the whole you project

Finding Your Balance: Mind, Body and Spirit


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Nobody wakes up in the morning saying, “You know what? I’m gonna fail today”.  But sometimes, even our best laid plans are not always full-proof.  Case in point:  I recently started a plan to exercise regularly, eat right and lose weight.  My resolve was clear, focused, and on point.  I lost 3 pounds in 14 days and was on a roll.  Then came sinful temptation in the form a  red velvet cake.  I choked…I caved in…I ate.  There I was, stumbling back toward that abyss of sugary madness that once held me captive– followed by a dramatic Florida Evans moment:  “Damn, damn, damn!”

The damage was done. I had once again failed at my attempt to stick to the plan.

As I began to pick up the pieces of my latest weight loss debacle, I had what drug addicts and alcoholics refer to as ‘a moment of clarity’.  I began to take a closer look at not only WHY I failed this time, but HOW I failed.  I started out so strong. What happened?

1)  I realized that the temptation was offered after a stressful day at work.

2)  I didn’t have one of my healthier alternatives to snack on instead.

3)  My husband went back for more, so I did too–twice.

4)  I put too much pressure on myself to go cold turkey.

As the pattern emerged, I also noticed that after not eating sweets for two weeks that I got a major sugar rush followed by a major energy crash.  I guess I had grown accustom to that lethargic feeling, but the 14-day sugar hiatus made me aware of what I was actually doing to my body.  That’s when the light bulb came on.  Could it be that in the midst of my failure, I have found the seeds for  my success?   In that instant, I not only sized up my opponent, but found a few tricks to shut it down the next time it rears its ugly head:

  • I know now  that junk food is not a stress reliever– in the end, I felt worse.
  • It’s important to keep a variety healthy snacks in my purse, in my desk and at the house for those weak moments.
  • Moderation trumps deprivation.  Knowing that I can have a taste now and then is better than lusting after someone else’s portion and over-indulging.

I feel like I’ve taken a step forward even in this failed attempt.  But a lesson learned from failure is a lesson toward success.  Funny how things work sometimes, isn’t it?

Thanks for letting me share with you, and as always, enjoy the balance of your day.

Andrea

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I’ll Be Happy When…

“When I get married, when I find the right job, when I hit the lottery, when I get a new home…I’ll be happy.”  You’ve probably said something like this at some point in your life– I know I have.  So many people get caught up in this mind set.  You work your butt off trying to achieve a goal that you think will make you happy, only to find that when you achieved said goal, something was missing.  You may have felt happy for a while, but that accomplishment soon began to fade and you went looking for some other diversion to give you that happiness fix.

How is it that people who have very little seem to be so content with their lives?  Is it wrong to want more? Of course not.  But our lives do not consist of the abundance of the things we possess.

Simply put, Happiness is a choice.  I believe it is the state of positive well-being and contentment we feel when we can appreciate what we already have–rather than lusting after what we do not have.  The truth is, when you decide to happy, you put yourself in a position for the success you’ve always wanted.

I had always wanted to be married, thinking that my husband would complete my life.  It was only after I made the decision to be happy with my life- whether I was married or  single- that my love came along.  And by then, I was in no rush because I already had what I was looking for:  I was truly happy-  Husband just added to it.  This gave me the motivation to find that same contentment in other areas of my life.  It isn’t always easy, but its never boring!

Here’s what I’ve learned about being happy even when you’re dealing with a challenge:

  •   Get the focus off of yourself.  Go do something nice for someone else and notice how much better you feel.
  •   Reflect on the positive things that happen to you each day.  Even the smallest things can have a great impact.
  •   Excercise.  Physical activity releases endorphins into your blood stream which make you feel better.
  •   Take mental health breaks daily.  Get by yourself for a few minutes, close your eyes and breath deeply.
  •   Surround yourself with things that make you smile.  Pictures of family, friends, favorite places, funny sayings-  take time to look at these things and appreciate the joy they bring.

I’m feeling happier just sharing this with you, and I hope that you can pass these tips along to someone else who may be having that pity party for one.  We can truly be happy but like anything else, it takes time and practice.  I hope your journey to happiness is a good one.

