Sunday, April 12, 2015

My Exercise/Gym Update: April 12, 2015

Today, it is a personal post, regarding my current exercises and gym experiences.

I've been going to a new gym for the past 2 1/2 months. So far, it's been...GREAT! This gym is a longer trip from my house, but there is more weightlifting equipment in a bigger space and a well-thought set-up. I have met a few of the old regulars of the weightlifting area, which is always fun. I'm sort of a weird fitness person doing my own thing, doing a big bench press sets with the 45 pound plates and then doing yoga balancing poses in between sets, so I often get invited into lively and fun conversations about exercise.

One of the older weightlifting guys asked me if I know how to rehab knees. I told him how I was in constant pain last year with my knee --but this year, it's totally pain-free. I showed him my leg twirls that helped my knee get rehabbed. I hope that helps him.

Another guy asked about weak/sore back, in which I suggested that he might try Lat Pull Downs set at a light amount of weight to rehab his back. Lat Pull Downs are a deeply under-appreciated exercise. Everyone should do them.

Personally, I have done 700 pushups in the past 4 weeks. (No...I don't do them all at once!!! Lol.) I do sets of 10 and then take a break to tidy the house, sort mail, or stir what I'm cooking. I do not like pushups at all, however, pushups allow me to do a great bench press, which I *do* like quite a bit. So I force myself to do them, which is good for me to force myself to get unlikeable things done to get a happy result at the gym.

I'm still doing chin-ups and standing back bends each Sunday-- at age 47. I was talking to a 40-year-old woman in the locker room who totally agreed-- at our age, it feels amazing and awe-inspiring that we can do the exercises we do! We enjoy our personal fitness capabilities so much!! Younger people take these same exercises for granted so they don't feel the joy of accomplishment that we feel.

I am back on track for yoga too. Last year, when my knee was so hurt, I could not do many yoga poses. Contrary to popular opinion, yoga can be incredibly hard on knees, especially if they are previously hurt. So I abruptly stopped doing several yoga poses last year. But now both knees feel great, so I'm back to doing all the yoga poses I love to do.

I have given up Bosu ball balancing. One day, hours after leaving the gym, my one hip felt...I don't even know how to describe it. But the hip issue was with me for 2 days. I knew it was from Bosu ball balancing, and I didn't want that feeling in my hip joint. Bosu ball is just not worth any sort of joint issue for me.

As one guy at the gym was telling me, they show an adventurous/reckless exercise on, but they don't show the aftermath of all of the people who are injured from doing that exercise. So true! More and more, I am choosing tightly controlled exercises and avoiding Bosu balls, big kicks, jumping, side hops, and anything that is more likely to get me unbalanced that I hurt myself. This is my personal choice based upon how much I truly resent being injured.

As one older weightlifting guy was saying to me, he doesn't understand why the younger weightlifters take so much needless risk. My comment back was: We see this mainly as a journey, while they see it primarily as a goal. Perspective is everything!

Walking: I walk Keebler one mile per day in our neighborhood. Besides that, I tend to walk 2 to 3 miles just doing my normal activities. Usually, on Saturday, I have a bigger walking day involving shopping. I think this is a walking amount that feels great.

Lastly, I've been trying to make a grocery trip right after gym when I'm feeling physically at my best. The foods I purchased reflected how I was feeling. I had a delicious salad with fresh dill in it. Fresh herbs transform salads. My son commented that the salad did not need dressing. 

What do *you* think? What good things are happening for your fitness and eating?

Have a Marvelous Day!

:-) Marion

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Your Personal Health Victories Mean *Everything*

I saw this from My Real Yoga Body and was wowed by it:


“My yoga teacher took this of me today. When I look at this my first reaction is of disgust. I didn’t see what my teacher saw. ‘Look at your top arm and leg. The openness at your chest and hips is beautiful!! How straight your are able to get, and how you are supporting yourself and balancing on one arm and leg.’ Years of hating myself won’t go away over night, but with the help of supportive friends I’ll get there. Yoga is for EVERY BODY.

Richard Widmark, Jr., the yogi above, now loves yoga. He found yoga to be special on his own terms. Much of what he says is very much how I have experienced yoga for myself. For more of his story, watch his videos at his blog

Our own personal health victories mean *everything!* no matter what anyone else thinks.

Our personal health victories are about each of us personally.

It is a self-exploration about who we are as individuals.

The victory comes from little triumphs that are most appreciated internally, little yays!!! in our mind as we are each the best cheerleader for our own selves.

It is about being more than we imagined. It is about stretching to a broader expanse than we knew was possible in our lives, both physically and mentally.

It is about seeing our own selves as beautiful and poetic in our own originality.

