Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sacrifice versus Success

So many times we want successes and we want them now. Just the other day I talked about how we could have it all but not all at the same time.

The success that we desire can only be obtained by the how much we are willing to sacrifice. If we are only willing to surrender small amounts of our life or routine then we will only gain a small amount of accomplishment.

Many of the people that are our role models or inspirations make enormous forfeitures. They put the desire to be healthy or have a particular physique in front of their desires for chocolate cake or a glass of wine. They are willing to sacrifice those to ascertain their fitness and health goals.

If I want the Hillary Swank body then I better be willing to let go of some of the inadequate effects that will stall that progress.

How much are you willing to sacrifice?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cake and eat it too!

We have all heard the saying of “You can’t have it all”. However, I’m here to challenge that thought.

Proper planning and execution of that plan will give us the outcome that we desire. I know that if I plan my food and exercise routines that I will be successful in my endeavors. I know that I should have a safe meal that I can count on when prior poor planning comes into play. I don’t know about you, but I can tell you there are times when grocery shopping is not at the top of my “to do” list and I may not take the time to figure out a menu for the week. I do though always keep a supply of frozen chicken breast, rice and some type of vegi in the house, so if all else fails, guess what’s for dinner.

I get a workout schedule from my PT and each of the exercise routines is laid out along with an exercise directory that gives me the proper technique to complete the exercise. The cardio routine is written in such a manner that the speed, incline and duration are all there. All I have to do is “go with the flow”.

I know that by completing these steps on a consistent basis, consistency and time being the key that my outcome will be positive and I will fulfill my goal. So, in closing you can have it all, just not all at one time!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Teenager's weigh in on the process

Do you remember growing up and wanting to be just like your friend “Sue”? You wanted to look like her, talk like her, wear the same clothes. Peer pressure during the teenage years is so common and difficult to handle. Each adolescent wants to be just like the other and at the same time is struggling to be an individual. However, the process to break free and become an individual can be long a tumultuous and as a mother of a 20 year old and a 13 year old can wreak havoc on everyone in the house as they move through their transition.

The weight loss and fitness journey can be similar to the teenage years. We see so many people that we want to emulate and ascertain to become and we also see all the obstacles in the way. What we don’t see is that the ultimate goal comes with being able to make sacrifices and be an individual; an individual who can make good decisions on food choices and exercise and not mimic the ways of the world. This can be a struggle and I’m sure that other people in our house feel as if we are wreaking havoc on them, although they probably should come along for the ride.

Just remember, if we eat and exercise like everyone else, we probably will look like everyone else and not become the individual or select few that are our ultimate goals. So, take pride in being unique and an individual. Be the example for others that are at the beginning of this journey and allow them to mimic you.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Its a holiday right?

So we are entitled to a free for all right. I like that thought of thinking. I mean after all how many holidays do we have in a year? Lots if you think about. We celebrate our lives with food. Food for a good grade, food because we had a bad day, food because it is Christmas, Mother’s Day, 4th of July or the many other ones that fall somewhere between January and December.

Each of these instances and the food that is before us is an instant gratification. We have to be careful as the instant gratification that we have during that moment will linger with us into the next day which, more than likely is not a holiday.
It is very easy to allow ourselves the freedom to eat what ever we want, whenever we want because it is just there and we give ourselves an excuse. Now, once in a great while this is okay because I certainly believe in having a “treat”. In fact, I wrote about my son’s birthday a few days ago. However, I can’t afford to be doing pieces of cake or pizza on a weekly basis or before I know it I will be slipping back into the old routine and back right where I started. We need to plan these special occasions into our lives and since we have so many things that revolve around food at times not partake in them and continue eating and exercising in a healthy way. We need to look past the moment and think of the consequence as the decision we make today will affect us tomorrow.So, since it is a holiday we have the

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Are you just trying?

So many times we use the phrase, "I'm trying" or "I'll try to". In saying those words we are allowing ourselves and easy out, in that, just because we tried it must be okay. However, we should be telling people I do have the ability to complete this or I will do that or I do not want to have the Supersize Meal. Make it into a statement that convinces ourselves that the outcome will be positive.

We don't need to just "try" and make good food choices or try to excercise. We do need to choose to have healthy food in our house by making good decisions at the grocery store and we do have those same choices when we are out to eat. We also can exercise. We don't need a gym or a personal trainer to do extra activities. We can go for a walk around our neighborhood, we can walk around a track at a local school, we can take our kids into our arms and dance or if they are too heavy dance with them. They will love it if we act crazy and at the same time they are getting in some activity too.

So in the words of Yoda (We all know it is the Star Wars 30th anniversary right):

"Do or Do not, There is no Try" I know you will choose DO!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Expect Lapses?

Now, how on earth could she tell me this you’re thinking? Of course I am. No one is perfect. Only one Man gets to claim that, sorry. But just because you lapse doesn’t mean you need to col-lapse. What is the difference you ask?

According to Webster; lapse is an accidental or TEMPORARY decline or deviation from an expected or accepted condition or state; something that can be recovered from. However, collapse is to disintegrate, cave in or worse yet, complete failure and end.

This new way of life will at some time become exactly that a way of life and normal. However, until then, we are bound to slip up now and then and loose a battle. We just don’t need to dwell on it. We need to try and figure out why we had a lapse and find a plan to get back on track so as to win the war!

Just because we have a “screwed” up moment in our decisions doesn’t mean that we ourselves are “screw-ups” or failures by any means.
When I was growing up and went to Bible school, we were told: “God doesn’t make junk” and you know what, He was right!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

_ _ _ _ Happens!

Hold on a minute there, why don’t I fill in that blank for you. I really meant it to say LIFE HAPPENS and it happens to all of us everyday.

The unfortunate part about this is that we can’t really control life and what happens to us or what it brings our way. We are just part of it and have to learn to roll with the punches.

Last week was my son’s 13th birthday. A big one as he is now officially a teenager and along with his birthday came the normal cake and special dinner that I’m sure most of us do for our family. My son helped make his birthday cake the night before and was most proud of his efforts. Now at 13, getting a child to do anything is an accomplishment and the fact that he was actually eager to participate was something I certainly grabbed onto.

When it was time to eat the cake he was so anxious to give me a piece and to ask me my opinion that he sacrificed his first piece and gave it to me. I had a choice at this point. One, decline the cake and crush him but be victorious in my efforts or two, accept the piece graciously and ask for a small piece and tell him how wonderful it was and build him up, while at the same time making a poor choice on food. What do you think I did, what would you do?

I took that piece of cake, thanked him graciously and savored every single bit of it, even licking the plate with frosting (sorry but it was really good). He was so proud that I loved it and that was worth every calorie in it. I only have a few more years of these opportunities and then they will be gone. What is a few more pieces of cake if it is once a year.

Prepare yourself for this as it will happen. Know what you will do before hand and don’t agonize about it after you have made your decision. Embrace life and the changes that it brings and relish the special opportunities that you get with your family and friends…. In the end Life Happens and I want to be part of it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Entire Enchilada?

Sometimes that enchilada plate can be a doozy, far too much to eat at one sitting and that means we need to have a ‘take home box’.

We can’t look at the entire plate; we need to set a goal. Goals for me have always been a tough for me. I always seem to look at the bigger picture and sometimes making a smaller goal is difficult. During the first four months of my journey, my goal was to fit into some “hot momma” jeans :) Well, I’m happy to say, that I met that goal and if you look at my pictures link you can see me in them.

So, now that I have met that goal, I’m thinking, What next? I watched the movie Million Dollar Baby the other day and loved the physique of Hillary Swank, so my new goal will be working towards something along those lines. I’ll continue the weight loss but as that tapers I will increase the muscle mass and tone. It should be a fun journey.

I would like to challenge all of you that read my writings to think of goal for yourself; a small one would be great, and let me know what you are working towards as well as letting me know when you achieve it. I’ll probably pop back in a while and ask for some updates. So, get your takeout box so that the entire enchilada doesn’t look so overwhelming.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Two Different Skinnies

I had quite a revelation last night when I went shopping. I decided that new workout clothes were in order. Now I will admit that shopping is not my forte or something that I enjoy or take pleasure in. However, I was hoping that with my physical transformation would come a mental transformation.

I’ve never considered myself attractive and with that, the choosing of clothing has just been a necessity. I’m sure some of this is personality and some of it is how I was raised and some of it has just been the fact that I didn’t like the way I look.

As I continue to become fitter, healthier and thinner, more and more people are telling me to buy new clothes, show a little more skin and be proud of my hard work and fit body that is emerging. But when I look in the mirror I still see the same person. Yes, my clothes are loser and yes I know I’ve lost weight. My workout clothes almost need suspenders to keep them up :)

It is apparent to me that the task of transforming myself physically will be much easier than the mental transformation. I’m not sure when or how I will have the epiphany but it is part of the transformation and one that I know I will need to put effort into as well.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Perseverance and Marie Curie

The following is a quote from Marie Curie, Nobel Prize Winner.
"Life is not easy for any of us. But what-of-that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this something, at whatever cost, must be attained." Marie Curie
Can you imagine what this woman endured in her day to ascertain a Nobel Prize? She was born in 1867 certainly not in a period where women were admired or sought after for brilliance, intelligence or outstanding ability. But I’m sure what she recognized was that without insistence, resolve and determination she would never obtain her fullest potential and be able to give her “gift” to the world.
I truly believe that we all have our own gifts to be given to the world. I believe that God made each of us for something special and we must have strength of mind and willpower to find that gift. Part of the gift that God gave us was a strong and healthy body. He wants us to have this in order to fulfill all of the dreams and desires that he has for us.
During our journey we must have strength, courage and endurance to get us to the end other wise we started this for what?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Self-Confidence – confidence in yourself and your own abilities.

Do you think this is something we are born with or something that must be sown and nurtured? I’m not really sure what I think but I do know that without self-confidence that this journey can be tough.

How many times have you said to yourself that you were going to eat right, exercise and lose this weight once and for all? I myself, cannot even count how many times I have had this conversation with myself and I believe that the lack of self-confidence was the part that was missing.

I did not believe in myself or perhaps I didn't think myself as worthy and as soon as I started or shortly there after I would stop and give up or the routine would just gently fade away. This time is different and I don’t know where it came. I think some of it is the support that I’m receiving from my trainer and the faith and belief that I can and will complete this journey.

Look within yourself and others around you for support and conviction until this seed of self-confidence has taken root and takes over your life, it is at that point that will be able to harvest it and help others.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Sixth Sense

Wow, this was an awesome movie wasn't it? If you haven't seen it, rent it. I have watched this movie several times and even though I know what happens, to this day, I still get chills. Funny how that works huh?

Did you know that a real condition referred to as Synesthesia, or a Sixth Sense exists? Synesthesia means “joined sensation”. I believe each of us has Synesthesia. It is that little voice that speaks to us or the feeling that something “just doesn’t feel right”. Sometimes we pay attention to it and other times we disregard it as misleading talk or worse yet we just ignore it. How rude!

The little voice in our head tells us we probably shouldn’t eat that, have another portion, the annoying conversation that we have with ourselves regarding the fact that we should get ourselves up and exercising, all of these are forms of Synesthesia.

When we have awareness of these instances we should really grant it attention as, more than likely, it really does have our best intentions at heart.

I see healthy food choices they are everywhere…. :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

I found a new drug

Don’t get all worried, I’m certainly not advocating taking drugs for your weight loss. We know that they don’t work and are just a waste of money. However, I do think that I have found a drug of sorts that my body has started to make.

I really don’t know what it is called but I’ll explain what happened. At work today, I was feeling very anxious and antsy. I just couldn’t sit still. It was the old “ants in my pants” thing. I started looking back on what could have caused this. Certainly not drugs and no caffeine, at that point it dawned on me that my weekend had not been as heavy on the exercising part as it has been during the past weekends.

Saturday was busy just getting my house in order after having been gone last week along with grocery shopping. I did manage to get 30 minutes done on my Nordic Trak but normally I’m pushing an hour plus of exercise daily and it is tough exercise. Sunday was beautiful in NE Indiana so I spent about four or five hours riding my two horses and playing with the yearling that we have. So no real physical activity in that either comparatively.

I’m sure that by this afternoon, my body was crying out and craving its daily workout. It just goes to show that we really are meant to move and move deliberately. I think my body is now completely addicted to exercise. This is my new drug. It is one that most of us cannot overdose on and we can have it daily. In fact, you should have it daily. Yes, it will be habit forming but certainly one that will be excellent. So in the words of Huey Lewis and the News; “I want a new drug”; I found mine and love it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Physics and health?

Physics now weighs in on the weight loss and fitness journey.

I was thinking today as I got prepared to write, why I am so concerned about all this food and exercise. I guess in short; I have a goal. I’m not really sure what they goal is at this point I suppose I have several. One just to be healthier I have never had a problem with high blood pressure, or diabetes or things like that but have always felt I could be healthier. Two, I just want to look better and feel better about myself. Who doesn’t right?

To me it is sort of like the Law of Gravity. What goes up must come down. We have all learned or heard this saying and know that if we throw up a ball that for certain, unless caught in a tree, it will come down and even if caught in a tree, eventually will come down. We can count on it, no two ways about it.

So, if the above is my goals and yours too, we have to remember that everything put into my body will either get me closer to or further away from those goals, when I make a food choice or if I choose to exercise or not, those choices will move me in one direction or another. My question every time now is; What will this choice do?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sticks and Stones

We all remember growing up and someone would say something that was hurtful. My mom would say the following poem.

“Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you”

Over the years, I too, have said the same thing to my children. But now that I’m working hard on a goal and perhaps I’m a little wiser, I’m beginning to doubt this. Sticks and stones do break bones but someone saying something to you can hurt you too. Maybe not physically but emotionally and although the physical parts can heal the emotional part can take years to heal. What it is does is shatter our self-confidence.

Self-confidence is what is required in order to believe in our own abilities and know that we can complete something or more importantly that we are worthy of something. If someone breaks this, we are left flailing and feeling that we are not worthy.

I’m worth this journey, I know what I’m doing is best for me both physically and mentally. I will be a better person because of it. I’m worth the sacrifices that I’m making and believe that I can complete this transformation and just as importantly so are you and I believe you will too.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Champions are NOT made in gyms!

SAY WHAT?! I'm sure many of you are saying; I thought this woman was a gym rat or at a minimum working out and eating healthy?

Well before you delete me from your favorites list, I ran across the following quote by Muhammad Ali and I'm sure many will attest to him being one of the all time best athletes as well as motivational individuals.

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill."

I think this can really sum up this journey that I'm on. I can go to the gym, go through the motions but that will not, in and of itself, do it. I have to have desire to change my eating habits and be healthier, a dream of pushing my body past anything that I may have thought possible and a vision of how to put all these new found skills into practice.

I think the last sentence of this quote is the most important part. We can all learn these skills. In fact, most of us know them and we have been doing them or trying to do them for years or off and on for years. However, the skills mean nothing if we do not have the will, determination and strength of character to put them into place and follow them.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Hare and the Tortise

Another story folks and a good one. We have all heard the story of the Hare and the Tortoise. We know that the hare shoots out of the starting gate confident that he will win the race. However, along the path he is sidetracked and becomes unfocused. The Tortoise, however, plugs along at his slow but deliberate pace and ultimately wins the race.

My challenge is like this right now. I have lots of "hares" around me. All telling me how they are doing this or that and the pounds just falling right off them. However, as I sit back and ponder, I wonder what diversions are they really going through and what are they learning. I mean anyone can sprint but how many people can do a cross country race. Up a hill, down a hill, through a puddle?

I feel as I'm plodding along, although taking this journey at a snails pace or turtle's pace, that I'm enjoying the scenery and learning how to navigate the obstacles of the cross country course. I'm learning about new foods, new ways to cook and learning about how my body handles each of these new experiences. Really in the end does it matter who finishes the race first or does it matter more of the life's lessons that we have learned? After all, both the Hare and the Tortise did finish the race, right?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sacrificing part for the whole

Sometimes in extreme accidents or unforseen incidents a doctor must decide to amputate and appendage or remove some part of a human's body to ensure that the person lives. Now during the healing process the individual has to learn how they will live their life with this change. I, personally, have never had an issue like this but I'm sure the process can be a horrible struggle. The emotional turmoil, not to mention physical changes, would be a constant reminder to the person of their "previous" life. The individual will learn how to compensate for the changes live a new and productive life.
During our transformation we have to undergo a amputation of sorts. We must sever ourselves from foods, thoughts and old ways for the sake of our body as a whole. We are actually going through a renaissanceof sorts. However, it will not be an easy process and we will long, yearn and "hunger" (no pun intended) for our old ways.
If we learn to embrace the innovative and new course of actions we too can have a productive life that gives us better health and a longer life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Hey I'm Learning a New Language

Today's message is inspired by my "Little Nikki" as I affectionately christened her.

During the course of my journey I have started to learn a new language and it is more important than Spanish :) If I want to be victorious I will have to learn to order items from a menu that does not contribute to my health and well being. Many restaurants are starting to cater to my way of thinking but most do not and especially when it comes to a fast food place. I mean, let's be realistic, we will eventually need to "drive through" some place for food.

Learning a new language takes time, patience and most importantly practice. When I was learning to speak Spanish I had to be forced to practice, practice, practice. Not fun, but necessary. When we are learning to order foods we have to learn new phrases and words and practice them so that they become part of our normal word useage and we associate items or actions with those words.

For example, you may have always asked for butter with your veggies, sour cream or gravy for your potato and certainly needed to have your cake too, right. Now, I am learning to ask for "steamed" veggies, "no sauce please" and for desert some "fresh fruit" or maybe "No thank you" for desert.

So, right now while you are thinking about it, write out what your new words are that you will learn to use during this process and put into your vocabulary going forward. I bet I can guess what my Little Nikki's will be.... "Fresco Style please.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Diamond in the Rough

I bet you thought you would never see a little science lesson on a fitness and weight loss blog did ya?
Diamonds are one of the world's most precious gems. The word diamond comes from a Greek word, "adamus", which means invincible. This is because diamonds are the hardest minerals in the world. They are 1000 times harder than rubies or sapphires. Not even the most powerful acids can harm a diamond's surface.
Now, I'm not going to get real technical but in short, diamonds are made from coal or just plain old lead that undergoes extreme heat and pressure and after a VERY long time out comes this beautiful gem that the world pays thousands and thousands of dollars for and are very rare.
Here comes the thread that will tie this all together, we are diamonds in the rough. When we start this journey, we are sorta dirty and coal like and not very pretty. Perhaps our eating is unclean and our bodies are kinda polluted and both on the inside and out.
After we put ourselves through some extreme pressures with eating right and exercise and time; remember, time is one of the most important elements in the diamond formation, we come out the other side being invincible. Invincible in that were not conquered by the pressures and heat of the outside world and the temptations around us, unshakable in our determinations to make it through the struggles that are around us daily.
I know that each person that is on this journey is truly a diamond in the rough and diamonds really are invincible!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Two Steps Forward One Step Back/Do the best you can

Hello to all, if you are following my posting you may have noticed that I have been gone for a few days. I took a few days off and went to a wonderful quilt retreat. It was an opportunity full of fun, anxiety and challenges but I'm back and happy to say that I made it and successfully I might add.
I titled my note today with two titles since this sums up how the last four days have been.
During the last four months I certainly have been taking two and three steps forward and at a fast clip. I'm so proud of my progress and the things that I'm learned and done. However, with this quilting weekend a new challenge quickly emerged and it is one that we will all face at one time or another in our fitness and healthy lifestyle conversion.
I was submerged in a stressful, since it was new, and uncontrolled atmosphere with limited structure and many temptations. I prepared myself by packing my own breakfast and snacks and just knew that going into this that I would have things outside of my element.
During the lunches and dinners I chose items as carefully as I could and put small portions on my plate. I made sure to eat my snacks on time and tried to drink as much water as I could. I also was able to get two different walks in which really helped the hind end area as the chairs were not the best, even with the extra padding down there :)
I was so happy to meet a fellow person and now friend that is on a similar journey. She has worked very hard over the last several months to lose weight and was also facing the same obstacles as I was facing. It was great to be able to share the ups and downs of this journey with her and to know that I had another person who understood my feelings.
My friend did a great job and we both left knowing that tomorrow we would hit hard our regular routines and just know that this was one little step backwards and that we did the best that we could.
Mary, you are great. I know how hard you are working to change you and your family and it can be tough. We made it through this weekend and both of us have learned invaluable lessons on how to live our lives with our health as being in the forefront.
I'll be looking forward to hearing about your next four steps forward and can't wait to see you again.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Where is your Union card?

Now, before I start this, if anyone belongs to a Union this is NOT meant to be offensive to them so please don't take it as such.

A Union of workers can be a good thing in that they join together for the better of the whole and show a united front to a company. However, a Union, in my opinion, can also be a difficult place to be if you are an individual and want to stand out and shine because everyone is treated the same.

Our society is like a Union of sorts. Most of America is told to eat this, don't eat that, Supersize this or that and by all means don't work harder just get the remote. For those of us that are trying to build a healthy lifestyle this type of atmosphere can become a place of sabotage and impair our abilities to be unique and exclusive. We need to know that we can be different from the world as a whole and still be successful. That we can chose healthy foods and be active and live a full live.

I've decided to turn in my Union card; do you still have yours in your pocket?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Horse Training

Well if this title doesn't catch your eye and make you think that I have completely lost my mind then I'm not sure what else will.

I have horses and have prepared them from the foal stage to riding phenom. During this time the horse must learn that even though I look and smell like a predator that I am actually his/her friend and that I won't "eat" him. Sometimes I feel as if the weight machine is NOT my friend and that it will EAT me!!!

If you are familar with Pat Parelli, he is a natural horseman and likes to play "games" with horses to teach them various skills and techniques that will later be used in their life. One of them to help a horse through any confusion or fear is to be "passively persistent in the proper position."

We need to be this way with ourselves and others as we continue this journey. We can't pound ourselves into eating right or exercising. But we can gently remind ourselves and continue to put ourselves in the right frame of mind and position ourselves for success. In the words of another horseman, Clinton Anderson, "we must be as gentle as possible but as firm as necessary" to achieve the desired outcome.
We can then ride off into the sunset and live happily everafter :)