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!

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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.

Thought-Provoking Thursday: 95 Questions, Part One

It has been awhile since my last ‘thought-provoking Thursday’ post so
when I saw Mark and Angel Hack Life’s post this week, 95 Questions to Help you Find Meaning and Happiness, I knew I would want to
incorporate them into my post this week. My BFF James & Jax had the
same idea so after you read this head over to her blog and check out
her answers. After reading through Mark and Angel’s post I decided
that I would break this up into four parts tackling a new set of
questions each week. I thought this could help provide some personal
perspective and guidance heading into a new year. I look forward to
sharing my answers with you and if you decide to answer these
questions too please leave me a link to your post or share some of
your answers in the comments section.
1. In one sentence, who are you? I am a wife, daughter and friend on a
quest to become the best version of myself possible.
2. Why do you matter? Because I love
3. What is your life motto? ‘be the change you want to see in the world’
4. What’s something you have that everyone wants? True love
5. What is missing in your life? children
6. What’s been on your mind most lately? change
7. Happiness is a ________? Hug (or kiss from my doggies)
8. What stands between you and happiness? Nothing except myself sometimes
9. What do you need most right now? Heat, its freezing cold in here.
But seriously what I need most right now (and every day) is support
which I am thankful to have an abundance of
10. What does the child inside you long for? Scheduled nap times like
in kindergarten
11. What is one thing right now that you are totally sure of? I love myself
12. What’s been bothering you lately? Stories in the news about child
rape cases- it’s too much. I hate that innocent children were hurt in
such disgusting ways.
13. What are you scared of? dying
14. What has fear of failure stopped you from doing? Before,
everything. Now, nothing.
15. What will you never give up on? Myself. I will never again give up
on myself.
16. What do you want to remember forever? My wedding day
17. What makes you feel secure? The loving people I have in my life.
18. Which activities make you lose track of time? Any physical
activities (especially walking/hiking, Nia, and yoga) and listening to
music
19. What’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever made? A few come to
mind, none of which I am ready to share on a public blog. Sorry guys.
20. What’s the best decision you’ve ever made? Saying yes!
21. What are you most grateful for? This life
22. What is worth the pain? I am guessing childbirth would be worth
the pain. Love is always worth the possibility of pain.
23. In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money,
love, health, fame? Love, health, happiness, money, fame
24. What is something you’ve always wanted, but don’t yet have?
Children…and someone to come clean my house.
Thanks for reading!

December 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . inspiration, Life, thought-provoking thursday. 1 comment.

Three Little Words

First I would like to let you all know that today my father is being discharged from the hospital he has called home for three weeks. They are moving him into a rehab center and based off his progress so far they are thinking he will be there 1-2 months. He still is having problems swallowing so no eating for him. It is driving him crazy, especially since there are 9 million food ads on TV. Poor guy. Other than that he is progressing well. He is walking around and he actually had to have someone in his room 24 hours a day because they thought he would try to flee the hospital. For those of you who know my Dad, you know he totally would have. I am curious how the rehab center is going to keep him on lockdown. So if you live in South Jersey keep your eyes peeled for a gray-haired man, with a pony tail (lol, hippies), wandering down the street in a hospital gown and/or hooked to IVs. Thanks!

In yesterday’s post I wrote about three words that best described the last three months of my life. Since I am nosey 😉 I in turn I asked my readers if they would leave me a comment with their three words. This morning, while reading through the comments, I decided I wanted to use your words as a post. I even took to hounding my friends via texts and Twitter for their three words. Here are the responses:

Challenge Effort Growth

La Vida Loca

Really Really Tired (one year old twins- Yeah, I KNOW you are tired)

Something Is Emerging

Research Run Read

Busy Happy Change

I Am Second

Hopeful Lonely Anticipatory

Exciting Disappointing Achievement

Sweaty Box-a-wine-a-licious Busy

Tired Satisfied Growing

Rejuvenated Positive Sexy

Exciting Uncertain Exhausting

Hectic Terrifying Crossroads

You guys are great; I love the honesty and openness in your words. Do you see a theme here? I noticed a lot of tired and busy people and a mix of happy and sad words. Definitely an accurate picture of what life is really like. It’s not always good, it’s not always bad, it’s just life. I loved all of your words but there was one comment in particular that touched my heart. This was an email from someone very close to me.

“My three words would be: out of control.

I love yours. I want your three words.

Since graduation I was relaxing and vacationing….but that’s what led to my current weight gain….which settling back into my life has made me upset and down on myself. Which I do not want to do but also can’t help. Sometimes feeling disgusted with myself that my clothes look bad or my face is chunky you know. Trying to be more positive now though. I hope in the next three months it is I love me!”

