S T R E N G T H...it comes in all shapes and sizes.
Lately I’ve had to dig deep into my reserves people. This season of life has tested me at every turn. If you want to know the truth...I hit rock bottom (again) towards the end of last year. Sure, this wasn’t the first time I found myself in a life I didn’t recognize (cue the shame shitstorm right @brenebrown) but as I wallowed in all my perceived failures, tossed out who I was “supposed” to be...something new started to happen...I began to rise in brand new ways. For the first time I saw a blank slate ahead (instead of a 10 year plan). The fog started to clear and one choice after the other...I could FEEL my joy again. Full disclosure, I still stumble y’all...more often than I’d like but I’m adopting this new idea and failure is part of it all. The falling down matters too. It’s where you learn to heal. It’s where you learn who you ARE! I’m realizing my mindset and how I speak to myself is QUEEN.
So the truth is, it does matter how you fall apart friends, that’s the guts of it all...but the glory is in how you put yourself back together. One piece at a time.
You aren’t broken. You aren’t less than. You aren’t any of those lies you tell yourself.
You are strong...even when you don’t feel like it. It’s hard to drown out the noise sometimes, I see you...but you can.
Getting back up doesn’t really mean you know which way to go or that your next choice will be the “right” one. It is simply choosing to grow and learn through the humility and heartache anyway. One step at a time.
You are stronger than you give yourself credit for...today take a moment and look back at what you’ve survived to sit in this moment today. You are pretty freaking amazing.
Today I’m channeling my inner @jennakutcher so let’s celebrate each other...share with me what makes you feel strong (hint: there are no “right” answers).
Girlfriends. Gals. Sisterwives. Besties. BFFs. Ride or dies. My people. My tribe.
When we moved to New England I was lonely. Starting over is hard. Hell moving across the country was the hardest I thought I’d do at that time.
I didn’t know if I’d ever make friends again...(I mean friends in your late 20s-early 30s?!? What?? 🤷🏼♀️ where do you find them...)
And then we moved to Grafton. I started a new Nursing job and I found some life long friends there. Jess and Lorraine, in fact changed my whole life. 💕
Then we F I N A L L Y finished our home build and I genuinely had no idea what was ahead. In the last 6 years I’ve gained a whole mess of family here. It’s been my honor to be a part of your families, watch these kiddos grow, to enjoy holidays together when we couldn’t travel to TN or CO, to have shoulders to literally cry on as I stumbled through life...through both our IVF failures...through a l l the t h i n g s...
The point...I thought I’d come here and leave as quickly as possible. We never thought MA would be home at all. We had homes after all.
We were wrong and with his latest promotion, we for sure will be here for longer than we ever first imagined.
The truth is...I resisted hard against making this a home. Why?! Because the great fear I have of losing people. I didn’t want to love hard and have to say goodbye, again. But God. ❤️
I’ve lost a lot in the last 6 years...but my MA family has held me up. Loved me when I was a shit...and talked me off some of the biggest ledges of my life.
I’ve learned it’s ok to let the new in. It’s necessary for survival. And most of all...you can’t lessen the pain of loss by keeping people at arms length. You gotta go all in.
This place is now one of my homes. It’s shaped me into the human I am today. I don’t know our next move, but I do know that I love you New England, North Grafton, and High Point...you are forever tattooed on my heart. ❤️
The left pic was 90 days ago (which was 5 months into living the FASTer Way)...the right is from this morning...why is this significant??
Notice I’m not using •before and after• this time?
Nope, I’m not and I won’t ever have to again. Yes there’s a “before” FASTer Way pic...but I don’t want you to look at that one and think “oh wow, this will be a quick fix because she got results pretty fast...”
Because I didn’t. I was on the wellness train long before FASTer Way came along. It’s important you know that. I tried all the things. Researched and took tips that worked...until they didn’t anymore and I was left looking for the next quick fix. I found myself on an endless rollercoaster.
FWTFL gave me the one concept I never had before...control over my nutrition. So, what’s the secret?
Consistent choices and whole food nutrition. Yep FOOD. You read that right...eating real food and MORE of it is contradictory to anything I’d ever been told. But I did it afraid and it worked. It works actually. These pics are meant to show you that this isn’t a rollercoaster. I follow a lifestyle, friends. One that doesn’t have me saying know to lunch with my girls or some wine with my hubby.
This is so much but it’s NOT a diet. Not a destination to be reached. It’s progress (even if that means maintaining where I’m at).
