Remembering What’s Important

Hellloooooo!   Anyone still reading?

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my last post!  The last anyone had heard from me, I had started training for a fitness competition.  Stepping on stage has been a dream of mine for over a decade.  I mean, who doesn’t dream about stepping on stage wearing nothing but a bikini and a set of clear, high heels?  Anyone?  Anyone??  Surely, the girl who ran off stage during her ballet recital when she couldn’t find her family in the audience, at the tender age of 6, would want to do it all over again, except this time half-naked.  It totally makes sense for the girl who hates standing in front of a room fully clothed to gallivant on stage for the entire world audience to see any imperfection, right?  Well, for whatever reason, I’ve had the itch to compete in a show for years.

I thought the time was finally right for me.  I found a great coach and started training.  I was seeing noticeable improvements from week to week, sometimes even daily.  I ate my planned and pre-packed meals in the middle of car rides with my boyfriend and special events with family.  I was waking up ridiculously early, even on weekends, to fit in all of my training.   This is what you must do if you want to compete.  If it’s truly your dream you’ll make it happen, I kept telling myself.

In this same span of time work was becoming absolutely nutzo.  By the end of my very long days I was extremely irritable.  Poor Rob was walking on egg shells, especially when I almost ripped his head off one night when I couldn’t find my precious rice cakes.  RICE CAKES!  Not even the yummy flavored ones; rather the plain, tasteless ones, because they have less carbs.  If you knew me you’d know how so completely out of my nature it is for me to speak louder than barely more than a whisper.  Between being abused (not physically) at work and the demands of training I was turning into someone I really didn’t like.  I became highly stressed and with stress I fall back to old habits. 

We all know what this bad habit of mine is, right?  My eating disorder (we’ll call it ED), which I’ve been battling since college.  I thought I had gotten past it, but ED quickly reared his ugly head when all of the stress overwhelmed me.  I then began swimming in a sea of depression and shame, along with the stress that had overtaken my life.  Rob came home to me one night just sitting in bed, staring at a blank tv screen with tears streaming down my cheeks.  Something had to change!

So, after weeks of this depression and many tears being shed silently, a random text of love from my mother and then a call to her the next day became a turning point for me.  Mothers are good like that, aren’t they?  Somehow, they can make just about anything better.  I let my struggles all out to her, as I sat in my car, parked outside of the gym.  The night before I had pulled all of my old nutrition, diet and cookbooks out from the attic and sat utterly confused with them surrounding me.  I didn’t know how to break the cycle.  What made me panic even more is my sister’s upcoming wedding.  It wasn’t only having to fit into the maid of honor dress, but also the fact that I didn’t want to be Debbie Downer at every special moment along the way for her.

After the talk with my mom, I wiped the tears from my face with a new sense of confidence in myself.  I walked into the gym to work out, but not to do the workout that I had originally planned for myself.  This time I was walking into the gym to work out for good health, not to hit 15% body fat or to wear a bikini on stage.  Life is so much more than the hours you put into the gym or eating perfectly clean every day!

I had burrowed so deep into all of the negatives that I forgot about all of the positive things in my life.  I even forgot the reason I started to blog and what my blog really meant to me.  We all know I’m a perfectionist.  When I’m not “perfect” at something I see myself as a failure.  I don’t look at others in that same light.  To my friends, family and even strangers I am very forgiving.  I am my very own worst critic.  For almost a lifetime I allowed the need to be perfect to dictate how I lived my life.  For as long as I can remember, my weight had been a focal point for me.  I thought that if I could just get that part of my life right everything else would fall into place.  I would be happy.  We all know that isn’t the case though, right?

When did just living a healthy life become not good enough, in my eyes?  Why go to extremes that are unmanageable and only cause unnecessary stress?  I don’t know why, when or how I got to the point that I did.  Maybe it was wanting to give the royal “F-You! Look what became of me!” to the bullies that tormented me throughout my school years.  Do they even matter now?  Will it change the torture they put me through?  The answer to both questions is obviously NO”.  Is it trying to prove something to the father who never made me feel good enough growing up?  The same father who left our family and my mom holding the bag to take care of their five children?  Possibly.  Somehow, he’d find a way to diminish the accomplishment, even if I won the entire competition.  That’s just how he rolls.

