Golf – A Challenge Worth Taking

I have been on vacation in South Carolina this week.  The weather has been absolutely perfect and I love just relaxing on the beach.  My husband and son always golf, which is fine with me because then I don’t have to worry about them complaining about being bored on the beach.  This year, however, I felt like I wanted to give golf a try because I had a little FOMO (fear of missing out) going on.

My husband and son were taking a lesson so I asked my husband to sign me up too.  Why not??  As the day of the lesson came closer, I wanted to cancel it.  I thought my time would be better spent on the beach. Cancellation fees would probably apply so I bit the bullet and went to the lesson.  I am really glad that I did.  My instructor Ali was awesome; she was very supportive, down-to-Earth, and easy going.  She gave me a lot of great tips and I felt really good about myself when I left the lesson.  The Steve Dresser Golf Academy is one of the best in the Myrtle Beach area.  My husband and son also learned a lot in their advanced lessons and club fittings.

At home, I had been to the driving range a total of ONE time before my lesson.  I had taken other lessons years and years ago.  The thought of actually playing a round of golf scared me.  I didn’t think I had enough skill to get out there.  Well, I decided that there was no time like the present to give it a try.  I am in one of the most popular golf locations in the US and there are golfers of all levels getting out there every day.

 

There is a par 3 course, Tupelo Bay, which is not far from the condo we are staying in.  My husband said it was only 9 holes and I wouldn’t need to hit it very far, being that it was a par 3.  Again, I figured we’re here in one of the largest golf meccas so no time like the present to give it a try.  Since the par 3 was just “mini golf on steroids”, we decided to do the executive course, which was a par 3 and 4 course.  Nerves set in as we pulled up to the first hole, but when I saw others who hit the ball like me, I felt a lot better.  I didn’t do great, but I hit the ball and I have my first round 9 holes under my belt.  I, again, felt pretty good about myself walking off that course.

Golf is on the television all the time at my house.  I have been to PGA tournaments.  I hear my husband and son say how much you need to practice and how aggravating it can be.  So why do I want to get into this aggravating yet fulfilling hobby?  It is something we can do as a family and I can go out with friends who golf.  When I posted that I was taking a lesson on Facebook, a friend commented that she was in a beginner league at home and why don’t I join?  I told her ABSOLUTELY.  She said it was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.  I may not improve my game, but fun and laughing are good for the soul.

So next step is getting some gear and just getting out there and doing it.  I am proud of myself because I am taking on a challenge of learning something completely new to me.  I have been writing a lot lately about my yoga journey and mindfulness, and this post may seem out of place.  However, I feel that taking on this challenge and being present in the moment of just concentrating on hitting the ball is just another way to be mindful.  Not letting every day worries and cares get in the way of my present purpose.

What is a challenge that you have taken on that has become a success for you??

My A-HA Moment: A Chain Reaction

I’ve been working on some personal issues lately.  I had some huge losses in my life as a teenager, which I am realizing now have followed me into middle adulthood.   As I work through them, I have had some realizations and A-HA moments all over the place.  I will start with a first A-HA moment that have led to a chain reaction of others.

First of all, the loss that I experienced as a teenager was the loss of my parents within a five month span.  I can remember as a child that I always worried that my parents might die and that worse case scenario actually came true.  Now I realize that I immediately go to the worse case scenario when issues arise in my life because at the one time, the worse case scenario DID come true.  So that is my starting point.

I have issues with my supervisor.  In my head, I go to the worse case scenario because of my history.  I have nothing to prove that some of the things I assume from her actions are true, but I still go THERE…to the worse case scenario.  Okay…so I understand why I go to that extreme now what do I do?  Here is where the other A-HAs have come into play.

a-ha moment #1

I bought a book several months ago The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein (affiliate link).  I was cleaning out a shelf….putting some books on half.com and I came across that book.  Since I just finished another self-care book, I thought I’d start reading my find.  The introduction of the book talked about “freedom from fear so you can return to peace”.  Reference was made to the fact that even though we want to feel better and improve ourselves, we are stuck in our patterns of negativity because it is what we know and we don’t want to venture out into the unknown.   Truth!!!  My interpretation of this is LET IT GO.

a-ha moment #2

I have numerous podcasts that I subscribe to and have started to listen to them during my commute, which I haven’t done in months.  I subscribe to The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson.  There are about 60 episodes in my queue…yikes.  I decided to listen to the oldest episode in the queue from February 2016…Mind Over Medicine with Dr. Lissa Rankin.  She talks about how she was a traditional medical doctor and felt like she was drowning in the managed medical world.  Her schedule went from meeting with 25 patients a day to 40, which gave her 7-1/2 minutes with each patient.

