Shortly before the New Year I hit 30. It got me thinking. Thinking that i'm no spring chicken any more. Thinking that i'm definitly not getting any younger. Thinking that I am ready for some big changes, some long over due ones. Some steps that i feel will make me a better Sonja.
I am currently (sigh) at my heaviest weight i've ever been (not including pregnancy). Not only is that not very appealing to look at it is just plain not healthy. The older i get the harder it will be to get this extra weight off and to keep up healthy eating habits.
The past couple years, we'll probably more than a couple, i've really let too many things fall by the way side. One of the most important is my health. So as some of you may know, Oct/Nov I ventured into the friendly world of veganism. It honestly was a whole new world. One very different than i was use to. It took some time and some major changes, but honestly I really enjoyed it. I did not feel limited at all, quite the opposite actually i felt like there were just so many new and tasty things to try. It got me cooking more at home, which i love to do, and is cheaper :) It got me feeling like i had tons more energy. It did not however help me loose any weight, quite possibily the only thing that i was dissapointed in, other than my inability to use egg replacer. I spent about 2 months being mostly vegan. Then just as quickly as I decided to start eating vegan (no meat, no dairy, no egg, no animal product at all) I one day decided that I no longer wanted to eat vegan. Quite dissapointing actually, especially because i went from one extreme to the other, eating no animal, cooking healthy at home, to clearing out my freezer of the cow meat Bex and Bri gave us last summer (very tasty, thank you) and eating of all places McDonalds, KFC, and Taco Bell. I was a little worried at first that I would have problems adding meat and dairy back into my body and my life, so i started slow, I really didnt avoid it for that long, but to be cautious, i took baby steps. And honestly was A-ok, i did go back to having an upset stomach more often, which is one of the things i noticed during my vegan days, i never had the frequent 'upset stomach' issues.
Funny thing is i made it all the way through and past Thanksgiving (my fav. holiday) being mainly vegan! It wasnt until after the holiday that i got a cold that just wouldnt leave me alone. Part of it was my grumpy sick butt that didnt want to deal w/ vegan chicken noodle soup(which wasnt too bad) and part of it was me feeling like my body needed more than i was giving it to get better. i'm sure alot of it was lack of vitamins, vegan or not, i've never been a very balanced meal eater, and i still feel like its such a pain to keep track of what i've eaten and what i might be needing. I seriously wish i had the $ to have someone help me out with this task. a personal chef/nutrionist would be the best thing ever :)
For the last month/6 weeks, i've been really going back and forth between healthy/vegan/vegetarian and just extreme fast food. One of my many new years resolutions oen of the main 3 is to get my eating back on track. Not necessarily back to vegan. Sorry dear Angie :) I do believe being temporarily vegan exposed me to lots of new foods, and tasty things that i will continue to enjoy in my diet. I also learned many things from eating vegan/vegetarian. I do believe for me, at this point in my life, i dont want to be completely vegan. and its not just the weird looks i get when i have to explain to people what vegan is and just why i've decided to make eating so complicated, ha. Partially it is because I honestly dont believe that excluding any major food group is something i want to do. For as long as i've had a relationship with food, i honestly dont know enough about it. About how it helps me and works in my body. I would like to find a healthy eating style (not diet) that works for me. It will include lots of new fun receipes that i have found on veganyumyum.com and other lovely sites labeled as vegan or vegetarian (i also have a couple fun cook books) but i would like for it to also include lean meats and dairy products.
I am not saying that becoming vegan or vegetarian is out of the question forever, i'm saying right now its not for me. One of the reasons I spur of the moment decided to eat vegan for a month wasnt because of animal cruelty or because my dear friend angie is (there was no pressure from her at all, just acceptance and understanding, which is one of the reasons i love her so much) but because of the things i was reading about being vegan and how that and macrobiotic diets (not sure i can try that one, sooo bland, and excludes so many things i really love like chocolate and processed foods, ha) honestly those are some of the things i definitly want to cut out on my 2010 Sonja diet, the processed refined foods. I really liked the idea of the yin and yang (dad taught me about that long ago, Kung Fu and Tai Chi are all about it) and the energy of food and how it affects us. I have read that these diets can help to ward off or get rid of serious deseases like cancer. It runs in my family, as it does everyone elses. But I like to think that doing everything i can do avoid getting cancer is a must.
