The Voting Has Begun!!

We Would Love YOUR Support!! (NO PRESSURE) BUT(T)–hehehe–We Would LOOOOOOVE YOUR Support 😉

The link to our “Bunny & Bear” story is below:

http://everlastinglove.perfectcircleinsurance.com/entry/11101769-Bunny-%26-Bear?offset=5&sort=hits%20DESC,id%20ASC&channel=23178

I know, I know….you have to create an account. All together now: “ARRRRRRGH!!” But I tell you it’s as easy as moving your right big toe! SERIOUSLY! All of ONE minute!

thank you in advance. i appreciate you.

 

 

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I just received the greatest email IN THE WORLD!!!!

It reads “10am sat may 25th”

a. This is from that man of mine. Note: ANY email from him excites me.

b. It’s in response to my email to him: “Did you make your doctor appt”

The idea of going to the doctor for his annual visit has been just that: an idea, for a “long” time. “Long” defined here as months of discussing as to why he should (me) or should not (him) go in for his physical.

After months of discussing, he agreed. Victory! Now came the true test: MAKING the appointment. Oh goodness. Okay, so yeah, that took time as well and weeks of my “Did you?” and his “I will” nonetheless resulted in this GRAND day in which HE DID.

Life is busy. I get it. Others things take priority. Sure. There is no time. “MAKE THE TIME!”  Hmm….careful here, as demands and nagging “Buts” to his “No’s…We’ll see…When I can….” is like running downhill with both parties clumsily tripping, tumbling down.down.down.

Then again, trips and falls are opportunities to learn that something did not/is not working. So, not wanting to fall down that slippery slope again, I:

a) recognize the resistance

AND

b) do my best to back off some (keyword: some).  Now let me be honest here, this takes work because I love him and want him to be in a state of exceptional health. Not good. Exceptional.  It’s his birthright. It’s everyone’s birthright. 

I can review and employ the transtheoretical model in how to encourage behavioral change for my loved one, but ultimately, the decision is his. My support, including gentle, intermittent reminders as “Did you make your doctor appt”, is endless.  Heck, maybe he could care less about going to the doctor (‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality), but his knowing how much I care about him, his health may just have played a part in his decision to act, today!

Regardless, I appreciate and celebrate him for taking one itty bitty step closer towards exceptional health. Knowledge is power. Partnership moves mountains.

Thank you sweetheart 🙂

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We can agree to disagree

“Bullsheet. I wanna win” says the kid in me.

That’s not right. No no. Oh no. That is not ‘proper’ dialogue for a soon-to-be Mrs. I am to think, speak, and most certainly, act in all fairness, when it comes to matters of the heart. “Heart” defined here as my soon-to-be husband.

Hold on. I need a moment: “Hu…hus…baaaand” Oh.my.gosh. Deep breaths. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale, repeatedly, for the rest of your life, in sickness and health, for better or worse, richer or poo–

Okay, got it.

So, I’m getting married….soon (gulp). Shouldn’t I, an engaged person, be getting it by now? “It” as in knowing the language of love extends beyond me.  Though “me” may be part of the equation, “love thyself”, it’s not the end-all;  safe to say, “thy neighbor” wants some love too, yes?  Aha, so the “M” is interchangeable, and may be easily flipped to serve as a “W”.  Love feels as this energy you want to bathe yourself in, and suggest those nearest and dearest to you that they, too, soak and ‘be taken away’ with this bubbly feeling because “you’ll feel so much better once you do”.

Still, the kid in me wants my own bath. “Why do I have to share? There’s no room! It’s not faaaaaaaaair!!!!” The feelings surrounding “yes, I won” indicate success and victory. I wanna win, all the time. But is it “winning” when the person I love with all my heart “loses”? I don’t think so. I certainly don’t feel so.

How may WE both win? Is love really a battlefield? There is push and pull. Both sides have their vision (victory), and I can imagine are well-equipped with strategies  to see this vision realized.  Time is of the essence and should be put to wise use. Otherwise, we’ll soon exhaust ourselves in this game of Tug of War. Plus, “I just want to move on already! I’m tired.”

Nonetheless, there is one rope we are holding onto. This force between us–literally, the rope–keeps us connected, and interestingly enough, we are holding onto it with everything we’ve got. He’s pulling this way, while I’m pulling that way, and keep in mind: I wanna win (as I’m sure he does too).  But we’re playing the game together.  He’s not letting go; I’m not letting go, and there lies the agreement amongst our push and pulls. Ultimately, we’ll get tired and call for a “time out!” to regroup, review our past approach to pinpoint what’s not working, and thus rethink our strategies.

