The Perfect Day.

Hi there! D&T here!

I’m so excited to have Tony be a guest blogger today, in introducing our next podcast! THIS was such a fun one! (Listen to the podcast now on Libsyn!) You can also find it on your Podcast App/itunes @ meaningful childless life.

We got this idea from Mike Bledsoe (Barbell Shrugged Podcast) and Kent Clothier. So here’s the premise: Write out the details of which create YOUR perfect day! Without any financial or location restrictions, how do you see yourself spending the day from wake up to bedtime? It helps (and is most fun) to be as detailed as possible. You’ll quickly come to realize that it’s a considerably tough exercise! I found that starting with the first question… Where does this perfect day take place?… to be tremendously hard.

So we thought it would be fun to go about this exercise individually, and then share them for the first time to each other on the podcast! Cool! I should add, that this exercise is meant to get you thinking in terms of your future you. In other words… this day you come up with, is something that you should be striving for and/or something you can pull ideas from! So without further ado, let’s introduce our next podcast with Tony’s essay style guest-post!

 


The Perfect Day

What is it? What should it be? So farfetched that it is ridiculous, and unobtainable? Or something you can reach out and touch? Would you celebrate New Year’s in all four time zones flying on a private jet to some swank roof top party? Or would you have a fire pit burning and 4 or 5 of your closest friends and family? Is it a beach landscape, mountains, how about a desolate desert with the only hopes of color coming in the form of an oasis? What is more important; the company you keep, or where you keep your company?
I have had many great days in my life. Days that resulted in those memories being seared into my mind like grill marks on an overpriced steak. As I prod the basement levels of my mind to find those memories, I am seeing a pattern form. They were simple. There was nothing overly special, or incredible about them. At least not to the naked eye. A few minutes have passed since my last keystroke. A little more digging. A lot of cobwebs in here. As I am reaching the sub-levels I am making the same realization as before; simplicity.
You may be wondering why I am digging through years of memories just to create a fictional ‘perfect day’. Shouldn’t it be easy? A day at the beach if you will. Ha, see what I did there? Here is something way too deep to be included in an exercise that should be fun and carefree. It is a lesson I learned after Uncle Sam and I signed our divorce paperwork.
WARNING WARNING – We’re getting off track!!
It took me a while to figure out life after the military, and the one of the most difficult things to accept was that I now had the freedom of choice. Let me retype that; THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE!!!!!!! Not that you don’t make choices in the military, but let’s face it, many of them are made for you. Civilian life provides you with almost unlimited choices.
BACK ON TRACK!!
So back at it. The reason why this is challenging (for me at least) is that once again, I have unlimited choices. I go back to my first paragraph (beach, mountains or desert?). And that is just one choice. Let’s not forget the who, what, when, why, how we still have to figure out. Am I making this too complicated? Probably. Maybe it is just the way my mind works.
I am also realizing that you may learn a thing or two about yourself in this exercise. For example; are you the type of person who will queue up memories or your own personal happiness, or achievements? Or perhaps a time when someone very close to you was happy? For you parents out there, do your happiest memories include your children? Or do you include a time in your life before children were present? Would your perfect day include your children, or perhaps just you and your spouse? And let me be perfectly clear here, I am NOT trying to judge anyone, or call anyone self-centered or anything crazy like that. I missed the day they were giving out PhD’s in Psychology, so no judgment or analysis happening here. Well not true, I am analyzing myself. But I don’t think I can offend anyone by doing that.
What a mind fuck this is. I never in a million years envisioned myself struggling to put together a rock star day to have. I think the reason I am having such a problem is that I have probed opposite ends of the spectrum throughout my life. I have learned to live under high stress with adrenaline pumping, but also with extreme calm, and boredom that would drive a Tibetan monk insane. I love skydiving, but I also love sitting on the couch and running through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love being surrounded by family and friends, but also love a quiet day to myself.
I think in the end I am realizing a perfect day is more of a feeling, rather than something tangible. We’ll see what D thinks of that answer. Perhaps I’ll have a backup plan when we record our episode and reveal our answers to each other. Hmmmmm skydive in Dubai for breakfast, surf North Shore for lunch, a remote restaurant along a fjord in Norway for dinner, riding a horse in Australia’s outback to watch the sunset, and fall asleep on the Tran Siberian railway……..

