Thoughts

comfot zone.jpgHello everyone. I know it’s been a little longer than usual since I’ve been on here. I’ve been thinking about it for days, without taking action. I have been inspired and motivated to change throughout this time, while continuing to recognize my old habits sneak through. I have now finished 4 motivational books on Audible – the last which only took me 2 days (due to a 6 hour car ride and my 20-30 minute commute to work thanks to the snow). I have been practicing gratitude in my mind, and my soul, but inconsistently on paper. I wanted to make this post about my thoughts throughout this journey so far. I want to point out that this is the area I have struggled with most and also have been so grateful for.

Listening to different perspectives on improving the life I am living has reached into my subconscious and pulled things out that have made me terrified, confused, and exhilarated all in one. Sometimes I have so many thoughts at once that I feel the need to sit down and review everything I’ve learned and take notes on the points that struck the closest to me. I suppose this is a huge reason to meditate – to hear those thoughts, acknowledge them, thank them for arriving, and push away the ones that are not contributing to my ultimate happiness. Something I am still practicing, like a child with a violin. The noise is still loud, disconnected, and not quite musical, but I know if I practice long enough that eventually I will be playing in the orchestra of life. Speaking of musical instruments – I would like to rediscover my joy for playing guitar, singing, and creating my own songs – but more on that later.

I’m going to give you the raw, naked, vulnerable and exposed thoughts that are helping me transform from extraordinary to genius. I am going to write down all of the things that I have been thinking that are going to contribute to my success in living a life I am so thrilled to be waking up to day after day, even if I have yet to discover the how. So here it is, strings of connected thoughts that I hope people can relate to, or at least follow, and so I can reflect on to bring more clarity to my goals and my why.

I am hitting a speed bump in my healthy body and healthy eating: I am exercising more consistently than before and I am celebrating that. I feel good about my body when I look in the mirror and can see a transformation physically. I still feel I can push myself further when I go to the gym. I think a classroom, organized exercise session is more suited to me. I am debating hiring a personal trainer again to force me to stay committed to consistent and progressive exercise. What is stopping me? Money. Why? I feel I can achieve similar results with organized classes rather than 1 on 1 sessions. No. I am afraid I am spending money frivolously. What is my goal with my healthy body? To be strong enough to do ANYTHING I want to do for as long as I want to do it. I can afford a trainer, and will evaluate my budget to determine what I can cut back on that is not contributing to my ultimate holistic version of myself. I do enjoy the pain the next day – it tells me that I did something. I enjoy the pain when I push through barriers and do the plank for the extra 10 seconds, do that extra rep, add an extra 10lb etc. To end on a positive note: when I went to the gym last night, during my night shift, I actually felt stronger while holding a plank for 30 seconds, and while doing my ab exercises. This feeling is something I will reflect on when I hesitate going to the gym, or signing up for an exercise class.

plank

I am finding it hard to sustain a true belief that I am financially free: Finances is not something I really struggle with, but feeling I deserve to be rich is a belief I still need to practice at. I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I have recently become a part business owner but I find it difficult to believe. I watched a video recently which explained all of the great reasons and struggles I will encounter with network marketing.  In it are many successful individuals that I’m sure most (if not all) of you will recognize, and it helps to contribute to my rising belief that I have entered the right business. So why am I still struggling with this? I am stepping out of my comfort zone.  I feel like a fraud. I feel like I am another person asking people close to me to buy, buy, buy and I’m afraid my passion will taint the relationships I have already built. But I am building new relationships. I feel I am not yet a part of the community, despite the warm welcome by my mentors and the people I have met. once again, I am afraid this business will be difficult, will change my relationships, and will fail. I keep reminding myself that I need to take risks. I am not expecting to become rich from this one entrepreneurial adventure, but perhaps it is not because I don’t believe in the product or the business but because it’s more comfortable to believe I won’t be good so the failure is easier. I recently learned of the 5 second rule – this is how long it takes for your mind to change, to convince yourself not to do something. If you start to take action within 5 seconds of your initial motivational thought, your mind won’t change and you will achieve your goals. For example, every time I think: I will contact this person about my passion for healthier living, I will count down from 5 as I’m taking action, I will open up my phone, and send a text message, or a facebook message. Once again, to end this string of thoughts on a positive note I am so thankful for the money I already have. I am thankful that I can afford to eat well, to fill basic needs such as housing and transportation, and still afford luxuries such as travel, gifts for loved ones, coffee dates, and dinners out. I am so thankful to be mindful of my spending and to welcome wealth into my life with open arms. Here’s a reminder of all I have done with money. A reminder that money continues to flow toward me with ease and provide me with freedom:

freedomcollage

Upon writing these thoughts I have already gained clarity into some barriers that I can break through. Having recently read The Big Leap I can say, I recognize some of my “upper limit problems” and can now break through those barriers. I am so grateful for this journey, for the knowledge and insight I am gaining daily about myself and the universe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working on Gratitude

As I continue along the days, the weeks, and soon the month of January I am realizing how much work I will need to focus on certain areas of my health and learning about who I am and who I am working to become. Like many of you, probably, I can focus on a small goal and think back to when I was able to enhance my will power, push past the tough spots, and achieve my goal. I’m not sure if it feels more difficult now because I am in a different place in life (more responsibilities etc), I am comfortable with what I have achieved so far, or simply because I have lost a little bit of motivation and willpower and can’t remember how to get it back. This post is not one to say that “this is hard. how did I do it back then? How will I do it now?”. No. I am feeling so positive today, and so good about achieving my goals BECAUSE I have hit tough spots already, and BECAUSE I know it’s different and the reward will still be just as sweet (or sweeter) because I have matured. I am feeling good about reflecting on the past with more insight. Why? Gratitude. It has been written in so many self-help books, preached across every social media platform and talked about in many social circles. If you ask the universe, and truly believe it is out there, you will get it.

Enough fluff. What am I talking about? Well, it has been a week since I stopped the detox I was invited to by an acquaintance that I am happy to be making a friend. I have posted about it this week – and maybe I’m seeming less positive – but because I don’t have accountability I have been falling back into old habits. The point its, I am so grateful that I have been introduced to the detox, and that I am noticing which bad habits are beginning to emerge. Because of this new state of mind I can begin to hone in on those habits I find most difficult to change and put more effort and willpower into those. I thought it would be exercising 30 minutes a day, but this is something I have always loved to do. Though I fall back and am not always consistent week to week, because I love to exercise, I know I will always push through the little voice telling me to be lazy and get out and do it. For me, signing up for classes has kept me accountable (not to mention the $15 cancellation fee if I don’t show up) and I am so grateful to have found classes that I really enjoy going to with people who motivate me and push me to go past my limits. Going to the gym when I haven’t signed up for classes is doable when I bring my gym stuff with me, and I push through the little voice as I drive to my destination. Once I’m out of the car and in the gym, the endorphin’s have already begun to surge through me with the visual stimulation of others exercising and the anticipation of feeling good at the end. In this aspect – Healthy Body – getting there is not where I fall, but pushing myself once I’m there. Visualizing the beach body and the endurance and the definition of my muscles helps me push myself that much further and I am so grateful to have the strength the continue to push through and push myself further.

