26 July 2009

I'm sorry

I wish I could say that the journey towards good health is an easy one but it is not. I am sorry but it is not an easy one if you struggle to make it so. That is the case when a person has a struggle. Struggle means to progress with difficulty, strenuous effort, having a problem, having obstacles, meeting a roadblock....

Today, people who struggle, seek out solutions that they hope will lessen their failures, but often times they are searching for that "magic" pill. There is no magic pill. Diet pills don't work, surgery is expensive and risky, therapy can be a long, unfulfilling process. So where is the magic?

The magic is in the very person who struggles. The magic is having the desire to make a change, a serious, honest to goodness, CHANGE. That magic can be the most difficult thing a person can choose in their life. It's about having the will to say, "no more, I can't do this anymore." I see magic daily. I see people turning their lives around because it is very necessary. I see people amaze themselves because they never thought they had it in them.

The magic is about dropping all the negative beliefs, negative people, leaving it behind, leaving them behind, and not worrying about what people think, or what you think you are missing out on. Seek to find the people who can help you when you make this choice. There are many people transforming their lives and they are real.

I recently met someone who was truly "magical" when she offered to teach me all she knows. How often does that happen? People tend to be very selfish with their knowledge, their skill, their help. Today, everything has a price tag. You want this? Ok, I will give it to you if you pay me for it.

This is why so many struggling persons continue to struggle. They may certainly have the money to pay for what they want, but many have paid and paid, over and over, and they feel hopeless now. They are now apprehensive.

I am so sorry that this is the case. You go in for help and you often hear these words, "well, I can't help you unless you are willing to help yourself." Easier said than done, right? "Hey, it's up to you... how bad do you want this?"

Survival of the fittest! The words alone discourage you and make you not even want to try. That's not fair. That's where your struggle starts... with the fact that you let the words debilitate you. People's words can be the worst poison.

Well, that's the truth about where we are in this world. There still exists a small number of folks who have a great helping spirit. They have compassion and they have love in their hearts. That's where it starts, and that is where those who struggle have to start too...... you have to go back to believing in love, and the fact that there are still some people who care and who can help you without selling you "this or that."

The journey towards better health is not so simple, there is no magic pill. Take two of this and call me in the morning. Take this for 10 days and you will be fine. Do this for 6 weeks and you will be great. None of that works.

We must start with what you believe in. We must look at what you do now, why you do it, and why you must stop doing it. We must make you realize that the answer lies in you. You are a great person, with great ability. Your life belongs to you and you deserve to decide how you want to live it... healthy??

Every person has the capacity to be great on all levels. First you have to move away from the people who are not interested in you as a person, and realize that you as a person is where the magic starts.

Everyone has magic... that can not be bought anywhere.... I am sorry to say!

20 July 2009

Life is really good

You know what I consider a good life? Having good health -- a healthy body, mind and soul. I don't spend a lot of time feeling bad, I don't spend time feeling sick. That would be a waste of valuable "living" time. From there, I am able to be an ideal mother to my children. I strive to keep them healthy, happy and ever-learning. At this time in my life, I am proud to say that my children get up daily to see an energetic, hard-working, very well, happy human being they call "Mom."

We hug a lot. We talk a lot. We laugh a whole lot together. We enjoy each other's company. I care about how they feel, day in and day out. I understand that "TODAY" is the most important day....

My life has been a continuous learning journey. I am a human being, sharing the earth with over 6 billion other people, and though I can not worry so much about each and every one of those people, I recognize that their lives are just as important as my life. I also recognize that as much as we have moved forward with technology, we need to go back to the simple ideals about "life."

I am happy that I outgrew my desire to be selfish and self-centered and became more in-tuned to the fact that there are people who need help and are afraid to reach out and ask for help. This world with all it's great everything can be a very intimidating place to live without feeling insecure and helpless. Much like the sport of running, only a small few people can muster up the strength or desire to "race" and keep up. Life is very much like a day of the New York City Marathon --- in a city of over 8 million people, there are only 38,000 people running. No one is focusing on the 8 million people. Life is truly like a race, but we all don't have to run it at the same pace. We can choose a different terrain, a different venue, a different distance.....