Importance of Goal Setting for the Childless/Childfree

If you’d like to start with the podcast instead of skipping through this outline, here it is! =) 

It’s also available on iTunes! For Apple iPhone users, you can use the  icon_340.png (podcast) app! We have fixed the issue with the search for “Meaningful Childless Life” and it should be easy to find now. Also, if you would like for the podcasts to download when they’re available, go ahead and subscribe to the podcast. If you need help with any of this please feel free to ask or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you! Free free to rate the podcast and give it five stars ;)))

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Hey everyone! Dee here!

Tony and I finally sat down to record another podcast! Shwew! This past weekend was the OCB Body Sculpting Championship in Hampton, VA and Tony, Paul and I knocked it out! The last handful of weeks prior to the show absorbed every last minute I had, but we’re back in podcast action!

In this podcast episode, I’ll share a few lessons I learned along the 12 week journey to the stage.  Also, we delve into our most recent and future goals and the importance of goal setting for the childfree folk. And without fail, we get into a few ramblings, admixed with goal-setting tips for our fellow MCL tribe members!

I wanted to share the outline to our show in blog format for those of you who don’t have time to listen to our ramblings.

The importance of setting goals for the childfree folk: Raising children is God’s work. Parent’s deserve all the kudos in the world for what it is they do on the daily. What I’m saying here, is that living without children comes many “cons”… those of which we won’t dig into today. But with these cons in the background, we must put all our PROS into the forefront! HELLO PROS! One pro includes TIME. Ahhhh…. something you just can’t make more of or get back. Well, with the added time on your childless hands, you are much better off tackling goals than sitting back and letting time take you away. Years could go by and you could be the same person! Ew! No thank you! Now let’s get to the goal setting:

2 RULES ON SETTING NEW GOALS:

  • Focusing on less… is more —> You are capable of greatly enhancing one aspect of your life if you are not trying to tackle all things at one time. Focus on less, and do it greatly, vs focusing on everything, while doing it poorly. Set a single goal, put your head down and DRIVE. If you are comfortable with setting a fewer small goals vs one larger goal, then go for it. Just be sure you are organized enough to schedule out time for these things and stick to them.
  • DO NOT set unrealistic goals! What’s that saying? “Shoot for the moon… if you miss, you’ll still land among stars.” Yikes. I don’t know about you, but if I shot for and missed the moon, those stars would be getting some dirty looks. haha. Let’s set realistic achievable goals so that we can keep our winning streak up and our momentum going!

TAKING ACTION:

  • SELF TALK
    • Insert your new sentence here: I am a ________ (writer, podcaster, athlete, etc). This is important. You don’t have to 100% believe that it’s true, but writing that down on the daily can really start to convince anyone. Provide yourself with positive self talk and you can literally fake it until you make it. “Create a catalytic voice that accelerates your mission.”
  • CREATE
    • If what you want doesn’t exist in chasing, then create your own industry and let the world try to break into you.
  • FOCUS
    • Focus on the process of learning, not the end goal. The transformation phase happens right under your nose. Open those nostrils and get a big WHIF!
  • COMFORT ZONE WARNING
    • People confuse comfort with happiness. You must chase discomfort to achieve your next goal. When your life is comfortable there’s no anticipation. You must break out of your comfort zone, because change only comes when facing resistance. At the end of a difficult journey is an even more peaceful state.

HOW TO MAINTAIN, FOLLOWING ACHEIVEMENT: 

On the ride back from the competition we talked about the things I enjoyed vs the things I did not enjoy. It’s important to have a takeaway from the achieving the goal that you can utilize for the rest of your life. Hello! So… pluck those gems out of your journey which you found enjoyment and add them to the next phase. Maintaining takes much less effort because you’re not dealing with as much of the discomfort. This opens yourself up to receive discomfort from your next MAIN GOAL.

PODCAST TAKEAWAY:

When you invest in yourself, your relationships and the world around you are enhanced. 

——– Connect with us! ——–

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Dee_Viapiano

Email

meaningfulchildlesslife@yahoo.com

 

Childfree: Responses to the “Selfishness”

Hey all! Dee here!

I’m excited to get into this discussion today! This little play on words is something that just came to me one morning during a sweat sesh and I thought I’d sit down and write about it.

And don’t worry – of course Trex and I will be doing a podcast on this subject! Our goal with discussing this topic is not to get any feathers ruffled but rather to get the 🐘’s out of the room so we can get to the fun stuff!

So let’s do it! We have found that the MOST common argument made against childfree folk is that we are selfish. Many examples of this are listed on endless blog posts and forums in which childfree people and parents spend time out of their day battling about these things. Ahem… who does that?? Anyway.. let’s get this out of the way so we can get to the things that add meaning to our lives!

