Lauri Mackey

3 Foolproof Ways to Eating Healthy by Samantha Russell

Samantha Russell, Live The Whole

3 foolproof ways to make healthy eating really work for you

by: Samantha Russell with LiveTheWhole.com

Healthy eating is hard to stick to. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you, with birthday parties, food-centered holidays, and potluck parties every second weekend.

I recently did a bunch of interviews with hard-working and accomplished women who all struggle to eat in a way that feels good to them. The number 1 thing they identified as getting in their way the most was consistency.

They all have so much knowledge about health, nutrition, and the way the want to be eating – but feel like life just constantly throws them curve balls and encourages them to eat more cake, buy more ice cream, and make exceptions to their plan all the time.

So, how can you make healthy eating actually work for you in a consistent way? Here are 3 foolproof ways to make healthy food choices your automatic ‘go to’ every day.

Step 1: Set SMART goals

Goals are great – you probably have them for your career, and maybe even your relationship, but have you stopped to formulate some great food and eating goals as well?

Just like any other goals in your life, healthy eating goals need to be SMART, or

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Resonates with you, and

Time-managed.

This means you have to think hard about exactly what you want to do, how you’ll measure your success, how to make the goal realistic for you and fit into your life, and when you’re going to pause and assess how things are going.

The problem with most healthy eating goals is that they go something like “I’m going to start eating better”, or “I’m going to cut down on carbs”, or even “I’m quitting sugar from now on”. There’s nothing wrong with trying any of these, but you’re going to need a better plan if you want to succeed.

For example, a SMART goal for “I’m quitting sugar” is:

“For the next 2 weeks (time managed), I am not going to eat or drink any sugar or added sweetener (specific + measurable). Instead, I’ll have a piece of fruit and drink green tea if I feel I need a little something extra (resonates + attainable).”

Step 2: Plan your meals the night before

Meal planning is the most helpful action step you can take to make healthy food choices easy – because you’ve already made them.

Simply sit down for 5 minutes before you go to bed and write down exactly what you’re going to eat the next day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks.

Yes, even if it involves looking up the menu of a restaurant. By making food decisions when you’re relaxed, not hungry, and can give them your full attention, you’ll make way better decisions that are more in-line with your goals.

Now, with the food decisions already made, all you have to do is stick with them. If you feel like you’re going to struggle with that, this is where step 3 comes in.

Step 3: Have an emergency recovery plan

No matter how SMART your goals are, or how much planning you do, there are definitely going to be times when it’s still hard to make healthy choices. Consistency is really key when you’re habit building, so I like to use the superpowers of

  • The bigger picture,
  • Meditation, and
  • Switching gears

To help stay on track.

No matter how dedicated you are to changing your eating, stress, tiredness, and social pressure (to name just a couple of things!) can all make some really convincing sounding arguments as to why you should choose fast food tonight and “start eating healthy again in the morning”. Sometimes that’s ok, but when it’s happening multiple times a week, you’re not going to reach your goals.

So, when you can feel temptation or stress getting the better of you, take a moment to think about the bigger picture of why you want to eat healthier. Is it to be a good role model for you kids? Feel better in your body and be confident you trust yourself with food? Or to avoid carrying on the family history of type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure? Thinking about this bigger picture helps keep you motivated and on-track.

Some Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Podcast episodes that are great for this:

Interview with Katie Arms – take a moment out of your day to find out how Katie took a massive life-curveball and made it work for her on every level.

Interview with me – learn more about my struggle with change, eating, and consistency and how I personally made lasting change.

Interview with Makeda Pennycooke – learn how to transform you fear and make yourself feel safe.

The second secret weapon is meditation. You’re not going to want to do it – but trust me, put an app like headspace on your phone and when you feel yourself going off track in a way you don’t like, pop in your earphones and take a 5 minute timeout. Sometimes that’s all you need to refocus and get on with your day (and stick to the food plan you made the night before).

And finally, when you feel cravings creeping up on you, try mentally switching gears. Research shows that taking a break and doing something totally different with your brain reduces the intensity of cravings. In fact, the research was done using the game ‘Tetris’, which you can put on your phone right now. Fun, and helps you stay healthy.

The process of making healthy eating a habit is really all about practice, but it’s also about being prepared. Don’t expect (or even aim for) perfection, but you can definitely make healthy eating easy and automatic if you follow the 3 steps outlined above. Every great choice you make creates a positive cycle of self-trust, momentum, and motivation that can move your forward each day – towards a happier, healthier you.

About The Author:

Samantha runs Live the Whole and is certified by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in the US, has a certificate in clinical and pastoral counseling from the University of Glasgow in the UK, and has a degree in psychology from Massey University in New Zealand.

Sam specializes in helping clients manage and heal their relationship with food, body, and self. She uses a blend of positive psychology and mind-body-nutrition connections, along with traditional coaching and counseling methodologies. She works together with clients to uncover the root causes of unwanted eating so they can feel happy, free, and in control.

