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Archive for the ‘body’ Category

Friends there are always people a little head of you in life.  They have walked a healthy path longer and more effectively.  I try to study people who have followed a healthy path longer than myself. 

My friend, Holly, is one of those people!  I have asked her some questions and asked her to share with us part of her heatlhy journey.  Please click on her name above or her link to the right and read about her journey.

Holly

Holly, The Healthy Everythingtarian

Tell us a little bit about you and what makes you eat so healthy?
To sum up my 24 years on earth thus far, I am a former emotional eater turned health nut who realized that ‘health’ is so much more than food and exercise.  It is a general term, I think, for doing what is right for YOUR body.  For so long, I ate not for enjoyment but to mask something deeper.  Once I realized this, I began to deal with feelings, workout not for weight loss but to FEEL GOOD and starting eating things that helped keep me in a place of whole health.  Knowing where I was helps keep me on track – although I was never severely overweight, I was unhappy with myself.  Now, I know being healthy makes me feel GOOD.
 
Do you eat meat?  How do you get your protein?
I went from meat eater to vegetarian to vegan to vegetarian to semi-meat eater.  Now, I eat meat occasionally (around 1-3 times a month), but realize I don’t love it enough to need to make it an everyday staple.  Also, meat is expensive!  As a gal strapped with student loans, a can of beans is much cheaper than 1 lb. of organic chicken.  When I do eat meat, I try to make it organic and grass-fed so that I am supporting eco-friendly farmers who grow their animals humanely.  Eggs, yogurt, beans, nuts, milk, veggie burgers, tofu and tempeh are all great protein sources I happen to adore.
 
Your food looks amazing, do you enjoy the way you eat? 
Of course!  If food tastes bad, I could care less if its healthy.  I won’t eat it.  I need to be getting nutrients AND be satisfied when I am done eating!
 
Is eating healthy a burden?
A couple years ago, I may have said yes, Now, I do not think so at all.  I am comfortable with my choices and have found that most people WANT to eat healthy.  If you can set a good model/standard to help others, that is the icing on the cake!
 
For someone out there who is not a healthy eater how do you suggest they get started?
I think substitutions are a great way to start.  Make it whole wheat bread instead of white; choose fruits, veggies and lowfat dairy for snacks; try new foods at the grocery store; experiment with recipes and start cooking.  You have to like what you eat. So, get to know your palate, find healthy foods you enjoy and incorporate them more and more in your diet.  Don’t put too much pressure on yourself…slowly but surely, things will get easier and easier to where you are eating healthy and not even realize it!
 
Do you have easy go to foods?
I am a big fan of yogurt and adding lots of goodies in them.  It’s easy to transport and oh so delicious.  Fruit, bars (Larabars, Clif Bars, KIND bars and ProBars are all good choices) and crudites are all easy to pack.  Also, become a fan of leftovers.  There is nothing easier than grabbing a Tupperware of leftovers on my way to work and having a delicious lunch!
 
Do you drink caffeine?
I do.  I LOVE coffee.  Not only the taste, but the warmth, feeling and ritual of it.  I limit myself to a cup or two in the morning, and all is well the rest of the day.  I have also been known to guzzle an afternoon Diet Coke or two 😉
 
Do you worry about calories?
I used to FREAK OUT about calories and obsessively count.  But ya know what?  It’s time-consuming, defeating and horrible.  If I can focus on making all the calories I eat good, wholesome and nutritious calories, then I really don’t need to worry. There is so much more to life than food and exercise – it is an important part, but I always like to remember, it’s not the only part.  There is always room for splurges because life is too short not to be enjoyed (and tasted!).
 
Holly is living a balanced life.  She works hard, she eats healthy, and she moves.  I want to be her when I grow up!   Holly is having a contest through Friday, check it out!
 
Have a wonderful day!

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To blog or not to blog

The last couple weeks have been very stressful for me.  I had realized I was not getting enough sleep and something was going to have to go.  When I examined my priorities, I realized that my blogging at 4:30-5:30 a.m. was the easy thing to give up.  I had been so dedicated to journaling  five days a week and had a struggle letting it go, but knew I must rest to be my best each day.  So I let it go and now I can see it was the right thing. 

Everything you read shows how important it is to sleep and rest your body.  They say if you have to choose between sleep and exercise, choose sleep.   Lack of sleep can inhibit weight loss, increase mood swings (which I don’t need), impair healing and brain functions.

I am choosing to do what is best for my body which I know will make all of life run smoother!  I will blog when I can and let my performance anxiety go!

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Candy has always wanted to make a fondant cake & we did it together with Kayla

Candy wanted to make a fondant cake & we did it together with Kayla

 

Today my daughter, Candace, aka Candy, turns 11 today. I was thinking about what to give her for her birthday and of course I got introspective, if you have not noticed I do that a lot, and started thinking what would be the best gift I could ever give her.

Let her be Candy. 

