I’ve been very aware–for whatever reason–this week when I’ve wanted to turn to someone, anyone, else for support and guidance this week. From the smallest thing of “where/what do you want to eat…” to “…guess what just happened…what do you … Continue reading
“Whether you’ve seen angels floating around your bedroom or just found a ray of hope at a lonely moment, choosing to believe that something unseen is caring for you can be a life-shifting exercise.” ~Martha Beck I’ve been reading a … Continue reading
So as a kid we always had breakfast for dinner on Shrove Tuesday. That’s how i knew it growing up “Shrove Tuesday”, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. I did grow up Catholic so I partially fasted for Lent by observing the no meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays. We didn’t call it “Fat Tuesday” or Mardis Gras but I knew others who did, and took it for all basically being the same–splurge before the fasting/cleansing period of Lent.
My Mom would go all out for this breakfast/dinner feast! We’d get home from school that afternoon and the griddle for the pancakes would already be set up. She’d have a fresh dozen eggs in the fridge for us and fresh bacon from the local butcher! Sometimes she’d even make fresh hashbrowns and fresh squeezed orange juice! It felt like a bigger weekend breakfast on a weekday most times! It was like a holiday breakfast on a random Tuesday night! I have very fond memories of those evenings.
Now a days we’ve shifted to taking our “brinner” out to a restaurant. Something just isn’t the same without her here to do it all with/for. The griddle hasn’t seen the light of day for almost a decade. It wasn’t so much a day of being gluttoness but a day of gathering and feasting together. We didn’t go “hog wild” all day long.
Today, my Dad and I did breakfast for lunch instead since I had dinner plans elsewhere. I love breakfast any time of day but I’m pretty standard and keep it usually to an egg white omelet with fixings and wheat toast, dry. But I was feeling nostaglic and this is the one day I always go all out for my breakfast not at breakfast meal. I ordered the pancake breakfast–two buttermilk pancakes with eggs (whites), and bacon! YUMMY! With a busy morning of work and calls, the time away from my desk, visiting with my Dad was more than welcoming! Even the walk down the hill in the chilly California weather was welcoming!
Afterwards I wondered though, what’s the real meaning of the term “Shrove Tuesday”–especially the shrove part. So, typical Dad response, I Googled it!
This moveable festival is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve“. Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics, who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”
The part of the excerpt that stood out the most to me was the part at the end where it states that people make a conscious effort of self reflection–what they’ve done, what needs to change, and what areas they need help in. I’ve been looking to do this, looking to find the time and effort to do just this! 2014 was challenging on many levels–physically, emotionally, personally and professionally. I started 2015 with renewed spirit but not feeling completely in control and back on a good/healthy track.
I’m looking to change this. I feel like I’ve been taking short cuts by looking for answers everywhere but to myself. So as we wrap up this Shrove Tuesday, I’d like to renew me. For a while I was doing something new and positive every Lent instead of giving something up. But this year, I’m going to do a combination of these two practices. I’ve found myself craving sugars and the not so good for me carbs. I know “we can eat anything in moderation” but these things really do react with my body. But much like a drug, they can be hard to quit and moreso when there’s an emotional connection there. So for Lent I’ll be weening myself off of processed sugars/sweetners and the carbs that my body doesn’t like–white flours, bread, etc. My addition of something positive will be my re-implementation of “me time”–quiet, self reflection time. I’m also adding a “Move It, Love It” aspect to this by increasing my activity. I did just sign up for my 20th half marathon after all!
I commit to this and to myself for 40 days, beginning Ash Wednesday. It’s 40 days of taking care of myself…I worked so hard for so long to let go and forgive myself for all the burdens, hurts, and wrong doings I was “carrying” in weight for decades. I’m not going to “repack”! I’ve learned. I’m going to forgive myself, no guilt, and move on. Get back to my basics…self love, care, and patience.
There’s so many numbers that seem so defining in the world–an area code (ladies, remember when Carrie freaks out in the SATC movie?!), zip code (uh, hello just about everyone know 90210), income brackets, credit scores, sports rankings, weight, cholesterol counts, nutritional counts, followers, likes, comments, and so on! Guess I may have forgotten one there…age! We are young and give our age in fractions when people ask–so how this matters then! As we grow up we start rounding up to the near whole–meaningful–number, if we are 14 we are saying “almost 16”, 17 goes to 18, 21 starts when we are…well maybe I better not go there, lol! In our 20s we don’t seem to care what the number is until we hit 29 and then wonder how we got to 30, but embrace it after all 30 is the new 20 right?!
