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Archive for the ‘inspirational’ Category

My Bday List: A resolution to better health in 2010.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 7, 2010

My new years resolution is about doing everything I can do to have more birthdays.  At the moment the one thing that could keep me from doing that, is my blood pressure.  I’ve had blood pressure and heart rate problems since my twenties, but now in my forties, I know I’m at a much greater risk for having a heart attack or stroke.  So this year I plan on taking specific steps to hopefully lower my blood pressure.  Like Morra Arrons-Mele, I would like to make these changes holistically.  I’m still planning to take my medications, but even on medication my blood pressure is still not controlled.

Here are the steps I plan to take in 2010…

1.  Continue to eat healthy, but kick it up a notch.

2.  Reduce stress by using meditation and Reiki on a regular basis.

3.  Get the Wii Fit and begin doing light exercising and yoga.

I’ll keep track of my progress by documenting my blood pressure and the days I’ve used any of the above steps.

Well, that’s my “more birthdays list.”  I hope you’ll join me at the American Cancer Society’s Official Birthday Blog, by sharing a list of your own.  You can also easily share you list on Facebook and Twitter here.

Posted in blog, blogging, blood pressure, cancer, chronic illness, empowerment, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, my life, self-help, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Miley Cyrus Encouraging Youth To Do Good – video

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 29, 2009

My daughter Nicole, who is a big Miley Cyrus fan, heard about a project Miley was supporting called Get UR Good On.  As soon as she heard about it, she wanted to get involved.  The idea was to do something good in your community, video it, and then upload it onto the Get UR Good On website to encourage others to do the same.

*read full post and see video at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in current events, empowerment, family, feminism, inspirational, kids, life, media, motherhood, music, my life, news, personal, teens, Women, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Breast Cancer Survivors Share Their Stories In Words & Video

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 15, 2009

This is a post in honor of breast cancer survivors.  They are women sharing their stories of hope, struggle, determination, and survival.  Some are in words and some are in video.

*Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, empowerment, family, feminism, Health, inspirational, life, motherhood, opinion, parenting, personal, reflections, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is It Ever Too Late To Follow Our Dreams?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 15, 2009

freedoms

via Is It Ever Too Late To Follow Our Dreams?.

Posted in awareness, children, coaching, empowerment, faith, family, happiness, inspirational, life, lifestyle, marriage, opinion, personal, self-help, success, thoughts, Women, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Interview with LeAnn Rimes: On body image, psoriasis and Michael Jackson

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 15, 2009

LeAnn Rimes Interview:  Her Courageous Battle With Psoriasis

So…A few weeks ago I was asked if I would like to interview LeAnn Rimes about her struggles with psoriasis and her awareness campaign Stop Hiding & Start Living. I think it’s a great campaign and I was happy to help bring more awareness to this physically and emotionally debilitating skin condition.

As women we so often feel bad about ourselves because of the way we look. We might be having a bad hair day, or have a bit of acne on our face, or feel like we could stand to lose a few more pounds…It’s really a vicious cycle and sometimes even a pit of despair that we never seem to quite be able to climb out of. I think that’s why stories like the one LeAnn Rimes will share with us in this interview are so empowering.

The American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation have joined together to form the Stop Hiding from Psoriasis public education campaign. This campaign is dedicated to:

  • Educating the general public about how this chronic immune disorder affects nearly 7 million Americans.
  • Motivating patients suffering from psoriasis to Stop Hiding and
    Start Living.
  • Encouraging patients to see a dermatologist and discuss appropriate ways to manage
    their disease.

LeAnn Rimes stands up to psoriasis…

The spotlight has followed singer LeAnn Rimes for most of her life. Unfortunately, so has the embarrassment of her psoriasis. But not anymore. LeAnn is taking a stand to Stop Hiding from her psoriasis and wants you to Stop Hiding and Start Living too.

Earlier this week I spoke with LeAnn…

me1 How difficult was it growing up with psoriasis and at such a young age?

82543072SG004_LEANN_RIMES_S Well yes, I was diagnosed when I was two, so I pretty much don’t know anything other than having it…by the time I was six I was 80% covered, everything but my hands, feet and face. It was very debilitating physically and mentally. Even as a child having people really not understanding what the disease is and thinking it was contagious and trying to stay away from me. My parents really did a good job of covering it up, especially my mom, [with] the way she dressed me. And it was hard, it was hard being in the public eye. ‘Til the time I was 13 I wasn’t really able to wear dresses (short dresses) on the red carpet, or shorts in the middle of the summer…I would always wear jeans. It was really tough; it took a toll on my self esteem for a long time.

me1 Did other children tease you when you were a child?

