Monday, April 30, 2012

I Got a Job!

I just wanted to let you all know that today was my first day at my new job!! I am now a part time reporter/photographer for a newspaper.

Today I just got associated with a few influential people, did a little research and worked on finding some stories. I had my first photo assignment tonight and I can tell you it sure didn’t feel like work to me!! I am so excited to, hopefully, have found a job doing something that I love to do!! I know it’s pretty early yet though. Smile

I am continuing to work 30 hours at my current job and will pick up to 20 hours at this part time position. It was a good first day!!

Today was another step towards my dreams!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Functional Exercise

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I think my favorite way to give my body a workout is to workout while working—functional exercise. Doing yard work and pushing myself a little harder. Lifting something a little heavier. Moving a little faster while at it. It might not sound like much, but I enjoy it and I can feel the effects of it!

So today, hubby and I started edging my flower beds. My job was to haul loads of the bricks to him. I challenged myself by loading more and more bricks on each load. Each time I got to him, I was out of breath and feeling strong! The picture above is a little deceiving. There were actually two stacks of those bricks on there!

I hauled sandbags to him. Took 5 gallon buckets loaded full of dirt and hauled them across the yard and dumped them in another location. Lugged bags of mulch. There was a lot of moving up and down, lifting and moving in general. And now that we’re done, my legs are sore and my arms are tired. And I enjoyed it!

It used to be a hassle and a half when my parents used to ask me to rake the lawn, mow the grass, or shovel the driveway. Now I’m all about it!

The flower beds are starting so look much better! I just need to get more flowers planted, add more mulch, and the yard will be looking good!

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Don’t Be That Awkward Runner—Funny Video!!

I don’t even want to know what I look like running! But this video makes me laugh so hard, no matter how many times I watch it.

Don’t Be That Awkward Runner—Funny Video!!

I definitely have the face of the Geezer when I run—looking like I’m about to die. hehe Smile

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Photo Food Journal

I thought today would be a good day to do a food photo journal post. After having a break from these for a while, it sounded kind of fun again!

For breakfast, I ate 1/2 serving of oatmeal with PB2 mixed in and topped with 1/2 of a sliced banana. I also had scrambled eggs and skim milk.

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Hubby informed me that he is starting to get tired of eggs, unless they have something delicious mixed in. I heated up some Laughing Cow cheese and spread it over the top of his eggs. Problem solved.

I like to eat eggs in the morning because of the protein. I know there are other options like bacon, or other meats, but they tend to be high in sodium and I don’t really like to go there. Plus, my MIL raises chickens and gives us the eggs. But I admit, I’m starting to get tired of eating an egg every morning too!

Wednesdays are usually my weigh in days, but because of the challenge, I’ve changed my weigh in days to Saturdays for a while. Today showed a nice loss though, if I had been counting it as the official weigh in! Open-mouthed smile Hear that, Jessica? lol. Although the majority of the weight loss was lost before we started our challenge on Saturday anyways.

While working (from home again), I sipped on coffee with FF vanilla creamer.

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For lunch, I ate tuna with light miracle whip and relish, along with tomatoes, a light string cheese.

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I also had butternut squash soup.

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I wanted something a little sweet, but wasn’t hungry, so I ate an Adora dark chocolate calcium supplement.

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On my last break, I made a fruit smoothie of sorts. I usually add yogurt to my smoothies, but I decided to make this one with strawberries, ice, water and a packet of Stevia. It was good! I need to tweak it a little because I like it a little sweeter. But for those of you who follow WW, this would be 0 points I believe!

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I also had a serving of dry roasted peanuts.

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I have been adjusting to working 40 hours again for the past couple of weeks. I know, poor me, right? Winking smileBut I’ve been tired. Plus we’ve been so busy and it’s just been crazy. When I got off of work, late, I was pretty beat.

I took about an hour and just sat down and read blogs—something I haven’t been able to really do for weeks. It was nice. It was relaxing, motivating, and so nice to catch up with you all! I know I should have been using my time to work out, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. That and I was really hungry and trying my best to stay out of the cupboards!

I kept myself busy making healthy whole wheat rhubarb muffins. I ate a small bite. I think they tasted a little too “healthy” if you know what I mean, but hubby ate one and liked them.

