How I battle Mom Guilt

I think most moms struggle with that little feeling of guilt. Some may feel it when they are working, others while they are working out, or maybe when you are treating yourself to a girls night … or just when sitting in your car before going in. Ya know, its just so quiet in the car, you’re alone, so peaceful, and you know that as soon as you walk in the door the chaos is gonna hit you upside the head. I don’t think “Mom Guilt” is a totally bad thing. I think it can be used a tool in our lives, like a measuring stick instead of a bat that we use to beat ourselves up.

Here are somethings I tend to beat myself up about:

My temper = Mom Guilt

The baseball bat tells me no other mom loses their temper. All the other moms are sweet and well spoken.

Time away from my kids = Mom Guilt

The baseball bat reminds me that in order for me to leave them I have to ask someone else to step in. And this means “inconveniencing” my friends and family, and failing my kids.

My phone = Mom Guilt

Here the baseball bat tells me that other kids are better, smarter, and funnier than mine. Along with the fact that I can easily just swipe right out of reality on any of these social platforms and forget about needing to make dinner.

So obviously the baseball bat is not my friend. It does not build me up. It does not help me. The bat hurts me, and it actually makes me a worse mom, and a lesser version of myself.

If I were to take a measuring stick to these areas of guilt instead I would get this…

My Temper: I know for a fact other moms lose their tempers. I know that I am working on mine…Thanks counseling! I know that I am quick to ask for forgiveness and that my kids often don’t even remember the last time I yelled…I mean asked them to clean their ever loving rooms.

Time Away from my kids: This one is tough for me. I really do hate asking others to step in and watch my kids but you know what?! Jesse and I just got back from a trip yesterday and the kids were gone with friends all weekend and they had the best time. I don’t think they missed us at all! And the best part was the hugs, smiles and kisses we got when we picked them up. Also, the fact that Jesse and I got 3 nights away was magical!

My phone: So I know that I am on it too much. In fact just last night Zeke totally called me out. We finished a movie and I immediately grabbed it, he noticed and said just that. So this is me measuring the fact that, yes, I am on it too much and need to make some changes.

So friends, lets put down our bats and take a step back. We cannot be the best versions of ourselves if we are bloodied and bruised. We can, however, step back and measure ourselves not against one another but measuring ourselves against the moms we want to be. No shame, no guilt just trying everyday to press on and be the best for those we love!

Being alone with this guy helps me to refocus so I can be better for him, me and the three we left at home!

Books I ALWAYS recommend

I get asked a lot for book recommendations, and it’s probably one of my favorite questions to answer and give out! So I thought I would tell y’all a list of the ones I always recommend. Sometimes I give based on what I’ve recently read and loved, but for the most part, I start with these few books…

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers– This is my all time favorite book in the entire world. I read it when I was a senior in high school and again when Titus was maybe a year old. I don’t love reading books twice because I have a long list of books I want to read. so I don’t want to spend time reading something I’ve already read. This book is my exception to that. This book so well written, a beautiful period piece and love story.

I am a firm believer that everything Francine writes is gold! I loved the Mark of The Lion series (3 books) and Marta’s Legacy (a 2 book series) and really anything else. You can’t go wrong.

Love Does by Bob Goff– I am almost certain that no one tells a story quite like Bob. He’s funny, adventurous and he used to set up office on Tom Sawyer island at DisneyLand. He’s a man that I truly believe is teaching generations to come what love looks like. In Love Does he writes about his journey to faith, his family, his career, and so much more. I cannot say enough good things about this book! He has a new book coming out in April and I CANNOT WAIT!!

Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis– Now her name is Katie Davis Majors and I feel like I mention this book in almost every blog, but to me this was a game changer. I love her story, I love her heart and I love that it was shared in this way! I just finished her latest book Daring to Hope and it was great too. But honestly I don’t know that anything she writes will ever compare in my heart to her first book.

Switching gears a bit…

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves– This book is captivating! I read it all in one day and it was just GOOD! It’s got some romance but not R rated or anything, and it’s a sweet love story. I think it would be the best beach read, or great for traveling.

