Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Thank you!

Greetings everyone! How are you doing? I am writing this note to thank you for continuing to read my blog. I know that I've been away for a bit and I know there are times when it seems that I've gone off the deep end. I don't know if it's normal or not. I just know that it is all part of my journey and what a journey it has been so far. I appreciate you hanging in there with me for the good, the bad and even the unexplained.

So please accept this most heart felt thank you for being so supportive and walking this walk with me. A huge hug to each and every one of you. Blessings.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Are you Still Up for the Challenge?

Hi everyone! How are you doing on the 22 push-ups for 22 days challenge? I posted about starting my challenge on the 30th of last month. It is now the 19th, so it's been 20 days. I actually finished my challenge a couple days ago only because I did double push-ups for a couple days. [pause] I didn't do them back to back. It was more like one set in the morning and one set along with my workout that night. Guess what! I'm able to do knee bends. Not deep ones, but knee bends just the same. I found out by accident and was quite please when my knees didn't sound like crinkly paper. I hate that sound...

Now for the not so good news. I've had some trouble with my eating. Yep. It's been a rough summer. Going through a lot of changes and still going through. I don't know what will come of my situations, but I'm learning not to be so stressed about it. Of course, I'm learning a bout of binging. Not to worry, I'm getting better. I was off for a few weeks. I had a mad love affair with fried chicken. No more of that, not even on occasion for now. I'm much happier eating healthier again. I've not come up with any new recipes or fun thing to do with healthy foods. Hopefully I will be inspired to do so soon.

As far as my troubles, I'm learning how to trust God better. You know...it's easy to say I trust God when things are going pretty well. I find when things are really bad that I want to trust Him, but I tend to worry. With this latest series of situations, I found myself trusting God for something I wanted and when I didn't get it, I felt lost and my trust waivered. Worry and stress became close bedfellows. That's when my eating took a turn for the not so good. It started with just being a little lazy about cooking dinner and then coupons showed up in my mail. How convenient...

My birthday was a little over a week ago. I had been off the fried chicken thing for a while and thought it would be safe to treat myself to a little on my birthday. I told a friend about it. I guess she saw something this time that she had not seem before. Usually she doesn't respond to my stories about overeating or not eating. This time she intervened. I didn't fully understand what she was doing at first. My friend has been sick for a while. She's doing some better, but still struggles with health issues. I haven't been able to be there for her like I want to. I just don't have the energy. I call to check on her when I feel strong enough not to cry on her shoulder. She doesn't need to know about my troubles. She's got enough of her own. Anyway, she offered to cook dinner for me and my son for my birthday. I wasn't sure I wanted her to do that. It would take lots of energy and she hasn't had much energy herself lately, but she insisted. In a moment of thanksgiving...me thanking my friend that is, she stated that she didn't want me to get the fried chicken. Okay, I get it now. So I reached over for the latest set of coupons I had taken out of the mail, tore them to shreds and put them in the garbage. I put the phone down for a second and cried just a little. I couldn't bring myself to tell her how much I really needed that.  

Somehow in the midst of all of everything I managed to complete my 22 day challenge. I'm proud of myself. I kind of enjoyed doing the push-ups. Just earlier today I did 25. I think I'll try to keep this as part of my regular routine. I won't say I'll do push-ups every day, but I will definitely do them more often.

I hope all is well with you. Summer's coming to it's end. I hope you've had a good summer. As for me, I continue asking God to continue blessing me with His grace and tender mercies as I am still in the trenches. It's quiet and still. I'll be praying for peace, joy and prosperity for us all.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I'm Doing it! 22 Push-ups for 22 Days

When I posted the other day about the 22 day challenge that I saw on YouTube, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it. I could not have told you the last time I actually did one push-up let alone 22. Last night, as I was preparing to do my workout I almost backed out of doing the challenge, but decided to keep my word. So I got on the floor with my knees together, ankles up and crossed and I did my push-ups. The coolest thing about it all was that I could have done a few more, but I didn't. Instead I continued with my regular workout with a huge smile on my face as I sent a great many "thank you" up to heaven.

I thought about my brothers and sisters who may have some difficulty getting on the floor to do push-ups. If any of you out there want to participate in this challenge, but feel you are not able because you can't get down on the floor...not to worry. Another way you can do a push-up is to stand at your kitchen counter. Put both hands on the counter with arms spread apart as if ready to do a push-up. Keep your hands on the counter while taking a few step back from the counter and raise your heels (it's like being in position to do a push-up only while standing, leaning forward). Only go back as far as comfortable for you. You body should be at an angle. Slowly lower your upper body down towards the counter. Allow your arms and your toes to support the weight of you. Go as low as you comfortably can and then push yourself back up. See how many of these you can do. Even if you can't do all 22, what you are doing is of great support to the cause and provides healthy movement for you.

Today I've done the challenge twice so far. Trying to catch up since so far behind. If you are able to do more, then do so, otherwise go at your own pace.

In acknowledgment and remembrance of the veterans who've long suffered from PTSD.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Free Event UK - Malakh Zebulun at Cassandra Learning Center, Discussion about Child Abuse and Domestic Violence

Join me Malakh Zebulun at Cassandra Learning Centre on 1st September at 6pm where I will read a chapter of my book 'No More Secrets' and discuss child abuse and... domestic violence. For 18+ only due to explicit nature of the reading.

Book your FREE ticket here: http://bit.ly/2aaDwqf
Cassandra Learning Centre

Okay, I could not get the video to load through blogger. Here's the link to Malakh's facebook page where you can view a couple brief video about up and coming events https://www.facebook.com/malakh.zebulun?fref=nf.

22 Push Up Challenge - Raising Awarenss of Veterans Battling PTSD


September is National Suicide Awareness Month.

Raising awareness of veterans who have committed suicide due to PTSD.

Sorry I'm just getting this information out now. I came across the challenge earlier today and decided to take it on. I don't know if I can do 22 push ups at one time, but I will get 22 push ups done throughout the day for the next 22 days.

Moving for life and awareness.

How childabuse can impact you daily - Chris Tuck

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well. I've been very busy and have not had as much time as I'd like to write a couple posts that have been lingering on my mind. I should have a bit more time in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, I've come across this video, Chris Tuck talking about the affects of child abuse and how the abuse can still trigger you many years later. The impact of child abuse is real. I don't know how many people really realize how our pasts affect our present and future. This video is not to discourage, but to encourage those of you who are survivors of abuse. We can live happy, fulfilling lives. There will be times when triggers will get to us. Those time will come, but they will only be for a brief time. Stay focused on the positives in your lives and be encouraged to deal with the harder times as best you can when they come.

Love and hugs to all of you. Continue moving towards better health and well being.

Are any of you located in the United Kingdom, if so, my next post (which will happen in a few minutes) is about a free event that is happening in the UK this coming September.

Onward and Upward! Don't give up!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

One Size Fits Most

One size fits most (OSFM). Have you ever seen these letters on a garment that you've purchased? I have. In the past it used to be One size fits all, but with the rise of clinical obesity and our growing girth the label was changed to "fit" a certain population. So where do you go when you don't fit the plus, plus, plus sized mold? I don't think I have a true answer for this question as I've only just realized that I once was one who did not "fit." I sit and stare at the words I just typed because it didn't dawn on me that there were few things/places/spaces that I could actually fit.

The other day I realized that I am more comfortable in the world. How I came to realize this was during an outing. There were folding chairs at an event my son and I attended. Folding chairs are something that I avoid for fear of embarrassment. I sat carefully sat on one as there were no other seating available. I was comfortable and I did not fear falling. Seating of any kind can be questionable for some of us. Even something as everyday as using public bathrooms. For years I levitated towards the handicap stalls because they were bigger. A couple days ago, I walked into a regular stall. It wasn't long before I realized it felt normal. That may not seem like anything to some, but for me, it was a revelation. I don't judge my progress by scales or by looks. I've been measuring my progress mainly by how I feel. Can I get around better? Do I have more energy? Do I get out of breath while shopping? That sort of thing. Sometimes I take not of how my clothes fit, but that could change with one moment of bloating and cramps. I never imagined I would see progress in the confines of a bathroom stall. That was a real wakeup call for me and a bitter sweet occasion as I am still larger than I want to be, yet smaller than I've been for the past 16 years.

