A balance of Mind-Body-Spirit

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Self Esteem

Julie mentioned this in a previous comment and I am so glad you did, Julie, as I think it is an incredibly important subject. Honestly I think that is the cause of a lot of overeating... feelings of inadequacy and eating fills and emotional void.

Also the media keeps shoving these pictures in our face of a perfect body (skinny) and it starts so young with girls. It is a never ending cycle.

On the UC list (some of you are on) we have been talking about Flylady, who is a woman with a loving method of keeping your home orderly. FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself. I think this is the best part of all the wonderful things she does.

I know from experience what it is like to beat myself up, compare against others, feel I am not measuring up. She talks about 'finally loving yourself' in giving yourself small goals, and really appreciating your self for what you do do. Forget perfection. Embrace the moment, live life, love your family and all your imperfections.

For me it comes back to being a child of God. He made me. Even if I was the perfect weight and did all I could humanly do to perfect my body, I still would not measure up to the magazines. I have super broad shoulders so look like a linebacker in those cute little cap- T shirts. I have large bony shins and white skin just like my dad and gramma. I have my mother's side German nose, which is knobby on the end. Nothing like J Lo's.

Someone made me this way... who? Why? Am I beautiful? I am to God. I must be or he would not have made me this way! That really has to sink in with me and I have been pondering it ever since faith became important to me, which was a decade and a half after I first noticed I was not really 'beautiful', around age 14.

I also think about St. Paul and his 'affliction', whatever it was. He had one that drove him nuts. Scripture don't tell us what it was. But about 6 years ago when I was really frustrated with dieting and finding my good weight, I shared that with a trusted friend. She said, maybe that is MY affliction, like St. Paul had his! What? Would God use something so superficial as that to reach me? God uses everything. He created everything. He knows every thought, not matter how trivial or silly it is.

Then, I think, it is probably very, very good he did not make me beautiful. I am so selfish now, imagine how vain and uber-selfish I would have been if I was gorgeous and men had been falling all over me. I would have been doomed and never listend for his voice.

So, I think it is about finally loving yourself. I still struggle. I like it when I am trim and dress and clothes fit well. I like to look good. But then I also realize that if I am not that good-looking, it doesn't' matter.. I don't have to look at me... everyone else does! Ever think about that? What we really should want is other people to look great, since we have to look at them! ha ha

But, now, what I am really trying to do is think about the balance- mind/body/spirit

Focus on a balanced life- feed my mind. I know how to do that, and luckily enjoy it. And if we keep great ideas to keep us interested, excited and sharing. (and not bored.. that leads to eating!) It also helps me get outside of 'myself'. There is a larger world than just ME ME ME. :0

Body- Ok, the toughie.. WHY do I want to eat right and exercise?
As I approach 50 this year, there is a shift. I have more friends with health issues. I see parents and other elderly passing away. I see quality of life issues. I know I can't prevent them all, but I want to treat my body as well as I can. For me and my family.

When I was about 30 pounds overweight 2 years ago, the final straw was movement. I could not run around move, play with my kids. I was awkward and I really didn't like that. It was affecting the kind of mom I wanted to be.

So, I want a healthy body that can also give as much to those around me as I can.

Also, I have to admit it, I want to feel good. I have more energy. I have less stress. I can do more. I am happier. I am better to those around me. I know saints have suffered and still were sweet and maybe that is what God wants me to do.... suffer, maybe be really really fat and still learn to be sweet to others. Wow, that would be tough for me. Oops.. I hope I didn't give Him any ideas!

But I also like to be slimmer, because I feel better about myself. Not only slimmer but the weight training you were talkinga bout Julie... I can just FEEL better walking through the grocery stores, like my muscles are working in tandem, smoothly and I am not dragging and off balance. If this makes sense to anyone.

And spirit- the ultimate goal. I would give up the other two for this. I know ultimately I would. But what is God asking of me? He knows I am human and I think I function better if I am healthy. God wants what is good for me. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. He wants us to be healthy, but not vain. It is only with his help I can do that.

