Tag Archives: exercise

Wanting to stop being a Yo-Yo

 

I have struggled with my weight throughout my life.  In a word: yo-yo.  I can lose weight but I gain it back.  I’ve tried all kinds of diets, starting with the crazy diets I tried in my teens like the grapefruit diet and the lollipop diet. Yes, you guess it – all you eat is lollipops.  Healthy, huh?

I’ve been vegan, vegetarian, tried Paleo, counting calories, Atkins, and SlimFast.  I haven’t tried everything but I’ve done a serious sample.  What works for me and what I keep returning to is Weight Watchers.  Why do I leave it?  Because it keeps me accountable, makes me exercise control and doesn’t allow me to eat whatever I want all day long. That’s why I like it.  And that’s why I hate it.

I realize that I may just have to do Weight Watchers for the rest of my life if I want  to keep my weight down.  Is that such a bad thing?  No!  When I’m on it I feel calmer, eat better and I am in control.  So, here goes…

Trying to find the right exercise for me

I simply love this ad.  I think it’s brilliant and represents the angst associated with being uncomfortable with a particular exercise regime.  I’m not a jock and a bit of a wimp and have looked for the right thing for me.  What I’m doing now is a mix of a lot of things: Zumba, yoga, pilates, eliptical machine, and weights.  The key is finding whatever works for you!  Just start and be healthy!  :)

Dear Body, Help me out here!

Food in the Belly

Food in the Belly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Body,

I have noticed that you’ve stored some fat in my stomach area.  Although I know you are probably doing this in my best interest in case there is a food shortage, drought or some other emergency, please know that you have my permission to drop this practice.  I’ll be ok. :)

14 Ways to Be A Natural Beauty

Bangladeshi woman

Image via Wikipedia

1. Understand that beauty comes from within.

We’ve all heard the phrase “beauty’s only skin deep.”  I’m sure you’ve all met people who look beautiful but their personality or mean nature make them look ugly to you.  Conversely, there are those that appear to be unattractive  but become beautiful because of their hearts of gold. 

When you think of beautiful people who comes to mind?  Is it Angelina Jolie or Mother Teresa?  Maybe both. But be clear, true beauty comes from within. Physical beauty is also a gift from God but I would argue that it is a lesser gift and a more superficial one. There is nothing wrong with it, it just shouldn’t be obsessed over the way it is in our culture.  Money is not bad, but the love of money, or greed is. In the same way, physical beauty is not bad, but the love of physical beauty is a type of idolatry, whether it is idolizing the physically beautiful or obsessing over your own physical beauty. 

2. Understand that God made all of us and God don’t make no junk.

God made each one of us in his image.  God doesn’t make mistakes and we are all beautiful in His eyes.  I don’t know about you but there is no one else I’d rather please or be beautiful to.  

3. Be kind.

Kindness is beautiful.  There is nothing more gorgeous than witnessing an act of kindness in the world. 

4. Smile.

A lot.  Smiling is contagious and makes every face more beautiful. 

5. Focus on what you like about yourself.

When you feel good about yourself, you shine a little brighter.  That is beautiful.

6. Eat healthy foods.

Put good things in your body and that healthy glow will show.

7. Drink lots of water.

Being hydrated will not only make you feel better, you will look better.

8. Get adequate sleep for you.

They say you need 8 hours.  I say you need whatever you need.  Some of us don’t need as much.  I know people who do fine on 5 or 6 hours.  I am one of those people who really needs 8 – 9 hours a night.  I can’t say I get that but I need it!

9. Exercise.

Exercise is good for your body and keeps you limber and strong.  You will feel better and look better.  Do something you love because you will do it more often.  I like walking, dancing, yoga and swimming.  

10. Get a little sun (but not too much).

We all need a little sunshine.  You actually get vitamins from the sun!  Vitamin D.  It makes you feel happier.  But use sunscreen and don’t stay in the sun too long! 

11. Get some fresh air.

There is nothing like breathing in fresh air.  Try to spend a little time outside no matter the weather.  That’s right – still go out even of it’s raining, snowing, and cold.  Being outside will make you breathe deeper, get more oxygen in, and make your cheeks rosy! 

12. Accept the aging process and age gracefully.

We weren’t meant to stay 20 years old our whole lives.  Embrace your beauty at 50, 70, 90!  You are never too old to be beautiful!

13. Be the best you can be.

I should say, be the best you that you can be.  If you are Laura, be the best Laura you can be.  Not the best Sally, Jane, or Amber.  Accept who you are – your height, your build, your nose.  And make it work for you!  Don’t envy others or compare yourself to them.  If a grapefruit compared itself to a strawberry it might feel ugly. But it tastes just as good – just different.

14. Love yourself – Love others.

Be kind to yourself.  I mean really give yourself a break.  Be your own best friend.  If you do, it will be so much easier to love others. 

I write this as the woman sitting next to me on the train applies makeup. She started about 20 minutes ago and she is still at it!

Put your procrastinations to battle

Put your procrastinations to battle against each other.  This morning there were 2 things I didn’t want to do: exercise and bills.  I put them to battle and the bills won!  I think I will put exercise up against vacuuming next and I think the bills just might win!

What do you procrastinate about doing? 

treadmill

Image by Bitman via Flickr

Walk Jingle Jingle

Picture by Beth Rankin

A friend asked me to take a belly dancing class with her. At first I was reluctant. I hate doing things on weeknights and it’s been a long time since I’ve taken a dance class. Well, I changed my mind and we had our first class last night. It was so fun!  I really love to dance. My first dance class was ballet when I was in elementary school. Then I took jazz, modern, African, flamenco, and salsa.  I have taken a lot of dance classes. But it’s been 10 or 15 years! 

One of the many things I like about dance classes is that you get to look at yourself in the mirror. I don’t mean that in an egotistical way. It’s just that other than getting ready in the morning, I rarely look at myself. In many ways, that’s a good thing. Who promotes vanity or that kind of physical self-absorption? But in dance class you are utterly aware of your body: it’s frame, posture, size, shape, and movement. Talk about not wanting to eat potato chips!  I took one look at my arms and instantly regretted the chips I’d eaten on the couch the night before.

I believe in a holistic approach to things, and balance. As far as dieting is concerned, the kind of body awareness that dance fosters is good for me.  It’s not just about sizes and pounds.  It’s about how you look and feel and move.  Besides, dancing to good music is just plain fun and great for getting your muscles working. I can’t wait to go back!

One more thing about belly dancing in particular – it’s all about getting in touch with your feminine side. Not a problem for me. I’ve always embraced my inner girl/woman.

If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a dance class, or if you’ve never danced, consider a dance class. It really is fun. And if you are a little scared or intimidated, invite a friend!