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getting back on track

1 Dec

Amidst the busyness of the last few days, there have been some really sweet highlights.

Yesterday I received a mysterious box in the mail.  I always get so excited when an unexpected package comes, but usually I open it to find junk mail of some sort.  But not this time.  I opened the box, peered inside and saw this:

and this

My mom, step-dad and sister bought me this cute little scarf and mailed it to me as a surprise.  How sweet is that?  It totally brightened my entire day and made me feel so loved and happy. I have the best family:)

Another highlight came today when I finished a project that I’ve been working on.  My friend, JJ, facebooked me about a week ago and asked me if I could make a couple of tag blankets for some friends of hers who are having a baby shower this week.  I made a tag blanket for JJ’s baby right before he was born, and she says he takes it everywhere with him, so she thought it would be a great gift for her friends!

I of course happily obliged, but unfortunately my sewing machine was not quite as willing.  Yesterday took all the patience I could muster as my machine jammed over and over and over.  Finally, after about 4 hours of working, I finished them up!

tag blanket numero one

and numero two

If you’re wondering what a tag blanket is, allow me to explain.  It’s a small, soft blanket for babies that has loops of ribbon coming off of it – it’s great for cuddling, pulling, chewing and just all around good fun:)

Anyway, regardless of my frustration with the sewing machine, you really can’t beat an afternoon of sewing while jamming out to Christmas music and sipping a hot latte on a frigid winter day.  Can I get an amen?

Another thing you can’t beat?

baked apples with cinnamon and a splash of agave

and spinach lavash wraps with hummus, chia seeds and veggies.  with a side of ceramic birds:)

So, I mentioned yesterday that I would be back to talk about getting back in a healthy groove after veering from it for awhile.  The last couple of weeks or so I have just gotten a little lazy with eating clean.  Between the stresses and busyness of the everyday and the extra craziness of the holidays, I’ve been eating a few too many chips and cookies, and not nearly enough veggies.

I definitely have my ups and downs when it comes to living healthy.  I go through phases where it seems I just get on a roll of eating too much junk and not making it to the gym.  And once I start slacking, it can be sooo hard to get back on track.

But no one can be perfect all the time, and the important thing for me is to focus on the fact that I do always get back on track. Instead of beating myself up and regretting what I’ve done, I am so much more successful overall when I just dust off my behind and jump right back in the game.  Dwelling on what I’ve done in the past only serves to drag me farther down, killing any remnants of mojo I have left and leaving me feeling discouraged and sad.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve really stepped it up and gotten back on track with food and exercise.  Tonight I was thinking through a few things I’ve done to help, so I thought I’d share them with you!

  • I re-read a book that has been motivating to me in the past.  This renews my energy and refreshes my perspective of why it’s important to me to make healthy choices.  This time around it was Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean book.  Absolutely love this book – if you haven’t read it, put it on your Christmas list stat!
  • I took a few minutes to write out some goals/reasons why I want to do what it takes to feel great and be healthy. These change from time to time, so it’s really important to me to keep them fresh and current in my mind.
  • I got a partner! Turns out I’m not the only who has been slacking since the holidays started.  Talking to someone else and sharing ideas, struggles and goals together really pumps me up to make some changes.  Plus, I get instant accountability for my choices!
  • I wrote down a mantra and memorized it! Every time I start to fall back into bad habits, whether by skipping the gym multiple days in a row or by eating another handful of chips rather than some raw vegetables, I immediately repeat my mantra in my head.  It focuses me instantly!
  • I perused blogs and jotted down some new fun meal ideas that I can get excited about! Sometimes I just get in a rut and become tired of the same foods I always eat.  There’s no better place than blogs to get new inspiration for workouts and meals.
  • I pretended I felt better even before I did.  Sometimes it really does work to “fake it till you make it.”  Even though I felt sluggish and kind of weighed down, I began to act and think like I felt healthy and alive.  This got me through for a couple of days until I really did start to feel better!

These are just a few of the things I did – nothing groundbreaking, but yet these never fail to help me get back on course when I seem to have strayed far away.

I’d love to hear any ideas you have for getting back on track after being in a rut.  What do you do when this happens to you?!

Hope you’ve all had a great Wednesday!  Onward!

giveaway: Operation Beautiful book!

5 Aug

Hey peeps!

A couple of you guessed right earlier today – I got my nose pierced!  What’s funny is that I don’t think most people would consider me the type to have a piercing anywhere other than my ears.  But alas, I have an affinity for nose piercings.  That is, as long as they’re the right kind, ie. very teeny tiny.

The night before we left Thailand after our year there, a bunch of my friends were getting tattoos, so I decided to get my nose pierced that night.  On our journey back home to the U.S., we had a 3 day layover in Tokyo, and because I couldn’t find a smaller stud to replace the monstrous one they pierced it with, I took it out.  I hadn’t seen my family in a year, and I didn’t want to freak them out right when I stepped off the plane:) lol.

