Are You Drinking The Good Wine?

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Are You Drinking The Good Wine?

Shopping for gifts in a small town in Italy I came across the most beautiful handpainted Limoncello serving set; my parents are big fans of Limoncello so immediately I knew it was the perfect gift. The six shot glasses, bottle, and serving dish made it's way delicately packaged and into my suitcase and crossed oceans to make its way to my parents dining room to then sit... for three years.

I gave them the set as well as two bottles of authentic Limoncello, so it wasn't that they didn't have anything to put into it! For months I would go to their house and see the unopened bottles and unused set and ask 'you haven't enjoyed this yet?!' and each time the same response: 'we're saving it for a special occasion.'

My Nonnie (grandmother) passed away while I was on that trip to Italy. Thousands of miles from home I took a blow that I was and was not ready for. We're not talking about a grandmother that you have to go and visit a couple times a month. We're talking about a woman who practically raised us all. I knew her time was coming, and though I wasn't really ready I kind of was, and I owe that to her.  My Nonnie never lived a when/then kind of life. She never waited for when she got that new job, then she would enjoy this new thing; or when she lost that weight, then she'd celebrate herself. She lived a in-the-moment, purpose driven life. The older I get the more things I learn about her.  She was dealt some blows that have the potential to leave a person wrecked with despair, sorrow, and misery but instead she still loved life and all it had to offer. She still lived a in the moment, purpose driven life.

I had brought home a couple of nice bottles of wine for myself on that trip and once the funeral was over and traveling family had gone home I thought about opening one of those bottles but then thought, 'I'll save it for a special occasion'. I promise you as I walked away the glasses that hang on a wire wine rack clanged together. I know in the deepest fibers of my being that was her. And she wanted me to have the good wine - now. It was a special occasion.

For the next three months (until it was gone) I finished the day with a glass of the good wine. Sometimes it was just me on my porch, sometimes it was me and my husband, or in the company of friends but regardless those three months changed me. It was healing. It was powerful. And by the time the bottles were gone I found out that I wouldn't be drinking wine for the next nine months... that special occasion I'd been waiting on for a couple of years was on it's way; due the same month as my Nonnie's birthday, no less.

I have at times felt that wrecked with despair, sorrow and misery; I've also just felt bummed out for no good reason but I also still love life and all it has to offer. That means they're all special occasions. Each day that you have another chance, another choice, another moment... it's a special occasion. Drink the good wine. Burn the good candles. Buy the flowers just because. Live an in-the-moment, purpose driven life.

Sweat & Smiles,

Melissa

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Finding The Time To Workout

I love a good motivational quote. There's a popular motivational quote floating around that says: 'exercise in the morning before your brain figures out what you're doing'; and I have to tell you I think that is a complete load of crap. Having the mind - body connection is so important and will actually increase the enjoyment that can be found during and after working out (yes, I said enjoyment). 

It's also this form of thinking that has lead people to believe that if they struggle waking up early they aren't able or are less likely to workout (which is also a load of crap). If you are already exhausted, waking up earlier is not going to improve your life. So what should you do? It's simple(ish), find what times work for you. 

The reason this concept has the (ish) behind it is that our mindset sometimes gets in the way. We expect that if we say "8AM is going to be the time that works for me", and then it doesn't, that we can't do it. Or if something comes up (as things always will!) we give up and try again tomorrow. In a world where we are acquiring more and more resources, I fear that we are becoming less resourceful. We impose limitations, compare ourselves to others, and rarely take time to dig deep into our own thoughts and think outside of the norm. 

I have clients that utilize their breaks at work to complete their workouts before they even leave to go home. A ten minute circuit on their morning break, a ten minute circuit on their lunch break, and a third on their afternoon break. Their workouts are finished, they have the same effects physically, and they increase productivity throughout their workday! Some clients utilize their lunch break, while others have found that evening, right before bed, ended up being their sweet spot (who doesn't sleep better after a nice shower anyway, right?!). 

The point is this: stop getting stuck on the x, y, and never getting dones and start finding what works best for you. If what you've tried before hasn't worked, try something new. Here are three guidelines to finding the time to workout. 

