Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Found Some Stuff Out

Last week I recommited myself to eating healthy and working out. I researched some information about nutrition that really got me thinking a little different about food. I am the type of person that wants to know the why's and how's. I don't like to just hear "You can't eat that". I want to know why I can't eat it. How does it react in my body?

Understanding how food works in my body was the reason why I decided to go vegan over 2 yrs ago. I actually went "cold turkey" or "cold Tofurkey" :) without even thinking twice about what I was commiting myself to.

Back when I first started this journey that was my prayer. I asked God to show me how food reacts in our body. I guess I like being scared into change. :)

So the other day I learned about processed food and sugar. We always hear how they hinder weight loss and how they are not healthy but WHY? Why are they unhealthy and how do they keep us from achieving our weight loss and fitness goals.

Here is what I found out:




The TRUTH About Sugar!

SUGAR!!!!!!! Yep, many of us love this powdery white substance. We actually crave it and shake like addicts until it hits our lips. This pesky little substance in all it's forms can be very harmful to the body. Not only does it hinder weight loss but it also tampers with your blood sugar and wrecks havoc on your immune system.

While artificial sweetners are the worst even natural sweetners can be detrimental to your weight loss and health goals. Having consistently high blood sugar over a long period of time can cause several medical problems including damage to blood vessels which can lead to poor circulation and amputation. It may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. There is also danger of kidney disease, blindness and nerve damage.

High blood sugar levels stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin to drop blood-sugar levels. These rapid fluctuations of blood-sugar levels are not healthy because of the stress they place on the body.

The raise the insulin levels, inhibits the release of growth hormones, which in turn also depresses the immune system. This is not something you want to take place if you want to avoid disease.

The surge in insulin also triggers your body to store fat and also drops your sugar and insulin levels below normal. This decrease causes your energy level to drop, makes you hungry and also makes you crave more sugar. That is not an equation for weight loss!


The Truth About Processed Foods!

Processed foods are loaded with sugar and chemicals which are harmful to your body and will hinder your weight loss. If you can't understand the ingredients neither can your body. The liver is responsible for breaking down fat and filtering out harmful substances. It can't effectively do both at the same time.

If you are eating harmful ingredients.....you are not breaking down fat. It's that simple. So avoid all processed foods. YES! Even those that are labeled as "health" foods. Try to eat things with one ingredient...FOOD! Your body will recognize it and use it to fuel, replenish, rebuild and sustain itself. You will also allow the liver to effeciently break down that unwanted fat.
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I realized that I get a headache and my tummy swells when I eat gluten. So I figured I might have a gluten sensitivity. I decided to also stay away from gluten and only eat grains like quinoa and amaranth. I am also avoiding brown rice.

Since I am avoiding processed foods I am also avoiding processed soy products. That means no tofu, soy milk, soy yogurt, soy ice cream or any other processed meat or cheese alternative. I do still include unsweetened almond milk in my diet during breakfast.

I have also finally convinced myself that I need to eat a lot more. Not just for weight loss but to stabilize my blood sugar, rev up my metabolism, refuel my body, rebuild my muscles and balance my hormones. Eating to be skinny is not my goal. I want a healthy, lean and active body so I know it requires more calories.

Another thing I decided to do was stop eating all bread and pasta. I also do not eat any carbs for dinner. The last carb (other than beans) I eat is during my pre-workout meal. Since carbs are used for energy I don't need them late at night. Any unused carbs are stored as fat on the body so I don't want that. I stick to protein and veggies at night. :)

So as you can see I have pretty much cleaned up my diet big time. I have noticed that although I have only been eating this way for about 1 week I feel much better. I also feel like I lost some weight. :) I am not going to weight myself until I have completed 3 weeks of eating this way. So I will update my progress on August 13th.

Here are some pics of what I have been eating:



Breakfast: quinoa w/ unsweetened almond milk and banana, a few strawberries and cherries.




Lunch: spinach and arugula w/ white beans, broccoli slaw, avocado, dressed with salsa and apple cidar vinegar, and a small sweet potato.



Another Meal: quinoa w/ broccoli, peppers, onion and salsa.


Thanks for checking in. See you soon!

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Storm

I have to be real to my roots and foundation. God is the source of my existence and everything I do must be according to His perfect will for my life. You see we often feel frustrated and sad when we travel outside of that perfect will. Or when we try to do things on our own without consulting Him.

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track." Proverbs 3:5-6



Lately I have been extremely frustrated and disappointed in myself. I have not been consistent with my workout and nutrition. I have slacked off big time and the scale is reflecting my lack of commitment.



It's not that I don't know what to do. It's not that I don't have the resources to do it. It comes down to my lack of discipline and obedience. It doesn't matter how much I learn about nutrition and exercise. I can know so much until my head swells. The only way I am going to reach my goal is to discipline my body and bring it under subjection.



"But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." 1 Corinthians 9:27



It is going to take discipline and hard work. The body I desire will not come from wishing, hoping, reading about different diet and workouts. It's going to come from controlling myself and enforcing obedience and order.



