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Because I can’t seem to combine the deep, soul-stirring, life-changing, lessons from my trip with the hilarious stories, I will separate them.  Hilarious comes first.

As anyone who has tried to plan and actually GO on an international trip knows that nothing will go as planned.  The only thing you can expect, is the unexpected, as they say.

I find it really amusing that the level of safety in the United States is so very intense while the rest of the world seems light years apart from the minimum standard here.  I remember in Ethiopia, thinking how crazy it was that I was holding my 7 month old son on my lap while bouncing around in a van with no seatbelts whatsoever, driving in bumper to bumper traffic where no one seemed to be following any sort of traffic rules at all.

The inside of our bus. Kevin, in the orange is standing in the aisle that becomes seating once they're flipped down.

Similarly, in Nicaragua, we traveled as a group in a van/bus  that had two seats on one side, and one on the other side of a narrow aisle.  Once those seats were filled, it was time to flip down the aisle seats, making room for three more people, at the same time creating a horrific fire hazard and certain traumatic injuries should an accident occur.  Oh, and no seatbelts either.  Of course.  While the transportation was questionable, compared to Ethiopia, there were far fewer cars on the road, and there was an order to things, with people obeying traffic laws.  And I must say, it really brought our team closer together and many good conversations were had as we bumped along the streets of Managua.

We arrived to tropical weather which was absolutely heavenly compared to the snow, ice, and biting winds of Chicago.  We  piled into the van/bus and headed to a fast food place called “Tip Top”, which is like McDonald’s, only they specialize in fried chicken.  And no, that doesn’t mean it was like KFC instead.  It’s what McDonald’s would look like should they serve fried chicken.  They have play areas and kids meals so you can understand why it was the pick for this trip, since we had kids with us.  It was most enthusiastically recommended by a 5th grader on our team who was desperate to go.  And here I thought I’d be losing some weight and the first thing we eat is fried chicken?  Oh well.

The room Craig and I stayed at in our Quinta.

After lunch, we went to our guest house to unload our luggage and freshen up from the plane.  It was then that we discovered the plumbing issue.  Something had lost connection or broken somehow and we were getting a mere trickle out of the sink faucet.  The next morning it wasn’t fixed yet, but I decided to do what I could to scrub off the travel yuck.  The pressure was hardly existent, and the water was cold.  Not ice cold, but cold enough to make you scrub small areas of your body at a time, out of the water trickle and then rinsing as fast as humanly possible.  I felt a bit like Buddy the Elf in the movie scene where he was still living in the North Pole.  He had to fill his hands with water and splash it over himself to get a thorough cleansing.  But while the shower was not ideal, it was a brisk awakening for the day and I didn’t mind overall.

I can deal with the shower situation, it was the toilet situation that was a bit more difficult.  Because the water wasn’t working properly, the toilets weren’t flushing properly either.  Apparently, not everyone got the message because once as I went in and lifted the cover, I stared back at a swamp of nastiness.  That’s when I play the “damsel in distress” card and alert the men to the issue and that they should do a “Nicaraguan flush”, which is pouring a gallon of water into the toilet to flush it down.  Now, mind you, if I HAD to do it, I would.  But why not give someone else the pleasure?  I just want to provide opportunities for others to grow, you know?

On Friday, we headed out to a community called Tipitapa.  It is an extremely poor community and they only just recently had a well dug and wires run for electricity.  One of those wires was taken down by our bus, as it was extremely tall.  But that’s not the most interesting story from Tipitapa.  As we bumped along the dirt road to get there, we passed a group of tin shacks that served as homes for another group of people.  As we passed, a young man began sprinting after us.  We thought that he was just goofing around, wanting to hitch a ride on the ladder on the back of the bus.  As he jumped aboard, we quickly noticed he was climbing the ladder….to the suitcases up top filled with donations.  As he climbed, we saw the GIANT knife in his hands.  It looked like he was ready to cut loose the ropes tying down the suitcases and make off with them.  We yelled to the driver that he was climbing up, and the driver stopped just as we heard “thump” up on top of the bus.  The driver jumped out and much yelling in Spanish happened, with the young man looking like he wasn’t ready to back down.  He had jumped down from the roof, but was certainly challenging the driver.  So the driver went back to his door, and then turned around again and because I was sitting on the left side of the bus at the window, I saw his gun.  He was pointing it down and to the side, but make no mistake, he made sure that young dude saw it, while he continued to yell at him.  Young dude backed down pretty quickly then.  I’m sure I was a sight to behold as I could barely scrape my jaw up off the floor.  I kept saying, “Did you see his gun?  He had a gun!  Oh my word, a gun!”.  Can you tell I grew up in the suburbs? 

