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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Finding the Sunshine

As previously stated, I tend to be quite active. Not being blessed with a miracle metabolism I have to find a way to balance some of my favorite things (mexican food, chocolate, and wine to name a few) with my need to fit my hind parts in my jeans. And yes, if you're a female you most likely can relate to this sense of satisfaction when your ass looks great AND you know you eat things like cheesecake... :)

With this activity (and subsequent satisfaction) comes a fair amount of sweat, soreness, and sometimes a very tired body. And more often than not, I am usually complaining about it. "I'm sore today" "Man my legs are so tired" "Ugh I got up at 5am to run today!" and the list goes on and on and on.

It's safe to say that most of this complaining stems from my long standing view of Happily Ever After which mostly consisted of sitting down, laying down, and having my chocolate cake served to me in bed (by my ever so handsome prince). I mean, I've never seen Jasmine or Ariel throw down a 1/2 marathon or nurse (dare I say it...) inner thigh chafing! Needless to say in the past I have found this to be grossly unfair and it makes me want to throw rotten tomatoes at them when I watch their respective movies.

However, complaining is really obnoxious and lately I've become rather aware of it. UBER aware of it. And this last week I started really analyzing it and calling myself out on it with questions like the following:

"So, who made you get up this morning to run? Oh wait, wasn't that...YOU?"
"Well, I suppose you don't have to do these push-ups, but didn't you want to curl that glass of wine later?"
"Am I mistaken or are you the one that bought the bag of peanut butter chocolately goodness from the store?"

And lastly.."So aren't you like wearing size 4 pants when a year ago you were wearing a size 8?...."

And when you're honest with yourself (and brutally so...) you can't deny that your complaining is completely misplaced.

So instead today, while running one hell of a 10k race in the pouring rain, I tried to focus on the things I get back. The things that exercising does to make me feel more like a princess. I am healthier now than I was in high school. My booty looks wonderful in a great pair of jeans. I have bragging rights for my mileage and pace amongst my family and friends (I'm humble...but not THAT humble). I have lots of energy. And best of all...I can eat chocolate, drink wine, and enjoy an evening out without guilt.

I'll take it. I'm gonna keep reminding myself how good this feels, and I hope to keep being able to call myself a runner for Ever Ever After.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Bit of Pampering

The fact of the matter is this princess works her tush off. Because I haven't reached a place in my life where I have a personal trainer that comes to my house and a chef to cook me 3 to 5 healthy meals a day, I have to do it all by myself. Whoa is me (or so I thought...saving that for a future post).

So to keep myself feeling energized, in shape, and healthy I run and do classes and stay as active as any regular 9 to 5 -er can be.

A lot of the time though this leaves me feeling sore, and tired, and after a long day in that office chair - TENSE! My shoulders and back just screeeeeeeam at me some days. And well, once again I caught myself complaining. And once again to my wonderful surprise, I stopped mid negative thought.

I turned the thought back on myself and said, "well what are YOU doing to fix the problem??" In a perfect world (that oh so fantastical Happily Ever After I was working toward) I would have a personal massage therapist. Obviously, that person is not here.

But I thought on it, and there are little things I CAN do to stop feeling so tense all the time.

-I have access to as many free yoga classes I want
-I can stretch and drink more water
-There are these little wonderful places called massage studios where you hand people $39.95 and they hand you an hour's worth of heaven in return

And the list went on. So, I started with that last one there. Oh the massage was glorious! The therapist was strong and she knew just how to work out those tense shoulder muscles. She lectured me on stretching and water intake and overall wellness. Apparently, you can't just go run 10 miles and not stretch and rest afterward...who knew??

Anyway, after a bit of pampering I felt better. And I realized that just cause I can't have a massage everyday whenever I feel like it, doesn't mean I can't do something every once in awhile to make myself feel better!!

It's all in the effort...today...and Ever Ever After.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Princess's Closet

My first thought when realizing I was actually going to have to be proactive in this whole "Creating My Own Happily Ever After" thing was how I am going to just...do it?

I was pleasantly surprised (and slightly annoyed at myself) to find that daily, there are a million little things I complain about, but never really take the time to change or embrace.

