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This week marks the 8th week in Transformation.com’s 8 Week Super Summer Challenge.  I had a few goals set for this challenge…..

  • Release 10#
  • Skate up the 8 levels of the 8th St. Parking Garage
  • A faster 5K  (goal to beat 44:44)
  • Get up to 10# free weights without hurting my tennis elbow
  • Faster 25 Derby Laps (Last pace 5:00.02)
  • Finish the See Jane Run 1/2 Marathon in 03:30:00 (I finished in 03:29:59 according to clock but ankle timer was a few seconds faster)
Having finished the 1/2 marathon in the right time….and stepping on the scale yesterday with a total of 9.8# released so far (certain I will make the 10# goal)….and already using the 10# weights 3x/week without elbow pain…that still left me with the faster 5K, the parking garage and the laps…
Last night, my hubby and I made a little visit to the 8th Street Parking Garage with my skates!  I felt all sneaky like.  A part of me KNEW that this couldn’t be allowed in the parking garages, but my friends had done it before and didn’t mention getting busted.  But either way, I wasn’t gonna take the chance.  So We went up to level 2 where the parking starts to get my skates on. *laugh*  I didn’t want the attendants to see me rolling in through the gates *laugh*  Anyway, I skated up there.  I am not certain what preconceived notions I had of this adventure, but I thought I would KILL me.  I thought it would be harder than heck!  Yes, there were parts that were hard.  Every level had an up ramp and then a semi flat part.  So my legs had a bit of a rest at every level.  One thing I did notice was that the cement was grippy and hard to push on..especially going up the up ramps!  By the time I got to the top of every up ramp, my legs were noodles!  I was very grateful when I got to level 4 and the cars thinned out and I had the place to myself for the remainder of my skate..which made it that much more enjoyable!

Resting the legs on the "flat level" enjoying my skate 🙂

Skating is always worth smiling about!

Contemplation, alone time, pushing hard up hill!

Made It!!!

BUSTED!

I had not planned on coasting down.  I thought that would certainly kill me!  But once we got to the top and took some pictures, I thought…”Why not!  At least on the empty levels!”  So I started down on the “flat” part of the level and realized the “flat part” wasn’t so flat and I was already catching some speed.  The steep parts might be a bit intense.  I turned the corner to go down my first steep part, when I heard my husband yell from the car….”CAR!!!”  I looked up and stopped. It wasn’t just any car, it was security!  BUSTED!!!!!!
“Ma’am, you can’t skate in the parking garages.”  He said with a smile and amused look in his eyes.
“Okay,” I replied.  “I just wanted to skate up the garage.  And I’m done so I’m leaving anyway.  Thanks.”
The passenger security guard looked at me with a laugh, “I bet that was a workout!”
“Yes, sir.  That was the point.  I did it, and now I’m getting in my car and driving down.”
They were all smiles and very sweet. I think they were expecting to find a rowdy mouthy teenagers and were shocked to find a 42 year old woman!  *laugh*  It was fun..and boy did I feel like the rebellious teenager they were expecting!  Ha!  It’s good for the soul!
One more goal down…….a few more to go!
Last night I went to bed early.  I knew it would be a cool morning and I wanted to get up and out early for my run.  So this morning, I woke up and I could feel it!  Today was going to be the day!  I put on my running shoes, got my Nike+ Ap running and hit the pavement.  My knees were trying to tell me otherwise.  My back was trying to tell me I was crazy. My lungs were NOT happy.  And my mind wanted to play games with me!  I just told them all to be quiet..we were gonna do this today!!!!  So I ran…and walked…and ran some more.  I didn’t use my formal 4 min run 2 min walk training, but I was close.  My running was faster, my form (thanks to Chi Running) is getting better.  But I’m still running too fast for my lungs.  Gotta work on that.  Anyway… I did it!  My  original goal was faster than the 45 minute pace I had been running for my 1/2 marathon training.  Then I had the crazy goal of 43 minutes today.  A goal is no good unless it is specific..faster just wouldn’t do.  I needed a specific time!   So I set what felt like an impossible goal to reach..shaving off 2 minutes of my time in a week?  Seriously?
Well ya know what?  You are more than you ever imagined you can be!!!!  You are a limitless being of the Divine Creator.  AND SO AM I!!!!
Today, I finished my 5K in 42:38!!!!!!!!
5K time 42:38
So there ya  have it….2 more goals checked off the list!  I will get to Eagle Skate Park sometime this week to re-run laps and see where I am :).  What goals are you reaching for????

Leave it to me to find a spiritual connection to Roller Derby.  *laugh*

Okay, Roller Derby itself may not have a spiritual connection but when I plug into and the circumstances surrounding me and the Derby are considered, then there is a spiritual connection.  And I just have to write about it!

Ever since I was a little girl living in a roller rink (a rink rat) doing figure skating, speed skating, and disco skating I knew I was meant to be on 8 wheels!  I watched the roller derby on TV and told my parents I wanted to do that.  Instead, I was put into soccer and softball.  Okay, I understand that there are no youth leagues for roller derby so joining at the age of 10 might have been a bit impossible.  It doesn’t change the fact that I don’t think my parents liked the idea.  Let’s face it, the outward appearance of a roller girl is a little rough around the edges and the sport itself (especially back in the 70’s) looked brutal!  What Southern Belle mom would want that for her little princess?

