Heart Choices: September 2008

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Taking The First Step

You've been told you need to start exercising. You even went to the doctor to get checked out because you always seem to be so tired. But you got a clean bill of health and were told to start exercising. But how can you start exercising when you're too tired to get started?

I'll start next week, you say to yourself. But then you remember, that's what you said last week.

Maybe another cup of coffee or that caffeinated beverage will help give you the pick me up you think you need. So, you feel a little more energized but then... you look at the pile of laundry that needs to get done and the flowers that need to be planted.

You think about taking a short nap.

Before you know it, it's time to pick up your child from school and of course, then... there's no time to exercise. After all, you have to stop at the grocery store to get the ingredients you need for dinner. And then... it's not good to exercise after eating and you don't want to exercise too close to bedtime or you'll never get to sleep. And then... it will be so hard to get up early and exercise.

So, what are you going to do?

  • Start with baby steps: Make the choice to walk around the block this morning; nothing more, nothing less. Just choose to do this one thing today! This is so important when you're just beginning so you don't get discouraged.

  • Organize your clothes the night before: You've made the decision to go for a walk in the morning. Have everything ready the night before so you have no excuses when you wake up. Sunglasses cover your no makeup look. A ball cap covers your messy hair. Sweats, sneakers, socks...what else do you need?

  • Music or not: If you enjoy music, get your headset ready the night before. Maybe you like quiet. Or maybe this is an opportunity to think good thoughts or to pray for your neighbors as you pass their home.

  • Consider recruiting a walking partner: If you've had a hard time sticking with your exercise, it may help to have another person depending on you. That's accountability. You may be less inclined to skip this time if your friend is waiting for you.

There's no time like today to get started. Remember...one step at a time and before you know it, you may find yourself looking forward to your morning walks.


World Heart Day 2008

Today is World Heart Day. It's a day to raise awareness about risk factors for heart disease and hypertension (high blood pressure). Both of these chronic conditions are largely preventable. The World Heart Federation has a mission to help "people achieve a longer and better life through prevention and control of heart disease and stroke, with a focus on low and middle income countries". I am a member of Iowa Avenue, a social network that promotes a healthy lifestyle.

As a healthy lifestyle blogger, this is a day to address heart health. The heart is the wellspring of life. Without our heart, there is no life. This amazing organ pumps blood and oxygen throughout our bodies where it is needed. If we take proper care of our bodies, it should last a long time.

I promote a lifestyle of proper exercise and healthy eating, but I believe there's even more to heart health. You can be disciplined on the outside and look great but inside harbor anger, bitterness and resentment. And over time, that can impact your heart health. If you have a hard time receiving love, you'll have a hard time loving others.

I believe heart health involves a proper balance of body, soul and spirit.
  • Body: We need to be stewards of how we care for our bodies. Proper nutrition and adequate exercise are necessary to promote good heart health.

  • Soul: This involves your mind, will and emotions. What you choose to focus on and fill your mind with impacts how you live out your life.

  • Spirit: This involves our relationship to God. We were each born with a moral compass or conscience but we choose whether we listen or not.

Would you take a moment to consider where you stand? Are you neglecting one of these areas? What are you doing to take care of your heart health?


Friday Tips: How to Avoid Overeating

The weekend is almost here and it's so easy to blow your decision to begin to follow a more healthy diet.

So, why am I showing you a picture of my favorite Mexican meal from El Bravo? Well, it's because I want to share something with you on this Friday.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid overeating:

              1. Spoil your appetite: I know your mother probably told you not to eat before your dinner but I say do it with the right foods. If you're going out to dinner, don't arrive starving. You may find yourself nibbling on the bread and butter before your meal arrives and you've already consumed more than enough extra calories. Eat an apple or other piece of fruit before you leave the house.