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For supper, I baked Blue Hake, zucchini and onions topped with parmesan, and lentils.

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SO good.

I also had a nice glass of iced tea. Ahhhh, so refreshing. My teeth are so sensitive I often drink cold drinks with a straw at home. Isn’t that terrible? I have the most sensitive teeth. If I just THINK about a popsicle, I get goose bumps. Hubby likes to mention cold things because he thinks it’s funny that I get goose bumps. lol

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I buy boxes of Blue Hake from Schwan’s. It’s very good! And only 80 calories.

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And they come wrapped individually.

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For dessert, I had a piece of strawberry rhubarb pie topped with light cool whip. This pie is only 178 calories, which I don’t think it so bad for a slice of pie!

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We are slowly running out of groceries this week. It will be time for a full load of groceries this weekend. I love grocery shopping!

I have 273 more calories left for the day, so I’m doing MUCH better today than I have for quite a while! It was a much more normal day for me today—FINALLY! I’m busy for the rest of the night so I won’t be getting in any exercise today. But I will try tomorrow!

It was fun doing a picture food journal today! I hope you enjoyed it too!Smile

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Day: The Good and The Bad

I had another day in at the office today, but hopefully I am doing going in for a while! There are so many more temptations outside of the house to face.

Today I attended a work luncheon where I ordered a salad, soup, and ate 1/2 of a plain sweet potato. But I also ate a dinner roll and 2 little cheesecake bites. I could have avoided the dinner roll, I suppose. But I just tried to enjoy the meal. It was a reward, and not something that comes often. And I feel I did pretty good, considering!

My worst mistake of the day was ordering a Medium BK Caramel Frappe. Who knew those were 510 calories!? HOLY MOLY! What is in that thing? It was delicious…but so not worth the calories.

I had to make a quick supper tonight, so didn’t get a chance to plan out my calories until much later. I ended up going over my calories by quite a bit today. Sad smileBut life should start settling down soon. I hope!!

The weather was beautiful today. So tonight, I headed out for a walk, but after 20 minutes I just couldn’t resist running, even though I had just eaten. I ran for 10 minutes because I had stomach cramps and had to stop. I walked 16 more minutes after that for a total of 46 minutes. I burned 372 calories, so not so bad! I’m proud of myself for getting out there. I have missed my exercise SO much. I feel a million times better when I am out there running. I hope to be more consistent again now!

So that’s where I am at!

Today I am happy and content. It’s always so good to feel like that. Like there’s hope in the future and so much to look forward to!

I hope you week is going well!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Update on Challenge

I just wanted to update you all on how I’m doing for the challenge so far. I did very well over the weekend. Today has just been nuts and the day isn’t over yet. I went over my calories slightly, but I will do much better tomorrow.

The best part is, I’m back in control!!

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Competition Announcement

I am tired of basically maintaining my weight…and lately GAINING! Now that most of the craziness at work is over, I can start a challenge and set myself up for success. I am ready to GET THIS WEIGHT OFF!! I am SO ready for Onederland!

Jessica, a fellow blogger and friend of mine through blogging, and I have partnered up for a little friendly competition. We are both in very similar situations. We are within a year of age, weigh within a few lbs. of each other, and both have struggled with our weight loss lately. She has been a friend of mine on Lose It! and has been motivating to me. We recently starting texting each other to help keep on track throughout the day, and it’s so helpful! Jessica is great. So if you don’t follow her blog, go on over there and say hello!

So what’s this competition?

  • The competition runs from April 21st to June 1st.
  • Whomever loses the greatest percentage of weight by June 1st wins.
  • The loser must send the winner a prize pack of health and fitness related items valued at $40—how fun!!
  • We will not be posting our weigh ins until June 1st to keep the anticipation going.
  • We will have a little friendly competition, but in the end, we both want to see the other succeed and we will do all we can to help each other get the weight off.

So Bring it, Jessica!!

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My starting weight:

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And meet Jessica, who is not playing any games in this weight loss competition!

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And her starting weight:

o

And I know you’re all hearing this song in your head right now:

Duel

May the best woman win!!!

