I LOVE the fall. LOVE IT.
Yet part of me is in denial that we could possibly be in October already. But it's true, I know it is.
So I was out this morning for my walk/run/justgetyourassoutthere, and as I looked at my watch and noticed my pace I realized how much progress I've made.
I may need to explain that a bit better.
For the past several years I've been fighting the "IT MUST BE PERFECT TO COUNT" battle when it comes to eating right and exercise. Which of course is complete and total bullshit, but man the system has us set up to believe it every step of the way.
While I've been working hard to unlearn a lot of things, the 'IT MUST BE PERFECT TO COUNT" battle is trickier than others. She's a crafty little bitch that will creep into the corners of my mind and with her whisperings about what I should do, and how I could be better...she starts off very motivational at first...but if left unchecked she gets a bit aggressive.
Like with exercise, if I was training to run a race I would have a training plan to follow. I would have my goals and know what my pace would have to be to hit each new PR. But then I would let the need to make the plan be PERFECT make me crazy. If I missed a day, or couldn't complete a run as I set out my plan was RUINED.
That would leave me with the totally reasonable options (in my mind) of scrapping the entire plan or starting over. (Yeah, I know. Stupid crazy Perfection voice.)
So back to this week - yesterday when I went out I just walked. No plan. Didn't think I'd be able to get a workout in, and then carved out some time while waiting for the kids.
Today I started out walking and then ran some. No plan, no goals, no pace to hit or maintain. Just listening to my body and moving accordingly. Working out, getting it done, just like that.
When I looked at my watch to check my heart rate and noticed my pace, and didn't immediately freak out about how much I should be able to improve my next mile, I felt this sensation of relief.
And I just relaxed into it and ENJOYED the rest of my freaking run.
I was out there because I KNOW that moving my body is good for me. Because I feel amazing for doing it. It's not to punish myself, or to burn XXX amount of calories. Just getting out there is a win. That is perfect enough. :)
Life is very full right now, and I know how easy it is to push self care aside. So being able to find the time, energy and HAPPINESS in doing what I can, when I can is a major milestone for me. I'm sure that I'll find time for more training plans and structured goals again in the future, but for right now, this feels like a good groove.
Progress over perfection my friends. :)
It's hard to believe how quickly the summer has flown by. It's crazy really. And now we're on the doorstep of September and a brand new school year.
To be honest, I'm ready to get back into the swing of our fall routine. We had a great summer, but there's something to be said for being on a schedule of sorts. Something we most definitely were NOT doing this summer. At all.
Maybe you're like me and have big ideas for how you're going to take better care of your health once you have two seconds of free time with the kids in school. (September is the new January you know!!) :)
If this sounds good to you - then you might be interested in the September coaching special I'm offering.
This coaching is designed to keep you focused on the health goals that you set for yourself. It's a great way to kick off the fall and get yourself into a routine that is going to have you feeling better then ever. Give it a try. What have you got to lose?? :)
This summer has been keeping me on my toes for sure!
Less then two weeks after unpacking from our last adventure I was prepping for a week of Summer camp with the Boy Scouts. (This is my son's third summer going to camp and my second summer as an adult helper for our troop.)
It's a pretty good gig. I get my own tent, right on lake. :)
Free time to sit in the sun, read, and hike.
I hiked all over the place with those boys.
Seriously, MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF HIKING.
There was hiking to Aquatics to go swimming, and canoeing and sailboating and paddle boarding, just to name a few....
There was hiking to the open fields to play football, and frisbee.
There was hiking back to our campsite for each meal. That's where the boys would do all of the cooking and cleaning.
I LOVE that part. The adults just sit and watch. :) And be entertained of course. (Jane Goodall had her chimpanzees, I've got my Boy Scouts.)
Oh, to know these dudes is to love them! :)
After dinner the boys would usually fish or play more football. Then the campfire would start. I loved getting to sit around it each night and listen to the boys talk and laugh and do their funny skits.
I hate the bugs and spiders in my tent. And I swear they have 3 pound grasshoppers up there. I'm not a fan of sleeping on cots and I prefer air conditioning over sleeping in a sweaty sleeping bag. But for this - seeing my boy have so much fun with his friends, getting to be a part of the inside jokes and making the memories together...
I'll keep coming back as long as my boy will have me tag along.
School ended! (Yippee!!) And we didn't have much time before we were packing up and heading to the beach with the family for vacation.
Making healthy choices can be difficult enough at home, but doing so on the road, and while on vacation takes this practice to an entirely different level of skill and commitment.
It is not for the faint of heart.
But it doesn't mean that it can't be done either. :)
I geared up for our trip with wonderful intentions of really getting my healthy summer kicked off right. I had healthy food to eat in the car! I was going to exercise every single day! I was going to make super healthy meals for myself! (But as my grandmother was always quick to point out, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." If that gives you any idea of where this is going.)
