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    SPARK Blog — guest post

    Guest Post: How To Find Momentum When Life Slows You Down

    Momentum is not just a workout-friendly jewelry company. While it's true that we give people a way to wear motivational sayings, our products do more than that. Thanks to an incredible amount of tagging on social media, we've seen people from a variety of backgrounds grow and tackle their greatest achievements with the help of jewelry created just for them. We are honored and humbled by all of this. And today, we are sharing Tasha's story. She moved forward when life wanted to hold her back. Learn from her:

    I live a life that is in constant motion. Two years ago, on a Thursday morning in November, my life came to a complete stop. Everything I thought about life fell into my lap like ashes. I had an injured child, a community evenly split among those who supported and those who judged, and my own heart and mind seemed to stop functioning.  

    Let me first say that my son has made a tremendous and complete recovery. I cannot say the same thing about myself. Day after day, while folded up in a recliner in the corner of his hospital room, I had to make the decision to not just fight for him but to fight for myself. I'll be honest—at times, I lost the battle for myself, which continues to be an ongoing process.

    I want us all to be happy and free forever, so let me offer you my truth. Let me tell you how I pulled my head above water...how I found the strength to go back to doing what I love. Honestly, I can’t even imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t teach fitness classes or work with personal training clients. I literally loved myself back to health and wellness.

    So...here. Four ways you can conquer life:

    1) Pray. Prepare. Proceed. I am a woman of faith.  Before I made any move, I prayed about it. When my stress levels shot up and my adrenals went out of whack, when my weight fluctuated about ten pounds every week—I had to make so many adjustments. I knew I could not lead the life I had previously led, but my ego told me that I could. And it was wrong. I had to prepare myself to enter back into life as I was at that moment, rather than who I thought I should be. And then I went for it.

    2) Face Your Fear. I knew that in order to function, I had to not be afraid of what people were saying about my son or me. I was on the news and I didn't like it. Reporters had my cell phone number and I didn't like it. I'd go out in public and people would discuss my life in front of me, not knowing it was me they were talking about. I didn't like that, either. But I decided that my son and I were going to be conquerers. I decided to be free of other people's judgement. I knew that I was good at what I did, and that nothing else mattered. But I was still scared. I still wanted to be liked and adored, respected and admired. All of that was on the other side of my fears, so I stepped over and found freedom.

    Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

    3) Know You Are Enough. I felt like a failure as a mother. When that guilt settled in, I started pulling away from commitments to be with my son, and I felt like a failure at everything else, too. I'd fake my way through the day, hugging and talking with friends. But when my son closed his eyes for the night, I'd cry silently and then feel like a failure for not being strong enough. And yet, the more I feel my experiences and stopped trying to run away from them, the more I began to honor myself as a human. I started being gentle with myself. I'd acknowledge that I was doing the best I could, giving it my all. And then I stopped focusing on people who felt otherwise. I'll admit that I still struggle with this from time to time, but I always come back to this thought: "I was created for this moment. I can do this."

    4) Inspire and Empower. One of the things that helped me the most was my effort to continually serve others. When I felt like I was falling into a hole, I sought out people who could use more encouragement than I needed. By lifting up others, we empower ourselves. So by going on with my life, by being honest about my struggles and relentless about getting back to myself—I found a new normal in a community that nurtured my growth to a new level.

    In the end, my advice to you is this: Trust yourself. Keep moving. Keep your love and gratitude meter on high. 

    Tasha teaches us all to believe, endure and achieve. Over here at Momentum, we support that sentiment wholeheartedly. Our "believe, endure achieve" motivate wrap is ready to help you move forward. Shop the whole collection HERE. Be sure to let us know how your wraps keep you moving forward by tagging @momentumjewelry on Instagram.

    Guest Post: Always believe!

    Every Motivate Wrap or Foot Note we create is made to inspire and empower. We hope that our products give you that extra push...that little bit of power you need to get through something difficult. Maybe they keep you moving through an adventure with strength and perseverance. We absolutely love hearing your stories about our products. Today, we'll share one with you. It's from Bridget of Fitness With Bridget. The word "believe" is her mantra, and this is her journey:

    Bridget Hammond

    Two years ago, I signed up to run my second marathon. I completed my first one at the age of 28, and I had no plans to do another one. Doing a marathon was a bucket-list item. I started running when I was 21. It was a form of therapy after I lost my mom to ovarian cancer. Running helped me combat anxiety and depression, but it also made me think I could eat whatever I wanted to, and I gained over 30 pounds.

    So after I crossed the marathon off my bucket list, I started off on a weight-loss journey.

    I began taking group fitness classes for more cross-training, and to have support from like-minded people. This helped me to lose 30 pounds. I felt confident, and I became passionate about health and fitness—so I became a certified fitness instructor to keep myself accountable and to pay it forward. I wanted to help other people on their own fitness journey.