And I hope you all will be around to cheer us both on!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Swing by Tracy Reifkind—Book Review

The Swing

Today I am part of the TLC book tour for The Swing by Tracy Reifkind. The book is about the kettlebell and one woman’s journey of losing 120 lbs. in her 40’s. Not only that, but she has kept the weight off for 6 years. She credits her success to the kettlebell.

Tracy Reifkind

The book is broken up in to four sections: mind, body, food and “you won the lottery”. The book is primarily about the kettlebell. Prior to reading this book, I really didn’t know all that much about the kettlebell, but after reading the book, I plan on buying one!

I love Reifkind’s enthusiasm in this book. It’s very obvious that she loves the kettlebell and believes in it. She has seen the results herself. Now that’s inspiring!

In the book, Reifkind writes, “swing a kettlebell + eat fewer calories= the essential combination for body transformation” (3). It comes down to the simple rule that to lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you burn. The best part about the kettlebell, Reifkind claims, is that it tones your body as you burn calories.

This book is a great starting point for anyone interested in the kettlebell. Reifkind explains how to pick out a kettlebell and how to swing it. There are great pictures showing the proper technique and form of numerous swings.

The book is complete with expert advice from someone who has been obese herself and knows what it’s like to have a large amount of weight to lose. There are workouts and recipes within the book as well as advice on how to eat.

Overall, I recommend this book because of the enthusiasm that Reifkind brings to it. I can’t wait to try out her kettlebell workouts myself. Now I just need to buy the kettlebell and get started!

You can purchase the book here.

Be sure to check Tracy Reifkind out on Facebook!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Struggles at Work

I haven’t had to work at the office for days in a row for a long time. In almost two years, actually. I usually have to go into the office once every couple of weeks or so, but just for a single day at a time.

This past week, I have been away from home the entire week. It has brought up all of those struggles that I used to have going into the office.

First off, I have less time. I wake up at 5 AM and have to leave the house at 6:45. I have to pack healthy lunches for hubby and I, make a healthy breakfast, do other morning routines, not to mention get ready to go to work. My morning is gone before I know it.

The work day is tiring. There are vending machines packed with unhealthy foods. Sugar looks so tempting when you are tired. I am happy to say that I am a lot less tempted by the vending machine than I used to be. I would much rather eat the bag of grapes that I packed than I would want to eat the things that are in those machines. Mostly because I know how I will feel after eating the unhealthy items. But the point is, the office could use a little healthifying. No wonder there are so many obese people in the office, including myself!

Another challenge is when everyone wants to go out to eat together. This happened yesterday. Everyone decided to take a long lunch and go out for Chinese food. I couldn’t be the only one not to go. That would be unsociable. Plus, Chinese food is good. So I went. I ate one plate of food and some pudding. I’m happy with myself for that. Should I have eaten the salad bar? Yes, in a perfect world. But instead, I limited my portions, ate until I was full, and didn’t let myself overeat.

And then yesterday, I got home with just enough time to eat supper and then we were out the door for our church meeting. We didn’t get home until almost 10:00. And so it was straight to bed since I had to get up at 5 AM again this morning. That leaves little time for exercise. And I know that the important thing is carving out the time for exercise. I plan to do that today. I don’t feel as good when I am not being as active as I usually am.

But the point I am trying to make is that I had forgotten how many struggles there are when you have to actually leave the house to go to work. It’s so much easier for me when I am working from home. So for all of you that don’t have the privilege to work from home, I respect your dedication to health in being able to make great decisions for your health, even when at work!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weigh in Day (Not Good)

This week has been hectic. I did ok most of the week, and then Friday I was feeling sick and ate to try to make myself feel better (why do I do that?) and that threw the weekend off a bit.

Normally, I would have been ok, but I had to leave bright and early Monday morning for a little business trip for a couple of days. I had plans to do really well. Epic failure when they order your lunch for you (it was delicious…but not low calorie). And they put candy on the conference room table which everyone was digging into, I had some to try to keep energized. It was information overload and I was exhausted.

Plus, we went out for a fancy dinner at a very nice restaurant and I ate until I was satisfied, but it certainly wasn’t low calorie. And then they brought out TRAYS of desserts, and we all know how much I love dessert. I didn’t eat a ton, but I did eat it, as did everyone else.

