This Is Not Goodbye

I need a break.

A break from the blog, a break from social media. Just a break from it all.

After this contest ends I am going on a temporary hiatus from blogging. I have already cut way back on my Twitter and Facebook time and keep going back and forth about deleting my Twitter account entirely.

You have my email- it’s posted on the blog page. You know how to get in touch with me. I will still be here if you need anything at all.

I just need a break.

I need time to reevaluate my situation.

I don’t feel like I am doing my best to help anyone right now, especially not myself.

Right now I am at a point in my journey where reading people’s blogs or going on Twitter is just frustrating to me. It’s hard to explain what’s going on in my head right now and I know if I tried to I would just piss people off so let’s just say I need a break.

I’m drained.

There is no use to keep pushing myself towards these expectations I have set for myself, in regards to this blog, when I know I am never going to get there.

So, I am just going to step away for a bit and decide what my next step will be. What I want from this blog. What message I want to send. I have changed so much and so I think it is time for this blog to change as well.

This is not goodbye. This is just a quick break. I’ll be back and hopefully this blog will still be something that interests you.

Take care and as always, thanks for reading!

April 12, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Blogging, inspiration. 9 comments.

Music and Inspiration

I love music…it feeds my soul.

I was lucky to be raised by two people who love music and was surrounded by it all of my life. There are pictures of me as a child, even as an infant, at concerts and festivals with my parents and their friends.

My adolescence was filled with music, too. I played a few different instruments and spent my teenage years going to shows all over Philly and wherever else I could drive too on my limited budget.
Music was a huge part of my everyday life.

And yes, I do believe this world would be better if music filled the streets like a soundtrack to life.

Music is a must for me during my workouts whether it’s being played at the classes I take, Nia, yoga, boxing, or whether I am listening to my iTunes. I workout without music is torturous.

What I am listening to is just as important as having something to listen to. Not like I am a music snob or anything but I look for inspiration in the lyrics and beats so I try to pick songs that make me happy and keep me moving.

And isn’t funny when that perfect song comes on at just the right moment?

“My body tells me no, but I won’t quit. Cause I want more, cause I want more.”- My Body by Young the Giant. My bestie says she thinks of me every time she hears it even though we’ve never talked about this song before. Isn’t that cool?

“It’s not supposed to be easy…that’s why it feels so f***ing good.” Jump on my Shoulders by AWOLNATION

“I think I found my place. Can’t you feel it growing stronger? Little conquerors.” Walk by the Foo Fighters

“You gotta be stronger than the story, don’t let it blind you. Rivers of shadow, this feeling won’t go.” This is Your Life by the Killers

“Never was a cornflake girl, thought that was a good solution.” Cornflake Girl by Tori Amos

“When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over. When everything is out you gotta take it in.” Good Life by OneRepublic

But my absolute favorite workout song is ‘Timshel’ by Mumford & Sons. It’s not really the kind of song you think of for a workout song; it’s not really upbeat and it doesn’t have a fast tempo. I love it because of the words.

“Cold is the water
It freezes your already cold mind
Already cold, cold mind
And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance
But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand
Hold your hand”

Every time I hear this song I think that I am not alone on this journey and for those of you long time readers you will probably remember a post I wrote about this song and how it brings me comfort thinking of you here with me along the way.

Every choice I make, every word I write is for me but I always think of you. This journey; mine, yours, ours, it’s so much bigger than we realize. We lose pounds, we change habits, we exercise but really we grow, heal and evolve. It is truly life-changing.

And when I am on the bike or treadmill and I hear those words ‘you are not alone’ it brings a tear to my eye (as it does just writing it now) because for the first time in my life I truly believe it.

Thanks for reading!

March 9, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, inspiration, Music. 4 comments.

Wordless Wednesday

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February 1, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . inspiration, wordless wednesday. 3 comments.

My Trip to SARA

Paul and I celebrated my birthday by spending Saturday at SARA; the society for animal rescue and adoption. SARA is located about 40 miles outside of San Antonio and the drive brought us to a part of Texas I had never seen before. I knew we were out in the country when every home we passed had cattle grazing in the front yard. It was a beautiful drive and although it was slightly cool (for Texas) the sun was shining- perfect weather for spending the day outside.

When we arrived we were greeted by Hector, one of the full time employees at SARA. Hector gave us a tour of the sanctuary and background stories for so many of the animals and let me just tell you there were a lot of animals. Way more than I even imagined. It was beautiful and sad at the same time. So many animals rescued from dire situations, so many animals who have suffered horribly at the hands of their human owners. Being at SARA made me happy to know a place like it exists in my backyard and sad that it needed to exist in the first. Such emotional turmoil.

After our tour, Hector gave us a list of chores that needed to be done so Paul and I set off to help out the best we could. Our morning was filled with; emptying and filling the water troughs, feeding the roosters, feeding the donkeys and horses, cleaning the chicken coop and feeding the birds. We helped bring a blind sheep that was being left at SARA because the owners could no longer care for it into it’s new (temporary) home. The sheep would only be there for a few days as it was already set to be adopted- happy ending. We helped out with some minor tweaks being made to a pavilion. And we fed the pigs. Lots and lots of pigs. Baby pigs, potbelly pigs, and wild pigs. There are hundreds and hundreds of pigs. Some there to save them from being killed by the area residents, some there because families didn’t want them any more. Each little pig had personality and I was quickly falling in love.

