Learning To Embrace Yourself

Last week while I was being busy droning around the house doing those varied and multiple tasks that need to be tended to, I heard a story come on one of those entertainment shows that happened to be on, ( let it be noted my tv “viewing” is more often listening while I’m doing something else haha)

Anyway, it was a story about Kate Gosselin, and how she had this incredible bikini body. You may or may not remember her claim to fame was being pregnant with eight babies at once, which then turned into a reality show for awhile. Honestly, I have no idea what she’s up to now…other than rocking it on a beach somewhere in her bikini.

So I did watch with some fascination and agreed, yes, she looked awesome. But then, hey, couldn’t every mom who’s given birth if they had a team of plastic surgeons nipping, tucking, shaping, lifting and “enhancing”?

Please, hear me out.

I’m not being snarky. I’m not bashing. I firmly believe that women need to build each other up and not tear down based on insecurities. I admire women and my goal is always to be encouraging and supportive.

I just don’t know that it’s a real honest assessment… like she’s busted her butt forever and got that ¬†body… to hold that¬†out to the average woman as something she can achieve.

I’m sure she works out… I mean… I don’t know for a fact… but it’s a strong probability.¬† I just don’t know it’s fair to hold¬†that image¬†out to women like “hey, after all those babies she can look like this and you should/can too!”

I mean, that’s Hollywood and unrealistic expectations for the rest of the world, right ?

We don’t have 24 hour personal trainers.

We can’t afford plastic surgery even if we might want to.

We don’t have personal chefs or nutritionists that plan and cook our meals.

We don’t have time to devote half our day to our bodies.

We work, have kids to chase down, homes we have to take care of and all that goes with it,  projects to do, meals to cook, etc. etc.

And somewhere, in the midst of all that, we try and carve out a little time to take care of ourselves ( hopefully you do)

And I hope, you have a positive, loving attitude about that body of yours. It makes me sad when women ( and maybe guys do this too) are critical and harsh with themselves.

Supposed “flaws” are singled out. Comparisons made to other peoples bodies. Self-defeating talk. Magazines with airbrushed seemingly “flawless” bodies that can leave us feeling inadequate.

Why are we so critical with ourselves? And why do we often miss how self-defeating that is.

No. Most of us will never be shaped, enhanced, or lifted to fix our “flaws”.

But hey listen up, there’s nothing wrong with you and it’s ok to embrace yourself as you are.

Working to lose weight? Be kind and patient with yourself as you move through the process of becoming a stronger, healthier, more fit you.

Maybe you’re at the weight you want to be but you’ve been working on that “thing” ( seriously will that loose skin EVER tighten up ??)

Perhaps you look in the mirror and hate your ( fill in the blank).

Stop it.

Learn to embrace you and love yourself. Understand some things will never change.. be ok with that. Know that many things CAN change… you need to determine if you want to work for it to make it happen.

My body has changed dramatically from my mid20’s when I was having babies, to my 30-40’s, to now.

Physically, I’m in better shape now than I’ve ever been. I’m stronger, pack more muscle, and can do more athletically than when I was younger. I love that.

I’ve also carried to term, three beautiful sons.¬† My body miraculously housed and then delivered big, strong, healthy boys. No matter what exercise I do, I will still have marks from carrying them and skin that isn’t perfectly tight.

My turning point was a few years ago when I just decided to own every aspect of myself, and that meant not worrying so much about my perceived “flaws” and focusing overall on having a strong, healthy and fit body.

I did rock a bikini at the beach. I was more confident and proud of those muscles in my tummy that I had built than skin that wasn’t entirely “perfect”…. but even now I’d have to say…by whose standards would that be determined… “perfect”?

I simply learned to embrace myself… no excuses or pardon needed for anything.

There is a tremendous amount of freedom when you do that, learn to embrace yourself, and be truly comfy in your own skin.

Now I’m not saying you should dive into a bikini if you’re not comfortable with that… be you…¬† always be who you are…. but don’t hide behind something because you think you have to.

Don’t make apologies for yourself. Don’t look at yourself as flawed.

Embrace the beauty of who you uniquely¬†are…. and hey…. we might not look as reshaped as Kate… but if you wanna rock that bikini…. go for it ūüėČ

 

 

 

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Some Of My Favorite Super Foods

avocado

Food.¬† Let’s talk about food. I know I’ve been talking a lot lately about understanding your relationship with it and¬† learning how to eat in balance and moderation but let’s talk now about eating and eating some “super foods”.

