Sunday, June 21, 2009

Times Are A Changin’-Happy Summer Solstice!

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”- Zen Buddhist Monk

Ever notice how one simple change often leads to another? When I look back over the history of what I’ve blogged, and how it’s naturally progressed…I can clearly see how my thought process has lead me to this current path that I am following. While I am still (and will probably always be) a work in progress, I think its worth giving recognition to evolution, however slowly it may come.

When I first began this journey, I decided that one of the biggest and healthiest changes I made was to begin to put myself first, and love myself more. With the stresses of work and daily family life, I’ll admit, this was tough to do. It required a different mindset, than I was used to, because not only did I have to be deliberately more cognizant in my actions, I needed to focus on being fully present in my decision making as well. It’s true, I still need work in this area…but at least I am aware of it now and recognize when I put something or someone else’s needs before my own. I know it sounds a little selfish to the parents out there, but if you don’t take care of yourself first, how can you truly care for those who need you?

Loving myself more then made me sensitive to my bad habits. I was able recognize that I was an emotional eater, and that unearthing lead to discovering ways to conquer those bad habits of emotional eating. And now, even when I faulter, I don’t beat myself up about it. I realize that all things in moderation allows me the permission I need to say…”it’s ok…but I need to get back on track…ASAP!” It also led to my “Tune-Up” which resulted in healthier, cleaner eating. Fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, (organic when possible,) and no prepared meals full of chemicals and preservatives that are harmful to the body. Instantly, I started cooking more and eating out less. I am also taking time out to enjoy my food. No more eating while working at my desk. I find a nice quiet place…and enjoy!

Lastly, I am trying to find ways to increase my activity level. Yes, I could just use the gym membership that I purchased, or buy an exercise DVD. But the truth is, I really want to concentrate on creating lasting lifestyle changes that I will really enjoy. Maybe it’s tennis lessons, or cycling. Or perhaps it’s a martial art such as Tai Chi or Brazilian Jujitsu. Whatever it is, I want it to be a new experience and something to be excited about. The hope is that I will gain exposure to a mulitpicity of newness…and that this one simple change will lead to another.

I am no where close to my objectives and still have a lot of hard work ahead. I think this is probably the most difficult challenge I have ever faced, mainly because it is one trial, I have failed the most. Yet, if I assume that every lesson comes with an opportunity to be better, stronger, and more compassionate than I was previously, then here lies the foundation of a better life.

In the meantime, I will just…Smile, breathe, and go slowly!

Happy Summer Solstice!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Measure of TRUE SUCCESS...Happy NEW YEAR Baby!

On Friday, I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my 22nd birthday…or 42! I thank GOD for the glory of his splendor!

To me, ALL birthdays are milestones…a culmination of the riches of your life. To celebrate the gift of life, one must appreciate where you’ve been, what you’ve done, where you are going, and what impact this will have in the world around you. In some cases, they let us know, how little we’ve done…or how much farther we have yet to go. It helps us to set the pace towards the life we aspire to, but constantly a work in progress. Most of us think of New Years as that milestone…but I say, no better way to measure one’s progress that to mark that progress with the day of your personal birth…your very own marking of your time here on this Earth, your very own personal NEW YEAR! I say, the “heck” with January 1st! It has been my personal experience, goals that are set on days that hold more personal significance to me…have more strength and hold more truth. But that’s just me…

Over the past few weeks…I’ve made some amazing new discoveries and a few more confirmations along the way. I have always been a food lover…and always a fan of the freshest available. I don’t think that will ever change. But as one gets older and begins to appreciate the time one has left…I think there comes a time, a maturity, or a “want” to do better. One starts to place an importance on the footprint you have on the world around you, and develops a quench to “achieve.” Albeit in your own life, or the lives of those around you, tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us…so today has to count TODAY!

With that thought in mind, I’ve made a commitment to myself to protect and care for this bodily temple that GOD has so graciously loaned to me. I have vowed to only put in it, the “best” of that which is available to me. With very little effort at all except my new found commitment and a few more dollars than I had previously budgeted, I’ve lost a whopping 8lbs. Pretty amazing considering there weren’t any additional exercise or calorie burning efforts. I realize that it will surely take a bit more than just eating fresh, whole foods, but it rejuvenating to see my body reacting to a great start.

Interestingly enough, in my research, I came across two women who intimately refer to themselves as “Healthy Hedonist.” One of which who happens to be the author of a book by the same name, and the other, a chef, who affectionately adorns the term, and another… "Voluptuous Vegan." I love the suggestion of such a theory, but strongly protect my freedom of choice. I don't think a little beef, pork or lamb, ever hurt anyone...but the key phrase there is "a little!" Personally, I am a seafood and chicken lover, but I do pay homage to the spirit of their principles. Certainly, I can also personally relate to the sexy connotation of the word "voluptuous!" Of course, you just never know...but it is always a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.

I suppose it really doesn’t matter if the pull is weight loss, or even life direction.
For today, the focus is to strive for a ...“HAPPY NEW YEAR!”