Journey Plan 2014

Every year I write a Journey Plan.  It’s a categorized list of things I want to strive for in the coming year and it is by no means written in stone.  It has things as simple as ‘wash face before bed daily’ (which incidentally, I did every single day of 2013 except for 3) and things more complex like re-uniting with old friends, making a plan for relationships and finding a hobby.  Everything is up for editing, erasing and expounding on throughout the year, because while no place in time is static, an entire year is certainly not and I don’t do this to determine success or failure to sticking to a list.

The other thing I did last year that I’m adopting again this year is a Mission Statement.  Last year my mission statement was ‘Do your best.  Every day’.  I like to think that it was a good beacon for weighing decisions against altho to be honest, there were many periods of time in the last year that I don’t think I was doing my best.  I came up with my 2014 Mission Statement about three months ago and I’ve been keeping it under my hat for just this post.  The funny thing is that there is a great connection between my Mission Statement and the 90SecondsofReal Project that I am a part of.  Why such a great connection?  Because my 2014 Mission Statement is…. Drumroll please…..

Be.  Real.

Funny how coincidences sometimes align themselves so perfectly as to not actually appear as coincidences.  I liked the simplicity of the statement Be Real.  That’s what we should be striving for right?  It’s incredible just how difficult it actually is to be consistently real.  The whole world is set up for sabotage.  The media wants you to wear false eyelashes, dye your hair, whiten your teeth… Social Media only gives you 140 characters to tell a polished version of what your life is actually like and it even provides filters to add an extra layer of ‘unreal’ to your photos.  Self help books suggest you fake it till you make it (which in itself is not such a terrible thing sometimes) and most people who as ‘how are you’ aren’t even listening for your answer… double not listening if your answer happens to be anything other than ‘I’m good thanks, you?’.

A friend of mine sent me a text about three or four months ago and said that he was proud of me for being able to stand up for myself and do the impossible * against all odds and against a world that doesn’t understand and would prefer to see me fail.  It was a little seed that sat in my brain until I realized that all I was doing was being real.  Genuine.  Authentic.   And I wasn’t even doing it ‘on purpose’.  So I wondered… what would happen should I make a concerted effort to be these things with purpose…well, as Dr. Seuss says… oh, the places you will go.

So this year, I plan to practice being real.  It might not always be the popular choice… honestly, that doesn’t bother me.  Because I’m not looking for popularity.  I’m looking for the best me I can be.

For more on ‘real’, check out our new project 90 Seconds of Real and hit the subscribe button.  You’ll get a short video from the five contributors daily to help keep you inspired, moving forward and knowing that we’re all in this journey together!

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Let’s be Real

So after 2 false starts of W30, I’m now officially on my 2nd day.  I did my first day three times… the first two of those times were great, right up until the evening when I sort of fell apart and found some left over Christmas chocolate in my house.  Having done a good job of consuming all of that, and also finding the skin on my hands getting worse and worse, I buckled down yesterday and successfully put the first day in the bank.

I’ll tell you something, cleaning up your act after three weeks of silliness is not easy!  It’s incredible how quickly your body becomes dependant on those nasty little things like sugar, grains and sugar…

For almost an entire year I ate as close to W30 as possible with weekly offroading days thrown in.  There was never enough in any one off road meal per week to bounce me into a dependency… so when I went completely bananas in December and ate and drank whatever was in front of me, I naively thought that I would be fine and I could just turn off the switch and go back to my clean living with no adverse side effects.  That is certainly not how it happened and I am currently fighting the ‘are you hungry, no you’re not, you don’t need to eat’ battle.  I think that our bodies have ‘muscle memory’ as far as food goes and I don’t think I will get a very bad case of Low Carb Flu or really be in this battle for very long… the long term positives that I already know about far outweigh any short term struggle to get back on track. 

I see no reason to lie about how easy detoxing after a free for all isn’t… or hide the fact that I had to do my 1st day three times in order to be successful.  That’s real life and anyone that tells you otherwise is lying.  That said, this idea of real and honest is the driving force of a new project I am a part of. 

