Thursday, May 29, 2008

Are You LinkedIn?

Although I have a Facebook presence, I'm not really a "user," because HYC bloggers already make a pretty good network.

On the other hand, I use LinkedIn for professional networking, and have found it to be a handy tool to connect with people
I might not otherwise meet.

If you're wondering about the benefits of LinkedIn, here's a pretty good list of tips.

If you've already got a profile, let's get connected! And by the way, Scale Junkie,
I created a group for 2008 Healthy You Challenge with you as the lead dog. To join, create your LinkedIn profile, then click on the HYC icon to have your membership approved by our fearless leader.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bob Greene's Cure for Emotional Eating

Fitness expert Bob Greene acknowledges emotional eating is a common way we sabotage our efforts to keep off the weight we have worked so hard to lose. Here's his remedy:

"Draw a large circle on a blank sheet of paper," he says. "Divide the circle into several sections so it resembles a sliced pie. Each section represents an area you feel is an integral part of a fulfilled life, such as career, family, health, fitness, friendship, romance, finance, relationships, etc. Aim for at least six categories and write them in each pie slice.

"Next, ask yourself how everything is going in that area — and be brutally honest. Going well, write a positive sign; not so well, make a negative sign. Examine the slices with a negative sign. How could you improve that area? What is something you can do every day to stimulate positive change? Write at least one item in each section that you can do right now to improve that category, and then commit yourself to it...

"People who struggle with weight gain often want instant gratification," he concludes. "But if you're patient and take small steps every day, the results can be powerful. If you can consistently do at least one thing daily to change a negative to a positive, I promise that powerful change will occur in your life after one year. If you can do three things daily you won't recognize your former life. The philosophy is similar to losing weight. If you eat healthy and exercise, you don't feel any change on a day-to-day basis. Yet, you can look back a year later and see a profound transformation. You'll also discover that since you addressed negative feelings about a relationship or money worries, your emotional eating episodes have vanished."

Making random lists, then prioritizing daily tasks keeps my mind out of the fridge and on productive action. Whenever I feel disorganized, I recognize my tendency to pick up food. Instead, I pick up a pencil and a pad of paper.

What works for you?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

HYC Weigh-In

Without the Bestlife program and the support of my Healthy You Challenge blogger-buddies, I would have been mortified to run into a high school classmate, as I did Thursday night. That's when I learned our 35th class reunion is scheduled only 10 days from today!!

Right now, I'm only 20 pounds heavier than my high school weight, and hardly anyone at the reunion will know the details below, which have transpired since January 15:
* Total weight lost: 44 pounds (two pounds this week)
* Total inches lost: 38 inches (one inch this week)
* BMI: Starting 33.9 / Current 26.8 / Goal 23.4 or less
* Waist-to-hip Ratio: Starting .94 / Current .84 / Goal .80 or less
The good part is that this time, I didn't lose the weight to prepare for an event. I changed my lifestyle because I wanted to, because I needed to, and because I was ready. And that feels a whole lot different than trying to impress someone else.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Daily Bread

Happy Memorial Day, everybody. I'm one of the fortunate ones whose son came home from war; but not a day goes by I'm not conscious of and sensitive to the families whose hero paid the ultimate price for our freedom. All the rights and privileges we enjoy today are the result of our soldiers' loyalty, valor, commitment and sacrifice.

Yesterday's meals were less artistic than others we have enjoyed on this trip, but were more representative of the historical traditions of the area. At French colonial Ft. Saint John Baptiste, we sampled a one-pot meat and corn stew cooked over an open fire, started by using "char cloth" to catch a spark from flint rock and cedar shavings.

An oven made from bousillage (pronounced BOO-see-yahzh) - a mixture of clay, Spanish moss and animal hair (usually deer or horse) - takes several hours to heat, then about 45 minutes to cook bread, which the costumed historical interpreter offered for tasting.

Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed a picnic on the grounds of Oakland Plantation, one of only two National Bicentennial Farms (owned by the same family for 200 years) west of the Mississippi River. Shaded by centuries-old live oaks and surrounded by the most complete set of plantation buildings in the South, it was easy to get lost in the romance of plantation life - until we remembered how much hard work it really was. Thank GOD for air conditioning!

