30 September 2009

“The easiest thing to be in the world is you....

The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be.....Don't let them put you in that position.” ~  Leo Buscaglia

Most people live their lives trying to please others, listening to what others tell them to do, tell them to be, and it's a shame.  Each of us was given a life to live, to embark upon our dreams, goals and desires, use the talents we have, and help others.  In some situations, people do need guidance because they may be choosing to do things that are not especially healthy or sensible, but sometimes this is the case because they lack the proper inspiration and help.  

Stagnating relationships are one of the main causes of why people become unhealthy, with unhealthy habits.  They find themselves constantly feeling pressured, imprisoned, out of control, and so they respond and react by finding comfort in things that truly do not give them the answers to their problems, but just soothe them momentarily.   This becomes a repetitive cycle and how does one break loose?  How do you break out of that minimum security prison that others may have put you in so that you can truly go after the desires that you have? 

It's important to be honest with yourself and acknowledge why you are where you are in life, in relationships, etc.   You may not be able to change your circumstances right away but you can manage how you react to these negative triggers in your life.   Stop and tell yourself what your ultimate goal is and why you will continue to put up with whatever you are putting up with, and in the meantime, figure out ways to be calm and at peace and not let these intrusions and outside invaders get the best of you.   Get in touch with who you are and your reason for being.  

No one is allowed to come in and destroy you for their satisfaction.  You were given your life for you.

Dinah Mulock offers this suggestion, review the following messages and note if any one touches you more strongly than the others and say them to yourself everyday -- 

1. "You are good."
2. "You are wanted."
3. "You are loved for yourself."
4. "You are seen for who you are."
5. "Your needs are not a problem."
6. "You are safe."
7. "You will be taken care of."
8. "You will not be betrayed."
9. "Your presence matters."

Believe in yourself ! 

27 September 2009

SUPPORT serves a purpose

"Don’t get your hopes up!"   Were you warned of this as a child? What does this say? It says that life is bound to disappoint you. It says, don’t aim high because you’re not likely to get what you want. It says that we can’t expect good things to happen to us. ~ Samuel Smiles

To HOPE is to WANT very much.  I can imagine that a few decades ago that sort of thinking was the norm, but it has no place in society today given the immense amount of opportunities and choices we have at our fingertips, no matter what our ethnic or financial background.   Having "hope" is the first step towards fulfilling a desire, fulfilling a dream, attaining a goal, achieving ANYTHING, as it pertains to career, love, health, family, character, attitude.

The pessimistic mindset of a person who believes and reiterates to others, "don't get your hopes up," is a very toxic and crippling weapon.  In one verbal delivery, that person's negative words can fray the initial composition of a potential successful person because words (especially from people that matter to us) have POWER.  

I meet these people everyday, the ones that say, "I can't possibly do that" or "oh that's not for me."  I often wonder why they think that way.  You can't know what you can do until you have seriously tried to do it.  Then I realize that most people have a bunch of negative, dream busters in their lives ramming these thoughts into their subconscious to the point that these myths are embedded. 

There is a huge population of critical people in this world that enjoy sitting around and complaining about what is WRONG with the state of our existence meanwhile those very same people are NOT offering to do anything to make this world a better place.   If you are going to criticize and not come up with solutions (and put them into action) you truly should KEEP QUIET, and leave the people who are DOING ... perhaps even SPEAKING and HOPING ...... leave them alone!

We hear a lot of good quotes from a lot of wise people and they make us respond, "oh that is a good one," because we share the sentiment, we can relate. The people who make these quotes, make them based on their own life experiences, or based on people they have met.  As human beings, we share a COMMONALITY of BEHAVIOR.   We either love unconditionally or conditionally, and we either want love, or we are afraid of love.  We want to be accepted, we want to get along, and we want to survive. 

As much as it is necessary to appreciate the earth, it's trees, grass, the sun, the moon, we first seek to have relationships.  We are beings on this earth intended to interact with one another.  Consider, it would not matter one bit if you had a beautiful house, a car, took vacations, dined out, and lived on the earth all by yourself. What would the point be???   Could you build a house by yourself?  Could you build a car by yourself?  When you went on vacation, who would be there when you got there and what would you do with your time?   Who would you eat with?   So it's easy to see that life would be no life without other human beings to share it with.

SHARE.....That is what we teach our children to do when they are very young, but it seems we forget about that lesson when we grow up.  Sharing can be in any capacity, it can be sharing food, clothes, ideas, inspiration, love, a home, money, work.....It's an act of showing human kindness.   You can go out and buy the nicest house, but if you don't have anyone to enjoy it with you, what's the point?

What about sharing SUPPORT?  People try to PROVE that they are "givers" by telling others how they "give" clothes to Goodwill, or they lend money sometimes, or they give money to the homeless or charities, but when it comes to their LOVED ONES and FRIENDS the giving stops.

Consider some scenarios: 

Your dear brother Ralph decides he wants to open a restaurant because he is a FANTASTIC chef who loves to entertain small and large crowds, and the entire family and all of his friends actually say to him over and over, "your food is amazing, better than what half the restaurants serve."  However, Ralph really does not know anything about starting a restaurant, and should this matter? Suddenly everyone thinks it's not a good idea because the idea seems too overwhelming, perhaps more so for them and not Ralph.  WHY???  Why can't everyone rally around Ralph and say, "We are going to make calls and find out who can help you get this going.  We are behind you 200%.  We want to see you succeed."  Ralph has the talent, so this should happen right?  It seems in instances like this (and similar ones) that friends and family have their own agenda and don't really SUPPORT you when THEY have their doubts.  It not helpful to be doubtful when it comes to someone else's dream.   It is more helpful to be HELPFUL.  In order for Ralph to succeed with this dream, he will have to seek HELP and loving support outside, and quite frankly it will mean more work for him because now he also has to work harder to PROVE to the family that he can do this without their support.  See how THEY have caused this venture to be harder for him?