Fast forward a couple of decades..okay..almost 3 of them.  Boise started its own roller derby league, the Treasure Valley Rollergirls.  I remember when they started announcing this and looking for league members.  I thought, “Wow!  That sounds like fun!”  I’m pretty certain Tracy encouraged me to try out for it then.  But truthfully, I was scared.  Over weight….hadn’t been on skates in almost 10 years….and really knew nothing about it.  Then every year after that, when I heard they were training for a new season, I would say, “I really want to do that.  I have always wanted to do roller derby.!”  And every year Tracy would say, “You should do it.”  Scared.

Okay, so here is where the spiritual stuff comes in.  You know I have been reading tons of books, right?  I mean that is why this blog got started.  52 books in 52 weeks:  The God Project.   A blog about self-discovery and my spiritual path and finding my own answers for God in my life.  It was going to be about more than just the books; it was going to include my experiences too.  So I did a firewalk centered around breaking through fear; and my intention was about breaking through the fear of starting my own roller rink/community center for children. I read a couple of books and heard a couple of sermons/seminars about FEAR.  Fear is there to protect us, but it is also a false emotion.  It doesn’t just protect us it keeps us from taking risks that help us grow!    It keeps us from change.  “What if I fail?”  “What if I look like a fool?”  “What if I get physically hurt?”  “What if I die?”  Die?  Seriously?  I was once told by a teacher to first consider the worst (death) and then expect the best!  Deep down, our biggest fear is that whatever we are afraid to do is rooted in the fear of death.  I don’t think Death is high on the “injury lists” for roller derby!  I think my chances are death are higher just crossing the street!  So with the worst considered..its time to expect the best!  It’s time to face my fears and show them who is boss!

I went to my first “Fresh Meat” (that’s what they call newbies to roller derby) practice a week ago.  RaeZer (the coach) worked me hard.  She told me I would hate her at the end of practice. (I didn’t.)  She kept telling me that she was working me/us harder than she has all season, and for my first day I was doing really well.  I kept hearing from the other league members that were there hanging with the Fresh Meat that I was doing really well and I had natural skills that could be polished. (Boy am I glad I grew up on skates!)  It felt great.  Then at the end of practice I was told that I should be at 2 practices a week.  Fresh Meat practices are Wednesday 6:30-8:30 and Sundays 10:00-12:00.  Rut roh!!!  I can’t make Sundays; that is church day (and time).  RaeZer said, I could come to league practices on Tuesdays.  Great!  I will do that.  Then it dawned on me:  “I just signed up for my Science of Mind class at church and I am committed for the next 9 weeks!”  I was upset.  I just got my nerve up to do Roller Derby.  Mike bought all of my gear.  And now this…….

You know, life has a way of throwing curve balls at you.  When you are afraid of doing something, and you set out to do it, it doesn’t mean it’s going to come easy.  It doesn’t mean that all the obstacles will fall away.  However, if you follow your heart…if you listen to your intuition…and you do what is right and best for you, everything will fall into place.  The Universe does not give to you what you can not handle.  It will  not give you a challenge without an answer; you just have to be open to it and step out in faith!

I had this challenge in front of me. I had to make a decision.  My spiritual life is so important to me.  Obviously…look at my blog!  Yet at the same time, Roller Derby  has been my dream for my entire life!  There had to be a way!

So I made a decision.  I emailed the rollergirls and explained my situation.  I decided I would make every Wednesday practice and I would make every other Sunday.  I never did hear back from them.  So I went to practice last night.  RaeZer told me, “Church is very important.  I understand if you can’t make it.  Just show up when you can.”  I knew I had made the right decision, and by doing so, the Universe gave me the confirmation and life is great.  I can have my church and derby too!

Have you ever seen roller girls?  Alot of them are “thicker”, “stockier”, “bigger”, “solid” girls.  Yes, there are some thin and very fit girls, but I think this may be one of the only sports where a girl my size can play and even feel comfortable playing.  Last night as we practiced and I did my drills, I could hear the other girls in the line saying, “Look at Martha go!”  “She used to be a figure skater.”  I could hear them saying good things about me, and after one of the drills I got back in line to hear two of the league members trying to find a roller girl name for me.  I’m not gonna lie, that felt great.  AND…..I realize that I must not get cocky.  I do not say these things out of boastfulness, but out of a knowing that I found my spot in the sporting world.  It was just another confirmation that I am in the right place at the right time!  A girl can’t afford to get cocky in Derby, you will get your arse kicked…especially if you are Fresh Meat AND cocky!  Not a great combination.  A “tough humility” is a good thing :).

It feels amazing to be my size and living life to its fullest.  To find a sport that I love and seem to be a natural at.  I was never very good at soccer, softball, volleyball or even tae kwon do.  I’m not a great runner, even if I did finish a marathon (by walking of course).  But roller skating?? I am pretty sure I was born with 8 wheels on my feet!  So here I am 236 lbs and finding a sport accepts my size and doesn’t blink twice.  It encourages me to get out there regardless of my size or even skate ability.  They will train you.  They will get you in shape (not to get you in shape..but to help you become a better roller girl).  Losing weight, getting stronger, getting leaner will be a natural extension of a sport you love and practice.  This is the way life should be, in my opinion.  Instead of being called obese or fat, you care called “solid” and praised for having hips!  Jammers can’t knock you over or push you out of the way because you are “bigger” than they are.  I guess its kinda like the guys on the front line of a football line up…ya know those guys who want to be 300#….  No I am not looking to be 300# and I’m certainly not looking to stay my size, however, I am thrilled to death that there is a sport that I seem to be good at and I love…and I can do at my size!