                Health Food Junk Food

              2. Drink plenty of water: Drinking water and eating water rich fruits like melons or oranges can give you a feeling of fullness and prevent you from eating when you may not really be hungry.
              3. Don't skip breakfast: I know you've heard it before and you may not be into this habit. Usually, the reason many people aren't hungry in the morning is because they overate the night before. Having breakfast keeps your blood sugar more stable and increases your energy level. Even if you simply have a small bowl of cereal or a piece of fruit, most studies find that if you skip breakfast you're more inclined to overeat throughout the day.
              4. Have healthy snacks in between meals: The key is to not get in a situation that you're so hungry, you eat anything is sight. Stock up on fruit, nuts (small quantities only), power bars and gazpacho. It's important to have it available and begin grazing within reason during the day so you never overeat at any one meal.
              5. Ask for a doggy bag at restaurants: My favorite Navajo Taco (pictured above) is so good. If I eat without thinking, it will be gone very quickly. So, I cut it in half and take the other half home with me. Then I get to enjoy it another day.
              6. Eat slowly: If you eat fast (like me), you will consume more calories. It takes a while for our brains to realize we are full. So, slow down and savor each bite and enjoy.

              Do you have any tips on ways to prevent overeating? What's worked for you? As we go into this weekend, let's not blow all the good work you may have done during the week. And have a healthy and fun weekend!


              Is It Already Thankful Thursday?

              It is another Thursday. Wow; time seems to go by so quickly. I've spent last evening and this morning fussing and complaining because for the third time in two months my air conditioning is broken. And since my husband and I work from our home offices upstairs, it gets very hot. You have to understand that I live in Phoenix and although it's officially autumn, it's still HOT here. I think the weather report said it would reach 102 degrees today! And the air conditioning company said they would be here between 8 and 12 noon.

              So, what is there to be thankful for? Well, I decided to distract myself so I opened up my email. I subscribe to several blogs and the very first one I read this morning was Laurel Wreath's Reflections. She was participating in Thankful Thursday today. Laurel wrote a beautiful birthday tribute to her blogging friend Iris, who is the creator of Thankful Thursday.

              As I read her words, I calmed down and was able to focus on being thankful. After all, I live in my own home and I usually do have air conditioning. So many people have problems that are so much worse; like not having anything to eat or a place to sleep. So, I guess it kind of put things in perspective which is exactly what I needed. Enough of my pity party!

              Today I am thankful for my new blogging friends. I have a popular sanguine personality with a large amount of peaceful/phlegmatic thrown in. So, I need a balance of interaction with people and then time to be alone. Working from home, I've found comfort by interacting with other bloggers.

              So, on this Thankful Thursday I want to thank a few of my favorite bloggers. Each one is unique and I find inspiration in different ways from each one of them. I hope you will visit their blogs too.

              • Laurel who shares her life and reflections as a Christian mom.
              • L-Jay who blogs about her life in Norway.
              • Iris who started Thankful Thursdays.
              • Kikolani who shares her inpiring poetry and photography.
              • Melissa who allows me to dream and escape into her world of design.
              • Victoria who shares the Truth about living the Christian life.


              Heart Insight and More

              Yesterday I met a friend for an iced tea at Paradise Bakery. Ruth and I met several years ago at Destiny Dance where we were taking an adult dance class with Sheryl Cooper. We had two things in common. We were both from New York and we both laughed at how uncoordinated we were. So it goes without saying, we had lots of fun together in class.

              Ruth moved back to NY but was in town to visit family. She is now the editor of Heart Insight magazine. This is an official publication of the American Heart Association. This magazine is filled with valuable information for patients, their families and caregivers.

              Check out the latest cover!

              Heart Insight recently won two major awards:

              • A Gold Award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors in the "New Publication" category

              • A Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications in the category "Best Overall External Magazine - Start-Up".

              The magazine is distributed through cardiology practices for free. Patients are permitted to take a copy and can then fill out a form to subscribe on their own. I love the beautiful photographs and the heart healthy recipes. The articles range from information on blood pressure, caregiver tips, and encouraging stories of people who overcame heart health obstacles. The current issue featured the story of Alison Levine who was born with a congenital heart anomoly called WPW. She is now a mountain climber!

              I have a special fondness for the American Heart Association. I was born with a congenital heart defect and had open heart surgery in New York City many years ago as a child. At that time, we needed 30 blood donors to contribute the morning of the surgery. Because I had a rare type of blood, my mom reached out for help to locate donors. The American Heart Association was so helpful and had the necessary donors lined up that morning so many years ago. Thankfully, the techniques have greatly changed since that time. But each year, my mother would take me by the hand as we collected donations for this wonderful organization. She was so grateful for their help and support during a trying time.

              This is a picture of me and my heart surgeon, Dr. Malm. Don't laugh; it was so many years ago. I had the privilege of speaking at a Homecoming at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital for many heart surgery survivors. And you wonder why I became a cardiovascular nurse?

