Breaking news on the health coach front

So remember when I said I wanted to be a health coach but the timing wasn’t right and 2018 would be the year of the book?

(Spoiler:  2018 is SO not the year of the book.)

So after I wrote this and put all my feelings in writing and sent it out into the world, I sit with it a little bit.  I did make some slight book headway.  But I kept coming back to the idea of health coaching . . .

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Weird Things I do in the Name of Health

You know how sometimes you do something that you’ve grown so accustomed to that you don’t even notice that you do it?  And then someone is like, wait what are you doing, that’s kind of weird?  Or maybe not even weird, but just different and you realize that not everyone does it?

So this is my list of that stuff.  A collection of things I’ve slowly added, over a few years, that I do for my healthiness.  I don’t do all of them every day, but I do a lot of these a lot of the time.

(And as always I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  This is just stuff that I do.  Do your research.)

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ICYMI: All the Feels Edition

3.18_ICYMI

This is pretty much my life right now.

On the Blog:

Thanks for all of your support on my Quitters Story and my freak out on the future.  You guys are awesome.  I totally owe you a cappuccino.

The blog’s most popular feature by far.  I should just cut the middle man and have Henry do all the writing here.  #1 blog of all time.  Done.

I’m still doing a little running and still doing a little paleo.  Looking to change up your own habits?  Try this trick.

Looking for your next read?  Check out my 2015 list.

It’s Friday!  You know what I’m doing tonight.  Henry has already called “all the Octonauts.”  Huzzah!

On the Internets:

The baffling reason many millennials don’t eat cereal.  Hint:  it isn’t because they’ve all gone paleo and started eating eggs.

Over at MMD, Anne is talking about fashion in the thirties.  I agree with it all, and loved this:  How a Closet Cleanse Helped Me Embrace My Thirties.

I need to remind myself of this frequently.  Yes, it is only a season.

Hey there West Wing fans.  I’ve got the podcast for you!   (More podcast shenanigans here.)

I’m a little obsessed with Bower Power’s faux wood laminate backsplash.  #kitchengoals

We’ve got an Easter egg hunt this weekend.  Will also see if we can pull off any Palm Sunday capers.  I mean, we are in the right city for it after all.  How about you?  Big plans?

ICYMI: Jet Lag Edition

Hi friend!  How are you?  Are you having a good February?  Also terrified of puppy monkey baby?

Sorry for the radio silence ’round these parts.  We’ve been battling jet lag, and I feel like we are just kind of mostly getting back to normal.

I’ve been kind of insufferable lately.  I have so many things I want to do that I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin.  We did have excellent family time in January, but it was hard to get going on things while on the road.  Then the jet lag is setting us back.  I know it will just take time.  But I never claimed to be a patient person.  I want it ALL.  And I want it NOW.

I should give myself a little credit.  We have booked 2/3 of a Sicily trip for this spring.  I won my January Diet Bet, and I’ve been sticking to fairly strict paleo.  I just signed up for the Spartan Run in April (EEP!), but I still need to get officially signed up for the half marathon in March.  And then train for it.  NBD.

We are psyched to be back in Italy.  Carnival has been in full effect.  Confetti on all the playgrounds.  Children in costume on the reg.  We hit up the parade in Piazza Navona this past Saturday.  It was quite the classy affair compared to our raucous Tuscan Carnevale last year.  Picture lots of people on horses and in period costumes.

We are also in the throes of trying to apply for Italian public preschool.  I’m still not sure if we want to do it, but we are trying to even see if we can get a space before we have to decide.  Let’s just say the process has been VERY Italian.  I promise to share more on this later in case it helps anyone else who wants to try it.

On the Blog:

What I was into in January.  I should have also mentioned seasonal squash.  They don’t really have winter squash here, and I was LOVING all the butternut and spaghetti squash.

I also finally got around to putting pen to paper on 2016 resolutions.

After an awesome free first Sunday museum in December, you’d think we’d have hit one last Sunday, but not.  😦

Those boys keep saying the darndest things.

