Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Break

I just wanted to let you all know that I am taking a break from…everything! So I won’t be around blog-land for about a week. Wanted to let you know ahead of time so you don’t think I’ve disappeared permanently—I will be back!

In the mean time, I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Rest up, rejuvenate, and hopefully you will have some better weather than we’re having around here!

See you soon!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The big decision I made

Since it is now official, I’ll share what my big decision a couple of weeks ago was.

I quit my job as a reporter.

No biggie, right?

Well, this is the first time I have ever quit a job for a reason other than moving away. And two weeks later, it is final!

This took a lot of courage and strength for me to do. I had to make a decision. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how I often sit in indecision until something happens that shoves me into a decision. And this time, I didn’t want that to happen; I had to take control.

This choice was about being true to myself. It was about pursuing happiness. It was a choice that made it clear that I believe I am worth it.

As you may remember, I was very excited when I got this job. I enjoyed some parts about it, like an awesome boss and having a lot of freedom, but there were more aspects about it that I didn’t like. I met some wonderful people in this job and I am very thankful for that. But without going into very much detail, as you know, there are two sides to that coin—and I am worth more than that. I deserve more than that.

This was a part time job where I worked up to 20 hours per week. Take that in addition to my full time job of 40 hours per week and other duties as a wife, friend, etc., and it just became too me overwhelming for me. After working, I was too mentally exhausted to do much of anything else. And if you truly have a passion for something, you don’t feel that way about doing it.

Working out has become a chore, emotions and stress made me want to eat (and I did), and I have gained weight. My health, physically and emotionally, has suffered. Two weeks ago, I felt physically ill and mentally drained. I spent the majority of the day in bed resting and trying to heal my mind. I realized that what I was doing just wasn’t working. My body was very clearly telling me that enough was enough. And before a certain someone tells me about how they work a gazillion hours, take care of children, and save the world while doing it—I am very proud of you for your efforts, but I hope you know when to say enough is enough, if that moment ever comes to you. Because I did.

Enough is enough. It is time for change. And I don’t know if freeing up my time and ridding myself of the added stress is going to have a drastic affect on my life, I like to hope that it will. I know I will be happier because of it, and for that- I am grateful.

I am excited to find out what the next chapter in my writing and publishing career is. I have certainly found that writing is my passion. I currently have a full time job as a technical writer and editor and that has been a blessing. But I want to pursue more in addition to that. I want to start to delve into writing for writing’s sake. Maybe try my hand at fiction or personal essay. I want to try to express the deepest feelings in human nature so that others can read about them and feel them too. I want to share what’s going on in this head of mine and exercise my creativity.

I hope to share some of this on my blog with you—my loyal readers!

At the end of this LONG post (thanks for reading!), I want to leave you with this message: listen to your heart; be true to yourself. If you have given something your best shot and know that it’s just not for you, or not meant to be, just let it go. It’s not quitting—it’s declaring that you have fought, you have conquered, and you are ready for your next victory.

And as always, YOU ARE WORTH IT and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A reason, a season, or a lifetime

There is a popular saying that states, “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime”, and I think there is truth to that.

There are those who come into your life and make you a better person. When they are around, you become the person that you want to be. You become a better person just because they love you, or maybe because they are kind, thoughtful and always thankful. These are the kind of people that you, hopefully, will keep around for a lifetime. It doesn’t mean that these relationships come without work, but if you put your all into the relationship, it will last a lifetime.

There are those that come into our lives for a season. To me, these are the people that I grew up with. Maybe those I even considered my best friends in elementary school through high school. Some of those memories are sweet and others are bitter, but their moments in my life are for a reason.

I think everyone comes into our lives for a reason. There is a lesson in every single relationship. In retrospect, those memories that seem bitter to me are the ones that really molded me into much of who I am today. There are many relationships that have taught me how I want to be, and many relationships that taught me what I don’t want to be, how I never want to treat others, and how I never want to act.

I have to honestly say that I have a few people in my life that somehow affect me deep down to the core and make me become the kind of person that I don’t want to be. When they are around I become angry, resentful, and petty. They make me want to ball up my fists and scream in frustration. They are often the people that affect me in such a way that  leaves me emotionally exhausted. 

