Why Wait for the New Year!

Friends, it occurred to me on this first day of October…there are only three more months until the New Year! How did that happen?!?

I’ve been in a funky headspace the past couple of days. Maybe it’s the drastic transition into fall that killed my summer buzz, perhaps an overdose of fake, sensationalized social media…who knows, but it stirred up a bunch of yuck in my mind that has taken me days to clear…I keep thinking I’m beyond this, and yet, here I am again.

See, I made a few drastic lifestyle changes back in June that I thought would make significant progress toward my long-term wellness goals. I thought I had given them a fairly decent shot, but real life seemed to pull the proverbial rug out from under me again and again, leaving me with no measurable results. It would be easy to declare defeat…something I defaulted to over and over again in the past. Compelled to avoid the old habit of backslide, I dug up a tangible reminder why I won’t do that again.

I pulled this photo out of the vault for some valuable perspective. I can’t believe I’m sharing it!

This was my exhausted reality eleven years ago. I yearned to be active outdoors, had strong desire to be well but was crushed in a number of suffocating ways. I was struggling with obesity, high blood pressure and great sorrow knowing my dad’s cancer journey was nearly over by then. I look into the eyes and heart of that girl, knowing she felt about 80 years old back then on any given day.

When I revisit that image, I’m so grateful for the perspective! I’m reminded that although I didn’t get to where I was hoping to be by Oct 1st, my summer looked very different from that 2007 version.

My body allowed me to continue exploring new fitness modalities.

Despite coping with some chronic injury pain, I was able to move forward in ways that recharged my spirit!

 

I was able to embrace and celebrate special days I wasn’t completely sure I’d be around to witness.

I was able to tackle new adventures in a way that old body would never have allowed.

   

This newest version of me, despite not hitting that latest health target was able to play every inch of the way!

And so I may not be exactly where I’d hoped to be…I’m far from feeling as sick, tired and broken as my 2007 version. As a matter of fact, in ways, I am more driven, more balanced than ever before…

Friends, as we head into these last three months of 2018, I can choose to forget my routine notion of that past…that the upcoming holidays are a big giant train chugging closer and closer to derailment. That it will be time again to care for myself as the festivities wind down and the New Year reminds me to start trying again. Well, I could. And I used to. But why would I do that now?

There is no need to give up hope! We have such a great opportunity to be your best you, to start again today! Wherever we may be right now, we can make some loving, caring changes for ourselves one day at a time. Why wait until January?

I forgave myself for not hitting that bullseye I was aiming for these past few months. As I look back, I realize I didn’t miss the target altogether…I just need to slightly readjust, refocus my aim and give it my best shot. One more way to put my Best Foot Forward…and you can too!

I

Review: OOFOS Red, White and OO

As summer winds down, and the mindset shifts back to school, I made a horrible realization! And boy have I got a confession to make…summer literally ate my homework! I’m not even kidding! I meant to write a review for a pair of patriotic OOFOS well before July 4th so you could all celebrate with your own pairs of their festive OOriginal Sport Sandal Red, White and OOs…

But time slipped completely through my fingers, Friends, or maybe my toes! Well if you’ve been following me for a while, you already know what I think of OOFOS. But for those of you who’ve only just recently joined in, I can’t tell you how excited I get about a new pair of these amazing sport recovery footwear. The minute I pull them out of the package, I take a big sniff because there’s nothing like that new OOFOS smell! It’s just like the smell of new tires and it immediately makes me consider all the miles I will get on them because I know they treat me oh, so right!

This pair pledged allegience to the flag at multiple lakes as I spent all the time recovering from each workout and embracing the relaxation…and none of the time remembering my assignment. Ugh.

They found me further recovering from my chronic knee injuries with some great reads!

These Red, White and OOs even saw me from (dawn’s early light) sunrise to shining sunset…all the while, forgetting to inform readers about OOFOS’ liberty and justice for all sore and aching feet, knees and backs. Man, I feel horrible. I have no excuses to share, other than I guess I was just so busy being active thanks to all the phenomenal support these and my other OOFOS provided throughout my summer adventures, that it just slipped my mind.

There was recovery from Tour de Pepin in these OOlalas…boy, did my butt hurt, but the rest of me felt the OO!

And then there was my trip to Blogfest at the IDEA World Fitness Convention in San Diego, where I took this sunny opportunity to strategize my time there…

And then was stoked to personally thank these guys at the expo for their company’s incredible impact absorbing OOFOAM technology. Man are they a happy bunch; I know why…even after being on their feet for multiple days on end, they were all feeling the OO tOO!

I walked mile after mile of that convention center and and those beautiful beaches tOO, and I did it all with my favorite footwear!

