Scale Down

“Whoa!! It seems my pants have shrunk! Why are they suddenly so hard to button? I bet I put them in the dryer too long.”

Nope. 

According to the scale I rarely step on, I have passed my “can’t go there again” number and need to make some immediate changes!

My body tends to stay in a range that I am satisfied with as long as I keep my exercise and eating at a moderate level. I’ve done great all summer and was feeling pretty good in my clothes. However, with back to school craziness and trying to adjust to a new routine it appears I have surpassed moderate and achieved extreme levels of eating and not moving. My previous work routine had something scheduled nearly every minute of the day. My new, more flexible, schedule has given me time to begin a love affair with junk food, my couch and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Now, it’s time to break up!

Luckily, I know exactly how to get this problem back under control. I do it every time I start getting closer to the “can’t go there again” number. This is the first time in years that I have passed that number. 

The solution is not rocket science, just 4 words: eat less, move more. Here’s the problem, I’ve been saying I’m going to eat less and move more for a couple of weeks but haven’t. 

While folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, and sitting in the carpool line waiting to pick up my son, I’ve been listening to Mel Robbins’ Audible Original, “Take Control of Your Life” and I’m learning WHY I’m not doing anything about my muffin top (it’s actually starting to look more like a souffle) and giving me strategies to get me moving. Kinda the same way she motivated me to get up earlier and stop hitting snooze. 

Yesterday, I took my first step. I actually took several steps. I walked over 2 miles and worked out in the pool for an hour and it felt great. Today, I walked over 2 miles again and tomorrow I’ll go to the pool. The number on the scale hasn’t moved much but I feel a sense of accomplishment and I don’t want to ruin that with cookies and ice cream. 

If you are feeling stuck or your life doesn’t feel like its going in the direction you want, check out Mel’s audiobook and printable workbook. It might give you some insight as to why you are not moving forward or why you are moving backward and give you simple steps to make changes. 

Until next time …be well!

Lori

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Being Brave

In my last post, I talked about being brave and writing more authentically, despite my fears of feeling exposed and vulnerable. Sometimes writing the words seems hard and I want to quit because it requires stepping out into the public eye. My introverted self doesn’t like to be in the spotlight. I’m the person who thinks the background singer or the drummer has the best job….the one in the background!! 

I keep second guessing myself, but then remember that when God calls you to do something, it’s not necessarily going to be easy. Of course, then I second guess the calling!! 

Putting words on paper (or a computer screen) doesn’t seem exceptionally hard, but every single word is like a little piece of yourself, something you created being sent out there for people to read and judge. 

Luckily, I have come across a woman whose bravery is so big it makes me feel silly about my fears. Her bravery inspires me to move forward and keep writing. Her name is Lizzie Velasquez. Lizzie is a worldwide motivational speaker and author. She has a TEDtalk with over 9 million views and an amazing documentary. I don’t know Lizzie personally, but from what I have seen, despite her tiny body (due to a syndrome that keeps her from gaining weight), she has a huge personality. She is smart and funny and I’d let her come style my closet any day! Plus, she is a Texan girl like me.

When Lizzie was in high school, she came across a YouTube video entitled, “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” She clicked on the link and was shocked to see images of herself! She was crushed after reading hundreds of hateful comments calling her a monster, saying that her parents should have aborted her, or that she should kill herself! After many, many tears, her sadness eventually turned into anger and she fought back in a most brave way. She began her own YouTube channel! Talk about being in the spotlight. She should be called the BRAVEST woman in the world!

Lizzie decided not to let her outward appearance or negative comments define her. She said she would use those comments to fuel a fire and move forward to become a better person. She wanted to fight back with her accomplishments and use negativity as a ladder to achieve her goals. You know what? It worked!! 

I encourage you to watch her TEDtalk, her documentary and visit her YouTube channel. I have no doubt, you will be moved and inspired by her honesty and yes, her bravery. 

In the words of Lizzie Velasquez, “Brave starts here!”

Thanks Lizzie!  

Until next time…..be well and be brave!

Lori

Just wanted to let you know that Be Well Heart and Soul participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you click on a link and make a purchase it allows me to earn a little commission without any cost to the reader.

Looking Back and Moving Forward

I’ve been spending some time thinking about the last 12 months and what has led me to where I am in this new year. Of course, my family, friends, and the many blessings I have received have been key, but as I look back I have noticed the many “breadcrumbs” that led me on a journey and helped me achieve many goals and hold on to joy even when circumstances tried to steal it from me.