I am proud of myself for a couple of things. I got up at 5:30 in the morning and ran 2 miles on the treadmill in the hotel fitness room. I felt better after that. But that’s not nearly enough to cover the sins of calorie laden foods. I also ordered a nice and healthy breakfast of egg whites, oatmeal, pineapple and skim milk.

And you would think that I would come home and eat a healthy supper. Nope, WAY too exhausted to cook, so hubby and I went out for Mexican food…and I followed it up with a sundae. Doesn’t sound like the habits of a changed woman, does it?

I woke up this morning feeling HORRIBLE. First thing I did was start drinking water, eat a healthy breakfast, and pack a healthy lunch. I have to go into the office for the next week for more training and it’s going to be a long one. But I am more than ready to get back on track. As with every time I eat rich foods, I remember why I started eating healthy in the first place—because I hate how I feel when I don’t!!

This morning I weighed 210.2 and I could almost cry. That’s a 3.6 lb. gain for the week. I have a feeling that I will drop quite a few lbs. tomorrow. But I feel so terrible about myself right now. I cannot get it together. I’m not sure why this is so hard for me. How can some people lose 100’s of lbs. in a year, and I’m a few years into this and have been hovering around 80 lbs. lost. Why can’t I have that type of motivation? Why can’t weight loss be easy?

I may need to get back to food picture posting but I know I have too much going on right now to be able to do that. But I need to find it in myself to stay on track even when I’m not showing the world what I’m eating. I’ll do better today. It starts with a single step.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Writing Style #HAWMC

Writing with Style. What’s your writing style? Do words just flow from your mind to your fingertips? Do you like handwriting first? Do you plan your posts? Title first or last? Where do you write best?

My blog posts are almost always spur of the moment. I go wherever creativity takes me. If I have something on my mind, I sit down and write about it and it helps me clear my mind. That’s basically what my blog posts are most of the time—just like journal entries.

I don’t really have any format for blogging except just letting the words flow from my mind to my finger tips. I’ve been told that I write like I talk, which is hopefully a good thing! I know I like more conversational type writing.

Once in a while, I plan my posts if I want to post a recipe or a product review. Otherwise, they are pretty spur of the moment!

I always add my title last. Titles are hard to come up with!

I write my best sitting in my comfy chair in my living room with my laptop.

How would you answer these questions?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Dream Day #HAWMC

I dream about the day that I meet my goal weight, but more importantly, I dream about being able to maintain the weight. Right now this is just a dream, but hopefully, someday I will realize this dream.

Meeting my goal weight actually has very little to do with the scale but a lot to do with how I will feel. I’ve caught glimpses of how I will feel as I have lost the 80 lbs. that I’ve already lost. But to actually get to the point where I can just LIVE, not obsessing about my food and exercise, but just living a healthy life that includes healthy food and exercise. The day where all of my hard work at forming new habits finally pays off. The habits will be formed and it will seem like second nature. Kind of like how I keep wanting to live right now, which works great for maintaining, but I’m not THERE yet. I should be LOSING now, not maintaining as I seem to be doing. But that does increase my confidence that once I get to my goal, I will be able to maintain, since I am pretty good at it now.

Meeting goal weight will mean a trip to Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii. I picture myself there with hubby.  Maybe going for a run on the beach. By then, running should be pretty easy for me. I picture a toned body, a smile on my face, and tan lines. The ocean breeze whipping my hair around, sweat pouring down, a look of determination on my face. I can imagine how good that run will feel someday.

Meeting goal weight means Hubby and I will be able to start a family. It makes me sad when I think that I can’t get it together for these last pounds because the longer it takes me, the longer we wait. If that doesn’t kick my butt into gear, I don’t know what will. I tend to forget the real reasons I’m trying to lose weight sometimes. I focus on how difficult it seems in the moment instead of lifting my eyes to see the goal.

I’m not waiting to start my life until goal weight. There are a million things that I will accomplish between now and the day that I meet my goal. This is not lost time. I plan on running a 10K, a half marathon, a full marathon, and I’d love to complete a triathlon. Not only that, but I can shop pretty much wherever I want now—and I LOVE that. I’m learning more and more about health and fitness as I read books and publications. I have even subscribed to health journals just because I like to read the articles on scientific research and studies. I really like learning about health!