I hesitate to use that term since it’s kinda over used but seriously, there are some really awesome super foods out there that pack a ridiculous amount of health benefits and not a ton of calories to boot.

I want to share some of my favorites with you =)

Spinach. I love this stuff! It’s saut√©ed in¬†with other veggies and eggs for a breakfast meal and has become my “lettuce” for salads.¬† What other benefits does it offer?

Powerful antioxidants in spinach have been found to combat a variety of cancers, including ovarian, breast, and colon cancers. And it’s good for the noggin: Research indicates that spinach reduces the decline in brain function associated with aging and protects the heart from cardiovascular disease. Although it contains relatively high amounts of iron and calcium, oxalate compounds bind to these minerals and diminish their absorption.

Get creative in how you use it and indulge all you want as it packs minimal calories and tons of nutrients.

Walnuts. Who can resist a handful of nuts? Especially when they offer up the goodness that walnuts do.

One-quarter cup of walnuts supplies 90 percent of the daily recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in everything from maintaining cognitive function, to improving cholesterol and blood pressure.

I love some tossed in my morning cottage cheese with fresh fruit. It makes a fast, protein and nutrient packed breakfast I can eat getting ready. They’re also tasty mixed in with oatmeal and a handful of dried fruit =)

Yogurt. It’s no secret I love Greek yogurt but all yogurt packs lots of good benefits. Greek just contains the highest amount of protein.

Yogurt contains probiotics, which are bacteria that live in the intestine, aid in digestion, boost the immune system, diminish bad breath, and are even associated with longer life spans. A 1-cup serving also supplies one-third of your daily calcium requirement, as well as 14 grams of satisfying protein.

Just be cautious about “fruit” varieties as they can pack a whopping amount of sugar.

Sweet Potatoes.¬† These tasty little critters have shown up a lot more in my house than just for Thanksgiving ūüėČ My favorite way to have them is to cube them up, toss them with some olive oil, sliced onion and bake till crisp and tender. The cold ones are delicious to add to breakfast the next morning!

Need a beta-carotene fix? Just one medium sweet potato packs over four times the recommended daily amount. These tasty tubers are also rich in potassium, inflammation-fighting vitamin C, and vitamin B6, which may prevent clogged arteries.

Boiling sweet potatoes may cause some of the water-soluble vitamins to leach out, so try them baked, roasted, or cubed, and added to soups or stews. If you need a boost of fiber, make sure to leave the skins on.

Avocados.

Just one half of a medium-size avocado contains more than 4 grams of fiber and 15% of your recommended daily folate intake. Cholesterol-free and rich in monounsaturated fats and potassium, avocados are also a powerhouse for heart health.

Use avocados as the base for a creamy homemade sandwich spread, or add a few chunks to your favorite salsa for a simple and delicious way to dress up grilled chicken or fish.

I use avocado to mix into tuna to replace the mayo =) Add a little lemon juice, salt and pepper… . yummy!

Seriously. I love avocados.¬† ūüėČ

Apples. Who doesn’t love biting into a perfect, sweet, crunchy apple ?

Apples are the richest fruit source of pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, decrease the risk of colon and breast cancers, and maybe even lessen the severity of diabetes.

Try throwing a few slices on your favorite sandwich or toss with field greens, toasted pecans, and a light vinaigrette for a delicious salad. With so many varieties available, you’ll never get bored finding new ways to incorporate them into your daily diet.

Blackberries. In my area have been so plentiful and inexpensive most of last year I’ve almost always had them in my ‘fridge. I love them in salads, alone, or tossed in my morning cottage cheese. Get creative with how you use them.

Blackberries, which contain only 62 calories and less than 1 gram of fat per cup, are excellent sources of a few key nutrients. As a result, they help keep your tissues healthy and combat chronic disease.

The fiber in blackberries helps aid digestion and may help lower your cholesterol levels, which fights cardiovascular disease. One cup of blackberries provides almost 8 grams of fiber, which is 21 to 32 percent of the daily fiber recommendations for men and and women, respectively. The vitamin A in blackberries also supports your digestive tract by helping maintain healthy mucous membranes, such as the tissues that line the inside of your mouth. Each cup of raw blackberries provide 308 IU of vitamin A. This is 13 percent of the daily vitamin A intake for women and 10 percent for men.

