Category Archives: future

legrand adventure – the only kind to have

truly, madly, deeply is playing right now. is that the name of it? i know it’s by savage garden – ha. and i remember vaguely hearing this song at the grocery when i was a senior in high school.

god, that’s so far away.

even yesterday feels distant.

so i’m taking deep breaths and doing the next right thing. because that’s what oprah says to do. and the next right thing is another deep breath and allowing myself grace.

grace because i was only divorced three months ago, and i’ve been transient for over a year, and i’ve been freelancing during this time, and i broke up with my boyfriend and popped my tire in the same week. this week. today.

and i went to california and italy this year, all while transitioning, and new friending, and falling in love again.

i moved here and i moved to nashville and i moved back here again.

i said goodbye to my puppies.

action, movement, motion.

almost poetic as we transition into winter i’m finally pausing.

finally breathing.

finally acknowledging – damn, amanda – a break down is not weakness. in fact, it’s healthy.

a trauma research study stated divorce, moving, finding a new job, and losing pets all in the highest category of stress and life change.

so…

another deep breath. and two more.

this life is truly, incredibly beautiful. i see opportunity. possibility. growth. transformation. empathy. power.

i also see a trampoline down here at rock bottom. (i’m teasing, this doesn’t feel like rock bottom)

deep sigh, exhale, SMILE –

and move.

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Take a Deep Breath

And trust your instinct.

No matter how known your counsel is, it’s you who knows exactly what is on your mind and heart. It’s only you who can see from your perspective. It’s only you who can make the decision.

Also, become a strict tenant. You control who rents space in your mind. No one has the right to squat inside your brain and tell you what they see from their own perspective. You set the rules. You aren’t required to give any notice to those you refuse.

These words are for me. I’ve let this year become about someone else setting my pace. When last year was all about saying YES to me and my own heart (because you have to, especially when everyone has their own opinion), I took two steps back and submit my own thoughts to another.

All my plans for Live Audaciously were on hold while I chased someone else’s advice.

When you mute your true passion, what is left to drive you? 

I haven’t blogged since the end of January. Only because I’ve felt stuck, downplayed, weak, as if my plans weren’t enough compared to what might amount to more monetarily.

So many random thoughts tonight.

Really, fuck all of them. Those who try to tell you you don’t matter because they are feeling threatened or invalidated. We live in a world where you are free to create yourself. Take full advantage and don’t let them tell you otherwise. And if they do, walk away. Kick them out of your mind. Keep being you.

If advice is hurled your way, decide if it matters to you. If not, do whatever the hell you want.

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Overhaul Prep

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This is the most difficult part. Jumping in after the holidays, the time off, the cuddles, the sleeping in, the forgetting what day it is, the not worrying about the budget.

If only that time could last forever, right?

Well, reality says no and instead of fighting it, I’m doing my best to get to work on blogging through this health overhaul thing.

How about we do a ‘what I imagined would happen,’ vs. ‘what actually happened.

Imagined: receive Practical Paleo at or around Christmas and begin reading, meal planning, cross referencing. Wake up January 1st refreshed and ready to kick 2016 in it’s teeth; feeling new, feeling inspired, feeling ready to start chipping away at those goals.

Reality: still waiting on Practical Paleo, extended holiday festivities until this afternoon (meaning: doing whatever the hell we wanted on the first day of the year, hiking the second, and finally saying – ok, I guess we have to, today) spent about an hour and a half looking up paleo recipes online. Spent 30 more minutes compiling a grocery list. Went to three different grocery stores to find all the random flours I need in my cabinet to make the good stuff. Came home stressed, had a few mini ‘why am I doing this again?’ ‘this is so difficult!!’ and ‘why is this so expensive?!’ breakdowns. Then remembered I promised myself I would figure this out. The figuring out is always the hardest, but then you know – ya know? So I decided anything worth understanding is worth a little bit of trouble. And health is important! I refuse to let society decide my priorities for me.

I’ve accepted I cannot approach this having it all together. I need to make the effort I can and keep perfecting throughout the year. This is why we are starting with food, so I have twelve months to keep honing in on optimal health for myself and my family. It will get better.

So –

Sunday posts will be dedicated to showing you what is up this week as far as dinners and some snacks. Maybe you’d like to try some of the meals we are tasting this week? I’ll reference some resources below, but won’t post recipes due to copyright. Everything this week is paleo, dairy free, gluten free.