But, like I said, he didn't make me too beautiful, so I never will get too vain....

Finally (on this tome..lol) I want to say, I really am beautiful. Ok, this sounds weird, but the past years I have been able to look at people and see real beauty in them even if they are not beautiful by worldly standards. I think this is gift from God as I grew up in the midst of pop culture of the 70s and 80s. I think I have learned to see people's souls, to know each one has a beautiful soul that has been tarnished by the world, and the body God gave them is just vessel to carry it.. and even so the body is an image of him. Ever notice how beautiful Mother Teresa is.. when she is really not? Or Mother Angelica?

If I stand next to them, who is the most beautiful?

Wow, did I ramble....what do you all think about beauty and self esteem? Does any of this relate to your thoughts or issues?

Friday, January 30, 2009

February Challenge?

Any thoughts on a February Challenge? Who's in?

I already mentioned that I want to add in more strength training.

Still thinking about another focus for February.

Ideas, anyone?

Monday, January 26, 2009


Strength Training increases our Metabolism and Reduces Body Fat Research studies have shown that if we increase our lean muscle mass by 1.4kg we also increase our resting metabolism by 7% and our daily calorie requirements by 15%. At rest, one kilogram of muscle requires 77 calories per day for tis sue maintenance, and during exercise this figure increases dramatically. If we replace lost muscle through a sensible strength training program we will use more calories all day long and therefore reduce the likelihood of fat accumulation. Want proof? In a 1994 study, strength training produced 1.8kg of fat loss after three months of training, even though the subjects were eating 15% more calories each day. That is, a basic strength program resulted in 1.4kg more muscle, 1.8kg less fat, and 370 more calories per day food intake!

This was a good reminder for me - so I've added in a few more weights sessions to my kickboxing...Hoping to make the January Challenge ny February Challenge, too.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

...This week...Positive is the key word!

Hello everyone!

Last week went pretty well...my workouts lagged behind a bit (shame) but I have been working on my nutrition and detoxing from the holidays. Have managed to incorporate our home based meals with lots of salads, vegies and fruits. Am feeling so much better for it!

I ended up seeing "Yes Man" this week....which if I had known about some of the scenes, I would not have gone to...but...the message of being positive kept resounding in me! Of taking on the challenges (within reason...which he failed to do and burst some bubbles along the way )and of facing the challenges and opportunities in life with the "I will and I can" attitude....what we have been talking about in our efforts right along....this attitude opened up the doors to many great experiences for him, which he would have otherwise missed out on!

I can tend to be overcautious in many ways...
Spontaneous on one hand or so I think... but much often weighing myself down with the "oh what if" or " I can't do that" thoughts.
In the end undermining myself. My husband is great at challenging me in this way....but even then I'm like a stubburn horse that doesn't budge if I don't instantly feel comfortable with it!

So this week...my attitude will be tuned into positiveness!
Positive attitude towards:
1. My Ab Bootcamp exercises
2. My Eating habits
3. My personal relationships with my kids and husband and friends
4. My fear of rejection with cooking: I am volunteering to provide a dish for a fiesta our church is holding next weekend

I'm putting scriptures up on the walls that reinforce this....I am going to 'love what I do...what ever it is that I do...So help me God!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

.....The Holiday is OVER...now I have to deal with the damage!

Hi Fitness Buddies....

I was missing in action....not wanting to come back from holidays...wanting to avoid the mundane for as long as I possibly could! For no other reason than that I loved the 'freedom' that being a tourist and exploring new things brings...but...Alas...though we walked heaps...diet was a not structured...found my appetite actually went due to the heat but we overloaded on Cokes, in an effort to satisfy dehydration and I now realize how WRONG that decision was.

The walking has made my legs really strong...but...I look like a paddle pop!

