Friday, August 22, 2008
A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight.
- V. Borge
The power of a positive face
Have you ever contemplated how much a smile can change a person's day? Both the person who smiles and the one who sees it are positively impacted by such a small act. This seemingly tiny reflex can perk up a bad attitude, make you seem more warm and inviting, and often pass some happiness on to others. So the next time your alarm goes off for your 5 a.m. run or your dog barks in the middle of the night, smile instead of grumbling. You'd be surprised how a positive face can in turn become a positive and motivational attitude!
I'm always amazed at how well this works! You can be struggling in spin class, stuck in traffic, or just totally in a bad mood, and by smiling, you can quickly change the way you are feeling. It sounds so simple, and it really is...
This was a really awesome week as far as workouts go. I did the new program that incorporates doing exercises one side at a time. Today was leg day(Monday was chest & shoulders, Wednesday was back and abs). This is always my most difficult day because of my knee problems. But, as I've decided to just suck-it-up and push on(because it never feels good anyway) I've been seriously committed to working legs one day a week. Today I did single leg squats(using a bench and putting back leg up on the bench), stationary lunges, and leg press, then I did single leg curls w/ball, machine leg curls. I added calf raises, and hyperextensions along with ab machine/lower ab machine, as I had additional time before spin class. All in all, I was very pleased as lunges are always difficult and the single leg squat was a totally new challenge. I find it amazing that after all this time working out(2 years in the gym) I can go an learn/try new things all the time still. That's the best part of strength training, it never, ever needs to be boring. I'm always psyched to lift weights and feel so awesome aftewards.
Today's spin class was very good(hard, but good) as the instructor used some new music-an Olympics soundtrack-and anytime there is new music, I'm always pumped to go with it.
Well, the weekend is here. My daughter leaves for Australia on Monday to do her Study Abroad program with Boston University. I'm excited for her, but I'm really going to miss her. I'm also a bit apprehensive, as it's so far away, I only pray that everything goes well and there are no emergencies, or problems. I know she's going to be a bit homesick, but she'll also have so many adventures and lots of fun I hope. We'll be taking her to the airport directly from my son's football scrimmage in Doylestown(it's her twin brother and she'll miss all his senior year college football games while she's away). It will be good for her to see her brother once before she goes, he's been at football camp since last week. We had a going-away party for her last Sunday, but he couldn't leave football camp. The rest of the family all came to say good-bye and good-luck. It was a lot of fun. She also caught up with a few old high school friends last night at the local coffee shop. We're going out to dinner and a movie with her tonight, and she and I are going for a maincure and pedicure tomorrow morning.
That's about all I have for now, I can't believe summer has flown by...
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Sometimes I read things here on SP that are so meaningful and important to me that I copy them here so I can look back at them from time to time.
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.
- Albert Ellis
Do you accept responsibly for your choices in life?.
Do you feel in control of your life? No matter how negative events or actions may become, you are the only force that is able to determine the reaction. Often we fail to do this and instead blame the world for our feelings of sadness, rejection, and hopelessness. The reality is that your actions are a choice, and you must claim those feelings and choices. We can be our best cheerleader or worst enemy when it comes to determining the health of our emotions. Do some pep talks with yourself each morning. This will help you develop positive, self-affirming thoughts that will enhance your personal development and growth.
This one is so absolutely the truth. If I could sum up all of the "whys" of this time, this could actually cover them. Finally, taking action and making the choice to get healthy is where it all began. Learning that I indeed had that power, and could stop being a victim was life altering!
Where Does Your Motivation Go When You Lose it?
Have you ever wondered where your motivation goes when you lose it? If you knew that, it would probably be a lot easier to find it again, right?
If I had $10 for every hour I've spent trying to track down my motivation, or wondering what's wrong with me when I couldn't find it, I'd be rich. Still unmotivated, but rich. But all that wasted time and mental energy did teach me one important thing: that my motivation hadn't gone anywhere. It's was my mind that had gone wandering off in the wrong direction, like a blindfolded contestant in a pin the tail on the donkey game.
Motivation isn't something you can find or lose, or something you can get from anyone or anything else. If you really want to accomplish something, you already have all the motivation you need, and there's nothing to go looking for.
If you find yourself choosing the couch and the treat more often than you'd like, the absolute WORST thing you can do is to start thinking that you've lost your motivation. That just makes you feel helpless and down on yourself, and/or sends you off on a wild goose chase looking for something you already have.
What you actually need to do is train your wandering mind to remember how much you really want to accomplish your goal and how good it feels to do what it takes to make this happen. When you can remember that feeling, and call it to mind in the moment when you actually have to choose between chilling on the couch and doing your exercise, or between the pizza and the steamed veggies, making the decision you want to make will be much easier. You may still decide to go for the couch and the pizza once in a while, but you'll know it's your decision, and not the result of some mysterious problem called "lack of motivation." And that will be OK. You won't need to get all worried about losing your motivation, or get down on yourself, because you'll know you can make a different decision whenever you want to.
