Before and After can be a Painful Reminder

The picture above is me on July 4th, 2013 vs me on July 4th 2017 (minus at least 40 lbs.)

One thing that I have mentioned a lot so far on my blog is how a few years back I lost 40 lbs, after completing a New Year’s Resolution in 2015. Losing weight and becoming wellness focused is a brink of midnight moment in my life that has changed me in mind, body, and spirit, (also check out the Brink of Midnight podcast if you are looking for some new motivational podcasts).

Now, losing weight, or a certain number on the scale has taken a back seat to other goals and dreams. I can tell without weighing myself if I am making healthy choices or not, and can feel changes in my body without stepping on a scale.

What I haven’t gotten over is looking at old pictures of myself. And now our phones and facebook constantly remind us what we looked at in years past. If I come across an old picture thoughts creep into my head like:

Ew I can’t believe I walked around like that

How did I let myself go so badly

I just look sad and can tell how uncomfortable I was

Why didn’t anyone tell me I looked to fat

It’s the sad uncomfortable truth. I can say that I have gotten into a habit of trying to immediately change my mindset when these negative thoughts come into my head. Having such negative about yourself, even your past self, is completely toxic, so I try to pivot them into thoughts like:

How lucky am I to have people around me that love me no matter what I look like

My body has to be so happy it’s not carrying around dead weight

Think about how much longer and happier life you will live

Look how far I have come

Kado in 2014 vs Kado 6 monthes into 2015 -30 lbs.

Although most of the time I have moved on from anything resembling my past unhealthy lifestyle, I still feel pain when I look at pictures from my heavier days. What really spurred this recently was putting on an old shirt on the Fourth of July. I don’t own many articles of clothing that are older than a year or two. I really purged everything that doesn’t fit. Thank you Plato’s closet.

There was a time when I planned on stashing a few pairs of my old pants at my mom’s house, just in case I gained the weight back. I’m so glad my mom didn’t let me, and reassured me that I would never turn back to that unhealthy of a lifestyle. The pants are really a metaphor for letting go of the past and looking into the future.

So almost everything that didn’t fit I purged, but hey, I had to save my trustee old American flag shirt. I mean it always comes in handy once a year. Well I put it on this year and thought back to an old photo I cringe at. The stringy sides of my shirt are completely pulled tight and I just see all the weight in my face. Now this shirt is actually baggy and I can really see the changes in my waist and face.

I think I look alot healthier and active in my most recent picture. Which makes me realize that in another couple years when I look back at pictures, I will thank myself for making healthier choices, rather than continuing the path that I was on. So like the clothes I purged, I need to purge the negative thoughts, because they don’t fit anymore.

Overall what I have realized about looking at old pictures is that I need to let go of the past and look forward to the progress I will make as an active healthy life eventually pays off.

What are your thoughts on before and after pictures? Let me know in the comments.

Let go of the past and look towards the future,

-Kado

Weekend Reflection and Recap: Grateful

I’m sitting down on this Sunday night, just wanting to share how grateful I am for this life, by recapping my weekend. When life undoubtedly gets stressful, I can always go back to this moment just to recognize how much I have to be thankful for.

My Husband and I have been in a routine I like to call “Zen Sundays”. Basically we relax, light candles, I usually take a bath, give foot rubs, and take a zen attitude about going to work and school on Monday.

This Sunday evening I feel grateful that I have a job that I can make money at for tomorrow, a beautiful house, an amazing and kind husband, time to spend with family and friends, health, and fitness. I could keep listing, but the point is this Sunday evening is not just “Zen Sunday”, it is also “Grateful Sunday”.

Friday: I am a substitute teacher so usually I just see kids for one or two days then move on to the next classroom. I accepted somewhat of a long term sub job with first graders, which is a whole different world. 6 and 7 year olds require so much compassion and patience, so this has been a good challenge for me. I got to do Cinco de Mayo activities with them on Friday and since I will be with them next week too, I am getting them up and moving, using GoNoodle activities all them time. Feeling fulfilled in your job is priceless.

