Sarah's Fit Blog

A Perfectly Imperfect Christmas

Posted in Live by Sarah on December 21, 2011

I received this in a newsletter I subscribe to from Jim Fey, co-author of Parenting with Love and Logic. Being the perfectionist I am, it hit straight home and I just had to share:

What was your best Christmas as a kid? Was it the one where there was a lot of stress about a perfect meal elegantly served-on time-to a perfectly dressed family? Or was it the one where the dog pulled the turkey off the stove and dragged it away through the dog door? There was no perfect meal that day. Everyone rolled with the punches. They rolled up their sleeves and worked together in the kitchen to salvage a makeshift meal.
The beauty of that memory is not in perfection and organization, but in remembering the joy of being together and doing things together. It was the laughter. It was one of those days when the choices were to laugh or to cry, so you all laughed it off and enjoyed one another. It brought you all together in a different way.
Holidays are times for enjoying one another. We are not suggesting that you purposely feed the turkey to the pets, but we strongly suggest that an imperfect day with little stress will create better memories of loving relationships.
We wish you a perfectly imperfect holiday season.

Stop it!

Posted in Learn,Live by Sarah on December 20, 2011

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Let yourself be. Let yourself enjoy.

Posted in Live by Sarah on December 19, 2011

Let yourself enjoy

Let yourself be. Let yourself enjoy.

Let yourself see and participate, know and feel, listen and understand. Let yourself live the brilliant richness that shines through even the smallest details of this very time and place.

Let go of the worries, the fears, the grievances, insecurities and inhibitions. Simply and lovingly live the beauty of this day.

Without judgment as to whether it is difficult or easy, popular or unpopular, do what you know is right, and what you feel is right for you. Let yourself be curious, in awe, inspired and in love with the ineffable reality of existence.

Live authentically as the unique person you really, truly are. Allow the fulfillment that naturally comes when you let all you do come from the best of who you are.

Let yourself be joyful, and generous with your joy, just because you can, and just because it feels so good. Right now, let yourself live in the best, most positive way you can imagine.

— Ralph Marston

The great debate: is Peanut Butter good or bad?

Posted in Live by Sarah on December 16, 2011


When shopping and making a decision, isn’t peanut butter just that, peanut butter? No, not at all. It isn’t just the taste that differs among brands, but there are many hidden problems with those nutrients and packaging labels on the jar. There are numerous myths and deceptions floating around about peanut butter. Is peanut butter really good or bad for a person? Well, some are good, some are bad and some are just down right ugly. How to tell the difference? Well, it’s easy once the difference is known.

Anyone who has ever shopped around for peanut butter will notice that not all peanut butters are created equal. Some are extremely thick, almost solid like, others are just thick and creamy, some are thin, and then there are some that are just down right runny with a ton of oil on the top layer. Many people avoid buying that jar with the oil on the top. If they do buy it, they usually drain it all off before actually eating the peanut butter. Well, there is no way all that oil could be good for you, is there?

Peanut Butter with oil at the top:

Most all peanut butters with oil at the top are purely natural peanut butters. Look at the ingredients, it should read peanuts and salt. There is no purer peanut butter than this form. In fact, upon purchasing this butter, one should stir that oil up completely into the peanut butter and then store it in the refrigerator. Why? Well, that oil is full of good fats which lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol. It actually taste good too. Never drain the oil off, it’s a very common mistake. It should be stored in the refrigerator because it does not have any preservatives. What could be better than natural peanut butter? Not much of anything. Completely trans fat free, free of preservatives and taste great. It could take some getting used to but afterward, it really does have a better taste. Children are probably used to sugary peanut butter, if they refuse to eat the natural, simply add some sugar to theirs before using. Gradually decrease the amount of sugar added. They won’t even notice the difference. There are some brands that even offer no salt added natural peanut butter, this is a bit stale tasting however.

Hint: turn the peanut butter upside down a few days before opening, then store in the fridge upside down. Helps the oil mix better.

