Friday, February 22, 2013

Who Do You Hang Out With?

Did you know that the people you choose to hang out with will be what you become? It's true!
Now, this can be good or bad in all aspects of life but especially when it comes to eating right and living a healthy lifestyle. Have you ever had that family get-together where everyone gets to bring their favorite appetizer or side dish? Maybe it's one of those things where you're planning to splurge a little bit on this particular occasion? Or maybe you had intentions of eating very clean and sticking with only the healthy choices, but when you saw everyone else dishing up the bad, you thought why not?! I know I have been guilty of this.
It's very easy to mold ourselves into the people we hang around with. It's like teenagers and peer pressure. How much pestering will it take before you give in? How much negativity to the brain will it take? What about not seeing results and progress? All these things, if not carefully monitored, can lead to disaster.
On the flip side, what happens when we surround ourselves with those that our motivating to us. Who build us up. Who inspire you to make good choices. Who encourage us to be the best we can be. We want to become that person, right?
For me, being healthy has become a way of life. It's who I am these days. I'm not saying every day is perfect or even every week or even every month. I'm human. I have my moments. But overall I have made the choice (as everything we do is surrounded by choice) to live my life as healthy as I can. I want to live to see my children married and to experience and play with the grandchildren that will be brought into this world for me to enjoy. I so enjoy being active and able to do things I haven't done in the whole 40 years I've been alive.
I hope God sends each one of you daily reminders of how remarkable and special you are, and that for Him, you will have the desire and admiration to become the best YOU, you can become. The YOU that attracts others to want to be in your presence. I know what it's like to feel down in the dumps and unmotivated and sad about who I am but I also know what it's like to feel like I'm on top of the world and worth more than I ever could have imagined!

(Literally on top of the world with some of my favorite people!)

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Do You Talk to Yourself?

It's interesting how the body and mind work. When I look back on all the "then" moments and compare them to the "now" moments, there is such a HUGE difference. We really are what we tell ourselves......
I'm too fat.
I can't.
I need to go on a diet.
This is just how I was born.
It's too hard.
I'll never be small.
I like food too much.
I can't run.
I don't have time.
It's my metabolism.
I'm too tired.
I'm too old.
I don't enjoy exercise.
I can't give up sweets.
I'm unmotivated.
I'll start on Monday.
....and the list goes on. Any of this ever sound like words that have entertained your brain at one point or another?
The good news is.....we really can become what we tell ourselves.......
It makes me feel good to take care of myself.
I can do this.
I have energy.
I am happy.
I'm motivated.
I am a runner.
I can eat anything in moderation.
I'm healthy.
I'm small. (smaller)
I love to exercise.
I feel empowered.
I'm in control.
I can do hard things.
I am a winner!

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stress and Food...How Does it Affect YOU?

The fact of the matter is that it happens to all of us. It doesn't seem to matter how happy we are with our life, what routines we have created, how much we like our job or the people we choose to associate with. STRESS happens! Some stress can come in the form of little daily things. Things that add up or don't seem to be going right day after day causing stressors to go off in your brain. Other forms of stress can sometimes come when tragedy or life-changing events seem to fall into your once perfect path, causing the strong ground you thought you were standing on to feel as though it were shifting sand and as though the ground beneath your feet that had been feeling secure was now moving.

Stress and food are not a good combination. Why? Well, it doesn't take much for anyone to figure out that when you or maybe even somebody you love is under stress, food will cause you to do one of two things. Eat WAY too much and basically eat anything that sounds good or that you can get your hands on. In fact during these times you may even make a special secret trip to your favorite fast food restaurant looking for one of your favorite pleasures to smooth things over and make you feel better about your situation. If you are not a stress-eater than you are a non- eater when stress comes your way. Your stomach is often in knots or you just don't have an appetite. Most of your day is spent thinking about whatever stressful events are happening in your life so that you're not one bit hungry, and you forget to eat. One might think this option is not so bad if in fact you were already trying to lose some weight. Wrong. The worst thing you can do is let your body go into starvation mode by not feeding it enough. It will cause worse damage then a person headed to the fast food reasturant. It will shut down your metabolism, store anything you give it as fat, and cause your body, that is supposed to be operating as efficiently as a machine, to be very sluggish and non-responsive.

There really is no middle ground here. Often times you are either one or the other. The key is developing and coming up with some strategies to get you through these types of situations. We never know when these times will come and go, but if we can make a plan of action way ahead of time, it could save even more stress when we're then dealing with the poor eating or non-eating choices we have made. I know it's easier said than done and I'm the first to admit, I'm terrible at this. Like, horrible! I get stressed and my water intake stops. I'm terrible about remembering to eat when I'm supposed to, and then when I do, nothing really tastes very good. My body runs SO like clockwork that when my routine is suddenly thrown a curve ball, it often takes me several days and a swift kick to get me back in place. (Not recommended.)

I can honestly say, this last week was a struggle for me in this way. My Mother-in-Law is terminally ill, and all the emotions, stress, and just trying to carry on as a mom and wife were weighing heavy on me.  Yep, I forgot to eat. I forgot to drink. I only got to the gym twice. Knowing that I am up against a lot of the same emotions in the coming weeks, I've made a game plan. I will eat even if it means setting my alarm on my phone so I remember. I will drink my water because I will remember to fill it first thing in the morning. I will get to the gym as long as my family does not need me and situations allow, as sometimes during stressful times we have to learn to be flexible. All I know is that I don't want to create more stress for myself in the end by not doing what my body needs from me in the now. 

What's your game plan? How are you going to avoid the stress trap? 

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fuel Me For Food Not Fun.......

This is something I like to say to myself often. Don't get me wrong.  Food can be fun, but when our thoughts and choices get out of hand it can lead to some dangerous territory.

I love that I wake up each morning and plan and figure out what I am eating for the day. It's a highlight. It makes me feel empowered. It makes me feel like I am in charge of my body. That I have control of what it does. For many years I let food control me, but now I can honestly say, I control my food!

I know there were times in my life when trying to lose weight that I just cut out all treats, only ate rabbit like- food, and really focused on very little calories. Funny thing, that's not a lifestyle. Not only that, my day was never planned out so I wouldn't have anything to look forward to. I just knew that when I ate, it better not be much. That's how my brain worked.

By planning out my menu ahead of time and sticking to it, it allows me to build my menu around my lifestyle or what may be going on that day, and it allows me to pick things I enjoy eating, yet eat them in moderation. It didn't take long before this way of thinking and doing just became who I was. 

I think of it as a game of sorts. I add all sorts variety, pick things I look forward to snacking on, and occasionally even eat a meal that doesn't show up on the menu all that often. Some people say, "I could never do that. I would just eat everything in sight. I wouldn't know when to stop. I would lose hope. I would lose weight too slowly." Trust me, I've heard them all. The truth is, if a person with any type of weight problem or eating disorder can't adopt this way of thinking, the way they are trying to eat will never stick. It will never become a lifestyle but only a phase. 

I know it's not easy. I've been there. It's such an awesome feeling though, to be able to make choices, with all types of food, and still come out in the end being successful. I couldn't imagine my life now any other way. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Planning my food makes me enjoy it that much more...
Road Trip my strawberries!
Yep, I even order treats when I've planned for it. (And STILL lose weight!)

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