Happy New Year! Here we are in 2021, poised on the threshold of so many new possibilities and adventures. Like my new empty planner, the year waits to be filled with the ordinary and extraordinary.
I promise not to wax all nostalgic on you or proclaim “new year, new me!”
About the only thing new happening is getting a new haircut, with some color adjustments coming soon too 😏
Let’s face it though, before the candy and wrapping paper are out of the store aisles the focus turns to weight loss products. The snake oil people rise up in full force ready to capitalize on those bemoaning their excess weight.
Shakes, supplements, pills and cleanses abound.
All promise fast, unrealistic results, yet sadly none will work and the individual will be back where they started.
If you make any goal or resolution for yourself, don’t give in to diets or gimmicks that won’t help you in the long run.
What can you do?
I get it. 2020 was, well, intense for most of us. Quarantine had so many at home for longer periods of time, this equaled more sedentary time, out of our usual rhythm, eating more and more foods that we may not usually eat.
Enter, a few extra pounds.
This has many looking for ways to quickly get rid of it.
The reality is, there is no “fast ” sustainable way. We have to methodically work our way backwards to our goals in a slow and steady manner.
May I offer a few suggestions?
So what will work to get back on track and be sustainable?
Forget about pointless things like 21 day juice cleanses, detox teas, and pills, weight loss shakes and replacement “meals”. Don’t cut all your carbs or withhold treats or resort to the lastest diet craze.
Detoxes and cleanses do a good job of cleaning your pockets.
Besides your liver and kidneys do a great job detoxifying your body. 😉
Do however……get plenty of rest, drink 2 liters of water, get in 10k steps a day, and use a 80/20 approach to eating ( 80% of the time you eat healthy balanced food, 20%, hey have some fries 😉)
Balance is key to long term sustainable success. No one wants to feel restricted or deprived. Allowing for some treats gives us freedom and thus keeps us from giving up.
Some basic 101 food suggestions
This can work for all of us…
Eat at least two fruits a day, load up on veggies at every meal, choose complex carbs, eat lean proteins and healthy fats and make water your drink of choice. Eating a good variety keeps us satisfied and reduces the chances of binging on less healthy food later.
Finally, a few reminder notes for 2021
Focus on nutritious and healthy foods. Think of how good you’ll feel fueling your body with good food.
Focus on progress, not perfection. Slow steady progress wins over a fast quick ( temporary) fix.
Get in some purposeful exercise that you like and makes you feel good.
Track your water, exercise and food if it helps get you on track.
Set realistic weight loss goals and celebrate the big and small goals.
With some careful adjustments, 2021 will be a year of positive progress for you!
Tell me, what strategies do you use to lose a few pounds and keep your eating healthy? Do you have some goals for this year?
Another Monday, another spin around the sun, and the first Monday in November.
This year is just blurring on by, isn’t it? You know what this means right?
Full on Christmas coming at us now.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday and I go all out for it.
I just want my turkey first….. and pie.
I want those tasty dishes that seem to be extra delicious on Thanksgiving. I want to smell those amazing smells of the day as my often, loud and wonderfully goofy family shows up to eat, watch football and celebrate a day of giving thanks for all we have.
I want that before I’m propelled into the Christmas whirlwind.
I want that set aside day of focusing on thankfulness.
Reasons to be thankful
Do we need to be reminded? I think, sometimes, we get so set in our lives we don’t really take time to focus on all we’ve been blessed with.
I was at the stop sign the other day and a local homeless woman was in her chair as she usually is. She is often just down the street at Starbucks sitting by the drive way but has changed up her location again ( she moves between both areas) it is known she has mental issues. It is also known she supposedly chooses this life.
I don’t know much except she’s a staple in that area. I greet her when I walk up to get my coffee, I will not look through her and pretend she isn’t there as many do.
But on this day, she was seated at the stop sign.
As I waited for the car in front of me, I couldn’t help but notice her, really see her.
Head in her hand holding her sign, her face red from days of sitting in the sun, a cigarette loosely held, her worldly possessions around her, it was her face that caught me.
The look of someone holding back emotion or trying not to cry.
It took everything in me to not turn around and go back and ask, are you ok? Except, with her mental instability, you just don’t know what you will get.
