A Public Apology to Myself

Annette Rochelle Aben writes a letter to herself on her journey through forgiveness and self-compassion. We ALL need to do this! ❤

Annette Rochelle Aben

Dear Annette,

I want you to know, that I am sincerely sorry for not treating you better. For not seeing you as worthy of honor and respect. For not being more supportive in those times when you needed me the most. I want to take this time to assure you that I will make demonstrating my responsibility to you, my top priority.

For all those times, I allowed you to accept the shame in the face of verbal, physical, mental, sexual and emotional abuse, I apologize.  You NEVER caused people to behave this way, even though they told you it was all your fault.  You didn’t “ask for it” and I am sorry I didn’t know how to protect you from the attacks or the resulting pain.

For all those times, I allowed you to own the guilt for requiring others to honor their contracts with you, I apologize. You…

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Mindful Monday: Why Medical Screenings Are so Important

Mindful Monday

WELCOME TO MINDFUL MONDAY

Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Good morning

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and unfortunately, not all of it was good. I tried to deal with each setback the best I could by taking a mindful approach. I lived in the moment and then tried to move on.

Our beloved Pomeranian, Spice, passed away and the grief at her no longer being in this world is still rolling around inside of our hearts. Sugar is coping the best she can. I know she misses her sister deeply.

And, then it was my turn to deal with some health related issues, which brings me to our topic for this Mindful Monday – health screenings and why they are important.

A health screening is a test that is done when you are well. It is an opportunity to find a condition before symptoms begin. It is also a way to find diseases early which makes the treatment easier. In my humble opinion, a health screening is worth every penny you spend on it.

Routine health screenings are recommended for people of all ages and are an immense part of preventative care. Routine screening tests can be as simple as a blood test and as complicated as a colonoscopy.

John Hopkins Medicine shares a list of nine health screenings for men and women that save lives. Find the list HERE.

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Image credit: Penn Medicine.org

Today, I wanted to share my a recent experience. A few weeks ago, I had a routine colonoscopy which is recommended for everyone after the age of 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer, start early with the testing. In my case, my Dad died from colon cancer so I started by the age of 47. I have faithfully gone for this test every five years.

I know the preparation for a colonoscopy is literally a pain in the butt, but it is a necessary part of life. I started living on fluids a couple days before the scheduled procedure. It certainly makes you feel tired but I took it easy and followed the instructions.

I'm pooped

The results of my colonoscopy were scary, to say the least. A large sessile tubular adenoma was found. My doctor’s pathology came back saying it was pre-cancerous. Now the problem with a tumor of this sort is that it is flat and grows into the muscle of the colon. You can’t leave it because it will turn into cancer. In the past, the only way to remove this type of adenoma was to cut that section of your colon out. Not a fun surgery by any means followed by a lifetime of health issues.

Luckily, I live near Aurora, Colorado where the University of Colorado Hospital is located. They have some of the best doctors in the nation that can deal with these types of adenomas.

On Friday, I underwent an endoscopic mucosal resection where a saline-like fluid is injected underneath the adenoma so that they can lift it from the muscle and get it out of there. This was done satisfactorily except for a small tear in the colon which was also repaired.

My doctor, who is a specialist in this field and type of procedure, said that in a couple of years, this adenoma would have turned into colon cancer!

“What if I hadn’t gotten a colonoscopy?”

All month we have been sharing information about colon health and specifically colorectal cancer. One of the key prevention steps is to get screened when appropriate. Today’s infographic comes from the CDC and provides  a lot of helpful information on how to choose the right screening test.   Recommended screenings could prevent over 60% of the deaths associated with colorectal cancer.  So be informed and get checked!

Image credit: www.cdc.gov

I have to wait for the pathology results, but my prognosis is good. Per my doctor, in six months I will repeat the colonoscopy to make sure that everything is as it should be.

	Graphic: Many adults are not being tested

Don’t end up as a statistic!

Get your health screening tests.

Your life depends upon it! 

Yes… I know. The health care debacle might make these preventive tests something that we all will have to pay for out of pocket. I don’t agree with that philosophy, and I bet you don’t either. Contact your representatives and let them know how you feel. Remember those representatives in Congress and the Senate will have health insurance – will you?

And, if the worst scenario happens, get these tests. It ultimately becomes our responsibility to care for ourselves. If we don’t, who will?

Healthy Living

I’ve been doing well following my Weight Watchers healthy living plan. I have lost almost 10 pounds, total. It just goes to show that when you take your time you can lose weight. I did drop my Smart Points value down to 26-27 points. I couldn’t budge the scale at the allowed 30 SmartPoints.

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Real TalkThanks for stopping by for some real talk. Hugs! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Mindful Monday – How to Deal with Dissapointment

Mindful Monday

WELCOME TO MINDFUL MONDAY

Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

disappointed

This past week I dealt with disappointment. Our vacation didn’t go as planned and you know with family dynamics and different personalities sometimes that is just how it evolves. Yes, this thing called disappointment happens to all of us. How do you choose to handle it? Of course, not everything can always go as you planned or hoped. That is a simple truth.