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“People who are childfree just seem so SELFISH.”

Boom! A salty parent just verbally smacked you across your childfree face! What do you say to this unasked for opinion? Well, here’s your answer. I’ve thought long and hard about this.. wait for it…

____insert crickets__.

Okay, maybe you can’t go mute on a coworker or stranger, but when it comes to that relative who won’t get off your back… here are a few rebuttals to the “selfish poke.”

“I’ve decided to contribute to society in other ways. Maybe they’re not REPRODUCTIVE ways but in fact they’re PRODUCTIVE ways.” The real key here is to not be lying. That really helps with the delivery. My second tip is to wait for the response and to not feel pressure to have to list examples. What you’ve said is enough.

“I’ve found that my career has led me to the lifestyle that I don’t agree would benefit a child. It would be irresponsible of me.” This is a good one for those who live an insane lifestyle. No one can truly shake their head at you for being responsible.

“I, alone, am enough of a financial burden. I believe bringing a baby into a situation where I couldn’t properly provide for them is irresponsible. Having one right now, regardless of my support capabilities, would be selfish.” This one’s for those who absolutely can’t fathom taking on the $300,000 (average) of financial expense in the next 18 years, on top of student debt and cost of living. How on earth is this decision selfish?

___________________________________________ _Mcl

 

Meaningful Childless Life Podcast Launch!

It’s finally here!!!

My thoughts have been brewing over this idea for two years now and I’m finally giving it a GO! This may seem sort of strange that I am proud to launch a childless life podcast but this has been a topic I have been too shy or embarrassed to discuss and it’s time to make a change to that. It’s a bit of a taboo subject but I believe it doesn’t have to be. I would like to share my story in hopes that I can reach a few readers/listeners who relate. When you live a nonsocial norm lifestyle, it is important to surround yourself with a solid community who you can share thoughts and moments with. It is my dream, with the help of my husband and closest friends to create a Childless Community.

Here’s my story:

I was so distracted I didn’t have time to mourn the news. I was nearing the end of Graduate School at WVU. I couldn’t wait to finally settle in somewhere, buy a home, start my career, start a family, and live out this life. I was readying myself for my final presentation on breast carcinoma when I had to skip off to a doctor’s appointment. An ultrasound was scheduled to take a look at my ovaries which were giving me tremendous pain upon exercise. Polycystic Ovarian Disease, they mentioned. I knew what it was. In fact I’ve dissected many ovaries with this disease. I rolled my eyes at it, telling myself “I told you so.”

Then it came. The technician took the cold slimy stick and aimed it at my uterus. She turned the screen in my direction and said, “Did you know you have a bicornuate uterus? …potentially with a septum?” It looked evil. Maybe like a “hook-em horns” off a Texan’s sports cap? Or did it look a little more like a heart? Maybe this was some nightmare and I could aim that ultrasound stick at my martian-looking organ, have it shoot lazer beams and disintegrate my uterus? Humph.

My malformed uterus didn’t have that dome shape like a hot-air-balloon does, in order to house a growing baby. In fact, the technician carelessly blurts out, “Oh, yeah, people with your malformation have about a 20-30% chance of carrying to full term. They tend to lose it in the 2nd trimester due to growth restriction complications. If it does survive, you could be dealing with a load of birth malformations due to growth restriction.” The polycystic ovarian disease certainly doesn’t increase my chances. Wow, thanks for the comforting, informative chat Technician. That was the longest elevator ride to the parking deck I’ve ever had.

With my unfinished presentation in the passenger seat, I knew I had to do two things: focus… and eat. I felt numb as I carried my food to the back corner of Chick-fila. Within minutes, I realized I was sitting next to the playscape and distracted by children playing when it all finally hit me. A little boy (of about 3ish) paused to sit in the plastic bubble in the very top of the play tower. We locked eyes. He placed his hand upon the plastic wall and it felt as if he was looking into my soul. Maybe he felt my sadness (maybe he thought I was some creeper staring at children?). Then he smiled at me for what seemed like forever. It was this moment I realized I’d never have a moment like that with a child of mine. I’d never see his/her smiling face. I’ll never come out of the bathroom with that excited, “Surprise! We’re pregnant!” Life would be much different.

The next morning the numbness eased up a bit, due to my shift of focus. I had to make this presentation good. I have an interest in breast pathology more than any other pathology, so at least the subject had me excited. I was pretty certain that the puffy bags under my eyes were visible to the entire room. Were there holes in my summary, for all the interjected thoughts I had while putting the end together? I left afterward not telling a single soul, but receiving compliments on my presentation. The focus on this project was life saving, as sometimes, distractions are pure blessings. I realize now that sometimes that’s all we let life be – one big distraction.

