Hello… old friend glad to see you again!

It’s been a long time since I have seen you.  I am so glad you decided to come back.

To be honest, I have REALLY missed you.

It feels like forever since you have been around.

If you have been stopping by to visit, I have shared some of my journey with Lymes Disease this summer. It’s been a tough summer.  I had plans…

Big plans.

Plans that I had to set aside, so I could get my life back.

Old Plans:
1. I was going to swim several more open water races.
2. Take the horses to shows.
3. Play in a couple of tennis tournaments.
4. Workout daily  okay almost daily.
5. Visit friends.
6. Visit family.
7.Maybe buy a road bike so I could ride with my co-workers at lunchtime.
8. Travel

Instead, this summer, I slept.  I took naps at lunch just to get through the work day.  I spent lots of time taking care of my body so it could heal. I did hot and cold therapy. I took my supplements.  I was beyond strict with what I ate– all to make it easier on my body to heal. I thought about working out, but most days I did not have the energy. That is until now.

So, I am beyond excited! Like jump up and down-dance down the hallway; not caring that I really can’t dance so it’s more of a bounce around; attempt a back flip!

I have worked out 7 out of the last 9 days AND I still feel good… Wait, I feel great!298

I have done Jillian Michaels videos, completed 3 pool workouts, Foundation Training, and even played tennis last night!
I am really starting to feel like the old me.  I still have areas that I want to improve, but I am excited to finally hit this milestone!  Next goal, do a better job of writing and working out!

What in your life has had you down lately? What’s a break through that you have seen with it, even a small victory!

Until the next post,

H.C._J                                  

The day I gave up COFFEE!!!!

IMG_0041I have yet to pull my hair out or gone insane. Well anymore insane than normal. However, I am pretty sure hell might have actually froze over this week because I gave up coffee pretty much cold turkey.  I am the type of person that would live with a coffee mug in hand with plenty of coffee, a little almond milk and stevia.  I am pretty sure that my coffee mug was my adult security blanket. I have to admit that it’s been a little freeing not carrying it with me everywhere.

I am not even sure how my body decided it wanted to give up coffee, but it did!  All I know is that while doing the “Green Smoothie Girl’s” detox program last month, I was not refilling my coffee cup like normal. Some days I was not even finishing the original coffee I started with in the morning. During a visit, my boyfriend went old school mom on me and checked my temperature on my forehead when I dumped coffee out of my mug. Yes, it was the original coffee from the morning.  I promised him that I was okay. I filled up my mug the next morning and still could not finish it. This happened for about a week.

Then three days ago, I took one sip of my coffee on my way to work  and found my mug full under the backseat of my car when I got home later that night. Thank God the lid stayed closed. Although a car that smells like coffee would not be the worst thing in the world.

Friday, I did not even take my mug in with me. It sat empty and lonely in the car.

IMG_0040

I can tell you it’s really weird to wake up and not crave coffee.

I will be honest… I am not sure how long I will be 100% coffee free… I really enjoy the taste but I know that my coffee consumption was not healthy.

Here are a couple of reasons that I am okay with not drinking coffee.
* Coffee is acidic and I want to keep my body alkalized to help prevent cancer growing. So I will probably be coffee free for a while.
* Coffee stains your teeth… and a white smile is more attractive than a yellow smile.
* Coffee breath smells. Let’s be real… after drinking coffee we have all looked for gum or mouthwash!

Last night, before my sister’s college volleyball match I missed an iced coffee for a minute, but then realized, I was going to live without it.

So here is to living coffee free… or freer.

What’s one thing you want to give up?  I would love to hear what it is and what your game plan is to make it happen 🙂

Ps. I found the cup of coffee picture one day on Facebook and it sums up well how I have lived my life the last couple of years. I have had this pic saved on my computer for months.  Now I need to find that picture with the empty cup.

 

One Day

One day: I will have a clean house… like you can eat off the bathroom floor

One day: my car will be beyond spotless

One day: laundry will be completely caught up & put away.

One day: Dinner will be served with candles on the table.

One day: The garden will not have any weeds.

One day: I will have a balanced schedule. Get the proper amount of sleep, exercise, and work time.

