Archive for March, 2013

March 29, 2013

Breaking the post-baby blues

ImageAs I’ve previously stated, I gained a decent amount of weight when I was pregnant with my daughter.  My doctor cleared me to start working out 6 weeks after I gave birth to Landry. As much as I was determined to get back into shape the thought of leaving my newborn, even for an hour, was SO hard for me. However, it was necessary. I’m lucky enough to have AMAZING friends and family who stepped in to make sure that I got out of the house, back into civilization, and back to feeling like myself. Without their encouragement and support, I would not have done it alone.  Accepting the offers of support from your friends and family during this time is so important!

One of my friends, Ashleigh, had been going to a boot camp in-town named Boot camp Dallas. She persuaded me to start this 6 week camp with her.  Then my other friend, Taylor, stepped in and offered to stay with Landry, when my husband couldn’t, so I could start working out. I don’t know what I would have done without my friends and family through this transition period in my life. Long story short, accept your friends offers of support, it was my saving grace.  .

After I made it to my first boot camp and I was hooked.  It was just what I needed to jumpstart my system again. I had found a great boot camp, was going with one of my best friends, and I had an amazing instructor (who is now still one of my best friends). It was a win, win, win!  I even ended up being the biggest loser in my camp. Taking these few hours a week for myself was key in getting back to feeling like myself again.

Once you accept the support from your friends or family, there are many choices on which exercise method to use to get back in shape. However, I’m sold on jumpstarting your system with a great boot camp. Here’s why:Image

Support and accountability– Much like any program or association, when people are all going through the same thing together a common bond is formed. Boot Camp is no different and you will likely form new friends within your group. This helps you stick with your workout program and provides you with instant accountability partners. The boot camp I did has as 95% retention rate, so a lot of the participants are returning campers and can help encourage and provide guidance to a new enrollee. Everyone is working together to help keep each other on target.

Fast Results– The mix of strength training and cardiovascular training is called cross training. It’s been shown to be a great method to build lean tissue, burn fat and provide all round fitness for day to day life. In a boot camp, you are always doing new workouts and drills that help push your body to new limits.

Getting outside- You don’t have to go into a smelly gym with fluorescent lights. Put on your sunscreen, get outside, and get some vitamin D! Studies show that people who are exposed to regular amounts of sunlight do not need vitamin D supplements because sunlight promotes sufficient vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Studies also have shown that vitamin D plays a crucial role in strengthening bones, fighting depression, boosting immunity and potentially even speeds up the body’s ability to lose weight.

Helps you push yourself– At the beginning of most boot camps, they take your measurements and weight. It is really motivating to see your hard work pay off by the end of the camp when you have lost inches.  Most people rarely push themselves as hard as an exercise professional will, especially when you’re in a group setting.

Whatever your workout is, take your friend and family support and get moving! Take baby steps to getting back into the real world and feeling like yourself again.  You can do it and you will feel like yourself again in no time!

If you are wondering what boot camp I did it was Boot camp Dallas. I am a huge fan of this boot camp. Boot camp Dallas consists of running, bleachers, plyometric drills, high intensity training, weights and core work. The owner and instructor is Jovone Kordoban, she started one of the first boot camps in Dallas and has a very high client retention rate because of the great results her members achieve. Her camp is held at Jesuit high school. If you want more information you contact Jovone at bootcampdallas@aol.com.

Have a great weekend and love yourself to a healthy lifestyle-

Loren Silas

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March 28, 2013

You are Never to Old to Follow Your Dreams

Recently I came across a blog on the Huffington Post Healthy Living section written by a woman named Phyllis Sues. Phyllis will be 90 years old in April. In her blog, she talks about her life and all the things she has done to stay vibrant and healthy throughout the years. She started a fashion label at 50, became a musician and learned Italian and French in her 70s, took tango and trapeze at 80 and walked into her first yoga class at 85. After reading her blog I was immediately inspired and hit with the realization that life has just begun! You see I grew up in a household run by a single mom with two daughters to care for. As I look back I’m not sure how she did it. We always had a roof over our heads and plenty to eat but not a lot in the way of extras. As I came became a young adult I always felt like I was behind everyone else, like everyone knew much more than I did and had experienced much more than I had. I felt like I was always trying to catch up or that I was too old and I had missed the boat on so many things!

