Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category

Corralling the Monkey Mind

Cheetah on My Mind

Lately, my mind has been performing a constant series of mental gymnastics. It makes it especially difficult to sit down and put words to page as they flit by so rapidly, even my speedy typing can’t keep up. It took me three days to settle it down enough to produce a 1000 word post about the last event I attended with my photographer friend. Was it my best quality work? Maybe, and maybe not, but at least it got writ.

On several occasions, it crossed my mind to add a post to my blog as well, but the very idea of sitting down and typing actual words sent the monkey into a screaming hissy fit of hysterical screeching and flinging of poo. (not a pretty sight, I assure you!)

I’m not really sure what allowed the furry fellow to settle down enough to let me work, but I got a good 3 hours worth in today and now, here I sit, putting more words to screen. Perhaps it’s the daily meditations. I actually completed 12 weeks of listening and have re-started at Level 1 of WTGOM. Meanwhile, I’ve reached Level 4 of WTGOWL and am slowly but surely releasing fat, thanks in part to a healthier diet, but aided and abetted by NEAT (a concept which says I must get up and move every hour more than just my regular bathroom visits), increasing time spent moving with the music and encouragement of my Wii Fit and of course, the incredibly supportive Neurogym Weight Loss community. With their help, I’m learning to stay on track, cheer my victories and accept the now very minor setbacks with an honest look at the behavior that caused them. No guilt and no blame makes it much easier to get back on track and discourages the binge eating which accompanies self-flagellation.

We and We Alone Are the Creators of Stress

As I sit here, monkey mind is still dashing off in many directions, further complicating my ability to hold a thought long enough to transfer it from brain to fingers. I’m thinking about the interview I’ve yet to turn into an article and questions I need to prepare for the next one. Then there’s my daughter’s graduation, a commitment I’ve made to a local wild animal rescue and the list goes on.

I was reading an e-book about recharging and how we cope with stress today. As I read, I saw how many things I’ve released over the last couple of years which should have brought my stress level down to nothing. But, in some ways, I guess I’m a modified version of a Type A personality as I seem to bog myself down with things I need to do, should do, want to do…and so on. In reality, there isn’t that much, but I’m finding even article writing isn’t simply a matter of looking at my notes and letting words fly. I tend to find, as I write, that I’ll find something I need to check on the net in order to make the article as perfect as I can. Then my mindfulness clock goes off and I know I really should get up and do squats or something.

If that wasn’t enough to rekindle a fire under my stress responses, I’ll suddenly remember something I forgot to do which means jumping up and doing it before I forget it again. Now, I’m further behind on all of my shoulda, coulda, wouldas.

Loving Myself, Warts and All

Ultimately I remember to just stop, breathe and give my little inner monkey time go gather his toys and his blanket and settle down for a nap. Because we really are in charge of that crazy, erratic, seemingly intractable mind running relay races in our head. We can stop our own insanity without shouting ourselves hoarse. All we have to do is stop, relax, take a few deep breaths and allow ourselves a moment or two to just be without accomplishing anything or making lists or berating ourselves for our shortcomings. In those few quiet moments, we can also add a couple of “I love you just the way you are”s. Because in those moments we give ourselves several times a day (or should be if we aren’t already), there is no judgement, no recrimination, no blame and no guilt.

Those moments of pure self-love calm the mental monkey because he feeds on our sense of uber responsibility. Giving ourselves permission to be less than perfect; to only accomplish as much as we reasonably can in any 24 hour period, to eat one small wheat and preservative filled cracker; to be what we really are, and that’s an imperfect but perfectly lovely human being.

Who Knew Letting Go Was the Real Solution?

Funny, when I stopped fighting the mental gymnastics, the words began to flow. When I stopped trying to figure out why a particular article was stressing me out, the answer came like a flashbulb going off. When I stopped worrying about what to write in this blog post, 800+ words found their way from my fingers to the screen. When I let go, everything began to flow smoothly again. Why do we make something so simple seem to difficult?

