Author: Debra Mary

Create Structure When You’re Floundering

By Leo Babauta

The best of intentions often flops around without some kind of structure.

You might decide you’re going to change your diet and lose some weight, but when mealtime comes around, you just eat the same kind of food and still get too full from eating too much. Or you decide you’re going to procrastinate less and be more focused, but then after a short success, you start going to your usual distractions. You start exercising but then get lazy and fall off the habit. You start waking early but then have a late night or two and the whole house of cards comes crashing down.

We start with great intentions, but the harder ventures cause us to flounder around. Then we repeat that: start with good intentions, flounder around. Over and over again, until we feel hopeless to change anything or start to nourish a deep sense of inadequacy.

What can we do to change things? It’s not you, it’s your method.

If you current method of change isn’t working (start with good intentions and then flounder), you have to try a new method.

Unfortunately, there isn’t just one perfect method. But there is one thing you can do to vastly improve your method: add some kind of structure.

How Structure Improves Our Method

What do I mean by structure? Anything that keeps you sticking to the course better. Anything that holds you to your intentions.

The possibilities are endless, but here are some common examples:

  • Create rules: No sugar, don’t go 2 days without a workout, no electronics after 9pm, meditate first thing upon waking.
  • Get accountability: I like having a group of people who I report to every day. A simple way to do that is to use an app (Runkeeper, some kind of diet tracking app) where you have friends on the app who will see your log. Another way is to create a Google spreadsheet and use it to track how you did with a goal each day. Or just email people each week who agree to hold you accountable.
  • Set reminders: How will you remember to do what you said you did? This is a huge obstacle — forgetting. Instead of forgetting, set reminders on your phone, on your computer, little notes all around.
  • Do it with others: Find a workout partner, a collaborator on a project, a group class. Doing a project or going through change with others is always an amazing idea.
  • Get a coach: I am a big believer in coaching, for many reasons — but one of the simplest reasons is that if you have someone you’re paying and reporting to, you’ll simply be much more likely to follow through. And a coach can see patterns that are getting in your way that you can’t see. In fact, I am currently offering coaching if you’re willing to pay a decent amount for impactful shifts in your life — I’m looking for people on a mission, filled with uncertainty, who want an expert trainer to help them open into that uncertainty (apply here if that’s you).
  • Create a challenge or game: I’ve done challenges with my family or friends (pushup challenge, drawing challenge, reading challenge) and also made up games with points and rewards. It creates structure and makes it fun, two amazing ways to create change in your life!

You can see the idea. What can you do to add structure to your change or goal?

If you’re trying to push into your life purpose, there’s also the structure of my Fearless Training Program, and if you’re trying to create habit change, there’s my Sea Change Program as well.

from Health & Wellness https://zenhabits.net/create-structure/

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Welcome Ryder Thomas!

We wanted you so much. We prayed for you so hard. And now you’re here.

Our perfect, precious boy!

You entered the world fast and furious and we wept when we met you. Our sweet miracle.

Welcome to the world, Ryder Thomas!

Ryder was born on Monday afternoon – his due date! – at 3:29 p.m. weighing 7 pounds and 7 ounces. He’s 20 inches long and completely perfect. We are so in love!

A couple of hours after Ryder was born he was admitted to the NICU for meconium and fluid in his lungs. It was terrifying as we waited for more information and heard the results from his first x-rays. Not being able to hold our baby, attempt nursing and snuggle up to his face has been so challenging. I’m trying not to focus on the fact that we will very likely be discharged from the hospital today and Ryder will not.

My focus has been on Ryder and his incredible strength and the amazing response he’s shown to his treatments. We’ve seen such incredible progress from our sweet boy in a short amount of time and I have full belief we will continue to see him improve and be able to take him home soon.

Ryder didn’t have a name until late last night. Yesterday he was transitioned off a CPAP machine for breathing and onto a smaller tube for oxygen which allowed us to better see his face and my heart to grow as I soaked in his precious cheeks and perfectly pink little lips. We stroked his dark brown hair and felt like we could really SEE our baby for the first time since he was admitted to the NICU and picked a name we hope will serve him well.

