Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goal: Healthy in Body

My goal to achieve holistic health definitely includes my body.  I have struggled with my weight and body image for the majority of my life.  For as far back as I can remember, my New Year's resolutions always involved losing weight.  I never had much success in this area.

I'm hoping that this year will be different.  Number 1, my husband makes me feel beautiful, so I have more confidence than ever.  Number 2, I want to get physically fit in order to be a positive role model for my daughter.  Number 3, I will be using this blog as a catalyst for change.

So here we are at Day Zero.  (Day 1 will begin tomorrow!)

My current stats:  5'3"; 173 lbs; BMI 30.6
Here are my "Before" Pics:

Farewell, 2009

" make an end is to make a beginning."  ~T.S. Eliot

Here we are on the eve of the new year.  God gave me a gift this morning.  I awoke to snow falling down.  The neighborhood was covered in white.  Everything looked so pure and at peace.  AND my boss gave me permission to work from home today!  I am able to spend my last day of the decade at home with my two Loves.  And while I will be working periodically throughout the day, I hope to spend the majority of the time in reflection, saying goodbye to 2009 in the best way I know how.  I'm so grateful for this unexpected blessing!

I'm also very grateful for many happenings in 2009, which turned out to be a year of transition for me.

~ In the New Year, I had only just discovered I was pregnant.  Carrying Bianca was such a wonderful experience.  I felt joyful, hopeful, and radiant.  Even though I got heavier, I loved the way my body looked carrying a child.  I felt beautiful for the first time in a long time.  My love for my husband grew, even though I never thought I could love him more.  I felt the miracle of life move within me.  It was an undescribable, amazing experience.

~ Of course, there were all the fun events that go along with a pregnancy, as well.  Keeping a blog, getting sonograms, picking out names, registering, celebrating with family and friends at showers.  Overwhelming at times...but definitely moments to remember.

~ Harry and I bought our home.  It was so much fun touring different communities and imagining ourselves there.  We ultimately decided on a neighborhood and visited the sales office three different times before choosing our model.  We signed the papers on a Sunday after church with Damian in tow.  We spent hours at the design center deciding what our new home would look like.  We bought new furniture.  We chose paint colors.  We created our sacred spaces.  There was so much excitement and anticipation throughout the entire process.

~ I turned 30.  Harry revealed to me that we were having a girl.  We took a trip to Vegas with Tony and Amanda.  Manda and I received facials and massages.  Harry took me to see a Cirque du Soleil show.  It was a wonderful escape.

~ I found out that Danny and Kylene were having a baby.  They announced the news on Mother's Day.  They told Harry and I in private first, because they wanted to make sure we would be ok.  Of course we were thrilled, as our babies would be three months apart.  Danny and I are four months apart, so it was simply perfect.

~ Stephanie and I started our Sacred Fridays.  Our friendship grew in deep and wonderful ways, despite the physical distance between us.  Our Girls Day with Manda became even more special, focusing more on quality since our quantity had diminished.  These friendships fed my soul in a way no others could.

~ I finally gave birth to my beautiful Bianca.  The day that little angel came into my life, I experienced a new, powerful, incredible love.  My heart literally felt like it was going to burst out of my chect and swallow her whole.  I looked at her and saw Heaven.  I looked into new eyes and saw an old friend.  Watching her grow over the past three months has filled me with a joy and laughter I didn't realize were missing before.  Being a mother is the most amazing experience.  I think this new role suits me well!

~ Of course, there was the wonderful maternity leave that followed her birth.  Eight incredible weeks of bonding with my Little Miracle.  Leaving my job behind and focusing on my life's work.  It was anything but relaxing since I was trying to unpack the house at the same time as taking care of a newborn and my husband, but it was oh so good.  I also discovered the wonderful shows on Nick Jr, my personal favorite being Yo Gabba Gabba.  It just makes me happy!

~ Going back to work was tough, but an amazing thing happened.  My attitude completely shifted.  I finally felt like I belonged there.  I accepted the fact that God needs me in my current position, and instead of focusing on everything that was wrong about the job, I started to focus on all the positives.  My work mantra for 2010 is "Be Effective."  Now that I've been there a year and am comfortable in my role, I can finally start focusing on making an impact.