As 30 goes just as fast as it came, I find friends starting to round down like the 3__ is somehow a dirty lil secret. “Oh, it’s the 5th anniversary of my 29th birthday!” Um, what?!?! Why? Because if we are 3__ there’s an expectation of where and who we should be and if we aren’t that then we better not actually embrace the number it is? Because if we don’t say it, it doesn’t really exist? Because getting older is a bad thing? Because if I’m 3__ and still living alone and not married with kids I’ve some how failed or something is wrong with me? Because at anything over 15 I have to act a certain way, look a certain way, and live a certain way?
What’s with all the numbers and labelling? For a OCP (obsessive compulsive personality) you’d think I’d be all over this labelling and categorizing it’s my thing! But (and maybe this is my creative side that comes out and keeps me from being OCD, literally) the fact of the matter is that I’m just the opposite when it comes to people, and especially myself. That’s not what this whole post is about though. Do you ever notice when people (who don’t know you) find out it’s your birthday and one of the first questions they as you is “how old”? It’s like anniversaries, everyone asks how long. But what matters to me is everything in between the years! “Oh it’s your wedding anniversary? That’s great! What’s been the best part about being married?” It may sound kind of silly, but I’m serious. A life isn’t a life if it isn’t being lived.
I’m 33 now (officially, it’s now after midnight) and I’m kind of like “ok, so this is another year in 30…” A younger version of myself would turn to me and say “girl, you better get it together and get yourself a ring on that finger, a house you own (vs rent), some kids, etc. because you’re on your way down, time is a ticking!” But the me I’ve become knows and thinks differently. I know that there’s value in planning and goal setting. But the planning part is just that. Life will happen and things will change and you need to as well–the only thing that is constant is change. Life will happen as it’s meant to, it may not go as I initially planned but it will go on. I never imagined a 30 something birthday without my Mom around. But the fact is that, she never saw me out of my 20s. My old self freaked out after my 27th birthday because I realized 30 was right around the corner and 30 ended up being midlife for my Mom. But me now just lives and celebrates each day. Sometimes that celebration is done out on a trail and other times on the comfort of my couch. The last 6 years have taught me that either way, it’s my choice and in making a choice I lay the path to how I live my life moving forward.
My birthday is one I thank my parents for. I’d like to celebrate those who have helped bring to this very day in this year. Who created me, help shape me, guide me, support me, encourage me, console me, inspire me, motivate me, reflect me… I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without them. I like reflecting back on how I got here. All that I survived and thrived to be who I am today. The past that prepares me for my future…
I’ve lived 33 years and I’m still here. I appreciate the gift each day is–the laughter and the tears. The love and blessings from everyone. The good, the challenging and everything in between. I’m more then that number, I’m all the living I did until this point. Today I celebrate my presence.
Just two words–“Perfectly Real”–and yet so loaded and powerful. I’ve stated before that my goal hasn’t been around making the “perfect body” but being healthy and fit, at least for me. The journey itself has been far from perfect! I’ve tried to sit down and write this post a number of times but never end up finishing it…ironic? Maybe so, or that’s the message. That if my goal were about perfection, it would be an unrealistic goal that I’d never actually (naturally) achieve. Plus what is “perfect” to one person may be far from perfect to another and in the end the only definition and opinion that matters is my own.
