Friday, June 27, 2014

All In Due Time

I'm a firm believer that God gives us what we need right when we need it most. I remember being so impatient when I was younger; being so frustrated and hurt when something didn't turn out the way I wanted or expected. 


That's not to say I don't feel hurt or pained when things don't turn out. I've always felt things deeply. Over time the heart hardens, we turn jaded by rejection and reality. But I've also come to realize things happen in His time, not mine. Jobs don't work out.  Projects don't come together. It's not for lack of effort or hard work. Things just don't always go as expected. The most important thing is to reflect, make adjustments, and move forward. Easier said than done, I know! I'm a recovering perfectionist. :) Trust doesn't come easy, but I'm learning. 

I'm learning to be content with the many gifts I have. There are so many to be thankful for each day! Focusing on that brings calm and joy to my life.  From there I can look at my goals and set the path onward. The calm foundation allows me to push forward in ways I never thought possible. The confidence gained from simple reflection and praise everyday is incredibly powerful! Thank you for reading my random thoughts as I post them. You are appreciated! 

What inspires you and your goal setting process? 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I AM



"I am. Two of the most powerful words in language, for what you put after them shapes your reality." 

I found this quote yesterday. I haven't found the author of said quote.  I will be using this in my class this year. It's so powerful, so poinient. I just love it. Calmness came over me. The self doubt left, if only for a few moments. I am most certainly stronger than I was yesterday. I may not have a flat stomach or thigh gap. I am, however, working hard to improve every single day; emotional, spiritual, physical, & intellectual growth are intertwined for me. 

Outdoor workouts are therapy for me.  It's more than sunshine and vitamin d. To be surrounded by the beauty of nature is incredibly cathartic. Nature renews my soul; repairs my spiritual fractures.

Life is a gift. For that I am greatful.

Who wouldn't love this scenery? 




Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!


Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there!  These three are the best!  Each of them has taught me so much about hard work, determination, and being true to myself and my family.  We wouldn't be able to have what we have if not for them.  For that I can never say Thank You enough.  Here it goes anyway- THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Projects

I'd like to thank everyone for the wonderful emails and messages of support after Tuesday's post.  That post was crazy difficult to publish.  I have attempted to write it several times but have never put it out there for the world to see.  I know it sounds cliché but a monumental weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  Thank you!

In honor of summer break we have been cleaning everything in sight.  I don't know what it is about breaks and cleaning but I clean something every time I have one.  Spring break was my bathroom closets, master closet, dressers, bedroom, and the landing at the bottom of the basement stairs. This week the cleaning is not limited to closets and storage sheds.  The boys have also had physicals and teeth cleanings as well.  Poor Trent even had 6 baby teeth taken out today.  Bless his little heart.  The Dr. gave him the option of waiting until next week or having it done today.  I could see the look on his face as he pondered.  No way he was going to make it through the next week without constantly thinking about the impending doom to come.  His stoic self took it all in stride even though I know he was absolutely terrified deep down.  And the kicker- he smiled, as usual, through most of it.  His bravery astounds me.  Only a few tears were shed.  Just now he smiled at me and said how nice it is to be able to chew food without it getting stuck in the appliance in the top of his mouth.  What a kid!




Annnnd back to cleaning.  Why is it when I clean one room another seems to become messier?  After cleaning Trent's room the other day I now have piles upon piles of stuff in my living room.  Two boxes of clothes/shoes/toys are going out to my car promptly to be given to a friend of mine with little boys.  A giant box of books in the other corner is awaiting sorting.  I can never help myself with kids books.  I'm a sucker for Scholastic Book Orders, book fairs, and clearance sales at Barnes and Noble.  What I don't buy my mother does.  As a teacher it's a good deal because I can usually take them to school when my boys are done with them.  Plus I'm a huge fan of adolescent literature so my mom tends to buy us popular series like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Divergent.  :)

Anyway, everyone has that one place where all of the crap goes to die.  You know, that bottom drawer, the garage, the closet under the stairs.  For me it's the pantry.  I swear sports bottles reproduce like rabbits.  I suddenly have most of a shelf full.   It's the next closet on the list.  Unlike Trent's room, I'm on my own with this one.  I can't say I'm totally disappointed by that, however, since it will then be left up to me as to what items go and what stay.  I do not need 3 waffle irons.  I don't care who owned which.  I'm keeping the ONE that works best.  No others.  The sandwich press? I've never used it and I've had to move it like 3 times.  G-O-N-E.