Boy, was I  wrong!!! My thoughts couldn’t have been farther from the truth! I recognize now that my passion to learn and try new things has kept me feeling and thinking young.

I had my daughter at 35 and that led me to try Pilates.  Through Pilates I discovered health, fitness and nutrition.  On my journey to becoming a Pilates instructor, I was led to the Healthy Housewives and through this medium I get to share health and nutrition tips with a large audience through my blogs and Face Book page.  This all happened at 40!

 

I feel fresh and renewed everyday and am in the best shape of my life, mentally, physically and spiritualy.  And according to Phyllis, it only keeps getting better all the way to 90! I’m so excited about all thats out there to discover and dreams to realize.

When I started my Pilates certification, I told many friends and family members that I wanted to open my own studio.  Yesterday I signed my lease! I’m thrilled to go through this experience and see what new doors open on this journey!

So, if you think you’re old, think again!

 

KathyMadKat

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phyllis-sues-/aging-gracefully-phyllis-sues-yoga-tango_b_2878155.html?utm_hp_ref=aging#slide=1261469

 

March 27, 2013

Celebrate Pause Appreciation Day

Take deep breath in...c'mon, a little more, and breathe out...ahhh

Take deep breath in…c’mon, a little more, and breathe out…ahhh

I’ve noticed an increased fatigue feeling in some of my friends the past few weeks, and most would blame allergies, the weather changes, and other uncontrollable elements. Despite the aggressive schedules and numerous projects most have on their plates, no one admits the fast-paced lifestyle is the culprit. Lately, I’ve wondered how many people fuel their days from a natural zest for life and energy, excitement for what their daily work happens to be, and how many people are fueled by synthetic energy sources (read: caffeine!)

The harried cat is just hilarious! Don't we all feel like this some days? (I do. ha ha...)


The harried cat is just hilarious! Don’t we all feel like this some days? (I do. ha ha…)

I recall a day, two years ago, that I received a huge lesson in life. Despite my focus on getting adequate nutrition, activity, and leading a decently healthy lifestyle, I was exhausted—physically, mentally, emotionally. Each moment, I was on the fine line of losing it, lashing out, or giving up at any minute. Everything was a chore. Exhaustion was the new normal. Considering I took pretty good care of myself, I was confused by the overwhelming tiredness. I compared my obligations to some folks around me, and noticed that busy-ness was all around me. However, nobody else was walking through their days at a zombie-like pace, desperate for a nap.

Do you feel like a zombie going from day to day?

Do you feel like a zombie going from day to day?

The day I found myself getting droopy-eyed in an important meeting with some top leaders, and one of my colleagues nudged me to wake up, I called for an appointment with my primary care physician. A little embarrassed, I excused myself from the meeting and went home–to nap. At the doctor’s appointment, vitals were checked, blood was drawn, and a urine sample was provided. As I waited to be seen by the doctor, I perused a magazine article titled: Is Your Body Clock Pointing South? It was a story about how mothers were torn between having another child and pursing balance, yet they feared running out of time to have more children. As I read through the different women’s stories, I became increasingly irritated that I was sitting at my doctor’s office because I was tired. With no children of my own, I thought surely I should have a better balance than these moms do. As I read through their stories, I empathized with confessions of wanting to hide in the car or a closet for five minutes of solitude. I understood the frustration of not having morning coffee without someone interrupting with something they need. I shared their annoyance of social media because now there are more ways for people to interrupt the precious silence of our days–dinner times, family times, commutes.

Obligations are non-stop. Don't forget to look up and look out often!

Obligations are non-stop. Don’t forget to look up and look out often!

The doctor came in and asked me what was wrong. Hmm, how to answer… “can you be more specific?” I finally confessed that I couldn’t seem to shake a feeling of lethargy lately and that there was no real reason for it. We went through my daily obligations, all which seemed normal for a 32-year old working wife and step-mom. “Is it possible you have too much on your plate?” I thought to myself, no, but didn’t audibly answer right away. Rather, I asked, “how much is too much? She said it’s different for everyone, and that once a person starts to constantly feel physical remnants of their day in the forms of tension, headaches, sleepiness, or irritability, a person may be tapping their stress threshold.

