Peace of Mind: The Greatest Gift of All

Peace of Mind - The Greatest Gift of AllWhen I got pregnant, I suddenly went from the most optimistic, positive person on the planet to a total doomsday prepper when it came to my baby. Instantly everything weird or different or unusual happening in my body was something horrible.

And it only got worse after Coura was born. If she was crying, something was wrong, if she was quiet, something was wrong. I had crazy dreams about dropping her, or leaving her somewhere, or forgetting to feed her. So in the real world, knowing that she was safe and taken care of no matter what, was extremely valuable.

I want to say right off the bat, that if I read this blog post a year ago, I would have been super judgemental toward the person who wrote it. I’ve been hesitant to share anything about this because of that, but I decided to be brave and write it anyway! Here is why…

  • To help others and give them hope if they are in a similar situation
  • To show my gratitude and appreciation
  • To bring awareness to all the options we have available as parents and future parents

When I found out I was pregnant a year ago, I had just come out a 21-year marriage where I left my ex-husband. I had spent the previous six months shacking up with friends and family, training and racing, and doing some soul-searching to figure out what was next for me. What I didn’t focus on was making money. I made enough to get by, but I didn’t have anything saved, especially for what was coming next in my life, a baby.

I wasn’t freaked out about having a baby when I found out I was pregnant, but I was a little concerned with the financial aspect. I knew if I had a completely simple, easy, normal birth, I could come up with the money to pay for it. But with all the testing, extra doctor visits, and potential issues that go along with having a “geriatric pregnancy” (yes, that is what it was called since I was 45 years old), I wasn’t sure how much more that would all cost.

I had never needed any financial assistance, so I didn’t know how it would all work or if I would even qualify, but a couple people suggested that I look into Medicaid. I did some research, filled out all the paperwork, and was accepted.

What a godsend this program was for me. It gave me so much peace of mind when it came to prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postnatal care for me and my baby. I didn’t have to decide which appointments were most important and which I could skip. I didn’t have to decide which tests I could afford and which I couldn’t. And I didn’t have to ask when given the options during my delivery how much things cost such as an epidural, the Bili light, and the supplies I use during my five-day stay in the hospital.

I also didn’t have to worry about finding the cheapest pediatrician or deciding which appointments where most importance when Coura was born. Because she was not gaining weight for the first two weeks after her birth, we had to go to her pediatrician every two days until she did. I’m so grateful I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to pay for all this help. Plus, being a stressed-out mom to be, or a worried mother, doesn’t help a struggling baby at all.

At first, I was super embarrassed being on Medicaid. Whenever I was asked who my insurance was, I hated hearing the word come out of my mouth. I thought for sure people would judge me or think I was irresponsible or that I wasn’t fit to be a mother.

But now I am just grateful.

Grateful I got the best care for me and my baby. Grateful I didn’t have the added stress to pass onto Coura before and after she was born. Grateful I can focus on spending time with her and taking care of her needs now instead of working over-time to pay off thousands of dollars in medical bills. I am just grateful.

This has also taught me not to judge others so quickly! Like I said earlier, I would have totally judged me before this! I thought people who needed financial assistance were lazy or irresponsible, or worse! I never considered they may just be going through a life change or transition or a tragedy or whatever!!

Most of us just need a little temporary help to get back on track when we’ve been side-swiped! Luckily mine was a little bundle of blessing and even luckilier (did I make up that word?) that there is a program out there to support me in supporting her!

Thank you Medicaid! I don’t know what I have done without you!

And thank you peeps for loving me unconditionally!

Stay hopeful!

See you soon!

The New Golden Rule

The New Golden RuleWe all learned the “Golden Rule” at an early age. Treat others the way you want to be treated is basically how it sums up.

I had an epiphany in the shower the other day. And I call this the “New Golden Rule”.

It is: treat yourself like you would treat others.

Now this only works if you are actually a good person, and treat others nicely, with respect, and forgive their flaws, which everyone has. But since I am such a person, this is important rule for me to follow.

