Archive | February 2014

Go Ahead and Jump!

I know that exercising is important in order to be fit and for heart health, but I didn’t realize how beneficial it was to my Lymphatic system.  In fact, I didn’t really know much about the Lymphatic system at all until I started reading information on it.

ImageUnlike the circulatory system that has a pump (the heart) to circulate the blood, the lymphatic system needs a little assistance to get it moving.   Exercising is one way we can really help our bodies. 

The lymph fluid collects all the pathogens, dead blood cells, bacteria, toxic waste and it escorts it out of our bodies.  It’s kind of like our garbage collector.   However, if we neglect exercise and just sit around our lymphatic system becomes sluggish and backed up.  Imagine if your neighborhood garbage collector doesn’t pick your garbage up for a few weeks.  The garbage in front of your house builds up, begins to rot and starts to cause problems by attracting flies, maggots, rats, raccoons etc.  You’ve got one mess on your hands.   This is exactly what takes place in our bodies.  Our Lymph fluid gets thick and sluggish and the toxic waste builds up.  You can imagine the havoc it is going to wreak on our bodies.   This is where exercise enters in.   Our muscles working jump start and help pump the lymph fluid.

The best kind of exercise to get the lymphatic system flowing and draining is on a mini trampoline or jump rope.  Jumping up and down helps open the valves and helps drain the fluid.  Aerobic exercise and yoga are also good, but if you can jump…go ahead and jump.  Your body will benefit from it, and your Lymphatic system will love you for it.

Here’s a great article for further ways to cleanse the Lymph System

http://www.wikihow.com/Cleanse-the-Lymph-System

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Planning Ahead Saved My BACON!

This weekend started off with Valentine’s Day and wrapped up with Family day. I knew I would be attending a Valentine’s party and restaurants.   It was a Long weekend filled with all sorts of food temptations.   Tasty treats, desserts and chocolates were within reach the whole weekend.  It could have turned into an eating frenzy, had I not planned ahead. 

The first thing I did was mentally prepare myself.  I did this by focusing on weight loss quotes that would inspire me to stay the course.   The one that became my mantra was “It’s not about how good you are, but how BAD you want it” (author unknown).  Walking into temptation armed with this quote allowed me to overlook the calorie-laden food.

The second thing I did was looked at the Restaurant’s menu online.  I do this often to see if there is nutritional information available.  Looking at the nutritional information allows me to make wise food choices.

I wanted to have a large spinach salad as my entrée along with some soup.  When I looked at the nutritional information, my jaw dropped.  The spinach salad was 442 calories with a whopping 24 grams of fat.  In comparison, the 8oz sirloin was only 288 calories with 12 grams of fat.  The amount of fat added to the spinach made it an unhealthy choice for me.  I could opt for the dressing on the side, and reduce the fat grams or I could choose to eat the meat.  If I hadn’t planned ahead I would have eaten the salad the way they prepared it and thought I was making a wise choice.

Finally, I was intentional about getting some form of exercise in this weekend.  When I went downstairs to do some laundry, I hopped on the exercise bike and pedaled.

Planning ahead saved my bacon.  I was able to indulge a little and hold back when I needed to.  It was a small step that armed me for a weekend of food and entertainment.  I’m sure each of you have some different strategies that you use to stay on track in the face of food temptation.  Please feel free to comment and share your methods…

 

 

Love is in the Air…

Everywhere I look around, Valentine’s is fast approaching and it is a day devoted to LOVE! It’s such a great day to show my spouse, parents, kids, other family members and friends how much I appreciate and love them.

It’s also a time when I can look inwardly and see how I’ve been treating “ME”.  I mean, have I really been kind and loving to myself?  Have I acknowledged the successes and accomplishments I’m making toward a healthier, thinner, me?

Unfortunately, there are days when I have looked in the mirror and allowed negative words to tear me apart.  I make a mental list of all the things I am doing wrong.  I get impatient and weary.  There are days when doubt takes over and I’m not too hopeful about meeting my goal weight.  And there are days when I just want to give up.

At my Wedding, the Love Chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 was read.  Here is an excerpt:

 Love is patient, love is kind… It does not dishonor others…it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Those are powerful words!  They are a reminder I need to be kinder to me.  Love and accept who I am today, appreciate the efforts that I am making to improve myself. They are a reminder that when I slip up I don’t need to get impatient and grow weary.  It reminds me to change negative self-talk to positive self-talk.

So on Valentine’s Day when I’m spreading some love around, I’m going to throw some my way and be a little kinder and a little more loving.  I would encourage you to do the same thing too!  