I agree that our foods are too fake these days, the processed ones are over stimulating, like extreme dorito's and fake cheesey macaroni that i love so much. We've gotten so far away from the natural things the real foods, and so into the microwavable over flavored fake processed foods. Discovering a vegan diet helped me so much see this more, and to really taste real foods again. When your taste buds are not over stimulated by extreme cheetos, then broccoli and carrots just taste so much better. It took away alot of the processed foods, because there really is some kind of animal product in so many of our processed foods, either milk, or egg, even in things you dont think they'd be in. And i agree not all these products are bad, but it helped me to read labels more and make my own decisions on what to eat, becoming more aware of what i'm putting in my body. Then i guess i got overwhelmed and lazy and gave up, as i often do when things become too much. That part of being vegan i'd like to keep, the awareness of what i'm eating, reading labels and saying no to things that i just dont need. Being vegan taught me to cook much more with vegetables, which i really do love so much. A regular diet, really is mainly meat, with smaller sides, of usually potato or processed packets of rice and such. little vegetable. I made so many amazing dishes vegetable stirfry w/ tofu (which i really do enjoy, and love that it is so cheap, easy to prepair, and very versitile) minnestrone soup, yummy whole wheat pancakes.
I have been wanting to do a 'vegan' blog, but havent gotten around to it, i am also still working on my hawaii blog, (another one of my new years resolutions, to get caught up w/ the blogging, that i enjoy so very much.) I will not go over board in this one w/ vegan details, i want to share lots of yummy pics and feelings from my vegan adventures with you all, soon :)
To wrap up my healthy eating thoughts, I plan to in 2010, be a healthier me and be much more consious of what i am putting in to my body and my childrens also. Goddess give me the strenght to make this possible despite tim's junk food habbits! I plan to learn more about the food pyramid, I plan to explore more vegan and vegetarian dishes, and encorperate them into my eating habits a large percent of the time, while not forgeting that I do need protein, weather it animal or plant. Part of the problem or hesitation on my part, asside from my lazyness, is i dotn know what is healthy for me, some say milk is healthy, others say its not, they keep going back and forth on weather eggs are good for you. I am excited to learn more in general about food, and how it makes my body work. I am going to be more aware of the vitamins that my body needs from food, and or from suppliment. I AM ready to be a healthier and thus happier Sonja.
This is a big one also (another of the big 3 goals/resolutions i previously mentioned). I struggle as most of us do with exercise. Its odd because the more you do it the better you feel, and when you are on track everything is great and you have more energy and you feel great, and then something happens, usually doesnt take much for me, and then your off track. When i get off track and off schedule for whatever reason, it seems like i have such a hard time getting back on, finding the energy to start up and to be on a regular schedule. I know the holidays do that to us all in one way or another, but honestly its no excuse. So that is why I have officially (yes officially) decided that 2010 will be the year i get my body back. Its been gone for way too long, and as i said i'm not getting any younger, dont want to start getting uhealthy b/c im over weight. I go through phases with exercise. We have a love hate relationship. Sometimes i just wish i'd develope a exercise addiction. I really do enjoy it, I just dont make the time for it, its not that i dont have the time, we make time for the things we want to. And i very much know that when I do exercise i have more energy and then there really is more time. Its just that initial push that i have a hard time with. Being overweight doesnt help because its hard to start, you sweat, you burn, its hard! Your body is telling you to stop, but when you are done and your legs are sore and your tired, its that good tired, that good sore, not the lazy tired.
