Sunday, October 2, 2016

#everyday Jesus

So I've been struggling a little bit with my faith this year.  I grew up in church, I know God loves me, I know the right things I'm supposed to say and think and do.  But I wasn't feeling it in my heart.  I was feeling a little condemned, and a little not good enough, and a little like since I clearly wasn't measuring up, I better stay out of God's way because He was probably annoyed with me.

I was also starting to feel selfish about my fitness journey because I've never taken that much time to work on myself and it felt vain and shallow and not like I what I wanted anymore.  I wasn't prioritizing my time well and was dropping the ball on other things.  And although it may not be directly connected, I lost someone who used to be a close friend.  We may have just grown apart, but I felt very guilty about not seeing it sooner, and not doing my part to reach out.  I miss her every day.  And I think she's done with me.  And it hurts.  Things have just been out of whack for awhile and I needed to make changes again.

So in a spectacular chain of decision-making, I quit working out.  I quit going to church.  And once that spiral started, I quit reading the personal development as much, and I quit eating clean, and although I didn't feel BAD, I didn't feel as good. Once you lay down those good habits, they're hard to rebuild.

And then it was like, okay, well... Shouldn't at least something feel easy and fun? The whole point of my starting Beachbody was to feel better.  I didn't want to quit coaching though because it felt like another failure, but I was already not doing it.  So I finally let it go.  And it felt amazing.  I've become a Scentsy rep instead and it IS fun and easy.  It makes me HAPPY.  I can stay up working on it until the middle of the night, and think about things to do for it, and smile.  It's not work.  It's exactly what I needed for a job boost.  So that helped a little.

But God.  God, who sees my innermost thoughts and knows where I am? He scares me.  I'm terrified of disappointing Him and making Him mad and being found wanting.  So I went back to church last week, because feeling this way is really just not okay with me.

The sermon series right now is entitled #everydayJesus and it's about finding God in your life outside of the church hour.  The pastor was talking about finding hearts everywhere he looked and knowing that they were sent from God as a sign to him.  I internally rolled my eyes and thought to myself that God doesn't work like that.  And the next words out of his mouth were, "DID YOU THINK GOD DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT? What kind of limits are you putting on your God?  I mean really, are you gonna tell him he can't do something?  He's Jesus.  He can do whatever He wants, and if this is what you need, it's what he's gonna do."

Oh.  Well maybe.

It turns out that if you are asked to look for hearts and think about how much God loves you every time you see them, you realize that lilypads are heart-shaped.

Then this weekend I went to the Belong tour because Jen Hatmaker.  I didn't really know much about the other ladies but I knew they would be good if she wanted to hang out with them.  Shauna Neiquist has become a new favorite of mine.  She showed us her new heart-shaped tattoo she just got to remind herself every morning how much God loves her.  Maybe there's a theme here, ya think?

And then she said, "You have made God into your own image if He sounds just like the meanest voice in your head."

And I realized that is what I've been doing.  I feel inadequate and guilty and depressed and like a failure, and so I told myself that God feels that way about me too.  I forgot He loves me, and I was scoffing at the hearts He's been trying to put in my path to remind me.  

It's hard to change those mean voices in your head.  I've never been good at the "Just Do It" philosophy.  But another thing they said this weekend was "Do it, afraid.  Fear is not your boss, and you are not a victim."

The mean voices tell me I will never be good enough to please God.  They tell me I was solely responsible for ruining that friendship and that I wasn't good enough for her either.  They tell me I'm half-assing my job as a mom, and a wife, and that I don't deserve to take the time to do the things that would make me happy.

And those voices are WRONG.  First of all, of course I'm never going to be perfect.  My mom always says you can never even be perfectly wrong- you would mess it up and do something right by accident even if you were trying, because we just can't do perfection.  We can't.  But God doesn't love me because I do things right.  I got so off-track with that.  And the friendship, well, I don't know what's going to happen there, because quite honestly my heart is still broken over it.  But I am able to feel more peaceful with perhaps things reconciling in God's timing.  If they don't, then surely I am learning hard lessons that will help me later.  And the mom and wife gig is hard some days, and easier some days, and I'm doing as well as I can, just like everybody does.  