Lacking any focused upper body exercise, I look like a water balloon that has been squeezed from the bottom and is top heavy...and...oh boy...does it feel uncomfortable! I had taken a Tae Bo dvd with me but the cabin we were at had no dvd player and I thought that with the exercise I was doing...I would be ok...though I was swimming everday and walking...I have come to realize that the upper body is my stubborn section...it requires specific exercising...targeting the whole mass!

I agree with you, Cindy, about focusing on the positive. My realization that I have to do specific exercises for the upper body has given me focus...I just have to do it if I want to see results and it has to be long term!

I'm still catching up with older posts but just want to encourage everyone to keep on keeping on!

This week's commitment for fitness will be:

1. Nutrition
More vegies and fruits (we had very little during the holidays...lots of take-aways)
I like the idea of 'listening to our bodies needs' and the smaller meal concept...think my body functions better

2. Fitness
Ab bootcamp
Walking.....actually like it now...walking on the boardwalks of beaches of the Sunshine Coast were awesome! Maroubra beach here I come!

3. Mental Fitness
Positive thinking
Remaining active: relationships, learning, faith!

We have the power to change....Let's do it!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Good Thing

Ok, I am posting this b/c I am convinced we have to LOOK for the good things! They are out there, but so often I focus on what is not working/good/right!

Here is the deal....
My knees are cramping my style. I will be 50 next year. My body is telling me this. I can no longer do my step classes I love. Also found out today that Body Combat hurts, too. Any torque (twisting) hurts them. I had to give up jogging 5 years ago. Which was sad, too, as I have jogged since college.

Here is the good news---- I can still do spinning! (which I love). And the eliptical machine and with my music I can really get going and enjoy. That is double-good because if I do elip then I can go whenver I want and am not tied to a class schedule. Well, the elip machine is in this room where you are aimed at TVs. I find myself watching the TV and I don't watch ANY media news now. I am sick of the biased reporting, so I find my blood pressure goes up. Also I love fans blowing on me and they just have these ceiling fans that don't do much.

Well, this week, as I got brave and went in the big weight room *where the sweaty guys live*, I found a bank of cardio machines. They face out this plate glass window onto a lovely vew of the lake. NO TVs!! It is so pretty and you also get to see the kids play and swim the families go in and out, the moms chasing their toddlers to the cars... lol

AND THERE IS A GIANT FAN MOUNTED ON THE WALL JUST OVER MY FAVORITE ELIP MACHINE!!! I was even looking for a mini fan to bring in.. but this is perfect! I blast the fan on high, blast my jivin' music, watch the birds, geese and ducks, and get a great workout.

Life is Good!

Check In

Hi all-

Well, of course life got super busy the past two weeks, which makes it harder. Actually I think it helps the eating if I am busy, b/c I don't think about eating... but then when I do eat, if I am not very organized I have to grab quick stuff.

Like you, Leonie, my workouts are going great. But that is not a problem for me, as this is a long ingrained habit. It is nice to be at that place with it... just like brushing teeth, it is not even an option, I just do it! So nice, becuase remember when I used to talk myself out of it.. and took so much energy just to get there.

My eating has not been perfect, but I am happy with it in general because I am aware. I mostly did my rather strict eating plan to get myself back to portion control and being aware of what I eat. So if I go over, it is ok, but I think about why.. was I really hungry, or just tired/bored/mad/stressed. Etc. Because I KNOW I have eaten this plan before and felt great and not hungry. So that is my thing--- makeing that connection and awareness. I hope, hope, hope that one day the eating will be as second nature to me as the workouts are now. So I can live, go off the healthy stuff, but come back to it, like i do workouts.

Water is a challenge. AGain, I am more aware. I am setting little goals... I have a 32 oz water bottle I take to the Y. I drink my coffee on the way to the Y (bad girl, but I LOVE it!) then down a quart of water while working out. I make myself finish it if need be before I leave.