82543072SG004_LEANN_RIMES_S Yes, I would sometimes miss out on pool parties and things because I would never want to be around other girls with my bathing suite on – because they really didn’t understand what it was.

Read full post and interview with LeAnn Rimes at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in blogging, body image, chronic illness, depression, empowerment, Health, inspirational, life, success, teens, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dr. Oz on Oprah: Calorie Restriction Diets & Extreme Life Extension

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 4, 2009

Would you like to live to 100 years and beyond? Dr. Oz and other medical experts believe that a calorie restriction diet can help people to live longer with a higher quality of life. The calorie restriction diet also focuses on consuming calories that provide a high nutritional value, not just low calorie.

Many claim that a Calorie Restriction Diet is the answer to living longer. Personally, I don’t get the whole “extreme life extension” thing – It’s just so the opposite of living in the moment and that’s really not for me. And it’s not just a diet, it’s literally a lifestyle, one that I’m just not that into. But I do admit, there are aspects of this lifestyle that could be helpful to anyone interested in making better food choices and generally living healthier.

Read full post Dr. Oz on Calorie Restriction Diet at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, chronic illness, coaching, current events, dieting, empowerment, family, food, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, living in the moment, nutrition, opinion, self-help, success, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

New Study: Reading Is Best To Reduce Stress

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 4, 2009

New Study:  Reading Is Best To Reduce Stress

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today, and then I came across this interesting article on how reading can reduce stress.  Since I love to read, and I also love anything that can help me reduce stress, I thought this would be a great post for today.

Are you stressed about the economy?  Your job?  Your kids?  Politics?  It’s no secret that life is very stressful these days.  So…What can we do to reduce stress?  Apparently, reading a book is one of the best ways to reduce stress.

Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds or 68%.

New research by consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex says reading works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea.

Are you a reader?  Does it help you relax and de-stress?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, books, chronic illness, family, feelings, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, living in the moment, news, opinion, peace, self-help, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Valerie Bertinelli Inspiring Women To Lose Weight At Any Age

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 3, 2009

Valerie Bertinelli’s Weight Loss:  Inspiring or Controversial?

Last week I watched Valerie Bertinelli and Marie Osmond on the Oprah Winfrey Show talking about their personal weight loss success stories, and I found both stories to be very inspirational.  As most of you already know, I’ve been struggling with my weight for several years now.  And for that reason, I find myself easily able to relate to these two women.  After watching that show I felt more motivated then ever to continue eating healthy and losing weight.  I don’t think I was alone, but as always, there was also a backlash.

READ FULL POST HERE

Posted in about me, BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, coaching, daughters, dieting, empowerment, family, feminism, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, my life, news, nutrition, opinion, personal, self-help, success, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Easy Ways To Reduce Stress With Positive Affirmations

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 21, 2009

Is stress wearing you down?  Are you worried about the bad economy?  Your job?  The mortgage?  Your health?  Your family?  If so, you are not alone.

Life is always changing, and that can feel very stressful.  But often, seemingly bad things will happen in our lives, that will actually turn out to be the catalysts to something positive.  It’s very true that when one door closes another will open.  Although it never feels so great when that one door closes.  Recently I’ve had several doors close on me.  But as hard as it’s been, I can already see that these things needed to happen to bring me closer to where I am meant to be.

There are three things we can do to help relieve the stress in our lives…

Number one is acceptance.   We need to accept that life does not always go the way we perceive to be best.

From This Journey – Stress or Sadness

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

  1. Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
  2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  3. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  4. Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
  5. If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  6. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  7. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply be kind to others.
  8. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
  9. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
  10. Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
  11. The second mouse gets the cheese.
  12. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
  13. You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  14. Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
  15. We could learn a lot from crayons… Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
  16. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Number two is gratitude.  Take time to recognize all that you have to be grateful for.

From Britt Bravo – Keeping a Gratitude Journal

One tool to help keep life in perspective is a gratitude journal where you write down a few things each day that you are thankful for. They can be big things, like I’m thankful that I have a warm, dry place to live in the midst of this crazy California rainstorm, or small things, like I had a really yummy hot chocolate the other day.

Number three is your inner game and positive affirmations.

What is your inner voice saying to you?  Have you developed the habit of saying negative things to yourself?  If so, this is a habit that needs to be broken.

From Family Matters

Whether we speak out loud or we are in silence, our brain is in continuous chatter. We have thoughts about things to do, feelings, expectations, ideas, reminders, theories and conversations.

. . .

Much of our mind chatter is thoughts we have been given by others, thoughts based on past experiences we have had (as kids), things we have seen in the media and interpretations of what has happened around us. The real challenge is to switch from negative thoughts to positive ones.