As much as I HATE having garage sales I'm tempted to have one just because I have some nicer stuff.  I give generously to Good Will every time I clean out a closet.  I might as well make a little spending money for my summer adventures, right?   Stay tuned.  I haven't totally given up the thought.

What's up with breaks and cleaning?  Anyone else suffer the same affliction? Do you have garage sales?


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Transformation Tuesday- My Journey To Be Healthy

My life revolves around the 4 F's: Family, Food, Fitness, and Fun.  And not necessarily in that order on any given day, mind you.  I'm pretty candid about trivial things in my life; DIY projects, good food I've mad, pet peeves, tough workouts, little tidbits of things that come up while raising boys, blah, blah. blah.  I'm really a pretty private person.  Don't laugh, it's true.  I show all of the sugar coated, life is great, grand and wonderful crap and very little of the struggle.  Sure I had some shin splints.  Suck it up, Sally.  I got stuck in the road going home from work in February.  So did most of everyone in Northern Indiana during our brutal, snow capped winter.  But really, what do you know about me?  Would you guess I'm a recovering bulimic? Perhaps you did.  Secrets are often only secrets to those who hold them.  Others clearly see what's going on.  It's been a long long time since I've purged, but that doesn't mean I don't still struggle with feeling out of control. Food is a quick and easy control fix.

My story begins in high school. Lack of self-esteem was a big issue for me, and I spent many of my high school years binging and purging food in order to feel I had some semblance of control in my life. I participated in athletics for most of my high school career, either in basketball or track. My senior year was the only year I did not play any sports. I always loved being active, but I never felt I was a true athlete. When I went to college the eating demons followed. I didn't purge much at this point, but I had ALL of this food in front of me, most of which I was not used to eating. I was not raised on processed foods.  My mom spent all summer growing 2 acres of garden, and then preserving all of the bounty.  I was used to home grown, home made stuff, and now I was faced with sugar frosted cereals, pastries  and greasy burgers & fries.  Don't even get me started on the ice cream machine and all of the toppings I could want!  

It didn’t take long to see the pounds creep on my body in the first 2 weeks before classes started, despite all of the walking I was doing. My saving grace was a personal fitness class my first semester. I worked out 3 days per week and had to journal food during the weekdays all semester long. The assistant instructor really helped me to overcome my terrible eating habits and make better choices. Unfortunately, she didn’t teach us much about lifting, just that it was good to do once or twice a week for “non athletes”.  I knew I liked how I felt after lifting, but I hadn't a clue as to what I was doing other than she suggested light weights at high reps.  Regardless, it kept me moving and I was able to find and continue a regular fitness routine second semester. When I moved home for the summer I bought 3 videos from The Firm series and a tall step and kept it up. Between videos and group classes at school, I was hooked!  I even tossed around the idea of becoming ACE certified to teach step classes.  I was too chicken to follow through because I didn't have the "typical" body type of the instructors whose classes I attended.  How silly that seems now as I look back!

Fast forward a few years to when I started working and had babies- Videos and working out with friends after school at the local Y, helped me lose all my weight from both pregnancies.  I wish I could say I have been able to maintain a consistent fitness level but that would be a big fat lie.  Grad school, job changes, stress, life struggles, have all interfered with my activity level, despite the fact they were times I needed fitness the most.  My asthma was out of control.  I was having panic attacks.  My mood was like a grandfather clock's pendulum switching from hour to hour. I was a mess.  

A few friends started P90X in 2010 and encouraged me to join them.  Again, I chickened out because, well, I was fat and they weren't.  I thought there was NO way I could handle that kind of workout.  At that point I couldn't even get through a 30 minute walk without my inhaler in hand and my knees hurting. I decided to do Couch to 5K and signed up for my first 5K.  I kept looking at P90X on the BeachBody website wondering if I should just pull the trigger and try it.  I opted for Chalene Extreme which was advertised as a good starting place.  By the end of 60 days I knew I had to try P90X so I ordered it and I didn't look back. I was lifting heavier than I ever had in my life.  Squats and lunges didn't hurt my knees.  I could run in the yard with my kids and not worry about hurting the next day. 5K's were a breeze.  I was eating food to fuel my body instead of punishing it.  I maintained that regimen just shy of 2 full years.  I allowed stress to take over and pushed my needs to the back burner, opting to take care of work and family above me.  Food became my solace again.  Binging and fasting became more constant (pregnancy & 7 months of all day morning sickness cured me of the purging).  My skin was a mess. Breakouts were a daily occurrence and worse than when I was a teenager.  My belly and digestive system were an even worse mess.  A year ago I started researching colon cancer and digestive issues.  I have a dairy allergy and I had read that gluten intolerance often goes hand in hand with dairy issues.  I was so frustrated that I was working out 5 days per week, not P90 but lots of cardio and some strength, eating what I thought to be healthy, but my gut was so swollen and I was still feeling miserable.  

