Sunday, April 17, 2011
Today´s blog will be a short one. I don´t have much to say - hah! Funny! But if I do not take a few minutes now, I prob´ly won´t take time until next weekend. Very busy.
I am working on a couple of things - that BIG project - researching illustrations and info, a BIG spring flower garland and simple curtain for church decorations for Easter, some mending, improving my health stance with 2 great books and online info, and other everyday tasks.
Re. the improving health stance. I am doing a couple of things that I hadn´t considered before now.
1. Adding MORE steps in my day. Got the ole pedometer back on ev´ry blessed day. Just trying to sit less and be up more. The biggest amt of my day is at the computer. Don´t want to regress so getting up a bit more often and traipsing up and down the stairs a few more times in the day, visiting the dogs outside, and my flowers, trying to get a few more vitamin Ds, too.
2. I´m eating small meals, roughly every 3 hours. Two of the meals a bit bigger. Staying around 1200 calories; well, trying for that. Experimenting with fewer ingredients so I can keep the meals smaller.
3. Working on the posture again, again, and again!
It´s a challenge. I´m challenging ME! After all, It is My Life.
Have a great new week. Be thankful for every little thing - it´s a BIG deal! Check in with the Thanksgiving Team and start making this a habit!
"Energy and persistence conquer all things." -Benjamin Franklin
If you can, plz take a moment to go read and encourage Sheila for her FIRST Blog!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Gonna tell it how it is. I have been thinking about my strengths and how they relate to my choices for healthy living. Maybe this will be an encouragement to you.
So here goes…
What is Right with Me? / What is Wrong with Me?
I look inward to see if criticism is correct. / I look inward too deeply and for too long even when the criticism is unreliable and lies. (BUT, now that I recognize how this tends to paralyze me, I more often take the HUGE step to give it up and move on.)
I trust my intuition. / I don´t trust my intuition enough to stick with it when a strong person insists that he or she is right and I am wrong. (BUT, I am learning to walk away.)
I love to play. / I let work interfere with play and tend to put it 1st most of the time. (BUT, I am trying to take time out once in awhile for calm.)
I am at peace spiritually. / I am unhappy with several relationships and feel incapable of improving them. (BUT, I see a glimmer of hope in the occasional tiny improvement.)
I am good at study and research and usually enjoy it. / Because this work is often expected and I keep choosing it (due to other facets), I spend too much time alone. (BUT, I finish what I start!)
I make healthy choices more than 90% of the time. / I still occasionally choose by emotion. (BUT, often, I catch myself before carrying through!)
I am a terrific organizer. / I only get to practice this at home. (BUT, I give good advice when people ask.)
I work hard. / Often my work isolates me. (BUT, I do get the job done!)
I love people. / I am lousy in leading and motivating people to do things in groups. (BUT, I am good one-on-one and have encouraged a lot of people privately.)
I pray for many. / I do not ever like to pray in public. (BUT, sometimes, I do it, and the few who know this about me, do not ask me to do it!)
I love to learn. / My recall is not good. (BUT, I do know where to get the facts and answers!)
I love to learn and ask lots of questions so I get it right. / Some people don´t like being questioned and I leave the conversation sad or confused. (BUT, I am learning that generally the problem is theirs not mine.)
I like to be a part of what´s going on. / Because I don´t do last minute (except an emergency, like lots of blood), and those around me do, I am usually left out and/or ignored. (BUT, I KNOW that we all make choices and I really do prefer salvaging my health over these things.)
We all must make choices. Each one of us must know what we need in order to choose what is healthy for us individually. Otherwise, we allow others to make choices for us or push us into satisfying THEIR needs at the cost of our own health and well-being.
I wonder sometimes if I have wasted most of my life because I was incapable of standing up to some people and just let them railroad me into doing what I do not feel I should or “being” who I am not! Often, I have reacted to them rather than sticking to a proactive decision.
Certain areas of my life have definitely improved, however, I do get stuck sometimes, not for nearly as long as I used to, thankfully, but stuck nonetheless.
I want to make choices that create health, improve my health, and keep freeing me to become healthier. In order to make it easier for better choices, it takes time to recognize the things that interfere, like:
~my own negativism
~bad-for-me snacks and food in the kitchen
~people who are detrimental to my health, who influence me negatively
~stimulus that moves me in the wrong direction
I must take time to recognize the steps that lead me to bad decision-making by breaking it down. Then, next time around, I can stop sooner. For example, Let´s say I ate a box of chocolates. Why did I do that? Well, I made it easy access!
I bought it, brought it home, and put it in the cupboard. Next argument with hubby (or other exasperation), I reached for, you guessed it – chocolate! I took the box to watch a DVD and ate half of it! Then put it away thinking I´d have better control later.
Next day, criticized by DH, I heard the candy calling my name! Ate it; all gone. Now, not only sad about bad relating to hubby, but also about eating ALL that candy!