In those moments so much was impressed on me.
You think you’ve had a hard year, but you’ve not had hard like that homeless woman on the corner hard.
I thought about the nice car I was driving, wearing nice clothes. I thought about my beautiful home that protected and sheltered me. The abundance of food we had, the things that made my life comfortable, my family that surrounded me, and the simple luxuries I had. I thought about my husband and how much he has been brought through and how our needs are always met.
I felt humbled in that moment. And thankful
The thoughts continued to flow….
Your hard isn’t the family divorcing, ending what they have known. Your hard isn’t the young mother who lost a twin, or a parent watching their child continue the path of addiction or a family member dealing with alcohol addiction, or a widow grieving their partner
All situations I’m personally aware of.
We all have our levels of hard to deal with, right?
November marks a year since my husband was told he had two types of cancer. To say this year has been a new level of “hard” is putting it mildly. There have been ups and downs and moments that have overwhelmed me leaving me feeling like I couldn’t breathe. Throw in a virus, him being unable to work right now, Dr appointments, chemo treatments, constant dancing around with insurance and the daily shifting of life, it can make the strongest person feel weak at any given moment.
Yet, that thought bounced through my head.
Your hard isn’t like hers. Your life, while it has been difficult, painful even, is good.
We all have our own version of hard
We do right? Struggles, pain, suffering, hardships. They may look different but we all have that road to walk on some level.
I firmly believe how we approach it has a huge impact on the rest of our lives. Has this year been easy?
Have I been amazingly blessed? Absolutely.
Do I choose, look for all the good I have in my life even if it is hard? I do.
As we go into November, a month in which we have a day set aside to think of all we’ve been blessed with and give thanks for those blessings, I choose to set my sights there.
So stand down Christmas.
I want my turkey and pie. I want more mashed potatoes than I should eat. I want breakfast with my family still in jammies with messy hair crammed around the table eating the pastries I made. I want to enjoy the food, the laughter, the controlled chaos, and most importantly, my tribe. The beautiful people I’ve been given to share this life with.
Life is hard. If there weren’t hard times we wouldn’t deeply embrace the good. Life is made of both.
I am thankful and abundantly blessed. I hope you too, even as you may deal with difficulties or uncertainty will also celebrate the good and the blessings you have as well.
And hey, go ahead and have another piece of pie. 😉
Hello Monday. Quarantine day 854…or something like that.
Are we having fun yet?
I guess I’m really grateful it’s spring and the weather has been gorgeous and since I’m supposed to be home it gives me scads of time to basically do whatever the heck I want.
Not a bad thing right?
I’m grateful too that I can retreat to my hill country home with 28 acres surrounding me with gorgeous views.
I’m grateful also for having a fun little business that I work out of my home. Lately I just find it relaxing and therapeutic.
I’ve also had time to start work on one of my personal projects, an old antique table and chair set. Getting that done will give me alot more space in my barn…space for more furniture 🤣
Here’s a look at that table.. before I started
A sneak peek.. I’ve been busy..
I got the great idea to sand table top. Have I ever mentioned, I hate sanding? This is gonna be worth it though.
Oh. Chairs. It has chairs. I’ve been working on those too. 😱
I need to get this set done because I have an equally old stunning set to do for my dining room….
It looks like this……
Ah.. I love how beautifully old school elegant it all is. I can hardly wait to transform it.
Anyway, even with all that’s going on I feel grateful for all the good things too.
I’m grateful even though my shop is closed, I’ve got several custom orders to keep me busy and making a little cash. It’s rather cool to do things I love and get paid for it as well😉
It’s not all smooth sailing
Hey, I feel like you do too. I miss just deciding to randomly go somewhere without a care in doing so.
Now, I feel almost guilty popping into the store to get a few things. Like…get it…go…get home.
I think what I really.. hate…are the looks on people’s faces. How they look at you like you might brush something off on them. The avoidance of making eye contact or scurrying away. A human disconnect.
It is what it is.
I will do my part. I only go to get what I need and leave.
I keep sanitizer in my car and use it before and after going somewhere. I try to be mindful of my “position ” around people.
I find it all tiring and going home really is a much better,more comfortable option.
Even with all of that…
I’m grateful. Life is still good. I have all my needs met.
