Friday, March 28, 2014

MDHLC: Week Three

I am super pressed for time this week.

Work has been non-stop busy. I feel like each evening is jam-packed until I pass out at bedtime so this weekend I plan on relaxing, traveling/adventuring, turning off the phone/internet (except for HW) and unwinding.

That being said, I really wanted to get a post together outlining week three of the Mother's Day Healthy Living Challenge goal.

It's just one.

It's really simple.

But at the same time it will be very challenging...

Just MOVE!

That's it my friends. This week make your goals focused around and committed to moving more.

I am going out of town Saturday and Sunday (which means all day in a car) and then out to LA/Anaheim Thursday (which means all day in a plane) and then attending a conference from Friday-Wednesday (which means all day sitting) so I need to figure out how to MOVE!

My goals for week three are as follows:

75K steps for the week. I plan on walking EVERYWHERE I can.

Don't go crazy with the takeout/road trip/hotel foods. Make the best choices possible and bring lots of good snacks/meal options.

Hit the gym at least 3 times. I know I have one guaranteed- my last appointment with my personal trainer. She is leaving the university so I will be starting with someone new hopefully when I get back from Cali. It will be sad to say goodbye to my trainer. I have spent the past 7 months with her first through boot camp and now through rehab. It's an understatement to say I feel very connected to her and will be sad to see her go.

That's what I have going on and my plans for week 3.

What about you? How will you plan on moving this week?

Love and hugs-

Saturday, March 22, 2014

MDHLC: Week Two

Hello everyone!

How was your first week of the Mother's Day Healthy Living Challenge?

My week was a bit up and down. So far I have been doing really great with my 30 minutes a day of self care. On Tuesday, I even read a book. True, it was for my grad class but still staying on top of my reading keeps me calm and de-stressed so I call that a win.

For the gratitude portion of my goals I think I have been doing well but I know I could do better. Thursday I was feeling really crappy (fighting off a spring cold) and I am pretty sure I spent the day being miserable, not taking a moment to be grateful. But other than that day I have been actively trying to show gratitude more and more each day. On a side note: have I told you how grateful I am for this challenge and the amazing FORTY-SIX people participating in it??? That number is pretty mind-blowing. I am definitely humbled….and thankful for sure.

My last goal was to log 8,000 steps a day. So far, since Monday, I am only 3 for 5 on that goal. I still have two more days and know I will reach my step goal throughout this weekend. So, I am going to call it a tentative win ;)

If you remember, last week for the initial week's challenge, I gave us a theme to follow when setting our goals: Do something each day that represents what healthy living means to you.

Now, I may not have been perfect every day when it came to hitting my goals but I can say with absolute certainty that I did something every day that represented what healthy living means to me. So I will call week one a success. Of course there is room for improvement but isn't there always?

For week two I challenge you with this:

*Do something different*

And when I say do something different it can be anything; a new exercise/activity, trying a new food, or changing up your schedule. Shake things up. Our bodies get used to routines. We need to change things up every now and then. 

And I don't know about you but I can certainly use a change to get me out of this rut. 

So, with that being said, my week two goals are as follows:

  1. 70,000 steps for the week. Monday-Wednesday my step count will be lower but once the stitches come out I plan on stepping it up, sorry for the bad pun, a notch
  2. Three morning workouts. This is a big change for me, incorporating morning workouts again, but it is a change I desperately need- especially for this next week when I have a lot going on after work.
  3. No eating out or drinking during the week with the exception of Thursday night work social. Sunday night -Friday afternoon (aside from the aforementioned exception) I will prepare all my own meals and will not drink any beer/alcohol. This is me trying to get back to my norm but I will be doing it a bit differently because I am going to play around with some new foods and meal ideas. 
Your job for this week

  1. Check in with me (via email, FB, text, whatever) and let me know how you did for week 1. Did you meet your goals? Did you struggle? You can be as brief or thorough as you like. You checking in with me is really you just checking in with you, and then telling me :)
  2. Set your goal(s) for week two and include them with your check-in. Please contact me by Monday morning, 3/24/14, with your update of week one and week two goals 

I hope you all enjoyed the first week of the challenge. I know it was certainly eye-opening for me, especially in terms of my eating patterns, and I plan on using what I learned last week and incorporating it into this week's behaviors.

