Monday, February 16, 2015

Year 3, Day 80: A silly new idea...

I really like this time of year because there are so many articles about losing weight, getting in shape, etc. I think with having so many articles available it really shows that what is most important is being consistent than any one thing.

This article from Prevention is a great example of my point.

52 ways to lose a pound a week...some of the ideas seemed similar, but for the most part there are 52 different ways to change your thinking, change your eating, change your work out and reward yourself.

In all the examples (ideas from real people), the person lost weight and then kept it off by being consistent. My favorite examples are from people who lost weight umpteen number of years ago and still have the weight off - now that is consistency!

I thought it would be fun to try out some of these ideas (one idea a week and write about it). I am also pretty sure I have my own ideas and my own way of implementing these ideas. And finally, I am not going to try these ideas out in any certain order...just want to have fun. :)

So, without further ado, this week's idea is....

(Talk Yourself Thin) 40. Carry a pen.

The woman in this idea wrote about her stress instead of feeding it. She feels that journaling has become her no-cal stress buster.

I decided to try this one first because I already know how much I love to write; however, I have never thought of writing as a stress buster. I usually wait to do my journaling at the end of the day - when I am about to go to bed. I write in my blogs when I have the time and/or when I have something interesting to say...but I do not write to beat stress. I no longer write creatively (which I miss) and I no longer write down what I am studying (although I am helping my oldest daughter with her spiritual studies).

I know I am stressed. I know I am frustrated a lot by the end of the day...but I do not have a good way of dealing with it. I waste time on the computer. I waste time watching movies. I waste time playing games on my phone. I waste time instead of dealing with the stress.

A lot of my stress comes from things that I have no control - like children having their own minds and opinions about their life! Or being in town all day to run errands (which isn't necessarily stressful, but is very draining). Or having to deal with other people's personalities within a homeschool group or a church group or whatever group I am dealing with at the moment. And lets be honest, sometimes I am dealing with the stress within my own home - the clutter, the mess, the husband who currently is not working (but helping a ton with home school), etc.

Life is stressful. I think it is important to find a way to deal with it. I love the idea of writing out my stress...be it here on my blog, in my journal or even  random note on my phone.

Happy Journey!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Year 3, Day 76: Never. Gonna. Happen.

Yesterday I talked about an article by Dick Talens on four harsh truths that will make you a healthier person. Read the article here and read my post here.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the second harsh truth: When you fail, it's because you are "lazy"

Out of all four truths, this one was the hardest for me to understand. Hard because I don't see myself as lazy. Sure, I have times when I want to be lazy. I even have days when I am lazy. Compared to some of my type A friends, I may look lazy, but I am not lazy.

I know how to work hard.

I don't want to bore you with a list of things that I have done to prove I know how to work hard, but a little list to show I know what I am talking about would probably help. So here are some highlights of hard work over the years (in no particular order):

I put myself through school and graduated with a Bachelors.
I've moved more than a dozen times in my life and I pack & move myself (expect for two times - which actually ended up being more work after the move!).
I washed all the laundry for my family by hand for 30 days because we were without electricity (aftermath of a Super Typhoon).
And I have cleaned up after one Super Typhoon and dozens of smaller typhoons and tropical storms.

I also know how to be mentally tough when another route would be so much easier...examples include:

Attending church every week with 3 children and without my husband - this I have been doing since my oldest was a baby.
Homeschooling my 3 children since my oldest was in 1st grade.


So why do I find the statement that I have failed because I am lazy so hard to understand?

Well, that is what I have been contempating since yesterday's post.

When Talens said "lazy" he wasn't talking about being physically lazy. He acknowledged that sometimes it is better to be a little bit lazy. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a break. When Talens said "failed" he wasn't talking about the set backs that we all experience in our "get fit" journey. Again, he acknowledged there will be days when we don't exercise or workout as hard as we should. I don't remember if he mentioned "cheat" days, but eating too much food or the wrong food is not failure - it is just a set back.

