Category Archives: mood

Q&A and Eat What You May

Since starting this blog I’ve received a lot of questions.  But one question really struck me today, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

One of my BEAUTIFUL co-workers quietly asked me during lunch today, “How do you do it?”

This question struck me, because I don’t feel like I do anything special, or out of the ordinary. 

I am NO angel.Angel

As a matter of fact, yesterday I didn’t work out for the second day in a row, and I gorged myself with a cookie at lunch, two cinnamon squares after work (they  were very small… I swear!), and a piece of Whitman’s chocolate before bed.  Yesterday was a very long, and very indulgent day.

I confess that quite often I have very little self control.  If it is there, I will eat it.  If there are French fries on the menu, I’m ordering them.  And if a student brings me a homemade cupcake for their birthday, 9 times out of 10 I am going to eat it. 

I believe in eating clean 98% of the time, staying active, and living a little!  What is a world without French fries and birthday cupcakes???!!!

If you deprive your body and mind of what it wants, you’ll just want it more and more and more!  You will make yourself miserable!

I have a “happy weight” where my clothes fit their best, where I don’t feel like I have to constantly suck in my gut, and where I feel the most confident.  As soon as my clothes begin to feel snug, or I find myself slouching with a pooch hanging out, I know that I’ve overindulged, and it’s time to readjust my workouts and eating habits. 

However, I find it’s easiest to maintain this happy, healthy weight rather than waiting for it to become a problem so that I then have to drop a few pounds. 

My secret weapon: exercise. 

Not only does exercise make me feel good, but I’ve found that it is the best way to allow myself those indulgences without any negative consequences.  And it almost always makes me feel better. 

Take this evening for example.  I stayed at work until around 5, and I didn’t really feel very well.  My throat has been hurting all week, and I have been feeling super exhausted. 

Sounds like the perfect night to skip a workout and hole up on the couch, right? 

I seriously dreaded working out all the way home, but I knew I had to work out.  The first 5 minutes of any workout are always the hardest for me.  So, I gave myself a five minute punk out card.  If after five minutes, I still didn’t want to work out, I had full “permission” to stop without any guilt.

But guess what?!?!?  I felt great after I got moving and could feel my muscles working and my lungs filling with oxygen.  This is seriously one of the best feelings in the world.  Endorphins are no joke, my friends!

I guess what I am trying to say in this long rambling post is, I know what makes me feel good and I stick to it.  I try not to over think it (although Larry may disagree), and I try to stick to as healthy of a diet as possible so that when I do want to indulge, I can. 

I know I feel best when I eat healthy and exercise.  But this doesn’t mean that I am a saint!  ;) 

So, my advice would be this:

  • Pick what makes you feel good and stick to it!!!  But remember that this is different for everyone.  What makes me happy may make you miserable! 
  • Allow yourself indulgences without guilt.  Life is only as tasty as you make it!

When do you feel your best?  What challenges do you face that prevent you from always feeling your best, and how do you overcome these challenges? 

PS…  I would really love for you to leave comments below!  We can learn so much from one another!  Feel free to share! 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Filed under clean eating, exercise, mood, motivation

Not Your Normal Arts and Crafts

Today I did something I have NEVER done before in my entire life.  (Well, not that I remember anyway.  I may have done this as a very small child.)

For the fifth official snow day of 2010, I had an Arts and Crafts Day (Source)

No, not the type with cotton balls, popsicle sticks, and fuzzy balls.  (Although, that may have been just as fun!)

 

I did…. 

wait for it…

 

Scrapbooking! 

Over the past two years, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law have given me various scrapbooking supplies. 

I have a nifty bag,DSC01140

 cool pens,DSC01142

super sharp scissors,  DSC01143

 

 

 

 

a photo cutter,            DSC01141

 

stickers, and more!  DSC01144

I even have a cool computer program that allows you to play with cool fonts for journaling and labels.

However, (confession time!) I have only scrapbooked onceEmbarrassed  I did three mediocre pages masterpieces, and messed up one (I glued it on the wrong side of the paper, so now it faces in the wrong direction). 

I have a fear of not being good enough. 

I have seen some pretty awesome scrapbooks in my life.  My sister-in-law, for one, does an AMAZING job!  She meticulously crafts the perfect pages to capture memories of everything from napping with dogs to weddings.  My friend, Ashley, creates true masterpieces full of color and energy.  And my mom’s friend, Dawn, well she could put us all to shame. 

On occasion,  I’ve pulled out the supplies and played around with pages, but I was afraid to make anything permanent.  My pages couldn’t possibly turn out well, and what if I cut the picture and totally messed it up, losing a piece of the memory it captured. 

Today I decided to push away all of that fear and anxiety, and JUST DO IT!

And you know what?  It was fun.  It was relaxing.  And it was exhilarating! 

For two complete hours today I was totally focused.  I was quiet.  And I had no emphatic thoughts racing through my mind.  My mind was simply calm.

On her post today, Caitlin, of Healthy Tipping Point, posted a Reader’s Question.  This reader was feeling  insecure about trying new activities at the gym, and wanted to know how Caitlin managed to keep a positive attitude as she was learning to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. 

When I read this post I related it to the way I used to feel (and occasionally still do) when lifting weights alone at the gym.  It took me a while to learn that everyone was not looking at me, and that they were not judging me.  The more I lifted on my own, the better I got, and the more confident I felt.

While reading this post did not cause me to pull out my scrapbooking supplies and get crafting (I randomly did this on my own), I can now reflect on how these two scenarios are remarkably relevant. 

I was afraid to scrapbook because I was afraid that people would look at what I had done and judge me.  Just as I was afraid, at first, to share this blog with friends, family, and the public. 

However, how can we ever get better at something, or become confident with our abilities, if we do not step out of comfort zone and give it a try.

My scrapbook pages today weren’t perfect.  I’m sure there are a ka-zillion and one ways I could have made the pages more colorful and creative.  But they are a true reflection of my own style, and of my own capabilities at this time.  It may take weeks, months, or even years for me to feel confident as a true “scrapbooker.”  But hey, I’m still in the learning process! 

Is there something you have been wanting to try, but are worried about stepping out of your comfort zone?

This revelation leads very well into the topic for my next post.  Check back later for more!

And just to get you thinking, here’s a thought to ponder:

DSC01147

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Filed under mood, motivation