Monday Musings

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 ๐Ÿคฃ

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

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 well๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

Stay there.

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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

https://pin.it/6RbzCio

Tell me…how are you doing out there? Are you using this time to pursue something new? What is helping you move through these days? Do you feel grateful for what you have?

Monday Musings

Welcome to another edition of Monday Musings, an eclectic gathering of my random, yet sometimes thoughtful reflections.

You never know what’s gonna come out of my head…..

What on earth?

Unless you’ve been in a cave, it seems like people have lost their minds with the current situation regarding this virus.

I’m not camping on this topic long as I feel the majority of us are overwhelmed and saturated with it all.

Thank you media for contributing to hysteria that has led to people literally ripping store shelves bare and hoarding things they don’t need.

This aisle usually has paper products at my store…..

Hold on…I’m going somewhere..

I made a trip to the store the other day for a few things I actually ya know, needed.

One of those items was a vitamin I’ve taken for several years. It never occurred to me that the vitamin section would get hit and so many things wouldn’t be there.

Here’s my thought about that.

You can’t decide to throw some vitamins at your body in the moment of anxiety thinking it’s gonna “help” you fend off something.

If you want to help yourself, it needs to be something you do every single day

Eat healthy, natural foods. Drink plenty of water, exercise, get rest, and depending on your personal needs, then use vitamins if needed.

The best way to keep your body and immune system strong is to take care of it daily.

Not in an impulsive moment thinking it will be some kind of quick fix.

Rant over….stay healthy out there. Wash your hands and be smart.

Speaking of exercise….

If you’ve followed me for awhile you know that I kinda like running.

Unfortunately, I’ve had a crappy injury that’s kept me off of it. I’m still cycling and strength training but I miss the hard work and satisfaction of putting those miles in that running gives me.

I’ve used an elliptical in the past and it was the closest thing to running I could do without actually, you know, running ๐Ÿ˜›

I set out trolling all my local online sale sites watching for someone to sell off their “better idea turned towel and clothes holder.”

Not to hard to find I might say. I just had to wade through mediocre ones that were to much and then the nicer ones, if well priced, got sold or they were to far away etc.

Until…..

The other night I found a Nordictrack, a short drive down the road from me, selling for only 50.00.

I couldn’t respond fast enough. This time I was the one quick enough to get the prize.

The couple told me they had each gotten a gym membership and it was never used. This originally 800.00 machine ( she had the receipt and manual in a bag for me) had all the bells and whistles on it.

I happily loaded my game on the trailer and hauled it home.

I got it all set up….today was my maiden voyage on it.

Gosh, it felt awesome to be working hard like that again.

Heart pounding and sweat in my eyes…good times ๐Ÿ˜

Do you like ellipticals?

On topic of healthy lifestyle

In other recent events in my life, hubby was in the hospital for a number of weeks so needless to say I found myself frequenting the hospital cafeteria for more than shots of coffee.

I have to say their food selections were nice and varied.

Often though, I hit up their salad bar. It offered a good selection of colorful greens and other veggies with protein options too. I got some dressing in a container so I could control what I had. ( remember dressings can contribute a huge amount of calories to a otherwise healthy salad) it was a satisfying and filling lunch.

I wrote a post before addressing the myth that is perpetuated suggesting healthy food was more expensive than fries or burgers ( The Cost of Healthy Eating) You can also check out my post (Weight Loss and Salads and Salad Bar Strategies)

On average I paid 4.00-5.00 for my salad. ( you pay by weight) those cucumbers and chick peas were heavy!)

On one day I just wanted a burger and fries, because, why not? I paid 7.50 for it.

The bottom line is, we make our choices. You choose to eat healthy foods or you don’t.

Not only do I have plenty of colorful veggies, eggs and chick peas covered my protein.

Doesn’t it look delicious? ๐Ÿ˜

Speaking of healthy food

https://pin.it/4osmBfX

I made this recipe for dinner recently and it is amazing!

https://pin.it/1WBX33I

I just found this salad recipe and it is definitely on my list to try soon.

Ok and one of my favs…

https://pin.it/7hUVgjK

In other life stuff

In ways of things fun and not stressful, how about a look at a few of my vintage projects?

One of my other plates I juggle is a growing vintage business which involves flipping often old,sad and falling apart furniture.

It brings me tremendous satisfaction to make things pretty again…like this custom order I just finished this week…

Here’s the before:

And the after:

This turned out so cheery and is such a happy piece. My customer…”oh my gosh, I wanna cry, it’s so pretty!”

Makes my day.

I got this super cool piece last week. Its an old wash station. It does have a seriously abused marble top but I’ve got plans to spruce that up.

