Little Miss Excuseopotamus

Darn you little miss Excuseopotamus…

The Excuseopotamus is an elusive creature that scurries around our lives without detection. It is wrapped in a disguise of reasons and explanations, but when you strip away the hogwash you’re left with a monster beast of epic proportions. You see this tiny creature is actually a gargantuan, an ogre, a run as fast as you can to escape from it sort of thing. Don’t let the Excuseopotamus confuse you, it’s not your cuddly warm fuzzy friend, it’s an evil foe to be slayed like a fire breathing dragon.

My Excuseopotamus has got the best of me this year, that sneaky little she-devil. I was going to start “running” this year, I swear I was, (raises right hand) truly I had every intention of enjoying the fresh air and “running”. I really really was going to “run”, but…. it was too hot, cold, windy, sunny, rainy, earthy, sinusy… EXCUSEOPOTAMUS.   Truth be told I chose to sit on my but and drink wine instead of “running”. What happened, I Excuseopotamused myself. It’s okay, I’ve figured out how this creature works.
This year I was going to focus on my writing. I really truly honestly for sure was. Then I became a sensitive artist and talked myself right out of writing. I can’t do it, I just can’t, sniffle, poor me. How can I ever compete with all of these other amazing authors. I suck, whine, whine… ooh wine, I love wine. I should drink wine instead of write. EXCUSEOPOTAMUS ATTACK…. run! Truth be told I made the choice to not write and spend hours watching Netflix. Yup poor me and 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (totally forgot Seth Green was in this, hello middle school crush that never left).
It’s a Tuesday like any other Tuesday except for one tiny fact. Today is the day that I package up my Excuseopotamus and ship it to the Arctic Circle. I send it with a one way ticket, holes punched in the box of course, and a pledge forget what that pesky little thing ever looked like. Today, rain is something to dance in, not something to hide from.
I want to encourage you to tell your Excuseopotamus to move on and ship it. You have an amazing life to live without the weight of a 1 million billion trillion ton beast. Honestly who wants to stand on a scale and see any extra weight. Free yourself and do your thing girl.
Brooke
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The Cure for any Breakup, Layoff, or Bad Day

Let’s face it bad days happen. Boys dump us, our boss is a witch with a capital B, and our dog ran away… again. Man, even our dogs hate us. These days are unavoidable. No matter how hard we try to chipper up and put on our big girl pants, days of suckage abound slamming into us like a freight train now and again. Since there is nothing we can do to dodge this speeding bullet, the best we can do is deal with it. You’ve come to the right place because I have the perfect cure for your summer time life is awful boys suck blues.

Wallow Break Up Chick Flick

Wallow… that’s right I want you to wallow and wallow so epically that they will consider making it an Olympic Sport. Now before you go all, I am woman hear me roar, hear me out. Because I might just convert you to a wallower by the end of this scheduled programming.

Here’s the scenario I want you to consider. You are driving home in a parking lot that once was the interstate, wishing beyond wishes that the jerk in front of you would stop riding his brakes. Then, ding ding, text message. You glance at it, it’s from your sweetie pie. Since your aren’t going anywhere anytime soon you decide to go ahead and read it (side note: don’t text and drive). “Hey Gurl, it’s been fun, but I don’t think this is working out. It’s not you it’s me. You’ll find a guy that deserves you.” Are you kidding? That’s right, you just got dumped via text in the middle of the highway…. heart broken.

Your friends are going to tell you to go out, forget him, he was a jerk anyway. That’s not an entirely bad idea, but what it does is mask that crappy feeling in the pit of your stomach. You feel like crap, he was a jerk, but you need time to feel all those crappy emotions. So ask the girls for a short raincheck and follow this game plan instead.

