A Black Friday Christmas present for me….

A Black Friday Christmas present for me....

I made my final payment to my last credit card ever today. I find it ironic that while millions of shoppers all over the world were sliding the plastic through machines to increase their debt, we actually finished paying off a credit card today.

See this picture? It represents a very happy lady. A year ago, my husband and I made a commitment to get out of debt and budget and work together to meet our financial goals. We are not done yet, but today we took a very big step towards that goal.
I am very excited and impatient to get there.

But as with so many other things, it is always important to take stock and pat yourself on the back when you do something good. That’s what this picture is about. My husband dislikes that I take pictures all the time but I have tried to explain to him that its important to record things. I will admit I do go overboard from time to time but I think that I am learning more balance. I truly try to take pictures with my heart about half the time and then with a camera the rest. But I knew this moment had to be captured!

So this is the Black Friday present I gave to us. We are now credit card debt-free. Typing that is pretty exciting and it gets even more exciting when I think of all the changes we have walked together through. Getting on the same page about our money has really helped us to see how many things we can do with less. Giving up cable, (we don’t miss it and netflix is a great option) we read more books. Not going out to eat every night, my cooking skills are getting better. So I wanted to take a moment and pat us on the back for that which we have done to keep us on track to goal. Affirmation is a big part of what keeps me going! So a big Buccaneer cheer for the Hastons!!!

You have no debt, You owe nothing, Spend a million dollars. GO!

This was the assignment my acting teacher gave us last night. The idea behind this is to court your imagination. I love this notion. How often as adults are we told, oh you can’t do that or that’s too expensive or that just isn’t possible.

How often do we let others beat down our imagination and our dreams and let another piece of that little 7 year old actress (or lawyer, or doctor or ballerina) die until you wake up one day and your reach for your imagination to dream again and its sitting in the corner, hurt and petulant because you have pushed it aside so often and so harshly…?

Do I think that its important to have realistic expectations? Yes. However, I do think that we are too often swayed away from dreaming to have “real life” take over and insist to us that imagination is misplaced in our path to our dreams. I couldn’t disagree more and with this post, I formally invite my Imagination back to the table to play a very important part in the conversation.  

Think about it! Really write down what it costs, the specificity really matters. It’s not enough to say, I will take a trip. It’s more important to say things like. We will take Silver Cloud Rolls Royce to the airport to fly first-class to Paris and stay in 5 star luxury accommodation and private tours in Versaille and the Hall of Mirrors….. etc etc… Go ahead.. Dream! Your imagination misses you….

Last place is asleep…

I walked my second 5K on Saturday and it was exciting to me to realize how far I have come in just a few months. My first one was in June and needless to say there have been several things keeping me from this monthly commitment.

But no more, I am actively putting exercise in my life again, because with paleo I feel great, but the weight loss has died down. The answer? Exercise. I also realize that “cheating” on the paleo diet once a week rather than once a day will help too!

I made the comment as I walked up to the administrator, ” I am not last, YAY!” He smiled and marked my time on his computer and said, Last is asleep. It really hit me that even suiting up and walking is better than not being there. Its a great metaphor that can be applied to almost any goal. Give yourself some grace and take baby steps to get there. At least you are in the race!

Think about it.


Punch fear in the face

I am a speaker so what I am about to say may be shocking. I asked to do a speech on November 19th many months ago at my Toastmasters club, I was told that I would be put on a list but as it turns out I am not on the list. Until today, apparently a slot just opened up….

I like to speak but tend to practice a little more than a week in advance!! Fear, sweaty palms (even as I type this, and absolute terror because I was confident in the knowledge that I didn’t have to give a speech. It would have been easy for me to decline but I punched fear in the face and decided to say yes, since I do have a week.. but it got me thinking. It would have been far more prudent to have a speech I was working on ready to go (that way I wouldn’t be making it up out of full cloth) but its a learning experience.. and now, to the archives to look up notes and figure out what I am going to talk about next week.