In April I found Adie Smith of Four Fit Sisters.  She was hosting a 30-day gluten free challenge. I signed up. For 30 days I worked out 6 days a week and ate NO gluten.  Now don't stop me here and say I've just swapped one disorder for another.  Yes, there is self control involved with this kind of eating.  But it's not a binge-purge-fast kind of control.  It's about choosing foods that limit inflammation in my gut and don't leave me feeling like the San Diego fog is rolling around my brain.  As I have introduced gluten back into my diet I have realized I'm not intolerant to it; however, I am sensitive.  I need to limit how much and what kinds of foods I eat on a daily basis.  Turns out my daily apple is also causing inflammation.  That was harder to swallow than the gluten- Pun intended.  ;)  I'm currently looking into finding a good functional medicine doctor nearby to be tested more thoroughly. 

Do you know how much gluten is in the food we eat?  It was even in my vitamins!  I'm used to looking for dairy and this gluten thing looked like it would be impossible.  Turns out it wasn't that bad.  In fact, I felt GREAT!  And it's something I feel confident I can continue long term because of how good I feel!  I didn't lose much in terms of poundage, but I lost 11 inches!  

What's crazy is as I was looking through pictures I realize even though my weight fluctuates 7-10 pounds throughout the last 9 years, I look the same. I'm still 5'10"-ish, but on the left I weighed around 150.  On the right I'm 160.  In these 2 pictures I am the same clothing size. But the hair on the left!  I would take that back, minus the pregnancy of course!  On the left I was only running 40 minutes a day, 3 days per week and 2 days of some kind of aerobic weights class/video for 40-50 minutes.  On the right I can run a half marathon, keep up with P90X and P90X3 workouts without stopping, squat 150 lbs, and do at least 15 pushups on my toes. My gut is healthier and I feel better.  The number on the scale isn't everything.  

As I read Adie's posts I was thinking, "I could do this!"  I've tossed around the whole life coach thing before and have ultimately always gotten right there and stopped because of one personal flaw or another.  This time I looked at what I have experienced and what I know from my own journey and decided it's time to forget the personal flaws, the ridiculous self-images floating in my brain and jumped in and signed on to be a Beach Body Coach under Adie.  I'm super excited to be able to help others reach their health goals.  It's not about being skinny.  I'd rather be healthy and strong. 

How can I help you achieve your health goals?  You can contact me at alison.reinholt@gmail.com for more info. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

#SummaTime Preview

Summer Vacation is finally here!  Could you hear me squealing with delight as I left work on Friday afternoon?  It's only day 3 and I can't even begin to describe how amazing each morning has been.  Maybe it's just the weekend in general.  We picked a ton of strawberries, hung out with Rex's brother's family, spent time with my mom's family, many of whom I have not seen in years, and captured some truly amazing skies. 

Jam making is in my near future. 

Junkin', or antiquing, one of my favorite things to do anytime of the year.  Yesterday we hit up an auction.  There was an intriguing victorian couch I had my eye on.  It went for $20, and I'm still kicking myself for not bidding, but I passed because I knew it would cost me a small fortune to reupholster and refinish.  The bottom needs rebuilt and the springs probably need to be replaced as well.  My scope of knowledge just isn't that complex at this point in time.  Plus it doesn't match anything in my house.  Oh well.  I did, however, score an awesome counter height table and chairs for next to nothing.  Like maybe a fourth of what a new set would cost.  It has water rings and scuffs.  I'm going to sand and maybe strip the dark polish off and try to lighten it up a bit.  It will be awesome in our basement when we get it finished next winter!  Right now it's in the corner of my living room- and looks perfect btw- just waiting for the first round of cards to be played.  Jordan and his friend ate supper there last night and thought it was the bees knees.  


Couldn't help but cut some peonies too :)

The weather was cooler yesterday, but perfect.  The humidity left the air throughout the day. It was raining when I awoke.  The birds were singing and the sun peeked through.  The view through my bedroom door was gorgeous.  