I once had a therapist who told me to write a letter to myself as if I were writing it to my five-year-old self. I think the real exercise is to write a letter to your daughter or son in the same tone as you speak to yourself, and then read it out loud, to hear how obnoxious and horrifying the way we talk to ourselves is, but at the time I didn’t have children so I think she modified it to fit my current lifestyle. The purpose of this exercise is to show us that we would never treat other people as horribly as we tend to treat ourselves.

So back to my epiphany…

I had just given my 12 week old a bath, and of course I used the 100% super duper soft bamboo washcloths that I got for her to nourish her delicate skin and always make her feel like a spoiled princess.

After I dried her off, slathered her with coconut oil, and put on her softest most comfy pajamas, I jumped back in the shower so that I could bathe myself as well. I grabbed my rough, coarse washcloth, which I purposefully used to exfoliate my face.

I want to add in here that I’ve always hated my skin, ever since I was a tween, although we didn’t have a name for that age back then. I’ve used every abrasive harsh chemical filled product and procedure to try to make my skin smoother and softer looking over the years.

Nothing has worked. So as far as cleanser and moisturizer, I’m FINALLY using mild products, Dr. Bronner‘s baby soap as a cleanser and coconut oil as a moisturizer.

But every other day I grab that coarse washcloth and scrub the crap out of my face hoping to exfoliate all the bumps and lines and pitts from acne scars, which leaves my face red and sore. I justify this by soaking it in coconut oil overnight to help repair.

On a side note, I don’t think my skin has looked any better from doing this over the past few years.

So back to my shower the other night. I was reaching for my angry washcloth, when I remembered what gentle loving care I just gave my baby girl. I started thinking why the difference? After hundred justifications, I came to the conclusion that there is no difference, other than I want to take care of her, and I want to punish myself.

So BOOM! Right then and there I tossed my crappy hater washcloth and picked up my “I am worthy of love and self-care” washcloth!

This may sound like a trite and simple “problem” to a lot of people, but for me it is huge. It’s a smaller part of the bigger issue that I have struggled with my entire life; unconditional self-love.

So for me to make one small step toward loving myself more, I will take it!
Baby steps…always!

Please do something extra nice to or for yourself today!

You are worthy! We all are!

Yay!

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Homework: Ask For Help

Homework: Ask For HelpIf you are reading this blog post, we probably have many things in common. If you are anything like me, you have a hard time asking for help because we are super self-sufficient and don’t need anyone or anything!

We are strong and powerful and confident in asking the universe for what we want, but have a difficult time asking an actual person for what we need when we aren’t able to provide it for ourselves.

I messaged a friend last night who is struggling with defeat when it comes to racing triathlon and I asked her if she was talking with anyone about it. She said “not really I just keep to myself”.

I felt her pain and wanted to do something to help her, but I have no idea what she needs, and she’s not about to ask for my help! But I got it, and didn’t push, because that’s exactly how I would be reacting if I were in her same situation.

Today while talking to my success partner, Tara, she called me out on the same exact thing. There are things I need right now in my life that I am not able to handle on my own with adjusting to mommying full-time to a newborn baby.

I wanted to be that person who could do it all! But I’m not, and that is super disappointing to me. Tara reminded me that not only is it OK to ask for help, but if I don’t, I’m not going to be a successful mommy, which is my ONLY job right now.

We talked about ways to do it and what words to use and to be honest I’m still not sure how it will all play out. The thought of being dependent on more than just me makes my stomach hurt. And with the damn hormones raging, I feel like I’m going to cry even thinking about it.

So I thought I would challenge myself and put out the same challenge to you! Together we can do this!

No one else knows what we need but us. They aren’t mind readers. They can’t possibly know our struggle. They will never offer to help because we usually don’t accept it. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves.

We need to be brave and make the first move. We need to be open and vulnerable and communicate what we need with those who love us the most. They want to help, but won’t know how unless we share. Just writing this is making me want to throw up!

Seriously! But I know I can’t keep beating myself up for what I can’t do on my own right now. My baby doesn’t need to feel my struggling or anxiety. She deserves only love and light. I want to give her the best chance for success.

