Listen to Your Insides

Before I get into my little life lesson of the day, I want to tell you about a yummy recipe that I made tonight:  Lentil Soup.  Be sure to read the comments and mix it up with more veggies and other things to add flavor.  346 calories, 22g of fiber (now that I’m typing this that sounds like a lot) and 18g of protein per serving so there was still room for a tiny dessert.  Enjoy!

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So I’ve blogged about listening to your heart but this goes a little further.  As I’ve gotten older I have become more in tune with my body.  I’ve heard this would happen but of course my simple brain couldn’t comprehend what that would mean and that it would enhance other areas as well.

If you’ve been reading you know that I had been having some issues with my skin. Well that is no more thank God – literally! It took me a while to figure out what the problem was.  I spent money on different creams and cleansers but nothing was working.  I brainstormed about what was different now that I hadn’t been doing six months ago.  Then one day it hit me – it was my birth control! The very thing that would prevent pregnancy was keeping men away before we could even get that far. Awesome.  I called my doc immediately and switched and I’ve been clean and clear and under control since.  It was something that I was putting inside my body not something on the outside.  Lesson learned.

Recently Atlanta has experienced some … how do I put this … weather troubles, so I’ve been stuck home for about 48 hours and it’s been cold.  So I can’t go to the gym or get healthy groceries to make fresh salads so yesterday I just ate whatever came to mind.  For breakfast I had cereal.  For lunch I had scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes and roasted asparagus (not awful but I had two servings of potatoes).  For dinner I had frozen pizza, edamame (to make me feel a little better) and a warm chocolate chip cookie from the oven with a glass of almond milk (I’m trying to give up cow’s milk).  Carbs, carbs and more carbs, and literally I felt awful all day – slight headache, sluggish, bloated (and other things I won’t discuss here).  It wasn’t a pretty sight to say the least so thank goodness no one was seeing me.  I vowed before I went to bed that night that I wouldn’t have a single carb the next day.  I woke up and had a banana, scrambled eggs (1 whole and 2 egg whites) and a cup of green tea sweetened with local honey.  For lunch I had a fried chicken salad with extra tomatoes from the neighborhood cafe.  For dinner I had the lentil soup referenced above and I went to the gym. Now I know that wasn’t a perfect day with the fried chicken and I snuck in a few Hershey’s kisses as a snack (shame!) but let me tell you, I felt a million times better!  My body does not like carbs.  Lesson learned.

Now I listen to my body much more than I used to and it’s happy when I do.  I feel better.  I think about what it would feel like to eat something before I put it in my mouth and if my body doesn’t want that glass of wine or bag of chips, I listen to it and don’t have it.

What is your body trying to tell you?

Love is No Good Without Respect

Do you ever look back at certain parts of your life and wonder what happened?  Not in a regret kind of way but in a let’s-not-repeat-that kind of way.  These past few years have been filled with many thoughts of just that. You know I’m big on learning the lesson so I don’t repeat it and lord knows I don’t want to repeat all that weight gain and yo-yo dieting and a divorce and being a mediocre mom and shopping too much so what is it exactly that I’m lacking?  In what areas could I improve?  We’ve gone over some of them and since going over my faults is soooo much fun for me, we’ll focus on one that came to me over the weekend – R-E-S-P-E-C-T (sing it with me!).

In this new relationship I often ask myself, “what in the world makes me think I can make this one work when I failed at my first marriage?” as I’m sure many people that have recently been through a divorce have asked themselves (surely I’m not alone). Since I’m all about making it simple and looking for common themes, I think it boils down to respect or lack thereof.  Respect for myself and respect for others.  It’s possible that I went through a phase where I lacked both, as much as I hate to admit my shortcomings.  I said to myself many times, “why isn’t my love for him enough?”  I always knew I was a loving person so I was stumped until it finally hit me this weekend.  Love is not enough.  You must also have respect.

