Name That Dragon

What is the thing that holds you back?  What is that elephant in the room that you refuse to acknowledge?  Who is your nemesis?  Is it you?  Is it fear?  Is it anxiety?  What will it take to slay this dragon?  Well first, you have to name the thing.

Once you name your dragon, then you can slay that sucker.  Admitting the silly beast exists is half the battle, yes?  Or admitting that it does NOT exist so you can move past it – that is also progress, my friends.

Once upon a time, I could not hurl my big butt into an inner tube … you know the kind you float in water and enjoy?  Even though I am now much smaller and know that I am capable of such a thing, there is still this twinge of anxiety that is residual from the days of obesity.

Last week I had the pleasure of going on a mini road trip with my three sons.  We went to this huge spring fed pool, that had little fish in there and everything.  Some of the water was 25 feet deep.  This place had a high dive, whoa … and inner tubes.   So what was a mama to do in this situation?  Well, this mama got her butt into an inner tube and also managed to jump off the high dive, that’s what.  You know what else?  I loved doing it even more than I thought I would.


Life is good when you name your dragons so they can be slain.   I named mine Rubbish … since my fear of not fitting into the tube was pure rubbish.

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady



PS:  Here is a quick shot of me going off the high dive, photo courtesy of my son Thomas.


Categories: Family, Fitness, Motivational | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Lessons From a Baby

Granted my ‘baby’ is now seven years old, he started out as a newborn/infant/toddler … you get the idea.  Thanks to the Facebook ‘memories’ feature, I found something I wrote back when he was a baby.  I thought I’d share it here.  Still applies, indeed.


Lessons to be learned from my baby:

1. He only eats when he is hungry.
2. He stops eating when he is full.
3. He is willing to try new foods.
4. He takes naps 🙂
5. If he can’t get thru one way, he finds another way.
6. If he falls down, he gets up.
7. He’s not afraid to get messy.
8. He walked before he ran.
9. He loves to laugh.
10. He loves adventure.

So maybe you can apply these lessons to your present every-day ADULT life.  Or not, your call.

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

PS:  This is baby James, present day, age seven.



Categories: Books, Family, Fitness | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Layers Of My Onion

Hello, my name is Debra, but you can feel free to call me 'Deb'

Hello, my name is Debra, but you can feel free to call me ‘Deb’

People (experts) say to be real, and vulnerable and PERSONAL on your blog.  Well I thought I did that, but we can get down some nitty gritty if ya like.  Getting to know someone is like peeling layers of an onion (kinda).  We strip away – a bit at a time.  So sit down and get comfy, this will be random, raw and unedited peeling right here if you’re up for such.

I begin by saying thank goodness God is not finished with me yet. I worry about things I know I probably should not worry about. I think it comes in the motherhood job description. I always over-pack for a trip and take way too much food. I want the house clean before I leave. I think I get that from my mother, God rest her soul. I sometimes can’t sleep because I have a continuous loop running over and over in my head – and it often contains a to-do list.

Did you know that even if I am running behind schedule … I will put away all the random shopping carts in a parking lot so that hopefully nobody’s car will get dinged? I even did this when my kids were babies and I had one on each hip so to speak. And speaking of shopping, I will never buy canned goods that have a dent. I just won’t. When I am out and about in public, I compliment complete strangers on a regular basis. And whenever people ask me ‘How are you?’ – -I always, always answer with something unexpected, usually I will say ‘Happy’ or ‘Joyful’ or something different. And of course I dance in the aisles of grocery stores whether there is music or not. Seriously, I can bust out a whimsical move at random and without warning or provocation.

Wanna know more about me? Still with me? Well, I wear my shoes all day. Even if I am at home working, I have on my shoes. I put them on after I get dressed and showered and I do not usually take them off until bedtime. (Unless I go swimming of course, or do yoga). And speaking of showers; I always end my shower with freezing cold water on my face, hair and body. It closes the pores on the skin and makes hair shiny.

Did I ever mention that I hate it when people whistle? I wish that wasn’t the case. Normal people love whistling. I actually know how to whistle myself, just don’t enjoy the skill. Nope, not this gal. Something about whistling just irritates my ear drums to no end. And I hate cigarettes. I often forget my very own parents smoked until I was age 12.  Also; I get really annoyed with people who cannot count back change. You should not need a cash register or computer to tell me how much money I get back from a $20 bill if my order was $15.62.