  • Monday – broccoli chicken casserole
  • Tuesday – maple glazed salmon
  • Wednesday – paleo italian chicken fingers
  • Thursday – turkey chili
  • Friday – leftovers
  • Saturday – date night (will be determined during Friday planning)
  • Sunday – breakfast foods (will be determined during Friday planning)

a few other items on the menu: breakfast coconut pecan bars, fluffy paleo pancakes, pumpkin pie cupcakes, avocado egg salad, grilled chicken pineapple salad

Resources:

grassfedgirl.com, mommayoungathome.com, tastesoflizzyt.com, theroastedroot.net, naturallyloriel.com, and lexiscleankitchen.com

ps. I don’t have my new website ready either, but it is on the way! Stay tuned!

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2016 Health Overhaul

So, I’ve never been skinny, well, aside from the short period in 7th grade pre-puberty. I was pretty lean (and completely flat) but even then, I don’t remember being very “skinny.”

After life took it’s natural course and I began more of my growing, I was a normal weight for my size. A little thicker even. But like I said, never in my life have I been skinny.

So in those last two years of high school, when I quit cross country and wasn’t at all aware of what I am aware of now regarding nutrition and intake, I started gaining fat. I involved myself in other sports to try to manage my weight, but there’s no way around it, I was thick.

Post high school, my activity plummeted and I kept accumulating fat. I started to think I wasn’t meant to be in shape, that I was only a mediocre athlete so this is what I deserved (really??)

In 2007, I competed in a work weight loss challenge, lost 30 pounds running and eating lean meats and veggies. My understanding of how to take care of myself was growing, all the while, managing my body weight was an all the time struggle. I’m thankful I’ve always had to work for it otherwise I wouldn’t have grown the discipline and attention I have towards my health.

Around this time in my life my ‘go to’ workouts were Jillian Michaels DVDs and running. I bought her book Master Your Metabolism and learned all about how our hormones play an enormous part in how we digest our food, how our body functions, and how the food like products in the American Diet were to blame for hijacking our hormones and destroying our metabolism. I gave a good effort to eat mostly organic.

However, only with my health journey in relation to Beachbody coaching has it registered that true health goes far deeper than ‘mostly organic’ and running every now and then.

With said journey, I’ve cut out dairy most of the time (no milk. first – yuck, secondly – hormones!) I don’t break out like I used to since I’ve made this shift. My workouts are short and high intensity (work smarter).  One hundred ounces of water is a daily goal. Shakeology is a must to help my body absorb the right nutrients from my food and shed the rest. Nigel and I eat mostly lean meats and veggies. With my routine of training five to six times a week, eating well most of the time, drinking mass amounts of water, sleeping eight hours, being outside often, I am still missing something. I maintain my weight and I am honestly never sick and haven’t been for the past three years or more (not including allergies).

And in light of all of this, I know I can take it one step further. I know I’m not eating the way I should because relatively healthy is not an accomplishment. I want to devote 2016 to jumping into learning about my complete health. I want to transform completely form the inside out. So with this conviction, we will begin in January by dissecting everything we know or think we know about food. We will look at elimination diets and transition into a different kind of diet than we practice currently.

Please know this effort is about education. Knowing how my own body responds to certain foods and the optimal way of caring for it will only help me be a better coach, trainer, wife, and someday mom. I know I can level up when it comes to health and push to feel exactly how I want to + finally carve that consistently lean body I know is mine.

Also know, I’m not claiming to be a nutrition expert, only sharing our journey. If you want to stay posted these are the following themes we’ll be tacking next year: 

  • Jan: food
  • Feb: supplements
  • March: skincare
  • April: hygiene
  • May: cleaning supplies
  • June: clothing
  • July: environment
  • August: plastic
  • Sept: electronics
  • Oct: shopping locally, small business
  • Nov: gratitude
  • Dec: reflection
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Management & Maintenance

So you’ve set goals – now what are you going to do about them?

My first tip would be that you place your goals somewhere visible to you daily. The more you see them, the more your mind starts to conspire to make them happen. Writing them down and never looking at them again won’t do anything for you.

And don’t stop there, you need to decide on your management plan. Break those big goals into smaller goals and then focus on what habits you need to adopt to become the person who would reach these big goals.

“It’s time to WAKE UP and realize that the habits you indulge in could be compounding your life into repeated disaster.” The Compound Effect

Will I ever read one health related book each month next year if I don’t make a habit to read daily and be consistent? Nope. Well, yes, if I cram a book in the last few days of each month but that’s not the point at all.