Blackberries owe their rich purple hue to their anthocyanin content, and these anthocyanins also offer cancer-fighting benefits. They act as antioxidants — chemicals that fight genetic mutations and cancer-causing tissue damage — and may have the ability to slow cancer cell growth, according to research.

I’d say there’s lots of reasons to grab some, wouldn’t you ?

And one more favorite pick….

Oranges.

Just one medium orange (think tennis ball) supplies all your daily vitamin C, which is a dynamite immunity booster and cancer fighter. And consuming vitamin C is best done in its natural form: Italian researchers also found that test subjects had greater antioxidant protection after drinking orange juice versus vitamin C‚Äďfortified water. Plus, this sweet and tangy fruit is a good source of fiber, potassium, calcium, folate, and other B vitamins.

Now there are lots of awesome foods out there to feed your body… this is just a tiny sampling. Explore on your own and find something new you haven’t tried to add to your own super food list =)

Tell me… do you have a favorite super food ?

 

Getting Serious About Weight Loss

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Goals. Resolutions. Plans. Ideas.

Where are you with yours a few weeks into the New Year ? Are you one of the many who has determined  that weight loss and fitness will be what you finally achieve this year?

Sadly, many will start with the best intentions but quickly give up when their¬† plans are a bit lofty and to restrictive, determining it’s to hard and give up.

Please don’t quit. Isn’t it more productive to have small forward movement than none ?

When I chat with people I often hear some… denial ? About how they eat ,what they eat, and¬† how much they¬†eat.

Trust me, it’s easy to disillusion yourself. Or there is some joking about it… about not eating well…. as if poor eating is a fun game.

Can I say this ? If you’re serious about weight loss, you need to be serious about what you eat.

Kinda just let that breathe over you for a second.

What kind of body have you built? What kind of body do you want to build ? And I don’t mean like… building a competition body or anything like that… although if that’s what you want you need to set goals to get there.

I mean do you want to lose some fat? Do you want to build muscle? Strengthen your cardio system to be able to do daily tasks without getting out of breath ? Do you want energy to keep up with your family and do things with them ? To achieve those goals means getting serious about what goes in your mouth, and how much of it.

Getting serious means taking a hard look at your eating habits and patterns. A study of your eating habits as it were.¬† What triggers you to eat when you aren’t hungry?¬† What foods do you reach for ?¬† Do you know how to stop once your hunger has been satisfied or do you keep eating because it’s there or it tastes good ?

How do you nourish your body ? Is it with junk type foods? High fat? Sugar? Alcohol ? Fast food ?  Over eating?

Or is it with healthy, colorful, flavorful life giving food to build you up in the best way possible ?  Foods that will give you energy and vitality?

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Listen, you won’t just snap into changes overnight. You will struggle and rebel against changes you want to make, know you need to make, it won’t come easy.

But…. you are more than capable of doing it.

One day, one moment at a time.

I guess it might sound pretty basic but if you’re gonna make changes you need to assess what you’ve got to do to start making that happen.

May I suggest a long heart to heart with yourself ?

Look at how you eat, when, how much etc. if it’s not a meal time look at snacking or eating when you aren’t truly hungry.

What or how do you feel that makes you reach for food ?

What foods do you reach for ?

In a day, write out foods that are healthy, good for you foods and then the “other” foods. Make a list… which list is longer at the end of the day. You might track this for several days.¬† Make sure you also¬†add in all sugary drinks, alcohol etc

Determine ( on the not so great category) where you can begin to make small gradual changes.¬† For instance, if you’re a big soda drinker and have maybe 3?¬† a day you might try cutting it back to two for a week, then down to one until you’re weaned off or save them for really special treats. Although by that time you might find them to be to sweet for you once your body has adjusted to not having them.

In the healthy section look at how you can continue to improve and build on healthier foods.

Where can you add more veggies ? Choose a healthier snack? Pass on vending machine “treats” ?

To move forward you must be serious with yourself on your eating. Understand your food triggers.

Take a critical look at the foods you eat. Can you make healthier substitutions for some things ?

Asking yourself some hard questions and making small gradual changes will begin to move you forward on your health and fitness journey.

start today

Keeping Your Cup Full

full coffee

 

I glanced down at my coffee cup as I picked it up. Ugh. It was half empty. Not only that, what remained was in that creepy neutral zone of “almost tepid and guaranteed to make me gag” at an unsuspecting moment…. mostly likely when I’m in my zone writing ūüėõ

I got up to empty it out and replace it with now, hot coffee, filling it to the brim, and return to what I was doing. But not before thoughts began to form in my mind.

