Tag Archives: Catherine Sanderson

Quit Something

Mar20

Point to Ponder:
What do you need to quit?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Celebration! The first day of spring is tomorrow, March 20th and if there’s a person in the world who doesn’t love the season of rebirth, renewal and regrowth, I’d like to hear from he or she and to try to convince them otherwise. Blooming tress, longer and warmer days, and playful chirping birds are all signs that Spring has sprung and we get to begin again.

While I love the spring season, I actually have an affinity for them all. Having lived in both Austin and now San Diego, two cities who don’t have dramatic changing seasons, I’d argue that the seasons in both of the warmer climates are prevalent enough. They come at just the right time and give us exactly what we need, whether it be more time to rest or more time to play. Really, I feel that the changing seasons are nothing short of miraculous and our Creator knew exactly what we needed, at the perfect time.

Now, as we say goodbye to winter and welcome spring, you don’t have to look long or hard to find a blog post or magazine cover filled with springtime inspiration. Last week, while reading a new book, I too found what I think is the perfect way to start spring–Quit Something!

Recently, my good friend and iGnite member, Catherine Sanderson, recommended that I read Love Does, by Bob Goff. Ironically, Bob lives in San Diego and while I had been encouraged to read his book before I never took action, until Catherine sent me a very persuasive text saying, “Neissa! Do you know a book Love Does and/or Bob Goff? You would be freaking obsessed!” I mean, how can I say “no” to that? In addition, Bob’s whole mission is to inspire people to dream big and make life more awesome. Again, that’s hard to pass up! So, I purchased the book and while I haven’t finished it yet, I have snagged some jewels of inspiration from Bob, like ‘quit something’!

Either Bob doesn’t reveal why or I just haven’t gotten to the part in the book where he goes into more detail, but every Thursday Bob ‘quits something’. After reading this I paused, thought about it and decided it was brilliant! After all, to routinely quit something requires us to regularly stop and evaluate our actions and life, including any pesky bad habits that we’ve picked up along the way. Furthermore, this is one of the gifts of springtime, the season of new opportunity and rebirth. In order for new life to grow, we need to pull the weeds and quit something.

One simple yet big example that Bob used was to quit texting and driving, so don’t feel like you have to quit your job, unless you’re miserable and it’s preventing you from living a more awesome life. You get to choose. And, whatever you decide to quit, if you slip up, no one says you can’t keep choosing that same habit to quit each Thursday.

To get your mental juices flowing, below are 25 examples:

  • Quit saying ‘I’m sorry’ and replace it with ‘Thank you’. (Ex. If you are late to a function and everyone waited on you, rather than profusely apologize, greet your group with “Thank you so much for waiting on me!”. Though there’s nothing wrong with a sincere apology and many times they are necessary, women tend to over apologize. Plus,gratitude is always the winner)
  • Quit complaining
  • Quit wishing, waiting, over thinking and doubting yourself
  • Quit comparing yourself to others or who you were yesterday
  • Quit talking
  • Quit the glorification of being busy
  • Quit being late
  • Quit eating on the go or in your car
  • Quit going to bed past 10:00 p.m.
  • Quit being a consumer of things
  • Quit saying anything negative about yourself or others
  • Quit worrying and being afraid
  • Quit looking at social media
  • Quit drinking soda
  • Quit using the word “like”
  • Quit using your phone while enjoying a meal with other people
  • Quit doing at least one thing for your kids
  • Quit settling in relationships
  • Quit yelling
  • Quit reading gossip magazines
  • Quit eating fast food
  • Quit saying “yes”
  • Quit saying “no”
  • Quit looking at your phone before bedtime
  • Quit trying to gain the approval of others

As you can see, there is so much healthy quitting that we can do in which new life can grow. It’s the inspiration and promise of the gorgeous spring season of opportunity! When one unfruitful door closes, a fruit-bearing door always opens.


Action Item:
Each week, quit something that isn’t helpful, necessary, and/or is dangerous and preventing you from living your dreams and an awesome life.


