Sleep better tonight!

If you’re like most Americans, you’re not getting enough sleep.  This can affect your health and in a variety of ways.http://infolio-rg.ru

Sleep is so important and you will want to aim for seven to eight hours each night.  When you combine an adequate amount of sleep along with a healthy eating plan and exercise, it will help combat stress weight gain.

So you might be thinking that you can’t get more sleep.  But, I’m telling you that it is possible.  When you create a regular sleep pattern, your body will adjust to what it considers a consistent routine.  Take the next week and try it.  YOUR body will thank you!

 

Hope FatoHope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

 

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

I had a great conversation today about giving and receiving help.veroxybd.comhttp://aton-mebel.ru

It’s definitely a conversation I’ve had before and its seems like there is a pattern. Most of the people who have a really hard time accepting help are the very kind of people who are the FIRST to offer it. They will bend over backwards and go out of their way to do for others, yet prefer to just keep quiet if they need anything. They would rather silently struggle and smile and say “oh, thanks…no, I’m fine”

I know because I use to be one of those people. It still isn’t easy. I thought it was just because I didn’t want to bother anyone, or trouble them. I thought I just preferred helping because I was so nice 🙂

What I found out was it was because I am a bit of a control freak!

Not that my help is not genuine or heartfelt, it is but when *I* am the person doing…I am in control. When someone is doing for me, I am open and vulnerable and dependent upon someone else. That was big and scary. That felt like giving up control.

What I have learned is that to be WILLING to be open and vulnerable and admit you need help IS strong. If you give people a chance, you will usually be surprised. I have also learned that to allow someone to give you the gift of help is a kindness. If someone loves me and wants to support me, my telling them no is shutting them down.  My pretending “I’ve got this” when I don’t…causes a disconnect when a connection could have happened.

a few steps toward change:

 

Sometimes, life puts you in a situation when you have no choice but to let go and lean into the support of others. Sometimes those situations suck but the love and the grace and the connections are a beautiful gift. And the lesson is there can be tremendous strength in vulnerability.

 

Is reaching out for help hard for you? Is there a situation when you had no choice?

 

Hope FatoHope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

 

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

Posted on by Hope | 5 Comments

How to Peel and Chop Garlic

 http://ragrani.ru

 

 

Garlic…..It goes in so many dishes but do you really know how to peel and chop garlic?

A little background info on it before I tell you how.  It’s actually a member of the lily family.  Leeks, shallots, onions, and chives are also related.

Here’s a simple guide to peeling and chopping garlic:

 

Hope FatoHope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

 

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ego vs self is not a concept I was really familiar with until this past year. With ALLLLLLL the personal development I have done, all the books, cd’s, seminars etc…somehow it still wasn’t something I was really aware of or understood.

EgoSelf

It was not until I picked up the book A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle that I began to understand, exactly to what extent, I had been a victim to my own mind.

“Most people are so completely identified with the voice in the head — the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the emotions that accompany it — that we may describe them as being possessed by their mind. As long as you are completely unaware of this, you take the thinker to be who you are.”

 I’ve lived with anxiety for years…for as long as I can remember actually. I thought it was just something I was victim to and didn’t have much control over. I thought it was just me.  Once I began to understand that the CONSTANT thoughts, fears, internal arguing and NON stop dialogue going on inside of me was in fact NOT me….it gave me the choice to make a change.

It was simply an awareness that changed everything.  A success is simply being aware when a thought pattern is not working for me. Even though I can’t always change it immediately, once I am aware the ego is weakened.  And once I simply put a thought down or let it go, the ego is weakened again.

Arguing only feeds the ego, only keeps the conversation going. Ever get into an argument with someone who would rather argue for the sake of arguing? Who seemed to care less about who was right but fed on the confrontation? Yeah, same thing with your ego. It simply revels in keeping you roped in for as long as possible.

Even now that I know what I know…ego is TRICKY! Figure out its motive and it will slink away only to find a side door and sneak back up on you.

Ego THRIVES  in comparison, being right & judgements of self and others.  That snide voice you hear? It’s not you. I often have a judgement thought immediately followed by guilt. Ego loves this double whammy. Now, whenever I judge (and yes, it still happens) I quickly forgive myself and dismiss it. Forgiveness disarms ego.

