Mothers, Jeans and Self-Esteem

Welcome to another week, folks, and a new theme. Always a pleasure to be here and share with you! Thanks so much for stopping in 🙂

mothers day flowers 2014   Mother’s Day Flowers from all my men–I’m too short to get a good image if vase is on table, lol.

Joanna n baby boys  I’m thinking my boys were one and three (?) in this image. Now the big one is the little one, and the little one is the big one. Where did the time go?

Joanna n Niconus 05-11-2014  Older son and his ma on Mother’s Day–the other guy goes camera shy. 

joanna n hubby Mothers Day 2014   Hubby and me on  Mother’s Day :). Now why didn’t I insist on a photo with both my boys????

So last week I shared about jeans, finding that elusive, “perfect-fitting” pair (I’m sure I’ll look for a loooong time, lol) and some encouraging news on that topic via Charlotte Hilton Anderson’s blog, The Great Fitness Experiment. (Among the reasons I’ve always liked Jennifer Lopez too. In many ways, she put those of us whose back ends like to uh…hang out more than others on the map. She also very kindly helped designed a line of  jeans made to fit said folks. Thanks, J-Lo! )

Rather than drag y’all through a longer-winded post than usual last time, I figured I’d pick up with a related topic today. (I promise, people, I’m working on keeping these shorter. )

Much as I love jeans, I hate shopping for them. (I’m to the point where I’m NEVER in the mood to shop for anything—eh, maybe shoes every once in a while. I always seem to gravitate toward the same colors and styles anyway. Seriously, how many red jackets or purses can one person have?)

A couple of years ago, I was killing some time on a Saturday morning. Strolled into the local TJ Maxx and wandered over to the jeans rack. I wound up trying a tan pair of skinnies just for the heck of it, in a brand that tends to fit me better than others.

Danged pair actually fit okay, even in the trouble spots. Long story short, I didn’t like them enough to buy them. I did, however, feel encouraged b/c a pair of “skinnies” almost fit well enough to be a choice.

Met up with my mom later that day. Feeling good, I told her about the jeans. Her automatic (paraphrased) response? The jeans fit because they weren’t cut right and/or had stretched.

No way on the planet—in her brain—I could have lost a pound or two, or have walked and exercised my way into that cut.  Then I wonder why shopping for clothing is more distasteful than it should be, lol.

So go figure, a few weeks ago, Mama actually complimented me in a pair of skinny jeans. I believe she phrased it something like, “I don’t know if you lost weight or it’s the pants, but those look good.”

Whaaaat???????

Mama almost knocked me out. (Feel free to go a little LL Cool J here.  What can I say? My latest TV addiction is NCIS Los Angeles.)

Joanna n mom Mothers Day 2014   Okay. We’ll let Mamma have a spot on the blog b/c she said I looked nice in my jeans. 

So, my blogger-friends, shall we go there? Shall we talk about how our self-esteem relative to clothing all comes back to Mom, lol? If that’s the case, what helped you get past it? (For me, a single book changed a lifetime of perspective. This related blog post tells that story.)

Here’s the link to the post that got me started on this blogging jag. (It’s over at Charlotte’s blog.) I also came across this assortment of seemingly simple exercises  Charlotte authored for Shape magazine. I hope to have checked them out more closely by the time this post airs.

Have a great week, everyone!

Joanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rockin’ Jeans and The Great Fitness Experiment

Welcome to the second full week of May, folks. Hope all of you are well.

Poor hubby should be in recovery by now. The anniversary/wife’s birthday/Mother’s Day annual event is over again. Every year the poor guy gets slammed.

Back to business: I subscribe to more blogs than I can keep up with, but I do try to hit on each every now and again. This one absolutely made my day. It proved I’m not out of my mind—okay, maybe just a touch less than I thought.

I always enjoy posts by Charlotte Hilton Anderson, author of The Great Fitness Experiment (book and blog that go by the same name). I’m sure she is far fitter and way more fitness-savvy than I’ll ever be, but she also tends to be very real. A post she aired about two weeks ago caught my attention big time.