 

 

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Why We Need to Take A Break

feb5_2017

Point to Ponder:
Do you give yourself the necessary breaks that you need?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

“Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.” Is that the truth or what?! Being one week removed from iGnite’s Re-New Year Rise & Shine Retreat in San Diego, although I was technically working and the retreat was a whopping thirty minutes from my home, it hit the spot. Of course I love my family and my life, but I just needed to step away from my day to day responsibilities and immerse myself into a new scene. As always, I returned home more patient, grateful, loving and passionate. Not to sound cliche, but I was rejuvenated, had a renewed energy and sense of self.

What I find over and over again (yes–it’s the definition of insanity-ugh) is when I neglect my physical, mental and spiritual needs, I quickly reach my tipping point and I don’t like who I become. As I’ve mentioned in previous journals, I have a skin crawling experience and I get resentful and very unpleasant….and to be even more honest, I get mean. I become quick tempered, yell, have very little to no patience and am no fun to be around. Everything becomes a struggle and in all facets, not only am I not myself, but I am a fraction of my best.

Sure, I could blame my husband’s work schedule, as him being gone often and us living so far from family makes taking regular time for me more difficult to coordinate, however this is on me. I know this about myself. In order to get the necessary breaks that allow me to be my best, I must schedule time for me and do so without any guilt. This doesn’t have to be a four day retreat or anything expensive or elaborate–it just needs to be a few hours away from my children, my computer, my phone, my house and my regular commitments.

My good friend and iGnite member Catherine Sanderson recently sent me an excellent article written by holistic health coach, Ashley Berry titled “Why Self Care Isn’t Weak”.  In it, Ashley writes about her journey with healing her sick body, but she also speaks directly to our great need for holistic (mind, body, spirit) well being, including rest, rejuvenation and caring for our whole selves–something that I believe every woman needs encouragement and support to do and regularly practice.

Finally, I encourage you to read Ashley’s entire article, but for starters, below is an excerpt and great reminder of our female tendencies and how and why we need to shift. Also, because you have your calendar out and are scheduling time for you (wink wink hint hint) be sure to secure July 28 – August 2 for the iGnite Summer Escape, an exhilarating, exciting, and empowering girlfriend getaway and break from your summer and life routine. Location with all details coming soon!

If you look at the animal kingdom, you’ll see that all creatures from birds to mammals and even insects practice self-care instinctually. When they’re sick, they eat plants that heal them. When they’re tired or injured, they rest. If they’re social animals, they seek connection when they need it. But somewhere along the way in our evolution as a species, we learned how to override the needs of our bodies and minds, and eventually even built a culture around doing just that. Almost everywhere we turn, there’s some sort of messaging that encourages us to push ourselves to our limits, to hustle, to grind, to work hard, and to play even harder. But where does rest factor into this equation? At what point did self-care get deemed self-indulgent?

Most of us know that our greatest wealth is health. There’s no amount of money that can buy happiness if we’re suffering mentally or physically, and yet, social pressures, both implicit and explicit, make it incredibly challenging to make choices that support our well being. We forgo using our sick days. We pull the long hours, fueled by sugar and coffee. We sweep our mounting stress levels under the rug with alcohol or food.

We use busyness to avoid being present with ourselves because if we stopped and stood still, we might feel the full weight of the overwhelm we’ve created in our own lives.

So the question is, how do we shift? How do we grab the reins and steer our culture to a place that is more supportive of our most basic needs?

By honing in on one person, one choice, one small, revolutionary act at a time. We all have the opportunity to look at our own lives and get honest about the ways in which we are not caring for ourselves. We can start conversations that promote awareness of the importance of both mental and physical health. We can model unapologetic self-care, and in doing so, give permission to those around us to do the same.


Action Item:
Pause and identify where you are not caring of yourself and then start making plans and schedule important time for you.


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10-Day Reboot: Catherine’s Day 1

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Getting my "outside time" in as much as possible -- a great excuse was enjoying the sunset, distraction-free!

