Giving Yourself Permission!

Oh yeah, I can speak to this with plenty of experience.                     Experience in not giving myself permission!

Here’s a perfect example.  A few months ago I went out with my great group of friends to celebrate the first of many celebrations of my husband’s “50th” Birthday.  Now, I don’t eat cake.  It’s just not my favorite thing.  And, I rarely eat desert…I’d rather enjoy more wine!  Oh yeah, and let’s not forget, I rarely have any gluten!  Why?  It just works better for my digestive system.

So, let me get back on point.  No 50th birthday would be complete without a birthday cake!  My husband, Jeff, has two favorites…peanut butter and carrot cake!  A coconut cream would probably take home the bronze.  Because I already had another surprise planned with a carrot cake, I went with Peanut Butter Kiss from my local Whole Foods.  So after enjoying great food, and wine, and a little more wine, well, the cake looked pretty damn good to me.  Oh yeah, and I love peanut butter.  So, I indulged!  Not just a bite, or two, but my own slice!  It. Was. Perfect!

That said, my typical day after would have been..WTF???  I would have beat myself up over it and all the guilt that goes along with that.  But I woke up and that didn’t happen!  We had an early morning yoga class and I was on fire!  I even came home and went for a run as it was such a beautiful day.  That begged the question, hmmm, burning off the indulgences or, better yet, I was on a carb load!  Let the overthinking begin!

I’m in the process of reading the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  I read it years ago and just recently I took a mediation class and we discussed some of the book.  Ruiz talks of the “Book of Law”, which is essentially our belief system that rules our mind.  Whatever our personal book contains, is our truth.  And then comes judgement, of ourselves and others.  And with that comes guilt.

Guilt….yup, one of best friends.  This can be from a decision I make, saying no to someone, and yeah, eating something that I consider an unhealthy indulgence. And it all comes from our past, and what we experienced and then ultimately are conditioned to believe.  The past year has been full of self growth for me.  And that means letting go.  Letting go of expectations of myself and others.  Giving myself permission to try something that scares the hell out of me and possibly fail at it, saying no, not compromising my values, and yes, eating a piece of cake.

2017…Bring It!

Two weeks into the New Year and I ask myself, where does time go?  It seems the “older” I get the faster days, months, and years go by.

With a New Year upon us everyone is busy making their resolutions.  The most popular being to “lose weight” and “get in better shape”.  Then there are are career goals, things we want to accomplish in our lives and simple changes we want to make.
Well, I’m a firm believer in NOT making New Years resolutions.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Like most people I definitely start the New Year thinking about all I want to do, accomplish and be.

All that said, I still don’t make resolutions as I consider my life a work in progress on a continual basis.  What can I do today to make a difference?  What can I do today to achieve my fitness goals?  How can I spend more time with my family?  You get where I’m going.  Rome wasn’t built in a day!

My advice?  When you wake up in the morning first be grateful for everything you have in your life.  If it’s 50 pounds you want to lose, set up an action plan that makes sense!  Do the research necessary to be successful!  Join a group such as Weight Watchers to help you learn more about what, why and when to eat, as well as getting support from others.  Move!  Don’t just join a gym and then drop out 6 weeks later.  Again, set up an action plan.  Do you love to dance?  Find out where you can take a Zumba class.  In the meantime, dance in your living room!

Love cycling?  Sign up for spinning.  Want to work with a personal trainer?  Interview them!  Don’t just sign up with anyone.  And lastly, don’t beat yourself up.  If you made good decisions 80% of the day that’s success!  Behaviors don’t change overnight.

It’s your life to live and no one else’s.  Don’t worry about what anyone else is thinking.  It’s not about them, it’s about you.  Don’t be afraid!!  Fear gets in the way!  Run it over with a semi!  Put one foot in front of the other.  That’s all it takes!  Believe in yourself and you can and will achieve anything you put your mind to.

So forget this, “New Year…New You” that I keep hearing about.  Yes, it’s a New Year filled with New Adventures, New Journeys, New Challenges!  You were awesome last year and you’re even more fabulous this year!  Make it a great one my friends!

Holiday Survival Guide!

 

From Thanksgiving till the New Year we are inundated with food and alcohol!   That said, I believe you can enjoy yourself without having a side of guilt!  So often people look at the holidays as a time to indulge.  Mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes smothered in butter are just a few of the most common accompaniments.  In the South I’ve learned that mac & cheese is also enjoyed, along with pie, pie and more pie.  And, for those who enjoy libations, there’s plenty of that.  With all the parties, family get togethers, office food, you name it, well, it’s hard to avoid.

