Monday, June 25, 2007

Change Hurts

I really wanted to link this somehow to the “Love Hurts” song but just wasn’t clever enough today. So think of the tune to Love Hurts for a moment. (Music playing)

Sometimes I think about how my life used to be. How I used to eat, or not exercise, not really care about when I did eat or what it would be. I’m a very structured person so the fact that I was unstructured in this area is still sort of a mystery to me but oh well. For many months I really longed and mourned that lifestyle. I missed some of the spontaneity and fun that came with my eating and drinking. Any exercise I got might have consisted of playing with my horses or going for a casual walk with my son as he rode his bike. It wasn’t an easy thing to alter my habits no matter how much I wanted to.

Anatole France, a French writer, wrote; “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

It is strange that he uses the word die. It seems so permanent. Once something is dead it doesn’t come back, it is gone forever. We have to have this same attitude, what we are changing into cannot be something that is just for this week or year, we must completely be dead to our old lifestyle and then we will grow and enter a new one. I say grow because I’m assuming that our new life is just as an infant. We will start out with our baby steps, move onto a grammar type school and then secondary school and then graduate into our new life to live and be successful.
I believe that I am dead to my old life and now in the grammar school of my new life. Where are you?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Scary Movie

I love a really scary movie. Not the fake blood and gore ones but ones that are suspenseful and make my skin feel like it is prickly. I can remember growing up, and sometimes still, when a scary part comes to the screen I cover my eyes and peek through my fingers. It is kind of as if just peaking will not make me look at the scariness full on and therefore mutes it in some small fashion.

Our new healthy lifestyle can be compared to a good scary movie. We really want one, like the thoughts of having one but only want to look at it through “our fingers”. However, if we aren’t facing this journey head on and looking straight it, how will we really know how frightening or intimidating it is? It may not be quite as daunting if we can see all of it instead of having our fingers covering bits and pieces of it. For all we know, our fingers could be covering the soft and harmonious parts and thus leaving us with a distorted and uglier picture.

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote a brilliant reflection on this topic, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you REALLY stop to look fear in the face… do the thing you think you cannot do”

Now, I think I will go watch a scary movie and sit on my hands :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Stress

This word is probably one of the most clich├ęd words in the English language today and yet stresses are everywhere in our lives.

What is stress? Stimulus or environmental change of such intensity or duration that it taxes a person’s previous adaptive capacity to its limits.

Changes are happening around us all the time. Most of the time we are able to bend and flex to accommodate to the new situation. However, there are times where we may have a catastrophic situation such as the death or illness of friends, or family, a change or loss of jobs these changes can take our breath away and the ability to adapt will be difficult.

It is important to continue with a healthy and active lifestyle during even the worst of times as our bodies and mind need a continuous outlet for the pressure and tension. We also need to make sure that we keep ourselves in check during “normal” periods of our life and not allow ourselves to get too distraught over minimal changes that happen. Let’s save ourselves for when the “big one” happens, shall we?

Greg Anderson wrote; “The perfect no-stress environment is the grave. When we change our perception we gain control. The stress becomes a challenge, not a threat. When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events the stress in our life becomes manageable.”

So, what’s your stress today? Is your perception distorting the reality and what are you doing to help yourself.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wayne's World, Wayne's World . . .

Party time, Party Time, Excellent, Excellent (guitar sound) RRRR

If you are familiar with this movie then my words above will make complete sense to you and you may already be busting into the Bohemian Rhapsody.

If you haven’t seen this movie then the above won’t make a whole lot of sense but I think the little story below will.

In the movie, Wayne wants a guitar. It is the all time most exceelent and amazing guitar. Something that he desires to have more than anything, he tells his friend Garth that “it will be mind, oh yes, it will be mine” Garth answers to his friend “you’ll never afford it! LIVE IN THE NOW!”

Wow, we have all had this experience with something in our lives. We so long for the perfect body and healthy lifestyle and we chant to ourselves that we will obtain that, when all of a sudden, WHAM our friend, yes our best friend, spouse or family member –tells us we can never acquire that vision and to just “live in the now”.

