Questions…. answers?

Some heavy introspection is required when working on a total life glow up. I have been contemplating the question I asked in my last blog post, What would you do if you felt you were enough?
It’s not an easy question to answer. When you feel like you have never felt like you were enough, you don’t spend much time allowing yourself to think about what you would do if you were enough! So I am going to use this post to brainstorm and explore the answers to this (and a few other) question(s) that will (hopefully) give me some clarity on who I want to be and what my purpose is.

Disclaimer: This post is spontaneous – typing as I think. No planning, no outline before starting – just free flow of thoughts.

What would I do if I felt I was enough?
Well, right off the bat I think I would confront my husband about those Facebook messages. But before that I think I would have expected more/demanded more from our relationship. If I felt like I was enough I think our relationship would look a lot different. Maybe I would nag more (lol), but I definitely be more assertive. I don’t think he would talk to me the way he does sometimes. Also, my daughter wouldn’t treat me/speak to me the way she sometimes does. I think she has learned that its ok, because her dad talks to me that way sometimes – like I am a complete nuisance.

I think if I felt I was enough I would have more energy to get things done. I think I would purge and get my house in tip top shape.

There are probably a lot more things…..I will continue to think about it. I will update this post as I think of things.

If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend your time?

Oh, now this one is more fun to think about! LOL!
I would take singing lessons!
I would open my own business…. but I am not sure what: A boutique bookstore with coffee/bakery counter (someone else would have to bake!) or a paint your own pottery studio or a boutique toy store/candy store/kids clothing & decor store…. although Covid made this entire prospect a little scarier.
I would travel.
I would HIRE someone to finish our house!
I would buy a little cottage on a lake.
I would hire a life coach and an image consultant and a personal trainer.
I would hire a housekeeper and cook! Lol!
I would hire a life coach and an image consultant and a personal trainer.
Some of these things are in direct opposition to each other – opening a business and travelling for example. But its fun to dream!
I would hire a life coach and an image consultant and a personal trainer.

What would your perfect day look like? Describe every detail.
I would wake up in a perfectly clean and organized home, on my own schedule. No alarm clock, noisey husband, or demanding pets! The sun would be shining in but softly filtered. I would feel refreshed, relaxed and content knowing I had the entire day. The morning would be my own. I would make a coffee and sit at my perfectly organized desk – my own space. I would write in my journal (or blog), sip my coffee (since we are dreaming here… my coffee would never get cold and need to me microwaved lol), and reflect on my day.

Then I would spend the rest of the day with my family. Either hanging out in the yard by the pool (note: in real life, we don’t have a pool….) or on a little road trip, just together, laughing and having fun; seeing new things, learning new things. Relaxed and happy, going with the flow.

In the evening, we would arrive back to our cozy home. My daughter would have a friend over or head to her own space after a healthy delicious family dinner, which we would all work together to clean up after. Then my husband and I would retire to the family room, to talk, make future plans, and connect. We would snuggle up and watch a movie or a t.v. show before retiring for the night.

No eggshells to walk on, no pressures from the outside world for the day, lots of communication. Just our own little family cocoon, fresh air, nature and sunshine.

What activities set your soul on fire?
Well, I am not sure. I think I will have to try new things to find out! I like to write, I like to be “in the trees”.
My soul felt on fire when we looked at the treed lot, but we didn’t buy that one.

Wow – lightbulb moment…..honestly, I have never really liked the lot we ended up buying – but I went along with it because its what Karl wanted. I regret that. As a result, I spend very little time outside. Clearly, I need to make some changes in our yard so I can enjoy it more.

Ok, I am going wrap this up here for today. I definitely have some food for thought today.

I think I’ve had it wrong.

Clearly I have.

I have been struggling so hard. My weight is constantly on my mind and making me feel so terrible, yet it isn’t changing. If it does change it isn’t in the right direction. I’ve read quotes that say things like “If you really want something you will do it, if you don’t you’ll make excuses” blah blah blah. It sounds true. But I do want to feel healthier and get off the struggle bus. More then I could ever express. Yet, something is stopping me. I wish I could pinpoint what it is. Anyway, things have gotten worse. This week I inadvertently discovered some flirty Facebook messages between my husband and another woman. It was like a sword right through my gut. They didn’t go too far. If he wasn’t married, I would even say they were harmless enough. I thought he had more integrity, I did not think he would ever initiate anything like that, I thought he was more committed to our family.