Obedience is the act of obeying: the act or practice of following instructions, complying with rules or regulations, or submitting to somebody's authority. So I know what to do I just have to follow the instructions and comply with the rules and regulations. I have to submit my body and bring it under subjection. I need discipline.



It's not about will power. It's not an external force that you must obtain in order to resist a temptation. It's about the power within you. It's about listening to your intuitive wisdom or the little voice in your head that tells you what is right and wrong.



It's about shutting up the emotional, out of control garbage that is floating around in your head and standing on the truth. The truth is that you have what it takes to make it happen. You have been equipped for the battle. All you must do is move forward with determination and intention.



What is motivating you to be fit? What is the reason for putting down that fork when you want that last bite? What keeps you from throwing in the towel? What keeps you moving towards that goal even though you feel defeated?



Although I fall...although I step back....I keep getting up because deep down inside I want it so bad I can taste it. I want to see what discipline looks like. I want to be the woman God called me to be. It's not just about the outward manifestation for me. It's about the way I am able to discipline my mind and create something out of faith.



If I believe that I can then I will. If I can see it then I can have it. It all may sound cliche but it's the truth. The body follows where the mind goes. So instead of feeling defeated you must have the courage to believe that you can do it. You must continue to get up even though you fall. You must take a step at a time even though you don't see the end.



In reality there will never be an end. You will always be challenged in your life to be more...to be stronger...to have more courage....and to be the best you can be. Life changes. Circumstances change and you must always be prepare to endure them. That is what being "FIT" is about.



You are not just working out or eating healthy to fit in the dress. You are training yourself for life. You are preparing yourself to endure whatever comes your way. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically you must be strong to fight.



When an adversity steps in your way you must have the ability to leap over it and devour the fear. You must be fit to fulfill what ever your purpose and calling is in the life. We each have a plan and purpose or we would not be here on Earth just taking up space.



Just like you must prepare for a race so must youd prepare yourself for life. Endurance, agility, focus, determination, fortitude, strength and power must be the skills you possess to not only survive but thrive.



So although I have stumbled I know I have the choice on my next step. I can either stop or I can proceed. I can either crumble or I can rise. For those that are familiar with my blog you know what I have chosen to do. I will rise and proceed forward.



I know that every stumble is just an opportunity for me to learn and minister to myself and others. The journey is not really just about me....it's about God's Kingdom. It's about His plan and purpose and I must be careful to hear His voice.



Sometimes God doesn't quiet the storm....He quiets the child. He uses the storm as a way to show Himself......show Himself in you. So though the storms come...the emotions rage....the scale climbs...I will survive and I WILL THRIVE!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Survived Hell :)

Yep, I did it! I did my first Bikram Yoga classes. All my fears and worries disappeared when I entered that hot room. I actually heard it gets up to 115-120 degrees. What the??????

The only thing my brain could focus on was not dying...LOL! It was freakin' hot as HELL! The heat may have not been the problem but the humidity was. I had a hard time breathing towards the end of the class. I would have to say that the last 30 minutes of the 90 minute class was the most grueling.

Here is a little about the classes from their website:

Bikram's Original Hot Yoga is a series of 26 classic Hatha Yoga stretching postures and 2 breathing exercises taught in a 90 minute class. Each posture is a challenge based on one's own personal abilities, specifically sequenced to systematically stimulate the body's internal organs and glands as well as pump fresh oxygenated blood to all parts of the body.

Yoga postures are practiced in the safe environment of a heated room to allow maximum body cleansing and stretching, while minimizing the risk of injury and helping you to increase your focus and concentration. The heat promotes detoxification through sweating and limits the effects of ageing.


At the end of each class you will have worked every muscle, tendon, ligament, internal organ and gland, while systematically moving oxygenated blood to 100% of the body. The 26 postures assist in achieving physical and mental balance, while restoring health to all body systems and maintain exceptional health for years to come.

I actually did really well with most of the poses. The instructor said I had great balance and said I had a great first class. She barely had to correct my form. I was proud of that. Her comments actually made me push a little harder because I had a boost of confidence. :)

During the relaxing or meditation parts I tried to focus on my breathing and regroup but man was it tough. I was struggling to breathe in the humidity. My heart was pounding just from doing poses.

I am not sure if I will do the classes again after I am done with my 10 class punch card. I have 9 classes left and intend to take 2 classes per week. So I will go back on Friday and see if I feel any better.

I did learn that I have to hydrate a little better before I go to class. I also have to take a bigger and colder bottle of water with me. My bottle got really hot and I finished my water half way through the class.

I was drenched in sweat when I was done and felt great and relaxed. I am sore today but not as bad as I thought. I mostly feel it in my back.

So there you go. I tackled my fear and completed the class. :) So proud of myself.

