Archive for May, 2012

35 days left….Making Me a Priority….

May 28th, 2012 | 2 comments

To ensure good health:  Eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.

~William Londen~

It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow we will only have 35 days left in our 100 day JOLT challenge.  At first, it seemed like I was biting off more than I could chew, putting my personal struggle with weight loss out there for all to see.  But, as each day passed, and I kept my promise, it is truly becoming not a challenge, but rather the way we live.  And, a big thank you to you, the reader, for keeping Kelly honest.  It really did help to know that I would be reporting back to you with the results.

Here’s the update.  My sister and her husband are visiting from Canada.  In the past, this would mean high caloric meals, treats, and no exercise as we entertained our guests.  But, this time, things were different.  My 10,000 steps were knocked out early in the day before we went to see the sights.  Or, if I knew we would be walking a fair bit, they would be incorporated into the day.  I did have a few treats, but for the most part, we ate healthy, and always counted our calories.  And, even with the company and the change in routine, I lost weight.

Was I perfect?  Nope.  But did I make myself enough of a priority for success?  Yes I did.  And I think that is the key.  It’s not about being so driven that you don’t have time for anything else in your life.  It’s about re-shifting what you place value in, and making you and your health a priority.

Eating:  Pretty good, and I like that I can have a treat here and there, counting the calories to make sure I don’t completely fall off the wagon.

Exercise:  I am a faithful step counter.  I need, in the next 35 days,  to put more focus on strength training.

Emotions:  Honestly, May is not an easy month for me.  Stephen’s birthday, Mother’s day, and just the feeling of summer bring a sense of melancholy, a feeling of longing for things lost.  This year, although less jagged from the passage of time, still hurts.  But, I did not feel the need to dip the emotions in chocolate sauce.  I did not push down those feelings with food.  Rather, I felt stronger by exercising and keeping my commitment.  I am replacing the need for food with the need to feel I am living well, because when I live life well, I feel Stephen smiling. 

I’ve got a way to go, but inches, pounds and just plain ole baggage is coming off this grateful girl…..one pound at a time.

35 days left….my husband and I plan on finishing strong!

Hope you are taking steps towards your goals each and every day…

Kelly

 

48 Days…The Scale May Lie, But the Pants Speak the Truth..

May 16th, 2012 | 1 comment

Look to your health — and value it next to a good conscience; for health is … a blessing that money cannot buy.

~Izaak Walton~

Well, we are past the half way mark and still going strong.  For 52 days now, in our 100 Day JOLT Challenge, we’ve been moving more, eating healthier, and keeping our eye on the prize. Some days have been easy, and others….not so much.  But with each day, I think we are getting closer to making this more than a challenge; it is becoming the way we live.  That is a big thing right there folks.

But, as with any changes, you are going to have setbacks.  The title of this blog is one of them.  I worked out.  I counted calories and I measured calories expended with my Bodybugg.  I can see by my results I am becoming more fit, and need to work a little harder to get that burn. I’ve put the work in.  So, I stepped on the scale, fully expecting the two-pound weight loss that my Bodybugg had forecasted for me…..only to find that the number had not changed.  Not even by 0.1 of a pound.

Let me tell you what happened next.

I stepped off, resent the digital scale, stepped back on.  No change.  Stepped off, reset, stepped on.  No change.  Stepped off, cursed a little, questioned the validity of the number, wondered about the battery life of the scale, stepped on.  No change.

Walked away from the scale, paced slightly, reviewed over the previous week’s eating and exercise, walked back to the scale and gave it one more chance to rectify this situation.  No freaking change.

Look, I will be honest.  I think the scale is a downright dirty liar.  Sitting there quietly, with its digital display mocking me.

Okay, maybe not.  But it’s tough to put in the work and see no progress.  It’s difficult to have your hard work questioned.

So, I went to the real test.  The pants in the closet.  I have a section….you know what I’m talking about. The wanna be section….I tried on a pair of summer shorts that I really loved, but have not worn for some time.  And….zip, button, no problem. A little less junk in the trunk…they fit!  In your face scales!