I started my blog because I knew there were others out there going through the same issues as myself.  I wanted to take a step back, look at my life and all of the good things that fill it and not focus on trying to be “perfect”.  I mean, what is perfect anyway?  Even when you see someone who looks completely put together, you never know what issues they might be facing beneath their smile.  The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

I wanted to fulfill all areas of my life and start truly living because I spent way too many years sidelined by ED.

It’s taken me a long time, my friends, but I see that balance, not perfection, is where it is at.  If you strive to eat healthy most of the time, get a few good sweat sessions in to get the ol’ ticker working, and lift some iron you’ll be able to fully enjoy the treats you allow yourself some of the time. 

Most importantly, this should only be a small part of your focus in life.  Family, friends, love, laughter and new experiences are really what life is all about. 

Perfection doesn’t equal happiness.  Many times striving for it leads to more frustration and demise than anything else.  Try living life imperfectly and you’ll find that it is absolutely perfect as is.  I’m so glad that I am back on track and remember what’s truly important.

Happy Friday!

<3

Kim

A Sea of Red & Berry

Hi There, Friends!

  Happy Valentine’s Day!

My office is a sea of red and berry colors today.  I didn’t realize it would be such a big deal here, but most of the girls in my office added a splash of V-Day color to their outfit choice for today.  Yep, I was one of them.

  It was actually cute to see and reminded me of my elementary school days.

Know what else reminded me of those days so long ago? Some of these:

Dunkin Donuts "Cupid's Choice Heart Shaped Donuts"

 Back in the day, all you got were these regular ol’ donuts though.

As cute as they were, heart-shaped or not, there was no way one of those suckers was going anywhere near my mouth. ;)

If you know me, you know how much I love tradition.  I tend to live in the past, at times.  I find comfort there because I felt quite safe as a child aside from those school bullies I had to tend with from time to time.  So, the donuts reminded me of a happy time and put a smile on my face as I heated up my oatmeal and grabbed a mug of the worst coffee.

Normally, a donut as a treat would be perfectly fine.  However, remember, I’m only one week into my new nutrition and training program and want to stay on track.  I have 16 weeks to transform myself into my goal image….a bikini model.  It just so happens that 2 days after my 16 weeks are over there’s a fitness competition a few hour drive away.  Hmmm….let’s just say the wheels are turning. ;)

I may not have started my Valentine’s Day off with one of these hearts… 

However, I ate something just as yummy that’s good for this heart of mine.

My new favorite breakfast go-to is a mixture of oatmeal and egg whites (mixed before cooking), topped with blueberries which I soaked in caramel flavored flaxseed oil & sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon and ginger.

Mmmm….That’s a hot bowl of hearty goodness!  So good and so good for you!  It makes my belly happy and keeps me full for hours!

Fitness Program Check-In:

  • NutritionON!  Would you believe the hardest part for me is fitting all of my meals in over the weekend?  True, true!  I even packed all of my meals up for the day and just couldn’t do it.  I’ll have to work on that next weekend. Not a bad problem to have, huh?
  • Workouts – ON!  I’m even a day ahead of schedule this week. :)
  • Results - I think the best part of this is that I’m feeding my body what it truly needs and not starving it.  I haven’t had any disordered eating problems AT ALL over the week, which is one of the best possible things for me to experience.  I also happen to be down two pounds and my jeans are falling off me.  Rob continues to tell me that I no longer have a butt.  Believe me, it’s there.  It just doesn’t take up as much space as it used to. ;)  All in all, a great first week!

With that, I must run to do that thing we call work.  I can’t wait for the day that mypassions and my work to merge to become one.  That day is getting closer, my friends. :)

Do you have any special plans for Valentine’s Day? Rob and I decided we will celebrate over the weekend instead of trying to cram everything in after work tonight.  Tonight I’m just going to make him a special dinner and cuddle on the couch watching our shows.

Sending lots of love your way! 

<3

Kim

Breaking My Fresh Start on a Monday Ritual

Hi There!

We’ve made it to the middle of the week my friends.  Just a few more days until the weekend and I can’t wait!  There’s nothing particularly special planned, at least that I’m aware of, but I always look forward to spending some down time with Rob.  It’s the little things, like being able to grab some Starbucks together and go for a drive.  Those are the times that I enjoy most.

I Love Every Moment With This Guy

He Makes Me Smile

Moving along….

It’s the second day of my new program and I love it!  I received my program Monday evening and started scouring through all of the information immediately.  Let me tell ya, it was a lot to take in.  I jotted down what I needed for the following morning and was up and at ‘em first thing to get my workout in.