We would love to hear your feedback so drop us a comment below – we read them ALL!

The Power of Negative Energy VS Positive Energy

Negative Energy VS Positive Energy

Trip to Boise 3/3/16

It was the best of positive times and the worst of negative times…
After being in airports for over 14 hours I have come to the conclusion that they bring out the best and the worst in people. Negative Energy VS Positive Energy.  This story is one about my journey from Southern California to Boise, Idaho for a Women’s Conference I was booked to speak at.
My husband and I own our own business and it was already going to be tight having me gone for a couple of days and my hubby started to not feel well.  The morning I’m flying out he woke up with 102 temp and flat on his back in bed.  Just touching my hand to him made me draw back sharply because of the intense heat.  He was my ride to the airport.  I drove my daughter to early morning seminary calling a shuttle on the way.  Luckily they could come and get me, but it was an hour earlier than I had anticipated so I rushed home, finished packing, made breakfast, walked and fed the dogs and smiled when my chauffeur came to the front door.  I was sweating as I (very unladylike) got into the van.
On my way to the airport I am frantically texting to take care of things for the day.  Texting our employees (who handled it magnificently by the way) to hold down the shop that day and what would continue to the next day as well, text a friend and neighbor to walk the dogs again after lunch, and call yet another friend to pick up my teenage daughter after school.  I then go through my bag only to realize that I have my very cool Freska mango knife with me.  The driver is grateful to acquire such a lovely trinket.  At least it didn’t get thrown in the trash when trying to go through security.
I get to the airport an hour and a half before my flight and after about 30 minutes of waiting my flight gets delayed and then delayed again.  I end up leaving almost three hours after the original time.  This is where you start to see the true characters of those around you.  While I am concerned and it’s a bummer, I decide to use this block of time to answer emails and polish my speech intro that I wasn’t totally happy with.  Trying to be productive in what for me is this rare opportunity of nothing else tugging at me for my time.  Unfortunate, yes, but not life-threatening.  The flight attendant assures me that my connector flight has also been delayed due to the weather in San Francisco.
One lady is deciding if she should get a rental car and drive to Vegas which is her ultimate destination.  I chat with her a minute about the price and time cost and she decides to wait it out.  One gentleman with his wife is making a joke at every turn and I dub him the “unfunny” comedian.  I listen to a young man on the phone with his mother in San Francisco and he is complaining loudly that he just wanted to watch a movie while on the flight but due to the crappy airport wifi that it will never happen as his computer tells him it will take 7 hours.  He is irritated and has nothing positive to say.
As I wait at the “electronic” plug-in bar so I can charge my laptop and phone I experience positive, caring, even trusting people.  Half a dozen people are trying to charge their devices.  Each of them make room for the others and exchange kind words.  One lady older than me asks if she can plug her phone in beside me.  I tell her I would be happy to watch it while it charges and she trusts me!  Her phone cover is leather and has a pocket on the outside holding cash and her driver’s license and she sits it by me and goes to read her novel two rows away.  I renew my faith in humanity as people care about other people and she is so trusting of a perfect stranger.
And then there is the angry redheaded dude.  He was the one in line speaking to the attendant at the counter, visibly upset.  Everything about his demeanor suggested irritation, irritability and a terribly poor attitude.  His actions were jerky and full of negative energy.  I’m not sure what his rush is to San Francisco, but in his mind it must be urgent.
And then we board the plane and who is my aisle partner?  Yep…the red-headed angry dude.  He exuded the most powerful negative energy that I’ve had the opportunity to be so close to in a long time.  Every time the captain came on with an update he would jerk the headphones off his head to eagerly listen.  When the captain would then say there was another 15 minute delay or anything at all he would be slapping his hand on his leg or just into the air and uttering curse words under his breath.  I almost said something to him, but felt that it might make him even more angry.  It was an incredible reminder how negative energy can physically be felt when it is pouring out of someone in such abundance.
I get off the plane in San Francisco and literally run past everyone trying to go down the ramp off the plane and then up the ramp into the terminal only to find out that I had missed my connector flight and would then be in San Francisco for another 6 and a half hours.  Yes, I’m sweating again.
After a couple of hours and finding vegan food to eat in the airport I glance up at the screen at my gate and it shows the next two flights out…neither of which was mine.  I calmly ask the gate attendant if my gate had changed and she said it had changed to gate 70 in another wing from gate 79 where I was currently standing.  I finish charging my phone and head across the airport.  I get there and it it doesn’t have my flight on that screen either!  That’s when I ate an entire bar of chocolate.
All of the big screens showing all the flights still say my original gate so I gather up my things and head back.  That screen still doesn’t show my flight, but I feel like I’m in the right place.  Now I start thinking about Boise and how I’m going to get to my dad’s house in Caldwell.  My dad was originally going to pick me up, but that was earlier in the day and now I wouldn’t be arriving until 10:30 at night and after a nasty fall and hip surgery he just isn’t feeling up to it.  I call a shuttle, turns out it’s just a charter, but they are friendly and give me the local taxi service.  Called them, but WOW!  Huge price tag.  I considered getting a hotel for the night when my husband suggests Uber.  I download the app, arrive in Boise, grab my bag and the driver arrives in 4 minutes.  I reach my dad at 11:30pm. 7 1/2 hours after I should have arrived.
Traveling by plane, shuttle, taxi, Uber…ok, all traveling modes can bring out the worst negative energy in you or the best positive energy in you.  I hadn’t traveled by plane in over 2 years and this was a gentle reminder that people are always watching.