I started 2018 wanting to continue on my journey to minimize spending and accumulating possessions, but I wanted to be happier and more content. So 10% Happier and The Year of Less were a great start. I then started reading simply for enjoyment, no need to take notes or have a highlighter handy. The women whose stories are told in Breaking Night and The Hiding Place demonstrated even the biggest obstacles can be overcome when you keep your faith and let God lead the way.

During the summer, after a co-worker posted a great review, I pulled Girl, Wash Your Face off my wishlist, into my cart and waited anxiously for it to arrive. I quickly read through each chapter. Mind blown! It gave me new perspective, made me step out and “do something” even if it wasn’t perfect or pretty. I set up a new blog and submitted an article to No Sidebar. I didn’t really expect anything to happen and then while reviewing my emails one day, I was notified they accepted my article! I kid you not, my heart leap and I nearly fell out of my chair. Soon, there is was, in digital print, my name and the article I wrote on one of my favorite websites! I promise that article would still be hiding in a journal without the kick in the pants from Rachel Hollis. Thank you Rachel!! Thank you No Sidebar!!

No Sidebar has become like a home base for me and has left breadcrumbs connecting me to many great resources and other writers with common interests. I connected personally with Erica Layne and her Life on Purpose Movement and Introverted Mom’s Club on Facebook and Cheryl Smith and her many inspirational articles.

The Simple Show podcast is a favorite and I listen to it often. It was been a huge factor in my growth during 2018. This is my go to “breadcrumb factory.” Tsh Oxenrider’s interviews have led me to numerous influential people and places. Two favorites being The Lazy Genius Cooperative and Emily P. Freeman and her podcast The Next Right Thing. Thanks Tsh!

By October, I was coasting…I was connecting with people through my blog, writing and meeting many of my goals. All was good…I had a routine and everything seemed to be falling into place. Then that Bermuda Triangle of holidays happened. I was traveling, trying to tie up loose ends at work before the break, cramming candy and costumes, a turkey, presents, and a Christmas tree into a few months. I fell off every wagon I had climbed onto. I know now I gave myself too much to focus on at once. I had too many expectations and not a lot of flexibility. I was spending too much on stuff I didn’t need, eating too much, my routine was out the window, I was cramming in lots of commitments because they were “for a good cause” and stress and anxiety snuck back into my life.

All I had worked for seemed so far away and I didn’t know how I would get back. As I sit here writing, I’m still not back there. My tree is still up there are piles of laundry on the floor and dishes in the sink. The beef stroganoff I made was a complete fail and I’m still nursing my back I pulled out on Christmas Eve. But you know what? Those wagons that I was coasting on? They are still there, just waiting for me to hop back on and steer them and I can’t wait to clear a path and do it!

Although, I got off track and things are still a bit chaotic I’m feeling really good about moving forward in 2019. I don’t have a “word” or list of resolutions for this year. I’m working on more of a mission statement inspired by a quote from the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,which reads, “By investing in fewer things we have the satisfying experience of making significant progress in the things that matter most.”

If you are still pondering words and resolutions I say toss them out. It’s been reported 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February anyway! Instead, figure out what it is you really want to do and….

  • Make a mission statement.
  • Write a few obtainable goals, take an inventory in a few months and dont be afraid to change them.
  • Look for breadcrumbs and follow them!
  • Get a pack of gold star stickers and display your achievements – even the small ones.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t work out. Something bigger and better might be just around the corner.
  • If you fall off your wagon, dust yourself off, and just get back on. Don’t wait until the 1st of the month, or a Monday, just start over even if its 3:17 on Tuesday.
  • Don’t be afraid to change midway through the journey. Life is not static, it’s always changing and we are always growing and learning.
  • Don’t put yourself into a box trying to be something other than yourself.

Each one of us has a special gift. Please don’t think what you do is insignificant. There is someone out there waiting to read your story, wear your jewelry, hear your song, display your art, eat your cupcakes, or maybe something as simple as sit on your lap and listen to you read a story.

We all have a light, let 2019 be the year to let yours shine.

Be well,

Lori

Published at No Sidebar on 1/1/0/19.

Hello, Fall!

