Saturday, December 31, 2011

Leaving the bad in 2011

Yesterday, my water aerobics instructor Amy said the most profound thing to me.  I mentioned that my mom had to undergo surgery to remove a lump in her breast that she found just before Thanksgiving.  We have had a distracted, stressful holiday season because of it.  I kept telling my mom that this was a good thing to have this lump removed, because it brings her one day closer to remission and being cured.  She agreed with that, but was still stressed (understandably).  There is nothing about breast cancer that suggests that you shouldn't worry about it.

When I mentioned my mom's impending procedure to Amy, she simply said "That's great!  No lumps in 2012!  Leave all that behind in 2011!"  It helped me to smile about something that has been really hard on my whole family.  So I challenge you today, to think about what lump you will rid yourself of in 2011 and not carry into 2012.  My mom is ditching breast cancer.  I am going to ditch suppressing my emotions.  What is it that is hanging around that you are ready to be done with once and for all?  What are you ready to not carry into the next year?  I can't wait to hear from you what you wanna ditch, so if you would be so brave, leave a comment below, so that I know how I can better encourage you!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Why do resolutions fail?

courtesy of

I have spent a lot of time thinking about resolutions lately.  I've also spent a lot of time thinking about why people refuse to make them.  I'll even admit, there are years I refuse to make them.  Because, let's face it, resolutions are what we should do, or even what we kinda want to do.  But do we really want to do it?  It seems like a lot of resolutions include diet and exercise, but are they including the foods we like to eat, or the types of exercise we are most likely to enjoy?  Or is it the standard treadmills and salads of years past?  Is this year going to be the same?  Or are you ready to try something radically different?

I truly believe that diet and exercise regimens fail because they do not offer significant enjoyment.  If I had a dollar for every diet plan I have read that has tried to convince me that "food should be fuel", I would be well on my way to a healthy Retirement Fund.  I could probably retire early.  I simply don't buy that enjoyment of food is incidental to actually receiving nutrition.  When we deprive ourselves of our internal desire to enjoy the food we eat, it is only a matter of time before our desire for enjoyable food outweighs our desire to see results.  The diet has failed before it ever begins.  Likewise, it seems like every year, people go out and invest in gym memberships.  They go for a week or two, and they are really proud of that.  But then, all of a sudden, they stop going.  Why?  Maybe they pushed themselves too hard.  Maybe  they have not budgeted their time appropriately.  Maybe it's because they really, really, really hate the gym.

I can relate.  The gym is one of my least favorite places on earth.  I hate it.  I get a pit in my stomach thinking about it.  Don't, however, equate a hatred of the gym with a hatred of exercise.  I love to move my body.  I love the feeling you get after a great sweat session.  I just hate everything about working out in a gym.  I hate being cooped up in a hot, sweaty, stinky, poorly ventilated room with 50-100 strangers.  I dislike watching a tv screen while I blindly plod along on an elliptical or treadmill.  It makes me feel deprived of what is great about working out.  I love to sweat, but I want to feel gently cooled by a breeze.  I want to fill my body with fresh, oxygen rich air.  I want to be able to focus on what's going on with my body as I exercise, not drown it out with media so that I can suffer through 5 extra minutes.  It just doesn't work for me.

The challenge then, comes in finding what to eat, and how to move your body so that it is well nourished, and it gets the movement it needs.  How do you do that?  There are a few options.  You can try everything under the sun, waiting to find the one exact thing that works for you.  Or you can do some internal reflection, and start to rule out things you know will not work for you.  You may love beef, and know you could never be vegetarian.  You may hate running, so you can rule out that marathon that every one of your friends is so keen on running.  You'll still have to experiment, but you'll be so much further ahead of everyone else, that your experiments are more likely to succeed than they are to fail.