Rob thought I was a nut because I was up even earlier than usual to fit everything in.  I really think this is a great, healthy and well structured program that will keep me on track to reach my fitness goals.  I’m looking forward to the transformation to unfold before my eyes.  Wouldn’t it be nice if it happened as easily as I just stated?  ;) 

It’s going to take a lot of hard work and discipline, but this is my dream, right?  Sometimes, you have to sacrifice to get the end result you’re hoping for.

Normally, I like to start new routines on Mondays. 

I guess it’s the feeling that you’re starting along with a new work week.  The slate is wiped clean and you’re ready for a fresh start.  It’s become a ritual of mine for the past decade or so. 

When I received my program on Monday night I told myself that this time was going to be different.  Life doesn’t wait for the right moment to make things happen and neither was I!  I wasn’t going to wait an ENTIRE week just so I could begin my new journey on a Monday.  No sir!  Now, when Monday comes around again I’ll already be 7 days closer to my goal than if I had waited.  Sounds good to me!

Now, it’s just about time to get back to work.  I don’t know how I’m not falling asleep at my desk right now.  Between the gray weather, the early mornings, the late to beds and kicking booty in my workouts I’m wiped out!

Do you have any rituals with starting something new in your life?

Have a great day!

<3

Kim

I’m On Fire

Good Morning Friends!

How’s this Monday treating you so far?  So far, so good in my neck of the woods.  It’s a beautiful sunny day here in NY.  It would be perfect if it weren’t quite so chilly.  I keep reminding myself of what we went through last year with all of the snow, so I’ll definitely take some cold instead of mounds of the white stuff that dominated our area last winter.

I have to tell you that I have a fire lit within me.  It’s been building up since last week when two wonderful opportunities fell into place for me.  I don’t know how to contain all of the energy that’s building up inside right now.  I have an inkling that I better reserve it for the workouts that I’m sure will be kicking my booty in the very near future. ;)

As I mentioned in my last post, I think I found a wonderful trainer who is going to help me FINALLY reach my fitness goals.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m healthier and happier than I’ve been in years.  I wasn’t lying when I created my original goals for the new year.  For me, this new goal is about challenging myself.  Like I said in my new year goals, this year is all about working on my health & fitness.  I’m looking to bring some consistency to my fitness routine and drive myself to be a better version of myself.  I’m not looking to see a certain number on the scale; however, if I should shed a few lbs I’m not going to complain.  I want to see how far I can push myself and bring my body to a new fitness level.  Of course, I want to do this in the healthiest way possible, which is why I took to twitter to find the best of the best.  By the way, social media is amazing!  How did we ever get by without it? ;)

You may also remember that my goals included “Make a dream come true“.  I didn’t elaborate at the time, but this was one of them.

Now, you may be wondering what the second opportunity is.  Am I right?  Am I? Am I?  :) 

The second opportunity will actually make a second dream of mine a reality.  Man, second month into the new year and I’m crossing things off that list of mine!!

Well, for just about a year I’ve had my eyes set on the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), but it just didn’t seem to be in the cards for me financially.  Between the car accidents, moving, leasing a new car and other random expenses my dream kept getting pushed to the wayside.

The fabulous Nicole from Making Good Choices became my inspiration.  After graduating from IIN she left her job as a teacher to follow her passion.  She has stayed in touch with me ever since and has reminded me that it was a possibility for me too.  Recently, she contacted me about an opportunity that I might be interested in.  With Rob’s help I was able to take that opportunity and finally make my dream of getting my health coach certification a reality. Yay!

PS: Nicole, not sure if you know it, but your simple statement that you were happy and I could be too is what sealed the deal for me.  I knew it was the right decision when I was stuck at work late on a Friday AGAIN and not getting paid for it. I made the phone call as soon as I got home Friday night. :)

Fun Lil Fact About Me: Going away to college my freshman year, I had wanted to major in nutrition.  My parents thought that weight/nutrition was already too much a part of my life and steered me in a different direction.  Being the goody-two-shoes pleaser that I am I listened.  My parents didn’t do it to hurt me. They truthfully thought it was the best decision for me not to go into the field.  I’ve been kicking myself ever since for not being strong enough to follow my dreams. 

Well, friends, I’m finally back on track.  I feel like I’m on the path to what I was truly meant to do in life.  Now, maybe you can understand why my heart feels like it just might burst with all of this pent-up energy.

