Monday, January 07, 2013
Roughly, five years ago my daughters, at the time in their late teens begged for a Wii for Christmas. They told me how it would help them focus on exercising and they would save money on gym memberships, which they could put in their savings account to pay for tuition and the like. It was an investment. After conferring with the treasurer, aka Joan, we decided to make the purchase. Three hundred bucks later a brand new Wii and a Wii Fit were sitting around the TV. For the first few months, the girls hit it hard. They even purchased Zumba for Wii and Wii Dance. A year later, my “investment” was gathering cobwebs. Oh, they come over and use it from time to time. That occurs, I’ve noticed, when there is an item of clothing that doesn’t fit and it’s time to get radical.
It sits next to the TV expectantly waiting for someone to use it for something. I decided that someone was me. The older I get the harder it is to start my day with some sort of flexibility. Yesterday after church I looked through games available. One had this scary picture of Jillian Michaels staring out at me and was quickly put back in the drawer. I tried one that had a personal trainer with it and I think I disappointed him. He kept telling me to “do better.” Just out of curiosity I put in a kick boxing game and after about two minutes my blonde twenty something opponent was sitting on my chest pumping her fists. I told Joan that when I was twenty I wouldn’t have minded but at sixty, well, it was downright embarrassing. Then I discovered it Wii Sports. I plugged it in and after a few instructional moments I was bowling!!! I played two games and moved on to golf where I discovered I have the same proficiency in video land as I do in real life but……………… I was moving, stretching, and having fun. When all was said and done, I had played for around twenty minutes. Total calories burnt = 83 according to SparkPeople.
This morning at 5:30 AM Joan walked down the stairs wondering why she had been woken up to me shouting “Yes, yes, yes!!!” When I told her it was because I’d bowled a 200 game she sorta looked like she was going to have me scheduled for a psych evaluation.
You have to start somewhere I have this right there in my living room. Twenty minutes each morning is a great way to start my day and…………. That blonde kick box avatar better get ready. One day she’s going down!!!!
Sunday, January 06, 2013
At the start of the New Year, I wrote about going back to the future; taking a snap shot of the past and formulating some effective goals for the next year. As it is with you, my ultimate goal is health.
The decision was made to eat this sandwich one bite at a time so my first area of concentration was my exercise program. I looked at my work out schedule, and I realized it had no pattern or plan. I worked out when I could and when I couldn’t, well I couldn’t. I had nothing to refer to. I showed up at the gym and would do whatever, for however long and once I began to sweat I’d feel satisfied and move on to the next thing which was usually lunch! I’d show up five days in a row and follow it up by missing seven. There was no rhyme or reason. Last Sunday I sat down with a legal pad and roughed out a schedule. I have aquatics personal training each Tuesday and Thursday so those two days were easy. It’s 35-40 minutes of stretching, weights and cardio, all in five feet of water. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I devoted twenty minutes to the elliptical and recumbent bike. That’s followed by twenty minutes of aqua cardio. I showed this schedule to my trainer and she suggested Saturday be my “wild card day.” Maybe I’d walk, or hike or ride my bike – something different. Right now that’s a challenge with the weather being unpredictable. Sunday is my day of rest. Rest is as important as exercise because it helps me focus on the balance in my life. (One of the most profound thoughts that crossed my mind came before I injured my back and was running. I asked myself if I was running towards something or away from something.)
Rest is critical and crucial. Without rest, the body strains and tries to keep up with all the insanity we are putting it through. A rest day automatically creates flexibility in my life. That was evident last week. My trainer called me Wednesday night and said we had to cancel our session in the morning. Without giving you TMI someone opted to use the pool instead of the restroom and the pool was closed for twenty four hours. Could we make up the session on Sunday? She suggested I designate Thursday as my rest day. In the past, when I was cramming ten pounds of sugar into a five pound sack this would cause a lot of anxiety. Instead, we moved off days. Julia, (my trainer) is willing to make the investment as long as I am. That’s important. She is there for me to the degree that I am there for myself.
This plan is for January. At the end of the month, I may adjust it or continue as is for February. I’m keeping a spread sheet of activity and the exercise plan is dead in the center of my bulletin board to refer to. I know this might sound elementary to you but to me it’s a means of focus. Lord knows I can use some focus.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
‘Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same, outweighs the pain of changing.” Arthur Burt.
Despite conventional wisdom, to the contrary I love Facebook. If it weren’t for Facebook (and Spark) I wouldn’t know some amazing folks from all over the world, most of whom I’ll never meet. A friend posted this quote today and encouraged us to share. For me it is timely.
I hadn’t weighed myself since November 17, 2012. Maybe it’s happened to you. One bad day turns into a bad week, in which you promise yourself the next week you’ll buckle down and OMG who needs to be depressed especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. So you don’t step on the scale. You fudge on tracking your food, especially when the calorie total looks like the fiscal cliff. You’re a bit ashamed and a tad bit embarrassed. You rationalize that you’ll hit it hard between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but you don’t. There are all sorts of functions. OMG it’s not YOUR fault all those cookies and candies and gobs upon gobs of mac and cheese, sausage balls and other tasty treats are the ONLY thing you can find to eat because you do not want to offend Gloria from accounting whom you barley speak four words to the rest of the year but, hey, its Christmas, right? She worked hard making those things.
When you pass the room your scale is located in you can almost hear it ask you what’s going on. Like those little kids selling candy at the intersection you refuse to make eye contact and hurry on past. Christmas and New Year’s Day come and go and as you are trying on clothes that fit 6 weeks ago, you find them snug. It’s been so long that even you don’t recall when the last time was you weighed in. Maybe you hid your ticker so your friends couldn’t see it.