I know Fall is coming when I start hearing acorns drop from the trees and tumble down our tin roof. It is a very comforting sound that brings with it visions of flannel shirts, jackets, boots, hot chocolate and curling up on the couch with a good book and the sound of  football in the background…all the cozy comforts of being at home on a cool, crisp day. It’s always a welcomed change after what seems like an eternity of 90 plus degrees with humidity you can cut with a knife.

I can’t believe September has come and gone so quickly. I gave myself quite a number of goals to work on and all in all, I think I did pretty well. It wasn’t perfect, but its progress. I also discovered some things about myself along the way.

September goal wrap up: What worked, what didn’t. (For details about goals, you can check out this post and this post.)

  • Controlling my Anger: The thought of hammering a nail in my fence worked. No mommy temper tantrums. Now that is not to say I was Mary Poppins, all smiles and songs. I did raise my voice a couple of times and toss a utensil in the sink with a little extra force, but no melt-downs!  
  • 52 Weeks of Thanks: I mailed out 2 cards this month and have a third one ready to go out tomorrow. 
  • Water: I’m up to 20 oz a day working on 30. I know this is not great but its a start.
  • Taking a Lunch to Work: I got off to a bad start. I forgot my lunch at home several times but ordered a cute new bag for less than $10 that sits next to my purse reminding me to get my lunch out of the fridge. Since then I’ve done well. I’ve also completed my 3rd consultation with a nutritionist helping me establish some healthy eating habits. This is the cookbook she recommended for me. I have done pretty well, but still have days I fall off the wagon and eat a bunch of junk, like a child running loose in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I also ordered The Meal Plan from the Lazy Genius to help simplify the bottomless pit of meal planning. It was only offered for a limited time but if you listen to her podcasts or read her blog she tells you how its done, and I think its….well….genius! I’m working on a post about nutrition to share with you what I have learned. That should be up later in October after my last consultation.
  • Blog Posts: My goal was 2 posts a month and this will be my 3rd because I AM LOVING WRITING!!! I am so thankful for No Sidebar and The Houston Flood Project for my very first publications and thankful for all of you who have visited my site, read my posts, liked or commented and have started following. I hope to find out more about you as I continue this journey.
  • Road Trip: No road trip this month. We had a short one planned but the rain kept us home. I have a couple ideas for next month. My goal is to put them in my calendar and do them!!
  • Read the Bible: I missed the first 4 days in Sept but caught up quickly. I’m using the Read the Bible in a Year reading plan that is in my Bible. Sometimes I miss on the weekends but I make them up on Monday. 
  • Time: I have done pretty well not wasting time. The Moment app has helped but some days I am just dog tired and don’t want to do anything but waste time. The newest update on my iPhone included an app called Screen Time. I’m liking that as well.
  • Money: I have not tracked my spending at all this month so I don’t have a good measure. I can say; however, that my when I have made purchases other than necessities, its been for experiences or something needed to achieve a goal and not for useless stuff or impulse purchases. I’ll make October my baseline.
  • Trash: I haven’t counted how many bags of trash I have produced each day, but I did forget to take the container out to the curb one week on trash day (We have pick up once a week.) and was able to fit 2 weeks of trash in the container that used to fit only one. I also bought a water filter and while it takes a little effort to refill, I haven’t minded because I know it’s worth it.
  • List of 10 Things I Want To Do: I have my list written – I have not completed anything on the list but have started to make progress toward some of those things. I’ll be sharing that later as well and really want to know what is on your list.

What I have planned for October….

In addition to continuing my current goal list, I’m wanting to try some new templates and jazz up my site a bit. It’s starting to feel a little like home and I want to decorate! I’m also itching to add my own photos to blog posts like the one on this post. I was a very active and successful amateur photographer for about 20 years and then after I got pregnant and had my son, I simply lost interest and sold all my outdated camera equipment. I’m going to purchase some basic equipment and I’m hoping to get that feeling of flow I used to get when shooting, the same one I now get when I’m writing. I’m also looking to re-open my Etsy shop.

I’d love to know about your goals and if you are making progress toward achieving them.

Until next time, Be Well!

Lori

Goals: A Blueprint for Change

After reading a post at Lein’s Frugal Life in which she listed out her goals, I decided it would be good to actually put some goals in writing. Seeing what I am working towards on paper will probably help me to be more accountable. So here it goes.

Instead of lofty goals, I have written smaller goals I feel like I can achieve and get some momentum going for the more lofty ones. I don’t want to be overwhelmed  and quit so I’m only starting with a few.

