Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I love to walk outdoors. Not just for the perfect and natural exercise it is, but for the emotional and spiritual boost. I love to look at natureÖthe spring flowers popping up after a winterís rest, and buds on the trees. The birds singing, a rabbit running by. Watching the fuzzy, yellow baby Canadian geese growing up through the summer to big, bold and beautiful brown, black and whiteÖflying off before the dead of winter to return next year with their own babies. The bright blue sky with billowy white clouds. Even a cloudy and rainy day has itís own charm. I love the smell of rain and the way it cleans off the dirty snow in early spring. Walking in early winter with snow tickling my face is fun too. And everything is so pure and clean covered with a blanket of white. I love it when the snow clings to the tree branches, a beauty with no match. As I pass by people, we exchange smiles and hellos. People in passing vehicles wave. I feel like Iím connected to the rest of the world. Walking is not a chore for me. I look forward to it and miss the very few days that I canít get outside to walk. It energizes my body and soothes my soul.
I love jumping on my Urban Rebounder (mini trampoline). Getting exercise this way is so much fun! And it only takes as little as 15 minutes to get all of these benefits:
It increases the capacity for breathing.
It circulates more oxygen to the tissues.
It helps combat depression.
It helps normalize your blood pressure.
It helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
It increases the activity of the red bone marrow in the production of red blood cells.
It aids lymphatic circulation, as well as blood flow in the veins of the circulatory system.
It lowers elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
It stimulates the metabolism, thereby reducing the likelihood of obesity.
It tones up the glandular system, especially the thyroid to increase its output.
It improves coordination throughout the body.
It promotes increased muscle fiber tone.
It offers relief from neck and back pains, headaches, and other pain caused by lack of exercise.
It enhances digestion and elimination processes.
It allows for easier relaxation and sleep.
It results in a better mental performance, with sharper learning processes.
It relieves fatigue and menstrual discomfort for women.
It minimizes the number of colds, allergies, digestive disturbances, and abdominal problems.
It tends to slow down aging.
Most importantlyÖ.ITíS FUN !!!!
I donít use weights or resistance bands for strength training anymore. Not since I discovered T-Tapp! T-Tapp is isometric moves that are done in a specific sequence. You use your own body as resistance and work multiple groups of muscles at the same time. It may look easy, but it isnít! Itís a challenging workout for all fitness levels and the more you do it, the better your form; hence, the challenge continues to increase. I believe it to be the best program for strengthening your core and all muscle groups.
There is a 15 minute sequence called Basic Workout Plus. Just doing that regularly with a healthy diet reduces inches significantly. The Total Workout is about 45 minutes and works every single muscle in your body and improves balance and coordination. And, once youíve mastered the moves, you only have to do it 3 times a week to see amazing results. Again, the emphasis is on inch loss and internal health. There are many testimonials and before/after pictures in the book that are truly incredible.
To find out more about this amazing program, go to www.t-tapp.com and/or read Teresa Tappís book titled, ďFit and Fabulous in Fifteen MinutesĒ. But here is just a brief description from the web site of this amazing program:
ďT-Tapp is a series of copyrighted, sequential movements designed to put the body in proper functional alignment. Its special sequence of comprehensive, compound muscle movement helps establish better alignment as well as increased strength and flexibility of the spine, better neuro-kinetic flow, lymphatic function, and increased metabolic rate. Its physical therapy approach to fitness makes it safe for those with shoulder, hip, knee, neck, and back concerns. Yet, it delivers a challenging workout for all fitness levels!
More Than A Workout! T-Tapp...
∑ Is done without weights, equipment, or jumping!
∑ Is very rehabilitative, especially for the lower back and knees. The movements look so simple, but they provide a workout like no other.
∑ Works all layers of the muscle at both attachments to develop muscle density instead of muscle bulk.
∑ Is more than a mind/body workout! T-Tapp is a left/right brain, mind/body workout.
∑ Is where less becomes MORE! Instead of working long and hard, discover how quality of movement can be more important than quantity! ď
Monday, April 02, 2007
What a wonderful day today. The sky is a bright blue with no clouds, the sun is brightly shining, the temperature is already in the 50's at 9 am (average for this time of year here in NY). I'm looking forward to going outdoors for a walk.
