Day 20: Finally Free

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 20, 2014

#day20 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete. Finally #debtfree!

#day20 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete. Finally #debtfree!

It is November 20, 2014, and we just printed the payment confirmation for our final debt payment. As soon as that payment clears, we are 100% debt free. We own both of our cars, we rent our home, and we don’t owe a penny to anyone. For the first time in my adult life, I am totally and completely free.

On July 17, 2012, we filed bankruptcy. It was granted on October 31, 2012, leaving us with approximately $35,000 in back taxes and student loans we still owed. Despite losing Jesse’s income when we left our foreclosed home in Virginia on December 1, 2012, and arrived in our current home in Florida on December 3, 2012, we managed to pay off over $25,000 in debt between December 2012 and August 2014 — including about $4500 in NEW debt that we added to the total.

On August 19, 2014, we walked into our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class with $10,402.02 cents in remaining debt. Today, three months and one day later, it’s gone. Every penny of it is paid.

I literally never thought I would be financially free. Through my childhood, I watched my parents struggle with finances. I watched my mom cut paper napkins in half to save money and my dad’s face grow tight and gaunt from stress with every rainy day because rain meant lost time on his home-building jobs. These are two respectable people who worked hard and well and could never get ahead. And I thought that would be my life. I just figured that was normal.

So in college, when I had the opportunity to get my first credit card, I didn’t bat an eye when I signed the papers. My mom had always told me to live within my means, but I didn’t even know what that meant. I just knew money was stress. I just knew money scared me. And a credit card felt like safety.

Several credit cards, a car loan, and a debt consolidation later, it felt like an albatross, and despite several fresh starts, I could never quite get it. I married a man who, like me, had thousands of dollars in debt, and the, because some fool gave us a mortgage, we bought a house. Then, we sold that house and bought a larger house with a bigger mortgage payment. We made decent money, we paid the bills on time, but we could never quite get it. We were never content. We were always striving. Which meant more debt — but always things we thought we needed (like a different used car, for instance), or deserved (like a timeshare).

Looking at it in retrospect, it was only a matter of time before our lack of foresight and financial immaturity came crashing down on us. But when I got pregnant and was completely disabled for a year, my disability payments didn’t come close to covering all of our expenses, not without Jesse’s income, which he lost because he was taking care of me. We went from comfortable to crisis in a period of weeks.

When that happened, and when the word bankruptcy entered the conversation, I was so ashamed. I was ashamed for being stupid and irresponsible and not having the maturity and wisdom to see the nicely furnished hole we were digging. But, at the same time, I figured if it could happen to us, two smart, hardworking people with well-paying jobs, it could happen to anyone.

In fact, I learned that it had happened to a lot of people in my life, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it. No one wanted to admit that they had made mistakes or judgment errors or just didn’t know what the hell they were doing and ended up in a hole. And instead of climbing out or asking for a rope and a good pull, they kept digging.

Silence keeps people broke. Shame keeps people broke. Being afraid to ask for help, to learn, to develop skills, to hold yourself accountable and develop self-discipline — it keeps people broke.

Repeat filers — people who have previously filed for bankruptcy and are now filing again — make up 16% of bankruptcy cases. In 2012, the average credit-card-holding American household had $15,950 in credit card debt. The average student loan debt load for the class of 2012 was $29,400.

NerdWallet puts the numbers as of November 2014 at:

  • Average credit card debt: $15,593
  • Average mortgage debt: $153,184
  • Average student loan debt: $32,511

This. Is. Madness. And I’m not saying that to be Judgy McJudgypants. I’m saying it because it’s hard to believe that in our debt-driven culture, we got out of that.

We were determined not to be part of the statistics. But we didn’t know what to do to prevent it until we finally owned up to being clueless and needing help. Then, all of these supporters came out of the woodwork with their own stories of financial demise and crisis and panic. Some were telling their stories from a distance, because their crisis happened long ago. But too many were in the midst of it, or just out of the thick of it and as directionless as we were.

