I came, I saw, I ran…

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A journey begins with a single step. Taking care of yourself is a holistic approach – equal care is required for the mind, body & soul.

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The Week Ahead (aka my long walk back from a broken heart)

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Last week I promised to introduce a new weekly piece titled, The Week Ahead. The root of the idea is simple. I need to give myself SOMETHING ELSE to think about and stop looking backwards. The goal is forward progress and it’s impossible to do that if we are tethered to situations that no longer exist (past relationships, former jobs, lost friends/family, once-healthy savings accounts, foreclosed homes, or whatever is the thing keeping your mind and energy focused on everything except the present and future. http://www.flickr.com/photos/girolame/5032449047/in/photolist-8EGBLT-9E5NgN-8ooRS5-8SMrbV-8yRs8Z-8yRspk-hKq8Qi-7L9zwE-7F7JZk-a5b5zZ-988kNb-9E5KAE-7MBEbV-9E2UaZ-7F7K2F-7FbBZJ-7F7KdV-7FbBVL-bukMRo-7F7KwH-7FbCjs-9swg2U-8jA5mE-7FbC8y-hKqeS8-hKqnSN-7F7KmB-7MZpfZ-aidBjH-aidBbc-crJMfm-7Ekeey-9JvD6h-8suWSZ-8GWUQP-9ckWkm-9stgXg-7LnhgU-cRJUtJ-8H14Hb-8H12AS-9fFrko-8jA7W7-7Ek96o-7Ek7Bo-7QWiTw-ejzKUC-eju5bn-eju3Ut-ejzM2d-aUr9wD/lightbox/Let’s be clear, I am not trying to over-promise to you or to myself, which is why it’s the WEEK AHEAD and not the 30-60-90 or 120-day plan. We can all manage a week. Once we make it through this week, we can reevaluate and go for another 7-days. These weeks will become our mile markers.  The mile markers will soon add up and reveal how far we have progressed from where we are right now.

How will you support yourself this week? What goals or plans, big or small, are on the to-do list? 

Here is what I have lined up for myself:

  • Begin training for an upcoming 5K race.  In my previous post, When did I become that girl (& why I took myself off timeout) , I challenged myself to compete in my first Spartan race. Well, training begins this week. My program will consist of strength training and conditioning. Running is my nemesis, but these two apps are my keys to success.
  1. C25K – 5K Trainer – this free app is for new and novice runners and requires a 3-day per week commitment. Expect a 5-minute warm-up and cool-down with a mix of jogging/walking intervals to build up your stamina and condition your body to running. I used this for my first 5K in August and I highly recommend it, besides it’s FREE!
  2. MapMyRun – another free app designed for outdoor runs. Start this app before your jog and the built-in GPS will track your run by recording your pace, duration, distance and more. The upgraded version of the app will even suggest routes in your area.
  • Meal Prep! I love cooking, but the truth is, cooking solely for myself isn’t much fun. However, the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is in the food you consume. Check back later this week for a fun snapshot of my handiwork.
  • Volunteering at City Hall – there is a toy drive at the end of the week for children in the community. I will spend at least one evening this week assisting officials in wrapping presents, on behalf of Santa, of course.
  • Mani/pedi time – we don’t always have to be so deep with our actions, do we? Ladies or fellas, treat your hands and feet to the tiny miracle of a manicure or pedicure. Use the time to zone out, read a book or listen to that new Beyonce.

There it is… small actionable items to make this week better than last week. Share your ideas below.

As always, ASK MORE QUESTIONS and take care of you.

When did I become that girl (& why I took myself off timeout)?

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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/violarenate/

Photo Credit: Violarenate

Last week I asked the question, Is Dating with a Broken Heart a Waste of Time? After writing the piece, I released the thought. Rather than force myself into a decision and plan of action, I allowed myself to just BE. Be sad. Be angry. Be confused. Be the person that naps. Be hungry and eat unhealthy food. Be lazy. Be quiet. Be still. This weekend while I was in the middle of nothing important aka flipping channels on the couch, the answer to my question came to me as easily as my name. Take care of yourself before others! At our core, I firmly believe love is what connects us as people, but right now, I am not doing much in the way of connecting, unless you count connecting to Netflix, HBO Go, and X-box.