To be perfectly real and honest, this journey has been ongoing since I was a young child. Petite until only about three and then always the “big kid” from five years of age and on. Being in a constant state of watching my weight…watching it rise and not in a good way. It was the root of many struggles for me growing up. I can’t even imagine how kids make it now a days with the instantaneous and long-term effects of social media out there. Bullying was hard enough when it wasn’t blasted out on social media. But my real struggle was internal. So much that it got to a point where I considered…well, lets just say that I wouldn’t be here writing this today if I had chosen one of the options I had considered for myself. Today, I’m choosing to officially and permanently let that part go and not carry that baggage with my into my future–doubt and fear are rooted there. I have no need or room for that moving forward. Instead of dragging it around, my choice is to learn from it and move forward. What did I learn? Well, that I was put here for a reason and that reason extends well beyond myself. So taking my life at a young age would have been selfish and irresponsible of me. I didn’t think it through much; it was hard to see anything past my pain. It used to make me sad to think of that time of my life but now I’m grateful for it. It was one of the first real breakthroughs in my life. In addition to, it was the first time (that I could remember) that I allowed my Dad into that deep space in my mind and heart, that I always only let my Mom into. My Dad is and was a great dad, but he travelled a lot when I was young so I often went to my Mom for comfort. I remember her coming in to my room on a number of occasions when I was going through this dark point of my life and thinking back, I can see the hurt in her eyes. She tried to help and fix me but couldn’t, and that was hard. My Mom was great at that. I often naturally want to turn to her for that even still today and I can’t….at least not in the way that I used to.
I say all that to say this. Not having her here to “save me” is what led me to making my first real decision on my own. That was a power that I’d never felt and will never forget. It’s also a reminder that I am able. It make take some time and effort on my part, but I can do it. This “perfectly real” me that I talk about is a bit of self acceptance and a dose of realistic thinking/goal setting. I still shoot for the stars but instead of focusing on the stars, I look at my first step to get to there. Knowing I can is a major aspect in this. If I don’t think I can, than I eventually won’t. In addition to, I’ve learned, it’s not about if someone else got there (or gets there) before I do, it’s about when and how I get there. Being me, the real me, not who I think people want me to be is key. My body is able…it’s not a body builder’s body, it’s not an elite runner’s body, it’s not a couch potato, it’s not a professional athlete’s, it’s not a model’s…it’s mine. I’ve worked long and hard for it too. No six-pack, some muscle definition (from hours of hard work put in), less fat then muscle now a days, smaller than it’s ever been as an adult, excess skin, but in the end it’s all mine. Not perfect but definitely perfectly real. Perfectly capable and able to assist in achieving my hopes, dreams and goals that I have in this life!
Perfectly real is a mind-set at its core. Being true to one’s self, values, beliefs, and goals. Being open and honest. Being confident and humble. Being grateful and gracious. Appreciating how I got here instead of complaining about all the struggles. It’s those challenges that have made me stronger and better and more appreciate of life.
Be you…be the perfectly real you that you are meant to be and love it!
Many of you saw my post from this weekend when I baked (and finally nailed) my pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe! I made some tweaks and most of the made for a healthier cookie. Don’t get me wrong, this is NOT a health cookie. I just made some swaps that were better alternatives than the usual recipe. For example, I swaped half the butter for 1/2 cup of pumpkin.
The recipe is below and please note that I’m not a recipe writer so if you aren’t sure about something, please do ask! Hope you enjoy!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
-1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter
-1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
-3/4 brown sugar, packed
-3/4 cup of Stevia (this is a 1:1 for the other half of the brown sugar. So if you don’t do sweetners then do this as brown sugar instead)
-1 tsp of baking soda
-1 tsp cinnamon, ground
-1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
-1/2 tsp cloves, ground
-pinch of ground (or fresh) ginger
-pinch of sea/kosher salt
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 large eggs
-1 1/4 cup All Purpose flour
-1 cup Oat flour (I made my own–cheaper and easier–by blending Quaker instant oats in my food processor)
-2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips
(NOTE: this is the part where I may miss a detail because I bake so much it’s just natural and I don’t think about certain thing. SO…IF you have any questions or need clarification, please feel free to ask)
1) Preheat oven to 350* F
2) In a mixing bowl (I make mine in my KitchenAid mixer) blend sugars, butter and pumpkin for about 1 min until mostly combined. If you use a mixer use low-medium speed.
3) Stop the mixer and add the vanilla and the eggs. Then continue to mix again until combined.
4) Stop the mixer once more and add the spices and baking soda.
5) With the mixer on low add in the flour–one cup at a time–until combined.
6) Stop the mixer and add the chocolate chip. Only turn on the mixer to combine the chocolate chips into the dough, maybe about 30 seconds.
7) Scoop dough into about 1 inch balls onto a lined/greased baking sheet–twelve (12) scoops will fit on a standard size baking sheet.
8) Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes and then allow to cool on the baking sheet for about two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
ALL DONE, repeat until all the cookies are made! Simple as that!