Here is the thing.

My husband put some distance between us when I was pregnant, 14 years ago. He did not deal with the changes to my body. It was subtle, but I noticed. I am not even sure I can describe it…. he spent more time in the basement on the computer… he stopped telling me I was pretty…. he stopped initiating physical intimacy. Over the years it got worse. An emotional disconnect. My weight isn’t his fault…. but I feel like if he’d leaned in to our relationship (if I felt loved, and worthy, and good enough) it would have been easier to lose the weight…. but he leaned out further and further and my weight got higher and higher (and I felt lonely, not worthy, not good enough and even completely dependent).

I think I eat my loneliness away maybe?
Wow. This level of vulnerability is tough.

Anyway, I have not confronted him about the messages yet. Thing is those messages have ignited a little flame in me. I am angry and I am hurt and I am incredibly disappointed in his lack of integrity and I am not sure what outcome I am hoping for. I know I deserve to be loved and cherished. I know I don’t deserve to be lonely and fighting with computer games for his attention. I don’t know if we can mend 14 years of deterioration. But I do think that waiting until I feel stronger and more confident to confront the issues is the smart way forward.

So, I am in the rain looking for a rainbow. It is time I start living my best life on my own, within our marriage (for now, at least). So, I came across this article on Lifehack : https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-reasons-true-yourself.html. I LOVE the question it poses: What would you do if you felt you were enough?

I have spent so long feeling like I am not enough, that I have no idea what I would do if I felt like I was enough. I have spent my life letting life happen to me – its time to live with purpose. Now it is time for me to figure out what that purpose is. For now, my purpose is finding my purpose. Figuring out what I love to do and doing those things. Maybe, just maybe if I can start living my best life, I won’t eat my loneliness anymore.

Anyway, I know I love to write. And writing from a vulnerable place, being honest and not pretending everything is good is authentic and kind of empowering. So I am. It’s a little scary but exciting too…. like a good thunderstorm! On my way to “FIERCE”.

Back on track, All over the map Thoughts.

Well here we are again. It’s been a hot minute since I posted. Honestly, I think its because I sort of lost sight of why I was writing this blog in the first place. Although I do believe the information provided in the posts is true and accurate I sort of feel like a fraud because even though its info I know its not info I have been following. How long ago did I start this blog and nothing has changed. My weight hasn’t budged. The purpose of the blog was to be vulnerable and truthful in my journey (which is why I write anonymously). The purpose isn’t to tell other people what to do. I am supposed to share what I am doing, how I am feeling, thinking etc as I move forward. Trouble is I have been standing still.

Why did I choose the astronaut/space theme for my blog? Definitely the theme of silencing my inner alien is part of it, but also it also seemed like the perfect choice because nothing represents BIG dreams as when you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up and they answer “an astronaut”. Being in space seems like the most extreme form of adventure imaginable. Exploring dark corners of the universe, discovering bright stars and new things. It felt like an excellent metaphor for what I want to achieve.

I recently learned about the concept of a “Glow up”. That term really resonated with me. I have been reading about it a bit and was disappointed that generally it is referring to only physical changes. I, however think to truly glow your inside has to align with your outside. Mind, body, spirit if you will. That is what I am aiming for. I truly want to glow from the inside out (not in a nuclear, bad sci-fi movie way, LOL).

So, I am re-focusing the blog. My new goal is to do at least 1 thing towards each area of my “Glow up” for the next 100 days. Something for my mind, something for my body, something for my spirit. As I go I will post my thoughts, feelings, actions etc.

Get Real: Acknowledge the Struggle

Part of me thinks I should be writing these inspirational blog posts jammed packed full of how to’s and deep insight on how to help people reach their goals, find happiness and health and lose weight. If I had that much knowledge and insight to share, this is not the blog I would be writing because that is not why I started this blog. I wanted to write an authentic account o my personal journey. Struggles and all. I want to be vulnerable and relatable to the other people struggling as I am. When I went looking for a weight loss blog I couldn’t find one like that. I found blogs by people who were already at their goal and were running for fun. Seriously, who runs for fun? No one I can relate to. I am not sure I would run if a bear was chasing me – What would be the point? I’d be so slow he’d catch me anyway!