The things that have helped me the most so far in separating from my ego and living from my true self:

Living in the moment –

That doesn’t mean I never plan. I simply try to enjoy where I am, wherever that is and not worry about the future, not live for whats next.

Meditating –

I find that once my ego gets bored and gives up (it usually takes some time) the stillness inside of me is an amazing thing. I feel connected to my true self in these moments.

Support –

Spending time with/talking to others who share my awareness and who are also on a path to better themselves

Forgiveness –

Forgiving myself and others on a NON stop basis. Some days it feels like I have to WORK at this on a moment by moment basis, other days its just where I exist.

What is your experience? Had you been aware of your ego in this way? If so, what works for you in keeping it in line? Comment on this post… I’d love to hear from you!


Hope FatoHope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

 

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

Posted on by Hope | Leave a comment

During my morning workout the other day, songs were jammin’, we were sweatin and the following topic came up…http://visualcage.ru

It is SAD that as a society we seem to think women need a hero. We need to be rescued. Whose fault is this? My opinion? Mainly our own.

I know thats not REALLY what Nicki Minaj was singing about and I DO love singing along but I really hate the underlying come and rescue me theme. I’m not just picking on Nicki, its everywhere. In movies, in music and sadly I hear it from friends and acquaintances a LOT.

If I could go back and impart one piece of wisdom to my younger self it would be this…

Be your own hero

If I am someone who needs to be saved, who cannot stand on her on two feet, what do I bring to a relationship? To my community? to the WORLD?

What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinion.

 

Hope FatoHope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

 

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

 

 

Posted on by Hope | Leave a comment

This is something that seems to keep coming up recently, for me and for several people in my life. How do you navigate feelings that seem to CONSUME you?Аналитический материал загородного рынка недвижимости июль 2011.

SMILE

Feelings are a beautiful, wonderful and natural thing. We hear so much about how great it is to be in tune with your feelings. To be unfeeling is seen as a negative and to be able to express your feelings is something most people work toward.

For some of us, feeling is an ALLLLLL the time thing, something we wish we could disconnect from. So, what do you do or how do you handle it when your feelings seem to be running the show?

It can seem almost IMPOSSIBLE sometimes to control how you feel. Over time I have learned some things which have helped me immensely and maybe they will help you!

Be aware

First, figure out HOW you are feeling. Sometimes I think I am anxious about something and when I really take a step back and ask myself how I am feeling, I am something else entirely.  Nervous and excited, for instance are very similar feelings…sometimes you may be a bit of both and it can be hard to recognize.

You are NOT your feelings! 

…just because you are feeling something, even very strongly, does NOT mean it defines you in any way. Feelings come and go and often change. Its important if a feeling is overwhelming you to take a step back, breathe, and remind yourself that. Practice saying to yourself  “I have feelings, I am NOT my feelings”

RATE & SEPARATE 

…if a particular feeling seems to be taking over, ask yourself to rate it on a scale of 1 – 10. When you force yourself to analyze and come up with a number, you are using a different  side of your brain and will quickly realize, the number is probably smaller than you thought. Once you have that number, ask yourself to separate out what other feelings may be present. Rate them as well.

Decide how you would like to feel

I realize this one may be hard. With time and practice you will get better at this and it will come more naturally. You CAN choose how you would like to feel. Just knowing its possible will be a new concept for some people. If you try and it does not work, do not be discouraged…simply think about how you currently feel and ask yourself how ELSE you would like to feel. Be open to the idea that you are able to feel many things at once and practice. Mad about something? Stop and ask yourself, can you also feel grateful? Sad? Is there something else you can think of that makes you happy? You may not eliminate one feeling but you can lessen it by acknowledging its not the ONLY way you feel.

Give yourself permission

Sometimes we just need to sulk. It’s okay to feel down. Depending on what is going on in your life, being sad (or any other emotion) may just be how you NEED to feel to mourn something or to move on.  If you allow yourself a few tears, or a day to just feel down you may be on the road to feeling better more quickly than if you try to stuff your emotions.

Be patient with yourself, be kind and give yourself credit for small victories!

