Search Results for: no excuses

From No Excuses to “Get Pumped Up” or My Top 5 Excuses & The Tips I Use to Overcome

March 11, 2015 Book Review 9

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

From No Excuses to “Get Pumped Up” or My Top 5 Excuses & The Tips I Use to OvercomeThe No More Excuses Diet by Maria Kang
Published by Harmony Books on March 10th, 2015
Genres: Non-Fiction, Wellness
Pages: 224
Source: complimentary review copy
AmazonBarnes & Noble

Excuses validate our choices.  They let us off the hook and give us permission to fail.  While psychologically soothing, excuses limit our ability to create opportunities to progress toward personal health.  ~Maria Kang

Somehow I have ended up with a couple of books this month that are all about motivation, habits and the dreaded {by me at least} exercise!  The first one of the month is with the From Left to Write virtual book club.  Not a typical review – more my thought process while reading the book!  Do share your tips in the comments cause I need all the help I can get!

My top 5 exercise excuses of the moment

1.  I don’t have time. . .or like what happened tonight: I’m going to be late to yoga class, and I don’t want to disturb the others.  Then I tell myself I’m being considerate which validates my justification for turning the car around to head home!

2.  I’m too tired. {but why am I tired? is it tired from the day or is it from the multiple sclerosis?  With the first, I should push through; with the second, only legitimate rest helps – which leads back to the question of why am I tired?  It’s an awful loop!}

3.  I’m too sore. {same as above.  Am I sore from the previous day’s walk or is it the multiple sclerosis?}  notice how I snuck in there that it was “from the previous day’s walk” meaning that yes, yes I did get my exercise {hopefully}  it could also be that I’ve told myself the next one ~

4.  There’s always tomorrow. . . .also known as the Scarlett O’Hara syndrome.  A very bad bad syndrome to get caught up in and one that has a habit of drawing me into its’ clutches!

5.  Play the justification game ~ “well, everything I read says it’s 30% exercise and 70% nutrition…I’ll just eat {insert either less or better depending on the moment!}

Now, my top 5 get pumped up resources

1.  Loud music.  Typically the first few songs on the Pink channel of Pandora are enough to get me moving.  Once I turn the music up it’s impossible to not move.

2.  Listen to motivational podcasts.  Michael Hyatt and Chalene Johnson are my current go-to’s for motivation.  In fact, Chalene Johnson has one podcast just for me that gets my behind in gear!  {I’m happy to share it with you though if you’re in need of a motivation boost as well}

3.  Five minute rule.  I can do anything for 5 minutes.  Typically once I start {usually it’s walking} then by the time 5 minutes is over I tell myself I can at least walk 1 mile; hopefully once I reach 1 mile I’ve talked myself into going for that full 30 minutes . .my short-term goal is to get in 30 minutes of exercise daily.  I’m only focusing on the short-term goal at the moment and not that long, far away goal of total health!

Photo Credit, David Niblack,

Photo Credit: David Niblack

4.  Pay attention to my self-talk ~ it usually goes something like “why didn’t you. . .” Once I recognize that I’m in a negative loop I change my self-talk.  This month’s mantra is “I am enough.”  Believe me, I’ve said those three words a hundred million times and we are only on Day 11 for March!

5.  To keep myself motivated, I’m following several fitness experts and fitness junkies on social media ~ I’ve always told my children that who surround yourself with is what will motivate your actions – it’s no different for adults.  Seeing certain fitness folks who are also motivating is incredibly helpful to me.  I’ve also unfollowed some because their feeds were counter-productive.

What is your go-to resource or idea that gets you pumped up to exercise {or tackle any task you’ve been procrastinating?}


This post was inspired by The No More Excuses Diet by Maria Kang who shares her no-excuses philosophy that motivated her to become more fit. Join From Left to Write on March 12th as we discuss The No More Excuses Diet. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


Nonfiction November ~ My Year in Nonfiction

November 4, 2015 Book Talk 18

A few years ago I heard that if you read one nonfiction book per month that your smarts increase exponentially.  For the life of me I cannot recall where I heard or read this, but it stuck with me.  This will be my first year participating in Nonfiction November. I’m looking forward to adding to my list of must reads and catching up with old and new blogging friends!