But alas; the list of things I dislike is far shorter than the list of things I adore. I just love the wind. I love the sound of rain. I love hills and mountains. I love the smell of bacon and baby powder and suntan lotion. My favorite flower is the purple iris. My favorite bird is the Humming Bird. I love weeping willow trees. My favorite perfume is Obsession. My lucky number is 13. I primarily listen to country music, but do enjoy classic rock and 80’s pop. George Strait and Billy Joel are quite high on my list of musicians I admire. I think Meryl Streep is timeless and Meg Ryan is a classic beauty. I Love Lucy will never get old. Harrison Ford and Sean Connery will forever be sexy and I really respect Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks and Jack Nicholson.

Also; I love to drive. Sometimes if I need to work out a problem, I’ll just go for a drive. I have lived and worked in all sorts of places including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Houston, Dallas, Nashville, TN, Boston and New York City – and I swear the country’s worst drivers are right here in San Antonio. I never had a car accident in my life until I moved to San Antonio, and now I’ve had two – neither my fault. I have no idea what it is but the motorists here are aggressive idiots. Other than that, though, I love San Antonio. I truly do. I look forward to Spring, but I love summer, even here in Texas. But; I do not like flip flops. Normal people love flip flops. I don’t want anything between my toes, unless it’s sand.

And speaking of sand, and beaches, I must confess the smell of the crisp morning beach air will forever remind me of the day my mother died. I was only 17 but it is as vivid as yesterday.  My cousin and I walked the beach very early in the morning so we would not be in the condo while the coroner came for her body, etc. The beach air smell is so distinct it can take me back every time. Yet I don’t mind this. Is it weird that my mom is always alive in my dreams, like in present day. Sometimes I wonder if that means I’m crazy. I’ll have a bizarre dream and I’ll be married with kids and she’ll be actively participating, even though she died when I was a teenager long before I had a family of my own.

And speaking of mothers, do you remember a lot of your own mother’s mom-isms? Said truths. I have no doubt you do. Most people do.  Whether good or bad.

Well now that I am a MOM myself, I have quite a few of my own. I kinda hope my kids hear my voice in their heads when they are off and grown and contributing to society. I totally plan to be around for all of that; but regardless, I want certain things etched in their brains. Things like …