This week I have also fallen into habits of watching TV (or a movie) when I don’t know what else to do (Okay, being honest with myself I can come up with a list of other things to do but procrastinate and delay and tell myself it’s not as entertaining as TV). Before we moved into a house, the television was the center of our focus, because the space was so small and there was no where else to go to sit and relax, except in front of the TV, and naturally, the remote was nearby and it felt like sometimes I was not even controlling my own body as I sat in lounge position, turned on the TV, and found something I liked. I am so grateful that I am able to recognize this habit, even when I acknowledge it and still give in. Even though I decided to put the TV in the basement so it wasn’t visually there, the habit is still the same. This is something that now I can recognize and find a different habit to replace it with. This is my mini goal for the coming weeks. Every time I feel the urge to sit in front of the television and watch unlimited episodes of whatever show I can find (to understand this perhaps it’s helpful to mention that I don’t pay for cable or netflix, but instead have an android box with an unlimited stream of TV shows and movies), I will replace it with something else. It’s not to say watching TV or having a nice movie night is a bad thing – but it doesn’t have to make me who I am. I’d like to go back to when I mentioned how I remember achieving goals in the past. When I was in university, in my early 20’s, I watched maybe 1 show a week – as a social activity – with friends. It helped that I enjoyed studying and had the university as a place to go and ignore the urge to sit around and watch television. This was before sitting on a park bench staring at a cell phone was popular. This was before Facebook existed and my main form of communication was email and phone calls. Okay, I’m not that old, but it hadn’t become ‘the norm’. My point is, I can look back on this time, when I felt most productive and like anything was possible, and hone in on the feelings that allowed me to achieve my goals – even if my goals were completely different then. My mini goal for the next few weeks is to remember how I was easily able to distract myself with my guitar, making plans with friends, agreeing to volunteer when I had less to study, or picking up a book to read, instead of being sedentary in front of a TV just for the sake of entertainment – or procrastination. I know this isn’t as easy as it sounds, because it has become a habit, drilled into me over years – even though it’s a bad habit. When I feel the urge to sit around and waste 2-3 hours in the middle of a day watching television, instead, I will go to the library, read an old textbook, or visit the internet and find an article, to learn something new. Part of a Healthy Mind is always learning. Part of achieving this happiness I felt when I was young and living at home and not worrying about things like paying for bills or becoming successful, is feeling grateful that I have the opportunity to learn new things every day and that I have room to grow.

Another area that I am focusing on gratitude is being Healthy Financially. As mentioned in my previous posts, an unexpected benefit to doing a 10 day detox was my ability to resist fast food and coffee shops. Okay, yes, as I’m writing this I am sitting in a Starbucks, drinking a $6 latte, but as I will continue to say over and over again my transformation is not about 100% control and resisting things good in life – but limiting things in life that are unhealthy for me and engaging more in things that are healthy for me. Sitting at Starbucks instead of home with my own coffee is a way for me to resist the distractions of my home, achieve my goal of updating my blog frequently, and feeling happy and accomplished – part of a Healthy Mind. As long as I am spending more time at home (or at a library – free yay!) than I am at Starbucks, my finances will still be okay. Going back to previous habits, when I was a student working at Costco, or Claire’s and making $10-$11/hr I was still able to pay for bills, eat every night, and occasionally go out for drinks or food with friends. I wasn’t feeling much more tight on cash back then, and had money saved up for travel. Now that I’m making significantly more I find my expenditures have also significantly increased. I am so grateful that I have a stable job that allows me to do things that I love, but I am also so grateful that I can now be more aware of the extra spending that I refrained from before so that I can save more with the money I make, so that I can eventually be free to not only spend what I want but have time to do what I want to do.

Thanks to my sister for sending me this

So, as this post has become a little lengthy, I will conclude. As I continue to transform my life so that I am saying every day “wow, I am so happy to be me. How lucky am I, that I get to live this life. How wonderful it is to be healthy in all aspects of the word and to continue to grow and learn as long as I live.”, I am continuing to learn more about myself – who I was, who I am, who I will be. I am positive that things are changing for the better and I am so grateful for the journey.

I had a few tough days in the past week but keeping this blog has made me accountable to staying positive and pushing through. I’m not sure what step will make the biggest difference, or when I will turn the corner, or even what I will be doing that will make me feel free but I have confidence in the universe and I know that over the next 5 years I will be closer to the simple, happy, healthy person that I already am. Remember, even 5 things to be grateful for a day can change your life for the better.

gratitude

Feel Good

Every time I feel myself falling from my goals, I take action. Every time a mini goal is achieved I create another! On Thursday I completed my latest body goal – the Shred 10. I feel great about my body and don’t want to fall back into old habits, as mentioned in my last post, so I decided that I would sign up for another Barre class today, on my first day off. I continue the habit of making a smoothie in the morning (although to the annoyance of my husband on the weekend – when he was trying to sleep), packing healthy lunches and keeping positive.