Nonfiction November is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, Becca at I’m Lost in Books, and Leslie at Regular Rumination.


2015 Nonfiction READS

Favorite Nonfiction for 2015 

Of the nonfiction books I’ve read for 2015, I’d have to say Brené Brown’s Rising Strong is my favorite. She is so incredibly humble, a talented storyteller and a gifted researcher.

It’s always helpful to remember that when perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun. ~Brené Brown

Most Recommended Nonfiction of 2015

If you ever needed inspiration to get moving for 30 minutes a day then read Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD. Just walking for 30 minutes, moving your body and getting your heart rate up makes a world of difference in our physical, mental and emotional health. The research revealed in this book shows how the brain is transformed by exercise.

. . .the message I want to leave you with is that even as your body changes, exercise will keep your mind firm and taught. ~John J. Ratey, MD

Nonfiction I Haven’t Read Enough of This Year

Social justice. Racial problems. Environmental issues.

a few I really want to get to sooner than later:

  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Goals for Participation in Nonfiction November

  1. Discover nonfiction I haven’t heard of yet but should be reading
  2. Get my blogging mojo back
  3. Learn, share and discover new-to-me blogs AND old friends blogs

What are your thoughts on nonfiction? Do you have a favorite type of nonfiction you are drawn to?



Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren f. Winner

February 13, 2012 Book Review 4

If you have ever felt a distancing from God then Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis is for you.  If you are spiritual and divorced and find that the divorce just does not fit in with what you believe about the Bible then Still is for you.   

Winner is a theology professor at Duke University in North Carolina.  Her mother passed away just before she got married and during the five years of marriage, Winner became distanced from God.  Then Winner committed a clear sin according to the Bible and divorced bringing further questions regarding faith.
Still is an introspective, honest look at what someone of devoted faith faces when life happens.  As many know, my absolute favorite author in the entire world is Madeleine L’Engle who has also written numerous books regarding her faith. In the first chapter, heck, almost on the very first page – I felt like Winner was channeling L’Engle’s style of graceful writing. Ever since I was exposed to L’Engle’s books beginning in 7th grade, I have patterned much of my beliefs about God based upon her poetry and writings – that’s how much I respect and adore Madeleine L’Engle. Even today I keep Glimpses of Grace by my bed to read most every day.
I say all that to share I had similar feelings as I was reading through Still.  Her heart-breaking questioning of her divorce; the bereft-ness left in her life when Winner’s mother passed away; and the questioning of her faith even while teaching pastors-in-training.  How does one make it all make sense?
Winner answers the question about being divorced and scripture:
…I am still very much sorting through things pertaining to my divorce. Among other things, divorcing has shaken up the assumptions I bring to reading scripture. In leaving my marriage, I was doing something that was simply not permissible, not in the way I have always interpreted scripture, and that is something I remain troubled by, confused by – it is not something about which I feel cavalier…What does it mean to be someone who affirms scripture’s authority, someone who wants to live inside the scriptural story, but who has made a major life choice that contradicts something about which Jesus in the Gospels is pretty clear? I don’t have a straight-forward, stable answer to that.
The different chapters labeled:
A poem at Thanksgiving
Ode on God’s absence
Visits to my mother’s grave
Exorcism; blessing. . . . .each give a sense of what is to come and makes it easy for the reader to find the solace amongst the pages he or she may need.
Those going through a breakup – especially of a marriage – can relate to Winner’s expressive verbiage. For example, in the chapter titled “loneliness, ii” Winner speaks of “intimacy alienated:”
I have a friend, also recently divorced, who explains to me that the loneliness he experienced in his marriage was more devastating than anything he has experienced since. ‘Lying in bed at night next to someone you once promised to love and knowing there is no way to bridge the gulf between you,’ he says. ‘That is the most crushing loneliness of all.’ (p. 57)
Winner shares her desire to pray, but the terrible block she had to the actual act of praying:
Because it is easier to read about prayer than to pray, I have shelves full of books: meditations on the Lord’s Prayer by a dozen different authors; scholarly accounts of prayer in the twelfth century, the eighteenth century; Hasidic wisdom on prayer; manuals for knitting a prayer rug, a prayer shawl, a prayer blanket, a prayer tree. (I don’t, alas, know how to knit.)  Sometimes I think that all this reading gets in the way, that the books become excuses, something to do in lieu of praying. Other days, I know that to read about prayer is at least to indulge my desire, to acknowledge that I want this thing, that I long for it, even if this afternoon the closest I can get is reading voyeurism, greedy spying on other people at prayer. (p. 75)
Winner writes with an intelligence and graceful fluidity that fills the cracks inside – allowing us the chance to remorse a distancing from God while witnessing her journey that it is possible to get through to the other side…and the other side of a mid-faith crisis brings wisdom and a grounded faith.  Still is a beautiful book – a picture of “Be still and know that I am God;” realizing God is still there even amidst the turmoil of mistakes in life; and still in the awareness that we are God’s children. Still is highly recommended.
About the author:
Lauren f. Winner has written several titles including Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath.  She teaches at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina and is currently seeking ordination within the Episcopal Church.
Sites of Interest: Author’s Site | Buy the Book
Genre: Religion/Spirituality | 244 pages | ISBN: 978-0-06-176811-8
Many thanks to the publisher for the complimentary review copy.
Have a blessed day!


