Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Memo to Ego-Mind RE: Worry

TO:  Ego-Mind
FROM: Spirit-Self
RE: Worry

Dearest Ego-Mind:

I'm taking this moment to inform you that worry, stress and anxiety are no longer acceptable uses of our time.  Instead, I shall BE in the NOW, fully absorbed in the present, and I shall use my imagination toward more positive pursuits.  I no longer resist worry, stress and anxiety.  Instead, when it arises, I release it to be transmuted into something much more useful.

It has been said that kids use their imaginations for play, while most adults use their imagination to worry.  I no longer wish to be "most adults".  Worry & stress are such energy-black-holes anyhow, and I deserve a stress-free life!

Most Sincerely,
ME. <3

And there it is, short and sweet, for today.  Update on the Tired of Being Tired! blog issue will be forthcoming within the next few days.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tired of being Tired!

OK, I've had it.  It's sleuthing time.  I'm sick and tired of constantly feeling run down and tired.  Time to DO something about it.  Cried a few frustrated tears this morning over it, but that really gets me nowhere.  Now, I'm agitated enough that it's time to take some action.  Whew.  Here goes.

Facts:  My workouts have been less than stellar lately.  Just haven't been feeling them.  Basically only going through the motions.  And, as hard as I struggle to get up in the mornings to get my workout on first thing, I've managed to do it just twice in the past two weeks.  Ugh!  I've been sooooo hungry lately, too.  Feels like I could eat and eat and eat.  Struggling hardcore to stay within the calorie goals specified by MyFitnessPal and the calories I "earn" by exercising.  Not feeling great about my body though I ought to be so proud of the progress I've made.  Disinterested, disconnected and sliding down that slippery slope of negativity about myself, while all around me there are a plethora of blessings, positivity, great changes for the better and, though it's still cold out (it's APRIL for Pete's sake!!), there have been hints of warmer weather on its way.  This girl ought to be on Cloud Nine right now, not sinking into depression and disconnection!

So, I wanna FIX it.  Google, my friend, we shall be hanging out for a while today.  Hope you're not too busy. ;)

I have a feeling it has something to do with how much protein I include in my diet, so I'll start there.  How much protein should I be consuming daily?  Well, MyFitnessPal's recommendation (default) is 45g a day.  From initial research, this seems to be very much on the low side, considering the type of workouts I perform.

First, I used this calorie calculator to see whether I need to change up my overall calorie goals now that I'm much closer to my goal weight.  It looks as though I'd be safe to bump my "net" intake up to 1,300 calories.  Next, their nutrient calculator to figure out a good carbohydrate-protein-fat ratio for me.  I've chosen to go with the "Zone Diet" option -- 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat.  This change will approximately double my daily protein goal -- from 45g to 98g.  I'll input this into MyFitnessPal and give it a go for a while to see how much it changes things up.

Along with this switch-up, I intend to resume taking my daily multivitamin that I've been neglecting lately.  Note to self: Take another look at the nutrient breakdown of said multivitamins to see if I'm in need of more B vitamins, specifically B12.

Ahhh, simply taking this action has relieved a good portion of the negativity-fog.  A short walk around downtown over my lunch hour in the SUN! helped a little, too.  Yay for Vitamin D! :)

I'll report back in a week or two with initial thoughts, results and such.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

30 Day Shred Results (Round Two)

After having had pretty great results the first time around, this morning, I completed a second round of Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred.  I spent ten days per level (three levels), with a few "days off" where needed.  I did some running to supplement the cardio, and a little yoga for stretching/flexibility.

Start date: March 10, 2011
Completed: April 14, 2011

Starting weight: 159.4 lbs
Current weight: 156.1 lbs -- a 3.3 lb loss

*** Measurements ***
Neck: before 14.25 in; after 13.5 in = -0.75 in
Waist: before 35 in; after 33.5 in = -1.5 in
Hips: before 43 in; after 41.5 in = -1.5 in
Arms: before 12 in; after 11.5 in = -0.5 in

And nooooow... the before/after photographs:

Before                                                         After

Before                                                         After

Before                                                         After

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Goals versus Intentions

Psychology Today shared an article on Facebook recently that, since reading it, has shifted my perspective on goal-setting in general.  It's entitled Why Goal Setting Doesn't Work*.  Feel free to read the article before continuing on here, if you so choose, though I'll be picking out and posting a few key quotes from it, below.

