Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dancing and Tears

When life throws us curveballs and/or we make decisions that cost us dearly, we find that we have to be strong. I fight everyday to keep positive, to keep a smile on my face, to hold on to hope and the trust in my faith in God. So far it has been working because I haven't had a breakdown in a while when the weaker me would probably have a permanent swollen face without doing those things I mentioned. I do hope to inspire others to be strong when faced with a challenge in this tough but amazing life we have, but let's be honest, we cry anyway.

I believe that it is a cleansing process because being so strong all the time has the danger of suppressing that sad, pitiful part of us that we often reject for fear of suffering pain. In that attempt we end up hurting more because all of our parts need taking care of. (can you tell I've been in counseling for a while?) It is hard to learn how to take care of ourselves when we are struggling to get through the day, but at the same time, that is when we are called to be our strongest selves. It makes us better versions of ourselves. Can you imagine how a person would be if they had never suffered heartbreak or pain? I imagine that person wouldn't appreciate this life, they would be arrogant, and take those that love them for granted. This life is too short to be that way, so yeah pain is necessary for us to realize how truly blessed we are and to be thankful for those blessings in the midst of chaos.

Yesterday was a tough day for me, and on the thought of needing to cry, I definitely had a mini breakdown. Elevated heart rate, red splotchy nose and all that didn't last long because I couldn't hide out in the bathroom for much longer than the time it takes to poop. Of course, that moment of vulnerability inspired me to write this post to share how I deal with those moments that I know we have all been through for one reason or another. I spend most my days trying to be strong, keep a smile on my face, the whole fake-it-'till-you-make-it idea. This reminded me of a song that I kind of feel is me right now. There is a part of me that feels so broken and dead but another part of me that wants to keep dancing in this life. "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" as performed by Ke$ha reminds me of how I feel right now. I'm honestly excited and happy with the things I have planned for myself and my future and that is me dancing, but with tears in my eyes because of what it took to get me to this point. Anyways, I thought I'd share the lyrics of that song and please pardon how it is such a high school girl thing to do, ;-p
"Here I go, this is my confessional. . ."

Here we go, welcome to my funeral
Without you I don't even have a pulse
All alone it's dark and cold
With every move I die

Here I go, this is my confessional
A lost cause, nobody can save my soul
I am so delusional
With every move I die

I have destroyed our love, it's gone
Payback is sick, it's all my fault

I'm dancing with tears in my eyes
Just fighting to get through the night
I'm losing it
With every move I die

I'm fading, I'm broken inside
I've wasted the love of my life
I'm losing it
With every move I die

When did I become such a hypocrite?
Double life, lies that you caught me in
Trust me I'm paying for it
With every move I die

On the floor I'm just a zombie
Who I am is not who I wanna be
I'm such a tragedy
With every move I die

I have destroyed our love, it's gone
Payback is sick, it's all my fault

I'm dancing with tears in my eyes
Just fighting to get through the night
I'm losing it
With every move I die

I'm fading, I'm broken inside
I've wasted the love of my life
I'm losing it
With every move I die

This is it and now you're really gone this time
Never once thought I'd be in pieces left behind

I'm dancing with tears in my eyes
Just fighting to get through the night
I'm losing it
With every move I die

I'm fading, I'm broken inside
I've wasted the love of my life
I'm losing it
With every move I die

Tell me I'm not the only one who grasps at music to express emotion! Who am I kidding, I know for a fact we all do! So share a song you relate to right now, happy or sad or just plain fun. Share below in the comments or on The STRONG Life's Facebook Page.

