Why Failing Your New Year’s Resolution is Good for You

success-really-looks-like

 

It’s that time of year again. The time when you set New Year’s Resolutions that you are determined to stick to this year.  I’m here to tell you that failing your New Year’s Resolutions is one of the best things that can happen to you. Let me explain…

What is a New Year’s Resolution?

A New Year’s Resolution is when you make a promise that you are going to improve some aspect of your life from January 1st, forward, and that it will become a permanent aspect of your life. The hope is that this one day decision will be something that alters your habits and tendencies and you never have to look back again. Pretty accurate so far? Now it’s time to fail.

How Failing Helps You Achieve Success

The best way to achieve this goal, as quickly as possible is to fail and fail often.  The reason is simple, failing is inevitable. If you look at any aspect of your life that others would consider you successful, you would probably tell them you are successful because you persevered through the many failures that life handed you.  Some of the best moms learned through trial and error. They persevered, never gave up, and learned as time went on, and they became better moms for that. No matter how far along you are, when you fail and get back up again, you will end up further ahead than when you started. Learning those valuable lessons are what makes us stronger at what we do.

The Misconception

We often look at successful people and assume they had an easy road to follow. They think that it was always easy for them, that they never had struggles, or they never wanted to give up. Odds are, they faced all of those situations…multiple times. Your trials are going to strengthen you. When you learn to persevere through a trial, you will be stronger. You will learn how to overcome that obstacle in the future, and you will figure out a way to not let it trip you up again. You have a choice every time you face a failure, but if you decide that you won’t let it beat you, you will be so much more successful in the end.

Fail and Fail Often

Fail often, but never give up. When you fail, remember that it is all a part of becoming successful. No matter how hard it seems, you can overcome the tests. In the fitness industry, I see it every February and March. People just give up, and often it is right at the point where they could be successful if they would just push a little harder. Fail, but don’t let it beat you from achieving your long term goals.

“Life’s greatest tragedy is not to fall down, its’ to stay down. The greatest disaster in life is not to fail, it’s to park there, and say ‘What’s the use?'”, Pastor Francois Louw

Are you getting enough?

 

How much is enough

Okay, get your minds outta the gutter here! I’m talking about water, you know, good old H2O? Whenever I hear multiple messages about the same topic I start to feel like I’m meant to pay closer attention. Like I’m being hit over the head with it. Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about how much water you should drink. I get it; most of us don’t drink enough water. In fact, most of us are actually pretty dehydrated and have habitually been in that state for a long time. I figured it was time for me to start paying attention to how much I’m drinking. And I’m not talking about wine.

 

According to the experts, you should drink at least half of your body weight in water. For instance, if you weigh 200 lbs. you should drink at least 100 ounces of water each day. That means almost 6, 16.9 oz. bottles of water. If you exercise or live in a warm climate, then you should drink closer to equal your body weight in ounces of water. That means 200 ounces of water if you weigh 200 pounds. It seems like A LOT! That would be 12 bottles of water.

 

Apparently, if you do this, your body will love you! It helps brain function, memory, mood, skin, digestion and all kinds of wonderful things about our body that we expect to miraculously work properly. Okay, I’m game.

 

I decided to give it a try. Even though I feel like I already drink a lot of water, I had to work my way up to my goal amount. Initially I was afraid that I’d end up spending all of my time in the bathroom due to a pea sized bladder but it actually hasn’t made that much of a difference in the number of trips to the potty. This may be TMI but it’s just increased the output, if you know what I mean. I’ve also discovered that the more water I drink, the thirstier I become. I actually WANT to drink more. WATER, folks! We’re still talking about water here.

 

Some of the differences that I’ve noticed so far include a bit of a breakout on my face. I know it’s a little unpleasant but it’s temporary. This is due to the toxins making their way out. After the first week, this went away and I feel like my skin is moister now. I’ve also noticed less bloating and a flatter stomach. And like I said, I’m thirsty! For water! I’m only into this about 2 weeks so I’m looking forward to even more benefits in the weeks to come.

 

Since we are in the holiday season and most of us tend to drink more alcohol, eat more junk, exercise less, have more stress and get less sleep, I urge to join me and do at least this one little thing to help you make it through the next few weeks. When you start thinking about that diet after new years, you’ll be glad that you did. Cheers!

 

How to Lose the Mommy Tummy

new mom exercising

One of the most common things I hear from new mothers is the frustration they have with getting back into their pre-pregnancy shape.  There are times that the new mom can just focus on cleaning up her nutrition and starting an exercise program, but there also times that this isn’t enough.

Weight Gain vs Abdominal Separation

After giving birth to your precious bundle of joy, it’s not uncommon to struggle with getting rid of the mommy tummy. There should have been some weight gain during the pregnancy, and there is no reason to rush to losing any body fat that you gained initially during pregnancy. When a mom is breastfeeding, weight loss should not be as big of a priority as making sure the baby is getting the nutrients he/she needs. There is one condition that creates a lasting effect on your abdominal shape though, called Diastasis Recti, a fancy name for abdominal separation, and it is a bit more difficult to get rid of.

What is Diastasis Recti?