Getting my “outside time” in as much as possible — a great excuse was enjoying the sunset, distraction-free!

by Catherine Sanderson

by Catherine Sanderson

Morning lemon water with no phone distractions -- so nice!

Morning lemon water with no phone distractions — so nice!

With my pregnancy, I told myself I was going to eat as clean as possible, not just for me, but of course for the benefit of the little human inside me. Well… I did great during my first trimester, but the second trimester has come with the craziest sweet tooth, and unfortunately I completely fell off the wagon and have been eating sweets like crazy! And with all I know about health and nutrition, I know that just can’t be good.  So, needless to say, I was really excited for the Reboot to start to get back on track and have a fresh start of cleaner eating for my pregnancy and to balance my healthy habits during such an important time in my, and my future baby’s health.

Snack & work time: apples (with the seeds!) and natural, unsweetened, organic peanut butter

Snack & work time: apples (with the seeds!) and natural, unsweetened, organic peanut butter (I made sure to bring this with me b/c I knew I wouldn’t be able to find it in the stores in Port A)

It turned out that day 1 of the Reboot for me was over my family’s long weekend beach trip to Port Aransas.  “Cleansing” on vacation has looked a little different than it would at home, but it’s always good to figure out that you can make it work no matter where you are!

Aspect of the Re-boot I’m enjoying the most:
So far, I’m liking most what the technology turn-off and break from social media are doing for me. Waking up knowing that my only option was to get ready for the day, make my lemon water and sit outside and stare at the ocean for 15 minutes as opposed to checking emails or scanning Instagram on my phone was so freeing! I found myself really soaking in the relaxing moments a lot more than I would have if I knew I could look at my friends’ and family’s pictures any time I’m sitting down.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, avocado & tomatoes -- all with some olive oil & salt & pepper

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, avocado & tomatoes — all with some olive oil & salt & pepper

Also, it was great at night excusing myself from the TV watching (we were just watching whatever was on) to go read for 30 minutes before falling asleep. It was a great, relaxing way to cap off my night and get ready for bed.

I’ve also found the journaling to be a great system for accountability for mindless snacking, knowing I’ll have to write everything down that I eat. It’s also made me pay more attention and ask myself how I felt all day and how I feel first thing when I wake up. I’m excited to see those things  change over the course of the Reboot!

It was helpful to have the journal out on the table staring at me all day, keeping me accountable

It was really helpful to have the journal out on the table staring at me all day, keeping me accountable

Through the food journaling, I also realized that I naturally reach for and eat a lot more fruit throughout the day, and not so many vegetables. So, I’m going to make it a goal over the 10 days to flip that ratio & make my journal each day filled with more veggies than fruits!

It’s not easy, but I am feeling newly empowered. I’m realizing that getting back on track just takes some willpower and knowing you’re trying hard alongside a group of friends!

My dessert vs. everyone else's: Cranberry ACV "Cocktail" vs. Nestle cookies. The cookie smell was taunting me!

My vacation dessert vs. everyone else’s: Cranberry ACV “Cocktail” vs. Nestle cookies. The fresh-baked cookie smell was taunting me! But the cocktail felt  surprisingly like a treat and curbed the craving

Exercise time: dragged the husband along for a 30-minute beach walk :)

Exercise time: I dragged the husband along for a 30-minute beach walk 🙂 Not a bad way to fit it in, but this will obviously change when I’m back home!

Forever Forward, Never Back

iGnite - go forward, never back

Point to Ponder:
Do you ever find yourself living in the past?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

From September 3 through last Tuesday, September 15, I’ve had company staying with my family. Knowing that I was in a new city with children while my husband Russell was traveling, my father, stepmom, mother and sister all made special plans to come out and be with me on and around my birthday. And, unbeknownst to me, my dad, who is a total worker-bee and can’t sit still unless he’s quickly eating or watching a sporting event, had a specific agenda: to help get us out of boxes and settled into our new house. A.k.a. WORK!