I used to think that my main objective in life was to accumulate a lot of great things. But things are just that... things. They only have value based on how we "care" about them and how we let them guide our lives. We feel like we have arrived when we can show off all the great things we have .... yes, the things that our successful careers have allowed us to purchase. The more expensive your things, the more successful you are... right?

It's time to stop and look at most of the stuff we have and realize the truth of our attachment to the objects. You have that gorgeous ring that you put on your finger, and do you sit for hours admiring it? ...... ???? And the meaning of it all? Do you see the real meaning behind the ring? Or are you just caught up in the monetary cost that the ring represents? .... Even if you got it on sale. Are you wearing the ring to flaunt it in front of others? Perhaps the others will not care, or they may feel hurt and jealous. Much of the time we focus on the "price" of the item, and we justify that we own something extremely valuable. But what do you really own? You own your thoughts ..... You own your actions...

I am not casting judgment on anyone who takes great pride in having an abundance of valuable "things" in their life. My only concern is that you stop and really acknowledge what your life's existence is about. If you stray to far from what LIFE is all about, nothing that you have will ever bring you true love and true happiness.....

Are you living the life you want to live?
Are you loving the people who really matter to you?
Are you getting up everyday and taking time out to give thanks for what really matters to you?
Are you dwelling more on the positive and less on the negative?
Are you looking for ways to embrace the joy of being a human being with a life to live?
Are you helping someone else to live their best life??

16 July 2009

Human, one life, reality...

Speaking from the perspective of people in families, or friendships -- sometimes people are together, hearing and seeing the same thing at an instance in their life, but each person's perception of that moment is interpreted in a different way. We learn a lot about perception from the classroom as children and then we learn that we are all entitled to our own opinion. It's very refreshing when a teacher comforts a child and teaches them that "there are no wrong answers," and as we grow up, we are able to find certain careers in life that enable us to still exercise such a belief.

Many people, however, have their lives turned upside down when people step in and viciously misinterpret what they are doing or how they are living in a negative manner. We are quite a judgmental society of people. The media does this everyday. The very people who report the news, who perhaps have their "own stories to tell," ravage the lives of others based on snap shots of moments in people's lives. Thereafter they may dig up stories and try to put together a collage of mini-stories to reinforce their findings about the people they have already exposed. In a way, you can almost understand their motivation -- it's their job and they aim to do it effectively. How about the times when years later, they come back and suddenly there is a part of the story that was never told, but it's too late because they have already sabotaged a person's life??

What about when we do it as friends or family? What about when we choose to avoid the true facts and circumstances and instantly jump to utter scathing remarks and venomous lies about a family member or a so-called friend. What is the goal at hand? It can be amazing that grown adults can sometimes behave just like high school children when they go on a campaign to smear a person or their life simply because of their judgmental beliefs?

I have had many conversations with people about this very topic. Sibling rivalry is an amazingly common place occurrence in many families. Sometimes it can be traced back to childhood, where tension existed or a state of discomfort between two siblings and over time, over years, it escalates to a level of sheer intolerance between one another. Families have grown apart or disconnected over these happenings.

And the same can be said for many long term friendships, for example, like those of people who perhaps grew up together, or went to elementary or high school together. Much of the time, people hold onto friendships feeling it's the right thing to do and really avoiding the fact that over time, people can grow apart or simply change. Why force the friendship if tension abounds the relationship?

Do you ever witness a family or a friendship suddenly experience a huge blow up? A blow up so bad that all communication has been shutdown?? Do you believe it's just one little argument gone out of control? No it's not. It's truly due to the fact that the "issues" were there all along. The personalities were clashing for a long time. Sometimes because people are involuntarily thrown together, they feel trapped and feel compelled to try to get along, but all the while in their subconscious they are just waiting for that BIG day to come when they can let their true feelings out.

In such relationships, there is a lot of stubbornness. There is an unwillingness to listen and understand. There is huge apprehension for compassion. There is lots of judgment. There is lots of insecurity. There is a lack of self-love. There is a LOT of insecurity. There is a lot of resentment. There is a lot of pretense. There is very little or perhaps NO spirituality, no human capacity to love unconditionally. There is NO realness.