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Image credit: Healthyplace.com

How do you handle disappointment? Do you scream, cry, or hide?

For me, disappointment is one of those miserable feelings that are all wrapped up in anger, hurt, and sadness. Frustration is at the top of that list too… because most of the time if I experience disappointment it is based on things that are out of my control.

So, here’s what I did. Since I was exhausted and couldn’t think about the situation clearly, I took some extra long naps and watched HGTV. I relaxed in a couple of hot baths with a good book. At that point, I felt like I was ready to deal with my feelings.

bath time

I remembered my mindfulness journey and decided to experience the feelings, for whatever they were worth. It hurt like heck, but I knew I had to let my feelings surface. I didn’t try to change how I felt. Instead, I tried to be present in the moment and let the feelings roll around inside of me. Believe me, it wasn’t pretty.

Yet, I gave myself the time to deal with my emotions. I also showed that I cared about myself and my feelings. I was taking care of me!

Taking care of me

At that point, I was able to gain some perspective on the situation by stepping back from my personal feelings. I knew what had happened was not my fault. Yes, I felt sad at the change of events, although I realized that the decisions my husband and I made at the time were correct for us.

I always try to be open-hearted toward people. I came to realize that the negative feelings I had would pass. I chose to not wallow in the negativity because it does no good for anyone. Besides, I felt like I know my own heart and trust my instincts. In doing so, I have given myself the freedom of choice.

In this particular family situation, there is nothing else I can do. I made my thoughts known at the time. It is up to the other person to decide their next step.

Most times when something disappointing happens I feel like I want to hide and blame the person who disappointed me. This time, I decided to quit acting so naive. Things happen and I know I will be disappointed again. That is life and I need to start dealing with it.

Image result for images of dealing with disappointment

Image credit: Pinterest.com

Guess what? Those feelings of disappointment will pass. They are not forever.

Disappoint is a part of life.  It will happen again. And, when it does, I choose to be aware of my feelings and live in the present. Then, I can move on and refocus my goals. ❤

Image result for images of dealing with disappointment

Image credit: Pinterest.com

For more on dealing with disappointment check out psychologytoday.com.

healthy living

I had quite the set back on my weight loss journey. I was stressed and I ate. Pure and simple. Once those negative feelings passed I got my act together. I am back on track and pursuing my Weight Watchers plan.

I had a doctor’s visit and we discussed me learning a new skill… YOGA! Gentle stretching will help build up my core and will stop my back pain. Are you ready to go on that journey with me? Stay tuned… it should be quite entertaining.

See you soonHave a great week. I wish you all peace and joy in all you do! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mindful Monday – Mindfulness, Mantras, & Haiku ❤️

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Welcome to Mindful Monday

Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Happy May Day! This week I wish for everyone to really get in touch with their own mindfulness. Choose something that you want to change or something you want to work on as it applies to your own life. Go ahead… write it down. Let your mind wander.

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Then, write your own mantra as I have done below:

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Put your mantra somewhere where you will see it every day.

http://isha.sadhguru.org explains why mantras work:

Mantras Explained: How a Mantra Can Lead to Transformation

Sadhguru speaks about the science of mantras, and how a mantra can be a key to access deeper dimensions of existence. He also speaks about “Vairagya,” a set of five sacred chants, and how one can benefit from them.

“So, a mantra is not something that you utter. It is something that you strive to become because unless you become the key, existence will not open up for you. Becoming the mantra means you are becoming the key. Only if you are the key can you open the lock. Otherwise, someone else has to open it for you, and you have to listen to him.

Mantras could be an extremely good preparatory step. Just one mantra can do such tremendous things to people. They can be an effective force in creating something but only if they come from that kind of a source where there is a complete understanding of all that is sound. When we say, “all that is sound,” we are talking about the creation itself. If a mantra comes from that kind of source, with that level of understanding and when the transmission is pure, then mantras can be an effective force.

Approaching Mantras with Awareness

There are different types of mantras. Every mantra activates a particular kind of energy in a different part of the body. Without that necessary awareness, just repeating the sound only brings dullness to the mind. Any repetition of the sound always makes your mind dull. But when it is done with proper awareness, with exact understanding of what it is, a mantra could be a very powerful means. As a science, it is a very powerful dimension, but if it is imparted without the necessary basis and without creating the necessary situations, it can cause lots of damage because this is a subjective science. We know of people who have caused damage to themselves by the improper utterance of something as common as Gayatri mantra.”

Be Happy

To change your thinking –

mindfulness is awareness,

live in the moment.

© 2017 Colleen M. Chesebro

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Gratitude

010117_2204_MindfulMond7.pngI wish you much peace and joy this week. Namaste!

Mindful Monday – Reflections on the Passing of Time

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Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Celebrating

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

The past month has been busy and filled with all the ups and downs that life brings. Sometimes I ponder over how quickly time disappears. How can I manage to accomplish everything I want to do – and write? The years are advancing and time simply dissolves.

