Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The "secret" to happiness

"Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake and help us see we are worth
so much more than we're settling for."
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman:Life, Love and a Dash of Sass

Life isn't easy, and it likes to throw lots of curveballs, but it's all how you handle and smash those curveballs that counts. It's okay to miss and strikeout, as long as you keep putting yourself out there until you smash one out of the park.

Of course I just put everything I'm going through into a simple metaphor using baseball, but that's just how I roll :)

I'm not going to lie and pretend like everything in my life is fine and dandy. I'm currently in the middle of a "rut" right now: my exercise, eating habits and motivation have been lacking, and I've lost focus of my "why", but I'm reminded on a daily basis that I am surrounded by amazing people who love/like me for me.

Throughout this rut, I have remained positive the majority of the time, I have continued to be thankful for what I do have and I continue to stand strong and fight through the madness. I also continue to be incredibly hard on myself, having expectations high above what most people think is "realistic".  But looking back, I guess Im just 10X-ing everything in my life, not just my goals, because I know that I will never have the life and dreams I aspire of unless I push myself further than most people are willing.

All of this is what will make the end result that much sweeter and happier.

With all of that, I have been more realistic than many realize and I have opened my heart and world to everyone in the hopes that my story and situation can help even just one more person find happiness and peace within their lives.

My story will have me hold the titles of divorcee and single mom.  My story will have my not just lose my marriage, but will have me and my children lose our home. My story will have me losing my excellent credit standing. And finally, my story will have me being one of the MANY grown children moving back in with their parents. I could dwell on all of these "negatives" and let it bring me down or I could focus on the positives.

My story will have me be a happier, more aware individual. My story will have me described with the adjectives of strong, healthy and eventually successful. Eventually my story will have me hold the title of entrepreneur. My story will have my children growing up with 3 great adult role models under one roof, including a hard-working male role model.

Throughout this past year, I have found a happier me inside, focusing on myself more than I ever have before.  Mentally, I could not be stronger, and because of that, I have been able to put some focus into the physical me. I have gotten back into working out and eating healthy, and it's just this amazing circle of how my physical health continues to strengthen my mental health and how that strengthens my physical health and so on and so on.

This physically and mentally stronger me has also made me this more positive person you now see/read about.  Look back on my blog posts from the last few months versus 2-3 years ago, and the tone is so different, its like two different authors.

All of this has made me see the world from a clearer perspective and continues to remind myself on a daily basis (if not more often) just how lucky I am to be surrounded by amazing friends, family, co-workers, and even facebook acquaintances.

I know that when the time is ready, the perfect person will come into my and my kids life. For all the tough times I have seen in the past - and for the ones that will be in the future - the bigger picture will have 10x more brightness.

So what's the secret? Think happy and positive thoughts. It sounds easy - or maybe you think it sounds stupid - whatever it is - it works. I listen to personal development podcasts on a daily basis. I cut out the negativity of the news and instead watch personal development videos. I limit my television watching and instead put that time into developing my businesses and my future.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Failing Forward

The only way to succeed in life is to fail along the road and learn from those failures. I've had my handful the last few years and I'm doing my best to learn and move forward.

But for the last few months, I've been in a rut.. During this rut, I have allowed myself to ignore my schedule and my to do list, I've stopped moving forward on my business plans and let them sit, I stopped doing my morning routine (aka the miracle morning), I stopped exercising consistently and worst of all, I stopped eating consistently well.  In reality all the things I stopped doing tie together very easily. When I'm eating well, waking up early to do my miracle morning and exercise is like a walk in a park. When I do those, my day is kicked off on the right foot and I'm living a much more productive life and can check off my to do lists, follow a schedule and get the businesses working for me.

The thing is I KNOW all of this, yet I just can't figure out how to get back into my good spot, and I know part of the answer is figuring out what caused me to get out of it. I've tried to think about this a lot today - as i ate my way through the morning and early afternoon, as I rested and as I soaked in a hot and refreshing detox bath - yet it wasn't until typing this specific entence that (I think) I figured out the "culprit". It traces back to right around the time that I finally realized/"accepted" that I could no longer afford to pay my mortgage. My ex was not providing the support agreed to in our agreement and I was taking money out of savings like a kid asks for candy in a candy store, and the pot was starting to run dry. In order to try and get the financial terms of the separation agreement in place, it would cost me more money than I would see come back in the long term (if I even won) - and would take way too much time and cause way too much stress - so I had to come to terms with the fact that I would be getting a fraction of the agreement and there was just no way I could keep the house.

I talked to some people and had accepted this fact and worked through the months long battle of getting the house listed. Or I guess I thought I accepted it all. From day one, I felt like I've failed, but I know that my "failure" was mostly out of my control. I was in this situation due to a financial hardship that was (more or less) out of my control. I would have learned no lessons from my past if I just continue down the road of believing I have accepted this, so instead, I will accept that I am still working to accept this failure and that I know I have to take some of the responsibility - both mentally and financially - for this failure.

