Can you tell I listened to Jessie J on the way to work this morning? "It's ok not be ok..." I love that line. And it's so true.
Some days, I'm just not feeling it. Some days, the alarm clock rings and I want nothing to do with the day ahead. Some days, I'm just feeling overwhelmed and uninspired.
First - it's ok to feel this way. You are normal. We all go through bad days or even bad stretches of time.
On the days when I feel fear and anxiety overwhelming me, I find it's most important to take action. That means fighting against the urge to call in sick and so you can stay in bed. Or fighting the urge to isolate yourself from everyone and all of your responsibilities.
Sometimes all it takes is getting around other people or getting one thing crossed off my to-do list to turn my mood around.
And if that doesn't work, I just keep pushing through the day anyway. Things will turn around... maybe not today, or tomorrow, or next week. But they will. And in the meantime, know that it's ok not to be ok.
I like to know I am good at something before I do it. Who wants to try something new and fail?
If you feel the same, you're choosing to live in comfort. A place where you know you are good at what you do and don't have to worry about making a fool of yourself.
While comfort feels nice, you will never grow into your full potential if you stay there. Get out of that comfort zone. Try something new and fail. Anyone who's done anything important in this world started out by feeling like they were in over their heads.
It's time to get uncomfortable.
Angelica Talan comes from a place of yes, but she also comes from a place of genuine kindness. She was my first interview for taking Minute Motivation to TV - and I can't think of anyone better to be my first guest.
From building the successful online blog Clarendon Moms to being a community leader, Angelica opened up about her journey in D.C. and the woman behind the gorgeous photos you'll see on her Instagram page.
Above is a highlight reel of our conversation together! Below is the piece we aired on Get Up DC this morning - a discussion that saying "yes" to the things that are most important in your life actually starts with saying no.
Anyone want to have lunch on Friday?!
Ladies. I am so excited! I was curled up on the couch this morning, planning out just what to say at the AWE meeting next week... and just the thought of sharing my message with you filled me with so much energy - to the point where I'm off the couch dancing around my apartment!
Want to have that own energy about your dreams? Want to stop second-guessing and just trust in your journey?
SIGN UP to join me for lunch this Friday!
This is the day. A new day. A chance to start again.
I've been telling myself this for a long time now. I wake up and think, "Ok. That's in my past. Let's start fresh today." And it works... for an hour or two. But then the day gets into full swing - and my bad habits creep into my routine, until I'm right back to (or even worse than) where I left off yesterday.
Breaking habits can feel extremely defeating. You are denying what has become natural for you over time - and your body and mind are going to fight like hell for control.
It feels impossible to stay positive. It feels like a lie when you tell yourself at the dawn of a new day that today, today is the day you turn yourself around and leave the old you in the dust.
In those moments, when you feel helpless and hopeless... keep going.
Yes, change will not happen overnight. Change will never happen on your own timeline. And unfortunately, the moment when you bottom out might still be ahead. But eventually with time and relentless work, things will get better.
So keep your chin up. Start again. It's a new day.
Sleep changes everything!
Once upon a time, I bragged about how little sleep I needed. 3, 4 5 hours? Perfect. That's good enough for me! Somehow, I explained my weight gain and stressed attitude to other factors in my life.
Then I read a book that stressed in order to be your healthiest self, getting enough sleep and drinking water must become top priorities. So. I focused on getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
And... It. Changed. Everything.
My weight stabilized as I didn't need sugar and caffeine simply to keep my eyes open. I could see challenges in my life more clearly and they didn't overwhelm me as much. Plus, I had more patience and productivity throughout the day.
Today, I am so protective of my sleep schedule. (Which is very tough because I wake up for work as nearly everyone else is going to bed.) But I can tell a HUGE difference when I don't get sleep.
Try it. Make sleep a priority.
You never know what someone is going through. His or her interactions with you are a reflection of internal feelings in that person's life, not reactions to your actions.
I had to remember this last week when dealing with a very rude rental car saleswoman. Her attitude frustrated me so much! But I stepped back and took a look at her life - or work life at least. There was no air conditioning in the building (in Florida!), she had to check the returned rental cars herself, and there was only one shuttle bus making trips to the airport - forcing her to be with the angry customers while they waited for it to return.
Are these excuses for a bad attitude? No. But taking this perspective helped me to let go of my frustration and find compassion for her.
It can be tough, but take a step back when someone is upsetting you. Most of the time, you'll realize that person isn't acting this way to hurt you - but that he or she is hurting and dealing with something on their own.
Thank you so much to Steve Khachaturian for having me on his ESPN radio show last week!
I met Steve backstage, moments after his daughter Grace was crowned Miss Illinois. As a fellow broadcaster, we started talking right away - and I joined him on his radio show Stevie Jay on ESPN 93.5 to talk about Miss America, lightning safety and the broadcasting business.
I'm also so thankful to him because his first sentence to me backstage was about my new "Minute Motivation" videos. Thank you for your kind words and support, Steve!
Here's the clip from his show Stevie Jay.
My mom has always been one of my heroes. But the older I get, the more I realize just what an incredible role model and friend she is in my life.
I feel extremely grateful for how much one-on-one time I got with my mom growing up. Being the youngest, I was the last one at home when Andrea and Christina started school.
