Archive for July, 2013


So, yeah, I’m writing a book….

#Holyhell#mothercrapanxiety#panicattack#shitdamnchrist#whatthewhat
#helpmebabyjesus#sweatypalmspoundingheart#cockballs
#thereisnoturningbacknow#sweetmothermarycometome
#whyohwhycan’tihaveanormalbrain#doesanyoneknowapublisher
#ithinkithrewupalittle#ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I’m writing a book!

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me will tennisThe other day I posted on my candysbrain blog facebook page that I was in a bit of a work-out-rut. To snap out of it, I went to the local sled hill and did sprints. It was hard and I am sore but it was also great. In 20 min. I did a great work out that made me feel strong and powerful. I felt like I was doing some much need strengthening of my legs, glutes, abs, etc. I made the joke that ‘this ass is not going to lift itself!’ It made me realize that I had high-hopes for this summer and I am not where I pictured myself for the end of July. I had more of a Jessica-biel-type-image in my mind. (What can I say, I dream big) It is almost fricking August and I’m barely different than when I started (fitness wise, the weight is a food thing). I wanted to get some sort of ‘abs’ this summer. NOT achieved. I wanted to do a 5k in under 29 min. NOT achieved. I wanted to break a sweat 4-5 times a week (sitting on my porch drinking in the sun doesn’t count). NOT achieved.

So what is a goal failure like myself to do? Re-commit! That is right, start now. I don’t want to be the person with the mind set, well I blew June/July so might as well wait until next summer. That’s like having McDonalds for lunch and saying ‘oh well, today is shot. I’ll have ice cream for dinner.’

But, the hardest part of all fitness plans is the accountability part. How can I stay honest during the next 30 days or so?

That’s where all of you come in. I was hoping I could recruit some of you to join me in a fitness challenge. Logistically this gets tricky. I don’t want to and don’t have the time to blog every day about what my exercise plan is. Too time consuming and repetitive. BUT- I can post stuff to the Candysbrain blog facebook page! AND- I don’t want to do this alone and have it be all about me. I would love it if you joined me and posted stuff to the page, commented on my posts, share your tips, ask questions, etc. Any and all fitness levels are welcome. I realize not everyone is ready for sprints or extreme sports, go at your own pace. And, to be clear, this is for women AND men. Here are the little guidelines I thought we could use to keep us moving to. This is what I came up with but I would love to hear your ideas:

1. Minimum of 3 workouts per week

2. At least 1 workout each week has to be something other than running

3. At least 1 workout each week has to be something other than cardio (run, elliptical, bike, etc.)

4. At least 2 workouts during the month have to be something ‘new’ (something you normally don’t do: yoga, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, etc.)

5. Have some sort of objective measurement system. This could be weight, measurements (waist, hips,etc.), time for a mile or 5k, number of push-ups you can do, etc. It is good to have stats that you can measure yourself against.

And, depending on how involved all of you are… Wouldn’t it be fun to sign up for a 5k together?! If you’re not local, we can do it around the same time. If you are local, we can all run together! I might be a little optimistic here that you guys are going to join me, but here’s hopin’….

If you want to follow along and you haven’t ‘liked’ Candysbrain blog on facebook, please do so to stay informed. If you are “IN” for the challenge either comment below or on facebook. I am really excited and motivated right now.

Let’s do the damn thing!

My Latest Lesson Learned

universeSo, I know it sounds a little ‘out-there’ but lately I have been trying to listen to the universe. Maybe you listen to your ‘gut’ or your ‘intuition’ or maybe to you it’s ‘god’, but I like to label this voice as the universe. It turns out, once you start listening, there is a lot to learn. I’ll share my latest lesson with you and maybe you can see a little of yourself in here somewhere.

I was at Target the other day (shocker) and I was loving all of their home décor stuff. I’ve wanted to replace my living room chairs for a long time and they have adorable chairs there right now. Then I saw some cute lamps and then some funky items like a silver rhino and some kind of modern looking bowl-dish-thing, etc. I wanted ALL of it! I found myself thinking, “I wish I could buy all of this at one time and REALLY make my house look nice”. I have good taste, but you certainly can’t tell because of my hodge-podge hand-me-down combos.

You see, having a home was important to us. Having a yard was important to us. Having a family was important to us. Having the nicest, newest furniture was not. I have two pieces of furniture in my house that I actually chose and bought. TWO. That is it.

Anyway, back to Target. So, I realized I couldn’t buy the chairs. My brain instantly jumped to “well, I can buy that rhino thing. It’s only $25 bucks.” And then, like a smack to the forehead, the universe taught me my lesson.

You know what would really make my house look nice, that wouldn’t cost me any money, and that would help me take pride in it’s appearance? Keeping it clean! If I simply kept my house a little more tidy, it would look nice. If every time I felt like buying a knick-knack I brought it home to a cluttered house, what is going to happen? More clutter, more to clean.

On top of that, I am not taking care of what I currently own. I am not grateful for what I have. Why should I be trusted with newer, nicer things? It’s like a small child who can’t take care of his stuffed animals and wants a puppy.

I do live in the real world and know that I am not going to have a spotless home and don’t actually care about that. I know that my true happiness and my children’s true happiness has NOTHING to do with white-glove-approved-shelving. However, having a nice space that is not cluttered and distracting IS soothing and peaceful. I would like to find some kind of balance that we can all live with.

