I’m back

A long time has passed since my last post and a lot has happened. I don’t want to go into any detail, just so much that it involved the move of my in-laws and our own move. I practically managed both moves on my own (more or less) and it sucked a lot of energy out of me.

It also threw me completely off the wagon – in every aspect. Everything I had planned on my vision board went on hold. But like I said when I made the board, “life happens”!

What am I going to put on the agenda now?

My weight, definitely! I kept “rewarding”myself with sweet treats for all the work I did and the scale is showing that clearly!

My exercise routine! I thought I was exercising a lot with carrying all the boxes, remodeling and so on. But a session on the treadmill taught me otherwise.

Bringing this blog back to live! After all this month of radio silence it will be a challenge to write regularly again! But I have something on my mind (and my heart) that is really important to me. I will write about that in the next couple of weeks and hope you join me in my request!

Curious? That was the plan.

Stay tuned

A scary incident

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine blacked out, fell and broke his hip. Just like that.  It scared the sh…t out of me and got me thinking….

My friend is 80 years old and I’m convinced that age played a role in this accident, but it nevertheless shocks me how easy his bone broke. I once broke my arm and I also broke a couple of my fingers. Those bones are smaller than the femur and it took a lot of (unintentional) force to break them. My friend didn’t fall down stairs, he just stood up, his blood pressure plummeted, he blacked out and fell (straight to the ground without hitting anything).

Is that what we look forward to when we get older? Could that have been avoided?

I ask his doctor this question. He told me that the right treatment could have kept his blood pressure from plummeting, what caused the fall and therefore the broken femur. But that bones start to calcify and break more easily with age is something you can’t cure. You can eat healthy to slow down the process and you can exercise to build a stable “corset” around your bones. But that’s about it.

I thought a lot about this incident and came to the following realizations: If I ever have to deal with accidents/injuries like that, I hope I can hold on to my humor like my friend is doing. He is still the funniest and kindest person around who loves his wife over the moon and is thankful for every moment he has with her.

I love my hubby over the moon and I’m thankful for every moment I have with him. He encourages me to follow my dreams and supports my efforts to eat healthy and exercise every day. So, I hope that when something like that happens to me, I have my hubby at my side to love and cherish and know how to push my limits in rehab.

Work on your goals and the life you want to live. Enjoy the journey every single moment, because life can change in an instant. You will be able to deal better with changes when you are used to commit to goals and work toward them!

 

The greatest love of all

Do you remember when Whitney Houston sang this song in 1985/1986? I was a young adult at that time and whenever this song was playing I was singing from the top of my lungs (only when I was alone – I am so bad at singing). I loved the song, but I had no idea what it was about (to my defense my English wasn’t too good at that time).

On Valentines Day I was listening to a special Playlist when that song came up. And for the first time I fully understood. You have to learn to love yourself. I learned that, and it changed my live completely. I accept my flaws and limitations, I love my body with all its imperfections, and I don’t regret the mistakes I made in live because they brought me here. And it made my love to my family and my friends deeper. Isn’t that weird?

I honestly don’t know how I learned to love myself. Was it the unconditional love of my hubby and my family or the freedom to take long walks in the awesome nature to let your mind wander? Probably a combination of both.

I can’t give you any advice how to get to that point. But keep trying, it is worth it!

5 tips if you plan to quit smoking

  • You must be ready

You must be at that point where you are aware of your addiction and where it starts to bother you. Most smokers are aware that they are addicted and go great length to feed that addiction. When you start to hate the fact that you are the first one to leave the dinner table to smoke a cigarette, then you’re almost there.

 

  • You need a good reason

Whatever the reason for your decision to quit smoking, it must be important for you. And only for you! Your family and/or friends are concerned about your health and have only your wellbeing in mind, but they can’t decide, what will be your motivation (reason) for your journey.

 

  • Inform yourself

There is a lot of information out there. Read it! It helps to know what to expect. And it is encouraging to know that a lot of the damage done by smoking is reversible!

 

  • Get all the help you need

There is no “one solution fits all”! I know people who did it the hard way (cold turkey) and I know people who did it with nicotine patches and/or gum. That wasn’t working for me, so I went to my doctor and he prescribed Chantix. That and the support of a good friend helped me. There are also a lot of groups and helplines who will help you stay on track. Whatever help you need, get it! You’re on the way to overcome an addiction! That is no walk on the beach!