I think…it would repurpose to make a great coffee bar. At first I thought it would make a great pastry table but it is a bit short for that. How would you repurpose this cute piece?

Then there was this.. I love old telephone benches. I can’t keep them around, a good problem to have..

This is how I got it….

And after..

Boring magazine holder…

Turned kitchen utility crate ๐Ÿ˜›

Enough of my creativity for now… I got more projects this weekend

And before I go…

Isn’t it pretty? And it’s really black coffee. I love the nitro cold brew from Starbucks. It has no cream, the nitro gives it the smooth creamy foam and it slowly settles and swirls down through the coffee until it’s black. It packs a powerful caffeine punch, yet is ridiculously smooth and satisfying to my soul

My current guilty pleasure ๐Ÿ˜‰

Your turn…..tell me…how are you doing out there? How is your piece of the world doing? Have you tried the nitro coffee? What’s new with you?

Oh That Super Bowl Show!

So the biggest game in football happened this past weekend, the “creme de la creme” culminating the year in football.

I’m happy Kansas won. After a 50 year hiatus they came in with an impressive finishing win.

Then… then….there was the half time show.

The half time show is either a time people go get food and another beer or they settle in waiting to see the million dollar entertainment.

Well, let’s just say those who watched the show seemed to have lots to say. The internet has been a plethora of opinions, much like my Facebook newsfeed.

This post is written from my personal opinion. You may have a different one.

That’s alright too.

Our opinions are shaped by everything from our age, the generation we were raised in, our upbringing, the things we deem important and valuable, to our own personal moral convictions.

So many factors shape our personal opinions.

It’s ok to have different opinions and respect each other in those opinions.

Life would be really boring if we all thought alike.

What does bug me though are opinions grounded in ignorance. A little education goes a long way on a topic to present a more informed opinion. You lose me with an ignorance based opinion.

With that being said..on with the show.

It was “good/bad”.

Those were some comments I first saw. But look, the whole “good or bad” thing is totally subjective based on well, what you, personally like.

Your thoughts on the overall quality of show are based on your music tastes, your entertainment preferences, and even your personal thoughts and feelings on how performers are dressed and perform.

This years entire show was very Latin themed (obviously) but if Billy the cowboy had been on, or someone’s favorite hip hop artist with every fourth word getting bleeped out, (or whoever) were featured artists then I’m sure those people would’ve declared it “good!” and “awesome!”

Why? Because it would’ve fallen in areas that they enjoy and prefer.

An opinion of “good or bad” is totally subjective.

The players

Of course this years heading line duo was Shakira and Jennifer Lopez ( J Lo) . Now if I were to believe some things I’ve read you would think people had no idea what these women did.

For years…years…they have been singers and dancers. High energy singers and dancers. J Lo is also an actress.

They are entertainers.

So unless you’ve lived under a rock you would know these women are powerhouses in their industry.

I expected no less than a high octane performance with lots of Latin moves.

The rhetoric

I’ve read so many posts screaming about how inappropriate they were dressed, the the dancing, the pole dance and belly dancing.

Oh my, we will get to those items in a moment.

First, I thought their costumes were more covering and fitted than some artists I’ve seen in the past. Skimpy? Yes. Does it go with what they do as performers, also yes.

Were they covered way more than what you and your family can view on a public beach or at the pool? Also yes.

I mean last year Maroon 5’s frontman, Adam Levine, was out there in nothing but well fitted jeans, and his tatted very well muscled chest on display.

I didn’t have a problem with that ๐Ÿ˜œ but c’mon, technically he was half naked. Let’s stop double standards.

And people went crazy…especially the women. And this year the women are too, just in a different way.

Angry women

I have to admit to a huge amount of shock as I’ve read post after post of women ranting labeling these performers as everything from “floozies, poor role models, trashy, vulgar, etc etc” I know there were alot more adjectives used…..ah the judgement.

Fortunately, I’ve also got some women in the other camp who cast a different eye at it.

Ha..I’m not alone ๐Ÿ˜œ

Shakira and JLo delivered a high octance show that was Vegas worthy.

Here’s the deal, again my humble opinion.

All the sudden the show starts and there are two stunning, strong, confident, athletic, fit middle aged women (Shakira is 43, J Lo 50)

Totally killing it.

They looked amazing and the cardio out put of that show no one could’ve kept up with.

These women are mothers and powerful business women. They are at the top of their game.

I dare say, there were alot of women munching chips and cheese dip behind their tv screen all the sudden being reminded that they’ve gained weight and are out of shape and maybe its time to get back to exercise and doing a check on the nutrition.

