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by BarbiJaneW

As a flight attendant, I get to see my share of quirky behaviors (yeah I’m talking about you guy, the one walking around the cabin in your sock feet, and yes into the shitter! Gross dude!). But I am increasingly shocked by how much people “overshare” information these days. There have been numerous times my flight attendant jumpseat has turned into “true confessions” and a therapist’s couch with people I’ve just met. I even once had the privilege of an awkward front row performance to a daughter-father flossing lesson on a horrifically early flight from Phoenix to Salt Lake City. Let’s just say, that did not sit well with my coffee nor empty stomach. 

And yet, you’d think one would get used to all this public display of personal life, however, it’s quite the opposite for me. In today’s world of oversharing and broadcasting every detail of our lives, I have chosen to pull back from Social Media. The frequent connection to it is vexing to my mind, jarring to my soul and disruptive to my life. 

Facebook itself is seeing growing numbers of people reducing their time on the platform because of the heated political debates. A recent survey in eMarketer of Facebook users in Germany found that nearly 21 percent of users were using the platform less because of the increasingly heated debates. 

It’s not that I don’t want to share my life or hear of other’s lives or perspectives; as a journalist, flight attendant, mom, and even fitness instructor, all of my life-roles put me right in the middle of sharing. And for those who know me, I am an open book, I don’t hide my life, but I do keep my deepest and most personal experiences and emotions for only a close few.

I don’t judge those who do, it’s just that as Social Media became so ubiquitous in our lives; and as it’s increasingly become the “Town Hall” for political views, as well as the up-to-the-minute TMZ, People and National Inquirer, I’ve pulled back.

Waaay back.

As a kid (even more so now as an adult), I’ve always pulled back from the gluttonous things that were literally just too much. Whether it be too much food on the Thanksgiving table or a fad that’s gone virally mainstream. I lose my taste for it.

That’s how I started seeing Social Media. I may want to see amazing pics of your adventures, or even those savory photos of your dinner, but I definitely do not want to know how much you hate Trump/ Clinton/ Republicans/ Democrats, or hate anything for that matter, etc.

Megaphone picture
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

I started re-evaluating all of this public hyper-expression and self-exposure and decided to choose connecting in more “old school” ways. So, these days I reach out with personal texts and calls or the occasional private messaging (PM) when there is no other way to contact with a friend or colleague.

I will say that as a very social creature the task of staying connected to people, whether it be long-term or newly-minted relationships without using Social Media seemed daunting and overwhelming when I first pulled back.

But it is a task that has proven fruitful in deciding what really is important to me. I’ve relearned how to connect more deeply with the people I am around, to be less judgmental of them and to sit quietly with my own thoughts before letting them spiral into a vortex of irrational thinking and volatile emotions. (We’ve all seen hundreds of Facebook threads that devolve into bitter fights and hard feelings.)

These skills proved invaluable one particular week over the holidays last year.

While heading off to work for four days in London and Zurich I found out about a tragedy at home that rocked me deeply.

All alone in the early part of my trip I purposely chose to stay away from Social Media and instead, chose to reach out to those close to me and to those affected by the event. I also sat with my own thoughts and emotions and tried to process the news and pain.

Instead of burying myself in Social Media or putting my feelings into that format, I talked with the people I was traveling with, even though most of them were IRL strangers to me, letting them know of the situation, and how it had affected me. And they did what people do in personal interactions, they listened, they were supportive and they allowed me the space to talk openly and to privately handle my emotions.

And it struck me – when people put those kinds of things into Social Media, they’re looking for exactly that – for others to “hear” what they’re saying, and to be supportive and understanding. Or just the opposite, they post things on Social Media in hopes of being heard, but using the barrier of the impersonal connection to buffer any insecurities they have. The computer creates a kind of barrier, Andrea Bonior, PhD, psychologist and author of The Friendship Fix, points out in Real Simple’s article “6 Ways You’re Oversharing (Even With Friends).” 

