Jan 30, 2014

Dad, Guns, Soup and Hair

My bf & I went to my dad's house to hang out & have lunch.  My dad is, and always has been, into guns, shooting and outdoor stuff.  I know a lot of peeps do not agree with guns but today's topic is not whether I agree or disagree.  It is about this really cool rifle he has.  It is cool because it has a really long barrel which is uncommon so I was fascinated by it.

It reminds me of something that might be seen on an old Western movie.  I just picture the cowboys at a saloon walking around with their guns on their hips and horses.  I like history but I am glad I did not live back then!

We went to lunch.  My dad and bf were bantering back and forth with each other and my dad told my bf not to punch him cuz he'll just shoot him.  It was pretty funny catching the moment.  

I ordered the Singapore soup which had meat, all kinds of veggies & some noodles.  I thought it was a great choice because of the broth and vegetables and once it came out I was glad I did.  It is difficult to order something that will also be low calorie.  Many restaurants and fast food places load the foods up with salt so bloating occurs not to mention that too much sodium can be bad for your health.  The bowl was huge so I had a ton leftover.

My fortune tells me to look forward to great fortune.  I'M READY!!!!  LOL.  The new lease on life....hmmmmmm...... I wonder what could possibly happen?  I already figured out the law of attraction, overcame anxiety without the use of meds and I live a great life.  

I really appreciate all that I have.  I will admit, I am always setting new goals once I conquer previous ones.  That is the best way to continuing growing and never be stale.  Maybe that is the adrenaline junkie in me..... although, I do not want to sky dive anymore.  Something about breaking my arm cliff jumping changed my mind about that.

Truth is, I have plenty more goals set and I am constantly working on them.  Before and after work, during lunch..... whew.... I have to remind myself to have a good balance and still incorporate friend time.  That would be awesome for my fortune to come true!  If only it were a true prediction  ;)

The other 2 fortunes were rather wise as well.  I will say that I have learned an awful lot through failure.  Sometimes it really knocks me down or frustrates me but that is what makes victory so much sweeter.  It is also what makes my accomplishments even more appreciated.  I have learned more over the last year than I did earning a 4 yr. degree.

Education is important and all I am saying is that I have learned some extremely awesome things about social media, social marketing and being a business owner.  I have paid for some of the education but it was MUCH cheaper than my degree!

This weekend I decided to change my hair color to black.  I have had it that color before and I thought it would be cool to see my long hair black.  I have not had long hair since high school and have never had long black hair.  I used to color my hair when it was short but with it being long it was much messier than before.

After I cleaned up the mess I did not really like the way it looked being long.

So I went and got it cut.  I am not going to lie, I am not great at styling it unless it is short but change is good so here we go.  Also, I have been researching about the formaldehyde in all our household products for a blog I am writing so I am not making healthy choices by coloring my hair.  Considering the harsh chemicals in it are not good for us.  That is why pregnant women are not supposed to color their hair but our adult bodies can handle small amounts of toxins/poisons.  It makes me want to research any known issues with the brain as a result of (or link to) hair color.

See, even blogs about dads, guns, soup and hair can be about health!  Do you color your hair?  Do you think hair color is a big deal or should pregnant women be OK to color their hair?

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Jan 29, 2014

5 Minute Workout with Max

Here's an example of a 5 minute workout with Max.  On my Facebook page I asked 'how long do you think it will take to complete 30 crunches, 30 jump squats, 15 shoulder presses, 15 front shoulder raises and 15 lunges each leg.'  Someone posted they thought it would take 10 minutes so I did a demo to see how long it actually takes.

I mentioned in a previous blog I have not been feeling well so I have not worked out.  In the video I said it had been a couple weeks but I think it has really been more like 3 weeks, close to 4.  On one hand it bothers me that I have been out of the gym for so long but I also realize the body needs time to heal and be well.  Pushing it to the extreme only creates longer down time.  This is not where the term "No pain no gain" should be used.

