BRITTANY'S BLOG OF BALANCE

Gratitude & Inspiration

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These past few months I have been inspired by so many people! This summer has been a whirlwind, between work, school, my amazing toddler, and preparing for baby Foster to arrive (in just a few days!); but, it has been so wonderful. I have found myself constantly in awe of the many mothers I have come in contact with both friends and clients. My best friend continues to amaze me with all she conquers and takes on in life; the fact that she still has time for me and her God Daughter (my daughter) is so impressive! I thank God for her and her family every single day, words cannot express my gratitude for her friendship and love. Additionally, this summer I was blessed to be invited by another friend to join an all-women’s bible study where I met some AMAZING women and mothers who have helped and inspired me more than I could have even imagined. We have been able to share in our faith, our struggles, and some awesome parenting strategies! I am so grateful!

I have also been amazed by the dedication and perseverance of all of my clients, through this summer’s heat, and my pregnancy they have stuck with it and pushed themselves to the max -so awesome! I know that as I go on maternity leave they will continue to challenge themselves (and Lauren Davis will continue to kick their booties! Hehe!). So, if you want to join our B Balanced family now is still a great time to come aboard, we have a pretty wonderful group here, I have to say!

I just want to send out a special thank you to everyone in my life who is a constant source of inspiration and support to myself, my family, and B Balanced; so much love to you all. I will be in and out of the studio from now until after Labor Day; but, I am sure I will see many of you out an about! Hope everyone has a fabulous rest of the summer; and again, many thanks to you all.

Rest Really is Important!

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As my pregnancy with this little man comes to an end, the importance of rest has suddenly been thrown in my face. I will admit, rest is not something I am good at; in fact, it is typically the ball that drops in my “balancing act.” Luckily, I have always been able to function well on little sleep (probably why God gave me Clara, the anti-sleeping baby and toddler); however, in these past few days the idea of bringing a human into the world on no sleep and a busy schedule has given me some anxiety! Therefore, I have been forced to slow down a little, recharge and start to get ready for labor. I have adjusted my schedule a bit to allow for more room and I have made sleep much more of a priority…. Now, if only I could always keep this perspective, right?!

As I am sure many of you all do, I tend to push myself to the limit, adding as much to my plate as possible…and then crash once I reach exhaustion. Let me be the first to say I know this is not the healthy way, I know rest is important; we must rest, restore, and recharge in order to be our best. Of course, there are different ways to do this, working out, pampering, sleeping, ect.; but, the bottom line is stillness is often needed to fully relax and restore. Consequently, upon the realization that I need more rest going into delivery of our precious boy, I have been practicing the art of pampering and stillness this week; cutting myself a break and just resting (imagine that y’all!).

I encourage all of you, whether you are about to go into labor or just flat worn out from all of the responsibilities we tend to take on, and all the running around we do daily, to take a REST! Do something for yourself and SLOW down, even just for a few hours or 30 minutes. Breathe deeply, close your eyes and let go…..you can thank me later, haha!

Happy Resting!

Balancing Acts

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WOW, life really is a balancing act! It seems like it has been forever since I have been able to sit down and post on my personal blog! The past few months have been absolutely insane, as I have been swamped and have been attempting to balance (at times not very well) graduate school, clients, new happenings at the studio, family stuff, and of course our crazy Clara! But, with 2 weeks off of school I now have time to catch my breath and catch up in life! I have spent this past week playing catch up at work and with friends; and next week hopefully I will be able to make some headway in getting ready for baby Foster.

