April 28, 2013
When I was a young mom, I had little time for anything other than sleeping and an occasional warm meal. With four kids running around, time was no longer my own and nurturing friendships was out of the question.
But here I am, I survived toddlers (I had four kids in six years), middle school, high school and college. My kids are all grown and living lives I’m incredibly proud of. However, over the last few years I’ve realized that now more than ever, it is my friends (old and new) that make this next phase of my life incredibly full.
I have read a number of studies citing the importance of having friends and the impact on health, especially as we get older. They say that for women, having a circle of close girlfriends makes the idea of getting older inconsequential. When you have good friends surrounding you, you laugh more, love more and share more. And surrounding yourself with friends that fill you up versus the ones that suck you dry (we’ve all had ‘em) that too makes those relationships all the better.
There was a time in my life when I tolerated those around me that spewed venom and never had a kind word to say. Only two things can happen with relationships like that, either you fall into their negative way of thinking or you move on. I chose to move on. My motto,”Never let anyone steal your joy. Life is too precious to waste time on negative people.”
I have the privilege and gift of some incredible friends, and from them I have learned so much. Here are just a few things I’ve learned.
1. Although there m ay be times when you’re needed more often, it’s important to note that if you’re constantly walking away empty after time together, move on. Your health will thank you.
2. Friendship is laughter. Trying to catch your breath after friend induced laughter is the best. The belly laugh that causes you to say out loud, “OMG, I think I’m going to pee my pants!” is unmatched to any other laughter. That kind of a laugh can only come from a friend who understands your humor and you theirs.
3. Friends listen.
4. Friends support and encourage you at every turn, unless it destructive. At which point go back to #1.
5. Friends don’t care if your house is clean, you’re having a bad hair day, if you didn’t get the job and so on. Ultimately, friends see you through the good, the bad and the ugly but always with a smile and a reassuring hug saying to you the things you never tell yourself like, “You’re great, things are going to work out. ”
6. Friends laugh with you, not at you. Unless it’s really, really funny and then they might. Like the one time I had to tell my friend (without losing it) that she had her yoga pants on inside out (the cotton white crotch was on the outside). Downward dog gave it away. We both still laugh at that one.
7. Friends tell you when you have something in your nose, your teeth or hanging out of a dress (those annoying hanger straps that I’m not sure to cut off or tuck in).
8. A good friend is always a joy to be around. You’re happy when you see them, sad when you leave ‘em and always think about them with a smile on your face.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to believe that true friendships are the glue that puts the difficult parts of life back together. Good friends also hold the magnifying glass to all that is great about you. My friends- good for my heart, my mind, my soul and yes, even good for my health. How grateful I am for them.
Do have friendships you’re grateful for?
Life is too short and I’m Portuguese. I’d rather eat bread, laugh out loud and drink wine than be a size 0.
April 16, 2013
As runner’s crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon, the last thing on their mind was to duck and cover. They were focused on crossing the line that would mark a personal victory. A victory that came from months and for some years of training and dedication. The feelings of success, exhilaration, accomplishment all erased in a flash. The coming together of people to support their friends, loved ones, running buddies were suddenly pulled apart by chaos and tragedy. How do you make sense out of a senseless act?
Every time I see something like this, Sandy Hook, NYC, Atlanta, Colorado and on and on it goes I feel helpless. I feel like a movie is unfolding right before my eyes and I am simply an outsider with no control. It’s like someone kicked me in the gut and I’m unable to fight back. How do you make sense out of a senseless act?
My heart goes out to every participant in yesterday’s marathon. From fire fighters, to EMT’s to onlookers to police and of course runners and their families. As someone who participates in a number of runs, though never qualifying for Boston, there is something about the world of runners that is hard to explain. There is a brotherhood/sisterhood amongst runners. There is a camaraderie that connects us all and somehow we know that no matter what, we have each others back. It’s like an unspoken pact that happens naturally amongst runners.