Go home and start by putting on the baggiest comfiest pjs or sweats you own. Order in mass quantities of takeout: Chinese, pizza, sushi, hot wings… really anything that will deliver to your location. Now plop your happy butt on the sofa or in bed and commence Operation Wallow. Fill your belly with junk of epic proportions. Ice cream, M&M’s, soft pretzels, nachos… whatever guilty pleasures you normally deprive yourself of so you can fit into your skinny jeans. Do this while watching heart wrenching chick flicks and romantic comedies. “If you’re a bird I’m a bird.” “You complete me.” “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love me.” Cry. Not a sniffle sniffle cry, but a full blown ugly faced cry. Heck watch yourself ugly cry in the mirror, we’ve all done it.

Then go to bed and sleep off your sugar hangover. When the sun comes up it’s a new day. No more tears over what’s his jerk. No more binge eating your feelings away. No more hiding in the darkness of your room watching Twilight for the 15th time. Get up, shower, put on something sassy. Do your makeup, spoil yourself with an awesome shade of butter lipstick by Nyx. Feel fabulous today, leaving all your negative juju in yesterday. Call your girlfriends and take them up on their dance party invitation.

When something craptastic happens we all deserve a wallow day to truly feel those junky feelings. Thus freeing us for a clean slate in the morning.

Today is a fresh step forward, no looking in the rearview mirror, today is to fabulous to miss even a moment of it.

 

Brooke

Fitness Friday: Goals and Accountability

Running Gear

We aren’t what we eat, but we are the choices we make. What are your choices saying about you?

Personally my choices don’t always reflect the type of person I want to be, or know that I can be. If I eat Taco Bell every meal for a month, I won’t turn into a tap dancing Dorito’s Taco. However the choice to eat Taco Bell with that kind of frequency will surly not result in the toned body I’m looking for. My choice to skip running because it’s a little to humid outside isn’t a huge deal, or is it? My choice to make an excuse about something I’m scared to fail at, only makes my failure a reality. See I can’t run, no… I’m not running there for I’m not getting any better. It’s really REALLY hard to run a mile when my butt is stuck on the sofa watching ABC Family, don’t judge me.

The beautiful and always stylish Ivete from Girl in a Hot City asked me two days in a row this week how exactly my running was coming along. I explained that it was going slow, very slow actually, like snail going in reverse slow. It’s time for a little blogger accountability here people, I hadn’t started. Yup, I had successfully freaked myself out of doing it for nearly a week. I’m not proud of that choice, but a good thing about choices, is we can always change them, and that’s exactly what I did.

The running training schedule I posted last week sort of overwhelmed me, how do I know when I’ve gone 1/16 of a mile. I don’t run on a track, I make it easy and use my good ole neighborhood sidewalks. That’s when my big brain started thinking, how can I make this super scary goal more achievable? How can I make it just a wee bit easier? That’s when I turned to my iTunes to create a playlist, one long 23 min MP3 that I created to make it easier for me to know when to run and walk. I was feeling all girl powered up when I created this track, so all the artists featured on this Training Track are powerful ladies.

Here’s how it works. I will include a link below where you can download the track I created. It’s a single long track where you change your pace each time the song changes. Since I’m probably explaining this wonky, let me get into a little more detail.

Week 1: Ladies Week Running Training Music (download)

Song 1: Warm up, just to get your muscles and blood flowing.

Song 2: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 3: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 4: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 5: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 6: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 7: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 8: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 9: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 10: Cool Down

I’ve tried this out and it works great. I don’t have to worry about checking a timer to see how long I’ve been running. I don’t have a robotic woman shouting in my ears how far I’ve gone. I just listen to the music and go. The music is fun and it really helps the time to fly by. I still used my Endomondo App to track my time, distance, etc.. but I wasn’t focused on the app itself while running. I simply put my phone in my pocket and went with it.

Interested in how I’ve been doing since my choice change, you can check it out here.

