Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Get Motivated

Every once in a while I watch a video that hits home and makes me wanna make moves.  Years ago, I lost my job and watched this Lemonade Movie.  And it maybe resulted me in smiling a lot and painting my office yellow, I kid you not.  Today I have one that my dear friends Melissa and Lee shared with me that I, in turn, wanna share with you.

While it's hardcore, sports-themed nature made me wanna impale my monitor with my keyboard, kick over my chair and walk out of this bitch (don't worry, I didn't) I loved the overall message.  I love the thought that it's never going to be the right time and the notion that we're all given the same time and just need to figure out how to use it to our best advantage.  Enough rambling, watch it and tell me what you think…?  Here's the link in case it doesn't show up below on your phone.

Now go do something you've been putting off.  Preferably with a big fuckin smile on your face.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Spaghetti Arms

Now I'll start by saying I made terrible horrible no good very bad eating choices this weekend, but I had a great time with some great company and that always wins for me. Friday night was spent a few houses up with my favorite neighbor, Jess, for a girls night. This included BBQ from an awesome place in our little town, a few beers and Mean Girls (which I hadn't seen in forever)! Oh yeah, and some snuggly dogs, not unlike mine. It was exactly what I needed after what felt like a never ending week!

Saturday afternoon we went on a Saturdate. Our friends Melissa (blind date #2) and Lee took a break from producing my favorite tear jerker wedding videos and met us for a double date! We met for a movie at the most crowded mall I've ever seen where I'm convinced someone was giving away happy endings or something equally amazing that would draw such a crowd.  After dinner we got some burgers and beers (told you, bad), then walked around a casino aimlessly while I sang, "One of these things is not like the other ones…" in my head.  Those places are incredibly weird as are the crowds they attract.  The machines wouldn't take my money, even when I tried.  To each his own, but gambling is not for me.  But lucky for Ben, he got a picture with princess big bird with which to remember the evening.

Sunday was nice and laid back, we took down our Christmas tree, don't judge me.  We only did it because we were having company over, hah!  We cleaned the hell outta the house and had some friends over for our typical mystery meat dinner.  We each pick a meat and a side and hope we don't make the same thing.  It's a fun game, usually more fun when it involves grilling!  Our friends brought flank steak and asparagus.  Ben and I made some crazy nachos and crock pot meatballs!  It was perfect and everybody's pee smelled funny.

This morning I went to the gym for some cardio, back and biceps.  I was telling Ben this morning that I lifted heavier than I had in a while, which had me super excited!  I had wobbly arms when I went to eat my breakfast this morning.  I anticipate waking up tomorrow with a serious case of spaghetti arms!  I can't wait.  I seem to get stuck in this mentality that I can stop being careful about what I eat on the weekends because I'm exercising and eating well during the week.  Unfortunately, that mindset will keep me exactly where I am, which isn't exactly where I wanna be.  So here's hoping I don't wreck this week's hard work with a weekend of reckless eating so I can make some progress!  Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Makes Ya Think

One of the greatest things about starting this blog (almost a year ago) has been the new friends I've made!  Like minded friends that I didn't think I'd make at this stage in my life.  And today I get to introduce you to one of them!  I met Kristen via instagram when she was offering samples of some of her Advocare products (shameless plug, you're welcome).  We started emailing back and forth and found out that we're pretty damn similar and got along super well!  Then, this past fall, I was lucky enough to meet the little Texas native when I flew down.  She's exactly as sweet as she seems and has one of the kindest hearts out there.  

She had some thoughts she thought needed sharing and after she sent them over I couldn't agree more!  So give it a read and let it leave you thinking just a little differently than when you started, because that's what it did for me!


“I love your shirt!”

“You have great fashion sense!”

Which one of these sounds more like something you would say to someone? Which one of these would you rather have someone say to YOU?

The answers for me, and probably many of you, are that I usually SAY the first one... but I would rather HEAR the second one.

What’s the difference, you might ask? A compliment versus an affirmation.

A compliment is defined as: “a polite expression of praise or admiration.” Synonyms: accolade, pat on the back.

An affirmation is defined as: “emotional support or encouragement.” Synonyms: declaration, oath(!!)

The difference goes beyond the simple definitions (although, I will say that the word ‘oath’ struck me, especially as I was writing this while sitting in the courthouse for jury duty!). It’s about the root of the statement and the underlying sentiments.