What Talens meant by fail and lazy was the mental/emotional toughness. In my above examples, I was able to accomplish the tough tasks because I was mentally and emotionally tough. Granted, some of those examples I was forced to be mentally tough (not like anyone in their right mind would voluntarily choose to wash clothes by hand for 7 people for 30 days). In some of those examples, I was mentally tough because I wanted something badly or was passionate about something (getting my BA and attending church are good examples of this).

After talking to my husband, listening to him telling his Marine Corps stories to a friend, and dong a lot of pondering, I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to be physically fit/healthy enough.

I started this blog because I wanted to prove my doctor was wrong. My motivating factor was so strong that I overcame the obstacles of bad weather, long days, sick days and just plain "not enough time" days.

After a year, I wanted to branch out and try other things - like strength training. My motivating goal to prove my doctor was gone. If you read posts from year 2 you will see 1) I didn't write as much as I did the first year. 2) It took me a long time to get a good rhythm/routine down for strength training and 3) When I hurt myself, I didn't go back to strength training when the doctor gave me the green light.

In other words, I didn't have the mental toughness to get over a small setback. I already know I operate best when I am being rebellious or proving someone wrong; however, I would like to change that. I would like to become a person who operates best because I am passionate and want to simply operate best (my best).

I know, deep in my heart, I keep waiting for that magical moment when I have had enough of being out of shape, hurting, fat, tired, sick, etc. I am waiting for that magical moment when I wake up in the morning, I know that today will be the first day of a new life - of working out, eating healthy and reaching those goals.

This morning, I woke up and realized this has truth: That is Never Going to Happen!

Never. Gonna. Happen.

Never. Happen.

Never.

Why? Because that is not how it works.

When I first started going to church with the children and without my husband, I did not have a magical moment of "I'm going to church no matter what". Instead, I had days when I didn't want to go and had to talk myself into going. I had days when I need my husband to gently encourage/support me in my desire to go. I even had days when I didn't go, felt horrible/guilty and went the next week.

When I went to college, there were many times I just wanted to bag the whole thing. Times when I was tired of working jobs all through school and even in the summers. There were times when I wondered if all the studying was worth it. Sometimes, I didn't study as good as I should have. Sometimes I even failed a class. But I kept at it, I picked myself back up and kept going and trying and studying and striving to do better.

That, my friends, is the definition of a winner. That, my friends, is the definition of success. That, my friends, is the definition of mental toughness. And that, my friends, is what I have to remember when it comes to being healthy.

I am not ever going to have a magical moment. I am going to have tough days. I am going to have bad days. I am going to have days when I just don't care. I am going to have to recommit each and every day. I am going to have to forgive myself and move one. I am going to have set backs. I am going to have little victories. But I am never having a magical moment.

And I am okay with that.

Happy Journey!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Year 3, Day 75: Food for thought

I ran across "Four Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Healthier Person" written by Dick Talens. You can read it here.

The basic premise of the article is perhaps you, the reader of said article, needs to re-evaluate what you think, do and know about health.

Here is the quick list:

1 - You are responsible for your health - not your genes.
2 - When you fail it is because you are "lazy"
3 - You probably know less than you think about health & fitness
4 - You are too sensitive about your existing beliefs

I actually agree with each above item...although #2 is a little hard to hear...which means it is hard for me to understand. He does a great job of explaining what he means by failure and lazy...and sadly, I think I am in the "lazy" category...dang, I hate hearing that stuff.

I think what I liked about the article is it reminded me that it is okay for me to follow my own path, draw my own conclusions.

I did an earlier post pointing out all the contradictory information we are given about health and fitness. You can read it here.

Today, I saw in the news that the US government is changing its recommendations on cholesterol.

Lesson learned? Do your own research, when choosing to trust an authority figure - research their background, do not turn off your own brain and listen to your own body.

I am the weight I am because I chose not to be as active as I got older. I also chose to eat out more. I'm pretty sure this is a no brainer: lower output, higher input equals weight gain.