There are still many exercises I struggle through in these Barre classes. Even through the motivating chant of the instructor to “keep going, feel the shake and keep holding” I find myself taking a mini break before going back to whichever pose I was previously in. When I take these little breaks I feel like I’ve cheated when the other women in the class (I have yet to see a man join..) hold strong, legs (or arms) shaking until told to release. Each time I do a class though, I hold a little longer, I push my limits a little further, and I focus on the goal. I will continue to go to these classes because afterward I still FEEL GOOD. After the class I tell myself “Next time, I will push through the pain and hold it that extra 5 seconds” and when I get home, I sign up for another class on my Mind Body App, and am excited for another day. As soon as the Shred ended I drank coffee, ate pizza (just a piece) and had a chocolate from my advent calendar (that I didn’t finish before because I left it at home when going to visit family). In order to not feel defeated though, I have learned to push past the negative thoughts and see the end goal. I praise myself for the little accomplishments (“well I made a smoothie today and drank a bottle of water BEFORE I drank coffee, so that’s a change”). I continue to build my will power muscle and form change. I said “no thank you” to the sweets offered at work, instead of “oh I can’t because I’m on a detox”. I should always be on a detox. I am so much less bloated, have more energy, and instead of automatically reaching for an unhealthy snack when I am hungry I find something healthy and satisfying: lately it’s been apple and peanut butter (all natural, crunchy, yum!).

An unexpected positive side effect of doing the Shred, and not being able to drink coffee (or caffeinated drinks), was my budget! Since the new year I have only bought TWO coffees. Previously, it’s been about 2-3 a week (minimum). More when I’m working night shift. Another win. I have also refrained from eating out or buying fast food. It’s tempting, now, to continue my old habits. After all, 10 days is a short amount of time, so I’ll continue to post on here when I feel weak, make my smoothies in the morning, say no to unhealthy foods when I’ve had my share for the week, and sign up for exercises (or, you know, just go to the gym).

I am posting today, because I am continuing to feel good about this transformation. I don’t yet know the end goal. I know that I will be strong. I know that I will be successful. I know that I am living a life where every day I am saying “I am thankful to be here. I am so grateful to be living my life”. I feel so loved and supported by the people in my life, and so grateful to be constantly meeting new positive and inspiring personalities. Today I have focused on both a healthy mind and a healthy body (as the category indicates), because both are hurdles I have overcome today. Everything does connect, and the more good habits I form in one area, I am sure, the more that will naturally occur in others. The more exercise I do, the healthier I want to eat, the happier I am, the more friendships I form, the closer I get to financial freedom where I am achieving what I want AND making money doing what I love.

This is only the beginning. Keep feeling good.

Staying motivated

So, yesterday was my final day of the Shred 10. The whole week I thought my last day was today, but as I saw the post “day 10!” My brain automatically wanted to go back to old habits. My first thought was “yes! That means I can have coffee tomorrow! And finish my Christmas chocolate!”. Then, consciously, I listened to those thoughts and remembered my goal. After 10 days of eating whole foods, drinking plenty of water, and exercising (nearly) every day I feel so great, so why would I ruin this good feeling? I am constantly reminding myself that change is not easy, but it is a decision I am making every minute of every day. I did wake up today, debating whether to have my decaf coffee or herbal tea, as I have the last 10 days, or indulge. I convinced myself to indulge in a cup of black tea with cream and I am totally okay with that decision.

