Thursday, December 31, 2015

Resolutions Worth Making & Keeping

Let's be clear here- I'm a list fanatic. Doing a task simply to make a list of necessary steps and items is very real in my little OCD bubble! That being said, I am a very wishy washy new year resolution maker. Sometimes I do it, sometimes it seems relentlessly silly. But I do back the idea of making a list of self improvements!! I just wish we could all improve on doing this numerous times throughout the year! Since this year I'm on the resolute wagon, I thought i'd share them here. They are quaint and simple, but powerful.
  1) Treat my husband the same way i did when we first met- times ten- everyday. Love him like you did the day you said forever- times ten- everyday. 2) Be nice to people at work that ask dumb questions. Laughing at their lack of knowledge isn't funny, it's rude! 3) Stay committed to your fitness goals. This hasn't simply been about you for a long time. Lead the women that need you FOR REAL! Teach classes with tenacity so women know you offer a space of love and strength. 4) Dig DEEP into your spiritual depths this year! The Source is calling you and you must respond! Study various religious and spiritual writings and meditations to stay connected in the soul. 5) Stick to the real you with your appearance. You wear YOU best. STOP TRYING TO MAKE JEANS HAPPEN. 6) Set business hours and keep them. Family time is priority time. 7) GROW G R O W GROW baby!!! (MAKE YOUR BUSINESS HAPPEN!) Inside and out. 8) Set aside $1- $5 minimum each week for every credit card debt collector so you can get financially free. 9) Love all that I love already infinitely deeper. 10) Continue to care for my body the way I should- like it's my most valued possession. XOXO

What are your aspirations of growth for 2016?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Knowing when to let go.

If you're like me, it's hard not to stay stuck; on people, on spending money frivolously, on mopey and detrimental feelings, on laziness and hyperactivity. This could be a side effect of my diagnosed emotional disorders/ chemical imbalance, but i choose to direct my attention to the fact that regardless of the cause, it is a character default that i juggle, off and on. Letting go of these things, these people, is quite difficult for me. I tend to romanticize this world and peoples' actions, so it can be tough for me to detach myself from those notions and ground myself in reality- but i have significantly grown in regards to this. A lot of my growth started in the same place; a psychiatric hospital in 2011. While it still took me some time to tackle the depth of my demons, it was a turning point in my life. One of the biggest changes that occurred was starting to let people go. Here's the dark truth- i'm obsessive, and yes, even with people. My morning routine to this day has to be sorted around a cleaning OCD that keeps my from carrying on with the rest of my life. Consider it a tamer groundhog day. So for me, starting to focus only on the people who stuck close to me in a dark time really drew a little light into my life. My husband, because of his support and love then and still to this day, is my number one human on this planet. What that means is that if you put me in a place where i must choose between him or you, he wins; if i only have 3 hours of free time in a week after work and recovery, he gets those hours. How my love for him, rather than hopefulness in obsessive approval (as most of my relationships had been), changed me is that i have improved on letting myself be consumed by obsession for being around people and practice loving those i'm around in the moment. I have the opposite of social anxiety; we'll call it solo anxiety for a little laugh. There was a time when any moment, even mere minutes, spent by myself meant i was harming my body in some way. I was harming my heart. But when i was in an upward spiral, being around other people made me feel invigorated and full of life. I was living through other people. In case you were wondering, that's only fulfilling for half of a second. I still have some difficulty not "overbooking" myself. I want to please everyone and be where they need me to be when they need me to be there. But the improvement has been drastic, in my opinion. It's still a work in progress, of course, because that's what life is. I need to be less accessible so that i can devote my time to the necessities to grow, to center, to flourish. We live in a time when everyone and everything is chaotic, and it's okay. I feel like my renewal in life these past few years makes me seem like an elderly shut in sometimes; choosing laundry over all night parties. (Seeing as how i teeter on the tendencies of a 4 year old going on 94 years young, i came to terms with this in a joyful way, immediately.) I can't say that i've "lost" a lot of friends or interests or gave up on the scenes i floated around in. But i did transform. If anyone disagreed with my spiritual growth, a vital aspect of my recovery, they or i simply withdrew some. If people had no invitations for me aside from a party, we simply stopped requesting each other's presence as often. When my focus on my family took precedence, others focused their time where they enjoyed it as well. There was no loss; loss implies sorrow. The towns i lived in, the good and bad people alike that i had shared days with, the empty goals of my days, the habits i reveled in... i didn't lose these things. They just changed. Changed is going to happen in every little millimeter of our lives, forever, constantly. Rather than viewing it as bad, i chose to open my eyes and see the good in it. I ALWAYS played the victim card. I was a pioneer of the poker game of pity when i played my hand. But when i finally started seeing change in my people, places, and things as a good thing, a natural thing- life just clicked. It's a hell of a lot easier to build myself up and a little harder to break myself down. I started to allow myself to let go. I love the people who were and will be powerful presences in my life. I even love and forgive the ones who scarred me deep. I pray that people i neglected can view me in that way too. By letting them go and live their lives, i don't bog myself down with an unrealistic fantasy. i don't demand that they try to appease my life changes if they don't care for them. i just let them live. Isn't that all that we really want to do- LIVE ?! Not just scraping by, not "dealing with it." We want the most, the happiness, the feel good movie type of stuff! (Okay, i'm a horror fan, so sometimes that means a movie different than The Notebook, but you get what i'm saying!) Can you bring yourself to let go of something that no longer serves your upward growth? Can you let go of something today that you no longer serve well, either? / // / // / Today, as i have felt for the past few days, i feel like my heart is sitting in the bottom of my leg. It's like no matter how hard i try, i just can't get it uplifted. I'm moody, self wallowing at the drop of a hat. And then other moments, i'm so-so. This is the true story of my unmedicated bipolar disorder. But it's a GOOD thing. i went cold turkey off my pharmaceutical medications in the early spring of 2012. I wasn't going to deal with playing games with medication, with having my highs and lows amplified, with lengthy side effects. Flushing my medicine down the toilet after leaving work early with a terrible anxiety attack, I chose a different path. My fitness life change definitely has been the main element of my natural cure-all. That's not what this post is about though. This post is about mediating this morning with some music and a few words to hopefully help you. Because in turn, it slowly helps me release myself from the grips of my BPD. It helps me calm my nerves long enough to know that i'm not worthless; that i am so loved by my God, my husband, and MYSELF, that regardless of whether anyone else says a kind word to me, i'm good. This day is GOOD, just like every and any day. Because life isn't a promise, it isn't something we earned, and we certainly don't have a right to keep it. Life is a delicate and precious gift that needs to be loved, fulfilled, and shouted about with reverence! So that's what i'm going to make today; a celebration. This joyful time alone has given me the opportunity to remember how far i've come and how much more i'm going to conquer and enjoy. Just because i have something like BPD doesn't mean i'm defeated. That diagnosis years back doesn't mean my personal definition is intertwined with that acronym. i know now when to let go of my sorrow that enters without my approval. / // / // / Happy Thursday- you are SO loved!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Owning Your Story :: Attracting Your Tribe

