A Puddle of Pickles

Just a normal abnormal life.


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A New Day

Things have been rough mentally lately. Thought I was shaking it off, but no, the devil is still out to get me.

For those unaware, hubby is getting out of the military in less than a month. We’re becoming civilians. During the course of the last couple of months, he has been taking a class that will in the long run get him certifications and job experience in his fields of interest. It’s really such a blessing that he got in this class, especially when he did.

But the thing is, he doesn’t have a job yet. This class gets done only days before the day he is officially out. So we are left with uncertainty of what’s next. Where we’ll be. What we’ll do. The next adventure that lies before us.

There’s a key word there. Adventure. Adventure is a journey without seeing what is ahead. That is when we turn our eyes to God. Trust that He will take care of us in the here and now. As well as in our future. Faith is trusting in our adventure. It is believing in something we cannot see. And something we don’t always understand 100%.

In looking at it this way, it gives me some hope and excitement. It helps give me a peace. Kind of an odd peace haha. But a peace nonetheless. And there is nothing like peace from God.

I can tell that I must be doing things right in some way. With the state of our circumstances, my anxiety and depression are really trying to take me over. My house is becoming a disaster again. Business is suffering. My relationships suffer. And everything suffers because I suffer inside. So when I suffer, I realize, I must be doing something right for the devil to attack me this way. So all I have to do is continue to try and do my best. And the biggest thing I can do for any aspect of my life is work on personal development. Work on changing myself. I’m going to need work the rest of my life anyways, so why not keep trucking? Working on myself, especially during my suffering times, is only going to make me stronger and stronger. I will only be prepared for extra joy in the good times and for maintaining a joy in bad times.

One thing that I think will help me is getting back into my blog. I love sharing my experiences and insights with others because I’d like to think I might reach someone else out there who might feel like they are alone. Plus, it is a way of me reaching out and reminding people that I am not perfect in any way, shape, or form. It is a way to keep myself from hiding when I feel pressure to be perfect.

So here I am :). Trying still to make my come back.

You might say I have officially started my YouTube channel. You can click here to see my introduction. It’s the only video I have on there at this moment in time lol. The whole video thing is super new to me, and I avoided it so long because I wanted to perfect it. But I think the only way to do that is to just jump right in and learn as I go. So you have me in raw form lol. Don’t expect perfection. I very much welcome feedback and opinions as I do this. I want to learn and hope all of you can learn alongside me.

Videos I will be trying to tie in mostly with this blog. I plan to do videos on Herbalife products along with some nutrition and fitness tips, short videos of encouragement and inspiration and just sharing some thoughts, and even some videos of my singing and worship. These are my passions. God called me to share my gifts. So I’m going to stop being afraid to get out there and share my joys with you :). Again, it’s all new, esp doing the music lol so dude, bear with me. I am only human. And I can be a ditsy one at that. So, anyways, here is to a new start and a new day!!

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Challenging the Mind

The past few months have been a period of lots of growth and change for me. It’s been quite the roller coaster ride, too. Ups and downs in business, mental health, life…so much that went through my mind that I wanted to write about but was too overwhelmed with the intensity of it all.

The end of this chapter, however, as always, brought nothing but good things and good lessons learned. All aspects of my life are stronger. My marriage, my family, my business, my faith, my hope, and just…me.

I struggled for a while with my self image. I felt pressure to look perfect. As a result, my nutrition suffered some as I focused TOO much on fitness. My depression worsened as did my anxiety and my stress. But I regained focus as God brought to light my true struggle. I realized I didn’t need to be ashamed of my struggles and my imperfections. What kind of Herbalife health coach would I be without them?

Since then, I have been working on my mind. My mind is my biggest challenge. I’m focusing on Philippians 4:8, which basically tells us to focus on positive things. As I’ve been working on this, I came up with a new challenge for myself. In terms of my nutrition, my biggest struggle has always been stress and comfort eating. I had been giving in to that again. So I came up with a challenge based off of our #21dayshakechallenge.

It takes 21 days to form a habit. In the shake challenge, we keep up with drinking our shakes for a straight 21 days. The accountability comes from posting pics of our shakes every day. Well, my challenge I am calling the “21dayMINDchallenge.” For a straight 21 days, I committed to no cheating.