Although, the past few months have been challenging, as I reflect on all I have learned and accomplished, I am filled with a sense of strength. I am here to tell you ALL that you can do anything you put your mind to, you just have to DO IT! There are 5 stages of change as identified by the STAGE Model, precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and finally, maintenance; when I work with my clients, I find that the action and maintenance stages are often the hardest. It is human nature to want a “quick fix” to weight loss and overall wellness; but, the truth is, good health and weight that stays off take time. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but diets and crazy amounts of exercise are just not the answer! Though such “action” may result in initial weight loss results (sometime dramatic), most diets are impossible to keep up, and end up effecting both your body and mind in negative ways. Taking action and making permanent lifestyle changes such as, implementing regular healthy exercise and healthy eating, lead to weight loss and let’s face it, happiness! People who exercise regularly and eat a BALANCED (everything in moderation) diet are happier than those who are overweight, don’t exercise, AND those that are starving themselves and exercising to exhaustion. Permanent lifestyle changes lead to easier action and maintenance. Though changes may not happen overnight or even in a week or a month, staying the course is key and results will come….I promise!

Being “skinny” is not always the answer; in fact, it rarely is! Finding a healthy weight and body size for YOU is what is important. Do not compare yourself to your best friend or your sister or the actress you idolize; compare yourself to you. It is important to love yourself and your body; be good to yourself, enjoy life, eat, exercise, and just be healthy. Want to learn how to love YOU and feel your best? Call me today and set up a life-coaching/personal training appointment and get started on your way to your best self! Life is a balancing act, let us help you!

843-314-0011

An Attitude of Gratitude

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As I was putting Clara to bed (in her “big girl” bed) and we were saying prayers and singing songs, I took a second too breathe and think about how much I have to be grateful for….its A LOT! The past few weeks (ok, months) have been insanity, total insanity; but, honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I truly have the best friends, near and far, the most amazing family, a job that I adore, an incredible husband, and one (for the time being) completely awesome little one. It really doesn’t get much better! Sure our life is super busy and I am juggling a million things; but, at the end of the day I am simply full of gratitude. I am grateful for the crazy!

I regularly encourage my Life Coaching clients to practice gratitude. No matter how down you feel, or how discouraged you may be, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for…even if it is just a cup of coffee, or a flash of sunshine, there is always something. I have clients keep gratitude journals or create gratitude jars, where they are able to keep track of all the wonderful things in their lives.

I challenge all of you to take a second, a minute (maybe two minutes, if you have them LOL) and just think of all you have to be grateful for…maybe you jot them down, or put them in a jar, or just sit and think…and smile…I promise you will smile

Thank you to all of my friends and family, for all of your constant support and help and understanding…I am incredibly grateful and so blessed.

xoxo

Sunshine and Organization!

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Sunshine and organization….two of my favorite things…..

It finally feels like spring in Pawleys! The sun has been shining and the weather has been warm ALL week! I am so grateful to be able to get outside and soak in some sunshine after all of these cold rainy days we have had recently! I always feel like spring time brings fresh energy and new beginnings; in a way, it’s like spring is my new year’s. At the Todd house, we are focused on organizing and redecorating to make our house as comfortable as possible for when baby Foster makes his debut at the end of July; and at the studio, we are designing new programs, workshops, and spring specials to reveal next month.

At home, Reid and I have revamped almost every room and I am LOVING IT! We have gotten new furniture that allows for more storage in the living room, organized and made more room for relaxation in our bedroom, completely re-organized the laundry room and made it more inviting, and are in the process of moving Clara to her big girl room. A few months ago I could never imagine I would be saying this, but, I am so glad we chose to stay put in our sweet little home!! It is amazing home much space you can find and create when you really put your mind to it; clutter really does bread stress!

Amidst the chaos of it all however we have found time to enjoy the outdoors and breathe in the fresh air and sunshine, such a blessing. As the weather gets even warmer, I am looking forward to more weekends outdoors, trips to the beach, and lots of family time!

I recommend you all use spring as a fresh clean start, revisit those 2015 resolutions, take stock, declutter and most importantly, take some time today to step out of the chaos and soak in some sunshine!

