Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Treat...or TRICK???

I bet you see plenty of these displays in your local stores now, and probably have seen them for weeks already. The stores try to get too much of a jump on each holiday now. There is something really wrong about seeing Halloween stuff in Walmart while you hear Christmas carols playing in the store. (Yes...I actually experienced that last week!!!)
No matter when it starts to appear in the stores, we have to deal with all of the candy shoved at us when we shop. It's often the first thing you see when you walk in, and the smell of chocolate is overwhelming. And if you make it past the candy aisles without giving in, there's always some candy at the register just in case you still have thoughts about getting some!
This always used to be a problem for me, and still is from time to time. If I'm especially stressed out, there's no way I can even walk by those displays because I will cave and get some candy. Then I will go home and eat half of the bag at once, saving the other half until the next day (such restraint! Ha!) and finish it off then. Afterward, I crave more sugar even though my body feels awful. It can turn into a downward spiral if I'm not careful.
I've taken to reminding myself just how crappy I feel after eating that candy, and how much money I'll save by not buying it. Even candy corn and those cute little mellowcreme pumpkins...there is no nutritional value, it's all basically sugar and wax. When I sold PartyLite, we had candy corn scecnted candles, so if I think about it like I'm eating a candle, I have no desire to eat it anymore! (And I wouldn't be surprised if the corn people started telling us that candy corn is CORN, so it's good for you.) I also know that I can't buy Halloween candy early to save for passing out to the kids, because I'll eat it and have to replace it, which costs even more money. I usually have my husband buy the candy so I'm not tempted, and he usually gets his favorites so I don't crave them as much.
This time of year can be dangerous for our health and weight, starting with the Halloween candy and going right through to the Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies. Resolve right now to stay strong and stick to your healthy eating and exercise plan. Your body will thank you come New Year's Day...and you won't have even more weight to lose for that resolution!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Photo Motivation

Yes, this is me. It's the me from 1993, right after I got married. My husband and I were on our honeymoon cruise, and he snapped this picture of me right before we disembarked for the day in Nassau. I know it's a little shadowy, but I can still see the person who was full of energy and ready to take on the world. I was not at my thinnest; I was ten pounds above that but still in pretty good shape. Of course, cruise ship eating got me, and even though I made some use of the gym on board and stayed pretty active, I gained 5 pounds that week. Once I was home and not indulging every day, those 5 came off pretty quickly.
Now here we are in 2010. My husband and I celebrated our 17th anniversary in June, and our son just turned 12 this past Friday. (Where did the time go???) I'm nowhere near the weight I was on that cruise, but I'm on my way there. My metabolism is 17 years older, so I have to work a little harder to get it going, but it is cooperating. This photo is amazing motivation for me, because I realize that I still looked and felt good at ten pounds above my thinnest, and my lightest weight was hard to keep there without starving or resorting to other unhealthy measures. This is what I'm aiming for...being fit, healthy, and energetic...ready to take on the world again. If I'm a size above my smallest size, that's quite all right. I only wish I had appreciated the me in this photo more at the time, instead of berating her for not being ten pounds thinner. I will not make that mistake this time around. I am loving myself at every size along the way!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Songs For Your Workout Playlist!

Keeping your workout playlist fresh is extremely important. If you exercise to the same set of tunes for too long, you will get bored with your exercise routine. Putting your playlist on shuffle does help, but at some point it's still the same old songs, just in a different order. It's vital to add new music to keep yourself excited and motivated to work out.
Here are a few of the songs I've recently added to my walking/running playlist so I can keep it moving!!!
Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
Whip It - Devo
Hot Blooded - Foreigner
New Found Freedom - Taylor Hicks
Stuck Like Glue - Sugarland
Giddy On Up - Laura Bell Bundy
Enough Is Enough - Donna Summer/Barbra Streisand
Only The World - Mandisa
I Like It - Enrique Iglesias/Pitbull
Club Can't Handle Me - Flo Rida (Step Up 3D Soundtrack)
Airplanes - B.o.B./Hayley Williams
I love all types of music, and the variety of styles keeps me going, so I'm never bored. What's on your playlist? :o)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Slow But Steady...Still Gets To The Finish Line!!!