It's safe to say that we do not live in a one size fits all world. It's really one size fits most and that largely depends on where you are. Well...I continue my journey and give thanks for every day I eat well and every night I don't binge.
Moving for life and fitting in...

Onward and Upward!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mirrors Are From Hell

Mirrors are a window to that which should never be seen. Maybe that's why fun houses are so popular. People love to see all of the wild and kooky images of themselves. What if those images felt more real than not? I liked going into fun houses not for fun, but because they were the only place where I could see the distorted offbeat images more liken to the self image in my mind.

There was a period of time...years, that I did not look into mirrors with exception to the bathroom mirror on the medicine cabinet. All I could see was my face. Though at the time barely tolerable it was necessary for grooming. As for the rest of me, there was no need to see that.

Today things are different. I'm able to look in the mirror whether I like what see or not. The problem for me is the urge to peek into the window of obsession. I fight the urge to look at my reflection as I pass by the mirrors in my house. Obsessing over whether or not I look like I'm loosing weight or not. Some days it looks like progress is being made, but then other day it looks like progress lost. Each day, with each pass of the mirror is another comparison. I had to make myself stop. I was starting to get depressed. So now I wisp by mirrors only stealing a glance every now and again. It's safer that way. I don't feel the weight of the burden of calculating my girth.

I'm eating well and rarely binging. I've exercised most everyday only taking a break for 2 days during a bad menstrual cycle. I continue to feel better physically and I've even received a few kind stares and a hello this week. I don't know what's better for me...seeing myself through the eyes of others or seeing myself through my minds eye in the mirror. I don't know, I guess it just depends on the day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Defeating Fear of Failure and Fear of Success

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you've read about my fear of failure and success. I know that sounds weird in some ways, but it can really happen. My fear developed when I was very young. Whenever I did something that was supposedly not good. I say supposedly because my super dysfunctional parents were judge and jury. Anyway, whenever I did something that was a fail I was severely berated. On the other hand, when I did something that someone else recognized as good my parents still berated me only it was a bit more cruel. They enjoyed watching the joy in me fade. Okay, I'm  not going to dwell on the subject. That is not the focus of the post. With that being said...this is the year of COURAGE for me.

Embracing fear has not been the hard part. After all, it's been part of my life for so long, embracing it was just a matter of accepting that it's something I can't help, but want to change, if I can. Facing fears is not for the faint of heart. I've opened myself up to experiences that I never imaged I would or could ever do. One of those experiences was sharing something that I wrote in a public setting, on stage in front of real people. Just me and a spot light. Picture that... If you told me I was even going to contemplate doing such a thing I would have said you were a lie and the truth is not in you. Whoa, I haven't said that since I was a kid. So I stood there and I started to recite my lines. I started off strong, but flailed miserably towards the end. I could have run off the stage and out the door, but instead, I stayed to watch the rest of the acts. I did get some applause, but I knew I had bombed and the audience was just being nice. How sucky is it to feel so much shame at No Shame Theater. By the end of the night I felt pretty good about myself, because I walked out of there with my head held up because I had the courage to step out on that limb and be totally cool if I perched comfortably or fell off like a stone. Plus there was that one young lady who stopped to tell me that I did a good job. Nice.

One other guest invited to the fear party is my fear of being seen. If I had a super power I'd want to be invisible. Negative body image is one of the reasons. Safety is another. If I could be as quiet as possible and kind of hang out in the shadows I had a better chance of not getting yelled at or beaten. I kind of perfected it. Well, I better than perfected it. I became nonexistent. I had become invisible. Even in glass my teachers rarely remembered I was there. I mastered blending in with the background. It was good and it was bad.

Standing out and being noticed was like being naked in a crowd. I couldn't handle it. So for me to stand on a stage...

I've have several wonderful experience since then. I took my son to another healing drum session. The first time I took him I just sat in a corner sipping tea while my son danced shamelessly. I envied him. This time I grabbed an Axatse (pronounced ah-HAHt-say) which is a gourd shaker covered with a beaded net. I danced and played with the beat of the drums. I was center of attention for a brief moment. I actually enjoyed it. It was liberating. Meanwhile, my son had drawn his own crowd. People watched with amazement as he kept up with the all the other drummers. A crowed gathered outside the little club to listen as we played. When everything was over, the owner of the club came over to me and thanked me for coming and bringing my son. That was a first.

Many more wonderful events and super opportunities have come since the night I stepped out on that limb. What I've enjoy most is being able to shamelessly enjoy life with my son. I look forward to turning over a few more new leaves.

Love this video! I'm not there yet, but I'm well on my way.

Onward and Upward!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Doritos and Chocolates

I've been off the wagon for the past two months. Well not off of everything. I'm still eating as I should during the day and believe it or not I'm still working out. However, my late nights have been filled with Doritos and chocolates and sometimes wine. And though I've been exercising, it's only been in the past couple weeks that I've exercised as I should. At my worst I was one day on and four days off. It's hard to keep up good habits when spiraling downward. Speaking of spiraling downward, what should I call those times when I've "fallen off" the wagon. I don't necessarily like saying I've "fallen off the wagon." I use this term for lack of better wording. Perhaps I should consult my thesaurus. I want a word that is an honest description of what I'm going through without being totally negative. After all, what I've just gone through is not my desire, but it is part of my reality. I'm finally realizing there's not perfection in this. I'm going to do well at times and other times not so much. That's just the nature of the beast. I'm in recovery. That doesn't mean I'll never binge again, that means I've gotten better at not binging and I will continue to get better over time. 

This slippery slope was like any other slippery slope. I found myself getting overwhelmed again, stress, anxiety and the ever present pre-menopausal syndrome. Yeah, I said it. Pre-menopausal syndrome. This is the latest  hurdle and one of the most fierce so far. This too shall pass. Pray God it passes soon. In the meantime, I'm finally Dorito free again...well almost. I still have a few left in the bag and I'm down to the occasional candy bar. It's much better than now than it was a few weeks ago. Though I'm gearing up for another cycle. I hope this time the cravings aren't as bad. 

the action of indulging in or being a connoisseur of good eating.

I've recently resigned from gormandizing the finest Doritos and chocolates in the area.

Oh well...
Mood swings, lost earrings and beer battered onion rings. Bad cramps, broken lamps and damp cloths over eyelids. Doritos, chocolates, and the occasional hot pocket.

Ups, downs, beginning, ends and so shall I begin again...

Onward and Upward, my friends!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

OMG! The Cravings Are Back!

I'm so glad to be home! Today was one of the most difficult craving days I've had in a long time. My son and I were out and about. As part of our new routine we ate before leaving the house. Until now it's been a tremendous help. I guess it could still be a tremendous help, it's just not feeling like a tremendous help right now.

Seems like everywhere we went there were rows and rows of fast food places. I can't avoid these places for the rest of my life. I really realized that today. The first part of the day was okay. Food did capture my attention, but I could redirect my thoughts fairly easy. Later in the evening proved to be something more arduous. Every fast food restaurant stood out as if flagging me down, excited to see me, willing me to enter their driveways. Vivid visions of fast food decadence flitted across my mind. I could almost smell the temptation. At one point I reached over to put my signal on to get over and make a stop. I had to tell myself, "NO! Just one more stop before dinner." I'd already planned to purchase dinner from one of our favorite spots as well deserved treat.

The very last stop was the grocery store. We practically ran through the store...picture that. Good thing I had my list. Today might have been the first time I actually followed my list to the letter. No time for extras...must get food and go home. I literally tossed the bags into the back seat, motioned for my son to park the cart and hopped in the car. With my hands gripping the steering wheel as if my life depended on it...and in a way it did...I focused all my energy on getting to the place I had in mind to purchase dinner and go straight home. The visions of various fast foods still dancing around my mind. I was determined to do what I'd set out to do.