For those of you (and you know who you are) who are fighting with your own monkey minds as you push to get just one more thing done before you drop into bed at 2 or 3 or 4 AM, I challenge you to do three things: 1. Breathe 2. Let go 3. Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Because you know what? You’re much more beautiful when you’re just you.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for learning to love myself as I am and not like some heavily retouched picture of perfect womanhood.
2. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve been learning and the conclusions I’ve reached while meditating to the WTGOM and WTGOWL audios.
3. I am grateful for the books and articles I’m reading that are written by people who, like me aren’t perfect.
4. I am grateful that I finally finished something I started and, in fact, started over with a new plan in place.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, self-love, joy, productivity, creativity, motivation, words, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

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Getting Out of the Rut and Making the Life You Deserve

Seeing Changes and Knowing They’re Good

I’ve been in my current human form for the better part of 61 years yet I’m beginning to realize that for the much of that time, I was simply plodding from one day to the next, having little impact on the world around me and accomplishing little. I’d fallen into the societal trap of working at a job which offers a decent living, doing repetitive things, be it work, play or chores and errands.

I’d like to stay I began to wake up over the last 15 or 20 years, and that would certainly be true, but progress, up until the last 2 or 3 has been decidedly slow. Sure, I watched “The Secret” a few times, read “Laws of Attraction” in several of its forms and practiced positivity. I definitely made some improvements to myself but nothing of any real significance. That is, until I started taking a healing class on the recommendation of my massage therapist.

That class may not have launched my career as a healer, but it made me take some good, hard looks at myself and my life, and frankly, I wasn’t exactly pleased with the naked truth. My life was boring and predictable, uncreative and unremarkable. 4 months into the healing course, I decided to trust my gut for a change and quit my boring and soul-sucking 9-5 accounting job to launch my writing career.

Anyone who follows this blog pretty much knows how that’s been going. I’m certainly putting a lot of words on screen, but except for articles I publish on the website of the photographer I’ve begun working with, publication is still an unrequited dream. My inner critic is still stronger than I’d like despite the compliments I do get on some of my pieces. My ability to actually finish something longer than a blog post or article is still shaky at best. But I am making progress.

Yet, in my own way, I was still plodding along in a predictable and boring pattern. I get up, I exercise sometimes, I do my errands on the same day every week and dance on the same nights in the same place. In short, my brain and soul were itching to break out of this self-imposed rut.

Learning to Ride and Thrive with the Changes

A couple things happened over the last 4 months to get me moving again. First, I got tired of chronic pain and went in search of both a diagnosis and a solution. The nearly 3 months of physical therapy has not only given me no small amount of relief but has me exercising more regularly and moving much more freely.

Enter my photographer friend, Jesse. Towards the end of last year, she hired me to write some posts for her website. After attending a couple of events together, she realized she’d rather put her efforts into taking photographs and avoid having to write the accompanying story so she offered the job to me. It’s a perfect match as we both get to do what we love, plus we bring different administrative and marketing skills to the table, creating a very effective synergy.

Body issues also served to remind me that I’m not in the best of physical shape, but in a chicken or the egg kind of scenario, I figured that stressing out over money was a huge factor. After attending one of John Assaraf’s Brain-a-thons, I signed up for Winning the Game of Money and became part of a community of ambitious, supportive people.

It was a no-brainer for me when John offered an 11-day weight loss challenge. I lost a few pounds, improved my eating habits, starting eating more of the veggies from my weekly box and between the two programs, was feeling a whole lot better and more energetic. Better still was the improvement in my sleep and the drastic improvements in my pain levels, strength and flexibility. The icing on the cake was when I won one of the two subscriptions given out for the Winning the Game of Weight Loss program.