I am taking this opportunity to begin over again and work my way back to being able to exercise without being totally out of breath.  You will see in the video how out of breath I am.  It was a struggle but it only took about 5 minutes and I did it while I was making breakfast.  I also did it with interference from Max!  It was pretty funny cuz he just loves me!  And, of course, I love him.  Although, he knows better than to jump on people so I am disappointed that he took advantage of camera time to break the rules!  I am sure you can all relate if you have pets or kids... there's not really such a thing as being able to do your #workout without distraction from kids and/or pets.

Actually, this video was supposed to be a test video for myself since I did not like the lighting but once Max became the star of the show I had to share it.

Take a 10 second break in between each exercise that you do.  There are only 4 exercises and they work!  If Max and I can do a 5 minute workout so can you!

Is this something you can commit to?  Post your comments below.

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Jan 28, 2014

My Weight Loss/Health Journey

People have asked me why I changed my lifestyle to a healthier version to include working out, eating right and losing weight.  My weight loss journey did not start out with me sitting down and thinking “I need to lose weight” or “I need to eat healthier” but my mom was terminally ill.  She had emphysema, COPD, congestive heart failure and cancer.  She was a smoker and we never really had any kind of emphasis on eating right in our house.  Matter of fact, I don’t think we really knew the difference between healthy and otherwise.  I realized that I want my life to be different … free of health disorders.  Especially ones I can control, like my weight.
I noticed that my pants went from a size 9 to 11 to 13 and I thought I was just growing.  I was in my early 20s and the only growing at that age (for girls) is not the healthy kind.  I had not noticed that I was actually getting bigger and I just thought the designers were making clothes smaller which frustrated me when the 13s got tight.  What was really happening is I was eating too much!!  I went from a half burrito at Filiberto’s to a whole one plus some rice and beans…. In one sitting!!!  That is waaaay too much food to consume at one time for someone who is 5’4 and not lifting for a body building competition.

Not to mention that I was going out every weekend and drinking as much alcohol as possible in a few hours, then eating afterward.  Then going to bed.  Hmmmm…..how did I not notice I was getting fat?
Fat pic
Before my mom passed I wanted to make healthy changes in my life because I wanted to live a long time.  I began cutting portions and paying attention to what I was eating.  No more processed garbage, no more butter, sour cream, cheese or sauces…. Basically no more good food.
And I started measuring my food.  I was amazed at how much I was used to eating compared to what the actual serving size was.  No wonder I had gained weight.  Did you know that the average restaurant serves 6x more than an actual serving of pasta?!!  

I began learning about the toxic chemicals that are added to our foods –but that is for another day- and I made small changes at a time.  Things I could commit to and not too much all at once.  There was no way I could give up all the things I was used to eating, in exchange for healthier items, and actually stick to it.

It is unrealistic to make a change like that and expect it to be permanent.  If you love soda and have tried to quit drinking soda – only to find yourself drinking it again then try gradually reducing the amount of soda you drink in a day.  Make a realistic goal, something you can stick to permanently.  This way you can have a permanent result, permanent weight loss.  If you usually have 2 sodas a day, try making a goal that you will have 1 soda a day for the next 2 weeks and after that it will be a smaller serving of soda each day for the next 2 weeks.  Then 1 smaller serving of soda every other day until you are only having 1 soda a week and eventually, only occasionally. Soda is just an example but the same concept can be applied to everything such as the use of butter, sour cream, cheese and other sauces, deserts, treats, etc.

Why is Weight Loss so Hard?