              Isn't it funny how life comes full circle? Congratulations Ruth, on the success of Heart Insight magazine. And keep up the good work!


              Excuses For Not Exercising

              Woman on fitness equipment

              How many excuses for not exercising can you come up with? I think by this time, most people know they should exercise. Pick up any newspaper and women's magazine and you'll be bombarded by the messages. But despite knowing what you're supposed to do, so many of us still find all the reasons and excuses not to just do it.

              When I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist in a cardiology practice, I counseled patients who had heart disease or had numerous risk factors for heart disease. Many were motivated to listen to my advice because they didn't want to end up with their first or another heart episode. They were often scared and so they followed through. But as time went on and they were feeling fine, many fell back to their old habits and weren't consistent with their exercise programs.

              Here are a few of the excuses I heard:

                • I hate to exercise
                • I don't have enough time
                • It's too hot outside to do my walking
                • I'm too tired
                • I'm too busy
                • I'm going to buy a treadmill but haven't gotten around to it
                • I hate riding my stationary bike
                • It's so boring
                • I'm going to sign up for the gym
                • It's a busy time at work
                • It's been raining outside

              OK; now it's your turn! What excuses have you heard or maybe ones that you use for yourself?


              Impact of Lifestyle

              How did life get so complicated? You'd think with all of our modern conveniences, life would get easier.
              • With my cell phone I never have to miss any calls when I'm not at home.
              • My internet connection provides me with instant access to all of the latest news, blogs and social networks.
              • I can even stay in touch with my family and friends easily and more often with email.
              • I can instantly share photos I took that day after uploading them to my computer.
              • I've made connections with long lost friends from high school and college on Classmates.
              • I've even made many new friends online between Twitter, Facebook and many interesting blogs.
              • If I need to shop, why leave home? I can access websites and even compare prices and locate ratings and reviews to find out what other people like me had to say.

              Our fast paced lifestyle has given us many conveniences.

              But at what cost? Do you remember when life was simpler?

              Don't get me wrong. I love my modern conveniences. But there are moments when I long for simplicity. Do you remember? When...

              • Families sat down to meals together without the TV on
              • Dinner consisted of a homemade meal and not fast food or take out
              • Kids walked to school without being driven everywhere by their parents
              • Kids played games and ran outside instead of sitting for hours in front of the TV, computer and video games
              • You actually had to do errands to earn an allowance
              • You had time to sit and talk face to face with friends
              • You didn't have to schedule exercise time because you walked everywhere

              How about you? Can you add to my list? What do you remember?


              Another Thankful Thursday

              Being thankful is a choice. It's easy to become overwhelmed and anxious when you turn on the TV and listen to the news. Between the economy, politics, hurricanes, train wrecks, embassy bombings and job losses who could blame you for becoming anxious?

              I'm thankful that I found Iris' blog. She proposed a thankful Thursday so that in the midst of the week, we could take a moment and choose to focus on what we're thankful for. And today is a good day to do that.

              I'm reading the latest book by Jim Cymbala entitled "You Were Made For More". He is the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Here is a quote from his book:

              "We would do well not to focus on the troubles lined up against us. Instead, we need to celebrate the God who already demonstrated his power and provision in our past."

              I thought this was a good reminder. As I remember how God has provided for me in the past, I can be thankful. I don't need to be so anxious about tomorrow.


              Aging Gracefully

              People are living longer, especially women. Growing old is a fact of life but aging gracefully is a skill that can be learned. Did you know that you can have a dramatic impact on how you age? And I'm not talking about plastic surgery either.

              Making healthy lifestyle choices can have a major impact on how well you age. And research shows that it's never too late to begin to exercise, stop smoking and to eat healthier. That's motivating for me because no matter how long I live, I really want to be able to take care of myself and not have to be dependent on others. How about you?

              As I get older, I'm becoming more aware of the changes that are happening to me. In the past, if I gained a few pounds it was no big deal. I'd simply cut back on what I ate and exercise more and my weight would go back down. Now, it seems to take so much more effort. As I speak with friends my age, I find I'm not alone.