So today, we have real and vulnerable. Here I am. Weighed down by fear, lack of action and paralyzed by over-thinking – actually more accurately – not wanting to think at all. Writing about what I know about my inner alien and allowing it full control. Feeling like a fraud. How’s that for uplifting? Well – there is light at the end of the galaxy. “One small step for mankind” as they say – one step at a time.

Today is the beginning of my 4th week on Noom*. I haven’t lost a pound. In fact, I am 2lbs more then when I started. I love the mindset and behavioural psychology articles provided by Noom. They are really great. I think the red, yellow green classification of foods is quite smart and helpful for learning how to eat properly. I need to do the work. Why won’t I do the freaking work? Its not like I haven’t got time. This week in particular I felt especially paralyzed and have only done things to sabotage myself. Why? I want this so badly. I really do. I really REALLY do. And I really feel like I am on the verge of getting it, like this really could be it. I am going to be 50 in 6 months. I do not want to be fat and fifty.

Today I am going to make a meal plan. Actually, today I am going to make a page on my blog for meal plans! I will post my weight on Sunday and my meal plan for the week. If there are recipes I will link to them. today happens to be a Sunday where I have some extra time on my hands and time to myself (seriously, that RARELY happens) .

Alright. I’ve got this. Time to really start moving forward. If you feel like you need a little support right now, comment below for some encouragement/commiseration from me!

Keep moving forward.


*I am not an affiliate of Noom but like everyone who is a member I do get an incentive for referring people that stay past the free trial.

5 Ways to Thwart Abduction by Alien.

So that title only makes sense if you have read my other posts about Alien invasions.

Here we are, we have met our little inner alien and now we need some strategies to live in harmony and avoid being abducted by the little irrational, emotional space cadet. What we need here is a battle plan. :

  1. As Sun Tzu wrote, “Know your alien and know yourself, you need not fear the result of being invaded.” Ok, I might have paraphrased a little. But basically it comes down to being aware when and where your little A(lien)-hole acts up. Does it get hangry everyday at 3 pm and talk you into scarfing donuts in the breakroom? Does it convince you to skip exercise each day (“You can do it later, you are sooo busy right now – Netflix won’t watch itself”)? Start noticing the ways your Great Gazoo invades your good intentions.
  2. John Tierney wrote in the New York Times, “The more decisions you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain…” and I say, the more tired your brain comes from making decisions the more likely it is that your alien will make your decisions for you. Nope! That’s just trouble! The solution? New habits! Making decisions before your brain is all decided-out. Prep your meals and snacks ahead, plan your exercise in advance – this overlaps a little bit with step 3 below, but if you have things planned and prepped that means less decisions you have to make on the fly and the less power your alien has to invade.
  3. Alexander Graham Bell. had his steps slightly out of order but the advice is good, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”, If your alien is prodding you towards the breakroom donuts every day at 3 pm, keep a stash of healthy snacks nearby. Talking you into skipping exercise? Put a reminder in your phone, schedule a time early in the day! Also, keep triggers out of sight (keep the kid’s cookies in an out of the way cupboard) and something healthy where you will see it – a bowl of fruit on the counter, a mantra on a Post-it note stuck on the cupboard door. But… don’t forget to surprise your alien with a treat now and then – half a donut once every couple of weeks or something – just to keep it happy.
  4. Who better to take alien invasion advice from then Scientologist and Fresh Prince of Belaire? Will Smith says, “The road to success is through commitment”. Make a plan to exercise with a friend, or write your menu for the week on a board for everyone to see. Not only does involving others in your plan make you more accountable but there is consequence if you don’t follow through. At the risk of disappointing someone else, suddenly you are much more likely to show up! Eventually, we will be able to make a commitment to ourselves and keep it, without the little green invader thwarting our plan.
  5. There are a lot of really great Sylvester Stallone quotes (no kidding! I Googled it). But for our final step in preventing an alien invasion and stalling us on our way to our big goals, I think he said it best when he said, “Plan B. You’ve always got to have a Plan B”. Things don’t always go as planned. The other night I had planned to have a sit down dinner with my family and make a new recipe. I had my Covid booster shot earlier that day and wasn’t feeling the best when dinner time approached, but I was prepared to follow through on my plan… until my husband got a fire call and had to head out, then my daughter’s music lesson time got moved to an hour earlier and suddenly no one was there for me to cook for! So, I prepped the recipe a little and put it in the fridge for the next night. Luckily I had healthy stuff in the fridge to throw together a healthy salad and sandwich for dinner. My alien would have had a field day convincing me to eat stale tortilla chips over the sink, if I had not had a Plan B on standby. Thanks, Rocky!

