On February 22nd, 2014, Scott and I met our friends, Tina & Rob, in Miami Florida, one night prior to sailing to the Western Caribbean, for 6 nights on the Carnival Breeze. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our 5th Anniversary with lots of food, folks, and fun. Here are the highlights broken down by Ship Amenities, Excursions, and Food.
Success! I made it through my first week of eating mostly fruits and vegetables, 3 meals with organic protein, nuts and dried fruit as snacks, and water and tea as beverages.
Ok, that’s it. I’ve had it. After 7 nights of vacation, a wonderful cruise in the Western Caribbean jam-packed (literally) with food, folks, and fun…I am 100% ready for detox. A food detox, that is. Don’t worry. I’m not turning anti-social or anti-fun. Although, I presume what I’m about to do will greatly improve my social and recreational lifestyle, significantly.
Yesterday, I made a visit to the ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) Doctor. I’ve been so preoccupied with other health symptoms that I hadn’t realized how bad my allergy symptoms were getting. I can’t remember the last time I could breathe through my nose, let alone go through a day without several allergy attacks. Guess you could say, I just couldn’t take it anymore.
I’ve added a new section to my blog, today, called Living Half Healthy. From today forward, I will be posting occasional updates, articles, inspirations, and prayers for those of us who live with health issues. This has been on my heart to do for a long time, now.
While some of my personal health issues are fairly common, minor, acceptable, and validated. Others are complex, unknown, invalidated, and cringe-worthy.
After I published the post titled, “From Suffering to Gratitude” in which I mentioned my struggle with Endometriosis and PMDD, I received several private comments from women who had been struggling (with the PMDD, specifically) in silence, as I had, for such a long time. It helped me realize how important it is for me to share my experiences with others.
And so, in between my posts of recipes, house renovations, and extraordinary life experiences and excursions, I will be sharing about my daily struggle with Endometriosis, PMDD, Hypothyroidism, Chronic Allergies, and Epstein Barr Virus/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
You may be able to relate directly or indirectly to this subject in LE Woman. But just as a warning, don’t expect to read my story without a dose of encouragement! Remember, my objective is always to inspire you to live an EXTRAordinary life with me…in spite of our circumstances. Alright then? OK!
Dear God, Please bless this page on my website. May it bring readers that are sincerely interested in living an EXTRAordinary Life. Amen.
Sometimes, on rare occasion, I am asked for my take on diet & exercise. I usually assert my personal tongue in cheek phrase, Snickers and Squats.
I am not embarrassed to admit that I have a very healthy appetite. I can out-eat most men. I’ve entered several All-You-Can-Eat Wing Bowls- Once, against a large group of high school boys (as their church youth leader) and eh hem, won first prize. And yes, I am often spotted holding up buffet lines with my second helping of dinner or dessert. What can I say? My appetite is EXTRAordinary.
Last summer, my husband and I were at one of our favorite breakfast places on the outskirts of Margate called Hannah G’s that makes ridiculous Belgium Waffles. One morning, as we were enjoying our breakfast at our table outside, a line formed alongside the pavement with several hungry patrons. A group of women were staring at me, as I plowed through my waffle, with my mile high whipped cream and berries. (And yes, syrup, too.)
At one point, one of the ladies sarcastically asked my husband, “So, let me guess…that will probably be her only meal for the day, right?” Scott looked at me (at this point my face was half-way buried in the whipped cream), then replied, “Umm no. She’ll still eat a lunch and dinner…and probably more after that.”
There was silence. I’m presuming they were either shocked or unsatisfied with his reply. I wasn’t fazed. I have grown accustomed to the sarcasm over the years. But, I can’t help it that I eat more than ordinary. I am 5’10”. I will at least admit and agree that this most certainly is an advantage and most likely the reason why I eat more. I have more cells than someone with my exact measurements who stands 5’5”. So in my perspective, I legitimately have more cells to feed.
Interestingly, I have always sought balance in my life. Even as an awkward frame-less adolescent. I used to wake up at 5am on Saturday mornings, turn on the TV in my bedroom, and follow this corny exercise program called the 20-Minute Work-out. Does anyone remember this show from the 80’s? With the girls and their feathered, frizzy hair… and leg warmers! I did this ridiculous regime most Saturdays for as long as I can remember. And, I didn’t even have a butt or boobs to firm up back then. But, I guess in my wacky head I was attempting to “balance” my over-indulgence of food with my sacrifice of 20 minutes every Saturday. Come to think of it now, that hardly seems equitable.
As an adult, I have pretty much done it all (exercise-wise) to compensate for my affinity towards calorie consumption…from Aerobics Instructor, to Personal Trainer, to Mixed Martial Arts Aficionado. I eat well. But, I actually enjoy burning off the calories. Therefore, my personal mantra of balancing snickers and squats while maintaining a fairly healthy physique, has been working for me.
However, there are more than just calories to balance in our lives. Like anyone else, I need to work at balancing the other resources in my life, such as my time, my dollar, and my energy. And there are many areas in my life that have suffered due to an imbalance of resources.
My loved ones will undoubtedly testify that I was guilty of expending too many resources (of time and energy) at the workplace. As a result, my health suffered. My marriage suffered. Anxiety, frustration, and insomnia became the daily norm for me. I was extremely unhappy and depressed. And I never felt rested, caught-up, or even content. I had to fall hard before I was even consciously willing to let go. It was an extremely painful recovery before I accepted the changes that I so desperately needed to make. This was not as easy as compensating snickers with squats. Please don’t make this mistake, my friends.
Which brings me to a few questions for you. How are you doing with balancing your life? Are you spending too much time, energy, or money in one area and completely neglecting another? Are you taking care of your health, exercising in conjunction to calorie consumption, and feeding your mind, daily with HEALTHY material? Are you balancing your budget and living the life-style within your means? Are you making time for important relationships? Are you reserving some energy for yourself and enjoying your interests or hobbies?
I know I need support to balance these areas. Will you support me as I support you in achieving a balanced lifestyle? And while you’re at it, give me 10 squats and I’ll share my Snickers with you.
PS In her book, Becoming the Woman God Wants You to Be, Donna Partow provides an inspirational 90-Day Challenge with extraordinary tips and relevant advice on achieving a balanced lifestyle. She addresses every practical area from household management to retirement planning. Her book was one of several books that I have read during my personal hiatus that has helped catapult me from a difficult time period to my decision in initiating the LE Woman Network. You can try a sample read on your Kindle by visiting: http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Woman-God-Wants-Me/dp/0800730720