Why the hell does it take so much effort to do right?

We made it home with groceries and dinner in tow. I did pretty good I think. Though not totally unscathed, I did shamelessly order an extra large fry and a cheerwine float with my dinner. Damn!

Onward and Upward...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Learning to Celebrate My Body

Hey everybody! How are you doing? I'm not feeling so good today. Just a bit under the weather and a little tired of the rain. We've been getting more rain than usual this season or at least if seams that way. Feeling a little glum, but not diving into depression or anything like that. What I need are a few sun filled days and mild temps.

I hope you've had a good week so far. My week as has been. Busy for the most part. I've been searching YouTube for more exercise videos. Some of them are okay. Most are what we've already seen and there are some pretty good gems out there like Jack La Lanne and Jane Fonda.

Sometimes I get a little depressed when looking for exercise videos. Last week was one of those weeks. I wanted to find a series of videos for beginners, something done from a standing position preferably. I still love doing my chair exercises. I just hoped to find something equally as gentle on the joints from a standing position. I also want to share videos that celebrate all body types and sizes. I did find a few videos, but the titles were so derogatory that I dare not post them. I hate seeing titles like "Exercise for Morbidly Obese" or "Beginner Exercises for Overweight People." Why can't it just be Beginner exercises and show people of all shapes and sizes doing the exercises. Okay...okay...if we lived in a perfect world.

Last week I started sharing belly dancing videos because it's something I find interesting and would love to learn  how to do. I also thought these types of videos would be fun to share. The first belly dance video was a tutorial on warm-ups. This week I found a 10 minute instructional video on hip movement that I fell in love with. The woman dancing is a plus sized beauty. She's so confident in her skin. I want to be as confident in my own skin. This weekend I want to begin learning how to really celebrate my body at the size I am at right now. Maybe this will help me cope with the summertime shedding of layers and having to become more comfortable being out and about more.

This weeks video is  a Belly Dance Tutorial : *HIP MOVEMENTS*   Please remember to do the warm up video from last week before beginning this weeks tutorial. The two videos combined give you approximately 20 minutes of movement. Belly Dance Warm Up Exercises and Drills 

Enjoy!!! Onward and Upward!

Friday, May 13, 2016

It's Friday Again! Woot Woot!

Wow! These weeks are going by fast. When is the official first day of Summer? How's your weather. It's been in the 80s here. Good walking weather.

This week has been very busy. Lots of new projects and a rigorous schedule. I'm glad to say that I've been doing well with my eating. I've have not starved myself nor have I binged. I did have a close call one night this week. I wanted very much to go out late night to get some ice cream. Fortunately I was able to work my way out of the craving. I had to eat another small snack (a non sweet snack), but it was satisfying, so I did not scan the kitchen for more treat.  Not many treats floating around my kitchen these days. Unless you want to count bananas, fruit cups and the occasional ice cream bar which for some odd reason doesn't trigger me to binge like a half gallon does. Not sure why. Also, I've been sure to keep lots of tuna and chicken for quick salad wraps for on the go and snacks. My son's enjoying having wraps to go.

I've been exercising, but have not taken any more walks. My son did have a neurology appointment at the children's hospital today. I walked pretty briskly to my surprise and felt really good during and afterward. That being said, I wish I could commit to working out twice a day as I said I would do. I don't have any excuses. I can make the time and when I do, I still enjoy my regular late night workout. All in all, I feel like I'm doing well. Perhaps I'll try working out twice a day for one day per week to start. That may be where the walking comes in. Well see...

I'm still working on my ability to be out and about without feeling self conscious now that it's warmer. Can I tell you how tempted I've been to wear a light jacket if  only I could get away with it in 80 degree weather. All I need is to go out in a jacket and have a hot flash on top of that. Not happening. Anyway. I've been going through my closet looking for long flowing shirts to go with my newest obsession...leggings. I realize that I'll never be satisfied with the length of my shirts, so I'm going to make a point to get to my local remnant store to purchase some fabric and needles for my sewing machine. I'm going to design my own look. That's right! To celebrate my graduation from oversized, ratty jeans to leggings. Some of the leggings are a larger size so they'll be a little lose, but some I've purchased in the right size and they really fit. Those are the ones I'm most conscious about wearing long shirts with. Still not quite used to  my clothes actually being the right size.

Anyway, on to the exercise portion of the evening. So far we've had stretching, walking, mild cardio, dance and yoga videos. Let's see if we can do something a little different this week. I'm still doing the walking and yoga videos, but I'm always up for something new.

I'm thinking that I will make it a point to get up a little earlier so my son and I can go to the track one morning while temps are still pretty cool. Hmmm. I know of a track near by, I need to check if they allow entry when school is not in session. At least I won't feel totally exposed on the track as I would walking around my neighborhood.

I'll give you an update on the track next week.

Meanwhile on with the video...

For this week I'd like to do something different. So lets begin learning how to belly dance! I've heard over the years that belly dancing is a good exercise. I'm all for learning a new dance. I don't dance that much so this should be something fun.

Since this is something new, I'm going to start out with a proper warm up for belly dancing. No matter what kind of exercise we do there should always start with a warm up and end with a cool down. Remember to have a drink of water before you start and keep some near by if you need a sip during your workout.

I feel a little inspired to get something jingly to wear around my hips. I'll look for something while out next week or I could go real cheap and tie my keys to a scarf. LOL

Okay, I'm ready to shimmy...

Belly Dance Warm Up Exercises and Drills - Enjoy!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Highs and Lows

For the past few weeks even up until yesterday I have been on an emotional high. Everyday filled with promise and every evening marked the end of a very productive and successful day. Today I'm on a low. I woke up this way. I'm feeling uneasy and filled with self doubt, even regret for some of the projects I started last week. I pulled myself out of bed and begrudgingly went on with my day. What I really wanted to do was crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head. I probably would have if I didn't have my son to look after.

I've been doing so well for the past few months. Damn! I want to keep the good going, but I'm starting to numb out. I wonder what triggered it this time. Well, good news...I'm not going to starve myself today and there's not much in my pantry to trigger or contribute to a binge. Depending on how strong the pull, I may dig deep to find that one self soothing tidbit. I already have my night snack ready. I feel a little better just knowing what it's going to be. I am so glad I don't have any of my old favorite snacks lying around. I even got rid of the stuff that was in the freezer for fear that I would thaw it all out in a desperate moment.

This feeling comes and it goes. I think this is the longest I've been okay since starting the recovery process. Typically I don't like to talk about it and that's why I haven't talked about it, but I guess I need to get it off my chest and out of my head. I've worked so hard to face my emotions, wanting to be brave and standing firm until I crumble into a quivering mess. I've been good about pulling it together and keeping it together most days. I'm having to remind myself that the peace I felt is real and I know it will come back.

I really have this feeling. It's like fighting some sort of gravitational pull. That proverbial tug at my shirt tail just as I start to take flight. There's that throbbing fear of freedom as in becomes ever more present in my life.

The only thing I can think of is my fear of losing weight, exposing myself to attention that I'm not able to handle well. It's also the anniversary of the time shortly after my mom's passing. I was left to take care of my dad who took great pleasure in inflicting emotional pain as much as possible every chance he got. My mom was no longer around and he needed to have a victim. Okay...enough of that.

I feel good about what I cooked for dinner tonight. It wasn't much. I have a little left over jambalaya, so I thought I'd make a few salmon cakes to go with it. I'm cutting diary out of my son's diet because it seems to irritate his gut. So I made my salmon cakes gluten free and dairy free. This is a first. I'm an egg baby and have always put egg in fritters, meat cakes, burgers and the like. As a matter of fact, I made burgers last week and didn't use egg or flour. They turned out to be quite delicious and my son's gut did not get irritated.

There is a ray of sunshine in the fog. I know this bad feeling will end as it has a thousand times before. So today has been a little bit of a low. I'm glad I decided to write about it. I'm feeling a little better than I did earlier.

Continuing to fight this fight.  

