faith

Get it Together

The conversation almost always starts the same way. It most often takes place at the end of the day, when I am tired and I have done something silly like forget to bring my daughter to gymnastics or realized that I have only shaved one leg in the shower that morning.

"I have to get it together"

Six words that hold so much power.  The power to condemn.  The power to feel defeated and less than.  Not one little bit of grace at all.  These six words have decided that I am a mess and I need to fix it and fix it now.  I need to write stuff down, pay attention, drink more coffee, do something to avoid these mess ups from happening again.  Mess ups are not acceptable or allowed.  In my world mess ups are a loss of control and a loss of control is a scary thing.  

So I search for something I can control.  For me that thing has always been my food and exercise.  If I was a hot mess of a mom well I can at least be a fit hot mess of a mom.  I will just focus harder on my nutrition.  Make sure I get to the gym and give it 150%.  I will focus more, be better and get it together.  Then everything will be ok.

The problem with this is that I am human.  I was created flawed (no matter how much I deny and fight this its true).  Perfection is impossible.  I will always mess up.  The circumstances and degrees of the mess ups will change but no matter how hard I try, how tight I hold on, how much MORE I do it will NEVER be perfect.

Grace 

The definition of grace is "unmerited favor" and for me it is the answer to the whirlwind that is created when I try to "get it together".  I am learning to laugh at my life, mess ups and all.  To take the good with the bad and to just give myself a break.  I remember that I am ok, no matter what and already forgiven.  The mess ups will not define me.  I am loved right now, with all my forgotten appointments and extra slices of pizza.  I rest in who I am, and who loves me.  God quietly reminds me that HE HAS GOT IT and I dont need to keep all the balls of my life in the air.  I realize that exercising and dieting harder will not get me closer to peace, only opening my grip and allowing Him to work in my life will. 

As I learn to let go of food and exercise as a way to feel in control I am developing a new relationship with food.  It has taken me years and I still have times I struggle.  I know that this is the root of so many womens struggle.  

I have been reading the book Full by Asheritah Ciuciu and in it she ask some really powerful questions, a big one being : 

What does your ideal relationship with food look like?

How would you eat?

What  would you feel?

How would you act?

I would love to hear your thoughts on these questions I encourage you to comment below and if you would like to join me in readying Full over the next two weeks you can email me:

tabitha@brickhousebodies.com

As always I am praying for each of you

 

Happiness

Happy: Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.  Fortunate and convenient. Characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment or joy.

Happiness: the state of being happy.

It had been a long day and it was only 11am.  The morning was a blur of emails, dishes, bus drop off and unending text messages.  I was totally in over my head.  As I walked out of the bank (my last errand till my next appointment in an hour)  I looked up for the first time since I woke at 5am that morning.  The sun was high in the sky and shining.  It was pleasantly warm and there was a soft breeze.  I got into my car and rolled down my windows, I took a huge breath in and out, the air just smelled GOOD, Like spring, my heart skipped a beat.  I closed my eyes and said a simple prayer:

THANK YOU LORD

When I opened my eyes the heavy weight of the morning had vanished.  I felt excited and lighter.  All the things I had to do for the rest of the day dissappeared.  I turned up Lecrae and just started driving.  

That moment was happiness to me.  I am so grateful that God has helped me to pause and appreciate these little moments because for a very long time (and sometimes still) I struggle to find those moments.  For the better part of my life happiness had conditions:

1- I had to make 6 figures and have a position of power

2- I had to live in NYC, in the best apartment money could buy

3- I had to be a size 2 

4- I had to have all the fun and friends and places to go to

5- I had to have designer clothes

The list goes on and on.  I was exhausted just trying to keep track of it all.  In reality and upon reflection I was anything but happy.  In my 20's and half of my 30's I drank too much, did drugs, struggled with an eating disorder and could not maintain a stable relationship with anyone.  But to the world I had everything.   I kept telling myself if I kept working I would finally make enough money.  If I went on enough dates I would find the right person.  If I worked out long enough and dieted hard enough that I would finally be happy.  My happiness was dependant on the outcome of each of my days.  I had given over control of my happiness to my job, my apartment, my wardrobe and my pants size.  I focused only on the outcome of my efforts.  Getting what I needed mattered above all.  I stormed through my life like a bull in a china shop, never pausing for reflection or lessons.  Not caring what was broken on my way to the final destination - happiness.