1. Ideas.

Write down 3-4 ideas for when you could workout. Get creative.

2. Give time, time.

Try each idea for a week or two before making decisions about it.

3. Get it done anyway.

If you planned to do a workout Monday at 8am and didn't get it in don't wait for Tuesday at 8am. See where you can squeeze it in during the rest of the day, you just may find you prefer THAT time better!

You'll also find that certain times used to work for you, but don't anymore. We go through seasons of life and will always have an ebb and flow. For years I started work at 5:15AM, and I would squeeze my workout in on a 30 minute opening between sessions. With a new baby, and a husband that usually worked until 10pm, I found that wasn't going to work for my new season of life. So I came up with ideas, gave it time, and when my plan doesn't go accordingly (which it often doesn't), I get it done anyway.

Sweat & Smiles,

Melissa

 

 

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You Don't Have To Try Harder

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You Don't Have To Try Harder

 

You've been awake for all of one minute and already: you didn't get enough sleep, you don't have enough time and then on and on ... You don't have enough of anything. Not enough time, not enough help, not enough money (ever), you're not enough, you don't have enough, you're not being enough. The day is shot, you'll try harder tomorrow. Or is it? Do you actually have to try harder?

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Excuse Me For Living

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Excuse Me For Living

I'm telling you what, the second she giggled and said 'excuse me for living', the energy of the room lifted even higher and we all took a sigh of relief. None of us were perfect, but we were all enough.

In life, this message applies to everything.

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H.O.W.

I talk to a lot about self-love and while we all agree on the importance it's easy to get stuck on the follow through. One of my clients shared with me a beautiful acronym for HOW, she said you have to be Honest, Open, and Willing. I want to share with you HOW I practice things like self-love and experience more joy and peace in my days!

Honest.

When I am stuck, angry, scared or hurt I know that my only way out is love and compassion. Trying to control the situation usually ends up dragging it out. Becoming the victim is like digging a bottomless pit. Seeking revenge is like taking the wood from the frame of my house and using it in my fireplace. Those feelings of being stuck, angry, scared or hurt are a part of the shared human experience. Compassion is recognizing that human experience. Compassion is not a relationship between the wounded and the healer. It’s a relationship between equals.

What’s the most compassionate thing you can do when you feel small and hurt? For me it's recognizing that we are not all so far removed from each other. And asking myself "what do we have in common?"

Open.

I have to be open to vulnerability, growth and connection. When I am being my authentic self it puts me in a very vulnerable position, some people won’t like me, but it’s in that vulnerability that my authentic self lies and that is my most powerful self. Being open to growth meas I’m open to discomfort. That means I have to challenge the stories I tell myself and my limiting beliefs. When someone shares something uncomfortable with me, or calls me out on my BS, I am open to listening and putting in the work because growth is my M.O. Being open to connection means accepting and loving myself AND others, just as we are!

What do you need to be more open to? I found that getting suggestions from my husband were the most difficult to listen to so we created a way of preparation. We use the word cinnamon (because I don't pronounce it well and it's funny). For example, he'll say cinnamon and whenever I am in the right mindset and prepared for a suggestion, whether it's that minute or two days from then I'll tell him I'm ready to listen.

Willing.

I have to be willing to let go of shame and practice my rebound rate. Shame is that painful feeling or experience that we are flawed, broken and unworthy of love. It’s different from guilt because guilt says “I did something bad” and shame says “I am bad.” Compassion reminds me that my imperfections aren’t shameful; they are simply reminders that we’re all in this together. Since I’m not meant to aim for perfection I aim for a better rebound rate. I realized that I’ll always have negative experiences, the goal isn’t to avoid them but to work on closing the gap between my negative experience and getting back to my true self.

Willing is the hardest piece of the puzzle because it looks a lot like action. One of my favorite actions is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Ho’oponopono, is a gentle practice where you simply say: I forgive you, I’m sorry and I love you.

I'd love to hear about HOW you all are practicing self-love in your day!