The point here isn’t about feeling like a failure every time I have something bad. It’s about consciously realizing what I’m choosing, and consistently choosing things that bring me closer to being a holistically healthier person. When I tell people I know that I’m working on becoming healthier, the common response is always “but you are healthy!”. Sure, compared to a lot of people I eat healthy, I exercise fairly regularly, and I am a pretty positive happy person overall. I’ve been through this before but the point is how I feel about myself, not how I am perceived. I believe that small change is a catalyst for larger change and getting over the mental battle is my biggest challenge. I can choose to listen to everyone and go on living my pretty good life, or I can change my mindset, stop making excuses, and live a pretty AMAZING life!

Getting to the point, I’ve realized to stay motivated I need to do a few things: form a routine (ex. having a smoothie and exercising when I wake up – no matter what shift I’m on), visualize my goal every time I feel myself falling back into old habits (ex. feeling strong when I look in the mirror, imagining my energy as I hike up a mountain or bike up a steep hill), and find supportive people to share my journey with. Now that I am already beginning to feel great about my body, my next goal to add is to work on a healthy mind: More than just positivity in bad situations.

My goal: By the end of 2018 I will be meditating at least 5 minutes a day. I will do this whenever I feel myself falling and have the urge to give in to old habits – such as indulging in a lot of chocolate or cookies, saying to myself ‘the days wasted anyway so I’ll just sit here and do nothing until I go to bed’, or feeling bad about myself. I will also continue to meditate before bed (no matter what shift I am on).

Cheers to a healthier mind. Namaste

(This photo was taken in early December at an inspiring event – a representation of my healthier mind)

Shift Work

It’s been difficult to keep motivated while on night shift. In the past, sometimes the only exercise I got what when I worked nights – there’s a gym at the hospital I work in and we get an hour and a half break so it’s easy to spend that time at the gym. However, some nights are too busy and I only get an hour…or 30 minutes. Sometimes it’s not that busy, but by the time everyone else takes their breaks and it’s time for mine, I’m busy, then suddenly it’s 5am and it feels too late. Another excuse I know. Last night was one of those nights. I actually didn’t go until 5:50, only for 40 minutes, and took a quick power nap. This is a habit I recognize and realize can change. I can’t always control how busy I am at work, but because I rely on work to get in my exercise I didn’t work out before shift and ended up missing a day.

Maybe some of you can relate to me as a shift worker. Some people call me “crazy” for going to the gym on my break (most people nap), others have joined me (as I changed my thinking to join others when I first started). Even if you don’t have a gym at your work I think it’s a great opportunity to take to get a little exercise in. Do a set of stairs, challenge yourself and do 2. Bring an extra set of clothes to work if you feel you can’t because you’d be too sweaty. Working shift work has reminded me also not to pay attention to the real time but to “my time”. For example, whenever I wake up I am now making sure I start my day the same – make bed, change into real clothing, drink at least one large glass of water, take Juice Plus, make breakfast (lately a smoothie). One thing I’m going to try and add to this routine is exercise. I need to keep reminding myself NO EXCUSES. I could have gone down and up the stairs a few times on my break last night. I could have exercise before work even though I felt I had “no time” because I got up at 4:30 and immediately started making dinner instead of taking 10 minutes first to do a quick home workout video. Right now I’m sitting in bed, writing this blog, trying to plan when to do my workout – I have a vet appointment for my cat (just a checkup), I haven’t started my routine, and I planned on going to a dance class but was also invited to a motivational talk about healthy living. Life is about priorities. Right now, I’ll keep focusing on mine, and envisioning my goal – those strong arms, flat abs, and strong legs. I’ll keep picturing myself being able to do those push-ups and pulling myself up on a chin-up bar with ease. I’ll keep imagining myself as I age, able to continue to show my strength.

Wish me luck. Until next time.

Setting goals

The hardest part of this transformation so far is giving up old thought patterns and actions that follow. I don’t even notice these thoughts until after I’ve succumbed to them and I look back at the day and realize why I wasn’t so productive. Yesterday was one of those days that helped me realize how hard I will have to work to fully achieve my goals.