Remember when I read the Geneen Roth book Women Food and God and there was another one that I can’t remember right now, and they talked about the “waiting game”.  I gotta lose weight before I can do that….and always putting your life off until “it” happened.  Well I am no longer waiting.  I don’t care how scared I am.  I don’t care how hard it may be to make those laps around the track.  I don’t care how silly I might look while trying to get my “derby legs” underneath me.  I am doing it NOW!!!!

I am taking the Science of Mind class, and we were just talking about Affirmations this week.  I was feeling a little down on myself about my fitness and health routine.  For whatever reason, I just have a hard time staying committed.  I went to therapy for this last year.  And here I am again.  I have gained alot of the weight I lost last year back.  This doesn’t make me happy. I am obviously missing something; I’m just not sure what it is.  So while we were working on affirmations Tuesday night, this was what I was working on.  Rev. Jackie said that everything we want has already been created and is already there, just waiting to be revealed to us.  My perfect health and perfect fitness are already there, I just have to first believe it and it will be revealed!  This I know to be true.  So I go forward with my derby practice and I hear them tell me how good I am.  More importantly, I FEEL how good it feels to be doing these things well.  The more physical things I do, and do well, the more I feel my body’s perfect health and fitness coming into being!  So my  new affirmation:  I am grateful, excited and KNOW that my perfect health and fitness already exists and are within me!

And how do I know this????  Because I am a roller girl!!!  I participate in a sport that uses and stretches my muscles and my stamina.  It uses and stretches my emotional well-being.  It uses and stretches my intellectual well-being.  It builds my self esteems and I KNOW I am in the right place!!!!

I love the fact that I can take seminary classes at church AND be a roller girl!!!!  My life is truly blessed!

On May 7th, 2010, I turned 41 years old!  It was a party; as a matter of fact, I partied for about 2 weeks!  I absolutely adore my life and celebrate it every day!  And this last year  has been one of the best years ever!

When I was approaching 40, I thought, “I’m gonna lose enough weight to jump out of a perfectly good airplane for my 40th birthday.”  It didn’t happen.  Instead I started my birthday out right with a birthday party filled with laughter.  I had a laughter fitness instructor deliver a laugh o gram, and my whole party joined in the laughter.  We wore silly hats and had a great time! My husband and my best friend bought me a ride in a Nascar Race Car on the Las Vegas Speedway.  I got in the car with a professional racer and went around the track at 245mph!  I was excited and scared all at the same time, and when the car started moving all of that fear went away.  It was fabulous!  I loved it!  And while we were in Vegas we saw Jimmy Buffett and partied all weekend.  It was awesome!  It was a great way to start off my year.

So between my 40th birthday and my 41st birthday, life has changed dramatically.  Until just before my 40th birthday, I hardly ever laughed.  Now I laugh all of the time.  I smile all of the time.  I actually feel JOYFUL 98% of the time!  I know this because in 3 weeks, in 3 different settings I have had people come up to me and tell me that I am radiating love or happiness.  The first time this happened was right after my husband and I joined our church.  One of the church members came up to me at the end, and said, ‘I just had to hug you because you radiated love from up there on the podium.”  Then the next week at a Tropical Cowboys show, the drummer came up to me to give me a hug and told me the same thing, “I see you all the way back here radiating love.”  Then just last weekend, on our way through the security line at the Boise airport (on our way to Vegas again) a TSA lady came up to us and stopped us.  “Where are you going? I just know it has to be some place fun, because I have never seen people rush up to the security line with such smiles on their faces!”  We told her we were going to Vegas.  And she said, “I have never seen 2 people so happy!”    Funny thing is, we weren’t near as excited and boisterous this year as we were last year heading to Vegas.  *laugh*  It’s just that I have changed so much!

So what happened????  To say I really don’t know would be a stretch I guess.  But I can’t tell you one specific thing that has changed.  It is just a matter of things accumulating I think.

1)  I learned to laugh and not take myself so seriously!

2) I found work that I take joy in (being an Independent Beachbody Coach)

3)  I work out alot more..almost every day

4) I have lost weight (not the amount I had always strived for) and I have gained some back, AND I am happy with who I am!!!  As long as I FEEL good that is all that matters!

5)  I take risks!!!!  If I am scared of something, I make myself do it! I don’t let fear keep me down!  I started living FEARLESSLY!

6) I KNOW & TRUST that my highest good is always being taken care of….worrying is wasted energy.

7) I am growing spiritually and intellectually through all of this reading I am doing.

8) I have learned to say “No” and “Yes” at the appropriate times!

9) I love freely and share that love with everyone I meet

10) This is  my favorite..jsut the other day, when one of my class mates was asked, “What part of God do you see in Martha?”  her response was “Authenticity”  When we moved to Idaho, it was my goal to live openly and be authentic with who I am….And her reply was exactly what I needed to hear to know that I am living my life the way I have always dreamed of living it!