I am now starting week 11 of the WTGOM program and week 2 of WTGOWL (technically, I spent about 3 weeks on Level 1 because of the challenge). I’m learning to say “releasing fat” instead of “losing weight” because losing implies that you’ll eventually find it again. As most people who’ve spent years of their lives dieting know, it’s often an endless cycle of losing some and gaining more. I didn’t get to be 233 pounds at my highest by accident, I assure you. Thankfully, the last time I “lost weight” I actually did manage to keep some of it off, but I’m a long ways from my healthy place. The difference is, this time, I’m more confident about getting and staying there.

Finding Someone New and Exciting, and That Someone is Me

But this isn’t really a testimonial for John’s programs, but a picture of my own evolution. The last piece is the afore-mentioned friend and photographer, Jesse. She’s dragged me along, sometimes kicking and screaming on her own quest to work with Food Network. To my surprise, and to the especial surprise of my inner hermit, I’m having a blast. While she runs around with her camera photographing everything, I’m in amongst the people, talking, asking questions and generally having a great time. I don’t know how this happened as I’ve always thought of myself as a loner and someone who just doesn’t do well with people. Maybe on some levels that’s still true, but I know now that it doesn’t have to stay that way.

I’m learning that when people see someone with a notebook taking notes, they’re curious. When they find out you’re a writer/journalist, many are anxious to talk and share.

This weekend, we attended what was publicized as a beer event, but also featured about 20 food trucks. But these weren’t just any food trucks! Each and every one of them was owned and operated by chefs…not cooks, but chefs. One of them was a collaboration of 3 who had recently left the restaurant where they all worked. Their exit took the executive chef, chef de cuisine and pastry chef, and ultimately one of the cooks as well. You know it’s not about the money when three high level chefs turn their skills to running a food truck! They have a passion and a dream.

And that’s where I’m reminded I do too, and that I’m not going to realize them by sitting in my house day after day, maybe pounding away at this keyboard. I’m not going to find it going out on the same nights every week to the same place and seeing the same people who may or may not care whether I’m there or not, and it doesn’t really matter either way.

I’m going to find it by, for now, helping my friend chase her dream because in helping her, I’m giving myself a gift I didn’t even know I wanted or deserved. I’m gaining confidence, learning how to get people to talk about themselves, feeling the passion from those who do have the sense to follow what their heart wants. And I’m stretching those writing chops of mine into unknown directions where I just have to fake it ’til I make it. Except I realized tonight, I’m no longer faking it. I’m really loving the new directions, the places we’re going, the people I’m talking to. This is my new adventure, and the best part of it is that I really don’t know where it’s going to take me, and it doesn’t matter!

GOYA (Get off your Ass)

Though I wouldn’t recommend quitting your 9-5 job like I did, without a real plan or source of income, I’d definitely suggest you take a good, hard look at what you’re doing with your life and how it makes you feel. If you have settled into a life of sameness, make sure that’s what you really want, and if it isn’t, start by making small changes. Most important, find people who align with what you really want, and help them chase their dream until yours comes around and smacks you in the face.

My gratititudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my friend, Jesse who drags me out of my comfort zone on a regular basis.
2. I am grateful to John and the NeuroGym team who are helping me improve my health, my outlook, my ambition, my drive and how I’m spending my time these days.
3. I am grateful to the friends and family who cheer me on, egg me on and kick my butt when I need it. Without the encouragement, I would still be existing instead of living.
4. I am grateful for my writing skills and my constant efforts to improve them; sometimes by studying, but more often by just exercising the muscle in a variety of ways.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, inspiration, motivation, community, peace, harmony, healthy, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

December 15, 2014 Feelin’ groovy again. #shericonaway

If you wait long enough, the answer will come.

All it took was my weekly pilates class to make it clear why I’d been feeling so…well…yukky the last few days. As I struggled to keep up, I realized that I do much better in the Pilates class when I keep up my regular gym routine which I had sadly neglected last week. Today, after doing some exercise, I managed to run a couple of hours worth of errands and have gotten trash, sand boxes, and yes, even floor scrubbing done. Some of this has been on my list for weeks, but I had reached the point where, if it didn’t get done, my Christmas tree was in danger of remaining in the box this year. That would never do!