I am listening to GIRL WASH YOUR FACE by Rachel Hollis and she says as a new mommy, you have 2 things to do each day and that is it! Number 1: Keep your baby alive and Number 2: Keep yourself alive. First of all, thank you for this! Second of all, I need to ask for help!

So here is our challenge:

Pick something small that you need help with right now. So small that if we don’t get the help we want/need, it’s no biggie! Ask for that! Ask someone you trust and that you know has your best interest in their hearts! Ask! Just ask!
Then pick something bigger, scarier to ask for. Or maybe something you need from someone who you are afraid to ask? And ask.

No need to rush from one “ask” to another, take your time, baby steps. Wait until you are ready, but don’t wait too long. Take each positive outcome and roll with it. Use it to help give you confidence for your bigger and scarier ask!!

Keep working your way up until you get to the one that’s going to make the biggest difference in your life right now!

BOOM! YOU DID IT!!!

I would LOVE to hear how it goes for you! I’m sure I’ll share how mine is going!

WE ROCK!

Keep me posted…

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Welcome Coura McCay Sutphin to this MIRACULOUS World!

Welcome Coura McCay Sutphin to this MIRACULOUS World!I may have gone a little crazy on social media the past 2 weeks on posting pics of my new baby girl, but I am not apologizing. I do the same thing every time I have been proud of an accomplishment, enthusiastic about a new adventure, or pretty much anything I am excited about in my life, which is usually a lot.

BUT…just in case you aren’t on Facebook or Intagram…here is the scoop…

A couple hours after I posted my weekly “Happy Bump Day” preggo photos for #36weeks, I went to the hospital to check on a “dribble” which ended up being my water breaking.

About 38 hours later, I popped out an amazingly perfect baby girl. In fact, she didn’t even have to visit the NICU! Most “preemies” do, but she is an over achiever and passed most of her initial tests with flying colors!

Check out Coura’s birth story! – Our Birth Plan: Have a F-ing Baby!

She did have to sleep under the bili light for 2 days, but that’s common in all babies, not just preemies.
Coura McCay Sutphin was born at 7:28 am on June 15, 2018. She was 18.5 inches long and weighed 5 pounds 13 ounces. She is a Gemini and a 5 in Numerology.

I know ALL moms think their baby is beautiful and perfect and such, so I’ll spare you the doting, but the second she came out of my body and lay straight over my heart, I knew how much I would adore her for the rest of my life.

As most of you know, Coura was not planned, and in fact was a bit of a miracle. But from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was looking forward to the day I got to meet her. I look forward to seeing her experience life and explore this world with and without me. I am excited to see how she responds and reacts to every part of her life, and I can’t wait to see how we both grow and benefit from knowing each other.

Coura is short for Courage. Courage is one of the main themes in my life. I am not always brave, but I always strive to be. It’s not easy taking action when I have no idea the outcome, but if I’m not brave enough to try, I will never create my ideal life.

One of my favorite quotes is: “More often than not, being brave means doing it scared.” -Michael Hyatt
I am scared all the time, but I remind myself that courage gives me hope and hope is the only emotion stronger than fear. So I stay hopeful and courageous. And now I have this precious piece of me to remind me that courage trumps fear every damn day for the rest of my life!

LET’S DO THIS!

Check out our journey…

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Thanks for sharing this amazing experience with me!

See you soon!

My Top 11 Blog Posts from 2017

Top Blog Posts From 2017The reason I started my blog about 3 ½ years ago was to share my life experiences and hope that they would help others going through the same stuff. The reason my blog is all about food, fitness, finance, and fun in your 40s is because those are the 4 issues in my own life I struggle with the most. I know there have got to be others like me out there, so I am putting my life out there in hopes of connecting with other like me. We are not alone!

My favorite part about sharing is when I get a message from someone saying how much they appreciate what I wrote because it helped them in some way. My mission in life is to inspire others to be better just by being myself. This is how I can do that!

So THANK YOU for loving me for ME and not because I have accomplished something or did something amazing, but because I am human and flawed and need love and connection as we all do!