Between all of the chores Paul and I made sure we were able to interact with all the animals. That meant lots of time petting dogs, donkeys, cows, longhorns and horses. By the end of the day we had learned a lot about SARA, met the owner/operator Tracy (whom we love and admire greatly) and fell madly in love with the animals. I must have thanked Paul a dozen times for giving me the best birthday present ever. It was a day I will never forget. I cannot wait to go back. I plan on making the trip there once or twice a month. It’s really the least I can do. SARA is an amazing place and thankfully I was able to take some pictures at the end of the day so I can share my experience with you.

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Robyn is an angel. One of my favorite dogs. She was raised as a fighting dog but is now docile and loving.

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This donkey wanted to get in the Kia and come home with us. How cute?

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Axel was another one of my favorite doggies! He loves to be around people and the other animals.

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So many piggies!

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Roosters and Turkeys!

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The kitties!

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Donkeys!

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Cows and Longhorns!

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Doggies!

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My favorite: horses!

If you are interested in learning more about SARA, animal rescue and adoption or learning how you can donate or help please visit SARA’s website: SARA

Thanks for reading!

January 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , . inspiration, Life. 3 comments.

This is How We Change the World

Today we honor a revolutionary man; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King led such a monumental life and did so many things which significantly changed the landscape for our country and the world. Dr. King had a vision, ideals, and the eloquence to deliver them to the masses. He ignited change.

As we pay honor to the great Dr. King please take a few minutes to read what my friends are doing in 2012 to change the world.

We are all revolutionaries. We all hold the power needed to ignite change. Please don’t ever forget that.

CHANGE

I am changing the world, first by making the change I want in myself. I am ditching the excuses and shooting it straight. I am getting healthy and hope that the positive energy I feel is contagious, and those around be will become more positive as well. I have and will continue to donate to my charities. I volunteered for the USO; they have a backlog of volunteers which is good for them, and keeps me on hold for the moment. I hope just being positive and kind to all will catch on and the normal group/ work place BS and drama can be pushed out!

-Ashley

In 2011, I resolved to lose weight and “get healthy.” I hadn’t necessarily been unhappy, I just hadn’t felt satisfied or fulfilled in a while. I knew that I often felt sluggish and lacked energy, clothes were tight and I didn’t feel sexy or pretty. I was sure my weight was solely to blame. In my mind, the solution was to lose the weight. So, I did. Nearly 30 lbs. Know what? I left 2011 still not feeling terribly happy or thankful.  I was irritable often (my husband can attest to that) and short-tempered. I didn’t feel very satisfied or fulfilled.

Know why? I’d gotten the goal wrong all along. I should have first promised to accept myself, regardless of the numbers on the scale. Eureka! Funny thing is that, as I write this (and only because the offer was extended – Thanks, Dacia!), I didn’t even realize it. But thinking about change and what it really means and how it should start, made me realize that there was one, fundamental change that I’ve never taken on; self-acceptance.

What does that actually mean?  Loving myself, and focusing on what makes me special and unique, not on the numbers.  Recognizing my strengths, and challenging myself to share them with others. Respecting my weaknesses and limitations, and knowing when to ask for help. Hopefully, in making this my focus, helping myself first, I’ll be better able to help others. And, although the “others” I speak of may initially exist in a very small corner of my world, it’s a chain reaction, right?

-Kelly, www.TheBusyCrab.com

I believe when a lot of people do something small to make a positive impact it can make one great impact on the world. Even if it is just something small like picking up trash on the highway or donating clothes to people in need. For instance, my 16th birthday is coming up and I would like to have a small get-together and instead of people bringing presents for me, because I have more than enough, I would like people to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to a children’s hospital or our local Children’s Ranch to help those kids suffering or parent-less. Even with something as small as helping kids can make a positive impact and with everyone doing something positive, we can all eventually change the world a little piece at a time.

-Veronica

This year, I will affect change in the world by teaching and shaping the future- our children. As a teacher and a nanny, I strive to not only educate, but to positively influence children to be strong and capable. Too often we hear of students and children who just don’t care and are apathetic. But I want to see the next generation have a thirst for knowledge and discovery. And that starts with a teacher who cares.

-Crystal, @oneandonlycp

So I’m changing my world and hopefully those around me by two things this year.

One is by getting fit and healthier and second by being a better person and growing in my love for God.

Getting fit and healthier is a sort of like a domino effect. I have two boys in my house, that basically look to me as their mother but also, I’m setting an example for their future lives and wives. Saying says “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” that holds true. It’s not that I was unhappy but I’m not my best person physically. Eating right in the house, if I do it, well they have no choice but to. Sorry my kitchen is not an order-up diner, it’s a ‘you get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit’ kitchen. If I’m feeling better about myself, well then my work is better and my employer loves me even more than they already did. Friends start to ask what’s changed and you tell them, then they are more conscious of their lives. It’s like recycling, never-ending!

Loving my God, makes me love people more, so I’m learning to love everyone without judgment and doing so brings peace to me, my family and my friends. When you have peace with yourself, people see it, and they gravitate towards you.

Change all starts with yourself, how can you expect someone to change if you, yourself were unwilling to change? Be part of the solution not the problem; know that everything starts with the faith of a mustard seed.