Chores aside, an hour of exercise in the morning means a day of much more energy overall. Many of my friends would say it’s simple physics, and if I’d really thought about it, I’d have known the answer. Lack of exercise like lack of sunshine can lead to depression, and laziness is just one symptom. So it occurs to me that exercise is to depression like garlic is to vampires.

Admittedly, the lack of exercise last week also had a negative impact on my ability to complete said chores. Only the bathroom floors and the worst part of the living room got scrubbed today, though everything was vacuumed. I get to look forward to more floor scrubbing tomorrow, but hey, it’s raining again, and that makes me happy! (especially since I don’t have to commute in it!)

With Christmas fast approaching, I’m back in list mode again!

My “To Do” list is growing again. This week sees my expectations high for myself and I plan to complete:
1. Finish washing floors
2. Complete November bookkeeping for both clients.
3. Continue adding to my latest novel.
4. Call my broker
5. Help socialize some foster kittens (fun stuff!)
6. Go to the gym at least three more times this week.
7. Put up Christmas tree
8. Decorate Christmas tree
9. Wrap presents
10. Send Christmas box to my son-in-law

That should keep me busy for the rest of the week, and ensure that I won’t be sleeping too late like I did last week. I swear, sleeping too late in the morning is the kiss of death when it comes to having a productive day! These cold, rainy mornings make it hard to leave my warm, cat filled bed, but I have six days to get this place ready before my daughter arrives, so there’s no time for dilly-dallying now!

I know I’m in good company, though. Every one I know is rushing hither and thither, trying to get all of their chores done so they can enjoy their holiday. Let’s make this an especially giving one, remembering those in need!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for an end to my doldrums and a new beginning for my healthy habits.
2. I am grateful for a halfway clean house (I’m well on the way to getting it the rest of the way clean now!)
3. I am grateful for the rain. We surely need it after so much drought. Maybe this time, the powers that be will figure out a way to keep more in reserve for our next dry season.
4. I am grateful that my boys are cooperating (with just a little bribery) while I put drops in their ears twice a day.
5. I am grateful for abundance: motivation, inspiration, energy, rain, love, joy, happiness, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

November 18, 2014 I trust my feelings, but sometimes I just don’t get their message! #shericonaway

Sometimes, I wish my feelings came with an instruction manual.

When I went to bed last night (way too late again as I simply had to watch the latest episode of Castle before I started writing) I had what I’ve come to know as “Anxiety Tummy”. You know that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that you get when you’re worried about something very intensely? Like when you’ve interviewed for a job you really want and are waiting to hear if you got it. Or you’re waiting for the results of tests at the doctor. That sort of thing.

The only problem is, I don’t have anything like that happening in my life right now! The worst part is, I woke up this morning and my stomach was still doing somersaults.

What do you do when your body gives you messages you just can’t decode?

Our bodies are wondrous things and, if we pay attention, can really point us in the right direction (or send us running really fast the other way if we’re heading for disaster, also known as “a learning experience”.) Sometimes, we ignore those messages, to our own detriment, but at other times, like today, I just don’t know what I’m being alerted to.

When I went to sleep last night, I asked my guides for clarification, but if they gave me any, I don’t remember. I’ve sat quietly, trying to allow thoughts to just float into my brain which might explain this weird feeling. The only thing I’ve come up with is my upcoming income verification with Covered California. I wouldn’t think that would be enough to upset my stomach, especially after all I’ve been through with them over the last year.

One thing I have learned is that if I spend a lot of time worrying about what I’m worrying about, it only makes things worse and I get nowhere.

