Stop taking “it” for granted

Let me start by saying that I can’t believe it has been a month since I made a new post. I’m sure someone out there missed me, right? I know I hit a bit of a busy spell, along with a bit of a slump, but wow, does time fly! I really hit a wall with my blog. I started to wonder why I even was writing a blog for others to read? And who really cared to read it?

I didn’t go into this blog to try to make money or quit my day job. But, I guess I did have unrealistic expectations. Call it high hopes. I found myself getting disappointed because people weren’t “liking” or “sharing” my blog very often. Disappointed when I tried to build a silly social media following (all in an effort to build my “brand” in hopes to help a book deal) and realizing how fickle IG could be (I didn’t even know what “IG” meant until 6 months ago!) I found myself caring about the number of followers I had; even doing some tried and true things to help build followers. (I did not cave to the fake follower thing though! And why WOULD anyone do that by the way?)

I would see my numbers go up by a couple dozen at a time, only to see them drop by dozens in a matter of days. WHAT??? What is this crap? AND…WHY DO I CARE??? I had to finally say to myself, “Girl, you are old(ish), and just another random person writing about random stuff. You don’t have ‘that thing’. You aren’t a hip millennial. You don’t have an eye for high fashion.” Etc. etc. Get the point? I cared. Now…I don’t. I realized I have way better things to do than waste my time caring about stupid stuff. I will write when I feel inspired and if anyone cares to read it, hopefully it will mean something to them or inspire a change.

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Which brings me to the “taking it for granted” thing…

It has been a week since I returned from a lovely three day weekend with my husband in one of our favorite spots, Crested Butte, Colorado. What a gorgeous and quaint mountain town! For almost 2 decades, whenever we’ve visited there, we’d talk about how we could live there or have a vacation home there. We are really good at long conversations about our hopes and dreams while on road trips. I definitely don’t take it for granted that I’m married to my best friend who actually enjoys talking with me. This trip was a little different. I got to thinking this time, what are we waiting for? We have always had an excuse. I am done with excuses…almost 😉 What in your life keeps you waiting to take a risk or make a change? I read this poignant writing recently:

I am so tired of everyone waiting. We spend our lives waiting for Friday, for next weekend, for summer to start, for the holidays to come, for winter to end, to make more friends, for college to start, for college to end, for real life to start, to move away… To move away from friends and family you know to an unknown place, to get our dream job, to meet the love of our life, for him to get down on one knee, for that special day to finally come, for children to be born, for them to start school, for them to get out of school, for them to get married and have children of their own. We spend our lives waiting.

After all is said and done, you’ll be waiting again… waiting to die. You’ll be lying on your deathbed waiting… still. Waiting for the time when you die and your love ones can finally move on with their lives. What an awful life to live… a life of waiting. Stop waiting and wasting time because you are living in the real world… Today… Every day.

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Inspirational Quotes About Time Passing. QuotesGram

Good stuff, huh?!🤩 It is easy to take many things in our lives for granted. That we have our health; that we have options available to us on where to live; that we have different jobs to choose from; that we have met our “person” (this is what I call my husband. He is my person-he always has my back and loves me deeply.) That kind of love can’t be taken for granted. But, the biggest thing I think many of us frequently take for granted is TIME. Yes, time. We can do so much with time…but we don’t. The above paragraphs are so true – why are we always waiting? What holds us back from just doing something we dream of or truly loving someone with our best selves and no holding back? Our time will not always be here.

