July 29, 2010

Tell the Truth Thursday

Hey hey readers!

Gonna try something new here on Thursdays for a couple of weeks. Because we are all so busy, sometimes reading full length posts gets . . . well, we end up skimming, right? I know I do.

So, every Thursday, the post for the day will be a quickie...simply what I've learned over the past week summed up in quick, easy to read statements. Or maybe questions. {Because it's true, sometimes questions tell us more than answers. :)} No long-winded treatise or heart-rending, detailed account. Just something short, sweet, and hopefully helpful.

I can't promise it'll always be earth-shatteringly profound, but I can promise it'll be real. I don't know about you, but sometimes I don't share what I'm learning because I think its too elementary, that it couldn't possibly help anyone else. But . . .

We never know how sharing what we are learning 
will impact someone else.

I hope you'll join in the comments with some of your own realizations, lessons, questions. Let's help each other get our truth on, eh? If this strikes a chord with y'all, I'll keep it coming.

So, here's installment #1 of {drum roll please}, Tell the Truth Thursdays.

We are learning a whole lot more 
than just how to lose weight . . . 
we're building and shaping our character. 
No scale or disapproving look can take that away.

Set backs happen.
Plateaus come.
And, we do slip up. 
So what!
This is not a race, it's a new life we're building.

We cannot continue to do the right things
and see no results.  

Consistency is key to growing,
even when,  
especially when
we don't FEEL like it. 

What truths are you telling yourself today?


July 28, 2010

What You Should Know Before You Reinvent Yourself

Earlier in the week I wrote about how
our work,
our eating,
our workouts,
should never be miserable. I believe that if we hate what we're doing, we aren't doing our best. And, that my friends short changes just about everyone I think.

Living and working and reaching our goals should be FUN.

But, there are some things we should know before we embark on change. Call it a nice dose of perspective or reality . . . its just good to know what we are getting ourselves into.

First, this whole business of reinventing ourselves, whether we're talking changing our bodies or our careers or whatever, it is work. Not the kind of work described at the top of the last post, but still, it doesn't come easy.

But, it's not supposed to be easy. 

If it came easy, we definitely would not respect it in the morning. If it was easy, we wouldn't feel pushed or stretched. If it was easy, we wouldn't grow. So let's here it for HARD!

The other thing about reinventing ourselves is that sometimes it doesn't pay the cable bill or buy nice clothes or expensive nights out on the town. It might mean making some lifestyle adjustments. But, really, what would you rather have...a kick-ass day where you love what you're doing, believe in it with your whole heart and feel good at the end of the day OR cable TV?

Reinventing ourselves also takes time. I've never met anyone who truly changed their life that sped their way through it. It takes patience, thought and sometimes some very hard emotional work. So, the choice is, would you like to be ecstatically happy about your life eventually or spin your wheels, get frustrated and end up turning back to continue shuffling along in boredom?

All rhetorical questions with obvious answers. Changing our lives is going to mean some work, it might not make us rich over night and we gotta be patient. But, the upside is INCREDIBLE. EXHILARATING. EXCITING. 

... and SO worth it!!!!

After watching Breakthrough with Tony Robbins last night, and seeing what can be done if we can somehow pull ourselves out of the rut we're resting in, it makes me wanna push even harder to realize my goals.

Today out on my bike (still yet to be named) I rode for only about 20 minutes around my neighborhood. There are some hills...not huge ones, but noticeable nonetheless. I was purposely choosing to not go in one particular direction because the last time I went that way on a bike (last year), I had to walk my bike back up the hill. Humiliating.

But, then I thought about that couple last night on Breakthrough, and decided to go for it. Thinking about Kerri donning a swim suit spurred me on. Thinking about Mary with her open water swims, and I knew I had to try. And you know what?

I made it back up!! Without walking!

I was breathin' heavy, sweat was rolling down my chest, but you couldn't wipe that smile off my face if you dared to try! A small accomplishment? Relatively, yes. Important? Absolutely crucial. Now I can tackle bigger things.

