Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Check out this blog from Huffington Post:
This is the best piece on weight management I've read in a very long time.
What do you say?
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
First, the details I must include:
I received this DVD for free from SparkPeople and did not receive any form of payment for my review.
SparkPeople is in partnership with Walmart to sell this DVD. It is available at Walmart. Members will get 250 SparkPoints for buying the DVD at Walmart and will be entered to win a $500 Walmart gift card for purchasing before January 31, 2014.
Here is the URL to purchase the DVD: www.sparkpeople.com/28daybootcamp
My review in three words: I like it!
I'm surprised and pleased by how much I like this DVD. I don't know why, but I expected it to be geared mostly to beginning exercisers. SparkPeople does such a good job of providing resources to empower anyone and everyone to get active, no matter our age, physical condition, or emotional response to the concept of exercise, I find that much of the material on the website is geared to beginners. Mind you, I'm not complaining -- just observing.
But this DVD does a great job of balancing the needs of beginnners, intermediate exercisers, and what I'd call advanced-intermediates. I'd say that only the most advanced exercisers, the very fit, might not find a lot of value in this DVD.
I consider myself to be somewhere in the intermediate to advanced-intermediate range and this DVD was properly challenging. I especially love the Tone & Burn and Total Body Challenge workouts. They are well-paced with many moves that challenge balance, coordination, and strength. The routines are not repetitive and the time seems to pass pretty quickly.
The routines are easy to follow, but not boring. They seem to be just challenging enough to keep my attention and focus (they don't let my mind wander, because I am concentrating on the moves), without being difficultly choreographed. Coach Nicole is encouraging but not annoying, and her even-keeled presentation allows me to concentrate on her (thorough) instructions. I appreciate the two other trainers who demonstrate modifications for more simple and more advanced moves. The three instructors work together well. The DVD is filmed and edited in such a way that the viewer can easily see the moves and modifications, without excessive cuts and strange angles.
My only complaints, and these are really mild, is that I wish the two "background" trainers (Jewell and Lindsay) were wearing different colors from each other. They happen to have similar hairstyles and because they were wearing the same outfits, it was a little difficult at times to keep my eye on the trainer I wanted to follow. Also, I found the music to be rather uninspiring. It's pretty quiet and pretty bland. Some will like that, though. I just prefer a peppier workout mix.
I've enjoyed using this DVD very much -- I've been working with it for about 5 weeks. I find it motivating, pleasant, and it definitely challenges my muscles when I'm doing the Tone & Burn and Total Body Challenge routines. I'd recommend this DVD to any Sparker (beginning to advanced-intermediate level) looking for a fun, challenging and sound fitness routine.
Monday, January 13, 2014
So the last two weeks have been rough, emotionally. Since Thanksgiving, when I moved to my new place (which I love, love, love, by the way), I've been off-track with my food and fitness. In December, I started working on getting back to the behaviors that really support me, with mixed success. My success has been mixed because I've decided on several occasions, to eat for comfort.
What's going on that I'd actually consciously choose to eat for comfort? My girlfriend's father became critically ill and died in the first week of January. They're in Ohio, and I'm in Los Angeles, so due to the polar vortex I wasn't even able to join the family for the last days or funeral. Travel was impossible.
At the same time, my ex's wife (my daughter's stepmom) is battling cancer and this time it looks pretty grim (she's had a number of brushes with death as this has been chronic). She needs a ghastly surgery and there's really no certainty that it will prolong her life meaningfully. So I need to be here physically and emotionally for my daughter (and I'm trying to be decent to my ex).
I have had many days of deciding to just eat. Usually in the evening. Usually carbs or chocolate.
At the same time, I've been having a lot of trouble falling asleep at night. I attributed that to the general stress of all that's going on (not to mention life -- work, housework, parenting, attending to my elderly mother). A couple of nights ago, though, as I was drifting off, my mind jumped to all the chips and cheese I'd eaten that evening (without tracking, of course). Dang! I got this big jolt of anxiety and adrenaline.
Sure, my stomach was over-full, and that was uncomfortable. But then I also had this incredible anxiety. I had a concrete experience of the immediate connection between the over-eating and the anxiety. The very behavior I used to use to "sedate" myself when life was "too much" was adding to my anxiety! There's a direct causal connection, not just five weeks down the road when I don't like the number on the scale or what's happening when I get dressed.
Right now, today, eating poorly makes me feel worse. And I don't like it.
Maybe that last sentence is really the kicker. I don't like it.
In the past, I might have said I don't care. I don't care, I want the food anyway. I want the momentary thrill of the chocolate on my tongue or the fun of pulling apart those nachos and chewing them up.
But now, I don't like how I feel emotionally when I abuse myself. And that's what using food for emotional novocaine is, of course. Abuse.
So. Now is not the time for more self-harm. No harsh self-talk. No punishment with overexercise or rigorous "dieting." Nope. Now is the time for feeling the feelings, and gentle self-care, starting with good food in healthy proportions and some activity.
I've been on track again for a couple of days, and last night I noticed a big difference in my anxiety level. Here's to less anxiety and more self-acceptance, friends.
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
An author I follow on Facebook, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, recommended this week that her readers pick one word as a kind of theme or grounding point for the New Year. She also advised that it not be one of the "big" words like love, peace, or hope. She suggested we pick a "little" word, one that is perhaps more personal or more concrete. In that word, she says, is contained all the big words, anyway.
What's your word for the year?
I keep changing my mind about mine. Sometimes I think it is "release," and sometimes I think I'll pick "boundaries." Of course, they're two sides of the same coin, so maybe it doesn't matter. But for now, I'm going with "release." I'm releasing attachments that don't serve me, whether they're relationships, things, or behavior patterns. I'm releasing harsh judgment and other habits of thinking that keep me from being the loving and strong person I want to be. I'm releasing the effort to control stuff that's not mine to control. See, that's where the boundaries come in!
I wish you all the best in 2014. Happy New Year!
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