It was wonderful to see my family, and I was so thankful to have them, but by Tuesday I was eager to get the kids and I back to a routine (a.k.a. CONTROL!). The time for exercise, uninterrupted time, responding to thirteen days worth of email and an opportunity to tackle my ever-growing personal and professional to-do list had finally come, and after dropping my children Durant and Malaine off at pre-school on Tuesday, it was MY time!

I planned to take a quick walk around the neighborhood near the kids’ preschool and then go to a yoga class. It was sprinkling outside, but the idea of walking in a light rain sounded delicious. Just before heading off, a dear friend called so I grabbed my phone to walk and talk.

The friend asked how I was doing with our recent move, and I told him I was struggling. I expressed that I was not questioning God’s plan, however the greatest challenge has been adjusting to no longer having an amazing community of family, friends, and support (CONTROL). And, having felt so purpose-filled in Austin, I was struggling with finding my purpose in San Diego, which was why I was clinging to my life in Austin. He listened intently and having moved a lot himself, he validated my feelings and gave me some helpful advice: take baby steps forward, take care of me, and don’t compare my life in San Diego to my life in Austin. It was a new time and I needed to work on slowing my brain down and releasing my expectations. I agreed with everything he suggested, and I proudly told him that today was the day that I was going to focus on Neissa — hence the walk and yoga class.

During my walk, the sprinkle turned into a solid rain—so much so that my eyes burned from the little bit of eyeliner I was wearing. I was totally fine with this because I had clothes to change into, it was MY DAY, and San Diego needs the rain. So, within twenty-five minutes I was back at my car to grab my yoga mat and a change of clothes when I realized my worst nightmare — my purse, wallet, and work bag with computer, day planner, mail, and work notebooks were all gone. They had been stolen! My driver’s license, expired passport, credit cards, check books….gone. It was ALL gone, including MY DAY! “My day” quickly turned into the misery of filing police reports, canceling bank accounts and credit cards, calling pawn shops and driving around with the hope of finding my things lying around the area.

As you would expect, “the day of me” and getting anything on my to-do list accomplished was no longer an option. I won’t bore you with the un-fun details of trying to get an California driver’s license when you have no form of ID except a paper copy of an expired driver’s license, a paper copy of your birth certificate and a Costco card, but what I do want to share is what I learned through the process, as I think it can be universally applied. I’ve had to find reason and some glimpse of positivity in this incredibly frustrating experience. Ultimately, I think it relates to our ability to shine throughout life, as I wrote about a couple weeks ago in It’s Time to Turn On Your Shine.

