Monday Musings

Happy Monday kids!Where oh where do I start in today’s Monday Musings edition?Let’s start with one of my fav topics…. snake oil offerings…. aka health and wellness companies looking for those desperate to lose weight, along with their cash.When it comes to health and nutrition there are some guaranteed buzz words that will send me head on into the other direction. If you come at me with words like “cleanses “, “detoxes”, “fat burners”, telling me I need to get toxins out of my body, and that I need to spend my days drinking shakes or mystery drinks, I’m gone.Like yesterday, gone.I like to eat my food, not drink it.I get it. With the weirdness of the last few months people are stuck at home alot more.Feeling emotionally strung out they reach for the ice cream cartons and chocolate.”Quarantine 15″ is a reality for many people. Well, hopefully not that much. Life has been crazy and food, for alot of us, can be entertainment, comfort, or simply boredom eating. Being home extra time gives more opportunities to graze when we usually wouldn’t.No matter what your current weight situation, you don’t need to be cleansed or detoxed from your affair with ice cream or fries.Just incase you don’t know, cleanse and detox are buzz words for “starvation and being miserable “. I’ve never met an honest person who wasn’t ready to finish and get back to normal life from being “cleansed”. And the weight loss from it? Nothing but water loss, not fat.And I’ll say it again for the kids on the back row…..there is no such thing as a fat burner! If that stuff actually worked, everyone would use it and we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic.So what would I recommend? I’ll put it as succinctly as possible.Eating! Eat good nutrionally dense foods with adequate protein that satisfies you.Feed and nourish your body with good foods, don’t deprive it or eliminate foods it needs.And don’t forget to allow treats because life is good and you shouldn’t live deprived.You don’t have to starve to lose weight or feel constantly hungry.Movement!If there is one thing under used for our wellness, mental and physical, it’s exercise. Exercise makes us feel strong and can clear our minds. I do my most creative thinking during exercise.Don’t get caught up in thinking you “have” to do it to lose weight. Take the weight loss out of the equation.You can build strength, gain energy, develop more muscle mass, develop your cardiovascular system, and flex your creative mental energy without actually losing weight. ( do it often and frequently with my suggestions on healthy eating and it will happen) you should exercise no matter your body size because it benefits you in so many waysBut please, don’t get on the cleanse and detox hype bus in a quest to get to lose weight.Speaking of building strength….I have been making strength training a part of my physical discipline for awhile. This week I tossed a little more weight on my bar moving from 155 to 185lbs on my dead lift. I did 3 sets of 3 for a starting place. I was pleasantly surprised when I did it again yesterday, it didn’t feel as hard as I was preparing for. I look back to several years ago when I got 8 lbs dumb bells and they were a little work for me ha it seems crazy now since I use 25lb for alot of my arm work. Consistency does pay off.You… no matter where you are… have a starting place for your health and fitness. You just need to find it.Speaking of all things health I’m excited to be reading this book, Give Yourself More. I’m also excited to finish so I can write a review on it. This book takes women past “just” losing weight to learning more of themselves to giving themselves “more” in life. I previously did a book review on Georgie’s “Lean Habits For Weight Loss” ( find both reviews in my posts) which focuses on building healthy, sustainable habits for life long weight loss. You’ll find my review here on my page when I finish this book .Oh…..and if you never had a black Nitro brew coffee, you need to. 😉No how about some fun stuff? I’ve shared with you before that I have a little vintage furniture business. Of the many positives I ponder in this weird time we are in, is how it has continued to grow. I moved into a larger space in the shop,and became a retailer for a well known chalk paint company. It took off so fast I made the move to become a premier retailer (lots of perks with it) all within a few months. I put together my website and launched it. I’ve gained alot of followers and picked up lots of custom orders with new customers.My little hobby, this fun little side gig, has turned more and more into a thriving business.All during a time things were closed and nothing was moving.I used that down time to be productive, to work and accomplish new things. I firmly believed that things would get moving again and I wanted to be heading that way, ready.Guess you can say I never let grass grow under my feet.I’d challenge you in this time to find something new to learn, build a hobby or craft. Take care of yourself and maybe get into some type of exercise. Use this time as an opportunity of personal growth. Read, write, reflect.Ok you wanna see some of the things I’ve dragged home recently, don’t you? I love showing you pieces from days gone by 😊