I was reminiscing about 2017 and looking through my posts from the past year. I wanted to share with you my top 11 of the year. The reason they are my faves is because they are the ones that gave me the most response from others that they appreciated the post. And the reason there are 11 is because 11 is my favorite number!!

So without further ado…

MY TOP 11 POSTS FROM 2017…

Transition to a Plant-Based Diet with Ease
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/food/transition-to-a-plant-based-diet-with-ease/

Daily Dose of Hope
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/food/daily-dose-of-hope/

Baby Steps: Love Yourself More
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/food/baby-steps-love-yourself-more/

Homework: Plan Ahead For Success
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fitness/homework-plan-ahead-for-success-myfitnesspal/

My Friends ROCK!
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fitness/my-friends-rock-sending-kir-to-kona/

Race Report: 2017 Ironman Boulder
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fitness/race-report-2017-ironman-boulder/

One Day At A Time
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/finance/one-day-at-a-time/

Homework: Share Your Story
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fun/homework-share-your-story/

Suck It Cosmo!
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fun/suck-it-cosmo/

Haters Gonna Hate
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/business/haters-gonna-hate/

Homework: Let It Go
http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fun/homework-let-it-go/

Thanks for being a part of my amazing life!!

I hope you decide to make 2018 your best year EVER!!!

Stay in touch!

www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/newsletter

See you soon!

My Next Big Adventure!

My Next Big AdventureI tend to set big goals and work towards accomplishing giant feats. And since I have gotten in the habit of announcing all my goals and dreams and plans to the world, when I get done with one thing, people always ask me what’s next!

I usually have a plan and a plan after that plan! But last year after my 2 year goal of qualifying for and racing the ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaii, I didn’t have a plan.

I had no idea what was next for me. Throughout 2017, my year of transition and change, when people would ask where I was going to live or what I was going to do for money and other “easy” questions, I didn’t have an answer. Instead I would say time and time again, “I’m open to what is next for me.”

And I was.

I didn’t make many plans or set many goals throughout the year. I took one day at a time, one moment at a time, and learned to live in the moment and be grateful for where I was right then and there.

It felt uncomfortable at first, but over time, I truly began to be open to what was next for me. I took advantage of every opportunity that was presented to me, even if I had no idea where it would go or what it would do for my future.

And by the end of the year, when people would ask me what was next, I could say with 100 percent certainty that I was open to whatever was next for me. I would take on whatever was presented to me, and make the very best of it, knowing that that was where I was supposed to be in my life.

So although I was very VERY surprised, I was not scared, when I found out six weeks ago that I was going to have a baby.

I stated over and over again that I was open to what was next for me in my life, and this is what the universe gave to me.

As a 45-year-old, who was not trying to get pregnant, who had been on birth control the majority of my adult life, and rarely had a period to begin with, the chances of me getting pregnant were less than one percent. So I know this baby really really REALLY wanted me to be her mother.

So that’s it! That’s my new adventure for 2018. I feel excited for this new chapter of my life, and I know without a doubt this is where I am supposed to be right now and this is what I am meant to be doing.

P. S. It’s a girl!

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See you SOON!

My Word For 2018: Trust

My Word For 2018: TrustEvery year I choose a word that will help guide me through the upcoming year. This year I chose “trust” as my word, or it chose me!

Last year I learned to be open to change, the unknown, and what was next for me. In the process I have become a more flexible and malleable human, which in my opinion is one of the great characteristics of success. I am learning to adapt to change and “go with the flow”, which is something I had never been good at in the past.

With my new found adaptability in life and comfortability with change, my next step is to trust what will come next. Trust that I am working toward where I will be going to next. Trust that the universe will provide for me. And trust that I am on the path I am meant to be on.

One of the things I have struggled with in the past is letting go of an outcome. In the past, I have typically only done actions and activities that move me toward an outcome I am sure of, or that I have more control over. It always felt good to be in charge of my life and create what I want, but it is also exhausting to constantly be pushing toward something. And devastating when all my hard work, time, and energy doesn’t end in the result I was hoping for.

In my year of trust, I am looking forward to letting go, learning to follow my intuition, listening to my body, heart, and soul, and seeing what becomes of me and my delicious life.