One quote that really caught my attention was this:
"The inherent problem with goal setting is related to how the brain works. Recent neuroscience research shows the brain works in a protective way, resistant to change. Therefore, any goals that require substantial behavioral change or thinking-pattern change will automatically be resisted. The brain is wired to seek rewards and avoid pain or discomfort, including fear. When fear of failure creeps into the mind of the goal setter it commences a de-motivator with a desire to return to known, comfortable behavior and thought patterns."
Exactly why I've been through yet another round of self-sabotage on my way to my weight loss/fitness GOAL of that magical number, 130 pounds.  I've really been rebelling lately, big time.  Not wanting to complete my food diary, overeating at every turn, justifying every last bit of it with any little excuse my ego mind can muster.  Also why I've been slacking a little with my last three days of 30 Day Shred.  My thought process has been something along the lines of: I've been overeating and rebelling, so I cannot possibly complete this GOAL of having completed a full second round of the Shred because right now I'm such a failure when it comes to food, therefore I must delay the completion of this exercise GOAL as much as possible.
"Whenever we desire things that we don't have, we set our brain's nervous system to produce negative emotions."
Again, check.  I've found myself focusing on what I have "yet to do" rather than the 60-ish pounds I've already shed.  I've found myself picking my body apart, honing in and focusing on those areas that still need work, rather than admiring the changes I've achieved thus far and being happy about the progress I've made to date. 
"A fundamental concept in mindfulness, is focusing on being in the moment, the present. This presents an interesting problem for the goal setter, where the focus is on the future. How can you be focusing on the present and also be thinking about the future?"
Indeed!  While goals give us something bigger and better to strive for in the future, it has been my personal experience that I find myself "lacking" until I achieve my goal, rather than focusing on the "NOW" or enjoying the process.  It's been said that in order to change something, we must first accept the present version of said thing.  While this may be easier said than done, I feel it's imperative to moving on toward positive change.  This is why I've decided to focus more on gratitude and appreciation for what I've already accomplished, rather than using those energies to pick apart what is still "lacking" or needing change.  Perhaps this will be a catalyst for quicker change.  I'm thinking of starting a gratitude journal or log of some sort, not to be egotistical, as this blog leans more toward anti-egotistical viewpoints, but to keep my focus on the positive and what's "right" and "good" about me.
"We must also make a distinction between our intentions vs. goals. An intention is a direction we want to pursue, preferably with passion. My experience is that people are often confused, and unclear about the intentions of how they want to live and achieve, and therefore a focus on goals doesn't assist them with clarifying their intentions."
I've found this to be true for myself personally.  I have/had GOALS, mainly weight loss/fitness related.  But my overall intentions?  Confused, cluttered and unclear at best.  Yes, I know the general direction in which I wish to move within my life.  Yet, setting goals has thus far only led to disappointment in myself, de-motivation and confusion.  It's all well and good when I DO achieve a goal I set for myself.  Yet, there are always those chance variables that get thrown into the mix, and the moment I DON'T achieve a certain goal, I feel at least a little terrible about myself.  Now, I've had no problem with revising my goals along the way and being flexible about them.  However, this doesn't take into account the fact that I still, deep down, internalize feelings of worthlessness and shame, even, when I have to reset my goals.

So, where to go from here?  Well, since I've been creeping ever closer to my "ideal weight", I've given thought to what happens next, after I reach my maintenance weight.  Well, this INTENTION thing, rather than an end GOAL, negates that question altogether.  Therefore, my INTENTION is to continue this fitness journey for the remainder of my life.  Period.  No magical number on the scale as a "stopping point".  No pressure to meet some arbitrary deadline.  I feel that with this approach, I'll be much more apt to move at my own pace without backtracking, falling off the proverbial wagon, and sabotaging myself.  I must say, I've felt such a weight of negativity lift off me after having mulled over this Psychology Today article and come to this conclusion!  I'm back to feeling GOOD about myself.  About freaking time, right?! ;)

Ray B Williams * Article written by Ray Williams, Co-Founder of Success IQ University and President of Ray Williams Associates, Inc., providing leadership development, personal growth, and executive coaching services. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Impossible. Really?