For my Weight Watchers friends, I got these to 2 Points per cookie…not bad!
I’ve seen and heard a lot of inspiring things over the course of the last couple of days and while I may be tired from the full schedule that I’ve been managing, I’m smart enough to know that I’m seeing and hearing all these things for a reason! I’ve said it before and still believe “EVERYTHING in our lives happens for a reason and exactly when it’s supposed to happen.”
I’ve been working on this post for over a week now…Recently, I saw a good one “REAL > perfection”. Why do I think this is so great? Simple, there’s always a part of me that gets caught up in the whirlwind and strives for perfection. But that’s not what it’s about and SURPRISE–I’m NOT perfect!! The REAL me is far from perfect and perfect isn’t even realistic, so why even attempt at making it part of my goal(s). I could sit here and point the finger at others, but that’s not realistic. I’m the one who makes the choice. And if I feel out of control then that’s a result of the choices I’ve made.
These last 12 months have been my first that my goal has been to maintain my weight and not lose it. What a roller coaster this has been! I learned quickly, that I knew how to lose but I had no idea what it was like to maintain a healthy weight. At first I dropped some more, then I maintained my goal weight for a bit, but after that a series of events happened and I’ve been in a gain mode for a while. Maybe it’s all the traveling I’ve been doing this year, maybe not. Maybe it’s the personal struggle of trusting myself and my abilities, maybe not. But even if it is due to all that, my goal has always been to live and lead a healthy life. That involves being able to transition when those times arise in my life. Making my new healthy habits fit. How do we do that?
I said it in the beginning of the year and I’m realizing how today…2014 was a year of challenges. Don’t get me wrong, challenges aren’t a bad thing. They change us and often for the better–making us stronger, better, and wiser. Those things that push us out of our comfort zone are what expand our comfort zone until it no longer exists. I’ve done this before. For example, I started this journey by walking to be active. Then I tried going faster little by little. I worked my way up to jogging a mile without stopping and I still remember to this day how great that felt…I ran, WITHOUT stopping, a whole mile! Then I ran/walked my first organized 5K. I’d intermittently throw in some 10Ks to kinda prove that I could do more. Finally someone said to me, “You know you could run a half.” I looked at her and thought she’d lost her mind or wasn’t talking directly to me! LOL….love this woman though, then and still now! She told me I could and I showed her (and myself) that I was able! It’s the same in life. Constant cycle of doubting ability (or assuring a confined comfort zone) and breaking those barriers down. I’m realizing that I’m still going through these cycles and will until I no longer have barriers/a comfort zone to break through. Is that realistic? Maybe. I may not live that long to find out though as it could take many many years to accomplish.
There’s another great quote that comes to mine as I type this…”It’s not who you are that holds you back; it’s who you think you aren’t.” **I’ll pause to let you ponder that one** OK, ready? It got to a point for me when I realized the more people would challenge me to do bigger and better things. The more people would start to see this new me and the potential that I was (apparently) exuding, would tell me and encourage me to think/do bigger and bolder goals. It was this point in my life that I recognized that I was the one holding myself back and I was doing it every day, sometimes multiple times a day. How? Every time the words “I can’t…” came out of my mouth, I was doubting my own abilities. I was saying couldn’t even before I tried. The day I realized that was the last day those words ever came out of my mouth again. It took a while to stop thinking them–especially when a certain trainer would have me do atomic push-ups on the TRX. But it was challenges like that which made me stronger. All this spread beyond my fitness and strength goals.
But since that peak, I feel as if I’ve lost sights of goal setting and achieving. When I was losing there was always a goal out there–lose weight, hit my goal weight. But since then…since then I forgot that I need to now set regular goals. That this journey with my weight and health is never over and always present in my life. That every choice I make ripples into the next and they all affect my wellbeing. Now that I’ve said this, I need to focus forward and work towards a maintainance lifestyle. Which requires regular self assessments, healthy choices all around, positive thinking, living life active and reflection/me time to rest and recoup. My focus first is assessment which I’ll address in my next blog post. Followed by a blog post about healthy choices, and so on. This is what my “Quest for a RE-ReNewedMe will entail. This is my choice, I will post about it (all–good, bad, and ugly) because I’m REAL and far from perfect. And because the ultimate goal is really about continuing to strive and become a better version of my self while living my vocation to help others–BALANCE.