Part of trusting is knowing that everything happens for a reason and that it will all be ok in the end.

Just thinking about it makes me uncomfortable still, but I know with time and practice and patience and forgiveness when I screw up, it will soon be a part of who I am, like change and flexibility now are.

I encourage you to pick a word for YOUR 2018. Something that will guide you into the next phase of your life. A word that helps you become the best version of yourself. An idea or concept that will ultimately bring you peace and happiness and unconditional self-love.

And have the best 2018 EVER!!

I would love to know what your word is this year!

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Focus With Your Word of the Year

Focus On Your Word Of The YearEach year I pick a word that encompasses what I am working on in my life and want to accomplish in the following year. I don’t try hard to find a word, I wait for one to choose me. I reflect on the past year, think about the upcoming year, and then meditate on how I can be the best possible version of myself.

I always want to be taking baby steps toward my ideal life, so my word helps me stay focused and reminds me of my priorities.

Last year my word was SIMPLICITY. I spent time in 2013 getting rid of physical stuff when we got rid of everything and moved into the RV. I spent 2014 simplifying my businesses, debt, and finances. And then I spent 2016 working on my time management and making space in my life for the things that were most important to me.

In 2017, I wanted to simplify even further, working toward resolving some of my complex emotions and cleaning up my mental garbage I had been clinging to for too long. I wanted to create more space in my life, more systems to make my lifestyle goals work, and make a life I could feel at ease with.

I had no idea how this would all matriculate, only that I was craving more simplicity in my life.

Throughout the year, when I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I would remember my word and see what I could get rid of. Even when I was living pretty much out of my car, I would always find something to get rid of.

Sometimes it was material things, sometimes de-cluttering my lists, sometimes deleting files from my computer, and sometimes just saying “no” to opportunities, people, and activities, which isn’t always easy!!

By the end of the year, I had made room for whatever was next to come for me and my life. I enjoy seeing space on my calendar and like to over-plan the time each activity will take me during my day. It’s relieved stress, anxiety, and over-whelm which causes me to over-eat and under-sleep. So a total upward spiral!

Focusing on this one word helped me in all areas of my life throughout 2017. I still have some work to do (as always) and still would like to create more systems in my businesses and life to simplify even further, but I’m constantly a work in progress and I know it will come.

I’m excited to see what comes of my 2018 year of “trust”.

What is your word?

What is a word that encompasses not only what you are working toward in your life, but also what you want right now?

What would help give you peace of mind?

What would help you love yourself and your life more?

What would help fill what is missing from your life?

What is something you have always wanted but were afraid to go for?

If you haven’t put any thought into any of these questions, take some time over the next few days in silence or mediation or before you go to sleep at night or in your car before work when you have a few minutes to yourself, and consider picking a word for yourself for 2018.

I would love to hear your word for 2018.

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Here’s to the best year EVER!

See you soon!

Homework: Be Brave

Homework: Be BraveThis past weekend I was racing in South Dakota. While riding my bike on the gorgeous Iron Mountain Highway in Custer State Park, I made a decision that I wanted to simplify my life EVEN MORE than I already had so I could train and race all the time to feel the way I did in that moment. I have been struggling to get rid of some of the “stuff” I have left in the 5 bins I still store and cart around with me everywhere I go.

But being excited about living more simply so I can race and train more, made it easy to get back home and start tossing stuff!!

This also got me thinking about emotional baggage and holding onto people, places, jobs, habits, and relationships that no longer serve us but we struggle to let go.

Here is what I came up with…

The more excited and passionate you are about the outcome (or potential outcome) from what you are giving up or changing, the easier it is to let it go.

So I started thinking about the things that have been hard for me to let go of, give up, or change. I then thought about what the end result would be. I asked myself “on a scale from 1-10, how excited am I about this end result”? If it was an 8 or higher, it was easy to make the change, if it was any lower, it was a struggle.

I wanted to share this with you guys in case you have something that is hard to let go of, hard to give up, or hard to change. Go through the process I just described and see where it takes you!

If your “why” is lower than an 8, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not important to you. You many need to re-think why you want to do it or maybe it’s not something that you’re ready to let go of or ready to change in your life RIGHT NOW! And that’s OK.

