A New Season

Looking through this blog, it may seem strange to you that there is such a gap between posts (mainly, the second half of 2013). There are several reasons for that, a few of which almost kept me from coming back to this blog at all.

  1. I started this blog as a distraction from the ‘boring parts of life’ – namely, my craptastic job. In that job, I used my ample down time to craft my blog and gain inspiration from others’ blogs. Highly productive! Just after this post, I quit my job and lost all that great time to blog during the day.
  2. A few weeks after I quit my job and started a new one that I actually cared about, I discovered I was pregnant. I considered blogging about the pregnancy, but I didn’t want this to be a pregnancy blog. Plus, that would have added one more thing to my ‘To Do’ list, which I was so not on top of (Pregnancy brain is real).
  3. I got tired of talking about myself. It bored me, to be honest. I’m still not sure how to keep this interesting, and it’s sometimes easier to let myself off the hook with the ‘who cares what you have to say anyway‘ mentality.

Given all of that, and other less important reasons, I stayed away. I put some thoughts on paper or in draft posts, but never got past that. So, here we are, nine months later. Not the best time for me to think I can go back to blogging, given the drastic life change I’m about to experience, but at least I can try – and it doesn’t have to be perfect.

p.s. I just went for a short run at 39 1/2 weeks pregnant – just to see if I could still do it. Major win! Looking forward to getting back in shape very soon.

Self Help Title Here

April has been a hard month for me. Early on in the month, I realized that I wasn’t living very intentionally and that it was having a negative effect on my happiness and my body. I was overly stressed about little things that were unimportant and I was not truly enjoying the things that were beneficial or fun (like working out, reading or learning new things). So, I decided that it wasn’t ok to just limp through this part of my life or to be physically ill because of my stress level. I have many blessings and I should be joyful and positive and allow myself to fully experience life!

I’m sure some (or all) of you have been through this type of thing before. It really isn’t uncommon. But for me, it was just NOT ok. I forgot that we need to take care of ourselves mentally and spiritually, as well as physically. Because if you take great care of one part of yourself, but neglect the care of another, it WILL come back to haunt you. Physical symptoms of stress can be very painful and disruptive, and I have found that they are also stubborn and take a great deal of effort to ‘cure’. No one wants to live like that – that is for damn sure!

I’ve taken several very important steps toward being intentional with how I care for myself as well as how I spend my time, including reducing my stress level, increasing sleep, acupuncture, pursuing my interests and spending meaningful time with friends (among others). It took a solid two and a half weeks for me to start to feel ‘normal’ again after beginning this new journey of intentionality. I’m sure it will take many more weeks or months for it all to settle down, but I know now that I can’t let neglect of my inner self be part of my lifestyle any more. Happiness, but more importantly joy, are essential for a healthy and balanced life. It’s not all just eating right and exercising.

Ditching Fast Food for Real Food

I’m just gonna let you in on a little (not so) secret. I love food. Especially junk food. I used to be the kind of girl who would eat whatever I wanted without a thought as to what it would do to me. It made little difference to me what was in the food. Who cared about calories or chemicals or whatever? And don’t you dare try to take away my sugar! Isn’t it obvious that I love it?

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The truth is, I just never thought about why we eat food. I eat because I feel hungry – eating ANYTHING makes me not hungry – and it’s delicious. Simple, right? Well, unfortunately, no. Eating the ‘easy’ foods, like pizza, french fries and cookies actually does the opposite. Sure, I feel full for a while (and enjoy my temporary sugar high) but then something ludicrous happens – I get hungry again! Not just a little hungry, either – we’re talking WAY hungrier than I was before. Sound familiar?

That’s because as we fill the body with simple carbohydrates (a.k.a. sugar),  it produces more and more insulin to counteract all the sugar in the bloodstream (by storing it as FAT). Then, when the insulin has been pumped out in stupid high levels, ALL of the sugar is eventually re-distributed and there is nothing left in the bloodstream but insulin. Once there is no more sugar left from that awful meal we just ate a few hours ago, our body signals that we are – yep – hungry!

Blood sugar and insulin is only one of several reasons why we should all eat REAL FOOD vs. processed food. Bad food can also cause systemic inflammation, clogged arteries, hormone dysregulation, and can lead to auto-immune disorders, cancer, stroke, diabetes and a host of other illnesses. Don’t believe me? Read This or This.

For those of you who are more visual learners (or who just think I’m making this up) there is a brand new video designed to highlight why we should eat REAL food. I highly encourage you to watch and share with the people you love. Slim Is Simple.

Now, I eat to fuel my body. I eat veggies, meat, fruit, nuts and seeds – mostly in yummy combinations. When I work hard (see my post about Lifting Heavy), I splurge on high starch foods like potatoes or rice. I eat chocolate and drink wine and make grain-free low sugar baked goods. Hey, I never said I was perfect! But, I am thin, happy and healthy. What more could a girl ask for?

A Princess’ Influence

A Princess' Influence

I hate to admit it – in fact, I have debated about telling anyone this – but the truth is that I took this picture of Kate to my hairstylist yesterday. That’s right, I walzed into the Aveda salon that I have gone to for years and asked for ‘The Dutchess’. For a moment, I flashed back to the 90’s and saw the ‘Princess Diana’ hair! That’s when I decided not to tell anyone what I’d done.

I don’t consider myself to be all that mainstream when it comes to hair and fashion. But the reality is, if I don’t know what to wear or how to do my hair, I turn to the celebrities. I comb through google images in search of the perfect look. Really, it’s ridiculous. I have great hair and it’s hard to make it look bad, but I always get nervous when it comes time for my twice annual visit to the salon. The one time I ever got a bad haircut has seemingly scarred me.

So, now I have beautiful layers in my hair, and I am happy. Even the hubby gave it the nod, ftw. Thanks, Kate!