My conclusion?

There is simply no way to avoid bumps in the road.  They are a part of life.  Delays, setbacks, moments where you will be forced to wait when you really just want to take action, moments people send you on a wild goose chase that accomplishes nothing.  How you REACT to those bumps is a test of your true character.  What will people of observe of you when the next bump comes along?

Favorite Things

 Heaven is…
 
Do you have those fun little things that just make you smile?  Of course you do!  I found a list in my notebook today that must have been written a year ago about a few of my favorite things.  It totally made me smile and so I figured I would share it with you today!
 
Updated February 2019 and added my current list!  Check it out below!
 
After reading my list, please comment below on at least your top 5-10 favorite things.  
Can’t wait to hear from you!
 
 
2015
butterfly kisses
brace-face smiles
someone else folding laundry & doing dishes
reaching a milestone
a really good haircut
mountain bike rides
hugs (I’m a firm believer in hugs!)
new workout clothes
just-washed towels and sheets
new pillows
a long, unhurried visit with a friend
babies laughing
my favorite book
Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley
singing along with my favorite song
electricity!  (power was out last weekend)
jeans that fit just right
a clean, organized house
waffles on Sunday (A Mackey Tradition)
empty laundry hampers
 
2019
Bedhead
Gray Hair
Mountain Bike Rides
New Clothes/Shoes
An Inspirational Quote
Synchronicities
My Sweetheart Smiling
Friends
Making Someone Laugh
Homemade Food
 

 

NOW YOUR TURN! 
 
Smiling is contagious…can’t wait to smile with you!

I’m Not That Special

I’m Not That Special
Stan Lee – “Well, you just think about it!  You just sit down or walk around and probably have a big, dumb look on your face and you wonder, “What would I like to read?  What kind of character would interest me?”  I’m asked a lot what tips I would give to other writers.  The truth is:  I don’t know any tips.  I can’t think of a single tip.  Now I’ve been writing long enough to have met an awful lot of writers who sit down at their computer or whatever and say, “OK, now I’m going to write the story for young ladies, aged 17 to 26.”  I don’t have a clue how to do that.  I don’t know what other people want.  So the only thing I can say when answering that question is:  Please write stories that you think are great.  Write to please yourself.  That’s how I’ve always done it – not because I’m so desperate to please other people, but because I feel very genuinely that if I really love a story, then there must be a few other people out there who would love it, too.  I’m not that special.”
I'm Not That Special
I took this excerpt from (believe it or not) my December’s Costco Connection monthly magazine.  It is honestly one of my favorite magazines for articles and business tips!  You never know where you’ll find the inspiration you are looking for and didn’t know you needed.
As you know, I absolutely love movies and I have collected all of the Avengers, Captain America’s, Thor’s and now recently Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man and Stan Lee is the creator of them all!  How wicked cool is that?  When I saw that Costco had conducted an interview with him I was really excited to learn more about his story, but what he said above truly touched me.
I write this blog not just to hear myself talk, but because I’m guessing that there are others out there like me who need a repetitive dose of positivity in their lives.  I’m not that special.  I write because I truly enjoy the process.  I write because it feels like I’m leaving a legacy of my thoughts and way of thinking.  I have looked forward every week to sitting down and putting my words in print for the world to see…unapologetically and crazy authentic.

How do you create positivity in your life?

Gumption, Bandaids, Slapstick, “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”.

