STAY ON TRACK IN SWEATER-SEASON

It’s upon us again. The football games, the bulky sweaters, the crispness to the air. All of this wonderfulness surrounding us with the cozy feels of fall.

Is there anything better than throwing on the chunky sweater or that Alma-Mater hoodie and heading to a friend’s house for beers, appies and bbq to watch the big game?

But lest we forget…this is the season where the little things DO add up. And just because we’re covering up with our turtle-necks and hoodies doesn’t mean it’s not happening!

The food, the late nights, the beers. All of these can completely destroy any healthy routines you had in place over the summer. Your perfectly adhered-to diet, your early morning yoga or runs, your “only drink on the weekend” rules etc. All of it can fall off (just like the leaves) in a second!

So rather than undo everything you’ve worked for and then have to make a New Years resolution when you realize how far its gone, keep the work going but adapt it to the cozy vibes of autumn.

Recipes like chili, butternut squash soup, and even spaghetti can all be made healthily and easily! Workouts can be moved outside and your morning routine can be made even cozier with the right touches.

Here are a few tips on how to stay on track so your NYR can be something fun like skydiving or getting rich!!

  1. Meal prep cozy healthy meals. Homemade turkey chili or white chicken chili are great options. Or sub out pasta for spaghetti squash or cook a delectable soup out lentils or squash. Check out my Pinterest for more ideas! Kelly Spencer Fall Recipe Ideas
  2. Utilize the seasonal food to your advantage. Squash, zucchini, pumpkins, apples are all in full harvest so they are also a lot cheaper. Rather than hitting up your grocery store, head out to pick-your-own farms with the family for some exercise and fun. Plan ahead though and don’t pick too much or you’ll end up wasting a lot. Have back-up recipes in case you do end up with overflow (like applesauce and soups!)
  3. Take it outside! The summer is brutal for running and working out outside. The fall is every athletes dream. Go for a foliage trail run, hit up outdoor climbing wall, kayak or canoe while the air is chilly and the water is warm. Bike rides, family walks, pick-up soccer games are all amazing ways to burn off the calories and get some fresh air!
  4. It’s hard to say no to the beer at the football games, I know, so instead come prepared with a low-cal option like hard sparkling water (I love is White Claw!).
  5. Continue to get up early! Just because it’s darker doesn’t mean the clock has changed. To enjoy your routine and entice yourself out of bed invest in come flavored coffee like hazelnut, cinnamon or pumpkin…just don’t go get the flavored creamer or specialty drinks at you-know-where every day!

So as you can see you fall does not have to be your undoing! It can generate new ideas for recipes, fun ways to stay in shape that involve the whole family and additional options for drinks! Most of all, enjoy this special time of year!

WORRYING DOES NOTHING ON ITS OWN

Worrying is human nature. We all do it.  We do it in times of individual stress and we do in times of crisis for the ones we love. But worrying left to sit on its own is a putrid, nasty little virus that eats away at you and spreads to others quickly. It causes side affects such a lack of sleep, anxiety, complaining, and antsiness.

It strikes us when we are helpless, or we feel helpless.

Waiting for a loved one to get out of surgery, watching our kids deal with a bully, waiting to hear how our child does on a test, fearing where the next paycheck will come from… all of these types of things eat us alove. Those are just examples…but today, today is real. My greatest worry is this huge fucking storm devastating The Caribbean where I have dear friends hunkered down. unnamed (1)

So when worry hits, there is one great cure.

DO SOMETHING.

Whether its something to help those in crisis or something to keep your mind busy until you receive definitive news. Because its living in the land of the unknown that causes this malaise.

So if it’s writing out your feelings like I do, if its researching the ways you can help once the storm has passed like I am doing, or if it’s cleaning your house to wait for word that your peeps are safe, do something. It’s healthier for everyone involved.

THE SETTLERS DIDN’T EVEN SETTLE!!

The settlers who took over America were assholes, but they were determined assholes. They did anything BUT settle when it came to their goals. What they did do, was kick their feet up and get nice and comfy by the fire once they had achieved them! (Actually they were probably out fighting grizzly bears and chopping down wood and reaping the land so there probably was no settling to be had at all!)

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The word settle originally meant to adopt a steady life, a secure life (I’m not so sure the original settlers had a secure life anyway!) So, when did steady and secure begin to mean life-sucking and boring?

As parent’s we understand that we have to make money. Those tiny little birds with their beaks pointed to the sky chirping incessantly to be fed can’t get out there and bring home the bacon for themselves!

But when did making a paycheck as a parent become a synonym for settling? When did making a paycheck start meaning we had to give up what we love? When did making a paycheck start meaning we had to change who we were from walking out of the office to walking in our front door?