My sister came up with the idea that there are probably a lot of women just like us out there, struggling to maintain balance between health, fitness and real life.  She found a group of us that are all taking different journeys in order to find our balance and we will be coming to you daily to share 90 second of our Real.  90 seconds of our struggles, successes, failures, hopes and dreams.  Every weekday a new 90 second (is) vlog from one of the contributors will be posted to hopefully help motivate, inspire and encourage you.  Every day you’ll see one of us being real about life and we hope that it inspires you to be real about where you are at and where you’re going. 

Please come and visit us at www.90secondsofreal.wordpress.com.  I will be posting there on Thursdays.  We’ve got three videos up with an expected four more this week as we get into the swing of it and get back into a routine after the holidays! 

You can subscribe to us (and to this blog if you’re not already), so you get an email when a new video is posted and we hope you participate with us in the comment section!

Christmas is OVER!!!

That’s right, I said it!  Christmas is over!  It has to be!  I have a rash on the palm of my right hand from eating so much ‘junk’ over the last two weeks! I’ve always been able to tell if I’ve been a bit to free and easy with the ‘food fun’ because my skin protests a bit… Last night I found water blisters on the inside of my palm, which is the most extreme my skin has ever protested.

How did I get there?

Lets see…  Starting on Dec 13th and going until December 26th (read this list remembering that I am for the most part a strict W30er)

3 glasses of rose, 3 quiches, two macarons and a giant wedge of brie at a Christmas party.

Perogies, Caeser, creme caramel, brownies, cream puffs, some sort of egg/cheese thing wrapped in a tortilla for our Birthday Brunch

Deep fried chicken wings and caeser salad for our work Christmas lunch

Approximately half the world’s supply of Purdy’s caramels and other assorted chocolates, a VERY salty burger (no bun) with some sort of peanut butter sauce, one ceaser, one vodka soda and chocolate peanut butter ice cream for my birthday.

Japadog, Iraqi dinner, carrot cake, cheese cake, Coconut Milk London Fog (carrageenan) for 2nd Birthday Dinner.

Breakfast wrap with cheese and flour tortilla, another Coconut London Fog, two truffle things, FiveGuys Burger and the rest of the carrot cake for Snow Day.

*** I should mention here that by Friday at 10am I started to get a pretty killer headache and by 10pm, I was in a full blown migraine situation that lasted until Saturday night.  So I was pretty good Sunday and Monday…except for eating what can only be described as all the Lindt balls in the whole world***

Turkey dinner with floured gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, parsnips with cream cheese, more lindt truffles, chocolate covered almonds, some sort of cheese/dairy cocktail dip, salami, butter tarts, some sort of mint pudding and a lot of wine… that was Christmas Eve.

Bailey’s spiked coffee (2), chocolate almonds, butter tarts, turkey dinner with cheese/cream mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce (sugar), floured gravy, short bread cookies and a lot of wine.  That was Christmas Day.

Crackers, cocktail dip, a LOT of those puffy cheesies, a lot of wine, turkey dinner with floured gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, three different kinds of Christnas pudding covered in three different kinds of sugar based sauce, more of those puffy cheesies things.  That was boxing day.

Somewhere in there I also consumed fudge, ice cream and eggnog.  IT’s no damn wonder that I am MISERABLE right now and have started my January Whole30 five days ahead of time.

I will say tho that I appreciated every bit of ‘food fun’ that I participated in. It is certainly not the norm for me and aside from the disgusting list above, there were some good choices, some ground-standing and some healthy options involved,  If life is about balance, then I got my fill of the fun side for the whole rest of the year!

If anyone is joining me in feeling like they had their ‘food fun’ but now feel like it’s in everyone’s best interest to get back to basics, why wait for January 1!!  Nothing magical happens on the 1st of January.  You make your own magic every time you decide to make a good choice.

Now, bring on the herbal tea! Gotta wash some of the toxins out!

Two Birthday Letters

On a separate blog I share with my sister, we both wrote a Birthday Post… and I’ve copied them here for you!