Ryder means warrior. Our guy is so strong. We selected Thomas, his middle name, as a tribute to Chase who knew all along he was going to have a little brother and confidently told everyone his name would be “Thomas the Train.” It’s a name that makes us smile so big.

When I shared some very short updates about Ryder and his time in the NICU on Instagram, I received so many comments and messages from all of you and I cannot thank you enough for your incredible reassurance, prayers and kindness. To those who have had little ones in the NICU, your comments have touched me so deeply. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I am reading every single message and comment and feeling so grateful for all of you right now.

Seeing such tiny babies fighting so hard in the NICU is unbelievable. They are so resilient! The parents we’ve met are so kind and so strong. And I can barely speak about the nurses and doctors who have watched our boy so closely without feeling overwhelmingly grateful for the work they do, their compassion, expertise and knowledge. I know Ryder is in the very, very best hands.

I am hoping to share Ryder’s birth story on the blog but right now that seems so distant from everything that came up after his arrival. I need some time to focus on our baby boy, pumping (which is incredibly challenging since I am getting nothing and my milk hasn’t come in yet), healing and pouring all of my energy into caring for our baby boy in whatever ways I can, even if they’re not the ways I envisioned right now.

Ryder Thomas, we love you so, so much and I am so lucky to be your mama.

The post Welcome Ryder Thomas! appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/welcome-ryder-thomas/

Lemon Blueberry Muffins (Grain Free)

Coconut flour lemon blueberry muffins

I love the smell of baking. Especially when it’s lemon blueberry muffins in the oven! They fill the whole house with the warm aroma of berries. In fact, another favorite treat in our house, this healthy berry cobbler, also combines berries and baking. Blueberries: A Nutrition Powerhouse (and Kid-Favorite Snack!) Blueberry season is one of my…

Continue reading Lemon Blueberry Muffins (Grain Free)

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/368851/lemon-blueberry-muffins/

Benefits of Bentonite Clay (& How to Use It)

Benefits and uses of bentonite clay

In modern times we have largely forgotten that cultures throughout the ages used bentonite clay and other healing clays for their nutrients and to help rid the body of toxins. If we take a cue from nature, many animals will instinctively turn to eating dirt and clay to help remove poisons from their systems or during…

Continue reading Benefits of Bentonite Clay (& How to Use It)

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/5915/bentonite-clay-benefits/

166: Understanding Autoimmunity and the Mind/Body Connection With Body Belief Author Aimee Raupp

Understanding Autoimmunity and the Mind/Body Connection with Body Belief Author Aimee Raupp

Today’s episode will be very helpful for anyone with autoimmune disease (or any chronic health problem). Aimee Raupp is an expert in women’s health and she takes an important and unusual approach: focusing on the mind/body connection first and foremost. Her approach offers hope to those who have tried all the dietary, lifestyle, and supplemental…

Continue reading 166: Understanding Autoimmunity and the Mind/Body Connection With Body Belief Author Aimee Raupp

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/body-belief/

PBF Baby #2: 39 Weeks

Hi friends! Tomorrow is our baby’s DUTE DATE! What!?

39 weeks pregnant

To be completely honest, I didn’t think I’d still be pregnant at this point based solely on the fact that Chase was born two weeks early but here we are and I’m feeling R-E-A-D-Y to meet this little one. I wanted to share a pregnancy update this week since I never got to share a 38 week or 39 week pregnancy update with Chase and truthfully I really just want to have this documented for my personal memories.

Here are my past updates from this pregnancy if you’re just catching up:

All of my weekly pregnancy updates from my first pregnancy with Chase may also be found on the Pregnancy page of this blog.

And now for a recap of the 39th week of my pregnancy!

Baby Updates

40 weeks pregnant

(39 Weeks, 5 days)

At 39 weeks, baby is full term! Baby is the size of a pumpkin, roughly 20 inches long and weighs approximately 7.3 pounds.