By the way...I still did my workout Saturday night. My mind tried to talk me out of it because my son and I participated in the walk earlier that day. I made up my mind the night before that I was not going to let anything get in the way of my usual workout routine. I pray my willpower can hold up.

Onward and Upward!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

To all who have been born.

 To all who have given birth.

 To all who parented.

 To all who have kissed a boo-boo.

 To all who have been a caregiver....

 To all who have become better listener than talkers.

 To all who have willing made sacrifices for someone else and would gladly do it all over again...
Happy Mother's Day!

My Spectacular Day!

Hi Everyone! I wanted to catch you up on the events of the day. As I posted on Friday, my son and I got up early this morning to participate in the NAMI walk which is a walk to raise funds and awareness for mental illness and available services. There was a great turnout and fantastic energy from everyone. The walk was 2.2 miles and for those who wanted to do a 3K run was also a 1.5 mile route that they could run twice. I opted to walk the 1.5 mile route.

Well, you know that I've been exercising more regularly now than I ever have. Today, I found out just how out of shape I really am. I went into the walk feeling pretty gung ho about it all. I didn't expect to spring through the walk, but I surely did not think that I would struggle the way I did at the end...okay...midway to the end. It was sheer determination and lots of prayers that got me to the walk to begin with let alone completing it. My son on the other hand, just about skipped the full way through. He loves to walk. I should be a good mama and walk with him more often. My neighborhood is great for walking. We don't have real sidewalks, but my neighborhood has very little traffic. It's built kind of like a labyrinth so it has a maze affect and it's quiet. I love my neighborhood. I will make a special effort to walk around the neighborhood with  my son at least once or twice a month...to start, as long as the temperatures stay mild.

I've been enjoying the videos, but the videos, especially the walking ones do not even begin to compare to taking a real walk. I see why walking is the best way to exercise. It's the best low impact workout you can do. I'm still going to do my indoor workouts, but I think adding outdoor walking is a must. We'll see how it goes.

After we finished the walk, I decided to continue pushing on and running a few errands that we did not get to do earlier in the week. Some of these errands required more walking...oh joy. I admit, when we got to Walmart I was so tempted to get one of those scooters, but I grabbed a basket in stead, just to have something to hold onto while I made my way through the store. I'm surprised I could feel my legs given how tired I was. Oh, I forgot to mention that I didn't get winded during the walk. My breathing and heart rate were great, but my body felt otherwise.     

One more thing, despite how tired we were we still went to the Art Center for the No Shame Theater event this evening. I was so excited. Sad to say, after a couple weeks of practice, I still did horribly. I don't feel so bad about doing poorly with the acting as I feel bad about the audience not getting the full experience of a beautifully written monologue. At one point I decided this would be the first and last stage experience in my genera of experiences, but an hour or so later I decided I would get back that stage time and time again until I conquer my fears. The old me would have left the as soon as my performance ended, never to return. I tell yah, this transformation thing is most interesting...very strange to embrace so many new experiences and not care if they go well or not. I mean, to totally expose myself and be okay with it. That's the most brilliant part of this whole thing, especially since I've spent the better part of my life hiding.

Oh! Another one more thing...I carried water, fruit and snacks for this morning's event and I purchased a rotisserie chicken while shopping that we had for lunch and dinner with a few other cooked items. I did not use our busy schedule as an excuse to settle for junk food today. Woot! Woot!

In my opinion, today has been a day of triumphs. I have accomplish things that I would never have tried to accomplish in the past. I was able to make healthy eating choices for both me and my son. I'm so very happy he was with me to share in all the wonderful experiences today. It has truly been a spectacular day!

Onward and Upward! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mindful Movement Part 2

How is everyone doing today? I hope you enjoyed last weeks video which was an introduction to chair yoga. I really enjoyed it. I found a series of videos that start off with a 10 or 15 minute beginner practice and goes up to a complete 40 minute beginner practice. This week I'd like to share the 15 minute practice. What I like most about these types of videos is the encouragement to be mindful of my body and how movement makes my body feel. That is the purpose of me sharing these wonderful videos with you on Fridays. To encourage mindful movement and hopefully help to develop a love of healthy positive movement in all of us.

This week has been a week of firsts for me. I find myself doing things that I would have only thought about in the past. Things like being more forward with disabilities advocacy and really working towards making a difference for disabled people in my community. I've also branched out and wrote a monologue which I am planning on performing at a local Art Center tomorrow. In addition to that I'm actually planning for my son and I to participate in a walk tomorrow. NAMI a local advocacy group for individuals having mental illness and intellectual disabilities. The walk is tomorrow morning and will be 2.2 miles. I can't tell you the last time I've walked a mile or even just around my neighborhood.

I can't explain it, but there's something wonderful occurring and I'm not sure why it's happening. I'm just happy that it is happening. I imagine part of these wonderful desires for change are because I am becoming more mindful about how I spend my time and utilized my energy. I have a greater desire to do things that are not only healthy for my body and mind, but also inspirational and meaningful to me and my son.

I'm here with tears in my eyes as I realize that I am finally learning how to live. It's an amazing realization to know that all these years I've been in my pain and have not known true life and living. I'm so very happy to be at this point and I hope and pray for all of us to feel life, embrace life and live life in it's fullness being even more mindful and thoughtful of ourselves and each other.

So let us continue the journey together. This weeks we continue with mindful movement. I may post one or two more videos from this series in the coming weeks. Let me know if you like these videos or if you would rather I post some other kind of exercise. Onward and Upward!

Mindful Chair Yoga: A Playful Practice (20 min)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mindful Movement

Hi there! Thank you so much for your patience. I apologize for not getting my Friday post done yesterday.

Today I'd like to focus on mindful movement. I've spoken with you before about using my exercise time to meditate sometimes. Meditation is one of the things that makes my exercise routines very pleasant. I don't meditate all the time, only when I really feel a need to, but I plan to increase my mediation practice over time.

I thought we'd do something a little different this week. The video I selected is a yoga video for beginners and guess what...we're going to learn  yoga from both sitting and standing positions. I really enjoyed the pace of this video and hope you will to.

While you are exercising, please be mindful of how the exercises make your body feel. Make sure you are well hydrated and also have water near by just in case you need a sip during your workout. Also, remember to breathe deeply while exercising. You want to get all that good oxygen rich blood flowing throughout your body. I hope you find this workout to be both a little challenging as well as relaxing.
This workout routine is approximately 25 minutes. Do as much as your body feels comfortable doing and if you want to do more, maybe combine portions of other routine or start from the beginning and do this routine again.

Onward and Upward, my friends! :-) Be well.

Gentle Chair Yoga Routine

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Video

Greetings Everyone! I have not forgotten you. It's been a busy week and an even busier day today. Right now it's 12:08 my time and I am exhausted. I'm going to get some housework done that I wasn't able to do earlier this week. I'm also going to find the strength to get my workout in before bed, at least a short one.

How did you like last weeks video? Sorry for the delay on this weeks video. I just need to catch up a bit. Clearing the clutter helps to clear the mind:-)

Hope you are having a wonderful day/night. I will post our weekly workout tomorrow...or should I say later today. Until then...

Onward and Upward!!!

Friday, April 22, 2016

What I Like and Don't Like So Far

Greetings everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful Friday. I can't complain. It's raining here and I'm feeling very happy...almost festive. I've been looking forward to writing today's post. I wanted to talk about what I like and don't like about the videos so far. Please feel free to chime in anytime you like. :-)

As many of you know I've been taking it slow. I like low impact exercise with short spurts of low level intensity to bring my heart rate a little, but not too much. I've been posting videos of various levels, nothing too high, also some for those who are able to do more. I had a lot of difficulty keeping up with the dancing video, but it was a great fun. I also struggled a with the walking video when they increased the speed. Other than that, I rather enjoyed the walking video. Did it pause with you much? It paused on me several times which I did not like. I used the time to walk in place until the video started up again. It wasn't too bad. I noticed a walking video that appears to be endorsed by the Heart Association. I'm going to take a closer look, try it out for a few days and if I like it, I will post it.