But we often forget that sometimes our post or tweet can get buried in someone’s feed and we often assume that nobody “liking” or commenting on the post means that nobody cares. However, if one picks up their phone, and calls or texts their friends and family, or goes really old-school and talks to them in person, the hearing, and the understanding, and the support will not only be there, but will be more immediate and meaningful

Over the course of the next four days, other minor and trivial things went awry with our trip and for me personally. Each small “disaster” exacerbating the aforementioned stress.

Yet, each time we reminded each other that in reality those inconveniences were just that, inconveniences. 

I don’t believe things happen for a reason, I haven’t since I found out at 23 years-old that I had breast cancer. And I am most definitely not saying that the tragedy that befell my friends happened for me to gain this understanding. That is not the case at all. 

What I do believe, is this: When bad things happen, it’s what you do after they happen that can provide something meaningful. 

What grace, wisdom, love or peace can you learn from the tragedy, or, from how people around you supported you and cared for you after the tragedy? 

For me, the wisdom I gained here, was learning the importance of respecting people’s privacy and really dealing with my own emotions internally and allowing myself to feel uncomfortable with my sorrow and angst. I also learned to reach out on a very personal level both with my colleagues and my friends back home.

I’m still grateful for being able to mind-numbingly scroll through lovely pictures and videos of puppies on Instagram when I needed a laugh or smile. And although I no longer check in on Facebook to see “what my friends are up to” I’ve come to realize that Social Media is part of the world we live in, as my sage 78-year-old mother, Jerry Knight recently said.

As a freelance journalist it’s part and parcel of the work I do. So, instead,  I make thought out conscious choices to post, rather than just a habit for “what to do when I’m alone and unoccupied for a few minutes.” But I still have to make the personal connection, not just because it’s important but at the core, it’s really who I am.

I'm Here You're Not
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Even in this age of “the constantly-broadcasting newsfeed” world Mark Zuckerberg created, he’s stated he sees the limitations created by it. There’s even a movement of pushing back to the highly curated world of the Influencer. Now, rather than influencing others to buy, try or do, what’s being touted, the Unfluencer, as Marisa Melzter calls them, it’s quite the opposite. We’re starting to see a distaste for all the exposure, disconnectedness and oversharing Social Media has created and some are choosing to avoid these things the Influencer showcases.

No matter what tragedy you are going through or how close you are to it, coping with it is hard. Always and infinitely more so if you are up close and when it’s deeply personal.

And that’s just it: it’s personal and private. In today’s Social Media, oversharing world, we have lost perspective of what is truly personal and private. And we forget that those experiences are best addressed through personal and private conversations, with friends, family, or colleagues that care.

So, with that I will finish by offering you this idea:

The next time you really want to share something, whether it’s happy, sad, frustrating, humorous, or just an amazing experience, try reaching out to someone to make an individual and personal connection instead of a public one, and see how it feels and what it does for your relationship. 

You may find that instead of them “liking” your post – they end up liking YOU a little bit more.

Peace, love & happiness ~ BjW

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I was tired when we arrived at the hotel today. I’ve been off work for the last three weeks and it’s been wonderful and not, all at the same time. Besides adjusting to Chris’ dad moving in with us while he “finds” himself (k- that’s what I call it), I’ve struggled to find myself as well. From a groove for my diet and fitness to a semi-routine for my international flying this last year, or three rather, has been an interesting challenge and study of myself.

Today or tonight (depending on where you as I write this), I sit in the beautiful restaurant of the Olympia Hilton hotel in London eating my grilled salmon and crisp salad watching the cars and the double-decker busses drive by and lament not getting out of the hotel at all today. Yet, listening to the voices and laughter and catch the spasmodic behavior of the woman just in my periphery, I feel very content. The South African fuller bodied white wine went down fast, as my first glass of wine usually does, I find myself happy and easing into observer rather than navel gazer.

Sitting in my layover “uniform” of Athleta fleece lined tights and body-adjusting thermal top, my not quite black not quite green Doc Martins and yes, my Burberry cashmere coat, I can’t help but be a tad envious of the chicly dressed patrons in the bar/restaurant. Even one of my crew members, sitting alone at her table FaceTiming with a loved one I assume, looks lovely in her creamy scarf and dark top. Her red wine doesn’t hurt either, lol. Only her extreme blonde hair gives away that she “isn’t from around here.”