Well that’s the end of this blog post. I think I will close off with one more quote:

“See you later, alligator” ~ Bill Haley and the Comets

Alien Invasion.

Not too long ago I belonged to a group coaching situation with a “keto coach”. I signed up after a friend of mine had used his system to lose some weight and she looked great. I had played around with Keto before but I always felt like there was something off about it. It seemed pretty unhealthy. I had read lots about how it was healthy and had health benefits but that information didn’t jive with other learning I had done about how our body needs carbs, and veggies and fruit were healthy foods while cheese and bacon were not. This gentleman’s Keto teachings made much more sense to me. On his plan there were veggies and a little fruit and lean protein. Anyway… that actually isn’t what this post is about.

This is about a mantra that so many “motivational” coach type people use that just doesn’t sit well with me. It felt like something was being thrown in my face each time he threw one of these lines out there. Mantras like “If you want something bad enough you’ll find a way. If you don’t you’ll find an excuse” or “excuses are for people who don’t want it bad enough”. Ugh. No. Just no. I want this so bad. I cannot even put into words how badly I have wanted this for years and years and years.

Credit for the excuses goes to the comfort zone (here’s another post about the comfort zone). The comfort zone (inner space, if you will) is just like outer space. It’s beautiful but nothing can grow there. It’s like having an evil little invisible alien (remember the Great Gazoo?) on your shoulder whispering in your ear “yes, but….”. Seriously, this is a tiny little narcissistic, gas-lighting freakzoid that actually wants to keep you stagnant, and the more you listen to that little A(lien)-hole, the more times it has succeeded at holding you back, the stronger it gets. The more often you flick that little alien off into space the stronger YOU get. But it has nothing to do with how badly you want it. It has everything to do with learning strategies to outsmart that little shoulder sitting Jovian and shut it the hell up! That little green weirdo will never leave your shoulder entirely but it will learn its place eventually.

I have realised that mine has become so powerful it often has me acting before I have time to notice that it has tricked me into believing something that couldn’t possibly be true. So far I have identified some lies my alien tells me:
A:”Be perfect or don’t bother”. “You slipped up? Well now you’ve blown it for good. Might as well give up you can’t do this”.

A: “It’s too _______ (hard, expensive, time-consuming…..etc)

A: “look at that person. They can eat whatever they want and be skinny, and they have a cleaner house then yours, and nicer clothes, and really overall they are just better then you”

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Now if I heard someone say that to a friend I would we all up and over them! None of these statements are even close to true – yet when my alien whispers them to me – I believe it! How much sense does that make?

NONE!

This is the place I am at now. I am learning strategies to outsmart my little a-hole. Its hard. I think I am going to write about those strategies in a separate ever evolving post that I will update as I learn new things or have insights about things I have already learned.

Please leave a comment about strategies you use to keep that extraterrestrial at bay, we can all learn from one another.

100 Fierce 3.0 – The reboot’s reboot.

It is ridiculous that I keep doing the same thing time and time again. (Read Blog post WTF). Still not much has changed. Well, maybe I should not say that. I should give myself more credit. Since those last posts many months ago I have dropped 10lbs and kept it off. I have a bit of a new attitude. This is no longer about appearances, or pleasing others or comparing myself to others. Now its about being kind to myself. Loving myself. Being healthy, aging healthfully. I have a co-worker who is 65 and unable to retire due to her shopping addiction. She limps when she walks, she takes all sorts of medications, she has pain in her shoulders and neck. She cannot carry things, she cannot bend. I do not want to find myself there and I was noticing that I might end up there sooner then later. I want to have energy and vitality.

All too often self care is equated to soaking in a tub by candlelight. I was guilty of thinking self care was the “binging on Netflix, indulging in the chocolate” form of “self-care”. But lets be brutally honest here. Real self-care is getting done what needs to get done. Its doing the hard things. Tough-love is the real love. moving your body, making healthy choices, doing the hard things. That. is. self-love. That is the mindset shift that is necessary for making a change. When you do not want to exercise you need to remind yourself its in the name of love. When you are facing a decision between a salad and a burger self love is choosing the salad at least half the time…. and self love is when you do choose the burger, enjoy the burger then move on from the burger and don’t beat yourself up about it.