Sure I have challenges.  Sure I would still love to be a lesser physical weight.  Sure I would love other things to change.  However, I LOVE MY LIFE NOW!  In this moment, right where I am, I LOVE IT!  I have one of the best marriages I have ever seen.  I have 3 beautiful loving strong children and one  just as beautiful loving and strong daughter in law!  I have volunteer work that fulfills me.  I have a job that keeps me active and encourages me to be better.  I belong to the perfect church for my life and it is filled with so  much love it is palpable!  I am making new friends who love me for me!  It’s perfect!

And for my 41st birthday, that same friend who helped with the race car ride, bought me my roller derby gear.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to be in the Roller Derby.  3 years ago when Boise got its Roller Derby League, I told my hubby that is what I wanted to do.  And every year since, when I start seeing their advertising, I say the same thing.  “I want to do that!”  Well, yesterday was my first practice as Fresh Meat for the Treasure Valley Roller Girls.  I was scared.  Here I am..41 years old, well over 200#…and just started roller skating again after not skating for over 10 years!  I put on my shiny new speed skates, and pads and got out on that track!  I was scared to fall; what if I looked stupid?  What if I couldn’t get up?  What if it was all too much for me?  What if I am too out of shape?  To heck with the “what ifs”  Just get out there!!!!  So I did.  When it came time for practicing our falls, my new friend Crash told me “you have great knee pads, just trust your gear and trust yourself.”  I did.  And guess what?  I didn’t get hurt!  When it came time for endurance practice, they cheered me on!  When it came time for weaving drills, they cheered me on!  I was told, “You have great skills to build on!”  “You are a natural”   “You must have been raised on skates.”  And when it came time for backwards skating, I blew them all away. Even the non-fresh meats.  I skated circles around them.  “Wow!  Look at Martha go!”  I’m not gonna lie, that felt damn good!   I was exactly where I needed to be.  It was the perfect fit for me.  The only sport I have ever felt comfortable in was a sport that included roller skates!

There are sooo many lessons to be gleaned from yesterday’s Fresh Meat practice.  Living fearlessly:  Fear is there to keep you safe, but if you are already safe, it is just a hinderance; it’s a lie!  Taking risks is how we grow!  It’s a must!  Learning to trust ourselves and trust “our gear”.  Let go and trust God.  We will never know how great we are at something unless we give it a try!  We will never know the joy of accomplishment if we don’t take that first step!

On mother’s day this year (which was 2 days after my birthday) my  kids gave me this huge card that had this granny woman doing the splits on the cement.  When you opened up it played one of my favorite disco songs.  (My kids know me so well.)  But what they wrote inside of it was so touching.  My 17-year-old son told me he was proud of everything I have accomplished this year and encouraged me to keep it up.  My 10-year-old daughter told me basically the same thing.  That is such an amazing feeling.  They see all the changes I have made in my life this year.  They recognize this brighter side of me.  I know I am setting a great example for them.  I know what I am doing is right!

If you are sitting back in that comfortable space of fear.  If you are afraid to take risks and would rather live a “safe” life, then I challenge you to make some changes.  Take a step outside of that box you have built for yourself.  Get out there and enjoy this life.  We are here to experience it and live it..not to watch it float on by us like a parade!  Get up and join the parade!  Dance with the clowns!  Play those blaring horns!  Maybe even do some juggling.  And remember, even in a parade, there are people who have to pick up the horse manure!  It’s not always going to be fun and games, but it is always worth the risk!!!!!

I’m in the front left hand row with the white shirt.  This is at my first Treasure Valley Roller Girls Fresh Meat Practice…learning to skate in a pack and listen for verbal ques and directions.  So  much fun!

“Your well-being is reachable, for its maximal potentiality has never left you.  You have simply forgotten where it lay.”  This quote can be found toward the end of Hanle’s book, but it states very simply what can be found in the pages of her book.

Last summer when I started on my weight loss journey (for the umpteenth time) I decided that I really needed to see a therapist.  I have done the yo-yo dieting since my teenage years.  I have done so much spiritual studying.  I knew that this wasn’t just a matter of the scientific method of eat fewer calories than I am expending.  My up and down weight issues are the result of something deeper.  Therapy worked to a degree.  I learned alot.  But there is still so much more to learn.  It was a great starting point.  This Blog project picks up where it left off.  And then this book comes my way.  This book talks exactly about what I have been feeling.  It takes the reader on a journey of awareness to the realization that our thoughts create our reality.  Yes, that means that our thoughts have created our obesity!  MY THOUGHTS HAVE CREATED MY OBESITY!  In the very last chapter she actually states that “obesity is a choice”.  It  may be an unconscious choice, but it is a choice I have chosen none the less.  Once we have this awareness, we can now begin to get to the root of the issue and change our perceptions!  Fantastic!

Hanle admits “this book will surely challenge everything you  have heard or read about weight loss.”  Well isn’t it about time that something/somebody does that?  Look around, America, obesity rates in adults and children are on the rise.  With all the diets, all the gyms, all the resources in this free country, we are STILL getting bigger and bigger.  What’s the definition of insanity?  Well it’s about time we start doing and thinking things differently!

Beyond Fitness contends that to really start changing our lives and living healthier lifestyles, we must first understand 4 Universal Principles.