Writing a blog, seeking hopeful new friends to connect with, trying to put my name/ my brand out there for my fitness business--- these things have me constantly contemplating who i am// what my journey can be described as. In doing that, i have realized that what that truly means is being okay to tell my story. It means accepting my past and my current and sharing it with others in a shameless way. Here's the deal; when i make people aware of who i am, my tribe, my people, are attracted to me. And the wonderful people who may share a different life path or not care for what I have to say slowly trickle out. But that's okay. I need to make myself and my few moments of spare time open only for those who are a part of my tribe. WHAT IS ALL THIS TALK OF A TRIBE, you may ask? The most common definition of the noun "tribe" is: any aggregate of people united by ties of descent from a common ancestor, community of customs and traditions, adherence to the same leaders, etc. So, when you hear people talking about finding and attracting their tribe these days, they are trying to find the people they can walk in this life with that will understand them, uplift them, be there for them. I want to find like-minded people that seek growth in their lives, the people who were once broken but now recovering- from whatever life ailment they may have. My personal story speaks of certain recovery, so I share my own tales to especially draw my fellow tribe members in. I want to be around the girls and guys who know that fitness doesn't just have to be in vain or to splurge on a cheeseburger or an excuse to buy new LuLu Lemon outfits. I NEED my tribe to back me and be with me, stretch for lift, when I try to help people change mentally through a seemingly physical process. To recover together, to heal together, to celebrate growing into the people we are meant to be together. /// The thing about surrounding yourself with the people that understand you is that you'll be nurtured when you don't expect it and thrown tough love when you think you don't need it. And you'll take it all in; these are the people who tiptoe in the same footsteps as you. Look at your circle of friends now-- are you manipulating each other or extending hands to one another? Are you having deep conversations or focusing solely on moments from Us Weekly? Do they know your blood relatives names or do they only know the confines of the hangout you are in? It is possible that you have NEVER been surrounded by your real tribe. This could be due to seeking improper things in people; often, we as human beings seek validation from others. Because of this, we latch on to people for their pleasing words more than their personalities. Or perhaps you have that one perfect friend but limit yourself to the potential for how many confidantes you could cherish. /// FINDING YOUR TRIBE~~~ This first requires you being open and honest with yourself. Who are you now? What are your dreams for the future? What do you need to improve upon to achieve those? What bad habits, thoughts, and people do you need to release to move forward towards your destiny? Once your self improvement has started, you will already be in the first stages of finding your tribe. Just by being yourself, you will attract your peoples. And because life is a continuing journey of change, it is entirely logical and possible that people will come and go in this time- throughout the whole of our lives. Be yourself- share it honestly- attract people that dig what you put out into the world. It is so simple that it seems difficult. Social media doesn't have to be a horrendous platform for self gratification and nagging. It can be an endless meeting ground for your tribe! Share positivity, share your hard days with a solution in hand, share the beautiful person that you are. We are not made to be pleasing to every single human; it is essential that we stay true to who we are while seeking progress in our daily existence. So here's your homework-- write down a few things about WHO YOU ARE. What do you like? What causes are you involved in? What's your home life like? Now write down WHO YOU WANT TO BE. What are your career goals? How do you want to help people? Look at these options and share the truths. Everyone needs work; anyone that says they're perfect is either delusional or a liar. So bravely be you in a world that falsely proclaims flawlessness and know that you are beautiful, no matter where you are in your journey.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Jumping back into passion.