And it’s not their fault, it’s mine. Sure, some people are jerks—but that doesn’t make it ok for me to act like a jerk too. In fact, it means the opposite. I should learn from their actions, the way they speak to me, and they way they treat me—and do just the opposite. If I approach this differently, the reason they come into my life can make me a better person. If I stoop to their ways, in no way am I winning the battle—in fact, I’ve lost.

This is a huge struggle of mine. I hate who I become when I am around certain people, but I allow myself to become that person. Should I take a few deep breaths? Silently say a prayer? Mostly, I want to separate myself from them, but that’s not always a possibility. I have to learn to change my attitude to overcome the situation.

What I know for sure is that I cannot allow myself to let my relationship with these people mold me into a bitter, angry, and resentful person—the world has far too many people like this. And besides, if I allow myself to become someone that I don’t want to be, I am going to affect others when I enter their lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime—and it is my mission to bring love, joy, and kindness to everyone I come in contact with. Will I fail sometimes? I probably will—but I believe if I make it my goal and pray without ceasing about it, that I can have victory.

Do you have people in your life that you struggle to maintain your composure with? How do you deal with it?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Quick Tip- Saving Calories while Dining in Mexican Restaurants

Unless you order a salad, most Mexican restaurants serve rice and beans with your entrée. Here are a few facts:

At almost 250 calories per cup, before added cheese or sour cream, refried beans can add a lot of additional calories to your meal. Not to mention, they can often leave you feeling bloated afterwards. Spanish rice isn’t too far behind at just over 200 calories per cup. 

And with portion sizes being so over sized, it’s likely you could have a cup of each of these on your plate—that’s 450 calories in just the rice and beans—enough calories for an entire meal!

I have started substituting a lettuce salad for the rice and beans. I top the salad with salsa for my dressing and I am much more satisfied with my meal. I have done this at numerous Mexican restaurants and none of the wait staff has been surprised by my request. They simply bring a salad and omit the rice and the beans from my meal. I have never been charged extra for the substitution. Sometimes the salad is topped with cheese, so unless you want to spend a few extra calories, make sure to tell them no cheese.

And if you have a salad with lettuce, tomato, and salsa, you’re looking at approximately less than 20 calories. You could potentially save 430 calories by making this substitution.

That might mean that you are able to eat the chips and salsa you were going to avoid, or it could mean that you save your calories to increase your calorie burn for the day. You’ll get a serving of vegetables and feel much better mentally and physically after the meal.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Flowering Trees

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Today seemed to be the day that the flowering trees bloomed. They are beautiful! On my walk today, I smelled their fragrance the entire time. The sidewalks are lined with all different kinds of the flowering trees. I love seeing the sights on my walks, especially this time of year when the flowers are starting to bloom and the outdoors are starting to come alive. We’ll just ignore the ginormous spider I found in my garage yesterday! I hope to spend some time outside this weekend doing something active. Love this time of year!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good days

I've had a couple of good days and you all know how motivating that is to be able to prove it to yourself that you can do it...even if just for a day. Sometimes you have to start small and work your way up.

I had to go in to the office today and I managed to eat only the food I packed and even came home to go for a 1.5 mile walk in the hot 90+ degree weather before leaving for work with job #2. It feels good to be active, even if just a little.

I think our bodies were designed to be active creatures and when we are sedentary, we suffer in more ways than just physically. Exercise is great medicine, is affordable, and you don't need insurance to cover it!

After making one big decision in my life recently, I am ready to make more changes in my life to be true to who I am, to better myself, and to treat myself with respect, while also not settling for anything that doesn't make me happy. Life is too short. I feel this hope inside again, a huge feeling of relief knowing that I'm headed in the right direction again.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Being on the wrong side of weight loss

There’s a problem when your goal is to lose weight, but instead you keep packing on the weight. So how does this happen? It happens the same way that everything else falls apart—you get careless.

At first it’s subtle. A pound or two. And that’s easy to lose. The problem is, with each pound or two you gain you think, it’s just a pound or two, I can get that off in no time. I’ll just run a little harder. I’ll watch my calories a little stricter. I’ll drink more water. No worries.