Oh and I didn't fart but someone else did...LOLLLL!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reframing My Thoughts

“Our challenge is to identify the misery producing narratives so that we can reframe them in ways that allow our wounds to heal.” ~ David Simon


Today's Meditation:

In today's meditation we will see how healing begins once the memories are brought into the light. Our message for today is to discover that whatever we felt we missed in childhood can become our greatest strength. If we spent a lot of time alone as a child, we learned how to be independent. Those of us who were not able to spend long periods of quality time with our parents or caregivers learned how important it is to be present, and to cherish every moment with loved ones. We can use the past as our teacher.

Today is the day we begin to embrace the lessons we've learned as we bring memories into the light for healing. The brightest light exists in the silence of meditation and is the clearest path we can take. As Deepak Chopra writes, “A path is a way to open your Self to spirit...to love.” Allow yourself to begin healing through the transformational experience of meditation.

______________________

My Thoughts:

For so long I have yearned for love. I have seeked it from others whether it be men, family, friends or the world. I have longed for the feeling to be accepted, validated, acknowledged and nurtured.

I know these feelings came from my love needs not being meet as a child. I didn't have the loving and nurturing relationship with my parents that children deserve. Those feelings lead me to believe that I wasn't worthy of love. Crazy how I have carried those emotions in my subconscious for so many years. It's even crazier how they still haunt me now. As much as I try to tell myself that I am no longer that hurting little girl I am still living in the pain of those emotions.

I didn't really think that those feelings were still buried deep in my subconscious. I guess they have been a part of me for so long that they are hard to let go of. Maybe there are still unanswered questions. Maybe I am expecting an apology from the ones that hurt me. Maybe I feel the apology won't even measure up to the pain I felt.

I don't know exactly what I am feeling but I do know that these meditations are bring up roots of negative thoughts that have been embedded in me for several years. I also know that these are the emotions that have keep me "fat".

Yep, the feelings of being inadequate and unworthy of love have keep me overweight. I feed these deep rooted emotions with food. I do my best to be disciplined but how can I discipline my body when my mind is so messed up.

I constantly recycle through thoughts over and over. I am embarrased, upset, sad and lonely sometimes. I often hide or avoid from seeing friends and family because I don't want them to see how I look. I am ashamed of myself.

Where do those feelings come from? I guess it's the fear of being judged and feeling as if I am not perfect I won't be loved. Consciously I know that is not true but subconsciously I have held onto that lie for so long. As a child I didn't feel good enough because I was always made fun of. I was called fat by my family and friends. I was physically abused by my step father. My mom never protected me from being abused or exposed to things that would take away my innocence.

I believe that we are all born knowing who we are in the spirit but life has a way of chipping away at the truth. The things we are exposed to as children begins to tarnish our perception of ourselves and life. Bringing the pain into the light or consciousness is the only way we can heal from it.

Consciousness means to be aware of your surrounding or inner self. To be awake to the truth of who you are and the power that is within you. It is really hard to define in words what that means but I believe it is a very personal journey and requires individual interpretation.


For me it means to be aware of myself. To be awaken to my true identity. The one that is not limited by my circumstances or my past. It is my undefined. Me deconstructed and naked. It is me without labels or limitations. I am consciousness....aware....open....unliminted.


Accessing this truth and slowly becoming more awaken....letting the light into the darkness is how my healing is taking place. I am not denying where I was or what happened to me. I am allowing the truth or who I am drown out the lies of who I am not.


Once I can allow that truth to permiate every deep part of me I can be free to be who I am. I can finally release the pain, the emotions and ultimately the weight that I have been holding onto.


No one can take me out of the box...I have to do it for myself. No one can love me til I stop hurting....I can only love myself. No one can tell me who I am.....I have to accept that truth on my own.





Friday, July 20, 2012

5 MUST Follow Diet Tips For Permanent Weight Loss

5 Common Exercise Myths

There are several exercise and health myths depicted in the media. Many of them are created by people who are not really qualified or educated enough to make those assumptions. Then you have companies that try to promote their products or programs by misguiding people. Whatever the motivation or source of these myths, they have lead many people down an endless path of frustration.

I know all too well from my own weight loss journey how overwhelming it can be to sort through the myths and the truths. Here are some of the myths that I found to be the most popular.

Myth #1 Spot Reduction
Many people believe that fat can be targeted for reduction from a specific part of the body such as doing abdominal exercise to lose fat in the midsection. Instead, fat is lost from the entire body as a result of a healthy structured diet and regular exercise. Muscle growth in the abdominal region does not reduce fat in that region.

Myth #2 Women will bulk up if they lift weight.
Many women tend to shy away from lifting weights because they believe they will get bulky like men. The truth is that women do not naturally produce as much testosterone as males do to gain huge amounts of muscle mass.

Most of the women that do have a high degree of muscularity have to take anabolic steroids and other drugs to achieve those physiques. They also spend hours at the gym lifting heavy weights, have an extremely disciplined diet and some have great genetics.

Simply incorporating weight training into your exercise routine will not bulk you up. It will give you a toned and lean physique if coupled with a clean diet and aerobic exercise.

