Building the American Dream

February 27, 2014

February 27, 2014

Patience is a virtue but it isn’t my best virtue.

When my husband and I first became pregnant I wanted to purchase a home. After all, creating a residential nest egg was an instinctual desire as a mother. While we were financially capable of purchasing a humble property, we decided instead, to save and invest. Following my parent’s example of attaining the American Dream, we would also live a simple existence – rarely eating out, spending weekends on hiking trails, shopping on clearance racks and buying most of the boys clothes used. As a person who has consistently practiced the universal laws of hard work and discipline, I knew eventually our labor would one day bear fruit.

All money earned went back into investments and in our years maintaining financial discipline I became a business entrepreneur, a freelance writer, a nonprofit founder, a property owner – but not an owner of my primary home.

Renting has its luxuries. There is no commitment. There are no property taxes or insurance. However, there is no security. I’ve been considering moving for some time now, but it was recently made easier with a helpful incentive – and timeline – by our landlord.

After seven years of saving, I will finally settle into my own home. I can paint my walls, plant my garden and upgrade some appliances. I won’t feel limited by my lack of ownership or fearful of future what if’s. While home buying should be an exciting period in my life, due to our constricted timeline, this process has become very stressful.

I’ve been undergoing sleepless nights and stressful days. I can feel the stress hormone, cortisol, inviting fat cells to gather around my belly area and I can sense my effectiveness as a business owner, mother, wife, friend and daughter declining. The oomph in my actions, the spring in my step and the sparkle in my eyes are becoming absent. Even though I don’t want to wake up in the morning, I still get up and begin my cooking and care-taking routine. Even though I don’t want to workout, I consistently train despite my lack of energy. Even though I don’t want to process paperwork, do laundry, cook dinner, run errands, buy groceries or attend meetings – I do it, even though it took ten times more motivation out of me to get it done.   I pushed myself to do most everything…

Except write an online journal entry.

At the end of each night, instead of working vigorously until midnight or writing a weekly heart-felt online entry, I’ve chosen to lay in bed and read a book, write in my private diary and pray for positive outcomes. I don’t want to express feelings of frustration and anxiety, after all, it’s never easy to be vulnerable and expose a life moment you hope would move faster so you can reflect on it with positivity and perspective.

Unfortunately – that’s not where I am at.  Every day still feels like I’m fighting an emotional sadness that’s trying to overtake my normally positive and perky personality.  I want to know what’s next. I want to feel in control. I want to fast forward six months from now and say, “See Maria, it really wasn’t that bad.”  But I can’t.

I can only Let Go and Let God.

This stress shouldn’t feel new to me. I’ve dealt with unplanned pregnancies, a stressful business operation and international media backlash. I’ve watched my mother nearly die, traveled alone globally and married an injured veteran. I can do this.

I will do this.

I’ve never played victim in this game of life….and I’m not starting today.
If you want strength, you will endure pain.
If you desire wisdom, you will earn it through experience.
And if you seek Happiness you will only know it if you knew sadness.
There is always purpose behind your pain.
You just need to seek it, wait for it and pray for it.

So I’m waiting. And I’m [hopefully] becoming wiser in this process. God Bless.

Writing my 2014 goals. I’m a big dreamer and visionary.

My hubby took this shot of me when I decided to awake early and run. I’ve been missing
my 1-2 mile runs on the treadmill as I would rather lay in bed and sleep until the very
last moment that I have to wake up.

I’ve been a consistent guest on News10 every Friday at their 9am hour. My hubby
captured this image while on a cardio machine at the gym (how funny). In this
segment we talked about school spanking, smoking in parks and things that take away your energy.
You can watch it HERE

Here I am at Pac Sat – satellite studio – taping a LIVE HLN segment. Some people think
I see who I’m talking to, I actually just look at a camera and hear someone asking questions
through an earpiece. That takes a lot of talent! You can watch this segment HERE
Read How to overcome 5 Fitness Excuses HERE.


