Busier Than Ever!

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Wow. I feel like I have fallen off the face of the earth over the past 2-3 weeks when it comes to writing – and everything else I generally enjoy doing (of course my Yoga and running). So, like I said in my last post, I accepted a new job that just sorta fell in my lap. It’s great and I am totally enjoying it but HOLY FREAKING COW!…. it is taking over my time, my thoughts, my sleep, everything. I have never had to work this much outside of “work hours” in my entire life.  It’s great though. Although I enjoyed my last job, it didn’t really challenge or fulfill me. I think this will do both. It is definitely challenging. I am basically a teacher and a counselor. The counselor part, I’ve got down pat. I am great at that (yes, I am patting myself on the back) but the teacher part, that is a totally different story. I think I have done good so far but I have no experience, no education in teaching, no practice, no one to help me figure it out… nada. I love the little kids I am working with and I even enjoy lunch duty.  I am spending multiple hours each day at home planning and coming up with ideas for lesson plans. I am hoping after I get over the hump of this year, next year won’t require so much planning.

Is there something you guys have going on that is taking over everything? Have you found a good way to balance everything?

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Change Ahead

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So, I am getting ready to make a pretty big change. I have been offered a new school counseling job. This is not a job that I was even interested in at first. I was looking to make a change but this was not a school on my list – even in my radar. The schools that I wanted to go to didn’t even have any openings this year and this new school is a 45 minute drive from home. The opportunity just sort of opened up in front of me and to be honest, I’m not even sure how it happened. I have confidence that it will be a pretty good opportunity for myself and for my kids; but I have been a nervous wreck about it. Although, I woke up today with some clarity to the situation and I feel pretty good about it. The only thing that still gives me a sick feeling in my stomach is leaving my current administration. They are great, they have been very nice and accommodating and family comes first. I have always been able to walk over to the elementary school where my oldest daughter attends to see her plays, programs, or read to her classroom or even watch her play on the playground if I needed some fresh air. I fear that I will be so busy at this other school that I won’t be able to do that kind of stuff, even though she will be in my building.

When I was searching for what kind of picture I wanted to put on the top of this post, this one jumped out at me. It (along with the other ones at the bottom) what exactly what I needed to read. I have been so worried about letting the people down that I work with and worried about what has now become past. Instead, I need to focus on building the new future and doing what is best, long term for myself and my family. Our life is a result of what decisions we make and who we choose to surround ourselves with. Making a decision to leave my current community and also to pull my daughter out of her current school is certainly a decision that will shape both of us in a different, new way. Make sure that what ever decisions you make, big or small, are the decisions that have the potential to make the biggest positive impact on yourself  and those you love. Sometimes, you have to start with the end in mind. Even though I wanted to eventually change school systems, I could have been content where I was at. It was a very easy job, not much to challenge me on a day to day basis and I was greatly supported by my administration. I was comfortable. It’s not easy sometimes to step out of your comfort zone. However, staying would have likely made myself and possibly my children stagnant. Long term, I want to work hard, be challenged and I want my children to have the best opportunities possible. I have stepped out of my comfort zone to face new territory. It will be a great, exciting challenge – even if it is terrifying.

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Is there something you have been wanting to change in your life? What have the obstacles been and how can you jump over the hurdles?

Be Happy. Be Healthy. See Good ~Namaste

Healthy Day & Experience at a Hippie Commune

peace love and hippiesPeace, Love and Hippies. Although a friend of mine who was born and raised on a hippie commune, would rather refer to herself as a Flower Child, so I guess it should say Peace, Love and Flower Children. Same thing, whatever. So today was a great day. I was bound and determined to follow through with what I said in my last post. Today also happened to be my first day back at work after a wonderful, although not long enough, summer break. This is what my day looked like: Woke up at 5am and headed upstairs to do a peaceful morning yoga session, courtesy of YogaByCandace. (Love, Love, LOVE her blog and youtube channel by the way). Yoga session was followed by one of her quick 5 minute meditations. I went back downstairs and made myself a glass of warm lemon water and started getting ready for the morning. I allowed myself enough time to get ready without being rushed and THEN woke the girls up to get ready to leave for Grandma’s house. I’ve gotta say, that was MUCH better than rushing around like a crazy person trying to get myself and the kids ready at the same time. The girls wanted to eat breakfast at grandma’s house so I made myself a quick morning shake made by Garden of Life and headed out to drop girls off and head to work.

I have a 20ish minute drive to work so I used that time to catch up on some of my podcasts. Now, I’ve got to be perfectly honest and say that while I enjoy my job, I feel like the place I work isn’t the best fit for me so it was super hard to not have a negative attitude all day about it. Tons of negative thinking popped up throughout the day like… “I so should take that other job in the neighboring county, even though that’s probably not the best thing for the kids right now”, “these people sure do whine and complain a lot”, “man, none of these pointless training sessions have anything to do with my job”… and on and on and on. It took a lot of work and effort to try to replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Considering the work day and how I could have allowed it to go, I’d say I did pretty well. None of us are perfect. It’s easy to get sucked into negative thinking but it’s so important to make the best of every situation and if you aren’t happy with your current situation, look into ways you can better it.