The point of this was not to create a habit of not cheating, but of controlling my mind. To avoid cheating, I have to push out the thought “one time won’t hurt” or “just one little bite.” In doing this, I hoped to train my mind into some good self discipline.

What no cheating means for me is sticking to my goals on MyFitnessPal  (my screen name is picklepuddles if you’d like to add me). It means sticking to Ezekiel bread, quinoa, brown rice, whole grains, and oatmeal as my grains. Lean proteins. Low added sugars. Low saturated fats and no trans fats. No being a garbage disposal for my kids. No little bites of something as I prepare it. And, of course, no cheat meals or treats.

I did this challenge by myself from March 14 thru April 3. I was planning to take pics of all my food and blog regularly about it. However, time got away from me, and I couldn’t keep up with taking all the pics and everything. So I decided to share my overall experience.

I started out the first week prepping almost everything.

This consisted of snacks, some stuff for dinners, and, of course, my shakes.

It made things pretty stinking easy throughout the week except for the fact that some of the stuff with produce in it didn’t last the whole week. Started looking gross lol. So I gotta work on my prepping skills. I didn’t do much prepping after that, just mainly my meal and snack planning.

So the way I would plan was with the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. For those who don’t know how it works, I took some screen shots of what it looks like. Usually the night before, I would go in and log what I planned to eat for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner (you can search for it or scan the bar code). After my workout each day, I would log the basics of what I did to get an estimation of how much I burned and needed to make up for.

Often what I did is that when I wasn’t yet close to my calorie goal, I would go to the “Nutrition” tab in the menu to look at what I still needed more of. I also would look at this throughout my planning to spread out when I was getting different nutrients like protein, carbs, and fats. Since I was only looking to lose a few pounds this time, I didn’t want to lose it too fast. So I tried to keep close to my calorie goal. There was tweaking done here and there each day in my diary, but the logging stuff ahead of time kept me more on track instead of standing there thinking, “hmm, what should I eat for a snack?” while I have my kids’ Goldfish crackers or pretzels in my view.

I pretty much always went way over my protein goal because it’s hard to get too much protein when you’re eating lean proteins.

Ok, so what did I eat you ask? Well, while I didn’t keep up with pictures of every single meal, I did take pictures of most of the different things I ate. I’ll give a look at my typical days.

My morning routine consists of devotions and prayer time and a workout. I usually got up 4:45-5 (shocker, I know) and was done by 7. So after this was my typical “breakfast.” It was my Herbalife Formula One (2 scoops) and my delicious Rebuild Strength. I liked having Dutch Chocolate with the Rebuild for a chocolate punch in the mouth. SOOOOOOOO GOOD. Definitely was a reward for working out. My breakfast I always also took my Herbalife tabs. They consisted of the multivitamin, Cell Activator, Cell-U-Loss, Aminogen, and Total Control.

Gotta do my faces ;).

Then there was my morning “snack.” This was usually around 9 or 9:30. This was more what you would call a breakfast, though, because I typically had breakfast food if I was home. It pretty much always consisted of two egg whites and one whole egg (usually over easy), a banana, and a piece of toast (Ezekiel bread) with natural peanut butter and a touch of agave nectar. We go through bananas like crazy in our house, though, so sometimes I would replace a banana with an apple or pear if we were out. I would also take a Snack Defense to try to help with any munchies that might try to creep in.

I seriously never get tired of this combination haha. I’m too much of a breakfast food lover :).

Around 12 was when I would have my lunch shake. I had the Orange Cream Formula One on hand during this challenge, so usually I had two scoops of that with one scoop of the vanilla Protein Drink Mix. I mixed this with 1/4 cup of almonds in my single serve blender. I don’t really like the Orange Cream by itself, but adding the almonds makes it quite tasty! One last thing I added to my lunch shake was the Prolessa Duo. I did this because it helps give more of a feeling of fullness. I usually tend to struggle the most in the afternoon with my cravings and getting hungry. Then I would take the same set of tablets from what I had with my morning shake.

Shakes somehow taste even better with a big fat straw.

Afternoon snack (usually around 2:30) varied based on what I was in the mood for. My first week I had prepped some avocado, spinach, and egg salad. I also had prepped some cucumber and tomato sandwiches with cream cheese. I did not continue these because these did not last the whole week haha. As far as prepping them anyways. By Thursday or Friday they were kinda gross. But this Avocado Egg Salad I found on Pinterest is delicious! I just added pureed spinach to it for the extra health kick. It is because of this recipe that I use lemon juice for flavoring so much now.