So, habits. 90% of what we do is habit. 

Some habits I am working on developing:

  1. wake up already. Sleeping is in my bones. I swear it was passed on to me (through me dad). I talked to my mom and she says I didn’t even have any trouble as a newborn. I had that sleeping thing down! So, I want to wake up at 6:30 am every single day. I used to have to when I was leaving home for work. It’s harder when you make your own rules.
  2. be consistent. I saw the most success this past summer when I was doing all the little things every day. It’s key or so I’ve heard 🙂 Ready to own it this year.
  3. be thankful. Express gratitude all the damn time. This has been somewhat of a habit but I’m going to be even better at this!
  4. perfect a morning and evening routine.
  5. know when to say yes and when to say no. Say yes to all the scary, new, exciting things. Say no if you’re deciding based on guilt, if you are prioritizing your time, if this event or project will distract you from your main goals. Is this last one a habit? Eh, it will be! 

Which habits are guiding you today? Which will shape your new year?

A few habit tracking resources:

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Looking Ahead, Setting Intentions

Well, Christmas has definitely taken priority this week! I meant to blog through my ‘10 tips to prep for another year,” (most recent post) and have missed: clean house, give away & sell, organize, organize your closet, plan needs and budget. How about I circle back to those topics here this next week and into 2016?

If I pick back up after budgeting, we’ll be discussing setting new goals, which is a favorite topic and something that pushed me to do more this year (because I continued to check back on my progress). I’m a list maker and goal setter by heart but maybe you aren’t. Hopefully, in sharing some of my own ambitions, you’ll be inspired to start thinking up yours.

I had fun reflecting and setting new goals a few weeks ago as I asked those in my fit group to create their own vision boards and share them. I didn’t have a compilation of magazines to use and wasn’t thrilled about printing a ton of Pinterest photos so I did my own spin on a vision board. All that was necessary was a handful of sharpie markers, chart paper (from teaching) music and about 30 minutes. I’ll post a photo, but wanted to list (some) of my 2016 intentions below:

  1. daily gratitude + creative journaling + planer use
  2. WRITE. Blog through 2016 health overhaul
  3. launch Live Audaciously in January + partner with non profit by June
  4. READ. One book a month {health} related
  5. weekly date nights + weekly random acts of kindness
  6. two adventurous vacations planned by May
  7. public speaking + self publish plans set in motion by May
  8. be diligent in learning about adoption and homeschool
  9. help Nigel pursue his dreams (launch career by June)
  10. PRAISE GOD FOR EVERY MOMENT. Okay, I will forget some moments but I can never forget that all my striving is in vain if I forget what it’s truly about – 

I love when Lewis Howes said, “when you doubt yourself, you doubt your Creator.” When we take the focus off ourselves and realize we have something to offer from our own unique person, possibilities abound. You have a purpose. You have a story to tell. You have goals to set (and conquer) and a passion that is singly your own. Entertain these thoughts tonight. 

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10 Tips to Prep for Another Year

For fun, I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to prep for the new year. Maybe you will check off one per day, maybe you’ll tackle three or four following the days after Christmas. Either way, I’ll be working through the list myself and plan to share! 

10. Clean your house – if you’ve been in one of my fit groups, you know this is on the list. As humans we want to compile and compile when all we really need to do is CLEAN and manage (and be thankful for) what we already have.

9. Give away all that you can, put some things up for sale – think about all those who need what you have stuffed in the back of the cabinet or in the corner over there. If you haven’t used it in a year and don’t foresee using it soon, give. it. away. On the other hand, our economy functions when our belongings have worth, so go ahead and list that CD on ebay, craigslist, or Facebook.

8. Organize – after purging, organize what is left. This order will set your mind right to concur all that is ahead of you.

7. Organize your closet – because you see it every day. Take an hour or two to purge, give away, sell what is lost in your closet. Organize it in a functional way. Light a candle. Take a deep breath. You’ll be thankful you did this.

6. Plan your needs and budget for 2016 – Nigel and I have been budgeting since the beginning of our marriage. Our budget helped us know when to say yes and when to say no. We’ve paid off all debt (cars, school loans, random CC) because we determined our budget and stuck with it throughout these first five years. Now is the perfect time to figure out how much money you need, how much you want, and what you will do to earn it.