I think people have forgotten why they are living beings on the face of the earth, who were given one life to live. I love that expression, "don't take yourself so seriously." True, we are currently in a terrible economic state, but it was caused by a tremendous amount of factors, corruption, failed management, etc. There is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen, however, you can be certain about the person you choose to be. You can certainly choose to say, "I want to be a human being."

If we sat around all day just pointing the finger and looking for all the people to put the blame on, we would get nothing accomplished. That is what we call, focusing on the problem.

How many people sit and think and worry about their issues??? Sit and worry about the fight you had with your family or a friend? Sit and focus on all the words that went back and forth?
Where does it get you?

It gets you to time wasted. You continuously give that situation LIFE while all else in you DIES. You keep it alive, festering and growing, and what good does it do you? Some people have been forced to believe that due to all the turmoil, mistakes, and bad occurrences in their life, that they MUST live a life of regret. Live each day mourning, feeling inept, feeling sorry.....

The reality of life is you have only ONE life to live here on earth. Issues come at us in different ways. Continuing to live life is the goal. You should choose how to make it a great one. You should choose who you want to spend it with so that you can feel great, joy, passionate about living, and sharing that great spirit with others.

Should you be sitting around fighting, feeling angry, pointing blame, criticizing, casting vicious words endlessly around for people to hear??? Your goal in life is to HURT people? And how fulfilling is your life when you do that?

There are truly people in this world who have a big heart. Some people have a big heart and big wallets, and they give big on both levels. Some people can only give from their wallets because it's difficult for them to give otherwise. Well, being judgmental does none of us any good. If you don't like someone or something, just don't be a part of it.

Reality is ... human beings should behave as human beings. A family should be family. Friends should be friends. If it can't be, perhaps you just move on because you should not be wasting your life being NEGATIVE, and mean to one another. There should be love, respect, support, motivation, uplifting, joy........

If you have anyone in your life who is constantly trying to drag you down, control you, give you ultimatums about how to live, criticizing the true good that you do .... perhaps you need to revisit the value of that relationship. The reality is, you have the right to make choices that will allow you to live your best life! Sometimes others don't have the capacity to be human and for those souls, you just have to hope that one day they get it!

10 July 2009

We can pray for anything

My children and I love to pray. We say grace at every meal, morning prayers, and bedtime prayers, and in between, at various times of the day, we pray for whatever needs a prayer.

In the last few years, as a divorced mother, I stepped out of my comfort zone and made attempts to do many things with my children that I had been accustomed to doing with a partner, such as taking long trips/drives, climbing into the attic, digging up dirt, putting windshield wiper fluid in the thingy-a-ma-jiggy in the car... LOL!

I love to drive, and I am very confident behind the wheel, but I do not enjoy traffic, and I don't like getting lost. Anyway, I decided not to worry too much about those things by saying a prayer, the three of us, at the beginning of our journeys, and again when we would reach our destination, thanking God for carrying us safely. I can say that our prayers worked each and every single time, even with minor mishaps of traffic and slight detours! I/we make it a point to always Thank God for keeping us safe, well, fed, happy, you name it.... just for the fact that we are alive!

For any successes, big or small, or just simply the fact that a problem was minimized, we say thank you!

Today I read this piece and it made me smile. I think we can pray for anything if we truly trust in God.... enjoy!

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My
six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we
bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great.
Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you
more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And
Liberty and justice for all! Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers
nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong
with this country. Kids today don't even know how to
pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!"

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me,
"Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"

As I held him and assured him that he had done a
terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him,
an elderly gentleman approached the table.

He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that
God thought that was a great prayer. "Really?" my
son asked. "Cross my heart," the man replied.

Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating
the woman whose remark had started this whole
thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A
little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of
the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then
did something I will remember the rest of my life.

He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked
over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big
smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream
is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good

Sometimes we all need
some ice cream.

I hope God sends you some Ice Cream today! ~ Anonymous

05 July 2009


In 2008 and about a year after my divorce, I decided to de-clutter about 75% of the contents of my house. Early on in the process, I found out about an interesting statistic: We spend about 6 weeks worth of time looking for "things" we can't find in our homes. That's a lot of wasted time. When I heard that statistic, and when I had searched endlessly to find that "thing" I was looking for, I quickly realized that I no longer wanted to waste my valuable time again. On garbage day, I would hide behind the curtains, peeking out, wondering if the garbage men would get annoyed about the amount of garbage I put out. It's all gone now!! Whew!

