Time to make some changes – March 2021

This past year was not the best year for many reasons, and I think many of you can probably relate. So this year, I decided to make some small changes that I thought might help my overall physical and mental health.  For the past two months I’ve written about the goals I’m hoping to achieve, and you can read about those goals here.

I must admit, February was awful. The only goal I continued with was my daily step goal. I was able to manage 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day but gave up on all my other goals after the first week. I know the reason I didn’t do so well was because of some personal issues I was dealing with at the beginning of the month, and I just couldn’t get motivated after dealing with all of that. So after the first week of February, I decided to give myself the rest of the month off and restart my goals at the beginning of March.

Needless to say, I’m happy February is behind me now and I’m hopeful that my emotional state will just keep improving. I haven’t even weighed myself yet because I’m afraid to look at the scale. I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled at the end of this month, and I was really hoping to be in better physical shape by then. I know I can’t achieve all of my goals overnight, so I’m giving myself a little bit of grace, and I’m also giving myself some credit for at least sticking to my walking routine. I’ll be back next month and hopefully, by then, I’ll have better news to share. I’m determined not to give up because I know that won’t get me anywhere. So here’s to restarting once again! 🍻 Cheers! ~M xo

Time to make some changes – Part II

This past year was not the best year for many reasons, and I think many of you can probably relate. So this year, I decided to make some small changes that I thought might help my overall physical and mental health.  Last month I wrote about the goals that I aimed to achieve, and you can read about those goals here. And this month, I just wanted to give a quick update on how things have been going.

Here are the goals I was originally aiming for and the results of my efforts:

1.) Drink one gallon of water daily, which equals four water bottles.

Drinking one gallon of water a day proved to be fairly easy, and I didn’t miss a single day. There were a few times when I’d forgotten and ended up having to drink about half a gallon right before bedtime. When that happened, it made for a very sleep deprived night as I found myself getting up to pee every five minutes. Lol… Luckily I learned my lesson and adjusted my water drinking schedule so that I could finish all of my water earlier in the day.

2.) Lose 5 lbs. a month until I’m at my goal weight, which is 125 lbs.

I decided that weighing myself every day or every week was probably not a smart idea. From past experiences, I’ve always found the results of frequently weighing myself to be defeating at best, and so I decided to only weigh myself once a month. This morning, I weighed myself for the first time, and I am pleased to say that I was able to lose four pounds this month. It’s not as much as I was hoping for, but it’s at least a start.

3.) Eat oatmeal every day to help lower my cholesterol and eat Cheerios as my snack, which is healthier than chips.

I started the month eating Cheerios as my snack but ended the month caving into my cravings for other snacks. I think once I started seeing what seemed like good results; I gave myself a little more freedom to eat more of what I shouldn’t. I did alright with eating oatmeal on the days that I ate breakfast, but when I wasn’t hungry for breakfast, I didn’t eat oatmeal at all. I still don’t know if eating oatmeal has affected my cholesterol levels or not, and that’s probably something I won’t find out until I have repeat blood work done at the end of the year. I plan to stick with this goal, but I also want to be more diligent in my efforts.

4.) Finish reading one book every month.

I surprised myself and actually finished a book this month. I started by rereading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling. Although I didn’t find the book to be as exciting as the first time I read it, I still enjoyed it, and I realized just how different the book is from the movie. I decided this month to take a break from the HP series and read the book “Home: A Memoir of My Early Years” by Julie Andrews.

5.) Walk at least 10,000 steps every day.

I was surprised to find that I averaged 12,000 steps per day. I’m going to continue with my goal of 10,000 steps a day, but aim for more if I can.

6.) Do a seven-minute workout every day.

I used the “7” App to achieve my seven-minute daily workout, and it was quite a challenge to keep up with it because I loathe any kind of rigorous exercise. But I am happy to announce that I actually stuck with it all month and only missed one day. I still don’t know how I missed that one day. It just completely slipped my mind, and I woke up the next morning wondering how I’d forgotten to do it. I plan to continue my workouts because they don’t take a lot of time, and they seem beneficial.

7.) Journal at the end of each day and keep a daily planner.

This was one goal that I didn’t stick with. I think I made it three days in when I found myself wondering what I could even write about. I’m generally stuck inside without much to talk about, and so it seemed repetitive to write about the same things every day. And the daily planner never got started because I decided not to take college classes this semester. I’ve decided, instead of journaling or keeping a daily planner for the rest of the year, that I’ll write down one thing that made me happy each day. I want to start looking for the things that bring joy to my life so that I can look back on the year and see all the things that made my life so special. Too often, I find myself focusing on the negative aspects and I know that doesn’t help me.