Anywho, most of the time I would have at least 12 grams of protein, a veggie, etc. Some examples here in the slideshow below are my avocado egg salad with the cucmber sandwiches (the smiley face one lol), avocado with tuna and grape tomatoes (and some salt, pepper, and lemon juice), v8 vegetable juice, and Herbalife’s delicious protein bars. I WOULD DIE WITHOUT THESE PROTEIN BARS!!! They are seriously like a candy bar. The Chocolate Peanut tastes like a Snickers. In one picture, you’ll see I had some Peach Tea with some lemon Niteworks. Niteworks has a lot of amazing detail behind it, which sometime I will share info on, but to briefly explain, it provides Nitric Oxide that is crucial to heart health. For any age. And, of course, I would again take the Snack Defense.

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I really liked getting creative with how I took my pics lol.

So next came dinner. Usually around 5 or 5:30. Soooooo many different things. The key here was getting in a good portion of lean protein, some colorful veggies, and a grain limited to quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grain and Ezekiel bread. We also had a Bible study we went to once a week that we do a potluck for. One of the pictures represents the options I chose. Oh my gosh, so much good food at these Bible studies!! It was especially hard to say no to the desserts haha. But I did it.

These pictures in the slideshow below only represent some of my dinners, and I didn’t always remember to take pictures of some of my veggies haha. But a lot of these dinners had veggies mixed in them. I have captions with each photo describing them.

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I had many a yummy dinner despite my restrictions!

Something else I did on occasion was make Herbalife pancakes. With having the Orange Cream flavor, I did two scoops of that with one scoop vanilla PDM, an egg, and water to the desired consistency. The Orange Cream tasted good with some almonds and natural peanut butter on top. Oh and some honey. NOM.

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Is your mouth watering yet?

Ok, my workouts? Pretty simple. Pictured below is my gym. In my garage lol. So I alternated days working lower body and upper body with the stuff you see here, as well as some body weight exercises. I incorporated cardio in every day as well. Usually started and ended with it. I also would do my favorite DVD by Angie Gorr on occasion, too. I usually did something from it at least once a week. I share this with a lot of women because it is great for any woman at any stage. They have Angie plus three other ladies showing you the different levels you can do at your own pace. Plus, you can divide it up and do anywhere from just 5 minutes to the whole DVD. The weight exercises are awesome, too!

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Excuse the mess.

So here’s the big part. My results. The only picture I have unfortunately is just from after doing it for a week. Let’s face it, at the end of the challenge I started my period and felt too bloaty and gross to take a pic (ladies, you understand lol. And sorry, guys.) BUT after just one week, I was already toning up and feeling so much better!

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I know some might not really see much difference at all. But let me tell you, the difference was mostly inside. I was feeling more confident and even better than ever before.

In the end, I did end up losing those pounds I gained over the holidays. My cravings were mostly gone again. I didn’t feel a need to eat my feelings. I had gone a straight 21 days fighting MANY temptations of eating a piece of candy or eating the food my kids didn’t finish. I fought cakes, cookies, extra munchies, etc. Most of all, I fought my mind. And I won the battles.

Here is the biggest thing I learned through all of it. My whole concept on cheating has changed. I used to say, “Oh, I’m all about cheating on occasion!” While it’s still true that I believe that it is ok to cheat, my approach on this is different now. First, we do not need to go out of our way to cheat. I usually set a standard of cheating no more than once a week. You’ve done well all week, go ahead and have that slice of pizza (even though you might regret it lol). BUT this doesn’t mean that you think, “Oh, hey, I ate healthy all week. That means I can cheat today. Let’s order a pizza!!” If the opportunity to cheat brings itself to you, like you’re going out to eat, or you’re going to a party, whatever it may be, go for it! Cheat. However, this brings me to my next point.

Second, cheating does not mean we should overindulge ourselves. I learned this specifically after the challenge. That week that it ended was breakfast night at our Bible study. Breakfast food is my favorite and my weakness. I went CRAZY. I ate so much. It was all delicious! But the problem was that it was TOO much. I enjoyed it while I ate it. But I ended up feeling like crap into the next day, almost like I negated all the work I’d put into that challenge. I didn’t lol. But I felt like it, and I hated myself. That was where my big lesson was.