I want you to help me celebrate that in the last 90 days (chock full of travel, nights out with friends, spirits, yummy food, celebrations, and lots of LIFE LIVED!!!) I’m still seeing results. I don’t return from vacation saying “ugh I really let myself go” OR wake up Monday regretting my weekends. Here’s the thing...it’s not the vacation or the Saturday that ruins your progress...it’s the mindset that you should punish yourself with exercise for the foods you eat. Bottom line. So today, don’t regret the weekend or feel like if you” never miss a Monday” that’s all it takes.
What it takes is work and continuing to choose YOU...with grace and a little bit of strategy. If you need to jump off the rollercoaster, I’m here to help.
An open letter from a gal who’s been “trying” to become a Mom for years...
I see you. We all matter. 💕 Like ALL of us. #infertility #miscarriage #IVF #stillbirth #childfreebychoice #adoption #dogmom #singlemoms #momlife #angelmoms each and everyone of us.
Listen, I love my life. I live and do as I please. I make snap decisions without the pressure of having the responsibility to think of anything else except what I want. The only creature I am responsible for is this little nugget right here #dogmomlife (and my hubby 😉) and they make life pretty awesome. I travel and vacate life on the regular. Want to know a secret?
I cry a lot. Like A LOT. I am still grieving the 2 failed IVF transfers and years of negative pregnancy tests. I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy when I’m in a group and I have no children to talk about. I will always remember the pain we endured only to hear “I’m sorry Mrs. Calderon your test is negative”. So, I may seem to “live the life” but none of this is easy. Navigating life as a childless woman is hard friends. I don’t need your sympathy although I know your heart breaks for me. I don’t want you to stop talking about kids when I enter the room. I don’t want you to think I don’t find joy I’m being part of your lives or their lives.
But the truth is this...if you could see the size of the whole in my heart you’d understand why this day is so bittersweet for me. Why I am writing this through tears.
I absolutely adore my own mother. My grandmothers. My bonus moms. My SILs for becoming mothers to my niece and nephew. I’m wishing all Moms a beautiful happy Mother’s day because you deserve to be celebrated. I say that with all the sincerity in the world. Moms are so special and I am so proud of you all. 💕
I just want to be sure and speak to my loves that are crying with me today...who are holding their shit together (everyday) praying and wishing for our time to come. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t...but listen to me...I love you and you aren’t alone. Find the ways you are already a “mother” and give your very best. We are needed, too. Time heals all pain they say...but it’s ok to grieve...it’s ok to cry...it’s ok to talk about it. In fact we must. I believe the more we talk about the hard parts...the more we will be able to see each other. Love each other. Know the truth. Break down the walls and shine bright together.
Infertility: The inability to reproduce by natural means....a definition for my life that I never saw coming.
Struggling through IVF I’ve discovered many things...some good, some heart wrenching, and lots of wtf moments. Our journey that (officially) began a year ago today (with 4 years of “trying” & praying for miracles before asking for help) has changed my heart and mind, but most likely not in the ways that you think though.
Infertility has actually been a journey I’m grateful for. Truly. It’s grown me. It’s stretched me. Made me even more compassionate towards other women than I thought possible. It’s broken parts of my heart that I’ll never repair...but most importantly it showed me how to look myself in the eye and GET BACK UP. To RISE despite the pain and unfairness.
Shots, needles, patches, prayers, failure, body betrayal, and beyond...and I had no control. None of us do. My patience was tested as well as my sanity...but I learned to walk in the darkness. I learned that the dark isn’t something to be feared...in fact it’s where the greatest work is taking place.
I had nightmares of gaining more weight than I could handle (related to elevated hormones, hasimotos, and body dysmorphia). Like literal night terrors. I had to learn to “rest” and be “stress free” which is a crock of shit for any of us struggling in the trenches. (Am I Right?!?!)
As I kept taking one step at a time...I really learned to share in the joy of watching my friends and family announce/raise/create their miracles (and I don’t say that lightly, it takes SO MANY stars aligning to get pregnant people...). For so many years we try so hard to not get pregnant...only to discover that it’s not as easy as thinking about sex. I’ve snuggled as many babies in the last year as possible. I’ve learned to take care of my body...(that’s really important turns out). But mostly I’ve seen who I really am
I love people hard. I’m beautifully and wonderfully made. I’m so full of hope. I’m encouraging and strong. I believe in the hearts of people and the good in this world. Infertility doesn’t define me. I do things differently...and you can too.
