Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Farewell January 2008!

It is time to bid farewell to January. I worked out with Paul this morning (as usual), and just a quarter of the way into our hike, it began to snow! It was simply magical.

We don't get snow in Auburn very often and I have never been in it like I was today. It was so peaceful and quiet. Even my breath seemed easier. You all know that working out is not easy for me but I intend to keep doing it. The snow today reminded me that I am looking for peace and balance in my life, and today in my workout, it was peaceful. I am going to keep doing it because even if I don't look as good as I think I would like, I know I am healthier and stronger.

All this year we will cover the topics that create health, harmony, and balance in our lives. February we will talk about relationships and the kinds of people we want to surround ourselves with. Feel free to chime in and give me your two cents. I would like this to be a forum where we can all have our opinions and perspectives, not just a podium for me to share my thoughts. With that, farewell January, welcome February!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Winding Down January's Topic - Fitness and Diet

As the month of January comes to a close, I am asking myself if I held up my end the agreements I made. I can honestly say, I have not let myself down, and though my weight has not drastically changed, my strength has.

I am stronger physically and I am stronger emotionally. I have been able to get a better grip on when I am eating to live and when I am eating for all the other reasons I eat. Some of those reasons are stress, not knowing how something is going to play out, feeling out of control, and the ever present (in my life), things are not moving fast enough for me.

For those of you who don't know me, I am fast. I think fast, move fast, talk fast, act fast, and feel fast. I like things to move at my pace and they rarely do. As I get older, I have been able to settle down and find the value in a slower pace, but on the inside, it still frustrates me. So as we bid farewell to January, I will feel like I succeeded in following through, eating better, exercising regularly and accepting that things happen as they are supposed to, not always as quickly as I think they should!

Friday, January 25, 2008

One more week to stay motivated!

We have been sharing ideas about diet, nutrition, and exercise. It has been really good for me to stay on track and I think, form some good habits. Working out is still a challenge and frankly, I don't like it. It is a effort everyday to make it happen but somehow, I am managing to get it done.

The really frustrating part is that I have not lost pounds. My body has changed and I have lost inches, but the scale is pretty much where it started almost eight weeks ago. So here is my take; I am going to keep doing what I am doing no matter what my scale says. I know I am getting stronger and making a difference in my overall health. How can that be bad?
Keep up the good work and if you lost your resolve, it is never too late to get back in the game. Everyday is a new opportunity to do the good thing, and ultimately improve your condition!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January's Topic

As you all know, we are addressing the number one New Year's resolution this month; Weight Loss and Getting Fit.
In February, we will talk about Love and Relationships. Stay tuned and chime it, I would love to know what you think!

Move to Thrive, Everyday!

I happen to catch Bob Green (fitness expert and Oprah's personal trainer) on Rachael Ray's show the other day, and he painted a picture for me that changed the way I think about exercise. Let me see if I can do the same for you.

Basically, he made the analogy that movement is life. Picture your body from the inside, veins, muscles, arteries, and organs. Think of your heart beating strong and pushing the blood through your body providing you with all that's good, and getting rid of all that's not so good. It has the strength and force to reach the outer limits (fingertips, and toes), making all the parts move and thrive.

Now think of a weak heart, beating with no vigor, and how it just moves the blood to the next place. Your blood is moving slowly and in some cases, losing momentum not making it all the way to your outer extremities. With the slow moving blood, you have weak veins and lack of breath. Since your veins and arteries don't have to support the force of the rush of blood, they get soft. When this happens, it is a prime environment for bacteria to grow, tears and breaks, and disease to set in.

Walking intentionally and vigorously for just 30 minutes everyday will keep your heart happy and your blood moving with force through your body. Strength training will make your muscles and bones strong. So many other things will go well, too. Your digestive system will work more efficiently, your energy levels will be high, and your body will eliminate properly and with regularity. Looking at it this way, how can you just sit there, not moving? I am working out with a trainer four days a week. Though it may not communicate in this picture, I am pushing up a pretty steep hill. It also happens to be about 30 degrees!

Our hearts are our life force and the international symbol for love. Love yourself and get those parts moving!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr Day

As you know, we have been talking about getting fit and losing weight for the month of January, but today is a holiday. Martin Luther King Jr is celebrated and remembered today.

I am going to leave you to feel how you would like to about the man and his life, but here is something to think about; what kind of cause do you feel strongly enough about to knowingly risk your life every waking minute of your day?

If you don't have to work today, enjoy your time off. If you do, well, that sucks! Laughing. Have a great day no matter what!

Friday, January 18, 2008

No pain, no gain? Well, yes.