Plenty of walking, plus nibbling on the fruit and protein bars in my camera bag helped to keep me on course with healthy eating, despite limited food choices during the day.

Have you had similar experiences where advance planning has helped you eat right?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Slim Pickins

Remember that Hungry Man's Breakfast I mentioned yesterday? Well, it's real. Only this picture (not my meal) doesn't show the softball-sized blob of sweetened whipped cream, served as an accompaniment to the pancakes! I opted for a fresh vegetable egg-white omelet with a slice of whole wheat toast.

The REAL specialty at Strawn's Eat Shop, however, is their homemade icebox pies - which, according to our server, sell for $13.75 each. On a non-holiday day, they sell an average of 50 pies, including take-outs. On any given holiday, they sell between 300-500 pies at each of their three Shreveport locations.

We spent the morning touring Melrose Plantation, home of former slave Marie Therese Coincoin (kwan-kwan). Here, she earned enough money to buy the freedom of all four of her children and two of her grandchildren - who ultimately amassed nearly 16,000 acres of land and became the most prosperous free people of color in the region. Many of her descendants still live in the area.

Back in historic downtown Natchitoches - the oldest settlement in the La. Purchase - we ate lunch at famous Lasyone's Meat Pie Restaurant.Cited by a plethora of food writers around the world, this little meat-filled fried pastry is the signature culinary identifier of the town. During "regular" weeks, the restaurant sells about 3,000 meat pies a week. During festivals, the number rises to nearly 30,000. (After dabbling in a few bits of the meat filling, I worked my fork back over to a fabulous salad of baby greens, mandarin oranges, sunflower seeds, feta cheese and grilled chicken.)

One note about traveling to Louisiana: Take your own packets of low-fat dressing. Other journalists are now placing bets whether the next restaurant we visit will even offer the low-fat variety. Most of the servers sort of chuckle when I request it, wondering why I'm even in the state if I'm trying to eat healthy. I just play along, and request extra lemons to drizzle over the greens if all else fails.

Dinner at Antoon's was a fitting capstone to the day. Although most dishes were loaded with Chef Todd's imaginative heavy cream sauces, he accommodated my special request with a made-to-order surf and turf combo served over steamed vegetables.
A true gustatory delight!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Heart and Soul Food

Whew! Yesterday's meals presented plenty of opportunity to practice the lessons I've learned about healthy choices and portion control.

We jump started the day in Monroe, La. at The Coffee Bean, where owner Kim Neck says, "The coffee is probably the worst thing on the menu." Not the best opening statement to six coffee-addicted journalists who haven't seen a decent cup of coffee since we got to north Louisiana.

In case you're not familiar with the diverse coffee culture of the state, here's the short version. In south La., coffee is typically dark-roasted and served steaming hot - sometimes as "au lait," with milk. In north La., coffee is usually a mild roast (translation: watery, as in, you can see the bottom of the cup) and is rarely hot.

Kim does a whopping business, however. Her breakfast menu includes a variety of muffins (none of which are low-fat or multi-grain), cinnamon rolls and beignets (the fried pastries dusted with powdered sugar) and quiches. I did manage to squeeze in a bowl of fresh fruit to go with my coffee - which eventually turned out pretty good after I asked for an extra shot of espresso plus a zap in the microwave.

Her blockbuster items, though, are tomato basil soup, chicken salad (300 pounds a week!) and takeout casseroles.

Thirty miles west, we at lunch at Blue Light Cafe in Ruston, La. Owners David and Eula Wright, married 53 years, treated us like family; while niece Lina Venzant cooked up some of the best "home cooking" I've ever least since I was in Monroe at Big Mama's!

Private dinner at Shreveport's ArtSpace was dubbed, "Someone's in the Kitchen with Chef David." Owner of local restaurant Bella Fresca, Chef David says he enjoys blending the Cajun/Creole traditions with the north La./Texas style of cooking.

The result was crawfish fritters, BBQ shrimp over stone-ground grits, couchon de lait (pulled pork) over dirty rice and banana pudding cheesecake. I enjoyed tiny bites of each item. (Thank goodness for the fresh fruit plate in our hotel room!)Yep, that's a piece of braised pork belly in the picture.