A quote I had seen recently bouncing¬† around…. “when your cup is empty, you can’t give anyone else a drink”.

This can apply to us on several levels… spiritually and physically.

To often I hear things like ” I just don’t have time to exercise”, ” I haven’t been to the doctor for my yearly checkups”, ” Eating well is to costly”, “I have (kids, job, obligations etc) I don’t really have time for myself “, “My family is more important”

Sometimes, I think there’s a certain level of being a martyr involved, like it’s something to be proud of, putting yourself on the backburner to care for everything else.

Oh… I mean… if I can say that… did that just jump out of my head ?

Here’s the deal. When your cup is empty, not only do you have nothing to offer others, you don’t have a lot to offer yourself.

I believe a spiritual life is important, and that is an entire different post. I’m coming at this from a physical perspective.

Not taking…. and I’m using that word here… “taking” the time for yourself in your day is doing no one any favors.

Setting aside time for exercise, feeding your body in  a healthy way, making regular doctor appointments, and nourishing your soul in what way you might choose is key to keeping your cup full!

Yes, these are habits you might have to work at building if it’s unfamiliar to you. It will take some time and focused determination to make it become something that feels like “routine”.

I really understood the value of this several years ago when my husband had very unexpected, serious back surgery. He was in the hospital for weeks and in ICU for a week after surgery.

Those days were long, tough, and mentally taxing. If you’ve spent extended time with a loved one, you know what I mean.

Getting up and working out before I began my day there left me clear headed and feeling, well, strong, for a long day. It mentally put me in a good place. It gave my body the outlet for stress, worry and anxiety over an unexpected situation in our lives. Running let me think and process and clear my mind.

Over these past few years there have been many other¬†things in my life, and I’ve continued to place my workouts as a part of my own health and maintenance for the benefit of those I love and serve.

I will tell you… it’s not shallow… or vain… or selfish… or taking time away when you should be doing something “more important”.

You… are important. You are important to the people in your life who love you and care for you.¬† Investing in yourself to keep your cup full is not a waste or something you should put off or that you aren’t worthy enough to deserve.

What can you implement in your life to go towards keeping your cup full ? What steps do you need to take daily to make it happen ?

Diets And Your Relationship With Food

Oh boy. Here we go.

New Year and the diet industry is gearing up to guilt you into needing their products. You are being bombarded with all the reasons you need to get on their wagon.

Oprah now basically owns Weight Watchers and her commercials have been going like crazy. Her mantra is to make “2016 the year of your best body”.

I’m certainly not against that mantra… I mean… I want to be better this year than last year.¬†I’m down for another year of my best body.

I can still be stronger, leaner, more fit. I just don’t plan to go about it with all the hype and diet products to achieve it.

Coming up this¬† week is a new TV show called “My Diet Is Better Than Your Diet”. I’m wondering if it will be the awful train wreck that “The Biggest Loser” is which also had it’s season premier this week.

I just have to wonder why it’s still around. I read a story on it the other day that the contestants workout 6-8 hours a day on about 1,000 calories or less.¬† A gerbil eats more.

I’d say all of that is insane but I don’t even know it that’s the best word to describe it. People will tune in and watch as a form of “entertainment” forgetting these are hurting, desperate and needy people who have been brought to this point. They have vast amounts of weight to lose.

The fail rate (that they don’t tell you about) is tremendously high.

Why? Because there haven’t been key important changes made.

Namely this… and it’s true for those on a reality TV show, or you my readers, and true of myself before I figured it out a few years ago.

There is this missing piece… and it’s crucial for permanent, life changing success.

If you don’t get your relationship with food right, and in the right place in your life, you will forever battle it. It will control you.

If food is more important to you¬†than losing weight to be healthy and energetic then it’s time to look at it’s role in your life.

I firmly believe that food is not the biggest issue as is the reasons behind what drives someone to eat beyond what they need to support their lives and feed their hunger.

Sometimes ( and often) there are hungers and needs deeper than our appetites.

Loneliness. Boredom. Pain. Feelings of failure. Loss. Need. Lack of love. Acceptance. Routine. Emotional needs.