There are some big changes happening in my life right now, which I am excited for. I will share the news once it’s a little more concrete. But I’m getting closer to my dreams! I love to write. And when I reach goal weight, I want to write a book about my journey. I toss ideas around in my head all the time. Writing and publishing a book is a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl. And I hope someday I can make that a reality!

I dream about this day. The day I meet my goal weight. Writing this post has helped me focus on my WHY again. Now to find a way to remember my WHY in every single choice I make… then maybe I will realize my dream day a lot sooner.

This post is part of a series of posts that will run through the month of April as part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.

What is your dream day?

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Things (Foods) I Couldn’t Live Without #HAWMC

1. Bananas

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2. Chocolate

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3. Coffee

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4. Cupcakes

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5. Peanut Butter

(source)

6. Coconut Shrimp

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7. Avocado

(source)

8. Lettuce Salads

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9. BBQ sauce

(source)

10. Kale chips

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This post is part of a series of posts that will run through the month of April as part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.

What foods can’t you live without?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This Morning I Looked in the Mirror… #HAWMC

This morning I looked in the mirror to see tired eyes and messy hair. I really needed my coffee. I wanted to sleep in, but worry kept me awake. But at least I woke up in time to see hubby off to work. It always makes my day go better when I get a hug and a goodbye kiss from him. Starting the day off right is super important.

I like to start my day off by drinking at least three cups of water. Often times in the morning, my body is craving water. I’m good about drinking water during the day, so by resting and fasting all night, my body is probably ready for water again. I always drink at least 8 cups of water a day and most days it is more than that.

Another important part of my morning is eating a nutritious and filling breakfast. Gone are the days when I ate Lucky Charms for breakfast. I actually can’t tell you the last time I did, which is funny because a few years ago, sugary cereals were my breakfast every morning. I’ve been eating a lot of eggs lately because they keep me full. Plus, we get farm fresh eggs from the in-law’s.

And then my coffee. I love coffee. It gives me the energy to get through my mornings. It wakes me up and makes me feel more like myself again. I often drink my coffee while reading my bible in the mornings. I get a jolt of caffeine and a little focus for my day. So when I look in the mirror, I now just see messy hair instead of tired eyes.

I admit, the first time I look in the mirror in the mornings, I really don’t even see myself. Just a quick check to make sure I haven’t developed any huge pimples over night, that I still look like me. I don’t really know what I look for. I barely even glance at myself most mornings. I’m too tired.

But my point is, start your day off right. Honestly, a good day starts the previous evening. Get to bed at a decent hour and get a good night’s sleep. It makes all the difference. Besides that, the perfect combination to start the day off, for me, is: a little time with hubby, beginning to hydrate with water, a nutritious breakfast, a good cup of strong coffee, spending some time getting close to God, and, once I wake up a little bit, looking in the mirror and telling myself it’s going to be a good day—forget the worries and just give it all you’ve got.

This post is part of a series of posts that will run through the month of April as part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.

What is the perfect combination to start your day off right?

How would you finish the sentence, “This morning I looked in the mirror…”?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Theme Song #HAWMC

Since I began this journey, “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus has been my theme song. As cheesy as that sounds, I have gone back and listened to this song many times for motivation to keep going on!  It’s been quite the journey climb!

The Climb

Weigh in Day

This morning I weighed in at 206.6. I lost .3 this week. After a less than stellar week, I’m alright with that. I’m going to pull it together this week. I already have the past couple of days, which is probably why I had any loss at all.

I have stuck with my training plan the entire time, which I am proud of. I am working out 6 days per week. I have run 4 miles twice now. My shorter runs are 30 minutes, and vary in distance from about 2.3-2.5 miles, depending on the day. I’m supposed to run 5 miles this weekend, but the weather forecast isn’t looking good! I’m also not sure I’m READY for 5 miles, so we’ll see. I know I don’t want to do it on the treadmill for sure. I will do my best though!

That’s pretty much all I’ve got right now. I wish I had better news for the weigh in, but I’ve been struggling…again.