Mom and I had our own routine those days: watching The Today Show while she French braided my hair; eating grilled PB&J for lunch; playing a game of Mastermind; running errands in the minivan; listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s greatest hits…
But what I admire most about my mom (and my dad too) is how she reacted when life didn’t go as she hoped or planned. I’m talking about when my oldest sister Christina was struck by lightning when she was 17-years-old - sustaining injuries that would need full-time caregiving for the rest of her life.
For nearly 20 years now, my parents have taken care of my sister without complaint or anger about what happened. As my dad said once, "You just do it and you would too if this happened to your own daughter."
My mom is the most pure, true example of a mother’s love. Her life is a testament to that every single day.
Happy Mother’s Day to the best there is… Love you, Mom.
“I wish I was naturally skinny too.”
I read that comment someone posted under a Facebook photo of me the other day and immediately thought, “Me too!”
That person must believe this is how I’ve always looked – and it takes me no work to stay this way. Ha! Hahahaha… Oh, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Fitness and health has been a looooong journey for me. After three decades, I’m just now feeling comfortable enough with myself to even begin to open up about the body image struggles I’ve been through.
You see, ironically, there was a time when I too believed some people had all the luck and were just naturally skinny.
For the majority of my teens into my mid 20’s, I convinced myself I wasn’t blessed with a fast metabolism – and that’s why I struggled with weight and not seeing results from the gym.
I ignored the truth about my eating habits (like thinking a pint of ice cream for dinner and then a pint of sorbet for a midnight snack was portion control). I constantly felt trapped by food - obsessing over eating healthy and beating myself up when I fell off the plan. It was a cycle of eating clean for a few days and then falling off the wagon and stuffing my face for a few weeks.
Working out – in every single form: on my own, with a trainer, group fitness classes – was a form of punishment. There was no joy in it, no stress relief from sweat.
For more than a decade, I was a prisoner to my horrible eating and fitness habits.
I couldn’t see a way out.
There would be moments of hope. I joined Weight Watchers four times (yes, even went to the meetings in college), drank my fair share of that disgusting mix of lemon juice and cayenne pepper, and even once tried these drops before meals in an attempt to trick my brain to thinking I was full.
You can guess what happened during this period. My weight was the rockiest rollercoaster. Up and down, up and down. The scale fluctuated as much as 50 pounds for a decade.
There was one consistent in this turmoil, my body image was the lowest of low.
Here was my biggest problem: I kept turning to the quick fix.
Diets, P90x, Insanity, personal trainers, throwing away all the junk food in my house… But these health “solutions” were just band aids on a much bigger problem.
In health and fitness, there is no quick fix. It’s not a sprint, it’s a lifelong marathon.
In health and fitness, there is no quick fix. It’s not a sprint, it’s a lifelong marathon.
So. How did I transform from a classic yo-yo dieter to staying a consistent weight for years now and actually enjoying running and yoga?
Time. Gradual changes over time.
Remember my two pints of ice cream at night habit? I quit trying to cut out ice cream completely. Instead, I cut back. One spoonful at a time for the last FIVE YEARS.
Today, I can eat just a few bites of ice cream and put the pint back in the freezer. And it’s not that I don’t keep ice cream around – there are two pints in my freezer right now – it’s just that I don’t obsess over it anymore.
Getting to that point just took time.
For fitness, I started walking before I ran. Literally. I got a puppy and of course he needed to be walked. We started out with just walking to the end of the block and back. As he grew, his need to get more energy out grew too. So gradually we walked farther; then we walked/ran; and eventually ran. FOUR YEARS later I ran a half marathon.
Getting to that point just took time.
Time and also forgiveness.
I know that sounds strange, but learning to forgive myself for my eating or fitness habits was key. Example: I ate the entire row of Oreo cookies – it’s okay. It doesn’t mean I have no self-control, am a horrible person and should just go ahead and finish the other rows too.
Don't expect perfection - it's not possible and will only discourage you.
Recently, I’ve been doing fitness challenges with people on social media – and I LOVE them. Because they are small, gradual health challenges.
I don’t expect to have the best arms for life after 21 days… or perfectly toned legs and abs during this May challenge. It’s just a small part of the fitness journey.
People have reached out about the challenges to say, “Oh shoot! I missed the first day!” And I’ve replied that that’s perfectly ok. Honestly! Just join in on day two or three or 18. Something is better than nothing.
Don’t expect perfection with your workout and eating habits. Perfection isn’t obtainable and you’ll only keep beating yourself up about it. Do what you can and forgive yourself for the rest.
Also – if you noticed above, I just replaced “eating habits” in the place of “diet” for a reason. I haven’t “dieted” in years. It’s the worst. Diets only made me miserable. Now I just try to make smart food choices and eat until I’m full. I listen to my body. It knows.
Which almost brings us full circle now to that original Facebook comment: “I wish I was naturally skinny too.”
Boy. Don’t we all?
I suppose in some way though once you get to a place where you're listening to your body, it does kind of become part of you... natural. But it doesn't mean I can stop working out and eat all the junk food I want without expecting poor results.
Finding your fitness balance is work. Constant work.
But if you take it gradually, you will find a place where food and workouts aren’t an obsession anymore. It’s just you maintaining a healthy balance in life – and keeping your body in optimal condition because you are worth it.
From my TV high heels, to the baseball cap I wear nearly everywhere else... I'm finding my voice in this blogging world.