I woke up, not particularly motivated, after my night shift. I told myself that because I exercised during my night shift, and it was around 4:30am when I got to the gym, that I didn’t need to exercise today. I still had my healthy smoothie and breakfast – though it was such a blah day I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast.. perhaps a boiled egg and a smoothie was all. I putzed around the house putting together lists of tasks I wanted to accomplish: clean, make a vision board, make appointment for the cat (just a check-up). I cleaned a bit, made snacks, cleaned up the mess I made to have the snacks, went on the computer and looked at motivational pictures on Pinterest, went downstairs and watched a movie with my laptop – that died about 10 minutes into it – then went back on the computer to create my vision board, before deciding it was a satisfying time to go to bed. I did manage to make the appointment in the morning when I was still fresh with the day but then found no motivation to do anything beyond that one task.

This mindset I’m talking about, is the voice in my head that convinced me (almost subconsciously) that old habits were fine. This voice said things like: “you worked nights, it’s okay to be lazy”, “you deserve a rest day, you’ve worked hard all week”, “you still ate healthy so that’s enough”, and “the house looks good just the way it is, there’s no point in sweeping when it’s just you at home”. At the end of the day, while getting back motivation near midnight as I finished my vision board on the computer, I replayed these voices and realized that this is the hardest part of change. I said “NO EXCUSES” is my mantra this year, and I’ve already had so many excuses, but I can’t be so hard on myself either. Recognizing these negative thoughts and these compelling voices is the first step to changing them. Dissecting these excuses will help me overcome them. I realized that part of the reason I felt unmotivated was because I didn’t have any concrete goals for this transformation. First, I need to trust and believe in the universe that if I can think it I will have it, but secondly (and to the point of this entry) I need to be specific about these desires in order to not lose my way. Even if I start by setting a tiny goal for every day and a big goal for every month, I needed a more clear vision in order to ignore the voices and get up and get moving. From now on, I will make very clear goals, as I use in my profession often: SMART goals. This is an acronym to describe how I will be able to clearly see my desires and transform them into a plan: S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Attainable, R – Realistic, and T – Timely.

One thing that I have realized is that I am not as good at taking photos of my journey as I thought I would be. I planned on having a photo for every blog post, every day on Instagram, and every step of my journey. Then, I get to the gym or finish a class and drive home and then realize: darn, I didn’t get a photo. Sure, it is important to just enjoy the process and not worry about capturing moments sometimes but for the purpose of motivating and inspiring others this is something I feel is important to reach one of my many desires: to have freedom to do what I desire while making money helping others. So, I’ll start with this goal: S – I will take at least one photo a day of my healthy changes, M – I will post at least one photo for each blog post, A – This is attainable if I have my cellphone on my and set a reminder every time I have a workout or event, R – This is realistic because I always have my cell phone on me, T – I will be doing this consistently by the end of January.

To begin, Here’s a photo of my vision board, and my post-workout feels (as seen on my Instagram):

vision board

strength

I also want to point out that my journey will never truly be over. Once I achieve strength I will continue to work on that strength every day and make it a habit. Once I achieve a financial freedom I will continue to appreciate money and use it wisely and use it to achieve even more greatness for the world. Once I do a long distance bicycle ride I will continue to cycle and plan more rides. Life is a journey, and the point of this is not to end, but to be IN the life that I know I should be living. So, now that I’ve shown you some of my visions (I’m sure I will continue to adapt them as I grow and change), I’d like to make one more goal – a little bigger and more long-term than the one above:

S – I will feel and look stronger than I currently am

M – I will show my strength by doing 10 chin-ups and 30 push-ups

A – I can attain this goal because I will continue to do strength exercises to work out these muscles a minimum of 4 times a week

R – This is realistic because I have the access to gyms and classes that will help me stay accountable to my body and strength, I have equipment at home, and I know that I was once strong enough to lift my own body and will be again.

T – This goal will be achieved within 3 years.

