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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tried And True (Doing What Works)

In January of 2011, when I started on this journey, I wrote a blog post called "Fail Proof Your Goals."  I identified at that time things that could keep me from reaching my fitness goals and tried to address them in advance.

I have learned over the course of the past two years (the first year being highly successful and the second not so much) some "tried and true" things that work for me.

  • Eating simple, natural and whole foods. Processed foods and breads make me crave more of the same but if I avoid them, I don't miss them. It's a no brainer - I feel better when I avoid them.
  • Eating lots of veggies. No matter what the day looks like, I need to remember to add more veggies. If I eat more veggies (and a little more protein, but less carbs) I lose weight more consistently. Period.
  • Eating less per meal, but more frequent meals. I stay satisfied, never hungry, and it cranks up the metabolism.
  • Not eating after 8:00 p.m. Ever.
  • Drinking water. Why can't I remember to do this? What is my resistance? Ugh...I feel better and look better when I get enough water. Duh.
  • Working out in the mornings. If I get up, work out, then blog - I start my day energized, happy, feeling amazing, and very mindful of every bite that goes in my mouth (who wants to work that hard and then blow it on a handful of chips?)
  • WORKING OUT WITH A PERSONAL TRAINER

That last one is a biggie. The first six months of my journey in 2011 was, by far, the most measurable success I had. My personal trainer came to my house 3 mornings a week before work. It was effective, I worked for a solid hour, I couldn't back out because she came to me, and it took all the decision making out of my hands. I just had to wake up, get dressed, and do as I was told. Perfect for me because my brain needs to be in a million other places rather than worrying about how many reps of blah blah I should do or how many I did last time. 

I need a personal trainer. Koko Fit Club looks interesting to me because they have built-in training. Each day you are told what to do based on your goals. I may look into that, but I don't want to join a fitness center when I have one right here in my community. I would love it if I could find a personal trainer to meet me here early in the morning. I have gotten some referrals but no one has called back.

Why does a grown adult need someone beside her in order to get off her butt? I have no idea, but if that's what it takes, and I know it works (it is most assuredly tried and true for me) then I'd be a fool to not pursue it. 

Carly's Tip Of The Day:

Create a plan that works, and then work the plan!

Carly

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Uncluttered Mind

Some people's brains work in an organized fashion. They see a goal and deconstruct it into the correct steps that should be followed to reach it.. And they do it quickly and without a lot of stress.

Yeah, that's not me.



I have so much going on in my mind all the time that I get bogged down in the quagmire pretty easily. This is true of my thoughts and true of my physical surroundings. If you think my blog posts are all over the map, you should see my house. Ugh.

In order to keep moving forward, I need help. I need an uncluttered space in order to maintain a relatively uncluttered mind. If my space gets messy, I get overwhelmed and demoralized. I truly can't decide where to get started, so I'll spend 4 hours Googling about nothing (or Facebooking) rather than get up and get started. Which of course makes it all worse as another weekend drifts on by without getting the important things done and myself organized and ready to tackle a new week.

This affects working out. It affects planning meals. It affects planning for a cruise in less than two months (and I don't have the passports done because I can't find a birth certificate!) It affects living life to the fullest while I beat myself up for not doing what I am supposed to be doing and punish myself by not going out and having fun all weekend. I'll sit in a panic all weekend thinking about what I SHOULD do, and not do it, and not have fun either. Why? I truly don't know (Hey, I'm not the psychologist, I'm the patient!)

Regardless, what I have figured out in my life is that it's okay to get help when help is needed. There is no shame in gathering resources today to help me be more productive and happier tomorrow.

To wit, (yes, I said "to wit") I have hired a housekeeper to come once per week starting next Saturday. She will come for two hours every Friday which should help motivate me to maximize my weekends rather than waste them. It should help my mental state - walking in the door at the end of the workweek and NOT have to face the weekend with ALL the chores looming overhead. I'm pretty excited.

Of course, being the perfectionist I am, I am going to have to clean my butt off before she gets here. Well, I don't want her to see how bad it can get...she may never want to come back! :-)

My plan is to keep the environment uncluttered and get that support so I can spend the weekends having fun, getting groceries for the week and actually planning meals ahead, and living a more purposeful life. (Crossing off those items on the to-do list).

The results are going to show up in my workout routines, my eating plans, my overall ability to deal with the hectic crazy schedule I have and help my son stay focused and organized also. I think it is going to be money VERY well spent.

For me, an uncluttered space = an uncluttered mind = a much calmer, more balanced Carly.



p.s. I found this out on the Web and thought it very helpful and truly describes one aspect of my personality. You might like the link:

"Another reason clutter collects is indecisiveness or deferred decision making. This is especially true of perfectionists. Think about it: If you’re a perfectionist, you want to do everything just right–or not at all. So if you haven’t got the time to organize your filing cabinet, you put it off and keep putting it off. Judith Kolberg, Director of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization, says, “Often, our best intentions are left in stacks.”
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-clutter-happens.html#ixzz2JSHUEVAp

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This Is Life

Try to be happy in this moment, 
because this moment IS your life.  ~Carly

Not long ago I was sharing with a friend about my troubles and woes.  Raising a young adolescent alone in a new state with no local support and navigating new dynamics as he tries to yank his independence rather than gently walk into it....can be frustrating.  There have been epic arguments as he jockeys for position, and defiance as he seeks to make his own decisions. I wondered if we were a train wreck and I was botching this whole process - and said I couldn't wait for things to get normal again.

The response hit me profoundly.

"The issues with [your son] are just that...issues. You have a teen boy...welcome to real parenthood. Over time it will pass as it does for everyone. It is not a hiccup in your life...it is life, and you are doing just fine."

I keep coming back to that pithy statement and can apply it in so many ways. Where are you right now? Are you morbidly obese and staying home because you don't want to go out, be seen, interact, and expose your vulnerabilities to the world?

Are you in a bad marriage and not talking with family or friends while you sort things out by yourself and try to get "back to normal"?

Are you putting off that vacation this year because you have gained so much weight you don't think you deserve it, so you will do it next year after you lose weight?

Are you avoiding the class reunion because you don't like where you are right now?

Stop beating yourself up and stop letting life pass by.  There is no do-over button.  There is no revisiting time.  Once it's gone, it's gone, and you don't get one minute back to enjoy.


What if right now, where you are - is as good as it gets?  THIS IS YOUR LIFE.  You are doing the best you can right now, today, this minute, this second.  In another moment, you get to choose to do something differently, if that is what you want to do.  You can choose a healthier lunch.  You can choose to walk 5 minutes.  You can choose to daydream and think about where you'd like to be next year and how you might get there.