I get home on Friday, after a day commuting an hour each back and forth, feeling a bit drained but my brother is here to stay the night! If you have ever lived away from home, you may know what a gift it is to get to see your family, even for just one evening. Together we walked to Michael’s mexican restaurant in the Old Market of Omaha. We had a great evening, I took my brother and his friend past Warren Buffett’s house, which is really just a typical house. It was a fitting tourist attraction, since they were in town for the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder’s meeting.

Saturday: Speaking of the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder’s meeting, my Saturday morning started off early, 4:30 in the morning to be exact. You see I told my brother and his friend I would drive them to the meeting so that they could get in line first, to get a spot to see Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger speak. As hard as it was initially to get up, driving them to the meeting was interesting and I got to see 18,000 other people heading towards downtown with the same excitement.

I did end up getting to go back to bed for a few hours, but I woke up made a lovely breakfast later. My husband and I had agreed to help lay mulch down at our in-laws. Now I’m not going to lie, this was hard work and sucked a little bit. But it was a great chance to be outside, getting dirty and be helpful. Will and I put in three good hours of work, which we can feel today, and I officially got my first sunburn of the year.

My brother-in-law, Hector, who uses a wheelchair asked if he could spend some time at my house. I was at first reluctant, Hector is very energetic and I was in no mood to entertain after all the yard work, but agreed he could come over as long as he didn’t complain if he was bored. I have had Hector stay at my house many times, but this is the first where we had access to a van that could transport his powerchair (motorized wheelchair).

When we got home I made the salsa that I had meaning to make for the last two days. I had fresh cilantro, jalapeños, and tomatoes in the fridge that I did not want to go to waste. I also ended up making some guacamole, which turned out great. Perfect afternoon pre-run snack.

I am glad Hector came over because he motivated me to go out for a run.  I was feeling bad because I missed a run this week, and felt like I was making up excuses and losing momentum on my half marathon training. I always knew that training for a half marathon would be time consuming, and I am really starting to learn the sacrifices that need to be made in order to stay the path. It’s hard to say no to friends, or skip netflix binges, just to make time for a run, but I’m learning to prioritize.

I asked hector if he would like to follow along for a 5 or 6 mile run. Hector was very excited to go with me and agreed to be my waterboy. I wasn’t sure how well this would work as far as him keeping up with me…

…Well, this worked out great because little did I know, Hector’s powerchair can go at the speed of a 7 minute mile, which I definitely don’t pace at in my long runs! Hector is also the funniest little ball of energy, and was not shy about cheering me on going up big hills, or when I started to slow down. I have officially given him the title of my running coach.

The best part about my run was that even after I made it to 5 miles, and then 6 miles I kept going. The end of my run was at a bit of an incline, but I just kept telling myself that I was almost there and that Hector was right there with me when I reach 7 miles.

I’m back on track after the 7 miles. I had the greatest runner’s high after. In order to complete this run, I had to turn down going to a friend’s going away party, which was really hard.

When we got back to my house, Hector took a short nap. Will says I actually tired him out which is no easy feat.

My Saturday evening consisted of taking a long Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt bath, meditating, stretching out, doing a Neutrogena Light Therapy mask and going to bed early. It felt so rewarding.

Sunday: Again I made a great breakfast for Hector, Will, and I, to start the day. Having time to wake up and do this is one of my favorite parts of weekends.

Being in the midwest, the first weekend of May is also a first weekend for Farmer’s Market. Our good friends invited us to go with them to the Omaha Farmer’s Market, which was so lovely to walk around and take in the people and booths.

I ended up getting some Rhubarb, a Basil plant, a Ghost Pepper plant, and a Jalapeño Pepper Plant. Although the pepper plants may have been an ambitious undertaking, I am going to try my best and yield a crop. Besides they were only a dollar each. Expectations were low but if this is possible the peppers will eventually be a great addition to my homemade salsa.

After walking around in the most perfect, 75 degrees and sunny weather, we grabbed a coffee from Jones Bros Cupcakes, which I had never tried before, but would recommend. They even had Nitro Cold Brew coffee, which I was pretty excited about. We ended up back at our friends playing a few games of Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros (which I won!).

After that Will took his Sunday afternoon nap, which is his bliss. I went for a walk in the 80 degree weather in the city, which is my bliss.