The first thing you need is GUMPTION.  By definition, gumption means courage and confidence.  This is not only faith in yourself that you are capable of hard things, but a continuous amount of courage and confidence in one’s self to accomplish the things you set out to do.
The second thing is a lot of BANDAIDS.  My husband and I help coach the local high school mountain bike team and I always tell the kids that it is not a matter of if you will crash, it is only a matter of when.  From newbies to pros, everyone crashes.  If you can accept this fact before your journey even begins and keep bandaids at the ready, it makes the falls more tolerable.
The third thing is SLAPSTICK.  Now this is the one that I am not as good at as the other three…I admit it.  You must be able to laugh at yourself or at the situation.  You need to solidly believe in horseplay.  Give yourself permission to laugh and be happy.  We were meant to be happy!  Don’t forget that once you find that happiness to share it with others.  And as James Altucher advises:  If you’re having a bad day, just chalk it up to a bad day, don’t make any major decisions during that time and wait for it to pass.
The fourth and last tip is to WASH, RINSE, AND REPEAT.  Repetitiveness is the key to learning anything.  Practice makes permanent.  You must practice positivity.  If you don’t even try it out you’ve already lost the battle with negativity.  I promise that if you practice baby steps that you will soon be walking, running, and then sprinting with positivity.
I admit that my thought process is not within the “norm” of what you may be used to hearing, but it is uniquely and authentically me.  I’m guessing that a few other people might relate, love it, and be able to incorporate these steps into their lives for the good of themselves and ultimately the good of those around you.

Practice Makes Permanent

In the end, I believe that Stan Lee IS special.  I believe that YOU are special.  We are all unique and the only ones here on earth that can fulfill our potential to the best of our ability.  My goal is to have you believe that you are capable of more than what you may think.   Collect your gumption, a box of bandaids, your sense of humor and practice it over and over again!

Anticipation

The Gift IS The Anticipation

     As I have mentioned numerous times before, I am a complete movie nerd.  I’m not good at movie trivia or remembering actors or actresses names or what year this or that movie came out, but I can watch them until the cows come home (and secretly I hope they don’t!).  The movie industry has me hooked with anticipation.
     In my phone is a list called “Movie Fun”.  At the top of the list are movies coming out that I want to see.  I’ve seen the trailer, loved it, and it goes on my list along with the day it hits theaters.  Next comes the movies on my wishlist for my home library.  If the movie isn’t out on DVD/Blu-Ray quite yet, the day it does come out is listed right next to it with eager anticipation!
     What is it that gets us hooked?  The excitement leading up to our birthdays.  The eves of holidays, especially Christmas.  The sequel to your favorite book or movie.  The sequel to your favorite television series (even if it’s Lost and the ending really didn’t tie up all the loose ends that they had promised).

Anticipation is Powerful

     The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it is almost more exciting than the actual event.  Anticipation is powerful.  Inevitably, the actual event is much shorter than any waiting I did leading up to it.  I literally have a movie on my list right now that doesn’t come out until Summer and it’s already been on there a couple of months!  That is a HUGE anticipation period considering the movie will be less than two hours.

I’m spent weeks preparing for Christmas.  Even if I counted the full 24 hours of Christmas day instead of the 16 or so hours I will actually be awake, it’s a lot of prep time in comparison to the actual celebration.

Anticipation IS our Journey

     If all of what I said holds true, than the excitement of anticipation is our journey.  What is your current journey that fills you with anticipation?  Are you embracing your journey towards your ultimate goal?  What is your ultimate goal?  How far away is it?  Can you see it as a trailer in your mind of your very own movie?
     The journey can require hard work.  Learn to love this work.  It is our anticipation journey to be embraced, loved, and smiled at.  I believe anticipation is the motivating factor for me trying so many things in my life.  I have done so many awesome things.  I am collecting experiences. It has been an incredible journey and I can hardly wait to see what’s around the corner for me.  I can hardly wait to see where your journey takes you.
     May your journey be filled with anticipation.  Enjoy it, set a goal to achieve, start your journey now.  May it be a healthy, happy road less travelled.

