Battling the Baby Blues…How to Cope?

In November of 2009, a most wonderful thing happened in my family. My adorable nephew John III (we call him Jack) was born! Now I had been around babies and children before. I did my share of teenage babysitting and I have plenty of friends who have taken the parenthood plunge. But I had the unique opportunity to be at the hospital when Jack was born. An hour after he was born I was one of the first people to hold him while his dad was out making the requisite good news calls and the nurses were tending to his mommy. I fell in love. I couldn’t believe that this little life in my arms was a member of my family, my godson, my nephew. He was (and still is) perfect. It was at that moment that my biological clock began to keep time in the back of my head…

My little buddy at 7 months

My boyfriend and I have never seriously considered having children. We are both adult students with full-time jobs and we enjoy having the freedom to pick up at a moment’s notice and go away for the weekend. But having a baby so close to us and seeing how beautiful the relationship is between Jack and his parents has caused us to seriously reconsider our position. But how do you know if it’s the right time? My boyfriend thinks we should both finish school. My head says yes but my heart is aching to hold my own child in my arms. I was at a local restaurant the other night having dinner and struck up a conversation with a woman who was out with her newborn granddaughter. What a tiny angelic little creature! On the drive home I had to explain to my boyfriend why I was in tears over a baby I didn’t even know.

So how do you know when the time is right? For every one person who says you should have all your ducks in a row before trying for a family, there is another who says you will never REALLY be ready and you should just go for it. I keep fighting the urge but I am starting to wonder why I am fighting at all? This instinct runs so deep…I would love to know how some of you have fought (or given in) to this force of nature. What are your thoughts? Any advice? I would love to hear from you…

Light, love, and positive thoughts!

The long road to positivity…and how to find it if you make a wrong turn.

Some days, no matter how hard I try, something will happen to kill my positive attitude for the day. I am pretty much a happy-go-lucky gal but I have found myself at the breaking point plenty of times. But maintaining a positive attitude is vitally important, and much more for ourselves than for the jerk who cut you off on the interstate, or the co-worker who made a bad joke about something you said in the office meeting. Negativity leads to stress, which can lead to serious health issues. Not to mention it’s just a bad look! No one likes a scowling face unless it’s Halloween. Below are some tips and tricks to help you maintain a positive attitude (or regain it if you have been bitten by the negativity bug already).

1. Music! People underestimate the power of music. Create a playlist on your iPod or burn a CD with some of your favorite feel good music. Genre and artist are not important. What IS important is that the music illicits a positive response in you. The oldies I listened to with my dad when I was little are a surefire way to get me back on the road to positivity. As you listen to the music, notice how it evokes memories and feelings that massage your soul.

2. Keep a journal. When you start having negative thoughts and you feel you frame of mind slipping into the abyss, take out your journal or even just a scrap of paper and write down all of the positive things you are thankful for. They can be big things like your loving significant other, or little things like that awesome frappucino you had this morning at Starbucks. Anything to get your mind off of the negative and back into a positive direction. When you start to slip…take that piece of paper out and read all the reasons you should feel good!

3. Look up some positive quotes. It may sound a little corny but sometimes we can find great inspiration from the words of others. Go out and get a book of quotes like “The Complete Pocket Positives” by Five Mile Press. Or search the internet for positive thoughts or inspirational nuggets. Many services will even e-mail you a daily inspirational quote. They can be religious in nature or non-denominational. I have included some excerpts below.

4. Exercise. So are you sick of the talking heads telling you how great exercise is for you? Me too! But they are right. This is one area where I feel like I could improve my own life. Exercise releases lots of feel good chemicals in your brain that battle anxiety and depression. Even a 20 minute walk around the block can improve your mood dramatically. So can other restorative exercises like yoga, which incorporates a mind-body-spirit approach to exercise and is a surefire way to move in a positive direction.

5. Laughter. You ever hear the phrase “Laughter is the best medicine?” Try it for yourself. If you are having a bad day at work, search YouTube for a clip from one of your fave funny movies. Or read some comedy online. Or call a friend you know will make you laugh.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. What are some of your ideas for maintaing or regaining positivity? Read some of the quotes below if you need some inspiration 🙂

“The universe is transformation. Our life is what our thoughts make it.”
-Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emporer and philosopher)

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do.”
-J.M. Barrie (Scottish writer and dramatist)

“If there were nothing wrong in the world, there would be nothing for us to do.”
-George Bernard Shaw (Irish dramatist, essayist, and critic)

Anyone can wear skinny jeans…even me!

I can’t quite put my finger on when I realized that I had a “weight management” problem. Probably in middle school, when all girls really start comparing themselves to each other and the figures they see on TV. I have battled my weight all my life and continue to do so. I think people of all shapes and sizes are beautiful, but I don’t really buy into the rising fat acceptance movement. Not because I have any objection to how anyone else lives their own life.  I just feel there is too much science behind the serious health risks of obesity. Coming from a long lineage of heart disease and diabetes, I didn’t really luck out in the gene pool department either. So I don’t feel like it’s “OK” in a health respect to be overweight.  I do feel like it is important, however, to embrace who you are at this very moment and live your life to the very fullest. That’s a big part of being “healthy” too.

So when I saw that chubby little babies are being squeezed into “skinny” jeans by fashion forward parents I began to do my own research. Can BBW’s (big beautiful women) like myself rock a pair of skinny jeans? My quest began. I searched (mainly online) for a pair of plus size skinny jeans and they were remarkably easy to find. After reading several reviews, I decided on Old Navy and their dark wash skinny jeans.

Fast forward to today, my first chance to wear the item in question. It’s casual Friday at the office and I decided there is no time like the present to continue my experiment. The result? FABULOUS! I don’t know if it is the psychological effect of knowing I am wearing “skinny” jeans but I feel slimmer and more put together than I usually do in my boot cut or relaxed jeans. And I have received several compliments already!

So what is the message here? I guess it is that as a “plus size” woman I am accustomed to getting into a routine with my wardrobe and feeling downright frumpy sometimes because I feel like I don’t have many options out there. It is nice to know that some retailers are incorporating the latest trends into their plus size fashion lines and marketing them to this often overlooked demographic. I am realizing that part of getting healthy is accepting who you are at this very moment and loving yourself no matter what your size or shape. So while I will continue to try to make better food choices and live a more active lifestyle, I will also be thankful for what God gave me and show off my curves in my sexy new jeans!

Anyone can wear a great pair of skinny jeans!


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