While on my walk, I found myself listening to a great podcast conversation, Waking up with Sam Harris, Episode #74: What Should We Eat?A Conversation with Gary Taubes. If you are not familiar With Gary Taubes, he wrote the book  Good Calorie, Bad Calorie, which I have read, but this podcast was a great synopsis of the information in is book. As you may have figured out from my last post, I am obsessed with podcasts, so this is my official recommendation of the week.

I ended up finding a quiet green space where I sat for a bit, and then my mom happened to call. Again, keeping in touch with family from states away is important to me so having a long phone call where we recapped our weekends was so great.

After a little meal prep and hanging out with my pet rabbit, Diablo on my balcony, I am here. Waiting for laundry to be done, eating rhubarb crisp and writing a blog post. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Plus I have this week to look forward to. I am going to Chance the Rapper’s concert, his musically is undeniably positive and puts me in a good mood. I will see some old friends at the concert. And Joanna Jedrzejczyk fights at UFC 211, and she is one of my favorite fighters! And such a beast!

One thing I am going to try and improve on this week is my sleep. Sleep, is the time that you make “gains”, so I must not neglect it as I have this past week.

As you can see I have lots to be grateful for and looking forward to, enjoy your “Grateful Sunday”.

 

 

You are the average of your top 5 podcasts: Motivational Podcast Recommendations

Jim Rohn said that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. If this is true, what about the people you listen to have hours of conversations?

For me, as a major consumer of podcasts, I have found that I often listen to podcasters talk more than people I spend time with. So I try to listen to podcasts not only for entertainment purposes but also knowledge and inspiration.

Podcasts are a huge part of my day, every morning I download new episodes from my favorites so that I can consume content on my hour long commute, during my walk to class, workout, and at night when I cook dinner.

You may spend an hour, at least, everyday playing music, or listening to the radio intermittently. If you replaced this time with a podcast, you are really opening yourself up to others’ knowledge, and experiences. Especially if you’re listening to podcasts produced by motivational people.

I really dived into the podcast world three years ago, when stuck working a desk job for 20 hours on weekends (10 hours Saturday and 10 hours Sunday, talk about sedentary). The time that I had to sit for so long in a desk to support myself became so much less grueling when I started to listen to podcasts and fill myself up with knowledge. Not to mention my walks got longer when I got home because I was so consumed with finishing an episode hearing about people’s stories.

The podcasts that I listen to today, heavily influenced my own worldview. I do feel as though I am a product of the podcasts that I consume and I would like to make the recommendation of the motivational podcasts below, so that you too can pass the time in a more productive way.

 

The Joe Rogan Experience

This was a gateway for me into the podcast world. It’s not surprising when you realize how widespread The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) is, making it one of the most popular podcasts on itunes. You may know Joe Rogan as the comedian who was the host of Fear Factor and is now the long time commentator of the UFC. After listening to his podcast you will realize he a just an incredibly motivated and introspective dude.

His podcasts are long form, like three hours long, and you can find episodes that vary from talking about conspiracy theories with Alex Jones and Eddie Bravo, to talking to professional athletes like Lance Armstrong and Arian Foster, to interviewing PhD’s like Neil Degrasse Tyson.

As you can see the great thing about JRE is that there is a guest to suit almost everyone’s interests. I have played this podcast for my father-in-law and my younger brother (that’s a 50 year age gap), and they both found these conversations fascinating.

I have mentioned before in past posts the influence that listening to this podcast has had on me: from trying bikram yoga, to becoming a huge MMA fan. I have gotten many people on the JRE grind, (as I like to call it). Joe Rogan is an OG podcaster, and JRE was my gateway podcast drug.

 

Recommended episodes to get started: Any of the above mentioned episodes. If you need a laugh, and some crazy stories, any episode with Joey Diaz as a guest. If you want to get deep listen to an Episode with Sam Harris. If you want to learn, really learn, check out all the episode with Dr. Rhonda Patrick. My mom particularly found the episode with Leah Remini talking about scientology interesting. I could go on and one, but just start looking for a guest you want to hear, and prepare to train all day, Joe Rogan Podcast all night…

 

The Rich Roll Podcast

Rich Roll’s Website describes him as:

“A graduate of Stanford University and Cornell Law School, Rich is a 50-year old, accomplished vegan ultra-endurance athlete and former entertainment attorney turned full-time wellness & plant-based nutrition advocate, popular public speaker, husband, father of 4 and inspiration to people worldwide as a transformative example of courageous and healthy living.”

