Monday, April 05, 2010
To insure good health: Eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.
- William Londen
There is more in this quote then initially meets the eye. Tracking good nutrition and exercise are simple acts. These lead to better health. But there is more to changing to a healthy lifestyle than changing my nutrition and exercise. Living moderately includes portion control and over-coming or avoiding temptation. It includes daily exercise without overkill that leads to burn out. It includes not avoiding exercise. Just do it. Consistently.
Cultivating cheerfulness means changing my attitude. I must change my perceptions, moods and actions. I will continue to journal my emotions and strategies so that I learn more about myself. I will also start to journal about imperfection/perfection issues that get in my way.
Maintaining interest in life is a result of the change in attitude and actions. When I am not cultivating cheerfulness or living in moderation, I sabotage myself. I do this by being too sensitive and letting feelings dictate my actions. I do it by eating as if the calories do not count momentarily. I comfort myself or binge instead of meeting life head on and dealing with it differently.
So the first 2 parts of the quote are about the body--eating right and exercising. The next 3 parts are about the mind: moderation and consistency (not over-doing or under-doing it), changing my attitude (I'm working on my emotions right now and my next step is to look at my attitude toward my imperfections) and being more interested and active in life. The last part will improve naturally. As I learn to re-frame my emotions and change my choice of action, I will take more control of my life. The attitude of blame will be gone. Passive/aggressive behaviors will be in the distant past. I will be active and engaged in my life, creating and making my own choices and initiating things with others.
My journey to a better health and fitness lifestyle needs to address more than calorie counting and exercise. It encompasses much more.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I’m working on our little 16 foot scoot-about boat cleaning the hull from last season. I boat a fresh water lake. It is a tuff job getting all the junk off the bottom—but I need to so I can wax it and the boat will go fast. I’m preparing for a warm holiday weekend and want it to be fun.
So this is “functional fitness”. My abdominals were my weakest body part when I started weight lifting class in January. I was stunned. In class, I do abdominal exercises. This hull cleaning is an equally good workout. The boat is up on a trailer and I am cleaning the underside from beneath it. I am working my triceps, biceps, shoulders and abdominals. I sustain myself in a side plank at the back of the boat, scrub one direction, turn to the other side and scrub some more. I wear safety goggles so no chemical drips in my face—and of course, chemical resistant rubber gloves. For the front of the boat where it curves away from the ground, I squat, lunge and otherwise crouch to reach the gunk under the boat with a sponge or stiff scrub brush on a handle. It takes a lot of elbow grease. I’ve been at it for 2 days now because I can only do so much at a time. Plus I just ran out of Zing and need to go get more.
Ugh! Better than the exercise I pay for at the Y I suppose!! My husband will be thrilled when he sees how much I got done. I had also helped DD move out of the college apartment this weekend (Ohio State is on quarters instead of semesters). That was a lot of calorie burn!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Easter is this weekend. My kids aren’t kids anymore but they still like me to put together beautiful Easter baskets. I love making them pretty. When I was a kid, I was in a large family. Mom used brown paper bags that she rolled the tops down toward the bottoms to create compact little baskets. The tradition was to hide the baskets. These compact brown containers could morph into the most unsuspecting places including taped underneath chairs or up in the crevice of her double rinse basins (we had a ringer washer and basins). I don’t continue that tradition, though with ten siblings, it was a blast. It just wasn’t customary for my husband so I created new traditions.
I just now completed the baskets. They have in them a lot of junk. While putting them together, I ate one Almond Joy egg. I put jelly beans and M&Ms inside little plastic eggs and taped them shut. I did not have a single one. I divided the Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs among the baskets. I did not make a basket for myself. There is some leftover chocolate and jelly beans that I taped shut entirely by wrapping the whole package so I won’t open it. That will leave the house with the kids.