From Creating Effective Affirmations

Taking a wealth/prosperity affirmation as our example, it’s unlikely that a wealthy person would tell someone “I’m a very wealthy person” or “I’m a multi-millionaire,” but they might tell someone “I’m never in need of money” or “My finances are better than they’ve ever been before.” Think of a way in which you’d tell your friends and family about your wealth, and use that as your money mantra. If you use a lot of slang or colloquial phrases, fashion your affirmation that way. A person who refers to money as “dough,” for instance, would probably be better off writing her mantra as “I’m rollin’ in dough!” than as “I have a lot of money!” Keep your own speech pattern in mind when you write out your affirmations, and they’ll be much more powerful for you.

From Angela Booth’s Writing Blog – Affirmations For Writers

Here’s how to create your own empowering affirmations: create them from your mind tapes. Just switch the old tapes from negative statements to positive ones.

For example:

* Writing is hard, I’ve never been good at writing BECOMES: “Writing is easy and fun for me, I’ve always been great at writing”;

* I can’t write BECOMES: “I write easily and effortlessly, I’m an excellent writer.”

Try it. Affirmations enhance your creativity and your income. Why walk around with old, damaging self-talk? Start changing your self-talk today, with the power of affirmations.

Here are some videos on the topic of positive affirmations that your might find helpful…

Your thoughts create your future…

An affirmation video…

A healing affirmation video…

How do you keep your stress at bay?  Let me know in comments.

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, chronic illness, coaching, depression, empowerment, family, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, living in the moment, motherhood, parenting, peace, self-help, spiritual, success, Women, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Is It Possible To Love Yourself Healthy?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 1, 2009

Do You Hate or Love Your Body?  Is It Possible To Love Yourself Healthy?

A long time ago I read a book called Love Yourself Thin.  The idea of the book was that if you love and appreciate your body, choosing to feed it healthy foods would come naturally.  It also emphasized the importance of loving our bodies just the way they are…even suggesting you stand naked in front of a mirror and replace negative self talk with positive self talk.  Even though I never tried that, it did make me notice how many times in one day I was passing my reflection and telling myself I was fat or ugly (more than I could count).

So the idea of loving ourselves healthy isn’t a new concept.  But it is something that most of us are neglecting to practice.

When we choose to eat healthy out of love for our bodies, we are able to let go of the negative aspects of weight and appearances.  We no longer have to hate our bodies into going on starvation diets.  Instead, we can love our bodies into making healthy food choices.

The first step in loving yourself healthy is to STOP JUDGING YOURSELF and your appearance.  If you can’t say something nice about yourself…Don’t say anything at all. This is a great opportunity to recognize your negative self talk and begin to practice positive affirmations.  Check out this website where you can randomly pick a wisdom card by Louise Hay.

The next step is to start treating your body like you love it (even if you don’t).  Try making food choices that reflect your desire to fuel your body with nourishing and healthy foods.

Leslie Karen Lobell – Learning To Love Yourself

One way to learn to love yourself is to act as if you already do (i.e., “Fake it till you make it”). An important way to love yourself is to nourish and care for your body: eat healthy foods and exercise regularly.

Healthy Eating Tips from Love Your Body Love Yourself at Women’s Healthcare Empowerment Now

  • Make stir-fry using a little chicken, some veggies, some seasoning all in one pan; and you have a healthy meal.
  • Carry nuts, fruit, string cheese (part skim mozzarella), low-fat yogurt, or hard-boiled eggs with you for healthy snacks.
  • If other people in the house eat junk food, put it all in one cabinet and start eating less of it.
  • Make a healthy grocery list and don’t buy the junk (chips, etc.).
  • Avoid foods with the word “hydrogenated” on the label, or look for foods that say “no trans fats”.
  • Avoid deep fat fried foods like french fries.
  • Eat throughout the day. If you don’t eat much all day you are more likely to binge at night.
  • Eat something with a lot of fiber, like a salad, before your meal; it will make you feel less hungry.
  • If you find you frequently eat for emotional comfort, think of other things you could substitute, like a warm bath, or your favorite music.
  • You can be a good example for your children and teach them to eat healthy foods along with you. This may change their lives for the better now, and help them be more likely to eat healthfully as adults.

Love and Health Go Hand in Hand

If we really and truly care for ourselves, we would take good care of these bodies that are taking us through life.This minor revelation helped me change my negative thoughts about myself as I was writing. I realized that I usually do love myself enough to eat healthy foods which contribute to my being exceptionally healthy most of the time.

Suzanne Reizman – Would The American Economy Collapse If Women Stopped Hating Their Natural Appearance?