Waiting for the scorpion to be captured. Notice how far away from the bus the ladies are! hahaha!

The last remarkable story from my Nicaraguan adventure (that I will share right now), happened as we were trying to get to the airport to fly home.  Monday morning we had stopped at Hogar de Fe (the orphanage) once more to say goodbye to the kids.  As we left to load up on the bus one last time and head to the airport, all heck broke loose.  I was one of the last people on, and I sat down in my seat.  All of a sudden, I heard screaming and I looked back and everyone was standing on their seats.  I had no idea what was happening, but you can bet that I jumped up on my seat as well!  I stood there screaming, “What’s happening?!?  What’s going on?!?”.  All it took was hearing one word for me to make a bee line for the door.  Scorpion.

One of the men had left his hat on the bus and as he picked it up when he was sitting down, he opened it and saw what he thought was a lizard.  “Oh!  A lizard!”, he said, and our team leader, Marcia, went to grab her camera to take a picture.  As he opened up the hat again, someone else got a better look and said, “That’s not a lizard!  Scorpion!!”.  Hat was dropped, no one saw where it went, and so we all ran off the bus.  The driver, his assistant, and a couple other brave souls began the search for the scorpion.  After 5-10 minutes, the little bugger was still eluding capture and we HAD to get to the airport or we would miss our flight.  So with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we got back on board, many of us keeping our feet up off the floor.  Thankfully, we made it to the airport without incident.

There will be more stories from Nicaragua to come.  It was a fantastic trip that feels like the start of something wonderful.

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Well, a getaway of sorts.  It’s not exactly a “pleasure trip”, but I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of  fun!  On Thursday of this week, my husband and I will be leaving in the wee hours of the morning for a trip to Managua, Nicaragua.  We wanted to re-create this season’s episodes of ‘Survivor’. 

Okay, so not really.  We will be going with a  group from our church to visit two orphanages that we (the church) want to sponsor through a fantastic group called ORPHANetwork.  This is an American group that works directly with orphanges in Nicaragua and connects them with churches to sponsor them.  Each orphanage is sponsored by 4-5 churches.  The goal is to develop relationships with the orphanages, the churches, and all of the individuals involved in each.  ORPHANetwork wants the churches to visit regularly, to come alongside these kids and pour love into them, showing them their self-worth and how much they are loved by God and the people surrounding them by getting to know them as individuals and assisting the staff to teach them life skills. 

While we’re in Nicaragua, we will get to visit these orphanges and spend time with the kids, playing, talking, and getting to know them.  One of the days, we even get to bring the older kids on a “field trip” to a water park.  This excursion was a last minute addition and although I know it will be fun, I was not prepared to don a bathing suit while there.  Oh well.  I will roll with it.  They don’t care how fit or unfit I am, right?  RIGHT?!?!?  *sigh* So a last minute waxing appointment was made, and I’ll be ready to go come Thursday.

So from Thursday to Monday, we will be escaping this frigid Chicago winter weather and enjoy some tropical temperatures!  We have been checking the weather and the high temp for every day is 89 degrees.  I think it will be quite a shock to my system.  But worse, oh so much worse, coming back home.  I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Our kids will be enjoying being spoiled by their grandparents while we’re down south.  I have been furiously writing up schedules and instructions, most of which I’m sure will go unheeded.  And that’s okay.  As long as they get to school and any other activities that we paid good money for, it’ll be fine.

I am looking forward to everything I will see and learn this weekend, and telling you all about it!  And I will do my best to not sneak one of those adorable kids into my luggage to take home with us. 

Cheers!

I am re-posting something I wrote on back in April of last year.  As many of us are challenging ourselves to make changes in our lives, I wanted to re-state this.  Today is a new day!

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I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because there’s been a lot going on.  Not so much schedule-wise, but emotionally.  Some stuff from the past has reared it’s enormously ugly head over the last week and frankly, I’m really emotionally drained from it. 