What you really shouldn't do is berate yourself in this moment because you are waiting to "be better" or to "do better."  This is your life.  If you don't like it, make one small change, but my goodness, LIVE IT.  Hug people.  Call people.  Get in the game.  Work on those goals.  BE PRESENT.

As my friend said, your issues are just that....issues.  This is not a hiccup in your life -It is life, and you are doing just fine.  Let that be your starting point today - as you launch into some little "next right choice" that gets you one step closer to shaping the life you want...while you enjoy the life you have.

Carly


Monday, January 28, 2013

A Family Affair

My son turned 13 last month and is already over  five feet eleven inches tall.  He has worn size 34 mens pants for the past 3 years and at one point wore my dad's size 36 and they didn't fall off of him. Over the course of the past year I have watched his kind of loose "baby fat" really morph into the makings of a tall, lean, adolescent machine.  He's thinning out and getting so much stronger.

He loves the thought of becoming more athletic. (For years he couldn't run due to exercise-induced asthma) and he also lacked the motivation to really stay active.  The past couple of years, as I have become so much more active I have also watched him really step up and become much more physically active.

He'd much rather be outside BMXing, skateboarding, running, doing Parkour (he is good at it), or having airsoft battles with the neighborhood kids than anything he could do inside.  He also has decided he likes the way his muscles are starting to take shape and he wants to actively participate in his fitness goals.  KEWL!

I took him to the fitness center yesterday where we both did treadmill time for 30 minutes, then I showed him the art of crunches including reverse crunch, bicycle crunch, circle obliques and regular 'ole crunches. At his age and while he is still cranking out surges of hormones, I don't think it's a great idea to do much in the way of weight training.  But using his own body as the resistance, there's a ton he can do, and that we can do together.

I am going to work out a schedule and include:

  • push ups (3 different positions - hands in front of the face, hands on the outside of the body, and close to the chest to build muscles safely and work out different parts of the arms and chest)
  • planking (to strengthen the core)
  • pull ups (I can't try these yet due to a torn supraspinatus and tendonitis in the shoulder)
  • squats
  • lunges
  • burpees
  • calf lifts
  • leg lifts
  • treadmill
  • elliptical
  • recumbent bike
  • stretching
  • mountain biking (there are many greenways in Knoxville, fortunately)
(If you know of other good exercises or activities suitable for a 13 year old warrior, please feel free to put them in the comments below.)

I think doing this together with him is going to do so many good things. It will help motivate and push both of us, build in some good quality talk time, and build a strong common foundation which can be hard to establish between a mom and son during this really challenging stage of life. It can only be good for his self-esteem, too, to make a plan and work towards it and then feel and see the results of his own efforts.

And of course, this could get me a nomination into the mother of the year 2013 race. hahahah I kid. But speaking of races, he told me last night he wants to register for both the Warrior Dash and the Susan B. Komen 5K race with me this year. AWESOME! Looks like we have some goals and path to get there.

This whole fitness/health/wellness/diet/exercise thing is becoming a family affair. And I like it!

Carly

(Here is a link to some crazy parkour if you are curious. He can do a few of these moves but I sure don't want him doing them all! Yikes!)  Parkour sampling on YouTube

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How To Stay In The Game




Unless you are Forrest Gump, you are not likely going to get up one day, start running, and keep running, and running, and running --- alone and without any support to keep you motivated --- for weeks, months or years at a time.

No, most of us need some sort of support system to help keep us in the game.Sports teams have their coaches, boxers have their trainers in their corner, and some of us are building a system of friends who want us to reach our goals and are willing to gently nudge us in the right direction when they see us veering off course.

My life is like a pinball machine. I am that steel ball up on the table and I bounce all around from one goal to another, from one life activity or crisis to another, collecting points every time I make it through another one, and trying, of course, to avoid falling down the drain. Overall I do a pretty good job, but now and then I forget where I am on the table and I am headed right for a ramp that could lead down the hole.

That's where my flipper friends come in. They smack me back up onto the table and keep me in the game. They may gently tap me up there, or when I'm really headed for disaster they might throw their whole body into the table and tilt it to keep me up there. And I'm generally pretty grateful for it, too! Trusted friends can sometimes see what I cannot and their support can make all the difference.

I highly encourage you to build a team of friends who either share your same fitness goals and you can keep each other motivated and "in the game", or confide in a few close friends who can keep tabs and know you well enough to help you avoid going into the gutter by flipping you back up on the table.

Stay in the game.It's a lot more fun racking up those life points (even when you're hitting all the bumpers!) than it is down that dark lonely hole!

Carly


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Vegilicious: 10 Ways To Veg Out

Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.  ~Jim Davis

I believe vegetables are the cornerstone of my healthful lifestyle.

I know there are countless doctors who emphasize the importance of eating your veggies.  Moms throughout history have known, and stressed, the importance of eating your veggies.  Diet books, magazines, blogs, and fitness sites all stress the importance of eating your vegetables. It's all so clinical and proven.

My take, however, is strictly from personal experience.

If I eat healthy foods (fruits, meats, complex carbs) but I omit my veggies for a couple of days, my body does not feel like it should.  My energy is lower, my mental sharpness decreases, the speed at which my body processes it's output (yeah, I went there) slows way down and gets all sludgy, and I get physically and emotionally fatigued much easier.

I NEED MY VEGGIES - the dark leafies like spinach - or other greens like broccoli, brussells sprouts, or green beans. (We should also have a variety of colors and textures to balance the nutrients.) This is especially true when I have big tasks to undertake like business trips, courses I am taking, or when I anticipate an overloaded or hectic schedule.  The vegetables help keep me moving, focused and energized. Omit them, and I am less able to tackle the challenges at hand.  I don't need a doctor to tell me that.  I just need to listen to my body and watch the results.

