This is my favorite photo of him to date. Thanks again, Olive.
One that brings tears to my eyes the second I see it. I can hear that laugh just looking at it. I meant to post this the evening of his birthday, but I’m glad I waited. I had more time to soak in the memory when this photo was taken this summer during our Virginia Beach trip. One I hope not to forget for a long time.
Sterling (actually, both kids) was on cloud nine, traveling across many states (always asking how many we had left), seeing the ocean, meeting my family in person beats FaceTime every time, spending time with cousins, hot summer days, boardwalk walks at night, sand everywhere, being in a pool where he couldn’t touch, but could bravely navigate the waters by himself. My kids have been drawn to water since they were infants. I’m the same way. I can’t get enough of it.
I hope when he looks back on his life and thinks about how things could and should be, he sees photos like this one and knows all I ever want for him is that. I want him to know I’ve got him. To not only come to me when he’s sad, but to come laugh with me too.
He’s the sweetest boy, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom. He really is. He’s thoughtful, caring, empathetic, and he wears his heart on his sleeve. Always wants to be in charge of the younger ones, always teaching and helping. He loves snuggles, especially if you ask him first. He loves being outside. He loves hunting. He loves Imagine Dragons (I really want to surprise him with a concert ticket sometime!). He loves our disco lights and our dance parties. He loves dinosaurs.
Sterling, we love you so much. We couldn’t imagine life without you by our side. You can make us laugh any time. Your imagination is amazing. You love reading (something I’m so grateful for) and you love math. You’re our bb and you are a ray of sunshine.
Love you bubba.
Dustin bought me Becoming Extraordinary for Christmas. I follow Ashley on Instagram and saw her post about a Transform You challenge. It’s 10 weeks long and I figured I could totally do it, since the trainer is 12 weeks. My local gym, Ignite, was starting a 21 Day Detox the same day the challenge was starting (Mon. Jan 8th) and I was hoping I wasn’t getting myself into too many things. After talking with Dustin, the meal plan on Ashley’s trainer was sort of similar to the detox, so I went ahead and started it as well.
Can’t wait to look back on these posts at the end of Week 12.
To be honest, this is for me. If it helps motivate or inspire you and if it helps you feel like you can do the same, then heck yes!!
HUGE DISCLAIMER: I do NOT live by the scale or measurements. At all. I am overweight. I completely understand that I could potentially stay the same weight or gain more weight but in the form of muscle. I just want to be healthy and fit. For me, that’s being strong, whether I just feel it, or I look it. With that said, I have weighed myself to add it to my measurements because I can look at it and not feel discouraged if it doesn’t move much or at all. It’s all about how I feel. If you’re one to look at the scale and it’s gone up 5 pounds and you easily get discouraged, then this way isn’t for you. But it works for me.
Week 1: Where It All Began & I Told Myself To Shut Up
- The first day was the TOUGHEST day for me. Took me 2 hours and 20 mins to finish and I didn’t get through the whole workout.
- Getting used to whole foods again.
- By the end of week 1, I noticed a change in my attitude, my skin was clearer (not 100%), and I felt like a beast.
- Paid attention to my goal planner (Lara Casey’s Powersheets) every single morning. Stuck to my guns with my daily workouts, water intake, vitamins, and bible study!
- I attempted every workout, didn’t complete a few workouts, missed one day during the week, and made up for it on my rest day.
- I went to the gym in the morning (5am) and the evening (5pm).
- Never been so sore, but it felt SO good!!
- At the end of week 1, I was completely regulated. If you don’t understand that, it has something to so with the restroom. *ew*
- Meal prep was a HUGE key in not falling off the wagon. And they are completely right when they say it takes no time in comparison to how much time you think it takes.
- Mental battle was RIDICULOUS. I literally had to tell myself (internally) to “shut the **** up” because fear would sit there and say “I don’t know if I can do this”, “oh no, my muscles are shaking”. I got through it though and cried afterward. HUGE accomplishment.
Measurements (taken Sun Jan 7 at 8pm):
- Weight: 235
- Neck: 15
- Arm: 15
- Chest: 43
- Stomach: 48
- Waist: 45
- Thigh: 28
- Calf: 17.5
Week 2: Where I Had To Deal With Conflicts & Gained Confidence
- I blew Day 1 away the next Monday, I completed the entire workout and had 30 mins to spare at the gym.
- Meal prep again, killed it! Love having meals already planned. Hate making decisions because I get anxious. The less decisions, the better. Meal prep helps this!
- Had work conflicts Thursday, didn’t get a workout in. Used my 5am workout Friday to bust through half of Thursdays workout.
- Tailored a few of my 2018 goals and set myself a couple non-food rewards if I accomplish them. Dustin and I agreed if we stick to this not only for 12 weeks, but for the year, we’d go to an NF concert in 2019. So stoked to see him live.
- Excited to start muscle groups on Monday. First 2 weeks are an all over workout and will probably be my go-to if I ever need a workout routine because they rock.