Where could I have stopped the sequence? Right at the point where I put it in the grocery cart, or before the cashier registered the sale, or shared it with the gang, or wrapped it in pretty paper and given it as a gift.
Moving on with that thought, because...
After all, this is MY Life.
Monday, April 04, 2011
Several times lately, I´ve thought it would be so nice to go back to the days when I was completely unaware of anything about nutrition, calories, health, fat, protein, carbs, etc. “Those were the days, my friend” when I could eat whatever was placed in front of me without conscience or worry, or even regret. I was very young when I was compared to my cousin (a few years older than I) who was skinny and, from then on, I was known as the “chubby” one. I was not – I´ve confirmed it with photos; I was just not lightweight like she was. That bothered me, a lot. My self-image and my relationship with food began to change!
Mom went back to work after the last baby came. And I, at age 10, became the chief cook, dishwasher, and housekeeper. When I cooked for my family of 5 siblings and parents (8 of us), the food disappeared quickly. If it was undercooked or charred, there were zero complaints! If I wanted to eat, I either had to hide it (challenging in a family of little detectives!) or eat immediately.
During my teen years, finances at home were tight. I did not really understand (my parents did not talk about it with us kids except to say no when we asked for things); food choices became limited. I don´t recall that any of us kids complained about it. We ate lots of chicken, canned peas and soups, rice, fried potatoes, saltines, bologna or peanut butter and grape jelly on day-old white bread, and, occasionally, store brand sandwich cookies. When I left home, these became my comfort foods. Once in awhile, Mom brought home ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, banana bread (those really dark bananas on the sale produce rack), or pineapple upside down cake. (More of my comfort foods!)
I married a guy whose basic diet is grilled, fatty food, lots of meat, hot dogs, sausages, non-vegie, extra-cheese pizza, fried battered fish, French fries, big juicy, fast-food hamburgers, that white bread you can squeeze into a ball in your hand (amazingly now, he eats whole grain bread half the time), all with lots of salt. He loves to eat out several times a week, in fact, prefers that to eating at home. Until just a couple of years ago (we´ve been married almost 38 years), he drank almost nothing but soda pop and coffee.
When our children were young, I tried hard to learn about nutrition. Being missionaries in a place that didn´t offer many choices, I worried that my kids would be malnourished. I searched for what would improve our diet. I also tried to focus on American holidays so the kids would feel at home when we did travel back to the U.S. and not lose their American heritage. It was important to me to give them traditional holiday food fare. I worked very hard to make that happen here. You shoulda seen how much baking I did for Thanksgiving and Christmas! It was fun, hard-work at the hottest time of the year in South America, and I did a good job at it.
Only thing was, I could not control my increasing girth and unhappiness. So, I kept right on researching and studying about nutrition whenever I had the opportunity. Basically, what I chose was diet after diet then gaining back more than I´d lost, depriving self of goodies for a long time then having private one-person eat-all-you-want cookie parties. I was exhausted after giving, giving, giving to my kids, my husband, and our congregation that I couldn´t add exercise to any day of the week.
Something had to give, and it was usually my health. To this day, I often have a cold, allergies, or dizziness going on. I do a once-a-year complete check-up most years and my doctor doesn´t tell me to lose weight any more. In fact, in the past 5 years with SparkPeople, everything except hormones and bone scan have improved. Those 2 items have to do with my age, so I am not overly concerned. I refuse most medications because of their side effects and do not need to take anything daily except my vitamins – a great way to live and I pray that it is for the rest of my life!
Nowadays, thanks to an active spiritual life, SparkPeople, association with positive people who care about me, and various other little things that are truly a BIG deal, these are some of the things that “had to give” in order for me to improve my health status:
~I realized that I am the only person that is responsible for THIS life of mine, and, thus, take control of it.
~I started living on purpose, with purpose.
~I worked hard to understand why and what I was eating then made changes to improve.
~I learned to say “NO!” to some things that are bad for me, some things that could be good (and are for others), so I can say “YES!” to what is good and better for ME.
~I quit making excuses, giving excuses, and listening to the excuses others make.
~I learned to trust my own judgment, stick with the plan, and stop second-guessing my decisions.
~I am learning to accept some things that I do not like-
When others choose to eat in front of me what I choose to avoid and to say nothing;
That several years ago, my husband asked that I stop cooking for him because he wants to eat what he wants, when he wants;
That I often eat alone because I choose to cook my own food with my own ingredients so I know what is in it and it fits into my nutrition plan;
That I often miss out on social gatherings in order to stay on track and on schedule.
In this blog, I decided to focus on some negative stuff that often goes unsaid. Another time, I will list the pros.
After all, this is MY Life.