              Have you ever heard of sarcopenia? Probably not, but I'm sure you've seen it. It's a condition that results from the physical ravages of aging on your muscles. If a person remains fairly sedentary and doesn't do regular exercise as they get older, their muscles weaken which often impacts their balance. You've probably seen many older people who begin to walk in a slow and more shuffling manner. They become quite frail. I think of the little old lady in the rocking chair. But what you need to know is that this typical pattern of aging is largely preventable.

              So, what do you need to do? Find some exercise that you can enjoy and just do it. Begin at a slow pace but be consistent. In future posts, I'll provide more details on the best kinds of exercise to do.


              As you consider making this healthy lifestyle choice, just check out some of the benefits that exercise provides:
              • Strengthens your heart
              • Reduces body fat
              • Improves balance and coordination
              • Increases bone density
              • Improves the quality of your sleep
              • Improves your energy level
              • Lowers your blood pressure
              • Raises your good cholesterol (HDL)
              • Helps you feel good

              Does that sound good or what? Will you make the choice to begin exercising? How about making that commitment to yourself?

              So, let's get moving and start exercising. And in the process...age gracefully!


              Honoring My Heritage

              America is a melting pot of people who immigrated from many other lands. My relatives all came from Norway. That's right; both my mother and father's side of the family came from Norway. And even though I am born and bred in the USA, I choose to honor my Norwegian heritage. The Viking picture on the left is one of my mom and dad attending a Sons of Norway event.

              My parents were very proud of their Norwegian background. They both spoke fluent Norwegian, especially when they didn't want us kids to know what they were saying. Although I picked up many words and phrases, in retrospect I wish I had learned more of the language when I was younger.

              I had the opportunity to visit Norway once and loved the country. I met many of the relatives who still live there. My mother's side of the family lives in the general area of Oslo, which is also the capital of Norway. My dad's side came from an area further north near Trondheim.

              My grandfather grew up in a small town called Sumstad. I was able to visit the old farm that has been in my family for many years. When my grandfather came to America, he took the name of his town as his last name. I heard that this was quite common. He came through Ellis Island and settled in Brooklyn, New York where he met my grandmother. She had also come to the US and settled in Brooklyn. They met in a Norwegian church.

              Growing up, we often ate many of the traditional Norwegian foods. I still enjoy making Norwegian waffles which are very sweet and not the typical American waffles. Yulekake is a Christmas cake and of course, we loved Norwegian meatballs, which are different from Swedish. Whenever I visit my aunt in California, she makes many of my favorite Norwegian foods that I enjoyed while growing up.

              My husband is often fascinated by my Viking past, especially since he's a mix of Italian, Greek, Russian and a few others. But he's grown to enjoy many of the foods and customs.

              I guess I've thought about my Norwegian heritage recently because I met a "new friend" on Twitter who lives in Tromso, Norway. That is very far north. She has a blog called My Little Norway and writes about her life and family. She has taken some beautiful photographs that are displayed on her blog. I hope you'll take some time to visit her site.

              While I'm so grateful to live in the United States, I also choose to honor where I came from. I am thankful that my parents and grandparents shared the stories and many of the customs with me and my siblings. Takk tusen (Thanks so much) Mom and Dad!


              Thankful Thursday

              We can choose to be thankful. Today is September 11th; the seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country. I vividly remember that morning when our sense of peace was shattered. Many lives were lost on that fateful day.

              My eyes were glued to the television screen as I watched in horror. I'm sure you can remember exactly where you were when you first heard the news. But we can be thankful that we've not had any more attacks on our soil. I thank God for that.

              I recently discovered a blog that featured thankful Thursdays. Iris wrote about how we tend to give thanks on Thanksgiving. Why not share your blessings on a weekly basis each Thursday? Today is a good day to begin a thankful Thursday. It's a choice we can make to have a thankful heart. What are you thankful for today?


              Fear of Change

              Fear of change is very common. Think about it. Do you have a tendency to stay in your comfort zone? I know I do. Even if that comfort zone includes some unhealthy behaviors, making new changes can be hard. It might require learning some new skills and that takes time and effort. Oh know, one more thing on my to-do list!

              If you want to begin making healthier choices, change is inevitable. Change can generate a sense of anxiety and insecurity. After all, we tend to cling to stability and how we've always done things. But if those "things" are not helping and instead hurting you, it may be time to really examine them and make a few new decisions. Sometimes the thing you fear may actually turn out to be fun and good for you.