What on earth does this have to do with weight loss and working out, you ask? Well, everything actually.  Anyone can lose weight.  I’ve lost all this weight before.  The trick will be keeping it off and for me it has to be mental.  I had to know the why so I don’t ever go back to where I was before.  It’s constant work on myself both inside and out.  Going to the gym and soul searching.  Ordering veggies without butter as a side and not spending more money at TJ Maxx than I should.  Respect yourself and your body enough to not abuse it.  Eat healthy things from the earth and exercise regularly by going outside on a pretty day or meeting a friend at the gym.  Make it a lifestyle change though.  Do it because you respect what god has given you, not because you want to look good in that dress.  Although I am glad I can finally fit into that dress 😉

P.S. I’m reading this book “40 Things to do When you turn 40.” I figure I’ll be ahead of the game when I get to 40 by knowing what that next chapter holds for me.  I have not been disappointed so far and I don’t think you will either if you like my blog and need a little inspiration.

Don’t Rush the Destination

This title is kind of funny given that at this moment I’m stuck in Houston on a layover and my flight is delayed and I can’t wait to get to my destination – home…Atlanta.

Have you seen this Kellogg’s video on YouTube:  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vQF8hyGBZqo?

I’ve blogged about me working on patience but I think it’s more about my rush to get to the destination than me being impatient.  I’m a patient person, especially with my son and most other people…as long as they aren’t standing in between me and what I want.  Like my ex-husband standing in between me and wanting a kid or my friend that says I’m not ready to apply for that promotion.  Maybe they are/were right.  Maybe I was rushing it.  I still had/have so much to learn.

I watched an adorable rosy cheeked tow headed boy on the flight in the row adjacent to me and I couldn’t help but reminisce about when my son was that little.  The soft skin and dimpled hands that I could squeeze on and kiss forever if he’d let me and if I didn’t have anything else to do…like work, shower, sleep and the thousands of other things that took up my time when he was that small.  God he was rotten but so adorable and mine and he still is all those things but boy do I miss a baby.  That little boy across the aisle was the perfect example of why not to rush the destination.  Soak up the journey.  The best part for me has been all the people I’ve met along the way and everything I’ve learned from them and the laughs we’ve had.  The journey is where all the good stuff lies.  Don’t miss it being so focused on the destination.

What moment or part of your life are you rushing that you could stand to sit in for a little longer?

Listen to your Heart: Part 2

I read an article Monday and the quotes and lessons from this man, John Portman spoke to me.   One in particular:  “If you take care of your heart the rest of you will flourish.”

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I feel like that’s true psychologically and physically.  Think about it.  Make sure your cup is full before you attempt to fill someone elses.  If your cardio is in shape, you are prepared to do many more fitness challenges.  Take care of your core, your heart, and the rest will be much easier to maintain.

If you could do one thing for your heart physically or psychologically, what would it be?

Balance

Life.  It’s like riding a bike.  A little to the left. A little to the right. Shoot for the middle, the straight and narrow, but when you veer off course, just correct yourself.  If you veer off too much, you’ll crash and you could get hurt but you can always get back on and try again.  Some falls are worse than others.  Use protection – helmet or otherwise – and the falls won’t be so permanent.

Balance is the key.  Just a little to the left, and a little back to the right and you’ll be back on course.  Sometimes you outgrow the bike/life that once fit you.  Sometimes you break your bike/life and have to get a new one.

Zealots and extremists have it all wrong I think.  Balance is definitely the key.

So many common themes.  So little time.

P.S. Trying to do 125 crunches and 75 pushups each day until the end of the month.  I’m on day 2. 75 pushups is A LOT!

P.S.S. I’m researching the difference between white rice and brown rice and white bread vs wheat bread so I can defend my stance to other white eaters.  Feel free to chime in with some solid facts.  My research is all over the board with regard to the rice.

Top Gear Pick

My favorite new sports bra from the stack of Christmas gifts:

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I have tried most of my new ones that I received as gifts for Christmas and the NorthFace one is my least favorite and this one is leaps and bounds above the others.  Now keep in mind that everyone’s body is different but if you need lots of space for the girls but tight around the bottom, this is the one.  The girls aren’t going anywhere in this one.