Sweat & Smiles,

Melissa

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The Decision

Social media can sometimes make us feel less than; especially when you view the thousands of posts, pages, and profiles of fitness professionals. You see the posed stances, the fancy yoga moves, and the veins bursting during a tough lift and you feel so far removed from it that you don't even want to start the journey to get there. I get it, I've been there. I was a person that posted the fancy yoga moves that I can't physically do right now (not yet, at least).

I took this photo after hiking to The Overlook at Seneca Rocks and it really got me thinking about what you do not see in the photos... or the posts, pages and profiles. You don't see the hard days in photos. You don't see the work, the pain, or the baggage that comes with the cool picture; but it's the hard stuff: the work, the pain, and the baggage that gets you from one beautiful photo to the next.

This photo was taken at the top of a 1.5 mile mountain. You see this, you see me carrying my toddler, and you know that I'm a personal trainer (and you probably think I workout a lot more than I actually do). Here is what you don't see: multiple stops, my 182 heartrate, the churning stomach, the burning lungs, and all. of. the. breaks. It was so hard. My friends were offering to carry Cannon for me and I was deciding between letting them give it a try and feeling like I couldn't put that on to someone else.

Each time I needed to stop I went through an entire circle of thoughts and feelings; first I would be relieved to rest my legs and catch my breath; then I would consider letting someone else carry him for awhile; then discouraged. I was mad that it was so hard. I was annoyed that it used to be so much easier. I felt less than because there were people (even other mothers with packs) not struggling like I was. Then I would make a decision. I decided that I wanted to get better at this. I wanted to finish. I wanted to get to the point that the way up feels like the end picture looks. 

That is the secret. The decision. Not one person you see in a photo started there, and their lives in between those photos are messy, just like yours. The fancy yoga moves you see are of things people practiced for months, if not years. That's not where they started, that's just where they are now. As they start to practice the next move you won't see the videos of the falls, but they are happening. They'll be frustrated, they'll be discouraged, and they'll even see someone else's video who makes it look so easy. And then they'll make a decision. The only difference is the decision.

We're told not to compare ourselves to others but I think we're still missing a couple steps. We should be celebrating each other and above all else, we should be motivated by each other. We are human, we're not so far removed from each other. We stand in different parts of our journeys but we stand on the same ground. We post photos and videos of our lives, the good stuff, the beautiful stuff, the cool stuff but it's the hard stuff that gets us from one beautiful shot to the next. It's the hard stuff that we've all got in common.

The next time you are scrolling a fitness professional's photos wondering what they've got that you don't, the answer is nothing. They aren't equipped with more motivation than you. They were never given a secret formula or a magic pill. The only difference, the only secret, is that they learned the decision is theirs. You are exactly where you need to be, so start there. Start now. Decide to be exactly who you want to be and decide to go exactly where you want to go. The decision is yours.

Sweat & Smiles,

Melissa

 

 

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I Didn't Eat The Chips And Salsa

I went to get mexican with a friend and I didn't eat the chips and salsa (or cheese dip). If you know me well, you know what a great feet this is. Chips and salsa ranks high on the list of thing-other-fitness-professionals-may-shake-their-heads-at-me-about; right up there with cheese fries, pizza and every dessert, ever.  But I walked out of that mexican restaraunt that day feeling like a million bucks... not stuffed, not sick, not tired... and it was a revelation. Let me pause right here and let you know that I am not telling you that you shouldn't eat something (and I never will). I'm sharing with you a vital piece of a health journey that people rarely fill you in on. 

I want to take it all the way back to give you a quick rundown of my history with food. As a child, I was a picky eater. My go-to's were bacon and eggs and toast, or just bread piled high with butter. In high school, sunflower seeds and Hardee's chocolate milkshakes were on the daily. In college, McDonald's breakfast (with a large hazelnut iced coffee), Zul's cheese bread and whatever else college kids eat were regulars. I also drank a lot, and I smoked. Whenever you think I don't get you, I promise I GET YOU.

Fast forward to 2011, I was three years deep in my current profession, and I had cleaned up my act. I ate five small meals a day, a meal every couple hours, and lived by the 80/20 rule (80% of your diet coming from whole foods and 20% considered "treats" or everything else) and my stomach was a complete wreck. It may have been years of mistreatment catching up to me, something I ate along the way, or something that came from emotions. No one knows, including the nearly ten doctors I had seen. Nearing the end of the year I landed myself in the hospital with swollen intestines and no one knew why or what to do. But I knew.

