Category: Motivation & Mindset

The end of summer….

I have had the greatest summer…


It started out at a place I love in upstate New York. My husband’s family is part of a bungalow colony in the Catskills and it is a very special place. You know everyone there and your kids have a ton of freedom. You get to spend a ton of time with your best friends and lots of people you love. There’s also a lot of family time- extended family time. My husband is one of eight children, so there are lots of cousins and my wonderful father-in-law. Grandpa makes his home feel like our own and we love having the time with him.

After a few days up there, we hopped in the minivan and headed off to Disney for the first time! My oldest is ten and has been asking to go for years. So this was the trip of a lifetime. My amazing family would be meeting us there to celebrate some milestone birthdays…80, 50, 40, and 10! On the way we stopped off in a little Florida beach town and headed to Orlando in the morning. So even the long ride felt like an adventure.


Disney World was so great. I am not a planner and I was worried about feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, but…it really is a magical place. And to have the chance to experience it with my parents, all of my siblings, and all of my nieces and nephews made it that much better. It was one of the happiest weeks of my life.

The ride home was fun too, including a visit to Nashville! My sister was attending the Beachbody Summit there, and I thought it would be a good excuse to check out Nashville. I’m very jealous I didn’t get to stay for the summit, but maybe next year…


We also took a scenic ride on the Skyline Drive on the ride home and checked out Shenandoah National Park. I love how tired I look in this picture! I feel kind of like that right now, too, as a matter of fact 🙂

Most of the rest of the summer was spent upstate, with one wonderful week in the middle spent at the New Jersey shore. Lots of quality family time there, too, with just us and with my parents and cousins and aunts and uncles.

I am at the end of the summer and feeling very thankful and very blessed. We are surrounded by so many really good people. I am sad another summer is ending, but there is always a sense of renewal in September.

I am also a little relieved to be home more regularly; living out of bags gets tiring. I also look forward to getting back to food prep and meal planning and a sense of normalcy. As much as I think I’ll feel lonely with the kids and my husband back at school, and not surrounded by a bunch of friends all the time, I think I’m ready to nest a bit and take better care of my body!

I have gotten really derailed with my nutrition this summer and while I’ve been pretty consistent with exercise, I look forward to getting back to a program. I’ve been kind of jumping around, doing whatever workout suited me that day. It’s nice to change it up like that, but I’ll be happy to be back on a schedule.

I think a lot of people feel the same bittersweet feeling this time of year…the fun of summer will be missed, but I just couldn’t keep going like that for too much longer! I’ve also missed keeping up with my little blog; I’m feeling very negligent. Looking forward to fall and getting back into my passion for nutrition and exercise, trying out new foods and recipes, and sharing my progress here.

After too many cheeseburgers and chips, too much ice cream and beer, I also feel like I’ve set myself up for quite a challenge this fall! I have some work to do! I’m hoping the challenge of it gets me going…

Happy September, everyone! What are your goals for the fall ahead?


Finding Motivation

I have said before that I’m not sure why Insanity was the workout that got me hooked on exercise and it’s true.  But I do have some ideas about things that have been helpful in keeping me on the right track…

  • Finding the right fit.  Maybe sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the exercise that’s right for you.  Of course there are factors to consider like your current level of fitness, cost, scheduling, etc.  But sometimes it just might be a matter of finding what you like.
  • Giving things a chance.  I hated running in the beginning, and I hear people say they hate running all the time.  But, you know what?  I kept at it for a while and eventually I liked it, then loved it.  If you’re not an exercise person (yet!) you might hate all exercise in the beginning.  Give it some time.
  • Be patient.  Kinda related to the last point- getting fit takes time.  Don’t get frustrated.  I have been exercising consistently for just over two years now, and I still have a way to go with my fitness goals.  But I’ve come a long way too.  Take pride in your progress and be kind to yourself.  Also, be patient with yourself and the exercise itself.  I could not do the Insanity workouts perfectly, start to finish, and I still can’t.  But I can do a whole lot more now than I could then!  Even within the program I noticed changes week to week in what I could do.
  • Schedule it.  I believe there’s a lot to be said for a workout calendar.  Insanity came with a calendar, and I followed it, never missing a workout.  You don’t have to do it at the same time each day (though that might be a good idea, too) but you should have a plan to stick to…don’t leave your workouts to chance.  Know what you’re going to do each day and commit to doing it.
  • Make it a priority.  My husband used to say this so much it became a joke between us.  “You gotta make it a priority.”  And it’s so true.  I fought this one for a long time, thinking “but my children are the priority!”  And of course they are.  But exercise is, too.  It’s for your health, physical as well as mental and emotional.  Get it done.  Put it first.
  • Find the time.  In the beginning, my time was at night.  The morning was out of the question then, at least I though so, as there was usually a child (or two or three or four) in my bed by the time morning came.  I also felt like once I was up, the whole house would wake up.  Now I’ve gotten to a point where I get up before the kids and exercise; now I can’t imagine doing Insanity at night!  I love getting it done and getting showered and ready for the day before the day is under way.  There are days things don’t go as planned, and I have to find a way to get it done later.  But for the most part, mornings are my time.  Find what works for you, and know that if it’s not ideal now things change and you can adjust as you move along.
  • Be accountable.  Find a buddy or an online group and share what you’re doing.  I joined a Facebook group after I had been exercising for a while.  We were all doing different Beachbody programs at the time, but we would post our workout each day.  Sometimes some of us will choose a program to do together and pick a start date.  That’s fun because we can share what we like and don’t like, vent on a bad day or ask questions.  It’s also motivating because you don’t want to be the one that doesn’t post that day.  There have been many days I know I might have missed a workout if I didn’t feel like I was letting my partners down or being a wimp!
  • Immerse yourself.  Let fitness go beyond your workout.  Let it seep into other areas of your life.  If you’re a reader, get a book about clean eating or exercise.  Read a fitness magazine.  Go on Pinterest and search the health and fitness category.  Look at health websites.  Listen to podcasts about nutrition and working out.  If you like to cook, look for ways to make your favorite recipes healthier.  If you like to shop, buy yourself a nice outfit for working out or pick out a goal outfit to buy when you finish your first month.
  • Set goals.  One of the things I love about Beachbody programs is that finishing a whole program is a big deal; it’s a great goal.  I am so proud of myself for finishing Insanity!  A lot of people don’t finish these programs, but I did.  And it was so hard.  The accomplishment of finishing a program start-to-finish is very motivating for me.  Races are great, too.  If you’ll be running, or walking and running to start, sign up for a 5K.  It’s a wonderful feeling to finish a race.
  • Write down those goals.  This is something I need to work on.  I have heard it before and now, doing Chalean Extreme, Chalene Johnson emphasizes it…write down your goals!  She says if you don’t write down your goals, they’re just dreams, or something to that effect.  I have been setting goals for myself, but I have not been writing them down.  I’ll start tonight:)

These are just some of my thoughts on getting motivated.  It can be so hard, I know.  Find what works for you- it’s out there!  And if you’re having trouble getting started, pick one thing to do- write down a goal or get a book out of the library or meal plan for the week or cut out soda or take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Do a new healthy thing each day.  And be patient with yourself, and kind to yourself.  Be open to it, too; don’t have a bad attitude about exercise or eating clean because it’s something you haven’t done before.  There’s a whole world out there to discover.