That’s why we signed up for Financial Peace University. What we did before obviously didn’t work. We had one big of misfortune, and everything fell apart. Even after the bankruptcy, we had crushing debt and always too much month left at the end of the money. Because we didn’t know what we were doing.

We needed hand-holding. We needed step-by-step. We were on the right track, but mostly by accident. Now, we have a plan, a structure, goals, and most importantly, a united front and a commitment to staying debt free — and teaching our kids to do the same.

For us, the biggest crisis of our lives as a married couple so far was the financial crisis we experienced when I was pregnant. Medical disability was the catalyst, but the choices we made in the previous 8 years were what created the problem in the first place. And it was preventable. If we had learned money management skills, if we had made a plan, if we had set goals and worked together on them, our lives would be very different right now.

We thought bankruptcy was really the end for us. It turns out, though, it was the beginning. It forced us to truly take responsibility for our lives, to rely on each other, and to get very, very real about what’s important. And the fear of going through that stress again or bringing up our kids in a house where “money” and “bills” were four-letter words motivated us to make major changes, admit our ignorance, and set a new course for ourselves and our family.

There’s no shame in screwing up. But there’s madness in doing the same thing over and over and over when it’s clearly not working. If you’re stuck, you can get out. And it doesn’t have to mean bankruptcy. There are options. But if it does mean bankruptcy, it’s not the end. It may be hard, but it’s not the end. Don’t wait for the crisis. Don’t wait for it to get more out of control. Act now. You CAN do this.

We’re proof.

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

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Day 19: Stop Being Average

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 19, 2014

#day19 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete.

#day19 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete.

Ever have one of those days where all of the pieces align perfectly for you to get bonked over the head with exactly the right message you need to receive? Today was one of those days for me.

First, I overslept. I overslept because I forgot to set my alarm last night because I didn’t do my bedtime routine. I didn’t do my bedtime routine because I stayed up too late and was “too tired” to do what I should have done. I was too tired because I have been staying up too late most nights lately, even though I know it’s bad for me, because I’m not managing my time effectively (though hopefully last night’s calendaring session will have helped with that moving forward). And when I’m too tired I get into this cycle of oversleeping because I skip steps and my husband, who is awesome, gets up with the kids and lets me sleep because he knows I’m tired. And then I run around like an idiot all day scrambling to get caught up and then I stay up too late to get ahead and the whole thing repeats.

So, this morning I overslept. And because I overslept I missed my run. And because I missed my run, I’m now behind again on my goal of running 100 miles this month and trying to figure out how to make that happen. (I see a few back-to-back 10Ks in my future, FYI). Because I overslept, I also missed out on my morning cuddle time with the boys, which made them grumpy and a handful for Jesse all day — and also really eager to run up to me while I was working and loudly announce cool things when I really couldn’t interact with them about it, which made them and me very sad.

And because I overslept, all of those things happened and also, I got to my desk late and didn’t have time to adequately prepare for my day, which always leaves me feeling off and like I’m constantly behind, even if everything is actually fine.

And because of all of that, I just felt like I let everyone down all day. It’s an awful feeling.

But.

It put me in exactly the right position to hear the message I got tonight on a very special personal development call that Jesse and I were part of a small group to qualify to attend through some of our Herbalife activities. It wasn’t a message I hadn’t heard before, but you know how you can hear something several times but you’re just not listening because you don’t fully get it?

Tonight I fully got it.

I’m paraphrasing rather liberally here, but the message was this:

Our lives are a representation of the thoughts we carry around in our heads all day. Don’t say, ‘I don’t know how’ or ‘I can’t.’ Say, ‘I’m going to do whatever it takes to make it happen.’ Believe in yourself. Unhappy people focus on what they don’t want. They don’t want to be broke, to be lonely, to have a job they hate, to be sick, to be fat, to be tired, to be WHATEVER. And they put all their thoughts and their energy and their heart into what they don’t want.

You have to change your mindset to change your life. Focusing on what you DO want, all the time, no matter what is like getting a GPS for the universe and entering the address of where you want to be into it, so you have the directions to get exactly to that spot. Change your mindset from the things you don’t want; focus on the life you DO want, and do whatever it takes to get there.