The Jewel Within

I was asked to speak at a small women’s event and thought I would share my thoughts on this most important subject.  Start by watching this amazing YouTube video about The Jewel by clicking on this link:
My birthday is right close to Valentine’s Day.  What that means is as I was growing up my seven brothers and one sister would be taken to the store to buy gifts for me and that the selection at Thrifty’s was mostly focused around the this holiday.  I would receive an extra large Hershey Kiss, teddy bears with hearts on them, heart-shaped pillows, you get the idea.  Some brothers would go in and buy something together, but one particular year, my older brother bought me something just from him.  He then proceeded to wrap that gift in a brown paper grocery bag.  No wrapping paper, no ribbon or bows, no card, a brown paper bag.
At first I was disappointed at the lack of time taken for my special day and was even a bit taken aback by this notion of not having my present wrapped properly.  This thought quickly left as I opened the gift to see what was inside.  The moment I removed the “wrapping paper”, I was blessed with a beautiful gift and promptly forgot about the ugly brown paper bag it had come in.
Why are we so critical of the gift wrap when we know that something beautiful is inside?
I have seen even little girls be critical of each other.  As teenagers it’s worse.  You might have a great sense of self and high self-esteem and then someone says something critical to you and the doubt easily sets in.  We then move into our 20’s and 30’s and for some of us that means child-bearing years.  Bearing a child is a beautiful endeavor, but it can leave rips and tears in our gift wrap that we forget to see as beautiful battle scars of the least selfish act in the universe.  If we are lucky enough to live through our 40’s and longer, gravity becomes your enemy and your metabolism goes in the toilet.  A bitter pill to swallow.
My gift wrap has changed over the years.  I came into this world with the biggest chubby cheeks you can imagine.  I didn’t like the dirt and when I crawled would literally stop and brush my hand off each “step”, which is ironic considering I mountain bike in the dirt all the time now.  I’ve broken bones, had a million different haircuts and lots of crazy clothes as I was a product of the 80’s.  I have given birth to three kids, been overweight and underweight, been in shape and out of shape, have worn make-up and haven’t worn make-up, got a tattoo, and have finally embraced my gray as I’m now a full-fledged Gram with 2 beautiful grandkids.  My gift wrap has seen some serious travels.
I recently have been studying and pondering women and positivity.  I’m so dedicated to this cause that I quit my full time position in a business my husband and I own to pursue a way to help women be more positive by taking practical steps in their lives.  I created a this blog to put my thoughts out into the world.  I created Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, A Positivity Podcast for Women to bring help into the women adventuring into the next chapter of their lives.  I wrote a book last year called Positivity Happens – all in the name of trying to uplift, inspire and bring hope to women.  I sometimes just look for things to laugh about because a good belly laugh is always a good thing.  In this pursuit I have learned a few things about myself.
Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:
  1. My soul is young and eternal.  My inside doesn’t feel old.  I feel young as a puppy playing with a new toy.
  2. I am the only one who can do my job here on earth.  There is no one else like me.  I am as unique as a snowflake and the world needs me.
  3. My experiences have refined who I am.  I have laughed, cried, been vexed in love, worried, fretted, been cheerful and full of happiness.  Not all of my choices have been good ones, but even the poor choices have helped mold me into who I am today.
  4. I can change my attitude and outlook on life.  I can gain new perspectives, learn new tricks, and change the things I want to change to create a better me.  Being happy is a learned trait.
  5. If I am ever in doubt of my divine nature, I simply need to say a prayer and my Heavenly Father assures me of my infinite worth with his sweet spirit.  He knows my fears, he knows my dreams, he knows who I am and who I am becoming.  He has been forced to be a patient teacher with me as his student.
We are all in a different stage of life and have diverse types and colors and patterns of gift wrap.  It would be rather dull and boring if all of our gift wrap was the same, wouldn’t it?  Let me propose that whatever gift wrap you are currently wearing that it is perfect and unique to you.  Wherever you are is exactly where we are supposed to be.  What if you don’t like the situation you are currently in?  I give you the words of
Jeffrey R Holland:
Don’t give up, don’t you quit.
You keep walking, you keep trying.
There is help and happiness ahead.
It will all be all right in the end.
Trust God and believe in good things to come.
There is a jewel in each of you. Jewels are only made through some sort of adversity.  Did you know that diamonds are formed at a crazy high temperature and pressure 87 to 118 miles down in the earth’s mantle?  The growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3 billion years!  Amethyst is formed in gas cavities of lava!  Lava!  Rubies are formed only when there is a small impurity of chemicals in just the right atmosphere.  Emeralds are created when exposed to extreme hot water, cooled down and then passed through hot water again.  LAVA HOT WATER from what my studies found.  Pearls are formed only when a grain of sand is embedded into a mollusk.  Then in self defense, the mollusk creates layer after layer of mother-of-pearl until the iridescent gem is formed.
Now I am not suggesting that we need to seek out tough times to cultivate our jewel within.  What I am saying is that nobody’s life or gift wrap is perfect, but that our jewel within is being created for the eternities.  We are not earthly beings have a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience.  Be proud of your gift wrap, be patient with your adversities and challenges, be happy knowing that God knows you personally and has always seen the jewel within.  Cultivate your jewel by seeing the good in yourself.  Try to be more cheerful and positive.  Have hope that things will be all right in the end because they will.  Trust in God and in the good things to come.  Be happy and then share your happiness with others so that their jewels can also be cultivated.
Would love to hear from you about this article!  Please leave a comment – I read every single one!

5 Analogies I Learned While Riding My Bike

Analogies I Learned While Riding My Bike This Morning
Fancy’s Neptune’s Net Ride
     1)  Enjoy the Moments  My bike ride this morning took me through neighborhoods, long stretches of farmland where they were growing artichokes, bell peppers in yellow and red, celery, and acres of sod.  It went past a naval station, a shooting range, hiking and camping areas, and miles of beach along the Pacific Ocean where people were walking their pets or out in the water surfin’ it up.  Don’t forget to look up every once in awhile and enjoy your surroundings.  We get so busy with life that we forget to look up and enjoy these little moments of beauty that surround us daily.