Come January, that side of guilt becomes a platter.  Regular gym goers hate going to the gym with all the “newbies” or those who pay their membership and now start showing up!  The “diet’s” begin and of course the #1 New Years resolution is to lose weight!

Well, I subscribe to none of it and I’m going to tell you why.  First of all, I am a foodie!  My motto is Simple, Healthy & Delicious.  Living A Full Life for me is all about balance.  For all of us, we have better balance in certain areas of our lives.  While I’ve gone through my own battles, after 49 years I think I’ve wrapped my arms around this one.  So here are just a few of my tips, that might work for you!

  • Think before you eat.
  • Make good choices.
  • Always bring something healthy to a part.  Always.
  • Don’t starve yourself all day so you can eat later.
  • Do you really like mashed potatoes?
  • Do you really like pecan pie?  I don’t!
  • Are you “drinking” to fit in?  Because everyone else is?
  • Just say no!  It’s ok!
  • Start reading healthy food blogs! A few of my favs!  
    1. http://www.skinnytaste.com
    2. http://pickyeaterblog.com
    3. https://www.mynewroots.org/site/
    4. http://ohsheglows.com
    5. http://www.acouplecooks.com
  • Enjoy real food!
  • Get in 30 minutes of exercise daily.                                                                                 
  • Breathe.
  • Sleep.
  • Be grateful for all the abundance in your life.
  • Don’t forget, this isn’t your last meal.  🙂

Would love to hear some of your suggestions for healthy ways to enjoy the holidays!  Stay tuned, tomorrow I will share some of my favorite recipes that are perfect for this time of year!

Cheers!

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JUST SAY YES!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I had a conversation with a good friend last week about checking things off the bucket list.  Having just turned 49 in September, it’s made me think more about my life and what’s next?  With almost half a century behind me, I’ve lived a full and diverse life!  

On the athletic side I’ve gone from riding horses…. fox hunting, dressage, jumping, to 5k’s, half marathons, the full marathon, and evolving to my current obsession of running up tall buildings, Tower Running!

On the professional side, that’s been a diverse and exciting adventure as well.  From 15 years in the food and beverage industry…waiting tables, bartending, catering ( some pretty great Hollywood parties on that list….even met and got a kiss from George Clooney!), to training and management.  Then stumbling into the automotive world with almost 8 years at Mazda North American Operations, in the corporate office to the my first field job sending me to Alabama!  Yup, they didn’t know what they were doing sending this Brooklyn/So Cal girl to the South!  

Let’s not forget the early years of being a nanny, exercising horses, and spending a few years in LA, “going after the dream”….which really meant, waiting tables at Wolfgang Pucks and dreaming about the dream.

And of course we never forget our struggles, heartache, perseverance and triumph to overcome the tough times we all go through.  Be it personal loss, saying goodbye to my beloved Brady after 16 years, health issues, family…..

Well, as I approach a big birthday next year, I cherish the life I have.  A wonderful husband, my parents, lots and lots of stairs to climb, weights to lift, miles to run, etc, etc.  In addition, I get to help others better their lives by helping them improve their health via nutrition and fitness.  I also have the BEST tribe of female friends.  Women I’m so lucky to have as a part of my life.  #grateful

All of that, and something is still missing….I feel like there’s more for me to do, to give, to happen.  And I spend a lot of time thinking about it.

I’m reading a book right now, “You Are A Badass, How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life”, by Jen Sincero.  It’s basically the decision of “wanting” to change something in your life and “deciding” to jump in and do whatever it takes!  Often we get caught up in the life we’re living and are afraid to put ourselves out there.

This really spoke to me: “But what if you had the audacity to leave your excuses and your shame about wanting to be huge and fabulous behind and really went for it full-on anyway?  What if you decided to do the most outrageous, most exciting thing  you ever dared fantasize about, regardless of what anyone, including your terrified self, thought?  THAT would be living.”