5 Minute Dance Party!

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It’s March, yay!! I am SO hoping this month brings warmer weather and much more sunshine! Of course, March also brings me two grad school classes; which, according to their syllabi involve quite a great deal of work- yikes! After putting all of my assignments in my calendar and finishing all of the “first of the month” tasks for work during my mid-day lunch break (oh and running home to check on Clara who- poor thing -has another ear infection), I was feeling a bit stressed and nervous! In my normal life I would never doubt my ability to pull late nights and work crazy hours to accomplish everything; but, in my pregnant life…..well that’s just a different story. However, instead of getting all worked up about what is to come in the next few months, I decided to stop everything I was doing and take a FIVE MINUTE DANCE BREAK! When my 5 minutes were up, I felt SO much better, distressed, powerful and ready to take on the world!

I adopted this method of dealing with stress from Grey’s Anatomy years ago, and have been using it ever since. Let me tell you, there is NOTHING that cannot be helped by a 5 minute dance party. Whether there is music or not, simply drop everything you are doing and dedicate 5 minutes to totally breaking it down; I PROMISE you will feel so much better and be able to handle/focus/process whatever it is!

So, next time you are feeling overwhelmed, bogged down, nervous, disappointed, mad, sad, or even super happy…. STOP and DANCE! 5 Minutes….you can thank me later!

Let’s dance y’all!

Serenity, Strength, & Sanity

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Control….

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Those of you who know me well know that I like to stay in control of as much as I can. I am constantly working on accepting the things that I can not control and identifying the things that I can control (at least to the best of my ability). Sunday night I had trouble sleeping, with the start of a new quarter of grad school beginning March 2nd (with 18 credits on my plate), a new baby on the way, an active toddler, a ton of projects going on at our house to get ready for baby (and allow us to stay in our house for 2-3 more years) and a full schedule at work, I was feeling overwhelmed…. “How am I going to make all of this work?!” was all I could think of. “I am a life coach, I help people with this stuff every day; I HAVE to be able to figure this out on my own, right!?” THEN, it hit me, all it takes is organization, time management, planning, and A LOT of help my amazing husband! I immediately started scheming and making charts and lists that I know will help me feel more organized and gain a sense of control, something I need in order to get it ALL accomplished and remain sane.

Yesterday during lunch (when I was probably supposed to be focusing on something for work), I created a cleaning chart to help us stay on top of house cleaning; I typed up morning chores, nightly chores, weekly chores, and monthly chores in a chart and printed it out for us to put up and better keep track of who has done what, and what still needs to be done on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Even better Reid had the great idea to print it larger and laminate it so we could use dry erase marker to check things off (okay so he may be a little neurotic as well haha- but nothing beats a clean and organized house, clutter breeds stress).

Next, I created a meal planning chart that will help us plan out and prep meals on a monthly basis; my hope is that on late nights of meetings and school work (when there is no time for blue apron) I will simply be able to pull something from the freezer and pop it in the oven…I have to credit my friend Claire Duvall here because she gave me tons of yummy healthy recipes that are easy to double and freeze.

Next, I made a weekly and a monthly chart for work, things that I know need to be accomplished at the studio each week and each month. Staying on top of everything at the studio is key to eliminating work stress and pressure; keeping this in mind, I made sure to prioritize each task every day, highlighting the most important items.

Finally, I made a large “To-Do Before Baby” list. I wrote out everything that needs to be accomplished in our house and everything we NEED to acquire before Baby Foster joins us. I prioritized this list as well, putting everything in order of when it needs to be accomplished. This list is really long and slightly intimidating, but I know if we work one day at a time we will get it all taken care of before Baby Foster comes.

The act of writing out, charting and listing EVERYTHING that was swimming around in my overwhelmed brain immediately calmed me down and helped me to regain a feeling of control. I know that starting next Monday life will be super busy (taking a 3 month break from grad school definitely gives you a false sense of normal life haha); but I believe if I use the charts and work systematically I will be able to keep up, feel less overwhelmed, and most importantly be able to enjoy life with my wonderful husband and incredible daughter along the way!

Of course, in the meantime I will continue to pray for serenity, strength and sanity!
I recommend these exercises to any of you who are feeling overwhelmed or over-committed; sometimes getting everything on paper really helps! I would be happy to work with or talk to any of you further about time management, planning, ect. Call the studio anytime to schedule a Life Coaching appointment at 843-314-0011.

