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The Road to Balance: Week 3

May 14, 2018

Monday. This marks the last week that I planned to commit to this blog, but I’m finding this to be a fun way to stay accountable to myself. I’m hoping someone will find it interesting, but if not, it was meant to help me, so I’m fine with whatever it is. This morning I get up at 4:15 when my alarm sounds. It’s easy this morning. I slept well, waking only briefly at 2:25 and falling back to sleep easily. I get ready for the gym and go downstairs to get my meditation spot set up.

Someday, when our new addition is all complete, I will have my own space that I don’t have to create each morning. For now I get my diffuser going (Peppermint + Eucalyptus), spread down two blankets on the couch and grab a pillow. Then I do my routine of applying Sacred Frankincense oil and take my Ningxia Nitro to get my mind and body alert.

I settle on the couch and do the Reiki symbols over me. The power symbol for universal healing, the mental-emotional symbol for mental-emotional balance, and the distance Reiki symbol for the Reiki to travel wherever it’s needed to help me, across time and space and wherever in my body it’s needed. This morning I do The Honest Guys’ Protection Meditation and one on Forgiveness. Then I head to the gym.

This morning I do my own routine with free weights and a mat. I spend 45-60 seconds doing interval circuits of lower body and upper body strengthening.
*Squats with a kettle bell followed by biceps and hammer curls and bent over rows.
*One-legged dead lifts with a kettle bell followed by bench push-ups.
*Frog burpees followed by triceps kick-backs.
*Squat jumps with a medicine ball followed by prone shoulder and scapular work. *Ab work on a mat.

I spend 45 minutes doing two sets of each combination exercise and I feel great! I’ve been weighing myself, but more importantly I’ve been paying attention to how my clothes fit and how toned I look. Yesterday, on Mother’s Day, I noticed my abs are a little more defined. I’m not looking to have a 6-pack (well, that would be nice to have abs again), but just a bit more tone would be fabulous!

I spend the last of my workout stretching my legs and spine (always needed) and I go back home to greet my girls for the day. I am sweaty and I am feeling strong.

May 15, 2018

Tuesday. I wake up at 4:02 and lie in bed for a few minutes before I get up to start another day. Today Kelly will be back at the gym after a week’s vacation. My legs feel a little sore from my workout yesterday, but nothing major. I think I’ll do some power yoga this morning.

After my usual routine I start my meditation. Today I pick a Shamanic Journey to meet my Spirit Guides. I connect with the white horse that I’ve seen so many times before and he shows me how to trust him as I soften more and more into the visions I see. I have a hard time trusting. I have a hard time letting go and softening. He wants me to rely on him and trust him. As I soften into sensations and relax my body and my breathing, I step closer to him and he leans into me, letting me stroke his soft, beautiful face. I’m here for you, he seems to say.

I feel the judgments coming up. Is this real? Are you crazy, Justine? Maybe it’s all in my mind, but it’s not hurting anything to believe in a magical, unseen world, is it?

What if it were easy?

I hear the words of my mentor, John F Barnes. Yes, what if it were as easy as softening into this and allowing my Spirit Guide, in whatever form he or she shows up in, to help me. He’s there for me. Why do I insist on doing it all myself?

As I began the Spirit Guide meditation this morning I asked for guidance and help in improving my intuition. This is the message I get: Trust me and use me. Rely on me. I’ll show you the way.

Umm, ok. HOW, I wonder

When I’m not lying on my couch in this dreamy, half-awake, half-asleep state, hugging my pillow and resting comfortably, how do I do that? I wonder. Can I trust enough when I’m in the thick of my day, stressed out with all that’s on my to-do list, worrying about my business and being the best mom and wife I can be….can I trust then? Because THAT seems to be where I’m lacking. Where I NEED to trust and let go and just believe that things are happening exactly as they should, in the perfect timing, with God at the helm.

I finish my meditation, as I slowly drift back to reality and to my couch. I get up, take my iPad and head out the door. It is a crisp morning and it is starting to get light. I love this time of year, when the sun comes out early and daylight lasts until late. Dennis is at the gym desk. It’s always nice to see him and be greeted with a “Good Morning, Justine!” and his smiling face.

I’m excited to do a yoga routine. My body could use some stretching and breath work and slow movement. When I get to the gym I set up my Power Yoga video. I like Yoga with Adriene. I started using her videos about 4 years ago when I started my home yoga practice.

Halfway through the routine Kelly comes in the classroom. As she finishes up I ask about her vacation and she is full of wondrous stories of hiking and biking. We agree to do a video together on Friday morning and say goodbye until tomorrow.

The best part about getting back home is that I get to snuggle with my girls. Some mornings I lie with one for 10 min then move to the other. Or I trade off between the two of them. Either way there’s just something about the 15 minutes I get to lie down next to their warm bodies, the dogs close by. Sometimes they lie on our feet or plop down on a chest or snuggle our warm bodies. Sometimes they just step on our heads. You never know what kind of mood Ollie and Pennie will be in. Sometimes they’re a nuisance, but we never really stay annoyed for very long. How can we? They are so darn cute and loveable and they just want a few minutes of loving in the morning, too.