I am also pretty sure I have some beliefs about eating healthy that just isn't true. I don't know...like sugar is sugar is sugar so it doesn't matter if it is table sugar, honey or high fructose corn syrup. Maybe that idea is wrong...or maybe it is right. I don't really know. I've read one article and listened to all of my friends - in other words I have turned off my brain.

I want the easy path. I don't want to work hard. I don't want to sacrifice or make tough choices. I want to be lazy, but still be fit and trim.

People who are fit - real people, musicians, movie stars, athletes...whomever, they are where they are because of hard work. Because they listened to their bodies. Because they sacrificed. Because they were willing to ask questions and listen to the answers.

I'm never going to change until I am willing to do those things.

It is so much easier to make a small change and do a lot of writing about it then actually do the hard work.

Just food for thought.

Happy Journey!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Year 3, Day 74: Frustrations

I love writing. I love writing this blog.

What I don't love is trying to find time to write!

I will have great ideas for a post, but then when I finally sit down at my computer I can't remember the idea!

Some days I crawl into bed and realize I either forgot to blog or never could find the time to blog.

Then there are the days when this blog never even enters my brain.

End result is always the same - frustration.

No promises to do better.

Just my rant of frustration over writing.

I also have frustration over my lack of will power. My lack of time to exercise.

But I am pretty sure the frustration over writing will be solved sooner than the other two...

Here is looking forward to a better tomorrow!

Happy Journey!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Year 3: Day 64: Food Musings

I am not big on writing down what I eat...why? Because I am lazy. That is the short answer.
The long answer? I do really good writing down everything and watching what I eat because I want my paper to look "good"....and then I get busy, bored or hungry (or start craving a food) and the food log slowly becomes a thing of the past.

I'm still not writing down everything I eat, but what I am doing is writing down one meal I had that day that I think can be improved.

For example, the other day I had one of my favorite meals (which my family calls the Bruno Plate - named after my favorite piano teacher, Bruno.) The Bruno Plate consists of bread (either dipped in olive oil or a thin layer of olive oil spread on the bread. I like my bread toasted and a thin layer of olive oil spread on it. My oldest daughter likes untested bread dipped into olive oil.), some cheese (any kind of cheese works), and some fruit (yep, any kind of fruit works).

Simple right? Bread, cheese and fruit. Not much room for improvement....except that bread. I am still buying wonder bread. I don't care that it is white. I know, deep down, that whole wheat bread is better for me, but...I am the only one who will eat it! I hate spending money on something that only I will eat.

Yes, I am being whiny! Why thank you for noticing! Eating healthy, when you are the only one in the family trying to eat healthy is hard. A lot of compromises are made.

Yet, when I look at that meal...Bread, cheese and fruit. I know, deep down I know, that if I made my bread 100% whole wheat I am changing an okay meal (nutrition wise) to a knock out meal (health wise). Sigh.

On the plus side, I have decided to take this opportunity to start making my own bread. I can make a loaf of white bread for the family and a loaf of wheat bread for me. Who knows, maybe over time my family will let me slowly darken their bread....in the mean time, I am making a great big leap towards a healthier me. I guess, that is a win-win.

Happy Journey!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Year 3: Day 58: Helpful Food Advice

Have you ever noticed that when you choose to start making healthy changes everyone and everything has an opinion on how to do it?

I swear, every time I strive to eat better there are more articles in my news feed - be it Yahoo! News or FB or articles in a magazine - and a ton of friends/family with great ideas! So many ideas, in fact, that I always feel completely overwhelmed.

I saw an article once that listed every bit of advice for new mothers with newborns...the list was long and very contradictory. It was this list (and darn it, I wish I remembered where I read it so I could link to it), that made me start looking at healthy eating rules....