Does anyone else feel like they get so attached to multiple things that their fire starts to die out? --- The fire that burns for their obvious passions and the unknown embers that lead to spontaneous creation? --- Well HELLO, I am that lady! I've become so immersed in others' notions of my approaching figure competition that I have lost my burning desire for my workouts. I drag myself into cardio and have no interest left to actually hitting the weights. Or, my darling husband tries to get a couple's workout in and I manage interest for a bit before becoming antsy, lippy, or flustered with time. What the hell is the point then?! For me, lifting was an escape, it welcomed me into my recovery from eating disorders and a transformed mindset on my personal beauty. And now I find myself losing that spark. Actually, losing is a poor term because it will always be there- but it is slipping into the background. With that in mind, I am genuinely considering holding off until Spring 2016 to compete so that I can restructure my diet plan and regain my passion. Keep my priorities in order. With the millions of things I have going on in my life, I need to see what needs cared for now and what needs cared for later, and attack in order of importance. The truth is that my life needs a lot of reconstruction in general, and I have to give my focus and attention to the most important things first and foremost. We're preparing for our two year anniversary vacation, and I can't let the focus of our trip be counting calories and restrictions- it needs to be focusing on reconnecting with my husband first and foremost, as well as our family and taking a break from phones and internet and work. To clarify that- I will NOT be stuffing my face day in and day out. In fact, I plan on sticking with my current competition diet plan almost exclusively, but if I happen to have a dessert with dinner or not fuss over an added sauce to a meat dish or have a ginger beer with my husband, nope; not an ounce of regret or guilt. At the end of the day, anything that resembles an ED habit, thought, or obsession will be squashed and altered. My health and recovery will never be jeopardized under my watchful eye- whether for vanity, a person, or anything else. I want to get eager to jump into my workout, I want to feel that endorphin release, I want to go nuts on weights in our home gym one day, go to a Crossfit class another day and a power yoga the next, all in the same week, just because I like it. I don't want to feel suffocated by planned workouts or forced into a set plan- workouts need to be fun, or they don't happen. A bad workout is a workout that doesn't happen. --- Long story short, if you feel your fire fizzling out, pause and asses where your heart stands. What is it that you do that makes your heart beat- hobbies, career, family time? Are you still connected to those things? Do you need to establish them again in your life or is it something else that you're missing? Literally sit down and write out a plan on how to reclaim your fire. NEVER LET THAT SIZZLE OUT! It is what drives us as human beings; what keeps us pushing through the days with joy! Christ has pushed on my heart HEAVY lately that I am not fulfilling my bigger calling. While I have no clue what that means exactly yet, I know I have to get to work, because right now, I'm trying to push the wrong mountains, and they refuse to budge. I am not the type of person that can stay stagnant- it eats away at me deeper and deeper until I begin to self destruct. A little mental break from responsibility and real life will be magical FOR SURE! Celebrating my two year wedding anniversary with the most supportive, loving man in the world is the best gift in the world I could ever ask for; revisiting the pink beaches we celebrated our wedding on is going to fill every cell in my body with life!!! I'm blessed to share this special gift from my mother in law with her; I am grateful to have the connection and friendship that I do with her and know that we will share more laughs and talks on this trip. So how will I purposefully reignite my fire on this trip? First of all- LIST MAKING. I have started a few, I plan on restructuring them and redefining them while gone as well; everything from a daily tasks list to "Life after Bermuda." HA! I look forward to reading and getting back into my book idea during my down time on the boat to Bermuda. My creative juices are FLOWING and yearning for an outlet! I'm looking forward to spontaneous, unstructured workouts daily on the boat as well. Just letting my morning muscle desires lead the way and then running on the outside track with the sunrise. I'm going to be honest, I already know what restaurant we're eating at for our anniversary, and I'm really excited to eat lamb and some sort of chocolate dessert ! HA! I'm not NOT competing October 3rd as of now, but in my mind, I am leaning more towards a spring competition, for mental and physical growth. I will be spending this entire week canoodling my husband and reestablishing the strength of our partnership, our marriage, our love and future. Through his continued love and support, I know I can take on the world and win. Plus, we are the perfect counterpart for each other. He brings clarity and stability where I need it and vice versa. And when I return home, I plan on attacking the next set of priorities; it's time to cross things off the lists!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The only thing I like about summer; aka Our Garden!