Image from Pinterest

Love, hugs and lots of high fives,


P.S. Feel free to use the hashtag #daciaschallenge on IG or Twitter if you want to share outside of the FB group :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Day 6 and 7 - March Healthy Living Challenge

For Day 6 of the March Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Blogging Challenge Janice, the Fitness Cheerleader, asked us to share our favorite St. Patrick's Day recipe.

Since I am a vegan, traditional items like corned beef or Shepard's pie are out for me. I should note that last night I made up this Irish Beef Stew for E and he LOVED it. I cannot attest to how it tasted but it certainly did smell scrumptious. So, if you are looking for a good beef stew recipe I would try this one.

As far as my favorite SPD dish goes there is one I absolutely love and thanks to the recipe in  Happy Herbivore Abroad I can still eat - colcannon.

Colcannon is a really simple and very yummy potato dish. It is basically mashed potatoes with kale (or cabbage) mixed in. The recipe from HH Abroad is super simple(five ingredients; potatoes, kale, green onion, non-dairy milk, and dijon mustard) and definitely one of my favorite dishes, not just for St. Patrick's Day it is one of my favorites, period.

I made up a batch last night and will happily be enjoying leftovers for the next few days. Even E, who hates anything green and leafy, liked it. I call that a win in my book. Dang, just talking about it is making me hungry. Lol!

What is your favorite St. Patrick's Day recipe? 

For Day 7 of the March Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Blogging Challenge Janice, the Fitness Cheerleader, asked us how we were celebrating St. Patrick's Day

As I discussed briefly earlier in the post, last night I made up a huge Irish feast for me (the Italian) and my Salvadorian boyfriend. Even though neither of us are Irish we both enjoy beer and Irish fare so we, of course, wanted to partake in the holiday.

Tonight, after work and the gym, we will be enjoying our leftovers ( I am thinking of making boxtie's/potato pancakes out of the colcannon) and then heading downtown for some beers. Initially I had thought we would be staying in to watch the Boondock Saints but I think we will end up downtown instead. More than likely we will end up at World of Beers to check out their Irish beer selection. I am not a fan of green beer (unless it is Spirulina Wit from Freetail Brewing in San Antonio- that is one of my all time favorite beers) so I will probably just stick with something Irish or whatever sounds good.

How do you celebrate this most famous of Irish holidays? 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Love and hugs,

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Mother's Day Healthy Living Challenge

I mentioned to E the other day that I wanted to lose weight.

I try to cut myself some slack and give myself a bit of recovery time after traveling since I always expect to see a gain when I spend days at a time eating out. It happens. I try not to beat myself up over it.

And so after a few weeks of traveling, I was really not surprised to see my weight had crept up-sadly though it was up higher than it was before the first surgery back in December. Yikes.

I am thankful that I was able to maintain my weight after the first surgery for about two months but over the last month it started to creep up and I am ready to put it to an end. I know there are lots of factors contributing to the gain; traveling/eating out, drinking more, exercising more (yes, this plays a role on a few levels), and changing up my diet. Now that I am restricted from activity again (just for a couple weeks, thankfully) I thought this would be the perfect time to switch my focus over to weight loss mode and spend the next couple months working to get back to where I started (~ 156) pounds and focusing on leading a healthy and (soon) active lifestyle.

Two years ago, right around this time, I hosted a weight loss challenge on my blog and it was awesome. Each week we had different challenges and each week the leader (based off of weight loss percentage) was named. At the end of the challenge the person with the largest percentage of weight loss won the grand prize- I don’t remember all the details but I think the final prize was some stuff from Lush. I picked it out myself since you know; I am a small time non-sponsored blogger. The prize was really just whatever I felt like buying for that particular person  ;)

BUT for this challenge I want it to be a bit different.

Because we are all so different. We have different goals, we live different lifestyles and have different limitations and barriers.

