There isn’t enough time to wait

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Social media has its good and bad points depending on how it is used. Sometimes it brings people together but it also gives of a sense of timelessness.

I have to say that I “hangout” on Facebook and chat with friends and family probably more than I should. I do give it credit for allowing me to keep in touch with people I may not have the ability to see due to distance or circumstances of work and family obligations. People I may not have been friends with in my youth have become more a part of my life now that we have aged and gotten away from the high school mentally of who is popular and who is not part of the in crowd (I was never in the popular group).

However, I think it gives us a feeling of immortality in that there will always be another time to catch up in person. The good intentions are there but somehow life gets in the way and “get togethers” are never made. The time slips by and next thing you know there is no more time left.

I lost a cousin recently. We said at least a half dozen times that we should get together and have a mini reunion but somehow family and work obligations never seemed to work out to do so. And now I can’t. And the regret is a reality.

So how do we as a society get back into a more community based versus virtual based way of communicating?

First of all, don’t give up your social media base. It is a start to keeping in touch with family and friends. It is much better than no involvement at all. I like the quote from this article:

“They’re finding that people communicate more often with family and friends because of technology, but the quality of that communication may be weaker. Kids who spend more time engaging with a screen than with other kids or adults can struggle to understand emotion, create strong relationships or become more dependent on others.”

I have come to enjoy using Skype while my older daughter is in France and now with my younger daughter up at college four hours away. I can try to read body language a bit more than when we text or “Whatapp” where I only have words without inflection or facial feedback. I feel we are communicating better with the visual than by words alone.

“Technology should make communication easier when it’s appropriate,” Roberts said. “But when we have access (to more direct forms of communication), we don’t use it. Part of it is just that it’s human nature to avoid. It’s easier.” (from the same article)

Second– take a chance
and start with one or two friends or family members that you would like a closer relationship with and set up either a recurring breakfast or lunch or even an activity like a walk to develop and build a stronger base to share more deeply.  Granted its much harder to take the time to meet with someone and actually engage in conversations but the benefits out weigh the effort. 

This article  on Social Work Today has many great points including this one:

“According to Paul Booth, PhD, an assistant professor of media and cinema studies in the College of Communication at DePaul University in Chicago, social media certainly affects how we engage with one another across all venues and ages. “There has been a shift in the way we communicate; rather than face-to-face interaction, we’re tending to prefer mediated communication,” he says. “We’d rather e-mail than meet; we’d rather text than talk on the phone.”

According to Booth, studies have shown that people actually are becoming more social and more interactive with others, but the style of that communication has changed so that we’re not meeting face-to-face as often as we used to.

That said, our interactions on social media tend to be weak ties—that is, we don’t feel as personally connected to the people at the other end of our communication as we do when we’re face-to-face. “So while we’re communicating more, we may not necessarily be building relationships as strongly,” Booth says.”

One simple benefit? We actually develop deeper, trusting relationships where we feel more able to share concerns, feelings and disappointments than when we only communicate online. Praise and compliments take on more meaning when given face to face rather than a “like or comment”. This article from Time shares:

“In an age of perpetual digital connectedness, why do people seem so disconnected? In a Duke University study, researchers found that from 1985 to 2004, the percentage of people who said there was no one with whom they discussed important matters tripled, to 25%; the same study found that overall, Americans had one-third fewer friends and confidants than they did two decades ago.”

Another huge benefit? We actually feel better when we meet and greet each other with a hug or similar touch. Touching is one the the most basic human needs but most people don’t get enough human interaction to survive let alone grown and thrive. I’ve been getting together with several ladies on a fairly regular basis and we always share a hug when we leave. It makes a huge difference in our bonding and ability to trust each other with confidences.  This article on World of Psychology touches on that issue:

“Hugging induces oxytocin, the “bonding hormone,” that’s renowned for reducing stress, lowering cortisol levels and increasing a sense of trust and security. According to research conducted at the University of North Carolina, women who receive more hugs from their partners have lower heart rates and blood pressure and higher levels of oxytocin.

So what if someone does not want to be face to face? It is hard when people reject your attempts to be more than a casual relationship. Maybe they are not ready or able to participate in “real time” interaction.  I would say keep trying if it means more to you, otherwise accept them as they are and choose other people to have deeper friendships. Some people just need more space than others and can only handle small amounts of togetherness before it becomes stressful.