  • The Core Thought Principle:  the beliefs on which we make our choices.  There are only 2: Love or Fear.  If all of our choices are coming from a Self belief of Love, then our choices will be healthy (physically and emotionally).  If our choices come from a Self belief of Fear, then the result will likely manifest in health issues such as being over weight.
  • The Cause and Effect Principle:  “Choices create actions.  Actions create reactions.  Actions and reactions are consequences.  Desiring another consequence implies choosing differently.  choosing differently implies creating new possibilities of thinking.”  This section also talks about how addictions are created and you really start to see how the yo-yo dieting is perpetuated by your thoughts (or at least I did).  I also started to see that I have to really take responsibility for my own actions.  I can’t blame my parents for this.  I can’t blame anything or anyone for this.  What I do and what I see are direct effects to the actions to make based on my beliefs.
  • The Common Denominator law:  Many of us tend to live our lives in victimhood.  Why do I always end up with a broken heart?  Why do I always get involved with the “bad boy”?  Why is it that these diets just never work?  So take a look at your failed relationships (whether romantic or platonic) and take a look at your diets.  What has been the “common denominator” in all of them.  YOU.  Or when I look at myself…”ME”.  It’s not the relationships that fail me or the diets that fail me.  Its ME that fails me.    “What happens to you belong to you.  You are either the unconscious or the conscious creator of your perceptual reality.  Nobody can claim this ownership and no one can undo what you  have done.  So, embrace your creative power and start to make the changes in your Life that will make each of your days a blessing……Be the one who makes the difference in your life the one who makes the difference in other people’s lives.  Let your example of courage inspire others on the same path.  Be this someone who experiences a Life that is free of the burden of misery.  this existence that we all deserve is success, and peace will lie within.”
  • The Impermanency Law:  Life is fluid and always changing.  NOTHING stays the same.  We can choose to follow the flow of the current evolution.  We can decide that we like what we see right now and continue to make the same choices every single day that perpetuate the state of living that we are living now…OR..we can decide to make a difference choice that completely changes the path of our own evolution.  Which would you rather?  “Life, in some ways, repeats itself, as long as the need for understanding remains.  but a wider consciousness can lead our hope for happiness to a great level, by opening doors to a multitude of possibilities we previously feared.”  When I read this section of the book, I thought about the cycle of physical, emotional, sexual abuse in my family.  I decided when I found out that I was pregnant with my first child that I would break this cycle of abuse.  Well my family also has a cycle of obesity; and I have decided to break that as well.  Plain and simple.  What kind of life do you choose to live?  What in your life needs to change in order for you to live the life of your dreams?

This book also comes with a practical guide to help change your beliefs.  This process is called the F.A.C.T. Factor Strategy:  Forgiveness, Attitude, Courage, Time.  Hanle suggests that you read through the book before doing the exercises she gives you…so that is what I have done.   In this section of the book, there are numerous deep thoughts and amazing quotes, and I will leave you on your own to discover them for yourself.  They will mean more to you that way :).

“The energy we use to create our Life can not be destroyed, but its movement can be redirected.” In her chapter called “The Modus Operandi of Empowerment” she shares with her readers all of the things/beliefs she felt were important for her own weight loss journey:  Faith, Visualization, Affirmations, Repetitions, Prayers, Synchronicity/Coincidence, Curiosity, Meditation, Finding a Mentor, Relaxation, Discipline, Water Intake, Breathing, Muscles, Flexibility, Food Intake, and Books.  (BTW…I LOVE her list of suggested reading :))

Hanle also talked about the power of your words.  This is the same kind of concept as discussed in The 4 Agreements.  Your words are how you create your world.  Be careful with them.  Mean what you say and say what you mean.

When she talks about the differences between creation and limitation, her words created a beautiful vision for me, and I would like to share that with you.  “Fully express your self by being free of limited paradigms and limited perceptions.  the beauty of our reality lies in its impermanency and its endless possibilities.  reveal the limitless resources within by setting its boundaries out of sight.  Empower your very center and build your body like a cathedral.  Be your own architect and design the temple you foresee.  Enjoy the journey.”

She ends her book by talking about our future…..our children.  Let us not pass on our own fears and insecurities to our children.  Let’s leave them a legacy of  physical and emotional health.  Let’s break the cycle of Obesity in America!  It starts NOW.  It starts with you and me!

There are so many great quotes and thoughts in this book.  I swear Hanle was writing my life story in her book!  It truly spoke to my heart.  (Is it  just me, or do I say that about all the books I blog about. *laugh*)  She continuously says that this book is filled with Truths, not THE truth by A truth. You get to decide if it’s Truth for you. As for me, it is absolutely Truth.

This must be my week for simple and easy to read small books.  At 113 “meat of the matter” readable pages, this book is another one you can read in a couple of hours.  It’s simple, easy to understand and very informative.

As a woman who has been dealing with weight and food issues all of her life, I truly appreciated this book.  It’s not about taking away and depriving yourself to get healthy, but rather adding simple things to your lifestyle that will result in better  health and more energy!  Who doesn’t want that?

I’m sure you have heard all the general rules:  60 minutes of exercise, eat 5-6 small meals a day, drink more water..and you might have even heard meditate, meditate, meditate.  Simple Health Value, is a fan of most of that, but it won’t require a huge change in your schedule or for you to go out and buy new exercise equipment or join a gym.  As a Beachbody Coach, it may seem counter intuitive for me to tell you not to buy extra exercise equipment, but as a woman with weight issues and a busy life, I love what Dr. Myers says and I will  pass it along!