I appreciate my doctor for not going down the road of, “let’s find a way to de-stress more often.” Rather, she looked at me and asked, do you ever take pauses? The confused look on my face gave her permission to explain further that everyone should be taking one-minute pauses throughout their day. These should be taken often and come in many forms. Closing your eyes and picturing a small island is a great pause. Try some of these other pauses throughout your day.

I LOVE this runner's prayer (and photo.) I use it before distance races.


I LOVE this runner’s prayer (and photo.) I use it before distance races.

After a week of implementing minute pauses throughout my day, I had new pep in my step and zest in my day. What a comfort to know we don’t have to change anything drastically or quit something we love. The answer isn’t STOP. We simply need to push the pause button more often.

At the lake with my friends enjoying nature and their company!

At the lake with my friends enjoying nature and their company!

Here are my suggestions for adding pauses to your hurried days. I hope you’ll consider prioritizing a healthy pause in your day from time-to-time. After all, who wants to sit in the doctor’s office anyway? And, by the way… you don’t have time for that!

Getting away is wonderful, but even if you can't, create a stay-cation right where you are. Staring at waves clears the mind of all clutter!

Getting away is wonderful, but even if you can’t, create a stay-cation right where you are. Staring at waves clears the mind of all clutter!

1. Drink morning coffee out of a real ceramic coffee mug and pretend you’re in Paris. Have a baguette!

2. Close your eyes and imagine yourself getting cheers and high fives. Yeah!

3. Rub your temples with Aromatherapy oils. Peppermint and Lavender are favorites of mine. You’re at the spa now… put some lemon or cucumber in that glass of water on your desk.

4. Park far away from a destination and casually walk for a minute, alone, with your thoughts. What the heck… break out in a full-on hum.

5. Stretch–anywhere appropriate–for a minute. Hide in an empty conference room if you have to.

6. Sing a song out loud in your car; sing along to the radio and pretend you’re on stage in front of thousands of fans.

7. Pray or recite blessings

8. Write a thank you note to someone and deliver it or send it in the mail.

9. Draw or color—design a dress or an outfit you dream up.

10. Work on your breathing; deep, slow breaths. Imagine you’re pushing out negative with each breath, and inhaling only positive, affirming courage.

My favorite place to take a pause is with my husband, family, and/or friends on one of our boats--one at the hometown lake and the other in Port Aransas, Texas.

My favorite place to take a pause is with my husband, family, and/or friends on one of our boats–one at the hometown lake and the other in Port Aransas, Texas.

Big Hugs,

Lacey Pruett

www.fitandfunlifestyle.com

March 25, 2013

What a woman should look like…..

So, I have learned to grow very thick skin since I entered the fitness world and the world of social media. You may be wondering why…and the answer is pretty simple…MEAN PEOPLE SUCK! 

According to the people on social media who hide behind their anime profile picture, women should not have muscles. Or abs. Or workout often. Or eat healthy. Or do anything but have children, have curves, and hips, and thighs, and eat and cook solid good down home food!

So, what is the lesson here? The lesson is that there is no one way a woman should look. A woman, or man for that matter, can be or do anything they want to….and for me, that happens to include a training regimen that leaves me with a six pack. Does this make me any less of a woman? Does it revoke my ability to wear a dress? Of course not. 

I want you to look in the mirror every day and love yourself. I want you to look in the mirror and think, I am beautiful, and smart, and talented. I want you to be able to brush off anyone who tries to bring you down, because you are confident enough in your own skin to know that anything negative anyone has to say to you simply isn’t true. 

I want you to know that one size does not fit all and that you don’t have to look like me, or any of the other Healthy Housewives. Our role is simply to inspire you and motivate you to be the best person you can be inside and out. We want to share with you what works for us in hopes that you will find something that works for you. 

So, what should a woman look like? 