It's hard enough to make exercise happen everyday but then it has to hurt, too? Yes, it has to hurt if you want to see results. Here is what I understand to be true.

If you have gained weight and let your shape get soft, then your muscles need work. When you push what you can do physically, you stress the soft tissue and it gets sore. This is when you use muscles you don't use in your daily life (like horse back riding), or when you weight train and work your muscle groups to failure (like when you think you can't do one more rep and you painfully do two!). In both examples, it is best to give your body (specifically those sore muscles) a day of recovery by working a different group of muscles. And drink lots and lots of water.

So the answer to the question "Does exercise have to hurt?" is yes, if you want to see results. When you get into your routine and find that your routine is getting easy, you need to do the things that make you sweat, and make your muscles sore again. Keep upping the ante! Do keep in mind however, there is a difference between sore muscles as you get in shape and an injury. If you are hurting because you have sprained your ankle, you need to see a doctor and stay off your feet.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Are you sticking with it?

So we are half way through January, are you sticking with your commitment to lose some weight? I am. Here is a tip that may take some pressure off if you have lost some of your enthusiasm. Even a little is worth a pat on the back.

If you have recovered from the high of the holidays and the day-to-day stuff is bogging you down, remember that even if you can only do 15 minutes of exercise, it is better than nothing. Maybe you even find you can do 15 minutes in the morning, and then find time to get another 15 or 30 minutes of walking in at lunch time. That is success for today!

This also goes for how you are eating. If you get off to a great start in the morning and have a low cal lunch, but falter when three o-clock rolls around, don't quit for the rest of the day. Eat a healthy dinner and stop eating at your usual cut off time. This is a life long process so take the ups with the downs. If you slip, get up and get right back in the game, not tomorrow or next week, right now! Get back on the track that is taking you where you want to be this very instant! You can succeed, you will succeed!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Intentional Winning on the Radio

This is a little deviation from our topic this month, but it is fun so let me tell you a story of Intentional Winning on the radio.

The Friday before New Years eve, I was home listening to the radio. The local country station was having their usual give aways - only this time with a twist. For the month of December, every time you won something, anything, your name went in the hopper for the trip to Vegas. When I heard them say it was time to call I told Dave to start dialing. While we both dialed, he asked what we were winning. I told him a CD. "Why do you want a CD?" he asked. "I don't care about the CD, I am winning the trip to Vegas." I replied as I won the CD and qualified for the trip. I put the phone back and laughed to Dave that I would be winning the trip on Monday morning. Easy-peasy!

Monday morning at 8:00 Am, I was preparing to go running and didn't want to miss the call telling me I had won. I called the radio station to ask them when they would be doing the drawing and they said in just a few minutes. The DJ asked if I was a qualifier and I confidently told him I was his winner. He laughed and asked for my name. I hesitated and said that I didn't want to tell him my name because when he pulled it, he would think it was too strange and not want to call me. He said no, it would be fate to which I replied, "I like to think of it as intention." We hung up and in less than two minutes he called me back to tell me I had won the trip.

I spoke to him afterwards and he asked how I knew I had won. I told him that from the time I qualified, I intended to be the winner. It never occurred to me that I would not win. He e-mailed me the MP3 of me winning and he even included the phone call prior to, which makes it so much more interesting. Have a great week and intend great things for yourself!

Friday, January 11, 2008

What are you eating?

We are 1/3 of the way through January and if you are resolving to lose weight, what are you eating?

I have been making great strides to eat live and fresh food. The more I can eat that is raw and not packaged in any way, the better. The problem is that it's not easy to eat fresh food when you live a busy life like I do. So here is what I am doing to combat the convenience stores and drive-throughs. The best advice I can give you is to plan ahead.

I keep hearty fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, oranges, and carrots handy so I can grab them easily to put in a cooler to keep in my car. I also keep raw almonds and hard boiled eggs on hand as they are filling and a great source of protein. From there, I have Wasa bread with mustard and some lean lunch meat for lunch, and I keep a light yogurt smoothie for a snack.

I am finding that eating more than three times a day is useful, and even gets to be a little too much food some days. What are you eating? Are you finding it is difficult to resist your old temptations? I am, I still want to eat crap food like cookies, chips, and candy. I am resisting more and eating better. Hopefully it will start showing soon!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Intentional Exercise. Yes, you have to!

There is no getting around it. If you want to lose weight, you have to exercise. I don't like to be the one who says you "need," or you "have" to, but in this case there is just no other way. The only other option is to put off losing weight and getting fit, and we can reread all of this next year.