Anyway, I got to leave and enjoy a nice salad for lunch with my husband and we even got out of work early. I came home, played with the girls for awhile and then, headed off to the hippie commune. Yep, you read that right. About 20 minutes down the road is a place everyone refers to as The Farm. It was founded in the 70s by Stephen Gaskin and it’s got a pretty cool history. Read all about it here. So, I have always wanted to try out one of their Yoga classes, and tonight was the night. For a second, I thought I was a little lost, but I called a friend (the flower child), and made my way to the right place. The class was small and I was the youngest one there by about 25 years probably, which is totally cool because if you know anything about me, you know I love spending time with older people. It was about an hour long and a little slower paced flow that what I am used to doing on my own, but I really enjoyed it and it was nice to have a group to practice with as opposed to doing it in my bonus room alone. I even got to do my forearm headstand in class that I did for the first time the other day. I was pretty proud of myself! Although, I will say that 2 of the older women in class did a forearm headstand without any assistance from with wall and held it for way longer than I was able to and I even had assistance from the wall. I can’t wait to get to that point!

So, now here I am, typing up a recap of the day and as I look back on things, I am pretty proud of how it went. I ate healthy, clean food, got in some great exercise and meditation and I’m ready to start tomorrow morning off with an early morning run. There’s nothing quite better than running to the sunrise. But, more about that later.

What are you proud of today?

Be Happy. Be Healthy. See Good. ~Namaste

Struggling With Food

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I am just going to be perfectly honest and lay it all out there. This isn’t going to be an easy post to write. It’s something I have been struggling with on and off for quite a while now. I am going to be embarrassingly honest, which isn’t easy…but I know that there are lots of others out there going through the same thing and after all, who can’t benefit from support, and knowing they’re not the only ones going through something? So, here goes…

I have a food addiction. I know how to eat healthy. I know what foods bother me and what foods don’t. Thanks to my experience with Paleo, I also know what foods make me feel great, have tons of energy, great skin and lose weight and feel my best. I also know what foods make me moody, give me serious digestive issues, make me have break outs and make it hard to sleep. Basically, there are definitely foods that make me a crazy, moody, monster, craving more and more of what is bad for me. I don’t know what Webster would say is the definition of food addiction. But here is my definition of it: When you know all those things that I just laid out above (what foods make you feel good and what foods turn you into a psychotic carb and sugar craving beast) and no matter how many times you say you are going to do better, put healthy things in your body so you stop feeling sick, you don’t and even worse – you feel like you can’t do it.

I know a lot of people that can do just fine with moderation.  They can eat healthy most of the time and still have the ability to eat a piece of cake at a wedding or make a stop at an ice cream place on a hot summer day. I am not that person. Perhaps someday when everything inside me gets regulated, I will be…. But honestly I don’t see that day coming. For me, it is all or none. I can’t just have one cookie. If I give in and I say “ok, lets just get pizza tonight” that will be the end of my healthy eating. I’m like a drug addict – one bite of junk food and it’s over. I don’t just fall off the wagon, I get a running start and take a flying leap off it. I’m that person who eats clean and when I start feeling better, I’m like “wow, I’m doing good. I’m just going to have this one thing and it will be just fine” and then as soon as I wake up the next morning, it’s like my insides are saying more pizza, more icecream, more more more more!!! I know there is science out there that explains all of this. We will delve into that over the next month or so, but for now I just have to acknowledge that my body reacts like this and I need to do something about it and stop trying to fuel my body with junk. Eat to live, not live to eat, right?

Today was one of those days when I woke up and said enough is enough. We had family in from out of town yesterday and we grilled brats, ate chips and had a beer or two for lunch and for dinner went out for Pizza. I went to bed with a messed up stomach and felt awful. So anyway, I woke up and said “today is a new day, I will do better.” Well, this post and public proclamation is the first step. With most things, I have such strong self discipline and control, but when it comes to food, self discipline is just as out as tight rolled pants. I know I can bring the self discipline back (and leave the tight rolled pants in the 80s) but breaking away from this feeling of being addicted to food is so hard. I’ve been cycling through this for a year now it has to stop. I can feel the effects it is having on my body. Not positive effects. Right now as I am typing this I feel bloated, exhausted (it’s 3:53 pm and there’s no reason I should feel this tired) and foggy headed. I know if I continue down this road, my health isn’t going to be good long term. My biggest problem however, is that when I eat bad, it typically translates to my family eating bad. My kids depend on me to provide them with good, healthy, nutritious food and to teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle. I have been failing at that. That is something I am definitely NOT PROUD OF. My husband is a grown man and is fully capable of making his own decisions on what he puts into his body. But, he is also a man. He eats what I cook or nothing at all. If I don’t feel like cooking (because I hate cooking) he is all about joining me at some junk restaurant. If I don’t make a good, healthy dinner with extras for him to take to lunch the next day, he either doesn’t eat and then pigs out when he gets home, or he eats junk fast food at work because it’s cheap and easy. I don’t want to be responsible for an unhealthy family. In fact, I want the exact opposite. I want to grow a healthy, active family who can set an example of healthy, natural living for others.