Let's just face the music together, okay? I've always been a fall person first and foremost, no question about that. There's something magical about a 55-60 degree day, thin sweatshirts, wool hats, crunching leaves, Halloween !!!!!!!!!!! But the older i get, the more i love winter as well. Summer literally only intrigues me for two reasons- swimming pools and gardens. Note: I haven't gotten to go swimming this year, so obviously I am incredibly NOT into summer this year. Thankfully, we have had gorgeous roses, peonies, tiger lilies, hibiscus flowers, and other sensationally beautiful things around our yard. Our food garden is just as kind; so far we have yielded heirloom tomatoes, blueberries, peas, banana peppers, zucchini, jalapenos, habaneros, and we are anxiously awaiting pumpkins and acorn squash! Doing a few raised beds this year was a brilliant idea; we created four but only ended up using three. I definitely plan on calling dibs on the side garden next year; our broccoli never seems to take so i plan on putting leafy greens next to the spearmint. Long story short, friends, here is my take on summer: UTILIZE THE HECK OUTTA THIS HEAT AND GROW YOUR OWN FOOD!!!! Don't live in the Northeast or a warm climate like me? Stuff grows around you too, duh! See what works best to grow in your climate and DO IT! Stop paying stores all day everyday and dig into that dirt, pot that seed, do what you have to do!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Husband approved lunches!

One of my favorite sentimental activities that I do for my husband is make his lunch for work every morning. I started doing this when we first started dating as a way to connect with him and milk every moment together! It also helped me show him an extra ounce of attention and learn who he was and what he liked. This fall will be 4 magical years together, and I refuse to stop doing this!!! He has continually expressed his enjoyment and love of it, and it makes me feel good to take care of him. I am VERY lucky; not just because my husband is kind and great, but also because he loves to eat whole, real foods. Below are a few shots of typical foods I pack Mr. Hergy. My hubby is a union carpenter, so his hard work days allow him a 15 minute breakfast break and 30 minute lunch break. A general idea is: one or two sandwiches, cereal and milk, fruits, cheese, deer or beef jerky, a few chips or some sort of snack along those lines, water, coffee, and Gateorade or root beer. It sounds like a lot! Honestly he doesn't always finish it!! But the fact is, he does hard labor most of the time for a minimum of 8 hours and needs a lot of fuel to keep him going. My husband is naturally a tall, lean man as well, so his metabolism is quite speedy and needs the extra snacks just in case! These two ideas of lunches contain: Photos 1 and 2- roast beef sandwich with muenster cheese and jalapeno mustard; applesauce; a mix i made of raspberries, almonds, and blueberries; veganic chocolate rice crispies cereal and milk. Photo 3- the same sandwich (roast beef, muenster, jalapeno mustard); grapefruit and mandarin orange blend; raspberries and colby jack cheese that i cubed.
If you make your husband breakfast, lunch, or dinner, remember to appease his tastes, while also trying to help him eat healthy! I know that I want the longest, happiest, healthiest journey possible with my soul mate! If they have been junk eaters for awhile, slowly introduce new items to them! You don't want to completely push someone away from trying new healthier foods, whether your husband, friend, family member, or SELF! Fresh fruits and veggies always taste the best because they have pure, natural flavor! You can't go wrong with that!

Meatless Monday made simple!

