Saturday, November 23, 2013 still haven't gained back your weight?

Wish I could say how many times I've had this question, or some version of it, asked to me in the last year. It's a lot.

And I gotta say a couple of times those questions included some arch tone, as if the person was somewhat surprised that I hadn't. 

I also hear dire warnings about how hard it is to maintain, and of how someone's (mother, brother, best friend's cousin, some random neighbor down the road) lost 100 pounds and then regained it.

The first few times, this question rocked my world. Really - I saw myself in that scenario and I spend more time than I should have bending the ear of one or all of my closest friends exacting promises from them to keep me from gaining one pound ever and endless scenarios of "what if?what if? what if?"

There is a stat out there that says "95% of all dieters regain their weight loss." I did a little research into that study and it's unmitigated bull. Not true at all. The study was redone in 1999 under better control and the results then were much different. Actually, MOST dieters kept the weight off for 5 years or more.  

Still, there is that figure of "most" which does mean many, many people worked real hard, the regained. Sure does. And I have a thought on that.

Take a little side trip for a's worth it, trust me.

Dr. Wayne Dyer has a wonderful philosophy about intentions. His view is that you when a possible outcome can go a negative way or a positive way, believe the positive. Even if the chance is 1% or 10% or 50%, set your intention towards the positive. Always.  Why not? If the outcome could go either way, and you decide it's going to go the way you don't want it to go, then you've further diminished your chances!!!

So, back to weight loss.

I intend to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits for the rest of my life.

Do I know that this will be hard? Sure do.

Do I know that others have lost and regained? Sure do

Do I know that ""I"" have lost and regained? Sure do

What do I care about?

I care about making good health decisions today. I get that my weight will fluctuate a few pounds from time to time and my happiness is not dependent on some number on a scale. But I also know that if I start putting my trigger foods on my plate, pretty soon I'll be seeing that number go up to places that I won't be able to do the activities I like, which would be a problem.

I'm working on what would be a good answer to someone who asks me about my weight loss and how long will it last; haven't come up with a good reply yet. In time, I will.  For now, I just set my intentions to the outcome I want.

Thought to take with me today: Focus on what you want, see it, feel it, taste it, smell it. Intend that it will be yours - and it will be

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


For years I would watch joggers from my car. Out loud I made fun of them. Inside, I envied their easy stride, swinging pony tails, and sweaty faces. I wanted to be them.

But running at 200, 220, 240, 250 pounds is problematic to say the least. Especially when walking is challenging. Running? yeah, not so much.

So when I began losing weight, one of the first things I put as a goal was to run a 5k. My trainer never really understood WHY that was so important and to be fair, it was hard to put into words, that I wanted to be that beautiful woman running along the side of the road, lost in her own world, feeling the pounding pavement and moving so effortlessly through space.

As I began losing weight, running became more and more of a possibility. Using the C25K program, I would faithfully get out on the track and churn out week 1, then week 2, and then somewhere around week 3, I'd get injured, again. It happened so many times, that eventually I gave up on that goal.

This June a fellow gym member asked me if I wanted to run with her. Our first mile (as documented on my Nike app) was 14 minutes - a combination of walking and running.  We started running 2 - 3 times a week and very gradually our pace dropped to 13, 12:30, 12:00 and then into the 11:00's.
We talked about maybe, possibly doing a race - we were both so nervous. What if we were last? What if we couldn't do it?

Finally, I said "So what!!!" to all of our questions and signed us up.

And because you know where this is going....on October 26, I ran my first 5k!

And then my second on November 2

And then my third on November 9

Yeah, 3 in 3 weeks. That's a bit cray-cray I know.

While I do not for a moment think I look beautiful when I run, I hope that I look like I'm enjoying it, because I am. Moving through space, feeling the air, loving the time outside.

I run, because I can. 

Thoughts to take with me today: Dream big

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My journey so far

On July 1, 2011, I began my second life. That date is more important to me than my real birthday, as it is the day I was reborn.

As every birth of a child is hard, my journey has been no different. It was and is hard. But as every birth of a long waited for child is a reason for celebration, so is mine.

