Sunday “Fitness”

Waterfall

Every woman I know is busy. Busy with home, busy with work, busy with kids, busy with friends, busy with family, etc. etc.!

And, most women I know say that they are too busy to take care of themselves. This is very hard for us women to do! We are so busy taking care of everyone else, that we neglect ourselves.

You have the right to feel good, have energy, and enjoy life! I can’t say that enough to the women in my life. Actually, to all of you. Men too. I know really great men too that neglect their health.

My Happiness Project theme this month is fitness. The point I want to make today is that Fitness is about taking care of Y.O.U.! Feeling great and having energy to get through the day. Being healthy so that you can be with your kids, spouse, friends and family!

Sunday should be a time to unwind and rest; preparing for the busy week ahead. Spend time taking care of you. Relax, unwind, do what YOU want to do.

Start with something relaxing: a warm cup of tea/coffee/cocoa and a good book or magazine or article that you’ve been meaning to read. Find a quiet corner and just breath. They can do without you for 15 minutes! Unwind. Focus on yourself. You will be surprised at the results! How wonderful even just 15 minutes of uninterrupted “ME” time can be. And it is NOT being selfish! Everyone deserves some time to themselves.

Here are a couple videos to get you “in the mood” for quiet Sunday Fitness:

On Female Self-Image

As I continue on the theme of Fitness for January, I have had several conversations this week about weight loss. Of course, this time of year, everyone is talking about it.

What bothers me is how many are going on these diets and exercise programs starting off with the thought of how much weight they want to lose, and how fast they want to do it.

My advice (and what has worked for me) is to not focus on weight loss/gain. Focus on the reasons WHY you want to lose weight.

  • Do you get tired easily?
  • Do you want to feel better and have more energy?
  • Do you have several different sizes of clothes?
  • Do you want to keep up with your active kids?
  • Do you want to be a role model for your kids because they are becoming “couch potatoes”?
  • Do you want to be around for your kids when they are older?
  • Most of all, do you want to feel better about yourself?

It all starts because of a terrible self-image.

This is something I have struggled with over the years and I’m finally getting a grip, though I still have bad days.

I have learned to stop beating up on myself for the way I look. We have to love ourselves for the way we are. Everyone gets older, everyone’s body changes for various reasons.

Focus on the positive: like having more energy and feeling better. While you may lose weight while on these “programs”, there are going to be some days where you don’t lose any weight. If you focus on the feeling better aspect, it won’t matter how many pounds you lose/don’t lose, because you will know that you feel better and that’s the important thing.

You didn’t gain this weight in 12 weeks, so don’t expect to lose it that fast! Focus on making changes to your fitness as a lifestyle and you will find that the 12 weeks will start you on the habit of an active lifestyle so that you will be around for your kids and set an example for them. The weight loss is secondary to that, in my opinion.

One of my biggest motivations for better fitness is my daughter. She is only 10 and I have heard her or her friends saying things about how they look! Already! Of course, we all blame TV and magazines, but it is up to us as mothers to set the example! Help them be strong enough and wise enough to resist the terrible self-image the media sets us up for.

Don’t let them see you comparing yourself to super models or “skinny” friends. Don’t let them hear you complain about your body or being critical of yourself in the mirror. Don’t let them hear you being negative about other women’s looks, like saying, “Look at that horrible outfit, what is she thinking”.

Instead, let them see you getting out there and having fun being active with them or with your friends. Let them see you carry yourself with pride no matter what your body shape, because you are beautiful! Let them see you making good food choices. Let them hear you lift up a friend’s spirits by complimenting her instead of putting other women down.

Having a positive self-image is the best way to ensure that our daughter’s do too!

Talk to your daughter (and take heed yourself!) to these:

We Are Girls – a video from Concerned Children’s Advertisers

Onslaught: from the Dove Self Esteem campaign

or listen to music that encourages them, not hurt them. Songs like this one from Kellie Pickler: Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful:

You are all beautiful! Just the way you are! 🙂

Update: January 11th – Rhonda posted this song:

Listen to the words!

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!

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

*