I used to be that judgmental trainer… You know the one who only liked you if you hired me.or the one who was so self involved they didn’t see their own glaring issues. The overconfident jackass per-say. But seriously.
I don’t know if it’s a decade In the fitness industry… If it’s my own flaws being made apparent, and my own journey to work on them, several surgeries and recoveries from not being so fit myself…if it’s the clarity of mind that comes with hours of running and hours of alone time In the gym, or if it’s simply maturity and a better place with God.
About 5 years ago I qualified and went to fitness nationals. To be blunt, I looked like shit and did poorly. Yes it was improvement from the runner girl I had been, but I complete bonked my nutrition due to a limited budget, ignorance, and a bit of binge eating on peanut butter. Long story short I went on stage to compete and was fat. And I deserved it. As I gear up to compete bikini in 2014, I find myself reflecting on my past mistakes,with the most glaring one being arrogance.
Now I find myself in a place of less judgement hoping others will spare me the same grace.
I find myself inspired by an overweight client who dedicates himself to a long drive, daily workouts, but struggles with adherence to a healthy meal plan. I too have struggled my friend.
I find myself encouraged by my fitness team of competitive ladies where each and every one of them is a better athlete than myself in one or more areas. Instead of being competitive I just enjoy them driving me and cheerleading me as one of their own.
I find myself amused at the high school girls who forget to wear appropriate gym attire to lift, and I’m just glad they are in a healthy place, learning about fitness, and I pray their motivations are pure and enjoy talking to them about healthy boundaries with food.
I find myself wanting to high five every person at the gym…
So here to you, whether you are a New Years resolution annual January person, a weekend warrior, a religious class attender, or a fitness nut who could teach others.
You inspire me, thank you for after a decade teaching me, inspiring me, being patient with me in my Immaturities, and forgiving me of my judgements.
That non committal client – is scared to push themselves cheerlead them for every success
That person who won’t spend money- doesn’t think they are worth it, love them and pray one day they will see the them that you can see in their potential
That on again off again seasonal client – really wants health and fitness but it’s not a top priority yet, get creative and make it easier for them to do more daily
That binge eater who can’t follow a meal plan – may not know how to cook, teach them, yes physically get off your ass go to them home and teach them the basic, or at least encourage and show them healthy YouTube cooking channels, or worse they may be struggling with an eating disorder and your criticism will on make it worse
That needy client (ask-hole) who text or calls nonstop – wants it, and so bad but is confused and scared and trusts you enough for their every question, could they use google yes, but take the compliment they have faith in you
People don’t buy fitness programs because yours is the perfect on stop shop, they buy them because you believe in them, because you share the belief in them, because you help them achieve a better them, and ultimately what you are selling is their enjoyment of you as a person. So a word of advice I wish someone had given me don’t be a typical trainer don’t be an asshole.
If you can’t love others in despite of their flaws, don’t expect them to love you. If you teach them to love and care for themselves, they will love you despite your flaws and be fiercely committed to you as so much more than a client. My clients are my family, not a day passes they don’t encourage me, love me, challenge me,teach me, honor me, bring me gifts,food, and love and support. Yes they are human, but so am I, and I am honored to be loved by them.
As I relish in the post draft glory of not one, but two fairly satisfying fantasy football drafts my fiancé and I had together I take a little time to reflect on the smack down talking that was occurring.
At one such point my soon to be husbands own brother questioned his masculinity for allowing me to be on the computer making such important decisions, and how I had left the kitchen or the laundry room a few of his friends pondered.
All smack talking aside, here I am left alone doing my devotional on a Sunday evening, while my very manly man is outside fixing a dead battery or some such issue with my car. I am so beyond blessed to be with such a capable and manly man. So what is it that makes a man, a “man”? In todays world of idealized singledom, and man – child behaviors of men who should be more than capable of functioning in their early and late twenties, even into their thirties. I cringe, when one of these “children” dares to question manhood. When really I feel that they themselves are destroying the very word.
1. A man treats women with respect. If you don’t respect women, you’re not a man. Period.
2. A man understands that greater happiness lies in helping others, not helping himself.
3. A man doesn’t stand still while the world passes him by, he continually pushes himself.
4. A man is a leader in at least one aspect of his life, whether this means his family, with his friends or just in general. But he can also follow. The world wouldn’t work if everyone was trying to lead in every aspect of life.
5. You can depend on a man. You can’t depend on a boy.
6. “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.” ~ Galileo Galilei
A man is proud, often to a fault. He doesn’t “change” but rather evolves. Ladies, don’t try and change your man, but let him evolve into the man he’s meant to be.
7. A man doesn’t need to be able to fight or to protect himself and his family physically. But it helps. He does however need to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe and happy.
8. A man lives for something; a purpose beyond his own personal gains. This can come with time, and with family. It doesn’t always happen right away.
9. “Many of the greatest accomplishments of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.”
A man gets depressed, he gets sad, he thinks about quitting and folding, but he never does. He pushes through adversity.
10. “When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.” ~ Louis Nizer
A man has faults. It’s important to understand this.
11. A man can laugh at himself.
12. A man takes pride in how he looks and lives his life. He’s not ashamed by who he is, what he does or how he looks.
13. “Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Men learn what is truly important over time. If they’re lucky, they’ll have a sense of it early on.
14. “How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.” ~ Oscar Wilde
If a man finds someone special, he doesn’t treat her like she’s everyone else.
15. A man has fears, but he isn’t ruled by them.
16. A man learns from his mistakes. Although he might take a few cracks at it.
17. A man does what is necessary. Even if it’s the hardest decision, or the most unpopular one.
18. A man can appreciate the greatness that is ‘The Gladiator’.
All great characteristics, but it wasn’t deep enough for what defines a man to me, as I realize to me our relationship is bonded and strengthened mostly by our faith in God. I was struck when I read here, http://thechristianhusband.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/essential-qualities-of-a-mature-christian-husband-and-father/ . My fiancé, holds each and every one of the Christian qualities. He follows and leads our household with God, he loves and is compassionate and kind, he is the most responsible person I know, he is a phenomenal leader with his Marines, his friends, and his family members, he has immense self control and restraint placing God first no matter the difficulties that may ensue in his personal life, he rarely drinks and when does so it is always with celebration, he is a leader in Christ, he is humble to the core, and the list could go on, but I feel the basics have been outlined.