We've all heard the old tale about the tortoise and the hare. "Slow and steady wins the race." How many of us really paid attention to that message when we were growing up? The message that even though we don't get there as fast as we would like, we will still win if we keep at's just as important now that we are adults to really listen to this advice.
When we see that some people are losing large amounts of weight on a weekly basis, we either get jealous or discouraged. (Maybe both!) We wonder why our numbers aren't that big, why it's taking us so much longer to reach our goal weights. A friend on Twitter mentioned that her weight loss was average, but she has the right idea. She's still getting healthier, and she knows she is not defined by a number. Another friend on Facebook was very discouraged to find she "only" lost 1 pound this week. I myself lost "just" .4 pounds this week. I refuse to get upset over it. I did everything I was supposed to all week, and at least the number is still moving in the right direction. I was sick yesterday, so that can also affect what the scale tells me. There are so many factors to take into consideration when you check your weight, so focus on eating right and getting exercise instead of just the number. It will all even out in the long run.
Some weeks I lose 2 or 3 pounds, sometimes it's a pound or less. My focus is on regaining my health and energy, so I can accomplish all of the things that God has planned for me. Even if you change your eating habits for the better and start working out and the scale does not budge, you are still doing something right. Each person's body is different, and the rate of weight loss will vary from person to person, or even from week to week within the same person. Don't give up after a bad week...that way you'll never win the race. Keep moving in the right direction, slow and will cross that finish line!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Dream Would You Follow...

...if you knew you could not fail? What passions do you have in life, that you've always wanted to pursue, but were too afraid to go after?
I've always had those dreams that I convinced myself I would not be able to accomplish. I listened to those people who discouraged me and told me that I would never have a shot...whether it be a singing career, getting my songs published, or even riding a horse. I still have some people around me who don't believe in me. My immediate family is very supportive, which I am grateful for. But I still have to push away the negativity caused by the ones who think I'm crazy for doing anything other than working in an office all my life. They were raised to believe that you have to have "security", and a writing career is not secure.
Guess what? There is no security, except the security we have in being children of God. We have to trust His path for our lives, and He put those dreams within us for a reason. They are important in accomplishing want He has deemed our purpose on this earth. No matter what other human beings say, the only ones who know what we are supposed to do in life are ourselves and God. (And sometimes we are even confused ourselves, but He always still knows!) Offices may close, companies may lay people off or eliminate positions...there are so many factors out of our control. The only thing in our control is to trust in God and what He has put in our hearts.
Think long and hard about those dreams and passions that you have stored away in your heart, mind, and soul. Pray over them and listen for what God is telling you to do. When you know you're on the right path, ignore the people who aim to bring you down. So many people in the Bible were told they were crazy, but they followed God's will for their lives and ultimately found their success in Him. Learn from them. You will be a much happier person if you follow the dreams that God has placed within you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Get Fit, Get Healthy...Get Bon!!!

I'm down 2.8 pounds since I last weighed in and saw my vacation gain, so I'm now at 207.4. This past week I lost 1.4 pounds, partially due to participating in my friend Bonnie's challenge.
Bonnie Matthews knows all about needing to get healthy. She lost 130 pounds over 2 years, and was featured on the Dr. Oz Show with her success story. She is one of his Wellness Warriors, and she is doing everything she can to help the rest of us get healthy and fit. The challenge started at the beginning of September, and runs through New Year's Eve. Bonnie's thinking is that most people just coast along during the fall and holiday seasons, and wait until New Year's Day to make a resolution. (I have to say she is right...I have done that in the past!) She is encouraging us to see just how much we can improve our lives before New Year's...a lot can be accomplished in 4 months!
The Get Bon Why Wait Weightloss Challenge is ongoing, so you can join in anytime and get on your healthy path. Bonnie posts weekly challenges that are doable...she won't ask you to work out for 8 hours until you puke! Her steps are easier to incorporate into your lifestyle, and they all add up to a better you. If you would like more infomation about her challenge on Facebook, go to Get on board with Bon and the rest of us...and get healthy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dealing With Rude People During Workouts