– @rosed78

2012 Goals to Change my tiny part of the world:

1. Open my daughter’s eyes on how to make a change, even a small one.

2. Recycling: My town does not recycle. It is very frustrating especially moving from Seattle where recycling is a big priority and way of life. So my daughter and I have taken the initiative to start recycling as much as possible. We are going to buy a bin and load up all of our recyclables weekly and take them to the schools that do recycle. We have also decided to write our city council about the lack of recycling options in Lawton. This is a military town and there is so much that goes to waste. We would really like to make this change this year. Kind of a fun note: I bought these awesome stamps that have cute little recycling phrases on them. So every time I mail something (thank you notes or birthday cards) everyone who touches that piece of mail will get a little recycling wisdom. LOL

3. Volunteer work: My daughter and I really want to volunteer somewhere. I just started looking into different options, so we are still narrowing it down. With Bailey only being 10 we are limited in what we can actually do. Here are our options as of right now: A. Serve lunches to the crews for Habitat for Humanity. B. Work at the food bank helping to organize.

4. Shop locally!!! My family LOVES shopping at the farmers market. So I’m going to help raise awareness for the farmers markets here in town. They only run from May to Nov, so during that time I will be shopping there and blowing up FB with posts 🙂

5. Donate! We are donating all of our clothes to the homeless shelter. Bailey goes through so many shoes and clothes and I want her to see that other people can benefit.

-Amber

How will I make a change this year? Ok, yes I am overwhelmed by that question. I do however want to do something to help change someone else’s world. Last year I made several changes that put me on a healthy journey and that journey continues this year. Lots of folks need to start their healthy journey.  I want to do my part in encouraging people to make positive change in their lives. For me it took a little bit of reflection and self-love to get my ball rolling. The ball became a giant snow ball when I started to enjoy my workouts. Movement can bring a ton of joy to the human body. I have been studying Nia for several months and am working my way to begin teaching classes. I want to teach Nia for lots of reasons, but the one that resonates the highest is the spreading of joy through movement. My focus will not only be at area gyms but also senior centers. I have always enjoyed spending time around people in the generations above my own and I think helping them to get moving could be a very joyous experience for everyone involved. My focus for change this year is of the healthy journey variety, but it won’t be just me or just my household, I want to reach out into my community and help others to move and enjoy their own journey.

@Simply_Sidney http://simplysidney.wordpress.com/

This past year I have been most touched by the No Kids Hungry campaign.  One afternoon, while wrapping Christmas gifts and stressing wondering if I should stretch my budget to include Christmas cards, I caught an episode of Ellen. You know it was one of those moments where you are caught in your own worry that seem so important at the time, then you are told a story that makes you immediately aware of how truly blessed you are. Ellen had Jeff Bridges (the spokesperson for No Child Hungry campaign) with Sherrie Gahn, principal of Whitney Elementary. Sherrie was speaking about how the tone of her school becomes very depressing on Friday afternoons. Unlike most schools where Friday holds the freedom and anticipation of the weekend for carefree children, Sherrie’s school is unfortunately filled with children who are anything but carefree. Most of the children at Whitney Elementary spend the weekend hungry and filled with worry. Their reality is that they will more than likely not eat until school again on Monday. Horrified, I thought “oh no, that can’t be right, we can’t possibly have that type of hunger right here in America.” I was sobered by the reality that we do. After crying until my eyes hurt, I logged onto the website and signed the petition which I now invite you to do. I have begun taking the steps to help make a change in these children’s lives including a monthly donation. I am also planning for a Great American Bake Sale at my girl’s school to support the cause and teach my girls the importance of thinking of others. I have some plans to make a difference in my garden as well. This season I will Plant a Row for the Hungry. “There are over 84 million households with a yard or garden in the U.S. If every gardener plants one extra row of vegetables and donates their surplus to local food agencies and soup kitchens, a significant impact can be made on reducing hunger.” – Garden Writers Association   Lastly, I will be writing about ways to cultivate an organic garden, helping to sustain your family. If perhaps gardening space is a problem, I will supply you with a list of community gardens that you can join. If gardening is not your thing, I have ideas for you such as joining a local CSA to support farmers, and of course list your local farmers markets. For those of us that are not interested in gardening outdoors, why not grow a garden in your heart? You can plant a seed of kindness, in caring for others. A seed for compassion, in thinking of those needier than us. A seed for joy, in being grateful for our blessings. A seed for integrity, in how you teach your children. Lastly a seed for humanity, in being filled with benevolence for your fellow creatures. You will then be able to watch as your inner garden flourishes, causing you to reach out and make a difference in the lives of your family and friends and in turn the world.

-Melanie @baconseed

I believe we are all put on this earth to make a difference. We won’t always know when we make that difference, though because sometimes our tiny part in a change is integral but never seen.  So if we will never know what’s the point?  Why do I even bother?

I bother because others have bothered for me.  I bother because the inner city kids I teach every day need someone to bother for them.  And I bother because, if I don’t bother, who will?

I can’t do it all.  That’s something I have struggled with for the past few years since I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder.  How could I be the best mom, the best teacher, the best wife, the best friend, the best daughter, the best community member?  I learned it wasn’t possible to “be the best.”  It was possible for me to try MY best and have that be enough.  I make mistakes every day.  But what I am trying to do is:

Seek balance in my life for me and for those around me.

Show love to everyone around me, whether I know them or not.

