Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Talk to yourself. Want to feel happier every day? Consistently replacing negative thoughts with an upbeat mantra will alter your outlook, according to a study from the University of Kentycky. How to do it:
1. Envision your ideal life, then craft an encouraging phrase that makes it sound as if what you desire is already a reality. Instead of "I hope tomorrow is better," try "My future is bright."
2. Repeat your mantra whenever you start to bad-mouth yourself. "you'll retrain your brain to focus on the positive, not the negative," study author Ann Peden says.
3. Adopt one of these sayings, and give yourself a talking to:
*I am strong and can handle whatever life throws my way.
*Everything happens when it's meant to happen.
*I choose to love and appreciate myself.
*I am grateful for the good in my life.
*I can make healthy choices.
*Happiness lies before me.
*I forgive my flaws and celebrate my strengths.
It seems that everything points to our mental outlook in overcoming any difficult times or achieving our goals. I guess that shouldn't surprise me because I've learned this lesson over the past 2 years. I'm basically a very positive person anyway, and usually try to find the good in things. But, I never parlayed that into myself in the past. I could never seem to measure up to my own expectations, and I refused to go easy on myself. But, now that I'm able to focus my energy and thoughts on myself, I've learned that you are what you want to be. It's a waste of time and energy to dwell on what you don't have, instead you have to look at all you have and appreciate it each day. We also need to understand that until we value ourselves other people won't truly value us. I guess it's safe to say that even at 50+ years of age we can still learn something each day...
Today's workout went pretty well. I did have to limit my spinning to the class time (55 minutes) only as I began to experience back spasms during the last 2 minutes of the class. I did however burn 400 calories and that added to the 25 minutes I spent doing ab work and leg work (I never hit the stop button on my heart monitor) pushed me over 500 for the workout...my calorie intake for the day was at the low range (1260) so I'm pleased with the day overall.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Well, it's another Monday morning, the alarm sounded at 7 today since spinning isn't until 9:30. My it was frigid outside! But, off I went and had another good workout. I burned my 500 calories in spinning and of course did my lift. Again I ran out of time for my legs and abs, so tomorrow I'll work them before spinning (very light work for the legs concentrating on abductor and hamstring work). While I was working out some woman came up to me and asked if I minded telling her how old I was...I said I was 52, she said I'm 44 and I hope I can look like you when I'm your age...I guess that's a compliment...at least the body part, ha ha! Also, the girl I helped out last week was there doing her workout as she said she would be! I'm proud of her, she had to bring her kids with her today and pay for daycare because of the holiday-that shows a committment!
Well, tomorrow my youngest son goes back to school (Delaware Valley College), his twin sister left last week to go back to Boston U. So my house will be empty again at least during the day (one still lives her but works in a school). There are many good points to that, but it will be a bit lonely again, until I readjust...it's nice when it's only my DH and myself we do enjoy each other's company.
So, I weighed in today and lost only .6 but, there was an extenuating circumstance (needed to have a bm) so I'd say it's close to, if not, a pound. I'm happy with that. If I can lose 1/2 lb a week, I can live with that.
I'm excited that we will be having our 35 year class reunion in September. My DH and I both graduated from the same school and we're looking forward to seeing classmates we haven't seen since graduation. There are also a bunch of people we've seen sporadically over the years. I think my DH is excited about showing me off to the ones who have seen me as my old self. That's pretty cool that he feels that way! It's good too, because it gives me another reason to keep training hard so I can finally get to my goal weight (which is close to my HS weight)!
Speaking of weight, I read an article in SELF magazine that profiled 5 woman and asked them what their "ideal" weight was and then they had medical experts determine if that was a realistic or "happy" weight for them. Only one of the women actually picked the weight they said was her "happy" weight, all the others were grossly under what the experts said was right for them...that makes me wonder what my "happy" weight should be...
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Today was pretty uneventful, as it's my day "off" from working out. I did, however, take a 30 minute walk with my sister's dog. It was quite brisk and it was mainly just to get out and move as I was feeling a little tired and figured the chilly air would wake me up - it did! I work out so hard during the week that I really need a recovery day and a walk is very calming and not taxing in any way. This weekend I tried to move more and sit less. Saturday night we were thinking of taking in a movie but instead went bowling. While it certainly isn't arobic, at least I was not sitting in a theater. This week we plan on going bowling Monday night and going country line dancing on Wednesday night...I like the idea of doing things that are fun and burn calories.