So again, how may WE both win? I haven’t a clue, really. But we allow one another to see victory (no need to encourage defeat), explore his/her approach (allowing due time for clarity of views), and act accordingly (push/pull). Perhaps, we win as a couple, free to share our individual ideas and views. Perhaps we win because we’re holding onto this force–metaphorically, love–with all we’ve got. Perhaps the fact that we continue to play is the victory, his and mine, itself.

Nonetheless, I wanna win next round 😉

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I entered the Everlasting Love contest to share our story WITH THE WORLD!

The prize is diamond earrings (“HEEEELLLLOOOO!!!”) but I’m already a winner because I’ve got him, for life. BEST.GIFT.EVER…

Hey, why not enter your love story. Sharing is caring 🙂

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I don’t have a clue as to the lyrics of this song but they sure do have us movin’!

As a health conscious individual, I pride myself on the variety and amount of greens I consume regularly. Kale, collards, and broccoli are daily staples. If you don’t see these greens on my plate, check my glass; I assure you, they were in my smoothie!

As for my fiance, spinach or kale serve as his daily greens, and you’ll be sure to find evidence of this from the large bunches stored in his refrigerator. His preferred pattern of consumption is via smoothies (with bananas, oranges, flax seeds, and water).

I attribute the lightness we feel and the pep in our step to leafy vegetables. Our play is fun, childlike, and in eating nutrient-rich foods, I do believe that our plant-based meals help to fuel our high-energy, healthy and happy partnership.

But kale, collards, broccoli, and spinach are not the only things that keeps us moving.  Oh, how we love, L-O-V-E, LOOOOOVE music.

Music that gets right down to the core of our being and has us wanting to shake it, shake it, shake it!!! The hairs on our head are moving, eyes are bright and wide open, our hips swaying with purpose, and our hearts have been touched. All is well in the world. But of course it is, we are shaking it!

Funny thing is, we don’t have a clue as to what the artist is even singing about. We don’t speak the language, but the energy from the drums, the voice, the heart of the song (from Spanish to South African music) fills us with passion and hope. Personally, it is in listening to such songs that I dream of the life I see for ourselves.  Do you two share a vision?

We do, and it is an image of us living BIG dreams. We bring them to life in our thoughts, but why not give that vision some feet and bring it to life with dance! Dance your way into this magnificent life you see. Be bold, yes and feel good now in giving your story the background sound to make it beat–thump thump, thump thump, thump thump–with LIFE!

Thankfully the dance floor is always available to us–a empty parking lot, the kitchen floor, our seats in the car–that we may place ourselves via the music (which we don’t have a clue as to the lyrics) into our abundant life that we are creating.

The vision is essential. The music is the trigger. The dance is the “believe and ye shall receive”. Having a partner ready and willing to hit the dance floor…..priceless!

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“DO NOT ask about wedding plans. NOT TODAY!”

….Because if you do, I’ll be wailing!

You see, we are an engaged couple, and thus life is suh-weeeeet. My emotions match those of a newly engaged pair from “The Bachelor/ette”. Overjoyed. Euphoric. Elated!

But NOT TODAY! Shame. Hurt. Intense sadness has me trying to remember if I just stepped with the left or “Was it with the right?” Who gives a flying “F”–I’m barely moving as it is. Crawling is the next best option. Must. Get. To. Yoga (catharsis via asanas and deep breathing needed, pronto).

Silly wabbit. Get off your knees–you still gotta walk to the car, and even then, DRIVE. Lord Have Mercy. I’m hurting, and of course, the first song I hear on the radio: Israel Houghton’s “It’s Not Over”–seriously? A battle between head and heart ensues:

Heart: “I’m aching” Turn this ssssshhh…. (don’t you go there–this is gospel music!) off.

Head: “Just listen to the lyrics”

Lyrics: “When God is in it, there is no limit/It’s not over/It’s not finished/It’s not ending/It’s only the beginning…” 

“ONLY THE BEGINNING?” THIS-FEELING-IS-ONLY-THE-BEGINNING??!!! Waaaaaa waaaaaaaa….

Somehow,behind the wheel in this zombie-like state, I made it to class safely. Fellow yoginis/friends know of my upcoming nuptials, but I’m silently praying they not ask about the wedding. NOT TODAY!