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How many times have you heard or said “well, I hate my job, but _________ won’t pay the bills!”

We live in an era where __________ can pay the bills! There are so many freaking opportunities out there in the world to live your passion!!

We have one life. ONE LIFE.

When you are laying on your deathbed, do you want to say, “well, I’m glad I saved an extra 100k for retirement,” or do you want to be saying “I am so happy for the life I had and the people I’ve known and the experiences I made!”

Yes, we need to pay the bills. But squeaking by while being gloriously happy trumps living in comfort while dreading Monday every week.

If you believe in what you, love what you do, the money will come.

And if it doesn’t, at least you can say you tried. And you don’t have to tell your kids that live life means to give up before even trying.

And to prove to you that your passions can pay the bills check out this list of the Top 15 Interesting, Unique and Weird Jobs!

 

IT’S OK TO ASK QUESTIONS

Children are amazingly honest and perfectly curious about everything in life.

The reason they ask ten million questions a day is because they have this intense desire to learn and gain insight into everything going around them in the world.

Around the age of four or five children develop the ability to become embarrassed. And we, as parents, do a really good job of taking advantage of that. Whether we mean to or not, we are sure to let them know that they should never do something to “embarrass themselves” or “embarrass their parents.”

That sucks doesn’t it? That we start conditioning our kids so early on to give a shit about what others think of them? To imply that acting in a way other than the way they feel good about, is abnormal or not okay or the big E word?

So it brings me to this…all of us have been conditioned in our lives to feel embarrassment. And one of the biggest things that our children do, before we brainwash them into feeling embarrassed themselves (and yes I do this too, I’m saying “we”), is to stare, point or ask questions about other people that don’t fit in the tiny box of what we call NORMAL (blagh I hate that word!!!).

As soon as a child sees someone in a wheelchair, they want to know why! WHY IS THAT BAD!!??

As soon as a child sees someone with any handicap they want to know why they are different! WHY IS THAT BAD!?!?

As soon as a child sees someone with skin different than theirs, or a homeless person, or a woman in a Hijab they want to know why! WHY THE FUCK IS THAT BAD!?!?

All of these people are people in our world. They are people that make our lives richer, our lives diverse and bring awareness to the differences in the society we live in!

So when a child asks questions, answer them in an honest way! Don’t say, “it’s not nice to stare!” Say “that man is in a wheelchair because his legs don’t work” or “that little girl is wearing a helmet because she liked to sleep on one side so much it flattened out her head a little bit so doctors are helping make her head round!” (BTW those are super common– those soft and squishy little heads paired with the all-elusive super-sleepers like this sweet chunk in the pic make for some excellently flat heads)!

And adults, you ask questions too! And if you’re too shy to ask, then don’t fucking stare. It’s rude.

All of this is brought to you courtesy of the cutest little chick in the world rocking her helmet like a badass! You go Pea!!!!!

Top 3 Habits of UNSUCCESSFUL People

I’m going to cut to the chase. We all have bad habits. From not changing the toilet paper roll to gossiping.

But there are three main habits that I’ve found in my research that unsuccessful people have that above all else continue to create a world of failure and mediocrity for them.

These three habits can be applied to business owners, little league coaches, CEO’s…you name it!

But I’m here to talk about MOMS.

–>Although if you’re not a mom, please read on if you are unsuccessful in any way, this WILL apply to you too!

  1. BLAMING

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Blaming is soooo easy to do to others but soooo hard to do to ourselves. The husband, the government, the aliens, but most of all THE KIDS. They are the best target because they are cute and chaotic. They are unpredictable and lovable. So when you blame them you don’t stay mad. If you were to blame yourself for all of your failures you would actually have to feel angry.

So how do you stop this? You have to begin to recognize when you do you it before anything else. You have to be honest with yourself. Is it the kids fault you are late to your meeting or did you not leave enough time in the morning? Is it your kids fault that you are eating their leftovers or did you not plan ahead and make your own meal before theirs so you wouldn’t pick at it?

Recognize, Accept and Recondition

Recognize when you are doing it. Accept the true blame. Recondition yourself through daily reminders to think before you FEEL.

2. JUSTIFYING

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Justifying is a kinder but still malevolent version of blaming … but instead of blaming your failure on someone, you are giving yourself permission to fail, suck or be average. I used to do this a lot. “It’s okay that I don’t have a lot of money, young people are not supposed to have a lot of money, it’s part of growing up.” “It’s okay that I’m eating my kid’s leftovers, that’s all part of young parenting, it’ll make for great memories!” All of these all us to feel okay for our short-comings or lack of action / proactivity.