Myth #3 You must take supplements
Many people are mislead to believe that a magic pill with be the end to all their weight and health issues. Supplements alone cannot out do diet and exercise. Supplements are intended to fill the gap. A well balanced diet that meets your daily requirements and regular daily exercise are keys to a healthy and fit body.




Supplements are considered "isolated nutrients" and can be unstable and not readily available for the body. Have you ever taken supplements and noticed your urine color change? That is because your body can't process that nutrient in isolated form. You are actually seeing your money going down the toilet...literally. :) The body rids itself of what it doesn't need. Your supplements become waste. :)

What pharmacuetical companies do is extract the nutrients from whole foods and isolate them in a pill form. They then add fillers and package them for your consumption. You are lead to believe that you can not get enough nutrients through the foods you eat so you must buy their pills to fill the gap. Funny thing is they are the ones removing the nutrients from your food to profit from you buying their supplements. Crazy huh? But that is how the uneducated consumer is conned into buying unnecessary supplements. Basically the more naive you are the more money goes in their pocket.

The best way to get your nutrients is to eat whole foods. Eating an orange is better than taking a vitamin C tablet. You are not only getting the nutrient but everything else that is beneficial in the orange such as fiber and your body knows how to use it.

Now if you are eating a traditional American diet filled with highly processed foods and refined sugars then you might need to fill the gap with supplements. BUT ultimately the best way to get a healthy fit body is to eat whole foods and exercise.


Myth #4 Weight machines are better than free weights.
This is one of the biggest arguments in the fitness industry. Many believe that machines are superior to free weights. It really depends on what the individual’s goals are. I believe that machines and free weights each have their place in a workout routine. There are pros and cons for both.

While machines often help keep proper form, isolate muscle groups and assist in lifting heavier weight they also limit range of motion and can increase your risk of injury if not adjusted properly. Machines are used more for structural changes in the body since the muscles can be isolated. Machines are a great tool for those that are new to weight training and bodybuilders.

Free weights are more versatile than machines because they allow for more variations in range of motion allowing for functional training. Free weights have been shown to promote quicker strength gains since they train the muscles functionally. They also require more coordination and balance therefore recruiting the help of stabilizer muscles. That means you are engaging more than one muscle at a time and often maximizing your calorie burn. However free weights can often require the assistance of a spotter and result in more injuries than machines.

Myth #5 Eat less and lose weight.
Many follow the “calories in vs. calories out” way of thinking and drastically restrict their calories in the hopes of losing weight. Eating less actually causes you to lose muscle not necessarily fat. It also creates hormonal imbalances and slows down your metabolism.

When calories are restricted the body stores fat to prevent starvation. If you do see a weight loss it is often due to muscle and water loss. Since muscle requires more energy to sustain, it is often the first thing to go if you are not eating sufficient calories.

Losing muscle means you lose your fat burning potential. Every pound of lean muscle burns an additional 30 to 50 calories per day. Muscle also takes up less space on the body than fat. Eating to support your muscles is better than starving to lose it. I would prefer a higher number on the scale and a leaner, tighter, healthier body than a smaller number and a flabby, mushy body.

Eating 5-6 small healthy well balanced meals every 3-4 hours is the best way to promote a healthy weight loss. This will help keep your metabolism burning, keep your hormones balanced and retain muscle.


***This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of a trained professional. Please consult your doctor before starting any fitness routine***

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good Intentions Gone Bad

I had good intentions to start Bikram Yoga on Tuesday. I packed my bag (2 large towels, change of clothes, water and chapstick), got dressed, grabbed my mat and hit the door. I was a little nervous because I have never done an official yoga class before.

The only yoga I have ever done is Jillian Micheal's Yoga Meltdown DVD, P90X Yoga and a mini session with a friend who is a Yoga instructor at her home. I have never done Bikram Yoga for 90 minutes in a 105% room full of humidity. Needless to say I was way nervous.

But Tuesday afternoon I mustered up the courage to do it anyways. That is my mantra right now. Even if I have fear or doubt..."DO IT ANYWAYS". So I drove down the street to the yoga studio and kept contemplating everything that could go wrong, what others may think of me, am I too fat, will I pass out, what if I have to use the restroom, will I fart...LOL! I thought of every imaginable issue that could occur.

Well I finally arrived at the studio and walked up to the counter. I did notice when I pulled up that nobody was outside waiting and there weren't many cars. I figured I was still 30 minutes early so the crowd hadn't arrived for the 5pm class yet.

The girl at the counter said "are you here for the 6pm class?" HUH!?!?!?!

You mean it's not at 5pm...LOL! Nope that was Monday, Wednesday and Fridays class time. LOL!

Oh boy well I signed all my paperwork, got my punch card and got a mini tour of the facility.

UHHH yes and you guessed it used that excuse to go home and be a coward. I was going to stay and wait 1 1/2 hrs for the class to start but I kept thinking about getting home too late and not being there for my daughter if she needed me. Yep just an excuse to cop out.