When naming Candace, my best bud, Robin, promised me that if we called her Candace everyone else would call her Candace.   It worked until she turned 10 and SHE decided she wanted to be called Candy!  There is nothing wrong with the name Candy, taking a deep breath, trying not to conjure up …..  Anyway, at that time, I realized how important it was that I let her be Candy and whatever that means to her.    If you know Candacey, you know how much the name suits her.  She is absolutely hilarious and so much FUN!

Candy dancing a few years back

Candy dancing a few years back

I never discovered who I was until I was in my 40’s.  I want her to have confidence in who she is today.  I want her to explore all parts of her.  My job is to give her wings so she can soar with confidence into this big world.

Be Ruthie. 

When I walk with confidence I am role modeling for Candace what a confident woman looks like.  Becoming mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually strong gives her a picture of what a healthy woman looks like as she grows. 

A couple years ago she drew a picture of me.  I was a stick figure holding weights.  I was so proud at that moment because when she thought of me I was doing something healthy and positive.

Help her find her strengths.

Candy is an amazing artist and loves to cook.  School is not her favorite thing and motivation for school work is challenging.  When we started tapping into the things that she loved she blossomed.  All of a sudden her confidence soared.  She did better in school and started to enjoy life more.  We signed her up for art classes this last year.  She loved it.  She tends to be shy out in public but make it about art and she is excited and ready to give new things a try.;

Candy being her funny self

Candy being her funny self

Candy painting pottery

Candy painting pottery

Candy and her pup, Lucy

Candy and her pup, Lucy

We like to cook together.  She is quite good at tasting things and deciding if things need a little something more.  In two weeks she is taking a five day, five hour a day, cooking class for kids.  She is so excited and so am I. 

Imagine if we can help her discover what makes her tick at a young age. It makes my heart so happy to think we could help her discover what makes unique.

Teach her to listen to her spirit.

Sometimes I want Candace, sorry, Candy, to try new things that she does not want to try.  I have learned to really listen to what she is not saying.  Sometimes it is fear or insecurities on her part and sometimes she does not really want to do it and I have to back off and listen.  We talk through things and then I let her decide.  It makes her feel powerful.  Feeling powerless is a horrible feeling.  I want to her to feel fear and then be fearless and the only way to do that is to identify the fear and then plunge forward.  My job is to cheer her on, give her a little push, maybe hold her hand and maybe let go.

Make eating healthy normal and a way of life. 

I want Candace to think it is normal to eat healthy.  She LOVES SMOOTHIES!  She can make them herself.  Healthy snacks have become her favorite snacks.  When I make healthy food fun and tasty she does not want the junk.

 I could go on and on but as a healthy role model I must get up and go to the gym to face a fun hour of cardio.  (yes, I mean fun, I have a cardio partner who makes the hour fly)

Candy in her new apron

Candy in her new apron

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I lost seventy pounds in nine months six years ago.  People would come in my office at work, close the door, and say, “Okay, exactly what are you doing to lose your weight?”  I would tell them, they would say okay and leave.  My commitment to lose weight at that time was extreme, OCD.  My husband and I had talked and we determine that I would take the next year and dedicate it to me losing the weight.  My life had been about everyone else and it was time for me to concentrate on me.  So in a nutshell here is what I did.

Nutrition
Measured everything I put in my mouth.
Wrote everything that went into my mouth on fitday.com (free site)
             (if I could not tell the calorie content, I did not eat it)
I looked at every label to check the calories, fat, carbs and protein
When I ate out I looked up the nutritional information before I went and decided what I would eat.  If they did not
             have it, I called ahead or asked for the information when I got there.
I did not eat sugar for 9 months.
I ate 30% fat, 30% protein, 40% carbohydrates. 
I ate every three hours from when I got up until I went to bed.
I ate fat, protein and carbs at every meal.
My trainer looked at my fitday daily reports each week.
EXERCISE
45 minutes of cardio five days a week.
Weight training with my trainer three times a week for one hour each time.
Heavy weights.
My trainer weighed and measured me every two months.
MIND
I journaled almost every day.
No more self defeating statements
Positive affirmation and visualization
Went to counseling to help with body image
I told my trainer my fears and we conquered them one by one.
What did I lose in those nine months:
70 pounds
some friends
years of fears
time at home with my family
years  of failures
lots of sleep (I had insomnia)
my mind at times  (I was obsessive-compulsive about it)
shame
humiliation
What did I gain:
time with my family  ( I will live longer now)
I can love my husband and  kids better
new friends who want to be healthy also
muscles
belief I could conquer my fears
belief I was worthy of taking care of myself
belief that I mattered
love for myself
education on what to eat
education on how to exercise
education on how to treat myself and others
education on how to think
a new career
a scarred but new body
a love for sweating
better sex 🙂
confidence
a healthy respect for myself and others
peace (now I sleep great)
my mind–I don’t let negative thoughts control my life
I could go on and on about what I gained.  You ask, Was it worth it?  ABSOLUTELY!!!  Would I do it again!! Yes.  Do I think there is a better way?   I think there is a less compulsive way, but it was part of my journey.   I am trying to live out  a more balanced approach and encourage my clients to go that route. 
I found that you cannot mantain extreme results without extreme behaviors and that is not how I want to live. I WANT BALANCE!
My approach now to maintain and better myself:
eat moderately
eat nutritiously
exercise five days a week
     4-5 days of cardio, 30 minutes to an hour
    4-5 days of weight lifting
keep working on the transforming of my mind and spirit. 
Losing weight was a short term goal, maintaining it and learning to live a BALANCED, healthy life is a life time journey that I love!!!