It will not be easy to come to terms with, but knowing what is causing me to not give 100% of myself to make the life I dream of will allow me to acknowledge the issue each time I struggle to stick to my routine. So although I decalred yesterday Day 1, tomorrow is a me day - and a new day 1. Upon passing publish on this post (and sharing is), I will go to bed and set my alarm for 4am. I will wake up at 4am and head downstairs to do my miracle morning (and I encourage you all to go to miraclemorning.com and/or search for Hal Elrod's podcast to find out more about this life-changing routine!). I will do a 21 day fix exercise as part of my miracle morning and I will eat my healthy balance meals. As Hal says, th first 10 days will be unbearable, the next 10 days will be uncomfortable and then the last 10 days will be unstoppable and a new routine will have formed.

With that commitment, tonight - although it took me a couple months to get here - I go to bed thankful for the lessons Ive learned through my failures and the abilites I've learned from my therapist to see this on my own and work through it all with the help and loving support I receive from my family and friends. And I of course am incredibly thankful for amazing parents who have opened their home to my children and I, so that one day I can afford to support the three of us on my own.

Friday, October 3, 2014


The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur started tonight, and for those unfamiliar with the holiday, it is the holiest day of the year. The holiday is meant to bring about reconciliation - both amongst people and between individuals and G-d - and is the day that G-d decides the fate of our next year and whether we shall be written into the book of life.

Note: Im a believer in G-d, Judaism and what they stand for, but I personally don't actually feel that our fate is decided directly by G-d and only once a year, I think that we all have a say in our own destiny on a daily basis.

With that, the topic of forgiveness has been at the forefront of my mind so much recently, and not just because of the holiday.

What is forgiveness? Google defines forgiveness as "the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven". Okay, easy enough, but that doesn't really tell us too much.

If you look deeper into the meaning/process, it is generally defined as a "conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness"

And that is where forgiveness is hard! I can easily say I forgive someone, but that won't release the feelings, so how do I truly get to that point where I can forgive someone especially when they don't deserve to be forgiven.

I grew up with the understanding that forgiveness was a two-way street. The person who has done the wrong should understand what they did wrong, apologize and take steps towards not doing it again, and the person who was wrong forgives. For instance, in this scenario you don't tell a kid to say I'm sorry for hitting someone when that's the 10th time they've done it - they aren't actually sorry and aren't learning to stop hitting from stating those words.

So when the first part isn't there - especially all 3 aspects of them understanding they did something wrong, apologizing and taking steps to not do it again - and more so they continue to do the same "wrong" over and over and over again, as in the above scenario, how do you "let it go" and provide forgiveness?

I truly understand that forgiveness is less about them and more about the individual offering forgiveness (me), but no matter how much I want to be able to, I can't. I still feel that the act of forgiveness is about more than just me. If I forgive someone and just let their antics fall to the wayside, what lesson is this person learning other than that they can continue to act that way and get what they want?

Again, I know that's not what it's about, but when you have continuously forgiven someone only to have to forgive them for the same behavior, they aren't actually sorry or going to make changes. If I offer my forgiveness, all I'm doing is closing one door just for it to continuously reopen.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result - so if I'm providing forgiveness over and over again - even if I never express that forgiveness outwardly to the person - I'm just setting myself up for a different type of internal struggle.

What has worked best for me in the past is to just drop that person from my life and let distance and space provide the opportunity for everything to just clear the air, and if it's meant to be for that person to be in my life, eventually an opportunity will arise that brings them back in.

But what about when you can't just completely cut someone out of your life and you have no choice but to let them continue to hurt you? Maybe one day in the distant future I can find that place in my mind and body to forgive someone who truly doesn't deserve it for my sake. In the meantime, I will allow G-d to offer that person his forgiveness and I'll just continue to work towards becoming the best me I can be! Hopefully that will be enough to get me inscribed in the book of life for another year :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Very thankful

Tonight, as I prepare to go to bed, I'm reminded of just how lucky I am and how much I have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that my mom is now able to help out with the kids and is helping me save a little bit by watching the kids for the 2 weeks between camp and school.

I'm thankful for the precious few years I had with Zayde. I wish I had seen him mor and gotten to know him better, but I'm thankful for the time I did have with him and thankful he got to meet my children.

I'm thankful for all the extended family I have - even (and especially) the ones that no longer have any blood/marriage ties to me.  I thoroughly enjoy every minute I get to hang and/or chat with them and I'm glad I can introduce Sara and Nathaniel to all of their family.

I'm thankful for Charger and his (annoying) habit of barking at anyone who comes close to the home. Thanks to Chargers barking, the person who attempted to break into my house was unsuccessful!  Now charger will always be allowed to stay out of his crate at night :)

I'm thankful for all of my friends and family and the great support system I have built around me!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yup - I'm going there...vaccinations

There was a post today on one of the moms of multiples pages I follow that asked about people getting the dtap vaccine (pertussis/whooping cough) because her doctor was recommending it.  Normally I stay away from these kinds of posts because I don't feel like getting into the debate with someone who doesn't agree with vaccinations because I know nothing good will come out of the debate.  For some reason today I decided to comment, and was actually shocked and happy to see that there were tons of likes to my comment with no one trying to argue. Now I'm testing my luck and blogging about it because I can't get it out of my head!