So to all my clients reading this, I’m sorry, but I’m no longer “all about” that cheat day lol. I am all about getting to the point wherecheating consists of just one piece of cake or one slice of pizza. Maybe 2.

Peeps, I have struggled with depression and anxiety all my life. And recently I was told I have a generalized mood disorder. For 21 days, I fought with my own mind and won. I won. I lost a battle I didn’t know I was fighting after and learned a huge lesson. The point is, if someone as “crazy” as me can do it, anyone can. YOU can survive without cheating at least for a while. I mean, I’m thinking about doing another challenge for even longer sometime. Crazy, huh? lol Anyways, we are always more capable of things than our head tells us. With God’s help especially. Never say “I don’t think I can.” The worst I will take is “Yeah I can totally do that, but just don’t want to right now.” lol I don’t want to hear I can’t. Because you can. If it’s worth enough to you for your own health and how you affect those around you and how the rest of your life plays out, you can do it. And you can find a way.

If you are interested in trying this challenge yourself, let me know. I don’t require a fee for it at this point as it is something brand new I came up with. However, I do want to add that I can help you the best if you are on a plan using the Herbalife products. Apart from the strength that God gave me through prayer, those products got me through and made it so much easier.

If you’re not ready for that, we have our next Facebook challenge starting May 2nd! You can at least commit to starting a healthier life with this 6 week challenge :). These challenges have been incredible! I’ve loved them simply for the resources and support they provide from coaches and participants alike. Get with me to get more info!

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So now my next goal? Personal development. Bettering myself so I might be a better coach, a better wife, a better mother, and just overall have a better life.

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As far as physical goals, I’m working hard to get rid of these love handles! My weight is great, and I feel healthy again. Getting some guns, too!! haha. But yeah. The love handles gotta go. They’re annoying me.

Now that I FINALLY have this blog post done (been working on it for a while), I’m also shooting to blog more regularly on my progress and life. Including videos. SHOOTING to lol. This is going to involve every aspect in my life as far as mental health, physical health, and even my music. Stay tuned, my loves! I see great things ahead!

 

 

 

 

 


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The Introverted Salesperson

I’d like to write in response to an article I got thanks to WAHLeaders. It’s called “Is Network Marketing Right for You?“.

It truly put into good words what I feel about direct sales and just small businesses in sales in general. It put it into better perspective for me, too, and made me more sure that it is in fact right for me.

It points out that everyone’s experience will determine their viewpoint on network marketing and that it can sometimes lead us in the wrong way. From there, it goes on to say how much network marketing, especially in direct sales, has grown just in the last 10 years and why.

The first part that got me was where it said that people are starting to get into home businesses more because they’re “tired of the corporate rat race.” How true that seems to me. Every day I grow a stronger and stronger disposition to corporations out there. I hate working for them, too. Wal-Mart is a big one I often scowl at, especially with how they treat their employees. If you currently work or have worked for them, I actually admire you. I can’t imagine the hustle and bustle of working for them.

I’ve worked for Sally Beauty Supply and Cosmoprof as far as retail corporations go. While I liked their product and selling it, it was the companies I did not like working for. It was too…what’s the word…pressured. Even in comparison to direct sales and the goals you strive for. In direct sales, the goals and incentives they give you aren’t requirements, though. In the corporate world, they are. Where I worked, if you didn’t sell a certain amount of POM’s (Products of the Month), you got in trouble. All in all, the corporate world is too big and too greedy. I feel they contribute poorly to our economy. This article compares it by listing the benefits of getting into a home business or network marketing, which are mainly just a ton of aspects of flexibility.

Next is where the article really starts to pull me in. Everyone knows that network marketing is all about selling, right? Well, according to this article, wrong. It calls this a “myth.” So this being the typical way we look at it, we tend to steer clear of it if we don’t see ourselves as the type to sell things. However, most of those who are successful in the network marketing world actually tend to be introverts. Introverts typically keep to themselves, right?