8.) Control portion sizes of food.

I think I’ve been doing reasonably well controlling the portion sizes of my food. I’ve been mostly measuring out my serving sizes, and I’m now better able to gauge how much I should be putting on my plate, even when I don’t measure out my food.

9.) Avoid adding butter, salt, and creamer to foods.

I’ve been good about avoiding all of these foods, but sometimes butter is still getting the best of me because I love it on bread. I also want to start avoiding mayonnaise for the rest of the year and anything that contains large amounts of fat calories.

10.) Avoid soda and alcohol.

I avoided all temptation to have soda or alcohol this month, and I plan to continue this goal for as long as possible. I just feel so much better when I eliminate these two types of drinks from my diet, and so I know it’s important that I maintain my efforts to avoid them.

I plan to continue giving monthly updates on my progress because I think it helps me stay accountable. I hope all of you who have decided to make some changes this year have been successful. We just have to keep trying our best! Cheers to another month of success! ~M xo

Time to make some changes

This past year was not the best year for my physical and mental health.  I think the fact that I stayed home the majority of the time was a big factor, but I have also had some recent health issues and found out that there are some lifestyle changes that I need to make.  With all of that in mind, I decided to set some goals for myself.  Here are some of the changes that I want to try and make part of my daily routine.

Goals:

1.) Drink one gallon of water daily, which equals four water bottles. 

I have always had a problem staying hydrated, and recently my blood pressure has been really high.  So I did some research and found out that drinking more water can help lower blood pressure.  The reason water helps is because when your body becomes depleted of water, it tries to secure more water by retaining sodium, which can then cause high blood pressure.  Of course, I also learned that drinking too much water can cause high blood pressure and other health issues, so I plan to stick with the daily recommended amount, which is one gallon of water per day. 

2.) Lose 5 lbs. a month until I’m at my goal weight, which is 125 lbs.

I’ve noticed my weight slowly increasing over the past year.  I went from 127 lbs. to 140 lbs.  I think a lot of this is because I’ve been less active, but I’ve also been eating larger portions of food and eating when other family members are eating instead of when I’m actually hungry.  So I think by adjusting when I eat and measuring out my food, I’ll likely do better.

3.) Eat oatmeal every day to help lower my cholesterol and eat Cheerios as my snack, which is healthier than chips.

Oatmeal is supposed to be a good way to lower cholesterol, and I recently had two different doctors inform me that I need to get my cholesterol under control.  I really don’t want to go on medication, and I’ve been told I’m too young to be having this issue at my age, so I know I need to make some drastic changes to my diet.  I’m planning to watch my intake of greasy foods and eat more whole foods.  I also love eating chips, and dill pickle chips are my favorite.  So I’ve decided to switch to Cheerios, which I also enjoy.

4.) Finish reading one book every month.

I find myself starting a lot of books but not always finishing them, and I really do love books.  I also find reading to have a very calming effect on me, and since I’ve been struggling with a lot of anxiety lately, I thought putting reading on my goal list would help provide me with a reprieve from the daily stresses.

5.) Walk at least 10,000 steps every day.

For the majority of 2020, I walked 10,000 steps a day.  Last month though, I had some knee issues, and I completely stopped walking.  Over the past few weeks, since my knee is better, I’ve gotten my regular walking routine back, and I’m starting to feel so much better because of it.  So I just want to continue doing this, and it’s probably a goal I will try to continue for the rest of my life. 

6.) Do a seven-minute workout every day.

I recently found this app called “7,” which is a free daily workout app.  (It’s the blue one in case any of you decide to look for it in the app store.)  I love the app already because you just hit the go button, and it gives you a different seven minute timed workout for each day of the week.  I ended up doing the workout with my family today, and it really kicked my butt.  Lol… It just shows me how out of shape I really am. 

7.) Journal at the end of each day and keep a daily planner.

Keeping a journal is something I’ve done off and on for years, but I want to start sticking with it more often, even if I don’t write a lot.  Plus, with the new school semester starting soon, I need to have a daily planner to keep track of my studies and daily goals. 

8.) Control portion sizes of food.

As I already mentioned, I need to be better about this, and I think measuring out my food will help.

9.) Avoid adding butter, salt, and creamer to foods.

I always lose weight when I eliminate butter and creamer, and I figure cutting out sodium can’t hurt either.

10.) Avoid soda and alcohol.  

I always feel so sluggish when I give into my cravings for soda, and I don’t typically drink a lot of alcohol.  Still, in recent months I started drinking more wine than I usually do.  So with all the medical issues I’ve been having, I’ve just decided to eliminate alcohol to see if it helps me feel better.  I figure it can’t hurt, and it’s something I can certainly live without.