During my 39 week prenatal appointment on Wednesday, I was checked and learned that I was 2 centimeters dilated and 60 percent effaced. Our midwife told me our baby had dropped and that his or her head is “very low.” She told me labor likely wasn’t too far off and offered to strip my membranes. At this point I said no thank you only because I was still feeling good and figured I’d likely go into labor within a couple of days since I had Chase at 38 weeks.

Fast forward to today and multiple days of false labor later (more on this below!) and I’m now considering having my membranes stripped at my 40-week appointment assuming I still haven’t delivered by Wednesday morning. Have any of you had this procedure done before? Was it painful? Do you think it helped naturally induce labor? I’d love to hear from anyone with first-hand experience!

Weight Gained

My weight gain is holding steady around 26ish pounds after my random fluctuations and weight loss over the past three weeks. When I see this number, I’m kind of shocked because I feel softer, heavier and definitely bigger than I felt when my weight was up 30 pounds during this pregnancy. I feel like I’m eating all the time without much thought other than eating whatever sounds good whenever it sounds good. 

Workouts

39 weeks pregnancy 2

I made it to the gym three times last week and it was so ridiculously good for my mental health. I didn’t exert myself too much and hardly worked up a sweat but simply moving my body, surrounding myself with my favorite boot camp friends and getting out of the house and doing something for myself that also helped take my mind off labor was wonderful.

I also did my fair share of walking with Sadie on days I didn’t make it to the gym and generally covered between two and three miles.

Symptoms

The Braxton Hicks contractions I began experiencing a couple of weeks ago lingered this week but the biggest new-to-me symptom I experienced twice this week was prodromal labor (aka false labor). Talk about a frustrating experience!

While I never went to the hospital, on both Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon, I experienced regular contractions for several hours (different than Braxton Hicks) and truly thought labor was on the horizon. My contractions were fairly regular and close together enough for me to feel mentally convinced they would continue to progress into real labor, especially when they lasted for hours both times.

While the experience was obviously physically uncomfortable, it was more emotionally frustrating because I couldn’t help but feel excited, anxious and ready to head to the hospital only to have contractions dissipate. This left me feeling disappointed and almost embarrassed for not knowing what was happening to my body since this is my second baby and I’ve been through labor and contractions before.  

Other than false labor, from a physical standpoint, I feel like my belly grew a lot this week, too! It’s crazy to me how bellies can continue to grow so much up until the very end.

Food Aversions

I’m still not experiencing any real aversions but definitely don’t care much for animal proteins beyond seafood (I was on a shrimp kick last week). Cooked vegetables also aren’t overly appealing right now.  

Food Cravings

40 weeks

FRUIT. I ate an entire pound of grapes in one day last week (the cotton candy grapes are SO ridiculously good) and couldn’t get enough of everything from cherries and blueberries to watermelon and raspberries. We also took Chase blackberry picking on Thursday and it sparked a craving in me for pie and ice cream. But, then again, I want ice cream all day every day right now.  

Sleep

I don’t want to sugarcoat anything so I’ll just be blunt: Sleep sucks right now. I’m waking up all the time to pee and also had a few nights toward the end of the week where I woke up with contractions that initially made me wonder if labor was pending so my adrenaline spiked and then getting back to sleep was just a joke.

Any Baby/Pregnancy Related Purchases?

None.

Feeling…

39 weeks

This week was such a crazy rollercoaster. I began the week feeling fantastic! Week 38 was one of my best weeks of pregnancy from an energy and lack-of-nausea standpoint and week 39 began on a similar note. I felt great and early in the week made the mistake of saying something along the lines of, “I could be pregnant for a while longer if I continue to feel like this!” Gah! 

The end of the week looked quite a bit different when things seemed to change after my first experience with false labor on Thursday night. I’m not sure if things shifted in my body physically after a few hours of contractions but I’ve felt increasingly uncomfortable. I just feel large and simple things like bending over (oh please noooo!), squatting down, carrying Chase around and getting up off the floor or couch feel cumbersome and will often bring about Braxton Hicks contractions.

I’m also feeling unmotivated to do too much right now (the exact opposite of me one week ago when I wanted to do ALL THE THINGS) and I’m admittedly feeling rather preoccupied with when our baby will arrive. It’s much easier for me to distract myself and not think about labor when I’m not experiencing contractions but right now between the Braxton Hicks contractions and my two experiences with false labor, I feel like my body keeps physically making me focus on labor. It’s a mind game for sure!