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April 16th is our 32nd wedding anniversary. On April 18th I will be 59 years old. I have no idea how I have reached that age other than that I am healthy and happy. My mother passed away at 38 years old when I was three. My sister passed away at 55 years old. My father passed away at 68 years. The older you get the more you learn to value each passing year.

Celebrate

I usually become reflective at this time of year because the advancing years prompt a look back at all I’ve been and done. So, to celebrate the inevitability of the passage of time here are:

FIVE THINGS TO REFLECT ON WHEN ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY

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What did you accomplish in the past year?

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Last year was a whirlwind that passed in months of writing. I lived in my brain for much of the time penning my debut novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy. I spent time researching fairy nymphs and learning how to write a novel. I am proud that I set out to write a novel and did it. Now, I did not do this alone. I had plenty of help and you know who you are if you are reading this. Thanks for being there when I needed you most.

Where did the time go?

clock fairy

You know the old saying that time flies when you’re having fun? It fits my life perfectly. I am blessed to have the love of my best friend and husband. Ron has always encouraged me to do the things that bring me joy and fulfillment. How many husbands do that? I feel like I have lived a couple different lives all in these 59 years. That is what propels me to keep moving forward and enjoying life – there is more to come and these years of retirement are the best yet.

What did you learn this year?

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I feel like a sponge when it comes to learning. In fact, one of the best things I have learned is to accept the things that I can’t change. Life is never easy and when you have a blended family you just have to let some things go. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that some my children and my grandchildren would not communicate with me. Most of the circumstances behind this dysfunction was beyond my control. Even so, I struggle with the feelings of rejection and still do.  Some things you just can’t fix if the other people involved don’t feel the same way. Yet, somehow I’m able to funnel some of that pain and pour it into creative pursuits. Writing and poetry give me a solace I never had before. It’s a mindful journey – accept the feelings and move on.

I could go on and on about what I learned in the past year when it came to writing, self-publishing, blogging, etc. What I really love is that when you learn, you continue to grow and experience life to the fullest. That my friends is the best message of all! Don’t be afraid to grow.

Are you living up to your potential?

Did you get my text

I push myself hard. Sometimes, too hard. I have a drive inside of me that pushes me to be the best I can be at all times. It’s that Aries thing, you know. Besides, I have many projects in the works for this year. Planning is my middle name. I like to set goals and aim for the stars!

Are you ready for another year?

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Of course! Examine whether your glass is half full or half empty. Optimism (click the link to find ways to raise your optimism) is the key. View each day like a gift and live it to the fullest you can.

I have a dear friend that has been diagnosed with a debilitating disease. You know what she said when she found out? She said it was a relief and suddenly each day took on a golden glow filled with promise. Her words hit me like a ton of bricks had fallen on my heart. I heard these words resonate in my head: Don’t waste time on trivial drama and things that bring you pain. Live!


WW Weekly Update

I keep working on my weight loss journey. It is slow but I have lost 6 pounds! I weigh on Wednesday so we will see how I do. My doctor did increase my thyroid medication and that has been a great help.

Ron bought me a Fitbit for my birthday. I really love the ease of counting steps and logging miles. I have the Fitbit synced to my Weight Watchers app. In one week I walked 26 miles! All those daily steps really add up!

Exercise

Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

READ MORE ON COLLEEN’S FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find new reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love and mindfulness, each month. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

CONNECT WITH ME – I love hearing from you!

colleenchesebro.com  Amazon  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Instagram

 

 

Mindful Monday – Are You Catching Enough ZZZ’s?

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Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.


Sleep – the elusive butterfly. It dances around at night taunting us with promises of sweet relaxation and blissfully sweet dreams. Every living being needs a sound slumber to operate the next day. Unfortunately, sleep has become something we all wish we had more of. Add into the mix the seasonal changes of daylight savings time, and we have a recipe for distress!

There are many causes for our lack of sleeplessness. Some of us have health issues that disrupt our sleep. If that is your situation, it is best left to discussions with your physician to help you resolve those problems. The same would go for insomniacs, people who habitually cannot sleep.

What about the majority of us who don’t fall into those categories? There are some easy steps you can take, and there are home remedies that do work. Practiced in conjunction with a nightly meditation session, you will find some relief.

Draxe.com/can’t-sleep shares “20 Ways to Fall Asleep Fast:”

Many times, our sleeplessness is caused by our own mistakes. Eating too much, a late-night cocktail, or simply staying up too late and getting up too early. Mindbodygreen.com shares “7 Sleep Mistakes You Don’t Know You are Making, and How to Fix Them:”

Here is my favorite 10-minute guided meditation to ease anxiety, worry, and urgency from Positive Magazine Meditation Relaxation Inspiration. I like to listen to this video sometimes when I am worried about something and feel like I just cannot let go of it. I use ear buds with my tablet and just lay back and listen to the soothing words.