Yes! If you want to make it a weight loss challenge go right ahead. And yes! If you want to make this a healthy eating challenge that’s cool too. Maybe your goal is to meditate and de-stress your life- that’s awesome! I want this challenge to be based on your individual needs and with that being said, it is going to be for you to decide what your goals are for the 8 week (3/17 to 5/11- Mother’s Day) and each individual week’s challenges.

I am here to set some guidelines, throw out some ideas, post lots of inspirational memes, and of course my main roll- facilitate. You will need to check in with me each week in order to qualify for the final prize. And because I am not really an ‘adhere to the norm’ kind of girl, there may be more than one winner. You never know J
From Pinterest

So here is what I need from you, if you so wish to participate:

First- leave me a comment (or email me at MyRootsToGrow [at] gmail [dot] com) and let me know you want to join in. I have created a private group on Facebook for this challenge which will be used for communications (in addition to this blog), general discussions and, of course, motivation.

Second- email, message on FB or leave a comment here your goal for what you want to achieve over the next 8 weeks. If you are making this a weight loss challenge- feel free to email me your starting weight and goal weight. I will track this, privately of course, for anyone in the group who chooses to log their weight.

                *One of my 8 week goals is weight loss related so I, too, will be tracking and posting my weights

Third- email, message on FB or leave a comment here with your goal for this first week of the challenge. Since this is week one I want us to take a bit of an introspective look and see what we can change to help us achieve our goals and enact some small changes that can get us there.  It is so important that we take time for ourselves and make our health/wellness our top priority so this week your challenge is:

*Do something each day that represents what healthy living means to you*

Four- check in with me at the start of each week(by Monday)  with your weekly goal (and this week include your eight week goal, too) and then at the end of each week (by Sunday) to let me know how you did. This is the accountability portion of the challenge. Even though you are the one to set all the goals and decide whether or not you met them I still need you to check in with me weekly. This is how a winner will be decided.

The winner- I am sure you are interested to know how that will be decided. Well, the plan is to randomly choose a winner (or winners) from the group of participants whom set their goals and check in every week. That’s it. Easy, right?

And since I am in this with you I thought I would start this challenge off with showing you my goals not only so you can help keep me accountable but also so you can see what I need from you so I can start our group log.

8 Week Overall Challenge Goals (yes, you can have one or multiples- this is totally up to you)

-          Back to goal weight of 156 (I haven’t weighed myself in awhile so I may come back and update this is if this is not a realistic number- I will weigh in ‘officially’ Sunday and update this if need be)

-          Find a healthy (and maintainable) balance between foods I prepare myself and convenience (processed/takeout) foods. Back to maintaining my 80/20 rule

-          Earn an 'A' in my current grad school class (yep,  I am totally putting my educational goal in here because I view it as a big part of what I deem a healthy lifestyle- knowledge is power, people!)

Week One Challenge Goals:

-          30 minutes devoted to self-care every day. This can be reading, taking a long walk around the city, writing a letter, meditating- anything that will bring me some peace, happiness, and is purely for ME

-          8,000 steps a day. I have very limited activity until 3/26 but I can walk. So each day I will challenge myself to walk 8K steps. This is my constraint so I have to make it work for me, right?

-          Be grateful every day. Take time each day to express gratitude for friends, family, this life and the fact that I made it another day J

So, here it is. The Mother’s Day Healthy Living Challenge. I hope you will join in. Please email me (MyRootsToGrow [at] gmail [dot] com) or leave a message here in the comments or on FB or wherever if you have any questions or if you want to join in!

Here’s to a happier and healthier US!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Favorite Activity as a Child

Here is my post for day 5 of the March Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Blogging Challenge.

Today's topic is 'what was your favorite activity as a child?'

I'd like to think I was the typical child of the late 70s/early 80s; playing outside until the street lights came on, getting dirty, using my imagination and whatnot. Although I do also remember plenty of time dedicated to using my portable tape recorder,standing in front of the TV, to tape my favorite episodes of Scooby Doo, but I digress.