My point in this rant?  Sometimes, when we are making big shifts in the way we live, the short-term results may not be reflective of your efforts towards long term change.  It may seem like you are getting nowhere.  But rather than buy into that, trust in yourself.  Look around for another method for measuring success.  Don’t let it derail you.

We have 48 days left, and no matter what the scales say this week, I know I am keeping the promise I made to myself and it feels good.

Now, click on the video and dance with me.  Best workout song ever.

Kelly

The Grateful Mother

May 12th, 2012 | no comments

I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life.  ~Abraham Lincoln~

For you fellow mothers out there, tomorrow is the day designed just for you by….who?

It’s interesting, as I have often believed that this is yet another holiday designed by the retail gods to get us to swarm like bees around their establishments, grabbing chocolates and bears and “I love you Mom” temporary tattoos.  But I was wrong.  The history of celebrating Mothers actually goes back to ancient Greece.  In more modern times in the United States, Anna Jarvis held her first celebration in 1908, as a memorial to her mother.

Worldwide, the day for celebrating dear old Mom varies, so even though I am writing about it in May, people on other parts of the world have already showered their Mom with love, presents and accolades, or will do so in the coming months.

Regardless of your timing for this celebration, I wanted to take a moment and talk about the grateful mother.  See, I know this day is all about you.  But the reality is, kids learn to be grateful from you by the example you set for them each day.  Soap and water can wash off the dirt from your afternoon in the park, but it cannot erase the belief system you instill in their growing minds with your words, your actions and your beliefs. Each day, you plant seeds of gratitude and compassion within the hearts of your children.

That said, I wanted to put down what I see as some of the wonderful things that make up a grateful mother.  I take these from my own mother, my sisters, my friends, and some amazing women I have met along this zig-zaggilicious road of life.

Here goes..

The Grateful Mom…

  • Designs Daily Touch Points for Gratitude: Maybe it is at breakfast.  Maybe it’s a note in with the lunch for school.  Maybe it is a conversation about the best part of the day at dinner.  Maybe it is the reverent thank you’s shared at bedtime.  A grateful Mom knows that a thankful life can only materialize by practicing gratitude daily.  Just like perfecting a sport or musical instrument, gratitude takes practice.  You have to make it a habit.  You have to make it part of your routine.  Living a life that illuminates the blessings in life comes by….looking for the blessings.  We often confuse happiness with being showered with the things or life we want.  And then we get what we want, and look around, and wonder why we are still not satisfied.  The truth is happiness and gratitude comes from being satisfied with the here and now, just as it is, stained with grape juice or sticky with gum.
  • Doesn’t Take Herself Too Seriously:  We’re all guilty of it.  We have so much on the list, so many tasks to complete that we need everyone to just fall into line and listen to instructions.  And truly, how would anything ever get done if we didn’t have a little of the drill sergeant tendencies in us?  But, a grateful mother realizes, that even if she can’t be this way seven days a week, she must show her children glimpses of her inner seven-year old.  And yes, you have it.  We all have it.  The inner little girl screaming to get out.  For some of us, we’ve maybe denied her existence for a while, thinking we need to be grown up and mature.  But she’s there.  She grinning from ear to ear, she’s got a splotch of chocolate sauce on the front of her dress, an imagination that can take you anywhere you want to go, and she speaks the truth about what is important.  NOW.  Yes, that inner seven-year old you knows that to-do list will not make you happy in the only moment you really have, right now.  So, even if you haven’t unleashed her in a while, let her out to play.  The grateful Mom lives out loud, and knows that when your child reflects back one day, those inner seven-year old kind of days are going to stand out.
  • Understands She is the Keeper of the Dream:  When I reflect back on the life of my mother, one of the things she was so good at was making memories.  She had this ability to turn a day into an occasion, and could put special touches on things that just made them into magical times you would carry with you.  I bet you know what I mean.  She just went the extra mile to give me a happy childhood.  But more than making memories, a grateful mother is also the keeper of the dream.  She has the ability to make those special moments, but to also let those special moments fit into their child’s hope and dreams and not their own.  As mothers, we all have a personal vision of our child, and it usually involves them being healthy, happy, and accepting a Nobel Prize for curing cancer.  But a grateful Mom understands that it is not our dream to keep….we can nurture, and tend the garden of our children,  but our job is to let them find their own passions and dreams.  Our job is to tell our children that anything is in fact possible, and we believe in them and all their hopes for the future.
  • Teaches Her Kids to Focus on the Light, Even When it’s Dark:  Sometimes, life just plain ole sucks.  Bullies, skinned knees, ants at the picnic, loss at the championship game.  Sometimes, it’s more serious.  Death, divorce, job loss.  Life is not easy.  The Grateful Mom shows her child the honesty of life, that it is far from perfect and sometimes it hurts.  But, there is always goodness around you, no matter how dark the day.  The mother who lives a grateful life knows that thankfulness is not just for the banner days when everything sails along swimmingly. This Mom teaches her child to look for the little blessings that sit within the worst of days, and helps her child build resilience and the vision to see that no matter what, they are still loved and blessed and will see better tomorrows.
  • Realizes That Life is Short, Even When it Feels Like it’s Not.  I read once, “The Days are long, but the years are short.”  Not sure where, but boy, it sums up parenting quite nicely.  It’s not easy to raise tiny human beings.  They have their very own brains, they don’t always listen, they oftentimes don’t agree, they are sticky, they smell, the list goes on. The grateful mother realizes that even on the days that it seems like the 24 hour clock has been extended and bedtime will never arrive….that life goes by with the blink of an eye.  Ask any mother who has just sent her child off to college.  It seems like just yesterday they were changing diapers.  The grateful mother embraces and celebrates every less than picture perfect moment, knowing they only go this way once. And the effort is worth it, every single bit of it.