I could have seriously stayed right there all summer, but I was days away from one of the most exciting events of my life, so back home I hustled, literally running through the airports in comfort to be back in time for my son’s wedding. Sure, I wore a cute pair of insanely uncomfortable wedges for the ceremony and pictures, but the minute they were done, I slipped on my black glitter OOlalas, soft as clouds as I swooned over the enchantment of it all…

And danced on air!

And wouldn’t you know, I was off again this time to Montana, to see more of the land of the free on these brave babies!!!

My summer has seen me through marked healing; my knee is now pain free! I KNOW I owe much of that to my friends at OOFOS! So I hope they accept my profound appologies when I honestly say, my summer ate my homework!

Friends, if you are suffering from foot, knee or back pain, please don’t wait until next summer to feel the OO…OOFOS now has a full line of shoes tOO! Although it looks like the Red, White and OOs are only available in slides right now, check out all the other great, colorful options to help you put your Best Foot Forward at the OOFOS website here.

 

52 Fridays…A First Time for Everything!

Friends, I don’t know about you, but summer took hold and had its way with me…not in a negative way, just the contrary. I found myself in adventure after bold, new adventure and got very happily distracted. So for those of you that have been faithfully participating in my 52 Fridays weekly journaling activity, I apologize. I hope in its weekly absence you’ve taken time to experience some summer adventures of your own. But I’m back here in my comfy chair and ready to dive into this week’s prompt. Pardon me while I dust off my journal haha.

I’ve got my tea and I’m ready to explore a thought that’s been quite active in my mind lately. The below photo was taken a year ago this time. It’s from a trip I was able to share with my mentee that proved just how bold we were at trying new things. If you missed that memorable post, you can read it here.

Friends, I’ve been spending the majority of my summer at it again…having dreamt up the things I’ve always wanted to do, then making plans to make those dreams reality. Because here’s the thing…I’m not getting any younger, and the older I get, the longer the list of things I hope to try becomes.

So on this week’s 52 Fridays, I ask you, Friends…when was the last time you did something for the first time? Is this something you think about every so often, or do you push those thoughts away because you tell yourself to forget it?

The more new things I’ve tried for the very first time within the past few years, the more vibrant, alive, fulfilled I’ve become. What things would you like to try if you began telling yourself you can, rather than you can’t? If you haven’t already, start a list. The longer the better!

I would LOVE to hear some of the things you chose to include on that list if you are willing to share in the comments below…it would seriously make my day!

Once you’ve worked on that list for a while, sit with it. Take a good look and decide which things you want to pursue first. Then all you have left to do is set your mind to making it happen and putting your Best Foot Forward!

What are you waiting for?!?

 

Win-It Wednesday Cents of Style Gift Card

As promised, Friends, in observance of FIT BFFs’ 4th Blogiversary, I’m continuing to celebrate this week with another exciting giveaway. This is one you won’t want to miss!

Remember a while back I reviewed a fun little blue dress? If you missed that post, you can catch up here.

I really enjoy the comfort, versatility and playfulness of the clothes available at Cents of Style. They have items to fit every personality.

I expecially loved this tunic; it had my fun, active lifestyle written all over it! I’ve worn that thing EVERYWHERE and it continues to feel and look brand new, wash after wash…WIN!!!

Cents of Style has a wide array of tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, accessories, and even cosmetics…all at phenomenal prices. Yeah, it’s a FIT BFFs approved, “be happy” kind of company.

To help celebrate FIT BFFs’ 4th Blogiversary, Cents of Style has generously provided a $50 gift card for this week’s Win-It Wednesday giveaway! How awesome is that?!?!!!!!?

To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing a healthy lifestyle topic you’d be interested in FIT BFFs sharing more about between now and Tuesday, August 14th, midnight central time.

This giveaway is open to US residents only. One randomly selected winner will be announced here on Win-It Wednesday, August 15th.  Good luck!

In the meantime, stop on over to Cents of Style to plan how you will spend that gift card if you win!

 

 

Blogfest Adventure 2018

Friends, this summer is on fast forward…I swear! It’s been a month since I’ve posted, yet my family and adventures have kept my head spinning in the very best ways. It’s time we catch up a bit…I’ll do my best in the upcoming weeks to share with you things my mind is still attempting to put words to. For now, I’ll recall a surreal trip to San Diego I took a month ago that was meant to inspire my blogging, but did vastly more!

I admit, it was an unpack and repack whirlwind that took me from serene, family lake vacation in Minnesota to upbeat, fast-paced west coast adventure…one that has left an indelible impression in my heart. A late-night flight landed me in the Gaslamp Quarter with my soul sister I don’t see nearly often enough! We immediately crashed at our Airbnb and woke the next morning ready to conquer the world!