Anyway, these are just some of the changes that I’ve decided to make.  I think all of these goals have the potential to become permanent changes in my life.  I hope everyone can do better in this new year.  We just have to keep on trying.

Happy New Year, everyone!  ~M xo


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/change-new-beginning-renewal-671374/

Moving on…

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To have a friend, you must be a friend. ~M

I once had a friend who I loved completely. Probably more than I even should’ve. But the thing is, they weren’t there to give, but to take instead. And they took a lot from me. The last straw was when they plagiarized some of my work. And rather than make things right, and give me credit in their book, they decided to instead tell me that I should feel honored for what they did, and they couldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t do it again.

Needless to say, we are no longer friends, and after looking them up on social media, I proceeded to block every online place I could think of that they might be. In doing so, I discovered just how unashamed they were for their actions because they are out there promoting their book, taking full credit for something that isn’t entirely theirs. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing because I trusted this person for five years, and we were as close as friends could be. But apparently, some people have no regard for others, and they just want to stomp on anyone who gets in their way.  I’m quite sure this person will likely steal from me again, and so I’m not sure what I will do if that happens. It’s bad enough when random strangers steal your work, but it’s a whole different story when it’s someone you were once really close too.

Anyway, it’s just good to finally be done with this person and to never have to hear from them again. I think the worst part is that my trust has been broken, and that’s something that is very difficult to get back once it’s taken from you. But I’m moving on, and I’m literally doing so, as I’m just about to move several states away from where I currently am. It’s freeing to know that I’ll soon be starting over, and I guess it’s good I’m not dragging along any drama with me when I go. I’m really excited about what’s ahead, and I think this new, exciting change is just what I need.


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/move-key-new-apartment-catchment-2481718/

The new normal?

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It feels like we’re heading into a new normal. I’ve been on vacation, and as I watch my girls play in the pool, I wonder how long it will be, before even this sort of activity is no longer allowed. It’s sort of a scary thought. Everything we’ve known for such a long time is suddenly changing. Is this our new reality? Everything is closing; people are in a panic at the stores to buy basic necessities. The malls, movie theaters, restaurants, and sports facilities have all become like ghost towns. We never prepared ourselves for such things. And now I feel like one of the few who isn’t ready for the next wave of whatever is coming.

I’m not worried about the virus. I’m healthy for my age, and my girls are young enough that this won’t likely hinder them at all. But what I am worried about is the bigger picture ― the mass chaos, the wars which could break out, and the ones that already are. And I’m concerned that people will foolishly do things to harm other people. This world is already a scary place sometimes, but this seems to go beyond anything I’ve ever known or seen. The real threat isn’t the virus, but instead the human response to the virus, this is what scares me the most, and this is what I fear will be our biggest downfall.

A symphony is always good…

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“Having the potential to be good is not the same as actually being good, but a symphony is always good.” ~M


*I got to go to a symphony last night.  The theme was a Scottish fantasy, which featured Brahms, Symphony No. 2 in D major.  This picture was taken before everyone was actually there, but you can see still several musicians tuning their instruments.  It was quite a lovely night and I was lucky enough to get free tickets to the event.

Thoughts for the day…

One thing this year has taught me is that I’m better off without people in my life who only want to say hurtful things about others. This is one reason I decided to leave social media last year, and I haven’t regretted my decision for a second. We all have our flaws and nobody is better than anyone else. Each of us has our own ideas and opinions and that makes us all unique and beautiful in our own way. An old rule I’m forever trying to follow is, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I think this is the first thing any of us should be asking ourselves before we say anything. We need to bring back unity into the world, and it’s so easy to do that when we spread kindness. These are just my thoughts for the day. I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of the new year. Let’s try to make it a positive one! Much love to all of you! ~M xo

P.S. I’ve been without WiFi for the majority of the past three weeks, which has made it difficult to respond to comments and read posts. I will try my best to respond and catch up with all of you as soon as I can. 😉

Five a Day

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I recently came up with an idea for a way that my family and I could improve our lives and also help others in the process. I call it “Five a Day.” I feel like so often, we try to do so much at once to make positive changes in our lives, and then we get burnt out quickly. So I wanted to figure out a way that could benefit all of us here at home, without making drastic changes that are nearly impossible to maintain. I knew I wanted me and my family to start giving more, to be more productive, to spread kindness, to be healthier, and to make time for things that we all enjoy. So here’s what our Five a Day consists of:

1.) Get rid of one thing every day.

2.) Do one productive thing every day.

3.) Spread kindness at least one way every day.

4.) Do one thing you enjoy every day.

5.) Do one healthy thing every day.