So my fiancé is a man to the core, from a google search to a Christian blog search… He defines the very outlines of every description. So why do the boys, continue thru their twenties in a glorified adolescent. Why are so many “good ” potential men out there acting like children and smack talking on fantasy football to over compensate a little insecurity?
Where Have The Good Men Gone?
Kay S. Hymowitz argues that too many men in their 20s are living in a new kind of extended adolescence.
KAY S. HYMOWITZ
Erin Patrice O’Brien for The Wall Street Journal
Live Chat Thursday Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This “pre-adulthood” has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it’s time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn’t bring out the best in men.
Between his lack of responsibilities and an entertainment media devoted to his every pleasure, today’s young man has no reason to grow up, says author Kay Hymowitz. She discusses her book, “Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys.”
Most Popular Video – Now Via Email “We are sick of hooking up with guys,” writes the comedian Julie Klausner, author of a touchingly funny 2010 book, “I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters and Other Guys I’ve Dated.” What Ms. Klausner means by “guys” is males who are not boys or men but something in between. “Guys talk about ‘Star Wars’ like it’s not a movie made for people half their age; a guy’s idea of a perfect night is a hang around the PlayStation with his bandmates, or a trip to Vegas with his college friends…. They are more like the kids we babysat than the dads who drove us home.” One female reviewer of Ms. Kausner’s book wrote, “I had to stop several times while reading and think: Wait, did I date this same guy?”For most of us, the cultural habitat of pre-adulthood no longer seems noteworthy. After all, popular culture has been crowded with pre-adults for almost two decades. Hollywood started the affair in the early 1990s with movies like “Singles,” “Reality Bites,” “Single White Female” and “Swingers.” Television soon deepened the relationship, giving us the agreeable company of Monica, Joey, Rachel and Ross; Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer; Carrie, Miranda, et al.
But for all its familiarity, pre-adulthood represents a momentous sociological development. It’s no exaggeration to say that having large numbers of single young men and women living independently, while also having enough disposable income to avoid ever messing up their kitchens, is something entirely new in human experience. Yes, at other points in Western history young people have waited well into their 20s to marry, and yes, office girls and bachelor lawyers have been working and finding amusement in cities for more than a century. But their numbers and their money supply were always relatively small. Today’s pre-adults are a different matter. They are a major demographic event. What also makes pre-adulthood something new is its radical reversal of the sexual hierarchy. Among pre-adults, women are the first sex. They graduate from college in greater numbers (among Americans ages 25 to 34, 34% of women now have a bachelor’s degree but just 27% of men), and they have higher GPAs. As most professors tell it, they also have more confidence and drive. These strengths carry women through their 20s, when they are more likely than men to be in grad school and making strides in the workplace. In a number of cities, they are even out-earning their brothers and boyfriends.
WHY GROW UP? Men in their 20s now have an array of toys and distractions at their disposal, from videogames and sports bars to ‘lad’ magazines like Maxim, which makes Playboy look like Camus. Still, for these women, one key question won’t go away: Where have the good men gone? Their male peers often come across as aging frat boys, maladroit geeks or grubby slackers—a gender gap neatly crystallized by the director Judd Apatow in his hit 2007 movie “Knocked Up.” The story’s hero is 23-year-old Ben Stone (Seth Rogen), who has a drunken fling with Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl) and gets her pregnant. Ben lives in a Los Angeles crash pad with a group of grubby friends who spend their days playing videogames, smoking pot and unsuccessfully planning to launch a porn website. Allison, by contrast, is on her way up as a television reporter and lives in a neatly kept apartment with what appear to be clean sheets and towels. Once she decides to have the baby, she figures out what needs to be done and does it. Ben can only stumble his way toward being a responsible grownup. So where did these pre-adults come from? You might assume that their appearance is a result of spoiled 24-year-olds trying to prolong the campus drinking and hook-up scene while exploiting the largesse of mom and dad. But the causes run deeper than that. Beginning in the 1980s, the economic advantage of higher education—the “college premium”—began to increase dramatically. Between 1960 and 2000, the percentage of younger adults enrolled in college or graduate school more than doubled. In the “knowledge economy,” good jobs go to those with degrees. And degrees take years. Another factor in the lengthening of the road to adulthood is our increasingly labyrinthine labor market. The past decades’ economic expansion and the digital revolution have transformed the high-end labor market into a fierce competition for the most stimulating, creative and glamorous jobs. Fields that attract ambitious young men and women often require years of moving between school and internships, between internships and jobs, laterally and horizontally between jobs, and between cities in the U.S. and abroad. The knowledge economy gives the educated young an unprecedented opportunity to think about work in personal terms. They are looking not just for jobs but for “careers,” work in which they can exercise their talents and express their deepest passions. They expect their careers to give shape to their identity. For today’s pre-adults, “what you do” is almost synonymous with “who you are,” and starting a family is seldom part of the picture. Pre-adulthood can be compared to adolescence, an idea invented in the mid-20th century as American teenagers were herded away from the fields and the workplace and into that new institution, the high school. For a long time, the poor and recent immigrants were not part of adolescent life; they went straight to work, since their families couldn’t afford the lost labor and income. But the country had grown rich enough to carve out space and time to create a more highly educated citizenry and work force. Teenagers quickly became a marketing and cultural phenomenon. They also earned their own psychological profile. One of the most influential of the psychologists of adolescence was Erik Erikson, who described the stage as a “moratorium,” a limbo between childhood and adulthood characterized by role confusion, emotional turmoil and identity conflict.
Marty (Ernest Borgnine) is 34 and single, to the chagrin of his mom— and himself. He finally finds love, even if his friends call her a “dog.” Like adolescents in the 20th century, today’s pre-adults have been wait-listed for adulthood. Marketers and culture creators help to promote pre-adulthood as a lifestyle. And like adolescence, pre-adulthood is a class-based social phenomenon, reserved for the relatively well-to-do. Those who don’t get a four-year college degree are not in a position to compete for the more satisfying jobs of the knowledge economy.
Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and his friend Billy set off on a motorcycle trip across America. Encounters with hippies, drugs and jail ensue. But pre-adults differ in one major respect from adolescents. They write their own biographies, and they do it from scratch. Sociologists use the term “life script” to describe a particular society’s ordering of life’s large events and stages. Though such scripts vary across cultures, the archetypal plot is deeply rooted in our biological nature. The invention of adolescence did not change the large Roman numerals of the American script. Adults continued to be those who took over the primary tasks of the economy and culture. For women, the central task usually involved the day-to-day rearing of the next generation; for men, it involved protecting and providing for their wives and children. If you followed the script, you became an adult, a temporary custodian of the social order until your own old age and demise.