4 Ways French Women Stay Thin (Without the Gym)
“I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a Champion.” -Billy Jean King
“The cornerstone of our happiness begins with self-awareness. Without self-knowledge it´s virtually impossible to instigate change. It really is the key to becoming more responsible for the quality of our lives, our future, and ultimately our inner peace and happiness.” - Jane Powell founder of Meditations for Women
Saturday, March 26, 2011
If you have accompanied me in my SparkJourney, you know how frustrated I have been. Some of what I´m going to say, you may have heard me say before. Skip down a bit if you do not want to hear it again!
During the first 2+ years, I was able to lose, and then, we traveled. In 6 months, I gained back part of what I had lost. It was just too hard to keep saying NO! and deprive myself of the special goodies I don´t see at home in Brazil. I told myself that once we were settled at home, it would be easy to get control, get off those lbs, and continue to lose. I had kept up my exercising the whole time away. I was right about this part of it - it was NOT difficult for me to get back into tracking exercise and food.
But, I was sooo wrong about the losing part! In these last 2 ˝ years, in spite of exercising like crazy and eating within the suggested calorie limits, I have not lost. A couple of times, I have gone down and back up, down, and back up, just a little, but nothing that I can really say is significant. And, yes, I have found other ways of measuring success in regard to my health, BUT…
I reeeeallllyyyyyy want to lose weight, get into smaller sizes, and have a better BMI and smaller waist-to-hip ratio, and thus, become energetic! I am not looking to return to my 20s! I don´t want to turn back the clock and be able to do all that I could when I was younger. I DO, however, want to do more – live better – enjoy the roses, the sights, MY Life!!!
Yes, we returned home. Yes, I got back into my journey, focused on my goals, worked very hard to do all I had learned and continue with every detail of the SparkPeople way. I have been consistent, determined, persistent, regularly changed up exercises, balanced and rebalanced eating, eating a bit more when I´ve done heavy exercise, and so on. You can read about it in my previous blogs, if you want to take the time.
I do not blame SparkPeople for this challenge. In fact, I keep returning with the hope that one of these days I will hit on the solution. I keep reading materials about health. And I DO appreciate input from my friends.
In the past week, I have renewed hope as I read a book loaned to me by a friend who is practicing healthy living. It is called Dr. A´s Habits of Health by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen.
Reading a bit each day, understanding like I never have before what has held me back from losing. With what understanding I have already gotten from this book, I am beginning Phase 1. I will let you know how it goes. I love how the author emphasizes positivity and long term health – so like SparkPeople does.
He talks about making healthy choices. One of my biggest struggles was, and occasionally still is, emotional eating. I have come a l-o-n-g way but still, once inawhile, catch myself choosing based on how I feel deep inside. Most of the time, I know what is motivating me, and that has helped so much. But I have not been able to completely break the inertia that comes from my sadness and life frustrations that sends me after something I KNOW I should not eat or that takes away my energy to exercise.
At least two times in the past three days, I have caught myself deciding to have something I had previously decided I would not. Two nights, at bedtime, I was in the kitchen, saying to myself, “I want something to eat - NOW!”
Each of those times, I said, “You know what, girl? go ahead and have that. It actually would not take me over my calorie limits. But do I reeeally want it?” Then...
I remembered what I had read: “Make the choice that supports your most important desire.” I was not hungry. I did not need to eat. I was lonely and tired. I made the choice - I did not buy into the little chocolate bar; I left the kitchen with my glass of water; I supported optimal health; and, I felt satisfied with my choice to NOT eat!
That´s what this journey is about, isn´t it?! Making healthy choices. That´s what I plan to do, always, because...
It is MY Life, after all.
Power-food pairs: Eat this with that to make it healthier
Lose Weight While Watching TV [Burn 540 calories!]
This Is Your Life by Switchfoot with Lyrics
Get Back Up by Toby Mac with Lyrics
Saturday, March 19, 2011
This week I am celebrating 5 years as a SparkPerson!
My 253rd SparkBlog!
80,353+ Fitness Minutes!
My SparkPage has been viewed more than 23,470 times!
I reached the top 20th Trophy months ago!
I have earned 111,770 Total SparkPoints!
I have received more than 50 SparkTrophies for Perfect Attendance, Consistency, Fitness Minutes, and SparkPoints!
I have lost a few pounds and a lot of inches!
I stand up straighter!
I can walk barefoot and wear heels (couldn´t before SparkPeople)!
I have more strength, more stamina, improved self-image and self esteem!
I eat better, drink more water, and do more exercise than I ever did in my life!
I have SparkFriends who encourage me to make healthy choices and stick with it!
I have sparked others to do the same!
I could not have done this withoutcha, SparkPeople!!!
It is MY Life, after all, and I am making it better!
8 Ways to Stick to Your Diet While Friends Indulge
Soak Your Beans to Get More Depression-Fighting Nutrients (Scroll Down)
Imagine Me by Kirk Franklin, with lyrics
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