Feedback–I would love to hear your thoughts on this conversation going on in my head!!


All the best– Janice



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NSVs–always a good thing!

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NSVs  (or Non-Scale Victories) are great things!  (NOT to be confused with STDs!!)

Sometimes that scale is just a plain liar! Our weights are always changing depending on the time of day, foods eaten the day before of even that “time of the month”. You can exercise like crazy, watch your eating down to the last calorie and STILL the scale does not move! So frustrating!405295_293934440667704_218106824917133_790173_611535280_n

So what is a health striving person to do?? That is where the NSVs come in.

Some common NSVs that you may find that pertain to you:

1- You lose inches but not weight. This is a big one for most people but they don’t realize it. Before starting a health journey take a minute to measure and record your body measurements: axilla, chest, midriff, waist, hips. You can also measure arms and legs but I see the biggest changes happening in those places.


2- Your clothes fit better. Somehow it happens without our realizing it but all of a sudden our clothes are looser. Sometimes by a lot! At one point I had been a tight size 10 and when I was convinced to get new clothes I was actually wearing a size 4 pant!



3-Your heart rate is lower! You have a lower blood pressure! Your “resting” heart rate is lower! You might even be able to stop using some medicine if approved by your doctor. Always check with them first before making a change.


4-You have more energy. As odd as it sounds being active gives you more energy than less!


5- Your mood improves! You might even have more interest in prior hobbies and things you used to do. Literally this week I had a great desire to do some quilting– something I have not done in over a year!




6-Your “recovery time” after exercise improves. This applies to a variety of subjects…use your imagination.


The list goes on but these are just few ideas to keep you motivated–the next Victory is just around the corner!



Keep moving– Janice


These images were found on Google images–my thanks to their creators!

Well, it could’ve been worse!


You know what they say about the “Best laid plans”; they only work when you do!  This week was, well not a total bust, but a lesson in what I need to do better to be living a healthy life.


I started out on a good foot by doing food prep and thinking about when I could exercise. But, I didn’t write it down and make a commitment to it. That in and of itself would have made a great difference on how the week progressed. Way back when I was doing the Weight Watcher program I wrote down everything I planned to eat, right down to each snack. It didn’t matter if that was what I wanted to eat that day, that was what was planned and that was what I ate. It wasn’t that I had this great source of willpower but I just found it easier to not have to think about food and what I was going to make. It took a level of stress off by planning once a week, buying what I needed and leaving it at that. Now the idea of planning every mouthful gives me more stress than less and I don’t want to be ruled by food choices.

I did exercise but not as consistent as I would have liked.


So the things that went well this week?

Water!! I found this great reusable water bottle this week! I usually use the kind of water cup with a straw but they are hard to take places and are just sometimes a pain to deal with. This new one (I actually bought 2) comes apart at the neck to add fruit or ice and then you drink out of it like a traditional water bottle. I adore it! I love that I can bring it in the car or down to exercise. I found myself drinking way more than I thought I could and felt much better and less dry during the day. I even have it by my bedside and start the day off with lemon water, something I would not try with the straw cup.20150311_183631

Salads/ Veggies! As part of my food prep I made a huge bowl of romaine and iceberg lettuces (I was out of spinach) which I put about 2 good handfuls in 6 containers and added shredded carrots and celery. I also had diced up red and green peppers to put in when I was ready. It was so nice to only prep and clean up once but be able to eat some salad every day. My daughter came home from college this week and actually made good use of having them available.

Grains! I had made my oatmeal jars  (see prior post) and I brought these to work as well as having them at lunch for a quick grab and go. Instead of traditional whole wheat bread I got this wonderful rye bread and a rye/pumpernickel mix.  Both are great options when you want to change up your grains in bread products.

Okay, so I need your ideas and success stories on how you made (or are making) living healthy work for you in these areas. These were some of the challenges I dealt with this week.

Fatigue. This is a hard one for me. I work nights (12.5-13 hours) usually 2-3 times a week as a nurse. Staying awake and not eating crap at work has been something I’ve dealt with for many years now. For me its the day after a night shift that I struggle with. The first day I’ve slept a good part of the day but there are days that I am so tired that I give in to the choice of an easy food like a toasted roll rather than make something healthier for breakfast.