I don’t think I’ll blog about what it is specifically, because it’s personal and I’m still dealing with it and I’m not sure what the outcome will be.  The good news is, I’m dealing with it.

I think throughout all of this, I’ve been learning a great deal and growing even more.  I can see how my thirties have so far been a decade of extreme growth which is fantastic, though at times very painful.  Here’s the main thing that has become clear to me:  My past does not dictate who I am.  Yes, it’s a part of me, it’s what brought me to where I am, but it doesn’t mean I have to keep “punching that card” of monotonous living.  I’ve spent too much time saying “no” to things that I was scared of, or just didn’t see myself doing.  Par examplay, I never considered myself a runner because I really detested it.  So when my friend asked if I wanted to do a 5K with her, I immediately said, “No way, thankyouverymuch”.  But then the more I thought about it, I realized that I was holding myself back from something that might turn out to be really amazing.  And I have to say, since I started my training, I have seen, and I feel improvement and it’s so encouraging.  I actually look forward to the next time I get to run.  I know, I’m crazy.

So I’m not going to let this horrible thing from the past hang over me anymore.  I won’t let it hold me back.  If I want to try something, I’m going to try it.  I mean, within reason of course.  This new life credo does not lend itself to things like crack or ghost hunting or hiking in the woods to throw things at sleeping bears. 

This morning while I ran (a full 5K mind you!), I had a seriously spiritual experience.  The temperature was perfect, the wind was lovely, the sun was delicious, and the birds were a-chirpin’!  I didn’t hear anything else, but nature.  [Note from January 2011 Me:  I’m sorry to remind you of days that are warm and sunny and bird-chirpy while we are here in the middle of January.  Those days will return I promise!  Global warming says so!]   And there I was, doing something I never would have done if I hadn’t made a conscious decision to try something new. 

And now my waist is smaller, endorphins are pumping through my body, and I’m feeling pretty awesome.  As I ran/power walked through my workout, I found myself crying.  I just started to tell myself, “You are not ‘that girl’ anymore.  You don’t have to shrink back from physical stuff anymore because you’re scared you will come in last or other people will be much better than you.  This isn’t about anyone else, it’s about you.  You deserve to be the best ‘you’ you can be.  Just look at you now!  Running and pushing yourself to keep going and finishing completely dripping with sweat, red-faced, and grinning like a fool.  You are amazing!”

So that little self-motivating speech is not just for me, but for all of you reading this.  Don’t let your past patterns keep you from trying new things, learning something new, and discovering how amazing you are!

It’s interesting to see the stats on my blog.  You see, I can track how many people are coming to read the blog and easily find out which post had the most views.  My top two most-viewed posts? 

The one entitled “My Dirty Little Secret” in which I confessed that I have read the Twilight series. 

The other?  The more recent post entitled “A Minor Rant on Swearing“. 

So apparently, what I need to do, is give my posts much more edgy, scandalous titles so that more people read. 

For shame people!  Okay, not really for shame.  You can ‘t help that at the very base of your humanity you are a dirty, guilty, voyeur.  I mean, I would probably do the same….but only because I know that I wouldn’t post anything porn-y or riddled with vulgarity.  So I would come with innocent curiosity.

Stop. Laughing.

Today I received a very very awesome boost in self-esteem.  I had a comment on my blog from one of the authors of another blog that I read on a regular basis.  If you haven’t heard of Rants From Mommyland, you need to read it!  Kate and Lydia (code names!) write about the adventures of Mommyhood in the most hilarious way.  They make me either A) feel better about my own crazy life and/or B) feel like I’m not the only one who wants to tear her hair out at the crazy things my kids do.  My husband is often subjected to hearing me read their posts aloud while laughing hysterically.  Anyway, when I saw that comment on my blog from Kate, I peed my pants with excitement!  She wanted to add my blog to their own blog’s page, “Blogs We Love”.  SKREEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I did a happy dance, to the very disapproving eyes of my children.  So now you can find a link to my very own humble blog on their very well-read, very popular, very AWESOME blog.  Hooray!  Notice to my in-laws:  it’s edgy.  You probably wouldn’t like it.  But feel free to check it out.

