Thoughts on Fitness

As many of you know, I am on my Happiness Project. For the month of January, my focus is Fitness.

So far, so good. I’ve been working out lots and eating MUCH better! (and drinking less vodka 😦 LOL!)

Krystal and I were talking last night while we were working out (I know, surprise, surprise!) We were discussing that many people think they should just workout for a few months, lose the weight they want to lose (or wonder why they don’t) and then quit because they are “done”.

Our idea is that fitness isn’t something that you do for just a little while, it is a lifestyle change. It is something that you decide to just do. Something that becomes part of your life.

The discussion was that it’s doesn’t have to be just “going to the gym” or doing exercise videos at home (that’s what we did last night). It is a decision to be active.

What does that mean?

Well, let’s say you are having a crazy day at work, no time for anything, you rush home, take the kids all over the place, put them to bed and plunk down in front of the tv. The last thing you want to do is workout: Well, maybe you could just sit there in front of the tv and do some stretching/yoga. Just to relax and unwind. You will find that 5 minutes turns into 10 then 15 etc. just because it feels good.

Or the kids are outside playing soccer. Why not join in for a few minutes? It’s time spent with them, and some healthy activity for you!

Or instead of sitting at the computer in the evening, you wink at your hubby and say, “Hey! the kids are asleep, we’re both sitting at the computer… *wink*wink*” – you’ll both be happier and get in a little different kind of “physical activity”!

Or you try to park at the furthest parking lot at work so that you have to walk further to and from your office. Or choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Or instead of emailing someone down the hall, walk down and talk to them.

As you can see, it is just to make conscious decisions for those little things that get you moving. 5 minutes here and there throughout the day adds up to great fitness!

Fitness is a lifestyle change. Not something you do for a little while and then let it go. You will feel great and be healthier. You will be able to get out there and enjoy life!

Make some decisions today that will get you moving!

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The Die in Diet

How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions to go on a diet?

How many of you are starving right now because you didn’t eat breakfast?

How many of you feel guilty about all the stuff you ate over the holiday?

How many of you love good food, and resent yourself for deciding that “I’m not eating that from now on”?

MANY of us are there.

I have been there.

I am not claiming to be an expert or a dietician or someone who has any training in nutrition at all. I am only telling you of my experiences and what has worked and is working for ME in the hopes to give you some ideas of how to get off the “diet train”.

In my opinion, dieting IS equivalent to dying. What do I mean by that?

Denying yourself food that you enjoy, even love, is not living your life; in essence, dying. Because if you are not living, what are you doing then?

Skipping meals is just plain not healthy (especially breakfast, girls – you know who you are!), starving yourself is definitely not healthy. And then of course, it follows with binge eating. The yo-yo effect of eating this way does a lot of damage to your body. Not taking care of your body is equivalent to letting your body die.

Another “foot in the grave”: Beating yourself up about what you ate yesterday or even two weeks ago! Forgive yourself! Let it go! Being so hard on yourself isn’t good for your body, your spirit or your mind!

Don’t get me wrong – I have done ALL of these things. I still do these things! I am not perfect and don’t expect myself to be. What I am trying to do is just let it go. When I make a mistake; trip and fall down – I just get up, dust myself off and try again.

I no longer believe in diets of any kind. I have tried so many I can’t even count! Ones like SlimFast, Atkins, South Beach, severely reduced calorie intake, grapefruit etc. etc. Some have worked – I’ve lost weight while being faithful to them. But they are so restrictive and I was filled with such RESENTMENT towards them, they were impossible to keep on top of!

We are imperfect beings. On top of that, when we hate something, like dieting, it is extremely difficult to overcome our desire to get the hell away from that which we hate: the diet! We feel like we are dying!

Thus, the diet doesn’t last, we “fall off the wagon”, and gain the weight back, and then some, because our bodies are so upset and we binge on the foods we love that we’ve been denying ourselves!

What has worked for me over the past year is this: I eat. Period.

There have been days where I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast (what is it with women and breakfast!??) There have been days where I’ve gorged on greasy burgers. I definitely eat food that I love like pasta and cheesecake and stuff like that. I had a couple months (November and December 2009) where I wasn’t eating breakfast or lunch and I’d binge on whatever I could find at night. I was not taking care of myself and I knew it. I was letting stress control me, and not taking care of me just made it worse!

But…I don’t do that every day. And I don’t beat myself up when I eat these things or forget that meal. I wake up and decide, today, I am going to eat better.

My “eating better” is this:

  1. I eat often – at least 5 times per day.
  2. I eat foods that are going to actually do something for my body; from all the “food groups”.
  3. I try not to eat “crap”. But when I do, I try to only have a few bites. And don’t get mad at myself for doing it!
  4. And I don’t eat too much. I just eat enough for that moment. That may be something I love, but I try not to “pig out” on it.
  5. When I’m hungry, I try to think about why I’m hungry. Am I just bored? Am I eating to deal with stress? Am I actually thirsty? When was the last time I ate something? What did I eat last? Then, after I’ve thought about it, then I’ll decide.
  6. I don’t deny myself food that I love. At all. Life is too short to be denying myself anything. If I love it, do it! For crying out loud! What is the big deal? I am not harming anyone or anything by enjoying food that I love. It may be 3000 calories, but so what? I am not doing that every day, just once in a while. What is the harm? If I did that everyday, yes, that would be harmful. But, everything in moderation, right? Most of the time, especially when I’ve been eating really well and feeling really great, I find that I only need a few bites of the food I love to be satisfied. I don’t feel like binging, because I haven’t made it “taboo”.