I got really close.  But when I had those rare moments of quiet a feeling nagged at me.  I would get anxious and then get sad.  The feeling was so fleeting, it slipped away as quickly as it came.  It wasen't until I had thought all was lost:  When my husband was out of work and we had $100 in our bank account.  When we lived with my in-laws for 4 years while struggling to get on our feet.  When I prayed everytime I got in my old truck with 200,00 miles, a broken exhaust and questionable steering that I would just be able to make it to work cause we needed the money, and in so many other ways

That was when I realized, that was when I understood.  All of those things I had worked so hard for, the happiness I took pride in earning could be gone JUST. LIKE. THAT.  If I stayed where I was, if Gods grace and mercy and the holy spirit had not intervened I would have never been happy again.  I had nothing to be happy about, I had nothing.  

I learned that even tohugh I had nothing I learned how to entertain a 6 year old by spending $5 at the dollar store.  I realized that date night could be a cup of coffee at the diner and Target and Forever 21 have some great workout wear.  That family walks can be just as fun as a vacation and it is true God will always provide.  The feeling of happy did not cause anxiety or quickly fade.  It was there just waiting for me to embrace it.

So if you are struggling with happiness I understand.  I know exactly what you are feeling.  I challenge you to take a moment look around and take a deep breath.  Ask yourself if you are working for happiness or just opening your eyes and seeing it for the first time.  Are you chasing the moments or building a life dependant on a peace and joy that is unchanging.  Happiness cannot be bought or worked for it is given by God, freely and with grace.

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Create a NEW Habit

Something funny happened the other morning.  My routine is pretty much the same every day.  I put my daughter on the bus and then head right over to the gym.  A couple of mornings ago like always I dropped my little one off, jumped in my car and 7 minutes later I was pulling into the parking lot of my gym.  The only problem was that I was expected somewhere else!!! My habit took over and without me even thinking it took me down a path I had always followed. Well I made my appointment (though about 7 minutes late lol) and it got me thinking about habits and how powerful they are.

According to Webster’s dictionary HABIT is defined as:

A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or performance. An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.

So many times we hear that we have to “break our bad habits.” That may seem overwhelming.  Eat right, exercise every day.  If you have every tried to quit smoking (I have) you realize that it is not as easy as just stopping.  I want to provide you with a different approach.  Instead of trying to break a bad habit shift the perspective and create a new one.  A habit that better serves your goals.  So here are the three way that I teach my clients how to create new habits.

1-Stop and think. Why did I wind up in my gym parking lot instead of my appointment?  I did not stop and think about what I had to do.  This is the first step in creating a new habit. Habit is involuntary and happens without thinking.  But if we stop for just a moment and think about what we are doing and ask the question “does this serve my goals?"it will cause us to delay the action.  For example, if you always have desert after you eat, once you are done with dinner stop for 5 minutes before you reach for the sweet treat.  Are you still hungry? Will eating this cake serve your goals.

2-Make a better choice. This is the most important step.  Creating new habits about making better choices.  We never give ourselves the time to consider a different choice (see point #1).  In that pause we can make a decision and base what we do next on that decision.  Using the same desert example.  We have decided that we are not hungry so our habit of eating a sweet after dinner does not make sense, we now have a choice.  Some examples of better choice based on some common goals:

If getting healthy is a goal I could decide to have a cup of berries instead of a slice of cake.  Both are sweet but the berries are a better choice.

If getting closer to my family and spending more quality time is a goal I could go for an after dinner walk with my family.  Or I could call a friend.

If growing my relationship with God is a goal I could say a prayer, read my bible or a short devotional

All of these choices serve my goal. Remember your goal and make a better choice.

3-Repeat: Remember habit is created by frequent repetition. If you want these new habits to stick you have to do them over and over again.  Your habit of eating a sweet after dinner may have started in childhood.  It took decades to develop!! You are not going to creating a new one by doing it once or even 5 times.  That’s where people disconnect.  In this age of immediate gratification, we give up when we don’t get the result we want immediately.  Human default is ease and comfort above all else.  When it gets hard and we feel like it would be so much easier if we just ate the darn cake!!!

That’s where the enemy waits whispering in our ear that you deserve that cake.  One slice won’t hurt.   You can worry about getting healthy tomorrow.  All lies to keep us right where we are struggling, frustrated and thinking we are never going to get this healthy living right.

Ladies please be strong!! Remember who you are!! A daughter of a king and not weak!!  Take these tips into your heart.  Take a moment, make a better choice and repeat.  I want to hear about the new habits that you are going to create and what better choices you are going to make.  Please leave a comment and share with me.

Less of Me, More of Him

I have said it countless times before I am stubborn and a bit of a control freak.  I am working with God on that.  Sometimes it takes me literally being hit over the head to listen to what He is trying to tell me.  Over the past two weeks I am slowly being transformed, through people that have come into my life and by slowing down to be still and listen to what He has to say.  I have never felt so excited for what’s to come yet so calm – that’s faith.  I have been “saved “for over 3 years but have never had faith in my heart.  That faith has changed everything.