Life is short. Cherish it. Treasure it. Embrace it. Pray without ceasing. Attend the Church of your choice. Act like a fool and embarrass yourself, nobody cares, seriously. Always be kind to servers or those in customer service. Even if they’re an idiot or rude and can’t count change back, be kind. Be excessively kind. They need it. Always over-tip. It’s the right thing to do. Under-promise and over-deliver. It’ll serve you well. Life begins outside of your comfort zone. Never start smoking. Do not pay more than ¼ of your monthly income on housing. Just don’t! Show up for work, don’t be late and don’t call in sick unless you really are indeed sick. Develop a solid work ethic and reputation. You can take it everywhere. Nobody can take it from you. Your word should be gold! Trust, but verify. Be strong enough to bend. Define your core values. Know the top five. Then, align your goals, time, effort, finances and priorities with those core values. Do not deviate from them. Do what you say you’re going to do. And don’t confuse busy for productive. Learn the difference between proactive and reactive. Be an expert at parallel parking. Take care of your vehicles. Manage your money wisely. Know the value of a dollar. Sit in the front seat of roller coasters. Never be afraid to get your hands dirty. Dance in the rain. Volunteer for a cause that aligns with your values. Use your time wisely. Know when to relax. Learn the art of listening. It is far easier to keep up than to catch up. Nourish your ‘No’ voice. You do not have to do every single thing people ask of you, and you do not have to attend every argument you are invited to. Sometimes silence is an awesome weapon. Violence is never the answer, but you darn well better know how to defend yourself and those you love. Ignorance is not bliss. Stay knowledgeable and educated. Learning is not a spectator sport. Do your homework and research. Know your options. Weigh them carefully. Question things. Vote in elections. Face your fears. Oh, and be an organ donor. And speaking of donating, donate blood whenever you are able. And speaking of blood, always remember that blood and DNA do not make family. Love does. Be confident in your own skin. Be fine with being alone sometimes. Polish the art of patience. Own your mistakes. Now, when you’re wrong, and you will be wrong at times, admit such and apologize if necessary. Make amends whenever possible, and quickly. Master the art of compromise. Perfect your negotiating skills. Protect your relationships. Forgive freely. Holding a grudge is like letting someone rent space in your head for free. Evict! Remember; quality friends are far more important than quantity. Keep confidences. Avoid gossip. Cut through the clutter to gain clarity! Do not envy. Decide what you want and need, then go after that for yourself. You are unique. Try not to compare yourself to others. The only person you should compare yourself to is YOU, how you were yesterday vs. today. Be who YOU were meant to be, not who you THINK we want you to be. My uterus is not a photocopy machine. I did not generate clone type robots to grow up and be exactly like me! Define your own path or someone else will define it for you. Don’t give them that power. Your future is yours, not mine, but YOURS. A goal without a plan is just a wish. Chart your own course. Adjust your sails and lean into the wind. A ship is perfectly safe in harbor, but that is not what it was made for. And YOU, my child, were not made for mediocrity. Savor sunsets. Take time to watch the sun rise, when you are able. Color outside the lines. Or re-draw the dang lines. Speak up. Let your voice be heard. Your dignity is yours and nobody can take it away from you without your permission. Live your own truth. And never lie to your doctor. That’s just dumb. Beware of addiction. Know the warning signs. Be vigilant in the care of your body. It’s the only one you’ll ever have. There are no refunds or exchanges, so whatever you do to it, you’ll have to live with. You are free to make your own choices … but you are not free from the consequences. So choose wisely. Seek counsel when appropriate. Surround yourself with quality people. And speaking of people, never be afraid to spend time with folks completely different than yourself or those who think differently than you do. You can learn from them. Think outside the box, or stand on the box if you have something worthy to say, or flatten the silly box, if that is what you need to do. I find it important to disengage from social media and electronics from time to time. Get out in nature, breathe fresh air and feel the sun on your face. Put down the phone. And never lose the art of critical thinking. Be a problem solver and solution seeker. If you don’t know the answer, find it. If you don’t understand something, ask questions. If it is personal or embarrassing, ask ME. I’m your mama, you can ask me anything. If you ask me about sex, I will tell you the truth. If you want to know about Algebra, I will send you to your father. But I won’t lie or guess. If you ask for my advice, I will give it, but you better be prepared to receive it, because I rarely sugarcoat things. Say what you mean and mean what you say. And make sure your life has laughter. I mean big HUGE belly bustin’ rib hurtin’ roars of laughter. Laugh until you cry. Life is too short to worry about mis-matched socks or bad hair days, so be quick to laugh at your silly self and move on. Go out of your way to notice the fireflies in life. I don’t mean the bugs in the night that get caught in jars. I mean people who shine from within. Some people are butterflies, with their colors so obvious and apparent. But let us not forget the fireflies: those with a light inside acutely bright, but their triumphs are quiet, unsuspecting, and often go unnoticed. Make sure you notice. See their victory when others see nothing. Engrave in your brain that “perfection is an illusion”. Aim for progress, not perfection. You are constantly changing and growing, aging, etc. You can’t go backwards in life, even if you try. Life is an accumulation of experiences and lessons. You’re not the same person you were, not even yesterday. Embrace that fact. And speaking of facts, never argue facts vs. opinions. Or compare apples to oranges. You get the idea. It’s just a waste of time, energy and fresh breath. Learn the art of agreeing to disagree. Pick your battles; but win the ones you pick. And sometimes, just sometimes, it is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it. Learn when to stop talking. I swear some people could avoid 98% of their problems if they would just learn when to shut the he!! up. Now, go obliterate your obstacles … put on your shoes and get movin’. And don’t forget to return your shopping carts where they belong. And for the love of God, brush your teeth. Because, you know, nobody wants to smell your stinky breath. And the toilet paper roll goes OVER, not under. Just sayin’.

Well, that’s enough of that for the moment.

P.S.  I hate onions.

As Always, Make Champion Choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

Categories: Family | Tags: , | 2 Comments

I Do The Thing …

Do you love it or hate it when people ask you ‘What do you do?”   I think I am neutral on that question, even though it seems to have many answers … at least in my head.

So – What do I do ?  Well, let’s see.

I do the blog thing obviously, here, this post you’re reading is obviously part of my blog.

I do the fitness thing and I’ve lost over 175 pounds while battling a disorder called SED. You can look it up if you like or see a post here.

I do the marriage thing and have been doing it for over a couple of decades.

I do the mom thing and adore my sixty toe family.

I do the camping thing every chance possible. Texas State Parks are awesome.

