I find peace in the wind and a smile in the sun. I make conversation with the trees and giggle with the animals. A day of fulfillment does not begin with how the world greets me, but how I greet it. It becomes beautifully mutual that way.
The richest moments in my daily life might entail feeling the light from a chat with a cashier, or a brief moment when I sense my presence on this planet fully understood from someone I admire. They often understand it, more than I do right now.
For it is in the little things that create the knowing there is something out there, bigger than myself.
My answers would be my faith in God, my family, and food.
This was made especially clear to me about five years ago when
I was diagnosed with cancer.
It was a frightening time,
but it was also encouraging.
It sucked being really sick but I knew there were people I could turn to. People who encouraged me, who listened to my complaining, and cheered me on to keep fighting.
I am eternally grateful for these people and even for the experience.
Why would I be grateful for going through cancer? For one, I know God saw fit to grow me and sometimes, He uses difficult situations to help me become a better person.
Cancer in and of itself is no fun. However, what I learned along the way was invaluable. I learned that it’s okay to cry, to ask for help, and that everything was really going to be just fine. I struggled with my faith a lot during this time but in the end, it only grew stronger.
How does one grow strong without enduring through some of the most difficult trials of life?
Plus, I am grateful to be able to eat without experiencing severe abdominal pain. Can you imagine not being able to eat your favorite meal?
(I have made up for more than enough since then 😉 )
Here’s an idea: Invite people who give you strength to share a meal with you.
This is one of those posts that gives you AWESOME advice.
I know because I have taken this advice and put it into action most days (not too hard to do so I can’t complain). However, the advice and ideas shared are really geared towards the mothers, the career women, and the women who wear many (many) hats. If you’re a busy woman, Take 5, and keep reading…
Taking 5 or more minutes a day to be with yourself is an essential tool to maintaining a healthy state of mind. Not just when you are stressed, annoyed with the family, or busy at work. It is important to Take 5 when the day runs smoothly, when you’re busy but handling things okay, and when you DO have some down time. Sometimes when we have a moment to spare we fill it up with something else to do. Which is fine sometimes, but other times…you need to Take that 5.
To dig a bit deeper-sometimes it’s good to put down the phone and take a break doing something else. Whaaaa?? I know-it’s hard because we play candy crush for 10 minutes or check Instagram as a way to check out. Again, not too shabby of a break, but expanding our ideas beyond the normal things we grab to zone out is healthy for us. So below are a few ideas from yours truly; followed by responses from a few more women walking in your shoes.
~Look up an article on something you are interested in or about something you have wanted to try i.e. a new yoga class.
~Stretch. Sit down and set the timer for 5 minutes of stretching. Guess what? If you do this often you’ll become more flexible AND learn how to be more present!
~Make a healthy snack plate. Often we just mindlessly grab from the pantry or fridge without taking a minute to put something together that would be truly satiating. I enjoy a good snack plate with crackers, cheese, and fruit.
From women via Facebook and Twitter
“I use essential oils! There are quite a few proven to help mood, so sometimes if I find myself getting overly frustrated or depressed or anxious, I march into my bathroom and get a drop of one of the oils…It takes less than a minute but helps immensely!” ~Cassandra
“Watch a YouTube video of one of my fav songs.” ~Chari
“Eat something I don’t treat myself too much. I just sit and savor the sweet!” ~Mal
“I do a Zumba dance from youtube.com.” ~Marissa
“I check Facebook. Mindlessly look at other people’s lives then face my own again.” ~Krista
“Or take a shot. Just……kidding?”
“Once in a while you have to take a break and visit yourself.”~Audrey Giorgi
I recently decided to welcome 2015 with open arms and kick it off by developing a healthier relationship with food. I already had the workouts down, but with a diet that often consisted of emotionally ruled choices I decided it was time to focus on what I was eating more than what I was doing.
The following is a true story, and clearly my catalyst for change…
I LOVE jalapeno poppers. Not just any, although I will eat most kinds, but my true addiction is the Jack in the Box ones. The gooey cheese, the seed-filled spiciness, and the fatty ranch to dip them is is the ultimate party for my mouth! There is a drive-through right by my house that I used to go by…a lot more than I would like to share…until one recent night on my reluctant last run for 2014.
I had decided to start off 2015 I would not go anywhere that had a drive-through. Alrighty, no jalapeno poppers from Jack for quite a while. This past week I was coming home from a friend’s house and realized this was the night. I had to drive-through one last time before I took a major break from crappy food.
I drove up and ordered the poppers. As I pulled up to pay the guy he smiled, and shyly made a suggestion on another sauce I could try with the poppers. Instantly I smiled and with foodie enthusiasm and replied “YES! I’ll try that!” Boy did he look happy.
“Well, I see you here so much I thought you might like to try something different with your jalapenos, and maybe if you like it we can try some more new food over dinner sometime?”
Most men who hit on me think I am in my mid-twenties (not bragging here although it IS pretty damn cool). I knew this guy was young so my turn down was an easy “I’m too old for you and no, age is more than just a number give me my poppers so I can go home [and eat these shamefully in bed].”
It’s almost October right? This topic came up on a whim, but it is one I feel women in particular need to keep reminding themselves to work on.
That negative self-talk!
This ties in a bit with my gratitude post as it requires mental efforts and pattern interruptions. It is not just a one-time point in your life that all things fall into a positive place in your head…it is consistent, and constant work. Worth it? Yes. Better than taking the easy road of victimizing yourself, limiting yourself, and putting yourself down? Yes. Do better and more positive things happen to you when you flip the switch? Hell yes!
30 Somethings: Flip the Switch
1. Negative self-talk can be pretty powerful. Taper it down by using positive phrases or mantras to practice quieting it down. For example mine is “I am worth the work.” This is for those times my mind tells me I am a failure.
2. Think it’s silly to use mantras? Well, “I am fat,” or “I can’t ___” ARE mantras. Flip those into words that will actually serve you in a positive way!
3. Instead of “I wish” say “I can” or “I have.”
4. If someone you love isn’t showing you they feel the same don’t blame them. Don’t equate your self-worth to how they treat you. Flip the switch from “Why is so and so ___” to “What choices can I make within this relationship that will best serve my emotional health?”
5. Along with #4 take responsibility for habits and patterns that keep creating the same negative results. If 5 people you dated have all treated you the same crappy way honey, it’s not them-it’s you. Flip that switch again back onto yourself because it is always healthy to break patterns that are causing you pain, or confusion.
7. Stop thinking everyone is watching you, cares what you are doing or is judging you. They aren’t, the don’t care, and they are not judging you. The only time anyone does any of these things is usually because YOU bring it up! Stop it. Flip the switch and YOU watch YOU. YOU care about YOU, and YOU…gently reflect on your life choices.
8. If there is something you want instead of thinking why you don’t have it flip it to how can you get it!
9. Flip “I wish _________” to “I will ________”
10. If you can’t or won’t change it, please stop complaining about it. For loved ones, and anyone else having to hear it. Please just flip that switch to OFF. Thanks.
12. If you think it, is it real? Yikes…think about all those crazy off the wall thoughts you have every day. Nope. You have every right to say to yourself “I will not invest in this thought,” or “It’s just a thought.” Let it go.
13. Under anger usually lies hurt. So, if something is pissing you off-go underneath it to move forward.
14. Compete with yourself. Flip to your own goals, efforts, wins, and strides.
16. Instead of criticizing what you don’t like about your body how about you accept what is, and start changing what you can? Flip the switch on to what you appreciate and can change to make yourself into the healthier more outwardly confident you, you deserve and want to be.
17. “I am having a bad day.” Are you? Or did you have a couple of unexpected moments and now you are focused on every little thing that could possibly bug you today? Unexpected isn’t usually ideal, but it happens all the time.
18. With that said-does a bad day mean a bad life? “Today sucks.” Okay, if it does then fine-move forward into “How can tomorrow be different?”
19. Flip your “I can’t” to “How can I?”
20. “I failed.” Did you? Or did you try and it did not work out? “I tried, it did not work out, and that’s okay.”
21. Instead of criticizing someone to make yourself feel better how about flipping that switch and stopping yourself from putting out that negative juju, or finding something about them to compliment?
23. “I don’t have the time.” I have a friend who raised her son solo, worked full-time, went to college full-time, and was still able to hang with me. Revisit that phrase and flip it to “What are my top priorities to make time for?” If you ask yourself this on a daily basis the answers will change, and that is where you will find the time.
24. “I can’t”-excuse my french, is often bullshit. It usually means “I won’t.” Think about all those times you shut down when bumps come along the way. You throw your hands up and declare “I can’t!” Can you really not, or do you not want to put in the effort so you can?
From followers via Facebook and Twitter:
26. “I’m 70% muscle instead of 30% fat.” ~Quisha
27. “I catch myself in the moment of negative thought or vibe. Force a smile. And say “no! I have”… and confirm with something good about myself or the situation. I sometimes fail. But I TRY. Not trying is failing.” ~Ana
28. “Sometimes I have 2 tell myself to STOP IT! I use a firm voice lol&even say it outloud. I might look a little nuts but it works! lol.” ~Twitter
29. “My favorite quote is ‘To dream of the woman you wish you were is a waste of the woman you are.’ Thats how I flip it. When I start thinking of what I lack, or jealous of those around me, I try to think of those things I am great at.” ~Marni
30. Go back to #28-Just stop doing it. Just stop. Sometimes, on some occasions, it is that easy, and furthermore, that simple. Flip the switch.
My sister is here in town for a lengthy visit. We are all very excited to have her, my baby niece, and sweet 5 year-old nephew in our every day lives for the next three weeks. She traveled with both kiddos for the first time all the way from East coast over here to California. They arrived here safe and sound, but not without experiencing all the possible challenges that arise when you are in the hands of a major airline.
