Monday, August 25, 2014

I am a dreamer...

My BFF and one of my biggest cheerleaders (which is fitting, because we met in cheerleading) has said to me multiple times in multiple ways how she admires my drive to go after my dreams.  I have been reflecting on what drives me.  Everything, goes back to a daydream.  And, I can honestly say that I have lost count of how many times I have been busted zoned out in my own little ginormous world.  I remember in my teenage years people convinced that I was thinking about boys.  They were wrong.  Most of the time, I was thinking about a distant goal. 

One of my first big dreams that I could remember having is going to Paris.  Or maybe it was living in Paris...  Anyway, I knew that if I wanted to stand a chance in Paris that I would need to learn the language.  So, I took summer school classes in French in middle school (maybe even sooner).  Then, I took French in high school for credit.   I had a role model in my life who went to France as part of French Club in high school, so I knew about the opportunity when I stepped foot in the French room on my first day of high school.  I had my site on it, since I knew the opportunity existed.  I joined French Club, I saved up money, I got a job, I sold candy bars (probably ate some too), oh and I can't forget the before school donut stand.  I signed up for the 1997 trip the first chance I got.  I worked hard to make sure I could go.  And guess what!?!?  I spent two glorious weeks en France!

About the time the Paris dream came to be, I also learned that there were people who designed clothes.  I lived in a small town that had a few ma and pa shops and soon to come a KMart.  Learning about fashion designers was absolutely fascinating.  In my mind all the greats came from Paris, so it was the perfect marriage of goals - become a Parisian fashion designer.  In high school, I looked at magazines and colleges that would support my vision.  I tore out the magazine pages that I loved.  I researched colleges.  FIT seemed like it would be great, but I wasn't fond of the idea of going to New York.  I was actually afraid that I would get stuck there and never to Paris again...One of my teachers in high school recommended that I look into going to UW-Stout.  I looked into the school, toured it, and applied. I had to take out loans, and apply for scholarships and grants.  I worked three jobs a couple of years in college.  BUT, I did graduate with a B.S. in Apparel Design and Manufacturing from STOUT!  Am I fashion designer today?  No.  Do I want to be one?  No, but not because I fell short of my goal.  I have actually had a couple of design jobs in my career.  They, just were not for me.  I love being a technical designer.  I love engineering the products I work on and solving any issues that may come up. 

Growing up, I didn't have the best cards in my hand to play.  But, I made every effort to not let the bad cards hold me back.  So, what if I grew up in a single parent household!?  So, what if my mom didn't have the money to outfit me in name brand clothing!?  So, what if she worked two jobs while I took care of my brother (let's face it, I least excited about this card)!?  Do you know what I did have?  An amazing support system!!!  My family helped my mom out however they could.  I had amazing people take care of me while my mom was at work or if she needed a night out.  I spend so much time with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Because, of that I was able to take my shitty hand and turn it into a four of a kind with an ace.  Now, I am working on the Royal Flush.

I really believe that you can achieve anything you dream.  You just can't leave that dream up in the clouds of your head.  You need to take the steps to pursue them.   I know it can be scary sometimes, but you need to put on your big girl/boy undies, get over yourself, and put some elbow grease into achieving your dreams.  Set small goals for yourself.  These help motivate you along.  Celebrate the small victories.  Today, didn't go as planned for me, but I celebrated that I didn't eat the random food that is left in the conference room I was working in today.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Quest for Happiness

This post is inspired by my cousin Shelly who asked me if I had been following Shawn Achor, because a lot of my Facebook posts remind her of his advice on reprogramming your brain for happiness.  I had not heard of him prior to her asking. Since she asked, I thought I would share my thoughts on happiness with the interwebs.

Looking back on my childhood, I think I was a fairly happy child.  I was raised by a single mother.  At one point she married and later divorced.  From that marriage I got a brother.   I remember tough times, but I don't have feelings of negativity towards those tough times.  There is a span of one or two years (when I was about 14) that I thought were terrible, but otherwise life felt pretty good.  Part of why I felt happy as a child is because of the awesome support system my mom had.  I had good people take care of me while she was working.  After her divorce, I spent my evenings taking care of my brother while she worked two jobs.  Yes, it did stink, but I have a great relationship with my brother who is about ten years younger than me.

I think most of my life, I have generally been happy and kept a positive attitude.  I know there have been circumstances in the past few years that may have derailed me a bit, but I didn't let them keep me down.  Life is too short to be miserable and feel weighed down.  We all have stuff that can and (will if you let it) hold you back from happiness.  It is all in how you choose to handle the situation.  I realize that being unhappy got me nowhere fast.  It was a sinkhole of negativity.  When I came to grips with this, I started retraining my brain for positivity.  Things started to change.  Yes, it was only my outlook at first, but soon it was the things around me as well. 

I did have to consciously rid myself of the negativity and anything that was holding me back.  It was a slow but worthwhile process.  And with each step, I attracted more positivity around me.  Do I think my life is perfect now?  It is far from it, but I am choosing to be happy with what I have.  Happiness has gotten me farther in life than being unhappy.  It is when I am happy that I am able to drive successfully towards my goals.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Continuing to Inspire in New Ways :)!

Did you see this announcement?

For awhile, I have been mulling over my journey to take control of my lifestyle.  Weight Watchers worked really well for me.  The format of the "At-Work" meetings did not.  I didn't feel I had the opportunity to connect with the leader or to continue to develop the way I feel I need to as a member.  When I switched from the regular meetings to the at-work meetings I was at my goal weight.  My leader and I were talking about me becoming a leader, because I had inspired and motivated so many Weight Watcher members and non-members.

I wanted to find a way to continue to inspire those who were/are looking for the push into a healthier lifestyle.  I looked at becoming a life coach, but as a single mother that dream seemed a little out of reach at this time.  Then, I the friend who inspired me to live a better lifestyle presented me with the opportunity to become a Beachbody Independent Coach.  I think she understood my apprehension, because stood by me and encouraged me to take this leap of faith.  Thanks Maria!

The first program I am doing with Beachbody is Piyo.  I am on day 5, and it is wonderful.  As a single mom, I find it convenient to work out in my living room.  This program is great if you have neighbors under you, too as it is fairly low impact.  Last night, I did the Sweat work out, and was dripping sweat...BIG DROPS of sweat.  Also, the work outs range from 20-40 minutes.  With school-aged kiddos who are in activities, it is much easier to fit in a 20 minute work out at home than trying to get to the gym when the daycare is open to work out.  Also, no one is going to inhibit your kids from joining in.  My girls love doing yoga, so they were excited to see the Piyo program.

If you would like me to support you in anyway to reach your goals, let me know.  I would love to cheer you on, on an individual basis.  Or if you are interested in joining BeachBody as a coach, let me know, also.  I am looking for amazing people to join my team!

In fitness and health,