4 Things I’ve Learned the Hard Way:

  1. For starters, my work, technology and to-do lists have been and are my idols. They give me purpose and security and keep me distracted. Upon realizing that all of my things were taken, it became absolutely clear that God was telling me to let go, trust in Him and let Him take over. Do I think He made this happen? Of course not. Bad things happen to good people every single second of the day, but He knows that I am feeling completely out of control and have been clinging to every thing that makes me feel safe and secure. I shine when I find comfort, hope and security in God rather than things.
  2. Second, while it is a terrible and sad inconvenience, it’s actually nice to have my to-do list stolen! For the first time ever, I’m not busying myself with it and frantically trying to find time on my computer so I can respond to emails. And, you know what? Life is going on! I actually thought I was that important! Yes, I am skimming email on my phone, but I’m not checking email on my phone and computer. It’s actually liberating! Will I get another computer? Of course, and I pray I can recover everything I lost. But for the first time, I am giving myself a real break– because I don’t have any other choice. My poor kids actually get a focused mom. I shine when I am a present mom, wife, friend and person.
  3. Third, you must keep moving to survive. Always go forward, never back. I actually wrote down this quote weeks ago in a notebook…that was of course stolen from my work bag. I heard the words from the goofy kid movie “Shark Boy,” and for weeks I’ve thought about how perfect the advice is for our move from Austin to San Diego, and most recently, how I’ll deal with recovering my stolen items…and really for any of us who struggle with living in the past or comparing our present to our past! As for my recent move, it’s critical that I stop looking back and comparing my life in Austin to my life in San Diego. My spirit will not survive if I continue to do this. I have to move forward every day. Regarding my stolen possessions, I so badly want to live in the past and cry over what happened, dwell on it and talk about how unfair it is, but again, I won’t survive by doing that. I have to move forward, take baby steps and make progress in the recovery process. What’s done is done. I can’t change it and there’s no looking back. Just as with life in general, our past does not define us! Thank goodness we have evolved and aren’t the same people we once were. Most importantly, we will not survive nor thrive unless we focus on our future and on becoming who we need to become and are created to become. Our past has been given to us for memory’s sake and to give us wisdom — but not to live in. Sometimes our past can motivate us, but too often we get stuck in it and are unable to move forward and appreciate what we have right now. For women specifically, we are usually desperate to be the same weight as we were pre-children, on our wedding day or at some point when we were younger. I get that, but that’s no way to live and thrive. I think we would be better served and our bodies would respond in the ways we are hoping for if we treated it with more appreciation and gratitude. We beat ourselves up — thinking we need to look how we used to look. That is torture, and the antidote is to always look forward. We shine when we give thanks and appreciate what we have.
  4. Last, within one hour of the theft, iGnite leaders and dear friends Kathleen Parker and Catherine Sanderson randomly called. It was so comforting and calming to hear their voices. Then, I immediately texted the iGnite Team, informed them of what happened and asked for their love and prayers. Knowing they were praying and sending me love made a significant difference in my attitude and spirit. I knew this before, and I continue to be reminded of the importance of community. You can’t have enough community and supportive friends. We shine in community and are #strongertogetHER!

Action Item:
Remind yourself that your past has been given to your for memory’s sake and to give you wisdom — but not to live in. Look forward only. Appreciate and be present in the now.

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Darby & Jennie: We Never Imagined We’d be Heart Attack Survivors

Catherine Sanderson

Catherine Sanderson

It’s American Heart Month, y’all!  And because we’re crazy passionate about women’s health and wellness and we know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer, we’re excited to join the awareness movement by sharing with you the stories of two amazing Austin-area women.  Darby Denison and Jennie Covert Stewart are both young, vibrant, active, busy, go-getter women — who also happen to have survived heart attacks within the past year.  

Woah!  What a wake-up call to realize that the face of heart attacks might not be what we all immediately picture in our minds. They do not just affect the unhealthy, the inactive, the elderly or the sick. But wait, there’s a silver lining:  an awareness of the symptoms is key to survival and to minimizing damage, as displayed in both Darby & Jennie’s experiences.  And awareness we can all have.

We hope their stories open your eyes as they have ours and teach you something you may not have known before about heart health and heart attack symptoms among women.  As with all of our Real Women, Real Stories features, these incredible women will also inspire you with their optimistic, hopeful and renewed perspective and approach to life!

We encourage you to please forward this story on to all of the women you love and care about.  Because knowledge is power, and awareness saves lives!

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Roots:

JENNIE: I am a fifth generation Austinite. I was born here, graduated from Austin High School and The University of Texas. I’ve never lived anywhere else except for Oaxaca, Mexico for 6 weeks!

DARBY: I’m from Houston and have mostly done a Texas Twirl! I’ve lived in Houston, Austin (University of Texas), Dallas, a stint in London at Sotheby’s and Madrid, back to Houston and finally Austin since 2001.

Family Life:

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Jennie and her family

JENNIE: I have a large extended family and we are all close. In fact, we are all part of our 106-year-old family business, Covert Auto Company. I have wonderful parents who live 8 miles from me. I‘m the oldest of their two girls as well as an aunt to seven. I married Sam, a custom home builder, 18 years ago and got so lucky to have amazing in-laws who also live close by. We are blessed with three children: Bo, Rachel and Chapel.