Strength is something I have always had a desire and a love-hate relationship with. At my strongest I could easily do 30 push-ups (okay, not easy, but attainable). I would deliver newspapers in high-school at 5am, come home and do 25 push-ups and 25 sit-ups, have a shower, eat a healthy breakfast, go to school, come home and go to dance where I might do another 25 push-ups or so plus a number of other strength exercises I completely took for granted. Many people (including myself) would tell themselves “yeah, well that was high-school! You can never have the same body as you did in high-school!” – well, I aim to prove that little voice wrong! I have seen and read many stories of transformations. I have also met people who have made the decision to be strong, and then gone ahead and done it! I know I will be one of those people – I AM one of those people, and I look forward to the change, even the pain and the struggle in between.

 

A Healthy Start

A Healthy Body:

As I was thinking about my transformation, I began getting a little overwhelmed with the amount of change I’ll need to do so to prevent myself from throwing my hands in the air and saying “it’s too much, it’s impossible”, I’ve decided to work on one thing at a time. Conveniently, I’ve already committed to a 10 day detox with healthy eating and increased exercise, called “Shred10”, by Juice Plus – a community I have recently been introduced to and am beginning to feel benefits from, in many different ways. As you may notice, I have posted my daily smoothies (I’ve actually had 2 a day, but don’t always post the second), and some healthy foods I’ve tried, which are a part of this detox. So, being on this detox is the first step to my healthy body and provided me with an easy place to start my new healthier life.

When I tell people I want to change, a lot of them ask me “why would you want to change? Your thin. You eat healthy”. True, I consider myself a fairly healthy individual. I try to limit my treats and exercise often. This change is not about being thin or eating well “most of the time”, it’s the beginning of living a life without guilt, without regrets. I am committing to better myself so that I can look back when I’m 80 and I’m still doing the hikes I love, still travelling by bicycle and being able to lift heavy things I need to in life (such as moving or shovelling the driveway, or picking up my grandchildren), and I can say “yes, I worked for this, and I’m happy”. It’s about looking myself in the mirror every day and being happy with my body, not because I just “look good” but because I know that I have worked hard and not given up.

With change will come challenges and I am human so I want to share some with you. I started this detox on Jan 2. I planned on eating healthy on the 1 also, though I still had my morning coffee, but failed because I had a late shift, missed my last break and was really craving pizza. Instead of ordering healthy fastfood or going to the grocery store to pickup a quick, healthy, frozen meal, I convinced myself I had one more day of indulging and ate all but one piece of a medium takeout pizza. I then proceeded to eat some of the remaining Christmas chocolate, and go to bed immediately after. I woke up the next day more than ready for a detox. The first two days were tough also. I accidentally ate some gluten the first day, and put cream in my decaf coffee the second (2 things I’m meant to cut out for these 10 days). I felt so bloated and tired, and will spare the details but my digestive system was not what it normally is. I came home from a 12 hour day shift (which is about 13&1/2 hours from leaving the house to coming home) and really didn’t want to exercise. Still, I put on my workout clothes, and blasted dance music to get in the mood while I prepared for my home workout. In the end, I felt good about it. The second day was a day off and I planned on going to a HIIT class at 1pm then joining my accountability buddy (aka Juice Plus representative) for “beer” yoga. I felt motivated when I woke up, cleaned the house, sat down at the computer and made this blog, saw 12:00 pass, then 12:30, then as it was getting to the last minutes I could leave and still make the HIIT class, decided “I’ll get my 30 min in yoga” and didn’t go. It’s this kind of thought that I am working toward eliminating. I am happy I went to yoga, and I did accomplish other things that day but I convinced myself to not be the person I am working toward, and will be more accountable next time.

As this entry is now getting a little lengthy I’d like to end with a positive note. I have exercised at least 30 minutes a day for the last 4 days. I have eaten healthy – plant only, no processed food, no caffeine, no processed sugar – the last 4 days, and I am feeling a lot better on day 4. I am so grateful to be in this journey to wellness and for the healthy body I have. I am so grateful for the many people in my life who love and support me and I am so grateful to have the means and accessibility to make a positive change in my life and live my one life the best I can.