Treat people the way I want to be treated.

Spend my money and my time in a way that reflects my beliefs.

I don’t believe we all have to feel the same way or choose the same beliefs.  For us, we are looking at The Fresh Air Fund (http://www.freshair.org/).  You might choose something completely different.  But please choose something, some way, to make a difference in someone’s life.

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.”  Danny Kaye

Let’s throw all the paint we can for ourselves and for others.

-Jen @ The RA Vegan http://theravegan.wordpress.com/

Here are my two cents for how to change the world. I can’t. The world is too big and there is just too much to do. I can my world though. It’s not too big and well, there is a lot to do, but I have help. What I will do is practice patience. I will take deep breaths and not get irritated at those who stop suddenly on the sidewalk in front of me, those who take up two seats on the bus with their backpack while other people stand around them, those who spout their opinion about everything but don’t let you say yours. I will just walk away from those people without a second thought. This will make me less stressed and more willing to help people around me. Those tourists who can’t find Paul Revere’s house even though they came from that direction or a co-worker who needs an extra set of eyes on a report during a busy time. I will make my environment one that I want to be in. If my world is a good place to be in, perhaps that will spread to others. I am not sure if that makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks for letting me scribble on your blog.

-wasnt_serious

2012 is going to be a really big year for me and I’m really excited! The largest change will be my college graduation in May. I’m earning my second bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and am following a track to become a Registered Dietitian. I made the decision to leave my job in corporate finance back in 2010 and begin this path because I felt inspired to help others. This is finally coming to fruition with my upcoming graduation and application to dietetic internships, which will begin in the Fall.

I felt called to become a RD because I wanted to help, teach and guide others to a healthier lifestyle. After working in the corporate world for three years, I understood firsthand the hardships that cause people to gain weight. I’m extremely passionate about cooking and wanted to use my love of food to teach others healthier eating starts at home and does not have to be daunting.

I’m actively working towards these goals by volunteering at my local food back for a program called Cooking Matters. Cooking Matters incorporates nutrition lessons with simple and healthy recipes that are taught to participants. Over the course of a six week period, classes meet once a week and learn about nutrition, followed by the entire class, together, preparing a healthy meal. I’m so happy to be working as a nutrition instructor and teaching the basics of nutrition to community members.

In addition to my schooling and volunteering, I’m working on my own weight loss journey. I ended 2011 41 pounds lighter than my highest weight, which I’m continuing into 2012. I aspire to lose 40 pounds in 2012, putting myself in the normal BMI range.

-Laura @LLBean75

My focus this year is on my health and happiness. I know that initially sounds selfish and I know I won’t bring world peace, but I agree with Dacia that small changes can make an impact. My health has taken a back seat to most everything else for the past 10-12 years, so I feel like this is my year to put myself first and gain control of my weight and health. I’ll be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend by ensuring that I’ll be around for a very long time. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll inspire someone to make a healthy change in their life. I want my health and happiness to be contagious.

@ CarbaholicMama, www.carbaholicmama.blogspot.com

I want to inspire people to do what they think they can’t. I never thought in a million years I’d lose 75 lbs., but I did, and because of that, I have 2 close family members who have lost weight and met their healthy weight range, as well as inspiring another close family member as well as my husband to do the same. I’m still struggling to find personal inspiration, but if I can help others, then I’m satisfied at the end of the day! 🙂

-Ashley K., @Ashleyk199

One of my goals for 2012 is to do volunteer work.  I also plan to get more proactive with recycling. I am thinking of how to help my community, in some way, but my plans aren’t finalized. I see people struggle and I can’t stand standing by and doing nothing. I wish I had millions of dollars to help people all over, but I do have a little extra, plus some good ideas, to help people around me.

-Sarah, @fabchallenge

Change has never come easy for me, and what I love about this is that my daughters class did is on Friday.  My Dream is….it was called. My husband and I have decided to donate money every month to St. Jude’s hospital. We feel that all children should have the ability to receive treatment. In addition to this I am going to continue to pay it forward, helping others who need a hand.

Kindness goes a long way, and when we are kind to ourselves it shows through in all areas of our lives, the world needs more kindness and caring from all people.

-twingirlmomma

This year I am making more of an effort to buy local products.  Central New York is booming with hard working folks who are producing great items.  We have some of the best farmers around and I plan to buy more from them and less from “the big guys”.  Not only is it a great way to support my local economy, but there is something really gratifying by eating a tomato or cucumber that has been picked right here in this town.  I hope to inspire my fellow Weight Watcher members to take a trip to their local Farmers Market on the weekends and stock up on those Power Foods!! You can be healthy AND make a positive difference in the world.

-Suzi, www.suzistorm.com

This year I want to raise awareness about mental health issues such as depression. Using my blog as a platform I want to share my own experiences to let others know they are not alone. Hopefully I will be able to share some good advice too! I also want to raise money for Aware which is an Irish charity for those who have mental issues! I hope to do this by running the Women’s Mini Marathon in June.

