Sunday, December 22, 2013

Beautiful yoga poses

It's amazing what the body can do if you put your mind to it!  Here's to more yoga over the holidays...

Remembering the little treats that make you happy!

This afternoon I headed home after a great massage and decided that I should continue the relaxation theme well into the evening.  I proceeded to take a fantastic bath (along with some Bailey's on the rocks, of course), which was heavenly.  I then lit some candles and my Christmas tree and decided to watch It's Complicated and cook a healthy dinner (of course, with some red wine).

Needless to say, this evening has been a great one.  It reminded me that I should take advantage of the simple but great things that make me happy more often.  I now feel so much more relaxed and ready for the week.  Now it's time for Love Actually :).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Getting back on track DURING the holidays

While some people tend to over indulge during the holidays, I like to view the holidays as an opportunity to make time for myself and my health - to eat healthy, get great sleep, and exercise often.  For the past month, I've been feeling a bit all over the place - being sick, then not sick, then sick again.  More often than normal I am reacting to certain foods, and feel a bit nauseous after I eat them.  My appetite hasn't been the same either.  While I'm generally great about eating healthy and working out, I know my diet has been a bit all over the place and I haven't had a consistent exercise schedule.

Getting Back on Track

1. Today I got up early and decided to head straight to the grocery store to do a large shopping trip - I am so glad I did.  I love having healthy options on hand at home and can't wait to (hopefully) feel back to normal again.  I started my day off with my favorite simple banana and spinach smoothie and look forward to a healthy lunch soon.

2.  To be proactive with exercise, I am going to schedule my daily exercise in advance, also keeping in mind gym closures and other obstacles.  I especially hope to get in a few great runs over the break.

3.  I am looking forward to a much needed massage tomorrow.  Getting regular (monthly) massages helps me feel more calm and happy, and is a great reward for keeping up with my goals.

4.  Over the break, I am going to read Break Through Your Set Point (I found it online on Amazon the other year but never managed to read it until now).  When I'm wanting to stay focused on my health goals, I find that reading a health book provides great guidance and keeps me inspired to live a healthy lifestyle.

How can you make your health a priority over the holidays?

Monday, December 9, 2013

LOTS to catch up on!

The other day I was thinking about how I hadn't blogged for a while.  I just discovered that "a while" was since September 15th!  In all my years blogging, this is definitely the longest I've gone without doing a post.  Not bad - just interesting...

In an effort to summarize the last three months, here are a few happenings and life lessons:

My (Summer) Health Challenge proved to be a big success!  Not only did I lose at least two inches everywhere along with 7 pounds, I learned what it felt like to truly be in an exercise routine and crave workouts every day.  My mantra was to make exercise a priority every day - whether it was a short walk around the neighborhood or tough workout at the gym.  During the month of August (and most of September) I worked out daily.  Let me tell you, it felt so healthy!  I was so proud of myself for really honoring my commitment to my health, which even included daily runs and gym workouts when I was on vacation.  For me, regular workouts are not about the # on the scale - they are about how I FEEL when I'm taking care of myself.  I love the ripple effect of the "inward healthy feel" that regular fitness provides. 

I ended up giving up alcohol for 21 days straight, which was a definite challenge for me.  It proved to be truly difficult on only 3 particular days.  I ended up losing 7 lbs during those 21 days alone, which was eye opening (and a bit comical and embarrassing at the same time).  More importantly, it reaffirmed my belief in the following: portion control is everything.  Getting rid of something entirely is not always necessary, but when you consume something enough so that it no longer is a treat and you feel unhealthy, it's not the best choice.  I am glad that I challenged myself to take break from booze, but I also know that I love my wine and beer, and there's nothing wrong with a glass a day :).

I read a few books, including The Shack.  I bought this book years ago and for some reason never read it.  I particularly loved the book because it was so affirming for me in regard to my faith and what I believe it's all about - for me.  It brought me peace.  I am thankful for this.

I've still been Facebook free since May!  It has gone well.  Per usual, the things I've missed have been seeing photos of friends and family who are out of town, and being invited to fun events in Seattle.  I took the liberty of activating (and later deactivating) my profile on Saturday for a few hours to do a "friend cleanse."  I decided to do a big sweep of my Facebook friends to identify people I still haven't been in touch with, who are no longer an active part of my life.  I was able to go from 1105 to around 750 friends (for me this is sadly an accomplishment).  I am considering re-joining Facebook over the holidays but still feel somewhat hesitant and unclear about what I ultimately want.  Perhaps I'll do a one month stint and report back here...

In November, I took a trip to Washington, D.C. for work and to visit family and friends who live there.  It was a great time seeing my cousins (Laura and Amy) and close friends (Seth and Anna).  They are a blessing in my life.  Every time I get on an airplane, I love the feeling of getting away from home.  It forces me to stop, pause, and just be present - to take time for myself to reflect on my life and (physically) remove myself from the chaos of life at home.  Frankly, I love living out of a nice hotel room for a few days.  I cherish these moments.  I hope I can afford to get away more often in 2014!

Last week my close friend Marianne gave birth to her first child - a beautiful baby girl, Brenna.  It was truly an incredible feeling visiting Marianne later that day at the hospital and meeting Brenna.  I got to hold her for an hour, and did a good job keeping it together!  It made me realize how fast time flies, and how beautiful life is.  It's an amazing thing to be part of that journey with a close friend.  I can't wait for more Auntie Margie moments down the road.

In October, my good friend Maria got married to her now husband, Jared.  I was truly honored to be one of only three bridesmaids that day.  The wedding was really special.  Everything about the wedding reflected Maria and Jared's values, and one of the best moments of the night (besides the obvious "I do's") was when Maria got to dance with her Grandpa in front of her loved ones.  Maria and I have been through a few journeys together in the realm of love, and it was very rewarding to see everything come to fruition in such a beautiful way.

My dog is awesome.  She is kind, loving, and a total trooper.  Through thick and thin, she is there for me.  There are many moments where I look at her and say: "I have no idea how I would have gotten through today without you!"  Thank you, Lucy.  You are the best.