So I didn't get to face my fears yet but I had good intentions. I will start class this Monday. I promise. I will take pics to prove it. :)

So Tuesday and Wednesday I did my own workouts at home. I did some dancing and weight training on Tuesday and my kick butt workout Wednesday. I felt great and look forward to Monday's yoga class.

Keep your eye on me because I might try to sneak out of it again...LOL!

Forgiveness

Life is too short to carry the burden of a heavy heart. It does not serve you or anyone else. Free yourself through the power of forgiveness and compassion."- David Simon

Today's meditation will reveal how important forgiveness is to clearing our path to love. If we are holding on to resentment towards someone, the held emotion has no effect on the other person. Instead, the feeling affects those holding on and whomever they come in contact with. When we closely examine resentment, we also find that we are the ones that need forgiving for getting into the situation that caused the pain. Learn to forgive, day by day, knowing that whatever happened yesterday does not have to affect our lives today.

Emotional pain happens at the material level only, where separation abides. In the core of our beings, where the heart-centered truth resides, there is only unity, harmony, and love. Let us internalize this message from The Course in Miracles: "The unforgiving mind is full of fear, and offers love no room to be itself; no place where it can spread its wings in peace and above the turmoil of the world." Practice daily forgiveness. Here is where happiness lies, and a brighter future begins.

Centering Thought for Today:"I forgive; I release; I let go of anything and anyone that keeps me from my highest good."

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My Thoughts:

Those that hurt me only were living true to their story. They only acted according to their level of consciousness. They didn't try to cause me pain. They were only trying to fulfill their needs and make themselves happy.


My choice to hold onto the pain and resentment only reveals my level of consciousness. The pain does not define me. It is not my story.


As I awaken to the truth of my spirit I am able to release the pain and forgive those that caused it.


I can also forgive myself for allowing others to control me. For allowing their actions to manipulate my emotions.


I can also forgive myself for causing myself pain. For holding onto the resentment and allowing it to be my story for so long.


As I release the pain and resentment I also release the seed of it. I uproot the weeds that have choked the life out of me. I surrender who I am and allow God the free will to mold me into what He sees fit.


I am not defined by what has happened to me........it has only refined me.


Refined: remove impurities: to produce a purer form of something by removing the impurities from it, or become pure through such a process
make something more effective: to improve something through small changes that make it more effective or more subtle.


My Motivation

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Freedom






Today's Meditation:

"Unless you loosen the hold that your past has on you, your future will unfold in much the same way . . . it is time to begin writing a new script that accurately reflects the beautiful, powerful, and worthy being you are.” ~ David Simon

In today's meditation, we ask the question, “What steps must I take to release the past?” Memories from the past can follow us throughout our lives. The only way we can assure a better future is to let go of the past. There is absolutely nothing we can do about yesterday, or any time before that. The past is gone and the future is not yet here. Today is the only time we have.

Keep the good memories from your past; choose to release those that no longer serve you, and begin to create the life you desire. Live from the spirit within you, which is pure love. In Deepak Chopra's book, The Book of Secrets, he reminds us of the power of choosing to live each day fully and consciously: “When the present moment becomes filled with a presence that is all-absorbing, completely at peace, and totally satisfying, you are in the now.” On this meditative journey of self-discovery, prepare to create a much more loving future as we connect ourselves more deeply to the heart, and to love.
______________________________________________

My thoughts:

During today's meditation I thought about the tension we often feel in our bodies. Sometimes we may have a knot in our neck or we may feel a strain in our back. Where ever that tension is it often hinders us from feeling completely relaxed.

The same holds true in our lives. We often have tension in our lives. Whether it be our busy schedules, financial problems, relationship problems. What ever the issue that is causing a strain or tension is in your life it can often hinder you from being relaxed. It can keep you from resting in God and walking by faith.

Some of the tension can also be from past experiences in your life. Things that happened to you when you were a child, young adult or even as an adult. We often hold onto those tensions and do not release them. They in turn keep us from fully being present in our lives because we can not be relaxed.

In order to be fully present or walk by faith we have to surrender all the tension in our lives. We have to be willing to release those things that no longer serve us in the NOW moment. The only thing that exists is the present. We can't go back and we can't go forward. We can only be present.

As we release those things that are creating tension in our lives we can begin to become more conscious. We will then become aligned with all that is. We will be aligned with God's will and we can then begin to reap all that is joyful and good.

God's plan is not to keep us hindered, in stress or in fear. God wants us to walk blissfully in the now. Trusting in Him and walking in the cool of the day. We were created to live abundantly. We were designed to live fully as ourselves as we manifest all that is within us.

We can never fully be ourselves and be free to live abundant if we are holding on to past issues and walking around full of tension and stress. Somethings come into our lives to lead us down this path. They pressure us to surrender and become awaken so that we can be set free.

What do you chose to live in? I chose to live in Freedom. I chose to surrender everything that does not serve me...that does not empower or propel me forward....that does not support my vision or help me manifest my dreams. I release anything that is NOT me!