According to Dr. Myers there are 5 Simple Health Values that you can add to your life with very little effort.  They are:

  • Drink more water
  • Eat fresh
  • Move daily
  • Sleep and Rest
  • Breathe

Drink More Water:

You might be just like me, and regularly ask for diet soda before you ask for water.  It is a habit.  I remember when I was a kid, if you ordered a soda at a restaurant the drinks were not refillable.  So we were always given a glass of water and 1 soda.  Water was refillable.  Naturally, we drank more water back then.  I remember the day that Chili’s opened in Dallas and I found out that I could drink an unlimited amount of Dr. Pepper!  It was like the heavens opened up and rained down this beautiful gift of unlimited manna from heaven!    It was the beginning of the decline of my water drinking (not that I drank alot of water anyway).  My parents were not water drinkers so I never got used to drinking water.  I’m not blaming it on my parents; I’m just saying it wasn’t a habit I formed as a kid.  Our culture, our commercials, encourage us (and our kids) to drink anything BUT water….soda, sunny D, Capri suns, energy drinks..you name it.  With everything else out there, water can taste a bit flat and unexciting.  Yet, water is so very important to our bodies.  It lubricates our cartilage.  It helps with our blood flow.  It keeps us clear thinking.  It helps detoxify our bodies.  It does so much.

We NEED water.  But how do you know if you are getting enough.  I know I have heard about a dozen different theories.  8-8oz glasses of water a day should do you.  Well, for most of us, that is alot more than we drink now.  But also for alot of us, that is not nearly enough!  That is only 64oz of water a day.  Dr. Myers gives a great water calculating example:

  • Take your body weight and divide it by 2.  So I weigh 236.  I should drink 118 oz a day.
  • Divide that number by 8 (8 oz per glass).  For me that is about 15
  • I need to drink 15 glasses of water each day to be properly hydrated

That may sound like alot.  So  how are we/me going to get all that water into my day?  Dr. Myers gives some great suggestions.  Drink 2 glasses right when you wake up in the morning..before you drink anything else.  Carry a water bottle with you in your car.  Make sure there is a water bottle on your desk at work.  At restaurants get in the habit of drinking water.  The waiter will keep it filled up while you eat and talk; that should get you a couple of glasses of water right there.  Drink a glass of water before you  hit the bed :).

Remember that water is a good appetite suppressant.  When you think you are hungry, before you eat, drink a glass of water…then see if you are actually hungry!

If you don’t like the taste of water, if it’s not exciting enough for you…try putting lemon and/or mint in your water.  Try sparkling water and add lemon to it.  You can also drink herbal/noncaffinated tea :).  I drink herbal tea to help me relax before bed :).

Eating Fresh:

You should be getting 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day.  Last year, I read this great book called Extreme Spirituality, and one of the exercises it suggested was living/eating simply.  This meant to eat fresh and put away the processed foods.  I know that as busy moms’ the processed foods offer us convenience, but those chemicals are killing us.  The fresh foods give us more than just nutrients.  They give us the energy and vitality that is within them.  It is better if you can get your fresh foods from some place local where they  haven’t been sprayed with chemicals to make them last longer, and you know they are fresher.

So, how in your busy life are you going to get more Fresh Food into your body?  Add some fresh fruit like bananas, strawberries, blueberries to your breakfast cereal, yogurt or even your desert at night.  You might like to grate a carrot into your scrambled eggs in the morning.  Take baby carrots or celery sticks to munch on at work.  Take raw nuts like almonds to munch on; you can keep them in your car and eat them while you are driving. (Okay that goes against what I read in the book Women Food and God…but I thought I would throw it out there).  I know when I am eating a sandwich for lunch, I like something crunchy like chips to munch on too; so I replace the chips for carrots :). Instead of that chocolate bar, you can replace that with an apple or an orange.  Or heck, keep the DARK chocolate on the menu and eat it WITH your apple :); it’s a great combination!  Another one of my favorite ways to get the leafy greens in my diet is to add fresh spinach to my sandwiches.  This isn’t about taking away the things you love; it’s about adding to them.  I bet once you start to feel the benefits of eating more Fresh, the cravings you get for the other stuff will go away.  I know that in my life; that has been true.  (That is until I start eating the unhealthy stuff again.)

Move Daily:

Okay, this is a big one.  So many people tell me that they just don’t have time to “work out” or “exercise”.  Dr. Myers isn’t talking about setting 60 minutes aside a day to work out.  He isn’t talking about the 15 minute drive to the Gym plus the added cost of a Gym membership.  He is talking about taking the dog for a walk, instead of letting him out the back door.  First thing in the morning, get up and do some crunches and push ups to get your blood pumping.  Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator or escalator.  Park further away at the grocery store or on the way to work, and walk.  At work, when you take your breaks, take a walk around the building or up and down the stairs.  When you clean house, make a point of making more movements, bending down further, lunging while vacuuming.  Your garden/yard work counts!  Just add more movement to your day.  Instead of driving the kids to school; walk or ride bikes with them.  Go the park to play with your kids or dog.  Simple, easy additions to natural movement in your life.