In an hour, we're off to Natchitoches (NACK-uh-dish), La. for another round of culinary delights...but not before we eat breakfast at Strawn's, home of the Hungry Man's breakfast. Thank goodness I've already done my cardio this morning in the hotel fitness center!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chickens, Choices and Chance Meetings

The first day of the north Louisiana culinary trail presented a few challenges - mostly because of limited food choices.

Our first stop was for lunch at Big Mama's, an off-the-beaten-path restaurant where southern-style soul food is served in portions big enough for two grown men! Salads? None. Fried food, gravies, starches and desserts? Plenty!

After carefully peeling off my fried chicken skin, other folks at the table gobbled it up like hungry baby birds in a nest. My two sides of baby limas plus okra and tomatoes were the healthiest choices on the cafeteria buffet. But talk about good!!

By mid-afternoon, we were sampling fresh strawberries at the West Monroe Farmer's Market. Just across the street, Daily Harvest Bakery features huge freshly-ground whole grain cookies, all naturally sweetened, and none with more than 200 calories.

Last night, we were guests at the local university for Wine Over Water, a fundraising event where guests stroll a bridge spanning a bayou while sampling wine and hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants.

Luckily, I found a tray of fresh fruit at one station. Not far away, Dilla's restaurant - dubbed a fresh Mexican grill - handed out samples of chicken tortilla soup, made with whole wheat, lard-free and trans fat-free ingredients.

But the biggest surprise of all came when a former high school classmate said, "Has anybody gotten in touch with you about our 35th class reunion on June 6? Last I heard, nobody knew your new last name or where you moved."

I didn't attend my 10-year reunion because I was in the hospital having a baby. By the 20th, I was just going through a divorce. By the 30th, I was too fat to be comfortable. But NOW?! You betcha!
I called DH last night, and we're ON!

Here's me before Healthy You Challenge. (You'll notice nearly every picture of the less-healthy me has nearly half of me hidden!) Check out that chin!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy Trails

Well, it's that time again. Tomorrow begins another culinary press trip back to Louisiana - this time to the northern portion of the state.

Today virtually slipped through my fingers, beginning at 3 a.m. here at the computer to finish a story for Sunday's paper. After teaching a ladies' devotional class later in the morning, I spent the rest of the day getting ready to leave town. One project included having my jeans taken up and buying one new dress in my smaller size!

Keep holding good thoughts as I travel. I'll keep you posted how we adapt on this trip.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On Your Feet? Ready, Dance!

Yesterday, I admitted Brad and Matt's opening spiel might be a little intense for some viewers, but the Gratitude Dance is appropriate anytime!
Especially today. I'm in the 160's!!

More and more, people are asking, "What sort of diet are you on?" I'm learning most people ask that sort of question
for a variety of reasons:
1) They genuinely want to know, perhaps for themselves or someone they love.
2) They really don't know what else to say.
3) They're actually a little uncomfortable with your success, and are hoping you're so miserable you can't possibly stick with the program.

Generally, I've found it's best to keep the answer short and sweet. Mine goes something like this:

"I've changed my lifestyle to incorporate five basic changes:
1) I make exercise a daily priority.
2) I eat a nutritious breakfast every morning.
3) I eat moderate portions to satisfy hunger.
4) I stop eating by 7 p.m. when I'm at home, or at least two hours before bedtime when I'm traveling.
5) I drink at least eight glasses of water every day."
So far, my HYC blogger friends, this plan has resulted in the loss of two more pounds this week (even though my aerobic exercise was limited to pushing the baby stroller two miles a day!) for a total of
42 pounds and 37 inches since January 15.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Gratitude Dance

Okay, Brad and Matt obviously have more time than most of us if they can list EVERYthing they're grateful for EVERY morning. But I gotta hand 'em this: The Gratitude Dance ROCKS!

I have visions of "doing the dance" in the following places:
* At the gym, in front of the mirrors when I finish a workout.
* At the grocery store when I find a good sale.
* At the airport, each time my plane lands safely or when my luggage shows up at the same time and place that I do.
* On the scale, when I crack the 160's.