I'm still noticing changes in my body and ability to move better. Still not that much change in my size though I do look a little better in my clothes. What I've noticed most is my increase in energy. Just the other day my phone rang while I was in the kitchen. I didn't have it with me so I did a quick dash around the corner to get it. Let me tell you, a few weeks ago that would not have happened. At best, my dashes were in very sloooooow motion. This time, I got to the phone right at the third ring and I wasn't the slightest bit winded. Impressive. Slow and steady wins the race, but if I don't win, I will at least make it to the finish line.

Today, I'd like to step back a little and post another chair exercise video featuring stretches and light cardio. I like those kinds of videos best. I've incorporated more of the walking and stretching videos into my daily routine than anything else. Does it sound bad for me to admit that I like to lengthen my workout time by starting and ending with stretches? I noticed that I get so much more time in and it doesn't really feel like it. Right now, I'm fluctuation between approximately 20 minutes to an hour depending. Not bad, huh...

Are you drinking enough water? I feel so much better when I drink a glass of water before working out and when finished. I keep water nearby just incase I need a sip during. Staying well hydrated really makes a difference. Just like proper breathing makes a difference. So get your water in and get your breathe on.

Okay... Here's this week's video. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great weekend. I'll be posting again soon.

This week's video is 40 minutes long. Only do as much as you are comfortable doing. Happy moving :-)

 40-Minute Seated Chair Cardio and Strength Workout

Thursday, April 21, 2016

It Takes More than Just Exercise...

I just finished watching a video, "The Made Who Ate Himself To Death." It was such a sad movie. At the end I found out he'd lost the battle to obesity. I'm still affected by what I just saw. Damn! I think about how hard it is to eat right. I still fight the urge to stop at fast food places especially during evening hours. And to be completely honest, I don't know if I would be doing as well if life changes weren't needed for my son. What if he didn't have gut issues? What if he didn't develop seizures? Would I have been strong enough to make the changes that I've made?

I talked to a good friend yesterday. She just found out that she gained weight at her last doctor's appointment. Some of the health issues that were once getting better are worsening again. Her doctor is talking about giving her a gastric balloon. I guess that's better than going under the knife. She seems to be okay with it. I am going to support her whatever her decision. This is just another reminder of how difficult it is to win the battle against ED let alone the war.

I think about you guys all the time and I wonder how are you really doing. I listen through the silence hoping to somehow hear your answers as you read my posts. I'd love to know where you are in your journey and if there are any words of encouragement I can offer. I share my story though my story may not be anything like yours. I offer hope as I continue to find my way. It's not easy and it damn sure takes more than a little exercise to make it all better. For me, working towards beating Ed has been having to make efforts that surpass my wildest imagination and sometimes beyond my ability. It means being able to withstand not having the support that I'd hoped for from family and friends. Do you know, that I have actually asked friends to help me by way of encouraging me to not eat if they hear me munching over the phone late night. It didn't happen. And in some cases they encouraged me to eat more. That's okay, I had to figure out a way to help myself. That's when the premeasured snack came into play. Have you tried that by the way? Or does something else work for you? Maybe you haven't quite figured it out yet. Don't give up.

On Fridays I post exercise videos just to share some ideas and encourage you as well as myself to get moving and keep moving. I've actually found it helpful. Do you? I hope so. I don't ever want to be one of those people who say, "If I can do it, you can do it." I believe you can do it, but that has nothing to do with what I can or cannot do. I believe you can do it because I believe when you work through the crap that started this process, you will see that you are worth the effort and with that you will succeed. Don't give up.

There's going to be hardships and times of smooth sailing...hills and valleys. You know like I know. It's not easy, but necessary. You can't clean things unless they get dirty. You can't fix what doesn't get broken. You can't appreciate good if you don't know bad. And you certainly can't embrace peace if you don't know what it is to come out of chaos. In all things there is something to be gained. It could be experience, knowledge, courage... Whatever it is, when you gain it remember to apply it to your life so you don't keep falling back into the same trap time and time again. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. I am a lover of knowledge, but I didn't always utilize what I learned. Using the knowledge that I've gain through hardships has really made a difference. Glad I finally figured it out.

This post goes out to my friend who is struggling, but still fighting the good fight. I am with you my friend and I hope that you find the strength, courage and ability to get through today. Don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. I pray you receive the support you hope for and deserve. This is just a momentary set back. You will wake up to a fresh new start. Don't give up.

Keep fighting the good fight, my friends. Don't give up.

Onward and Upward!  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Want To Take A Walk With Me?

It's finally Friday! Time to kick back for a moment and relax, but don't relax too long. I don't want to miss today's new workout video :-)

I've always heard that the best full body workout is walking. It's low impact which makes it an ideal exercise for people of all ages.

How would you like to walk a mile in about 15 minutes. It's never to early or late in the day. You don't have to change your clothes. You can take this walk while your kids are napping. You don't even have to leave your home or office. Believe it or not I found a video for walking. That's right a video for walking. Who knew?

Tonight we are going to start with a 1 mile happy walk. Sound's pretty good right? Let's go!! 4...3...2... :-)

1 Mile Happy Walk - YouTube

For dinner tomorrow try oven baked sweet potato fries. I served them last night with a breadless burger. I put a link below for the recipe. With this recipe you may want to play around with your oven temp, thickness of fries and time. I cut my fries a little thin, placed then in a 425 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. There were a couple casualties, but all in all the fries were delicious. I did not make the cashew mayo.

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries + Cashew Mayo

I hope you enjoy this video and even more...I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Onward and Upward!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

How Helping My Child Has Helped Me

I'm sitting at my desk thinking of what to do next when I notice the time. It's time to prepare a snack for my son. I think I might prepare a little something for myself as well.

A quick dash to the kitchen and I find a bit of fresh fruit and a few chips for my son while I get a bowl of my new favorite snack, Skinny Pop. Skinny Pop is a wonderful gluten free treat that is light on hips as well as the pocket.

Changing our diets due to my son's dietary needs has been a huge benefit for both of us. Not just the foods we eat, but how we eat and when. I've always believed children should have a reasonable eating schedule, however, I did not always add myself into the equation. In recent past it wasn't uncommon for me to prepare foods for my son and nothing for myself. Self starvation was a key factor for me then. It took me leaning to love myself before I could add myself to the healthy pot. Now that I have, I continue to develop even more love for myself. I am able to reap the benefits from the decisions I make for my son. What's good for the goose IS good for the gander.

I often think about where I've come from so I can fully appreciate where I am. When I prepare foods I always prepare enough for two, even if my eating is not in the forefront, it's still part of the plan. I've also become more sensitive to bad habits like wanting to get something to eat everytime we go out, even just to run a few errands. Fortunately with awareness and effort I've managed to reframe from doing that lately. Just today while my son and I were out I felt the urge to grab some fries, but I didn't. Eating a healthy meal before going out helped a lot. The ultimate push is my desire to be a better role model for my son and to implement a healthier eating schedule for both of us.

Anyway, to make a short story just a little bit longer :-) I just wanted to say that I'm really thankful for the changes that I've had to make on behalf of my son, because it opened to door way for me to find the strength to make healthy diet changes for myself. Changes that I never thought I'd be able to make. It never hurts to have a little inspiration.

What inspires you to do good things for yourself? If you can't think of anything, than allow yourself to be your own inspiration. When you truly love someone you don't want to do anything to hurt them. That goes the same for self. If you truly love yourself you will not want to do things that hurt you. It starts of slow and picks up momentum as the love you build for yourself grows.

Choose to live well my friends. Love yourselves, be inspired.

Onward and Upward!

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Work In Progress: Inspired to "Move"

Greetings everyone! Happy Friday again. Have you noticed how fast the week has gone by. It seems like I just posted a Friday video a couple days ago. Hmm, I guess time does fly when you're having fun.

How has your week been? I've been thinking of you guys and hoping that you are continuing to be inspired to take a healthier path and create a healthier you. You deserve it!