Currently I'm following a fairly strict, mastered meal plan in preparation for my first competition in October. However, in my usual daily diet, I utilize the goodness of both plant based meals and lean meats. More than a decade of being a vegetarian (and some random spurts of veganism) made me truly appreciate the deep, real flavors of meatless meals, as well as the nurturing nutritional value. Sometimes our digestive tracts just NEED that break! Whoever started the buzz of Meatless Monday is a genius! It's a great way to get people to focus on plant based meals for a day, without having to make the drastic commitment of giving up meat. For some, that's a huge step in the right direction of not basing every single meal on a meat dish! For others like myself who don't necessarily do that, it's a good reminder to our systems that we love them! For you seasoned vets, these dishes may ne something you have created or done similar versions of. For you meatless newbies, here are a few delicious recipes to get you going! All of these could be prepared as a side or main dish- the serving you eat would determine what place it takes!
The brussel sprouts, green beans, and yellow & green squash (aka zucchini), were all tossed in a small amount of pure olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and were created to be eaten heated. You could always make these cold veggie salads as well, although you may want to cook the brussel sprouts first and let them cool. The Parisian blend contains a Belgian endive, artichoke hearts, snap peas, and shallots- another dish great cold or hot. The small snack pack of veggies would be great on the go- especially during the busy summer months when we try to do everything at once! The tropical kebobs feature pineapple, varied mushrooms, peppers, and onions. You could play around with what fruits and veggies you put on here! Just be mindful of how well the items you put on hold up over a flame so you know where to cook them on your grill! Also, snacking can be made easy and healthy with homemade guacamole! WHO DOESN'T LOVE GUAC?! I'm a huge fan of new plays on chips as well, but you can't go wrong with good ol' tortilla chips! Remember- many veggies and fruits pair well together; DO IT! The summer heat calls for dense nutrition in small amounts with several mini meals (if you're like me- it's so hard to eat when the humidity is intense!). If you choose to make any of these as side dishes, think about pairing with quinoa, hot or cold, tossed in a homemade vinaigrette, or rice or another healthy grain of your choice! Happy meatless eating!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to feed your husband all the meat he wants... Without clogging his arteries!

Okay, interwebs, I know some of you readers have that special someone in your life that would eat a hefty burger, paired with either a chicken or shrimp appetizer, and washed down with a drumstick for dessert. Several of us can relate that it is the man of our dreams, but you women aren't void of this! Honestly, I know there has been a time or two where I've realized no leafy anything or carbohydrate goodness danced across my plate. All. About. That. Meat. But let's be real, our digestive systems need a break from such a harsh meal to process and pass. "Meat sweats," isn't a term for nothing, okay? My husband is the type of man who loves 98% of food on the Earth, but always has a way of leaning towards a thick cut of meat. If he doesn't order some type of steak and seafood combo when we go out to eat, I'm nervous! I like to indulge him in his favorite foods, while taming my heart attacks that he might pass out while cutting the grass. My trick? Smaller portions! Just like what I preach any other time. He likes steak- we lean more toward deer than beef (leaner cut of meat so less artery clogging fattiness!). He likes bacon- I intentionally do grocery shopping and limit the amount of times in one month that he buys regular bacon over turkey... or lecture him endlessly ;) The point is, whether you are a woman like me, chasing fitness goals, or a naturally slender man like my husband who could eat his own weight in meats, portion control is EVERYTHING. Live life, enjoy it, enjoy good food... but stick around long enough to do that, okay!!! Tonight, I'll be having a delicious shrimp and spinach salad (check out my Instagram page for a photo of that later- @leehergyfit). My husband will be grilling chicken for my food prep this week, so I treated him and made some prosciutto-wrapped asparagus! Not a very lean meat, very salty, but... IT'S DELICIOUS! And with only 4 nicely shaved pieces wrapped around an amazing vegetable, you won't hear this wifey nagging her husband. I lightly tossed the asparagus in a pinch of olive oil. Then I wrapped them in the prosciutto and sprinkled with some freshly ground pepper. Knowing my man, I will also be making a foil pouch of onions, garlic cloves, and olive oil to toss on the grill as well.
Ladies and gents who are catering to your significant others' needs for all the meats: Food and life should be about balance. GIVE IT TO THEM! If I weren't in competition mode, we would have a scheduled hot wing date night every week. Because chicken and hot sauce. Or pizza- that stuff is heavenly. Know your boundaries; if one night a week is too much for you to stay on track, what about one night a month? What about for a celebration after a big test or paying something off? Find the right way to enjoy in moderation and do it! Your brain and your belly will thank you!

