photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

I’ve started going to the gym.  Award please.

Since I’ve been sick I haven’t been able to work out.  Best.  Excuse.  Ever.

Now that I’m feeling better, I have no reason to let my gym membership go unused (a.k.a. my fat tax).  I hit the gym this weekend with my husband, who is a total gym rat.  Being married to a guy with zero body fat is hard enough, but going to the gym with him is even worse.

Walking into the gym we were greeted by several regulars, all of whom said hello to him.  When their attention shifted to me, I saw pity in their eyes, but I could tell they were giving me a supportive “good for you” glance as well.

I approached the dreaded elliptical machine with hatred in my eyes and pre-emptive soreness in my thighs.  I knew that machine was going to beat up on me and I was hesitant to let the torture begin.

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

I mounted the machine and slowly moved my feet.  “Pedal faster!” it immediately shouted at me.  Okay, it didn’t shout it, but the exclamation point said it all.

It was calling me out on my half-assed attempt at exercise.  (Which is funny, because I certainly have more than half an ass.)

I don’t respond well to peer pressure, but I knew the machine wouldn’t register the calories I would burn if I continued at that pace, and I wanted to burn a few calories so I could eat the Sweet Tarts I had at home.  So I stepped it up.  Literally.

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

Immediately I realized I hated working out and wanted to stop.  Why do people do this to themselves?

I looked over at my husband running on the treadmill.  He looked like a goddamned gazelle.

I pushed on, thinking about my beloved Sweet Tarts and how I was going to spend some quality time with them when I got home.  I thought that would get me through the work out.

It didn’t.

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

I hid the timer with a towel, as I didn’t want to watch the seconds tick away slowly.  I also wanted my towel close by.

I was already getting winded and I had barely pedaled faster, as per the machine’s instructions.

Soon I began sweating and my breath was labored.  I knew I was almost done with my 30 minutes but I couldn’t resist the urge to look at the timer.

It had been 2 minutes and 53 seconds.  Seriously?!

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

How did people do this on a regular basis?  How was my husband flying through the air without so much as a drop of sweat?

The only solace I took was seeing my favorite gym-goer.  He’s an old man who wears a lifting belt no matter what exercise he does.  The best part?  He uses the weight machines, hence, no need for the weight belt.

He looked at me and smiled and then gave me a thumbs up.  I have no idea what that meant, but I can only assume he farted and his thumbs up was to show he felt better.  That guy is one gassy beast, so I feel confident saying that’s the reason.

Somehow I managed to finish my workout on Beatrice, which is what I named that dreadful machine.  Beatrice was less than kind to me and yelled at me to “speed up!’ more than once.  She was a fricking drill sergeant.

I stepped off Beatrice and wiped her down, even though she deserved to wallow in my sweat.  I stumbled getting off of her but was careful not to fall face-first into her evil twin sister, Bertha who was standing next to her.  She looked equally as menacing as Beatrice and not at all forgiving.  I knew they were going to talk about me when I left.

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

I headed to the door with my husband, proud I completed the workout, but mad I sweated enough to necessitate a shower.

‘”See you tomorrow!”  my husband said to the woman at the front desk as we left.  Um, what?  Tomorrow? I didn’t care if I never saw Beatrice again.  Apparently I was going to have to endure her screaming the following day.

One thing was for certain.  I was going to need another roll of Sweet Tarts if this gym thing was going to continue.

return to the gym

 

**WARNING: There are several cliches in this post, although I think they apply, which is why I’m using them. I apologize in advance.

As many of you know, I’ve been dealing with some medical struggles lately. I am doing very well and treatment has been very
successful. I am returning to work and will be avoiding exercise and mocking myself in no time..so basically…I will be back to business as usual.

Through this experience I’ve learned a few things I’d like to impart onto you. Enjoy life. Enjoy every moment and take nothing for granted. Make a point every day to stop and think of 3 things you’re grateful for. The sun, the first signs of spring, the sound of your spouse’s laugh. Stop and appreciate these little things each day because they’re not really little things. They’re THE things that make your life so great.

Be positive and refuse to let others bring you down. Negativity breeds more negativity so remove it from your life. Surrounding yourself with those who gossip, speak poorly of others and are just overly negative will do nothing but make you feel bad about yourself. Avoid those people and say a prayer that they find their happiness. Hope that whatever is so horrible in their lives that is making them behave so poorly is soon removed and they can see life for the joy that it is.

