Tag Archives: Happy

WT Happiness

20 May

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Today is my day to post in the happiness group about how you can foster your level of happiness.  I read Cheryl Sandberg’s commencement speech to Berkley this morning while sitting in my physical therapy appointment.   She addressed the students, not with her lessons in life but her lessons in death.  While dealing with her bereavement at the loss of her husband more than a year ago, she learned some incredible lessons that I think we all take for granted.

One of the biggest things I took away from her words were:  ‘Think about how much worse things could be’.  That’s the reality check we all need in life.  Perplexed, she responded to her friend saying ‘Are you kidding, how much worse could they be?’ and his response was ‘Your children could have been in the car with your husband when he had his Arrhythmia’.  When we think about life being worse, our minds move into the mode of ‘grateful’ and ‘appreciation’ for what we have, not what we don’t have.  While I was annoyed to be spending an hour of my morning sitting in PT as opposed to working out and sweating at the Crossfit gym, I took some of Cheryl’s advice.  IT COULD BE WORSE!  I could have torn my shoulder as opposed to just overusing it.  I would have had 6 months of PT as opposed to the mere 6 weeks (which are thankfully almost done).  And I still can work every muscle in my lower body which is what burns the most calories anyway.   Research has proven time and time again that people who find gratitude and appreciation are more resilient and are happier and healthier.

If you’ve seen any of my recent ‘family’ Facebook posts, you’ve seen the new friend that I’ve made with my future step-sons mother.  Brian and I have been together for over 2 years now and it’s taken us a while to get here but she needed time.  Time to realize that ‘things could be worse’… I could be worse.  I could be mean and nasty and uncooperative.  But i’m not.  I’m loving and forgiving and kind.  And no matter how long it took her to be come around, I was waiting with open arms and a smile to embrace her, befriend her and partner with her in the co-parenting of her son.

So next time you’re feeling down, or sad or hurting… just think about how much worse it could be and then write down or make a mental note of the things you are truly grateful for and the things you appreciate in your life.  Better yet, start a journal and write them down so when you tend to forget, you can look back and remind yourself.  #choosehappiness #itcouldbeworse

If you’d like to join our next Happiness Group event (it’s free and open to ANYONE), click here for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1285732538121063/

A link to the full article on Sheryl’s Commencement Speech:  http://www.businessinsider.com/sheryl-sandberg-berkeley-commencement-speech-2016-5

WT Divorce

1 Oct


This morning I received an invitation to my ex-husbands wedding.  Yes, you read that right.  My ex and his fiance have invited my boyfriend and I (as well as my brother and his wife) to his upcoming wedding.  When I opened the invite, I felt a pang in my stomach.  It wasn’t sadness or jealousy.  It was happiness and a sense of pride.  Happiness because I truly am happy for him that he has found someone(and an awesome someone at that) and pride because I am so proud of both of us for the way we have handled our separation and divorce since the very beginning.  Not many people can or ever will be able to say what I just told you.  We are not normal but one thing we both are, is HAPPY.

After two and half years, our divorce became final in May.  Although we mediated, the process still takes forever. When we began the process, we thought that because we weren’t going to fight each other, it would be quick. But, no matter what the situation, it is impossible for it to take less than a year.  If you’ve done it, good for you and please share your secret because I have yet to meet anyone that’s gotten through it quickly.  Over the last two and a half years, I’ve had countless people commend me (and my ex) on the relationship we have with each other.  The day the papers arrived from the courts, my ex stopped by my office so that we could share the moment together. You might think that’s weird but for us, it’s the way we chose to handle things from the beginning. There were fights, screaming matches, throwing things and people threatening to quit but at the end of it all, I learned a tremendous amount about myself, my ex and about making it less painful than it needs to be.   So, whether you are miserably married and feel stuck, seriously contemplating divorce or in the midst of your proceedings, keep reading.

To Divorce or Not To Divorce? That is the question and the one with the hardest answer. Just like having a baby, you don’t really know what you’re in for until you’re in it. If you have a good man but he’s just annoying and pisses you off time and time again, figure out a way to work on it. If you’ve still got that lovin’ feeling somewhere deep deep inside you then find the things you fell in love with at the beginning and try to get them back… together. It takes two. On the flip side, if you fall into any of these then it might be time to call the attorney:

  • you are oil and he is water
  • he/she flat out sucks and you are at the point of hating each other
  • the slightest things annoy the shit out of you – like the way he/she breathes
  • you’re getting angry at each other just for sneezing
  • you spend moments of your day thinking about ways to kill the other person if you could get away with it

So, if you’ve settled on getting out, the insights below just might help you and your ex to keep things civil.