I’ve read just about everything Tracey Garvis Graves has put out, and they are all good. Some are definitely a little saucier, but all great reads.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty– I read this book while on a vacation with my cousin. It is so funny because we both read it, and we both LOVED it, but we also saw the ending very differently. I couldn’t fathom the idea of losing my memory, but that last thing she remembers is that she was pregnant at the gym happily married, and the next thing she knows she has a 10 year old and in the middle of a divorce. The book walks through how much our lives can change in ten years and that alone was phenomenal!

I haven’t read everything Liane has written and while I LOVED Big Little Lies, she has another one that I just couldn’t get into, so I set it down.

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling- I would be a lying liar if i didn’t add these books to this list! I didn’t read Potter until I was about 28, and I don’t even have the words to express! The magical world that J.K Rowling created is beautiful. Her books are much more than the magic within the pages but speak of love, hope, discrimination, light and dark….all of it! It’s just pure magic. ALSO if you are not an avid reader but want to read the books, these are the best audiobooks I’ve ever heard.

I think I’ll end there. I do have some more, but I don’t want to bore you. Let me know what you love and if you’d like some kid suggestions I can do that too!!

My little reader. He is so much like me. Loves to read and devours series! I love that we have this shared interest!

Happy New Year 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I cannot wait to see what 2018 and the Lord have in store for me, my family and here on my little corner of the internet! I have some big goals and a road map in place to get me there, now I need to be brave enough to take the necessary steps.

2017 was a fun year in our house:

Jesse and I went skydiving for my birthday

We went to Disneyland for spring break and got to visit our California family

Tent Camped and the quickly upgraded our tent to “Poppy” Pop-Up Camper

I went to RISE with my Cousin Melissa, and saw my hero Rachel Hollis

Got a matching tattoo with Melissa

Jesse and I ran away to Disney World ALONE

Zoe got Sister Locs and all my hair woes are now GONE

My sister Michelle visited before moving to Germany

DISNEY WORLD as a family, where we basically moved there

Visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with the kids!

Loved all things Summer: swimming, Schlitterbahn, TBARMcamps, beach trip, and lake trip

I started blogging more

We hung out with friends, and really dove into our community

We dated more and communicated better

Built furniture and rearranged our house

Wore matching Christmas Jammies

And rested like it was our J-O-B

So here are some of my resolutions, goals, oh I don’t know what to call them but here is what I am striving for in 2018:

Do my 5 minute journal EVERYDAY

Drink more water than coffee

Read my Bible daily

Write more

Be Present with my fam = less time scrolling on my phone

Slow to anger and Quick to Love

To work out because I am ABLE to move my body and because I enjoy it

I find that having something to narrow your focus, to hone in on improving yourself, you need a very specific idea. No fluff around it or extra stuff to get caught up in. This year I picked a word that I could focus on. A single word that will help me remember who I want to be and where I want 2018 so lead me. My word for the year is COURAGE. I want to stop worrying about what others think of me and that takes Courage. I want to speak to women and share what the Lord has done and that takes Courage. I want to love my kids and husband with all that I am even when I feel like I have nothing left to give, and for me, you guessed it takes Courage. So this year that’s what I’ll be focusing on being brave, and courageous!

What about you? What are your goals? Do you have a word? Or a focus? I want to hear it! Let’s keep each other accountable this year!

Christmas Traditions according to the Tapley Family

Jesse and I each grew up in a home where the holidays were on FULL display, I’m talking christmas towels in the bathroom, pictures removed from the wall to be replaced by christmas cross stitching, throw pillows switched out and little christmas knick knacks on every available surface. So when Jesse and I got married we agreed to a small/ limited decoration style but rich with tradition. That has been our style until this year. I can now feel the tides changing as Zoe gets more and more into the spirit of Christmas, which if I am honest, makes me pretty excited!

So here are a few of my favorite traditions that we have…

The Elf on the Shelf. Our elf’s name is Elvis. He shows up every Thanksgiving night and sticks around till Christmas Eve. He’s not as mischievous as he once was, because the bigger the kids get (the boys know we move him) the less fun it is…

Christmas Cookies. DUH! If you don’t make cookies is it even Christmas??

