Do You Downsize Your Dream?

Do you have BIG dreams? The kind which scare you and make you wonder if they are even possible…

Do you dream BIG for a moment and before the thought even finishes, you have found 100 different reasons it won’t happen?

There was a time (pre-MS brain fog) when I would DREAM BIG of having my own business where I was financially stable (no debt) , I could make my own hours and do what I wanted, when I wanted.  The dream soon became reality – or at least a little bit.  I have my own business where I make my own hours and am slowly becoming debt-free but I have downsized those dreams.

WHY?

For me, it is more about health issues.  I dreamed of promoting in Thirty One, of being part of the Gives Council BUT over the last year or so, I have begun to accept some things.  Traveling is more difficult.  Processing thoughts is a struggle most days.  My memory is just not what it used to be.  Some would say I settled.  Others would say I am realistic.  I am happy where I am, enjoying the moment.

Do You Dream BIG?

The truth is most people downsize their dreams out of fear. Fear of criticism. Fear of failure. Fear of success and doubts about whether they can keep it up. It’s risky to dream big. The truth is, the real risk is living small. It’s getting to the end of your life and realizing so much more was possible, if only you had been willing to listen to – and pursue – the desires of your heart.

What’s your real dream? Not the dream you’ve downsized so it feels more manageable, but the true desire of your heart. Too often, we surrender to fear and settle for something less than what we really want. We even try to convince ourselves we don’t want what we want. But it’s useless. You can try to bury your dream, but it doesn’t mean it will die.

One of the most powerful decisions successful women make is this:

I do not downsize my dream.

Whether it is a vision of being debt-free and financially independent or a career calling you or a fitness goal – be bold enough to declare your real dream and go after it. Persist. Do the hard work. Be willing to face disapproval or the criticism of others. In doing so, you will be true to yourself and set the stage for creating a life which is an authentic adventure of meaningful experiences.

Don’t judge other’s dreams or even when they change their dreams.  Don’t compare yourself to others if you have similar dreams or goals.  These are the thoughts which will keep you dreaming small or not dreaming at all.  They will keep you from living the life you were meant to have.

What is YOUR big dream?  Share it with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Is Impatience Your Problem? –

Patience can be developed with practice. 

As a recovering addict, patience has not been one of my strong points.  Sure I had patience (most of the time) with my daughter as a single mom BUT not when it came to other things it was non-existant.

What about you?  Is there a goal or desire are you rushing toward? What is the one thing in your life you just can’t wait to see happen?  I’m usually an “instant gratification” person but I’m working on changing which takes time (and patience).  Are you getting the vicious circle?  LOL.  It is usually the thing we want the most which take the longest like the struggle to reach your goal weight.

And while we’re waiting for things to happen, we are usually tempted to make things happen — we want the magic wand for things to happen NOW!  In most cases, the solution we find to the problem or desire is not a perfect fit and as a result we muck things up.  We get a SMACK to remind us it is time to practice patience!

The truth is a lack of patience is often a sign of fear and those inner gremlins called fear are waiting to squash your  goals and desires.  We want what we want now!  I know I am not alone, right?   We get anxious and worried then begin pushing for things to happen before their time (remember it is His time, not ours).  We need to learn to slow down.  We need to trust.  We need to breathe. Patience is an act of faith, even when we don’t know when or how things will work out.

Here are four key areas of your life where you may need to practice more patience…

Relationships

Are you short-tempered with people? Does waiting in line at the store irritate you?  Do you get impatient with someone who is trying to do something especially when they don’t live up to your expectations?  Are you scared your dream relationship will never happen?  If you are single, have you pushed a relationship to be “serious” when it may not have been meant to be.  Why?  Because you fear someone special won’t come along, or maybe you think you’re getting too old to get married, or your choices are limited so you are tempted to marry the wrong person.   Love happens when you least expect.  I was one of those who always rushed a relationship.  It was when I made the decision to let things happen it did.  In fact, I told hubby I didn’t want a relationship.  Here we are almost 16 years later and still together.  Don’t rush into things.  Be patient. Trust. I am a definite believer of when you relax about things, the door to love (and other things) will open. Are you willing to wait?

Work

Patience was a lot tougher when I worked in an office. I found my lack of patience sabotaged my relationships with coworkers and clients who came into the office.  Now with my own business, on days I have no patience, my relationships with my customers are in jeopardy.  I was a job-hopper for many years because I thought it was the way to advance in my career.  Then in recovery, I learned some patience and VIOLA things changed.  I worked for 9 years at the Aids Alliance before moving into a consultant position. Then I was with Bethel for about 7 years – both of these long term positions allowed me to put my skills to use.  Is your job hopping depriving you of the chance to let you sparkle?

Finances

The lack of patience and the need for instant gratification leads to consumer debt.  For those, with no patience, we also tend to have a sense of entitlement because we think we deserve things even if we can’t afford them.  The result is we rack up credit card debt instead of saving for things we really want.    Yup, I have been guilty of this which is another part of my addictive personality. We often play the comparison game too.  We want to be like everyone else but never realize we are probably comparing their end to our beginning or middle.  When you have a little patience in fulfilling material desires, you might be able rein in your spending.