In the meantime, I'm going to be looking for hearts, and working on healing mine, and using it to love people hard.  Connections are important.  Jesus is important.  

Monday, January 11, 2016


One of the pillars of my fitness business is personal development.  I should be reading or listening to something every single day that speaks to my soul and enriches my life and teaches me something about how to live better.

This should be easy.  But it is a bigger struggle for me than I expected.  In the past I haven't loved nonfiction anything- I can dive into 1000 pages of novel, but other stuff felt like studying, and like somebody was making me.  You can't boss me.  I read what I want.  I'm already smart, I'm doing fine, and really if I'm going to do something every day, it OUGHT to be a Bible study because I already feel guilty about that not happening on the daily.  Something just for me?  That felt really selfish and also like a huge chore.

However, is it what I need?  Heck yeah.  It really is.  So I'm working on finding a Bible study that speaks to me (recommendations gleefully accepted!) AND also trying to find other things that work.  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been instrumental. Anything by Jen Hatmaker makes me so happy I float around wanting to change the world for days.  Other things are creeping in, and as they do, I find myself looking at every single thing I do in a different light, and taking little nuggets of A-HA moments away.

Enter Wall-E.

Watched it last night for the first time.  The kids had seen it before but I'd never bothered to sit down and check it out from start to finish.  I knew it would make me think of my fitness journey with the whole everybody-is-hugely-fat-and-stares-at-their-screens thing, but other little things hit me like a truck.

He's got that Ariel-esque part of your world thing going, where he collects random objects from the trash that appeal to him for some reason, and takes them home to decorate his little house.  One night he comes home with a spork.  He goes to put it away, and stands there looking at his cup of spoons, and his cup of forks, and goes back and forth deciding.  Eventually he just sets the spork down in the middle between the two cups and makes a new pile.

And my brain screamed at me, "YOU ARE A SPORK!!"

I've been thinking that I have to decide how much to do this fitness gig.  So many of my coach friends are 100% gangbusters #girlboss, quitting their day jobs, ON FIRE for fitness and making insane income and they look so happy that I feel like I should do that too.  But is it me?  Other coaches keep their day jobs because they love them and still build their business on the side and do as much as they can.  But is that me? I've been feeling inadequate on both sides because I'm not sure what I want or where I fit in, and I didn't feel like a spoon or a fork and it made me feel wrong and different and weird.

But it's because I am a spork.  I can do both.  I can sit in the middle and be my own creation.

So for the next hour I sat there watching and just thinking about all this.  And then the ship captain had his revelation, which came as no surprise but still I really love what he said...

"I don't want to survive.  I want to LIVE!!!"

"I can't just sit here and do nothing.  That's all I've ever done...."

And I almost cried.  Not knowing in my heart that it's okay to be a spork all these years has made me sit here and do nothing.  And the thing is, I didn't even realize it!!  I don't want to make it sound like I've been so super unhappy all this time.  When my husband reads posts like this he gets really sad and says he had no idea I felt so bad.  It's really not like that- I've had a life so far that's been great.  It's just that when I look back on it, I can see the places where I could have done more and I just sat there.  In five years I'd rather know that I've been working on improving myself and my thoughts and habits and work ethic so that I can give my family the best possible opportunities.  I want to LIVE.

So here's what I say:  BE A SPORK.  And go find some personal development to read on the daily, because it really will change your mindset.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Awesome List

I've never made one of these before, but wow.  It's been so much fun to go back through my calendar for the year and realize how many fun activities we got to do, and even more? How much I've changed.  My favorite things on this list are not events I attended, but mindset changes.  I've grown in leaps and bounds this year and I truly feel like 2015 was just a warmup.  This girl is on fire.  2016 is gonna bring some big things and I can't wait!!  If you've never done this, I encourage you to jump in! Go back through your pictures, your calendar, whatever, and celebrate the stuff you forgot you accomplished!!  It feels great.