All day, I didn’t want to have woken up late. But the fact is, I did do it. All day, I didn’t want to have skipped my run. But the fact is, I did do it. Wasting time and energy wishing the truth wasn’t true, which I realize now is seriously all I did today, was a complete waste of time. It programmed my GPS to go backwards, to a place I don’t even want to be. Which is why I felt crummy about myself all. day. long. Because I told myself to.

I woke up, after a good sleep, in a warm bed in a safe, pleasant home, surrounded by people who love me, and went to a rewarding and lucrative job that allows me to provide for my family while doing things I enjoy, and then I got to spend my evening helping people improve their health and their lives. How is that not an amazing day???

After I got off the call tonight, I sat down to do this post and decided to clear out some pages I had bookmarked earlier, articles friends had shared on Facebook that I wanted to read. The first one I opened, about 5 minutes after this call ended, is titled “The average person complains 30 times every day. Would you like to stop?” Yes. Yes I would. Which is why the healthy part of me flagged that article earlier today, and why the healthy part of me knew after listening to that call tonight, knew that now would be the right time to read the article.

There are seven tips for stopping complaining, and they’re great. You should go read them.

But this quote at the end drove it all home for me, everything int he article, everything on the call, and everything that happened all day and even really all this month, while I’m striving for major change. Here it is:

“The opposite of complaining is gratitude. We should talk about things we are thankful for rather than things we are unhappy about. Our minds are like steering wheels, they take us in the direction we point them. If we focus on positive things, we move in the direction of greater happiness and more success.” - AComplaintFreeWorld.org

I have read this quite probably a dozen times before today. I have a ComplaintFreeWorld.org bracelet and have been following the site for years. But today, finally, I get it. I really, truly, viscerally get it. Complaining, even when I think I’m right and it’s justified, is just steering me farther and farther from the things I want.

I want to be above average. I want to live a life of joy and gratitude every day. I want to spend quality time with my kids every morning and evening. I want to have a fun and fulfilling relationship with my husband. I want to run or do something else that makes my body feel powerful every day. I want to create an example for my children to follow, one that will serve them well in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. I want them to be proud of me, and i want to deserve it. I want to live an amazing life that inspires others to pursue their own amazement. These are the things I want. These are the things I need to focus on, because this is where I want my GPS to go.

What do you want?

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

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Day 18: Caught in the Rain

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 18, 2014

#day18 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete.

#day18 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete.

It was rumbling in the distance when I woke up for my run this morning, but no rain or lightning so I headed out anyway. And then sat in my warm car procrastinating for like 20 minutes as I sipped my rapidly cooling tea because it was cold and I didn’t want to get out. Partly because of the cold and partly because I was still sore and was afraid running would hurt or somehow I wouldn’t like it anymore after completing my half.

Finally I dragged myself out of the car, started my run timer, and got moving. And this amazing thing happened. It felt incredible. So natural. Like, why did I waste 20  minutes in the car when I could have been running that whole time? I was a little tight at first but loosened up quickly and found my groove almost immediately, and my breath was perfect.

And then it started raining. No problem. I popped a visor on and then put my monkey hat back on on top of it (because when it’s cold I run in a sock monkey hat; don’t judge; I have no hair) and kept going and somehow it was even better than running without the rain. I felt like a badass. Two days ago, I ran a half-marathon. Now I’m out running in the rain in 50-degree weather. Because I am a badass.

And then the thunder became considerably less distant and there was lightning and I may have broken a personal speed record on my way to the car. I managed to get in 2 of my planned 4 miles despite my procrastination and the weather, and got an extra 40 minutes of unplanned snuggle time with the kids this morning.

Of course they wanted nothing to do with me, because the only time they want me is when I’m making a major presentation to a client on a conference call or, better yet, a video conference. That’s how toddlers roll.