So far, it has been an absolute joy writing the Friday posts. There's so many exercise videos out there, more than I could have imagined. What I appreciate most are the variety of videos available. There's a little something for everyone and it's free. It doesn't get much better than that. :-)

Have you ever heard of or experienced a weight loss plateau? I've heard of it, but sad to say I've never exercised long enough to experience it. At least, I don't think I have. According to some fitness gurus changing up fitness routines in small increments weekly helps the body to continue losing weight. I've also read that changing of diet over time will help also. Okay, I can see the possibility of having long-term progress when making periodic changes in diet and exercise.

What does this mean to someone who's just starting out with daily exercise and doesn't diet?

Well, I certainly enjoy doing different kinds of exercises. Keeping the same routine gets real old, real fast and for someone like me it's an easy out when I get bored. That's why I make my exercise efforts about the whole body, mind and spirit as opposed to just weight loss. Does that make since? I mean...shouldn't weight loss be part of the prize? You know...like buying a $1 scratch off and winning 10 bucks. Frankly speaking, I don't get that excited when thinking about weight loss. As a matter of fact, it can be a trigger for binging and/or starving. When I think of weight loss only it becomes overwhelming, larger than life, and impossible to imagine, especially when I have so much weight to lose. Every part of my being contributes to the weight loss madness. And then I quit. I quit because I've exhausted myself and have fallen into deep depression. I'm not taking that route this time. No. This time It's going to be different and this time I will succeed.

Success is already at hand because I am focusing on the things that matter most to me which are the things that make me exited about this process. I get exited when I think of my clarity of mind, body feeling stronger, posture's getting better, eating healthier, having more energy, clothes fitting better, happier calmer moods, less hot flashes, lower blood pressure, clearer skin even and oh yeah...there is an added bonus, I'm losing weight too. Booya! 

My daily workout routines are awesome. I'm not locked into doing the same routine every week. Which is part of the reason I look forward to exercising. I do different kinds of workouts while focusing on different areas of my body. For example... Last week I concentrated more on my lower body. This week I'm all about my upper body. That doesn't mean I'm no longer working on my lower body. I've just changed my lower body routine and returned to lower reps. In the meantime, I've increased reps for my upper body. Next week will be vice versa. I will return my focus to the lower body, increasing the reps for my most recent lower body routine. I'll change the routine for my upper body and starting that routine at lower reps and so on... Get it?

Food intake...

That's easy. I don't diet. There's no bigger deal breaker than a diet. I chalk that up to having been on so many diets in the past, starting in my preteen years. Having to cut back on all the food that I love and watching my parents eat sweets in front of me. Too much. I'm not going to live a life of restriction. As you know, my son and I are gluten free. This is due to his seizures. By the way, he's doing very well, only having one seizure in the last 10 months. Going gluten free freed me from eating rice, breads, pastas, and potatoes almost daily. That change alone has breathed life into my healthy transition. Not only that, but I've rekindled my love with veggies. I was once a vegetarian. I'd gotten away from my veggie ways when I married a meat and potatoes man. I don't want to go back to being a complete vegetarian, but I do appreciate having a larger variety of veggies in our diet.

Another aspect of not dieting...I don't want to take my diet all the way down to salads everyday, not this early in the game. If that is something I naturally want to do later on, so be it. I want to eat regular foods so I can learn how to develop a healthy relationship with food. I like the way I'm eating now because I'm eating healthy portions without feeling restricted which means I have less desire to binge. As I continue on this journey, I believe my diet will continue to change for the better. One day I will eat more salads and will still be able to have a piece of fried chicken without blowing up like a puffer fish.

Okay, enough about that. Let's move on to the video. This week we're going to be doing a little dancing. One of the things I love most about this video is the obvious fun they had while making it. Be sure to check out the protein bar recipe at the end of the video. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks delicious. The video lasts about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Keaira LaShae - Dance Workout for Beginners

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Oh Joy...Oh Joy! [Sarcasm]

First of all, please accept my apology if you find this post offensive. It is not my intention to offend anyone. There are many factors to being a women and I for one am open to discussing those factors, one of which is our monthly cycle. If you are uncomfortable with this type of discussion, please do not read the rest of this post. Thank you.


I have experienced many pluses since starting exercise regularly. My moods have been better. My body feels better. I think I look better. And I sleep much better. I genuinely enjoy my exercise time, most of the time. There's an all around good feeling when doing something good for myself, especially not giving up on myself. There's another unexpected gift that I didn't count on. One of the things I asked God for included turning back the hands of time so I could look and feel more youthful. I was blissfully unaware that my request would include the rejuvenation of my menses.

I know this may be an uncomfortable subject for some, but it's one worth speaking on.

I started my cycle at the age of 10. I won't bore you with the details about that. Thirty-five years later I found myself praying to God to release me from the gift that keeps on giving. How ironic that I would receive a double dose of my special gift every December...Merry what? Yes, I speak of the dreaded red dollar days, period, being on-the-rag, or what I so lovingly referred to as my beloved dash, which I experienced approximately every other month. At least that's what I called it in my 50th year as I gracefully flitted into perimenopause, a state in which I've relished the thought of for some time. I won't be the one to tell you transitioning has been easy, but I will say I believed I weathered the worst of it and was finally coming into the home stretch. And then... I thought that train was coming to a screeching halt. Instead it looks like I've been scheduled for a few more runs. I am not happy about this. Oh well, that being said, my symptoms are much milder in comparison to my youth. I attribute that to exercise and healthy changes in diet.

Here's an article I found about the positive effects of exercise for women experiencing perimenopause and menopause. Exercise Recommendations for Menopause-Aged Women

While I'm on the subject, how do you handle cravings during that time of the month? Do you fight them or allow yourself to feed the savage beast inside? I used to struggle with cravings and that feeling of being a bottomless pit every month. Some months were worse than others. I bring this up because I've not yet read anything that discusses this issues for women having eating disorders. Do men go through cycles of cravings or is it just us?

It didn't matter how much progress I made, binging always occurred during my time of month. I never spoke on it. I treated it like a separate entity. I guess I didn't see the relevance or even more of an honest answer, I didn't want to admit it. I was afraid to talk about it because I didn't know what to do about it. It's much better for me now that I've admitted this is a real problem for me. Solution...recognizing the foods I crave during that time and finding healthy alternatives. I have the standard kinds of cravings. Usually I want something sweet, salty and crunchy. In the past I would eat things like chips, dip and chocolate in large quantities. Now I eat healthier combinations, a sort of trail  mix if you will. I like to combine raw baby carrots with peanuts and raisins. Lovely combination. Sweet, crunchy and satisfying. Another delicious combination is dried fruit like apples, pear, mango or prunes accompanied by a small piece of cheese on top of a triscuit or bagel chip. I recommend a triscuit or bagel chips because they offer more bite and longer chewing time, which gives my mind time to sense that my stomach is getting full and I actually get a little tired of chewing too. You may want to use cucumber instead of the triscuit or bagel chip. Pick a healthy solution that works for you.

As I do any other night, I prepare my snack in advance which gives me something to look forward to and curves my need to binge. If this method does not work for you, keep looking for what does. Like me, you may have to try a couples things before you figure it out.

Remember to drink at least 6-8 8oz. glasses of water per day. It's important to stay hydrated and drinking water also helps to curb your appetite.

I was not a water lover, so I used a few tricks to help me get the water down until I learned to love it.

Tip for the day: Add a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange juice to a glass of water. Garnish with a slice of fruit. It looks pretty and is great for special occasions. I sometimes add a sprinkle of cool-aide (original) into my glass of water. Another great way to add a little color and flavor to a glass of water without adding sugar or expense. You could also freeze fruit into ice cubes and put that in your water.

Onward and Upward!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Exercise: Reflection and "Moving" Forward

Hi everyone! Happy Friday!

How are you doing? Did you have a good week? I hope so and if you did not have a good week I hope together we can find healthy ways to deal with the stresses and usher in the joys.

Two of the things that help me the most when getting through stressful times is prayer and affirmations. I pray all the time, that's a given, but I don't always remember to do my affirmations. So on those days when I'm feeling a bit weathered or flat out defeated, I go to my bathroom mirror and repeat the affirmation that is still taped at the top. Remember what it is?
"When I say I love you, I mean I'm committed to working to love you even when it's hard."