We should *not* try to be someone else or copy their personal goals,
but deeply appreciate our own wonders as they unfold and are revealed to us.

Our best victories are tucked into a corner of our soul to be cherished by ourselves. 

What do *you* think? How do you view your personal health victories? What advice could you give to others about this topic?

Have a Beautiful and Poetic Day!

:-) Marion 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Visualizing Yourself as "Fit," and "Slim": The Mind Game You Must Win

The hardest part of losing weight and keeping it off is: the mind game, of course!!! We can more easily change what we see in the mirror than how we see ourselves in our minds. So this post is aptly named -- Visualizing Yourself as "Fit" and "Slim": The Mind Game You Must Win.

Good habits and rules are superficial unless we have changed how we view ourselves. Over and over, I see that people who have changed their health for the long-term have changed how they view themselves.

How we view ourselves in our mind is our current standard for ourselves, whether we like this standard or not. If we strive for something different, we are very likely to eventually gravitate back to our mind's standard of our self. After this long of living your life, it is very hard to distinguish the truth from the mental garbage, especially if you feel that you should be doing better for yourself.

Hey, I have no problem with this technique if it works for you. ;-)

Separating the truth from the mental garbage takes new deliberate thoughts and actions. Perhaps you believe that you don't like exercising, but maybe that is only based upon bad experiences from phys. ed. Most people I know absolutely hated phys. ed. because it is demoralizing. But what if you found new friends at gym who were your age, but encouraged you to have fun and that you are "worth it," could that change your view of fitness? Definitely!

Perhaps you believe that you don't like vegetables because your mom always cooked them up mushy and tasteless, creating a bad experience with food. However, could you challenge yourself to take a new try at vegetables by trying a simple recipe on Pinterest that incorporates flavorful spices? I have found that after learning how to spice my veggies better, I like them so much more!!!

If you've had many years of feeling "chubby," it is very hard to visualize yourself as "slim." In fact, after I lost weight, it was still hard to see myself as being much slimmer. It takes time, and it helps a great deal to gain friends who have "slim thoughts," versus "chubby thoughts." These slim thinking friends offer fruit to you as a snack, rather than a cookie or doughnut. They eat salads beside you. They make water look like it's a trend you want to join. They regularly exercise. The more slim thinking friends you have, the more normal that it seems in your own life. When "slim," actually gets "normal" in your life--that's a new health standard for yourself!

If you've had an adulthood of feeling "out of shape," it is time to find some "fitness thinking" friends. These fitness thinking people have *FUN!!!!* in the gym. They have gym projects that they enjoy!!! They love to talk about fitness and exercise! They love to encourage a receptive gym goer. The more fitness thinking friends in your life, the more normal it seems in your own life. When "fit," actually becomes "normal" in your life -- you did it, you've started seeing yourself as "fit."

Arnold wants to give you a great big bear hug! 

If you can't seem to find "slim thinking" and/or "fit thinking" friends in your community, carefully read blogs and fitness books until you start to relate to these people--like me. This week, I re-opened some classic bodybuilding fitness books because Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dave Draper, and Lou Ferrigno had super high standards for eating and weightlifting. When I contemplate and absorb their messages, it helps me "belong" in this healthy eating/fitness fanatic group. All of this applies to me too! (And while I write this, I'm eating a bowl frozen blueberries instead of the Snickers ice cream in the freezer, thinking that Arnold, Dave, and Lou would highly approve of my choice.)

You can change how you internally view yourself. It isn't easy, but all of this self-exploratory work is definitely worth it!!! When you change how you feel about yourself inside, your outside will physically manifest that new belief. Indeed, these new thoughts and standards that I learned and developed for myself is how I turned from extremely chubby to the much healthier person I am now.

What do *you* think? How did you change your "chubby thinking" into "slim thinking"? How did you get yourself to get higher health standards for yourself? Did friends, mentors, or role models help change your mind for the better? And anything else you'd like to add.

Have a Terrific Day !

:-) Marion

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cornell Food Lab: Weight Effects of Cooking Shows and Recipe Books (You need to know this!)

The Cornell University Food Lab is putting out *useful research* for how to better watch our weight.

Here are two research discoveries they have found:

Viewers vs. Doers: The Relationship Between Watching Food Television and BMI, appetite, brian wansink, lara latimer, lizzy pope, cornell food and brand lab, food psychology, viewer vs doers, 2015


Marion's experience: 

I have personally found that I overeat recipes-- every time!!! Because I know this about myself, I try to stay far away from recipe books, choosing the cooking style of cooking whole foods well with added spices and herbs. I've gotten *much* better with using spices in the past few years, resulting in much better tasting healthy food.

