LDRICHEL   50,576
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Pushing the Limits & A PR in the Pool!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Back to your regularly scheduled programming, folks. Taking a bit of a break from the heavy emotional fare of the past two blogs. Today is all about training, yo.

Last night, I attended a one-hour spin class. It was the second time I've gone in deciding that I would not cheat on the resistance and would allow myself to feel the pain...because I know it will make me stronger rider when it's all said and done. It was SO difficult, but guess what? I lived.

About an hour later, I took my daughter to martial arts at the YMCA, expecting to do weights. But something strange happened and I switched it up at the last second and decided to get some cardio in instead (I was running about 1 hour behind in cardio this week, according to my training schedule and I reason it's easier to fit strength in at home or even just do body weight exercises on my own). Got on the treadmill and got a quick 2 miles in. Geez. This is the first night I've REALLY felt my workout in quite awhile. We're talking close to 1400 calories burned in a span of a few hours. WOW.

I realized when I got home that I needed to pack my gym bag because my schedule called for a swim early this morning. My body was absolutely spent...it took all my effort to pack that bag and not just say, "You know what? Forget tomorrow's workout...this was good enough." I had to remind myself that, after some restorative sleep, I would have more energy and that swimming is active muscle recovery so it would actually make my body feel better.

I really didn't expect heroics this morning. I figured I'd be lucky to get 30 lengths in (let alone my usual 34 lengths). That's when it happened...

I walked into that pool and was hit with the warm air and smell of chlorine and saw people already swimming laps and everything in my heart shouted, "This is my heaven." Instant relaxation and happiness.

It's hard to explain what happens in that lap lane. It amazes me what the human body is capable of. At the very same time that I'm counting laps in my head, I'm paying attention to every minute detail of my form and where every part of my body is supposed to be at all times, breathing at regular intervals over my shoulder....and I STILL have time to entertain my most secret thoughts over top all of that. Underneath the water is so quiet...all I hear is my breathing and, once my body begins to take over and get into its rhythm, I'm just alone with my thoughts.

This morning, I was so happy to be in the pool and to think the things I was thinking that I just kept swimming and never felt the need for a break. I did take one very short one at 20 lengths...to catch my breath and let the guy I was sharing a lane with get a bit ahead of me (I hate swimming side by side in a lane). But, otherwise...no breaks today. A first for me.

It occurs to me that I just started swimming in August and that was only 4 months ago! Remember how I was gasping for air for months? And how completely awkward and self-conscious I was when I started? It's incredible how far I've come. All of that has fallen away. Somewhere in there I found a rhythm for breathing and the entire puzzle clicked into place. Now, my focus of every swim is in relaxing and letting my body do its work.

And what was the result? 40 laps in 30 mins. 1000 meters. Personal record. Previous PR: 34 laps in 30 mins (850m). I completely tore up that old PR. I don't know what happened in that pool today (OK, I do...but, as I said...private thoughts).

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I never would have predicted that a cheap $5 pair of goggles from KMart would unlock my own personal heaven.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERASARA 1/2/2013 9:03PM

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/8/2012 2:34PM

    Swimming is such a fun sport :)

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VOLLEYGIRL77 12/7/2012 10:41AM

    Congrats! I love swimming too!

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ROSES4ME1 12/5/2012 2:14PM

    Thanks! Great way to start my day with a laugh. And a good reminder that there may be a way to turn a difficult situation into an advantage just by looling at it differently. emoticon

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KATHIC2 12/5/2012 7:28AM

  I love swimming too! You describe so beautifully! Congrats on your PR!

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STARSUB99 12/4/2012 7:30PM

    From one swimmer to another - YOU GO GIRLFRIEND! It is truly the best for connecting with yourself - aned an awesome workout - I love being in that zone - too - the quiet - the breathing - so connected it is an amazing thing.


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PENOWOK 12/4/2012 8:36AM

    I felt the calm while you were describing it! Thanks for the blog...and awesome for you!!

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CAT-IN-CJ 12/3/2012 2:04PM

    emoticon

I know exactly what you're talking about! I was afraid of water until I was 40 . . . and that's when I signed up for swim lessons at the city pool and stepped into the 2 foot wading pool with the 1 and 2 year olds in their plastic diapers . . . but I was determined. That was June and by November I jumped off the back of a boat into the Pacific for my first open water SCUBA dive . . . . and that's when I experienced what you described.... my very own piece of heaven!

There really is nothing like it! Enjoy every moment.

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FARIS71 12/3/2012 6:48AM

    Totally awesome!! Tear it up!

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FEELINGFITERIN 12/3/2012 1:47AM

    How awesome! emoticon

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PCASEY7 12/2/2012 5:01PM

    Woo hoo great job!

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JACKIE542 12/2/2012 1:23PM

    Good job emoticon

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ROB704 12/2/2012 11:02AM

    I so love reading your blogs! Too cool.....

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REGSHAR 12/2/2012 10:02AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 12/2/2012 1:59AM

    emoticon

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JOANNHUNT 12/1/2012 10:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CICELY360 12/1/2012 10:38PM

  good bog

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JAMER123 12/1/2012 9:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEARTS116 12/1/2012 9:47PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/1/2012 9:17PM

    emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 12/1/2012 8:30PM

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CHARTHESTAR 12/1/2012 8:16PM

    emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 12/1/2012 5:41PM

    Doing great,sis!

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PATRICIAANN46 12/1/2012 5:33PM

  From what I am reading in your blog, you have not only developed physically with all of your training, but you are also in a better place mentally and sound stronger.
Good for YOU!!!!! emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 12/1/2012 5:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CHSHULER89 12/1/2012 5:05PM

    So happy for you!!! Can't wait until i learn to breathe right in the water! I love the feel of the water. Thanx for the hope. Keep up the great work!

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GODIVADSG 12/1/2012 4:53PM

    That's what I am talking about! emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 12/1/2012 3:51PM

  Congratulations! It's wonderful what you have accomplished in such a short time.

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DALID414 12/1/2012 3:19PM

    Confession: I don't know how to swim. I have a panic attack at the thought of a pool (sweaty palms as I confess), but I love reading about people enjoying pool workouts. One day I'll workout my pool demons and jump in.

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LIVELYGIRL2 12/1/2012 2:11PM

  That is simply WONDERFUL. And you describe it very well.

It makes me want to emoticon you. It's more of the passion you have for running.

Ya know, I do it, but I haven't found the niche , that thrills me. I guess I get bored at times.

I hope to start over with running between Dec- Jan. Hopefully, I can find someone who will give me tips, to prevent the problems .

I will do something today, because I had a low grade fever for two days, and did my only exercise at the beginning of the week.

Your doing super Leah!!! emoticon

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MOMMY445 12/1/2012 1:39PM

    way to go! glad to hear that you are doing so well! keep it up!

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DIANNEMT 12/1/2012 1:17PM

    You know, I should look into swimming. I can't do the crawl--but you said you couldn't either so--maybe I could....