If I could bottle the enthusiasm and postive feelings I'm having today, I'd make a fortune selling it!!! Eating healthy, excersing, losing weight--it all starts first in your head. If your thinking is not there, it makes it much more diffult, if not impossible, to stick to your plan. You need an undying commitment...a burning desire...like there is nothing more important to you. You need to keep refueling your desire with passion to strengthen your commitment through any obstacles or challenges.
I'm on Day 3 of Eat to LIve. I feel so fantastic! No sugar, no saturated fat, just tons and tons of fresh raw veggies and freshly steamed veggies...beans, legumes, nuts, fresh fruit. I'm sure many of the South Beachers and Atkins people are cringing!!!! But, I'm not just approaching this for weight loss, I'm more interested in good health. What is the fat in bacon, sausage and cheese really doing on the inside? I don't condemn anyone for whatever they feel is working for them, because I don't think it's a one size fits all world. But this suits me perfectly. I am so full from all of the fiber and I eat so many nutrients for the calories I consume (which has been around 1500). And I want to eat this way forever. I do think that I may want to add in chicken, turkey, fish, and low fat dairy after the initial 6 weeks detox plan. I honestly don't think it's realistic for me right now to say I won't want to eat those foods in the future. But I do know I can easily give up all red meat and pork and even shellfish (which I've read is not good for you), as well as cheese.
There are people who criticize. But, what do I care what other people think? It's MY BODY. I've always been a seeker, always ready to try new things. Whatever doesn't work, I toss aside and go to something else. But I at least give it a fair shot, because just WHAT IF this is the very thing I really need to do? I am not a slave to my mind. It's my MIND that wants the sweets and the fatty foods. My BODY craves good nutrition. I enjoy what I'm eating. I feel full and satisfied all the time. I get a ton of vitamins and nutrients in what I eat. What possibly could be wrong with that? I have no intention of ever going back to my old way of eating. That's why I've had years and years of yo-yo'ing in my weight. I know that's not the answer to go on some "diet" that produces results, only to go back to the old ways and gain it all back.
I like the title "Eat to Live". That says it all. I no longer want eating to be the centerpiece of my life. There is so much more I can enjoy besides some momentary pleasure of eating something I'm addicted to. I'll get my seratonin and endorphins from exercise, thank-you.
I'm content, I'm happy, I'm more satisfied than I've been in many months. That's the only proof I need that this is for me. I will continue to monitor my feelings and promise to blog the tough days too. As with anything, I'm sure I'll have some hills to climb along the way.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Someone hurt me today. They probably didn't know they did, but it didn't lessen the pain. I have to develop more of a thick skin. Wayne Dyer says it best when he says to live "independent of the good opinion of others." I have always prided myself on being a very giving person. I'm always attracted to people who are hurting, like a magnet. I want to comfort them, help make their pain go away. But I when I try to give to others and put myself out there, I am also very vulnerable to getting my feelings hurt or being taken for granted. I lived an adolescence full of 'mean girls' who took pleasure in making somone else feel small. I guess that was their way of feeling better about themselves. But it leaves deep scars on those that they ridicule or judge.
The progress I've made is that I would have headed straight for the Hagan Das. Instead, I went for a 3.5 mile walk outside and then did a half an hour of meditation. I cried. I e mailed a friend. Then I drove to the grocery store and bought a ton of fresh vegetables and fruit. I ate a nourishing dinner, feeling peaceful and content.
Maybe I am moving forward more than I give myself credit for. The scale hasn't budged in weeks. Last Wednesday I started reading Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I'm 3/4 through the book and plan to start his 6 week plan on Sunday. It's geared toward vegetarianism, but also provides for having lean chicken and fish and low fat dairy later if you prefer, but after the first 6 weeks plan. The main thrust is to eat a lot of raw and steamed vegetables and 4 fruits a day. Have two large salads a day as the main dish for your meal, and eat 1 cup of beans, legumes or tofu. The concept is to have more nutrient-dense and high fiber foods that are lower in calories. This formula is: H = N/C, or Health = Nutrients/Calories. I am amazed at how much protein and calcium is contained in vegetablies. Not only is dramatic weight loss a result of eating this way, but these foods aid to prevent all of the major diseases. I had gotten completely away from processed foods over a year ago, but I'm ready to take the next step. He warns that the first 3 weeks are the toughest, but asks you to make a 6 week commitment before giving up. His prediction is that after 6 weeks you'll feel so much better you won't want to go back to your old eating habits.