When I began running races, my first big one was with an organized run by Chicago Tribune columnist, Eric Zorn. He formed the FOOL’s group (For Once in Our Lives) which consisted of runners that wanted to complete their first marathon. My life was forever changed after training for 6 months with that group. Although finishing the marathon was great, the friendships that were created have lasted far beyond the finish line. I remember on long runs, the more experienced runners would run behind me yelling, “You can do it Nicki, you’ve got this.” It almost brings me to tears writing about it. There is an incredible kinship amongst runners and if you’re not a runner, I can’t do it justice in this blog. So the thought of these runners, the relationships, their personal stories, their excitement, and their hard work instantly obliterated by someone’s hatred and clear mental instability is truly tragic. How do you make sense out of a senseless act?
In my small effort to honor, acknowledge, pay tribute to runners and their families, those who lost their life and all the city employees that risked their life for others I’m going to run 103 minutes today. It hardly seems enough, but during the 103 minutes that I run I will be thinking of those runners that never crossed the finish line and hope they make it their mission to make it back to Boston and try again. I will be thinking about those families that came to an event looking to cheer friends or family on and ended up at the emergency room or worst yet, planning a funeral. During the 103 minutes of running I will think about the person or persons that are behind this horrible act and hope they are soon found and we can get some answers. Although what answer would be good enough? How does one make sense of a senseless act?
The best I can do is my little part. It’s interesting how tragedy brings people closer together regardless of distance. It’s touching to see how many people reach out wanting desperately to help. Our country is pretty amazing as no matter how many times we’re knocked down, no matter how many lives are cut short or compromised, we somehow come back stronger and closer than ever. This realization doesn’t change anything but it brings a bit of comfort which during a time like this, we could all use. Boston, this runs for you!
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it.
April 8, 2013
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” This quote is from a very famous 1976 movie called, Network. I was a teen when this came out and I recall seeing Peter Finch brilliantly deliver that famous line as Howard Beale. Now it’s my turn to use it.
It’s April, spring is a comin’ and with that comes the excess of weight loss ads. Even on my Facebook page there’s a push for a green tea bean and how to burn 30 lbs of belly fat per month effortlessly. It’s killing me. Quite honestly, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!
Right around the time Peter Finch was given his Academy award for his role as Howard Beale, I entered the health and fitness industry. I was four.
Although awareness about obesity has certainly increased, obesity back in 1976 was 8.7%., and today it is 34.7% . Obesity and its related diseases costs our country 190 billion dollars in healthcare and lost productivity. Yet, health clubs and diet programs grow in popularity right along with the American waistline.
The thing that leaves me scratching my head is why those that desperately need health clubs don’t go. Given my experience from a personal and professional perspective, I can answer that question, intimidation, unrealistic expectations, fear, feeling out of place, indifference from staff and lack of the truth. Now before my health and fitness friends shout at me, there are a number of very honest, ethical health and fitness professionals and clubs I admire. I just wish there were more. However, with every great, honest health and fitness pro, there are 5 behind him or her waiting to push the latest fad diet, supplements and God knows what else.
I was in business for 20 years doing everything I could to educate, motivate and inspire my clients to get healthy the old fashioned way. I hope I made a difference to some. But, thanks to The Biggest Loser and uneducated fitness pro’s that promise 20 pounds in 20 days, my honesty and real life approach was trumped all the time.
So who’s fault is it that our country still battles the bulge and opts for medication over recreation? It’s both sides.
- Consumers have got to know at this point that anything that sounds too good to be true- is.
- Consumers have to know that it starts with taking a long, hard look at lifestyle and realizing that things have to change, not overnight, but change must occur.
- Consumers have to know that beating yourself up mentally and physically is NOT the way to achieve good health, it’s quite the opposite.
- Consumers need to know that there are health and fitness professionals out there actually interested in helping clients go through the process, safely and effectively so that weight loss isn’t temporary but sustainable.
- Consumers have to understand, work is involved and at times it’s hard. Then it simply becomes a question of whether or not you’re ready. If anyone tells you weight loss is easy, they’re lying.
- Health and Fitness clubs have got to know that for someone walking in to a health club overweight and out of shape, it is terribly intimidating. Please have someone working the front end that gets it, not someone who is bored with their job and intolerant of incoming guests.
- Health and fitness clubs need to welcome and respect those that can’t withstand an initial hour-long class that includes squats and lunges as their first class. (I see this all the time).