My journey, experience and education led me to Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is a philosophy of eating that makes you the expert of your body and its hunger signals. I mended my stomach by practicing Intuitive Eating and figuring out what worked for me and what didn't. Slowly I was able to incorporate everything back into my diet but over this last year I had noticed I wasn't feeling my best, in fact, I've been feeling pretty terrible. The great part is: I know exactly what to do. I already know what foods work for me and what foods don't, so I'm giving my stomach a rest from the things that don't, and that includes chips and salsa (at least for awhile). 

Most diets, programs and "coaches" tell you what to eat. They may give you a plan, a calorie goal or restrict certain foods... and it is the same plan, calorie goal and restricted foods they give to everyone else. The secret key to what most of you are looking for is not someone telling you what to eat but learning HOW TO EAT. So I would like to help you on your journey and get you started on your way of learning how to eat, FOR YOU.

Step One: Let go of your rules.

You've got to give up all the rules and diet mentalities that you've learned. We don't know when we're hungry, we don't know when we're full and we don't know what to eat. The first thing you need to do is let it go and start listening to your body's hunger cues! At some point we became obsessed suppressing our appetites but our hunger cues are our bodies NATURAL way of speaking to us and for our body's to run at optimal performance we need to listen.

Step Two: Keeping A Food Diary... not a food log.

In my personal training app we have a food diary, it doesn't keep track of any numbers... no calories, no macronutrients. There are just sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, water, etc. Someone asked me "but how do I know if I am eating right". And there is our problem. We are looking to numbers to tell us something they'll never be able to. You can use a regular old notebook to track what you ate and things like: how you felt after, your level of hunger before eating,  and how full you were when you finished.

Step Three: Eat Without Distraction

My mom dropped Cannon off and when she was giving me a recap of the day said "he only ate half a grilled cheese"; I explained it's not "only". Children are the original intuitive eaters, they won't over eat and they won't undereat and they'll only know to pay attention to their cravings because that's what their body's need. He ate half a grilled cheese because he stopped when he was satisfied. To relearn these kinds of behaviors dedicate one meal a day to eating without distraction; no TV, no phone, no chatting; just you and your food. Pause after a few minutes of eating and check in with yourself. Ask how you feel; are you full? Are you satisfied? I promise you that eating without distraction will teach you more about your food than any other human, program or food tracking app. 

 

These three steps aren't meant to be a lifelong thing. Eventually you may come up with your own rules, you won't have to keep a food diary, and you'll know yourself well enough to chat and eat at the same time. In the beginning it will take some work, and it does take a lot of time; but the time will pass anyway and the difference with Intuitive Eating is: you'll never again have to go back and start over. 

Sweat & Smiles, 

Melissa

 

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Creating NEW Habits

I'm going to eat all of my favorite things and then start fresh tomorrow! I'll start on the elliptical for thirty minutes a day and once I'm comfortable I'll start "working out". On Monday I'm going to turn it all around! I'll do this diet to get a jumpstart and then I'll change my lifestyle. Does any of this sound familiar? I get it. We've all been there, we've all tried it, sometimes it's worked for a while and then it doesn't. 

It is time to make small, lasting changes. The key is to choosing small things and making it SO easy that you can't say no! Here's three simple steps to small, lasting healthy habits!

Step 1: Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)

Step 2: Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)

Step 3: Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)

Step 1: Set a Reminder for Your New Habit

Picking the correct reminder for your new habit is the first step to making change easier.

What are habits you already have?

  • Brushing your teeth
  • Taking a shower
  • Flushing the toilet
  • Eating Dinner
  • Plugging in your cell phone
  • Getting into bed
  • Drinking coffee
  • These actions serve as great reminders!
  • Other things that happen without fail:
  • Traffic light turns red.
  • You get a text message.
  • A commercial comes on TV.
  • A song ends.
  • The sun sets.

These serve as great reminders!