Today I read a book called "How Full is your Bucket" which talks about how you can greatly increase the positive moments in your life - while reducing the negative. It says that we are all certain to face major challenges as we progress through life. Often, we feel as if we were "dealt a bad hand" and that life is unfair. But we don't have to allow ourselves to be defined by our hardships. Instead our responses to difficult events and our emotional state are much more important. Positive reinforcement about our strengths can buffer us against getting overwhelmed with the negative. Research shows that positive emotions do much more than merely signal well-being. They also improve coping and produce well-being. They do so not just in the present, pleasant moment, but overthe long term as well...Positive emotions are not trivial luxuries, but instead may be critical necessities for optimal functioning. The idea of "bucket filling" is that we need to we fill other's "buckets" by giving them positive comments or re-enforcement, and that by doing so, we are also filling our own "buckets" with positives because of how it makes us feel. It's all quite simple when you think of it, but very true and good advice to try and follow.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Right now I'm sitting here looking out at a very gray and dreary day. I have already gone and run this morning in the bright sunshine and I was feeling very good about myself and life in general. But, alas, I've let outside matters dull my good spirits. First, I'm disappointed in my DH for disappearing for the day, without so much as a word...then it's my son for skipping family dinner tomorrow, and lastly my middle daughter has also informed me of her absence from the FD as well! So, that leaves me perturbed and annoyed and even a bit angry with my family (oh and there's also my brother-in-law and his failure to understand the status of the family farm and how to stop sinking money into a sinking shipas well as telling me about another family member's sabotage of my husband with his other brother) and feeling a bit sorry for myself. Then I read this: A lot in our past can be chalked up to inexperience, youth, and happenstance. But now, as an adult, you must claim your choices and their consequences as your own. Negative attitudes affect your life by creating cynicism, a pessimistic outlook, and often a lack of confidence. Take note of the ways you are escaping responsibility for your attitude. Do you continually blame situations, friends and family, or life in general for your poor mindset? The world has influence, without a doubt, but growing into a mature person means taking control of your emotions and attitude. Own them!
So, here's what I'm doing...forget them! Whatever they choose to do is fine with me. It's time I stopped feeling as if they control my happiness. I can have a life with or without their presences (sure I'd prefer them here, but...). It's time for me to make my own happiness and worry less about their's. After all, I've spent the last 29 years giving them all the things they needed and wanted in life...their happiness has always come first...
Sorry, I'm over all of that now. My DH came home and apologized and I'm accepting the fact that my "children" are grown-ups who have their own lives...still working on that though...
I, however, am more than capable of making myself happy and taking the responsibility for doing so. I've learned these lessons over the past two years, though I still need to be reminded from time to time. I found success this time, in part, because I finally owned up to what I'd done to myself, and realized that only I could undo all those wrongs. It's quite an empowering feeling actually, to stop finding people/things to blame for one's lot and instead taking the action needed to change them. We can't expect people to always live up to our expectations, once again, they are "our" expectations, not theirs, so we have to accept that and move forward. When I think of all the blessings I have in this life, it's rather silly of me to dwell on insignificant things such as those of today, and waste my precious time being the least bit unhappy!
So, I now sit here with a smile on my face, remembering how fabulous I felt out in the brisk, fresh air and cool, sunshine while I ran. It was glorious and I know that tomorrow will be an unfit day for outdoor activity, but I got my dose today and it will carry me through.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Well, today completes my week at the gym. I don't go on Sat or Sun, though I will either run or walk tomorrow in the park...and it was a great week. I did another 500 calories (80 minutes) worth of spinning today, and had another really good lift. I need to work in a few leg exercises for my inner thigh but, I've more or less eliminated most of the leg work as the spinning class really works the legs hard. I can feel it in my glutes, quads and outer thigh big time.
Basically, things are uneventful besides, though it was really nice today my husband said how great I look...it's always nice to hear that...the extra hard work is paying off and it encourages me to work even harder...
My food was very good again today...and now I'm off to bed...I know it's only 8:44, but I'm tired as I set the alarm for 6:30 this morning and got up at 6:15!
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