It is human nature for us to have fear. This is often what holds us back. The fear of the unknown. Fear of the risk involved. Fear of “what if”. But WHAT IF we could have a better life than we ever imagined? What if the adventures far outweigh any negatives that might happen along the way? What if we could love and be loved deeper than we ever thought possible? What if we could feel more fulfilled than we ever dreamed? It WON’T happen if you don’t just go for it. STOP WAITING! Time will not wait for you…

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Things I would tell my younger self…

Proverbs 19:20-21 (NIV)

20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the #myyoungerself movement this month. The Child Mind Institute is raising awareness and funds, for mental health and learning disorders. Actors, business people, athletes, and “social influencers” are making videos about their own struggles and offering messages of hope and empathy.  This got me thinking about what I would tell my younger self. 🤔

With young people in my life who struggle with anxiety and depression, I find myself often talking about mental health. I would now tell my younger self that it is NORMAL! In my 20s, I had such huge expectations of myself to be PERFECT! I wanted to show my family (and myself!) that I had it all together and that I was doing exactly what I should have been doing. I wanted to prove that I was more mature than others my age, and that I was ok being married young. I was ok not going on to get my Masters. I was ok being with a man that had been married before. I was ok having a child at a young age even we struggled monetarily (who didn’t in their early 20s??) I wanted to prove that I knew what I was doing and had it all together. But I didn’t. It gave me some big anxieties- and an ulcer! I made big mistakes. I had a lot of self doubt. I dealt with anxiety about the future and depression if things didn’t seem to go my way. Then I would beat myself up for not always feeling happy and settled about the wonderful life that I did have!

Let’s be honest: it is proven that our brains don’t fully form and function til our mid-twenties on average. Then why do we expect to feel perfect or to be perfect? Twenty years later, it is easier to see the big picture. We are all human. We experience a vast array of emotions, and they aren’t always pretty. We have doubts and anxieties. We get sad and disconnected. We get depressed and take it out on those we love. We look for other things to make us happy. But eventually we learn that it is part of life. We learn where some of our mental health struggles came from. We learn that sometimes we need a little extra help, and that it is OK to get it. With age comes acceptance…I would tell my younger self to “just be”…

Aside from the mental health side of life, there are definitely some other things I’d tell my younger self! I’m sure that my mom or loved ones told me many of these things, but who really wants to listen to someone with many more years of experience and advice when you’re young?😜

Appreciate your lack of acne as a teenager – I mean really appreciate it! Because you will get it someday! Probably at the same time you’re griping about your wrinkles and sun spots! 🤣 It is a cruel world…

Don’t just put sunscreen on your face, but your neck, shoulders, and chest! Those are the areas where you will start noticing age and sun damage even more than the face sometimes. It isn’t important to be the tannest one in the room! But also don’t be scared of the sun! We need Vitamin D as human beings or we can develop health problems and diseases. Just be smart about it. Love your skin now because in your 40s, you’ll long for that youthful, plump epidermis🙄 It is all about balance…

Take care of your body in your 20s! It’ll be way easier to keep it healthy and in shape when your are in your 40s…or 80s! Trust me! Many of my clients have just started doing resistance/load bearing exercise in their 60, 70, or 80s! It was much harder for them by not already having the groundwork in place. And your bones will thank you for always caring and not taking them for granted. Someday they’ll be less dense and more susceptible to break if you don’t do something now! You WILL want the lean mass as you get older. More protection from falls, not to mention a faster metabolism! And it is SO much easier to lose the unhealthy extra weight when you are young- it only gets harder to lose. It’ll sneak up on you…

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Appreciate real sugar! Yes, I said sugar! If you are going to have it, make it REAL! My younger self did NOT need all of the scientifically derived versions of sugar. My body would’ve been ok with the real stuff if I was eating healthy the majority of the time and exercising. I’m not sure if dancing and drinking three nights a week counted??🤔

Learn how to do without every little thing that you thought you MUST HAVE, unless you have the money saved for it or you have extra in your budget. Trust me, there will be enough “emergencies” that will smack you down when you don’t have the money. You don’t need to compound the issue! Then you are forced to take extreme measures. Use credit cards the way they should be used- pay them off each and every month. And use a card with cash back (put it in savings!) or airline mileage so you can take that trip you dream of, without the extra burden of expensive flights!