- Health and fitness professionals have got to denounce the fast-n-easy weight loss scams out there, stick together and create an alliance for ethical health and fitness practices.
- Health and fitness professionals can play an amazing role in the health and wellness of our country as long as they understand what the deconditioned client needs to be motivated and ultimately successful. It’s got to be a solid partnership.
- Health and fitness professionals have an obligation to put clients first and “do no harm.” Check out IDEA’s Code of Ethics.
I have to say, I dread this time of year as much as I do December, resolution season. Weight loss adverts ad nauseam.
If you’re currently frustrated because you didn’t stick to your goals, don’t be, 98% of people don’t. Instead be more realistic. Don’t buy in to the promises of fast and easy weight loss, thinner thighs in thirty days because aside from all those promises it’s really about you and your health. The only reason you should change your lifestyle if you’re currently inactive or dealing with excess weight is y our health, period. I’ve kept 50 pounds off for over 30 years, not because I’m a rock star but because I remember what it felt like to carry that extra weight and I know what my body feels like now, it’s a marked improvement. At almost 52, I’m medication free.
Save yourself money and frustration. If you need help getting on track and staying there, hire a qualified professional that doesn’t make ridiculous promises. Find someone who puts your health first.
If you remember nothing else when those crazy weight loss commercials come on, remember these three things:
1. If diets worked, obesity would be non-existent. 2. The only way to get yourself healthy for the long-term is find a way to move everyday, even if it starts with a walk around the block, and focus on eating less food with more nutritional value.
3. It’s weight loss season and the hype is here, don’t get sucked in.
Here’s to a healthy spring and a healthy you.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
April 5, 2013
These are so delish. I wanted an alternative to the meat/lamb filled dolmades and these were so tasty. You might want to add a little lemon sauce if you prefer. Me, I like ‘em straight up!
1 pkg tempeh (I used tempeh w/ flaxseed), 1- 1/2 tsp canola oil, 1/3 c grated carrots, 3 medium scallions chopped fine, 2-3 dates chopped fine, 8 oz vegetable broth, 1/2-3/4 c cooked bulgur, 2-3 TBSP oregano (fresh is ideal), 1/2 tsp lemon zest (approx 1 lemon), 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice, 12-16 grape leaves, 4 TBSP fresh parsley
In food processor, pulse tempeh to coarse meal. Heat saucepan over medium heat and add oil. Add tempeh and cook until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
In same saucepan, saute carrot and garlic in 1/4 c of veg broth until softened. About 5 minutes.
Stir in scallions and 1/4 c broth cook stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Stir in remaining broth, bulgur, tempeh, oregano, dates, zest and lemon juice. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes covered.
Arrange grape leaves in a single layer. Spoon the bulgur/tempeh mixture onto the stem side of each leaf and sprinkle with parsley. Fold in sides of leaf and roll (like a burrito).
Place the dolmades seam-side down in a large skillet. Pour 1/2-3/4 c of water into skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, covered about 30 minutes. Let cool to room temp.
These are great as an entree or snack.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
April 1, 2013
Last week I attended and lectured at IHRSA(International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association) 2013 Trade Show. IHRSA is a trade organization serving the health and fitness club industry with over 14,000 club members from 80 different countries. If you want to know what’s going on in the health and fitness world, you’ll find it here.
I shared the platform with my co-presenter Lisa Taylor. Lisa is from the U.K. and owns an organization called Momenta. Momenta is probably one of the most practical, medical and science based weight management programs I’ve ever seen. It’s not in the U.S.yet, but Momenta plans to seek out pilot sites in the U.S. this fall. (If you’re a fit pro interested in piloting a program, visit their website).
Our presentation was, Reducing the Global Weight Epidemic: Delivering Successful, Evidence Based Weight Management Programs. The gist of our presentation was to provide insight in to the obesity crisis and what we’re missing. The really interesting thing is although I was co-presenting with Lisa and she’s from the U.K., she shared some of the most startling information about obesity in our country. Below are just a few of the stats she shared. Some may surprise you.