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NEWMOM20121 12/1/2012 1:04PM

    Great job.

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NEWTINK 12/1/2012 12:31PM

    You are making amazing strides emoticon

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SHOAPIE 12/1/2012 12:12PM

    emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 12/1/2012 11:19AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYO 12/1/2012 11:12AM

    way to go!!

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MIMIDOT 12/1/2012 10:36AM

    Awesome! You did it! Thank you for your great blog. Very motivating! Keep Sparking!

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GARDENCHRIS 12/1/2012 10:22AM

    nice!

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WALLINMW 12/1/2012 10:09AM

  Whoop whoop!

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NITELITE72 12/1/2012 9:47AM

    Way to go!! That is a great accomplishment!

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DNRAE1 12/1/2012 9:27AM

    Yahoo! Great job! I'm so very impressed and inspired by you. Keep it up!


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KARRENLYNN 12/1/2012 9:00AM

    Sometimes change up your routine is just the ticket. Comgratulations on beating your own record! Keep going and don't give in.

Karen

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JANEMARIE77 12/1/2012 8:59AM

    way to go

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DJSHIP46 12/1/2012 8:21AM

    Sounds so wonderful... I wanna swim too. Maybe I'll actually get to the pool this winter! I so love sharing your progress. It's like watching a butterfly emerge from her cacoon!!! You Go Girl!!! emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 12/1/2012 8:17AM

    emoticon you really have found your sport!

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NCSUE0514 12/1/2012 8:12AM

    WTG

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BESSHAILE 12/1/2012 8:11AM

    Love it!
Love it Love it Love it!
Love! It!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 12/1/2012 8:08AM

    emoticon

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NILLAPEPSI 12/1/2012 7:54AM

    You GO, girl!!!! emoticon

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Am I Authentic? Are You?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wow, you guys. It's been pretty difficult for me to figure out how to follow that last blog I posted. Partly because it was one of the most honest blogs I've ever written and I felt a bit exposed and wasn't really sure how to recover from that. Truthfully, I expected a flood of judgment and lectures. While I did receive a little bit of that (comes with the territory in a public forum), I have been pleasantly surprised by the kindness in your hearts. I really can't begin to reply to everyone that has so deeply touched me with their loving words. Please know that I read every single comment and think deeply about them.

The impetus for this blog is the other kind of response I've been receiving. Allow me to step away from the divorce talk for a moment and use a different metaphor.

My friend, Andie Redwine, is a screenwriter and she made a film recently called "Paradise Recovered" (stream it free on Netflix!!!! It's SO good!) The film deals with religious abuse - it's the story of a girl very much entrenched in a religious cult, who through a series of events, finds herself alone with nowhere to go. Her boss (a philosophy student at the university and agnostic) takes her in and cares for her. (Like the story of the Good Samaritan) Throughout the film, we see Esther experiencing new things and embracing herself and her right to enjoy all the things that used to be "forbidden". Of course, she flounders...don't we all when we get sudden freedom? I won't ruin the end for you. Haha.

The reason I bring this up is this: after the film was released and it started making the film festival circuit rounds and began to win awards, there came so many letters and e-mails and comments from real life spiritual abuse survivors in recovery. This pleases Andie greatly, as most of the proceeds from this movie will go to Wellspring Recovery Center, a place that specializes in helping spiritually abused people become free. So, a "fictional" movie is changing REAL lives.

I feel my experience since I posted that blog has been similar. I am shocked and saddened by the sheer volume of responses I've received from so many of you that are currently at some stage of life that is similar to mine. The overwhelming idea that just keeps hitting me is: look at all of us hiding, pretending, wishing things were different. Everything looks beautiful on the outside. But inside things are so much more complex. There are so many sad people. If you guys knew how many there were...it is heartbreaking.

I don't have the answers to my own issues and I'll tell you I'm completely broken myself right now. But there is a very helpful exercise that my therapist is having me do...and I don't see how it couldn't benefit EVERYONE (whether your life is just the way you want it or you're in a more difficult place). So, thought I'd toss it out there...just in case it helps someone else.

The past couple weeks, we've been discussing the fact that it seems the reason I've been so unhappy for so long is because I've been living a life that isn't authentic to me. Other ways to say it: living a lie, pretending to be happy, propagating a facade (if you're a vocab nerd). You get it, right?

Yesterday, she pushed it further and asked me the hardest question I've had to answer in a long time...

When you imagine living a life that is wholly authentic to you and who you truly are as a person, what kinds of practical things do you see yourself doing in that life? In other words, think about what is TRUE to you.

I couldn't think of one thing. NOTHING! What the heck? How is it possible that I don't even know myself? It was really eye opening. After quite a bit of silence, I thought of one: hold each of my kids each day.

As we talked more, I began to think of more and, since yesterday afternoon, I have not stopped adding to the list.

Here's a sampling, to get your mind rolling:

If I were to live a life that is completely authentic to who I am inside, I would be doing these things:

Take care of myself in ways I haven't before: nails, waxing, haircuts, etc.

Get rid of my TV

Teach my kids the joy of reading

Read more about my business

Sit in silence and feel God's love and shut out all other voices

Spend time listening to music and connecting with it

Use my workouts as a way to build and express my inner strength, rather than as a way to run away from my problems and myself

Tell my kids each day that they are loved completely...no matter what happens

Take my kids outside and spend time exercising WITH them

Be present when I'm helping my kids with their homework - it's not just a pain in the butt task, it's valuable precious bonding time

I suppose that's enough for now. Once you get started, it gets easier. In identifying these things and actually doing them, I will apparently create a "safe place" inside myself that is my center of strength. Because it's fully ME. The idea that I can carry around a "safe place" instead of it having to be somewhere to travel to (whether physically or mentally) is kind of revolutionary for me.

I mean, when you think about it...it's everything we are being taught here on SparkPeople - find strength within yourself. Own your beauty and your strength. Dig deep and make it happen. Make your life what you want it to be with hard work and dedication. Some of that hard work has nothing to do with muscles or cardio capacity. Some of it is purely emotional. This is the side of my life that I've let go for so long...I've somehow lost myself (if I ever knew myself in the first place).

You don't have to be going through hell in your life for this to apply. All of us could use a reminder of who we are at the core...and what we need to do to remain true to that every single day.

So...when I say this...you understand that it holds so much more meaning than a trivial sign-off:

Take care of yourself today. You're worth it. And you're beautiful.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERASARA 1/1/2013 8:26PM

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MSCOPE10 12/17/2012 4:21PM

    Great blog! You are so right about taking care of ourselves. I think so many of us are focused on taking care of those around us that we sometimes "let ourselves go". Not realizing that what the ones we are taking care of want the most is for us to be happy, healthy and to be here with them for as long as possible. Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 12/17/2012 1:11PM

    wOw! Powerful blog. Thank you.