We can look at this two fold, we should also dream and dream big and know that we can obtain our ultimate goals with hard work and dedication and at the same time we must live in the now so that we don’t lose sight of the daily activities that will ultimately get us to that eventual goal.

On the flip side, many times when we have a high and lofty goals, people around us will try and convince us that we should not aim to such high standards and that we should be happy with our current surroundings and never try to become something better or greater. I think most of the time it isn’t that they are trying to be negative or hamper us but it is themselves scared of what we might become and the fact that we may not ‘be the same’ as we have been in the past.

However, you choose to look at this story is up to you, you may have it come across your life in both ways. Either way, remember this:

“Whatever course, you decide upon; there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


In the mean time: “Party on Garth, Party on Wayne”

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happiness and Selfworth

So many of us start our healthy lifestyle or many other self “projects” thinking that if we do it for our spouse, our children, our work or anyone other than ourselves that for sure we will complete it with heartiness, vigor and ultimate success. I mean after all how could we let others down right?

However, a quote from Stacey Charter really affirms what our conviction should be:

“Don’t rely on someone else for you happiness and self worth. Only YOU can be responsible for that, if you can’t love and respect yourself- no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are-completely, the good and the bad-and make changes as YOU see fit-not because you think someone else wants you to be different”

If we think about this carefully we MUST agree that no one else can make us change, no one can force food into our mouths or force us to exercise. We have to be willing and committed to ourselves so that we can be happy.

So the next time, you are tempted with doing or not doing something stop and think is this something that YOU really want to do for yourself or are you trying to be something or someone for another’s sake.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Have A Dream

This has to be one of the most famous speeches and speakers of current days. Can you only imagine how Dr. King must have felt as he wrote and spoke these poignant words? If you have never actually read this speech please take the time to do so as it is such a powerful and moving manuscript.

What if Dr. King did not believe or dream that these types of obstacles could be overcome. How, different the speech may have been. One of the “dreams” he cited states:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal."

He did not dream that maybe if all things are aligned and if people so felt inclined that we might be able to be nice to one another that we could all be a little equal.
No, he dreamed large, he dreamed of things that he wanted to see in his lifetime, he dreamed of things he could be involved in and ways to help move our society towards a common goal. He didn’t dream half way, he dreamed large and mighty ideas.
We too need to have powerful, influential, mighty and grand dreams without them we have little to believe in and without belief we have no hope and hope is what keeps us alive.
What is your dream?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Procrastination

Webster’s dictionary defines procrastination as the postponing of what one should be doing or needlessly delaying.

It is very easy for us to fall into this trap when we want to become healthy and fit or worse when we have started our journey and have a slip up. Most of us can find any reason not to get to the gym or an excuse for not making a healthy dinner. The kids have activities, I’m too tired, and I’ll start the regime tomorrow. The list goes on and on. However, I can almost guarantee that when these justifications come up that some amount of TV watching was done or web surfing instead of physical activities or healthy meal planning.

Why is it that we want so much to have healthy fit bodies but we aren’t willing to put into them the time that is necessary. If we work at it each day and make it a priority just as we would going to work then it becomes a part of us and we would never dream of delaying it.

Napoleon Hill wrote: “Don’t wait, the time will never be just right” but I can guarantee you that today will be better than tomorrow.

Get up, lace up and get out there today!

Monday, June 18, 2007

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Everyone knows this song, but have you actually ever looked or read the lyrics? I’m not sure what the basis was for the song but if you look at the words closely you may have the same thoughts as I do.

In the song she is talking to someone about the fact that she works hard, makes money, and gives love to her family and in return for this all she wants is respect; sounds kinda simple to me. I think we all, especially women, want this and for me working out at the gym is another area that I’m working towards gaining that admiration.

I have been working out at the gym now going on three months. I’m one of just a couple of women that lift weights and I am only one of two women, my friend Tammi being the second, who lifts free weights. Perhaps there are others but I don’t see them. So needless to say, I’m pumping iron with the “Big Boys” and trust me some of them are big and lifting hard and heavy.

Today I was getting all of my equipment set-up for my workout and one of the regulars there came to me and said that “I was one of the hardest working women in the gym, and one of the hardest working people there too” I was so thrilled with this compliment. I know I workout hard and at this point I don’t even think about people watching but the fact that this big, beefy, monster weight lifting man, noticed how hard I worked out made me feel darn big in my britches!
Eat your heart Aretha, I got me some R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

If It Sounds too Good to be true. . .

We have all heard this saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” In the last couple of days the new buzz or word on the street is Alli. It is going to be the new miracle drug. Able to help us shed our pounds with a single shot of a pill a few times a day. All for the small price of about $60 which will last you 30 days; such a small price to pay for the body you have dreamed of right?

When I sit and read this I almost find it comical. I look at all the information for this new drug it tells us that we are encouraged to have a healthy diet, plan on losing the weight slowly and not have more than 15g of fat per meal. It also says we should count on eating smaller portions and be committed to making time for physical activity. I read this and shout “Say What!” Isn’t this what we have been told to do all along?

We are so quick to pop a pill in our efforts to obtain our goals. We are positive that the one little pill will magically change us and we promise we will do all the things necessary to have the “little magic pill” be effective. Can’t we just do this on our own and save the money or instead invest it into healthier foods or a gym membership or some other type of activity? Who knows what the side effects of this drug will be on us years from now or even weeks from now and all we had to do was to practice healthy eating and add a little more activity. It really is that simple. No pill required.
I’m sure this is too good to be true, what do you think?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Alice In Wonderland

Another great story that we can learn so many lessons from. The author of Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, wrote:

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there"

How true is this statement. So many times we just aimlessly wander through life without any final destination in site and then wonder how come we never got anywhere?

My fitness goals have been that way over the last month, just doing the workouts, eating the right things but not really sure what road I'm on or should be or even want to be. At first this really wasn't such a bad thing but as I began to think about it, the lack of the goal was also keeping me from really working out to the best of my abilities.

So, I've decided to start a new running program. In the next 6-8 weeks I will learn to run a 5K. Perhaps, even enter a race. My goal isn't really to win the race, just enter it, start and complete it.

Put a goal in front of yourself to keep yourself motivated. Perhaps it is just to walk a particular distance, walk/run for a cause or like me just to say that I can do it. How exciting to have something to work towards and at the end know that it is one more thing that if I set my mind to can become reality.

Dream big!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Nestle Quik Bunny said. . .

Patience is a Virtue.

Mmm... I loved chocolate milk growing up and it is a healthy and nutritious snack. It is wonderful after a good hard workout as it provides carbohydrate and protein. So not only was the little bunny smart intellectually but he also chose a nourishing drink.

The Nestle Quick Bunny really wanted to guzzle his milk. He just wanted to finish that glass as fast as he could. He missed savoring the flavor.

We are that way too in our journey. We are so intent on the end result that we forget to savor the journey. Now I’m not saying to take your eye off the prize but, the journey and the living of it, is so full of rewards and lessons that if we skipped it and just got to the end we would be missing some of the most important elements and components. I mean after all, is everything that you are doing really that bad?

We are learning lessons in food selection, variety and mixture, new and expanded exercise regimes and an entire host of personality traits that would never come to the forefront and be recognized. If we never embrace the development and if we just skip to the end without that schooling, we will soon find ourselves back at the beginning wondering and kicking ourselves, asking, how did I get back to square one?
In closing, the reward is in the journey, patience is a virtue and chocolate milk is mm good!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Olley Olley Oxen Free

When I was little and we played Hide and Seek or Kick the Can, when the game was over to call in all the players still hiding we would use the above free. Perhaps you have wanted to call me back from my hiding place too.
I've been around but busy on a well deserved vacation with my son. He has been home from California visiting and will return tomorrow. I have been able to stay on track for the most part and have exercised with him almost daily. How much fun to have your 20 year old son as your spotter and workout partner.
I will confess that I have had to go back and read a couple of my own blogs to inspire myself to get back up and realize that this small hiatus is not a collapse but a relapse as well as my all time favorite The Little Engine that Could.
It so important in this journey to have a support group and have those people around to help during difficult times. I had a couple of rough days and in talking with my PT, she helped me recognize that I probably was having some issues with knowing that my son would be leaving and that I was medicating myself with food. WOW, what a slap in the face and an ouch but amen at the same time. After really thinking about this, I'm sure she is right. I've been so happy to have him home and we have had so much fun together that the thought of him leaving and probably not seeing him again for a couple of years was really weighing on my heart.
I do know that he is really supportive of my efforts and is so excited about seeing my transformation that I don't want to have my month of June be less rewarding and exciting because of his visit. He would want to know and feel that he had helped reach my ultimate goal and that he was apart of it.
So, with that being said, I swung my leg back up into the saddle yesterday and started again with spot on eating and a walk. Today my eating was great and another walk. I will be starting my new routine on Thursday and will be ready to complete the rest of the month of June.
I did take a new picture so if you have a moment, take a peak at what four full complete months of healthy eating and exercising can do.
Roll on little doggies, roll on!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Help I’ve Fallen and I can’t get up!

This is an all too familiar phrase. It was made popular back in 2002 by Life Alert Emergency Response. But I bet many of us have this same feeling as we progress to our fit and healthy new lifestyle.

How many times have we been to a party or some sort or had a stressful event that just pushed us over the edge. Before you knew it, a half gallon of ice cream and 17 Oreo, no wait, Pepperidge Farm cookies have been downed and you are onto the left over Halloween candy from your child’s pumpkin. Now come on, raise your hands. I know both of mine are up!

We know we will have opportunities or challenges during this process and even after we reach our goals that will test our abilities and strengths. Sometimes we will conquer them and other times, we will fall down. Making sure we have plenty of healthy food choices in the house and a support network will help us when these situations arise but their may be times that we don’t have any of those options available and I know, that the gas station carries many things that would make me feel better and if needed I would drive to fulfill that desire :)

However, if this happens, we are not failures, because as a Chinese proverb reads “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up”. So, the next time this type of situation arises and you handle it with less than a stellar performance, remember to pick yourself up, brush your knees off and get moving again on the right track because you CAN get up!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

A thought from Buddha

Buddha wrote: "What we think, we become."

It is such a simple statement and yet so profound. We are constantly flooded with images of fit women and the world telling us that this is the image that we want or should be. However, we normally just tell ourselves that we could never be that fit or never could wear those types of clothes and so we don’t.

We continue to live in the same routine and believe the same thoughts about hips being too big, waist to large or thoughts of not being strong enough to complete a race, smart enough to get a promotion or too old to change a career all occupy our reflections. Since we never think we can do or be anything else we reel in our similitude and continue to be unhappy.

However, if we think positive thoughts about ourselves in terms of our physical appearances and our God given abilities we will become these things. We will work hard to create the beautiful, strong and brilliant individual that resides with each one of us.
I am beautiful, smart and strong!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Eleanor Roosevelt

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Wow, another powerful and strong statement from a woman. We certainly are smart aren’t we? Especially when we look at our challenges in the way that Mrs. Roosevelt did.

If we look at something that has happened to us in our life that we consider a “horror” and then compare it to our transition to a healthy lifestyle that we are working towards why oh why wouldn’t we think that we could embark upon this endeavor? We are strong and powerful when we believe in our selves and realize and recognize all of the difficulties we have conquered.

So, with this written down, I’m now challenging myself to do something that I have never done before. My challenge will be to purchase a piece of clothing that I would normally not wear and have a picture taken with me wearing it. After all, I lived through one teenager, how hard should this be?