Recognize when you are justifying (all excuses are justifications). Accept that you are doing this. Recondition your brain to say to yourself “this is a justification so I will do X in spite of it.” Today I felt tired. I didn’t want to write this blog. I thought “I got up early today, I deserve a nap. My nap is JUSTIFIED” and my brain said “Nooooo no no missy, this is a justification for why you shouldn’t do something when you know full well why you should!”

3. COMPLAINING

sourceEver been around a constant complainer? OMG it makes me want to shrivel up and die. It’s like their constant stream of blather about how the world hates them and everyone and everything is out to get them never ends. If you are a complainer please look inside yourself and see that what you are doing is actually attracting bad things to you. If you are not a complainer but find yourself in close proximity to one frequently, RUN! Their toxicity spreads like wildfire!!

The feeling you get when you complain is addictive. You know the feeling. It’s similar to the gossiping feeling. A little bit of a high followed by a huge let-down that what you want in life isn’t happening. And then complainers start trying to one-up each other. It’s just all bad.

So…I’ll repeat.

Recognize when you are doing it, Accept the fact that you are, and Recondition your brain to swallow those words and say something positive. “Traffic sucks so bad” turns to “isn’t it nice to have a little extra time this morning to listen to the radio and peacefully sip my coffee.” Nice isn’t it?

 

So there you have it! The only three things unsuccessful people successfully do. They blame, they justify, they complain.

If you are a mama who finds yourself doing these things, reach out to me. YOU CAN CHANGE and live the life you want!!

kellyspencerfitness@gmail.com

 

When Did We Learn How To Quit?

And if it is in fact learned, it means we can unlearn it right??

I watched my baby struggle to try to crawl today. She tried and tried and tried and I KNOW that she will succeed.

Because babies don’t know how to quit. Why can we always take so many cues from babies??

They don’t quit screeching when they’re hungry, they don’t quit crying when they need to be changed, they don’t quit learning how to walk or crawl even though they fall over countless times.

So when do we learn to quit?

Did our parents teach through modeling what to do when they got frustrated? Did their parents teach them? Is it to soften the blow of an undesirable outcome, to avoid facing failure?

Is it because we say to our kids “no you can’t climb up there its too high”, or “that kid is too big too play with” or when they fail at an attempt we say “its okay, you’re just a kid”?

As I was trying to research whether or not these are learned behaviors or if they just develop in the brain at a certain point I read a blog that said “failures force us to quit”… I wholeheartedly disagree!!

We choose to quit. Failures simply become the rationalization for that choice. But we choose it ourselves.

Adversity will always present itself in our lives and we need to be okay with that when it does. We don’t have to feel good about it, but we need to understand that it is a law of nature. Life can’t be perfect all of the time. It is how you react to that adversity that determines where you will go in life. What your story will look like in the last chapter.

So take a moment today to look at the things you have quit in your life and what the reasoning was.

Was it because you truly didn’t enjoy what you were doing? If so, good for you!

Or was it because you came across some adversity and let it win? If so, you need to get back out there my friend! Start crawling if you have to!!

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Choose Your Own Napkin-Adventure

Going out to eat with children can be stressful to say the least. We’ve actually had times where we decided not to go eat somewhere because we didn’t want to have to figure out how to keep her occupied in a 5×4 box of hell!

We’ve used the phone and books and toys. The phone always works if we need adult time – real conversation without interruption. But now with #2 here, the idea of a peaceful meal with the kids is completely out the window … AND I prefer to keep screen time to a minimum if possible.

So I’ve come up with a new strategy that seems to work great, at least for 30 minutes or so.

I call them napkin adventures.

  1. Take a napkin and unfold it. Preferably a paper one depending on how much you want to piss the restaurant off (and if you’re going to a cloth napkin restaurant with kids, you’ve got your shit together and probably don’t need this…or else you’re just crazy and don’t need this either.)
  2.  Begin in the lower left hand corner with a pen and let your imagination go where a child’s would go with your kids. I prefer to go the route of “once up on a time there was a little girl named Rowan who decided to take a walk in the woods.” This is when I take my pen and draw a stick figure and some lame trees and a curvy road.
  3. Next I ask my kid, “then what happened?” And she tells me and we draw it. At every intersection I ask the same question: “then what happened”. The key is to draw terribly and dramatically while making exaggerated faces and listening with intense enthusiasm!

Then you’re pretty much it in. You follow the napkin as far as it can go with the story.

Then you switch roles.

Child becomes the artist and mom or dad becomes the story teller.

This sounds lame, but how many of you have kids that play with the cardboard box rather than the toy inside? Same concept.

Simple + enthusiasm + engagement = happy child.

Today we had an encounter with a monster pig who ate our whole family then barfed us back up because Isla was sad and then somehow we all ended up in a hot air balloon stuck to a cloud full of lollipops…go figure, tough luck I guess?

Let me know when you try this how it works! It’s been a gem for us lately!