Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Leaf Wishes

My routine of walking at lunch has been great for my health. Yesterday I had a biometric scan and all of my readings were in the most desirable healthy range. Yet, I have a vision of myself about 30 pounds lighter than my current weight. My wish is to keep up the good work I am doing and inspire others to join me to reach their goals.

I look forward to losing excess weight easily and enjoyably as I head into the fall.
I look forward to seeing my creativity continue to find new ways to express itself.
I look forward to hearing what you want in your life.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Leaf - Making Plans & Changing Your Life

Reaching big goals, little by little.

Right now I am playing around with this idea of turning over a new leaf.

Creating new healthy habits and tracking them each day. A new leaf is like a clean slate. You can create your plan and begin making positive changes that will help you achieve your goals.

When making your plans these are good things to keep in mind.

1)BLACK & WHITE - either you do it, or you don't do it.

If you choose not to do it that's ok -- it just means something is more important to you than that particular goal.

For example, if I set a goal to not drink alcohol for the next 7 days and then got invited to go out to drinks with friends I'd have a choice to either a)decline the invite and avoid temptation b)go out knowing I'll be ok just drinking non-alcoholic beverages and will not be tempted c)decide I'm giving up achieving my goal and go have a beer.

There are more options about what I may tell myself I am deciding but all of the choices are going to fall onto either side of the line.

Either I'm going to follow through on my 7 day plan, or not. Lucky for me this wasn't my goal when I got invited out to drinks Saturday night. Don't get me wrong, I will be setting a 7 day goal along these lines at some point this fall - but until I feel motivated to want to do that, there's no point in setting myself up for stress and failure. When I make a commitment to myself to do something, then it becomes easy. No amount of trying to push myself to do something that isn't important to me will work for more than a little while. Eventually my desire will beat out my good intention. Changing what I desire is more worthwhile than just setting a bunch of arbitrary rules and charging forth.

2)DAILY - for this goal experiment, I recommend picking something to focus on that you can do every day. When you know it's on your list of things to do (or not do) then you don't have to think about it. When I make a commitment to walk a mile a day and I make sure I will do that minimum amount, I know my goal is achievable. I can either decide I want to set a goal to do this daily for a short period of time as in, "For the next 5 days I will..." or I can pick a longer period of time as in, "For the next 30 days I will..." anything longer than that and it starts to feel overwhelming which cuts down on my likelihood of actually starting it.

3)RIDICULOUSLY EASY - especially when starting out, if you know you can do it if you set your mind to it, you are much more likely to get some "wins" under your belt. If walking a mile feels like a long walk (which it no longer does to me) then how about walking around the block, or to the end of the street and back. Whatever the minimum distance you can commit to write it down and then track it daily.

4)ENJOYABLE - it is much better to pick things you actually like to do. You're more likely to actually do them. This is a good thing and will work in your favor. Making healthy lifestyle changes should not involve being mean to yourself, forcing yourself to do something you hate. Eventually you will resist this torture and come to your senses. There are millions of choices you can make to create a healthy happy life that is just right for you. Only you can identify the things that appeal to you the most.

5)HEALTHY - this is where you are the expert on what feels right to you. There are many shades of gray on what is good for you. If you are drinking a six pack of soda a day, then cutting that in half is a healthy choice for you, while drinking 3 sodas would be an unhealthy choice for a non-soda drinker. This is where your own common sense reigns supreme. Dean Ornish has a book called "The Spectrum" that explores this idea in great detail.

The point of all this is to start intentionally building better habits.

Trying to change everything all at once can work for some people some of the time.
But over the long haul it's the little things you do in your daily life that add up.
You are what you eat and how much you move as well as how you feel about those choices.
Happiness is measured by each of us in our own ways through our own values.

I find I am happiest when I am honoring what is most important to me. Being helpful, paying great attention to my family, taking time for myself to focus on writing, singing, and enjoying, recognizing, and sharing the gifts that surround me.

Now, if I could just get my mind to calm down enough to get some sleep!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Leaf Day 6

Lunch break walk 2 miles
After dinner walk 1.5 miles

The new plan is definitely working, I feel my mood improving along with my muscle tone.

Now for a little R&R with my family.
VACATION DAY tomorrow, and BEACH on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Leaf Day 5 - and Paul McKenna's Hypnotic Induction

Five Days into this current experiment and so far it is a huge success!
My 2 mile walk to Subway for a repeat of yesterday's sandwich was great.

Took the night off from exercise, just some reps with 10 lb weights for fun, and a handful of lunges.

