Throughout history there have been incredible women who have lead us, inspired us and encouraged us to do the right thing. The woman in this short movie all have one thing in common; rather than taking the road well traveled… they decided to blaze their own trail!
The last thing we usually want to be called is a loser but when it comes to dieting, we’d love to be known as the “Biggest Loser” With weight loss, there are so many options available to us that if I tried to mention all of them, this would be a VERY LONG blog! I know that I am only skimming the surface of weight loss products and programs! Anyone who has been following this blog knows that I personally have opted for changing my eating habits to healthier choices and more modest portions and for using my fitness program to help change my metabolism while getting my body in better, firmer shape. That is not to say that I don’t sometimes long for the miracle cure or product. The one that works in an instant and turns you from “weakling” to “muscle man” in no time flat! That is also not to say that I have not ever succumbed to trying some of these supposedly miracle cures and I do actually use one right now that some people are skeptical of.
On pills, sprays, shakes: Because of my medical history, most “diet” pills do not agree with me. Nor do diet shakes. I have tried a few but I have not been able to tolerate them for any length of time or in the way that they are prescribed. Still, I have seen success stories from some. Last year I hadn’t seen a friend of mine for 4 months. When we met for dinner, I was shocked by the difference. He told me he had lost 50 pounds. Nice. We ordered our meals, a salad for me, a burger and fries for him. When his food came, he sprinkled something over it. He was using Sensa and attributed his weight loss to this product. Not going to lie….wanted to run out and buy it on the spot!
On weight loss programs: There are so many different programs that not only help you lose weight, but also provide support, education and generally rely on accountability to aid in your success. Some include prepared portioned meals, others just the menu. Some can be done online and some require attendance. For those who are interested in the buddy system and seek support, praise, etc, there is a multitude of places to find that.
On gyms and exercise: Again at the risk of sounding like a broken record, so very many options! I opted for a gym membership and have been creating a home gym, as well. I also enjoy walking and hiking and make a regular habit of utilizing the biggest gym in the world, the great outdoors!
On surgery and surgical procedures: I have mixed feelings about this. I think it is very cost prohibitive and can be uncomfortable/painful. I think about all the necessary operations I have had to have and wonder why I would put myself through anything like that again just for the sake of beauty! On the other hand, it is more than just beauty, it’s also health. Besides, if I get to the weight and fitness level that I hope to, I know that certain “trouble spots” will probably still be there….so….maybe surgery!?
It is my consensus that the products that work best for us as individuals are the ones we believe in. It may not be as much that they really work or that they give us that boost, that jump start to just do it. Whether they give us ammunition or the confidence to make our own ammunition, does it really matter?
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz
I love food. I don’t only love to eat but I love to cook. I love the preparation and the presentation. I don’t really know exactly when this began. I guess, growing up, my family has always been into food. Whenever there was a gathering, whether it was happy, sad or indifferent, there was food. If we were angry, confused, mad or proud….there was always something to eat. Food was a central theme. When I was 15, my love affair with food took a complete turn around. Newly diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, food quickly became my enemy. In the next few years, I would spend many days, weeks, sometimes months without food or on a liquid diet. IV poles were my dance partners. When I was allowed to eat, it could only be bland and tasteless. For awhile, it seemed, the color went out of my life. My wonderful family kept me company on this awful diet as much as they could and were always careful to pick restaurants that had the obligatory mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and bread. A special day might add rice pudding! Yippie! So….after much deliberation, 2 major surgeries* and 10 years later, I was a new woman! Not only was my gut rewired but….I could eat again! Interestingly, when you are undernourished and severely underweight, it is very difficult to gain weight. So began the daily ice cream trips, the addition of red meat and other high protein, high calorie, fattening foods. It was necessary and a long time coming. I was now 25, just beginning to enjoy a quality of life I never
dreamt thought possible. I dreamt it, just didn’t believe it!
“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”
As we all know, sometimes good things have to come to an end. It is now 6 years later and I am (finally) pregnant with my first child. Yay! By week 20, I was flat on my back and the percentages weren’t too high that I would carry this pregnancy much longer. This is where I adopted a new kind of love affair with food. Emotional dependency! I lay in bed all day and all night for 10 weeks. Nothing to do but watch tv, talk to whoever I could engage in conversation and needlepoint. Yes, needlepoint, my one and only time I’ve ever done it! But the one thing that I had control over, that I could do throughout all this was eat. And eat I did! Anything and everything. At the end, I had gained 50 pounds and the baby weighed just over 2 and a half pounds. Oops! As Steve Urkel put it “Did I do that?”
Thus began a new period in my life, not needing the amounts of food I was eating, but loving eating it. Finishing the food the kids didn’t finish. You shouldn’t waste food! I went back and forth through the years and now I am here. I still love food. I still want my cake and eat it, too. Literally! But… I am learning to love my body more….
