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

Posts tagged ‘MyFitnessPal’

Retraining Myself to Focus on My Assets

Switching My Focus From Ass to Assets

Created with CanvaLike many women, I have a tendency to obsess over the parts of me I’ve deemed less than perfect. Needless to say, those parts appear larger than life, while I sometimes have a tough time recognizing my assets. It’s been especially difficult the last few months when I’ve danced at a friend’s house once a week where one wall is mirrored. I see myself in the mirror and notice every bulge, every hair not quite laying right. I compare myself to my friends, all of whom are slimmer than me, and of course, find myself wanting.

Recently, I realized how cruelly I was treating myself, and resolved to focus only on my qualities, not my faults. It came as quite a surprise when I looked in the mirror and realized I looked pretty darn good when I wasn’t magnifying and obsessing over those faults! In fact, as I focused on a pair of legs made strong and solid through a lifetime of dancing, an upper body strengthened by over a year of regular weight training, and a face which reflects the weight I’ve already released and kept off, I found I didn’t even notice the roundness of my mid-section at all!

Getting Away From the Need to Fix Myself

I think many of us spend far too much time focusing on things we need to “fix” until we magnify them out of both proportion and importance. In part, it’s through years of seeing ads promoting the perfect body, the clearest skin, the silkiest hair…you get the picture. We’re conditioned to see ourselves wanting, no matter how hard we work or how perfectly imperfect we might be (and everyone is!).

Yet, I discovered with the teeniest change of focus you can reverse some of the negative conditioning. Of course, I realize the change I made is only temporary—for now. Like every other habit I’ve set over the last few years, it’s going to take time and repetition to make it stick. But the positive reinforcement I gave myself already is an integral part of setting my new outlook in the proverbial stone.

Encouraging Positive Changes With My New Outlook

I’m also finding what so many have observed; obsessing over the numbers on the scale does not make them go down! Instead, I’ve reinstated food logging using MyFitnessPal. So far, results are mixed, but at least I can see where I am self-sabotaging. Currently, I’m seeing too much sugar in my diet. Yes, I know it tastes good, but the numbers help me remember the harm it does to my body. And I’m working too hard to both heal and strengthen it to lose ground by eating something I can do without. (I was going to say “easily” but face it. Ice cream and chocolate taste good for a reason!)

Of course, all the activities like food tracking, weight training, and consciously moving during the day are important, but the single most important factor in self-improvement is mindset. As I mentioned earlier, when I look for my faults, I see them in movie-screen sized technicolor. But when I look for my qualities, suddenly the faults shrink to, if not invisibility, at least a more manageable size. I can honestly look at myself in the mirrored wall and think you’re looking pretty darn good! All the hard work and discipline are paying off!

Even first thing in the morning when most of us are at less than our best, I can honestly tell the face in the mirror she’s looking especially radiant—and mean it!

Change Can Be Its Own Reward

Often when we think about making improvements, we assume doing so means https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpwe have to sacrifice, and frankly who enjoys sacrificing? But I’m finding when I focus on the good parts and give my obsession on the needy parts a rest, the gremlin inside me who thrives on self-sabotage either curls up for a long, winter’s nap, or goes off in search of easier prey.

I’m no longer inclined to camp in front of the TV with snacks at my elbow for hours on end. In fact, the idea is becoming distasteful (sorry Hallmark movies). I can’t even sit for hours at a time in front of the computer. I need to get up, do a chore, go outside and visit with my barn cats, or re-stock my freezer. Granted, I haven’t worked my way up to a daily walk yet, but I suspect that will come in time as I continue to reinforce my positives.

Could You Use a Change in Perspective?

If you’d like to “play along” with my new self-improvement process, here’s how you get started:

  1. Pick something about yourself you don’t like, but currently obsess over.
  2. Find something in the same area (looks, health, habits, etc.) that you love.
  3. When you find yourself focusing on the quality in #1, switch your focus to the one in #2. Make a conscious effort until it becomes a habit.
  4. Positively reinforce your focus on your positive qualities. This can be something as simple as giving yourself a compliment.
  5. If applicable, add a new habit which emphasizes and builds up the positive qualities.
  6. Share your progress with my readers. (we all love success stories!)

The truth is, you can be your best cheerleader or your worst bully. Too often, you allow outside influences to make you see yourself through the most hideous of fun house mirrors. For your own sake, try using a mirror that’s lit softly, emphasizing the smoothness of your skin and the soft curve of your cheek; the way your hair curls softly around your face (or hangs shiny and straight). And look at the heart shining from your eyes.

I guarantee, when you change your focus just a little, miracles will happen!

Is Overwhelm Causing You to be Too Hard on Yourself?