Tuesday morning I forced myself to weigh in. Yes’ Id gained weight but not as much as I though. In 6 weeks I’d gained 4.8 pounds, largely due to a very brutal personal trainer who works me hard two mornings a week. A voice in my head said real slowly. “You can’t measure your progress and come up with a plan until you can see where you are currently.” In other words, you won’t know where you’re at till you climb on the scale. In the spirit of openness and honesty, I was relieved I’d only gained what I did but then it dawned upon me that I’m still morbidly obese. The late Billy Joe Royal started a song this way “The games people play, every night and every day……”
‘Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same, outweighs the pain of changing.” Arthur Burt.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
A young man went searching for the secrets of life. He traveled a great distance to sit at the feet of a wise and learned teacher. Each morning the teacher would greet him with a large bucket. He instructed the young man to walk down a path to a stream, draw a bucket of water, return up the hill, and dump the bucket in the well outside the temple. He repeated the task for many days. After a few weeks, he forgot his frustration and anger for being treated like a servant and walked up and down the hill without giving the task much thought. That is when he saw his destiny. He dropped the bucket and rushed to his teacher. “I can see my destiny.” The teacher smiled and replied. “It is when we lose ourselves that we find ourselves.” Through the continual repetitive activity, our mind disengages from all that is around us and can concentrate on the flow of energy within ourselves. It is where the great spiritual mothers and fathers believe we see our soul.
Yesterday I cleaned my office. Moving books and papers to new locations, screwing up my face at things I don’t recall saving. I began to stop thinking. When I allowed the divine energy to bubble up inside of me, if only for a brief moment, I saw how out of balance I had become.
Our energy is a gift from God. It is valuable and precious. My health, my success, my prosperity, each revolves around the management of the energy God gave me. In his book, The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering Into Peace, Joy, and Liberation, Thich Nhat Hanh identifies that energy as the Holy Spirit. The energy is a divine gift not to be over looked or discounted because of a host of bad days or quirky events, but to be honored as a very precious gift. That gift of energy oozes into each crevice of our life. When I spend my days fighting windmills I mask my true destiny on this planet and end up tired and frustrated with myself and my life around me. I start “fighting back” instead of tapping the stream of energy and making peace with my universe.
Jesus tells the story of the king who prepared for a long journey. He called his three most trusted servants before him and divided his wealth equally among them. “Watch over this while I’m away,” he said. When the king returned many years later, he called the three servants before him. The first proudly told the king he had tripled what he’d given him. The second servant detailed how he had doubled the wealth. The third servant stood off in a corner and quietly approached the king. “I feared losing all you gave me so I buried it. I’m returning it to you as you left it with me.”
Despite all the spiritual manipulation, that story has weathered over the centuries, I often find myself asking, “Which servant am I?”
Namaste dear ones.
Monday, December 31, 2012
I have decided it’s time to shake things up a bit. I’m looking forward to 2013 I am going to look back at 2012. I can feel some of you cringe in horror. Our whole society is aligned to look ahead. How many e-mails have you received in the past week that talks about setting better and more effective goals for 2013? How many of those goals will be circling the drain by March 1? It is why diets do not work. We struggle to change behavior without changing or altering our thought process. Deep down inside, when we begin to alter our eating and exercise habits we form the belief we are being punished, because, after all, we are fat aren’t we. (I know I am supposed to say obese, but really, is your self, internal talk politically correct.)
Sometime today and most likely tomorrow, I am going to review my year and rather than celebrate what I have accomplished I am going to focus on where I have failed. No rousing or self-uplifting motivational talks or blogs here. Not going to focus on how wonderful I am and how much Jesus loves me even if I am fat. I am going to ask myself what went wrong. Because I have, feelings that the same things that went wrong in 2012 are the same things that went wrong in 2011 and 2010 and down the line. As someone so eloquently put it: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
This isn’t going to be fun but neither is a colonoscopy and it has a positive benefit doesn’t it? I am going to examine my failures and faults. I am not going to cut myself any slack, no pious platitudes and when I am done I know there won’t be any great revelations for 2013 just the realization of what things in my life need to change.
Despite our bleating and moaning, the only person who makes anything happen in our lives, positive or negative is us. We choose what external influences enter our lives. We vacillate on the tough choices because of the “P” word. No one likes pain, especially the emotional type. It strips us naked and we see all the bumps and lumps. So we create “do betters” without ever addressing all the “what the heck happened” of the past.
The three mantras I live by have not changed; moreover, they are a work in progress, something to be refined as I gain knowledge or as I stub my toes.
I deserve to be successful.
I deserve to be open and honest with myself about those areas of my life that need attention. Dorothy’s ruby red slippers are safe in the Smithsonian. There is no magic that is going to change my current state of affairs.
I am worth all the effort I put into myself.
The key word is effort. The laws of physics apply to each circumstance in our lives: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Positive and healthy behavior equals a healthier me. Cookies, cakes, and pies at my age are road maps to Type 2 diabetes. It takes no real effort to succumb to the will of others. When we fail the folks who tempted us are convenient foils. It is never our fault. There is no way we cannot reject our family of origin can we? I dunno, can we?
Ya are whom ya hang around with.
If you surround yourself with people who move forward, take honest but painful looks at their behavior then you too will be lifted up. For me, I’m done with excuses. I’m tired of running with the “there, there” crowd.
So today, tomorrow and into the next week I’ll take a hard look at the past year and ask myself how and where I could have handled some things in a different and more importantly WHY didn’t I have the courage to do so. The sad thing is that those of you who are in the same boat I’m in will give me a thumbs up, cheer me on, tell me I’m 100% correct and log off. Gosh I wish ya wouldn’t. I for one care about you too much to see you continue to be frustrated. Could we turn on our flashlights together and find the light of health in this next year.
As Michael J Fox once said “I’m back to the future.”
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