High Fructose sugar is bad. All sugar is bad. Here is a long list of names for sugar. All sugar operates the same. Eat sugar in moderation. Avoid all processed foods. Make sure there are only 5 ingredients on the label. Make sure there are only 4 ingredients on the label. Make sure you can read/pronounce/understand all the ingredients on the label. Sugar can not be one of the top 5 ingredients. Sugar can be on the label, just at the very bottom. Yogurt is great for you. Greek yogurt is best. Added sugar to yogurt is bad for you. Add honey, fruit and other things to sweeten the plain (Greek) yogurt you are eating. Eat your calories. Have a smoothie. Cereal is bad for you. Cheerios is pretty good. Whole grains are best. Quinn is best. Brown rice is good. Raisin Bran is healthy. So is Special K. Drink skim milk. Drink whole milk. Drink only organic raw milk. Do not use any condiments, full of sugar. Mustard is okay. Condiments that are organic are okay. Make your own condiments to control the amount of sugar. Salads are great. Salad dressings are bad. Salads at restaurants are to high in calories. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Eggs are too high in cholesterol. Eat meat. Don't eat meat. Eat complex carbs. Don't eat carbs. Eat apples. Make sure that the fruits and vegetables you eat are high on the glycemic chart. Make your food from scratch. Replace all your oils with applesauce. Olive oil is good. Canola oil is good. Canola oil is good. Coconut oil is good. Different oils are needed for different types of cooking and baking and at different temperatures. You need protein, fat and carbs at each meal. Fats are bad for you. Good fats are okay.

My head hurts, I am sure there are more...in fact, shout out the ones you've heard below!

Me? Starting today, I am making my own decisions on what is healthy...and you know what? It might change over time. Starting today I am eating Stonyfield's Low Fat French Vanilla yogurt. Why? Because I can't find the whole milk version. Because I don't like the last of yogurt, but I like the taste of French Vanilla. Because I like the Stonyfield company and what they are attempting to do (be a successful organic yogurt company). Because French Vanilla yogurt tastes better with Post Raisin Bran then the YoKids tubes I buy for my children. Why YoKids for my children? Because it has less sugar than other brands. Why Post Raisin Bran? Because a doctor once told my sister to eat Raisin Bran every day and Post Raisin Bran has one of the highest  amounts of fiber with one of the easiest to read labels. Why Post Raisin Bran with Stonyfield's Low Fat French Vanilla yogurt? Because I really like the combination and it stays with me longer than milk. But here is the thing - I eat like a snack. Yep, 1/4 cup of yogurt with 1/2 cup of raisin bran. Yummy and filling with lots of digestive benefits. Are there other solutions to make this meal healthier? Maybe...but I am not ready to go down that road yet.

And this what eating healthy should be all about. Finding a starting place, find what works for you and move forward. Ignore the advice and good intentions of others. Listen to your own body...you are the expert of you.

Happy Journey!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Year 3: Day 49: 5 Gratitudes for Friday, 56

1. For the opportunity to home school my children. I love being with them each day. Sure, sometimes we need a break from each other (that is why park days were invented!), but I truly love home schooling. It has given me an opportunity to see my children blossom into their own personalities, to see their strengths and weaknesses...and how they choose to over come those weaknesses. I find it an amazing journey.

2. I love that answers to prayers are good no matter when they are received. When my children were very little and had their struggles, I prayed and got very distinct answers for each child. Those answers still apply to their struggles. They still apply as to what I, as their mother, can do to help them over come their struggles. I mean, how cool is that?

3. I love sharing my passions with my children. Whether it be studying conference talks or reading books or making our home a place of peace, I love that my children are a part of the process. I share, they share, we learn and grow together.

4. I am thankful Steve, the children and I are taking a year to read excerpts from C.S. Lewis' books. I have a book that provides a new excerpt for each day of the year. We have had some fantastic discussions (only one heated debate between Steve and I....still feel bad for that one) and, I, for one, have seen the positive changes in my life already as I apply the lessons that I am learning.

5. I am really glad for the experiences of my life. No journey is complete without lessons learned, failures, successes....which all adds up to experiences. And in my case, the experiences that I cherish the most in my life are the ones that bring my closer to God. The good, the bad, and the ugly have all helped  me know God and to slowly become more like Him (trust me, I still have a long way to go).

Happy Journey!