I personally have always believed in vaccinations, which is somewhat ironic because I've never gotten the flu vaccine for myself - which I may have possibly changed my own mind today while thinking this all through.

Here is the jist of vaccines - there are diseases out there that have had major outbreaks and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, and with the development of medicine and technology, there are researchers who were able to come up with ways to "cure" the diseases.  Now people who live in vaccinated areas and countries almost never hear about those diseases.

That is until some physician skewed statistics (and later admitted it people!) to say that vaccines were the cause of autism, and now people are blaming vaccines for anything a child starts to show signs of after going through their childhood vaccinations.  The result is that these diseases that haven't been seen in vaccinated areas and countries are now making a comeback and causing children to become deathly ill because their parents didn't want to vaccinate.

I feel strongly that everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. Yes, there are side effects, but the side effects of the disease are MUCH worse - such as DEATH - than the POSSIBLE side effects of the vaccine. Further, the point of vaccinating isn't just to protect yourself, its also to protect all the people who can't be vaccinated, such as infants that are too young or people with allergies such as eggs. So when a family decides they don't need the dtap vaccine because they never get sick, they are putting all the infants they come in contact with at risk, as infants lungs cannot handle whooping cough and don't show the signs as clearly as adults.

According to the CDC, "During 2012, 48,277 cases of pertussis were reported to CDC, including 20 pertussis-related deaths. The majority of deaths occurred among infants younger than 3 months of age. The incidence rate of pertussis among infants exceeded that of all other age groups. The second highest rates of disease were observed in children 7 through 10 years old. Rates increased in adolescents 13 and 14 years of age." For further stats, go here.

With that being said, pretty much everyone reading this lives in the United States or another country where you have the right to make your own health choices and therefore vaccines can't be forced on anyone, which is where my comment on the facebook post comes into play.   I said:

"Yes, I got the shot. Everyone can make their own decisions but in all honesty, the only reason a lot of these issues exist is because people don't vaccinate. We all eat foods that are worse for us with no benefits with very little issue, yet we have issues with vaccinations that have less side effects and more benefits than the chemically processed food we eat?"

So if you eat anything that's processed or use the microwave to heat any of your food, especially in plastic, I'm certain you are ingesting things that will have worse side effects over the long term.

Now don't get me wrong, I use the microwave ALL THE TIME, and my kids and I definitely eat processed foods. Over the last year, my eyes have opened to this a lot more, and I try to limit it as much as possible and there are certain things I try to avoid such as high fructose corn syrup and food dye, but I don't always do it, and sometimes I eat things that I know are horrible for me.

What I'm not saying in this post is that everyone should eat the way our grandparents did (because the microwaves and processed foods didn't exist then). I'm just using our other bad habits as an example of something we continue to do because its cheaper and easier on us, even though its worse for us.

So, bottom line is that if you feel the need to ignore and dispute any vaccination, then I at least hope you are living a "granola" lifetyle and doing that with everything you come in contact with.

Okay - rant over. If you don't agree with this, don't bother trying to engage in a debate, I will ignore you and depending on the comment I might just delete it - because just like you have the right to not vaccinate, I have the right to delete comments on my blog and facebook page :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Listen to your body

Even though I have become much more fit, I'm still not exactly where I want to be, I will always have goals to reach. My goals are not necessarily weight loss anymore as much as toning up, staying fit and eating healthy (the majority of the time).

With all of those goals though, I'm constantly reminded to listen to my body.  I decided that yesterday, since I had the majority of hue he day to myself, that I was going to get in a nice long walk.  A long walk to the majority of people is not a long walk to me - I've trained for and walked half-marathons, marathons, and the 3-day (a 60 mile event).  That means I've walked over 20 miles more times than I have fingers to count (albeit just slightly more) and I've walked double digit miles way more than I can imagine. So when I decided I was going to go for a long walk, I set my sights on 10 miles.

Sunday morning I woke up a little late, but after I got the kids out the door, I decided to do my PiYo exercise for the day (plus the one I missed on Saturday). By the time I had finished, the morning rain had died down and I got ready to go out with my dog.  Before leaving, I trimmed my goals down to  a 10k because I had a lot I wanted to get done for the day and I wasn't up for taking 2.5-3 hours out of my day.

 Ow my walking route for the day was a couple loops, this way if Charger needed to stop I could drop him off at home, so we were going around the first long loop and we were about 1/2 of the the way through and I was feeling great!  My times were much better than I expected since I haven't done serious walking since I did my last even in April 2013.  My goal is always a 15 minute mile, but usually I'm at about a 16.5 min mile when I'm not in training.  I got out and my first mile was a 15.5 min/mile, I figurd it would slow down, but the second was just 10 seconds slower and the third was 20 seconds shorter, so I never lost my stride.  I was confident I'd complete the 10k no problem.  Then I went a bit further, getting about 2/3 of th way through and my knee started to bother me.  It's pain I've had and I'm quite used to, so I decided I'd walk through it.  And then as we hit the 4 mile mark, charger started to really slow down (I later realized I was actually speeding up and he just couldn't keep up).

