Tag Archives: health

taking care of me



August has already been quite the eventful month. I decided to look into a part time job. If you are counting, this makes 3 outside of the house jobs.

  • teaching
  • cleaning, tourist changeovers
  • server, Applebee’s

And don’t forget:

  • mom to human child
  • mom to furbabies
  • wife
  • band booster secretary
  • band mom
  • and I am sure I am missing some…

I have set out to start taking better care of Jen, (no, I will not be speaking any further in the 3rd person….it s just plain weird)

I have walked every day since July 7th. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I did not set out to walk every day for 30+ days. But once I hit day 16 or so, I felt like I could do anything!! And, I figured I could set a goal of continuing the streak until I started back in school September 2nd. At first I kept this goal a secret. I didn’t want to jinx myself. I kept going. Adding one day at a time.

To make this goal a reality, I am having to change the way I speak to myself and out loud. I talk about wanting to get my walk in and not how I “need” to walk. I want to continue my walking streak and as long as I think about it as something I want to do then I will keep on keepin’ on. Some days are hard, not gonna lie. I tell myself to just start moving. I can walk one mile no matter what!!

Two weeks ago, my Q and I started the PiYo program. We set out with the intentions to follow the program exactly the way it is written out on the calendar which was provided. Week one we rocked. Week two took a few twists. Taking on a new job where I am on my feet the whole time changed my thoughts on working out just a bit. I want to do every piyo workout. More importantly, I want to do every piyo workout without injury. That means I must listen to my body and not that tiny voice of guilt from not doing it. Last week, I took one rest day and then doubled up the next day and that was great!! The day I doubled up, I felt strong and ready to tackle it all. The day before when I chose a rest, I was tired and my legs felt tired and heavy.

And then there was Sunday. On Sundays I clean in the mornings but this Sunday, I also was scheduled for a training shift at AppleBee’s (AB) from 5-10pm. Did I mention this was all the night before Q started band camp?!? In between cleaning and showering for AB, I walked one mile in my bedroom. I took that walk low and slow…I use my Leslie Sansone videos but to keep it low, I don’t use the normal intensity. I keep the kicks and knees lower. I wanted to walk to keep my streak alive but I knew I would be on my feet for 5 hours. Keeping it low allowed me to walk and to stretch my legs a bit.

I am learning I can walk every day. I can do the PiYo workouts. I can work a physical job. I can do it all. I think walking every day has been good for me. I am successful in  this goal and I am starting to feel my legs responding. PiYo is hard for me but I modify and I do my best and I cannot wait to see what 8 weeks of this looks and feels like. I am looking forward to the physical changes, I am already noticing the mental benefits of both of my fitness endeavors.

I have walked late at night to get it in. I walked last night at 9:30. It is a wonderful benefit of walk at home workouts….I don’t have to worry about heat, humidity, rain, bugs, dark, etc. Even on the days I have walked late, I have felt like such a rockstar for getting in my walk. I feel like I am doing this great thing for my body. I am now realizing, it is not just my body that is happy for my daily walks!!

My new fitness endeavors are new ways to take care of me!




april goals


I wrote out some goals and intentions in January. I even claimed a word for the year.
I made a commitment to myself. To be the best me I can be.

I  strive to work on me. To work through some of the demons in my head, to hear what is going on in there, to feel what is going on in there. It has been an emotional roller coaster these past three months. If I am being honest, I have been on an emotional roller coaster for quite some time and I am just now realizing I need to deal with it.
Some of my newish activities have been helping me deal with the emotions of life, the emotions of living, and the emotions of finding my happy place. and then there’s that whole concept of trusting myself and changing course when time calls for it. I keep working at it.I am a work in progress and to that end, I have decided to set a few goals for April. It is time I actually came up with a plan and set reasonable and realistic goals that actually work towards something more sustainable…

  1. #yogaaday….all 30 poses posted on IG (even if its once every few days, whatever)
  2. 10 yoga classes (if not at an actual class, a 30 minute video counts)
  3. Complete stage 1 of NROLFW
  4. 2-5 hours of BTE (bike, treadmill, or elliptical) each week.
  5. One 5k for time each week
  6. Read one actual book each week
  7. No scale til May 1
  8. find my paleo/primal balance (or: stick to the foods I know make my belly happyme feel good, not gross)
  9. one more…have fun. Play more. Play.


That’s enough. That’s more than I intended but I think they can stay. I put a focus on activities I enjoy. If I am focusing on what makes me happy and doing what I enjoy, it stands to reason, I will be happier and enjoy life just that much more!

So bring on April.

Let’s see just how awesome April turns out!!