Happy planning…..and charting, listing….ya know!

Finding time for FITNESS!

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People always say to me, “Of course you are so fit, you exercise for a living!” Well…..not exactly. Actually, I watch people exercise while I guide them, I run a business, and I do a great deal of Life Coaching where I am parked in a comfy chair across from a client; and on top of work at the studio, I am a wife, a mother, and a post graduate student. Therefore, I have to try just as hard, be just as dedicated, and make the same sacrifices everyone does in order to stay fit, healthy, and balanced. Believe me, I have had my fair share of “out of shape periods” since I stopping swimming 10 years ago; I have gained weight, lost weight, dieted, cleansed, binged, cheated, over exercised, and under exercised, until I was able to find that “perfect” (and I use that term loosely) BALANCE that worked for me.

Having gone through a period of weight gain after first moving to Pawleys and opening the studio, I went through a few years where I began exercising and running a lot in order to do what I thought I needed to do to reach my healthiest self. Being a former competitive athlete my MO was to train like a mad woman! However, I soon found out that was not really working for my body or my brain for that matter.

As it turns out, running 8-15 miles a day and doing 3 + boot camps weekly is not something I have time for right now; and honestly, it wasn’t something that was healthy for me in the first place. It was leaving my depleted both physically and mentally. That much exercise was causing my body to constantly remain in “survival mode,” holding on to extra fat AND it was leading me to overeat….sometimes, I would be so tired I would try to eat for energy in place of letting my body rest when it needed; other times, I would tell myself “Well, I ran 10 miles today so I can eat this.” Neither my excessive exercise, nor poor eating habits helped me reach my healthiest, happiest self.

In my life these days, I am too busy to spend hours running or working out; but, I still make it a priority to do something every day to maintain my health and balance. I schedule in 30-60 minutes of exercise every single day. Before I became pregnant with our second (17 weeks right now), I would get up every morning and go for a quick 3 mile run and follow it with 10-20 minutes of yoga and meditation. Sometimes I would have to get up really early to make this happen but creating this time for myself was totally worth it! Being pregnant, I find I am much more tired in the mornings so I schedule my runs and workouts during lunch or after work (with a flashlight sometimes!). Regardless I am still sure to get in my run almost daily and my weight training 2 times a week.

I look at exercise as not only something that I love to do because it makes me feel good; but just something that has to be done….like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Staying healthy and taking care of yourself is so important. I want to be there for my children and my family for as long as possible, I want to stay strong, and fit, and happy, and healthy, and less stressed, and balanced; therefore, making time to exercise daily no matter how busy I am is a priority for me. I have found, that even on my busiest days I can find 30 minutes to run, walk, do yoga, or weight train…..there is always 30 minutes; and you would be surprised what a good workout you can get in 30 minutes! Don’t believe me, let me train you, 30 minutes! Let’s go!

So, starting today, stop the excuses of I can’t find time, or I am too busy and MAKE TIME! Find time for FITNESS! And find time for YOU!

Guilt about Imperfection? Anyone else?

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Guilt: a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking you have done something wrong, bad, or in this case imperfect.

If you ask me, guilt is one of the most annoying emotions we experience. The feeling of guilt often comes even when there is no accurate reason one should feel guilty; in fact, I believe half the time we actually bring guilt upon ourselves as a form of self-punishment. Women seem to experience more guilt than men (in case you haven’t noticed ladies, haha!); as women, I believe we beat ourselves up over the smallest things… okay everything basically.

In a single day my brain on guilt sounds like this….