 

 

 

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

Posted on by Hope | 9 Comments

I peed my pants

This might be TMI but I am okay with that…it might help someone else!http://lux-standart.ru

As a lot of middle aged moms out there may know, any sort of jumping or running or sneezing for that matter MAY result in peeing your pants. This was one of my main “Can’t’s” to overcome with running.

Wasn’t it bad enough that running made my body hurt or made me gasp and feel like I would die from a shortage of oxygen? Wasn’t it bad enough that I had to argue, not only with my body but…even worse with those voices in my head mocking me? On top of ALL of that I had to worry about PEEING myself?

I think this is an issue that many of us face but would rather not talk about. Who wants to admit to peeing themselves? I didn’t. Its embarassing. I felt like maybe I was the ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD having this problem. After talking to several other ladies, I realized this is a REALLY common issue.

I would like to report that as I just (wo)maned up and ran regardless, something wonderful happened…the issue went away. I assume with time and continued running all SORTS of muscle have been improving. I am guessing thats a good thing 😉

(related post –  Strenghten your Core AND your Pelvic Floor| Kegel WHO?)

For some people, it is a bigger issue and not one that will just go away. If you feel its impeding  (I almost typed that impeeding HA!) your activity, I encourage you to see a doctor.

I AM curious do boys have this problem?

 

 

 

 

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

 

Posted in Fitness, Health, Moms, Running, Tips, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

you know what I hate almost as much as I hate cancer? (and you all KNOW how much I hate cancer)Навес из дерева своими руками

Depression, Anxiety

I fucking hate anxiety and depression. (yeah, its gonna be that kind of post. I’m gonna cuss, if that bothers you…cover your eyes now)

I’ve had far too much in my life. I’ve experienced both myself and I have stood by and watched people I love be tortured by one or the other or both. Either way its a helpless feeling. Whether you’re in the pit yourself or sharing the foxhole…IT SUCKS!

I’ve lost relationships to it. I’ve lost friends. I’ve lost time. Time that I could have been enjoying and can’t get back. What I regret MOST is the time in which I was depressed and did not enjoy my children. That was probably my darkest time.

I was on anxiety meds for years and struggled with depression off and on. I haven’t been on anything for about a year now and the level of anxiety I deal with is minimal compared to before.

It is still there. It is never all the way gone. It stands off to the side waiting. Some days its like a toddler that wants something…wants my attention…wants me. I’ve gotten ridiculously good at noticing it for what it is and politely (some days not so politely) declining its invitation. I know its tricks and I know it stands right on the edge of depression, its seductive friend.

I didn’t always know I had a choice. I did not always SEE it for what it IS…something SEPARATE from myself. I thought it WAS me.  I was a victim to my moods and my mind and I often felt helpless and under attack. Now, even in times when I’m in the midst of something, that might have previously sent me into a downword spiral…I know I have a choice. I HAVE feelings…I am NOT my feelings.

I can do things to help ensure my anxiety does not take over. I may FEEL anxious, yes… but feeling it and LIVING in it, is quite different. WALLOWING in it, is a decision and sometimes, I won’t lie…like any parent whose ever gotten tired and given in to a toddler…I choose to just give in…but never for long.

Some things that have helped me immensely –

AWARENESS: This is THE KEY! I said it above but let me SHOUT IT!!

YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS or FEELINGS!!!

Yes, they are your thoughts and feelings, however they do not define you, you do not have to accept them. You CAN  change them and you certainly do NOT have to live your life victim to them.

Action: …of any sort, you may not feel like doing something when you are already down, but if you can… any little thing will give you something to feel good about. Build on those little victories.

Pride: In yourself for those little things. some days…that might be nothing more than praising yourself for getting out of bed when you would rather hide from the world or dwell in a dark place. Again BUILD on it. Today, get out of bed. Tomorrow, get out of bed and go for a walk or have lunch with a friend.

Reach out: I know you would rather disconnect. Many times that is a HUGE sign. Stay connected. It’s important. Tell someone close to you to check on you when you seem to have pulled away.

Meditate: Meditating has been a wonderful tool for me. It was not something I ever believed I would be able to “do”. Turns out its not about doing, its about being and when you are riddled with anxiety just being…can feel almost impossible, painful actually. I suggest starting with a guided meditation. It tosses that pesky voice in your head a bone to play with while you get down to the business of learning to find calm. There are a ton of free resources available on youtube/google.

