Introducing… A Domestic Goddess

It’s true, Life Sans God has been on a hiatus… but now, I introduce my new (and soon to be improved) blog. Please check out this first blog post and follow along on my new journey ūüôā

Dreaming In Earth Tones

Vanessa - Individual, Wife, Mom, Friend Vanessa ‚Äď Individual, Wife, Mom, Friend‚Ķ

Introducing…

Greetings! I‚Äôm Vanessa, a 30-something ‚ÄúDomestic Goddess‚ÄĚ (a.k.a. Stay at Home Mom). I think I‚Äôm a pretty awesome person (though sometimes I forget). Most likely, you are a pretty rad human being as well. I find something gratifying in the fact that we are all connected as humans and we all want to be loved. Connection to others is something that I crave deeply so I seek community in the many things I do: fitness (running, yoga, Ultimate Frisbee), parenting, nutrition, and blogging (to name a few).

Why This Blog?

I began a topical blog last summer and discovered that I find satisfaction in writing, telling stories, expressing my views, and getting feedback from a community of people. After much thought, I decided to transition away from the topical blog to this new blog. I chose the fairly generic blog name Dreaming in Earth Tones, allowing me the…

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4 Favorite Fitness Finds

A short time ago, I worked an exhausting full-time job, only to come home and work more grueling hours taking care of my home and family. This made it extremely difficult to focus on my health because I was simply surviving each day, each hour, each moment. Since those super stressful days are in the past for now, I have been able to focus on my fitness and nutrition goals once again. Not only is this rewarding for myself, it is also hugely rewarding for my family because I can serve healthy foods, plan healthy activities, and overall I can promote and model healthy habits.

While I absolutely love a lot of what my local gym has to offer, over the past few months I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering some beneficial resources on the web. Allow me to share 4 Favorite Fitness Finds:

1. Calorie Counting App РI read on countless health websites the importance of logging the specific types and amounts of food you eat if you hope to lose weight. Indeed, I have had the most success in my weight-loss journey when I faithfully log my daily calories (in and out through diet and exercise). I highly recommend trying this out, at the very least you learn a lot about what you are putting into your body. I started out using the app called My Diet Diary, but through some recommendations from friends I switched to MyFitnessPal. So far, I am very pleased with the features of MyFitnessPal and I use it with ease on both my phone and laptop.

2. Strength Running Website & Newsletter РThis is a great running resource offered by an experienced runner and running coach. His motto is: get stronger, stay healthy, run faster. I particularly appreciate his focus on injury prevention. If you sign-up for the newsletter you receive a ton of free electronic resources. And bonus, I have loved the content of each e-newsletter so far. Check out this interesting video on the Principle of Progression (this was an unfamiliar concept to me):

3.¬†DoYogaWithMe.Com – I love, love, love doing yoga. When I can’t make it to a yoga class at the gym, I really enjoy yoga at home (while my boys are napping or after they are in bed for the night, of course). This website offers specific and accurate video descriptions and high quality yoga sequences. The videos range from 20 minutes to over an hour. Personally, I choose to watch on their YouTube channel. Here is one of their more gentle and relaxing videos:

4.¬†7 Weeks To Fitness¬†– Admittedly, I have not yet tried one of these 7 week plans,¬†I have only tried out the fitness tests. With that said, from what I can tell, this is such a great fitness option for people who don’t have a gym membership. Some options include: 7 Weeks To 100 Push-Ups, 7 Weeks To 300 Sit-ups, or 7 Weeks To A Triathlon. I am really looking forward to trying out¬†7 Weeks To Getting Ripped¬†when I put my gym membership on hold in a couple months.

I hope you enjoyed my Favorite Fitness Finds. If you have some favorites of your own, please share them in the comments section.

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A Steadfast Companion

Toes tuck, hips float high

Mind wanders; breathing deeply

Body, mind release

yoga silhouette

Image courtesy of sattva / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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I was prompted to write on this topic because I am participating in Women Who Write Rock, a writing retreat spearheaded by Helene Rose. Find out more about this amazing woman and the services she offers at her website Be Brilliant Network.

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What would YOU like to hear more about?

I am SO close to finishing up the Zero to Hero blog challenge! Can I get a hip hip hooray?

As I move forward, I really want to know what YOU would like to read on my blog. Please take a quick moment to let me know what you are most interested in hearing about. Thanks in advance!

Atheist blog… or not?

When I began my blog last summer I felt I needed an outlet for all my emotions regarding coming out of religion and losing faith. When I confided to my therapist that I was struggling with losing my faith, she questioned me about this, then eventually said,

“It seems you are completely comfortable with your loss of faith, what you seem to be struggling with is how others are responding to this change”.

