Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Wednesday, 8 am spin class, that means I have to get to the gym by 7:45 in order to get my lifting in. I wish it wasn't still dark at that time of the morning and today we had some icey conditions because of the rain yesterday then dropping temps overnight...I could have lived without that! But to the gym I went and got my lift in. I can't tell people enough how important it is to change your program. Today was a great example; last week I added a new tricep exercise-raised leg dips-and I was really feeling it. I did that for 3 sessions, and today I decided to do kickbacks instead...I can really feel them after doing that! Of course, making sure you increase the weight and reps is also key. Since SP offers very little guidance for those who want to lift seriously with free weights/machines that I recommend doing your own research. I've been teaching myself since I began in August of 2006. First I looked up exercises on the internet (not a whole lot of help unless you want to buy something) then I went to the library and took out a few books (very helpful-but no set programs and they had to go back to the library. Finally, I started buying every magazine I could find on nutrition and fitness. I found that some, like, SELF, Fitness, Shape, have exercises, but they are more like SP and not exactly what I wanted (and they are jam packed with beauty articles-though nice, not what I wanted from these mags). Finally, I found Muscle & Fitness Her's, it is awesome in that it has lifting programs, it shows technique, and how to select weight, etc. The one thing I don't get into is the whole supplement thing. My second favorite for the same reason, is Oxygen, there the same holds true for all the supplements and diet aids and also the body builder women, but they are good(I believe they are published and edited by the same guy - Kennedy). I'm big on technique and so I really like their workouts. I don't go the whole "clean eating" route that they suggest, it's just too time consuming but I do stick to my SP nutrition guidelines.
Here's something I don't understand...sorry if this is repetitive...people with the "I can't" attitude. Haven't they heard that if you start by saying "can't" then you've already lost? This is such a daily occurance. People ask "how did you do it" and of course I give them a brief explanation and the first thing they say is "oh, I can't exercise in the morning...that much...eat that..." Hey, I'm not special, and I "can"! I went from a total couch potato to working out 5-6 days a week. I didn't just jump right into that, there was a lot that was really, really hard for me in the beginning...like going from a 3500 calorie a day diet to 1200...but I never said "I can't" or "I won't", if I had said those words than I wouldn't have been given this second chance at life. So, we all need to get rid of the negatives when we talk about ourselves and realize that we all have it in us to do what is necessary, if we really want it! There's no "trying" or "giving it a shot", like Pat Riley says, "There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either IN or you're OUT. There's no such thing as life in-between." I lived "life in-between" for 20+ years, and I can tell you it's no fun!!! Now I'm definately "all in" and loving it!
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.
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