Saturday, December 12, 2009
"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world....as in being able to remake ourselves." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Resistance to change is something we all need to ponder - why do we resist change? Why would we resist changing a story that has not been working for us? We stay with our old stories because it is safer and we don't feel safe with change. Change means leaving the safety of our comfort zones. Comfort zones are a combination of our belief and our behavior patterns that we have repeated for a long enough time where they have become cemented into our mind and are on auto-pilot, we don't even have to think about them. It is familiar and it is predictable so why not choose the known over the unknown associated with change. With the known we always know what the outcome will be and that is comforting - OR IS IT. Is it comfortable and fulfilling to stay with the KNOWN if it isn't what you want and is obviously not working?
We then have the ability of CHOICE - we chose all the dynamics and which choice that we want to make. When you go to eat something (that bad food item/s) - each bite that you take you are making a choice. Well ask yourself these questions - do I like this choice? Does it serve me well? When I look back at the end of the day, what will I be glad I've done? Once becoming more aware of actively making choices, you can decide what's in your best interest or what furthers you from your story, and what doesn't. In other words is this choice I am making going to take me toward my goals, or further away from my goals.
Add this to your thinking as you are working on your 2010 goals and rewriting your story. This is one of the many things you have to take ownership of. Your choices are your own and you have to take ownership of them. No-one makes you take that bite, no-one makes you chose that food - NO-ONE but YOU writes your story. It is very hard to take ownership of your own choices - it's much easier to blame it on something else - don't make your story easy. Look at the wonders of a greater inner strength by putting in some very hard work and admissions, let this be one of the beginning steps in your rewrite of your story.
This process of addressing your limiting factors is one of the most important things you will ever do, and if done correctly and completely will spell SUCCESS. This is all a step by step process that you learn and develop from- there is no skipping steps to get it over with quicker. Every step plays a critical role in your knowlege base and how successful you will be.
Treat your goals and your new lifestyle story with a renewed respect for learning - a new lifestyle calls for knowing who you are, why you are the way you are, why you do what you do, and most importantly what do you need to change so that everything is working positively FOR YOU.
Friday, December 11, 2009
"The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing." ~ Michael E. Gerber
Have you thought about your life actually being a story? It is a story that begins at your birth. You have come to this point in your life, and are you happy with your story and your life up to this point? If your not completely happy, inside and out, with who and where you are in your lifes story -- start a new chapter and begin ANEW.
A statement that I very much like and believe in is: Your body is the projection of your mind's software. To change your body, you have to revise the software.
It is only YOU and YOUR OWN POWER that can make changes and control what the rest of your life story reads. We get in that comfort zone, that safe zone - we don't want to move - we don't want to take risks -- we stagnate where we are.
Fitness & Wellness walk hand in hand - it is beyond the physique, it is beyond just working out and eating healthy - it involves your wellness, longevity and quality of life. When are we going to stop and smell the roses and realize that playing russian roulette is going to catch us, and then, it is too late. Change the direction of your life story - find new meaning in looking ahead and thinking about where you will be in some years to come. That is the REWRITE that will give you more meaning and purpose in finding your own inner strength to go after all those things that will give you REAL LIFE with QUALITY AT ITS BEST.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
You would probably ask yourself what does this mean. Well let me preface it with something that came to me in an email yesterday. In a nutshell the question was: if someone filled a plate full of your favorite foods and it was hot and ready to eat - what could you find that you enjoyed more than eating that plate of food. Well the only thing he could think of that if someone from the lottery knocked on your door and told you that you just won 1 million dollars and had to go claim it right now -- you would be fast out that door and leave that plate of food sitting there. Beyond that he couldn't come up with much more.
This got the old mind rolling - when did our addictiion to food ever get to the point that it is today. When did food actually start being thought of in terms of such enjoyment hence taking the place as food for fuel for your body. Food for fuel for the body has about up and left the english language. We have allowed food to be our everything and the fashion statements of our life. We use it for enjoyment, we use it for stress, we use it for loneliness, we use it for every emotion and then again we just use it whenever.