I have to admit though that it can be quite fun when you are eagerly searching to find that "something" and you stumble upon "something else." This morning during one of my manic searches, I found (as I do a few times a year) one of my JOURNALS. I know, they should all be together. Well, I am a work in progress. It was my 1996 fitness journal. I have been keeping journals for about 20 years now. I started to keep them when I became very serious about my health and fitness. My motivation to keep a journal came from the fact that I just loved to write all sorts of things down on paper. I realized when I was very young that the more I wrote things down, the more clearer those things became for me.

Having kept my many fitness journals for all these years made it easy for me to have a reference point on where I want to be now as I grow older. I am able to see what I was doing, and how I was managing my fitness in those years and this is very meaningful to me because it allows me to see the truth and the changes I have gone through throughout the years.

Can you imagine that my first journals were pre-children? I had no cares in the world and I was able to workout as much and as hard as I wanted to. I truly had no one to blame for not being in shape. I had no one to blame for not working out. I did not use company dinners and late night outings as an excuse for not getting up the next morning for my workouts. Yes, I was always a "morning" workout person and I still do this today.

I remember being teased and picked on because of what I would order at those company dinners, things like, salmon, broccoli rape, spinach, and berries for dessert. People would get annoyed that I would order such "healthy" food. Let me say that I also knew one thing they did not know. I knew that though I was ordering those "healthy" foods that tasted so delicious in those lovely restaurants, they too were laced with "extras" and I was so thankful for my dedication to exercise to ward off those "extra" calories.

I have journals for post-baby, get back into shape days too!!! I remember those years when I was on a mission to get back down to size. I used to post (that's funny) goals in my journals in increments of inches, or even 1/4 inches or 1/2 inches, and pounds. There is truth in what they say about setting goals and being accountable to yourself when you do this on paper. I highly recommend it. Write it in ink and you can't erase it.

Though I can say I have been consistent in keeping a journal for years, I can say that I have learned that one must be receptive to change. We have learned so much in the past few decades and there is no way that one can be ideally healthy and fit if they are not willing to learn and roll with changes.

Yesterday I was reading Dr. Mom's (hi Colleen ! :) ~ aka Dr. Colleen Trombley) health tip and she talked about how lengthy hours of cardio will not help you to be fit and lose weight, and I chuckled because in those journals dating back to 1989, I used to be the "aerobics" queen. I had my leotards, legwarmers, aerobics music from Collage Video, and I would jump around for 2 hours or more almost everyday, hardly lifting a weight because I believed the myth that was popular then that I would become muscular. Today we know that strength training is the key ingredient to being fit, burning calories, strengthening the bones, and slowing down the aging process just for starters!

For these reasons and more, I am so very thankful that I started keeping journals way back when because I am able to see where I was and where I want to be now. It's not just idle chit chat when I utter the words, "I used to," because I have the proof on paper and I have the ability to keep me......being me!!! I also have the ability to learn over time what was truly good and what was not good.

It will be very interesting to open these journals again in another 10 years to see the changes that have taken place with me and with the health, nutrition and fitness industry. I am sure we will all be amazed when we see that certain things we do, or eat now, will turn out to be "not so good" in the future. No need to get raged about it. Just be thankful that we are an ever learning society of people who seek to be healthy and well.

I can say that I feel great and I anticipate that in 10 more years, I will still say the same with some adjustments to my journal !!!!

Write it down! Set your goals!!! Check yourself!!!

01 July 2009

On the outside looking in.... what do you think you really know?

A lesson to be learned in life is never to speak sternly about something that you have no experience with because you may just make a fool out of yourself. For those that feel very intelligent, often times it can be very tempting to feel compelled to "voice one's opinion" on just about any subject matter, but an opinion is not always warranted.

I can remember some years back, "pre-children," when I was pregnant and thrashing around thoughts in my head about the kind of parent I wanted to be. The kind that had "perfect" children who were polite, well-dressed, above average academically and well-mannered in public at all times. Those attributes were key on a much longer list. So that was it! I thought about it and it was going to be. Right!! Now welcome to the real world.