When I think back on my childhood I of course think about running around with my friends. Playing at the park or playground or even in our yards. I remember long summers days and how I never wanted to be inside.

But when I think as to what was my favorite activity one thing popped right into my mind- fishing.

Ok, so yeah, I know this may not be the typical activity you had in mind. And yes, for the most part fishing is a pretty inactive activity but to me it is still an activity nonetheless.

I remember fishing with my dad while we would camp out during the summers or with my grandpa in his little boat when we would go up to his place in the mountains. When I think of my favorite thing to do as a child my mind instantly jumps to those memories.

And yes, I do see the irony in  this as I am now an animal-loving vegan ;)

I also find it funny that as a kid I was drawn to an activity which requires complete silence and allows ample time for introspection.

Me, alone with my thoughts
Even if those thoughts revolved around Sesame Street and playing makebelieve.
What was your favorite activity as a child?
Love and hugs,

Monday, March 10, 2014

FMM: Vacations!

I just had to because I LURV this topic!

If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin’ Monday (FMM) then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s questions on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: this way everyone over at Losing Weight and Having Fun can check out your responses. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to create your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts, too. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

1)      Where was the last place you went on vacation to?
Funny you asked, I just got home last night from a whirlwind trek around central Florida. E and I headed out to Sarasota and Clearwater to catch two Phillies games, St. Pete for dinner and beers, and Tampa for a Bolts game and a brewery. We left immediately after work Thursday and drove to Lake City. Woke up Friday morning, drove to Sarasota for the Phillies vs O’s baseball game, dinner and drinks in St. Pete then over to our hotel in Clearwater. Saturday we went to (the World Famous) Lenny’s restaurant, Bright House stadium for the Houston vs Phillies game, over to Tampa where we grabbed a quick bite, checked into our hotel and dashed across the street (literally) to the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the Bruins vs Lightning game. We headed back to Pensacola yesterday but not before stopping at Wawa, Cigar City Brewpub and Whole Foods! It was an AMAZING weekend!!! I cannot wait to do it again next year!

2)      Do you have plans for a vacation this year?

On top of all the traveling I have already done this year, I have four more just planned between now and the end of June. I am heading to Anaheim for 8 days in April. It’s for work but I am making a vacation out of it by seeing a bunch of my bloggy and IRL friends, going to TWO NHL games, and of course some breweries. Then Atlanta in early May to see Arcade Fire and spend the weekend exploring, home to Philly for Memorial Day Weekend, and then FITBLOGGIN in Savannah the end of June. E and I have talked about some day trips, heading back to NOLA and spending the summer riding bikes and laying on the beach so I probably won’t be heading anywhere too far until the fall rolls around.

3)      If money was no option, where would your dream vacation be?

This is a tough one. If it was just me- probably India. But if it was me and my significant other maybe someplace romantic (Paris)…or maybe someplace tropical (Fiji)…or maybe someplace with a great nightlife (Montreal). Ok, I guess if money was no object, honestly, I would pick a trip around the world. I would want to see it all J

4)      What is your favorite vacation spot that you have visited?

This is another tough one. Maybe England/Scotland. I spent a few weeks over there and had just the absolute best time.

5)      Have you ever had a staycation?

For Valentine’s Day E and I headed 8 miles away to the beach part of Pensacola Beach and spent the weekend riding bikes, eating out, and relaxing on the gulf. Best staycation EVER!

6)      Are you a lie on the beach person or a go out and explore person?

Both. I am a lie on the beach during the day and go out and explore at night kind of person. I like to do both equally.

7)      When you fly do you have a favorite airline?

This really depends on where I live. When I was in SA I always flew on American and now in Pensacola I prefer Delta. I do fly SW sometimes , mainly because of cost, but I would pick Delta over them most any day. I have always preferred United, AA, and Delta. I would prefer not to fly on US Air if I can help it.

8)      Have you ever had a ‘vacation from hell’?

Not really an entire vacation but I have had parts of vacations that were just downright terrible. Mostly because of who I was traveling with. I don’t have that problem anymore.