Whatever you see in the mirror each day with love in your heart. Image

March 25, 2013

Quick and Dirty Workout

eat clean and train dirty

Happy Monday! It’s Brooke here. We all have our plans for eating clean, working out, living mindfully, and striving for a better life. Whether we commit to these ideals on January 1 or the first of every month (“Here we go again. I’m going to take better care of myself . . . NOW!”), leading a fit and happy life is something we strive for every day. Some days come together beautifully, and other days are just more challenging. I love hitting the gym after work, when my schedules and deadlines are behind me. My workouts are big stress relievers, mainly because I’m forced to be physically present, to get out of my crazy, busy mind, where I spend way too much of my time. Also, it’s hard to be anxious about much when Pit Bull is blaring through my ear buds J I go in every day with my plan written out, and all I have to do is GO! Even now, I can’t wait . . . tick, tock!

never enough time

Every now and then, LIFE comes along and shoves my best-laid plans aside, and I can’t make it to the gym. Here’s where having your mind right really kicks in. When your mind is aligned with your goals, you will not accept excuses from yourself or others that don’t support those goals. You are forced to be creative and find other ways to get your results.

no excuses

Only have 30 minutes? Then you have time for a HIIT-inspired workout right in the middle of your floor. If you have dumbbells, even better. If not, just skip those exercises. If you are really pressed for time, just run through the entire workout once. You still get to check “work out” off your list. Here’s one of my favorite routines in a pinch. Don’t forget a soft towel or mat and some water!

Quick and Dirty Workout

Warm Up

  • High knees (30 seconds)
  • Butt kicks (30 seconds)
  • Plyo prisoner jumping jacks (30 seconds)

Brief Stretch

  • Standing quad stretch
  • Standing toe touch (hamstring stretch)
  • Dynamic arms swings across the body (arms crossing)
  • Bicep stretch
  • Triceps stretch
  • Chest stretch (behind your back, clasp one wrist with the other hand, straighten your arms, then raise straight arms up while keeping back straight)

Upper Body (Go through the circuit from top to bottom, then repeat the circuit if you have time)

  • Push-ups (1 set: 20 reps–do as many standard push-ups as you can, then modify to knees if needed)
  • Dumbbell (DB) shoulder press (1st set: 12-15 reps; 2nd set: 8-10 reps)
  • DB front and lateral raise—compound movement (1st set: 10-12 reps; 2nd set: 8-10 reps)
  • DB bicep curls (1st set: 10-12 reps; 2nd set: 8-10 reps)
  • DB overhead triceps extension: (1st set: 10-12 reps; 2nd set: 8-10 reps)

Lower Body (Go through the circuit from top to bottom, then repeat the circuit if you have time)

  • Body-weight squats (25 reps, quick and deep)
  • Walking lunges (10 reps, alternating legs for 20 total)
  • DB plie squats (20 reps)—Bonus: while still in squat, do 15-20 calf raises
  • Jumping lunges (10 reps, alternating legs for 20 total)
  • DB calf raises in 3 directions (1st: toes turned out, 2nd: toes straight forward, 3rd: toes turned in—10 reps in each direction for 30 total)
  • Standing high kickback (15-20 reps on one leg, then switch)

 

Glute Blaster (If you have time, go through the circuit twice—but who wouldn’t make time for their rear? Not this girl!)

Kneeling on all fours on the towel or mat:

  • Straight leg lift (15 reps on one leg, then switch)
  • Donkey  kick (draw in knee to chest, then kick upward over back, keeping back and hips neutral—15 reps on one leg, then switch)
  • Diagonal leg lift (point left leg and toe to right floor, then “draw” diagonal line in the air across to top left–15 reps on one leg, then switch)
  • Fire hydrants (15 reps on one leg, then switch)

When I’m done, I stretch everything, especially my glutes, quads, and calves. They get the brunt of my work in my quest to be a fit and curvy girl. Each day is another chance for you to shine, so bring it!!

XO, Brooke

March 24, 2013

HEALTHY HOUSEWIVES LEAN LEG WORKOUT

Sexy lean legs for summer

Sexy lean legs for summer

The weather is warming up and that means shorts and bikini’s! Time to bare your body for the spring and summer fashion. So, how do you get ready for summer? By working out of course! This is one of my favorite leg workouts that target’s all the muscle groups of the legs. It is a strength and cardio workout combined to get those lean legs that you have always wanted. You will burn fat and sculpt your legs at the same time.