The baskets themselves are pretty baskets from a discount store in which I added green Easter grass, lots of filled plastic eggs and other candies. They each have a solid chocolate rabbit. The best candy is from our local candy store where I purchase at Christmas time and Easter. The other stuff is the junk-robin eggs, Cadbury things and stuff like that from the drug store. There are cute little stuffed things to say “awe” over and sunglasses. Each basket is wrapped in colorful plastic and really taped well and sealed so I will not touch anything.
I am dealing well, I think, with changing my lifestyle without drastically and suddenly changing everyone else’s. The kids know I don’t want candy around so everything will leave the house with them. They are college and high school age. My high school age son actually does well with sweets. He eats them slowly in moderation. That amazes me. He is an athlete and has no weight issues.
Well, baskets done. It’s time to finish cleaning.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I’ve been researching antioxidants in cocoa and concluded that I will have hot cocoa regularly in my diet. Antioxidants are higher in natural cocoa powder (such as the cheap stuff made by Hershey on the regular grocery shelf) than in chocolate chips or bars—even the fancy organic dark chocolate bars I splurged on. I found that for me, I do not do well with “the rest of the chocolate chips” or bar around my house. I have difficulty with moderation when trigger foods are in the house. Solution: don’t have them around.
A small cup of hot cocoa satisfies me! I mix 2 T cocoa powder with one packet of stevia and a pinch of salt. I add hot water—about a quarter cup to mix it up. I then add a half cup of microwaved milk. I will purchase non-dairy milk because I know dairy mixed with cocoa decreases the amount of antioxidants my body absorbs.
The funny thing is, this is exactly what my mother made for me growing up.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I shared my goal of 100 pounds of weigh loss with family, coaches at the Y, and friends. The eye-opener for me was the reaction—or lack of—that I received. I thought I would see jaws drop. Nada (except from my closest friend who graciously said she always thinks of me as the size I was when I first met her twenty years ago!) God bless her.
I have not ‘seen’ my weight gain. I lived a busy life combining motherhood, marriage and career. Early on, I was in training working ungodly hours nobody should endure. But I successfully combined it with new marriage and motherhood. I am proud!
But my lifestyle was not without a price. I gained 100 pounds over two decades! And I am the person most shocked!! God bless my husband, family and dear friends who love me no matter what my weight.
I am not unique. The phenomena of “not seeing” seems self-protective to many. I acknowledge my excessive weight now and am making corrective changes. Another area in my newly acknowledged non-uniqueness is emotions and how they play into my weighty lifestyle. I currently am working on a journal streak “I am angry because….” If you knew me in real life, you would think I am a self-controlled, upbeat, fun, optimistic, successful person. That is what I project. But again, I am not unique. I have anger issues! I get angry over big and little things; over actions of others that are often un-intended to rile anger. I get angry at myself. In my journal, I give myself permission to feel anger. I insist I acknowledge and write about it. I am more aware of how my perceptions and actions are out of whack with what is really going on and sometimes I am self-sabotaging. I am now aware that I am master of my own life and happiness. How I see things is sometimes distorted. Like many others, I do not look at things immediately from other people’s perspectives. They have their own issues, demands, mis-perceptions and ways of doing things that have nothing to do with me. The power this is giving me in taking back control of my life is awesome. Sometimes, I am right when I’m angry. Sometimes,,,I’m making it worse for myself by choosing a bad attitude when I can choose better.
Ben Franklin journaled. He used streaks for focus and self-improvement. He reflected on his emotions at the end of the day to gain insight. (He also got fat in his older age and was a womanizer--but hey, I’m just going to take the good and not the rest). I read his autobiography when I was a teen. I forgot about applying his good advise to my life til now.
I like technology and enjoy using the journal pages that I can access online. I like how nice and neat they look and how easy it is to review passages. I like the streak counter too. I’ve used it for the usual goals and also to cure my athlete’s foot!! In the past, I petered out as symptoms subsided but this time I kept the treatment going for a full six weeks and I am now cured. Yay!
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