-Chantelle, @chanywallace

This year I am changing the world through love. My vow is to create a better and more compassionate world for all of its inhabitants and that includes animals. I will continue to follow a vegan lifestyle because I believe it can impact how people view the treatment of animals and their use of them if by no other reason than planting those thoughts and ideas every time I engage in a conversation about veganism. I will continue volunteering at the animal sanctuary as well as look for other opportunities locally. After reading Melanie’s post above I am also excited to learn more about the No Child Hungry campaign and what I can do to show my support. The more involved I become in the community and fostering an environment I want to live in, the more involved those around me will become. Making small changes, built on love and compassion, which reflect my beliefs can only help others to do the same. If we are supposed to lead by example then I must become the example I wish to set.

-Dacia 🙂

Thanks for reading!

January 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . inspiration, Life. 2 comments.

Finding Your Motivation

Today I want to share with you this amazing post from Notes from a Skinny Chick about finding motivation. I read it last night and it just completely resonated with me. Yes, I am biased because I am in the post but even if I wasn’t I would still be sharing it with you today.

Reading Skinny Chick’s post made me think about the last straw; what it was that made me decide to take action in order to save my life. Luckily for me that breaking point is documented in the first post I ever wrote on this blog. I am thankful that post will always be there to remind me of that day. I will forever be able to look back and
revisit those thoughts and emotions and use that to keep me motivated.

I am also very thankful for you. You keep me motivated. Your constant love, support and encouragement is amazing and I can’t tell you enough how appreciative I am to have you in my life! You have no idea how much you have helped me; you have saved my life! I love you!

Now, head over to Notes from a Skinny Chick and check out her amazing post. Then if you are feeling nostalgic, like I was, go check out my very first post from February 20, 2011. Not even a year ago and yet it feels like another lifetime. I know I feel like a completely different person. So crazy!

What motivates you? I would love to hear your thoughts on Skinny Chick’s post!

Thanks for reading!

January 12, 2012. Tags: , , , , . inspiration, Weight Loss, Weight Watchers. 1 comment.

My 2012 Resolutions

I have been thinking a lot about resolutions lately, which I am sure comes as no big surprise, and thought about my past and previous resolutions. To be honest, I am not really sure what resolutions I had made in the past but I am pretty sure it involved weight loss. I am guessing that is pretty typical to set a resolution to lose weight and knowing where I was in my life previous New Year’s I am not surprised why the resolutions never did stick. I am a firm believer that change can only happen in your life once you have accepted that it needs to happen and accepted what needs to be done in order to get there. I have always known that I needed to lose weight (so I was always willing to accept and allow that change into my life) yet I never accepted that there were actions needed to be taken BY ME in order to get there. I am pretty sure I thought if I willed weight loss long enough it would just happen. By February of 2011 I was ready to put forth the effort needed in order to allow me to change and I have been moving forward ever since.

With that being said I created a set of resolutions for 2012 not out of some sense of obligation but because I am now in a place in my life where I can achieve whatever I set my intentions to. I guess you could call these goals or maybe even plans but since they require resolve in order for me to accomplish them this year I choose to call them resolutions.

2012 Resolutions

– Reach a healthy weight and maintain it through the rest of the year

-Teach a Nia class

-Run a race (even if its only a 1 mile run)

-Volunteer

-Revamp my blog

-Be a better wife, daughter and friend

These are my resolutions but rest assured I have a plan, or at least a beginning of one- I mean it’s only January 2nd, for each as to how I can accomplish it. For example, one of my resolutions is to teach a Nia class this year and so Paul and I are going to empty out the spare bedroom the best we can, hang up mirrors along one wall, and convert it into a practice studio for me. I have already started thinking about how I will schedule in the time to learn the music and the routines and what activities it will replace in my schedule. So yes, I realize that these resolutions may seem vague but please understand that I am creating an action plan for each so I can be successful this year.

I want to share with you two stories I have about my resolutions and how they played into my weekend. As you may already know, Paul and I went hiking on New Year’s Eve up to the summit of Enchanted Rock and it was just amazing. When we reached the top we sat for a little while having a snack, taking in the beauty of it all, talking about 2012 and what we expected from the new year. I asked Paul about his resolutions and he said something like ‘ I hope this year that maybe I can…’. I told him that he had to say them as declarative statements of what will happen like ‘this year I will’. I told him that we were on Enchanted Rock and it is magical and whatever we say while we are here will come true. We spent the rest of our time talking about what WILL happen this year opposed to what MIGHT happen and I do belive it makes a difference. Maybe it won’t be the magic of the Enchanted Rock that makes it happen. More than likely it will be believing that we can accomplish them that will get us there but I know we will both successful in the upcoming year.

 

On New Year’s day I went with my friend MS to a Sound Journey/Burning Bowl ceremony at the Synergy Studio. As we lay on the floors listening to the Tibetan bowls we were asked to allow our bodies to present us with a theme for 2012- a word that will help set our intention for the new year. When that word came to us we wrote it on flash paper that was later set on fire and the energy from all of our intentions set out into the universe. While I was laying there listening to the music I had so many thoughts running through my mind; so many words that I thought were applicable to my journey and the year ahead. Health and healing, learning, teaching, growth and strength along with probably a dozen more words crossed my mind but I just never felt them as my theme, the driver of my intentions. So I switched my thought process and focused on my resolutions and as soon as I did that I found my theme instantly; LOVE.  My theme is love.

Reach a healthy weight and maintain it through the rest of the year- Love of myself, love of my body.