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1HAPPYSUSAN 12/7/2012 1:01PM

    Oh, Leah, this is such an amazing blog! Thank you! I should be getting to my chores but I'm so glad I sat here and read your blog and all the comments; it's a blessing to me to know that I am not alone.

I've been overweight for so many years, essentially all my adult life, even increasing by twenty pounds after I got laid off from my last job. I have great intentions but do not ever follow through and push toward success. I keep giving up.

A Weight Watchers leader once said at a meeting "How do I get myself back?" and I began to cry. I wrote those words down that day and have been trying to figure out how to do just that, get myself back, "come home to myself". Your exercise about "my authentic self" is just perfect for my journey and I thank you so very much. I'm looking forward to beginning it!

Keep Sparkling, Leah! emoticon Continued good luck on your own journey!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/7/2012 9:11AM

    Wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing. I don't have TV, in the sense that I don't have cable. I mainly read as a outlet to relax and sometimes watch movies either through my dvd player or netflix.

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BEATLETOT 12/5/2012 9:43PM

    Gorgeous...absolutely gorgeous.

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MIDROAD 12/5/2012 9:41AM

    God bless you Leah!

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BLOORP 12/3/2012 8:55PM

    Fabulous blog! Thanks for sharing. Definitely will start on my list and start making it my true direction. Best wishes on your journey. emoticon

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HOMIELUVRFRND 12/2/2012 10:22PM

    I just love what you wrote. It is universal for all people in any stage of life. WONDERFUL

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JRM54100 12/2/2012 10:44AM

    This blog brought tears to my eyes.

You have no idea how much I needed to read those words and feel like someone was speaking them to me.

That someone else could possibly feel the same way I do right now.

Thank you so much.

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emoticon

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CFMOSS 12/2/2012 7:55AM

    Healthy life journeys are definitely about making better choices in the face of the difficult stuff of life. Keep on your journey - you are so worth it.

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ELSCO55 12/1/2012 11:52PM

    emoticon

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EVESRUN 12/1/2012 7:39PM

    Thanks for this post! Making an "authentic living" list is a smart move, and your blog forced me to think of all of the things that are important to me and that I've been ignoring.

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CHERYLSBUTT 12/1/2012 7:11PM

    Keep learning the lesson
My promise to you is that you get there with work and application of what you believe about you!
Peace and blessings

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NAOLEE 12/1/2012 12:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NITELITE72 12/1/2012 9:43AM

    I so needed to read this. I have been in a "holding pattern" for far too long. Just going through the motions instead of dealing with myself and who I really, truly am. Thank you...be blessed!

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LIBRARYBELL1 12/1/2012 8:33AM

    Thank you so much for that. You are such a good writer. I have a clear image in my head of who I want to be and every day I think about doing those things, but something always stops me. It's not about exercising or eating right, most of the things that would make me better, especially at home, are things I'm already doing at work. I'm there. I help so many people and do it with a good and loving heart. I listen, am patient, use my instincts, I'm always on the move. I love it. I love who I am at work. Then I come home and sit, or nap. I'm exhausted. I want to be the way I am at work, at home. This is going to help me. I think about this every day. How I can bring that spirit of loving helpfulness home with me. I'm going to sit down and make a list of who I want to be at home. Yesterday I overextended myself at work. It was a crazy day and I let myself be pulled in all directions. I stopped and said no a couple of times. When I got home, I thought about how it's good to be helpful at work, but that I have to respect myself first, and put myself and my own job first, and not let this happen again. So much to think about! Thanks for your post!!!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 12/1/2012 7:41AM

    Beautiful blog. Profound insights. Wonderfully written.
Very touching.
At a similar point in my life, I was so overwhelmed.
My code of action had to be simplified.
It became:
Tell the truth
Speak from the heart
Take things one step at a time. The light will shine on the next step.

That got me through the rough spot and eventually into a much better life.
In retrospect, I guess it did help me get in touch with my authentic self.
Retirement has now given me the opportunity to pursue more what I hold dear to what I consider my mission, my essence. It is harder to do this when you are younger and there are so many demands on you and so little time.

It is good to remember as we go through our everyday life, that we are seeing the facade and that some people may really be needing a cup of kindness. They are hurting inside. Are we all afraid of being vulnerable? Spark does help you to realize how people really think and feel.



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SLFGOLF 12/1/2012 1:03AM

    A great thought provoking blog! Thanks for sharing.

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EMILYDOODLE 11/30/2012 9:34PM

  Great blog! emoticon

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FITFOODIE806 11/30/2012 8:02PM

    While you may feel broken and are obviously dealing with a lot, look at what you're doing for this community. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your talent with words and writing.

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KRISTEN_SAYS 11/30/2012 6:17PM

    So moving. Thank you for writing this.

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FUSCHIA6 11/30/2012 3:35PM

    I was just thinking about what a counsellor once said, " some of the most evil people hide in churches." I really think it is true.


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FUSCHIA6 11/30/2012 3:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Good for you. You deserve peace & happines.

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SMILEY3826 11/30/2012 2:19PM

    that is a lot to think about. thanks for sharing what you are going through. have a wonderful day.

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AMANDEES76 11/30/2012 2:09PM

    Great Blog and WOW! That's really all I can say. You gave me a lot to think about. Most of us live to take care of others and leave ourselves behind so we can all relate on some level.

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LALATIDAH 11/30/2012 2:07PM

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. You are quite inspiring! Good luck in your future endeavors. emoticon

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AMANDACOETZER 11/30/2012 1:49PM

    Thanks!!

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AMANDAROX 11/30/2012 12:49PM

    Wow, this is a perfect exercise I think we all could benefit from. Thanks for sharing!!

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TAFFYS_MOM 11/30/2012 12:02PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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MARYJEANSL 11/30/2012 10:47AM

  I wish you the very best on your journey.

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BANDMOM2012 11/30/2012 10:02AM

    It is frightenly easy to lose yourself in marriage and parenting. While I whole-heartedly believe that parenting is the most important role I have, it isn't everything I am. So good to see that you are discovering these things in your life. Blessings :)

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PINKANGEL73 11/30/2012 9:17AM

    I sometimes think that we all, but perhaps women in particular, throw ourselves into so many different roles (partner, parent, career person, good friend, good neighbour and so on) and try so hard to do our best in each one that we run out of time and energy to look after ourselves and remember who we are and what we like.

It is almost as if there is something a bit shameful or self-centred about spending time looking after ourselves. But the reality is, if we don't look after ourselves, love ourselves and be the best we can be, how can we give our best to others?

Many years ago I went through a devastating break up and it took about 3 years but I learnt to really enjoy my time being single. In many ways it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened.

Good wishes on your learning curve. There is always some pain with a birth or re-birth of any kind - but the end results............... emoticon

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LEANMEAN2 11/30/2012 9:06AM

    Thought provoking
Thanks

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AJB121299 11/30/2012 7:33AM

    Wow. Amazing blog

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CRAZY_DIET_MOM 11/30/2012 7:03AM

    Wow. That hit something inside of me... I'll be thinking about this for a while I'm sure. It brought up some things that hovering on the edges of my life for some time now - I think this is my kick in the pants to do something about it.