It really is true! Exercise helps put things into perspective!Harvest box 11-18-14 view 2

I opted to refrain from fretting and went about my daily business which, on Tuesday includes a workout at the gym and a trip to Underwood to pick up my veggie box. Call me weird, but I get very excited over things like artichokes and kale, both of which appeared in this week’s box. This week’s new veggie to try is a butternut squash. I’ve had it in ravioli, but little else so I’ll enlist my daughter’s assistance in determining what to make with it. We are both looking forward with gusto to another kale, potato and chicken sausage stir fry this week. I’ve also grown rather fond of the purple carrots which once again were part of the week’s yummy bounty.

Getting back to the point I was trying to make before I waxed eloquent over my veggies, is that going to work out was the best thing I could have done with regard to understanding my body’s signals. Not only did my chest and tricep workout loosen up my shoulder, not completely, but range of motion is much better, but I realized what was bothering me.

I was on track when I thought it might have to do with my Covered California renewal, but as it turns out, the real issue was only indirectly related, and goes something like this: I haven’t made as much money this year as I’d hoped, but to be honest, I haven’t put as much effort into the writing as I could have. BUT when I started looking at what I had accomplished rather than what I hadn’t (sound familiar?), I was pretty pleased. Conservatively speaking, if I say I averaged 30,000 words a month blogging, that’s 300,000 words just in this blog! Add to that the 30,000+ words I added to the novel I started last November plus the 29,000 I’ve already written this year…Do you see where I’m going here?

Now, add to the list the fact that I’ve gotten through two and a half chapters of the copywriting class (chapter 3 alone is over 300 pages) plus the first 10 or 11 exercises, and I’ve worked on two new clients’ books as well as spending some time for my former employer in the early part of the year.

On top of all that, I’ve done a lot of decluttering in my house this year, managed to keep up with most of my chores and improve my environment. All this, and I got away to visit my daughter at least a half dozen times this year.

Whew! Needless to say, anxiety tummy is a thing of the past, though my shoulder is telling me that a massage and energy session should still be part of this week’s agenda.

The moral of my story is, listen to the emotional signals your body sends, but don’t stress out if you don’t, at first, understand the message.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for a system which reminds me to focus on what matters.
2. I am grateful for my workouts which do my body a world of good and take me away from things which used to tie me in knots.
3. I am grateful for my weekly box of fresh veggies.
4. I am grateful for the opportunity to focus on what I have done rather than what I haven’t.
5. I am grateful for caring friends who share life’s ups and downs, both theirs and mine. It is heartwarming to know that we travel life’s roller coaster in good company.
6. I am grateful for abundance: faith, love, joy, friendship, inspiration, accomplishments, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

October 22, 2014 Kicking the ADHD into overdrive #shericonaway #blogboost

What do I talk about? Where do I start? Oh, that stir fry looks yummy! Was it worth 2 1/2 hours in the kitchen?

I’m going to start out this post with an apology, because I have no idea where it will go from here. I’m so wound up, my mind is flying in about 52 different directions, and spending time cooking and logging the recipe in MyFitnessPal not once, but four times, isn’t helping. I also started the day with a fellow ADHD friend while she did my nails and we solved the problems of the world together. To make a long story short, I am in the groove to chase topics from one end of the Universe to the other, so buckle your seat belts and hang on. It will be an interesting ride, if nothing else, tonight.

As you’ve probably heard by now, Tuesday is Harvest Box day. This week’s treats included a couple of things I’ve never tried and a new version of an old vegetable. The Kabocha squash was totally delightful baked with cinnamon, sstir fry in progress 10-22-14ugar, coconut oil, nutmeg and ginger, but my piece de resistance was the amazing stir fry I concocted tonight. Here is a picture of my work in progress earlier this evening.  Of course, I performed true to form and underestimated the size of my pan…or overestimated vegetable shrinkage.  Either way, I was forced to rethink my cooking methodology.  I have, somewhere, a wonderful wok which fits on a ring on top of the stove, but unable to locate it, I went with second best in the form of an electric wok I had in my storage room in the garage.  Fortunately, no further adjustments were needed as the vegetable shrinkage was sufficient for the larger, more appropriate pan.  Stir fry nearly done 10-22-14