Exercise: Anyone surprised I suggested this? Again, I know its hard to even consider this when you are in a dark pit and don’t feel like you have the energy for anything BUT…it truly makes a world of difference. It changes the chemicals in your brain and gives you more happy and more energy. There is a reason for the saying Just DO it! It does not need to look any certain way. Go on a walk, a jog, a hike, do some yoga, or hula hoop…just get moving!

two important things that I have done in the past, and would do again if none of the above is working for me –

See a Therapist: This may or not not be hard for you. Everyone has their own ideas about it, but talking to someone who is trained in what you are going through may end up giving you tools you never knew existed. You don’t have to continue going forever and its not a sign of weakness to need help. Its a sign of strength to be vulnerable enough to accept it.

Take something: If your therapist thinks it will help you, it is NOT a failure, YOU are not a failure if you need something to help you get out of a bad place. It IS hard (or was for me) to accept that you cannot do it on your own. Ask yourself if the quality of life for you and the ones you love is important enough to try it. You may not need med’s for forever, I was on them for a few years and am not now.  As you change, as your life changes, as you learn more about yourself and some coping mechanisms you may be able to navigate anxiety (and/or depression) without. Everyone is different and personally I am grateful for the advances which provide tools to help.

 

If you are watching someone you love struggle with these things, please be patient, be supportive but remember it is NOT something you can *fix*. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and I know how hard it is to watch. Just be supportive and understanding and remember to take care of you.  If you are lucky enough to have never suffered through anything like this yourself, it may be really hard to grasp but it is NOT something someone can just “SNAP out of” or “get a grip on”. Getting mad will only make things worse. While frustration is understandable, try to remember and communicate your frustration is with the situation and not AT the person. If possible attend a therapy session (if applicable), or pick up a book to try and help you understand what they are going through.

In love,

Hope

 

Hope Fato

Hope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

 

Posted on by Hope | 15 Comments

Wonder women UNITE!

It started when I was a little girl. I had Wonder Woman Underoos, they made me powerful. I KNEW when I wore them, I could conquer ANYTHING!Фазан

Fast foward about elevenity billion years…or 30 and not much has changed…

When I found this bracelet in an antique store in Oklahoma, it spoke to that little girl in me…with a cuff…secretly…I would have powers. I would feel stronger. I could conquer ANYTHING!

As a girl, and later as a woman, I often feel like…well, I am not enough. I need something MORE, to be more, to do more, to handle more…

This tends to be a pattern I notice in women in general. Comparing ourselves to super heroes, tv wives and moms, cartoon characters (I once cried because I was not as nice as Little Bears mom…true story). We beat ourselves up while rarely giving ourselves credit.

Wanna know what’s worse? We expect, almost demand, to do it all ALONE…like accepting help would lessen what we are. We are WRONG! We are STRONGER for knowing when we need help, and smarter for knowing where and how to get it. Even Wonder Woman was part of a TEAM!

Its ok to want to be more and to do more but stand back and take stock and realize who and what you ARE!! AMAZING!

**UPDATE**

I originally wrote this blog entry well over two years ago and while it is still VERY relevant in my life and in the lives of many women, I’m sure…a few things have changed.

I lost the bracelet. Sad. and….

I seem to have lost that need to be perfect and in doing so, I realized I AM enough!  HOOORAY!!

And I am here to tell you, YOU ARE ENOUGH too! TODAY, as you are.

Dun dun dun…

Wonder Women…UNITE!

 

Hope Fato

Hope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

 

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

Posted in Health, Kids, Love, Moms, Parenting, Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Build a permanent home for your children| Respect, Self Esteem & Individuality

kidscollageЩелезуб

Self-esteem at any age can be tricky.  But, I am trying to teach my children how to believe in themselves as well as others and encourage them to celebrate their  individuality. If you are at comfortable with and within yourself…home is wherever you are.

I allow them to make non-permanent choices to express themselves.  It might be something like my son choosing to have long hair or my daughter deciding to become a Pescatarian or their choices in music or clothing.  I encourage them to trust their “gut.”

