Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Loud thoughts

 Being here in Hawaii is definitely a time of reflection for Chad and I.  I personally feel I am here with my family at this time, on this island to shift my thoughts.   No better place than an island where everything is chill times a million, sun is shining, waves are crashing, people are shaka'ing.....It is a good place to mellow the F out. I have been thinking a lot lately about the past without trying to think about the past. I think too much, period.  I am trying to think less and when I do think, to think positively.   I have been thinking about my past so fondly and that feels strange.   I had negative thoughts playing in my head like a MUTHA.  They were on auto pilot, it is almost like I had no idea it was happening but it was shaping EVERYTHING around me.  Living in Seattle for instance......Chad and I talk about it a lot and we realize we had amazing lives there.  We had so much to be thankful for but it was like we were so blinded by SOMETHIN, ego maybe, I don't know, that we could not even fully enjoy it.  I look at pictures of Washington now and think........man, that was such a great moment, or wow, I really miss Juanita beach or that walk I used to do with Dutch all the time.....I realize the thing that is separating me from that photo is my thoughts.  What am I going to look back on in two years and think.........I should have been in that moment more.  I should have stopped complaining and started appreciating.
I know I do it with motherhood.  damnit.  I do.
I get frustrated or worried or fearful or I project shit onto Dutch that is probably made up in my head.
Waste of time.
I won't beat myself up for this shit because I am very intentionally working on this.
With love in my heart and quietness in my mind.
The negative thought thing is something I really need to stop.  Just stop it.
I have been more aware of my thoughts lately and that shit is NE-GA-TIVE.  Not needed.
No one can hear or even tell and its really not an issue, but I want to see what happens when I really turn it off.
When I stop complaining, judging, fearing, comparing, doubting, worrying.

I have been trying to listen to my thoughts lately rather than just letting them play.

for example, the cooking dinner thoughts sometimes.......
this counter is too small
this house is too small
why is it so loud in here
can Dutch turn that frickin tv down
Vader is so hairy
Vader probably makes me smell like dog all the time
I bet I smell like dog
ew
I am so gross and I smell
It is so hot in here
Why am I the one cooking all the time
everyone is lazy but me
all I want to do is sit down, poor me
(that was about five seconds living inside my mind)

Even that little bitty innocent negative thought sequence is stealin my flow.  It is robbing me of something.  I don't know what but I am over it.  I want to try to cook dinner and think of NOTHING.  That would be awesome.  I watch the food that we are so lucky to have.  I think about how amazing it is that we have a kitchen, I realize that I get to provide this for my family that I love with all my heart,  The beautiful sound of my happy family hanging out together,  I know that may sound like living in la la land but I want to live in la la land.  I want to live there and stay there and eat in there.  Meditating does help.  Need to do it more.  Journaling does help.  Need to do it more.  Blogging does help, BOOM. 
After one month of serious intention, I wonder what is possible.  Peace, probably.
Dutch's first two years of life were the most terrified I have been ever.  When I look at this picture of him now I wish I could have given myself a hug and told myself I was deserving of being his mom.  I was good enough to do the job.  I would help him become a wonderful person.  I can now.  It is not too late.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

spirit magic slapfest

Working out is usually when I feel the most clear.  It is a moving meditation for me.  I am moving my body, clearing my energy, thinking about how my muscles feel, cultivating strength and really just not letting the bullshit of whatever bullshit is going on, get in my way.   Sometimes when I am really in it and usually when I am by myself, I will have a moment of spirit magic.  I just named it because I have never really talked about this thing that happens but I realize I want to.  Spirit magic is when I get full on messages from spirit, spirit guides or source, the man upstairs, the universe, whatever it is.  I don't know.  I just know that when I hear it, it is not even something I hear but something I feel.  Messages that fly in fast and furious but are CLEAR.
It is beautiful and amazing.
The other night it happened and it was important.  I was working out in my driveway.  It was a beautiful night.  The sun was shining and birds were chirping and singing and just sounding so so so sweet.  I was into the movements and I was fully into what I was doing.  Lunge jumps, push us, burpees, the good body weight stuff.  Its a different type of beast when I can feel that all by myself.  I love working out at the gym but at times its hard because the hyper sensitive person I am, am still absorbing others when I am at the gym.  I am still feeling vibes and noticing what others are doing, being in their energy.  This night when I was at home it was just me, nature, my hard work and my spirit magic, apparently.
The message flew into my head so quick.  It was like my spirit magic puked its magical guts all out into my brain.
It sounded and felt like this........
"Forgive yourself. 
For everything.
For hurting whomever you have ever hurt.
For ever lying, for being a shitty daughter, wife and mother at times, for being confused, for not loving the right way, for not having enough money, for being wrong whenever you were wrong, for cheating on those tests in elementary school, for hurting her feelings, for feeling weak, for wanting more, for being powerful but not using your voice, for making yourself small, for saying that one thing soo soo soo wrong, for treating him like shit, for blaming her, for making it all such a big deal...........it is okay.  We love you.  We love you for learning and for doing your best.  That is all you need to do.  Stop putting pressure.  stop comparing.  Enjoy where you are.  Enjoy who you are.  Mistakes are allowed.  Being shitty is allowed.  for everyone."