I love everything about that!  Whether it’s working on that book you dreamed you’d write and submitting that manuscript, pitching an idea to your boss, trying a new hobby that scares the hell out of you…but you’ve dreamed of doing, or, like me, going back to something you loved and dreamed about, but somewhere, somehow buried it.  For me, that’s acting & writing.  So I signed up for a 3 day intensive for Improv and Sketch Comedy Writing at Second City in Chicago.  I’m so excited!  It didn’t take me a minute to say……..YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And of course there’s more, so much more I’m going after. But I’ll save that for a different day.  The point of this is to JUST SAY YES!!!!!!!!!!!

What’s on your bucket list?  What changes do you want to make but don’t think you can?  Let’s do this…together!

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Essential Oils…..I’m in Love!

It’s not that I never believed in essential oils, but I basically had a very casual relationship with them.  It all started with Lavender.  On my temples to relax, diluted with water and sprayed on my pillows at night.  We then got a little more intimate as I started adding drops to my epsom salt bath to relive sore muscles and completely relax the body & mind.  It was good.  Simple.  No strings attached.

A few years later while getting a massage Eucalyptus was introduced to me.  The massage therapist suggested I put some drops in the shower and create a steam to open up the airways.  I figured well, why not give it a try, I could have more than one oil in my life.

Then came a tough loss of saying goodbye to my sweet dog, Louie.  While I got many beautiful condolence cards, flowers and sentiments, a friend from California sent me something very special….Serenity.  A blend of oils to help you really relax.   A combo of lavender, marjoram, chamomile, ylang yang, with the warming aromas of Hawaiian sandalwood and vanilla bean. Now this relationship took me to a whole new place.  I was in love.  The aromas are incredible added to my diffuser.

She also sent me something else, digestZen, as she knew I had some digestive issues.  It’s a combo of Ginger, Peppermint, Tarragon, Fennel, Caraway, Coriander and Anise.   Is it possible, could I have another love in my life?  Yes!  A a little rubbed on my stomach is like magic.

What I think I love most, is the holistic alternatives that these oils provide.  Living a healthy life encompasses so many different avenues for me, nutrition, exercise, balance, mental well being, spirituality…..and the oils fit so perfectly.

A few weeks ago the amazing Kristin, www.stuftmama.com, shared on her blog a promotion I couldn’t pass up on with doTERRA.  I already knew that two of my loves, Serenity and digestZen, were doTERRA oils.  Well, I jumped onboard!  While I’m still a novice at this, my repertoire is growing as are welcoming some new loves into my life, like Breathe and Peppermint.  I’m doing everything I can to learn the millions of ways they can be incorporated into my life.  And, my husband is even excited about them!

If you use oils or are interested in trying them out check out the latest promotion going on until June 15th!  This is the kit I got, Home Essentials…10 incredible oils, the petal diffuser and a bonus of their Breathe products!  The great thing about this is you will get 25% off all oils and wellness products from doTerra for the next year.  Pretty darn cool!!

Email me if you want to sign up for this great deal & I will set you up.  Or, if you just want to know more.  About doTERRA, the Home Essentials Kit, or how I incorporate oils into my life.  Or what I eat for breakfast!  😉

Oh, and don’t get me started about a classic, Frankincense!  How many oils can a girl love??

“How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways”.  Elizabeth Barrett Browing

 

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Losing Perspective…….And Finding My Way Back.

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I participate in one of the hardest sports most people have never heard of.  Tower Running!  Or better understood as Stair Climbing.  What does that mean exactly?  Well, climbing tall buildings across the country..like Willis Tower aka Sears Tower, The Empire State Building, Stratosphere in Las Vegas, well, the list goes on.  As of this past weekend I have now completed my 14th competitive climb which first started on April 20, 2013.  I am currently ranked 3rd in the US.

And yes, I’m an addict.  I love everything about it.  I love racing, but training for it is what really stirs my soul.  The challenges you face climbing up buildings is like nothing else I’ve experienced.  Your heart rate goes up, and pretty much stays there, you start feeling the “burn” in the quads, your breathing gets harder and harder, and as your body wants to quit your mind must take you to the end.  It’s an incredible physical and mental workout and I’ve found that it’s impacted my life in ways I never envisioned.

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to climb the new One World Tower in NYC for the 2nd year in a row.  We climbed 104 floors/2,226 steps!  The combination of emotions for 9/11 and the competitive aspect takes you to a place that’ s hard to explain.