Mindless, empty eating, we use to try and fill aches, pains, and other issues in our lives.

It’s why I don’t think these shows will ever really work. It’s why I’m troubled over the “quick fix” surgeries that can rapidly drop pounds, but it’s not addressing the real reasons a person eats so much food to be in that place to start with.¬† If that person doesn’t make a mental shift and get food in it’s proper place, they will continue with the same behaviors and attitudes that made them fat.

The underlying issues need to be recognized to turn it around, to make food be what it is, enjoyable, life giving, but also controlled and managed appropriately. Food is much of a dangerous  drug for someone as cocaine is to another.

This is why 6-8 week diet plans will fail. And good intentions will go down the drain and you’ll console yourself with food again. It’s why patients who have weight loss surgery will regain weight they lost and be able to eat as much later on after surgery as before.

Years ago I figured out some of my triggers. I realized I had grown up in a family of emotional eaters. It was weird how I clearly saw it one day and called it for what it was in my life.

It wasn’t overly controlling for me ? But in my mom and grandmother it was very easy to see. They were both considered morbidly obese.¬†I could look back at times and see how food was used for more than nourishment. It¬†was often used as a form of comfort. The more you ate, the better you would feel, right ?

My brother had struggled with it too.

Now I am able to identify it in myself when I see it going on. Only now I ask myself questions and question why I’m eating? Why am I doing what I’m doing? How am I feeling ? What emotions are propelling me to go to food ?

Trust me… this was a huge step in my health and fitness journey.

So yeah. Let’s make 2016 “the year of our best body” but let’s decide first to get real with some things in ourselves that hinder us from moving forward to that goal.

If I offer any humble suggestions to you in this it would be….

*Pay attention to why and when you eat ( beyond meal time)

*Question yourself. Really, you can. Ask those hard questions. What is making you eat at that moment? Are you truly hungry? How are you feeling?

*Look at your family. Your childhood one and the one you have as a grown adult ( married etc) what are the eating patterns and habits? How is food used ? For more than nourishment?

*Do you eat when you are out by yourself ? In the car? Drive thru’s? Is it a habit ?

*Do you eat alone at night? In front of Tv? How much “mindless” eating do you participate in?

*What hurts you inside?  Do you use food to soothe your emotions ?

This is a place you can start. Understanding your relationship with food¬†and taking a hard look at things like this can really help you move forward in your health journey…mentally and physically =)

 

My 2015 Year In Review

So we’ve just wrapped up 2015 and are a few days into the brand new year. You don’t have to look far to see magazines featuring stories like:

“The Best Of The Year”, “People Of The Year”, or ” Things That Amazed Us” or some sort of various titles. All of them show casing¬†people¬†or events¬†that highlighted the year… often featuring celebrities or major events.

Then I realized, hey, I’m not famous or anything but I had some really cool stuff happen in 2015. Well, cool stuff and hard stuff but that’s life, right ?

I daresay, if you look back at your year, you could say the same thing. We don’t have to be celebrities to have awesome things happen that are worth sharing or shouting from the roof tops,¬†(nod your head yes ūüėČ

So, humor me if you will, my year in review.

January found me coming out of finishing my second marathon in December dropping my time to 4:52 from my previous (first) marathon the year before I did in 5:23.

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Moments after the finish of my second marathon Dec 7, 2014

 

I had also¬†turned 50 and decided I was going to run a 50K to celebrate that milestone sometime in my 50th year. I committed to it in January with the race date set for March 1. My training continued with my goal focused on the biggest race I had ever considered. My friends called me “crazy” and “insane” … I can’t think of better compliments ūüėČ

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When you make something public… you’re really committed to doing it ūüėČ

 

 

Sadly, and unfortunately, the Dallas/Ft Worth area had turned into a slushy, snowy, winter wonderland during race weekend. By Saturday night they had cancelled all races but the half marathon for Sunday morning.

I was beyond devastated. To get to that point… to have invested so much time training… to be so mentally and physically prepared… was crushing.

I cried. I won’t lie. I cried that night. I cried that morning watching them discuss it on the early morning news as I prepared to go run (at least) the half marathon.

I will admit to biting back tears waiting in my corral to start the race (freezing) …my “Ultra Marathon” bib standing out in stark contrast to all the half marathon bibs surrounding me. I remember smiling politely as a guy joked with me that this race would just feel like a “warm up” run for me.