How many companies rely on us feeling crappy about our bodies to sell more product? If we all loved our bodies the way they are, douche companies wouldn’t be the only ones going out of business–the diet, health & beauty, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic surgery industries would suffer as well!

Think of the money we could save if we loved ourselves and accepted our bodies in their natural state.

LoveYourBody.org

Thick thighs. Narrow hips. Thick lips. Thin ones. Big nose, small boobs. Flat butt, fat butt. Dark skin, light skin. You got what ya got. Can you find the courage to love it all…right now?

So…Do you see a connection between how you feel about your body and how you treat your body?    Do you love your body or hate it?

If you hate it, are you willing to try loving it for a little while?

Do you catch yourself saying judgmental and negative things to yourself all day?  Do you think you could stop?

Also See:

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
at Catherine-Morgan.com and  Women4Hope

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, books, chronic illness, dieting, empowerment, family, food, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, motherhood, my life, nutrition, self-help, success, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Tao of Good Health & Weight Loss

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 15, 2009

A few weeks ago I was flipping through the million channels on my TV trying to find just one thing worth watching (which isn’t an easy task).  Luckily I found Dr. Wayne Dyer on PBS.

I read my first book by Dr. Wayne Dyer (Real Magic) about twelve years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  So when I watched his seminar on PBS that was based on his latest book, of course I had to run out the next day and buy it.  This one is called Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life, and it’s his interpretation of the 81 verses of the Tao.

tao[The Tao Te Ching was written five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, and offers advice and guidance for living a balanced life.]

As I read, I came across aspects of this wisdom that are helpful in my quest for better health and weight loss.  So, even though I’m no philosopher (obviously), I thought I would share some verses that stood out for me.  They offer guidance for healthy living and even weight loss.  Here are three.

[Keep in mind that I am only pulling the parts of these verses that I find most relevant to good health, this is by no means a complete look at any of these verses.]

Verse 9Living HumilityTo keep on filling is not as good as stopping.

This verse is interesting in how it relates to healthy eating and weight loss.  It’s telling us to eat, but to stop when we’re full.  Eat until your hunger is satisfied, and no more.  That’s pretty good advice, I wonder how many of us actually follow it?

It also tells us that we should seek joy and pleasure in the activities we are doing.  In order to do this, we need to slow down and enjoy our lives (and our meals).

Here is a way you can begin to practice this idea during your next meal.  Enjoy each bite of your meal.  After a couple of bites take a moment to reflect on how you are feeling and determine if you are full.  Once your hunger is satisfied, stop eating.

Verse 63Living Without Difficulties Take on difficulties while they are still easy.

This verse can relate to how most of us see weight loss as being difficult or a struggle.  It encourages us to see the simplicity in the things we perceive to be hard.  You can do this by taking one day at a time, or one meal at a time, or one moment at a time.  Break down your biggest challenges into smaller, more manageable ones.

It also reminds us to tackle problems in our life before they become big problems.  In my case, it would have been better to begin eating healthy when I was only 10-20 pounds overweight.  Rather than waiting until I was 40+ pounds overweight and my blood pressure was so high that I required medication.

You can practice this idea by taking time to recognize whether your weight or eating habits are suffering because you fear the problem is too difficult to address.  If this is the case, believe in your ability to tackle the problem one day (or one meal) at a time…It need not be difficult.

Verse 71Living Without SicknessOnly when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick.

As someone who suffers with chronic illness, the notion of healing ourselves implies that we make a choice to be sick or to be well.  And I just don’t believe that.  But this verse isn’t about blame.  It’s about being aware.  Basically, our symptoms are our body’s way of talking to us, and we need to take the time to listen.

Could fatigue be a message to slow down and get more rest?  Could high blood pressure be a message to make healthier food choices and lose some weight?  Could a headache be a message that we are allowing stress and worry to steal moments of our life that we can never get back?

Possibly.

Each symptom may mean something different to each person.  The goal is simply awareness.

I think with chronic illness, it’s also about how we “perceive” it.  We may need to accept our illness, while still listening to our symptoms and striving to be the healthiest version of ourselves that we can be.  Remember that we are not our body, so we can stop seeing ourselves as our illness.

Practice this idea by taking some time to listen to what your symptoms may be trying to tell you.

So…What do you think?  Could the Tao help you find your way to better health?  Can changing your thoughts change your life? Let me know in comments.