My perspective has switched.  My mindset set has changed from one of scarcity: never good enough, never training enough, never lean enough, not enough likes, not enough money.  To a mindset of abundance.  I have allowed God’s grace to let me off the hook to myself.  I have finally believed that I am deserving of it.  I am no longer trapped by the lies of never enough.  If I am not perfect its ok, no one is.  If the filter that I truly live my life is LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS it all becomes simple.

I no longer have to kill myself in the gym for two hours a day.  I believe it when my coach says one hour will do.  I realize that even though it is a good thing the gym and training became a distraction something I could control and be good at.  Something that defined me.  I realize now that my strength, body fat and performance in CrossFit does not define me HE does.  It has been so liberating.  I can enjoy my food and my workouts.  If I have a bad day at the gym it doesn’t make me question my purpose.  If I indulge in a good meal and do not count or measure I no longer tell myself I have failed.  I know that I am not “fixed” I just feel connected and focused.  I will meet God every day and ask for grace and strength to continue on the path He has for me.

In my career winning has always been important to me.  I had to be the best.  Work the hardest for the most hours.  Make the most money so I could and get all the attention and promotions available.  When I first started my training business it was about helping others.  That was my goal and I did it well.  Somewhere along the way I lost sight of that.  My fame became more important.  I continued to strive for my glory and burnt out quickly.  I lost passion.  I began to doubt my skills and qualifications.  Instead of looking within myself I blamed others.  Instead of praying I just worked harder.  Then I just spun my wheels and made myself busy.  Paralyzing myself with it.  This continued until just a couple of weeks ago.  Then an amazing woman spoke truth into my life and I heard the word ABUNDANCE over and over again.  My purpose mattered not for my own glory but for HIS.  I had no need to strive or prove myself I was already accepted and loved.  As long as I stay on the path He has for me He will produce fruit.  Will it be easy? NO.  Will I lose some things? Probably.  But what I have gained is so much more valuable.  I have gained PEACE.

 

I have not lost my work ethic but I no longer #hustle for myself.  I do my absolute best to live the life God has for me.  So that others see His greatness in me.  Jesus is my CrossFit coach, nutrition coach and business mentor.  If I stick to His program I know that I will achieve every goal He sets for me.  That is my confidence.

Excellence

The quality of being outstanding or extremely good; extremely high quality, superiority, eminence.

 I feel like this summer has been the season of excellence for me.  I think it all started when I went to the Northeast Regional of the Crossfit Games.  Watching the athletes seeing them performing at a level of excellence in their sport was so inspiring.  It started me thinking of how I can live my life with excellence.  I am not a professional athlete.  I am a wife, mom and Jesus girl who on most days just does the best I can.  What would excellence look like for me? And is excellence even possible?  Or is the journey towards excellence really what it is all about?

I stated to think about every part of my life:

Wife: Excellence as a wife.  For me that means respecting my husband above all else.  Praying for him, supporting him and giving him love.  There will be days when he makes me angry and respect is the furthest thing from my mind but excellence would be doing it anyway even when I don’t want to.

Mom:  This is a tough one.  On most days excellence is getting through the day with my daughter in one piece.  Excellence as a mom for me is loving my daughter, teaching her Gods word and praying with and for her.  If I get those covered in a day everything else usually works itself out.  Doing all of these thing even when I don’t feel like it is excellence.

Women who loves Jesus:  For me this is the hardest.  There is no faking this, no just getting by.  For me excellence is spending time with God each day in his word and speaking with him.  But most of all excellence is letting go of me and making it all about him.  I wake up everyday and ask for strength and wisdom to do both.  Doing all of these things even when I don’t feel like it is excellence.

Friend: Loving everyone that comes into my life.  Giving them support and the grace that God gives me.  Encouraging them when they are down, celebrating with them when they are up.  Believing in them even when they doubt themselves.  Being kind.  Doing all of these things even when I don’t feel like it is excellence.

Business Woman/ Athlete:  My weakness is peace.  All I want is to have quiet and nothing to do.  I can be very lazy.  As an athlete this manifests itself as holding back in workouts, overthinking lifts and doubting my ability.  In business this lead me to weeks of inaction, procrastination and Netflix binges.  To fight this I focus on grace and let go of perfection.  I try to treat every workout/business opportunity  as a learning and do not make failure the enemy.  I make instead make mediocracy the enemy. Doing all of these things even when I don’t feel like it is excellence

Feelings are really powerful and the world will tell you that they matter above all else.  But feelings are not the truth and are fleeting.  Feelings last for a moment and make us do things (or not do things) that in retrospect could have changed our life.  

The enemy of excellence is mediocracy.  Its remaining the same.  Its staying safe right where you are.  You may not fail but you will never truly taste excellence.