Remember you are the choices you make. Each time you do something it sets you on a path. If you are on a path towards an end results that doesn’t work for you, change it. It’s never to late to change your mind and change your life. A setback is a setback is a setback, they happen. We can’t avoid them, but we aren’t perfect, so we have to learn from them. One questionable decision does not a failed goal make. So shake off the negative setback juju and get excited to start working towards your goals. For me the proverbial mountain I’m trying to climb is being able to run a mile without stopping.

What is a goal you’ve set where you’ve encountered setbacks?

Brooke

 

 

Signs You May Be A Control-A-Holic

Control copy

 

I would like to come clean right here and now, I am a recovering control-a-holic. I’m not proud of it, but I have spent the better part of my nearly 30 years as a micromanaging control freak.

Hey you, yes you the one in the shirt reading this post, don’t read it while holding your head like that. You’ll stress your neck bone and get a migraine and not get your stuff done and have to take yucky medicine and and and…..(controlling hyperventilation starting now…)

Often times my controlling dictations began as what I ignorantly called, helpful suggestions. However, if my suggestion went ignored I pushed a little, then a little bit harder, until finally my frustrated head was spinning around spewing green goo. At it’s worst festering point everything I said was one of those unwanted forceful “helpful” (inset major air quotes) suggestions. Imagine my surprise when my family and friends got more than a little sick of it all.

Duh, I know right.

10 Signs You Might Be A Control-a-Holic

1. No one can accomplish any task without you adding your 2 cents, but of course you know exactly how to install a circuit breaker control panel… you saw it on YouTube once.

2. Your children can’t function without you directing them precisely what to do… freedom of thought, what, when did that start? “Mom what do you want me to do?” “Okay, what do you want me to do now?” “And now, now what do you want me to do?”

3. Your husband/boyfriend/manfriend, cringes when you use the word “suggestion” “thought” or the phrase “can I say something?” How could the possibly think they no how to do anything better? You’re only trying to help them get the job done quicker, better, smarter, etc etc.

4. When your gal pal asks for relationship advice you dictate a 25 page monologue, insisting she take notes. Then you email, text, Facebook, Tweet, and smoke signal her hourly to make sure she is following the “Relationship Rules” you outlined for her.

5. You’ve booted Father Time and taken control of all that is scheduling.  4pm- snack time, 4:25pm potty break, 5:00pm movie time (your choice of course), 6pm dinner (you don’t care what it is as long as it’s exactly what you want), 7pm-dinner clean up (plates facing to the left in the dishwasher and the glasses at a perfect diagonal)…..What time is breathing scheduled?

6. If someone helps you out by completing chores/tasks, you follow behind and redo it to your specifications. Heck no we don’t fold socks in this house, by gosh we roll them. “So you’ll roll’em and you’ll like it mister.”

7. People tense when you are around, it’s of course because they respect you. Not so much, that tense up, stand a  tension, is called fear not respect. People tense and walk on egg shells because they don’t want to hear the fallout from displeasing you by drying their hands on the wrong towel.

8. You are quick to point out others mistakes and turn a blind eye to yours. You told them not to frost the holiday cookies like that and now look what happened. See the house exploded because they mopped vertically instead of horizontally, you told them so. Billy cheated, well you told her he was a loser, but did she listen to you, noooo. Sure enough everyone’s lives would be so much easier if they just listened to you in the first place.

9. You wear the sexy panties, therefore you decide when the sheets get some playtime. Your man is left groveling, begging, and getting shot down in the bedroom. Those who wear the panties dictate sexy sexy time, leaving frustrated unhappy men in their wake.

10. You’ve made a store clerk cry.  How dare he think cans and boxes can go in the same bag. It’s not that hard she should know of every single item in the big box store that is one sale. The nerve. Suddenly you see red and all basic kindness goes right out the window, but they should have known better. ( I actually watched this on go down today over a Rainbow Loom, the poor cashier was in tears.)