Tony Manero (John Travolta) has an unfulfilling job at a hardware store. He really lives for weekend nights (“Watch the hair!”) at the disco. Unlike adolescents, however, pre-adults don’t know what is supposed to come next. For them, marriage and parenthood come in many forms, or can be skipped altogether. In 1970, just 16% of Americans ages 25 to 29 had never been married; today that’s true of an astonishing 55% of the age group. In the U.S., the mean age at first marriage has been climbing toward 30 (a point past which it has already gone in much of Europe). It is no wonder that so many young Americans suffer through a “quarter-life crisis,” a period of depression and worry over their future.
Ambitious stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) just wants to get to the top. His new riches nab him such nifty gadgets as a sushi maker. Given the rigors of contemporary career-building, pre-adults who do marry and start families do so later than ever before in human history. Husbands, wives and children are a drag on the footloose life required for the early career track and identity search. Pre-adulthood has also confounded the primordial search for a mate. It has delayed a stable sense of identity, dramatically expanded the pool of possible spouses, mystified courtship routines and helped to throw into doubt the very meaning of marriage. In 1970, to cite just one of many numbers proving the point, nearly seven in 10 25-year-olds were married; by 2000, only one-third had reached that milestone.
Universal Pictures/Everett Collection
After a drunken affair makes the immature Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) a father-to-be, he makes a go, slowly, of becoming a grownup. American men have been struggling with finding an acceptable adult identity since at least the mid-19th century. We often hear about the miseries of women confined to the domestic sphere once men began to work in offices and factories away from home. But it seems that men didn’t much like the arrangement either. They balked at the stuffy propriety of the bourgeois parlor, as they did later at the banal activities of the suburban living room. They turned to hobbies and adventures, like hunting and fishing. At midcentury, fathers who at first had refused to put down the money to buy those newfangled televisions changed their minds when the networks began broadcasting boxing matches and baseball games. The arrival of Playboy in the 1950s seemed like the ultimate protest against male domestication; think of the refusal implied by the magazine’s title alone. In his disregard for domestic life, the playboy was prologue for today’s pre-adult male. Unlike the playboy with his jazz and art-filled pad, however, our boy rebel is a creature of the animal house. In the 1990s, Maxim, the rude, lewd and hugely popular “lad” magazine arrived from England. Its philosophy and tone were so juvenile, so entirely undomesticated, that it made Playboy look like Camus. At the same time, young men were tuning in to cable channels like Comedy Central, the Cartoon Network and Spike, whose shows reflected the adolescent male preferences of its targeted male audiences. They watched movies with overgrown boy actors like Steve Carell, Luke and Owen Wilson, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Will Farrell and Seth Rogen, cheering their awesome car crashes, fart jokes, breast and crotch shots, beer pong competitions and other frat-boy pranks. Americans had always struck foreigners as youthful, even childlike, in their energy and optimism. But this was too much. What explains this puerile shallowness? I see it as an expression of our cultural uncertainty about the social role of men. It’s been an almost universal rule of civilization that girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, but boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess or mastery of the necessary skills. The goal was to prove their competence as protectors and providers. Today, however, with women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete, even a little embarrassing. Today’s pre-adult male is like an actor in a drama in which he only knows what he shouldn’t say. He has to compete in a fierce job market, but he can’t act too bossy or self-confident. He should be sensitive but not paternalistic, smart but not cocky. To deepen his predicament, because he is single, his advisers and confidants are generally undomesticated guys just like him. Single men have never been civilization’s most responsible actors; they continue to be more troubled and less successful than men who deliberately choose to become husbands and fathers. So we can be disgusted if some of them continue to live in rooms decorated with “Star Wars” posters and crushed beer cans and to treat women like disposable estrogen toys, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven—and often does. Women put up with him for a while, but then in fear and disgust either give up on any idea of a husband and kids or just go to a sperm bank and get the DNA without the troublesome man. But these rational choices on the part of women only serve to legitimize men’s attachment to the sand box. Why should they grow up? No one needs them anyway. There’s nothing they have to do. They might as well just have another beer.
Well all aside, boys, I am happily soon to be married to a man, who is more than confident to allow a woman to make football decisions. I appreciate his Christian leadership, his responsibility, his maturity, his confidence, his faith in me, his strength both physical and emotional, and his ability not to justify his manliness on a fantasy online game.
I don’t know your journey. I don’t know if you currently run. Some days I couldn’t even tell you why I run.
But this is my running story, I hope it motivates you to run some miles.
I have been a “runner” as long as I can remember. I haven’t ever been particularly talented, nor skilled. But I have run.
In fact most of you don’t know that I knew I wanted to run when I met Garrett Ford, when I was 9 or 10 years old. I used to race horses competitively, and I met Garrett thru horse racing… And I found out, he ran races as long as the ones the horses we rode did. The very idea that a human being could run 50 – 100 miles intrigued me to no end. So I did the best form of flattery, I emulated. I ran, with no purpose or direction as a kid really. Sometimes I would run with the horses ( very slowly) sometimes I’d argue with my parents and go for a run to get away, sometimes I’d run out of boredom, sometimes I’d run out of joy.
When It came time to go to high school at 13 I fought and fought with my parents to leave my life as a sheltered private school kid to go to a public school and run track like my father had in his high school days. I hated it. I hated track. I hated running in circles. I hated being told how long, how fast, and when to run. I hated authority at 13 and it was a trait that I kept for the next decade. I went to state that year as a freshman, at 13, for the 4 x 400 only to have the upper clansmen I was running with, do much less than they were capable of times. I hated people too. So, I switched schools to a different high school, one that had a phenomenal cross county coach.
Long story short, the phenomenal cross county coach ended up in jail for sleeping with minors. I didn’t like him much either. Luckily, I was too young, too pimply, too naive, or just too darn awkward to end up in any weirdness with my coach. But I did discover the joys of running again with my friend Whitney. We ran ( well jogged halfheartedly) from coffee shop to coffee shop, from Sonic, to Starbucks. We ran for caffeine, we ran for attention ( short shorts causing more than a few car wrecks), we ran to gossip, we ran because it was the only time our parents let us out of the house when we were both grounded, we ran because it afforded us the cookies we ate at the coffee shop. We competed, but not well, lack of supervision and discipline does that to performance. I think we both Lettered every year, and attended district and state meets. She ended up competing nationally in college for triathlon and I ran a few semesters of college until I decided partying was more of a priority.