I’m glad I can take care of my own nails and that I got my hair all pretty before the salons had to close. 😉 That certainly isn’t earth shattering but small things make me feel good.
And feeling good in a weird world right now, helps.
Making time for self care
More than ever we not only need to take care of our physical health, but mental health too
Exercise is good for both.
Again, I’m happy I’ve been doing the home workout thing for years so it’s life as usual for me. For others though it’s an adjustment of figuring out what to do.
With the weather turning nice, getting out for daily walks is a good option for most everyone. With extra time for many right now, there’s no reason to not get some purposeful movement in.
You may also consider a new hobby or activity to pursue. Start a new book or pursue an online course.
Life is still going on,even if it’s not so conventional right now.
Even though my shop is closed I’m making plans for new business opportunities.
There are plenty of things for us to keep focused on and we can use this time for growth and learning and hopefully not feeding our fears or anxieties.
Before I go…
We are entering birthday season in my family. My kids always request some favorite cake for me to make for their birthday.
My daughter in law found a rather different one this year and…oh my…I can’t say how good it was. It got rave reviews and I think it would make a great Easter dessert.
Lemon blueberry cake with lemon cream cheese frosting.
And because I know you will want to try it, I’ll attach the link for you
So who stole the weekend already? Sunday night has shown up with the stealth of a cat ready to take down the dinner mouse.
I’m pondering the wisdom of coffee but it seems like a warm, delicious hug after a busy day and I’m close to losing the battle on making it.
Ah yes, I think that’s exactly what’s needed while I let my random Musings outta my head.
Let the monkeys loose
I wondered again today, how I can possibly squeeze more out of myself. Besides the usual life stuff, taking care of myself,family, housekeeping and all that, there’s my little vintage business that is growing.
I’m all happy over that but gosh…I need more time for projects. Besides pieces I do for my shop, I’ve been blessed with repeat customers and custom orders.
Ya know, in the beginning, that terrified me a wee bit. It’s one thing to dive into one of my needy, fixer upper pieces and a whole lot different working on a piece my client tells me has been in her family for over 100 years 😱
I got over it.
I will admit there’s a huge amount of vulnerability putting my work out there.
No one is tougher on me than me.
It all vanishes as soon as my customer sees their refinished piece and is thrilled over it.
I just wrapped up this little curio cabinet for a customer this weekend.. check out its before condition….
And now with it’s cool new look. I’m obsessed with these colors..
I’m pondering what piece I have that I can use this look on.
Maybe this little vintage table/magazine rack? I had a customer bring it to me….she was like…here I want you to have it. It was in an old rent house we’re cleaning out and I know you love stuff like this.. I happily took it..dust, cobwebs and all 🤣
Not to mention hubby and I went out hunting items this weekend and got some cool pieces for the shop. With the approaching holiday season I want it packed out.
Snake oil and magic potions
Ok if you’ve been with me for awhile you know one of my favorite soap box topics is the modern day snake oil of the diet/health industry.
It definitely makes for plentiful writing topics.
Kinda like shooting fish in a barrel.
I’ve been researching/watching/ learning about one company that seems to have quite a cultic following.
I have more than one problem with this (company that shall remain nameless…for now at least)
For instance, nothing is discussed online. Not the name of company or what they are about…other than miraculous weight loss concoctions. However yours truly picked enough keywords from comments to figure it out. 😛
You do have to wait to receive a message from someone about it after you ask then I guess you get the secret info
I get it. The idea is so people like me don’t show up and ruin their party calling out the nonsense and drivel.
Doing things like informing them of the junk that’s in those fat burning, toxin cleansing, appetite suppressing, fat blocking miracle supplements they are shoving down their throat.
I think one of the biggest things that got me was a comment from a supporter of this and she said.. I quote…
“Diet and exercise backfire”.
What kind of thinking IS this???
Yes, a restrictive, depriving diet won’t last.
Learning to have a healthy daily balanced diet will last.
Combining it with purposeful exercise will go a long way to keeping you fit and healthy.
Of course that doesn’t sound as dramatic and exciting as the miracle potions Karen is trying to sell me on.
But more disturbingly kids, smart people really buy into all this.
In the past I’ve been a Guinea pig with various things so I could write on them from an informed way.
