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Think healthy and beautiful will follow

Saturday, February 28, 2009

There's a booked called "The Truth About Beauty" by Kat James, which has been out for several years. I've eyed it for quite some time, even reading some of it at the bookstore. I finally bought it at a used bookstore.

I'm sure I've read this part before, and I've actually already come to the same conclusion myself: if you are in it to look great, you're probably going to struggle. Because when you're tired, hungry, and ready to eat your weight in chocolate, you're probably not going to care that it won't help you look great.

If you're in it to be healthy, you're going to find motivation easier to come by. Are there times I just want to forget about tracking my food? You bet. Are there weeks I'd like to have a cupcake every night, maybe even twice a day? Absolutely.

People comment on my blog and say how disciplined I am. I suppose in some ways I am, but it's not because I'm not following rigid rules (altho my husband might tell you otherwise, since I'm always asking him to make decision about going out to eat so I can plan for it); it's because eating healthy makes me feel better. That's the bottom line.

There are times I don't eat healthy, too. When I get back to it, and I always do, I always feel so much better when I'm truly nourishing my body, with good food, with plenty of exercise, with tending to my spiritual side.

Because it's about how I feel, rather than how I look, I no longer starve myself before weighing in. Oh, I play some little games still -- I always wear the same pair of jeans. I take my pedometer off (altho I forgot to yesterday). I might eat a little bit less before weigh in, but not so much that I'm going to suck down a whole package of rice cakes afterwards (not that I eat rice cakes anymore, but I used to).

And though I still thoroughly appreciate a decadent dessert, and even though just a few bites won't satisfy me (but half usually does), I find that as I get smaller and eat less sweets, I crave less sweets, too. I don't get as many cravings before my period, either, although I do get really, really hungry.

And just because I'm in it to be healthy doesn't mean I don't appreciate the beautiful side effects, both inside and out. Beaty should be appreciated. There's nothing wrong in admiring yourself, as long as it doesn't start interfering in your life.

Because I'm in it to be healthy the scale doesn't hold nearly as much power over me as it once did. Most of the time I feel secure in the knowledge that as long as I keep up with my healthy habits, a weight gain is just part of the process. Yes, naturally, I'd like my weight loss line to just keep moving downwards; I'm human; but I'm okay with the fact that it sometimes goes down, sometimes goes up, and sometimes flatlines. Somehow, I just know -- I believe right down to my bones -- that no matter how long it takes, I will get to my goal weight.

And speaking of goal weights, I think I may be adjusting mine upward. I was thinking about maybe 125 -- about in the middle of my range. It actually seems a lot of weight for a 5'1" woman, but I know for sure my old goal weight (years and years ago) of 115 was too low for me. 125 seemed reasonable. But the more I read about hormones, perimenopause, and menopause, the more I'm beginning to think that 130 might be more reasonable. Everything I read points out that just carrying a few extra pounds -- but not too many! -- helps with the "change".

I also think that 130 is a weight I can maintain without making myself crazy. Of course, I'm still secretly hoping I'll get to 130 and somehow be able to get to 125 easily and maintain that, but I know I can be happy at 130, and I don't think I've ever maintained in the 120s. I'm still far enough away that I don't really need to worry much about it yet.

Just for one day, I challenge you to think about what you need to do to be healthy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 2/28/2009 7:24PM

    I really believe the one (healthy) does not preclude the other (beauty.) If you aren't happy with the appearance of your body (or the person who lives inside it), you may be more likely to "punish" it with poor food choices. I can't think of any other reason someone would eat chips or fatty food to the point where they feel sick. If you accept the skin you are in and admire all the positive things about your body--it's strength, ability to adapt, etc., then you are bound to treat it better; ie, feed it better. Then, I am convinced that that positive feeling works from the inside out and influences the "beauty" that other people see.

I don't know, maybe I am delusional, but I am convinced that the goal of being healthy automatically has the benefit of making you more beautiful. Good health radiates--and you are on the right track.

Comment edited on: 2/28/2009 7:26:21 PM

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/28/2009 11:13AM

    What a great blog! Thanks for the reminder that this journey is about health and feeling good.

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CARILOUIE 2/28/2009 8:11AM

    Thank you for the motivation. I loved reading the part about the scale... last week was the first weigh-in since I started Spark (1/1/09) that I gained a little bit. But oddly enough, I wasn't too upset about it. Reading your blog today made me realize that as long as I keep doing what I'm doing, I'm going to be healthier no matter what the scale says.

Thank you!!!

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JUDITH1654 2/28/2009 8:02AM

    Good for you! You are on the right track and a great inspiration for us all! emoticon

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Pushing myself

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I don't wear my HRM every time I walk -- most days our walks aren't that vigorous (due to the dogs). But I do add jogging intervals to my walks a few times a week. For the first time in my life, I've been doing this consistently for somewhere around a year -- don't think that will happen in NY, unfortunately, ice is just too dangerous. But I digress.

