Independence Day

This day means a lot of different things to different people.  There’s so many wonderful ways to celebrate.  Let’s talk about traditional celebrations to start….

Something I won’t see this year….

BTW:  There won’t be any fireworks in Colorado this year… and I speak for all the Coloradoans when I say, I’m perfectly fine with that.  There’s too much fire devastation going on here.  To all my neighbors if you follow one rule this year, please follow this one.

We also have to think of these guys…

I also can’t help but think of all the men and women that fight for our freedom on 4th of July.  They do so much to keep us safe every day and to make the world a better place.  Thank you to each and every one of you who put your life at risk to make sure that mine is not in danger.

Happy Birthday, America.  You look SO good at 236 years old, and I have faith that you’re going to continue to get better with age.  So beautiful.

Another Guy that I think of on the 4th of July is this one… he’s exactly 230 years younger than you, America.  I just love him to pieces.

Happy Birthday to the Small Boy! My handsome nephew is turning 6 today!

Overall, I like to equate independence day with celebrating life, celebrating summer, and celebrating this fantastic country we live in.  Ironically, I used to also associate it with eating a burger and a hot dog, a heaping pile of pasta salad, and whatever dessert I could get my hands on.

Now, I associate this day with treats that look more like this. (Source)

Today, I’ll spend my morning at another Spin/Yoga class, celebrating my FREEDOM from 79 lbs that I used to carry on my frame.  Despite being in pain for 3 days, I’m going back again for some additional sweating because I am FREE to choose to do so.

February 2006 – Meeting Hayden

Oh, if you were to say that I would have been heading to a spin class on a holiday, I can honestly say I would have laughed at you.  See, at this time last year, I was still sedentary and trying to avoid working out by all means.  The last thing I would have done was to wake up at dawn to get to a workout class.  That‘s too early for this girl on a day off, I would have said.  Since the light bulb went off though, it’s all changed.

If you haven’t yet made the decision to get healthy… I ask WHY!??!?

January 2009 – Las Vegas

 

If I had known then that I would feel as amazing as I do now, I may have started this journey sooner.  I would have started eating right and working out sooner.  I would have started putting me first more often… and honoring my body sooner.

This year, I can’t help but celebrate my independence from my previously unhealthy life.  It’s one of my most prized possessions and it deserves a day in its honor.  For me, it’s November 1, 2010 which was my first day on Jenny Craig… but yours could be today.

So, you eat a lot of fast food.  So, you’re 20-100 pounds overweight.  So, you have a family that likes to eat junk food.  So, you’ve been on every diet and have had minimal success. So, you think it sounds hard.

Honestly, so what.

December 2011 – Family Christmas

My challenge to you is to celebrate today as YOUR Independence Day:  the day you decided to free yourself from your food demons and your weight loss barriers.  I can’t promise that it will be easy, but I can promise you that you will never EVER regret making the decision to head down this path, making better choices, or going to the gym for 30 minutes.

Today is a day for us to honor those that give their lives for our freedom.  If they’re willing to do all of that, don’t you think you need to fight equally hard for yourself and your health?

June 2012 – Las Vegas

Think about it.  If you’re not convinced, revisit it later today.  I promise you, you’re worth it.  Trust me… it’s worth it.

Please know that I don’t say what I say here to be harsh; instead, I say it because I want you to feel wonderful, to have good health, and to conquer obesity.

I’m not the only one celebrating my independence today.  My current independence is from the 79 lbs. I used to carry around every day.  How many pounds are you FREE from today and do you ever regret declaring YOUR INDEPENDENCE?

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New Love: Candlelight Yoga

I had fully planned on blogging about a new giveaway I have for you, my dear, dear readers… but something remarkable happened tonight.

I took this guy…

and combined it with this….

And found a WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL state of bliss.

(Source)

This is my third yoga class this week, and it just became my favorite.

The class started at 7:30pm.  Being spring, it was still a little light out when we got there and it looked like rain was on its way.  I was disappointed for two reasons:  1)  Shouldn’t it be dark for candelight yoga?  and 2) I can’t stand thunderstorms.