Friday, May 8, 2015


Hey friends! To keep myself on my targeted deadlines, and to present a little taste of what will be coming from my book, I have decided to share a piece twice a week with you throughout May! The basis of my book is founded in being happy and whole; targeting the three aspects of daily life that I have found brought me genuine happiness! Without a doubt in my mind or heart, I feel that it is essential to nurture your physical, mental, and spiritual health daily, in order to prosper and truly make the most out of each day. I hope that you enjoy these little shares, and I look forward to presenting and sharing the completed works with you soon! With love, Leeana ---------- Today's excerpt- Focusing on physical health: --- PHYSICAL WORKOUT: Veggie Stew! 1 can organic stewed tomatoes, 1 can organic pinto beans, 1 cube chicken or vegetable bouillon, 2 cups frozen broccoli, 2 cups frozen cauliflower, 3 tsp Jamaican curry powder, 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp rice flour. In a large pot, fill halfway with filtered water. Bring to a boil and add bouillon cube and spices. Once cube has fully dissolved, add tomatoes and beans. Return to boil and then reduce heat to low-medium. After about 20-30 minutes, add broccoli and cauliflower. When all veggies have softened enough to liking, slowly whisk in rice flour, to thicken. Serve with grain, rice, bread, or pasta of choice! --- Recipe notes: If you choose to use fresh broccoli and cauliflower, be sure to add them immediately after the bouillon cube and spices (with the beans), so they have time to soften. I love eating this by itself, with brown rice, or especially with buckwheat. If we make it on a day off, baking a fresh loaf of bread would be my dream pairing, though! It's flavorful enough to eat without a hearty side, but I love having something to sop this stew up with! I prefer eating it right after it is prepared, but it would also be good, warm or cold, in a power bowl full of other nutrient dense foods!

Monday, May 4, 2015


Hey friends! To keep myself on my targeted deadlines, and to present a little taste of what will be coming from my book, I have decided to share a piece twice a week with you throughout May! The basis of my book is founded in being happy and whole; targeting the three aspects of daily life that I have found brought me genuine happiness! Without a doubt in my mind or heart, I feel that it is essential to nurture your physical, mental, and spiritual health daily, in order to prosper and truly make the most out of each day. I hope that you enjoy these little shares, and I look forward to presenting and sharing the completed works with you soon! With love, Leeana Today's excerpt- Focusing on spiritual health: SPIRITUAL WORKOUT: Revelation 21:4 “ 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” We are quick to see, and remember, the beauty of life as we are in the throes of it; picnics and swimming in the summer, family holidays, winter sports and snowmen, career advances, that first kiss. But as humans, we tend to shy away from keeping the dark times in near thought; broken hearts, the passing of people we love, failing at endeavors. Just as soon as we emerge from a seemingly bad moment or phase in our lives, we want to run and hide from it. What if we were able to keep both the dark and light in our life in equal rank? It's the hard times that make us want to grow; without starting at a bottom, what room would there be to prosper and rise? In this Revelation passage, we are reminded that we have a forever home with our Creator. No matter what we face in life, good or bad, we have a never-ending future of peace, even after we leave the physical realm of Earth. Each struggle and challenge we are dealt is a chance to grow as a person, for ourselves and for others. If we succumb to even the smallest of hard times, we allow the possibility of acting as victims, keeping us from the true joys that we may have not been graced with yet. Life must have balance; we cannot appreciate the good fully without the stark difference of the bad. Cherish ALL the things that come about in your daily existence, as they serve a purpose in one way or another! Today's meditation: I am capable of working through the hard times in life. I will breathe through this process, accept the negative and turn it into a positive, and not play a victim. I welcome both good and bad happenings, for I know each have their place in the greater scheme of my life.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The seasons of our lives