On July 1, 2011,  my weight was 258. 

On November 1, 2013, my weight was 154.

How did I do it?

Oh dear ones, I have to use a cliche that I really don't like.

It was one day at a time.

But to dig a bit deeper, the process also involved not giving up even when...

I went to bed in tears from the pain of working out
The scale refused to budge for weeks and months
My clothes didn't get bigger
No one noticed
I was hungry

I just kept telling myself "It will work. Everything you are doing will work in time, give it another month, two months, three months. Just please believe, and keep following the plan."

Another thing I did that was helpful was that I saw a therapist about why I weighed so much in the first place. She became a tremendous support.

Those of you that have read my blog also know that practicing yoga became vital.  It was on my mat that I first found peace and in time I learned how to take that peace off the mat. Trust me, it's still a bitter process at times, but easier every day.

Would I do anything differently? No, I wouldn't, except  I wish I had trusted more and worried less.

And the process? What did I actually DO?


Workout - 
Cardio that got my heartrate up 5 days a week 45 minutes to an hour
Yoga 3 days a week
Strength training 2 days a week
Rest day 1 day a week (although I didn't do a rest day for months, that took a long time to trust that I wouldn't quit after having a day off)

Diet - 
About 1800 calories with 45% carbs, 30% protein, 25% fat. Very few processed foods, with tons of chicken, good starches, fruits, and veggies.

That's it - no magic combination, no withholding of any food really. I ate and still eat what I want, but in limited portions.

There is one more thing I did that I don't always give full credit for. There were 3 close friends that knew everything I was going through - including my starting weight, which was hard to admit, but it was good that I did.  By being brutally honest with them in the beginning, they were able to remind me of the progress and point out milestones that were easy to forget when when I was depressed.

Although you most likely never see this, Natalie, Erin, and Denise. I love each of you dearly. You have a piece of me in you and I trust you to hold that piece with care. And you do.

The payoff -
No more medications
My body feels alive
Endorphins kick ass
I am more healthy at 51 than I was at 21

For those of you struggling with weight, I beg you to not give up.

You CAN do this
You are stronger than you know
You are worth the struggle

Thoughts to take with me today: I am not thin, I am healthy - inside and out - and that's pretty cool.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


At the end of every yoga class, there is a time of rest or savasana. These few minutes allow the body and the mind to absorb the work of the class and more importantly, a time of reflection, a time of quiet, a time of peace.

Savasana is the corpse pose. 

By engaging in this asana at the end of each class, we remind ourselves that life has a beginning, a journey, and an end. It should be a moment of quiet celebration and a gentle acceptance of the passage of yet another piece of our lives. The class is finished, it cannot be repeated, it can only be remembered.

And not just yoga, but so much of what we do is also a cycle.

Our child's first day of school - then the proud walk across the stage
The nervous first date - then the tearful "I do" in front of loved ones
A smile from a stranger - then the oh-so-sweet hug from your best friend
The first kiss - then the closing of a lid

Beginnings and endings - all with tears and smiles and love and sweetness

I celebrated an ending this week. I wish I coud say it was done with grace and dignity. I cannot claim that. In fact, I cried bitterly that something so very important to me had come full circle. I could not celebrate a single thing, I could only think of the loss. But I was wrong to do that. Very.

In the moment we forget 

rainbows only come after storms
pearls are made from grains of sand
mountains must have valleys to even be mountains

and mostly - to be human, we must engage in a full range of emotions

Including tears

The end always comes - and that's a reason to celebrate - and even more of a reason to love every single minute of what we hold dear.

Thoughts to take with me today: Do not cry because it's over; smile because it happened. Namaste

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I'm a teacher. It goes with out saying I have candles. Why? When it's time to give a teacher a present, what is the 'go-to' gift? A candle.

I have jar candles of all sizes, votives, tapers, shaped, novelty -  every color and scent imaginable. In fact, at last count, there are well over a hundred candles in my house right now.

Tucked away in drawers. Just about every one of them. Except for the few that sit out getting dusty.

Why do they sit?

Because I don't burn candles.