Star Wars. Three years ago the boys convinced us to watch the entire Star Wars Saga over Christmas Break. The newest movie was getting ready to release so we thought it was a great idea. That great idea morphed into one of their favorite traditions: every year, every movie. This year we had to start before Thanksgiving so that we could get them all in before the latest episode came out in theatres. Before you know it, we will be watching them in January just to prepare for the next year! But this has been fun and the boys really enjoy it. If I am completely honest, I spend a lot of this time on my phone, reading, or writing. img_7683

Christmas Classics. We also watch Elf, Home Alone, and Charlie Brown every year too. It sounds like we spend a lot of time in front of the TV, which I guess is kind of true. But honestly I don’t think I’ll ever feel bad about being snuggled up with my crew sipping hot chocolate and coffees while watching these classic films.

Family Ornaments. Each year I pick out a new family ornament that shows some sort of significance to our year. This year I picked a Mickey Mouse one for the year of all things Disney. Our last year in Alaska is a beautiful snowy angel, the year we decided to adopt is a clay Africa. It’s fun to see these and see where we’ve been and how we’ve changed.

Stance Socks. I don’t know that I have shared how much my husband loves socks…but he does. But not just any socks, Stance socks. He has made the tradition where every year we each get a new pair of sock for Christmas. They don’t necessarily match, but all that matters is that we get a picture each year with our new socks on.img_2245

Now here are a couple of our FAILED traditions:

Three gifts each. We tried to give the kids only three gifts each year, because that’s what Jesus got at “the first Christmas.” Jesse got this idea from his cousin when he lived with them in California. I loved the idea until it got really difficult! I would get them three presents and the stuff their stockings with all the other random stuff that I wanted to give them. So now while we don’t go crazy, we just can’t be limited to only three gifts… sorry Jesus.

Gingerbread Houses. For the life of us we cannot build a gingerbread house that stands! We have only tried a handful of times but until THIS YEAR…not one has stood through the night. Whether its poor craftsmanship or our dog that jumped ON TOP OF THE COUNTER to eat it, its just got a tradition that lasted in our home.

My favorite part of this crazy busy season is the time we get to sit and laugh with our kids. Snuggled up on the couch, watching any of the movies and just being with them. Soon this will all change, new people will be invited in, they will not want to snuggle me, they may even go to different homes! But this time with them will not have been wasted.

Merry Christmas my Friends!! 

I hope you are able to take a deep breathe, enjoy this season, eat that cookie, laugh a little harder, and be merry! Let me know some of your favorite traditions or some that you have had that failed!!

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The Date Night That Ended in Tears

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Last week Titus and I met up with a few of his classmates and his teacher to watch the movie WONDER. Their class read the book earlier this year, and they wanted to see the movie all together. Obviously I was game for that, I read Wonder a few years ago and loved the storyIt was an opportunity to have a nice night out for me and my sweet boy.

Titus is our middle child. He was our baby for a long time and when Zoe came home his role as the “baby” was shifted. He and Zoe compete for attention quite a bit, they are both entertainers, both super funny and both very competitive. All that to say, he doesn’t get a lot of the one on one time or attention he craves. So this was a great opportunity for us.

A Theatre Pic is a must…Or did you even go?!

WONDER is about a little boy with Craniofacial that starts public school for the first time in 5th grade. His family is fiercely protective about his feelings, but they know that this is the right next step for their family. Auggie (the main character) knows that yes, he looks different, and yes, others notice and often stare. But as a family, they just hope that no one will be ugly to him. His family’s  life revolves all around him, and at one point in the older sister in the movie says, “My family is the earth and our life revolves around the Sun (son).” That line hit me right in the gut.

 

A few weeks ago I sat with Titus and Zeke at lunch, surrounded by other friends and parents Titus (my little performer) made a joke, “No one even sees Zeke, or me anymore. They all only see Zoe.” I deflected and joked with him, smiling nervously, while crying inside, “Did he really feel this way?! CRAP!” His little joke replayed in my mind as soon as I heard the sister say that. You see I know the truth, our life was flipped upside down the moment Zoe landed in Texas. Not in a terrible way, but our family shifted. We all started learning a new language, we have seen a whole slew of doctors and specialists, we have had fits and learning curves, and our lives have revolved around a lot of these things.