If your gratitude list comes as easily as mine does, it's good to know our health benefits when we consider the less fortunate among us. Studies have shown that helping others increases our overall sense of well-being, alleviates chronic pain, and even reduces depression.

Here's a quick and easy opportunity to feel good. My friend Mary Ayala has nearly crossed the finish line in her battle to beat colon cancer. Two years ago, her (first) oncologist said her liver was filled with so many cancerous tumors, it looked like a gumball machine.
He pronounced a quick death sentence.

After getting a second opinion, Mary agreed to a long and arduous multi-disciplinary treatment plan that has included travel for two surgeries plus follow-up visits to Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The results are near miraculous. Mary is certified cancer-free.

Unfortunately, increasing gasoline prices plus recent medical complications requiring an extra eight days in Houston last month blew a hole in the Ayala's already strained budget. They desperately need $1,000 by the end of this month to make up the gap. Each of us doing a little bit will make a huge difference to this precious Ft. Worth couple.

Will you please join me? Your health will thank you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Evangelists and Ambassadors

As a young mother, I homeschooled my son - an only child - as well as six other preschoolers. When the other children grew into kindergarten age, they left and were replaced by new preschoolers; however, we continued to homeschool Wayne until the sixth grade.

As teaching parents, one of the first lessons we learned was how much a child's behavior is influenced by the early training he receives at home. We found that most parents innocently waited too late to begin disciplining their precious ones - thinking that "until they can understand words," the process is premature.

Can I brag for a minute? Having had our 14-month old grandson in the house all week for his first stay-alone visit, we could tell within the first few hours how well he has already been trained by his parents, Lauren and Wayne. One quiet command, "Hands off, please," and Trey obeys, period. Each time he finishes eating, he makes sounds (not words) similar to the inflection of 'thank you.' When it's to go to sleep, he lies down without a fuss. Every time.

My housekeeper was truly amazed, saying, "I can't wait to tell my daughter about this. She's been hesitant to have children because the only ones she's ever been around are curtain climbers."

How spectacular will it be when we see a generation of children who are not obese, but are genuinely healthy because parents and educators cooperate to train young children to prefer wholesome foods over fast food, and who prefer to be active over sitting around watching television?!

We who were once couch potato converts are now evangelists for active lifestyles, ambassadors for healthy living. Who is watching you?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Heavy Responsibility

Shhh! Don't tell Trey's parents, but my back is really complaining this morning.

When my mother stopped in for a visit yesterday, she picked up Trey and asked, "How much does this child weigh? He's heavier than a sack of potatoes!"

With that, DH received the child into his arms and headed to the scale, just to find out. We were not surprised: 27 pounds.

This week of caring for Trey - bending over to let him hold my finger, picking him up to play, lowering his sleeping body into the Pack-n-Play, putting him into and taking him out of the car seat, carrying him into stores - has been a terrific reminder exactly how much weight 40 pounds is...13 pounds more than I've been hauling around this week! In other words, a Trey-and-a-half. WHEW!

What physical reminders do you have how much weight you've lost?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Totally, Consciously In Charge

When 14-month old Trey heard the garage door open late yesterday afternoon, I wondered if he would be disappointed to learn it was Poppy instead of Daddy and Mommy, who have been away at a convention for three days - and not due back until late tomorrow night.

Au contraire! Squealing with delight, Trey jumped up and found comfort in his grandfather's arms for as long as he wanted. I'm not sure who was more content!

Learning to be content in new or unfamiliar environments is important for us who are developing new lifestyles. Exchanging self-defeating behavior with self-affirming habits makes dramatic changes in our weight, our health, our relationships and our lives.

To achieve permanent weight loss, however, Dr. Phil says we have to be totally, consciously in charge of ourselves and everything we do, think and feel. That's a pretty tall order for those of us who have lived unconsciously long enough and consistently enough to gain back the weight we once lost.

Caring for Trey while his parents are gone has been a good reminder how to care for myself: stay present, be in "the now," engineer the environment for desired outcomes, choose healthy foods and get enough exercise to make sleep come easy.