- Noticed lots of improvement.
- Participated in the private Facebook group, even have a few women who wanted to do a group text to send motivation throughout the weeks. Love having this community!
- Ashley posted asking for volunteers for her Unbroken Foundation. Would love to help out with that here in the midwest. Going to answer her questions and send them off.
- Skin is on point, though I’m pretty sure I have cystic acne. It’s not terrible, but they’re deep, and often red and sore. It never seems to go away. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Herbivore. Will treat myself to their skin/facial care items once the 12 weeks is over. Figure by then all the crap in my body should be long gone and what a way to reward myself for completing!
- Love Lat Pull Downs, Row Machine, Shoulder Press, Tricep Extension, and Hack Squats
Measurements (taken Sun Jan 21 at 11:27am):
- Weight: 223
- Neck: 14.5
- Arm: 14
- Chest: 43.5
- Stomach: 47.5
- Waist: 44
- Thigh: 27
- Calf: 17.5
Gained half an inch on my chest, I assume because my time of the month is right upon me, idk. Still have to get to the gym today (like now!) and tomorrow starts week 3!
Peace, love, and sunshine!
Happy New Year!
I snuggled up on the couch for the evening and watched a few movies with Dustin instead of going out this year. For the last week or so, I’ve been goal planning. I completed Lara Casey’s 2018 Goal Setting Series (click the link and it’s listed as #1) and created a list of goals for the upcoming year. If you haven’t seen or heard about it, go check it out. I love her method of intentional goal setting. Small goals are just as important. I took a day for each part last week (there’s five) to really focus on my goals and why I was choosing them for 2018. I’ll list them below along with some tools I’m using to help accomplish them!
I encourage you to take your time if you’re going to go through the series. Even if you don’t know your goals until the 5th of January, or even the 15th, they aren’t any less important than if you had them picked out three weeks ago. Your goals matter. What you want in life matters. You are so worth it!
It’s been a little over three years since my divorce and although we’re still going through some things, I’m ready to focus on me. For too long I’ve been in limbo, not knowing what to do with my life, where I want to be, who I want to be, what I want to do. The direction I thought I was going in and who I thought I was, was ripped out from under me. Barely getting by, I’ve been going through the motions. Going to work, coming home, wishing for Fridays. For three years, I’ve done more worrying by myself than I have spent taking my troubles to God.
It’s taken some serious soul searching to narrow down what goals I want to set for myself this year. At the core, I want to be strong. I want to get stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I want to look back on 2018 and see that I accomplished much more than I ever thought possible, but in smaller ways. I don’t want or need large, perfect goals to accomplish becoming stronger. Part Four was my favorite of the goal setting series because of the questions she asks you to ask yourself regarding the goals you’re setting. A couple being, “Does this goal help other people?” and “Does this goal help draw me and others closer to God?”. I’ll list my goals for the year below. I have a few posts planned to dig deeper into each goal and why I chose it for 2018 using Lara’s questions.
My main focus for 2018? What do I want the year to center around? Myself and God. Separately and together.
My Goals for 2018:
- Build a (simple/flexible) daily routine.
- Make time for God.
- Complete an Ashley Horner training program/challenge.
- Drink more water.
- Blog every Sunday and Wednesday.
- Read more books.
- Sunday resets/prep for the week ahead.
- Listen to more Christian music (aside from workouts).
With goal setting, I also chose a few tools I knew would help me along the way.
Tools I’m Using:
- Lara Casey’s Powersheets: I used the six month undated version last year, but not nearly as much as I should have or hoped to. I purchased a yearly version along with the accessories bundle (I believe the bundle I purchased includes both of her books!) right before they sold out! The six month versions are still in stock!
- Ashley Horner’s Becoming Extraordinary: I LOVE the gym. I know what weight lifting exercises I like and I LOVE to run. I wanted an extra push this year and something that I could start and finish. Dustin surprised me with the Becoming Extraordinary training program for Christmas. I’m nervous but SO excited!
- Water Intake Tracker: Daily Water Reminder, Plant Nanny, and Water Minder are great apps to track water consumption. My Powersheets should arrive tomorrow and I think she has a water tracker there, so I may use that.
- Evernote: I use this app to plan blog posts and keep things on my mind in one spot. It’s where I hope to one day build an weekly letter to readers.
- Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner: only one design left for 2018! This planner is THE BEST. I used it last year and I fell in love with it because of the design. After using it regularly, I LOVE the Sunday resets. Meal prep and clean house for the win!
- Inspirations: I use this app in the morning to be with God. There’s a verse for the day along with a journal entry where you’re asked a question. There’s also a daily devotion with another journal entry for the day.
- Spotify: I’ve been a user for four or five years now. I love the ability to search artists, playlists, build my own playlist, or search an artist and play their “radio” (finds similar artists, like Pandora).
What are your goals for 2018? Don’t have any? That’s okay! What are you looking forward to most in the year ahead?
Love and light,