She quit and decided to go into a more naturopathic practice where she could meet with each patient for an hour.  Dr. Rankin said she wasn’t even prescribing medicine, but just listening to patients because she had the time and they were healing!!!!  The process of her listening put the patients into a relaxation response which improved the healing process.  Another truth…having the relaxation response makes us feel better.  My interpretation of this…again…LET IT GO.

a-ha moment #3

While perusing my podcasts, I looked for a mediation podcast and found Meditation Minis with Chel Hamilton.  I LOVE this podcast.  I’ve wanted to incorporate meditation into my wellness repertoire for a long time and this was just what I needed.  I chose episode 9:  Meditation to Let Worries and Stress Drift Away.  This guided meditation talked about thinking of all your worries as a balloon that you let just drift away…truth #3.  My interpretation of this…you guessed it…LET IT GO.

So I guess I’m going to make like Elsa/Anna and LET IT GO!!!  I felt like all these messages from the universe were synchronized to point me in the right direction towards healing myself.  What are your go-to, self-healing resources??  I’d love to hear about your successes.

My Continuing Yoga Journey

I recently wrote a post on the start of my yoga journey.  It’s been a couple weeks so I wanted to give an update since I’ve taken several more steps on my journey.  I hope this inspires others who are have been hesitant to try yoga to take the first steps on their journey.

Online Resources

First of all, one of my awesome readers mentioned that she did yoga with a Youtuber named Adriene.  I love when readers leave suggestions in the comments because it is helpful to me and I like to leave comments that are helpful to others.  It’s such a great community.  I gave Yoga with Adriene a look and now I am OBSESSED!!!  I feel like she is my new best friend…lol.

She is uplifting and chill.  I love her calm voice and playful nature.  The speed is just right…I can’t say enough about her awesomeness!!!  I am a kindergarten teacher and I have my students do yoga every day in class and I have incorporated some of Adriene’s shorter classes in our day.

Yoga Props

I have the tightest hips and IT bands on Earth.  My hip issues are the cause of said tightness.  I ordered some yoga blocks (affiliate link) which help support my legs in certain poses because I don’t have as much flexibility in those poses.  They are a life saver.

Modifications

Yes, as I’ve said above, I need to modify some of the poses.  This is partly due to my hip issues and tightness AND partly because I’ve just started the yoga journey.  I know that once I become more familiar with the poses and strengthen and stretch the muscles, it will become easier.  I found some wonderful resources for modifications.

courtesy of Yoga Journal website

My FAVORITE active wear retailer Athleta has a blog where I found a great post with wonderful visuals and suggestions.   When I googled yoga modifications, I found some great images from Yoga Journal.  They were exactly what I was looking for and it was easier to find them in Google images than their actual website.  The Yoga Journal website has a plethora of information on yoga and is a great overall resource.

I will continue to update my journey here.  Most of all if you have any more suggestions or ideas, please keep them coming.  As a result of your comments, I have learned so much from my readers and love the community we have.  Thank you. Namaste.

Book Love #1

I love to read…yes…it’s Book Love.  Anyone who wants to relax while keeping their brain engaged should take up leisure reading…it’s part of my wellness routine.  I know that a lot of people say that they don’t have the time, but it is just such a great hobby and use of brain power.  I read EVERY night before going to sleep.  It’s hard for me  to wind down without my nightly read.   I am always looking for good books to read and I love to find little gems that aren’t always on the best seller list.

#1 – The Ladies room by Carolyn Brown

This book was a special on Amazon and the blurb that was written about it was intriguing so I picked it up.  It is a story of unrequited love after a loveless marriage.  It can be a little predictable, but it is a sweet story and I really enjoyed it.  It’s one of the books that when you finish it, you wish there was a follow-up book to continue the story because you want to know what happens with the characters.