Whenever, my life was up or down post college, I found solace in a run. Whether it was when I hated my body post too many beers and finding myself somehow managing a gym out of shape in Texas, or when I was completely lost as to what my future would hold in the cold winters of Wyoming. I ran to train for MMA fights in my early twenties, and I ran when a race entry came for free thru employment or friends or I rationalized the expense for a Susan B Komen. I have always run, even post knee surgeries, when warned doing so, would be extremely stupid.
To run to me, is to live. Some days, I hate running. There is nothing I’d rather do than melt into my couch and watch a rerun of Sex in the City or the New Girl. Most days that’s how I feel before I run. I hate it. I don’t want to do it. It is uncomfortable. It isn’t fun. I can coax myself into it with girl time, and gossip, and promise of an easy pace. Thank you Whitney for being my first ( and too this day still one of my best running partners) and teaching me the social aspect of running. But once I have run for a mile, I can usually tell myself I’ll be glad I did it, by the time I get to two miles my knees and joints have stopped feeling like they may explode, by the time I get to 3 miles I can quit and call it a day if I so choose as I figure a 5k counts as a competitive run, so it at least counts towards my Daily Mile log. Sometimes I log runs to stay competitive with myself and have the social media cheerleading aspect of it all. Sometimes I run just to meditate and don’t bother with time or miles at all I may run till I sweat, I may run until I’m lost, I may run until I want to walk. As long as I run.
Fast forward a few years. Now I run almost daily. I have not just a running partner, but a whole mass text list of women I can text for a run. They are all awesome, these women, every single one of them phenomenal in some way, gorgeous, smart, successful, athletic, driven, and just amazing these women that are my running partners. I have two dogs, one is good for a 2 mile loop, one drags me forward after 8 or 9. I have a fiance that is dedicated to my running goals, and will happily run with me at the drop of the hat all while pushing me to better my times, my distances, and myself as an athlete. Recently I picked the goal of conquering the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim ( R2R2R) with a few of my best girlfriends and running partners. Even more recently I signed up for the Triple Dare in Tahoe http://www.laketahoemarathon.com/ ( the Triple Dare one ) http://www.gofundme.com/TripleDare ( our website ) for this… I have been running at least 70 miles a week, with a goal of maintaining 80 – 120 … Feel free to follow my progress at www.dailymile.com/people/AlyxL ( I’ve actually been pretty good about putting runs in this week or so ) …
I don’t know where running will take me. It won’t take me to a Olympic Gold. It won’t take me to Fame or Fortune. These things are for sure. But it will take me to a clearer head. It will take me to an instant connection with every runner on the planet.
Reasons to run:
Studies have shown the health benefits of running to be tremendous, reducing your chances of everything from the common cold to cancer. Running is among the best aerobic exercises for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs. It helps ensure the efficient flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, things that are proven to help to decrease the risk of a heart attack.
Running — like other types of exercise — is a great stress-reliever and may even relieve mild depression. Many runners enjoy reaching the “runner’s high” — that euphoric, clear, and calm state they feel after a long run. Research shows that healthy adults who exercise regularly are generally happier than those who don’t. As a runner, you’ll likely feel more energetic and creative. Running helps you improve your fitness and stamina. As a weight-bearing exercise, running also increases bone density, which can fend off osteoporosis. Weight loss is one of the biggest reasons why people start running. As one of the most vigorous exercises out there, running is an extremely efficient way to burn calories and drop pounds. Running burns about 100 calories per mile for a 150-pound person. Because running also builds muscle mass, your resting metabolism will increase, which means that you’ll burn more calories at rest. If you combine running with a healthy diet, you’ll definitely notice a difference in the way you look and feel. Many people run because they like to socialize and be part of a running community. Running clubs and charity training groups give people the opportunity to meet and train with other people. Some runners participate in local events or travel to race destinations with their running buddies. - http://running.about.com/od/runningforbeginners/a/whatisrunning_2.htm
For me I may not want to, but today I will run. I will run because I am fundraising for the hardest run of my life http://www.gofundme.com/TripleDare and I don’t want to let my supporters down. I will run because I said on social media I was going to do so today. I will run because I have friends meeting me. I will run because I scheduled the time to do so, and not to utilize it would be a waste. And when I am done, I will be glad I did.
I’m very excited to present a Guest Post written by my wonderful husband, Jason.
Jason and the Iron (2012 CrossFit Threshold Open Competition in Toronto)
I recently came across an article entitled, “The Iron”, written by Henry Rollins. For those of you who have never heard of Henry, he is an American spoken word artist, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, activist and musician. In the ‘80s, he fronted the punk band Black Flag and has always been a proponent of straight-edge culture. I’ve seen him speak at Convocation Hall on the University of Toronto St. George campus and listened to many of his spoken word albums. After all this, one thing about Henry became clear to me: the man is a testament to what is achievable through dogged determination, passion and the sheer, unrelenting will to succeed. This is a person whose unfortunate experiences throughout childhood could have just as easily…
Health, fitness, weight loss, weight gain, what’s your journey? What’s your direction?
Today I had a chat with an old friend, an old friend who I have long distance watched change her life.
And she reminded me that this blog served as an inspiration for herself, and at least a few others. And for lacking in updates on that I apologize, lately I have been journaling, but more privately. I will work towards sharing again, more publically. Lately my life has been too unspeakably perfect to share for fear I could somehow tempt the fates to try to jinx this beautiful journey.
But I want to share with you about my friend.. She is a mom first and foremost. She is a fighter, not in the actual term of mixed martial arts, although she is knowledgeable, but she is a fighter in spirit. She is a fierce woman with the courage to change. See about a year or two ago, this woman, she suffered from a bad marriage, a few extra pounds, and just a whole lot of well shit in her life.
Now, well she’s fit and healthy, but most importantly, she’s happy.
I have seen this girl, become a confident woman. I have seen this friend change from a girl who had a kid, to a fierce single mother who takes life by the balls and goes after what she wants. She has truly transformed from a flower to a fighter. She has always been beautiful. She has always been fun. But now she is stunning and she is deep.