Do I not burn them because I don't like them? Actually, just the opposite. I LOVE candles. I love the flickering flame, the gentle glow, the subtle smells...I adore walking into a dim room lit only by the warmth and richness of a candle. It makes me smile. Every single time.

I don't burn them, because I don't want to waste them.

What happens to candles left unburned? Eventually they lose their smell, their color, and fade into a dull lump with a wick. Of little use or interest to anyone.

Wait...What was my goal again?
I. Don't. Want. To. Waste. Them.

As if burning them in my house, for my pleasure, is a waste.

This truth hit me hard recently as I looked at 5 candles in tall glass votives on a sideboard. At one time each candle was a vibrant color with a vivid smell, nestled in a sparking glass, asking to be used, but instead, over time, slowly fading to a non-descript color with only a hint of the original scent, covered in dust.

In saving them, I wasted them.

Now, let's take a deep breath and tuck down a bit further, peel back a couple of layers and see what I'm really saying.

I'm not worth a candle.

The pleasure of enlightening my senses, of bringing a smile to my face, of feeling the comfort - all for me? No, I'm just not worth it.

But I am. I'm worth a candle, and so much more.

This is what my sideboard looks like right now.

Candles, lit and in use, not for anyone else, but for me. For no other reason than it makes me smile.

What do you save for company only? Is there something that you only pull out for 'special' that sits in a drawer or a closet that you wish you could use more often? I challenge you to use it for you, not for company, but for the best person in your life - you.

You are worth that, and so much more.

Thoughts to take with me today: Light a candle, feel the love, and smile.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lessons from a beginner

There were new people in my yoga class last night. This isn't unusual, except that these were first-timers to yoga - as in, first class, evah. Since this is a mixed levels class, beginners are generally part of any class, but brand new? Not so much.

One of the ladies was me from two years ago - unsure, uncoordinated, inflexible, but determined to do everything 'right.'  I wanted the class to go just so beautifully for her, I wanted her to align her hips, flex forward with ease, and then bend back and open her heart to the heavens and see herself as the radiant soul she most certainly is.

My wish for her? No struggle, no effort, just joy

Of course though, she had a typical first timer's class. Nothing came automatically. She needed many adjustments, lots of explanations, and several attempts to do basic poses.

Thankfully, her first class was under the instruction of a great yogi - one who has marvelously clear instructions and tons of support, all delivered with a spirit of love and humor.

At the end of the class though, the similarities between her first class and mine ended as she commented to me, "I know I didn't do everything perfect, but I felt like I did a whole lot right! I loved it!"

The thud you hear is my heart hitting the ground as I realized that even after two years, I still don't always have that attitude. Too often I end class thinking about how much my hip hurt in a stretch, that I needed to be corrected in a back bend, or how someone else's pose soared, while mine...not so much.

In other words, I focus on what I did wrong, instead of celebrating the journey on my mat that day, respecting where I was at that moment.

It took a beginner to help me see that.
Maybe girlfriend isn't such a beginner after all.

Tomorrow brings another yoga class and another chance to enjoy the movement and feel the love. My goal is to end it with deep belief with her exact statement.

"I know I didn't do everything perfect, but I felt like I did a whole lot right! I loved it!"

Thoughts to take with me today: Who are you right now? You are also a radiant soul. Believe nothing less.

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's the pauses that matter

The more I study, practice, learn about yoga the more I'm struck by how much I want my life to actually be yoga. As in, no difference between my behavior on or off my mat. Just seamless, continuous yoga.

On my mat I can be calm, giggly, exuberant, sad, humble, joyous, inquisitive, or any number of emotions, not always 'pretty' ones, but authentic and respectful of what I am at that moment.

On my mat I journey from one pose to another and pause when the pose is exactly right for me,  Not where I will be in a year, or where I was a year ago. But now - this moment.

On my mat, I don't ask myself  'why?' and 'when?" and "what the hell are you trying to do?" There is movement and breath and finally a stillness with no past or future. Only present. Only this moment.

On my mat I breathe in peace and breathe out what little stress is there. It's not that the anxiety melts or dissipates in the yoga room, it's that it doesn't follow me. The stress is somewhere out in the hall, or parking lot, or just away.