Much like the character of Bubble Boy, I have been keeping life at an arm’s distance. Working from home and winter’s arrival helps facilitate this nomad lifestyle. However, I am woman with interests, ambition and a love of trying new things. Where is she? Fitness, my elixir for a bad day, has taken a backseat to my pity party. For the past month, I have put myself on timeout and only Ben, Jerry, and local delivery restaurants were reaping the benefits.

Timeout is over. This would be a perfect place for a motivational phrase, but instead I will just fill you in on my plan.

  1. Get out of the house! I hate to disagree with Ernest Hemingway who famously said, never mistake motion with action, but he must deal with heartbreak differently than I do.  Going for a simple walk means feeling the cold air on my face, hearing the sounds move around me, and exchanging pleasantries with passersby.  It awakens my senses and reminds me that life goes on with or without me.
  2. Set a goal.  On April 12, 2014, I will participate in my first Spartan Race. This will give me something tangible to work towards that I can control.  My goal is to throw myself back into fitness. Let me clarify; this is not a typical tale of transforming my body so if the day ever comes where my ex and I cross paths, he rues the day we ever parted.  No. Working out brings me back to center.  It calms my mind and my outlook improves. It is the very best thing I can do to take care of myself.
  3. Put the pause on dating and relationships. It is not the right time for me.  The man of my dreams could be sitting next to me as I type this and I would be too blinded by the past and my heartache to notice. I need to own where I am right now, and by no means am I in a dating state of mind.

This is my 3-step plan to take myself OFF timeout. I invite you to think about what your 3 steps will be. What goal will you set for yourself?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Volunteer once a week for a month. (Tip: google “volunteer opportunities in <insert your city>” and watch how many you will find)
  • Clean out and organize your closets, drawers, desk, pantry, trunk of your car, and if you’re perfectly organized, find a friend who needs the help and call it their Holiday gift. Boom!
  • Train for a race (there are tons of free races for all fitness levels and distances)
  • Learn a new skill (cooking, language, web-coding, knitting, instruments, art, etc)
  • Read all those books you promised you would, but never quite opened or finished

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback and shared their own stories of heartbreak with me. My intention in creating this space is to ask more questions and share our stories. On Sunday, I will begin a new series called, The Week Ahead, to hold myself accountable to following my 3-steps.

Leave your comments below and share this article with those who may benefit.

Until next time, ASK MORE QUESTIONS.

Is Dating with a Broken Heart a Waste of Time?

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I have a broken heart. Yeah, I said it. Chances are you can relate to my pain. If you can’t relate, consider yourself lucky, scroll to the bottom of this post and share this link with someone who can. (Thanks.)

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Photo Credit: Dennis Skley
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/dskley/)

Do you remember going to the playground as a child and playing on the see saw? At its height, you felt like you were flying, soaring above the other kids and smiling broadly. Moments later came the inevitable thud when you slammed into the ground, knees tucked up to your chest with your feet digging into the dirt. Ow! But soon after you were back up top, feeling good, and so it went. Who would have thought that years later I would find myself back on a see saw, only this time, it is a Relationship See Saw.

For most of 2013, my heart has been in various stages of broken. It’s a familiar tale, my ex and I reunite for a few months, old issues resurface, we part, find our way back and so it continues. Each time I tell myself that it will be the last and I proudly announce that this time it’s really over. During our various breaks I try, really I do, to move on. I vow to find a relationship where we are aligned on our present AND our future. On the surface, I put in quite the effort. I select an outfit that reads, sexy-but-classy, perfect a smokey eye and slap a smile onto my face. But when I am sitting across from my date, it’s my ex on my mind. These men are all decent guys (some more than others, of course), but no red flags popping out around them. Their only flaw is that they are not my ex. The ease and comfort of free-flowing conversation is missing and don’t even get me started on the idea of even kissing them good night. I once exited a date so quickly, I damn near broke into a sweat racing to catch my train!