But I haven’t given up, in case you haven’t noticed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hormones?

This past month has been crazy. I have pretty much had my period or PMS the entire month. No joke. I plan on talking to my doctor about it this week. This new BC pill is not working out for me.

Remember how I said I just kept craving the wrong things. I mean I wanted chips, cookies, cake, candy, chocolate, Chinese food, Mexican food, steaks, mashed potatoes, and even fried chicken. And if you know anything about me, I HATE FRIED CHICKEN. So why would I crave it?

Don’t get me wrong, I never ate the fried chicken and I did not cave to every craving that I had. I just struggled and struggled and struggled. It was like my mind had been taken over by unhealthy food aliens.

I have my fair share of cravings in my typical weeks. I usually satisfy them by eating a cupcake or by eating the foods in portion controlled amounts. And I get over it.

So after those terrible cravings, I once again get my period for the 3rd time this month. And what do you know? BAM. All cravings gone. I am back to craving strawberries, grapes, oatmeal, lettuce, and grilled chicken.

Wait, WHAT?

How does that happen? I’m starting to wonder if it’s my hormones. I’ve heard Jillian Michaels talk a lot about endocrinologists in regard to weight loss. If the hormonal balance is off, this can cause varied problems.

My doctors have always told me that birth control pills do not cause you to gain weight. Sure, maybe the pill itself does not make you gain weight, but if it shifts your hormonal balance, couldn’t you be left craving foods, etc. and if you succumb to the cravings, you would gain weight? Right? And these cravings can be SO STRONG, it’s not just a matter of self control sometimes!

This is just a thought that has crossed my mind. I’m no expert and I may be totally off base. I want to research it more, but we all know how Dr. Google can be misleading.

Have you had an experience like mine? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Dear 16 year old me, #HAWMC

Despite what most teachers and students are telling you in school, the high school years will not be be the best years of your life. Not even close. But what I will tell you is that they will be some of the most influential years of your life. There will be times when your feelings will be hurt by those whom you thought were your friends, you will learn about the fickleness of others, you will be disappointed, but you will also have lots of laughs and fun times. But in no way will the four years of high school be the best years of your life.

You are LUCKY. You have parents who love you and believe in you and whether you know it or not, they support you in everything you do. And listening to your parents more than your peers is going to be one of the greatest choices you’ll ever make.

You’ll have opportunities to write for the school newspaper (which will be another lesson in your life regarding irresponsible adults who never grow up, but also fostering a love for writing which could develop into your career path), sing in the choir (and even though you don’t make it into the more elite choir, you still tried and learned not to be afraid of failure, and also had a chance to develop a skill that you still love today), play softball on the freshman team (and encounter a coach who taught you how NOT to act towards others, but an experience that also taught you that quitting is never an option), and so much more. Truthfully, you have to go through a lot of struggles and I am so proud at how strong you will be throughout them.

But most importantly, YOU ARE NOT UGLY. You will spend hours in front of the mirror looking at your perceived flaws. You will spend hours on the phone engaging with an egotistical friend who likes to pretend she thinks she’s ugly but just wants to remind herself that she thinks she’s prettier than you. You will cry when you try on clothes at a plus size boutique that are too expensive for your parents to buy, and still don’t make you look like the other girls at school. You will be wasting far too much time on wishing you were something that you are not. But that’s ok, because it will teach you about compassion. It will teach you to find beauty in everyone. It’ll be hard, but the results will be worth it.

And boys. You do not know any boy in your life at this time that is worthy of you. Plain and simple. Do not fall for the boys that will only make fun of you. Pay attention to how they treat other people. Don’t waste your time thinking about them. They’re not worth it. Someday you’ll understand this when you find your future husband. He will be the best thing that ever happened to you and you will look back on those boys and laugh at yourself for being so stupid when you were 16. He’s handsome, so kind, a gentleman, he believes in you, and he’ll teach you to believe in yourself. Your life will change in ways you never thought possible.

Someday you will have some regrets. I wish you would spend more time with your sister, getting to know her better. Someday you will be friends though, but there’s a lot of lost time there. You don’t need to be so shy. People are not looking at you with disdain, you’re projecting your feelings on others. Give other people a chance to get to know you. Open up a little.