I hope so. I hope in three months you can say you love yourself too. All of you. Even though in three months there will still be; “busy, tired, crazy, and disappointing,” I hope that in that mix there is some self-love going on, too.

Last night in Qigong my instructor was talking about one of his favorite quotes, from Pascal: ‘the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.’ He told us that the reason he liked it so much was because it explains how we can love ourselves and still be our harshest critic. He is exactly right. Self-love isn’t the same thing as ignorance. I love me but I am completely aware of my flaws and yes, I still scrutinize my body and appearance almost daily. It’s just when I do so now I do it in a healthy manner. Looking at my features in a positive light or taking the things I do want to change about myself and create a plan to do so. I am still a critic, just not quite so harsh. Maybe that is something we all need to do, go easy on ourselves. We are so much better, stronger, prettier, smarter, wiser than we ever give ourselves credit for.

I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, but I can still love the person I am and I can be happy with where I have come from and where I am going. Maybe the best three words to describe me would be work in progress; that is truly what I am and will be hopefully for the rest of my life. It’s not a bad thing, it’s the exact opposite- it is a sign of my growth and willingness to continually seek improvement. Six months ago my three words would have been completely effing stagnant- I’ll take progression, hands down, over stagnation any day! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

August 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Life, thought-provoking thursday. 7 comments.

Thought-Provoking Thursday

Questions courtesy of Marc and Angel Hack Life

What personal prisons have you built out of fears?

Being obese really messed with my head. Over the last few years I found it harder being around new people or being in public settings alone, really any situation where I thought people would be judging me. I had such anxiety whenever I knew I would be around strangers it made it hard to force myself to go out. I thought they would look at me and not want to be around me because I was fat or worse I thought that people would make fun of me around Paul and then he would be embarrassed to be married to such a disgusting person. It was hard and even though I still managed to be somewhat social it was always a psychological battle for me just leaving the house. I had let these (mostly irrational) fears keep me imprisoned in my mind. I couldn’t relax or be myself; I was trapped inside my mind focusing only on how I thought others viewed me.

It’s still hard for me to meet new people or be around strangers but every time I start to get anxious I quickly force myself to let it go. I mean seriously, if someone is judging me based off my weight, if they are disgusted by me, then they aren’t someone I would want to be around in the first place. A wise man once said,*”be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” and I couldn’t agree more.

*Dr. Suess

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?

I really would like to live abroad. I would settle for a life where I at least traveled more but it’s not the same. I want to be able to assimilate myself into a new culture, a new lifestyle. I don’t want to be a tourist, I would much rather be an ex-pat.

Why are you, you?

Short answer: a combination of nurture and nature has made me this person

Long answer: I am me because of everything that has happened and everyone I have known leading up to this point today. Being raised by hippies has given me a passive, non-violent temperament. Growing up surrounded by loud, talkative Italians has transformed me into a loud, talkative Italian. Living in/near a large city as a child has exposed me to many different cultures and lifestyles which showed me acceptance and understanding. Having failed many times has taught me to fight for my successes. Having the most wonderful, supportive, kind-hearted friends has made me supportive and kind in turn. Having dogs who love me unconditionally have taught me to love unconditionally. Having a husband that is also my best friend has taught me the importance of love, strength, compromise, respect, friendship and fun in relationships.

If you haven’t achieved it yet what do you have to lose?

I read this quote today and it immediately made me think of this question.

“People are afraid to pursue their dreams because they feel that they don’t deserve them.” – Paulo Coelho

The only thing we have to lose is that voice inside our head telling us we can’t.

What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?

I love me.

In my Nia class Tuesday our routine was called ‘Birthday’ and it was focused around the gifts that Nia gives us. These gifts are personal and we were asked to think about them as we danced. The gift Nia has given me is self-love. It was something I was lacking and it was greatly impacting my life. I never cared enough about myself to take care of myself properly. I don’t think I deserved to be more than what I was. Now I see things differently, I can have whatever life I want and be whomever I want as long as I commit my time and energy to getting there. I am worth the effort though, that is something I never understood before.

Although I would love hearing your responses it is probably inconsiderate to ask you to leave me your answers to the above questions. Maybe for fun you can leave me a comment with the three words to best describe the last three months of your life.

Thanks for reading!

August 18, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . thought-provoking thursday. 9 comments.

Thought-Provoking Thursday

Back in fashion of previous week’s posts, here are my responses to five more questions from Marc and Angel Hack Life’s list of 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself this year. I would love to hear your answers so please feel free to leave me responses in the comments or if you are blogging your responses please share a link to your post!

What word best describes the way you’ve spent the last month of your life?

Dedication

I have spent the past month working out 5-7 times a week. I have tracked everything I have eaten and followed the Weight Watchers plan everyday. I have done all of these things even when I didn’t want to because I am dedicated to losing weight , getting in shape, and becoming healthier.

