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Resisting the good

22 Oct

Last week I was facilitating a leadership workshop on encouragement. We were discussing practical, every day ways to be encouraging to our co-workers or family and friends. We talked about saying thank you, using people’s first names, writing notes, and just plain old sharing of yourself as ways to encourage others.  Somebody talked about going through the line at Starbucks and the person ahead of them paid for their coffee.  Somebody else shared a story of how they received a compliment from another parent when they had no idea that what they were doing for their kid was helping other kids. All great ways we can encourage each other.

Then one of the participants mentioned her discomfort in being recognized or in receiving encouragement. She talked about how she didn’t like the attention, but has now learned to just say “thank you” even though she is still uncomfortable. This seemed to really strike a chord with the rest of the crowd.  People started sharing how uncomfortable they are in being recognized for their work, either publicly or in private. They didn’t like receiving compliments either. Everybody in the room seemed to agree that giving encouragement felt good, but receiving it was uncomfortable. This got me thinking…why do we resist good?

Do you dismiss compliments? Do you spend more time looking at what is missing instead of what you have? Do you let others recognize or celebrate your achievements big and small? Do you deflect attention from yourself? Does accepting assistance from someone else make you feel uncomfortable? Do you focus more on your shortcomings than your strengths? if you answered yes to any of these questions, you my friend, need to start accepting good…and start doing it RIGHT NOW.

To get something different, you need to do something different. Start accepting the good instead of resisting it. Accept the compliments and believe them. Let others help you…they are showing they care about you. Accept recognition for your accomplishments…you earned it. See the good in yourself and celebrate it. It takes a conscious decision every day, sometimes seven times a day, to look for and accept good. Is this freaking you out?  Then start small.  Think about 1 thing you do well, 1 area you have made progress, 1 thing of which you are proud, 1 compliment you received recently.  Own it. Celebrate it. Share it.




3 Aug

“You know that whole I can do anything for 10 weeks thing? How did you do it really?” I have to say I honestly love questions like this. They give me an opportunity reminisce about everything that has happened and all of my progress over the last year. More importantly, it gives me the chance to encourage someone who is on a similar journey.  There are many things that contribute to my success, and one of the most important is a change in belief.

First, you need to believe you can handle today. This is an important point. I’m not asking you to believe you can lose 25 or 50 or 100 pounds, or that you can run forever or that you will never eat a cookie again. Many people starting their weight loss journey are super overwhelmed because they focus on the end point and it looks super unobtainable. Scratch that. You need to believe that for the next 24 hours you can and will make good choices that keep you on the path to success. What those choices look like on day 1 will be very different from day 25 and day 365. The key is to figure out what today needs to look like and make it happen. All these days will add up to weeks and months of success. You do not have to believe 100 pounds is possible.  You need to believe today is possible.

The other thing you need to believe is that you are worth it. You are worth the time, energy, money, sweat, and tears. You are worth the cost of a gym membership or a new pair of running shoes. You are worth the nourishment of freshly prepared food. You are worth a good night’s sleep. You are worth a 45 minute walk. The best things in life are not handed to us, they are earned. You are worth everything that goes in to every pound lost. I promise you, with 100% certainty, you are worth it. If you are not convinced, work up to it. For 15 minutes a day believe and act like you are worth it. Do something to take care of yourself. The next week, add another 15 minutes. Pretty soon you will find you are convinced.

To get something different, you need to do something different. Believe in yourself. Believe you can handle today. Believe you are worth it.

A time to celebrate

15 Oct

This weekend I celebrated my 35th birthday, and while I dread being firmly locked in the mid-thirties, this is a year to celebrate. In years past, my birthday always felt like just another day…nothing too exciting. Everything past 25 was just aging.  So this weekend I did it up right… shopping, working out, dinner and drinks, naps, another dinner and gluten free cupcakes…yum!

Those are some of the silly things I did to celebrate, but there are deeper reasons from this weekend that give me a reason to celebrate or are a reminder of why I celebrate. The most notable from this weekend are:

  • Time with family and friends. Birthdays are best celebrated with those you love.
  • The time I spent walking around the track at the gym. A year ago working out was far from my mind. Now I make it a priority. Today I was able to do a 15 minute mile walking and I can average a 12 minute mile running. Incredible progress from 6 months ago!
  • The clothes I wore this weekend. For the first time in a long I am shopping on the misses side of the store and looking fabulous!
  • “35 by 35” is complete! Looking at where I was in the middle of July and where I am now, this goal accomplished.
  • The rain. Whenever I miss my mom I look to the sky and often get a sign that she is thinking of me…a sunset, a bird, a star. Today it poured all day…a reminder of how incredibly much she loved me.
  • Boxing for my Friday night workout. My favorite work out ever…sit ups and all!
  • Stories of others making change. From the email messages to catching up to daily check-ins…your story motivates me and your success is part of why I celebrate this weekend.

As I write this I realize the celebration does not end with the weekend. There are so many more exciting milestones on the way and the party will continue for moths and years to come. So today might be the day to celebrate my birthday, but it is just the beginning of the party.

My own little Schaumburg Shuffle

7 Sep

In the beginning of the summer I saw a post card for the Schaumburg Shuffle. It is a 5k race on Labor Day with the special hook of running the parade route. I serious thought about it as a short term goal, but was not quite sold. As the over-achiever perfectionist, I only wanted to do it if I could run the whole thing… must get the “A”…  So I tucked the postcard in my back pocket and started to enjoy the summer.

Bam! It was Labor Day weekend. I was nowhere near ready for the race. A month of battling shin splints had me on a break from running. I looked at the race times from last year and those people were well under what I did at my first 5k. There was no way I could compete. The feeling of failure loomed….I missed a goal….a big disappointment for this overachiever..gggrrrrr

This weekend, for some reason, my shin splints were suddenly on their way out. I decided to give running a try…I missed it too much. Saturday was the first run in a long time and it was a little slow and painful. Sunday morning was just a quick 30 minute run to say I did something. Monday was here…what would I do about the race? Well, this goal was about me, so I decided to do my own race. I have nothing to prove to anyone here. No official time, no pressure, no comparison. This is about me and what I want for my life. Its about the changes I am making and the success I am enjoying. Its about me loving to run because I “get to” run, not because I “have to” run.

I live close to the Septemberfest parade route so my usual running route was already cluttered with empty chairs, blankets and some people. I set my sights on a new neighborhood. Put my music on, grabbed a bottle of water and I was out the door.  I ran 3.5 miles and it was BRILLIANT!  That’s not the usual way to describe exercise…why brilliant?


The sun was out, the weather was perfect. It was just me and road. I found a way to meet my goal even though I wasn’t doing it as originally planned. The shin splints were gone. I was listening to my bad ass Pandora station of Disturbed, Rage Against the Machine, and Avenge Sevenfold. I was rockin’ my hot running shoes. I was doing something I love…something I had worked all summer for…something that once felt so far away. Absolutely, frickin’ brilliant…and all before 9:00 am.