Another one:

Your lovely wife Angela gained a lot of weight since you have been married.  First it was having children that was the excuse and then it seems that her job is so demanding and she has no time to focus on herself.  You can clearly see that she is struggling to keep it together, you argue lots and now you are disgusted with the whole situation.  You are treating her like she did all of this on purpose.  Yes, she has to take the blame for not being in better control of her choices, BUT, human beings sometimes just want the person closest to them to be more UNDERSTANDING and more SUPPORTIVE.  Would it not be better to reflect back on why you got together in the first place and work together to get back to a place of love and respect at minimum?  Overlook the necessity to have hurtful exchanges of words, and focus on how to achieve some necessary goals together.  Wouldn't it be EASIER for Angela if her husband would express an interest in her well-being??  It will be extra difficult for Angela to find her way back to living a happy, healthy existence because she has to go it alone or hopefully find some outside support.  

My story: 
I can share one instance (I have many others too) that happened in my life when I was married.  When I first met the father of my children, I was training for the marathon and he was in awe.  While we dated, he was very "interested" in my running, used to support me in the most incredible ways.  Sometimes he would drive while I ran on certain roads to make sure I was ok, or he would actually drive me to some great trails/paths, or he would ride his bike while I ran.  He would shop for foods that I liked, or take me to restaurants that had foods that I liked, all the while being very thoughtful about "my" diet.  Everything that mattered to me concerning my running, mattered to him.  Years after we were married however, and our marriage was breaking down, he was getting less and less interested in my running, even though he KNEW it was still very meaningful to me.   When my first baby was born, you would think that he would voluntarily say, "I know you want to run, so go ahead, I will stay with the baby,"   He did SOMETIMES, but often it came with stipulations and restrictions, this I thought was certainly not out of love and respect.  

Then it came time for me to train to run the marathon a 2nd time (11 years after I did the 1st one), and that meant I had to commit to a lot of "strict" training.   He knew exactly what that meant.   But did I have his support?  No.  I was on my own.  Luckily I was NOT really on my own, and I can admit that there would not have been anyway that I could have trained so well without SUPPORT.  I needed to have peace of mind that I could show up for all my training runs, and all my sessions at the gym to do cross-training.  I had a wonderful person living in our house who helped with the children .


This was not an easy feat.  When you share a life with someone who deliberately gets up everyday and SHOWS you their DISAPPROVAL of what you are trying to do for yourself, it can make you want to give up and not try.  It can break your spirit when they don't even ask you how your training (plans) is coming along or how you "feel."   You need your energy to devote to the training, but here you are giving a portion of that energy to DEALING with their LACK of enthusiasm for you.  You may even be arguing at times.  It also can be that the person is offering absolutely NO response about what you are doing.  They are just neutral with nothing to say and that can be JUST AS BAD, or just the same as being negative.  It's a horrible thing when someone tries to destroy your SPIRIT and your DREAMS.    It's takes a lot to rise above, and you DO indeed need SOMEONE(s) in your corner.  I was lucky that year because I had a LOT of outside SUPPORT and it kept me strong and able to run the most FANTASTIC marathon -- I ran strong, the day was gorgeous and I will remember THAT day FOREVER!!! 

Why is it that some people seem to blatantly decide that they WON'T help that certain loved one?   They know in their hearts that when they turn their back on that relative or that friend, that they are leaving them to struggle.  These types of actions are deliberate and heartless.  Even if a person has "issues" with what a person is trying to achieve, wouldn't it be better to sit and discuss the issues rather than to just run away and show no interest???  

I have heard some young people say things like, "my father told me that if I major in Music he will not pay my college tuition."  Meanwhile this person is clearly musically talented, but his or her parent has taken it upon themselves to restrict their child from aspiring to be what comes naturally to them.  Years of anguish will go by, resentment between child and parents.  If this young person is truly musically talented, he or she will have to struggle to achieve their goals to be a musician. 

How about those wives who mumble about how they want to just hire a carpenter because they have no patience to wait for their husband (who is obviously not a carpenter) to put down a new tile in the bathroom.  The lack of support, and the lack of encouragement is a catalyst toward making said husband not believe in HIMSELF and his ABILITIES.  Is this really necessary?   

And now our children.  Many parents don't realize how much strength their words have.  Even if you have a child born with a certain personality, it does not mean that they will remain that way.   It's important as parents to ENCOURAGE our children, make them believe in themselves.  Tell them they should TRY if they express an interest in something.   Perhaps even YOU, the parent, can take the time and TEACH YOUR CHILD whatever it is they are interested in.  

“If you sell yourself out to get approval, you will miss what you really want: authenticity, passion, and aliveness."  ~  Alan Cohen

As much as people know the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, loving and not so loving, they still seem to resist the urge to make the best choices as it pertains to the other people in their lives. There exists a huge, "What's in it for me?" attitude that permeates many of our lives.  It can come from our own parents, brothers, sisters, people who you would think WOULD indeed support you, be your advocate, share your dream, encourage you to DO YOUR BEST.... keep it going until you succeed.

Consider weightloss and how so many people struggle with their programs.  They start, and within a couple days or weeks, they stop.  Many times they stop because there is NO one around them supporting and encouraging them daily to keep it going.  The people that are around them don't stop and notice when they are having a "bad" day, or perhaps they do and just don't care.   Sometimes these people fail because the people around them are WILLING it to happen... they want them to fail.  There are indeed people who DON'T want to see their loved ones succeed.  It could be that they feel threatened or just that they have no sense of THINKING OUTSIDE the BOX.  

This quote from Alan Cohen is a powerful one.  Our choices in life should not be made in order to make people around us happy, they are to be made to fulfill US.... the individual.  You can not be living a happy life if you are doing things to PLEASE others.  You are not being true to yourself.  You will never be happy if you try to do what you think someone else wants you to do.   Where is your passion?  What is your reason for being??  Are you getting up everyday saying, "I love my life, and I love the choices I make," or are you getting up everyday saying, "I am doing this to get the approval of others."   It seems that there are a lot of disgrunted, miserable people in the world doing this, and their interactions with others are also miserable because they lack the ability to feel good about their own existence.

“From the time of conception until we are adults we are strongly influenced by the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of others." ~ Karol K. Truman.