  • Reply Chris February 28, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I can tell you really want this for yourself and your family. You’re digging deep inside yourself to keep it going which is very inspirational. When the going gets tough, you pull up your sleeves and get tougher. Like you said, strength is built through pain. Just know people are rooting for you to get through these next few months. Once, it’s over, I know you’ll feel so much gratitude and thankfulness.

    • Reply Jennifer Brandt February 28, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      As with everything in life, one has to have balance. You have a lot on your plate. Everything will work out. You are right to give this to God. That can be very scary. But trust in God. No one can be perfect. Perhaps you are in Need of help in some areas. I too have been in that low place. Hugs. You are in my prayers.

  • Reply hannah February 28, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    just letting you know, that I admire your honest heart to describe how you feel and knowing that God is under control :), way to go Maria, God bless you 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer Nelson February 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Maria, this post was like an answered prayer for me. We, too, are in the middle of a stressful move (our 3rd in the last year!), and I, too, have noticed dear old Mr. Cortisol’s effects on my waistline, though I still workout 5-6 times a week. Just yesterday I lashed out at my children and then felt so badly about myself that I really just wanted to climb into bed and give up for the day. Instead, I found myself on my knees in my garage, offering probably one of my most humble prayers, realizing that while so many things felt uncertain and out of control in my life right now, the one thing that I was still absolutely certain of was God, His love for me, and His greater plan for my life. I realized that I needed to learn to let go too, to learn to build happiness in me and around me, even when instinct tells me to stay in bed, and to hold tightly to that nugget of faith and just build from there. Then, I woke this morning and found your post. Thank you! You somehow put to words exactly what I’ve been feeling. We will get through this. And we will be stronger and better wives, mothers, daughters, and friends for it. Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply Ann February 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I luv reading your post, I admire you for being such hard working mom.
    Good luck and may god watch over you, Take care!!

  • Reply Ani February 28, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Maria,
    I loved reading this, so inspiring and honest coming from such a young woman. You are wise beyond your years and as someone who has gone through what you are experiencing right now, I can ASSURE you that you will look back 6 months from now and not only say “it wasn’t that bad”, but ‘BRING IT ON”!! Hang in there.

  • Reply Denise W February 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Maria, Because of you, I have chosen to step out of my comfort zone and become a No Excuse Group Leader. Just giving with no expectations but the possibility of helping others is a reward in itself. You gave this to me. I know all about stress…I’ve experienced a divorce, foreclosure, and bankruptcy. I allowed it to put me in a temporary funk but than I shook it off because I knew it would get me nowhere. I had 3 weeks to get our of my house of 16 years. In the middle of it all, I had “Believe” tattooed on my foot because I believed it would get better. I believed there were better things in store for me. My two children and I ended up moving in with my boyfriend in a one bedroom apartment in a not so great neighborhood. Fast forward almost two and a half years later….we live in a beautiful 3 bedroom home, I had a perfectly healthy baby boy at the age of 43, and we are planning our wedding in Hawaii for this summer. You don’t have to like your situation but Believe it will get better and choose happiness. You amaze and impress me everyday. You can’t control too many things but you can control yourself. Be happy! <3

  • Reply Linda February 28, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    You’ve lost the sparkle in your eyes?! Oh no! You poor thing:( Bitch please.

    • Reply InspiredbyMaria April 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Linda, totally uncalled for. If you don’t like what Maria has to say then don’t read her blog.

  • Reply Chet Smith February 28, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    If you allow yourself to have good days, you should allow yourself to have bad days. How would we know a good day if they all looked the same. I’m sorry your feeling down.

    I wrote this for a friend that was going through a really rough time in her life.

    I hope it helps you.