Bonus: You talk things to death, because if you say it a 12th time in the 4th different way they will really understand. A topic that should take 2 min, “Hey sweetie can you please shut the fridge door when your done.” Turns into, “Lauren what did I tell you, when you leave the fridge door open after getting your juice box the electricity bill goes up and you kill the earth. Do you want to be a murderer little Lauren. Because if you….” (Keep on talking because they aren’t listening.)

If any or all of these sound like you, take a deep breath, we can get through this. Check in next week as I share great ways to tackle the control-o-holic monster. You too can decrease the stress of control and ease the tension of those around you. It’s never to late to turn over a new leaf and enjoy each and every day to the fullest. After all, today is here and now, get out there and live it.

 

Brooke

Fitness Work In Progress Photos (1)

Anything you want to do today kiddo, you name it!

I want to go to the pool!!

Do you want to go get ice cream…… NO

Do you want to go to the park… NO

Do you want to ride bikes….. NO

The pool…… YES

Gulp….pool. The most dreaded combination of 7 (or 6 depending on how your brain works) words ever constructed. Pool means hot PTA moms, with hot gym bunny bodies, and epically beach wavy hair. What do I bring to the lounge chair? 15+ extra pounds of fluff squeezed into a purple sausage casing (er bikini) and hair the doesn’t hold a curl in this darn Midwest humidity. Sigh. Why oh why did the word pool have to be brought up? Oh that’s right it’s June, 90+ degrees, and it’s the last place I want to be.

So that leads me here doing something I never in a million years thought I would do. Posting “work in progress” pictures. Not my before pictures, because there isn’t a set destination. I’m not going to magically be done and be able to take after pictures. I will always be a work in progress, always working towards a healthier life, because even a Doritos binge is a stepping stone. Every second is a choice: do I go the sassy healthy path or the easy comfortable path? The comfortable path is going to push me out of a jean size and into further bikini phobias; while the sassy path will help take me where I long to be. Seems like an easy enough decision right? Sure if I didn’t love Taco Tuesday with the intensity of a thousand ghost chilies.

So here they are… The cold hard facts in black and white. Proof of what a long period of excuses will get you. A whole lot of sucking in.

06062014 back 06062014 Front

Date: 6/6/2014

Height: 5’4″

Weight: 135.8

BMI: 23.3 ( I used this basic BMI calculator)

I believe out of habit I sucked in my stomach, but hey long time habits are hard to break. I look forward to the day I don’t have to suck it in.

 

Brooke

Awe Shorts… So This Happened Today

Awe Shorts

Summer has torn into my part of the world like crazed tweens at a One Direction concert; hormonal, rabid and a little bit unstable. Summer storms yesterday gave way to heat paired with dreaded midwest humidity. Humidity so strong that this inhaler loving asthmatic got winded simply by walking across a parking lot. It’s pretty embarrassing when I’m out of breath and the little old lady next to me is trucking along like a marathon runner. Asthma, successfully lowering self-esteem one humidity infested heatwave at a time.

The jeans I wore didn’t help matters much, jeans + midwest summers =  really really bad idea. So why did I buck all logic and pull on my trusty pair of “go to” jeans… well there is a simple answer to that. Prison break. My thighs were trying rather victoriously to break through the fabric prison of my shorts. The shorts held their own though, keeping the angry thighs of doom confined with painful red lines and accented cellulite dimples. The look was fabulous really (not really, not really at all) but I figured as fun as it would be splitting my pants like Bruce Banner, I’d pass. Hulk mad smash. Frustrated I tossed the shorts behind a pile of sweaters, no point in letting them see the light of day anytime soon.

That single event led me to near hyperventilation, dehydration and heat stroke in about half an hour flat. Since Pinteresting “DIY vacuum lip0suction” was probably out of the question, I opted to do what every woman (no matter your age) hates doing. Now keep in mind I’m not a fan of the word hate, it’s a rather strong word that should be used as sparingly as possible, but in this instance it fits. I absolutely hate with the fiery rage of a thousand suns having to buy a larger size in anything. Except maybe bras, but lets me honest I have yet to have that problem. Begrudgingly I tried on my current size shorts, then huffed and puffed around the small fitting room trying to get the things to button. No dice, couldn’t make that happen, even if I could ignore the fact the shorts were cutting off circulation to my ankles. Sigh next size up, winner… well crap.