Changes are difficult and many times people are so excited about their weight loss journey that they want to do it all at once.  Many people have success and when they lose motivation they gain the weight back because they revert back to their normal eating habits.  My motivation was seeing the result of the bad habit my mom had, which was smoking.  Maybe motivation for you is living long enough to see all the great things in life your kids will experience.  Even more motivation is doing it without a wheel chair, oxygen or any other food induced ailment.
Butter was a hard thing for me.  We grew up cooking with it and putting butter on everything, even spaghetti.  I could not go without butter so I used less and compensated for the lack of taste with more spices.  This was not easy and most of the time I did not like the food at all.  This worked in my favor because I did not really want to eat much of it when it did not taste good and since I was working on portions, it was a good thing.  After a while I began to enjoy what I was eating.  Did I just say enjoy?  Yes, I learned how to spice up broccoli with lemon juice and Mrs. Dash so eventually I used no butter at all.
I figured out taste buds can and DO change.  There will still be foods that you absolutely hate but the way you are eating today can evolve into a better, healthier way without the extra garbage.  I like to equate it to beer or wine because most of us did not like the taste of either the first time we drank it.  But we DID like the results so we drank it again and again until we eventually liked a specific brand.  The same concept can be applied to finding the right healthy food and spice each of us prefer to achieve results we want.
I had portions down pretty well and I had eliminated the ‘extras’ the next was to incorporate healthier versions of my meals.  So instead of having hamburger helper without butter, I learned to cook healthier meals such as meat with a complex carbohydrate and a vegetable.  I was eating balanced meals so my body was getting more of what it needs from food and this meant my immune system grew stronger and I got sick less and less.
weight loss pic
Small changes allow you to grow accustomed to a little at a time so the results will be long term.  The overall goal is a lifestyle change, not a temporary change.  The result achieved from the temporary change will also be temporary.  Changing too many things at one time can be too difficult to make them permanent.  If you are positive that you will still drink 2 sodas a day, pick something else to change like drinking more water throughout the day or eliminating some of the sweets from your daily intake.
After my mom passed I began training for a marathon so that I could raise funds for other people who were sick in hopes to help find cures and treatments.  This is when I added cardio to my routine.  I was doing the usual elliptical or the bicycle for 15-30 minutes but it was not intense.  For those of you who are already doing cardio, it is a good time to turn it up.  Short bursts of high intensity cardio will blast fat.  I would jog for 5 minutes then sprint for 1 minute then after a couple days I increased the sprint to 2 minutes.  After a couple days I increased the sprint to 3 minutes and so forth.  Eventually I was running several miles a day.  Running.  Not walking, not speed walking, not alternating walking and running… I mean full on running.
It was great!!  I learned what the term “runner’s high” actually meant.  I was on top of the world and the fat was blasting off, not to mention my legs were shaping up.  Would you love to look at your legs and love them?
Those of you who do not incorporate cardio activity into your day, now is a good time to start.  Not only does it burn fat but it also good for your heart.  Start light and, as always, consult your physician first.

Weight Loss is Possible!

What is so significant about my weight loss story?  Nothing.  Lots of people have lost weight and kept it off.  What IS significant is that I have gone through what you are or will be going through.  I experienced it firsthand so the info I am giving to you works and I know it works because I have done it.  So have thousands of others.  I had a chance to talk to a really awesome person who has done the same thing and now she helps others.  I have read some of the success stories and here is her link:  http://happinessisafirmbutt.com/category/success-stories/I am not just gathering information that I have read from a book, article or someone else’s story.  It is real life and I did it.  So can you!
I told you my motivation and, now, you have to figure out yours.  I know motivation does not always come easy and I have written a blog on how to find it and hold onto it.  Staying Motivated to learn how to stay motivated through your weight loss journey.

Post comments on what you are doing for a healthier you.
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Jan 26, 2014

Las Noches De Las Luminarias

We went to the Desert Botanical Garden's (DBG) Las Noches de las Luminarias in Phoenix, AZ.  It is an exhibit of glass sculptures by an artist by the name of Chihuly.  For 31 nights the DBG lights the walkways with hand lit bags and provide live music as well as other entertainment.

I went with my bf & his mom to admire the wonderful works of art.  The artist blows the glass into these magnificent designs!  I cannot imagine creating such beauty but I am glad that others are capable of it ... ha!