              I remember as a teenager, I was afraid of a roller coaster at Coney Island called the "Cyclone". My friend Kathy invited me to go with her neighbors for several years in a row. We lived on Long Island and they would rent a bus and we all piled on and went to Coney Island for the day. It was lots of fun until Kathy and I would get in line for the Cyclone. Once we got to the front of the line, we'd chicken out. We'd done this so many times over the years but we finally DID IT! We bit the bullet and rode the Cyclone...and guess what? We loved it. We loved it so much we got back in line and rode it again.

              What about you? Maybe you were never very athletic and so you can't imagine attending an exercise or dance class. What if I look like a jerk? Well, let me tell you that you wouldn't be the first one.

              I love dance but the last dance class I took was way back in sixth grade. Taking a dance class at my age? Yes, I was scared and afraid I'd look like a fool. But, I timidly signed up for Dance it Off. It was an exercise dance class that incorporated jazz combinations along with floor work, and abdominal and muscle toning. It was being offered at a dance studio in Phoenix called Destiny Dance.

              Now talk about intimidating. The instructor of this class was the owner of the dance studio and she was Sheryl Cooper, the wife of rocker, Alice Cooper. You remember the song "School's Out", don't you?

              I must say that I did make a fool of myself in that class. I'm not very flexible so it was difficult doing splits (!!!) and even touching my toes without bending my knees. But I had fun, I learned so much and I made new friends. I had to get out of my comfort zone but in the process, I gained so much more.

              Sheryl Cooper turned out to be a wonderful, kind and very patient teacher. She and her husband are Christians and help out in the community through their foundation called Solid Rock.

              Sheryl is also a very pursuasive person. Destiny Dance has a dance recital every year. And guess who participated that year? Yours truly...in a dance recital at my age? YES I DID! That's me in the last row, 3rd from the right.

              So, if I can make a fool of myself you can too! Get out of your comfort zone and try something new and healthy. You never know. You might just enjoy it and you'll be learning something new and fun.

              Do you have any stories to share of something you might have feared but did anyway? I'd love to hear from you.

              Time Perspective

              Time perspective is so important when you're working on making changes in your life. We live in a world of instant everything. Our microwave society fosters instant gratification. We've become so used to not having to wait for anything.

              I'm guilty of this as well. If I want a cup of coffee, I use my Keurig single cup coffee maker and in seconds, voila - I've got a hot tasty cup of coffee. (It really is good!)

              When you're trying to incorporate new choices in your life, it can be very frustrating when it seems to take so long.

              But don't get discouraged! A worthwhile goal takes time to accomplish. If you keep doing the same things, the results will continue to be the same. If you want to take a new path, you may need to learn some new skills. So, begin to cultivate a more realistic time perspective.

              Think about it, anyone can lose weight in the short term by following a specific diet. But, how many people keep the weight off for the long term? More commonly, they gain the pounds back along with a few more.

              Instead of a short term fix try thinking about taking a long term perspective to making important changes in your life. You may be trying to lose weight, quit smoking or start an exercise routine. Whatever it is, give it time. As I wrote in a previous post, habits take time to develop. It takes 21 days to form a habit and 100 days to make it automatic. If it's a worthwhile goal, it's worth pursuing as a life time habit.

              I want to leave you with a picture I received from my good friend Jamie. She just gave birth to her fifth baby on Saturday! Is this picture precious or what? Finally, Karli gets to be a big sister instead of the being the youngest.

              Raising a family of five takes time and dedication... and a long term perspective. Congratulations Jamie and Todd!

              Why Making Changes Can Be So Hard

              Making changes can be downright hard. You may be stuck in a rut and know you want things to change, but you keep going back to your old habits. Why can't I change, you might ask?

              Part of my job as a cardiovascular nurse was to educate and motivate heart patients to change many of their life long unhealthy habits. You see many of those habits were what got them into trouble and now they needed to change. This can be very challenging, to say the least.

              Often, there was a pretty typical pattern. A person experienced a heart event and they were scared. This is the time when they're most open to making changes in their lifestyle that were more healthy. But as time passes and they realize they're going to live, they often revert back to the old habits that got them into trouble to begin with. How easy we forget? Those old habits can be difficult to break.

              I discovered a principle from none other than Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker. I used to listen to tapes on my 30 minute drive to work. Sometimes I would arrive at work so pumped up depending on who I was listening to on that day. Tony spoke on the topic of human behavior.