So, starting tomorrow (or next week), I will begin to focus on what I already have. Appreciate what is right in front of me. Making the best of what surrounds me. I’d like to focus on gratitude and how blessed I am. Replace complaining with appreciation. Again (for the 1,700 time), easier said than done. But, I am a work in ZEN progress, and I am going to keep my ears open.

Party with a Purpose

me and foodAlmost a year ago I had an idea to throw a party and the theme would be that we would some-how give back during the party. In other words, my friends and I would get together and a choose a charity or a cause and support it while we ate, drank, and got merry. Well, it is funny how quickly 1 month turns into 12 months without following thru….

Friday night my delightful sister-in-law hosted a girls night in at her house. She provided food and too many drinks. The only catch was that everyone who came was asked to bring some non-perishable food items for the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The boxes and bags piled up quickly! No one broke their bank, and we still managed to collect a decent amount of food to be donated. It was just how I imagined it.

food drive

We all get together with our friends, we all go to parties, we all host parties- why not turn them into a party with a purpose? One of the things I hope I never forget is that I am blessed. I grew up and had a lot of advantages. We were by no-means rich, but I lived in the suburbs and went to a great school and was far-removed from any danger or real risk. I always knew I would go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, etc. It is EASY to take all of this for granted. So many people are just trying to make it thru high school. So many kids are going to school hungry. So many people are out of work. So many people need a little bit of help.

There are lot of ways you can do your own party-with-a-purpose:

-Have a food drive like I mentioned above
-Have a birthday party but instead of bringing gifts for you, everyone brings a book to donate to a school in need
-Have a party and instead of bringing a dish to pass or a bottle of wine, everyone brings a donation for a charity (save a pet, food banks, cancer society, etc.)
-Have a girls night in and everyone brings 2 pairs of shoes to donate to the women’s shelter
-Have a block party where everyone in the neighborhood comes with an item to donate to the homeless shelters (they always need socks, underwear, tooth paste, deodorant, feminine products, etc.)
-Have a party where you play a bunch of games and do raffles where half of the money goes to a charity (50/50 raffle, bean-bag tourney, flippy-cup, poker, etc.)

Be creative. There are literally hundreds of ways to get involved!

***Did you know that summer is the time of the year when the hunger problem is the worst? Normally, low-income children can get a meal or two at school thru the various programs available. In the summer, when kids don’t have that opportunity, they are often hungry. It is very sad and very scary. Regardless of your politics, kids should not suffer. There are a ton of great organizations that help feed our most vulnerable. Do a little research in your area and see how you can help. Cereal and Peanut Butter are very hot-commodities that they always need.

Here are a few organizations worth donating to:

http://www.bbbs.org (matches at-risk youth with mentors, graduates 100% of participants, A+ rated, award winning charity)
http://www.solvehungertoday.org (feeds northern Illinois, has great ‘buying power’ and can provide 6 meals for every dollar donated)
http://www.hfa.org (promotes humane farming, very important to me)
http://www.projectchinelas.com (donates shoes to kids in the Philippines, a friend from high school started this organization)

There are so many out there, and so much good to be done. Be kind.

big leapLately I have been trying to take 100% responsibility for my actions and what shows up in my life. This is just…silly-hard. I mean, you spend your life trying to figure out who and what is keeping you down…and then one day you realize that it’s yourself. If you truly believe that each individual on this earth is unique in their own way and has their own skill, vision, purpose, path, then you really need to think about what yours is and whether or not you are living up to your full potential. Whoa, tough.. I know. For some of you this may be very simple. Maybe you are a teacher and truly feel your purpose is to help children create their destiny. Maybe you’re a doctor and you are literally saving lives every day. Or, maybe you work in advertising selling processed cheese to the masses…. Maybe you have no idea what your purpose in this life is.

This, conveniently, brings me to my point. Are you living your best life? A full-filled life? A 100% conscious life that you have created? Maybe you are ‘good’ at your job, or you ‘like’ your job, but do you feel like it is your life’s purpose? You might be working in an area of competence or even excellence for yourself, but is it your area of ‘genius’? If not…. why?

This is not a very easy question to answer, and one that I am currently struggling with myself. I have a great job! I like my job! I help people feel better and take away their pain every day! But, I still feel a lacking. Why am I holding back?

This, conveniently, brings me to my next point. Am I self-sabotaging? Are you self-sabotaging?

A very enlightened fellow with an unfortunate name- Gay Hendricks- wrote a book called The Big Leap. (Very Roughly) It is about how we all have an upper limit of happiness and when we approach it we self-sabotage. For example, maybe you are trying to eat really healthy. You do great all week and then Saturday night you go out and have nachos, fried bacon and 8 beers. Or, maybe you have been trying to commit to a fitness plan and since you ate so bad on Saturday night and drank 8 beers, you aren’t feeling so hot on Sunday morning and skip the run. (Shut up! You don’t know me!)

The theory is that we all have a different comfort level with happiness and success, and when we get to that upper limit- if we don’t have the consciousness/awareness- we will f*ck it up. I know, for a fact, that I do this. Some times it looks like picking a fight with your husband about dishes when you know, damn-well, it’s not about the dishes.

I recommend the actual book because I am certainly not doing it justice. But, if nothing else, I can encourage you to at least consider the fact that you self-sabotage. Pay attention, you might surprise yourself. All of these things I keep talking about are all based on the same goal: trying to expand my own consciousness and create the life that I was meant to have. We can all do that! You have 100% control of your happiness and circumstance and peace of mind, you just need to realize it. I know that I am working on this very truth every damn day.

(I also recommend Life Visioning by Michael Bernard Beckwith, which is what I am currently reading, but will discuss another day.)