And, about the hill . . . it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. That's the thing about our fears...they are almost always never as bad as we imagine.

So, what holds you back from change, or from trying something you've failed at in the past, or even just climbing out of your rut? How are you short-changing yourself staying the way you are? Please share your experiences in the comments.

Facing it,

July 26, 2010

How Do You Define Work?

How many of us go to jobs we hate, eat food we don't like, do workout routines that are boring simply because we feel we have to? Do you find yourself moving through your days with an "I-sure-hope-I-can-make-it-through attitude, eating boring food or food that doesn't nourish, watching television that fails to entertain?

Somehow this is how we've come to define work. It is no wonder that we dread Monday, fall off the diet wagon and find a million better things to do rather than work out...like watch mindless TV or eat. We are simply bored.

Find something you love to do and you'll never 
have to work another day in your life!  
~ Harvey Mackay

I embrace this quote, I ♥ it! Yet, so many of us never experience that in our lives. My personal philosophy has always been that life is too short to eat food I don't like, and that's how I gained 100 pounds! There is a measure of responsibility to assume, but, really, . . .

Our lives should not be filled with so much unpleasantness!

I'm learning that there are healthy foods that don't pack on the pounds that I actually LIKE. The ones I don't like? Umm, I don't eat them. But, I do experiment.

There is just too much variety, spice and adventure, too many flavors (literally AND figuratively) to be tasted to simply just endure, day after day. We were made for so much more!!! (DISCLAIMER: Okay, don't try ALL the flavors of ice cream here, it's just a picture to make a point.) :)

At some point it's good to ask ourselves why DID we choose this job, house, diet . . . you fill in the blank.  And, if we find that we've outgrown the old reason or it's just no longer working for us, to do ourselves a favor and welcome a little change. Of course not all things can change immediately, but  

There is always something we can do TODAY 
to move toward our best life. 

That attitude alone releases an energy reserve we didn't even know we had.

Since being laid off my 9-5 almost a year ago, I've spent a lot of time thinking about these sorts of things.  In spite of all the wonderful opportunities given to me by my previous employer during my time there, I knew in my heart that some changes in the basic structure of my life were needed. Badly.

So, I decided to take advantage of the new "opportunity" presented to me, {i.e. having no place to report for work!}, and set out to make a new life for myself.  I'm happy to share that things are going real well! Always a work in progress, but . . .

NEW kind of work ~ CHECK!

NEW way of eating ~ CHECK!

NEW way of moving ~ just yesterday, CHECK! Here's what I picked up yesterday, a little dreamy number to work my body in a way that I ADORE!

Isn't she a beauty?! No more staring at the TV monitor as I count down the minutes on the treadmill. No more dreading the dungeon exercise room with body smells from previous users. No more just sucking it up to get through. And no more gym membership fees. NO! I will feel the breeze in my hair and across my skin as I ride this beauty queen!

Work does not have to equal torture. Why do we do this to ourselves? Who are we listening to that we think our only choice is the one that makes us suffer?

I welcome your thoughts in the comments.

Werkin it and still smiling,

July 21, 2010

Two-A-Days Are . . .

This week the hubz and I are on a staycation. :) With a week off work, we're hanging out at home, cooking healthy meals, swimming, staying up late, sleeping in, just goin' and doin' wherever our hearts lead! Gotta say, it's been a blast! Who says you need a lot of money for a fab vacation?

So, not much posting this week, but I have been getting my workouts in. And, for the last couple of days I've been toying around with the idea of shaking up my workouts a little to get the needle on the scale to move. And, by move I mean move downward! After a couple of weeks of icky stuff going on and a few pounds up, things are now turned back around for the good.

While at my chiropractor's office a few months back, he shared with me how working out twice a day for just 20 minutes could really help me. Then, I read the same thing on the Jillian Michael's website today, altho she insisted the amount of time should be more like 40-45 minutes twice a day to make it really worth the while.  

