Get Real!

Finding ways to enjoy the hell out of life, while on our journey towards a healthy, authentic and passion-filled life.


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New Years Resolutions?? Um, Yes!

Why I absolutely agree with setting New Year Resolutions??

A lot of things in life may seem arbitrary. Some of the holidays we celebrate, or the traditions that most participate in.

And I totally agree that we needn’t wait for the passing of a year to set goals, intentions, or resolutions for ourselves. But if the New Year can be used as a time to reflect (on our past year, and all the ones before it) and contemplate what we want out of life and our of ourselves going forward? Who could possibly construe that as a bad thing?

The thing is though, don’t choose goals that you aren’t truly passionate about. While I still like having a more tangible list too (publish my book, have lasik eye surgery, see my dad, get on a regular workout routine, kill this tumor with HIFU, minimalizing my bedroom space, etc.), I also really agree with Danielle Laporte  (look her up, she’s awesome) that we really need to focus most on the feelings that we want to have – that’s what’s most important because the things will follow. How do we want to feel day to day. For example, I want to feel passionate, committed, unique, strong and free.

So tangible, or intangible, why not use this day to think about what you want the next year of your life to look like? If you never think about this, never resolve to do better, never take action to make your life better — well then, none of it will ever be possible.

It’s sort of one of the reasons I decided to really end this year with a bang (big weekend in Reno ringing in the new year at the resort, then a long spa day tomorrow while the honey is doing his most favorite thing – snowboarding – with a super fancy steak dinner that night)… because I really am celebrating something. This state of mind. That even though things are not quite how I want them to be now, they can be, and they will be soon. In fact, they are as soon as I believe they are. Oh yeah, and fuck you cold! You will not stop me!

Happy New Year! What are your resolutions??? 🙂

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The fantasy of Tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

Oh tomorrow.
I love you and I hate you, I cannot decide which.
I love you when you allow me to put things off that are ‘difficult’ for me.
Things such as eating better, exercising more, being more thoughtful with my money, being more dedicated to whatever it is I’m working on/planning/dreaming of for the future.

I mean it’s so harmless. I’m not saying it will never happen. I’m not saying I don’t want it to happen.
I’m just saying I will start becoming the the person I want to be tomorrow.
Well sometimes, it’s not quite tomorrow. Sometimes it’s Monday, or the 1st of the next month, or the 1st of the coming up year. Or sometimes it’s some other arbitrary date or occasion. On my birthday. On our anniversary. After our vacation. When I lose the weight. When we have better jobs. When summer is over.

Suddenly, it isn’t so harmless anymore.
When I’m scarfing down like 1500+ calories for dinner because I am (re)starting my diet tomorrow.
When I’m ignoring the perfectly crafted budget that I had created, spending money that I ‘don’t have.’
When I realize that a particular goal I have isn’t any closer to fruition than it was, say, three years ago.

It isn’t that you mean me any harm tomorrow. I know that.
You just make big promises, and I believe you. I believe you every time.
But as soon as you arrive, you just leave me again. Alone.
Without any food in my refrigerator, when my stomach is growling.
Ten pounds heavier than I was before our agreement.
You leave me discouraged, ashamed and desiring more.
So I make another pact with you, tomorrow things will be better. We promise each other. We mean it this time.

And then you come and go, again.
It’s a vicious cycle, a toxic relationship, insanity really.
Tomorrow, you just aren’t stable enough for me. You are not dependable.
You and I cannot build my empire together. It is just not possible.
I’m sorry it had to end this way, and please don’t come around anymore.
I will always struggle with the love in my heart that I have for you. But you are just no good for me.

I need to get reaquainted with today. We will both be happier, I promise.
And maybe one day, in the future, you and I can be friends again as we actually get excited about what is to come tomorrow rather than wasting today in the belief that we will always have tomorrow to do better.

Peace out!


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Get Real: Minimalist

Minimalism.

I had sort of heard about minimalism before. It’s when people get rid of all their stuff! They have no attachment to objects. They can get by with only 5 shirts, 1 spatula and no make up.

Well, what I didn’t understand when I originally explored the subject is what minimalism was actually all about. It is not about getting rid of stuff and lacking the piles of crap most of us have. It is about LOVING everything you own, enjoying how your space looks, and having more energy, time and money for the things that really matter to you.