So, this time I have signed up for Noom. That makes me feel ridiculous as I type it because I have done them all: Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Dr, Bernstein, Keto, etc etc etc. Noom really does seem different. I am on part 2 of the “classes” that they provide. I love that they use psychology and provide information about motivation and goal setting, sabotaging thoughts and that is just the beginning. I have to believe that THIS time will be different. I am making smaller changes, I am working at loving myself. The pandemic is making it a bit challenging so I am focusing on easy changes I can make right now. Logging everything I eat, trying to have a fruit or a veggie with each meal, drinking more water. Turning off the t.v. for a bit in the evening and playing a game at the table for a little while. These might not all be weight loss related but they all count as self love.

Anyway, When I was typing those older posts I didn’t have my own laptop. Now I do. This is my first post from my new laptop. Exciting times! I plan on being more consistent with my posts. I love to write. Writing for me is self-love.

Ok, signing off for the time being.

XO

Be good to yourself. Always.

Ugh.

Ugh. Those three letters about sums in up. At least I am here again and it isn’t February 2022….

Yesterday was GREAT! I got over 6,000 steps in. We didn’t walk in the rain but I talked my daughter into letting me play Just Dance with her on her Switch. It was hilarious and fun. We spent time together laughing and I got in over 30 minutes of exercise before I died. I drank water like a champ, I logged my food.

So why UGH?

Today. Today is ugh. I cannot get moving. I have a persistent headache and I just feel ugh. I haven’t had any water yet – other then enough to down some Tylenol. I sure as shit haven’t walked any farther than the bed to the lay-z-boy to the bed and back. But here is the truth. It’s the “ugh.” days that can make us or break us and in the past I always let the “ugh.” days break me (Read here: It’s really the Alien’s fault).

Not today, Uranus. (Read: 5 Strategies to Thwart an Alien Abduction)

This is life.

There are always going to be “ugh.” days to push through. It’s ok if I don’t get my steps in or if I don’t meet my water goal, as long as I don’t throw in the towel completely. I have still continued to reflect on the journey today rather than avoid it. I have even drawn a conclusion about myself and made a decision (more on that to come) that will help me get closer to my goal. Basically the difference is, giving myself some leeway. Tossing out the all or nothing thinking and keep moving forward in the journey even if some days the pace is slower – it’s still better to crawl than sit in the middle of the road. You don’t have to do it all, you just have to do SOMETHING. I can use today to read about something that will help move me closer to my goal, I can chose smaller portion sizes of food, I can visualize, I can be mindful. I can take the time and put my thoughts in my blog. At least it’s something and something is better than nothing.

“If You can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but what ever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” ~ MLK Jr.

WTF….

Well crap.

I started this blog over 3 years ago. Its ridiculous really. I thought about going back and deleting the old posts but decided not to. As a reminder, to myself, maybe. Because, they are well written and truthful except that I did nothing to follow through with them. Its funny if you look at the dates of all the posts they are all around the same time of year. It seems that between February and March/April every year I decide I HAVE to do something about my health/weight and happiness and then BAM just like that NOTHING happens. Life happens, I forget about my resolve. I get feeling defeated. I tell myself (Update: Nope it’s my Alien telling me these things) there is always tomorrow. And here I am. 3 years from the first blog post and I weigh more now than I did then. It’s funny reading back on my old posts. I sound determined. And I am, in that moment.