One day: I will read more non-fiction

One day: Someone will sweep me off my feet and I will say yes to giving him my heart.

One day: I will sit by the pond and read a book with coffee in hand before work… watching the sunrise.

One day: I will enjoy all parts of my day.

One day, I promise to grow up… Stop… WAIT…. Hold on a minute! No I won’t– sorry. I can be an adult kid right?

Guess what one day is here.  I am tired of telling myself, “One day I will_________” So today is one day!

today

Today: I will work harder.

Today: Pick up more.

Today: Weed more.

Today: I will Find a way to challenge myself.

Today: I decide to NEVER grow up because being a big kid in life will keep my young in body, mind, spirit and heart.

What is your one day?

Day 31: Until next year… goodbye birthday month

finish-lineThank you! Thank you, Thank You….  As I say goodbye to my birthday month, we crossed the finish line!
Please let me take a moment share what I have been thankful for this month.
  • To all of you that have put up with my birthday month challenge!
  • To all of my new followers!
  • To each and everyone that liked words that came out of my brain.
  • To my birthday Twin for inspiring me to do this!  Be sure to check her out HERE!!!!!!!
  • To friends that helped clean my room… you may think I am kidding but getting sick has made this borderline impossible this summer.
  • The new puppy that makes me smile.
  • To my old dog that makes old age look good.
  • My job, I am always challenged to new tasks.
  • All the fresh foods available  in the summer!
 I am so thankful for you all.  As a new blogger, I thought this would be a great way for me to get into the habit of writing my thoughts down on paper on a blog.  This month I have learned a lot about myself and you.  I know it sounds funny but I have found great blogs to follow and bloggers that really feel like new friends. Shout out to some of the people that I :  Mama AmesMy Simple Life, Caged ButterflyMy Renaissance Blog,  and last but certainly not least The Outstanding Bachelor. I really have had a blast reading these guys and gals.
Some things that I have learned throughout this month include:
  • I need to have a game plan– I will be working on my plan for the next couple of weeks.  In fact, it I will start focusing my topics more on the reason that I started it in the first place 😉
  • I do so much better if I write the next days post the night before.
  • Most of the time I need someone to proof things…. and I have found a great proofer… and the editor might be the inspiration for some of my posts.  I might share more about my editor later 😉
  • I am enjoying blogging… way more than I thought.  I am a nerd and I am okay with it but most nights I look forward to writing.

So once again, THANK YOU for participating in my birthday month challenge! I will see everyone soon.  I will do my best to post over the next couple of days but my sister has her high school graduation party this weekend and I will be enslaved to the cause 😉

 

 

Day 18: Will you dream with me… Dream BIG that is!?!?!

Day 18: Dream Big! (Feels good to be back on track 🙂

I have to thank Birthday Twin for this topic. I have a feeling we both like to dream big.

Here are a few of my BIG Dreams… someday I hope God blesses me with just one of them.

  1. Own my own business… I have a few ideas of what I want to do and working on them!  I met an entrepreneur on a flight last year that encouraged me to never give up on this dream.entreprenuer
  2. Show a horse at the Quarter Horse Congress and win a Versatility title.  (Photo from www.equinechronicle.com)Congress
  3. Race an offshore boat. Doesn’t that look like a boatload of fun (cheap pun, I know) But seriously, I would love to race someday. What would make it even better is to have my dad as my throttle man. Picture courtesy of: http://www.seasgroup.com/recreation/offshore_racing.php BOAT
  4. I have a huge heart for working in with inner city kids and want to make a difference in lives of inner city kids. I spent the month after my college graduation with Athletes in Action, participating in the summer project, UPLA (Urban Project Los Angeles.) My life was forever changed that month and want to continue to give back.  Learn more about UPLA here: http://upla.athletesinaction.org/Latest/Latest_files/UP-LA%20Newsletter%202012.pdf
    Selfies with Nate from UPLA before Selfies were cool.
    Selfie with Nate from UPLA before Selfies were cool.

    The kids from Compton's Salvation Army where I volunteered during UPLA '07
    The kids from Compton’s Salvation Army where I volunteered during UPLA ’07
  5.  I think raising children would be a huge honor the biggest dream of mine.

dream

Now that you know a couple of my big dreams… I would love to hear your dreams too!