That's about when it started to hit me.  Why power through the walk and risk injury to my knee just to complete a 10k? Just to say I did it?  I'm really getting into health and fitness and being a coach, what yep of example am I setting by pushing through no matter the cost? And so, I decided that I was going to finish out that loop and call it a day.

So remember, push yourself to stay fit and push yourself to eat healthy, but know what your limits are for that day and listen to what your body is telling you.  Set goals and work towards them, but don't expect to reach them in the first day, it takes training and dedication. And when you hit your goals, don't stop there.  Your body wants more and you should listen to it.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

For Adoption: Kalas - an lovable, cuddle, energetic dog

It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I have made this decision and am finally following through on it.  Due to my current circumstances I am looking to place Kalas in a new home.

Kalas as puppy used to cuddle like this
Before I give more information on him, I want to explain the decision, as its important to who adopts him. I am currently a single, working mom of toddlers and 2 dogs. Since its just me, my dogs are stuck in the house for 10-11 hours alone and then when I get home, my attention is devoted to my kids and then getting things done and don't have the chance to sit down and let Kalas cuddle for more than a couple minutes. Kalas needs a home that can provide him more attention, so I am looking to place him in a home where someone is home all day with him or he would only be crated for 8 hours or so.  This home should also be able to give him attention and cuddles when they are home. As long as he gets that, he is a calm, well-behaved dog.  If unfortunately he doesn't get it, his energy bundles up and he starts to get jealous and demanding.  These are all behaviors that are non-existent and non-problematic for me, but I want to be up front and honest.

Kalas is the most sweet, lovable dog you could ask for. He thrives on being by your side and sitting right next to you and cuddling with his head rested on your lap.  We adopted him when he was approx 3 months old from a rescue in the Carolina's, but he was pretty much born into rescue, so he didn't have any issues adjusting.  He gets along great with his fur-brother as well as my two kids, whom he has been around since they were born.

Kalas cuddling with baby Nathaniel
Kalas cuddling with baby Nathaniel

Kalas cuddling with Sara and I

He walks decently on a leash, and knows a couple basic commands, is crate-trained and house broken. With that he does have a few bad habits that I can directly relate to not getting enough attention from me (see first paragraph)
Cuddling with his fur-brother

He is neutered, up-to-date on all vaccines and microchipped, and I will provide his vet records, crate, blanket and some bones, toys and food.

Additionally, I want to make sure that he is going to a good home that is the right fit for him, so I will require the following:

  • that a vet reference be provided (if you previously have had pets)
  • that you allow me to do a home visit/interview to check out his home
  • you provide a $108 donation to an animal-related non-profit, organization, rescue, business etc of your choice.  
Any rescue will requite these things (references, visit and donation), and I want to make sure that whoever adopts him is serious about this decision and commitment. With that, I want to also make sure that the adoption works out, so I will offer a foster-to-adopt where you can foster Kalas for 2 weeks before making the full adoption commitment to make sure he settles in well to your family and schedule.

If you have ANY questions or are interested, please email me at LyndaALyons@hotmail.com.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A happy - but emotional - mothers day

I needed to journal and get out my thoughts and feelings, except I don't journal, I blog.  So here is my post and a little bit about whats going on in my head...

After writing my last blog post, I was so proud of what I wrote. It was the best writing I have ever done. It was all completely pure and genuine - I didn't even have to do a bit of editing - and I was able to just share my happiness and none of the "dirty" details of what led us to that ending.  Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure where today's post will take me, or even whether I will press publish at the end (of course if you are reading this, it means I did).

I've got a lot going on in my head right now and its a mix of many emotions.  Today is mother's day and so far it has been great.  My kids woke up happy, since its beautiful weather we got to play outside after breakfast, the dogs have been well behaved and I had a lovely brunch with my family and now they are taking their nap.  But on my drive home from my brunch, the emotions started to hit me.

This is my first of many mother's days as a single mom and its usually the dad's job to get the mothers day cards and get the mom a little gift to show she is loved, but as a single mom with an ex who barely grasped that when we were together, I don't get any of those little tokens of joy.  Don't get me wrong - I get plenty of love from my kids and that is much more valuable than any card or gift, but I am still an emotional woman who did not willingly chose to become a single mom.  Instead of those tokens of appreciation, for this mothers day, I get an ex who decided to hire a lawyer and tell me about it at the start of mothers day weekend (after we both agreed - or so I thought - that we would try to work through everything without involving lawyers and courts because that's the least we could do for the best interest of our kids).  Instead I got an ex who, on mothers day weekend, is choosing not to provide me with the monthly paperwork required in our agreement that shows he isn't lying to me about his income.  Instead I got an ex who, when offered to tell the truth about his income since it sounds like he is lying by not providing the paperwork, ignores the chance of "redemption". Instead I got an ex who, on mothers day weekend instead of showing that he is a decent man and really does put the kids first and send me a mothers day card from the kids, decides not to pay his child support payment (maybe he will tomorrow, but I reminded him yesterday, and still nothing in the bank account).