And, I got an idea. Two-a-days that escalate. (hey, that rhymes, it's a sign!)

I thought, how about I start out riding my bike twice a day for 20 minutes each session 5-6 days a week, and increase the time by 10% each week until I get up to 45 minutes sessions? I think its sustainable, and it should help with my metabolism. And it means by October 1, just 9 short weeks away, I'll be riding 49 minutes twice a day!

I threw out the idea on twitter this afternoon and got some great feedback, AND little miss Andrea, aka @celeryinthecity said she would join me! That girl has lost 80 pounds, 80 pounds people! She's working on getting the last 20-30 off and is hoping that this little stepped up workout plan will help her achieve that. You can check out her blog HERE.

Me? I am back on track, makin' tracks, and now committing to doing it twice a day. Starting maƱana!

Wanna join us? Just leave a comment stating you're in, and we'll all cheer each other on! You don't have to ride a bike, but commit to doing whatever exercise you do twice a day.

And, if not, just sit back and watch us whittle our waists and be inspired. :)

Now Riding Twice,

P.S. I've got the progression week by week in the sidebar....always rounding up because it just wouldn't be right to round down. :)

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

July 15, 2010

Give Your Body What It Thirsts For!

If you're a part of the Awesome by August Challenge hosted over at Kat's Adventures in Dietland, you may have noticed that I've decided to contribute a two week supply of VEMMA Thirst. I'm really excited to share this product with you guys!

What's Thirst? It's a re-hydration product manufactured by a company called VEMMA. Real briefly, this company has designed a liquid daily vitamin/mineral supplement that is, literally, changing people's lives. (Go HERE and HERE and HERE to read moi's story!)

And, their latest product is THIRST, which also contains the rich vitamin/mineral formula found in every single one of their products!

As you know, when you sweat you lose important electrolytes and nutrients that are vital to hydration and ultimately affect your performance. Gulping down an over-sugared, neon-colored sports drink can't be healthy, but there hasn't been a better option... until now. (Check out more about it HERE.)

The cool thing is that doctors around the globe are now discovering Thirst and the other VEMMA products, checking it out for themselves, joining arms with this company ... and recommending it to their own patients.

Three years ago, Victor "Vic" Wanner, CRNA from Little Rock, Arkansas added Vemma as an additional dimension to his thriving anesthesiology practice.

And, the more Vic saw, the more he got excited and began sharing this nutritionally valuable product with his colleagues. He made it his goal to persuade 100 physician colleagues in Arkansas to join him and continue spreading the tremendous effect that the VEMMA product line is having on people's health.

Well, the goal has been reached! Dr. Rhonda Henry-Tillman, an Oncologist at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences was the 100th doctor to join arms with VEMMA.

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I hate selling, but I'm having a hard time keeping the lid on this one.

First, Vemma has vastly improved my own overall health, and second, nearly every day I hear the same thing is happening for many others. It's been amazing to see what our bodies can do when given the proper nutritional building blocks, and that's what Vemma appears to do BEST.

So, I really have to ask, what are YOU doing to protect your health? 100 doctors in one state can't be wrong. Add one of the VEMMA products to your daily routine so that you can be at your very best every single day! Thirst would be a GREAT place to begin!

Go here to learn more:  ItsInTheJuice.Vemma.com/Vemma/

To our health,

P.S.  VEMMA is so sure you will love their product that they offer you a no-questions-asked, 30-day, EMPTY BOTTLE money back guarantee. Doesn't get any more confident or better than that.

July 14, 2010

Wet Workout Wednesday

I don't know about you but about the only workout I feel like doing outside today is this one! This last edition of Wet Workout Wednesday features an excellent video that shows a bunch of exercises you can adopt into your own water aerobics program.

