Healthy Writers Club: I'm Allergic to Everything!

Photo Courtesy of Shallee McArthur
This has definitely been a busy week. On the BODY front, I have managed six workouts in the last seven days--which is so UNLIKE me that I just have to keep reminding myself I actually accomplished this. Four workouts were bike rides (36 miles total), and I've started trying to do abs (and sometimes arms) at the conclusion of each ride.

One workout was a canoe trip through the mangroves with my Dad, and the other was a paddleboarding yoga trip at Weedon Island with Urban Kai. Although I'm not flipping around or doing handstands on my board yet, I did manage a few warrior poses and such--and I didn't fall off once!

Here's a pic as proof. (I'm on the red board on the left.)

Photo Courtesy of Frank Long
Also on the BODY front, I got my food sensitivity test results back today, and OH MY GOSH, I am apparently allergic to nearly everything. Here's my list:

VERY HIGH: Banana and Pineapple
HIGH: Cranberry
MODERATE: Sesame Seeds
LOW: Broccoli, Cabbage and Clams
VERY LOW: Whey, Pecans, Baker's Yeast, 
Tuna, Milk and Egg Whites
TRACE: Whole Wheat and Lobster

My initial reaction was to FREAK THE F*CK OUT, but I am back under control again. Realistically, I should only really cut bananas, pineapples, cranberries and sesame seeds out of my diet. I can limit broccoli, cabbage and clams, and I can just keep an eye on whey, pecans, baker's yeast, tuna, eggs, milk, whole wheat and lobster. No big deal.

If anything, this knowledge can just help me remember to pay attention to the foods I shove in my mouth. It can also encourage me to eat as much chocolate and honey as possible. ;)

This week was a really good week on the MIND front. My WIP has been fighting with me ever since I decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo, but I finally made a breakthrough this week and just started writing. I managed nearly 4,000 words in two days, and I feel so much better than I did before. 

This project is beginning to feel FUN again, and I'm starting to look forward to writing it. I also look forward to making this guy one of my characters. (In the most non-cheesy way possible.)

"Mac," Photo Courtesy of Me
On the SOUL front, I am continuing to explore Tampa and spend time with my family and friends. This week, it was the Holiday Market, Weedon Island (twice), the Florida Aquarium (again), the Royal Tea Room and various other spots around the city. I am beginning to know my way around now, and I am infinitely thankful for the people who have been there for me.

This transition still has its good days and its bad days, but I have been pinning the shit out of my feelings on Pinterest. What a great catharsis, and it's pretty to boot! :) Here's a link if you'd like to see what I have been up to: WORDS OF WISDOM.

So that's my update. I hope you had a good week, and I can't wait to visit your blogs. Have a great weekend!

Healthy Writers Club: "Call Me Maybe" and So On

Photo Courtesy of Shallee McArthur

Well, I officially suck at NaNoWriMo, but I had a good week nonetheless. I hope you guys did, too!

Here is my weekly progress:

BODY
Photo Courtesy of TinyTall
Wow, I really like riding my bike. Like, a lot. Like, way more than I thought I would. I managed four bike rides this week, and I covered more than 33 miles. (I would have gone on more rides, but I went out of town for two days, and I've been busy nursing a hangover for the past 48 hours. Definitely don't bounce back like I did in my twenties... ;))

I also attended my second stand-up paddleboarding lesson this past weekend, and I've nearly perfected what they call the "pivot turn." (I just call it "the turn that makes me fall off the board in the middle of Davis Island Harbor.")

MIND
Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Did I mention I suck at NaNoWriMo? In terms of the tortoise and the hare, I have always been the hare. But NaNo is filled with mutant hybrids that combine the dedication of the tortoise with the speed of the hare, and I just don't know how to hang with that.

Oh well. I expected as much when I started, and I will not let NaNoWriMo defeat me!