What makes everyone smile?

I want to say ice cream because it always makes me smile but I am sure not everyone out there is an ice cream lover. Instead I will say that being loved makes everyone smile. I don’t just mean the love between two people in a relationship I mean every kind of love. The love from a parent to a child, the love two friends share, the love you have for yourself. I think no matter how you are loved or by whom it always makes you smile when you feel the love that is present.

What do you owe yourself?

I owe myself so much more than I have given to me over the past decade or so. I have definitely not been the best about focusing on myself and for a very long time have put my needs behind the needs of others. I think most women are guilty of this, not putting themselves first. I pretty much stopped taking care of myself years ago and I owe myself so much more than that. I deserve health and happiness and am working on increasing both right now.

What would your ‘priceless’ Mastercard-style commercial be?

Hand wraps: $5

Boxing Gloves: $20

Monthly membership for boxing classes: $50

Increased self-confidence: Priceless

Can you think of a time when impossible became possible?

This seems to be happening pretty frequently for me because at my low point everything seemed impossible. I thought that there was no way I would be able to be obese and go hiking, walk a 10K, ride a bike for 29 miles in 90 minutes or complete a (difficult as hell) boxing class. Pretty much everything I have done, starting from day one has felt impossible and yet I have been able to overcome the fears and nervousness and I allowed myself the chance to try to break out of my comfort zone. You know what, I am so glad I did because now everything seems possible.

Thanks for reading!

May 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Life, thought-provoking thursday. 6 comments.

Thought-Provoking Thursday

If you had the chance to go back in time and change one thing would you do it?

No, I wouldn’t. Although my life was far from perfect and I definitely did a number of things in my youth I am not proud of I wouldn’t change any of it. Without the trying times and bad decisions I would not be the person I am today nor would I have ended up here. I love my life, my friends, my family and my husband and I wouldn’t want to change that.

If a doctor gave you five years to live, what would you try to accomplish?

I would want to travel the world; there is so much out there I want to see. I could list them all here but I think it would be easier just to state ‘the world’.  I would spend as much time as possible with the people I love and make sure they all know how much I care for them and love them and how thankful I am for having them in my life. I would take some cooking and photography classes just for fun. I would do all sorts of crazy things like skydiving and bungee jumping. I would work less, or not at all, and volunteer so much more of my time. Those last years would be devoted to helping others and experiencing life to the fullest.

What is the difference between falling in love and being in love?

I believe that falling in love is the early stages of a relationship where you are fueled with lust and admiration and all you want to do is be close to that other person. You want to learn everything about them and they consume most of your thoughts and time. The falling in love stage is all pheromones and infatuation and you are completely oblivious the other’s flaws, for the most part. It is so much fun that it would be unhealthy for this stage to last forever.

I think the being in love stage of a relationship is where you start to learn more about each other’s habits and behaviors, not just the surface stuff, and really start to understand the other person. It’s when you start to be honest and deal with the tough issues when they come up. It’s when your relationship starts being tested and you learn whether or not you or your significant other is in it for the long-haul, whether or not you are truly compatible. It may not be fun 100% of the time but this stage is so much better than the falling in love stage.

Who do you think stands between you and happiness?

Me. I think I am the only obstacle to my own happiness. We have the power to make our lives whatever we want. Yes, it may be hard and yes, it may take time but ultimately we control our own destiny and if we want to be happy, we can be happy. It’s as simple as that. Life is no more than what you make of it.

Are you happy with yourself?

Overall, yes. Am I happy about everything I am and do at all times? No. I wouldn’t be on this journey if I was. What makes me happy is that I am taking steps to change the things I don’t like and also try to improve on the things that I do like. Being more self-aware and self-centered (not always a bad thing) has helped me to love myself more and more each day. So, yes, I am happy with myself and happy knowing there is always room for improvement.

Thanks for reading!

May 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Life, thought-provoking thursday. 2 comments.

Thought-Provoking Thursday

Back in fashion of previous week’s posts, here are my responses to five more questions from Marc and Angel Hack Life’s list of 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself this year. I would love to hear your answers so please feel free to comment on your thoughts or if you are blogging your responses please share a link to your post!

If you could choose one book as a mandatory read for all high school students, which book would you choose?

I think most students still read this early on in high school but I would pick ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ as a mandatory read. There really are so many books I think are very important for children/teenagers to read- so many books that teach us important life lessons so it was hard for me to choose just one. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of my favorite books of all time and when I first read it at the age of 14 it truly impacted my life and my views on the world. It taught me acceptance and empathy and for that I am truly grateful.

Would you rather have less work or more work you actually enjoy doing?