 

  • Be aware of the positive changes

The withdrawals will hit you. If you are aware of the positive changes your body is going through they are better to overcome. The first thing that changes is your heartrate. If you can (if you have a fitness tracker with heartrate monitor for example), keep an eye on it. Then there is your sense of taste that will recover. It is amazing how much your body will change. Focus on that whenever you have the urge to grab for a cigarette!

No excuses to quit

Did you hit a roadblock or fell of the bandwagon? Don’t use it as an excuse to quit because it will define you in the long run!

It’s interesting to watch a phenomenon you can see on Facebook every January. People want to change their life completely, it is all or nothing. They join certain groups, count calories and head to the gym every day. That works fantastic for the first 3 to 4 weeks, because anybody can train like a maniac and restrict himself calorie wise and have some success with it. But then suddenly something happens. That can be an injury or a simple cold and they can’t hit the gym for a week. Or they must attend an event and start eating way more than their calorie limit allows.

This is where the wheat gets separated from the chaff (German saying). There are the ones who rethink their strategy, adjust and start over. Than there are the ones (the bigger group) who quit right there and then! Not a big deal! But they will try again next year and if they fail again a pattern will form. And you really don’t want that pattern to define you!

So, no matter how huge the roadblock you hit, no matter how far you got off your track or how often you failed in the past, take a step back and think about your game plan. Did you set yourself up for failure because you wanted to change everything over night or you just took on too much? If so, adjust your plan and start again….and again….and again!! Until you are where you want to be!! And why? Because you can!!

Oooops… I did it again 😊

I registered myself for the next 5K!

As mentioned in one of my posts before, I quit smoking last year (August) and started running (for the first time in my life) 2 month later – to test my increased lung function! And to motivate myself I registered for the 5K-Critter Trail (November 18th). That gave me about 5 weeks to train for the event…

Right during my first training session I realized that running isn’t as easy as it looks like. At least not for me. After a couple of steps my leg muscles were singing hallelujah. I had to stop and walk for a while (btw no problems with breathing at all). All the following trainings were the same way. My time got better, but I couldn’t run a single mile. I always had to go back to walking in between.

Race day came, and I started doubting myself and my sanity badly. What in this world got me to register for a 5K? But I got my act together and did it. My time was a bit better, but nothing worth mentioning. At least I didn’t come in last! And I felt awesome! I had done something I had never done before! At my age!

 

 

 

 

 

I was planning of running more 5Ks. It was more a thought than a serious goal. After the race in November I still tried to run every once in a while, but didn’t kept training. Additionally, I had gained some weight because I exchanged cigarettes with pretzel rods. So, one of my goals for 2018 is to lose the 20 lbs I gained. My data (all the nice apps on my phone) showed that the difference between my thinner me from beginning of last year and me today were the pretzel rods (otherwise same calorie intake) and less daily steps and therefore also less calorie burn.

The decision for a goal was made. I want to lose the 20 lbs in the same timeframe I gained them (5 month). The two changes I must make are: no more pretzel rods and more exercise. I am trying to drink a sip of water every time I feel the urge to reach for a pretzel rod and until now that works pretty good.

And as a motivation for more exercise I just registered for the next 5K (on March 4th). What was I thinking? I checked the times from last years race – I am screwed! And I have only 6 weeks to train! So, why did I do that? Because I can!

The DCS system

 

In my post about the vision board I mentioned the DCS system. And today I want to explain it, because it sounds so simple, and it kind of is, but if you don’t follow some rules it won’t work.

 

Decide

This can be tricky because we’re talking here about short-term goals and not your long-term goals. For your long-term goals you are supposed to dream big, like the sky is the only limit. But for the short-term goals you must decide on manageable, timely limited goals. For example, if your long-term goal is to become a lawyer, then getting a high school diploma could be a short-term goal.

A popular goal is to lose weight. That is too unspecific. You must give it a number. If you want to lose a lot of weight it is better to break it down in smaller steps to not get discouraged. And give it a healthy time frame. I read a couple of posts on Facebook from people who want to lose 50 lbs in 3 months. That is doable, but not healthy and probably not long lasting. Unless your life is in danger and your doctor asks you to lose so many lbs in such a short time you are better off to decide on smaller goals (1-2 lbs weight loss per weeks seems to be a healthy rate).