Artichoke Field

     2)  Share the Road  This morning found me on a lonely 30-mile ride and while it was beautiful, it’s much more fun to bring a buddy.  I enjoy riding with my husband or friends or my daughter.  Due to different levels of fitness, I highly recommend a tandem.  It evens up the odds in a hurry and it’s easier to visit.  While tandems are certainly fun, you have to work “in tandem” or it’s literally a train wreck.  Which foot to have on the pedal when you start, which foot you will put down first when you stop, shifting your weight carefully so you don’t weeble-wobble and fall right over.  Share your life.  It is much more fun when you have a buddy to share the road or to simply go “in tandem”.
 Lauri & Eddy in Tandem
          3)  Think Happy Thoughts  Let’s face it, this life can be a cess pool of negativity.  Here’s an example of that on my ride this morning…it was 46 degrees and I hate the cold.  My Garmin wouldn’t work so I wasn’t able to see how far I went, how many calories I had burned, what time it was, and how my heart rate was doing.  There was a horrible head-wind that made me work much harder on the way home.  It took ten minutes longer than my ride out.  My fingers were freezing and at one point I couldn’t feel my toes.  Some of the drivers definitely are NOT observing the 3-foot rule and made me nervous coming so close.  And some parts of the beach ride just smell plain fishy…and I don’t like fish!  Why did I do this by myself?  I should have just stayed home.  Here’s what actually happened…I was cold for awhile, but reminded myself of how blazing hot it had been this summer and was glad for the change in season that finally appeared.  My Garmin didn’t work so I decided to just enjoy the ride and not worry about my heart rate or how long it would take me to finish.  I was cold during spots, but enjoyed the morning sunshine as it warmed me up to get through the next cold spell.  The headwinds are a blessing in disguise as while I’m slower, they make me stronger.  I was grateful for good health that allowed me the opportunity to ride my bike and for the quiet time it provided me to think of all these analogies!
 Positivity Face
          4)  Embrace Your Own Journey  While there were not a lot of other cyclists out as early as I was this morning, I passed a few.  And then one passed me!  My initial reaction is always, “Man, I’m slow” or “Speed up!  Quick!  Don’t let this guy pass you!”  Why?  Why do we compare ourselves to others so often?  I’m enjoying my Garmin-Free bike ride over here moving like molasses through this headwind…I don’t need to compare myself to the rest of the world.  Embrace your own journey in this life.  There is no one else like you, period.  So why would you want to take someone else’s journey?  This is yours…own it.
Mountain Bike Journey
          5)  Always Another Hill  My tooshie is sore after all the hills.  I admit it.  But there is always another hill.  Those hills build character, strength, resolve, and tighten my rear end.  That’s a huge benefit!  I ride with a group of guys on Thursday afternoons and one hill in particular is called “Power Line”.  It is insanely steep and it takes just plain power and grit to climb.  A few weeks ago, one of the guys told me he’d never made it up so I climbed with him and became the best little cheerleader you could imagine (without pompoms of course).  He made it!  And you know what?  Last week we went to that same hill and he did it again and it wasn’t as hard as the first time.  Those hills make you stronger and give you the confidence to tackle it again.  In life there is always another hill.  I enjoy the downhill and the coasting, but I know that hills are just a part of my life.  Just as in my bike riding (whether mountain or road), they are building muscles, creating experiences, and giving me confidence to tackle even bigger hills in the future.
  MTB Climbing Hills

Who I Am

Who I Am
Learning to Sleep in the Bed that I Made
     No TV.  Ok, well I do own a TV and am honestly a huge movie buff with lots of movies and some sitcoms, but I do not have a cable network of any kind.  No channels.  No commercials.  Been that way for over 20 years now.  I still get hooked on sitcoms!  I owned every season of Gilmore Girls and if Agents of Shield has a season on DVD, I’ve bought it and watched it in marathon order over a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long).
     My current addiction is Arrow.  In a recent episode I learned the origins of the character, Felicity Smoak.  (Third Season in case any of you are Arrow buffs, too)  While it wasn’t anything too horrific…think Bimbo mom and illegal computer hacking stuff, it was something that she was embarrassed and ashamed of.
     One of the point’s I’d like to make is that we all have things in our past that we are both embarrassed or ashamed of.  The first of those are the decisions that we have no control over.  Felicity did not choose her mom or her circumstances growing up.  The second are decisions we make that may cause shame as we see them as mistakes or just plain ugly bad choices.  In Felicity’s example it was creating a super crazy computer virus from her college hacker days and nearly spending her life in prison.
     But where is she now?  Working for a millionaire dude (who’s handsome and sexy by the way) and The Arrow as a computer genius who is calm under pressure, knows her stuff inside and out, and has made herself indispensable.  She is also friendly and is loved by just about everyone who meets her (except the bad guys, of course).
Which brings me to my second point.  Her upbringing and her so-called “mistakes” brought her to this part of her life.  Her life is not without mistakes now and it’s not perfect, but those life experiences made her who she is today.  They shaped her into the woman she has become.
     Your life up to this point has made you who you are today.  Right now in this present moment.  Who are you?  Where did you come from and where are you going?  I’ve been pondering a lot about this lately in my own life.

