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June is running by ….July approaches …

June is running by, and half the year is now behind us.  What do we still have to do?  Is there anything we wanted to accomplish this year?

It is a good time to refer back to our Goal List for the year.  Three areas I like to consider

  1.  Health and Fitness Goals.
  2. Relationships
  3. Domestic

1.  Health and Fitness Goals:  Let us expound on the most typical goal for the year, Health and Fitness.  Each year we get older and even young people are experiencing health problems.  We will not even discuss the newfound issues with healthcare and insurance costs.  The high monthly costs of mandatory insurance is causing many to avoid visits to the doctor because of high copays and deductibles.  If there was not a good enough basis for a healthy diet and regular exercise, there is more motivation now.

We have one body, and our health we must seek to protect it.   Wise choices, no extremes are necessary.  Fruits and vegetables never go out of fashion and are readily available in most markets.  It only takes moments to use a regular blender to make a nutritious cool drink.  Would you like to know my recipe for a quick tasty fruit smoothie?

One I have been using for literally decades is, I will call it:

Fruit Frapp by Gina @  fatfitanfab.com

one serving recipe:              6 oz orange juice, (not from concentrate), or 6 oz of water. a banana, a peeled apple, and one cup of frozen berries.  Put in the blender, put on for 40 seconds to a minute an a half.    If you do not want to use a bannana, you can substitute a cup of fresh-cut papaya.

The banana or papaya give the drink a smoothness like a shake.  The frozen fruits may have raspberries in which do have seeds.  They remain like seeds. I just swallow them.  If a person has digestive issues like diverticulitis the seeds may bother them so you may choose just a strawberry/blueberry mix.

Be careful if you have diabetes or blood sugar problems.  Only you know if you can have citrus, some medications are a problem.  As I am not a doctor or nutritionist, I am only sharing a recipe which helps me to get my vitamin C, other vitamins, and natural fiber.

I like to make vegetable smoothies in the late afternoon before I start making dinner, that I can sip which can get the edge off hunger and be quite satisfying.  My cardiologist did recommend simply having a V8 each day.  I do not have a great tasting vegtable smoothie that is quick to make.  I do like spinach, a clove of garlic, a handful of fresh parsley, two carrots, and a celery stalk with the leaves.  I do use a pinch of salt because I naturally have low blood pressure.  Then I blend in my regular blender.

Responsible self-care involves regular exercise.  With all the responsibilities people have in their life it can be a real challenge to cull out the time to take a walk, or take a bike ride, or use an exercize machine.  Yet, it is relaxing, destressing, and exhilarating.  Not only can it help us to maintain our weight, it can help prevent us from gaining more weight if that is our objective.  If our objective is to lose weight, than exercising daily with a plan can help us reach our goals.  I had ankle surgery on my right ankle in the beginning of February.  It all seems so slow to heal.  Both ankles have each had two surgeries.  As much as I want to take off and go for a run, or go for a walk it is just not reasonable at this point.  I purchased a bike and I have been striving to go for a ride a few times a week.  The heat is unbearable for daily rides and I am unfit.  Should I call myself unfit?  Maybe that is harsh to label myself as unfit since I do regularly do daily stretching and isometric exercises in my home.  OK, I will accept the congrats! for maintaining my regular stretching and isometric exercize program for decades.  The exercizes I do help me to deal with chronic pain associated with lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.  I have a lot of muscle spasms and nerve pain.  The exercize helps me to feel that I am taking responsibility for what I can control.  The exercize benefits me also because I like to have a scoop of ice cream, and I have diabetes, therefore, exercize keeps the sugar manageable.

Each health situation is different, but so many suffer.  If we take some time to consider our own situation, and start right away to manage our health before more serious problems develop.  Not only can we keep our healthcare costs down, we may feel better.

2.  Relationships:  Relationships affect our peace of mind.  The relationship we have with our creator, with ourself, with our loved ones and if we are employed than we have our social relationships.  Can we improve all these relationships?

The relationship a person has with their creator can affect how they also feel about themselves and how they live their life and the consequences etc.  I have no more to say on that subject.  It is worth considering privately.

