Posts Tagged ‘health’

body apologyThis has been my meditation lately and my question for myself.

 

(I am down weight wise 115 pounds which is not important, it is just a number but it does mean one thing, I have a lot more free time as I am not eating all the time, but doing other things like meditating on things like this, lol)

 

I recently read something somewhere (not sure where) this premise or idea:

We are either eating for health and to nourish our bodies or we are eating for our disease.

 

Think about it? If you pondered each bite that went into your mouth and ask this question, what would the answer be?

Is this piece of fudge, fad laden chips (or sugar and salt laden baked chips) or sugar candy going to feed and nourish my body with great nutrients or feed the high blood pressure, the diabetes, the coronary artery disease (etc etc)?

Does the sweetness of good and nutritious things full of wonderful body healing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals say in a piece of fruit, fresh vegetables (that aren’t cooked to death or laden with fatty sauces and butter) or lean protein sources lead to my long life, my vitality, my body’s happiness and weight control?

Am I eating to nourish my Life and my body or am I eating what will cause my body’s disease?

What would your answer be?

It takes awhile possibly to start tasting the mouth coating greasiness of fried foods (that somehow tastes disgusting to me now honestly) when the mouth has become accustomed to eating this way. I know because I was that person. I loved fried foods, fatty Poor Boys full of grease soaked fried seafood! (I live in New Orleans after all!) I recently tasted a bite of fried food and I hated it! (It was 15 months since I had dared to try it) I couldn’t take another bite! I am not complacent though. I have been on the weight loss/weight gain dance for a long time, like most of my life, and I know I would “get over” that initial grease repulsion if I slip back into my bad habits and the weight would pile back on again! Same with sugary, over salted foods. I had to wean myself off of some of them or quit cold turkey like a bad habit. It wasn’t easy. No one said this was easy but I have found out, if I look around and read out within the human world around me hundreds and thousands (even) of people are contending with this each and every day!

 

I don’t want to go back there.

So, I ask myself eat day in my mindful eating way, what do I do?

Do I eat for nutrition and to nourish my life and body or am I eating my disease?

I think, for me, the choice is easy…….. Just for today, it is health I crave like water in the desert………..

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/dining/mindful-eating-as-food-for-thought.html?pagewanted=all

I wanted to write about Mindful Eating and ran into the article in The New York Times that says so much to me and thought I would share…

 

So what is “mindful eating”? It is a zen/buddhist or like zen practice of being fully away of eat bite of food you eat. Chewing slowly, savoring the bite and having little distractions while you do so(except soft music or maybe a light conversation).

Anyways, it has been on my mind for about a few months to write on this topic. I have been in a lifelong struggle with good eating habits. I am not alone as it seems like there are more books out there on diets than there are on topics like this that support maintenance and healthy nutritional eating habits.

 

In the old days and when I relapse into bad behaviors and choices, this is one that rears its head for me. (Watching TV and eating dinner or any other meal for that matter. Ever sit in front of the TV munching away and are not even aware of how much you have eaten? Me too, or used to be me…)

When I sit down at the table, eat slowly and taste things with relish as opposed to gulping it down in a hurry because I am on the run or worse, because I have waited to long to eat and “feel” like I am starving, I overeat. Always always make bad choices. When I savor the food, actually chew it, enjoy it and relish it for its taste and nutritional beauty as nourishment for my body, I do much better with weight loss and weight maintenance. I was often not aware of what I ate, how it tasted or how MUCH I ate because I barely even chewed it.

I am down 109 pounds now, that’s a lot and this is one of those things that made me NOT feel like I was starving. When I grab something on the go, shove it down my throat as quickly as possible while talking on the phone, or driving or 100 thousand other things, especially television, am I indeed nourishing ALL my senses and feeding my being? No, I am not and suspect if you are reading this and nodding your head (and trying to find inspiration on how NOT to regain weight, how to be successful and to not feel like you are deprived), this is probably and issue with you too.

I want to add something for GREAT TIPS  I read on Huffington Post written by Jenni Grover at the  Mother Nature Network. The link is here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/mindful-eating-tips_n_3941528.html and this is a great excerpt from that article on Five Tips to Eat Mindfully:

Here are some of my favorite tips to introduce mindfulness to mealtimes in an easy, accessible fashion.