#2 – The Dead Key by d. m. pulley

Another Amazon special…what drew me to this book was the preview that stated the book flashed backward and forward between the past and present.  That aspect of the book was engrossing.  As you read each flash forward or back, you couldn’t wait to see how it affected the opposite time period.  I love historical fiction and this gives you the best of historical fiction with a current suspense novel.

#3 – The 7th Canon by robert dugoni

If you love thrillers and suspense, Robert Dugoni is the author for you.  I read My Sister’s Grave several years ago and loved it so when I saw that he had other novels, I had to add this to my must-read list.  This one takes place in San Francisco and has many twists and turns that you won’t see coming.

#4 – Blown by Lauren halstead burroughs

After watching the Scientology documentary by actress Leah Remini, I was fascinated by the Scientology movement.  I couldn’t believe the stories she and other former members told of this religion/cult.  Blown is a novel which tells the story of a girl/woman’s life in Scientology.  It is a novel so it is fictitious, but after seeing the documentary, I know that the things in the novel could have actually happened.

#5 – The Good Lawyer by thomas benigno

I love legal thrillers and Thomas Benigno is legal thriller royalty.  I have read several of his books and liked all of them.  His stories are a little more gritty than a John Grisham book and I like it that way.

What is your current favorite leisure reading book?

**book photos from Amazon and Goodreads.

***Ebay partner affiliate links included

Healthy Dessert: A Love Story

Let’s cut to the chase…have you tried Halo Top ice cream?  If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?  I had heard about this delectable, healthy dessert, but had never tried it.  I bought a pint last weekend and I am OBSESSED.

What makes Halo Top healthy???  See below direct from the Halo Top website.

HOW WE SWEETEN THE DEAL

so where’s the sugar?

In short, we use organic stevia. Stevia is a plant native to Paraguay that’s been used to sweeten foods and beverages for more than 200 years. And, because it’s so tasty, we use it as a sugar replacement. We also use Erythritol, which though it has a rather scientific-sounding name, is actually another all-natural sweetener found in fruits like pears and grapes. Though it’s technically a sugar alcohol, it’s unlike the others because erythritol doesn’t affect blood glucose or cause bloating.

This product is also a great source of protein…24 grams per pint for all flavors.  These are the nutrition facts from the mint chocolate chip flavor.

Flavors include vanilla bean, chocolate, lemon cake, mint chip, pistachio – all 240 calories per pint; strawberry, chocolate mocha chip, birthday cake, sea salt caramel, oatmeal cookie, chocolate almond crunch, black cherry – all 280 calories per pint; peanut butter cup, cookies and cream, s’mores – all 320 calories per pint; chocolate chip cookie dough, red velvet – both 360 calories per pint.

I have tried mint chip, birthday cake, and oatmeal cookie…LOVE them all.  The name of each flavor perfectly describes the taste and cannot wait to try the others.  I was also excited to try cookies and cream, but was disappointed.  It tasted NOTHING like cookies and cream:(

I am receiving no compensation or products for this post.  I reached out to the company and they said that there are occasional coupons if you sign up for their newsletter on their website.  You can all find giveaways on their Facebook page.

Healthy Dessert: A Love Stor Click To Tweet

The ONLY drawback that I found was that when I ate a whole pint of mint chip at one sitting (which is less calories than 1 cup of some full fat ice creams), I had some stomach distress.  I can be sensitive to milk protein so getting ALL that protein at once didn’t work for my digestion.  I then ate 1/2 of the container the next time I bought it and I was fine.  Just wanted everyone to know about that in case you too have milk protein sensitivity.

 

5 Mantras I Have Learned from author Jen Sincero

I just finished reading YOU ARE A BAD ASS by Jen Sincero.  It’s subtitle is “How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life”.  I have read a lot about personal mantras and You Are a Bad Ass is a book in which I have found daily mantras in order to start doubting my greatness and start living an awesome life.

