Monday, May 26, 2014

Thoughts on Memorial Day

Memorial Day used to be one day. May 30th. And it was meant for remembering those who gave their lives for our country. Schools, stores...most everything was closed that day. And almost everyone I knew marched in the town parade as part of the band, scouts, 4-H...or something. 

But, 1971 changed that.  The Uniform Monday Holiday act, gave Memorial Day, along with other holidays, a yearly Monday spot to assure a 3-day holiday weekend for all. Hey, we love our 3 day weekends. No work for 3 days! Kids home for 3 days... More time to go somewhere and do something!

Whether the 3 day weekend was good for the actual observance of Memorial day, I'm not going to judge. But, I do want to connect the dots on 3-day holiday weekends and an increase in overindulging in less healthy foods.

Every event that comes along that changes our daily routine can play havoc on weight loss or management efforts. Weekends are more difficult for most people, because the routine demanded in the week is simply not there. Holidays are even more challenging because they add a celebration element to the lack of routine. And when a 3 or 4 day holiday weekend comes along, it can really screw things up. Out of routine and celebration mode.

Just be aware that you need to be much more vigilant during long holiday weekends. Keep your head on. Take fresh fruits and veggies with you to all those gatherings. Focus on eating slowly, enjoying friends and family, and being active. 

Having fun doesn't mean giving up on your weight loss/wellness plan and diving head first into the bag of potato chips or pie and telling yourself that the holiday weekend doesn't really count. It means mindfully choosing to act like the healthy, svelte, active person you really want to be. 

As they say..."Fake it 'til you make it!"

Monday, May 19, 2014

Movin' With the Yard Work

My neighbor is in constant motion. She stands just over 5 feet, but that small frame delivers purpose and addition to speed. When it comes lawn and garden work, no one can keep up with her. Trimming. Weeding. Planting. Harvesting. Mowing. She even mows for another neighbor. She rarely stops moving. And she's got 10 years on me. 

She's the epitome of "YES, you can count yard work as exercise!" It depends on what you're doing, but aerobic conditioning, strength training, and flexibility, can all be done outside. But, take care.

Don't go crazy as the weather turns nicer. If you've been more sloth-like all winter long, don't expect to zip right out there and mow lawn, weed the gardens and plant all in one day. That's a recipe for bit time pain and suffering. Be sure to warm up by walking and going through some general full body motions to get prepped for your yard time.

And, be mindful. When your body gets tired, listen and respect what it's saying. Fatigue means it's time to stop for the day, stretch out, and do the rest tomorrow. It doesn't mean to man-up and bust your body trying to get it all done. Respect yourself.

It's a beautiful time of year. Time to enjoy your body in motion and learn to use mindfulness to understand it's limits. You'll get along much better inside that body of yours if you do...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gluten Free Pasta Trial #1

Gluten is a hot button topic these days. But. Is it really bad for everyone like some popular authors are trying to convince us?  Or is it really okay for those of us bread loving fools?

If you have celiac disease, an auto-immune disease, you're already aware of the terrible pain and damage that gluten causes. That's why it's a given that celiacs must avoid gluten completely. 

But there are some people without celiac disease, who do have gluten sensitivity. Their symptoms vary. But, if gluten is the cause, the symptoms will be dramatically reduced when eliminating gluten.

One thing for sure: avoiding gluten is not going to make you lose weight or magically make you healthier. It's just not.

That being said, I decided to do a little experimentation in the gluten-free world for those of you who do need to eat gluten-free.

My massage therapist, Rebecca, gave me 3 different gluten-free pastas to try. The first one I tested was a corn, quinoa, rice, and fiber blend by Garofalo. I was making a homemade marinara sauce, so I wanted the pasta to be hold up well under the sauce. 

Yummy! This blend got a 5 star rating (out of 5 stars) by our family for taste and texture. In fact, it may taste even better than our usual whole wheat pasta! It held up perfectly under my sauce. Even the leftovers the next day reheated perfectly. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Make Your Motivator a Positive One

In tears, a woman shared her memory of getting stuck in a dress while trying it on. (She'd even grabbed a bigger size than she usually wore; she knew she'd gained a bit of weight.) The zipper broke: it wouldn't budge at all. She swallowed her pride, and had to walk out in the dress to find a saleswomen. She had to be cut out of the dress!

Another woman's neighbor asked when her baby was due. She wasn't pregnant. She'd just gained 25 pounds.

You've been avoiding mirrors and cameras. Unfortunately, you just saw a recent photo of yourself and hardly recognized yourself. How is it that photos add 15 pounds to you but not to anyone else in the photo?

Whatever your "Oh, Yuck!" experience was, these events can make great motivators to start dropping body fat and getting healthier. The trouble is, these negative motivators don't last. 

Once you've been on your weight loss plan awhile, and pounds and sizes drop, you feel better about yourself. The negative motivator dissipates. It's important to create a positive motivator before this happens. 

Identify the positive things you're aiming for with your weight loss. One gal told me she wanted to be a "Hot Momma" and be able to walk on the beach in a bathing suit without worrying about what she looked like. Another told me she wanted to be strong and active enough to get down on the floor with her grand kids to play, and get back up with no trouble. And, I'd like to be able to play golf when I'm 107.

Now, instead of running away from your "Oh, Yuck!" experience, it's time to pull yourself toward what you really want. Envision yourself as that Athletic, Happy person, that Strong, Svelte person, or that Active 100 year old! Now, practice doing the things that support you becoming that person. Practice doesn't mean perfect. Practice simply means you're working to form the habits you'll need to become the person you want to be.