I can also remember sitting around with other non-parents and how we used to talk about other people's children, or even just about their lifestyles and how "we" would be different. Oh the lovely gossip that would take place. Which reminded me of another conversation I had later down the road with another parent. We both had very young children, and I remember him telling me this story:

"Before my wife and I had children, and we used to dine out, we would be in a restaurant and be appalled at all the noise coming from the tables that had families with children. We would sigh in disgust and roll our eyes and agree with one another that we would never allow our children to behave in such a manner while dining out. Today, however, we are now that family !!!" LOL!

You have to love it. You can be on the outside looking in and never have a clue about what it is like to be a parent until you indeed become a parent yourself. You could also be the nicest teacher (with no children) or the nicest nanny (with no children) and still not have a clue about what it is to be a parent. Not until you are in fact, a father or a mother to your own child, can you have a notion about what it is really like to parent.

A non-parent has no clue about what it is like to get up daily not knowing what lies ahead. A non-parent goes about their day mostly able to stick to the plans they have made.

For the parent, your job is absolutely the hardest job in the world because how you go about it directly affects you. You are expected to think of every single thing that would enable your child to be healthy, happy and safe. You may have a child that demands more than you could have ever thought. You may come to realize that never in your life have you ever loved anyone so much that you would be able to make every sacrifice -- first one being -- sleep. Who would you ever give up such a precious asset for?? Only your flesh and blood. Who would you drop everything for as you see them get so sick, cough so much, throw up all over you at 1, 2, 3 o'clock in the morning, fall and hurt themselves? Who would you just hold as they cry and cry and you don't know why? When they look into your eyes and all they see is you as the person who they trust, how do you look away? When you leave for work everyday because you have to make enough money to give them a decent life, but they look at you and think, "why is that so important over spending time with me?"

As they grow up and they start to meet people who are not so nice who may say mean things to them, or do mean things to them, they want to know you are there with them helping them to cope. But you can't be there every moment, so you hope you have been teaching them and nurturing them enough that they feel a sense of security in their hearts that you are with them in spirit (besides God).

As they struggle to consume life and balance school, friends, relationships, sports, curiosity..... you try to parent and discipline when necessary and be understanding when necessary, and just be loving and fun when very necessary. It's a tough program to get right. Obstacles get in the way. Peer pressure is a force to be reckoned with. Things can and do go wrong. What if your child has a serious medical, psychological or mental condition? Speaking from my own experience, it truly gets even harder to be a good parent because your emotions are all over the place as you watch your child with their struggles... it certainly was NOT what you hoped for....for them. You wanted their life to be easy.

What if your child has a personality that may not completely "jive" with yours and so how to keep it all together? How to keep the outside pressures from wreaking havoc on what you are trying to mold and nurture effectively? What about your life, career, finances? If they are not perfect, how do you still parent with an upbeat attitude to make sure it does not negatively affect your child? If your finances are outstanding, how do you still parent effectively to make sure your child does not lose sight over what is truly important and grow up to be a wonderful human being?

There are so many outsiders making judgments, passing comments, giving suggestions. Do this, do that, you should... why don't you? Sometimes much of this sideline chit chat is coming from people who are not parents. Some feel so adamant about what they think parenting is about. They think it is so simple. Why didn't you just.... ?

Anyone who has a child or children knows firsthand that parenting is somewhat of a mystery on a daily basis, always a challenge, sometimes a joy, and sometimes a pain. In the past year, I have managed to share conversations with many parents and I can say we all have this in common -- that is the challenge, mystery, joy, pain aspect of it, but we have our differences. All children are not alike, and all parents are not alike, and we all can not follow the same set of instructions to make our families work. We all do not want the same things for our children and we all do not love our children in the same way. For some of us, our children are the center of our existence and for others .. well, they can speak for themselves.

So for the outsiders looking in who believe they have all the answers, I say to you... "NO WAY!" I say until you become a parent yourself, with your own unique child and circumstances to deal with, you can not make any suggestions or cast any criticism for a situation that you think needs your opinion. It just does not work.

Perhaps in the interim, maybe you would like to babysit sometimes or offer your tutoring skills. Better yet, if you see a family, maybe within yours, or a close friend's and they seem to need some help or advice, perhaps you can just offer to help by doing something constructive that will enable them to get to a better place.