Say that your new habit is to be happier. You will say "when a traffic light turns red I'll say three things that I am thankful for". Or that you want to add stretching to your daily routine, you'll say "after I brush my teeth I will spend five minutes stretching."

Step 2: Choose a Habit That’s Incredibly Easy to Start

If you want to start a new habit and begin living healthier and happier, then I have one suggestion that I cannot emphasize enough: start small. In the words of Leo Babauta, “make it so easy that you can’t say no.”

In the beginning, performance doesn’t matter. Become the type of person who always sticks to your new habit. You can build up to the level of performance that you want once the behavior becomes consistent.

Here’s your action step: Decide what want your new habit to be. Now ask yourself, “How can I make this new behavior so easy to do that I can’t say no?”

What is Your Reward?

It’s important to celebrate. (I think that’s just as true in life as it is with habits.)

We want to continue doing things that make us feel good. And because an action needs to be repeated for it to become a habit, it’s especially important that you reward yourself each time you practice your new habit.

Revolutionary, right?

It’s all a process, my friend.

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What does the number on the scale mean?

Swimsuit season is upon us. Spring and summer are high on my list of favorite things but the biggest disappointment for me is seeing a plethora of opportunities to lose 10 pounds in two weeks; or how to quickly get your bikini body back.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘aren’t you in the business of losing weight?’. The simple answer is yes, but the truth is: no, I’m not in the business of losing weight. If you want to lose 10 pounds in two weeks, I’m not your person. If you want to lose fat, and feel good, read on. 

First, let me explain myself. When someone promises you that you’ll lose 10 pounds of fat in two weeks, they are probably lying to you (unless of course you’re about to go under anesthesia and a doctor is about to literally suck it out of you). And someone probably lied to them about it.

 

You may lose 10 pounds but that does not mean that you are losing 10 pounds of fat. If you’re thinking ‘so what, I’m losing weight’ you need to think about this… When you lose weight you lose a little bit of everything: fat, muscle, fluids, and organ size. While you’re always thinking about being smaller I doubt that is your overall goal. If I had to guess: healthy and tone are pretty high up on your list and if you are losing a bunch of mass really quickly the odds are you will be smaller but also flabbier. I assure you that losing muscle is not going to make you look toned.

Side note: muscle does NOT weigh more than fat. A pound is a pound whether it is muscle, fat, concrete, or feathers. If you lose ten pounds of fat and gain ten pounds of muscle the scale will read the same number and your pants will still be looser. This is because muscle takes up much less space than fat. It’s like packing a suitcase with ten shirts of mine and ten shirts of my child Cannon’s, the number is the same but his will take up much less space.

Secondly, your weight will never tell you the whole story. And most importantly, health and happiness will always prevail over a digital number on a small, emotionally daunting piece of equipment. If the number on the scale easily affects your mood I want you to get rid of it immediately.

Lastly, and most importantly, it is the lose-10-pounds-in-two-weeks gimmicks that have turned you into a lifetime dieter. You are chasing an ideal weight. You think when I get to x on the scale, that you will be happy. You are setting yourself up for failure, and chances are if you would hit that magical number, you still wouldn’t be happy.

I know this from experience, my own and countless clients. You hit the number and then it becomes something else, it is a never ending, vicious cycle. Here is the grand decision I want you to make:

Would you rather look and feel awesome and stay that way with minimal stress or keep chasing a magical number that will leave you feeling less than?

If you are ready to focus on looking and feeling awesome, ditch the scale. Train for a feel NOT a number.

Sweat & Smiles,

Melissa

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My Grown Up Report Card

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My Grown Up Report Card

There's a big difference between guilt and shame; guilt says 'I did a bad thing' and shame says 'I am bad'. Shame hits hard and holds you down. Some people may even be under the impression that shame can "keep you in line", that those numbers "keep you in line" but what shame really does it hold you down. I let go of watching how many calories I burned and counting macronutrients or calories that I ate a long time ago but I was convinced that I loved my fitbit and that the community was helpful. I'm going to tread lightly here because I still love fitbit and I do believe they are helpful... until they're not.

