Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Where do we get the mentality, especially when it comes to diet and fitness, to "start on Monday". Like by waiting until the beginning of the week will make everything magically fall into place? Because I've found that it's actually the contrary. Whenever I have gone into a new diet or exercise program and said "I'll start this on Monday" I have then eaten all the foods I shouldn't eat or will want to exclude once I begin this magical program on a magical Monday.
In the past I've probably gone into my new healthy lifestyle several pounds heavier because I waited until Monday to start.
And you know what, I call bulls*$t on that whole concept. Why wait? Make TODAY the Day!!!!
If you are looking at something in your life right now that doesn't make you happy and/or that you want to change...start today to change it.
If you want to lose weight, don't wait until after the holidays to start...start today.
If you want to become a runner or start a fitness program, don't wait until the first of the year or until x becomes y...start today.
If you want to get your finances in control, don't wait until payday...start today.
The thing is that no matter what goals you have and whether you have all the information or all the pieces of the puzzle in front of you, you can still START TODAY. You can start to lay a foundation for success. How you might ask?
Say you want to start a diet but don't grocery shop until the weekend. Well, you can get started today by outlining a menu and creating your grocery list so you are ready to shop. You can set some goals about how many calories you should be eating to lose weight at a moderate pace. You can start cutting out processed or fatty foods and start adding whatever fruits and veggies you do have available. You can make smarter choices right now. You don't have to wait - you can make TODAY the day.
So maybe you want to start running or some other fitness activity but you don't have a piece of equipment to do so. Well, you can start by adding in a different kind of fitness, like walking...most of us have tennis shoes, right? You can start doing jumping jacks - even if they are modified. You can do crunches. There's lots of things you can do to lay a base of fitness down before starting your actual fitness program. Or you can spend time researching your new fitness plan. Getting it on the calendar and plugged in. You don't have to wait - you can make TODAY the day.
Or perhaps you want to get your finances in order but it seems like it would just be easier to start in the New Year. Well, while you are waiting you can put together an organizational system to handle your bills and records. You can balance your checkbook. You can research options for debt consolidation, if needed. You can make an appointment with a financial consultant. You can pull together your bank statements and what not. In other words, you don't have to wait - you can make TODAY the day.
I could give a lot more examples, but I think you can see that the takeaway is that we don't wait until tomorrow to start breathing, so don't wait until tomorrow to start living. If you want something, regardless of what it is, put together your plan to get it and then GO AFTER IT! Figure out what tools and resources you need and then create a plan to get them in place. Just because we aren't 100% ready for any specific thing doesn't mean we should just put it off. Lay the foundation, set the base, get the plan in order.
Whatever it is, just make TODAY the day!!!
Monday, November 17, 2014
So many times the way this goes is never smooth...it is in fits and starts. It makes me think about when I was first learning to drive, and it was on a manual transmission no less!! Have you driven a stick shift before, or even ridden a motorcycle or something else where you are required to shift gears? Well, the way it works is you have to release the clutch at the same time that you give it gas and if it is in the right ratio of release to gas you smoothly move forward. But when you are learning you don't have the feel for it yet, so many times you jerk forward a few times, sometimes you even stall out because you gave too much release and not enough gas.
It's a complicated procedure when you are first starting out, but once you learn it, you can flawlessly shift without even barely a thought about what you are doing. So here's a funny story about when I was learning to drive. My Mom brought me out to our local college (where I now happen to work!) to practice on the weekend in their really large parking lot. It was the perfect place to learn. So we are driving around and around the parking lot while I try to master the art of release to gas ratio and I keep stalling out - again, and again, and again. My Mom - who is practically a saint she gets frustrated so rarely - starts to get really frustrated with me and kind of snaps at me to just get it already. So I take a deep breath and then put everything I have into that release to gas ratio and finally get going! So I'm cruising along and gaining speed, enough speed that I should be feeling the familiar whine that tells me it is time to shift gears from first to second, but nothing comes. So I just keep going, and again get to a speed that I should be shifting again from second into third but, again, nothing comes. So my Mom is like "what's the deal, why haven't you had to shift" and I'm all confused saying "I don't know it's just...GOING". She has me stop and we finally realize that the reason I didn't have to shift is because I was actually in THIRD GEAR the entire time!!!
If you've driven a manual transmission you know that it's actually quite difficult, although not impossible, to get going in a gear higher than first. And I had just gotten going in third gear!! So after that I felt pretty good about my smooth moves with those pedals. LOL
Anyways, my healthy life is a lot like learning how to drive that manual transmission. Right now I'm in the starts and stops phase where I jerk forward and then stall, to re-start again and maybe get a little further but then stall again, etcetera, etcetera. I know the more I practice my healthy life, the smoother the transition from release to gassing it is going to get. And as good as it feels to hit the gas pedal HARD, if I don't have the right balance of release, it is going to flood the engine and I will stall out. Yet if I don't release (think of this as the bad habits/food) while hitting that gas pedal I will also stall out. It's that whole BALANCE thing between just enough of this, and just enough of that.
And after stalling and chugging and starts and stops, I'm starting to get the feel again for what it means to release one pedal and push the other. Eventually I'm going to be sailing along, flawlessly and effortlessly switching gears between high and low, low and high. But that doesn't mean that I won't encounter a hill or two along the way - one that will test my ability to get that release to gas ratio just right and not roll backwards or crash even though I'm practically a pro at using that manual transmission on a flat street with no stop signs. Right?
So today I'm just focusing on working that balance and getting out of first gear. I know I can because I've done it before. It just takes a little work, but you realize that it is like riding a bike - once you know how to use a manual transmission it always comes right back no matter how long you've been away.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Okay, so you know how when you are starting a fire from scratch you get that little itty bitty flame and then you give a little puff of air, and then another, gently letting the wind whisper across your lips - exhaling gently then inhaling to exhale gently again. And before you know it the little itty bitty flame bursts into life???? Have you ever started a fire that way? What about YOUR fire, you know, your healthy life fire - have you ever started it that way?
I've always loved that this site is called SPARKpeople because the image of the flame really speaks to me. More so at other times, less so in others. But we all can do a little puff of air into our spark lives to get our flames burning brighter. Here's some of the ways:
Drinking Water - that's a puff of air into your Spark. Each time you drink a cup of water, especially if you drink that water instead of a soda or something else, you give your spark a little puff of air.
Eating freggies - that's a puff of air into your Spark. Each time you choose a healthy option like fruits and veggies you are giving your spark the opportunity to catch fire.
Tracking - that's a puff of air into your Spark. When you can see what you are doing in (sometimes) the cold, hard truth - whether you use the Spark trackers, write it out on a piece of paper, blog - whatever works for you - you are giving your Spark the air it needs to grow bigger.
Supporting Others - that's a big puff of air into YOUR Spark. Yes, you're also giving a puff to someone else! Crazy right? You can actually give a little puff into multiple sparks all at the same time with almost no effort at all! And before you know it, you have a bunch of folks with fires burning bright and then it spreads like a wildfire.
Exercising - this is also another way to puff some air into your fire. And the thing here is that it is a sustained puff of air even after you stop - it keeps going! Your body continues to build that fire even while you sleep, eat, work...go about your day. How cool is that?!?!?
There are so many ways that we can give our spark a little puff of air to build a strong fire. What are you doing today to breathe a little air into your Spark Fire? I want to hear about it in the comments!!! :-)
(On the accountability note, I did pretty darn good on Monday, but I also dribbled a little water onto my fire here and there. I ate three pieces of candy - NOT from the jar - I got it from the stash in the cupboard. But yes, that's how I rationalized that I wasn't *actually* breaking my goal for the day since it wasn't from the "candy jar". Pretty lame justification and I will fully admit it now. Yesterday was a huge bucket of water dumped on my fire. I completely admit that I went a little crazy since I had a "holiday" and I treated it as such. Now, I had a great day as far as getting stuff done and enjoying family time. But I did nothing to help my spark catch fire.
AND THAT'S THE THING...Just because I dumped a bucket of water on my flame yesterday doesn't mean that I can't get back to re-lighting the fire TODAY. I'm puffing air into my fire today. It's still a baby fire and it has a long way to go before it is not easily extinguished. And I recognize, and OWN, that and that's really one of the biggest puffs of air that I can give my spark - the recognition that one bad day does not mean that I can't restart again and again.)
My eats today will look just like Monday except for dinner will be pork carnitas. I am going to stick to only two tacos and I'm going to load them with pinto beans and avocado before I add any meat at all with the intention that there won't be much room for the meat after the better for me stuff is in there. :-) Also, I got in another 40 minutes of strength training and my body is certainly feeling it and I've already downed 48 ounces of water and it's only 8:24 AM so I'm totally on track to get my full 96 ounces. And guess what? I have a feeling that today is going to be a good day because my spark is getting ready to LIGHT IT UP!!!
Don't forget to tell me what you're doing to breathe some air into your spark today!
Monday, November 10, 2014
Yesterday I ran a 10k race - the Riverside Mission Inn that I've done previously and it was not a fabulous race for me. Granted, there are a lot of reasons why and some of them are valid and couldn't be helped, but some of them are completely of my own making.
Then later in the day I was texting with my Mom & Sister about how now that we are done with the 10k our focus needs to turn to our half marathon in January and that we need to get serious with our training. And I totally, completely, 100% mean that!! But I also need to get totally, completely 100% serious about my eating too. Sadly enough, it has been less than stellar lately. But I'm not going to focus on that today - I'm going to focus on the fact that today is a new day and there's no better time for me to RESTART THE FIRE!!!
I just need a little Spark...hahaha pun intended!!
The reality is, as much as I try to fight it, I've always done my best when I'm active on Spark. It's tough to find the time for it that I want, but I'm just going to have to make it a priority because that's what we do when something is important. We find a way!!!! Here's what I'm going to focus on this week:
Log into Spark every day and earn some SparkPoints
Track my fitness minutes on Spark
Drink my water every darn day and get back in a solid habit of doing so
Blog my eats...I just can't do the tracker right now. I don't have time and I find it too tedious. But I need to be accountable so I will blog my eats each day...and I mean EVERYTHING. Not just the good stuff.
So that's what I'm going to focus on this week. Today I got up and did 40 minutes of strength training hitting the full body even though I'm sore from the race yesterday. I didn't want to do it, but I did and I'm so glad that I busted through some excuses and got it done! Here's my planned eats for the day:
Breakfast: Frosted Mini-Wheats, Lowfat Milk and Coffee with Sweet Cream
AM Snack: Yoplait Greek Yogurt on 2 Quaker Rice Cakes
Lunch: Salad with grilled honey lime chicken, pepperjack cheese, tortilla strips and Southwestern Ranch dressing
PM Snack (if needed): Almonds
Dinner: Zesty Penne with Sausage and Peppers with french bread
I am NOT going to eat candy from the candy jar and I am NOT going to have any more coffee than what I had with breakfast.
Water tally so far is at about 38 ounces. I need to get up to 64 minimum, but preferably want to hit closer to 96.
Alright - going to keep working on getting that flame re-lit...have a great day everyone!
Friday, October 10, 2014
I'm so darn happy that today is finally Friday!! It's been a week and a half for sure and I'm looking forward to whatever downtime I can carve out; which I suspect won't be nearly enough, but I'll take what I can get!! I have a lot going on this weekend...
Tonight is a Jazz and Wine Fest fundraiser for my work. I need to at least "make an appearance" so I'm going to go and try to get my $40 worth. HA! They will, obviously, have jazz...and wine...LOL; but they will also have food and stuff and some things to look at. Should be a nice evening, although in all honesty I'd much rather be at home in my PJ's catching up on some DVR'd TV. Oh well, such is the life...
Then tomorrow is the Hometown Heroes Honor Run 5k. Last year was the inaugural and I had a great time at this small, local race so I've been looking forward to it all year long. It's the first in a "series" that I completed last year along with my Mom & Sister and I was able to PR by a few seconds last year even though I wasn't even trying for it as it was still very fresh off of my recovery from the knee surgery. So this year I'm really hoping to get a PR while actually trying for it. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about it...I really want this PR and I'm just hoping the stars align and the universe gives me what I'm working for. :-)
And in the middle of all of this other stuff I still have homework and housecleaning and grocery shopping for the week and all that fun stuff. Makes me tired just thinking about everything that needs to be accomplished in the next 2.5 days, but all I can do is all I can do while hoping for the best.
And no matter what, I'm just going to enjoy the heck out of the weekend as much as possible!
What do you have on the docket this weekend? Anything fun or active??
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