make fun of people like me. Roll my eyes and call them “obsessed”.  

But I get it now.  

It isn’t until you step into it and commit, that you realize that others who’ve made a commitment to health and fitness aren’t just “health freaks” or “gym rats”.  

It’s about embracing a wholistic wellness as a human being. Taking care of the one body you have.  Learning to love yourself and care for yourself as a person, as you learn to take care of your body. So that you may be the best you can be for your friends and family. Living life to the fullest. 

 It’s about believing you can do hard things, and endure hard things, and stand being uncomfortable for awhile when things get hard. It’s about the accomplishment and relief and power that washes over you at the end of each workout that has you leaving the gym ready to conquer whatever life will bring your way next.  
There are no short cuts. The struggle cannot be skipped or avoided. It hurts, and most of the time just plain sucks. But I’m not watching life happen around me anymore.  

I’m trying things. 

I’m doing things. 

I’m learning to push past fear. 

I know I am not the same.  

Fat Chick Attempting Yoga: Part 2

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I just mopped my kitchen floor without having to take a break. Just months ago it hurt my lower back so bad I would have to sit and rest. As would doing a full sink of dishes, or chopping onions, garlic and veggies for meals. I somehow managed to get stuff done, but I was a hot mess, constantly covered in sweat and headed for bigger disaster.

Confession: during this dark season, I squandered my time home with my baby girl before she began kindergarten. (That’s probably why the day she started school was such a turning point for me.) I would bustle about half asleep making breakfast and lunches and send my son off to school, only to close the door and let Disney Junior raise her for a few hours while I flopped myself onto the couch under a blanket to sleep until lunchtime. I will regret it for the rest of my life, the time I robbed myself and my kids from having a functional mommy. The time I robbed from my husband, being lazy while he had no choice but to go to work to provide for us, trusting that I was holding down the fort.

My everyday life was plagued with pain and feelings of despair. I truly hated who I was and what I had become. I began this blog as a means to sift through my feelings of depression and DO SOMETHING about it. I also wanted people to know that this is REAL life…let’s be honest about this stuff!! Why are we all pretending to have it together???! My blog became my prayer journal. I’ve wrestled through a lot on these pages…I never thought I’d really see a day when the energy would shift.

Two years ago I tried yoga for the first time and the experience was…well…memorable.

(you can read that post here: https://mandimonblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/fat-chick-attempting-yoga-part-1/ )

But now, after 5 months of balanced eating (still learning!) and almost daily workouts, I’ve been feeling so good…I decided to try it again.

40 pounds lost sure doesn’t seem to be showing quite yet on my body, but I tell you it CERTAINLY does on a yoga mat!
I was able to do the entire hour session and even though I had to modify some moves, it felt amazing.

Unlike the first time, when I was so ashamed and disgusted, I was free. Before, I was desperate to be in any other body than my own. This time, I felt strong, proud and willing to push myself. (And, I am still OVER 300 pounds! Whew, that was scary to type! But it’s REAL.) The instructor kept saying, “This is about acceptance…accepting your body as it is, and appreciating it.”

For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that is true. I appreciate this body. It has worked hard for me even under abuse and distress. I am learning to accept who I am and am learning what I am capable of. My mantra has become, “if I don’t lose another pound or inch…as long as I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m successful!”

For those of you who are like I was, and are thinking you don’t have the time, or don’t think you’re worth the time…thinking maybe it would be robbing your kids, family or job of your attention…or setting this time aside for yourself is being selfish or vain, consider this:

You are robbing them NOW.
You are cheating them NOW.
You’re ABUSING yourself and cheating yourself, RIGHT NOW! And its not how we’re meant to live!

The time you spend devoted, dedicated and committed to hating yourself is the SAME time and energy that becomes devoted, dedicated and committed to loving yourself.
Which only benefits and blesses those that you love.

The way our babies watch us hate ourselves is tragic. They are watching and listening. Learning from us how to care for themselves. I can’t turn back time and erase it, but I have changed the course we were on.

This is more than attaining a certain pant size, it is getting my life back. It is mopping my floor and playing with my kids. It is being able to hold a warrior pose when I couldn’t before.

It is being able to honor all those days I robbed from myself and my family, and making the most of the ones ahead.

An invalid writer is confronted with truth

I could possibly bore everyone I know with writing another unimportant blog post.
This fear has stunned me into a writing coma where I have slept for months,
waiting to feel a spark of inspiration that didn’t feel forced.

