Ignore My…..

I met a nblack Xew mom friend recently.  She has the most precious kids.  I met her at a time where, aside from family, I didn’t really feel as if I had any true friends here.  And there she was.  We clicked instantly.

In the weeks since I’ve met her, we talk regularly. Little did I know that as much as I was looking for a friend, she was looking for the same.  We’ve been to lunch together (without kids) and our kids have had play dates.

Today I saw her and she said, “Ignore the hair on my face. I’m getting laser surgery and can’t shave it until then.” I could tell she felt embarrassed.  Little did she know, I had never noticed it.  Even when she pointed it out, I still didn’t notice it.

How often do we think we have character ‘flaws’ that others can see?  We often think we have this big X on our chest and the entire world notices.  Sometimes it’s something visible like a new gray hair.   Other times we think everyone knows our “news”.

“That stranger on the street looked at me funny, he must know I had an argument with my husband.”

“My child’s teacher smiled at me funny. She must know I ate an entire carton of ice cream last night.”

“I wore these same jeans yesterday. I’m pretty sure my boss just did a second look as I walked by.”

When we are in these predicaments, we usually tell on ourselves without realizing the other person really didn’t notice.  “Last night was so stressful, the kids were acting crazy, I burned dinner and we ran out of toothpaste.  I was so stressed, I ate the entire carton of butter pecan ice cream since we were out of wine!”

Yikes!

Yeah, that yikes face is usually the look the other person gives you at the end of your over sharing.

We need to quit being so hard on ourselves and instead realize that the self doubts and confessions that we have are usually seen by only one person.  You. There’s often too much happening in the world to each of us, that we don’t have time to judge others.  I know for me, I take pride in the fact that I put two black matching socks on each morning. That’s success.

So, the next time you think your life is a hot mess and everyone around you is talking behind your back – STOP.  BREATHE. CHILL OUT.

Life is crazy.  Motherhood is insane.  Marriage can be a trial.

And everyone can relate! We’re in this game of life together

Oh No He Didn’t!

I knew it would happen.

I just didn’t know when.

I just didn’t know how.

I took two years and four months.

That’s right! Maximus finally climbed out of the bed.

At first I thought he was scared of climbing out and it would never happen.  The first couple of times he tried, he’d climb on the top edge and just sit there. I think he got nervous, so he’d climb back down the rail into his bed and go back to sleep.

After several days of building up his upper body strength, I think he did some research on my phone.  That has to be the way he came up with his genius idea. Because no longer was he afraid to climb over the crib rail.  Now, he found a way to climb onto the changing table that sat connected.

Imagine to my surprise walking into his room to see him sitting, and smiling, upon the changing table.  That little rascal!  He thought he was the smartest thing ever.  And I guess for that brief minute he was. I immediately gave him the speech about how he could get hurt, he needed to stay in his crib….. I’m sure in his world, all he heard was, “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….”

I immediately called my husband to tell him about our son’s latest feat.  Hubby said that it’s finally time for the big boy bed.  I’ve been dreading this big boy bed because I feel he will no longer be contained.  Gone will be the days where I know no wrong doing can happen late at night in his bed.  I wasn’t ready just yet.  I needed more time.

Fast forward ahead about a week later.  I laid Maximus down for his nap.  As usual, I walk out of his room, close the door, walk right across the hall to my bedroom and close my bedroom door.  But this time was different.  Before I could walk seven steps to our recliner, I heard a door in the hallway open.  It was an unfamiliar sound.  I wondered if my husband had come home early from work.

I open my bedroom door, and standing there before me is Mr. Maximus with the widest smile in the world.  Not only had he climbed out of bed.  But he safely landed and was so excited to boast about it that he opened in door and started walking toward mine.

Needless to say, the big boy bed will be installed A.S.A.P.!!!!

From Sweats to Heels

When it comes to the looks department, I’ve always thought I was pretty average. Not drop dead gorgeous and not a troll.  I’ve never been one to wear a lot of makeup or a lot of jewelry.  Simple Simonita should be my name.  My clothing of choice – a matching sweatsuit outfit. Comfortable and easy.

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This is a photo of me with my natural hair freshly washed and no makeup on. (In other words, this is the me my husband sleeps next to every night)

Plus, since I’m in the fitness industry and am a work-from-home mother, sweats are my uniform.  My hair pulled back is my signature style. Easy, peasy, normal – Covergirl! Do I like to get dressed up every once in a while? Sure.  Do I like wearing dresses? Yes. But do I also play on the fact that I look young for my age (37), have a toddler and don’t care what others think ? You betcha!