In Good Health,
@ReNewedMe, aka Dre
Everyone carries something from their past into every day, I’m no exceptioni. In fact, this is probably my greatest weakness and burden in my life. I know that I’m the only one who has control over it. In my day to day life, I’m a purger…can’t stand clutter! But when it comes to memories and past hurts I can’t seem to purge as easily.
Throughout my weighloss journey I recognized that my weight was due to some of this “baggage” that I’d been carrying around for (years in some cases) too long and I wasn’t even conscious of it! So as these pasts started to resurface, I”d deal with them and then purge. My running actually helped a lot with this process because I was able to expell any energy these feeling/memories left in me and would enter a type of meditative state in the process.
Just like how my weight loss (I’m learning) is not a “one and done” process, the purging of these types of feelings and memories/experiences is an ongoing process. 2014 has been a challenging year, I said it was, something in me just knew that I’d have a year of overcoming ahead of me and boy was I right! But Instead of wallowing in said challenges, I’m embracing them for what they are (growth/learning opportunities) and moving on. I’m a firm believer that “everything in life happens for a reason” and at the time in our lives when it’s supposed to. Our control is in how we handle these things that happen.
People often ask how I was able to find such success after a devasting loss and my answer is simple. In my case (and in many others) I feel that you have two choices in those moments. 1) You can choose to get up (as challenging as that may be in itself), dust yourself off and learn/grow from what happened. Or 2) you can stay knocked down and wallow in your loss. I didn’t want to continue to feel the way I did after my losses–days of endless sadness and despair. I wanted to feel happy again and not guilty for living my life. But in that moment I also realized that I didn’t have much time left if I went back to living the way I was. I was reckless and careless with my life and I wanted many years of thriving ahead of me. So instead of “going back to normal” I sought out my new normal and embraced it. It made for some defininte “growing pains” but those were good “pains” and they made me a better person.
I had that wallowing feeling rresurface the other day. Like many, I’ve been struggling with maintaining a healthy weight and I found myself slipping back into old habits–and I”m not just talking about how/what I eat. Seriously! I had an aching pain in my stomach because of something that happened this weekend and it immediately flashed me back to my life about 7 years ago and I didn’t like it one bit! It was a blessing because it was a very eye opening moment to how much I’ve changed both inside and out! That pain made me realize that even though I may have slip ups every now and again moving forward, I’ll never be that girl that I once was, again! I almost couldn’t believe how grateful for that I was. I spoke my mind to the person(s) who needed to receive it and that was that. Since that feeling, I’m continuing to move forward. I see the rest of my 2014 and I embrace it with all it has in store for me. I know it’s going to close on a happy note and I’m looking forward to that!
Most importantly, I feel empowered! In that pain moment i remembered what it felt like to not feel in control or empowered of myself. It shook me to my core and I needed that. A gain of 15lbs is simply that. But my choices and actions after realizing that are what count more. I know that I’m not slipping back into the person I once was. I found myself seated at a restaurant with friends at 10pm at night and I wasn’t even hungry but we ate because it was somewhere we can’t go at home and I was there. I split an order with a friend and only ate half of my portion. While i could easily get wrapped up and consumed in I ate even though I was not hungry. I chose to focus on the fact that I recognized that in the moment and while I made the choice to taste while there, I didn’t over indulge and moved on. Before I would have never even done a “gut check” of if I was hungry or not and I probably wouldn’t have split a dish either! So celebrating the little things!
This extra weight will come off with time. I’m far from a couch potato…but it will take longer than it used to because I don’t crash diet. I live and lead a healthy lifestyle…I will clean up this week and in time the weight will start to come off. But–same as with my past–I’m not stressing over it! My focus is forward and in order to keep it there, I’m letting go of yesterday and exciting for what’s ahead!
