Going Gray - 5 months in published on strong-woman.com

Going Gray Update

GrayUpdate_2Just a quick update on my going gray status.

The last time I dyed my hair was right before Thanksgiving 2015, about five months ago. Here are some thoughts about the process so far:

  • Some days I think it looks kind of interesting and unique. Other days it looks kind of drab and sad. I have good hair days and bad hair days just like before.
  • I used to be hyper-aware of my new growth and the stark gray roots, but now I only notice a little.
  • My husband calls me his Silver Fox, which sounds ok. I think that’s kind of cute.
  • My hair feels healthier than before.
  • I joined a Facebook group called “Going Gray and Loving It” . I can’t say I love it but I don’t mind it (most days).
  • Probably like when you have in mind to buy a certain car and then you see them everywhere when you never noticed them before, I see lots more women going gray.
  • Going gray doesn’t feel like that big a deal anymore.
My dreamboard published on strong-woman.com

My Dreamboard and The Law of Attraction

I made a dreamboard (also called a vision board) about a year or 2 ago. I put pictures and quotes of things I wanted – travel, to be active and adventurous, to be fit, to help others improve their health, and some other things.

My Dreamboard

One thing about a dreamboard is that you have to look at it and consciously visualize yourself doing and achieving what you dream of doing, regularly putting your mind and body in a positive state to reach your goals. A dreamboard works with the Law of Attraction that says we are what we think about.

You can update your board once you’ve achieved what you wanted, what you dreamed of.

Even though I’ve gotten out of the habit of spending a few minutes every day consciously looking at my dreamboard, and lately have looked at it only a few times a week, I’ve had a couple of things happen almost exactly as they were on my dreamboard, so close that it can’t be a coincidence.

First, my husband, Mark, and I have fostered dogs for a while now and I’d like to continue to foster when we can. Well, I put a picture of a black and white dog on my dreamboard below a phrase that says, “Changing the lives of shelter pets.”

Dog on my Dreamboard

Then, only a few months after I had made my dreamboard, we fostered a dog that looked almost identical to the dog on my dreamboard. Wow, I thought. That’s cool!

Bailey, our foster dog

Recently, another really interesting thing happened and I hadn’t even noticed.

On my dreamboard, I have a picture of two people kayaking on calm, smooth as glass water, with trees silhouetted on the horizon at sunset.

Dreamboard Kayaking

Last month Mark and I went on a kayaking excursion during a trip to Puerto Rico. We headed out when it was still daylight and kayaked through a dark, narrow channel that ran through a heavily wooded area. When we emerged from the channel, we were in an inlet where the glass-like water reflected the orange sky and the dark silhouette of trees. This picture postcard scene filled me with wonder at the beauty of God’s creation and with gratitude at my extreme good fortune at being there to witness such a perfect moment.

I hadn’t noticed that the scene was nearly the exact picture on my dreamboard. I didn’t have a camera with me so couldn’t take a picture except with my heart and mind.

The Law of Attraction is real. Dreamboards help manifest dreams.

Don’t believe it? I probably wouldn’t have either if I hadn’t seen it for myself, but I believe it now. 100%. Of course, work is required. It seems like magic, but it’s really not magic. Jim Carrey says, “Visualization works if you work hard: You can’t just visualize and then go eat a sandwich.”

I’ll be updating my dreamboard and adding pictures of places to visit, things to do, and projects to complete, including some long-term goals and shorter, incremental, personal and professional goals.

The activity requires that I think about what I want. I think about this quote often.

WhatIsIt you plan

I know my future is mine to design; that’s true for each of us.

And now I put the question to you, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Believe it or not, it’s yours to design. I had friends and teammates to help me get started and here are some action items to help you get started:

  1. Make a visionboard /dreamboard. Think about what you want to do, what type of person you want to be, and what’s important to you in all areas of your life (professional, personal, etc.) Find pictures that represent those things and display them. I used a cork bulletin board with thumbtacks, but you can use whatever you like as long as you can display it where you’ll see it often.
  1. Look at your dreamboard. Take a few minutes a day to think about your dreams and then be open to the possibilities.
  1. If you have quotes on your board, read them out loud. This helps you live in the spirit in which you created your dreamboard. For example, one of the quotes on my board is from Oprah Winfrey, “What we’re all striving for is authenticity, a spirit to spirit connection.” That’s true for me.