And take that trip! Don’t say that you need to work more and you’ll travel when you get older. You just might be diagnosed with a disease that limits your ability to enjoy travel. And we don’t have a guarantee on our lifespans. Find the balance of work while also enjoying making memories with your loved ones and experiencing the beautiful planet we inhabit. Again, find the balance…

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There are so many things that we could all tell our younger selves. Many of the things I wouldn’t take back- they were learning lessons that molded me into the person I am now. But I also wish I would’ve listened to the wisdom of some of those who offered. What would you tell your younger self? Write it down and share with your children or a loved one of the next generation. Maybe they could learn a few things from you…

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BAIT!

PROTEIN pancakes!?! The word PROTEIN was all I needed to BAIT me into buying the mix and trying them! A girl can never miss an opportunity to get some more protein in (and not feel AS guilty when randomly wanting pancakes!) So today, I added blueberries and cinnamon, topped them with some good old peanut butter, and drizzled them with some pure maple syrup…and ate them for lunch! I knew that this combo of items (even if they are healthy) might just sit like a brick in my tummy, but I went for it anyway! And they did sit like a brick…three bricks as a matter of fact! HMMM..🤔
A few days ago… Nice sunny weather, no clouds in the sky, and lack of hurricane force winds, were BAIT to get outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery while doing something healthy for my body. It was so peaceful just being on my own, looking at Pikes Peak, and chatting with God. I had been using the crazy Spring weather and “being too busy” as excuses the past couple of weeks. By the way, this is GOOD BAIT!
That post on social media that just gets under your skin and BAITS you into engaging in a heated online argument. You might end up attacking someone personally and ultimately ending a friendship. Luckily, this hasn’t happened to me, but I know some that have experienced it! We all have triggers and some just can’t help themselves when hiding behind the safety of their screens.
The desire for more money, and the thought that making more, will make you happier and feel more satisfied in life. BAIT to focus only on work, work too many hours, disengage from your family and friends, buy that bigger house and more expensive car, only to realize your spouse and children feel ignored and unloved. Your overworked, tired, and have no deep relationships.
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A shiny new credit card with 0% interest on all purchases for 12 months. BAIT to get people to sign up, shop, and then possibly never pay it off before they can tack on a whole year’s worth of interest! Good bait for the credit card company, but bad bait for you! I personally, have never fallen into this trap in my lifetime. Ha!😝
Engaging commercial on TV stating that you can lease a brand new car for only $199 a month! BAIT to get you in the door, only to realize that the advertised price doesn’t include big money down, taxes, fees, or any model other than the base model! (It is all in that really tiny print at the bottom of the screen!) I did fall into this trap last week, but ended up making a financial decision that I feel really good about! And I have a brand new car with NO extra maintenance costs but gas🤩
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BAIT can be good or bad. I think that being diagnosed with MS was actually good BAIT for me in some ways. I needed to return my focus to living a healthier lifestyle and get rid of all the chemicals and fake sweeteners in my diet. I was more concerned about the calories than the negative side effects. This might not have been the reason for my disease, but it sure made me think about how to be as healthy a possible! Good bait is sometimes necessary in our lives, but are you keeping an eye out for the bad bait?
What kind of BAIT reels you in and gets you in a bad spot? I know that we have all been there at some point. That one little innocent thing that tempts you to just put your toe into the water. The “greatest sale ever” compelling you to go into a store, only to cause guilt, debt, or a broken budget? A casual drink with a friend, leading to an all out binger or further driving you into an addiction? An innocent online conversation with the opposite sex, leading to an inappropriate affair and broken marriage??
We need to be on the lookout for the traps. They are everywhere. Keep your eyes wide open. Protect your hearts. Be in prayer. Confide in close friends to keep you on track. Stop and think before you act. And ask, “Is it GOOD or BAD BAIT”?

Infusion Day

Infusion day! A once a month field trip to the hospital!

Many people have been asking about my disease and my treatment, so I’m going to throw it out there…

I am blessed that I am in the 85% of MS patients that have RRMS (relapsing remitting) For those of you with the Progressive form causing debilitating symptoms, I’m truly sorry.

After a year on Copaxone (an oldie) my brain scans were getting worse (more and more lesions) and I was having more symptoms. So my doc convinced me to go for the “big guns” and fight it with everything we could. I am not a medication girl, so it was a tough sell!