Eat slower
Eating slowly doesn’t have to mean taking it to extremes. Still, it’s a good idea to remind yourself, and your family, that eating is not a race. Taking the time to savor and enjoy your food is one of the healthiest things you can do. You are more likely to notice when you are full, you’ll chew your food more and hence digest it more easily, and you’ll probably find yourself noticing flavors you might otherwise have missed. If you have young children, why not try making a game of it — who can chew their food the longest? Or you could introduce eating with chopsticks as a fun way to slow things down.

Savor the silence
Yes, eating in complete silence may be impossible for a family with children, but you might still encourage some quiet time and reflection. Again, try introducing the idea as a game — “let’s see if we can eat for two minutes without talking” — or suggesting that one meal a week be enjoyed in relative silence. If the family mealtime is too important an opportunity for conversation to pass up, then consider introducing a quiet meal or snack time into your day when you can enjoy it alone. The NYT article, for example, noted that one dietitian simply savors a few sips of tea in complete silence when she is too busy for a complete mindful meal.

Silence the phone. Shut off the TV.
Our daily lives are full of distractions, and it’s not uncommon for families to eat with the TV blaring or one family member or other fiddling with their iPhone. Consider making family mealtime, which should, of course, be eaten together, an electronics-free zone. I’m not saying you should never eat pizza in front of the TV, but that too should be a conscious choice that marks the exception, not the norm.

Pay attention to flavor
The tanginess of a lemon, the spicyness of arugula, the crunch of a pizza crust — paying attention to the details of our food can be a great way to start eating mindfully. After all, when you eat on the go or wolf down your meals in five minutes, it can be hard to notice what you are even eating, let alone truly savor all the different sensations of eating it. If you are trying to introduce mindful eating to your family, consider talking more about the flavors and textures of food. Ask your kids what the avocado tastes like, or how the hummus feels. And be sure to share your own observations and opinions too. (Yes, this goes against the eating in silence piece, but you don’t have to do everything at once.)

Know your food
Mindfulness is really about rekindling a relationship with our food. From planting a veggie garden through baking bread to visiting a farmers market, many of the things we locavores have been preaching about for years are not just ways to cut our carbon foodprint, but also connect with the story behind our food. Even when you have no idea where the food you are eating has come from, try asking yourself some questions about the possibilities: Who grew this? How? Where did it come from? How did it get here? Chances are, you’ll not only gain a deeper appreciation for your food, but you’ll find your shopping habits changing in the process too.

Like I say, mindful eating does not have to be an exercise in super-human concentration, but rather a simple commitment to appreciating, respecting and, above all, enjoying the food you eat every day. It can be practiced with salad or ice cream, donuts or tofu, and you can introduce it at home, at work, or even as you snack on the go (though you may find yourself doing this less often).

And while the focus becomes how you eat, not what you eat, you may find your notions of what you want to eat shifting dramatically for the better too.

Thought I would share this today and to remind ME when I need it, what worked for me……

 

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One this in true I think, it is HARD (sometimes feels TOO hard) to get started. I am glad I did. It is almost a year since I had weight loss surgery. I have lost 20 inches on my waist alone and over 107 pounds. What a life changer that is but taking the first steps and following them with more little important steps and so on could feel overwhelming, especially in the beginning. Was it scary and hard, of course it was! BUT this blog is NOT about weight loss surgery it IS about reclaiming and claiming something of mine (or yours) that I want for my life! The surgery was just one of my little steps. An important one yes, but it was only a step. I have more weight to lose, fitness goals and life goals and then there is maintenance as a healthy eating individual. It isn’t about the surgery, it IS about life.

Does it matter if you are having surgery of this type or starting a weight loss regime of your own, or a gym/workout regime or whatever. The first step is the hardest! Following it up with other steps is the next hardest….

One of my favorite sayings is this:

“A journey of three thousand miles is begun with a single step.”

If the goal seems far far away it can be even more daunting. For me in the beginning it was – 1) go to the seminar

2) go the doctor and check him/her out

3) go to the free support groups and see how people did

4) find out all I could about it online

5) do my pre-op stuff (lots of doctors appointment and lab work)

6) get insurance approval

7) make SURE I had the right stuff in the house like protein drinks and vitamins

8) read “Weight loss surgery for Dummies” 🙂

and so on up until the day of the surgery.

