September 20, 2017

Book Reviews: What I Read This Summer that You Should (or Shouldn't) Pick Up


I haven't posted anything about books since my July post on A Man Called Ove. (Read it. So good.) So, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the books I read this summer. This isn't necessarily an exhaustive list of all I read, but it gives you a good flavor...and maybe a few ideas on what, and what not, to grab on your next library (or Amazon) visit.

Okay. Let's do this.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
I found this book both entertaining and disappointing. The book rides the wave of mystery-thrillers with unreliable narrators that's so popular right now. (Confession: I'm kind of annoyed by unreliable narrators-- especially those with a drinking problem.) Anyway, the mystery was fun and kept me guessing throughout, but there was a big lag in the middle. A great editor could have helped speed the pace of this book and make for a more edge-of-my-seat read the whole way through.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
If you like Young Adult Dystopian Future books with strong female leads, then this is a fun series. Meyer's futuristic take on the classic fairy tale princesses is fun and engaging. A light, fast, enjoyable read.

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
Tears, tears, and more tears. If you're a dog lover...if you've ever lost a beloved pet...then park yourself on the couch with a box of tissues and pick up this book. In the vein of Marley and Me and (my favorite) The Art of Racing in the Rain, Lily and the Octopus tells the story of Steven, his beloved dog Lucy, and her tumor, aka the octopus. Rowley's humorous take on how crazy we can be for our animals, and the amazing way they can possess our hearts, is unique and funny and sweet. He goes a little overboard (pun intended-- you'll get it if you read the book) with his metaphorical battle with the octopus toward the end, but it doesn't steal the book's quiet thunder.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
The premise of this book is SO WEIRD. Weird enough that it kept me from reading it, despite good reviews, for quite a while. But I found it cheap in a used book store, so I brought it home. And I'm glad I did. I laughed out loud many times while reading this book-- I think I even read some lines to my husband because I thought they were so good. This book is really entertaining, and more than a bit weird, but it's golden ticket lies in Smith's ability to capture the teenage boy's mind (and heart). It's a rare feat, and he does it so well. Worth the read.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
I grabbed this slim volume from a "recommended reads" shelf in an independent bookstore-- which rarely leads me astray. But this one fell flat for me. The premise was cute and there a were certainly passages I enjoyed, but overall, I thought it was pretty disappointing.

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
I really liked this book. It made me think and wonder and question. And I like that. It's well written and well paced, and provided a nice, little roller coaster of emotions for me. Definitely worth the read.

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
This is a middle grade book that I think kids-- especially those who are really into books-- will enjoy. From an adult perspective, I think the premise is fantastic and the book's opening is strong, but I felt like it wavered a bit toward the end. It had a few different paths it could have taken late in the story, and I kind of think it chose the wrong one. Just my opinion, of course. Still, a fun romp!

Love and Trouble by Claire Dederer
I have to say that I was quite disappointed in this memoir. I had an idea about this book, based on the description and recommendations I'd read, but the book didn't live up to the hype. It was a matter of performance vs. expectations for me on this one-- I was expecting a book about a woman's midlife reckoning (as per the subtitle), but what I got was a retrospective of a, somewhat troubled, 80s & 90s childhood in Seattle. Plus, a narrator I couldn't really relate too. I made myself finish it because it was for bookclub; I would have given up otherwise.

The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
Another middle grade adventure that I think kids would enjoy. Again, the premise and the start are fantastic, but, also again, it lost me a bit near the end. I still enjoyed it. I still recommend it. But with such a great start, I had super high expectations and they weren't quite met.

So that's a taste of what I read this summer. Some good, some not so much. But I consider my horizon's expanded. Right now I'm reading The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (our next book club selection)-- on recommendation from my mom. And, 100 pages in, I'm already pretty amazed at how well the author paints her picture of slavery in the south. I feel like I'm there. Up next is Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. I'm super excited for this one for two reasons: 1) The author's book Code Name Verity is one of my faves! (So well done. Read it!) and 2) The author is coming to Hershey to speak at our library next month-- I can't wait! (Book geek.)

Did you read anything good this summer? What are you reading right now? Let me know.

Until next time, happy reading!



September 13, 2017

My Danette May "Forever Fit" Lifestyle Update

A pic from shortly after the 30 Day Challenge
So, September 9th was my 8-month anniversary with Danette May. (Yes, I realize that's sounds a bit like we're dating in high school, but I assure you, this is so much more serious that all that.)