During pregnancy the rectus abdominus (muscles in the abdominals) can be stretched apart creating a gap between the muscles. It’s most likely to happen to women over 35, large (or multiple birth) babies, and/or multiple pregnancies. It’s the type of change that has a lasting impact on your body no matter how lean you get, but there are things you can do that make it better (or worse!).

Bad Exercises for Diastasis Recti

I know you want to hit the gym hard and start doing all of the crunches you see everyone else doing. It makes sense, right? Your abs don’t look right, so you need to work your abs harder to get the shape you want!  It’s not going to work in this case. Doing crunches that push out your abdominal wall will only make the problem worse over time. Avoid all types of exercises that push your abdominals up and create pressure on the separated area.

Good Exercises for Diastasis Recti

Focus on exercises that pull the abdominals down towards your spine.  This will all you to use your deeper core muscles to draw the abdominals in and reduce the space between the separation.  The exercises I love for this include:

Beginnerwoman seated abdominal

  • Seated Contraction – Sitting upright in a chair, try to pull the abdominals towards your spine. Hold it for 2 seconds at a time, and then return to a middle position. Make sure you don’t push out your abs in between. Eventually work your time up to a 10 second hold.  The more repetitions you do, the better. It’s an exercise you can do even while you watch television!
  • Floor Contraction – This is easier than the first exercise, but it’s still an excellent exercise to work on. Do the same exercise as above while laying on your back on the floor. Try to hold the contraction for 20-30 seconds instead of 2-10 seconds. To make it easier you can bend your knees, and to make it more challenging, straighten your legs and let them rest on the floor.

Intermediatewoman wall push up

  • Wall Pushup – Hold yourself in a pushup position on the wall while drawing the abdominal exercise in, like you did in the beginner exercises. Now you are fighting gravity more than before and your abdominals will work much harder.
  • Ball Bridge – Sit on a stability ball and roll forward until your head is resting comfortably on the ball. Your knees should be at 90 degrees and your torso will be flat, like a table. Now do the same hold/contraction that you did previously in the floor contraction exercise.

Advanced

  • Wall Squat – With your back against the wall, lower yourself until your legs are at a 90 degree angle. In this position, draw your abdominals in for 5 seconds and then woman wall squatslowly raise yourself back up. Start by doing this exercise 10 times, but work your way up to 20 repetitions.

With any medical condition, it’s always advisable to contact your physician first. These are very simple, progressive exercise that can be done for those with Diastasis Recti. The key is to build as much strength in the muscles that draw the abdominals in, as opposed to pushing the abs out.  I hope it’s helpful, and would welcome any questions you have.

Vacation Mode

Arriving in Mexico
Arriving in Mexico

Many of you know I recently went on a much anticipated and greatly appreciated vacation. I feel so blessed to have been able to get away for 6 days. Vacation mode for me is super relaxed. I allowed myself to put away all the things I’m working on at home and just be. I slept, ate, went scuba diving, took in the beautiful scenery, ate and slept some more. Did I mention that I slept? I might have slept a lot. It was wonderful!

Cozumel Landscape
Cozumel Landscape

I especially loved being under water again and seeing that part of God’s beautiful creation. It had been 5 years since I had dived and it was incredible. It was even more special to be able to share my love for diving with Ronny who had never been before. Ronny took classes and became certified just before our trip. He took to it quite well and by our last dive he was turning out to be quite a comfortable diver. We both wish we’d had a few more days to dive. We’re already looking forward to another dive trip in the VERY near future.

The Dive group at Deep Blue in Cozumel
The Dive group at Deep Blue in Cozumel

It always seems like vacation time is accelerated. Six days and five nights in Cozumel flew by. As we boarded the plane to return home, part of me was ready to get back. Being on vacation was a very relaxing and happy time and we had great fun but I kind of missed certain parts of my “normal” life. I started looking forward to some exciting things planned for the upcoming week and couldn’t wait to hit the ground running. I was happy to be home again.

 

Boarding plane in Cozumel heading to Houston
Boarding plane in Cozumel heading to Houston

I realized that happiness doesn’t come from places we visit. While we were happy and having a blast, there were actually people around us that didn’t seem happy at all. You could see it in their faces and in their body language. They were vacationing on the beautiful island of Cozumel but deep down, they didn’t seem to be all that happy.

 

Sipping wine watching the Cozumel Sunset
Sipping wine watching the Cozumel Sunset

As I’ve given this a lot of thought, I’ve begun to understand that true happiness comes from deep within. You may find superficial, temporary happiness when you take a vacation, but it can be fleeting. Happiness doesn’t come from a destination, it’s a by-product of how you live and the choices you make in life.

 

Some of the most important things we can do to realize happiness are to be grateful for all the good in our lives, have a generous spirit and to love and be loved. If you have those things, you’ll experience that indisputable, deep down to your soul, kind of happiness.

 

So even though vacation mode has been halted for now. I still love life and love the work I’m doing. My vacation was great and I certainly hope it won’t be 5 years before I am able to take off again but in the mean time, I’m happy and I’m grateful for the all the love in my life. I sincerely hope you are too!

ALL PHOTO CREDIT GOES TO THE TALENTED RONALD EARL WILSHER.