The beautiful yoga studio was all set up with electric candles, and as we got started it all began to make sense.  The instructor’s name is Susie, and she’s just wonderful.  She led us through a series of Moon Salutations vinyasa-style.  Now, if you’ve done vinyasa yoga… you know that it’s all about the flow and repeating a series of poses.

We worked through some of my favorites:  Proud Warrior, Warrior 2, Crescent Moon, Triangle, Five Pointed Star… to name a few.

It was just peaceful.

There were poses tonight that I couldn’t quite do, but this gives me inspiration for future classes.  I felt like it was more of a workout than the “gentle yoga” I took last weekend.  I can’t wait to go again.

Now, it wouldn’t be a challenging yoga class without someone doing something that makes me want to laugh.  You might remember the time I laughed at an instructor doing the crow position.  Well, tonight… if I weren’t so chilled out, I would have spit when I saw this:

Show off...

In all seriousness, I can’t believe I didn’t laugh when I saw this.  Not because I’m child-like, but because things like this seem so impossible they’re almost funny.

The class ended in savasana, with lavendar eye pillows and with the most amazing few minutes of breathing.   We closed the class with some ohm-ing and a quick prayer.  There was no thunderstorm and the pitter patter of light rain on the skylights was delicious.

Best hour I spent all week.  Amazing.

If you haven’t tried yoga and you’re thinking about it, would you please find a gentle yoga class and give it a shot?  I can’t tell you how much I love being back in yoga and how it is effecting my mind, body, and soul.  You need this.  Try it soon.

 

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WOW: Yoga and C25K

I can’t tell you how nice it’s been to get back into writing my Work Out Wednesday posts.  For a while, I had nothing to say because I wasn’t hitting the gym as much as I should be.  Now, I feel good again about sharing the highlights!

I’ve started back at Yoga again!

It feels SOOOO good to be back!

I met some new friends at Happy Hour last week and we agreed to get together for Yoga this Saturday.  We went to an adorable local studio and loved it so much we went back again on Easter Sunday!  I kicked off my return to yoga with not one, but TWO back to back sessions!

Now, you may be surprised to hear this… but my hamstrings are not.  They are FULLY aware of the torture stretching I subjected them to this weekend.  Yoga always fascinates me because it’s strenuous, yet not sweaty.  You work the muscles and feel it the next day… but it creeps up on you.

I'm so glad I had one of these

Another friend had told me I should invest in a foam roller to workout the sore muscles I had been feeling as part of my running program.  I can’t even begin to tell you how lovely this foam roller has been on my hamstrings.  Now, if you haven’t heard of one of these, it’s simply a foam cylinder that you can roll on to workout sore muscles… brilliant!  I’m no expert, but I hear that the white ones are for beginners and are the softest.  Perfect for this girl.  I ordered mine from Amazon.  Easy peezy, and it definitely came in handy this weekend.

My new local yoga studio

I don’t think I can move on without commenting on how GORGEOUS this yoga studio is.  I found the picture above online, and you can see how well-lit it is… and maybe a bit of the natural light coming also from the skylights.  Just beautiful and such a wonderful place to practice yoga.  I can’t wait to go back this week.  I’m also planning on attending a candlelight yoga class this week.  I’ll take pics if I can… I think it’s going to be remarkable.

I’m Still Running!

While I wish I were a littler further ahead in my Couch to 5K program, I’m still running… and starting to run daily!  I’m at the end of week 2 as of today, and starting week 3 this evening.  It’s been really interesting to run over the past few days.  It’s such a mental thing, with a bit of physical ability mixed in.

The hamstrings cry during the first few minutes, and then after that… I get my groove.  Running at altitude is no joke.  You have to work on your breathing and work hard to be able to run.  I enjoy the fact that I’m able to do it… and that sweet satisfaction at the end of the workout that I made it through.

I keep waiting for this guy to show up... and to keep his promise. He probably could help with my hamstrings, too.