SPIRIT
Photo Courtesy of SidPix
Geez, I'll be honest. This transition to Florida from Colorado is one of the most difficult things I have ever undertaken in my entire life. But I keep reminding myself that it's okay for me to NOT be okay right now. And I shouldn't be okay tomorrow, either--just like a butterfly can’t spring from a chrysalis 30 seconds after entering it. I need to take the time to let my insides dissolve, and I need to take the time to let them completely reform again.

You don’t have functional wings just because you feel a little twitch of muscle in your shoulders.


Here are my weekly Healthy Writers Club milestones:

1. In-Flight Entertainment Favorite: I made a conscious choice to forgo music on my bike rides this week, and I really, really enjoyed the silence. It gave me a chance to actually listen to my thoughts for once. And that was nice.

Oh, and I finally broke down and gave into my love of "Call Me Maybe" this week--especially the U.S. Olympic Swim Team's version. Best three minutes and twelve seconds ever.


2. Coolest moment: Realizing that I'm actually starting to look forward to my bike rides now. I've mapped out this gorgeous route along the water in South Tampa, and I can't wait to visit it.

3. Hardest moment: I hit a wall last night, but I'm back today. And I've started collecting inspirational quotes on Pinterest. (Check them out here.) They help, too.

How did your week go? Any healthy milestones or set-backs? I'm looking forward to visiting your blogs, and I hope you have a great weekend.

Healthy Writers Club: NaNoWriMo Madness

Is it really Friday already? And is it really November? I feel like I've been stuck in slow motion for the past few months; I can't believe Halloween is already over!

Before I get into my weekly milestones, I just have to share this cute picture of my nephew and me at the pumpkin patch this week. He's certainly worth a move across the country, don't you agree?

Photo Courtesy of Me
Here is my weekly progress:

BODY

No stand-up paddleboarding this week, but I will be attending my first on-the-water yoga class this weekend. I'm hoping to someday be this girl:

Photo Courtesy of lululemon athletica
In the absence of paddleboarding, I went on three long bike rides, and I also did one super intense cardio session followed by arm and ab work. (Not my best week, but I'm still fighting that stupid cough and sore throat that has plagued me since I moved here.)

MIND

Oh my God, it's NaNo time. Are you guys freaking out or what?? 

Photo Courtesy of NaNoWriMo
I've never done NaNo before; I've actually purposefully avoided it, because I take deadlines--even self-imposed ones--so seriously that I often talk myself into panic attacks. However, I have resolved this year to use NaNo as a framework for getting some work done on my new manuscript. I'm not going to hold myself to NaNo's ridiculously high word count, but I am going to check in over there and use its guidelines to remind myself to get some words on paper. 

Are any of you taking the plunge? If so, please find me so we can be buddies: Lisa Ann

SPIRIT

I'm hanging in there. It certainly is an adjustment to realize I'm not just in Florida on vacation, and I'm still struggling with the idea that I live here and my life is unalterably different than it was a few months ago. It's also difficult to jump outside my comfort zone, as I settled into a pretty comfortable daily routine in Colorado.

Being surrounded by friends and family helps. This week, I went to the pumpkin patch for family portraits, watched a ballroom dancing competition with my good friend Mel, attended my first silent film (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) with Mel and my dad, caught up with some friends I hadn't talked to since the move, and helped my sister and brother-in-law take my nephew Trick-or-Treating.

Photo Courtesy of josierichards
I have also been thinking about caterpillars a lot, and I've made my peace with the fact that you need to stay in the chrysalis for awhile before you are able to become a butterfly.


Here are my weekly Healthy Writers Club milestones:

1. Weekly Stats: Three 5+ mile bike rides; one cardio session; one arm and ab workout

2. In-Flight Entertainment Favorite: Mumford & Sons. Surprisingly amazing cardio music

3. Coolest moment: For the first time this week, I had a moment where I looked down at my legs and realized they felt strong. My arms are starting to feel strong, too, and that's certainly a new development for me. They haven't felt like this since I stopped spin class two years ago.

