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Life HAPPENS! Where I’ve Been, and I’m Glad You are Still Here!

Hello everyone!  I’m so sorry I’ve been away for so long, but I haven’t stopped working.  The picture above is exactly TWO years from the first day I started my transformation.  I have changed so much not only physically but mentally as well.  I went through a LOT of ups and downs during the two years as we all do in our lives.  The difference for me this time was that I KEPT GOING, even when I didn’t want to.

Motivation is what gets your started, but discipline is what keeps you going even when you don’t feel like it.

I get so many questions about how I stay motivated, particularly because my journey has been such a long one and I had so far to go.  The truth is NO ONE stays motivated 100% of the time, it just isn’t possible.  We all want to stay in bed, lounge on the couch, eat pizza, chocolate, Starburst jellybeans, drink wine or margaritas, live in our pajamas for the whole weekend – whatever your guilty pleasure is…. and that’s normal.  However, the difference in those who reach their goals and those who don’t (and I was a DON’T for far too long) is not motivation, but DISCIPLINE.  When motivation leaves you, when you just cannot stand the thought of more healthy food or another workout, that discipline has to kick in.  You remember why you started this journey, and you buckle down because what you set out to achieve will mean so much more than what you want RIGHT NOW.

I’ve promised since you met me here that I will always be open and honest, with the hope that somehow, someway I can help you with your own goals, whatever they may be.  So it’s time for full disclosure.  YES, I stayed disciplined for a very long time, I worked really hard because I wanted to prove to MYSELF that I could do this.  However, at the two year mark, I admit I pretty much started coasting and drifting.  I let some really ridiculous things get in my way – emotionally, I let things derail me because I just wasn’t strong enough to keep going.  I lost my focus because I let those emotional things take over.  In hindsight, they weren’t that important at all.  But you never know that when you’re going through it, right?  I’m here to tell you that it is not only OK but a requirement to put yourself first in your life when you find things getting you off track.  It happens – the key is not to let whatever it is derail you for TOO LONG.

Break down, cry, sleep, write in your journal, even drink wine or whatever you prefer – do whatever you need to do to process your sadness, your grief, even your anger.  The absolute key here is that you do process it – don’t live there!  Process it, figure out how to use it to make yourself stronger and more positive (if it’s a relationship, what did you gain from it, how did it make you a better person?)  This takes time, and it looks different for everyone.  You have to just keep moving forward – no matter how slow, or how sad, or how mad you feel.  The only thing that will help is to keep making progress – going backwards will just make you feel worse, trust me!

I did so much crying, so much eating, too much wine, and not nearly enough writing…. and not nearly enough of what was making me happy in the first place.  I didn’t work out like my body needed me to – for me, it isn’t just the physical aspect of fitness but the mental well-being too.  It took me longer than I’m proud of to move forward, but guess what?  What matters is that I have!!!  Life happens, but quitting doesn’t have to.

Here’s to US! Those of us who fight battles every single day but we keep going – we keep SMILING, we keep dreaming.  THAT is what matters most, and I’m so happy that I managed to do both of these.  Together we’ve got this.  STAY PAWSITIVE my loves.

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Chapter 13 – Preparing Yourself for Success!

Welcome back! Happy #selflovesunday everyone. I am happy to be sharing it with you.  What I realized during all of the darkness the past few weeks is what I want for you all to understand too – you don’t have to solve ALL of your problems at one time, you CAN reach out for help and you will be amazed who is there for you, you do NOT have to suffer in silence even if you really don’t know what to say, just say SOMETHING.

Back to being UNSTOPPABLE!

Way, way back I wrote a post about choosing a word and living your word.  What Is Your Word?  My word is UNSTOPPABLE.  Yet lately I’ve been the opposite of unstoppable – I think my month of July so far can be described as treading water at best.  But the month isn’t over and this week I finally got control back again.  After the fog lifted, I realized that nobody is responsible for my happiness but me. Cliche, I know.  Also I realized that just wanting to be successful on this last leg of the first part of my fitness journey just isn’t enough (go figure!).  I worked so hard for 14 months and this month I mentally took a vacation from the dedication and discipline.  I think the pain my body was in played a part but it isn’t an excuse.