She talked about jeans, about how hard it is for those who work really hard at building and sculpting their thighs to buy jeans that fit them well and comfortably. Believe it or not, those with “musciliscious” thighs (which I’ll never have), experience problems with jeans very similar to those of us blessed with “ample” body parts and the so-called-healthy pear shape. Gapping waistline, “sausage legs” when fabric hugs thighs too tightly—those of us who love jeans know how elusive that perfect-fitting pair is to find.

She also mentioned a company named Barbell Apparel that is getting ready to launch a line of jeans that fit well-muscled folks. I figure, said company can only benefit the well-endowed crowd. (Here’s a Washington Post article that shares a tad more detailed, for those who are as excited about this as I am.)

Getting back to my questionable sanity, Charlotte helped me feel a lot better. I’ve recently gotten into some barre workouts. (Some related posts, including a link to my favorite video of same, are listed below.)

In the past month, since I added the barre workout(s), I’ve been feeling really good physically. As I commented on Charlotte’s post, however, I’ve also been noticing that my never-will-be-musciliscious-thighs seem to be growing despite the exercise efforts I’m putting in.

Perhaps they are, for once, maybe for the right reasons. Who knows for sure?

My weight has held now for about five years. Yes, it’s more than I want but still a good 25 pounds better than when I started making lifestyle changes.  The evening before I wrote this post, I nervously put on a pair of pants that had been sitting in a bag for two years—one of those pairs I had hoped to “get into” after losing 5-10 pounds.

I’ll be danged if I didn’t do just that–with my weight still where it was when I bought them, I’m pretty sure.

Joanna--04-26-2014 (Of course real estate between the waist and the knees is undercover–it’s all about illusion, right? 😉 )

Anyway, this is a big thanks to Charlotte for helping me realize that I’m not totally crazy—and for inspiring me to try on those pants. BTW, a pair of black jeans that fit awesome were in that bag too. Those just got hemmed at the tailors! Yay for jeans that fit well!

Rather than drag this one out, next week I’ll talk about Italian mothers and how they influence one’s self-esteem so well, lol.

So, where do you stand on this topic? Do you like jeans? Does fitness make you feel good or frustrate you? Did you ever consider that fitness had drawbacks?

Here are the links I mentioned above:

Sometimes It’s About the Littlest Things

Can One Book Change Your Life?

Healthy Snacks? I’m Thinking Not–Part 1

Newsflash: Blog-Hopping Can Result In Inspiration!

Newsflash: Blog-Hopping Can Result in Inspiration! (Part 2)

My (current) favorite ballet barre workout 🙂

Have a great week folks! Please don’t hesitate to SHARE should you like the content or feel moved to do so in any way!

Until next time,

Joanna

 

 

Fast Forward to Managing Holiday Stress!

Hi all,

Hope all is well with everyone! If I don’t get these posts into place the weekend before, life on the day-to-day gets so busy-nutty, I can’t make the time to catch up! Just last night, hubby-the-hero-not-a-plumber-but-gets-the-job-done (and I, the assistant) wound up making an  unscheduled trip to my mom’s to do an unexpected faucet installation. And seems every night something else is going on. It is what it is, right? (Though I offer no complaints. There are those in serious and dire situations. I am inconvenienced.)

But, that does tie nicely into…

Wow. As a kid there was no way I could understand why adults found the holiday season so stressful.  Christmas is only a small part of the pressure-I’m-feeling deal; all credit, too, to my younger son (14 y/o) who loves the decorating (inside and out), tree-trimming and gift-wrapping enough to take over most of it! Hubby handled lights inside so the place has a loverly glow in the evenings. They’ve done a phenomenal job and taken a lot of the work load off of me! Thanks, men!

IMGP2101

I love Jack Henry, the rabbit. My first Christmas with hubby, my sisters-in-law (to be at the time) dumped JH on my lap and told me not to expect gifts in the future, lol.
I love Jack Henry, the rabbit. My first Christmas with hubby, my sisters-in-law (to be at the time) dumped JH on my lap and told me not to expect gifts in the future, lol.
This one is my favorite. My older guy was two and painted this creation. When I asked him what it was, he told me, "Santa's Footprints." It is now one of my standard Christmas decorations and will be until the day I pass it on to him.
This one is my favorite. My older guy was two and painted this creation. When I asked him what it was, he told me, “Santa’s Footprints.” It is now one of my standard Christmas decorations and will be until the day I pass it on to him.