I think a lot of people talk about minimalist wardrobes. Perhaps because it’s something simple that we all have. And it makes for an easy way to explain things. I had been minimizing my wardrobe over the years, but only recently did I really finally get real with myself. That unworn bridesmaid dress that I have been moving delicately every time I move for years (which since I’m a young adult who apparently can’t stay put, is every year pretty much), that top that my mom bought me that is cute but never seems to be something I want to wear (again for years) to the point where actually looking at it makes me feel nothing but a little bit of guilt at the fact that I have never worn it, the few tops that I always try on when I am going out on the town but never actually wear because I remember that I don’t really like the way I look in them (this wasted my time in trying it on, as well as in cleaning all the clothes off my floor that I had tried on the next day).

Really? What the hell? Why have these items taking up space in my closet, taking up more room when I move, and making me feel uncomfortable when I accidentally throw on an item I don’t really even like all that much and leave the house. Seriously why have these items?

I was explaining why I tossed out another half of my wardrobe to my honey bunny, and I say ‘I only want to wear items that are my favorite!’ To which he quips back with, ‘well that’s not possible!’ ‘Well why not?’ I chirp back.

Blank stare.

I mean, really, why not?

Why can I not wear clothes that I seriously adore all the time. Maybe that means that in a 5 day work week, I wear the same pants, shirt or even whole outfit more than once! I would rather compromise in that way, then compromise by wearing something that I don’t love.

This helps with shopping as well, no more purchasing those items that don’t really captivate your heart. Oh you think it’s kinda cute and you would probably wear it every once in a while? Naw, wait for the items that you cannot bare to leave the store without purchasing as you know the item will be your favorite.

Less laundry. More closet space. Less clutter. More money in your wallet. And oh yeah, I get to wear items of clothing that I love (and get compliments on) every day. Not just sometimes. Everyday!

Just an idea ;).


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A new direction for ‘Get Real (fit and healthy)!’

So. Lots of life changes lately. It’s as that quote I’ve seen around lately states, ‘If you know me based on who I was even just a year ago, then we need to reacquaint ourselves. Because my growth game is strong!’

In order to make this blog something more sustainable for me, in other words to fit my original mission statement for the long haul as my own development keeps occurring, I want to merge my current two blogs and open this ‘new’ blog up even further to include more topics than my original ‘narrow’ focus.

This blog is still (and I promise will always be) about how to ‘enjoy the hell out of our life, while on our journey towards making it healthy, fit and passion-filled.’ However, now it is about so much more. I am adjusting this mission statement to be, ‘how to enjoy the hell out of our life, while on our everlasting journey towards making it healthy, authentic and passion-filled.’

To me, this is still about what we put into or onto our body and how we move our body (whether through food, hygiene products or even our environment such as household cleaners). And my other blog is still totally relevant as well, which is about dealing with chronic health conditions (or any chronic life ‘problems’) in a way that is really authentic to how we want to be living. But now, this ‘new’ blog will also be about some other life ideas I have been working on. Ideas such as having more conscious relationships (with self, friends, family and lovers), as well as minimalism, in as far as it relates to finding the real value in our belongings, relationships, habits and goals. Minimizing what we allow into our lives can help us cherish, respect and enjoy what we do have and actually make us feel more fulfilled with what seems to be much less (less stuff, less people, less on our proverbial plates). Looking into the future, something else I imagine delving into at some point is how all of what we do has an impact on both others lives (individuals, communities and maybe even societies) and the environment (our home).

I’ll be the first to say that at one time I could not have cared any less about my own body (and what I did to it, what I put into it, even who I gave it to – you know, sex -), nor did I care much about anyone elses well being or the planets. I still have a ton of things to work on, as a small example – I rarely ever recycle! I only mention this because, I want to make it clear here and now and forever that I am in no way perfect. I have way more growing to do. And when I grow more. There will still be more to do. Though aiming to reach your full potential is always great to do, it is also important to remember that you can never reach it. For when you reach it, you can see clearly that there is still way further to go! But when you are consistently (no matter how slowly) reaching further and living authentically, you can feel a stillness (some call this being present) that makes you feel completely at peace. No guilt, shame, anxiety, anger, grief, insecurity, hate, resentment or confusion exists here. No tummy upset, heartache, or difficulty breathing. Just peace.

And do I feel as absolutely at peace as I do in this very moment all the time? HAHAHAHHAA GET REAL!!! Of course I do not. No one, no preacher, self-help guru, yogi or anyone else that promotes the messages of growth, faith and love feels this way all the time. It is not about being perfect or feeling perfect inside. It is about how long it takes you to get back to this feeling of peace when you stray (whether you stray due to others behaviors, extenuating circumstances or your own choices/’mistakes’).

Progress (and honesty), not perfection. As you know better, do better. And most of all, through it all, just get and stay REAL!


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Re-Committing to our Health Journey

Re-Committing to your health journey (something I think we need to do every now and then, as so much changes in our lives, and our goals, etc.).

