Sunday, January 31, 2010

2000-2009: A Decade of Learning, Living, Loving & Becoming Me...

I have an obsession with planners, I love them. I love writing in them, I love keeping track of my schedule and knowing what I have to look forward to, and I love looking back and reading them... and remembering.

Lately I've been attempting to declutter and get rid of stuff-not easy for me. I'm going to briefly reflect on each of the years of the past decade. I'm hoping I can do a decent job and convince myself that I can get rid of the planners.

Here it goes. (I am doing 2000 & 2001 without planners, can't find them---it will be challenging)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Looking Forward...

to so many things! Some of them are:

*To the homemade pizzas Andy is making for dinner
*To the trip I'm planning to California to see my cousin and all of my wonderful west-coast girls
*To seeing our cross-country friends this summer for Dave Matthews
*To becoming a teacher---the more I learn about it, the more I can't wait to do it
*To warm weather, Phillies games and putting away my coats/ gloves/ scarves
*To reaching my goal weight and feeling good about my body, my workouts have been making me feel great
*To incorporating yoga into my workout routine
*To the numerous weddings of some of my most treasured friends this year
*To our Florida trips
*To my birthday get together next week and celebrating with the fam in NJ the following week
*To our visit to Vermont President's Day Weekend
*To all of the other fantastic things that will happen that I don't even know about at this point

It feels good to feel happy :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Celebrate Life!

I received the sad news last night that one of my elementry school principals passed away at the young age of 59 from lung cancer. I often think I'm still too young to have known so many people that have lost their lives, many of them younger than 60, and several of them younger than 30. It's easy to feel really down about this kind of news, especially when you begin to think "what if that was my family, or my mom/dad/sibling?." Sometimes it's hard not to think like that, even when you are more focused on the friends and family suffering the loss than you are on your own feelings.
I was just thinking I should write tonight because I had a really good day and it seems we don't write about our good days often enough. I spent the entire day with my mom at her office scanning all of my middle school and high school photos. We had a nice lunch and enjoyed our time together. I went from her office to an old friend's house--I haven't seen her in a long time and we've had a bumpy road in our friendship over the last 6-9 months (we've been friends for almost about 20 years so that's not really too bad when you put it in perspective.) Anyway, she is pregnant and is so excited. It made me so happy to see her, especially knowing she's dreamed of the day she'd become a mom for so long. We spent some quality time together catching up and I feel really good about our friendship moving forward. Afterwards my mom and I went to visit another old friend who just had her first baby (a boy!) last weekend. He was so little and sweet and reminded me of why it's important for us to celebrate each and every day. My friend didn't stop smiling the entire time, I've never seen her look so happy.
I will try to remind myself, and I'm reminding all of you to celebrate LIFE everyday! We don't know what tomorrow will bring but we have the ability to make sure we find something great in every day. Today I am simply grateful for all of the people that make my life so wonderful.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Book is Always Better

I really wish I read more books. I sort of go in spurts, like I do with working out and everything else. There is nothing like a good book, one that you just can't put down because you have to know what happens next. I seem to read much more in the summer, it's the best way to spend a day at the beach. :-)

I saw The Blind Side yesterday. I've been raving about the book ever since I read it in July, before I knew it was going to be made into a movie. I believe it is a book that everyone should read, it has so many great lessons and makes us appreciate everything we have in life. It also gives us someone to root for, someone to follow and watch succeed in something as big as the NFL! Ladies that hate sports, it's not all about football, although I learned a ton about the game. It's a book that makes you feel good and makes you want to give someone less fortunate a chance.

With that, I'll say the movie was good not great. I liked the actors/actresses chosen for all of the characters. But, as with most movies I see that are based on books, so much was left out. I thought there were lots of details in the book that should have been included, they made the story that much better.

If you haven't read the book, even if you've seen the movie, do yourself a favor and pick it won't want to put it down!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Put the Past Away

Do you guys remember the Third Eye Blind song "Jumper"? That's what was running through my mind a few days ago as I sorted hundreds of pictures, cards and notes (you know we all saved them) from middle school and high school. It was a 3 hour long flashback, and it was weird. There are so many great memories, but so many not so great ones too. It seems I only wrote in my journal or saved the notes from the bad times, and it all came flooding back. It is amazing to me how we have the ability to block so much from our memories. I have and always have had so much good in my life. But I realized the other day how much of the big picture you fail to see, or recognize, when you are a teenager. It made me wish I could write a letter to every teenage girl out there that thinks her life is a big disaster and give her a perspective from 10-12 years later. So much of what happens during those crazy years mold you into who you are as you move into your 20's, you just have to get through it, every teenage girl does.

So I relived much of 6-12th grade as I went through those boxes, and had a large trash bag right next to me. Almost all of the notes went in that bag, there is no reason for me to read those ever again. I kept all of the pictures, even the ones that make me think of people I no longer consider friends. I kept most of the cards except for those standard "Have a great Christmas, love ____."
It was a great feeling to throw some of that stuff away, what a release it was, I was putting the past away...for good.

As I finished going through all of the stuff from middle school and high school I started to find a bunch of cards from when I was real young. They were from all kinds of people---my grandparents, aunt, uncles, mom & dad, sister, friends, mom & dad's friends, my grandparent's friends. They were for birthdays, my communion, graduations, the several times I broke my arm, elbow, wrist etc. They made me think about how lucky I was, and still am to have so many people that care about me. Last semester we talked a lot in my secondary ed class about how difficult the lives of some teenage students are, those kids that have nobody. Looking through all of those cards, and the messages written in them made me feel so blessed. So thank you to all of you that made me grow up being such a loved and lucky kid. I know not every kid has that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Aren't We All Trying to Eat Healthier?

Over the last couple of years I've fallen in love with cooking. I've learned how to make new dishes, use different spices, create my own recipes or change around some old standards. I read SELF magazine and cookbooks like "Flat Belly Diet" hoping I'll change how I eat. I am a lucky girl, I don't really gain weight. I fluctuate between 120-127 lbs and have for the last 7 or 8 years. I ate french fries everyday my freshman year of high school and was still 105 lbs. (Sorry Mom, I ate like crap in HS & college when you weren't around...and yeah, I know, those are the days when lots of girls can eat like that and still look like sticks.) The thing is, it's not always about weight. It's about how you feel physically, and how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror. Your body mass changes when you're eating well and exercising even if you don't gain or lose weight (at least for me) and I want to get back to a place where I feel good about myself.

Well today I decided to really make a change---maybe it's the New Year thing, but there was no way I was changing my diet over New Year's weekend. So today it was and so far, so good. I'm about 8 hrs in.

I'm following the Flat Belly Diet four day jump start program. It's pretty simple, 4 meals a day, 400 calories each, make sure each meal includes a MUFA (aka: good fat.) Drink lots of water. My ultimate goal is to follow their meal plan 3-4 days/week. I've already accepted I am not willing to give up my favorite meals at my favorite restaurants, chicken parm, filet mignon, or mashed potatoes---I just won't do it. So why would I put a ridiculous expectation on myself? Instead I'm going to make an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables which I already love and smaller portions of red meat and poultry everyday.

You know what I found today? THIS IS A LOT OF WORK! I went to the store with my list of ingredients I needed for the next 4 days. Ginger root, sugar-free applesauce, mint leaves, lactose free skim milk are some examples of items on the list. First off, finding this stuff is like finding a needle in a haystack. Secondly, it's EXPENSIVE. I told myself to get over it, I'm worth it. I want to feel better about myself, and I already do. I spent close to an hour in the store and then another hour at home cutting and portioning chicken breasts and turkey cutlets. 3 oz each, and although they are quite small, when you eat a few cups of veges and a small roasted potato you find it's enough.

So, if any of you out there are trying to make a change maybe we can help each other. My next step is to start an exercise program. I wish, I really wish, I was one of those people that enjoy exercise. I do not. I enjoy a 5 mile walk in Valley Forge park when it's 70 degrees outside but I do not enjoy getting my ass on the elliptical and wishing away the minutes, and that's what I need to do. Or the many workouts On Demand, or use my weights, bands, exercise balls that sit in my basement. I have all of the equipment, now I just need to do it! I'm thinking as I change how I'm eating, I'll feel more motivated to exercise as well.

I may write to Food Network and beg them to find a chef that cooks according to a nutritionist, because watching these shows is the last thing anyone should be doing when trying to adjust the way they eat. Gotta go, Barefoot Contessa is on. :-) I'll just imagine what today's meal would taste like.

Friday, January 1, 2010

An Opportunity for Change

So I created this blog over a month ago, and that was a month after I told my sister I was going to start blogging. The title of my blog is the story of my life. I have great ideas, I have many interests, I have the best intentions. For some reason I can't seem to stick with anything. Journaling, eating healthy and exercising are hardest for me. It feels right being New Year's Day---the beginning of a new year and a new decade, to try and make a change.

With that, over the next few days I will write an entry about each year of this past decade. And from here on out I will try to blog or journal every day. I know it won't be easy, but it's the only way to keep our memories alive. There is too much we forget when we have nothing to look back on.

Happy New Year to you all, may we all stay committed to the changes we are looking to make.