Perfect day for yoga


I went to my 3rd (out of 7) Wednesday YIN yoga class. I have been trying to blog about this new class but I haven’t had the words. But after class the other day, I needed to work through some of my feelings and thoughts about and associated with this class.Wednesday was a beautiful, sunny day…still cold and a lot tad windy but beautiful. Even the drive to class was beautiful. Every song that came on the radio was upbeat and singalongable and I didn’t hit any traffic snags. The drive relaxed me and pumped me up all at the same time.

I couldn’t wait for class.

Stevee, yoga instructor, started the class with a few questions:

Why are you here? Has your reason changed?

If you know me, you know I’m sort of loud and outgoing and upbeat. I put on a good show of confidence but I have many bouts of self doubt and insecurity. Especially around strangers. And even more especially when I am truly honest with my feelings and thoughts and emotions…in front of strangers or coworkers. I wait to hear what others say and share before I let my all out loud.

When Stevee asked these questions I was the first to volunteer. I blurted out my yoga “story” which is not much of a story but I’ll bullet point it here anyway.
*my first yoga experience was about 4 years ago. I hated it. In fact, yoga pisses me off. I didn’t know how and couldn’t turn my brain off. Plus, I had no balance. I made it thru 4 classes and that was it.
*knee and ankle surgery. Lots of physical therapy.
*last year when I had a gym membership, I tried a yoga class again. This class was intense but the instructor always repeated, “listen to your body,” “this is a judgement free zone,” and “do not compare yourself to your neighbor, eyes on your mat.” I didn’t go to many classes but but I did discover I could silence my brain chatter. I could listen to my body.
*I discovered how good downward dog felt on my poor achy calf (remember that surgeries leg). However, I discovered DWD too late because my other gym activities left me with a bummed calf.
*I rested my calf. I got lazy. I got bummed. I got downright depressed.
*I set huge goals that now scare the bejeebus out of me.
*I came across this free yoga class at my college. The instructor hooked me in from her first hello. I signed up for Stevee’s emails and within a week or so, I had an invitation to her upcoming class. I had never heard if yin yoga but the description sounded like something I would be into.
*when I started this class, I wanted to work on my mind-body connection but I wanted to work that connective tissue to continue to heal, and increase flexibility and mobility, ankle which has an incredible amount of scar tissue. I wanted help with my running, because of that big, scary goal.
*my reasons for continuing this class is the emotional attachment to that hour on the mat. I sound like a yogi My body as much as my mind as much as my soul need my hour on Wednesday. I almost cannot give you the words for how much I feel during yin.
*then Stevee asked if I was using it off the mat. And I truly believe that in this class I am learning to be mindful, on and off my mar. I still have to remind myself to listen and to trust myself but I am more mindful off my mat.


I know I rambled, and I didn’t get into this much detail in class but I hit the highlights. When I was finished talking, I was all choked up. I didn’t actually cry, i didn’t hold tears in I just didn’t actually cry. We went around the room and I tried to listen but I was very zoned into not own head. Not in a distracted, what’s on my to do list sorta way but in a deep thought zone. It was a weird zone-out because I was still very aware of the conversations around me as my classmates shared their yoga stories and what brought them to this class.

Class was awesome….just the right combination of poses and conversation. I am soaking in this new knowledge. Yin yoga is different than any other yoga class I have ever taken or any dvd I have ever followed along with. In Yin you hold poses for 3-5 minutes and you use props – blocks and straps and blankets to assist in the poses. The point of the poses is not to engage all your muscles while you hold a crazy pose, instead its actually the opposite. In Yin, you sort of turn to mush in the poses. Stevee likens it to acupuncture without the needles. It reminds me of that “hurt so good” feeling you get when you foam roll after a 10-miler. I am truly learning what my body likes and needs.

And I think I am falling in love with my body. And yoga.

It was the perfect day for yoga.

The ride home from class was just as beautiful, just as perfect. I can’t remember what was on the radio. I was too busy enjoying the scenery.
See for yourself….

imagejust a cell-phone picture but I needed to get a picture of those clouds over the bay at sunset.

It was an accident


I stopped weighing in.

I stopped stepping on the scale.

I didn’t do it on purpose.

I think I quite like it.

Every Wednesday morning in January and February the first thing (after the normal stretch, potty, turn coffee on routine) I did was step on the scale. I teamed up with my friend, Ann, for a good old-fashioned Shrinking Jeans challenge so there was a weekly weigh in. The week after the challenge ended, I completely lost track of days that week and didn’t realize I had even missed weigh in or that it was Wednesday until my fourth class.

Side note: did you know today is March 20th?!?

Somehow, that one missed weigh in became two and today makes three. And I think I am going to continue this streak. I don’t want the scale to be important. And it was getting to be a too important piece in my puzzle. Actually not so much the scale but weight loss (or lack of) the scale represents.

