Tag: getting healthy

Teaching her to be Strong

This past Friday school was out, so I brought the kiddo to work with me. It’s an adventure for her. A place to explore. For me, I’m learning it’s a place for me to teach her how to be strong, thoughtful, and independent now and as she grows into the woman she will become. It’s always in the back of my mind, but sometimes with all the things going on in our lives as moms, we forget how we are examples for our daughters to become strong women who can do whatever they want to be.

On my wall at work, Samantha left me a note:

“Happy work day with me. Love you. I know you don’t get to spend that much time with me, but I will always love you. xoxo 11-11-2016”

I was crushed when I first read it. Just trying to stop the tears from coming was almost too much. Does she really see me as this person that is always at work? But then someone reminded me that when she grows up, she will use the example I have set for her to know she can do whatever she wants. She will be independent. She will be strong.

All of this reminded me that after the election, after talking to my daughter about the possibility (and my hope) that we would have the first woman president, that she should always dream bigger. That she can be whatever she wants to be when she grows up. To not settle.

In my journey (and struggles) to get healthy as well, I have loved sharing the process and struggles with her. How I try to push myself to get stronger physically…go farther on a run…lift heavier…or try a new workout even though it looks hard. To set a goal, put your mind to it and overcome the obstacles.

Samantha amazes me every day. She’s an avid writer. Lover of all music. She has a competitive spirit. Kind and empathetic. She’s already so strong now; I can’t wait to see what kind of Super Woman she will become.


The War Inside My Head

Let me start off with this is not an easy subject to talk about. I try and be as open and honest on this blog as possible and even in life when it comes to getting healthy (almost too honest at times), but talking about mental illness is a whole other subject that a lot of people shy away from. And in being honest, I have to say that I’ve written and rewritten this post multiple times because I wanted to get my full message across, but I know I’ve forgotten some things, I’ve left out others, and well it’s very personal to me and my experience so my only hope is that by sharing more about this topic and by others doing the same, we can keep the conversation going and allow others to find the support they need.

Depression and anxiety are a crazy and complicated matter. A lot of people who don’t suffer from one or the other or both don’t understand the constant struggle, the literal war that is raging in your head on an almost constant basis. Sure on the outside, we appear happy and joyful a lot of the time even. And for the most part, we don’t even act how, what most, believe a typically depressed or anxious person should act. But, that’s only because on those days we are winning the wars. On others, we are not so lucky. For many of us, those wars can be fought, won, or lost on not just a day to day, but an even hour by hour basis.


We are great actors, camoflaugers (is that a word?), magicians. We know how to portray a happy, confident and well put together person a lot of the time, even when the battle lines are being drawn in our heads. A lot of times, I wonder if this is the right solution, but for me, I’ve learned what works for me to overcome and persevere and function in this world when the battles raging. And that is the key, figuring out what works for you. Sometimes I think of it as my way of being a “functioning depressed/anxious person” if that really is such a thing. But really it’s learning how to win more of the battles then lose them. And even though I have to put up an act and “portray” that happy person, or put a smile on my face, it helps ease the battle wounds I’m collecting and just like the saying says, “you have to fake it til you make it.”

Another part of finding what works on the journey of getting healthier mentally is whether or not to take anti-anxiety/depression meds or supplements. I struggled through college on so many pills, but it didn’t work for me. I gained weight, I became a zombie, and I didn’t feel in control. There have been times over the years since stopping medicine that I’ve considered going back on them, but the side effects outweighed the benefits for me. And so or me, and I know it is cliché, but exercise, breathing exercises, and finding solitude are what work best for me. And most importantly, not always on an ongoing basis, but when needed, a really good therapist always helps.

And when it comes to therapy, don’t shy away from it. It is a support system and there is nothing bad about it. I hate that there is a stigma around therapy because it is one of the best support systems there is to help you work through your issues. And having support when you are at your lowest and when you’ve lost the 100th battle of the day is really all you can ask for. If you poo-poo therapy, then find support wherever you can. Just like in any journey to get healthy, you can find support in the biggest and smallest ways. Even a smile from a random stranger can change my perspective and outlook on a day I otherwise thought was lost.

My final parting words on this subject is to know you are not alone. In any journey to a healthier, better version of the person you already are, remember there are others out there just like you.

Don’t be an Obstacle to Your Own Success

I think the last few posts I’ve made, I start out the same…”well it’s been awhile…blah, blah, blah”. The thing is, I could say it again, but I’m not going to. I’m starting this off with a challenge to myself, to write once a month. Honestly, for my mental health alone.

I’ve talked about strength a lot before, but I keep coming back to it and it’s timely to talk about once again with all of the stories coming from the Olympics of strength, grit and sportsmanship.