4. Hardest moment: My body just can't seem to get well. I have been in Florida for nearly a month now, and I have been "sick" in some way for more than three weeks of that time. First it was a sore throat, then a fever, then a runny nose, then sneezing, then coughing. I woke up a few days ago to feel ANOTHER sore throat, and I almost had a meltdown. No way I could have handled starting the cycle over again!

How did your week go? Any healthy milestones or set-backs? I'm looking forward to visiting your blogs, and I hope you have a great weekend.

Healthy Writers Club: Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Photo Courtesy of Shallee McArthur
Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you achieved your fitness goals this week, and I can't wait to tell you about my foray into the world of stand-up paddleboarding.

I have decided to segment my milestones into three different categories each week: body, mind and spirit. Here is my progress:

BODY

I attended my first stand-up paddleboarding lesson on Sunday, and I also rented a board and went paddleboarding through the mangroves with a good friend yesterday. I was completely nervous the first time I paddled out, but the boards are way more buoyant and stable than I expected. It wasn't long before I made the leap into actually standing on the board, and paddling came fairly naturally once I figured out the proper stroke technique.

Photo Courtesy of ingridtaylar
The physicality and grace was exactly what I thought it would be, and I felt determination solidify inside me as I balanced and stretched and succeeded.

I want to be good at this.

MIND

I have been between manuscripts for a few months now; the stress of my everyday life has been so overwhelming that the last thing I have wanted to deal with is a new project. However, a conversation with my fabulous agent this week finally inspired me to jump back on the wagon. I decided to start a project I've been marinating on for about a year now, and I can already feel those creative juices beginning to flow again.

The project will be a YA Magical Realism called THE PUREST SHADE OF WHITE, and it will star polar bears, zoos, ghosts and snow. I think this picture pretty much sums it up:

Photo Courtesy of Me
I have been playing with this novel's characters for so long that they already feel like good friends. I can't wait for them to finally tell me their story.

(Want more story hints? Check out my brand new Inspiration Board on Pinterest: THE PUREST SHADE OF WHITE.)

SPIRIT

As part of my journey of getting reacquainted with myself, I made it a point to stretch myself this week. I visited the Lowry Park Zoo and the Florida Aquarium, and I took my parents on a Tampa Ghost Tour. I spent time with amazing friends I've barely seen since college, and I allowed myself to be distracted by beautiful things like oak trees and art festivals. I soaked in soul-soothing music, and I took time to listen to the things I was feeling--even when they weren't happy or convenient. I'm keeping a journal again these days, and that has been helpful, too.


Here are my weekly Healthy Writers Club milestones:

1. Weekly Stats: Two paddleboarding sessions; two cardio sessions; two ab, bun, arm and leg workouts; three long walks

2. In-Flight Entertainment Favorite: I'm the type of person who puts a lot of weight in songs and song lyrics. The Zac Brown Band came through for me at the perfect moment this week with the entrance of "Goodbye in Her Eyes" into my life. I have played that song many times since then, and I have smiled and cried and sung along with it more times than I can count.

Here's a link if you'd like to check it out:


3. Coolest moment: Feeling that knot of determination solidify inside me when I stepped onto that paddleboard on Sunday... I was a little afraid I'd been putting too much emphasis on how important this lesson was going to be to me, but that moment told me I'd been exactly right all along.

4. Hardest moment: The two-year anniversary of the car accident that nearly killed my husband, our two dogs and me was this Tuesday. (You can read more about it here.) So many things have changed since that moment that I couldn't decide which facet I should mourn first.

How did your week go? Any healthy milestones or set-backs? I'm looking forward to visiting your blogs, and I hope you have a great weekend.

The Healthy Writers Club: True Confessions

Photo Courtesy of Shallee McArthur
True confession time.