Yoga is something I very much enjoy. It feels good, its really not so hard to do, though i do have a fat burning yoga tape i really enjoy that gets me pretty sweaty. I think i would really benefit mind and body from starting my day with yoga. One problem here is that I am so not a morning person, even when i dont stay up late, mornings just are not for me. And that is when i like to get my yoga in, in my ideal world i'd wake before everyone and get my 30-1 hr in of yoga and quite balanced me time. I was for awhile doing yoga in the 2 hr time frame that i have after dropping off the last kid and before i had to get ty at 11. However some days I had errands I had to run in that time slot, and the weekends usually messed that up completely. I really want a schedule a set routine everyday so i dont get off track. I need organized and a daily planned schedule to get me back on my exercise track. I'm excited to work on this. Today was suppose to be day one of this (because jan 1st, i was out of town, and pushed my day one start to a MOnday) and when the alarm went off today at 6:30 exercise was the last thing on my mind. Partially because I stayed up too late watching The Hangover with Tim (i dont get enough tim time) and partially because after 2 weeks of being off school schedule it was pushing it. Also I took the car into Fred's today to get checked out, so got back here late. Ty didnt go to school b/c of the car situation either, and so hard to do yoga with ty around....so ya see i always have a million and one excuses not to. I just might not get to it till tomorrow, have to work tonight. Here i am on my butt in front of the computer, not exercising not even shoveling the tons of snow we have, that i really should be, but I HATE the cold. I for some reason just feel like i have to start the day with it or i loose my motivation, that oh well missed this day so have to wait till tomorrow, i think its a desease, ha.
Aside from my on again off again love affair with Yoga, i've been sparatically going over to my dads, usually 3 times a week to practice and relearn my childhood torment, Kung Fu. Like the vegan idea, this one was a spur of the moment decision. I called my dad and suggested it to him quickly before i could change my mind. I am very glad that I did. We have missed a couple weeks with the holiday, but plan to get back at it now that the holidays are over. I am very bad about doing this alone, the Kung Fu. I really enjoy the time spent with dad, and I am pretty sure he is enjoying it and benefiting from it as well. Tyler also gets to spend time with is buddy Uncle JM. When we were younger dad made us go to his Kung Fu classes, I hated it, alot of that had to do with it being saturday morning and back then we didnt have cartoons 24/7 they were mainly saturday morning! John and I barely went through the motions, correcting moves when dad nagged us then loosing them when he looked away, it was hard, and we were just not into it. One day I was just thinking back on it and thought it would be something i should get back into, i really have the basics, even if they are not really right, and i very much enjoy spending time with dad, and knew it would be good for Ty and JM to see eachother more. So for awhile now we have been trying to meet at least 3 times a week to go over those oh so torturous moves that i hated as a kid. I am really enjoying it, and seeing it from a whole new point of view. I am not trying as hard as i could be, i need to practice more at home even when dad and i dont get together. But it is a start one i plan to continue and do much more of this year.
The only other attempt i have made to exercise is the Jillian Michaels tapes i've bought last month, maybe end of november, i have only done it a couple times, maybe 4, but really enjoy that the one that promises to make me 20 lbs lighter in 30 days, is only 20 min long. Angie and Rebecca both recomend them and if she can get those big people on The Biggest Loser to drop the pounds, i should be able o do it. It is intense but short, and it gets ya moving, i dont feel extreme pain when done either, just a little sore, if only i would keep it up. I have to many excuses as to why i havent kept it up. A lot of it has to do with my dislike of being watched when i exercise, and we really have an open door policy at our house, we have 5 of our own children and often, especially holiday time we have a neice and or nephew around. And i am just not comfortable with my body and dont want a 13 yr old to see me jumping and sweaty in the living room. But the kids are now back to school, and the house is empty during the day, except for tim, who sleeps days, and no more excuses, i'm ready to get back into those clothes in the closet that have not fit me in sooo long. i'm ready to be more comfortable in my own body, i'm ready to loose some serious weight. I'd be happy with the 20 that Jillian promises, although i'm definitly at least 30 heavier than highschool, i'm being resonable, but i wasnt so thin back then, so if this year i can drop at least what i've gained since before i had Ty, 3 yrs ago, then i'd be happy.