Antique six leg table
Harp media holder
Gorgeous antique china cabinet. Selfishly. I’m keeping this
These antique cabinets got a little make over
I transformed this cute telephone bench. She sold this weekend 😊
Painted in my fav, Antebellum Blue
Just a little snap shot of some of my projects, my many, many projects 😱So I guess I’ll leave you with this thought. Are you using this time to be productive in new ways? A lot of our lives and schedules may feel perhaps, a bit disjointed right now. We can look at it all in a negative way, or a way of accomplishing new things we haven’t done before.Tell me…. have you used this time to try new things or to learn something new? Are you focusing on caring for yourself in how you eat and move ?

Birthday Reflections

Hello my faithful readers!

Am I the only one who wakes up lately wondering what day it is, what month or some days, what planet we’re on?

Like a surreal time warp lately.

Therefore, it kinda caught me off guard when hubby mentioned a week or two back,” hey you’ve got a birthday coming, what do you want?”

( My birthday was on Saturday)

Ah! Christmas in July 😁

Like wow, where did the year go?

If you will, allow me to wax poetic in this post on some reflections of another year around the sun .

Age is definitely a number

I giggle when my young friends lament that they are on the door step of 30, like it’s the end of life.

Age is no excuse

Although 30 is a ways back in my rearview mirror now, I love where I am in life. I want to tell them that getting older isn’t awful and it’s something many will never know. That getting older means wisdom gained, compassion deepened, love expanded, and a broader understanding of things you didn’t really grasp years before.

Getting older means knowing yourself, really. The good and bad and knowing how to manage both of those areas. It means knowing how to use to your voice and being comfortable doing so.

It means gained confidence in ways you have not have known in your younger self.

It can be developing new skills or talents you find along the way you didn’t know you had earlier in life.

Age also challenges you to press into hard things you may never have dealt with. It can either forge strength in you, or leave you weak or fearful.

You also learn to be true to yourself and who you are….or you don’t. Being true to yourself might not always float everyone’s boat but that is really their issue, not yours.

Be authentically you, there is no one who can fill your shoes.

Getting older doesn’t need to define life as “less”.

That’s how it’s often observed right? Getting older means you can’t or shouldn’t do certain things cause ya know, age right?

Don’t do this, don’t do that.

Nonsense.

I jokingly tell my kids I will forever be the mom/grandmother/aunt in little shorts at the family picnic 🤣

I will be on the dance floor if there’s music and not observing life on the side.

I will continue to push my limits and challenge myself to new things.

I want to learn and grow and be better with each year marked.

Age is no excuse

Honestly, I do not even let myself allow that idea into my head. I refuse to be guided by a thought that would cripple me from living a life of more .

As I reflect back on this year, it is not without looking at some hard times I’ve walked through that have strengthened me in ways I had never previously known. Walking paths of illness with loved ones builds unknown strengths in you that you don’t know you possess until you go through fire.

Getting older is often looked at as getting weak with the thought older people should step aside so the stronger young ones can handle it.

Physically, my body is stronger and more capable than it has ever been.

I love that! I love that my sons call on me at times to help move something because they know I can deliver.

Pushing myself to lift heavier or ride farther on my bike, whatever, it may be is empowering! And training my body prepares it for those daily life tasks we can be called on to do.

I guess really, if anything, I don’t ever put limits on myself. That has allowed me to grow and tackle such big goals that if I had put mental limits on myself I would spend my life wondering if I could do it, instead of getting it done.

A friend tagged me in this post yesterday telling me it reminded her of me, of how I am and the fact she felt I’d say the same thing to my followers, and she’s right.

No matter where we are in life, choices are to be made. What we do determines who we will continue to grow into.

I will, no matter my age always be pressing into where I want to continue to be, and that is driven by what I do.

How I think, the goals I set and how I challenge myself.