Take a look:

No matter what's happening outside, a good, solid workout is always possible. No excuses if you've got a body of water close by! So, if you are one of the beautiful bloggers participating in the Awesome by August challenge, here's just one more option to get your body moving.


July 13, 2010

3 Aha Moments

I'm having one of those introspective, pensive, love-to-think sort of days, searching for and soaking in answers from places where I haven't looked before. This post is the fruit of my day, and as I share what I'm learning I hope there's something you can take with you.

Here goes.
  1. Dieters trust anyone but themselves when it comes to what, when, and how much to eat. Most of us know the basics of a healthy diet...how about we just eat THAT? And, only when we're hungry, stopping when we're full. Period.
  2. Turns out our taste buds are in our mouths, not our stomachs! So, why is it that we gobble our food down like it's our very last meal ever? What are we really feeding?
  3. When we take shortcuts in life, we are voluntarily skipping something, usually what we perceive to be unnecessary for the journey. If you've been taking shortcuts all your life and still aren't where you wanna be, maybe the missing element, the main thing even, can be found on the long way around.
That's it for today. Please share your thoughts in the comments on any or all of these glaringly obvious aha's.

And, I appreciate you guys more than you will ever know.


July 9, 2010

Bob and Weave

It's nearly the middle of July. How are your 2010 goals coming along? Are you checking things off the list? Making progress, taking steps forward? I hope so.

Just in case you've experienced some challenges like I have, this post is for you.

One of the greatest challenges I've had in the last 6 months has been learning how to stay focused on the goal and at the same time be flexible enough to adapt when its clear that this boat 'ain't gonna sail that way. Getting very fixed and even rigid in our belief about how it all is going to play out might very well be the quickest way to sink the ship.

I'm a pretty laid back person, its natural to take things as they come, and I find intrigue and adventure in the unexpected. When I worked in customer service several years back, I never knew what was on the other end of that incoming call...a happy customer, an extremely busy customer, a customer that's demanding or unreasonable...it was the funnest part of the job for me! So, you would think this whole flexibility thing would come naturally, too.


Somehow this year, this goal, seemed way too important for me to just 'que sera sera' my way through it. I felt I needed to really buckle down, make a plan, stick to it, and arrive. If it were only that simple. 

The thing is that I've seen this laid-backness of mine play to my benefit many many times, and I'm wondering if it could, if it would serve me well with my health goals also. You may not agree with me, but for me it seems the more rigid and inflexible I approach something, the better chance I'm going to get discouraged and just chuck the whole thing.

Enter the bob and weave. It's a basic and key defensive move in boxing that has some very interesting parallels for us. Take a look:

What I heard first was about head movement...so basic!! In boxing, you're trying to not get hit while delivering some swift hits of your own. If you stand still, guess what happens?  Moral? Don't get so locked into the route you're taking to get to your destination that you miss your big move. Get your head moving a little. Assess where you're at. Adjust.

We can be so set on taking the fastest route between here and there that we forget about that counter-punch or that right hook. And, before we know it, we're clinching, hanging on the ropes and going down for the count. We've forgotten about head movement.

The second thing is that in boxing, you expect to get hit. It's part of the game. When we expect something, we aren't surprised by it, we aren't discouraged by it, we know it's all a part winning. Moral? Don't let a little pop to your ego derail you from staying in the ring long enough to get the win. Keep moving, don't give up, switch it up, make it fun, don't be so hard on yourself. And, smile. :)

In other words, bob and weave. 

Sometimes your movement will be forward, sometimes backward. Even side to side. Move full speed ahead when the way is clear, but switch it up from time to time. Back off, change canoes, ask for help and learn from others.

Above all, don't be afraid to say "I've changed my mind." Who cares what others say, seriously. Pursue your goals relentlessly but know that how you get there is almost certain to change along the way.

I'm wondering....does this whole idea of bobbing and weaving make you feel kinda free? Or does it just feel to loosey goosey to you? Please leave a comment.

Movin' forward every which way,

July 7, 2010

Wet Workout Wednesday

Hot, hot, hot! We've had great weather here in Minneapolis lately, PERFECT for taking your workout to the water, and I'm hoping you've had the same!  I'm bringing you today another edition of Wet Workout Wednesday....a 4 part series of short videos demonstrating acquatic aerobic exercise that you can take to the water and try for yourself.

If you're looking for water exercises that really get your heart pumpin', last week's edition may have been a bit mild for you. If so, today's edition should remedy that!

What do you think? Try doing that for 20 minutes and let me know how it feels. I'm gonna try this one tomorrow morning and will report back!

What I've been doing whenever I can steal the pool away for myself is to swim laps around the deep end for 15 minutes, take a short break with these aerobic moves, then laps again to finish up. I absolutely LOVE the water, and as one of my readers stated, water workouts are the only exercise where you can get sweaty without, well, getting sweaty!

What water aerobics moves do you know that work your muscles for a low impact workout?

July 1, 2010

What Else Can I Do Besides Run?

Was talking with the hubz the other night about the different things we're both passionate about, and the topic of running came up. If you've been following me at this here blog for very long, you know how I've wanted to, attempted to, and lately have been road-blocked from . . . running.

Now, the hubz isn't a runner and so it was perfectly logical for him to ask 'You are obsessed with running, aren't you?' {Ohhh, an open door to explain it all!} My face lit up and my heart was skipping happily as I reminisced about my old running-at-the-crack-of-dawn days . . .

 In college.

When I had my first real job.

And, as a newly married woman.

It just felt sooo good, the wind in my hair, my muscles waking up, the freedom I felt gliding down the street, and even the deep, rhythmic breathing...EXHILARATING!!

But when I glanced back at him he still sat there in bewilderment as to how any of that could feel good. Like I said, he's not a runner. He is very sweet, but he just wasn't getting any of this!

His crossed eyes looking back at me didn't bother me really, but I did have to admit that this desire to run again is perhaps me trying to grab onto a part of my youth, wanting to somehow hold back the hands of time.

For the most part I don't sweat the age thing, it's really only a number that represents a lot of living, lessons learned and some hard-won wisdom. But, physically speaking? I wanna look 40 and feel 30.

With all the trouble I'm having with my feet, I got to wondering later on if it is wise to hold on to the goal of running again {brilliant, I know}, particularly running as a regular form of exercise and cardio. Maybe there are other forms of exercise that fit me too {ding, ding, ding, ding}....my personality, my fitness level, my age, now.

So, a couple of days go by, and this morning I popped onto my blog and, almost like for the very first time saw that beautiful 50's bike in the background of my homepage . . . and thought . . . BIKING!

I love BIKING!

In high school I rode everywhere, to see friends, to downtown shops, to the public pool, to work. You can do it alone or with friends, on the street, on a trail, through the hills, even up and down a mountain! You can race if you want or just be a city rider, and set up a trainer in your living room in the winter. And, the best part right now for me...I can do it NOW.

I guess I had my heart so set on running that I couldn't think of anything else. Even my own tagline...

Losing My Behind
{one ride at a time}

So, as of today, I'm returning to my youthful and ever-living love of cycling. I don't know how far I'll take it or where I'll end up, but I kind of hope to become like that 92 year old woman I saw on the news the other night...riding her recumbant bike everywhere she goes, spry, lively, alert, fit and happy. Maybe I'll get into racing or riding those beautiful hills of Vermont on a biking vacation or who knows what else.

This seems almost like an adventure! Soon I'll be feeling that same 20-something wind in my hair, my sleepy muscles waking up, gliding down the street and probably, most likely gasping for air, ha! I CANNOT wait. Maybe I'll run again someday, but if I don't, its now okay.

What's your declared favorite form of exercise, and how did you arrive at the decision to focus on it? More importantly, what do you do when you can't do what you love?


Photos courtesy of Creative Commons: alarm clock, puzzle question mark