It’s not uncommon to find us discussing other people’s differences whether it be cultural, religious, etc.  I teach my children to RESPECT EVERYONE, celebrate differences, and politely speak their mind.  They feel comfortable sharing their opinion and know how to remain firm yet calm when they need to stand up for what they believe in.  This is  a constant learning experience for us….myself included as I feel that there is always the opportunity for personal growth.

What are some ways that you teach your children? Comment and share, I’d LOVE to hear from other parents.

 

Hope Fato

Hope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

 

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

 

Posted in Balance, Health, Kids, Love, Moms, Parenting, Peace, Spirituality, Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pretty in Pink?!?!

Move over Molly!Зимний сад на балконе

If you know me well, you know HOW MUCH I heart salt!

I have been known to salt every bite, salt before tasting, lick tortilla chips so the salt will stick to them…margarita, rocks, SALT!! you get the picture.

In a quest toward better health I have (almost) given up adding table salt to my food. I still add a dash here and there when cooking, having switched to Sea Salt, because it’s healthier.

Imagine my absolute BLISS at the idea of a truly healthy salt!!

 

And it’s PINK?!?!? Oh, pretty pink salt goddess…

check OUT these stat’s and get your pink on today!

Himalayan Pink Salt Benefits:
Following are some of the Himalayan pink salt benefits:

Umm, HELLO? Its YUMMY and good for my libido? Lord HELP my boyfriend 😉

Have YOU tried this beautiful salt?  Comment below and tell me if you love it as much as I do!

 

 

Hope FatoHope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

Posted in Breast Cancer Walk, Health, Love, Moms, Peace, Recipes, Tips, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Balancing Act

I have never taken juggling lessons…however, some days I feel like it should be a required skill for moms! Can you relate?
Finding a “Balanced” life can be hard at times.  It is something that I work on each and every day; typically when I get up in the morning.

I plan and organize using my calendar that is ALWAYS with me and keeping To-Do lists, so that I am able to meet deadlines and get things done. I have also found that having one calendar that serves as both a business and personal calendar is a lifesaver for me. Everything that I need is outlined in one place giving me a much better idea of what is happening in all areas of my life.

When I know I have a difficult task ahead of me, it’s something that I get completed early in the day.  Outlined in the book, “Eat that Frog” by Brian Tracy, he explains how important it is to do just that. Doing what we would like to put off gives us a huge sense of accomplishment and gets our day off on the right foot!

I also enlist the help of my children.  We work together as a family to prioritize what is really important for us.

Lastly, but far from least…I schedule time for “ME.”   My exercise time, self-development time and things like a visit to the nail salon are all ways that I take time for myself. Its important to have down time. Important to recharge.

I don’t always achieive balance, its more a journey than a destination.

Peace

~ Hope

 


Hope Fato
Hope Fato is a Lifestyle Coach focusing on Health & Wellness. This Mom of 3 strives to help others receive the support they need in making positive changes in their health and in their life. Whether you are struggling physically, financially, or emotionally she is here to help you bring out your BEST inner self and help you achieve real results.

P.S. – If you found this post helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit, too!

 

 

 

Posted in Balance, Health, Love, Moms, Peace, Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How did you get into that?

 

Its a question I get a lot when someone finds out I am a Pin Up girl.

Pinup Never give up Hope

photo shoot fun
fun at the studio

6 years ago as a fun way to get out of my comfort zone, I answered an ad on a modeling site for a 40’s Style Pin Up photo shoot. It was something different and fun and felt a bit daring for a newly single Mom of 3. The experience was one I will never forget and something I would LOVE for every woman to have.  It was like playing dress up. I felt beautiful, sexy and glamorous.

Pin Up turned ReEnactor

What started as a fun little hobby turned into a passion and for the last 6 years I have had the absolute BLESSING of being involved with Classic-Pinup.com. Sure the photo shoots are still very fun but the real joy comes in not only raising money for vets but in meeting and getting to know them.

Several of the other gals and I attend WWII ReEnactments/Events throughout the year selling calendars and various other items, to raise money for our charity and see friends.  Along the way our respect for the reEnactors, the events, the vets and the history grew and we evolved into reEnactors ourselves representing homefront girls.

If it weren’t for doing something daring, I might never have had the opportunity to meet and spend time with WWII Vets. I may never have had the honor of hearing their war stories, their love stories or have gotten to fill a slot on their dance card.