Thank you for sharing.
Traci

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DOTTIBELL 11/30/2012 1:04AM

    Wow! You have me awe-struck. Love your focus and simplicity. I needed this PEP TALK so, so very much. Yes! I intend to get back on track and will succeed....hope you don't mind but I will be stalking your blogs for more insight and encouragement.
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PCASEY7 11/29/2012 11:53PM

    Great blog, thanks!

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CICELY360 11/29/2012 11:47PM

  good blog

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ROCKYCPA 11/29/2012 11:09PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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BLUEJEAN99 11/29/2012 9:38PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 11/29/2012 9:19PM

    emoticon

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LYNNA1968 11/29/2012 8:50PM

    fantastic blog! Learning ourselves takes a lifetime, we are always evolving. Are you the same person you were in 1st grade, high school or college? I'm not. I have a basic idea but who knows!? Enjoy your journey and smile! There is only one you!

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ONLYTEMPORARY 11/29/2012 8:38PM

    emoticon

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COLETTEISGREAT 11/29/2012 8:38PM

    emoticon I love this idea! Keep thinking of things that you want to be doing while living authentically, and spend time working towards these!

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GOOSIEMOON 11/29/2012 8:11PM

    emoticon

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JAMER123 11/29/2012 8:06PM

    Wonderful Blog!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts & steps.
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MARYHENNIG 11/29/2012 7:11PM

  You have a beautiful heart!!!!!

You are on the right path. Enjoy the journey & God Bless You!!!

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PEGGIE0203 11/29/2012 7:07PM

    Great blog! I appreciate your honest sentiments.

Now I want to go watch that movie! :)
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4KWALK 11/29/2012 7:00PM

    You must feel free just by expressing yourself so honestly. It is freedom to be able to speak so honestly to yourself and to others.
Thank you for putting into words what many of us cannot.

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Deeply Personal and Slightly Risky. But I Won't Hide Any Longer.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Well, I've stared at a blank blog box for days, even weeks now...longing to share all the lessons and growth experiences I've been going through...but couldn't decide if, when and how I should do so here.

After quite a bit of thought and consideration, I've decided it's time to put some words to this and put it into the digital abyss. Not necessarily for you...although it might indirectly help someone out there in a similar situation (that seems to happen a lot with my blogs)...but more for myself. I process things in my life via writing (in case you haven't figured that out yet).

This entire fitness journey that I've been on...this life that has completely changed who I am as a person...a big part of my sticking to it has been this blog. It's always great to get encouragement from you all...to hear an "atta girl" once in awhile and to feel some sort of responsibility for my actions (because people are "watching").

This...this is different. This is more a need for me to release things and process very complex issues...to state truths about myself and to figure out (as my therapist says) what is "authentic to me".

Before I share...there is only one request I make of you...if you know me on Facebook...please respect my wishes and do not comment about this over there. It's not that friends and family don't know and I'm not telling anyone. It's that my kids have not been given this information yet...if it goes on FB, I worry someone will mention it in front of them before I've had a chance to figure out how to explain things to them. Thanks in advance for your cooperation there.

If you read my blogs regularly, you have seen me reference many times the fact that my life has taken a turn for some difficult times recently. Many of you have messaged me and you have figured it out...but for the sake of clarity, I will just admit that my husband of almost 12 years and I are in the midst of a divorce. I will not go into specifics of why and you will find no angry rants on my soon-to-be ex on this blog. We have three beautiful children together and we will always be tied at the heart because of that. Even with the reality of separation in front of us, we have had some of our best talks ever these past couple of weeks...and we both agree that our friendship will weather all the changes that are to come for both of us. And we hope that this will help to ease the transition for our kids, at least a little bit.

What you will find here is my search to become the person that I truly am. My quest to understand what exactly is going on in my heart and how my fitness goals and career goals and parenting goals all come together and connect to bring meaning to my new life as a part-time single mom/part-time single gal.

Because of financial issues, I can't make any real moves for a few months...so I am faced with the very awkward situation of staying in the same house with my husband when we both realize that what we formerly had is over. As you can imagine, there is some tension with this...and a whole host of emotions to deal with.

I obviously can't explain everything in one blog. I'm sure things will play out over a series of them. I can tell you that I wasn't joking when I said my training is my escape. I have never put more of myself and more of my heart into my health as I have this past two weeks.

In some ways, I feel the more I push in my workouts, the more emotional release I feel when it's over. Swimming has been a safe haven, as I've mentioned it brings a feeling of tranquility and overall well-being in a time when I'm dealing with so many fears and unknowns, as well as intense feelings of failure.

Running and spinning and biking give me an outlet for any anger or conflicted emotions or frustration...these are disciplines where I can just push myself and really let it all out on the road/bike/treadmill...and then leave it there for a bit.

Weight training, although relatively new to my regimen, has quite literally been a metaphor for me...for how strong I currently am and how strong I am becoming...pushing through discomfort and getting that one last rep...it makes me stronger.

It has been 4 weeks since I officially announced my intention to go through with the divorce. It has been 3 weeks that I've adhered fiercely to this new phase of training.

My body has already been changing. I can feel it (everything is tighter...it feels smaller...I am stronger and more muscular) and I can see it (I can finally see a difference in the reflection in the mirror and on the scale). With this comes a brand new love for myself and a realization that I have what I need to achieve my fitness goals. I am becoming a new person.

Somehow, these simple physical changes have managed to seep into every area of my life...my career, my parenting, my relationships. It helps to remind me that I now have at least a small grasp on how my future plays out. And, finally....after so many dark years...I feel HOPE...that things could be different for me. That I could live true to myself...rather than living a facade.

A friend posted this on Facebook and it just seems so perfect right now...definitely brought tears to my eyes. It's something she found in a devotional on Psalm 23.

"It is in the valley where the most magnificent growth of your life will happen and it is there that the fruit of the Spirit will grow in lush abundance. May I just say it this way: In the valley where your heart was broken will be the place of your greatest harvest.

God wants our cups to run over not only when life is good and the view is spectacular; He wants our cups to run over in the valley of pain and in the desert of brokenness. God sets before you a table of blessing that will heal your broken heart and feed your hungry soul."

So, there you have it, friends. Now you know.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LRSILVER 12/18/2012 8:46AM

    I am so sorry to hear about the divorce. May you find the strrength to build a new life for yourself and for your family. You are amazing that you can channel your energy into exercise and focus on the positives.

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SANDYLH1 12/16/2012 1:19PM

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TRICIAE2 12/5/2012 10:42AM

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SHIRE33 12/3/2012 5:59AM

    Happy to see you get so many supportive and wise comments. This is when I know we really are a community. I think it's good for you to work through this difficult time by communicating and seeking connections.