A Break is Acceptable, Quitting is NOT

My point is that it’s OK to take a mental break but it is NOT OK to let it completely derail your progress.  Every day you wake up with a choice – what am I going to do today to be successful, to make headway on my goals?  You can choose to let life just happen, or you can be your own storm and MAKE life happen the way you want it to.  Took me a few weeks to get back to this but I’m there now.  Remember last week when I said “I am the storm”?  Well, let’s face it – we have to be our own storm!  No one is going to do the work for us – we have to try, and fail, and try again… Learn from our mistakes, regroup and give it a go again, until we get where we need to be!

How are YOU Preparing for Success This Week?

As part of #selflovesunday, let’s take a look at how we’re starting our week, how we are preparing ourselves to be successful this week.  What does that look like for you?  For me, it means cooking my food for the next couple of days so that I have no excuses to go off my meal plan.  Also it includes laundry and getting my gym clothes ready for tomorrow’s workouts so that I’m not scrambling at 5:30am.  It includes drafting some blog posts so I can be more present here this week (I love being here with you all and I’ve missed it!), and also planning out a few more videos I would like to do.  Planning, but also being ready to execute!

Above all else, a PAWSITIVE mindset can get us through anything!  Take some time tonight to plan and prepare for your BEST WEEK EVER and let’s go crush those goals.  Can’t wait to hear how your week goes.

 

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Chapter 12 – The Calm Before the Storm

Welcome to #selflovesunday!  I’m so glad you’re back! As you know really well by now, I’ve had a couple of weeks where I haven’t been “killing it” in all facets of my life. Emotionally and physically I had just been existing but I changed that once I made up my mind to do so. Had some great workouts this week, and managed to talk to some people about my business (very hard for me).  Yesterday I really let my depression get the best of me and had a complete breakdown – I mean a SUPER ugly one, the whole UGLY CRY thing (you know, complete with sound effects that freaked my pups out).  Haven’t had one of those breakdowns in a long time, and even though my eyes are swollen from all the crying it was extremely therapeutic.

Sometimes It’s Okay to Let People Know You Need Them

I want to thank my friends who reached out to me when they saw my post on social media – I was very scared about how I was feeling and I cannot say how much it meant to me that so many people took a lot of time out of their evenings to make sure I was okay.  That meant the world to me.  Normally I wouldn’t share that stuff but I realized I needed to some positive people in my world to get me back to Pam.

Everything hit me all at once – I won’t leave a list because it’s all stuff everyone deals with every day.  It just felt like the world was collapsing on me and I LOST it.  I can battle one or two of these crazy things at a time but when they all got together and formed an freaking ridiculously strong army, I didn’t handle life very well at all. So TODAY I am practicing SELF LOVE!!!!  I am a warrior, and I CAN handle this – I just lost sight of that last night.  I have amazing people who reminded me.  

Calm Before the Storm (I AM THE STORM!)

Remember I was questioning surgery/no surgery for my shoulder in my last post?  Well, this week’s training went really well and I feel so much better about that now.  I’m approaching this new week believing in myself again – like the quote at the top says.  I have felt a little like I haven’t had a mission with my training but just took a couple of weeks to let my shoulder/arm have a tiny bit of rest (THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM!) and it’s time now to put EVERYTHING back into place.

Doing food prep this afternoon (I got away from it a little bit during this less than positive time period) and have set a goal to get rid of these last 10 stubborn pounds by my birthday.  Then we can start on the next phase of the journey – which I can’t wait to tell you about soon.  “Never say never” – how’s that for a teaser?