Exercise (traditional kinds) also tends to fall by the wayside when I am tired. I am thankful for the days my husband is looking to go downstairs and exercise but if he chooses not to I don’t push myself even though it is planned.

Family. Like many women I tend to put myself last in terms of priority when time is short. I will run errands or go out of my way and cancel my exercises plans if they need me to do something. My husband took a day off this week and we did go and exercise by walking outside for 3.29 miles. It was great being outside and having an exercise companion but then we went shopping and ate out so the rest of my day was taken up instead of doing my core work and weights.

Work and work related. I made a mistake of sorts by scheduling myself to work 3 out of 4 nights and I was wiped by the last night. I try not to schedule 2 in a row but I wanted some time off since my daughter was coming home from college for the week. I also had some education that I did during the week that was a “lunch and learn” which broke up my day but also had me eating out.

I am treating this week as a learning one. Not great, not so bad. I have already started writing down and will be pushing to stick to my exercise commitments this week!!

I look forward to hearing from you!

In good health–Janice



Why I am taking a break from my Fitbit

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When I first got my Fitbit Flex I loved it. I loved the motivation I got and couldn’t wait form my “buzz” of hitting my goal. (Actually the first time it happened I almost fell off the treadmill because it startled me so much! ) I wore it like a piece of my fitness gear. I wore it 24/7. Everyday, for over a year. I even got more bands so it could go with more outfits.20150312_180145

But I need to take a break from it. It has lost its purpose of motivating me. I think because I wore it all the time that it became more like just something I wore as an accessory like a bracelet or necklace. It has no meaning right now since the buzz is no longer new and I move a lot more than I used to.

I think that like most things in life you need to take a break from something to really appreciate it. This could be eliminating something from your eating plan or not being able to exercise outside due to the weather. I know I appreciate the days it is warmer and less windy and I just bask in the sun and being able to exercise and be active outside without all the layers.quote-improvise-adapt-overcome-from-cafepress

Will I go back to wearing the Fitbit? That is a good question. It feels odd being ‘naked’ after wearing it constantly. I think I will have to find something else as a physical mantra;maybe a bracelet with encouraging words. Reminders are good things but changing them to meet our growth as people may be what is needed.

How do you find motivation? How do you maintain your desire to be more fit and active? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!394012_231896963556846_182848868461656_515747_291650280_n

Getting ahead of the game: Overnight oatmeal

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I love oatmeal but my favorite version has become “overnight” or “fridge” oatmeal. It so easy to make and it keeps in the fridge for several days.

I got my original recipes from the Yummy Life webpage but its been adapted a few times from the first time I made it. I think that is the sign of a great recipe– it adapts to your taste and dietary needs.

Before you get started I would suggest finding some wide mouth jars. Mine are actually Ball jars but anything that makes it easier to eat out of is fine. I use a 1 pint size jar but depending on how much you add to the basic recipe you can use a smaller jar. I generally make 4-6 jars at a time.


“Overnight Oats”

Base 1 (dry):

1/2 cup uncooked old fashioned oats ( you can use steel cut but I prefer this texture)20150308_115034

1 1/2 tsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Base 2(wet):

1/2 cup milk (almond, “cow” or alternate)

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

Fruit and sweetener:

This is where you can play with flavor and options. I generally use bananas, apples, berries, and dried fruit. About 1/2 an apple or banana is about right but adjust to your liking. For the sweetener– I like real maple syrup but honey is also a nice choice. I add it when I am ready to eat but you can add this at the same time as all the ingredients if desired.20150308_115800

Once you’ve got it all in the jar give it a really good stir and put it in the fridge overnight or at least 3 hours to thicken and absorb the wet ingredients. I normally re-stir it when I am ready to eat and maybe add another splash of milk if needed. I eat mine cold from the fridge– its great in the warmer weather and very refreshing after exercising!20150308_120331









Another week, another challenge!

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This past week just flew by and I really found myself having more fun looking for ways to be healthy. Working, however put another spin to my getting it actually done. Normally I work night shifts but this week I had some education and Nursing Council  during the day. Not big challenges to deal with but it still required some planning.

Planning is a huge factor in living a healthy life for me. If I don’t plan ahead at least a couple days for meals I find myself falling into the “easy but not great” rut of grabbing a protein bar. If I don’t plan out exercise I definitely find other things to do and I fall into the trap of couch sitting with my husband in the evening.