- 2011- 65% of US citizens overweight or obese, by 2018 -75% of US citizens overweight or obese . The US has the highest rate of overweight and obesity in the world.
- Obesity is affecting our national security- *Since 1995, the proportion of recruits that failed their physical exams because they were overweight has increased by 70%.
- *27 percent of 17 to 24-year-olds in the United States are too fat to serve in the military. That’s 9 million potential recruits!
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Ironically, health clubs and diet programs have also grown dramatically.
The bottom line is this, as someone who spent 30 years in the health and fitness industry we don’t seem to be improving the health of our country. In fact, the healthy are getting healthier while the obese are not being properly educated, inspired or invited in to health clubs. Clearly, the health and fitness industry is missing something. Don’t you agree?
As someone who lost 50 pounds over 30 years ago, I never felt welcome when I walked in to a health club. I still hear that from people today. I have always purported that the health and fitness industry turns away the exact people they need to attract. Again, how can health clubs continue to proliferate right along with obesity? It doesn’t make any sense.
I encourage you to keep an eye on Momenta. It is the first program that takes in to consideration, not only the nutritional and physical aspect of weight loss and weight management, but the psychological component as well. A triage for success.
In my humble estimation, something has got to change and it needs to start with how we’re educating and inspiring those that are not naturally active nor has access to practical, honest education about health. What do you think we’re missing? I have my thoughts but would love to hear yours.
Here’s to never wishing for more time rather making the most of it!
(*Too Fat to Fight- A Report by Mission:Readiness)
March 27, 2013
When I lost 50 pounds over 35 years ago, it was the first time in my life that I paid attention to the food I was putting in my body. It was also the first time I fell in love with cooking. Thirty-five years later I continue to learn about food, the good, the bad and the ugly. If you continue to lose your way in the maze of unhealthy diets, perhaps this post may help in your journey toward healthy eating.
Healthy eating starts at home
I have learned over the years that to eat healthy you must have a healthy relationship with food. It really starts with an appreciation of food which is realized when you do your own cooking. I’m not saying you have to become Martha Stewart, I’m simply suggesting that healthy eating begins when you’re up close and personal with food.
When I decided to lose weight all those years ago, shopping, preparing and enjoying my own creations educated me on what foods go together and how to keep all of the flavor while reducing calories, fat and sodium. Had I not learned to cook, I may not have kept my weight off all these years.
There may be some of you who cringe at the idea of having to cook. Even starting with just a few meals a week at home is a start. Keep it simple. But trust me here, the more you learn about the power and flavor of real food, the greater chance of wanting to cook more at home. Cooking at home results in healthier meals and greater nutritional punch.
Since losing my weight, food trends are out of control. Lets walk through them and see which ones may sound familiar. When my kids were little, it was low-fat or no-fat. Then Susan Powter hit the world touting high carb and low protein. Then there was the oat bran craze, cabbage soup, food combining, low carb, Atkins, Paleo and gluten-free. I’m sure I’ve left a few out, but these are the most memorable. Now, what do all of these food trends have in common? They have all been used not for health, but for weight loss. Every time a new food trend hits the media, weight loss is typically the motive behind its success.
I have always believed that there are elements in each one of those diets that are redeeming. However, most of them are nothing more than a fad that helps drop pounds quickly yet rarely if ever is health focused, simply weight focused. Hence why obesity is alive and well.
Get Back to Basics
When I was pregnant I was dedicated to feeding myself and my unborn child well. I gave up alcohol, stayed away from foods that might be toxic (fish) and exercised daily. The idea of dieting was not even a thought. My focus was my unborn child. I believe this is true for most women. So, the question becomes why are we willing to risk our health by doing less than healthy things for our body when we’re not pregnant?
What I have discovered is that you’ve got one shot to make your health a priority. Figuring out the facts and myths surrounding food is next to impossible because there is so much conflicting information out there.
After thirty-five years I have learned the real truth behind healthy eating and healthy weight:
- Trust yourself. Deep down inside you know a good choice from a bad one. Green beans good, French fries not so much.
- Don’t jump on the latest food trends, they will be temporary and if they have staying power, read more about it. Look at the research and educate yourself.
