Easter 2011

Easter 2011
My 4 most favorite things

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Weight Loss Trifecta!

My cousin and her family recently visited our family. We had a great time. Her kids and my kids (who are very close in age) had a blast. My cousin lost 80 pounds and has kept it off for about 2 years now. It was quite inspirational to see her and get the opportunity to talk with her about it.
She has struggled like me with some ups and downs along the weight loss roller coaster. But in the end she's found success and says that this time it's different. It feels different and her attitude is different. So, I asked her HOW is it different? What magic switch did she flip to bring about amazing results? She said that she started loving God, starting loving herself and loving the exercise. So, I'm summing that up, and calling it the Trifecta...Mind, Body & Soul. It makes sense; we need to hit on all cylinders in order to find lasting success.

Our Mind:We need to get our head in the game (as Bob Harper likes to say). But, it's true. The mind is powerful; it can convince us we will win or lose; can or can't. Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can, or think you can't...either way, you're right." If we get our head in the game; use the knowledge you know you have (eat the vegetables skip the cookies) then we've mastered our mind in the weight loss game.

Our Body: Of course we have to move! We need to get our bodies in motion and expend calories! I find it so fascinating that when I'm exercising and long after, I feel good; really good. It's not just the endorphins; it's the sense of accomplishment. I feel really good about myself and that not only makes my body feel good, but my mind is refreshed as well.

Our Soul: This is a biggie. In recognizing that it's not all about me, that my struggles with weight, in the grand scheme of life are relatively small, is a relief. I can breathe and know that with God, all things are possible. He does care about me and my struggles and He is faithful. If we take the first steps, He is always there to help us finish our journey, no matter how long that journey may take. So, not only am I in the game of life and on the path to wellness with my family, friends and countless others with similar struggles; we all walk with the One who created us. And that, is perhaps the most liberating realization of all.

So, thank you cousin Katie; for reminding me of some bigger issues at play here. I'm off to win this race...the whole Trifecta!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I've got the power...

Really? Sometimes I don’t think so. But, when I start to break it down, I do have the power. I am the only one who is able to make this change. No one can do this for me. The thought, at times is sobering. Oh how I wish I could wave a magic wand and my weight loss woes would be over. But, unfortunately that’s not how it works.

I’ve had a rough few weeks. That’s probably why I haven’t posted. Due to work and life commitments, I wasn’t able to work out at all last week. This is when the doubts and hopeless thoughts start to creep in. And, I noticed that my eating habits weren’t the best last week either. I guess what the experts say is true; when you’re working out, you’re more likely to eat better.

I started reading through my journal that I sporadically wrote in over the past year. Last January I started the journal in an attempt to chart my thoughts and emotions and how it relates to my weight struggles. I got a few weeks/month into it and that was it. The most depressing realization was what I wrote about last January sounds awful familiar to my thoughts this January. Am I really in a vicious cycle of hope, action, disappointment, and then inaction? I hope that the realization that I am the only one who can make this happen will help me be successful. Because, honestly, failure is no longer an option.

So, it’s back in the saddle and up on the workout horse I go. I have the power to change. I hold the power to my own success.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All good things must come to an end...

Do I really believe that to be true? I hope not. I hope my faith and optimism allows for a lifetime (and eternity after that) of good things. But, tonight was my last training session with my "team." We've worked out together for 18 weeks with a personal trainer and it's been good. It's certainly had it's ups and downs, but I've enjoyed my time with the "Blue Busters." We began this challenge as total strangers but have grown along with each other these past 5 months and developed a nice acquaintanceship. It will be nice to see them at the gym; we can continue to encourage each other.

I'm ending this challenge with not much weight lost, but I have gained perhaps something more important. I actually like exercising. It's fun; it makes me feel good about myself and it is doing good things for my body even if the affect I was after (losing weight and fitting into all the great Lilly Pulitzer outfits I bought) hasn't yet come to fruition. But, I'm hopeful that the weight loss (and subsequent modeling of fabulous Lilly shift's) is right around the corner.

I've heard that the road to wellness is a marathon not a sprint. So, I guess I better settle in for the long haul...I'm not getting off the path anytime soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fountain of Youth....DISCOVERED!

My mother in law is a beautiful woman, inside and out. She is aging so gracefully, it’s truly remarkable. I think I have to chalk it up to good genes and good, clean living. She’s never smoked, never drank, despises sodas, drinks mainly water and her cup or two of hot tea a day. What does she have to show for it? Unbelievable skin, nary a wrinkle and no extra weight.

I think she may have found that fountain of youth…it’s called behavior and lifestyle choices. Isn’t it amazing how our behavior and lifestyle choices affect pretty much every aspect of our life? Discipline is a behavior; eating right and treating your body with respect is a lifestyle choice. These behaviors transcend into every part of our life. Do you work diligently in your job? Do you give 100% of yourself? That’s discipline my friends. And, I think if I can conquer myself (yes, I need to defeat myself in this ongoing battle for discipline) then I think I will be successful both professionally and personally.