Lawyers v. Mediators.  There is a huge difference here – hundreds of thousands of dollars in difference.  If you can’t be in the same room together and can’t stand to look at each other, a mediator will most likely not want to deal with you.  However, if you can mediate, I highly recommend it.  It’s not an easy process but it’s worth the money.  Either way, divorce isn’t cheap and at the end of all the back and forth, you will both be down at least $50 – $100k – money which could go towards your kids and other things.  If you go the lawyer route, and no offense to any divorce lawyers reading this, their job is to fight for you and fight hard.  They will talk you into things that they think you deserve and only make you more angry at what he ‘isn’t’ offering you.  The more they fight, the more they make.  Bottom line, you may not win, but either way, your lawyer will.

It’s ALL About The Kids. If you share children, your ex will never truly be out of your life so why not try to keep things civil. You will always have to speak to each other regarding your offspring so try to speak kindly and if you can’t find nice words, just send a text and let them take it however they want to take it.  If in the company of your children, try not to completely ignore each other or be nasty to each other… what lesson are you teaching your children if you can’t even speak to the person they love as their mother or father.

Cha-cha-cha-Changes. NOT! What you hated about your ex while you were together will still be the things you hate when you are divorced because people don’t change (and I fully include myself in this comment.  I am still guilty of doing all the things that pissed him off when we were married).  Take comfort in knowing that they have not changed and never will but a new person might bring out a better side of them…. and you need to just deal with it.

Moo000lah. During the process it all becomes about the money even if you go in trying not to focus on that. Don’t be selfish, at the end of the day, it should only be about the kids. If you left her because you don’t love her or found someone else, don’t skimp out on alimony and child support. If you left him for the same reason, don’t ask for what’s NOT yours. Just do right by each other or every month you will have a bad taste in your mouth.

Hugs. At the end of a fight or mediation session, hug it out no matter how angry you are, how much you want to kill each other or how sick the other person makes you feel. As silly as it sounds, it changes your emotional state and you can leave a little less bitter. (I know a lot of people are saying there is no fucking way this one is gonna happen). Trust me, it makes a difference and in hindsight, I’m thankful that he made me do this every time.  When we signed our papers, a hug wasn’t enough so we went for a cocktail, took a picture, friended each other on Facebook for 5 minutes, shared the picture and then unfriended each other.  You don’t need to be friends on Facebook – as much as we like each other, there is absolutely NO need.

Sharing is Caring.  You made babies together, one of you probably will have more time with them than the other, which leaves one of you missing out on day to day things. Send a picture of your kid on the first day of school or in a new cute outfit or send a message about something funny that happened.  You’ll appreciate the pictures or the messages when the roles are reversed.   And if you can handle it, try to share a meal together once in a while…. for the sake of the kids.  But, again, don’t be friends on Facebook.

Consideration. If you have a new love in your life and your ex doesn’t, try to put yourself in their shoes and think how you might react to certain situations like bed sharing, attending the kids events together or decision making. Tread lightly. You may be on the opposite side one day and wish they considered your feelings.  And remember, don’t be friends on Facebook.

Moving On. Don’t rush the next relationship. So many people have asked me where they should be looking for men to date or get back in the game(Tinder, POF, Hinge, Ashley Madison… that last one might be why you’re getting divorced). I’m not saying don’t get out there. The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. (I wish I could credit the person that told me that because it’s a great line – feel free to use it). Enjoy your time alone and find yourself again. Chances are you got lost somewhere between marriage and kids, homework and soccer games. Take the time to find whatever it is you lost. It will set the stage for your happiness in your next relationship.

Be happy. For goodness sake you got divorced because you were miserable or he was miserable or you were both miserable.  Find your happy place and wrap your arms around it because no matter how old you are, you have time to find an amazing partner to spend the rest of your life with and not make the same mistakes you made the first time.  And if you have kids, one of the perks is your off time.  I’m sorry, it might sound sad, but when you’re single and working or lunching or whatever it is you do, every other weekend ‘off duty’ allows for ‘you-time’ and time with your new person.