So today I used the stopwatch function to track how much of my walk was actually jogging. It was kind of sad: a whopping 10 minutes, and that was broken into intervals ranging from 1 - 2 minutes. Some of that is because I'm just kind of hampered by the dogs. They're sprinters, not long distance runners, and sometimes I'm kind of dragging them around (depends on the temps, too, they're more eager to run when it's cooler -- but not too cold).

Still, now I have a goal to push myself against. My entire walk was 40 minutes, so I was jogging for about 15% of the walk. The goal will be to do longer jogging intervals and/or increase the percentage of the walk that I'm jogging.

I'm also trying something else new: rather than having my water with my meals, I'm trying to drink it in between my meals. I've read in a couple of places recently that drinking with your meal actually makes digestion harder. I haven't researched it, and I'm not sure I buy it, but I'm curious so I thought I'd just give it a twirl.

So I got myself a glass of water after our walk, and then another glass. I won't have any water with my actual lunch. Interestingly, I'm feeling brighter and more alert having drunk water immediately after my walk. Sort of a no-brainer, really, that I need to replenish after sweating -- but I just wasn't doing it before.

I'm just sprouting new habits all over the place, too: yesterday I made myself a fruit salad. It had a sauce that was sort of like lemon curd with coconut, and then I just sliced up a banana, half a cup of strawberries, and half a cup of pineapple. And sprinkled it with some flaxseed (actually got 2 tbsp in today). Very filling, and I got 2 fruits in -- I've been lacking in the fruit department lately. Might even intice my husband to eat fruit, too. If he were here.

I really do feel so much better when I eat better. The problem is it DOES take time to eat better! If only I had someone to clean up after me, or to make me healthy meals occasionally.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 2/28/2009 5:59AM

    My pedometer tracks aerobic steps, and that is such a motivating number, isn't it? Good for you for kicking it up a notch in so many areas. Keep up your great work!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/26/2009 8:11PM

    Wow - you are doing great! Good for you! I like the idea about the water too, think I'll give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

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MTER67 2/26/2009 7:05PM

    I think jogging 15% of your walk is quite an accomplishment with dogs in tow. I know my dog has to stop and sniff EVERYTHING. Running with her (even if she wasn't 900 years old) would be impossible. Good luck increasing the running "bits." I think you are going about it in just the right way; you will reap the benefits from upping your pace, but are not in danger of injuring yourself.

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PANDORASBOX820 2/26/2009 12:04PM

    hey! thanks for your comment yesterday-- you're always right!! ;) i behaved, for the most part...

i'm totally with you on the time aspect of eating healthy. when the stars align like they should (tee hee hee), i usually spend about 3-4 hours on a sunday morning preparing ALL of my week's meals-- something that could work for you, until the hubby returns. I can't imagine cooking for two all day Sunday. if you can swing it, it's TOTALLY worth it. i always feel like i've really accomplished something once i've put away the final pots and pans :)

and it's a guarantee that i will cheat/choose bad things during the week if i DO NOT cook on sundays.

as for yesterday's blog-- do you eat eggs? not sure how extensively you try to limit your animal products. i dont have time (or the motivation) to COOK them in the AM, but it's one of the things i do on Sundays... boil like a dozen or more and eat egg whites throughout the week. SO easy!!

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My report card: savory breakfasts

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's a mixed bag. Since I had a leftover half an omelette, I was all prepared to have that for breakfast one day. But I also had a leftover muffin that I'd defrosted for my husband. I could have eaten it all in one big meal, but I prefer to eat smaller meals more often -- it really works to help me keep cravings at bay. So I had the muffin with some peanut butter first, then the omlette several hours later.

At least I'm thinking about it, and that's always the first step.

This morning I had oatmeal. Now, don't laugh, I adore oatmeal, but one of the reasons I don't eat it as often as I ought to is because of my cat. You have to understand that I eat my breakfast sitting on a recliner, with one cat always in my lap -- usually the larger one, Simba.

Simba has very weird tastes for a cat, and he adores oatmeal. Imagine trying to eat your breakfast while fending off a hungry 14 lb cat. Actually, another reason I'd stopped having oatmeal is that I thought I'd save myself some money and bought it from the bulk bins. Only it didn't cook well in a microwave, and I had a lot of it. It took a while to go through that. Of course I could have just bought more of the oats that do cook well in the micorwave, but we're all so good at making excuses for ourselves.

I've also had my yogurt, fruit, and granola without any chocolate chips several times now. So I'm making progress.

I also need to contemplate what I should eat for protein along with my oatmeal. I did put some flaxseed in it, although I realized afterward that I should have mixed it in after I'd cooked the oatmeal, not before, since flaxseed is heat sensitive. And oatmeal does have some protein in it, but not enough. Would hot chocolate (made with 1 cup of soymilk) have enough protein in it? Probably. But then there's that sugar again. Seems we can't get away from it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 2/28/2009 6:03AM

    A rabbit that loves spaghetti and a cat that adores hot oatmeal... I have GOT to get myself a pet! emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/25/2009 7:36PM

    Sounds like you are doing great! I love oatmeal in the morning too. I make a pot on Sundays (with apples, dried cranberries and sometimes banana - Yum! ), eat my breakfast and split up the rest into containers for Monday to Friday. It keeps well in the fridge and that way I can take it to work and microwave it. Sure makes it easy during the week.