These toddlers roll like potty-training champs though. Especially Miles. Dude will do anything for a chocolate chip, including peeing AND pooping on the potty ALL DAY with NO ACCIDENTS, not even in his pull-up. Emmett, who has been dabbling in the potty arts for several months, is proving a tough nut to crack and would rather glare at you while peeing on the floor than accept your suggestion that it’s time to sit on the potty. He totally knows what to do but is in a mood the last few days. Hoping once it passes things will get back to normal.

My runger is slowly fading, but I still had a weird food day. I kind of front loaded with oatmeal and pancakes, then had a dip in the middle of the day that involved skipping my planned snacks, then inhaled a can of tuna, then forgot to bring a snack to FitDance but drank a Rebuild shake after, and then made myself an ENORMOUS plate of lasagna for dinner but ate less than half of it. I’m craving salt like it’s my JOB, so I think I’m still normalizing post-run. Need to try to get ahead of this more before the next race so the following week feels less weird.

We sat down and did the family calendar for the next two months, and I feel very organized. We try to have a monthly calendar sync and then weekly updates in addition to monthly budgeting and monthly meal planning. We also put all of the races we want to compete in for the next 6 months on the calendar so we can budget for them and make plans for one of us to volunteer so the other can complete for free whenever possible.

I didn’t exactly get through everything I wanted to do today, but I’m feeling increasingly accomplished, substantially less panicked, and more on the same page with my family as this 30 days of radical accountability unfolds. It’s definitely in the realm of progress not perfection, but I think that’s where it should be. I was way off base before and didn’t even know it. So now, resetting is my chance to figure out where the problems lie and get a handle on them.

It’s a start. And it’s definitely working for me.

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

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Day 17: I Vastly Underestimated the Impact

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 17, 2014

Photo on 11-17-14 at 11.53 PM

#day17 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete.

I still keep expecting to wake up and realize that yesterday was a dream, that I didn’t really complete an entire half-marathon. And then I move, and my legs remind me that it definitely happened, and that this is actually, totally, really my very real life. How weird is this?

I am a bit stunned still. Which I guess makes sense since it’s barely been 24 hours. But I have the sneaking suspicion that parts of my brain — the ones that try to tell me I can’t do things and are afraid of failure — are subtly rewiring in important ways. No wonder I feel not myself. I am not who I was two days ago. Not by a long shot.

I’m still processing this. But part of the effect is that previously overwhelming situations somehow seem less so. Situations like all the laundry that needed folding today, and the screaming toddlers in the middle of a work call. Because if I can run over 13 miles in under 3 hours, I can handle that stuff.

There are two moments from the last 48 hours I don’t want to forget:

  1. Yesterday: Rounding the corner after the last stretch of the race and seeing my friend Jen’s smiling face, as she clapped and cheered for me over the final yards of the course right to the finish line. As my eyes landed on her and I heard her shouting my name, I started crying. The realization that I. Was. Finishing. The. Race. literally took my breath away. It was the only time in 13.1 miles that I found myself unable to catch my breath. Crossing the finish line and running into my husband’s arms was incredible, but that moment before, that moment of realization when I knew I had done it — I don’t even have the words for that emotion. It was earth-shattering in the best possible way.
  2. This morning: Showing Miles and Emmett my medal filled me with a sense of nervousness and pride I have never felt before. I didn’t realize how much I wanted my toddlers to be proud of me for running this race until the fraction of a second between when I pulled my medal out from behind their back and when they reacted to it. They were literally stunned into silence. They both wanted to wear it immediately. When it was Emmett’s turn, he turned it over and over in his hands and studied it before breathing a hushed, “Wowwwwwwwww.” If you ask them, their daddy is strong and their mommy runs very fast.

I want to write about the feeling of elated nausea at the starting line, the moments of pure beauty I encountered on the course, the honor of sharing 2 miles with a 69-year-old man running his 91st marathon the day I ran my first half, the pride in Jesse’s eyes, and so many other moments.