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My Love Letter to Exercise

My Love Letter to Exercise

As an early adult I came to you feeling broken, defeated, and stuck and you didn’t care how out of practice I was, you were grateful I was there at all. You didn’t care how long I stayed, the number of reps, the amount of weight… you met me exactly where I was. Slowly you built the confidence. Time spent with you reminded me how whole I was. You led me to triumph in more ways than one. You inched self-worth into the fibers of me each time I showed up. Sometimes things got really emotional, you brought out the very best and the very worst in me, and each time I learned more about myself. Even on my weakest days, you made me a little bit stronger.

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I Owe You An Apology

I wanted to share something important with you all. You see, I’ve started practicing self-love. What that means is I am literally practicing loving myself, like actively practicing. I submitted the above photo with one of my blogs a couple weeks ago and before I clicked send I thought “my stomach is sticking out, people will think it should be flat.”

 

In quick succession I critiqued my arms, my forehead, and then right as I started to criticize my smile I remembered this moment. I was so uncomfortable getting pictures of myself so my husband started cheering me on and my son started clapping, that smile is genuine; that stomach carried that child. That forehead holds 31 years of knowledge, mistakes, worry and joy. Those arms are open to loving myself and open to helping you love yourself but in order to do that I believe I owe you an apology.

I wasn’t born with the desire to have a flat stomach. The idea of a perfect body is not an original one. People, places, and things taught them to me… and by taught I mean hammered them so down deep that they became parts of me. I worked really hard to have the ideal body.

I’ve always known there was a serious problem here so I rode the fence. I’ve never been in the business of selling a “bikini body”, I’ve never sold products, fad diets, or quick fixes so I had let myself off the hook. On this path of self-love and healing I’ve realized that I can’t let myself off the hook so I need to apologize to you: I am so sorry for anything I did to perpetuate this never-good-enough culture. Fitness is a billion dollar industry and an industry who’s ultimate goal is to profit off your failure. 

The other night someone sent me a meme that said Me: You’re only one workout away from a good mood. Let’s hit the gym! Inner Me: You know what else will put you in a good mood? A honeybun. And I responded by saying “The workout good mood has lasting positive affects though, the honey bun just has lasting affects.” I thought about it again before I went to sleep and then I couldn’t sleep. I sent her a text the next morning letting her know that I shouldn’t have said that, that she can workout AND have the honeybun if she wants it.

What I should have done is help her explore which one of those is the actual “inner me”. I should have asked her questions and worked through those feelings about both the workout and the honeybun. While my way has always been kind, I am so sorry that it’s hurt you. I’m sorry that I’ve rolled my eyes at your grocery carts. I’m sorry that I judged you for food choices.

I’m sorry that I told you scientifically why foods are good and bad. I’m sorry that I only taught you the physical benefits of exercise. I’m sorry I didn’t teach you that there is so much more to all of it. I’m sorry that I haven’t been helping you to love yourself. Some of this may not make sense to you yet. Or you may be sitting there thinking ‘is she quitting her job?!’ The answer is no.

I’m still a personal trainer right down to my core, but I’m putting the personal back into it. I’m an intuitive wellness coach and my goal is to end the constant conflict inside of us and empower others to live better, happier and healthier. But first I needed to apologize.

If you’re ready to start mending your relationship with your body and your food all you have to do is talk to yourself. When you’re craving something ask yourself two questions: what am I feeling? And what do I need? Challenge your beliefs of food (or yourself) being good or bad. Give yourself unconditional permission to eat whatever you want and then explore what you actually want.

Workout because it’s your primal instinct to move, because it feels good, never because you are punishing yourself. And most importantly start practicing self-love, and I mean actively practicing, because you, my friend, are enough just as you are. 

Sweat & Smiles,

Melissa

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It's All About The Rebound Rate

My sole goal in controlling my life has been throwing all of my energy towards what I want, not what I was trying to stop. I focus all of my effort on closing the gap between when something unwanted happens and when I pulled myself back together. 

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Why I let my son cry it out...