This woman has seen pain, and failure, and loss. And she decided instead of letting life shove her down in the mud to go after ever problem she saw in her life. She’s in school and going across the country to a dream school. She is travelling wherever she desires because she promised herself she would. She lost 60 freaking pounds because she knew she deserved to be as sexy on the outside as she has always been on the inside.
I am a terrible friend to have let the details go wayside. And I will honestly say as she struggled I was there for her, but only via facebook as well life happens. This fierce woman she grew flowers in honor for a blog I wrote one day. She took time and then in a weird twist of irony finds herself today in the same position I once was, dealing with the deployment of a loved one. But I don’t fear for her dear reader, I don’t ever question. Because she will be nothing but fierce in the face of trials.
Strength, health, weight loss, change. Everything comes from a decision you make. A decision to go after what you what, what you need. Sometimes in life you fail. Shit happens. Sometimes in life you fail, a lot.
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. – Michael Jordan
You may not get what you aim for. But don’t let that stop you from trying. I used to think about the quote that if you aim for the stars and miss you’ll still end up in the sky. If you dream big, you can take yourself far farther than perhaps you ever fully imagined. But then again, sometimes dreams to come true, sometimes in more real ways than you can ever imagine. Sometimes only pain and failure make you as strong as you need to be to be the success you were meant to become.
Sometimes just sometimes you find out that fairy tales do come true.
So figure out what it is that you seek, and then, go after it. Don’t let anyone, or anything, no matter how hard or how long it takes stop you. And remember sometimes just sometimes the Big guy in the sky may have something even better in store for you. Have faith my friends, and #bloom.
So this blog is a part of a paper I am working on currently, it is raw, it is my basic thoughts, it is the general info, and it’s not gracefully written but here it is..
It is thoughts in my head, it is on the tip of my tongue every day, I repeat it over and over until I am blue in the face. I repeat it at OC Fitness Bootcamp, I repeat it at IB Pilates and Fitness, I repeat it to my clients of Luck’s Personal Training, and I repeat it yet again and again.
You can not crash diet and starve yourself to a thin and healthy body.
If you want to be anorexic – I’m a trainer, a coach, a nutritional guide – I won’t help you and I won’t play party to your mind games.
If you want health and fitness and to have a great athletic healthy toned fit or muscular body, then I would love to help you.
Myth #1 No sugar is better than sugar – no no sugar just means fake cancer causing chemical shitstorm of death. It is low in calories and low calories = thin as we all know but thin does not = healthy.
Myth #2 Atkins/low carb is the way – … the creator died of a heart attack, and if you think you can maintain a healthy life binge eating on hamburger meat, slap yourself and for the love of all that is sensible go eat a high carb (but healthy) carrot until you gain your common sense back
Myth # 3 Not eating is ok as long as you eat 1 healthy meal, sure if you want your body in starvation mode and therefore holding onto every calorie it can in the method of gross wrinkly fat, to live with headaches, mood swings, and breaking down every muscle in your body.
Ladies and gentlemen -
Here it is the way to save you a million dollars on gimmicks, diets, cheap tricks, and repeated failures. .
Wake up – eat a piece of fruit.
Make a lean protein meal – consume it (ideally 20 – 30 minutes post fruit, but 5 minutes later is ok too )
Have a lean lunch with veggies and protein and maybe a complex carb like brown rice or sweet potatoes.
Go back to work or workout.
Have a shake if you’re starving or snack on some raw veggies.
Make a lean high protein, high color splash full of vegetable meal.
Drink a gallon of water a day.
If you can’t pronounce the chemicals in it, don’t eat it.
If it has more than 5 ingredients, its probably all processed crap.
Go workout or at least for a post dinner walk or some form of post dinner activity ( you pick your poison )
Get 8 – 10 hours of sleep or a bare minimum of 6. Your body needs sleep to function to lose weight, to heal, to recover, and to function. Sleep is more important than your workouts. Your workouts are more important than going out at night or that hour of TV. Your family and your faith and your overall happiness are the most important aspect of healthy weight loss.
Be active ( park farther away ), do some pushups, walk the soccer fields while waiting on your kids, do active family activities (hikes, rollerblading, parks, beaches, camping, swimming, mommy and me classes, anything that involves movement), work out at home if you can’t go to the gym, get brave ( tell people your goals ), make a workout partner, and put your money where your mouth is ( spend some money on your commitment whether its new sexy hot yoga pants, or workout gear for your home) .
Your health is the only thing you have once that you hold entirely in your hands, now get out there and make the most of it.
Probably the best words I’ve ever heard from my doctor. In fact some of the best words I’ve heard in my quarter of a century.
But you know what? I’m glad there was a question. I am glad to know who I am as a person. That I was okay because no one is promised tomorrow healthy or not. And I’m grateful for the reminder. I’m grateful for the hundreds of people that reached out to me ( Im still getting to emails), Im grateful for my loved ones who stood by me. The ones who prayed. The ones who cared. The ones who asked for news every day.
I am so grateful.
There’s still a question. I still will go in monthly for the next 6 months for ultrasounds and blood work.
But I am ok. I will be ok. And I learned that the fight, that to believe in God’s healing, and to have faith is truly something to be grateful for. And once again today, I am blessed.
Boom. Breast Cancer. How’s that for a curve-ball life?
I’m not sure where this blog is going exactly or how I will phrase everything, but I feel as a person in the fitness industry its important to share medical and physical challenges with others to give information as it is found.
So yesterday out of nowhere I found out what I thought was normal from my monthly self breast exam, isn’t. And my blood-work taken last week came back with ( close to no vitamin B – maybe a vegan thing) and my red and white blood cells where off the charts abnormal.
I have no family history of breast cancer. I do the Susan B Komen runs and fundraisers – that should put me in the green on karma. I have friends who have fought it, but I honestly can swear I never thought it would be an issue.
It may be just a cyst. It may be a lab error. ( I gave what must have been 2 pints of blood today for more tests) It may be a whole number of things instead of the big huge thing that no one likes to say. They whisper it. They are scared of it. Well that’s not me. Fear is not of God. And I wont have it in my life.
Just this past weekend I looked to my Marine, my love, my better half and I said I could die today and be happy. Its true. I’m not going to die. I’m not even flirting with the idea. But I just want it clear. I’m happy with where I am in my life. I’m proud of what I do for a living. I love the people in my life. I have never been so happy. And nothing is going to scare me and take that away.