- The healthier the food, the fewer ingredients. Have you ever seen fresh fruits or veggies with an ingredient list? No, because its straight up good for you, solid nutrition.
- Get back to basics. Eating too much is not good for you. Fried foods, processed foods, high sugar and salty foods are not good for you. Less is more when it comes to meat, saturated fat, sodium and portions.
- Eat for yourself, not for weight loss. You’ll likely choose more wisely. Further, a byproduct of healthier eating is weight loss.
Fresh fruits and veggies should be eaten all the time, not as a diet strategy, but as a health strategy.
Don’t choose food for weight, choose it for health.
If there’s one tried and true “secret” that I’ve learned over the years it is, eating for health vs. weight. This approach is actually the best way to lose or manage weight. Think about it, if you’re able to focus on the foods that are naturally good for you, you will weed out the less healthy foods that caused the excess weight to begin with. Sticking with whole, fresh foods is the surest way to a healthier you.
Trust yourself to make the right choices. Focus on your health and understand its a process. I learn something new everyday. I also seek to learn as much as I can so I can make the best decisions for my health. Isn’t your health worth it?
Two of my favorite new reads include: Julieanna Hever’s- The Complete Idiots Guide to Plant Based Nutrition and David Grotto’s Book, The Best Things You Can Eat.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
March 10, 2013
Is this the only route to fit?
When I was a trainer, the most common belief amongst my clients was that I jumped out of bed every morning with a smile on my face yelling from the rooftops, “I LOVE EXERCISE!” Truth be told, I don’t. Unfortunately, today exercise stirs up a much more negative connotation versus 50 years ago. In other words, many people don’t even get started because they fear that exercise has to be all or nothing.
When my Grandmother was growing up she was very active. She lived on a farm and got regular exercise. When I was little I always played outside, there was no such thing as video games so I was outside being active and getting regular exercise. No advertisements, no push to exercise, being active was simply part of life back then.
Thanks to advances in technology there are more things today to keep us sedentary versus active. Therefore, we’ve had to connect with exercise in an unnatural way, in that we have to make time for it versus simply being active in our day to day lives which used to be enough. Not to mention that the food consumption was significantly different 50 years ago.
Today exercise is a challenge of the strongest, fastest, fittest people. To just walk is perceived as a less than cool activity which makes Crossfit the antithesis of walking. With each new report that the obesity battle continues, there arises new, more intense fitness programs. Each of these programs brag about their ability to leave participants weeping like a baby on the floor or if they’re lucky, puking their brains out because they gave it their all. That’s where my love or even like of exercise stops.
The idea of exercise which consists of tears, pain and the highly coveted throw-up session is not a draw for me. Now there will be those that say it’s not true, high intensity exercise does not encourage any of those t hings. Well, I will agree that responsible exercise does not encourage nor tout crying for your mama, writhing in pain or hunting down the nearest toilet to let go of your last meal. However, I see hundreds of ads, articles and websites that encourage blood, sweat and tears as a badge of courage.
I cannot in any way take away from those that truly love that sort of challenge. But the promotion and encouragement of that type of activity intimidates many folks that may want to start an exercise regime. I know on the days where I just go for a walk, I feel a bit wimpy. And I’m in the 35% of those that exercise on a regular basis! How must those folks feel that don’t exercise?
The bottom line is this. Exercise has morphed in to this world of fast and furious for it to matter, but that’s not so. Sure, if I do 100 squats and 100 pushups and carry a tire over my shoulder for 50 feet, not only am I a stud, I’m probably in pretty good shape. But the truth is I don’t want to do that, but that shouldn’t make me feel like anything less is pointless.
I want to be proud of anything that I do to contribute to my health and if that means a walk on a regular basis, so be it. If I want to do a yoga class a few times a week and I don’t leave crying because I pushed myself beyond what is normal doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter, it does. Any amount of activity that you can do counts.
I hate the idea of exercising so intensely that I can’t walk for 3 days following. I hate the idea of being so sore that every time I go to sit down my eyes water. I hate the idea of thinking that if I don’t exercise for at least an hour, it’s pointless.