When I think about compliments, many of the statements that come to mind begin with “I” and are typically a comment on someone’s external appearance or a surface level trait. When you say, “I love your shirt!” did you really think about the person you just complimented or simply about their shirt? Chances are... the latter. Could you have just as easily said this same thing to a random stranger you walked by on the street? Yes.

An affirmation is more meaningful and sincere. It contains an emotional component that requires in-depth knowledge of a person and demonstrates that you have put genuine thought into your statement. “You have great fashion sense!” Sure this doesn’t seem all that ‘deep’ but it shows that you’ve noticed that someone is interested in fashion and put effort into looking nice. It’s a comment on an inward characteristic. It signals that you have made a sub-surface level assessment about someone’s internal qualities and not just about something that they may have acquired or done. There is often distinction is in the word YOU. This implies that the message is about the receiver, rather than the speaker. 

This is not to say that compliments don’t ever include the word ‘you,’ because they sometimes do... but let me show you the difference. Here’s an example that many of us can relate to... both statements contain YOU, but I only consider one of them an affirmation:

“You look great! You have lost a lot of weight!”

“Your dedication to the gym and eating healthy are really inspiring and are paying off!”

The first one is a blatant comment on external appearance (which, frankly, I sometimes find almost offensive, rather than complimentary....) while the second shows that you acknowledge and affirm their dedication and hard work, character traits. Which one of these would make YOU feel better?

My mom (who is the most amazing woman I know, btw) has always told me: “It’s what’s on the inside that counts!” So, while the outside appearance may be a result of the inward characteristics and be deserving of a compliment, let’s make a conscious effort to change a few simple words and AFFIRM what’s on the inside. It’s a tiny modification for us, but a huge difference for the recipient! 

It’s not a proven fact or anything, but the best recipient for an affirmation is yourself!

Monday, January 13, 2014

I choose…

Before today...
I hadn't been to the gym in weeks.
I had a shitty attitude about life.
I started eating poorly again.
I became that lazy girl on the couch.
I gained back some of the weight I worked so very hard to lose.
I let stress take over my life.
I lost hope when it came to the things that needed it the most.
I focused on the bad instead of the good.
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed most days.
I distanced myself from some of the most important people in my life.

I wouldn't even call it a funk.  It was more than a funk.  It was slipping back into the old Tara.  The one that let life get the best of her and didn't see the bright side.  The one I can't blame people for not wanting to be around.  The one I don't want to be again.  So that's the bad news.

The good news is, I noticed and I'm doing something about it.  It's too easy to sit back and say, "I'll start tomorrow."  So I started today.  I got back to the gym, I thought positive thoughts, I sweated, I'm thankful for what I have.  I tell the ones that matter that they do, I say fuck you to stress and I see the bright side, I choose to be happy and to make the most of what I'm given.  And I do my best to put things into perspective, because every once in a while things happen that will force you to do so.

I had a laid back weekend, I didn't drink and I finished the antibiotics that knocked out the deathly cold I had for a little over 2 weeks.  I relaxed, I cooked, I cleaned (ok Ben cleaned, but still) and I caught up on some sleep! (Email me if you want the recipe for the dinner pictured below and I'll make one up to share with you! I suck at recipes.)

Our Sunday was devoted to food, not so much in the fat girl, "What's my next meal?" kinda way, but over breakfast Ben and I planned out some meal ideas for the week.  We're into saving money, who isn't?  So most of what we eat this week will be free venison since Ben shot another deer.  After breakfast we went to the grocery store and got what we needed to start cooking.  We took a break to shoot some guns and enjoy the weather then came back home for an afternoon of grinding (meat, with a meat grinder, get your mind outta the gutter), chopping, browning, sautéing and packing.

We ended the night with some relaxing and catching up with some of our shows.  I went to sleep feeling ready for the week ahead.  Got up today with some pep in my step that quickly faded during my workout at the gym.  But I sweated, lots.  And I guarantee that I'll have a serious case of spaghetti arms tomorrow morning and I can't wait.  Spaghetti arms, oh how I've missed you.

Are you choosing to be happy?  I've been told that's pretty damn important.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


As I sit on my couch and fight the urge to change into my red union suit, I'm smiling to myself thinking about this past year.  I have so much and so many to be grateful for, I don't think about that enough.  I have so much to look back on fondly.  I learned so much about others and about myself.  Sure, I had some fuck ups along the way, who doesn't?  But overall, I can honestly say that 2013 is one of the years I've changed the most.