So what do I do? I take some B complex. I up my Vitamin D. I eliminate alcohol and caffeine completely. And I embrace the fact Im raw vegan and young and healthy. If this big scary thing of cancer comes my way, its going to have a hell of a fight and it will lose. And high five – Id totally get me some plastic hot boobies!!!! If this turns out to be a scare, a flaw, cystic fibrous, or just a fluke then all the better.
But for now ladies I ask that you educate yourselves on the proper method of self breast exams, that you update yourselves on your full family history, and that you live every day in a manner that you are good with it being your last.
For now I have ultrasounds, mammograms, DNA scans, and blood work appointments galore, but for right now I have a run to go on with my 2 beautiful dogs before I go back to work to GNC, and then to help teach a Fitness Boot camp.
Cancer. Psh.. I have an ultra marathon to run in exactly a month. And for this blog, I apologize dear reader for the mess of grammatical errors and lack of drama or excitement, I’m sure there will be more to come, but I just needed to share a little piece of what this girl is hiding behind her smile. I wish that all of you lived every day like you were dying. I’m not but I always have, and knowing that my life is full and wild and adventurous, and beautifully fulfilled is the greatest blessing any one could ask for, and I hope that all of you find joy and faith also.
One of the many challenges my long-term clients, my fitness friends, my athletic clients, and myself all face is consistent motivation.
What is it that motivates you to drive forward to consistently improve and to maintain?
Well whether its nice and fluffy or not I find that fear and disgust work well.
Think about it? Why is it that you shower every day? Why is it that you take out the trash or do the dishes at home? Why is it that you don’t snort cocaine and don’t drink yourself into oblivion daily?
We all have certain standards. Standards of cleanliness and self expectation. Things that we consider mandatory daily chores for cleanliness and hygiene and safety. Things that we avoid due to common sense and self-respect.
As an American, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your service to our nation. I’ve had the honor of working with many of you during my first 11 months as Surgeon General, and I look forward to strengthening our partnerships to improve the health and well-being of all Americans.
Mr. Chairman, you have been a leader in developing innovative approaches to combat childhood obesity. Thank you for your commitment to the health and well-being of our children. The hearing you have called today will draw further public attention to this growing pediatric health crisis.
As Surgeon General, I welcome this chance to talk with you about a health crisis affecting every state, every city, every community, and every school across our great nation.
The crisis is obesity. It’s the fastest-growing cause of disease and death in America. And it’s completely preventable.
Nearly two out of every three Americans are overweight or obese.
One out of every eight deaths in America is caused by an illness directly related to overweight and obesity.
Think of it this way: statistics tell us that of the 20 members serving on this subcommittee, at least two will die because of a completely preventable illness related to overweight or obesity. Because of overweight or obesity, two of you will spend less time serving your communities and enjoying your children and grandchildren.
America’s children are already seeing the initial consequences of a lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits. Fortunately, there is still time to reverse this dangerous trend in our children’s lives.
Let’s start with the good news: I am pleased to be able to report that most of America’s children are healthy.
Overall, 82 percent of our nation’s 70 million children are in very good or excellent health. Infant mortality is at an all-time low, childhood immunization is at an all-time high. Our children are less likely to smoke, and less likely to give birth as teenagers.
These are important gains in pediatric health.
But the bad news is that an unprecedented number of children are carrying excess body weight. That excess weight significantly increases our kids’ risk factors for a range of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and emotional and mental health problems.
As a father, I work hard to teach my children about the importance of physical activity and healthy eating. Every parent in this room wants the best for their children.
Mr. Chairman, I ask that my statement and the scientific information contained in it be considered as read and made part of the record. In the interest of time, this morning I will present only part of that statement to the subcommittee.
Looking back 40 years to the 1960s, when many of us in this room were children, just over four percent of 6- to 17-year-olds were overweight. Since then, that rate has more than tripled, to over 15 percent. And the problem doesn’t go away when children grow up. Nearly three out of every four overweight teenagers may become overweight adults.
I’m not willing to stand by and let that happen. American children deserve much better than being condemned to a lifetime of serious, costly, and potentially fatal medical complications associated with excess weight. The facts are staggering:
In the year 2000, the total annual cost of obesity in the United States was $117 billion. While extra value meals may save us some change at the counter, they’re costing us billions of dollars in health care and lost productivity. Physical inactivity and super-sized meals are leading to a nation of oversized people.
This year, more than 300,000 Americans will die from illnesses related to overweight and obesity.
Obesity contributes to the number-one cause of death in our nation: heart disease.
Excess weight has also led to an increase in the number of people suffering from Type 2 diabetes. There are at least 17 million Americans with diabetes, and another 16 million have pre-diabetes. Each year, diabetes costs America $132 billion. It can lead to eye diseases, cardiovascular problems, kidney failure, and early death.
Why are we facing this epidemic of overweight and obesity? Over 50 genes associated with obesity have been located in the human gene map. But the ever-increasing problem of overweight among American children cannot be explained away by changes in genetic composition.
Studies conducted by HHS’ National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are already yielding important clues about the multiple factors that contribute to overweight and obesity. Studies are also providing new information about potentially successful interventions.
We know more than ever about the combination of genetic, social, metabolic, and environmental factors that play a role in children’s weight.
But the fundamental reason that our children are overweight is this: Too many children are eating too much and moving too little.
In some cases, solving the problem is as easy as turning off the television and keeping the lid on the cookie jar.
Our children did not create this problem. Adults did. Adults increased the portion size of children’s meals, developed the games and television that children find spellbinding, and chose the sedentary lifestyles that our children emulate. So adults must take the lead in solving this problem.
I’m pleased that businesses like Kraft Foods, Coca Cola, and Nike are supporting major efforts and making significant changes to help kids make healthier choices.
These and other business leaders, foundations, schools and universities across our nation are starting to make a difference in children’s health. I encourage other organizations and every parent in America to join the fight against childhood obesity.
We must teach our children to enjoy healthy foods in healthy portions. As parents, we should never use food as a reward or punishment.
And especially now, during the summer, we need to encourage all children to be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. Not only sports, but simple things like taking the stairs, riding their bikes, and just getting out and playing.