I chose this as my long standing affirmation because in all relationships, when one loves they try harder and even harder still when committed. So I am committed to working on loving myself as well as being committed to the relationship that I'm building with myself.

Once the affirmation begins to sink in, I make an effort to remember all of the wonderful changes that have occurred since the beginning of my journey; all the wonderful blessings that have come out of the hardships and how good it feels to have gratitude for it all. Not easy...I know, but doable. Before you  know it gratitude will be a way of life.

I haven't talked much about my personal exercise routine and where I am with that. Shorty after the new year I started feeling less inspired to exercise which had nothing to do with my son's gut issues. A profound feeling of listlessness came over me and it was hard to shake. I will say that my son's gut issues did take my attention so I didn't give much thought to why I felt the way I did.

With each day that passed I thought of more excuses not to exercise. Even in all of that, I continued to make the effort to exercise at least every 3-4 days. Something inside would not let me quit. I couldn't. I've worked too hard to get to this point and I wasn't going to turn back. I struggled for about 2 months and then the clouds began to clear and the sun shined again. What on earth was that experience?! Well, as I ALWAYS say...hindsight is 20/20. Looking back over my journey I realized that I started exercising regularly approximately 6 months ago. So what's the catch? I have a long standing pattern of running out of steam for exercise or anything healthy in about 3-4 months. Everytime I've ever started an exercise/weight loss program I've always quit around that time. Guess what...January was about the 4th months of my current exercise effort. That explains it. What's even better...I didn't quit. SHAZAM! Have I broken the cycle?

YES! I am still exercising! And better yet, I'm back to exercising everyday. That's right. Thank you God! I am still on the road to recovery and doing it better than ever. Now that's not to say there won't be more challenges, but what counts today is I've come fact to face with a pivotal point in my journey and I'm still kickin' it. Yeah!! [doing my happy dance]

Whew! That was a great celebration! Okay, back to work. I haven't forgotten. Today is Friday and it's time to share another exercise video. Did you like the last one? I hope you tried it and are encouraged by it. Do something wonderful for yourself everyday. One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is quality time and moving our bodies is a perfect way to do that. When the body becomes accustomed to healthy movement it's easier to want to keep moving. Take it slow. One day at a time, one move at a time. Feel the good energy flowing through you and around you. Make this time a special time just for you or share this time with your family and friends. Whatever works for you.

There may be a few of you who want to amp it up and do a longer routine. One great way to do that is to combine this week's and last week' s videos in one routine. Start with the stretching and then go for the cardio. Together they make a great 30 minute workout.

I hope you grow to love movement and how good movement can make you feel.

Today's video focuses on stretching the body which is an excellent way to fall in love with movement.

Okay, here we go. This week's video...

Don't forget to suggest your favorite workout videos, healthy recipes and/or food prep ideas in the comment section below. Thanks! :-)

Onward and Upward!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Food and Fun

Still working on undoing bad habits. One of the things my son and I used to do whenever we went for a ride was stop by McDonald's to get large fries and iced teas. This was a staple for us. Towards the end of our ride we'd stop by another fast food place to get takeout for home. It seems our outings were more about the food than the fun.

It's okay to enjoy food out sometimes. So I'm locking away old habits and throwing away the key. When we venture out there's no more stopping at ole Mickey D's to get the usual fries and iced tea. Instead I take time to make an actual plan instead of randomly riding around. I find food to be less of a thought when a plan is in place. Purpose over passive.

Here lately, if I do decide to get a little something to eat it becomes part of the adventure as opposed to being part of the ride. A few days ago we went to a wonderful little market in a nearby town where they sometimes have live music. There was no music that day so we walked around a bit. Later I decided to purchase a small container of their vegan chicken salad. Neither of us have ever tried vegan chicken salad before. I thought it would be fun sharing a culinary first together. We sat at a table on the lawn and watched the children play. Great weather, great company and a delicious snack. That's more like it.

My son has been very receptive to simply hanging out with mom and loving life.

Living seen from a whole new perspective. Learning to put food in it's place has opened up many wonderful opportunities to simply enjoy life and living. There's so many more things I want to do and experiences I want to share with my son. As a new rule, on our adventures, food is only an option...not a must have.

I am a work in progress and so is my son. We will be for the rest of our lives. I think that's pretty cool. I'm thankful. Not only am I seeing the outcome of positive change, but my son is starting to see also. Feels good.

Onward and Upward!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Workout! Moving into Wellness Together :-)

Hey everyone! I just had a great idea. How would you like it if I start posting different workout videos on Fridays. I thought that would be a cool thing for all of us. The videos are something that will keep me encouraged and I hope they encourage you too. Let's all "move" into wellness together.

For my first workout post I've selected a workout that is great for people of all ages, sizes and abilities. The entire workout is done from a sitting position which makes it an excellent workout to do while at your work desk or at home. I like to do most of my workouts from a sitting position so I don't strain my joints. I will post different kinds of workouts each Friday. Please feel free to suggest your favorite kinds of workouts in the comments section below. It would be totally awesome if you want to share some of your favorite healthy recipes too.

If at all possible, before the workout begins get yourself a bottle of water, a towel and weights (whatever weights your are comfortable with. I use my 2lb. weights) If you don't have weights, you can use can goods from your pantry or nothing at all. In this video you will be shown exercises in beginner and advanced levels. This video is 12 minutes long.

Sorry for the late post. I promise to post next week's exercise video much earlier.

Okay ya'll let's get started!!

Full Body Chair Workout with @KeairaLaShae

I hope you enjoy this workout. I'll be posting a different workout every Friday during the Spring season. If you like the workouts I post let me know and I'll post more during the Summer months.

Before I go I want to share an awesome food idea that I've just recently discovered. Just the other day a friend share a couple bags of turnips with me. I enjoy all veggies, but turnips I usually give away because I only know of one way to prepare them. During my latest light bulb moment I thought about using turnips as a substitute for potatoes in a few of my favorite dishes.

Turnips: Health Benefits, Facts, Research

Last night's Dinner:

Sautéed turnips and smoked turkey sausage

1 large smoked turkey sausage, cut on the diagonal
3 large turnips, cubed
1 large onion, coarsely diced
1 pk. sodium free chicken bouillon crystals
3 tbls. canola oil (use 1 tbls oil for cooking sausage. Reserve remaining oil for cooking turnips)
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 water

Sautéed the turkey sausage in oil, remove from pan and sit to the side.  Add cubed turnips to pan saute until turnips start to brown a little add onion, turkey sausage and seasonings, saute for a few more minutes add water and cover. Turn the heat to medium low and let the turnips get tender. After a few minutes check turnips for tenderness add more water if needed and let steam for a few more minutes. Serve with a salad and enjoy!


Mock hash browns

1 med turnip, shredded
1/2 small onion, chopped
Sea salt  and cracked black pepper to taste
2 tbls. canola oil

Shred med. turnip put into a saute pan with a little canola oil, approx. 1 to 11/2 tbls. canola oil. Sautee and cover for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add chopped onion, sea salt and black pepper continue to saute. Add a little more oil if needed. Cover for a couple minutes until turnips at desired tenderness.

I served the mock hash browns with scrambled eggs. Delicious!!

Onward and Upward! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bearing the Burden of Being a Bad Example

Spring has sprung again. It seems a bit too soon for me. I was just wondering what happened to winter when I noticed the trees in my front yard are starting to bud. What did happen to winter? Is it just me, or does is seem winter lasted for approximately 2 weeks?

I wanted to start writing again in February, but I didn't have the energy. I was dealing with my son's impaction issues. I also had to deal with the discovery that my son adopted my old way of eating. No matter how much of an effort I made to make sure he had a normal eating schedule he still found my unhealthy regimen more favorable. How do you cope with discovering that you've given your child a foundation for developing an eating disorder? What can I say...I am guilty as charged. Now I've got to figure out how to right this wrong.

