Archive for January, 2016

Hey Rose! What day is it?

It's Hump Day!

It’s Hump Day!

I am writing this on Hump Day – LOL.  Isn’t it funny that the day of the week can invoke certain feelings within us? Monday is dreaded as we feel like we have to drag ourselves out of bed to start another week. Wednesday marks the halfway point through the drudgery of our work week. And then….Thank God It’s Friday! Whoo Hoo!

But what if everyday could be a Friday?! What if you could choose to have the same happiness and enthusiasm going into the work week as coming out of it? What would it be like to walk into work everyday, like you did on a Friday?  All smiling and less stressed with a bounce in your step.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you CAN make everyday a good day!  A long period of unemployment made it a little easier for my husband and I to appreciate the gift of being able to make a living.  Every workday before we leave the house, we remind ourselves “Yay, we get to go to work!”.  Ok, it isn’t exactly the same joy that you feel when you are looking at 2 days of sleeping in and connecting with family and friends,but it is a marked improvement.  By accepting the workday as a blessing, I feel less burdened and more ready to deal with challenges with a positive attitude.  I don’t hate Mondays!  
The point is, you can change your perspective, and your expectations that are currently limiting you from a happy, lighter heart, every day of the week!  Try it!  Think of three positive things you can be grateful for at work and at home each morning.  Smile to yourself, and say to yourself, “This is going to be a good day!”   I think you will be surprised to find how many more there are.  Hugs!  Shelly

Choosing Happiness

happy baby edited

Can you look at this laughing baby and not smile?  Can you remember when was the last time that you were really rolling on the floor laughing your ass off?  How many times when you text LOL are you actually laughing?  It is a poor substitute for the real thing, isn’t it?  If we were all born with this innate ability to chuckle with unrestrained joy, what happened to it?

I am dedicating an entire blog section to happiness because it is very important to our well being. Isn’t having a happy life a universal desire people want, regardless of race, wealth, or graphical location?  There are tons of studies of how happy people live longer and are more satisfied with their lives. Or is it the other way around – are people who are more satisfied with their lives, happy people who live longer?

So much to ponder on this subject!  Join me as I learn more about happiness – why you need it in your life, and how to find it.  Check back often, and if you find any great insights on your own, please email  Hugs!  Shelly Mae

Are you beautiful?

“Shelly? Are you beautiful?” This was a question often posed to me by my counselor over the course of many meetings. I was there to talk out my feelings of inadequacy that had reached a level I could no longer manage. Due to a series of rejections (whether real or perceived), I felt I wasn’t a good enough daughter, sister, mother, or wife. So I must not be a very good person. Then, how could I be beautiful?

Week after week we talked about how I got to where I was. The things I couldn’t control, and the things I could. The issues that were mine, and the issues that weren’t. The choices I had made, and the positive choices I could make every single day going forward.

Layer by layer, I shed the negative feelings, and replaced them with the recognition of all the good things about life, and about me. I have a good heart. I am a caring, giving, compassionate person. I enjoy helping others. I love having fun! And amazingly enough, as I became to love and be proud of the person I am on the inside, the easier it was to love and be proud of what I was on the outside.

I AM beautiful! I love my curves and hazel eyes, and hugging people! I start everyday choosing to be happy, and to be filled with hope that I am in store for a great day!

YOU are beautiful too!  Just think of all the the things you like about yourself, and what it feels like when you are your happy, genuine self.  Then choose to be show that person to the world every single day!

Your Ideal Weight is Not a Number

More than a few times I have completed little quizzes, measured my wrist, used high end scales, and climbed into dunk tanks, just for an assessment of my fitness level and to see how far off I was from my ideal weight. Almost always the results were completely absurd! I would have to cut off a leg, both boobs, and then some to get to the weight they say I should be! Don’t use these as a goal! They are not an accurate gauge of your fitness level, and I’ll give you an example…

About 7 years ago, in my mid 40’s, I was in the best shape of my life! I had decided I wanted to improve my rowing, so I started working out with a trainer. I rowed an hour 3x a week, did a little strength training or light cardio on 2-3 other days, and had 1 kickbutt session with my trainer once a week.. Phew! It WAS a lot – but it was worth it! Over the course of just a few months, I went from wearing a size 16 slacks to a size 10 – I dropped 4 sizes! – but here is the incredible part……wait…for it……I ONLY LOST ABOUT 6 POUNDS!!! I had felt SO good and could do SO much! I surprised myself! I even went on a backpacking trip with my husband, (which I never do) and was not only able to hike in 5 miles with a heavy pack, I walked a 9 mile ‘day hike’ with him on day 2!

So imagine my disappointment at my next trip to the dunk tank and saw the BMI charts had only shown a small improvement. How could this be? Ok – I was no longer in the morbidly obese category but I had only been upgraded to the “extremely unhealthy” category – WTF?!

Crazy, huh? Well, I had to choose whether I was going to cry about it, or laugh about it. I chose the latter, and decided right then and there that I was not going to stress about a number on a scale, or a number on a chart, as long as I felt good and healthy. And you shouldn’t either!

I have since redefined what my ideal weight is, like this;

My ideal weight is not a number!
My ideal weight is the one where I feel great in my jeans.

My ideal weight is the one where my legs can carry me up and down hills or stairs without my lungs burning.

My ideal weight is the one where it is easy to have a bounce in my step and a smile on my face.

Don’t get me wrong, life still makes it challenging to make time to work on being active, everyday. But when I am successful, and I feel good, I ENJOY feeling good, regardless what the scale says!

Being fit is about being healthy! Please don’t obsess about a number. Be Active! Be Happy!

What is “Healthy”?

For the last couple of years I have been muddling over the question – what does it really mean to be healthy?  As a middle aged woman sliding into menopause, there are more aches and pains then there used to be, interrupted sleep, and losing weight – that has always been hard for me – seems dang near impossible.  In fact, I am ecstatic when there are weeks when I didn’t GAIN weight!  Trying to get fit was SO stressful and frustrating I thought “this can’t be good for me”.  So I decided I would change my lifelong goal from losing weight to just getting healthy.  As one friend puts it “I intend on setting my own self down on the toilet for a very long time”.  A great goal! – but how do I get there?

What does ‘being healthy’ really mean?  And what do I really need to focus on to achieve the status of “good health”?

I am going to be looking into this over the course of many blogs, so check back often. …

Ultimately I hope to come up with a definition that makes sense, and fits in with a life that is fulfilling and joyful.  Then I can come up with some new measurable goals, and some step-by-step plans on how to work towards a state of being where I can say, yes! I am healthy!

So, where to start?  I thought the best place to start was with the definitions of ‘healthy’ that already exist……here is what I found…..

Per Miriam Webster, the full definition of  “healthy” includes ….

“not sick or injured” or “enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit”. 

The most famous modern definition of health was created during a Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization, adopted by the International Health Conference, and hasn’t been amended since 1948.  It says…..

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

During the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in 1986, the WHO said that:

“Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”

How interesting!  Even these somewhat dry definitions say there is more to being healthy than just the physical aspect – how you feel in mind and spirit, and having a sense of social well-being are included, too! This makes so much sense because the vision of my healthy life includes being stress-free, running around with people I love, and laughing a lot!

During my research, I also came across another term that is used often in the US  as a synonym for healthy, which is “wellness”

According to the Mickinley Health Center, University of Illinois, wellness is

“a state of optimal well-being that is oriented toward maximizing an individual’s potential. This is a life-long process of moving towards enhancing your physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental well-being.”

The University of East Carolina defines wellness as:

“the integration of mind, body and spirit. Optimal wellness allows us to achieve our goals and find meaning and purpose in our lives. Wellness combines seven dimensions of well-being into a quality way of living. Overall, wellness is the ability to live life to the fullest and to maximize personal potential in a variety of ways. Wellness involves continually learning and making changes to enhance your state of wellness. When we balance the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational, spiritual, and environmental aspects of life, we achieve true wellness.”

Wow!  I really like these last two definitions as they totally spell out what I want in my life!  I want to maximize my individual potential!  I want to live life to the fullest!  I want to feel good!  That is what is important at the end of the day – what being healthy FEELS like, not what it LOOKS like! And notice, this isn’t something to be achieved in a 21 day or even 90 day Fix!  It is a life-long process… is continual….How cool is that!  Oh sure, I am going to set milestones, but all the while keeping in mind that what I am working on are healthy habits for life.

But in order to FEEL healthy, what I am getting out of all these definitions, is the implication that I have to have….1.) a healthy body, 2.) a healthy mind, and what sounds like to me, 3.) a fulfilling, social environment.  Fab!  Let’s start with that!

Follow me through the subsequent blogs, and see what I find on what it means to have a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a fulfilling social environment………