Let me leave you with this cute little video as we move into a new week.  I hadn’t heard the song until I saw it on my timeline, but I LOVE IT!  Might be my new mantra.  I’m sure I will have mental and physical setbacks, but they will not define me and they WILL NOT derail me.  We are all so much stronger than anything and everything trying to take us down.  My loves we’ve got this, so STAY PAWSITIVE!  Let’s go after our dreams with every single fiber of our beings.  

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Chapter 8 – TRUTHFUL TALK…When LIFE Tries to Get in the Way

Thanks for coming back!  I realized that I’ve been telling you how I have tackled my transformation goals, what my workouts and nutrition look like, but I haven’t addressed one HUGE topic that I can’t believe I have skipped until now.  Adversity!

How You Handle LIFE Defines Your Success, and I Haven’t Done a Great Job Lately

What do you do when LIFE tries to get in the way of your goals, of your hard work? This has been the case with me for the past few weeks, I have to be honest.  Full disclosure – I’m not always 110% focused on the “prize” and I have been distracted recently with emotional and physical issues.  In fact, yesterday I missed the gym completely – didn’t bother to go for morning cardio or afternoon weight training (I did have 2 shoulder injections in the afternoon that made me very uncomfortable but in the past that wouldn’t have stopped me).  But the real reason was I JUST DID NOT WANT TO GO!

There have been way too many moments of wanting to just crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head and snuggle with my pups, hoping to forget everything that’s hanging over my head.  For a couple of weeks I made it home from my workouts and went to bed almost before it was dark outside, and this trend started to continue Sunday of this week.  I guess my thinking has been  “If I avoid it, it’s not really an issue right?”

It Is Time to Regroup, Refocus and STOP Feeling Sorry for Myself – BACK TO THE MISSION!

Well, unfortunately that’s not how LIFE works.  The stress hasn’t helped my weight loss, but you know what?  I have kept going, and I have TO KEEP GOING!!! Your goals and dreams have to be bigger than any distractions that come your way.  

I had one day yesterday where I felt completely sorry for myself, neglected, invisible – all the negative vibes I could possibly dream up and bring forth, I did.  But I followed the caption on the picture at the top of this post – I gave myself ONE day, then woke up this morning determined to get back to ME.  Of course it isn’t an instantaneous process, but I am going to do it – my goals and dreams are way too big to keep wallowing in these negative feelings.  This is LIFE too – the positive part of life.  I choose this part.

Words of Wisdom from Kevin Hart

I just finished reading  “I Can’t Make This Up – Life Lessons” by Kevin Hart, and I cannot say enough about what an amazing book this is.  Yes, he’s a super successful comedian and actor, but truly there are so many fantastic life lessons in this book that I had to write many of them down for future reference.  Where he is today did not come easily, and I’m sure he had his days of not wanting to get out of bed too for fear of facing stress or failure.

But one thing he said that I have to share here.  “More than anything, my willingness to be persistent is responsible for the success I’ve had.  My mindset is: It’s okay to fail, but it’s not okay to quit.  Struggle, rejection, failure and doubt break most people.  Your goal is to learn from these challenges without letting them diminish your motivation. The secret to accomplishing this is simple.  Let yourself be driven by your will to succeed rather than your fear of not succeeding.”  BOOM!!!!

My Struggles are Real but My Dedication is More Powerful

I just wanted to share some reality with you today – this journey is just that, a journey and not a destination, and there will be ever so many bumps in the road, wrong turns even.  But I WILL keep going.  This is what I ask for you to do as well.  Stress might be overtaking your life right now, maybe you feel like you can’t even see the goal right now, maybe you’re not motivated to pursue that idea you’ve had festering in your mind for months, and that’s ok – but remember YOU can take control.  Spend that day being human if you have to – it can help.  Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and GET GOING!  Persistence, remember?  We’ve got this.

Stay PAWSITIVE.

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Chapter 6 – “What’s Your Secret?”

Welcome back! If I hear it once a day I hear it ten times – “what is your secret to your weight loss?”  I wish I could tell you that there is some special secret, I really do.  This picture is from one of my favorite lifestyle clothing brands HTFU and it says it perfectly.  The secret does not exist.  Wanna know what it takes to change your body and your life?