And as we are getting our kids to make healthy choices, we also need to make them for ourselves. James Baldwin captured the essence of this when he said: “Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
I’ll be the first to say it won’t be easy. My wife and I have four kids. I know first-hand that families live such busy lives that it’s tough to prepare healthy meals and have enough time to get in some physical activity.
But it’s so important, because the choices that children make now, the behaviors they learn now, will last a lifetime.
As adults we must lead by example. Personally, I work out every day. I do my best to make healthy choices in all I do. My bosses President Bush and Secretary Thompson also find time to exercise. In fact, Secretary Thompson put the Department of Health and Human Services on a diet and has led by example by losing over 15 pounds.
President Bush, Secretary Thompson, and I have made disease prevention and health promotion a priority in our roles as leaders. As Surgeon General, prevention comes first in everything I do. Prevention is the vision behind the President’sHealthierUS Initiative and the Secretary’s Steps to a HealthierUS Initiative.
One of the many challenges is that there are so many more incentives in our current health care system for treatment than for prevention. When I was a practicing physician in a hospital, I made a good living treating people who could have avoided my hospital entirely if they had made better lifestyle choices.
Benjamin Franklin was absolutely right back in the 1700s: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But more than 200 years later, prevention is still a radical concept to most Americans.
At the Department of Health and Human Services, we’re encouraging healthy habits more than ever through our work to eliminate health disparities; our many initiatives designed to encourage physical activity, healthy eating, and regular checkups; and our nationwide campaigns to discourage smoking and drug and alcohol abuse.
To help promote healthy lifestyles, I am visiting schools across America in my 50 Schools in 50 States Initiative to talk with kids about avoiding drugs and alcohol, avoiding tobacco in every form, being physically active, eating right, and making healthy choices every day.
Each time I’m out on the road, whether at a school or passing through an airport, I meet young people who are making choices that affect their health and well-being. I believe that what they see and hear in the media can have a profound effect on their choices.
Secretary Thompson also appreciates that, and it’s why he focused the Youth Media Campaign on getting young people excited about increasing the physical activity in their lives and on showing parents that physical activity and healthy eating are essential to their children’s well-being.
This week, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports will launch a brand-new Presidential Champions Award. The award encourages a lifetime of activities for children and their parents or other role models.
We need initiatives like the Youth Media Campaign and the Presidential Champions Awards because the average American child spends more than four hours every day watching television, playing video games, or surfing the web. We are seeing a generation of kids who grew up off the playground and on the PlayStation.
We must all work together to help our children lead healthy lives. I caution people against playing the “blame game.” Instead of blaming children for being overweight, we need to encourage them and help them to make healthier choices.
We need physical activity and healthy food choices in every school in America. We need better food choices at affordable prices in every neighborhood in America. And we need community planning that includes neighborhood playgrounds and safe walking paths.
Some people want to blame the food industry for our growing waistlines. The reality is that restaurants, including many fast food restaurants, now offer low-fat, healthy choices.
For the meals we eat at home, and the meals we eat out, it’s still our decision what we eat, where we eat, and how much we eat. That concept is part of what I’m talking about with Americans of all ages: increasing our health literacy.
Health literacy is the ability of an individual to access, understand, and use health-related information and services to make appropriate health decisions.
Low health literacy contributes to our nation’s epidemic of overweight and obesity. For example, some mothers are unaware that they can promote their baby’s health through breastfeeding. Experience with my own patients and students indicates that many Americans don’t understand the impact of caloric intake versus expenditure.
Every morning people wake up and, while they’re sitting at the kitchen table, they read the newspaper and the cereal box. Throughout the day they read the nutritional information on their meals and on their snacks. But do they really understand the information they’re reading?
The labels list grams of fat. But do you know how many grams of fat you should eat in a meal? Or in a day? Or how many is too many? Or too few? These are seemingly simple questions, but we’re not giving Americans simple answers.
Parents are hearing about overweight and obesity. So they’re trying to figure out how much food they should feed their children. How much is too much? How much is not enough? They’re concerned and confused about everything from calories and carbohydrates, to vitamins and portion sizes.
When children are growing and developing, a restrictive diet may not be the best choice for every child. Just as with adults, one diet does not fit every child.
As parents, we know that. But when we see a child gaining weight and not exercising enough, we see the social and psychological pain it causes. When we see a child’s self-esteem drop by the day because she’s left out of schoolyard games, or because he just can’t keep up with the other kids on their bikes, we know that we need to help that child.
I’m pleased to hear from parents and pediatricians that moms and dads are asking about how to establish healthy eating habits for kids.
Parents should always talk to a pediatrician or family physician before putting any child on a diet or beginning any vigorous exercise plan.
The reality is that often, if a child is overweight but still gaining height, the best thing parents can do is maintain the child’s weight. Kids come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes a child just needs a little more physical activity and a little less food intake. Again, it’s not about blame — it’s about balance.
And to make healthy choices, parents and children need easy-to-understand information that fits into their busy lifestyles. All of us — government, academia, health care professionals, businesses, schools, and communities — need to work together to ensure that straightforward information about healthy eating and physical activity is available.
For example, Secretary Thompson announced last week that food labels will list trans fat content. By putting trans fat information on food labels, we’re giving American families information to make smart choices to lower their intake of these unhealthy fats.
The food pyramid is another great example. It’s probably the most-recognized nutrition guideline tool in America. HHS is looking forward to working with the Department of Agriculture to evaluate and update the food pyramid based on the latest scientific evidence.
I don’t have all the answers today. But we can figure this out together. We can increase health literacy and reduce childhood obesity. Secretary Thompson has been a pioneer in getting prevention into the American mindset. We’re starting to see some results, and we need your help. As members of Congress, as members of your communities, and as parents, you are role models and leaders.
As Surgeon General, I charge you to make healthy personal choices in your own lives, and to set good examples for all the children around you.
And I ask you to work with me to support our efforts to improve Americans’ health literacy, to put prevention first, and to end our nation’s obesity epidemic before it has a chance to reach into another generation of Americans.
Thank you. I would be happy to answer any questions.”
How Many People Die From Obesity Each Year? – Shockingly Hundreds Per Day! By Tynan Slade
How many people die from obesity each year? It is difficult to pin an exact number on this scenario because the numbers are increasing at a disturbing rate each year.
However, research shows that in the US alone obesity related illnesses claim over 850 lives a day and over 300,000 lives each year
… and this is just the average.