I threw down the fitness gauntlet.  But then I did some thinking on how to feel good without diet or exercise changes.

On the Internets:

My latest stroller obsession.  I’m very tempted by the fact that my friend says this fits on Roman buses and trams.

Anyone want to buy Michelangelo’s Tuscan Villa?  (Hat tip PK)

Want to see where Beyonce (apparently) stayed for the Super Bowl?  (Hat tip JRW)

Hope to be back more frequently soon.  In the meantime, anyone have any cruise line recommendations?

Goals for 2016

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New year.  New slate.  I know some people aren’t into resolutions, but I like the chance to step back, reassess, and commit myself on new paths.  I still need to do some wrap ups on 2015 (I actually hit some of last year’s goals!), but since we’re already (almost a month!) into 2016, might as well start there.

(Hmm, I also already seem to have used my allotted exclamation point quota up before the first paragraph.  I’d make it a goal to stop, but, yeah, no.)

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30 Day EVERYTHING Challenge

6.8_30 day challenge

“Break the cycle. You’ve got to break the cycle.”

Wise words from a wise friend who visited in December.

I knew she was right.  I just didn’t know how to snap out of it.

What’s my cycle?  It goes a little something like this.  I wake up usually a bit tired and out of it.  I make it through the day with the kids that is equal parts fun and obliteratingly exhausting.  After dinner prep, bedtime prep, cleanup, etc. I collapse into a chair with a glass of wine.  The wine tastes pretty good, and I think of a snack that will go well with it.  Maybe popcorn.  Cheese.  Chocolate.  I run out of wine before I run out of snack which means I need to get more wine.  I stay up too late and then stay up even later reading.  Repeat.

On the one level, I understood that there were things that would make me feel better.  Like exercising.  Sleeping more.  Not eating crap.  I just couldn’t do these things.  I was too tired to do things to make me less tired.  A vicious cycle.

After one of our rounds of guests, I was completely knocked on my booty.  That week I did all the things.  I ate all the things.  I drank all the things.  I stayed up too late.  It was a bad scene, man.

I finally decided that I’d had enough.  I knew what I needed to do.  Mac finally mostly started sleeping through the night.  I was out of excuses.  It was time to make a change.

I scoured the internet for things to make me feel better.  It isn’t rocket science though.  Exercise.  Sleep.  Good food.

Instead of incremental change though, I decided to make a bunch of changes at once.  That’s me.  All or nothing.  Weird, I know.

These are the 12 challenges I settled on to improve my health and mood.

1)  Ab Challenge

I decided to add in some exercise.  My sister mentioned a 30 day ab challenge she did.  It sounded perfect.  Four exercises?  I can do that.

2)  Plank Challenge

I was reading again somewhere about how planks are supposed to be the best exercise ever.  So why not a plank challenge!  Just planking?  That’s all I have to do?  (Never mind that the ab challenge also includes planks.)  How hard can it be?  (You can stop snickering now, thank you very much.)

3)  Steps

I know what you’re thinking.  Well, these challenges are all well and good so far, but what about cardio?  I hear you.  I’d like to start running again, but that just seems really hard right now.  Not just the running part but the making time to run and washing my hair more and all of that good stuff.  Maybe running on the next challenge?

I decided to locate my Jawbone Up and at least track some steps.  Our lifestyle involves a good bit of walking here.  They add up.  I forget what the thing is set for, but I think it is a little over three miles.

4)  Get Up Early

If I’m going to do all this exercise, I need to find time to do it.  I really want to reclaim my mornings.  I used to be a morning person.  (An extreme morning person, actually.)  Now I can barely get up by 7:30, which seems laughably late.

Besides having some “me time,” I want to add some purpose.  I want to wake up for my life and not just to my life.

5)  Whole30

Regular readers probably could have guessed this was coming.  I halfheartedly attempted a whole30 a few months ago, but I only made it ten days.  It’s so hard, I whined to myself.  This is Italy!  I can’t give up wine.  And cheese.  And bread.  And pasta.