Maybe there were elements that made them uncomfortable personally, and not because of the costumes and dancing.

On the other hand I had many friends making jokes on how they needed to start working out again.

As a middle aged woman and an athlete, I was in awe of what they brought. I’m not intimidated by other women so I guess I just studied it all in a different way.

It’s not family friendly!

Really.

The half time shows almost always have an edge to them. And come on, who remembers Janet Jacksons MAJOR wardrobe malfunction years ago? Beyonce’s performance was pretty….shaking, grinding, wiggling in less clothes with plenty of crotch angles.

I also want to know….whose kids are all actually clustered around the tv watching the game and gearing up for half time show?

Mine were always running around and now as adults, still care less about the show.

If you happen to have children who actually sit and watch game and are waiting eagerly for the entertainment, you as the adult, if you feel what is coming on isn’t “family friendly” have the ultimate remote control power to change the channel.

Simple.

Belly dancing and pole dancing, oh my!

If I had a quarter every time that was brought up..well.. I’d have a whole lotta change.

My eye rolls though….๐Ÿ™„

Listen, last time I checked, these activites aren’t cardinal sins.

My favorite thing I’ve read is indigent Karen and Becky proclaiming it as “porn”.

Now I’m not a huge expert here, but I’m pretty sure, fairly confident, that isn’t porn.

I took belly dancing classes years ago ( oh my, I did).

You know what I learned?

It is crazy hard. It’s a ton of work.

You have to learn to move your hips while completely isolating movement of other parts of your body. You have to learn to use your arms while doing mentioned activities with hips.

It’s like patting your head and rubbing your tummy, doing it quickly

It is work and a huge talent.

My core was so sore after each session

Gosh, no wonder Shakira’s abs looked amazing.

This was also a nod to her Lebanese heritage, so many want to ignore that.

The pole dancing with J Lo?

Listen it was really no shock she put that in her show giving a nod to her most recent movie where she learned to pole dance in preparation for it.

Again, being able to do that requires a tremendous amount of strength and power to do gymnastic moves up and down that pole.

I can tell you there wasn’t a single male athlete Sunday who could’ve done what she did. None.

Are these poles used in mens clubs? Yes (I’ve heard ) so many women keep saying that ๐Ÿ˜‰

Are the poles unto themselves, sexual?

No.

People need to stop sexualizing so many things that don’t need to be.

FYI, it is on my bucket list to try. Does that make me morally awful? Trashy? Not a good parent? Pretty sure I won’t be in alot of clothes learning to do it either.

We need to stop sexualizing so many things in our world today that aren’t.

What do we need to address?

Let’s bring this home, right in our back yard.

Let’s talk about our girls and young women in our town, family, friends etc and how they are portrayed, in a way, sexualized, before they should be.

Human trafficking is an awful thing. The super bowl isn’t the vehicle for it. Can it contribute in some way? Possibly.

Human trafficking is far closer home than the super bowl.

Let’s talk about little girls in dance classes and beauty pageants.

I’ve seen costumes that make me raise my eyebrows. They are far to sexual looking for their young age. Then there’s all the make up and I’ve seen plenty of dances with them shaking things everywhere. Two piece sets with their little tummies exposed and their baby bottoms in spandex.

Oh.

But that’s “cute”.

I’m a mom and grandmother and yeah, I might not think much of it, but do you know about people around you?

Let’s move up to older girls…middle school, high school.

Cheer and dance teams.

Anyone ever seen costumes these young women are in, loaded with lots of make up, shaking their hips everywhere in a dance? I’ve seen costumes that made me wonder why an adult picked them out for the girls to wear.

Ah. That’s ok though.

This is where we need to worry. This is where we need to stop accepting it’s cute or whatever and stop sexualizing young girls in a world full of horrible people who would look at them in a way you didn’t want.

I’ve seen grown men gaping at these young women and I can guarantee they aren’t thinking how great they are dancing.

Stop filtering your childrens faces to look older with that plastic flawless look.

If people are worried about their kids, start at home and don’t be ok with things that make them appear more grown up than they are.

There are( perhaps) people who look at them, and not in the right ways. And unfortunately, you have no idea who they are.

Two middle age women aren’t the root of the problem. They aren’t supposed to be the moral guidance for your kids. Your family, teachers, church leaders, friends etc would be more realistic leaders.

The show

Was I ok with it all?

Nah, the crotch shots could’ve been left out and never affected the show.

The two rapper dudes….Bad Bunny and J Balvin? Although carefully placed in the show they looked awkwardly out of place surrounded by beautiful women.

