fitness and nutrition

Behavior

Oddly enough, I said at the end of my 12 weeks of posting on fitness and nutrition that I would take a break from posting weekly. Shocker, here I am again!

It almost seemed like I needed to take a break mentally but then I realized I was in a routine. I modified my behavior to include writing/blogging into my week for 12 weeks. What an irony? But then again it’s no different than establishing a fitness or nutrition routine.

You have to commit to your goals, set a plan of action and then follow through. When you do all that you are essentially creating a routine, a habit, and ultimately your behavior is modified.

So here I am blogging again and it’s just Monday. The start of the week. I have a hefty to-do list today but thankfully I started my day at 6:30am surrounded by people who make me feel strong and confident. I start most days this way at the gym, my box or home away from home.

I also get to exchange communications with my nutrition coach on Mondays which is always amazing in itself. It’s a positive and reflective interaction that provides an outside look at my eating habits from the previous week. It lets me realign and adjust where needed for the upcoming week. The lessons I learn here can be applied to other areas of my life making this coaching experience extremely valuable. For this encouragement I will give a shout out to my coach, the wonderful Jodi Bainbridge of Stronger U. #sherocks

If you think about what I wrote above about feeling strong at the gym, I mirror that by being strong in nutrition and it’s almost comical that the company I chose to work with on nutrition is called Stronger U. Odd but interesting little tidbit. If you have been looking for change I would encourage anyone to check out this program. It is pretty unique and I don’t get paid for any endorsements, This is honest. Stronger U is life changing for many and I don’t have to inflate that, I can see it through testimonials. #strongeru

What I think I rediscovered over the Thanksgiving break is that progress isn’t immediate. It happens over time. It’s a moving target. Whether you are focusing on weight changes, nutrition changes, or business changes they happen over time.

When you get a new job you are not the best employee on day one you have potential, and if you work hard and master your role you become an asset to your organization. If you start your own business venture you don’t become an overnight hit, it takes time. If you go to school to get a degree, you graduate in time. Why because it’s a process and not everyone have the same timeline or the same path. That is what makes us all special.

Today’s post is for those who watch the clock or desire instant gratification in every aspect of life. Take a breath, enjoy the ride to whatever destination you are heading to. You may meet cool people, learn new things, and grow as a person along the way. Trust the process. Enjoy the journey. The journey is unique to you and it’s one that others can’t take away from you.

Another fun fact about me: I used a countdown clock to reach a specific goal recently. It was a countdown clock that was started over 1.5 years ago. This clock told me if I hustled and worked hard and chipped away for the duration I would accomplish big things. I set benchmarks along the way to give me celebration points. Mini-milestones that I shook my head at each time saying “I did it, I really did.” This clock was a gift from a dear friend but provided lots of encouragement as I plugged away at my goal(s). The hashtag #rearview symbolized letting go of the old and embracing the new. As I near the end of the countdown I figured I would share this tool with you in case it influences others to try this method.

As for me, once it runs out I will reset the clock. Most likely for three years this time while I catalog and chart a new path for myself. I will just need a new hashtag for the new duration. #namemyhashtagpeople Drop me a note and you can be part of my next story!

As I recap the rear view (not my butt, people) of my fitness journey, I am approaching the three-year mark of committing to a regular fitness regimen. I didn’t start at CrossFit on day one but I found a passion in CrossFit about 8 months into my journey when I embraced change. Along the way I hit milestones and created new goals to attain. My body is being sculpted over time as is my mind and my can do attitude. I’m embracing new tools along the way that are new parts of my personal maintenance plan. Remember the past or rear view doesn’t dictate your journey or your happiness, rather it’s part of your story. The memories, the lessons learned, the pictures taken, the people you meet along the way all play an pivotal role in your journey. Embrace YOUR path.

Until next time. And when will next time be? I am not sure as I am not watching the clock right now. I’m looking ahead to see what is on the horizon for me as 2019 approaches…

fitness and nutrition, perspective

Going the Extra Mile

It’s a phrase we hear often…someone who “goes the extra mile.”  But what does it really mean?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase for the past few days.  I went to the gym on the day after Thanksgiving.  There wasn’t a workout at the times I could make it.  So, I took advantage of the open gym and walked in between classes. My goal was 10,000 meters.  My legs were screaming sore after a long Thanksgiving Day workout so I started by hopping on the bike erg and did a pretty quick 5,000 meters.

Then, moved over to the rower for a somewhat slower 3,000 meters.

Finally, I faced down the dreaded ski erg and did 2,000 meters, split in half.  (Ski is much more challenging for me!) I had stretched in between, so I was feeling pretty good and sweaty by this point.  I had a few minutes left before I had reached my hour-at-the-gym benchmark, but I had already met my 10,000 meter goal.  What to do?

Enter the Assault bike.