I AM FREE!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meditation Day 1 "Only LOVE"

Centering Thought for Today:
“I am ready to view my life through the eyes of love.”

During today's meditation I had a difficult time quieting my mind as I tried to focus on breathing. I had to recenter my thoughts on several occasions. I emptied my mind the best I could as I focused my energy on each breath. Inhaling "soul" and exhaling "hmm". Inhaling "life" and exhaling "everything that does not serve me any longer". That was the practice during today's meditation.

Towards the end of the meditation I was able to feel a lighter presence and settle into my body with more ease. Releasing the worries and doubts and allowing my mind to be free from the garbage that has made me feel heavy.

Today's meditation gave me a sense of hope. As I emptied my mind I can feel my heart expand as I accepted the wisdom that was being imparted to me by God.

Nothing exist but LOVE.
Everything else is an illusion.
You are safe and free to be.
There is no judgement because LOVE only exists.

Heaviness



The last couple of weeks I have been in a strange space. I can't really explain it but I have had some discomfort in my spirit. I have not been at ease and in turn I have experienced some drama. I had some issues happen at home and at work.


Did I allow this to manifest in my life or was it God's way of healing me from some deep rooted issues? Well this heaviness has lead me to a place that I am grateful to be in right now.


I started a 21 day meditation with Deepak Chopra and today I am starting Bikram Yoga. God...or the Universe (how ever you want to call it..same thing in my book:) has an awesome way of bringing you what you need when you need it.


I can vaguely see how God is working things out right now. Some other things are showing up in my life too that are leading me to believe something great is getting ready to happen.


The heaviness I have been feeling really just was a sign that I needed to get things in order. It revealed that I still have some deep rooted issues that need to be healed before I can obtain what God has for me.


So I hope you follow this journey as I begin to deconstruct myself and rebuild a new me.






Wednesday, July 11, 2012

So Here It Goes

Okay I kicked my own butt the last two days. Yep that inner trainer in me showed me no mercy as I sweat my butt off. I am experimenting a lot with my diet and my exercises. I am creating challenging exercises for myself in the hopes that I finish shedding this fat.

I am so happy doing these exercises because I created them and they involve things that I love doing. I don't have to listen to anyone's annoying voice on a DVD. It's just me, my God and my music.

I say my God because my prayer has been for Him to show me what works best for my body. He has designed me and so I know He knows what is best for me. So I am careful to listen and do what He says. This is TempleFusion in the making.

Monday's workout involved about 40 minutes of Latin dancing and 20 minutes of slow high repetition weight training. I used lots of compound movements (using more than one joint and muscle group) and body weight training. Going slow with the movements helps me really use the muscle to complete the repetition versus using momentum. I notice that I feel more of a burn doing my weight training in this manner.

Using multiple muscles groups at one time also helps maximize your calorie burn as well as your time. So try doing a squat and shoulder press at the same time. Or add a bicep curl with your lunges. There are many combinations you can try but just be careful to use proper form. Doing these kind of movements also helps engage your core muscles which in turn makes it stronger (abs, back and butt).

Mondays workout also included some chest presses with a crunch and chest flyes with a reverse crunch. Yep got to work it hard. I also did some warming up with shadow boxing and push ups. A cool down and stretch concluded that workout.

Tuesday was more intense than Monday. I kicked it up a notch with ankle weight and dumbbells. Here is a break down of what I did.

Warm up:
10 jumping jacks
10 jump squats
10 pushups
10 sit ups
10 skaters
20 high knees
20 butt kicks
Perform 3 times resting 1 minute between each circuit.

Ab circuit: ( I did these with 2.5 lb ankle weights)
10 burpees with shoulder press (10 lb dumbells)
20 reverse crunches
20 floor sprints
20 side v-ups (each side)
20 seated twisted w/ 10 lb dumbbell
Perform 3 times resting 1 minute between each circuit.

Burpees with shoulder press: Basically you perform a burpee with dumbbells in each hand. As you come up you bring weights to shoulders and press them up until arms are fully extended being careful not to lock your elbows.

Side V-ups: Not sure what these are really called but you lay on your side and lift your upper body and legs to meet each other. You can add ankle weights and lite dumbbells for added resistance. While performing this move try bringing your ribs to your hips and squeezing your obliques.

Total Body Circuit: (using ankle weight and 10 lbs dumbbells)
10 side lunges w/ side leg lift and lateral raises (each side)
10 wide pushups
10 wide stance squats w/ with knee raise and bicep curl (each side)
10 wide pushups
10 narrow stance squats w/ back leg extension and tricep press back (each side)
10 narrow pushups
Perform 3 times resting 1 minute between each circuit.

This is where things got tricky because you have to have a bit of coordination. You also have to focus on each movement and take it slow. Ensuring you are using proper form helps prevent injury and also maximizes your efforts and results.

I cooled down with about 5 minutes of Latin dancing and then some stretching. I loved this workout. It took about 65 minutes to complete. I also love that you don't need any equipment to do it. IF you do want to kick it up a notch you just add some weights. The amount of weight just depends on your own strength. I don't suggest using more than 10 lbs if you are just starting out.