Some people say "everything happens for a reason." Myself, I sort of avoid that idea. I guess because it makes me uncomfortable to think that "Somebody" is planning lots of misery for "our own good." Instead, I use a "surfing" metaphor. The ocean throws waves. We can get swamped, but we can also know the thrill of surfing them, riding the waves. And through it all, however you think of it -- spirit, God, love -- is right there on board with you.

I really admire how you are making your body journey work for you. I'm having tough times at work and family illnesses, which is not NEARLY as difficult as what you are going through. I'll take your lessons to heart.


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CFMOSS 12/2/2012 7:57AM

    Hugs to you as you pick your way through difficult times.

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 12/1/2012 9:36AM

    It was hard to read your blog through (cleansing) tears. I'd like to S mail you when I get my wits back.

Hugs & prayers

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SUNSHINEGB 11/30/2012 12:29PM

    Many years ago, I went through a divorce of my first husband, after 27 years together, so I really understand what you're saying.
I love the piece you put on "Psalm 23", it had a soothing affect to me.
You'll get through this and you'll be even stronger!
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CHANGINGELAINE 11/30/2012 10:47AM

    Definitely not an easy road to travel but many of us have been there.
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BANDMOM2012 11/30/2012 10:06AM

    Prayers for you.

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SUNSHINEGIRLAZ 11/30/2012 9:07AM

    You're so graceful when speaking about something so personal here on this public forum. I'm praying that you have the strength to continue down your graceful path and that your children take a mature, understanding stance.

Thank you for the reminder about finding God in the valleys. It's easy to forget in the rough times that God has a greater plan that we can yet understand.

Stay true to yourself and strong in your faith!

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LOTUSFLOWER 11/30/2012 1:38AM

    I love what you say about the valley...so beautifully written amidst this hard time. Sending prayers your way.

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D-ABBY 11/29/2012 3:49PM

    Praying for you. Our DD1 went through a divorce after 9 years of marriage. It was sudden and painful as the man we all loved and thought would be in our family until Jesus comes broke a sacred trust that destroyed the good we had. She is now remarried to a fine man who loves and cares for her and the kids, but the pain of loss is still there for us. And there are always such difficult consequences to deal with even though he sinned and broke trust. It is so difficult. But God is good and he sees us through. If this is the way for you, I pray His presence to see you through the often difficult days that follow any such break in life. May healing be swift and you children be shielded. Darlene / D-Abby

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JANETTEB553 11/29/2012 3:17PM

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NELLBELLA26 11/29/2012 1:49PM

    Beautiful blog. So honest. I know that through this tremendous change which is heartbreaking, painful, and hard, you will find peace ( not only with your decisions but within yourself) I think you've already started that journey and are seeing the shift. I never looked at the cup runneth over as it going both ways- both with abundance of good and abundance of pain. It's a wonderfully insightful way of looking at it.
In the valley, comes the largest growths. Sustaining growths.
Keep going. Keep doing. Keep looking inward. You're doing great. emoticon emoticon emoticon x10.


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JSTBECUZ99 11/29/2012 12:40PM

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FEELINGFITERIN 11/29/2012 12:22PM

    I'm so sorry to hear about this...Prayers for you and your family!

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RONNIEHUEY 11/29/2012 12:22PM

    Good luck!

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HEALTHY-SPARK 11/29/2012 10:58AM

    Best wishes to you during this difficult transition period. I've always thought that writing was therapeutic as well -- and so it is good to see you get it out there. Good luck to you!

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CHRISSYJONES519 11/29/2012 10:21AM

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PUNKADOO 11/29/2012 10:07AM

    Congratulations on finding hope and some control over your future during difficult times. It may be the greatest life lesson you get.

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WILEE323 11/29/2012 10:05AM

    I ran my first half marathon 3 months after my husband of 22 years and I separated. Training hard and those long runs with only the voice inside my head to keep me company saved me. 7 years later, I know I made the right decision and am finally able to be me. Good luck and keep your chin up!!

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BKNOCK 11/29/2012 9:54AM

    emoticon blog. Good luck to you in your new phase of life.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 11/29/2012 9:50AM

    Hugs to you!! I am in the middle of a divorce of my husband of 13 years. I understand (to a certain degree) what you might be feeling. I also have no nasty words against him. This is about what is best for all of us in the family unit. We have two kids. Sending prayers to you. Stay strong. If you need to vent or some positive words, let me know. I am here for you.

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SFREY217 11/29/2012 9:14AM

    Praise him always, through the good and the bad and you will come through everything closer to Him and stronger for yourself !

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QUAIL75 11/29/2012 8:27AM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing and thinking of you.

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MANILUS 11/29/2012 12:19AM

    You are very strong, I hope the best for you!

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SPAQUEEN2012 11/28/2012 8:08PM

    Some of the worst things that have ever happened to me....have turned out to be the best things in my life. Not always then and sometimes not for a long time, but those choices (not always mine) have put me down roads I would probably not have taken voluntarily.

Hang in there - - emoticon

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LAWANDMUSIC 11/28/2012 6:03PM

    The Lord is carrying you. Blessing unto you. I have been there. Many, many y ears ago. Lean on us.

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SOLOMUA 11/28/2012 3:57PM

    God will bring you through it, he is your strength. I wish you all the best and luck in your new endeavors. Although I don't know you personally, I just want to say, you'll get through this, because you are being true to yourself.
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MISSFORTE 11/28/2012 1:42PM

    WOW! sometimes "good things come out of bad things"

sorry the relationship is over besides the fact you 2 share children together you'll always be in contact one way or another.

but awesome reading about your works, your strengths keep going!

YOU ARE STRONG!

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SMANISMELL 11/28/2012 1:17PM

    "In the valley where your heart was broken will be the place of your greatest harvest." I can see some relevance to that. Six years ago I had a major life changing event. For a while I lived in a very dark place and then I eventually moved out of it and into the light. The past few years have been good. But now I find myself falling back into that dark place and I hope that I can turn this around before I do go back there.

Divorce is hard. I hope that many positive things come from it and that your children will not be negatively affected by the divorce. Good luck and God bless.



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TERRIJ7 11/28/2012 12:51PM

    For people of faith who believe that marriage is God's joining of two people into one couple, divorce is not something we approach lightly. My heart goes out to you because I know you did not arrive at this place carelessly. I am glad that you were able to "process" it into a blog and get it out of your head. I find catharsis in writing things down, too. I am happy that you are finding some outlet for all the various emotions through your training--that will help a lot and will give you a sense of accomplishment, control and success while other areas seem to be failing and out of control.

Take care and keep blogging. I will keep you in my prayers.

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IMSTILLHERE412 11/28/2012 9:32AM

  You are courageous. It takes a lot of courage to do what many of us would like to but can't find it in themselves.. Stay strong..

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OPTIMIST1948 11/28/2012 9:06AM

    Not an easy time for you. I wish you all the best.