Your gratitude is like a seed planted in the heart of your child, and will grow as they do into something more beautiful than you can possibly imagine.

Happy Mother’s Day,

Kelly

60 Days Left…Moment By Moment Change

May 4th, 2012 | no comments

Transformation is not five minutes from now; it’s a present activity. In this moment you can make a different choice, and it’s these small choices and successes that build up over time to help cultivate a healthy self-image and self-esteem.

~Jillian Michaels~

Okay, we are 40 days in, 60 days left to our 100 day JOLT Challenge.

Exercise:  I am moving faster. I think I am jiggling less.  But much more than that, I have a self-awareness about movement that I don’t think I had before.  With faster movement, I am also recognizing the moments that I was not pushing myself in the past.  I was going through the motions.  I find now, I am wanting to get that calorie burn, I want to break my previous weekly records of steps, miles, calories.  I still have a way to go, but we are moving forward.  I am making progress and feeling proud of my efforts.

Eating:  My husband could eat salad for breakfast, dinner and lunch, and be fine with it.  Repetition of meals is not an issue for him.  I was fine with that for the first eighteen days or so.  Then, the sight of lettuce was starting to make me twitch.  His suggestion of salad for lunch would make me want to grab the lettuce from the refrigerator and stomp on it until it was a gooey green blob on the kitchen floor.  Of course, we did not eat salad for every meal.  It just FELT like we were eating salad at every meal.

So, we are working on variety in our meals, but to be honest, when you are counting your calories, it sometimes is easier to go with what you know when you are pressed for time.  We are looking for different recipes and trying new things.  But, regardless of the boredom we occasionally face with food choices we are still committed to the change.

Emotions: Making choices in the present moment; that is what I am working on.  Although I am counting down and looking forward to the 100 day mark for celebration, I am living each day with this focus.  1000 calorie deficit, 10,000 steps.  I mentally have decided that with daily completion of those two targets, I am building a healthy life.  It helps me put things in perspective.  I may not believe that I will achieve my long-term goals on any given day, but I know that those two numbers are doable.  I know exactly what I have to do to get there.  And I think that is what health is all about.  Yes setting those big picture goals for yourself.  But more importantly, making it a day by day way of living, giving yourself a way to feel accomplishment in each moment, well before you reach the finish line.

And, with only ten days away from our half way point, I think we are on the right track.

If you are making your own changes in life, remember to give yourself both long-term goals and daily targets that give you a sense of success.  It makes all the difference.

Have a healthy weekend,

Kelly