Peanut Butter without oil on top that reads natural:

This peanut butter is the next best for the body and it does eliminate the need to stir and store it in the fridge. However, just how natural is this type of natural peanut butter? Well it’s a bit better than some but it sure isn’t natural. Ingredients of this type variation of peanut butter is usually something like: peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt. Palm oil and sugar are not ingredients that should be found in a natural peanut butter. It could act as a temporary solution to gradually get children to transfer to natural. It is easier to cook with than the real natural, but it is not real!

Peanut Butter that has fully hydrogenated oil:

This is next to the worst peanut butter for a person’s health. Hydrogenated oil is a solid oil. As everyone should know, solid oils are harder for the body to get rid of and will raise bad cholesterol. More commonly, this type of oil is found in generic and cheaper products.

Peanut Butter with has partially hydrogenated oil:

Well folks, this is the worst, absolutely worst, peanut butter for anyone’s body. Of course, it’s also found in the most popular and best selling brands of peanut butters. Partially hydrogenated oil is not a natural oil. It’s chemical structure has been altered and even though that label might read “trans fat free”. It doesn’t mean it is. The regulations will allow a product that has .05 grams of trans fat per serving to label the product at zero. So 0 doesn’t always mean 0. This type of fat found in partially hydrogenated oil will lower good cholesterol and raise bad. The trans fat found in altered and processed foods is much more dangerous for the body than those that naturally occur in products, such as meats.

Beware: If a product reads “hydrogenated oil” and does not have fully or completely in front of it, more than likely it is partially hydrogenated oil, which does involve trans fat. Also avoid any peanut butter that reads shortening. Shortening usually contains trans fat as well.

Effects of eating products with trans fat:

Eating products with trans fat increases the chances of developing certain heart diseases. It also aids in increasing triglycerides, which contribute to thickening of the arteries. Trans fat also increases inflamation in the body and bad cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol is linked with increasing the risk of developing heart disease.

The good oil in peanuts:

Pure peanut oil is a monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats is considered much more healthy than those found in saturated fats. Peanut butter is a good source of essential minerals and nutrients.

Deceptions about peanut butter:

Any peanut butter labeled no added sugar, reduce sugar, reduced fat or low fat peanut butter is not healthier than pure natural peanut butter. What is lowered? The amount of good fats that are found in nuts? Check the calories per serving. Does the lower fat peanut butter have less calories than the regular? No, so it is not a diet product, nor more healthy. It’s just a marketing tool to sell more peanut butter to a health cautious economy. Peanut butter shouldn’t have sugar added in it anyways. If someone is watching their sugar intake but like the taste of sugar in peanut butter, they should add natural sweetener such as Stevia to their natural peanut butter.

Other items to watch for trans fat:

Anything that may contain shortening such as, pastries, cakes, cookies, frostings, breads, crackers, donuts and french fries. Meats that do have a trace of trans fat are usually not added. It is there naturally and will do less damage than those of processed foods. To see an example of how an item might have trans fat but reads 0 on the label, check out the nutrient label at a fast food restaurant that includes the different serving sizes. A small milk shake might show zero trans fat, where as a large might say 1 gram of trans fat.


I’m baaaack!

Posted in Live by Sarah on December 14, 2011

Whoa! What happened to the end of November and the first part of December? Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, I was going to fill you in on my progress. Can you say “dropped the ball”?Well, after thanksgiving, my family and I were in such a rush to head to the beach I forgot to upload my final pic. Okay, maybe I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have a six pack, but either way, here it is! Please mind you this was taken the day after Thanksgiving…I ate a lot!

I ended up staying at 136, but hey, I’m not complaining! I have been eating almost the same and continuing with my workouts and am happy to say that I am still right where I’m at and happy 🙂 Here’s a pic taken just moments ago.

My point is that it takes hard work to see drastic changes and I am happy to simply maintain, especially this time of year! I’ll keep you all updated with more motivation, info and tidbits throughout the season. Until then, be merry!

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