Now, waiting for my iPod to load so I can listen to Paul McKenna's Hypnotic Induction
"Do not listen to this eyes closed process whilst driving or operating machinery..."

I like almost all of what he has to say about weight loss and the suggestions are good to hear over and over. I've been listening to it once or twice a day lately and my "desire to succeed" does seem strengthened. And yes, I can't help but feel insanely embarrassed to put any of this in writing. But at the end of the day, it's usually the stuff that is real that you'd rather gloss over that can really help someone. Since my goal for writing and sharing these thoughts is to try to turn on some lights for people - to help see familiar things in new ways that will make it easy to accomplish their desires, then yes, I can't omit the "I Can Make You Thin" author and his CD. I don't think he can make you thin, or make you quit smoking, but he does have some good things to say -- and yes, it is cheesy! - but he does have this great British accent...

There is one section where he talks about emotional eating.

"So if your old habits ever try to lead you to eat unnecessary food you'll ask yourself, What do I really want? Because you can learn to take care of your emotional needs directly. Emotions are signals that we need to pay attention to, and as you pay attention they develop and teach you as you begin to experience more and more emotional equilibrium in your every day life you feel so at ease with yourself."
Paul McKenna

I think a lot of times we try to avoid feeling bad. We have figured out that food is a reliable way to feel better. It focuses our senses on something physical and real which is a perfect antidote to whatever thoughts may be looping around in our heads/hearts. Finding other sense based activities to focus on, or using our imagination to call on a time when we felt great can be a useful skill to develop.

Pleasant Dreams,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Leaf, Day 4 -- 4 miles walked

Breakfast, handful of raw almonds
Lunch, veggie delight from Subway - 6" on whole wheat, veggies add avocado. No cheese. Vinegar only.
Lots of water.

Walk to Subway a little under 2 miles round trip
More Walking tonight family permitting.
If not, I'll take the 2 miles and call it a day.

This new leaf is coming along nicely.

I took the kids for a walk tonight - 2 miles. Carried Christopher on my shoulders, he weighs 50 lbs. Pushed Caitlin in the stroller with one arm. Great walk!

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Leaf, Day 3 -- 5.64 miles walked

I'm starting to walk a little on breaks at work.
It's .32 mile around the block. I did two laps. .06 mile on the short side, .1 mile on the long side.

Then at lunch, I walked to Ruby's to pick up lunch (not to be confused with Rudy's)
It was a nice 2 mile walk round trip.

Then after work I did three more miles before the kids hit meltdown need attention mode.

Total miles 5.64

I also resisted the pastries that were in the lunch room and the chips at Ruby's.

Now all I need is a good night's sleep.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Leaf, Day 2

Completed the 4 mile walk DVD - with 5 & 1 lb weights.

Want 3lb weights for the fast arm movements.
Heading out for a walk, it's a beautiful day.

That is all,

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Leaf, Day 1

Bought new Leslie Sansone Walk at Home Video on lunch break yesterday.

Woke up at 4am, walked one mile.

Then, followed up with a 4 mile walk with 5 lb weights for mile one.

5 miles Day 1!
That is all.

New Leaf

I like beginnings. I enjoy getting ideas and coming up with plans. Coming up with the plan is often more rewarding than actually executing it. Powered by my superior visualization skills I can see the end result of my ideas. This ability to visualize can be a powerful motivator, but visualizing myself leaner and healthier isn't going to make it so. Actually doing more of the things that I already know I should be doing can seem overwhelmingly boring. A life long quest for health and fitness requires continuing to note the disconnects between the plan, and reality and re-inventing ways to motivate myself into action.

I've been lingering in this place of wanting to do something without really getting into the follow through. A few days here and there on this plan, and then all the vices seem even more appealing, less and less good choices, and then another round of battle.

Discipline Endurance Strength

Daily Routine
The biggest changes don't happen over night - they are made up of the tiny choices we make moment to moment. Trading my pastry for breakfast habit with a better choice, actually eating the lunch I bring to work (instead of getting a higher calorie more tempting alternative) eating at meal times and finding other comforts in the evening instead of a night full of tiny snacks. Focusing on setting a good example for my children. Focusing on how I feel before during and after my action. I woke up at 4am feeling like there is not enough time in the day to fit in a daily walk. So I put on Leslie Sansone and walked a mile.

So many good things to choose, but walking at least a mile a day is an easy enough commitment. Once you go one mile, it is easy to go another, and another. It's getting up and doing it that can be the biggest challenge. I know I'm up for the task.