In case you haven't read my other posts on this:
Eight months ago I pretty much dropped everything and decided to focus on my health (right on the heals of dropping everything for a month to focus on the holidays and everyone else...which wasn't super successful in the "make me happy" department). I began changing lots of things, but the biggest change I made at the time was joining Danette May's 30 Day New You Challenge. And in the eight months since then, so much more than weight loss has happened.

(Click here: https://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2017/02/30-days-to-new-me-danette-mays-30-day.html to read more about my 30 Day New You Challenge experience.)

The photo above was taken shortly after I completed the 30 Day challenge. At that point, I think I'd lost about 10 lbs, but I was down a pant size (hence the new jeans) and was falling in love with my body again. I love this pic because I remember how I felt when I snapped it. I was beginning to feel like me again and I was so excited I took a pic to share with my Forever Fit friends. (Forever Fit is an on-going lifestyle group that Danette May put together for people like me-- people who started on the 30 Day Challenge and want to continue with the lifestyle. It gives you on-going access to clean recipes, meditations, workouts, and a support group.)

It hasn't always been the easiest road. It hasn't all gone seamlessly. There have been ups and downs. Things haven't always moved in a straight line from Point A to Point B. But there is So. Much. Goodness. There.

So much.

So, here's a quick recap of the journey of transformation...

- I have lost about 20 lbs and am back in the weight-range in which I spent much of my 20s and 30s. But the number isn't nearly as important as the feel. I FEEL like myself again. I FEEL like I'm living in my own body again. I recognize this body. But, interestingly enough, I am lovin' on it much more. When I last lived at this weight, I wanted to lose weight; I thought I was overweight; I didn't appreciate it. Now I appreciate it for what it truly is: healthy and happy. Me.

- I have all these amazing habits that are helping me feel better in a way that goes far beyond how my body looks. Yes, I look slimmer and more fit than I did 8 months ago. And, yes, my pants are a smaller size and my muscles are more defined. But the real gift is that I feel better physically and mentally thanks to the healthy habits I've formed.
     - I meditate for 5-30 minutes every day.
     - I exercise for at least 20 minutes every day.
     - I eat a clean, healthy diet 90% of the time. (Yes, I sometimes eat and drink off plan.)
     - I use all-natural supplements and foods to enhance my health and wellbeing.

- And the results of these new habits are amazing:
     - I'm beginning to really change my self-talk. I'm becoming much kinder and gentler with myself.
     - I'm developing greater patience (most of the time) with, and appreciate of, those around me.
     - I have a healthier response to life's stressors-- I'm developing better coping mechanisms.
     - I'm expanding my dreams. I feel more capable of going further than I thought I could. I'm stretching my goals and I feel more capable of actually living my dream life everyday.
     - I'm taking real, actionable steps everyday to live a healthier, more natural life.

I referred to this earlier as a journey, because it is. I fully expect this journey to continue throughout my life. I view it now as one of those "paths less taken" kind of things... you know, "I came upon a fork in the road and I chose the path less taken"? I feel a bit like there were two options in front of me back in January: continue my life's journey while including less healthy stuff and feeling like crap, or continue my life's journey with more healthy and natural things...and I chose the healthy path. I chose to treat my body like a friend, not a foe.

I didn't realize how big a change that would be-- I didn't realize how angry I'd become with my body and how much it needed to be loved again. I have Danette May to thank for helping me love my body again. That is no small thing for a woman in today's world, my friends. Think about it.

So, if you're interested in kick-starting your own health and well-being journey, Danette May is launching another 30 Day New You Challenge next week. It's how I got started and it was a real game-changer for me.

Here's the link to sign up for the 30 Day Challenge that starts September 18th:

http://59894eyms6z7rh6pp2w509aobx.hop.clickbank.net/?pid=265&tid=amylorbach2017

If you're interested, but have questions, please ask me. And if you decide to do it, you can count on me for support along the way-- all you have to do is ask and I'll answer questions, give tips, and cheer you on. I'm not selling something here, folks. I just really, really believe in this program and this lifestyle.

Until next time, make at least one healthier choice for yourself every day-- choose to move your body, choose to meditate, choose to say kind words to yourself, choose the fruits and veggies-- and see how you feel.

In the words of Danette May-- No one ever finished a workout and said I wish I hadn't done that, and no one ever finished a healthy meal and said I wish I hadn't eaten that, I wish I'd eaten some junk instead.  

One healthy decision at a time makes for a healthier you. Even baby steps are steps forward, my friends.



P.S. Want to know more about the eating plan, workouts, and meditations in the 30 Day Challenge? Click here: https://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-typical-clean-eating-food-day-danette.html to learn about eating, and here: https://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-difference-in-danette-mays-workouts.html to learn about the workouts, and here: https://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2017/02/meditations-and-affirmations-with.html to learn about the meditations and affirmations in Danette May's program.)



September 7, 2017

Changes


When I planned my and my husband's wedding, I remember being a bit baffled by the fact that here I was working on this wonderful thing-- this thing that I wanted so very, very much-- yet I was massively stressed out. I was overwhelmed by all the work...and all the change. We got engaged, we sold my house, we moved in together, I quit my job, I started a new one, we planned a wedding, we got married, we went to Hawaii...

It was a lot.

But it was all good. I felt like I should have been Mary-Poppins-kind-of-happy. Instead I was more roller-coaster-ride-of-emotions. High highs. Low lows. Lots of stomach dropping into my shoes. 

You know what I mean.

Now, it is once again a time of change. Again, it is all good. It is mostly stuff that I want. But it is-- like getting married, like having a baby-- change to a new way of life. And again, I feel discombobulated.

My kids went back to school this week. For the first time, they are both full day, five days a week, and at the same school. Super cool. In many ways I've been looking forward to this day. But, here I sit on Thursday, and I feel...scattered...overwhelmed...lost?

I know, logically, that I need to give myself time to adjust and to establish a new routine. But I can't help but feel off. I have so much I want to do. So much I envision being able to do. So many stretch goals that I haven't been able to even consider before now. 

But I'm frozen.

So instead of happily embarking on this new adventure, instead of getting to work on those big goals, I'm falling back on the old, comfortable habits-- running errands, sending emails, doing paperwork. You know, busy work. The stuff you need to do, but not the stuff you really want to do. The stuff that can fill up a day without you even realizing it. (Oh, crap! Is it bus time already?)

BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT I WANT TO BE DOING!

sigh.

My therapist once told me that life can't be all good, all positive, all upbeat, all the time. Life has highs and lows. We have highs and lows. And we have to recognize that and allow for it.

I think she's probably totally right.

But I also think that that's stupid. I just want to surf that high all the time. I want to be up and energetic and happy 24/7/365. Why is that so much to ask for?

Alright, I know I sound stupid. When you say it out loud like that it sounds ridiculous. But that's the underlying expectation that I have. Which is why I get annoyed with myself when I get like this. 

Mopey-pants.

I told myself today, while driving home from a random, post-school-drop-off Target run (busy work), that I would give myself not only this week, but the whole month of September to adjust to this new way of life. That seems more than reasonable, right? We'll see. 

We'll see if I can manage to cut myself some slack and ease into things. And then go after those big goals. I WILL fill my days with the "what I want to be doing" and not the busy work. I will.

Anyway, that's my "Dear Diary" post for the week. Thanks for listening. I hope that if you find yourself in a space of transition, you'll be able to cut yourself some slack too. It's probably something most of us should do more often anyway-- just plain cut ourselves some damn slack.

Here's to getting it right on the fifth or sixth try, and not worrying about the first. Here's to going easy on ourselves and being gentle with those around us, especially in times of change. It's okay to be a mopey-pants for a few days. It's okay to take your time. It's okay to not be perfect...like, ever. 

Until next time, lean into those changes in your life-- let them wash over you like cool waters. Don't fight the current, just flow.




July 20, 2017

Book Love: A Man Called Ove

Hey friends! It's been a while. I've been knee-deep in life and have been remiss in taking you along for the ride. I hope to do better on that in the coming months. In the meantime, I hope you all are doing well and enjoying your summer. I also hope you've been reading! I know I have been. And that's why I'm here today...to share the best of what's been on my bedside table of late. This is the first in a series of "Book Love" posts so you can make the most of summer reading time before it runs out. Let's jump right in...

Up first is the best audiobook I've listened to in ages. I am IN LOVE with this book, people.

IN. LOVE.

It's Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove.

Now, I have no idea how much my love for this book is influenced by the fact that I listened to it rather than read it. I would guess at least a little bit, because George Newbern did an amazing job with the narration. He made me feel like I was actually one of Ove's neighbors...plus he taught me the correct way to pronounce the Swedish name Ove (It's Oo-va).

But on to the book...

This is some seriously great writing. Hats off to Fredrik Backman. If you've read my book reviews before, then you know that I'm a sucker for great characters, and Backman creates one of my favorites in Ove. His character development and writing voice are amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I have plans to read everything else he's written (at least what's been translated into English). Plus he can turn a phrase like a boss-- some of the best metaphors I've ever read.

If you've read my other reviews you also know that I don't like to talk much about "what the book is about"...I'd rather you discover that once you open the book (or press play on the audio). What I do want to convey is how the book made me feel. And this book made me feel like I'd found a new group of friends in its characters. It made me appreciate a different kind of person. It made me feel like I just might understand my grandfather a little more than I did before. It reminded me that there are a lot of ways to show love and live a good life-- that it's a good thing that "it takes all kinds" in our world. And it kind of made me want to adopt a stray cat (don't tell my husband).

I write this blog post just days after finishing A Man Called Ove, and I miss the characters terribly. I believe this is one of the highest praises I can give a book: I was sad when I finished it because I didn't want it to end.

I also cried.

Now I want everyone to make friends with Ove.

Amazing book. Highly recommend.

Until next time, happy reading!


P.S. Thank you to my sister-in-law, Linda, for sending me the A Man Called Ove audiobook!!

P.P.S. This audio book is available on Amazon's Audible. For my local peeps: you can also borrow the audio book from our local libraries!



July 5, 2017

The Stumbling Block of Mediocrity

I don't know if this feeling translates to things besides creative endeavors...which in my case is writing...I think it does, but... Regardless, here it is...

Do you ever have the experience of wading through a whole lot of constructive criticism-- all well-intentioned and ultimately helpful, but criticism nonetheless-- and just suddenly feel the weight of your mediocrity?

Do you ever suddenly feel like what you've worked so hard on for so long might actually just be a big pile of crap no matter how much time you spend reworking it?

Have you ever finished something that, in that moment, you feel is pretty good, only to take a closer look later and realize that it's not that good at all?

Can you tell from all of these questions that this is exactly how I'm feeling/what I'm experiencing right now?

Sigh.

I made the mistake of going through three months worth of writing critiques at one time. It was a time-management thing. But it was also not a smart decision.

In point of fact, I'm supposed to still be working on those edits/rewrites right now...I only have a half an hour of precious (and rare) worktime left and instead of advancing my work, I'm taking a break to write this (basically useless) blog post.

But I just couldn't read another (helpful) comment about what I'd done wrong in my writing. I just couldn't. My brain started to feel like it was going to explode.

(Sidebar: I imagine this might be akin to those days, for my husband, when I'm full of advice on what he could be doing better around the house.)

But I'm sitting here in my favorite coffee shop, on a beautiful sunny day, the smells of frying bacon and freshly ground espresso in the air, nursing the dregs of my now cold decaf Americano and I'm feeling a bit like a piece of ABC gum stuck to the bottom of a cheap, Old Navy flip-flop. Which is to say, a bit squishy and a lot tread-upon.

So, what's a girl to do?

1) Take a break and vent. (Hello, friends, and thank you for being my Dear Diary today. If only you came wrapped in pink leather and bound with tiny lock and key. Wait, scratch that. Sounds a bit dominatrix of me, and that's creepy. Forget I said anything.)

2) Regroup and rethink. My therapist would say I need to challenge my skewed, distorted thinking...my catastrophizing, shoulds, black-and-white/all-or-nothing thinking, etc. (She loves her CBT.) Which means saying to myself things like: Are these critiques really evidence that I suck as a writer and should probably stop doing it? Hint: The correct answer here is, No, Amy, this is just a natural part of the writing process.

3) Listen to something positive and uplifting. I'm between a short Danette May meditation on Success and a short Tony Robbins meditation on Gratitude. I'll probably do both. More is more, and all.

4) Get back at it. Once I've had a little breathing space, it's time to get back at it. I don't have the luxury of wallowing for too long. I'm too old and too time-constrained to give in for very long to this shit. So, back in the saddle.

And that's exactly where I'm headed right now. I still have 18 minutes before I have to leave coffee haven and head back into the real world. So...

Hi-ho, Hi ho...

Until next time, remember that you are great, as is; and don't give up on your dreams, no matter the obstacles (especially the ones that you put in your own way). xo




February 27, 2017

Meditations and Affirmations with Danette May

I've shared with you my overall experience with Danette May's 30 Day Challenge. I've shared with you a more detailed look at both the clean eating and the exercise involved in the program. The last key component to the 30 Day Challenge is meditation. So that's what we're talking about today!

The meditations included in Danette May's program are short, guided meditations that focus on positive affirmations with a little visualization. (Think: listening to a relaxing, 5 minute audio recording and repeating positive statements like "I am enough" and "I love my body as it is today and will be tomorrow.")

If you've read my post on Danette's workouts, you know that she incorporates affirmations and intentions into many of her workouts as well, and it's one of my favorite things about how she works.

Here's what I think...

We spend WAY too much time saying negative things to ourselves and absorbing negative messages from the world outside of us (TV, magazines, advertisements, internet trolls, etc.--they all seem to be telling us that we're not good enough.). We need more positive, affirming messages in our lives. And we need to be the harbingers of those positive messages. We need to rewire our brains from negative self-talk to positive. And positive affirmations through meditation are a great way to start that rewiring. Do these and, over time, you'll find that your responses to the bumps in your day-to-day life will slowly change. You'll be calmer and sunnier, even when the going gets tough. And, even more importantly, your attitude toward yourself will change.

There is A TON of research out there about the positive effects of meditation. We should all be meditating. Everyday. (I personally think that it should be a part of our nationwide school curriculum K-12, so that kids can develop this super-healthy life habit early. But that's a different blog post! 😉) Anyway, Google benefits of meditation and you'll see what I mean. There are a ton of articles!

Here are some of the benefits of meditation: Reduces stress, Slows aging, Improves sleep, Helps you feel more connected, Helps you appreciate life more, Improves brain function, Makes you happier, Increases immunity, Improves attention span, Aids in weight loss...the list goes on and on. (Seriously, one article I read listed 76 benefits of meditation. 76!)

So I started doing Danette's I AM meditation on day one of the challenge. Now, 40-some days later, I do at least one of her meditations at least once a day...but I'd say that I average 2-3 of her meditations each day. I usually do one right after I workout, while I'm cooling down. Then I listen to one or two more while I'm driving the car or getting ready after my shower or walking the dog.

I like the way they make me feel. And I am really focused right now on rewiring my brain. I am dumping negativity and judgment. Trading it in for positivity, love, and grace. This is a big task. (I've had a lot of years with those negative, judgmental thoughts!) But I'm loving the work...and my progress.

I'm loving Danette's meditations so much that I've added other meditations to my days/weeks too--including meditations with my kids. (I'll share more about some of those in a post in the near future.) And I truly believe that these meditations are a game changer. I believe that it is the combination of the meal plan + the workouts + the meditations that make this plan so effective. And the meditations are the easiest part to incorporate into your life--a small change that has huge impact.

Give it a try.

If you're not going to try out Danette's 30 Day New You Challenge, at least try this--go over to Youtube, find a short meditation that looks appealing and try adding it to your daily life. Because here's the thing, folks, this stuff isn't just about losing weight. It's about living your best life in your healthiest body. It's about feeling good--physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I feel so good. And I want you to, too. Whether you try this program or you piece together your own version. Eat clean, healthy, unprocessed, organic foods. Exercise and meditate daily. Fill your head...fill your life...with positive thoughts. You CAN have the life you've always dreamed of. It's in your power to make it so. You just have to get up everyday and make the choices that move you in the right direction.

I believe in this so much. Though this is my last post, for now, that's specifically about Danette May's 30 Day New You Challenge, I will continue to post about the things that I'm doing that are making a difference in my life. I feel so good and I want everyone to feel this way.

Okay, I'm done. Off my soapbox.

Here are the links to my previous posts about the 30 Day Challenge, if you haven't already read them:
http://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2017/02/30-days-to-new-me-danette-mays-30-day.html
http://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-typical-clean-eating-food-day-danette.html
http://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-difference-in-danette-mays-workouts.html

And here's the link to sign up for the next 30 Day New You Challenge--it starts next Monday, March 6th! http://59894eyms6z7rh6pp2w509aobx.hop.clickbank.net/?pid=265&tid=amylorbach2017

Have a great day, friends.

Until next time, take a few minutes each day to meditate and say nice things to yourself. Try this:

I am beautiful. I am perfect just as I am. I love my body for all that it is and all that it's done for me. I radiate joy into the world. And I give love to everyone around me. I am enough.

Namaste.