It’s been almost four years. My state of acceptance versus an ache for childrearing is now at 99% to 1%. I consciously know now, what I’ve always known in the past: That life is what we make of it. I now refuse to be distracted in order to tuck away unwanted emotions. We live to feel and to be felt. I have “settled in, bought a house, started a family and a career” and along the way, these four years alone have taught me a lot. Some of us are meant for something much different.

I have always had the tendency to appreciate simple things in life. I have recently worked on aligning and tending to my desires and needs and am allowing myself to tap into avenues others don’t find time or energy for. Holding a meaningful, fulfilled, happy life isn’t only for those with children.

We all have tough choices to make in life. I can choose to go forward with a procedure that could put me in tons of risk of uterine rupture. I can choose to adopt. But it is 2017, and I can also choose to be childfree.

If you’d like to take a listen to our very first podcast, please do! Please no harsh judging as I was very nervous for this first one! haha. I know it’ll get much easier and more and more fun with each episode. We plan to share much of our insight on the topic but also the ways we add “meaning” to our lives. Many trips and hobbies will be shared! Come along with us and let us know your thoughts on the subject! We want to hear from you!

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Cheers – to changing lives for the better.

meaningfulchildlesslife@yahoo.com

Follow us on Facebook!

Click here to listen to our first Podcast episode on Libsyn. 

Also available for free download on iTunes (or on your Podcast app)! th.jpeg

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It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking.

It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than it is to think your way into a new way of acting. – Founder of Habitat of Humanity.

I love the featured image, as it’s one of the first moments I had launching myself out of an airplane solo. So close to getting that sky diving license! I digress….but I promise it relates! Because to do that, you have to act your way into a new way of thinking. =P It takes a lot of mental work! I would like to use this post as a follow up to my previous emotional blog post. Did I completely lose it or what? This is what happens when you’re calorie depleted, if you wanted to know! haha! I went to bed that night so negative about the “prep” that I’m currently up to the knees in. Physique competition training is beyond mentally exhausting. We all know how to exercise. But a competition like this is really just all mental. And it hit me harder than a ton of bricks yesterday.

A few ways I pushed through that moment:

Friends and family – They are so good at knowing how to be supportive of any decision I make but also providing motivating words which revitalize me and remind me of who I am and can be.

Faking it – I had my outfit, food and work stuff prepped for the next day like nothing was to change. I woke up with my energy feeling like a 5 out of 10, but I went through the motions… “faking” like I was still a “competitor.” The least I could do was step foot in the gym. Even if I don’t try, I’m still there right? WELL… that’s when endorphins kick in and then you end up having a KILLER workout! So there it is… act your way into a new way of thinking!

Respect – If could split myself into two people: Person # 1, who is super motivated and ready to take on the next day, and Person #2, who is a drag and just wants to eat and have more free time to do nothing… I would NOT let person number #2 influence person #1. Why should person #2 self destruct and take person #1 down with her? That’s disrespectful to all the hard work she put in. If you wouldn’t do it to someone else, DON’T do it to YOURSELF.

You can accomplish anything in 12 weeks – Surely this isn’t nearly as bad as bootcamp or grad school. Get on with it. It could ALWAYS be worse. Maturity comes when you postpone immediate pleasures for long term values. 

People have accomplished more than you, with LESS and complained LESS – Haven’t you seen Million Dollar Baby!?

You are not your emotions – That person inside of you can be a complete winey bitch. That isn’t you self loathing, it’s your hormones. Whether they’ve got you spilling over due to low calories, low carbs or just pure stress… that is not YOU talking. See this post about me being Emo. If you can’t get out of your mind, get into your body (always, alwayyyyys works).

Countdown – My husband and closest friends are big on countdowns. We have a cruise set up just two weeks after the show!! It’ll be an amazing gift at the end of all of this. And having that to look forward to and countdown to helps tremendously!

And those were techniques I used to keep at it. I am officially past half way and counting. I’m proud of the work I’ve put in and ready to hit the stage at 100%.

Cheers!

– BnG –

 

To Compete or Not to Compete

I’ve gotten through the hardest part of this prep. It’s been 5.5 weeks of training THROUGH Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 

But I sit here on Monday, January 2nd with second thoughts. Why on earth would I look back now when I have just 6.5 weeks left (almost HALF way), and this second half will be tough no doubt but without the strain of the holidays goodies and get-togethers. 