Well, I have been on Tysabri for about 3 years now. Aside from the $22,000/month price tag, and the possibility of getting a deadly brain virus, I am doing great on this med!🙏🏻 Exactly three years ago, I had dozens of lesions and one that was so big they thought it was a tumor on my Pons. My last MRI in September not only showed no new lesions, but it was difficult to find the large one on my Pons. Now they don’t even want another MRI until next year!

I am doing well. The med hasn’t caused any bad symptoms (that I’m aware of) and I’m praying that my neurologist will say I can get off all meds and “take my chances” with this disease by the time I’m 50! One can hope…💪🏻 Thank you to all who have reached out and who have been curious about my journey.

This disease needs a cure! So many people suffer with Multiple Sclerosis and it’s devastating affects on their bodies and brains. Here’s to the future!

Where are our coping skills?

Where are our coping skills??? Ugh! I find myself SMH (shaking my head) on a daily basis!

      What is going on in this world? Why are so many people unable to cope with life? What happened to “just put your big kid panties on and deal with it”?! Unable to deal with the pressure of school or the effects of bullying, teenagers are committing suicide at an alarming rate. And don’t even get me started on why bullies are bullies! That is a whole different blog post! People going on killing sprees because they are mad, disgruntled, ignored, or just for the sport of it. People lashing out with violence and profanity in the middle of so-called peaceful protests. And why are so many people marching about everything??? Yet another post;) Everyone fighting online. Rude people in stores and on the streets. Angry drivers in their cars making other “on edge” drivers mad and hunt them down, only to get in fights or crashes. People offended by anything and everything if it doesn’t align with their actions or opinions.
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     Liars, cheaters, and criminals seem to be all around us. Is it vaccines? GMOs? Lack of sunshine and exercise? Too much sugar? Lack of two parent households that are involved in their children’s daily lives? Why do some people seem to be able to roll with life’s punches and others seem to crack at the slightest bit of stress or trauma? It does seem like society is changing. And wow, do I ever sound old even talking about this!
     I would like to say that there is a simple answer – and I think I will say it– it is GOD! A relationship with GOD! I might get a lot of heat for saying it, but I truly believe that we can get through anything if we look to God. It doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. It doesn’t mean tragedies and traumatic events won’t touch us. It doesn’t mean we won’t get a chronic disease or lose loved ones to terminal illness. It doesn’t mean heartbreak, depression, or mental illness won’t affect us. But, it does mean that we will always have someone walking hand-in-hand with us through life’s challenges. There’s nothing that we can’t face if we have Him. And if we all had a relationship with God, wouldn’t it seem that this vicious cycle might slow down a bit?
      Yes, I said it. It might make me unpopular. You might choose not to “follow” me or my blog. But, I will forever CHOOSE to FOLLOW God. I think that our world needs HIM more than ever. May God bless you this week and may you seek to FOLLOW HIM.
*If you enjoyed this brief little post (or rant!) please follow my blog or on INSTAGRAM @thebuffgrandma. If you are offended by this post, please just move on and don’t feel the need to unleash the beast on me;)

Stealthy Workout (how to sneak in an effective little workout while stuck at home or work)

 

     Do you ever feel trapped behind your desk at work and think you have no time to workout? Do you find yourself sitting at home paying bills, reading, or cleaning, with no time to get some exercise? WRONG! You can sneak in a little workout. Just give me an hour. Gotcha! Not a full hour for the workout, just an hour when you know you are stuck at home or work and need a little “quickie” to get those endorphins going and blood flowing through your body. Then you’ll just need about 60 seconds every 10 minutes. Voila! You will have accumulated 45 push-ups and 45 squats! Enough to relieve some tension and stress, stimulate your nervous system, and feel a sense of accomplishment.
     Starting on the hour (your hour, not necessarily the clock’s hour) Warm up those legs by marching with knees high for 15 seconds, then do 15 squats or chair squats, based off your experience and strength. Wait about 10 minutes and wake up your upper body with 5 big arm circles in each direction, then do 15 push-ups. This can be against the wall for very beginner, a countertop, a desk, back of a couch, etc. Alternate between squats and push-ups approximately every 10 minutes, finishing the last set of push-ups at the top of the hour. Easy peasy! Nothing big or super difficult- just enough to get off that booty and do something good for your body and mind! There really are NO EXCUSES to not move your body!