In 2015 I:

  • attended three different Super Sunday events for Beachbody- left totally energized and got to do live workouts with Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev.
  • Got to dress up as Rosita and attend Walker Stalker con, and get my picture taken with Steven Yeun who plays Glenn
  • Did the one mile fun run of Kacie's Run, and ended up carrying Luke on my back for half of it
  • Got to take Gillian on her first Six Flags trip
  • Went to JackFM's 80s prom!
  • Took Gillian and her friend to see Newsies live
  • Had a medical procedure done that I'd been putting off and that has made life as a girl so much easier
  • Went to Nashville and attended the Beachbody annual Summit conference.  There's really not much that's more motivating than surrounding yourself with SO MANY people who choose to focus on the positives and better themselves.  You can't help but do it too.  It fueled my life in a way I never expected. 
  • I set up monthly wax appointments.  This may not seem like a big deal but I've been so accustomed to putting myself last.  And over 40? The witchy chin hairs need to be stopped.
  • I did a boudoir photo shoot.  The most amazing experience.  For real.
  • I went to a Murder Mystery dinner and got pulled into the drama as one of the players.
  • We had family pictures done for the first time in three years and sent out Christmas cards for the first time in five or six.
  • I took the scouts to do Feed My Starving Children.
  • We hosted an Ugly Sweater Christmas murder mystery party with Gillian's girl scout troop.
  • My grandma turned 90 and I got to spend time with more family than I've seen in one place in years.
  • Got to take the family to Great Wolf Lodge this summer
  • Got to go see cool animals at the Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch.
That's according to my calendar.  Then I sat down and just thought.  This year also:
  • completed 21 day fix, PiYo, Cize, and month one of Insanity.  Not bad for a girl who lived her life hating exercise and laughing at people who made it a priority
  • worked hard on figuring out what I want.  I never ever took the time to think about it before and would always do whatever anyone else wanted to do.
  • I stepped outside my comfort zone way more often so I could take more growth opportunities
  • made my marriage front and center.  This year has been the absolute best year of us.  We hang out more, we talk more, and I don't get tired of being with him.  It's only getting better all the time and I love it.
  • I DID NOT QUIT.  There were times I stalled and times I hated the discipline and times I rebelled.  But I'm still here.

And also?  This.  This is truth.

Be here a year from now.  You won't freaking believe who I am then.

Monday, December 21, 2015

21 Day Fix: Day One- Hubby Style!

Hubs and I have been talking about doing a workout program together and so far hadn't found one we both liked enough to do start to finish.  He decided to try the 21 Day Fix with me today though, and I'm hoping I can get him to stick with it.  Seriously, the entertainment value is so high that I don't know why I haven't been working out with him before.  Of course, I can't concentrate when I'm laughing, so there's that.  I can't even remember half the funny stuff he yelled at Autumn, but these stood out:

*During the warmup, she tells you to do jumping jacks and says you should jack it out.  I'll just let your mind wander into Beavis and Butthead territory on that one.

*"If I'm gonna work like this for 21 days, it better be worth it.  She takes her top off at the end, right?"

*"TOMEK? That dude's name is Tomek?  Like Legends of the Hidden Temple Tomek? (and for the record I think that's Olmec, but still.  I died laughing.)

*"How many people do you think have actually pooped their pants while doing this?" and then goes on to demonstrate while one girl is doing squats.  "See?  Look at her!  Barely holding it in!"

*"Who's the healthy girl?  Kat? Okay Kat! It's you and me!  We got this!  Wait.  She's beating me at this.  I can't keep up with the modifier girl?"

*"Frog crunches? What is that?  I can't even put my legs like that.  It hurts to just lay here."

*"Dude.  I already hurt.  But you're gonna do this with me tomorrow right?"

And yes.  Yes I am.  All kidding aside, I'm so SO proud of my man.  He's already lost almost 40 pounds by cleaning up his nutrition, and I'm totally stoked that he's starting to work out with me.  He makes me laugh every single day and I think we're closer than we've ever been.  Definitely makes us want to get healthy so we have as much time together as possible.  And it's kinda fun for me that I totally remember what it was like to feel the exact same way, and not be able to keep up with Kat, and now after a year I can do most of it with the regular girls.  He's going to be running circles around me in no time because the man is on fire with focus now.  We'll need even heavier weights soon!

And I was gonna post this picture as a congratulations, but it turns out that it's lies....