We started this about a week ago, and it’s been going really good. The kids seem to be enjoying it, and we talk about all the things we’ve done over dinner every night. I think all of us are having fun finding things around the house that we know we no longer need. It’s been sort of like a scavenger hunt every day. And we plan to donate everything to a local charity once we accumulate enough stuff. Our pile is definitely growing, as you can see in the picture, and this is just one weeks’ worth of items we’ve collected. Anyway, I just wanted to share this idea with all of you because I know how overwhelming making healthy changes in our lives can often be, and I’ve found this to be a simple way to instill some positive changes in my own life and help my family develop some positive changes too. If you decide to implement the Five a Day routine into your own life, I’d love to hear how it works out for you.  And if you have any other ideas for self-improvement, I’d love to hear about those as well.

Have a great week, everyone! ~M xo

Love…

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“Love is sometimes like a burst of molten lava; flowing outward in all directions, and then lingering in the cracks and crevices as it slowly begins to cool. But it’s a dispiriting sight when it loses its bright red luster, becoming instead, a hardened form of magma. There’s just no way to change it back to its original, radiant form.” ~M


Photo credit: pixabay.com

Rambling…

I finally started seeing a therapist several months ago, and my therapist has tasked me to try and figure out what I want for myself. I never really think about what I want out of life without first thinking about how my desires will impact everyone else around me. And according to my therapist, this seems to be an area that I need to work on. I place others needs before my own a lot of the time, and I mainly do it because I try to protect my friends and family, and do what seems best for them. I also tend to compare myself to other people, and think that if they’re alright with something, that I should be too. And right now, there are a lot of people telling me that I should be okay with the life I have and appreciate what I have. A lot of people think I should disregard the hard to deal with issues in my life, and just accept everything as it is; but should I? That’s another question my therapist wants me to figure out for myself. And according to him, I need to stop listening to other people and make some decisions for myself. The problem is, making decisions is difficult for me. I grew up in a very strict home, being directed and told what to do every day of my life. I wasn’t allowed to make my own decisions. And so when I was finally out on my own for the first time, having to make decisions for myself, I really didn’t know how to do that. I think it’s funny how our growing up experiences affect us so much later on in life. But this is just one example of how our upbringing can really screw us up. I know my parents did the best they could, but I just wish my mother hadn’t been so darn overprotective. Oh well… I’ve made plenty of mothering mistakes myself. Just ask my four girls… I’m sure they have a million stories to tell. I guess we can only try and do our best. We are only human, after all.

I really loved my rose-colored glasses…

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I’ve kept silent for a long time because I wasn’t even sure what to say. And even now, I really have no idea how to articulate all that I’ve been wanting to share. The one thing I do know is that this year has been really hard; maybe even the most difficult year of my life. The thing is, I feel like I have nobody else to blame except myself. I’ve made some very stupid decisions, and I’ve been paying the price for a lot of them. And it’s interesting to me, at the age of 47, that I am still making such idiotic decisions. One thing I’ve realized is that I need to start trusting my gut more and not allow people to walk all over me. This entire year, I’ve been choosing to disregard things that I didn’t want to believe because it was just easier to look the other way. I thought it was better to ignore what was right in front of me, and give the people in my life unlimited opportunities to redeem themselves. But that way of thinking only backfired and has sort of destroyed the trusting side of me. I know now without a doubt that I have nobody else to blame except for myself because I chose to ignore the obvious, and accepted the consequences in doing so. But I’ve also learned that I can’t allow it to happen anymore, and even if it means further heartache, I have to continue to stand up for myself. I really loved my rose-colored glasses, and if I could wear them for the rest of my life, I would. But I’ve decided that those glasses have outgrown their usefulness. The world isn’t rosy at all, and I don’t know why I ever decided to pretend it was.


Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Reality check

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There are some amazing people in my life who I can’t forget because they are always there for me. Even so, life is still very hard sometimes, and it’s easy to feel like I deserve a better life than the one I have. Sometimes I even chase after things that aren’t good for me, and I end up causing myself so much heartache and pain. Slowly but surely though, I have been learning to let go of the things that aren’t meant to be, and to stop feeling as if I should have more. Over the past couple of years, especially, I have seen many people in my life come and go, and it has been extremely troublesome for me. I’ve often felt lonely, abandoned, and disappointed beyond words. And many times, just as I thought that God was answering my prayers, there were instances where my hopes were suddenly shattered, and I began to blame God for all of it. I realize now though that I’ve been looking beyond what is right in front of me every day. I’ve been disregarding the many blessings that I do have and wasting so much of my time chasing empty promises. So today, as I look back and think about how things have turned out; I’m looking at everything in a more positive light and feeling grateful for the life I’ve been given.