The Beginning

Here it is, the beginning of a new and better version of myself. I started this blog, this site, and this transformation to help inspire (and perhaps teach) anybody interested in having more happiness and freedom in the one life that we have. How fitting that it is the beginning of a New Year. When that clock strikes midnight and we awake the first day of a New Year, it seems to be human nature to reflect on the past, the present, and have a fresh mind looking ahead. It doesn’t have to be January 1 – I often feel this way on my birthday too – and for me, the decision for a transformation began before the New Year, but I decided to put my commitment into full force when the New Year arrived. It helps that I went through a tough time, read a few motivational books, and met some new people who inspire me to be more successful. Even if you are not interested in transformation, or feel you already are living the life that is perfect for you, I encourage you to join me in my journey, share this blog with others, follow my Instagram, and please keep me accountable through your comments.

So what do I mean by transformation?

A lot of people roll their eyes when they hear of New Years resolutions so commonly expressed: “go to the gym more”, “eat healthier”, “drink more water”, “make more money” etc. Most people, including myself, start off each year thinking either “yes, I will do this!” and then lose motivation within a few months, OR thinking “I’m not making any resolutions because I never keep them anyway”. Sure, if that’s your mindset than you won’t be successful. If you hit a tough spot and give up saying “meh, I’ve already slowed down my exercise and eaten poorly a few days this year so I might as well eat this donut…and stop exercising…and maybe bake a cake and eat it after I consume this entire pizza”, you will never be a better version of yourself than you are right now. What I mean by transformation (wow that took a long time to get to the point, didn’t it), is I am on a journey to hit the tough spots and get over them. This is not just a New Year’s resolution but a conscious choice to make a lifetime change. When I start to fail I will continue to be grateful for the journey, push through, and remind myself of the end point. This end point can be so different for everybody but the common denominator is – Happiness. Are you the happiest you could be with your life? Have you made the healthiest choices with no regrets? Happiness and health go hand in hand, hence the title of this blog. Health to me is more than just how we look or what food or drinks we put into our bodies. Health is mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial. Yes, financial. A world can not function without money, and we can not enjoy what we love without money. If you don’t believe me, read You are a Badass at Making Money : it is one of the books I’ve read (okay, listened to on Audible) that has helped me jump into my new life with both feet and no life jacket. The point is: I will transform my way of thinking so that I will achieve my goals, finish the plans I set out to finish, have more freedom, and be healthier in every aspect of the word.

Baby steps.

In case I haven’t made myself clear this blog is going to be about my transformation. Since this is so broad a term, I’ll break it down into sections (as you may have noticed the categories of blogs you can search through on this site):

Healthy Body – having a body that I can still work with when I’m 80; that I can use to do things that I love such as hiking and biking; and that I can continue to strengthen and push to achieving my goals

Healthy Eating – putting things in my body that will help me live a long, good quality life; teaching my future children by example so that they may live without illness or injury; supporting the environment by eating sustainable foods

Healthy Mind – Maintaining a positive outlook on life so that I can overcome any challenges I am faced with; practicing daily gratitude so the universe works for me; getting over any fears I have about success and going for it – no matter how long or how hard it takes

Healthy Finances – Maintaining my freedom through money; Spending more time with family and friends thanks to money; having enough money saved to feel comfortable spending whenever I desire; Giving my money only to the things that give me the most happiness such as travel, my home, my family, my friends, and my health.

A part of this journey will be continuing to update this blog. Something I haven’t been successful with in the past, but plan to achieve success this time around. It might be daily, it might be weekly, but at MINIMUM it will be monthly. The rest of these posts will be about my transformation – the lessons I’ve learned, the gratitude I’ve felt, the struggles I’ve come across, and the changes I can already see taking shape. I hope to inspire others to start their own transformation through my journey, and eventually, to pay it forward to even more people. We only have one life. Why are we constantly making excuses for why we are not happy and successful yet? Why are we sitting back and watching our life pass by when we can be actively engaged in it?

Hopefully, I’ll soon have an answer for you.