As I hopped in my car to go get the fam I received a text that they had boarded the plane but once again, their flight was delayed. It was too late to turn around and besides, my GPS indicated it was going to take over an hour in traffic to get to the airport. Having not had dinner, and driving stick shift in a non-AC car during commuting hour set the tone for my arrival. After circling a few times in the hourly parking I found the section close enough to their airline where we wouldn’t get lost coming back out, and raced inside to find a small snack that would hold me over until we got home.
Thank you Starbucks, for being at the end of every commercial street, and in every possible nook an establishment will allow you to take over.
Overcome with hanger (hungry+angry) I whipped out my gift card every educator receives at the end of the school year and pointed to the most carbo-filled chunk of chocolate in the display case I could find. I ordered a large milky overly sweetened coffee, and just in case the chocolate chunk wasn’t enough for my…small snack, I ordered a croissant as well. My hanger quickly disappeared. Just the thought of having food in my possession changed my state of mind.
You would think I would have yanked those pastries right out of the cashier’s hand and gone to town, but nope. First I had to find a desirable setting for the first bite. If you are a foodie, or struggle with an emotional connection to food you will understand this. I do think though that at some point many of us, if not all, do this.
I needed to find a suitable place to wait for my family whilst having the freedom to wholeheartedly devour this “small snack” from the Bucks. I looked at my two options.
As much as I love Virgin America’s positive “club lounge” feel there were too many cute guys that would would lose focus on my great hair as I ate, and gay ones that would judge my conduct as I ate. So I opted for the corner of a less fabulous airline. Facing the street. I plucked my purse down, chugged my coffee, and first pulled out the marble loaf. My moment was here. I took a monstrous bite into my baked floury treat, and breathed out a huge sigh. So huge in fact, pieces of the treat flew out of my mouth onto my purse.
Told ya I couldn’t have sat at Virgin.
Calmed down with food, and having some time to kill I got to thinking. What was it about my attachment to food that could present a kind of determined action to create a certain moment with it? Is it just me? Am I the only one who so impulsively makes unhealthy choices while at the same time PLOTS on what the environment will look like when I eat it? I know this can’t be good. I mean I opted to be away from great music and eye candy to face the street so I could comfortably eat food.
Within two hours of that snack I was home eating dinner. The food I consumed had already left my system, but I knew some of it would stay on my thighs.
You might be rolling you eyes-another fitness article? Give me a chance to wow you, or at least now you-as in you might try something I suggest asap. Keep in mind the thoughts I will share do not always match up to my actions it is continuous work, and although you might not know what I look like I can promise you it does not even remotely resemble this:
However, what I can share is that in the past I have successfully lost a good amount of weight and broken bad habits without buying any meal plans, a gym membership (I do have one now), or pills. I have not tried any of the latest diets nor have I done any workouts that entailed the words cross or fit in them. I love to eat and am pretty active, but like to do things on my own terms.
Being “F.A.B.” is how I see it:
F=FUN…If you are not having some fun with a healthy lifestyle whatever you are doing won’t last long. Figure out what that means to you! For myself it was trying out my mom’s NutriBullet and discovering I LOVE to make smoothies. It was realizing I don’t love the treadmill at my gym as much as a jog around my neighborhood. That I don’t really like to strength train so I find better success doing short term challenges on YouTube or Facebook. If you are a parent maybe having a cooking contest with your kids using some healthy ingredients. Taking them to the grocery store and picking out a new veggie or fruit for the week to try. Or, taking yourself to pick out a few new foods and trying a new recipe. Have fun. Your kind of fun!
A=ACTIVE…If you can tweak the way you do certain things you can incorporate more activity into your life that becomes second nature. Take the stairs at the two-story Target those 3-5 times a week you pop in (always intending to stick to the list). Park a little farther away when you hit the grocery store. Watching your fave Tuesday night show? Do squats during the commercials. Have kids? Instead of checking emails when they are playing at the park play tag with them for 15 minutes. YOU’RE IT! Don’t want to join a gym? Get on Amazon and buy a few workout videos to workout to at home. Try something new. I am not the best dancer, but when I bought my first Shaun T Hip Hop Abs dvd I felt like Janet Jackson! Buy a yoga for kids CD and do it with yours before bedtime. Make being active work for you and develop realistic, long-lasting habits.
B=BALANCED…something that really helped me instill more permanent habits into my life was changing my mindset to what I put IN my body versus what I needed to cut OUT. So often when we want to make changes to our diet we think “Oh I shouldn’t eat ice cream every weekend,” or “I need to cut the creamer out of my coffee,” and I don’t know about you, but that can become a real drag. We are rebels at heart are we not? Balanced means you can still consider nixing the creamer, but also think about adding healthier foods into your life. Adding some physical activity into your life, and adding a more positive mindset into your life. Mind over matter is true in this case. What you train your mind to focus on will manifest on the outside. Think about what stress can do to you. For me, it added ten pounds with about eight of that going straight to my middle. It brought my blood pressure up and even landed me in the ER last summer. Get that negative self-talk outta here. Instead of thinking “I am fat and need to lose weight,” think “I will work towards the healthy body I know I am capable of having.” Be kind to yourself, but motivating. Do words matter? YES, and a balanced mind will equal a more balanced body.
Take care of your mind so you can take care of your body.