But I didn’t go all that way to run and not do…. something….. it was certainly new territory for me as I had trained in everything I could… except snow and ice…

they had cleared the course as best as they could but the roads were wet and ice patches were everywhere and there were many points of dodging piles of slush. It was misty raining and about 35 degrees.  I finished in about 2:19. Not my most impressive time, but I did it. I had never been more cold or emotionally drained than when I finished that race.

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Clutching my hard earned medal in the frozen tundra ūüėČ

 

I can pretty well say, I don’t think a hot shower had ever felt better¬†afterwards.

 

Mid-March I had already planned to run a spring half marathon that was close to home for me. So two weeks after my frozen half marathon in Dallas, I was enjoying a romp through the downtown streets of San Antonio… in much warmer weather.

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On course in the last couple miles of the Alamo 13.1 half marathon

 

 

After returning home the race committee sent an e-mail that ultra and¬†marathoners who hadn’t been able to race could do a virtual race (within that month) and still get all their runners goodies. I was down for that. So I picked a date and with my husband waiting for me at an appointed time I took off for my own 50K running adventure… on my own training territory.

It was a much¬†nicer day to do it….

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Yes, still standing after finishing my first 50K =)

 

 

I will tell you this… I have never been more tired or physically exhausted in my entire life. 31.7 miles can do that to you ūüėČ

But I’d never felt stronger or more empowered in my life. Doing something that is so huge, and so much bigger than you are shapes you into this iron willed creature. It makes you feel like you can take on the world.

Although.. I wondered if I’d be able to crawl into the shower once I came off my “high” haha

Ok… so yeah if you’re counting that’s two half marathons and a 50K Ultra marathon all in March. And I don’t forget my marathon from a few previous months before.¬† Not bad for a girl who started off just walking 2 miles at night a few years before…

April was a bittersweet time for me as I dealt with my Mom being gone for a year. Life is a mixture of all things… and grief is a process that must be worked through. She was so proud of all my running adventures.

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Christmas 2013. The last with my mom.

 

 

In May I was privileged to celebrate another anniversary with this amazing guy….31 years….give the guy a medal for handling me… haha…he admits to not being able to handle me ūüėČ My cheerleader, friend, supporter, one who has been with me through so much. I love him.

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This guy. I couldn’t do all the crazy stuff I do without his support and encouragement.

 

 

Unfortunately, after lots of training ( nearly 1,000 training miles in 7 months) ¬†I picked up a pesky injury that sidelined me off running for awhile… to long… but I’d rather play hard, hit big goals, than sit back not trying.

This is how I felt about that….

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This shirt… perfectly expresses my feelings….

 

 

June brought unexpected difficulties to our lives as my husband was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. We worked and pushed through and tried not to let it define our lives as he went through all the tests, surgery and procedures that had to be done. He was so amazingly strong. We are thanking God that he was able to go back to work and is on the road to a full recovery =)

For my birthday in July, I picked up my second piece of artwork that I positively love….this has such deep meaning to me… courage to stand in life… to remember that life is not only beautiful but comes with pain and to be courageous in the face of it. Life can require me to fight back… to be courageous in battles and difficulties.

The piece that surrounds my wrist says “strength” on the other side that you can’t see. ¬†Life has demanded much strength from me in these past few years… it is a life word to me.

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“Courage” my second piece of artwork. I’m in love with this.

 

 

And while we we’re moving through our year, we were also preparing for a wedding. My middle son was getting married in September to a beautiful young woman we love. There were details and arrangements and plans to be attended to.

In the end… they were married…and it was a gorgeous wedding with a stunning couple ( I am NOT biased at all haha)

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My son and his lovely bride =)

 

 

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Celebrating with hubby

 

 

I’d say both families felt successful when it was all over and everyone had a good time. I think I danced most of the night in my 4 inch heels. By midnight, it was time for them to come off ūüėČ

I’m still adjusting to knowing…. I’m a mother in law…. I have a new daughter…. and I have a married son… the ring on his finger constantly reminding me.

And wrapping up the year… another amazing Christmas with my sweet, precious and beautiful family.

And I’m blessed to celebrate 33 Christmas seasons with my partner in crime.

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Another Christmas with my partner in crime

 

 

He always makes Christmas so wonderful for me. And yeah, I’m in shorts. It was a pretty warm Christmas day for us in Texas and since I was cooking and living in the kitchen… it was definitely more comfy!