If your circle isn’t standing and clapping the LOUDEST for you when you win (or laughing through life with you)...girlfriend...get new people.
I mean that with ALL THE LOVE. ❤️
I heard this phrase (a lot) over the past 5 years and always rolled my eyes...
Until I didn’t...because I mean, (before filling MY cup first) I was barely capable of letting go of an old toothbrush...let alone a “friend”...
Then I learned boundaries and realized that we can be loving without accepting when other people are trying to work their shit out on us.
Listen up...you can take a break or exit a friendship or toxic relationship without a sit down...” I need you to understand what I’m doing...” conversation. Some call it ghosting. I call it self love. Quite often humans say HELL NO to looking at things from a different perspective. They are unreasonable and unkind (especially when we are scared)...but the beauty is this...YOU DON’T NEED PERMISSION to say NO. Shall I say it louder for the folks in the back??
Exit with grace and as much respect as possible and everything’s gonna be alright. 🎶😘
Remember there’s always a lesson. Maybe that person was meant only for a season of life or maybe you’ll reconnect once one or both of you work your shit out...but I can assure you this...fear is a liar. You are worthy of happiness and accepting that “it’s just the way they are”...is a choice you make. Choose wisely and be sure the circle you do life with...lifts and encourages you...loves and respects you...just as much as you do them! I love my people near and far, you know who you are!
This is my life mantra. Listen, I see you. Sometimes we get totally derailed because we think a stall in our progress is failure...
Let me remind you today. It’s not. We’ve got to remember that small steps forward or simply NOT going backwards is progress. When you reach a point where you feel like stopping...let it be a break...not the end of the world. Not your excuse to quit on yourself.
So maybe you didn’t eat clean all week or month...so maybe you didn’t get in as many workouts as you planned...so maybe you are human???
Wellness will be frustrating and hard and bullshit sometimes...but it’s a journey, friends. A really beautiful one (the longer you are on it).
Start trusting in YOUR journey. Know that one bad choice or week or month...doesn’t bench you for life. You aren’t a domino.
Forgive yourself and start fresh the very next time you eat your next meal or the next time you can choose to park farther back in the lot at Target 😉. The journey doesn’t have to start on Monday...the journey can start right now.
And real talk, forgiving yourself is PROGRESS! 😘
Hey there friends!
If you've been following me at all this past year, you know I dove head first into the health and wellness pool. Becoming a Certified FASTer Way to Fat Loss®️ coach has genuinely filled me with so much gratitude and it's spilling over. Helping my clients reach their wellness goals is my jam. I finally feel at home and totally qualified to walk this tough (at times) journey with each of you! Coaching was on my radar for a few years, but I never pulled the trigger until FWTFL came along. Now that I have...watch out world. I have HUGE goals and dreams for 2019 and I want you to be part of them. I also want to say bravo...if you are reading this, then it means you are looking to take care of YOU and no matter what way/program you choose, your step in the direction of wellness needs to be celebrated!!
OK...So, another program, right??? Well yes, but this is different than anything you've ever tried, I am sure of it. Listen, I have tried it all, most importantly trying to outwork a mediocre diet. The things don't work. What does? Good ole fashion whole food nutrition and keeping a food log. I get it, I didn't want to do it either...but it's tried and true. There are a few elements to my program that may sound daunting...like maybe by now you have heard about counting macros?? Like what?? But I assure you, it's not as bad as it sounds.
I won’t go through my whole program, but I’d like to shed some light on something that might be helpful for you wether you become a client or not!! So back to an element that may seem daunting...tracking your macronutrients. Counting macros is basically a more detailed way of keeping track of your food. You track the macronutrients that make up the food you are eating instead of just their calories alone. It sounds overwhelming, but it’s actually easy peasy.
Calories are made up of 3 macro nutrients: fat, carbs, and protein. Each macro nutrient has a specific role for your body. Band wagon “diets” that ask you to cut out one specific macro nutrient may work initially, but they are not sustainable because your body NEEDS all three. It is said that, eighty-five percent of dieters will gain that initial weight loss back within the year! What the what?!!? Yep. Trust me I’ve been in that 80% more times than I’d like to count! The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat foods that meet your body’s macro nutrient needs so that it functions well. Once your macro goals are set you can begin tracking. You'll be logging the foods you eat and keeping track of your carbs, proteins, and fats. With #1 goal to get ENOUGH of each macro daily! This is so important. Most people grossly under eat and don't even realize it. This is part of what's hold our fat hostage!!!