Don't get me wrong, I am so incredibly happy to not have him in my daily life, and I will do everything in my power for the kids to not learn all the "dirty" details about their dad from me, my family or my friends. I will remind them that their dad loves them, and I will do my very best to never say a bad word about him in front of them. I know that it is in the best interest of the kids for me to not disparage their dad or influence their opinions of him.  I'm sure as the kids get older and can figure things out for themselves, they will see the true person their dad is and they will make their own choices about him - assuming he continues down the same path he has followed his entire life.  Maybe by that time I can learn how to forgive someone who truly doesn't deserve it, and will be able to teach my children to do the same when the time comes.  

Unfortunately, I'm not at that point yet.   I have made a ton of changes in my life since my husband chose to leave his family for an easier path where he isn''t held to any basic standards - such as honesty, communication and dependability. I also know that I still have a long way to go - especially with forgiveness of others.  I listen to a lot of self-improvement and personal development, and right now I just don't understand how someone can forgive someone and have no ill feelings towards them when they have caused so much pain and hurt and have no outward signs of regret or change. I will continue to work towards that point, and hope that one day I will attain that level of self improvement and positivity within myself.  I hope that one day, I can be so happy with where I am and what I have done with myself, that I can just not care what someone else has done - that I can just forgive them for all the pain they have caused.

But like I said, Im just not there. I will make sure my children don't hear the negatives of their dad from me - or anyone in my network - but until the day comes that I can make peace WITH him and everything he has done, I will continue to be open to my family, friends and my "journal" about my feelings and the roller coaster ride he is putting me on.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My “coming out” story...

The agreement is signed and life is completely changed, so its time for me to officially “come out” with the news that rocked me hard 5 months ago and changed my life – and in 100% complete honesty I am so incredibly happy and accepting with the way things are now.

The questions are where do I start? and how do I share my story without sharing too much?

Do I start 6 years ago when I met the person who would alter the course of my life? Do I start 20 months ago when things really changed for us? Or do I start 5 months ago when the final decision was made?

In an effort to stay true to the new me, Ill start with the later, so as to avoid sharing publicly any of the behind the scenes content of what turned “we” into “me”.   On November 7th, 2013 my husband told me that he was no longer interested in resolving the issues that existed in our marriage and instead wanted a divorce.  I was so afraid of that word.  That word meant I failed – I failed myself, I failed my children, I failed my husband, I failed my marriage, I failed my parents and family, I failed everyone.  In my heart I think I knew for a while that this was what the marriage needed and what I needed, but I wasn’t able to accept failure and therefore I fought for the marriage – and I FOUGHT!

I went through all the emotions. I was angry, I was hurt, I was sad – and I was like that for a couple months.  I had no clue how I was going to do it - raise two children on my own, afford to cover the expenses for two kids, two dogs and myself, afford for us to continue to live on our own, manage everything that was on my plate as a newly-single, working mom with student loans, a mortgage, a car payment and other debt. 

I continued to see the therapist that we had seen as a couple and he helped me to accept that I did NOT fail anyone – and most especially myself.  He reminded me of everything that went into the marriage dissolving and how I really did not have too much control of its fate.  He helped remind me of all the support I did have, how strong of a person I was and how I really had been doing most of it for a long time.

After a couple months I was doing a lot better emotionally.  I realized that I had survived the first month (and then two, and now five), being the primary caregiver to the kids and taking care of everything.  I had (finally) learned to accept that I couldn’t do everything and that some things (IE constantly cleaning the house) wouldn’t get done as much as I wanted.  For the first time in a very long time I was happy more often than I wasn’t.  I wasn’t killing my nights fighting, and I wasn’t stressing or worrying about what was gonna happen that day to cause a fight. I was able to finally be at ease all the time and fully enjoy every precious moment I had with my children.

I was happy, but there was still something missing.  I was worried about my finances and how I was going to do things. I was afraid to look at bills until I absolutely had to. I had made the difficult decision that I needed to quit Shakeology and Beachbody because I had to cut any and all extra expenses – no matter the benefits those items brought me.  I told my coach that unfortunately I just couldn’t afford it anymore and I was going to quit.  I'm not sure what I expected her to say, but her response wasn’t what I expected.  She said okay, explained what the process was to leave coaching and said something (I honestly don’t remember) that pretty much was a last ditch effort to have me give it one more month.

I delayed on cancelling because I just didn’t want to, and then I decided I would give it one more month. I would see if there was anything I could do (although I wasn’t really doing anything) to make the business-side of Beachbody work for me.  And that’s when life changed!

I was invited to join a coach training group – one that I had looked into a few months prior - and decided that this was gonna be my last shot. I was gonna give this group a try and see what it could do for me. That group was the best thing to happen to me. Although I had been a coach for about 14 months, I had been ignoring one of the big items that Beachbody pushes for its coaches to do – personal development. I remember reading that when I first signed up and thinking “whatever – I don’t have time for that”. The coach running this training group recommended that I listen to podcasts or Cd's during the 2 hours a day that I'm in my car commuting and I figured that was easy enough.