There are no excuses in heaven…

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     Here’s the funny thing… the original title was going to be,“There ain’t no hangovers in Heaven” Oh wow, how does my mind even think of such things? 🤔 I have absolutely no idea, but somehow during the conversation with my grandma last night, it happened! I think it originated from her saying she had two beers the other evening while watching the basketball game and playing cards with the family (go Grandma!) She was surprised at herself and said that she never does that.  And I said, “Hey, at 91, why not just go for it?? You can’t get hangovers in heaven!” It made her laugh- hard! At least I can make one person laugh😛
     Somehow it started a snowball effect of random thoughts. And somehow I landed on EXCUSES (I did tell you that I have a somewhat damaged brain, right? The 182 voices can say many different things that aren’t related in any way whatsoever!)
     Oh boy, have I been bombarded with excuses from every angle this month! Professionally and personally. And I’ve caught myself dishing out some good ones, too!
     Are you good (or bad) at giving excuses? Excuses come out of our mouths for many reasons.  Don’t get me wrong- there can most definitely be valid excuses for things. I’m not talking about those. You know the kind of excuses I’m talking about. The excuses that limit your growth and potential in every aspect of life. The excuses that keep you from reaching your goals. If you sometimes find yourself feeling like a hot mess, or know someone who can dish out excuses for anything, then please read on!  If you’re not an excuse maker, you can skip this post and pass it along to someone who needs it;)
     Many excuses are just the reasons people spout out to make themselves feel better about why they DID or DIDN’T do or say something. They are used to justify behavior or actions that DID or DIDN’T happen. Excuses are all encompassing reasons that we all give ourselves or other people when we are trying to divert fault, rationalize and blame outside influences, ignore personal responsibility, avoid doing something we don’t want to do, etc.
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     In our business we hear a lot of excuses. One common joke is that personal trainers get paid to hear excuses. But we have to encourage people and push them past those excuses, often giving them other options (sometimes it is really hard to think of how to refute an excuse!) Excuses most definitely get in people’s way of achieving their health and fitness goals, but excuses also find a way into almost every part of our lives. What are you allowing to suffer because of your excuses? Your health/exercise? Your weight? Your sleep? Spending quality time with your kids or spouse? Getting out of debt? Showing up at work on time? Excelling in a job? Finishing your education? A broken relationship? Your mental health? Fighting an addiction? Procrastination? Laziness? The way you treat others? Blaming others for your life circumstances instead of taking responsibility for change?
      Excuses can be toxic to many facets of our lives. They not only keep us from achieving a goal, but can lead to regret. We only have one life, and today might be the last day to live that life without excuses. What are you waiting for? Heaven? There are no excuses there; why not live for the here and now? Live the life you are capable of and enjoy the gift of another day given to you by God.
     The next time you catch yourself in an excuse to not do something, not change a behavior, or justify something, try giving yourself an opposite “excuse”. If you have a negative thought, try to counter it with a positive. Set attainable goals. Prioritize your daily tasks. Find someone to hold you accountable. Find a workout partner that counts on you. Set two alarms. Get up 20 minutes earlier. Research the things you don’t understand. Do not settle on an excuse. Make an effort. Challenge yourself. Take personal responsibility!!! See what happens…because you are worth it!
     And if you have someone in your life that always gives you excuses, and those excuses have turned into habitual excuses or lies, do yourself a favor- RUN!
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Contact Buff Grandma for more help on overcoming excuses. I am a Christian Life Coach and Professional Fitness Trainer. Please SHARE, FOLLOW, and LIKE BuffGrandma!