I think that hits the nail on the head. For the most part, I am comfortable with who I am.¬†What I hate dealing with is all the peripheral nonsense, mostly my close loved ones who are religious and don’t know how to deal with me now. And also, I have a hard time dealing with the loss of church community.

So, here I am 6 months after starting my godless blog, and I’m not sure all that godless stuff is as big of a deal anymore. It seems that each day that goes by I feel more and more comfortable in regards to my atheism and communicating with others about it. I am also building a great network of secular buddies which helps with the lost church community. While it’s not quite the same as church, that’s a good thing!

zero-to-hero-badgeThen, at the end of January, I started the Zero to Hero¬†blog challenge that forced me to publish content and move my blog forward. Through this whole process I find myself less interested in communicating about my atheism and more interested in communicating about my life in general. So, I guess I need to ask myself, is it even necessary that I continue to have a blog geared toward my lack of belief? Someone even pointed out the other day that when reading my about page, if you cover up my title, you might think my blog is about fitness. I feel that there are other things that really make up who I am. If I were to describe myself to someone, I don’t think my description would start with atheist. I would use words like: mom, wife, athletic, compassionate, nice, runner, aspiring yogi, friend, fun, excitable, passionate, etc. I am not sure I care enough about atheism as a large movement to try and work it into my conversations on a regular basis. I did enough evangelizing as a Christian, I really don’t want to proselytize for non-theism.¬†That said, I REALLY want to stick around and blog more! I thoroughly enjoy being in the blogging community in order to maintain my sanity as a stay at home mom.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, what should I do? Should I continue blogging but change directions and focus on fitness and motherhood? Or should I keep a secular slant as a part of my blog since it will likely come up from time to time? I welcome your input. And if you made it this far, thanks for listening to me think out loud!

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Weekend Roundup

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Riding the wave of happiness, motivation, and self-discovery

Well, it’s true, I’m the happiest I have been in a very long time. I am motivated and meeting my fitness and nutrition goals. I’m gaining more tools to be a better parent. And I am thoroughly enjoying upgrading my blog (Want an upgrade too? Check out the Zero to Hero blog challenge). I am attempting to ride this wave of happiness, motivation, and self-discovery, and in turn better my life in sustainable, life-long ways.

Part of my self-edification process has been gaining inspiration and insights from the many blogs I have discovered recently. So today, I am thrilled to give you my weekend roundup, linking to some of my favorite blog posts from this past week. This is just a taste of what I read and loved this week. Thanks to these posts (and many others), I am excited, inspired, motivated, and happy!

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I was encouraged by the post,¬†I was brave and learned I don’t want to settle. In my own life, I know the¬†Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape (1)importance of pursuing my dreams and not settling for mediocrity. My favorite excerpt from the post:

“What I want is to be living at 100%, giving my all to everything that I dive into and loving every single second of it. What I want is to tell my children to follow their dreams and not settle for anything less. What I want is to inspire my family, and others, by walking away from my rut and creating my own future, where I don‚Äôt just survive, I thrive… And that is exactly what I did”

Caitlin Edmon, Aprons, Trainers, and Bibs

While we all have off days, I do think aspiring for greatness in your life is totally doable. So Caitlin, I’m happy to join you in being brave and not settling.

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Earlier this week, in response to a¬†daily prompt,¬†I wrote Why haven’t I pursued my dream job?¬†Check out another bloggers take in¬†My Dream Job.¬†I can really identify with her dreams because they relate to fitness. She talks about pursuing dreams and the importance of perseverance:

Message Stones“Just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible. ¬†Sometimes, you have to go the long way around to get to your goal. ¬†The important thing is that you never give up!”

Ebone Nut, One Crazy Mom

Yes Ebone! Lets persevere and chase those dreams.

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Rather Than Curse the Darkness, Light a Tiki Torch¬†was a great reminder that a wide circle of loved ones is valuable. This blog post also made me want to ask more questions and be a good listener in the company of friends… there is so much to know about each special life you encounter. My new favorite quote is:file0001027084534

“What I love best about a circle is that there is always room for one more.”

Naomi, Writing Between The Lines

Naomi, you have taught me so much in a short time and I’m glad to be a part of your blogging circle!

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file1711246044891In¬†Moving Into the Light, Karen¬†paints a picture of hope for challenging situations. Sometimes life just plain sucks and sometimes life can be good even when we are amidst struggles… but either way, thankfully we CAN get through the storm. I appreciate your story Karen and am looking forward to reading more!

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And lastly, this week I discovered the blog Running On Healthy. Two particular posts,¬†IMG_0542Learning The Art of Negative Splits and Run For Those Hills,¬†inspired a higher quantity and better quality of running for me this week. I love their blog tagline “Living Life Healthy, Fit, and Happy”. I plan to aim for a healthy, fit, and happy life for as long as possible.

