Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We Can Do Hard Things

 I've shared with you a few times  before on my blog about my little demon, the thorn in my side.  I have been on a lifetime quest to discover balance and health and to change my body.  But for me personally, this is a hard thing.  A very hard thing.

I recently found a piece of motivation that unraveled layers of emotion within.  Seeing this sign for the first time was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT!  I knew I "had" to have it.  Yes, "had" to have it...there really was no other option.  ;)  It was made for me by Barn Owl Primitives.  Their etsy shop is full of beautiful work that both inspires and charms.  I currently want about 10 of their signs!  They offer handmade signs with an aged, distressed personality.  They sell the popular "family rules" signs as well.  I'm loving a lot of their holiday signs right now.  Barn Owl Primitves are so friendly! Stop on over and I know you'll agree.

The simple words of this sign caused me to search deeply within.   Sometimes it takes common words in black and white staring me in the face to assure me that I will make it and that we as humans are capable of achieving "hard things".


My sign is hung in our workout area, behind our fitness equipment.  A workout room is the IDEAL spot for this message!

Improving my body is my weakness.  It humbles me day after day.  There are a lot of days that I can't seem to do anything right.  I fail over and over.  I still haven't reached success, but my sign quietly tells me every day that I must not give up on myself and that I WILL do those hard things that I think I cannot do. 

I have been blessed with many opportunities throughout my life that provided me with a lot of head knowledge with fitness and nutrition.  But I haven't been able to transform that head knowledge into applied knowledge.  I get stuck and I don't change my lifestyle.  This weakness in myself overwhelms me but I have hope tucked away that one day (hopefully soon!) I will conquer it.

I have a blessed and foundational support system at home.  My husband is incredible!  He has taught me how to love and encourage someone who is stuck and handicapped by their own actions. I am my own greatest stumbling block, yet he still believes in me every day.   My boys are hilarious!  Kotah is still surprised that girls can sweat and they always reprimand me when I'm eating junk.  The three of them got together one morning and made me a letter of encouragement as I was embarking on yet another fitness challenge.

I have learned throughout my attempts on fitness journeys to accept small victories and to relax and slowly add NEW habits as I'm able to.  I thrive on being a superstar BUT I'm trying to learn that it is OKAY to relax and enjoy this journey as I take two steps forward and one step back instead of chasing wild success in this area.

This sign also now hangs in our workout area

To help with this process,  I have been trying to incorporate whole, real, clean food into our family meals over the last couple of years.  A lot of days, the only colors on our table are fast food bags, but it's a work in progress! Little, tiny, mini, baby steps.  

It is actually exciting to find new ways to cook clean!  I've shared some homemade protein bar recipes in the past as well as some healthy meals: ground turkey ideas, festive veggies, and a healthy dinner party.

Since their Mama is a blogger, my boys think it is normal to display everyday things and take one hundred pictures of those normal everyday things.  (Our kids do copy cat everything we do!) Titus wanted to set up and display his favorite "healthy foods" while I set out healthy food on the table to photograph.  He did a pretty good job! I loved having a little helper working alongside me as we finished our projects!  He even poured a glass of orange juice and set raisins out randomly.  

A handful of little tips 
for a more MINDFUL DIET:

1) Use seasonings and fresh or dried herbs to flavor meals instead of cooking with fat.  A lot of you have seen my spice cabinet (you can click to see more details), but I keep seasonings in "easy to grab" labeled baskets so it's super simple to find the right spice. 

2) For kids' snacks, I line our shelves with baskets and jars filled with quick snacks instead of keeping them in the packaged boxes.  This makes it easy to pick when hungry little tummies are eying the pantry shelves. Kids LOVE choices!  I know that fresh food is best, but we still serve up a lot of packaged easy stuff because of busy days!  We do try to be mindful of our selections though.  We still keep plenty of fresh cut veggies within arm's reach in the fridge. {wink}

Some of our MUST HAVES for kids'  packaged snacks are:
raisins, almonds, low sodium pretzels, Z bars, fruit leather, natural sugar free applesauce, and granola.

Granola in every flavor makes it fun for the boys!  
Grab a cup and pick a flavor.

3) Get the RIGHT kitchen tools:
a kitchen scale,
a cutting board,
and an extra set of measuring cups/spoons.

A kitchen scale is very helpful for me when I'm retraining my mind for correct portion sizes.  I have been keeping it on my kitchen counter while I'm in the process of learning correct portion sizes. 