My ex and I have both moved on.  We are both blissfully happy.  We found new partners that are not only amazing, but respect our relationship and support it.  We spend time together(yes, all 4 of us) with the kids and sometimes randomly run into each other at concerts or parties, at which his new partner and I can be found laughing and having a blast on the dance floor… together.  It’s not normal but it works and not only are WE better for it, but our kids will be better for it as well.


WT Health Kick

15 Jan

Fit Post

I’m jetting off to Puerto Rico in 24 days with a bunch of girl friends.  I can’t wait.  Starting in late October, I begin to slack on the healthy eating and working out because of Halloween(my candy corn obsession gets the better of me), my birthday, Thanksgiving(extra whip on the pumpkin pie please), Holidays (lots o’latkes)…. you name it, I’ve got an excuse to eat like shit, drink lots of wine and use a hangover as my excuse to avoid the gym.  Well, now I’ve got 24 days to turn it all around and get bikini ready for the sunny sandy beaches of PR.

Aside from that, I’ve instituted a new healthier work environment in my office in 2013.  We will be stocking our pantry with all healthy snack foods and a few of us will be wearing a FitBit (tracks daily fitness and sleep activity) to help motivate us towards living a healthier, fitter life.

As much as I don’t believe there needs to be any specific time of year to make changes in your life, I know many people use the new year as their time for ‘resolutions’.  I’ve enlisted a few friends that I know are on health kicks to join me in my quest and I am laying it all out for any of my followers that want to get healthier and fitter as well.  For starters, get yourself a FitBit-One so we can link up and follow each others progress.  This is not a paid endorsement but maybe they’ll throw me a bone if enough of you buy one:

Water – Each day you should be drinking at least 6 glasses of water.  Keep a cup full of water next to the bed and the first thing you should do when you wake up, is chug it.  Your body starts the day dehydrated and craving water.  Make it happy, water it.
Coffee or Tea – 1-2 cups  (try to go 2% milk or soy rather than whole and Raw sugar instead of Splenda or other sugar alternative).
Alcohol – I’d like to tell you to avoid alcohol but who the hell am I kidding.  Any healthy regimen that makes you kick the things you love the most is one you should avoid at all costs.

This depends on how well you know your own body. I know that I can function well on 6 hours of sleep and if i get more than 8, it makes me more tired.  As my mother always said, it’s the hours before 12am that count so try to get in bed by 10-10:30pm.

Morning Exercise:
I read an article this weekend that talked about how morning workouts help kick your metabolism into gear and starting burning off the bad fat earlier in the day.  All you need is 8 minutes.  This morning I set my alarm for 10 minutes earlier and started doing this.
Side Leg Raises – Knee to Elbow – 2 min
Squats or Lunging Squats – 2 min
Mountain Climbers – 1 min
Plank Pose or Jumping Jacks – 1 min
Abs – any abs will do – 2 min
(Feel free to switch this up to include whatever you like and take out what you hate.  If you don’t like it, you aren’t going do it)

Other Exercise:
If you’re a morning gym person, ignore the above and just go to the gym.  If you are a night time work out person like I am, then the above should still be done in the morning even if you plan on working out at night.  Don’t try to jump into a work out routine that is overwhelming, that’s the biggest mistake. Start slow.  I think everyone should own a set of workout DVD’s for those times when you just can’t get to the gym.  (I love Insanity but some people are into P90X, Turbo Fire, Chalene – Beachbody.com is big in my town but use what you like.  If you want Beachbody DVD’s, click here:  http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/laurenmundell
Week 1:
8 minute morning workout – 4 days a week.  You can do this in your underwear with no shoes on.  It’s that easy.
2 days/week – a work out DVD or hit the gym if you belong to one.  Workout should include 30 minutes of light cardio – walk on the treadmill, ride the bike, climb the stairs or elliptical.   Follow with a light arm workout.  There are plenty you can research online.  If I include all of that here, people will stop reading – most of you already have.
Week 2:
8 minute morning workout – 5 days a week.
3 days/week – 30 – 40 min of moderate cardio.  Step it up one level on all machines.  If you aren’t sweating, you aren’t working hard enough.  Get your heart rate up – wearing a heart rate monitor is the best thing you can do for your workouts… especially in the beginning.
Follow with arm exercises – keep the same weight level but bump up the reps.
Abs – 20 – 40 crunches, elbow to knee, leg raises or any type of abs you like.
Week 3:
8 minute morning workout – 5 days a week.
3 – 4 days/week – at least 40 minutes of moderate to high impact cardio.  Run – 5.0 – 6.0, Stairs – 8.0 – 10.0, Elliptical – 8.0 – 12.0, Bike – 7.0 – 10.0. (Want more impact than this – ask me about what I learned from Barry’s Boot Camp)
Arms – kick up the weights – if you were lifting 8 lbs, graduate to 10 – 12 lbs.  YOU WILL NOT BULK UP.  You will burn the fat and tone the muscles under the fat.  I’ve used 15 – 20 lb weights and was at my leanest and didn’t bulk.  It’s a misconception.
Abs – 40-60 crunches, elbow to knee, leg raises or any type of abs you like.
Week 4 and ongoing:  
8 minute morning workout – 5-7 days a week.
At least 4 days/week – 40-60 minutes of high impact cardio.  Run – 6.0-7.0, Stairs – 10.0-15.0, Elliptical – 12.0-15.0, Bike – 10.0-15.0.
Arms – Mix it up on different days
Abs – 80-100 crunches, elbow to knee, leg raises or any type of abs you like.