  • Reply Michelle February 28, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks so much for this post – we’ve been going through the process of trying to adopt a child for over two years. Yesterday we got “the call” – except it wasn’t. Now I am depressed and sad…even knowing that is wasn’t God’s best for us. Time to pick ourselves up and keep going…=)

  • Reply Renee March 2, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Jesus loves you Maria.
    I really enjoy reading your blog posts and I appreciate
    your honesty.
    Keep that chin up. Oh, and I have a good quote
    for you. (It really has nothing to do with this
    current post. ) Ben Franklin once said “those who
    are good at making excuses are seldom good
    at anything else”

  • Reply Angelina March 3, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Wow Maria, as I started reading your blog my throat started swelling up. I see myself in you so much. My story is also about the American Dream and what I thought it was. Thank you for being the person who took the chance and stepped out to reach people who never thought dreams would become reality. Thank you!!!!!! Much love-angelina

  • Reply Amber Decker March 4, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Hello Maria,

    I just want to help you through this transition. My name is Amber I am from San Diego and I am 28. I know your older than me and probably have more experience in the fitness industry but herbal life is really amazing and thier is a reason why the industry is growing during these stressful times. I find the products stablizing, helped me with my stretchmarks, and how i am running almost 5 miles a day. I am a normal person just like you who trusted this amazing product that has helped my life so much. My cells are being fed at a cellular level. Its been around for 33 years and the company is in 90 countries and growing i believe we have found a solution to our obesity epidemic. the products have cleared my skin, helped me gain healthy friends around san diego, loose 42 pounds, give me lots of energy, have an amazing digestive system, regulate my emotions, helped me learn health eating habits like eating fruits and veggies all the time and feel great! if you contact me i will email you my membership id and you can get started on the vitamins very affordable, the shakes taste amazing packed with nutrients that go straight to your cells!
    if you are interested email me ill give you my membership id and then you can do everything on your own online!
    Best Wishes,
    Amber Decker

  • Reply Orlanthia Lloyd March 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I loved the fact that you wrote your 2014 goals out and placed them on a poster board next to your treadmil. I also caught a glimpse of your no excuses board too. It gave me a incentive to also create something for myself. What a great idea. If it’s in front of me; I will always see it giving me a constant reminder,

  • Reply Trevor March 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Maria, Take the day off. You’re killing yourself, quick. Better to get there slowly (like the rest of us). I was about to say that but I’m in some rough shape right now. I think I suffered a pulmonary embolism last week. (LOL, you don’t hear that every day) Doctor’s are still trying to figure it out. Pray For Me, For God Sake Everybody Pray For Me! (I’ll be fine don’t worry about it) Enough about me, How are you feeling Maria? (Ok, that’s good) Here’s what you should do….nothing. I mean that literally. The stress, the work, the same day after day routine is killing you. Sapping your strength and zest to experience something new. Today. Don’t go to church. Don’t go to the supermarket, Don’t do the laundry, Don’t bathe. Just sit there and smell the place up a bit. After that rent The Croods & Up and sit and watch some movies with the kids. After that tell the husband and the kids go ride a train (To Vancouver and back) and sit down and read a nice book, Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Zafon or Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet. Take all the time you need and recharge your batteries, Avoid a Pulmonary Embolism. (For God Sake Is Anyone Praying For Me)

  • Reply Kimberly Tubbs March 13, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Maria you have an amazing story….have you ever considered offering financial classes? I would love to learn about investing and starting my own business and I know other women would too.

  • Reply Dnice April 3, 2014 at 8:49 am

    In all your life and training, “what’s your excuse” crap!!!, you should really think about how much time you are taking neglecting your kids, all while pushing your own insecurities on every mother out there. Sure your cooking, and running errands, and such, but how much Quality time are you really spending with your kids??? Since your life is full of working out, “running a business”, taking pictures to show the world how “fit” you are. (Nothing a eating disorder can not accomplish). In the mist of everything I think you forget what really is important in your life…. and that is your family. Remember one day they will grow up and find of family of their own….so enjoy the time They want to spend with you!!! And stop pretending like you are soooo great,…you are probably in need of some serious intimacy with your partner….since you are so busy. Stop the act, and definately stop acting like a victom. We are the creators of our lives, if you don’t like it blame yourself.

    • Reply InspiredbyMaria April 3, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Dnice, if Maria is inspiring people to get fit then what’s the problem? Who are you to assess whether or not she is spending quality time with her kids. How different is she from parents who spend 9-12 hrs working to support their family? Are you also assuming those parents do not spend quality time with their family?

      Maria, keep up the great work and keep inspiring other people to be fit.

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