I just bought myself a Fitbit from Amazon. Just the most basic one. It seemed like a good deal and when I was purchasing it I noticed it came with a 1 year free Fitbit Premium membership for the app. “PERFECT!” I thought, “I will follow all the modules and do all the things it suggests over the next year and improve my health”. I am 3 days in and I haven’t done any of the things yet except wear the damn Fitbit. I logged 3, 836 steps yesterday. I know 10 000 is the goal. I didn’t even try. I probably could have gotten close had I gone for a walk. I had opportunity. I also ate a bacon cheeseburger with onion rings. I know that is not conducive to my goal. So, WTF is wrong with me (Update : read here about how its the Alien on my shoulder that is wrong!)?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, this morning. I haven’t committed to my goal. EVER. I say I want to do it. I write about wanting to do it. I say I am going to do it. I even do something about it for an hour or two, a day or two sometimes. Truth is, I never fully commit in my heart. I always find ways to distract myself from it. Those distractions are always outside myself. Plan a fundraiser for this or that, volunteer for this or that, take on a job, buy everything I need for a new hobby, read everything I can about said hobby, complete a few projects for that hobby and move on to the next thing. I need to STOP distracting myself. I need to focus on myself and commit to my goal. Netflix, Facebook, Instagram DISTRACTIONS. Sign making, signing up for direct sales companies – DISTRACTIONS, looking after other people’s kids – DISTRACTION. Why do I distract myself? It hurts to think about the failures. It’s easier to ignore the problem and therefore the solution.

So…. what to do? What to do? I need to commit. Fully, completely. That means doing the work. That means eliminating distractions. Every minute of every day, every action, every thought has to have SOMETHING to do with achieving my goal of health and happiness. I need a vision board. I need to surround myself with reminders until its second nature. I need to think about it when I wake and when I fall asleep. I need to do the hard things. I need to be selfish – I need to EMBRACE being selfish for just a little while. (update: Self-care is NOT selfish). So, I am going to go get myself a drink of water, log in my Fitbit app that I had leftover chicken stew for breakfast (weird-o) and figure out a vision board and a routine that will be meaningful to me and keep moving me forward toward the goal.

I might even go for a walk in the rain!


14 Ways to Nourish your Heart and Soul

Hey y’all!   Bet you didn’t expect to hear from me for another year! LOL.   All kidding aside, this is actually a pretty serious post.  The last few days the universe has been sending me messages.

STOP, don’t leave my blog because that sounds a bit crazy.

WAIT! This post just might be exactly what you need to read to help change your mindset, be happy and lose the weight

Hear me out.

The other day I was scrolling Facebook as one does when they are avoiding housework, or laundry or something of the sort. I totally get that people out there on social media are sharing only the good parts of their life, some might even be manufacturing things to post on Social Media to make life look extra good.  But scrolling through and looking at the happy vacation photos of friends I haven’t had a real conversation with in years as they dine at sunset somewhere tropical or ski with their kids on a snow day, or pose with their new puppy (kitty/llama/pig/chicken/goldfish) a thought popped into my head.  I wasn’t comparing my life to theirs, I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself or anything but it hit me that living life 100-ish lbs overweight is NOT living MY best life.  Ok, I admit. Obviously I knew that already.  But this was different.  It hit home hard.  It flipped a switch.  It seemed to open my mind a little wider and adjust my mindset.  My weight is truly is holding me back from the things in life I want to do.  Then the dog barked and the timer went off on the stove and the cat hissed at the other dog and my husband’s phone rang and the thought was fleeting, but my mind/heart remained open.

Fast forward to today.  I heard someone talking about living life with an “open heart.”  Tuning in and listening more carefully I quickly realized he wasn’t talking about a Grey’s anatomy-style “open heart”.  He went to on to talk about how, when our heart is cluttered with the day to day stresses and turmoils, especially with the things we cannot control we cannot have an open heart to accept the things that really nourish us.  That’s when my mind started to wander ( too bad, because I bet he had lots of gems of wisdom to share.

Anyway, maybe my heart was open at that moment because this is where my mind wandered off to while I believe the universe was speaking to me. I swear, this is not stuff I would normally come up with on my own, [case in point, I am about to quote] Shaggy from Scooby-doo: “… it was like deep, Scoob, real deep”.

This is what the universe said (in the form of my thoughts):

Your heart has been cluttered.  You have been seeking nourishment for your heart in the form of food but that is not the nourishment your heart really needs. Your heart has to be open and nourished by the things that really make you feel nourished: happy, joyful, content, peaceful etc.  Do the things that make you feel nourished and you will not constantly be seeking that feeling with food.

Mind. Blown.

Ok – Here is what was promised.