One of my favorite websites, “No Sleepless Nights.com” reveals relaxation techniques to help you calm your mind so you can get a good night’s sleep. Here is another video to take you through a guided muscle relaxation process for rest:

If all else fails, I get up and read a book and enjoy a cup of herbal tea. Chamomile tea is one that helps me relax.

Here is another link from No Sleepless Nights.com that talks about all the different kinds of teas to help you sleep. I found it interesting that No Sleepless Nights.com suggests that no scientific evidence exists that supports the drinking of tea as a sleep cure. Many ancient and folk remedies used teas and tinctures for healing. I must say that if it works for you, go for it!

Remember to consult your doctor if your sleeplessness interferes with you living your life. Lack of sleep is nothing to mess with! Sleep well, my friends.

I’m not sleeping… I’m dream writing.

I am happy to report that I am walking at least 3 miles a day on my treadmill and have been able to edge a total of four pounds off! My doctor has increased the dose of my thyroid medication as my hormones were all over the place. Hopefully, that will get me at a level I need to be.

I am still suffering from some muscle spasms in my back, but the walking does help to ease them. I find there is a fine line to walk (literally) between the right amount of exercise and too much. Yesterday, I walked four miles in our pleasant weather, and today I am exhausted.

Part of this is due to the thyroid problem, but I am confident that in time this will correct itself.

Weight Watchers online continues to motivate and guide me. I highly recommend this program if you are serious about weight loss.

Image credit: heandsheeatclean.com

Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

READ MORE ON COLLEEN’S FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find new reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love and mindfulness, each month. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

CONNECT WITH ME – I love hearing from you!

colleenchesebro.com  Amazon  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Instagram

Mindful Monday – The Simply Filling Method of Eating

Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

The idea of mindfulness is simple: Focus on your present circumstance… whatever that may be. Too often we let our mind drift without focus. Not that a drifting mind is wrong, as everything has its place and time.

But achieving a mindfulness way of thinking is not as easy as you think. Close your eyes and try not to let your thoughts drift into the past or future, or the last show you watched on Netflix. Were you able to do it? I always end up dragging myself back to the present moment unless I go into the zone where I enter into a deep state of concentration.

Here is my favorite way to explain mindfulness. I love to crochet with thread and make doilies. Yes, I know it’s old-fashioned, but it is the act of the crocheting that really helps me to relax. I follow a pattern, so there is the counting of stitches to contend with and the rhythmic flow of the hook and the thread. When I crochet, I don’t think about other things because I am concentrating on making the stitch and the tautness of the thread. I literally zone out. I listen to the sound of my breath and watch the hook, and my hands create my art. Sheer bliss. Whenever I get stressed, that is where you will find me – crocheting.

Do you know why this concentrated effort on your part works? Because when we practice mindfulness we are grounded in our own reality. It also helps us tune into how we are feeling. We quit operating on autopilot and live with purpose. That is my aim in life. How about you?

Image credit: TinyBuddha.com

The Simply Filling Method of Eating

I love Weight Watchers and have found it to work for me. The new Smart Points plan is even better than the Points Plus plan was. In fact, I struggle to eat all the food they suggest I should eat each day. If following a meal plan is not right for you how about trying the Simply Filling Method?

I visited the Weight Watchers blog and grabbed this information. It is a quote. However, I would go to the site and download the PDF pictured at the end of the post so that you have a copy of the Simply Filling foods to eat.

“Don’t feel like tracking what you eat? Simply Filling might be right for you. You just eat from the list below of satisfying, nutritious foods in portions that feel right, so you’re not too full — or still hungry. (In the Weight Watchers Mobile app, look for foods marked with a green circle.) You can also have 2 teaspoons of healthy oils (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower or flaxseed) a day. No counting! Use your Weekly SmartPoints for foods that aren’t on the Simply Filling list. Follow Simply Filling technique for a day or two — or all the time, whatever what works for you.”

Fruits

Included:

All individual or mixed fruits: fresh, frozen, or canned or jarred in water, without added sugar

Fruit canned or jarred in its own or another juice, without added sugar, drained

Fruit salad or cocktail: mixed fruits without added sugar

Not Included:

 Dried fruits

Juices, including the juice in which fruit is canned or jarred

Vegetables

Included:
Most individual or mixed vegetables: fresh, frozen, canned, or jarred, without added sugar or oil, whether or not it has a SmartPoints value per serving, including
– Corn: Whole kernel and on the cob
– Peas: Green
– Potatoes: white, red, sweet
– Salsa: fat-free and without added sugar, including salsa with fruit

Not Included:

Avocados

French fries

Juices

Olives

Pickled vegetables

Plantains

Vegetables prepared with ingredients that are not no-count foods (such as corn in butter sauce, dried tomatoes packed in oil)

Whole Grains

Included:

Cereals, cold, ready-to-eat, whole-grain, without dried fruits or nuts, with no more than 1 gram of sugar, and with 3 grams or more of fiber per serving

