Friday, December 16, 2011
"The first time she performed the role of Dewdrop in “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” with the New York City Ballet, Ashley Bouder was 17 and made a memorable entrance: she fell on her face. Now 27 and a principal dancer for the company, Ms. Bouder is in her eighth season as the Sugarplum Fairy and her 11th as Dewdrop. She will perform that role in a live City Ballet broadcast in movie theaters on Tuesday and on the PBS program “Live From Lincoln Center” on Wednesday." from www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/nyregion/
Today I heard Ashley interviewed by Chelsea Clinton on PBS. She was asked, "How did you get to where you are today, the lead role in the most famous Nutcracker in the world?"
"I JUST KEPT ON DOING THE SAME THING I'M DOING NOW, DAY AFTER DAY."
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Here's an excellent article on strength training---so much clear & practical info in one place!
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
I've gotten used to tracking everything I put in my mouth. It no longer seems burdensome. It's actually a feeling of security, a reassuring ritual. Even when I overeat or make poor choices, I find it valuable to get specifics about exactly how "costly" it was.
All of that simply to introduce the subject of this blog, which is editing my "Favorites" section on the nutrition tracker. I had never gone into my list of favorites and modified it at all. But I've been noticing how long it took to scroll down and find my current true favorites, most commonly eaten items, on that list . . . so I took a deep breath and started to revise the list. [On the Nutrition Tracker page, click the Favorites tab. Then, beside the search box, scroll over the arrow on the bar that says "Favorites Options." Select "Edit List." Click "REMOVE" beside any item you don't want on the list any more.]
Now the CELEBRATE part. I could not believe the items that appeared on my list. Did I really eat those things routinely? It seems like ancient history! As I continued to click Remove, Remove, Remove . . . my heart rose in praise to Jesus Christ. With His help I have baby-stepped to a truly transformed way of eating. Not perfect by any means, inconsistent plenty of times, weak and vulnerable, surely. But MY HABITS HAVE CHANGED and I am so encouraged.
It did not happen through impressive heroic effort, but through tiny incremental choices . . . with backsliding, but NOT GIVING UP. So many on this site have encouraged me. So many have set me an example and described how it can get better a little at a time, day by day. Friends are faithful in praying for me. God's mercies are new each morning.
I am only about a third of the way to my goal weight, but it is happening (okay, like glacial shift, but IT IS HAPPENING!) All I have to do is . . . do what I'm doing now, a little longer. When I eat something stupid . . . when I have a terrible day . . . or even a horrible week . . . I can just start again and inch toward healthy weight.
And there's nothing like black-and-white proof. I could see for myself a couple dozen things that aren't even a temptation for me any more. Certainly I still have problem foods, and junk I can hardly resist, and delectables I never can resist . . . but editing the Favorites list, I saw with my own eyes what has happened to the garbage end of my typical menus. Remove! Remove! Remove! CELEBRATE!!!
Sunday, December 04, 2011
A commercial for Nicorette mini-lozenges to help someone stop smoking provided me with a vivid mental image for non-scale victories and giving myself credit.
Leaving an office meeting with a group going out to smoke, one young man asks another, "Coming out for a cigarette?" The one invited starts to push his chair back, then stops himself and feels in his pocket for his stop-smoking aid. Then he grins and says, "Actually, no thanks."
The first guy leaves and the subject takes out a mint, looks at it, smiles and pops it in his mouth. At that moment a tiny troupe of musicians and dancers appear on the desk, dancing and applauding and playing music. After we watch the victory party a few moments, the voiceover declares, "Every time you don't smoke, you celebrate a little win."
I couldn't help thinking of my Spark Friends who cheer and applaud when I share the smallest step forward. I'm remembering this "virtual celebration" image to spur on good choices.
Friday, December 02, 2011
"A New York Times piece from earlier in the month: "Is physical frailty inevitable as we grow older? That question preoccupies scientists and the middle-aged, particularly when they become the same people. Until recently, the evidence was disheartening. A large number of studies in the past few years showed that after age 40, people typically lose 8 percent or more of their muscle mass each decade, a process that accelerates significantly after age 70. Less muscle mass generally means less strength, mobility and among the elderly, independence. It also has been linked with premature mortality. But a growing body of newer science suggests that such decline may not be inexorable. Exercise, the thinking goes, and you might be able to rewrite the future for your muscles. ... [researchers] recruited 40 competitive runners, cyclists and swimmers. They ranged in age from 40 to 81. ... There was little evidence of deterioration in the older athletes' musculature, however. The athletes in their 70s and 80s had almost as much thigh muscle mass as the athletes in their 40s, with minor if any fat infiltration. The athletes also remained strong. There was, as scientists noted, a drop-off in leg muscle strength around age 60 in both men and women. They weren't as strong as the 50-year-olds, but the differential was not huge, and little additional decline followed. The 70- and 80-year-old athletes were about as strong as those in their 60s. ... We think these are very encouraging results. They suggest strongly that people don't have to lose muscle mass and function as they grow older. The changes that we've assumed were due to aging and therefore were unstoppable seem actually to be caused by inactivity. And that can be changed." "
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