When I joined Shallee McArthur's Healthy Writers Club three weeks ago (see my first post here), I mentioned my life has been filled with stress, and my fitness has fallen by the wayside lately. I told you I was making some life changes that would hopefully conclude by October 12th, and I promised I would begin a resurgence of my healthy living at that time.

Well... There is no reason to be coy anymore. Thanks to my Two Roads Diverged post, you all now know that my stress and life changes center around this question: Are my husband's and my lives are still heading in the same direction?

While we attempt to figure out the answer to that question, I have relocated from Colorado back to my home state of Florida. I am now living in the Tampa Bay area--just arrived on October 10th--and I hope to spend the next few months getting back in touch with myself and reconnecting with my spirit.

(I would like to give a special shout-out to Lora Rivera for supporting me so much during this transition. She is one of the most thoughtful and encouraging people I have ever encountered, and I feel honored to call her a friend.)

It's funny how your essence burns down in times of stress and sadness. I used to feel full of life and rich, and now I feel a bit like a shadow of myself, like the fire that was my spirit has begun to weaken into an ember. More importantly, I feel I've become disconnected from my body--like I've retreated so far inside myself that I can no longer see or hear or feel things like I used to.

So, my entrance into the Healthy Writers Club is particularly significant to me. Not only do I pledge to begin treating my body with the respect it deserves, but I pledge to likewise treat my mind and heart and soul and spirit with respect.

Here are the goals I have accomplished so far this week:

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
1. Return to the ocean. I have always lived near a coast, and I feel a deep connection to salt water and all its creatures. I have felt my gills drying up the past two years I've lived in Colorado, so I took a trip to the ocean earlier this week and sunk face-first into the waves. The feeling of the current and the tides against my hair and skin is one of the best soul therapies I have ever discovered.

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
2. Figure out my food allergies. My sensitive stomach has plagued me for years, so I finally broke down and spent the money for a proper Food Sensitivity Test. Tampa Rejuvenation took my blood samples earlier this week, and I should be receiving my food allergies results within three weeks. (They apparently test for 100 different types of foods, so I'm crossing my fingers they figure out SOMETHING for me to remove from my diet.)

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
3. Start putting healthy foods into my body. When my life is out of balance, I subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) sabotage my healthy eating to get my body out of balance as well. (It seems strange to have one in line and not the other, so I inhale everything I possibly can to make my outsides better reflect my insides.) I decided this week that the time for food mourning is officially over. It's now time to start pulling myself back together.

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
4. Start an exercise routine. My sister is in way better shape than I am, so she and I have been working our abs, buns, legs and arms this week. I also found a stand-up paddleboard shop and signed up for my very first paddleboarding lesson this weekend. (I was never very good at surfing, but I love being on the water, so perhaps this will be a better fit.) This paddleboarding shop also apparently offers paddleboard yoga and core workout lessons, so maybe I'll dive right in if it feels like a good fit.

Here are my weekly Healthy Writers Club milestones:

1. Weekly Stats: Two ab work-outs, two bun work-outs, two leg work-outs and one arm workout... A couple of nice walks, and one (very) short bike ride

2. In-Flight Entertainment Favorite: I have been listening to the 180 Degrees South soundtrack pretty much non-stop lately. Beautiful, meandering ocean-inspired melodies... Perfect for my return to the coast. (Check out the full playlist here.)

3. Coolest moment: Taking the plunge and finally reconnecting with the ocean

4. Hardest moment: Pretty much every single thing about this week has been hard--especially those few days when my immune system finally shut down on me. I have been trying to get sick for weeks, and my body finally collected on that debt earlier this week. Still trying to recover from that.

How did your week go? Any healthy milestones or set-backs? I'm really excited to officially be part of the Healthy Writers Club now, and I'm looking forward to all the motivation we can give each other.

P.S.- I'm going to start using the #healthywriters hashtag when I post about fitness on Twitter. Would love it if you guys would use it too, so we can all find each other!