Confession of a Recovering Busy Person

This is the first week in 5 months that I get to come home each day after work! I have been personal training a couple nights a week, but recently decided I needed to step away, unfortunately for the second time.

I HATE thinking of myself as a “quitter”, and so instead I’ve decided I’m learning just to be a “focuser”.

I started personal training full-time when I moved to Northern Virginia in January 2014. It wasn’t my major, but it was my passion; one I had greatly studied and prepared for through my college rec center, and one I felt called to pursue in some capacity. I had just spent the previous year promoting health and wellness as Miss Virginia, and I thought, “heck! Now is the time to give it a shot as a career and build up more experience in a space I know really helps people.”

After 3 months in, my joy started to become my exhaustion. I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of my clients, but I knew I wasn’t giving them my best. I was training from 5am to 9pm many days, without weekends to recover, while also doing two part time internships and planning my wedding. That winter felt especially cold and isolated.

I slowly (and sadly) had become the trainer who never exercised.

I started applying for a full-time job to find a way to have a more regular schedule so I would actually have time to take care of my own health, rest, and see people outside of the gym.

I then tried to live the best of both worlds by working full time AND training a few mornings and evenings a week. But after a few more months, I realized I was totally spent just a month before my wedding. Cause you know, the way to handle too much on your plate is by trying to do more…

Around this time, I had a flash back to high school when I was working a part time job, playing three sports, in the school play, leading youth group activities, and taking all AP classes. My English teacher was worried, pulled me aside and told me that I was burning the candle at both ends. I laughed it off at the time saying something about being the energizer bunny, but over the years I really began to recognize her perceptiveness of a re-occuring tendency of mine: Doing TOO MUCH.

So a few weeks before my wedding, I made the hard decision for my future marriage and my own sanity, and quit my gym job. I felt like I had disappointed my boss who believed in me, and I let down my clients who trusted me. I wasn’t quite sure if this passion I thought God had given me, and that I now was “giving up”, would ever come back.

However, I was so much more at peace walking down that aisle, less stressed, more rested, and more focused on the meaning of marriage than I otherwise would have been.

The first 3 months of married life, eating dinner together for an hour at our table just talking and learning, were absolutely priceless. The priority at that time was figuring out how to be married and live with someone else, and enjoy being young and madly in love! It was so important to build a strong foundation in our home before we rushed back into our crazy schedules. The sun that summer never shined so brightly.

Jump ahead to January of 2015.

We both knew our “slower” pace couldn’t last forever, as Ryan’s work picked up and I started itching to get back into my love of fitness in some way. We were in a new year, and wanted to support each other to pursue our dreams!

We both got heavily involved volunteering at church and Ryan picked up soccer again. Ryan supported me as I re-launched my blog, and started up Beachbody coaching and personal training at the same time mornings/evenings. They all seemed to flow together so well! I was happy to get back into the swing of something I knew God had prepared me for some years before. And I was also happy to be investing in an interest that I could likely do as a mother one day.

Being a coach has been tough work, and yet so very rewarding. It has helped me to view social media with purpose and as a vehicle to encourage and minister to people.

I not only found a way through Beachbody to feel healthy again when I had slowed down in my motivation and doubted my ability to get back into it, but also found a community of support and love with inspiring coaches who also believe in taking care of the body they’ve been given.

I believe in this business and the way it helps people, and the gift that it can be to so many. This was something I wanted to get up early for, and stay up late for.

With personal training, I know I was meant to go back for a second time, to meet the new clients I did and build meaningful relationships with them; to personally watch them lose weight, baggage, and timidity…even if only to get them started for 5 months.

BUT yet, I had suddenly, once again, found myself over-extended. UGH.

My own emotional and spiritual capacity for my spouse, family, church family, and friends had significantly shrunk, along with my mental capacity at my full-time job and physical capacity for taking care of things at home; it was clear something had to give. I was so stressed and caught up running from place to place, that eventually I didn’t get as good at hearing, or listening to the still small voice. I had said yes to many good, good things, but had not made the best choices.

All of my “yeses” had a purpose, but they weren’t all in alignment with my top priorities I had discerned God had told me to concentrate my heart and mind on now in THIS next season.

I needed journaling and writing time. I needed more prayer and study time. I needed more family time. I needed more cleaning time. I needed more business development time. And I really just needed to guard and protect taking care of ME time. (something that I know not a lot of people get the opportunity have)

So. I re-evaluated priorities. Chatted with the husband. Prayed about it. And knew I had to once again, humble myself and say goodbye to a love: personal training. It was the only thing I currently could cut back on, giving me an extra 8 hours a week.

