Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Pretty Good At Drinkin' Water! ;o)

Yes, I just heard that song by Billy Currington, "Pretty Good At Drinkin' Beer"...and I'm in a silly mood today. I was thinking how his mama would be so proud that he's reached such a lofty goal in life! LOL

I really am pretty good at drinking water. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I tweet H2O reminders during the day on most days. Once in a while I miss one, or I'm gone all day on the weekends and don't tweet anything. I really need a Blackberry so I can give those portable water tweets! I get a lot of RT's and tweets back thanking me for the reminder...I'm so glad to help, and I know what it's like to get so busy during the day that you forget. I know when I forget, I don't feel as well as usual!

During that "vacation" period I took over the summer, I became pretty good at drinking diet soda again. I'd see my water bottle sitting there, pretend it was Rachel on Friends, and tell myself we were on a break. I did still drink water, especially on those days we were out at the pool, but it wasn't as much as I'd usually drink...and nowhere near enough for what my body needed. My health paid the price, as I became more sluggish and bloated with carbonated drinks.

I knew I had to get back on track. Thankfully my "Rachel" was still there for me, and as I filled up that bottle I swore I could hear her laughing at me and saying I told you so. Diet soda is a very rare beverage for me again, and it's amazing how much better I feel now that I'm back in my H2O routine. Our bodies really do crave water, and we need to give them plenty of it. A break from water is not a good thing, even if you do pretend you're on Friends. Just drink up!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Marie Claire Actually DEFENDS That Garbage?

Yesterday, a post appeared online at Marie Claire magazine. This blog, written by Maura Kelly, tore overweight people a new one, for being seen on TV in the show "Mike and Molly" and "disgusting" her by having a romance. Futhermore, she said that "fat" people doing ANYTHING disgusts her.
Later (after all of the backlash) she gave an apology (sort of) but still the damage was done. She used the fact that she is a recovering anorexic as an excuse...I know a few people recovering from eating disorders, and they do NOT hate people who are larger. They know that each person is on his or her own journey and we are ALL valuable no matter what the outside shell looks like. I feel for Ms. Kelly and wish her well in her continued recovery, but please don't offend your fellow recoverers by using that as your reason. That could only cause a stereotype that all people with anorexia or bulimia hate plus size people, and that is not the case.
Marie Claire's editor-in-chief came out to defend the article...REALLY? You DEFEND people being outright ridiculed on your pages (virtual or print), and treated like they have no place in the world? This was not constructive criticism. It was deliberate bashing of a particular group of people and completely uncalled for. So fat people walking around disgusts you guys? How in the world are we supposed to take control of our health if we're not allowed to move around? Are we supposed to run laps inside of our homes, so as not to offend you, and wear holes in our carpets? All people are deserving of love and their rights as human beings...PERIOD.
Ms. Kelly mentioned in her "apology" that she also hates seeing underweight people walking around. So Maura, did you ever stop to think about the actual person passing by? My nieces just lost their mom on Monday at age 42. She had lung cancer, and wasted away because of the disease. She was a beautiful lady up until the end, but you would have just seen her extreme thinness and been "disgusted". MAYBE the person in front of you, heavy or thin, has a medical reason why they look like they do. Since you've had eating disorder issues yourself, you would think you would have actually developed some compassion toward others. I pray that after this incident you start to develop a caring attitude.
I cancelled my subscription to Marie Claire yesterday. I cannot condone this kind of bashing of any group of people. They've always walked a thin line but now it's gone too far. I was hoping for a real apology from the editor, and maybe I might have tried to pick up an issue on the newsstand at some point to see if things have improved. But now that the magazine defends this kind of behavior, I will NEVER but the magazine again in any way, shape, or form. God created all of us to be a variety of shapes and sizes, even changing throughout our lifetimes for different reasons. He does NOT make mistakes. It's time the people at Marie Claire learn that ALL people are beautifully and wonderfully made!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

So Hard To Resist...But SO WORTH IT To RESIST!!!