 

All the way home I choked back tears while we talked about the movie what he liked best, how it was different from the book, who our favorite character was, and so on. When we pulled up in our driveway I looked at my second born and confronted all those feelings. “Titus, do you feel like our life revolves around Zoe? Do you sometimes feel invisible? Do you know how much I love you and how special you are to me?” It was a talk that I hated having to have. I cried so much and so did he. We made a deal, “Titus next time you are feeling invisible or really need my attention, put your hands on each side of my face and tell me you need me. I need your help! Ok?!” We hugged and I kissed his sweet face. One of my biggest goals in raising these three kids is that they see me recognize my faults, and see me ask for their forgiveness. If I teach them nothing else I want them to know how to humble themselves, ask for forgiveness and press on. Also I want to teach them to Love God and Love Others but you get me right?!

 

So why tell you this? Because it’s hard. Mothering three very different kids is tough work. And I guess I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. This is tough, but it matters! 

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These 3…I hope they know how hard I am trying!

Wait…I am adopted?!

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My Dad and Me! 

As November ends so does the #adoptionawarenessmonth movement. This movement is so meaningful for my family and I, and I love getting to be a part of it. To see friends change their profile pictures and share their stories about how adoption has changed their lives is so special.

My view of adoption drastically changed when we started the process of adopting Zoe. I had so many questions; Would we love her the same as the boys? Would she be treated differently by our family members? Would she feel different? How would our families react to this new family member?

In an early conversation with my little sister Kim, I was expressing a few of these to her and I said, “Kim, no one in our family has done this before. How will I know that she’s going to be accepted and loved the same?” In her young wise voice she said, “Jeanette, you know that we are basically adopted right? You do remember that Denver (Dad) is not our biological dad, right?”

You see my biological dad, Jim, passed away when I was just four years old. Denver, my “stepdad” came into my life and never left. He became our Dad when I was six. His siblings and mother didn’t blink an eye at him marrying a widow with three young girls. He loved my mom and showed it best by loving her girls, my big sister Michelle, Me, and Kimberly. 

I often forget that this is our story, that a man who is not my own flesh and blood loves me so deeply and for that I am so thankful. It is by his example that I knew I could walk this road and love this little girl as deeply as he loved me. So no, I wasn’t the trailblazer in my family. My dad was, and he did it so well.

Adoption comes from hurt, brokenness, and often death. It never starts as a pretty thing, but it can change the world. I know Zoe’s world looks a lot different, and I know that my own life looks a lot different that what it could’ve. I am so thankful that Lord doesn’t leave us fatherless and alone. He cares and He makes a way. I have seen it in my daughter’s eyes and in the way that I see my own Dad. Love makes a family!

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Our Family *missing my brother Norman* 

Take in the scenery

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I am not sure how one little stretch of road could mean so much to me! But this stretch, it gets me ever time!!

This stretch of road means so much to me. I can barely walk down it without tearing up. There are large pictures of adopted children and posters that say, “RUN FOR MORE” and “YOU DID IT”.

Why? Because at the end of this stretch is the finish line of a half marathon and 5K that benefits adoptive families. Chosen is the organization that puts it on and we ran with them for two years while in the process of adopting Zoe. These people became our friends, our support and really they became like our family. We are huge fans of Chosen in the way they have help us in the past and how they continue to lend their support to so many adoptive families!

Back when Chosen had a marathon (2013) I ran that with our team. Team Tapley Ever After had 15 or so people running for purpose, these friends trained with us and really put their money where their mouth was. Training (suffering) together is real love and there are many memories that I can recall fondly. This stretch of road signified the end of a MARATHON! 26.2 miles! The girls I ran the whole thing with slowed down a bit and allowed me (without my knowledge) to sprint this part out alone. Tears streaming down my face, it signified so much more than the finish of a race. It signified the finish of this incredibly difficult journey, and that my family wasn’t alone in it thanks to our family, friends and Chosen.