There is no secret!

HARD WORK!!!  Discipline.  Dedication.

I’m going to lay it out for you, right here right now.  I started out lifting weights 3 times per week, a total body workout for the most part, as much as my knees would allow.  Cardio was 30 minutes at first, 5 times a week.  Keep in mind that I was coming from a completely sedentary lifestyle.  But I cannot stress this enough – it really isn’t about how much or how often you work out.  At most that’s 2 hours of your day.  AT MOST.

The key ingredient to success is NUTRITION.

I’ve heard the “formula” for success mentioned as 70% nutrition, 20% training and 10% rest.  Personally speaking, I cannot argue with that formula.  I was MORE than willing to do the workout part.  I loved it.  I was used to that from my time with my former trainer, and I loved being a strong woman.

I went kicking and screaming into the nutrition portion of that formula.  I hesitate a little bit to write what my nutrition plan was for literally the first YEAR of my transformation because every person is different, and mine was extreme to say the least (something most people don’t need to do!).  But my trainer knew that my body does not process starchy carbs well at all, so I had oatmeal at breakfast and 1/4 cup of rice (COOKED) at my 3rd meal of the day.  The rest of the day I had protein and veggies.  THIS was killer for the queen of pasta and rice, all things bread and chips.  Sugar hasn’t ever been my weakness but boy, starches were LIFE for me.

For basically one year, I kept to this meal plan.  We gradually increased my workouts until we ended up at 5 days per week lifting weights and 7 days a week with one hour of cardio.  My cardio consisted of an hour of incline treadmill walking.  My knees won’t allow for running or step mill, so we made the best of what I could do.  It’s ALL ABOUT EFFORT!!!!  I just had to really focus on the incline and pace.  Again, this is all credit to my trainer, who knew I had to work within my physical limitations.  I HATE cardio, but I knew I had to do it, so how did I make myself do 7 hours a week?

  1. New music!!!! I love music, so when one of my favorite artists (and there are a lot of them) comes out with new music, I won’t let myself listen to it until I get on the treadmill.
  2. I love doing my cardio while other people are working out – gives me something to watch that keeps me motivated!  I have a recumbent bike at home, but I much prefer to go to the gym so I can see other people working on themselves while I work on ME!
  3. Plain and simple – it’s all part of the plan.  I did not do it for the first several months (from April until July) and had no results.  Once I gave in and decided that the plan was there for a reason, I followed it to the tee and the results speak for themselves.
  4. Whether I wanted to or not, I religiously got up at 5am to work out before work EVERY DAY, and then I went back after work, even in the HOT summer.  You have to dedicate yourself to the process, no matter what.  This was the hardest lesson I had to learn.  I had to WANT IT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.
  5. One other thing to remember; I lost this weight by lifting a LOT of weight.  No tiny colored dumbbells for me.  I had to use my strength to help get this fat off of my body.  Lifting heavy weight will not make you look like a man I promise.  Consider the science: muscle burns more calories than fat!  True story.  So build that muscle ladies and gentlemen, and your weight loss will thank you for it.

Here is my transformation in video form:  from the very beginning to my NEW BEGINNING.

If I can do it, you can do it too.  You just have to go ALL IN.  I’m not even kidding.  You have to give up things sometimes that don’t contribute to your success.  I had to sell a lot of basketball tickets so that I could do my second workout of the day.  This was a choice I made, and you have to decide for yourself what you’re willing to give up in order to reach your goals.  No one can decide for you – that’s all you.  It’s HARD, it is tough.  It sucks sometimes.  HECK yes sometimes I wanted to have a cheat meal, or pizza, or a bagel when it was brought in for work breakfast.  But I wanted the new and improved me MORE!!!!

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Happy MAY!

Hello lovelies!  I have really missed you all.  I have to confess something – I completely lost sight of WHAT I do while I was trying to learn how to do it better.  I’ve been so busy studying about writing, blogging, working on creating a business (SPORTS VIXEN), that I totally put aside the actual writing itself, which is what I love to do.