This is WHO I WAS:

     I believe my upbringing was pretty darn good.  My mom taught me to choose the right and how to be strong.  She showed me that she was human and made mistakes like everyone else. I learned to ride horses, ride a bike, and do good in school.  I loved to read and compete in spelling bees!  In unfortunate typical fashion, my parents were divorced when I was 11 and my mom re-married a wonderful man with 5 boys.  As per usual in most divorced families, it’s just tough.  Tough to figure out your identity, tough to reconcile your mom and dad not being together.  Tough to adjust to doubling your family size and learning to get along with not only 2 brothers, but 7!  (It’s just a flat out miracle that mom was never committed to a looney bin.  She gets huge props for that.).
     Imagine 9 kids; 7 boys and 2 girls all under the age of 11.  I know I had it tough, but my mom and step-dad are down-right saints in my book.  We were all on the local swim team and all of us did some kind of sports.  I remember doing basketball for 6 years, soccer for 3 and swim team for 3.  I was also in the band with a killer marching ensemble for parades and half-time shows.  My parents did the best they could and honestly, even though I might not have agreed with my mom and dad’s “parenting skills” (what child does??) if I had followed their advice, my life would have turned out better than the decisions I made for myself.
     The rest is all me.  I made my bed and I laid in it.  Every good and bad decision was up to me.  It still is.  I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I’ve learned that I love to work outside the home.  I love the challenge of new opportunities.  I’ve been a property manager, an Ombudsman to a Naval Ship during the 9/11 conflict, worked for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, made burgers as the Drive-Thru Queen of Burger King (age 18, cut me some slack for that one), lasted one whole week at Taco Bell, sold MaryKay and Pampered Chef, and yes, even the dreaded Amway for a spell.  I’ve owned my own business for a lot of years and was even a stay-at-home mom 9 years straight which was the hardest “job” I’ve ever had in my life.
      I’ve been married more than a few times with the common denominator of failure always being me in those relationships.  My two older kids are no doubtedly scarred for life due to my inability to have, find, and keep good marriage relationships.  While it is not an easy thing to talk about or simply admit, it is most definitely part of my past that made me who I am today.

This is WHO I AM:

     I am in a beautiful marriage relationship with my best friend and hero, Eddy.  He has given me a safe place to grow and learn about myself and who I have the potential to become.  I will forever be indebted to him.
     I love to sing.  I like to knit and hate to scrapbook.  I love riding my mountain bike and I love to cook.  I like making my house feel like a home where anyone that comes in will feel comfortable and at ease.  I stink at keeping green things alive.  Many a plant has died at my hands over the years.  I love to read Louis L’amour and I love to watch action movies and chick flicks.  I love to speak with people and connect with them.  I love the mountains, but don’t much care for the beach.
     I believe in God and love my church family because they show love to me unconditionally.  I am a WFPB health crusader (yes, I eat plants and yes, I get enough protein).  I have two dogs that are sweet as pie.  They are both black and both boys.  It seemed only fair as I have three daughters and my hubby was the only testosterone representative in the house.  I love making goals and then checking them off my list.  Did I mention I was a list-maker?  I LOVE LISTS!  The best part of my lists is marking the things off I’ve accomplished.
     Some of my favorite things are freshly cleaned sheets, new pillows, the sound of the dishwasher or dryer running, Kelly Rae Roberts, my courtyard fountain, the smell of jasmine in full bloom, Brooks Cascadia trail-running shoes, and getting packages in the mail.

This is WHO I AM BECOMING:

     First and foremost, I am always working on being more kind and being of service.  First to my husband and children, then my neighbors and then my community and ultimately the world.  I’m also working on being more cheerful and not complaining so much about bad drivers.  🙂
     I’ve recently started collecting pull-over hoodies…don’t know if that trend will stick, but it seemed worth mentioning.
     I want to learn how to pop a wheelie on my mountain bike.  I want to replace the rest of my VHS tapes with DVD’s.  I want to take a trip to Whistler and ride some killer trails up there.  I want to find out who my Gram’s biological parents were as she was adopted at age 5.
     I want to write a book, public speak to women who need a confidence boost and power uplift in their lives.  I want to do a weekly podcast starting in February of 2016 to support these same women to help them believe they are capable of more than they think.
     I just had to highlight this last paragraph in orange because I’ve accomplished it since I wrote this post in October of 2015.  My book came out in 2018 and the podcast is now over 2 years old – go me!  I would like to do more speaking to women, but I have done that as well.  Setting goals is oh so important!  Party in the house right now after reading this again!!!
     Oh, and I want to own a Model X Tesla…

Dream Car Tesla

Please comment below and tell me some things you already know about yourself.  Be proud!