Everything from foods, to diets ( hello whole 30 and Paleo) to exercise trends (crossfit showed me how capable I am to lift heavy stuff) to more harmless things like athletic wear and shoes.
I love doing it because I can write from a really informed place.
I…briefly…contemplated being a lab rat for a short time.
However…one…I’m not up for paying the equivalent of a car payment for a month of fat burning supplies…( yes for real) and I don’t mean a cheap car payment….
Two….I don’t dig starving and being hungry for the sake of losing weight…especially since I know you don’t have to for success.
Oh and three…I really don’t wanna put all the crap in my body.
So I will continue my fact gathering and may present a post on this…this company…. who shall be nameless cause I’m not giving them advertising time 🤣
Oh a final tidbit…their revenue was listed at 103 million dollars.
In fitness news
I’m doing some time in physical therapy. Mostly we’re working out hips and legs and an IT band that is really giving me fits…horrible fits some days.
Last week they wanted to do some assessments on my strength. They put me on a machine and calculated how much weight I should do with one leg.
165 lbs. For a single leg press.
I was told to just start and do as many as I could. I got to 20, felt like I could do a few more but decided to finish strong and leave it there.
After doing it on the other side I got a brief rest and then had to knock out 2 more sets of 10.
My PT guy comes back and was like…wow you’re pretty strong.. yay for the old lady hahaha
I will admit…it felt pretty cool. It’s one thing to know I’m strong and another to be put through a test and knock it out of the park.
The goal is to get me loose so I can be 100% on the road again doing what I love.
Time will tell I suppose.
I’d still rather play hard, hitting hard goals an challenging myself than watching life from the sidelines. I understand doing that might involve injuries.. it’s a part of the game.
Fall is coming… I think
We’ve had a cool morning or two and its hard not to think of those comfort foods that always seem so enjoyable once the weather changes.
I whipped up a chicken casserole that’s a family favorite this week. Find it below😊
As I’m writing this little installment of Saturday Snippets, I’m a bit in denial that July is now tipping into the “it just started and is now wildly speeding out of control ” zone.
Holy hello, where has the month gone??
Besides pondering that deep question, I thought I’d share with you what I was up to this week.
I’ve kept athletic things low key ’cause I went and got this done on Tuesday…..
And when you have that much open skin…well….the idea of sweating alot into it wasn’t appealing 🤣
I’ve had ideas for quite awhile to pull together some pieces I already had. I got with our local artist for a consult and set things in motion.
This is what my arm previously looked like.
It was so exciting to pull the ideas out of my head, hand them over to her and let her weave them together.
To say I’m in love with how it’s shaping up is an understatement. This piece is about 90% done now.
In two weeks I’ll go back to touch up any areas and also to have some lace added around my wrist.
Since I’m writing a post on my most recent tattoo shenanigans, I thought I’d share questions/comments etc that I’ve gotten. I have many people in my life who understand what goes into it all and mostly there’s a whole lot who don’t.
So here’s my favorite question.
Did it hurt? The first time someone ever asked me that ( I resisted the urge to roll my eyes)
I said, just think of a sewing machine needle stitching thread into the fabric…Haha the look on their face. 😝
Seriously though, of course there’s pain.
There is a level you just get comfortable with and then there are areas that you definitely take yourself to another zone and just breathe through it. Weirdly, there are times I look forward to the pain.
I’d have to say with this piece, being about 4 hours in the chair, the shading of black was the most intense.
This literally feels like someone using little razor blades to dig into my skin…over and over..
Yeah the arm starts feeling a little raw. It’s especially fun when the hot sun hits it.
How long does it take to heal?
After finishing my arm got wrapped in something akin to plastic wrap. I’m wondering why this stuff can’t be used for my kitchen bowls 😝
This keeps it clean and protected. I’m supposed to wear it 3-6 days.
Here it is at day three. I’m ready to take it off.
No my art work hasn’t smeared, it’s just extra ink oozing under plastic. Can you see the tiny lace details though? It amazes me she could do such tiny work.
Once plastic comes off it’s washed and cleaned several times a day. Washing it feels.. delightful.
Raw open skin with dial soap on it 😱
It will begin to heal as it dries and then it goes through the awesome itchy phase in which you attempt to not scratch. A few weeks out it’s 100% again
What made you do it?
Why not? The pieces on my arm were specific, intentional, and have meaning to me. I wanted to fill between them with the end result looking like a vintage type lacey sleeve. I have a small area on the back of my arm yet to do that will complete it.
Beside all that, it’s been a wonderful way to wear creative art that belongs to just me.
I think that’s uber cool and I’m privileged to wear someone’s art.
What about when you get old?
Uh. I am old. Next question.
Seriously, I am way old enough to know what I want, what I like, and do what I wanna do.
Have you regretted it?
Do you want more?
Is the Pope Catholic?
When I got my first one it was a flower bracelet with the word strength in it. This was such an important life word for me that I wanted it on me in a visual way. I had thought to get that and I’d be done. (Fyi, the wrist is one of the most painful places…)
Not true. Less than a day later I was plotting my next.
I still have creative ideas in my head 😉😉
I was warned by those who had gone before me…”you’ll want more”…. I didn’t believe them…now I know better.
What if your kids got them?
Ha. My kids encouraged me and own quite a few of their own. My son jokingly gave me a list of “girl tattoos” that I should not ever get lest I lose cool status. These included standard quo things like a flower or dolphin on my ankle or inside my wrist, anything tribal (as if!) Or any tattoo in a shop where you select them by numbers.
A final thought
Spending hours in a chair gave me plenty of time to chat with the young artist working on me. She discussed her struggles at trying to open her business in our town and how she had been told at one city meeting by someone that they didn’t want “those kind of people” around. Ha like wow.
I forget, or rather I’m surprised, at the harsh and judgmental attitudes people still carry in regards to this topic. But those personal opinions are there and firmly in place even though I find them a bit dated.
To each their own.
I’ve just learned you can’t or shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and some of the most authentic,interesting, creative people I’ve ever met have had tattoos.
Your turn. Do you have any? If so, any stories with them? If not, do you want one but haven’t? Or are you in the “thanks but no thanks” camp? It’s cool if you are 😉
And just like that, it’s time to celebrate another birthday.
Is it me, or does time really ( seem) to move faster as you get older?
Gone are the days where the only concern was how much play time you had or which friends were available to hang out. Lazy summers and no cares in the world.
Those times in our lives seem rather fleeting don’t they?
But wait. Hang with me.
This isn’t a sappy post, but one I more enjoy doing as a way of reflection on the year gone by.
It gives me opportunity to see areas of growth and areas I need to shape up more.
I’m smack in the mid 50s now.
I get Aarp fliers in the mail and am close to qualifying for discounts in some places.
Yes I will shamelessly work my age to save a few bucks 🤣
I go for my yearly doctor visits and the little 20 something girl checking me in acts surprised I don’t have a bag of meds with me.
Ah well. Whatever.
Age is merely a number that I’ve never allowed to define me.
Have you ever noticed though, how people do? And boy, do some people get bent out of shape when you don’t stay in the box and play by all the same old and tired “rules”.
**yawn** what’s a box?
Like at certain ages there are expected normal behaviors because you’re “that age.”
Listen, I have no problem diving onto a swing and flying through the air when I’m with the grand babies at the park or any other unadultish shenanigans.
The expectation of society is as you get older you should lay things aside, and uh, “act your age”.
Whatever that means.
Just be quiet and fade away…not likely.
So here I am grateful for another year to live, move, and breathe in this beautiful gift we have called life.
I have to laugh as I hear so many of my young friends bemoaning the fact that they are only a couple years from….30.
It does amuse me ’cause I’m well to the other side of that and I know that life is still good, better even, and really it’s ok.
I enjoyed all the decades behind me but I long for none of them. Each one was a season in my life. A season to learn and grow. To gain wisdom and a wee bit of maturity 😉
It is now, sitting in the middle of another decade, that I can reflect how each one was a working out of the woman I am.
Good times, bad times, hard and easy, frustrations and joys, light and dark, every single season was shaping me.
Wisdom is a gift I greatly appreciate and I can see it more clearly now that ever.
Comfortable in the skin I live in
I have always been comfortable in my existence. But getting older has only solidified that.
I’m good with myself.