I’ve come to realize I want so much more than weight loss. I want to eat foods that make me feel good. I’m still battling some belly issues but some issues have been resolved as long as I stay away from wheat and excessive sugar, especially the two together. I want to move my body comfortably during yoga…hell, I want to be comfortable during any physical activity. I want things that have no translation into a number on the scale. I have wanted to ditch the scale, wanted to not care about the scale but never quite pulled it off. I usually convince myself I need to know that number. I need to make sure I’m doing “right” and right means losing weight.

But why do I feel this need to lose weight?!?

The thing is, I just want my clothes to fit better. Like they did prior to my injuries and surgeries. That’s it. I want to feel confident in anything I wear.

Turns out, when I am physically active I feel much more confident in myself.

This has NOTHING to do with how much I weigh.


I am finding a rhythm with the gym and working out. I LOVE going to the gym and doing my thing. I love the way I feel when I am all sweaty and gross after a good gym session.

So for now, I am staying away from the scale and focusing on true measures of health and fitness.

A very happy accident!

Jen’s February Challenge


I will celebrate my 35th birthday in about 3 weeks. I have been toying with different ways to celebrate/honor this momentous occasion.

  • my friends (yes, you and all my twitter/facebook/fitbloogin’ peeps) live ALL over the place. 
  • I can’t take off and fly to a tropical climate. Seriously, who wouldnt want to spend their birthday on a tropical island?!?
  • I was working on a list of 35 “things” I want to accomplish this year. Not sure about this one anymore (I do better one month at a time, not the whole year)
  • I wanted to have fun, challenge myself and drag my friends along with me
  • AGAIN, I can’t jump on my private jet and gather all my friends and land on a tropical island
  • But that sounds great, doesn’t it?!?

So how does a girl celebrate with her friends when her friends are scattered all over the country/world?!?

She drags them into her crazy scheme challenge…

Jen’s YogaLove Fest February

Ok so the name needs work!

I am challenging myself and YOU to daily yoga!! Complete a yoga practice (10 minutes minimum) EVERY day in February!!

Yoga at home using a video, yoga doing your own thing, yoga at a studio, any yoga is a good yoga!

Are you with me?!?!

Yoga Sources:

DoYogaWithMe.com (huge, free video library)

30 minute beginner video  (I use this video a lot)

another 30 minute beginner (a little more intense as the vidoe above, I love it)

my yoga pinterest board (I will keep adding videos and information here as I gather it)

Then we can all celebrate MY 35th Birthday….I mean World Yoga Day

I will also be more committed to doing and posting a picture of growsoulbeautiful’s  #yogaaday pose!


So who is with me?!?

Can you?

Will you ?

Yoga with me every day?

It’s good for your heart, your head and your body!

Plus, you will make me smile!!

heat, cookies, headaches, #lessprocessed


  • no heat – until Super Storm Sandy blew into town, it had been warm around here. Warm enough to not need a coat and warm enough to not need heat. After Sandy, and our power came back on, we decided it was time to turn the heat on for the first time. We opened all the windows in preparation of the stink of starting a forced air, gas heater for the first time in many, many months. We turned the heater on and NOTHING happened. We tried to relight the pilot to no avail.
  • We had a friend (who is more lie family) come and check it out and he thought it could just be a cheap part. They tried – NO GO. So it is not going to be a quick, easy fix. Instead we are looking at a minimum of a $400 part plus labor costs because my friend is not a heating guy and does not feel comfortable to do the bigger job.
  • On the up-side, the weatherman says its going to warm up this weekend.
  • On the not-up-side (well, besides broken heater), I have been keeping my eating under control this week. For the most part. I have not exercised, only stretching here and there, and normally that would push me straight to eating like crap. Not this week. This week, I made the best choices I could!
  • Until the cookies came out. I am trying to eat mainly wheat-free (not eating  the big wheat stuff – pastas, breads, cookies, etc but I am not obsessing whether my soy sauce has gluten in it) and I have been doing pretty good with it. However, I am not perfect. My husband went to the store and came home with snickerdoodle cookies. I didn’t even know they were in the house. The other night, AJ microwaved the cookies and the whole house smelled wonderful. I tried to resist but I have no control.  I ate 4 cookies – ok, not the end of the world. I can move on.
  • Until I woke up yesterday. The morning after the 4 cookies. I woke up with such a headache and a bellyache. And my joints were achy. OK, the achy joints may be from the lack of heat in my house or the way I slept. But, the belly and headaches that lasted ALL day…definite side effects of sugar and wheat. Nothing like clear cut, physical evidence of how my body does not like wheat or sugar or the combo
  • There has been a TON of talk around the interwebz about different diets and challenges – paleo, #unprocessed, #whole30, clean eating…blah, blah, blah….and I have been struggling with this stuff. However, my good friend Roni (you know the one, that awesome chica who created Fitbloggin) has been tweeting #lessprocessed because super strict unproccessed did not completely work for her. I totally get it totally unprocessed is un-doable for me, at least for now. But for now, is the only time frame I can think about.
  • I do not want to diet. I want to lose weight and be healthier, but I do not want to diet. The last time I truly dieted, I lost 60ish pounds but then went back to normal eating (plus an injury) and gained most of it back. I don’t want to do that again. I hate to sound so cliche but I really want to make permanent, lasting, lifestyle changes. I don’t want food or exercise to be the enemy or a punishment. I want to enjoy it all.
  • I want to enjoy life. I already do but I want more. More joy, more fun and just more out of life.

