Saturday, July 30, 2011

National Dance Day Playlist

Welcome to the 2nd annual National Dance Day! As part of today's celebration, I am posting some of my favorite songs about dance to get all of us motivated. (Of course, I'm ALWAYS motivated to dance!!!) Put on some of these tunes...then get up and move!!!

"You Should Be Dancing" - Bee Gees

"Just Dance" - Lady Gaga

"I Hope You Dance" - Lee Ann Womack

"Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" - C & C Music Factory

"On The Floor" - Jennifer Lopez/Pitbull

"Dancing on the Ceiling" - Lionel Richie

"Ballroom Blitz" - Sweet

"Boogie Wonderland" - Earth, Wind & Fire

"Flashdance (What a Feeling)" - Irene Cara

"Last Dance" - Donna Summer

"Dancing Queen" - ABBA

"All She Wants to Do is Dance" - Don Henley

"Dance the Night Away" - Van Halen

"You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'" - Leo Sayer

"Let's Face the Music and Dance" - Nat King Cole

"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" - Whitney Houston

"Till The World Ends" - Britney Spears

"Please Don't Stop the Music" - Rihanna

Even if you just turn on the radio and dance around the room, start dancing. It's such a fun form of cardio, you won't even feel like you're exercising...but you are! Happy National Dance Day!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

What Food Addicts Can Learn From Amy Winehouse

As most of you know by now, the music world lost Amy Winehouse on Saturday at the age of 27. She was known for her amazing voice and talent...but unfortunately she was more well-known for her drug and alcohol addiction and the problems that stemmed from those issues.

It's always heartbreaking when talented people have addictions that interfere with their work and are taken from the world way too soon. But think about it...there are many of us who have an addiction to food which interferes with our own lives. Sometimes our talents are wasted because we're so focused on food - or when we feed our sugar, salt and other addictions it makes us feel so awful that we can't get the things done that we need to accomplish. We get that temporary food high, then when we come down off of it we need more...just like an alcoholic or drug addict.

There are many things we can learn from Amy's demise and apply to our own lives:

1. Surround yourself with people who care about your well-being, and don't be afraid to turn down something you know is not good for you. Obviously Amy had people who supplied her with the drugs and alcohol, and who would also partake of them with her. She needed to be around people who were sober to help break the cycle. Those of us who are addicted to food also need to be around others who live a healthy lifestyle so we can learn how to deal with food properly. And if we encounter someone who wants to make us eat something that will make us fall off the wagon, we need to find the courage to say no.

2. Think about all of the things you've put off and the dreams you have not accomplished because of your addiction. Everyone was waiting for Amy to put out another album after the success of Back to Black, but she could never get it together long enough to make it happen. She attempted a tour this summer, but the first show went so badly because of her issues that she cancelled the rest of the tour. The world will never know everything she could have accomplished if her addiction had not taken over. As food addicts, we put off a lot of things in life to get our own fix. Then we feel ill and not up to accomplishing anything. We all need to sit down and really think...about our talents, what we want out of life, and what we could accomplish if we didn't rely on food fixes; then use these goals and dreams to strengthen our resolve around food.

3. Use your talents to lure you away from addictive behaviors. Amy did use her musical and songwriting talents to express herself, but should have dug more deeply into her gifts in order to release the feelings that made her turn to drugs and alcohol. We should use our own gifts, whether it be writing, music, painting, or something else positive to express ourselves instead of wallowing in the emotions that make us want to eat. And as we find our inner athletes, we realize we do have the strength it takes to do anything!

4. You cannot fight this alone. Very often, Amy tried to conquer her demons by herself. When we are very deeply into addiction, we need more strength than we have on our own. Besides having a supportive group of people around us, we need God to fight this. There will be times when we are alone and no other human being is around to talk us down from doing something unhealthy. But God is always with pray to Him for courage and strength to help you beat your addiction, one step at a time.

When you think about Amy, remember her talent first. Then think about her addictions...and how to help yourself and others beat their addictions so we can learn from her situation. In this way, some good can come out of her tragic end. Rest in peace, Amy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Staycation - Good For Body and Soul!

As some of you may have noticed, I haven't blogged in a little while. The first few days were not by choice...I had to get a new modem and then catch up on my other work first. But the last three days were definitely by choice.

I desperately needed a vacation, but there are no funds in the budget to get away from it all. So it was time for a "staycation"...having a holiday at or near home to recharge when you can't afford a big trip. I made a conscious decision not to log on to the computer for three days, not even to write. You see, if I had turned it on to write, I would have been tempted to check my mail or social networking sites. The whole idea was to relax and enjoy the time without distractions, so I could be refreshed when it was time to get back to business. Since I don't have a Blackberry or iPhone, there was no tempatation in that department.

We never ventured far from home...we swam every day, went on long walks, and watched movies. I got to spend some uninterrupted time reading as well. I stuck to healthy foods except for one treat - ice cream on Sunday evening. I still drank plenty of water, especially with all of the time spent outdoors exercising.

The plan worked...I am now recharged and ready to tackle more writing and other ventures, plus I didn't wind up gaining any weight on this little vacation. In fact, I lost a little over a pound! How often do we go on any type of vacation and lose weight, unless it's at a spa or weight loss retreat? Not too often!

I highly recommend a staycation to all of you...even more so if you can't afford a regular vacation. With the stresses of life we all need to unplug and refresh our souls, so we can be more productive in the long run. Besides, we all need to enjoy ourselves now and then!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Listen To Your Body - It Knows!!!

My body speaks to me.

No, it doesn't actually have a voice, but it doesn't need one. My body speaks without words...and I heard it loud and clear this week.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I didn't eat a lot - but I did consume some foods that I don't usually have. A few salty tortilla chips here, a couple of diet sodas there, even a cupcake with VERY sweet frosting and other sugary treats found their way into my mouth. It wasn't overindulgence in large quantities that did me was what was in the foods I ate.

For the last three days, my body has spoken in several ways. My fingers puffed up from the extra sodium, making it hard to get most of my rings on. The migraine that followed let me know in no uncertain terms that I should have skipped the diet sodas. To complete the lecture from my body, my stomach hurt and was upset from too much sugar.

My body is letting me know that I have to stick with healthy foods and skip the stuff filled with salt, sugar, and chemicals. I'm recovering from the weekend by drinking plenty of water to flush out my system, eating nutritious foods, and working up a sweat as often as possible. I can already feel the difference.

My body knows what it's "talking" about...and so does yours. Pay attention to what YOUR body is telling you. God only gave each of us one body, and we have to take good care of it!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Songs Of Indepedence and Freedom

Tomorrow is the 4th of July - Independence Day. We celebrate what it means to live in America...our rights, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. Barbecues, parades, and fireworks are all a part of the festivities.

So is music. Patriotic songs mix with anthems of empowerment and make us feel stronger. I've compiled a playlist that will not only make you proud to be an American, but will help you strive for your own freedom and independence.

"Party in the USA" - Miley Cyrus

"New Found Freedom" - Taylor Hicks

"Born in the USA" - Bruce Springsteen

"Independence Day" - Martina McBride

"Think" - Aretha Franklin

"Freedom" - George Michael

"Firework" - Katy Perry

"Freedom Song" - Mandisa

As you listen (run, walk, dance) to these songs, remember to turn to God and give him your burdens so you can experience the ultimate freedom. Happy Independence Day!