The next year is going to be filled with challenges and a lot of hard work, but I’m ready for it!  I just keep visualizing the journey and what the outcome is going to be.  Nothing is going to get in my way.  I’m On Fire!

Wishing you a wonderful week!

<3

Kim

16 Weeks

Hi Friends!

I know it’s been a while. As great of an idea as it is to bring my laptop to work and blog during lunch it only works when I actually get to take my lunch break, which hasn’t been often, recently. :(

Our computer network has been down for about an hour so I figured it was as good of a time as any to actually take my break today. Want to know what’s even better? The weather is GORGEOUS today! GORGEOUS!!

Today has been pretty positive, aside from the muttering at my desk.  You see, with the system being down, I’m unable to finish a ton of reports that need to be sent out. It’s annoying enough that the system is down, but to top it off I’ve already done these reports once before and our system didn’t have the most up to date information downloaded. I’m not talking about 1 or 2 reports. I’m talking more than 50. Sigh….

Ok, back to the positive. My day began with an awesome sweat session at the gym. I knocked out some cardio and then rocked a weight workout. My face was glistening by the time it was over and done with. Just how I like it!

Over the past week I’ve been rethinking my goals. A few months ago I mentioned wanting to step on stage for a fitness competition and after a bad experience with a trainer I decided to put the goal on the backburner. I took some time to be more balanced and focus on health, opposed to achieving a certain weight/fitness goal.

Well, the itch to achieve that forever dream of mine has been hitting me pretty strong recently. Over the weekend I tweeted to find out how to get connected with a trainer who has competition experience. Through another fitness competitor I found my answer.

I reached out to her recommended trainer last night and received not only quick feedback, but detailed. I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but I continued to get candy coated answers with the last trainer I was using and I was becoming extremely frustrated. I loved that the trainer who responded to me gave feedback, point-by-point, in response to the questions I asked of her. She won major points in my eyes just from one e-mail. She also showed concern as far as what was best for me (Ex: what worked out financially). She would help me make it work depending on what I had to work with. Bonus points for her!

I spoke to Rob about it last night. I believe I began the conversation with “Do you think you’ll kill me if I decided I want to compete again?” LOL. There might have been some eye rolling and the mention that maybe I should just get a dog, but in the end he supports me know matter what I decide to do. He just wants me to be healthy and happy. I might have mentioned to him that they have a couples program, but he exclaimed that after seeing how I workout he wants nothing to do with it. Ha-ha. Hey, go hard or go home, right? ;)

So, after Rob went to bed, I was up until the wee hours of the morning looking over the trainer’s website and the transformation stories there. Before my head hit the pillow I knew what I was going to do. I just had to see what the trainer suggested as to how many weeks it would take me to make the transformation I am looking for.

16 Weeks…

Are you ready to take the ride with me?  I’m so looking forward to seeing the end result!

Hope your first month in the new year got off to a great start for you.  Let’s make the 2nd month even better!! Have any of your goals/resolutions changed now that we’re a month into 2012?  Tell me.  I want to know. :)

<3

Kim

The Best Boyfriend EVER

Hey Guys!

How are you?  I don’t know about you, but our office was closed yesterday for the Martin Luther King holiday.  So, this gray, rainy, cold fine lookin’ Tuesday is my Monday.  There are meetings galore scheduled for this week, so I’ve been a busy girl scheduling caterers, creating reports and making booklets.  At leat the day is moving along quickly.

I had a ton of stuff on my “to do” list for this weekend,

However, there was a change in my plans when I caught wind of something going on back home in CT.  I could have done some stuff right from NY, but I felt that it was necessary that I make the drive to support my loved ones.  I was nervous to talk about an issue at hand and knew that being able to sit next to the person while I said it would make things better.  Rob agreed.  It was emotionally stressing, but it was the best thing to do.  Now, we have the ball rolling and I hope the right decisions are made.  Sorry to be so vague.  Everything is ok though. :)

Alas, my “to dos” just weren’t meant to be.  I did however check the #1 “To Do” off of my list and that’s really what’s most important, right? ;)

What was #1 you ask?

  1. Stop wearing my youngest sister’s, friend’s old winter coat. Get a new, warmer winter coat!

You can’t see too much of it in this picture, but at least there’s a little tidbit to show ya.

Rob actually had to force me to get it and he couldn’t have timed it better!  We got it Saturday afternoon, right before the deep chill hit that evening. Brrrr!!!!  The jacket has been keeping me nice ‘n’ toasty ever since!

Rob must have felt he needed to be deemed as the “Best Boyfriend EVER”, because he later took me to the mall, where he spoiled treated me to this fabulous Michael Kors iPhone case.Michael Kors has been an expensive lil obsession of mine lately.  I seem to be drawn to anything M.K. without knowing it’s part of the M.K. collection, until seeing the tag. 

Hey, at least I know I like it for the right reason, instead of just the label, right?  ;)

We made it home, unwound a bit, Rob’s parents stopped over for a lil while and then we ran back out into the deep freeze to catch a movie.

We both liked it!

Then, being the old folks that we are, we headed home to watch tv from the comfort of our bed.

Saturday was the perfect day together.  I may be biased, but to me Rob really is the best boyfriend EVER (yes, caps are necessary).  Not only is he thoughtful and caring, but he’s extremely supportive of me.  I know that my mom must be thankful for me to be with him, especially when she’s not there to wipe away the tears or give me a hug the way she would in certain situations.

Sunday morning I headed out early to make my way to CT.  Before getting on the highway, I made a vital pit stop at Starbucks for my beloved Awake Tea.  Let me tell ya, a Venti size was necessary (it almost always is for me).

Venti Please

Gotta Love The First Sip

 Focusing on My Journey Ahead

All in all, the ride wasn’t bad.  I must have timed it just right, because there was no traffic.  SCORE!!

I was happy to visit with my mom, one of my sister’s, my sister’s boyfriend and their puppy, Oliver. Aside from the issue at hand, it was a great visit.  There’s never enough time with family for me.

Now, I really must get back to work, but I wish you a great week ahead and hope that your weekend was wonderful!

<3

Kim

Eerie Office Quietness

Hello My Friends,

Is it as gray and chilly by you as it is me?  My entire commute to work was a horror show, due to the extreme downpour that ensued as soon as I pulled out of my driveway.  Sad smile  At one point I thought that I was going to have to pull over and wait it out.  Fortunately, just when I was making my decision the rain began to slow down and I managed to drive all the way through.

It seemed that there were a number of commuters who most definitely should have pulled over during their ride.  There were quite a few accidents along my route, including a 4 car accident that held me up for a while.  You know how much I hate traffic, right?  Errr….  No matter how annoyed I am with traffic, whenever I see an accident the only thing I think about are wishes that everyone involved is ok.  After the two accidents I had last year, within a month of each other to boot, I know how scary, frustrating and upsetting it can be.

I took my time, enjoying my freshly brewed coffee and listening to my favorite morning show.  Other than the traffic (and the fact that I was driving to work and not someplace more fun) I was in a pretty pleasant mood.  I had even allowed myself to sleep in this morning and skip the gym, because I’ve been SO tired lately and my body needed a rest.  With ample sleep and a belly full of coffee I eventually made it to the office, safe and sound. Smile

The office became unusually quiet by the end of the day yesterday.  If you only knew how crazy it usually is in that place you’d know the quiet can be quite eerie.  That same quietness seems to have trickled into today.  Others have actually come to my desk to comment on it.  It’s really quite strange, but I’m not going to complain knowing that next week is going to be absolutely nuts with meetings and travel planning.  I’ll take advantage while I can!

I’ve been thinking of some things that I’d like to share with you.  Hopefully, I’ll have some time this weekend to write them out the way that I’d like.  I feel like I’m always rushing to post and don’t get as much time as I’d like to look things over and add well-rounded content.

Currently there’s no internet access available where I’m blogging from, so I’m unable to reply to some comments that I saw yesterday. I promise to get back to you ASAP and think there might even be a post stemming off of one of the questions I received. Smile

I was also looking forward to reading some of my favorite blogs, but that obviously isn’t an option either.  Boo!  The good news is I remembered to bring my kindle with me and I’m going to spend the remainder of my break immersing myself in another world.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love to read?  It’s always been one of my favorite things to do.  Unfortunately, as I’ve gotten older I’ve had less time for it.  I’m working on that though.  It’s one of my goals this year, remember?

Other than that, not too much else to report.  I’m not sure when the internet will be back up so I can actually post this, but I wanted to be sure to stop in and say hello before the day got away from me.  I hope this finds you well and that this week ends on a high point for you.  I’m getting ready to do my Friday Morning Happy Dance…..only about 16 more hours to go. Winking smile

Anything unusual happening at your office today?

<3

Kim