Sunday, March 14, 2010

Can exercise be considered pampering oneself?

I wanted to search some benefits of pampering yourself, and I found some. But I found an interesting twist. Many sites considered eating healthy and exercising "pampering." Now, while I can see where they are coming from, that's not necessarily the pampering any of us here want. No! We want massages, 30 minutes alone, relaxing in a tub with a good book. But it brought an interesting point to mind, pampering is anything that you do that makes you feel good about yourself, and of course, when you exercise and eat right, you feel better about yourself.

As mentioned in the before post, I sort of hard core went off the bandwagon, but as part of pampering myself this month, I'm going to make it a point to get back to eating healthy and exercising regularly. I can't believe how many articles mentioned exercising as a form of pampering. So, if you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious (and yes, thinking you're too busy for exercise is considering stressing out), head to the gym for a half hour. It counts as pampering!!

Of course, straight up traditional pampering is good for you too and is obviously lots of fun!!
Audrina Patridge - googleimages search
google images search

March weeks 1 and 2 check in

So, I know this lately has become sort of a disaster blog. I'm half tempted to just say "forget about it" and never write another post. I'm losing momentum, and I know you out there are too. How did this start off sounding like such a great idea, and here I am, barely 1/6th of the way through the year, and I'm ready to throw the towel in?

And I did ponder throwing the towel in. In fact, just mere minutes ago before I started typing this, I was thinking about what I would say, but then I realized, no, it's time for me to get remotivated. Sure, I have a few set backs, my accident, then a birthday disaster, but I'm ready to get back serious about this.

So, we will check in with this month's challenge. This one was pretty easy, obviously. But I noticed that this time, when I got my manicure/pedicure, and highlights/hair cut, I made sure I was more aware of this being a treat, rather than something I just needed to do to look good. I sat there actively thinking "this is a rare treat that not everyone does." And it made it just a little bit more special.

Well, there you have it for me. The first weekend, I got a manicure and pedicure, then this weekend, I got my hair cut and highlighted, AND took a two hour nap, which is unheard of in my house hold. But I feel relaxed, pretty, and ready to get face the world.

In other news, I sort of fell off the workout bandwagon after the accident, so starting this week, I'm going to get re-energized to hit the gym every day. I also haven't had a good day of clean eating in over a week, so I'm committing myself to eating healthfully this week. I'm also committing to doing a better job of this blog. In fact, I think I'm going to research some stuff to post right now. And later this week, I have an interesting article/challenge that if you think exercising and not eating chocolate is hard, try this one on for size! Sort of puts things in perspective!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1

Here it is, the beginning of a new month, a new start. For some, the beginning of a new decade of being alive. Time to reward yourself for being so great. Time to take a little "me" time out. Many of us have so many responsibilities and things to do that we forget to take some time out to take care of our own well being. That's what the point of this blog was, to hopefully entice you to start caring about yourself. However, taking care of oneself is more than being healthy and eating right, it's about having a healthy soul as well.

Now while pampering yourself may not give you the same overall health benefits that eating right and exercise does, it does contribute in a major way by lowering your overall stress levels. High levels of stress are linked to many health problems including insomnia, back problems, stress eating (or weight loss for the other stress type), high blood pressure, depression, and even gastrointestinal disorders. The list is really extensive. Therefore, it's very important to take some time to de-stress every now and then. And this is not meant to be a stressful event (how am I going to fit in my stress relief into my busy schedule? will just leave you ending up more stressed).

Obviously eliminating stress is not possible. There's always going to be car trouble, a late deadline at work, a hormonal teenage, but we can strive to mitigate some of the stress though stress management techniques. And that's what this month is all about. Taking some time, not feeling guilty, and doing something that makes you feel relaxed.