Most days I am grateful that our lives have ebbs and flows that point us in new directions. But other times, like earlier this morning, it's hard to bear the truth that our relationships with people will come and go. That they will change from a vast intensity to a minor "like" on the internet. I see this happen when one of us happen to move, when one of us change an aspect of our life as we breach adulthood, when one of us change our sexual or life-partner relationships. I have felt this change of tide many times before, as is to be expected, and I know it will happen several times just yet. But that doesn't change the feeling that comes with it. A sense of being pushed away, a sense of mourning over what was. How many photos of friends together and you divided before you can't help but feel the human pangs of loneliness? Yes, these are the feelings and moments and thoughts that troubled me earlier. But then I was reminded that- this happens often, I have probably made others feel this same way, and everything happens for a reason. Here I am lamenting over spending time with people when I need to devote my time to working on my book, studying, and building my independent business. Here is the extra time I actually need, being handed to me by formerly close friends now living their night lives with others. And truth be told, I only appreciate a nice late night once or twice a week. I'm quite fond of my 10pm turn ins with my husband. I like giving my body the peace it needs to recharge. After all, that is what I'm chasing with my career, isn't it?! To be a pillar of health and wellness, to give it to others. Sleep is part of that equation. So, I started this day troubled. But with a little reflection, I realized I am exactly where I need to be for my goals, and they are exactly where they need to be in their lives, or at least where they choose to be at the moment. I have to push for ME, for my FAMILY, that is what is first in my life. Because friendships arrive boisterously in our timeline as needed, and then stay or dilute as the need wains. This evening, I get to share my time with my family, and I couldn't ask for anything more. XO

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Finding balance

When we tackle the things in life that helped lead us to our calling, it's important to keep balance in mind. Right now, as I often do, I'm dealing with the trouble of trying to make a schedule for myself to keep my life in balance. I have to balance my family, my friends, work, growing, As well as achieving the things I need to that will support my future career goals. Amidst that, I have to balance my as well as achieving the things I need to that will support my future career goals. Amidst that, I have to maintain my health and fitness own personal own personal health and fitness routine and goals. Sometimes I do much better at different tasks with a clear-cut goal and end in sight. For instance, in my fitness coaching career, my mentor has set a goal for me that I am trying to achieve. It's a big goal in a short amount of time, but the pressure makes me want to push that much harder. I considered signing up for a fitness competition at the end of the year or next year, but I also have to know certain limits and boundaries. I definitely believe that I will compete at least once in my life, but the fact is that Harry and I are trying to get pregnant right now, and I need to make my goals match. It does not make sense for me to try and get pregnant and also try to bulk and cut and follow a very precise meal plan when my body has other jobs to do right now. That doesn't mean that I'm not still lifting and trying to get my body in peak physical condition, it just means I have to give it one important task at a time. Balance. Slowly but surely I'm getting the hang of this. I plan on writing up a schedule for my days so that I stay focused on my goals and don't skip anything, but also don't take away from my family time. I don't think it's impossible to be an entrepreneur and still maintain a healthy social life. Besides, there is no trade off for time with my family and friends. No courier or success would be worth it without the people I love by my side. If you recognize that something needs balance in your life, whether it's an action or your words or your routine, I pray that you take the steps to find the balance that works for you. Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The calm before the storm

Whew. I'm in one of those phases of life where there is A LOT going on, and all I can think about is how badly I want to lay on my couch and watch television! Last week focused heavily on church, Holy Week, and preparing for the family to come over on Easter Sunday. This week is full of night shifts, last minute preparations for my dear friends Cori and Johnny's wedding, a trip to visit a friend out of town, and then the actual festivities of the weekend for the wedding. Not to mention my mother in law's knee surgery got bumped up to this Friday, so I will need to check in on her at some point. I'm grateful for such a vibrant, eventful life, but I am MORE than excited for next week to be a little calmer! I have more day shifts than night which means more dinner and cuddles with my hubby. And I refuse to make any set plans; if something comes up that fits the time and mood, I'll be all in, but I want the freedom to just be a couch potato! (Figuratively, my workouts are going to be on point from now on!) Easter was so special to me, for many reasons, but it's time to get focused again. My belly has been very upset with my holiday decisions! From moments of feeling nauseous and the least bit hungry to eating more than necessary, thus leading back to feeling poopy. Ha! The vicious cycle! My morning business work is done, my breakfast Shakeo has me all energized... time to finish bridesmaid bouquets and then crush my leg day!! Happy Tuesday, people!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Returning to my writing!