 I was in awe to see how intricate it seems and the placement throughout the Garden is outstanding.  I believe this exhibit goes through April but the lighted bags along with the exhibit was only for a month.

The weather was nice when we got there but as it got darker it also got colder.  One of the first things we did was watch a band perform.  One of the songs they played was "Santa Baby" and the girl singing sounded like the original song which was impressive.

We got some hot chocolate and Bailey's to keep us warm and continued through the exhibit.  There were some interesting things that I would have never thought of placing around cactus.

And some that were decorated

I am not really sure what these were but, again, something I am incapable of creating.

Chihuly also throws the creations into the water so it was fitting that one of exhibits has glass in a boat on the water.


Off to the side of the boat was glass shaped to appear as though it was ice.

I really appreciate the time and effort it must take to create these things.  I learned that these pieces are brought to the DBG and are put together 1 piece at a time.  WOW!!

There were carolers and here is my favorite piece.

We had a great time!  I noticed there were a lot of couples so it seems it would be a good place for date night.  Also, the tickets sell pretty far in advance so we went on a weekday and the park closes at 10P so they, literally, kicked us out around that time.  I think I will have to make it a point to go to Las Noches de las Luminarias next year.

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Jan 20, 2014

Snowboarding and SugarLips

...This blog is about snowboarding and Sugar Lips.....hmmmmm....what a combo?  I LOVE snowboarding and I guess sugar lips are OK too but it is not actually sugar on lips that I am referring to.  You will see what I mean  below.  I have not figured out how the veteran bloggers are able to work, write, go to the gym (or whatever form of working out they do), juggle friends, family and other events... not to mention kids and other errands.  I do not have kids but I have not found a happy medium to keep my content fabulous while living a fabulous, healthy life.

Anyway, all that to say I have not blogged for a while because I was on vacation.  We went snowboarding at Copper Mt., CO which was uh-maze-eeng!!!  I absolutely loved it and I was too busy having fun to write anything while I was there but I definitely took tons of pics.

Before we left I was feeling run down, like I was maybe getting sick but I haven't been sick in about 2 yrs or so.  So I figured being Super Woman and all that I would be OK but I went to the doc anyway.  She said it appears as though I was getting a sinus infection but she could not really tell because I had been using Afrin the last few days.  PS, Afrin is a terrible choice and I am TOTALLY against it but I am FOR breathing so I opted for breathing and used it for a few days.  Of course the doc said stop using it and that I would probably have to ween myself off...... glad to hear.....(insert me breathing heavy and unable to breath through my nose) and that she did not want to prescribe antibiotics in case the sinuses were just inflamed from the Afrin but to come back if the symptoms worsen over the next 72 hours. Well, I was going to be on a plane in 72 hrs so I would just figure it out.  I kept taking Spirulina to boost my immune system, as well as allergy crap and other immune boosting supps.  I call it crap because I do not like to take anything, even over the counter stuff, so I keep it as natural as possible.

We arrive in Denver last Friday and our friend picks us up, we go to their house, catch up, go out for dinner, and have a couple drinks.  Which turn into a few drinks, then we go out and have a couple more.  We had a much longer night than planned so Saturday was a movie day which was really cool because they have a theater in their basement.  I was not doing much but my brain was not functioning for blogs either.  LOL

Fast forward to Sunday when we head out to Copper Mt.  It had been snowing since Wednesday or Thursday and was still coming.  Wahoo!!  Nothing like great powder!  You can see it in this mini video... don't mind my loud breathing.... (holy moly I sound out of breath!)

We get in a great day of boarding and a bit of Fireball in the flask.  Copper Mt. has such a great mini community for the skiers and snowboarders and I just love the festive decorations on the trees that were heavily covered in snow!

I am not sure what it is about that big chair but I just love it!  I want to play in it just like a little kid... but I did not want to brush away the snow (because I would get colder) so I just stood in it.

