Posts tagged ‘beauty’

July 19, 2012

Here’s to Health…

Have you ever felt like you are on life overload? I have felt like that recently. As a person, I am always in some process of self-awareness, trying to learn and better myself. That can sometimes get a little hectic and possibly out of hand.

Recently I have been working on my overall health. This has two major components. The first is to become nutritionally healthier. Since my first year of college up to recently, my weight has been steadily increasing. When starting college, my 5’6″ frame was at around 130 lbs or so. Sometime last year, about 8 years later, I hit about 200 lbs. That number crushed me. I couldn’t believe I had let myself gain so much weight. I hated loking at pictures of myself — I didn’t even recognize the woman staring back at me. About two months ago I finally decided enough was enough and started Isagenix, which is an all natural meal replacement program. I’ve been working with a therapist/life coach/friend who has helped keep me on track and so far, through a change in diet and exercise, I’ve lost somewhere between 8 and 10 lbs (yay!!). This isn’t just about losing weight, though.

The second component is paying better attention to what I put in and on my body. This is about educating myself. First is food. The main reason most people are overweight is sugar. Our society consumes entirely too much sugar – namely processed sugar, which is found in most anything that comes from a package. But processed sugar is also that white stuff found in your sugar bowl in your kitchen. Better options for natural sweeteners  are honey, agave syrup, and brown sugar, which still contain calories but have less impact on your glycemic index. Along with being more aware of the sugar I’m consuming, I’m also more aware of other things I consume. I try to avoid vegetable oil, replacing it with olive oils, coconut oil, grape seed oil, etc. I also have almost completely eliminated partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) from my diet. I am also in the process of eliminating all white flour and white sugar from my diet. These changes aren’t super easy – but eating more whole foods (non-packaged items, fruits, vegetables, and meats) makes it a lot easier.

Secondly: products. In my life I have started eliminating certain products that contain toxins, poisons, or dangerous chemicals. So far, this has included ventures in homemade deodorant, homemade cleaning products, using essential oils to  relieve headaches, goat’s milk soap, and trying out a non-shampoo hair rinse made up of a baking soda rinse and an apple cider vinegar rinse (results post is soon to come). I am continuously going to be looking for healthier and more natural options for my everyday health and beauty products. That being said, any input or ideas from my readers would be greatly appreciated. Other things I’m interested in are homemade laundry soap, dish soap, bug spray, carpet cleaner, and  any no-flour baking ideas.

As you can see, the past two months have been filled with a lot of change. Hopefully I can start paving the way to a healthier and more natural life. Now only if I could drag my husband into it with me… 🙂 Baby steps!!

 

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Make sure you are healthy enough for physical activity before starting any exercise regime and be sure to be aware of any possible allergies, etc before changing up your diet.

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April 3, 2012

Overdressed

I recently found out that I got a new job (yay!). I currently love the job I have, except my manager is nearly impossible to work for, so I had to find something else. Luckily, though, I get to stay with the same company. I love the company I work for, so that is exciting. In this new adventure, here are a few perks: I’m still in customer service, but it’s a call center, so less face-to-face and it’s an internal line, so I’ll be working only with other employees (This can actually be a pro and a con as I will desperately miss several of my customers). The drive will be 5 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes (yay on saving gas!). I will be getting more pay, which is always beneficial. They believe in coaching and professional development, which is part of the reason I’m leaving my current position. Finally, I can wear jeans and flip-flops everyday! That benefit is really not super important. but it is very exciting.

When I was going over the various benefits with my husband, I was a little overly excited about that last point. He smiled and in his cute way he said, “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.” At first I pondered this quote and thought for a moment that he totally burst my bubble. Then I laughed and replied, “Well since I want to be a professional musician, I need a few more colors in my hair, a tattoo or two, and more piercings. I’ve clearly been overdressing for years now!” He laughed at that statement because he knew I was right, as usual 😉

This thought got me thinking. Often times, we have these dreams and aspirations about our lives, but often times, we let those go for more “practical” things like higher paying jobs, stability, families, mortgages, etc. Then as we get older we look back with regret about the things we didn’t do. If you’ve ever felt like this, I suggest you read the book Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. This woman, with a combination of Godly interventions, has changed my life. She helped me to realize that there is no better time to reach for my dreams than right this second. If we do not pursue those dreams and gifts given to us, then we are wasting them.

I also recently started following the blog of a musician in Chicago. Her name is Ellen McSweeney.  She and I have a mutual friend who had posted her blog on Facebook several months ago. At the time, I didn’t actually read her blog, but I saved her in my favorites. I am certainly glad I did. She has beautiful insight to the world of being a working musician and can be quite inspirational. I look forward to learning more about her and her music. She is very talented.

Dressing for the job you want is a very important and true insight to living the life you want to live. If you are looking around right now and thinking, “I’m not where I want to be, but how do I get there?” then I have a few tips for you:

1. Stop making excuses and accept the fact that you want to be in a different place than where you currently are.

2. Think about the place where you want to be and look at the small changes you can make in your life to help you get there.

3. Start to make those small changes.

4. Do something creative everyday. (This tip is specifically from Shauna Niequist)

5. Don’t get overwhelmed. Remember: these are small changes. The best way to do this is implement one change per week and go from there. It takes several repetitions to make something a habit.

6. Finally, network and build a support system. Have a group of people who you can discuss progress, road blocks, and exchange encouragement. This helps to establish accountability and there is always strength in numbers. (This is also a tip from Shauna)

 

I really hope this helps to encourage those who are less than encouraged by their current positions. Please check out these two artists I mentioned. They are really encouraging. I also welcome any feedback on this entry. Is there anything you would add to my list or tweak? Please share! We’re all in this life together.