Also See:

From The Goddess’s Daily Groove: Gratitude List

From My Life Coach Tara: The Tao of Inner Peace

Power of Focused Attention

Posted in awareness, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, dieting, empowerment, faith, food, happiness, Health, inspirational, life, lifestyle, my life, nutrition, self-help, spiritual, success, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I Lost 29 Pounds, 15 More To Go…My Personal Diet and Exercise Plans For The New Year.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 8, 2009

Last year around this time I came to the realization that I was at my highest weight ever.  I knew I was overweight, but when I checked my BMI I was shocked to realize that I had actually tipped into the “obese” category.  My BMI was 30.8 and anything over 30 is considered obese. It was at that moment that I decided I needed to make a drastic lifestyle change.  But hardcore dieting really isn’t my thing, so I started a “pre-diet” to ease myself into weight loss.

By the end of the year, my healthy eating had paid off, and I had lost 29 pounds [insert happy dance here].  Anyway, it took almost a year, but my BMI is down to 25.7 (overweight is considered to be between 25 and 29.9).  So I’m still a few pounds away from being considered “normal weight”, but I’m more determined than ever to get there.

If I lose 15-20 more pounds, that will put me smack in the middle of what’s considered to be a normal and healthy weight (a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9).  So that’s my goal for the new year, and it’s time for me to start a real diet.  But what diet?  There are so many.

I decided to try using a Health Tracker that I found online.  Each day I can record my weight along with the food (calories) I eat, and keep track of every aspect of my diet.  I also decided that I would take advantage of the sales on pre-packaged diet meals that we always see right after the holidays.  I ended up getting Lean Cuisines for 50% off, and paid between $1.45 and $1.85 per meal.  This is working great for me because it’s easy to keep track of calories, quick to prepare when I’m hungry, and I have a lot of choices so I don’t feel deprived.  I’m also still using Isagenix supplements and shakes for added nutrition.

Since January 1st I’ve lost 3.5 pounds, and I’m now less than one pound away from not being overweight – woohoo.

I also found a great deal on a Bally Total Fitness – Core Sculpting System that was on a clearance table a few days after Christmas…Now I just have to watch the DVD and figure out how to use it.

So that’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it. Do you have a plan for healthy living in 2009?  Let me know in comments, or at the 2009 Good Health-A-Thon.

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
at Catherine-Morgan, Capessa Health, Women4Hope

Posted in body image, dieting, empowerment, food, happiness, Health, inspirational, life, my life, nutrition, personal, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

New Year’s Resolutions and Goal Setting Success

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 7, 2009

This is the time of year that many of us are setting goals in hopes of achieving success with our New Year Resolutions. And setting realistic goals can be what makes or breaks a good resolution.

Have you set your goals yet?

There are many theories about how to set realistic and achievable goals. But it’s not always as cut and dry as all that.  As with everything in life, something that works for one of us may not work for all of us.

Here are some ideas that may help you find success.

Monica Olivas from Run, Eat, Repeat writes about a popular method for setting goals called SMART…

Specific – Check that your 2009 resolutions/goals are clear and understandable to someone else in 1 or 2 sentences.

Measurable – Have a way to verify your success. This will make achieving the goal much more satisfying if you can measure how far you’ve come to hitting it.

Attainable – Make sure that it is a goal you can really accomplish based on your current ability/situation/time/resources.

Realistic – Don’t just pick the biggest mountain to climb just to see how far you can get. You are trying to improve some aspect of your life and you deserve a self pat on the back for it. Make sure your goal is challenging, but not impossible. This has 2 benefits – 1. Achieving your goal and 2. Feeling good about your accomplishment.

Time Sensitive – Give yourself a specific time frame in which to check on this goal and another date when you want it complete.

These are all important and tangible ideas for goal setting, but I think there is one thing missing.

The intangible.

We need to be able to envision ourselves already succeeding in our goals.  This is less about being realistic, and more about visualization and manifestation.  It’s about believing in ourselves, and believing that anything is possible.

A great example would be Vision Boards – Contributing Editor Debra Roby wrote about them the other day…

Vision boards, on the other hand, seem like an adaptable method of planning the future.

Anne-Marie Faiola, blogging as the Soap Queen describes how her mastermind group has been using vision boards to plan their years:

1. Write your goals down
2. Look for visual representations of your goals in magazines or online
3. Make a collage with the visual representations
4. Put this in a frequently viewed area
5. Extra: put your written goals in the middle, so that the visuals are flowing outward from the actual original ideas.

This is also known as Creative Visualization

Shakti Gawain, author of “Creative Visualization”, suggests the following:

A treasure map is an actual, physical picture of your desired reality. It is valuable because it forms an especially clear, sharp image which can then attract and focus energy into your goal. It works along the same lines as a blueprint for a building.
You can make a treasure map by drawing or painting it, or by making a collage using pictures and words cut from magazines, books or cards, photographs, drawings, and so on. Don’t worry if you’re not artistically accomplished. Simple, childlike treasure maps are just as effective as great works of art!
Basically the treasure map should show you in your ideal scene, with your goal fully realized.