But here’s what I love:
I love when I get some activity in my day-to-day life be it a walk, bike ride or swim. I love when I feel invigorated and proud when I’m done exercising, not exhausted but invigorated.
I love when I finish exercising and look forward to the next opportunity I have to be active, on my terms. I feel incredibly proud when I finish a run especially when my motivation to do it was weak at best.
For the record, I’m not judging someone who enjoys exercising till they drop, God bless them. What I’m trying to get across is for the 68% of people that don’t exercise on a regular basis, if they think they have to kill themselves to be fit, they’ll never do it. Exercise should not be a scary proposition, nor should it hurt. For beginners will it be hard? Likely yes, but that’s like anything new. New things are always a challenge. But the idea of exercise should inspire possibilities for good health, not conjure up thoughts of fear and pain.
A solid walk counts, a great yoga class that respects your limitations counts, heck any class you take that respects your limitations counts. Exercise is about doing what your body was designed to do, move. There is no reason to beat yourself up during an exercise session in order for it to count. Find what works for you, what you like or maybe even love. Only then will you be able to embrace activity and realize that whatever you do to be more fit and healthy is a great thing! You don’t have to kill yourself for it to count!
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!!
March 3, 2013
It’s not about skinny, it’s about healthy!
Over 30 years ago I made the switch from a sedentary, fast-food lifestyle to a relatively active lifestyle eating well most of the time.
I remember Christmas in 1979, it was a year after I lost 50 pounds (note-the weight loss followed my healthy changes, not the other way around). I was heading to my Grandparents house ready to overindulge in holiday fare. I felt that I had deserved it because I really hadn’t eaten any unhealthy food in so long. I picked up my plate and headed towards the buffet table. I felt like a kid in a candy store without adult supervision. I felt that I deserved to eat all of the foods I had been denied for so long. So, I took one of everything.
What I hadn’t realized is although I wanted every morsel of food on my plate, my body had been trained to crave what it needs not what I wanted. At that moment I understood the importance of listening to my body, not my diet head.
What’s interesting is that your body will often tell you what it needs, whereas diet head will scream for ice cream! I had completely dismissed the fact that I felt great because I had let go of junk food. Yet for some crazy reason I felt compelled to knock off an entire plate of sweets and foods I had given up over a year ago. That was until I reconnected with my healthy head.
Remember, it is the dieting lifestyle that sets you up to want the foods that your diet forbids. As long as you continue to follow diet rules you will continue to crave, desire, dream about less healthy foods versus taking the steps to listen to your body and give it what it needs, healthy food.
As we recognize National Nutrition Month try to listen closely to your body. Think about how you feel when you eat well, versus how you feel when you eat garbage. Your body knows and is communicating with you all the time, you simply need to listen.
During the month of March, I will blog about nutrition in my ongoing effort to inspire you to stay focused on what makes you healthy, happy and productive. It all starts with what you put in your mouth!
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
February 19, 2013
Me with my older sisters. Love the hats!
I am the youngest of 3 girls. Combine that with being a Libra and I feel like I was dealt a pretty great hand. As the youngest, everyone says that the baby of the family gets off easy and is spoiled rotten. If you’re a baby you’ve likely heard that more than once. Is it wrong?
As a mother of four grown children, I see very clearly the advantage or disadvantage of a certain birth order. There’s no doubt that the first child has the toughest job. Dealing with parents who haven’t a clue and expectations that are often unrealistic. “How come he’s not potty trained yet? The book says he should be!” “How come she’s not speaking in full sentences? So and so’s kids are!” And the list goes on and on. My Grandmother used to say, “The first child is the experiment child.” I believe that to be true.
I remember my Aunt telling me that no matter how many kids you have, you will always manage to find love enough for each. I think a Mother’s uterus is a storage tank for extra servings of love to pass around as needed.
When my children were little, getting together with other mom’s was a weekly ritual. The topic of favorite children was common one. I was asked if I could tell who my favorite child was. Hmm, I thought to myself, a favorite? How do you have a favorite? The other girls would shamelessly tout their family favorite position while I wondered if I had ever showed favoritism to my kids.