I have a renewed belief in the Law of Attraction. Now I want to get to work.

Do you have a dreamboard or do you use visualization techniques to help you reach your goals?

To Weigh or Not to Weigh?

To weigh or not to weigh: that is the question.

Hamlet – To be or not to be…

If you’re trying to lose weight, this question becomes an important one.

There seem to be 2 philosophical camps: the weight-not-ers and the weigh-ers.

The weigh-not –ers say don’t weigh yourself because your weight can fluctuate daily and if you’re doing everything right and not losing weight then you’ll get discouraged and ditch the whole effort. They say it’s all about how you feel and not about a number on a scale because how does anyone pick an arbitrary number as an “ideal weight”? And just because a person is at his or her “ideal weight” doesn’t mean he or she is healthy. 

On the other hand, the weigh-ers say you should weigh yourself regularly – at most daily but at least once a week – to help you stay on track because your weight is a good indication of how you’re doing in the area of weight loss/management.

Dread the scale?

I recommend you take a little from each camp. I say definitely weigh yourself. Don’t hate the scale; it’s just a measurement device, like a thermometer.

While the scale is a great tool, try not to obsess over it. If your weight is up a couple of pounds, don’t decide that you can’t eat anything for the rest of the day or say, “Forget it! I’ve been perfect for a whole week and haven’t lost a single pound! I can’t lose weight!” and decide to soak your frustrations in a tub of ice cream.

That won’t help.

Remember your weight truly can fluctuate based on hormone cycle, hydration, etc. Make a note of the number and continue to eat lean meats or plant protein, whole fruits, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables. Eat low glycemic foods to keep your body well-fueled. Read my blogpost, Diet Roulette, for more information about eating low glycemic.

If you think you’ve done everything right but still gained a few pounds, try keeping a food journal and write every single thing you put in your mouth, every morsel of food, drink, and even that tiny taste of candy, cookie, cake…you get the picture. Keeping a food journal helps us be more mindful of what we’re eating and may call attention to mindless snacking we hadn’t noticed before.

Keep in mind that your daily actions are what determine your outcome. Make reaching your weight-loss goal part of your healthy lifestyle. Make a conscious decision that you’re in it for life and you’re not on a diet. Diets are temporary; that’s why they don’t work. Be patient.

Now, let’s say you hop on the scale and you’ve lost a few pounds. Congratulations! That’s great! Maybe you expected the weight loss, maybe you didn’t. Either way, enjoy the weight loss and keep the good nutrition going.

Remember, that the scale is not the enemy. In my experience with weight loss/management, what’s hard to lose is super easy to gain, and, like it or not, the scale is a reliable tool for measuring weight.

Another great tool is a tape measure – Measure your waist, hips, thighs, and biceps. According to most health professionals, your waist measurement should be no more than half your height. Depending on your workout and nutrition routine, losses may show more in inches than in pounds.   apple

If you want to lose a few pounds or if you’re interested in maintaining your weight, it’s important to weigh and measure yourself to help you stay focused on eating healthy, nutritious food.

Most of the time, I really don’t need to hop on the scale or measure myself to know I’ve put on a few pounds. Last summer, after a 7-day cruise of eating rich food aplenty and indulging in dessert nearly every night, I dreaded getting on the scale. I knew I had gained weight. I could feel it. The only question was how much?

The scale confirmed what I already knew, but somehow, seeing that number burst my rationalization bubble and helped me get back on track faster than I would have without it.

Never give up! No matter what the scale says, never give up! Commit to a healthy lifestyle and use the scale to your benefit.

So, are you a weigh-er or a weigh-not-er? What works best for you?