The shaking, wiggling etc…well there are two Latin women bringing it and it’s in their blood.

I’m sorta envious at how effortless they make dancing look.

The show though had so much symbolism and it all reflected their Latin heritage and spoke to some issues in our world today.

Perhaps that was the problem so many people had.

Latin women, Latin inspired show, idk hopefully there’s no racism smacking there.

The nod to America and Puerto Rico when she wore both flags with that stunning cape was to bring awareness to the need there…not to mention she is a Puerto Rican Amercian.

So much symbolism. I’ll let you look it all up if you don’t know what was behind it all.

The costumes? I thought everything was gloriously sparkly ๐Ÿ˜‰ and loved how they used a silver and gold contrast at the end.

And the screaming over their costumes?

Let’s be real. Have you ever seen those costumes the cheerleaders wear every, single game in front of kids and God and everybody?

Yeah.

The bottom line

You will never make everyone happy.

Having a “good or bad ” show will be subjective to the individual.

The headlining artists are posted well in advance. If it doesn’t float your boat, or you’re worried about your children’s eyes, family values etc, just don’t watch.

I realize if that approach is taken people can’t complain or be appropriately shocked, something that many seem to enjoy participating in.

I personally thought it was a high energy show and I loved seeing empowered, strong women doing what they do best.

Just my sassy thoughts. What was your take on the half time show?

Hunger And Weight Loss

Ah,’tis the season for diets, resolutions, and a overwhelming flocking to the gym.

Along with all of that comes the need to follow fad diets or whatever current trendy diet Karen at the office is on.

With diets come lots of myths. One of those being you must be hungry (constantly) to lose weight.

Let’s look at two sides to the hunger games ๐Ÿ˜‰

First, being hungry isn’t bad and won’t kill you….well eventually it would but I’m pretty sure you won’t get to that point.

Hunger, at the base level, is our God given, natural signal that our bodies need food. It’s like the low fuel light in your car.

That light comes on, you know you’ve got a number of miles before you run out of gas.

In a similar fashion when you start hearing those growling bear noises or feel that ache your body is telling you to fuel up.

Hopefully, you’ll give it good quality fuel…

Ideally, we would all follow our bodies cues.

Hunger like this is really ok and very normal.

Eat just enough to satisfy hunger and be comfortable and go on with your day.

Realistically, I doubt a lot of people even experience true hunger anymore as we’ve made habits to eat whenever time dictates we should, regardless of our bodies cues.

Eating more than we need with poor food choices is quite apparent with obesity at an all time high, and unfortunately in kids as well.

We eat regardless if we feel hungry. We eat for a whole lot of reasons… the clock says to eat, or our emotions, boredom, loneliness, etc none of those associated with true hunger.

In a perfect world we listen to our body and eat when we are hungry. We would allow ourselves to become hungry 30 minutes to an hour out from meals so we truly appreciate what we eat.

It’s really ok to leave food when your hunger is satisfied

We would eat enough, but not over eat because it tastes good. We again would listen to signals indicating our hunger is satisfied.

I always tell hubby food tastes so amazing to me when I’ve finished a hard workout, and by the time I’ve cleaned up my hunger is in full force and food truly tastes so much better when I’m honestly hungry.

**being hungry is ok and a normal feeling for our bodies indicating we need fuel.**

The other side of hunger

I follow a womans page on Facebook that has discussions on various topics.

One day a post came up with someone asking for the “best appetite suppressant”

Me….being me….responded with this….

“Eat adequate food.”

Listen, if you feel you need to suppress your appetite because your hungry, something isn’t going right.

If you feel the only way to lose weight or keep a certain “number ” on the scale is to constantly be hungry and not feed your body, something isn’t going right.

If you need a suppressant ( that can look like alot of things: filling up on liquids like coffee or water, using mints or gum, or an over the counter drug) something isn’t going right.

If you seek to supress your appetite, you’ve not had adequate food to satisfy your hunger and nourish your body. If you are hungry a small healthy snack usually does the trick.

Then move on with life.

You should not be in a state of ongoing hunger thinking about food, or how you can’t “have” food in a quest to lose weight.

**being hungry and withholding food or feeling we need to suppress our appetite isn’t a healthy way to live.**

A proper balance

Yes, when we begin a plan to drop a few pounds and reduce our calories a bit and make other adjustments we will feel hunger. (Refer to part one of post)

This would be the normal signals our bodies give us to eat. You will go through a learning process as your body adjusts. You can lose weight, eat adequate food, and go between meals without being hungry.

If you are you may need to examine…..