On my mat healing thought patterns form and slowly erase the old tapes. Thought patterns that speak the truth with love and over time I believe those whispered truths just a bit more.

On my mat, I pause, and feel that moment.

On my mat, I am home.

This weekend I made a comment about someone being 'comfortable with having pauses' when they teach yoga. And there was the discovery. How perfect to have pauses in life. How right to be still, how blissful to leave the anxiety in the ether and what a gift to breathe in peace.

Living the moment - no matter what is happening - exercising, meditating, eating, house cleaning -loving the purpose of the moment.

That's yoga.

Thoughts to take with me today: I want to live on my mat and I can. It only takes practice.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bashing into walls

Today I accepted a friend's request and went to her 5:30 AM spin class at a nearby gym. It was crazy, stupid fun. Before class she showed me tons of toys I've not seen before  - especially the plyometric stuff - including a HUGE black box,  about 3 feet high for doing jumps from the floor on. That tiny annoying voice in my head said, "No way! You can't jump that high!" even as my feet lept from the floor, square into the middle - nailing the landing! I wanted to roar like a lion because I DID IT!

Like I said, stupid, stupid fun.

During class though, I tweaked my right shoulder a bit by being careless when I came up to a standing run. This is a real problem - my right shoulder is my GOOD shoulder and for it to hurt at all is bad, bad, bad.  Then at one point, we transitioned down to a seated climb and I noticed an ache in my back, probably caused by not supporting my core enough and allowing my back to cave in. Again, this is a problem - my back (and core) has always been a strength.

Great, two separate new pains to contend with, in previously strong areas. I finished the class angry.

Externally, I looked fine. Internally, I was bashing into walls - furious with myself. Not because  I'd injured myself, but rather the same ol' refrain of regrets...
"Why didn't I start exercising years ago when I was young?"
"Why didn't I discover how fun this was when I had 20 year old knees?"
"Do you realize how much harder all of this is at your age?"
"Why didn't I run and jump and play all along?"
"Why did I wait so long to move?"
"Why? Just why?"
I had this mental vision of myself in a small room hurling into wall after wall, uncaring about any damage I might be doing, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth until finally I came to a complete stop and sat, slumped over, exhausted in the center.
And there, in the stillness,  the author of my life gave me the answer to all the "Whys?"
"Because, my dear, your time is now."
No explanations, no apologies, just that one simple statement, spoken with love and kindness and caring.
  I accept.
 I kind of have to accept.
And in that lovely quiet moment,  I had another mental picture of the people I've met on my journey in the last 2 years.  If I had picked up exercising 20 years ago, would I have met them at all? Would our paths have intersected? Would I have hurt myself at some point in my youthful foolishness and now be regretting doing too much?  What would my life be like now and would I like it? There are no answers to those hypothetical questions, and in a way, those questions are useless.
My time is now - in my 50's - to exercise and move and play. I give up bashing into walls and asking "why?"  I think I'll just laugh it off and love doing what I do - jumping onto 3 foot high blocks, swinging from hammocks in aerial yoga, nailing burpees, blazing through indoor cycling, and discovering the usefulness of ibuprofen!
Because, my time is now. Right now. No more questions, no more fighting, no more bashing into walls. Acceptance.
Thoughts to take with me today: It's my life. I can love it or fight it. I think I'll choose to love it and once again, choose joy.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Body Image

So today, I'm on the net and an advertisement catches my eye - "Plus Size Dresses For Spring Now On Sale!"

I clicked on it thinking I could use a new dress for Spring.

Then sat back in amazement.

I'm not a plus-size and haven't been for a very long time.

This prompted me to go looking around the net wondering if I'm sorta unique and come to find out, nah, not really.

It's called "Phantom fat."  I get it...truly.

The idea is that just like in losing a limb and the body still feels like it's there, in my case, my body has lost over 85 pounds and still I feel like the fat has never left. Ever.

How to get over this feeling? Well, apparently, it's pretty simple - time. Just time. Time to adjust to what I see in the mirror, time to feel, look, listen, and believe.