Well, I am an introvert. I never used to see myself as a salesperson or someone who might have my own business. I didn’t think I had the smarts for it. I’m still not a “salesperson” per say. I can do sales. But I do it in a manner of passion and sincerity. Not saying the typical “salesperson” isn’t genuine or in the wrong profession. If they’re good at even selling something they’re not passionate about, then hey, whatever works! But me, I sell things I believe wholeheartedly in. Working at Sally’s and Cosmoprof, I might have liked the product and was able to sell it sometimes. But I wasn’t always comfortable with it. We were often required to sell one certain product. That product wasn’t always necessarily something I liked or truly believed in. And if I really didn’t like it, I still told people.

Working the way I do allows me more freedom to be genuine and honest. I picked companies that I love. I did my research and fell in love with the product AND the company. With that in mind, I’m more confidant in myself and what I’m doing.

The way technology has advanced opens even more doors for introverts, too. The article points out how, because of this, where we are located in geographic terms doesn’t matter anymore. Meetings, trainings, and even virtual parties can now be done through live webinars. Having online stores and websites is another aid in this.

“The truth of the matter is if you are looking at network marketing as having to make sales every day, you are defeating yourself before you even start.” BAM. This is where people get turned off all the time. I know because I used to be one of those people! Being successful is not determined by selling more than the next person. Too often I see so much competitiveness in direct sales people. That is not the right way to go about it. We are ALL a team in my eyes because we are all trying to make something of ourselves. If you’re only in it to make sales and beat everyone else, I would rethink your “why.” Think about exactly why you are doing this or considering it. Basically, in the end, it is about the customer service and the kind of person you are to your customers. And if the product your selling provides a solution to someone’s problem, you are providing them a service. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. If you believe in your product and/or company, you believe it can make someone else happy.

I highly recommend reading the article itself if you have been looking into starting your own business in direct sales and network marketing. Or if you’ve already gotten into it and are feeling discouraged. I was very glad I found it.


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My Big “Why,” The Deeper Reason Behind the Business

A lot of direct sales companies have us figure out our “why.” Our “why” is the reason we got into the company. A lot of people will say for the extra money, wanting to make something of themselves, etc. Personally, I have a “why” not just for my companies, but for direct sales in general.

I used to be one who got annoyed by direct sales people. Especially the one’s that pester. Truthfully the pestering one’s that bother you every day still annoy me lol. Every direct sales person is different. Some shouldn’t be doing it haha. But I think there are a lot others who should that don’t. And plenty of those out there doing it already need to KEEP AT IT and not give up!

The economy and culture we live in is the reason direct sales is so annoying and so expensive. When you look at the bigger picture, though, think about what it does for some people. While some are big companies that make money off their consultants, they still provide opportunity to have a flexible business. Supporting a direct sales company consultant can help boost the economy. A lot of it is expensive, but there is a reason for it. And there are soooo many companies out there for different people.

We are so big into Walmart and Target and all the one stop stores. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Target too lol. But if we could all pitch in a little bit with direct sales companies, think about it. Eventually this economy would rise. Direct sales companies and other private home businesses wouldn’t be so expensive anymore.

Most of these people getting into direct sales are because the income is needed, but the time and expenses needed for finding care for the kids aren’t there. Most of these people are stay at home moms just trying to help the family get by. That is part of my why.

I love a lot of the companies out there and I love doing direct sales. I can’t afford a lot of them either, though. Which is why I also do a lot of parties. Every single dollar that goes in counts toward free stuff I could be getting! But we’re all in this mindset that we could never afford this stuff and go back to the cheaper versions at walmart, target, and other million dollar department stores.

I believe in the world of direct sales and small businesses. I believe if everyone can pitch in a little bit to small businesses, this economy would boom. I do what I do because I believe in what I’m doing. And I love it. I believe it is a part of my calling. A beginning to it.

This isn’t a sales ploy to get people to join my team or buy specifically from me. This is a plea to change your mindset on direct sales and other small businesses. Help support these people in the living they are trying to make with something they love to do, whether it’s just selling a product they love through someone else or making their own product and selling it. Check out Etsy and the DSA website. Help me change this economy.

Of course, I don’t think it’s the ONLY thing that will change the economy. All of us I think following a Dave Ramsey plan would definitely contribute hahaha. Overall just budgeting our money and saving better. But direct sales is a start. Think about where you’re spending your money and why. Think about where your money is going. I’m not against people shopping at all the department stores or anything. I just think small businesses need more attention than they’re getting. And direct sales shouldn’t be looked down on so much.

Just think about it :). This is just where I stand and will stay standing.