“I had a tiff (sniff sniff), with the love (gasping) of…of… mmmm….mmm….my…mymy LIIIIIFE :___(” would be my reply.

Oh goodness. Are we no longer engaged? These emotions are a far cry (no pun intended) from the happy-happy-joy-joy expressions of other soon-to-be-married lovers ‘posed’ in magazines, TV, movies, and of course”The Bachelor/ette”.  Still images, and on-camera moments are captured, and perfectly edited, to instill a supposed guideline of “love” for viewers–coupled or not–to follow.

Stop right there.

Love is colorful with an array of bright-bold-dull-pale-dashing-UGLY-BEAUTIFUL-lively moments that still make life suh-weeeet, and “Get a hold of yourself! Yes you are still engaged!” There are some colors (i.e. UGLY) I can do without, as in this past (thankfully, PAST) tiff/event we experienced. Nonetheless I am continually discovering that the media’s still, edited, posed images are not entirely true. Personally, I’d like to see the scenes that were cut!

As for me and ‘that man’ of mine, we will experience all colors in our engagement and marriage–including my least favorites of “blue” and “gray”–but mixing some UGLY (“blue”) with some BOLD (as a bright red) makes for one LIVELY kiss n’ make up reunion….if you know what I mean (double wink!).

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Thou art Super, Woman!

As women, our nature is to nurture, and there is the tendency to give, repeatedly, to those nearest and dearest to us, yes or yes?

I love to give, but I sure do like to receive (and if your mind is straying into kinky-ville, stop.it.now!).

“Health is wealth!”….yes, yes, we’ve all heard this many a time. We know we have to eat better. We know we have to exercise. We know we have to be “healthy”-er. So, what’s stopping us?

A. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

B. Health is an inconvenience to my daily routine. Planning a good diet and working out is too much trouble and takes too much time.

C. ME? I can’t think about me? There are “more important” people in my life who I have to think about “first”.

….really the choices are endless.

Now in bringing this back around to my point of women as nurturers, let me tell you that “I just love that man” was created not only with the intention to give health to our mates, but to ourselves as well. Listen, we can’t ask that man of ours to eat better, exercise more, become “healthy”-er if we find that we are frequently missing, or skipping–be honest ladies,  a fitness class because ‘there are just not enough hours in a day.’ Nor does our eating itsy bitsy snacks throughout the day suffice as a meal, when we made sure he had breakfast (first meal), has his packed lunch (second meal), and will later have a proper dinner (third MEAL).

If we want to see healthier mates, we must become the models of change.  Tangent story, but relative enough, I read the most wonderful book, during my single days, called Calling In “The One” by Katherine Woodward Thomas. The main idea is that to attract “The One” you must first become “The One”. Well it’s the same thing here, and in my case, the more he sees me attending yoga, making conscious decisions about the foods I eat, I see that he’s gone from dipping a toe into the ocean (of health) to jumping right on in. Thank the Good Lord!

Though we may be perceived as experts in multitasking, hence societal’s image of us as “Superwoman” (and yes we are both women and super), it is of the utmost importance that we take good care of ourselves, as we do with our mates.

What we receive, in doing so, is a slew of benefits as greater vitality, better relationships, and certainly, better health 😉

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“I cheated!”

I burnt the popcorn. Correction–the popcorn and the pot.

A trained chef. A private chef. A personal chef (yes, ’tis me, all three)…..and now, Popcorn and pot burner (four). 😦

“How could I do that?”

“That’s terrible”

“Naughty!”

“I cheated!”

The self-labeling continues with “bad” “irresponsible” “careless” and my entire day is over BEEEEEECAAAAAAUSE (duh!) “I Burnt The Popcorn AND The Pot!”

This is certainly not the first time for this heated internal dialogue. The same name-calling, (started by me, and only with me) is also triggered by my consuming foods that are not particularly health-supportive. “Foods” as in items with lots of grease, lots of sugar, and a whole lotta salt!

What is this?!!! Why do I self-bully with “junk” thoughts that “feed” me ill health, mentally and emotionally and with time–physically, in addition to having me sabotage my previous efforts toward healthier choices. There’s enough evil out there, why bring it home, where brain and heart are primary tenants.  Their influence over additional residents (vessels, organs, cells….) can make or break you.