And pretty soon, you’ve gained 10 lbs., 20 lbs., 30 lbs., or maybe you’ve gained all of your weight back. You know what’s happening all along yet too many lbs. down the road you wake up one day and think, where did all of this weight come from? How did this happen? How could I LET this happen?

But yet you still just see a pound or two creep up on the scale. The number gets closer and closer to your pre-weight loss weight. Somehow you keep thinking that you’re not going to be able to stop until you get to that weight again, maybe more. It’s horrifying, but you know it’s possible. It’s almost like subconsciously you want to be fat even though you hate everything about being fat.

You hate the way that you feel like a monster when you walk. Like your legs are tree trunks and your feet are cement bricks that shake the floor with each breathless step. You try to cover your rolls of flesh with dark colors and excess fabric. But it doesn’t make it go away. It’s still there, haunting you, yet tempting you to keep doing this to yourself.

Is it some kind of punishment that your subconscious is inflicting upon your poor excuse for a body? The little voice in your head telling you that you don’t deserve to be happy. That where you belong is in a corner with your head down in shame. It points an ugly crooked finger at you and tells you you’re not good enough. And you crumple to the ground in defeat and helplessness. And the voice cackles an evil laugh at your tears of misery.

And so, like death, the fat slowly takes over your body. It attaches itself to the clavicles you so happily discovered on the other side of weight gain. It smothers the shape that had started to show in your arms. It rounds your  face and drowns your cheekbones. Your eyes begin to sink along with your smile.

But there’s a flicker of life somewhere in your eyes. You don’t see it when you look in the mirror anymore, but once in a while you can feel the warmth of the flame that used to fuel your strength. Sometimes you think it’s gone when the ugly  face of obesity shadows over you. But in those moments when you stand up tall and proud and scream into its shameful face that you won’t back down, you start to see a little flicker of a flame.

And so you kick and you scream. You stand up and shove it to the ground. It raises its ugly finger at you again and you begin to doubt yourself. Am I destined to be fat? Will I ever be good enough? Is it possible for me to prove to myself, if not only TO myself, but FOR myself?

A part of you wants to hope that it’s possible to come out of this battle alive. But a part of you just wants to lay down and die, succumbing yourself to its terribleness because you don’t know any other way and you’re not sure you’d know how to live any other way.

It’s really up to you choose. You’ve found yourself on the wrong side of weight loss, and you have a choice. You can choose life, or you can choose to let obesity control and destroy every single moment of your life—until eventually it takes it from you.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Making Choices

You know that feeling when you’re pretty sure you need to make a life change but yet you second guess yourself and end up not doing anything about it?

Historically, that’s how I’ve always been until-- one day, life up and smacks me in the face and I am forced to deal with the fact that I should have trusted my intuition and made the change.

It’s like divine intervention. Little nudges. Whispers of truth in my ear. Billboards with with flashing lights along the road of life. And finally a shout; my first and my last name, in the tone that your mother uses when you’re in trouble. I ignore them all.

And then BAM. It happens. I have to be shoved in the direction I should have been heading long ago. And then I have to face the truth and acknowledge that I ignored all of the signs.

Ever feel like that?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Letting Go

Today I wanted to talk about something that I struggle to deal with-- when a complete stranger is rude to me.

I know this sounds weird, but I find it really hard to deal with. And it’s not really only complete strangers, but just times when anyone says something hurtful, inconsiderate, or rude.

I immediately internalize the entire situation. Their behavior MUST be a result of something that I’ve done. Their rudeness to me is because I deserve to be treated that way. I am not worthy of respect.

And so, when something like this happens, I tend to let it play over and over in my mind. I can’t let it go. It eats me up inside until I’m left feeling miserable, exhausted, and negative about everything.

And then I realized something. Their behavior has nothing to do with me. How they treated me has everything to do with their own issues and has nothing to do with anything I have said or done. They’re taking their own issues out on me, not because it’s my fault, but because they don’t know how to deal with their own issues.

Forgive the other person. Not only will this help me acknowledge that it’s not my issue, but it helps me feel compassion instead of anger.

Clear the air. Kindly say something. Apologize for any wrong I may have done, and then just let it go knowing that I did all that I could to make it right.

Remember this is an isolated event. How often do things like this happen? Probably not often enough to make as big a deal as I’m making it.