Although the process required significantly more time than I’d estimated, the two and a half hours of prep and cooking time was well spent. I did, however, experience some frustration loading it into MyFitnessPal. Halfway through, my iPad went to sleep, and all of my previous effort was lost. I re-entered it but forgot an ingredient and used the wrong serving size, but their system seemed to feel the need to cough up a hairball on this recipe. It just meant that I had to recreate it on my desktop later, but as there are 9 servings in my refrigerator, neatly packed in single serving containers, I’ll appreciate the effort when I can just insert a serving of my recipe into my food journal, just as I have with the veggistrone, the squash and the mish mosh.

I got to talking exercise with my totally awesome friend and manicurist today. She’s been taking part in a boot camp and the things she can do now put me to shame! Yet, when I talked about the Pilates class I’ve been attending, she asked to come and try it out. My regular day and teacher aren’t going to work for her this time, so I broke the promise I’d made to myself to take tomorrow off so we can go to the Thursday class together. Suddenly, those lofty goals of actually getting in shape and staying there are reaching a toe outside of the Twilight Zone and touching it ever-so-gingerly into what constitutes my unique version of reality.

This veggie-full diet and exercise intensive lifestyle are about as far from my comfort zone as its possible to get without taking up sky diving or actually launching my website. (and after an email I got today, that may happen sooner rather than later too!). Dare I ask what I’ll be jumping into next?

Today’s meditation was interesting too. I had just reached that lovely, floaty state when Munchkin decided, rather belatedly, to take her place on my lap. Once she settled herself, I found that it was remarkably easy to return to my meditative state, only to be jerked out again when Scrappy Doo decided he needed to take part as well. Once again, I easily drifted back in and when all was said and done, had a very nice, hour and a quarter meditation. I’ve been using crystals a lot lately; most often, one or another of my heart stones and a quartz point. That may or may not have contributed to today’s ease, but I have a feeling the stones will follow me for awhile, just to be on the safe side.

Time to make some changes (as if there aren’t enough in my life already?)

For several months now, I have done a daily, one card Tarot reading and a one card Angel Oracle reading, both to give me some perspective and to open the door to my guides and angels for insight and direction. I have been using my favorite, tried and true Spiral Tarot and my Angel Oracle deck all this time, letting the process evolve unto itself. (just looked at the clock and it was 11:11 again!) Anyway, squirrels and shiny things aside, as time went on, I started paying more attention to how the two cards related, and finally, began looking at and documenting the card I cut to when I was replacing my Tarot card back in the deck after the reading.

Today, I took things one step further and substituted my Wizard Tarot for the Spiral Tarot, and the Messages from the Angels cards for the Angel Oracle Cards. Not knowing what to expect, or if I’d even get messages I understood, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could still see, feel and think fairly lucidly by looking at the Tarot Card. Even more, the two cards did, indeed, relate, and the cut card most definitely clarified the original card pulled.

Though it might seem like a small thing to many, changing decks after reading from only the second deck I’d every used, and for so many years. is a HUGE step outside of my comfort zone. Which prompts me, yet again, to ask: “What’s next? despite the fact that I know I risk one of the Universe’s famous head slaps, at best, just for asking. But I’m feeling brave (read “foolish) right now, and am opening myself to more and more possibilities. If I don’t take a few chances now, I’m going to find myself stagnating again, and that is simply unacceptable.

Let us embrace the changes which come into our lives, and allow them to bring us riches beyond our imaginings, knowledge of things both great and small, and wonders which were once simply things to be imagined.