What happened today of all days that I hit a weakness and wanted to give up? Today that itch is really scratching and it’s making me nervous.

My first mistake was this morning when I dug through all my pictures from my first show (last year). I placed second in the Open Figure. Just one place shy of getting my Pro card on my first show. It was until that moment on stage that I told myself I’d never do it again.

After the show I found myself looking at my stage self and wishing my shoulders were more defined, I had more veins popping, etc… I should have been more than happy with it. But all I was, was critical of my hard earned physique that got me second place.

So, this morning, after getting up at the usual 4:20am for the weight training and cardio session, I tore through photos and started comparing my “6 weeks out” photos from then and now. Nothing different. In fact, I must’ve been feeling pretty miserable because I actually thought I looked less ready this time, this far out when all this time I felt I had a head start. (??) 

In these moments, I asked myself (AGAIN), what I was getting out of competing? If I’m going to look exactly how I looked the first time… then what’s the point? I certainly don’t have the adrenaline of doing my first show lighting my way. If I could walk off stage last time as critical as I was… and I was in the same boat right now… what’s the point of all the misery?

So why did the idea of doing a second competition come about? I had mentioned competing one more time because of getting that close to a pro card. But the idea was to do it in the SPRING. But as I looked up shows for the Spring, I saw one for Feb 18th (OCB). I shook my head at it because it was during the holidays and you have to be NUTS to give up your happiness (ahem, Buckeyes, neighbor Gene’s coffee cake, Jim and Mary’s cooking😳)… for a show?! No thanks!!!

Then one morning my husband comes home from working a 12 hr night shift. Somehow he pulls energy out of nowhere and wants to work out! He’s so pumped he tells me he wants to do the Feb 18th show and to tell my coach RIGHT NOW so we could get on board the gain trainnnn! 😂oh boy. He hadn’t done a show before and I got excited he was wanting to do one with me. It can’t be that bad if we do it together right? Which means a spotter! And no distracting treats in the house! Yesss! 4 to 6 days later, he threw in the towel because he was told to consume 4 times the amount of food he was used to and it was physically making him ill. I wish I had that same prescription (or do I? I’m not sure). But regardless, I don’t blame him AT ALL. 

So see… at this point, I don’t want to disappoint my coach I used the first time around. Kenny (my coach) had just earned his PRO card THAT weekend and he was willing (and super excited!) to work with me again and I didn’t want for both of us to up and quit his already worked up plan. So I stayed the coarse. 

Not because I wanted to be on stage, or win a pro card, or have that “figure physique” for like a week… but because I didn’t want to be a quitter. 

I cannot believe I’ve gotten this far based off of my motivation being truly 80% “not wanting to be a quitter.” It’s borderline insane. If it weren’t for a refeed on Christmas… 🤤(THANK GOD) I truly don’t know if I would have made it this far.

SECONDLY, nothing good comes from establishing a poor relationship with food. I now remember who I was back in my first prep. I now remember why I said in the weeks leading up to the show that I’d never do one ever again. I hate that I want all the things I can’t eat so badly when I never wanted them before prep. It’s about to get real scary post show. Pray for me 😜.

THIRDLY, I’ve already said this briefly but I feel the need to reiterate… if I was going to quit, it should have been during the HOLIDAYS!! 😡😡😡

So here I am. I’m thinking because I’ve had the last four days off of work to be surrounded by these devilish foods without a distraction, that I’m at my tipping point. 

I told myself I’ll wait until the end of the week once I’m back to crushing it at work and in my distraction filled routine, to see if I still feel the same.

I hate quitting. I know I can do this. I would be crushing the training regardless. There’s just something about the drag of food owning you, your time and your happiness. I feel so selfish. I’m promising myself right here that I will never do another show. And I make that promise even if I snatch up a Pro Card. 

Any other blog post I would normally share would be filled with motivation, and words of mental toughness. But let’s be real… we all feel really weak sometimes. Sometimes we need to re-evaluate why we do the things we do. Why so much pressure? Who’s putting on the pressure. We can’t live in pure comfort because you get no where fast with a plan like that. But on occasion, we all need to release our inner turmoil. Thanks for reading! Means a lot! 😉

Cheers 

-BnG-

    Synergy

     

    What do you see in this photograph? RED! The color is so prominent and beautiful that everything else just fades into the background. The sunlight hit this row of bushes one morning so wonderfully, I had to snap a photo. For a second I thought this was beyond beautiful… But then.. it got me thinking.

    ______________________

    Synergy, in definition, is “the interaction or cooperation of two or more agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” – Oxford Dictionaries. 