 

 

“Thank you but I don’t… I don’t eat that”

I have a confession to make. I know we are not great friends yet, but soon we will be and I need to share this with you. Recently, I realized I fell off the healthy eating bandwagon. I was going through the motions but not being as true to my healthy eating as normal. Don’t get me wrong, I was still mostly on the wagon, but I had fallen off enough to notice a change in my body, mood, and energy level. Like normal, I still bought everything organic, ate mostly un-processed food but soon my evil twin, “The Queen of Just One” reappeared. Just one cookie because my co-worker made them, just one piece of pizza, just one brownie. I mean who can pass up a gooey brownie filled with more chocolate?

Chocolate & Carmel Amazingness in a cookie
Chocolate & Carmel Amazingness in a cookie

Not ME, it that was a sure thing.  The sad thing is, everything that I ate could be made using healthy ingredients but since I was not making the sweets I was eating, they were made with things like bleached flour and regular table sugar. After realizing just how far off my bandwagon I was, I made the decision to cut out all processed foods, sugars and starches. Break my body of its quickly forming sugar habit, more like addiction and get back on my normal bandwagon.

 

Normally, I do really well with my eating until I get to THAT busy point. You know the one… when you can no longer tell if the pile of cloths is clean or dirty sitting on your dresser without smelling it. (sometimes even then it’s your best guess.) Somehow my barn looks like a tornado ripped through it and don’t ask to ride in my car because I am not sure where you will sit… on or next to the workout bag, the tennis bag, groceries, horse tack or swimming bag. BUT the worst part for me is when I start hiding things from myself. I don’t remember hitting my final tipping point recently, but I guess I did. I was eating out more than I like to out of necessity.  I was beginning to live to eat instead of eating to live, which is not normal for me.  Suddenly my clothes were not fitting how they should, my energy level was low, my workouts suffered and I was beginning to feel crummy. It was time to get serious again.  The sugar had to go!

I renewed my healthy eating habit and enlisted my mom to get serious again with me. No more just ones allowed.   The first few weeks of eating clean were a little rough as I experienced what I would call withdrawal symptoms from sugar. I am several weeks into eating clean again and the sugar withdrawal is finally gone.  YAY! I am not craving or wishing for a brownie to magically appear within reach. The cravings hung around for way too long.  You see, I did not consistently eat the bad stuff but enough that my body got used to it.

I am strong individual but on my brother’s birthday, I almost broke down for cake, ice cream and cupcakes all within an hour…

Just sitting there tempting me
mmm… it taste’s so good but it’s so bad.

That night I got home later than normal and I was a little tired and a little more than hungry.  When I walked in the door, my senses were assaulted by the amazing smell of my favorite local bakery’s signature cake.  Then there were cherry fritters that my boss brought to work with him on National Donut Day. It seemed like every time I turn around my senses were bombarded by sweet treats tempting me to set aside my newly reestablished resolve. The first week that I had gotten back on my bandwagon, when people offered me something that I am not eating anymore my response was, “I can’t.” Without fail they would reply, “Sure you can” and they were right, I could. I could easily pop a piece of donut into my mouth or grab a piece of cake and sneak in my room, hide and eat it without anyone being the wiser. Instead I decided that I would out smart my bodies cravings… that’s when I developed my new line of defense. So far this new line of defense has been GREAT!

So let me share it with you.

“Thank you but I don’t ___________.”

You can say this to your tempting co-worker or to yourself when things smell amazing and the best part that I have found is that they don’t argue anymore. I have even found myself telling, “Thank you but I don’t eat __________” has helped me. I feel like I am changing my mindset every time I tell myself, Thank you but I don’t.

This simple sentence has become almost like a life changing motto for me.

I have done this in the past that is remove all sugar and processed foods from my life.  I have never struggled with it like this time.  This experience has been challenging for sure. Remember that birthday cake from my favorite bakery?  Well I told it more than once, “Thanks but I don’t eat things like you anymore.”  I was able to walk away from it… I did not even take a little bit of frosting and that is my favorite part.  The closest I got to that enemy was to take a pic of the last piece.  Normally, I would have snuck in a whole bunch of taste tests of the frosting and enjoyed a piece or two of the actual cake.  Not this time! I left it for my brother and his buddies to enjoy.