It's not all my fault and I'm not just saying that out of a guilty conscious. My son was a preemie and diagnosed failure to thrive due to gut malabsorption issues. He had to consume massive quantities of calories just to register on the infant/toddler growth chart. I never worried about his food consumption as long as he had a healthy diet. He still has a healthy diet, but his love of snacking has gotten out of control.

Starting around December, I noticed that my son eating little during the day, a small meal at dinner and a snack before bed. I thought his wanting smaller meals was due to intestinal issues. Made since to me. What I didn't know was that he's gorging out on snacks in between meals and late night. I discovered this pattern while investigating possible causes for frequent gut impactions. This behavior had to stop. He was making himself sick because his gut can't take that kind of consumption. I had to figure out a way to get him to understand what he's doing is hurting him. If you don't already know, my son is autistic. He's considered to be on the sever side. His professional team tells me what I've accomplished with him is remarkable and there are even moments when it's hard to tell that he's disabled. Nonetheless, I've really got my work cut out for me. I had to do a lot of praying and searching for answers.

I could have easily set up an appointment with  my son's GI specialist. They would have examined him, upped his medications and little else. I don't want that for him. I want to know the cause, which for some reason doctors don't like to look for, at least not until symptoms become severe. I wasn't willing to wait for that.

Erasing Years of Being a Bad Example

Where do I begin? Part of me wants to kick myself for not taking my disorder more seriously and trying harder to recover earlier. Part of me wants to purchase a cabinet and a padlock so I can lock away all snacks. That's hard and harsh. Isn't it enough that we have to overcome some many trials or obstacles?! Often times there's so little enjoyment outside of each other's company, the company of a few friends and food. I can't bare to take away one of the few joys he has. I also can't bare watching him kill himself with the very thing that brings him the most joy or making him feel deprived. Whew... Talk about your emotional roller coaster.

Okay, so I came up with an inventory of things to work on:

1. Maintain safe comfortable environment - Don't freak out. Stay calm and level headed. Introduce dialog about health issues along with visual aids. Begin removal of snack that trigger binging. Replace trigger snacks with healthier alternatives. Keep snack cabinet and make desired amount of pre-measured snacks available.

2. Continue to encourage choices even when choices are limited.

3. Be a good example - Part of being a good example is being aware that your child is always watching you even if it's not obvious. Make it point to give them something healthy to see.

I don't generally like eating at the dinner table largely due to my past. I've put my past in it's place and began eating meals with my son instead of in front of my computer. Every evening we will sit down at the table and eat our meal. I wasn't sure if my son would be receptive to the idea. We usually eat all of our meals in front of our computers. Bad...bad...bad example. Turned out that he rather enjoys eating dinner together and often comes in to help me set up for dinner when the meal is almost done. Wow! I admit, I enjoy it also. It's nice to share a meal with someone who is not berating me about how much or how little I am eating. Hmmm.

Note to self: Past pain not only effects you, it effects your children too. Be wise and work on self so that you can be your best self for you and your family.

4. Continue to encourage small bites and proper chewing - Taking smaller bites and chewing food properly aides healthy digestion. While monitoring my son I found he pushed his food to the roof of his mouth, chewed once or twice and then swallowed. Which means, most of his food went down almost whole. Not good.

5. Be patient -  It will all come together soon. This problem didn't start overnight and it's not going to end overnight. Take your time. All is not lost.

There you have it. These are the basics for my groundwork towards undoing a very bad habit so I can make room for a healthier lifestyle for all.

Don't get mad at yourself. Be encouraged. Admitting that I've made mistakes is part of my healing process. Working towards correcting those mistakes is what makes me stronger and what inspires me to try harder.

I can't help but think of something my mom used to say to me all the time. Be careful what you do because someone is always watching. I don't think I've taken those words more seriously than I have in the past two moths.

I'm just starting to get over some of the guilt of my actions causing my child to engage in behavior that was hurting him. That's a very hard pill to swallow, but it is also the wake up call I needed during a time when I'd usually give up on myself.

It's March and all is well. My son's gut has not been impacted since the changes we've made. Always mutating into perfection I say... There have only been a couple days that I've had to give him a little more medicine for his gut, but that's usually after eating a heavy meal out. My son is adjusting well to having pre-measured snacks. He's also starting to make better decision about what snack he want and when. There are times, when I find him trying to double up on snacks, but I continue to encourage him not to eat out of habit, but only eat when hungry. I thinks some of what I'm saying is really starting to sink in. I'm pretty sure my son is becoming more aware of how food makes him feel, especially when he overeats.

This balancing act has given me a whole new appreciation for my efforts to recover. I'm so thankful that I am making the effort. I'm even more thankful that I have not given up.

I have been exercising regularly since September 2014. In the past I've given up right around the 3rd month or so. I am working towards my 6th month of exercising consistently. This is huge. I am also happy to report that I continue to lose weight. Slow and steady wins the race. I am not living a life of depravity. I eat healthy portions of foods that I enjoy eating. Living gluten free has freed us from eating many starchy foods like breads and pastas. We also have cut back on rice, but when we want a rice like dish I make quinoa, which is a delicious alternative and packed with protein. In recent months we've cut back on dairy which seems to be working to our benefit.

My glucose, cholesterol and vitamin levels are all in normal range. My blood pressure has dropped from a consistent 218-225/100-110 range to being 125/80. Onward and Upward!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Springing Back Into Action

Greetings everyone! Happy Spring!

This is just a quick note to let you know that I will be back in full blogging mode very soon. I look forward to sharing with you again. I hope you've had a cozy Winter and are having a joyful beginning to Spring.

New blog posts will begin on Thursday, March 24th.

Hugs to you all.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

We Did It! 2015 Reflection

We made it through another holiday season. How are you doing? I wait patiently for your answers. I know I can't hear you, but I sense some of you are quietly answering. I hope you are doing well. I especially hope ED was not the center of attention this holiday season. If ED was, than let's begin a new. Let's not focus on yesterday. Yesterday's gone. Let's not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. I will say this much for tomorrow, it is the first day of the rest of our lives. Have you ever thought of that? Yeah, tomorrow is the 1st day of the rest of our lives. Wow, we get a lot of fresh starts don't we.

I'm doing well. Happy to see 2016. Last year started off being pretty intense, but soon became a series of beautiful experiences. Over the past few years I've been going through many positive changes and learning more about myself as well as my past. The process of healing from my past...well, it's been eye opening and life changing. It's really better than that, but I don't have the words to express just how wonderful challenging it has been. I guess I'm too caught up in being grateful. I'll take that for now. Maybe the words will come later...than again, maybe not. Maybe I've said just enough.

Out of the past three years being on this journey, 2015 was definitely the year of putting away the old self and bringing in the new. It's been a matter of shedding the old state of mind  and being introduced to the new state of mind. The old state of mind made it difficult to want better for myself, love myself and commit to doing healthy things for myself. The most difficult was shedding unhealthy relationships. What can I say, it's hard to want good when all you know is bad. I didn't know what good felt like or looked like, not really. Growing up, my only examples were, "Leave It to Beaver", "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Cosby Show." Isn't that something. How can we want better when we don't know what better feels like?

There were many firsts last year. One being my commitment to self and to loving myself. I'm able to enjoy getting to know myself intimately. Intimate meaning to know myself below the surface, seeing past flesh and bone; past the carefully orchestrated, finely tuned niceties of a well crafted persona. I've been able to take a long look at self. The good, the bad, the bitter the sad and happiness. I remember what happiness felt like before it all changed. And I'm glad I recognize true happiness' return.

The holiday season has come to it's end. Thank goodness. It's been a good season. I've had a few bumps, but I'm still here and I'm still making strides. Life is not going to be perfect, but it can be a heck of a lot better. That's what I'm looking forward to...better.

I can't begin to imagine what this year holds. I am curious and hopeful and I'm also smart enough to know that I don't need to worry about it. I'm going to take it one day at a time. That's as much as I can handle.

I hope today is going well for you and I hope tomorrow is even better.

Well, I guess that's enough rambling for now. Goodnight, blessings and happy new beginnings.