Living Life Fully

Since I started working full time, I have a feeling that I have not felt since college. Life and thoughts are spread among many things. I do not have just one focus going on. I am working 8 hours, spending time with my partner, getting into nature, leaving the apt for more than just a trip to the grocery store and just feeling good. It is fulfilling to be living life.

Since undergraduate, I have been hyper focused on some a feeling or action. Feeling like an imposter, wondering where I was going in life, questioning my relationships, researching food, trying to do all the workouts and letting it consume my life. Living should be your life.

The time I spent over the last year relaxing and trying to return to myself has really hit me lately. It is working. I am doing it. I have so much to look forward to.

We are planning another beautiful hike for today. Tonight is the season premiere of Bob’s Burgers. I am meeting museum members and visitors that are so different from those during the Summer months. I get to see family soon. I work with passionate people. Halloween, my favorite holiday, is a month away. I live in a beautiful and cool area. Life is full 🙂

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Hiking the Hudson Valley

I lived in Colorado for an internship during my undergraduate years, where I fell in love with the mountains. I went for a lot of hikes, which allowed me to explore the most beautiful terrain I ever saw. I have not done enough hiking since then.

A couple weeks ago, I hiked Mt. Beacon here in the Hudson Valley. It reminded me so much of the beautiful hikes in Colorado. It took me 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete and it was tough the first half up. I knew I needed to do another one, I loved it! Last weekend, I scaled it back a bit because it was warmer so I hiked a simple 1 mile trail to the end and back. It was wonderful!

Today I am hiking to an area with a waterfall. If you find yourself in the Hudson Valley and you like to hike, check out https://hikethehudsonvalley.com/ for details on amazing hikes in the area. The outdoors are just beautiful and bring peace to the soul. At least that is how I feel. :^P

Meal Preparing Again, But it is Not the Same

I am working full time again, so I have to prepare my meals ahead of time. There just is not enough time after work to prepare a meal unless it is very simple and fast. I also need to bring a lunch to work, and put together a lunch for my partner because it is $12+ for lunch in the cafeteria at his work! There are more important things to us to spend money on than convenient lunches.

Sure I could buy some cheap frozen dinners, but I feel like food tastes better made in a kitchen near you. Frozen dinners can be loaded with sodium. When I looked the other day, one Hot Pocket has an average of 500 mg of sodium and I do not even feel like single pocket satiates my hunger. Plus, I am trying to eat better. I want to lose the excess weight I gained. I physically feel the strain of it on my body.

Meal preparing is different this time though. I am not so focused on the macro-nutrient profile of each meal and how it fuels muscle growth or weight loss. I am concerned with what I feel like eating and how I can satisfy that in a nutritious way. For instance, eating good bread toasted or a fluffy pancake is almost euphoric. So lately on my days off, I have toast or pancakes for breakfast with nut butter and fruit.

Then as we move into cooler weather here in New York state, it is becoming oatmeal season for me. Nothing is more satisfying to me than a warm bowl of porridge on a cold morning. Thankfully, most of my breakfasts are things you can make quickly. So I only need to focus on making enough for dinner that can spread throughout the week. Dinner this past week involved pesto mozzarella tomato salads (made plenty of pesto over the weekend) and pumpkin chili (made on my day off). Then I make large batch, simple lunches like coconut lentil soup or quinoa crusted quiche, also on a day off.

It so different not looking at the “macros” when “meal prepping.” When I use to meal prepare for the week, it was a massive undertaking. Now I just want to be able to eat when I am hungry without breaking the bank or feeling stuck eating junk.

Quit Complaining

I get on this ridiculous complain train some times and I can tell I am starting to get there again. I have to remind myself that lamenting so much just makes me not a fun person to be around and also just negative. It is time to cut the complaining. I have a pretty good life. Sometimes I feel like I am only griping to try to relate to people. Other times I am venting from a frustrating experience and it turns into an endless complain train.

