Don’t Discount Your Efforts

This thought came upon me this morning while I was out on a run. By run I mean three miles of a combination of run/walking.

While I have gotten into a regular workout routine, I still have not returned to running (until this morning). To be entirely honest, it’s because I have been scared. I used to run 6 miles like it was no big deal! Going from running half marathons and marathons regularly to running diddly squat is a big change and I became very discouraged. It is incredibly difficult to not compare my current self with my past self.

If I had to, I could struggle through a 6-mile run, but it would probably be an awful experience. I am not in the place that I was two years ago where I was running every day.

The thought that I had this morning after my second loop around the park–was that I ran more than I did yesterday, or all of last week. I needed to be happy with my few miles and not beat myself up because it wasn’t good enough. We are our own worst critics!

My final thought was this–the small seed you plant can inspire change, whenever that change happens to come.

My run this morning is getting me more comfortable and less scared of running than I was yesterday. Even if you workout one day a week, celebrate that instead of being disappointed in the fact. That’s one more workout than no workouts!

You never know…that one workout could lead you to running marathons, it did for me ;)

Progression

I believe it has become incredibly easy to dislike your life.

Why didn’t I get that promotion? I hate that I have so much debt. These jeans are tighter than they used to be. My eyebrows will never be as perfect as hers. How are her kids so well-behaved? I wish my husband did more around the house.

Pick pick pick. That’s what we do; that’s what our culture wants us to do. Pick at everything that’s wrong and all the things we want to change. This idea that we will never be good enough is the over-arching theme in too many people’s lives.

I once heard that if you only focus on your (or others) weaknesses, you (or they) will never get any better. Instead, if you focus energy on the strengths and positives, that is when you will see progress.

Some places of my life are progressing more than others right now and I am okay with that.

Three months ago I was diagnosed with a mild form of PTSD from an event that happened two years ago. My mental health was in shambles. Some days were better than others. I didn’t want to be me anymore. I was looking at everything that was wrong in my life.

Then the sun started shining. I found coping mechanisms. I focused my energy on things that make me happy and things that I know I am good at. I worked out when I could, I show love to my husband, I love on the little kiddos at church, and I cook some really good meals. I had to let some friendships drift away and I cultivated others that were edifying and fruitful.

I made progress.

It was uncomfortable at times, but it was progress.

Running isn’t something I am doing right now. However, I am really good at the elliptical, so I am doing that. School is a main focus right now and I will be graduating in May. My education is a strength, and something that I am focusing my energy on. I happily accepted an internship that excites and energizes me just thinking about it!

When you enjoy life, you can make progress.

Look at all of the wonderful positives in life…and focus on those.

Be sure to notice the positives in others too, because most everyone needs more encouragement and uplifting than they currently have.

A Story Book Baby Shower

Today I had the honor of hosting my first baby shower for my sister-in-law, who is expecting a little girl in April. My other sister-in-law helped me plan the shower and it would not have been possible without her! Our theme was centered around building a library for the baby, asking guests to bring a book for baby Elizabeth in lieu of a card. We drew inspiration from children’s books for everything from the food to the decorations–enjoy!

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A VERY special thank you to my SIL Jenica, Kim for having a baby, my friend Michele for making the adorable cake pops, Mama Resch’s bakery in Overland Park for the wonderful gluten/dairy/preservative/casein/soy/nut free cake, and to my fantastic husband for keeping me completely sane ;)

Checking In and Geeking Out

Hey y’all…I hope you are doing swell!

I have been thinking of posting all week and am finally getting around to it!

Let’s back up to January 1st–as usual, I set myself a handful of goals to focus on this year. One was to lose weight and get back to where I am comfortable and happy. I am going through the Stimulock program again (I am still a practitioner too!) and so far am down 19lbs, which is a pretty great start to that goal if you ask me!

19lbs is a lot of extra weight and with that gone, I have finnnnally started running again. I was on a hiatus over the holidays because I was too busy eating cookies and potatoes, which did catch up with me. I started out like I did when I first started running ever- 1 minute running, 1 minute walking. Two days ago I up had just enough fuel to my fire that I ran in 5 minute intervals and it was wonderful. Running makes me so happy. The stair master does not…I need to remember that.

Here is a look at some of my favorite healthy meals so far (that we’re pretty enough to photograph)

Eggs + spinach…I don’t love spinach, so instead of eating a ‘salad,’ I sometimes eat handfuls of spinach as if it were a vitamin. Gotta do whatcha gotta do…

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Pork chops and ‘zoodles’ aka zucchini noodles…tedious to slice but soooo worth the effort

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I also have to plan ahead and eat lunch in my car a lot. Reason being I cannot justify paying $9 for a salad with lettuce and chicken and I commute about 40 minutes to school each way, so lunch at home isn’t really an option.

Speaking of school…I started classes again this week! I love school, hence the geeking out title. I love learning and with 18 hours this semester, I will be learning a lot. This is my last semester of course work and I am hoping my current levels of motivation sustain through the next four months. I wore a pedometer on Thursday and in between my parking spot and two classes, I walked 1.7 miles. That is wayyy more walking than I thought I did, and I will be tracking my steps/miles on Monday to compare (Mondays are my longest days). I love all of my classes, two of them are heavy into research which is a career I am considering after graduation so it will be nice to have some experience in the field.

One last thing that has been bringing me lots of happiness lately is planning my SIL’s baby shower next weekend. With the help of my other SIL, this is going to be such a fun party! It is book themed and I plan on posting photos after the shower. We have really gotten creative with the party…you’ll have to wait until next weekend to see everything ;)

My last picture for the post…because how can you not love a big puppy?

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