This is a tough question. I would like to say less work because it would allow me more free time to do other things. However, I think less work would lead to an increase in laziness, not productivity so I am going to have to say I would prefer to have more work that I enjoy doing. Currently I find myself struggling with this everyday and if faced with opportunity I would probably move into a new position/job if it offered me challenging work because I know that I would enjoy it far more. Being bored out of your mind at work is hard to deal with. It really messes with your interpretation of your self-worth.

What is important enough to go to war over?

Hmmmm, this is really a tough question because I consider myself anti-war. I do think there have been historical circumstances where war was merited. I believe the Civil War was necessary to abolish slavery and that WWII was necessary to end the Holocaust. I would say, in my opinion, war is necessary when no other options exist that would stop people from taking away other people’s basic human rights; including life- I think that is pretty basic.

Which is worse, failing or never trying?

My answer, hands-down, is never trying. I say it all the time, and believe it 100%, that we learn and grow from our failures and they are necessary to our personal development. I am not afraid of failure, though I once was, and because of this I am finally starting to live for the first time. Like the great Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” and I couldn’t agree more.

When was the last time you listened to the sound of your own breathing?

I know it may sound strange but I regularly listen to the sound of my own breathing. As I work towards getting in shape and improving my cardio endurance one of the most important things for me to focus on is my breathing. So whenever I am on the bike or jogging I listen to my breathing; is it steady, am I taking deep breaths, am I breathing at all, in order to help control my heart rate. Just last night at boxing the class instructor told me to focus on exhaling with each punch so that is what I did. It really was shocking to me the importance your breathing technique plays in exercise. See how much I am learning??? 🙂

Thanks for reading!

May 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . inspiration, Life, thought-provoking thursday. 3 comments.

Thought-Provoking….Friday

Back in the fashion of previous week’s posts, here are my responses to five more questions from Marc and Angel Hack Life’s list of 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself this year. I know it is Friday but my schedule is still a little out of whack so I thought it would be ok if my posts were, too. 😉

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I would say that I feel like a person in their thirties not necessarily because of how I feel physically but because of my station in life. I think that even if I didn’t know I was in my thirties I would still feel that way. Long gone are the rebellious teenage years and the carefree years of my twenties. I have entered into the stage of life where I am settled into a career and planning for things like retirement, mortgages, and college funds have started play a big part of my finances. However, at this point I am still not as financially solvent as I had hoped due to student loans, car payments, and credit card debt (acquired in my 20s) balanced against a job that doesn’t pay very well. To me, this is a definite sign that I have officially reached my 30s.

Would you break the law to save a loved one?

I immediately started to type out ‘of course’ but then I had to stop and think for a minute. It’s hard to think that I would break some laws, like murder or rape, in order to save someone I loved. I would like to think that if it came down to it I would do whatever necessary in order to save someone I loved but I am not sure I could do something that would hurt or kill someone else in the process. If someone asked me to smoke a big joint in order to save my husbands’ life I would do that. I would also jaywalk and litter, too, in order to save him. Just not sure I could do any of the heinous acts that fall under breaking the law.

What makes you smile?

Wow, this is a tough question. So many things make me smile so I think I will make a list.

  • My husband
  • My dogs
  • Writing this blog and reading my blog subscriptions
  • Reading your comments 😉
  • Beautiful sunny days with a breeze
  • Seeing pictures of my friends, from all over the country, smiling and happy
  • Hearing good news
  • Being around friends
  • My iPhone
  • Finishing up a tough workout
  • Attending sporting events, like last night’s baseball game
  • Buying cute little baby clothes for my friend’s babies- baby clothes are so adorable
  • Laughing with Paul
  • Seeing weight loss results and feeling better about myself
  • Long walks or any other activity that gets me outside
  • Summertime and BBQs

I am going to stop here or this list will go on and on….

When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

I really hope that isn’t true. I hope to have done more than I have said. I don’t want my life to be a lot of dreaming with nothing coming to fruition. I want to see the world, I want adventures and to try new things, not a life filled with what-ifs and should-haves. I think that this journey I am on is going to help me make that possible. I already see a difference in my personality and my willingness to be more open-minded so I hope that when all is said and done my life was filled with action, not inaction.

If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?

Nothing will ever change if we don’t try to change it. I think there are people out there who think that nothing they will ever do could ever impact or change the way things are so in turn they never try. I may know enough to understand that I cannot single-handedly change the world but by fighting alongside a group of like-minded people, we can collectively make an impact. It takes a village. So my message would be that we cannot lose hope, we must always continue to fight for what we believe in.

Please feel free to share some of your answers to these questions with me. I am always interested in learning more about my (small handful of) readers!

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!

April 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Life, thought-provoking thursday. 4 comments.

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