There are so many ways to get the vegetables in, even if you are not particularly fond of them.  I wasn't a couple of years ago ("my goodness, who wants to do all that prepping and chewing," I used to think.)  Here are some ways I used to, or continue to, get those vegetables in every day:




  1. Many pumpkin recipes don't overload the calories but still offer the benefits. Pumpkin Fluff  is one example that tastes like pumpkin pie without the guilt.
  2. Shred carrots or zucchini and add them to your beef or turkey meatloaf.  Kids don't even know they are in there and you won't really notice, either.
  3. Hide spinach in a smoothie
  4. Toss a cup of spinach into your fruit smoothie.  If you have a magic bullet or oster or other good blender, it will liquify and you'll never even taste it.
  5. Buy pre-cut carrot sticks and celery and put them in  baggies to take to work.  Yeah, they cost more, but if I don't get them pre-cut they will probably sit in my fridge until it's time to toss them out, so pre-cut is economical for me, and I will actually eat them.
  6. Speaking of celery, try PB2.  Instead of regular peanut butter to dip them into, It is only 45 calories for 2 tablespoons and it can be used in smoothies, with protein shakes, in recipes, etc. and a little peanut butter flavor sure makes the celery go down easier! (It's also great with apples.)
  7.  PB2 on celery
  8. Zucchini Boats or Stuffed Peppers.  I hollow them out and fill them with a mixture of sauteed onions, mushrooms, zucchini, shredded carrots, veggie crumbles (or ground turkey or beef, but this post is about the veggies) and a tomato base - diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.  Sprinkle them with a little parmesan and bake until the boat or pepper is soft.  Super tasty!
  9. Instead of pasta, use Spaghetti SQUASH as the bottom base.  You can just cut the squash in half the short way (not lengthwise) and pop them in the microwave or stand them side by side in a pot of  boiling water for 15 minutes. You can also bake them for extra nuttyish flavor. Once cooked, scrape the insides of the squash out with a fork and it fluffs up like spaghetti.  My son loves this!  And of course, veggie-up the sauce!
  10. Replace pasta w/squash
  11. Roast your Roots!  Root veggies like carrots, parsnips, squash or potatoes are extra tasty when tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 375 degree oven for about a half an hour.  Experiment with spices, too, like garlic, parsley, rosemary etc. to boost the antioxidant levels in your meal.
  12. Stir Fry.  Most grocery stores have a pre-cut section with stir fry vegetables.  You can cheat and do it that way (I often do), or just chop up yellow squash, peppers of any color, asparagus or broccoli or cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, grape tomatoes...really anything you have on hand!  Put it in a container with a lid and add a jar of stir-fry sauce.  I prefer Kikomen LITE terriyaki sauce as it's less sodium and less calories.  Throw the veggies and stir-fry meat in one tub in the morning.  That night, dump it all in a wok or big pan and cook it over medium heat until the meat is totally cooked through.  So easy and so tasty!
  13. Substitute mashed potatoes with Mashed Cauliflower.  Cook the cauliflower then mash with any combination of milk, half and half, butter, cream cheese, sour cream - plus salt and pepper and a little garlic.  I use the handheld Braun blender for the creamiest texture.  They are so good and no one misses the starch in the meal.  I didn't even tell my son it was cauliflower until after his second helping!

Bon Appetit!


Carly

Friday, January 25, 2013

Eating To Your Max

I had an epiphany last night.  I am currently back in "diet" mode as opposed to "lifestyle change" mentality.

I know this because last night at 8:45 p.m. I entered my dinner calories into My Fitness Pal and the tracker showed I had 298 calories remaining for the day.  I instantly went on a quest to figure out what I could consume for those calories. This was like a late night Christmas present!  Leftover Calories!  WOOHOO!

A 4 oz. glass of Bailey's Irish Creme on ice is 388 calories, which would put me over by 90 calories. BOO!

But wait!!!!  Even though I didn't officially "exercise", I did walk briskly to and from the parking lot at work accounting for at least 10 minutes. That calculated out to 102 calories. Once I entered that in the tracker I was back under by 12 calories.  WOOHOO!

Then a friend pointed out it was well past the 8:00 p.m. cutoff I normally adhere to and that maybe it's not cool "needing to fill your calorie count" for the day.  Point well taken.  BOO!

I didn't drink the Baileys, had a glass of water instead, left the 298 calories on the table (so to speak) and woke up this morning incredibly happy with the scale.  WOOHOO!

This "WOOHOO" and "BOO" roller coaster isn't really the nice, slow and steady lifestyle I am seeking.  I don't want to be woohoo'ing and boo'ing my way around the calorie tracker for the rest of my life.  I want to make sensible choices based on the day and not try to cram in every possible "allowable" calorie every day just because they are there.

In a true healthy lifestyle, I think some days you are over a smidgen, many days you are under a bit, and always mindful of maintaining balance without being a freak about it.  I mean, that's what I "think" normal is like anyway.  Anyone "normal" want to chime in here?  ;-)

Carly

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Need A Push!

The first month I began this blogging journey I wrote about how important it was to close loopholes and escape clauses in my fitness plan and create an environment for success:  Fail Proof Your Goals Jan 2011.  Part of that was knowing that if all the exercise was left up to me and me alone, I wouldn't do it.  Plain and simple.

Back then I found a personal trainer who was able to come into my home a couple of days per week at 6:00 a.m. which forced me to get up and get moving.  It was tremendously helpful and it kick-started this journey in a big way.

After 6 months of in-home training I switched to in-gym training at Gold's Gym.  I went through several personal trainers there (they had a high turnover rate) and the girl I ended up with before moving to Tennessee was really good.  She did a lot of plyometrics and P90X type work and even though the scale wasn't moving too much, I was absolutely getting stronger, fitter, and metabolizing much better.

Since then I have struggled to do anything exercise related. I bought Yoga DVD's, Walk Away the Pounds DVD's, and purchased the P90X program (which is fantastic.)  The problem isn't the quality of the workouts.  The problem is that I am not doing them.

I had to sell my treadmill, exercise bike and elliptical machine when I moved.  Getting rid of my in-home gym with all the space I had to work out doing floor work, mat work, and the cardio stuff.....was a big hit to my working out efforts.  There is a fitness center in this development where I live...but I am not getting out there and using it regularly.  I am not in any kind of routine.

I know "just do it."  I know "no excuses."  I know "just push play."  I know all that.  Knowing, however, is not enough to get the motivation I need to get off my butt and do what I know I need to do.

I need to buddy up.  I need to find either another lady in this apartment complex who wants to meet at 5:00 a.m. to work out together, or I need to find a personal trainer who can come here. You can't fix what you don't acknowledge and I am acknowledging that I am the reason personal trainers exist.  Some people just do not find the internal motivation alone enough to keep them up and moving forward.

My food is clean and healthy. I am losing weight at a really good pace right now. But this fitness trek is going to stall again soon if I don't get moving, plain and simple. I have a few calls in to some local trainers and I am searching for Zumba classes (thanks to the reader who recommended them).

I can't keep talking the talk and not walking the walk. I just want a little push.  Is that so wrong?

