Dancing outside my comfort zone

Posts tagged ‘healthy habits’

Winning the Weight Loss Cha Cha

Creating New Set-Points

I’ve been playing Winning the Game of Weight Loss for about 12 weeks now, including the 11 day challenge which got me started. In that time, I’ve lost about 12 pounds and to the casual observer, there’s no change. That used to bother me, but I’ve finally figured it out. Today, I was giving myself compliments as I walked around with my head held high and my smaller clothes fitting quite nicely.

It’s been anything but a smooth path and, in fact, it has been a series of “two steps forward, one step back” days. All in all, I’ve released about 12 pounds of fat so far which, if you’re doing the math is a mere pound a week.

But I’ve gained so much more in the process. Today, when I slipped on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt I hadn’t been able to wear since 2012, you’d have thought I was some hot 20-year-old about to go strut her stuff on a beach only slightly less blisteringly hot than my neighborhood, rather than the overweight 60-something I really am. As I walked from store to store doing my errands, I felt like that hot 20-year-old. And here’s why.

  • There wasn’t a single pain anywhere in my body.
  • No matter how fast or far I walked, I didn’t get winded.
  • My lungs expanded and contracted without having to fight the layer of fat which used to get in the way.
  • I could feel my body adjusting to the lower weight, and knew it would continue to adjust its set point downward.
  • I’m loving the change in my diet. No, really.
  • I love cooking up a batch of vegetables or trying a new recipe for chicken or fish.
  • I love taking the sugar and processed foods out of my diet.
  • I even love drinking my coffee black again.
Adjusting My Mindset

It took me awhile to realize that the body’s normal set point can readjust to a lower weight, but I have to be patient while it re-calibrates. We don’t notice when it adjusts to a higher set-point because we’re usually not watching as we just get bigger and bigger until we reach the “Oh my god! What have I done to myself!” stage. At the rate I’m going, it will take more than a year for me to reach that magical place called “My Ideal Weight”, but this time, I’m doing something I never managed before. I’m changing my habits in a way that feels good to me. I’m not missing the pre-packaged meals because I keep my freezer filled with ones I make myself. I’m not missing sugar. I have a little now and then and that’s enough.

I was never a soda drinker and, thankfully, have always kept a glass of water handy day and night, though I’ll admit I’m going through those 5-gallon bottles more quickly lately. I eat bread occasionally as well as rice and potatoes. I just eat more lean protein, fruits, and veggies.

Better still, I find myself leafing through my collection of cookbooks looking for healthy new ways to prepare my basic ingredients. With the recipes as with labels, I am rather militant about using things which don’t contain added sugar. I get plenty from fruit and from the honey I put in my yogurt or tea once in awhile.

Yesterday, I vacuumed the whole house and mopped about half the floors. When I finished, I didn’t feel the slightest fatigue. In fact, I felt great for having exercised so much. The cats are going to have to get used to the sound of the vacuum cleaner on a more regular basis!

Baby Steps Become Giant Leaps Forward

As if I didn’t have enough wonderful, exciting changes going on, I’ve also given up TV. Oh, I still watch the occasional movie on Netflix or Hulu, but I’ve had no desire to plant my butt on the couch for hours and be mindlessly entertained. Instead, the sofa has become my reading nook. This single change has had a huge impact on my life!

  • I go to bed earlier.
  • I sleep better.
  • I get more done around the house.
  • I move more than ever in the evenings.
  • My mind is constantly creating because it’s no longer being spoon-fed stories.

I admit, this isn’t all a result of playing Winning the Game of Weight Loss. Winning the Game of Money has also effected some of the changes. I’m dreaming bigger dreams, setting goals and making plans. I’m even sticking to some of them! Because the major component of my dreams involves writing, I am naturally writing more. Sure, most of it is articles and blog posts for myself or other people, but the words are getting on the page. In the meantime, I’ve drawn within 13 pages of finishing the edit I’ve been working on, and come up with a really cool plot twist for last year’s yet-to-be completed Nano. In fact, I’ve agreed to join my fellow Inklings in the July challenge so I can finally finish it.