I also highly recommend It’s Almost Naptime.  Blog author, Missy, is a strong woman of faith, who has a tremendous sense of humor.  Four kids, and she’s in the middle of adopting from Ethiopia, so of course, I feel a kinship to her.  She has never commented on my blog nor does she have a link to mine on hers, but perhaps that will be a new goal of mine.

I rank “good sense of humor” pretty high on the list of things I love in friends.  If you can make me laugh, I’m loyal forever.  Laughter is therapeutic, it burns calories, and it’s feels good!  If you like to laugh, visit these delightful blogs – you’ll love ’em!

I really really wish that I was a morning person.  The type who can hop out of bed at the crack of dawn – or earlier – and get my workout done before any of my evil-plotting  minions sweet cherubs wake up.  If I were “one of those” I could have those glorious endorphins pumping through my veins ready to take on the day and perhaps not be screaming at the kids and ready to cry by 7:30am.  I can literally say that endorphins are better than those drugs I was on for post-partum depression.  By a lot.  Did you know that working out hard for 30 minutes will improve your mood for the next TWELVE HOURS?!?!?  I will take some of that, thank you!

What was I talking about?  Oh yes.  I wish I was a morning person.  I can’t even say that I’ll work out when the kids are off to school.  I still have a toddler here with me who will most definitely set the house on fire, or worse, if I tried to take half an hour to run.  So if I don’t get up early, my option is to do it when the little man is down for his nap.  That still leaves the other two to keep occupied.  See, Cole is only in kindergarten (half day) and Caroline doesn’t go to preschool every day. 

Yesterday, I thought I was doing pretty well as the older two were happily engaged in play and Myles was down for his nap.  Perfect. I made sure they had a few options besides what they were doing already.   I told them I’d be down on the treadmill for just a little bit and if they needed something, please come down and tell me, and for the love of everything, do NOT scream at me through the vents.  I was about 20 minutes in, when I heard other-worldly screaming above me.  Then rhythmic thumping (the rhythmic-ness is very important as it indicates a tantrum or sibling beatings as opposed to accidental falling and head-injuries).  Then more screaming.  20 minutes in.  Just a mere 10 minutes to go before I can stop and say that I had a good cardio workout.  But Mommies know that 10 minutes is equivalent to about 4 hours to small children.  I found myself yelling at the ceiling. 

“What! Is! Going! On! Up! There!?!?  Just. Stop!!!!” 

I knew that the ceiling yelling wouldn’t do much to quell the skirmish, but it was worth a shot.  This time, it actually paid off.  Caroline came whimpering down the stairs to find me, declaring that Cole was hitting her right. on. the. head. just because she wouldn’t recreate a scene from “Elf” with him. 

Who knew such an innocent looking dude could inspire such violence amongst children?

Why do they fight so terribly over the most inane things?  It is beyond me. 

I managed to finish those last ten minutes due to the fact that Caroline stayed downstairs with me, thus eliminating the recipient of Cole’s vengeance. 

What am I trying to say?  Right.  So I’m not a morning person.  I have all sorts of good intentions to wake early and get moving, but then when I do actually wake, 99% of the time I am right in that sweet spot, completely comfy, all deliciously warm and snuggly in bed.  And all I want to do is drift back to Sleepy Town. 

I’m telling you all this so that you know that I’m not some crazy woman who actually springs from bed, on fire with energy, ready to run 8 miles or more whilst whistling show tunes.  I am normal.  As much as I have come to love working out, I also “forget” that awesome feeling I have right after a great session, so that it can be really hard to get moving.  So how do I still manage to do it?

One of the greatest lessons my mother taught me was that sometimes life sucks and you have to do things you don’t want to do.  It’s what got me through those difficult first months with my babies when I didn’t WANT to get out of bed at 2am to feed and change a newborn…but I HAD to.  It’s what moves me to throw some sort of meal together for my “Mommy I’m soooooooo   HUUUNNNNGGRRRYYY!!!” children, even if it just means cereal and toast for dinner.  It’s what gets me to pull myself together when hubby and I are having a “disagreement” and all I want to do is scream at him and tell him how pig-headed he is, but I know that I’m partly to blame and I don’t want to really be fighting at all.  So I get it together and we sit down to talk. 