I refill it at the Y and then try and make myself drink it all on they way home (it is 11 min drive home..lol) So, if I do that I have 64 oz in already. Then try and drink water will all meals and only have non-water drinks for special things.
But, I am getting more aware.

So.. I am happy with the challenge.. it is keeping my focused and I have messed up but I am so far past beating myself up. What a waste of energy! Just learn from my mistakes and go on....

Friday, January 16, 2009

So, how's your week?

How is the challenge for you guys?

I am great with workouts ( usual) but not-so-great with eating ( also usual, sadly!).

Eating junk. Eating too much. Maybe habit? Maybe eating instead of...instead of what? Not sure ... want to think about it.

Good news? Haven't had any alcohol for 16 days ( no cocktails before dinner! no wine with dinner! sob!) - so that cuts calories and is good for my health....

Looking forward to your check in.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This week--even though it's Tues

Workouts scheduled today and Thurs am with my friend. Sat workout also planned, probably the bike here.

Still working on drinking my water. I want to focus on it long enough to make it second nature again.

That's it. I'm really trying to start slowly.

Monday, January 12, 2009

More reflecting on the challenge... :)

It has been kind of quiet here.. so hope everyone is doing well and the challenge is doing positive, good things for them, whatever their goals were.

I had kinda aggressive goals.. which I wanted, but didn't do too well the past week becuase frankly I had too many other goals, too.
I had some ambitious working goals and also faith related goals. I was getting up at 5 am to work out so exhausted completley by evening. Burning the candle at both ends. Eating for comfort, not hunger. Not smart.

So I cut back on a little of everything- that I was pushing myself with. I am playing more. Spending more time with the kids. I feel more refreshed already. I feel this is more doable now. I am going to work out again mid morning which I felt I could not before because itw as 'work hours'. Well, I don't care. Work can work around me!

I also changed my workouts, like you Leonie. Something new and different.

So, back to healthy eating... and working out. Hope it sticks a little better. I really do love how I feel when I stick to it, but then it is about ebb and flow.. right?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reflecting on the Challenge

I have been in a funk mentally lately. But still been working out! And my eating has been very mindful, until yesterday and visitors! Uh oh..

Mindful eating, not dieting? Nice articles here. Ten principles.....

1. Reject the Diet Mentality
2. Honor Your Hunger
3. Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat.
4. Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud "NO" to thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating under 1000 calories or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake.
5. Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food.
8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint.
9. Exercise--Feel the Difference
10 Honor Your Health--Gentle Nutrition

Also have been reading about the importance of cross training, and of weight training for women, especialy as they get older. So, I thought I should probably change up my routine a bit.

Saturday, instead of Taebo, did a FIRM weights workout. Sunday and today , instead of Taebo, did Turbo Jam - still kickboxing but with an anaerobic drill and capoeria.

Going to plan not to pick at food when tired after work this evening!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A week in review

To sum it up: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

I never did plan my workouts and guess what? They didn't happen. HOWEVER, in the spirit of starting over, I've already made a date for next week. :)

I found my water goal a little challenging so I tweaked it a bit and it's going much better. And I forgot how much it helps me to add ice to my water, but I'm doing that now. So most days I drink most if not all of my water and my little nursling is overflowing his diapers.

I have a friend who just joined WW and so I think we're going to try to hit a meeting next week.

Here's my quote for the week:

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. --Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Update

So, how's the January Challenge ladies?

Yesterday, I ened up doing an old (very old, very dorky but fun) Jane Fonda workout. It's on VHS - 60 minute aerobics called Lean Routine. Dance and intervals and way out clothes!

Eating was mindful. Happy to say I'd lost a kilogram when I weighed this morning (had put on 3 kgs over the holidays so one down, two to go!).

This morning I did a Taebo workout with one of my sons - Ultimate Taebo. It is a 90 minute workout but I am back at work at Kumon today so didn't feel like I had 90 minutes in which to workout. So, Greg did 60 minutes and I did 71 ( but who is counting, right? lol!).