    Fast forward a few years. I got married, had two kiddos, and added "personal trainer" and "online health motivator" to my list of jobs. This allowed me to leave corporate America, after which I began my clean eating lifestyle. I changed my workouts, too. I felt strong, and I was ready for another challenge.

    The Spring before I turned 40, I made a quick decision to sign up for Marathon #2. My goal was to be better at 40 (weighing 40 pounds less) than I was at 28. 

    I trained for five months. Race day came, and I felt ready. I was running a good pace, following the 3-hour/45-minute pacer until I reached mile 18. My IT bands locked up. I let the pacer go by, knowing I needed to just let myself breathe and run slower.

    I listened to my body.

    I struggled big time, but pushed through the pain the best that I could. I thought I lost an hour, it felt like forever. At mile 25, I saw the 4-hour pacer and was so relieved—my goal was to finish between 4:00 and 4:15. I could make it...and I did, in 4:01. I shaved almost an hour off my original time! Despite the pain, quitting was not  an option. And throughout it all, my “Believe” and “26.2” footnotes were a constant reminder that I could keep going...that I could finish, and that stopping was not an option.

    Momentum Footnotes

    My experience in both marathons, and my entire health journey have taught me so much. Most of all, these experiences have taught me to believe in myself. To believe that I can do hard things. That it takes work, but that pushing myself means that I am working on me.

    We all deserve to feel good in our skin. I am no longer training for races, but I am training for life. I will always believe in me—and no matter where you're at in your journey, you should believe that you can do anything.

    It just takes one step at a time.

    Our Foot Notes come in a wide variety of inspirational sayings. Get one, or one for each foot. We can also customize them with your personal mantra. Believe in yourself, and believe in the power of a personal mantra! Bridget is proof of that.

    Guest Post: Mommy strong.

    We firmly believe that you were designed to lead an inspired life. This is what drives each piece of jewelry we create. We want Momentum to inspire and empower anyone that wears it. And we love celebrating the people that do. Our customers inspire us, and we think they'll inspire you, too. That's why we choose to share their stories on our blog. Today, a post from Alyssa of Home Field Fitness on the importance of being "mommy strong":

    I had no idea what it meant to be "mommy strong" until I personally discovered the struggle of staying active throughout pregnancy, the physical toll of childbirth, and the challenge to stay motivated, energized and active as a busy mother. This is why moms band together, bonding over their struggles and their strengths.

    As a fitness instructor that specializes in classes for moms, I see all of the struggles...not feeling like yourself anymore, beating yourself up about your new body, always putting your family first, and being too humble to be proud of how far you’ve come..it's always my goal to remind you that you are so strong.

    As mothers, we do amazing things every single day and it’s so important that we take pride in and celebrate that! 

    A group of my clients recently took the word “strength” to a whole new level. We focused on the mental block of not being enough. I gave everyone Sparklets that said “Stay Strong." Having that daily reminder on their wrists helped motivate them, and ultimately changed their mindset! 

    I think it's really important to take a break from your children. Especially when you're working out. Make it about you! My "Mommy Strong" clients often refer to our kid-free workouts as their happy hour, and I feel the same way.

    Moms, you should never feel selfish about taking time for a workout.

    That said, if motherhood has taught me anything, it's that me-time is limited. We have to be realistic, and that often means your kids are going to be around for your workout. This doesn't have to be a bad thing!

    It fact, it can be fun! Look for kid-friendly classes for moms, or put together your own workout that incorporates your child. Think about it: It's incredibly convenient to exercise with your child! You won't need to secure childcare, and they get to have fun with you. 

    It will also influence your little ones. They are watching you! Letting them see you having fun while you are working out is one of the best things you can show them. My daughters love racing me, "helping me" with planks and getting on a yoga mat next to me.

    We can raise the next generation of healthy adults, and it can start when they're brand-new to the world. The more they are exposed to your healthy habits, the more they'll want to join in.

    Toss them in a stroller for a daily walk or run, wear them in a baby carrier for an added-weight workout, or let them join you if they are old enough.

    Remember, they are watching you. And if there's anything we know about children, it's that they love to move. 

    To learn more about working out with your children, visit Alyssa at Home Field Fitness. Now tell us: How will you be mommy strong today?

    Guest Post: You are the loudest voice you hear. #beyoutiful.

    On Wednesday, October 18th, Momentum will join forces with Handful Activewear to celebrate National Love Your Body Day in a unique and visually powerful way. Our BE YOUtiful campaign will encourage everyone everywhere to reclaim the beauty and power within. We continue our series of inspirational blog posts with a BE YOUtiful message from Staci Becker, a Spinning instructor with a positive outlook.

    What is the first thing you see when you look in the mirror in the morning? Is it how beautiful your eyes are, or the bags underneath them? Is it how soft your hair is, or how the grey is starting to show through? Do you see all the happy moments that have earned you those laugh lines, or do you just see wrinkles? Your first 60 seconds out of bed can set the tone for your whole day. Will you be beautiful, soft, and happy—or saggy, grey, and full of wrinkles? 

    You are the first and loudest voice you hear. Make that voice a positive one.