Quick rundown of the last day or so. You know, all the stuff I left out when I was busy aching and being proud of myself:

  • I can’t wait to do it again.
  • My runger knows no bounds. I seriously cannot stop eating.
  • My runner’s trots also knows no bounds. (If you don’t know what that is, I recommend you do not google it.) Hoping once my hydration levels return to normal, everything else will too.
  • I’m surprised by how sore I am and how sore I’m not. I hurt, but far less than I did after my first 10-miler less than a month ago. I think my body is acclimating to long distances.
  • I thought I knew tired before. I was wrong. We were going to have a celebratory sushi lunch after yesterday, but a mile from the restaurant I made Jesse take me home, where I proceeded to sleep like the dead for 2 hours before making him take me to Cracker Barrel, where I ate. all. the. things. Let’s just say I got four sides AND dessert, and there’s none left.
  • Massages are amazing. Massages paid for with gift certificates are even more so.

I have 59.3 miles left to run this month to hit my goal of 100, and resting on my laurels is not an option. Starting tomorrow. Right now, I’m headed to bed and sleep is going to be so awesome.

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

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Day 16: I Did It!

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 16, 2014

Start time: 8:00 a.m.

Duration: 2:57:28

Overall average: 13:33

Fastest mile: 10:47

I still can’t believe this is real. I keep thinking I will wake up and find it was all a dream. But then I feel the weight of this gorgeous thing in my hands, and I know it really happened.

 

x-country half-marathon medal, tampa, florida, run, race

#day16 of #30days of #radicalaccountabiilty complete. On a scale of 1-10, I’d say today was a 13.1.

I really did it. I really finished a half-marathon, my first half and my first cross-country trail run, in under 3 hours. Wow.

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 11.07.50 PM

Follow me on Instagram as @FLFitMom

 

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Day 15: Three… Two… One… BLASTOFF

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 15, 2014

Photo on 11-15-14 at 11.31 PM

#day15 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete. Next time you see me, I’ll be a half-marathoner!

It is less than 12 hours until my half-marathon and I am slightly freaking out. I can’t stop thinking about all the water I didn’t drink, all the sleep I didn’t get, all the miles I didn’t push myself — and I can’t find my GU packets that I bought specifically for the race and put Somewhere I Can’t Possible Lose or Forget Them. Like, seriously? Ugh. I need to designate a spot for that kind of stuff because I tend to lose Things I Must Not Lose.

And I’m obsessing over small details, things that don’t matter, and stuff I can’t control because I’m about to completely blow out of the water my self-concept as A Person Who Doesn’t Do Things by running a flipping 13.1-mile race tomorrow morning. In like 8 hours from now.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 11.20.16 PM

And being all whiny about unimportant flaky stuff is somehow way less scary than just owning that tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. ET I’m going to do something that most people simply don’t do because WOW. That is slightly terrifying.

It feels like standing on the edge of the high dive with everyone watching. You can’t turn back. You know you just need to leap and take a breath and in a moment you will have DONE IT instead of being waiting to do it. But it’s somehow heart-stoppingly terrifying.

AHHHHHHHH!

Okay. Okay. I’m breathing. I’m going to eat my sixth or so meal for the day, have a few minutes of quality time with my foam roller, and try to fall asleep. We roll out tomorrow morning at 4:45 and in less than 12 hours from now I will be a half-marathon finisher. WOW.

Today’s Stats:

I can’t even think about this right now! It was fine. I ate a lot. And drank like four shakes. And took my tabs. And holy crap, why am I still awake right now?

Wish me luck.

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

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Day 14: “I’m a BIIIIG Pony!”

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 15, 2014

Photo on 11-15-14 at 12.08 AM

#day14 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete. it did not involve purchasing more index cards.

I love that my long-haired beach babies not only allow us to put their hair in ponytails, but actually request it. Miles in particular loves when we pull his hair back. “Make me a pony!” he requests. And then when you do it, he screeches, “I a PONY!” and runs around to show everyone his hair before promptly wrecking it while loving it.