February 24, 2017

The Difference in Danette May's Workouts (and Why They Work So Well For Me)

What do I love about Danette May's workouts for the 30 Day New You Challenge and Forever Fit Programs?

Here's the short version:
- They are fast.
- They are easy to do every day.
- They are effective.
- They are positive and uplifting.
- They make me feel good.

Before I break it down in a little more detail for you, you might be wondering what her workouts are like. Well, I'll tell you this...they keep you on your toes! Each workout is different. Some are very pilates-focused and some are more burpee-bootcamp. Some feel gentle and all about peace. And others leave you lying on the floor sweaty and panting for breath. It's a little bit of everything. Each workout is defined by a mantra (think: I am strong or I can do hard things or I am peace), which I love. Some of them are 18 minutes straight through, but many of them consist of a 6-8 minute workout set that you repeat three times. And each day, each week, she keeps you mixing it all up. And I can tell you, this has been great for my body.

Now, let's revisit what I love most about these workouts.

I love Danette's workouts because they are fast. 15-20 minutes and I'm done. I LOVE THAT! As my dad would say: You can do anything for 20 minutes. Even if it's really hard (and some of them are), it's only 20 minutes. And I'm not joking when I say-- they go by really fast. Seriously. They do.

Next! Because the workouts take 20 minutes or less, I have no problem getting them in every day. Just 20 minutes. That means you can get up just 20 minutes earlier than normal and squeeze it in. That means that even when you've had a super crazy day and you finally get the kids to bed, you can still fit in a quick workout before you collapse on the couch for a little zone-out time. You can always find a way to work it in. I know this because I have done it for 45 days straight. I have not missed a Danette workout since I started this program-- despite busy days, despite being sick for a week, despite my husband traveling for work...despite, well, life. I always get it in. And you can too. Because it's only 20 minutes!

And these suckers are effective. Turns out you don't need to spend 40-60 minutes working out to see results. Even with only 20 minutes, I still end up sore the next day after a new workout. I still end up huffing and puffing by the third set. And I'm still seeing the results. Things are trimmer, firmer, more tone. My clothes lay better on my body. It's a good thing.

The next reason on my list is the thing I think I love the best about her workouts: They are positive and uplifting. Though there is a little, there is far less of this: "Keep doing those squats so your butt will looks good in your jeans" or "Give me ten more seconds in that plank if you want your abs ready for that bikini." And there is a lot more of this: "Send love to your body," and "Our mantra today is I am strong," and "Tap those ab muscles and tell them to wake up and work for you."

This is important to me for two reasons.

1) Me. I've had enough of being told that I need to be skinny, that I need to be sexy, that I need to live up to some social standard of beauty. At 42 years old, I've had enough of it. Stop it. Turn it off. No more. I want to be strong. I want to be healthy. I want to feel good in my skin. I want my body to feel good. I want to be a good role model for my kids. I do not want to look hot in a bikini. Seriously. That's not what I care about anymore and I don't want to pollute my psyche with that kind of talk.

2) My daughter. I hate nothing more than having my 8 year old daughter walk in while I'm working out and hear the workout instructor on my dvd telling me to work harder so I can fit into my jeans or wear a bikini or look sexy for my man. Ugh! I am doing everything in my power to counteract the soon-to-come inundation of social pressure and body shaming for my girl. I want her to know that I work out to keep my body healthy and strong and to take care of myself, mentally and physically. I do not want her internalizing the message that we workout to be skinny or sexy for men. Danette's workouts are far more focused on positive messages than negative. I feel they are uplifting, so I don't mind my daughter hearing what Danette has to say. It's about self care and self love and nothing more.

And lastly, I just like the way these workouts make me feel. I feel good when I'm done. I feel healthy and I feel good about myself. And those are some really good feelings, my friend. They just are.

So there you have it. A little more in-depth look at Danette May's workouts and why I love them.

If you haven't already read my post about my experience with Danette May's 30 Day New You Challenge, you can read that here: http://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2017/02/30-days-to-new-me-danette-mays-30-day.html.

If you'd like to learn more about what you'll be eating on the 30 Day New You Challenge, you can read my post on that here: http://mamamanagement.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-typical-clean-eating-food-day-danette.html.

If you're interested in signing up for the next 30 Day Challenge (which starts March 6), click here to learn more about the program and sign up: http://59894eyms6z7rh6pp2w509aobx.hop.clickbank.net/?pid=265&tid=amylorbach2017.

Until next time, keep moving your body and sending it love.

Namaste.