14 Ways to Nourish your Heart and Soul

(In no particular order)

  1. A clean, organized home – The actual act of cleaning and organizing doesn’t do much for my heart to be honest – but the after effect sure does. Seeing my space clean and orderly feels so good.  When my home is disorganized, messy etc, the thoughts of the mess and what I should be doing about it clutter my heart and make me irritable.
  2. A walk among trees – We live in a rual environment and there are a lot of trees all around us, but it is not real forested around our home. Our land use to be part of a large farm.  It is still very meadowy (yes, grammar police I know that is not a real word).  I like to find a real green forest and take my time meandering through.  This is partly why I am not currently living my best life.  This is very difficult for me right now. My knees are sore My feet are sore and walking on uneven ground is difficult. A very good reason to stick to this journey.  There is scientific evidence that being in a green space/ being in nature is so good for us. Google it!
  3. Creating.  This will look different for everyone.  I enjoy writing.  Always have. So this Blog is actually something that provides nourishment to my heart.  I also enjoy some other crafts  ( I make wooden rustic signs and chalk boards out of thrifted, recycled items). For some people painting, music, drawing, sculpting, gardening, or cooking might be their creative nourishment.
  4. Exercise.  I wouldn’t normally say this is something I feel nourished by.  But the truth is, after a day in the sun moving my body even if it is a slow walk or an easy swim in the lake, I feel pretty good after.  So far I haven’t found a winter activity that does this for me! I will lump yoga in here for those that will comment that its not on the list.  Yoga isn’t my thing (tying my shoes is as close as I get at this point), but it is probably someone’s.
  5. A Nap.  Now napping can be a tricky one. Sometimes, a nap can make us feel worse if we are doing it to avoid other things.  But some days, when all the “work” is done (or done enough) and the sun is warm through the window a restorative nap feels glorious.
  6. The right people.  Now, I have to say, right now, in my life, I don’t have too many people I can call the right people (but you really only need 1 or 2).  I have a few people in my life right now that are energy sapping, difficult to be around some days, and make me turn to cookies or donuts (or booze) after they have been around. If you are lucky enough to have that friend that you belly-laugh with and feel good around – that’s your person.  Make the time.  I am blessed that my every day people ARE those people – even if they do leave every cupboard door open when making a snack (you know who you are).
  7. Quiet music, good lighting, a good book.   Enough said.
  8. Line Dried Sheets – Yes this is a material thing.  Literally. But climbing into fresh clean line dried sheets is AWESOME!
  9. Helping Others.  This is another one that takes some soul searching.  There is lots of chatter around giving back and doing for others all over the Internet, but I believe that the true spirit of the helping/giving is getting lost lots of the time. Helping others for the soul purpose of nourishing your own heart won’t have the same effect as helping to really help.  Let that sink in for a second.
  10. Not doing things that don’t nourish your heart! Ahhh Duuuuuhhhhh and a double negative to boot, you might be thinking. But (yes I started a sentence with “but”) does scrolling through Facebook when you have other things to do make you feel good?  Does an hour and twenty-five minutes spent watching the bachelor make you feel good? (Not this season anyway – what a train-wreck) Binge watching Netflix with unfolded laundry plaguing your mind? Buying random items you don’t need from Amazon? Eating something you didn’t plan to ? You get the idea.  Edit: I guess this one could also be called “being present”.
  11.  Identify your “why” in life.  Contemplate – why do you go to work every day? Its not for the money – well, it IS for the money, but what does the money provide for you? That’s the REAL reason.  Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you_________  Going through your day with your purpose in mind will nourish you.
  12. Align your life to your morals and values.  Take the time.  Identify the morals and values that are important to you then identify if you are truly living all aspects of your life in alignment with them.  This isn’t as easy at it sounds but living a life in balance with your morals and values will leave your heart open and uncluttered.
    And to be clear, just because I have identified these items as nourishing does NOT mean that I am fully there.  These are the items I have identified that I need work on, myself.
  13. Practice gratitude.  There are lots of books and web sites devoted to this. Not sure who to credit for this quote: being grateful for what you have, makes what you have, enough.  Constantly chasing that more, more, more is not nourishing.  Take the time and enjoy what you have.  Take pleasure in the little things.
  14. Take the time. Normally when I am looking for a snack I will grab the quick thing, the easy thing, the immediate thing. Taking the time to prepare some fruit on a plate makes me feel so much better. This isn’t just about food. Take time for the little things. Take a second and be in the moment, feel the sun on your face.

So, moving forward I am going to strive to keep my heart open and not cluttered with things that don’t matter in order to make room for the things that make me feel good and free and light.

Keep coming back, I will be adding sections for meal plans and recipes soon.