Enjoy the time spent with your Mom. She really is your best friend at 16. You are lucky to have her in your life. She teaches you to keep a smile on your face. To be kind. To find the humor in everything. You will laugh at how much you become more like her the older that you get.

Your Dad is a dreamer. He taught you to dream. Don’t lose sight of your dreams—keep chasing them. Never give up. Work hard. He taught you to do the job right the first time or you’ll have to do it over again. So clean your room right the first time!

Spend more time with your siblings and their spouses. Some day you’ll be scattered so far apart and you’ll wish you could see them more often.

And don’t forget Buddy. Even 10 years later you will look back on the memories with the family dog and you’ll cry. You’ll miss him. You’ll remember the time when you were 16 and after a hard day, you laid down on the couch and cried and he licked your tears away. He taught you about unconditional love. Take him for more walks. It’d be good for you and him. He won’t be around much longer.

Life might seem hard at 16, and honestly, you will go through some pretty hard times. But you are stronger than you know. Believe in yourself. Learn to love yourself a little more. You are WORTH it. The best is yet ahead. I’m proud of you.

Love,

Your 26 Year Old Self

This post is part of a series of posts that will run through the month of April as part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.

What would you say to your 16 year old self?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Keep Calm Poster #HAWMC

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This post is part of a series of posts that will run through the month of April as part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.

What would your “Keep Calm” poster say? Generate yours here.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Best Conversation I Had This Week #HAWMC

Me: Let’s walk up to the store to get the last few things I need to make the orange salad you like.

Hubby: Ok, are you sure you don’t want to run?

Me: Yes, I’m sure….

Hubby: Oh no, I bet the grocery store isn’t open. We’ll walk all the way up there and it’ll be closed.

Me: I bet it will be open…

Hubby: I’ll bet you $20 it’s closed.

Me: I’ll bet you $50 and I also get to pick out any chocolate item I want out of the Easter candy, I bet they’re still open.

Hubby: Why do you keep doing that? You know eating Easter candy isn’t going to get you to Onederland.

Me: I know… I just can’t stop craving things I shouldn’t have!

Hubby: Why are you struggling so much lately? You were doing so well for a while.

Me: I don’t know…

(pause)

Me: Maybe I’m just meant to be at this size. Maybe I should just be happy with where I’m at. Maybe I’ve gotten too happy, too content…

Hubby: No! You know you want to get to 144. You’ve wanted this so bad for so long! You can’t stop now. Look how far you have come!

Me: I know… I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

(brief interlude at the grocery store where I pointed out cookies that I love, cheesecake in the fridge, and candy in the aisles)

On the walk home…

Hubby: You’re not giving up are you?

Me: No! I don’t want to give up…I’m just really struggling. I don’t know what to do… I’m so overwhelmed.

Hubby: Maybe you need help. I’m totally ok with it if you want to hire a professional trainer or get professional help. It’s harder to lose those last pounds.

Me: It really is…I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

Hubby: I know you want to see what’s in that Onederland Box. I hope you’re just not afraid to be smaller. Afraid to get into the 100’s. We see that on Biggest Loser all the time. The contestants let fear of the unknown keep them back. Are you afraid of being smaller?

Me: I don’t know… (knowing all the while that saying I don’t know is an avoidance mechanism)

Hubby: I hope you’re not afraid. Look how much your life has changed already!

Me: I know. And I love the changes. But it’s been hard. I am stepping outside of my comfort zone all the time. Doing things that I never imagined having the courage to do before. And it’s HARD! Some days, I get to the end of the day and I am so exhausted. I’ve pushed myself to my limits, mostly socially, because I’ve gained the confidence to do things I’d have been afraid to do before. I’m STILL learning how to be comfortable in the skin I’m in now… I’m not sure I’m ready to get SMALLER and then have to learn to be myself in that skin too…

Hubby: You have so much you want to accomplish. And you are completely capable of it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should be happy with where you’re at right now. You keep on going. It’ll only get better from here. You will be able to run faster. You will be healthier. You’ll be just fine. I love you however you are, but I want YOU to be happy with yourself.

This post is part of a series of posts that will run through the month of April as part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.