The relationship we have with ourself is very complicated indeed.  So much of how we feel about our-self is deeply rooted from our conception, our upbringing, the family situation, the make up of the family dynamics.  Some come from secure family situations, that is very rare these days.  Some of us are very wounded from broken homes, lack of security, an absent parent, and some experience abuse.  All these factors shape us.  Yet, we do not have to be defined permanently by any of these situations.

Earning a healthy esteem is a very valid concept that I have lived by for decades.  We may remain sensitive or fragile.  Yet, I think of a flower that appears to be fragile, sure, someone may be cruel and pull some petals off.  If the flower is left alone, it can even go thru a thunderstorm with high winds and still remain beautiful.  Someone may pull our petals off, but we must remain rooted in what we know and what we can do.  We can bloom again and if necessary, we can be the seed that blows in the wind, and be rooted elsewhere.  The sun, the rain, will come again.  A positive attitude and hope are fortifying.

When I went thru some health dilemmas this last year, the effect had a stifling effect on me.  I felt incapable and unable.  I quit writing, painting, making bread, and sewing became a rarity.  Cleaning the bathroom mirror I wondered if it was done right.  No one was doing this to me, and I cannot blame anyone.  The doctor whom helps me with my life management skills regarding my attention deficit, he helped me to realize that something was rooted in my youth.  He said, “OK, you do not want to blame anyone, you do not want to blame it on something in your youth, mistreatment you endured.  Yet, you do acknowledge you were not in ideal circumstances to grow a healthy esteem, you did not feel safe, and your accomplishments were met with disfavor by those whom should have been proud of you.  If you can accept this, you can move on.  You can find a new way to respond to your accomplishments.”  Of course, I did not have a tape recorder and it may not be a perfect word for word account.  That was the basic jist of it.

To get thru all of this, I kept the habit of making my Master List for the month and the week.  I referred to them often.  A book from the Library on Productivity that I referred to in one of my previous published articles suggested that when I make my TO DO List that I leave room between each to put a couple of actions that are logically needed to accomplish the task.  This really helped me to get more done.  Feel Good Feeling!  My friend Mattie has an infectious cheer about her and giggle.  She is all about giving yourself a cheer when you complete something.  I am trying it, and it feels good.  My husband John likes to stand back and look at what he has done, you can see his pride well up even with the smallest of accomplishments.  I use to look at him in wonder when I would walk up and find him doing so, in fact, because I did not understand it, I thought it was downright silly and it made me a bit uncomfortable.  Over the years, I have slowly come to understand this gift.

Did you know that at the end of each day of creation, our Great Creator would say “It is Good!”.  We are made in his image.  So if we know we worked hard, and we did our best, I believe it is healthy to feel “it is good”!   My relationship with myself is greatly improved, and I am sewing again.  If we can possibly have a healthy esteem, we can then be healthy to be in a relationship with.  Our relationship with our mate, family, children, and work mates can be healthier if we are more positive to be around.  By having a healthier diet and exercise program, a healthy attitude, we can have healthier expectations of others too.  Nurture those relationships respectfully.  Each person is subject to the law, and each person is protected by the law.  If that is remembered, then abuse would be uncommon.

Last night I saw true love.  A couple with their toddler entered the diner  where we were enjoying a meal.  The man was lovingly affectionate and obviously proud of his lady and the child.  He was quite handsome.  She was quite obese and unkempt.  It likely had been a hard day for her.  Yet, this man loved this woman, and she knew it.  I was greatly touched.

3.  Domestic, no I am not talking about domestic beer.  It is where we live, what we drive, and where we spend our time, and how we manage it all.  Half the year is gone, there is some warm weather maintenance we can do on our home, car, and property.  Have you made your punch list?  I want to get into the car and do some deep cleaning, and it is not just because I turned a to-go container of spaghetti upside down in the back seat of the car yesterday.  I was already planning on a thorough detail clean of the interior of the car, now it just seems more immediate to do.  Thankfully, my caring husband got the spaghetti spill cleaned up, but I do feel I need to do that thorough cleaning in the next day or so.  Light colored car, little spots could be anywhere.  This time of year is a great time to clean the garage, and have a garage sale or donate your goods.  Fix your bicycles and use them.  Plan a trip to the zoo, or keep cool in a museum, visit family, or go away for a long weekend.