P.S. I'm on a Cher Lloyd kick right now. Her album is great working out music! Or dancing music :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Our Thoughts To Our Destiny

It is beach day today! Yes I must apologize to those of you living north of South Florida but we are still warm here and I am loving it! It truly is a blessing that my parents moved down here when they did because had I been back in Oklahoma after my husband and I splitting, left to deal with the winter that always depresses me, I don't know if I would be able to stand it. Although, God has been doing a great job making me be able to stand it right now. It hasn't been the greatest of times lately, and yesterday I was feeling very blue but being at the beach will help. Anywhere where you can just be, sit in peace, close your eyes and feel lucky to be alive. . . now that is a little piece of heaven. :-)

Before moving down here I went to the library to check out a specific book, but on the way to that book another book caught my eye, I checked it out and it ended up being all the words I needed to hear. I swear that it was God making me grab that book so that through the words, He could speak to me to answer all my prayers, fears and cries to Him. That book was called Deal With It: You Cannot Conquer What You Will Not Confront by Paula White and I recommend it not only for the many passages and quotes you will want to write down (like I did) but also because she has a wonderful way of telling the stories of women in the Bible to apply the lessons to our own lives. I am hoping to buy it and own it but until I get a paycheck, the quotes I wrote in my journal will have to do.

I wanted to share this one today, I thought Sundays would be good for sharing inspirational quotes or scripture to start the week off with.

I dabbled a bit on positive thinking at the end of last week and this quote definitely shows why it is important to expel negativity from our minds:

I don't know about you but when I fight to keep my mind on the positive, that is when I find God speaking to me the most. I can't sit here and say that I don't ever get clouded with negative thoughts, it is something I struggle with, I'm sure we all do. But if you are conscious about a negative thought when it comes to you, confront it. Tell it that you will not keep it and then give it God. I find the more I confront my negative thoughts the more it becomes habit. I find my mind starting to recite positive quotes I remember or thinking, "It will be okay, it will be okay, it will be okay" Anything that wards off negativity, I find that it becomes habit. It is kind of funny because I am starting to feel my mind be split with the positive, strong part trying to reassure the negative, weary part.

Notice I say reassure and not suppress or get rid of. I believe all parts of us good or bad are who we are and we can't be ashamed of any part but rather embrace all those parts, take care of those parts and be at peace with those parts. So that negative nancy in your mind just needs to be reassured that you can do this! Why? Because through God, all things are possible!

If you haven't seen my 10-11-12 Challenge you should check it out and use it to jump start you mind on thinking about positive things. If you have a blog, I encourage you to write your own 10-11-12 post and share with me in the comments below or on The STRONG Life's Facebook Page.

How do you practice positive thinking?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What is Your 10-11-12?

The last two days were rough on me as I had to drive 8 hours to Pensacola, load up the rest of my belongings, sign divorce papers that felt more like stomping on my heart, say goodbye to a town I grew to love, and saddest of all, say goodbye to my husband. I got back to Cape Coral last night determined that today, being the first day of my new life, would need to be a good one.

Of course, I don't really pay attention to the dates since these days are all becoming a blur but now that I am making a promise to myself to be present in my life for now on, I just realized that today is 10-11-12! I was working on a post for tomorrow, but then I felt like I just had to come up with a fun post for today! Think of it as a Love Challenge for yourself. :-)

I'll call it 10 Things I'm Thankful For, 11 Things I Like About Myself, and 12 Things I Want to Accomplish This Year. I posted this morning on my Facebook Page about having positive thoughts so that you become a positive person, so here is a post putting that into practice. You should do it with me!

Okay, here goes:

10 Things I'm Thankful For

  1. My Pug
  2. My family living in Florida
  3. Warm weather in the Fall
  4. My health
  5. My youth
  6. The beach
  7. Knowing love
  8. The support of my family, a few close friends and an online community
  9. Finding a new church home so quickly
  10. Life lighting a fire under my butt to finally make my dreams happen!
11 Things I Like About Myself
  1. My faith
  2. My passion for learning
  3. My hair
  4. My ability to forgive easily
  5. My compassion for others
  6. My love for writing and fitness
  7. That I can fit my entire shoe collection in a small suitcase (I know, I'm a disgrace to women everywhere, but I'm actually proud to not have spent so much on things I really want but don't need. The shoes are a symbol of that ability)
  8. That I fully trust God more than ever and it feels good to not carry the burden of the unknown!
  9. That I don't have many friends. I have few friends that are true and loyal
  10. That I'm too nice. Maybe it's a flaw as well but I like it!
  11. My new belief in myself. I've battled insecurity for so long but my confidence is slowly building and I KNOW I can achieve anything I work for. :-)
12 Things I Want to Accomplish This Year
  1. Lose 5 more pounds
  2. Finally get my Personal Training Certification
  3. Work up to 3 mile runs again
  4. Get back in a blogging routine of at least 3 times a week
  5. Build my Facebook Page community to 100
  6. Save $2,000
  7. Start my business
  8. Be able to take over all payments of stuff on my own (loans, insurance, phone, etc)
  9. Buy a gym membership
  10. Recruit my first paying client
  11. Make a new friend in town
  12. Build up an at-home "gym" with all the simple equipment needed to train and teach clients to reach their goals

I think I could have gone on longer on each thing but it's good to get you mind on a positive mindset about yourself. So go ahead, I challenge you to share your 10-11-12! You can comment below, share on The STRONG Life's Facebook page. OR if you have a blog, do your own 10-11-12 post and share the link to it in the comments below so that I can read yours! 

Go ahead, what is your 10-11-12? :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade Booty

I fought back and forth with whether or not to share about my divorce, however, I knew I had to share because I couldn't continue blogging the way I had before when my blog had a focus on marriage. I put it out there and the response I got warmed my heart so much! This week is a rough week (I'm going to be signing divorce paperwork for filing this week) and hearing your supportive words was exactly what I needed to get through my day. I am actually on the road back up to the Florida Panhandle to get the rest of my things and to sign the paperwork. It is going to be a miserable trip since my biggest fear is that this would be the last time I see my husband ever again. . . :-(

But, let's not dwell on sad things! Fitness makes me happy and fulfills me so much so I am so excited to be able to share anything I learn or find with you. :-)

If there is a fitness website I am obsessed with it most definitely is FitnessRX for Women! I learn so much about fitness and clean eating along with learning new exercises and strategies for working out. I used to have access to the base gym for free when I lived with my husband. Now that I live with my parents, I live in an active town with many gyms, but, alas, I have no money yet (working on that!) to pay for membership. I'm sad that I don't have the equipment anymore to build muscle, but that doesn't mean I can't still tone and shape my body! I know it is a common issue women have of getting to a gym  so I am excited to be forced to workout at home for a while and get creative with it.

So of course, I found this article from FitnessRX titled Strong & Shapely Glutes: The Ultimate Butt Lift Program and automatically wanted to use it since my lower half is my number one goal to whip into shape. (Follow the link to the article and they also have a chart of the exercises you can print out)

The workout can be done at home as it only calls for simple equipment:
Stability Ball
A Mat if you are working out on a hard floor
Jump Rope

I say simple but I know maybe not all of this equipment is in your home. I personally don't have a bench and I left my stability ball back at my husband's house so I had to modify a bit.

This is what I use:
8 pound and 15 pound dumbbells (I'd recommend 3lbs & 8lbs or 5lbs & 10lbs whatever you can handle at doing 10 reps where the last two are hard)
A stable chair

Come to find out that my mom just bought a stability ball, but I'm going to stick with a chair for now. I'll explain in a bit. You can find details of the exercises and their explanations in the article. I'll share below my version of the plan.
Monday: Lower Body & Cardio
Tuesday: Upper Body/Abs & Cardio
Wednesday: Cardio
Thursday: Upper Body/Abs & Cardio
Friday: Lower Body & Cardio
Saturday: Cardio
Sunday: Rest

Lower Body Exercises as listed with a few mods:
~ I use my 15 pound dumbbells for all the leg exercises
~ 1-Leg Squat done with a sturdy chair instead of a bench or box
~ Rope Skipping done without a jump rope, I just mock the motion of jumping and moving my arms
~ Step-Ups done on a sturdy chair instead of a bench or step
~ It says for intermediate and advanced to do the circuit 2-3 times. I would say I am in shape with the exception that I started this after 3 1/2 weeks off of training. Starting this week, I could only do it twice and was sore for days. So if you are new to exercise, I would recommend 1 circuit if you want to try this. It really is a challenging workout!
~ I am also adding to the circuit since I felt that the workout does a good job working the glutes, quads, inner thighs and calves, but my hamstrings felt left out. I'll be adding this: Dumbbell Deadlift 15 reps followed by High Knees (just cuz I like those!)