4 sets/10 reps on the around the world lunges/1 minute each side for around the world on the treadmill

Around the world lunges (10 reps each side) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD5VJEsIrTQ
2 minutes jump rope
Around the world on the treadmill (1 minute each side) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRpYW2hNBOQ
2 minutes jump rope
Repeat from the top until you have completed 4 sets

Fit tip: You can always add dumbbells to make the lunges harder and you can up the speed on the treadmill to challenge yourself!

Check back for more HH workouts to get your hot summer body!

Enjoy your workout!
Marzia Prince

March 21, 2013

Spring is Here! Shopping, Cleaning and Easter Eggs…Oh My!!!!

Hi! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! Well yesterday was the first day of spring but here in Dallas it feels like another dreary day of winter! I don’t know about you all but I’m ready for spring!! Warm weather, flowers in bloom and sunny days can’t get here fast enough for me! At my house I’ve been cleaning out closets and putting away winter clothes now if only the weather would cooperate. If you’ve been to the mall or department store lately, you see bright colors and floral prints every where! I’ve bought a few pieces here and there and I’m ready to wear them! I want to share a couple of top trends for spring with you now!

Spring Wardrobe

Fun fresh ways to brighten up your wardrobe!

• Bright colors – put back the black for spring and opt for an outfit in a bright color. From orange, yellow to cobalt blue, color is in. You can simply accessorize with a bright pop of color and or if you are more adventurous choose one hue from top to bottom!
• Pointy shoes- pointy shoes in heels and flats are everywhere for spring. This is an easy affordable way to update your spring look. You can choose from nude or go with a bright color.
• Floral, floral everywhere – can I say I’m totally a child of the 80’s? I loved it then and love it now! Jackets, jeans, tops, and even shoes in floral scream spring!
• Sheer cutouts – I did say put away the black but if its has sheer panels it sexy and fresh. Sheer panels show just a hint of skin without showing too much and can be very flattering.
• Jewelry – Chain link bracelets are in. Gold, silver, skinny or chunky. Mix and match.

"New Looks for Spring" by kathy-hamilton on Polyvore

Spring Cleaning

Now don’t forget when you buy a new wardrobe piece its good to take a piece out or eventually your closet will be so full you won’t know what you have . I don’t always follow my own rule like I should so I recently cleaned out my closet. I folded everything nicely , put it in a laundry basket and took it to my local Plato’s Closet. I made close to $200.00 and what they didn’t buy I donated. I did the same thing in my daughter’s closet. I took her old shoes and clothes to Once Upon a Child and got close to $150.00. WOW! I encourage you all to do the same!

Now with the cleaning and shopping done, nothing signifies spring like Easter! My daughter and I have already dyed several batches of eggs and Easter is still a week away! The first time we used the pellets that come in all the store bought Easter egg kits and the second time we used the left over pulp from my juicer. I had orange colored pulp from the carrots, beet red from the beets and green from my cucumber. I googled some recipes and kind of hodge podged several recipes and this is what we came up with:

Colored Eggs

Natural Dyes
Pink – shredded beets
Orange – shredded carrots
blue- crushed blueberries
yellow – tablespoon of ground turmeric
deep purple – concord grape juice
crayons – color and decorate eggs before dyeing (image will still show)

Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 3 cups of water to each ingredient, bring to a boil on the stove. Use a mesh scoop to strain the pulp.

Pour colors in glass dishes and be sure to cover your workspace with newspaper. Now let your little one go to work!

Happy Spring! Kathy, Fit Fashionista

March 20, 2013

ARE YOU AN EMOTIONAL EATER?

 

Are you an emotional eater?

Are you an emotional eater?

 

“Are you an emotional eater?” No, I said, in a 21-year old, annoyed, eager to leave, definitely not opening up to a stranger sort of way. I couldn’t explain the twenty pound weight gain my senior year of college, and my doctor suggested a visit with a specialist for further analysis. In this case, my second opinion was requested from a Nutritionist. Up to now, I’d never seen a Nutritionist, since I got more than enough diet suggestions, advice, and tips from People and Cosmopolitan Magazines, 90210, my circle of girlfriends, and my boyfriend. The weight gain didn’t make sense because I was eating the way I always did, maintained a moderate jogging schedule. I even became recently interested in Yoga, although I wasn’t very patient with my practice. Still, my clothes kept getting tighter, and I constantly felt sluggish, both of which made me moodier than usual.