I’ve been hearing a lot recently about “Clean Foods.” “Eat cleanly”, a personal trainer told me. At first, I’m thinking, “what is he talking about? I wash my food; I wash my hands…” Seriously, I wasn’t getting it. But, the more I read, the more it makes sense. My body is craving nutrients and vitamins and the fuel it needs to burn fuel efficiently. And, you know, crap in, crap out. So, if you fuel your body with clean foods, you’ll burn fuel (ie, fat stores) cleanly and efficiently.

Well, at least that’s what I’m hoping. I’ve decided to grab the celery sticks instead of the pretzel crackers (Dang those Toll House elves!!! Those things are GOOD!); the fresh fruit instead of the Cadbury Flake bar (those English may not be the best cooks…but chocolate? They manage to do chocolate just fine).

Monday, January 11, 2010

The year of no excuses...

It's so easy to find excuses to not do the things we need to do to propel ourselves forward. In every aspect of our life, our failures can be chalked up, for the most part, to not making the effort, giving 100% or finding and accepting the excuses we create. Now, that's not to say that we're not faced with challenges and sometimes those challenges can feel completely overwhelming. But, at the end of the day, we do have choices. And, if we have the courage and the strength to make the hard choices, we'll be all the better for it.
I've decided that for me, this is my year of "NO EXCUSES." I'm drawing the line in the sand and standing firm on this one. I will give 100% of myself to reaching my goals this year. And, at the end of the year, I may not be at my goal, but I'll certainly be closer to reaching them. And, I won't be able to look back and punish myself for giving up or using those excuses that I find so easy to fall back on.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quick Fix it! Where is my weight loss Band-aid???

The Biggest Loser, Season 9 premiered last night. That show has done amazing things to inspire our nation to get on a path of health and wellness. For me, watching that show reminds me that I am not alone on this journey; in fact, the path is full of people just like me who at some point started making some really poor choices with regards to our health. You know, come to think about it, the path isn’t just full…it’s completely over-crowded…

It’s funny; I am an Employee Benefits Consultant by trade. So, the Healthcare debate is one I’m fully engaged in on a daily basis. We all complain about the cost of healthcare, we want lower premiums but yet we fail to realize the main reason premiums are so high. And, no health plan, employer sponsored or federally sponsored can even scratch the surface to begin to fix healthcare.

We, my friends, are the only ones that can really start to “fix” healthcare. Here’s the ugly truth…we are unhealthy, under-exercised, over-fed and want a quick fix or pill to heal us. That, folks, results in huge claims to health insurance policies; did you realize that for every $1.00 paid in health insurance premiums, $.80 is paid out in claims? We’re not even talking about paying the bills (ie salaries of those nice people who answer the phone when you call to ask about your coverage, keeping the lights on, printing out ID cards, etc). No one wants to take responsibility for their health and get up off the sofa. Taking a pill doesn’t heal our diabetes or high blood pressure or high cholesterol. A pill is designed to treat the symptoms not the cause. And, somewhere along the line, we’ve confused the two. Why are our children developing type II Diabetes…also known as Adult Onset? Because, they’re overweight, obese even and don’t get any exercise.

So, why does the pattern continue? I’m sure this is where the debate can get even more heated. We all KNOW what we should do to live a healthier life; eat the fresh green beans instead of the fried potatoes, skip the butter, use a bit of olive oil; take the stairs instead of the elevator…the list goes on and on.

I know, for me, it’s just dad-blabbed hard. It’s hard to take the stairs and those fried potatoes are tasty. In the wise words of my aunt, somewhere along the line, I gave myself permission to make poor choices. And, somewhere along the line, I’m going to have to make the choice to NOT give myself permission, perhaps I should be put on restriction from making bad choices.

Now, the decision to buy those beautiful new shoes, although completely unnecessary….those are bad decisions I can live with.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's a REVOLUTION...or maybe a resolution...What's with the New Year's Resolutionaries?

Yes, folks…it’s that time of year again. You can’t find a parking spot at the gym and forget about getting a treadmill or elliptical to use. Yes, the Resolutionaries have arrived! And, much like Paul Revere on his horse yelling “The Red Coats are coming!” I’ve taken it upon myself to warn anyone wanting to turn over a new leaf this year…you may want to wait until February. Or, just get as good of a workout as you can walking to the gym from the spot you found about a mile away; or by walking the stairs as you go from floor to floor looking for one free inch of space to work out in.

I am foolishly attempting my spin class tonight. I was told by the spin instructor last night (as I was working out with my trainer, who managed to find a spot for us in the back, by the stairs. The four of us had about a 6x6 area in which to get the best workout we could) that EVERY bike was full. Can you believe that? They come out of the woodwork; or if not out of the woodwork, at least out of the McDonald’s around the corner.

So, I have my seat pad in my bag and I plan on arriving about 30 minutes early to secure a good bike…one with an adjustable seat AND a working pedometer. Wish me luck folks….