Rich Roll and his guests will inspire your fitness game and your plant power. Rich talks to a plethora of people in the wellness community from high level athletes, meditation gurus, vegan advocates and famous MD’s.

Even if you are not a vegan or ultramarathoner, you will find the conversations that Rich Roll has fascinating. He has a great interviewing style, really more like a conversation, and you will feel invigorated to do something for your health and wellness after listening.

Recommended episodes to get started: The Travis Barker episode 269! Robin Arzón, episode 230. Kerri Walsh Jennings, episode 262. Wude, episode 87.

These are really my personal favorites, and I can’t recommend them enough.

Here is where you can find them all in addition to itunes.

Bulletproof Radio

 

Dave Asprey is the biohacking guru that created the Bulletproof Diet, and Bulletproof Coffee

This is another podcast that you might have to take notes on as it is information filled in every episode. This is a podcast that I more recently discovered, but I really can’t wait to get into the archives and explore the experts that Dave has talked to. Some of the topics you can dive deep into on this podcast are ketosis, gut health, microhabitats, and fasting.

Soul on Fire Podcast

Jordan Younger is the author of The Balanced Blonde, a famous blog of all things wellness. Although this is a newer podcast, I haven’t missed an episode. If you are like me and follow all the yoga, health and wellness peeps on instagram, you will be so excited to finally get to hear them talk and answer questions with Jordan for an hour.

A common theme with the Soul on Fire podcast is following your passions and entrepreneurship. This podcast has been really inspirational for me as a blogger, and listening to her guests wellness hacks has already turned me onto some new lifestyle habits.

Recommended episodes to get started: Sophie Jaffe, Episode 3. Kathryn Budig, Episode 9. Emily Nolan, Episode 16.

You can download them all from itunes Here

Aubrey Marcus Podcast

Aubrey Marcus is the CEO of ONNIT, that’s O-N-N-I-T…(You’ll get it once you listen to as much JRE as I do)

Onnit is a “human optimization” company based out of Austin, Texas. Aubrey lives a crazy motivational lifestyle, as he said in the above episode, he didn’t make a health company because he was the healthiest person in the world, he made it because he aspires to be healthy (I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist).

This is really more than a fitness podcast, and Aubrey has some really interesting guests along with some solo casts. The thing I love about this podcast is that Aubrey puts himself out there, whether it is talking about his open relationship with the smoking-hot, Whitney Miller or doing a spoken word that is in the above episode, which I loved by the way. Aubrey is a little out there with his world views, and is constantly explaining his inner talk with his ego. By listening to his podcast you’re really opening yourself up to some new ideas and motivations.

Recommended episodes to get started: Three Strategies to make 2017 your B***h, Episode 27, Joe Rogan. Episode 81, Trials and Triumphs of Open Relationships. Episode 68, Brendan Schaub– Submitting the Ego. Episode 85, Streetfights, a Balanced Life, and Man Stuff with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

Watch on his Youtube channel or download on itunes

Tim Ferriss Show

If you’re not already listening to the Tim Ferriss Show, or if you haven’t heard of the four hour work week, what have you been doing?

Tim Ferriss is a human experiment, and I simply cannot do this podcast justice by explaining to you how much knowledge and inspiration it holds, especially for aspiring entrepreneurs. So, I will quote exactly how Tim Ferriss describes his podcast on his website.

“Each episode, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use.  This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.”

Tim Ferriss has some really high profile guests, and like he says he dives into their routines, habits and tricks. These are exactly the things that wellness obsessed people like myself want to know!

Recommended episodes to get started: My personal favorite guest are Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Robbins, and Chris Sacca. (all huge names, all hugely successful)

Watch his youtube or download on itunes

FoundMyFitness

 

I found FoundMyFiness from being completely fascinated by the many appearances that Dr. Rhonda Patrick has made on JRE. Rhonda Patrick will fill your brain with all sorts of research based wellness hacks. She is all about anti-aging/longevity and optimizing health. This podcast has influenced me to start growing my own broccoli sprouts and increased my obsession with sauna -ing.