I do the swimming thing anywhere and everywhere, any time of year.

I do the poetry thing, but not nearly as often as I use to, or as often as I probably should.

I do the cooking thing, but not all that great, more out of necessity, but I am learning and evolving.  I enjoy gadgets like my Vitamix, Kitchen Aid mixer and soda stream thingy.

I do the volunteering thing and teach my kids to do the same.

I do the voting thing but won’t go into Politics on the internet or social media.

I do the Facebook thing here. I do the Twitter thing here. I do the Pinterest thing here. I do the Instagram thing here. (But not nearly as much as I probably should) Also, I do the LinkedIN thing here. All professional ya know.

and last but never least …

I do the Jesus thing with every fiber of my heart, mind, soul, body and spirit ~ and I worship at Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit.

Meanwhile … next week … I am doing the MOVING thing.  No, the blog isn’t moving.  My family is moving into a brand new house, new construction.  New neighborhood.  New appliances.  We have moved a LOT in our marriage, but this should be the final move for quite some time.  Does it make me geeky that I am giddy excited about a new fridge and gourmet kitchen?  Who cares, I’m squealing over here.

NewConstructionTSHIRT   KitchenWithAppliances

DebraFridge  Kitchen2

So now it is your turn.  What do YOU do ?

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

Categories: Family | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Mother’s Day – What NOT to Get ?


A picture of me and my mom just weeks before she died.

So, right about this time of year … you will start seeing all kinds of ads to pull at your heart strings, on what to get MOM for Mother’s Day.  You will probably also see blogs and articles with some great, unique, different ideas so you can stray from the norm.  You will see romantic posts and sad posts.  Some are helpful, and some are. just. NOT.

Disclaimer:  Even though I am a mother to four amazing children, it is not my favorite day. Not even close.  But I am tainted.  My own mother died on Mother’s day, so yeah – it’s kinda hard to get excited.   I do try though.  If for nothing else, the kids’ sake. And great kudos go to my husband who both fully appreciates my disdain for the holiday – as well as makes efforts to make it special.  Last year on Mother’s day we went to Big Bend National Park and did hiking.  It was just perfect.  But I digress.

So without further ado, here it is … a list of ideas on what NOT to get that special mom in your life for this holiday.  This compiled list is based on actually speaking with many women and soliciting their opinions.

What Not To Get?

  1. Flowers – many women feel they are overpriced and just die anyway.  Get a plant (or tree) instead, or those edible art fruit baskets.
  2. Exercise equipment … unless of course the mom in your life has specifically requested that, such as a FitBit.  Those seem to be popular right now.
  3. Kitchen gadgets … chances are MOM has more than her share of kitchen gadgets, and unless she has specifically requested an amazing Vitamix or something, skip it.
  4. Cleaning gear … yeah, enough said.
  5. Cheesy mugs … they take up space, collect dust, and unless it is a super special photo mug that is totally up her alley, steer clear of the mug aisle in Target.
  6. Tacky t-shirts … in all probability, mom has more t-shirts than she needs, and mom looks better in clothes that fit and make her feel attractive.  Unless it is personalized with her kids’ names or something, or she specifically requested a t-shirt, just don’t.
  7. Pets … yeah, that’s just not something that should be a surprise.  Pets require lots of care and attention.  Make sure mom is up for that before you spring an energetic puppy on her that needs potty training.
  8. Medical equipment … well you would think this would be self explanatory; but apparently not.  Several moms I spoke to did not appreciate getting blood pressure monitors or scales for their gift.  If they need something like this or require some medical device, just buy it anyway, but don’t put a bow on it and call it a present, okay?
  9. Magazine subscriptions … most moms already have whatever magazines they want, so you are just adding to her clutter.  Unless she has been begging for Reader’s Digest, forego the recurring annoyance.
  10. Knick-knacks … often cheap, they create clutter and it is something else for mom to dust.  Unless she just happens to have a stunning collection of Willow Tree going on; and you know this type of thing makes her giddy … maybe skip the porcelain bell that says ‘World’s Greatest Mom’.

So there ya have it … a list of what not to do.  Obviously, this is just opinion, based on conversations.  Some women actually told me they never get anything, so they would appreciate a shower head if it meant they got a gift, so there is that aspect too.

And here is my final though. Never, ever under-estimate the power of a hand written letter.  That is all.

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

Categories: Family | Tags: , | 17 Comments

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