That day I took one single tiny step and showed up, trusted them (it was scary) and just did it.

Then in the hospital postop I did what they said.

Same when I got home.

I added walking many times a week and from a coach potato I walk no less than 8 miles a week (usually much much more than that). It is the MENTAL part of this that is the hardest thing I think. Just taking that step mentally and following by action. But you only have to do ONE step and follow it with another, then another and so on.

And on and on. All things together in my mind would have seemed impossible. It is not. I am not that special (well sort of but you know what I mean, ordinary human person) but I decided I was NOT going to ask myself this-

IN A YEAR would I look back and wonder where I would be that day if I had taken the steps I wanted to get to my goals in life a year before or would I still be looking at the starting point?

What are your goals? What do YOU personally want to do?

  • Do you want to climb a mountain but need to train?
  • Do you want to run the Boston Marathon but can only walk a block?
  • Do you want to lose weight to get into that cute bikini but need to make the decision?
  • Do you want to hike the Appalachian Trail from Canada to the end but have to take the training to get this done?
  • Do you want to go to college and get another or your first degree?
  • Do you want to travel abroad but need to save the money to be able to go?
  • Do you want to sail around the USA and eventually around the world in your sailboat but need to figure out everything to be able to take that year off and pursue your dream?
  • Do you want to go to Rome and see every sight and learn the language?
  • Do you want to go to a real yoga retreat in India but know there is much you need to do in preparation?
  • Do you want to walk a mile a day but are so sedentary you are only on the sofa watching TV?
  • Do you want to become and artist but have to take lessons?
  • Do you want to do things you have only dreamed about but have been procrastinating for 20 years?
  • Do you want to be a bodybuilder but only go to the gym now and then and keep putting it off?

 

THE TIME HAS COME TODAY!

Make it happen for yourself and don’t get discouraged. Others are falling down and getting up again everywhere around the world all the time! Just do it, take that first simple tiny step. Make those steps little, tiny and manageable and build on that. If you have a bad day or week just dust yourself off and just go for it again!

 

I do this in so many places in my life each and every day and the steps are getting stronger and bolder and easier each day!

It is my one and only life and I want to make it count (don’t you?) so I am taking that journey.

I know in one year I will look back happy. I won’t be on my sofa watching reruns wondering where my life went. I will have reclaimed my life and people if I can do it I have no doubt you can!

Nuff said….(I want the poster but I feel it in my heart!)

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I can do almost anything in 10 minutes health wise. Today I was thinking about my favorite cup of hot hot strong Irish tea, the kind that gets richer and yummier if it sits a bit then I reheat it. 10 minutes does it! SOooooo, feeling a bit more than lazy on a rainy Sunday I said, I need to exercise and feel totally unmotivated. Ever been there? Me too! lol…


 

This is my 10 minute challenge:


(Pick the area of focus you want, ARMS, LEGS etc)

ARMS (I do this now 2-3 times a week at home sometimes more)

Fill two milk jugs that you saved and are cleaned out with 2 – 5 – 10 pounds of water (tighten the lid to avoid catastrophic failure lol). Just weigh them on your bathroom scale

IF you have little barbell weights (I do) use these of course

While something you want done and need to wait for (cooking, my tea, washing or another time measured thing) for this amount of time, challenge yourself!

Bend over (slightly if you are new to this) and just lift. Do three sets of 10. Start with the smaller weight until it gets easier. This works out the arms.

Stand up, bend this weight towards your chest making sure you are standing up straight. Do the same number of sets/reps. This works out another part of your arms. This works out the bicep muscle and makes it stronger.

Another one would be kettle weights, dead lifting but that is not for beginners.


 

LEGS

Hold the counter top and do side and back kicks. Make SURE you have rubbery soles on so you don’t slip and break your face!

Do squats bending your knees feet parallel holding the counter top and moving up and down slowly. Do 10  and work up to three sets.


 

SHOULDERS and ARMS

Counter inclined pushups – lean into counter and do pushup at an angle to the counter top. 2 or 3 reps of 10.