Food is meant to nourish us and is a gift to enjoy. It should not be an enemy. We don’t need the “Die in Diet”. We need to live, laugh, love and to me, dieting gets in the way of that.

My Happiness Project focus for January is Fitness – thus, I’ve been focusing on getting back to my regular workouts and eating better. So far, so good! 😉 Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!

Now, go eat something good for you! 😉

Starting a Happiness Project

Happiness - it's in your hands

This morning, I have signed up myself to start my own “Happiness Project”.

I discovered Gretchin Rubin’s site a few weeks ago and I’ve been following her tweets. I think this is a wonderful idea. It is interesting that many of the people that I’ve been following and reading their blogs are involved in some sort of life improving strategy. It seems the Universe is pointing me in this direction!

My next step is to plan the monthly areas that I will be focusing on. In January, the focus will be Fitness for me. I am heading back to the gym on a regular basis (I’ve been neglecting that part of my life for the past month or so).

As I go through each month, I plan on writing about it. How it affects my happiness, ideas that I’ve found, how being happier affects other aspects of my life, etc.

As Gretchen says – “studies show that doing an action…will help you hold yourself accountable for your resolutions”.

This is my action – letting you, my friends and family, know that I am going to be happier in 2010! And also, to challenge you all to join me!

Comment and/or send me an email/facebook post and let me know you’d like to join in on the challenge. I hope to come up with some ideas and things to try so that we can be successful!

Update: December 18th – I am now officially signed up for another spin class in January PLUS on the alternate days, I’m going to try Box Fit class! Back to Boxing – I am really excited about that! I loved it during my personal training sessions last year.

I’ll have to spend some time during the holiday getting ready to head back to the gym!

Join me in this Happiness Project or start your own:

Happiness Project

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Start Over Today

I woke up early today – worried again.

I then lay awake fretting about what I did wrong yesterday and how I was going to “fix it”! I lay there “reading into” things said or not said. How I was going to make my point heard today? How was I going to fix this?

I had been away from the office for two days, so I was WAAAYYY behind an already behind pile of work. I didn’t seem to get much of anything accomplished and was fretting that I should work this weekend. I completely forgot about the two days I’d just spent getting inspired to FIX some things at work. I had been so excited, and then lost that excitement when I got to my desk.

I was also fretting about whether or not someone was mad at me! I’d left a few text messages, a voice mail, and some comments on Facebook. No response. That was the main reason why I woke up. Had I done something else wrong? What was it? I completely “read into” this non-response as “Oh Crap! Now I’m in trouble again!”

I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got up. These things were still going through my head. Along with all the things I wanted to do about them. Work extra hours. Write a long letter to apologize and explain how I’ve been feeling. Send an email. Send another text message. Make a phone call. Etc. Etc.

Then I decided, you know what, I always think better and feel better after I read some FlyLady emails. She and her Friends always have great words of wisdom. Maybe that will help.

Well, it only took like 15 minutes (FlyLady’s magic number) to start feeling better and reminding myself how to deal with things.

The emails that I have read so far have the message of stop beating yourself up about the mistakes you’ve made in the past! That is not going to change those mistakes.

And you know what? Everyone makes mistakes! A lot of people! Even people that we perceive as being “perfect”! We are allowed to make mistakes.

Sitting here (or laying there like I was) kicking myself about what I didn’t get done and what I should have said/not said is not going to help anything. In fact, it will likely make things worse – either in my mind or actually worse when I spend more time worrying about it than fixing it!

There was a specific line in an email from Jonathan Roche from No Excuses Workouts  that hit me the hardest:

“Don’t let yesterday’s missteps rob you of today and tomorrow’s victories.  Today is a new and beautiful day so use it as the gift it is…”

The FlyLady’s messages are always about starting over today. Just jump right in and get it done. She talks about how she used to always beat herself up about how she looked, how she cleaned house, how she felt about herself (she thought she was worthless and let people tell her that she was).

Slowly, these messages have been seeping into my mind: I cannot change the past or the mistakes I have made. I am not perfect, and that is a good thing! I am someone special that deserves a great life. I am not worthless.

Slowly, in “baby steps”, or little pieces at a time, I am understanding this. I am getting so much better than I was even only 2 years ago.

Everyday is another chance to try again. To make one more step forward. There may be steps backwards too, but as long as I keep going forward too, the net result will be getting further ahead! Just keep trying!

And that is what I’m going to do today. Start over again!

For more information on FlyLady and Jonathan Roche:

FlyLady

NoExcusesWorkouts