*Any day of the week can be substituted with a class of some sort – spin, boxing, physique57, Barre Method, Yoga, etc.

Mind over Matter:  There are things you can incorporate every day into your routine that WILL make a difference.  I do things like take the stairs instead of the elevator, run to the gym instead of drive, walk places instead of take a cab, squat at the toilet instead of sit (you’ll feel the burn if you don’t hold onto anything), kegels while typing this blog (did you ladies all just do one?  Why is it that when someone says Kegel, you automatically do one -LOL)  etc.  It’s a mindset people.  Once you start to feel good and see results, it will become second nature.  Kegel – LOL.  Ok, maybe not.

Overall I’m a healthy eater.  This has been something I’ve learned to do for a number of years now.  However, if you know me, you know that I am a pig and I’ve been called a Skinny Pig because I eat the things I love.  I have trained my brain that MODERATION is key and if I’m a total pig, I know to kick it up an extra notch or two the next day at the gym. I have done a ton of reading on healthy boosters, fat busters and superfoods and this list is not backed by anything other than my expert opinion so do what you’d like with it.
Health Boosters – Eat 4-5 of these each day
Grapes, Blueberries, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Apples, Dark Chocolate, Salmon, Avocados, Beets, Lemon/Limes(squeeze into your water), Mushrooms.
Fat Busters – Eat 4-5 of these each day
Olive Oil, Edamame, Grapefruit, Beans/Legumes, Carrots, Chestnuts/Almonds/Pine Nuts, Figs, Horseradish, Mangos, Eggs, Lean Meats, Sprouts, Ginger/Cayenne/Blk Pepper (great metabolism boosters)
SuperFoods – Eat 4-5 of these each day
Sweet Potato/Squash/Pumpkin, Hummus, Cruciferous Veggies (brussels(ask me for my recipe), cabbage, cauliflower, brocc rabe), Dark Leafy Veggies (spinach, kale, swiss chard, seaweed), Alliums (leeks, onions, shallots, garlic), Whole Grains (Buckwheat, Quinoa – ask me for my Quinoa recipe), Spelt/Flax/Sesame Seeds, Yogurt (low fat – Coconut Milk, Soy, Greek), Walnuts (best nut for Omega 3), Miso (B12 and Zinc – great for immunity), Oregano (just 1/2 tst has same benefits as Spinach Salad)

When you get home, take a lipstick and write on your bathroom mirror in huge letters:  NO EXCUSES!!!  This should keep you motivated.  The other great thing to keep you motivated is a FRIEND.  Don’t go at it alone.  Recruit someone that will motivate you and you can help motivate them.   Also, as an important thing to note….. I have absolutely no background in nutrition or fitness training so the above is based on my own experiences, reading a ton of articles and books and what I’ve learned works for me.  If you want this in Excel format, email me at hayley@vergemkg.com and I can send you a chart that you can print each day and put it on your wall to keep track of your progress.  If you want to follow my motivational Pin Board on Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/hayleybyer/fit-and-fab/

Thanks for reading.

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year, New You.

WT Hayley