Darby and her family

Darby and her family

DARBY: I am from a large, wonderful family comprised of 3 siblings: Dawn, Courtney and Colby and my precious parents Linda and Mack who live in Houston. My claim to fame and a most amazing blessing is that I was born an identical twin to Dawn Thompson, who happens to live just 3 streets away from me. I have wonderful brother and sister in-laws and a host of nieces and nephews that I claim to be my own. Oh, and I can’t forget my precious and precocious golden retriever Wrigley!

Occupation:

JENNIE: I do radio and TV ads for my family’s Chevrolet Buick and GMC dealership in Bastrop.

DARBY: I am lucky enough to have found a career 25 years ago that I still love today: interior design. I have owned my own company since 1995, Denison & Denison Interiors, which I started with my sister Dawn, but I now run on my own.

Favorite Quote:

JENNIE: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t—you’re right.” -Henry Ford

DARBY: It’s an excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech ‘The Man in the Arena:’ “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly….”
Also, “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians: 4:4-7

Best advice I’ve been given:

JENNIE: My dad Rox reminds us to honor each other’s differences. I always fall back on this when I lose my patience. It also helps me have an open heart and an open mind.

DARBY: It was from my mom last year after my heart attack and her very serious spinal surgery: “Live and dance and play and have all the fun you can have while you can; don’t waste a day!”

I’m looking forward to…

JENNIE: Baseball season and a Bible Study with Jennie Allen called Numb.

DARBY: I love to travel and have so many places on my bucket list that I don’t know where to start! Prague, New Zealand, Bali, Greece, Croatia and Barcelona are a beginning. I love meeting new people from different countries and cultures and realizing how similar we all really are. And if I had the luxury to live somewhere else for a time it would surely be Paris!

If I had another career it would be… 

JENNIE: I grew up wanting to be a news anchor. I idolized Stephanie Williams — she was the anchor on KTBC with Neal Spelce. I used to imitate her and practice delivering the news in the mirror in my room!

My perfect day would be…

JENNIE: Quiet moments before anyone else is awake, a morning prayer thanking God he gave me another day, lunch with a friend, watching my children play their sport, and dinner with my family.

I’m inspired by…

JENNIE: My children—their work ethic is amazing and they never give up.

 ~ OUR STORIES ~

Jennie Covert Stewart

Before my heart attack, I was crazy busy — which was brought on by myself.  I volunteered for a lot more than I do now, but now it’s just more about quality and focus now. Not that what I did or who I spent my time with before was not important, it’s just that it took up too much time and took me away from what mattered most.

As I mention in the video, having a heart attack changed my outlook on life. It forced me to repurpose my life. It empowers me to say ‘no’ when I need to and focus on just having an audience of One. I have an attitude of gratitude and a true awareness of how blessed I am.

Darby Denison

photo 1

Darby (right) and her twin sister Dawn (left), as featured in a Go Red for Women campaign

Before August 28, 2014, I thought I could do anything, outlast anybody and keep going forever! I was working, playing, exercising, helping where I could, sleeping too little and pushing too hard. I was invincible.

On that night, I woke up with the classic symptoms of a heart attack which I had memorized a mere 4 months earlier when my friend Jennie Stewart had suffered one as well: crushing chest pain, tingling arms, cold sweat and nausea. After denying it for as long as I could and even confirming the symptoms on the internet, I called 911 and was rushed to the emergency room. After numerous tests and multiple theories thrown about, an enzyme test came back elevated (which was definitive proof of heart damage). At this critical juncture, I was taken to the Cath Lab for an immediate heart catheterization procedure in which they removed a blood clot in my Lower Anterior Descending Artery (the “Widowmaker”) and performed an angioplasty. To say that it was scary and an incredible surprise is the understatement of my life, and I will never be the same.