Tokyo

So, now that I am not teaching anymore, I decided it would be the perfect time to get it done again!  I love it!

Anyway, lets get to eats for the day and then I have an exciting surprise!

I actually had a really weird eating day today.  I just didn’t really have much of an appetite.  A couple hours after my coffee this morning, I snacked on the tiny bit of leftovers from last night’s Tempeh Stir Fried Rice.

This was just as delicious as it was the first time around!

And then a few hours later I finally broke down and just made a peanut butter and grilled banana sandwich.  It seems that when my appetite is gone and nothing sounds good – peanut butter always saves the day!

For dinner tonight we decided to go out.  Don’t even ask why…we just felt like it!  How’s that for livin’ in the moment;)  Anyway, I picked up some Panera, and it was deeelicious!

Mediterranean veggie sandwich (hold the feta!) and strawberry poppyseed salad

major lol – I didn’t realize until after I uploaded this photo that there is a huge fly on my sandwich! Doh!

I die.

So today I ordered two Operation Beautiful books (by one of my favorite bloggers, Caitlin) off Amazon – one for myself and one for my little cousin.  Then I went to the website of our local bookstore, which by the way I’ve been to twice since the book dropped, and found out that they had just gotten it in!  Obviously I had to buy a 3rd copy:)

waiting at Panera

Hmmm…any ideas on what to do with this lone 3rd copy???


How ’bout a giveaway!?!

For those of you who have already purchased a copy (yay!), enter anyway and think of someone you love who you can pass it on to!

Here’s how you can get up to fifteen entries.  Do as many or as few as you would like!

  • For one entry: leave a comment on this post with an Operation Beautiful message of your own.  It can be as simple as “you are beautiful!”
  • For two entries: leave an Operation Beautiful note somewhere and just tell me you left one (honor system;)
  • For three entries (this is getting serious now:): follow me (@chiaseedme) on twitter, tweet about the giveaway and let me know you did so in the comments.  You can use the following: enter to win an #operationbeautiful book! @chiaseedme http://wp.me/pMkFT-tN
  • For four entries: put ChiaSeedMe on your blogroll and leave a comment telling me you did. If it’s already there, just tell me that!
  • For five entries (I know, right?!): blog about the giveaway and copy and paste the link (to the specific post) in the comments

Giveaway will run until midnight on Tuesday, August 10th (my birthday!).

I’m so excited about this giveaway, and I hope you are too!  It’s time for a revolution in the way we see ourselves. We can’t do enough to spread the word.

Also, if you win and you would like for me to take the book to Healthy Living Summit and get Caitlin’s autograph – I’d be happy to!  I’ll pop it in the mail as soon as I get home.

See you guys tomorrow!  You are beautiful:)

beauty in imperfection

4 Aug

As some of you may know this week is Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look Week!  The purpose of this week is to promote Caitlin’s book, Operation Beautiful, as well as to help women everywhere see the beauty in themselves!

Take a moment to click over and enter the giveaway for an Operation Beautiful book!  Giveaway ends August 10th at midnight.

I decided to contribute a post because I have always struggled with loving myself and seeing past my imperfections.  From as early in my life as I can remember, I have focused on the negative aspects of not only my body, but also my personality.  I remember as far back as early middle school, placing a cut out of a girl from a magazine on the inside of our kitchen cabinets so that every time I opened the cabinet to get food, I’d be reminded of what I wanted my body to look like.  Not only did this not make me thinner or more toned, it contributed to the mindset that I would never be good enough until I looked as good as the photoshopped model in a magazine.

While I still struggle everyday with not accepting and loving my body, the one thing that has changed as of recent is the fact that I now recognize that it is not okay to constantly criticize myself.  The older I get, the more I understand that continuing to live this way is detracting from my health and happiness, and more importantly I don’t want my future children to grow up believing that it is okay. I put so much care into what I put in my body, but I am often reckless with the things I allow to invade my mind.

I’ve also begun to recognize the reasoning behind why I treat myself this way.  It comes down to one word: perfection.

We live in a world that is obsessed with perfection.  Everywhere we look we are bombarded with images of perfection – from magazines to movies to TV.  We can’t even stand in line at the grocery store or go to the dentist without having to face these kind of demons.

Headlines, advertisements and magazine covers constantly scream at us to improve this or perfect that while showing us an image of a perfect body.  A body we should have for ourselves.

What would your dream body look like?  Would it have any imperfections?  No.  This article is telling us that perfection is not only attainable, but that we should expect ourselves to achieve it.

If we just eat the right thing our stomach will be perfect and we’ll be happy.  Lies.

We must believe that we do NOT have to be perfect to be beautiful!

The path to perfection is a never ending black hole of self destruction because no matter how hard we try we will inevitably fall short. This is not to say that we shouldn’t strive for excellence in our lives – but we must be able to let go of the image of perfection that the world throws at us and that we come to expect of ourselves and begin to celebrate the things that make us imperfect.  That make us unique.  That make us beautiful.