I'm happy with the times I came through for myself with the healthier choices I made during the week. (There were several of them!) I also know that I could have done much better throughout the week than I did. But I did SO MUCH better than I have in other years when vacation was just an excuse for a week long free-for-all.
I continue to be a work in progress, which is okay by me because it means that I've never quit.
So then we get home from vacation and thrown into a holiday. WHAT? It's July already???
Oh June, you were a swift kick in the ass alright. And July already has me prepping for my next adventure. I can't wait to tell you all about THAT!
If you're getting ready to go on your own vacation and stressing out about how to make it as healthy for yourself as possible, drop me an email and I'll be happy to offer any tips or tricks to help you enjoy your time away and keep up with your healthy habits!
I'm so happy for the kids that school is finally out! They are thrilled. YEAH!! No more teachers, no more books...
The flip side of that coin of course is that they are here. With me. All day.
When they were smaller the summer was a time when things would slow down a bit, but now we have games and practices and they want to be driven here and there and have a social schedule of their own.
That part of summer can be a royal pain in the ass.
But I digress.
I've made a vow to not lose myself in the chaos of the summer. To NOT abandon my commitment to my health and self care for the sake of time saving convenience, but to up my game instead. 13 weeks is the perfect amount of time to see what I can accomplish with some extra effort.
I know that by taking the time I need to focus on planning and prepping healthy meals for me and the kids we all benefit. By being more active I will be getting fitter, and have more fun. And in 13 weeks time I hope to show that I've lost weight and solidified some sweet habits to carry me into the school year. Because we all know that transition is an ass-kicker.
So tell me, what are you going to do to make the most of your summer? The time is going to fly by, I can promise you that much.
I've been trying to get this post up about this recipe success story for WEEKS now. WEEKS I tell you. I'll skip all of the crazy life crap that kept me from my journalistic duties and get right to the good stuff, because trust me, you are going to want to make this recipe.
It is GOOOOOOOD.
Let me introduce you to one of my children's new dinnertime favorites, chicken enchilada casserole introduced to me by Meals with Maya.
I had just gotten Maya's gorgeous email newsletter with her recipes as I was lamenting what to make for dinner (BAD PLANNING on my part) and just like that, dinner problem solved!!
Since then, I have made this dish several times and I've made some adaptations to if you'd like to try them.
1. Instead of regular chicken, I used the canned spicy buffalo chicken from Costco. It kicks it up a level, but it's a nice change of pace for those that like it a little hotter.
2. Instead of tortillas I used cooked cauliflower crumbles to layer in between. Okay, that one wasn't a hit with the kids, but I still liked it. It was an experiment...live and learn. :)
I wish I had a photo of the finished casserole. It seems like as soon as it comes out of the oven we "forget" to take the picture until after dinner. I'll have to do a better job of that next time!!!
You should be sure to check out Meals With Maya. She's a professional meal planner and health coach and you can bet that you'll be seeing more recipe raves from her site here for sure!! She knows what she's doing to make those veggies tasty!!
If you try this recipe be sure to let me know what you think! Especially if your kids like it as much as mine!
What is it that I really need right now?
This is a question that I had to learn how to ask myself. It's also one that I still have to remember to myself to ask myself daily.
Multiple times a day.
The first time I remember being hit with this was as I stood in front of the pantry looking desperately for something to eat. As I moved things around in frustration, it was almost as if I was blocking out the part of my brain that gave a single second to recognize that hunger was NOT the problem that I need to solve.
The baby was crying and she wouldn't take a nap. I hadn't slept for more than 4 hours in a row and I really just wanted to take a shower and got to sleep and let someone else take care of her for a while. But that wasn't an option at that moment. So instead I ate an entire sleeve of Girl Scout thin mint cookies to feel better.
But that's the thing with eating when you aren't hungry - you're buying tickets for a ride you don't want to go on.
The awareness of that single question will start to make subtle shifts at first. And the more often you ask it the more you feel the changes take place. Give it a try if you don't believe me. Think of someplace in your life you're overdoing it, (you may not be eating thin mints like an anaconda), maybe you work too much, or shop way more than you need to be. Stop and ask yourself -
What do you really need?
You have to be quiet and listen for the answer.
Being aware of what you need is more difficult than it sounds, and honoring it raises the game yet again. But the benefits from doing this are definitely worth it. So start asking yourself more often and find out,
What do you really need?*
- more sleep
- more time with friends
- more time alone
- more fun
- more nature
- more activity
- more prayer
- to have a difficult conversation
- more time unplugged
- more forgiveness
- more relaxation
- more support
- more kindness
- more attention
*Just some ideas to get you started... :)
If you come up with some excellent answers be sure to let me know so that I can add them to my list!
The challenge runs from January 18 - April 15
You can live a healthy lifestyle in the real world without giving up everything that makes you happy.