 

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Thanks again to all who contributed to my better quality of life this week. You seriously rock!

Who am I? Why am I here?

Night RunGreetings, my name is Vanessa. I am a Colorado native with a love for yoga, running, Ultimate Frisbee and the outdoors.¬†I am a wife and mother of two small boys (ages 2 and 4). At the end of the Summer in 2013 I quit my very stressful full-time job at a non-profit human services organization to stay at home with my boys. For the record, I prefer Domestic Goddess to “Stay at Home Mom”, it’s much more palatable.

A brief religious history

Religion, Christianity in particular, has almost always been a very important part of my life. I was involved in Christian groups through church and school since I was in middle school. When I went to college I got very involved in an interdenominational Christian ministry through my university. Completely separate from my church involvement, I attended weekly worship nights, regular prayer meetings and if I wasn’t leading a weekly bible study, I was certainly attending one. I discipled multiple young women, studied and memorized scripture, and met with accountability partners to attempt to remain pure and “on the right path”. I could continue to share about the different aspects of my religious background but to sum it up a bit more quickly, God and Jesus were the center of my activities, my thoughts, my conversations, my life. If I wasn’t a true and devoted believer, nobody is.

A loss of faith

Well, you probably noticed that I speak of my religious devotion in the past tense. More than two years ago I began questioning my faith in a more serious way than I ever had before. I asked questions about God’s existence, the bible, the prevalence of many religions, the problem of evil and more. For the first time in my life I began to let go of my fears and my reasons for believing. I asked questions and didn’t claim to have the right answer anymore. Read more on my loss of faith.

Purpose of this blog

Now, here I am, a formerly VERY religious person, daughter, sister, wife and mom. I find myself without religion, God, church, fellowship, worship, prayer, biblical guidance, etc. I often find myself with a sort of identity crisis, feeling isolated, confused, and in need of an outlet. Hence, the purpose of my blog: to have a place to share about my life and discover my identity now that I find myself without god. 

Blog topics

Considering that I spent the better part of my 30 years as a devout Christian, I think a lot about my former religion (and all that it entails) as well as my current lack of belief. So, while I certainly plan to blog about my former beliefs and my life after faith, I will also blog about my other interests such as: my kids and family, fitness and nutrition, natural skin and hair care, books, home organization and more!

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Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back to visit again! ~Vanessa

This was Day 1 of the Zero to Hero Challenge.¬†Learn more here.¬†I realize I joined this challenge late…but better late than never ūüôā

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I’ve never dieted in my life…til now

Throughout my life I have spent a lot of time running, working out at the gym, playing a lot of sports, and in general getting a lot of exercise. While I have generally tried to eat healthfully, the thing I haven’t done is restricted my calories or went on a specific diet for any reason (even as an athlete). I guess I always saw dieting in a negative light and thought that if I went on a diet it meant I cared too much about my looks.

Even though my weight is pretty similar to what it was when I went to college, at age 30 I have decided to go on a diet. Why now, you may ask? Well, after having two children and experiencing a great many changes in the distribution of my skin and body fat (to unwelcome places) I think that scalenow is the time to get toned and lose weight in order to pave the way through my 30’s and into my 40’s and beyond.

After taking a look at various diets, specifically the Paleo Diet and the Mediterranean Diet, I have decided that I don’t want to eliminate particular food groups without having an evidence-based reason. Essentially, I’m not yet convinced that a particular diet that eliminates particular food groups is a good idea for me.

So, if not a particular diet, what will guide me? Well, I started by getting an app on my android called My Diet Diary that helps me track my daily caloric intake and output. Initially, I input my weight and my weight loss goals. Then the app displayed how many calories per day I should consume. The amount of calories adjusts when I input exercise or my weight changes.

I am not only trying to restrict my calories, I am also following some of my own established guidelines. The guidelines are as follows:

  • friuts and vegetableEat as many whole foods as possible (fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, etc.)
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Drink a lot of water
  • When I have a craving in between meals I chew gum or drink herbal tea
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Don’t eat anything after 8 pm
  • Every day or two enjoy a dessert OR a special drink (usually a latte or gingerale)
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week
  • Adopt these changes in my life and maintain on a long-term basis

So, these guidelines are purely my preference and may not work for others. Ultimately, I chose these health goals because I think they will be effective and attainable for me.

When I started this diet last week my goal was to lose 13 pounds. Here I am a week in and I have already lost 8 pounds, hooray! I realize weight fluctuates for various reasons but at the moment I am rejoicing at this success with the hope that I can continue tracking my diet diligently through the diet app for at least 40 days.

Now, as I launch into week two, I will be inspired by entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn:

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Your Turn

How has dieting worked out for you? What obstacles should I keep my eyes open for?