It’s easy to notice (well eventually anyway) when you are just completely sideways, off track, off the wagon, out of the club, however you want to think about it.

But what about when you have just been flirting a bit too much with the ‘other side?’ Maybe you have maintained a great deal of weight loss for a great deal of time, but can’t seem to push yourself any further. Maybe you eat extremely healthy much of the time, but still eat pizza, chips or other junk foods too often.

We, as a society, have finally come to terms with the fact that healthy eating (and moving your body) is not a diet. It is not a temporary way to live. It is a long term, lifestyle, habitual way to live.

So when there is no ‘diet’ to get back on. How do we re-commit? How do we live by a certain set of standards, without restricting ourselves so much as to make this something we cannot continue to commit to? I think the answer is pretty simple, like much of the answers we often seek, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. Simple and easy are definitely NOT synonyms.

Simple is eating whole clean foods at basically every meal, with a focus on vegetables and fruits. And it sounds easy too, but it’s not. Or is it? Now, I’m confused because it sounds so easy. But apparently it’s not.

We can hold on to things for as long or as short as we want. We can re-commit to living by our own values anytime we want. But because habits absolutely DO take work to unform or reform or get rid of, this isn’t exactly as easy as saying ‘I will not do XXX any longer.’ Well, the problem is our mind and body ARE going to want to do XXX because they are used to it now. When that desire comes up, you can either do the behavior … or deny that desire. One or the other has to happen, and our basic instinct will be to do the behavior (if that is what we are used to).

So what I commit to for the next three weeks, is to actively deny the desires that are against what the life I really want to have looks like. To allow the desires to come up (because they certainly will), realize what they are (which are little pulls to do things that I have, unfortunately, become used to), and to just deny the desire. And this doesn’t have to be an angry, negative, denial. It can be loving instead, ‘I understand I want to do this certain thing, and it’s ok that I want to, but it doesn’t mean that I have to, and in fact I’m not going to.’

Cheers to re-committing after I haven’t even blogged here in 8 months!! Yikes!!

Remember, we all have different constraints. Do the best you can with what you have and what you know, and if you do that you can only continue to grow.


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Get Real… about starting our journey to health (and weight loss).

Getting started on this journey to health (and weight loss)…

For some of us this journey is truly that, a journey, over months and years, with lots of changes, adjustments and growth. That being said, it is not easy. It’s not easy in the beginning, the middle or the end. It also doesn’t have to be super difficult either, the choices are all ours.

  1. Find Your Motivation:

I mean, what, deep down is the real reason you want to get real about losing weight and getting healthy? Is it a health issue that’s popped up in your life making you realize that taking better care of your body could help alleviate symptoms or help your body heal (this was a big one for me)? Was it a way you felt that you never want to feel again? Like when you heard remarks from others about your size, or even just when you made remarks/thoughts about your own size? Is it because you find you can’t do certain things that others can, like go on certain rides or other outdoor activities with size/weight limits, or just from lack of energy on its own?

Only you know the real reason/s why you want to make some changes. And it really helps to remember these reasons when times get tough and you are tempted to make a ‘poor’ food choice. Also, adjust your motivations as necessary: maybe in a few days, weeks or months the motivation you once had isn’t enough for you to continue on but maybe you can figure out a new motivation. I’ve had a rough year myself (not surprising, def. lots going on). I’m now trying to focus on being a positive role model for others, because how can I be the health coach I want to be some day if I’m not reaching for my full potential? Maybe you feel the same way about being role models for your friends, family, or children? Whatever the motivations are, hold on to them, and when they change go ahead and change what you’re holding on to.

  1. Don’t Exercise and Don’t Stop Eating Pizza (or do anything else you do don’t want to do):

Considering this is a life long journey, a lifestyle change, and that it may take years to get to your goal weight (depending on where you are starting from), it is important to remember that this needs to be something that will work for you. If exercising is just not something you even want to do, or something that you just honestly don’t have enough energy for….. then don’t do it. I would never tell anyone who wants to exercise not to. It’s very good for you in so many ways. And some people get their motivation for eating right from working out (they feel like they want to eat healthily or they essentially worked out for no reason). However, if feeling like you need to work out in order to lose weight, is holding you back from trying than drop that feeling!

First of all, it’s not true at all. I lost at least 40 pounds (nearly half of the weight I had to lose in the first place) before even really considering working out. I’ve heard different statistics different places, but the rule of thumb is generally that 80% of our efforts for weight loss need to be food/nutrition related. It makes sense. Say you go a day without working out (let’s say a moderately paced hour long workout) and you miss out on having burned 300 calories. Ok. Now, let’s make a similar, but nutritionally related, ‘mistake’ instead and have fast food at one of our meals, and now we’ve added 1500 extra calories for the day. It’s easy to see which choices are going to hurt us more.