We’re not always ready to make those big changes in our life.

If it’s something that’s important to you, you’ll find a way when you’re ready to get excited and get passionate about it and make the change.

If it’s FEAR holding you back or the UNKNOWN (2 things that hold most people back) I just want to share one of my fave quotes: Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

Will it always work out the way you want it to? Probably not. But is it always worth it? IMO yes!

I always learn something about myself in the process which moves me closer to self-love, my ideal life, and being the best version of myself I can create.

If you are ready to make a change in your life whether it’s in your finances or your health or your fitness or your relationship or just loving yourself more and you need some guidance, I can definitely help!!

I have coached hundreds of people just like you who are ready to make a change but not quite sure where to start. My philosophy is baby steps, one day at a time, small incremental changes over time that will result in big life changes!

I offer coaching calls anywhere from 15 minutes to 60 minutes depending on how much time you have and how much guidance that you want to help you go from where you are now to where you want to be.

Please reach out to me and let’s set up a time to talk. If you’re not ready that’s OK, I will be here when you are. And in the meantime I have some positive places for you to hang out with me!

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www.Facebook.com/groups/RealResultsRock

See you soon!

Baby Steps: Discipline

Baby Steps: Discipline... People seem to think because I typically eat healthy, I get all my training in and work out daily, and I race a lot as an athlete, that I am a very disciplined person.In my line of work, the health, fitness, and nutrition industry, and as an athlete, the word discipline gets thrown around all the time. People seem to think because I typically eat healthy, I get all my training in and work out daily, and I race a lot as an athlete, that I am a very disciplined person.

I don’t believe that anyone is naturally a more disciplined or undisciplined person.

I believe that discipline is a skill that we can all practice, learn, and get better at.

The other day at the pool, I was thinking about the concept of discipline. I was breathing on “twos”, which for you non-swimmers out there means that I was breathing to the right side every time my head and body turn to the right (ever 2 arm strokes). This isn’t the most effective or efficient way to swim, but for me it’s the easiest. A harder way is to breathe on threes or fours or fives or sixes which means I have to hold my breath longer and breathe on opposite sides (called bilateral breathing), which for me means I have to work a little harder and focus a little bit more.

So I challenged myself to breathe on threes or fours for the entire next set and I kept saying to myself “practice discipline in the small things in your life so that it’ll be easier to be disciplined in the big things in your life”.

Practice discipline in the small things so that it will be easier in the big things. So basically in the grand scheme of life it really doesn’t matter if I breathe on twos, but breathing on threes or fours is more of a challenge so I am practicing discipline.

Then when something that actually matters in life comes up, such as skipping a work out or doing the work out, I have practiced and gotten better at discipline and it will make it easier for me to just do the work out rather than skip it.

So here is your homework for today:

Throughout the day, if there something that you think you should do or that could move you toward the life that you really want (but maybe don’t really feel like doing it), I challenge you to do it.

Even if it’s something super simple and small such as choosing a salad over French fries as your side dish at the drive-through. Or choosing water over soda at the gas station when you’re thirsty. Or if you’re trying to save money, filling up your water bottle with tap water instead of buying it. Or choosing to park far away from the office instead of close so that you need to walk a few extra steps. Or choosing to turn off the TV after one show and get an extra half an hour of sleep. Or choosing to set your alarm without the snooze option to get up and get your day moving. Or choosing to adding spinach in your shake for breakfast in the morning. Or choosing to say no to something that isn’t that big a deal but you really didn’t want to do it. Etc, Etc, Etc!! GOT IT?

Once you get used to being disciplined in the small seemingly insignificant choices that you make each and every day, when a big or more important decision comes up, it will be easier for you to choose wisely it’ll be easier for you to be disciplined in that choice as well.

I would love to hear about your tiny successes just like mine I had in the pool the other day, because your successes in being disciplined in the small things AND the big things will inspire me and others to start making better decisions and choices in their own lives.

We all need the inspiration and motivation to be disciplined, if it was an easy choice it wouldn’t be called discipline!

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