On Saturday my friend Debbie and I were vendors at a craft show. We do this show every year at the Lorain County JVS, where I sell handcrafted jewelry, designed and made by yours truly. Debbie sells and autographs her award winning novels...and next year I will also have my own novel out to sell!
Usually we have a problem at craft shows where the people in charge place all of the jewelry people together, all of the authors, and so forth. Sales are much better for all involved when we are spread throughout the building instead of being lumped together. This year the powers that be solved that problem for us...but they did put something near me that was difficult to deal with. Right across from us was a vendor selling her huge variety of homemade chocolates.
Most people that know me know that I am a card-carrrying chocoholic. Anything cocoa-related catches my eye...and my nose. I was determined not to buy any, but constantly staring at and smelling the goods all day was making that difficult. Debbie resisted as well...she loves chocolate but has discovered that it doesn't love her back and upsets her stomach. When you know it's going to make you feel ill it's a little easier to say no. I am proud to say, however, that I resisted temptation as well...a special triumph for me since this lady had Buckeyes, which are my favorite!
Another thing about doing this particular show is that since it is a vocational school, all of the young chefs in training are preparing and selling their own goodies. They bring their service carts up and down the halls all day, filled with pumpkin muffins, donuts, cheesecake, and other assorted decadent treats. They even had cookies as big as my head...and I'm NOT just being dramatic, they really were that big! As much as I like to support the students, I knew that I had to resist these as well. We were sitting at a booth all day...not even moving around enough to burn off any of those calories. It gets especially hard near the end of the day, when they start selling what they have left at half price. I still stayed away from the temptation, trying to focus instead on the crafts that the people who were shopping walked around with...giant wooden ducks and reindeer work like a charm. ;o)
I went home Saturday evening feeling like a champion. I had resisted chocolate all day when it was literally right under my nose. I said no to other sweets when they kept on wheeling them back and forth in front of me. This is a huge step for me...since I usually break down and buy something sweet at the show. Once home I prepared a healthy dinner and smiled, knowing that I conquered something important and scored a huge victory for myself. This victory is something I can build next time I'm tempted, I can remember how good it felt to resist all of those temptations in one day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How To Rock a Cold

Ever since he was little, my husband and I have taught our son to always share. I think he learned this lesson much too well...he shared his cold and sore throat with me. This is one thing I would have been happy for him to keep to himself!
The sore throat started yesterday, and I've been living on ColdEeze and plenty of fluids ever since. The stuffiness and sinus aches began today. Thankfully I'm not really having body aches, so I'm able to still get a lot done with breaks in between. I'm not working out as hard as I normally would, but still getting a lot of walking in plus some other exercises. (I almost decided to load up on garlic and onions like Tony & Audrina on Dancing With The Stars...but I know the bad breath would keep me from sleeping!) My mom was right about this home remedy though...Vicks VapoRub is amazing stuff, and rubbing it on my sinus areas and my throat gives me some relief and helps me sleep without coughing.
Gargling with salt water also works, and I'm about to make myself some nice hot tea to relax and soothe my throat. Usually I baby myself too much with a cold, but this time I'm getting enough rest without my day coming to a complete stop. I know my healthier habits are helping in this department as well, and I'm going to knock this cold out for good. The mucus family better pack their bags, because their stay at Hotel Marie is over!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Journey...To Handling My Stress!!!

Stress is not a four letter word, but it's still evil. In fact, I like to say that stress started out as a four letter word, but when it wanted to take over the world it expanded to six letters just to make things worse for us. There are actually some good things about stress, because if we never felt any at all we would just sit around and chill all the time...nothing would ever get done. In a way, stress makes the world go round.

But stress to the other extreme is just as bad. When we let it take over our lives, we panic. We discover that we have so many things to do that we give ourselves headaches, stomachaches, and other ailments. Sometimes we just say "forget it" and don't accomplish any of the stuff on our list. We eat, smoke, or drink, to make ourselves feel better...and forget about all of those things that still await us and need to be done. While it's good to take a break every once in a while to recharge our batteries, being in chronic break mode leaves us defeated. More work piles up on top of what we didn't get done yet, making the stack of stress even heavier to carry around.

There are times when it feels like stress is my middle name. I've thought about getting my middle name changed legally to Stress on my birth certificate, but that would cost money that I don't have and only add to my stress. Since I was diagnosed with psoriasis, I have discovered in my research on the subject that there is a strong link between this ailment and stress. I shouldn't have been surprised, but seeing it in black and white still gave me a jolt. The prescriptions that my doctor gave me are really helping, and I can see quite a reduction in the patches on my skin already. If I don't want to keep having recurrences, however, I'm going to need to learn to manage my stress better.