Mantra #1

“This is about believing, even when things are at their most uncertain or absolute crappiest, that there is a bright shiny flipside within your reach.”  (Sincero, 2013, p.34)

When we are in our darkest moments, it can be very hard to believe that we will ever drag ourselves out and be positive again.  Hence, my first mantra should  be…There is ALWAYS a shiny flipside.

Mantra #2

“It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains,…dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now.”  (Sincero, 2013, p.36)

I am so guilty of this, especially with the onslaught of posts on our Facebook feed each day.  I have unfollowed a lot of “friends” because they made me feel jealous or out of shape or wishing I had more money.  STOP!!!  Those people’s lives are not important and comparison to them is ridiculous.  I feel so much better now and I am working on being more present in what is what is happening to me right now.  “Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life.” (Sincero, 2013, p.61) is an especially relevant mantra.

Mantra #3

“Holding on to my bad feelings about this is doing nothing but harming me, and everyone else, preventing me from enjoying my life fully.  I am an awesome person. I choose to enjoy life.  I choose to let this go.”  (Sincero, 2013, p. 62)

Just like the song in Frozen…Let it go!!  Let it go!!! Festering on something that is happening just saps your energy, makes you grumpy and unhappy and, hence, makes those around you uncomfortable.  You ARE a good person and I AM a good person, therefore, a suitable mantra probably should be…Let it go and enjoy life!

Mantra #4

“Do not fall prey to the false belief that by forgiving someone you’re letting them off the hook.  Because when you forgive someone you let yourself off the hook.”  (Sincero, 2013, p.123)

I know that this is absolutely true and it is the best thing that I can do for myself.  Holding on to negative energy can make you sick, stressed out, unhappy, lethargic…in addition to other ailments.  As I am typing this, I just had a huge A-HA moment.  It says to forgive, but it doesn’t say you have to forget about what happened.  This is definitely something that I struggle with. I know that the resentment I feel isn’t good for my soul.  Consequently, I can forgive, but I will not forget.  As a result, a fitting mantra is…Let yourself off the hook.

Mantra #5

“Set honest goals that are just outside your comfort zone and build from there.”  (Sincero, 2013, p.238)  I LOVE this.  Don’t make these HUGE, hard to attain goals.  Move forward in small increments and you will reach those goals and feel a sense of success.  Finally, a mantra for this quote should be…Go just outside your comfort zone.

In conclusion, no compensation or products have been exchanged for this post.  I enjoyed this book and wanted to share it with others since it was helpful to me.  What books are you reading that have given you an A-HA moment?  I’d love to hear from you.

Here is author Jen Sincero letting it go and enjoying life:)

My Yoga Journey

I have wanted start a yoga journey for quite awhile.  I took some yoga classes years ago and never went back to it due to, now realizing in hindsight, I wasn’t quite ready for the full journey.  It will be good for my body and soul, therefore, I have decided to dip my toe into the yoga pool. I cannot remember many of the poses so I feel that I am a beginning beginner.

One of the reasons that I haven’t been to a yoga class in forever is because I will feel embarrassment.  What if EVERYONE in the class knows all the poses hence I am the only one who doesn’t know them?  When I give it a second thought, however, I know that most yogis want to spread their love and knowledge of yoga so I shouldn’t be embarrassed.  If any group can be understanding of a beginner, it would be this group.

When I look for local classes, I have seen some beginning beginner classes, but they don’t fit into my schedule.  I want to start this journey NOW so I decided to do some research and take the first step.  Much needed information and supplies are a click or stretch away.  As a result of said research, I discovered some wonderful realities.

EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH THE FIRST STEP.

What do I need to start this wonderful journey?

Versatile clothes?  Yes!

Informational books?  Yes!

For the mind:  True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment

For the body:  Mindfulness Yoga

Especially relevant…helpful videos?  Yes!

Do Yoga With Me

My Yoga Journey Click To Tweet

Okay…no more excuses and full speed ahead.