It’s not easy.  It takes practice.  Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth

JUST DO IT, Woman!!! Get out of bed, hike up those big girl panties, lace up those shoes and GO!

and kick yourself in the tushy to do it.  I think that’s what made a difference for me.  The realization that some days, the last thing I want to do is put on my running shoes and go.  I think that prior to this, I was under the assumption that people who regularly work out love every second and are ready and raring to go for each session.  I’m sure there are those crazy folk out there, but then there are the normal, every day people like me who sometimes need to grit their teeth and slap themselves around a bit every so often.  Don’t let that discourage you.  It just means you’re normal.  But it’s at this point that you will realize just how serious you are about changing your life.  If you’re not ready, you will listen to that voice that tells you to go back to sleep, that you can do it later.  Because wanting something and actually committing to do the work that is necessary to get it, are so very different.  I want healthy, well-balanced, content children who have compassion for others and contribute something positive to society.  But I have to put the work in to teach them how to do all that.  I want a strong marriage that is rooted in friendship, respect, teamwork, committment and plenty of passion in the bedroom.  But I (well, we) have to work at keeping our relationship healthy and full of passion.  You may want to be a doctor, but you have to commit to all the years of schooling in order actually get the degree so you can wear that lab coat. 

So here is my challenge for today.  Sign up for a 5K.  If you’ve never done one and the thought terrifies you, PERFECT!  That is right where I was last year and it CHANGED MY LIFE.  Find a friend to do it with so you can keep each other accountable.  Start training.  I highly suggest the “Couch to 5K” program*.  It is perfect for the person who has literally been a couch potato and wants to make a change.  You start out slowly and gradually increase the challenge as the weeks go by.  Even if you have to do Week One for a few weeks.  Just do it.

I want to hear from you, if you’ve decided to run a 5K!!  If you’re in the Aurora/Naperville/Plainfield IL area, please consider running with me at the Eikon 5K.  This is the very first 5K I ever ran, and my friend got me to do it because it benefits humanitarian programs in Ethiopia.  For those of you who don’t know, my youngest was adopted from Ethiopia in June of 2009.  Leave it to my friend to find a 5K that benefits Ethiopia, but she did, and it was the best thing I ever did.  So talk to me!  Will you take up my challenge?

*If you Google “Couch to 5K”, there are many different sites that will come up, so figure out which one is easy for you to follow.

I know that the world doesn’t necessarily share my worldview, or agree with my sense of morality, or share my faith.  Therefore I do not expect others to behave according to my beliefs.  But I think that I can expect a level of common decency and some sense of right and wrong from the public.

I took my daughter and youngest son out for a ‘treat” at my daughter’s most favorite place (which I have been promising to do since about September).  As we enjoyed each other’s company and shared a cup of fruit and bagels, I couldn’t help but overhear a group of 3 “businessmen” at a table nearby. I assume they were businessmen.  They were dressed in logo-embroidered shirts and dress pants, and were discussing “this quarter’s projections” over their laptops.  I don’t know what exactly they did, but one of the men had a sticker on his laptop that exclaimed, “Ask me about Fresh Seafood!”.  I was tempted to do so, but was afraid of what the answer might be.

Anyway, as they discussed business, I cringed at their language.  One of the dudes was dropping the f-bomb far too many times for a professional conversation (the limit of which, in case you were wondering, is ZERO, amongst colleagues – at least in my opinion).  There were some other colorful words thrown in as well, which was great .  Now, again, I don’t expect people to dislike swearing as much as I do.  Not that I’m entirely guilt-free in this area, but I make an effort to keep it clean.  I know other people do it a lot, but can we agree that doing it loudly, in a public place where frequenters of the establishment where you are currently, have CHILDREN with them?  Thank you, but I don’t want my kids listening to your foul mouth.    We’re talking about Barbie and My Little Pony over here and I don’t need to hear “f this” and “those f-ing guys” and “just get the f-ing order in”, thankyouverymuch.  And as a business professional, why do you assume that every other business professional speaks the same way and wants to hear you speak that way?  And while we’re at it, can we also keep the foul language under control just when meeting new people in general?  Holy smokes, I had someone I had just met string so many swear words together in just a few sentences that I couldn’t help but wonder if she knew English, or just Cuss.

So hear me out professional business people of the world:  If you’re out to breakfast or lunch with colleagues discussing your business and you happen to be somewhere that caters to adults AND children alike, please keep the swearing to nil.   Thanks ever so much.