Teach a Nia class- love for Nia, a love of sharing something magical with others

Run a race- love of a challenge, love of personal growth

Volunteer- love of others, love of helping

Revamp my blog- love of you (because you deserve to look at something nice) and love of creativity and this creative outlet

Be a better wife, daughter and friend- love for my husband, my parents and my friends

Every resolution I set this year was set around love. Knowing this theme, and finding it organically, has made me recognize how truly amazing this year will be. It’s 2012 people; the year of LOVE!

What are your resolutions? Do you have a theme for the year?

Thanks for reading!

 

January 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . inspiration, Life. 7 comments.

Thought-Provoking Thursday: 95 Questions, Part 4

Here is the final set of questions from Marc and Angel Hack Life’s 95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness. Before I get started with my answers I wanted to share some thoughts I had with you. I have already found my happiness although it did take some time finding it. This year I have learned that happiness is self-imposed. Happiness cannot be given to us by things or by others; it is an emotional state we all have the choice to be in. I choose to be happy but I was unable to access that emotion until I removed the barriers standing in my way. I needed to learn acceptance. Acceptance for who I am today not for the person I hope to be in the future. I needed to realize that I am good enough, strike that, I am freaking awesome as is. Just because I am not at an ideal weight doesn’t make me less of a person. I still love, am kind to others, lend a helping hand when needed, I am a shoulder to cry on or a warm embrace, and I have always treated my friends like family. I was and am awesome, and I have accepted that. With that acceptance came self-love as I learned to cherish this body and treat myself with the respect I deserved. I also needed to forgive myself for getting to a place where I was so unhappy with myself and the life I was leading, where I was unhealthy and wasting my life. Yes, it would have been nice if I never made all of those poor decisions that lead me here but I feel like it was the path I was meant to be on. Not only do I now have this blog and a world of amazing people I get to share my life with, I have also learned to not take of this for granted and to appreciate every day as the gift it is. Forgiveness, acceptance, and love made it so I could access my happiness and I do so every day. What is standing between you and your happiness?
The other goal of these posts was for me to find meaning in my life. It says on my page (on this blog) that I am just trying to make my mark on the world which some days it was hard to feel like that would ever happen. I used to think that I was just another person, just living my life, and that I really didn’t have much impact on others. This was especially true when I would think about my friends. My friends have lots of friends so why do they need me? Am I really an important part of their life? Would their world be any different if I wasn’t a regular part of it? Sometimes it was hard to feel like I mattered, like I was important to others. Now as I have grown and learned more about myself I see now how important I really am. I don’t mean that in an ‘I’m so important, more important than you’ type of way I mean that in the ‘I am important and so are you’ type of way. What I am trying to get at is that realizing my importance, my true self-worth, has given me meaning in my life. Being a good wife, daughter, and friend is the meaning of my life. Being there for those who matter most to me is the meaning of my life. Inspiring others and helping people find the meaning of their life is the meaning of my life. Being inspired by others to change, progress, break down personal barriers, and truly live is the meaning of my life. I hope you know, or choose to find, the meaning of yours.
Now, onto the questions J
1. What’s something you would do every day if you could? Read. I love to read but it’s just not that high on my priority list right now. I try to make time to read at night but that doesn’t happen daily but I hope that one day it will.
2. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? I think that would be after my Nia White Belt Intensive, after the graduation ceremony, when we were all dancing and celebrating together. It just reaffirmed my love for Nia, how much joy it brings me, and how lucky I am for the wonderful community I have to share it with.
3. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Definitely never trying. If we try and fail at least we can learn from the experience and that can help us find success in the end. Failure also teaches us perseverance, dedication, strength, and courage.
4. What makes you feel incomplete? There are times when Paul is away when I have no communication with him whatsoever. I am not a big fan of that. Its one thing when he is away and we can still talk on the phone it is another when I have no way to reach him and having no idea when I will hear from him. I feel incomplete when I can’t share my day with Paul and he can’t share his with me.
5. When did you experience a major turning point in your life? I know you all have heard me say how this journey has changed my life and it’s true. It really has changed my life but I want to tell you about something you might not have known- a major event in my life that changed my world very dramatically. My best friend committed suicide on January 2nd, 1998 and that was by far the worst day of my life. Jed had dealt with depression the whole time we were friends and had attempted suicide before. He had a lot of demons he was battling, as was I at the time, and I tried to be there for him best I could. I was 19 years old when he died. My world was shattered. I had no idea how to handle his death or the guilt I felt because of it. Even now as the anniversary approaches I think of the New Year’s Eves we spent together and the fun times we had growing up and it breaks my heart that he could never find the strength he needed to survive. I wish he was still with us every day. He was an amazing, kind, loving, funny, warm and friendly guy who didn’t have a single enemy. Just an overall lovable guy. It breaks my heart that I couldn’t have done more.
6. What or who do you wish you lived closer to? Don’t get me wrong, I love moving to new places and making new friends but I really do miss living in Philly. So I would definitely say my friends in the Philly/NJ area as well as all of the friends I made while living in Florida, Ohio and Washington and of course all the wonderful people I have met through this blog, twitter, Facebook, and the Weight Watchers online community. I wish I lived near you all (if you are reading this you are definitely included in that list 😉 ) so I could give you a big hug and thank you in person for all of your love and support.
7. If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be? Anything is possible if you just believe
8. What’s something you know you can count on? The people in my life. They are always there for me through thick and thin.
9. What makes you feel comfortable? Familiar situations although I should add that I am getting more comfortable in unfamiliar situations now too.
10. What’s something about you that has never changed? I don’t wear makeup regularly. Even in high school I had to have my neighbor put on my makeup for me on prom night. I never got into wearing makeup and the skills required to do so were never developed. Now when I do wear makeup (maybe once a year at most) I kind of look like a hooker. I seriously need help being a girl. LOL!
11. What will be different about your life in exactly one year? Probably many things. Probably many things I don’t even realize could happen. In a year so many things happen. I would say that for sure in a year my life will be different because I will have taught a Nia (hopefully multiple) class. I can’t wait to learn my first routine and start sharing Nia with others.
12. What mistakes do you make over and over again? I put my shirts in the hamper inside out. My socks go in the hamper either inside out, inside my pant legs, or both. It kind of drives Paul crazy. I don’t do intentionally though.
13. What do you have a hard time saying “no” to? Vegan cupcakes from Green. Those little suckers are freaking fabulous. Paul and I get one to go very time we are there and then split it later. I had a red velvet one on Tuesday which was a little bite of heaven. My favorite so far was the mint chocolate cupcake. What can I say; I have always been a sucker for cupcakes. .
14. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? At first I started writing that every day I am doing what I believe in but that’s not entirely true. I can think of things in my life that I settle for in order to be able to do what I believe in. Does that make sense? Like there are aspects I settle for in order for me to do other things I believe in.
15. What’s something that used to scare you, but no longer does? I used to have terrible anxiety particularly when I was in a car as a passenger. I used to have severe panic attacks any time we would be driving in bad weather. Now, not so much. So I guess my fear would have been dying in a car accident and now don’t have those reactions when I am in a car.
16. What promise to yourself do you still need to fulfill? The promise that one day I will be a mother.
17. What do you appreciate most about your current situation? I appreciate the fact that it allows me to live such a great life. We have enough money for me to afford two gym memberships and take all kinds of crazy classes and buy new clothes when needed and try out new recipes and buy fresh foods. We are not rich by any means but we do have enough to allow me to live this new lifestyle. I should note that taking a job that paid me 40% more than my previous employer definitely helped. I also appreciate the fact that I live in a city that has a great boxing studio and yoga studio where I can take classes, weekly year-round farmers markets, multiple grocery stores that have vegan friendly options and vegan friendly restaurants makes my life really great.
18. What’s something simple that makes you smile? Hugs. I am big on hugging. Just ask my French roommate from college. The French aren’t really huggers but I got her into the habit pretty quickly.
19. So far, what has been the primary focus of your life? I would have to say my career. Undergrad and grad school, co-ops, internships, and assistantships. Working since I was 14 and now when I make big decisions I always question how it will affect my career. Leaving a great management position in Philly and going back into an analyst role in Texas was a big change for me (financially and career-wise) but I have moved forward and continue to try to progress my career.
20. How do you know when it’s time to move on? When things just don’t feel right. If a person or a situation makes you feel bad or bad about yourself it is time to cut ties and move on.
21. What’s something you wish you could do one more time? Get married again and I don’t mean to a different person. I just mean I would like to have another ceremony and this time invite all my friends and family. Paul and I got married at a small chapel in Florida with 5 of our friends present. My parents were going through an awful divorce (random thing about my parents is that they got divorced and then a couple years later started dating each other. They now live together but are not married to each other) and Paul and I didn’t want to deal with any family drama so we just had a quick little ceremony.
22. When you’re 90-years-old, what will matter to you the most? The memories I have made.
23. What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life? I will regret not ever finding a way to have children.
Thanks for reading!