Chronologically, age happens to all of us. We have no control over that.

How we approach aging, the choices we make, our behaviors and attitudes, our mental thinking, well we have a ton of control over that.

And with those ideas firmly in mind my mantra will forever be, age is no excuse.

Cheers to another year celebrating #50ish!

Monday Musings

Hello world!

I seriously love saying that. The fact I have readers from all parts of our big world never fails to make me happy. I’m humbled that I can share with you, wherever you are.

So thanks for joining me in another edition of Monday Musings!

I hope, that life is returning to a bit of normal for you. There were lots of things making me think during this “quarantine” time. One of them is about masks.

I won’t get into the two camps….the wear or don’t wear. Each side has a bit of it’s own “airs” associated with it.

My thoughts are a bit random based on my quirky sense of humor.

So here are my positives on mask wearing :

I can yawn like an unconcerned cat with no need to worry about being lady like. No need to delicately cover my mouth to hide that bored, sleepy, I need caffeine yawn. Nope, with mask in place I can yawn unconcerned.

I always wear lip gloss, but behind a mask, who really knows if I am or not?

Mask wearing cuts down on potential, unnecessary snacking. 😉

I don’t have to worry if I’m looking “happy” to people passing….smile or no smile….that’s the question. They don’t know.

Finally, my eyes get the attention and not my smile. With my smile covered it’s time for my eyes to get their moment in the spotlight.

Ok enough of all that….

Did anyone start a new hobby, job or project during the quarantine time? I took my business to another level when I jumped in to be a retailer for Dixie Belle chalk paint. Our shop opened up May 1st and it’s been flying off the shelves….awesome…but now I’m chomping at the bit waiting to get two huge orders in .

I have also been asked multiple times about a website for my business so I have undertaken that project.

Let me say this….all things technical are not my calling…. much less building a website. I am slow….pathetically slow crafting this fledgling site. I am way speedier turning over ugly furniture and making it pretty.

I figured I put this site together for my blog 5 years ago, I can assemble a business website.

And…..it’s almost done. Engage happy dance. I’m feeling rather proud of myself right now.

Have you done something lately that is out of your comfort zone?

My business ventures are pushing me out of mine. I love risks, but there is the flip side of exhilarating terror too 😬

That’s all I’m saying for now. I haven’t shared with my customers yet, once I do I will share more here.

Speaking of all that….did I share the cool antique cabinet a friend gave me? I dragged it home, invested a little energy into it and now it makes an uber cool paint cabinet for my shop.

It started off like this…I had sanded some to unearth several other colors under the pink.

I also turned these old sewing drawers into something sweet and feminine….

Sweet right?

I just got these really crusty ones, but look at all those sweet details 🥰 I would love to turn all of this into a little cabinet.

When I’m not working, it’s fun experimenting with new recipes

This is a family favorite. Chocolate with gooey caramel and pecans ….so good. Don’t take my word for it. Give it a try

https://pin.it/6wajLD2

This other cake I made at Easter. Seriously the frosting alone with the toasted butter pecans is so good I’d just skip the cake 🤣

Here is the recipe for you to try and make your own decision

https://pin.it/7Kjgd1N

Have you tried any new recipes recently?

In closing…..

Remember to be kind to one another out there. Be helpful, be loving. Respect each other. This world is rough but individually we can make a positive impact in our circles. Have a good week!

Tell me….how’s your week gone. Everyone doing ok ?

Immune Boosting Foods

It hasn’t escaped my attention these past few weeks, people asking questions on Facebook about what they should “take ” for a strong immune system.

I discussed it in yesterday’s Monday Musings post. My response on Facebook was a post on what I observed on a shopping trip.

I couldn’t help but notice when I was trying to pick up a few items last week that a vitamin I’ve taken for years was sold out as were many other vitamins/supplements

I joked that people were picking a fine time to decide to be healthy..

Seriously though, you can’t just throw a bunch of vitamins and supplements in and expect it to be some magic potion.

I actually read an article yesterday where a doctor said the same thing.

Keeping your body healthy and strong should be a daily goal for all of us, not just when you want to avoid a virus.