5. Set new goals! – setting goals is my favorite 😀 Don’t be the person who never set a goal because you’re afraid you won’t reach it. Set it anyway. Most goals I have set, I haven’t reached, however, when I reflect on these goals I’m always learning and setting new limits going forward. Push yourself. You’re worth it!

4. Management plan – setting goals is actually the easy part. You’ll want to set up a plan to break goals down into smaller goals and then into daily habits. See point #3, and figure out a way to track your habits.

3. Daily habits – have you read The Compound Effect? In it, Darren Hardy talks about habit tracking, because 90% of what we do is habit. So have you thought about your habits lately? Are they setting you up for success or destruction? Base your habits on the person you would have to be to reach the goals you set. Habits are the bridge from goal setting to actual achievement.

2. Reflect on 2015 – the year isn’t over and I know you experienced so much. Don’t leave it in haste. Take time to reflect on all the good and some of the sour. Be thankful for all your moments because they led you here, ready to welcome in another year.

  1. CELEBRATE! – what good is hard work without celebration? With up, comes down, with sunshine, rain, and after prepping for the new year and reflecting on the old, take time to CELEBRATE this life you are living! And if you aren’t going out with friends, I hope you are able to have a five minute dance party in your living room!
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November 29th

In the midst of (unsuccessfully) studying for my CPT exam next weekend, I’m thinking about next year. Anyone else guilty of the same type of mind flow? I start a lot of projects and feel successful when doing them all at the same time. It drives Nigel crazy.

So, I’m thinking of next year and how I am going to launch a 100% health overhaul. I’ve mapped out posts to keep myself on track, and beginning December 15th I’ll be reflecting on this year and prepping for the next. But right now I need to study. Cannot wait to share all I’m learning!

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Seasons

Phew. September was difficult. After a summer of flying high, late August and September were the months that grounded me. Feeling thrown back into something I sprinted from left me bitter and searching for focus and gratitude. I welcome this month with arms fully extended, blissful at the thought of leaving the rest behind.

October, you son of a bitch, where you been hiding? 

In an effort to hold myself to writing more freely and more often, I’ll be including my “currents” at the end of my posts:

READING: Put Your Dream to the Test by John C. Maxwell

LOVING: my new functional planner by Dana Bowman @functional15

LISTENING: to Lewis Howes School of Greatness (podcast) & Derek Webb’s Ctrl album + random songs by Audrey Assad

MOVING: to those beats above & my p90x3 routine (you need inspiration to move? see me)

ASPIRING: to make this routine

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Photo: by me @Cheekwood; Artist: Juame Plensa

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When Plans Change or When Everything Goes Exactly as it Should

Years ago I thought God had forgotten me. From my own perspective, my closest friends were being heard, prayers were being answered, and there I was.

I felt so lonely.

I thought maybe these rules, thoughts, and ideas didn’t apply to me. Surely not. I couldn’t see the evidence anywhere. While I’d cling to the hope in my tears being repaid tenfold in joy, I’m not confident I believed it was true.

The feeling came back again, a year and a half into marriage, when I felt all my dreams were shut down and my hopes were put on what could be a permanent hold.

“But I thought we were supposed to do this – together; and here I am feeling all the weight and all the burden and none of the joy,” were thoughts that consumed my mind. It was really tough. It was difficult to keep my heart and mind focused. I reacted and broke my own heart in the process. I felt stuck and resentful and hopeless. It sounds heavy but it’s true and that’s why I think it’s important to share.

My problem then and sometimes now, was my lack of vision. I couldn’t see past that month or year or past my own hurt. I couldn’t see this work that started years ago will be continued, and it will be for my own good.

I measured my life in nearsighted-ness, ignoring the decades I had yet to evaluate.

*

Fast forward to now. I still feel lonely sometimes. I think we all do. But any and all of my feelings have been transcended by this thick, comforting blanket of peace. Almost ten years post endless nights of tears and my hurt doesn’t come from those feelings any longer. Almost five years post committing myself to Nigel and all we’ve experienced, through my fault or not, has been sobering and messy, but nothing I’d trade.

Sometimes all of these life events seem ironic. They aren’t. I think it’s more the beautiful detail that is woven through every interaction, pain, conversation, song, missed opportunity. It still leads me here. Those deep gut feelings or passions reside in me to be pursued, and those hurts I’ve caused are ways to learn and experience, and seek forgiveness and redemption.

When plans change, so do we, because we are meant to be more than we think we could be, and to make mistakes, and to work together and learn from each other, and be edified – and eventually made new.

So thankful for this story.

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