While I finished 5th overall female and 24th overall, with almost 700 participants, it wasn’t my best race.  With a time of 19:36 I was disappointed, as I expected to climb it about a minute faster….but my mojo just wasn’t there.  It was the first time I’ve ever woken up and not experienced those pre-race nerves.  Was it because I fought a chest congestion thing for almost 3 weeks?  Is that why I was so tired the day before?  Why didn’t I go a minute faster?  Why didn’t I push harder in the end?  Why…I kept asking this immediately after seeing the results.  After a day or so of being “disappointed” in myself, I was more disappointed in my attitude!  So what if it wasn’t my best race!  How lucky am I that I have two legs to take me up that building!  How lucky am I that I didn’t lose my life in that building.  How honored and grateful am I that I get to be involved with the incredible Stephen Siller Tunnel To Tower’s Foundation. http://tunnel2towers.org

Basically, I lost my way.  I lost my perspective on what’s really matters and realized how much I take for granted.  It’s the simple things in life that we so often forget are the most important.

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” ~ Anthony Robbins

 

Simple, Healthy & Delicious!

Simple, Healthy and Delicious!  That’s my motto for everything I eat, including when I travel.  It’s not as hard as one may think and I will be sharing future posts on how that works for me.  In the meantime, I’m going to share with you one of my at home favorites!  One of my favorite recipes that falls right in this category is my poached salmon!  I happen to love salmon and the great thing about poaching is it’s such a simple process.  I don’t like to take away from the flavor of any food I eat, but instead, enhance it.

I always cook the fish at 425, usually between 15 & 18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Keep it simple, lemon juice, salt, pepper and whatever seasonings you enjoy. Salmon is usually basil or dill and garlic.  The bags are a good size so you can slice up peppers and onions and throw them in there as well.  You could also do a separate bag of all veggies.  Just remember your root vegetables will take longer.

I purchase the bags through Amazon, but your local Whole Foods or similar store may carry them.  FYI, I’m currently not affiliated with Amazon, just providing you the link so you can easily access these bags!  Some of you may like using parchment paper, I don’t…remember, simple, healthy & delicious!

http://www.amazon.com/Paperchef-Parchment-Cooking-Bags-Pack/dp/B00E4MRH74/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1463005660&sr=8-2&keywords=paper+chef+parchment+bags

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Monday, Monday, Monday!

 

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So many people dread Monday morning.  The start of the work week, 5 more days till the weekend, job and family responsibilities, you name it!  Basically, how to juggle it all and find balance.  I have always looked forward to Monday morning.  Crazy as it sounds, to me it’s always been a reboot!  Let’s see what I can do different this week, what can I accomplish, be it personal or professional, or both.  

For many years my career was consumed with traveling, staying in hotels, business lunches/dinners, and not being home as often as I liked.  And when I got home, I just wanted to chill out.  Since then the dynamics have changed, which has opened up a whole new set of challenges in my life.  Before, I had places I had to be, responsibilities via my job, conference calls and someone I reported to.  

Now, I am accountable to no one but myself!  Not to say that the many hats I wear don’t come with responsibility, i.e, preparing a workout  for a client, finding the right wellness events  for my husband’s automotive dealership to partner with, my education and growth needs, both professionally and personally.  Of course, then there’s the household responsibilities we all tackle.

And let’s not forget our relationships!  Be it children, spouses, aging parents, friendships….all of this sometimes feels like way to much for many of us to wrap our arms around.  Ahh, so what’s the solution?  If there is one thing I’m certain of it’s that I don’t have the answer!  But what I do have, is a space like this to help each other “Embrace A Full Life”!  And I believe what that entails, starts with good nutrition, physical activity, sleep, (yes, sleep), and taking care of yourself mentally, spiritually….wherever those paths lead you.  I’m looking at this blog to be a little about my journey, which will include some of my daily challenges, ideas, tips, recipes, workouts…you name it.  Let’s get this party started! 

Check out this great new Justin Timberlake song which I think is the perfect way to kick off the week!  Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers & friends, Jen of www.peanutbutterrunner.com, for sharing this.  It’s too good not to pass along!

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!  I’m so excited to start the week with my very first blog post!  Hang with me as I figure all of this out.  I’m a health and fitness fanatic who is passionate about living a balanced and healthy life! I do this by living life to the fullest, by eating well, feeling well and doing well! Join me as we all share fitness ideas, simple, healthy & delicious food, and overall wellness tips.  I’m looking forward to sharing in this journey!