And then the sunset! Oh my heavens! Pardon the screen distortion... I just had to get a picture while I had a chance.   Spectacular!


I'm looking forward to an adventurous summer.  So far I haven't been let down. Follow me on Twitter  @AlisonReinholt & Instagram @areinholt for summer posts.  I'll be using #SummaTime to document Summer 2014.  



What adventures do you have planned for #SummaTime ?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Change is Constant




So yeah, there's that.  About the time I get used to something it changes.  School's out tomorrow, so there will be change in routine.  I welcome the summer routine this year.  I worked my ass off the last three summers so this one is MINE.  I can not wait!  That's not to say I won't have things to do; that would be a big fat lie.  I have a class to finish, lessons to plan for next school year, data to extrapolate, beaches to sit on, books to read, things to paint and decorate, on and on and on.  Add summer basketball to that list and summer's pretty much gone and it will be back to school time in no time at all.

I'm kind of sad to say goodbye to my 8th graders.  I have some pretty spectacular kids.  One of my girls wrote me a note thanking me for treating her like I would a daughter.  Not gonna lie, I cried while I read it.  I don't get emotional about these kinds of things normally.  I want so bad for them to do well in high school but I know they won't always have the support that I have been able to give them.  I struggle with whether or not I should be like a mother, whether that is enabling them in some way.  But darn it, some of these kids don't have that. They don't know what it's like to have Mom or Dad at home scolding them for missing assignments and poor test grades, or pouring over books looking for answers to questions they can't quite comprehend.  To sit and read that letter from one of my students warmed my heart so much I don't even have words to explain.

Change is usually a good thing for me.  I tend to change jobs about every 2-3 years or so.   New challenges excite me.  I love a goal to work toward.  I've shared with them my goals throughout the year.  I made them write their own goals; academic and outside of school.  I hope change is good to them as well.  More than anything I hope that I have helped them see the importance of chasing dreams and taking on challenges that look like mountains before them.  I hope they have learned to believe in themselves just a little bit more than they did when they first stepped into my classroom, whether I had them from day 1 or just for a quarter.  I want a graduation announcement in the mail 4 years from now.  And I will again cry as they accomplish another dream, conquer another change, and head out to face new ones.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Age is Just a Number

It's totally ridiculous that I'm this happy about my birthday.  I mean seriously.  I'm 37 today, not 17.  Perhaps confidence comes with age, but I feel A-Maze-Ing! Like better than when I felt at 27 and that was a great year! 

The thing is, the number hasn't ever bothered me.  I may feel differently about that when I hit 40, but right now I could care less what my calendar says.  I feel good. Strike that, I feel GREAT!  Life is totally what you make of it.  Some years are better than others I admit.  35 wasn't all that great to be honest.  But today, I can sit back and say I couldn't ask for a single thing more than I have.  At the end of each day I have a sweet husband, two darling sons, a roof over my head, a good job, and an abundance of absolutely wonderful friends.  I can't help but sit back and feel incredibly blessed to be alive. 

My cup runneth over. <3 



Monday, June 2, 2014

The Home Stretch

It's the last Monday of my school year! Hooray!  The year went fast, yet seemed to creep slowly at the same time.  Does that make any sense at all?  It's been rough at times.  Overall I'd rate it about a 6.  Not terrible.  Not fantastic.  I'm back at it and some days I'm not sure how I feel about that.

There's a lot to be said for teaching and education. Teaching can be a highly rewarding occupation once you look past the hours of work taken home, brainless lawmakers, thankless taxpayers, and smart mouth kids.  I'm a teacher down to my core; however, I do miss the camaraderie at the screen printing shop.  The constant fast pace of sales and marketing.  Always moving and going, traveling on occasion, the rush of making the sale.  I do not miss the constant deadlines, high stress, and never ending workday that accompany that environment.  'Tis the nature of small business, I suppose.  I came in on the ground floor just as we were taking the mid-to-large school team sales and Grassroots basketball scene by storm.  And by storm I mean like a hurricane.  We went from around $300,000 of sales to over $2 million in a year!  Talk about exciting!  I thrived on that constant movement, honing in on problem areas and helping to make them better, more streamlined.   Margins and percentages became my driving force.  Numbers and formulas scared me in high school.  Throughout my education career, data and numbers became my ally. I just had to learn how to extrapolate and manipulate. In my business office job, those numbers drove everything. How could I push the web more?  How could I use the manufacturers specials to drive deals for customers and create more profit?  Oh look at that t-shirt design!  How can I use that for one of my teams? Unfortunately for my family and my body/self/mind, margins and percentages (and shirt designs) were my driving force.  At the end of the day I realized that the times I spent training my sales team or educating customers on product were the times I was happiest and most fulfilled.  So, here I am, back in the proverbial educational saddle.