This is that same hair straightened at home (but not styled). My expression looks like I just changed my son's diaper!

This is that same hair straightened at home (but not styled). My expression looks like I just changed my son’s diaper!

But, all of that changed last month when I traded in my sweats for a pair of black thigh high boots.  I had trained for nine weeks for a fitness competition and wanted to take some photos to capture being in the best shape I’d been in as a mother. I actually dragged my feet scheduling the photo shoot because I just didn’t ‘feel it’.  The competition was over and I was enjoying food. I wanted to do the shoot, then I didn’t. I was tired. I almost canceled, but I didn’t. And I’m glad I went.

Long story short – when the photographer, Shanna Simpson, posted my photos on her Facebook page, I was speechless.  I couldn’t believe the person in the photos were me.  I couldn’t believe that my basic makeup (courtesy of Kroger and Walgreens) would turn me into someone worthy of an album cover.

MYT Shana

**Side note: If you’ve never purchased grocery store makeup, give it a chance.  The back of the eye shadow packages are numbered and tell you exactly how to apply it. Genius!

**Side note #2: If you’re having a bad hair day, or just want different hair – live on the edge and buy a wig.  My photo shoot wig’s name was Estelle.  She was delivered in a manilla envelope and lives in a plastic bag.  But honey, when she sits upon my head – we WORK. IT. OUT!

My pics helped me realize that many of the celebrities that we idolize are probably pretty simple/basic people.  I believe if you took away their makeup artists, hair stylists and wardrobists (is that even a word?) s/he would blend in with society like the rest of us. Although they are probably naturally pretty, I’m sure plenty of assistance goes into making them stunning.

I also believe all of us have a fire kitten hidden (meow!) inside of us. TRUST ME – I don’t know where the foxy mamacita came from once I put on those black boots, but I know she exists somewhere inside me.  Deep, deep down.

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So, the next time you’re flipping through magazines saying to yourself how you wish you looked like (fill in the blank), put forth the effort and see if you can.  Bathe your body, throw on some deodorant, find two pair of socks that match, brush your hair (wash it first), buy some new makeup (search for coupons first), throw on some cute clothes (search your kids closet if you don’t have any) and know that sexy lives in us all!

Quest to Step Back on Stage

It wasn’t pretty.  It wasn’t easy – but I did it!

That’s right. I got back on the competition stage – twice!  When I started training, I wanted to do a competition in nine weeks.  However, the Tricky Jackson classic was six weeks into my training and my coach, Larry Jackson, thought I could be ready by then.  So I did.  For selfish reasons, I wanted to do that competition so that I could eat whatever I wanted afterwards for a couple of days. YUM!

3rdMastersThat show was on October 19 in Lexington, KY.  I entered the Open and Masters division (ages 35+).  I stayed the night before and thought I’d be able to relax and sleep in.  But, I found myself waking up Saturday morning at 5:00am missing my husband and toddler.  I did what any mother would – turned on the television and started watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

At the competition, Masters was first and I was called onstage in the top three.  When it came time for the open, I was not in the first callout (the top places in the class) and was the first called out for second callout.  I was definitely disappointed. I had never been in second callout at a local show.  But I had to remind myself I hadn’t competed in over three years and just was pregnant not too long ago.  Between shows Milton and I enjoyed a wonderful cheeseburger with french fries.

Results: 3rd place Masters, 7th place Open

Instead of being discouraged, I was more determined to train hard and follow my meal plans for the next three weeks leading up to KY Muscle.  It didn’t get any easier with my family. My son didn’t understand why he couldn’t feed me his uneaten food.  My husband and I love to go out to eat, but I’d just sit there with my measured water.  I set a goal for myself and I was determined to achieve it.

KY Muscle was on November 9 in Louisville, KY.  This was a HUGE show – over 400 competitors.  I JL3decided to just enter Masters and we were the last division onstage.  The show started at 10:00am, we were on stage at 3:30pm. Long show! I was excited to be called in the first callout and moved closer to the center.

KY Muscle was a special show for me because of all the shows that I’ve done, never have I competed in my hometown.  Most of my friends have never been able to see me on stage. But at this show, they could! I was proud to place second in my class and receive the infamous sword as a trophy. I loved having people walk up to me, that I didn’t even know were in the crowd, congratulating me.  I loved being a part of a team with one of my good friends as a trainer.

People ask when I will compete again, but I tell them that was my “Hang Up the Heels” competition.  I absolutely adore being onstage, but it’s much more difficult to train when you have a husband and toddler at home wanting and deserving your attention.  I’m glad that I was able to show mothers around the world that you can set a personal goal and be successful!