I date in body only because emotionally and spiritually I am reliving memories of the past and silently wishing for a chance at another future with the ex. Each time I agree to go out for drinks, dinner, movie, walk in the park, etc.. I pray that this is the meeting that releases me from my past and catapults me into a new direction. But much like Cinderella, I’m home by midnight, sometimes teary-eyed because I long for the intimacy that comes from a deep love-connection. My heart breaks open even wider when I flashback to how easy it was from the very first date to be with my ex. So, I ask, is dating with a broken heart a waste of time?  Have any of you found a new relationship while still licking wounds from the past? Is it better to be completely healed from yesterday? Or forge ahead even when your heart isn’t in it?

Leave your comments below & share this link with others.

Until next time, ASK MORE QUESTIONS!

Practicing what I preach…3 of 7 Complete

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Started the day with an early morning viewing of The Best Man: Holiday. Who could resist the eye candy? If you are a fan of the first film, you will enjoy the sequel. The cast chemistry continues and the story hits both tender and fun notes.

No point in making turkey for 1, so I opted for my beloved, Dominos, for pizza and wings! (Be sure to tip generously, we may be home on Thanksgiving, but they are out in the cold delivering our food).

What better way to pair my pizza than with a little NFL football? Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys is the second of three games on tap for today.

Before the night is done, I plan on seeing at least one episode of House of Cards. Netflix, you’ve been warned!

How are you spending Thanksgiving? Leave comments below.

Are you spending Thanksgiving alone?

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For those of us in the United States, today is Thanksgiving. At its core, the Holiday is rooted in family and food. Millions of Americans are prepping their homes for a wave of adults and children to share a meal and celebrate their connection to one another. For many, it’s their favorite Holiday of the year, but for others, it can be the roughest day on the calendar.

For me, Thanksgiving is a painful reminder of what I have lost and what I still have not found. I am an only child whose parents died many years ago. I do not have any grandparents or cousins. I do have a small group of close friends, but as the years tick away, they have begun to start their own families and traditions. They remain generous in their invitations, however, more and more, it feels like I’m borrowing a family. Does anyone else know that feeling?

There can be a variety of reasons people will spend Thanksgiving solo:

  • Relocated to a new city
  • Working the Holiday
  • No close loved ones nearby
  • Free-will, that’s right, we still have one!

I am writing this because you are not alone! Well, technically, you are alone, as am I, but collectively, there are many of us who exist. Here are some ideas for how to turn Thanksgiving Thursday, into a fabulous day off. Ready?

  1. Give thanks! Huh? I thought I was supposed to take your mind OFF of Thanksgiving? Well, regardless of what day the calendar reads, each morning, I wake up and express gratitude. This morning I was thankful for seeing another day, a restful sleep, a day off from work, and so on… No  matter what emotions Thanksgiving conjures up for you, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
  2. Go to the gym. While everyone is working hard at expanding their waistlines, why not work on whittling yours down? Sounds sweet to me! (see what I did there?)
  3. Volunteer. This one is about feeding your soul by helping others.
  4. Catch a flick. I don’t know about you, but I’ve already purchased my ticket for the 10:45am showing of The Best Man Holiday. 
  5. Order Chinese food (or pizza or <insert non-traditional Holiday food here>. There’s nothing like bucking convention with a plate of beef and broccoli or a pizza pie, right?
  6. Watch sports. There are THREE NFL games on today beginning at 12:30pm EST and the best part, they run until 11:30pm EST tonight. Lose yourself in the pigskin.
  7. Binge-watch. Netflix is your friend. Use today to catch up on that TV show you have always wanted to see. I plan on checking out House of Cards.

I am thinking of all of you, who like me, will be spending Thanksgiving on their own. Enjoy the company of yourself and be thankful you’re good company!

“He is a wise m…

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“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus

On this day of thanks, what are you thankful for? When your thoughts take you to a low place, make a list, either mentally or physically, to remind you of life’s many gifts.