9)      Have you ever had an airline lose your luggage?

Yes, but not permanently. The few times this has happened I always got it back in less than 24 hours. Knock on wood that this is always the case.

10)   Do you send postcards to friends and family when you go on vacation?

This is something I started doing last year when a college friend of mine asked me to send her some while I was at a work conference. Ironically, I just sent her some from Houston and spring training weekend today. From time to time I will send them to friends and family too. I like to think they enjoy receiving them. I sent one to E but it got lost in the mail. I am still kind of bummed about that.

Happy Monday friends!



Day 4: My Favorite Health and Fitness Apps

Today is Day 4 of the March Healthy Living/Fitness BloggerBlogging Challenge and look, I am actually getting my post up on the same day! Woo hoo! That is nothing short of a miracle, if you ask me ;)

Today’s topic is ‘What are Your Favourite Fitness Apps?’

I have a handful of fitness apps on my iPhone but honestly, I don’t use most of them. It kind of fluctuates which ones I use and when based off of what I am doing in my daily life.
I would say out of all of my apps the only one I use regularly is the Fitbit app. For the most part, as long as I remember to charge my fitbit, I use this one daily.  I like tracking my steps, especially since I work a desk job, and this tool (the fitbit itself and the app) helps me keep on top of it.

Other apps I like:

MyFitnessPal- I should probably log my food daily but since I really try to eat intuitively I am not super concerned with doing this daily. I do like the app though and love seeing all of my friend’s progress.

Strava- I have both the cycling and running app. This is my favorite app for cycling. I love the features plus I found it doesn’t drain my phone battery as quickly as some other cycling apps do too. After trying out a bazillion running apps I found that I like the Strava running one best. But sometimes I use….

Runkeeper- I like this one too. Mainly for the same reason as MFP- so many friends use Runkeeper. But, I rarely do. I rarely track my running anymore, regardless, since I run naked. No, not naked in the literal sense but naked meaning no tracking devices. I stopped running with a Garmin or an app almost a year ago and I just find it so much more enjoyable.

BUT- I will use the Road ID app if I go out on the trails or someplace off the beaten path. Because safety is my priority and someone should really know where I am. You know, just in case. I highly recommend outdoor runner (and cyclists) download this app- especially if you run/ride alone. It could save your life. I also run/ride with my Road ID bracelet too. You can never be too safe.

iRideInside- this is my favorite app for when I use my spin bike. It is instructor led spin workouts with video and voice commands (and you can use your own music too which I love) because honestly, if I was alone on a spin bike it would be hard for me to come up with a great workout. I love this app and use it every single time I am on my spin bike.

C25K Free- this is the app I used when I first started running and training for my first 5K. I liked it enough that I use it now as I work on getting back into running since the surgery. I mainly use it when I am at the gym, on the treadmill, but sometimes I use it on the track too. When E and I run together he follows along as well and has even downloaded the app so he can use it when he runs on the treadmill. There are tons of free Couch to 5K apps out there but for whatever reason this is the one I picked back in 2012 and so this is the one I am using now.

That’s really about it as far as fitness apps go. I am really not too great about using apps in general. I use FB all the time but anymore I am barely on Twitter, G+ or IG let alone my fitness apps. I should probably try to use them more as they do serve as a really great tool. I forget that sometimes.

What fitness apps do you use? Any awesome ones you can’t live without that you think I should start using?

Love and hugs,



Sunday, March 9, 2014

An Identity Crisis...Sort Of

Some days I experience emotions that make me feel a bit....lost. 

Not necessarily that I am going through life without a sense of direction but more like I missed out on a huge chunk of my life.

Let me explain.

I am thirty-six but I feel like I have the life of a twenty-four year old. And to be fair the only reason I say 24 and not 22 is because I went to grad school.

Here is why I feel like a 24 year old. 

I drive a car that is financed, not owned.

I live in a one room efficiency, that I rent.

I am single.

I have no kids.

I have only been at my current job for a year. And to add insult to injury, not only am I not established in my career I make less than I did 7 yrs ago when I got my Master's.