So it’s Friday and I’ve pretty much am a week into my new mindset and life philosophy of #EatPrayRun and #FindingBalance. I think my small changes starting out have been good. Look, this isn’t my first “rodeo” and I don’t have a lot of weight to shed like I did before, so I know my small changes will be slow to show and subtle. But the difference is that nowadays I’m much more accepting of that. So what do I have to be proud of this week? Well for starters I didn’t quit on myself!! Hello, HUGE victory right there!!!! I half joke but am also totally serious when I say that I’m usually the only thing in my way when I haven’t reached a goal I set out for myself. It usually comes down to my mindset. So I’m well aware and very much an advocate for #HealthyMind = #HealthyBody = #WellBeing. People say you are what you eat, but I think it’s more you are what you think. That’s the root of it all. We know what’s good for us and what’s good fuel for our bodies, but we choose otherwise. I know healthy food makes me feel good from the inside out–better energy, my skin is clearer, no more headaches, etc.
Many of you know that a good amount of my 170 lbs shed was done after I went back to WeightWatchers. The plan wasn’t anything earth shattering but the support I got from my meeting group/leader and the accountability that it gave me helped me reach my weight goal. Yesterday I battled with myself about whether or not I should go to a meeting while I’m in LA. The thing I was hung up on (and asked a bunch of people about) was that I’d have to weigh in. I knew I had a great week but I wasn’t necessarily ready to get on a scale yet. The good thing about where I’m at this week–no scale. I can often get handcuffed to a scale and stuck with what it reads. I know that living a healthy lifestyle is more than that. As a Lifetime WW member, I’m only required to weigh in once a month. The answers from my friends and family varied. Honestly, I could’ve asked a million people and the decision ultimately come down to me.
I got up and went this morning…weighed in and everything. And you know what? I gained and it didn’t phase me one bit. I wasn’t “whatever” about it, I wasn’t upset about it, I honestly wasn’t anything about it. It was astonishing to me. I sat down listened and actively participated in the meeting. Which was nice to be at considering I was somewhere where no one knew me as a leader so I could 100% be a member! And I left to go run the rest of my errands, in a good mood. I was happy because the results of the scale didn’t deter the rest of my day! It didn’t ruin my day. It didn’t give me the attitude of “well F that I’m going to go eat whatever I want”, etc.
I surprisingly felt empowered by the whole experience. I went grocery shopping for good/healthy food, I went to the gym, I got my work done, I cooked my dinner, etc. I even planned my next day and actually through my return home! Bring it on new week!
So what’s my update from my first week of #EatPrayRun and #FindingBalance….do what makes you FEEL good…genuinely. I talked to family and friends this week–one convo even got me motivated to get up and out to a run–prior to I was finding an easier way out to do my workout. I ate what I wanted to and it was healthy too! I logged/tracked what I ate, even if I exceeded my daily target. Once I did, I didn’t feel guilty about it. Which, for me, often leads to consuming even more out of spite. Say YES to you and NO to others. What do I mean by that? Well…sometimes you need to say ‘no’ to others requests/needs of you in order to provide self care for yourself. It’s just like the instructions on the airplane when the oxygen masks come out–you put yours on before helping others. Take care of your needs and then, if you have the time, energy, money, etc. go and help the others in your life. Forgive yourself. May sound silly but I noticed that often times my actions are reactions from something else and they are usually rooted in me feeling guilty about something. So I’m learning to forgive myself when necessary.
More to come next week!
Happy and healthy weekend!
People often ask how I did this, why I got started and how I kept going. I seem to have a form answer to give but really I don’t think I was as conscious of this all in the moment as I am now. I’ll never forget that month of August in 2008 when I lost my job while my Mom was terminally ill in the hospital. A week later, shortly after she was allowed to go home (not because she was better but because there was nothing more, medically they could do to improve her health) I lost my Mom. About a week after that, I lost my grandmother who’d been battling heart disease. What a four weeks right?!
Although it may seem like it, this isn’t some “aha moment” that happens where something “clicks” and all of a sudden this whole process becomes easy. Quite the contrary…and it took a while too! But at the time I did know one thing, genetics wasn’t in my favor (from both sides) and while I didn’t have control over that, I did have the option to have control over my weight. Don’t get me wrong though, I didn’t do this because I was afraid dying. I don’t fear dying–we are all here for a purpose, once we fulfill it, that’s it and we don’t have control over that. I made changes to my health because I wanted to start living my life. I realized just how precious and (possibly) short it can be and I wasn’t going to take it for granted. In my current state of being at the time, I was far from living life. I wanted to thrive and I was barely surviving.