I'm not gonna lie, the pinnacle for me is summer break.  I'm pretty sure I'm looking forward to this summer break more than any other I've ever had.  I've worked the last 3 summers like a mad woman.  The thought of sitting around and puttering around my house and garden at my leisure makes me want to weep with joy.  Now will it really go like that?  No.  I have to finish an online continuing ed class for my license renewal process.  I'll read books and map out my class assignments for the year.  I'll work on classroom stuff a lot I imagine.  So it isn't really a vacation, more like work from home time.  I don't care.  I'll take it.  There's something about that time off that rejuvenates the soul.  It's like my little bit of heaven.  I will enjoy my kids adventures.  Perhaps go on a few with them.  I'll be all over Indiana Atlanta. GA for some baseball.  It will go fast, but I will attempt to savor every single minute of my time.

Here's to summer!  Just 4 more days until I can sit back and relax!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Morning Solace

Sunday mornings are my favorite morning of the week, especially in the summer.  Up with the sun, coffee on the porch, listening to the birds and bullfrogs sing to the sunrise.  I could call Sunday Pinterest Day.  Today, as most Sundays, ended up with numerous pins of classroom ideas, outfits, recipes to try, DIY projects, and fitness motivation.  It's my rejuvenation time. My time to look at my goals for the week and reflect upon things I need to do to get there.  Being in nature has always sparked my inner catharsis.  It's the little things that make it all go for me.

I love quotes and words of inspiration.  Is anyone else bothered by the images often associated with women's health/fitness & these words of wisdom?  Why must women be super model skinny to be fit?  Numerous quotes came across with "Strong is the new skinny", however, the images contradict these words.  Six pack abs, breasts spilling out of tiny sports bras or bikini tops, and booty shorts equal strong?  Pardon me, but I'm confused!

I have friends who are fit, thin, and strong. They are awesome ladies.  They can do pull-ups, pushups, and run marathons.  They eat clean and train hard. They have 6 pack abs after babies.  They have curvy hips but can bench 100+ pounds.  They do not look like the women in these pictures.  They look better.  I am thinnish, but curvy.  Others would probably call me thin but I tend to be too self-critical.  Thin is great, but I want to be stronger.  Sure I can do push-ups on my toes now.  I can finally do 10 stability ball stands without falling off the ball.  I ran a half marathon in under 2.5 hours!  I can squat 100 lbs.   But there are plenty of things I can't do.  I have plenty of fitness goals.  I want to do a regular pull up without a chair.  Be able to jump my feet to my hands in yoga.  But none of my goals include squeezing into a size 0.  I will probably never have a totally flat stomach with 6 pack abs showing.  Sure I'd love to have more defined muscle definition.  But I'm not built that way.  And I'm ok with that.  Yes, that came out of my brain.  I'M OK WITH MY BODY.

Don't get me wrong; I'm still going to wear a 2 piece bathing suit to the beach this summer and not be self-conscious (most days). My belly may be flabby and I have stretch marks from my babies.  My body birthed babies for goodness sake!  That's a pretty amazing thing!   I'm going to wear skirts, shorts, and tall shoes and show my legs because they're long, strong, and lean, not because I have a thigh gap or bikini bridge, of which I neither.  I'm going to wear sleeveless shirts and tanks because my arms and back are toning up nicely.  My body is stronger than it was yesterday.   I will be stronger tomorrow than I was today.  I'm going to keep going because I like how I feel when I'm strong vs how I feel when I slack off and stop taking care of me.

True strength is NOT what a skinny girl with a good photographer and photoshop display in a motivational quote.  Strength is getting up each day and deciding to be better than you were yesterday.  Doing that workout even though you don't want to.  Eating clean because it fuels your body to do more.  Taking care of you so you can better care for others.  Strength is being an example for your kids.  Strength is pushing a little harder each day and not settling for just enough. Yes, we all have those days.  We all have a choice to do more.  To be more. To push a little harder.  So go forth and be a better you.  Strong doesn't equal skinny.  Strong equals perseverance, consistency, and working to be better than you were yesterday.