Sometimes it’s simply overwhelm which has you seeing yourself in an unflattering light. Are you beating yourself up because you have too much to do and not enough time? Would you like to take a task or two off your plate? Maybe it’s content creation, or perhaps it’s getting your books in order and creating a budget. If this sounds familiar and you’re ready to streamline your life and give your business space to grow and thrive, CONTACT ME and let’s talk!

For Best Results, Keep Your Gratitude Meter Full

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for small changes which yield big results.
  2. I’m grateful for the ability to refocus my attention when I start going down the rabbit hole of negativity.
  3. I’m grateful for friends who see my qualities and remind me to look for them too.
  4. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my epiphanies as well as my stumbles with my readers. It helps me be a better person and a better, happier me.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, joy, friendship, inspiration, opportunities, motivation, dreams, self-improvement, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws , of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

How We Underestimate Our Daily Movement

How Much do we Really Move in a Day?

About a week ago I realized that if I kept going the way I was, I would gain back everything I’d ever lost and then some, and increase my risk of health issues from diabetes to heart. I know what works but when I get frustrated, I let it slide, and my eating habits suffer. As I have too many reasons to stay healthy, I logged back into my MyFitnessPal account and began measuring and tracking.

The first thing I discovered was that since I switched from buying the single serving cartons of yogurt to buying the 32 ounce cartons of nonfat plain and just adding blueberries and honey, I was eating less than I thought. The first day, I measured out 3/4 of a cup and realized that it was a lot! The next day, I measured out 1/2 a cup and found that was about what I’d been spooning into the bowl anyway. I had been going a little light on the blueberries so now that I measure, I get 1/2 a cup of those too, plus about a teaspoon each of raw honey and l-glutamine powder. That and my Eeyore cup of coffee are more than enough to get my day going.

Today as I sat staring at the exercise log feeling like a bump on one, I thought about how lazy and sedentary I am, especially on days like today which was filled with meetings and appointments. I got up from my desk and starting doing my nightly chores without even thinking about it until I realized how much I really do move during the day, and that’s not including the 97 trips to the bathroom and to fill up my water bottle!

My day begins when I get out of bed, make it and lay on the floor to do some stretches while trying to ignore the pitiful sound of my cats using their “I’m starving half to death here” cries. Sometimes, they even try to get into the act by chewing on my hair, sitting on my feet or just smacking me in the face with their fluffy tails.

Stretching done, I head for the kitchen to prepare the slimy yumminess they all demand. First stop, the garage where their food is stored in a cabinet. Feed the two garage cats who actually work for their keep. Then it’s back to the kitchen to put food into 5 bowls (heaven forbid they share!), add cosequin to my 18-year-old’s food and vitamins to all plus a teaspoon. Dylan doesn’t like wet food but he loves his fish-flavored vitamins. Believe it or not, these bowls go into 4 different rooms and have to be distributed strategically so certain boys don’t try to eat everyone else’s food.

Finally it’s time to fix my own breakfast before sitting down to check email and actually do some work. Throughout the rest of the day, I get up to check mail, fix myself lunch and dinner and a multitude of other tasks, many of which involve walking into a room, wondering why I’m there, walking out and remembering once I’m back where I started. By the time I’ve done all that, scooped the sand boxes, cleaned up the kitchen and prepared coffee for the next morning, I’ve circumnavigated my small house at least 20 times. Add in laundry and errand day and I’m moving a whole lot more than I thought.

MyFitnessPal has an item under Exercise entitled “Cleaning, light, moderate effort”. After careful consideration, I feel quite safe putting 60 minutes a day in that category on my log. Most days it’s probably more especially when I consider having to sweep the bathrooms daily because certain somebodies are incapable of keeping the sand in the specified container.

The good news is, I’ve dropped about 4 pounds this week, I’m eating a lot less starchy foods and more salads and I feel better. Sure, it’s a pain to log everything, but I’ve found some shortcuts which, while perhaps not entirely accurate, get me close enough and allow me to see when I’m consuming too many calories, or rather, when I’m about to. I certainly don’t expect to keep losing 4 pounds a week, but seeing those numbers go down instead of up, even if it’s very slowly, is good enough for me.

How do you insure that you’re sticking with your healthy habits?

We all have things in our life we’d like to improve. Sometimes we make those improvements without thinking about it just because we have the desire to do better. But when you’ve had to put something in place to motivate yourself, what kinds of things work for you? I don’t know about you, but I’m always open to new ideas.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for all of the little things.
2. I am grateful for friendship, for both the give and the take.
3. I am grateful for finding things to motivate myself.
4. I am grateful for stepping outside my comfort zone again.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, health, friendship, motivation, work, kindness, compassion, charity, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://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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