I love the smell of my girls, nestling my nose in their hair and pulling myself in tight next to them, breathing in their unique scent. They both have a special stuffed animal they sleep with. Some mornings I find a dog or a bunny on the floor and I tease them about kicking Tim or Mr. Fluffy Pants out of bed. Most mornings, though, I just gather up their animals and place them in next to them and they gather them in close, breathing the scent of the animal, which is identical to their own scent.

Yes, this is heaven, I’m convinced. Loving on my girls in the morning, watching them wake up. Some mornings they are easy to rouse, but most mornings they wait until the last second and finally open their eyes only when we flip on the overhead light. They both like to linger in bed. “Lounge Lizards”, as their grandma lovingly calls them. Oh, the days when they were younger and we could wake up slowly. I would gather them and place them in my bed and we would watch Dora or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse together. Seems like just yesterday.

May 16, 2018

Wednesday. This morning I sleep into until 5:15 because my husband is gone. I can’t make it to the gym early morning with him gone, and I know I will need to take the dogs out for a walk before I go to my weekly Mastermind group meeting at 8:00. I decided last night that I would get my workout in on the trails with them.

I spend some time doing some Positive Affirmations with The Honest Guys on YouTube, and then take a shower before waking the girls. This morning I feel refreshed. I slept well, with my daughter beside me (we both like it when she snuggles next to me on the nights that daddy is gone overnight). I only woke a couple times because she tends to crowd my side of the bed, pushing her little legs into me. I have to push her back over to her side of the king-sized bed and fall quickly back asleep.

After the morning rush I get the dogs in the car as soon as I can after the girls catch the bus at 7:00.  We head to a nearby trail; it’s only a short drive to get there from our house. I have their shock collars on and they take off as soon as I open their door. Wild and free, chasing birds and sniffing the ground and running around in circles, looping back to me as they explore, checking in with me out of habit or if they get too far away, because I call them back. I keep my eye out for other dog owners and dogs, but today we’re out there all by ourselves.

I start at an easy pace to warm up, hearing the crunch of the gravel under my feet. It’s downhill to start with, as I start to stride out and feel the rush of air in and out of my lungs. About ½ mile into my run the trail goes flat, and I take in the mountains and trees and grass around me. The trail is mostly open, as I see Pikes Peak and nature spread out all around me. Then the trail slices through a forest and I see the dogs dart around the trees, sniffing and running. Pennie is fascinated with the birds and stops to point at one in a tree. Ollie loves birds too, but he learned long ago that he can’t catch them, so he’s more interested in marking his territory every so often, lifting his leg to water the trees.

As I get to the end of the trail, where it meets the gravel road, I call both dogs and we turn around and head back the way we came. It’s mostly uphill on the way back. I am happy that I was able to get this far without stopping, but uphill is another story. I have to stop several times to catch my breath on the way back up, but that’s okay. I stride out and keep walking and jog again when I can.

It’s exhilarating to be outdoors, taking care of the dogs and myself at the same time. I don’t stretch after my run because I have just enough time to get the dogs back home, change, freshen up and get to my meeting.

May 17, 2018

This morning is the first day I share my Fitness Journal blog. The introduction. I made a video yesterday to introduce it and I’m ready to share it with the world. I wonder if anyone will read it or find it interesting? I am scared to share it, but now that I’ve decided to share it I am afraid no one will read it. The desire to share starts with a deep-down desire to be heard. But it goes beyond that. I want to be heard and understood, accepted by others and wanted. I want to hear other people say “Hey, Me Too”. Maybe laugh at something I say or nod their head in agreement. A bond over mutual feelings and experiences. Or maybe someone will read and think “I can do that”.

Today is a repeat of yesterday in terms of working out. Again Marc is gone overnight, so I plan my morning around getting the girls up and out the door for school. This morning, however my day quickly changes. I was supposed to go to a networking meeting at 8:30 but there are urgent things to take care of in my business before I can leave for the run I had planned.

Plus my youngest daughter asked me last minute to come to school for her “Biography Bottle Museum” that starts at 10:00. This means I need to contact my 10:00 patient and move her to my only open slot besides lunch. Plus I need to make a change to an ad for the Grapevine before I run, to make the 9:00 deadline.

My computer is God-awful slow this morning. What should have taken 5 minutes took 20. No worries, I get my things done by 8:40 and head out the door. I gather the dogs, go to the same trail as yesterday and we get to work. Them playing and chasing and sniffing and peeing, and me jogging. I feel strong today. The familiar ache in my chest and lungs settles in, but then about ¼ of a mile into it I can feel the ease. Ah, this is what I remember from running. The first ½ mile or so is all about working out the kinks and getting into a rhythm with legs striding out, arms pumping, breathing in and out deep and timed with the steps.

