A balance of Mind-Body-Spirit

Monday, December 31, 2007

Fitness Theme for 2008.

I don't do goals well. Or resolutions. I get stressed.

Instead, I do mottoes and/or themes.

My fitness theme for this year is - Being Fit For Life.

Continue to make lifestyle changes and choices.

Continue to work out for about one hour each day with intensity, doing what I love, probably mostly cardio/kickboxing/AWT ( aerobic weght training).

Try to eat more vegan like - I already eat mostly vegetarian but want to eat less dairy and less processed, more whole foods. Well, only 80% of the time. I need my junk, my alcohol too, somtimes, you know. :-)

Watch portions - whether it be by eyeballing, food journalling, calories, points, food exchanges, whatever, it can vary.

Aim to lose another 3 kg ( about 6-7 lbs). Well, in my ideal I'd be super thin but I try to avoid my body image paranoia and low body self esteem trip. I aim to feel good about my more , well, athletic build. :-)

New Year's Resolutions?- really? lol

I was listening to KSBJ, a local Christian radio station and the DJs were chatting about New Years Resolutions. And how they are, well... often a flash in the pan and all the gyms are full of new patrons on Jan 2, but by Jan 31, the levels are back to normal.

I kinda feel the same about New Year Resolutions, but I do like taking stock, replacing my organizer with new pages for the upcoming year, jotting in important dates and taking some time to think about where I been and where the year might take us.

I also like Leonie's idea of a 'theme' she would have for each new year. Are you still doing this, Leonie? I have enjoyed thinking about this for 2008.

Anyway, back to resolutions.. these DJs were talking about how New Year plans often fizzle out fast. So what they have found is that 'each day is new'. We can start over each and every day.

We can dedicate each day to Christ.

We can forgive ourselves and others each day anew.

And of course, it reminded me of the beauty of Confession.

So... as I begin the new year, I am going to try and keep my focus long term, but also on each new day. I will stumble and fall, but I will get up again... it is really about the journey I guess.

New years is a nice time to take stock, but it is something I can do each day, each moment. Oh, Stephen Curtis Chapman has a great song about living in each moment.. and my darling 14yos son and I are going to his concert here on feb 14! I am so excited.

Wow, this post was all over the place! lol

Happy New Years!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Little Bit

I can almost not believe myself, joining a "fitness" blog. I have long been in denial about my need to think about fitness. My motto has always been "exercise needs to come out of my normal, daily activities." Well, frankly my fingers are fairly fit, and I don't think typing counts toward aerobic exercise. I weigh less now than I did in high school, at least Sophomore year and later, but I have a lot more jiggly bits than I used to. My muscles don't quite stretch like they used to. After my dd was born (I was 37) my legs hurt for almost a year if I tried to reenact the birthing stance.

Ok, so I'll admit it. I need to work some exercise into my life.

One thing I found works well, since I can't really exercise away from home, or even at home in much of a formal way, due to little people, is to try to keep up with The Wiggles. We have some of their "younger days" videos when they did a lot of dancing. I get my little workout (in the spirit of starting small) and my dd is entertained right along with me.

About eating, I do the Eat Right for Your Type approach. I lost about 15 pounds when I started this about two years ago, without really eating less, just changing what I eat. Dr. D'Adamo who originated this approach has a new book out on genetic factors in body type, and I believe it is supposed to discuss what types of exercise, et al, is most fitting for each type. It's been out less than a week and I obviously haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I plan to.

I look forward to be spurred on by y'all.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Welcome to New Friends

Hi all-

I posted on UC and my local homeschool lists to invite others to join. Please feel free to also invite friends you have that might like to join us, too.

The more the merrier!

And, we all are at different levels and have varied goals. All are welcome!

Dusting off the treadmill

Hi Everybody,

Cindy extended me an invite to this support blog so here I am. This is a perfect time too. Twenty plus years ago I was a model. We just unearthed my two portfolios and Robert (my dh) has been scanning them and putting them on the computer. My oh my, I will never get back to that girl. It's okay though. My 20 year old self was 5'7" and 117ibs. What is funny is that is too much weight for a model of 5'7" but if you saw the pics (and I will see if I can snag one and post it) you would think I probably needed to eat a sandwich...or two. LOL That was 40lbs ago. I am only interested in meeting my old self halfway. So, 140 is what I am shooting for, even though 20lbs seems like Mt. Everest to me. Stupid, I know, but still...it seems almost impossible.

So, I gotta dust off the very nice treadmill in the basement (which is finished and nice to hang out in) and just start walking. These are my initial goals:

1. Drink 8 glasses of water. Seems like no big deal...but it is for me. I know I don't get enough water. Coffee is another story.
2. Walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, at least 3 days a week, to start. I love music, but for walking I really enjoy listening to books. So, I gotta find some fun fluffy book to listen too.
3. Cook more at home. We are blessed (and cursed) to be able to eat out ALOT. There are alot of calories in restaurant food. I love to cook (especially to bake) so I really need to get back into that...as it feeds me both body (and soul).