HOLY CRAP.  In that moment, it all made sense.  The message was so clear and so totally loving.  I realized after the spirit magic slap in the face that I was holding so much over my own head.  Holding EVERYTHING over my own head.  I am talking things that happened five years ago and that was so small, that no one remembers but me.........holding onto shit without even knowing it.  I felt like in that moment, the world was giving me permission to love myself anyways and clear away my own judgement.  Despite mistakes.  Despite being wrong......ever to whomever.  I felt in that moment that everything was good.  I was good.  I also felt a deep need to share the message.  It was not just for me.  We all must do it, right?  We all must judge ourselves too harshly and too much.  Well rest assured, my workout told me to tell you that it's all good.  Be nice to yourself.  You are awesome and loved and forgiven for it all and forgiven for what you will do tomorrow and the next day.

Thank you for letting me share this with you.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I can't care anymore

In preparation to move to Hawaii I was so focused.  I was happy with what I was doing and I thoroughly loved my nutrition and workout regime.  I loved it.  I was working out like a maniac although it was fun for me and I was working as a Trainer so living at the gym and teaching and taking classes was my thing.  I didn't realize  I was working out twice a day sometimes or maybe all day sometimes because I was just having fun.  I love moving and I love training, learning, pushing limits.  Yes.  I was also eating on point.  I knew my snacks, meals, meal times, what to eat and what not to eat.  It was a beautiful flowing practice and I was happy.  I would still indulge frequently.  I was eating chocolate all the time.  I didn't drink much but I didn't have a reason to.  I felt fucking great.  I loved how I looked.  I did still worry at times and have panic moments of, "I am not good enough.  I am so horrible for eating that cupcake." blah blah.  It really is blah blah because it was so in my head.  What I was doing was working for me because it felt easy and I was enjoying myself.  My environment went well with my daily routine. 
So flash forward to living in Hilo, HI.
I am totally assimilating and its not a bad thing.  I just notice it and it makes me laugh a little.
I am still regimented in my healthy habits but they look a lot different.  It was not by choice at first. 
In the last year I have not been able to afford supplements, I have not been able to afford to get my gluten free this or that (if I thought it was expensive before.  it is REALLY expensive here.  I saw $15/loaf gluten free bread yesterday.  fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.)  I can't always get my organic, sprouted, made with stevia, cage free, grass fed, free roaming whatever.  I can't always get all the vegetables that I want.  I had no idea those things were luxuries.  No idea.
I have a healthy flowing practice that I am happy with but it is different.  I eat white rice sometimes because it is what we have and because its fucking delicious.  I even eat white potatoes sometimes.  I don't eat nearly as many vegetables as I did before we moved here but I do eat them and I am so lucky my in laws have an incredible garden.  There was one little stint of time where I ate eggs and white rice with salsa for about a week.  I was grateful to have it.  I buy protein powder and fish oil when I am lucky to.  Not always.  I wake up at 4:30am to workout most days and then I sit for pretty much 8 hours a day until after work when I am so tired that sometimes I sit some more.  Sometimes I got to the park with Dutch, sometimes I walk Vader.
What I am trying to say is that I am going with the flow more than I ever knew I needed to and I am still happy and so is my body.  My routine has totally changed because of my environment and although different, it is still beautiful.  At first I was so freaking out.  I can't get my supplements, I have to not eat salad with a side of vegetables at most meals?!  All we have is white rice?  I am not able to workout when I want to and for as much as I want to?!  WHAT???  But I am okay.  I am more than okay.  I am not my body.  I am not my regime.  My body can change, it can get bigger or smaller or faster or slower.  I still deserve love and happiness.  I take care of my body and I eat foods that are good for me because I feel better mentally and physically when I do.  I am not my body.  I take care of my body because it takes care of me. I take care of it the best way that I can with the resources that I have.
So I eat some white rice now and then.  I drink a lot more living in Hawaii because it is sunny and chill and that makes me want to have a glass of wine or two with friends.  I still don't drink that much but I do and its fun. 
whatever.
who cares?!??!
I see what I used to post with my before and after pictures.  My goals to be whatever body fat percentage.  My meal plans.   who cares?!  Health matters.  Feeling good in my body matters.  Liking how I feel in my clothes and in my skin matters.  Gaining 5-10 pounds since I moved here doesn't fucking matter.  I am happy.  I love how I feel and look.  I am still happy in my skin and my swim suit and in my workouts and what I eat.  It is different but I am happy.  I love going to the beach with my family and being there in my swim suit playing in the water with Dutch and Chad, not even thinking about what I look like.  That was not always the case.  It feels good to feel free. 
When and if we move back to the mainland where I can eat differently and workout differently, I might get back into some habits from my mainland days.  I probably will because I enjoyed them.  My point is, it doesn't fucking matter.  WHO CARES?!!!!!!!!! 
I am more focused on loving myself and everyone around me more than white or brown rice.
I am more focused on playing in the waves then worrying about if my ass looks too big when I am wearing my bikini.
I am more focused on how my toes feel walking through the sand then if I had the proper serving of protein.
Healthy feels good.  But it can feel good many different ways.
Happy feels good. But it can feel good many different ways too.
I am enjoying myself.  I am filling up with gratitude and appreciation.
I am happy and healthy the way I want to be and that is enough.