Why This Competition is Different

trainIt’s hard for me to believe that I’m already four weeks into my competition prep.  And, I’ll be honest.  There are many times I wanted to quit. Many.  For many different reasons.  But, unfortunately/fortunately, I let everyone know I was going to compete and I don’t want to be seen as a quitter. 

Preparing to compete is no easy venture.  When I competed from 2008-2010 I was worry free.  I was single and ready to mingle.  The main thing on my mind was competing and I went at it full force.  The main thing I had to worry about when I woke up in the morning was what color sports bra to wear to the gym.  My abs were cute, I was cute, I was on a mission.

Now, all of that has changed.  I am married.  I am a mother of a toddler. My priorities are completely different.  I wake up thinking about the activities my son and I are going to do together.  At night I can’t wait to spend quality time with my husband.  It sucks not to be able to eat dinner with them at night and eat the same things they do. We went on a vacation to DC for a week. While I cooked most of my food, I enjoyed two meals with husband. I’m so over chicken breasts.  I’m so over tilapia. 

The other thing that is different this time is the category I’ll be doing.  I LOVED competing in fitness.  The surge of energy doing a two minute routine is thrilling.  I actually started as a figure competitor.  That was cool too because I was able to build muscle, but not too much muscle.  But, now…… Now, I am a bikini competitor.  I remember when bikini first became a division and I thought very little about it.  Even now it’s my least favorite division, although it’s the most popular when it comes to numbers. I now must get on stage in an itsy witsy teeny weeny (I don’t know the color) bikini!

So, I’m just weeks away from my first post-marriage, post-pregnancy competition.  I had a major setback last week when I became sick with meningitis type symptoms.  I was in bed and out of commission for almost six days.  It sucked.  I didn’t eat like crap, I just didn’t eat.  But I learned it’s one of those things you either let hold you back or use as a comeback.  Mine is going to be a comeback baby.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  My good friend Larry Jackson is my trainer.  Some people think that could be weird, but it’s actually been a good thing.  He knows me and I trust him.  While I may call him and very briefly complain about eating tilapia three times a day, he know when he gets off the phone that I’ll eat it. He and his wife have fallen in love with the competition industry and I’m proud to be a part of his team.

So, please wish me luck and say a prayer that these next couple of weeks go as planned.  Pray my butt gets smaller and my smile gets wider.  Pray the judges say, “That’s one hot mama!” and award me first place. Now, off to eat some asparagus I go.

What in the World?!

My First Figure Competition (March 2008)

My First Figure Competition (March 2008)

 

I always told people that I would never do it again. I said that I didn’t miss it. I talked about how I enjoyed watching other people do it, just not me. Well, fast forward two years and I take everything I’ve said back.

I was sitting at home on my bed and this random thought came into my head. The voice yelled in my ear, “Michelle, you need to compete again!” I NEED TO WHAT?! Huh? Do you realize I just had a baby last year and that my body is no longer shaped the same? What?! Have you seen my mommy pooch or my ‘close to 40′ butt? Yikes!!! Do you know how much I value a nap? What in the world?

I then found my fingers reaching for my cell phone to see when the next local competition is. It’s 9.5 weeks away. Oh boy! I begin to wonder 1) where were these thoughts coming from and 2) who will think I’m crazy for wanting to do it and talk me out of it.

So, I first call my friend Larry Jackson who trains ladies to compete. His response was, “Let’s Do It!” He said to throw on a bikini and send him a picture. A bikini? Me? I used to rock a bikini with pride, but now they hide in the back of my closet. Whew. I told him I needed to pray about it and that I’d either send him a photo in my bathing suit or some random crazy picture to let him know my mind isn’t right.

I knew there was one person I could depend on to talk me off the competition ledge – my husband. He always talked about how he didn’t like it when I competed because I was no fun to be around when I lack carbs. Surely he doesn’t want Carbless Barbie Michelle laying next to him every night. I picked up the phone to call him. His response – “Go For It!” Say what?! Do what?! Huh?

Everyone around me was supporting my decision. I thought it would be cool to try to get in shape to compete. My body is in no way the shape it used to be and my muscle defiinition has decreased. I may have to enter bikini instead of figure (which bothers me) but it could be fun.

So ladies and gents, my goal is to compete in 9 weeks. I’m hoping to bring my abs out of hiding and tighten up my glutes. I know nutrition is going to be key and I’ll be using a meal plan and the Visalus products in addition to my workouts. Wish me luck and say a prayer – I sure do need them!