I knew I had learned a little bit from the first go around, because once I was convicted to give my 2 weeks notice, I didn’t feel once sense of guilt like before.

I didn’t feel like a failure. I was sad, but I knew it was right. I’ve started to feel a great sense of satisfaction after discerning it’s not an addition I can currently handle, and being able to confidently say no, politely.

Somehow I feel like balancing a lot has been ingrained in me from a young age. Maybe it’s because I was trying to save the world, or maybe I just have a lot of interests and have always wanted to fulfill them all. I have always desired to take advantage of every opportunity. This is something I am now aware of enough to be sure the balancing a lot doesn’t become a totally UNBALANCED, unhappy cycle.

It took me a long time before I realized “being all you can be” doesn’t always mean wider, thinner, more quantity… it can mean deeper, higher, more developed. Think VERTICAL, not horizontal.

As humans we can’t have it all and do it all alone. NOT at one time. But we can have it all in different seasons. Just because we put something on hold for a year or 5 years, doesn’t mean it won’t be there when we decide the time is right to pick it back up again.

Life is never easy, and always going to have it’s very stressful and busy times. I’m not saying we should drop everything whenever we start to feel overwhelmed because life itself is challenging. It is however, my aim to let nothing make me so rushed and empty, that I missed the big things, and very little daily things, God has in store for me. In a world that tell us to do MORE and be MORE, we must work hard to find the great  beauty in simplicity, in stillness.

And so I’m in recovery…attempting each day to not be a people-pleaser, to not feel pressured to compete with my expectations, to not be super woman, to just be Rosemary, the daughter of a loving, guiding, all-wise God.

We don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to be perfect. We just need to be faithful.


Six in Sixty: Quick Ways To Improve Your Life

Want to improve your health but don’t have tons of time? Here are six 60-second ideas for improving your health—and your life!

1. Sit or stand up straight! Good posture is the key to confidence and a welcoming appearance. Not only do you speak more clearly and breathe better, you’re also taking pressure off your lower back and allowing your muscles to develop correctly. Taking a second to adjust your posture every once in a while can be helpful in reducing back pain in the future!

2. Do a plank and work the abdominals. This is a great “take with you anywhere” exercise; just drop down on those elbows and toes, keeping the back flat and the butt down. The plank is one of the most efficient and effective when it comes to a solid core workout for ab endurance and stabilization. Hold this position 20-60 seconds for 3-5 repetitions.

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3. Drink a glass of water. As you’ve probably heard, the average person should drink about eight glasses a day to help prevent dehydration. Yes, drinking water helps regulate your metabolism and your body temperature, but additionally it can give you younger looking skin, keep you from getting sick, remove toxins in the body, and boost your mood. Water is the ultimate medicine!

4. Compliment someone. It is the easiest way to spread a little bit of happiness and your thoughtfulness can go a long way. It’s a win-win for the other person and for the way you can also feel good, empowered, and kind. When we live our lives so inwardly focused, we can get down about our own problems and miss so much of the world around us. Making someone else happy might just make you happy, too.

5. Read the label. Ideally you want to look for food items with low sugar, high fiber, and high protein, and preferably nothing processed. Looking at the calories seems easy, until you realize that’s the calories per serving size and there are four servings in that container you just ate. The nutrition facts can be confusing on those labels, but understanding exactly what you’re feeding yourself can make all the difference in your health!

6. Floss. Your dentist tells you this at every six-month cleaning. It’s something so simple that most of us don’t care to do it or don’t even think about it. When we don’t floss, we’re leaving a heck of a lot of tooth unclean, susceptible for gum disease to set in and spread bacteria to the rest of our bodies. Fun fact: people who floss live six years longer than those who don’t.

Remember, healthy living comes in the consistency of our good choices. Take 60 seconds today to do something to better the life you live and make every step count.

The Importance of Rest

Confession #1: I haven’t worked out in 6 days.

Now for the irregular exerciser, that might not seem like ANYTHING. But for the person who works their way up to 6-7 days a week like I had, it seems like an eternity. Between being sick, traveling, lack of sleep, and a busy work schedule, any spare time I had this past week, I felt compelled to simply go to sleep.

Confession #2: I’m not worried about it. I’m not beating myself up or frustrated that I might lose some “tone” or gain a pound; I’ve had to learn not to idolize my abilities, my productivity, or even the fun that I have while working out. I trust myself enough to know that I will pick it right back up at the end of the week with even more energy and better athletic performance because of my little break.

I do find peace and “rest” in my normal daily workouts because for me, it’s all dedicated to my Creator. However, there are times when your body just needs to REALLY physically REST. This is GOOD, and JUST as important as exercising, as long as it is in right proportion and we are not being slothful. Life will always be busy, so we have to weigh when to push through our excuses, and when to listen to our bodies cry for rest.

