Sunday, January 26, 2014

Healthy Lifestyle Challenge Update

It has been one cold winter here in the midwest--and  for most of the country as well. Those of you in the warmer climates probably cannot imagine cold that seeps through every crack in your house and settles into your bed at night. Or going outside to drag your trash receptacles to the curb and returning to your house 3 minutes later feeling as if your face has frozen off.

This is 'bad' Pep speaking right now. Yes, I failed my challenge to walk the garage stairs each evening. I refuse to make excuses just because it was minus 6 degrees on several of those days. No excuses. Well...having negative temperatures is a true deterrent for staying outside longer than necessary and I suppose it's probably acceptable.

But in an attempt to follow through with my commitments to myself--I will be extending my challenge through this next week. This includes taking the stairs during work hours in the relative warmth of my office building. I hear the temperatures should stay in or above the twenty degree range next week. I can do this!

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Have A Dream

Please join me in reliving these words of wisdom from one of the greatest men to walk this earth. The strength and courage it took to turn the other cheek in the face of bitter opposition still floors me. But had it not been done at that time in history than people of color would not have made the strides that allowed us to celebrate our first Black President. I'm overcome with emotion at the sacrifices made in the name of right and wrong--by blacks and whites. I join the King family in the request for a moratorium on violence as we rejoice in the King Holiday.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
-Maya Angelou

Pepper's Healthy Change Challenge-Stair climbing

It's Monday and time to challenge myself. The lifestyle change that I made to include more water and to drastically reduce my intake of fruit juice and soda pop has been successful and along with an overall feeling of well being has even caused some weight loss. Where I work, we are very friendly and celebrate how much we care for each other by bringing in food and snacks. Recently my co-workers have brought in fruit trays and veggies with dip! I am so proud that they are honestly making attempts to improve their health too!

Today I want to challenge myself to something that is more difficult. But it is only for 7 days and then afterwards I can continue it or just do it periodically. The point is that if you set your mind to do a certain thing and you include a time frame that seems reasonable, then it makes it much easier to do something hard.

So my challenge is to climb the stairs each day after work. I park in a separate garage and I generally park on the same floor. It's four flights after working 9 hours. I'm generally dragging ass. But back when I was actively working out I walked those stairs each night and by the time I reached my car my heart was pumping and I felt energized.

I want that feeling again.

Yep, my knees ache and my metabolism has basically packed up her little suitcase and went on vacation but I'm calling her home now. She and I have work to do.

In addition to the four flights of stairs after work I intend to skip the elevator during work when all I need to do is just move between 1 or 2 floors...which is pretty often. Not counting arriving and leaving work I probably take the elevator 5x a day.

I'm sure you know that you don't have to have a gym membership to facilitate a healthy lifestyle. We can take advantage of everyday activities in order to move, get the heart pumping which will then increase that elusive metabolism. I put my office together this weekend and I tell you without a qualm that it was like going to the gym! Once you start moving it won't be quite so hard. Newton's first law; An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force...

So lets talk about some of these 'unbalanced forces'. Henceforth referred to as the 'bad you'. The bad Pep is too tired, too cold, too preoccupied, too unhealthy to do things that she does not want to do.  Bad Pep makes up excuses that seem reasonable. But deep down we all know that The Bad You is just full of excuses. Well let me remind the 'Bad Us' of the purpose of a challenge. It's to make us feel good because we gave ourselves a difficult task to accomplish and then we did. It's only for 1 week. And if we are taking this challenge seriously than we will do it!

With that said, there are unbalanced forces that cannot be avoided. Let's say you fall down said stairs and can no longer walk. Well that was truly beyond ones control and don't beat yourself up over it, just move on to something else. 

I hope I'm motivating you, folks. I love you and I love ME and I want us to be together for a long time! Help keep me motivated and tell me if you are going to join me in this challenge or if you have given yourself one best suited for YOU.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Healthy lifestyle challenge update

The first week of adding more water and less juice and soda to my diet has really helped. I literally feel healthier. Actually for the first few days I had more energy and felt less dragged down. Perhaps the added sugar was giving me sugar 'spikes' which would then cause me to crash.

I brought this healthy challenge to work and now me and most of my co-workers take turns bringing veggies and veggie dip to work to snack on throughout the day. I managed to shed about 4 lbs which makes me realize that making one small step helps you to make larger ones. One of my sister-friends sabotaged us when she brought monkeybread to work in a crockpot so that it stayed warm and the delicious aroma of cinnamon and brown sugar permeated the workplace ALL day. Oh yeah I ate some of that delicious treat and yep I felt guilty. But then I went right back to my veggies and veggie dip. I believe that is the key to any healthy LIFESTYLE; you aren't dieting. This is the way you have to live your life. You will at times eat things that aren't conducive to weight loss but you get past it and stay on the path.