~ I am so grateful that Bianca is able to stay with my Aunt Dot while I'm at work.  I admit that I would much rather be a stay-at-home-mom, but since that isn't an option for us, I am so happy that she is with family.  Yes, it helps out Harry and I financially, but there is such a peace that comes along with it.  I don't have to worry during the day if she is getting the care or attention she needs; I KNOW she's getting it.  That comfort is priceless.      

~ I finally got the courage to walk away from my church.  I was saved in 1999, but for several reasons, I was never able to break away from the Catholic church.  One of the factors was me singing at Mass for 18 years.  They depended on me, especially my organist.  I felt so guilty about leaving.  Finally, a few weeks ago, I told my organist I didn't want to sing anymore.  I also told my mom that I wouldn't be attending St. Luke's anymore.  Surprisingly, both took the news very well.  I know God's hands were all over the decision.

I could go on, but that gives you a general idea.  Life is a series of peaks and valleys.  It's pretty obvious that I am in a peak.  And I just have a gut feeling that I'll just keep on climbing in 2010!

It's time to bid you farewell, 2009.  You were a  great year, and I know you will live on in my heart until the end of my days.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

An inspirational force in my life is Jamie Ridler, the creator of Wishcasting Wednesday.  Today, she asked the question: "What do you wish for 2010?"

I suppose I have many wishes for the coming year, but my five main wishes are:
~ A new church home
~ More nutritious people in my life
~ A God-centered marriage
~ Better health
~ More laughter

I can't wait to watch them all come true!  As Jamie says, "There is great power in wishing together."

Why Blog?

I guess the better question should be, "Why Not Blog?"  After all, blogging is all the rage these days.  I just hope I can live up to the challenge, as I've never been able to blog successfully up to this point. 

My first failed attempt at blogging was in 2004, when I hoped to record my weight loss journey.  Didn't have much luck with it.  (The weight loss OR the blog!!)  Then I moved onto trying to write about the frustrations I was feeling while completing my Master's degrees.  Another utter failure.  I randomly posted to my MySpace blog when I was feeling particulary depressed about life, but I haven't updated it regularly in a few years.  I started keeping a blog when I was pregant (all the cool kids on The Bump were doing it!) and I've updated it periodically with random bits of goodness in the life of my daughter, but not as often as I would like.

So here I am, once again attempting to start a new blog.  I'm embracing the challenge because 2010 is going to be my year of ACTION.  I'm very passionate about holistic health.  I strive to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.  I also want the people in my life to be holistically healthy.  I have made several vision boards showing myself in that state.  I have written countless journal entries on the topic.  And yet, I have remained stuck.  Stuck in an overweight body, stuck in unfulfilling jobs, stuck in unhealthy relationships, stuck in patterns that have kept me from living an authentically happy life.  Being stuck sucks.

But this coming year is my year of change.  I can feel it.  And I'm more determined than ever to get there.  Oprah Winfrey says, "Transformation doesn't happen unless you're willing.  It's your choice."  I am CHOOSING to be successful at change.  No, I may not reach my ultimate goals in just one year's time; however, it has to start somewhere.  And this is where I'm starting.

I subscribe to Debbie Ford's newsletter, and this morning she sent out a delicious nugget of inspiration called "2010: The Destination of Your Dreams."  She challenged her readers to choose the destination of our dreams, create a flight plan and then stick to it.  She also recommended choosing a co-pilot who will keep us on course when we get off track.  I am choosing Stephanie - one of my dearest friends - to be my co-pilot. 

This past year, Steph started an exercise with a basket full of inspirational words.  Her mission was to pull a word from the basket and reflect on it, put it into action, or just let the word work in her life for a week.  Of course, this is a venture that she could have experienced on her own, but luckily for me, she invited me to join with her.  The words have impacted my life, but not as much as our Sacred Fridays have.  Even though she moved hundreds of miles from Maryland to be with her true love, I have never felt closer to her.  I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store for both of us!  Call it an instinct, but I just KNOW that 2010 is going to be a wonderful year on so many levels.  

And so, My Journey to Holistic Health begins....