Bye Bye Pepsi

Dear Readers,

A month ago, I decided to give up soda. I had come to the conclusion that it’s way too much sugar and drinking two of them a day does not serve me in my lifestyle I am trying to establish. I thought a lot about what caused me to enjoy soda so much and what my attachment was, and it turns out it was linked to a rare happy childhood memory.

Note the Pepsi and the smile..

Recently I have been examining habits that no longer serve me and while planning on eliminating them, I have also decided to add things in their place. For example, giving up soda, I am drinking a ton of water, which has it’s own benefits.

I kept a diary for the last 30 days and noted that there were only 3 days I REALLY wanted a Pepsi. Each was tied to a not great day, and it was easy to see my habit has been to comfort with Pepsi.

I comforted with sugar those days, but no soda. It would be easy to beat myself up about the lack of willpower on that front, but I am not going to do that. The focus was on giving up soda, not sugar.

Today is day 31, and I am shocked to find, I don’t miss it AT ALL, and am really enjoying an increase in my energy level and clearer skin as well as a little weight loss.

30 Days ago
Day 30

I can’t give you a number because unless a medical professional asks me to step on a scale, I don’t do it, it makes me feel bad no matter the number and I am done with that nonsense. As Sonya Renee Taylor says. “The body is not an apology”

For me, it’s about how I feel (energetic) and fit in my clothes (better) and accomplishing a goal of a healthier lifestyle. This is probably where I will lose some people.

If soda is your jam, go have some, but for me I realized it was NOT working for me any longer so I gave it up.

Next up? Giving up the snooze button! It’s day 9 of that one and proving to be considerably more challenging, but again, I find it doesn’t serve me to continue it so I am going to give it up.

What are you doing that doesn’t serve you any longer?

Think About It.

Building Healthy Family Habits or Reparenting Myself?

Dear Readers,

When I was growing up, physical fitness wasn’t really an activity that was encouraged in my household and despite a few athletic attempts here (benchwarmer for basketball) and there, it wasn’t really a featured attraction or really talked about in our family.

Jennifer McKenna Age 10

When I decided to become a parent, I set a goal to be sure that I could keep up with my kid to run or ride bikes. I was not reaching for a number on the scale or pant size, but able to walk a flight of stairs without gasping for air was my goal.

I am proud to say I have spent a good deal of time building a habit of walking and running (a few 5K races)

and have even walked/ran/stumbled 10 miles.

I was cruising toward marathon training when I threw out my back…. ugh! I hated that I had to stop and rest and heal, but it was necessary so I was mature about it and kept working out but in smaller doses. All the silly poses were to keep me motivated!!

Swimming was great for my back!
My first real set of running gear!

Right about the time I felt better enough to start getting my miles back up, world events conspired to put my exercise in my living room, where I danced to videos after my daughter was asleep.

As it turns out, my daughter LOVES the outdoors (she takes after her Daddy) and around the same time I started thinking about getting back to more regular exercise, but still not feeling comfortable going to a gym, I had a brilliant idea! Why not take something she loves (outdoors) and combine it with something I have a daily goal (exercise) to do?

I am going to be honest and tell you my Mom suggested it, about three years ago, but I am stubborn so just now it has occurred to me as my own new and shiny notion. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

So it’s been a week, and much like working out, I really don’t WANT to, till we start and then I am very happy to walk/jog with Vivienne. It serves as a nice bridge from her school day to home.

Foot pictures!!

What I wasn’t expecting was the conversations that have started happening. She has told me epic narratives about leaves and rocks. She also played a game of “Simon Says” with me. I didn’t even know she knew that game! It’s a great opportunity for me to listen to her and to nature.

It’s also very healing knowing I am simultaneously building healthy habits that she will just see as “normal” and that makes my motivation even stronger.

What is something you can do to heal a part of you that is hurt?

Think About It.

Happy Debt Free Day, Haston Family!

Five years ago, we made our last payment on debt ever….

As of 11/16/2015, we NO longer had any monthly payments. (Except rent!)

It took the two of us working 5 jobs for 3 years and we did it. We paid off 36,945.91 in 3 years.

Our debt-free “scale”- We love music!

Cars, School loans, and many a regret later, a 401K loan. (Boy howdy, do I regret that one!) but it was done! In fact, that was our first debt we paid back to my parents. Told you it was a regret.

Five years later, we are still debt-free. We had a LOT of people tell us that with a kid on the way, this is her—

Vivienne et Mama – 11/16/2020

we would not, could not stay that way, and we have.

Spend less than you make, don’r borrow money, and save for big purchases and emergencies. It’s not rocket surgery!

Take that, doubters and haters!!

We are DEBT FREE !

It’s not always easy, because the intentional and continual decision to STAY debt-free comes with sacrificing vacations, and newer cars, and our first house seems very, very, very far off into the future, AND we will get there, because we are a team and getting out of debt together made us a super strong couple.

He is always my Prince Charming!

We have weathered some storms, for sure, and things have tried to break us and those things continue to fail.

We have help, and we ask for and receive advice from couples who have been together a lot longer than we have. You know who you are….

All this to say, marriage is hard and having a goal you tackle together, like finances or parenting… make you stronger.

Grateful to be debt-free, and to have a wonderful partner by my side to do ALL of life with as we continue in our journey, debt free and beyond….

What big goals are you tackling? Who can you partner with to help encourage you along the way?

Think About It.

Do It For Dorothy!

Dear Readers,

Today I find myself deeply saddened at the passing of someone who I have never met, yet they touched and inspired me as well as 4,199 other people.

This blog post is in honor of Dorothy Carlson, a beautiful soul who is part of a Facebook group that encourages each other in our goals.

The goals vary from losing weight, gaining weight, practicing piano, sleeping with no phone, and many others. No goal is too big or too small and Jon Acuff who started the group set the tone from Day 1- Be awesome, there are many other places on the internet to be hateful and mean, this isn’t one of them. So keep the awesomeacracy sacred.

I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

She was always encouraging other people and working through her own goals. She asked for our advice and took it to heart.

Dorothy D Carlson

She made a tremendous impact, which I am not sure she or her family knows about. It got me to thinking, how much all of us might not know the impact, the import of what we bring to the table daily, and how often do we doubt that we matter.

I don’t know you personally, but I can tell you without question, YOU DO MATTER. You matter to someone, Count on it.

We created a hashtag in her memory- #DoIt4Dorothy

So whatever you are thinking about doing and aren’t doing, take a deep breath, and step out and be bold and, Do It For Dorothy….

Think About It.

Rest In Peace, Dorothy-