Our friend told us about Sugar Lips where you can get mini doughnuts.  My bf is a sugar/doughnut junky.... I am working on that sugar problem but perfection takes a while.... so we go and check it out.  It is in a cute little shop and they make their own doughnuts right there in front of us.  I was truly amazed!!
Sugar Lips

So we shared some mini doughnuts which were de-lish!  But definitely something I will not be eating on a daily basis!

Lots of physical activity to make up for it.  Here's a clip of me doing a mini lift and then a crash.... just a little crash.  hehee

As for getting sick, yep, it happened.  I got sick but I did not want that to ruin our trip so I acted like I would have in my early 20s.  I drank.  Yes, I sipped my flask at 9AM.  It felt a bit strange because it is way to early for me to drank at that time of day.  Especially since I rarely drink anyway!  A sip turned into another sip and another.  That, combined with the altitude, made for a short day.    Well, I tried.  There went my efforts in practicing my jumps.  Gotta have the lifts first, then the jumps.  Oh well, next trip.  The rest of the trip was great and we came home the following Friday without any scratches, bumps or bruises.  

There will definitely be a lot more snowboarding this season and even though Sugar Lips was awesome, I am going to try to limit that to once every 2 yrs or so!

Follow my blog and tell me what is your indulgence when you are out of town?

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Jan 7, 2014

Genetics. Foe or Friend?

Genetics are a contributing factor to our ability to lose or gain weight.  A true battle that people have been fighting for the past couple of decades.  It is nothing new, we all know that some people are naturally skinny and some people are naturally soft or gain weight easily.

My dad was skinny all through growing up and high school but gained weight in his twenties.  He continuously gained weight and had cholesterol as well as blood pressure issues.  My mom was thin and gained weight easily but she kept it under control and did a great job maintaining most of the time.  My brother was a chubby kid and grew to gain more and more weight.  He is going to kill me when he sees this but he lost the weight a few years ago and has kept it off.  However, he struggled with it for most of his life and still struggles with it today even though he is no longer obese.

My grandparents were skinny and grew to be overweight and they struggled with many diets.  My grandfather died of a massive heart attack.  My grandmother is still overweight and attempts diets here and there.  Key word here is “diet” because I am using it in the manner that most of the population uses it and that is a means of losing weight.  The problem with using it in this context is that “diets” are usually temporary and with that comes temporary results.  When we re-train our thinking and view the word diet as a way of eating ALL THE TIME then our results will be permanent. 

Obviously if our diet is mostly poor then our health will reflect that.  It can be in the way of excess weight and it can be in the form of medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and much more.  On the opposite side of that, if our diet is good (or mostly good) then we will be healthier.  I know some people have medical conditions that are not related to being overweight and some problems have unknown causes.  These are things that are usually out of our control but preventing food-related illnesses are within our control. 

Some people are born with food allergies and they do not consume whatever they are allergic to.  My family gains weight easily.  Some people do not gain weight easily and work hard to overcome being skinny.  These are obstacles that are passed down to us generation to generation.  This does not mean there is nothing we can do about it.  It just means we have to work harder to achieve the goal we have.  The skinny person has to lift more and eat more.  The soft person has to watch what they eat and incorporate more physical activity.

It is not the end of the world even though it is extremely frustrating.  I would love to magically have a dream body without putting much effort and eating whatever I want whenever I want.  Unfortunately, for most of us, it does not work that way.  It is ok.  It just means we have to work harder toward our goal and that makes it more rewarding.  It is no different than people who have worked to earn a college degree.  The degree was earned not passed or handed to themThe CEO of a company worked their way to the top, starting somewhere at the bottom.

I read a blog comment where someone stated that the fit person was lucky (and ‘lucky’ was all caps) and genetically gifted (I am paraphrasing now) but the point was that the fit person had not actually put in any work.  It was pretty mean but I can understand how the person felt that way.  They probably were given something, genetically, that they wanted to change and had not, yet, figured out how to do it.  The fact is we can manipulate our body to obtain what we desire.  As long as we are willing to put in the work.  Sometimes people put in the work but need more knowledge about nutrition or exercise. 