Sleep and Rest:

As adults, we tend to get busy and stay up too late and wake up too early!  Our bodies NEED sleep.  This is the time when our bodies get the most oxygen; from that deep breathing we do when we sleep.  Our body regenerates and heals. The muscles heal from the day’s exercising.  Our brains get a reset switch.  We NEED sleep.  Dr. Myers suggest setting an alarm clock to remind us that its time to go to bed.  You need enough sleep to go through all 5 cycles of sleep, and each cycle needs up to 110 minutes to be complete.  You do the math!

So how are you going to get to sleep earlier than you normally do?  Stop drinking coffee/stimulants so late at night.  Instead, replace it with a nice herbal noncaffinated  hot tea that promotes rest and relaxation.  Create a “going to bed” ritual that your body will recognize and say “hey!  it must be time to sleep!”  That might include the tea I mentioned and a nice relaxing book or a hot bath or aromatherapy (like lavender) in your room or meditation before bed.  Just create one and do it every night, and it will send a signal to your brain and body to shut off and sleep well.

So what about rest during the day?  Rest is different from sleep. Sleep you HAVE to do (eventually) but rest is a choice.  You body needs a break from the go go go that it does.  Take 2 rest breaks a day..whether that is stepping away from your desk or your computer and going some place quiet to just relax..or going out side to watch the clouds float by.  This may be a time when you decide to get some of that natural movement in by taking a walk around the building at work..or maybe a time when you decide to get some extra deep breaths in.  The beautiful thing about this book is that it talks about adding things to your life, and often these things can be added at the same time.  It’s actually time-saving!  During this break, you can walk, deep breath, get the fresh food or extra water in :).  But you need to step away from the go go go and relax your mind and body :).  Or…if you have time and extra money..schedule a massage once a week.  I realize this doesn’t help every single day, but it will help with the detoxification process that the water does, it will help with the breathing, and help your muscles and body functions work better :).

Breathing:

We take this for granted every single day. I mean let’s face it.  From the minute we were born, we started breathing on our own.  We don’t really control it.  It does it on its own.  Yet it is vital to our living experience.  Without it, we would die!  But most of our breathing we do during the day is shallow.  We spend a great deal of our day yawning.  Why?  Because we are not getting enough oxygen.  We need to be conscious and include deep breathing into our day :).  First thing in the morning, when you wake up, take some deep breaths….from your belly.  Put your hand on your diaphragm and feel it rise and fall.  That is the kind of breathing we are talking about.  When I was a massage therapist, I used to have my clients lay on their back and practice this to  make sure they understood what deep/belly breathing means.  Not only will this help you feel more refreshed and help you with your short-term memory, but it will help with the muscles in your neck that are being used to help you do that shallow breathing you do so consistently.

So how are you going to get this into your daily life?  Dr. Myers suggested setting visual or audible cues.  Like when you see something, it reminds you to take a deep breath.  Or when the phone rings, before you answer it, you stop and take a deep breath before answering.  These breaths should be in through your nose then out through your mouth.  I had a mentor once that suggested we take 5 “ha” breathes.  Inhale through our noses then exhale through out mouths making that breathy noise you make when you spread moisture onto a mirror to clean it off…”hhaaaaaaaa”.  Do this 5 times in one sitting; it will give your more energy and revitalize you!  It works!  I promise!  This will help with stress relief :).

So this may all seem like alot to do in one fell swoop.  I know I tend to swing in major pendulum motions.  An all or nothing type of mentality.  That is not always healthy.  As a matter of fact, it is a fool-proof way to ensure that you quit!  So, Dr. Myers suggest taking one of these Values and start with that.  Once you have successfully incorporated this into your life, add another one.  Slowly……

His book has so many wonderful suggestions and tips. I highly recommend his book.  It can be found on his website:  http://www.simplehealthvalue.com/default.asp

I will leave you with this quote from Dr. Myers, “Remember any amount of forward momentum in simple health decisions is a success.  And success is my hope for  you.”

The other day, at the urging of one of my friends/mentors, I watched The Shift by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Here are some of the quotes from the movie that stuck out for me..along with some insights.