Another part of counting and keeping track is "IIFYM" (if it fits your macros) this is called "flexible dieting" because it is flexible. I personally dislike the word diet, so I call it flexible eating plan...anywho though, If you really want some cookies or french fries, you can eat it as long as it fits within your macros for the day. Once you really start tracking you will realize that you CAN’T eat like that all day long or you will be left hungry (and feeling like garbage) at the end of the day. Junk food is just way too calorie dense which isn't what we want to fuel our bodies with. It’s either got way too much fat or way too many carbs. So counting macros helps you find balance. Can't we all use a bit of that in our lives.
Personally, I’d rather have my day full of several large meals that fill me up than just a bag of m&ms and a protein shake. Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point...the cleaner you eat the more you can eat. Clean eating with counting macros is the best way to get to your goals. Why? Because you get the benefits of the nutrient dense food with the flexibility of counting macros for when you have a craving that you just can’t shake. Pro TIP: when you choose to eat clean without tracking macros it can feel very restrictive which leads to binge eating. We do not want that!!
The most popular way to track your macros is to use tracking apps like the My Fitness Pal app. Also, pay close attention to the serving size of your foods. It sounds tedious, but do it. You will find that once you are in the practice of tracking your foods and portions correctly...it becomes second nature!
Counting macros only sounds harder than it is. I too felt the same way. Again, I actually said...I am never counting my macros...and here I am 16 lbs lighter and 25 inches gone ALL OVER. So trust me, YOU CAN. Focus on whole food nutrition and know that one poor choice doesn't domino and ruin everything! When people first start out, the hardest part is just hitting your goals for each macro nutrient. In the beginning you may find that you will be under on protein and over on fats or carbs. It’s normal. Over time you will get the hang of it and understand what types of meals work best for your numbers. If you try this method I'd love to hear your feedback!!
Sometimes accountability is key...If you would like more guidance in your health and fitness journey I would love to guide you. Click below for more info and how we can connect!
Our second IVF cycle failed. Yep, I'll just uncover the elephant in the room right away. I am a straight shooter and this one hit us where it hurts. Again.
As I am writing this...I find myself numb and unable to process what's just happened. As I sort through the facts I am puzzled, this time should have worked. Hell the first time should have worked too...but here we are. No steps closer to the family we have been praying for and day dreaming about.
The emotions of each cycle have been profoundly different. This time I don't have anger and shame...just disappointment and misunderstanding. Heartache.
The hard truth about being hopeful and full of faith is this, the fallout. When the things you are praying for are lost in a moment, next is devastating heartbreak. No way around it. I genuinely believed with every ounce of my being that this time would be "our time". So, as the initial fog clears I am now realizing that all the God "winks" I found comfort in during this process were not actually leading us to a baby. Not now anyway. They did however help me keep my composure as several of my beautiful family members and friends announce their positives and beautiful babies.
Through my tears I am genuinely overjoyed for them. But listen friend, I hope you never find yourself in any moments where you have to dig to find your joy for someone you love...all because you are literally dying inside. Sadly, I know some of you reading this, will or worse, already have like me. It’s excruciating. I hope you never have to cheer someone on while you secretly bury your pain. It's just hard and so very unfair...but you dig deep sister because the people we love deserve their moments (and our support) even when we are drowning. You are a warrior and celebrating with them is what's happening right now...do not let yourself miss out on that joy. I know it's hard but the truth is, I am so happy for them. Their blessings have nothing to do with me and I wouldn't dare taint such a God given gift by making it about me. I want to share their joy despite my circumstances. Yes it is difficult and I do have to unplug every now and then...but I am telling you to please keep sharing with me. I love you and your happiness helps heal me.
Want to know what the hardest part of being vulnerable in all of this is??? I didn't plan for this part. The aftershock. I am not ready to start thinking about what's next. I am not ready to process that we failed again. But I am sharing in this raw moment because I know there are women who need to hear they are not alone in their pain with infertility (or damn it, life in general). I know there are thousands of beautiful souls who just need a break from all the madness. Here's your proverbial hug sister. I hope you can feel how much I care about you and your story.
