Tag Archives: change

Welcome, Mr. President. We’ve Been Waiting.

presidential-campaign-shirts-barack-obama-rainbow-portrait-t-shirt“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” — Maria Robinson
Congratulations to President Barack Obama. We are not expecting miracles, but we are looking forward to a new ending.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Eat, January 2009, Pray, Run

To Heck with New Year’s Resolutions … Choose CHANGE.

I am not a big fan of “New Years'” resolutions. Instead, I am a believer in the idea that you make a resolution the moment you feel an inclination to make a change. There is no better time than now.

That’s why I love the First 30 Day’s Ultimate Guide to Resolutions. Read through the list of tips and you’ll see point #1 is “Never make your resolution on January 1. Actually, don’t even make them in the first two weeks of the year.”

The reason why 80 percent of people who make their resolutions on January 1st fail is because they did not put forth the time that was necessary to properly shape their goals.first30daysicon1

Instead, sit down and think about what you really, really want this year. Use the worksheet that comes with the First 30 Day’s Ultimate Guide to Resolutions and start by reviewing the last year. What was the best thing that happened to you? What are the top three lessons you learned? Answering questions like these will help you to assess what you really, really (REALLY) want for the new year.

“What I like most about change is that it’s a synonym for ‘hope’. If you are taking a risk, what you are really saying is, ‘I believe in tomorrow and I will be a part of it’.” –Linda Ellerbee

One of my favorite suggestions in the F30D Ultimate Guide to Resolutions for forming your resolution: Pick a word of the year.

Focusing on one word — whether it is “yes,” “honesty” or “health” — can train your body and brain to move toward change.

My word — Purposeful. I am working toward my goals this year with great purpose. I am excited. I am revved up. And I am ready to welcome change.

What’s your word? What’s your goal?

Like Ariane de Bonvoisin, the creator of F30D and author of The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (And Loving Your Life More), says, “You have a ‘change muscle’, a part of you that is really good at change, is strong, powerful, and intuitive and knows exactly what to do. It’s time to remember that part of ourselves.”

Now, go set some goals … with purpose.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, January 2009, Pray, Run

I Love My . . .

Today is Love Your Body Day, a campaign by the National Organization for Women Foundation that focuses on helping women to love what they see when they look in the mirror.

This may seem like a tough concept for some of us.  I mean, I know some people who truly do love their reflection (you know you are), and I consider them to be lucky guys and gals. I, essentially, know that I need to be thankful for my body — my legs and arms, mostly 20/20 eyes (except for those darn readong glasses) and good health.

But sometimes, when I look into the mirror, — and I don’t think I am alone — it is easy to get carried away with picking at my body. “I wish I could just change this a little” or “If only this was a bit tighter, then …”

It’s stupid, but inevitable.

Or is it? Perhaps, it is possible for us to lean on positive messages like the ones put forth by the Love Your Body campaign and, instead, focus on the positive aspects of our body.

Lets try it. Today, I am thankful for my long legs. People ask me all the time if I am a dancer and, hey, I’ll take that as a compliment.

What about you?

2 Comments

Filed under Eat, October 2008, Pray, Run

Make Sure to Play Hard in This Game of Life

The 30-Day Challenge posts will be back soon, but I feel a need to take a brief hiatus today and address the “pray” sector of this blog with a little more of a thought-provoking post. Enjoy!

As you have all witnessed throughout the last few posts, my family and I have been on vacation for the last two weeks. This weekend, we are all journeying home and going back to our respective duties, bearing, of course, in mind that vacation is over and the so-called “real world” is an ever-present factor.

I always try to walk away from a fabulous trip like the one I just experienced and keep in mind that I should be thankful for the beautiful gift I have been given — this time with my family, this vacation and so forth. And I am so thankful. It is hard, however, to not reflect on the great passage of time that the end of a vacation represents. I, for one, very much so use vacations as a time for personal “improvements” so to speak, and the end of this summertime life-marker often feels like the beginning of a new year.

My parents ventured home yesterday, and left the four of us — me, my sister and two brothers — to spend one more day on vacation. Dan and my sister’s boyfriend, Anthony, stayed with us as well.