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WILSON1926 11/28/2012 6:28AM

    I'm sorry to hear the bad news. But you hang in there beautiful and things will turn around and you'll be fine. Don't stop believing in yourself and the strength you have.
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MISSLISA1973 11/28/2012 2:07AM

    I am sorry for your loss. It is sad when a marriage ends. emoticon

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FRANCES-AGAPE 11/27/2012 11:45PM

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Sending up PRAYERS for your whole family !

It is sad, but YOU know what you HAVE to do

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BLESSINGS !

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NSMANN 11/27/2012 9:46PM

    Sorry to hear the bad news. Life DOES go on.

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SUESUESUDIO 11/27/2012 9:22PM

    My children were very young when I divorced 20 years ago. I remember sitting with my Pastor after the final decision to divorce had been made. He gave me this verse and told me that I would understand much later, the true meaning:

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10

I know that in difficult times, I would repeat it over and over. I hope this helps.



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MARISPHERE 11/27/2012 8:54PM

    You are emoticon

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MSBEKANATOR 11/27/2012 8:32PM

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FRANCIEVW 11/27/2012 3:40PM

    Thank you for making yourself vulnerable so others can learn from you. Although you may not feel like a leader or teacher, you are. To your kids and to all of us here reading. Finding peace takes so much prayer and time. I know you've got this!

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SURVIVOR61 11/27/2012 2:44PM

    God Bless You & Your Family, I agree with Proverb31Julia
marriage is never easy and often we get lost, sometimes we just need to find our selves again in order to find our spouses....
Love Always Your Sister in Christ Jesus

a survivor

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SPECIALGURL7 11/27/2012 1:10PM

    I am sorry to here about your divorce, but you have said some really profound things. In the valley is where you gain your strength. God is ever present in those valley experiences to see you through. Your determination and the outlet you are using to go through this is what He has given you to go through.

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CM_GARDNER78 11/27/2012 12:39PM

    Oh my gosh - I am so sorry! Divorce is so heartbreaking...and confusing. You wonder the whole time, am I doing the right thing...I am going through with this no matter what...should I go through with this....ugh. I totally understand. I hope things work out for the best, and if it helps, I will certainly keep you in my prayers. Keep using your workouts as an outlet! You will reap so many benefits from keeping up with it. (((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))

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ALEXESQ33 11/27/2012 12:31PM

    I am so sorry for you hunni and I hope that you get through this awful time. It sounds as if you and your husband are being very good to each other through this process, which is a blessing.
May I just suggest, and you can totally ignore this suggestion, but I've heard this from MANY friends who have had parents divorce. Kids know, even if they're really young, that something is "up" around this time. They can feel the stress and the tension, and often they end up feeling it's their fault if they "discover" it before their parents tell them. I know you'll do the best for your kiddies, I'm not suggesting anything different. Also, the world has changed so parents are more open with their kids now which is good. But definitely as others have suggested, sooner may be better - god knows you don't want some friend's parent to tell their kids and then it gets through to your kids through a classmate or something awful like that.
Best of luck hunni you are strong and will get through this!
love,
Ali

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EVELYN12590 11/27/2012 11:56AM

    Thank you for sharing your life with us! We all go through dark times and it's nice to know that you can post here and not be judged! emoticon

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KEEPITUP05 11/27/2012 11:45AM

    Thank you for sharing! I hope you don't mind me sharing the devotional. emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 11/27/2012 11:23AM

    Oh, Leah - I has suspected as much. I know how hard it is - 30 years ago I was turning 30 and getting divorced. Now I am turning 60 and have a better life than I could have dreamed of, but at the time, it was tough. One of the things I found is that with a divorce, people say "get over it", and don't realize that you have to grieve the loss of the marriage. In many ways it is a death, and you will need time to process it and get through it. My heart goes out to you and I will keep you in my prayers.


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ESME25 11/27/2012 10:26AM

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Spinning and Swimming and Weights - Oh My!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I went into the Prep Phase of training thinking it would be a piece of cake. I mean, I start off with 5 hours per week of training (this is based on a full year schedule of 300 hours) and gradually work up every 4-6 weeks to more hours until I get to the Build Phase before my A races, which will require 8.5 hours training per week.

So, this is as easy as it's going to get, folks. And if you know me...you understand that when I make a plan, I do it. No flaking out or quitting or whining. I'm pretty fierce and determined at this point.

I'll be completely honest, though, and say I have received a serious and bracing reality check in terms of the sacrifices that need to be made to fit my training into my schedule. I'm blessed to have some leeway with my work hours...but I strive to do my best in that arena as well and I don't like to stroll in at 8:30am every morning just because the pool opened at 7am and I had to squeeze in my morning swim.

So I'm in a period of flex right now...figuring out what works and what doesn't. I suppose Prep Phase is perfect for that kind of thing. I've figured out that the time my daughter is in tae kwon do at the YMCA on Tues and Thurs nights is the perfect time for me to do my strength workouts. As I have been doing for months, I am pretty much just getting up at the crack of dawn to get that cardio in (although, I've added ONE spinning class at 5pm on Thursdays...because I just love the instructor).

In a little over a week, I will push it up to 6 hours per week. I plan to add a spin session each week and add more swimming. So, it will look like this: 3 spin classes (one hour each), 2 strength sessions (30 mins), 4 swim sessions (30 mins). That's a lot, guys.

But, here's the thing. I have a goal. And I WILL achieve it. There is no other option for me right now. You know my world is spinning and things are falling apart. This is what I can control right now. In therapy, my counselor has been telling me to find what is authentic for me. I've spent a lifetime figuring out what everyone else wants FROM me. I have never centered on what I would like for myself.

There are people in my life right now that find me to be selfish and don't approve of choices I am making. They would say to me, "You will never be happy with these decisions you are making. You will not move forward in your life by doing what you are doing. You will never escape your current issues."

To them I can only say, "Watch me."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATNCAG 7/31/2013 10:47AM

    U go girl! You should be so proud of yourself! I will be happy when I get myself built up to half of that exercise time!

By the way u look really familiar to me. I live in Indianapolis, IN. U?

Good luck on whatever u r going through. Just know things WILL GET BETTER just hang in there!

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SUPERSYLPH 7/7/2013 10:57AM

    Yeah! Go you! Show them!

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NLYR20 12/18/2012 11:44AM

  Great Commitment... emoticon emoticon

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ERINQD 12/9/2012 8:31AM

    Nice!

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634MEG 12/2/2012 10:16AM

    emoticon

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WHITEANGEL4 11/30/2012 7:39PM

    Do not worry about the people that are not with you on this pursuit. They are probably jealous as they are not able to committ for themselves. You will succeed

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TERRIJ7 11/30/2012 11:13AM

    "Watch me!" Honey, that says it all!

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CFMOSS 11/28/2012 7:20AM

    Hope you're continuing onward. You are worth it.

