Keep it healthy and try going vertical


I will preface this post by stating, I am 49 yrs old. (WOW! Hold on… when I say it aloud it makes me a bit dizzy!) I am sharing that information because if you choose to read on, it impacts the content. I am not 20 or 30 where one’s metabolism is higher and exercise comes a bit easier… ok, now continue…

Healthier living can sometimes lead to the domino effect… one healthy swap of double veggie instead of fries with the meal is an excellent example. Water or club soda instead of regular soda or even worse, diet soda, just a few times a day has a huge impact on your sugar, calorie, and chemical intake.

At first you may think, “it’s just one meal, seriously how much can that impact my weight or attitude toward eating and food?” but it does. Your body does not want to be filled with chemicals (yes you are taking in chemicals daily, stop it!) or too much food. It was built to run at an optimum weight with a specific fuel intake, just as any amazing machine or engine does. Your automobile will run much better on high octane fuel than the very low octane fuel option. It will take several tankfuls to notice but it does indeed happen. The same idea can be said for your body. Fueling it with ‘high octane’ and healthy choice foods will allow it to run more effectively and more efficiently.

One of my mantras — if I don’t buy it, I won’t eat it. Trust me when I say this wasn’t easy for me either. Years ago I would stand in the cookie aisle and just stare at the Oreos (or ice cream pie) remembering their chocolatey goodness and devouring half a package without much thought (not in the aisle at the store, although the thought had occurred to me on more than one occasion). Present day, if I had one, it one be just that, just one. I don’t miss them and they are much too sweet. But how did I stop eating them? I stopped buying them; what a concept! What quenches my desire for chocolate these days without eating three pounds of it? Dark chocolate; not the high sugar content dark chocolate (typically distributed in the US) but something along the lines of Lindt chocolate. One or two bites and it satisfies the craving without packing on the high doses of poorly constructed chocolate.

As one small healthy choice will lead to another… you may become more aware of what you eat, how you feel, and take a second look at unhealthy foods and the price tag that comes with it. “Do I want to trade that delicious spinach/cheese/artichoke dip for an extra 2 miles walk?” “Do I really need 3 glasses of wine instead of 2? Tastes delicious now but my sleep will pay dearly for it”… It takes 3500 calories to burn off one pound of weight. EEK! Food will slowly start to become equated with exercise or other trade-offs without much forethought with that figure lingering in your head.

A body in motion stays in motion. I have started to be much more consistent with exercise this last month or so and in doing so I found it somewhat shocking that after a workout, even though I was exhausted, an hour later I didn’t want to just sit down, I wanted to keep moving in some way. I wouldn’t categorize it as having ‘more’ energy as some people do, but I did recognize that I didn’t want to just sit and watch television. It usually ended with the thought of, well guess I will do some chores that I absolutely hate (scrubbing the bathtub is always last on the list). This didn’t happen at first. At first all I wanted was to lay down, catch my breath, pray I would not be too sore to move the next day, and ultimately nap. It was a solid week and a half of exercising before I felt comfortable with it and then moved onto the ‘staying in motion’ feeling.

Looking forward to the ‘sore’. I have had to ramp up my workouts just so I can get that ‘sore’ feeling back. A feeling of- I’m not sure if I can walk let alone hold a spoon- may be alarming at first, but then I started looking forward to it because I knew it found a new muscle group that was in hiding. Simply using the treadmill (notice I didn’t say running, because I hate running, all I do is a fast paced walk and use the incline for more calorie burn), using the stair climber, or the yoga sessions plateaued and I needed to tweak it up. I needed to know I was testing and pushing my body to a different level. I didn’t want anything too extreme (I am looking at you CrossFit) but something to change things up to my weekly routine.

If you are already an avid fan of exercise, try something new. Bring your workout vertical! So here is your laugh of the day, pole exercise. It is not dancing, there are no sexy moves, it is using the pole as an instrument against your body and gravity to pull yourself vertical or push yourself horizontal against the pole. Not many forms of exercise will have you using a vertical plane and a multitude of different muscle groups, especially the tiny ones you didn’t know you had. Running, planking, weight training, all great exercise but they continue to use the typical horizontal plane that we all exist on. Start thinking pole exercise and aerial silks to change things up. Adding the new dimension of vertical against gravity in addition to requiring the extra balance (and being off the ground) is a whole new challenge you will welcome to your exercise routine.