Remember, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” That couldn’t be more true. Don’t give your consent to feel negative about yourself or behave negatively. The high road is a much better route.

Some people will never change, and you must accept that. But YOU can. You choose to see life the way you want to. Each morning you make a decision to either enjoy the day or dread it. It’s up to you and I encourage you to make the positive choice. Negative things will always happen, but the way we handle them is what truly defines us. Looking for the positive in even the smallest of negative things is the key to truly finding your happiness.

Look at the world through rose colored glasses. I assure you the view is beautiful.

So my friends, treat each person you encounter with respect. Remember that they have struggles and burdens too. The person who cut you off in traffic may be racing to the ER because his wife had a stroke. The clerk who snapped at you may be miserable because she’s working a 12 hour shift. You choose how you react and I encourage you to react in a positive way. I try my best to live this way and I’ve found it’s part of what has kept me so upbeat during this time.

People won’t remember you based on your house, your clothes or your car. They will remember how you made them feel. That’s what defines you as a person. Nothing else matters. Make sure your legacy is a good one. Otherwise, your time here on Earth is pointless.

Remember that life is short and precious. Live it each day and don’t take things for granted. Enjoy the ones you love and go for your dreams. If you’ve always wanted to go to Europe, plan it. Don’t wait. If you want to lose that weight, start the diet and take it one day at a time. Each day of life is a success…each moment a triumph.

Difficult times will come upon us. They’re inevitable, but how we handle them is what defines us. Anyone can be kind and positive when times are good. It takes a strong person to remain that way when times are bad.

I find strength and inspiration in quotes, and this quote has brought me so much hope during this challenging time.

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s so true. Going through difficult times makes us stronger if we approach it with the right attitude.

I leave you with this, my dear readers. Don’t take life for granted. Smile each day and remind yourself daily how lucky you are for the shoes on your feet and the sun overhead. Although the little negative things don’t matter, the little positive things make all the difference.

Thanks to each of you!

Lisa Newlin

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photo credit: Tobyotter via photopin cc

photo credit: Tobyotter via photopin cc

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you probably have neighbors.*

*If you live in the middle of nowhere, are you looking to sell to a brilliantly hilarious blogger?

I’ve lived in many places over the years and have encountered several different kinds of neighbors. From apartments to condos to houses, one thing is constant:  Neighbors are fricking weird.

Granted, every now and then you’ll get lucky enough to live next to someone who doesn’t do yoga in the nude with the windows open, but that’s not always the case.

(A note to my neighbors: allow me to apologize for my downward dog position sans pants.  If you don’t like it, buy me curtains.)

Because I like to think my blog provides a public service to all of you, I’ve compiled a list of the different types of neighbors.

Perhaps you have one of these, or perhaps you are one of these.

If you’re the kind of neighbor who likes to bake things, allow me to quote Mr. Rogers and ask “Won’t you be my neighbor?” (Only without all the creepy old man in a sweater stuff.)

The Dog Lady:  You’re pretty sure she’s operating a kennel and the amount of poo coming from that house could fertilize the lawns of the entire subdivision

The Grouch:  A real-life version of Oscar the Grouch, but without the trash can

The Constant Gardener:  (Not like the movie.) Everyone (or just you) pick(s) flowers from her garden daily and she rarely notices

The Baker: She loves baking sweets and you let her make snacks for your kids’ school and your office parties

The Gossip: There’s no need for tabloids.  Just ask her

photo credit: mmatins via photopin cc

photo credit: mmatins via photopin cc

The Nosy Neighbor:  If you can’t remember what you had for breakfast, she can tell you

The Trusty One:  You have her house key…and so does everyone else

The Hoarder: It’s a garage sale everyday!

The Strutter:  She prances around the neighborhood in her tight shorts…in December

The Old Chain Smoker:  The amount of smoke coming from his house causes a weekly call to the fire station

The Friendly Waver:  Her arms are toned from her greetings to every passerby

Maybe you’ve found your neighbor in the group, or maybe you’ve located yourself among this list.  As far as my neighborhood goes, I’m the Grouch and the Crazy Dog Lady.

I’m cool with it though.

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Wanna see where else I’ve been on the internet recently?

The 10 Commandments of Toddlers

Top 9 Signs It’s Time for a New Bra

Anatomy of a Temper Tantrum

Which of These Kids’ Songs Is Most Annoying

The Secret World Under Your Couch Cushions

How To Tell If You’re Getting Flowers This Valentine’s Day