My life can be different
The weight is gone, forever
What I see is real
I can relax
It's okay

Maybe next year, I'll see the same ad and smile and know that's not my area any more.

Maybe the year after

Either way, it will happen

Thoughts to take with me today: Who knew there were so many steps to healthy?

Monday, February 11, 2013

"It's not fair...."

I teach middle school. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard this phrase. Generally directed at me when I've asked my kiddos to do something that doesn't fit in with their immediate plans. Such as school work. Funny how they seem to be surprised when they are in school and the teacher gives them work to do. Can't figure that one just comes out of the blue to them time after time.

But then I hear the same phrase come out of my mouth and I blush to hear the "whine-i-ness" of it.

It's not fair that ...

it's so hard to eat right
my knee, hip, shoulder hurts
my body won't do what I want it to do
people don't 'get' me

This attitude is not real attractive to be honest.

On a good day - a day where I have some control over my emotions - I can step back and reflect on what is really REALLY not fair.

It's also not fair that I have...
a house and bed to sleep in every night
food in my fridge and pantry
a body that moves and runs and plays
friends that accept my quirks
children who make me proud
a husband who adores me

We aren't guaranteed any of these wonderful things and there are plenty of people around the world missing any and or all of the givens I so blithely take for granted while whining and wishing and moping I had something else.

Attractive? Nope, not so much.

A while back a friend shared that every night before she goes to bed she records three things she is grateful for in a journal. I pondered that idea, and actually looked for a journal but just didn't see one that spoke to me. Then a few weeks later, another friend, who had no idea of the first conversation handed me the most beautiful bound journal completely out of the blue. That has become my journal of gratitude.

I've recorded about 3 weeks worth of statements of "I am grateful for..." and it is eye-opening to go back and re-read and be reminded of how truly blessed my life is.
No, "it's not fair" to be granted so many wonderful daily gifts. Not fair at all. Instead of whining, I think I'll smile and say "Thanks" to the Source that has provided so richly for me.

Thoughts to take with me today: I am grateful for my life.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Why I practice yoga

Until recently, I viewed yoga as a religion or a practice directly in conflict with my Christian faith. Even when I began attending yoga classes, there were sayings that the teacher would lead us in that I would quietly just not do. No drama, just a lack of participation.  The phrases seemed uncomfortable and created a dissonance within and made me think that they were questioning of my Christianity.

But if the truth be told, I wasn’t that great of a Christian.  And I was unhappy. Something was missing. 

I started asking questions of my teacher, and very wisely, she fed me tidbits – not enough to spook me - but enough to make me think. One of the first principles of yoga I learned were the Yamas and Niyamas.  Although the names were foreign and didn’t sit well in my mouth, there was nothing to fight against.


Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things
Satya – Truthfulness
Asteya – Do not steal
Bramacharya – Self control
Aparigraha – Lack of greed


Sauca – Purity
Santosha – Contentment
Tapas – Discipline
Svadhyaya – Study of sacred scriptures
Isvara-pranidhana – Devotion to God

Nothing objectionable. Just a way to live.

Many yogis put emphasis on Ahimsa or Satya – do not harm and tell the truth. Good concepts, but for some reason the one that caught my eye was Svadhyaya – the study of sacred scriptures. Nothing in yoga said what to study, just to study.


For the first time in years, I picked up my Bible and began reading. Although I grew up in a church, attended a Christian high school and university, and am still a member, at 50 something clicked inside and a door opened. The connection between what was on the pages and what my life should look like became clear; I began to live what I was reading every morning. The unhappiness and discontent slowly peeled away. What was left was peace and acceptance. 

Yoga made me a better Christian

This morning, I turned to Ephesians 4 and 5. A short way in, I read the words “Put away falsehood” and I whispered the word, “Satya.”  In a few short verses, I realized that every Yama and Niyma was there. Every one of them. Oh sure, some are a bit more oblique than others, but the thought, the idea, the feeling is there.

Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (SATYA) 26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. (ASTEYA) (APARIGRAHA).  29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear (BRAMACHARYA) 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice (SAUCA), 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (AHIMSA)
1Therefore be imitators of God (TAPAS)(SVADHYAYA) as beloved children. And walk in love (SANTOSHA), as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (ISVARA PRANIDHANA).

My worlds intersected and I smiled.

Thoughts to take with me today: Anything that brings me closer to God can only be good. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to lose weight safely and 'easily'

Most TV talk shows, radio programs,  and even some Internet sites have  information about losing weight.

Saw one yesterday about losing weight WHILE eating pizza and french fries - as much as you want apparently - and still lose weight!

Color me skeptical.

But let's be real, people DO want to lose weight, get healthy, look better - all of those things - and the reason these ads/shows are out there is because it brings eyes and viewers.

There is a pretty easy way to lose weight, but it doesn't sell a lot of books or advertising time. I'm going to share what took me about 18 months to learn. Remember I'm not a registered dietician, personal trainer, nurse, doctor, or television journalist. I'm just a chick that lost 80 pounds and is willing to share my secrets.
Eat right, move more.

That's really about it.

If you need to lose 40, 50 (or in my case 90)  or more pounds, there aren't a whole lot of tricks that are sustainable over the long haul.
Eat right, move more.

How does that look in real life?  How do you get started?

Take one week and write down everything that goes in your mouth. Don't worry about a bunch of changes, just write it down.  Also, take note of how many minutes you got yourself moving.

Then go through the whole week and start tallies of your food groups on a daily basis. How many servings of dairy, protein, grains, fruits, veggies, fats. Count them up honestly, and KNOW what a serving size is. For example a bagel at Paneras/Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts is about 2 servings, not one.

After you have your totals, look at where the adjustments need to come in.

According to the USDA, this is what you are shooting for every day:

Grains - 6 - 11 servings
Protein 3 - 4
Dairy - 3
Fruits 2 - 3
Veggies 3 - 4
Fats 1 - 2

Those are your goals. DO NOT worry about calories so much as aligning with those figures. The calories will naturally drop.

Now look at your exercise. You need 30 minutes every day. Walk, climb stairs, elliptical, bike, go to a mall and just move from one end to another. It may be hard the first time. Good. That will make your successes all that much sweeter.

(If you are a diabetic and/or under a doctor's care for any reason, ignore me and do whatever he/she says. They know a helluva lot more than I do.)

That's the plan in a nutshell.

Questions I know some of you have (and I know these are real questions because I actually asked every single stinkin' one of these over the last two years)

"What about the diet plans out there - Atkins, Paleo, low-fat, etc?" I think there's a place for them, but instead of getting caught up in a complicated, involved plan, how about starting simple? Start with what is easy, and get some weeks and months behind you with disciplined eating, then if you need something extra or something that seems like it might work, then try it.

"How do I time my meals? Do I want to eat everything early in the day?  In my experience, the timing doesn't matter. I went on a cruise in October and wondered if I would gain weight because our dinner was 8:15 every night. Not only did I NOT gain weight, I lost.

"I don't like breakfast foods." Fine, eat what you want - your body does not care if you eat 4 oz of ground beef with a bun at 6 AM or 6 PM. But do eat something for breakfast. Your body needs the fuel.

"I can't live without my coffee."   Me either, so be aware of how much milk you are putting in each cup and count that in your totals. Coffee happens to be my last, lone vice. I like having a vice.  The guys at Starbucks know my name. All good :)

"I don't want to be hungry."   Make sure your grains are as complex as you can, and spread your meals out during the day. Other than that, accept there will be a little hunger until your stomach shrinks. And on some days, the hunger will be bigger than others. Eat a bit more on those days, just don't go crazy.

"I'd go on a diet but I can't live without my (candy bar, chips, french fries, pizza, burgers, soda, whatever)."  Can you live with your current weight for the rest of your life? Then do so, but otherwise, something has to go. Cut your special item back to 1/2 of what it is now and see if that is sustainable. But honestly, if your afternoon candy bar is more important than losing 50 pounds, then have the candy bar and be happy. Otherwise, choose.