Cereals, hot, cooked, and without added sugar, dried fruits, or nuts, including
– 100% bran
– Cream of rice/cream of wheat
– Grits
– Oatmeal

Brown rice and wild rice

Pasta, whole-grain, including
– Whole-grain macaroni, noodles, and spaghetti
– Whole-wheat pasta
– Gluten-free pasta, such as most brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, and corn pasta*

Whole grains, such as
– Barley
– Buckwheat
– Bulgur
– Cornmeal (polenta)
– Farro
– Popcorn: plain air-popped, plain or light microwave- popped, and 94% fat free microwave- popped
– Quinoa
– Spelt
– Whole-wheat couscous

Not Included:

Flavored rice mixes

Fried rice

White rice

Regular pasta

Dairy & Dairy Substitutes

Included:

Fat-free milk, and fat-free and sugar-free beverages made with fat-free milk, including
– Fat-free and sugar-free cappuccino
– Fat-free and sugar-free latte

Fat-free cheeses, including
– Fat-free cottage cheese
– Fat-free cream cheese
– Fat-free ricotta cheese
– Fat-free sliced or shredded cheese

Fat-free sour cream

Fat-free plain yogurt, and some light yogurts, regular or Greek*

Soy cheese

Unflavored soy milk and soy yogurt

 Not Included:

Fat-free evaporated milk

Fat-free sweetened condensed milk

Fat-free creamers (including half and half)

Lean Proteins*

Included:

Chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork (including ham with less than 700 mg sodium per 2-oz serving, and some brands of Canadian bacon), and Veal: lean, trimmed, and with all skin removed.*

Luncheon and deli meats, reduced-sodium, with 0.5 gram or less fat per 2-oz serving

Most fish and shellfish: fresh, frozen, and canned in water

Eggs: whole, whites, and egg substitutes

Beans: Dried, frozen, and canned, including edamame, fat-free refried, garbanzo (chickpeas), kidney, and white

Dried peas, including black-eyed peas and split peas

Lentils

Meat substitutes, including vegetarian burgers and veggie “crumbles” with 2 grams or less of fat per serving

Tofu

Game meats, including buffalo, ostrich, and venison

Organ meats from beef, lamb, pork, and veal

Not Included:

Canned fish or shellfish packed in oil

Meats or fish with breading or added fat

Processed meats, such as hot dogs

Plus More!

Included bread:
(Whole grains make the best choices)

Reduced-calorie (light) bread

Thin sandwich bread, including some wraps and flatbread*

Reduced-calorie (light) rolls or buns, including hot dog and hamburger buns

Reduced-calorie (light) English muffins

Reduced-fat corn tortillas*

Included soups:
Broths and soups, reduced-sodium and light*

Enjoy the following foods as part of your meal or snack without having to count SmartPoints:

Healthy Oils
Include 2 tsp per day (for additional servings, count SmartPoints)

Canola

Flaxseed

Olive

Safflower

Sunflower

Beverages

Coffee (without added sugar)

Tea (without added sugar)

Diet soda

Club soda

Seltzer (plain or flavored, without added sugar)

Water

Seasonings & Condiments

Capers

Cocktail sauce

Extracts and flavorings, unsweetened

Garlic

Herbs

Hot sauce (pepper sauce)

Ketchup

Lemon/lime juice

Margarine, fat-free

Mayonnaise, fat-free

Mustard

Nonstick cooking or baking spray

Salad dressings, fat-free

Shallots

Soy sauce (short), reduced-sodium

Spices

Steak sauce

Sugar substitutes

Syrups, sugar-free

Taco sauce

Teriyaki sauce, reduced-sodium

Vinegar

Worcestershire sauce.”

If you can incorporate fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains into your diet, you will find the pounds slipping away.

My weight loss journey has been progressing well. I have lost close to 4 pounds, and as I said earlier, I have a hard time eating the 30 smart points I have allotted for the day. My progress might be slow, but I just keep at it. You lose weight with consistency. It is safe to lose one or two pounds a week.

Here are some winning strategies I have employed:

  • More exercise. I average 70+ minutes a day walking on my treadmill at 2.0 MPH. The first thing I noticed was that my back stopped hurting. The second thing I noticed was that I felt stronger. I have walked 7 days a week for 3 weeks straight now. SCORE!
  • I stopped having a glass of wine or a cocktail a day. Not only do I feel better, but I am now sleeping better. I think as we women age the sugars and alcohol are difficult for our bodies to break down. To tell you the truth, I don’t really miss the cocktails. I still have a glass of diet soda with my husband each night while we watch the news. SCORE!
  • I have indulged in an original Rice Krispie bar (4 Smart Points each) at least five days during the week. Having this bit of sweets is something that keeps me sane. EXTRA SCORE!