Courtesy of #Healthy Monday


20140601_144230 20140601_144243How do you keep on track? Do you use a planner, a training plan, an online site? I’m more of a paper and pencil girl for the actual planning but I am liking the online site of Sparkpeople for tracking the actual food I eat and Map My Run for my activity.



These are what my typical planners look like. Its taken a while and many adaptations to fit it into something resembling my life but it makes it easier to look back and see where things went wrong when they invariably do.

So aside from the challenge of working day shifts I also got a challenge of an extremely busy night at work. I work in a fairly busy “OB” unit and you just never know what might happen on any given shift. Unfortunately being busy and finding time to eat don’t always go smoothly. And then you find yourself eating whatever is quick in the break room in lieu of actually sitting to eat your meal. I love that patients give us homemade goodies and generally I can resist but someone made us a basket that included Irish soda bread. Bread, especially homemade, is my weak link. And I had not one but 2 slices of the soda bread. With butter.

Keeping in mind the saying about getting back on the horse I did a major food prep on Sunday. I prepped veggies for salads, made jars of Overnight Oatmeal and baked my eggs (hard “boiled) and defrosted shredded chicken. This made working Sunday and Monday so much easier both at work and eating between shifts. I also tried to keep in mind my findings from last week that needed improvement. My calories are a much better range and the carb/protein/fat balance is becoming more balanced.

The thing that really was a high point was being able to use last week’s reward of the Aasics– I ran twice this week and just was so very happy and energized afterward. I also started doing my floor core work and I can say I definitely felt muscles that had been on hiatus since December. It was such a good feeling though; having sore muscles showed I am improving.



While I love coffee I did find myself reaching for water first when I felt tired which is a great thing for me. I put wedges of lemon in the water which made it go down much easier when I was not totally thirsty. I bought oranges, lemons and limes to experiment with this week.


Fruit is great for adding flavor to plain water!

So overall a great week. Although the getting healthier was my main goal I also found more room in my clothing and I am down 2.4 lbs this week. Now that I have started running and adding strength training I hope that will continue as well!


Have a great and healthy week! Let me know how YOU are doing!

Best wishes–Janice

My thanks to #HealthyMonday for giving me permission to use their image!! The other images (aside from my own) were found on Google images– my thanks to their creators!


First Run–So far, still good!

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tryI have officially done my first run for the year…finally!

I struggled with minor injuries and aches since mid Fall and just couldn’t get myself back into running because of the fear of pain. I’m not a tough runner; pain to me is my bodies warning system that something is not right. I can tough it out for discomfort but pain, that is another story. Aside from strains and knee discomfort I am pretty sure I had a stress fracture in my mid-foot at some point and this is what concerned me.



I’m not sure what prompted me to choose today to run but I just felt the need. To be honest I did have to talk myself into it with the promise that I could stop if need be. Part of the problem is my basement is cold–like really cold around 50-55 degrees. I knew enough to use my inhaler before going down. I developed  exercise induced asthma last year after running outside in 35-40 degree temps. Now I know enough to pre-treat if I am exercising in the cold. If I am actually exercising outside a neck gaiter has also proven helpful. I should have worn some gloves (that is how cold it was!) but I started to warm up at 14 minutes and sweat at 16…and that is when the real motivation kicked in!fit24




Anyway– today’s run was a surprise considering I had not run since probably November. Treadmills don’t bother me since I see them as a benefit not a deficit. After a 5 minute warm up of walking I aimed for 4:1 intervals of run/walk. I was not sure was kind of endurance I had left so I was going for whatever felt okay. I selected Taylor Swift’s 1989 for motivation and sure enough I got to smiling and singing along (kinda) and next thing my 30 minutes were up.  Music is my motivator–if I get the right song I can tough it out pretty well.


Oh, I also got to try out my new reward of the pair of Aasics shoes–I love them! I almost wonder if they are what kept the foot pain away! They are so comfortable and have great arch support!

AasicsThe best part is that over 5 hours later I am still comfortable and pain free. I think I am ready to start planning my runs again on a regular basis.  Hopefully soon NY will get some nice warm weather and I can take it outside but until then its me and the treadmill.


How have you progressed back into being active after injuries?

Best wishes for a great weekend–Janice


The images with the exception of my own were found on Google images–my thanks to their creators!

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