Breaking the Rules

Bright Lines

     I have friends from many different faiths.  Some of my friends and even strangers have asked me how I can be in what they deem such a “rigid” faith.  So many rules…so many restrictions.  But I believe that rules bring freedom.  Enter in:  Bright Lines.

Line in the Sand

     The proof is in the pudding…or jail.  Yes, jail.  Very simply put, there are rules set in place that if you break, you go to jail.  In jail all of your freedoms are taken from you.  Now, someone else is in charge of what used to be your decisions.  They decide what you get to eat, to wear, and where you can and cannot go. You no longer have control over your life because you broke the rules.
     Just recently I was introduced to the concept of Bright Lines.  I looked it up on Google and here is what they had to say:  “A bright-line rule is a clearly defined rule or standard, composed of objective factors, which leaves little or no room for varying interpretation. The purpose of a bright-line rule is to produce predictable and consistent results in its application.”
     Let me give you a few examples of Bright Lines in my life so you can see that you have Bright Lines already established in your life as well.  I have a Bright Line that I have drawn about never consuming alcohol or doing drugs.  I will not eat any animal products or watch R-rated movies.  I even have one for never driving over 37 mph in our neighborhood because the cops are always perched somewhere and I don’t want a ticket!  These particular Bright Lines keep my body happy and cheerful physically, my brain happy and cheerful mentally, and my bank account happy and cheerful for not getting that speeding ticket!
     There have been times in my life that even though those Bright Lines were established in what I thought to be in stone, I broke.  I’m not talking about coming up and putting my toe right against the line.  I’m talking about wiping the line away, jumping completely on the other side, feeling a moment of exhilaration for having broken the rules, and then eventually feeling guilt over my decision and the inevitable consequences.

Consequences Ahead

     You have every freedom in making your decisions, but you are not in charge of the consequences.  Good or bad, you do not have control over the consequences of your decisions.
     The reason I am introducing this Bright Line concept to you today is that no matter what your past has been and the rules that we have all broken, we can begin today to set up new Bright Lines for ourselves.  Maybe it is something as simple as developing a habit to brush your teeth in the evening and not just in the morning.  (My dad is a dentist and I’m still working on this one!)  Maybe it is to not say something critical to anyone today, especially your loved ones.  Maybe it is not to have critical thoughts towards yourself.  Maybe it’s a bigger goal that you have in mind.
     Whatever your goal is, draw a Bright Line and as my friend and mentor, Susan Pierce Thompson says, “Simply Resume”.  Don’t beat yourself up over having crossed the line.  Just draw another one and resume.  I wish you good luck with your Bright Lines!  Sending love to you wherever you are in your journey.

Be Cheerful!

Be Cheerful!
Time Traveling, Smiling, Connecting
     My purpose in writing today is to help you establish some guidelines in your life that will bring you peace, enjoyment and cheerfulness.  I love the phrase, “Be Cheerful!”.  When I picture being cheerful, I picture myself smiling and enjoying the moment I’m in right there.  No time traveling to the day or months or even years before or focusing on the days, months, or years ahead.  Just being cheerful in the moment.  Right now.
     I’d like to make three simple suggestions that if you commit to today will bring you happiness and cheerfulness into your life.
     1)  No more time traveling.  Unless you get a crazy, awesome DeLorean like in Back to the Future, time traveling is not a good idea.  I’m not even sure it’s a good idea in Back to the Future, but definitely not good for your thoughts and feelings of today.  Yesterday is gone.  The mistakes are gone.  Tomorrow will never get here so all you can focus on is today.  The old adage of One Day at a Time is truly relevant for everyone, not just for those in 12-step programs.

Back to the Future

     2)  Smile.  Make a conscience effort to smile, even if no one can see you.  About a million and a half years ago I had a job as a telemarketer that lasted for about half a second.  Part of the training was to smile during your call.  Why?  No one could see me!  That was just silly and ridiculous to me.  But it worked!  If you don’t believe me, try talking on the phone without smiling and then smiling.  Your countenance just changes…for the better.  Don’t take my word for it…try it.

Smile Increases your Face Value

     3)  Commit to human connection.  And no, sitting in front of your television watching other humans does not count.  Interacting with other human beings simply boosts your spirits, even if the connection is you having to call and whine to your best friend, or cry on the shoulder of that friend during a visit, make the connection.  When I have been truly down in the dumps my gut reaction is to hole up and disappear like a hermit crab in it’s shell.  I block out everyone and everything until I feel better.  Not healthy to say the least.  I still have that tendency, but have beautiful friends who can break my shell and have me standing upright soon enough.

Girlfriends

     I want to write more suggestions, but don’t want to overwhelm you either.  If you have a problem with negativity, sadness, feelings of being a failure, take a minute to acknowledge that moment and ask yourself how you can be cheerful about something else.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but it can be done if you focus on these three things.  Commit to yourself today.  Be in the moment, smile, link arms with your best friend and have a beautiful day!
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