I feel like over the last decade (more particularly the last 4.5 years since I left Boeing) my life was paused. During this time my friends got married, bought houses, had families.

Me- well, I did get married but you all know how that one played out.

And it's weird, talking about this to E. He is my age, well a couple years older, but his life (although single and kid free) is quite different than mine. He owns his car, has a decade worth of equity in his home, and has been at his job for 13 years. He is established.

Me- well some days (like today) I just feel like I'm floating. Not grounded. Not rooted. Just here. And it is a weird feeling.

I feel like I will be 50 years old by the time I feel like I have a 36 year old's life. And that makes me nervous. 

And sad.

And remorseful for the life I feel like I lost.

And I can't fix this. 

I don't know how. 

Or at least I don't know how, yet.

Yes, I realize that every 36 year old leads a different life. I have high school friends with kids that are making college plans and I have friends who openly admit they will never settle down, never have kids, etc.  It's a broad spectrum.

And I'm on it somewhere, seemingly more towards one end than the other.

And I don't write about this because I want pity or sympathy but instead I write simply because it is cathartic for me. Sometimes this is the best way for me to express these feelings. And through that expression I hope to find a solution.

Or at least a glimmer of hope that my 36/24 life is ok.

That this is where I am meant to be.

That I will be ok.

Because this is my life and it will only ever look like what I make of it.

I can't take back those years of my life where I felt stagnant. Those years I feel I wasted.

But I can vow to work on creating better years going forward.   

And being ok with my life the way it is. Because ultimately it doesn't matter how I perceive the state of my 'adulthood'. 

I have a roof over my head, a job, and people that love me. Everything else is just icing on the cake.



Saturday, March 8, 2014

What the Word Strong Means to Me

Here is my post for Day 3 of the March Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Blogging Challenge. The topic is 'What does the word strong mean to you?' 

To me, this word has many meanings.

Strong, as in potent. Like 'damn, this coffee is strong'.

Strong, in the sense that someone can lift heavy things (or at least easily open lids on jars) without much effort.

Strong, in the sense that a person has endured much but still continues on. 

Strong, as in durable

...I think you get my point 

But really when I think of this word and what it means to me it really has to be in regards to the fighter in all of us. Life is tough. We all go through shit pretty regularly. Yet we all keep going, keep fighting, keep marching forward. Because we are all strong. 

While writing this I think about some of the people in my life who have endured some major hardships or survived through some pretty difficult circumstances; raising children alone while your spouse is deployed or losing your business or losing someone close to you. These are some pretty big trials and tribulations. But I know the people who live these lives and they are the strongest people I know. 

And none of them complain.

And any of them would put your needs ahead of theirs to help you out.

Now that, my friends, is strong. 

And those people are my daily inspiration. 

Those people show me the best this world has to offer. 

Courage under fire all with a warm smile and a loving heart- that is what strength means to me. 

And I am lucky to see this every day.

Love and super strong bear hugs,

Friday, March 7, 2014

Making Time for Fitness

Today's post is for Day 2 of the March Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Blogging Challenge. The topic is 'Making Time for Fitness'

This post could go one of a few ways; super short, super long, or hopefully somewhere in between. 

My answer to making time for fitness is Just Do It! 

I mean seriously, fitness (or any activity really) is a necessity for a healthy mind and body and it should be a priority. 

At least that's how I see it.

Yeah, I know it's much easier for me to squeeze in time for fitness since I don't have kids but even without children I still have a pretty busy life. After working all day and taking a full time grad school course load the time I have left is limited. Especially now as a single person with no one to help with the chores, i.e. grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry. You know, the really fun stuff ;)

Anywho. We are all busy. I think that's just the way we operate these days. But it is possible to make time for fitness. Here's a few ways I manage to get in my activity:

Walk More! Everywhere I can walk I do. I work a desk job. Things have been a bit hectic lately and some days I end up eating at my desk (BIG no no in my book) so I wear my fitbit (pedometer) and set some alarms to notify me to get up and walk. I try to take a few short walks throughout the day. I also try to walk around my neighborhood on the weekends and if I'm downtown (where I live) I never drive my car. 

