Sunday, January 09, 2011
It was the best of plans...
We were heading out to see "Unstoppable"...great flix! (only nitpicks are: WHY did Tony Scott have to take $$ from Rupert Murdoch and Fox, the most biased name in news, so they could do the faux reporting in the movie?!?! And why didn't they use the real names of the cities involved along this route in PA...?).
Afterward others wanted to go to a buffet for dinner. Me? Wasn't sure I could handle it yet. I've eaten healthy there in the past, but over the past few months I've committed crimes against myself, my heart and my SPARK by "straying" from what I know to be healthy choices.
So I came up with a Plan B: this restaurant happened to be near one of our local Rail-to-Trails! I'll go for a walk/jog while others eat and catch up with my healthy 15 bean soup later when we return home!
BUT! As we drove along we wondered: Do they light up the Rail-to-Trail at night...?
Nope. Neither cold, nor snow would have kept me from my appointed duty. But dark of night in the form of an unlit path...? I didn't think it would be too wise.
So I agreed to return to the scene of the crime...time to exercise that "psychological muscle" I've been speaking of here and there lately...!
BUT! Stayed right on track with my healthy choices: a heaping mound of baby spinach, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, chunks of broiled chicken breast, a little feta cheese topped with some balsamic vinaigrette and on the side a dab of cottage cheese, a few cubes of cantaloupe and a few bites of spicy (not saucy) pork.
Filled me to the BRIM! There wouldn't have been any "room" for "straying" no matter HOW weak my will might have been! My old strategy was back in gear!
So now, I haven't done my cardio for the day and I'm home and there's no other choice but the treadmill...not too keen on this so let's dilly dally the night away and I THOUGHT I'd get up there by 9:30 but it turned out to be more like 11:30 and I PUSHED myself through that "thing" I have against night time workouts
(Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. ~Brendan Francis)
and thank you Brendan...and had a pretty decent 64 minutes on the treadmill. Didn't even look at the clock until 36 mins. had already passed.
Wrapped up with a great boost from one of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs "I Am Singing"
I had planned to wrap it up after that at 60 mins. but then those Spin Doctors just HAD to get on and rock it out with Little Miss Can't Be Wrong! :-)
Couldn't resist, so kicked it up to a 64 min. session, mostly @ 4 mph, kicking it up to 5 here and there and always keeping the incline @ 10%...I never allow myself to set it lower. Just like I never set the speed any slower than 4 mph.
Now: If I could only draw lines in the sand that were EQUALLY FIRM on my food choices, tracking and weighing myself...! Those are the challenges ahead!
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Hey, nailed a mini-milestone today:
The route from my daytime work to my private practice office is 1 1/2 miles each way. Normally I use the Nordic Poles and walk with some jogging tossed in.
Too slippery for the poles to "dig in" today so for the first time I jogged the whole way THERE and BACK!
Now I know to you Road Runners (*beep beep*) around here this may be a walk in the park, but it felt mighty fine to this, as yet, non-runner! :-)
ps...and as a bonus there was shovelable snow in my driveway tonight and my neighbor was the good samaritan I've asked him to be and DIDN'T snowblow it out for me...lol!
Friday, January 07, 2011
Pardon the post-holidays reference to Miracle on 34th Street...but I had some afterthoughts to my last blog and realized that there really IS magic! Miracles really DO happen!
Here's the catch: It is all within us! I will still maintain that there IS no magic "out there." It lies within our hearts and minds. This is not some fanciful rambling. We all hold within us the potential to listen to our inner selves, to enable ourselves to SING through our lives and accomplish TRULY AMAZING feats!
For example, consider some of the accomplishments people have made under the most ADVERSE conditions such as the POW who is finally released after years of existing in an environment deprived of even basic stimulation yet has thoroughly mastered the piano via years of practice on an imaginary piano drawn on the dirt floor or imagined in thin air. Or under less adverse conditions such as the musical composer who "hears" their final masterpiece before ever putting pen to paper; the artist who "sees" their artistic masterwork before ever picking up the paintbrush; the writer who envisions their novel or poem before putting a single word down on paper or the inventer who has conceptualized their final product before any tinkering begins.
They are not unique, they are tapping into their own magic, their own potential for creating miracles...something we ALL can do!
It is SO IMPORTANT to inspire yourself by dreaming of accomplishing things that will make your heart SING!
SEE IT! FEEL IT! There is TREMENDOUS POWER within us to TRANSFORM our lives! And we can't do this by beating ourselves up, wagging the finger at ourselves...forget about guilt, regrets, shame...just set all of that aside at least for a moment, take a deep breath and give yourself permission to DREAM and to flesh out every detail of your dream within your mind's eye.
It is this VISION that can light and sustain that fire 'neath us to tempt, nudge and lead us into *being* the change we want to see for ourselves!
As I've lost the weight I've been THRILLED to take on challenges I had never previously DREAMED were possible in my past:
Running (well, maybe let's call it 'jogging'...running is NEXT!)
Cycling (best outing was 175 miles in 2 days...woo hoo!)
Cross Country Skiing
Every one of these have been such a THRILL! I have other ideas for the future: to run a 5k, spinning, dance class (although I have two left feet my heart just SINGS along with music...hoping to celebrate that through DANCE as well!). Many of you already know my grand plan for this year: to cycling a multi-day, possibly multi-state trip...! Courtesy of my local SparkTeam I'm also considering being the third leg of a Triathlon team in which I'll cycle 12 miles up and down some of the most challenging hills upstate New York can serve up to a cyclist!