I have said before that creative visualization appeals to me…that by imaging a possible future we create the psychic room inside us for it to arrive. So I am going to think of mine as not just a treasure map, but a prayer. I want to claim what I want, and ask God to help me get whatever is on there into my life (I’ll add a disclaimer at the bottom….”Either this or something better, for the greatest good of all concerned”.)

When it comes to creating goals, I think it’s best to be some combination of realistic and visionary.  Most importantly, it’s about finding what works best for you.

cross-posted at BlogHer’s Good Health-A-Thon

Posted in BlogHer, body image, coaching, dieting, empowerment, food, Health, inspirational, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, success, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Can The Movie ‘Mama Mia’ Reduces Stress and Make You Happy?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 25, 2008

Can a good movie reduce stress? I’ve always believed that smiling and laughing is healing in some way. And, there is a lot of evidence that supports that theory. I also know that for me, music can deeply affect my mood. Some songs are sad reminders of the past, and others are happy reminders of experiences I never want to forget. Seeing the movie Mamma Mia with my daughter, and listening to all the music, is definitely going to be a lasting and happy memory for me.

This is what happened. My daughter has been wanting to see the movie Journey To The Center Of The Earth in 3-D, and we’ve also both wanted to see Mamma Mia. So, on Thursday, we decided to see Journey To The Center Of The Earth. But, when we got to the theater we found out it was only in 3-D at “selected” theaters, and we weren’t at one of those. Mamma Mia was showing in the same theater about 15 minutes later, so we decided to see that instead.

To tell you the truth, I really didn’t think that either one of the movies was going to have much of an impact on me. I was feeling quite depressed, and was only taking my daughter to the movies because I thought that was what a good mother would do.

So, since I was feeling like a failure as a mother when it came to my son, I thought I shouldn’t let my anxiety affect my daughter. However, I didn’t think anything, much less a movie, would be able to take my mind off of my troubles.

Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.

Posted in depression, family, Health, inspirational, life, opinion, parenting, reflections, self-help, thoughts, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Living Well With Chronic Illness – Redefining Yourself

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 25, 2008

This issue is so important, and that is because; When you suffer from chronic illness, although you are being treated (even successfully), going back to your former life before you were sick may be impossible. I hear this all the time from others suffering with CFS and FM, and I am certain it holds true for many others suffering with chronic disease as well. The biggest problem, is that many of us “define” ourselves through our work, or what we do for a living. Quite frankly, this is a bad idea even if you are a healthy person. None of us “are” our work. Our work is not who we are, it’s simply what we do. But, we all know it doesn’t always feel that way, especially when out of nowhere, we are unable to do what we do.

So….What do you do, when this happens to you? Well, it’s not so different than when a stay at home mom sees her last child off to college. They call it “Empty Nest Syndrome” for her, and it can be quite devastating for a women who has devoted her life up until then (usually at least 18 years or more) to being the best mom she could be, and doing it as a career. Now she is left with no-one to mother, and she loses her sense of “self”. At this point, she can choose to except her new life and find new and exciting things to do with herself (maybe go back to school, get back into a career, take up a hobby, or maybe travel), or she can choose to be sad and depressed and feel like her life is over because she has no-one left to take care of. It’s not the same as losing your identity due to illness, but it is an example of seeing your life (or identity), as half full or half empty.

Feeling sorry for yourself can be a full time job, but it’s a job that doesn’t benefit you in any way….so just take it on a part-time basis. Then on the days you’re not working hard at that job, focus on finding something to do with your life that can benefit you.

Step 1 – Make a plan. Take some time to write a list of all the things you can do in your current condition (not just work things; hobbies, school, etc)….even if it is something you don’t know how to do. Write down some “dream” ideas too.

This isn’t something you do in one day…do it over days or even weeks. Open your thoughts to ideas you may not have ever even considered before…this is the first step in “re-making” yourself.

Step 2 – Believe in yourself. Start believing it is possible for you to do one or more of these things. Take your pessimistic cap off for a little bit, and let yourself “feel” the possibilities…..see it in your minds eye.

Now, it’s o.k. if you don’t “feel” it right away, it’s going to take some time. The important thing is, to not let yourself feel hopeless, there are always possibilities out there. It’s just that many times we can’t see these opportunities, because we live in a box that we think we can never escape from. Just remember…This happens to everyone, not just you. So just do yourself a favor, and allow yourself to believe that you can escape if you wanted to.

Even thought it’s just two steps, doing them right takes time. This can be a very long process, so don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s taken me years, and I am still only in the middle of the process. But, you do need to start the process…you can’t reach your dreams or your potential, if you don’t open yourself up to the possibility.