Health

If there is one thing which takes patience and perseverance, it’s eating healthy and exercising. It took me 7 years to reach my goal weight and it takes LOTS of perseverance to maintain it.  I lost and gained the same weight many times because I wanted the quick fix.  It wasn’t until I joined Weight Watchers where I learned patience.  The results were slow and steady and before long the changes were noticeable!   Are you looking for shortcuts to good health? There aren’t any. Make a commitment to start making one change on at a time and you’ll build up good habits which lead to good health and better looks.

This week I challenge you to practice patience in an area of your life where you are struggling.  What are you afraid will happen if you are patient instead of racing to the goal line?  Practice patience. Good things do come to those who wait.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Paralyzed by Perfection?

How many of you are paralyzed by perfection?  The perfect weight?  The perfect size? The perfect business?  The perfect house?  Being the perfect mom?  I have been there and some days still am….

Here is a post I saw which made me realize on most days despite my best efforts, I am “stuck” worrying about perfection….

I would tell you I wasn’t staring at him, but I’d be lying. He immediately caught my attention as he wheeled himself down the aisle. Stopping beside me, he said, “Hello.” I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

He lifted himself up in his wheelchair. Unabashed, he balanced on his knees where his lower legs used to be. Unable to move, I watched him stretch, reaching for something on the store’s upper shelf.

What if he fell?

He wobbled as he grabbed his item, and then sat back down in his chair. Before I could offer to help, he’d completed his task. He nodded at me and continued his shopping.

I stood there immobilized by my thoughts. What empowered him to be so, whole?

His exterior shell broken, but inside—something beautifully different.

WOW!  This made me realize just how crippled I am on a daily basis.  I battle the inner gremlins of perfection which are often paired with the comparison game gremlins.  Yes, they love to tag team me until I am left battered and bruised.  On the outside, things look great because I have reached some milestones in my life….

  • Almost 26 years clean from my drug addiction
  • Lost 120 pounds
  • CEO of my own business which pays my bills
  • A loving husband and supportive family

Yes, I could go on but the gremlins are having a field day today.  What about you, could you list some major milestones in your life?  Do you focus on them or do you focus on your failed attempts at perfection?

Does your idea of perfection cripple you into believing everything you do has to be impeccable?  Does your worth ride on your success?  Think about the gentleman described above…. He elevated his viewpoint, lived outside the lines, and appeared content—all signs of living imperfectly.  Definitely not someone who is handicapped, right?

Here are three ways to become unparalyzed by perfection:

#1 Straighten Up

Believe it or not, standing up straight and changing our body alignment, can make a difference.  How often when we fail at perfectionism do we feel unworthy? As a result, we walk hunched over or eyes cast to the ground, not enjoying the world around us.

How long have you been bound by perfectionism? It’s time to straighten up!  It is time to  change your perspective.  For some, it may be with positive mantras which will change your mindset while for others it may be seek their Higher Power to bless and release those fears.

#2 Live Outside the Lines

Now, you are standing up straight, it is time to do step out of your comfort zone—live outside the lines. I know this one can be tough especially when those gremlins are in the midst of a battle.  It doesn’t have to be something HUGE, just something simple.  How about:

~Driving with the windows down and let your hair get incredibly messy.  Toss the hair tie which will keep your hair neat.

~Get a cake and take a spoonful right from the center. Go ahead, eat from the middle.

~Color outside the lines in a coloring book—make the tree trunk bright orange, the leaves purple, and paint the sky green instead of blue.

“You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make it…”      Albert Einstein 

Just do something to push yourself outside the lines of perfection which keep you restrained.

#3 Love your life

Make a choice to love your life.  Despite whatever challenges you may have, proclaim contentment.  Remember the man I shared the story about, despite being a differently-abled person, he oozed contentment, even though he had every right to feel otherwise. You could tell he made a choice to love his life.

Perfection doesn’t validate us, it makes us invalid.

Will you challenge yourself in a new way?  Will you claim to love your life so you are unconfined from the handicap of perfectionism?  Share your story with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Weight Loss Myths BUSTED!

Tomorrow is my weigh in day after a week of cruising and enjoying.  Did I walk a lot?  YES!  Did I eat way more than normal? YES!  But it is all okay. Life happens.  I have been back on track since I got home and hopefully this won’t be me….

I have been reviewing some of my past Weight Watcher weeklies to help me get back on track.  Somehow I seemed to have missed the one on “myths”.  I was amazed at how many of these myths are still floating around the internet (Facebook, specifically).

#1 MYTH: Some foods can boost your metabolism.

The truth is there is no evidence any food or drink can do this in the long run.  I have heard all about the benefits of green tea and even hot peppers BUT you would have to eat oodles to get a tiny spark.  I was happy to hear eating breakfast doesn’t boost it either.  I am not a big breakfast person, more like brunch… what food have you heard would boost your metabolism?

#2 MYTH: You shouldn’t eat after 8PM.