December 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . inspiration, Life, thought-provoking thursday. 2 comments.

Thought-Provoking Thursday: 95 Questions, Part 3

Continuing on from last week’s post, here are my answers to 24 more questions from Marc and Angel Hack Life’s 95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness post. If you are participating in this four part post please leave me your answers or link to your blog in the comments section.

1. When you think of ‘home,’ what, specifically, do you think of? I think of my parent’s house they currently live in, which is not the house I grew up in.

2. What’s the most valuable thing you own? My engagement ring. Last year for Christmas we had the original diamond taken out and put in a diamond from a ring that my father gave to Paul- it was my grandfather’s ring. It is by far the most valuable thing I own because of what it represents and the ties it carries with my family.

3. If you had to move 3000 miles away, what would you miss most? I move around a lot and now that Paul is in the Army it is just a matter of time before we have to move again. When the time comes to leave San Antonio, what I will miss the most are my friends and the wonderful community I have found here.

4. What would make you smile right now? If someone could turn the heat up in here. It’s freezing!

5. What do you do when nothing else seems to make you happy? Give Paul a hug, if he is around, or turn to my friends for a laugh/smile.

6. What do you wish did not exist in your life? Infertility

7. What should you avoid to improve your life? For me, following a vegan diet has drastically improved my life so I would say avoiding animal products.

8. What is something you would hate to go without for a day? Sadly I will have to say my iPhone

9. What’s the biggest lie you once believed was true? That I didn’t deserve happiness

10. What’s something bad that happened to you that made you stronger? Growing up in a household with a parent suffering through a mental illness

11. What’s something nobody could ever steal from you? My heart, my ability to love.

12. What’s something you disliked when you were younger that you truly enjoy today? Eating. I was such a picky eater as a kid. I wouldn’t eat anything. Now I truly enjoy eating.