Monday, April 27, 2015

The Brave Throwdown- As the STRONGMUTHAZ

So I just blew up my facebook page and IG with pictures from the Brave Throwdown.  What was it?  When I signed up I thought it would be like gym class.  A fun little fitness competition where you count who can do the most burpees in a minute.  I thought it would be hard but I had no idea it would suck the life force out of me.  It was not a gym class workout.  It was a CRAZY FITNESS FREAK workout and it kicked my ass.  It kicked my ass in the first five minutes and I had about 50 to go. 

My friend Tara is the one who got me to sign up.  She texted me a picture of the flyer and said, "you should do this."  I don't know how I actually ended up doing it but she was the inspiration.  I was on a team with two women from the gym who I absolutely love.  Heather is the Personal Training Director at Penn and Lissa is an Instructor.  At first Lissa said, mmmmmmmmm no.  Somewhere along the way she realized she wanted to do it and the Strongmuthaz were born.  We are all moms and I love having that bond with them.  It is mom power.  And it's awesome.

So, okay, we show up and all I see are fit dudes.  Everywhere.  Then sprinkle in the fit females and I realized this was going to be brutal.  Everyone else seems like they are READY.  They are fierce.  They might of actually trained.  shit.

The competition was like this, 45 seconds of something crazy hard, followed by 15 seconds of active rest, like a plank.  (pssshsdasfsdfr, that is not rest. but mmm, hello, Casey.  Stop being a whiny baby and man up.)  Do that for 8 rounds, which is 8 mins of work.  Then- a 5 min AMRAP but each person on the team goes in turns.  There were six total "events."  Three of the 8 minute MUTHA F&CK$RS and three of the AMRAPs. 

The event was so well put together, I must say.  Everyone there was so warm and friendly and I really got a beautiful sense of community.  That is one of the things I love about Hilo.  People are just really connected in certain situations. It was most of the gyms in Hilo working out together but The Brave Fitness put the event on.  Their athletes were tough, by the way.  holy moly.  Same with the cross fitters.  Man, they know how to take a beating and make it look easy.