Here's a little video "Sh*t Women Say to Personal Trainers."  So funny!  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aosMsYWzKzs)





Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Discombobulation Factor

Some people are natural organizers - natural planners. They step back often and assess the bigger picture of their goals then fairly quickly create a road map in their minds of how to get there. Then they follow the logical steps on the path and one-by-one, matter-of-factly, and without working themselves into a tizzy, work it into their existing routines and lives without disruption until they arrive at their goals.

And then, there are some of us at the other extreme end of the planning and organizing spectrum. When we set even the simplest of goals it might look like this:

I want to exercise today.

I can't exercise until I find that pink workout outfit. Where the heck is it? I need to get my workout clothes organized.

I can't organize my workout clothes until I sort through that huge pile of clothes to figure out what to keep and what to give away and where to put everything.

I can't put everything away until I clean out the drawers of the dresser because there's no room and there's no sense stuffing stuff I don't even want in there.

I'll also need my water bottle. Where is that cool BPA free bottle I bought? Ugh. I better do the dishes and get them put away. Maybe it's in the dishwasher? Maybe I stuffed it in a bag last time I went to work out? I need to find it. This kitchen's a mess.  

Where's the iPod? I need good workout music.  ::::dig dig shuffle shuffle:::: Here it is!  Ugh.  It's not charged!  :::::charges it:::::::  :::::::looks at the playlist::::::: Ohhhhhh that's not good workout music.  ::::::sits at computer and starts Googling for workout playlists that others listen to::::::::::  Buys and downloads music....

Crap.  Where's the headset?   :::::shuffles through stuff in and on the desk:::::::  ::::::picks up letter from the electric company::::::: Egads! Right! I was supposed to pay this.  I have to pay some of these bills before they go past 30 days or things start getting cut off!  :::::::sits at desk and starts looking through two stacks of mail for bills that need attention:::::::

Ugh...hungry. I need a to eat, but you shouldn't eat before working out  But I'm super hungry so I'll eat now and workout in a while. Ughhhhh....nothing really healthy in the fridge. I need apples and spinach. I'll run to the store, grab some veggies, come back, eat while paying some bills, then go up and look for that workout outfit.....



“There is a huge stress with disorganization and there is also a cost to being disorganized.”
Carolee Cannata

This makes me seem like a wreck, but really, I'm not. And this pattern doesn't follow me at work. It's just that when my mind gets disorganized, the environment gets disorganized which complicates even the smallest of tasks. It's just not as simple as some might think. And I'm not sure of the chicken/egg factor, either. Does my mind get disorganized because the environment starts to get disorganized or vice versa?  

I'm not going to solve this one today. But I am going to go look for my iPod, which I think I left in a locker at my work's gym months ago and I don't even remember that combination. Ugh. I need a personal assistant.  Anyone want to volunteer for that job?

Carly




Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Next Right Cup Of Coffee

Coffee causes cancer! Coffee causes heart disease! Coffee will stunt your growth! Coffee will bring you seven years of bad luck! Coffee will make you gain weight!

Wait...no, no it's the DECAF that is the evil one!

Oops...no, no...got that wrong. Sorry. Coffee can PREVENT liver damage! Coffee has great antioxidants! Coffee has been proven to reduce likelihood for Parkinson's Disease. People who drink moderate amounts of coffee have significantly less colon cancer! Coffee is good!

No, crud. Wait......

Coffee is one of those things that researchers can't just leave the heck alone. Over the span of my lifetime I have seen the good versus evil coffee pendulum swing a couple of times in both directions.

I could quote Mayo Clinic or WebMD but the bottom line is that coffee in moderation seems to offer many more health benefits than liabilities. From increased concentration to the antioxidants which help the immune system fight off bad stuff, coffee is now generally accepted as a positive addition to the daily intake. Like red wine, though, it's only good in moderation. Drinking four pots can have it's negative effects like restlessness, anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness, particularly in susceptible individuals.

Mind you, my irritability increases tenfold when I can't get my coffee. It's epic, but I don't recommended testing it out.  :-)

Some purists believe you should never have caffeine because it is somehow harming your workout, artificially giving you energy. I say, if you are getting off your butt and working out at 6:00 a.m. and a cup of coffee helps you get there...go for it!

My only really big caution is on what you put IN the coffee. I am working on eliminating half and half, cream, and anything high calorie from my coffee experience. I love the half and half, but I recently started actually counting the calories of my 50 cups a day (okay I exaggerate). It's ridiculous how many calories I am wasting in my beverage. I recently switched to trying to live with one teaspoon of an organic non-dairy creamer. It's okay I guess. It's not the same, but maybe I'll get used to it. I have committed to myself to try it for 3 weeks before going back to my evil ways.

The last word of advice is on k-cups  I am a huge fan and own probably every k-cup flavor ever invented.  But read the labels. Chai Latte and Cafe Vanilla Cafe Escapes are 60 calories each  My Sleepytime tea is 0 calories, but I put honey in it. You have to watch all the ways calories can sneak in and account for every last one or you'll be sabotaging your efforts.

I have a nice cup of Green Mountain Dark Magic sitting right here and, as my son will most assuredly attest, for my mornings, it's definitely the Next Right Choice.  Mmmmmmmm.

Carly

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Mystery of Motivation

I am perfectly fine with eating cleanly right now. It's on automatic pilot. It feels good, natural. I don't feel deprived. All is well in Food Land.

I cannot find a lick of motivation to work out, however. None. Life is not easy right now on a personal level.  I am facing some challenges that are bringing me down and rather than rise above them and kick butt, I am letting them overwhelm my day (day after day). This is not good.

How do you get motivated to get up and get going and work out when you feel so blah?

I think the answer is, who cares?  You don't need MOTIVATION. You don't need to WANT to do it.  You don't need to FEEL happy about doing it. You don't need INSPIRATION. You don't need EXCITEMENT.

I think you need to just get up  out of your chair and do it anyway, despite a lack of enthusiasm or energy.

I think once you do it, you feel good about it.  

I think once you do it and feel good about it, you get a little less reluctant to do it the next time.

I think once you do it a few times, you start to reap the benefits which then MOTIVATES you to keep going.

So the answer to "How do you get motivated to work out?" may be "WORK OUT." Motivation comes from the RESULTS of the doing.  It doesn't precede the doing!

So what I may need is discipline and commitment to my goals.  Discipline to get up and do it anyway, whether I feel like it or not.  Like most things in my world, the answer always comes down to TAKE ACTION. 