Most of the TV cooking shows are what I would term, "holiday food," indulgent calorie-laden food that a slim person cannot eat on a daily basis without gaining weight. So why watch it?!!! 

Instead, head over to Andrea's blog to learn how to cook whole foods in a yummy way. When I first started reading Andrea's blog, I honestly didn't really think her type of cooking applied to me. It was very far from the food of my upbringing. However, I kept reading and thinking about what she said, and eventually, Andrea's influence changed the way I eat in a huge way. I now regularly make acorn squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, and many other healthy food ideas that I learned to grow *comfortable* about from reading Andrea's blog. I love her healthy food prep blog articles too, where she chops up, places in containers for the fridge and otherwise plans healthy foods for the week. She's practical and simple about healthy food cooking, and even beginners can learn from her.

I can honestly say that out of all healthy food blogs I've ever read, I've been most influenced by Andrea's blog. Thanks, Andrea!!! So, if you want to eat much better, or just get interesting whole food ideas, check it out. 

Food for thought: Practice deliberate thinking about food. Fattening food thoughts influence our weight in a bad way. Healthy food thoughts help us eat better and keep at a better weight.

What do *you* think? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic.

Have a Super Eating Day!!!

:-) Marion

P.S. I am going to the kitchen to make baked apple chips now. :-)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Awesome Eating Advice from Scooby (Re: Daily Food Choices)

This morning, I was psyching my own self up to eat healthy and saw this outstanding Scooby video. If you don't know, Scooby is the weightlifter guy on who is in outstanding shape and very lean and tells you details of how he accomplishes it. His blog is linked on the side of this blog.

As I was watching this video, I thought of all of you!  You friends who are currently trying to lose a certain amount of pounds. Also, never forgetting, you maintainer friends who need to hear "the messages" in different words by different people to remain fresh in your eating mission and vision. We all need these messages!

So here is the Scooby video.

This is a very long video. If you only have a few minutes, here are my favorite quotes of the video, and at what point in time these topics occur:

46:17: Re Social occasions: 

“My nutrition for this contest is tightly controlled. There is no such thing as ‘live a little.’ There is very little wiggle room in…my daily calories. …Never go into social occasions hungry, because then you are just asking for trouble. Eat your meal before you go. …Find something to eat that has very few calories and meets your macro…pre-eat, and order a garden salad with dressing on the side…don’t eat the dressing…it looks like you’re eating a lot, but you are consuming about 50 calories.”

57:10 Re “Healthy but Bland” food choices: 

“No, I didn’t learn to like it. As a matter of fact, I don’t like it. I would rather have bacon-wrapped pizza. That tastes a heck of a lot better than brown rice and chicken breast. It tastes a heck of a lot better than plain oatmeal made with water and no sugar. It’s not a question of what tastes the best, it is the question of what is acceptable. …If I ate what I wanted and wasn’t concerned with health, I would weigh 800 pounds, and that wouldn’t be muscle, it’d be fat. I actually have to avoid really tasty foods because I have no off switch. I would eat an entire bacon-wrapped pizza. I would eat an entire batch of cookies. The way that I can stay healthy and fit is to not have those around. Yes, you do learn to like them [healthy/clean food], when you stop eating the pizza and artificially flavored things, the natural flavor of foods do come out and become a lot more interesting. …But it’s never going to be as tasty as a piece of pizza, but you can make it acceptable. I love my salsa. I love my hot sauce.”

Marion's Personal Notes: 

People ask me if I like apples as much as fattening desserts. The answer is No!!!!! Some people wish I would say that apples taste as good as cheesecake, but apples don't taste that good. Further, apples don't give the huge brain zing of cheesecake or satisfying tummy ache of cheesecake. Apples are a food that I eat everyday that allows me to be healthy and at a slimmer weight. Cheesecake doesn't. Apples are never going to taste as delectable as a sugar-y fattening dessert like brownies, cookies, or candy. Still, I do like eating apples, and they do taste good, and they keep me at this weight.

There is a sacrifice involved to losing weight and keeping it off. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to continuously eat at a lower daily amount of calories. If I go up in calories, I gain weight directly proportionate to how much more I eat. There is no other way around this point: To weigh less, you have to eat less. If you eat more, you will weigh more.

On most days, I don't eat favorite foods. I eat basic health food. I eat eggs, apples, oranges, chicken, tuna, mixed vegetables, and other stuff like that. These are not my favorite foods!!! These selections do not taste like yummy restaurant food! However, I do like these foods as being basic good food. I honestly believe that the food sacrifice is "very worth it." I am incredibly healthy and look my best. Physically, I feel wonderful everyday! That is worth some food sacrifice on a daily basis.

What do *you* think? This post actually took quite a long time to type out those Scooby quotes, so I hope it helped renew your healthy eating pledges to yourselves. It did for me!