We carved out an entire week, with Blogfest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention as our main focus, but had so much more in our cache of plans. We hit the pavement running and made every inch our amazing playground!

We did our best to mentally prepare for the information overload and mass amounts of motivation we were about to ingest. There was really only one way to do that while in sunny SoCal IMHO…

 

The extraordinary organizers of Blogfest put us front and center with some amazing fitness and wellness professionals to ignite a blaze of inspiration within. Nadia and I simply fell in love with motivational guru, Petra Kolber. Her message continues to whisper sweet nothings in my soul.

Yeah, true confession…I openly admit to rubbing on her arm to absorb some of her exquisite vibe! And while that exchange still had me giddy, I was not prepared for what came next!

I’ve been captivated by Heidi and Chris Powell since the debut of Extreme Weight Loss on ABC. I savored each episode because I was in the midst of my own transformation and related to and hung on their every word. They won the Jack LaLanne award during IDEA WORLD’s opening ceremonies and gave a stupendous acceptance speech.

Shortly after they concluded and the keynote began, Nadia tipped me off to this cosmically destined moment…

Yeah, another true confession…I shamelessly helped myself to their radiant energy too. I’m still swooning from that one! We were additionally enthralled with Heidi’s keynote at Blogfest, where we all continued to bask in her glow.

Although these were merely a small fraction of our Blogfest/IDEA World events, I don’t think my feet ever touched the ground after that. It all seems a fantastic blur to me now!

We listened and learned from several other great speakers and were spoiled by a number of sponsoring companies like California Almonds, Frog Fitness, General Mills, TriggerPoint, and BeBetter to name a few.

And although the workouts and workshops were all so high energy, nothing could prepare me for the insane amount of energy packed into the expo!

It simply blows my mind, all the great connections made in one place! Shout-outs to my friends at OOFOS and D’moda Sportswear…their generosity astounds me!

 

Was SO happy to run into the fine folks at Great Lakes Gelatin to share with them my injury recovery success with their product!

My favorite new find at the expo had to be these big kid toys by Empower…you all know how much I love to play!

I’m tired just recalling Blogfest and IDEA, but maybe that’s because I jammed way more fun into my trip…like this sailing adventure chartered by some very special friends!

 

And this little pre-dawn hike up Cowles Mountain. Although the sunrise wasn’t spectacular, the climb, view, company and accomplishment were!

Yeah, we embraced every single solitary moment in that paradise!

What a blessing to experience the richness of this enchanting place in the presence of truly outstanding people!

The reconnection and recharge felt throughout this week will echo within forever!

Annual Vacation NOT the Same Old Same Old!

Friends, I just came off our annual family lake vacation more energized than ever before! We’ve been driving up to the Alexandria, MN area for 24 years, many of which exhausted me…I usually returned home feeling like I needed a vacation from my vacation. Does that make sense?

It used to be a crazy week for me when the kiddos were younger, making sure we packed everything, keeping them from drowning or hooking each other with their fishing rods, keeping up with their unlimited energy and filling each moment with unforgettable memories…kind of like being the activities director. I suffered burnout every year. And I’m just going to say that a week is a lot of together time for our tribe!

Luckily, seasons change, kids grow and I wised up.

This year it finally hit me…the only person’s activities I needed to direct were my own, so I aimed a very different direction that made all the difference!

A solo five mile walk around Lake Moses was refreshing. The birds serenaded and the breeze coaxed me forward while the water beckoned…ahhhhh.

A trip into town treated me to a relaxing energy work/intuitive reading/massage session. Another soulful way to spend some me time.

I stopped to enjoy coffee and conversation with someone I heard astounding things about…thanks, Fr. Darin!

I treated myself to a ridiculously expensive, playful dress for my son’s upcoming wedding…a dress that shouts FUN (kind of like me haha)!!!

I took time for the things that feed my soul…catching nearly every awe-inspiring sunrise.

And oh, those sunsets. And while my family continued to do all the things they do on vacation, I set out to try a few new things…like marking SUP yoga off my bucket list with the extraordinary instructor, Karen of Kosha Wellness at the Lake Carlos Marina.

 

That experience only lasted 90 minutes, but it will be etched on my heart forever! Namaste.

 

I’ve never taken time to explore my passions during this annual vacation quite like this year. Do you know what happens when I do? I find fascinating new FIT BFFs that feel like old friends…how amazing to be able to vibe on this tribe! Loved meeting you, Nikki, Siw and Karen; can’t wait to do it again!

Sure, I spent some time with the fam…

But I took things slower, calmer, quieter…

Watching my kids (and soon-to-be daughter-in-law) grow even more independent, yet enjoying the inner child within each of them.