13. What are you glad you quit? Smoking.

14. What do you need to spend more time doing? Hanging with Paul and my friends, specifically MS, who I haven’t seen in forever.

15. What are you naturally good at? Memorization

16. What have you been counting or keeping track of recently? Ha ha…I do Weight Watchers so I track everything; what I eat, what I drink, and my activity.

17. What has the little voice inside your head been saying lately? You’re doing great, keep it up!

18. What’s something you should always be careful with? My words

19. What should always be taken seriously? Life

20. What should never be taken seriously? Life 😉

21. What are three things you can’t get enough of? This tough trying to think of non-food related things…lol! I would say Nia, yoga, and vegan cupcakes 🙂

22. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? I probably would have been more social when I was heavier. I think back not just on earlier this year but back to 2008 when I moved from WA to Philly but I didn’t really see many of my old friends while I lived there because I was ashamed of how I looked.

23. What fascinates you? The body’s ability to heal itself

24. What’s the difference between being alive and truly living? Ha! Dacia February 2011 vs. Dacia December 2011. I say this pretty frequently- the best part of the changes I have made in my life is that they allow me to be an active participant in it. Before I was a couch potato, always on the sidelines, never really doing anything and the days just ticked by. Now I look forward to every day, every new (and most of the time small) adventure that arises. It’s fucking fabulous!

Thanks for reading!

December 22, 2011. Tags: , , , . inspiration, thought-provoking thursday. Leave a comment.

Thought-Provoking Thursday: 95 Questions Part 2

Continuing on from last week’s post, here are my answers to 24 more questions from Marc and Angel Hack Life’s 95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness post. If you are participating in this four part post please leave me your answers or link to your blog in the comments section.

1. What was the most defining moment in your life during this past year? February 22- my turning point. The day I recognized I had to be accountable for any changes I wanted to make and that I need to recognize that I was the only person responsible for where I was in my life. That day I took ownership of my life and dedicated myself to becoming the best possible version of myself I could be.

2. What’s the number one change you need to make in your life in the next twelve months? Creating balance. I have been able to get where I am today because of the amazing husband of mine who has picked up my slack. Next year I need to work on creating balance that will allow me to take back some of my household duties and not rely on Paul as much.

3. What’s the number one thing you want to achieve in the next five years? Become a practicing Nia and Journey Dance teacher

4. What is the biggest motivator in your life right now? My health and removing as many health risks as possible so I can live a long life

5. What will you never do? Shop at Wal-Mart on Black Friday- that’s just asking for trouble

6. What’s something you said you’d never do, but have since done? Get married. I never thought that would happen.

7. What’s something new you recently learned about yourself? I can ride an upright stationary bike. When I first started working out I couldn’t and I had to use a recumbent bike instead. Now I can ride an upright bike. Next up- a spin bike.

8. What do you sometimes pretend to understand that you really do not? Pretty much anything Paul says that has to do with the army. Most of the time I have no clue and I hate having to constantly ask him to explain stuff.

9. In one sentence, what do you wish for your future self? Future self: I wish for you the courage to follow your heart and make your dreams come true.

10. What worries you most about the future? Not having saved enough for retirement

11. When you look into the past, what do you miss most? I miss having my friends close by. I wish that all of my friends, from childhood, college, etc, could all just live near me. I miss hugs and hanging out in person.

12. What’s something from the past that you don’t miss at all? The 100 pounds that have recently left my body.

13. What recently reminded you of how fast time flies? My friend’s younger brother is having a child. I still picture him as a little kid and any day now he’ll be a father.

14. What is the biggest challenge you face right now? Finding the time and figuring out the best method for me to learn and teach Nia routines

15. In one word, how would you describe your personality? Quirky

16. What never fails to frustrate you? People who talk on cell phones in public restrooms. That bothers me and kind of creeps me out. It’s just weird.

17. What are you known for by your friends and family? Hmmm…maybe being a good cook. Hopefully for being a good friend too.

18. What’s something most people don’t know about you? I am a licensed aircraft mechanic and I have nine tattoos.

19. What’s a common misconception people have about you? People think that since I am fat that I am not flexible but actually I have always been flexible (like as in bendy, yoga type flexible) even when I was at my heaviest. When people see me practice yoga or see me stretching for the first time they are usually shocked.

20. What’s something a lot of people do that you disagree with? Not put themselves/ their health first. I know how dangerous that can be. I was there less than a year ago and it was a very scary position to be in.

21. What’s a belief you hold with which many people disagree? The belief that I am the only person standing between me and my dreams. I can achieve those dreams or I can stop them from coming true- no one else.

22. What’s something that’s harder for you than it is for most people? I have no idea about this one but since I can still barely jog/run for a minute and I know tons of people who are runners I’m going to have to say that running is harder for me than most people.

23. What are the top three qualities you look for in a friend? Loyalty, compassion, sense of humor- in no particular order.

24. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? I’ve been working on being nicer to myself, not being so critical, to recognize my beauty and not compare myself to others, to get the envy and jealousy tamed. I’m human though so sometimes I slip up. I think that if I had a friend that treated me that way, kind and loving most of the time with only a negative comment once in awhile, I would probably stay friends with them for a long time.

Thanks for reading!

December 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . inspiration, thought-provoking thursday. 6 comments.

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