Quotes from The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Healthy LIfestyle Loves Company

Before I quit smoking in 2000, it was uncomfortable to be around friends who had quit. Truthfully, they probably didn't like being around me as much anymore, either.

Dr. Phil says if we hope to keep our weight off, we have to live the motto that "a healthy lifestyle loves company." My company this week is my 14-month old grandson - a precious example of a healthy lifestyle. Hats off to all you moms who are still chasing youngsters! But, wow! It's SO much more fun when I'm not out of breath every few minutes.

As we transform our lives (which is a lot different than "going on a diet"), there is a noticeable difference in how we engage the world. We have changed our momentum to create a life of energy, meaning and purpose - according to Dr. Phil.

"There really are no limits to what we can now achieve, nothing to push us down, because we look better, and live better," he says. "Continue to press on with an optimistic spirit."

Have a great week, everybody, and thanks for all your comments yesterday. I was overwhelmed!

Quotes from The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday Weigh-In

Part of the joy of this journey is sharing good news.

Today, I'm pleased to report another successful week on the BestLife program - subtracting another two pounds and 1.75 inches - bringing the totals since January 15 to 40 pounds and 36 inches lost!

Thanks to all the other HYC Challenge bloggers, who have continued to be such awesome support! Here's a video to inspire us this week.

P.S. I've got a 14-month old baby grandson in the house this week, so posts will probably be short and sweet!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Home Again

Saturday was my last day to travel in other parts of Arkansas. Highlights included the stunning views from the Lodge at Mount Magazine, Arkansas's highest mountain, rising dramatically over 2,700 feet above the broad valleys of the Petit Jean River to the south and the Arkansas River to its north.

At the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain, we viewed the new President's Lodge accommodations and drooled at the opportunity to "get away from it all" in such a serene environment, where the biggest attraction is the lack of distraction. On the other hand, the facility is equipped with a broad range of outdoor and fitness activitiesthat once would have been off my radar completely, but which now look rather enticing!

Before I headed home, we visited Subiaco Monastery and Academy, where a group of Benedictine monks has lived for 130 years.

When I got home late Saturday afternoon, menacing weather made working on the computer an unwise choice. The good news is that by making healthy food choices and keeping exercise a priority, I still lost weight while I was on the road! BLING!

For Mother's Day, I got up before sun-up to practice the solo cello pieces I was scheduled to perform at my mother's church later in the morning. Following the service, DH and I joined mom and her husband for lunch. After a healthy meal, I spent the the rest of the day at their home, helping them plan a September driving vacation from San Francisco up the Pacific Coast Highway to Vancouver.

Back home with only enough time for a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood, I joined DH for supper out...after which, I crashed on the couch by 9 p.m. and slept until 9 a.m. this morning!

Tonight, my son and his wife arrive to spend the night and to drop off my 14-month old grandson for his first "stay-alone" visit while the parents - both new college graduates this week - attend a convention in Las Vegas. From now until Sunday, I'll be blogging on the fly!

To all my fellow HYC bloggers, my apologies for lack of comments last week. The schedule was grueling. I'll do my best to catch up this week while the baby is napping!

Friday, May 9, 2008

How Tweet!

Who would have dreamed how much I am enjoying the newly found freedom of exploring outdoors, now that I'm carrying around 38 fewer pounds?! On the phone yesterday, my mom reminded me how she hiked the Grand Canyon and rafted the Colorado River when she was
my age.

Yesterday's soft adventure included a birding expedition at Lorance Creek Natural Area, a deep swamp area that spreads out on both sides of Lorance Creek, just outside Little Rock, Ark. The entire system - owned by Nature Conservancy and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - is a diverse mosaic of open water, bald cypress-water tupelo trees, beaver ponds and sandy washes overlain with swamp blackgum. All the features are interconnected by a complex system of streams and seeps which support a rich aquatic flora.

Walking the half-mile boardwalk with Allan Mueller, alias "Professional Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Searcher," we listened to a chorus of birds singing their springtime arias. Overhead, a lush canopy of foliage whispered a welcome as we wandered through the swamp-inspired symphony.

For these new experiences, I am truly grateful. For others yet to come, I am eager...especially those that may include a new bicycle!

What new freedoms are you enjoying as a result of your increasing fitness level?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Payoff

Ask anybody: Would Rebecca choose outdoor adventure as a press tour activity? Until yesterday, the answer would have been a resounding NO!

Instead, in the elevator on my way down to the hotel fitness center yesterday, one of the journalists rolled his eyes at me, saying, "Oh, you're one of THOSE people!"

And at dinner last night, while discussing MY HIKE at Pinnacle Mountain, somebody else commented, "Oh, Rebecca, I'm sorry you got stuck doing THAT sort of stuff. Was it boring?"

On the contrary! For the first time in my LIFE, I was eager to EXPLORE! Except for a few pesky gnats, I was thrilled to be thinking about something other than whether I could make it back up the mountain after I had hiked to the base. I actually felt strong and confident I can do more of this sort of thing from now on.

NOW I can say, "I have been to the mountaintop, and I have seen the light!"

Now, if I could just win that bike...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spare the Spine

Greetings from Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas. Located virtually in the center of the state, the city is also centrally located
in the country.

Muscles located in the central area of our bodies are called core muscles. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) says that core strength is important because the muscles of the lower back and abdomen serve as a solid foundation for nearly all bodily activities, movement, and posture.

Core training is rapidly gaining in popularity for one reason:
Sitting leads to a weak core.

Risks associated with a weak core include a common ailment...lower back pain. Other problems include poor posture, being injury prone, having minimal strength and (drum roll, please) a bulging waistline.

Professor Stuart McGill, professor of spine biomechanics at University of Waterloo, cautions that even some widely held notions - like, "stretching the back and increasing the range of motion will help prevent injury" - are questionable. In fact, he says research shows that people who have a greater range of motion in their backs are more susceptible to future injury. How's that for blowing a hole in your exercise routine??

One of my (mother's!) primary concerns as I began jogging and lifting weights was the risk to my lower back. "Once you've injured your back, it's not something that's easily fixed," she argues.
Point well taken.

So, for the health of all our backs, please take a few minutes to review Dr. McGill's recommendations for how to maintain
lower back health and prevent injury to this vital skeletal component.

This week, I'm staying at the newly remodeled Holiday Inn Presidential, one of the nicest properties in the company's portfolio, where I'm taking full advantage of the hotel's fitness center to keep my core in shape!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Three Cheers for HYC Bloggers!

One of the things I love about the Healthy You Challenge bloggers is the group's way of celebrating success - large or small. All of us like to post badges for ANY reason!

Bob Greene reminds us dramatic change doesn't happen in one day or even a month. For some, that can be discouraging if your used to (and long for) immediate gratification. It's easier, though, to be patient when you feel as if you're reaping some kind of reward for your efforts; that's why it's so important to enjoy the process of positive change rather than focusing on the end result.

"Find joy in each triumph, big or small," Greene advises. "Don't take for granted turning down a piece of cake, eating a healthful breakfast, or going for a walk at lunch - or any other of the small but significant efforts you make as a part of your commitment to this program. They all count, and with continued patience, perseverance and a positive attitude, they're all going to add up to a big payoff."

The secret to success, he says, is this: "Be honest with yourself and those around you. Take responsibility for your actions and your life. Think of the commitments you make to yourself as sacred, and honor them in the way your honor commitments to other people. Identify what it is you really want from life, realize you deserve it, and think positively about your ability to get it. Make your plan, have the inner strength to stick to it, and claim the life you deserve!"

***So, in honor of small victories, I am pleased to report another one-pound loss for today's HYC Weigh-In. Oddly enough, that one-pound loss translated into another 2-1/2 inch loss, bringing the totals since January 15 to 38 pounds and 34.25 inches lost. WAHOO!

What's even MORE exciting is that through the C25K training program, I am now jogging 25 minutes without stopping at a 4.2 mph pace. Wa-TWO!

And as part of my commitment - not just to a diet program, but to a healthy lifestyle - I have entered my name in the hat TWICE for Scale Junkie's free bike giveaway. Winning would pull that prized item right from my vision board and put it under my diminishing derriere!

Quotes from The Best Life Diet

Monday, May 5, 2008

Start Acting Like a Thin Person

I'll always remember the first time I read Dr. Phil's line: "Staying fat has been working for you in some fashion." What??

I had never thought about what sorts of payoffs I got from obesity: insulation from the opposite sex, neutralizing sexual attractiveness, an "occupational buffer zone" to hide femininity to protect myself from the attention at work, an excuse for failure ("I didn't get the job, sign up for the class, etc., because I'm overweight.").

In his book, The Ultimate Weight Solution, Dr. Phil points out it is precisely this sort of discomfort that makes us push the panic button and start working at cross-purposes with our healthy goals. Managing weight from behind these defenses is doomed to fail.
We MUST disconnect!

Changing our "fat mind-set" and "fixed fat beliefs" means we have to become comfortable in our new, trimmer bodies while we're dumping "psychological fat." To do this, we must act like the thin,
fit person we really are.

"Even if it doesn't feel completely right," he says, "we can move in that direction with some simple but positive actions."

* Look at your reflection in the mirror more often to acclimate yourself to your new shape and image.
* Face with courage those situations you formerly feared - wearing a bathing suit, trying on new clothes, going to certain parties.
* Stay with your exercise program in order to appreciate your own strength and feel good about your body.
* Replace negative self-talk about your body with affirming,
accurate thoughts.

Peeling away fixed assumptions by disposing of their payoffs and demolishing limiting beliefs that tell us we are worthless and not deserving of success is the first step to developing new ways of thinking. True knowledge and insight will lead to a life of peace where we are comfortable in our newly transformed bodies.

Thanks, Dr. Phil. I needed to hear that again today.

Quotes from The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Day of Rest - HA!!

About once a month, I really enjoy sleeping a little longer than usual - say, until about 9 a.m., especially if it's raining outside. That way, DH is home instead of at the golf course, and we can get in a little extra cuddle time.

Well, this wasn't the weekend for sleeping late, cuddling or lounging around. The weather outside was beautiful, DH was on the golf course, and I've been working my tail off getting ready to leave town Tuesday.

Still, I love my home and the privilege to work from a home office. One thing's for sure, though: The bed will feel good tonight!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Weddings and Preparation

Short post today. Fun-filled weekend performing two wedding ceremonies and playing with our quartet for a third.

Also, I'll be traveling another part of Arkansas on a press tour beginning Tuesday; so the rest of the weekend, I'll spend writing stories that are due Monday.

Today was a C25K rest day, but all goals are on track!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Don't Eat Like a Bird; Sing Like One

"'Eat like a bird' is a very poor analogy, since it is meant to denote light consumption," says Alan Weiss in his current Balancing Act newsletter. "The birds I've seen, from sparrows to seagulls, pack it down like there's no tomorrow since they have huge metabolisms. We're often blindly imprisoned by venerable but inaccurate bromides."

On another note, my dad,
Dr. Davis Bingham, is one of the gifted humans who sings like a bird. A profoundly healthy 77, he still conducts his church choir, and will be singing the baritone lead in Mendelssohn's "Elijah" this Sunday in North Carolina.

The last time I visited Dad and my stepmother, Joan, was the week after Thanksgiving last year, when DH and I were on our holiday eating binge.
(I admit, it was really awkward watching them eat responsibly, or watching television while they went to play tennis or work out in their gym.)

When I return to their home in mid-June, I will have lost 49 pounds - assuming I reach my weekly goals between now and then.
"Cant wait to see the NEW you!" Dad said in an email yesterday.

"..and I ran 25 minutes WITHOUT STOPPING today," I responded proudly.

What a difference a decision and some dedication makes!
This truly is the Best Life!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

Ran across this Weight Loss Management and Fitness carnival earlier today. Noticed some good information - including this article about stevia.

My C25K training is going well. Having already been walking/jogging since January, I started on Week 3, which I completed with no panting or day-after soreness. Last week, I combined Weeks 4 and 5. This week, I am following Week 6 of the program:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

When I finished yesterday, my pulse was 143, which is in the target zone for someone of my age (53) at my fitness level (works out at least three times a week).

Hope everybody's having a good week. I'm preparing for three more weddings this weekend!