So we got started.  Boom.  Here we go.  I was smoked and body rocked after about 5 minutes.  Not exaggerating.  I was freaking out.  How was this happening?  But it was what it was and my team was so amazing and loving and strong and we just kept going.  I was fighting my way through it.  Talking to my body, thinking, "MOVE."  "GO."  But my body was like........if you do one more clapping push up, you might not make it.  You might land on your face.  You really might have to run outa here and puke.
What I really was proud of is that I was apart of this crazy thing.  I was in that room, on the scoreboard with amazing and incredible athletes.  My teammates included.  I was proud of myself for pushing as much as I could and for surviving.  We didn't win but we did it.  That in itself is awesome.  There were only three all female teams and we were one of them.  That is so cool! 

I was able to feel the room.  Not so much when I was about to die because I was getting my ass kicked so hard but.....during moments........when I could hear Chad telling me to BRING IT.  When my friend, Tara, got down on her knees and right in my face and told me to WORK.  She told me I WAS STRONG.  When I looked up and saw Dutch saying, GO MOM!  (then he said, can I go back to play with my friends now?!)  I got them.  I was getting them in that moment.   I loved them.  I looked over at Heather just working like the energizer bunny and Lissa pushing herself in a way I had never seen before.  The way I felt about the strangers after we did that sort of work together........it was connection at its finest. They might not even know the love I felt for them, the one's who kicked my ass.  I was in awe of them.

I am so glad I signed up for that good ole THROWDOWN.  You never know when you will get your ass handed to you and have a spiritual experience all in one moment.

Friday, April 24, 2015

the good life

I found my good ole blog today.  I don't know what made me look for it.  I really don't but I was shocked when I found myself thinking, "I like this girl.  This mom who wrote this blog.  She is cool.  I like what she is saying." Most of the time I feel like a maniac mom person.   I feel like fitness and writing are two things that make me feel grounded.  Probably because they are what I am passionate about-- but that is what happens.  I could be a raving, mad, lunatic all day and then I am in the gym feeling like I GOT THIS.  Or writing my thoughts and they seem SO SIMPLE.  I have thought about writing many times but have felt confused about where to start.  The last year has been crazy.  Literally. 

So, it started with our move to Hawaii.  Those that know me have heard it a million times by now.......We boarded a plane, a few suitcases and our dog and away we went. 

I honestly thought by this point I would have my own rockin Personal Training business.  I would be successful, have a million clients, I would tear it up.  I would successfully sell Advocare to everyone on the island and watch them transform into healthy, workout machines.   I would write a wonderful fitness blog and continue my strongmutha.com website.  Possibly expand to online coaching.  I mean, really.  Nothing would stop me.   I would help so many people, I would blast off in my Training career.  Um.......that did not happen.  Not at all.  I don't blame myself for dreaming.  I loved it.  I loved the unknown of what would happen when we got here.  I was excited to not have a plan.  As Chad and I kept saying to ourselves, "we are adventuring."

How do I even describe what happened when we got here?
I don't know but I will try.

We ran out of money in about two months.
We couldn't find jobs to save our lives.
We realized we could not live with Chad's parents (Love you guys!!!!)
We were scared shitless.

And that is when everything changed.
I don't blame the fear.  It is natural to be afraid when the shit hits the fan.  It was part of the adventure that we just didn't know about ahead of time.

What we quickly realized is that this adventure was not going to be smooth sailing.  I  realized why my family was worried about me moving to an island.  Everything they said was true.  It was hard as hell to find jobs.  It is expensive here.  We were crazy.  yes. yes. and yes.  But what I love is that was all part of it.  Now that we are doing a helluva lot better I realize we needed that.  This island has given us everything we need from the start.  The first lesson being:  YOU DON'T NEED ALL THAT SHIT.  Even though we came here with nothing, really.  We still needed that lesson.  second lesson, YOU GOTTA GET WAY OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.  Not just out of it a bit.  GET THE HELL OUT OF THAT ZONE.  third was really learning to be GRATEFUL.  I don't mean to share these lessons like, we are so enlightened now because of the lessons we have learned.    Hell no.  We still work on the learning everyday.  I am just sitting here, looking around at our small studio that we live in with the three of us and our 90lb, hairy ass dog, thinking.  THANK YOU GOD.  WE ARE SO LUCKY. 

In that last year I have been so proud of my family.  We never gave up.  We eventually came up with Hawaiian Plan B and feel amazing.  Chad is going to school for his BS in Computer Science.  He is getting straight A's for the most part and I am so incredibly in awe of his passion for software development.  Because we are here, he gets to pursue his dream.  Somehow, he got into the U of H and was able to get student loans.  This has been the new goal of the family.  To support Chad in this amazing education that will soon really help our family. Not to mention he loves it like I love fitness.  Dutch was able to get a scholarship to an amazing pre-school.  Things that like that just started coming out of no where.  We have the most amazing family ever (the same people we could not live with) who did everything they could to help us get on our feet.
We met the most incredible, giving, people.  I look around at our situation just thinking, there is no way any of this could have been the wrong choice.  Although it has not gone as planned AT ALL, it is beautiful.  These people are meant to be in our lives.  They are meant to teach us things and share things.  This island is magical and lovely and warm.

My fitness career is one of the things that has surprised me the most.  It has gone through some transitions.  I started teaching and training full time at an amazing gym in Hilo, Penn Fitness.  That gym and the people in it are A WHOLE NUTHA LEVEL special to me.  After a few months of working there full time I realized it was not going to support us enough.  There is not really a fitness industry in Hilo.  Not what I was used to.  The stress that I was feeling trying to make enough money to survive was killing me.  I had to leave the gym.  We were still in our tough times.  "Not sure how to get food on the table" sort of times.  The Universe, the island, truly gave me a huge gift, which is working at Altres staffing.  I would not have asked for a desk job.  No I would not.  BUT, if I have to have one, this is a pretty amazing one.  And, it is in Hawaii which makes it awesome in itself.  The girls I work with are incredible human beings.  My family is so much more comfortable, we are able to enjoy so much more.  I am still involved with the gym and have one client who is a whole nutha blog in itself because she is so mind blowing-awesome.

Did I mention Dutch is so happy here?  He has no clue we have even struggled.  He thinks we have a big ole slumber party every night.   Kids are magical. 

So there it is. 
I see comments on facebook when I post pictures of us at the beach like, "Hawaii looks good on you guys."   I think someone said "The good life."  something like that.  Yes, it is.  It's an amazing life.  It is not just what you see in the pictures but when we find the happiness, the good stuff, we take pictures.  We document that shiz.  So thank you for that.  I always realize we do live a pretty damn good life when I see those comments. 

My goal now is to really find peace with myself.  To just stop trying to plan the future.  I want to be here in this island life for now.  I want to enjoy the hell out of it and work on my spirit.  Learn to be quiet more, learn to enjoy life.  Really learn what being happy is to me. 

I do want to write more often.  I want to share what the island has taught me about my body and my fitness mentality. 

I will. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Muscle Mama

Before I started really lifting weights I was doing ALOT of cardio.  Crazy hard, metabolic training, make you wanna puke, cardio.  Now that I think of it, I was probably overtraining a bit, going HARD most days of the week because I was teaching a lot of classes that required me to do that.  I was eating about 80% healthy and 20% not.  I am always conscious of how my body will feel if I make certain choices, but I love a cocktail or glass of wine now and again.  I want to enjoy my life, what I eat and how I workout and let the body that follows that, be my body.   I LOVE sweets and have a bit of chocolate most days.  I eat a ton of fruit, veggies, healthy protein and sweet potatoes.  Love my coffee in the morning and talk myself out of it in the afternoon. 
In the below red short pics, I weighed about 162 lbs. and I am 5'8 and was 22% body fat. 



I started training at Shine Fitness in February 2013 (6 months ago).  I work with three women who love to lift heavy and look fantastic.  All three have different body types but are all very lean, strong, feminine and can lift more than most men.  They quickly taught me the Shine training philosophies and I adapted them for myself.  I started to lift heavy weights properly twice a week.  I didn't change my eating much, I feel good with my relationship to food.  I am a bit more strategic in my lifting and my cardio training and have 1-3 rest days a week.  My goal was to tighten up, feel strong and firm, and make my workouts effective and hard core.  If I am feeling 4 workouts in a week, that is what I will do but I will give them total focus.  I lift two times a week using the Shine philosophy of training.  I recently took some pics of the changes and although I weigh the same or maybe a little more, around 162 lbs., I can feel and see the slight changes.  I feel tighter and I can totally see it in the pics.   Granted, the first pics were in January so I am totally pasty, lol.  So sad that a tan really does make things look so much better.  :)  I am pretty sure you will see what I am talking about here.  In the pink sports bra pics, I weigh 162lbs. and am 20% body fat.  My % went down 2% since adding in heavy lifting 6 months ago.


