Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happiness


This is Blarrrrrrry, my Army man.  He was a gift (aka: prize from tickets from the skee ball machine), from the real one.  He hangs out at my house when the real one can't.  That's all I'm going to say about that right now.  Other than...he makes me smile.

Friends, I've been in some very dark places.  I've been on some of the most twisty-twurvy (yes, it's a word!) roller coasters...and I HATE roller coasters. 

And I love to talk about being happy with yourself, strength in self, yadda yadda yadda. 

But the truth is, happiness with self is difficult.  Scratch that...difficult is quite possibly the understatement of the century.

Being happy with one's self is painfully close to impossible...unless you work at it.  And who the heck wants to work on self?  Sounds...selfish, doesn't it?

Guess what?

YOU ARE IMPORTANT.

You are important to your family.  You are important to your spouse.  You are important to your kids.  You are important to coworkers (even when they seem ungrateful).  YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO OTHERS.

So why aren't you treating yourself like you are important?

Why do we put ourselves last?  As individuals, how do we become so consumed with others that we become the least important person on the list? 

It took me a long time to understand, accept, realize and ACT on the fact that I am important to others; therefore, I need to be important to myself.  I need to make myself healthy, happy, informed, etc. etc., because no one can do that for me.

And when I did...when I made the conscious choice to step back, be concerned with me, take care of me, heal me...the doors opened and a whole new world walked in. But only because I was ready.

Friends, take care of YOU.  YOU are the only one that can fulfill the inner need for happiness.  Listen to your heart, your soul, your logic, your illogicalness...listen to it all very closely, because it all has a purpose.  And then make the decision to LOVE YOURSELF and take care of yourself.  Take the time to find you, nurture you...and when you have learned how to do this (I almost said mastered, but I'm certain that is impossible!), then the doors will open to incredible possibilities.  But it all starts with you...

Have an awesome day!
Ang

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our World On Fire













Again with the simple pleasures...

Currently, the states of Oregon and Washington are burning up.  OK, not completely true, but as with every summer, there are several wild fires burning out of control.  A couple of them are within an hour or two of where I live.  The smoke from these fires is causing gross breathing conditions, but amazing sunrises and sunsets.

As I took these photos last night, three different people stopped to see what I was shooting, and then thanked me, saying that they wouldn't have even noticed the sunset if I hadn't been there.

REALLY??

Do you see those photos above?  They don't do the sky justice.  The sunset was incredible.

And these people were going about their evening walks without enjoying it.

How does that happen?

You're in the great outdoors.  Take a moment to enjoy it.

Silly people.

Anyway, enough ranting about that.

Friends, it is so very important that each of us take a few moments every.single.day and enjoy our surroundings.  And if you can't enjoy your surroundings (because you're stuck in a windowless office day in and day out...), then GET OUT.  Take a walk around the block.  Take five minutes to breathe the air around you.  Relax.  Enjoy.  Love.  The important stuff.  Everything else will wait for five minutes, I promise!

Have an awesome day!
Ang


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Monday, July 29, 2013

When Life Becomes a Habit (and a few summer photos)


Moon Rise; Sun Rise


Mom, Seezder and me, as seen by Hadley Flynn

And the Hadley Flynn herself


The Boys + Football = Awesome and Hilarious and Awesome


No, she's not my sister, and that's not our mom....


Cousins

I know you know what I'm talking about.  When the things you love, have always loved, said you always would love, turn into chores.  Like blogging.  Like taking photos.  Like enjoying the simple pleasures.  Like seeing the beauty of every day.  Like wanting nothing more in your entire life than to help others be happy and healthy and be SUCCESSFUL at being happy and healthy.

At some time or another, everything you love has become, currently is, or will become a habit.  A drag.  A must-do.  An annoyance.

Does that mean there is something wrong with you?  No.

Does it mean that the process is broken?  No.

Does it mean that I can't ever take a break from whatever my passion is because it's a habit and I need to continue doing it?  No.

It means that sometimes we all need a little break.

Sometimes we need to clear our heads.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at everything in the form of a big picture, rather than the tiny pieces.

It means that we need to take a break sometimes.  And when the time is right, we all find our ways back.

And it won't feel like a habit, or a requirement, or a must-do.

It'll feel like the first time, when you were so excited to be a part of that thing.  It WILL feel that good again.

I promise.  Because right now, it does.  And it feels amazing.

Have an awesome day!
Ang


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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fuel Yourself!

here and here


Hello beautiful friends!  Welcome to the start of a new week!  It's nice to (imaginary) see you all!

I have something on my heart that I need to share with you all.  Please bare with me as I spew.

At a young age, especially as women, we are "trained" to think that skinny is healthy and sexy.  To meet that media-inspired goal, we starve ourselves. We try every fad diet there is.  We spend thousands of dollars a year to meet this goal...and 99% of the time, we fail.

The reason we fail?  Because our bodies are not created to handle this stress that we put them through.

Yes, stress.  Not fueling your body, starving it, feeding it poor nutrition...all of these things cause stress on the body.  That's why we feel like crap when we give into the french fries at Wednesday night karaoke (oh wait, is that just me?!).

Facts:
-  Your body NEEDS food/fuel to burn fat.  If you do not eat enough, your body goes into fat storing mode and you unintentionally defeat your own purpose.
-  You do NOT need to "exercise" for an hour or more a day to have results.  You DO need to do some sort of physical activity (GET OFF THE COUCH!) for at least 20 minutes five days a week (hey, weekends are days too!).  So go walk the dog around the block before you settle into your couch/tv.
- If you are looking for a quick fix "diet" to cut weight, you are setting yourself up for failure.  There is no doubt: you absolutely can cut weight and "look skinny" in no time flat.  But you will gain all of that back, and most likely, some extra when you're finished cutting.  
-Have you read the book "Wheat Belly?"  I dare you, do it.  You'll never look at a slice of bread the same again.

Friends, I'm no expert.  I've never been one to starve herself, because when my blood sugar drops, I don't want to be around me, let alone anyone else.  I've always been an eater...just not usually a healthy eater.  Since becoming involved with AdvoCare, and making a decision to (mostly) eat clean, I can tell you that I feel awesome.  I am fueling my body for success.  I don't count calories.  I don't worry about the amount of food I'm eating throughout the day.  I do concern myself with WHAT I'm putting in my body.  I do make choices that help my body keep moving.

We need to think about every single day as a lifestyle rather than a "diet."  Even by using the word diet, your mind automatically goes into the assumption that "I must eat this way or else," and when you mess up (because let's be honest, we all do), you feel miserable and then you feel like a failure.  When you treat your food intake as a lifestyle, you begin to understand that yeah, I had a cookie, but it's cool because 97% of the time, I eat well, I walked the dog four times this week, a cookie is all good.  LIFESTYLE friends, lifestyle.

As usual, I feel like I'm rambling.  But my point is, please please please cherish your body.  Fuel it.  Put proper nutrition into it.  Give it food and love and it will return the favor!

Friends, what does your LIFESTYLE look like?  Are you fueling your body for success?

Have an awesome day!
Ang

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