1. How much did you eat? Was it enough?

2. What did you eat? A meal rich in protein and healthy fat will keep you satisfied a long time. Empty calorie foods or meals lacking adequate protein with healthy fats will leave you hungry, sooner.

You don’t need to…

Feed your body minimal food that doesn’t satisfy your hunger and leaves you feeling like you need to “suppress ” your appetite.

Greatly restrict your calories to have a slow and steady weight loss. In fact doing so may actually slow your weight loss efforts.

Ignore your bodies natural cues to fuel it adequately. This deprives your body, and leaves you without adequate energy from not fueling yourself effectively.

Once you learn to follow your body you will eat when hungry, you will learn to eat just enough to satisfy you without over eating ( this can take a bit of practice) and you won’t feel a need to find ways to supress a natural appetite or use other unhealthy behaviors for weight loss.

Your turn…..tell me….have you learned to listen to your body when it comes to eating and keeping it satisfied? Or do you feel you still need to work on it?

It’s That Time Of Year

Every single holiday season I can’t help but notice.

Before the last sugar cookie is gone, the stockings are still hung by chimney with care, with the remnants of bows and ribbons still peeping out from hidden places, it has arrived.

What is “it”, you may be wondering?

The commercial reminder that you are “fat, over weight, out of shape and need to do something about it”.

It shows up in the stores where tasty treats used to be days before…. man made, processed food products to make you skinny now fill the aisles and shelves.

Drinks, potions, meal replacement shakes, pressed bars of some kind of concoction, protein this and that added to random food products….you name it…it’s there waiting to help you get skinny and fit.

After all, you cookie glutton, you over did it and need to atone for the sins of your eating.

Ugh! How I hate all of that!

I passed a woman picking up a pack of meal replacement shakes….I had to hold myself back from slapping them out of her hand and telling her not to do it.

Ha…can you imagine? ๐Ÿคฃ

I’m passionate, what can I say?

Seriously though, it just makes me sad that so many will make their somber resolutions to get it “right” this year, to finally be successful at losing weight or hitting a new goal, but going about it all wrong.

The wrong way

There is a way that many think is “right” yet it’s almost always guaranteed to fail.

It looks something like this….

New year, time to get on track.

Make a resolute plan.

Eat up all the “bad” food because, hey, I’m dieting and there won’t be ANY fun foods allowed. Who knows when I’ll get to eat it again.

Prepare to diet by greatly restricting your calories in a greater deficit than you require ( this ensures you will be constantly hungry and thinking of food)

Eat tiny boring meals of “diet” type foods ’cause that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Remove any pleasurable foods from your day.

Constantly think of when you can eat again.

Pick up some type of exercise and throw yourself into it.. hard… ( hey does it really matter if your body is not at that fitness level yet? ) you have to work hard and punish yourself for eating and gaining weight.

Daily weigh in letting the scale be your judge and jury. Loving yourself if it gives you what you want, being disgusted if the numbers don’t come up like you hope.

Repeat this process a week, maybe two, losing a couple pounds before running back to your normal life like a comfy old friend.

You resign yourself to always being this way.

The right way

Ok, I was kinda being funny, but the sad part is, this is very much a reality for lots of people.

They have good intentions and want to be successful but just go about it in the wrong way.

What can work? How do you once for all get over the place you’re in?

Keep it simple.

Nothing says you have to do all kinds of hard, crazy, or painful things to reach your health and fitness goals.

Instead, consider this:

Don’t make over blown promises with unattainable goals. Telling yourself you’re going to workout 5 days a week when you haven’t done anything is unattainable.

Saying you will commit to a 5-10 minute walk each day is much more short term and easily accomplished goal.

Instead of “making” yourself eat healthy foods why not experiment with a couple new healthy options that sound appealing to you. Try a new dish or fruit or vegetable. Cut out a sugary drink, eat a little less. Modify portions.

Weigh only once a week with the goal being 1-2 pounds which is sane and reasonable.

Make a single, short daily commitment to yourself, anything that is positive and helpful to your fitness and health goals.

A daily commitment that takes 10 minutes or less is completely doable no matter the kind of day you are having.

Several weeks of keeping simple, daily commitments will show you that you can take steps towards bigger goals and be successful with them.

Simple resolutions will potentially keep you from quitting, empower you, and give you the confidence to move forward with bigger,life changing goals.

Tell me, what approach have you tried to weigh loss and fitness?