Why is it so quiet when it snows?
Is it because the cold hard truth makes you hold your breath and stand still?

Tell the truth?

Well here it is:

I want to make something meaningful.
Craft words and phrases of art.
Powerful.
Inspirational.

The point is to move souls…
Evoke motion…to see if anyone gets me?!
Really gets me?

Im just another copy cat, trying hard to lead the way.
At the end of the day, I just want to be someone important.
I want to be triumphant.
Beautiful.
Exciting.
I want an epic destiny.
I want to climb to the climax of this movie with a powerful score, and blow everyone’s minds with my tenacity.

How selfish, how selfish, how selfish.

The grip of control is tight with its counterfeit…and here I am again worried about me, me me.

My mind swirls with thoughts that are hard to package and share.
I guess thats why I’m a writer.

Lose myself to chance?
Ok.

Pen to paper spilling.
Pushing me to dig deeper.
Urging me forward and I’m forced to keep up.
Stumbling across the page with my words.

I fight against what comes naturally because that’s what good girls are taught to do.

When really, lets just get real…

I’d slice throats if I had to.
I’d steal if I thought God wouldn’t care.
My darkness is ever present.
Can’t trust my instinct because its always going to be sinful.

I’ve been paralyzed on this mat for a year.
Writhing in bitter pain and pity.
Laying here waiting for a miracle.

“Get up and walk.”

Warm light of love starting to thaw my frozen heart.

Praying that this time I’ll trust and obey,
to spring up off of this bed and be healed.


“One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” (John 5:5-9 ESV)

About-face

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I’ve decided I’m done sulking about having not become the latest weight-loss sensation in the west.
I grew into some high hopes a few months ago that this time my efforts with being real and blogging about my situation would be rewarded with numbers dropping off the scale with ease. This attitude is EXACTLY the one I was supposed to avoid because it always takes my struggle out of Gods hands and into my own. Well, as we can see…that never ends up the way I hope it will. I was supposed to be focusing on how to love myself “as is” and once again I got caught up in the net of an extremist. Starting to listen to that old tape of “once you lose this weight…THEN you’ll have REAL stuff to say and write about. THEN you will be really useful and helpful to people. THEN you will be comfortable and love yourself.” So I set out on extreme diets and tried to take charge only to find myself failing and hating myself for the past few weeks. Letting the cycle start to sneak in and beat me up a bit. Well, not today my good man! Today we are changing course.

I am reminded once again this morning that I have no guarantee of THEN. I only have NOW.

So right NOW, whether I feel like it or not I will thank God for the body I have that is going to get me through the day. Right NOW I’m going to rejoice that I have been useful and helpful to people. Right NOW I’m going to celebrate where I’m at. Right NOW I get to make the choice to turn my bad attitude around and get to walking in the right direction again. Towards the me I’m truly supposed to be.

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Inspired

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“Sometimes themes are repeated in our lives as they are in music. But at the time we hear them, we aren’t always attune to their significance. It may take perspective, time, and distance to appreciate a recurring motif.”
-Kathy Coffey “Hidden Women of the Gospels”

I am reading this book right now (amongst a zillion others it feels like). This quote lifted up off the page and forced my attention. It’s begs the question “What are the themes in your life? What messages have you heard repeated?”
The connection woven between our lessons in life and the significance of certain music is real! We are moved by music. We use it to mark the seasons and stations of our lives. It evokes joy, pain, and a myriad of other emotions. Each song becoming more valuable over time and distance.

I was inspired by this and wrote this quick poem. I think the themes in my life are pretty obvious. I have a tag cloud over here…What are the themes in yours?

Themes echoing through my life.
Like music I set to rewind.
Trying to identify these songs that haunt me.
Lessons repeated and left unlearned.
Minor chords.
Bridges burned.
Shuffle themselves in my ears,
Trying to be heard.
My head.
My life.
My heart.
A tone.
A note that strikes.
Pierces.
Soothes.
Played perfectly.
Skillfully.
Translating my positions…always on the pulse of my current event.
Comforting like a blanket.
Hidden and warm.
Reverberate from another day.
Another time.
Another place.
Rythym rolling across my history.
Soundtrack layered blissfully.
The marriage of music and memories.
Now I’m sure I’m listening.

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>>New adventure<<

&andshelivedhappilyeverafter

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