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Team Tapley Ever After! Blood, sweat and tears and all the memories!

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Just a few pics from the 2014 Chosen Race and those who ran for Tapley Ever After

The following year was a really tough time in our adoption process. Team Tapley Ever After showed up again, and this time with around 25 people supporting us and running with us! As I ran this stretch of road I began crying out to the Lord that we wouldn’t need to do this for our family again; that next year we could support a different family. Begging Him that next year at this race, Zoe would be home. It wasn’t as beautiful as the year before but it was desperation, asking Him to show me where the finish line would be. It would be 10 months later that Zoe finally arrived home.

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2015 Tapley Family at the Chosen Race

And just two months after arriving home in America, Zoe stood at the finish line placing finisher medals around the necks of those having run for a cause much greater than themselves. It was in that moment surrounded by some of my amazingly sweet friends I realized how significant that was. We were finally on the other side of the finish line, and now it was our turn to cheer for those that we running that hard race, to support them as the finished, and to love them through their struggles.

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Yesterday was the third year that Zoe was able to medal the finishers, and it never gets old. Seeing people cross the finish line is so incredible. They have just accomplished so much, some run in strong, proud of how they performed, some run in dog tired and beat up (that course is NO JOKE!), others run in full of emotion and my heart understands! The finish line of this particular race is really just an awesome and meaningful place.

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Zoe giving a well deserved medal to a finisher! 2017 Chosen Race

Isn’t that us just day to day? Some days I finish and think “Wow I OWNED today! Really! Great Job Jeanette!!” Other days I barely finish the day awake because of how tired I am and then there are the days when I have just too many emotions to even function. I think more than anything this sweet stretch of road reminds me that I am not alone. God is lending His ever present ear to me, I have friends at the finish line cheering me on, reminding me that I am strong enough to finish well.

So my thought is this… How can we do this better? Can we look up from our own race, as tired as we may be, and encourage someone? YES! Can we see that they may be struggling and help them? YES! Can we even grasp that at the end of our race (or challenge) that we will be able to support someone is a whole new way? I Think YES!

So look up, and reach your hand to either be supported or be supportive. And while your eyes are up, take in the scenery it’s a beautiful world we live in!

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One of my favorite views!

 

 

How my life changed with 2 friends, a book and the gym!

I am a HUGE fan of women’s bible studies, and as I admitted in my 10 Things you don’t know about me I have just this week finished and completed my first Bible study book ever! My Pastor Dad and Bible Study leading mother are so proud I am sure.

Anyway, I love the idea of gathering together, growing, stretching and making new friends. When I moved to Texas from Alaska 5 years ago I was super lonely. I knew one other family and that was it. We left our home, our family, and our church just like we believed God had told us to, and we were here in Texas alone. One day, in a mess of emotions, I told my Jesse just how low I was feeling. There had been so many changes. Alaska to Texas, no family, I had just sent my first born off to kindergarten, Jesse was working a new schedule that we weren’t used to, and honestly was just desperate for community. We started going to a small church, and I started at a new gym. Titus and I started going to MOPS and we joined other mommy and me groups. I was so in need of friendship. I know that I function better when I’m connected to others. The gym of all places was where I found those people who I would soon call friends.

There was this crazy pretty blonde that taught most of the classes that I was able to go to. As I began to get into the routine I got to know some more of the people around me, and the pretty blonde, her name is Lindsay, and I started to talk a little and she invited me to a Bible study that she led right there in the gym. After Wednesday’s body pump or cycle class we would meet in the childcare room, sit on the floor, and she would lead a small group of sweaty women. That group quickly became my friends. It was beautiful and so real. There was one day when I was loading  Titus into the car and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, “WOAH!” I thought, “I look rough! How in the world have I made friends looking like this?!” That’s when I knew these people were solid. Then one day standing over a cycle bike one of these sweet girls, Holly, handed me a book, “Read this! Jeanette, it’ll change your life!” I giggled, I love to read but how could a book change my life?!