Back to the original reason for this post! I’m sharing my dear friend Diane Lang’s article on handling the holiday season in a more peaceful, positive way. Here is the link to her most recent article! If it speaks to you, please feel free to share and possibly come back here to share your thoughts on her timely tips!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Joanna

SAD–Don’t Let It Get the Best of You! (Part 2)

Welcome to Thursday, friends and followers. For those whose kids brought home pillowcases full of Halloween candy, good luck on dealing with having it in the house, lol! If you’re stuck with leftover candy and/or acquired way-too-much to keep, you may want to consider looking into local programs that ship candy to our military personnel overseas. Sometimes what appear to be the smallest acts of kindness can bring joy to folks under a totally different type of stress–and who doesn’t love a care package?

   

Back to today’s topic! Last time, my dear friend Diane Lang discussed Seasonal Affective Disorder and some of its apparently known causes. (Here’s the link to Part 1–please remember to come back!)

Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder – 10 Tips to Prevent the Winter Blues 

There are treatment options for SAD so you can stay happy during the longer, darker and colder winter days.  Here are some tips to help prevent the winter blues:

1. Get as much light as you can even when you’re indoors. Open Tahoe shades, roll up the curtains, move your desk near the windows, etc.

2. Spend time outdoors during the daylight hours. The weather is cold and snowy but we do know that being outside in the winter months is beneficial. Go outside for quick walks and sit in the sun to help lift your spirits. After a few days of spending some time outdoors, you will start feeling a little better.

3. Add exercise into your daily routine. Exercise, even just walking, produces endorphins and reduces stress hormones at the same time so you get a boost of happiness.

4. Make sure to add some fun into your life. Even though the weather keeps us homebound, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Instead of feeling trapped inside, find ways to engage in things you love.

5. Be social even in the winter months. Adding more social activities where you will be surrounded with family and friends can give the extra support you need.

6. Take a vacation. Some clients feel a sense of isolation and loneliness in the winter months, if this is the case setting up vacation time in warm, sunny spots can help and give you something to look forward to.

7. Try “Light Therapy.” We know that increased sunlight helps improve the symptoms of SAD. There are certain lights you can buy called “Light Therapy Box” which mimics outside light and helps you lift your mood and spirits.

8. See a counselor before winter starts. If you have a mild case, you can take preventive methods such as seeking a counselor right before late fall to start talking to someone who can help.

9. Medications – Doctors have prescribed anti-depressants that have worked well for some patients.

10. Psychotherapy (i.e., counseling) is another great option. The therapist can help you identify your negative thoughts and behaviors and help change them. A therapist can also help you find good coping skills to feel better.

What I love about Diane’s tips is how practical each is–and most at little to no damage to one’s wallet or purse. #3 is probably my saving grace. Exercise–especially walking and/or dancing to my favorite tracts–keeps me upbeat. The endorphins–i.e., feel-good hormones–released when one exercises regularly are for real. And feeling good about how I look just bumps up my mood and outlook that much  more!

As always, special thanks to Diane for sharing her wisdom and ideas! And to you of course, for stopping by and adding to the possibilities via sharing what has worked for you. And if you please, won’t you take a moment click one of the SHARE buttons?

Take care all!

Joanna

Ten Tips To Sweep Out Stress–Declutter Your Life

Hi everyone,

So sorry I’ve been MIA these past two weeks–keeping up with added running around on my to-do list and not all of it mine, lol. Hopefully, life will return to normal sooner than later.

Lucky for me I’ve got wonderful friends sending great content this way. Then I get to share with you! Here are Diane Lang’s top ten tips for minimizing stress. (Thanks, Diane!)

BIO: Diane Lang – Positive Living Expert and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized author, educator, speaker, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living. Lang offers expertise in multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs.  In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and Centenary College.

     

1. Basic needs – Make sure your basic needs are met. Keep a journal for a week of what you eat, how much sleep you get, did you exercise, etc. At the end of the week you can get a clear picture of what’s going on in your life and what changes you can make.

