Even Storm Troopers want to join our Zumba Crew

A part of my New Healthy Lifestyle that I have been working towards for more than two years now has been adding physical activity into my routine.  At my current job, there was a team for the local Relay for Life Charity event, and I joined.  I have gone to a few Relay Events in the last five years, and that is where I found the Zumba Crew.  The group size ranges from year to year, and class to class.  The core group has remained, for the most part, the same. It is a private group, not that we don’t accept new members, but that it is not based out of a gym.  We meet twice a week, and I have been working at it and getting better all the time.

The featured picture above was from Relay For Life 2016.  This is just a few of us.  The photo bomber Storm Troopers in the background looking like they want to be a part of the Zumba Crew really were there.  They were in another group for Relay, and they gathered a lot of attention.  But if you look past the Zumba Crew, you can see it.  They want to join in.  That happens around our Zumba Crew.  We have a lot of fun!

As you can see, one of the Storm Troopers joined in for Zumba at Relay 2016.  It was really fun!  I have come a long way in my healthier lifestyle goals.  I have always finished class.  Not always doing the same thing as everyone else, or keeping the same pace, but I am there until the end.  The first time I did Zumba at Relay, I had two; not one but TWO charlie horses in my calves.  I wanted to quit.  But I thought about where I was, and what I was participating in.  Thought about how it was to raise money to cure cancer, and if you have cancer, and need to go through treatments, you can’t just quit in the middle if you want to beat it.  So I toughed it out.

Since then, I have never had an experience quite like it.  I am grateful for that.  I have had health issues in the past year that forced me to take a break from Zumba.  I am happy to report that I am back, and getting stronger again.  I am keeping pace better, and trying harder at doing the same moves as everyone else.  I  have to do my own thing, sometimes, because I still have a long journey ahead of me to becoming a healthier version of myself.  Something I want people to take away from reading this is that it doesn’t have to be Zumba, and it doesn’t have to be perfect.  But if you pick something you enjoy doing and work at it on a regular basis, you will improve, and you will be a better person for it.

So go out there and try something new.  Or get involved in something you used to like doing.  Make friends.  Have fun.  It might be the best thing you can do for yourself!  Trust me, the best part of my Mondays and Wednesdays is rushing out of work to go join my friends at Zumba Class.  Find your Zumba, and start becoming the best version of you that you can be!

Prep Cooking for Two

That is a picture of Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole.  It is one of my favourite Trim Healthy Mama recipes.  Last year I stumbled across this plan, and thought I’d give it a whirl.  I can say it works, as long as you work at it.  I have been bouncing between fifteen and twenty pounds lost in the last year.  From playing with it.  I am never 100% on plan.  But I have made some changes, and feel better when I try hard.  So this is one of the reasons I am working harder at it this year.

I need to plan ahead for grocery shopping and cooking meals to stay on track.  I have started prep cooking on weekends.  Prep cooking for two doesn’t have to be complicated, unless the other person doesn’t want to eat what you have made.  At first, I was disappointed with my husband for not wanting to do this with me.  I had to take a step back, and think about how to progress with it,  and keep us both happy.

There was a point when I realized that I was merely existing and not really living my life to its fullest potential.  I came to that conclusion for myself, about myself.  Not for him.  So he will have to deal with his choices, like I am dealing with mine.  I am choosing to try harder.  Which means sometimes I cook his and hers lasagna.  Other times we make spaghetti sauce and he makes pasta, while I have spaghetti squash with mine.  Sometimes we eat the same thing.  Sometimes I eat things that are not on plan, with him.  Other times I make what I want and he has to feed himself.  We manage.

Adapting the grocery list and budget for this was challenging.  We use coupons when we have them.  We circle what we want in the flyers before making our grocery list.  And when I am on top of things, I pick a couple of recipes and add missing ingredients to my grocery list.  That is work too.  Not hard work, but it is time consuming.  So it helps to have a time set aside for this.  We like to go get the groceries together.  One reason is that we are on a budget, and if I go alone, a sale could cause me to “forget” the budget.  He keeps me within the guidelines of the budget.  Also, it is good to have help getting it all in the house and put away.

Storage is another issue we have.  Living in a mini home, we have to maximize the space we have.  That is an ongoing struggle.  It is part of the reason I am involved with the cleaning and organizational challenges.  There would be more prep cooking done if I had the space and money for more storage containers.  Also time.  I would love to cook all weekend, but then, there is the cleanup.  So that slows me down sometimes.

