Simple Pleasures…

simple-pleasures

It has been a day of reflection. I am allowing myself to “feel.” That’s always been a hard thing for me, but I’m doing it because it is important…it helps me figure ME out. It’s been kind of a rough day, to say the least.

I washed my sheets this morning and hung them on the line outside to dry. The smell took me back to my childhood in southern California helping my grandma hang out her clothes. Funny how smells can do that! But it got me thinking of a simpler time and how as an adult we.. er I tend to get caught up in the tasks that need to be accomplished and I forget to recognize the simple pleasures in my life. This week I saw a herd of deer on the side of the road on my way to the gym one morning.  I saw a man at a bus stop practicing his golf swing while he waited for his ride. I saw a caterpillar inching its way on the sidewalk. All of these things made me smile. When we recognize the simple pleasures in life they can brighten our day, if we let them! I thought it would be fun (and therapeutic for me today) to list the things that are simple pleasures in my life… Here goes:

1. Berries in my oatmeal

2. Being lazy on a Sunday

3. Hugging my kids tight

4. Watching my kids play

5. The smell of rain

6. Watching the sunset

7. Watching the sunrise

8. Rainbows

9. The smell of fresh cut grass

10. Laughing

11. Staying up late taking to  a good friend

12. That feeling after a good workout

13. A gentle breeze

14. Blowing bubbles

15. Walking on the beach

16. Breakfast in bed

17. Holding hands

18. Laying on the grass and looking up at the clouds

19. The sound of birds singing in the trees

20. Bees pollinating flowers

21. Helping someone in need

22. Making someone smile

23. A sincere compliment

24. Building a sandcastle

25. Going on a picnic

26. A tropical breeze

27. Playing in the rain and jumping in puddles

28. Pillow fights

29. Peppermint patties

30. A good book

31. Walking barefoot in the grass

32. Kissing in the rain

33. An uncluttered room

34. Waking to a clean house

35. Taking an afternoon nap

36. Laying back and watching the stars

37. The mountains

38. Jr. mints

39. Watching animals in nature

40. A fresh snow

41. A clear desk

42. Swinging on a swing

43. PB&J sandwiches

44. Watching the ocean

45. The first drink from a can of Diet Coke

46. Pretty flowers

47. Watching my kids on Christmas morning

48. Basking in the sun… 

49. Pine-cones

50. Snuggling under the covers on a stormy day

51. A nature hike

52. Listening to good music in the car

53. Taking a long, relaxing shower

54. Acorns

55. Disneyland

56. Being inspired to be better

57. The color red

58. Dogs

59. My kids’ smiles

60. Exercise

I‘m pretty certain I can come up with a thousand more, but you get the idea. This little “exercise” has definitely brightened my day! To quote The Office, “There is a lot of beauty in ordinary things.”

 

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Back to Basics…

back-to-basics

 

When I first started lifting weights seriously, I did certain things almost religiously. Sadly, I haven’t been doing some of these “basics.”  As of late, that is changing!

Have specific goals and write them down! I don’t remember the last time I had a solid goal, sheesh! I’ve been flailing aimlessly, and I have really felt it. I always do better with a goal in mind! (I think we all do). So, I have set some new goals for myself and I plan on being stubborn about these goals but flexible with my methods.

Be consistent. Consistency is essential because without it, NOTHING is achieved. A lack of consistency can bring on a lack of interest.

Educate yourself…Read/learn new things. This has been extremely motivating for me in the past. Reading about other people’s experiences and learning from their sucesses/failures. Learn about a new supplement or a new way to do something.  It just keeps the mental juices flowing.

Nutrition…meal prep! Planning and preparing healthy meals for the week is key. It’s organized and there is never the question of “what should I eat?” Meals are measured, weighed, and ready…Grab and go! I like to do my meal prep on Sunday mornings.

Hydrate. Drinking enough water is important since muscles don’t work as well when they are dehydrated. Drinking water also balances your body fluids and helps keep your organs working properly. I like drinking about a gallon of water a day.

Rest and recovery. Get enough sleep. This is SOOO important! Probably THE most important part of recovery. If you don’t get enough sleep, that recovery, which is the period during which muscle growth occurs, will not take place. Everyone requires a different amount, but 6-10 hours should be sufficient. If you feel rested in the morning, you’ll know you’ve had enough sleep.

Keep a fitness log / food journal. I have become very lax on this one. Must be that I didn’t want to remind myself in writing of my poor food choices. 🙂 I have started keeping track again. I had forgotten this is a motivator for me.

Weekly weigh ins/progress pics. I don’t have a coach to answer to right now, but I still need to do this to keep myself in check. Pictures say it ALL! You may not be able to see the small weekly changes in the mirror, but when comparing pictures from previous weeks, you can see the changes. Again, this is motivation for me.

These are the basics! Going back to the basics always strengthens your foundation and gives you a solid place to fall back on.

Weight Gain 101

  

This is it! I’m coming clean!  I have gained weight. 20 freaking pounds of weight! There is embarrassment and shame in this for me. How could I have let myself go?? Why didn’t I just have more willpower? I KNOW I am stronger, tougher, and more dedicated than I have proven over the last year, but I have been lacking in something. I took before pics this morning. I can’t .. won’t post them just yet. I’m still trying to adjust to the visual. Why do pictures look so much worse than the mirror?? Sigh! 

 I‘m ready for a change! I’m tired of doing the same things over and over and getting the same results…results I am NOT happy with!! My problem isn’t working out. Working out is actually the number ONE thing that has kept me sane and stress levels down. My problem lies with my nutrition and lack of mental prowess. In my defense, I’ve had major changes in my life.. I KNOW! Excuses! No one cares about excuses!

This past week I have been thinking a lot about what is working, but more importantly, what ISN’T working in what I’ve been doing. So… I’m going back to the basics. Back to the simple fundamentals of bodybuilding/fitness. Back to being ME! I’m tired of not feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’m tired of my clothes not fitting. I’m just tired.

But… If you are interested in gaining some fluff and spillover like I have, being the helpful person I am, I will list the top five things that aided me in my weight gain. Ha! 

1. End a long term relationship. I DO NOT recommend this! But sometimes there is just no other way to progress and be happy. Most people lose weight with this step… Not ME!

2. Find comfort in food. Especially chocolate chip cookies… and don’t forget to eat the dough! Ha! 

3. Plan to NOT plan your diet. Eat whatever and whenever you want. 

4. Move from 5000 square feet to a mere 600 square feet… with two kids.  And put ALL your stuff in storage. This move was actually a good thing for us, but it has been quite the adjustment to say the least.

5. Go back to school after twenty-four years and start working on your bachelor’s degree. Whoa! This has been a HUGE adjustment. It took me three months, if not longer to find my groove. I just finished my first semester. (Flying colors) 🙂 I have loved being back in school, I’d forgotten how much I like learning. 

*Note: Please do not follow these steps! Actually, the last two are good things, just don’t overcompensate with food..