2. Gratitude – start your day off with gratitude checks – this will help you see things clearly and change your perspective.

3. Can/can’t control – work on what you can control. If we continue to work on things we have no control over, we will always feel frustrated and stressed.

4. Social support – have a support system set up.

5. Self soothe – when things become stressful and you’re feeling out of balance, find ways to calm down by doing activities that soothe you such as a bath, talking a walk, listening to music, etc.

6. Pay it forward – we always feel happier when we help others.

7. Exercise is the one of the best and most natural ways to de-stress. If we walk four times a week for 30 minutes, each time we get the similar results as taking an anti-anxiety drug.

8. Nature instantly calms us – spend more time outdoors.

9. Add variety to your life and spice it up. Every time we try something new we get a boost of happiness – when you’re happy you are less stressed.

10. Enjoy the simple things in life – take the small things you love like a cup of coffee, talking to your friend, reading a book and actually enjoy it. Spend time doing that one activity.

I love how number 10 ties it all together, as every one of these suggestions really is simple and easy to employ. I try really hard to incorporate each one but sometimes fall short with #4 and #9.

Your turn! How do you destress? Any of the above areas you feel a need to work on? Did you get the Halloween candy yet?

Have a great week, friends,

Joanna

Is YOUR Family on Technology Overload?

Hi all! School is underway, things are busier–again–and this parent is often (uh always) trying to keep up. Ever-evolving technology adds more pressure to our time-crunched situations. Here are some tips/ideas for staying sane in a world that moves way too fast and never seems to sleep. 

Parenting Issues Caused by Technology Overload. Help!

   

Summary:  Therapist, author and Positive Living Expert Diane Lang addresses a common question clients ask her: “How can I be a good parent with all these distractions? Between my cell phone, texting, e-mails, etc. I feel I never get a break.” Today’s technology overload creates three main fixable problems that parents should address with these specific tips listed below.

Fixable Problem #1: We Are Always “Plugged In”: Parents always felt overwhelmed and busy, but now with all the added technology, our work weeks are much longer and we feel like the world never stops. The new work week looks way different then the days of 40 hours a week. Most people work 60-80 hours a week due to longer commutes and always being “plugged in” due to technology. But this is just part of the battle…

Fixable Problem #2: Communication Issues Within Families:Technology also causes communication issues within families. I hate to tell this true story, but it nails the point. I was at dinner the other night and I saw a family of four sitting around the table waiting for their food. The mom was reading the menu but the dad and the two kids were all texting or searching on their phones. It made me sad to see a family actually have the opportunity to spend quality time together and not take advantage of it. Unfortunately, this example is quite common and becoming the norm. I know in my own household if I’m in the house and my husband is outside in the yard, he will call me on my cell before walking inside to talk to me.

Fixable Problem #3: Instant Gratification and Laziness: We have created a society of instant gratification and laziness. We see the problems in kids as a result. Their lack of physical exercise, social skills and obesity are big issues today. It’s one thing to have a group of friends, but nowadays we hear kids say “I have over a 100 friends on Facebook” but yet they only have met a few in person.

Five Tips to Fix: Because of the technology overload, we are up against new issues in parenting and relationships in general and there are no new rules or handbooks to help families handle this situation. However, some basic tips still apply to keeping a happy, healthy home:

1. Communicate – we always tell parents to spend quality time with their kids. It used to be have family dinners together. We now have to add to the dinner that there should be no technology! The dinner table should be a sacred time where everyone joins in the conversation: parents, children and other family members. Ask open ended questions that cannot be answered with a “yes” or a “no.” 

2. Be an active listener – in the world of technology, we don’t have as much face to face time BUT when we do it’s important to be a good listener. Make sure to have direct eye contact. Watch your non-verbal language, show you’re listening by nodding your head, facial expressions, etc. Listen to the whole story or question, pause to think about it and then answer. Really listen when someone talks – don’t think about your answer or another topic while they are speaking. Show you care.

3. Socialization is a key factor in our happiness.  Join in with family events, the community, friends, etc. Make sure a lot of your socialization is in person; we need face to face interaction.