The Simplicity Of Christmas

**Disclaimer** this time of year makes me horribly reflective and often very nostalgic.

It’s also a perfect breeding ground for the musings of my mind, which in turn propels me to write……so I will be doing some fun family, Christmassy kinds of posts through the month because that makes me happy and there are other facets to me besides my focus on sane health and fitness …

You may now proceed…. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Like many of you, I was scampering around doing some Christmas shopping today. I’ve scored a lot online which has been the cats meow but there were other things I prefer to search for in person.

Like for all the littles I shop for.

I want to hear what a toy sounds like, feels like, and more importantly, looks like.

Shopping for the kids is always fun. Seriously.

Maybe it’s just a time that I can just recall wonderful memories of childhood Christmases.

I still think baby dolls belong under the tree. I loved this doll.

Kids still have this untainted, happy, grateful attitude with Christmas that often gets lost as many grow older.

Kids don’t care if a certain “name” is on the gift….meaning designer things don’t impress them. They don’t care what store it came from or if they will be able to impress their little friends with it.

They don’t care about the cost. They aren’t leveling any judgment if they think you didn’t spend enough or if the quality isn’t up to their level of expectation.

Looking back, it was often the most random, inexpensive things our kids would love.

Children still have a refreshing grasp of Christmas. They embrace the magic and simplicity. They are still caught up in awe and wonder and the pure joy of receiving gifts.

This is why it makes it so fun and easy for me to shop for them.

Maybe, just maybe, in our grown up adulthood we could embrace some of those pure child like characteristics again at Christmas.

After all the first Christmas was filled with awe, wonder, and a whole lotta supernatural magical moments.

The first Christmas when Christ was born wasn’t by any means extravagant. It was simply embraced with awe and wonder, deep musings, and a whole lotta joy.

I hope in the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season you allow yourself to embrace it with the purity and simplicity of a wondering child, and that in the stillness of those moments you also find the pure beauty and simplicity in the birth of our Savior, Jesus, the most amazing gift of all.

Why Women Should Strength Train

So I’ve been camping on this idea for awhile now and after a particularly strong and energetic week I decided to get it out, dust it off, and talk about it.

Between physical therapy and those single leg presses ( do you hurt after doing them? they ask.. all 30 reps….Me…nooo.) ok then add ten more, 40 reps per side with your 165lb weight.

I like how they challenge me.

Plus, add the strength training I do at home, it’s been a vigorous week. My deadlifts are at 185 with me currently doing about 3 sets of 4. Baby steps ya’ll…baby steps…I mean this is literally picking up 185 dead weight straight off the floor…not bad for the old lady group ๐Ÿคฃ

My workouts include body weight work as well as using a kettlebell, dumbbells, and weighted bar. Resistance bands come in handy too.

I didn’t start here, I’ve come along way from my little 8lb dumbbells from several years ago!

I do talk a lot about the importance of strength training, for women and men, and the crucial role it can play in our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be old and weak.

Old may happen, weakness doesn’t need to.

Why strength train?

Let’s define that first. Strength training can be accomplished using just your body ( we all have those!) And with the obvious, weights for lifting. Both are done to build more physical strength

Strength training is the best way to increase muscle mass, keep body fat at bay, and increase overall strength.

Even in todays world women who participate in formal or consistent weight training is extremely low with many opting only for cardiovascular exercise. If you’re a woman, you shouldn’t be avoiding weights, and you should take strength training seriously.

Let’s look at reasons why

* you will get physically stronger. If there is one thing I love about how my workouts carry over into my daily life, it’s being strong and very capable to handle anything. I love being able to move and lift things without needing help.

Not because I want to feel tough( well maybe a little ๐Ÿ˜‰) but because it’s rather empowering.

I often help customers unload equipment at my sons engine shop. I love the looks I get when I tell a man I will help unload.

One guy…”well it’s pretty heavy…I mean you look strong but it’s heavy..”

I didn’t tell him I was more concerned he wouldn’t be able to deliver on his end than mine.

A well trained womans body is as capable as a man. Strength is not gender specific.

Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent on others. Increasing your strength also means daily tasks and routine exercise will be less likely to cause injury.

Do you know….. research concludes that even moderate strength training can increase a womans strength by 30 to 50 percent. Research also shows a woman can develop her strength at the same rate as a man.

You’ll lose some fat

Studies show the average woman who trains 2-3 times a week, for two months, can gain nearly 2 pounds of muscle and lose 3.5 lbs of fat.

And for the record…you don’t turn fat into muscle….the times I read that in places…nor can you claim gaining weight as muscle after working out for 2 weeks. It takes consistent work and time.

You’ll gain strength without bulk

For whatever reason, if there’s a myth out there regarding women and weight lifting, it’s this.

They worry about getting “bulky”.