John got some weatherstripping done on all the doors last week.  Our lovely old yellow cat, PUFF, has already scratched up the new weatherstrip on the front door.  I am going to do a smelly hairspray on the lower door frames after I rub a little essential oils on the weatherstrip.  We still need to get some exterior painting done.  There is a list.  I am eager to get the windows clean.  As I am zeroing in on a room at a time with the deep cleaning,  the last thing I do in the room, the final touch is cleaning all the glass, which includes the windows.  Doesn’t it make everything look good.?

Attention to these three areas can give pretty quick improvement in many areas of our life. We can already feel better about this year and all we hoped to achieve.  We live in a very demanding and often insecure world.  Gently, yet, effectivly gaining more control over our health, relationships, and domestic situation can give us a sense of accomplishment resulting in a healthier esteem.  June may be gone by,…we still have a half year to fulfill our goals.

 

 

 

 

 

February, Is this Leap Year? I am a day late. We have eleven Months to live fabulously.

We are already in the second month of 2016, and we have eleven months to get into the practice of living Fabulously despite.

The sad fact is all endure something.  Employment, family, friendships, health, fitness, financial, are all things that affect our attitude and outlook.  Things occur that we have no control over, tragedies can happen to anyone and do.  Thankfully, some or most of these things can be short in duration in comparison to our whole life.  Yet, this does not cure the present devastation or to minimize overall long-term loss.  I am sad for anyone that is suffering.  May your prayers be answered and that you receive comfort.

The Good News is that there is much we can control.  As you realize, this blog is named fatfitanfab.com.  Sometimes, we cannot control being fat, or other things.  We are in control of more than we realize.  We can be mentally and physically fit as we practice routines and habits that will result in us being fab.

This year, we will consider and practice many things that will add joy to our lives and to those around us.  Check back to fatfitanfab.com often to learn along with me.

I have been working on my goal of walking at least five times a week.  As I have been dealing with a serious infection and inflammation of my left calf and lower leg for a few weeks, I do not feel well.  Yet, although last week I went five days without a walk, I am on track again.  I have gone for a walk the last three days.  At this time, I am only cooking, doing laundry, and picking up after my self.  This infection has to do with the lupus and rheumatoid I endure.  The fevers are grueling and the antibiotics cause me to feel I must stay close to home.   It is a surprise I am not knitting as I am sitting, elevating the legs.  Just do not feel like it when everything hurts.  I loved the movie about Toni Braxton whom also suffers Lupus.  Seeing that really helped me to understand how I am at times, and now I will not feel so ashamed of feeling that way.

Friends have been a source of encouragement.  I appreciate the visitors whom share such uplifting things.  Friends stopped by this morning and it was great visiting with them.

What are you looking forward to?  I am looking forward to my flowers coming up and I am planning my garden.    My friends do sewing challenges with me.  You would think I like to sew.  It is exciting picking the fabric, style, and making it.  I am not adept with most things, and if you remember one of my first articles “Toil, Toil, and it has all gone to Pots”.  I still have all kinds of discouraging mishaps that I call ‘Hold Ups’.

How come I feel Fabulous despite all this going on?  I must tell you the truth, I get down about things I cannot change.  There are times I am overwhelmed and feel I will never get a mastery of My Life Management Skills.  I am happy and I feel fabulous because I am learning the practice of a rewarding life.   Routines and Habits make a difference.   This year I have already lost ten pounds, and 15 since October of 2015.  Now that I am on thyroid medicine it seems a bit easier to lose.  That is something to celebrate.   I finally sewed the buttonholes on my Suit Jacket I made for the convention last month.  A sewing machine my friend loaned me worked.  Yae!  The meals have been delicious.  Do you like to cook?  Think about, Are there new aspects to cooking you would like to incorporate, like making salads a few times a week to go with your meals?  I feel fabulous because as long as we can plan, we live to plan and we plan to live.  While we live, we must plan.  A friend said to me a couple weeks ago, What projects are you working on now? As long as I have known you, you have had projects going on.  She is right.  I likely crossed my eyes at her because I could not help but think of all the projects I did not complete.  I will not think about that, because I have been practicing finishing projects and I have finished so many it just feels Fab.