WWII Vet
83rd Division Veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, Jules Desgain
CHEER40''s
1940’s Cheerleaders

Jules Desgain Battle of the Bulge

 

Please consider purchasing a CLASSIC PINUP Charity Calendar and supporting Guitars 4 Vets.

So, what do you think ladies…would do a Pin Up photo shoot?  Head over to my FB page and tell me!

Posted on by Hope | Leave a comment

I use to be a yes girl. Need someone to do you a favor? Need someone to volunteer? Need a sitter, a baker, a candlestick maker?? Ok, you get the picture…but REALLY…I once volunteered to be President of my HOA just so we could end the meeting.http://reteks.ru

Without thinking, as soon as someone needed something, I was raising my hand. And then I got OVERWHELMED and resentful.

Taking a good look at WHY I was doing things…I realized a BIG part of it was wanting to make people happy, wanting to feel important, and wanting people to like me. Even if it was at the expense of myself or my family. Sound familiar? Keep reading…

THEN, I got reallllly good at saying NO!! I was SO good at it. Too good at it. It came out of my mouth before I even had the chance to consider if it was truly the right answer or what I wanted. No became my knee jerk reaction. It helped me guard myself from all of the people, things, demands, that were trying to suck the very life out of me…a little dramatic? Yes.

NO

 

What I came to realize is like a new driver, scared and unsure, I overcorrected. Saying no out of habit, is not the answer either. Sure, in many ways, it was a lot easier than saying yes…however…it also left me missing out on a lot of things. I became more distant, less involved and less open.

Of course, sometimes the answer IS very obvious. Its the gray areas which still give me a fit. I know my priorities but am also highly distractible and tend to be a people pleaser at my core. Throw a bright and shiny object or a friend in need in my path and I lose sight of most everything. Sometimes I am ok with this, sometimes, when its at the expense of my schedule, or other people counting on me…not so much.

Ahhhh, the elusive happy medium. While I don’t have THE answer, I am still working on this issue…I do believe it lies somewhere in the middle. Balance, as with most other things in life may just be the key.

Still feeling guilty about saying NO? Consider this…every time you say yes to something, you reduce the amount of resources you have to give to elsewhere. There is only ONE of you. If saying yes is stealing time you would rather spend with family, friends or on your goals here are a few steps toward being ok with no.

 

A few ways to stop saying YES all the time:

– KNOW your priorities and be ok with them.  Saying no is NOT impolite.

– Offer an alternative. Unable to do something, or just don’t feel like it? There may be a compromise somewhere between yes and no.

and my FAVORITE…

– PRACTICE. Here is a phrase that you can use. Try it out, and no apologies…

‘No, thank you.  That doesn’t work for me.’

 

Do you struggle with this? Comment below…I’d LOVE to hear what has helped!

Posted on by Hope | Leave a comment

Rest and Recovery

Rest Recovery OvertrainingВыравнивание земельного участка

Are you recovering or just resting?

Now, there is a fine line between making an excuse to skip your workout and taking a rest day. Some days we just need the mental day off, and that is healthy too, as long as it isn’t on a regular basis.  I use to overtrain a lot and I can relate to the symptoms below.

Most people who exercise regularly know their bodies and what they need.  I know mine and I’m pretty good about being able to tell when I need to take the day off.  It’s taken time, patience and trial & error to learn to listen to my body.  I can maintain a pretty serious workout schedule these days and not get run down too quickly. Eating clean helps  a LOT!  Making sure that my body is well fueled and well rested (with the appropriate amount of sleep) keeps me in balance.

When you exercise regularly, your body needs to repair and strengthen itself between workouts.  Even the best athletes take rest days.  Take a look at your current exercise routine and make sure you have a scheduled rest day.  On your rest day SOME activity is okay but make it different from what you normally do and make it light.

 

Not sure if you are overtraining? Here are some signs:

If you find that you are overdoing it, simply take a step back. I KNOW how frustrating it can be but remember this is a LIFESTYLE and you have plenty of time to get back to it. Better to respect your body than injure it.