"When a thought (in this case, something someone said) is fed to us, and this thought connects with an established feeling that becomes energized by an emotional response, we unconsciously buy into what the person said as though it were an authentic, actual, valid truth. Sometimes the thought fed to us may even be a further validation of our already established, false, or incorrect feelings and beliefs. Or, that particular thought may start a new system of beliefs. These beliefs which we see or think of as truth, may be correct or incorrect." ~Karol K. Truman

How amazingly powerful is that?  And true.  We grow up believing much of what our parents and teachers said to us and it molds our thinking.  It also may stagnate us and not allow us to become who we WANT to BE, and do what we WANT to do, or just do what we SHOULD do.  We limit ourselves with such beliefs.  These teachings foster the type of parents we become.  We often say, "that's not how I was raised."   Not all of us were raised under ideal circumstances, and not everything we were taught was healthy and much of it should not be duplicated.  

The bottom line is, we can easily determine in this life who we should support and encourage.  If you have a child that you want to see grow up to do great things in life, you must be there for him or her along the way offering all the encouragement and the resources as much as possible.   If you have that friend that wants to lose weight or run a race, encourage them.  Tell them that you support them, and tell them that you want to see them achieve their goals.  Call them from time to time and see how they are coming along.  Offer to be that "listening ear" if necessary.  If you have someone who wants to start a business or take on a project, sit down and say, "ok, do you need help?  Do you know all the right people who can help you?"  This is a better approach instead of saying "oh wow, well good luck to you" and leaving them to fend for themselves.  

The energy an "abandoned" person uses up can set them back considerably and this is a shame especially if the person has already invested time making steps towards their goals.  Their minds may get cluttered with thoughts of doubt, or "why isn't anyone supporting or encouraging me" or "do they want to see my fail?"  You have to get around the people that UPLIFT and SUPPORT. 

Thank God for all the wonderful quotes and all the wonderful people who go out of their way to inspire each and every one of us.  The inspiration is REAL.   It's there to be adhered to... to strengthen ... to uplift... to give love and a lot of HOPE.  

25 September 2009


We have all heard the news about TRANS FATS and how it is being excluded from lots of processed foods and cooking establishments.   Why?  Because it is plain ol' VERY BAD for you! Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.  Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils."  Look for them on the ingredient list on food packages.

The scary thing is if you are eating out, MOST places (very nice restaurants at that) do not POST signs that they do not use TRANS fat in their food, so most likely you are consuming them.   You should have a choice.   You should not take a chance.

We all have family and friends who have been afflicted with serious heart conditions or high cholesterol, people who we believe ate "healthy," and now we have learned that much of what we thought was healthy was NOT.  We have to be careful.  

What are the regular foods that everyone consumes daily that have TRANS FAT unless otherwise stated?  They are PIZZA, crackers, cookies, snack foods, fried foods (unless otherwise stated), baked goods (donuts, bagels, cupcakes, cakes), sandwiches/heroes, fast food joints, just to name a few.  On anything you buy that does not say, "NO TRANS FAT," read the nutrition label, it is commonly known as:   PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED FAT/OIL.  

WHY should you CARE about partially hydrogenated oil?  Because a CHEMICAL process has taken place to produce it.   It is NOT natural.  Partially hydrogenated oils do not exist in nature. Partially hydrogenated fats and oils are processed versions of naturally occurring fats and oils. In nature, most dietary fats and oils exist in a structural form which is called the "cis" form. When these natural cis form fats are processed by bubbling hydrogen gas through them at high temperatures, they become partially hydrogenated which changes their structure to the "trans" form. The natural cis fat has a bend and the processed trans fat is a straight molecule.  When eaten, fats and oils are incorporated into cell membranes altering the composition of these delicate structures. When they interact with normal fat metabolism, they disturb function in a most deleterious manner. Hence, these substances meet the definition of a poison." Trans fats interfere with important, normal functions by inhibiting enzymes which are necessary for the body's normal metabolism of fats and they keep doing it for a long time. 

Studies have been done to show what happens to the blood and heart of people who eat ONE high fat meal.  Immediately after consumption, tests were done that showed that the heart was working harder, the blood was more saturated, and the triglycerides increased considerably.

To put it plainly, triglycerides are in your body.  You can get a blood test to let you know how much you have.   You don't want to have a lot.  If you eat a lot of fatty foods, you WILL have a lot.  Excess triglycerides in plasma is called hypertriglyceridemia. It's linked to the occurrence of coronary artery disease in some people. Elevated triglycerides may be a consequence of other disease, such as untreated diabetes mellitus. Like cholesterol, increases in triglyceride levels can be detected by plasma measurements.  

So, it is not so bad to indulge every once in a while in a not so healthy meal, but NO ONE should make it a daily habit if it consists of transfat, high salt, high sugar, or any other toxic ingredients. 

Be aware that many processed foods that say NO TRANSFAT - or low fat... have OTHER ingredients ADDED in to substitute for flavor and texture.... and those OTHER ingredients could be sugar (high fructose corn syn) or salt, or other artificial flavors....... 

Be good to your body.  Watch those fats!

Some info taken from

My child obese??

I would not even allow that to the extent that I have the control.  There are certainly extenuating circumstances that explain why "some" children are obese, but the bottom line is, whoever is the guardian or parent of a child must take responsibility for monitoring the health of a child.

I have met some parents who seem to blame their child's obesity issue on everything "else" except themselves.  I don't understand that since I am a mother who could have been raising an obese child right now.  My son LOVES to eat, and if the food is indeed delicious, forget it, he would keep eating until you STOP him.

When I first brought him home from the hospital, at a nice round weight of 8lbs. 8 oz, he felt "heavy" to me, despite the fact that he was not overweight.   From the onset, when I was nursing him, he just seem to be insatiable, wanting to nurse every 1 1/2-2 hours, and I was amazed, worried, proud and exhausted all at the same time.   Family members would reassure me that he was considered a "healthy" baby and that his appetite was an indication of the fact that he would grow up to be a strong, vibrant young man.  So funny how "old fashioned" ideals can make you "believe" certain things to be true.

I have to say, it was very easy to "wean" Miles when I had to return to work because he was not attached to "me" so much, but more so attached to "eating."   He grew leaps and bounds for sure.  Initially, he was growing at a rate of about 1/2 lb a week, and I did not see any end in sight.   Though he was extremely adorable with the most gorgeous head of hair, he had a big head and a huge belly....LOL.  His belly seemed to be growing the most.   At that time, he inherited the nickname, "Cherub" from me.  Oh gosh, will this blog come back to bite me in the caboose about 10 years from now when he finds out I shared these little details with the world?