But how do we relate to the strength of an Olympian on our journey to becoming healthier and losing weight? I know it sounds impossible, but promise me you CAN.

Because that strength that every Olympian has, is in each of us. The key is to know that you have it and to use every ounce of it along the way for your own journey.

You may not be training to be the fastest runner or swimmer, but moving forward on your journey takes strength. Physical, and most importantly, mental strength. Mental strength is the most powerful but sometimes the hardest to come by. We overthink things, we psyche ourselves out, we are multitasking ourselves into the ground, we’re parents, students, worker bees, you name it.

Our greatest obstacle to success is the belief

Part of that mental strength comes in believing in ourselves. This is hard. I know. This is one of the areas where I constantly struggle and talk about on here (even in the last post). The belief that I can lift a little more weight or run a little further. Or how about the belief that I am parenting my kid the right way…don’t even get me started.

One of our greatest obstacles to success in anything, not just losing weight, is believing that we are powerless – that we don’t have the ability to do what we set our mind on.

When I was in elementary school, my PE teacher always told us she never wanted to hear us say the word “CAN’T.” That no matter how hard we thought it was, we COULD do it if we put our mind to it. Despite my struggles, and the ups and downs, the memory of her telling us to never say the word “can’t” when I start to say it to myself, comes back to me. And this is where that inner power/mental strength comes from. You have to remove the limits you put on yourself and believe that you have the power to do it, and push yourself beyond those limits.

I tested the theory of pushing myself beyond what I “thought” I could do these past 2 weekends. I’ve been running more and more, slowly increasing my distance before I run a 10K in September. But, I’ve never made it past about 4.5 – 5 miles. On the first Sunday, I told myself I was just going to go and do it. So, I ran out almost 3 miles, then turned around and went back the same 3. By the end I was walking, better yet practically crawling up the giant hill to our house, but when I got there, it was an amazing feeling to know I had just completed under 6 miles. This past weekend, I did the same thing and changed up the route. Having an idea that it was roughly 6 miles in my head. I headed out after winning a small battle in my head telling me not to go and did it. Over 6 miles later, running much more than the weekend before, I made it home feeling tired but psyched about what I had just accomplished.

run me picSo, never say never. Remove CAN’T from your vocabulary. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and take on the next challenge. And develop your mental muscle to become a stronger more powerful YOU.

Believing in Yourself and Finding What Works for You

I started a new workout plan about a month ago.  It’s amazing!  And it’s a lifting program.  I’ve been wanting to do a weightlifting program for ages, but for some reason I kept holding myself back.  I’d go back to the same old routines, start one up and a week in I’d get bored.  Finally, I said: “Fuck it, I need to do the program that I want to do and not let what’s in my head stop me.”  


The thing that I have learned over the last few years is if you want to be consistent with exercise, you don’t necessarily have to be consistent with WHAT you are doing; you just have to find what you like to do.  And DO IT!  There are those people that will always do the same workout day in and day out and be perfectly content.  I am NOT one of those people.  I’ve stopped and started plenty of workouts.  

But don’t get frustrated with the process of finding the right one for you.  For me, finding the right workout program has been to find one that has an end point.  Two months, three months, even 30 days, whatever it is, I have an end in sight and that becomes my goal – complete every workout within that program (even if it takes a little longer than the prescribed time frame given).  

And listen to yourself, listen to your friends.  This is where your support network or even the girl in the checkout line who just came from a workout (I’m not afraid to go grocery shopping looking a hot mess after a workout) can help you figure out the right program.  I’ve scoured the internet, read up on different programs and picked some losers and winners based on my support system and their advice.  

Don’t give up on finding the right exercise routine for you if the first one or even tenth one doesn’t work out.  Remember, you’re still getting in the exercise while you find the right one.  

And here’s something else I have learned along the way…actually, let’s back up.  I’ve been listening to a podcast recently during my lifting sessions and I heard this quote and it spoke volumes to me:  


The thing is we hold ourselves back so much when it comes to improving upon oneself.  It’s time to stop.  Remember way back in the day when I did the workout program Insanity?  I almost never started the program.  A program that I ultimately believe propelled me into the remainder of my journey to lose weight.  Why was I scared to start?  Because I didn’t believe I could do it.  I didn’t believe that I could be amazing.  That I was STRONG.  

Belief in yourself can change the course of a goal from failure to achievement.

So, whether it’s Insanity, Strong Curves, yoga, running, Shaun T, or Jillian Michaels, there is a program that is right for you.  Believe in yourself and the strength that you have and get out there!