The real motivation-killer is thinking that "being motivated" means not having these conflicts between opposing desires, or expecting that you'll do the "right" thing every time. That's what leads to feeling guilty or defective, and beating up on yourself--and that's about as helpful as a broken leg is to a runner. Sometimes, cutting yourself some slack is just what you need.
Stop wondering where your motivation went, and kick all that negative self-talk to the curb.
I must give credit for the above article to Dean Anderson and the newly created sparkpeople website. When I read this it struck such a cord and actually was something I needed reminding of. This can be found on the new site and it's really worth reading along with the follow-up that gives ideas for ways to kick the negative self-talk. I've bookmarked it in my favorites so I can read it there, but I'll also access the points most pertinent to me by reading my version in this blog.
This has been a really great week for me. Monday, due to a dentis appt. I missed spinning class. I was so proud of myself for doing my own spin-class after I lifted. I went to the dentist in my workout clothes, so that I wouldn't be tempted to take a day off. I went directly to the gym did my Monday lift (which is also a new program that focuses on doing exercises one side at a time). Then I used a print out I had of an interval spin program. I had planned to only do it one time through for a 28 minute workout, but instead I did the advanced version and went for 56 minutes. I really enjoyed it, and kicked my own butt to boot! I did spin class on Tuesday and then again Wednesday morning (after my lifting). Today was a cardio only day, and it was cool because we had a sub in class and it made the class fresh and different. I'm finding that it's a big lift when the music is different or the instructor changes things up. Wish there was a way for that to happen more frequently.
My lifting program on Mondays is a push day, and included push-ups. I'm really thrilled that I can now do legitimate, perfect form push-ups! No more cheating!!! It makes me happy to see that I can still keep improving no matter how long I've been doing this (2 years straight at the gym now 3-4 days lifting 5 days cardio).
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Saturday is usually a day I don't go to the gym. I had planned to go today, but alas, this is my middle daughter's birthday and I went shopping for her. Plenty of walking and since I was out early(and my gym's Sat. hours aren't very convenient)no time for gym. There is a spin class at 9:30 tomorrow morning, planning on making it for that.
Food is much better and I'm so thrilled to have plenty of peaches at my disposal. Not paying for fruit is really awesome, as prices are off the chart.
Exercise is such a part of my life now, that I don't think I could ever go back to a place where I wasn't getting enough. Working out helps my physical body become stronger and more resilient, but it also has many pluses for my mind. Taking time out of my day to exercise gives me a chance to let go of worries, calm my mind, and concentrate on one thing--which seems impossible most other times. I wish everyone could realize the benefits and understand that the journey to health and fitness must include exercise, not just diet. I'm still amazed by the number of SP members who write me and say, "I'm going to get started with exercise", or I've got to make time for it. If you're breathing than you have time, it's just a matter of choices. I chose to skip my extra gym day today, and that's a choice I must accept. I will choose to go tomorrow morning, as I've already set my alarm as an impetus. There's always a choice to be made, and making the healthy choice is the challenge, but it's a worthwhile choice to make.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Make your years count! Today is my 53rd birthday and I know that I finally am living that adage. I've never for one minute thought about age in relation to weight loss and fitness. Though I do get reminded that I'm not in my 20's anymore by the lack of cooperation from certain body parts(ie. my knee), I really don't think of myself as being 53! I feel better at this age than I did 20 years ago.
I just got back from playing 18 holes with my son. It was a great morning and I wouldn't have been able to do this 3 years ago. I am finally concentrating on things that are truly important instead of induging myself in things that are not only unimportant by unhealthy. I no longer focus on my age and I focus my energy on the moment and try to live each one in a meaningful way. I know that being fit and taking care of myself is what really matters most, along with being surrouned by a wonderful and loving family(most of all my DH).
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Spinning class today was awesome! It just drove home the point I made in my blog yesterday, about excuses. This was the instructor that I complained so much about over the winter. I had been skipping her class and doing other cardio because I didn't care for the way she runs the class. However, taking a break from the class seems to have re-envigorated me and I'm finding a reason to enjoy all the classes/instructors.
I guess I wouldn't have found myself in that situation if I cross-trained more and perhaps tried other classes. Unfortunately, step classes are just not an option due to my knee problems. That leaves me with running and/or spinning which, over time, can lead to a boredome. But, it's nice to see that a short break has given me back the enjoyment I previousely felt from doing the class!
I'm not going to make class tomorrow, however, as I'm going golfing with my son, and since he has work in the afternoon, we have to go at 7:30 and that means missing class. I can go on Saturday however.
It's nice to know that I can adapt to everday events!
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