I should really be spending more time with Clara during the week; I should have finished those files on my desk or completed a client’s nutrition/workout program; I wish I could give Clara…..; I need to be doing more advertising for our classes; I should be talking to my family more often and staying in touch with out of town friends; We should visit them all more often; I should have made an A on that paper; I should have taken Maddie (our dog) for a walk this week; I should have gotten up earlier to finish the laundry or clean the bathroom or go for a run or mediate longer; I should be able to clean the house every week (and work and be a mommy and wife and a graduate student, other people do it I am sure); I should be able to protect Clara from everything; I should be able to keep Clara from getting sick; I should be more social; I should host a party; Why can’t I make myself do more yoga; Why can’t I find more time to read; I should be a better wife; I need to cook more often; I should have mailed “them” a gift by now; I forgot to answer “their” email/text message/phone call!; I should be running further; I should be more prepared, more organized…..I SHOULD BE PERFECT! Why am I not!?

Yes, it’s true, in the course of a day I usually feel guilty about some and sometimes even all of the above…what about ya’ll?

I suppose, in a way my guilt drives me to work harder to be the best in all aspects and roles of my life; but the days when I get caught in the ugly guilt cycle, I definitely end up feeling more like a failure than a superhero. The thing is, guilt like this does nothing for us other than break us down. Of course I can’t do EVERYTHING I mentioned above, as much as I hate to admit it, I am just not superhuman.

So how do we deal with such guilt, how do we forgive ourselves for being less than perfect and for simply doing the best we can? For me that’s simple (most days, when I can catch myself)…..I STOP, BREATHE, and ask myself “DOES MY ANSWER MAKE SENSE?”….does it make sense for me to feel guilty because I forgot to rotate the laundry, or had to put Clara in aftercare at the Montessori school she adores so I could take a few more clients? The answer 99% of the time is, NO! SO, when I feel myself spinning into my above guilt cycle, I remind myself of all the things I DO accomplish every day, and although I may not do them all perfectly all the time, I have a pretty amazing life that keeps getting better even, with my “imperfections” involved…imagine that huh!

So ladies (and fellows), let’s start to cut ourselves some slack, how about it? I can assure you that you are doing amazing at your life; that you are doing all you can, and that is all you can ask of yourself! You ROCK!

Remember….
STOP, BREATHE, and ask “DOES MY ANSWER MAKES SENSE?!”

Making Memories

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Since I was a teenager I have been all about living for the moment, I have never wanted to miss out on anything. I scrapbooked every year of my life from my freshman year of high school to my senior year of college, capturing every moment on paper…I will actually even admit to “staging” pictures just to get that particular scrapbook finished. When I look back on all of these scrapbooks, I am always taken aback by the fact that during these eight years of my life it seemed EVERYTHING was an event worth scrapbooking! I have pages dedicated to the first time I went through a car wash, to dinner with friends at Jason’s Deli, to buying jelly beans in Fresh Market. Although, I have the big events illustrated as well, like my high school graduation and swimming in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Trials, it is the little events I scrapbooked that always touch me the most; nothing was too small or insignificant to create a page to save the memory.

Today, in my often over-extended working mommy life, my scrapbooks are a wonderful reminder to cherish even the smallest moments. For all of us, it is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day to day life…running to get the kids to school or daycare, jamming through your workday or day at home filled with chores and “to-do lists,” and then following the usual evening routine which we all know can get a little dicey! It is SO important that we take a second to breathe and take in the little moments…kisses from loved ones, clear blue sky, random funny moments at work or with friends, silly babies, crazy kiddos; even the trying moments where you find yourself up with your kids in the wee hours of the night or ducking to protect yourself from your kicking and screaming toddler are worth cherishing because one day they will be gone.

As I write this post, I am sitting in the Lowes Foods parking lot while my sick little one snores in the back. Clara fell asleep just as we were pulling in, and since we have both been up since around 3:15am due to her double ear infection (compliments of residual congestion left over from RSV) I didn’t have the heart to wake her just yet. Instead, I thought I would take this opportunity to make the memory of “the time I did work in the Lowes Foods parking lot while Clara slept;” maybe I will even snap a picture for HER scrapbook! Haha!

Today, let’s take a moment and soak in the little “uneventful” moments, laugh at the insanity, and maybe even make a scrapbook page to save the memory!

Happy Scrapping!