4. Lose the attachment – all the latest technology is great and helpful, but we don’t NEED it. Don’t allow your life to be controlled by technology. Have technology free times such as after 8pm at night and during dinner time as mentioned above. This is your time to spend with family, read a book, etc.

5. Be a good role model – you teach your kids through your actions. Kids are visual learners so if your kids constantly see you on the phone, texting, etc. they will follow suit. If you’re ignoring your kids to text or sitting at the dinner table with your laptop or TV on, you will have your kids repeat the same behavior. Kids will imitate what they observe. What do you want them to see?

Visit Diane at her website: www.dlcounseling.com.

As always, pertinent, practical information that’s right on time! Thanks to Diane for sharing her wisdom and for allowing me to pass it on to you! And please feel free to SHARE below–I thanks ye!

Have a great day,

Joanna

PEM: Diane Lang on Life Learned!

Hi all,

Welcome to a new week and another Positive Energy Monday. 🙂 Hope each of you is well.

We’ve had our fair share of challenges this week but are hanging in there as a family and trusting God with the reins. He always seems to handle them better than we do, lol. 

Funny. I always grab my good friend Diane’s inbox entries and share. This one truly applied to me this week–and especially on Sunday, when we got some unwelcome news. (Nothing horrid and totally deal-able.) Guess I can boil it down to it’s been a week of teachable moments. 

                

Every day is a learnable/teachable moment. The more I learn to live in the Now and create my day, the more I realize every moment is precious and can be learned from.

This eliminates the right and wrong. It just means what is… is what is.

It eliminates “mistakes;” instead of worrying about making a mistake I now realize that there are no mistakes,  just teachable moments.

Instead of thinking of “failures”, we just realize we need to adjust our path to fulfill our dreams and goals. Every day offers new opportunities. If you realize that, then you will realize there is no such thing as failure. A new direction has opened up.

If we think in the moment, we realize how great each moment is. You’re alive. The moment is all yours to do as you wish.

When you live in the now, you break free from control issues. In the now, we don’t worry about the future and why should we? We can’t control it anyway. We let go of the past because we realize it’s gone and we have the power to make each moment be whatever we choose.

When we live in the moment we actually stop and smell the flowers. We realize how many simple moments of pleasure we actually have each and every day. The small things give us the biggest pleasures such as my daughter’s laugh, my dog’s excitement every time I walk through the door, the warm sun and the lazy days of summer.

If we all could live in the NOW we could release a lot of our worry, anxiety and fear. Imagine life without those distractions.

For more information visit my website: www.dlcounseling.com or my blog at www.creatingbalanceandfindinghappiness.wordpress.com

Buy Diane’s books here: Baby Steps: The Path from Motherhood to Career and Creating Balance

Counseling Educator
www.dlcounseling.com

Thanks to Diane, as always, for allowing me to pass  her wisdom to you. The more I get to know her, the more I realize how much great insight she has and how blessed I am to be on the receiving end of it! 

My HMO about a book I loved later this week! Thanks for stopping in!

Joanna

Fan Fiction? Bad? Hmm…

Happy Middle-of-the-Week-Day! Hope this post finds you all well, open to possibilities and looking forward to great things!

The other day I happened on Janice Hardy’s awesome blog: The Other Side of the Story. Novice and more experienced writers will find a slew of excellent articles designed to help with any/every aspect of writing, submitting and marketing one can conceive. And tips are easily applicable, even if you’re not sitting keyboard-side.

As I browsed through the responses to a post, I noticed a comment that resonated with some of my current writing struggles. I emailed the commenter, who replied.  She touted herself as ‘bad me’ for writing fan fiction. As my response to her grew, I realized I had a blog post on my hands. So, this one is for my newest online writer-friend—almost—exactly as I wrote it in the body of the email (before I copied and pasted it into the blogging software ;)):

“No such thing as ‘bad’ associated with fanfic, and I’ve already done what you want to do from yours–launch an original piece. I started with a very popular, very dramatic/high-stakes two-part episode of a very popular TV series. What was great about that is I didn’t have to generate the story. The work was done for me, lol, and it gave me a great forum to start learning how to get description, dialogue, etc, on virtual paper. I also got some nice feedback from readers/fans, who felt the original characters I’d introduced into the story line were woven into it well.