So how does all this come into play with the title of this blog. Well, if you have lofty fitness goals such as I will lose 50# of bodyfat/bodyweight in 6 months or whatever duration of time you have given it, do you have issues with food as anything other than for fuel? If you do, then your goals are far too lofty and you will not be able to fulfill them. Your goals need to be a very best representation of what YOU can do to reach your goals.
Lofty goals bring frustration and in many cases just never become realized. How can they when your setting yourself up for something that you cannot do. If your eating habits are not conducive to fat loss and you have set such steep goals then your goals are a complete conflict of your abilities. Lofty goals are goals that are far too big for where you currently are and will cause extreme duress as you try to challenge them day to day.
This is the time of year when everyone gets thinking about those New Years Resolutions (resolutions that most generally don't happen because they are forgotten about in a very short time frame). When you start putting your New Years Resolutions to paper for 2010 - start at the bottom with all of your limiting factors as your first line goals. You really need to correct the things that are causing the problem before you can adequately address the problem. Food addiction is a huge limiting factor and if you cannot control your intake, bingeing or following a realistic plan then you have lost before you started. You have lost because you have not done the work that needed to be done before you endeavored to take on those lofty goals.
What is also lofty is anyone thinking that exercise and cardio are going to be the tools that help you achieve your journey - your nutrition is what will drive your success, not exercise and cardio. They are clearly tools to assist in the process along with all the health benefits that you derive from activity. Yes, lean muscle mass gives you greater calorie burn just doing nothing, however, you CANNOT OUT EXERCISE A POOR DIET. There is not myth such as this other than wishful thinking. You are what you eat and you are a product of what you eat. People can lose weight very easily with no exercise as long as they eat correctly, however activity needs to always be in our fitness programs because of the positive outcomes it gives you in terms of your overall health.
So when you sit down to goal plan for the upcoming year - sit down with this process and put some pen to paper, be deeply honest with yourself and come up with something that is reasonable and doable for you. If you can't weight train more than twice a week then don't expect big muscle gains, if you can't do at least 1 hour of activity per day then don't look for fast fat loss. Your fitness programming needs to be 100% reflective of your abilities and your time schedule and you have to accept the process as it will come. Far too many people get so frustrated and just give up - this is NEVER the answer, giving up takes you no-where. Getting your body into shape takes time and it takes work - the less work you can do the slower the process, but it will happen over time.
This is what goal planning is all about and without it, your chances for success are limited. You have to have a concrete plan that is time structured and measurable. Your big ending goal is the big picture - what is most important is all those short term goals that you can take steps in meeting and do them in a much shorter period of time so you can feel the joy of realizing each and every one.
"Man is made or unmade by himself...In the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.
By the right choice and true application of thought, man ascends to the Divine Perfection; by the abuse and wrong application of thought, he descends below the level of the beast.
Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man is their maker and master." ~James Allen As a Man Thinketh
Sunday, December 06, 2009
"Hope is the companion of power and the mother of success. For those of us who hope strongest have within us the gift of miracles." ~ Sydney Bremer
I love this quote and for all our sparkers this is what makes people get motivated to achieve by not going it alone. As the holiday season is upon us and people are extremely busy getting ready for the holidays we also see a sudden decrease in activity on the threads. It is sad to see this happen and see people pull away from the place that helps them keep them on track.
This is a time of year when we can see 10#+ of weight gain from now through New Years and it is a vital time to at least keep some of your vision focused on your goals. Will the commraderie of your spark friends help you more successfully get through the holiday season? I do think that it does and will. As we get wrapped up in all the parties, cooking, shopping etc we can so easily completely forget about what we have been working so hard for all year long. And then when its over there is nothing left but extreme displeasure with yourself for falling prey to the holiday busyness and FORGETTING ABOUT YOU.
Group momentum is exhilarating and contagious - when participants fall off the momentum falls. Try to maintain getting on each day, even if for just a few minutes, to renew your momentum, commitment and accountabilty. By doing this you will be happier with yourself when the holidays are over.