A better night sleep. Who doesn’t want that? Once you take that first step to a healthier you, sleeping through the night can be a long lost welcomed friend. Walk up and down the stairs of your house a few times, around your house or yard, up and down the street, start small so you don’t become overwhelmed and give up with an unattainable goal. Don’t be afraid to push yourself that extra 5 steps because they will add up quickly and before you know it, you will want more; one step more is one step more.

Challenge yourself, not against others. Coming in last place means you were in the race! (metaphorically speaking) Just keep moving, that is the key to all this. The eating healthy and constant moving works hand in hand. You will find you won’t want to do just one or the other, they actually feed off each another and it becomes effortless; just be patient, give it time.

It is not easy, that is a given, but the rewards are huge. Will you live forever? Nope. But for those remaining years, you will definitely feel much better and more than likely, cut down on many diseases and health problems by doing so. The endorphins will rise to keep you feeling happier and make the tough times not so tough.

Keeping weight off is much easier than losing it. If this old body can do it, I know YOU can too!

I am grateful for…

A very intelligent, wise, and overflowing with love individual named Patreeko inspired me to write about what I am grateful for (or at least the short version/part I).

Q – Hiding in the jungle

Without putting a concrete order to the list, let’s start with the parents. Without knowing their background, meeting them for the first time you would think they were on top of the world (but one they worked very hard to obtain). Very meager childhoods did not dissuade them from striving to meet their full potential. They enjoyed everything life had to offer. Even when faced with working three jobs to own his own home and put food on the table for a family of six, my father did not give up and could see the bigger picture. A college degree became very important in the working world if you wanted to move on up and even though my mom was a full time housewife, he pushed her toward the same (as they would say, knowledge is something that no one can take from you). He always maintained a beautiful garden, the envy of all the neighborhood. Growing each plant by seedling, they flourished, spread, and brought amazing colors to all who went by.

Graduating with a high honors Bachelor’s degree to teach, was the obvious choice for my mother. She had so much to offer young people that was not offered in school books. Life is not all black and white (I am looking at you Math) but having a deep passion, appreciating, understanding, and acknowledging the utmost importance of music, art, dance, languages, cultures, travel… it is all related and connected to the ‘black and white’ and if you don’t know and understand these pieces to the puzzle of life, than you are not getting the whole picture, and that’s just sad. She was a docent at a very prestigious art museum and would give tours every Sunday. With a very young me in tow, I learned more about the subtleties of color and symbolism in art than any six year old needs. So yes, very grateful for their wisdom, their commonsense, their teaching me (and my daughter) about the bigger things in life and how to push through, focus, understand, analyze, problem solve, and keep it moving, keep it positive, the ‘you got this’ attitude.

Next up, the kid, or Goose as she is known in this blog. Through no fault of her own, she has pushed me to become a better person. One with more patience and understanding (although she may not agree with that statement but it is on-going and always working on it), one that makes me look deeper into my own self to do what is right and not what is easy, to try my best to be a good role model, to be less selfish, to enjoy what life has to offer us, and at many times, make our own fun. She is the bright ball of smiles and laughter you would expect any child to be and even to this day, her naivety is a breath of fresh air in this sullied society. Our time together has been unmatched…all the day trips, international vacations, daily up and downs…I wouldn’t change any of it. She has always had the gift of giving and has found a way to bring her sunshine to those that may not have it. She currently works as a caregiver (while working on her nursing degree) for the elderly and while not all are homebound and alone, she offers companionship and many laughs for them and their family members. Her patients are very lucky to have someone who loves to assist and support them as much as she does, for growing old can be a very lonely and scary process these days. She is simply an amazing person that has so much to offer, on so many levels, to so many people.

I am very grateful for The Q – can’t talk about her and you can’t make me. But she most definitely was my world.