I have learned that one or two casseroles a week gives me enough food for lunches all week, and for some suppers.  Which is reasonable.  Until he doesn’t want anything I made.  Which on the wrong day makes me angry.  But I am learning to let that go, it’s not me he doesn’t want, it’s the food I made.  Which by the way, is really tasty, the recipes rock!  He just misses potatoes and veggies and meat.  Together.  I do eat sweet potatoes more than white potatoes, now.  Sometimes we bake some of each.  He turns his nose up at spinach.  That’s why I make his and hers lasagna.  He eats traditional, and I eat Lazy Lasagna, which does have spinach and no noodles.  I have been teaching him to cook some things, so if he decides he wants something different, he has choices.

Ideally, there would be a way to cook enough for a whole month at a time, have containers to keep it in the freezer, and have him join me on this journey.  Reality is that he doesn’t like spinach.  So, in this like other aspects of our marriage, we choose to compromise.  Sometimes that is the only answer, until he realizes I am right.  Which he will, eventually, I have no doubt.  Seeing is believing, and we will be seeing results this year.  I plan on working hard at all of my goals for 2017.

 

A Kind Word Goes A Long Way

Well, here I am, on day one of my staycation.  I know, it’s not a real word; but it is in my world.  I am prepping for my only Christmas Craft Show this year, Christmas In The Dobie; I am going to be working on my blogging and I will be working on this site as well.  I have joined a couple of writing groups, in the hope of fulfilling one of my dreams to write a fantasy trilogy.  I am now trying to get serious about this writing thing.  Having this week off to work on projects that matter to me is going to be very motivational when I have to get back to work in a week’s time.

I have just started here.  I have gotten feedback and help from strangers.  That is something I have to say is great.  I am a pantser which refers to me flying by the seat of my pants, not a plotter that plans things out and works in a structured format.  Both styles are successful, if applied properly.  So I am here, blogging, from the seat of my pants, and hoping to have others come along for the ride.

The feedback was constructive.  I am working with advice from someone in another country, and she is showing me how to make this site more user friendly, and to attract more followers.  In the land of blogging, this is what it’s all about.  More hits, more followers, and more opportunities in the land of the internet and beyond.

The comment was very kind.  Having a stranger take the time to read what I have written and quote a part of it in the comment was really cool.  It gives me the courage to keep going.

It doesn’t only apply to the blog.  I have been working at getting healthier too.  When someone notices, and it is real, by that I mean I am losing weight, it feels wonderful.  When someone says that I look like I am losing weight and I am not,  I don’t feel good about the compliment.  So it depends on me sometimes to be in the frame of mind to accept a compliment in the way it is intended.  It is hard to not feel bad inside when it isn’t a real one, no matter how the intended comment was given.  We have all had them, those compliments that people give because they are trying to say something nice and it backfires because it isn’t true.  Until this year, I have never really felt like I had earned any compliments about losing weight.  Because it wasn’t true, not since I went through Weight Watchers with my mom in grade 11&12.

Here’s the thing, though.  Those comments aren’t being said to hurt me.  They are telling me that I am looking better, whether it is about the weight or not.  Maybe the clothes are fitting better because my body has changed since the last time I wore that outfit.  Maybe I am happy and as an emotional girl, that shows, and that is what the person is seeing.  Whatever is said, it is being said to encourage me to keep trying, and that is what I have to focus on.

It has taken me a LONG time to realize this.  I have never been good at taking compliments to begin with, and I think it is because I don’t always feel like I have earned them.  That boils down to me being way too hard on myself.  It is the way I am.  I don’t know how to be any other way.

So, I am trying to learn.  It is not easy to change how I react to what people say.  Taking the meaning behind the words is how I will be able to grow as a person, and thrive on the positivity.  I have to filter out the feelings and run with the good stuff.  I am getting better at this.  It is something I have to consciously work at, though.  Everybody isn’t out to get me or be mean.  Some people are.  I am going to encounter negative comments and feedback also.  It will happen.  But that is a different struggle.  Those have to be released into a black hole somewhere in outer space,  as far away from my heart as I can get them.  Otherwise they will drag me down, and that isn’t where I want to live my life.

When I do something creative, like design a new pattern for earrings that is mine from concept to finished product, I feel genuinely accomplished.  Proud of what I made, because it is my work, with my own pattern.  When I get on the scale, and I don’t want a hammer because it is showing that my hard work is paying off, I shout out loud for everyone to hear, and then if someone says something nice, it does what it is supposed to.  It makes me feel good.

Words matter.  Choose yours carefully, and make the world a better place because of them.  If you can help someone today by being kind, please do.  It might be the only good thing that person hears all day, or even all week.  It is nice to have something good to remember that tells you to keep going, and that you matter.  We all do.  If your words come from your heart and are meant to be nice, then go for it.  It’s the thought that counts, and for some people, it will mean more than you will ever know.

christmas-in-the-dobie-2016