Schedule Workouts Every weekend I spend a little bit of time planning out the next week, including scheduling time for the gym or runs or whatnot. Some weeks I can get in 4 days, some only 2 days. On weeks where I can't make it to the gym/track but only 2 times I try to supplement by walking more throughout the week. 

Stick to the Plan! Just like there are times I take sick days from work, there are times I need rest days from the gym. However, if I am healthy then there is absolutely no reason I can't get in 30-60 minutes of exercise. I make my fitness time my priority, just like work or school. I treat it as something I have to do. Yeah, I still make plans to do stuff on weeknights but I hit the gym first. Even if that means going out to dinner in workout clothes or getting to trivia night a little late.

That's great, but how do you make yourself want to keep fitness a priority you might ask?

Well, two ways. One, the big one, is because I know I need to stay active to stay healthy. That's the whole point right; a long, healthy, happy life and being active is a big part of achieving that goal. 

But the other way is this: Keep it fun! 
I love everything I do. I love boot camp classes (and now my personal training sessions) - they bring me so much joy. Running and cycling, especially with E, are so much fun. I get the nice rush of endorphins but I also get to spend time doing things I love which brings me such happiness. I love yoga. I love barre. I love everything I do. Or maybe a better way to look at it is this- I don't do anything that I don't love. That makes committing fitness on the regular so much easier.

Oh and another thing I just thought of: Surround Yourself with People Who Also Make Fitness Their Priorty
I am so lucky to be able to work at a university and have (free) access to an amazing fitness center. It's awesome. But you know what's even cooler? Going there after work and being surrounded by my peers. So many people I work with make time in their own busy lives to be active and it is great. One of my coworkers even keeps a bike in his office and hits the trails during lunch. It's great to be surrounded by people that, even through chaos and stress at work, still make time for fitness. 

They are great role models for me. As are you, my friends and family, when I see you making good choices, keeping active, making your health your priority. You make this easier for me. And I hope that I can do the same for you.

Love and hugs,

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What Makes Me Happy

This is my first post of the March Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Blogging Challenge. This challenge comes from Janice, the FitnessCheerleader. I am going to try to follow along the best I can although I doubt my posts will be published on the same days as hers. I will try to stick to the three posts a week she has outlined. She shares the list of topics here in case you are interested in joining in. Today’s (well, yesterday’s actually) topic is ‘what brings happiness to your life?’ This is my response:

I am generally a pretty happy person.

Or at least from my viewpoint, I think I am.

I try to maintain a positive attitude and see the brightside of every situation, which of course is easier said than done- I am not perfect at this but I try.

Somewhere along this path I realized that I was the one holding the key to my happiness. I had spent far too long expecting (consciously and subconsciously) others to create my happiness. I also spent far too long equating possession of things with happiness. I know this last part was not instilled in me from my parents. It was a bad trait I picked up from a previous relationship. Luckily I broke that cycle and was able to manage to become someone more concerned with memories and experiences than materialistic goods.

For me, there are so so so many things which make me happy. So many that I doubt I would be able to list them all. But I can say there are the big ones; friends, family, someone to love, a place to call home and a sense of purpose (through work), a sense of responsibility (as a vegan) and a sense of pride for pursuing my dreams (both through grad school and through this journey). Those are all very big parts of my life which, almost always, bring me happiness daily.

But then there are also the smaller pieces which also bring me great happiness and joy. A hug from my Mom, hearing my Dad say he is proud of me, a good cup of tea, being able to do 25 crunches during my personal training session (woo hoo! Do you remember just a couple weeks ago I couldn’t even do one?), falling asleep in E’s arms, laughing with friends, watching hockey (or baseball), a co-worker asking me about my weekend, really good dark chocolate, vegan restaurants, being able to stay awake to watch Jimmy Fallon, a good night’s sleep, bubble baths, reading a book, riding my bike, being out on the water, listening to music (specifically alt rock), and many, many, others.
Cupcakes make me very happy!