Stop thinking, analyzing, and dare I say it....blogging.  Get off my derierre and just do it. And I'll jot down "discipline" as a future blog topic.  Ugh. I think the time has come to tackle that monster, too.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What's In It For Me?

I used to think it was selfish to ask "what's in it for me?" Well, I'm the only one tasked with caring for myself and leaving my well-being up to others or to fate surely hasn't served me well over the past few decades. This shift in thinking has led me to a new level of self care I needed and I am not ashamed to consider "what's in it for me?" before making choices.

This is true before volunteering my time, my resources, my money, my talents.It's not selfish to consider my own needs before helping others. Like the flight attendants on the airplanes always say, put on your own oxygen mask before helping the person sitting next to you. Makes sense to me because I can't be much help to you if I die by ignoring my own need for oxygen.

I also ask myself "What's in it for me?" before eating. Does this bacon REALLY offer anything nutritional?  Does this processed frozen dinner give me the protein, fiber, calcium, vitamins, etc. that I need? How much of the food is actual food versus filler or chemicals?  These are questions I ask all the time.

I also try to find a balance between calories and nutrition. Sometimes I eat a higher calorie food in a trade-off for excellent nutrients or healthy fats.  Avocados and almonds are a good example of high calorie foods that offer some excellent health benefits.  Sometimes I choose lower calorie foods so that I can get more of it (going for a critical mass of quantity over quality).  Sometimes I find a nice balance of calories and nutrition.  I will use the label from a Tomato Basil Organic Pasta Sauce fromThe Fresh Market (love this store!) as an example of what I look for in the example below.

Okay. What's in it for me?



Let's start with ingredients. Tomatoes  basil, soybean oil, salt, onions, garlic powder, oregano and garlic.

What's not in it? No preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors.  No sugar (I prefer to buy food without sugar whenever possible.)

Just whole, wholesome, natural (and in this case organic) food, the way Mother Nature intended. (Is that a commercial? But I really mean it!)

Now let's look at the Nutritional Facts side of the label. A half cup is only 60 calories. I seldom eat just a 1/2 cup, so I will automatically double that to 120 calories for one cup. The amounts and percentages below will be doubled also.

Fat is 6 grams or 10% for the whole day.  Not too shabby.  There is no saturated fat and no reportable trans fat. (This doesn't mean there isn't trans fat in there, I might blog about that another day - the deceptive way the FDA lets manufacturers hide the trans fat in there.)

There is no cholesterol, but the sodium (salt) is a bit high (nearly 40%).  I would make sure I don't salt anything else in that meal and as a rule, I try to avoid sodium.

Carbs aren't too bad - 16 grams or 6%. I will be eating this, most likely, atop spaghetti squash instead of real pasta, so I won't be adding a lot of carbs to the meal.

There is fiber - 4 grams is good and the sugar is low (6 grams.)  There is no protein worth mentioning, but there is good bit of Vitamin C (50% for my double serving) and 30% for Vitamin A.

All in all, this is a great food to throw into the mix. I can use it in a sauce for pasta or spaghetti squash, or as a nice base for stuffed peppers, zucchini boats, galumpkis or any number of recipes

Once I find something like this, I incorporate it as a staple that I use frequently.  Because what else is in it for me is the ability to run on auto pilot and not have to give shopping too much thought.  It becomes less laborious and a whole lot quicker.

What's in it for me is a great question to ask before making ANY choice, if the goal is taking care of one's self.  And eating worthy foods helps put us on that track.




Friday, January 18, 2013

Wounds That Heal

We all have been wounded in our lives. Some have internal wounds that no one can see.  Some of us have deep scars from childhood.  Some wounds are physical.  Some are emotional. Some fight battles every day and feel defeated and tired.  Life is like that sometimes.

Consider, though, that maybe we have used those wounds as excuses at times to be less than we were made to be. Maybe we hide behind the scars and say our lives are too hard, we have too many challenges or no one would understand.

I propose that no matter how you were wounded originally, failing to get back up and keep trying is creating even greater wounds today.  Take a moment and watch this video about some of America's finest young men - wounded warriors who were literally blown up fighting for this country in wars to protect our freedom. They have lost limbs - legs, arms, and in some cases both arms and legs. No one would blame them if they gave up on themselves, on life, on fitness, on being active. Instead, they are amazing testiments to the indominable human spirit that lies within.


I challenge you to watch the 8 minute video all the way to the end. Then I challenge you to examine your beliefs about your perceived limitations. They are artificial. They are excuses. They can be overcome. Anything is possible.  As one wounded warrior stated in the movie, "A lot of people tell me 'I want to do this' or 'I want to do that.'  There is no want. You just either do, or don't. There's no excuses."

For more information on Spartan Races -  click here.

For information on Team Xtreme and the Wounded Warrior Project - click here.

To start changing your life - click the OFF button on your computer and get out there and get busy living.

Carly

Quitters Never Win

Quitters never win.

Not that long ago I decided to do a half hour on the treadmill to get my physical activity started again. Ten minutes into it I was bored, my legs were a little tired, and there was no one around in the apartment building's fitness center to witness my lameness, so I hopped off the treadmill and went home.

All the pride I was feeling for getting off my butt and making it happen got sucked instead into a whirlpool of self flagellation and scorn. So not only did I not do anything really meaningful for my body, I deflated my own spirit out of sheer laziness and apathy.

In total contrast, last year when I worked out at the gym, I made it a habit of finishing all my reps. A friend and personal coach suggested that when I got to the end, and had given all I had to give, that I attempt to do two more reps. To push myself just that little extra and to reap the extra rewards. 



It was an amazing feeling. I would do 12 curls and my arms would be shaking, but I'd eek out two more. Or lunges. Or squats. Or...whatever.

I can't convey in adequate words the sense of pride and accomplishment that washed over me knowing I really and truly gave it my all. My body benefited as I got stronger faster, and my psyche benefited as I showed myself a true grit I didn't know I had.

My advice to you today (and to myself) is this: If you are going to do a thing, do it to the best of your ability.  Don't quit when you finish your 30 minutes on the treadmill - do 5 more. Don't quit at 12 reps - do two more. Don't quit at 20 burpees - do two more (if you don't know what a burpee is, Google it and thank me later.)

But if you can't go the extra mile, don't be a quitter and not even finish what you started. Don't reinforce by your actions that you can't do something. Instead, prove to yourself you can.

Carly

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Small Steps Make Big Differences

It's amazing how making one deliberate, purposeful "next right choice" can lead to another "next right choice" which can lead to more "next right choices" which really start moving you toward your goals.

In just two weeks, my path has looked like this:

GOAL: Resolve to make health and fitness a priority again for 2013
  • CHOICE:  Eat healthy food (there are many other daily decisions tossed in here like "bring food vs. buy lunch out" or "prepare ahead," choose one measured teaspoon of creamer vs. unknown quantities of half and half in my coffee when possible
  • CHOICE:  Move more/burn more calories
  • CHOICE: Park farther away to add additional steps to walk
  • CHOICE: Take stairs instead of elevator. 
I realized at work yesterday that I have been taking the stairs  instead of the elevator. I caught my inner dialog as I walked past the elevator:

"Ha! Look at you, taking the stairs automatically!"

"Well, that's good, but what about on days I wear heels?"

"Bring comfortable walking shoes to keep at your desk so you have no excuses!"

See....right there, I worked out a plan for success and stopped the excuse-maker right in her tracks!

You can figure out how many calories you can burn taking the stairs using any number of online calculators.  I found this one this morning: Interactive Calorie Counter 

I climb two flights twice a day, so it is 55 calories a day. That doesn't sound too impressive, but it adds up to two pounds a year. In December when I look at my weight loss I will be so happy those extra two are gone, and so proud that I am really (and literally) taking every step I can toward health and fitness.

What are some other ways to burn extra calories?  Hmmmm......




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In Week 1


Well. lookie there!  I'm down 5.8 pounds from Saturday.  For the purposes of The Biggest Loser weigh-in, however, I am down 8.8 pounds this first week.  YIPPEEEEEEEEEEE!  


While the scale isn't the sole determiner of my success, it is the ONLY gauge for the Biggest Loser competition and the way to mark tangible progress on this journey.  Of course, clothing size, fitness accomplishments and such are good markers as well.

Speaking of which, my size climbed up to a point where I had to buy "big" clothes a couple of weeks ago.  I only had two pairs of pants that still fit from my lowest weight, and they were both stretch material.  Ugh.

Well, I'm on track now.  No more new clothes for Carly until they are a size 18.  I'll let you know when that happens.

I'm guessing that will be around the end of March. We'll see.

Carly

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Biggest Loser Kickoff with Antone Davis Season 12


Bonus Blog post today!
I just came back from the Biggest Loser kickoff event at work. The speaker was Antone Davis. Antone was the runner up of The Biggest Loser Season 12, but long before that he was first round draft pick for the NFL Philadelphia Eagles and a University of Tennessee Volunteer.

He is a really good speaker.  Very funny and his story is compelling.  After being a successful pro football player he gained a tremendous amount of weight for various reasons.  He knew he needed help turning it around, and through what he feels is Divine intervention, he received an invitation to submit information for consideration in The Biggest Loser.

I don't wish to retell his personal story and personal insights.  Who knows, maybe he'll write a book to help others one day!  But what I do want to share is a few tips and tricks about his fitness journey with Biggest Loser that I found particularly helpful.

  1. They worked out for hours each day.  Like 3 hours of intensive regular workouts (weights etc.) and another 5 hours of treadmill, eliptical etc.  YIKES!
  2. They burned 8,000 calories per day and ate around 1600 calories, all under doctor's strict supervision.  Women burned 6,000.  I didn't even know that was humanly possible!
  3. They didn't eat past 8:00 p.m.
  4. Dinner, under Bob's rules, was "Lean and Green."  Plain protein of some sort with a green vegetable.  That's it.
  5. They did not have fancy professional chefs.  Their shoppers went to a regular Trader Joe's or some other such store and grabbed basic organic proteins, fruits and veggies.
  6. Most of their carbs were the fruits and veggies.
  7. Pretty much what you see on the TV Show is real.  It's all business, all the time.
  8. WRITE IT DOWN.  The most successful people track every single bite, every single calorie that goes into their system, right down to the 10 calorie calcium supplement.  It's all basic math - calories burned, calories consumed.
  9. He used a bodybugg device (arm strap thing?) to keep track of his calories burned each day.  I'm going to look into this and blog about it in the future.
  10. Finally, he tossed out a little riddle that works perfectly with this morning's blog post:
"3 frogs are sitting on a log and two decide to jump off.  How many are left?"  The answer is 3.  The two DECIDED to jump off, but didn't bother actually doing it.  In other words, don't just THINK about or PLAN to do something.  DO IT!
 
His whole message was right on time!  Thanks, Antone!

Carly



Think. Then Do

My great uncle Bob Bremer was one of the first to train with Bruce Lee!

I am a thinker. I analyze and then over analyze most everything.  I can revisit the same topic 15 times over in my head while trying to get to the planning stage and then never actually get to the planning stage. (When I do move past the thinking stage I sometimes skip over the planning stage and eventually just do the thing without a good plan, but that's another blog day.)

It doesn't matter what the obstacle or goal is: Thinking alone does not solve the problem. In every situation, problems are solved and goals are met by getting up off my butt and taking some sort of action.

Let's take a peek into Carly's thought process, shall we?

I think about how to add exercise in to my schedule  I analyze if it's better first thing in the morning, or last thing at night. I consider if I should go for small walks to start, or if it might be better to join a gym. Maybe it would be best to kick start things with a personal trainer. That really worked for me in the past. Then again, I do have a small fitness center right in my community. The treadmill each day would make a big difference in my weight loss, and in managing my mood, and in my overall health. Yes, yes, that would be very good.

All those thoughts can circulate in my brain (round robin) for weeks without actually doing anything (and they do.)

You can't plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind.” 
― Gordon B. Hinckley

Right.

Think.  Then do.

I hereby commit to the entire Internet (because, you know, the entire Internet reads this blog) to get up off my derriere tomorrow and get on that treadmill.  No matter what.  Anyone else want to take their exercise regimen out of their brains and into action? Come join me!

We can't THINK away the pounds!

Carly


Monday, January 14, 2013

Delayed Gratification

I like everything right now.  Fast food, quick oats, instant downloads.  

I am a product of this technological world coupled with a little bit of unhealthy entitlement. I had several pretty rotten things happen to me in the past. I dug my way out, moved on, moved up, and for years now it seems I want what I want - when I want it. And when I want it is right now and I feel entitled to it. 

This is a pattern that has played out a time or two in my life and I figure 2013 is as good a time as any to really address it.  I just turned 47.  Maybe it's time to tackle this last leg of growing up? I think so. 

Typically people keep doing what they do until it no longer works for them. Instant Gratification is no longer working for me. What I think I want now keeps derailing what I truly want long term.  