The point, really, is that if there is something holding you back then let it go, like thinking you will have to work out, or thinking that you can never have pizza or ice cream again, or thinking that you will have to eat vegetables. Eventually, it would be good to add in some workouts, and limit the pizza or ice cream (and/or try new healthier alternatives, like making your own, or buying goat or almond milk ice cream), and yes eventually on the path to health you will likely be eating more vegetables. But these changes don’t have to happen yet, not if you’re not ready for them.

Some people like to just jump all in, and I say that’s fine too. If it works for you. And if it stops working for you, don’t give up just change things up. In the beginning of my journey I never thought about how I would be exercising one day, and I really never dreamed I’d eat any vegetables ever (and now I eat tons, and actually enjoy them too!). Start making changes, and as you learn more about what is healthy and what’s not, keep making changes. And as you start to notice certain things working and certain things not, again keep making changes.

  1. Always Remember That This is a Choice:

It helps to remember you have a choice, because you do. When someone brings your favorite cookie into work, you have a few choices. Eat none, and continue on your journey. Eat one (or maybe even two), and continue on your journey. Or eat a whole plateful, get quite sick, gain ¼ of a pound the next day, and then continue on your journey. During my journey, I have picked all three at different times. You think we would just wise up and never pick that third option, but what can I say?

Now, when I really get into trouble is when I choose option #3, and then keep on choosing that option (I’ll restart Monday, I screwed today up so I’m just going to make it a day or weekend long ‘cheat’). I may never be able to completely move on from my food addictions/issues. I don’t know. But I do know that I always have the choice to continue on my journey no matter how far off track I may wander. And that’s ok. Sure, it would be nice to be at my goal weight already. But as long as I get there, I’m ok and I will be ok. And so will you :).

  1. Continue to do What Works:

I have tried it all, I started with calorie counting, tracking, menu planning, journaling and weighing in each week. Then I threw the scale away (literally walked it down the street and placed it in garbage can at the nearby park, I thought it would feel more liberating than it did but hey), and stopped tracking and menu planning. Then I bought a new scale and started menu planning again. Then I went Vegan. Then I started Juicing daily, then I stopped, then I started again. Ok this all may not be in the right order. But the point is this whole thing is such a continual and ever-changing process. Just continue to go with it, and do what works for you!

  1. Set Yourself up for Success:

Plan ahead (cooking a lot of brown rice and black beans for the week, for example). Know when you are running out of healthy foods. Have back up snacks in your purse, at work and at home for when hunger strikes. If you want a treat, plan it in (many times this helps with not feeling guilty, and then we really will just have the treat and move on). Don’t keep your worst desired sweets or other junk food in the house (buy an individual size if you want a treat, or if family wants it), because one bad moment and you’ll be eating it.

  1. Keep it Simple:

Meals don’t have to be extraordinary. In fact during the times I have had the most weight loss, I ate very similar and basic meals each day (brown rice, veggies and goat cheese is my usual dinner these days, or eggs, tomatoes and goat cheese — I think it’s delicious yet it’s so healthy and low calorie). Trying to plan full meals each night (spaghetti, tacos, etc.) usually ends up turning out to be meals with much higher calorie counts than you thought even if you are using healthy ingredients. So don’t be afraid to just keep it simple (most of the time, but allow for other meals once or twice a week too). But again, whatever works for you!

 

Always remember, we all have different constraints. Do the best you can with what you have and what you know. If you do that, you will continue to grow. 


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Get Real! (about which diet is right for you)

What is the right diet for me?

Paleo, vegan, clean, raw, alkaline, grain-free, the list can go on.

You can easily google any of these terms and find a plethora of information advising both for and against the diet type. Now, I believe that there really may be a diet that really is the healthiest to follow. Period. However, I don’t know that (in our lifetime anyway) we will find the end all, be all, answer. And even if/when that ever happens, there will always be those with particular health needs that require a different set of food guidelines for optimum health.

Even within my own blog, you can see times when I have aimed for Paleo, a couple months I was vegan, a time when I thought that store bought orange juice was a good way to get more Vitamin D. That is part of what my motto is all about. Do the best you can with what you have and what you know. As I knew better, I did better. And that really is all we can do: the best we can. And we always need to consider too, based on our experiences, what has worked for us (in terms of how we feel, how we are able to digest our food, and if weight loss is a goal what has helped us lose weight).