    _____________________

    This word has stuck with me for YEARS in that… “This word will inspire my next tattoo” sort of way.   I recall visiting my Nini during one of my college summer breaks and explaining to her that I needed to draw something that would resemble this word. I wanted to brand myself with a synergistic image that reminded me daily about the importance of balance in life. To me, synergy is a strong personal growth concept that can change your outlook entirely.

    Keeping balance in today’s day in age is utterly exhausting. When we spend too much energy on one category of our lives, other categories suffer. Maybe you pride yourself on being a “career driven person,” but what does your social health look like? It’s NEW YEARS (!) and a great time to reflect on how the following categories have stacked up in your life:

    Spiritual

    Vocational

    Non-vocational

    Social

    Financial 

    There’s much research that notes the importance of journaling and writing exercises. I’m a huge fan. Who doesn’t love the old school feeling of a nice sharpened pencil and piece of paper?! I would suggest you set a goal to sit down at least annually to complete the following exercise.

    You’re going to need one page per category (feel free to add categories). Begin by writing the category at the top. Then answer the following questions for each category.

    • Start with ONE category at a time.
    • On a scale of 1-10, what do you rate your (insert one category) health?
    • Have you improved on this category from last year? How so? Really dig in on this one as it’ll allow you to elaborate on your rating. 
    • In what ways is your (insert category) health limited?
    • Brainstorm a list of related goals for next year! Fun fun! Let it be serious to silly – to outrageous! 
    • Rate them from most important to least important.
    • Take your top three and spend time on each one, listing ideas as to how you can achieve this goal. The ideas might be as crazy as – Start a Meetup! (Social health) or as small as – practice for 5 minutes per day. You could do it! 
    • Once you’ve evaluated each category, take a look at how you can organize your day to pick away at bettering your balance!

    I have yet to get that tattoo. If you have any artistic ideas, I’d love to see/hear them! ;))

    Also! Upon listening to The Radical Personal Finance Podcast, host Joshua Sheets gives a huge shoutout to Michael Hyatt – a New York Times Best Seller and creator of LifeScore Assessment! I loved the sound of it (obvi) ☺️. Head on over to his website and take a more calculated look at your rating!

    Happy New Years!

    – BnG –

     

    Looking for That One Thing.

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    I’ll go ahead and put the thesis as the first sentence. My old english teacher would cringe: The biggest mistake made in our culture is looking for that One Thing. 

    Now, before I relate this to health and fitness (of course, eye-roll)… let me just say that this statement applies to everything. Example: If you are struggling with hair-loss, you look for the single pill to fix it instead of a combination of tools that are much more likely to work. Such as sleeping more, stressing less, and getting in your omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. That would just take too much time, right? It’s this concept, I believe, that has stemmed from our obsession with instant gratification.

    Instant Gratification

    That One Thing, is so attractive nowadays because we just simply don’t have time to research, try multiple things at once and don’t want to delay the reward that comes at the end. There are a few problems with having this mind set:

    1. Most “one pill fixes all” approaches may seem to “fix” the problem, but come with negative side effects and are usually in unnatural form.
    2. You may see results but you’re full potential is not acheived. When you delay gratification, you are reserving the reward/benefits at the end and therefore have more time to build and find the actual solution.
    3. You aren’t allowing yourself to be educated on the matter. 
    4. You miss your opportunity to find multiple ways to arrive at your solution, resulting in missing the one that best suits your needs.
    5. Most instantly gratifying solutions don’t last. Think about that “like” you got on your Facebook page. It felt good for 1 second. But 2 seconds later you sat there and waited for another one.
    6. Finding that One-Thing doesn’t exist. The human body (and all systems created) are built in complex network pattern. Look at our physiology. Look at technology. When does it ever take one approach to fix a whole system?

    Delayed Gratification

    Getting comfortable with a delayed solution is a benefit for multiple reasons. If you’ve read through the negatives associated with instant then you get the point. There’s something to be said about the common sayings like, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” or children’s tales like the Tortoise and the Hare. Focusing on approaching a problem or task at multiple different angles at once, or synergistically,  is the most effect way to achieve your goal. Here’s where I put my health plug – Example – you can train all day long but if you’re not sleeping or eating the right foods you won’t get the desired results (therefore, stop asking your healthy friend what “he’s taking” and instead ask what “he’s doing”)!

    Taking the time to find YOUR solution allows yourself time to learn from failures, setbacks and to enjoy small victories. The end result is much more GRATIFYING and LONG LASTING. And now you have a story to tell.