As promised, or perhaps “warned” is a better word, I have wandered from hither to yon and a few uncharted locales tonight, so I will, without further ado, share tonight’s gratitudes with you as I bring this demonstration of ADD run amok to a close.
1. I am grateful for a mind that races from topic to topic as I am never bored with my own company and thoughts.
2. I am grateful for friends who also have brains that run amok because, not only can they understand me, they can also keep up.
3. I am grateful for healthy food and healthy habits. My body is reveling in all of the movement, my sleep is better, albeit shorter, and my attitude is 1000% better.
4. I am grateful for the miracles my friends have experienced this week, whether it’s the returning health of a beloved puppy, increased mobility after surgery, breakthroughs in problems they’ve been facing, improvements in their life routines…the happy energy is felt by all.
5. I am grateful for a refrigerator and freezer full of healthy, low calorie meals which will feed me well as I dive into the last weeks of the year with enthusiasm, drive and the realization that they are going to fly by swiftly and be full of wonderful surprises.
6. I am grateful for abundance: healthy meals, caring friends, more movement of my body, healthier habits, inspiration, motivation, assurances that I’m on the right track, love, health, harmony, peace and prosperity.

Namaste

October 15, 2014 Accountability is an individual thing #shericonaway #blogboost

Self-monitoring tools can be more effective than you realize.

Here it is, Day 3 of “getting back on track”. I’ve been to the gym twice so far, picked up my harvest box, planned a healthy dish from its contents, but most important of all, kept track of food and exercise using MyFitnessPal.

As I basked in the glory of the loss of a few tenths of a pound, it occurred to me that tracking my activities is not only making me more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth, but of how long I’m sitting, and how much I’m really moving. I spend more time doing things like cooking and cleaning than I’d realized. Simply putting the dish for some of this week’s dinners together meant standing for the better part of an hour, and that doesn’t include the time it took to clean up my mess afterwards, nor to package the leftovers in single-serving containers.

Despite the fact that I watched a few hours of television last night (Tuesdays are the heavy night for my DVR), I found that I was more aware of how long I sat (though the ache in my right thigh from Monday’s pilates class contributed to my inability to sit for very long), and got up to do dishes or just walk around the house much more often, knowing that I had to log it and make sure I exercised enough to cover everything I put into my mouth and then some.

I have friends who swear by Weight Watchers because they love having to be accountable to someone else. I won’t argue the fact that many people see wonderful results, but you have to stay with it forever so you don’t fall off the track. I, myself, lost about 30 pounds on their program many years ago, but since I didn’t continue attending weekly meetings, I gained it all back and then some.

Motivation is similar to validation. Find what works and do it!

I have the utmost respect for people who use Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or any other program which helps to remind them to eat healthy and stay active while giving them recognition for their success. I just don’t have the patience to stay on someone else’s schedule for the long term, so I have to find ways that work for me, and feed my own motivational needs. The last time I religiously logged all of my food and activities on MyFitnessPal, I lost over 30 pounds, and, in fact, have not gained it all back!

By now, it should be crystal clear. Find what works and that you’re most likely to stick with for good. One way or another, you need to be accountable to someone, even if it’s just yourself. Think of it like a To Do List for a healthier lifestyle.

More time in the day means more moving

I have to say that once the motivation kicks in, everything begins to work better. Healthier eating means more energy and less sleeping in. More time means more things get done, and more movement happens. Since the pain in my thigh turned into pain through my IT band, I decided to give my body a gym break, but iced and foam rolled the painful areas several times today. Doing everything just before I headed out to get the rest of the ingredients for my Veggistrone meant that I got to walk out the kinks, and by the time I got home a couple of hours later, I felt a lot less pain.

In my search for a recipe that used a lot of cabbage, I found one for Veggistrone. Of course, I modified the bejeebers out of the recipe and ended up with something even lower in calories than the original, but high in allMinestrone soup with cabbage manner of vitamins and minerals, made even better by my super fresh veggies. I decided to double the recipe so I’d have some to freeze. Silly me! Even with my modifications, I got exactly what the recipe promised; twenty servings. I had one for dinner, put seven in a container in the refrigerator, and the rest in single servings for the freezer. I might be eating the stuff all winter, but it could be a lot worse! However, the promised prep time, start to finish of 1 3/4 hours was a little low. All told, it took me 2 1/2 hours to put the soup together and get it cooked, but think of all the calories I burned in the process (more, in fact, than the bowl I ate for dinner!)