We started the evening with ice cream in Thousand Islands Park, a food tradition that my mother refers to as “eating backward” because you are eating dessert before dinner. It was a perfect occasion to sit outside and eat ice cream as quickly as possible in an effort to keep the hot sun from melting it all over the front of our shirts.

After we all finished, — I had a spectacular dark chocolate and mint ice cream — my youngest brother, Isaac, suggested we test out the see-saws at the town park. At first, I thought, “Definitely not my thing.” But then I realized that my stuffy notions were unwarranted — “Why not?” I asked myself.

We decided to go for it, even though I decided to swap the see-saws for a swing — more my style. I have to admit, I initially felt a bit nauseous; the ice cream and swing combo just was not working for me.

But once I was at it for awhile, I shook it off, and the swing ride felt so good. I completely forgot how freeing it was to pump your legs on a swing and “Swooosh!” into the air.

We hit a few other spots as well — the slides and merry-go-round — and I eventually made it to the see-saw as well. Dan even had a go at the sandbox, but then I reminded him that it was similar to a giant cat litter box, and he quickly stepped out. (;

I laughed watching my goofy fiancé, a 24-year-old big child, on the horse, and I sent secret messages via the “telephones” that were stationed throughout the park (apply the tin can with a string theory here) to my sister and brothers.

On the way home, Dan looked at me and said, “Whew! I played hard. It makes you wonder how kids do it all the time — I’m tired!”

And I laughed.

It’s so true: How did we forget to play as hard as we did when we were children?

Yes, we work and run errands and deal with financial stress, but where is the play time?

By the way, those things are all very valid thoughts and actions, but it seems a shame to go through life forgetting to take a ride on a swing or merry-go-round. When Isaac looked at me as we were leaving and said, “Good idea, huh?” I shook my head with a resounding, “Yes.” I was so glad I listened to his suggestion.

I know there is not always room, but try to keep it in mind the next time you are hurrying past a playground.

That see-saw might just change your world.

1 Comment

Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

I’m Doing the Vacation Happy Dance!

V-ee are here! (That one was for my future father-in-law!)

I know I have already told you all about how fabulous this place is, but, seriously, it is really freaking fabulous.

This is my view every morning from the kitchen table . . .

Totally fabulous, right?

So, anyway, lets kick this Monday off with a little run-down of my weekend:

I left you last on Friday evening, before I had eaten dinner. I can’t really even talk about the modge-podge of a dinner that occurred, but all I can tell you is that it involved leftover soba noodle salad and a few more pierogies — I shudder at the thought of eating another potato-filled noodle pocket any time soon.

Saturday was mostly spent in the car — it takes about eight hours to get to our cottage. Dan and I met my parents at their house and brought McDonald’s Egg McMuffins for everyone (my Dad had a craving). In case you did not know by the way, Egg McMuffins, while not that ultimate breakfast choice, are not a bad option when on the road. At 300 calories, 12 grams of fat it is an Eat This! choice in my favorite Eat This, Not That! book.

I, of course, also had some coffee from my all-time favorite Pittsburgh-based coffee shop, Coffee Tree Roasters — it was much needed after only about 4 1/2 hours of sleep the night before. Packing and my obsession with cleaning before I leave to go anywhere for an extended period of time kept me up a bit later than I would have liked. (Again, please ignore the chipping nail polish . . . my nails have been neglected these past few days).

Also on the road were some Peanut Butter M&M’s, cheese and rye crackers, 1/2 a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich on whole wheat and a few Sour Cream & Onion Pringles. One thing I hate about road trips besides a sore ass from sitting so long — the junk food that often gets mixed into the trip.

The plus: Listening (and dancing) to music from the 90s, playing “I Spy…” and, of course, creating inside jokes that will last the entire vacation.

When we arrived at the cottage, we unpacked and ordered pizza from none other than CAVALLARIO’S!! Now, I know you cannot understand the glory involved in this pie. But, I swear, if you were here to taste the cheesy goodness of it all, then you would get it. I went for two pieces of one of my faves — Pesto, Artichoke and Feta Cheese pizza. Mmmm … I am getting hungry now!

Breakfast the next morning was a small bowl of about 20 Frosted Mini Wheats with about one cup of 1% milk, followed by a sliced apple and coffee.