Oh well.  It's a goal to shoot for, right? Can't wait for Day 2!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Grace and Excuses

So here's the thing: I don't judge myself with the same measuring stick I use for everyone else.  I think that's pretty standard for everyone, right?  I look at someone else having a bad day and I message them and say, "Girl, you got this!  Look how awesome you are! You can power through!"  And I'm not just giving lip service- I mean it!  I have awesome friends and I believe in them wholeheartedly.

But I have the same bad day and I think, "This sucks.  I suck.  It will never get better and even if I try hard, I will not measure up." I don't believe other people sometimes when they give me the pep-you-up messages, and occasionally I even think they're misguided or delusional for believing in me when it is SO FREAKING OBVIOUS that I am a dismal failure.

I know you've been there, guys. Isn't this what we all do to ourselves?

The trouble I'm having right now is finding the balance between giving myself a little grace, and yet not using excuses and too MUCH grace as a reason to not move forward.  Does that make sense?  Let me explain.

I want to be perfect.  I do.  I want to work out every day, and eat clean, and see amazing results.  And I know that I *could* do it.  But there are days it's just not a priority in the 24 hours that I have.  And I'm ashamed to admit that too many days, eating chips and fat-assing on my couch with Plants vs Zombies and some Netflix bingeing is my priority instead.  I don't want to be the kind of person who doesn't move forward in life.  I hate that so many times it's just easier to sit there.  And yet I continue to do it.  And when I say this kind of thing to hubby, he says "babe, you've been working so hard! You deserve a little break.  Just get back on it tomorrow."  Or else, if it's been a few days and he can see what's going on because he knows me, "Well, okay, what are you gonna do about it?"  And then he lays it out and tells me the things he's seen me do before when I feel successful.  And usually at that point I get super defensive because I don't want to hear it, because I know what I need to do, and I know I'm not doing it.

So.... this weekend I gave myself too much grace.  I drank Woodchucks.  I ate way too many chips.  I haven't worked out since last Thursday.  And past me would have said, "See?  This is just how you are.  Trying to be different is too hard.  What does it really matter if you change your body?  You're gonna die anyway- so you die healthy, so what?"  For real.  I used to think that.

But now? I think no.  I think I feel better when I have energy, and I can tell that eating that way doesn't do it for me.  I think I feel stronger and happier after a workout, even if I hate it and want to die and throw obscenities at Shaun T while I'm doing it.  I think I love the example of health and moderation that it shows my kids when I get right back on the wagon after a weekend of crap.  No I'm not perfect, but I will keep trying now instead of quitting.

Danielle Natoni is a coach I love- she's featured in Insanity Max 30 and I stalk her pages.  She's got good stuff.  On Thanksgiving she posted something like, "I'm not doing today's workout to "earn" my meal.  I'm working out because it's Day 4 of my program, and I'm going to eat Thanksgiving dinner later because it's Thanksgiving."  I love that so much.  That's the balance I'm trying to attain.

I have the morning off work today.  I'm listening to the Beachbody National Wakeup Call while I type this, and then I'm going to go do my Insanity Fit Test before I start Month Two.  Y'all, I'm going to need you to hold me accountable.  Month two has workouts that are longer and more intense.  I have never worked out for an hour and I'm afraid I can't do it.  I still feel like a fat girl who "can't" run or jump.  But dammit I'm gonna try.  And I know I will succeed, even on days when I think I'm not.

And you can too.  :)  Let's do this!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Insanity Musings

I'm halfway through week three of Insanity.  I decided to try it on a whim, because the entire program is included with the Beachbody on Demand service I subscribe to anyway.  I honestly was not sure I could do it but I'm getting tired of making so many excuses when it comes to my workouts.  I do it a lot.  Yes, I'm a geeky bookworm choir girl who used to be scrawny and then ate too many cheetos.  I've never been strong or fit and I've always preferred indoor activities that involved fat-assing on the couch.

But there is no reason I have to stay that way.  So Insanity it is.