Part of this journey is discovering just how much I worry about things and knowing that I need to give that over to God. Keep working hard, listen for His instructions, and He will do the rest. Since He led me to hunt down my pedometer and start moving more, that has been helping with my stress and led to breakthroughs. I'm now up over 7,500 steps a day and going strong. Having this step goal to concentrate on causes me to think less about what usually makes me worry, and getting more exercise definitely relieves some stress. God is working within me in so many ways, and as long as I remember to take each step with Him, the stress enemy will not win!

Friday, October 15, 2010

God's Pedometer

What if God has a pedometer? A unique one for each of us that keeps track of every step we take with Him, and the ones that we try to take on our own?
As I've been working on increasing my step count this week, I began to really think about that special walk with God. How am I actually doing on the journey with Him? I am doing a lot of soul searching, wondering just how many steps I attempted on my own without His help. Things that I've worried about or tried to force to happen on my time schedule, in my way. Problems that I wanted to solve by myself instead of praying and turning to Him about them. On the other many steps have I taken the right way, hand in hand with my Savior and placing all of my trust in Him? Have I let Him carry me when I needed him to?
Our walks with God are always the same in that He wants us to journey through life with Him. They are different each day, however, in that God leads us down all kinds of paths with many twists and turns. We have to trust that He is our Compass and will guide us down the correct ones. Deciding which way to go on our own will only get us lost, but if we turn to God He will get us back on track. Sometimes we don't know where the trail is leading, but God does...and He will get us exactly where we need to go.
Over the last couple of days I've gotten the step count on my earthly pedometer up to 7,000, and I will keep increasing that number. I now also realize that I need to continually add to the number on God's pedometer for me...making sure I don't increase the amount I do on my own, but instead focusing on getting the number of steps I walk with Him higher and higher, until they reach infinity!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Keep On Walkin' It Baby....Baby Baby Baby

Now that I'm getting my butt in gear, I looked around the house and located my pedometer. You've got's been THAT long since I've used it. It was in a very safe much so that it was even safe from me! I had it on all the time for quite while (well, except in the shower!), and it kept me honest. Meaning, I wasn't just guessing at how much I was moving all day long. I could actually see what I'd been doing and work on improving.
I found my pedometer on Monday evening and clipped it on yesterday after I woke up. You're supposed to get to at least 10,000 steps each day, and when I wore it consistently I always hit the mark, sometimes getting to 11,000 or a little higher. It felt so good to reach that goal, which also made me want to eat better. I didn't want to undo all of the good work I did!
Yesterday was a big wake up call for me. Even with a workout, I only got to 6,000 steps. Since I freelance from home, a lot of my time is spent sitting at the computer just as if I had a desk job somewhere else. I have to work harder at getting enough steps in each day, because my work is sedentary for the most part. When I worked in an office, I used to find extra reasons to get up and walk around, like delivering messages in person instead of picking up the phone to talk to my co-workers. Every short stroll around the office added to my step count.
I will be working hard at increasing my step count each day. The 6,000 step mark is just a new starting point. It goes to show how my little month long "vacation" affected me, moving around less than I should have been. I needed this jolt to realize that I was going too easy on myself during the times that I wasn't actually performing a workout. Just because you go for your walk/run or use an exercise DVD, it doesn't mean you can "relax" the rest of the day. It's time to REALLY get my walk on!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