Of course, that means getting that last 13 pages knocked out this week! So I’ll bring this post to a rather abrupt end in order to make that happen.


So Much to be Grateful For

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the things that motivate me to achieve my dreams.
2. I am grateful for the changes I’ve been making in my life lately…even the things I’ve given up.
3. I am grateful for the quantity of writing I’m doing lately.
4. I am grateful for new opportunities in my social life.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, life, friendship, inspiration, dreams, motivation, challenges, new directions, peace, harmoney, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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February 10, 2015 Reading to write better

Sometimes you need a writing break to read someone else’s work

I wasn’t happy with my characterizations. My characters were feeling very flat. So what did I do? I gave in to the desire to read, but instead of picking up the Mercedes Lackey I’d borrowed from my daughter, I immersed myself in “Fifty Shades of Grey, Volume 1”. I wasn’t overly impressed with the writing, to be honest, and was especially conscious of repetitious phrases (other than the ones which were intentionally so) and some stilted dialogue.

What hit me the most, though, was that it was a very toned down take off on a book I read years ago called “The Pearl”. The Pearl (A Magazine of Facetiae and Voluptuous Reading) was published in Victorian England from 1879 to 1880.

I was intrigued by the unique challenges of writing an entire book from the first person POV which is something I’ve yet to attempt. My tendency is to write from the POV of third person omniscient. Whether or not this is the best option remains to be seen, which is also true with regard to purchasing volumes 2 and 3 of “Shades”.

On the one hand, the pace was decent and I didn’t find it dragging anywhere, at least not for long. On the other, there was a certain childlike simplicity to much of it, which, admittedly suited the character whose POV was being used. However, that simplicity, had me, by about halfway through the book, skimming more than actually reading. Perhaps this is simply my own lack of patience, but the story seemed to become decreasingly compelling from about the mid point on for me.

What was the real purpose for this exercise, this divergence from my own writing?

In truth, I needed to step away from my own decidedly flat characters and see how someone else, someone published and, in this case, with a movie deal would do it differently. Instead, I came away with the realization that what I really need to do is take a page from one of the members of my critique group and just sit down and develop my own characters.

The exercise didn’t yield the expected results, but it did give me a new direction to try, so I’d have to say that the operation was a success despite the fact that the patient died. But that’s what autopsies are for!

Resetting intentions

A couple of days ago, a fellow blogger, Nicola Sunny blogged about her progress since she set a number of intentions at the end of last year. It reminded me that I have intentions of my own and progress reports are a good way of staying on track. I mulled over her list for awhile, especially in areas where we paralleled. Then I took a look at the recalcitrant (and evil) scale in my den and decided to try to again replace the batteries in case the ones I’d last installed had been on their last legs. Much to my surprise (I won’t say joy), the new batteries did the trick, but the reading on the newly revived scale was less than auspicious. In the months since I have not been using it at least weekly, I’ve also stopped using MyFitnessPal to track my food intake and exercise, and have dropped back from four days a week at the gym to a weekly high of two days.

Back pains and food comas and weight gains all added up to one thing: I needed to take myself firmly in hand and get back to those better habits I’d formed but somehow drifted away from. So, this is it. I’m resetting those intentions to be healthier. I’m tracking my food, eating the ready made meals in my freezer, working back up to four days a week at the gym and, with luck, three nights a week of dancing. Because the truth is, if I’m taking care of my physical self, the rest of my intentions start falling into place much more harmoniously.

Those flat characters I mentioned? Well, increased health on my part should fill them out nicely too.

Stay tuned, right here, for healthy updates and the return of my muse in a bigger, better, stronger form.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for rude awakenings.
2. I am grateful for inspiration from others who tread my lonely but satisfying road.
3. I am grateful to be getting back into my healthy and productive routines.
4. I am grateful for messages from the Universe, reminding me that I am the only one who can take care of me.
5. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, guidance, lessons, healthy habits, gratitude, friends, love, joy, happiness, peace, harmony, health and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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