    When I was 12, I was friends with the popular girls. One day after lunch, we were outside at recess and one of the girls found me on the playground. She told me the girls could no longer be friends with me because I was fat. 35 years later, I can still remember exactly where I was standing, what I was wearing, and what those words felt like. I have forgiven that girl, but still carry that moment with me as a reminder of how powerful words can be. But it’s not just the words of others. It's also the words we tell ourselves.

    The sad truth is that, even now, I will sometimes tell myself that I am fat, ugly, or not good enough. I would never say those words to anyone else, but for some reason, I think it's acceptable to say them to myself. I'm pretty sure I’m not the only woman who has this horrible inner dialog, and it makes me sad.

    Why do we feel the need to put ourselves down? And why do we think it’s OK? 

    Can you remember the last time you put yourself down? Imagine how run down you'd feel if  you had someone following you around all day putting you down? I challenge you to pay attention to your inner dialog for one entire day. Be honest with yourself and notice how many times you are positive and how often you are negative. If you are like most women, it’s not going to be pretty. 

    Here’s the good news: It can change. You can change. You get to choose how you talk to yourself. Be an encourager. Be a positive force for yourself and for others, too. When you are operating from a place of positivity, your cup is full and you are better able to pour into others. This can happen, but it takes intention and diligence.  

    Pay attention to things you love about yourself and focus on them. Write down five things you are good at, five traits you have that you love, five characteristics you were born with that make you special. Celebrate and embrace those things, and let them shine through.

    Remember, you are in control of how you see yourself, how you treat yourself, and how you talk to yourself. You deserve to hear how wonderful you are every single day—even if it’s just from yourself.

    One last reminder: You are the loudest voice you hear, so make it positive. Download your free BE YOUtiful poster and help us celebration National Love Your Body Day on Wednesday, October 18th. 

    Guest Post: Bent, not broken...and totally #beyoutiful.

    On Wednesday, October 18th, Momentum will join forces with Handful Activewear to celebrate National Love Your Body Day in a unique and visually powerful way. Our BE YOUtiful campaign will encourage everyone everywhere to reclaim the beauty and power within. We continue our series of inspirational blog posts with a BE YOUtiful message from Gelcys at Runner Unleashed.

    One of the hardest things you can do is love yourself, but it's also one of the easiest. I haven't had it easy. Ever since I was small, I've had problems with my spine. It hurt a lot and caused a lot of issues, but I never knew why because it wasn't visible. When I was 13, right at the peak of being a teenager, the problems started to show and that's when my insecurities began. When I was 15, I had my first operation. I was diagnosed with Scoliosis.

    My spine was so crooked, it looked like a snake had crawled in there and petrified itself in an "S" shape. I was embarrassed and was already shy, and my spine just made me feel worse. Spending 14 hours in the operating room, and the resulting stitches that started at the base of my neck and went all the way down to my bottom didn't help. Add to it the pain of recovery and the whole walking (and moving) like a robot thing.

    During my recovery, I was rear-ended and one of the metal pieces that was put into my spine to stabilize it from further curving had come out of place. So back to the operating room I went to remove that one piece. But, it was left on top of a nerve that went to my leg so it caused a hair-raising amount of pain. I made another trip to the operating room to repair that, but it didn't help.

    I said, "take all the hardware out of my spine! I've had it." It wasn't doing me any good.

    All through high school and college, I hid my scar because they cut into it so many times that it got bigger and darker. I felt like it just showed what I was going through. I was born in Venezuela and lived in Florida, minutes from Miami, surrounded by bathing suits and beaches.  It fueled my insecurities.

    But as I grew older, and to this day, I realized that it's not about how you look on the outside. Society is at it's worst right now when it comes to being a negative influence. It's time to look in the mirror and put all of that aside and look at yourself.

    My spine is still curving and I have a hump that sticks out. My scar is crooked and hasn't gone away. You know what? I show all of it. I no longer hide it. Yes, people stare and people point—but I don't care. I will gladly educate them on Scoliosis, why I look the way I do, and how they can prevent their child from developing it. And if that child is afraid of it, I can help them not be. 

    No one should be afraid to beYOUtiful.

    It is something all woman of all shapes, colors, sizes, and disabilities should be. Smile because it looks good on you. Be that brave woman inside you. Don't be afraid to show the world the true beauty within you. Don't hide it inside like I did for so long. Many call me brave for letting my "disability" show, but I don't think of it that way. I am allowing my true beauty to show because it's all beYOUtiful.

    Embrace what makes you different, don't hide it. You never know who you are giving strength to by being beYOUtiful and open. Never be ashamed of who you are and who you've become. You shouldn't be comparing yourself to others anyway. Everyone is on a different journey. So shine bright, and whenever you need a hero—look in the mirror because that hero is you. 

    And you are #beyoutiful. Show it to the world by downloading your free beYOUtiful poster. Snap a selfie with it, then post it to Instagram on Wednesday, October 18th—National Love Your Body Day.