 

 

Setting up boundaries to be a healthier person

My brother-in-law is a runner and is very dedicated to it.  He faithfully makes time every day to run.  It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside, or if it’s a special holiday, he just does it.   How he can pull this kind of dedication off when there are so many things vying for his attention? The answer is, he puts himself first.

I want to have this same freedom that my brother-in-law has.  He takes care of number One, first and foremost.  No one stops him from meeting his daily goals. This regular routine is keeping him fit and on track to staying healthy.

Recognizing the need to be as disciplined as him, I examined my life and who I am.  I realize I am a people pleaser, and if I put myself first, that would make me feel selfish.   Like most moms, I put my family members and friends first, before my needs. I’m so busy doing for others that when it gets time for me, my energy is zapped.   I don’t like letting people down.  Making myself available to them, means any plans that I have are usually shelved for a later day or time.

This has been part of my weight loss problem.  When I do stay focused and disciplined I push other people aside.  As I start to get resistance from them, guilt sets in and I fail to continue to look after me.

However, looking in the mirror tells me I have let myself down and I can’t do that anymore.   Learning to take care of me has been a difficult battle.  Putting boundaries around my relationships gives me back the control I need. I am in the driver’s seat once again.  I am learning to be assertive and recognize that I am worth it.  Taking steps to keep these boundaries in place is necessary for me to succeed at this weight loss and to grow as a person.

I’m realizing it’s okay to say no to people or to let them know I would be available at a later time or date.  Yes, people do get disgruntled and angry with me, and I do sway sometimes, but I’m getting better at it.

I have discovered that I am worth it and I’m not going to let myself down any longer.

I have drawn the line in the sand and I’m beginning to reap the benefits, one baby step at a time.

It’s the weekend and time to Eat Out!!

It’s been quite a busy week of trying to stay motivated and focused on my weight loss goals.  Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice I am making.  It gets increasingly difficult when the weekend comes and I am heading out to a restaurant. 

One of the ways I avoid falling into the trap of eating the wrong food is to plan ahead.  Many restaurants today have their menus online.  Most restaurants have Beverage, Appetizer, Soup/Salad, Entrée and Dessert selections.  This accessibility allows me to scan the Menu, search for nutritional information and select wisely.   There are no surprises and I have firmed up in my mind what I’m going to have.

Perhaps, this is something many of you do already, but if not, it’s a great way to enjoy your time eating out.

Staying committed and enjoying this lifestyle the best way I can!! 

 

 

A Nifty “Timely” Fitness Tool

I’ve had my MIO watch for a few years now, and I really like it.  It’s basically a strapless heart rate monitor that I wear on my wrist like a watch.   If I want to measure my heart rate, I press my fingers on two sensors, and it gives me an accurate reading.  Measuring my heart rate  shows how my body is responding to my exercise.  It shows me if I’m working too intensely and over stressing my heart or if I’m exercising at too low an intensity.

There are other great features as well.  It keeps a record of the calories I ingest throughout the day and calculates the number of calories I burn during my workout.  It records and stores the information.  Then when I work out, it calculates the calories burned and subtracts it from the calories I’ve  ingested automatically.  A great way to see calories in vs. calories burned.

Because I can wear the MIO on my wrist it’s a reminder to keep focused on being healthy and reaching my weight loss goal.  The benefit is you don’t have any of those chest straps or have things sticking to you.  The new MIO watch works with Fitness apps like STRAVA.  So it’s easier to get real-time feedback and see how you progress from day to day.

The watches are a bit of an investment. But, I think it’s a great fitness tool to have to help you stay on track.

Why not add some zip to your water?

 

I like water and usually don’t have too many problems drinking the required amount I’m supposed to have.  I’ve found for me, that’s eight to ten glasses daily.  It’s wonderfully refreshing and keeps me hydrated throughout the day.   However, there are some days I just want to add some zip to my water. 

Perhaps, you already add lemons or limes to your water and are happy with that.  Here’s a few more ways that you might enjoy drinking yours, as much as I do.

Fill a large pitcher with water.   Add ingredients, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.  Your taste buds will be enjoying the different flavors.

1) Celery leaves.  The flavor is distinct and very refreshing.

2) A mixture of apple slices, (green and red) to your water and enjoy the natural apple flavor.

3) Fresh pineapple chunks.  Go tropical!  This gives the water a sweet pleasant taste.

4) Berries. (Strawberries or blueberries are what I use)

5) A mixture of Lemon, Lime & Orange Slices.

6) Mint leaves. 

7) A splash of cranberry juice.  This is especially good with sparkling water. It also curbs you reaching for a can of pop.

8) Grated ginger.  This adds a little spicy zest to your water.  It’s great with hot water as well.

Find your favorite and add some ZIP to your water!