The Book Made Me Do It and Other Acts as a Result of Reading

August 9, 2016 Book Talk 5

the book made me do it


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke & the Bookish.

Reading. Such an integral part of my life. Being an escape from reality to learning new innovative ideas reading has taken me places I never could have imagined. I love the recent article about those who read live longer. If that’s the case then I should live to be about 172 by this point! Instilling a love of reading is one of the best things my parents ever taught me.

In thinking about the prompt from The Broke and Bookish “Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them” several things quickly came to mind. Yes, these are the books that made me do it.

spark the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain1. Exercise

I admit I’ve never been a fan of exercise. Then I read Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey. My biggest takeaway from reading that book is exercise helps your brain; is a great preventative to Alzheimer’s and dementia; and can even help with broken synapses. The major problem with multiple sclerosis has to do with synapses that don’t fire well due to scarring. If exercise will help heal my brain then I’m all down for that!

Reading The No More Excuses Diet helped me analyze and overcome the resistance I had to exercising.

As if those two books were not enough to get me moving Conquer Your Pain in 9 Steps stripped away my last bit of resistance. Now, my body informs me when I slack off the regimen I’ve created. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are walk days and Tuesday and Thursday are yoga days. Saturday and Sunday are rest days.

2. Do the Superwoman pose every morning

Presence by Amy Cuddy + her Ted Talk. Have you seen Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk? or read Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges? Wow! It’s all about how our body language shapes who we are. I knew body language was a strong indicator to others, but did not realize how much it influences our own thoughts and feelings.

Ladies, when you are getting ready in the morning, do the powerful superwoman pose: hands on hips, legs a little more than hip distance apart, tall carriage and strong gaze. Hold that pose for 30 seconds and you’ll feel more powerful and portray a confident, strong woman. I swear this works. It’s crazy but invaluable!

Carrying over Amy Cuddy’s research on body language to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and Brene Brown’s Rising Strong is absolutely a perfect fit. Big Magic is about allowing our creativity to thrive, flourish and Rising Strong is Brene Brown’s follow up to Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection. It’s about being in the arena, falling down and rising back through the hurt and anger and terrible feelings. Rising stronger because of the hurt, because you’ve made it through to the other side.