From Shanny

On this, the eve of our 35th birthday, while I sit here sipping a peppermint & white chocolate tea, I wanted to remind our future selves of some of the lessons we’ve learned in the past 34 years.

Things will always work themselves out, whether you can visualize it at the moment or not.  Just take a step back, breathe, do nothing and wait.  Wait and watch for direction.  It’ll come.

You’ll never be given more than you can handle and you can always handle more than you think you can.

The greatest pleasures in life are simple.  Quiet.  Spontaneous.  Brief.  They are there in the everyday; in a cup of tea or a walk in the sun, in a good book or a soft kiss.  Notice them, they are what make your life special.

The more you focus on the negative, the more the negative will focus on you.  Be wary of getting sucked into gossip or venting.  If the world is handing you rusty nails every day, ask yourself who the common denominator is and then change your attitude.  You’ll be amazed how much better it can get when nothing actually changes.

Ask for help when you need it.  Don’t try to save the world just so you can say you did it all by yourself.  No one is impressed by that, people actually want to help you.

Remember that everything changes. Don’t get complacent and don’t take anything for granted.  Tragedy or joy can strike at a moment’s notice.

Get some exercise.  Take your vitamins.  Eat real food.  Enjoy the occasional treat.

Be skeptical of things that sound too good to be true, chances are, someone is preying on you.  Nothing is free and nobody gives anything away for nothing.

Save money.  You will need it down the road.

Get your hair cut, do your nails, wax your whatevers.  It feels good to look good and you work hard and enjoy a little pampering.  A bit of the money you save above can sometimes buy you a little relaxation if you find yourself overly put upon!

Sometimes you don’t need to cook a full meal, you won’t die.  If you’re maxed or stressed or tired or pressed for time, eat an apple and a hard-boiled egg and move along.

If you’re tired, go to bed.  But remember that bed is for rest and sleep and recharging.  It is not a place to hide from life or coddle your sorrows.  Get up.  Get dressed.  Get outside.

Life happens outside.  Flocks of birds overhead, spring flowers, fresh air, softly falling snow.  Fallen leaves and cut grass and growing trees.  We were meant to live outside so get out there and experience the joy of being a living, breathing part of what God created.

Speak kindly to yourself because if you don’t, others won’t.  The way you treat yourself is how others will learn to treat you.  Stand up for yourself and your values and beliefs. 

Never sacrifice your own happiness or comfort for someone else’s.  In a good relationship, romantic or friend, your needs are just as important as theirs.

I’m sure there are many other lessons we’ve learned over the years, these are the ones that I think are some of the most valuable for living a healthy, balanced life.  Feel free to share any of your life lessons in the comments.

Here’s to another 35 years of learning, growing, failing and trying again!  I love you, Sister!

And here’s mine:

Here on the eve of my 35th birthday, I can’t help but think back to the years that came before to get me to where I am. I won’t go into the details of all that went on prior… but I will tell you what my reminiscing has made me thankful for and just how happy I am! 

I’ve said for months now that this is the first birthday in as long as I can remember (or choose to remember) that I am genuinely happy.  I feel good about my mind and my soul and my body took the hint that we are in a good place and I’m happy with where it is too!

I am happy that I can declare in my outside voice that tomorrow is my birthday and that I am 35! I have no hangup about telling people my real age, because I earned every damn year! 

And I know that I wouldn’t be half as happy as I am without knowing that my sister… the other half of my soul is also in a great place! 

We have never really been on converging paths of light and happiness in our adulthood.  We’ve gone so far as to wonder separately if it’s even possible for the two of us to be happy and healthy at the same time, or if that would be some sort of affront to the universe.  We can both say without a shadow of a doubt that it is not only possible but it is reality for us this year and for both of our futures going forward. 

I am thankful for the true blessing that only another twin can understand.  I never have to go through anything in my life alone and while that means that the hard times are less difficult, it also means that the times for celebration are twice as wonderful and twice as filled with joy.  And that means that turning 35 is twice as sweet as it would normally be.  Because I get to celebrate for me and the added joy of celebrating for her! 

Happy birthday Sister!  I love you!