Until next time, stay well and enjoy the balance of your day!

Andrea


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I Want My Body Back

Since my recent breakup with many of the foods that I love (see my last post “End of the Affair”), I have now begun the daunting task of replacing those less than nutritious items with healthier choices.  My reason is simple:  I want my body back.  While I’m not considered obese (my BMI is 29), I’m too heavy for my 5’5″ frame–plus my clothes are fitting too tight and that ain’t cool.

I knew I would need a plan because let’s face it–if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  To help me get started, I recalled one of the first health interviews I ever did in 2006 with fitness expert Russell Cliche.   Here are five things he recommends that every erson needs to do for optimal health:

1) Drink plenty of water.  Whatever amount you are drinking now, drink more.  Experts agree that drinking water helps to flush impurities out of your body, but it also helps your thinking.  Your brain operates off of electrical impulses and water is an excellent conductor of electricity.  If you keep yourself hydrated, you’ll not only feel better but you’ll think more clearly.

2) Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  If you put cheap gas in your luxury car, it won’t run well.  The same thing goes for your body.  Increasing the amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet will give you more energy and help you stay full longer- which cuts down on cravings for the not-so-healthy stuff.

3) Move your body. Simply put, find a physical activity you like and do it often.  Get your groove on and dance, walk, run, swim, take an aerobics class, kickbox…whatever. Shoot for 3-4 days a week, but take it easy if you’ve been inactive for a while.  See your doctor before beginning any serious fitness routine.

4) Add some weights. Many women still believe that lifting weights will make them bulk up like a dude.  The truth is, the female body just isn’t made that way.  Adding resistance training to your workout will actually help you tone your body, maintain better balance as you get older, and yes, look sexy no matter what age you are.  Get with a trainer or even ask a coach at your local high school about proper form when using weights.  By adding two days of resistance training to your workout week, you’ll be well on your way to a hotter body.

 

 

 

 

 

5) Get some sleep. Not good enough sleep, but real “hog calling”  deep sleep.  During this time, the body repairs and resets itself, so experts say 7-8 hours is necessary for optimal health.  I don’t about you, but I do well to get 6 hours.  This is one I’ll have to research a little deeper, but I’m willing to give it a try and get back to you with the results.

So now you know:  this is the basis for my plan to get back on track and back in shape. This is as good a place as any to start.  I may not come out looking like Halle Berry or J. Lo but its always nice to have aspirations.

Take care, my friends and always, enjoy the balance of your day.

Andrea


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End of the Affair

Hello My Darling,

You know how I feel about you.  The relationship we’ve shared has been one of the most important in my life.  When I was sad or upset, I knew I could always turn to you for comfort.  When I celebrated an achievement, you were right there to share in my joy.   But it is at night that I want you most.  I would find myself lying in bed with my husband thinking of you.  How I craved you…. to ravish you with my tonuge and become intoxicated by your sweet and savory aroma.  You have been my favorite addiction, my secret love. The very thought of you makes my mouth water even now.

That’s why it is so hard for me to write this letter to you.  The fact is…as much as I want you, I can’t do this anymore.

I look at myself in the mirror, and I don’t recognize the woman I see anymore.  I feel like a fleeting image of the person I once was- no longer full of energy and vigor, but a woman weighed down by…..weight….30.1 pounds be exact.  This is the direct result of my love affair with you- FOOD.

So my Sweets, it appears that we must refine the nature of our relationship.  I love you baby (back ribs), but I want my body back. Excercise alone just isn’t working.  Try to understand– its not all your fault.  No one held a gun to my head and made me dive head first into those Krispy Kreme doughnut **deep sigh** but I must take steps to regain control of my eating habits.  Even if they are baby steps.  There’s a healthier side of life that I’ve got to explore to rid myself of the guilt that haunts me everytime we’re together.

 

I hope we can still be friends.  We’ll see each other from time to time but my mind is made up.  From now on, I’ll keep a safe distance and I ask that you respect my wishes.

 

I will miss you, but we both know its for the best.

Andrea