Let’s talk about food

Your best line of defense is feeding your body foods that help build and keep your immune system strong.

Real food. Your grocery cart is your best line of defense.

What are some of those foods? Let’s take a look.

》 Citrus fruits …interesting factoid…do you know your body doesn’t make or store Vitamin C? This is what most people turn to after they’ve caught a cold. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. They are key to fighting infections.

Popular citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, clementines, and tangerines.

As mentioned with your body not producing it, this should be a vitamin you get daily fir immune health.

》Red Peppers

If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again. Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.

》Broccoli
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.

》Garlic

Garlic is found in every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also help lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

》Spinach

Spinach made the list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.

》Yogurt

Look for yogurts that have “live and active cultures” printed on the label, like Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kinds that are preflavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead.

Yogurt can also be a great source of Vitamin D so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.

》Almonds

When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat soluble vitamin meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.

》Papaya

Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects.

Papayas have decent amounts of potasium, B vitamins, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.

》Kiwi
Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin k, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.

-》Berries of all types.

Blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, elderberry etc. ( be sure to check out my post The Benefits of Elderberry) these dark fruits pack powerful antioxidants. Berries are a great source of vitamin C which is thought to help prevent damage to your cells and also protects the immune system against deficiencies. Dark berries like blackberries, strawberries and blueberries not only taste great but they are also a great source of flavanols which are highly effective antioxidants.

》 Poultry

When you’re sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6.

Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.

》Shellfish

Shellfish isn’t what jumps to mind for many who are trying to boost their immune system, but some types of shellfish are packed with zinc.

Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended.

Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include:

  • crab
  • clams
  • lobster
  • mussels

Keep in mind that you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet. For adult men, it’s 11 milligrams (mg and for women, it’s 8 mg. Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.

In conclusion

Keep in mind, these are a few foods to help build a strong immune system. Remember your best medicine is heading to the produce aisle for all of those wonderful colored fruits and veggies and making them a part of every meal.

I realized writing this, I eat almost all of these things, but wow, I need to try papaya!

Tell me do you have favorite foods that support a strong immune system?

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 😜

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?

The Joy Of Eating

I did it again to myself. No one to blame but me.

It was a morning I was running at 90 doing a million things before I left the house for the day. Now it was lunch, I was hungry and I pulled out my less than stellar salad I’d hurriedly tossed together.

Hungry, with food that would feed my hunger, but not necessarily bring me joy.

Ugh.

My favorite goof up was tossing salad in my container one night thinking I’d add protein to it in the morning along with a few more veggies.

Imagine my delight when lunch came and I had forgotten to add that and all I had was mostly dark leafy greens.

Go me.

It’s ok to feel good about eating

When I’m hungry, I shamelessly love my food. When my stomach is growling and let’s me know it’s time to eat I want to enjoy my meal.

In the diet obsessive,weight loss focused world we live in there is often an unspoken idea that really, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t enjoy eating, you should obsess or feel guilt, you should eat food that is unexciting because ya know, gotta lose weight.

You should feel deprived and a bit miserable in the process.

Listen, whether you’re working on weight loss or not, you should feel good about eating. Hopefully, you’re making good food choices, but even if you aren’t at that meal I hope there aren’t feelings of guilt that go down with it.

Unfortunately many of us may have grown up with negative behaviors with food, not been shown good eating habits, or used food as a coping mechanism/drug as we grew up.

Working to develop good eating habits, even if it’s slowly, will help you learn to feel good about it.

So about that “joy” of eating

Back to my opening lines. I don’t have much joy when I’ve been haphazard or lazy about putting my food together. When my lunch is ok and basically takes up stomach space, it doesn’t give me joy.

It makes me annoyed I didn’t take the time to put together food I would appreciate more.

We should enjoy our food, we should have food that not only offers our bodies the nutrients it needs for good health, but it should be satisfying to our souls.

Think of things like Thanksgiving or if you were fortunate, amazing Sunday dinners your grandmother whipped up.

Those are often times we may think of that are joyful eating.

True, not every day is like that. Reality might be a sandwich on the run between meetings or whatever we can grab in a busy day.

Joyful eating

I’m surrounded by a lot of men in my family. Men have this tendency to wolf food down. They love teasing me about my “little bites” and being the last one left eating.

I simply inform them I like tasting and savoring my food. 😉

I like taking my time and not rushing.. nothing wrong with that is there?

Some tips for joyful eating

* Be mindful. Really, be in the moment of what you’re eating. Lose the phone, don’t stare at the TV and really focus on enjoying your food.

* Be aware of textures and flavors, appreciate how it all tastes and smells.

* Take your time. Honestly you may have to practice slowing down if you’re used to eating fast. You’ll have a better appreciation if you do.

* Savor the meal and learn to savor the relationships with those you have around the table. Over good food I’ve learned much about my family.

*Prepare foods you really love. Double win if you prepare foods others love as much.

* Leave any guilt you have at the door. Food and guilt have no place together.

* Look for new recipes that give you joy in cooking for you and your family meals.

Tell me…how do you view eating? Is it a joyful thing or one that is mindlessly accomplished ?

One Size Fits All Fitness

Do you ever see clothes and the size is listed as “one size fits all”?

For a woman it’s almost the kiss of death meaning the garment may or may not potentially fit you like a sack..

If you’re a woman like I am, at 6’0 the probability is even greater.

Except now it’s a much shorter sack haha

Why then do people try to approach exercise/fitness and nutrition in that manner?

There is no one size approach. I know with so many new diets and exercise trends hitting the market its easy to get swept into thinking you have to follow one of them to “be successful”.

Let’s not forget social media with the constant barrage of same old fitness poses, looks and “ideals”. That alone can be overwhelming to alot of people.

With all of that in our face, where do we start?

First, it may be trial and error. You try different things till you find something that sticks with you.

Not what your neighbor or sister does. Not what you saw on social media that tells you you’re supposed to do, but the thing ( or things) that you want to go do. The things that make your heart race and make you feel alive.

I can’t tell you the times I’ve had people tell me they admire what I do but “they don’t run”

Ok well then, don’t run.

Easy.

The things that make me feel alive and I enjoy are mine. They may be yours too but they don’t or won’t necessarily be something you choose.

Being out on the road whether it’s running or cycling, working hard and putting in the miles, is my jam.

I love being able to challenge my body, push beyond comfort zones, and dig deeper into myself. It’s crazy satisfying.

And yes most people I know think I’m crazy for what I do.

Find the thing you love, and pursue it to the point people jokingly tell you that you’re crazy.

Bodies are different

Even though we are all designed the same, how we look, how our bodies will develop with exercise and good nutrition, will all be different.

We all have different genetics that determine our bodies development. Your best body won’t look like someone else’s best body and that’s ok! Embrace who you are and celebrate your own unique qualities. Be compassionate and loving to yourself. You don’t need to look like the girl or guy next to you at the gym and comparison is the thief of joy so don’t do that.

Rest

Listen if there’s someone who has struggled at times taking a rest day ( from workouts) it’s yours truly. This is most true when I’m training for something. I intellectually know a rest day or two is neccessary and beneficial, but I hated taking them.

Now I understand the value more.

Give yourself permission to rest.

Looking healthy

Here’s a big misconception. Looking healthy and feeling it aren’t always the same thing. There’s such a focus on “looks” today that we over look healthy as a feeling, an overall well being. Learning to eat well, with healthy foods, allowing for some treats, and exercising in a healthy way is nourishing to our mind, spirit and body. Yes we want to “look” healthy, but feeling it is even more important.

The energy you have for your days, the ease with how you do activites, the appearance of your skin, hair, eyes, how you feel overall and then yes, how you look on the outside all add up to total health.

You don’t always have to go all out

I’m saying this to myself too. I love workouts that are challenging. But doing ones that are shorter or a notch less than what I usually do is ok too.

I feel like that doing yoga. It’s such a different kinda of strength workout but it’s not like how flying down the road feels. It brings me down and reminds me there are times it’s ok to not be going all out.

Same for you too. Find times to do activities that aren’t your full speed ahead usual ones.

Lifestyle changes take time

They really do, but they are worth the time and effort invested. Don’t jump on the snake oil trains of “lose weight get fit in 90 days” nonsense.

It takes time, slow and steady, but the results are satisfying and worth it.

Focus on what your body can do

Again, being constantly bombarded with images of what we “should” look like or what size our ( insert body part here) should be or shouldn’t be you may be left feeling like you’re lacking or should be “better”

Recently I’ve read articles on stretch marks, cellulite, not having skinny thighs, getting a thigh gap, and let’s not forget how…. over the top tired I am….. of seeing huge butts in my fitness newsfeed.

Bigger butts are on trend now. Lucky me Haha

Seriously though….none and I mean none of that stuff matters when you’re running, cycling, doing yoga, lifting weights, rowing whatever it is.

The last thing on my mind when I’m grinding out miles are any supposed “flaws” I have..

I am aware though of how my body moves. How it responds to what I ask if it. The way it feels to pick up a bar loaded with weight. How my legs work to pedal strongly up huge hills or run up them or when I can simply use my body weight in planks or side planks or difficult yoga positions

Those are the things that matter.

Stop obsessing over size

When I first started on my health journey 8 years ago it became a game to get smaller.

Where it is important to be aware of weight gain, you shouldn’t be hung up on sizes.

The more I’ve grown knowing myself the more I realize it’s not about being small. I’ve built a strong, powerful body and I celebrate that.

Focus on building a healthy, strong body, not the smallest size or some arbitrary number on the scale.

So as you move along on your health and fitness journey remember you are unique. Your needs are unique. Your body will respond to what you do in different ways from someone else. There is no one size approach. Find what works best for you and go after it.

Tell me have you ever tried fitness or nutrition approaches that were not good for you or weren’t a good “fit”? What has worked best for you?

Monday Musings

Good morning my fearless readers! Happy Monday!

Who’s ready for a new week?

Raise your hand if you’re reading this through bleary eyes waking up slurping your morning coffee. Uh…don’t slurp your morning coffee…

So one thing running through my mind starting this post is….well several things running through my mind….

What you may wonder could it possibly be??

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Am I the only one…please tell me I’m not…that cannot stand that “Baby Shark” song?

Tell me I’m not.

Just hearing it makes me cringe because I know it will then be trapped in my head over and over like a merry go round until I blast a dose of heavy metal into my head to get it out.

I think there are two camps on this.

Those who love it and happily sing along with abandon…

And those of us who twitch the moment it begins.

There is no middle ground.

It’s cool if you love it.. I just won’t be singing along with you.

In things that make me go hmmmm….

As I’ve shared before, I have a little business flipping old vintage and antique furniture. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

Measurements are like ya know, super important. I need to get the size of pieces for a variety of reasons so it really, really frustrates me when people post items for sale and don’t give any measurements.

For instance, I saw a gorgeous china cabinet. It didn’t look huge as so many are. I asked the guy and I got back “it’s 54″

So I responded back, ok its 54 inches tall? How wide?

I get back…”no it’s 5’4”.

This my friends was obviously his height. This was the only measurement I was offered to determine my decision on making a purchase.

Alrighty.

I can’t tell you the photos I’ve seen where people are using their body parts or small kids as units of measuring.

Recently I saw a kids play house. One of those “free you come move it” things. The guy is standing by the door with his arm raised to the top of door.

This was so you would understand how tall it was.

Problem here big boy is I don’t know if you’re topping out at 5’8…..or a bigger whopping 6’4….

How is this helpful to me???

My favorite by far was a table with a part of a leg in the pic. I honestly thought the leg photo bombed the pic…

Then I read description and it said…”table goes up to my knee”

You really have no idea how I laughed. I kept that photo and I pull it out on days I want something to send me into wild giggles.

Like Karen I have no idea what the distance is from ground to your knee…for real.

All this to say…is it really that hard to measure something with ya know, the typical measuring devices?

And speaking of measuring things. This week I was again wondering who on earth determines how much of hair products to use in your hair.

Conditioner often says to use something “the size of a quarter” and work through hair, Like… that isn’t a whole lot…

I bought a hair conditioner this week and it said to use 2 pumps… which is nothing… I mean come on Bob I’ve got enough hair for three people that whole “2 pump” thing isn’t going anywhere with me. More like 2 pumps per section of hair haha

Obviously, this cannot be a one size approach to everyone  but I’ve been left wondering how they determine that usage for customers..

I’m in denial…..

April is almost half over and Easter is rapidly approaching.

I have not bought one single chocolate egg, not one stuffed bunny, or plastic eggs for the kids to do an egg hunt.

I have a million baskets to make.

Yes, my adult kids still like getting baskets.

One year, and may I add, one year only, I had thought to be clever and make couples baskets.

I mean, the married ones live in the same house and all right? It shouldn’t be a problem.

Ha. Oh no.

I never lived it down…no one wants to share their chocolate 🤣

So besides baskets I’ll also be planning a tasty menu to feed the crew

I’m torn between traditional Easter food or going all southern and throwing a brisket on the grill.

I made this recipe last year and it was a huge hit….

https://pin.it/vfh2eax3wrli4w

Spring means more time outdoors…..

I have a hard time being inside when the weather is so perfect outside. Whether it’s working in the yard ( I cut miles of grass today with a push mower) working on my furniture or exercising, it makes me feel so alive to be in it

I’m looking forward to longer rides and serious sweat again.

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Nothing like the sun coming up on you 🙂

No matter how I mix up my workouts, being outside is always the best. I mean seriously, the world becomes my gym.

It doesn’t get better than that.

Ok your turn! Wanna weigh in on the shark song? What are your Easter plans? Do you enjoy working out in the “outdoors”?

 

Saturday Snippets

Hello faithful readers! Can you believe we are winding down the final days of 2018? I hope your Christmas/ holiday celebrations were wonderful.

new years

As we are in the middle of Christmas and New Years week with plenty of food and maybe alcohol thrown in for some of you, you may find yourself in that place of feeling like you’ve over done it eating and snacking on all the delicious holiday foods and treats that are available.

Yours truly is right there with you. It’s hard not to indulge with so many good things!  I do however, hate how I don’t feel quite like myself when I throw my body out of it’s usual normal rhythm of predictable ( mostly) healthy foods so I try and keep most days in check.

So assuming many of us are in the same boat, I thought I’d throw out a few tips to finish out the year and hopefully head us into the new year in a positive way.

  • Don’t do anything crazy. By that I mean, don’t decide you’re going cold turkey from every single treat. A gradual reduction will help ease any cravings.
  • Do drink plenty of water. With extra sugar and sodium on board we can bloat and retain extra fluid. Adequate water is a good way to keep us hydrated and flush toxins from our system.
  • Don’t give up some form of exercise. I too understand how it can be more difficult to get it in or maybe the weather is awful but find some activity that is easy to do, even if it’s not the most intensive thing. A good brisk walk can help clear your mind, leave you feeling positive and maybe discourage snacking.
  • Do try and add or maintain adequate fruits or veggies in your day. These keep your internal system moving smoothly along.
  • Don’t try and “out exercise” over eating. You can’t do that and at the worst you’ll maybe do something that leads to an injury.
  • Do work in consistent exercise that your body is already used to.
  • Don’t obsess over the scale. Honestly, don’t weigh yourself during this time especially since all those extra foods tend to cause us to hold onto additional fluid which will reflect weight gain.
  • Do get a your numbers when you’re ready to begin to make changes that you need to make. Then weigh in only once a week.  Remember, those numbers don’t define you.
  • Don’t be to hard on yourself. No matter where you are be loving and kind to you.
  • Do take steps to make positive goals for the upcoming year in your health and fitness.

I wish you all a Happy and safe New Year! It’s back to the health and fitness grind and I hope to offer some helpful advice, encouragement, challenges and other thought provoking posts as we move into 2019.

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Tell me… do you have New Years Eve plans? Do you go out or just like to stay home in your pj’s?

Monday Musings

Hello world! It’s late as I sit down to write this and I’m toying with crawling into my bed after a busy day OR knocking out a post for your Monday viewing pleasure.

It looks like writing is winning out so here we go.

I feel pretty victorious right now…..

I got a lot of my Christmas wrapping done yesterday. I think this is a huge win. Don’t get me wrong, I love wrapping. I love making beautiful presents for people to open. It’s just the “sitting down and doing it” part that I need to commit to.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

I’ll get these done just in time for all my Amazon purchases to start arriving this week then it’s on to more wrapping.

And seriously? I’ve been the Amazon shopping queen this year. Free standard shipping? Delivered by Christmas? I’m all over that. Definitely saves me time, gas, energy, and not having to deal with 1.5 million people in places that aren’t made for that many people.

Sometimes, it’s very “people (y)” out there and I’m just not crazy about that. Weird I know considering I’m really pretty much an extrovert but even then there are times I don’t want to be surrounded by so much humanity.

Like… where do they all come from???

Online shopping is where it’s at.

Things I’ve realized lately….

The older I get the more I realize there are things I care less about.

Let’s consider unrealistic expectations.

The laundry will never be “all done” and I won’t make myself a basket case 😉 trying to hit that illusive goal. It doesn’t matter. It’s never “done”.

My floors will never be spotless. I’m cool with that… mostly. I’d rather pour my energy into something else than attempting to keep them looking like no one lives here.

My closets will never be magazine perfect looking organized.  They are tidy and I know where everything is… that works.

I will never be able to make everyone happy at any given time and it’s not my job to do that.

As much as I want my holiday meal table to look like a Norman Rockwell painting, it never will. If people are fed, happy, content and loving I will consider that a total win.

Taking care of myself is just as important as taking care of others ( pay attention to that.) Being a martyr and thinking it’s not something you should do is not right. Take care of you.

And one other tidbit ( I could write a lot on this topic… but one more)

Life is just to short to fold and mate socks together.

There. I said it.  All you OCD people are choking on your coffee right now.

I realized a complete freedom one day tossing all of my socks into a drawer helter skelter and walking away.

Freedom. On to something more exciting.

When I grab them I may or may not have them as matching colors. That has become irrelevant to me as well. Uh.. they do have to be the same “kind” of socks though.. I do that have standard hahaha

I do still match hubby’s ’cause he deserves to pull out a complete set in the wee hours as he gets ready for work.

In other fun events…

If you read my Saturday Snippets post, https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/12/15/saturday-snippets-2/    I mentioned hubby had a birthday and I shared the cake recipe with you. What I didn’t tell you about is the cool gift I was able to surprise him with.

What was it you ask?  Tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera that was playing in town.

I knew he’d never, ever suspect it so it made watching him open it that much more fun.

Anyway we got to go on Sunday and it was amazing.  The show is downtown ( I love downtown… it has such a “feel” a life of it’s own)  at the Majestic Theatre which opened in 1929 and when you walk in, you feel like you’ve stepped back into that time period. The design, structure, everything makes you feel like you’re in the roaring 20’s. The theatre was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993.  It was also the first theatre in the state to have air conditioning. For many years it remained the largest theatre in Texas and the second largest in the United States.

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A side view of the theatre

 

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Playbill

This is the longest running show having been produced for 30 years. Not only was the entire show incredible, the singing literally left chills running down my spine.

The talent of the main characters was just breath taking.

The story is bittersweet with a love triangle between the young opera singer, her love interest in her life and the Phantom who lives in the bowels of the opera house.

Want to learn more about it? Read it here http://theenchantedmanor.com/tag/a-synopsis-of-andrew-lloyd-webbers-the-phantom-of-the-opera-musical/

As we were leaving we passed this….

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The stage design and props were amazing

It takes a lot to move this show across the country.

May I suggest, if you get the chance to see this, you should. It was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon and end our weekend.

Honestly, it was one of those events that I would easily go see again.

Alrighty, now it’s on to my week ahead! Lots to do before Christmas… have a good one boys and girls!

Ok your turn…have you seen this before? Do you enjoy the theatre? How goes your Christmas preparations?