As an example, one of my co-workers told me she was eating healthier and even cutting carbs.  She thought cutting carbs was the key to weight loss and that eating better would erase the pounds.  She told me she was eating whole avocados for snacks and in addition to meals.  While avocados are extremely nutritious and good for you, they are also high in calories and fat.  It is a good fat but a calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from.  Another co-worker was doing the same.  Cutting carbs and adding good fats.  She was eating nuts by the handful all day long and exercising but could not figure out why the weight was not melting away.

Our body burns fuel (food) all the time and when incorporating exercise it will use what is in our stomach first, then take fuel from the storage (fat) last.  The body does not like to use its storage because it thinks it may need it another time (like in the pioneer or cave man days when food was scarce) so the stomach growls and rumbles.  We are now hungry because the body used what we ate so, naturally, we eat.  We eat when we are hungry, that is what we are supposed to do but when we are trying to lose weight we have to create a deficit.  This means we have to consume less than we burn off and that is how fat cells decrease in size.  (Not in numbers, fat cells do not decrease in numbers only size)

Back to my co-worker who was now exercising and eating healthier but not losing weight.  She was not losing because she added healthy fats that were also higher in calories.  Plus, she was eating more often which meant she was replacing the calories burned and not creating a deficit.  She was confused because the doctor had directed her to eat these healthier fats and workout but had not indicated portion sizes are important to pay attention to.  He had also not pointed out that she will become hungry more often with exercise so the education she received was good but it was not fully explained. 

Knowledge can be applied in the battle against genetic predispositions.  I may view a skinny person and think they are “lucky” because they do not gain weight by looking at a piece of cake and a skinny person may view me as “lucky” because I can gain weight easier.  It always reminds me we always want what we do not have.  I have thin hair and wish I had thick hair.  My friends have thick hair & wish it were thinner ….maybe not quite as thin as mine though! J

It also reminds me of some guys at my work.  I used to use the gym at work, during my lunch break.  I had to squeeze in a workout, a shower and eat in 1 hour.  Fine by me cuz I don’t want to spend my whole life in the gym anyway.  I have a lot of stuff to do and the longer I am in the gym, the less time I have to do the other things.  Anyway, a trainer taught me years ago that I do not need to spend 1.5 hours in the gym every day.  He asked, “How would you like it if you could get in and out in 30 minutes?”  I said I would love it but it would be impossible because I had to do cardio and weights.  He said he could show me how to get cardio in without setting foot on a treadmill or any other cardio-related machine. 

He taught me how to do my work out in 30 minutes and all I did was lift.  I lifted heavier than I was used to and super-setted EVERYTHING.  I still apply this today and I did it at work.  The guys laughed at me and said “it must be nice to have genetics like that”.  The truth was that they rested (excessively) between each set and they chatted a lot during their session.  Oh, and they did not always shower.  I did the same number of sets and reps they did, plus added abs and talked while working out rather than stopped to talk.  I know it is sometimes difficult to avoid talking at the gym because you get to know the peeps that go to your gym but it is ok to begin your next set while talking.

While we cannot change how we were born, we can still make adjustments once we learn how our body is.  My dad was skinny while he was younger because he was active and burned off the food he ate.  As he slowed down and became less and less active, he ate the same amount of food.  He gained weight and could never get it off.  My mom also gained weight for the same reason.  Being less and less active but she figured out that when she ate less and lighter foods, she would lose the weight she gained.  I watched her adjusted her eating upon several occasions.  My brother and I still fluctuate but we have figured out what role our genetics plays and have reacted to that.  We did not run into a massive bowl of “luck”.  We made a conscious choice to eat better.  And, it seems, over the holidays we choose to eat poorly or excessively.  LOL

I am not implying my brother and I are perfect…. or that you should want to be just like us.  I am saying it is absolutely possible to adjust what nature has dealt us.