I now wake up every day and thank God immediately for another day on this precious earth! I have learned to say “no” when I need to and “yes” when I mean it. I choose happiness much more often because I see each day as a gift and life as short and I don’t want to waste a single minute of it! I have rebuilt wounded relationships and am more careful to espouse positivity and gratitude in place of negativity and pessimism. I tell people that I love them all the time. I have more patience with myself and others and actually stop to smell the roses.  I count my blessings at least once a day and am thankful for the most simple of things. I pay more attention to my health, go to the doctor (and actually listen to them), and watch closely my cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation and stress. I cherish my family and friends more than ever and am eternally grateful and humbled by their continual love and support.  My heart is overflowing!

–   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   –

iGnite’s Real Women, Real Stories is a series highlighting the inspiring lives and experiences of women in our community. We hope their stories motivate and inspire you to live your life to the fullest.

Know someone who would be a great candidate for a Real Women, Real Stories feature? Email nominations to hello@igniteyourlifenow.com

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Body Re-boot: Day 1 | by Catherine

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by Catherine Sanderson

by Catherine Sanderson

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Breakfast time! 2 eggs, 1/2 avocado & some all natural salsa (no longer wrapped in a corn tortilla)

Ok, day 1!  Since I was really trying to pay attention to how my body felt all day so that I could record it, I can say that I woke up to my alarm very tired and wanting to go back to sleep (as usual), with bags under my eyes and bloated, even my rings are tight… is that normal? Doesn’t sound like the best start to me now that I’m  sharing it out loud :/

I have to say that after my hot lemon water, Re-Boot-friendly breakfast and my first 20 oz. of water, I was feeling very satisfied.  So far, so good, I wasn’t feeling any bit deprived.

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I met my mom for lunch at my favorite Thundercloud Subs, excited to enjoy my fave gluten-free sandwich in town: gluten-free bun w/turkey, avocado, lots of veggies & peppers, spicy mustard, olive oil & salt & pepper

At one point in the day I messed up and started thumbing through Instagram for a  brain break before I caught myself and quickly logged out of my account on my phone– oh my gosh it’s not even something I do consciously anymore! It’s almost become second nature to mindlessly grab my phone to browse my friends’ photos or get up and get a snack (I’m not even hungry!?) when I need a quick 30 second escape. That was a big realization for me.

I like to think that I only occasionally look at social media (Instagram & Pinterest have definitely become my social media of choice), but in reality I reach for it a number of times a day, when instead I could do something much more rejuvenating for a break, like get up from my desk and step outside for a quick breath of fresh air. That is now my Re-Boot stand-in activity for social media & mindless snacking.

photo 3

I measured my water bottle the night before to find that it holds 20 oz. of water, so my aim is to keep this baby at my desk with me and make sure I finish at least 3 bottles by the end of the day.

photo 4

Worktime snack time! Apple with a tablespoon of all natural, unsweetened peanut butter. Just enough salty & sweet and very filling. It’s also my favorite for pre-workout energy.

Knowing that I needed to make sure I fit in 7-9 hours of sleep after getting home from school past 10pm and then get up early for work really made me much more conscious of planning out my night and responsibilities ahead of time so that I could get to sleep right when I got home. I have to say, I think I need that incentive to be better about planning ahead. It felt really good to be more prepared.

Even at the end a busy work day followed by school in the evening, I realized that I personally felt much more calm and like my mind was moving at a much more pleasantly slow pace — not always jumping from task to to-do-list task and in between busying myself with distractions like social media or TV.  Lesson learned!

photo 5

My on-the-go “kitchen sink” smoothie dinner for running off to school — frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, spinach, all natural unsweetened peanut butter, almond milk and coconut water

Usually when I get home from class my husband and I sit down and watch a TV show together to “wind-down” and spend time together, but I found that not doing that and instead grabbing books and magazines and getting ready for bed was instead so much more of a wind-down. I was relaxed after only a few minutes and easily fell asleep in time to get in over 7 hrs of sleep. Glorious!

I’m interested to see where the rest of the week takes me — it’s not easy, but I’m determined to push through!