I use the word ‘friend’ sparingly because there are very few people who actually can be honored by it. In today’s world it is overused and tainted. Very few people who will drop everything and be there for you when you need it, no questions asked, no judgement given, and not ‘yes’ you to death but one that will tell the truth for your own good, no matter how much it hurts and want the same in return. I have had the privilege of befriending Brienne (like Brie cheese and then N), “DubaSue” and her dolphin move, one that shall remain anonymous, and Rebecca (aka Beth to her family, she is Rebecca to me). Each one of them has been a part of my life for well over 15 years and although we don’t get to see one another or talk as often as we would like, truth is, I know I could meet up at any given point and carry on as if no time had passed, just a few more gray hairs to count the years since we last met.

To end this ‘Part I’ of sorts I will say, I am very grateful for my health. I thank God every night for my health; mental, physical, and emotional. It does need a little tweaking here and there. I am now in the battle of the bulge mode; maintaining what others may consider to be a ‘normal’ weight but it bugs the heck out of me. If I don’t contain it now, it will only become an issue later one. Being middle aged brings on a plethora of health issues and thus far (knock on wood) I have been blessed with a body that requires little to no maintenance; no medication, no surgeries, no therapy…yes very blessed and it does not go without thanks.

Days go by quickly and it is very important to take the time to remember what we are grateful for, even if it is not a list of things, but merely one or two (this sounds corny but every day I thank the man out loud, that invented indoor plumbing and the hot shower-that guy rocks!).

Look hard, find that thing you are grateful for today, big or small…embrace it and be grateful for it, today and every day.


Happiness is a dirty smiling face

In response to today’s prompt question, this is what happiness means to me:

???????????????????????????????They say the first thing that pops into your head is usually the correct answer and this was it.             Happiness is a dirty smiling face.

One of the many adventures Goose and I have had together, destination: Aruba. The endeavor that was in store for us on this particular day involved several broken down ATVs, a swim in the Natural Pool, stepping on a sea urchin (and therefore having them stick 4 inches out of her foot), and the guide forgetting his wallet at the beach and having to wait until dusk until he arrived back to guide us to the garage. Although Goose was in pain from the sea urchin, she didn’t complain, still drove the ATV back, and then dealt with the ER wait and doctor’s remedy of, ‘sorry there is nothing we can do, it has to work itself out’….

Yup she is a trooper, amazing, my daughter, my Goose, and my travel partner until the end.

Happiness is indeed a dirty smiling face….through the good times and bad….love you more


I have to wait my turn to pee


In my house there were two adults and four children, all on the same floor, all sharing the same bathroom. Those were the days right? One person in the shower, one brushing his teeth and one having to pee; everyone minding their own business and keeping on schedule….nothing to see here, just keep moving.

My bedroom was only three short steps away from the bathroom but during the night it seemed like a dark wooded scene from Sleepy Hollow with miles before I found a place to assist me in my quest for relief.

As I stood in my doorway, I could feel the fear of anxiety fill me. Darkness. Who knows what lurks in the darkness. It can’t be seen and the thought of the unknown is usually more stressful.  I had little to say in the matter for Nature was calling but hated to leave the safety of my bedroom. So as I stood there contemplating my situation, I would picture ghosts passing in front of me like cars and I was the pedestrian waiting for the crosswalk sign to light up indicating my turn; only then would I take those quick steps into the bathroom. True story.

I think that was my coping device to handle my fear of the dark. If I had to wait for the coast to clear the ghosts would abide and let me into the lane when I got the green light without incident; that’s how the adults typically do it when they drive anyway….

In reply to the Daily Post nudge… #5 your childhood fear


Love is in the air and in your soul

loveheart“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” – Judy Garland

After all it is Valentine’s Day so why not throw a little love out there. Even if you are not in a relationship at the moment, some point in your life you probably could relate to what Ms. Garland had to say.

That moment…that fleeting moment of a whisper or kiss truly does stir in your core and not even Father Time can erase that feeling. All you have to do is close your eyes and it comes flooding back to you, it may even propel you into another dimension (at least it seems that way) it is just that powerful.

There are so many layers to love it cannot be broken down, sorted out, or analyzed.

Maybe that is why it never leaves us, even when our heart is broken, there is still a sliver of it left behind.


