what if you woke up today  

Every once in a while this phrase pops up in my social media world and I love it when it does. With a new baby and a new(ish) business, it’s easy to get caught up in the go, go, go of life and forget to pause in gratitude.

According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people not only experienced fewer aches and pains -- but they also reported feeling healthier than others. Gratitude has also been proven to improve sleep, self-esteem, and mental strength: all good things, right?

I’m all for little tricks that make me happier AND healthier and ‘tis the season so without further ado…

4 Things I Am Thankful For {because 5 is just so expected, amirite?}

1. My Body It is not perfect. It wasn’t in high school. It wasn’t pre-baby. It isn’t post-baby. But it. Is. Awesome. It allowed me to teach 20 intense group exercise classes a week when I was first starting out as a new instructor and was the “yes” person. It allowed me to pass BODYPUMP training even though I had neglected to strengthen it properly before hand. It has allowed me to run three half-marathons, two 10ks and countless shorter runs. It has tolerated me treating it like a garbage can. It has rewarded me for treating it like a temple. And – of course – it grew and birthed a human being. An actual human being. A perfect human being. It is strong and soft and I love it.

2. That perfect human being. I hate when people say you don’t know love until you’ve had a child. That’s not true. There are all kinds of love and each is as valuable as the other. But the love I feel for my sweet baby girl is definitely a very different kind of love. She has changed me inside and out. I love her for everything she is and for everything she will be. I am so thankful I get to be her mommy.

3. My Soul Mate. Some people don’t believe in soul mates. Honestly, I’m not even sure I do. But I can tell you {and some of you can attest to the fact} that the day after I met mine I told anyone who would listen that I met the man I was going to marry. I wasn’t even sure if I loved him yet. I couldn’t possibly have known that after a day, but thankfully – somewhere deep in my soul – I knew I found him. We have endured heartaches and deaths. We have celebrated joy and new life. He makes my heart race and puts my mind at ease.

4. My Coworkers + Mentors Bravo has created an entire network around TV shows full of women tearing each other down. I have known many of these women in my life. We all have. We hope it’s a middle school thing. A high school thing. A college thing. And then they show up in the professional world. But I am a lucky one because I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by strong, self-assured, wonderful women who have not only been helpful and kind to me, but who have also shown me how to be strong, self-assured and wonderful to others. Please don’t misunderstand – of course there is competition and jealousy in my profession. It has been directed at me. It has sadly even come from me. But I try to make short work of those feelings, because they have no place in my heart or my mind. I am a lucky one, indeed.

What are you thankful for?