Matter of fact, in my early 30’s I gained weight and could not get it off for the life of me.  I busted my a** at the gym and ate better.  Nothing.  WTH??!!  Then I realized that ‘eating better’ still had a few tiny snacks here and there which always seemed to be fine before.  So I just accepted the fact that I had gotten ‘softer’ and figured that was going to be my body post-30.  That is what I had always heard…. You know “the metabolism slows after 30” and that it slows again every 7-10 years.  Then I realized my life had slowed.  I was not as active because I did not go dancing every Friday and Saturday night anymore.  I worked a desk job instead of the up and down at Jenny Craig.  I no longer lived in my condo where I had to walk a mile from my parking spot to my door, and then walk more to do laundry and take out the trash.  Little things I did not even think of but really make a difference.  After a long night of dancing (and drinking) I would take a cab home and leave my car overnight then walk or run to pick it up.  I do not go out like that anymore so I am not getting in the extra walks/runs. 

I had not really thought of all these little things but they count.  My body did not need to burn as much fuel so it slowed down and I was still eating the same.  I had to either eat less or work out more.  I really like eating so this was going to be tough!!  Shortened version, I did it and it took close to a year but I realized that my age and genetics did not have to have the better of me.  I made some adjustments, stuck with them and it worked.  Again, I am not saying “look at me, look at me”.  I am saying it is possible for anyone who wants it!!  Luck is not good enough.  You have to work at it and earn it on your own, just like thousands of others have!

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Jan 5, 2014

Humble and Inspirational.....Not Offensive

I am human, I am not perfect (I have mentioned that a time or two in other blogs) and I strive to be humble while being inspirational.  I have made mistakes….. probably more to come but I don’t do it on purpose and try to keep mistakes to a minimum. Point being, I fluctuate in weight just like many other people.  Matter of fact, I struggle with it like many others do.  I have managed to keep it within a specific window – meaning I do not fluctuate 30-50 lbs.  I know that some people do not think 5-10 lbs is a big deal and that I am just being stupid or vain.  It is not about being vain.  It is that 5 lbs on a person my size is highly visible and my clothes do not fit.  Literally, my butt does not fit in my pants and I have to tighten my belt a little tighter to keep it from showing.  Ewwww…. Who wants to see butt crack?!!  Guess what else?  My knees hurt and I do not need to add to that.

I am new to blogging so I figured I would talk about some things I have seen on the internet.  Namingly, things that others tend to dislike.  I should hope that my intentions are not viewed as inappropriate but, in life, there will always be someone who does not like you, your views or your work so I am writing this, in advance, to say my intentions are good because I am sure this above listed situation could happen to me too.

Inspiration is still possible from people who struggle.  I want to be able to inspire others, despite the fact that I am always on my own journey to keep eating at bay.  I think that is what makes my stories inspirational.  Who wants to hear from someone who has no trouble with eating?  I guess it is OK to hear from them but there is no learning material.  I have a couple skinny friends who never stress eat.  Wouldn't that be nice?  I have periods of time that I do it and periods of time that I have it under control.  This is the stuff I want to share with everyone.  I want to share the positive experiences that have worked. 

In my post, Keeping it Real, I talked about the crap I ate and the weight I gained as a result.  My next post was about how excited I was that I got it off but guess what?  I have not been working out, like I usually do, which means my muscle content has decreased.  (I have a long time neck injury that gets aggravated)  This explains why I weigh the same but my pants are still tight and my fitted shirts do not look great so I wear the baggier ones.  I was excited to have gotten the couple pounds off but I started noticing my pants still do not fit quite right. 

Over the last couple weeks I have been busy with work, life and the holidays.  Admittedly, I have drunk a few times and we all know what happens when we drink…. We gain weight, especially when we are not working out.  I usually counter act higher calories meals (and drinks) with more workouts.  I either lift harder or incorporate some cardio. I have not been doing either of this, well, if you count 1-2 days per week then I guess I have.