So that’s how I started. I guess the “easy” part was that I did have a clear start and a why. That all evolved over time, what was rooted in the passing of my Mom and grandma internalized and was more focused on me. It all happens with one step at a time and a consistent focus forward. Looking back to learn is ok, but staying there isn’t an option that you can keep while on this journey.
Even now, maintaining a healthy weight seems more challenging than losing-I’ve spent most of my life losing weight but rarely if ever maintaining a healthy one. So how does one maintain a healthy weight, live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the life they’ve been blessed with? Great question and I plan to find out! Some of my favorite (and regular “go to” movies have themes like this. While I don’t have the means to jetset off to Europe or Asia or anywhere else in the world, I know that I can have similar growth wherever I am (now a days that’s a moving target, LOL).
So I invite you to join me on my journey I’m deeming “EAT PRAY RUN” where I find my balance in living healthy and happy–both inside and out, because a Healthy Mind + Healthy Body = Well Being.
My activity of choice may be obvious to many of you who know me, but for those who don’t I’ll share some details….When I first started trying to live healthier staying active was challenging, I was over 345lbs. So I started by walking, my Mom was an avid walker and I felt more connected to her when I’d go out for these walks. Over time, my walking has evolved into running and in August of 2012 I ran my first half marathon. Now I’ve completed 12 more and counting! If you’ve never done one, the training programs alone can seem daunting. 13 weeks of running with long runs ranging from 5-12 miles long. Now that doesn’t seem as long to me anymore but doing them on a regular basis since 2012 has and I recently hit burn out mode. But in my heart I love running and know I don’t want to give it up, but we have been on a bit of a break.
So enter in my “EAT PRAY RUN”!! We all know what’s best to eat vs what’s not, but many of us don’t do it. But I know how good I feel when my body is fueled vs fed. By that I mean, when my eating habits are centered around fueling my body for optimal performance (day in and day out, in training, or competition) versus feeding my body either based on emotions or feelings. When I “feed” myself, it’s usually higher in fat, salt, and sugar. When I fuel myself it’s usually healthy fats, low sodium, minimal/no sugars and lots of water. I feel my best when I eat like this, I end up having better and more sustained energy and sleep better too! So there’s the EAT of my “EAT PRAY RUN”.
The PRAY is more about allowing myself time to reflect internally. I’d confidently say that most of my energy/focus in a day is externally given–work, family, friends, etc. It’s not a complaint, just an observation on my part that there needs to be more of a balance there in order for me to be able to provide my best self to those that I love and care for. My PRAY will be spent in morning “me time” where I quietly reflect on what my day has in store, morning yoga and a motivational short read. Additionally, in the evening I’ll plan to do some “me time” through reflection and meditation. I figure that’s a good way to wind down my day. I don’t know that I’ll have something to check in with here daily, but if I do, you can be sure that part of my PM PRAY will be a blog.
Finally, RUN. Kinda obvious what that will consist of, right? LOL. But in all seriousness, I want to fall back in love with running–whole heartedly. I know that part of that is realizing that I do run (as a wise person told me once) because I can and want to, not because I have to. Also, someone else shared some wisdom with me in that, not every run needs (or should be) treated as a competition. PRs (personal records) don’t need to be achieved at every race. These are both important for many reasons, one being self care for my body. Even elite athletes have time off from competing, and I’m far from an elite athlete! But seem to neglect working in the balance of training and resting. Finding and practicing this balance will be part of the RUN of my EAT PRAY RUN.
All three aspects are key in me learning the balance of living this weight and healthy lifestyle, which is ultimately my goal. I know the yo-yo living of training hard to burning out is a reflection of the way I used to live. In order to truly not go back to that, I need to change how I live day in and day out–internally. What I think, I do. So I will do my best to keep it mostly positive because I know that ripples to many other aspects of my life. It can easily break me when I’m struggling with food or a workout. Which can just as easily domino beyond just one day!
This year August will be different…I will do more than survive…I WILL thrive. I will take what I learn each day to build on to the next. Each small step leads to bigger change. I will stumble but that’s part of the process. I will get back up, dust myself off, and continue on…I’m that determined to find the balance in my healthy lifestyle–i prefer and enjoy it over the alternative and I want it to become easier over time.
Stay tuned for more on my #EatPrayRun, #FindingBalance and #DreGetsHerGrooveBack!!
For daily check ins, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter at @ReNewedMe