1) Reeling in my temper.

In a previous postI wrote about my adult temper tantrums! I often feel that my anger is justified and often, without thinking, spew and rant and then later, feel really guilty for being a jerk. There is a story floating around the internet about a boy with a bad temper and his father’s solution. The father has the boy hammer a nail in the fence every time he loses his temper and then pull one out when he is able to hold his temper. Eventually he is able to control his temper and pull out all of the nails. However, he is made aware of the holes remaining in the fence.

Words in anger do leave emotional scars. I have read that eventually those wounds can  be healed and the scars can fade, but I’d really like to stop inflicting them. So, for the month of September I will open my tool box and start hammering….or not! I’m hoping that the thought of having to hammer a nail in my fence and leave a hole will make me take a breath and calm my emotions before spewing. I should also get back to my book Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses.

2) Complete my 52 Weeks of Thanks project:

I started this project in 2015 and made almost no progress……talk about procrastination!! I been blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life who have been loving or kind, who have inspired me or encouraged me, who have welcomed me and accepted me, and who have been there during good times and bad. I really want to express my gratitude to them and do so in writing. I started this project a long time ago and sent only one letter and have only just recently completed my 2nd letter. So starting in September, my goal is to send 1 written expression of gratitude a week for my remaining 50 weeks. I bet I can even use an app on my phone to help remind me.

3) Nutritional related goals

I love good food, but don’t especially like to cook. Living out in the sticks, doesn’t provide a lot of options when eating out or grocery shopping, so I wanted to learn to make healthy choices and cook simple meals that would benefit my family, my health, and my waistline. One goal was to meet with a nutritionist to get started. I have had my first of 4 consultations at Advice for Eating. My homework is to write down everything I eat for 3 days. I tell you, it’s a pretty sad list. Especially since I am making the transition from stay at home mom to working mom as the school year gets started. Let just say, the cupboard was almost bare. Fish sticks anyone??? I have also noticed that I need to drink more water. Some days the only liquid I consume is coffee, soda and the water I guzzle before bed because my body is screaming for it. I am very aware that if I don’t bring a lunch to work, I will pick up Taco Bell or Burger King – cheap and fast and not healthy at all. So for the month of September, I will increase my water intake and bring a lunch to work. More nutrition goals to come after my second consultation.

4) Write at least 2 blog posts a month.

I have about a dozen unfinished blog posts hanging out on my computer and making time to complete them is all I need. Sometimes I need time to do more research or just time to type it all out. I have time, I do. Unfortunately, its often wasted doing unproductive activities. (I’m working on that post for next time.) I would also like to start adding one of my own photos to each post, especially since photography was my outlet for so long. Beginning in September, I will carve out a chunk of time several times a week to finish these posts and maybe a chunk of time to set out with my camera.

5) Take even a short road trip once a month.

Oh, how I love a good road trip! I love the open road with “off the beaten path” stops along the way. Texas is vast and diverse in history and culture and climate so unlike my eating options in my small town, my big state is a cornucopia of opportunities for adventures on the road. My son’s current requests are The Bluebell Ice Cream Factory in Brenham and  The Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco. I’m ready to hit the road! As I write this I can almost hear crinkles of a roadmap – does anyone remember those days?

Please share your favorite road trip destinations!

6) Read the Bible again.

I love, love, love to read. I joined a family member and began a New Year’s resolution to read at least one book a month. I started out pacing myself pretty well and I have read 13 books since January. (Three of those are chapter books my son and I have read together. It’s been such fun re-reading books from my childhood.) Then things got crazy and I am now in the middle of 3 books and my Amazon wish list keeps growing. I am at a point of being overwhelmed trying to read them all. So what I would like to do is get back to just reading one book and make it “The Good Book.” Someone once told me they thought the Bible was boring. Having already read it once, I can tell you its got more drama than a whole season of The Real Housewives! This living book has provided me with guidance and understanding to so many of my big questions. YouVersion has a great app that will guide my reading journey. I also love the “P.O.W.E.R. tool” you can download over at Biblical Minimalism. I will be using this to track several of my goals.

I have been delighted to see how far this blog has reached all over the world and so curious to see what goals y’all (I’m a Texan!) are working to achieve.  Please share your goals and your progress.

Until next time, Be Well!

Coming soon: Waste Not Want Not: Time, Money, and Trash