I am writing this post because I am a normal person.  I am not a robot, machine or super woman (although I would like to be super woman!) and I take the same roads as you.  I have been ridiculed on a couple different levels; one of them being that my struggles are not worthy of being inspiration for individuals trying to lose weight because I am already within the “healthy” range.  One was that I did not need to lose 100 or more lbs so my story is not significant.  Another was that my food addiction also was not worthy because I did not gain 50 lbs or more when food was my addiction.  (I have had several addictions)  I feel like we have gotten out of control with what is acceptable weight gain and this is why health risks have sky rocketed. 

At work we do a health screening every year which allows us a discount on health insurance if we participate.  Everyone talks about how ridiculous it is to be considered obese if they are only 30 lbs overweight.  30 lbs can be carried well and usually looks fine on people but the point of this is not appearance but rather health.  We have a tendency to minimize the seriousness of 30 lbs because most people can still be healthy in that range. 

Realistically, 30 lbs creeps up to 35 lbs and that to 45 lbs and so forth.  As a nation, there are more and more overweight and obese people than ever before.  I was looking at pictures from my grandparents’ generation and the older people were about 30 lbs overweight.  Remember when that was considered “fat”?  Now, it is totally disregarded because we are used to seeing that and more.  Not to mention “fat” is offensive and it hurts people’s feelings so it is appropriate to avoid using that word to refer to others. 

I NEVER want to offend anybody and am always afraid that I may be attempting to convey a point that comes across offensive.  I am extremely passionate about decreasing the health risks associated with being overweight.  My heart breaks when I hear of illnesses and deaths that are weight induced.  I also know the emotional trials that people go through in relation to their weight.  Others can be mean and ruthless toward overweight people.  I want to take part in reducing those incidences.

I know people get offended no matter how delicately a message is worded.  Remember, I was a weight loss consultant and we were highly trained on avoiding hurting anyone’s feelings and being extremely sensitive to people’s emotions.  We were taught to be aware that no matter what, something can be taken in a way it is not meant.   That is why I am writing this today.  In our efforts to avoid hurting people’s feelings we have lost track of what is really important.  That is our health.  It is definitely important to love ourselves and the self-esteem of everyone is crucial but we should focus more on being healthy rather than embracing the fact we are gaining more and more weight. 

I was reading a blog written by Blogilates that was taken as offensive, by many readers, but her point was that she cares.  It made me think of my own recent thoughts.  We all love to help and inspire each other and we all know that weight loss is a struggle.  My goal is to inspire others to lose weight and keep it off.  It is to make healthy food choices and incorporate physical activity, which is good for your heart as well.  At home, I focus on limiting the carcinogenic things I put into my body (this is another topic I am passionate about as my mom had cancer) because cancer rates are rapidly increasing as well.  So I get organic items – not all because it does tend to be a bit more expensive and I use products w/out parabens when possible.  I do things where I can and if you want me to share those ideas, let me know for another blog post.

Our focus is on being politically correct and avoiding offending people-which we should do- but sometimes the real messages get lost in translation.  Remember, asking “what’s your excuse?” is everywhere, saying “no excuses” is everywhere, saying “make time” is everywhere.  Why?  Why are these sayings everywhere?  I asked my Facebook fans if they want motivation sugar coated, straight forward or tough love.  Most of them said tough love.  That is probably why there are inspirational quotes that offend people.  The purpose: inspire, not offend. 

I share info to give others motivation, inspiration and hope, if healthy change is what they are looking for.  For those not looking or needing to make healthy changes then they will not need or want to read any of my posts or blogs.  This comes in the form of weight loss tips, healthy eating choices and potentially harmful food choices.  I do not want or need to toot my own horn, I get self-conscious just like anybody else and despite that, I want others to live happier, healthier lives.  I care about the well-being of others!

For inspiration visit me at:  https://www.facebook.com/TcFitLifestyle
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