So on my journey to a healthier, happier self, I ate a chip. Had a brownie. Tasted the cake. Burnt the popcorn AND the pot! But is that reason enough to throw fuel to the fire, in actively observing such thoughts as “you’re a bad person!” “How could you do that?” “You’ll never reach optimal health”….and on and on and on……..

Rather than sit back and panic about all the work wasted on a single chip, I’ve learned (FINALLY!) to replace such wrong accusations with “Thank you for sharing, but no thanks.”

Slow and steady wins the race. My health journey started in 2008 and it continues, gradually but surely. I’m proud to be a lot further along, as the beat-myself-up-name-calling-negative feedback has lessened and becomes a thing of the past with each new day. The good news is that as I consistently make better food choices, I am rarely reaching for foods that once had my head, and heart, consumed with demeaning self-talk. Now that makes me proud, of me 🙂

One step at a time.

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Health or Friends? (Pick one)

Do you ever feel that as you begin, or maintain healthier habits you simultaneously become the alien of the group? “Oh, she doesn’t eat, and if  she does, it’s just some twigs and grass.”

Nothing could be further from the truth!

But why spend precious time, and energy, trying to convince others of your dietary choices, right?! If it’s working for you, it’s working for you!! (Please note the double exclamation marks; there’s no “….” here).

But deep down inside, you may feel the “….”, translated as “Yeah, I love eating this way because I feel grrrrreat! BUT, I also feel lonely. Friends don’t ask me to dine out as often, and my ENTIRE family is looking at my plate with their looks of worry and concern because I haven’t dug into Aunt So-and-so’s heavily salted, fried and greased “traditional” dish. Furthermore, my mate is looking at his watch, across the table, as I negotiate with the waiter on making some menu adjustments for a healthier meal option.

I’ve experienced ALL OF THE ABOVE, and the decision I’ve come to, regarding my having to pick one or the other (health or friends/mate) is NOT choosing sides. “I’ll have the health and the friends please, no sides thank you.”

Yes, the moment I leave my house, I am very clear that the food selections may not be as “healthy” as items stocked in my own fridge, freezer, and pantry.  Although it’s not everyday that I’m eating out, and I am taking care of my health needs on a regular basis, with “twigs and grass” (yeah…yeah….whatever!), it also doesn’t allow me to blow my health out the window in dining out.

So, I have some chips (or not) at the party, but I also make the choice to not sit at the chip table. Or, should I have a date night with the ladies, or that man of mine, “Yes, I’ll be happy to join you for a night out and guess what??! I’ll ACTUALLY eat….Whoooooa!!!” In this case, I’ll review the menu online, ahead of time, to see “what can I eat here?” I assure you, you can always find something! Whispering in the waiter’s ear all my dietary restrictions and practically asking him for his counsel as to which dish I can eat takes precious time away from my friends and/or that man of mine who would also like to eat sometime….anytime….”TODAAAAAAY!” For the times I know that Aunt So-and-so is bringing her dish, my deciding to not indulge in her passed-down-from-generation-to-generation recipe bears no reflection on the love I have for my immediate family, my ancestors, and specifically, Aunt So-and-so.  I.just.choose.to.not.have.it.period.

Ultimately, we have choices, and I choose to maintain my health AND live outside my home. Thus in my stepping out into the world, I can still make a better choice that does not compromise my health entirely. After all, optimal health refers to a complete state of health, and that does include a social life with friends, family, and most certainly, ‘that man’ of mine 🙂

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Greens and beans are not the only things.

We’ve got this:

Green smoothies…..check!

Cooking….check!

Stocking our kitchen with veggies, fruits, beans, and whole grains….check!

Remembering that Health goes beyond greens, beans, and all nutrient-dense things…..:

He: check!

Me:  (pause) “I’m sorry, repeat the last one…”

So, I’ve got this situation you see. It’s not bad. I just, hmm…., sometimes I need a reminder that well-being is not solely about the kale smoothie I had, or even the yoga class I just finished. I can’t preach about how healthy I am, nor how healthy he’s becoming, if I’m not working on the health of our relationship–which is just as much a part of the Wellness equation.

I invest a lot into studying nutrition, and then work continuously to make better choices in my food consumption.  This investment is a never-ending one, and that’s fine by me, but with a wedding fast approaching, I welcome a new focus (uh, MARRIAGE!) that I may pour as much heart and soul into.

My plan of action (in general terms):

Spend quality time. No cell at the dinner table! Date!

Be a supportive partner.