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ISABELLE31 11/27/2012 9:41AM

    Good for you! emoticon

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SOCDIRECTOR 11/26/2012 7:29PM

    I'm an early morning exerciser, too!
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PANDORABERRY 11/26/2012 2:47PM

  We all make mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way. Be proud of all you are doing for you and let go of the negative peoples! You are not selfish at all taking care of yourself! Tell your haters Yes You Can!!! As long as you put God first everything else will fall in place for you!

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SERASARA 11/26/2012 12:55PM

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DEBLYNN323 11/26/2012 10:47AM

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HIKERGAL123 11/26/2012 8:30AM

  Congratulations on your plan - it sounds like something I might "steal shamelessly" as we say at work when we find something we consider a best practice that can be shared! I've also found that sometimes people who criticize a person for taking "me time" are jealous and wish they have the ability to commit to a health/work out plan like you have so keep up the great work!

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DMEYER4 11/26/2012 7:20AM

  you can do it and taking care of yourself is never selfish

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PROVERBS31JULIA 11/25/2012 12:50AM

    Some people are just fools. Tell 'em to hush up.

Here's a quote you might like to look at!!!

http://sayingimages.co
m/life-becomes-easier-when-you-
learn-to-accept-an-apology-you-
never-got/

Hugs!

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FIT4MEIN2013 11/24/2012 11:44PM

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LJOYCE55 11/24/2012 5:41PM

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MOMOSG 11/24/2012 2:34PM

    Good for you to ignore the negative talk!

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HLOCHRIDGE 11/24/2012 12:48PM

    Congratulations on your goal!!

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SEPPIESUSAN 11/24/2012 9:23AM

    5 A.M. class? Oh my gosh, that's early! Your determination is SO inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

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NANNABLACK 11/24/2012 9:11AM

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DJSHIP46 11/24/2012 7:49AM

    I know you will achieve what you are working toward and you will discover who and what you are to be in the process... emoticon emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 11/24/2012 3:30AM

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THESLIMMERME1 11/24/2012 1:57AM

    emoticon on your successes to date - emoticon one step at a time
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Comment edited on: 11/24/2012 1:58:09 AM

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SCCRSTTR2 11/24/2012 12:26AM

    When you do your weights try and incorporate some cardio so you don't have to stress so much about fitting everything in with no time. The Y has some great weight oriented classes like Body Pump or Kettle bells. This is pretty much what my schedule was like before I moved down to San Antonio and as soon as I get my house (HOPEFULLY NEXT WEEK) I will be right there in the trenches with you. So just know that despite the fact that we are probably hundreds of miles away from each other I will be doing it with you. I know you have a billion comments on here for you but try and keep me updated on changes to your routine. It is always fun to find someone who is into the same type of work outs as yourself. Spinning, Swimming, and Weights, OH YES!

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THOMS1 11/23/2012 11:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CM_GARDNER78 11/23/2012 11:40PM

    Watch me, indeed!! That is fantastic. You are one determined lady who will achieve your goal - or die trying?! ;-) Keep at it..........you are so motivating!! You can do this!!

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REENIE131 11/23/2012 11:27PM

    Keep up the great work! You can do it!

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VEHAMILTON1 11/23/2012 10:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon Here is a Happy Holiday Weekend shout out to my Beautiful Spark Friends!

Great Blog!

Remember Portion Control!!
Love, Vera
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Comment edited on: 11/23/2012 10:35:54 PM

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SURVIVOR61 11/23/2012 8:00PM

    Congratulations!!! You've got it ...ATTITUDE...the right one that is going to get you where you belong...in great physical and emotional Health. You are an INSPIRATION TO ME and I wish we had a gold medal award for that, because I sure would give it to you... emoticon

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JENNIK2 11/23/2012 7:09PM

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LAWANDMUSIC 11/23/2012 6:02PM

    You go, girl!!

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MARYJEANSL 11/23/2012 2:57PM

  Good for you - I am so impressed with your determination and courage. Best of luck to you. You can do it!

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MOINSDEMOI 11/23/2012 2:44PM

    emoticon You go girl! I just hate it when people don't get the support they need. Well you have come to the right place.

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BANDMOM2012 11/23/2012 1:15PM

    Execellent focus!

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VJH-W65 11/23/2012 12:46PM

    "I love it when a plan comes together."
Wishing you the very best emoticon

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TPETRIE 11/23/2012 12:39PM

  Good for you. You will achieve your goal. emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 11/23/2012 12:25PM

    I know you will achieve what you are setting out to do. And to those who think you are selfish, that's their problem, not yours. You can be the best mother and person when you are finding fulfillment. If you give it all up and are unhappy then you won't be the best you can be for others in your life. Don't let the naysayers pull you down! Chase your dreams with all your heart.

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KIMBOLEAN 11/23/2012 12:00PM

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ROSGETSSERIOUS 11/23/2012 11:17AM

    You can do it - love your attitude!!
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PINK-SOLDIER 11/23/2012 10:44AM

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FIRECOM 11/23/2012 10:40AM

    I am impressed. I wish I had started this SP thing 20 years ago when such a regimen might be possible.

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HYATTI1 11/23/2012 10:15AM

    You Rock, you are in for the long haul.

Joanna

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KATHIC2 11/23/2012 8:42AM

  Keep filling your own well and you have more to share!

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SANDICANE 11/23/2012 7:57AM

    We'll ALL watch you! You go Sparkgirlfriend! emoticon

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LEANMEAN2 11/23/2012 7:04AM

    Thanks for sharing

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SATCHMO99 11/23/2012 3:05AM

    WE are watching you, but that's cos we KNOW you'll move waaay past those nay-sayers, those doom-mongers, who haven't got a fraction of your purpose and drive.

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BLUEJEAN99 11/23/2012 1:59AM

    emoticon

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STUFFNEARTABOR 11/23/2012 12:15AM

    You Go!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

I've Started Telling My Daughters I'm Beautiful

Thursday, November 15, 2012

So, the title is misleading because I haven't. But...after reading this article this morning (which literally left me in shock, it was THAT good)...I am going to.

It's a quick, but powerful read and I honestly think it's essential reading for any mom of young girls that is working hard to take care of her body.

offbeatmama.com/2012/11/telling-daug
hters-im-beautiful


Honestly...I can't stop thinking about this. All I have to say in response is...WOW.

It's going to take some time to work through all the implications of this piece.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSGETTENBY42 12/5/2012 9:55AM

    emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 11/30/2012 8:03AM

    I love the Offbeat blogs! Great article.

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CM_GARDNER78 11/22/2012 11:55PM

    Wow! Powerful indeed. Great article - thanks for sharing!!

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MARYHENNIG 11/22/2012 1:45AM

  EVEN THE PRETTIEST OF PEOPLE HAVE FLAWS.

BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN.

EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL.

UNFORTUNATELY, SOME PEOPLE DON'T TAKE THE TIME TO FIND THE BEAUTY IN OTHERS.

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NAOLEE 11/21/2012 5:49PM

    emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 11/19/2012 2:17PM

    emoticon

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SHOAPIE 11/19/2012 12:27PM

    emoticon

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GALINAZ 11/19/2012 12:15PM

    I shared this with all my rellies...it wouldn't hurt for mothers of sons either!