Exercise may not now seem fun, especially if you are new like I am (again) but these tips may help you:

 

PUT ON MUSIC YOU LOVE! If you have one make small increment song lists (10 min, 20 min, 30 min and 45 min long) on an IPOD (you can get old used ones on Ebay if you are poor or budget constrained) or a cheapo MP3 player. Don’t know how to add songs? Ask your babysitter or a young neighbor. Teens are notorious for know techie things like this if you don’t. Can’t do that, put a record or CD and time two or 3 songs to this challenge. Set the timer on your microwave.

 

Don’t overdo at first! Injuring yourself can be discouraging and painful! Takes a long time to come back to square one so you want to avoid this. It is not the speed you travel (ie reps) but the journey to health that is important! It took a long time being sedentary to get where you are (me too) so it won’t take a day to get to where you want to be!

IF you can only do TEN then do that. Only able to do FIVE? Then do that. Can’t do that? Get into physical therapy on a doctors order so you can build up to that! There are no hopeless cases out there! I know I am not one!

I find everything gets soft and flabby (loose skin etc) with extreme weight loss that comes with weight loss surgery. Building muscle helps a variety of things and tones the muscle.

It’s hard at first but I know it gets easier! Let me know how it works out for you!~ Good luck if you are reading this!~

That is my ten minute challenge!

 

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Bring your own snacks EVERYWHERE! Movies are a big place to get tripped up (it is like and unhealthy food minefield in most of them. REMEMBER you are going there to see the movie (or the football game or the concert or whatever it is AND NOT going there to eat) Eat ahead of time if you are hungry! Bring some little snacks until movie theater owners get more savvy and supply healthy options. I am fond of these going out and about but make sure it is pre-portioned:

  1. Protein
  2. 100 calorie almond packs
  3. string cheese or baby bell
  4. freeze dried lower carb fruit (watch the servings though). I like Brother’s Naturals Fiji Apple and Crispy Green cantaloupe (tastes like candy it is that sweet!) or mixed berries
  5. carrot sticks/carrot chips with 100 calorie guacamole (like Wholly Guacamole – they have several flavors including spicy)
  6. 3 ounce packs of prepackaged tuna
  7. raw cauliflower with that above guacamole
  8. Greek yogurt with any low carb raw veggie
  9. micro salads I prepare ahead of time in a sealed 3-4 ounce container. (I carry little plastic forks, spoons and knives with me everywhere!)

Going to a tailgate party, to meals with family or friends? Ask what is being prepared, ask with assertiveness. I ALWAYS have some stuff prepared in my fridge and cupboard that helps me when I am running around town, going to the movies or perhaps out on the town where there are TONS of unhealthy temptations. (and this includes especially visiting friends and relatives!)and you will succeed. I find from all my years on the earth plus.

First, it’s time to stop being so polite and eating just what the host(ess) prepares. Be frank (and friendly) and just tell the truth. “This IS for my health issues, I can’t eat this!” (it’s true right? sized humans are way too too polite and don’t know how to stick up for themselves!

The faulty pre-reclaimed life reasoning is like this:

          “They took all the time to prepare this with love or skill so I would insult them. ” (etc etc.) or “I will insult my host(ess)” “I don’t want to be rude” “they worked so hard preparing this!”

          (to be polite let them know way ahead of time what your healthy changes entail and I bet they will go great guns to be supportive and helpful, they need to plan though you know? as a hostess  myself who loves to cook I do want my guests to be happy with what I prepare. Stand up for your reclaimed life! You can do it!)

The mental and emotional adjustment that needs to go into place is this:

         “IF I continue to eat things that are unhealthy for me, I will land in a grave, I WILL lose all my friends and family because I will be dead. I will die from high blood pressure, I will die from a stroke, a heart attack, from diabetes (and diabetic complications).” (picture your grave, morbid but necessary)

        OR (picture how hard it is to walk, to climb stairs, how hard it is to play with your children or grandchildren, do your job, improve your career etc)

       Put a picture in your mind of how it feels to be this obese and sedentary.  It IS HARD!

       AND Mine that I use with all of this is this:

      “I want to live life with GUSTO, with passion, to walk the streets and museums of Rome, to climb mountains (and hills), to jetski, to do the things I feel cut off from to the best of my ability with joy and health!”

“I WANT to live and long and healthy happy life!”

“I want to run TOWARDS my life, not just exist!”

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MAKE a commitment to yourself, you deserve and so do I!