              Why do you do what you do? He said that our behavior is motivated by the desire to gain pleasure or to avoid pain. And the greater motivator is to avoid pain.

              Think about it. Why do you eat that piece of cake when you know that your slacks are tight and you want to lose a few pounds? Or why do you keep smoking when you've heard all the warnings about the danger to your health?

              To gain pleasure!

              How about avoiding pain? You have a deadline for a project and you procrastinate about completing it. The night before it's due you stay up late to finish it. Why? Because the pain of being unreliable or losing a job is more painful than the pleasure of a good night's sleep.

              For real change to take place, we often have to get to the point of threshold. What's threshold? It's when you finally get to the point where not changing is more painful than the pain associated with changing.

              You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and can't believe it. How did this happen? Did you really buy those slacks last month when they fit like a glove? How can they now be so tight? Something's got to change.

              Welcome to your threshold! It's actually a good place to be. To continue the same way is finally too painful.

              I remember a patient once said to me that he wished he could have a tape of how painful it was after his heart bypass surgery. He would pull it out and watch it every time he was tempted to return to his old habits. The painful reminder of what he went through would be so painful and a reminder to keep up with the new changes.

              Where are you at this point? Have you finally reached your threshold? Or are you still at the point of enjoying the pleasure your unhealthy habits bring? I'd love to hear from you.


              How You Can Begin to Form Healthier Habits

              Habits are the things we do automatically. Have you ever really examined your habits? Some habits may be quite good and healthy while some habits might be actually holding you back, sabatoging you from obtaining your dreams.

              Habits become automatic; whether they're good or bad. And as I've said before... it's the day to day choices you make that determine what your tomorrows will become.

              Forming good habits is a way to begin to move forward towards the life you desire.

              Think about where your habits come from:
              • The way you were raised
              • Your role models, whether good or bad
              • Subliminal messages from TV, movies
              • Our culture
              • Deliberate choices we make

              How many times have you found yourself saying "that's just how I am" or "I can't change" or "I'm just not a disciplined person"?

              This morning as I was exercising on the treadmill (a habit I've established by choice), I was watching the Today Show. Dr. Phil was being interviewed and he said "Biology is not destiny. It just means they're predisposed." I had to jump off the treadmill and write that one down. Now, Dr. Phil wasn't necessarily talking about establishing habits but I thought it could be applicable. After all, we may have a tendency to accumulate those extra pounds around the waist or thighs, depending on our genetic predisposition, but it doesn't have to be our destiny to have heavy thighs or bellies.

              I remember reading a book by Dr. Maxwell Maltz and he said that it takes 21 days to form a habit and 100 days for it to be automatic. So, if that's true, I need to commit to a particular habit I wish to establish for at least 3 weeks. On the days when I find myself making excuses it's wise to remember this.

              William James wrote the following:

              Who Am I?

              "I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am at your command. Half of the tasks that you do you might just as well turn over to me and I will do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done. After a few lessons, I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great people, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. And those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, but I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will lay the work at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am called habit. Habit is my name."

              So, what can you learn from this?

              • Take a moment to really think about the things you do automatically; things that you probably don't even think about before doing. Do you constantly taste food as you're cooking it? Do you always drink a jumbo size soft drink? Do you eat in bed watching TV?

              • Write down a few habits you would like to add to your life. If you want to lose weight, exercise is a must. If you want to read more, spending less time watching TV might be in order. Become more aware of your daily habits so you can decide if they are helping or hurting your long term goals.


              Happy Labor Day

              Isn't Labor Day a day to not work? So why am I working?

              Well, I had to tell you about a Fall Giveaway opportunity! Do you like to win prizes? Enjoy checking out new blogs and websites? Well, if you click on the image to the right you will be taken to a site called Laurel Wreath's Reflections . And no, she doesn't sell Christmas wreaths! She's offering special giveaways from September 1-5. And all you have to do is add a comment and you're registered in the giveaway.

              Why am I recommending Laurel Wreath's Reflections? Because she's a great writer and also reviewer of books and has become an online friend to me. I enjoy visiting her blog and commenting when I have something to say. I've read about some interesting books that she reviews. She's a Christian and an all around nice person and is always willing to help other bloggers.

              So, I wanted to do something nice back for her...so go and visit her blog each day from September 1-5. I hope you win a prize too!
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