When we look at WHY WE FAIL - we fail because we allow it to happen, we put ourself and our goals at the very bottom of the priority list and then we suffer with the consequences. If you are one of those people who are allowing it to happen, sit back and just ask yourself WHY, and if you can find a purely logical reason (which I completely doubt), sit back again and ask yourself WHY -- the truth will come if you dare face it.
These are things that I have used on myself in the past and my answer after several attempts at trying to deny and justify all fell down to I just plain wanted to be free to eat whatever I wanted throughout the season - that was the reality. I have since spent time growing over the years and no longer allow that to happen. I have learned that I can enjoy the seasonal holiday favorites and not have it hurt my progress or my goals. We each have to learn how to do that - it takes time, it takes honesty and it takes making decisions to learn to do it better than we have in the past.
That is why TEAMWORK is what makes or breaks your success in many ways. Although virtual friends and teammates - we all have the power to help another. It is also about balance - balance with all the holiday duties and balance with yourself and your goals - it is all possible to do - YOU JUST HAVE TO WANT IT BAD ENOUGH.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I had a question on what injury I suffer from so I thought I would blog about this injury to help further understand my reason for blogging about it in the first place.
My injury is nothing that is hereditary, nor is it a disease. It is caused from "Mechanical Stress". This type of stress can come from many things but for me particularly it has been self-induced and was caused by the mechanical stressors of lifting. Bear in mind that mechanical stress is not something that happens acutely, it is something that is cummulative and happens over time. This is the type of stress of the body that you don't see or feel it happen - it occurs over time and continued stress.
I have degeneration of the a spinal disc between C5 & C6 and along with that have incurred a couple of bone spurs which actually end up aggravating and inflamming my left upper trapezius muscle moreso than the right. This has all been caused by my weight lifting history and certainly will progress if I don't make significant change in my exercise programming for myself. I am awaiting full re-structuring of my exercise program until after I see the Orthopedic Surgeon this month. I need to have a complete understanding of the degenerative process and although I know much being a nurse, I am not a specialist nor am I a doctor - so that decision making needs to come from them.
This is something that I feel every woman at every age needs to be aware of because most people do not even think about it. As I stated earlier this is cummulative and you do not know anything about it until there is a problem. We all make our own choices for our particular goals and long term safety of our bodies is extremely important. None of us are immune to these types of injuries and if anything as women we are more apt to suffer from these things moreso than men.
Our bodies are much different than mens in terms of the amount of bone mass, muscle mass etc and are bodies are far more fragile than theirs. So it is good common sense and knowing what exactly you are doing, why you are doing it and are you going beyond where you need to go to meet your goals. Overtraining is far more prevalent than most people would even recognize and you have to be aware of the consequences of not just overtraining but also of heavy lifting over too much time.
I have always cycled my heavy lifting and do not employ that strategy very frequently at all. My body has developed much better by doing less weight and higher reps. My injury has not come from any one thing other than weight training over time. I am sure my training for my competitions had a huge contribution in this injury because that is the only time that my training has ever gone to overtraining.
This is not a message meant to throw fear - it is meant to bring awareness. My biggest message is this: if you aren't going for bodybuilding or for power lifting, as a woman there is no need whatsoever for you trying to lift that kind of weight. If you look at that concept - just think about it - what is my point? Our female bodies were not meant for that and if you think about the amount of stress you place on this more delicate body - what can you expect to happen up the road in life?
Just know where your goals are and train for those goals. If your goal is not to be a bodybuilder why would you be training like a bodybuilder? If you want to just add some nice muscle mass you do not need to lift MAX WEIGHT to do that. I do believe there are misconceptions about that. All you need to grow your muscles is to always be progressing and there are many ways in which to do that without imposing that kind of stress on your body. Furthermore, unless you want to take steroids, your muscles are only going to get so big - so continuing to try to lift beyond a reasonable weight level won't make your muscles get any bigger.
That is my message - a message that I feel is valuable to everyone who is working on their fitness. I, just like anyone else, do not want to see anyone take an injury due to trying to become fit. It is not necessary, it is not safe and it is not healthy. Always train specific to your goals but always keep safety and consequences in your mindset. Safety should always come first and foremost!!
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