Posted in blogging, chronic illness, family, Health, inspirational, life, parenting, self-help, success, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

3 Easy Steps to Emotionally Prepare yourself for Weight Loss

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 17, 2008

3 STEPS TO GET STARTED ON YOUR DIET

When you’re ready to start a diet, knowing how much weight you want to lose, and what foods to avoid, is important.  But, even more important, is preparing yourself emotionally for your diet.  Most of us gain weight because of emotional eating, and when we try to diet, those emotions don’t go away.  So, how do you prepare yourself  “emotionally” for weight loss?  Here are 3 tips that might help.

For the record, I really don’t like the word “dieting”, it sounds too much like the word “depriving,” and it feels too much like it too.  So, when I say dieting, I really mean, eating healthy for your body. I don’t believe in fad or radical diet plans.  Eat healthy and avoid junk food, that’s the best diet around.

That said…Here are the 3 STEPS TO GET STARTED ON YOUR DIET:

STEP 1 — YOUR GOALS

Take some time to think about your goals.

The night before you want to begin your diet, go to bed a few minutes early. Get comfortable and let go of any thoughts running through your head. Then close your eyes and start thinking about the foods you are going to eat the next day (healthy foods), and think about the foods you are not going to eat (unhealthy foods). Think about your goal weight, how you will look, how you will feel. Do this for about five minutes or so. That’s not too hard?

STEP 2 — YOUR FEELINGS

Take some time to think about how you will feel when you reach your goals.

After a few minutes of step 1, begin to think about how you will feel after a week of eating healthy and being on your way to your goal weight. You want to have a clear picture in your mind how you will feel when you are successful. The more you think about how your success will make you feel the better.

Since our thoughts are directly related to how we feel, and how we feel is directly related to our eating habits…You can see why it is so important to focus on what you are thinking at this critical point of your diet plan. For more on this check out the post – How changing your belief system can change your life

STEP 3 — PRETENDING

Telling yourself you are already successful. Pretend. This is also known as, faking it, till you make it.

Next, after another few minutes, just add into your thoughts the idea that you are already at that place. That you are already successful. That it has been a week, and you are feeling great. It has been a week and now looking back you can see it wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be. You feel proud of yourself, and feel confident that you will be able to continue your healthy eating habits for at least another week. Even though you will know that you haven’t actually been on your diet for a week yet, believe it or not…Your thoughts will translate into feelings, and your feelings will help you create a sense of success.

The biggest stumbling block with a diet, is getting past those first few days. Getting motivated to start a diet is easy, staying motivated is the problem. I found that the best way to stay motivated is to get over the proverbial “hump” – those first few days on your diet. The days that if you can’t get passed, are the sole reason 99% of us will just give up, and consider ourselves a failure at our diet, before we even have a chance to get stared. That is what STEP 3 is all about, pretend you are already over the hump.

Now you are all ready to start your diet. When you wake up in the morning, know you have already been successful, now you just have to continue your success by continuing to eat healthy. It’s easy now, because you know you can do it. Keep yourself motivated with your feelings of accomplishment. Take one day at a time. And each night reflect on your success. Most of all. If you falter, it is not a failure…Just begin at step one, and get back on the wagon as soon as possible.

“Every Though We This Is Creating Our Future.” — Louise L. Hay

Posted in coaching, dieting, empowerment, Health, inspirational, life, nutrition, self-help, success, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Four Health Tips To A Long Life

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 10, 2008

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Four Tips To A Long Life — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

I was surfing the health and wellness news trying to decide what to post on tonight, and I came across this Reuters article… Four Health Changes Can Prolong Life 14 Years. Who wouldn’t want to prolong their life by 14 years?

So, would you make a “resolution” to make four lifestyle changes, if it would increase your life by 14 years? Better than a New Years Resolution, this would be a “Life Resolution”.

What are the four changes to a longer life?

1) Stop Smoking

2) Eat Five Servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day

3) Exercise

4) Limit Alcohol Consumption

The lifestyle change with the biggest benefit was giving up smoking, which led to an 80 percent improvement in health, the study found. This was followed by eating fruits and vegetables. Moderate drinking and keeping active brought the same benefits…

Well, that seems pretty simple. While we’re on the subject, why not surf around for some other ways to live longer?

Reducing Stress is a good place to start…

There are few things that cause you more stress and worry than your weight. If you gained a few pounds over the holidays, don’t panic…..yet. According to an article (reprinted below) about a study published last November, people who are a little overweight actually live longer.