As usual, the Kelly Clarkson on my playlist has been pushing me through the final TOUGH minutes of the run.  When I’m considering quitting to catch my breath/down my bottle of water is usually when she appears in the shuffle.  It’s pretty awesome how the timing works.

I’m excited to see how I progress in Week 3, and I’m completely committed to seeing this program to the end.  It’s all about Team Bev, afterall….

My beautiful friend Bev at last year's race. Pssst... She may be running WITH me this year! So excited!

In the end, I feel great about this week of workouts so far.  I’ve worked out for the past four days straight… which feels amazing. I found this quote on Pinterest and it really sums up how I feel right now and how I’ve felt for the past few months.

In order to experience change, you have to choose change.. this is what I’ve been told.  I’ve been able to reset my thinking pretty quickly these days.  Whether it’s leaping toward a new job or simply getting myself back on track, choosing change is sort of what I do.

 

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The Engagement Epidemic

Has anyone else noticed that just about EVERYONE

you know is getting engaged these days?  

There was a period of time before the holidays where it seemed that everyone I knew was going from “in a relationship” to “engaged” on Facebook. 
 
Yep, this one got engaged, too.
 

Keep in mind, this was true for most every single girl that I know aside for me.  I have one or two girlfriends out there that are sticking with the single status for now, but for the most part… it appears that the world is pairing off two-by-two. I’m so far behind.

In the past, I’ve just been too “busy”.  Busy working, busy traveling, busy living my life, busy achieving my version of success, and busy not meeting anyone that I could potentially pair up with. I asked a college friend of mine about it this week. Jokingly, I blame her for my not getting out there more (ie… Why didn’t you make me date more? So I’d have had more practice!).

Now, at 35 and single, I’ve realized I want more.  Re-phrased, I’ve decided to make room in my life and to do something to get more.  

How does a young (and fabulous) 35 year old meet a someone that’s out there that’s NORMAL and awesome.  I don’t have the answer for you quite yet, dear readers, but I can tell you that I’ve started looking and I’ll keep you posted.

While I feel it’s a little overexposing to tell you too much quite yet, I joined eHarmony right before the new year.  I’ve always been a little anti-online dating, thinking that it didn’t really work or couldn’t possibly work for me.  However, I stand corrected. I’ve been matched with a ton of folks in the Denver area who allegedly are compatible to my personality profile.  Not bad!

It’s a VERY low pressure, easy process to begin communicating.  You can move at your own pace and opt out at any point.  I find it very comfortable (surprisingly.)

Wednesday night, I went on my VERY first eHarmony date and it was REALLY great!  I mentioned my migraines I had this week had kicked my butt, but I had already set up this date prior to any of that madness setting in.  I couldn’t cancel on him, and I was so glad that I didn’t!  Between us friends:  I’d say it was the best first date I’ve ever had.  He was smart, funny, attractive, a professional, and a total gentleman (all positives in my book.) Now, we’re still in the process of getting to know each other, but what a positive experience!  

I can honestly say that I think dating is much easier now that I’ve lost the weight.  Not because of what other people think about the weight… instead what I thought about the weight.  I always worried about what he was thinking about how I looked, or what people were thinking about with the guy being out with that chubby girl (me.)  It’s not healthy to think that way and I recognize it now, but that was the way my mind used to work. 

I felt great walking into the restaurant last night with no hesitation, no major nervousness.  I did text a few people letting them know where I would be and to sound the alarms if they didn’t ever hear back from me, which is slightly crazy…. but safety first, folks!

The outfit was pretty cute... Couldn't resist snapping a pic! Thanks, iPhone!

Because I know you folks love my shopping talk, the outfit came from White House Black Market.  The jeans, bustier (yep!), and sweater were courtesy of a VERY awesome salesperson who put the look together.  The belt is a bow belt from New York and Company, but they sell one at WHBM too… I just already had it.  The iPhone case is from Verizon Wireless (of course).

I don’t know what will come next of this date that I went on this week.  What I do know is that I had a great time and that I am excited to see him again.  And, I think that’s right on track with where I should be.  It just feels good.

If you haven’t gotten out there, what’s holding you back?  Also, any good online dating tips/success stories?

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