WHY Do I STILL Think This...and Positive Remembrance

I've obviously been enlightened about positive body image, and realize that I am a wonderful person made in God's image no matter what I weigh. I also know that health is not a certain size, and I'm well on my way to being healthier. In fact, I already am because I no longer need to take blood pressure medication and I'm getting stronger every day.
So why do these thoughts still come to mind when a situation arises? I saw someone yesterday at my son's bowling tournament that I haven't seen in years. He was happy to see me and even gave me a big hug. After I finished talking to him, I walked down to my son's bowling lane and sat down. Then the thoughts began to pop into my head. The last time Mike saw me I was thin. I sure looked a lot better back then. I wonder what he thought when he saw me now?
Now, my friend never gave me anything to base this on. He didn't look me up and down, make any negative comments, or even seem shocked at my appearance. The whole exchange was quite positive. So why do I still automatically go there? I thought I'd gotten past this kind of thinking. At least I can say that I didn't think it until AFTER I spoke with him...I used to think it right away, and I'm sure the negative thoughts in my head always showed in my face. I'm happy to say that I've made some progress in this area!
On a whole different note...those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that this past Friday was 16 years ago that my mom passed away, and today would have been her 77th birthday. Friday was a rough day, but with some help from God and a little ladybug angel that my mom sent to me I got through it. One of the positive lessons that I did learn from Biggest Loser is not to eat your feelings, so I went for a walk instead and stayed on my healthy eating plan instead of going to Long John Silver's for fish and hushpuppies because my mom and I used to go there often together. I chose a different way to honor her, and I believe she would be proud.
I did lose one pound this week, when in the past I would have gained over this sad anniversary. I'm using my mom's birthday today as an official kickoff of Marie Needs To Get Her Butt In Gear. Yes, I've made a lot of improvements over the last year and a half...but I know I can still kick it up a few more notches. (Eat your heart out, Emeril!) Thanks to my friend Coleen on Twitter yesterday, I came up with exactly what I wanted to call this new phase. It's time to make my mom, and myself, even prouder!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Autumn Workout Pleasures

*photo courtesy of Runner's World Magazine.

You cannot imagine how happy I am to see the sun shining today! We've had several days in a row of rain, rain, and more rain. I was ready to cast the new sequel "Marie Almighty" with my fellow Clevelanders and go to Home Depot to get enough wood and supplies to build my own ark. On top of a couple of already stressful days, the constant downpour and gray skies were depressing, to say the least.

After being relegated to my treadmill and DVD player for the past week, I'm ready to get outside to do my walking and sprints. Soon enough it will be winter and I will be stuck indoors more often than not, so I want to take advantage of every nice day I can. Now that it's October, some of the leaves are beginning to change to their bright autumn colors; while some trees are still green, others have completely turned orange, yellow, and red. There's nothing like a brisk walk or run through the fall foliage, and the cooler temperatures are welcome. God is the true Artist, painting the most beautiful pictures throughout this world. He inspires me to create, and I thank Him for the gift of words that He has entrusted to me. I can only hope and pray to use this gift to the full potential that He has in mind for me!

The weather and fall scenery are already putting me in a better mood. I can't wait to go outside in a couple of hours and enjoy every minute of my workout. Thank you God, for this wonderful world, and please help me do my part in making it what You want it to be!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Eh...What's Up Doc?

Yesterday, I had my checkup at the doctor's office. He had an emergency and ran over 2 hours late, so I was surprised to see that my blood pressure was still good. Thankfully it was, and I still can stay off the medication that I was able to drop once I dropped some weight.
Everything else was still the same, with two exceptions. I was a couple of pounds heavier than my last visit, and of course my doctor told me I still needed to lose more. I mentioned that we had gone on vacation and now I was finally back on track and losing again. When he found out we went to Tennessee, he mentioned that his wife was born and raised in the South. He told me next time I go, I should get fried green tomatoes because they're so good. In the next moment, I watched the irony spread across his face and I almost laughed out loud. He then added that they're not exactly good for you, but I should just try them once. Just goes to show that even doctors like stuff they shouldn't eat either!
The other exception was the discovery that I now have psoriasis. I had noticed it starting, and wasn't completely surprised because my dad has it, and I also inherited his allergies. I was prescribed a special shampoo and ointment to use on it, which I am beginning today. I also want to research psoriasis more, because I'm sure that my former diet didn't help with this condition. If I can help it go away from the inside as well as the outside, I definitely need to do it. The more I take care of myself, the more I realize how much nutrition and exercise play a role in most health problems. Garbage in, garbage out.
I know I've said this before, but it really is all about our health. No matter how much we may want to get to a certain weight or size, the bottom line is that we need to take care of ourselves and be healthy. Make yourself strong from the inside, and it will show on the outside. I have another appointment next month, so the doctor can check on my psoriasis. I'm actually looking forward to it, because I am determined to show improvement in my skin, weight, and all areas of my health!