Slimware dishes are a fun way to ensure you have the right portion on your plate!  Their concept is so simple yet very unique.  The floral designs on the plates are actually sized to hold the correct amount of carbs and protein.  

Measuring tools are a HUGE help for double checking portion sizes so we don't overeat.  I bought an extra set to use just for this purpose!  For example, my 1/4 cup always stays in our oatmeal box. 

It has also been very helpful for me to keep a cutting board on the kitchen counter ALL THE TIME.  I am constantly chopping up fresh fruit and veggies and it makes it extra convenient to have the board already on the counter.

Those are just a handful of recent tips I've been using! 

My mom taught me the value of weight lifting for women! She has been a weight lifting goddess and I've learned so much watching her through the years. Ever since I was a little girl I have admired women who excel in fitness.  I am in awe of their achievements and mesmerized by their strength.  The feeling of strength in our bodies is a true wonder.  I recently hired a personal trainer so I can learn more about weight lifting and exercise.

Lots of iron in our house! 

We are all set up so I should have no excuses! ;)

This new necklace is ME.  
But that's okay,
because as long as I mindfully chose to change, 
I am winning.  

What has helped you make the emotional and mental shift toward healthy and fit living? This hot mess wants to know! 

The government makes me say that this is a sponsored post and I have been compensated for it.  However, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

This post is linked to: Savvy Seasons by Liz, Under the Table & Dreamin, Think Pink Sundays, Seasonal SundaysMet Monday, Making the World Cuter, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, DIY Design, Works for Me Wednesday, Blue Cricket Design, Transformation Thursday, House of H, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff,   Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, Frugal Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Design Dazzle, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up  DIY by Design


jeana said...

What a great post! I'm so happy to see you have a great support system. This is my same struggle. I have the hardest time staying consistent and committed to fitness and health. My husband and boys encourage me as well, but maybe I need a little more AND some accountabilty. Love the sign! Keep it up!


Blondie's Journal said...

This is an excellent post and you have really inspired me, Lisa!! There are so many great tips here!! Healthy eating is something we strive for here and I try to cook as healthy as I can. Now I need to learn to exercise regularly!!

Keep us posted on your progress and all the wonderful ideas you have and thanks for the link on the's awesome!


b. said...

Thank you for the motivation, we know I need it too. The picture of the healthy food is sooo pretty. LOVE the colors. I also loved the boys encouragement letter and I loved the scattered raisins. Those kids always make me smile! They are just like their mom. And, by the way... you are not a hot mess!

seriousbethy said...

I LOVE your hot mess necklace!

Becca said...

I LOVE, love, LOVE that sign! Oh yea, and your post. I'm buying that sign and putting it in my kitchen!


Thanks for the encouraging reflections. And by the way, your photography is fantastic! xo

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Very inspirational. Found you via Shabby Nest. Would love for you to link up to my weekly Things I've Done Thursday party that runs until noon EST on Saturday. We also have a custom blog button giveaway going on right now!!


lulumusing said...

It looks like you are doing some of the hard things. The way you have made snacks, healthy ones at that, available to your kids is genius. That is a trick I will use.

Snap said...

Great post. Making life changes is difficult, but worth it. They CAN be made! Love the way you've organized the snacks.

Mommy Minded said...

Love this post. I am now following along!

Erin said...

I so needed this post today...I think I need to make your sign, too. Thanks for sharing your personal struggles. They help others...

Jenny said...

Why is it so easy to take care of others, but never easy to take care of us.


Good luck! You will do it!

Michelle said...

This is a post I needed today, thankyou for the motivation to keep going! It has been a lifelong struggle with me also and while like you my head has the knowledge I just need to kick my booty and apply to everyday life!

If you are interested I am hosting a healthy lifestyle link party this week and it would be great if you could share this motivation

articles said...

Great article! You are making good progress and encouraging your boys as much as they encourage you. I love Titus's display with the random raisins. :-)

One of my favorite encouragements when I feel there's no hope of getting enough done in a day is 2 Peter 3:8, "Do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day."

My biggest fitness help is keeping an exercise ball around to remind me to balance or stretch on it for a few minutes here and there. It's great for the abs! We also have a pull-up bar installed across our hallway above head height for quick exercises.

Sarah said...

Love this. I need that plaque for my kitchen!

the simple essentials said...

Thank you so much for these helpful tips.

Laila said...

This is my first time visiting your blog and what a great post to read. I've been slowly and steadily making changes to my lifestyle. I really like taking items out of the box and having them on display for my son. Great idea!