Life & love at midlife, beauty reviews for the collagen-challenged, biking, cooking, wellness, and positive living.

Positive Living

2017 goals… looking ahead to a good year

According to "The Internet" and practically everyone I know, 2016 sucked.  And I can't say I disagree... I think we're all hoping for a better year ahead. Recently I was listening to a podcast by Dave Ramsey, and he was talking about how to plan your financial future. Dave's life is dedicated to teaching people how to find financial peace and personal wealth, and his method is very simple: give every dollar an assignment.  Don't…

In your conversations with God, who’s doing all the talking?

A few years ago, I went through a bit of a spiritual growth spurt.  It led to some new thinking about how I see myself, my relationships - even God.  Especially God.  The growth spurt came at a time in my life where I was hemmed in and unhappy in my marriage, and ultimately it led to my divorce and a different level of happiness and independence.   During this period, I started meditating.  If…

Beginning again… and again

Meditation can be frustrating for newbies.  Often that frustration stems from expecting to quietly and peacefully meditate for an hour at one’s first sitting - it’s an unrealistic expectation.  When we teach others a new skill, we offer compassion and patience.  We encourage the idea that it takes time to master a new skill, and that with practice that new skill will grow and develop.  Why is it we can offer that compassion and patience…

A vacation by myself (and to myself)

The commitment I make to my hobbies and interests is pretty lackadaisical, and I like it that way. To me, hobbies and interests shouldn’t involve commitment, goals, or any aspiration of achievement. I read a great piece recently by author Elizabeth Gilbert on the difference between a career, a job, a hobby, and a vocation. (Interestingly, what led me to read it was that I thought it said “vacation,” and was going to be about…

Part 2: Gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, peanut-free, chocolate-free eating

I feel bad for those who got their gluten-free marching orders in years past. Now there are so many gluten-free foods on the market and so much awareness about it that going without it is actually doable. Gluten free seems like the latest health buzzword - most folks have heard about it now, and most seem to know someone who lives gluten free either by choice or by necessity. I have a feeling that ten…

Part 1: Gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, peanut-free, chocolate-free eating

About ten days ago, I took a new step on my journey to take better care of myself.  I visited a certified lifestyle educator at a naturopathic practice in Columbus called Leaves of Life.  My reason for going was that I’ve just not felt great in a long time - and not necessarily just because of too much illness, but more, I think, because of not enough underlying wellness.  I love my doctor and believe…

Self care

This summer’s been exciting and fun, but also stressful.  Even wonderful milestones like buying a house can be stressors, and I have to admit that I’ve not done a good job of taking care of myself this year.  Two close friends have said to me in casual conversation recently, “It’s so important to take good care of yourself.”  How right they are!  And because I haven’t been doing so, their comments really felt more like…

A week from heaven (and hell)

So, it's Tuesday evening.  Let me tell you about what the last week has held. For starters, last Thursday morning, I closed on the condo!  It's all mine, and that feeling of being a homeowner and putting down roots after a year in a rental home is - well, heavenly.  I feel very grateful to be in the position to buy a home at all, let alone one that's so cute and adorable and totally,…

The beauty of two miles

When I started riding, I considered a 2-3 mile ride to be long distance.  I was riding a men's mountain bike at the time, and it had big knobby tires and a heavy frame. It didn't exactly glide.  Plus, I was super out of shape (not that I'm a picture of fitness nowadays, mind you), and 2-3 miles felt like an effort.  The first time I rode 5 miles, I felt like a rock star.…
MapMyFitness records bike ride map

Fitness tracking: watching the changes add up

As mentioned a few weeks ago, last year during my divorce I started biking, and I ended up riding 1,000 miles between April and December 2014.  During that journey I did lose some weight, but most of the really BIG changes I noticed weren't external - they were internal. They were things like improved cardiovascular fitness, better muscle tone in my legs, overall confidence about life in general as well as my bike handling skills,…