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UPDATE

I’m getting a lot of “Did you say something to them?” and “Why didn’t you say something?”.  I forgot to add in the original post that I didn’t say anything, but I did pointedly turn around in my chair, look at them, eyebrows raised, etc – you know…. The Look.  They quieted down and managed to control themselves, but the one who appeared to be the leader started up again. Thankfully, at that time, we were leaving.  As we walked out, I looked at them again and shook my head.  I know, it’s not as in-your-face as I would have liked, but I wasn’t really in the mood.

Everyone talks about their New Year’s resolutions, most of which seem to center around eating healthy and exercising.  I’m guessing this phenomena occurs because we have just finished the holiday season, where from Halloween to New Year’s we indulge in many naughty chocolate confections and/or cookies, and deliciously rich meals soaked in gravy and cheese.  Blech.  That actually makes me nauseous.  

I don’t really make resolutions, but I have a lot of confidence in myself this year to CONTINUE pursuing a healthy lifestyle.  I am now 25 lbs lighter than I was at this time last year, and I have dramatically improved my portion sizes and choices in terms of what I’m eating.  I’m also much better at drinking water.  I’m going to be honest.  I hate water.  I’m really horrible at remembering to drink anything at all, and when I do, I would find myself tired so I’d want a Coke.  mmmm…Coke.  I still love it (Coke, that is), but I don’t drink anywhere near as much as I used to.  I’ve discovered that in order to keep myself drinking water, I must be sure the water is ice cold and consumed through a straw.  So I got myself a delightful water bottle to accomodate my H2O requirements.

The secret to my hydration success

I highly recommend Camelbak for those who might have similar quirks about hydration. I also highly recommend increasing your daily fiber intake. I personally enjoy Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Yorgurt Berry Crunch. It is muy muy delish. I usually ad 1/3 of a cup of Bran Buds to my bowl and Wowza! Fiber-packed breakfast.  Lots ‘o fiber is a fabulous “secret” to trimming down.  It really uhhh… “gets things moving” if ya know what I mean.

Now in terms of exercise, I cannot say enough about the benefits of running.  A good, solid cardiovascular workout is not only good for losing weight and getting fit, but it’s so fantastic for improving one’s mood and self-confidence.  Particularly if one is convinced that she is most definitely NOT a runner and would fail miserably if she ever tried.  Oh hey, that’s me!  So if you’re reading this and you’d like to get back on the fitness train or perhaps board it for the very first time, take heart!  I had convinced myself that I could never run.  Only when chased.  And then I made the attempt with the encouragement of a friend.  It was slow-going at first.  Very slow.  And let’s not kid ourselves.  I’m no champion right now, even after a year of working at it.  This should serve as an encouragement for you who may be counting yourselves as failures before you even start.  I still have to walk at times when I run.  Maybe one day I’ll get to the point where I can run without walking for a long period of time, but even at this point, who cares?  I’m still getting a great workout, the endorphins are still pumping through my veins!

Oh Jillian, how I love to hate you.

I’ve also added Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred to my workout routine and she has been thoroughly kicking my tush.  Shredding is another reccomendation of mine as it’s a more well-rounded workout.  The DVD is only about $9, and you only need light handweights.  Bonus for hard-working moms:  it only takes 20 minutes.  20 minutes and you’ll be crying for mercy, but it’s a fantastic workout.  Another great feature is that there are three levels, so as soon as you can get through a workout without praying for the sweet release of death, you can move up to the next level.  Now, listen to me, I’m not doing too well with encouraging any of you to join up on pursuing a healthy lifestyle.  I promise, The Shred will challenge you, but when you finish those 20 minutes, you will feel so very good.

So don’t make a resolution.  Think about what you want for you.  And if you aren’t willing to do the consistent, day after day work, then you really don’t want it.  Because you can know what you want to do, but if you don’t make that knowledge settle itself in your heart, you won’t do the work.  No one else can motivate you, no one else can do it for you.  You must make up your mind to do it.  You must resolve to do it.  Which I guess would mean that you would come to a resolution to change.  But don’t think of it as a New Year’s resolution, or you will surely fail.  At least that what’s statistics say.  But your health shouldn’t be an item on a list.
So join me in pursuing good health!  May 2011 bring new confidence and new growth for you and may you inspire others along the way!  Cheers, friends!