***TOTAL SIDE NOTE*** the fish and chips just delivered to the elderly woman on my left LOOKS DEVINE!!! Fuck I wish I could eat THAT!! But this damn ketogenic diet has me eschewing my normal carb battered English delight.

Three silver haired men join the crowd, alone and not together. One sexy, one twitchy but very hiply dressed and groovy for an ‘old guy’ (certainly better than nearly any American man his age, I mean he has a slim fitting shirt on for god’s sake!). Oh, then he speaks, and it isn’t English, ‘nuff said. The other one, who in his white tee, yet again not an extra large, I cannot figure out. The two of them often look over their shoulder, glancing around the room. Hip and Groovy looks my way, we’re closer than Tee-Man. Tee-Man has engaged the two single females just to his right. Neither of them picking up on the convo or him for that matter. As for Sexy, well he’s slumped in his high-backed leather chair, one seat over from my single crew member, checking his phone from time-to-time and occasionally leaning forward to read something on his table. From my spot he almost looks like he’s asleep, which from my experience lately, doesn’t seem that far off of a speculation of anyone that age, I’ve seen it from Chris’ dad on numerous occasions.

If I were to engage in a conversation with any of them I’d pick Hip and Groovy. He’s more energetic when he looks around the bar, a wee bit expectantly, but still active. He is also the only eating. He eats his fries with a fork, again, clearly not American, cleaning his knife against his fork, which he holds in his left hand, also a very European thing. He’s finished half of his red wine. Watching him closer, I think he’s even eating his burger with a fork. K, that’s definably not American… lol!!

Tee-Man looks like he got soup. Not a bad choice for this freakin’ crazy cold London weather – it SNOWED here today! But as for conversation, I’d put my money on Hip and Groovy. He’s not as sexy as well, Sexy, but for conversation he’s probably a lot more interesting. And now he just swiped the edge of his plate with his finger which he noisily sucks clean. How can that not be an interesting person? He suddenly trumps Sexy on sexy in the general sense.


He appears to be someone who is alive, engaged and interesting. This is what I think as I watch him. I think to me, it’s important in life. To be alive and looking at life instead of waiting for life. As I approached 50 this year, I thought a lot of what it meant to get ‘older’ to be on the back half of life so-to-speak. I was tasked by Christoper to write a blog post about turning 50 on my birthday, which I failed to meet (as is often the case with writers!). None-the-less, I did continue to think about it; what it means to be changing decades, especially this one! And from my observations of those my age or older the jury is still out, but I think I’m different in a lot of ways. And completely the same in others. Maybe that’s what it’s like to be 50. To refuse to let go and give up. To refuse to slow down, to stop playing my loud, heart racing, nerve jangling, techno music at the highest my Carmon and Hardon stern will allow in my Porsche Cayenne. Yes, I just name dropped my stereo and my car, but it’s still an SUV, cause, you know I have a child and I’m successful enough to pay for both. To drink more wine than I ever have, but to also have a very Helen Mirren attitude, of ‘fuck off” kind of principle, also because I’m old enough to pay for both.

I think 50 is an interesting age. You’re old enough to seriously not give a rat’s ass but still vibrant enough to know that and flaunt it if you wish.

Sure, the body doesn’t cooperate like it did when you were 30, hell let alone 47! but from my limited observations of older people, it’s less body and more brain.

I think the reason older people stop connecting with their kids or any one from the younger generation (if they ever did), is because they have become stifled, stagnant, smile less, and have less fun.

Yes fun. And although I may be the original excuse maker I am also the first one to say “who cares what the past is, it’s the future that you make. So make it what you want. Let it go.” And yes you can throw in the Disney tune for your pure enjoyment here! Wait, never mind, I’m more a Tay Tay kinda gal, I say Shake it Off! But you pick whichever motivates you to get up and shimmy around the room like no one is watching. 😉

See that’s my total point!!

Let something move you!! Bring you back to life, inspire you shoulder roll, head bob, and lip-sync in your car, shower, or bedroom. Better even if you do it in your underwear. Don’t let THAT part of you go, I say go with it!

My ex-husband, whom I adore, signed my 50th birthday card with this: To the wildest 50 year old I know! Yeah, THAT’S what I want to be every year. To me THAT’S a huge compliment that something I’m doing is right for me. And that the beauty of 50. What is that’s right for you?? You have the rest of your lifetime ahead of you. Think back, the first 50 years took a while to get here, so who’s to say the same won’t be the same for the next. Yeah, we’re older and we’re closer to dying than we were maybe 10 years ago, but that should be the reason you really reach for the ring. Cause what if? What if you catch it? Could this not be the best decade yet? And if not, either by choice or failure, what the fuck do you care, cause “… honey you’re older. wiser and have more insurance.” Boooya!! And what a memory you’ll leave for your kids, grandkids, family and friends. 🙂

The younger generation by definition is all about change and learning the new stuff of the world. As the older generation we have a lot to teach them and an obligation to do so, but if we get too bogged down in the “Woe is me” mentality, the “World is a tough and bettering place and it’s no use fighting,” then we make ourselves obsolete. A dusty piece of art or object to just to be observed or discarded. Not relevant really, except to the past.

Yes, half the time I wake up and do not have half the energy, or care for that matter, to bust ass at the gym or aggressively pound the pavement for a lede on a story that I think will make headlines, shit, I’m lucky if I get up and trot my sorry ass to the Roman Colosseum, um  for fuck sake, and you know it’s less than 15 minutes from my hotel. Yeah, I’m a sorry. lazy son-of-a bitch sometimes, but I still like to make a mark in my day. To meet people, to experience some of the most amazing things this lie has to offers, to take a few moments in my day to say I WANT FCUKING DESSERT!!! like a spoiled baby. Some days my mark is the deep impression in the sheets and pillows i’ve left while I get up to take a pee and a sip of some stale wine. And you know what? I say “who the fuck cares!” It’s a passionate moment, in my passionate life. Winston Churchill napped every single day while at war, Earnest Hemingway drank his way through multiple highly, over prosed novels and Anis Nin played with one of our most famous writer’s heart and emotions, and what I get when I read them is a sense of life. And “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” as David Glasgow Farragut, the first rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the United States Navy says at his order at the Battle of of Mobile Bay, in which he won victoriously .

Yes a life of Damn the Torpedoes or Running With the Bulls, or toying with one of our greatest poet’s heart, could be life changing. And I totally support it. In fact I relish in it. It’s not an act of defiance, it’s an act of live, of showing the strength we have no matter our age. That it’s a whole lotta more fun on this side of 50!! That is should be life changing. We have the knowledge, we have the connection. we have the confidence and most of we should be lacking the fear that has kept use frozen for so long. And that’s exactly how it should be: life changing. Take risks. And if you’e like me you take calculated risks. Clause you know what?? It should be way more fun getting older, no parents or teachers to threaten you with “permanent grades” or expulsions.

To be relevant you have to make yourself relevant. And that’s entirely up to you of what that looks like. Who cares if your idea and strength of relevance is about the top 10 places to eat in London. People. Dig. That!! Or if your is about a certain mascara!! Women love feeling good about themselves and do you know what people who feel good about themselves do? They make others do the same. You know what that doesn’t do? Make other harm each other. It’s collaborative. It’s sharing and giving and helping. There is no bad thing in that!

~Anyhwho, take my observation and see it for what it is: People connecting to other people. AT then end of the day thats the one thing we long for; to feel connected, to feel loved, to feel heard, to be respected. It’s what I bring to my job every single day. It connect with each of my passengers. It’s small but it’s my gift. I want everyone on ,y flight that I’ve come in contact with to know they mattered to me. That I say you. I heard you. I felt your joy, your pain, you happiness. I want to be able to share all of that with you for the time that you are on my flight. I’m excited for you!! What an amazing adventure you’re one, you’re brave, you scared and you’re doing it anyway. Godspeed to my passengers! I hope my crew and I have given you any last bit of needed push to help you feel amazing on your adventure!

At the end of the day, I find humans to be quite interesting, I mean a) I am a 30+ year flight attendant, b) a journalist and c) a writer. I’ve made lifetime careers out of interacting with people. Humans are the most interesting species I’ve ever come across. We are simple yet complicated. We are boring yet exciting. We are stupid yet smart. All with the same functioning parts. We have so much in common, we long for the same things, we have so many opportunities, regardless of our locale, and yet we make such a muck up of our lives it’s insane and completely compelling to me. And to quote a journalist’s creed, we all have a story to tell. Yes, yes we do. Even the ones who on the surface are lame, boring and a big yawner, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll find something of interest. It just takes time, patience and curiosity focused on someone other than yourself to get to it. I guess I’d say that’s what makes great journalists and writers good at what they do. They watch, look and listen. Becoming 50 has helped me a lot at getting better at the above three verbs. Having been on my journalist sabbatical theses last three years I’ve lost some of my skills and it’s challenging to get them back, but just thinking of getting back into the frey has me chomping at the bit to get started. So yeah, we’ve had a new ‘roommate’ that brings new challenges, but it also brings an opportunity to ask observe him which beg the tough questions of myself that I sort of cringe at the answer. This is what I call growth and if we don’t grow at 50, we are seriously dead on the vine and  we are no longer vintage and when we loose that, we cease to be relevant. We’ve become something to dust and wonder at from time to time and to replace upon a shelf. Yea, that ’s not me, never has been, never will be. So here you go Christoper, my dissertation on turning 50.

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The Flawed Mother

by BarbiJaneW

On a whim I picked up a book today, “How to be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits” by the quad  Parisiennes ~ Berest, Diwan, de Miaret, and Mas.

It was the “Bad Habits” that hooked me, cause let’s face it, if you know me at all you know I am a keeper of bad habits (and an enthusiastic one at that!).

So I thought, hey, if the iconic Parisian women also have bad habits then well,  je bascule! I don’t consider myself anything as classic, fashionable or even remotely a woman with that, ummm… je ne sais quoi. You know, in short, nothing like a Parisian woman. Yet, I deeply admire them (at least our stereo typical view of them, because that’s really all I know of them) and I find them fascinating.

But then I read something that made me feel somewhat akin to these amazing women. The section titled “A Mother with Flaws.” Now this is something that resonates with me!

I eagerly devoured every word on the page. It’s a short section but filled with truths for me. As I read, these four mothers, these four authors who put their feelings, emotions and realities on the page for us all to see, admit to being selfish women. In the first line no doubt!!

Yes, I am selfish as well. I’ve struggle with my needs versus my duties as a mother. I feel guilty when I do put mine first and I frequently fall victim to feeling that I am not as good of a mother as I should be (no surprise if you’re a mom, or parent for that matter!). That I should give more to my son, or that I’m not creative enough or entertaining enough for him. That a lot of the times what I chose to do with him is what I like or know. I often feel a lack of parental creativity so I fall back on what I know, which tends to be more adult like or things I would do.

And then in comes the guilt.

Let’s face it, all parents struggle with balancing our needs with those of our children’s, and often to the detriment of ourselves. I know countless women (and men) who put their own needs so far at the bottom of the list that they never get to their needs and that isn’t good for anybody. But neither is putting our needs ahead of theirs at all costs.

So what’s a parent to do?

Be yourself. Revel in who you are and what you have to offer.

So as I read on I noticed something: I am more Parisienne-like than I thought, at least in motherhood and maybe this isn’t a bad thing.

“Let’s be honest: the Parisienne is a selfish woman. A loving mother, yes, but nonetheless incapable of forgetting herself completely…. The Parisienne does not stop existing after she has a child. She does not give up her somewhat adolescent lifestyle…” the section goes on to explain. I can soooo relate to this. I’m feeling better about my own selfishness to some degree at this point.

“She wants to be there to educate her child, to watch him grow up, to pass on her values, her culture, her philosophy… Her child is not king, because he is a satelite to her own life. At the same time, her child is omnipresent because this satelite follows his mother everywhere and together they share valuable moments. He might join her at a lunch, accompany her to a boutiqiue, end up at a concert or cocktail party, where he will fall asleep on a sofa where she watches over him with equal parts guilt and tenderness.”

Yes. Yes I have done that. On more than one occasion. And yes I have felt the guilt but also felt the excitement of him living in the moment and being a part of the “real” world around him. And it is here that I fully connect with these Parisiennes. That these moments that detour off the schedule, where he sleeps in a pub in Hong Kong or a football game that goes past his bedtime, will show him moments of what lies ahead for him in the adult world. Together we share memories and experiences of life beyond childhood. These are the parts of life we dream about as children! It is also here, the authors point out, that what he sees as these joyful moments are also his future, or this joie de vivre, according to the Parisienne. And also “…the best way of inspiring children to grow up. And the best way for mothers to never miss the lives they led before they had children.” I love this because as I’ve stated before I believe in living life to its fullest, to experience life and loving what it has to offer.

And what better way than to than to share your life with your child, to show him that being a grown up is just as fun as being a child.

Asleep at the pub Honk Kong nights.

Asleep at the pub Hong Kong nights.

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Get Fit Fast On A Bike


If your goals this year include getting fit or losing weight, biking is an ideal choice that’s not just for athletes anymore. Biking is a great way to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and gain muscle strength and endurance all in one sport. Bicycling burns a lot of calories. Riding at a moderate speed, around 13-15 mph, you can burn upwards of 500 calories per hour–done daily that equals 3,500 calories, which is enough to lose one pound in a week! Bicycling is a high-reward workout.

Fully geared and single-geared bicycles (also called fixies), mountain bikes, road bikes, and cruisers–anyone from out-of-shape beginners to fitness fanatics can find a bike to suit his or her needs. Even the heaviest of riders can reap quick health benefits from riding, and without risk of joint injury. Cycling is a non-impact exercise so your joints won’t take a beating f rom repetitive jarring or pounding. Getting started is as simple as getting on the bike and making a commitment to ride every day–just ask Jason Robert of Tempe.

Robert’s story

In the summer of 2009, Robert was watching the Tour de France while vacationing at his in-laws’ house in Nova Scotia when he had his epiphany. “I couldn’t believe the f itness levels these guys had, some of them older than me,” he says. Robert was 36 years old and weighed 285 pounds the day of that race, and it was then that he decided he wanted to change.

“I decided by the time I turned 40 I wanted to be in shape and fit,” says Robert, and it all started the minute he

arrived home. Robert says he was so serious that he went straight f rom Sky Harbor International Airport, luggage and all, to REI to buy a bike.

Making the commitment to get up every morning at 4:30 to ride through the quiet Arizona State University Research Park before it was busy with morning traffic was challenging, he says, but worth it.The time and location gave him a safe place to ride while increasing his confidence and fitness level. Working out and fitness were new to him, says the much slimmed-down cyclist, who completed his first half-ironman last December. To date, he has completed the Tour de Scottsdale, Tour de Tucson, and many triathlons.

Establishing a routine

Establishing a regular riding routine (or any fitness routine) is the first and most important step in slimming down and getting f itter. Commit to riding at least an hour a day, and at least f our days a week, to speed up your f itness level and weight loss, but aim f or seven days a week to get the greatest caloric def icit. Cycling builds lean muscle tissue, which causes your body to burn calories at a higher rate, upping your basal metabolic rate (BMI), and allowing you to continue burning calories long after you’ve peeled off your jersey. Once you’ve established your regular cycling routine, up the ante on your caloric burn with interval training.

Interval training speeds up the fat-burning process. One can accomplish this by alternating between bursts of high-intensity speed, pedaling as fast as you can for about 30 seconds, followed by returning to your regular speed. If you do this during your regular hour ride on alternate days over a two-week period, your ability to burn fat increases by 36 percent, according to research in Journal of Applied Physiology. In just those 30 seconds of full-throttle, all-out sprinting in your highest gear, you amp your body’s furnace.Astudy by Laval University found that sprinters who burned only half as many calories during a regular workout still lost more weight and burned more calories than those who worked out at longer, slower speeds.

Robert agrees. “High-intensity intervals a few times a week spike your metabolism, and we all live time- compressed lives, so make the most of your one-hour ride,” he says.

The important thing to remember is to ease into interval training. Build up your endurance, confidence and comfort if you are brand-new to fitness or cycling, then add in your 30-second sprints.

Proper nutrition is the last component for maximizing your fitness and weight loss. Think in terms of nutrition, not diet. Most fad diets will not provide the proper nutrition to maintain performance and sustained weight loss–any diet that isn’t balanced will fall short. “There’s plenty of disagreement about what to eat even among seasoned, successful athletes, coaches and sports nutritionists,” notes Selene Yeager, writer for Bicycling.comandcyclingexpert.Onethingtheyallagreeon,however,istheimportanceof eatingrealfood. Eatfoodthatisunprocessedandinitsnaturalform.Eatplentyof fruits,vegetables,andleanprotein,and avoid unsaturated fat, and you will see results quickly.

Few exercises can beat bicycling for quick and effective weight loss. With its low-impact nature and the ability for all ages to join in, bicycling is a sport to consider.

Barbi Walker is a freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. Barbi lives in Phoenix with her husband and young son.



“Ride Your Way Lean: The Ultimate Plan for Burning Fat and Getting Fit on a Bike” and “Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling: Everything You Need to Know, From Buying Your First Bike to Winning Your First Race” Selene Yeager, Bicycling.

greenlivingaz.com https://www.greenlivingaz.com/2013/02/08/get-fit-fast-on-a-bike/

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4-Star Accommodations

by BarbiJaneW

In my quest to figure out my direction as a writer and blogger one thing has always been constant: my desire to become a travel and food writer. As a flight attendant I traveled on my own to many countries and continents to see the world. But once I went back to school and had a child at the same time, traveling took not only a back seat but another whole dimension. Travel writers weren’t in demand and I didn’t really know how to break into the area. Plus there’s this other little dark secret: I was intimidated to travel with an infant. In fact my son has only been on an airplane twice in his four short years, really quite sad if you ask me.

But here’s the thing, I believe strongly in visiting other countries besides the one you live in. However, I somehow found myself too comfortable in my day-to-day routine to venture out and take a stand-by seat with my son and husband in tow. At least I was until my conversation two weeks ago with my good friend (and also former flight attendant) Elizabeth. My “plinky” answer sparked her comment on my blog about travel and the importance of children experiencing other cultures and places.

Travel is a form of education and parents need to make financial planing for travel as much a priority as education and college. We are a global economy and learning about the other global players is key to developing a successful future. Parents need to take time to research, as a family,  places to go, what to do while there and if the kids are old enough have them take part in planning  the budget for the trip. All of these skills are real world skills,

But I’m sort of a throw back hippie/surfer (did I mention I grew up in Bisbee?) wrapped up in a modern, high tech bag of over achieving thoughts mixed up with my old school values. And so I see travel as a way to just be. But to learn from it too, learn what the locals do, where they go, what they think, become a local if you can and then just experience life as it comes to you. It’s the Zen side of travel that needs to exist. So when my friend, Jen, offered us her friends’ house to watch, and to look after Albert the unsinkable goldfish, we said “Hell yes” that, and it was 115 degrees in Phoenix.

I realized my long time purpose/goal or whatever you want to call it, is my desire to show Henry the world. To let him see it with his own two eyes, to come to his own conclusions of what he likes or dislikes about certain places or experiences. Which is what propelled me to bust out of my own confinement and shovel a disarray of clothes into a too small suitcase with my  toothbrush solidly embedded between my teeth to fly to San Francisco on a 7:45 a.m. flight.  I raced my family to the airport unprepared (hippie/surfer) to hop on the flight. Didn’t happen. Didn’t have all my ducks set up the night before.

But we decided to eat breakfast and wait for another flight. The surfer was rubbing off on all of us and we chilled and laughed while we ate a decent breakfast at the Home Turf Bar (they don’t have an online menu – I don’t understand this), anyway the food was good actually. Eggs and toast for Henry & Paul. Fruit and yogurt for me. I’ll give it this: it was fresh and good.

