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Monday, February 14, 2011

Everyday is Valentine's Day

February 14th....Valentine's Day. Cupid. Little candy hearts. Tissue boxes decorated with pink and red for holding the latest trendy cards. (I wonder how long it will be until the boxes and cards are passed over and elementary school teachers merely stop the class for 5 minutes and let everyone TEXT a Valentine's wish!). Chocolate and flowers. Where did it all come from? A quick search on Google gives an assortment of answers (some of which involve blood, guts, matryed saints, persecution and other nasties perfectly suited for a Quentin Tarantino movie), but it looks like people have been asserting and celebrating their love on Feb. 14th for quite some time.

My husband and I don't fall in step with the 'commercial' holidays too much, preferring to make our own traditions (or ignore them entirely). We've been together over 27 years now, and do celebrate & deeply cherish our love, but prefer to not just be swept along by society's decisions that on this day, you must now run out and spend $100.+ on flowers, chocolates, or jewelry.

I think (like with our food choices) it is a good exercise from time-to-time to question WHY we are doing what we are doing. Is St. Valentine's Day something we really want to participate in, or do we feel that we are just the victim of a major marketing ploy to boost Feb. sales revenue, historically the slowest month for retail.

Now, in case, I start sounding like Cupid gone rogue with those arrows, I do believe in love, most whole-heartedly---and I certainly would not take anyone's flowers or chocolate from them---if that is their thing (important safety tip: NEVER get between a woman and her chocolate!!!). And to those choosing the route of tradition, I say ENJOY! I just hate this look I see sometimes on young men's faces of feeling the PRESSURE to get something great for Valentine's Day for their mate...the scraping up of extra money they don't really have to spend on flowers....the guilt over wondering if they are doing enough for their love....where is the enjoyment and love in that?

At my house, EVERY day is Valentine's day. It sounds ridiculously trite, but it truly is. Every day is filled with opportunities to show my husband how much I's the little things that build a life, that build love. Cleaning up his dishes without scolding him for leaving them out (and quietly taking the time to appreciate that those dishes show that he is here, in my life...we've suffered too many loses in our family to NOT realize how precious time together is). Taking a few minutes to give him a shoulder massage at the end of the day, when yes, I am tired too, but it only takes a few minutes and says soooo much more than a box of chocolate. And all he does for me...taking barn chores over for me Sunday mornings so I can sleep in a bit, bringing me a cup of tea first thing in the morning at oh-dark-thirty, even if he is running late, fussing at me to get a new pair of boots so I don't slip on the wretched ice this winter has given us, and on and on, every single day. (Of course, it doesn't mean we don't get annoyed at each other, and I'll admit there are days when the appreciation of his dirty dishes left on the counter alludes me....).

But all cynicism for modern tradition set aside, since it IS Feb. 14th and I have grown up in this culture, I thought I would give myself a nice Valentine's Day present. I can't think of anything better that I could honor myself with (a relatively new concept to me....anyone else notice that when you start taking better care of yourself, your self-esteem rises???), than to up my fitness & health program to the next level.

My weight loss has been stagnant for awhile now. I have a spreadsheet and graph that I chart it on, and what started out looking like a smooth descent from the Alps (plotted weight loss), now looks more like a trip across Kansas. And while I am happiER and healthiER, I really do need to address getting the rest of the weight off. Enter Joel Fuhrman "Eat to Live" to the rescue. I'm starting his 6-week plan today (actually started two days ago), as my Valentine's Day gift to my heart.

In reading over Eat to Live,, I believe I understand now why my weight has become level: the ingestion of starchy veggies/grains. I didn't realize how much of these I was consuming until I cut them down to Dr. Fuhrman's suggested one cup/day over the past two days. YIKES! No wonder I am not losing and it is encouraging to know I can eat that much and NOT GAIN, but this will undoubtedly get my weight loss moving again.

My plan right now is to follow-up the 6 week plan with Kris Carr's (Crazy, Sexy Diet) 21-day cleanse. We will be beginning spring at that time and I think it'll be so timely to renew my insides as the outside world comes to life. [If you are not familiar with Kris Carr, I encourage you to take a few minutes to look around youtube...most of her video logs are on there, or you can visit her web-site, Here is a link to one of my favorite vlogs of hers....for some reason, this just yanks at my heart strings ].

I'm also kicking up the workouts a bit; I do treadmill and stationary bike, yoga occasionally and a bit of tai chi. I'm adding back in my weight work and switching from the relatively comfortable programs on the treadmill to the interval workouts. I figure when I get consistent with these workouts, that, plus the 6-week plan, should do the trick.


Ah, what the heck, I think we'll have a healthy version of chocolate for dessert tonight. I occasionally treat myself to a cherry-cacao smoothie. Frozen bananas, almond milk, a few dates, about a tablespoon of cacao powder (careful...easy to add too much of that), and frozen dark cherries. Blend, pour and sprinkle some cacao nibs on top. Yummy on Valentine's Day or any other day.

I know I will likely not be getting a dozen long stem red roses or a mushy Hallmark card tonight....but darling hubby knows that what floats my Valentine's boat --- a great foot rub....ahhhh. And If I don't get one today, tomorrow is another Valentine's Day in the making.

However you celebrate today, or every day, best of health to you.
Sue, loving-my-heart, in Ohio

P.S. I was great of a gift it is to the one you love to take excellent care of help ensure you'll be around to enjoy a long healthy life with them and to help take care them is truly a gift of love.

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