(picture credit:

Who makes it happen? YOU make it happen…

Who makes it happen? YOU make it happen.

Guilty pleasure: The movie Working Girl is set in the 80’s, big hair, nylons-ankle-socks-sneakers, very heavy on the eye makeup, thick NY accent, and chunky jewelry. It doesn’t get much tackier but for some reason I fell in love with this movie. A very young cast of Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver (and a small part for  the up and coming Alec Baldwin!)

Anyway, the gist of the movie is that a young woman is a secretary with great ideas but because of the man’s world that she lives in, no one will take her ideas seriously so she bends the rules in order to advance her career.

It is always a good reminder to be told that ‘YOU make it happen’.

Example A. Prince Charming is not going to get a flat tire in front of your house, knock on your door to call AAA, and fall madly in love with you.  It didn’t happen back in the day and it won’t happen now; he has a cell phone to make the call.

Example B. You will not be in a club holding some stranger’s ponytail while she ‘sings’ into the ceramic bowl, only to find out she is a multi-millionaire and wants to hand you a check because you saved her from an embarrassing situation.

Example C. Chances of you sitting in the rail station swearing at your computer only to have Bill Gates approach you to fix the issue and offer you a job for six figures anyway is less than zero. (can I state a negative number here?)

You get the idea. YOU make it happen. Stop making excuses! Take a chance! Be uncomfortable and step out of that box. Whatever it is in this life, you have to take steps to make it materialize. A seed does not grow without water and sunlight… what makes you think you can sit back and just exist until someone decides to come along and water you? (figure of speech….stay with me…)

You have to network and go after that job, put yourself out there to find a date to share all the memories with, sign up at the local college and get that degree that has been put off for 15 years… YOU have to take that first step and make it happen. It doesn’t fall into your lap, no wishing or praying will make it magically appear, it is all up to you. You have more strength inside of you than you think.

No one said it would be easy, but easy is boring.. and no one likes boring.

In response to the Daily Prompt: Silver Screen

Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

I alone

I alone love you

I alone tempt you

I alone love you

Fear is not the end of this

From the moment I heard Ed Kowalczyk sing these intense lyrics, I was just blown away. My interpretation is that fear is not the end of this (life implied) but fear can most definitely paralyze you and as many cultures and religions will tell you, death is only the beginning.

Although money is required for existence, love truly is the power behind all that we are. It guides us to support others, to have the strength to move forward when it seems all is lost, it is found in hope, and trust, and would have us throw ourselves in front of a train if it meant saving the ones that we love most from getting hurt. Hmm I guess I have to add that love is also blinding, both in a good and bad way.

“The greatest teachers will not hesitate to leave you there by yourself chained to fate” = what better way to make ourselves stronger than by the strength in love and in ourselves. Who makes it happen? You make it happen. If you decide to give up, the situation hasn’t changed, it is still there taunting you, poking you with a stick until you get back up and knock it on its butt. So you can’t give up, you just can’t….

This song ebbs and flows in a very powerful way and bring me through a series of emotions; love, a smidge of sadness, longing, but in the end, I always seem to feel more powerful and resilient and more courageous for hearing it.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Music – – As a writer I have many inspiration cues.  A smell, a color, a photo from the past can all be a good launching place to write from.  But today I want you to think about music as your guide.  Let it flow and take you somewhere else today as you dance with your fingertips and write from your soul.

Hurry up already

She was very anxious, to the point of losing sleep.

Why hadn’t she received the phone call? Was it something she said? Did the meeting not go well?

She answered all the questions in detail and with a smile that even shown in her eyes. She was confident but not conceited and more than qualified for the position. There did not seem to be any holes in the conversation; everything flowed well and as she glanced around the room, noticed a smirk here and there from her light hearted jokes.

But the call! Where was the call to change her life? To catapult her to the next level in her career? To somewhat secure her future and retirement (because nothing is 100%)!

The anxiety was starting to seep into her daily life and affect others. The short snappy answers, the quick to be defensive for no reason…. When will the phone ring with the offer! How much more of this can she possibly take?!! ARGH!!….. ring ring…. And all was right in the world……


Easy Fix

Write a post about any topic you wish, but make sure it ends with “And all was right in the world.”