The truth was in the fabric. I couldn’t deny it anymore. I can’t deny it now as I type this confession… I have eaten my way up a pant size. Poor decisions written all over the shorts, the receipt, the shopping bag.. all of it. Grumble, grumble, but I really love cheesecake, grumble. This will be the only, repeat ONLY summer in this size of shorts. By the end of this summer, those shorts will be donated to the local Goodwill. This isn’t a buzz kill or setback, nope my shorts misadventure is just another stepping stone towards where I want to be. Motivation in denim. But still.

Awe Shorts.

Brooke

The Final Straw

I’ve done this a million times, okay maybe not a million, but I’ve done it A LOT. Started a blog… quit. Set out to lose weight… quit. Said I wanted to make changes…. quit. Swore off Diet Coke…quit. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line I became a big ole quitter. When times get tough, I revert back to what’s easy peasy. This time… this time things have to be different.

I escaped from the city over the weekend and enjoyed 4 days tucked away by the lake. It was relaxing, it was allergy filled, it was… a large cosmic slap upside the head of reality. At the end of the day when I look in the mirror I’m just not happy with me. Inside and out I’m not the person I want to be.

Let’s start with the outside, since my little hambone was born I’ve carried around an extra 15 pounds. Truth is it’s not baby weight, my baby just turned 7. He didn’t force me to eat my weight in tacos. He didn’t drag me from the dinner table to partake in seconds. Oh no it’s not baby weight, it’s bad decisions weight. That weight hides not so well EVERYWHERE. My thighs are showing dimples, my arm keeps waving when I stop, and my once flat stomach has taken on a mind of it’s own.”Ruuuuuuunnnnn, the blob…. it’s coming.” The icing on the cake (mmmm cake) came this weekend while standing on the dock in a bikini waiting for Hambone to get in the chilly lake water. In short… he took FOREVER, leaving me exposed for the world to see in a bikini that wasn’t flattering since I bought it a long time ago. As I urged him to please hurry up and get in, it actually crossed my mind to toss his slow moving behind into the water. He was wearing a lifejacket so it would have been totally fine, right? With the logic being, the faster he gets in the faster I get in. That was it, the final straw… I can’t go another weekend feeling like that. I don’t want to crawl in my own skin anymore and I don’t want a ticked of 7 year old.

As for the inside, that’s a bit more complicated, but I’m sure it is for everyone. Bluntly put, I am a worry wart wrapped up in chicken little syndrome. I stress out A LOT, because that’s how I’ve always done it. Honestly, that’s the only explanation I have, I’ve always been a stressed. Stressed myself out so much in fact that I worried myself right into 5 years of panic attacks, but that’s another post all together. The point is I worry myself sick and that easily brings down those around me. When I worry and stress I pick at those closest me. I’m afraid to say that when I don’t know what to do, I bark out orders. I uh don’t know how to handle this so uh go clean your room. Not exactly the best way to enjoy life or to help others enjoy life. That’s what this is about, enjoying life and pushing away all the minor stressing and worrying. Contrary to popular belief the sky isn’t actually falling and even if it were that’s what we have Bruce Willis for.

So that brings me here, airing my dirty laundry for the world to see… making myself accountable. Today June 3, 2014 is day one of 365 days of changing who I am. Setting goals and achieving them, while enjoying the challenge. No  more quitting, no more wanting to shove a 7 year old in a lake and no more rough around the edges. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but I want to do this for me. I want to feel good with who I am and how I make those around me feel.

Welcome to me…

photo-34

Brooke