Yes.  I can.  It is time.

6)  Drink 8 Glasses of Water Each Day

Once upon a time when I worked in an office, I had zero problems drinking enough water.  The water sat in front of me.  I drank it.  Bathroom break and refill water bottle.  Repeat.

Now we move around all over.  I try to get at least a glass with meals, but I’m hurting on the in between times.

It’s just water.  How hard can it be?  Besides, I’ll need something to replace that wine I’m missing . . .

7)  5 Minutes of Meditation Each Day

I feel like I’m always seeing articles about how to revolutionize your life in just a few minutes per day that tout meditation as being the end all be all answer.  I remember a day frantically googling meditation articles at biglaw and trying it out, but I think that only lasted two days.  (Spoiler alert:  I still felt stressed.)

I guess there are many different ways to meditate, but I remember my twelfth grade english teacher telling us that one method would be to sit quietly, be conscious of all the noises in the room, and try to hold them at the same level in your head.   I could try that.  Worse case scenario, I can sit quietly with my own thoughts for a few minutes.  Couldn’t hurt; might help?

8)  20 Second Real Hug

I laughed at some relationship challenges I found in my search of the internets.  Go see a concert with your partner.  Hahahaha.  Basically, it was like a string of 30 date nights.  My lifestyle does not support that right now.

BUT then my friend posted something on the benefits of a 20 second hug.  I like James.  I like hugging him.  I hate to need a challenge to make this a more regular thing, but there you are.

9)  Real Kiss

On the subject of James, I also decided to throw in a real kiss as well.  Not a peck on the way out the door.  Not a hi-honey-how-was-your-day.  A real kiss.

10)  Wash My Face at Night

That same wise hugging friend?  She is a beauty products dynamo.  I recently emailed her about my beauty routines, or lack thereof.  Her response:  “you don’t wash your face at night???”

I know.  But I haven’t.  My mineral makeup doesn’t seem to cause breakouts (and seems to have worn off by the end of the day).  I just get eye makeup all over the pillow.

But this is something adults do.  And my face is not getting any younger.  I need to build some better routines.

11)  Floss

Speaking of better routines, we dentisted recently and I was reminded once again about the importance of flossing.  (I was also reminded to spread the toothpaste on the chewing surfaces of my teeth first and to only brush up and down.  You’d think I’d have figured out toothbrushing in 30 odd years, but no.)

James has actually been gangbusters at flossing lately.  I think 99% of his success is overcoming the “out of sight, out of mind” hurdle.  Instead of tucking the floss away (as I would prefer), it sits front and center on the shelf by the mirror.

Am I petty and ridiculous enough to consider this a competition?  (Do I even need to answer that?)  I REFUSE to let James win at teeth.

12)  Bedtime Alarm

I need more sleep.  This is known.

The known-ness of my actual bedtime?  Not so much.

See, I usually “go” to bed around 10 or 10:30.  But then I read.  I think I’m reading for just a few minutes, but it’s not.  It could be hours.  I’ve actually stopped looking because I don’t even want to know.

To facilitate better habits, I’m setting bedtime alarms.  My 2106 alarm is to alert me that it is time to get ready for bed.  All that facewashing and flossing takes time, yo.  The 2206 alarm is to shut it down.  Put down the book.  Go to bed.  Unless, of course, I’m already sleeping in which case I’ll make sure to turn it off.  (Snort.)


 

So there you have it!  My twelve challenges for 30 days.  I thought about adding in some other challenges, like a minimalism challenge, but I’ll save that stuff for another day.

But you want to know the best part about all of this?

I already did it!  That’s right, instead of announcing and then failing, like my NaNoWriMo or my Whole30 attempt, I decided to do and then share.

So all this week I’ll be providing deets on how it went and how it all turned out.  Stay tuned!

My only regret?  Not doing it sooner.  But I couldn’t.  I just wasn’t ready.

Do you prefer gradual change or everything all at once?  Tried to build any new habits in a month?