Experiencing Autumn

I love seasonal changes. It is the perfect balance between newness and vitality and stability. The seasons come over and over but each time a new one begins it feels fresh and new.

If any of my readers are Myers-Briggs personality junkies like I am, I will admit that I’m an INFJ. We are the introverts who often function as extroverts, the dreamers with our heads in the clouds, the worriers, the ones reading everyone in the room and ignoring our inner self. Our five senses are often underused.

My husband is an ESTP. They’re the comedians and people persons of the world. Think Jim Carey and take it down a few notches and you have my husband. The great thing about him is he will take a morning walk with his oatmeal, not caring a bit who sees him, to breathe in the fresh air, look at the trees, and chat with anyone who comes by. He often stops mid-sentence in awe of creation.

This year I’m trying to think in those same terms. Fall is my favorite season and I adore the weather and blue skies of October. There is nothing else like it to me. So I’m trying to slow down and experience it. Here are a few things I’ve done:

  • Tried new recipes with fall flavors
  • Slowed down during my meals, really tasting my food
  • Eaten outside
  • Taken walks to new places
  • Watched new-to-me movies with my kids…mostly to experience their laughter and joy
  • Traveled
  • Read books that had fall settings
  • Changed up my fitness routine

Are you a person who experiences life or is so busy in your mind and with your hands that days slip by without notice? Share with me your tips and tricks for really experiencing the here and now.

Meeting your Wellness Goals in a Perfectly Imperfect World

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I was recently asked some readers for feedback on my Facebook page about what keeps them from meeting their health, fitness, or wellness goals. Here were some of their answers:

  • Distraction
  • Depression
  • Illness
  • Work
  • Children
  • Busyness
  • Unexpected Curveballs
  • Lack of focus
  • Long-term health issues

 

I felt overwhelmed with what these wonderful women shared with me. I wanted to help but I had no easy answers. And what I do know is going to sound so trite. Because it all boils down to this: Life gets in the way of our best-laid plans.

 

 

So what do we do? Especially those of us Type As who want to do it all and do it perfectly?

I recently talked with a friend who was reading a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. While the title was off-putting, I looked into the main point of the book. You know what it boils down to? Embracing imperfections in yourself and the world around you. And not seeing every flaw as something to be improved upon.

And that’s just it. What if we give ourselves a break? What if we look at areas we really struggle with (perhaps getting up early for a workout or not eating lots of sugar) and dig deep into the why of it. Why do I struggle with it? Is it really important to me? Maybe I need to embrace seeing exercise, nutrition, and wellness as something I do “good enough,”  rather than perfectly, always striving for some elusive or impossible goal. What if I make my health, fitness and nutritional goals serve me. Now they’re something I do to improve my ability to enjoy my life and live better. Once I do this it becomes much easier to make a fitness plan that fits into this total package that is my imperfectly perfect life.

So let’s agree to embrace wellness and not just fitness. I think we’ll discover that it changes the dialogue in our minds about our health journey. Sometimes giving ourselves a break can lead to our best breakthroughs.

The Scale Does Not Define You

My daughter (a college sophomore) has been to the doctor twice in less than two weeks. She was rarely sick…until college. So she went once to get a refill for face medicine (she may kill me for telling you that, haha) and today because she had a sinus infection. A week and a half ago the doctor’s scale weighed her five pounds less than it did today. She had on heavier clothing and boots today (Hurricane Irma made it colder than usual here), which accounted for some of the difference, and we know she’s still the same size. But she admitted to me that it bugged her anyway. We had a great discussion about how the scale bothers most of us as women and can dictate our mood, etc. Even though we KNOW fluctuations occur due to what we’ve eaten, hormonal cycles, clothing we wear, etc.

So today, I want to remind you of what the scale tells you:  how much gravity is holding you to this earth. Period. Now, it may tell me that I need to lose a bit of “gravity” 😉 (and yes, it has done that before). It may tell me that I’ve been upset and avoiding dealing with things and my eating of cookies and drinking lots of iced coffee has caught up with me. That happened to me last fall when two of my kids moved out and on to work and college within two months of one another.  So, I looked reality in the face and did something about it.

But, in the end, what the scale DOESN’T tell you is so much more. It doesn’t tell you how uniquely made you are. How much of an impact you make in the lives of others. How strong you are. How gifted, talented, beautiful or handsome, and deeply loved by others you are. How you are on this earth to make a difference that only you can make.

So, when the negativity kicks in, step back, take a deep breath, and remember your worth. And if necessary, throw out your scale and find other ways to measure your health and well-being. And remember, what’s really holding you to earth isn’t gravity; it’s the truth that you are here for “such a time as this.” (Holy Bible, Esther 4:14).

My Top Tip for Summer Body Confidence

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Summer time! Shorts, t-shirts, bathing suits…and lots of photoshopped images of body perfection. Well, forget that. I’m all about whole-body health, and that starts in the mind!

Or does it? There is tons of information out there these days about “positive self-talk,” “loving yourself,”  and “embracing your flaws.” But this isn’t easy to do and takes lots of time. In the meantime, life goes by and we realize we’ve been too uncomfortable to put on the bathing suit, put on the shorts, and enjoy life outdoors.

So today, I’m giving you my very best tip. It is easy, quick, and doesn’t take any type of thinking or mind-blowing change. It’s self-tanner!

Seriously, this was a game-changer. I have tried tons of them and will tell you, from a 52-year-old’s persepective, that it really does improve the appearance of any cellulite. spider veins, bumps or lumps. And that in itself helps you to be more confident.

Okay, ladies here is my current favorite. There are many that last a long time and are much more expensive. But this is my budget-friendly tanning confidence in a nutshell.

Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizerdownload

I seriously love this stuff! I didn’t believe that it would work. You take a bath or shower, put some on and rub it in, pat yourself dry with a towel and get dressed. That’s it. It doesn’t have tons of that nasty self-tanner smell and is gradual and natural. I have used it daily or every other day all summer long. My husband even asked if I’d been out in the sun tanning myself (as a melanoma survivor my answer was a resounding no, as he hoped).

Clients|AlmayAlmay Healthy Glow Makeup plus Self Tanner with SPF 20

This stuff is really good. It looks natural and gives me more of a CC cream type coverage. Not too thick, not too little. Goldilocks perfection here. 😉 It is thick and can be a bit difficult to deal with since it ALSO contains sunscreen. I love multitasking products. I use an inexpensive foundation brush and also prepare my skin with a few drops of Rosehip oil (which is a favorite moisturizer of mine~a tip I learned from my friend Lisa Pentony of Pilates by Lisa. I put it on daily and my skin looks like it has a nice, subtle tan.

downloadSt Tropez Gradual Self Tanner with Bronze Tint

This stuff is fantastic. It works overnight, dries quickly, and contains self-tint that helps you not have streaks. It also lasts several days, meaning you don’t have to reapply as often as the Jergens. That said, it’s pricey at around $30 a bottle. I ‘ve not bought it yet but would DEFINITELY do so. It would be fabulous to use before a big event or vacation so you don’t have to deal with daily maintenance.

 

And, shout out to Ipsy! My $10 a month Glam Bag subscription contained the Wet Moisturizer Sample and the St Tropez so it was a great way to try those out.  If you’re interested in checking out Ipsy, here is the link: Ipsy. 

Do you use self-tanner? What are your quick and easy tips to feel good about yourself during the summer? Leave a comment and let me know.