Personal development has changed my life for the better!  Almost every weekday I listen to a podcast to and from work and it helps inspire me to do all the things that I want to do.  It’s what brought me to the 21 Day Fix and made me realize how much I missed and loved exercising.  It’s what’s made me realize I have some big dreams and goals and I need to find the time to focus on those dreams and goals. Its what helped me realize that my life isn’t just good, its GREAT, and that I am surrounded by some wonderful and amazing friends, family and co-workers and even if I struggle financially, I know that I will find a way to make it work.

I still have a lot of progress to make on my dreams and goals – with the biggest thing being to actually sit down and write it all out and write out exactly how I will get there, and get back to scheduling out my days so I can find the time to focus on those dreams and goals.

But even though I haven’t even made that HUGE first step – I am a different person than I was 5 months ago. Do I still have feelings of failure? Yes, most definitely. I have high expectations and I am harder on myself than I am anyone else. But even when I feel that way, I KNOW that I have not failed and instead I’ve done the complete opposite.  I have taken a tough situation and I have made the very best out of it.  I’m a woman who wears MANY different hats and has many different interests – but Ive found some new focus, “balance” and strength. 

I still have a lot of tough times ahead of me, but I know that I have the strength inside of me to power through – and I have a lot of people to thank for that!

First and foremost, I have to thank my ex. Although our relationship was not as strong as I thought, nor did it have the ending I wanted – it gave me three amazing gifts.  The first two gifts are the most obvious – my children.  No matter how unhappy our marriage became it gave me the gift of motherhood – and even more amazing the wonderful opportunity to be a mother of multiples.  The third gift is the gift of peace and happiness.  I did not have the strength to give up on our marriage because I was afraid of what that future would be, but your ability to do so gave me greater peace and happiness than I have had in a long time.

I would like to thank my wonderful and amazing parents. They have been my rocks in getting me through the tough times.  They reminded me how much they loved me no matter how things worked out and how they were always there for me. They help me with the kids when I need some self-care time or just needed to run errands on my own or was traveling on business.  They have helped cover basic needs so I can make sure I have the money to cover all the bills.  I couldn’t have possibly gotten through this without them by my side.

My sisters and brother-in-laws for reminding me that our family is strong and supportive and that we always have each other. I am very thankful for all the things that you guys do and all the help you offer.  Sara and Nathaniel have some great aunt’s and uncles.

My “ex” family for reminding me the true meaning of family – and that there are actually people in this family that know that.   We might not technically be family anymore, but you continue to remind me that indeed we ARE family, because it really has nothing to do with the actual blood and marriage lines. I am so thankful to have married into this wonderful family – and although I will eventually be divorced from my husband, I will still have you guys to call my sister, aunts, uncles, cousins and Zayde.

My therapist for helping me see things so much clearer and helping me to find this peace and happiness.

My best friends for always making sure I'm okay and offering to drive down/up to confirm I really am okay. You have been there for my calls and emails to just bitch about what’s going on and you have continued to tell me how amazing and strong I am – which has just continued to enable me to be that strong person.

My Beachbody family – you have helped me find that side of me that I lost and I thank you for your continued support, encouragement and motivation. I have gotten so much from Beachbody and I will do my very best to help others lose the weight they want to lose, find the happiness within themselves to succeed, or whatever else they need to do to become a happy and striving individual.

And to everyone else – my coworkers, friends, etc – even if we haven’t talked in a while or aren’t best friends, some of you have known whats going on or have seen/heard enough to know that something is going on and those little notes checking in on me or sending me words of support and wisdom have truly been amazing. Hearing things like “you are amazing, I don’t know how you do it all” puts such a smile on my face and reminds me that I can continue to move forward.

Friday, February 14, 2014

One Strong MOMma!

On the second leg of my long flight home today from a business trip, I had the pleasure of flying with a set of twins and their parents. I say it was a pleasure, others on my flight Im sure would not agree. The two kids – one boy and one girl – were 14 months old, and clearly did not like the idea of flying, being stuck in their car seats, not being able to run/crawl around and play, etc. From the moment they boarded and settled into their seats, the kids were crying.

I actually wasn’t 100% sure there were two, as I saw the mom board with the daughter in her arms, but two of the same toy, and I saw the dad board with a car seat, but later the dad came back for the second seat, and then I started to hear one cry and eventually realized there were two different cry’s going on. I felt for the mom (and dad) when I thought it was just one child, but being a fellow mom of multiples, I really felt for them. Its hard enough to deal with two kids crying, but to do it on a packed airplane where you KNOW what everyone around you is thinking, I can only imagine how overwhelmed she was feeling.

Unfortunatley, I know that for myself, I can sometimes be more concerned with what everyone around me is thinking when Im in public and the fact that they didn’t “sign up” to hear a child scream their heart out, so I usually give my daughter her pacifier or both of them food to help settle them down – because I know those items work. Or sometimes I know its just that they want mommy, and so I carry one or both to calm them down.

This mom stayed strong. She did not fall into the pressure of all the stares and whispers and stuck with parenting the way she parents. I saw no use of the pacifier and the kids were never drowning in snacks – although they did get mommy cuddles once that was possible J When she had no other choice, she stayed strong and let them cry and try to settle in.