I almost hate to share some of the above feelings and physical symptoms I’m experiencing right now because they read rather negative but I’m trying hard to be honest about these final days of pregnancy. I wouldn’t want to paint a picture that isn’t accurate since I think many women can agree that the end of pregnancy can be uncomfortable and bring about a range of emotions you might not expect so I hope you can read these words and know that while I may be on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, the overwhelming feeling I have every day is gratitude. Truly.

I found myself in tears yet again on Saturday evening when I let myself think about our baby, our journey to this moment in our lives and how fortunate I feel to be in the place I am right now. It’s not something I take for granted for one second and I’m continuing to pray hard for a healthy baby and delivery in the coming days. During my two experiences with false labor, I really left myself think ahead to labor and delivery and it made me realize all over again just how ridiculously excited I am for the moment I actually get to meet our little one – whenever and however he or she decides to arrive. We are ready for you, Baby!!!

The post PBF Baby #2: 39 Weeks appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/pbf-baby-2-39-weeks/

It’s Not a Problem, It’s an Experience

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~Pema Chodron

By Leo Babauta

Life has its down periods: your boss is unhappy with you, your business is struggling, you get into a fight with the love of your life, your finances are tight, you aren’t getting good sleep, you get sick or have chronic pain.

Our way of dealing with this is usually to do one or more of the following:

  • Get away from the problem — quit your job, break up with your partner, or stop caring. Anything you can do to exit.
  • Ignore the problem — just don’t think about it. Pretend nothing’s wrong. Think about anything else.
  • Comfort yourself — drink, smoke, food, TV, Internet, porn, social media, games. Anything to take your mind off the difficulties.
  • Complain — lash out at someone, rant, moan about it to a friend, feel resentful, tell yourself that the other person is the problem (because they are, right?!).

There’s nothing wrong with any of these things. Don’t feel guilty if you do them. Sometimes, they can be soothing or helpful. Talking to someone about your problems, for example, is a good idea. Giving yourself some rest so that you are better prepared to take on the world’s problems … that’s not a bad idea too.

But trying to avoid the problem, exit from it, or even comfort yourself — these have limited effectiveness. We know that by now, because despite our best efforts, the down times keep happening. We get in a slump, we get miserable, we feel down.

Here’s a mental shift that might help: when you’re feeling hurt, sad, angry, overburdened … think of it not as a problem, but as an experience.

Fully feel whatever pain or sadness or anger you’re feeling.

Stop avoiding it and just feel it. Truly allow yourself to feel it.

And as you feel it, don’t think of the difficult feeling as a problem you need to solve. A thing you need to get rid of. Think of it as an experience you’re having.

It’s not a problem, it’s an experience.

That’s all it is: an experience, a feeling. Nothing to panic about. (Unless you’re feeling panic — that’s OK too.) It’s something you’re experiencing right now, and it’s not good or bad. It’s just an experience. It might not feel good, but that’s not a problem. Not all experiences feel good, right? Sometimes we just have to experience cold, heat, storms, and pain. It’s part of the experience of life, and we don’t have to shut it all out.

Feel your difficulty fully, with as open a heart as you can muster. Allow it into your heart, as you would a good friend. And just be with it, no judgments, no need to do anything. It’s just your present experience.

Whatever you’ve done to comfort yourself — no judgments with that as well. That’s not a problem, just an experience.

You can find peace with whatever that experience might be.

Now it’s time for action.

From this place of peace about who you are, what you’re experiencing … you can take the next step. It might be something like:

  • Love the feeling, the experience, the pain.
  • Love the person who is in front of you, hurting. Feel them.
  • Love the world. Give the world your gift.
  • Take a small step toward making your situation better.
  • Take a small action to realize your life’s mission .
  • Be silent, so you can listen. Be still, so you can experience.

What action to take depends on the situation, but it starts with a feeling of being at peace with your experience.

from Health & Wellness https://zenhabits.net/noprob/