Obesity is not directly related to the cause of death. Obesity is a disorder that leads to other health issues and finally death occurs when this problem of overweight is not controlled or cured.
Which brings us to the question about the existence of a cure for obesity. Scientists are still trying to figure out the causes of obesity.
While there are medical procedures to control this disorder there is no real cure. Fighting obesity is a life long process and thankfully it is not as difficult as millions of people seem to believe.
When we consider how many people die from obesity each year we must also know that this number should not be so high considering that there are a good many ways to control obesity and reduce weight so as not to contribute personally to the statistics of this disease.
A little knowledge could bring these numbers down to a minimum.
Researchers know how many people die from obesity each year and they are trying their best to find a cure for this disorder.
However, they have managed to come up with a plan to help people educate themselves and control this disorder and live normal lives.
Just a little knowledge and millions of people will ward off obesity effectively and live longer and healthier lives.
Good eating habits and regular exercise will put one in a position to answer the question “how to cure obesity?” fearlessly knowing they are not going to be on the casualty list.
I invite you to learn more about exercise and fitness using eliptical machines [http://www.elipticalmachinereview.com/] so click on my website [http://www.elipticalmachinereview.com/] and learn how to win the fight against obesity. This is a fight you can win if you choose to!
You take care of everything else in your life from your children to your home to your diet because you care.
If you care about yourself and your life. How is it that you can even hesistate to care about your fitness. Think abut your health. Do you appreciate it? What would you lose if you lost it?
Medical professionals and fitness experts advocate exercise as a way to maintain and build health. You reverse the benefits of exercise when you stop working out, and you never build up fitness and endurance if you never exercise at all. Starting a workout regimen is harder after a long period of inactivity, but you’ll see immediate benefits to your body.Weight and Blood PressureSome of the primary benefits of exercise include maintaining a healthy weight and regulating blood pressure. When you do not move, from either choice or due to injury, you burn fewer calories each day. An excess of just 500 calories per day translates into a weight gain of 1 lb. per week or 4 lbs. per month. When you gain weight, you have an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Being overweight makes exercise harder because you stress your joints more when you run or jog.
Bones and Strength
Sitting around or lying around all day makes you weak. Unless you continuously use the major muscle groups in your body, they do not strengthen. If you are older, you lose the battle against muscle atrophy or wasting with every year that passes. Bones also lose density with age, and lack of weight-bearing exercise plays a role in osteoporosis, or brittle bones. Your body responds to the demands you put on it, and if your do not exercise, your muscles and bones weaken with time.
Just walking up a flight of stairs can make you short of breath if you are out of shape. Lack of exercise can lead to a lack of energy and endurance. The listlessness you feel further dissuades you from engaging in physical activity, and the vicious circle continues. Breaking a long period of inactivity is not easy, particularly if you are overweight or have a medical condition. Starting slow with just a few minutes of walking gets you moving safely.
Lack of exercise can lead to a lessened sense of well-being. Your body loses muscle tone and strength and your self-esteem can suffer as a result. Weight gain might lead to social isolation and bad eating habits. Vigorous aerobic exercise such as swimming or running stimulates your body to release endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers that help elevate your mood. Resuming physical activity benefits your mental health as well as you physical health.
Excuse my absence. I have been head over heels lost in such a whirlwind of joy.
My Marine, my oak, my love returned home safely.
A trip to Atlanta, Costa Rica, and Vegas and here I am just finding my groove in a new job and in our home again.
In the land of social media as it’s the month of November and Thanksgiving I am seeing the constant updates of things people are thankful for, and I feel a little off I haven’t participated. Although it is a core of who I am to take time to give thanks. I really think if there’s any aspect of my life I could expand on, giving thanks and being appreciative isn’t one I could ever get tired of adding too.
I am so blessed. Here I sit, warm drinking Costa Rica coffee made in my Keurig my Sparrow gave me. I am comfortable, I only work a part day today. I took most of yesterday off to clean and catch up on errands. My house is, ideally really close to how I want it. Although I could use some of my DG sister’s decor lessons and ability to turn everything into fabulous it is home.
I can’t explain the feeling of living in a home you own. Well my Marine owns it. But it is as much mine as his. And that feeling is phenomenal too. To have a partner, who is legally just a boyfriend and under no obligation to do anything for you take the burden of supporting you to help you find a job that brings you joy and fulfillment. To whisk you away on surprise foreign trips. To take you home to family. To share his friends, his family, and his work and social life in every aspect with you. This home isn’t just a California beach condo, it isn’t just a love shack, it isn’t a money sink hole (well maybe a little). But it is a home like I haven’t felt since I lived with my parents. A place of good and bad, but a place of unconditional love, grounding, and family.
I am first and foremost thankful for my faith. Recently my Marine and I have gotten in the maybe juvenile but I believe wholesome habit of praying at least 4 times a day, before every meal and before bed. And yes we trade on who is doing it. But I believe with practice comes perfect and more prayer seems to equate a closer walk with God, more communication, more love, and for us it seems to be working well.
I am so thankful for my family in every corner from my parents as my relationship with my mother in my mid twenties has blossomed from the turbulence of my teens to a connection of a best friend who always has amazing advice in every aspect and I don’t resent her for it even a little. To my rock with my father who has begun to for the first time ever connect with a man in my life in my Marine. I think they talk as often if not more than I do and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I am thankful for my non blood family from my Marine and his family – who make me the happiest girl in the world. Make me feel like family and welcome me to their homes. To my first running buddy in the world who maintains a long distance friendship with me – cheers my Barbie to over a decade of running and friendship and beer. To my sunflower who flexes right now under the wind, yet never fails to bring joy into the life of everyone that sees her. I have new friends and old. Friends that are maybe not blood but they are family. From my DG, to my nurse, to my sunflower and to the many more… I am thankful for you all.
I am so over the top grateful for my newest addition in the home ( no not the gorgeous couch although I like that too) but for our new pooch. She brings so much joy and companionship..
I am excited about my new job, just currently praying it develops the way I want it to…
So much has been given to me. So much unexpected and glorious. From positive turns in my health, to better than imagined opportunities in our home, to dream vacations being throw in front of me. My life is a whirlwind right now one of joy.
I have seen so much, good and bad in a short life. And I write this note of thanksgiving pre birthday because I feel that I have been granted with more than people twice my age. My only hope is that I can bring the joy and happiness back to those who give me so much. .