Dr. Rhonda Patrick is brilliant and has her scientist/doctor friends on to really drop some knowledge on you. I often have to consume these podcasts in multiple sittings because it is so much to take in, yet such valuable information. Get your pens and papers out, prepare to learn and begin to desire to take action to improve your nutrition for longevity.

*Added bonus, after listening your friends will think you are a genius when you are able to tell them about sulforaphane, epigenetics, the microbiome and gene polymorphisms.

Recommended episodes to get started: Dr. Satchin Panda on Time-Restricted Feeding and Its Effects on Obesity, Muscle Mass & Heart Health. Ray Cronise on Cold Thermogenesis, Intermittent Fasting, Weight Loss & Healthspan. Dr. Aubrey de Grey and Dr. Rhonda Patrick Talk Aging.

Watch on FoundMyFitness Youtube or download on itunes here

The Miesha Tate Show

 

Although I idolized Ronda Rousey during her UFC career (as you can tell from my previous post) and never called myself a Miesha Tate fan, I will admit now how much of a pioneer Miesha Tate was for women’s MMA. Fighters have access to all sorts of health and fitness experts, and Miesha does a great job asking them articulate questions to share their knowledge.

Fighters are a huge source of fitness inspiration for me. Getting to hear Miesha Tate’s story from starting out going to an MMA class for fitness when she was 19, to holding a champion belt in the UFC really show how far hard work and dedication can go.

Recommended episodes to get started: Episodes with Dr. Jonathan Edwards, Episode with Robert Follis: Miesha’s Coach and one of the respected in MMA.

Download it here on itunes

From The Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl

This is a podcast that just made its debut, but I am already looking forward to more episodes being released. If you don’t know already, Rachel Brathen is a yoga teacher that lives in Aruba and is an incredibly beautiful and authentic with over a million followers.

What I love about Rachel, just from following here on instagram and instagram stories for so long is that she keeps it real. She really shows when her life is not perfect, and even when she was sick of being pregnant. At one point I would check everyday to see if she had her baby yet (waiting for poppy), it’s easy to feel like you’re really getting to know her.

If you want to dive more into the yoga and healing world this is a perfect podcast to get you going.

Recommended episodes to get started: Episode 2, Manifesting Abundance (I drew so much inspiration from this, and Rachel is great at telling her story!)

Listen on itunes

 

If you can’t tell by now, I consume many hours of podcasts. People put out free content that we can benefit from. My wellness journey would not be the same if I didn’t have these podcasts for entertainment during workouts. Also the information from these experts has changed my life and upped my wellness game. What podcasts are you listening to? I would love any new recommendations! Maybe I will even have the guts to start my own podcast some day…

 

Happy listening,

Life Update: Moving to the “Big City” and Training for a Half Marathon

Spring every year brings about so many big events and changes to my life. It also is an easy time to be active, living in the midwest, when it warms up. Thankfully being active outdoors makes it easy for me to manage any stress that comes along with changes.

In the last week I moved from my apartment that was next to a cornfield in Lincoln, Nebraska, to a little house downtown in the “big city” of Omaha. My friend told me that life living downtown isn’t much different, there’s just more people and places. Well, so far after one week I am loving this change, but it is a different way of life when the people and places are so much closer. Don’t get me wrong Omaha really is a smaller city compared to most urban environments in the United states, but it is still a huge lifestyle change for me.

This move so far really feels like it is making a positive impact on my running journey. I have felt embarrassed to call myself a runner, even though it is something that I have been focusing on for the last year. I consistently have been running two miles a few times a week. My favorite runs were last summer in the Nebraska heat with my husband along my side. We had a hill at the end of our path near our old house that we called the “ankle breaker”. I told my husband at the end of our runs he should feel free to go at an “all out” pace to finish, even if that meant leaving me in the dust. Being the sweetheart he is, he reluctantly agreed, and I would try as I might to keep up.

He really is the best running partner.

By the end of the summer I was keeping up, and dare I say I even beat my husband on the ankle breaker, once or twice. Maybe. We even increased our runs from 2 miles to 4 miles by the end of the summer. Running felt incredible for the first time.

I started logging my miles on a calendar and really noting what helped my performance. Diet and hydration became very obvious factors for me.