• “We can not live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning for what was great in the morning will be little in the evening and what in the morning was true at evening will have become a lie”
• The real purpose of life is to just be happy where you are. Return to nature. Find your own nature.
• “All being originates in non being”~ Lao Tsu.. Jesus said “It’s the spirit that gives life. All of our purpose, everything that we are to be (physical, mental, spiritual), was all given to us from the moment of conception, but its our culture that tells us differently.
• Edge God Out (Ego) “Who you are is what you have” is what the world would like us to think. “The more that I have, the more valuable I am as a person” Not only is what I have what I am; it is what I do. It becomes achievement. We become consumed by success, my value, my worth as a human being is what I accomplished. Competition is what the Ego says. I am what other people think of me (my reputation). I have to dress the way people think or there is something wrong with me. Women: in relationship to family, the only way we can fulfill ourselves is by how we relate to our family: mother/daughter/granddaughter. This is NOT The only thing. When we have a calling to do something great. Don’t ignore that calling that says we are here to create something powerful. We have just as much of a right to do this as anyone else.
• Who I am is separate from everyone else and everything that is missing (all the things I would like to have) in my life. We think we are separate from God. I came from a source and this source is everywhere. If there is no place that it’s not, it must be in me and what I feel to be missing from my life. Then in some way that is missing from my life, I am already connected to it in spirit. Just have to find the knowing to connect with it.
• Let yourself be lived by it rather than you taking over
• TS Elliot, “We shall not cease from exploration. In the end of all of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
• Non interference: parenting is not about having children lean on you but making leaning unnecessary. They have a compass, let them follow their own compass; freeing you up to be your own person on your own time and allowing them to become who they are to become.
• If you can stop interfering in your own life and just be done, everything will be done for you.
• Enthusiasm: Greek: Enthios yasm “the god within” when you have enthusiasm/passion for something. In side of you, that is god speaking to you saying “don’t get to the end of your life and ask say “what if my whole life has been wrong’”.
• When you trust in yourself, you trust in the very wisdom that created you.
• The best way to have those doors open is to forget about yourself and serve; it’s always about service. You can’t attract what you want into your life; you attract what you are.
• Sometimes all you got to do is show up and engage and music happens…YOUR music happens
• I think you have to get to a place where you no longer focused on just yourself and the things you really want for yourself. When you begin to say “how can I want them more for someone else than I want them for me?” That’s God Realization.
• You must be like what you came from; if you came from divinity, you must be divine. If you hold your hands up and say these are the hands of god, and what does god do with his hands? God is just giving that is all God know how to do.
• Becoming the observer (step back) you begin to live in process, trusting where our source is taking you. You begin to detach from the outcome. That detachment allows you to stop fighting and allows things to just come to you; you no longer make things happen but allow them to show up. The fight is gone.
• We came here with music to play…
• When the shift happens, you begin to realize you are not here to push life and make it a struggle all the time you being to enjoy life and that is what happens in the afternoon of life.
• After all this time, the sun never said to the Earth “You owe me” Just think what a love like that can do; its lights up the whole world.
• “If you want to be like me, knowing that we are alike, I will help you. If you want to be different than me, I will wait until you change your mind; and you will change your mind” ….Jesus from A Course In Mirracles.
• No one needs to ask the question “What is my purpose. It will always be founding service. If you can just for one day put your attention on making life better for someone else, if you can focus on thinking like that. That’s how god thinks.”
• To touch someone’s life is more valuable than any amount of money
• You can run an entire business on not being attached to outcome and putting your attention on service. Your life becomes about living these virtues: how can I serve, be gentle & reverent. Thinking like this means you are living in meaning.
• The messages of the morning are about what you can and can’t do…about how society defines you but in the afternoon after the shift its about connecting to an energy that is taking care of everything and we are all just being done. Living the virtues is all we need to do.
• It’s about surrendering to something else that is bigger than you and is control of everything.
• You’re only a thought away from changing your life.

Most of these have been quotes or ideas from the movie itself. I did a lot of stopping and rewinding so I can get the words right. This was such a beautifully made movie with even more beautiful insights. The whole time I was watching this movie, I felt like I was surrounded by this loving peace…like being wrapped up in a warm, fuzzy blanket.

This is one other scene in this movie that really got to me, and I did not capture any direct quotes from it. In the scene the maintenance guy from the hotel (where most of the movie took place) thought he was alone while he played this amazing piece of music. Well one of the characters had been quietly sitting in a corner without saying anything, until the music stopped. They started up a conversation about why the maintenance guy doesn’t play piano for a living.

His reply went something like this: I used to love to play the piano. When I started playing as a young boy, I played for it for myself. Then I started playing for the audience. And I began to wonder if I failed at playing the piano, if the audience would still love me. So I began to fail on purpose. I would miss notes here and there, and the audience members noticed, and they began to treat me differently. They didn’t love me when I didn’t play perfectly. So I stopped playing all together.

This hit me like a ton of bricks. Self-sabotage: that is what he is talking about. In my eating/weight struggles, I have done exactly this. I start doing something right, and I lose weight and I get praise from my husband or my children. Then I wonder, will I still get praise from them if I eat a muffin and drink a diet soda; will they still love me? So, I start eating like crap again. And sure enough, Nate (my 17 year old son, whom I have given permission to rag on me if I eat like this) starts to rag on me and berate me for making poor choices. And to me (even though I have given him permission to do this and keep me in check) it felt like he no longer loved me. (Whether I asked for it or not, whether it’s true or not, that is the way I felt). So I would give up on eating right and exercising, and I would gain back the weight plus some. I’m not entirely certain how to correct this other than to refocus myself and do this FOR ME and no one else and to let go of my EGO….because ultimately that is what is causing such issues. Letting go of EGO can be difficult (because we make it so). Letting go of outcomes……….. whew…breaking habbits…that is what this is about.

Interestingly enough, one of my good friends also watched this movie (and neither of us knew the other was watching it). He too has a weight issue, and we have supported each other through this over the last several months. When I told him about my insights regarding this part of the movie, he said, he came to the same conclusion. Pretty cool, I think.

Anyway, it is a truly amazing movie. I have never read any of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s books. I’m not sure how they slipped under my radar, but they have. He will certainly be put on my list for the year. Along with some of the books he mentioned throughout the movie.

Also, if you are into listening to some great music, the Ethan Lipton Orchestra is the band that plays during the movie, and they are amazing!