Could you live longer if you walked faster? Apparently so…

New research following 500 older people for nearly a decade found quicker walkers were less likely to die. Nine years after initial gait speed was measured, 77 percent of slow walkers had died, compared to only 50 percent of medium speed and 27 percent of fast walkers.

Here are Ten Tips For Aging Consciously and Successfully

As our population ages, our society is finally recognizing that old age is a gift. Despite some of the negative images in the media, it really is possible to embrace our elderhood as a creative and spiritual journey.

People who have aged successfully share common characteristics.

There is no question that most of our lifestyle choices are what will determine whether we age in good physical and mental health or fall prey to sickness and disability. Although it may be a cliché, moderation is the key in everything. By practicing moderation and following these ten tips, you too can be a “long-liver” and, more importantly, enjoy your elder hood in the process.

See the Ten Tips For Aging Consciously and Successfully

If those ten tips weren’t good enough for you, here are ten more — 10 Tips on How to Live Longer and Happier

Well, there you have it.

No excuses for not living longer now.

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
also at CatherineBlogs.com and The Political Voices of Women

Posted in children, chronic illness, cooking, dieting, empowerment, family, food, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, news, nutrition, parenting, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | Leave a Comment »

Weight Loss: The All You Can Eat Diet Plan

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 4, 2008

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Happy New Year everyone! This is one of my most popular posts, and since everyone seems to be talking about dieting and weight loss, I figured now was a good time to re-post. Hope you like it.

THE-ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT DIET PLAN — by Catherine Morgan 

You heard right. All you can eat. And it’s not a gimmick. How can that be? All you can eat diet? No diet is all you can eat? Well you are right, and wrong. No starvation or quick fix theme diet, is ever going to be an all you can eat diet. And we all know there is no pill or powder that allows you to eat anything you want and still lose weight. So, what exactly is an ALL YOU CAN EAT DIET?

READ FULL POST HERE

Posted in blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, cooking, dieting, family, food, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, nutrition, parenting, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | 4 Comments »

Breast Cancer Treatment…What Is Your Life Worth?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 12, 2007

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Breast Cancer Treatment…What Is Your Life Worth? — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Revolutionary new cancer drugs offer hope where there was none. But the price tag may be too high for some to bear.

Many Americans are already having to decide between food on the table and their prescription medications. The health care crisis is hitting hard, and the cost of prescription drugs is sky-rocketing. But what happens when you have to decide between expensive breast cancer treatments to save your life, and paying the mortgage on your house? How much could you afford to spend, to save your life? It’s not even a fair question to ask, but many cancer patients are being forced to answer it.

This is an excerpt from a recent article in SELF magazine

Seven months after being diagnosed with stage IIIB inflammatory breast cancer, 37-year-old Diekmeyer had spent nearly 100 days in doctors’ offices or the hospital near her Ohio home. She’d had five surgeries, with another scheduled for September; slogged through more than three months of grisly chemotherapy; suffered the indignities of baldness and violent nausea. After all that, she still didn’t know if she’d survive the year. But Diekmeyer had another, more immediate, fear keeping her up nights. Because of mounting medical bills, she was worried she might lose her home.

Marianna took a look at “What is your life worth?” — Marianna is a military veteran with over 16 years of service, and is a college graduate with degrees in political science and human resource. This is what she thinks…

Ever the advocate for women’s health and the pursuit of advancing women’s issues in medical science, I was reading Self Magazine’s article bought today while flipping through the stacks of magazines to buy while contemplating what to make for dinner (okay I digress……) in regards to the journey of several women plagued with cancer and the expensive drugs out there being sold to save their lives. — read her full post here

As a nurse working on an oncology unit many years ago, I would sometimes think about whether or not I would choose to have debilitating chemo treatments if I were ever diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Not that I wouldn’t want to live, I just sometimes wondered, if I were faced with the dilemma of quality vs. quantity, what would I choose? I never thought back then, that I (or anyone else for that matter) might someday be faced with not even having a choice. But that is exactly what is happening today.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, daughters, family, Health, inspirational, life, Politics, Women | Leave a Comment »

The Secret To Happiness

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 26, 2007

Choosing Happiness — by Catherine Morgan

Are you making significant life decisions from a place of fear or anger? Most of us do. When we make choices and respond to people and situations in our life, in reaction to fearful and angry emotions, we are choosing unhappiness. From the little responses and decisions in our life, right up to the big ones.

You can read this full post at my new blog – CatherineBlogs.com (my first attempt at a blog with ads), I’d love to know what you think.  Thanks.   And, don’t worry…I still plan on continuing my blogging here and at all my other blogs.

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Posted in about me, blogging, BlogHer, coaching, empowerment, faith, happiness, inspirational, life, self-help, thoughts, Women | Leave a Comment »