For starters, I decided to do something, I set my mind (and my body) to it and I followed through.  I went from living an unhealthy, lazy, downhill lifestyle to living the kind of life I'm proud of.  I stopped giving as much of a shit what other people thought of me, because guess what, it doesn't matter.  I set goals, I met goals.  I made a conscious decision to be the best version of myself I thought I could be.  I put my best foot forward.  I realized that I should never say I can't do something.

I made new friends, wonderful ones!  Ones that I traveled far to meet or found in my own backyard and lots that I hope to have in my life for a long long time.  I started to really believe that everyone gets brought into your life for a reason.  I try to look for that reason in everyone I meet.  Some are meant to teach you to laugh til you cry, some to love, some are meant to teach you to, "Not take things so fucking seriously!"  Some are meant to pass on what they've already learned, some are meant to teach you forgiveness or patience.  Some are meant to be that one stable thing when everything else seems to be crumbling around you.  All of which continue to teach me how to be a better person.

I gained confidence.  Something I may not have had very much of in years past.  Yeah ok, so it's not always 100%…ok fine, rarely, unless I'm drinking then that shit skyrockets.  But I learned that if I'm not confident in myself that not very many other people can do that for me.  I could try, but, "Hey mom, can you be confident for me?" probably won't do shit, no matter how adorable she is and how much she loves to help me.  I've learned that the phrase, "Fake it til you make it." applies to most everything in life.  I like to think I'm doing a little less fakin' and a little more makin' these days.

I've learned to worry less.  Yes, worry less!  I can't control everything, apparently I used to think I could and would get my panties all in a bunch when things didn't go my way.  That's not good for anyone though.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, less worrying, living in the moment.  Can't say it's ever been a strength of mine, I used to worry like hell even when I was a little kid!  But asking myself, "Can I actually control this?" and being able to say no and let go has been pretty damn amazing.  Can I control if someone's going to like me or show up on time or call me back or if everything will go as planned?  No, but I can do my part and sit back and have a drink and hope the rest comes together.

I can't wait to see what this next year brings.  New challenges, new lessons, new everythings.

Here are some of my favorite things from 2013 (in no particular order)

Monday, December 16, 2013


You ever feel like your train of thought's been derailed?  Yeah that's right, I just quoted Travie McCoy.  And yeah, I feel like my train of thought's been derailed.  Lately I feel like there are a lot of moving parts in my life and I need to pick and choose which ones I put my time and effort into.  Sadly, this hasn't been one of those things.  Also, sadly, I haven't really been all that committed to the gym or to planning my meals and eating healthily.  I guess, basically, it's safe to say that I don't really have my shit together at the moment.

What have I been doing?  I've been working on being less stressed and feeling like I always have something that needs to get done.  I've been making an effort to be more present with the ones that matter, my husband for example.  I've been trying my best to remember how much I have to be grateful for and not worry so much about what's missing.

What's next?  Well, my sub par gym attendance is making me feel a little squishy, which I'm not all that down with.  So that needs to change.  I'm also getting pretty jelly of everyone's progress pictures and flexbreaks.  So I might be taking a break, but I know good and well what I want.  And in case you don't know me all that well…I always get what I want (I mean that in the least psychotic way possible).

I'll be back in a minute.  With bells on.

Monday, November 25, 2013


So this weekend we hosted our First Annual Friendsgiving!  It wasn't nearly as nerve wracking as expected because I happen to have excellent friends (some were missed!) that brought everything that makes a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Ben was in charge of the turkey, which he deep fried, and it turned out excellent!  I was in charge of the stuffing, for which I used a ridiculously good recipe that mom's been using for years.  I made it into delicious balls (you can chuckle, it's ok).  Why balls?  Because you end up with way more crunchy stuffing and that's the best part!  Cue pictures…

Not much time for writing today, nor do I have a ton to say other than the fact that it's super fucking cold!  Happy Thanksgiving week!  Wanna eat a shitload and then go into a tryptophan coma?  Then sweat some early this week so you can unbutton your pants at the dinner table with a little less guilt!  That's my plan, at least!

What's your plan to eat more mindfully on this food baby inducing holiday?