The first of these was almost instantaneous. I left work Friday evening, stepped into my closet to rehang the things I could and thought for the millionth time "some day when I have the money I'm going to invest in some real work clothes." I'm famous for this whole "some day" attitude about things. In this instance it was money. In reality, if I really was that unhappy about the choices in my closet I should be able to find a way to fix the problem.

So I decided to get real with myself. Could I live with what I had and be happy with it? After some thought I had to admit that I could survive just fine, but that I wasn't happy feeling less than professional at work.

The obvious next step was: Alright, stop your bitchin' and get to work getting happy with it! If money was the issue, there were plenty of consignment stores, coupons and online sales. I could find a way to fit one piece at a time into my wardrobe.

As it turns out, my favorite work clothes store was having a huge sale. I was able to update my wardrobe, within the means of my budget, and I felt great walking out of that store with some new options! As I hung up my new clothes I smiled to myself and enjoyed the feeling of being proactive. I liked being able to catch myself in the middle of a bad habit of excuse making, and finding a way to re-direct my attitude.

I'm excited to try and work on this habit for Ever Ever After....

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Epiphany

We’ve all heard it. We all at some time in our lives even believed in it. We hope for it, wish for it, and chase after it sometimes with such ferocity that we pass out exhausted before we ever really grasp it in our hands.
Happily Ever After.
We girls wanted to be the princess waiting patiently for her man, white horse, castle, 5 star personal chef, in home gym, and massage therapist. Oh and of course, the kiddos to brag on as they run off to become successful in their own Happily Ever After.  The boys wanted to be the strong handsome hero of a prince that dominated the land with his strength and intelligence, rode off with his princess on the fastest horse, with the best fantasy football team, seats at half-court at their Alma Mater Field House, and the biggest In-Home Theater system of all time (please excuse the obvious gender stereotypes, but I’m generalizing so bear with me).
We all have an idea of what our own personal Happily Ever After is going to look like. We start dreaming about it as kids and it morphs and grows and begins to define every choice we make as we work to make it happen.
But the hardest part of Happily Ever After is it just seems like it doesn’t happen when we want it to or expect it to or sometimes even at all! We don’t graduate high school or college and have the keys to our kingdom handed to us. We women find all the princes are off sowing their wild royal oats and that kids make you fat, and the princes figure out soon enough that princesses are high maintenance and In-Home Theater systems aren’t much fun when you can’t afford to eat while watching them.
I personally spent a majority of my adult (I use that term loosely) life directing many a WTF in Disney’s direction. Happily Ever After?? Obviously, somewhere along the line something was missed because my Happily Ever After clearly has not been granted me. God apparently decided He had something else in mind and that I was going to have to WAIT. Wait? Seriously? I’ve been waiting, and I want it now. Duh.
Two days ago a thought struck me…what if…oh I can feel the earth shaking already…I already had it.
**Cue crushing silence and contorted sad face**
Oh Geez…this? This is it? This drama-filled, paycheck to paycheck, running and gunning, lesson learning, complicated life? That will take the wind out of ANYone’s sails.
But after the horror wore off, and I shook away the despair, a more thundering and demanding thought took it’s place. What the hell am I wasting all this time for?? Why in the world am I waiting for Happily Ever After to find me? Why not just have it….NOW. That’s what I want isn’t it? I want it now don’t I? So why not reach out and take it?
My only problem up to that moment had been my vision of Happily Ever After. I had created this vision in my head and I was sure I couldn’t be Happy until that version became reality. (which is laughable…cause I know on this huge planet there are probably only like 200 people that actually have a 5 star personal chef at their beck and call).
So I thought maybe, just maybe, I could start turning my NOW into my Happily Ever After. Maybe by living outside the box a bit, reaching beyond myself, and doing small things every day that make me happy, I could make EACH day my Happily Ever After.
So I’m going to set out, from this moment forward, to do just that. Each day I will find a way to do something, small or large, that takes me outside of my little tunnel-vision life and brings me closer to my Happily Ever After. I invite you to join me…
Today. Tomorrow. And Ever Ever After.