I am trying to look at the positive and remember that my relationships are important to me. I do not want to push people away by grumbling about life or others the entire conversation. It is so draining when you do this or when someone else does it to you. No one wants to be that person everyone is trying to avoid. So I am trying to do the follow:

  • Remind myself that just because others may be griping a lot around me, does not mean they need me to add to the negativity.
  • Keep track of how much I lamented.
  • Turn the gripe into something positive. For instance, _________ just makes me question myself, although they also send me nice cards to let me know they are thinking about me.
  • Lastly, if I catch myself wanting to or thinking about making a grumble to add to a conversation I try to remain silent until I can think of something more upbeat to say.

These strategies seem to help and I feel as though I am complaining a lot less than I use to. Please share any tips you may have!

Looking Past the Health Claims

They are on every product. They help sell the product. They may or may not be beneficial or even true. They are health claims and that is all they are, claims. No trans fats. No artificial flavors. No refined sugar. No parabens. No synthetic fragrances. BPA free. Gluten free. Soy free. Sugar free. Dairy free. Fat free. Heart healthy. Vegan. GMO free. X grams of fiber. Zero net carbs. 100% natural. Made with real cheese. No added nitrates or nitrites. Organic. Excellent source of vitamin E. Contains probiotics. Immune support. Guilty free. Low sodium. No MSG. Low carb. Real fruit. Take the 2 week challenge and improve your digestion. Low glycemic. Baked never fried. Paleo. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Just because a product has a lot of protein, healthy fats, all natural ingredients, whole grains, micronutrients like vitamin C or does not contain something, does not mean it will be the best thing for you. It is important to remember that the sale of food is a business and not all businesses are looking out for us. You have to do what feels right for you.

For me it feels right to eat a varied diet. There is nothing that I eat everyday, other that a multivitamin. While I do not get bored eating the same thing often, it does not provide me with a variety of nutrients. I like to switch things up for that reason. I try to block out all the health claims and focus on the nutrition of the food and ingredients.

When the front of the package says low sodium, but then the nutritional facts tell you it contains 700 mg per serving… that just is not low sodium to me. This does not mean I would not ever use the product, but I might not add sodium to the meal in addition. A sodium heavy meal makes me bloated and uncomfortable, as it does for many people. The point is that I am listening to my body’s response.

Take the time to go with the flow of your body and look past the health claims.

Everything in Life is Falling into Place

It feels like everything is falling into place. One of the great things about life is how it always seems to work out, especially when you put the effort into going with the flow. Focusing on what was really important to me seemed to help manifest changes that are making me really happy.

My health seems to be in a better place. I am feeling better mentally and physically. My cycle is not only back, but becoming regular. My face is clearing up. Both signs that my hormones are balancing out. I also have not turned to food for comfort in times of stress. I love checking out all the farmer’s markets in the area with their beautiful produce. We are not bringing home so much junk food. I am enjoying short walks and yoga. I feel like I am returning finally to being active.

Being active is just one way my life is feeling fulfilled right now. I started an incredible job a month ago where I feel valued, working with an amazing team and love what I am going. The opportunities for growth these job offered has already led to a promotion! I am glad I am writing a blog about this because the next time life feels uncertain I have a reminder that life works out when you put good efforts into obtaining what you want.

My partner had faith in me and was so supportive of me this past year. I am so grateful for our relationship. We have been working to spend regular quality time (my love language) together and still have the feeling that waking up next to each other is the best feeling.

Keeping It Simple

In all aspect of my life, I strive to keep it simple. I may do a little extra for fun sometimes, but in general, simple is best for me. I prefer little to no detail, few ingredients to a recipe, a minimalist beauty routine, the least possible steps in a process, etc. I find that keeping it simple saves me money and feel as though I have more time for the important stuff.

Folks seem to be so caught up in having it all, but does buying everything you want make you happy? For me it took a long time to realize that extra stuff that is not necessary in my life makes me feel stressed and weighed down. I like having a simple space and room for dancing 😉 Most of those magazine or catalog like homes, just do not have enough space to get your dance on.