Run Coach Pro told me I needed to start out with a 20 minute "easy" run.  So, this is what I did, sort of, yesterday evening.

I used my treadmill because the weather here at the moment is questionable at best.  Rainy, chilly.  It is warming up though, slowly.  Patience.

Here's the "sort of" part.  I didn't just lightly jog for 20 minutes straight.  Nope.  I walked briskly for the first minute or so to warm up.  Then, I decided that I wanted to work on some sprint intervals rather than what I was told to do.  Yep, go figure right? ;)

I decided to hold each sprint interval for one minute, with a one to two minute brisk walk or light jog in between.  It worked well.  I was pleased and dripping sweat!

I'd mentioned to a couple of people a few weeks ago that I didn't feel as though I'd ever really be able to crank my treadmill up to its "performance" speed section.  No way Jose, my legs are short. I'll only ever be able to go "so fast".  In that moment, so much for eradicating self-limiting beliefs, right?

Anyhow, my point is this.  I completely blew that "impossibility" straight outta the water yesterday, during my final one-minute sprint interval.  I nearly talked myself right out of it at first, but then a part of myself thought, "I dare you to try it."  So, not normally one to turn down a dare, I dared.  And, I DID!

6.7mph = 9 minutes/mile!!!  Held steady for a full 60 seconds!  VICTORY over the "impossible".  *insert HUGE grin here*

Next up, continuing to work on sprint intervals + endurance/long distance.  Right along with strength training with the one and only Jillian Michaels.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Back to This Running Business

Back to business.

Eight days remain on my second round of Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred, followed by a new & improved before/after photo & measurement blog post.  Starting tomorrow, Monday, April 4, 2011, I'm officially... and this time I really mean officially... starting my Run Coach Pro half marathon training program.  Run Coach Pro is an app for the iPod and iPhone.

In order to keep myself motivated, on track and held accountable, I will be posting daily (or, every other day, whatever works best for me) updates on run details, and other such things.  Tomorrow, I begin with a 20:00 easy run.  Outdoors if weather allows, otherwise, on the treadmill.  First thing in the morning, followed by Day 3 Level 3 of the Shred.  On non-run days, I'm thinking of throwing in a kettlebell workout along with my Shred workout.

Once this round of the Shred is complete, I'm thinking of giving Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 a try.  Perhaps rotate this one in and out with the Shred, every other month or so.  And, Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights here and there, too.  I'm ready to be fit, toned, strong and healthy!

Also, I'm thinking of keeping weigh-ins to once a month.  My next weigh-in will be at the end of the Shred, and then every 30 or so days from there. :)

Committed, Dedicated, Motivated.  That's me.

I'm off and runnnnnnning! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Fire is Back

Admission: I overate, didn't log my foods and didn't stick so well to my workouts this past week.  From ice cream to cookies to eating not so healthy meals out, allowing myself every excuse in the book, and just plain self-indulging, I had one heck of a "break"!

As oddly freeing as that felt for just those moments in time, I know that if I continue to allow that to become my lifestyle once again, I'd be performing a huge U-turn and backtracking from all the progress I've made.

No beating myself up over it this time, though.  That's the difference between the "past" me and the NOW me.  I indulged.  I loved/hated every moment of it.  Now, back on the path I've chosen for myself, with the flame of determination burning full force.

To prove thus, this afternoon I completed Level 2 and Level 3, back-to-back, of Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred, tried out the new Jillian Michaels Ultimate Kettle Bell Set (that my lovey surprised me with yesterday) by watching the intro portion of Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights, and then pushed myself with sprint/fast walk intervals for 10 minutes on the treadmill.  And now, apart from being stinky sweaty and in need of a shower (which will be forthcoming shortly, followed by some pampering with my favorite lotion, Sympathy for the Skin Body Cream by LUSH)I FEEL GREAT!

Upcoming: The continuation of Round Two of 30 Day Shred (9 days of Level 3 to go!), plus getting serious about training for my first half marathon, and then, after this round of the Shred is through, Shred It with Weights and/or Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30.

Back in the saddle again . . . Good day and Namaste. :)