I eat a HUGE breakfast, a medium lunch, and a smoothie at night for dinner. Here is a photo of my breakfast and the contents:

3 slices of turkey bacon = 3 smart points

2 slices of multi-grain reduced calorie bread (45 calories each) = 2 points

¾ cup original Egg Beaters = 1 smart point

Polaner Sugar-Free Preserves 2 TBSP = 1 smart point

¼ cup black beans (rinsed) = 1 smart point

4 TBSP Salsa = 0 smart points

Miscellaneous veggies: kale, mushrooms, carrot shreds, zucchini, green pepper, etc.

Total meal = 8 Smart Points


(I have NOT been hungry on this meal plan)


At lunch, I usually have a cup of veggie soup (homemade with fat-free broth), a salad and whatever lean meat (chicken, turkey, pork loin, etc.) and two Wasa Multigrain crackers. I love the Walden Farms salad dressings – ZERO fat and no calories.

Dinner is a smoothie made with two cups of unsweetened almond milk, 2 scoops of pea protein power (365 brand from Whole Foods), 2 cups of frozen fruit, a frozen banana, and a handful of kale. This smoothie counts as 6 smart points because the food is ground up and not chewed.

Now, throughout the day I snack on carrots, apples, grapes, etc. It is only when I settle down at night for some television, that I eat my Rice Krispie treat with gusto! You can make your own treats from this recipe. The serving size is 2 inches X 2 inches for 4 Smart points. I get exactly six small bites that I chew slowly savoring each bite.

I usually find that I have extra points to use. At lunch, I might add a ½ cup of brown rice to my soup, or if I feel like I still need something else, I will have an apple and a ¼ cup of oatmeal. The key is to eat protein at all three meals.

Image credit: 1001 Ways to Lose Weight Fast

Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

Until next week. Don’t forget to let me know how your week is going. Hugs. ❤

Mindful Monday – How to Eat Mindfully

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Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to live in the present.

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.


Do you ever think about what it means to eat mindfully? Wait… I’m not talking about sitting on the couch while you’re watching a movie and mindlessly eating a bag of chips. Not that kind of mindful eating!

Instead, sit down at a table with a beautiful place setting. Take a few moments to pause and taste your food. Slow down. What are you thinking about with each bite? How do you feel? Are you hungry or thirsty? What is your body telling you?

Try to connect with you – the person holding the fork.


Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Indiana State University, created a mindfulness-based eating program that teaches people to connect with the feelings and body signals. The Center for Mindful Eating shares:

“Mindful Eating is allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom. By using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body, acknowledging your responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment, and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating you can change your relationship to food.”

Here are the Principles of Mindful Eating from the site:

“Principles of Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, non-judgmentally, in the present moment.

Mindfulness encompasses both internal processes and external environments.

Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations in the present moment.

With practice, mindfulness cultivates the possibility of freeing yourself of reactive, habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and acting.

Mindfulness promotes balance, choice, wisdom, and acceptance of what is.

Mindful Eating is:

Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.

Using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.

Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment.

Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.

Someone Who Eats Mindfully:

Acknowledges that there is no right or wrong way to eat but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food.

Accepts that their eating experiences are unique.

Is an individual who by choice, directs their attention to eating on a moment-by-moment basis.

Gains awareness of how they can make choices that support health and well-being.

Becomes aware of the interconnection of earth, living beings, and cultural practices and the impact of their food choices on those systems.”

Image credit: Summertomato.com

After reading more about mindfulness, I decided to try it. Here are some of the things I did:

  1. I thought about my food choices. I had one Rice Krispie Bar (they are tiny for 4 Smart Points) and told myself it was better to have a smaller portion than none at all. I felt in control because I was consciously making a choice.
  2. I thought about the message I wanted to send my body. I said something along the lines of, “I’m eating to nourish my body.” I did not criticize myself and say things like, “I shouldn’t eat this.” I made a choice and logged the points.
  3. I listened to my body. I had been feeling really achy lately. It is dry here in Colorado, and I knew it was time to up my liquid intake. I did so and suddenly starting feeling better each day. SCORE!
  4. I became an inner gourmet and paid attention to how my food tasted. The first three bites are what apps up our taste buds. After that, the taste goes down. I savored those first three bites and slowed down my eating.
  5. I appreciated the atmosphere of where I was eating. I love sitting at the bar in my kitchen. It is a fun, cheerful setting and always makes me happy.

My first week on Weight Watchers online was successful. I didn’t lose weight, but then, I didn’t gain either. I logged my food intake and points daily. I realized a few things about myself that I hadn’t thought about before. That is always a good thing! Reflection on past habits helps you change your perspective on the future.

Weight Watchers suggested that I get 46 minutes a day of exercise. That equals 322 minutes a week of exercise or 42 Smart Points. I managed to complete 27 points. I had some back pain issues to overcome which I have been able to do this week.

One of my readers said that by the looks of my photo, she wasn’t sure that I needed to lose 15 pounds. Thank you! Photos are the best when you can manipulate them to make you look skinnier! Anyway, here is why I want to lose that weight.

I want to feel healthier.