I wanted to share these pics for a few reasons.
1. Whatever the scale says, I am at a weight that works for me.  It doesn't feel like I am going crazy to maintain it, I feel strong, healthy and fabulous in this weight and that is what matters to me.  I was able to get tighter, just by adding in heavy lifting and not changing much else besides resting more.
2. Strength training really does tighten everything up.  Muscle is leaner, tighter and harder than fat. 
3. The scale is dumb.
4. You don't have to be drastic, feel deprived or like you are chasing some crazy goal to make you feel worthy of loving your body.  You define what feels good to you.
5. Being in the fitness industry adds another level of pressure to look a certain way and I am always battling that a little bit on the inside.  I constantly remind myself I don't need to be the skinniest, I don't have to weigh any certain number.  I need to decide what feels healthy to me and own it. 






Friday, April 5, 2013

Almost 35

My 35th birthday is quickly approaching and it is trippin me out.  I can remember when I used to think being over 30 was ancient.  I am very excited to graduate to 35 and feel I have learned so much in the last year.  SO MUCH.  There have been chapters in my life such as 0-10, 10-15, 15-18, 18-27, 27-30, 30 to present.  I can group my own years of age like chapters of a book based on how much I have changed and grown during those times. 
It is hard to even explain what exactly I have learned over the years but the underlying theme is, I continue to learn to love more and feel anything else, less.  This includes myself, situations, people, experiences.  It all comes back to love and looking for the ability to be all up in that love.
I have seen my fitness and health goals take on a more loving vibe.  I continue to be kinder to myself, to treat myself with respect and to workout and eat in a way that feels good.  This is not perfect.
My last post was about my goal of being 18% body fat before my recent trip to Hawaii.  I have been lifting heavy weights 2-3x a week and doing interval cardio training 3 days a week.  I didn't really change my nutrition dramatically but I did get rid of some bad habits.  Bad is such a strong word, maybe we should call them "not so good" habits.  I started drinking my coffee black and went from about 4 cups a day to only 2 in the morning.  I stopped buying dark chocolate so I cut myself off from my "after dinner chocolate" habit.  I started eating way more protein and I stopped eating bread.  None of this was all that tough but after a week it definably got easier and easier.  After about a month I lost 2 lbs. on the scale and 1.5% body fat!  That is a big deal for me and I feel absolutely fabulous at 20%.
I have decided I feel great.  I keep catching myself wanting to be smaller, thinner, stronger, over and over and over.  I have decided at almost 35, that my goal for my life going forward is to enjoy my health.  20% is where I want to be today, I don't feel the need to get to 18%.  20% feels good and I am happy here.  I am not the smallest, buffest, baddest assest Trainer out there, BUT, I am the baddest ass version of Casey Phillips out there and I like that.  I want to own that, to inspire other women to look at themselves and get to that point where they feel the same.  Not perfect.  Not even necessarily 20%, but that we all have that place where we feel good and look good and it doesn't have to be dreamy, or someone else's ideal body.  It is ours.  WE DECIDE.  Almost every woman I know wants to be  atleast 10 lbs. lighter.  So many women struggle with self confidence in their bodies and we can all be so damn hard on ourselves.  I refuse to do this any longer.
I met a woman the other day who is in her 70's and we were discussing fitness.  She was so hard on herself, she was putting herself down, feeling insecure and this woman was so beautiful.  She was fun, nice, smart, caring, kind and it honestly pissed me off at the world that a woman like this isn't able to see her beauty and she might not get to appreciate it her entire life.  I realize I need to take accountability for this now while I am a young 35 year old.  I am not going to wake up someday when I am 70 and automatically feel awesome.  I have to do the work now to make that happen.  The work is complimenting myself, being proud of how I look, living and moving like a healthy person, letting go of negative thoughts as soon as possible.  One day at a time I will be kind to Casey.  She is pretty cool and she deserves to enjoy it.  Come on, Case!!!