Now, as far as the ‘healthiest’ diet ever, there are certain things that are not arguable at all though (color me shocked if I ever dispute any of my words here). Things that, across all diet types, do not change.

  • Water: This should be our primary source of liquid each day. Some may recommend black coffee or tea as well. Some may recommend probiotic liquids (kombucha, kefir). NONE will ever recommend drinking any processed beverages such as soda, energy drinks, fruit or vegetable juices (other than ones that are made only of fruits and veggies, with no additional chemicals, preservatives or sugars).
  • Vegetables: The more the better! Some may recommend eliminating or restricting certain vegetables (ones that are higher in acidity content, sugar or starches, for example). Some may recommend only eating these raw, or juiced, or cooked. Some say that it is best to eat a combination of raw, juiced and cooked veggies as each method provides different nutrients that are not available to us in the other forms. For example, juicing strips the fiber (some think this is bad), but allows for quick absorption of the nutrients (which, actually, some may think is bad as well), and also makes certain nutrients available to us which would have been lost in the parts of the food we were never able to fully digest. Cooking veggies, on the other hand, can either accentuate or ‘bring out’ certain nutritional aspects OR can break down or ‘lose’ nutrients in the process (depending on the veggie). Raw advocates believe that any cooking of a food breaks down the nutrients and creates carcinogens that are not healthy and natural for us and can disrupt our digestive system.
  • No Processed foods: No matter which diet type we are looking at, none will ever recommend the use of processed foods, though some believe they are ok in moderation (depending upon how processed, of course). Some believe we should stay away from meat, dairy, or grains, but all would say that in whatever we eat — we should choose the least processed option. A block of cheese (without added ingredients) rather than pre shredded or other processed cheeses (watch out for ‘singles,’ and other completely fake cheeses). Organic chicken breasts rather than processed sandwich meats (with added salts, sugars, etc.). Apples juiced by us rather than a store bought apple juice.
  • No added sugars (other than fruit, honey, molasses, maple syrup): Many diet types recommend no sugar at all (including fruit), but many believe that natural sources (the ones I just listed) are ok in small amounts.
  • Healthy Fats: Believe it or not, none of these diets say anything about avoiding fats! Of course, it depends on where these fats are coming from. But on just about every diet type I can think of (even alkaline) raw avocados and raw almonds are recommended as a healthy fat! Many believe olive oil (uncooked) is also a good source. And for the diet types that do not eliminate dairy or meat, some believe that butter (as unprocessed as possible), and the oil derived from cooking animal fat, is also healthy in moderation.
  • Fruits: Most diet types do recommend fruits in our daily diet. But, due to higher sugar and acidity content, the type of fruits and amount of fruits to be consumed varies. With juicing, it is important to note that with all the fiber being stripped, too much sugar in one juice will sure raise our blood sugar quickly all at once. Whereas eating fruits whole, or in combination with veggie juice may be a better alternative.

So far, we can drink water (and maybe tea or kombucha), we can eat fruits and veggies (especially raw or juiced, and keeping in mind the amount of sugar involved), and we do not need to stay away from fats, so we can eat avocado and almonds (almost) to our hearts desire. Beyond this, things may get a bit more tricky.

  • Whole Grains: Many diet types recommend avoiding all grains, believing that our body cannot digest them properly which causes a variety of problems. This would include rices, breads, pastas, corn, oats, beans, peanuts (almonds, again, still ok). The diets which believe whole grains are good for us (or even essential), only recommend whole grains that have not been heavily processed. So our packages should all say 100% whole grain (or 100% whatever type of grain it is, like 100% whole wheat) AND there should not be any ingredients we don’t understand on the label.
  • Organic Meats and Eggs: Some diet types suggest avoiding all meat, while some highly recommend it. In any case, if we do eat it, it is one of the most important foods that we should choose to buy organic. This is because when we buy non organic meats, there are no guarantees on what the animals were fed (if we are trying to be paleo, but are eating animals which eat grains, than we, in turn, are eating a little bit of that grain in the meat we eat), what chemicals were pumped into the animals, etc.
  • Organic Dairy: Again, many diet types suggest avoiding all dairy, while some recommend a limited amount or only certain forms of it. Paleo, in some cases, advocates for ghee, for example (a pure whole form of butter). Goats products are thought by some to be healthier, easier to digest, etc. than cows products.

So, to make a very long story short. I, personally, do not believe there is a ‘one size fits all’ diet type out there. Especially not when we are really looking at the big picture and all possibilities. Remember! We all have different constraints. Do the best you can with what you have and what you know. If you do that you will continue to grow.