I've really enjoyed surprising myself.  I still have to modify some exercises because my knees are not that great and they sometimes sound like rice krispies when I squat.  Sometimes my feet slip right out from under me when I'm planking and I fall on my face.  But for the most part I'm better at this than I thought I could be.  There's something immensely satisfying about realizing that you can, in fact, do ten power jumps.  Can I do 80 like my upline coach?  Nope.  But today I can do 10, and tomorrow maybe I'll do 11 or 12, and consistency is the key.  Small changes, over time, will give results.

Ever read that kids' book Holes?  They made a movie of it with Sigourney Weaver and Shia LeBoeuf.  There's a part in it where the dad makes his kid carry this baby pig up the hill every day.  The kid thinks it's totally pointless and grumbles the whole time.  All of a sudden one day after like a year he really looks at the pig and realizes that it's full-grown.  His friends try to pick it up and they can't.  "Every day the pig grew a little bigger, but every day I grew a little stronger", or something like that. Dude is lifting an adult hog and doesn't even think he's changed.  Insanity is kinda like that for me.  Well, except that some days I lose grip on the pig and we tumble down the hill.  And occasionally I let the pig have a day off.  But I still feel the analogy stands.  At the end of sixty days I want to stand at the top of the hill and hold that big pig in my strong arms.  And use my core to lift my knees, because I still have no freaking clue how to do that when Shaun T yells it at me every day.

So if you've done Insanity, mad props to you.  If you haven't, I highly recommend it, because it's so much fun to do more than you have before.  My family thinks I'm crazy.  They come into the playroom less and less while I'm working out now because I yell ugly things at Shaun T.  They agree that it looks hard and that they're proud of me.  That's another level of motivation right there.  Damn, I want to make my kids proud of me.  I want to show them that you don't always have to give up.

Even though most days I think it's possible I might pee a little or at the very least fart during the workout, even though I have to modify, and even though it's hard, this is some cool shiz.

But I'll get there.  And so can you.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fruits of the Spirit

I've been dragging my feet on church lately.  We've been super lazy on Sundays and just haven't made it a priority to get up and go.  No real reason other than pajamas are great.  There are times that I feel really guilty about it, and there are times that I think God knows my heart and forgives me.  Both are true- I do trust that He will forgive me over and over because I constantly need it, but I still think it's okay to have a little guilt when you're not on track and you know it.  :)

ANYWAY.  All that to say, I went to church this morning and it was some excellent food for thought- all about fruits of the spirit.  You see what I did there?  Good grief I'm a dork.  (and autocorrect changed that to "good brie I'm a fork".  no lie- all about the foods here today apparently.)

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness/generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  I've learned so many little bible verse songs about them over the years and can spout them off like any good graduate of the youth group.  How many of us actually take the time to live them daily though?

Things that struck me from today's message:

  • Joy is not the same thing as happiness.  Joy is internal, and is a choice you make on how you respond to your circumstances.  You can live in terrible times and still have joy, just like living in a lot of material wealth doesn't necessarily ensure happiness.  
  • Patience is waiting with grace, and practicing a non-anxious presence in the midst of strife, accepting people where they are.  Wow.  My mom always says that you should never ask God for more patience, because instead of just fairy-dusting it down on you, He'll give you more opportunities where you need to develop patience.  Waiting with grace.  Practicing a non-anxious presence.  These things sound incredibly hard to manage sometimes, but just imagine for a minute how much richer your life would be, and how much nicer for the people around you, if you DID IT.
  • Gentleness: the ability to give people space to grow.  Also being gentle with yourself- allow YOU to be YOU, even when you're not being a very good you.  I like that a lot.  We all have days or even seasons when we know we're not at our best.  Gentleness allows for forgiveness, and for knowing that we won't be in this place forever.

Being a person who believes in and relies on God, I love these new little nuggets of thinking about fruits.  I think though that even if you're a person who feels far from God or you don't believe He's there, that living this way is better than feeling small and sad and petty and bitter.  

Choose to find joy in your circumstances.  Even if you're unhappy about things from time to time, don't let that steal your JOY.

Accept people where they are.  Assume that they're doing the best they can with what they have, just like you are.  Practice a non-anxious presence.  Wait with grace.

Be gentle with yourself and with the people you're sharing life with.

Or if all that is too much, pick one to work on and just start.  Work on being a better you.