My extra weight gain has been in the front, (eye roll) and that weight pulls at my back muscles. The result is lower back pain and weak muscles. I also come from a family where diabetes runs rampant. My grandmother, sister, brother, and at least one of my nieces all have had issues with diabetes. I’ve had to deal with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and had a goiter, which resulted in the total removal of my thyroid gland. I will be 59 years old in April and for me, staying healthy is more important now, than ever before.

That is why I am on this journey. A few years ago, my doctor decided that for my height and frame, 175 pounds was a good weight for me to maintain. That is my aim, to return to that weight. And, then… I need to stay there. ❤

Here’s who joined us last week for Mindful Weight Loss:

Pat, from her blog, P. C. Zick.com

Annette, from her blog, Annette Rochelle Aben

Shan Jeniah’s Lovely Chaos, and her post, Building Blocks for Mindful Monday (a must read about setting goals)

Terri, from her blog, Second Wind Leisure

Kate, from her blog, Kate McClelland

Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

SHARE THE JOY! NAMASTE.

READ MORE ON COLLEEN’S FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find new reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love and mindfulness, each month. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

CONNECT WITH ME – I love hearing from you!

colleenchesebro.com  Amazon  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Instagram

Mindful Monday – Mindful Weight Loss

Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to live in the present.

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

Well… I did it. This week, I joined Weight Watchers Online. The Smart Points system is a bit different than the Points Plus system was but I feel like I am making progress. I weigh in on Wednesdays so I will have another post to announce my progress.

I felt fantastic and had a successful week. I must attribute my success to staying on my plan, journaling my food intake in my food diary, and because I started walking again. I measured all my portions and ate more protein.

Remember, even if you are not following weight watchers there are ways for you to slim down by making some changes:

Image credit: SHCS UC Davis

Portions?

Weight Watchers is not a diet. It is a healthy eating plan. You are changing your eating habits, not going without food. There is no starvation. Instead, they teach you about healthy portions.

The first thing I had to learn was what constituted a healthy portion… be prepared to cry! If you are like me, your portion sizes are way too big!

Image credit: Heathlyfood.co.uk
(provided for my UK friends)

Image credit: Claudia Campa

Here is my secret to staying happy and eating some sugar occasionally:

I call this my “3 Bite Rule.” After each bite, I savor it and actually taste it. Call if mindful chewing. It has been my experience that when I do finally indulge in a sweet, I am sometimes satisfied after only 3 bites. As far as tracking the points value, that depends on you. A 10th of a piece of yellow sugar-free cake with sugar-free chocolate frosting is 6 points according to my Smart Points app. I would say three bites is at lease one point… but you should decide that for yourself.

Remember, eating is all in your mind. My anticipation of what the sweet will taste like is what fuels my desire. Sometimes, I bite into that cookie and think, “Hmmm… this doesn’t even taste as good as I expected it would!” Rejoice when you reach this point. 😀

The other half of my 3 Bite Rule is the fact that you allowed yourself the sweet. Just not at the portion size you would have usually liked to have eaten it. Following this rule makes me feel like I am in control of what I eat. Now, I only do this once a week. Having sweets should be a treat, not an everyday affair. If you follow the 3 Bite Rule, you can have your cake and eat it too!

Exercise

I pulled a muscle in my back this week and had to refrain from the treadmill for two days. Weight Watchers suggests that I get a minimum of 46 minutes a day exercise. That is easy to do on the treadmill while reading email, etc.

Don’t forget to count your activity around the house. Exercise is exercise. We have a large house, and I spent a total of 35 minutes or so vacuuming upstairs and downstairs. In fact, one day I dusted and did laundry. By the time I was done, I had logged 1.5 miles on my phone! Get up and get active!

Healthstatus.com provides a calculator that you can input your activities by the number of minutes you performed that activity. It will then convert the minutes to figure out how many calories you burned. Just with my two half hour walks and my three hours of cleaning I used 1,089 calories.

Remember a pound of fat = 3,500 calories. To lose one pound in a week, you must reduce your calories by that amount.

So, that was my week. Successful in every way. I feel good about myself, and I feel good that I made it through week 1! Thank you for giving me the incentive to stay on plan. The information about portion sizes and my 3 Bite Rule is an excellent way to start your journey. Everyone should pat themselves on the back for a job well done!

How was your week?

Here’s who joined us last week for Redefining your Weight Loss Goals:

Bernadette from Haddon Musings

Annette from Annette Rochelle Aben, Author & Poet

Terri from Second Wind Leisure.com

Michelle from Michelle Clement James.com

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Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

SHARE THE JOY! NAMASTE.

READ MORE ON COLLEEN’S FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find new reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love and mindfulness, each month. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

CONNECT WITH ME – I love hearing from you!

colleenchesebro.com  Amazon  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Instagram

Mindful Monday – Redefining Your Weight Loss Goals

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Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more mindful about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to live in the present.

