A good performance is ageless

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I don’t follow football. And I have never bought a Madonna record. But I need to go on a mini-rant here because we are four days post Super Bowl, and I am still seeing so much online commentary and articles written about Madonna’s half time performance. The great majority of them comment on Madonna being 53 years old. There seems to be some disbelief that a woman this age could handle (?) or complete (?) a 12 minute concert. And then 2nd comment is usually about how good she looks.

Uh, the woman has been touring internationally for at least 30 years and has become an American icon through her multi, multi platinum records sales. Tom Petty was 57 when he did the Super Bowl halftime show and Bruce Springsteen was 59 when he did the Super Bowl half time show. Yet, their age nor their craggy looks were not repeatedly pointed out by the media.

It’s just another example of the media perpetuating the negative connotation toward aging females.

Madonna rocked it out during that performance. Someone needs to simply acknowledge the performance. So I am doing that right now!

12 Things Happy People Do Differently

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Just spent lunch with 8 other individuals who work in an office (like me) of one or are self-employed.  At the beginning of the lunch, everyone goes around and introduces himself / herself, what they do and then what help they need. It was so striking to me that all of these people seemed really happy. There was  a bookbinder, a lyricist, an urban farmer, a dog trainer, and more.  Sure it’s easy to say that they seem happier because they have found their vocation or passion.

But I’d like to think that we all could be happy regardless of our professions. So it may not have been a coincidence that someone sent me this article when I got back to my office.

http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/08/30/12-things-happy-people-do-differently/

Take a look at these 12 habits of happy people to see that none of them have to do with what line of work we are in.

I’m going to be focusing on: Avoid over-thinking and social comparison, Develop strategies for coping, Savor life’s joys, Commit to your goals, and Take care of your body.

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Week Five of Exercise!

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One of my big motivators for sticking to my aerobics class was the video “23 1/2 Hours:  What is the Single Best Thing We Can Do for Our Bodies?”  Of course you can guess that the answer is exercise.   But the facts about how exercise can positively impact our overall health had a big impact on me.  Even when I get discouraged about my slow or even non-exisistent weight loss in spite of healthy eating, I understand that exercise makes a significant difference in my health no matter what the number on the scale says.  I wanted to post this video here so I can access it easily when I need to kick myself in the pants to stay moving.

This morning marked my fourteenth session of aerobics class.  I’m finally feeling comfortable with the moves.    Occasionally, I manage a few high-impact jumping jacks or hops.   I’m sweating – a lot .  My body feels so good after the workout.  I can feel myself getting stronger and more fit.  At week five, going to class feels like a good habit.  I haven’t missed a class yet.

Tomorrow will be my fifth yoga class.  I felt very awkward during my first class, and but my body felt great after the class – very similiar to how I feel after a massage.  Each week feels more comfortable and now I’m planning to add a second yoga class during the week when the next session at the Y starts.  Almost immediately, I felt progress with my flexibility and range of motion.  The moves are challenging, yet calming at the same time.  I’m hooked!

Today I came across a great website called Curvy Yoga.  There is a lot of positivity on this website for loving your body as it is through yoga.  I especially like the videos that show how to modify moves to accomodate bigger curves.

So I’ll continue to move my body.  It’s the most important thing that I do each day.  Hooray for me – I feel fabulous!

For 2012 . . .

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I give up wishing for someone else’s body. 

I give up not appreciating and loving the body that I have.

I give up starving myself and abusing my body. 

I give up attempts to have a perfect body.

I will love and treasure the body that I have. 

 I will feed my body healthy food that tastes good and satisfies me. 

I will exercise my body regularly and appreciate how great I feel when I move.

  • I will be patient with myself and recognize that change is a process.  I will give myself the time that I need to make my body healthy and well.  I recognize that patience does not mean procrastination.

  • I will put myself first.  Taking care of my body is my top priority.  I will take time to shop for food.  I will prepare delicious food that is healthy for me.  I will make time to exercise routinely and engage in fun physical activities.

Beware of the Diet Mentality

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I just read a great post on one of my favorite blogs, Medicinal Marzipan called

When How You Do Food Is How You Do Everything

MM’s point is that the diet mentality sets up the belief that you truly don’t deserve the food that you want to consume.  

“I want, but I do not deserve.

I long for _________, but that’s reserved for people who are ________ than me. “

 She goes to explain that this kind of thinking goes beyond just food for many of us who struggle with food and weight issues.  That many of us don’t deserve whatever we are truly longing for and don’t have.

Whoa . . . this really speaks to me.  First, I was struck by this on a food level.  This is the crux of why dieting becomes so hard.  When I deprive myself of what I really want to eat, I do become angry and resentful.  If I give in and eat whatever it is that I’m wanting,  then I feel frustrated that I didn’t stick to my commitment to not eat the forbidden food.  In the end, I don’t get to enjoy whatever it is that I’m longing for whether I eat it or not.  And the reason why I couldn’t have the food that I want or enjoy it when I do indulge is because I am flawed and lacking.  What a set up for failure!

So how can I change my eating habits to healthier food choices without setting myself up this way?  What popped up for me is how I transitioned out of drinking diet pop.  For as long as I can remember, diet pop has been my beverage of choice.   In the last few years, I came to the realization that the artificial sweeteners really aren’t good for me and that the way my body reacts to diet pop isn’t helping me lose weight.  About 18 months ago, I made it my goal to stop drinking diet pop.  Instead, I replaced diet pop with beverages that I liked:  juice and club soda, pop made with cane sugar, flavorful herbal and green iced teas, and LaCroix carbonated waters.  Gradually, I cut way back on the juices and cane sugar beverages until now I drink mostly calorie-free beverages.  I was never so strict with myself that I wouldn’t allow a diet pop if I really wanted one.  But in fact the few times that I had a diet pop, I really didn’t like it after not drinking it regularly.  I just don’t want it anymore. 