Upper Body Exercises as listed with a few mods:
~ Seated Dumbbell Press done with the heavier weight and the Shoulder Sunrise Rotations & Side Lateral Raises done with the lighter weight. I use 8 and 15 pounds but as I said before, use what you can do for 10 reps of the exercise.
~ I know that my core isn't as strong for me to do the stability ball knee-ins, thanks to my loathing of ab exercises and therefore hardly doing them! So instead I planked with my legs elevated on the chair (extra challenge for the shoulders), beginners can just plank on your hands and feet on floor, and then bring each knee up towards your shoulder for a good core and oblique workout. The trade off in the exercise doesn't necessarily work the exact muscles but it still strengthens the core and I have a primary focus on my obliques anyway.
~ I do V-Ups on the floor since my chair has a back and gets in the way.
~ It says 1-3 reps of each exercise, I'd definitely shoot for 3.
~ I did all 3 reps of an exercise with a 1 minute rest period before moving on to the next exercise doing the same.

Cardio is pretty much my own thing:
~ Cardio on Lower Body days is a moderate intensity, steady state jog around the neighborhood for about 30 minutes.
~ Cardio on Upper Body days is the interval training as laid out by FitnessRX in the plan for running but outside instead of a treadmill since I don't have one (and I hate the treadmill anyway).
~ For the days that are just Cardio, I'll either do a moderate intensity 30 minute jog or a workout depending on my mood or the weather.

Always know your limits and always listen to your body. Read the article for proper technique and be sure to ask me if you'd like a suggestion for an alternative exercise to one of the ones listed in the program or a modified version of an exercise to make it easier.

I plan to do this routine for the rest of October, maybe perhaps even through November with a different upper body/abs circuit. If you end up trying this workout, let me know what you thought of it! It's a toughie for sure!

Any programs you are doing this month? Do share because I love expanding my library of workouts to try out. :-) And be sure to Like The STRONG Life on Facebook to get more inspiration and fitness related findings that I only share on Facebook!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Starting Over

I'm just going to come right out and say it because it is my reality.

I am going through a divorce.

I do not want to lose my husband. I still love him and this has been a rough few months for the both of us. I do not believe in divorce but of course it takes two and I can't make anyone stay with me. Obviously I still pray we can work things out. There is so much to the story and it has been a struggle. It only got worse and finally reached a breaking point that has led me here. Typing a blog post alone in my bed with my pug in my parents' house in Cape Coral Florida, 8 hours away from where I used to live a life with my husband. . .

I carry a lot of guilt and shame right now. I could go into the history, the story, the issues and my current struggle but I'll save that for my close friends, family and therapist for now. I want this blog to focus on the positive and to be an outlet to move forward. Only looking at the moment that is now and having hope for what the future holds. Having faith in what God has in store for His greater plan. I'll share my journey as I start over. No job. No money. Just all the hope and faith in the world to fight and become an independent, selfless, STRONG woman!

How does that saying go? You don't know how strong you are until strong is all you have left to be. That is me right now and how fitting that now I find myself in a position to live up to the name and purpose of my blog (minus the marriage part now) where I have to live the STRONG life. My sister told me that she was so proud of me for being so strong through all of this change, but I can only credit God for that strength. I tell you what, I am CLINGING on to Him with ALL that I have right now because left to my own devices, I may just be sitting in a corner crying my day away with a few empty bottles of wine. I have hit rock bottom (thankful though, because I know it could be worse) so now I can only go up from here. I have my youth and my health and my family all around me. How blessed am I!

I plan on surviving and coming out a stronger person. Here is to serving God, living fit, and loving ourselves flaws and all!

Oh and if you are reading this, I'm going to ask that you please pray for me. I really need it. . .

God bless!
~ Melina

P.S. Obviously this means that The Wifely Life series is over and I will shift the Love Challenge series on loving ourselves and others selflessly. Oh and of course, I'll be a lot better with posting about training mean and eating clean! I'm working on a home workout review of a plan I started now that I have no gym to go to (until I get a job) See you soon!

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