And on that, I just decided to do skip meters and do a mile. And as I rode, I got to thinking about the extra mile…which is what brings me to this post.

To go the extra mile is to go beyond what is required.  What is expected.  The minimum.  As my kids say (or used to say, since once I understand this kind of thing it is definitely past its moment) you can be basic or you can be extra…regular or over the top, I guess.

There are areas of life where I want to work harder to go the extra mile.  Friendship. Family. Fitness / Nutrition.  Those are probably the big three for me right now. Ones I want to work on.

How can I go the extra mile?

-Send a note or out-of-the-blue text to a friend who may need a pick-me-up (and couldn’t we all?)

-Remember to get all the things my family needs as I shop / do errands, etc.

-Check in with family and friends more often

-Make time for meaningful conversations and traditions as the holidays arrive

-Commit to both staying consistent and challenging myself as I workout

-Get serious about nutrition; buckle down (instead of backing down) in the face of challenges

-Give in unexpected ways: time, care, gifts, resources

I am not going to lie.  There are many areas of life where I am struggling to meet basic expectations.  But, at the same time, I feel a deep level of fulfillment when I exceed what I and others expect of me.  Over the next day or two I’ll be planning and making moves to get these things in motion.  Even just this list with a daily checkoff can be a step toward accountability and progress.

So, readers, how are YOU going to go the extra mile in the next month or two? How can you extend kindness, comfort, or even badassness to make your life and the lives of those around you a little more over-the-top-amazing? Tell us in the comments.

Here’s a glimpse of the sunrise that surprised me mid workout that morning, a brief break in a week of dreary rain. Be the unexpected, the surprising light for others and yourself.

dare to be different

Changes for Chick 2

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In a recent post, KT shared her thoughts about change. In fact, if you look closely, change and growth is a theme in many of the things KT writes. She embraces change as a part of life, welcomes it as a path to new challenges and achievements, even seeks and manufactures it to keep herself growing. It is a quality I admire (especially since I do not share it.)

In yet another of the 867 ways that the 2 Chicks are opposites (that we have discovered so far), change is something that makes me very nervous.  I worry about it, try to avoid it, pretend it’s not there, and usually resist it with every bit of my being.  What’s sad is that, even at age 44, I act as if change is avoidable – like I can do something to stop it. I’ve wasted a lot of precious energy trying to keep change at arm’s length. So what’s been happening lately is surprising.

Although I haven’t announced it widely, big changes have been happening in my family. There have been job shifts, school shifts, routine shifts, goal shifts.  Some of these were invited, some were forced upon us by circumstance.  We are all still trying to find our footing as things continue to change and develop.

By way of example, I changed my job (on purpose!) this year.  This is HUGE for me, as someone who avoids change.  But, I needed to make this happen for several reasons, so I set a goal, did the work, and one of the several positions I applied for panned out. (Not surprisingly, it was KT who helped me through the process of getting it done. She is truly a #goalgetter and generously shares her approach!)  Although I still have the same job title, it is a completely different community and school dynamic.  I am trying to keep up, but it is a lot to take in.

Then there are the “domino effect” differences.  The biggest of these is trying to fit in my workouts after school. I can’t attend CrossFit classes at 5:30 am anymore, which has been an adjustment.  I miss my morning gym friends and the stress relief that starting the day with a good sweat brings.  But, I’m getting there at other times as often as I can and making it work. And there are all kinds of other changes that came from my job shift as well.

I’ve been watching the way the changes throughout my family have been playing out.  Even on a good day, with good support, change can be taxing for some.  As I encourage everyone to be patient and take care of themselves while taking each day as it comes, I try to remember to do all those things myself as well.

It can be hard, though.  If I scroll through facebook or instagram, it seems like everyone is always happy, always on vacation, always upgrading their houses, always successful, always champions.  I know my kids see this, too.  It’s rare that people post the hard stuff, the mundane, the oil changes, doing dishes, folding laundry, managing illness, aches, and pains, doing paperwork, struggling with homework, waiting in line, dealing with boring commutes, enduring frustrating people and all the other the day-to-day junk that can take up most of our time.  Of course, we all have those things, but we often keep them behind the scenes (myself included). We may share them with friends, but not always on a big platform. It’s easy to be sucked in to thinking we are the only ones with work or troubles or time we wish could be better spent.

We also rarely see all the work that goes in to transformation.  Instead, we see the end result, the success, not the sweat, the sacrifice, the tears, the drills, the hours of practice, the falls, the U-turns, the frustration, the days when it didn’t seem like anything good was going to come of all the effort.  When you just see the result, it always seems easier than it actually was.

As I was sitting on the back porch writing and thinking about this, trying to make some sense of it for today, a butterfly floated by, blissful as can be on the breeze.  I thought about all the change that butterfly had been through in life.  And so much of that change is done out of view, in the muck and mush and ugly, miraculous work of transformation.

