Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shame on Me, and Networking to Stay Healthy

Shame on me!

I haven't written in almost two weeks..And of course, I have an excuse.

Lately it seems like everything surrounding me is a negative. I'm getting cabin fever, and am desperate for warmer weather. All the negative turns me into a complaining, negative nancy. I really don't want that to appear on my blog. I've tried to write posts, and then they turn into something negative, something that is bad, wrong, or just plain old complaining. So I didn't write.

Lately, I've been reading a lot on my friend's blog. He made a goal at the beginning of the year to lose 100 Pounds, intriguingly that is also the name of his blog. First, I have to say that he is one of the most interesting, creative and honest people I know. So I knew that his blog would reflect that. In two months he has created a huge online community supporting him in his efforts-I have no doubt he will succeed in his goal.

His blog also helps me to stay focused on what my health goals are. At times it's hard for me to talk with others about my weight and health goals. The problem is that most of the people I talk to aren't as pro-active in their health as I am, so then I feel as if I'm rubbing it in that I watch what I eat and workout as much as possible but I'm still 'skinny'. I know by the look on their faces that they think I should be able to eat anything I want and not complain about my body. Well, thats not true! Being happy with my body and looking the way I do takes work-and not just for me, but for everybody! By reading the blog 100 Pounds, I'm realizing that I have the same daily struggles as my friend. At the end of the day, I still want to eat that tub of ice cream, just like the next person-whether they are overweight or not! Being able to talk about it on blog comments, or even here helps to take those stereotypes away; on a blog, we are all struggling with the same thing-no matter what our body types.

There is another reason why I feel so inspired by my friend; I've realized that if he can get to the gym every day for 21 days, then so can I (even though I still don't...). And I can push myself to my limits, just like he does. Just like everyone else, I have my days at the gym where I'd rather just 'pretend' that squatting 40 pounds is difficult-even though I should be squatting 90 pounds. I want to be lazy and not have to sweat and breathe so hard I think I'm going to die...But without that 'pain' of pushing my body to the max, I won't see the results I want. Now when I'm on my way to the gym I think about what I'm going to accomplish-and I hold myself to it, for myself.

In the end, I think being able to take the stigmas of body image away from the daily struggles of human temptations helps everyone be the best person they can be. The internet, blogging and networking are able to do so freely and with ease.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Donating to Charity

Have you donated to a cause this year?

I know...Most of those who will read this blog will think, "I can barely pay my bills, let alone donate to others!"

But hear me out-In 2006 ABC released an article that stated that 75% of American Families donate roughly $1800/year. 2006 was also the year we broke the bank on the amount of donations we made...But since the recession, this has not been the case. Most charities fighting for hunger, homelessness, child abuse, etc have been hit hard by economic times. People have cut their spending, and one of the first things to go was donations.

I've blogged about donating blood-It's free and it saves lives. It's well worth the cause-and the free cookies are awesome as well! For the past three years I've managed my company's United Way Campaign and was able to see how easy it was for people to donate their money. I know that everyone can find some time or money to sacrifice in life.

Even in tight economic times, donating is possible!

Most people think that donating only includes giving money, people don't realize that there are thousands of organizations that need your physical help as well. It could be something as simple as volunteering in a food line, or something more difficult like erecting a house for Habitat for Humanity. Many of these programs are well planned, non-profit organizations that have proven their success over and over again.

The problem with this, is that people value their time just as much as their money. People don't think that giving up one Saturday of their life will make a difference, but IT DOES! The people that have suffered and sacrificed for either their bad mistakes or misfortunes in life appreciate all the help they can get! When you donate, judging people on their lifestyle is not a part of the equation.

There are also very interesting organizations, such as the Polar Bear Plunge. And this is part of the reason why I wrote this post. The Polar Bear Plunge is an event that takes place all across the frozen parts of the country during the winter. One in particular is the Plunge on Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, MN. People sign up to take the plunge, and then they ask their friends and family (and fellow bloggers) to donate for the cause in support of this person plunging into the freezing cold water of Lake Calhoun-or whichever lake it might take place on. This particular Plunge is donating to homelessness, or even child abuse. It's donating to the Special Olympics of Minnesota. I'll explain more on this program in a paragraph below. But first, I want to ask you to donate to this event-I have a friend who is going to take the Plunge, and he needs the support of his friends, and his online community. Here is where you can read about his decision to take the plunge and how you can help!

Now, about the Special Olympics; It's more than just getting a few mentally disabled kids together to run around and have fun. This is about getting kids active, helping the less fortunate be able to develop motor skills, socializing skills and give them a meaning to their lives! When a child knows they cannot work when they grow up, they can't learn as fast as other kids, or take part in so many of the activities 'normal' kids can take part in, it leaves them with a lack of confidence and inspiration. The Special Olympics provides a meaning, it provides support and happiness. Another aspect that most don't think about is that the Special Olympics allow families of these children network and build a support system to help raise their child the best they can. The Special Olympics provides hope to those that weren't born with the same possibilities as everyone else.

So please, donate to my friend's cause, donating does make a difference!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Truffles, Winter and Work

Last weekend I went snowboarding in Lutsen, MN. For those of you who do not live in Minnesota, Lutsen is a beautiful place to visit-winter or summer! Plan your next vacation there-It has plenty of resorts, hiking, golfing, camping, take a visit to Grand Marais, shoot down to Duluth. It is well worth it!

While we were there, my super friendly and rambunxtious friend talked with the Sous Chef at one of the restaurants. Thank GOD for this, I tasted one of the most delicious truffles I have ever eaten! I had one that tasted like banana, and another that tasted like raspberry. And don't be fooled-these truffles were not little! The next best part is that these truffles are made from natural and fresh foods! The website is small and still being developed, but I recommend you check it out and order some tasteful treats for yourself and your loved ones here.

I had this huge rant about winter and how much my car sucks... But rants don't help anybody. To put it simply; winter sucks when it's dark out and there is moisture on the roads! Every time I drive my car I think about how awesome it will be when I get my new one this spring! I'm very excited about it, and I'm getting more impatient each day! I even started a countdown; 86 days roughly until the purchase! :)

Being a girl can get a little crazy at times. Especially when I need to find something to wear and I'm on a time crunch-like this morning. I was almost late for work becuase I wasn't happy in anything that I had in my closet. And I also realized that buying more won't make me happy. Sometimes nothing can change my outlook on things-except time. Time changes everything. And hopefully someday I can wear jeans and a relaxed sweater to work!