Do you eat mindlessly?

Do you eat mindlessly?

In traditional form, the Nutritionist asked that I write down everything I ate for a week. Despite the lack of amusement on my part, I was committed to getting better and agreed to carrying a journal around everywhere I went. I was honest and thorough with listing out my foods, and I’m still amused at one day’s list: coffee with cream… bagel with cream cheese and a banana… two egg and potato tacos… chips and salsa… a bag of Chex Mix… Twizzlers… two beers… chips and salsa… two more beers… a chicken sandwich and one tater tot… another beer… and a half of a hamburger. I’m certain this was a day where I went from my internship (producing the morning show at the CBS affiliate in my college town), to class, and out with friends—obviously to a patio for live music. The hamburger was surely one I split with someone in the car on the way home from where ever we went out that night. Ah college life!

As the Nutritionist and I reviewed my week’s-worth of nourishment, I tried to explain the decisions I made, feeling justified with each one. She listened but never looked up from my list and her note-taking. After all, this is how I ate for years and managed to maintain my figure and weight up until now. I’m sure she internally scoffed at the alcoholic drinks, but I drank light beer, and I drank less than most people I knew. I was convinced I was eating fine and that food wasn’t the culprit to my health woes. After all, it’s just food. It goes in our bodies, leaves our bodies, and life goes on. I. Was. Wrong.

Poor_Eating_Habits

The years of food and drink decisions I’d made up into that day had finally caught up with me. The damaging effects of processed carbohydrates, chemical-laden foods, natural resources altered with poisonous preservatives had finally clogged me up and created a backwash of toxicity and lifelessness. “How depressing! At 21, my equipment is broken?” As I sat in the Nutritionist’s office, mentally ordering a wheelchair for myself, she pulled me out of my slump and said it’s all reversible, fixable, and preventable. We went to work, and I found my new relationship with nourishment and hydration. Food and drink were no longer good and/or bad; I had control over what I put into my body; I still had fun. After detoxing via juicing, a gentle herbal cleanse (from Advocare), and journaling, I felt my body return to its flourishing, youthful, healthy state. I also witnessed my return into my favorite jeans! Would you believe that the journaling was my favorite part of the journey? It turns out, I did mistaken emotion and stress for hunger and thirst. After I started listening to my body to identify true feelings of hunger and true emotions that life brings, I felt more in control at meal times. Once I started seeing food as fuel and not entertainment, comfort, or companionship, I found wellness. Most importantly, I haven’t felt deprived, sluggish, or moody with my new fit and fun lifestyle.

Change your outlook on life and you change your relationship with food!

Change your outlook on life and you change your relationship with food!

Maybe you’re aware of some of these eye-opening statistics, but just in case:

9 out of 10 women are unhappy with their weight, shape, or looks
8 out of 10 women are on a diet
40% of 9 year-old females have been on a diet
Over 98% of people who lose weight by dieting gain it back within a year
Over 65% of people complain of digestive issues
Over 50% of people complain of constant fatigue

Why do we keep struggling like this? Because I was an uneducated, deceived, irritated 21-year old once, I can answer my rhetorical question: because the truth is not perceived as fun or easy. As a Healthy Housewife, I’d like to challenge this worldwide, long-standing opinion that fitness and health is dull, lifeless, and difficult and shout from the rooftops that it is simple and fun to live a lifestyle of health and wellness. Let’s join hands with the other sassy, fun, and flourishing women in our lives and start using food as your medicine, fuel, and greatest health resource!

***Special thanks to The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and to The Institute of Integrative Nutrition for being resources in my life and leading me into my current holistic perspective of nourishment. Also, thank you to Advocare for providing me products that supplement my life and passion!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Lacey Pruett

www.LaceyPruett.com

March 18, 2013

Get off your A#$…literally!

ImageRight now you are thinking….”woah, did she really just post a picture of her butt?!” And my answer to you is, “why yes, yes I did!”. Let me explain the reason…I promise their is a good one. I want you to think about how many times a day you are literally sitting on that thing! Do you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk and a chair? Do you drive a lot throughout the day? Do you come home and get on the computer, or sit on the couch and watch a little tv? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then its quite possible you need to get off your A#$…literally!