" A smile is an indication of a happy heart, and when you smile it changes your perception. It can create a better day...even if you dont feel like smiling if you force yourself to smile you will change your state of mind" -Goldie Hawn
Which leads me to #3 of the important resolutions for 2010 and a better Sonja. I want to be Happy, or should I say Happier. I am a pretty lucky person, I have 2 beautiful, smart, healthy children, a wonderful man who loves me, a job, a house, my health. I am so much luckier than alot of people. However i am one of those people that has to remind myself to be happy. So 2010 will be the year of the happy Sonja, I will try to be more positive, i will try to smile more, to laugh more, to not stress so much, i am saying try... If i constantly remind myself to smile, or just start my day out with a smile, it will lead to a more positive day to a happier me.
There are lots of little things that i plan to do to keep myself happy and sane. The eating right and exercising will definitly help. I also plan to try some meditating, it goes hand in hand with the yoga and breathing, i've been wanting to for quite awhile, i think it will greatly help to destress me, if i can find a quite place to do it. again with the getting up early before kids and before phone solisiters call....
I love to read positive books and self help books, i love o read period, and i've read some boring self help books, but i really do find that when i read positive things or keep happy quotes around they brighten my mood. I am currently reading Goldie Hawn's A Lotus Grow's in the Mud, for the second time. I dont know her much as an actress, but i just love her biography, she really is a happy person, she laughs and smiles all the time, i am so envous of that. She has been so many places and experienced alot. I find her story very inspiring. I felt this way also while reading Eat, Pray, Love. Both of these women took long periods of time to discover the real woman they are are and to be happy. I definitly consider them wonderful role models.
Another thing i want to do that i feel will make me a happier me is to spend more time with my kids. I really do spend a lot of time with them, they are always in my room, we cook together we play board games, i feel we are very close and i am blessed with 2 really amazing children of my own and some really awesome step children. I have my days with all of them, after all they are children, but in the spirit of remaining positive i will admit, i really do enjoy each and every one of them, not all the time, but most of the time, i feel very lucky to be surrounded by these amazing wonders. each of them has their own special things that i just love, and admire. I plan to spend much more time with them on a one on one basis so that i can really get to know them and enjoy them, hopefully creating a better bond between us. All of them are changing so quickly and growing way too fast. I dont want to miss out on these moments.
Lets seee what else makes me happy..... blogging is something i really enjoy, its gets all those thoughts out of my head and keeps them from bouncing around and driving me crazy with too much thinking. Its is the easiest way for me to communicate with all of my loved ones. So many of you have let me know how much you enjoy my blogs, and updates and it means so much to me. Too many of my treasured friends and family live too far away for me to see often, that is why i'm so glad that we can keep in touch with one another through the wonder that is the internet. I love it so much when you all let me know how much you enjoy my blog and comment back :) I plan to not only keep more up to date (after i get caught up, ha) on my blog, I plan to be better about correspondance with all of my loved ones on a one on one basis. E-mail, texting, even old fashion mail, just makes me extremely happy when i get it, and hope that you all feel the same way. I think of you all so often and am glad there are so many ways to keep in touch, although it doesnt always happen as often as i would like to, i try to keep it up. I am not much of a phone person, that is one thing i dont feel like i have alot of time or patience for sadly, but i do love you all.
A few more things that make me happy are photography, scrapbooking, music, time with my girlfriends. I plan to make sure that i routinely make time to not forget about doing these things that make me happy, because when i am happy it will make me a much more productive person, mother, friend, & lover.
I really have so many things that i want 2010 to be, things that i have wanted for so long but was not ready to change. Dr. James Gordon says "Its not that some people have will power and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not". It makes alot of sense to me. We become so comfortable with our lives, and dont want to change. I do feel however that I AM READY for change. I have become too unhappy with the way I am, and instead of complaining about i am going to make the change I want. "It's my body. If I don't take responsibility for keeping it healthy, who else will" The oh so wise Sarah Chalke who looks amazing by the way said this in an article and it makes the most sense i've heard in awhile. No one else is going to do this for me, I have to do this for me. I have so many great people in my life and i really appriciate all the encourage ment you all always give me, but you cant help me if i dont want to be helped. "There is nothing stopping you but yourself" I dont know who said this one but it might be my favorite, i have often quoted that "I am my own worst enemy" and cant agree more.