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New stuff is hard stuff

Well, no prob with the workout.. had a terrific spin class today, then a mat pilates which stretched me out in all the right places.

My portion control was not great, but I did change what I did eat. Back to basics... lean meat, vegs, lots of water, oatmeal. It feels good to eat good. I can really see how far off I got when I try and follow something simple.

Handful of chips here, cookies there, glass of wine... it all adds up. I think the older I get the more sensitive my body is, too. Ok.. maybe tomorrow will be better and I can work on the quantity, too. :)

Sat., Jan 3

Well, even my simple goals of water and planning my workouts haven't quite materialized. While I did workout yesterday, I forgot to plan those for the rest of the week. And I'm usually able to choke down my first cup of water by 4pm, a second one by 9pm, and maybe half a third one by midnight because I've been staying up too late watching the Office with Bill.

Still, I think I'll sing, "Tomorrow" and remember that New Year's is not my only opportunity to start over and try again. Any moment that I rededicate myself to my goals is the moment when I stop being who I was and start being who I want to be.

Happy weekend, ladies! Thanks for the inspiration!

Friday, January 2, 2009

January 3

Pleased to say that yesterday I was mindful with my eating - thinking about what I would eat BEFORE I ate. Just that stopping and thinking helps. So, ate well - and not too much!

Today I did a 73 minute workout. Very proud of myself! A 31 minute Taebo Cardio Circuit 1, with Greg and with the addition of light weights. Then a workout that Jonathon gave me for Christmas. The 42 minute Crunch Cardio Go-Go. Think Go-Go dancers! Making a fool of myself in the family room.

But having fun.

Thanks for your encouragement in the challenge, Cindy. And for your updates!

January 2

January 1-
Not off to a great start.. Y was closed and I was still so sore from my weight workouts this week I could hardly walk!
Did great on food until dh made this elabortae New Year Day meal.

Loved that the family ate together, but I ate way too much. I am so tired of food. He is off work, loves to look up recipes and cook, but this has gotta stop. I am goig to tell him that I am going to be waching my food and may not partake in all he makes. (then he leaves ME to do the dishes... gotta work on the envirnment here!)

My goal is to eventually be able to just eat little bits of what he makes and enjoy the family...but right now I still eat way too much if the food is really good.. like his is. sigh.

I plotted out my exercise for the next week. Working hard on my water. Realized I am only drinking about 32 oz a day.

Hope you all have a great day-

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Leonie's Challenge Update

January 1.

Did my Taebo Workout, only time for 40 minutes.

Eating was cr*p, too much alcohol and too much picking at food. We had friends over and I just didn't eat mindfully.

January 2.

Remembered my affirmations. Reading Half-Assed but she seems so darn good all the time - always eating well and working out hard. Damn, that is how she lost 200 pounds whereas I am more of a bit here, a bit there person. Yes, I lost 80 pounds over a long-ish period but my biggest fear is ~ will I continue to stay there?? Will I get fat again?? Feel like there is a fat lazy person inside always struggling to get out...

My mind rebelled against the January challenge. Already. As always. I set up the challenge to do Taebo everyday so today I felt trapped. I don't wanna do Taebo -I love it but just because I said I must I don't wanna do it. So did a FIRM kickboxing workout instead- with weights. At least I never miss my beloved workouts....

Working on thinking about my eating, too - before I eat, not after!

Day One!

Hi everyone-

This is the beginnning of our fabulous January Challenge!
Please feel free to post how you are doing, ups and downs.

Today the Y is closed. I am mega-sore from hard weight workouts the past two days.

I am focusing on my eating and drinking water today. My big difficulty- snacking. Grabbing a handful of chips or cashews as I walk through the kitchen.

Make sure I take my vitamins, drink lots of water and do some yardwork to get moving. It is a beautiful day here, so am taking advantage.

Hope you all have a great day and great start to January!

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