I don’t say that in an egotistical way, just a fact. To be comfortable with who you are, the very essence of who you are, is freedom.
It means being ok with your good stuff and not so good stuff. It’s knowing I’m not perfect but strive to be the best I can be. I try to remain open and teachable.
It’s also accepting every part of my physical self and never, ever comparing myself to someone else. To do so only would breed dissatisfaction and be an affront to my Maker.
There is only one of me. I will appreciate the gift of that.
No approval needed.
I don’t need approval to be me….and same goes for you. By that I mean at this stage of my life, I know who I am.
I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know what makes my heart sing and what weighs it down. I know how to speak up when I need to in being able to express myself, how I think or feel,or to nicely say no thank you to something.
I know how to stand up and own who I am ( and I don’t mean in a rude or disrespectful way) I know who I am.
It’s not worrying about others or their personal opinions. It’s not being concerned if someone approves or disapproves based on what they would or wouldn’t do.
This past year I’ve…….
Experienced alot of things. Lots of ordinary life stuff, but also bigger events that have challenged me.
I started my fifth year with this blog. It’s been an outlet in writing but my main goal is to keep offering sensible, sane, realistic lifestyle and fitness encouragement and help. I’m blessed by all of you who take the time to read, comment, and offer words of encouragement back to me. I’ve slowly built my own brand as Sassyfitnesschick and plan to keep offering my own flavor of health and fitness tips, all with a side dish of sass 😉
I trained for, and finished my second duathlon. I also again, took first in my age group. I cannot tell you what a challenging yet fulfilling event this was for me. The training as much as the cold,rainy, miserable race day all shaped me in a different way.
I learned more about resilience,tenacity and a whole lotta stubbornness in me.
Ok…well.. the stubbornness is nothing new 😉
I recently was talking to hubby about something and I said ” I don’t quit” to which from behind his glasses and iPad I get a snort followed by “realllyy??”
And then…”Well that’s not a bad thing”
And I don’t. I jump into the deep end with anything I do and I give it my all.
This month marks my one year anniversary since I started my little vintage business last year. When I jumped in I thought I’d try a few months and see how it went. Before I knew it I had hit the 6 month mark. Spring time I moved into a bigger space ( and bigger rent) yet somehow each month it seemed I was to keep going.
Last month when I was notified the lease on building wasnt being renewed and I’d have to either uproot and move elsewhere or just fold it all up and…quit…well that just wasn’t an option. And then there was a perfect space just waiting for me…and now I’m in and settled and can hardly wait to see how this year unfolds.
As a writer, who has a blog, it’s hard for me to not observe people. As a very social creature it’s quite easy for me to interact with just about anyone. This year I’ve met some interesting people, and not always people who look “normal”. By that I mean they are colorful in their clothing choices,word choices,art work on their bodies or offbeat fashion style, not to mention colorful personalities. I find that refreshing. I love how they are good at pushing back against the norm. Long ago, when my oldest was in a rock band, I learned not to judge books by their covers.
My home could often be filled with big men in all black, wearing tons of makeup, plenty of piercings and other non- main stream looks. Yet under it all were sweet guys who loved raiding my cookie jar. Being reminded of those truths makes it quite easy for me to appreciate those who march to the beat of their own drum.
That’s how life works right?
Day by day it unfolds full of the daily norm, the unexpected, the high’s and low’s and if we look for it, plenty of joys too.
The unfolding of this last year has shown me ( more than ever) that I really can do anything. I’ve learned so much more about mental discipline. It’s the strength and unwillingness to quit which spills out into everything I do.
New challenges can be hard and I strive too let them to do the work of making me stronger. I’m facing some now and am trying to remind myself of this.
Getting older isn’t some horrible thing.
Some will never have the chance to experience it.
What’s horrible is remaining unchanged, unyielding, holding onto grudges, judging, poor behaviors, or personal slights, refusing to see different view points or being unwilling to listen to how another person sees something. It’s horrible to age and still hold onto things that should’ve been let go of a long time ago. In my opinion those things are far worse than getting older.
I think age really, is a huge state of mind. I believe how we view it impacts how out loud we live all our days.
My goal is to do it gracefully, to love well, to continue to be open and teachable, to learn and grow from this ride called life, and most of all, never, ever quit.