And most importantly. Learn to be different. If I’ve been hurt by someone treating me a certain way, never inflict this upon someone else.

If there is anything I want to teach my kids someday, it is how to be gracious and kind.

I want to be more gracious and kind to others. The world needs more people like that.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

An update on my journey

I haven’t been talking about how my weight loss journey is going lately, so I thought I’d let you know what’s going on.

I’m trying things. What I’ve been doing isn’t working. I’ve admitted that and I am finally taking the initiative to try something different.

Stepping out of my comfort zone is scary to me. I am acknowledging that the first thing I try might not work. I might actually GAIN weight, but that's part of the process to finding what IS going to work. Eventually, the weight will start coming off again.

Right now isn’t a good time to say if experiment one is working because TOM starts tomorrow. But I’m pretty confident it’s not. Two weeks on this method and my weight has NEVER stayed so steady. I mean I weighed EXACTLY the same for DAYS. Right now, my weight is up, but that’s to be expected with my cycle. I expect the weight to go down again soon.

Because after a couple of weeks on this plan, I have not been noticing any changes, I am already starting to implement the next part of my plan. I’m not going to share the WHAT, until I feel good and ready to. I am only trying things that are healthy, of course.

So, I’m being risky and taking the necessary steps to try to move forward. I’m trying new things and trying to figure out what it’s going to take to get this ship turned back around.

I canceled my WW subscription today. I am saying goodbye again. No problems with WW, it helped me get a long way at a different time of my life. But I think I can acknowledge, FOR A SECOND TIME, that the plan isn’t working FOR ME this time. Not because of any fault of the plan, but because for whatever reason, it’s not working for me right now. Might I go back someday? Maybe. Who knows. But for now, I’m trying new things until I find what’s really going to work FOR ME again—in this place and time in my life.

Thanks for sticking by!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spring flowers and first garden produce

First, I want to show off my beautiful spring flowers. This time, they’re not covered in snow like they were just a few days ago.

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I wish I could have captured the brilliant color of the the flowers above. Beautiful!

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So colorful and so beautiful! I have been wanting to plant daffodils since we moved here almost seven years ago—still haven’t done it! but the tulips sure have filled in.

And I am SO excited about the garden produce. We planted asparagus forever ago and were told to let the plant establish itself and cut the asparagus on the third year. We are on the third year!! So Excited.

From our garden:

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This is our second harvesting this season! And it is delicious. So flavorful.

And guess what else we get to finally eat this year?

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Rhubarb!! Excited to eat rhubarb that we have grown! It needs a little longer to grow and then I’ll be making strawberry rhubarb concoctions!

We haven’t planted our summer garden yet, but will be doing so soon. Hopefully there won’t be any more snow! I’m thinking we’re safe.

What are you planting in your garden this year?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Don’t underestimate functional exercise

This morning I went on my 1.5 mile walk in 30 minutes. I am working at getting more exercise in, and I’m doing pretty well! It hasn’t been perfect, but when the weather is nice, it’s must easier for me to get outside and be active.

But my point is, that was was the “planned exercise” variety. It’s certainly not a 20 mile run, but walking is good for you.

Here’s my walk summary:


Now here’s where my title comes in. After work, I had to mow the lawn. It took me about 20 minutes longer than normal because with all of the moisture we’ve had, the grass was super long.

But I was pushing, pulling, lifting and sweating like crazy. And you want to see my stats?


A better workout than my walk this morning! So don’t underestimate those little ways that you can be more active.

To me, mowing the lawn is one of the easier ways to burn quite a few calories. I listen to some good tunes on my iPod, enjoy the sunshine, and the good feeling of accomplishment when I’m done.

It’s the kind of work where you get to see immediate results, feel a little sore (if you have a push mower and a yard with any incline) and it’ll probably make your husband happy!

Three birds, one stone.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pillsbury Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to shelly8806 for winning the giveaway!

So what would you all like to see as a giveaway? Do tell! And don't say a car or something... I'm not Oprah! ;)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy 3rd of May!

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Snow! On the 3rd of May! I can hardly believe it.

I guess we are lucky that we didn’t get the 6” that some places in Minnesota got!

Where did the spring weather go? A few days ago it was in the 80’s!

I bet we are in for a horrifically hot summer!


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