Have you been asked to do something that you weren’t 100% prepared to do? What did you do? Turn it down? Beg off, saying you were busy or did you decide to bite the bullet and muddle through?

The words we use determine the life we live.

What words do you use to describe yourself?

happy, go-lucky, positive, to name but a few.

But for years, I have also called myself fat, not good with numbers,  or just plain not good enough in general. It’s hard to admit that despite being a very upbeat person I struggle with feelings of insecurity, but I do. Just as someLen reading this might be feeling right now. Just today, I found myself

saying, “I am not a runner” referring to the 5K I am 

walking in next Saturday, but then thought about 

a second and added , “yet”. Because before I walked 3 miles I had to walk one. Before I lost fifty pounds, I had to take a series of smaller steps,which included saying, you “CAN DO THIS” to myself along the way.

So I choose to be my own cheerleader and eliminate as much negativity from my speech as possible!

What words will you say today? Will they empower you to do things that you have never done before?

Will you love yourself with the words you use. Please don’t limit what you are capable of tomorrow by talking badly about yourself today. 


Words can lift us or bring us down.

What will your words do? Think about it!












Balance is everything.

I am going to make this short and sweet since I am on a break at work but guess what!!! ITS CHEAT DAY for my diet.

I was questioning myself and wondering if it was a good idea or “okay” to be THIS excited about processed foods including chocolate and cheese consumption that I am going to do today and realized yes, it is! There is balance in everything. For six days, including Halloween, Renaissance Festival, and a pancake breakfast, I have adhered to the paleo way and its been difficult, but not impossible because we have the balance of a long-awaited cheat day. 

I think that the build-up to that of cheating every other day helped me stay true but really, after you make the decision you are working towards a goal, (the aforementioned 50 pounds lost and resulting photo shoot) the discipline required starts to show up in other things too. I am walking in my second 5K in exactly 9 days and this forces me to incorporate exercise in my routine as well as stay true to our paleo way. What are you working towards? What habits and discipline have you found along the way?


It’s just one piece of candy…..

Dear Readers, about a week ago I posted about giving myself grace and getting back to the healthy paleo lifestyle we adopted almost eleven months ago. Just yesterday, as it was Halloween and candy (free candy to be precise) is flying everywhere so I was very tempted to eat it but I realized that just eating one piece would lead to another and then another and then before you know it the whole bag is gone and then you have justified it because its Halloween or its just one day. Well, I submit to you that you can stop the insanity by just saying no and more importantly focusing on why you aren’t eating the candy but are eating other healthy foods in its place. It started out by eliminating soda, not as hard as I thought. Then came chocolate and let me tell you, this girl has never met a chocolate she did not like save dark chocolate.

Part of the thing that appeals to us about this lifestyle choice is not just weight loss but the amazing amounts of energy gained by eating such healthy foods. The other thing that appeals to us is that one day a week, you are allowed to “cheat” .. as previously mentioned this has been more of a daily than a weekly deal for us. I am seeking to change that and over the last two weeks we have done better but are not back to once a week which is the goal. 

For more on paleo and our results. https://jenniferhastonsays.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/this-is-me-in-june-of-this-year-2013/

So yesterday, when given the chance to eat chocolate and other goodies I didn’t eat them. I thought about it and then realized my healthy living is more important than my immediate and instant gratification of the tasty morsel in my hand. I have had these thoughts before but yesterday I signed up to do a photo shoot for my upcoming 37th birthday and I want to look the best I have ever looked in those upcoming pictures, so now I have “thrown my hat over the wall” I have to do it and yesterday I did eat pizza but I did not eat candy. I am also walking in a 5K on November 16th so will need to be adding exercise back in.

Today, I avoided the free pastry and bagel at work, and I actually feel good about it. I know that I can keep it up if I keep thinking of myself svelte and healthy. The picture I want is the picture I am working toward making possible. Baby steps, baby steps, a little tweak WILL lead to tremendous results over time. Think about it!