Being Honest and Going Back to Basics

Let’s start off with the fact that I’ve probably drafted about 5 different blog entries over the past 2 months but never finished a single one. The thing is, I haven’t completely found my rhythm yet with the new job, new city, new way of life and well, its hard folks.

And with all that is hard in life, my weight has crept up and that is what I am going to talk to you about today. And here is another hard part…being honest. Being honest with all of you. And especially being honest with myself and what I have gotten myself into. What is it that our moms used to always say to us?  Honesty is the best policy? When I started writing about my weight loss journey in the beginning, what did I say?

BE HONEST!  Honesty is the key to losing weight. Especially being honest with yourself and well, I kind of chose to ignore myself over the last few months.

Sure I can give the excuse of moving across the country, trying all the new foods (and I’m talking ALL. THE. FOOD), and starting a new job, but if I get down to it, I wasn’t being honest with myself. I knew what I was doing. I CHOSE to ignore what my mind was telling me.

So, here I am, up 25lbs from 6 months ago and mad at myself. I’ve been through despair, and pity, and now I’m just plain mad. I started this year off with a resolution to be more mindful, yet I completely threw that out the window on day 2 and said F*** it. Being mindful, to me, includes being honest with yourself. And I was none of the above. But with that anger, I’m taking that fire and putting it back into what I know. Round 2, one could say. I’m going back to the basics.

Or in the wise words of several friends and my ever patient husband, “You know what to do Tracy” and I’ll add in a “Duh!”

So, I’m tracking my food, finding an exercise plan that I LOVE (Piyo Round 2!), and adding in a heaping dose of mindfulness. Listening to my body, my mind AND those around me.

excuse the super weird look on my face while I try holding side plank during piyo

I know, I know. I said I didn’t want to track my food again, but when you veer away from the tracks so far you start heading the wrong way, you have to re-route and start back over. This time tracking is different. I’m not setting out a plan and eating every last morsel planned, full or hungry. I’m eating when I’m hungry and ONLY when I’m hungry. This may mean that breakfast comes at 6:15 or at 9:30. It may mean that I have only snacks all day or a big meal at lunch and not much for dinner. I’m being mindful and listening to what my body wants, but within the limits of a calorie restriction.

The lesson learned, time and time again is maintenance is hard. Losing the weight is not an end point. You hear it, but do you really hear it? The maintenance phase after losing is like a dirty little secret that everyone sort of talks about, but doesn’t really want to let you in on when it comes to losing. You want to lose and get to that goal, but then what? Its trial and error and well I may have made a few more errors than I wanted to over the past few months, but here I am now. Being honest with myself. And most importantly all of you. Correcting course and going back to the basics. Remember, it’s a journey with ups and downs but never give up on yourself.


Anniversary of Change

Today is a special day. It’s always been a special day. A day of celebration for one of my greatest and oldest friend’s birthday. And now the 3rd anniversary of my wake up call to change my life.


I went for a run this morning.  I needed a change in my workouts and I thought, change is hard.  Period.  End of sentence.  I honestly detest change.

I grew up in the same house my entire life, I knew the same bedroom until I was eighteen. One of my first big “changes” in my life was moving away for college and I mentally fought it tooth and nail. Each time there is change in my life my body, brain and everything from my head to toes says, “No, thank you!”


But here’s the thing…since making the change to become a healthier person those 3 years ago I’ve learned to overcome that overwhelming sense to fight change.

Embrace the change.

Don’t believe for one second that it isn’t hard to fight because my mind and body still go against change as much as it can, but deep, way deep down, I’ve now learned that taking that leap of whatever you want to call it to make the change is almost always worth it. Sure you will trip up, you will have your ups and downs, but if you set the goals you want to achieve and stay the course you will get there.  As I listened to Shaun T’s podcast this morning, he said,

You have to TRUST & BELIEVE in yourself that you can do whatever you decide to do!


I don’t always win the fight either.  For me, I’ve learned that along the path to change, to achieve a goal, you have to be flexible. You have to “go with the flow” and make adjustments along the way. But that’s what change is all about. A lot of times if we think of the little changes along the way instead of the one giant mountain of change we are about to face it makes it a little easier to overcome that overwhelming urge to run away screaming and go cry in the corner.

We’ve had some big changes in our family lately and probably many more to come, but one of the most important ones was Sammo heading to kindergarten.  It was huge.  For me, for her, for Mike.  It’s changed our schedules, what we have to accomplish at night and in the morning, but one thing I am so impressed with is how Sam takes it all in strides.

She embraces the changes head on.  She loves the idea of a new adventure ahead.


So on this 3rd anniversary of an always day of celebration I ask you to take the leap. Commit to one change. One small goal. You never know how one small change can turn into a 140 other changes to get you to a healthier, happier you.