Hope you all are having a fantastic week and we are going to stay on the path together.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Update on Mom's condition; she is doing much better

I wanted to thank everyone for all of your prayers and positive thoughts concerning my Mom's health. A few months ago my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 endometrial cancer. It was necessary for her to have surgery to remove it and its only after surgery that doctor's can get a true sense of the actual stage of endometrial cancer.

Mom had her surgery about 2 weeks ago and is doing very well. She still has pain but that is expected. At the time of surgery the doctor was immediately able to tell us that there was no indication that the cancer had spread into her other organs or lymph nodes. It was very very good news for us because that meant she didn't have stage 3 cancer and the prognosis looks good.

We finally got the results of the biopsy back and its not the best news--however not completely unexpected. Mom will need to have cancer treatment and that is the state that we are at now; trying to decide which course of treatment she will take. I won't go into a lot of details, we have the information necessary to make a good decision but it's pretty standard to go through chemo/radiation after removal of cancer.

Yesterday I talked to her about cutting off her dreads. I know that a lot of people will read this and think well that is just hair and life is more important than the hair that grows on the top of your head. The hair doesn't drive your decision but it does effect your sense of helplessness and loss. Her hair goes down to her butt and its something that takes a great deal of effort to maintain and to keep looking as beautiful as hers does. She would twist them during a time after she had shoulder surgery and could barely lift her arm, and this literally takes hours. So her investment in her hair is pretty deep.
Mom broke her ankle 2 years ago. Dreads are even longer now.

I told mom that I'd cut them off and then shave her head for her. She just sighed and said okay and then she said, "I want it shaved because i don't want any kookoo beads!" (smile). Anyways, I'll be making some changes to my life so that I'm constantly available for these 12 weeks of treatment and even after. I'm making some big decisions in 2014...Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

DIY Smoothie Freezer Pack

Love smoothies, but hate the hassle of making them every morning?  You’ll love these easy smoothie freezer packs at Momables.

I intend to try the recipe listed in this link. It reminds me of Beast and those smoothies he would make for Ashleigh. Yum!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pepper's Healthy Change Challenge

For a healthy start to the new year maybe you would like to join me in my Healthy Change Challenge. What I intend to do is to make a small lifestyle change or a brief challenge which will facilitate an overall healthy change to my lifestyle.

Beginning Monday I'm giving myself a change and maybe next week I will give myself a challenge to complete. This weeks change is that I will drink 50% more water and drop my soda pop/fruit juice intake to 10%. This is something I think I can live with.

It is my opinion that to accept this challenge with me you should give yourself reasonable challenges that you can live with. Each Monday I will announce a new challenge or healthy lifestyle change. If you're on board and want to join me then feel free to post it along with me!  

As much as I cringe to do this; if it helps to inspire someone else I will. I want to share some photos that will either gross you the hell out or further inspire you. Recently I lost nearly 40 pounds (by the scale) but as I was working out I'm sure most of that weight is muscle. Anyways I am showing you some before and after photo that I have never shared before but I do this in an attempt to never go back to those before pictures. I am far from those before pictures but since I gained about 12 pounds this season its time to drop that and more!



AFTER (and that is just a wig!)

These changes were made in less than a year and I kid you not--I lost my first twenty pounds within the first 2 months doing nothing more than changing my eating habits. So I guarantee you that giving yourself Healthy Challenges and making Healthy Changes will work.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mini Rant of the day...

While taking my mom grocery shopping to prepare for this Herculean storm I was reminded at how thoughtless people can be. The grocery store is totally packed and people are pushing big carts up and down aisles--which is what you're supposed to do. However you are not supposed to stop in the middle of a walkway, leave your cart in the way without moving it to the side and then going off to examine something or other.

I saw that happening so many times that I was just in awe at how myopic people are. There are 10 carts behind you waiting to get by and you just mosey off leaving your pile of crap in the middle of the aisle...

Or...those rude people that just stand there holding conversations with each other while people are obviously waiting to get around. Do you know how tempted I am to clip them with my shopping cart the way Juicy did? Also, it is still courteous to say excuse me or thank you. Don't you hate when you know that someone sees you trying to get by and they don't move until you say excuse me and then they look all clueless and apologetic. Yes, sometimes we zone out but sometimes...well sometimes people are just assholes.

Woot Woot!

It's not always good to announce your future plans because they just might fall through. But I think this is a done deal so I have a pretty exciting announcement concerning reaching out to new readers.

I have a strong and loyal readership. You guys are rock solid and are my most important consideration. Whenever I write a new story I know that my core readers will be there and usually in the front of the line. But after that the sales drop drastically. It means that I need to increase my reach by marketing more or doing more meet and greets etc.

So, with that thought in mind I decided to go...drum roll please...audiobooks!

I've just entered into an agreement with Audible Books (an affiliate of Amazon) to produce Beast. The narrator has an amazing voice which sounds like the one in my head when I wrote Ashleigh. So as long as everything goes as plan you should be able to HEAR Beast on audio book this May.

Holiday Shopping at Amazon