I rewarded my body by taking a nice hot shower and thanking it for performing for me. I also acknowledged God for giving me the strength to complete my workout. That's a total body, mind and spirit workout. :)




**If you want to me to explain any of these moves in more detail just leave a comment below.**

Please remember to consult your physician or a professional before starting any fitness routine. The workouts I post are workouts I enjoy doing. I am in no way recommending that you do them as well. If you do chose to try them please be careful and never risk injury by compromising form.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back to the Beginning

Where it all started. Today I decided to go back and read some of my old posts. Reading through my journey helps keep me on track. It also helps motivate me to keep going because I see how much progress I have achieved. My body has not been completely transformed YET but my mind and spirit have evolved. That is what it's all about...TOTAL TRANSFORMATION!

Just Doing Me




I have had a lot of different things going on. I am not sure how everything is going to play out but I know God has His hand in everything that is taking place. I have learned over that last few months that it is important to take care of yourself. Not just physically but emotionally and spiritually as well.



It's important to guard your heart because out of it flow the issues of life according to God's word. Guarding your heart doesn't mean you close yourself off to the world in fear. It means that you are careful and use wisdom. It means you walk by faith and obedience. It means you listen to God and do what He says.....not what you want.



A few years ago I got involved in a romantic relationship with someone that I thought was the answer to my prayers. I hadn't been in a relationship in over 10 yrs. I was still married but had been separated from my husband for several years. He has moved on so I figured I needed to and so I tried.



Well needless to say it just didn't work out and after a few months I had to break up with him. Things just didn't feel right anymore. The relationship felt forced and I didn't want that kind of relationship. I felt like so much was expected from me and I couldn't just be myself.



That was a clue that it was time to move on. Well fast forward to today and the same guy is still trying to get back together with me. Not something I want and made that 100% clear. I guess he didn't take the clue and I had to be blunt with him. I was honest and told him that I couldn't be with him because I couldn't love him the way he wants me to. He is also very emotionally unstable. He didn't like that response and proceeded to get very nasty with me.



I tell you this story to make a point in that you have to be real to yourself. You can't expect to please everyone or compromise who you are to make someone else happy. At one time he was what I wanted because I was missing something in my life. So I thought!



In reality what I was missing was within me the whole time. I thought I needed someone else to make me feel loved, wanted, accepted and alive. But when I found that strength within myself I didn't need him anymore. I really don't need anyone to do that for me. I found that wholeness within myself.



There are days when I don't feel the greatest or "whole" but I know I am. I lack nothing but my mind keeps me limited. So it's my duty to remind myself that I just have to do me. I have to be me and live authentic to who I am. I don't need approval or validation from anyone.



If God has called me to do something in my life then not only has He prepared a place for me but He has prepared me to reach that "place". So why should I look to others to reassure me that I am on the right path or that I deserve to be loved.



Many things have shifted in my life since I accepted that truth. I feel a little more free. Of course there are still insecurities and doubts that I am dealing with. But the difference now is that I don't look for others to help me deal with them. I am finding that truth and strength within myself.



I figure that what ever and who ever I am supposed to have in my life will be in my life when it's supposed to be. There are laws in life that you can't manipulate or force to take place. You just have to have faith, let go and live true to yourself.



So for now I am just doing me!

Monday, July 9, 2012

From Fat To Fit

So my journey has begun. I am taking the necessary healthy steps to finally reach my fitness goals. The ultimate goal is still a year or so away but this small short term weight loss goal is months away.

I am starting my fat to fit challenge. I ready to get fit and fabulous before my 35th birthday in December. That is my gift and commitment to myself. I am also starting my October Warrior Dash race training so that will also contribute to my fit journey.

I will log in weekly to let you know how I am doing. I might start a new blog just to document that journey. If I decide to do that I will let you know.


Motivation








































Saturday, July 7, 2012

Good Bye Old Me

Let's just keep it real. I am not perfect nor do I try to be. OK! I lied to do try to be perfect but I know I will never be flawless. There will always be days when I don't feel my best. There will also be days when I feel invincible.

BUT right now I am truly tired of feeling the way I feel. I am sick of being on what seems like a never ending journey of weight loss. I have been trying to lose weight for over 2 yrs now. I have lost a lot of weight but still have so much more to lose.

I am sick of being on diets and following workout plans that to be honest with you...BORE ME! I am at what you might call a cross roads. I am at a place where I have decided enough is enough.

It's time to get this done and over with already. Of course I know being healthy is a journey but I don't' want to spend the rest of my life or another year trying to lose weight.

It's time to put the nail in the coffin already. The fat, insecure and depressed girl has to be put to death. That was the old me and the new me is crying to get out.

There are new things going on in my life and the old me can't be a part of them. She has brought me this far but she can no longer carry me into the next part of my life.

I thank her for all she has done and I admire her for her courage to do what she has done but it's time she signs off now.. LOL!