After breakfast, my mom, sister and I did the leg segment from one of my most favorite workout DVDs, I Want That Body!. Of course, I have only ever done the leg section on the DVD, but, lemme tell you, it is one heck of a workout! I can feel leg muscles today that I didn’t know I had yesterday. All three of us are so pathetic; every time we go to move, we all say, “Oh, my legs! Oh, my butt!”

Following that sweat-session, I slathered myself in SPF 50 and hit the deck with my sister to sunbathe and read for a bit. Of course, I am still white as hell, but the sunshine felt nice. I am currently reading about five books, but the one I am so much enjoying right now is Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott.

A passage to enjoy from this incredible writer:

“For some of us, books are important as almost anything else on Earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. They are full of all the things that you don’t get in real life — wonderful lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. And quality of attention: we may notice amazing details during the course of day, but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention. An author makes you notice, makes you pay attention, and this is a great gift.”

I love that part of the book– and I have read it over and over again — because I could not have put better into words exactly how I feel about the gift of books and writing and language. I cried the first couple of times I read through Ms. Lamott’s words.

After being out in the sun for awhile, I was really quite hungry, so my mom, sister and I made some tuna fish with light mayo, sprinkled it with light cheese and put it on whole grain bread. It was so yummy, but I was stuffed! Something about being in the sun for a bit makes me not as hungry … who knows.

Lunch was followed by my brother, Luke, convincing me to go kayaking with him. He had already spent about two hours and three miles on the thing with Dan, but he wanted to keep going.

Now, lets get one thing straight here: I am not exactly coordinated. I never played a sport that involved balls, bats, sticks or paddles — or anything of the sort — and did it successfully. I was the girl in volleyball class who tossed the ball in the air before my hand hit it just so I could avoid serving the ball the proper way.

So, I was not immediately gung-ho about the event. But I love my brother, so I decided to be a good sport. Truth be told, however, once I got out there I was totally fine. We went about 2 miles and I got an awesome arm workout. Of course, I cannot move too well today, — especially after the dang leg workout — but we had a great time. I love spending time with that kid; he is just hilarious and one of my most favorite people on planet Earth.

I came in and had a few Triscuits with hummus and a small handful of peanut M&M’s while we made dinner. Dinner was grilled ahi tuna and chicken with salad and baked beans. I had a small piece of tuna and chicken; salad with dried blueberries, spicy pecans, apricot cheese and a low-calorie, Trader Joe’s Cranberry Walnut dressing; and a scoop of baked beans.

Later, I had a small bowl of Trader Joe’s Oat Bran Swirls with skim milk for a snack.

I was so pooped by the end of the day that almost as soon as I hit my pillow, I passed out. I slept for about seven hours — a nice change from the usual five.

Today is another beautiful day. So far, I have had a bowl of Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Oats and 1/2 of a semi-sour grapefruit.

And, now, I am just enjoying a cup of coffee (I always drink it black and bold, by the way) and writing to you!

I hope you are all having a fabulous Monday. Enjoy the day wherever you are — it is a fantastic one!

4 Comments

Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

Eating, Working, Packing, Eating, Work Out, Eating . . . Whew!

OOOOOK……. so, where did I leave you last? I feel like I have done so many things since I blogged about my walk/run session last night.

First off — Last night’s snack. I was too hungry to wait until dinner, so I had some Fage Total 2 % Peach Greek-Style yogurt to hold me over. Mmmm … I love this stuff!

Next — Dinner. I had a severe craving for something semi-naughty, so when Dan called to say he was picking up a few things to make our next couple meals at least a little interesting, — finishing up stuff has become extremely blah — I said, “I think I want pierogies.”

I know, weird, huh?

But a super Polish indulgence it was! These guys were 200 calories and 3.5 g fat (1.5 saturated) for every three; I had six, so do the math and that’s 400 calories! I dipped mine in Kraft Catalina dressing, a total weird pierogie-eating habit of mine that is all my dad’s fault! (; We also added some Trader Joe’s Prig Kring Green Beans — the usual green bean with a spicy twist. One of my favorites, and only 70 calories per cup!