Countless times (including this morning!) I have stood in front of my mirror and thought any one (or more) of the following:

  • look how fat my thighs are
  • my stomach looks awful
  • I wish my arms didn’t look so big
  • my hair looks terrible

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to stop tearing myself down, and begin the work of building myself up. But it won’t happen if we go about it passively.  We have to actively fight back.

But how?

Here are some ideas I’ve come up with to get started. I know you all have great ideas and suggestions, so please share them in the comments! Let’s do this together.

Actively being thankful.  If we spend our time and energy thinking of things about ourselves that we are thankful for, we won’t have as much time to think of everything we wish we could change.  We can foster positivity, gratefulness and love within ourselves.

Replacing lies with truths.  Each time a destructive thought pops into our minds, replace it with a truth.
Example – Lie: I wish my arms didn’t look so big.  Truth: My arms are beautiful and they enable me to do downward facing dogs and love on my husband.

Ridding our lives of false/evil messages of perfection.  Next time we’re in line at the grocery store, instead of zoning in on the magazine rack, call a friend or strike up a conversation with the person behind us by paying them a compliment.  We obviously can’t protect ourselves from these messages all the time, but every step is one step closer to loving ourselves.

Constantly remind ourselves of how beautiful we are.  In the spirit of Operation Beautiful, I put these up this morning.

Now as I’m getting ready in the morning, I can be reminded that I am beautiful now…and that I don’t need to change anything to be able to love myself.

I wish I had started out on this journey of loving and accepting myself years ago, and I’m so thankful for Caitlin and the Operation Beautiful movement for taking the first steps toward a revolution in the way we see ourselves.  Let’s work together to make our world a more positive place not just for ourselves, but for future generations of beautiful girls and women.

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the book – I’ll be getting mine this weekend!

And please share your thoughts and ideas on combatting the perfection trap in the comments.  I can’t wait to hear what you think!

a crazy week: part I

2 Aug

I love books.  Aren’t books just amazing?

This morning I spent over two hours just looking at shelf upon shelf of books.  I first went to Hastings to see if by chance the Operation Beautiful book would be there already.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck with that, but then I started browsing around and found a load of books I wanted to just sit down and soak up.

So, I booked it (pun intended:) to the public library.  Our public library is not super extensive, unfortunately, and I usually leave in disappointment.  While they didn’t have the specific reads I was trying to hunt down today, I was able to pick up a few good ones.  I came home with

The Positive Power of Negative Thinking by Julie K. Norem
Be Happy Without Being Perfect by Alice D. Domar and Alice Lesch Kelly
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose

I picked up each of these books for a different reason (obvs:) – and I’m looking forward to sharing those reasons and my thoughts on these books as I read them.

Something that really should have been noted on my confessions post last week is that I tend to hoard books.  I love to read so I accumulate books like crazy, and then it takes me forever to get through all of them.  I guess it’s not necessarily a bad problem to have, but sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming!

This morning started off with a trip to The Daily Grind (our local coffee shop) for an iced soy latte.  I failed to get a picture unfortunately, but the bland styrofoam cup wouldn’t have been too exhilarating anyway.

After I got home, I was about to eat my arm, so I fixed a quick mid-morning snack

brown rice cake slathered with natural peanut butter and topped with sliced banana

Today is cross training, so Jon and I opted to sleep in and we’ll be going for a walk later on tonight after it cools off!

I have so much to catch up on since I’ve been at large the last few days.  As you guys know, I was at the lake with my mom and sister last Wednesday and Thursday.  If you missed my spiralizer review or the most awesome guest post ever 🙂 make sure and check them out!

It’ll take me a couple of days to catch up on everything, so I may as well get started!

On Wednesday, I got up super early to head to the lake.  I had to stop through my hometown to pick up my mom before making the long drive to the lake to meet my sister.  We finally arrived around noon and after hanging out at our cabin for awhile, we headed out to spend some time on the water.

For a quick bit of history on my family and the lake – my great-grandparents built our cabin when my mom was 2 years old.

My mom grew up going there every summer, and our family continued the tradition throughout my childhood.  There really is a little piece of each of us in that cabin and on the lake.  So many memories.  When we were little, we used to tell people our grandpa owned Lake Texoma.  And to us, he did.

After we spent a couple of hours on the lake, we decided to venture out on the 15 minute boat ride to one of the fancier resorts just to look around.  Not even 20 minutes after arriving, we noticed some storm clouds brewing on the horizon.

even little Bentley was getting concerned:)

We’ve had our fair share of close calls with storms on the lake – getting caught out in the middle with waves coming over the front of the boat, being stranded on the beach with the wind whipping the sand, stinging as it collided with our skin.  Once my dad got caught out in a storm, and our boat took a nosedive into a huge wave, breaking the windshields off the boat and losing most of his fishing equipment.  Needless to say, we don’t mess around anymore.

So, we took off back across the lake, barely beating the storm back to the ramp.  It was then that we realized our first real problem…

…to be continued:)