  • I have also decided for now, I want to blog more often (it’s good for my head) . I may blog in bullet points forever – it really matches my rambly brain these days!
  • What do you want?!?

more learning


Lately, I have been evaluating myself, paying more attention and slowing down to let in emotions and really see and feel what is going on with me. I am very much a work in progress and this feels so new to me but I have learned many things!

  •  I have so much patience with just about everything and every one other than myself and my weight loss journey.  I want things to happen. NOW.
  • but I am working on patience with this journey. The more I slow down, the more I am able to see and feel what I need and want.
  • I am so insanely scatterbrained. I tend to start a lot of projects, challenges, bandwagon, etc. Problem is I rarely finish.
  • I have to really, really focus in order to finish and work on one thing at a time. Case in point, yesterday I was cleaning and organizing my room. A very messy project because I have started many times, but gone to do something else before really finishing. Yesterday, I finished! I ONLY worked on my room. And, it looks good!
  • I need to do this more often! No wonder, stuff like blogging takes forever….I get distracted and check twitter or facebook or whatever.
  • I work better if I take baby steps but those steps need to lead somewhere. I am working on my eating habits, bite by bite, so that one day, I don’t have to think about making healthy choices. But the healthy choices are second natures, the automatic choices. Weightloss will come as my healthy choices become healthy habits. On the workout, physical activity, I need goals there too. A reason, that is not weight loss related but something to work towards.  I need structure, a plan, something on each calendar day.   I also need something to work towards that is a bit less rigid. And I know exactly what I want! (Vague, I know, but coming soon!)
  • I have been seeing a lot of twitter noise about paleo, whole foods, #whole30, unprocessed, and I am sure there are more. I am learning a lot and I have found that I feel better when I eat mainly wheat free. But I don’t want to go wheat-free crazy – I have decided it is not important for me to go nuts about buying gluten free soy sauce and ketchup. I have also decided that occasionally I will use regular bread crumbs or flour (not almond or coconut or another super expensive alternative) and I have a few reasons for that: first there is my budget – those other flours or wheat alternatives can be quite expensive and second, I don’t want to replace wheat with alternatives, for the most part I want to eliminate wheat. Pastas, breads, cakes and brownies (and more) are huge triggers for me. I am sure whatever flour is used, I am going to eat more than I need. It is better to just not have them.
  • 80/20 or #lessprocessed – a hashtag I saw tweeted by Roni – I like this one. I am not ready to go 100% paleo (what is wrong with beans or potatoes?!) or unprocessed (right now, I am not willing to give up my coffeemate) but I am baby-stepping my way to eating much cleaner. I know on those days of better food choices I sleep better and wake feeling lighter.
  • I am a work in progress and I am going to enjoy the adventure of getting to know myself a little bit better.
  • Weekends are very easy to “screw up” – I need to be better prepared to spend all day with the husband for football Sunday. I allow the potato chips in the house and I all myself to eat them. I have no business eating one, single potato chip!!  Wanna know why?!? Because, I have no off switch with potato chips just like I have no off switch when it comes to brownies or bread. Next weekend, I will make sweet potato chips (I am pretty sure I saw a recipe on pinterest) and I will have veggies cut up!
  • I need more yoga in my life. I have only been averaging 1-2 practices a week. But each time, I finish a dvd I am amazed at how my body and my soul feel.
  • I need to do my workouts at school, before I come home. And, Q is fine without me for an hour and AJ will survive too. I can still be home in plenty of time to make a fantastic dinner. And AJ and Q can help out around the house and with dinner workings a bit more – I do not have to do it all.
  • A bunch of my friends have told me I have to think of my journey, and do what is best for me. My family will follow along or do their own thing but I can make it easy or hard on myself. Before, I was making it hard on myself. I was letting negativity steer me and my food choices.  I was not compromises, I was caving. Now,  I am going to work on eating what makes me happy. Everything will work itself out.


Always learning.

Making progress!!