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JURASSICSUE 11/18/2012 2:19PM

    I love this - thanks for posting it.

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SANDYLH1 11/18/2012 11:08AM

  emoticon

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EATVEGAN 11/17/2012 4:00PM

    Children are very accepting. My daughter used to call me her pretty little mommy until her father arrived on the scene and laughed at her for it. My children were never ashamed of me and my looks even though I projected a doesn't-care-for-herself image. I am truly blessed.
I've been doing a challenge to look at myself in the mirror and say nice things about myself. To make it easy on myself I just look in the mirror and sing "Pretty Woman."
It seems like I'm getting prettier when I do it.
I really like what BABAOF4 says.

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MISSLISA1973 11/17/2012 9:44AM

    It's a great article, and you absolutely should tell your daughters. Because you are beautiful! emoticon

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LYNNIERN 11/17/2012 8:17AM

    Wow, really great article. Thanks for sharing.

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BLUEJEAN99 11/17/2012 1:47AM

    emoticon

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LIBBYL1 11/16/2012 11:12PM

  thanks for sharing!

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JAMER123 11/16/2012 10:33PM

    emoticon blog and article!! emoticon emoticon

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CICELY360 11/16/2012 9:57PM

  Good blog and good article. Sometimes, as moms, we forget that our daughters learn to appreciate themselves from the way we feel about ourselves. Maybe I should start saying I'm beautiful more. I always tell my daughter that she's beautiful.

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DIANNEMT 11/16/2012 9:27PM

    The challenge to give myself a goodie fits in with this--I have to be NICE to me--to compliment me. And--being nice to myself makes me see myself better--so try thinking that way, too.

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DALID414 11/16/2012 9:13PM

    WOW is definitely the right response.

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CLAYARTIST 11/16/2012 8:39PM

  emoticon emoticon

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KIPPER15 11/16/2012 8:28PM

    You are beautiful. Believe it because it is true. Share it not just with your daughters but with the world. emoticon great article.

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MIMIDOT 11/16/2012 6:38PM

    Awesome blog! You give young mothers something to think about. You are beautiful!
Rock on!!!!

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NEWTINK 11/16/2012 6:29PM

    That is a very powerful article .... thank you for sharing it emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 11/16/2012 6:12PM

  At the same time, I do not want my daughter to become conceited - and, in fact, that did happen to her - because we constantly told her how beautiful she was. I have regrets about that now. I would never tell her she was unattractive, but I also think that one must be careful. I am, very honestly, not beautiful, and I don't intend to lie to myself nor to my daughter. However, what she can see is how I am working hard to improve myself, to lose weight, to get stronger, and I want her to get that message as strongly as she once got the message that she was gorgeous.

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PENOWOK 11/16/2012 5:34PM

    YES! You are beautiful and so am I! We are God's kids...can it be any other way?

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ALIDOSHA 11/16/2012 5:23PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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ONLYTEMPORARY 11/16/2012 4:32PM

    emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 11/16/2012 3:31PM

    That was beautifully said in the article, especially when she looks at what she's been telling them - essentially "I'm ugly because I see myself with mean eyes".

You ARE beautiful and your daughters definitely deserve to hear that.

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PATRICIAANN46 11/16/2012 3:30PM

  emoticon article. emoticon for sharing.

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GOOSIEMOON 11/16/2012 3:01PM

    emoticon

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FAVORITEAUNT84 11/16/2012 1:06PM

    Wow. Thank you so much for sharing!

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FARIS71 11/16/2012 11:07AM

    Great great great concept. That seems so foreign to me. To a lot of us I'm sure.

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JACKIE542 11/16/2012 11:04AM

    WOW! I did love this, this is a great idea! Would probably make us all feel better as we get older. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRENDA_G50 11/16/2012 10:55AM

    I really never even thought about how having a negative view of myself would affect my daughter...that was until NOW. Thank you for sharing.

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JIBBIE49 11/16/2012 10:29AM

    Once again you're the STAR. emoticon

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HEARTS116 11/16/2012 10:28AM

    This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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BABAOF4 11/16/2012 9:51AM

  You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God for His purpose and glory. Everyone is a unique creation of God. Everything and everyone is beatiful in their own way. What a boring world it wud be if everyone looked the same?! The inner beauty is what lasts, not the outward appearance. Our children do see us differently b/c they love us. To them we are perfect (?) and they look up to us. We teach them how and what to focus on. We need to teach them how everyone is beautiful in God's eyes and then they will look for beauty in everyone. It needs to start seeing how beautiful we are in God's eyes and how much he loves us and how wonderfully are bodies are made. God does not make mistakes! You are beautiful! More is caught than taught. Children learn by example, example , example.

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JOANNHUNT 11/16/2012 9:47AM

    WOW

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HFAYE81 11/16/2012 9:46AM

    Well...you are beautiful!!! Tell them emoticon

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DJSHIP46 11/16/2012 9:06AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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YULLABELLE 11/16/2012 8:59AM

    emoticon

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46SHADOW 11/16/2012 8:17AM

    very powerful! I have three daughters... I'll watch the message I'm sending.

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ISHIIGIRL 11/16/2012 8:04AM

    That was a great message. Now I understand my husband a little more when he tells me how beautiful he thinks I am. I will remember this. Thanks for sharing.

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KARRENLYNN 11/16/2012 8:01AM

    Teach them early in life the great value of positive self talk and hearing positive things about them from people who are of great influence to them, like parents. You're doing great! Have a great day! ;)

emoticon emoticon

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BESSHAILE 11/16/2012 7:15AM

    Yep yep

I learned long ago, that my son, my husband, everyone I meet, takes me pretty much at my own value. I get to choose what the value is worth - to me, and to them. If I want my son to have an ugly mom he's embarrassed by, hey - I can act like someone to be embarrassed by. Or I can act like someone to be happy around - or to be proud of - or to be just like when he grows up. LOL, not the feminine part but the happy part.

Besides, honey - you ARE beautiful.

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MLH148 11/16/2012 7:12AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GRAMPIAN 11/16/2012 6:05AM

  Thought-provoking.

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TRYINGHARD54 11/16/2012 5:47AM

    great atrical

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NCSUE0514 11/16/2012 5:28AM

    TYVM

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CHSHULER89 11/15/2012 11:26PM

    Awesome!! So true! Must say it and believe it, words and actions... powerful message! I am starting to get there and must keep working on it each day.
I have lost 72lbs so far, amazing and so proud of myself! My 3yr beautiful daughter has informed me not to lose my squishy(my squishy stomach). I need to keep learning from her... I hope I lose some more of my squishy, but am very happy that I have come this far. I am beautiful and glad that I am learning to accept who I am and how strong I am physically and emotionally.
Thanks for being so beautiful and sharing it with all of us!!!!! Thanks for being such an inspiration!! Keep it going with a smile!! emoticon

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