Oh blog. The phases we go through together! I come and write daily for some time and then leave you high and dry. No more- I promise! This Lenten holiday has really invigorated me with new life. I'm focusing on my fitness business more to build it up so that it could be my full time HAPPY career someday, sooner than later. I'm being open and honest about my faith and trust in Jesus more on social media. True story- I didn't want to pretend I was going to give up something material for Lent (c'mon, I don't even make New Years Resolutions, gotta start small!), so I made the decision to give up a fear instead: no more fear of posting my faithfulness on social media and worrying about people judging me. Non-believers, friends of mine who have seen me when I was a negative agnostic, people who consider those that are open with their faith ignorant simply because they don't share that faith. I wanted to give that up, because I want to truly share love like Christ did. And the way I can do that is by sharing my own love, which stems from a love given to me by He who died for me. Holy Week put a lot of intense feelings in my heart that I haven't had since I was a pre-teen and decided to get baptized. It feels good to have this revived yet new life in me, so fitting for Lent. And I will have Sundays and Thursdays off from now on, which means this girl is getting back into the choir!!!!!!!!!! In the mean time, I do love my job at The Fresh Market. It's nice to help people with healthy food options and get a discount on them myself! Our store ranked #9 on the Consumer Report for top grocery stores in the US! How cool is that?! I think that once my at home business takes off and I'm able to make income off of it to not have another job, I'd still like to work two or three days a week there to stay around all the pretty food ;) My one online summer class will be starting next month- just my English 2. I haven't 100% decided what I want to do yet, but I'm really leaning towards nutritional science. I think that could help me incredibly with fitness clients, as well as my long term dream to help men & women recover from eating disorders. Our bathroom is also coming along beautifully, which brings some peace! I'm praying it's done before the summer weather starts so we can get our house back in order before cookout season starts! Well, this will be a short catch up post- I have many errands to do before work and then tomorrow is a magnificent Easter celebration at our home! Hope you are all well and living life fully this Holy Week! Love Lee

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Continually growing/ ever changing

It's that time again- the time where i examine my life and what is in it and how i feel about the current and the lacking. I think i've come to the realizatiom that there are very few things that i feel 100% about in this life; i know without a doubt i married my soul mate, i know for certain that i want to have a child when it's meant to happen, my family will always ne incredibly important and hold precedent over most other things, i'm eternally connected to a Divine Presence from an interna source, my childhood was incredible regardless of unique quirks, and i need to have a life full of helping people, in any form or way possible. Now, i say that i "think" i came to this conclusion because aside from my feelings on those specific things, my heart and mind change constantly. Sometimes daily. As i sit here in the tattoo shop, helping out by working on my day off from the lab, i feel confused about my career changes. I know that the lab experience will bring me benefits down the road, but my pride feels like a contender with my worth. A basic, boring job with horroble hours and horrible pay, but potential for career benefits. Compares to this pleasant, artistic, open job with decent pay. Not to mention, connecting a friens to take my place, so the spot i feel a sudden yearning for is not even available. While these days and weeks fly by into months and years, i try to remember that by summer i should be certified for phlebotomy and have more options arise. By summer, things could possibly be better. I just have to try and squeeze two pennies together to survive until then. I just have to get by on the simple things. I need to put more positive things into my heart so that the long boring nighta of underappreciated work don't break me down before i have the chance to reach my potential. And i have to stay free on myself to know that there is no mold or career that i must fit or follow. Because the path always appears to be paved in gold but has many cracks and bumps. The "career" that has turned out to be a shit show. The job that contained more of my heart than i realized. The future, that has yet to be molded and grow.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ready & willing

I tend to feel motivated in my life as a whole. That is to say, when i'm on- i'm on! And when i'm gone- oh brother. Returning to my sober lifestyle has brought along the wave of gratitude and dedication that i've needed in all aspects of my life. God has blessed me with the ability to have an open and honest communication level with my husband, so when he bought us gym memberships because my lack of self confidence was so lacking, i knew it was a sign. "Hey, kid, you're working hard to do right again... Do it for yourself, too." And so my exercising has come back around, which in turn prompted my eating to right itself, which leads to an overall boost- in confidence and actual happiness. I'm on. So now i'm chasing this different desire. How do i KEEP this positive flow, this dedication to goodness for myself and others? I don't want to have to mend myself and my relationships and my attitudes every few months or years- i want it longterm. And the only answer i can see is: do the work. Be honest to others so i can be honest with myself and keep moving forward rather than falling back on excuses. I'm trying to get my career goals in line, making recent modifications to previous goals. I'm trying to get my family values and goals in line, trying to a good wife and life partner. I'm getting my food thoughts in line, relying more on science and less on the voice in my head that tries to lure me back to my eating disorders. And i have my fitness goals back on track- because it brings me self empowerment and joy. Transforming from the past of wanting to have nothing but bones and skin to wanting to build muscle and be athletically fit is a BIG DEAL to me. So i try to nurture this feeling when it is here, planning workouts and setting goals, because i don't want it to leave. Well, the time has come to try to make these things life long and not just temporary. Revisiting my 3rd step in my recovery is helping me tremendously to grow. Seriously, it's moving mountains in my heart. Before I go, I'll share the 3rd step prayer. Because whether you're recovering from addiction or just living today as a human, this prayer is magnificent for all of us. "God, I offer myself to Thee- To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" Happy living (not just existing), friends.