One goal I have for Feb is Food Conservation.  That will be in my next article.  What goals do you have?  A positive attitude is another goal.  My friend Mattie said to me on Monday to give yourself a little cheer after you complete something, a real feel good event.  So after I washed a load of laundry and put away, I said, Good Job! Well done!  After my walk I did another Cheer.  My friend Mattie is a super influence on me.  Whom says cheering is only for a football game.  Let us cheer each other on and ourselves.

Another Year Gone By. Happy Prospects Despite:

There is so much is happening in this world, some things are frightening and depressing.  Many are personally touched by tragedy.  Yet, we have a life to live.  As long as we are alive we have a responsibility to be happy.  Some get happiness mixed up with selfishness or me ism.  It is not the same.

If we have a roof over our head, a bed to sleep in, and our basic necessities met, we have a lot to appreciate.  I am not going to depress you with facts and figures about all those whom do not have their basic needs met.  More people than you think have experienced homelessness or other sad situations.  What I would like to suggest is that we can afford to feel a measure of contentment and appreciation.  Contentment and appreciation are Happiness manufactures.  If a person only wants more and they do not see the good in their life with great appreciation, they will never be happy.  When our sons were small and life was so difficult and there was no money to pay the power bill, I still told the boys we were richer than most.  We were.

Another Happiness factor is quit looking elsewhere for what you may already have.  Invest in your mate, children, home, job, and community.  Some are not happy with their mate, what happens then.  Children grow up emotionally detached if we do not regularly communicate with them.  They can become vulnerable because of feeling unloved and lonely.  Everyday, our mates and children need us to Stop!  Look! and Listen!

What would you like to accomplish in the next quarter, 1/2 year point, third quarter?  This first quarter we definitely can start early figuring out our taxes.  An exercise routine is good to get busy with.  This next quarter I want to get some household decorative issues taken care of, finish painting, get some wood work done.

Having a schedule, and quarterly goals keeps me inspired and optimistic.  You cannot be happy if you do not have hope.  There is so much in life we have no power to control.  It is critical that we have short terms goals and long term goals.  Every day consider what step you can take to work toward the accomplishment of your goal.  A short term/longterm goal I have is the practice of productivity in my sewing and painting areas.  I am eager to get more productivity and results regulary.

Productivity restores a sense of well being to the mind.  If a person is layed off, retired, or disabled, productivity is still a necessity.  Some suffer with depression, the loss of employment or an ongoing sad situation can get us down.  Keeping a domestic schedule with some social activities keeps one from isolating themselves.  Productivity causes one to feel accomplished.  Even something as simple as cleaning out one drawer in the kitchen and organizing it gives me pleasure.  Cleaning and organizing a shelf a night in the pantry or the refrigerator creates good feelings.

Assessing responsibilities, and fulfilling them, benefits all.

Considering the application of some of these behaviors, attitudes and habits can cause you, me, and our loved ones to feel happiness.  I desire that as you proceed into this new year that some of your hopes, and goals are fulfilled.                       Gina

 

 

 

December, the Month to Wrap it all up.

December, This is the month to think about what did we want to accomplish this last year of 2015, and what can we still do in 31 days.  Unfortunately, there are only four weekends, yet technically five weeks before the new year.

December is not always a joyful month as the sentimental pressure misguides many.  Many create debts on supposed deals, and the problems created are felt months into the new year.  Approaching this month thoughtfully and cautiously can be very freeing.

It is a good time to think about next years goals, monthly, quarterly, seasonable, 1/2 time such as June/July, and end of year accomplishments.  The master lists for the year and all these time periods can be a great guide to refer to so as to reach your goals.  I depend on them.  Is it the day planner or what system that promotes the Master list Theory?  I did not invent it and I may not even have the right words for describing it.  Years ago I learned it from one of those famous planners.  A business tool that can be used in our personal life for greater accomplishment.  Praying about them, looking at them, and working toward their accomplishment makes you feel a little more control in your life.  Living haphazardly has few rewards.

Are there debts you want to pay down?  Are there vacations you want to save for?  Are there physical exams that need to be scheduled?  Have you neglected family members that do not live near you, can you plan to see them or invite them?