Happy shopping!

Happy New Year!

It’s that time again: fresh starts and new year’s resolutions.  The gym should be packed tomorrow and I will try to soak up some of the energy in the room and hope it continues throughout the year.  I’m excited about breaking in all this new equipment I got for Christmas!

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The bike shoes have already been the accomplice to burning almost 600 calories which I tracked with my new Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor.  I have only used them both once but so far I love them both.  Sports bras galore because apparently I should be getting new ones every 3-6 months and be wearing two at a time – I’m thankful for honest, helpful friends that tell me these things. Headbands are a must but I never thought they would stay in my fine hair until I got these Nike ones in my stocking – love them.

I am so thankful that my loved ones are supportive of me.  I got all this home last week and when I saw it all together like this, I was so excited to use all of it the next day.  Literally I think I wore at least half of it to spin class (think Joey from the Porsche episode of Friends).

Here’s a recap of the things I learned in 2013 (in case I forget in my haste from time to time in 2014):

1. What will be will be. Well yes it’s a famous quote but dang it is true and I have learned to think of any situation with those words at the forefront.  Any time I get frazzled or worked up, I breathe deeply and say those five words. It helps…most of the time.

2.  Put it out there in the universe and who knows what will happen.  I have done this on many occasions and it amazes me how many times it has come true – except maybe when I visualize a lot more commas in my checking account balance. If I think, “boy I sure wish I had _____”, I just keep my eyes open and usually I find it or a suitable alternative.

3.  The universe is abundant.  The resources I need to live my best life are all out there for me to learn about and uncover and research but I have to do the work:  learn from my mistakes, stay positive and be patient.

4.  The greatest of these is love.  Amen.  Operate with love for myself and love of others and my heart will always be full and I won’t look to others to fill it.

5.  Surround yourself with people that inspire.  I love to be inspired to be a better person, mother, employee, christian, etc.   Read books/blogs by them and ask for their advice and look to them as a guide for my actions.

I’m sure there are more but I also learned that nothing good happens after midnight so I better go put on my eye cream and get some rest.

What did you learn in 2013?

Don’t Underestimate Yourself

Over the holidays I vacationed in New Orleans with a friend and I went to the gym twice…begrudgingly.  He pushes me to go because he knows I’ll be happy that I did but I don’t want to…each time I curse him.  The most common excuse I tell myself (in my head of course because most of the things I think would make me sound crazy if I said them out loud) is that I won’t burn enough calories to make it worth it.  That I won’t push myself as hard as I should. Wrong!  I was sore both times I worked out.  Don’t you hate when you prove yourself wrong? GAH!  Almost as bad as someone else proving you wrong.

I worked out for less than an hour both times – ran a mile and did some weights (arms one day and legs the next) – and I, little old me, made myself sore.  I shall never underestimate myself again.

I bought some jeans before vacation…okay I bought a few things…sue me.  I bought a pair of $40 size 8 jeans.  $40 may not seem like a lot to you but it is to me.  I was so pumped to be in a size 8.  So I’ve worn them a few times and broken them in and guess what? They are too big! I’m feeling a mixture of emotions. On one hand – YAY I can wear a size 6.  On the other – Why didn’t I just buy the size 6 to begin with and not waste $40?  If I stop underestimating myself, I can save money too – BONUS!

A girlfriend once said to me, “Candice, I’ll always look at myself and see the fat girl.” Lord knows I still have those days. Actually, I had one on New Year’s Day.  Then today I put on a size 8 suit that I bought a year ago, and it is now too big on me.  A year ago someone at my office had to talk me into the 8 because she said the 10 I bought looked too big.  So I took off the pants today after my meeting (once I was back in the privacy of my own home of course) and thought of my friend and how just two days ago I felt no fitter than I was two years ago and how wrong I was for even thinking that.  I will not underestimate myself or make light of all the hard work I have done. I look great and I’m proud of myself and I’m not ashamed to say both.  Rinse.  Repeat.