100 days of real food3. Eat Healthy

After reading 100 Days of Real Food, following the blog and reading Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight,  I began to change my eating habits, incorporating more vegetables and fruit while eating less meat and cutting out most sugar. I’m not at 100% all healthy real foods, but I’m a whole heck of a lot closer than I was a year ago! Up until the past couple of years I wouldn’t eat a salad. “It’s green,” I would say and turn my nose up at the leaves 😉 Now, as much as possible, I try to buy local, whole foods and yes, even the makings of a salad!

4. Research the Hindenburg crash and the disappearance of a judge with mob connections

It’s not all non-fiction books that have had me doing more after reading. For example, when I read Ariel Lawhon’s The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress based on the disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater in 1930, I was researching like crazy trying to find out more. Same thing with Flight of Dreams. I looked up everything possible on the Hindenburg even while reading Flight of Dreams!

5. Visit an Elephant Sanctuary

Another fiction novel, Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult, had me researching elephant sanctuaries all over the south. I’ve picked the one I want to visit and hope to make it there soon….I’ve also donated to the nonprofit. Even thinking about the elephants in the book over two years later and I’m still ‘awww, I want to learn more. Do more.’

6. Learn the art of mosaics

This book slayed me. It’s been 4 years since I read it, and I still feel all the feels. In Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos, the main character, Wanda, almost accidentally, begins to make mosaics as she puts her life back together. I could very much relate to Wanda and have found making art through the broken pieces creates something even more beautiful.

it's never too late to begin again7. Write/journal

Ok, this one is a given. Writing has always been a dream of mine. Writing this blog for the past 7 years has been a godsend. Learning more about the art of writing through books like It’s Never too Late to Begin Again, The Artist’s Way, DIY MFA, and Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art has been a natural progression thanks to the blog. Writing is therapeutic and a way {for me} to get at the heart of the matter. I can express my feelings in writing oh so much better than I can face-to-face.  I’m beyond thankful for this blog and especially for you, dearest reader. You’re visits here, comments and encouragements through the various social media sites brings me joy beyond belief. Thank you.

Now that’s a wrap. There’s probably many more books that have made me commit some act or another. I’ll save those for another day!

I would love to know if there’s a book that has made you do something or want to do something or even followed up with more research on a subject? This is such a fascinating topic to me. Please Do Share!





March in Review

April 2, 2015 Book Talk 7

So March has left us and would you believe this past weekend it was back down to the 30’s and yet by Monday we were up to 75?!? This weather is crazy!  I’m not telling you anything new am I? No matter where in the world you may be ~ seems like the weather is a bit crazy for all of us.

March was an insanely busy month so not a whole lot of reading nor blogging got done.  I’m glad April is here, the sun is shining and a new day has dawned.  Kind of out with the old, in with the new, right?

What I’ve Been Reading

Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Scheibe

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

Dead Wake by Erik Larsen

Some Luck by Jane Smiley

Thrive (re-read) by Arianna Huffington

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

The No More Excuses Diet by Maria Kang

The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott

What I’ve Been Reviewing

A Fireproof Home for the Bride {review here}

The No More Excuses Diet {review here}

Some Luck {review here}

I’ve got to get busy and finish writing some of these reviews! Please tell me there are others with that problem!

What I’ve Been Giving Away

Rachel won a copy of One Plus One 

Of Particular Note

If you haven’t discovered Bryn’s blog yet at Gleaningful then you are in for the most wonderful treat!  Her posts are thoughtful, eloquent and will have you thinking and/or writing a book of a comment in response to her posts!  Let me know what you think! I know I’ve been inspired by her What a Thousand Splendid Suns Teaches Us About Friendship and Little Women: The Moral of the Story.

Also, a few blogging friends have started a much-needed space to discuss ALL aspects of a book and not just the ‘surface-y’ review stuff.  The design is clean-cut yet welcoming and the conversation is lively and inclusive.  They’ve only just begun but already they’ve had quite the discussion happening around their place!  Have you joined in at The Socratic Salon yet?

Dear Lovelies how was your March?