Some time ago I was suffering with a bout of depression. I sat in front of my doctor with my voice shaking and a painful knot in my throat trying to describe how I felt; he looked at me and said "stop doing that, let it out, you've got to cry" and cry I did. A couple weeks ago my one year old couldn't have something and he started to cry; tired and in the middle of something I snapped at him with "quit crying", immediately my heart sank. 

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The Essentials

Working out is hard. It takes time, you sweat, and for it to work you just have to do it forever. It takes dedication, energy, and a list of other things that we generally try to avoid.

So why bother?

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I Am Enough

It was a "shot day" for my 15 month old son, so off to the doctor we went. Afterwards we dropped him off at his grandparents like we do every Tuesday. When I picked him up that afternoon I was thinking that I really needed to give him some one-on-one attention ... then I got an email for a last minute webinar so I watched it while he played. I put him in his high chair, fed him dinner and took a call from a friend I wanted to catch up with. Before I knew it he was having to visibly show me it was time for him to go to bed. Most days I'm patient and attentive but on this day I told my crying, overtired baby that I wasn't a great mom today but I'd be better tomorrow. And you know what, I'm still a great mom. I'm still enough.

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Five Steps To Manifesting Anything You Want

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Five Steps To Manifesting Anything You Want

When I say the word manifest, I'm thinking Law of Attraction. Roll your eyes if you must; call me crazy if you will ? but there's one thing I know for sure: like attracts like. Positive living manifests a positive life and negative living manifests a negative life. YOU can manifest anything you want.

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Being Present

We have a baby swing hanging from the tree behind our house that doesn’t get used nearly enough. I decided to take a break from my computer and take Cannon outside to swing. Best. Decision. All. Week.

This baby laughed, giggled, talked and threw his head back inhaling deeply as if he knew what the fresh air would do for him. He stared at the tree above him then would giggle and make sure that I was smiling, too. 

I got my phone out because I knew that his dad, grandparents, and everyone in our photo sharing group would love to see it. When I got my phone out he smiled and even giggled if I were talking to him or coaxing him but all of that extra stuff was gone. No deep inhales, no taking in the tree as if he was drawing energy from it and no belly laughs. I got a quick video, put my phone away and then went back to giving him my full attention and he followed suit.

For hours afterwards I couldn’t shake that nagging feeling. I realized that Cannon and I both went from being fully present and in the moment to me tearing us both out of it. Even the most enjoyable moments are made less enjoyable when you stop living fully in them. I had the best of intentions with wanting to share his joy with everyone else but I couldn’t help but to acknowledge what the reality of the situation was.

The epidemic of anxiety that is plaguing many of us, our society and our health has a lot to do with lack of “being in the moment”. Author Eckhart Tolle simply puts it like this, “unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.”

This moment with my son got me thinking of other areas of life that I  do this. The days that I “don’t have time” to rest or play; the times that I “don’t have enough energy to workout”; the weeks that are spent “waiting for next week to start over.” These things are usually a result of me spending my time, energy and brain power in the future. I sometimes say ‘yes’ when I’d rather say ‘no’, out of fear of not being asked again, disappointing someone, or missing out. Mind you, these are all things that hadn’t happened yet, just things that could potentially happen in the future. What a vicious cycle. 

This is not a plea for you to stop using your phone, or to not capture precious moments with your children; this is a reminder that sometimes it is better to stay in the moment (you’ll be able to take that with you forever as well), and most importantly try to keep yourself in the present moment.

Stay focused on the things that you have control of and call yourself out when you are focused on the things that you cannot control (the future). When you don’t know where your time or energy is going, ask yourself if you are being present. I promise you’ll have less unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry, and more time for things like rest, play, fun and perhaps fitness.

Sweat & Smiles,

Melissa

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I had forgotten my why...

When my son was one week old I started walking. When he was six weeks old, and I was able, I showed up for workouts. The key phrase here "showed up". It did not take me long to come to the realization that I was simply going through the motions. If you’ve learned anything about me it should be this: introspection is high priority to me. I dug deep and I found that I HAD FORGOTTEN MY WHY. From the time Cannon was born to right around 4 months postpartum I was showing up to workout because “I had to workout” and because “I had to lose the weight”. 

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