I knew what this mom must have been feeling, and I remembered an article or blog post I read a while back about someone randomly telling a mom she was a great mom while her hands were full with her child and the errand she was running and how that made that mom feel. So once we were safely in the air and were able to get out of our seats, I took the short walk a few rows back and I went up to her and I told her that Im sure she doesn’t hear it enough – but that she is doing a great job. She thanked me and then apologized for the children. I told her not to apologize at all, I understand what she is going through as I too am a mom of twins – mine being 18 months old. We exchanged a few brief words and I told her and her husband that I would like to buy them a little valentines day gift and that they should order a drink or snack and Ill pay for it. They thanked me – but I knew they weren’t going to take me up on the offer because I too would have done the same thing, being too stubborn and strong to accept help from strangers (and non-strangers).

I then told the flight attendant who was selling snacks that if they did buy anything I was going to pay for it. At that time my coworker - who was traveling next to me and had been complaining about kids on planes and the crying - asked what I was doing.  I explained that it was a mother of multiples and I knew what she was going through and I further explained the article I was reminded of, so I went back there to remind her what a great mom she is and that I wanted to buy them a drink or snack to help put a bright spot to their day. His face brightened and he didn’t make a single sound or facial reaction the rest of the flight when the kids cried.

I hope that I was able to make the mom and dad’s day a little brighter, but at the very least, I know I changed the opinion of another passenger and it made me feel like a better person.

So the next time you are on a plane – or out in public anywhere – and hear crying kids, try to think about how the parents are feeling, and instead of internally (or externally) complaining, go up to the parent(s) and let them know that they are doing a great job, because it will make them and you feel better, and you won’t even hear the cries anymore because you will feel so good.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesdays web round-up - Family and Parenting - Part 1

I've been saving links over the last week, and the majority of the ones that I found worthy of sharing this week are almost all related to family life and parenting - but there are so many, that Ill be splitting it into 2 posts over the next two weeks.   Hope you enjoy the links and my thoughts on each

I whole-heartedly agree with this campaign.  I obviously have my own opinions on each topic - as we all do - but I also respect everyone's decision on how they parent.   I personally choose not to give my kids juice because of all the sugar or feed them fast food.  But, I will freely admit that there are times you can't help yourself.   My kids had their first McDonalds meal on Friday when we were on the road - there just was no other place to stop - they LOVED their chicken nuggets, but also enjoyed the sliced apples that came along with it and barely touched the fries.   On the other hand - I also let my kids (reasonably) cry it out and was glad to get back to work and have adult interaction.   Whatever decision we make is the perfect decision - because it was perfect for us!   As long as you are not abusing, neglecting or abandoning your children and are a good role model to them - you are being a fabulous parent!

I didn't get emotional and tear up like others described - but this is a great video for all mom's and those who want to be mom's

I have always dreamed of having a "natural" birth - even considering the idea of going drug free - but admitting that if I were in too much pain, I would be open to asking for meds.   Then I got pregnant with twins, and I knew that I could still have a "natural" birth, but I also knew my chances of having a c-section were greatly increased.   So starting at 8 weeks - when I found out it was twins - I worked on accepting the fact that I was likely to have a c-section. My biggest fear was delivery the first vaginally and then having complications with the second and having to go for a c-section.   I could recover from one - but I didn't want to recover from both.  Since I mentally and emotionally prepared myself, I wouldn't get bothered by people saying these things to me - with that, I do not always understand the people who opt right for a c-section for no medical reason (but back to the top article - I make no judgements, just a differing of opinions). My pregnancy was a wonderful journey with very little hiccups - but both my kids were breech the entire pregnancy, so a c-section was the delivery method - then my daughter went into distress a few times too many during stress tests and I had to have an emergency c-section and never even went into labor - never felt a single contraction. So even though I had a beautiful pregnancy and two amazing children, I do mourn over the fact that I didn't go into labor, didn't have a vaginal delivery and the fact that it looks more and more likely that I won't have the amazing pleasure of being pregnant again - and possibly having a VBAC.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Feature: Wednesday's Web Round-Up

As some of you know - I drive an hour each way to work.   That is (at least) 10 hours a week I spend sitting in the car by myself with my mind going in a thousand different directions.   Im CONSTANTLY thinking of blog posts, but by the time I get the chance to sit in front of a computer I can't remember a single thing I thought about - and I literally have the entire thing written out in my head.   Ive tried recording my thoughts, but the problem is once I speak them out loud - my mind stops working and I can't remember everything I was thinking.

Anyways, I am always thinking about the blog, and recently I started to think about some different features i could have on the blog.   For instance I have lots of "short" thoughts - things that are too long for an fb post, but too short for a blog post - and poof - thoughts for thursday!  

But that will be debuted at a later week.  This week, I am launching "Wednesday's Web Round-Up". I'm not loving the title of this feature - so if you have ideas - let me know!   The general idea is there are TONS of things I read out there on the inter-webs, but I don't share it all because I don't want to hog people's fb news feeds (I do a good enough job of that with pictures and status updates).   Instead, I will save them up and share them, with some comments by yours truly, all at once on a blog post.   

This feature, just like any other feature I launch, won't be weekly - because I'm more realistic than to think Ill just magically have the time to blog - but hopefully every other week.  Who really knows though, maybe this will be the only one, maybe Ill get around to doing it every week... 