Needless to say we did NOT make it on the flight, so we left and ran errands. Got back in time to make the 1:15 flight.

Henry’s first subway ride was good, he enjoyed putting his mouth on every hand rail and seat back he could find. Paul was starting to OCD on washing Henry’s hands after every object he touched but I said let’s just attack the biggest battle, “Henry, KEEP YOUR MOUTH OFF OF EVERYTHING!’ after a while the message sunk in and I think we only had to disinfect his mouth half a dozen times… k not really.

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Well I have to say I have no idea what I am doing, other than, well writing (and blogging I guess). I started this blog and a few others for some ungodly reason (well I have them but meh…) and haven’t done much with any of them. I’ve had some nagging thoughts, which are fast becoming headaches since I’ve ignored them all to long, about my blogs.

So here’s the scoop: This page is dedicated to blogging. Sound ridiculous? Yeah well, to me too, but bear with me. I created this blog as a play on letters of my name. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to blog or write or journal under my byline name, plus I was trying to be clever (not always a good idea) but either way my thought was to have a site where I blogged, reported newsy/newsworthy stuff (journalist) and wrote (not sure the difference really – maybe my fiction and tragic poetry, who knows.

Either way, I’ve been stumped and stopped about this whole thing that I almost got writer’s block. Then worse, I stopped calling myself a writer and then the world got black. My enthusiasm for my freelance writing at Green Living AZ dulled. My green thinking turned to green envy at my friend, Becca, who is new to blogging and is blogging away like nobody’s business on . I poured over “ways to blog” and “don’t make the same mistake I made blogging” sites and e-books.

I felt hopeless, lost. If I’m not a writer then what or who am I?

But then my husband (and biggest supporter) handed me an article on JK Rowling and the last series in the “Harry Potter  books. I’m no JK Rowling, not by a LOOOONGGGG shot, but a girl can dream right? A writer can aspire to be like her, right? Especially when Rowling has such an underdog’s story, was born the same year I was and, well, used her initials to create a new identity to sell books. I could be like her right? At least until I read the last paragraph, the closer, the clincher of the article:

Ever since she finished “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in 2007, Ms. Rowling has given tantalising hints of future ventures. Now Pottermore, a website that goes live on July 31, has been announced as the sole source for electronic downloads of the Harry Potter books, as well as any prospective future texts. Still only 45, Rowling seems ready to step up her game. From Dickens, with his 20 novels, she must know that what a writer does is write.

“…she must know that what a writer does is write.” 

This phrase scared the shit out of me. I wasn’t doing that, not much at all. In fact I was feeling no “what a writer does is write” kind of thing. I started feeling really dark, really lost. But I also thought a lot about that phrase, about her and her being rejected 12 times by London publishers, according to the Walls Street article.  I even thought of the article’s writer, Norman Lebrect, whose talented and well choosen words hit home on such an important day for me.

I also thought about my newly blogging friend and her beautiful writing exposing her scars for all to read. She’s brave. She’s capable of writing her thoughts and experiences in a humorous and thoughtful way. She, my friend Becca, inspires me in her blog, Team Hope Chest to get up and write and to quite whining about not doing it right or whatever I may be thinking. Her posts inspire me to “just do.”

I also thought about my husband Paul and his faith in me and what I do. Sheesh even he has a blog, albiet, waaaay off the kind of stuff I read, but he just writes what he needs to and moves on.

And then I thought, who cares what I have to say, who cares if I “do it wrong” ? I don’t, not anymore. I’m not even afraid of the Big Bad Big Brother Eagle Eye in cyberspace clocked wolf’s clothing reading my shit. In fact if no one ever reads it I am okay with that too. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, really, because I have something to say, a lot really, and I’m tired of letting all my thoughts go to waste. Because I’m a writer and that’s what writers do, we write.

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I am just checking to see if all the negative feedback on Apple’s App page about the WordPress app are accurate.

So far I am not having any of the issues the majority of posters/users are complaining about.

My app opened perfectly on my iPhone, all of my posts are there, everything is working as needed. I’ll finish by “posting” and see what happens.

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