So, this is my public proclamation that I am going to do better. Yeah yeah yeah, wasn’t I just talking about how I say that all the time? Yep. I know I say that a lot but I have come to a point where any further down this self destructive road will start having more visible, serious consequences for my health and my family’s. I don’t think that I have ever really spoken up to anyone that I have been struggling with food so much. Not even those closest to me. It’s been kind of a secret, hidden thing that I’m ashamed up. But this is me. The real me. Imperfect. But it hasn’t been ideal imperfection, I haven’t been trying my best. This is my pledge that I am going to try to my best – even if it’s not perfect. It will be my ideal imperfection. This is also my invitation to you. Join me on this quest to natural health through clean eating. I will be following a Paleo diet. You don’t have to do the exact same plan, but I do suggest clean, real, unprocessed food.

I am going to take the rest of this month and all of August to post about my journey. Don’t worry, not everything will be about food. There will be posts about workouts, the science behind nutrition, etc. Who is up for a challenge with me?

Be Happy. Be Healthy. See Good. -Namaste

On The Road Again

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It’s just after 6am and I am sitting here on my couch nice and sweaty from my first run in about 2 weeks and man does it feel good! We took a family vacation a few weeks back and after the deep sand and bodyboarding in the rough waves, my right achilles was not too happy with me.  I attempted to run a short 3 miles the weekend we got home and I ended up walking over a mile back. Not cool. I took a long 2 weeks off, and hit the road again this morning. My father in-law is a frequent running buddy and I was thinking about doing about 3.5-4 miles because I felt pretty good. Luckily I am smart enough to take a wise runner with me who told me I would be crazy to push it that far on my first day back out. We did 3 miles nice and easy and I feel good. I could feel my ankle but it wasn’t hurting so I am pretty confident that I will be back on my previous running schedule in no time!
I feel like every time I really get into my running “plan” and start gaining miles and increasing speed (always slowly and sensibly) I end up with hurting knees or shins. I started Yoga awhile back to just supplement my running and hoping it would help keep some of the pain and injuries away. The more I do Yoga, the more I fall in love with it. Even after 2 weeks off the road (if you’re a runner, you know how much you can lose in 2 weeks) and mending an ankle, I felt nice and relaxed and surprisingly good this morning and I couldn’t be happier. I feel that I can definitely credit my daily Yoga practice for that!

Be Happy. Be Healthy. See Good. ~Namaste

New Yoga Milestone!

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So I am super excited and wanted to share. I have been doing Yoga for about a month or two on a consistent basis and today I was able to get up unto forearm headstand. Yay!!! As you can see in the picture, I am in front of a wall. I admit that I use the wall just a bit when I kick my first foot up but I am able to hold the pose without using the wall for support when I bring the other leg up. You know what the coolest thing is about the whole pose? – Guess who motivated me to even try it? My 7 year old daughter! She is a super strong, athletically talented kid. She has been doing handstands, cartwheels and headstands around the house all week. She wanted to play gymnastics today and she was going to be the teacher. I can give my oldest sweet girl all the credit for my forearm headstand. Thanks Madi!

What goals have you been working on?

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Be Happy. Be Healthy. See good. Namaste -H

1000 Day MDA Challenge

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Goal Setting Challenge. Where’s Your Starting Line?

Take a look to your right. Notice the 1000 Day Challenge? Wonder what the heck it is? I am a big HUGE fan of Mark Sisson and his website, Mark’s Daily Apple (as well as his Podcast, The Primal Blueprint). If you haven’t heard of him or know anything about the Primal Blueprint, I strongly suggest you go check it out.

Yesterday on his blog, he offered up one heck of a huge challenge. Pick a goal, work on it and strive for 1000 days. He said, “What are you going to complete by that date? What will you change, learn, become? Who will you be? Where will you be? What have you always wanted to accomplish but have yet to even begin approaching?” Well, I am definitely up for the challenge.

Here’s my personal lay out of the challenge:
1. Start and create a successful Blog on Healthy Living
2. Stick to 80/20 Paleo/Primal Lifestyle
3. Continue Running
4. Continue doing Yoga and grow in my practice – look into becoming certified teacher
5. Continue with Meditation. Start reading and practicing to nail down the right type for me.

1000 days is a long time but it will be here before we know it.  A list of 5 things doesn’t seem too hard to accomplish. They are all things I am doing now, even if just for a short time; but they are things that have become important to me and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. I will keep you posted on my progress and set backs as the next 1000 days roll by.

Are you up for the challenge? What kind of goal setting will you do? What will your obstacles be? Click on the Leave A Comment Link at the top of this post and let me know!