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Role model–Self centered?

I grew up a preacher’s daughter and from a very young age was taught to give to others.  In the past, I took this to the extreme and gave away everything I had emotionally and physically.  I had no energy to love myself because I was so busy taking care of other people.  I thought others needed my help.  It was an excuse that I hung on to for many years.

As I started to get healthier emotionally and started to get things I needed I felt selfish.  It made me feel sick inside for me to ask my daughter to ride the bus so I could go to the gym.  When she got off the bus I was not there.  My family had to eat an hour later.  Honestly, they were not used to it either, it was uncomfortable for everyone, but I pushed on because I knew I would physically and emotionally die  if I did not start to take care of myself.  It took a while for us to get over the uncomfortable feeling (probably a year) but we all adjusted and reaped the benefits.  I was getting in shape physically and emotionally and my family was getting a happier healthier mom.  It was a win/win.

Believing that taking care of myself would benefit others was the way I got in the gym and then it grew into taking care of  myself because I mattered followed.   In the past, doing something for myself seemed self centered, now I realize that taking care of myself is not selfish but the only way I can truly give effectively to others.  Everyone benefits when I take care of myself.

I want to role model for my girls what a healthy mom looks like, how she treats herself and others.  Taking care of myself is a great place to start.

Are you taking care of yourself ?  What is something you can do for you today that would make you healthier?

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My body was telling me

Last week I struggled with my food and exercise.  I really was not sure what was going on, but it did not feel good.      

I was
     tired
     moody
     craved carbs
     just wanted to sleep (very unlike me)
     energy levels very low
     felt mildly depressed

Today I went to see my hematologist.  I was a little disappointed to learn that I am anemic again.    I really should not have needed the blood test to tell me this, I HAD ALL THE SIGNS!     

I am learning to listen to my body but still do not always catch the cues that it is physical.  A couple mornings in the last week I did not get up early and go exercise.  My energy was low and I had no push. 

Being kind to myself, not doubting my commitment and not being afraid to do what is best for my body has been scary for me in the past.  Today, I realize I am anemic, I will listen to my body, and do what it takes to take care of my body.  For me that means, add a vitamin, rest a little more, and listen to my body.

So, another lesson learned.

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Only one thing

Here is your assignment, yes, you have homework!  Choose ONE habit in your life that is unhealthy and come up with a healthy alternative and start putting it into practice this week.  In the past, I have seen a lot of negative behaviors in my life, got all hyped up, made a list of changes, got completely overwhelmed and either started and gave up or never started because the list was so daunting. 

Last year I was not allowed to lift weights or do cardio the last two months of the year, I ate pretty bad during Christmas and my spirit was afraid of the task of getting healthy things back into my life, so I made a plan to work on one thing at a time.

January:   I was going to do some form of cardio six days a week for 30 minutes. 

February:   Add weights back into my routine.

March:  Eat less starch carbs.

April:   I started doing cardio four or five days a week for longer periods with intervals at least two days.

May:   I am working on spacing my food out through the day because I have low energy late in the afternoon and then starting eating the wrong things.   (My hubby and I are having a debate, he thinks it should be: me finding more time to sleep–I am reconsidering, all studies show you will gain more health by getting the sleep your body requires–it is an issue of great importance)

I am not saying I did not change anything else but I focused on that one area.  I will tell you a secret, when you get one healthy thing in your life and are successful you want more and more, it becomes easier and easier.  Success breeds more success.  Here are somethings I have learned in the last four months:

Delayed gratification is so much more rewarding than instant.

Getting my body back takes time, I must be kind and patient with myself.

If I want to lose weight I must do the time on the cardio deck. (I really already knew this, but walking it out has paid off!)

When I got the starchy carbs out of every meal I did not crave them as much.  (I eat a LOT of raw veggies and some fruit in their place)

The people whose bodies I admire work really hard and have for a long time.

I feel better eating less bad fat and starchy carbs.

When I eat healthy I do not crave as many unhealthy foods. (except the week before my period–that is a work in progress!)

I feel successful because I am gauging it on the ONE thing I am working on.

If I could choose for most of my clients what the first thing they would work on first it would be their mind.  The mind is the one of the first things my trainer helped me change.  Changing negative talk into positive talk will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Can you share with us one change you have made or will start to work on?

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