Last but not least (then I’ll shut up about this, I promise) I put my FitBit back on just before I left to go shopping. Despite the fact that I didn’t put it on until after 11AM, I still walked over 5,000 steps and nearly 3 miles! I’m getting so psyched about improving my health that I just can’t stand it! (and I’m sure, by now, you’re rather sick of my raving too!)

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I decided to join CSA. Getting a harvest box every week means I’m eating a lot more fresh fruits and veggies and a lot less crap.
2. I am grateful for my increased energy.
3. I am grateful that I am now actively rejecting the idea of being completely lazy or indulging in take out food. I’m sure my body will be thanking me as well!
4. I am grateful that making positive changes is easier than it seems when I’m at the bottom of the mountain looking up.
5. I am grateful for abundance: energy, health, stamina, joy, motivation, inspiration and prosperity.

Namaste

October 14, 2014 No more excuses #shericonaway #blogboost

Sending those excuses where the sun don’t shine!

I promised myself, after I found I was falling into really bad habits, that I would do a reset and get back on track. I’m like the Nike ad now. Day one was reasonably successful. I did get up when the cats started getting obnoxious (what better alarm clock than a cat who wants their breakfast?) and didn’t drag my tushie around for hours until I’d wasted half the day. I was even out of the door in time to run into a dance friend who talked me into taking the Pilates class. So far, nothing hurts. I can only hope it lasts!

As I have to go out and pick up my produce box tomorrow and drop another package for my son-in-law at the post office (that’s a weight lifting job in and of itself!), it seems only reasonable that I hit the gym again and do the chest and tricep workout I didn’t get to today.

New habits are easier if we take them one day at a time.

Yes, I’ve set this habit before. And yes, it fell by the wayside when I either got lazy or busy with other things. Most often, it was the former, I have to admit. But I’m becoming increasingly unhappy with my lack of stamina and saggy dragginess. I know that the healthy eating alone will not tone my muscles as they need to be toned. As my friend pointed out today, I really do feel better after I work out. My skin is healthier, my stamina returns, I sweat out toxins…nothing but benefits arise from just getting out and moving my body for an hour or so. Sad to say, the dancing is not enough, even if I went five days a week. There are some things that only pumping iron will do, and my aging body needs those things.

I had to laugh, though. The Pilates teacher told us that exercise reverses the aging process so by the time we left her class today, we’d be younger! Now, it’s true that none of my dance friends look their age because, one way or another, they get regular exercise. But being the analytical sort, I have to ask the question: Do they look younger because they exercise, or do they feel younger so they’re more inclined to exercise? I just love “chicken or the egg” puzzles because a smart person can argue either side convincingly.

So, measurements were taken and recorded on MyFitnessPal today, food was put in as best I could since it’s hard to gauge exact quantities on homemade dishes. I even got a little bit of work done on my copywriting class. It’s clear that the little attitude adjustment I gave myself is already bearing fruit. Yet still, it has to be one day at a time.

I’m going to do something novel and keep this really short tonight, avoiding throwing topics around like confetti. I had a few ideas for topics earlier today, but they seem to have left my brain for now, but I’m sure I’ll retrieve them in a day or two, so be warned!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a successful first day of resetting healthy habits.
2. I am grateful for my surprise in tomorrow’s produce box. I never know what they’ll contain until I get ’em!
3. I am grateful for all of the small things I accomplished today.
4. I am grateful for a lack of pain, even if it’s only temporary.
5. I am grateful for abundance: energy, motivation, inspiration, health, family, friends, love, joy. harmony, peace and prosperity.

Namaste

I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page and “like” it or leave a comment.  Like me, it’s a work in progress.  https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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