My dear friend @CreativeGalina sent me a note with my “LIFER” necklace that brought tears (happy tears) to my eyes – she reminded me to focus and do what I LOVE and the rest will come.  If I don’t write, nothing else I’m trying to accomplish can possibly take place.  Pretty simple concept, but I lost it along the way – too busy learning and not busy enough “doing.”

I had even put my journal away, and we all know that’s my therapy (along with my new workouts), so I am bringing everything back to ONE.  Write write write – and be happy!  All the coursework and reading I’ve been doing has to compliment that, not detract from it.  I was getting so completely freaked out that I was paralyzed what to do next.  Galina put it best  “just write – nothing else happens if you don’t do that.”

This might be a lengthy post because I’ve been away but I have so much to share now that she reminded me that this is what I do.  I don’t know if anyone gets anything out of my posts but if one person does, then I’m doing something good.  And just maybe it’s enough if that one person is me 🙂

Update on my new training: I absolutely could not be any happier to be part of the Team Hardbody Fitness personal training.  The environment is perfect for my transformation! No judgement zone, just GET TO WORK! No mercy, because my trainer knows I can do it.  My mind was getting in the way.  I cannot explain how much my life has improved in the month that I’ve been training there.  I arrive with a smile because I know I’m doing something good, and I leave completely drenched and spent, but also smiling because I DID IT!.

I finally feel like I can have fitness goals again, and with this team pushing me, I believe I have a shot at making them happen. My MIND had to be ready in order to push my body.  It took far too long to get my head back in the game but it’s there.  And guess what?  My depression is in the background, I don’t live under that black cloud 24/7 anymore.  I have moments still, but they’ve taught me that everyone’s goals are important, and it’s time to work my ass off to get where I wanna go – because I am capable. The only thing that was stopping me before was me.  Now I just trust the process and execute.  I still have a LONG LONG way to go getting the meals right, getting all the cardio in – but trust and believe this is huge progress.  My self confidence is returning, I don’t want to hide from the world anymore.  Thanks Terry and Cara, Vinson and Ty for welcoming me and making me feel just as important as your elite athletes.

Michael Anders – Thank you for giving me the foundation and the push to first get my head together, then figure out what it is that I wanted to do in terms of fitness.  I was completely a total mess and all over the place trying to find an identity – what was my label?  I know that had to be SO annoying – I was more worried about the label that doing the work 🙂

My transformation is in full swing – physically and mentally.  I am a work in progress, beautifully and wonderfully flawed, but I am progressing.  It’s because I have amazing people in my life beside me, believing in me, and they see my vision and remind me when I lose sight of it.

Let me stop now before you get bored.  Just remember – there is no better time to believe in you than RIGHT NOW.  That thing, that one thing you keep saying “I would love to do….”, or “would’t it be great to try….” – give it your best shot.  There will be bumps, there will be bruises and setbacks but if it matters to you, nothing can stop you.

Have a wonderfully awesome day, and STAY PAWSITIVE!FEEL ALIVE! 20160503_234824000_iOS

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What keeps you going?

We all have ups and downs in our daily lives, and we all have goals that we want to reach.  Let me tell you, my goals have been tested and tested over the past year, and while I haven’t made much progress I am STILL HERE going after them.

Saw a couple of quotes today that reminded me why it’s a must to keep going.

“Being defeated is often a temporary condition.  Giving up is what makes it permanent.”  Marilyn vos Savant

“You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goals.”  Booker T. Washington

I have battled those inner demons of depression, but I will not let them win.  I wake up each day and see the precious faces of my furkids, and their unconditional love and dependence on me keeps me moving forward.  I will not fail, because I have met some incredible people who support and encourage me every step of the way.

I am a work in progress- but even slow progress still counts. 🙂 I will share my journey here with you all and we can discuss our challenges/obstacles and our successes.  Let’s GO!achieve

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