At age 1 1/2 yrs old, though not tall, he was wearing a size 4.   He continued to love to eat, any and everything.  I referred to him as "my" child, because I was not a picky eater, and neither was he.   His father had a much more limited taste bud, and so I was so happy about this personality trait of his.  Salmon, fruits, vegetables of all colors... this ... that.  If he saw it, he would try it, and if it tasted good, he wanted more.   When we would go out to eat as a family, as soon as we would put him in the high chair, we would frantically beg the waiter for a basket of bread, chips, crackers, whatever... just bring something NOW!   If we did not do that he would start to get impatient.    Things were very clear for my darling boy: RESTAURANT=FOOD=NOW!  

I had huge concerns about his eating habits, and his belly.   I took it upon myself to exercise my concerns as a mother and to streamline his diet.   We had nannies over the years, and I made it emphatically clear what my child was allowed to eat, how much he could eat, and how often he could eat.  We made sure his day was filled with various activities from learning, to having fun, to running, jumping, playing, enough to make him realize that his existence here on this earth was for more than just sitting around and eating.  And, I started to pay attention to the signs of when he would "express" that he was hungry and make certain it made sense that he should eat again.  I required that "we" keep a daily journal of all his meals/snacks, and activities to see the balance.

By the time Miles' sister Nia was born, he was 3 years and 3 months old, and much of that "cherub" belly that he had started to get smaller/stretch out as he got taller too.   We were never ever afraid to say to him, "you have had enough," or give him extra vegetables, or an extra fruit if he said he was still hungry.   We never bought sodas and it seems that us not keeping too many fattening snacks in the house on a regular basis helped to not create any "cravings" for him.

I still remained worried though he was losing the "belly," because his father was a big eater at times.   Breakfast was his favorite meal of the day, and he would want the BIGGEST breakfast you could imagine.  A big ham and swiss cheese omelette, followed by a huge stack of blueberry pancakes, with a side of bacon, and a side of sausage, AND buttered toast, or a buttered bagel, washed down with HUGE glass of orange juice.   I used to shake my head in disbelief each and every time because I just could not fathom how it felt to eat all of that food in one sitting.   That was "his" thing, and I can tell you that I did not sit and argue with him about it, but one day, I realized that I could no longer keep my mouth shut.

It came after we separated, and when my son would come back home to me after being with his father.  With a big "satisfied" smile on his face, he would cheerfully tell me about how he had a big delicious breakfast with his father, breakfasts that included all of what I listed in the previous paragraphs.  This to me, felt like I got a huge, nausea inducing blow to my stomach.   It made me ill when I heard it.   He was only 7 years old (with a 7 year old's stomach) at the time, and the thought of a 7 year old eating that much food was just beyond disturbing.

I heard a great thought today, "much of the children who are obese are so because of the example they have set before them."  Kids don't go out and earn a salary and then go shop for their own food or dine out on their own, WE provide for them.   WE let them HAVE.  Perhaps to overcompensate for something else that is missing.... food CAN NOT provide whatever the "IT" is that is missing. 

It took many, many, many attempts to get my ex-husband to realize that it was totally UNHEALTHY for our child to eat that much food.... and that much of that TYPE of food.  There is nothing cute or endearing about a child copying a habit that is not healthy from his parent.  Things are a lot better today, but it's still going to be an on-going issue because Miles enjoys food, and I can see that times when he says he is hungry, I know it's not hunger, but probably boredom or possibly stress.  His father still eats the way he does and so he will continue to be an influence on his son. 

As a parent you need to be careful about the habits you exhibit in front of your children because it could come back to haunt you in 5, 10, or even 30 years when you see your child with the same habits.   Also, we have to be careful about the things we say about food.  Many of us utter things that we think are harmless, but children are SO receptive.   Things like, "oh, I am so stressed out, I am going to have a huge bowl of ice cream.  Who cares!  I need it."   Children will adapt that to, "eat when you are stressed" or "eat whatever you want to eat when you are stressed,"  or "eat something fattening when you are stressed."

Childhood obesity is a HUGE problem, and it is very unhealthy for the children to have this issue.  They can develop heart problems, breathing problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, circulation problems, learning problems, self-esteem problems, poor digestion, colon issues, and MORE just like an obese adult.   Childhood does not prevent these major health problems when a child is obese.   

It IS our job as parents to HANDLE our child's health on all levels.  They need a proper diet, good sleep, exercise, LOVE and NURTURING.

Today I can say that Miles still loves food, but he does stop and consider what choices he is making (at least when he is with me) and he will say, "no I don't want to have that because I already had ......earlier today."  He has had a few "noticeable" unpleasant experiences with his stomach after he has eaten certain things, or after he has had too much of something...and he did NOT like it one bit.  Sometimes I have to remind him about them and it does the trick to keep him making sensible choices.  There are times he wants things that I do not agree with, and I will just say to him, "can we find something else that would be healthier for you to have at this time."  He understands that certain foods at certain times of the day are not ideal.  Of course, I let him have his "treats" from time to time, and he understands about balance, and moderation.

20 September 2009

Made a choice to catch a cold?

Stay in the moment, and pay attention because you may just catch those instances where making the right choice could make all the difference in the world.

I am currently on Day 3 of my cold. Yes, I have a cold. I have acknowledged it, I own it and I am still choosing to remain positive by continuing with my health routine and exercise. There is much controversy surrounding whether or not it is good to exercise with a cold. In a nutshell, here is the scoop: Everyone should exercise on a regular basis because it in FACT helps to boost the immune system, so when and if you do catch a cold, your body is in a stronger position to fight off the cold.

It is ok to exercise with a cold, but you have to be careful and not over do it because the energy you put into the workout is the energy you are taking away from your immune system to do the fighting. If you overexert yourself, you are in jeopardy of getting sicker and perhaps causing more issues. Another important thing to know is that if you are taking medications for the cold, such as a decongestant, that it can raise your heart rate. I can tell you that I am NOT taking any medications, only eating very healthy, taking my vitamins, drinking lots of water and getting extra rest!

When you catch a cold, you should EXERCISE a good deal of thoughtfulness, such as staying away from other people for a few days so that you do not infect them. If you do need to be around people, keep to yourself, wash hands like crazy, and avoid infecting them. You should take time out and rest if you really want to do yourself and others a favor. Get on the road to getting back to a good state of health. If your cold is combined with other issues, like chronic coughing, asthma, bronchitis, fever.... it is NOT wise to exercise.. and very wise to perhaps see a doctor to find out what exactly is going on.

I can say that in the midst of still smiling, I am a little disappointed about this cold, and I kept trying to figure out how it happened since I pride myself on staying well. I often brag about how I rarely get sick and that is because I make a huge effort to stay healthy. Now that I am here, owning my cold, I can say that I don't like owning it.

Who enjoys being sick?
That's the big question of the day. Today I was thinking about how so many people take their health for granted. I have one silly little cold and I am NOT happy. As much as I am staying positive, and sticking to my routine and not "sickly," I am somewhat debilitated since I know I have to address this cold with purpose. It was not in my plans for this weekend. So I ask the people who do little to nothing to care for their health, how you can make a choice to "risk" getting sick?

Where did I catch my cold? I know exactly (I believe in my heart) where I caught it. I was paying attention the moment that it happened, but I foolishly decided not to worry about the circumstances at the time. It was truly a foolish decision. We can't live with regrets, but we can certainly learn from things when they happen.

It was Wednesday.

Wednesday I ran over to the supermarket to pick up a few things and I was in a huge hurry. I had about 8 things and so I got on the "express" lane . There she was, the woman who would infect me. I watched my fate unfold and did nothing about it. Sometimes we think we are rushing and we make choices that we think are saving us time and come to find out that we actually signed up for a bigger delay later on down the road. We do this a lot with driving to places, like when we try to avoid a traffic jam on the highway and get off and take the side streets.

I got to the lane and was holding my basket of few items when I happened to look at this "checkout lady" blowing her nose as she was ringing up the person in front of me. She did not look well at all. I should have gotten off the line and picked another, but my true thought to myself was, "you don't catch colds Jacquie so don't worry about this one." After she blew her nose, I saw her grab one anti-bacterial wipe and quickly wipe her fingers, and then get back to "ringing" the items. The bell needed to ring in my head to run away right then and there! Can you imagine that I actually worried about the person in front of me catching her cold. He was a very elderly gentleman and I wondered if he had a strong enough immune system to resist her germs.

What happened after is what I finally remembered today. She had a way about how she was handling the food as she rang it up. She would grip and touch like she "cared" about your food. Personally, I thought to myself (today), given the fact that she had a cold, she should have been barely touching the stuff, exercising huge caution to keep her germs to herself. Wait... no. She should have been home, taking care of herself. But who knows what her circumstances are and perhaps she needed to be at work.

Part of my makeup these days is to try to stay calm and positive and not be quick to believe that everything will end in a mishap. So I told myself that I would be fine. I even said to myself, "just go home and wash everything thoroughly and all will be fine." Well, by the time I got home, I had forgotten all of that... even about the "checkout lady."

Germs (bacteria) can live on things for days. By Thursday night, the symptoms were unearthing and I was infected. I truly could not figure out what item that she touched, that I touched, that got me sick, but it happened, and that is what I believe.

Lesson to be learned, "avoid sick people." Do not take chances, especially if you are not taking great care of yourself, and do not take it for granted just because you do take care of yourself. It happens to the best of us. The funny thing is I know this lesson as I usually exercise it. I have turned down invites, canceled functions, kept my children home... whenever I found out someone else was sick. I have turned around and left establishments when I witnessed someone who worked in places coughing and or blowing their nose. I can't pinpoint what was on my mind on Wednesday and why I chose to ignore this woman's condition, and perhaps it happened for a reason.

Perhaps the reason was to (a) remind me that being careful and continuing to be healthy is still my FIRST priority in life, (b) remind me that we are embarking upon cold/flu season and to be ready to fight, (c) to be able to share this with others so that they too can be careful, choose to be healthy and be ready to fight!

With that, I guess one could say that I made a choice to catch a cold!

Luckily I am able to still exercise which means my cold is just a "little" cold. I did choose to sweat a little today though it was to be a rest/stretch day (Day 28 of P90X), so I wore my X-vest with 12lbs of weight and did the elliptical machine for 45 minutes and some ab work thereafter. Just enough to get a good sweat but not overly exhausting. I drank lots of water while on the machine. Exercise keeps the mind and body empowered. Often times people get so down on themselves when they get sick and it's actually a good time to get UP on yourself and say, "I will defeat this!"

About the common cold: There is no cure, once you catch it, you have to deal with it. There is only the fight! The symptoms you endure are the fight. While you fight, you need to strengthen as well. Drink lots of fluids to loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Avoid dehydration because it causes other problems. Eat healthy foods to strengthen the immune system. Remember that over the counter medications only mask the symptoms, help you to MAYBE feel more comfortable, but they do NOT cure anything at all. If you are not feeling better in a few days, go see a doctor!!

Very important to remember: after you get sick, your immune system has been triggered (weakened) and so if you do not build it up to be even stronger than before, it can be triggered again. This is why some people get sick a few times a year, and you hear them say, "I can't believe I am sick again."

Build and Strengthen!!!

Stay well! Take good care of yourself!

17 September 2009

God spoke to me today

I am truly passionate about life, health, well-being, love, hugs, people, children, fitness, laughter, cooking, food, living..... there's more! Over the years, I realized that all that I am passionate about makes me... ME. Our lives should be just that, filled with the stuff that brings us joy and the stuff that we can share with others. When others get happy, I get happy. I THANK GOD for who I am!

I posted a wonderful quote on my Facebook today:

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. —Brian Tracy

I thank God everyday for who I am, my lovely children, all that I have, and all my friends and family. I am grateful ... completely. Even for the times in my life when stuff was not good because as I came out of it, I realized that God brought me through, and made me even stronger and more grateful in the end. It's so hard when times are rough to see clearly ... or to hear clearly, and this is where I am at right this very moment.... or perhaps I should say, where I was at earlier today.

I accept that a life filled with challenges is purely LIFE... real life. We have to accept the challenge to deal with it and make the best of it, no matter what!! Not sit around and complain about it. I will admit before continuing with this very revealing blog that I don't go to church on a regular basis. In my mind (and my heart), I have a terrific relationship with God because I believe God is with me every single moment ... and with my children keeping them safe. So in my mind, I believe God is ok with the fact that I am not in church...perhaps :). I will admit here TODAY that I don't open my Bible as much as I should. I am such an advocate of inspirational quotes and stories and I need to get my Bible out more often because when you can't find what you need ... it's in the Bible.

The following part of my blog today is a letter I sent to a Facebook friend of mine TODAY. It was typed very fast and so please excuse the fact that it's a bit haphazard.

Hi !--- we are FB friends.. for some time now. It's amazing how you never know when a FB friend (at times) is going to help you in some kind of way...unexpectedly. I saw your blog on Swine Flu and I also read your blog from Tuesday about Patrick Swayze. From there, I was just wondering if you "blogged" everyday so I dropped down to see if the next blog was also from this week and I noticed it was from August 10th, "I am blessed." Your opening sentence/question about whether God is real immediately sparked my interest.

When I read what you were going through, I immediately could relate to all you were saying. Without going into "the" long story, my life is about the same right now. Last year I was laid off from my job, was happy, decided to start a business, my son got a strange eye condition, stuff was delayed, I begged my mother to come and help me with the children so I could work... she agreed... this all happened by November 2008. She was to come in January, it passed, she did not come, February passed, she did not come, then my father (my parents are divorced) SENT me an email saying, "your mother is not coming." Just like that.

She never called me. I wrote to her to ask why, and called her, and she thereafter denied that she committed to come. I was devastated. Somehow from there the entire family blames me for my situation. I wanted my mother here to help with my young children (I am divorced) so I could feel good about who is taking care of them, have peace of mind. But the part of the story that kills me is how she agreed, we spoke dozens of times, she even came for a couple days in Nov and Dec and then could deny that she was going to come.

It's been so hard for me to let it go and focus. I truly needed the help, and still do now more than ever. I can't afford to pay anyone to take care of my children. My son still goes to doctors every few weeks, gets med daily (injections once a week). My children are my world. My business is not up to speed.
So today, before I read your blog, I was just here saying to myself, "How do I do this? How can I make this work?" I talk to God every day, many, many times a day. I pray and I am thankful for so much in my life. Today, I just felt like the ground is going to fall out from under me. So I see in that blog that you went and got your Bible.

I have to admit, I had to remember where my MANY Bibles were. They are in such good condition because I don't touch them. Three of them were all together. One was never even taken out of the box/cellophane. And next it was the Bible my mother gave me MANY years ago (I think when I went to college so 26 yrs ago)... an absolutely beautiful Oxford Scofield Bible-- pocket edition - gorgeous. It too, looks new, except for the box. The irony of the whole thing??? My mother who was brought up in the church .... decided a few years ago that she does NOT believe in God. She laughs at all of us who do.

So now, I have to think that as I have been begging God to tell me something.... perhaps he just did .... that I need to LET GO about my mother once and for all. She is my mother, who I love so dearly (and have not spoken to at all since March this year - she NEVER calls me or her grandchildren). But she does not believe in God, and I do. I believe so much because I got this far, healthy and happy with my children, even though I don't know where I am going.

One last mention. So I just opened the bible to any page, and landed on Proverbs 17. I got a lot of messages.....
Thank you so much for being my FB friend, and thank you for your blog of August 10th. I hope you are doing well. I am here for you if you ever want to share anything with me.

Have a beautiful blessed day!

So there it is. I went from feeling sad to instantly feeling uplifted and truly, God spoke to me today. Some days, I get on Facebook, and I just wander around, much like some people do when they go to the mall not really knowing if they want to buy something. Window Shopping! I do Facebook Shopping! I love it because I get some great deals! Great inspiration for free! And so it happened that I noticed Lorrie's post and happened onto her blog. God most definitely directed me there.

Earlier this year when the whole situation happened with my mother, I was devastated and I desperately sought for composure, peace and answers because somehow, someway, something crazy happened. I had asked for help because it is said when you need help, ASK FOR IT. I needed my mother to come here and help me. But when you read my letter above, perhaps I did not need that after all. It was not a peaceful time when it happened. It had gotten so noisy and so dense that I could not breathe but I wanted to shout so long and hard until someone would hear me. Up until this morning, I was still trying to shout (silently through God) and I now realize, I don't need to shout anymore. Three different people helped me out this year .....almost instantaneously... with their wisdom -- just with a few chit-chats on the phone and over email -- imagine that! I know I thanked God for them, but perhaps not enough at that time.

Being able to deal with life's ups and downs is truly NOT so easy. I was told to be silent and listen and God would speak to me, and trust in God, and God will see you through, and.. and... your head starts spinning with all the great advice. From one moment to the next you think, "Ok... Good! I'll do this! I'll do that....Ok..." Then you are wondering, "ok... what now?"

Right now, I know, I will keep my Bible next to me, another HUGE source of inspiration, guidance, comfort....

A few people helped me, and I want to help others... perhaps this SHARE... this revelation will help someone else. For quite a while, I was keeping my story to myself, but TODAY, God told me to pass along my story.

16 September 2009

Children matter

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

Before we worry, we need to parent. There are so many people out there giving advice on how to raise children, some coming from actual parents and some coming from non-parents. Who has the best advice?

I think about all the other parents I meet, how they raise their children, some of the things they said about being a parent or about their children. Some is truly refreshing, and some is truly disturbing. It's a wonder why some people have the problems they have parenting and raising children.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the "Biggest Loser" last night, it was truly a tear jerker and a reminder that "we can achieve anything" if we put our all into the effort. What was very sad to see was that many people who struggle with their weight are adults who had issues from when they were children. These issues arise for various reasons, parents don't teach there children about nutrition, parents who let their children do whatever they want/eat whatever they want. Sometimes they do this because the parent themselves are struggling with food issues or other issues, or other times it is because the parents let the food replace them in their children's lives. It's so unfair to a child to be brought into the world and just left to "fend" for themselves and grow up to become adults that have serious issues to deal with.

It's one thing to walk around and sing the, "I want to get married and have children" song. That's why we are here on earth right? To fall in love, have a family, have children. When you make a conscious decision to bring a child into the world, you should also make a conscious decision to be the best darn parent you can be! A child has to be nurtured, loved, taught, helped....

Your daily habits, conversations, choices, will impact them at some point in some kind of way.

I have come to realize that simply giving my children oatmeal for breakfast, some fruits, some vegetables, water, toys, clothes, vacations is not the only way I should approach raising healthy children. I have come to realize that much of life's "happenings" impact our children on so many levels. Some children are good at pretending not to be affected by certain things, but later on in life, you may come to learn that "stuff" that you thought they were not so concerned with back then, has suddenly come to the surface in their lives and it is now making a profound statement.

I hear some parents say, "put that child in his place... make him understand..." And how do you do this successfully without causing emotional problems in your child?? When you see your child sitting around, looking sad, looking unhappy .... you can't just walk up to him or her and say, "hey, stop looking sad!" What is the truth behind why they look like that? Doesn't it matter to find out??

I have a sensitive child myself. I can look back and I can see where I think it started to unfold. It's been a struggle dealing with it because on one hand, it's a treasure to have a child who "cares" and will voice/show it, but on the other hand, out in the big world, it can be to his detriment to be this way. So the task at hand is to teach him about life's daily challenges and equip him with the ability to know when to be sensitive and when to perhaps just remain neutral.

My mind dashed all over the place. I thought about those days when you may be driving down the street and someone cuts you off, or you go into the store to return something and the salesperson is unnecessarily nasty towards you.... I thought about the mumblings of comments I would make like, "that idiot!" I thought about how I would get angry, or keep the tension going after the incident was over. My children are there, perhaps not even truly paying attention to me or what is happening, but I realize that in those moments, I taught them such behavior. I can blame myself. I can't blame them if later I see them talking to each other like that or treating other people like that, or handling situations they get into in a similar fashion.

This is not about teaching our children to be wimpy or unemotional, but more so about teaching them how to behave effectively. We have the power to do this in a way that we may be able to help them along to become better human beings and to be able to handle their own issues effectively.

Last night my son came home very upset. Apparently in the midst of a discussion with his father about something truly insignificant, he turned to his father and told him "Daddy you were a geek when you were younger." There was more said, but that was the zinger of the statement he made. His father did not appreciate that, and chose to make my son understand that it's not nice to say mean things to someone and added that if he said something like that to another friend, that friend might want to punch him out. It suddenly became a "punishing." Well, I did not agree with this one bit. I did not agree with his father's reaction.

The object of the game is not to take one zinger and create another zinger in return. After my ex-husband left, I had a nice, short chit-chat with my son. While he showered, I sat in the bathroom talking to him. My 10 year old appreciates being spoken to with love to get the lesson across. I told him that I am an adult and if he told me I was a geek it surely would not hurt my feelings one bit. I told him that not everyone understands that you are not trying to be hurtful when you say certain things, but words do have the ability to hurt people. I explained to him that he is to be careful about doing such a thing. Some of us have the capacity to live by that great old saying, "sticks and stones..." but some of us don't. I made it short and in the end, he said, "thank you Mommy, when I get out of the shower I want to give you a big hug."

I am trying to work on him to make him understand about how important it is for him to believe in himself. What do you think about you? We can love our children dearly, but we need to teach them to love themselves, to respect themselves.... When we can do this effectively, we strengthen them. When they go out on their own, they know what is worth getting angry about, they know what to walk away from. They learn that the only person they have to prove themselves to ... is themselves. And when they master this, they realize that other people and their feelings matter too.

This all comes back to HEALTH and the Biggest Loser. Our children need to learn how to love and respect themselves. We can talk to them about it... we can show them love.... but we NEED to be the example as well. We must make healthy choices.. across the board. Food, relationships, behavior, staying positive, smiling ... it all matters.

Think about some of the things you do that your children see you do, or some of the things you say. Forget about that old saying, "don't do as I do, do as I say." Our children are intelligent and that one will never work today.

My son pays attention and thinks about everything, it's his personality. It used to be a challenge getting him to stay in bed and sleep late when he was a bit younger. I get up early to exercise and do some chores. When he would get up too early, I would ask him, "why are you up so early?" He would reply, "well you are up early." They do look at us and sometimes decide, " I want to be like my mommy or my daddy." I got some books/articles to show him that children are supposed to get a lot more sleep than adults.

I am not an authority as my children are only 7 and 10, but I have recognized that when I am in another room and they are interacting, I am hearing things that are amazingly familiar to me come out of their mouths. It makes me smile.

As we go along, and they grow and get more independent, I still plan to be close by offering some great wisdom and suggestions if they are struggling. I am their mother, it IS my job to raise healthy children !

12 September 2009

The Greatest

"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” ~ Muhammed Ali.

Truly the Greatest!

But I do not hate every minute of training with P90X --- I love every minute of it... once I get it going that is...

The GREATEST feeling in the world is sticking to a workout routine, getting up everyday and putting in the little bit of time to do GREAT things for your BODY and MIND.

That is the GREATEST.

Trust me, it's not easy. There are many a mornings that I am laying in bed dreading the thought -- just the thought, of getting up out of the bed.

I let my mind do its thing for a few minutes. You know what the mind does. It tries to give you many reasons why it would be better to stay there under those lovely sheets and postpone yet another workout.

The clock says 5:30 a.m. and I am there thinking, "nobody is up now. I could do with another 1 hour sleep."

And so I stay there, head nicely embedded into my 4 pillows!

10 minutes pass by, and I am aware of what is happening, and I remember that I have much to do on this day. The children are still sleeping and I can truly benefit from some "ME -- do the body some good" time! There won't be another opportunity later on today. And so, I will do what is RIGHT and what is GOOD for ME!!!! I matter!!!

So I get up, go to the kitchen, make the coffee, turn on the TV, the computer, remember that today is "KENPO X" day.

Day 20 of P90X. I have not missed a day yet. 2nd round of P90X. I am committed!!!!

Yes. I am feeling better. More awake. More determined. I am fired up now! I have been good to myself and I won't stop now.

Tony! Oh Tony! Gather up the group, let's get this workout done!

I don't even need to watch the DVD because I have done this workout so many, many times. So I can put the DVD in, but turn the sound down. Play my music. Be in MY ZONE!

You think that when you have done something so many times that it becomes boring, ineffective right?

WRONG! --- So very WRONG!!!!!

It becomes better and better. I have gotten stronger. I am a boxer! A darn good kickboxer!

I know the moves. I have the technique PERFECTED!

I used 1lb and 3 lb weights during this workout -- no... Tony did not tell me to do that. I want to add some resistance and burn extra calories!!! There is so much room for creativity with the P90X workouts. You learn how to build upon the routines. (There is even extra tips in the workout guide to help you to increase the intensity of all the workouts).

I kick and punch more than Wesly and Vanessa! HA! Sorry guys!!

They don't even use weights. HA!

Kenpo X is the GREATEST!

And, I did not miss yesterday's workout even though it was the saddest day of the year. If ever there was a day to say, "no workout today" it was yesterday. But I thought to myself, "I can not let the sadness of this day interrupt what is actually BEST for me!" A good workout is always the best remedy for a sad day.

Happy Saturday! Don't let anyone kick or punch you around this weekend!

Coach Jacquie

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/CoachJacq22 --- Come and be part of the health and fitness movement --- over 1.5 million Team Beachbody members.... achieving the ultimate fitness in your own home!

11 September 2009


I remember 8 years ago today, I was at work sitting at my desk in Manhattan at Eleven Madison Avenue. I was about a month or so pregnant with Nia. No one knew I was pregnant because it was too early to share that with anyone. I wore a blue tunic sweater and a pair of olive green pants to work that day. I will never forget that outfit.

I remember feeling so scared. We had TVs hanging all over the trading floor, so we watched the morning unfold bit by bit. I remember I kept trying to call my mother and the circuits were all tied up obviously because everyone was trying to call someone.

I had driven to work and my car was parked 2 blocks away. At first we were on lock down in the building and then a few hours later they decided to let us go. So many people were walking home to various boroughs, walks that would take hours on end. I remember feeling so scared. The city looked like a war zone. The smoke. The military. I remember feeling so tense and unable to move. Shaking in disbelief, tears just falling like crazy. I had to gather up myself, get some courage, and leave, go get my car, pick up my sister and a couple friends because they had no way to get home unless they walked. It just seemed like the scariest day... not knowing if more was going to happen. I remember shaking as I drove my car.

I remained very scared for many months, years after that. Many, many nightmares. Many sorrows for everyone who lost someone that day. I try my best not to live in fear today, but TODAY, you can't help but remember.

Life is precious.

My heart goes out to all who lost someone on 9/11. My prayers are with you.

Life is precious.

Share your love each and every day!

09 September 2009

The proof is in the pudding

Here is my personal Trainer: Tony Horton. I paid him one time almost 3 yrs ago, and he keeps coming back and working out with me everyday! He has taught me so much! Thank you Tony! Thank you for only charging me ONE time for a lifetime of workouts! http://www.beachbodycoach.

The proof is in the pudding means:

The true value or quality of something can
only be judged when it's put to use or tried and tested.

Which also means:

"Results are what count...it's not how you start, but how you finish."

Day 17 of the 2nd round of P90X for me, and the 1st round for some in the group, and perhaps a 3rd round for others! (Applause! Cheer! High Fives!! -- LOUDER !!!!! )

Let's first consider that I have NOT slept well in the past couple nights. But, it does not matter, my commitment to ME surpasses any nonsense that my thoughts may try to do to sabotage getting my workout in... You know what we do, "oh, I can't possibly workout today, I am tired." Don't sabotage yourself. You have an inner strength .. an inner will to do what you know you SHOULD do.

This time around for me, I am lifting heavier weight, trying to perfect a better Ab Ripper performance, and become more adept at Yoga! I do not have some crazy long list of things that I want to achieve, and do you know why?

Because while you concentrate on a few things (which is best for the mind to handle instead of overloading it with high expectations of too many things), other things automatically improve without you realizing it!

I just read someone comment to a new P90Xer, "Oh, you got roped into that!" Sorry to hear that people enjoy being critical of other people's desire to seek health and fitness.

There is no roping in. There's no denying that P90X is beyond a sensible fitness, health and nutrition program. You can't even begin to realize the heights that it will take you to unless you DO IT YOURSELF. Follow the recipe....

The proof is in the pudding!

I am only doing 1 workout a day (about 1 - 1 1/2 hrs depending on the day), and when I can, I add in some extra cardio, like a run, or the treadmill. Now that school is back in session, I am not sure how many 2nd workouts I will be able to add.

Today, as I FACTUALLY lifted heavier weight from last week and felt strong and capable while doing it, I was surprised, and content. I am writing everything down, reps, weight, and so I easily can see the proof. Increasing weight will increase toning, will increase strength, will increase fat burning, will increase ANTI-AGING..... will increase GREAT ATTITUDE.....

Right about now, I am not so concerned with anything other than seeing my PROGRESS week over week. After this week, 10 more to go!

It's only week 3 and many things have improved ALREADY!!!!

The proof is in the pudding!

I was reading a great book last night, "Soul Beginnings." Imagine, I got it for free at the bookstore in my town a couple months ago because I had spent $25.00 or something, and they considered it to be a "discontinued.... who cares about it" kind of book. Well this book is wonderful!

Here is a very short summarization of one of the passages:

"Self-care can ensure that we move forward and not be devastated.....carving out time to sow and invest in ...you. It's not about putting on a mask. It's about nurturing the body. Taking care of yourself is crucial when you are going through ... any kind of times." The author talks about lots of things (since her life was turned upside down, and she turned it rightside up thereafter) how we must EXERCISE for HEALING.

When you take care of yourself, you feel empowered, you feel well, you feel healthy, you feel strong..... which all lead to a healthier, strengthened attitude!

Back to the definition of the "proof in the pudding," it says, it's not how you start but how you finish. That is so important to remember. So many people get down on themselves (or refuse to even try) because they feel like there is no possibility for an improvement or a change.

That is farthest from the truth. Improvements ... change... can happen for anyone. Just invest a little time, everyday, tell yourself you deserve it, and over time (short time, medium time, long time), you will see the results!!! Make this investment in YOU, a lifetime investment so when you look over the months and years that pass by, you can continously say to yourself, "you know what, I am glad I take good care of myself. I feel good." With that lovely attitude, you are more apt to love and give with ALL your might!

For my team:

"Let's continue to cook our pudding, slowly, effectively, with LOVE and PURPOSE!!!"