I'll need a lot of support during the 6 weeks, I'm sure of that. I am making this commitment and I will not give up on it. I will report in here as I go through the plan.
So yes, I have made progress. I know that I am a loving and worthwhile person. I know that I deserve to be healthy and vibrant, and I will be.
Monday, March 26, 2007
The scale didnít budge this week, but after the week I just had, I was happy this morning to not see a gain. It seems as though Iím having some resistance to getting started. There must be pay-offs for staying heavy and eating with abandon, or I wouldnít be doing it. I donít want to dwell on those, because whatever they are, theyíre not as important as the reasons I want to lose weight.
So just WHY do I want to lose weight?
The most obvious reason is for better health. The risks for ailments and diseases for overweight people goes on and on: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol , arthritis, some types of cancer, and premature death. Iím taking medication for high blood pressure and I would love to be able to maintain a healthy BP without having to take a drug. My mother had open heart surgery when she was 70, and I donít ever want to go through that. Being lighter means thereís not all that stress on the joints that cause people in older years to have to get hip replacements, knee replacements, etc. Being overweight decreases the quality of lifeÖitís harder to just get around.
Whatís the EMOTION behind wanting better health? Itís getting up every single morning looking forward to the day. Itís not just the absence of aches and pains, itís a feeling of well-being that follows me throughout my day. Itís having the energy to be able to go for a walk, get the housecleaning done, weed and care for my gardens, wash the car, do extra strength training, go and have fun with my husband, be playful with the grandchildren. Itís living a vibrant life, full of vitality and joy. Itís doing what I want to do and having plenty of energy to do it. Itís feeling happy, peaceful and content every day, knowing that Iím taking good care of this body that houses my spirit and living the life as I choose to live with no limitations!
The second obvious reason is that I want to look good. I want to fit into a size 10 and have it feel comfortable. No more dumpy, frumpy, baggy clothes. I want to be able to wear attractive clothes instead of looking for something that will hide all the bulges. I want my face to be slim, not puffy. I want to get rid of my jowels and double chin. I want a firm, flat stomachÖ.and a waistline. A nice, cute butt too!
Whatís the EMOTION behind wanting to look good? Heck, I want to be thrilled when I look in the mirror: ďWho is that gorgeous woman???Ē Itís going shopping and having everything look so fantastic that itís hard to choose (and all the bargains are on the smaller sizes!) Itís getting to my goal of 140, maintaining it for 6 months, and rewarding myself by buying an entire new wardrobe! Now thatís exciting!!! Itís wearing a cute, trendy haircut that frames a beautiful, youthful looking face, with a sculpted chin and firm neck. Looking in the mirror at the beauty parlor and liking what I see. Itís walking with grace and strength. I want to be that woman in the commercial whoís walking down the street with her ipod and all heads are turning to look at that gorgeous and fit creature!!!!! Itís having other women looking at ME with envy instead of the other way around. Itís feeling comfortable in my clothesÖcomfortable in my own skin. Yes, this is me, not some distorted me covered in layers of fat.
The not-so-obvious reason is how I want to feel emotionally. I do not want to live a life obsessed with food and how much I weigh. I donít want to feel anxiety over any upcoming social event that involves food (which is all of them!) and worry about having Ďself controlí. I donít want to feel self conscious in social settings (are they labeling me because Iím fat? Will they not like me because they think I'm lazy and undisciplined?). I donít want to be unassertive and hide in the background. I donít want to feel guilty when I eat something I donít think I Ďshouldí have. I want to stop should-ing on myself period.
Whatís the true EMOTION behind feeling good emotionally? Itís feeling confident and self-assured at all times, in any situation. Itís feeling happy and content with me. Itís letting my inner spirit shine through and nurturing and caring for my body. Itís letting go of self-criticism and feeling proud of my accomplishments and strength of purpose to reach the goals I have set, both physically and emotionally. Itís loving myself unconditionally and having a resiliency to bounce back quickly when I stumble or temporarily lose my way. Itís releasing guilt or worry completely. Itís having the emotional drive to propel me to do whatís best for me because I know I deserve whatís best for me.
Itís finally getting to goal and maintenance and LIVING as a thin person. Itís showing on the outside how magnificent I am on the inside.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I've had a bit of a rough week. We all have them, and this week's my turn. Maybe I can blame the weather. (it was too cold to walk outside, and now it's warming up, but wet and muddy) Maybe it's hormones, PMS or peri-menopause. But all I know is that it's been tough to stick to my food plan and I've been fighting a bit of depression. I started meditating again this week after having gotten away from it for over a year; maybe that's bringing up a lot of inner turmoil. I've been feeling ultra sensitive and weepy. I've felt unappreciated and vulnerable. I've wanted to eat cookies. It's very difficult for me to stay away from that stuff when I'm sad. I ate the cookies and then I felt like a failure. That only made me want to eat more.
When I was growing up, my mother had a hard time expressing her love verbally and physically. She overcame that and was extremely loving in her older years. She overcame a lot. She used to be shy and unassertive. In her 70's she was pretty fiesty and finally coming into her own. She moved down south when she was 70 and I didn't get to see a lot of of her. She died when she was 73. I miss her so much. I don't remember too many hugs or being able to talk to her about my troubles when I was younger. She showed us love with her love of cooking and baking. There was always fudge, cookies, eclairs, homemade donuts, etc. etc. The more we ate it, the better she felt. It was the one thing she could do to make her family happy. It's hard for me to believe now that breakfast as a kid was a package of cupcakes and a glass of chocolate milk...honestly !!! My mother also struggled with depression throughout her life, and I'm definintely my mother's daughter. Wow! I guess my melancholy week is causing me to walk down memory lane.
I'm not blaming my mother for all my weight issues. That was then and I'm an adult now and take full responsibility for how I handle emotions through food. It's something I intend to change. But it's sometimes two steps forward, one step back. I know all of the things I need to do, including things to change my mind and focus to those things I want. I'm usually upbeat and positive. But once in a while, I trip and fall. I guess what counts is how many times I get back up and move forward. It's progress, not perfection. I'm working on eradicating all or nothing thinking. It's been like I'm either doing everything perfectly, being happy and positive, eating all the right things, exercising daily, and losing weight, OR I'm feeling sad, eating the wrong things, not exercising at all, feeling guilty and anxious.
When I was a toddler, I was at a perfect weight. I have pictures of me then, and I look at this sweet little child and ask myself, "Where did she go? Is she still inside me, hidden away?" Something happened when I was about 10 and I just blew up. We moved a lot, and I was constantly teased by the boys. I had no friends to speak of...the girls giggled behind my back and I never got invited to sleepovers. I never dated...didn't go to the prom. I wouldn't dare tell my mother about my angst. She would only get upset. She didn't know how to comfort me. I had no one to talk to. No one to build up my self esteem. Even my own dad called me "Crisco--fat in the can". I began my first diet when I was 14 years old and weighed 155. From that point, my weight yo-yo'd up and down and up and down throughout my life. I remember one job interview when the manager said to me, "I see that you're overweight. I view overweight people as being lazy, and I would never want someone lazy to work in my department." Instead of getting angry and telling him what an ignorant jerk he was, that night I went home and cried while having a binge.
Yes, I guess I have a lot of deep scars from a pretty lousy first half of my life. But my life now is so wonderful. I am retired with no debt, have a beautiful home, and husband who is good to me, and so much to be thankful for. That's what I generally focus on now. I'm hoping that the meditating will help me to overcome those old wounds that still rear their ugliness every now and again.
I'm confident I will snap out of this and I almost didn't make this entry public because I was ashamed of the way I was feeling. But I'm sure others have felt this way before and dealt with it with food too. I'm only human and I have to be honest with myself. Putting it all down in writing is actually freeing. In one of the posts on my secret team, someone talked about an old TV show, 'Greg and Dharma' , where Dharma would say to "put your troubles in a bubble and blow them all away." I love that ! By expressing all these feelings on 'paper', it's like I can now put them in a bubble and off they go!!!!!
I feel better already. Tomorrow's gonna be a good day.
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