Dinner was followed by a treat, and it’s one of my faves … drumroll please … Chewy Brownie Cookies from Whole Foods!! Oh. My. Gosh. I love these things. If you pick ’em just right, you can find ones that taste just like brownie batter, and for anyone who has ever eaten it straight from the bowl, you know just how luscious these cookies are! And the best part? Every two are only 160 calories, and they’re low fat. Now, that’s a win-win situation! Except for my chipped nail polish that is … ):

I did a little better with sleep last night, but still only about six hours. The best part was, however, that I slept really sound which can be a tough thing for a light sleeper like me to accomplish. So, all was well, especially since I got up early and got a ton of my writing work done!

Breakfast was the same as yesterday — a lot a bit of All Bran Strawberry Medley and a little bit of the icky Cascadian Farms Raisin Bran with about 1 cup of skim milk.

I also had a sliced apple on the side which lasted through my mid morning coffee ….

Lunch was another attempt to finish up some food, but I was OK with that because it was one of my favorite kid-like sandwiches — PB and banana on whole grain bread! I love this combo, and if you have never tried it, then you just gotta! I have Dan totally hooked. I also had a pre-lunch snack — more peanut butter!! It’s probably a bit of overload, but I am a peanut butter freak and once I start it’s hard to stop!

After lunch, I did some running around, and a little bit of packing . . . But I only got as far as my books — about 70 books and magazines! Do you think I have too many? (-: I have a bit of a book problem. If there is the slightest, tiny chance I might need it, then I just have to take it with me. Oh, well. I guess everyone has their “thing,” right?!

Good thing I always end up wearing the same few things on vacation ….

All that book packing had me bored with vacation prep, so when Dan got home from work, I asked him to go for a walk. He wasn’t too keen on the idea — I walk really fast! — but I was totally pumped to go! Aha, ha, ha, ha! … I tried to make a “Grr!” face, but I kept laughing. We ended up having a great time, however, like we always do once we get out there!

We walked for a little more than an hour, and now it’s time for more packing, a little bit of work and dinner!

Voila! Whew …. what a busy day!

3 Comments

Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

Taking These Porcelain Babies for a Walk . . . or Run!

I just got back from what started as a walk, but quickly turned into a walk/run. You see, as I was getting ready to head outside today, I knew I didn’t want to go for a full-out run. I was feeling pretty tired and I could feel a ton of lactic acid running through my body.

But then, once I get started, I decided I was going to do a walk/run; often times, quick running sprints mixed with fast-paced walking or light jogging can actually help flush some of the lactic acid out of your body. So, that is what my game plan was tonight.

My exercise path was 4.28 miles and it took me 43 minutes to complete it. I ended with 2 minutes (for a total of 45 minutes) of light walking. It went a little something like this:

*5 min. warm up

*1 min. sprint, 2 min. fast walking (5:00 – 15:00)

*1-mile run (15:00 – 22:55)

*Back to 2 min. fast walking, 1 min. sprint (22:55 – 40:00)

*Ran the rest of the way home (40:00 – 43:00) = 4.28 miles

*Cool down – walk (43:00 – 45:00)

NOTE . . . I have a few rules about a walk/run workout that are the result of my slightly demented runner’s way of thinking:

– I never stop in the middle of the hill; even if it means running a bit farther than the designated 1-minute mark.

– I also never stop at the top of hill.

– Or in front of people.

Combine all of these rules and you will understand why the middle of my workout lead to a one-mile run: I started my “one-minute” sprint at the bottom of a one-mile long hill. Yes, ONE-FREAKING-MILE long hill! More on this hill in Several Reasons Why My Sister Requires Rehab.

But I was glad I did it. I have taught myself to love hills, and conquering this one always feels like such an accomplishment. It just keeps going, and going, and going . . .

One thing I wish I could have changed — my decision to wear black capri pants. I thought the slight drop in temperature would make hiding my porcelain-tinted legs — why show those babies if need not be? — OK, but I was dead wrong. Note to self — no one gives a crap about your legs.

By the way fabulous readers, if you live in an urban area like yours truly, and you cannot exactly drive your car along a sidewalk or dirt path to measure your run, walk or bike, then check out Map My Run. It’s an awesome tool that lets you draw your route on a map or even satellite map of your area. It totally rocks my world!

OK, I gotta shut up and go eat dinner … I’m hungry!

4 Comments

Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run