My first pampering of the month will be getting a haircut. Yes, I know we get them every so often, but this time, I'm going to really enjoy the experience. Get that glass of wine, not worry about where I need to be after wards, or that my hair dresser keeps raising his prices! I'm going to just enjoy the over all experience. So, I'm set for week 1. How about you?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week 4 Check in and March challenge

So, I'm getting the feeling this month was a disaster for everyone. Like I said, who would have thought it would have been that much easier to exercise everyday than to change your eating habits!? I guess I did okay this week, but the month in general was not good, meaning I did not accomplish this month's goal. Not even close. And I know it wasn't for at least 5 others of you out there. I won't name names though, so you can breath a sigh of relief! Did anyone manage to succeed? I think we'll have to try this one again another month, and this time actually stick to it!

As far as March is concerned, this month we're going to focus on our inner wellbeing and take some time for ourselves. Each week, you should do something to pamper yourself. This could be obvious, such as a massage, pedicure, a hair cut, highlights, or something less obvious, but still manages to give you that sense of "ahhhh." This could be taking a bath, reading a book, taking a nap one afternoon. All of these things without feeling guilty like "omg, I have sooooo much to do!" But once a week, you should do something just for yourself and not worry about it, not feel guilty. You deserve it. And it's part of the total wellness package we're working on.

So, what do you have in mind? I'm thinking a massage, pedicure, and I'll have to think of two others, but I'm good for the first half of the month.

Ok, two more days left in February (including today). Let's try to hold out with no C's this last weekend! Come on! We can do it! Two more days, that's all I'm asking of you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Late week 3 check in and other miscellaneous items

I know it's been over a week, but I have to be honest, I was disappointed in myself and didn't want to admit it to the blogosphere.

I officially went off the No C's bandwagon 4 days in a row! But I learned a lot from this experience.

1. I learned that I am like an alcoholic when it comes to food. I can't have just one. I had chocolate on Valentine's Day and rather than satisfying me, it only set off the out of control behavior that followed the next four days.

2. It is easier to work out every day than it is to make diet changes.

3. Therefore, I agree with all the experts that say losing weight must be 90% diet and 10% exercise.

So, what am I going to do with this new found knowledge? For one, I have decided that I can't have treats. I overdose on them, and that's just not good for anyone. Secondly, I am going to get back on the bandwagon and say no treats until my birthday (which is March 7). - Side note, I haven't had any since the 17th, meaning first no C day was on the 18th. Are these sweets really worth it? I mean, is my life incomplete without them? I say no. I say I am doing fine without them, and I need to avoid them at all cost! I just need to remind myself that C's are poison in my body.

I'm not going down with out taking others with me. Okay, I won't name any names, but you can probably guess.

Suspect 1 convinced me to have some King Cake on Fat Tuesday. I told her no, but she persisted and eventually wore me down (okay, to be fair, it didn't take a lot of persuading). I think she thought if I had some, it would be okay if she did too. Suspect 2 found me eating the King Cake and had a piece herself! I will say that suspect 1 went off the bandwagon a few more times than me (I think 6 total month to date), while Suspect 2 is doing slightly better than me at 3 times.

What about you? Are you doing as terribly as me? I should have listened to Tanya who suggested we do one treat a week. Dang it!

So, the quotes on my calendars the past few days have been apropos. I will share.

"You can't hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. You can't catch fish unless you put your line in the water. You can't reach your goals if you don't try." - Kathy Seligman

"An archer cannot hit thebull's eye if he doesn't know where the target is." - Anonymous

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." - Thomas Jefferson

So, yes, I may have hit a little bit of a patchy spot, but it's time to get my mental attitude adjusted back on track, decide what my goal is, and achieve it. I messed up. I need to add another week to the No C's. I'm getting back to the gym after my accident, and it's time to get re-energized on the wellness front!