These little things and big things all play a part in this amazing life I have carved out for myself. And I am beyond fortunate that the people in my life, my surroundings, my hobbies, my lifestyle, and my career all bring me so much happiness.

And they do so because I choose to allow them to.

I mean, I could just as easily choose to be miserable because my family lives over a thousand miles away (as do my closest friends) or because I live in a teeny tiny apartment or because I am still very limited activity-wise since the surgery or whatever. But I don’t.

Well, not all the time at least.

I mean yeah, I do get sad over some of the circumstances of my life. Especially when I miss out on big events (best friend’s son being born, weddings, holidays, etc.) which usually end up leaving me a bit sad and sometimes filled with longing. But that is usually just a temporary feeling because ultimately I know how happy I am here, in this life, and I wouldn’t change it.

Basically what I am trying to say is this.

There are a million and one things that bring me happiness.

But that is because I have made a million and one decisions to allow them to.

It’s a choice.

And I choose happiness!

So I guess if I needed to answer the question ‘what brings happiness to your life’ directly I would have to say ME!

Love and hugs and lots of happiness-



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Some Days

I'm writing this on my phone while nestled under the blankets on my hotel room bed. I am in Houston for the weekend. One of my bestest friends, Monica, from San Antonio graciously drove up here to spend the weekend doing girl stuff with me. Yesterday we hit the outlets in Cypress and I basically bought a, very much needed, new wardrobe. I packed an empty dufflebag (just like I did for Fitbloggin last year) and it is already full. In my defense, it's not a very big dufflebag but it really is stuffed to the brim with new clothes ;)

E told me it looks like there is a body in there. Trust me, no body. Just a crap ton of clothes and a pair of red chucks :)

Anywho, as I spent my evening lounging in pjs, talking hockey and watching the Tonight Show with Monica it really hit me just how lucky I am to have this opportunity to be here. And by here I mean, Houston spending time with my friend I haven't seen in over a year. I'm very lucky on this account.

You see, some days I get really sad because I have yet to make a really good girl friend in Pensacola. It's been over a year since I moved there and I still haven't found anyone to be my FL Monica or Jaime or any of my other amazing friends I've made throughout life. Yes, I have E and he is a great friend but he is a boy and boys stink at certain situations. There are definitely times where I just need a girlfriend's help/wisdom/comraderie. 

It is nice that I do have places like FB and twitter where I can catch up on (stalk) the happenings of my friend's lives all over the country and am able to still feel connected. That's awesome. But it's just not the same. It's close, but not quite.

And I think, as I get older, making new friends gets harder mainly because I don't have kids. Most people my age do. And although having children is an amazing blessing it certainly changes the dynamic of your life. I'm not saying I wouldn't/couldn't be friends with someone with kids- my BFF has a son and I still love her ;) - but it makes it hard to form a tight bond with someone when their free time is quite limited. Especially for a new friend.

Sorry, I don't mean this to sound like a 'poor Dacia pity post', I don't. It's just that some days I really feel the void of lacking girlfriend friendship in Pensacola. And I feel so many people can probably relate to this, especially those like me that move around the country frequently. 

But most days. Well most days I am flooded with gratitude for the amazing people already in my life. Being able to take trips to Houston or Philly or New Orleans to visit them. To be able to see 'mah people' at Fitbloggin. To be able to connect to others through social media and blogging. To have an amazing community that I am so fortunate to be a part of. It's beyond awesome. And I know this. 

But yeah, some days (because I am a human being and not a robot) I miss the in person companionship I have had in other cities I've lived in. 

I keep telling myself that it took 7 months before I met Monica in San Antonio so maybe some day soon I will find my Pensacola BFF. 

And if you're local you should know I am accepting applications in case you are interested. It's an easy process; a few interviews, background check, government security clearance. You know pretty standard friend application stuff ;) 

I hope you all are having an amazing weekend. 

I promise I am spending more time being grateful for the two days I get to spend with Monica versus being sad over the months apart until the next time we see each other.

Love and hugs,