So, I challenge you in these last days before the new year, to consider what will really work for you.  If you're stuck, I will be sharing with you information about some of the diets that I have learned about/tried, and alternative ways to get your exercise in that have nothing to do with the treadmill over the next few months.  Maybe one will ring true for you, and you will see great results.  Maybe you will find something I don't mention.  Whatever it is, I hope that 2012 is the year that your resolutions don't fail, and you find a sense of accomplishment.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year, New Goals

I have high hopes for this year.  In 6 months I will be 27, and I have so much I want to fit in before 30, that I know I have to get cracking.  So these are my 2012 ideals.  I'll be breaking down all of my ideals into real goals that can be made acheivable each month so that by the end of the year I should have the sense that I accomplished the things listed below:
  • Finish at least 10 sewing projects
  • Get straight A's in all of my accounting classes
  • Get back down to 135-140 lb range
  • Find a schedule that helps me not go insane
  • Get a handle on my budget so that I do not accrue any additional debt (except student loans)
  • Take time to be grateful for my many blessings
  • Be accountable for my actions and choices through my blog
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take time at least once a month to relax and recharge
  • Make myself a priority
  • Get real about what is worthy of my time, and what is just extraneous junk
  • Allow peace to reside within my heart
Yes, I know these are not SMART goals.  I know there is little about them that is acheivable in their current incarnation.  However, these are the jumping off point for everything I want to do and be in the next year.  When I think about what is true for me, these are the ideas that come to my mind.  By setting monthly goals, I will further be able to reach these more nebulous ideals.

So, in no particular order, here are my goals for the month of January:
  • Establish a start weight (as of January 1, 2012)
  • Lose 5 pounds through
    • Exercise 22 times (for at least an hour at a time)
    • Limit dessert to no more than 1/week
    • Limit eating out to no more than 2x/week
  • Limit television time to 1 hour a day, and schedule my tv time in advance
  • Make a schedule for sewing projects I would like to complete this year and prioritize them from easiest to hardest.
  • Once a week, post a list of things I am grateful for
  • Limit the monthly grocery budget to $250
  • Schedule at least one "date" with A
  • Take one whole day to do whatever I want... even if that's sleeping all day!
  • Study a minimum of 6 hours per week once school starts on the 17th.
What are your ideals for 2012?  How are you going to break those down into goals?  What tools will you need in order to accomplish your goals?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Little Bit About Me

Hi!  Thanks for coming to see me today.  I appreciate you taking time out so that I can share part of my journey with you.  I hope that you will share part of your journey with me in return.  I love meeting new people, hearing their stories, and finding out how I can support their goals.  You can always email me at

So, about me.  I'm in my late 20's, and I'm looking at these last few years before 30 in a different way than I ever have.  I know that I would like to get married to my wonderful boyfriend A, and have a baby in this time frame (although probably closer to the end of it than the beginning).  I want to pay off all of my debt.  I want to get back to where health is not simply a destination, but a vehicle.  Oh yeah, and I want to get my second B.S. degree.  No problem, right?  Oh my gosh, it overwhelms me just thinking about it.  Despite the overwhelm, I really can't wait to get started on making these next few years my best years yet!

Time for the next chapter!

I'm creating this blog as a way to document the next chapter in my life.  The last two years have been full of ups and downs for me.  I finished my certification as a Holistic Health Counselor.  I changed jobs.  I fell in love.  I moved twice.  I learned a lot about myself.  I learned a lot about what I want out of life.  But I somewhere along the line got out of balance.  I gained weight.  I got out of the habit of moving my body.  I quit being as loving of myself as I was of others.  You know, all of those things that Health Counselors highly encourage.

This blog is meant to document my journey back to balance.  It is meant to share what I learned in my Health Counselor training with anyone who wants to know more above total health and wellness.

This is not meant to be the happiest, most wonderful, inspiring blog ever.  It is going to be about my real life.  One thing that I have learned is that when emotions are suppressed, they gain power over us, and they hold us back.  So, if there is anger, sadness, fear, frustration in my life, I'm going to share.  If I fall down, I'll let you know here.  And I hope, in some way, that despite all of this, you can see what I see; that life is more perfect, more radiant for all of the negative emotions, because we would never know happiness if we did not first understand the presence of sorrow.

I can't wait to share this next chapter in my life with you!  It is going to be some adventure.