Your body is a 24/7 machine.  It doesn’t “close” after 8PM and it is working even while you are sleeping.  As long as you are eating within your SmartPoints (a WW thing) and getting in your FitPoints – you will have weight loss.  It doesn’t mean eat all of the leftover points at 10PM and then go to bed because if you do this too often, it could limit your loss.  Also, don’t go too long without eating because it will lead to overeating when you finally do sit down to eat.

#3 MYTH: Eat certain foods to flatten your belly.

WRONG!  There is no scientific evidence any food can do this.

#4 MYTH: You should cut out carbs.

Okay, I will admit I struggle with this one.  I have heard doctor’s talk about “limiting carbs” but not totally cutting them out.  Specifically carbs in processed foods so is it really the carbs or the processed foods we are eliminating.  Okay, back to the myth….When we avoid any one food category for a long period of time, chances are you will overdo it when you do “allow” yourself to have them.  Eat a balanced meal and allow yourself some of your favorites (in moderation) while you are losing weight.  Are you on a diet or are you changing your lifestyle to a more healthy one?

#5 MYTH: Losing weigh will wreck my metabolism.

WHAT????? I know this is crazy, right?  Now it is possible if you starve yourself and lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time because when you do this, the body goes into starvation mode.  When you have a safe rate of weight loss, your body can adjust to the reduced amount of food and increased activity.

#6 MYTH:  Muscle weighs more than fat.

I have heard this a million times so I know you have too.  The truth is, muscle doesn’t weigh more.  How can 5 pounds of muscle weigh more than 5 pounds of fat?  5 pounds is 5 pounds right?  The truth is muscle is more dense than fat so it seems to weigh more.  I know it is hard to wrap our heads around – I still struggle after all of these years (and 120 pounds lost).

What myth have you heard as you travel your weightless journey?  Is there something you have always heard but aren’t sure it is a myth – ask!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Throwback: Loving Yourself When Your Too….

This post first appeared on June 30th, 2016…Woman-at-beach

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Last week, I had an AHA moment.  A moment when the brain fog lifted and I realized I had to stop making excuses for why a few (okay, 20) pounds were back.  Yes, I could blame health issues.  The truth was I was slowly slipping back into old habits I had BEFORE I lost 100 pounds.

B4 picture with Belinda

Yup, me and my cutie of a daughter (she hates this picture). It is REALLY old but the truth is there aren’t many pictures of me when I was heavy.

Back to the AHA moment….I needed to take control of what I could control – my eating. I was repeatedly complaining about “gaining” or not losing weight as hubby’s weight kept going down.  The truth was, he was eating healthier and I was secretly eating junk! Okay, so the truth is out, now I have to be accountable.

I wanted the capris which fit so good over the last 2 summers to again fit.  I wanted the jiggle in my thighs to be gone.  I wanted the puffiness in my face to be gone.  There was no magic wand but there was the proverbial SMACK on the head which made me realize what I needed to do.  It was at the moment I opened my email to find an online special from Weight Watchers.  I didn’t delete it, I just let it sit in my inbox.  After a lot of prayer and thought, I did it!  I signed up again.

It was time for me to stop beating myself up and take some of my own advice…

1. Stop comparing.

Hubby loves me not matter what – I mean when we got together, I was on the weightless journey.  Over the last two years as I struggled with health issues, I was constantly comparing myself to others. I felt inferior because I hadn’t stuck to the program.

Once you stop comparing, you realize you will always be too fat, too skinny, too tall, too this when you compare yourself to others.  The comparison game will kill your dreams before you even start. Know you are exactly what you’re supposed to be—one of a kind and beautiful.

2. Change the way you see.

Have you had experiences where people you told you how pretty (or nice you look) BUT you thought you were unattractive? I have.  Where you say “thank you” and add “but I have….” negating their compliment.

Dr. Wayne Dyer often said, “When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.” I know this is true because I often experience it in my life.

Focus on what is wonderful about you, whether it’s your kindness, generosity, or thoughtfulness.  When you focus on the internal features, the external features seem to start to sparkle with radiance.  It’s not that you changed—your perception did.

3. Change your thoughts.

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How many times have you looked at a picture or a video of yourself and a barrage of negative self-talk dominated your thoughts? Those inner gremlins start to take over and before long they are in control.

How sad it would be if we allowed those negative voices to stop us from offering what we have to give: our knowledge, ideas, voice, gifts, our love, and more? We would be withholding these things from people who might need and benefit from them.

My Fierce Cheerleader and Abundance Coach, Eryka Peskin, has taught me how to celebrate those negative things so they no longer have control over my life.  Try it.  Step back and reframe those negatives into a positive.

You have so much to give (even if you feel like you don’t): your unique gifts, your experience, courage, ingenuity, creativity, and so much more. Don’t let the negative voices stop you from sharing what you have. The world (your neighbors, your friends, your grandma, or whatever your world may be) needs it.

The truth is, there will always be someone or some people who will find you undesirable or unlovable, but the world is also full of people who will feel the opposite.

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Ultimately, the deeper truth you have to find within yourself is this: If no one loves me, will I love myself?  YES, I will love myself.

In the moments when I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I make a choice. I make a choice to give myself total acceptance and love for all that I am: the good, the ugly, and the bad.

Will you make the choice to love yourself when you’re too short, too tall, too fat, and too skinny?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!