Sisters, we must take our pain one step at a time. We cry when we need to. Breathe when we need to. Vent when we need to. There is nothing shameful about this. The truth is, in my opinion, it's all about timing. There is a plan in place but we do not get to pick the dates when we receive our blessings. It's the hard truth. Another hard truth...you can take a break...you can rest. Take care of yourself. Learn to heal your body instead of feeling betrayed by it. I know the world puts time limits on things like this, BUT God y'all. But God. Don't count yourself out just yet ok?? He's got something big planned for each of us in this journey. My prayer is not that it comes when WE want friends, I pray it is right on time. From the trenches of infertility to the changing tables...you can do hard things...and I will hold your hand the whole way.
Sometimes life knocks us down...no wait...let's get real, life knocks us down ALL the time. It's how we rise that really matters, but let me ask you a question...how do you rest? Do you even know how? Do you even try? And I mean more than simply going to bed at night (sssshhhh and the amount of actual hours you sleep, probably isn't reflective of a healthy life balance either, but we will table that for now) or catching some Zzzzs when you nod off in the afternoon by mistake? I mean real quality rest. Time that you honor and respect as much as you do your hustle.
I personally have lived a life full of "get back up girl" moments. I am proud of each time I rose stronger and more equipped for the next life challenge. However, one thing I never gave serious thought to was the amount of rest I gave myself. Recovery time if you will. Mainly because I didn't rest. I believe we are called "overachievers" but I want to challenge that notion today. The breakneck pace that we run full speed ahead to the next "thing"...as if we get "there" before the "trouble" begins, then maybe we can control it? Prevent it? Course correct? Um NOPE. That's not reality. I am admittedly a person that creates and solves problems 10 years in advance. I am quite certain I have come up with and effectively solved most of my future mishaps. What a superpower huh?? (insert eye roll emoji) All while life was happening around me and I literally was missing it all. Hey sister, this is now. Now is everything. And let me let you in on a little secret...I have NEVER found myself in ANY of those prematurely crafted situations that I spent (wasted) countless hours reeling over. Sorry for the spoiler alert, but it just never works out the way we plan, want, or even fear. Sometimes it's worse and a lot of times is WAY better. Thank God for that.
So, what is this rest I speak of then??? It's something I only recently caught on to. And it's changing my life. Before you roll your eyes...read on a bit. Maybe you can relate. You see with IVF (In Vitro Fertilization, we are in our second round...see a few blogs back to catch up on that) there is so much out of our control. Really the only thing we can control is our attitude and it's not always easy. So, because of this I uncomfortably, found myself in this very foreign season of rest. One that I had to choose. At first I had NO CLUE what to do with it. My mind was all over the place...finding shame and guilt around every corner. Thinking that rest is for the weak or dare I say lazy (gasp).
It's just nonsense. All of it. All the lies we tell ourselves about "having" to be busy. Carrying it as if it's a badge of honor. It most certainly is not. However, busy and rest are not opposites. The opposite of busy is FREE. As in free time. Busy... and free can't exist in the same house. Busy in definition means having a great deal to do. But how careful are we to assess these tasks before piling them on top of our plates. When is the last time you said "let me think about that and I will get back to you?" or listening to your gut and going with the No (immediately) that you know is right for you? Hmmmm...what I am starting to realize is this, I don't want to be busy. Finding my choice in it all is very freeing. I want to be FREE. And in this freedom I get to decide how I spend my time. I get to choose what I give my energy to. So do you friend. What a freaking concept huh?? We do not have to say yes to people that we don't like, just to save face. We do not have to do anything that goes against our core values. Listen, I absolutely respect everyone's right to this...but if your energy or requests of me bring me down...I get up and leave. It's that simple. Sure it's uncomfortable (at first) but in order to rest you must learn to honor your time. That is your badge of honor!
So, if free is the opposite of busy, where does rest fit in?? Once you've eliminated “busy”, and start making choices that choose YOU first...that is where rest is found my friends. It is not just something that happens to you. You choose. Yes, sure maybe circumstances (like IVF) can cause you to slow down...but rest is a gift you give yourself in that slow period (or not slow at all). You must be intentional with it. Use it to bridge the gaps and tend to the parts of you that you've neglected for far too long. It is never something to feel guilty about. Choosing rest doesn't make you a bad person...it simply is recognizing you can not pour from an empty mug. And hear me friend, I believe when we choose rest...we'll uncover some of our greatest life wins. Maybe you are well rested (bravo, really), but if by chance you are not...I hope that today you consider taking one step in that direction, all while giving yourself a boatload of grace for your past life. It's in the past for a reason, let's leave it there and begin again, today.
Hugs & Love,