Of course the year was full of other wonderful celebrations and events like birthdays and anniversaries and random fun moments.

There were up’s and down’s in the year. Normal days and days that made my tummy hurt. Days of laughter and days of tears. God was good to us.

I am grateful to have had an amazing family to move through 2015 with who celebrated joys and achievements with me.

Last but not least, I launched this, my blog, at the end of February. It had been a brainchild for awhile and I finally decided to get it out of my head and into the “real world”.

Thank you, all of you, wherever you are for taking the time to read me, support, and comment whether here or in person. It’s my goal in this upcoming year to continue to write with humor and fun but also to encourage, educate and inspire you to be the best “you” that you can be.

Now tell me… what big events are notable from your 2015 year ?

 

 

 

 

 

New Year Goals Not Resolutions

Happy new year

 

Happy, happy New Year to you boys and girls! 2016 is upon us full of hope and new beginnings.

ok well, technically as I write this, 2016 is a few hours away and I am hanging out in Starbucks writing and enjoying a rare treat away from my usual black coffee. They offered up something this year called “Holiday Spice Flat White” and it’s a taste sensory of holiday spices. steamed milk and double shots of espresso

It’s amazingly delicious… and it will be gone soon… just like this year.

If you’re like me perhaps you look at the year ahead and are making plans and setting new goals…or resolutions….

I know the thing to do is make new years resolutions but I really wanna talk to you about goal setting instead.

What’s the difference you ask ? Let’s take a look….

A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. Do you see how that can go either way for your “resolutions ” ? Kind of subjective to your whim at the time, isn’t it ? ¬†Not particularly concrete.

Now, let’s look at goal setting.

goals

 

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life.
It’s a pretty big difference from an ambiguous “resolution” isn’t it ?
At the top of so many peoples list for a new year is losing weight and starting an exercise program.
Setting small specific goals that are measureable and attainable will lead to your ultimate goal. Making a blanket statement that you want to “lose 25lbs.” without specific steps to get there will leave you most likely abandoning the idea fairly quick.
However, if you set out a specific goal to lose 1-2 lbs per week that is measureable, attainable and time bound. If you lost 2 lbs per week you would realize your overall goal within about a 3 month period give or take depending on how diligent you were.
Same for exercise. To just determine you’re going to go from doing nothing to taking off for a 5 mile run is crazy.¬† You’ll hurt and pay for it and vow that running really will kill you and you stop.
However,  beginning with a program where you implement walk/run and starting with 1-2 miles you can ease into it allowing your body to make changes and adaptations so you can run farther and longer.  You might have a goal of wanting to run a 5K race maybe 3 months out. By doing a walk/run method with your goals specific to increase your running time, and gradually increasing your distance will prepare you for that 5K (3.1 miles).
One of the things I thrive on is setting up a training schedule for my marathons.¬† I love the structure of a training program that leads to my ultimate goal of running 26.2 miles.¬† There is something about seeing my month already written out on a calendar that feels comfy to me… mainly ’cause I know those are steps to where I’m going. Without¬† specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time bound steps I’d never make it to the starting prepared and ready for that distance.
Let’s look at it from a nutrition stand point. So many people approach eating healthier as a do or die attempt. They think there must be great suffering and no fun stuff ever.¬† They believe they have to nail it every single day and if they don’t then they’ve¬†“lost” and might as well “give up”.¬† (Please don’t give up… even on days you might feel like you’ve failed… you just pick up and keep going… that’s called progress)
When you take steps to make one better choice at a time it’s less painful to adjust. In time, you probably won’t think about some of those changes you’ve made as they become more habit for you.
If you drink sodas and you want to cut back or cut them all together you simply begin making small cuts to let your body adapt to that change.
Not a veggie eater? Why not try one or two new things a week ? You might be surprised at what you like.
Always take seconds at a meal even when you aren’t hungry anymore ? Train yourself to eat slowly and really focus on savoring your first plate of food.
Set specific, attainable,  and measureable nutrition goals for yourself.   A notebook or planner can help keep you on track with your goals.
I can’t claim originality for this but I love the quote “progress, not perfection”.
We aren’t ever gonna have it 100% “right” but we can keep on track to living a healthy, strong, and productive life =)
Tell me…. what goals do you have for yourself this new year ? What steps do you need to take to make them happen ?