"This is going to make me miserable!"  If that is your first thought, then yes, you will be miserable because you've already decided you will be. Turn that thought around and think of what you will be able to do - walk, climb stairs, play with your kids, run a 5K, buy clothes in the regular size department. I guarantee you that you will NOT be miserable doing any of those things.

"You don't understand, I will have so much loose skin." Yeah, I actually DO understand. Been there, done that, own the T Shirt. This is my approach - my skin can either be smooth and filled out with flesh, or it can sag because there is just less of me. I choose "Door B" every time.

"I'll start tomorrow, next week, next month." Sure you will.  Instead - start the next meal. Write down what you eat, inform yourself.  Remember you aren't even dieting at the beginning, you are just gathering information. You don't need a special day for that. Your body does not care what when it is.

"It's too hard to diet." Wanna know what's hard? Hard is figuring out how to get food in your body every day, not just when you are dieting. Somehow we figure out what to eat when we want to consume 3,000+ calories a day, but when asked to cut back, that seems harder.

"I don't have the willpower." Again, you are right, you don't because you've already set your intentions that you don't.  Try this. Tell yourself over and over and over, until you believe it, "I can do this, I can eat right, I can move more." After enough days of hearing that mantra, eventually it becomes part of your mind set and before long, your life has changed and you become someone with willpower.

"What about lifting weights?" I love lifting, it's fun.  But don't worry about it at the beginning. Worry about 30 minutes of movement. Get some weight off, enjoy what you are doing, then decide if putting in strength training is the next step.

"I come home too tired to work out."  Then work out in the AM.

"It's too early to work out in the morning." Then work out in the PM.

"I'm tired." Of course you are, so what difference will a little more tired make? Seriously, just do it.

That's about it for my advice. Any questions I missed, feel free to ask, I'll be happy to share my experience. Maybe you can do it better than I did with less stress and less anxiety about losing weight exactly 'right.' There are so many 'right' ways. Yours will come to you when you sent your intentions to eat right, move more.

Thoughts to take with me today: The journey begins with one step and continues with love and joy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My 2013 resolution

The first day of 2012 found me running 
The first day of 2013 found me sitting 

Both represented victories 

My resolution for 2012 was to learn to move.  My resolution for 2013 is to learn to say no.  Therefore, I say no to myself and officially give up.

I give up on fighting with myself about overtraining
I give up on fighting with myself about running
I give up on fighting with myself about rest days

Done, over, finis.

As much as I want to run, to be a runner, just let it cut loose and fly, the hamstrings say no, the knees say no, and even the low back has decided to speak up for no. Okay you guys, I’m listening – can you please shut up?

I figure my heart is one vote and other body parts provide at least three votes – so the heart is overruled on this one. At least for now. Maybe in the Spring after a long spell of two rests every week, we can readdress the running, but for now, the answer is no.

After months of overtraining, I cut back from 12 – 14 workouts a week to around 9
After months of working day after day, I allowed myself a permanent rest day
After only a few weeks of one rest day, apparently I’m a quicker learner so…

I’m building in a second rest day to allow my muscles to truly recover

To be honest, there is some anxiety about this decision, but it is coupled with INTENSE relief that I finally trust myself to do this. 

For the longest time I was afraid to not work out every day. Afraid that one day off would turn into two, then three, and before long, I’d wake up and years would have gone by and there I would be, back on the couch, eating French fries.  But my body was tired, achy, and sore, much more than it should have been.   After months of long spells of no breaks, there was not a major joint that didn’t hurt, and it was time to face facts – I was overworking my body, badly.  With much internal kicking and screaming, I took off Sundays, and discovered that Mondays came with me eager to work out (and no French fries).  Now, I’m going to take off Wednesdays – nothing more strenuous than some gentle yoga – and see what happens. If history repeats itself,  I’m gonna bet I come back roaring on Thursdays with energy and enthusiasm.

To reiterate an earlier post, trust, trust the process. It will be okay. Promise.

Happy 2013  

Just say no to excess (even with exercise).

Thoughts to take with me today: I think this is what yoga looks like in real life, not executing pretty postures, but living the precepts behind them - non-harmfulness, kindness, and contentment - especially to myself.