 

Posted in Fitness, Health | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Crooked Branchir-leasing.ruhttp://focuz.ru

 

This past Saturday I attended a book release/signing of a High School classmate, Jeanine Cummins. I was so excited to go, because I think it’s an amazing accomplishment. This is Jeanine’s 3rd book and because of FB I found out about it ahead of time.

As a woman I feel strongly about supporting the wins of other women and this is a huge WIN!

As a high school girl that was NOT something that I understood or something I was ever a part of.  I never played sports, I never got the team concept and while I had sisters…I certainly never thought of other girls as part of some sisterhood at large.  Quite the opposite, the more I evaluate myself at that age, the more I realize what a mean girl I often was. I believe it came from switching schools so often (11 in total before high school). I didn’t get to keep friends long, so I did not connect easily. Staying closed off and unapproachable felt much safer and at the time, I had no idea what that meant giving up.

The author was answering questions when I walked in. Arriving a little late, I had missed the reading and escaped any awkward small talk prior.  I scanned the room and saw many familiar faces… faces that I would have passed in the hallway or shared a class with….many who I was not very nice to…some I just ignored, some I was mean to. None of them did anything to deserve it.  I was happy to be there, yet felt so out of place. I had never accepted these people as friends. Would they accept me? Did I deserve to be accepted?

I was invited, after all, I told myself, as if I needed an excuse.

It was an interesting experience, the woman I am today, walking into a room and being jerked back to those old feelings.

I found myself immediately engulfed in my phone.

STOP IT! I heard some voice inside of me say. You are here…be loving, be open, be present…just be who you are today. SHOW UP. I put the phone in my back pocket and promised myself I would not take it back out until I was leaving. I would not allow myself that chicken exit. I was here to be supportive and regardless of my insecurities or fears, I would be.

WHAT a wonderful experience I had once I made that decision. I felt the shift almost immediately. As the Q&A ended and I began to interact with old classmates, I had the same experience over and over…one by one I met people as if for the first time. Faces I knew but had never taken the time to acknowledge on any deeper level. It may have been them, it may have been me…I am sure I am not the only person who has grown up some since high school. I was so relieved to feel accepted. The funny thing is, I think I already was, I just needed to accept myself.

A group of us chatted until it was over and decided to go to dinner. What was going to be a quick, show my face, buy a book and make an excuse to leave politely sort of event… turned in to an evening that showed me some things. They are things I already know, but often forget when I am in my head about it.

When you are open and real and accept people immediately, you are often rewarded in turn. I only wish that I knew that in High School, I lost out on a lot…there were some really awesome people who I never got to know.

If you could go back, what would you tell your high school self?

 

BTW, because I STRONLGY believe in supporting people who inspire me…check out my friend, Jeanine Cummins, newest book The Crooked Branch.

 

Posted on by Hope | 1 Comment

Don’t be a victim to your moods| How to be Happy

Ups and downs. Everyone has them. Some people more often than others.

sadface

 

I use to be one of those people who had them a LOT. My life was an emotional rollercoaster and rather than throw my hands up and enjoy the ride, I was gripping the bar for dear life and  clenching my teeth going into each turn. Mood swings, anxiety, and panic were every day occurances. I was victim to whatever emotion I was currently riding.

These days the rollercoaster is still there but I don’t always get on.

What changed?

Was it my life? While there were a lot of changes in my life, the main thing that changed was me. I realized that while I don’t always have control over things (in fact I almost never really do – control is an illusion), I don’t have to play victim to them either. I DO have control over my reaction.

It is not something that happened over night. It is something that has taken a lot of work, as a matter of fact its something I am always working on.

Today for instance…I realized all of a sudden that I felt whiney. I wasn’t sure why and the truth is I didn’t care why. What really mattered was it’s not how I wanted my day to continue. I decided to take charge, throw myself 100% into my workout and ignore that whiney girl til she got bored and went away. It worked!!

Does it always work? Of course not. I am human, however because I have a desire and awareness and have accepted responsibility for my own happiness…more often than not I am happy.

happyface

Are you in control of your emotions or do you let them run the show?   Join me on FB and let me know what has worked for you!

 

 

Posted in Health, Love, Moms, Peace | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment
SleepDietCYCLE
Get OFF the poor sleep/bad diet merry-go-round.
The connection between sleep and dietary habits has been studied for years. Recent findings suggest that not only can poor sleep lead to bad food choices but that those bad food choices can lead to…more sleep depravation.
poor sleep
Is the vicious circle making you dizzy yet?