Share interests. Share chores. Share in the decision making and problem solving.

Communicate (I can’t expect him to be a mind reader–Darnit!)

Listen.

Be affectionate (more hugs, the merrier)

Allow space.

“Would you please sign our Guest Book.”
(I welcome your tips on what “foods” will best “nourish” our MARRIAGE.)

“Thank you”

 

 

 

 

 

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The WHY (on our healthy eating)

“You like all bland foods!”

His response to my eating oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, almond milk…

We were in the getting-to-know-you, early dating, heart-pitter-patter (note: he still gives me butterflies) stage.  The honeymoon phase started with a daily exchange of emails that eventually had me experimenting with telepathy: “I hear the phone ringing. I see his number on my Caller ID. I hear his voice.” The sensory exercises I learned from studying Method Acting served me well in my social life 😉

In any case, to his “bland foods” comment, it allowed me the opportunity to pull out all the stops to impress him with my nutritional knowledge. Brains and beauty, Baby!

Where I felt that a good majority of women he previously dated, who too may have been into healthy eating (or not), I wanted to…..how can I say this without it sounding snobbish ….put a step above the rest.  (However it sounded, it hit my point.) So, I explained that the benefits of eating well go far beyond it being a trend, and/or for physicality reasons. Such “bland foods” help support spiritual, mental, emotional health as well. They support our day-to-day productivity, efficiency, and ENERGY since they contain a plethora of really good stuff: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber, that in turn, will have you feeling and looking great. When you feel (and look) great, confidence builds and because you now have the strength and vitality, possibilities for the things you want to do/see/achieve become not “just a dream” but a strong desire to make the dream come true.

Thankfully, he was open. Listened patiently, because once I start talking nutrition, I. Can’t. Stop. My spiel was not to impose (I promise you), but to share this idea of healthy eating,  which means a lot to me. Again, we were getting to know one another, and getting to know about me and my enjoyment for “bland foods” was just part of the process, as I’d too learn about him and his passion for Tulum–beautiful place by the way.

Well, he learnt my WHY of healthy eating, and slowly but surely, after that conversation where he made that “bland foods” comment, he started asking questions around food, and one day he made A change: he bought his FIRST almond milk. Then: brown rice replaced white. Small changes began adding up to a 20-pound weight loss and a total cholesterol of 150.

Now, I’d say he’s found his WHY for eating better.  The How is the journey, with detours, missed exits, smooth and bumpy roads. Thank goodness for GPS: “Recalculating!” (where the GPS, here, represents a good foundation of healthier habits).  We have the support, including each other, to get right back on track 🙂

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How it all began (I think….)

His daily meal was either cheese pizza, cheeseburger, saltines and cheese, or Chinese food. As for snacks, cheese popcorn, candy corn, clementines, or Mallomars (graham cracker-marshmallow-chocolate cookie).

Conclusion, if it had cheese, started with a “C” (or “M”), and was highly processed–with exception to the clementines–it probably was in his diet. “His” referring to my father.

These, dare I say “foods”, were consumed regularly (daily) for a very, very long time (years). Though looking at him, you wouldn’t guess it. He looked younger than his age and his waistline looked to be normal.  He certainly wasn’t obese nor overweight from what I remember.

As the years flew by, I noticed some weight gain, but still hadn’t processed the thought that his dietary choices may have played a part to his growing belly. He was doing well, monetarily, and therefore could afford to eat “well”.

Fast forward, he has a stroke. Still, I’m not consciously thinking about his diet and how it relates to his health. It (the stroke) just happened, and I believe that the stress of his work manifested into a physical reaction.

He is ill and his health is deteriorating rapidly. Now add Alzheimer’s to the list. Kidney failure would soon follow. I’m thinking, and thinking,….”What is going on here?” It’s all so surreal. “This cannot be happening”, and I am in denial, still tending to my work responsibilities, thousands of miles away from him. He’s in California. I’m in New York.

Guilt. ANGER! Confusion. Numbness. Sadness. I’m in this whirlwind of emotion, so much is going on, and despite the chaos, there is a path of clarity that I am on, and each step is a guided one.

I need serious therapy to work this all out, and my sessions are held in a kitchen: mine. This path is clear–cook, and while you’re at it, cook for health. It’s funny to think how I was called by my kitchen, but I don’t know how else to put it. ‘Tis true. Cooking was my therapy and could withstand every single emotion I felt, and I put ALL I felt into my food, deep sorrow included. Perhaps that is why some of my dishes were “sad” in taste, or simply–not.good.at.all 😦

So I’m cooking, and cooking, and thinking as I’m cooking–“You better take care of yourself now Beth or else….”, an AHA moment is forming here, “you’ll end up sick too.”