Compare this to a few years ago before I began my weight loss journey. I started crying after running for a minute and a half. No joke. I hated it and it felt awful.

I’ve never considered myself a runner, even when I played multiple sports growing up. Running was punishment and to this day I have awful memories of having to run “killers” in basketball or laps on the soccer field.

How I felt last summer, post-runs, on top of the world!

After my running this summer I stagnated over the winter and dreaded getting onto the treadmill. I did keep up with running two miles a few times a week and that helped me manage stress and maintain good cardiovascular health. Running on an indoor track really helped me with this as well.

I feel as though this change in my living situation along with the changing seasons will give me the momentum I need to start training for a half marathon. I don’t know when or where, and I have a long ways to go but I want to just put it out into the universe. I am going to run a half marathon.

City energy makes me want to go out and run! I feel like I am ready to make the sacrifices in my time to start really investing in my running journey. Today I am just excited to put it out there and darnit! I AM CALLING MYSELF A RUNNER NOW.

Thanks for keeping reading about the beginning of my journey, I would love if you had any tips or suggestions when it comes to running a half marathon, leave a comment!

Happy trails,

6 Lessons I Wish I had not learned from Ronda Rousey

I would be lying if I said I liked MMA before I saw Ronda Rousey.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed tears when she got knocked out by Holly Holm.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t get my hopes way up the minute I saw her make her walkout at the Amanda Nunes fight.

Little known fact about me, I love watching UFC fights and I am a consensual violence enthusiast. I’ve been told that mixed martial arts does fit my persona but I really beg to differ! I have a great respect for the amount that the fighters train and push themselves leading up to the fight. MMA is also an insane mental game that requires intelligence and mental toughness, and it should never be discounted as a sport.

I find inspiration from watching many different male and female fighters, but I truly resonated with Ronda Rousey and all of the adversity she has overcome when I was pushing through extra resistance on the elliptical or going the extra mile on my runs.

Ronda Rousey is a huge inspiration to me, I read her book My Fight/ Your Fight that she wrote with her sister, who is a writer for ESPN. Her stories about her will to win in her Olympic Judo Career and the amount of adversity she overcame throughout her life of training were very inspiring. I also found her to be an incredible relatable female athlete.

Post-Holly Holm defeat Ronda talked about making sense of her life:

“all the best things come from all the worst things”

she demonstrated this same sense of optimism and tenacity in her book.

My heart was broken seeing someone so inspiring to me get knocked out the first time, and I waited patiently for Ronda’s comeback. My heart hurt again seeing Ronda defeated again, and showing no fight.

I’ve had sometime to go through the five stages of grief (seriously) and compose my thoughts. I too tried to find the purpose of my idol’s defeat.

1. Always listen to your mother

This is something that I already learned years ago. I am the type of person that rarely goes a day without calling their mom and consulting her for advice. Everyone has a unique relationship with their moms but when moms offer advice, they are always looking out for your best interest. 

For those who don’t know Ronda’s mom Annmaria De Mars, she has an MBA and a Ph.D in educational psychology. She’s definitely not a dummy. Not to mention she was a world champion in the martial art of Judo. She was blunt and very public about her distaste for Ronda’s MMA coach, Edmond Tarverdyan.

Last February Annamaria said regarding Ronda’s coach,

“We haven’t talked about it too much, because I told her flat out that I think that guy she’s training with is an idiot and a fraud”

Ronda’s mom went on to say that Ronda got this far on her established talent, which looking back is not a controversial statement. Many agree now in hindsight that Edmond is a fraud, counting the fact that fighters that have moved to his gym develop losing records.

2. Don’t play the victim

 

When Ronda had the attitude of a winner, and was invested in going down as the greatest, nobody doubted her. Even powerful Joe Rogan proclaimed after she knocked out Bethe Correia:

“She is better than she ever was before, and she was already the best.”

It was surprising to see Ronda marketed as an underdog vs. Amanda Nunes. Being an underdog, or the victim is not what made Ronda a champ.