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
– Virginia Woolf
To learn more about Crohn’s Disease, click here
*In order to live a more complete and healthy life, I elected to have surgery that would change my life in so many ways. Actually, pretty much in every way. To learn more about that, you can visit this website
|“For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it is a pity that we use it so little.”|
|Rachel Carson quotes|
Scents can evoke memories, set a mood, get us in a “zone” or take us out of one. Last week a co-worker brought in some grapefruits. While I love them, I don’t go particularly gaga over their scent. Conversely, I take care not to eat oranges at work because their strong scent seems to stay on my hands all day. My friend picked up the grapefruit and talked about how much she loves the way they smell. I saw pure joy on her face and heard it in her voice. I still don’t really care one way or the other about the way a grapefruit smells but I know that now whenever I catch the whiff of a grapefruit, it will trigger the memory of my friend and the happiness on her face. I am picky about scents. I don’t like the scent of people, places or food to be too heavy or overbearing. I am sensitive to the point of sometimes getting headaches or feeling sick to my stomach. I can’t stand the way the smell of cooked food can often cling to us and it never fails to amaze me how other people don’t agree. Even though I know it my neurosis, I can’t figure out why they don’t want to rush into a shower and get that offensive smell right off them! Because of this strong aversion, I also don’t like if the house smells too strongly when I am cooking. While I can appreciate the smell of a good meal, I don’t want to smell it tomorrow, too. When I am cooking certain foods, I run frantically around opening windows, shutting doors, spraying Febreze and lighting candles lest the odour should permeate the house. In the meantime, everyone will come in and rave about the great smells emanating from the kitchen.
Scent is also used in retail. There are certain retail stores that can be associated with their scent. They use it to create an ambience that will attract customers and put them in the mood to buy. Not so different from animal scents that are used to attract the opposite sex! Restaurants and bakeries also do this. When my sister was showing her house, she would bake an apple in her oven to give it a “homey” smell. So….not just to evoke memories but also to help create new ones!
As I write this, I have no less than 5 candles lit around the house. They look pretty but more importantly, they smell good! I know I said it already but scent can evoke powerful memories. When I was young, my mother always wore Chanel N5 when she was dressed up. When I moved away from home, I kept a bottle of Chanel N5 on my dresser. Smelling it never failed to conjure up a loving, warm memory of her and made home seem not so far away. Every time my daughter comes home, she gives me a big hug and says,”You smell like my mommy!” I interpret that as….you smell like home or even better….you smell like love!
“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”
― Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy. ~Edward P. Morgan
My reinvention is not only meant to be be physical. I have spent quite a bit of time assessing my life, pinpointing areas of dissatisfaction or stagnancy. Am I where I thought I’d be? Am I doing the things that I had aspired to all those years ago? Life is not without it’s detours but did I end up in a place that works for me? Obviously as I am writing this blog and calling it a reinvention of me, then no….I am not where I wanted to be. This project of getting me there has taken several twists and turns but I have learned that so far, no one thing has been independent of another. Everything is related. I felt that my weight was the easiest to pinpoint as it’s physical manifestation was clearly apparent. But, what about friendships, interests, career? All of these things were affecting me and getting in the way of my happiness. They were also helping to stifle my motivation and block my ability to even attempt to reach my goals. So……to the library I went. I found an abundance of resources in the many books that I read. They helped me to define who I am and what I need to get myself in the right place for change.
I know it’s been used and referenced to over and over and OVER again but I do have a lot of faith in the “law of attraction” I remember one year all my sticky notes held a quote from one or another contributor of “The Secret“. I read “5 Wishes” by Gay Hendricks. I read “The Prayer Box” “Red Tent” and everything Mitch Albom. I read “Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars” Along with the dating sequel. I read “Women who love too Much” and started following Oprah and her many sites. I will continue to read as much as I can. The more I read, the more I absorb. The more I absorb, the more I grow…..
The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~James Bryce
Book lovers never go to bed alone. ~Author Unknown
Just do it!
How to make a home gym work for you. I am not here to tell you what you, personally need to fill your home gym with as everyone has different needs. I am here to talk about why some of us need one. I, for one, am a homebody. I go out because I both want and need to but….I love to be home. That being said, I need to be able to accomplish there, some of the things that I would normally do outside. I don’t have a big place or a lot of room so my “gym” is in my living room. My first purchase was a weight bar. Next weights, some for the bar, some to carry and some for my ankles and wrists. I have since added a few more things: exercise bands, a nice foam mat, an exercise ball and last but most definitely not least, my countour abs belt! Yes, I did it. I bought one. And I love it! It is in no way replacing my workout routine. I still do all the same exercises but now I do them with hundreds of electrical stimulants working my abs. And….it’s working! I’m patiently awaiting the larger conductors for the rest of my muscle groups!
There’s no easy way out.
If there were, I would have bought it.
And believe me, it would be one of my favorite things!
Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.
Oh,the agony of buying new shoes. I have been known to go up and down aisles trying on one after another pair of shoes. My goal: The perfect shoe that I can do anything in and don’t have to spend a fortune. When it’s time for new shoes, I become hyper aware of everyone else’s shoes.
Always wear expensive shoes. People notice.
I am so afraid that I’ll finally buy that “perfect” pair only to see something better the next day! Yes, this is a dilemna. One I may lose some sleep over! So….what to do? So much advice…one pair for high impact, one for running, another for dance. Why can’t there be that one perfect pair? And why can’t I be satisfied with it once I find it? Every once in awhile, you do find one. I still remember with a bit of longing a truly wonderful pair of shoes that I had 20 years. They not only felt great on my feet but they looked good, too! Oh well, I guess I will just keep on searching for that elusive, perfect sport shoe…..
“The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.”
– Erma Bombeck
Creativity often consists of merely turning up what is already there. Did you know that right and left shoes were thought up only a little more than a century ago?