I can relate to the animals who like to share our meals - lol. Makes it challenging at times.

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MTER67 2/25/2009 5:45PM

    Before I got married, I lived alone in a little apartment with my pet rabbit. I used to eat dinner, while sitting in a bean bag chair, watching TV. Anyway, my rabbit for some strange reason LOVED spaghetti. He would sit on my shoulder and try to jump down onto the plate to get to my dinner. Weird animals!

My husband eats oatmeal every morning, from one of those big cannisters. He never has any trouble microwaving it, but whenever I try, it overflows and blobs all over the microwave. I don't know what his secret is. Have you ever tried cream of wheat? I love it; I like that it has a "nuttier" taste. Mostly, I eat bagels for breakfast. Not the healthiest choice, I am sure, but that is what I have eaten since I was a little girl!

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Sorry, Leslie Sansone fans

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I bought one of her DVD's a while ago at a used book store really cheap. I finally tried it out this weekend. Sorry fans, big yawn.

It wasn't that it wasn't a good workout -- it was just plain boring to me (and I've got my flame retardant suit on again). On the other hand, it did get me a whole lot of steps, which I needed, and I did like the fact that it forces me to walk at a brisker pace than I nornally do.

So I'm actually contemplating doing it again today. There's something to be said for something relatively mindless sometimes. Not only that, if you haven't heard, she's offering a pretty good deal right now: www.walkathome.com/store/product193.

Yes, I'm actually considering it. I especially like that one of the workouts includes some jogging. Guess I better make up my mind soon.

If the workouts actually grow on me, just maybe I'll consider selling my treadmill, which only gathers dust now that I walk the dogs every day, rather than moving it. Tough call though.

BTW, the DVD I bought was an express workout, with 1 & 2 mile options (I did the 2 miles).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/24/2009 7:50PM

    I like the Lesley Sansone DVDs but then I'm the most rythmically challenged person I know. Seriously - I am. Belly Dancing could be dangerous for me - lol!
If you liked the 2 mile express, try the 4 mile express (it has intervals in it with 'jogging') - it goes by so fast with the intervals - I love it! A good workout too. I hear she has a new 5 mile DVD (or it could be old by now), but I haven't got that one yet. Enjoy!

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What are you really depriving yourself of?

Monday, February 23, 2009

We go on "diets", and we never stick to them because we feel like we're deprived -- eventually. Sure, you're all fired up at first, but eventually diets never work because we're missing all those fatty, sugary, salty foods that we crave.

I will never tell anyone to go on a "diet", but what are you really depriving yourself of? A good night's sleep? That wonderful feeling when your body feels lighter and your whole spirit feels lighter? Good health? Getting off medications? Clothes that fit and flatter?

A healthy lifestyle isn't about deprivation, but we still do have to give up some of the things we love -- at least sometimes. But we're getting so much more in return, and it seems that we never focus on what we're getting.

It always comes down to accentuating the positives. Everything has pros and cons, even a healthy lifestyle (yes, it takes more time, it feels uncomfortable for a while, it can distance you from some of your friends, and so on) -- but if we concentrate on the positives, the whole process gets easier.

I'm grateful:

*It is much, much easier to shop for clothes now.

*I have more energy. Maybe not where I want to be in the energy-department yet, but it's a work in progress.

*My blood pressure, while not high to begin with, is even lower now.

*My double chin is just about gone.

*I feel more confident -- and happier! Talk about a win-win.

How about you? What are you grateful for in your new healthy lifestyle?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 2/28/2009 6:06AM

    This is a timely blog post for me to read as I must eat more sensibly. To do so less painfully will require me to accentuate the positive and not think of myself as deprived. Thank you!

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CITABRIA 2/24/2009 8:51PM

    I am grateful for having more energy. I am grateful for being able to walk 3 miles without a problem. I'm grateful for dancing again! I'm grateful for eating mostly fresh, home-made foods that aren't filled with preservatives. I'm grateful for meeting all of you!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/24/2009 7:51PM

    I am grateful for blogs like this! I love being positive - it really helps on this journey and before you know, becomes habitual. Yeah You!

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MACALEE87 2/23/2009 10:34PM

  Thanks for this blog! Sometimes it's nice to hear that yes, there are cons to a healthy lifestyle! Yes, what we're doing is hard work. Thanks for reminding me it's worth it though - especially the confidence you get from stacking on track and looking and feeling better. It helped me snack on my veggies tonight instead of grabbing a slice of pizza :)

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TMCH1512 2/23/2009 9:21AM

    Nice attitude. I am not thinking of it as a diet. I am not in any rush. I just try to do better this year than last year. And I did better last year than the year before! Mentally, I made a 5 year business plan for weight loss. Whatever works, right? All the best!

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