Today my mind is super active. Accountability comes up more than once. Today I’m able to run back to my car without stopping as many times as yesterday. As I near my car I take out my phone and do a quick video of what’s on my mind.

Here are some other ways to be Accountable.

  • Hire a Professional. Need some guidance to start working out or change up your routine. Why not consider a Personal Trainer? You can get caught up with excuses like “I don’t have the money” or “When will I find the time to do that?” OR you can just look into it. Plan a budget, ask about availability. Schedule it in your planner and make a date to take care of yourself. You’ll have someone waiting for you and you’ll also be able to rely on your trainer to come up with a rocking workout plan tailored to you.
  • Establish a Goal…or three. Think about what you want to achieve. Is it to fit into a certain outfit? Where a bikini? Hit a certain weight? Workout a certain number of times per week? Run a 5k? Complete your first Triathalon? Hike a 14er? Lower your blood pressure? Cut back on medications? Play with your kids without huffing and puffing? Write them down. Tell others so they can help you stay accountable. Post your goals where you can see them, or review them often. When you set a goal decide what you’ll do when you REACH YOUR GOAL, and write that down, too.
  • Reward Yourself. Hit your goal? GREAT! Do what you say you would do when you hit your goal. Now’s the time to CELEBRATE! Maybe it’s buying yourself a new workout outfit, or putting a sticker on a calendar every time you work out. Go out for a healthy meal. Post a selfie on the top of the mountain of yourself in full-out warrior pose. Frame your bid and medal from your Triathalon. Let your supportive network of friends and family celebrate with you!
  • Keep a Fitness Journal. It can be as detailed or simple as you want. Include pictures of yourself, or simply write. Plaster the outside with inspirational quotes, if you’d like. Keep your goals inside. Keep a log of the weights you’re lifting, or how long you can use the elliptical or how far you hiked. It’s motivating to look back and see progress!
  • What are your ideas? Share them with me, please.

May 19, 2018

Saturday. Yesterday I took the morning off from working out and focused instead on meditating. Today is Body Sculpt class at the gym. I get up at 7:15 after the dogs pounced on the bed and starting licking and wagging their tails and saying ‘GOOD MORNING’ with all their being. I get up, get dressed and take a NingXia Nitro and head out the door at 7:45. I find out Gina will be teaching this morning. YES! I love her teaching style and motivation. She’s got a circuit routine in store for us today. I gather a mat and 4 different sets of hand weights and do a little stretching before class starts at 8:00.

Class is a mixture of Cardio, Strength and Power moves. After a fast yet effective warm up, we get to work on 50 sec of exercise followed by 10 sec “break” to move to the next thing. We repeat 2 sets of 3-combinations for a total of 54 minutes and then end with a cool down and stretching. I have to modify some exercises, mainly the jumping work about ½ way through class, and give myself a couple quick breaks to catch my breath. But I’m feeling alive and powerful and I know I’m getting a great workout. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be sore as hell tomorrow!

I’m surprised at how strong my core feels and looks today. I noticed my abs as I got dressed this morning. They’re coming out from hibernation! And in the mirror as I check my form during class I notice how flat my tummy looks and it’s super motivating for me! After class I ask Gina if I can take a picture of the routine and she happily gives me her printed copy.  Yay! Now I’ll be able to repeat the routine and can even introduce Kelly to it. Gina even graciously lets me take a picture of her for this blog.

Isn’t it motivating to be led by others who are rocking their workouts? I especially love NOT having to come up with the routine myself and can just follow along. And in a class setting mentally I’m tougher because I don’t want to slack off and look like a wimp. I listen to my body and take a break if needed, but being in a class lights a fire that doesn’t happen when I’m working out on my own.

I’m so happy that I got in 5 days of workouts in this week.  I hit my goal!  For me I’m placing a big pink STAR on my calendar to show my workouts, so I can easily look at the month and see if I hit my goals. I will follow my own advice and start a goal sheet.

1) Wear a bikini when on vacation and feel comfortable in my skin.
2) Work out 5 days/ week using a combination of cardio, weights and yoga.
3) Spend 20 minutes daily doing meditation, prayer, or positive affirmations.
4) Spend a minimum of 10 minutes daily doing mindful self-care, including but not limited to Reiki, stretches, or self-MFR.
5) Eat healthy (no dairy, no gluten, no sugar) 80% + of the time. Keep a food journal to stay accountable
6) Run a 10 K race by end of August 2018.

So, that’s it!  I am feeling stronger and leaner and I am proud of my progress over the past three weeks. I feel like I’ve established a routine and I’m ready to see where this leads.

Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Better yet, join me in my private Facebook Group where I share motivating posts, videos, tips on self-care, educational tips and interview other healthcare and fitness professionals. Let’s learn from each other!

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Justine Calderwood

The Healing Spot Physical Therapy

"We Help Individuals Overcome Pelvic Floor Issues, And Heal Bowel & Bladder Conditions So They Can Be Active and Pain Free Again, Regardless of How Long It's Been"