Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Happy New Year New You!

Ah, the beginning of a new year!  So full of hope and renewal.  Big plans to change lives, change the world!  OK, hands up if you’ve decided this is the year you’ll exercise regularly or start running or begin a new diet or go to church weekly or “be a better you” in some other way.

Yeah, they all start off that way, don’t they?  We start off with all this enthusiasm and we’re so gung-ho.  But by March all the beginning enthusiasm has worn off and we’re back in the same old routines, probably disappointed in ourselves for failing when we’d set ourselves up for failure in the first place.

So what can we do instead?  How can we make ourselves and our world better in 2017?  Certainly not by trying to do it all up front.  No, it needs to be a more gradual process to succeed.  Baby steps!  And we must be forgiving of ourselves when we don’t make a goal or a new routine doesn’t stick after the first month.

It’s true that we often don’t push ourselves hard enough and don’t reach our potential in any given area because of it.  It’s also true that sometimes we push ourselves too hard and sabotage our efforts that way.  I know I’m guilty of both!

Face it, you aren’t going to go to the gym every day.  Probably not even 3 days a week every week for the whole year.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise several times a week.  Go for a walk.  Do a 20-30 minutes workout video or follow along with an exercise sheet easily printed from various websites.  I’ve seen some designed to be done at a desk!  You also won’t follow a strict diet of severely restricting what and how much you can eat, either.  But you can find a healthy eating program to help you make balanced choices and eat more whole foods instead of sugary treats.

How will I be a “new me” this year, I guess is a question.  Well, certainly not by making any Earth shattering resolutions and failing by mid-February.  No, that won’t do at all.  That’s just “me” not a “new me” 😛   I’d rather continue studying to learn more about networking and computer repair until I finally get a job and then continue on from there.  I’ll also continue meditating and reading daily (or almost daily, anyway) to grow both spiritually and as a person.  I’ll try to do a better job to help those in need and to recognize when someone doesn’t need or want or can’t accept anything I have to offer.  I could also do a better job of accepting help when I’m the one in need.

So how about it?  Do you have big plans for the new year?  How do you intend to make it work long-term?  Can you be forgiving of yourself if you stumble along the way?  Remember, dear.  You’re only human.  You will make mistakes.  You will run low on steam to keep up a big project.  You will probably even find yourself forgetting because it’s not part of your pre-set routine.  Love yourself because of this, not in spite of it.  It’s okay, really.  You are going to be great and do great things!  Even if it’s not what you planned 🙂

Five Happiness Habits

Last night the bookshelves in my room started throwing things at me so I took it as a sign to clean them up!  Sorting through the books and the stacks of paper and the endless craft supplies has been quite interesting.  I’ve found all sorts of hidden treasures!  And I’ve only done one set of shelves!  I’m saving the other one for tomorrow 😉

One of the best things I found was a paper titled “Five Happiness Habits”.  It’s in my handwriting so I know I wrote it down but if I copied any of it from other sources I apologize now.  I’m just going to type it here as is.

Five Happiness Habits

1. Be kinder than necessary

If someone is rude, smile and wish them a nice day.  If children leave garbage or toys on the stairs, push it aside instead of stepping on it.  Try to make someone feel a little better for having crossed your path.

2. Accept what cannot be changed

Life isn’t fair and some things just really suck.  Get over it.  Everyone has challenges and problems but not everyone lets that hold them back.  Accept, adapt, and adjust.

3. Tell the truth

Lying or even just softening the truth has never done you any good.  Just be honest, with other and with yourself.

4. See problems as challenges

The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task or a chore.

5. Let go of negativity

Focusing on the negative attracts more negativity to your life.  Focus on the good, positive things in your life to attract more good, positive things.  Re-watch “The Secret”.


OK, so there’s nothing truly groundshakingly original there but it’s all good advice.  I’ll be posting the original paper where I can see it daily and perhaps I can better incorporate some of these attitudes into my life, especially #4!

Empty Bowls; i.e., starving in a house of plenty.

I have been ill for the last several years and my house has fallen into a shameful state of affairs suitable, to my disgrace, not for living but for one of those reality clean-up shows.  I am now graced with the gift of health enough to begin the reparation process.

As I clean the kitchen I find bowls.  Bowls in cupboards.  Bowls on shelves.  Bowls nested inside of other bowls.  Bowls of all shapes and sizes and materials.  Some left from when my children were young. Some plastic sets with lids, two complete sets plus some extras! Some borrowed from my mother, now returned.

I also threw away pound after pound of expired food – cans as many as 10 years past their use by date!  I haven’t even lived in this state for 10 years!