I should say I have two more confessions: wait for it.  One: My birthday is coming up soon!  Two: I <3 my sweets! Since mom joined me back on the healthy bandwagon and also gave up sugars and renewed her resolve to eat right we both agreed that no matter what, we would not have a cake from my favorite bakery for my birthday. We normally celebrate my anniversary of me getting better with age over 4th of July. Instead of the normal cake, we discussed a few ideas of what I wanted for my “birthday cake.”  Remember that I said most sweet deserts can be made as a healthy alternative?  Well last summer we discovered Chef AJ.  She has the most amazing chocolate cake with a raspberry glaze. mmmmm… craving it now. I wish I had pictures of the last one we made. It was scrumptious! I think it even beats the traditional cake from our local bakery… sorry local bakery!   This cake will be showing up at our celebration. I wish I had a picture of this for you.  I guess I will have to let you know how it all turns out after the celebration.  I am choosing that from now on, the sweets I do eat need to be the healthy alternatives.

Since I have adopted my, “Thank you but I don’t eat that _________” motto.  I am walking away from the foods that I should have never "Cheesy Sweet Potato Casserole"started to eat again in the first place.  I am excited to be eating my normal healthy foods!  Here is a picture of a sweet potato “cheesy” broccoli quinoa bake!  Back to the foods that I love.   My clothes are fitting better again; my energy level is increasing; I am happier and I am eating to live rather than living to eat. So dear friends if you have recently fallen off your healthy bandwagon or just want to get on a healthy bandwagon, please feel free to join my on mine! There is plenty of room on this bandwagon. In the future, I will be sharing my secrets, favorite recipes, tips and tricks of how I stay on my bandwagon. P.S. we did not talk about this, I am sure we will in the future, but it’s okay to fall off your bandwagon… AS LONG AS, you pick yourself up and get back on!

Bandwagon

Hola

Just over a year ago, I started a new job. During my interview I shared with my new future boss a goal that is on my bucket list. Before I share this goal with you, there are a few things that you should know about me. (esp since this is my first post & we are new friends. P.S. Thanks for being a new friend!)  I am a first born of FIVE kids. You can count on me bragging about my family on here some because they are AMAZING! Yes I am biased but that’s okay by me. I am a country girl that loves my horses and dogs and I am even learning to love a couple of cool barn cats. My health is important to me and I will share a lot that I have learned with you, look forward to those posts soon. I love photography and challenging myself to take better pictures. Okay back to the point, I love sports… my love of sports is what led me to this goal that I shared with my new potential boss. My love of sports has only encouraged my EXTREMELY competitive nature. I am the person that sets goals for everything in my life and if I am honest with you, this goal is probably one of the biggest goals I have ever personally set. 

As a teen, I decided I wanted to show at The Quarter Horse Congress as part of the NYATT team.  That spring and summer I spent the summer in the saddle working with my horse and we qualified. Congress that year was such a learning experience! Now back to my interview with my now employer… As I sat in a small conference room interviewing for my dream job, I informed my soon to be boss that in the fall of 2012, I had participated in The Great Escape from ALCATRAZ.  The morning of Sept. 8th, along with 1,000 other crazy swimmers including one sister and one brother, we jumped off of a ferry just off the shore of The Rock. Sometime after reaching shore in San Francisco and clearing the saltwater out of my ears, I decided that I wanted to do a race in all fifty states! (Don’t worry, I plan on sharing more about my first open water race and my personal Great Escape in the future with you.)

Image
My sister and friend with The Rock (Alcatraz) in the background.

I shared my goal to swim an open water race in all fifty states with my potential new boss and recently found out it’s one of the reasons that he decided to hire me. Just a couple of weekends ago, I have checked off my third state. Every time that I race, I learn so much about myself and about open water races.  One of the things that I want do through this blog is share my journey as I swim an open water race in each state. So today, I am introducing you to the swimming side of me and inviting you to join the journey as I continue to check states off my list.   There are many other things I plan to write about here, some I mentioned earlier and more to be discovered! 

So new friend, thanks for stopping by and I look forward to the next time we get to see each other.