I can honestly say, even after all these years I have had a favorite but not kids- moments. Those opportunities when you’re able to recognize their unique talents and personality. Share a funny story together. Cuddle up with them when they’re sick or struggling. Getting an up close and personal glimpse of those qualities and experiences, those moments no doubt, a favorite.
I think having a favorite child is nothing about loving another child more, it might be more about a connection at certain times in their life. They have the natural ups and downs that come with growing up and there are times when you feel particularly connected to what a child may be going through. Again, not a favorite child, simply a favorite moment or connection.
Four kids and 27 years later, they’re all adults, leading their own lives, supporting themselves and giving back in their own way. I look forward to getting together with them as a group as much as I do one-on-one. Either way, it is then and only then I realize those sleepless nights, runs to the ER, never ending band concerts and school plays that’s given me the most incredible gift, favorite moments. I guess if you’re going to have a favorite, that’s the best kind to have. What do you think?
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
February 10, 2013
67 years and nay a gray!
Have you seen Sally Field lately? Well, here she is! Holy cow, at 66 the woman looks fantastic! I recently saw her on Ellen and I couldn’t believe it was her. Of course the first thing I noticed was- no gray.
Like Sally Field, I am petite. At barely 5’2″ I can’t help but feel that contributes to looking younger than my 51 years. Sally Field is 5’3″ and looks no where near her 66 years. That and the combination of hair color definitely shaves off a few years.
Aside from no sign of gray (yes, I’m sure she colors it) she is vibrant, fit and easily looks 20 years her junior even on HDTV!
At the risk of slighting my lovely gray haired friends, I have to say that if she were gray she may not have caught my attention. I was really amazed at how youthful she looked and how she carried herself. I believe it is a total package. If you’re dying your hair, but feeble and unable to get around, you age yourself. If you’re gray, fit and energetic, you don’t. However, if gray doesn’t compliment you, no matter how fit you are, it will indeed age you. I’m experiencing that right now.
Therefore, I have to acquiesce to those who said gray hair does make you look older. I am beginning to believe it’s true, regardless of health, activity and energy. But here’s what is interesting, I’ve learned that my gray haired friends are not interested in the looking younger piece, they simply like the way they feel with their gray locks. And the same holds true for those who color their hair, they simply like the way they feel.
A quote by Yves Saint Laurent, “I have always believed that fashion was not made only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.” I believe this statement holds true for hair color.
So here’s my deal, I am so not a quitter. At times I can be annoyingly tenacious. Therefore, the decision to go back to coloring my hair leaves me feeling a bit vulnerable. First, I worry I may not have given the experiment of going completely gray a fair shot. So how do I really know? Trust me, I know.
Enough gray to know.
One of my readers wrote, “Nicki it’s winter, no one looks good in the winter.” Though I agree with her comment, I’d like to make the most of the winter blahs by doing something which elevates my self-confidence versus squashing it. Gray isn’t it, for me anyway.
Second, I despise losing. And somehow I feel like I’m losing by not seeing this whole thing through. However at the end of the day, I set the challenge and went in to it blind and excited. Four months later, my sight is back and excitement has waned. Conclusion? My experiment, my choice to change my mind.
So, yes, yes I’m giving up. I’m throwing in the towel (insert dramatic sob here). I’m back tracking on my journey. But wait, here’s the great part, I have not gone through this process in vain. I have garnered some gray-t insight. Here’s what I’ve learned.
- Never make a year long commitment public. It’s like posting you’re going to lose 25 pounds and someone sees you downing a chocolate shake. It sucks to get called out.
- No two people look the same- in anything! I have a whole new appreciation for gray haired women who wear it well and with confidence.
- Pay attention to what makes you feel good whether it’s wearing a certain color, certain clothing or hair style. How you feel about yourself (regardless of what others think) can alter the course of your day!
- Whatever you wear, wear it with confidence.
- I needed a haircut!
- I don’t look good in gray- clothing or hair color.
So, the next time I come up with some great idea or experiment, perhaps one of you will talk me down from the ledge. However, with every new endeavor comes life lessons and during the last 4 months, I’ve learned some pretty great lessons, connected with some great women, and learned color is a personal preference, not a moral decision. Here’s to your fabulous color, whatever it may be.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!