Many of us have to deal with this as we walk or run through our neighborhoods and parks. Some of us also have to put up with it at the gym. In fact, I'd venture to guess that the majority of us run into this problem more often than we'd like to admit.
What problem am I talking about? The rude people who think it's OK to ridicule or taunt larger people when they watch us exercise. The laughs and cat-calls, the crude comments, and general nasty behavior is uncalled for. For one thing, how do these people think we would lose any of the weight without getting up and working they think that we can just sit in our house and imagine it away? Or do some of them really think we can unzip our "fat suits" like actors and actresses do for certain roles? We have to get out there and exercise for our health, and people of every shape and size have that right.
I remember one walking excursion when I went to a local park for a change of scenery. A car full of teenage boys drove past me, with all of them yelling comments at the same time...whale, cow, circus lady, you name it, they said it. I didn't say anything to them because their car was already halfway down the road, but I held my head up high and kept up my pace. Later on as I finished my hour long workout, a lady came up to me and told me I was doing a great job and to keep up the great work. I don't know if she was present at the time the boys drove by, but whether she was or not doesn't matter. She gave me a wonderful mental boost just when I needed it the most.
I still have ignorant people of all ages make comments, but I'm better prepared to deal with them now. Quite often as I walk or run by, they are watching me from the comfort of a lawn chair or standing outside smoking. I take into account that I'm working on my health as they sit on their butts or inhale their cancer sticks. If I'm in the zone I just ignore them and keep moving...but sometimes I wave or yell hello to them, which totally catches them off guard. I even had one man smash out his cigarette after I looked at it in his hand. He probably realized the irony of the situation, and I hope that moment helped him quit smoking for good.
In impassioned moments, I have yelled out, "Hey, at least I'm not sitting on the couch!" or something to that effect. Sometimes I'm listening to my I-Pod and the tunes drown out the rude folks, but if I'm not listening to music, I just concentrate on the scenery and the sounds of nature. I also think about how much stronger I'm getting every time I get out there and exercise!
I advise you not to let these people get to you. Sometimes it's difficult, but you have to train your mind so you focus on the positive and let the negative fade away. You can try some of the tips I mentioned, or if you have any other effective strategies, please share them so we can all help each other. Don't let anyone stop you from your journey to health and fitness...and if you see someone else doing their workout, cheer them on. You never know when it will help them on their journey!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Wanna Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-UNDO IT!

Yes, I wanna undo it!!! Not any of my relationships, mind you...but all of the sugary stuff I ate on Labor Day. You see, this Carrie Underwood song has new meaning for me, since I woke up yesterday morning in a world of hurt. When my alarm went off, the very first thing I heard was Carrie belting out, "I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it!" It was the perfect line to start the day, since the way my stomach and my head felt at that moment I really did want to undo it...undo all of the sugar I ate the day before, so I could feel better.
I've had the song stuck in my head ever since, and I came up with some new lyrics to the chorus:
You stole my energy, you made me cry
Took me up then sent me crashing from that high
And I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it
You took my health, now I want it back
Now I see you knocked me off my track
I really blew it, no more going through it
I wanna uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo it
My twist on the song is dedicated to sugar addicts everywhere...if you're like me, it keeps calling you back. But it's not good for us to consume all of that sugar. I should have stopped at one cookie for a treat, instead of filling up on more and more sugar throughout the day. Your body doesn't know it's a "holiday" will feel just as crappy after eating this way on a special occasion as you would any other day.
I've learned my lesson really hard this time...and I'm back on plan, working to uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-undo all of the damage I've done over the years with sugar and junk food. It's all about feeling good, being healthy, and having the energy to do what you want and need to do in that you won't have to undo anything!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Definitely NOT Cardboard!!!