We get no view, there is no applause for this process of change.  The caterpillar goes into hiding, on some internal cue, all along doing the mysterious, innate work it was meant to do.  When it comes time, it emerges, dries its wings, unfolds those beauties, and takes flight.

For me, Sunday is a day of errands and preparation.  Shopping for the food, cleaning the house, packing the lunches, doing the workout, folding the laundry.  Maybe not what many would see as an instagrammable day, but one that sets me up for a week with less stress so I can focus on pushing myself further on the path in my work while also supporting my family and friends in theirs.

It’s also a day of writing and thinking and reconnecting with my vision of my future, and the next steps it will take for me to get there. I’ve carved out that time, so I still take a personal step toward who I am becoming.  No one else can make that time for me (another lesson from my friend KT!)  I have to do it, even if it is just a couple of hours. Other things will go undone, and I’ve learned to be ok with that (but I haven’t always been that way!)

Unlike the butterfly, I’m giving you an inside glimpse into one messy Sunday afternoon moment of my transformation. It may not be pretty. There are groceries all over the counters, floors that need mopping, emails that need answering, kids that need encouraging.  Today and every day, there are loose ends and mushy parts.  There are red herrings and rabbit trails. There are things I will sharpen or learn to do better as I practice and continue to evolve.

Through all of it, I know I am changing.  It may not be a straight path and it may not be quick, but I am inching forward overall.

And at the end of this path is my launch pad, where I’ll suddenly, inevitably, unfold these beauties, and take flight.

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#2CHX #inspireothers #change #transformation #butterfly #goalgetter #Sunday #mealprep #Crossfit #embracechange

 

 

giving

Paying it Forward, Chick 2 Style

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Travel is such an important part of life. It’s a great way to spread your wings. I learn something new wherever I go.

This summer, I’ve had opportunities to visit a number of different cities.  I traveled to family celebrations as well as chased my daughters as they pursue their passion for lacrosse.

Whenever the schedule allows, we try to take time to enjoy the cities we visit.  Sure, we hit the famous spots and that is always fun.  On a recent trip to Nashville, we loved walking in the evenings, listening to lively music spill from the honky tonk windows and rooftops onto Broadway.  We spent time on the beach at a tournament in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, and rode roller coasters for a day at Cedar Point while visiting Cleveland, Ohio.

In addition to the major attractions, there are a few other things I try to do to get a closer sense of a place.  If I can, I shop a local market like Cleveland’s Westside Market. I try to get out into nature by visiting a park. Finally, I make an effort to have a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop.

We just returned from a few days adventuring in Nashville.  During my time there, I stumbled across Caliber Coffee Company.  I liked it so much, I went there two days in a row. Although the coffee was excellent, it was the friendly employees and energy that brought me back for the second time.

As you get to know our brand, you’ll see that the 2 Chicks are serious about giving.  We have given our books to kids in hospitals, food pantries, and low-income schools.  We’ve had support from generous readers and corporate sponsors.  This is just the beginning! We are always looking for new and inventive ways to give.  So, when I saw this board at Caliber and read that it was a way to pay it forward, I had to ask for details.

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Every sleeve clipped to the front and back of this ‘Shot of Grace’ board is a cup of coffee that was bought as a gift that day.  Some sleeves have names of local people on them. You can call or text the person you’re treating and let them know they have a coffee waiting.

But it was the other gifts that interested me even more. These sleeves are less specific. Instead of a certain person, they are made out to someone in need…a single mom…a freshman at the local community college…a newcomer to town…a daycare employee…a first responder…a step parent…a fireman…someone having a bad day. I imagined the smiles these tiny bits of thoughtfulness would bring to someone who needs a lift.

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I immediately thought of the 2 Chicks and our passion for giving. My imagination started spinning…who could I connect with using this opportunity? It didn’t take me long to decide.

I couldn’t resist the chance to encourage someone who may be thinking of telling their story.  The Chicks have found such amazing power in storytelling.  Although I don’t know where it ended up, I hope the coffee brightened someone’s day and encouraged them to share whatever unique and powerful story they have to tell.

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It also made me start to wonder again about new ways the 2 Chicks might connect and share.  I can easily get bogged down in details and logistics, but maybe giving doesn’t have to be as complicated as I think. As I was reminded again only yesterday, paying it forward isn’t only about the the news stories we see about the drive-thru at Chick-fil-a. Even more importantly, it’s the small, sincere acts of caring that are never noticed by the cameras but have an enormous impact nonetheless.

What are some of your favorite ways to pay it forward in your life?  What random acts of kindness bring you the most satisfaction? Let us know in the comments, readers!  Cheers!

-Beth, (aka Chick 2)

#2CHX  #2ChicksGiving #Payitforward #travel #lifelessons #reflection