How often do we say or hear “I’m hungry” or “There’s nothing to eat”?  How many neighbors do we have who actually ARE hungry and have nothing to eat?  While we sit here in our houses of plenty, staring at our empty bowls, and whining.

What is, what was, what could be

Saturday afternoon I received some bad news.  It’s not that it was unexpected news.  I knew it could happen this early.  But I hadn’t thought about it in a while and thought I had a few more months.  When I learned the extra time was not to be, I had to move forward with planning for this new circumstance.

Unfortunately I don’t handle bad news well.  It’s Tuesday evening now and I’ve had this knot in my shoulder since Sunday morning!  But I’m finally moving forward with some alternate plans.  Not enough yet but it’s a start!  And I have a month to work things out.

Saturday was also closing night of Tyler’s play!  I only got to see 2 shows but it was opening night and closing night so those are the 2 I would have chosen.  He had a great time and he is sad it’s over but I know he’s happy, too.  He’s missed a lot of sleep the last couple of months!  But the next project will come up very soon (he’s involved with 2 local theaters and the new drama program at his high school… it won’t be long!) and once again he will never be home and will wish he could take a nap.

Riley is doing awesome!  Having three part time teachers rather than 1 full time teacher doesn’t seem to be bothering her at all.  Plus she’s in practice for the Special Olympics Equestrian event.  We were there earlier this evening and they finally took the lead rope off the horse!  She was riding independently in the spring but her new coach had never worked with her before.  The show is in 4 weeks and we’re already excited!

As for me, the word is stress!  Yesterday Riley had therapy so I spent 3 hours in the waiting room!  The last hour was pretty nice but before then, ugh!  I really wanted to suggest to that other mom that her verbal reprimands were going unheeded and perhaps he would respond better to distraction or some other option but decided to just shut up with the unsolicited advice.  Because, seriously, almost nobody wants to hear it!

I’m trying to take my stress out on planning for the future, cleaning up my home, and crafting.  I did have a bag of M&Ms yesterday.  Chocolate just seemed the thing to do at the time!  But I kicked my butt this morning during my workout 🙂  I was also hoping a good workout would help this painful knot in my shoulder.  I guess it helped some.  It’s gone from knotted kite string to knotted shoe string so that’s something!

Maybe this week I’ll share a craft I’ve been working on.  But then the question becomes, which one!  Greeting card?  Clock?  Jewelry?  Bookmark?  Decisions, decisions, so many decisions!

So what is?  Change!  Always change!  Ready or not, something WILL change!  What was?  Tyler’s play.  My procrastination.  The lead rope from Riley’s horse!  What could be?  The beautiful (yet terrifying) thing is I have no idea!

Sabotage? I think not!

Riley is doing amazing!  Seriously.  Incredible.  The difference in her in just the last few months is unbelievable.  Her speech.  Her social skills.  Pretty much everything.  I was terrified at taking on multiplication again after the summer since it was so hard in 3rd grade but it feels as though she assimilated that information over the break.  She’s doing great!

I’m doing wonderful, too!  I’ve lost nearly 15 pounds in the last month or so.  I’m really close to a milestone!  I’m wearing pants I haven’t been able to squeeze into for months and they’re comfy!

Then there was the weekend…

Oh dear.  Run, run, run.  Busy, busy, busy.  Tyler had his play performance on Friday night then two showing on Saturday.  Riley and I went to a symphony concert Saturday evening.  (It was a fundraiser for the ranch she where she rides and they host the Special Olympics horse show.)  I ended up having dinner at 4pm at Steak N Shake.  Single burger with fries and a diet coke.  Then everyone… both kids AND my parents… ordered ice cream!  Ugh!  It’s soooooo yummy!  And I sat there sipping my diet coke.

So of course I had to have a snack at the concert (concession profits also went to the ranch).  Thankfully they provided some veggie chips (surprisingly good), fruit and bottled water.

Then Tyler’s play let out right after our concert (at adjoining venues, conveniently) so he just HAD to go to McD’s to hang out with the other actors some more.  So here I am at McD’s with an excited 16 year old, exhausted (and grumpy) 9 year old, my very tired daddy, and me.  Again, all these calories are just flying around me!  Did you know McD’s is now putting calorie counts next to every item on the menu?  I love it!  Fruit ‘n’ Yogurt Parfait!

I’m so proud of myself!  I just went over 1200 calories for the day!

Today wasn’t much better.  I didn’t even get lunch today!  Busy, busy, busy.  Run, run, run.  What’s a gal to do?  I’m sure I’ll make up for it tomorrow!

But with everything against me and temptation abounding and stress through the roof, I stuck with my desire to be healthier and fit into more flattering clothing.  Sabotage will just have to try harder next weekend!  (I don’t mean that as a challenge… really!)