My high school mentor used to tell me when faced with a problem, “sometimes the holiest thing you can do is take a nap.”  I used to laugh because originally I thought it was a justification for a nice mid-day sleep. The older I get, the more I realize the deep deep truth in resting in the Lord, not worrying, and knowing He will take care of you, no matter what craziness is going on in your life or what obligations you have pulling you around.

How often do we treat EVEN Sunday as just another day to get things done and wear ourselves out? I was reminded again this past Sunday about keeping the Sabbath day Holy, just as God rested at the end of the creation story. The congregation was encouraged not to do any projects for work or home, but just to be present with family, and enjoy the day we’ve been given to unwind in God’s goodness. So Sunday I napped for nearly two hours!! I admitted I wasn’t a super hero for one day. I know napping isn’t always possible for everyone, but other ways I “rest” include: journaling, reading, snuggling, singing in the car really loud, having a deep conversation with my spouse, praying in silence, not posting on social media or the blog, or just going to bed a little earlier.

God created rest to provide restoration for our souls. Don’t feel guilty when you feel a calling in your heart to step away from the world for a short time and just breathe and trust. There will always be something to get done, but the world won’t end if you don’t do it right away. (unless you’re the President or something, in which case, bad career choice haha)

Sleep is vital for our mood, our metabolism, our immune system, our cardiovascular health, our brain health, our sanity, and so much more! In my opinion, it is one of the most overlooked aspects of healthy living, and the one aspect that takes the most discipline for people because it involves giving up instead of checking off.

We are over worked. Over stimulated. Over burdened. Cast it all on Him because He cares for you.

Go to sleep trusting that when we are asleep, our great God is awake.

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Currently inspiring me today…

This workout shirt I found by ActiveFaith and this tank top from Cross Training Couture. SO cute! If you need workout inspiration, just put these on!

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The kindness of the person who bought me a drink today!

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Guac and Roll from Protein Bar. All about the tofu and avocado. Very filling!

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Nude nail polish that dries SO fast. I’m notorious for messing up my polish so I never paint, but not this kind! and it lasts forever!
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and a new hair cut with fresh layers! a little change from my usual bun/pony tail because it’s just going to get sweaty later anyway…

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Happy Friday Soul Strongers! Do good this weekend: mind, body, and soul. Grace and peace to you.

 “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ….”

Out of Control

Do you guys remember this commercial from the Super Bowl?! Take a look.

“It’s a special occasion.”

“It’s on sale.”

“It’s a social thing.”

“But it tastes so good.”

I SO identified with this commerical when it came on! (I’m not preaching Weight Watchers, but if it works for you, hey! that’s awesome!) The music in the video always creeps me out too! haha

This video is the world in which we live, and the struggles we face everyday with the temptations all around us: online, with friends, in the store, on TV, and even walking down the street.

There are choices everywhere we look.

There are many many instances I can look back on with a vivid memory of gorging on food when I felt at war with myself to stop. To those people who can have “just one”, I applaud you! But for the majority of Americans, it’s not so easy.

Some of this is because we grew up in a “clear your plate” generation and don’t know how to distinguish between situational/emotional eating, and actual hunger. That part is not about food at all.

THEN, there is the food industry that has added chemicals to the food to make it addicting and market it well, so we are fighting a very physical battle in that regard, which is partly not our fault.

I ADMIT: I am a recovering emotional eater. So when I saw this graphic, I knew I needed to share it as a reminder to myself and to you!

I am a strong believer that knowledge can be a huge factor in change because you’re more aware of what needs to change! Just being aware of the signs of emotional eating helps me identify it when it’s happening and stop and PRAY for the courage to say NO. I am not saying “no” to the food. I am saying “no” to the feelings that tell me I am not satisfied and that eating will make me feel better. More often than not, it makes us feel worst.

How many times have you been out to brunch with girlfriends, downed the endless buffett, and afterwards hear the joking words, “I hate myself!” ? Is the TASTE worth the HATE?

Are we eating because we need to? Or to fill some void within us? Check out these signs below to recognize physical vs. emotional hunger:

Physical Hunger vs. Emotional

Don’t get me wrong, my personal philosophy allows for treating yourself every now and again! It’s your birthday–have some cake! You just got a promotion–have a big fancy dinner! It is normal not to be restrictive and to let loose occasionally without beating yourself up. It’s just important to know WHY, and that it is not a habit or downward spiral.

Be mindful. Be prayerful. Be balanced. And be a good steward of the body you’ve been given.