From a Rolling Stone article with the oh so hot Taylor Lautner, "If you dont give 110% you are not going to get anywhere" I plan to commit myself to a better me, I know that i will not always give 110% but even if i do 50% of the time, it will be a great thing. I understand i have to allow for slips and then move past them and know they are part of a healthy way to change.
Those really are the 3 main things that I will be working on for 2010, for my 30th year of life on this planet, hoping that they will lead me into a healthier, happier, wiser life, one that i crave so greatly.
Maybe as important as the main 3 but things I seriously plan to tackle in 2010
Being Positive maybe a hard one for me, but one i definitly want to work on. It works well with my 3 main goals, I appriciate all my positive people in my life that keep me positive. I want to read some more on positive energy and people, dad has talked to me some about this. Which is why i have already gotten rid of some of the negative people in my life, or avoided ones that just make me feel negative. I'm at a point in my life where i'm realizing i dont have to do things or be around people that just dont make me feel good.
I complain alot, i think we all, we are all really spoiled as americans especially. I have so many things i dont need, and all i do is want more. I complain about what i dont have, i complain about the annoying people that i run into on a daily basis. and for what good, why am i giving them the power over me to affect my mood. i am not changing anything by complaining, i am doing nothing but making myself more negative, and possibily the people that i am complaining to. I want to change this. It might be the hardest thing i do, but if i stay positive and you stay positive then maybe we can change the world one step at a time through kindess, ha, i can dream :)
Goldie said "my passion and comittment to work was no longer tempered by the fear of not being liked" a light bulb went on for me. I am soooo afraid of what others think, why? And i am also so afraid of doing wrong of being in trouble, it is almost a phobia, i let it rule my life, and for what, i dont need that negative energy running through me. The stress is not worth it.
"Without fear we can not evolve. It is a natural human emotion that protects us from harm or even death. It creates something called the "fight or flight response" where people either fight or run away. But fear is also one of the most destructive emotions we have. It can quickly manifest into anger. And as we all know, anger can be poisonous. You must approach your fears with as much truth and courage as you can." again the wise Goldie Hawn.
I too often feel this way, I am afraid of too much, of things i dont need to be. the dark, intruders, something happening to my kids, global warming, etc. things i dont have much control over. I am going to find ways to let go of these fears, it wont be easy but will be oh so worth it.
I will be positive because i know i have so much more then alot do, and i have the ability to be aware of this, even though the tv is throwing things at me, trying to get me to see what i dont have and how much happier i could be if i had more, or if i was more like someone else. I am ready to be me. i am ready to simplify to be happier in my skin as me, not as who i think i should be based on what they are telling me to be, hoping that i can choose the right path for myself, and not get too lost along the way.
"People in countries with greater poverty and deprivation often have a very high sense of well-being and satisfaction, while those in Westernized societies such as our own are, believe it or not, way down the scale." Goldie talks of this after she went to Russia and discovered how much the government ruled the people over there, and still despite what they didnt have they had one another and they were happy people. I have to try and remind myself although i may not have things the way that i want them or even the things i want that maybe i have what i need, i have so many loved ones in my life that make me feel so much better than a new car would.
Patience is a hard one for me, i am hoping the yoga and the meditation and the positive energy i hope to create will help me with this one. there are just too many people out there that frankly bother me, i have to say that partally it is from my father, he instilled a very sure sense of right and wrong for me, weather it really was right and wrong (and who's to say what is) these are the guidlines i go by and when i see others who just dont think they have to follow these rules. It seriously bothers me. Tim is one of these people, love him to death, but he just doesnt think he has to follow some rules and laws that i think are very important. I guess tim in his own special way is teaching me patience, or he likes to think he is, but i get so stressed about it. often i want to yell to people and say "dont you know right from wrong" and i dont know that it is that they do or dont know, they just dont care. And that maybe one of the differences between me and them, that i care, i know right from wrong, not that i always am right, but i like to try and follow rules and laws, so that i can teach my children what is right and wrong. There are so many people that didnt get this idea across to there children early enough and its caos out there folks. So goddess (yes since i am not so much a religous person, i have started saying goddess instead of the god i often say, which i'm not sure why i did not being religious, i'm not sure i believe in god, but if i did god would be a woman and look very much like Alanis Morrisette, I do however more so believe in goddess') willingly I will try this year to be a more patient person and understand that not everyone was raised by such great parents like i was. and that maybe there are some people out there that just are not on the same mental level that i am.