    _______________________________________________________

    1 week out from my first figure competition!! Woop Woop!!

    Week 2

    26 July Front 326 July Back 3

    Week 10

      1 week out front pose31 week out  back

    -BnG-

    What Figure Competition Training Has Taught Me So Far

    The past three weeks I have learned a lot about myself. Like they always say: Adversary is the key to success. Through challenging experiences we learn to become stronger. If you shy from adversity you become mediocre. On this path to becoming stronger (physically and mentally), we learn so much from these experiences. So… Let the Figure Competition Training continue. =)

    I’d like to throw in a disclaimer… there are going to be some self photos in these blog posts but I’d like for you to first squash the stigma of skin exposure. Most of the time skin exposure is equal to expected sexuality and promiscuity. These, however are to celebrate transformation and the beauty of the human body, it’s adaptability and the poise that comes with challenging the musculoskeletal system. Skin doesn’t have to be sexual. It can be exposed for raw depth of character. For example, it helps to look past a “booty” and appreciate the gluteus for it’s endless struggle with showing it’s capability in being a piece of human art. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

    – What Figure Competition Training Has Taught Me So Far – 

    MACROS: This is a real thing. I thought this may have been the next diet craze or some sort of excuse for people to have a daily cheat meal. But really folks, this has been the biggest blessing in keeping me sane. My trainer gives me a calorie/protein/carb/fat target each week according to how my progress photos were the week prior. With this system, I use the My Fitness Pal App to track every single food item. In doing this, you can see really quickly how the food adds up. My girlfriend (shoutout to Bri!) mentioned it’s much easier to plan all your food on the app the night before so that the next day, eating isn’t such a chore. Thank goodness. Also, the “Macro way” allows you to have an occasional restaurant meal or “cheat meal” as long as it’s accounted for within your allotted Macros, and the rest of the day is adjusted accordingly. Is it the HEALTHIEST way? Maybe not, but it can be if you want it to be and It works!

    OUTFITS: I’ve never gone through so much laundry in my life. Fitness clothes for days! And because training takes up most of your free time, two-a-days are the culprit! Get used to wearing gym clothes. Okay, maybe you can dress up on the weekends?

    FEMININITY: Get over your desire for a thigh gap and embrace your adductors and gracilis. Please! Curves = Beautiful hardworking women. Bean poles = Unhealthy, skinny fat, dainty, do-nothing chicks.

    CARDIO: Known as a supplemental incendiary way of budging fat. We all know lifting weights burns more fat over the course of the day than cardio. And I will be the first to admit, I pretty much gave up cardio a long time ago before this training had forced me back in to it. What I’ve realized now is…Something that I used to consider as “hamster wheel, dead end, no results” training is back in my wheel house and I can’t get enough of it. Because: What are we mentally doing when completing cardio? Nothing. That’s right. Cardio is peace time. It’s therapy. It’s a motorcycle cruise down Route 66. It’s just you and your thoughts (oh and sometimes a really good podcast!). Gosh, I can’t believe I just admitted to liking cardio sessions!

    LATS: The bee’s knees. The cherry on top. The illusionist. The amazing hip slimmer! Let’s be real here. Women suck at getting back definition because we are all scared of doing the dreaded pull-up. EVEN when it’s assisted. COME ON LADIES! I was told long long ago from a Pro Body Builder that the lats are underrated and are a must on the female body in order to even out our hips. Lats should equal hip width and if you’re lucky be even wider. Take my pear-shaped body for example – add some lats and BAM, suddenly I’m proportionate and my hips just seemed to narrow even though they didn’t! YES!

    TIME & EFFICIENCY: Your time is important. Time is something you can’t get back. And I don’t know how many people claim that because they don’t have any “extra time”, that they just forget about their health and well-being. I am one for finding any way possible to make time for myself. It’s just important for a social hermit like me. I need time to unwind and recharge to kick ass the next day. With 2.5-3 hours of training daily, I’ve been forced to find efficient ways to get through the day. Whether it be to brush my teeth while packing my gym bag, place breakfast in the microwave before packing lunch so that they’re done at the same time, or eating my pre workout meal on the way to the gym… you can make it happen. Just plan it out! Diamonds are made under pressure. Eh?

    SUPPORT: This goes without saying. I am beyond annoying right now and I’m not ashamed to say it. My husband is so dang supportive he would never roll his eyes when I go on about my weight lifting session, or how I constantly wish outloud for a handful of cheezits!! He knows how important hobbies, self-challenging and progress are. Luckily he is the same way. It is so important to have someone by your side who will not hinder but will support your annoyingness. P.s. It pays to have a trainer who actually cares and motivates you each and every day. Thanks Kenneth #Teamswiftathletics!