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

Let’s see, now… This year we have set goals and looked at ways to make some life changes on our mindful journey. We are learning what being mentally and physically healthy means to us, specifically. That’s great! Remember, everyone’s journey is different. We aren’t all looking for the same things, but it is easy to support each other no matter what our goals are.

I want to become healthy and lose weight. I also want to get more in touch with my empathic abilities. Those are some of the things that I decided to concentrate on this year. Some people are looking for ways to add more exercise, and others want to take it slow and focus on becoming more mindful and figuring out what that means to them.

So, what does being healthy mean?

Image credit: stylefox.com

There seems to be a plethora of pictures and definitions about what being or becoming “healthy” means. I believe we should all define that word for ourselves. Educate yourself on the differences, and then make your own decision.

Of course, becoming healthy for me is all about losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight for my body type.

The first thing we need to think about when we are setting new weight loss goals is to decide what kind of plan you are going to follow. Don’t jump into a diet that is so strict that you can’t indulge and have some treats occasionally. All you’re doing is setting yourself up for failure, and then you will blame yourself for making the decision to indulge! It becomes a vicious circle that only makes you feel guilty about living!

Instead of eating 10 mint chocolate chip walnut cookies, only eat two with a cup of tea or coffee. You still get your treat, and that makes you feel special, as it should. If you have a huge family gathering and Grandma makes her special apple pie, don’t turn that down! Have the pie. Just make it a small portion so that you get to enjoy the luxuries from Grandma’s kitchen. Life is too short to not indulge. Learn to pace yourself.

Speaking of indulgence, I am still struggling with my weight loss attempts. That is because I have not committed myself to following a plan. I have been dabbling with the idea of losing weight instead of dealing with the issue straight on. It’s time for me to commit to what works best for me: Weight Watchers.

I have had great success with the program in the past and know it works. In 2012, I lost 55 pounds and kept it off for almost three years… until I quit following the plan and doing what I knew to be right for me.

Weight Watchers is now offering an exclusive deal that I have decided to take advantage of. Click HERE to find out if this is something you might be interested in.

If so, please let me know in the comments so that we can help and encourage each other. We can create a private Facebook page and check with each other daily to share tips and tricks if you’re interested.

I am going to sign up on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. It always helps me to choose a date and then follow through on my decision. I will be sharing more of my weight loss journey in the future, and I hope you will join me.

In the meantime, ARE YOU DOING EATING YOUR VEGETABLES?

 

I did try a new squash last week. This is called a kabocha squash. Realsimple.com
shares:

“This pumpkin-shaped Japanese squash (typically 2 to 3 pounds) is relatively new to the U.S. market but has caught on quickly due to its subtle, honeyed sweetness and smooth, almost fiber less texture. The jade green exterior has light green stripes, and the meat is a pale orange. Drier and denser than most squashes, the kabocha can be baked or steamed, like acorn squash, or pureed to give soups a buttery richness. Ideal for Soups.”

It was a bit pricey but worth a try. I steam my squash (and most fresh veggies) in the steamer I bought from Target. I did like the way this squash tasted. It had a smooth texture, and I added it to my smoothies in the evening. It would taste wonderful with a bit of butter and just a touch of salt, too. I would have this squash in place of a potato because the calories and sugars are less.

Image credit: EBFarm.com

Squash is a great alternative to potatoes. I buy many kinds of squash and eat them regularly. Spaghetti squash is amazing and will save you tons of calories if you use the squash like pasta noodles. I do the same thing with this squash. It is fabulous steamed!

Cooksmarts.com
offers a produce cooking website dedicated to all things vegetables. It is worth checking out if you get sick of the same old veggies!

Remember to eat foods that have the most color but remember white is also a color in the veggie kingdom. So, don’t forget to eat cauliflower. Food that is white (potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, etc.) have a higher calorie count due to the amount of starch in the item. Limit starchy foods and replace them with more vegetables. The fresher, the better. If you must eat canned vegetables, rinse, and microwave them. It will help you eliminate much of the salt.

The American Diabetes Association has an excellent explanation of what carbohydrates are. Carbs affect our blood sugar levels, so you really need to understand the difference between the good and bad carbs. Unbelievably… fruits and veggies are CARBS!

Yoli.com shares the difference between good and bad carbs:

PopSugar.com has a two-week weight loss plan using vegetarian dinners all under 300 calories.

Go to MyPlate.gov to see what the healthy eating guidelines are.

Image Credit: MyPlate.gov

Image credit: USDA MyPlate.gov

How’s that for some veggie inspiration? Here’s who joined us last week when we discussed Empathic Healing Tools:

Adele, from Firefly465

Annette Rochelle Aben

Tess, from How the Cookie Crumbles

Tina Frisco

Lucy, from Secret Diary of Porter Girl

Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

Namaste. I wish you much peace and joy this week.

READ MORE ON COLLEEN’S FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find new reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love and mindfulness, each month. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

CONNECT WITH ME – I love hearing from you!

colleenchesebro.com  Amazon  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Instagram