 

Commit

There is a saying: Every achievement has its price! And here you must pay in advance. If you decided on your goals, you must commit yourself to them. To stay with our examples, if you decided to get your high school diploma while you’re working you will spend your evenings in school and your weekends buried in books. If you decided to lose weight, you will probably change your eating habits and exercise more. All that can minimize your social life, but good friends will stay at your side and support you.

Those changes aren’t easy and usually people who do that go through 3 phases. 1st you will have a good feeling for having started and changed something. Phase 2 is the turning point. The first hype is over, and the changes are just annoying. You would rather go out with your friends on the weekend instead of studying or go out with the girls to have some ice cream instead of sweating in the gym.  Here it shows if you are really committed and pull through. Phase 3 is where it gets easier because the changes turn into new habits.

 

Succeed

Really? A chapter about succeeding? Having success is great and fun, so what is there to talk about? Let’s just say: celebrate, brag about it, reward yourself and then move on! Nothing wrong with enjoying the success, but leaning back for too long can get you off your track and out of your new habits. Don’t let that happen!

 

My vision board 2018

This time I made a video. This is my first video, so please bear with me. The quality isn’t too good. I was pretty nervous so my German accent was worse than normal and I made a lot of mistakes.

I promise it will be better next time!

 

5 Tips to stop procrastinating

We’re already into our second week of the new year. How are your resolutions coming along? Are you still on your path or are you already struggling with them?

If you are the type who has the best intentions in the morning but loses his goals out of sight during the day, here some tips for you:

 

  • Tell someone

To tell someone about your little (daily) goals makes you more responsible for it.
But chose your audience wisely! Don’t tell it to your drinking buddy, who agrees with you no matter what you are doing. Instead choose your best friend, the one who kicks your ass if you leave the path!

 

  • Set a time limit

Whatever you must do to reach your goal, set a daily time limit. You must decide for yourself how much time you can spend every day to work towards it! But be honest with yourself. It won’t work if your day is already so cramped that you have to cut down on your sleeping time. On the other hand, watching TV is no excuse!

 

  • Make an appointment in your schedule for it

No matter what you are using, a wall calendar, a personal journal or an app. Just write it down (of fill it in). Give it its own space in your daily schedule. That will make it a little bit harder for yourself to accidentally plan other activities for that time frame.

 

  • Create a reward system

This trick is as old as mankind. Promise someone a reward and he will increase his efforts, like a medal for an athlete or a bonus for a worker. You can choose either smaller rewards for smaller steps or bigger rewards for bigger steps. If you choose the latter, create a points system, so you can see how close you get to your reward. What would bring you to increase your efforts?

 

  • Stop feeling guilty

There will be days where you won’t able to work towards your goals. You may have an important appointment you can’t postpone. You may have personal or health problems. Or you may be not in the mood for it and you know that it would lead to nothing if you force yourself. No matter what it is, don’t let that start the downward spiral of the guilt trip! Just put the day behind you, count it as an experience and start fresh the next day!

 

So, start your journey – because you can!

Sometimes even paradise sucks

As a German city girl, I really love Florida. The weather (most of the time) and especially the wild animals here are just awesome. Where else do you cross path with gators, bears, turtles, racoons, armadillos, rattle snakes and so on?

But than there are these moments…….

Half a year ago, while we were having way above average temperatures, our A/C quit. Naturally something like that happens while my hubby is working somewhere across the country. The failure in the system was found quickly, but the part that had to be exchanged had to be ordered. So, I had no A/C for 3 days. 105 degrees F by day and 90 degrees F by night.

Now the temperatures are way below average. It is freezing at night and the highs for the days are around 50 degrees F. And guess what, my hubby is working somewhere across the country and our heating quit. And again, the culprit is a part that had to be ordered. So, no heating for 3 days. 65 degrees F by day and 50 degrees F by night!!

I know that these are not the worst problems to have in this world. I don’t even see them myself as problems. They’re just little drawbacks that let my paradise appear less tempting (for 3 days) and make me miss my hubby even more!

What rocks your perfect world?

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