I know I sound a little crazy but this is how I feel. I am ready to live this next stage of my life with BOLDNESS and VIBRANCY. I can't remain in the shadows of my former self. It's time to take a new form.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beat the Heat



Drinking water is essential during these hot summer days. Staying hydrated has many benefits other than just helping you cool off. Not only does it help with your complexion but it also helps your digestive tract rid your body of harmful chemicals.


Did you know that drinking water is also a key in healthy weight loss. YEP! Sure is. So make sure you replenish your body with water everyday. Your needs depend on your body weight and activity level. Just remember the minute you start feeling thirsty your body is already likely dehydrating.

I know that many of you hate drinking water. I myself LOVE it. I only drink water. I do have an occasional Ginger ale or small cup of juice but 99.9% of my daily beverage is good ole fashion water.

For those of you that hate to drink water. Here are some fruits and veggies loaded with that liquid gold. Retaining the plants moisture through eating it raw is essential to reap the maximum benefits. So think a nice raw veggie salad or fruit salad. YUMMY! Not only is it delicious but also refreshing.

So you have no excuse to not meet your daily water intake. Drink up and eat up...your body needs it to function properly.



The Harmful Effects and Symptoms of Dehydration:
Tiredness
Migraine
Constipation
Muscle cramps
Irregular blood pressure
Kidney problems
Dry skin
20% dehydrated – Risk of death



Here are some of the clues that you need more water:

Urine – Dark Yellow or Orange in Color: Urine is generally pale yellow to clear when you have sufficient water intake. Dark color or strong smell indicates that you need to drink more water. Doesn't mean you have been eating too many carrots..LOL!

Dry Skin: Skin is the largest body organ and requires its share of water. No that bottle of lotion won't do. Hydrate your skin from the inside out. :)

Thirst: Thirst is the most obvious sign that you're already dehydrated. It is always a good practice to drink more water when your are not thirsty, don’t wait until you're thirsty. Oh and skip the soda machine. Bring out that nice thirst quenching cold water.

Hunger: Most people mistake hunger for the indication to eat more, whereas in actual fact, they may be dehydrated. So before you have your meal, grab a glass of water. Put down the chips and pick up the water bottle. :)

Fatigue: Water is a source of energy and gives you a boost in energy. Sometimes a nap won't do. You need that water to refresh and replenish you.

BEAT THE HEAT...DON'T LET THE HEAT BEAT YOU!

Heal Yourself Through Food

"God, in His infinite wisdom, neglected nothing and if we would eat our food without trying to improve, change or refine it, thereby destroying its life-giving elements, it would meet all requirements of the body." Jethro Kloss

Our bodies have the ability to heal themselves from all sorts of ailments and diseases. Many can even prevented through proper nutrition.

Obesity is also a disease that can be healed through proper nutrition. Rather than hate our bodies through eating junk food we should love and nuture it through healthy nutritious food.

When we eat what is needed then our bodies perform accordingly. If we give it what we want then we are often left feeling sick, tired and fat.

Use food as medicine. It's often much cheaper than expensive medications, doctors visits, diet pills and surgeries. Invest in your health now or your sickness later. The choice is yours!






"And we have made of ourselves living cesspools, and driven doctors to invent names for our diseases." Plato







"Doctors give drugs of which they know little, into bodies, of which they know less, for diseases of which they know nothing at all." Voltaire

"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." Hippocrates







"One of the biggest tragedies of human civilization is the precedents of chemical therapy over nutrition. It's a substitution of artificial therapy over nature, of poisons over food, in which we are feeding people poisons trying to correct the reactions of starvation." Dr. Royal Lee



"The human body heals itself and nutrition provides the resources to accomplish the task." Roger Williams Ph.D. (1971)


"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition." Thomas Edison






"Disease is a lack of health. Health is not a lack of disease." Unknown





"You cannot poison your body into health with drugs, chemo or radiation. "Health" can
only be achieved with healthful living." T.C. Fry





"Health requires healthy food." Roger Williams

"The absorption and organization of sunlight, the essence of life, is derived almost exclusively through plants. Since light is the driving force of every cell in our bodies, that is why we need green plants." Dr. Bircher-Benner









"Vitality and beauty are gifts of Nature for those who live according to its laws." Leonard Da Vinci


"Disease is the warning, and therefore the friend - not the enemy - of mankind." Dr. George
S. Weger

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What if there was only THIS moment?

I had a realization today. What if there was only THIS moment? In reality we live day to day in each moment. Every minute is a now moment...a step of faith. The full day is filled with now moments.

What if you never had another one and you wasted this one worry about things you can't change? What if you wasted it regretting what you didn't do....hating where you are...thinking about the next moment or being afraid?

It is important to realize that you must live each moment to the fullest. Not wasting a moment but living it fully in that moment. You may not be where you desire to be in your life but you must take everything you have in this moment and be at peace.

You can't change until you learn to accept where you are. You must embrace the opposition as a way to become greater....to grow...to change....to become more conscious.