So, sixty pages later, I was done, but one line from one of the show’s characters kept nagging me: how did my character meet up with the show’s (and her) hero?

My original story took off from there. I borrowed one character and what should have been one chapter became a short (but full-length) romance around him and my heroine. From there came flashbacks that wound up being NO MATTER WHY, my debut novel with The Wild Rose Press. Its sequel, NO MATTER WHAT, should have been the ‘bridge/transition story’ between NMWhy and my (original) fanfic. Since I realized the character arc for my heroine was done, my fanfic (a highly polished first draft) is now slated as the springboard for a related ‘prequel’ story showcasing minor characters introduced in NMWhat. A completely original part 3—and completion of the trilogy—is in the works (and my current problem-child wip, lol).

As per the fanfic, two very cool things came of that:

(1) I started getting positive reader feedback (especially from the webmaster) and a small following. I even got my own page on that particular fanfic site. There were at least 700 entries posted and I became one of the eight she chose to showcase and make more discoverable. Talk about a confidence boost!

(2) One of my climactic scenes–totally original–took second place in the first contest I entered. The judge’s feedback was ridiculously simple: “Go forth and publish.” Gave me the guts to go ahead and write the query for NMWhy.

So you see, writer-friend, never judge your writing efforts, no matter what form they take. As your writing journey takes shape, you’ll find where each stop on that expedition fits in the grander scheme of God’s plan for you as a writer!”

Your turn! Please take a moment to share some of the unexpected turns and twists your writing journey has taken. Do you judge yourself, or try to follow the flow of your learning experience and see where it leads?

Thanks so much to all of you for stopping in, and thanks, EP, for inspiring this post.

Happy creating,

Joanna

The Nature Effect

Hello friends, 

Here’s to the beginning of another work week. Hope it finds you well and ready to go! Wish we could start every day of the year in early June. I love when the birds wake me before the alarm clock goes off and it’s actually light out; makes getting up so much easier when the sun did so first!

For the tennis fans out there, I’m anxiously awaiting the completion of the French Open finals. Play got suspended due to rain and called due to impending darkness. Tradition or not, shouldn’t these facilities install lights for night-time play? And to continue play at 7 AM EST kind of stinks at my end. Can’t imagine the Djok and Rafa wrapping it up in time for me to get to work on time. (Then again, if they do, it means Rafa won King-of-the-Clay title #7…)

Okay, this just in from my good friend and positive living expert, Diane Lang. Love her stuff so I always share!

          

The Nature Effect

This is the time of year to take everything outside and reap the benefits of nature.

Nature brings out the best in us. I have discussed with some of my clients who have Seasonal disorder the benefits of sunlight (with sunscreen on).  When we spend time outdoors in the sun our serotonin levels are up which elevates our mood. Vitamin D, which we can get from the sun, will help keep our bones healthy, help prevent cancer, keep our immune system up and affects our moods in a positive way.

Exercise and the outdoors- we know that exercise improves our mental health. It increases our endorphins while reducing our stress hormones. Outdoor exercise is more beneficial than indoor exercise. Being outdoors improves our self-esteem, moods and inspires us. We become fascinated with the beauty of nature, which sparks our creativity. Nature inspires us to move. We become connected to our spirit when we are outdoors. (Water also brings a calming effect so if you can take, a long walk around a lake or at the beach. For all you parents, nature is very soothing to both kids and adults. So take the family outdoors for some fresh air, a long walk, a hiking trip, swimming at the lake, etc.)

* Bonus- nature helps us recover quicker from chronic illness.

Relaxation – when we are outdoors we tend to relax, refuel and recharge. Being outdoors boosts our energy levels and wakes up our senses. When we are outdoors we can hear the birds sing, hear the sound of the ocean waves, smell the salt from the ocean. We even taste our food better when we are outdoors; we tend to eat slower and enjoy each bite. Go outdoors barefoot and take a walk through the cool grass or on the hot sand at the beach. Being outdoors gives us a momentary boost of happiness, which can last 24-48 hours.