I am not going to put myself on a time table either. If I lose it slowly enough, it won't come back quickly...if ever. The point is to change stuff slowly so that it becomes habit. I really want to become pregnant again and I don't want to be doing something so extreme to my body (like really lowering calories or tons of exercise) that I would have to abandon it, if pregnant someday. It needs to be something a pregnant 41 year old could do. So far, the above 3 goals seem perfectly fine if I should be blessed enough to ever find myself pregnant again.
So, thanks for this great idea. I am glad I am here.

However, tonight is my husband's 42nd birthday so we are having 40 Cloves and A Chicken (40+ garlic cloves, tons of olive oil, thyme, cooked for 2 hours....amazing!) A big crusty French Boule with fresh grated Parmesano Reggiano, some wine, and a big, homemade Chocolate Cake (served with milk and/or coffee). So, even though I am cooking tonite....I don't think it is going to help with those goals....but hey! it's not New Years Day yet!

~Rachel in ATL.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Year in Review

I went for a swim today and thought about what I had accomplished in the past year in the areas of balance, food, and exercise. I KNOW that being a part of this blog made me work harder and with more focus so I really appreciate your idea of having this and inviting us to participate, Cindy!

*Made exercise a normal thing to think about on a daily basis
*Improved flexibilty when planning how, when and with whom to work out
*Started a new sport--swimming--and swam enough to need a new suit! the old one is showing signs of chlorine damage
*ended the year at about the same weight as when I started--losing about 25 lbs before gaining it in pregnancy so both were fairly healthy situations (although I wish I'd gained a bit slower)
*Have admitted that some parts of my life are beyond my control and have gotten help (specifically with housekeeping)
*Have stopped feeling guilty about the time I need to take for myself to exercise or regain mental balance
*Have spent many hours analyzing areas of my life and considering whether they are balanced and by whose standards. This has helped me set some goals for the new year.
Goals for next year
*Exercise 3 times a week, regularly each week, swimming, riding, yogaing, workout videoing, running, or waddling....MAKE IT A TRUE HABIT!
*Cross train with the exercise bike more
*Eat more locally grown fresh fruits and veg and meats and less of everything in general
*Give myself a break to truly heal after the baby comes. Don't obsess about body image, school, or housework immediately
*Go to WW to lose pregnancy weight before baby turns 1 (This is what I call my "Zero Accumulation Goal" and it's the same goal I've had after each pregnancy and have made it or almost made it each time)
*Run/walk Race for the Cure with the boys and the baby in June.
*Consider an Iron Girl (sprint) Triathalon--doesn't that sound fun?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Intentional Eating

Thinking about Nimah's and others recent posts about intentional eating.... I think I am getting better at this.

I used to always worry over what I ate so didn't enjoy the food I did get.... like at feast times such as Thanksgiving and Christmas! And I didn't eat that healthy in non-feast times. So the lines blurred.

I am so much happier with how this Christmas went. I enjoyed my Christmas cookies.. (we baked over 12 dozen and gave most away)-- but I kept it under control. I ate light on Christmas Eve, then on Christmas my dh roasted a wonderful leg of lamb and the boys and I made some new side dishes we had never had before.

I ate and ate and loved every bite!

The yesterday, I drank lots of water, worked out and craved healthy food and ate light.

The light eating on non-feast days makes the feasts that much more awesome.

I kept thinking of what St. Teresa of Avilla is quoted as saying, when asked why she ate a feast of pheasants with such gusto.

"When you pray, pray. When you pheasant, PHEASANT!"

No wonder she is my patron saint... lol

Are we ready for a great new year? Yes!

I don't know if you all are into New Year's Resolutions... but if you are... this has gotta be the place. :)

I am looking forward to a beautiful new year.. full of hope and promise, friends and family.. and I pray for good health for you all!

I don't really have any resolutions. But, I always seem to have ongoing ones... things I am working on, ebbs and flows... and I am so happy I got serious about stepping up my exercise and eating habits last July. I can see and feel the difference and hope to keep going this year. It most definietly is 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, but as Leonie gave herself the gift of a workout yesterday, that is how I view it... it is gift to myself. :)

I thought I might invite friends on my local lists to join us here, too- please invite anyone you think might want to journey with us. All levels, all goals, all toward better mind-body-spirit health.

Does anyone have any resolutions or plans for 2008? Anything we can help with?

Love to all,

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I gave myself a workout treat!

Today is Boxing day, the day after Christmas, the feast of St Stephen. We had a fabulous Christmas day, two Masses, lots of visitors, food, family, fun...Probably too much food. :-)

So today was clean up time. And then, while dh went for his jog and the kids were busy with playing or reading or using Christmas presents, I decided to give myself a workout treat.

I did the whole 90 minute Ultimate Taebo workout.

I usually don't find tome for a 90 minute workout. 60 minutes is my workout time, a bit less if I'm really strapped for time. But I have wanted to do this whole workout - bought it a few months ago and usually do only 60 minutes of it. Did 70 minutes once.

Except for today. I did the whole 90 minutes - it was COOL!

My post Christmas treat to myself ( and a good way to work off some of that extra food! lol!).