So maybe I need to replace foods that just aren’t good for me with healthier choices that I really like.  I need to be careful not to deny myself any food that I’m truly longing for.  By adding more healthy foods that I enjoy, I probably won’t want the unhealthy foods as often or as much. 

I also want to consider this notion beyond my food and eating.  I can imagine myself filling in the blanks with what I long for but feel undeserving.  I’ll bet there will some connections and aha’s for me.

But I’ll chew on that another day.

Week One’s Progress and I feel great!

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I made three positive changes this week and I’m already noticing a difference in how I feel.

The biggest change has been exercise.  I had a great time at aerobics class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Aerobics gives me more of a workout than walking.  The movements work all parts of my body and I really work up a sweat.  Yoga on Thursday was a challenge.  I didn’t enjoy yoga class as much as aerobics.  It’s hard work!  But my body felt great afterwards.  I noticed that I even carried myself differently as I walked.   The physical feeling at the end of a yoga session is worth pushing through even though I’m not enthusiastic.  On Saturday, I felt so good that I had the strength and stamina to shovel lots of snow from my driveway and walkways around my house.  I worked up a sweat and it was a great workout.  

I made some changes to my eating during this last week.  I cut down substantially on eating any foods with grains, including wheat, rye, and oats.   Although I don’t want it to be so, I’ve got to admit that I feel better with minimum carbohydrates in my diet.   According to some articles that I’ve read that even whole grains can cause inflammation in the digestive tract and interfere with the absorbtion of nutrients.  I decided to move toward eating a more basic diet that focuses on proteins and vegetables with a limited amount of glucose from starches such as rice and potatoes.  The diet that I’m moving into is the Perfect Health Diet.  I’ve ordered the book and reading as much as I can find on the web to learn about the eating plan and its benefits.  I’ve got to say that I feel great with the changes that I’ve made so far with reducing the grains that I consume.  I haven’t felt the nagging hunger that I usually feel 3-4 hours after a meal.  My energy level is also very even. 

Vitamins and supplements!  I made sure to take my multi-vitamins daily.  I also took a cod liver oil supplement with 4000 mg of vitamin D3 to help restore my deficiency.  I took 100 mg. of  Ubiquinol which is “essential for cellular function and antioxidant protection” :  translation, it gives you energy and helps your cardiovascular system including healthy blood pressure.   Finally, I took 400 mg of chromium picolinate which is supposed to increase the efficiency of insulin and help boost metabolism.  It sounds like a lot, but it’s just part of my breakfast or lunch.  A big part of the Perfect Health diet is optimizing nutrition and supplementing diet with important minerals.  I plan to add vitamin K2 and maganese based on what I’ve been reading.

So I’m moving forward.  I can tell that I’m making progress because I feel great!  My challenge is to keep everything going – exercise, healthy diet, and vitamins – for another week!  Only two more weeks, and it will be a habit!

Awesome after Aerobics!

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I participated in my first Hi-Lo Aerobics class at the Y this morning.   I feel awesome afterwards – body, mind, and spirit!

The class was large, with about 30-40 participants.  There were mostly women (only 1 man) of a variety of ages.  I saw women like me:  some middle-aged, some not so fit, some overweight.  I like the wide range, from a young mother with her baby in a carrier to senior citizens.   Everyone was friendly and a few spoke to me before and after class with welcoming words of encouragement.

I knew the first class would be difficult.  Some steps were familiar.  Thank goodness I still remember the grapevine!  But most of the steps were new and it was difficult to keep up.  But I kept moving and broke a sweat.  I couldn’t focus on anyone else but the instructor, but I sensed there were other beginners like me as well as some that were effortlessly able to follow the steps.  All of us were pushed aerobically.  It’s going to be difficult for at least a couple of weeks until the steps become more familiar and my body adjusts.  I know that I’ll be able to grow to better fitness here.  My body feels good after moving as my mind engaged with learning the new steps.

I realized that being with other people makes exercise more enjoyable for me.  This morning’s aerobics class was also a social event.  Working out with other people was much better than being alone moving on my elliptical while watching TV.  Although I didn’t know anyone else in the class, we shared smiles as we pushed ourselves forward to follow the steps and just keep going.  It was tough, somehow it seemed easier to keep going with the group.  My mood and spirits were definitely lifted after the class.

I’d forgotten the benefits of aerobic exercise with a group.  Long ago (15+ years?), I used to take aerobics and step classes early in the morning before school.  It got me into a routine of working out at the start of the day.  Gradually, I switched to working out on machines like the EFX elliptical and running on the treadmill.  Then I hit a slump of not having the energy to get to the gym before school.  When I moved six and a half years ago,  I bought an elliptical and moved my treadmill into my new basement home gym.  But I confess that although I’ve had some spurts of daily exercise, I haven’t been able to maintain a consistent routine.   Being committed to a class will enable me to build consistency.  I already know that I’ll be missed if I don’t show up next time.  The structure of a specific class and the social component of being with others will help me get the routine of exercise established. 

I had fun.  I remembered that I do like to move.  I like how my body feels when I push myself aerobically and work up a sweat.  I felt so very good after class. 

I’m looking forward to the next class on Wednesday!