If you are like me and you don't look forward to working out everyday, then try thinking about it in a little different way. Instead of thinking about how tough the run will be, or the fact that you just don't want to do it, think about what you will get after you do it. The clothes that are starting to fit you again, the way you feel jogging up a few stairs, and what this summer will be like in shorts and cute sleeveless tops. One hour a day is a small price to pay for all those good things, don't you think? There are so many exercise options. Start with something, anything, just start!

So you can agree with me, but you still have to find some momentum in your motivation. My best suggestion is accountability. Find a partner that can hold you accountable for keeping your word to yourself and you can return the favor. In the long run, you both get fit, confident, and in your skinny clothes!

Monday, January 7, 2008

So have you truly resolved?

This is a completely legitimate question. If you've been reading along, you know I believe you have to really be in the weight loss game for yourself, and with intentional resolve.

I am in the game and working my plan. I have been working with a personal trainer four days a week, and I started the new year with an eating plan that so far, has been relatively easy. I am keeping a food journal to count calories, measuring portions, and working with a group of friends on line to track our weekly weight and progress.

I am going to give you two links to check out. The first one is through Prevention Magazine. I think it is the best free on line weight loss/fitness log I have ever seen (Yes, I have looked!). The second one is to give you a better idea of what a portion size really is. We have become so accustomed to eating such huge portions, that our sense of what we need is greatly distorted. Remember, your stomach is only the size of your fist!,2857,FOOD_26736_5513088_01,00.html

So, have you truly resolved to lose your excess weight? I have, and I would love for you to join me this month to talk about healthy food choices, intentional exercise, and what it feels like to wear our skinny jeans!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Resolutions and Weight Loss

It is the number one New Year resolution, "I want to lose weight!"

I have struggled with my weight my whole life, and from the day I was aware that I needed to be concerned about what I was eating, I was learning all the "tricks."

In the thirty-plus years I have been trying to keep my weight in a healthy range, I have learned about and/or tried just about every fad diet under the sun. Liquid diets, diet pills (legal and not), The Cabbage Soup diet, Weight Watchers, Herbalife, Deal-A-Meal, Fit or Fat, Fit for Life, low carb, high protein, no white, no dairy, and I even did a seven day fast with the idea that I could cleanse and reset my metabolism. Of all these programs, Weight Watchers is the most practical and sane.

Here is what I know: You have to get in the weight loss game because you want to live your life in a way that promotes health and fitness. You have to do it for you. This is where weight loss starts. It is a journey and there are no shortcuts. This I know.

Losing weight is a very simple concept, fewer calories in, more calories out (burned with exercise). I did not say it is easy, I said it is a simple concept. What has been successful for me is to make one change at a time, while being mindful of the other things that matter. Intentional exercise is critical. In November 2005, I quit drinking soda. I never did like the diet varieties so if I had a soda, it was fully charged. I have had fewer than ten sodas in over two years. I also cut out most all fast/convenience food. I have eliminated one bad habit at a time.

With that, understand that I still do not have a grip on my sugar addition and on emotional eating. I wake up thinking about food, affirming I will have a good food day. I think about it most minutes of the day, and do the best I can to not eat after 7:30 PM. I am still thinking about food (and not eating it) all the way until I climb into bed and when I wake up, it starts all over again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Discipline for Success

Happy New Year! I have big plans for Intentional Winning in Life for 2008. I have been mapping out the whole year to cover the topics I think you will find critical to make the most of your journey this year.

When I look at this list and begin to prioritize the information, I find the first topic to address is discipline. Discipline is the single ingredient that applies to everything we intend to do and plan to succeed.

Discipline defined from my 1984 Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary has the first definition as PUNISHMENT (written just like that), and goes all the way to the fifth definition as a: control gained by enforcing obedience or order, b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior. It seemed strange to me that punishment would be first in line, so I considered the age of my trusty book, and looked in the most up-to-date version of the same book. I suppose working out when you don't want to, or not buying that super cute (and expensive) purse could seem like punishment in the moment you exercise discipline, and do the thing that will get you to your goal.

Here is what we see today as the definition for discipline:
Discipline. 1. n Training to ensure proper behavior. The practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior. Reflexive verb to make yourself act or work in a controlled or systematic way. 2. Order and Control n A controlled orderly state, especially in a class of schoolchildren. Transitive verb to punish somebody as a way of enforcing obedience. 3. Calm and controlled behavior. 4. Conscious control over lifestyle

I am going to cover topics each month through the year, including fitness and weight loss, family, personal finance, making time for self, career, goals, and community service to name just a few. With so many areas of our lives to address, we have to address balance. Prioritization will be critical, and once your priorities are in line, you need to get disciplined.

Join me on this journey and please, chime in with what you think. I want to know what your challenges are and what is working for you. Let's do this together, succeeding all the way. Happy New Year!