If there are school age children at home, school vacations and winter days off, all can be involved in deep cleaning, changing rooms around, assessing clothes in closets and drawers.  Children keep growing and I know you do not need reminding.  If you have a grandchild, niece or nephew in school why not ask the parent if you can take the child shopping for shoes or clothes that will invest in the young persons new growth.  It will help the family with their tight budget to help with these practical needs.  Getting the kids hair cut, new socks and essentials, new school clothes and replenishing their school supplies can be a help to the family.  Being respectful of the parents standards of attire is important.  Then it is a real blessing.

This month is a great time to change things up for your kids.  Remember, the school load of homework, and chores at home can be enough responsibilities for the kids.  Extracurricular activities can burden the parent whom is running the children around, as well as burden the budget.  If the activities are decided on, keep them to a minimum, and remember, you are the adult.  Too many let their children decide on matters.  A lot of children are exhausted with all the homework, activities and long days.  They miss out on helping with chores, keeping good habits, just having good times playing in the yard.  We have been teaching a young girl age 12 how to knit, and her grandma is now teaching her to crochet.   If we can help others with their situation then that is a gift.

Getting the car serviced or deep cleaned is a great gift to self or a family member.  Check the tires, and getting a detailed cleaning on the car when you have a day off is refreshing.

This is the month for wrapping it up for me so I can start 2016 a little less burdened.  I have so many projects that are near done that have been weighing heavy on my mind instead of the satisfaction I should be feeling.  I am just going to pick up a “Near Done”, and finish it.  If you have read my previous articles, then you are aware this is an ongoing challenge for me.

My Aunt Ellie was so kind.  I had written her a letter and told her about how I get aggravated with the piles or clutter I create with all the projects.  She basically said there are people with no clutter and no projects, and their mindset is different than those of us with the creative mind.  We do things, we need the material etc. to do the projects and that is going to create some clutter.  That is very reasonable.

My husband married a writer, painter, photographer, knitter, cook, etc. so there seems to be all the matter around to support those activities.

Good News!  We have been getting some house maintenance issues attended to.  It feels great seeing things get done.  The addition needed painted and a friend new to the area needed a small job.  To the dismay of my mother-in-law, I chose the lightest of tan for the siding, and true red for the trim.  It looks wonderful, although it is only the first coat.

Brock, our 23 year old son has painted and stained the steps and railing.  When I chose terracotta red for the risers, pecan stain for the treads and a cool white with a hue that complements the reddish tones everyone was concerned about the outcome.  They all thought I should stick with the standard of stain it all or use the white on the risers.  It really looks so inviting and tasteful.  Being that the floors are all terracotta, our eyes follow the color right up the stairs.  A visual treat.  It would be nice to have the exterior finished and our minds unburdened.  That is one thing to finish up this month.

Unable to do these things myself, I kept putting them off hoping I would get well enough to do them.  It has become a help that I have accepted that I will not be capable of doing this work on the house and am hiring it out.  This is giving me much relief.

It would be unreal if I did not mention that in this world there are people whom are suffering due to circumstances out of their control.  If there is a family member, workmate, or neighbor that is dealing with illness, caregiver responsibilities, loneliness, hardship, tragedy or loss can we do more than just give them a passing thought?  Besides taking a few moments to say a meaningful prayer for them, is there some practical thing we can do to make their load a little lighter?  Send a card, make a meal, call the power company and pay their bill for the month, call them, give a hug, or offer to spend time with them.  In this age of selfies and instant communication it seems people have lost touch.  Touch someone’s life in a practical way.  If someone has been kind to you, send them a card and thank them.  A text is a bit tacky when someone takes the time to do something kind for you.  Making a card or buying one is a worthy way to express appreciation.  There are still post offices in most towns, and they sell stamps, let us support our post offices by sending a little love and kindness in the mail.  Snail mail is a misnomer.  Mail processes quick enough to delight the person that is surprised when they open the mail box.

Using our next few weeks wisely can enrich our lives as we step into the new year with optimism and joy.

 

 

 

 

November Has Arrived

Overniight, we have gone back in time, and moved into another month.    Whom says the days are shorter,  If our days are shorter, how can we make more of our time?  We may have gained an hour.

There are four ways we can get more of our time.  If we are depressed or discouraged about darkness descending on our day earlier we must come up with an alternate routine.