Have a Great Eating Day!

:-) Marion

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Dealing With the Anger-isms (that make you do angry-eating)

Yesterday, my husband and I spent over an hour cleaning up junk food wrappers and other various garbage left over around our block after the snowbanks melted. My husband had the tool with the clasp at the bottom while I held the garbage bag with an increasingly larger amount of nasty garbage.We joked about how the "human squirrels" have such terrible eating/smoking/drinking habits, while we cleaned.

Many neighbors are mildly angry, not just annoyed, but have a real form of anger about people going through our neighborhood and littering without any concern about how we, who live here, feel about it.

I can understand their anger, but I've found that it is better to have a "take-charge moment" where I just deal with the situation, rather than be angry at people/litterers who I know are not coming back to clean up their mess. My husband and I can count on *ourselves* to make the situation better. And we did. When we were done, it looked like we had taken a vacuum cleaner over the block's lawns and gutters. It looked great!

We did the cleaning for *us.* You need to understand that point. We saw other neighbors, who did not pitch in to help us. Still, this is *our life* and *our block where we live* and it was *definitely* worth our time to feel personally happy about our neighborhood's condition.

There are *many* situations that can cause, what my middle daughter calls "anger-isms," that anger past being annoyed that just simmers long-term under the radar that does *not* cause you to feel vicious or want to slug someone. However, this form of anger *may* make you feel like a victim and may make you feel like doing angry-eating.

So, instead of being angry about sloppy stuff people do, just clean it up. Have a "take-charge moment" and tidy up areas of your life that other people messed up, doing the cleaning for *yourself.* You deserve a happy life in a great place to live. Make it that way, without depending on others to do that for you.

Having a "take-charge" attitude will help you with your weight, because this attitude is about generally being happier and in better control about your life, which is a very happy feeling. Further, taking good care of your life is closely analogous to taking good care of your body. If you are happy, you do less emotional eating, including angry-eating.

Today, I am also doing some spring cleaning in my home. I honestly don't like cleaning, so I'm certain that Netflix shows will accompany me through the house today. But so will Keebler and a big glass of iced tea. It should be a great day of making my life happier in little tidy ways.

What do *you* think? How do you personally deal with anger-isms?

Have a Beautiful Sunny day!

:-) Marion

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Re: Being a Food Addict

I was talking to a TOPS friend about this last night:

Just because I have been controlling my weight quite well for the past few years does not mean that I am "cured" of my food addiction. I am still a food addict. I spent over 15 years of my life being very overweight. During those 15 years, I continuously overate. Those memories and low standard of health and living are a sizable part of my history. During those 15 years, I ate down family-sized bags of candy bars by myself quite often. I could *still* easily eat down a family-sized bag of mini candy bars, and there are times when I feel the urge to do that.

I am still a food addict, even if I don't look like it. I still have a long overeating history that plays mind games with me. I still find myself trying to play those bargaining mind games about why I "deserve" an unhealthy food, or that I've seen slim people eat that same food without getting fat. When I do play the mind games and I talk myself into eating addictive foods, I gain weight from it.

I have kept my weight off, not because of metabolism, genetics or any other magic, but because I eat specific foods in specific amounts almost every day. I have food rules and mantras. I go to TOPS every week because I need to go. I usually avoid eating out at restaurants. I try to bring an apple or orange with me whenever I walk out the door.

If you struggle with your own weight, I still understand. Don't imagine that I don't understand it anymore. I still live the life of a food addict. Every day is a new day with new eating challenges. The day that I don't strongly face those eating challenges is the day I gain weight.

There is not much different between maintaining a weight loss and losing weight except that those of us who have lost weight and kept it off have learned to be more consistent in our efforts over the long term. But don't ever think that a person maintaining a weight loss has an easy-going time of it. Most of us wish we didn't have to concentrate on our food selection and portions as much as we do. Most of us wish we could eat "anything" and keep our weight off. But it is not effortless for us, or we would not have gained so much weight in the first place.

Part of food addiction is: When we eat an addictive food, we do not stop at a moderate portion. Even lately, I have tried and failed to eat a moderate portion of spaghetti. It is not doable for me, unless you hand-cuff me and tie me up, or something like that. Moderation does not work for me. I either avoid certain addictive foods, or pay the price of gained weight.

I am writing this partially for myself because certain people have asked me why I can't just follow good eating habits I have set and focus less on my eating while maintaining my weight loss. My short answer: I am a food addict, and it doesn't work like that.

What do *you* think? Is this helpful for anyone? Is any of this true for you? Do you agree or disagree with statements made above for your own situation?

Have a Beautiful Day!

:-) Marion