You know the Fiber One slogan..."Cardboard, no. Delicious, yes." Well, I'm here to tell you that it's true. Even though a lot of high fiber products do taste like cardboard, a lot of advances have been made in the industry and there are more of the better tasting products out there now.
I was already a fan of the Fiber One cereals, so when I saw these muffins in the frozen food section I figured I'd give them a try. I was amazed by the taste. It was as if I went to one of the best bakeries in town and bought a fresh muffin from them. I had the banana/chocolate chip, and it actually tasted sinful. The directions say to microwave the frozen muffin for 20 seconds, but in my microwave it turned out to be 30. Just a minor adjustment, and worth the extra 10 second wait. Great flavor, very filling...and you get 28% of your daily fiber requirement in one serving. This muffin is a triple-threat!
There are several other flavors available, and now that I know how good they are I will be trying some of those as well. I think apple cinnamon is the next choice on my list. If this is how eating healthy tastes...I'm definitely in. Nutritious foods don't have to be bland or just have to investigate the different brands until you find the ones you like!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shoe Love IS True Love...My Wish List!

The other day I told you I found some new running shoes that I just have to have. These are the ones...Nike Dual Fusion in Green/Blue. It has everything I'm looking for in a running shoe, and exactly the color combination I want. It's not just because these are 2 of my favorite colors, but they would actually coordinate with quite a few of my running/workout clothes.

I'm sure I'm due for a new pair of shoes, because I've had my other ones for quite a while now and they are really starting to wear out. For now they have to go on my wish list, because I don't have the money for them at the moment. I'm going to start saving for them, and if I don't get them before Thanksgiving they are going on my Christmas list for my family to get for me.

I'm going to keep a picture of these shoes by my computer and refrigerator, to keep me motivated and help me work toward my goals. I'm already starting to feel much better, and I'm not as winded as I was a week and a half ago when I discovered that I let my healthy eating plan take too long of a vacation. My regular workouts are back, and so are my nutritious menus and recipes. I will be sharing some of these with you along the way, as I find really good ones that are healthy and taste great.

But for today...I'm pressing forward, and dreaming of my new running shoes!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beating The Heat...In My House!!!

No, I'm not wishing for it to snow yet...there will be plenty of that here in Cleveland when winter comes around! I'm staring at this picture and trying to stay cool. The temperatures have been in the high 80's and low 90's the past few days, and our air conditioner has gone on strike. We found out that we need to get a whole new unit, because there are several leaks in this system...and they aren't making the parts for this cheapo brand that the builder used when this house was constructed. (Gee...I wonder why our builder is no longer in business???)
We're trying to get several estimates for a new unit, because we're still catching up on bills from when my husband was laid off. It's been a rough year and a half, but things are looking up. The first few days without air were fine, because the daytime temps were in the low 70's and it was around 60 at night. But the past few days have been miserable, especially for sleeping. I've been doing my walking in the upstairs hallway in the evenings, when it's a little cooler and there's a nice cross-breeze flowing from the bedrooms. There is no way I'm using the heat as an excuse not to work out...I'm through with excuses!
We are drinking a lot of ice water, and we even went to the mall on Monday to get cool. I got a good workout walking the mall, and since I can't really shop yet I didn't stop that often to look at stuff. Well, except for a really cool pair of running shoes that I saw, which will be going on my wish list for Christmas...or sooner if we can. Eating lighter foods really helps in the heat as well, and using the stove and oven as little as possible. Lots of nice, cold fruits and veggies for me!
Right now God just sent a gorgeous breeze through my home office window...thank you God!!! I will also look at that picture of Squaw Valley some more...and let it remind me that I want to be in shape for ski season. Stay cool everyone!