Long story (trying to make it real) short, a purpose is born, with continuous nutritional schooling and studies to follow, in addition to a strong desire to support both my health and that of the man our children will one day call “Daddy”.

Perhaps because I was not able to save my father’s health, it’s even more important that I save that man of mine from illness. If so, that’s fine by me, and I’m happy to be called the savior in this regard; I just want that man around, in health and for a real, real long time:-)

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“Women are never mean”

Tell it, gurrrrl….

Uh huh…That’s right. That’s what she said. Last Saturday. I tell you she did.

Her statement is one I will happily remember for a long, long time. Now, as for that man of mine (since her comment was directed at him), well….

Ladies, why is that because we want the best for our mates, regarding dietary matters, we are referred to as “mean”, by the very mates we want the best for?! What is that about?

In our not agreeing to their selection of a downright, ridiculous, HUGE bag of refined sugar (aka candy, crap, fake food…), we are deemed as eeeeeevil and mean!  Okay, rewind, what does ‘mean’ really mean? Well, one (that man of mine) may view it as selfish, cruel,  base, and unkind. Whereas another (myself) sees it as excellent, as in “she makes a mean three bean chili!”

I am excellent at many things, as you and you and you….are as well. We are filled with gifts and talents that make us mean (excellent) beings. For instance, I am one mean health coach, supporting individuals to make healthier choices on a daily basis for short and long term benefits. Thus, I am ‘mean’ in helping  my own mate make better choices that have resulted in a 20-pound weight loss in addition to a significant drop in his total cholesterol. So yes, I am proudly ‘mean’!

But his take on mean puts limits on understanding my definition of mean. “You’re so mean”, period. There is no room left for understanding why I do not agree with his choice of ‘food’. It’s more than my not liking it, period, but what such an item will do to his mood, his waist, and his overall health. And my guess is he may not like the results. This of course is solely an assumption based on previous episodes of “Babe, why didn’t you stop me. I feel awful.” Since then, I’ve listened, and now take action.  How is that mean? No partner wants his/her mate to experience that eventual stress, especially when an opportunity of intervention presents itself: “No. That HUGE bag of candy is not going into our shopping cart. It’ll make us sick–literally!”

Well, who knew that my intervention to his poor selection would be supported by a complete stranger, who happened to overhear his “You’re so mean” comment directed at me. I wanted to high-5 her right then and there! Her “woman are never mean” remark rightfully attacked his definition of mean, and surely such negative thinking is to be put in its place–called out, smacked silly, and erased!

“Turn that frown upside down, Love. I’m onto something here, as in bettering your health.” Reality check during a fleeting moment of candyland fantasy. Though in that moment, he does not want to hear it, any of it, and I understand. Hey, I once was a serious sugar addict myself!

Still, his statement is one I couldn’t take to heart and snarl at. I simply interpreted his ‘mean’ to mean that I care enough to NOT see him make unwise choices in both his diet and lifestyle. So then, call me Mrs. Mean! Yes sir, I make a mean spouse!

Ladies, high-5s all around!

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Holidays and (food) stress!

Amazing….

the amount of nonsense I want to indulge in. ‘Food’, we’re talking. I’m torn between ordering a pound of dark chocolate covered cherries or purchasing a box of Godiva. Either way if it’s chocolate, please note: the tummy growl you may suddenly hear may be interpreted as “get in my belly!”

Hungry. Always. It’s the holidays. I am to go crazy, and settle the damage later: 1/1/14. I’ll then set unreasonable and impractical expectations upon myself that may last for about one month, and maybe a few days. Right? Ever wonder why the gym/pilates/yoga studio is especially packed January and February? Blame it on the crap, or sweet indulgences that was ‘fine’ for the holidays but are now being cursed at for all the extra, un-fun, tedious work that must be done. Ugh. “Get out of my belly!”

All that chocolate…cookies, brownies, cake….are not cool when they show up, physically. “Oh.em.gee……Whhhhhaaaaattttt is THAT?” February is around the corner, and I need to fit into that dress for our Valentine’s dinner date, out or in (the privacy of our home)…oh la la. Picnic in the living room, with a bottle of bubbly (aka cider since we’re not too keen on drinking alcohol). Heck, if that’s the case, there’s no need to be dressed. “ISHT” (unscramble the letters for exact expression), the pressure is on!