 

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I think this needs examined a little.

First I think something needs to be lost first perhaps. Or it can be something that one needs to lose. Weight isn’t just all there is in this. With such an attitude I am finding this blog about weight loss is purely not about weight loss but needs to evolve somehow.

So evolve into what? Metamorphosis is the word. What is my personal metamorphosis? For what ever reason I allowed myself to get lost in obesity. I don’t even remember particularly how or why it started. After I get the great nutrition down and underway it is kind of moot except that personal self awareness and self honesty I MUST have to not go back to that deep dark unmoving, immobile space of obesity and zero life.

Second, I have to decide what it is I WANT? What do I want? I want to be part of life, of love, of involvement, of love, of laughter or owning the good and the bad and laughing on into my own destiny NO MATTER where I am at that moment. I want to redesign, to refashion my own life on the fly and own it. I want to be an evolutionary being, a sentient creature who is connected. Connected to myself is first to pardon the touchy-feely here. Then connected to others, included those significant in my life. First and always be true to my being.

It is my life. I want it, I crave it and where I might not (might) climb Mount Everest now, I might climb Mount St. Helens or Mount Manfield or my beloved Appalachian trail. (I have walked 1.2 miles of it which doesn’t do my goals justice, lol)

I can taste it.

When I was “tasting” everything buried in food I had zero taste of life. Now I am getting the gingery flavors of life, zest and passion!

Metamorphosis indeed…

This is my evolutionary quest!

Why “The Reclaimed Life” as a blog name?……..reclaiming my life

I have made this my first post but it is a new thing for me to “blog” (strange word, blog) and it didn’t get posted. I lost the original post as I just didn’t know for sure how to post it. Perhaps this is good, it lets me know my sentiments ARE somehow from my heart, soul and mind and it is the content that may actually improve as I write……

I don’t expect to share this blog though I may.

I am writing this because I need to express myself and my journey which seems so very human, to record a journey.

My weight loss surgery is on April 12, 2013. I am having the gastric sleeve done. I have no/zero problems losing weight but continuing and to lose is a different matter as is changing all the behaviors that led me here.

I am not fat for any other reason that I love to eat. The foods I chose however, are not the best for my nourishment, for  my life or my health – fats, sweets and junk (even if disguised as “baked chips”).

I am now reclaiming my life. I have almost lost it many times through natural disasters such a Katrina, serious health issues, car accidents (many) and even cancer but I have survived. Now I truly wish to live!

 

I am reclaiming my life!

What have I lost by this weight I carry? My bucket list is long and detailed and I physically can’t do it.

I can’t walk through Rome, through Paris, through Europe in general. I can climb stairs to just about anywhere.

I had long longed to walk the Appalachian Trail from Canada to Georgia as a lifelong goal and though I suspect my goals now are more realistic I can’t help but with I could. For now I am setting my sights on the park nearby with the 2 miles walking/running track. It is gorgeous and a huge reason why I moved here this January (it has been a big year) to be able to walk. So far I can do only about 350 steps. I bring a scooter to walk/ride/walk/ride. I will change this. It is just a matter of time and discipline and the will to do so. I want not to walk that long arduous trail but this little one with beautiful paths, walkways, bridges, birds, lagoons and so much nature ….and walk one mile. It is now my goal.

 

 

I had a poignant moment not even a year ago when I was on my honeymoon (yes, I am a newlywed and am over 50!) when I could not join my husband to jet ski as I was too overweight and under conditioned to pull myself up on the jet ski. It was a pivotal point for me. I had had one other one a few years earlier and it was during Hurricane Katrina when I stayed with a couple in the city of New Orleans and was trapped by the flood waters and the heat. It was no fun (an understatement)but what truly bothered me is I couldn’t even attempt to save myself as I wasn’t strong enough or conditioned enough to walk through even ankle deep waters. Where I was stuck it was up to the chest in some places. It hit me strong that the one mile or less it would have taken me to walk to get to higher ground was not possible for me.

 

I should be able to save myself shouldn’t I?

I know my answer.

I am about to reclaim my life and this is my journey now. I thought for several hours about the title of this blog and here it is.

My journey…….

“a journey of three thousand miles is begun with a single step..”

My gastric sleeve surgery is on April 12th, ……