How would YOU love to celebrate the new and healthy you?!?!
Dream it! Feel it! Start building those baby steps that will slowly, surely MAKE IT HAPPEN!
This is what THE SPARK is all about! And that, I believe, is an even better word for all of this magic and miracles! Find your SPARK and fan it into a BONFIRE!
Finally, although no one can "make" that magic within happen for you, there are people who can be SO INVALUABLE in supporting your efforts, acting as BELLOWS for your SPARK! I cannot thank my fellow members of SparkPeople enough for all the tremendous support, words of encouragement throughout my time here as part of this wonderful community! For a myriad of reasons it has been a very difficult winter for me thus far. I had taken some serious backsteps in thoughts, feelings and actions. I'm turning the corner on this, locking myself down on what I know will lead me back to MY SPARK!
Spend more time with people who are BELLOWS, less time with people who are buckets of water!
Another hearty thanks & shout out going to the new members joining our SparkFamily as your enthusiasm, hope and dedication has also been an invaluable SPARK which has helped me to re-capture my own!
Yours in SPARK!
Thursday, January 06, 2011
(Most of you who are familiar with me have heard me wax on about these things before, but I thought I'd share for the benefit of the many newbies who've come on board and also for my OWN benefit as I mention at the end.)
There is no magic out there.
Everytime someone comes along and claims a certain product or a certain new diet is the be-all, end-all my first response is to be HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS and SKEPTICAL:
Um...if this works so well, don't you suppose the media would be blasting away from every radio station, magazine, tv show, etc about the WONDERS of this product? Wouldn't EVERYONE be doing this and MOST OF ALL:
Wouldn't obesity disappear off the face of the PLANET?!? There is NOBODY who would *volunteer* to be obese! Stigma against obesity is so great that people would rather be mentally ill or a criminal than to be obese!
There also is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to building a healthy lifestyle. We all have to find a path that works for ourself.
There are some general guidelines that work, in my opinion, for all. My go-to food guru is Michael Pollan and his Food Rules. EVERYTHING he's written is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, but Food Rules is the most consise, to the point, plain English, common sense approach to eating ANYWHERE!
Here is a great article which describes the approach, which is basically:
Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.
Can you get any simpler? :-)
Some other corrolaries? Avoid highly processed foods. Avoid foods that come in a box. Avoid foods that have more than 5 ingredients or ingredients with names you cannot pronounce. Avoid foods that have been advertised. Avoid foods that your grandmother would not recognize as foods.
In other words get back to basics. Prepare your own food. Avoid commercially prepared ANYTHING.
The other important aspect of food? Quantity! We can be making the HIGHEST QUALITY food choices...but if we eat too much? You won't lose weight and might yet gain as well! How do we monitor quanitity?
Use the SparkPeople Food Tracker!
I was slow to come around to the power of this tool (or other forms of logging / tracking my food), and am guilty of having fallen off the wagon this past holiday season and am paying the consequences now! Today, for the first time, I was OBSESSING with the food tracker in preparing for a meal I was having out with others at Red Lobster tonight. I cut way back on my food earlier in the day. Looked up Red Lobster recipes shared in the food tracker to get an idea how much "damage" they would contain. I knew enough to avoid those cheesey biscuits...highly processed carbie foods wake up my inner voracious carbie tiger that can NEVER be satisfied! I also knew I would not choose any deep fried or oopy-goopy cheesey main course. I settled on Seafood Stuffed Flounder, broccoli, tossed salad with balsamic vinaigrette and water with a lemon wedge. Later tonight I had a bowl of my 15 bean soup. All for a total of 737 calories! It was the first time I tracked a meal before I ate it! Makes it REAL TOUGH to backpedal and change one's mind once you've logged it into the tracker! AND it was delicious and I felt nicely "full" and satisfied afterward.
Another point, for those of us "food addicts:"
Learn your trigger foods. You know, the foods that are "radioactive" such that having one throws all restraint out the window and opens that bottomless pit inside that can NEVER be satisfied?
Be very mindful of these foods, respect their danger and take appropriate preventative steps. Initially I highly recommend removing them from your life. Why sabotage yourself? Over time we can attempt to build psychological muscle which can allow us to gradually reintroduce our trigger foods in a very careful, controlled manner. However I will say that is a risky proposition and I will also admit that I have not been successful in doing this. I have known others who have succeeded in their pursuits and my hat's off to them for being able to do this. I am not there yet and don't know if I can EVER allow my trigger foods into my life in a moderate way.
But who knows?
Sorry to go on and on...but I'm finding it helpful to ME TOO by reviewing for myself "what works" as a form of re-dedication to myself and living a SPARKED LIFE!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Heartfelt appreciation and gratitude going out to ALL of our SparkFamily and sincerest wishes for Peace On Earth as sung so well on one of my very favorite songs of the season! I just LOVE this father / daughter dual effort!
Someone presented this music SO well here at YouTube:
Updated: A tad behind schedule for my blog, but perfect timing for Christmas: this appeared in my inbox this morning. A wonderful message from the Dali Lama: A Human Approach to World Peace:
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