1.  During this time change why not go to bed an hour earlier, and get up an hour earlier.  What can a person do with an extra hour in the weee mornin’ hours?  An exercize plan can be easily achieved with the extra time.  Domestics, chores, laundry, can be managed more efficiently when done earlier in the day when working an established period of time.  It makes the feeling of accomplishment and optimism a  more common occurrence.

2.  Getting ahead on paperwork, taxes, etc. is great evening work.  Put some good classical music on and organize your paperwork.   So many put off paperwork and get extensions when this last quarter is a great time to get a jump on it.

3.  Free classes online are offered in as many fields as you can imagine. These long nights are a tremendous opportunity to learn more in your field or another.  If you have been interested in a particular subject and have not had the time, now is the time.  I saw a class from Yale on architectural history, and one from Harvard offering Drawing lessons.  You can learn more in the career you practice or you can learn what you need to change careers.

4.  Do not put off your creativity any longer.  Are there projects you have been needing to finish?   Give yourself a couple weeks to work on some of these cast asides and clear them off your to do list.  You will quickley discover why you invested in the material you purchased and the time you already have put into the projects.   Have you wanted to learn a new hobby or craft?  There are many instructive videos online.  Painting, sewing, writing, woodwork, Bible study, and knitting are all activities that are productive and inspiring.  Many are learning hobbies and crafts to enrich their life.   The winter months make it possible to have an evening a week to spend at the local library.   Most Libraries have  activities and social events scheduled, look them up online and see what you might enjoy.

If you have been yearning to get something done or you have put off learning something new, these longer nights or early mornings are a great way to get more done while ending the year with a sense of fulfillment.

Timex, Elgin, Carriage, Hamilton, Movado, has run by …Where has the time gone?..It just goes by.

There was a Time when everyone wore a time piece or took pride in sporting a particular brand of watch on their wrist.  It was a habit of the time-wise to flick the wrist and check the time   How long ago was it that you would see a man pull the watch on the chain out of the pocket so he could address the time.

Chicago sung the famous song “Does anybody know what time it is?”  How lost a person can feel if they do not know what time it is.

The phrases:  Time has just gone by …, Does anybody know what time it is?… Time just marches on… Time just runs by…  A time capsule…Can you arrest time?  The years just flew by… and so on …tick, tick, seconds, minutes, hours, sunrise, sunset, days, weeks, months, seasons, years, and then history in the making.

My Mother-in-Law Marcia is an expert on time.  She is 98, and she has always practiced a schedule and her watch is a big part of it.  Marcia still does her own laundry, changes her bed, daily walks with her dog, reading the paper, and she balances her checkbook.  She said she plans her life around time and according to her watch.  She is very aware of time, and there is this connection between the flick of the wrist, the time and what she expects to be doing next.

Her mind frame is there is a time to get up, a time to eat breakfast, morning activities, time for lunch, afternoon rest and activities, afternoon walk with the dog, time for dinner, and then there is time for evening activities, and then time for bed.  Nothing is happenstance, nor is it haphazard.

Too many function by feelings, do I feel like eating, or I felt like eating something sweet, or I did not feel like going to bed etc.  Too much feeling interferes with natural scheduling.  The old circadian rhythm is rendered dysfunctional.

Not everyone has a watch, many depend on their phone.  Phones do lose their battery strength, then where are you?  When you see someone often looking at their phone you wonder are they checking for messages and only half interested in being there with you.  No one really looks at their phone that often for the time, then again, if they are, just send them on their way, why let them waste your valuable time with their lack of attention.

A watch whether it is $100.00 or $7.00 is an investment because it can keep you time-wise.  I am trying to be more aware of time and work in time blocks as Marcia suggested.  A greater sense of accomplishment, routines are vital for our longevity.

Sometimes we just have to get thru it, other times it just fly’s by.  No matter how you look at it time is ours to manage most productively.  Being aware of time is essential.  A time to be born, a time to die, a time to skip about, as King David poetically wrote about.  Later his son King Solomon said at Ecceclasties  9:9-11 ” Enjoy life with your beloved wife all the days of your futile life, which he has given you under the sun, all the days of your futility, for that is your lot in life and in your hard work at which you toil under the sun.  Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave, where you are going.  I have seen something further under the sun, that the swift do not always have the race,nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because Time an Unforeseen Occurrence befall them all.”    Time to Heed the time in our life.