Ok! Are you feeling pumped! No C's for you! Gym for you! We can do it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not-so-sweet truth about sugar

Did you know that the Department of Agriculture recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily? You remember the pyramid from elementary school? The "other" at the top just simply indicated "use sparingly." Well, when they revamped the pyramid, that last category was eliminated, and replaced with just oils. (See here for more information on the food pyramid.) Basically, what this tells me is that sugar should be used so sparingly that they don't even want to include it on the food pyramid anymore. However, the average American consumes 2-3 lbs of sugar a week! Hence the reason it's the perfect thing to eliminate from our diet for one month! 

A recent report from the University of Colorado indicated that when people consumed more than 42 teaspoons of added sugar a day, their blood pressure rose 5 points in two weeks.

How quickly does this add up?

2 tablespoons of sugar in cup of coffee = 6 teaspoons
2 tablespoons in second cup of coffee = 6 teaspoons
1 soda at lunch = 10 teaspoons
4 tablespoons ketchup on fries at lunch = 4 teaspoons
1 cup pasta sauce with dinner = 4 teaspoons
1 piece chocolate cake = 6 teaspoons
TOTAL SUGAR COUNT = 36 teaspoons!

Further online research found that there is no need for sugar in our diet. Sugars from carbohydrates and fruits more than exceed our need for sugar for energy. Additionally, Danie indicated that she remembered reading an article a few months ago that said that sugar added to the breakdown of collagen in your body, making you more susceptible to wrinkles, and who needs that? Other dangers of sugar include:
1. Suppressing of immune system, making you more vulnerable to infectious diseases
2. a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.
3. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function (this relates to what Danie said about wrinkles)
4. Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.
5. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines
6. Sugar is considered a poison because it has been depleted of its life forces, vitamins and minerals
7. Sugar aggrevates asthma
8. Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children
9. Sugar can promote tooth decay.
10. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
11. Ok, do I seriously need to continue?   

Don't ask me to cite where I got this information from, nor am I going to do any extensive research to determine the validity. The one conclusion I think we can all come to is that it's best to limit your sugar intake. So, regardless of how you've been doing this month, I hope you can vow to finish off these last 14 days with no sugary sweet treats!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 2 Check In

Well, this one was definitely harder than last month's! How can not eating sweets be harder than forcing yourself to work out every day one month? It just doesn't make sense!

I know Danie's already broken down and had sweets more than once this month. Anyone else want to fess up? Anyone!?

Ok, ok, you got me! I effed up this month! I did! :'( Yikes! I know! So, yesterday, I knew there would be chocolate cake for dessert after dinner, so when someone offered me a handful of some chocolate candies earlier that day, I did not say no. I figured yesterday was the day. But after dinner, I was just too full to eat the cake. Not wanting to be a party pooper, I told K I would have some today. And so while I haven't effed up just yet, I will tonight. I will have a piece of the cake, and it will have been two days in a row with a forbidden food item. And I feel guilty.

I especially feel guilty because I haven't exercised all month. That's right! Not once ALL MONTH. It's been a deadly combination of being snowed in, my accident (it's hard to want to work out when you can't move your arm), and numerous doctor's appointments. I think I'm going to head out there tonight, but I obviously can't do the rower, I can't lift weights, it just 100% sucks. Sucks. I guess it's back to the danged bike for me. Woo hoo, 150 calories in a full hour! I'm debating wearing my sling or not. On one hand it is a HUGE pain in the ass. On the other, at least people will recognize that I'm injured, that's why I'm so pathetic in there. I'm seriously afraid to go back to the James Center in the morning for fear of all the comments I'll get "where have you been all month missy?" Ugh! Why is my life such a hot mess?

Ok, well, enough rambling about me. How have you all been doing this month?

Oh, and I've tried to google search some articles about the perils of sugar, but haven't really found one yet. So, that's why there's been less education this month.

Stay safe out there people. And good luck for the rest of the month! I've decided the first half was a disaster, but I'm counting the pluses (for example, baking cookies without tasting one), and will resign to end the month on the right step! Back to the gym, and starting tomorrow, no more sweets, in fact, I'll extend it til my birthday in March, to make up for the indisgression this weekend!