I made the annual F Day dessert to honor the dads in the bunch, while still missing my own dad fiercely.

So much so, I decided to treat my wounded heart to a healing session with Debra at Soul Harvest & Healing.

My time spent with her was the best gift I could’ve given myself. I feel like crying all over again (in a good way) just thinking about what happened in that sacred space.

Before I knew it, the week was over…

It was time for one last paddle around Lake Aaron to bid my beloved playground a fond farewell… reminiscing over a beautiful, wonderful week of new beginnings.

I can’t wait until next year!

52 Fridays…It’s All in How You Look at It!

I’m running a bit behind this week, as I wrap up one week of travel and look toward the next. It’s Friday again, Friends! Another opportunity to settle in, get comfortable and breathe.

This week’s 52 Fridays takes a look at the idea that life is constantly changing, whether we like it or not. Within a lifetime, we go through countless beginnings and endings. Take some time to consider what’s going on in your life. Are you finding yourself at the end of a chapter or chapters? Does this feel good for you or does it fill you with trepidation? Are you prepared to move forward?

If you look deeper, does it appear to be not just an end, but a new beginning of sorts? If we take time to consider that endings are merely the start of something new or different, we can begin to feel excited about the upcoming chapters of our stories.

If we can learn to put a more positive spin on life’s surprises, those tricky transitions that once felt unsettling can begin to find you gliding over calm waters. It takes practice, but soon you’ll be turning those stormy seas into smoothe sailing.

Shifting perspective in such a way is one more great way to put our Best Foot Forward.

52 Fridays…Nourish to Flourish

Yup, Friends, it’s totally that time again…52 Fridays! We survived another week and are headed for the weekend! YAY!!!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed so many people running around, stressed to the limit, trying to accomplish their tasks in a hurried frenzy this week. Is that you? Unfortunately, I’m very guilty! It doesn’t even add up for me, as school is out around here…our son is off for the summer, but those summer activities are already in full swing. Somewhere, I missed that notion of relaxed summer days, but I’m about to do something about that!

I’ve learned when I am at this point, to pull back. It’s time to observe the observer…to break it down and get to the heart of the cause. In doing so, I can look around, adjust what needs it and go forward a bit lighter. Refreshed.

That is my sole aim this next week, and it can be yours too!

Take some quiet time for yourself. Breathe. What items on your calendar can you let go for next week to bring yourself back to a more “youer” you? Think about what feeds your soul (maybe take a moment to make a list) and carve out some time for that instead.

It’s impossible to flourish is we are constantly throwing ourselves forward into the next thing, and the next thing…we need time to replenish ourselves. It is not selfish, it’s absolutely necessary! It’s very important to understand, this is not a one-time fix; it’s a constant work in progress.

Friends, this 52 Fridays challenges you to remember what nourishes you because you’ve got to nourish to flourish.

Have a nourishing weekend!

 

I Still Do!

Today marks 24 years I’ve been married to my BFF! I can’t imagine where in the world I would be without Eric by my side. He’s supported me through every last challenge and struggle I’ve encountered…loved me though them all. He encouraged me every single step throughout my tumultuous road to a healthier, happier me. Truth is, he has loved me unconditionally, whether at my largest or smallest. My size never mattered to him, only my happiness.

As I searched for a quote that sized up this relationship, many resonated, but one stood out today…

“Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite.”

Friends, I’ve recently been reminded again and again of a story I shared over a year ago.

Funny how a symbol of love can mean so many different things throughout a relationship. At this moment back in February 2017 is was far more than a token of our love…it was also a great metaphor for the repaired, resized, restored new me (and we).

If you missed it, check out my greatest NSV-non scale victory of my transformation journey…that gift is still very much giving here.

Happy Anniversary, Babe!

52 Fridays…Because You’re Worth It!

Yay for us, Friends, we made it to another 52 Fridays! Forget about what craziness might be going on around you. Take a moment to stop thinking about your to-do list…you deserve a little me time! So grab that beverage, journal, pen, cozy into that chair and let’s just breathe!

If you’ve been around here long, you know how I feel about the myriad of things that are vying for our time and attention. I’ve learned that I don’t need to say yes to every volunteer opportunity, I can let events and happeneings pass me by. Really, it’s okay! Because in doing so, I have more time to come back to me, to regain focus, clarity, balance.

Take some time to pinpoint and record the things you prioritize on a daily/weekly/monthly basis…are YOU included in that mix? If yes, good for you…keep it up! If not, what things on that list can you let go? What would you do for yourself if you had a bit more time to focus on you?

Friends, I PROMISE it’s not selfish to love and care for yourself, to prioritize your happiness…it’s a basic need! Once you accept that, look out…your life is about to change in ways that will astound you. Why? Because you are worthy!