Examples:
  • This cheesecake vs. an apple (long term derailment:  weight loss)
  • Surfing the Internet an extra hour vs. hitting the treadmill (long term derailment: fitness and enjoying my life)
  • This must-have QVC special vs. self control (long term derailment: financial strength and security as well as money for traveling in retirement)
When I quit smoking, the hardest part was feeling a craving to go smoke immediately and just sitting with that feeling and not acting on it. Up until that point, when anything happened in my life (happiness sadness, boredom, procrastination, success, etc.) my instant reaction was to light up a cigarette.  It gave me a sense of instant control and could instantly calm, numb, or distract me.  But long term, smoking was killing me.

I learned during that process that sitting with feelings, however, won't kill me.  They are just feelings.  They do not require action and it's okay to feel them without doing anything. There is a window of time between feeling a feeling, or something happening, and how I choose to respond.  And it doesn't have to be instant.  I get to make that judgment. I can feel a feeling and respond later.  Or not respond at all!

That wonderful insight that I learned and applied to quitting smoking doesn't amount to anything, though, since I am no longer applying it.  Steven Covey writes “...to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.” ― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.  

So now what?  Well, you can't fix what you don't acknowledge and I acknowledge that my quest for instant gratification (what I want now while sabotaging what I really want later) is the single biggest barrier to achieving all I can achieve in this lifetime.  So I'm calling it out.  Then what?

Covey also writes about success: "The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things." I believe if I make clear, unambiguous goals, write them down, and look at them often, then as I am making those "next right choices" throughout the day they will more easily fall in line with those long term goals.  

By not setting clear goals, my choices only FEEL right in the moment because they are meeting an instant need or desire.  By setting clear goals and keeping them in the forefront, my choices will BE right because they are in line with what I truly want, regardless of how I am feeling in the moment.

I think I get it.  I am going to spend some time working this one into a plan because like he said, learning and knowing is useless without implementation.

Carly

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Track It!

My life has been a twisted experiment in gaining and losing weight. I have done both of them fanatically over the span of nearly 4 decades, so I know a little about the process for people like me. (Whatever that means!)

Some of us are afflicted with a form of sugar amnesia or selective carb coma syndrome that affects the part of our brain that regulates food portions. When I am off on a bender (you know, when you fall off the wagon completely and eat anything you want without even a passing thought of consequences) I lose all memory of what I ate 30 minutes ago, 3 hours ago, or the quantities.  
 
Ripping off a chunk of bread at Macaroni Grill and eating it doesn't imprint into my memory at all, and 5 minutes later I'm ripping off another chunk to dunk in the olive oil, forgetting I already ate a huge portion. I may recall eating a bowl of cereal.  I may not recall that the bowl was a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl.  

Once I stop weighing, measuring and tracking I lose all concept of what I am actually eating. Once I stop tracking, it's very easy, even if I am "dieting," to miss things or forget what I actually consumed that day and then eat much more than I realize.

According to one study by Kaiser Permanente in 2008, keeping a food diary helped people lose twice a much as people following the same overall food plan but who didn't write it down.(1) I know beyond any doubt that I am the kind of person who requires accountability in order to stay focused, on track, and honest with myself.

Over the years I have tracked in several ways:  writing in a daily journal, posting on an online forum, using the Weight Watchers online tool, Spark People, and currently I am using My Fitness Pal. It is free, offers a little social networking to keep track with friends, and has a handy mobile app to keep track no matter where I am. (Feel free to find me - my name there is CarlyWeb.)


The best success I have ever had with weight loss and maintenance was when I continued to track all the food that went into my mouth. If you have never tried it, experiment and you'll find it may help motivate you to stay on track and refocus your food choices day by day.

And don't try to cheat and not write it ALL down.....you may be able to deceive the mind, but the body KNOWS!

Carly

1. (Kaiser Permanente (2008, July 8). Keeping A Food Diary Doubles Diet Weight Loss, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 13,)



Saturday, January 12, 2013

Eating an Elephant

Have you ever heard this?

Question:  "How do you eat an elephant?"
Answer:  "One bite at a time."

I have heard it, and subscribe to it....in part.  If the "elephant" represents one goal (say losing weight) and we break it down to it's simplest parts, then working out today is one bite of the elephant, drinking water is another, eating a healthy lunch is yet another, and before you know it, we have lost weight.  It seems so simple when broken down into little next right choices like that, right?.

But that oversimplification can create great stress and feelings of inadequacy or inferiority in some people.  They may ask themselves - if it's that easy, why can't I do it?

The problem is that for many of us it's not as simple as just eating a healthy bite of food or just getting up and going for a walk.  There's a whole complex series of obstacles to wade through to get there and a laundry list of human components that must be navigated to get to that seemingly simple series of steps.

We may be dealing with feelings of inferiority (I'm not good enough), insecurity (what if I fail?), disorganization (Where are my workout clothes? Or where did I put that treadmill?), misinformation (What? You mean a nutella sandwich isn't healthy? I thought nuts were good for you!), difficulty with physically performing basic tasks (like tying our shoes), depression, stress, time management issues, lack of support and many other impediments to getting up and getting going.  For some of us, any one of these can be almost paralyzing, and for the truly lucky among us, we may experience several of them all at once.

So then, how DO we eat that freaking elephant?  Well, one bite at a time.  But I suggest cutting it up into big chunks first and taking a bite at a time from different chunks until they become manageable.  I could write a whole book about this (in fact, I think I will.)  You don't have to fix everything all at once, but you do have to do a little something from each area, purposefully.

For example, let's say the following three things are holding you back:  Housekeeping, Eating Poorly, and Depression.  Develop a small plan to start tackling them.

For housekeeping, grab a trash bag and walk around your house and throw away anything that is trash or not worth holding on to.  This will create a visual space that looks more organized.  Or clean your kitchen sink.  My mother always told me if you do nothing else, if you clean your sink the house looks so much better.  I think that's true. (Try the Fly Lady for great help in this area.)

To help learn new diet habits, add one healthy item to each meal.  If you are going to eat a Big Mac, go ahead.  But add a plain garden salad, too.  Or get the extra crispy fried chicken, but make yourself eat an apple with it.  Get your body acquainted with chewing, tasting and experiencing the healthy stuff you may have been avoiding.

For depression, consider if you are managing it okay.  Do you need medication? Is it working? How about St. John's Wort or SamE?  Have you tried reducing the amount of white carbs you eat (flour, sugar?)  Or go sit outside for 15 minutes in the sunlight.  Maybe a hot bath, or get out of the house and force yourself to get a pedicure.  (I'm going to write a whole chapter on the pediCURE.)

One small bite from each "chunk" actually helps ease the other areas.  A cleaner house will help depression.  Eating healthier will give you more energy to tackle cleaning the house and help depression.  Managing depression will make it easier to eat better and maintain a more organized house. And I understand how getting all of these under control makes it mentally easier to add another activity, like exercise, to the mix.

I have my own issues I deal with on a regular basis.  Housekeeping, organization, food addiction, burnout, stress, parenting, etc.  A decade ago I was a train wreck with most of this stuff.  I have learned a lot and swallow my share of the elephant every week.  And I do it one bite at a time.

Carly

Friday, January 11, 2013

Important Health Tips

Some people learn by the school of hard knocks, while other (more fortunate) people learn by following good, sage advice.  Today's blog posting will provide you neither.  :-D

What follows is a grouping of  diet, exercise and overall wellness tips I have learned over the past couple of years and feel compelled to share with you.  Trust me, you will thank me one day.


10 Health Tips by Carly


  1. Do not eat gobs of sauerkraut for dinner and then finish off the leftovers for lunch the next day when working with lots of people when you have a required afternoon meeting to attend.  Whether it's you or your coworkers, someone's going to end up very uncomfortable at that meeting.
  2. Do not wear your "skinny" workout clothes because you don't want to admit you have gained weight and need a bigger size. Forget "muffin tops." When you do a deep lunge and blow out a seam it looks and feels just like opening a whole can of Pillsbury biscuits.
  3. Muscle shirts at the gym are for muscles, not batwings. (I kid, I kid.  No, really...T-shirts ARE better. If you doubt me, watch yourself carefully in the mirror while jumping rope.)
  4. Do not overdo the water before working out. A half gallon is too much. The sloshing can throw you off balance and you don't want to leave dribbles when you do your squats.
  5. While a healthy kiss of sunshine and resulting glow (slight tan) looks wonderful and makes you look healthier, please do not try to get this look from a bottle unless you don't mind walking around looking like an Oompa Loompa or like you just rolled around in a pile of Doritos. (Got pics to back me up on this one.)
  6. No one, ever, in exercise equipment history, has become fit and reached their goal weight by reading their Kindle or a trashy novel while sitting on their derriere on a recumbent bike.  Ever.
  7. A friend posted this one to my wall on Facebook last year: "If you still look cute at the end of your workout you didn't train hard enough."
  8. There are absolutely no calories on someone else's plate.  Whatever your kids are eating (or spouse, or friend) is THEIRS.  Keep your eyes on your own plate. Watching what you eat isn't that terribly hard.  Watching what everyone else eats is hard!
  9. Try to exercise as soon as you get up in the morning, before coffee and before your brain figures out what you're actually doing.
  10. There is no magic diet, no magic exercise, no magic gym, no magic DVD and no magic pill.  Eat better, move more, and don't wait for some deep, inspirational motivation to strike.  You don't need to feel motivated or inspired.  You just need to get off your ass. 
I'm going to take those last two sentences and tape them to my monitor.  Sometimes the teacher learns as she writes.

Carly (P.S., if you like my blog, please share it liberally on facebook, twitter, other blogs, forums, etc.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Does Forward Look Like?

Some things are inevitable, like Time. Whether we like it or not, time is going to march on forward and take us with it.

Dreaming about, setting, working toward and reaching goals, however, can come to a screeching halt where there is no forward motion whatsoever. Maybe you are in a place where you don't even dare to envision a future goal. Maybe you're depressed and can't fathom crawling out of the hole. Maybe life has knocked you over and you are sitting down and regrouping. Or maybe you are afraid to even try. You have set goals before and then not met them and thought it was a failure. Here's a truth:

"Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward." ~Victor Kiam

You got up. You tried. You learned something you didn't know in the process. You learned what didn't work that time. So choose differently next time. That's all. That was yesterday. It's gone. You get to choose - right now, this minute, this day - how you want to proceed.

And if you get back up, and take a step or two, and fall flat on your face again, that's okay! You're still a few steps ahead of where you were yesterday.

People have asked how I got where I am today (strong woman, single working mother, career woman, branching out on my own hundreds of miles from where I grew up, and overcoming a whole lot of obstacles along the way.) And it's really quite simple. I got back up. That's all. No magic formula, really. Life knocked me down and I refused to let it keep me down. I took the time to lick my wounds, got back up and tried again.

So what does my personal "forward" look like?


You can see there have been what look like a lot of "backwards" in there. But that's just part of the process. That's the regrouping. That's the backing up to get a running start. No matter where you are today, square your shoulders back and let go of whatever happened yesterday. You get to choose to move forward anyway.

Believe me, I have had my own setbacks recently....but time is going to march forward whether we choose to take one step closer to who we want to be, or not. Why not move forward purposefully, one positive step at a time?




Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Biggest Loser

I am now officially a member of a team of geeks at work who joined the work-sponsored Biggest Loser competition. We have 7,000+ employees so there will be LOTS of teams. Weigh in was yesterday and their scale was pretty much on par with my home scale. Nothing shocking there.

Next week the event kicks off with a rally and a guest speaker. It will be Antone from the 12th season of The Biggest Loser.

The official "weigh out" will take place April 15th, two weeks after I get back from a cruise. Maybe that will help me stay on track during the cruise, or maybe it will motivate me to work out extra hard while on board.

There are some ups and downs to joining in on something like this. 

The ups:
  • Accountability
  • Talking about fitness regularly out loud with others
  • Something outside of myself to help motivate me
  • Sparks a competitive nerve
  • Camaraderie and socializing with coworkers
  • A sense of belonging.  Awwwww.
The downs:
  • My head is my worst enemy. Last time I joined a weight loss competition my focus shifted from healthy next right choices and feeling good to the numbers on the scale and what size I was going to wear. I ended up gaining, not losing, because my head got flipped around somehow.
That's it. My head is the only down side. It's all a head game and since it's my head, I get to win. So I am choosing to join in but do nothing differently than I already planned to do. I will do those things I blogged about yesterday and make this my daily way of life, regardless of the numbers. If I am making the next right choices, cleanly, (without deceiving myself about my progress) then the numbers will follow.

I am looking forward to participating in this and maybe getting to meet other health-conscious coworkers along the way. I'm not going to obsess about it. (No, really.) I am just going to keep doing those next right choices and enjoy the journey. That's how I manage to enjoy life best.
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