Patience is a great gift. I hope that i can acheive this priceless trait.
Some more specific goals that i have are:
To be cleaner, its sooo hard with my lazy desease and so many kids, but it really isnt so much if i keep up on it and get the kids involved, which will hopefully make them clean adults when they decide to move out. I start these plans and lists and try to schedule times to get things done and endless to do lists and often get overwhelmed or side tracked and then its all gone to pot.
Getting Bills paid off. I wont tell you at this point just how much we are in debt, it is very imbarassing, I am horrible with money and tim is worse, yes worse than horrible. We both have really bad money management skills, and like to spend it. There is always money in tims pocket from work and its easier to think you have money when you can see it. I miss the days of direct deposit. We will after next month have our car paid off. I did just speak to Fred's wife who is working on my car, Fred not Cory, and have to replace the Central Electronic Module, which will cost $1,250. We plan to get this worked on next week, yikes, because definitly wont have $ this week for it, might not next. So after all that we should be to a minimal with the car, fingers crossed, at least no car payments, i dream of getting a second vehicle but that is when i win the lotto. We really need to focus on bills that are beyond past due. Hopefully since i partially winterized this winter, our Nipsco bill wont be outragous, just midly high, ha. But we really need to start chipping away at our hill of debt, even if it is $20 at at time. I know i could eat out a lot less. I'm not sure i can get tim to stop going to the movies though. We really do live a more extravagant life than we need to. I have a couple times tried to start a budget and stick to it, but we never really have a set pay amount and i defintly cant get tim to keep track of what he spends or even curb it really so its hard. i do however keep track of what I spend on a spread sheet or at least i have the receipts, yeah another thing to put on the to do list. I need to file my taxes asap, that might help pay for the gas bill....
Get organized! I use to think i was a pretty organized person, and then it all went out the door. Tim is the most unorganized person i have ever met, and i have decided that i just dont have the energy to try and get him organized, i go through his stuff periodically and try to keep track of business stuff for him but often am overwhelmed. I do plan to at least get myself organized paperwork wise and schedule wise this year.
I am also going to try to inspire tim to be healthy and organized with my efforts, he says he will exercise and eat healthy with me, but sometimes he is just too tired and we are on different schedules that it doesnt work out that way. I will encourage him without nagging. He needs someone to nag him in order to be motivated i just dont want to be that person, i hate bitching! It just gets me mad. He might like it when i'm mad, but i sure dont, and it doesnt go along w/ my positive happy goals, so i am going to find a way to encourage him without discouraging myself.
Taking better care of myself, this goes with the 3 major goals, but really includes so much more, The heavier I got the less I tried, my hair, my nails, shaving, oral hygen (i do brush, just dont floss as much as i need too, or whiten) these things that i dont keep up on, i plan to add to my daily routine. I sometimes feel overwhelmed, ok often, and i honestly know that if i got up and straightened my hair and put on some make up even if i'm not going anywhere special that it will make me feel better. So i plan to paint my nails more, whiten my teeth every night, and just be girlier. Hopefully this will encourage my pre teen girl to learn some good grooming habbits, dont get me wrong I dont want her to get all weird and insecure about how she looks, but i want her to see she can feel pretty by just wearing her hair different & painting her toes. I plan for the two of us to enjoy girlie things together. It really wont be that long before she is gone all the time, and i will miss her so much!
I'm sure there is more i need to work on, but right now these are the things that i want, the things that i am willing to work on to make me a happier better person.
Well it was long, as they usually are, but a great start to one of my goals, more blogging :)
I honestly hope that 2010 brings lots of great things for not only me but for all of you!
"I am the master of my fate. I am the capitain of my soul." William Ernest Henly
i'm off to Fred's to collect my grumpy old car....