So, what are some ways you can avoid sitting and give your tooshie a break? Here are a few tips:

1. get rid of your office chair: when I was a teacher I brought in a stability ball and sat on that instead of my chair…hey, it wasn’t standing or walking, but it certainly was better than sitting…grading papers can be a daunting task, and any bit of help I could get the better. If you are thinking that your boss won’t go for that, I say, ask for forgiveness, not permission. Try it and see what happens. 

2. Watch less tv. You heard me right…and this is coming from a woman who reveres her favorite shows in high regards. I actually bought a gym grade spin bike off of a gym that was closing down and I have it in my bedroom. I DVR all my favorite shows, and I get on their and spin while I watch. I don’t spin like I would in a group fitness class, more of at a leisurely pace, but it certainly kills two birds with one stone.

3. Sit less….its that easy. One of my favorite places to do some work on the computer is on the counter in between my kitchen and my living room. I set my laptop up there and stand while I do my work…plus it puts me in a very social place in the house for easy multi-tasking. 

So am I telling you never to sit. Heck to the no! I sit…and so should you. I am just telling you to sit less. Get off your a$% and watch the changes that begin to take place just from this simple adjustment in a society where being sedentary is the norm. 

–Danielle

 

March 18, 2013

Birthday Love and Gratitude

bday photo_cropped

Hi, Everyone! It’s Brooke here. So, this is the time of year when my fellow Pisceans come out to play—we really couldn’t ask for a better time of year to celebrate. Early spring in Texas is beautiful. The mornings are still a little cool, the tulip trees and daffodils are blooming in their purple and golden glory, respectively, and all the critters are actively rejoicing in the close of the bitterly cold winter. This year, my birthday fell on Tuesday, and to tell you the truth, I was kind of disappointed it was going to be a workday. Internal thoughts: Really? How festive can Tuesday be? What a drag. Blah, blah, blah. Anyway, first Monday came along, and my heart was quickened by a few early birthday wishes from my friends at work. Then Tuesday arrived, and sweet wishes arrived throughout the day from people in all parts of my life—kind acquaintances, dear family members, and precious friends. Many of these kind thoughts arrived online, and as I set about replying to each of them, something magical happened. As I typed each little note, I reflected on my relationship with each sender, thankful for the connection tying us together. Then I sent my warm wishes back from whence they came. I spent all day doing this, except for several intervals of actual work, and what a wonderful day it was!! I felt absolutely bathed in a steady stream of love from sunrise to after dark. I so hope that each of you experiences a day (or lots more!) like this in the very near future. It does your heart a world of good.

heart leaf

This year was the big 3-8 for me. Yikes!! When did I get to be within spitting distance of 40? And more troublesome, why was this bothering me? In years past, I’ve always loved birthdays—what better way to celebrate the day that a loved one entered this wonderful world? Also, because there’s nothing we can do to make time go backward, we might as well embrace its inevitable forward movement with joy rather than dread. Now, the tiny thought teases my brain that those sentiments are easily expressed by people basking in the prime of their youth, with their facile optimism—but what does one say or think as the years creep along? Really what I’m wondering is what has my life been up to this point and what shall its purpose be going forward? Something about 38 seems so . . . serious. So grown up. Like I should have my crap figured out by now. Darn it!

What I’ve decided this means is that I need to slow down (for a little while), be still, and reflect on what my goals are for the future, rather than living each day frantically trying to meet obligations, deadlines, and expectations. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with balance and wanting to live a radiant, authentic life, despite the busyness of each day. But thankfully, on many days, and one day especially last week, I was reminded that my life is full of joy and love all the time; that if I’m continually thankful, my sights will be set on powerful, positive things; and despite occasional evidence to the contrary, this is a beautiful world.

Give thanks for a little

I’ll leave you with the “Desiderata,” one of my favorite poems that I keep close to my desk. I’ve spent many idle moments pondering its message of peaceful living amid a chaotic and sometimes discouraging world. I repeat it silently in my head like a rosary or a mantra, checking for relevancies in my life as I go through each line. And two things happen every time—my eyes tear up as my heart recognizes these same truths and my soul is soothed. It’s literary Xanax. Purrrrrrr. Have a blessed week!

With love, Brooke
desiderata