Nature and work: If we go outdoors during our lunch break—even for only 20-30 minutes—you will come back feeling refueled, inspired and more creative. It will help improve productivity. We know that even sitting by a large window that lets us look outside at the trees and grass helps us to feel more creative and be more productive.

Being in the moment – when we spend time with nature we connect to our spirit. We let go of the fast paced world and go inside of ourselves.

As an exercise: go outdoors and sit in silence. After a little while you will feel more at peace and hear your inner voice. Lately, I have been sitting outdoors near a corn field and the silence brings such a sense of peace and contentment. After a few minutes, you can feel your breath and hear your soul. It’s quite an incredible experience.

For me, being outdoors makes me feel alive. I feel like everything in nature that surrounds me is alive. Nature sparks something within me to feel love all around me. I can’t explain it in better words then that. Nature = love!

For more information please visit my website: www.dlcounseling.com or come join me at my workshops:

Tuesday, June 12 at3pm- Living your best life

Warren Community College, NJ

908-835-2333

Thursday, June 14th at 7pm- The art of self-care

Doylestown Hospital,  PA

215-345-2657

Friday, June 15 at 7pm- Letting go of anger

Mystical World, Lyndhurst, NJ

201-896-3999

Tuesday, June 19 at 6pm – Positive Parent

Burlington County College, NJ

609-877-4520

Thursday, June 21 at 7pm – Happiness – Living an optimistic lifestyle

Doylestown Hospital, PA

215-345-2657

For those of you who live in the NY/NJ/PA area, taking the time to listen to one of Diane’s workshops is worth it. She’s an excellent speaker and a lot of fun, too!

I will be sure to check in with all of you later this week–have a great day, everyone. Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you care to, please click a SHARE button below as you go. That extra second goes a long way! 

TTFN and have a great day,

Joanna

Healthy Snacks? I’m Thinking Not–Part 1

Happy Tuesday, friends. Hope y’all had a great weekend. I’m working hard at getting back on the blogging track. Thanks for taking the time!

Pet peeves: a subject I can have so much fun with on such a broad spectrum, but I’m limiting it to one. (That’s so I don’t use up all my post ideas all at once! ;))

Weight loss, management, maintenance: call it what you like. I’ve had the questionable joy of struggling with it since childhood. Not where I’d like to be weight-wise—probably never will—but I still have to remain conscious of it daily just to tip the scale where I do so that my clothing fits and I feel good being in my skin.

I’ve done my share of reading on the subject and have learned to apply many principles to my eating and exercise as a result. I’ve blogged about my experiences. (Feel free to check some of those posts out; links are listed below.) And I still click on a headline here and there, just to see what the trends are in ‘healthy’ eating these days.

Last time I did I was terribly disappointed.

People, make sure you take everything you read with a grain of salt and look beyond the surface. I won’t link to the article that fired me up enough to write this post. I will, however, caution everyone who struggles with weight and/or simply adopting a healthier lifestyle to be aware of the traps that are out there.

Case in point: the post I read cited ready-mixed, low-fat yogurts, 100-calorie snack packs and some cereal choices. BTW, the oft-lauded pretzel can be a big-time downfall too.

Here’s my beef: every one of the choices listed was high-fructose corn syrup and/or sugar-loaded.  Unless you’re at an upscale market buying real whole wheat or the multigrain variety, pretzels, cookies, etc are most likely made from base flour products, too. Now there’s a recipe for weight gain, even if you do any of these in moderation, especially if you’re not big on exercise!

Am I saying you should never…? Perish the thought! Nor am I an authority on this subject, just someone sharing from personal experience. I just find myself more and more hesitant to pick up any of the above.

In the interest of keeping this short, I’ll do two posts. Look for my way of jazzing up the health-value of the snack foods listed above later this week.

And here are the links to articles I’ve written related to the above topic:

Newsflash! Bloghopping Can Result in Inspiration—Part 1

Newsflash! Bloghopping Can Cause Inspiration—Part-2

Real Life Game-On! Participant

Change My Self-Image? Uh Yeah!

Can One Book Change Your Life?

Until then, have a wonderful week. If you care to, please SHARE via one of the buttons below! Thanks so much!

Joanna