Today’s prompt was to write about a conversation I had in the past week. I chose this one because it’s a common one that I have with hubby. I’m lucky to have someone who knows what I want and is always there to push me along and make me think about my actions. I’m struggling, weight loss is hard…

Have you had conversations like this one?

The Power of Positive Fitness by John M. Rowley—Book Review

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The Power of Positive Fitness, by John M. Rowley, is a book about balancing life. Rowley presents the idea that health and happiness are a result of a balance of physical, mental, and spiritual health, and I couldn’t agree more.

All of these factors are important in our lives. How we implement them into, or fail to implement them into, our lives—creates our lifestyle. In the introduction of the book, Rowley writes, “At any moment you can decide to change and alter the course of your life forever by simply altering your lifestyle” (17). The choice is up to you.

Part I of the book starts off with an explanation as to how to supercharge your body. Rowley writes about eating and working out. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with this section of the book, compared to many similar books I have read in the past. It didn’t seem researched and developed as many other books are, but if you’re just looking for the basics, you could glean what you need.

Part II of the book discusses developing a successful mindset. There was a lot in this book that made me reflect and to think about myself and how I confront life. One quote from the book that has changed the way I look at everyday is, “Happiness is a conscious decision. Most people who are happy have just made up their mind that they are going to be happy!…Being optimistic and happy is a daily choice” (71). We may not be able to change what’s going on around us, but we can change our attitude.

Part III of the book is about learning how to flex spiritual muscles. I agreed with a lot of what Rowley wrote in this chapter, but for myself, I do not place my happiness on physical things and nor do I pray for physical things, jobs, material gain. Spiritual life is far beyond anything that can be obtained on this earth. Earthly things will not make you spiritually happy. But Rowley did have a lot of great thoughts about faith and not limiting faith.

What I liked best about this book was Rowley’s assertion that to be truly happy, you have to have a balance between physical, mental and spiritual health. If one area of your life is lacking, the others will be too. Towards the end of the book, Rowley has a section of interviews with successful people, asking them all the same questions about their lives and daily routines. There are many similarities with all of these people. That’s because success is a result of a lifestyle, not just hit or miss attempts. To be successful, you must be consistent.

Overall, I would recommend this book! You can find it on Amazon here.

And thanks to Leafwood Publishers for sending me this book to read and review in my honest opinion.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pretty Pink Champagne Cupcakes

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We are having hubby’s parents over for dinner tomorrow and whenever we have guests, that gives me an excuse to try something creative in the kitchen. I’m a big fan of cupcakes, and have a couple of cupcake cookbooks that I hadn’t baked anything out of. When I saw these, I thought they would be perfect for tomorrow! The cake is a pale pink, topped with pale pink frosting, sparkly bright pink sprinkles, and pearlized sprinkles. So girly. Hubby doesn’t mind eating them either. lol And you know how I love all things pink.

This gives you the basic idea for the recipe, although the cookbook I have has a recipe for the cake itself too, instead of using a boxed cake mix.

So if you have an Easter party to go to tomorrow, I recommend these pretty pink things! I certainly wouldn’t bake them if it were just hubby and I to eat them…! It’s always fun having people over so I can bake something a little more extravagant than normal.

Enjoy!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Good in my Friday—With Pictures!

A little Sinful Delight to start the day off right.

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Oatmeal with sliced bananas and freshly made chocolate peanut butter.

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Our tree in full bloom…in April!

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The sun shining in my office window.

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Getting off work REALLY early when hubby is home on holiday.

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Watching our “lion” intently watch the birds building a nest outside our window.

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Running 4 miles with hubby. It was a harder run today, but I got it done. Not to mention, I got to wear the new Oakleys that I won!

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The trail was beautiful.

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Grilled turkey burgers with lettuce and spinach and a side of broiled veggies for lunch.

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And one of my favorite desserts, fresh strawberries and short cake with vanilla ice cream.

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Daisy in the laundry basket. Just chillin’.

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An afternoon cup of Java.

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The UPS man delivering a new book for me to review. I have quite a few coming up, actually!

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And thinking about the weekend ahead! Wishing you a happy weekend!

What’s the good in your Friday?