Sorry ladies, we just don’t have the genetic makeup for that to happen. We lack the hormones and honestly we aren’t gonna eat enough and workout hard and long enough to even come close.

What will happen? You will develop muscle “tone” and muscle definition and that’s a huge win.

You will decrease your risk of osteoporosis

Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) this coupled with adequate dietary calcium is our best defense against osteoporosis.

You can improve your athletic performance

No matter what you do, strength training can not only improve your athletic ability, it can protect from injuries as well.

You will reduce your risk of back pain, injury and arthritis

Strength training not only builds stronger muscles but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. Strengthening the low-back muscles can help in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and strengthen joints.

Will reduce your risk of heart disease
Weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. When cardiovascular exercise is added, these benefits are maximized.

Weight training can help with peri menopause symptoms

During midlife women have often put on weight, become more sedentary, and do not exercise which can enhance the symptoms women complain of during the years of peri menopause and menopause.

Fatigue, hot flashes, low mood or depression, weight gain and muscle aches and pains and other issues are often complained about. Strength training can often help combat these symptoms or offer some level of relief. Strength training decreases body fat, increases muscle mass, and optimizes hormones, not to mention, getting stronger is a great mental boost too.

Finally, it’s never to late to benefit
Women in their 70s and 80s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

Adding strength training to your weekly exercise ( 2-3 times a week) man or woman will give you great benefits that will help you in all areas of your life.

Your turn.. is strength training a part of your week? What benefits have you seen doing it?

Saturday Snippets

In today’s installment of Saturday Snippets, I’m gonna just talk about numbers for a bit.

Ironic considering I don’t find numbers particularly interesting or remotely fun…. sorry you little math nerds out there who love them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

However, numbers do interest me when it comes to weights and seeing how much I’m capable of lifting, how fast I can ride, or row a mile and tidbits like that.

This weeks rounds at PT had my therapist commenting that the “165 lb. single leg presses were looking easy” for me.

Welllll…I’d never describe it like THAT….but I haven’t exactly mentioned to him I feel like I could probably handle more (I suspect that is coming)

You see, those things matter. It indicates where my strength is at and I will have a knowledge of where I’ve progressed from.

When numbers shouldn’t matter

I’ve been stalking….er…I mean…observing… this cultic diet group from afar. They place a whole lotta emphasis on their products helping people miraculously lose all kinds of weight and inches in only….8 days.

Yep you read right. There are tons of glowing life stories of consumers being transformed in these 8 days.

Almost makes me question my old school approach of healthy eating and purposeful exercise…not.

Of course they neglect to tell you that you largely do a starvation diet but hey! Food is overrated.

Of other short term glowing reviews there’s a huge focus on getting into significantly smaller sizes in a short time.

Here’s where I’m going

Wearing smaller clothes and losing weight is certainly not bad. Losing excess fat is good for the body and your overall health.

But who says it has to be attempted in a ridiculously short term manner? Why is the focus on those numbers instead of focusing on a slow sustainable loss of 1-2 lbs a week?

The reality is, even if you do lose a “big” amount in the first week it’s mostly water weight as you have greatly reduced carbs which hold water. Heck! With this plan you’ve pretty much reduced all food!

Successful long term weight loss isn’t a speed process, sorry, it’s just not.

And it doesn’t need to be.

Numbers that matter

Instead of focusing on perhaps, unrealistic or unsustainable numbers consider things like this on your fitness journey:

How many steps did you get in your day? Did you get more than the previous day?

Can you walk/run farther than previous weeks?

How many stairs can you climb?

Is your weekly weight loss a steady 1-2 lbs?

What about your body measurements? Often we will see those numbers change even if the scale doesn’t.

What about your blood pressure or lab results numbers? These are internal indicators of your health.

Lifting weights? Can you do more reps or have you increased weight you are using? Celebrate the strength of your body!

There are so many numbers that reflect our health and fitness, beyond the scale.

Attempting to do things “fast” doesn’t earn you extra rewards and if anything, potentially sets you back. You don’t become over weight “fast”, why is there a thought weight loss occurs that way?

Slow and steady weight loss, combined with consistent exercise will lead to long term success you can be proud of.

Monday Musings

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

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 ๐Ÿคฃ

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. ๐Ÿ˜›

You do have to wait to receive a message from someone about it after you ask then I guess you get the secret info

Well. Ok.

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”.

Help. Me.

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 ๐Ÿคฃ

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 below๐Ÿ˜Š

https://pin.it/u3xbwglckelsht

And what about an easy chicken and dumpling recipe? you’re welcome

https://pin.it/ghvsdrla27p2we

I’ve got lots of amazing recipes saved on Pinterest, be sure to check them out!