 Data evaluated by the University of Pennsylvania from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found  that the group of subjects who ate the most calories was the same group who slept the least. This group, the  “short” sleep group averaged five to six hours per night.

So how can we achieve healthier sleep patterns and avoid binging on bad food?

Follow these suggestions from the above referenced study…

1. Drink plenty of water. (Don’t OVER do it or your sleep will be interrupted by multiple trips to the bathroom!)

2. Eat a wide variety of foods. The study found people in the 7-8 hours group had a varied diet higher in things like…vitamin C (think strawberries, kiwi  & bell peppers), lycopene (found in tomatoes), and selenium (a mineral in nuts, meat, & shellfish).

3. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night, the amount found to be related with the best food choices, a balanced intake of calories and optimal health.

Not sure where to begin?

Eat to dream!

Register for my free e-book and receive some great healthy food ideas to get you started!

 

We respect your email privacy

 

Posted on by Hope | Leave a comment

Over the last several weeks I have had a similar conversation with a handful of different women. None of them connected, all shared a common dilemma. Each of them expressed a feeling of being lost, of not knowing themselves, of questioning many things that they once KNEW.sports74.ruhttp://polvam.ru

I find SO many moms (it may happen to non mama’s too) give and give and GIVE! Somewhere along the way they forget that they are a person, a person separate from the title.  Many are wives and employees as well, and tend to, in those roles also put others ahead of self. They use to have hopes and dreams. Now, they don’t remember what those were and don’t know where to start in coming up with new ones.

lost woman

For me it took a divorce, and then a longterm relationship which was not a fit (the end which felt like a 2nd divorce) before I began question who *I* was, what I wanted and IF it mattered. Accepting it did matter came first, it took a bit more to realize its a priority and even more work to be okay with that.

Today, especially as I raise a daughter, I am proud to say that I have purpose and meaning  in my life that does NOT come from being a Mom or a significant other. I use to think doing so would take away from…what I have learned is it adds to EVERY aspect of my life so much more.

One friend, acquaintance or stranger at a time…I wish I could sit down for coffee and say, you ARE so much more. YOU matter. Please, before you find yourself questioning if  your life, start looking for things that feed YOU. What do you love to do? What goals would you like to accomplish?

Woman lost goals

I would tell you that it took a lot of work to get here, and that the work is ongoing but SO worth it.

 

Please comment and share with us what have YOU found successful in learning to dream for yourself again?

Posted on by Hope | Leave a comment

A week of the Flu| ways to spend time with your teens

This past week was wonderful and difficult. All three of my teens had the Flu.

Such a different experience than when all of them were much littler. They don’t need me as much as they did when they were toddlers and I found comfort in making them soup, taking their temperature and giving (and getting) extra hugs. They are teenagers now and while I hated seeing them sick, there was a part of me that relished in taking care of them.

sicks kids flu

 

The other part struggled with not getting to go to my morning exercise class. It was hard being interrupted every time I started to feel like I was being productive. I work from home and while I have a great deal of flexibility…getting much done wasn’t easy.
As I was recovering from being sick myself, I was also sleep deprived, run down and just generally blah.  I bounced back and forth between nurse, short order cook and work from home mom. I spent a lot of time feeling like I was a rock star for all I was getting done and alternately feeling like I was getting NOTHING done!!

It was interesting to be aware of the highs and lows, to surf the ups and downs and to gently remind my high strung self what really matters to me big picture.

Quantity time = Quality

I wasn’t JUST taking care of sick children. I was modeling care taking, patience and love.  I was creating memories. I won’t have these opportunities for forever. Some day they will be out on their own and somehow I don’t think I’ll look back and regret not hitting the gym or getting X number of pages read. I’ll remember making my daughter tea and making egg sandwiches for my sons. I’ll remember lots of “Thank you, Mama”.

 
sick kids flu mom

Why do we as women, and especially moms give ourselves SUCH a hard time? Why do we constantly beat ourselves up? It’s a cycle I am working hard to break, its not one I want to pass down to my daughter.

Do you struggle with this same issue? Comment below and tell me how you deal with it 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment