Why October is the best month to….

I could fill this in with so many things but lets stick with our Fun with Food thing!  Not to be confused with Sheldon’s “Fun with Flags.”fun with flagsOops it looks like he is having fun with food as well!

So why is October one of the best times to focus on food and really get a handle on what we put on our plates and what goes into our mouths?  Because we know what is coming! ( Imagine scary music right HERE)

The ultimate in food fests is heading our way and as much as we try to deny it we cannot.  It is coming right at us like a missile and we won’t know what hit us until we step on the scale on January 1st and instead of that pesky 10 lbs we intended to lose its now 18lbs.  Yikes!

The average weight gain over the holidays is 8lbs.  Yup 8 lbs.  Think of the last thing you saw that was 8lbs.  It could be a baby, a sack of potatoes, a ham.  Puts it in perspective right?

That 18 lbs I mentioned earlier might be the size of your Thanksgiving turkey.

Wow…anybody else besides me think I just sucked the fun right out of “Fun with Food” ?

We do equate being social and having fun with eating.  Can you think of one event that does not have a food component?  That’s a tough one.

So while it may not be fun in the truest sense it will make you breathe a little easier come January if you start to have an awareness around the holidays, the food, the parties, the drinking and figure out how you want to be with it.

You get to choose.  YES it IS a choice and YES you can still enjoy the food and have fun and not cry and beat yourself up on January 1st if you dare to get on the scale.

Think about all the reasons excuses you use to have a free for all from Nov 1st – Dec. 31st.

Maybe yours include the following:

  • I have to have this, Aunt Tilly only makes this ONCE a year so its a treat.
  • Mom will be hurt if I don’t eat alot, its her way of saying she loves me!
  • It’s the holidays, time to let loose!
  • I dance better when I’ve had lots of wine
  • I need insulation for the upcoming winter months.

Any of these look familiar.  I think I have said every one of those except for the last one.

So in a rather long run on sentence ( my English teacher is doing spins in her grave) here is why those excuses don’t hold up.  Aunt Tilly only makes her special 1000 calorie a bite dish once a year because it is an evil antibiotics plot to keep you all coming to her house over the holidays since she won’t share the recipe and Mom is an undercover food pusher who could guilt even the toughest guy into eating more than he could ever imagine (she is actually an undercover agent for the government that specializes in making the enemy talk or in her case guilting them into talking) and if letting loose means your pants then go for it but if you really think you dance better after half a bottle of wine then go check out the videos your cousin posted on you tube and if the last one is true then get rid of your sweaters and your coats because you will be plenty insulated.

Phew… Hope you are laughing or at least smiling.

So have some fun with making up stories about how you are to navigate the holiday buffet, avoiding the things you can’t stop eating much like a ship avoids icebergs.

 Picture your Mom holding a piece of cake in front of you except you are not in your home you are in one of those interrogation rooms with a single light bulb ( remember she is undercover for the government)!

Figure out how you will get Aunt Tilly’s famous recipe and maybe even make it a little healthier.

The point here is that NOW is the time to figure out how you want to be with the “food thing” over the holidays.  If instead we have fun with our families and less with the food we will probably be happier when January rolls around.

I’m not saying it’s easy.  I’m just saying you can have a good time, celebrate, enjoy the food but not act like its your last meal. I can say this because I have been there and  when I did plow into the food like there was not tomorrow January 1st was not fun and I wished I had made different choices.

An upside down moment for sure.

If you are having trouble figuring out what what will work for you then how about trying out a complimentary coaching session?  Go here to get that on your calendar and get a head start on your plan for the holidays.

Lastly, if you do have relatives that make a family favorite please make sure someone has the recipe or knows how to duplicate it ( even if it is 1000 calories a bite)  I would love to have some of my grandmothers famous dishes, especially her buckwheat pancakes but sadly no one has the recipe. 🙁

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And my grandma really did know how to have fun!’

If this finds you hanging upside down then don’t forget to enjoy the view!

Lessons about freedom from a dog leash..who knew?

Well if this isn’t the perfect post for Your Upside Down Life because it’s perfectly upside down. I had no idea when I picked freedom for our theme for July that I would learn about freedom from a dog leash.  I don’t think anyone would put freedom and dog leash together especially when it really has nothing to do with putting a dog at the end of the leash.

Our trusty dog leash had a mind of its’ own.  It was constantly disappearing and reappearing and causing me immense amounts of stress especially when I was in a hurry and needed to get the dog out before I left the house.  Our dog, Max, has a mind of his own as well and will take off in a flash when not on a leash, return about 30-45 minutes later, happily covered in mud.  Just what I don’t need when leaving the house.  So the leash is NOT optional.

I had tried setting hard and fast rules about where to keep the leash but SOMEONE in this house would constantly NOT put the leash back in its designated home.  And that someone would be me.

Things needed to change.  I could no longer leave the house stressed out, in a bad mood and mad at everyone especially myself.

I had no idea one dog leash could cause me so much distress.

Finding a good permanent home for the leash was the easy part.  Putting it there after every walk with Max made my head hurt.  In case you haven’t guessed I was not “born organized”.  I had to think about it EVERY time for a long time.  I know they say ( whoever “they” are) that it takes 21 days to change a habit.  Well they never met me or my many NOT born organized friends.  I didn’t keep track but it took months and a conscious effort on my part to put that dog leash back in the drawer each and every time.

Even though I slip up now and again, it feels weight loss amazing to reach in that drawer and the leash is there EVERY time. Simple I know but it frees me from last minute stress and that one simple habit is helping me alleviate stress in other areas of my life.

There is an old saying that “being organized means you are just too lazy to look for stuff.”  I love that saying because it makes me laugh  but the truth is I was tired of looking for stuff like my glasses, my phone, the cordless home phone, my favorite pen.  You get the picture.

The dog leash craziness taught me a couple of things:

  • patience with myself   ( it took months to train my brain with this habit)
  • acceptance ( lots of my creativity comes from being “random” ( thats a fancy way of saying disorganized) and its not a “bad” thing just part of who I am
  • slowing down   I had to slow down and consciously put the leash away

All of the above “freed” me from negative self talk, wanting to be something that I was not ( naturally organized) and gave me permission to just slow things down which I learned was a major part of the problem.

What I have noticed that by changing this habit of constantly losing the dog leash I am suddenly aware when I randomly put my glasses, phone, or keys somewhere they do not belong..this little voice says to me … “Oh no you don’t!  You will be looking for those in about 2 minutes…put them where they belong”

That little voice suspiciously sounds like my mother but I’ll take it!

And now when I see the leash I smile. I love my creative side. It is part of my essence but I also love that I can learn to be more organized and less stressed.

The leash  came with Max ( the endless shedding dog) when we adopted him. I love the irony of the design on it. Who knew it would teach me peace and freedom?

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Weather Wimp or Weather Warrior?

Since January we have seen a winter that threatens to never end.  And just as we get a taste of spring, Mother Nature sends snow, a cold front and now torential rains and tornados.

Mother Nature is a big old tease.

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Even the plants are confused.

Trying to get out in this to run, walk, or cycle has been a challenge and a convenient excuse for us weather wimps.

I mean who can blame us?  Who would go out in this stuff ..

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Weather warriors that’s who, like my friend Ron. Except for extreme conditions like blizzards and ice storms I uusually see or hear about those weather warriors that are out there getting their workout in and enjoying every aspect of nature….

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making this weather wimp ( and others) feel guilty as we trudge off to the comforts of the gym.

I could make the argument that us weather wimps are a little higher on the sanity scale but in reality I am in awe of the weather warriors

I do entertain thoughts of  “Are they crazy, am I lazy or am I just being smart” ?

Even as the weather has gotten better I find myself procrastinating ..waiting for the perfect day of no humidity, 65 degrees and sunny with just a whisper of clouds.

If I only want to run or bike pain relief outside about 5 days a year then I am good.

But  I want more.

So what is the secret to getting out there when its not ideal conditions?

There is the old standby of having a running, cycling, walking buddy .  I know that works because for over 10 yrs I walked with my friend Fancy at  5am every week-day morning and the the only time we cancelled was for ice or torential rain.

I think the real secret to transitioning from weather wimp to weather warrior is simply habit.  When it’s something you have ingrained in you like brushing your teeth you aren’t going to let most weather get in your way.  There will be those occasions when its just not safe to go out there .  When if it’s a habit and  the weather turns colder or hotter you are getting use to the changes gradually instead of heading out there cold turkey after a long absence.

I’m getting out there and will let you know if making it a habit can actually turn a weather wimp into a weather warrior.  Let’s do this!!

And as usual. even after careful proofreading, any leftover typos or grammatical errors are my gift to you and a reminder that we are all perfectly imperfect.

 

 

Sage advice from my 87 yr old Mom

How many times did I roll my eyes at advice my Mom gave?  Too many times to count and now I wished I had listened a little more carefully.  There is, however,  one piece of advice that she gave everyone everyday without even opening her mouth.

It came to mind recently when there was a news report that researchers have discovered that stress is contagious.  I laughed at that one.  That is old news to anyone working in a high stress job.  Those researchers could have saved a lot of time and  money if they had just talked to a few nurses.

I know from experience that when everything is hitting the fan it makes a HUGE difference if the nurse in charge stays calm.  The same situation looks and feels vastly different when the charge nurse  is losing her cool.  I’m sure that can be said for any stressful anti anxiety situation.

As Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD said in her book “My Stroke of Insight”:

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Here is another contagious stress inducer: Multi tasking.  I am sooo guilty of this.  As a matter of fact I was thinking about this blog post and my Mom’s advice as I was racing to get out the door and started to laugh.  In the midst of multi- tasking and rushing I dropped and broke 3 things, tripped and did everything poorly until I slowed down and gave myself an extra 5 minutes.  That is all it took, an extra 5 mintues

So what advice did my Mom give us everyday without opening her mouth?  Here it is and it still hangs in her kitchen.

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Sometimes it is the simplest solutions to the biggest problems that work best.

Thanks Mom and Happy Mother’s Day..a little early.