These are the things I try to remind myself to focus on when I’m ready to throttle my kids. Like this morning. You know how your kids are like, “Mom! Mommy! Mom! Mama! MAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Mommy!” or that plus asking for the same thing you just said you’d do in a minute and somehow in less than 60 seconds they manage to ask about eleventybillion times? OH MY GOD WHY WON’T YOU PLEASE SHUT UP. This is probably one of my biggest triggers. It drives my anxiety through the ROOF and makes me feel like a cornered animal. I almost lost it this morning.

Miles asked me, “Mommy, can I have a shake?” which is a normal morning request, and I said, “Sure! I just need to finish cleaning up brother’s pee.” Which apparently was the WRONG RESPONSE.

“Mommy! I need a shake!”

“Buddy, I will get it in a minute.”

“Mommy! Make my SHAAAAAAKE.”

“Miles. I am cleaning up pee. As soon as I’m done, I will make you a shake.”

“I need a shake.”

[no response]

“I need a SHAAAAAAAKE.”

[no response]

“MOMMY! MAAAAAAAAAAAAA-MEEEEEEEEEEEE! I need you to make me a SHAAAAAAAAAAAAKE.”

“Miles. I already told you I will make you a shake. I can’t do it until I’m done with this. Please stop asking me.”

“MOMMY! I NEED A SHAKE.”

And….repeat. For what feels like forever.

When you’re elbow deep in a potty chair full of pee that was sitting in a puddle of pee on the plastic splashmat that you located and spread out under the potty chair just the night before, the last thing you want is a little person screaming in your ear and jiggling your elbow.

Mornings are not my best time. If you’ve ever met me, this is obvious. On my good days, I’m barely coherent. On my bad days, I am That Mom you swear you’ll never be. We’ve talked about her before, many times.

I seriously do not know how I did not flip out. But, I didn’t flip out.

I cleaned up the pee. I didn’t scream. I made the shakes. And then this cuteness happened so it was like instant reward for not losing my flipping mind at 7:30 a.m.

I count this a win.

My first half-marathon is in less than 48 hours. My cold is on the way out, thanks to awesome immune support that allowed me to kick it’s butt. And I have an amazing husband who made us a delicious dinner and rented a movie and poured me some delicious wine as a treat to celebrate getting through a long week for both of us. I’m looking forward to sleeping exceptionally well tonight.

Today’s stats:

  • Shakes: One, and lots of solid, nurient-dense foods to make sure I’m prepped for Sunday
  • Tablets: Yeahhhh…about that… I slacked on everything but immunity today.
  • Tea: Not quite as tea crazy today, but still a lot.
  • Protein: On target.
  • Carbs: What up, whole grains and veggies!
  • Water: Not much plain water, but a lot of non-caffeinated fluids. Tomorrow is all about concentrated hydration.
  • Workouts: Pre-race rest day
  • Chores: I unloaded the dishwasher after not screaming at the kiddos. Because I’m awesome like that.
  • Sleep: It’s a work in progress

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 12.11.35 AM

Follow me on Instagram as @FLFitMom

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Day 13: I Forgot to Mention the Bribery

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 13, 2014

Photo on 11-13-14 at 9.18 PM #2

#day13 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete.

Jake and the minions are holding up well, in large part because we’re bribing our children with chocolate chips (aka, “tock tips!”) to use the potty. Because we are awesome parents who resort to cheap bribery. It seems to be working, so we’ll go with it. I told Jesse that we need to start doing intermittent reinforcement very soon because Miles is already obsessed with needing more TOCK TIPS because his butt touched the potty for a millisecond. I keep trying to explain that he gets it only if pee actually comes out, but we’ll get there.

All I know is that while I’m sitting at my desk, I keep hearing them say, “I think I have to pee!” and then a minute or two later there’s a flush and cheering. This is a good sign.

I stayed up WAY too late last night, was awakened multiple times overnight by kids and dogs, and then decided to blow off my run this morning because I was feeling too tired and stuffy to make the trek over to the park. I feel like a slacker, but I also feel like it was the right way to go because I feel MUCH better tonight than I did this morning, and with my half-marathon coming up ON SUNDAY, I’m trying not to push too hard. I’m about 6 miles behind where I wanted to be at this point in the week, but I figure even with that adrenaline will push me along on Sunday so I’ll be fine. I think. I hope. Right?

Right. Because I’ve been training for this and my body is conditioned and I know what to do and I will be FINE. I just need to focus on hydrating, feeding my body, and resting enough so I can do what I need to do.

Which really, one could say about anything in life, right? Enough water, enough food, and enough rest can solve just about anything. I got this. I can do this. I might be in maintenance mode for a few days, but I’m getting in the basics (even if I fail at Instagramming them for the second day in a row).

Today’s stats:

  • Shakes: One down, one to go
  • Tablets: Two sets down, one to go, more immunity stuff
  • Tea: All. The. Tea.
  • Protein: A little low but not bad.
  • Carbs: Too. Much. Toast.
  • Water: I was too busy guzzling hot tea to drink enough water today. I’m okay with that
  • Workouts: Skipped my run, but co-taught an hour-long FitDance class at the park
  • Chores: Laundry really is the never-ending story, but otherwise we’re in good shape.
  • Sleep: As soon as I take a bath, I am going to BED. And it’s gonna be awesome.

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

This is the spot where I would put my day’s Instagram collage…if I had instagramed anything today. Check tomorrow’s post for some latergrams. And you can follow it in real time by visiting me at @FLFitMom.

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Day 12: My House Smells Like Poop

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 13, 2014

Photo on 11-13-14 at 12.06 AM

#day12 of #30days of #radical accountability complete.

Literally like poop. Because going cold turkey on the diapers is an interesting experience, and fortunately I was working and didn’t have to deal with the two partial poop incidents that happened today. But unfortunately I still hyperolfaction from my hyperemesis, and even though it happened hours ago and I’ve had all the windows open for hours, I still smell it.

In reality, our first potty-only day went great. We went through all but 2 pairs of underwear for each kid, which I think was pretty darned good for the first day. They learned how to pee into the toilet standing up for the first time, and had a great time standing to pee in the big potty and sitting to pee on the little potty in the family room for emergencies (when the big potty was occupied or they waited too long). They both initiated going to the potty multiple times, and Miles was having a grand old time running to the little potty, whipping his minions off, and announcing, “I think I need to pee” before fairly LEAPING onto the seat.

And only one of them pooped on the floor.

I’m doing less well, only because this obnoxious cold is really happening, and I’m not super thrilled about it. You know, unlike the rest of the times I’ve had colds and I was overjoyed? I’m definitely being a whiner on this one. I know it. I’m working on being less whiny. I’m trying to focus on that fact that I haven’t been sick with a cold in so long that I can’t remember when the last one was. Instead of being mad that I’ve been training for 4 months for a race that is THIS SUNDAY and now I’m sick. Because that’s what my mind keeps going to, and I have to really consciously tell myself to STOP FOCUSING ON THE THING I DON’T WANT and pay attention to the thing I DO want, which is to feel better and be grateful for good health.

I’m experiencing a variation of what I’ve heard some people refer to as “the yellow Jeep effect.” As in: As soon as you start thinking about buying a yellow Jeep, you see them everywhere you go and HOW DID YOU NEVER NOTICE THAT BEFORE? Which for me looks like: As soon as you decide to start changing how you do things and setting a better example and being completely transparent about your successes and failures, you realize how many things you need to change and how did you NEVER NOTICE THAT BEFORE? It’s a little surreal.

So, on to the radical honesty portion of the evening: I skipped my run and overslept. I spent the entire day in my PJs, except for when I swapped my flamingo pajama pants for jeans I pulled from the hamper to wear to the chiropractor. I basically lived on tea, toast, tablets, and essential oils today, until an hour ago when I drank a shake and some hot apple fiber, and now I’m on my second cup of hot apple fiber. I did drink some soup in there, and Jesse did homemade pizzas for dinner (before realizing it was National Pizza Day, weirdly enough), but it wasn’t exactly a stellar day in terms of nutrition or productivity.

But I’m feeling better, both physically and emotionally. And looking forward to a 4-mile run in the morning before some big meetings at work. It will be an interesting Thursday no doubt.

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

This is the spot where I would put my day’s Instagram collage…if I had instagramed anything today. Check tomorrow’s post for some latergrams. And you can follow it in real time by visiting me at @FLFitMom.

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Day 11: When Jake and the Minions Moved In

by Kristen King, Mommy-in-Training on November 11, 2014

Photo on 11-11-14 at 11.04 PM

#day11 of #30days of #radicalaccountability complete.

How is it possible that my babies, whom Timehop proves to me photographically were still in my belly 3 years ago at this time, are going to be in Big Boy Underwear Because Diapers Are For Babies starting tomorrow? The moment my kiddos emerged from the womb, I got what my mom meant when she said I’d always be her baby. But now I really get it. It is unfathomable to me that these babies of mine are actually little PEOPLE who get annoyed when I call them “baby” as a term of endearment, because, “I not a baby. I big. I a BOY.” Like really, how did this HAPPEN?

To make it weirder and more surreal, I spent an hour today sharing baby items and twin pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding info and experiences with an expectant twin mom and dad whose due days is just a week before the boys were due. Meanwhile, my little PEOPLE who just got back from buying Big Boy Underwear were wandering around talking about how diapers are for babies.

I shared a lot of wisdom that other twin parents and experienced nursers had given me, but I omitted one piece, one I knew I didn’t fully appreciate when I was pregnant but started to around when the boys hit 4 months:

The days are long, but the years are short.

Right now, when I’m flooded with memories of the final weeks of my pregnancy 3 years ago and the final weeks in our old house in Virginia just 2 years ago, I’m astonished by how short the years really are.

So much of the boys’ first year is a blur of screaming and poop and thrush and sleeplessness and loneliness. So much. It was crushingly overwhelming. And at the same time, it was exhilarating, joyful, empowering, and astonishing. And I’m so very glad I took so many pictures and videos, because I think I missed a lot of the astonishment of the day to day because I was just putting one foot in front of the other. I had these magical moments every day, and I lived for them. But at times it’s hard to remember them. I struggle to remember who rolled over first, who cut the first tooth, whose first word was which. I recorded it, Facebooked it, photographed it — and when I see it it brings the memory back. But if I didn’t have those cues, I don’t know if I could call the memories up in my mind. Is that weird?

It’s part of why I miss blogging so much when I don’t do it, and why I wanted to take on NaBloPoMo this year. Blogging forces me to be mindful. I may spend days, like yesterday, putting one foot in front of the other and just surviving, but blogging forces me to reflect on that, to find the meaning in it, to make it matter…instead of just letting it fade into a blur.

I don’t want to look back on my kids lives — on my own life — and feel like I missed it. I don’t want to get so caught up in the daily grind that I forget to notice the little things, to appreciate the beauty in the stolen moments, the ones that are so easy to overlook when you’re running late and someone hit your left shoe and the dog is eating somebody’s forgotten yogurt on the ottoman. I want to fix in my mind the pride and excitement in my boys’ faces when they brought home their Big Boy Underwear that they picked out by themselves because they are Big Boys Who Wear Underwear Now. Because this. This is the stuff that matters.

Today’s Rundown

  • Shakes: 1 down, 1 to go
  • Tablets: Two of 3 sets, but extra immunity support so it kind of evens out?
  • Tea: Excessive
  • Protein: Not enough
  • Carbs: Mmmm, nothing says “I have a cold” like comfort carbs
  • Water: I was too busy guzzling hot tea to drink enough water today. I’m okay with that
  • Workouts: Ran 4 miles, walked half, co-taught an hour-long FitDance class
  • Chores: About to fold 2 loads of laundry while watching Freaks and Geeks on Netflix, otherwise caught up
  • Sleep: Yes, please!

Follow my #30day journey of #radicalaccountability here at Amateur Parenting and through my nutrition and lifestyle journal on Instagram. Want to join me? Add these hashtags — #30days #radicalaccountability #coachkristen #dayX – to your social media posts and let’s do this together.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 11.03.40 PM

Find me on Instagram as @FLFitMom

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