    TRACKING: Where would I be without this Fitbit? I know I know, the next technology craze. Who cares if you know how many calories you’ve expended if you’re staying on top of all the workouts and calories-in through the My Fitness Pal App? Well, I CARE! Because holy how… if you’re scheduled for a 250 calorie cardio burn you want to know when you hit that mark because you surely don’t want to over do it. Also, Fitbit allows for a little fun competition between friends and who doesn’t love that for added motivation?

    HAVE FUN: It’s about the journey. Who cares if I get on the stage for the first time and I’m the only one up there that has a bit of cellulite on my rump? As long as I know I gave it 100%, and followed each and every instruction provided by my coach, then so be it. Having a goal isn’t about just achieving it and then setting the next one. Getting through each hurdle along the way is the best part. We were made to be challenged and so let yourself go through it. Smile at your mini accomplishments and allow your hardships to push you even further.

    3 Weeks In / 8 Weeks to Go

    FullSizeRender_3 IMG_6129 FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender_2  26 July Back 3 10.13.48 AM

    Week 3 Done and Done. I hope to keep up on the updates! Thanks for your support everyone!

    Let’s get out there and have fun with our goals!

    -BnG-

    Personal Finance Challenge #1

    For the average person, we spend hours upon hours hustling to make money. This money supports your lifestyle, be it for your children, the future, traveling, etc. We spend nearly HALF our lives trying to MAKE money but how many people know anything ABOUT money? I’m talking personal finance, investing… making that money work for you?! You spend nearly 50% of your life time making it, why wouldn’t you at least dedicate a fraction of your time educating yourself on these topics? Who knows, this may knock that 50% of your life’s time to maybe 40%, or 30%. Let me enlighten you:

    Let’s take a look at the average amount of hours worked in one year to support our lifestyle needs:

    koreahongkongusworkannualwork.png

    The graph is a bit blurry, and is much better appreciated from The Business Insider’s website.

    Average annual hours worked:

    Dark Red – Singapore (2300)

    Purple – Hong Kong (2350)

    Orange – Korea (2200)

    Blue – America (1700)

    Red – France (1450)

    Green – Germany (1400)

    —————————————————————————-

    Personally, I work approximately 2250 hours a year (salary/fluctuates). The added time in travel to and from work and preparing for work could also apply. This changes the annual number to 2750 hours of work. Let’s mess around with some numbers here so I can prove to you how much time you spend dedicating your life to money (Let’s pretend we only live on weekdays and never see a weekend):

    • 9 hours/day – Working
      • 1 hour/day – Driving to & from work
      • 1 hour/day – Preparing for work (hygiene, packing lunch, etc)
    • 8 hours/day – Sleeping
    • 5 hours/day – Personal Time

    If calculated out annually (assuming 5 days/week, 50 weeks/year):

    • 2750 hours/year – Working
      To include traveling to & from and preparation.
    • 2000 hours/year – Sleeping
    • 1250 hours/year – Personal Time

    Takehome:

    Working = 46% of the week’s time
    Sleeping = 33% of the week’s time
    Personal Time = 21% of the week’s time
    ———————————————————————–

    There you have it, nearly 50% of your time is tossed to the “man”. Heck, if you’re an entrepreneur, then that’s great! But either way, you can’t deny that we’re devout money making machines. How much of your time would you give up to ensure this money is actually working for you? Now here’s your challenge:

    Check out a new financial book every 2 weeks, even if you haven’t read it entirely! I challenge you to do this for 8 weeks straight. At that point you can subside, or even boost this goal. Who knows where this might take you!

    • Join your local library. Normal rental time is 2 weeks. Direct your attention to the financial section. Intimidating isn’t it? That’s why they make books for beginners. I suggest beginning with “Investing For Dummies.” The basic principles of investing and personal finance are not taught in most school systems. Consumer Math is thought to be something taught by parents to their children. For this, I beg you to educate yourself for your sake and for your children’s sake.
    • If you don’t have a library, you can follow this very entertaining, educational blog by Mr Money Mustache. It’s what ignited that spark for me! Or, see my recommended podcasts/websites or books pages to utilize different sources.

    So in the long run, maybe we can continue to decrease our work hours and increase our personal time! Cheers to financial freedom!

    145

    – BnG –

    Please feel free to share which books you’re reading and if you’d recommend them to others!