Finally, I would love to know any resources that you cannot live without in regards to yoga.  Please tell me about any music you listen to,  essential oils you use, videos you follow…I want to hear about all your yoga non-negotiables.  A yoga journey update will be forthcoming.  Namaste.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Foam Rolling

Foam rolling…have you heard of it?  What is it?  Why do it?  I am going to give you an overview of this awesome muscle “massage” and why I swear by it.  I have hip dysplasia, which started when I was about 3 years old when I had to get PT to walk.  My hips were fine all my life until I was pregnant with my son 15 years ago.  As a result of that added weight and the long ago dysplasia, I went from arthritis in my hip to the current state of my hip bone going through my pelvis.

Eventually, I will have to get a hip replacement, but for the past year there has been no deterioration so I am good to go.  Due to this ailment, I have limited movement in my hips, therefore, my IT bands are as tight as they can be.  (IT bands run from the knee to the hip on the side of the leg.)  Foam rolling is the only thing that gives me any relief.

Foam rollers are just what they sound like…a huge roll of foam…about the diameter of a log.  They come in different sizes, textures, lengths, and colors.  I have 2 different rollers:  one is smooth and the other has the texture of a mountain bike tire.  You roll whatever muscle you need “massaged” on the roller and, as a result, it hurts like %$#&*.  After you are done, however, it feels AWESOME!!!

 

Foam rollers are pretty readily available:  Amazon, Target, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc.  In conclusion, I have included links to some wonderful articles that explain more about foam rolling and how to do it.  Although one of the articles is written for a running magazine, you can use these exercises for any workout or sport.  I don’t run at all because of my hip so believe me…foam rolling works for with sports and workouts.  Give it a try…it will NOT disappoint.

*What is a Foam Roller and Why does it hurt?  Breaking Muscle.com

*How to Use a Foam Roller Runner’s World.com

*7 Awesome Ways to use a Foam Roller Womens Health mag.com

OOTD: Affordable Fitness Style

I LOVE new workout clothes.  There is so much fun fitness style out there now and I get motivated to do my workouts when I have a new fitness OOTD.  Many brands of workout clothes are quite expensive and not worth their price.  There are also brands that are cheap, and there is a reason why they cheap…they just don’t last.  I have found some quality workout clothes that look great and don’t break the bank.

SNEAKERS

My absolute favorite brand of sneakers is Asics.  They fit my foot the best and are great quality.  There are so many great styles and colors to choose from.  Almost all of my sneakers have come from the Asics website.  They have an unbelievable clearance section with a great range of sizes.  I wear an 11 or 11-1/2 women’s sneaker and they always have my size in stock. Most noteworthy, free shipping and returns.

LEGGINGS/TIGHTS and SPORTS BRAS

Athleta is my absolute favorite place to get leggings.  The quality is fabulous.  There is a huge selection of prints, colors, thicknesses, lengths and sizes.  I have an Athleta store near me and they always have items on their clearance rack.  If you have a GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic or Athleta charge card, you can earn reward points for purchases.  The reward points accumulate into $5 credits that you can use at any of that family of stores.  If you find something on the clearance rack AND, in addition, use the credits you earn, you can get quite a deal.  I recently found the cutest sports bra on the sale rack, too.  The website also has a sale section, but sometimes there isn’t a huge selection of sizes.  You can also find plus and petite sizes on the website.

** Side note: C9 leggings/tights from Target were voted #1 by Good Housekeeping for durability, quality and fit.

SPORTS BRAS

If you want a no-nonsense, supportive, long-lasting sports bra, you should go to Old Navy.   In addition, I love that they have removable padding….key feature.  They have gotten cuter styles recently, but a lot of the cuter styles have low support.  I have had some of these bras for several years and they have held up very well.  I have no complaints whatsoever.  Furthermore, you can also use those reward credits for these purchases.

TANKS

I recently went shopping at the GAP and I love the GapFit section.  The fabric that the tanks are made of is so soft and hangs well on the body…not too clingy, not too loose.  LOVE them.  Again, hit that clearance rack and got some tanks for a STEAL.  I will definitely be visiting that clearance rack when I need, or WANT, some new tanks.  Reward credits can be use here too.

Most of all, I hope you found some useful finds in this post.  I am so happy to share fabulous finds with others and  I’d love to hear about your go-to workout wear brands…brick and mortar locations OR online merchandisers.

Finally, here is an Athleta link for $20 off $100 if you want to receive an even bigger discount.  ***affiliate link***