Goodness. Been there, done that, and lesson learned (repeatedly, year in and year out). Sure, the smell of baked goods and sweets offered from friends (with good intentions, of course) are a wee bit more tempting this time of the year, but thinking about the long term effects in overindulging keeps me grounded, enough to perhaps have ‘just a bite’, or not.  There once was a time that two large slices of Mom’s meringue pie (or chocolate cake) was the norm. Lemme tell you, I could eat. Still can.

But, I have since made a conscious decision to think before an item touches my lips. Since once it hits, game over! That food is going down! In any case, before the potential start of yo-yo dieting I observe, in that should-I-should-I-not-eat moment, my circumstances (as in the mood I’m in, or the [atti]’tude I’m carrying). My environment (as those I am eating with). The food (is it real?) Yeah, it took/takes some work to have to always observe, ask, and have this internal dialogue in making a healthier choice in the item/s about to be consumed.

Still, practice makes better. And practice, I did, and still do. So with this NEW season of holiday cheer with a readily available abundance of a lot of nonsense, awareness is my greatest tool. Sure, the tummy will growl, and its pain will be felt. And that is not to say that I can never, from here on out, enjoy my favorite holiday goodies, but I’ll be better equipped with healthier alternatives planned and strategies to keep me from going way out of line. That line is a very fine one y’know.

I am grateful for the holidays. Fun times. But I’m readjusting my attitude (of gratitude) away from the dessert table and towards the family and friends surrounding me. Now that’s what I call “suh-weeeet”. I am happy to overindulge in the enjoyment of their company. Corny but ’tis true.

Happy Holidays!

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Three Months, Baby! Still married. Still happy.

A couple of 14-carat gold wedding rings. Pictu...

A couple of 14-carat gold wedding rings. Picture taken in Brazil, where 14-carat is the most common kind of gold used in jewelry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

We did it! Three months of marriage down, and still happy!

That’s not only a big deal, that’s gigantic–to me. Yup, I am feeling super proud here. Now, now I did not enter marriage thinking the “D” word, but with society’s endless chatter about the first year of marriage being the hardest and with so many marriages (over 50%) ending in divorce, I set up milestones from the get!

My huzzzband, although I prefer to call him, “lover” had (and still has) zero-zilch-no clue about my 3-6-9-12 milestones. That’s okay. He may have had an idea when I negotiated that we split the cake topper in four sections, so that we may enjoy a bite month 3, month 6 and so forth.

Still, he hasn’t come out with “I know what you’re up to, silly!” The point is, despite the fights–yes, big and small–we made it to our first milestone of marriage: 3 months, baby!

Best part of meeting milestones is the reward, and boy oh boy, we were rewarded well! On our three month anniversary, we attended and celebrated in the magic of two dear friends joining in marriage. So that meant we got to dress up, hit the big city, dine well, smile endlessly in witnessing their BIG DAY, dance, and eat cake!

Needless to say, our dear friends marrying had no clue they were celebrating not only their union, but our three-month-still-happily-married status! What reward might top this celebration at our six month: cake from our own wedding, with an extra sectional since we previously saved the 3-month piece.  Health is still a virtue here, and there is such a thing as “too much [cake]” especially when we just devoured that from our friends’ wedding.

In any case, while it may seem a bit cuckoo in setting goals for a happy (and healthy) marriage, well then, call me ‘crazy!’ There are things I want to achieve, and sustaining a happy marriage is one of them. This goal, however, will never end, and so continually setting 3-month milestones helps me to always check major priorities in my life: my lover, and our marriage.

This doesn’t mean that all is/will be smooth sailing from one milestone to the next. Puh-lease our marriage is far from perfect….thank goodness! Heck, I have a ridiculous amount of baggage that he’s always helping me to unpack. Ha, it’s true! Still, the milestones keep my behind on point, help me to always look at myself with what I’m bringing (or not) to our marriage, and constantly reinforce that there is always work to do!

With each three month “woo hoo” and I am planning on an indefinite number of woo hoo’s , I look forward to the next adventures, challenges, learning opportunities that will continually color our marriage with hope, faith, love, perseverance, and all good things. Because ALL THINGS (good, bad, and ugly) work together for good, yes or yes?

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