The beautiful blonde you see is OBVIOUSLY Lindsay and That lovely lady with the beautiful smile is Holly. Who would’ve thought that God could change my life with two friends and a gym membership!?!

I dove into the book, Kisses From Katie, head first. I was reading, devouring this young girl’s story and about half way through the book I shut it and looked up at Jesse and I quote, “Jesse, I think we need to adopt or like sponsor a 100 children in Africa.” He calmly told me to, in his words, “pump the brakes,” finish the book and see how it ends. But I felt that quiet tug. The Lord whispered, “I called you to be a mom. There are a TON of babies with no mom. What are you going to do about it?!” Let me rewind a bit here and tell you that when I was little and was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up I would answer very firmly, ” A mom.”
So, Jesse and I talked a little bit more and he told me he’d pray about it. Classic husband just trying to appease his wife. A few days later he looked at me and said, “A girl right?! What would we name her?”

BOOM there it was. We jumped into this world of adoption.

Ok now back to the bible study, the girls in that group were some of the first people I told about this new venture. They were the first ones praying for her, and in Bible study we were going through the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith.” Lindsay would dive into each of the hero’s listed story. Over and over in Hebrews 11 it is said “By Faith that ____” and so often these heros of the bible- Sarah, Abraham, Enoch, Noah- followed the Lord blindly doing the craziest things. So often they didn’t even get to see His finished work. Noah built the ark, a boat that he had no idea what that even was and he followed God’s CRAZY specific instructions for like 100 years all by faith.

As we went through this I was so glad that God was calling me to something easy and short. I really can’t help but laugh. From the time we said YES we will adopt, to the day Zoe was actually in America and in my arms was almost 3 years. Now that’s not as long as some others waited and by far not the longest process I’ve ever heard of, but it was long and grueling and hard.

 By Faith, I believed the Lord called me to this.

 By Faith I knew he wouldn’t fail me.

 By Faith I knew that He had a better plan for this little girl I would get to call my own.

After the Bible study had ended and changed, as seasons do, those girls were still my go to people. And near the end of our process when circumstances were hard and my faith weary it was that group that stood by my side. It was them that held my weak arms up and wouldn’t let me give in. They said, “We are with you to the end” and they were. And they still are!

We have some beautiful photos that were taken at the airport and it was a freaking party. Zoe can and will tell you now that she came home sad, and confused, BUT she will also tell you there were a lot of people there to celebrate her homecoming. That is because it wasn’t just my victory or my family’s victory it was all of ours, Zoe was an orphan no more!! That group had expanded my heart, and my reach. Those women cried with me, and prayed, and gave, and connected me with new people. And my favorite part is that it all started on the floor of a child care room in a gym. In a place where we sat, with little to no makeup, and we were real and open with each other. That, guys, is the key. Be real. Be honest. Be open. Be a friend.

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This is only half the people! That was a party!! I love looking back at these faces. I see so much JOY!!

Where can you be real today? How can you meet a friend right where she is? What can you do to open yourself up now to find community? I know that it’s not easy and I know that it’s terrifying to walk into new places and not know anyone, but what if today you were just a little bit braver? What could that look like? Let’s be bold and full of faith together!

I started using the gym to Punish myself not Push myself…

Today as I write this it is Monday. As I got up and got ready for the gym this morning, I felt the weight of the weekend on me. I felt sluggish, heavy, and full. Over the weekend we had a family pizza night, tacos, and more tacos. All. The. Tacos. We had dinner and drinks with friends and while it was all super fun and much needed, I could tell this morning I had overdone it. None of these things are necessarily bad, but what is bad, is this: I was emotional all weekend. My heart was heavy so I ate and drank my feelings and in doing that, I over did it!

Walking into the gym this morning was pretty much the same as it is every morning, but today I had the added pressure of knowing that I over snacked, over dipped and over sipped all weekend, and that pressure was telling me that I needed to work harder, run faster and basically punish myself for my bad decision making. But that’s not the relationship I want to have with the gym.

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Looking happy or pretty while lifting is NOT ALLOWED! Only serious CrossFitters here!