Merry Christmas to all my fitness friends!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bigger Picture

Hi all-

Well, I think I am past the worst of this virus I have had. I was on a pretty good exercise program, working out almost every day. Because of this illness I have not been able to work out at ALL for almost 2 weeks. Yesterday I finally got on the elpitical machine for 30 min and took it slow. But it felt so good to sweat!

The two weeks gave me a lot of time for reflection, while I felt so crummy, and a lot was not positive. I just felt so sick of being sick and missing my workouts, too. Finally I realized that God might be telling me that I am not in control like I like to be. I ended up growing some... a good thing. This is just a journey, the health and it is just one aspect of life... it all intertwines.

Anyway, I was looking around for some supportive articles about how to get back on track. You know, once I feel like a Couch Potato, I tend to want to stay a Couch Potato! I liked this woman's response. Adding to that, that we are God's children, and our faith gives us unbounded reasons to be positive... it really helped.


BeckyC said... (her response to a reader who was under stress and made bad food/lifestyle choices)

I've found that it only makes me feel worse when I say "I made bad choices." When I get down to it, it was the right choice at the time when I made it (pleasure over pain = right choice at the time). So instead of whapping myself over the head with guilt, I say applaud yourself for being aware of your regret.

I mean, there's a HUGE difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. And along the way all choices lead to experience. So be kind to yourself, and remember that being healthy and attentive to your family is more important than a number on a scale. You love them for who they are, not for their weight. And they love you no matter your size too. They just want you to know you deserve the best!

So, next time, when you know you're in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation, pack a travel bag. Bring some comfort fruits or healthy snacks. Maybe something to do (book? Magazine? Crochet? Crosswords?) Its different for each of us.

My choice is the Gratitude Attitude list. Anywhere you are and you are stressed, look around you and make a list of what you are grateful for this very moment. My list always starts with indoor plumbing, heat/AC, and the people who are helpful. It can even be as simple as being grateful for the chair under your tuckas and the pen in your hand. Everything goes on the list, the safety of the building, the clean sheets, the working car, the clothes you wear. I often forget how lucky I am. So many people are less fortunate than I.

I remember how grateful I am for the details and the big picture takes care of itself. Soon you're flooded with relaxing gratitude and are able to look at the situation without thinking of food. Works everytime for me. (Even in rush hour traffic or red lights!) But remember you are important to take care of too. The care you extend to others is also the care you deserve of yourself. Hang in there.
As Abe Lincoln said "Whatever you are, be a good one."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Superfoods and Not so super foods.. :)

Here are some lists from a couple of articles I just read... The first talks about super foods.. those that give you a lot of health-bang for the buck! The second lists some things that snackers (like me) fall for. I couldn't believe how many calories in a chip or a spoon of cookie dough! EEEK! The article reminded me of N's 'intentional eating'....


The latest buzz in the nutrition field is the term "superfoods" or "functional foods". These terms refer to wholesome foods that provide a high level of nutrients in each serving, particularly antioxidant vitamins, healthy fats, and/or phytochemicals that help fight disease. There are no strict guidelines yet as to what qualifies as a "superfood". However, for an idea of some food items that health experts have regarded as "superfoods", check out the following list:
Citrus Fruits
Eggs (from free range chickens)
Flax Seed
Green Leafy Vegetables (chard, kale, etc.)
Green Tea
Olive Oil
Orange Vegetables
Sea Vegetables
Soy Products (tofu, etc.)
Tomatoes (especially cooked)
Whole Grains
YogurtIn light of the fact that some foods are indeed healthier than others, I suppose the term "superfoods" or "functional foods" is fitting and appropriate. Filling your diet with nutrient dense foods such as these can be beneficial and health-promoting, so indulge!

Attention, You Nibblers
Article by Maia Appleby

MyFoodDiary.com Contributor

I often hear people say that, although they watch what they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they just can't seem to lose any weight. Following this statement, many of them add that they nibble on the things they miss eating, figuring that just one bite won't make any difference. When you look at the big picture, one bite probably won't, if we're really talking about one bite.Chronic nibblers, on the other hand, eat a lot more than they realize, and are often in denial about it. They consume excess calories several times each day without even realizing it, assuming that tiny amounts of this and that don't count. They do count, though. If you're nodding your head with a guilty grin on your face, you've taken the first step toward recovery.Here are a few examples of what you're consuming when you sample some of the most tempting items you encounter throughout the day, and the number of calories they contain. Keep in mind that most of these are high in fat and sparse in nutrients:
One fried chicken wing: 200
One teaspoon of cookie dough: 170
One fried spring roll: 104
Mayo on your sandwich: 100
One square of cheese: 100
One tablespoon of either peanuts or peanut butter: 90
One cocktail meatball: 85
One pig in a blanket: 85
One spoonful of icing: 80
One lollipop: 50
One crab puff: 42
Five M&M's: 40
One potato chip with onion dip: 40
One potato chip plain: 32 How can this be remedied? Simply by recognizing it. Be mindful of every bite you eat, no matter how insignificant it seems. Keep a food diary. You'll be surprised at how these little tidbits add up.

A balance of Mind-Body-Spirit

Thought for the Day

"Good friends are good for your health."

~Irwin Sarason

"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! And happy people just don't shoot their husbands!"

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde