Why moving my body should be F.U.N

August 14. I made up an acronym to remind myself why I don’t want to use the “E”(xercise) word anymore and just call it what it really is: Moving my body! It’s what  we were born to do naturally. I move so that I don’t get stiff joints and “old, before my time”. I move because it takes me out of my head and forces me to focus on my breathing and my limbs. So here is why moving is F.U.N to me:

Freedom.

I heard quote one day from an avid runner, whose was asked  why they run, they answered simply: “Because I can”. If we contemplate how many people would give just about anything to have the ability and freedom to just move a limb! but sadly, will never have or no longer can. When we who have the ability to move do so freely, we honor those who cannot, and we demonstrate our own expression of gratitude to the Giver of life and movement. Then we use that freedom to discover ways that moving our bodies, something we can thoroughly enjoy!! Whether it be in stretching, weight lifting, biking, climbing, Pilates, pick-your-favorite-sport (mine is skateboarding:)Holla!) or sitting in a chair purposely fidgeting or dancing with our upper body (yup, that counts as movement in my book!). I’ve discovered the liberation of movement has the potential to be: well, mind-blowing.

Unlock.

There are too many voices in our head that tell us we “Can’t”. And even make up some legit reason for why. I won’t breathe more life into mine by  listing all my negatives. But you know what they are. I am relieved by the fact that even the most active, lively, vibrant and energetic person, have the same internal negative voices, they just: choose to ignore them. And for that reason probably can’t hear them as loudly as others. Ignoring our negative internal voices unlocks, or releases another more powerful voice that expresses with sheer elation an “Oh yeah?! Watch me!!” response. Whatever it is we are afraid to try, when we conquer that fear with DOING, we unleash, or unlock a magnificent power. We ALL have it. It’s the power to conquer the No with the Yes. The Evil with the good. The negative thought-with positive action. If you can’t tell by now, yes,  I am reading the Bible, as well as, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. I highly recommend it if you want to Unlock your YES and…as a result find your reasons to move: Every.Single.Day.

Now.

Yes Simply: Do. It.Now. Don’t delay it anymore. Sometimes, honestly, it’s not just a question of when to start but also how to start. My answer is generally: just take a walk. Fast or slow, it doesn’t matter, just go! Maybe around the neighborhood, if it feels safe. If leaving the house feels most impractical, I recommend going to YouTube or googling any activity you love, or use to love…and find ways to participate in something your body will thank you for, at least once a day. Even if it’s just for 60 seconds. I admit, my favorite thing to do is pick a destination within a 3 mile that I enjoy visiting (local mall, dress shop, shoe store -are you sensing a theme here?:) I also enjoyed a walk to Sprouts farmers market the other day. It was an exhilarating walk and beautiful weather, where I was able to see part of the neighborhood scenery that I never get to enjoy just driving quickly by.

Need more motivation? I also recommend these articles from one of my favorite “Move” experts ( I think I made that term up) : http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14654/am-i-too-fat-to.html and http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13653/why-youre-making-life-hard-how-to-make-it-easy.html. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13653/why-youre-making-life-hard-how-to-make-it-easy.html . Both articles are by Michael Taylor. Practically every article I’ve read by Michael Taylor is inspirational to keep moving, no matter what your limitations ( imagined more than real, usually) are.

If I could add an R to Fun (Fun…r?) it would be, and I think Mr. Taylor might fondly agree:

Relax.

I must constantly remind myself: Do! not! over think! movement!  Just move. Remember like when we were five and would run like a gorilla just for the fun of it? While I’m not advocating  the gorilla part (nor discouraging it- if it makes ya feel good!), I do encourage movement just for reconnecting with our childhood happiness. For peace of mind and heart. For release of stress and negative emotions. Just! MOOOOOVE.

And for an added why, we can’t leave out the obvious reasons: If we move in the way that we love, not in a forced or demanding routine way, but one that we are excited about and relish in the participation of, we’ll stick with it longer, and we will get lost in the doing, not focused on “results”. Maybe we laugh or sing while we do it. Maybe our movement allows us to explore the outdoors or connect with ourselves, God and/or others in way we haven’t done in too long of a time, or maybe never have at all. There is truly little to lose, and so much to gain from movement!

Until next time,

Roxie

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Why FORGIVING is good for weight loss.

August 4. Who hasn’t made the wrong decisions about food, even when we know better sometimes? Thank you for your honesty. I’m raising my hand too. So I am learning that losing weight and maintaining it: Is not really about food at all. Really. Yes we must make the right choices and choose fruits and vegetables over processed, canned or bag “food”. But the root of it, the raw of it…isn’t about the food. It’s about the decisions we make and WHY. It’s also about allowing ourselves to mess up, forgive and move on. Forgive who? Ahh, as the saying goes “There’s the rub” (not the kind on my favorite brisket either).

It’s not really a trick question. The realization began when, just last week I realized after some Bible reading and meditation, there were two people in my life, one of whom I knew very intimately, that when I thought of them my teeth clenched and my stomach tightened. Why? Because without realizing it. I was holding a grudge for an “offense”  they committed against me – whether real or imagined isn’t the point right now -because I felt a very real, very physical internal pain when I thought of them. But at that moment It dawned on me. I was choosing to hold on the pain. And so, I verbally released it by saying, ” I forgive you (insert name of perceived offender) for (insert what they did or said to hurt me)” and then I thought about God’s forgiveness and how undeserved I am to receive it- I and realized that in the grand scheme of things, today, that wasn’t too hard.

At that moment I made a choice. A decision to forgive. It didn’t change the other person. It changed me.

That is the approach I need to have with my choices in food and how I feel about those choices, one I make them. When I choose to eat right. It’s me that benefits. But when I make the “not so right” choices I must choose to forgive myself the way I allow myself to forgive others. The decision to do otherwise leads to the vicious vortex of :eating to feel better, eating because I feel guilty about eating to feel better,  then, being angry with myself for eating to feel guilty so… I eat again…yup, to feel:better. That too is a choice. A bad one. One I have paid for in weight gain and depression. But It is one I choose to make and no one else makes it for me. I choose to get stuck in holding a grudge against myself. In the words of one of my favorite female singers “Why do I do that?”.  But this is where it stops. I forgive me for a binge(yes, I am saying this audibly), and I will show it by choosing to eat healthier, make better food choices, not tomorrow, today.

But that wasn’t the biggest discovery. The biggest discovery came when about 5 minutes after saying those words out loud about the people who I felt so hurt by, I felt lighter. No.Lie. I felt like, a good 5 lbs lighter! and I realized: hey! this forgiveness thing… is working already!

Until next time,

Roxie 🙂

 

It’s Not how I Start, It’s how…

 

road-start finish geralt -pixabay

July 22. A Reflection…

Today. I am 10 lbs lighter than I was a month ago. After being tired! and frustrated! with myself for putting on 10 lbs without blinking, feeling lost as to how I let myself “get here again”. Well. It’s NOT how you START. It’s how you FINISH. I’ve been doing a mostly fruit and veggie smoothie week (with 2-3 hours between meals to allow my food to fully digest from the previous meal). That means: 2-4 meals are smoothies in the day and 1 is a “regular” chewing food meal (preferably supper), and LOTS of water.

Why am I so content? I’ve gained my self-control back. I feel fuller and mentally sharper. I’m exercising 2-3 days a week, and  I’m feeling stronger, both physically and mentally.

I’m doing this not because I’m following someone else’s “plan” but instead, because I told myself this is what I will do to get back on track.This is for me to me: I’m trying to honor self promises. I am learning that’s one of the first steps to success.

 

5 Steps to finding peace with food again

July  15. Just like your secret amazing one pot recipe has the same fabulous ingredients you prefer not to share. So does weight loss. The only thing changes is the date but the method stays the same. Most of us have succeeded, maybe for a week, but we’ve succeeded!- at weight loss. The question was, “Can I maintain this same lifestyle for the rest of my life to keep the weight off?” That is the real success. isn’t it? Here is what I do when I need to get back to what works. And stay there:

  1. Eat real food first, before thinking of eating something from a bag or a can or a jar ( I’m including my favorite un-health food: nut butters here). If I’m hungry I will ask myself first: What are you hungry for? …What fruit do you want? Oh no? OK what veggie do you want? how should you prepare it? What seasoning will you use? What 3 ingredient smoothie do you want?…these questions help me do the right thing for my body before I hurt the poor soul.

  2. Drink my water. At least half my bodyweight in ounces. Not all in one shot though.

  3. Talk to a friend or journal about my stress!-instead of “eat” it away.

  4. Try and exercise for 30 minutes or more a day, 3-5x a week to help manage stress and stay limber.

  5.  When I learn something works, write it down! Great food or smoothie combo: Write it dow-n! like I once discovered eating chopped carrots and salsa filled me up and gave me the same crunch satisfaction as chips and salsa but at 35 calories vs 160 by ditching the corn chips so YAY-YUH,Whoohoo!!!

This is not magic. Obviously. It all takes time, patience, and discipline. But what is gained is the knowledge, self-control and a peace that no one can take away from me. Except for me.

Until next time,

Roxie 🙂

 

IT’s NOT QUALITY VS. QUANTITY: THEY BOTH COUNT

 

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JULY 19. How is it that there is a such great disconnect between what we WANT and what we need to do to get there. There is no other way around weight loss than changing how we view and consume the four letter word: FOOD.

To start, I had to learn about quantity. What a carb/protein…etc. was and what a serving meant. I also needed to learn how many calories I consumed compared to how many I burned in the day, by moving or even while resting. Then I had to learn about quality. How all food is NOT MADE EQUAL. And 250 calories of a pre packaged diet food, does NOT have the same health benefits as the same amount of calories in my vegetable-fruit smoothie. The differences matter. But it’s definitely not one or the other. It’s both.

Gather m’ facts…

Deciding between choosing a sweet japanese purple potato ( I’m plugging here. Please try  if you haven’t yet!!!) over an “energy bar” from the same “health food store” started by asking, What am I hungry for? do I really need to eat… right now? Can I just eat enough now, to make it home to cook the potato?

My answer? Back in the day, I use to grab protein bars. The Sugar free. The Low fat. The gluten…GMO…dairy… everything! free. Top choice. That is when it was all about quantity: taking in as few calories-or anything else- for my buck, as possible.

Well. I do still care about fewer calories.

But when I realize “Yes you need to eat NOW! you cannot wait Roxie!” Well. These days, the quality of the food is equally important. so before I run to the plethora of low-fat protein bars-and even in the health food stores-reality is for me, most of them have too many ingredients my body can’t processes well. Many have sugar substitutes and “natural flavors” which can be a loooong list of items food makers aren’t obligated to put on the label but can adversely affect my health, in the long, if not shorter, term.

So what do I eat in an emergency? Well I still care about my buck. I’m usually hoping not to spend a lot on a last-minute “feeding”. So now, I might grab a fruit, or low sugar cold pressed organic juice/smoothies that’s my favorite option, especially if  it has beets or carrots. But no, it’s not inexpensive. By any measure. But still my favorite. These are real foods. Whole foods. Quality foods! (so are carrots, which I’ve learned to eat and enjoy whole, washed with the skin on! Delish! even better than the baby ones, which I admit are great in a food “amber alert”) Not processed, dead foods that can offer no life and only artificial energy. To be consumed, at best, in rare occasions.

I am still learning the wisdom behind the super-human logic of going to the grocery store and picking food in this order:

  1. Fresh and Frozen Veggies (avoiding those I’m allergic/intolerant to) I try to choose one exotic veggie a month. Google it, cook with it. Season it myself. Experience the flavors. Write it down.  Cool experience: I really love it when I get my fresh veggies from the Farmer’s Market (more on the wonders of local farmer’s markets in separate entry…insert angelic voiced”AAAAhhhhhhh…” here), usually the vendor or another shopper next to me  will give me a great cooking suggestion if I just ask to myself- outloud ;)-…”How do I cook with this?!”

  2. Fresh and Frozen Fruit (unsweetened). (avoiding my allergy triggers) I choose one fruit I’ve never had before a month as well…

  3. Organic/grass-fed lean meat, Organic cage free eggs, on occasion.

  4. A little fat. Unprocessed first (Avocados, seeds, nuts- raw and sprouted first, roasted, few-cold pressed oil, avocado, coconut best, grass-fed butter) If tolerated at all. Listen and observe how I feel after eating any of them. My needs for fat will change depends on my hormone level during the month.

  5. Legumes, beans, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes ( Try the purple sweet potatoes!!), little grain. For me though, little to zero grain. Even oatmeal is a no-no for me. Popcorn in coconut oil is an OK grain- (warning! I’m plugging Popcornopolis here! Luuu-uuve them! I get no pay for that…)

  6. So what’s left?!… What is left includes: The bad/the sad/ the “why did I go mad”?…food item. Yes, 1 item. I serving size item. The guilty pleasure. And yes again. Pleasure is singular not plural for one reason: Self preservation. These foods make us sick, not only physically but even mentally, over time. There is only one way to wean ourselves off of the canned, bagged, fried, pre packaged pre-cooked/seasoned “un” foods: Don’t buy them. Or at least buy them last after all the other real food. At least my fridge and pantry are well stocked with foods that heal, not harm. That is the quality part. The quantity part is…

Now that the food-real food!- is in the fridge…

Next: Figure how many calories, that’s the quantity– I need to eat/burn a day to lose 1-2 lbs. a week. Then: Plan it out. Plan what and how much (good quality) food I will consume for breakfast, lunch and dinner ( I love myfitnesspal.com/app for this they make it so easy for this step! but there are a variety out there to choose from).

In the end really, it’s the same song, different tune: eat as close to nature as possible. But not too much. Quality and! Quantity: Matter.

Until next time:)

Roxie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re gonna Binge…At least! do it the right way.

greengrocers-gavilaPicture courtesy of Gavilla from Pixabay.com CC0 Public Domain

July 14. Oh this weight loss thing I call a “Journey” (it’s what I call learning my hair too…understanding my whole body has become a never ending “journey” I suppose) has taken me to so! many! places! And just when I think I’ve arrived at my destination, I am forced to pick up my bags and keep moving…cuz I ain’t there yet. That is especially true whenever I get on my high horse thinking I’ve conquered my food addiction. I can go for a long stretch feeling completely empowered and in control of my emotions and my so-called hunger ( I go into details about what that means in an earlier entry where I discuss how for me “hunger”isn’t always about food- but rather a false response to needing things not even in the genre of food, like needing to hear a friend or family member’s voice, or maybe needing a hug…). Then one day “out of the blue”: I’m not in control anymore. And sure, the reasons have been for an unending list of factors (I’m grown enough to admit are more often than not) all on me. I won’t go on forever but a few factors that can cause a “un (yeah, right) expected” binge are:1. After  feeling in control for a few weeks, I let my guard down and eat things that kill my “intuitive eating” signals (For me it’s usually anything in the grain and processed fats category).  Other times it’s just 2.stress, from any direction. Then other times it’s just plain 3.lying to myself that I can eat a food I know is a Binge trigger because “I’m over bingeing now” YES,THAT IS A LIE…I will always be in “recovery” but never “recovered. I’ve had to come to terms then, to this very undeniable truth, in my case. I WILL GIVE INTO A BINGE SOONER OR LATER.

So my tip for today, to myself, and to a few out there like me, is:

If you’re gonna binge… do it right, for Peter’s sake! First. Y’all must know this about me:  I am in noooo-OH! way advocating that giving into a food binge is ever “OK”. It really isn’t. But neither is a car accident. We still wear seatbelts don’t we? and If by encouraging me to wear a seat belt I’d interpret you to mean I should get into a car accident once in a while?…sure.You have the right to call me crazy. Same vein, I am advocating how I safely do what I may, unfortunately, experience at any time as a food addict, or any normal day, or what sneakingly starts out as one. So when it hits, I like to be prepared. Although, like a car accident, its much better to avoid a binge altogether.

So with that disclaimer. What do I mean by doing a Binge “right”?Well there isn’t anything technically “right” about a binge. But if it’s going to happen I will try to ALWAYS have the right foods in the pantry and fridge to lessen the impact and unwanted results from a Binge. My reality is: in my most desperate moments when I am trying to feed an insatiable “hunger”, or quiet an uncomfortable emotion that feels physically painful! I’ve given in and O.D’ed. I.E.Binged. Because my brain is beyond convinced that the answer is not in my husband’s touch or in my mama’s voice but for sure this time, eating is the cure!!!… on… Kettle chips? Nope I won’t buy ’em, I love em too much! Same ban on regular ice cream,  Peanut butter- even the organic kind ( I’ve tried them all, I love them all and I’m intolerant to them all. Plus, they’re too high in fat and mold anyway) is a no go either…. Sunflower seeds? Cashews…love ’em! Too addictive. Won’t bring those in the house anymore either.

So I binged on carrots. Yes.I said carrots. Like 8 big stalks of them. Because that is what I had in the fridge and it was colorful and crunchy so yup. I binged on carrots. Don’t laugh… OK… permission to laugh. Seriously though, I’ve cried myself to sleep because I couldn’t stop at one carrot! I use to believe that any lack of self-control was a failure. THAT IS STILL TRUE. But the difference between Roxie now and Roxie then is this: Accepting that failure: will happen. It is a moment in time but not who I am.

Repeat: A Failure WILL happen, but it is a moment in time, NOT who I am.

And in the end. I got a lot of needed vitamins for my binge.

The point is: I don’t do this every day(anymore). And it is the LEAST of the horrible things I can binge on. Which is why my Trick is: Keep the pantry and fridge stocked with BINGE Safe foods. Like Apples! bananas!  Cherries! Pineapple! Watermelon! blueberries! Strawberries! Jicama! Broccoli! Celery! Apricot! ( Try O.D’ing on those!!.. yeah well… I have. I’ll just say: not for the first time Binger!) and… Carrots!! Lots of ’em! And my eternal goal is never to stock my pantry with things that I should only eat in very little quantity or in rare moderation due to an intolerance or harmful ingredients, and definitely not things I’m allergic to. (And yes my husband has a shelf of all those things: My trick for that:Put those waaay far away and waaaay out of reach. Thankfully, my binge self likes more instant gratification, nothing I have to get a stool to reach.and my husband is a bit taller than I am.)

OK. Now. Rewind. The “unexpected” binge comes back. This time. I eat 5 Mangos. I try to go for a 6th but I’m full and my tongue feels all weird and sore from the acidity in the fruit. Nature has a very physical way of communicating when enough is enough. I’ve just never gotten that feeling with Donuts, until the entire 4,ooo calorie box is gone! Then I’m left feeling queasy, bloated and angry with the donuts, myself, the world. 5 medium size mangos? :1,000 calories max. And I’m not queasy, maybe a little bloated…but not very angry. True, I still believe calories matter. But I’ve learned when it comes to binges, the lesser of any evil -is the goal here. And if it’s a fruit or a veggie, it’s not even in the evil category ( unless you are allergic or intolerant,like I am to citrus and sigh, to my beloved bananas,moment of silence while I eat a banana).

Summary: So a Binge is never a good idea. But when (not if) it happens, my kitchen is wearing the safety belt: Lots of fresh fruits and veggies (no dip!)- washed and ready to eat. because when I’ve bulldozed through my pantry and fridge like an out of control 18 wheeler…at least it has a fighting chance at survival. And so do I.

No accidents here. #9 out of 9 Ways to Lose the STUPID lbs. :ON PURPOSE.

fruit lustrous pixabay cc0 Public Domain.jpgPhoto courtesy of Lustrous at Pixabay.com CC0 Public Domain

July 13. It’s uber clear from Tip #1-Tip #9 that purposeful weight loss takes a lot of concentrated effort at first. Yes… at first. I finally said it. I mean it too. No that doesn’t mean that it becomes less effort and more accidental…it become less concentrated effort. Oh I have many examples of what the difference is between the two to me. But just an example in my own life, when I learned at the age of 20-something how to play ping-pong…I broke out into a real aerobic sweat! It was like someone turned on the sauna and the treadmill on high under me simultaneously. You may laugh. But for me, whenever I learn something new that takes “concentrated” effort (skateboarding is still that way for me, boy do I sweat!) even if it’s not physically strenuous, I sweat. I guess I sweat from concentrating, quien sabe?! Whatever the cause, the point is, anything we do that takes effort, when we get better at it, we get over the learning curve and it will take less focused concentrated effort: OVER TIME. Eventually our bodies will signal to us  how it truly feels and what it really needs. and the answer won’t always be “food.NOW!!!”  or “MORE food NOW”.. we eventually become “experts” on bodies. We will feed it mindfully and healthfully. But that may take longer for me than for you. So!What! There is no race. It’s our bodies and only we determine how quickly we get to learn it. Here’s what I know though:  keeping good records on how i feel about why i eat and what i eat, as well as noting what makes ME turn to food at certain times more than others helps me get to “wonderland” more quickly (I’ve been there once or twice) and allows me to relax . A bit.
By “a bit” I mean not “too relaxed”. After 15 years of learning about my body and recording/logging my discoveries, when I allow myself to get too relaxed, I fall back into bingeing habits that make me miserable. “Too relaxed” means seeking instant gratification in food instead of long-term benefits of self-control and endurance. It means sitting on the couch eating a bag of popcorn when I’m stressed instead of going for a brisk run or jumping on the trampoline. Too relaxed Roxie is not who I want to be anymore.

In contrast, relaxed “a bit” Roxie, means trusting myself. To a limited degree I must trust myself enough to believe that even when I weaken in a binge, or stop working out for a while, I must believe that my fall is not permanent. I must believe that soon, before it’s too late and I am stuck in “miseryland” not knowing the way out, I have learned how to treat myself well again, for the long-term not for the instant gratification. It means believing that I have the knowledge and care enough about myself to want to move more and ultimately move forward. I will drink my water and eat fat(!) and enjoy my food, like I desire to do everything else in life: in moderation. In a Nutshell. This Tip # 9 epitomizes what it’s ALL about…

Tip.# 9: The Hokey Pokey.

Ok Not really…yeah yeah, sorry I had to do it.

TIP # 9:“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants”. 7 Simple words. They aren’t mine. It’s by author and healthy food expert Michael Pollan. They are poetic and at the same time, for a binger like me, almost insulting in their simplicity. If it’s so simple, then why isn’t it so… simple? I know why it isn’t for me. Because, it’s the old Roxie that didn’t know a calorie from carrot,who wants to creep back every so often, even though I am food wiser now, there is always a battle. But the battle feels easier over time, takes less concentrated effort. Only if we keep using and flexing our fight muscles. How? I Research like crazy healthy easy recipes, that I like to try. I  read articles (myfitnesspal.com, mindbodygreen.com) about how to eat healthier and how move more, when I lack desire and motivation. Sometimes I fail. I try again. In time it I believe it will feel less like of a fight. I won’t even break a sweat. It will in fact be just “how I roll”.  Still me. Just a healthier more determined me.

It’s been 15 years on my weight loss breakthrough/journey, and there are still: no accidents to weight loss on purpose. Period. I’m constantly determined to follow my own tip #9 above, so that even when I go crazy (read: binge). It’s within moderation. Next entry will be all about that.

Spoiler alert! Binge is also in its title.

Until next time…

Roxie