People tell us we should get this piece of furniture or that our place would look great with a decorative piece right there, but its our home and we like it simple. Additionally, I have owned my vehicle for nearly 10 years and lately people are asking when am I going to get a new car already, but my car is still in good shape and only has 81,000 miles on it. Why would I add to the bills I already have to own a car that is acceptable to others.

Here is the thing. If you get caught up is having it all and it is all the nicest stuff then how are you doing financially? The extra furniture, decor and brand new car others are recommending, cost money. My partner and I like to travel and want to own a home. We also feel like 32 years old is really late in the game for getting our retirement funds started.

That extra stuff only brings temporary happiness for us. Long term, we start asking ourselves, why did we buy this? What does this do for our lives? Why did we listen to everyone? Keeping it simple is affordable and maintains our happiness.

My Hormonal Acne is Clearing Up!

Since early Spring 2017 I have been dealing with hormonal acne around my mouth and jaw line. The specialist I saw said it will not clear up until my hormones return to healthy levels. I thought she meant when my cycle returned it would clear up, but it did not until after we moved to New York. I know if I had not been focusing on hormonal health that it could have been longer.

Sure there are products out there that help you get rid of pimples quickly, but if your acne is not going away since the cause is not being tended to then is anything really getting better? I was fortunate in that I know the cause of my acne. So while doing what I could to take care of my skin, keeping it clean and moisturized, I focused most of my efforts in following doctor’s orders to balance my hormones.

Acne is just one of many symptoms I experienced from hormonal imbalance. Which makes me ask about something I feel is a deeper issue. Why are we not taught, whether in school or at home, about our hormones? I know many people’s knowledge about hormones is limited to they can make us ‘crazy.’ However, if we know they impact our behavior and emotions, it should be a priority to better understand them.

I can not say I know everything, but I am learning now after experiencing problems that could have been avoided with better understanding of the subject. I will definitely be sharing more about what I have learned and the resources I am getting this knowledge from.

Feeling Beautiful

When I was younger, I really did not think much about my physical appearance until others made comments about it. Unfortunately, they were negative comments. Some were from kids at school finding a new way to pick on me and others from people close to me. That is in the past. My struggle with body image has always been because of others’ statements about me. Remember how I said I know I am effected by others. I recognize this is a way that is unhealthy for me. I wish it was a simple process to move away from that mentality.

I genuinely like my body. I like my shape with my bigger butt, muscular calves and feel like my boobs are in good proportion with my body. I like how my body looks with a bit of fat on my belly. I like my natural hair color and the hundreds of white hairs I have had coming in since I was 15 years old. I like how my irises have green freckles mixed in the medium brown. I like the cupid’s bow of my upper lip. There is so much I like, no truly LOVE about my body.

Lately I have been asking myself, why do I let others tear it down?

Doing What I Love

I worked a part time job what was not my passion for a month. It got me out of the house, I earned some money and I think I made some friends. The team I worked on was great and I hope we follow through with getting together for drinks or something. On the other hand, it was not a very professional work environment. There were a lot of inconsistencies in following company policy and employee equality was an issue.

Therefore, I was very happy to tell them 2 weeks ago that I was offered a job that aligned with my career goals. It felt good when they told me even though I was only there for a month that they loved me, I would be an easy rehire and they were sad to see me go.

However, the museum job I started this week is amazing and fills me with happiness! I am entering this institution at an exciting time of growth. I am selling tickets, resetting the exhibits, helping throw birthday parties and more. That could change after my first few months or year on staff, or once I have passed the probationary period to see if I am a good fit. So far I feel like I fit in with the other staff members.

I am in love with the passion and thoughtfulness of this place. The steps they have already taken to support the community is amazing. I am excited to be a part of this and learn over the probationary period about how I can contribute. It all feels meant to be. #HappiestGalOnEarth #DoWhatYouLove