Your turn. How’s the week been kids? What’s on your plate for this Monday?

Why Diets Fail You

Before we get to the weird sweet potato photo…….

Often one of the hardest parts of writing a post for my blog is nailing a title. The idea for the post can come effortlessly and then the only thing remaining is a clever, witty, thought provoking title to draw in you, my 4.5 readers.

And that I can often spend more time pondering than you know….

Therefore, when I have ideas come to me that present me with the title first, I’m thrilled. I then quickly save it into my working folder as an idea to bounce on.

This is one that’s been patiently waiting in that folder. I figured I’d drag it out, dust it off and do something with it ๐Ÿ˜œ

For the love of diets

If you’ve hung around me for awhile, you know I’m kinda “anti diet”. This is not to be confused with “anti weight loss”.

Why anti diet?

They just don’t work.

Oh now wait. I can hear you ready to tell me about Karen at work and how her keto plan has the weight falling off her.

Or maybe it’s someone else working Paleo or any one of the other current trendy things to follow.

There are lots of “vehicles” to get us started on weight loss. The more troubling issue is, which vehicle can get us to our destination and still be usable for us when weight goals have been attained? Which one can we follow for the rest of our life?

Calorie Deficit

I’ll say it again for the kids on the back row. There is no magical, miracle wonder diet that makes you lose weight. There are lots of programs to help you lose your money but you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to lose weight.

It’s simply science.

Expend more calories than you take in through exercise and what you eat, i.e. create a deficit, and you will lose weight.

You could do it with Oreos and milk but I don’t recommend it.

Sustainability

Diets don’t work long term because the large majority just aren’t sustainable. And by that I mean it’s not a plan you can or will do the rest of your life.

I cannot tell you the times I’ve heard someone reference looking forward to a “cheat day”. This means falling off plan to eat the things they have been withholding from themselves. It’s a grasp to feel “normal” and enjoy things that have been on a forbidden list. If you’re on a plan and you spend to much time looking forward to having restricted foods, you may need to rethink it.

For me, that’s not how I wanna live, and really, most people don’t.

It’s why they toss the towel on a plan that withholds enjoyable things.

Deprivation

When people think of diets, no wonder feelings of deprivation come to mind.

Eating less food, not having favorite foods or treats, not getting to have birthday cake, being hungry, eating boring flavorless foods….the list could go on.

No one, not a single one of us, wants to feel deprived which is another reason diets fail.

Lack of balance

Many popular diets totally cut or eliminate food groups. Where there are some people who need to for food allergies or health reasons, the majority of us don’t need to remove healthy and nutritious foods from our daily diets. However, demonizing food groups has become cool in some circles.

Demonizing food isn’t cool.

We love routine

Maybe you have certain things you like to grab for breakfast or you do your coffee in a special way. You have foods you enjoy. It’s all like….comfy…right? None of us want to give up our familiar routines. Diets really upset that apple cart.

Diets offer a quick fix…sorta

Let’s face it. How many times have you started a structured diet and were already longing to get back to normal life? You bite the bullet thinking you can get 6-8 weeks done. You jump into it, get excited over your big “loss” of water weight the first week and prepare for week 2. You’re all on fire and are excited for the weight you’re going to lose.

And then just like that…you’re done. Maybe a week to 10 days into it, you’ll take your few pounds you lost and call it a day. This wasn’t as fun as you thought it would be.

Sadly you’ll gain that weight back with a few more pounds too.

Now about the weird sweet potato pic…

I had gotten in from a sesh of physical therapy and dove into dinner prep. One of my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes is to cube them, add some onion and a bit of olive oil and roast till they are soft with crispy edges.

Heaven.

Anyway, I had started writing this post earlier in the day and had the ideas bouncing around when once again I was reminded of this simple truth.

Diets will almost always fail.

However if we make our daily nutrition about eating real foods, preferably single ingredients or close to it, we will not only be satisfied but will provide our bodies with optimal nutrition. Eating real food is satisfying. Eating real food allows for special occasions and treats and removes feelings of deprivation.

By the way…. I did write a post called “The Single Ingredient Diet” a few months back be sure to check it out…

When we focus on each day, making healthy food choices, eating in balanced ways and allowing for treats, we don’t need to diet.

Learning to create a small calorie deficit in our day will lead to slow and steady weight loss.

Living this lifestyle is not only balanced, sane, and allows you to build your own routine, it is also long term sustainable which will lead you to lifetime success.

Tell me. Have you had success with a particular diet? Or do you find yourself back where you started when you get off it? Have you figured out now how to make it your lifestyle and not diet?