3. Evolve or die

Amanda Nunes said after that fight that Ronda’s coach told her that she could box, when clearly she showed no boxing improvement at all. Ronda has been under Edmond her whole career, but along with her mother, many agree that Edmond as a coach really never did much to improve her skills. In fact, it seems like Edmond

4. Face the tough questions

 

I hate to admit it but Ronda dodged all the tough questions from after the Holly Holm fight, before then she did every media outlet. Regarding Ronda’s blackout Miesha Tate said it best:

“It makes you wonder where her head is at”

Facing your toughest critics in life is necessary in order to prove them wrong. As much as we all love Ellen Degeneres, Ronda only making appearances there was a cop-out. Seeing fighters do the “pressers” pre and post fight is where there is so much emotion and drama, and Ronda skipping out on this shows that she was not emotionally ready to face those who doubted her.

5. Keep Your Ego in Check

 

This was something huge before the Holly Holm fight, I think that Ronda lost some fans when she went after Holly in the UFC 193. Having winner’s mentality is much different than having the mentality that you cannot lose. Ronda didn’t take Holly seriously as a competitor and she paid greatly for that.

6. Don’t criticize someone for trying

 

Fighters who have posted on social media making fun of Ronda, or even Amanda Nunes who has become less humble in her victory are not winning me over as a fan. I appreciate those who recognize what Ronda did for the sport and are looking toward a big future in the UFC Women’s Bantamweight division.
I still think it’s okay to idolize people sometimes, to find motivation from their feats and feel their pain in their defeats. Even though I feel sadness watching Ronda Rousey fall from greatness, I am thankful that I am now a fan of MMA. I am also thankful for all the times I didn’t feel like going to the gym but found a spurt of inspiration thinking about Ronda Rousey training to keep her belt.

Someone asked me the other day what I would ideally want next from Ronda Rousey. I really don’t know how to answer this question I would love to see Ronda prevail again like a true Rocky Balboa story, but realistically I think she mentally ready to move on. I know that what made Ronda Rousey a champion was herself alone, so I don’t ever see her training with a true MMA team in the future. The only thing I can hope for Ronda is that she finds happiness in her future outside of MMA. Although I can reflect on what led to Ronda’s downfall, I also think she would have never found greatness in the first place without her stubborn emotional attitude and ego.

Keep fighting the good fight,

You CAN really change in 2017

As you may know, I am a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. I’ve had success with them in the past, but I’ve also made many wishful general statements in the past on New Year’s Eve, that I didn’t carry out past the first or second week of the New Year.

This isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but throughout the last few years I have been able to make some positive changes in my life due to learning how to effectively set goals. As an educator, I think that goals are essential in helping students succeed academically. I love thinking about goal setting as deciding what your finish lines are going to be. Although resolutions are never really finished since they are permanent changes, setting milestones and celebrating them will keep you on the race track!

Think about it if there was a starting line in a marathon with no finish line, people will run in all different directions and those who don’t have insane discipline will lose interest after the first ten miles. Envisioning that finish line is fuel to your journey.

New Year’s is a perfect time to make a resolution because it is a memorable day to measure from. If you ask me what I did on December 8th, of last year, I can’t really recall. For this reason January 1st, is a great day to start so you can think back to how your journey began the following New Year’s. Even if your changes don’t begin on New Year’s Day, we can still remember the time when we were preparing to change.

Write down your goal. In February 2015 I was forced to practice writing a SMART goal for an education class. I rolled my eyes while doing it, but this goal is something that I came back to all the time and kept me motivated. I wrote: “In the next year I will lose 30 pounds by adding healthy foods, cutting back sugar and exercising once a day”. Now that’s a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based goal!

(by the way, Over the course of the year I kicked my SMART goal’s butt! I lost 40 lbs.)

The one thing I can add about weight loss is you won’t be committed until you start to feel better from the healthy changes in your life. Think about it:  even though you are unhappy with the way you look, you will tolerate it. You have done it this long. Once I started to notice changes in my mood and energy from eating healthy and working out, the journey did get easier.

If your goal is really a SMART goal and you know why you want to accomplish it, you can change in 2017!

My planner is littered with weekly, monthly, yearly and long term goals. I love setting these goals because I get to celebrate all of these little finish lines.

It’s not too late to make a resolution now, just think about how you will thank yourself next year. Take some time reflect on what your resolution will be this year, make a plan and envision your finish line.

Happy New Year!