 Punishing my body doesn’t sound fun. It sounds hurtful, and full of shame. Here are reasons why I love going to the gym: I have awesome friends that I get to workout with. I can work hard and surprise myself with lifting heavy weights. I am a healthier and fitter me because of the gym. Going to the gym makes me happy, and as the ever famous Elle Woods once said, “Exercise gives you endorphines, endorphines make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t!” Thank you Legally Blonde for always speaking truth to me!8f14ffc1ea8f3c41afafd5f8f724eee8--moment-quotes-movie-quotes

So as I finished my workout today I thought, “I don’t want to punish myself I want to push myself mentally.” How do we as women, moms, wives, and friends combat this feeling of punishment when we know we’ve slipped up?! Well, I am not a fitness blogger, and no one ever comes to me for this sort of advice so I went to someone who is smarter than me. Kelsey Flanagan is kind, wise, helpful and as sweet as can be. She is passionate in helping people in all walks of life to create a happier and healthier versions of themselves.

So here are Kelsey’s thoughts below…..

The relationship with most people and gyms can be unhealthy. But we can get in control of that.

How? Think about your relationship with food or anything you cling too. If you want to see a change you will first have to be AWARE of the emotion you have attached to that “thing” whether it’s gym, food, family, drugs, alcohol.  The first step is awareness.

Once you have recognized that – you then should ask yourself

“Why?” Why do I do what I do? Why do I love the gym? Why do I go to the gym? Once you have some reason and why you will start to see the pattern. Whether it’s because you feel good when you leave, you want to be stronger,  you get the spend time with your friends, you finally get an hour to yourself, or you want to work off the cupcakes you had. All of these reasons are pretty positive except that last one. So now, ask yourself  “Why do I do that to myself? What about that action don’t I like?”

It’s the question game. Ask until you finally root to the problem then come up with a solution. I have struggled with an unhealthy relationship with food so this speaks to me. I’ve taken these steps below to step back and recognize what I was actually doing. Try it out and see what you come up with.

Step 1. Awareness (Journal feelings & shifts you’d like to see and notice)

Step 2. Ask yourself open ended questions

Step 3. Recognize the root issues

Step 4. Come up with ideas for a solution

Step 5. Find 1 thing that can make your relationship with the gym just a little bit better.

Whether that is: Shifting your motivation more positive. –Giving yourself the permission to forget and forgive yourself for your actions. –Working hard everyday at the gym instead of those days you “need” to.  –Writing down your reasons why you go to the gym everyday. –Taking the time to be more mindful of the decisions and what caused them.

Understanding your WHY is something we often forget about. I’ve been doing more gratitude and asking myself, “why am I doing what I’m doing”, and “how is that working for me?” These 2 questions always lead me back to my Why. My Why is to have the energy to give the help, love, and ears people desire the most. The gym gives me energy it’s my happy place, but hasn’t always been.

Why do you go to the gym everyday or on the days you “should”? An hour to prove to yourself that you are strong, worthy, and amazing… Or. An hour to punish yourself for the decisions you’ve made… When you are aware of the different mindsets you will be able to distinguish a trend and become more aware. Appreciate your hour.

So now here I am really thinking through these things. I love going to the gym, because I know it makes me a healthier mom, a happier mom, but over all a happy and healthier me. I love the way the gym makes me feel. I feel stronger, happier, and even sexier when I go into the gym with the mentality of “getting to go” vs “having to go.” I don’t NEED to go to the gym, I get to go! I don’t NEED to punish my body. My body has already proven itself to me I am stronger than I think both mentally and physically. I like my body and sure I should watch what I eat and treat it kindly but I will now be mindful of my Whys and my actions!

I am just so thankful for Kelsey and her wisdom. She was so kind to sit with me and talk this out. As the weekends come I know that I will be thinking more and more about this and really examining my actions!

Kelsey can be found at Be Fitness Happy or you can email her at Befitnesshappy@gmail.com and while you are at it check her out on Instagram too Here!.

Alright friends, go be mindful and think about you WHYS, why are you stuffing that cupcake in your mouth? Why are you drinking that extra glass of wine? What about that extra mile or _____fill in the blank_____. If its not inline with your Why let’s ask some of those questions!