Anyways, without further ado - here are some of the interesting stories and videos I saw on the internet over the last couple weeks:

After Seattle's NFC Championship win, Richard Sherman has now become a household name - but not because of his play on the field, but because of his interview after the game.   I thought the same negative things about him that you all did - but you should all read this article as it puts him in a whole new light.

This is me through and through - all the way down to the nail biting...

I know I shared this on my FB feed - but it is totally worthy of another share.   If you are Jewish and participated in a Jewish youth group (BBYO, USY, NFTY, etc), then this is a must read!

Check out this adorable talking husky!  

Well, Ill leave you with those, and now that I have this going, ill get better about sharing good reads and watches :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Lesson Learned...

I was looking for something to do today that would incorporate the theme of Martin Luther King Jr day.   After lots of thinking and getting ideas from others, I decided that the kids really are too young to really do anything this year - and we would just aim for next year, so I looked at the different options I did have today:

  • Barnes and Noble had Monday storytime at one of the nearby stores
  • We could schedule one of our makeup classes at My Gym
  • Go to the Bucks County Children's Museum - where we are members.

I opted for the first one thinking that they would probably read books about MLK, and I would feel like Im somehow incorporating the theme of the day.   Well that was Strike 1 to today's outing.  They didn't even once mention that today was MLK day and for that I am EXTREMELY disappointed in Barnes and Noble!

Note that I said Strike 1.   Strike 2 to today's outing was that it was PACKED, and that is an understatement!   I ended up getting there about 20 minutes early, and I was going to just walk around since I had the time - except as I walked towards the general area, I noticed that people already had all the benches filled and some people were sitting in the center of the circle, so I figured I'd better find a spot and just hope the kids can sit the extra 20 minutes.

Strike 3 was the rude clientele.   This B&N is in a nice area - nice enough that you have a decent amount of your JAPs (snobby and pretentious).  Since it was already filling in when I got there, I found an area that I could "park" the stroller where it was still right near me and wouldn't be in anyone's way and there was room for people to get by, so at first the kids stayed in the stroller, but I unbuckled them, because I figured they would eventually scream to get out.   When they got out, we sat directly in front of the sroller, while the stroller was nestled between some book sections and myself, but I left a wide enough berth next to the stroller and myself for others to get through.   I watched a handful of people walk by me and eventually the circle was full, so the next person who came up, just sat down right next to me with her two kids and blocked the opening.  I personally thought nothing of it because there was no place left to go.  A couple minutes later right before the leader came to start storytime this mom tried to come by and started complaining out loud about the stroller blocking her way - except I should remind you - it was not the stroller, as that was nestled between "bookshelves".   She starts moving it so I turn around and look at her and she asks if its my stroller, and I said yes, and she said it was in the way so she was going to move it so she could get through.   I hesitated, but eventually stated that the stroller was not in the way and its pushed to the side, but she had already started to move it at that point, so I got up so I could unlock it and properly move it back the 2 inches of space it would provide.   She then came through and sat exactly where I was sitting with my kids so I had no spot.   I stood there in total disbelief and I'm pretty certain I mumbled something because she eventually got up and went back to where she was before and continued to bitch about my stroller.

Then her snobby friend came over and decided to just move it herself, except the stroller was locked, so she was jamming my $400 stroller around, that had the diaper bag and all of our belongings sitting in it - moving it over 2 feet and back 2 feet so it actually did completely block the aisle.   I stated that it wasn't in the way until they started messing with it, and i parked it there for a reason, because I had two little ones that were sitting in it previously and would prefer that it stay there so I could see it.  She just responded with some BS about how she will keep an eye on everything and I retorted asking her if she would leave her belongings with a total stranger.  With that, I had two toddlers to care for, and couldn't do much about it, so I kept turning my head to check on my belongings - but all I could see was the legs of this woman standing behind me, who clearly didn't have a view of my belongings and had no intention to keep an eye on them - so after about 5 minutes, I rudely got up and got all my belongings off the stroller so I knew no one was going into my bag - and she continued to just stand right on top of me.   At some point early on, she decided it wasn't worth it and left.  

We left after about 30 minutes when all the stories were over but before the fun with the music and games started.   It was too packed, those women pissed me off, and the kids needed more space, so i got them into the stroller (exactly the reason I had it there) and brought them over to one of the play-tables as I chatted with a couple friendly moms I knew from gym class.  I realized that also at the play table was the snobby mom with her kid.   The kid was playing at the table and the mom was sitting on the floor a few feet away playing on her phone. Eventually the kids all started to run their own ways, so I decided to leave and wished I had made the decision to go to gym or the museum, so lesson learning for me!.

Of course I still had a wonderful day with my kids - as are all days I get to spend with them - but I learned my lesson to never go to another B&N story time on a federal holiday, and just stick to the random ones I can attend with the kids or the other activities I can do on a holiday.  

You can feel free to go on Presidents Day - but don't say I didn't warn you :)  And if you do go, try to pick a location not filled with a bunch of snobby and pretentious moms. I personally will be doing something else with the kids - maybe Ill host my own play date :)