Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Little Enlightenment


Ok, time for some enlightenment----my meditation stuff I do.  First, let me say that I am a skeptic when it comes to lots of stuff, but this seems to work for ME.

I have meditated off and on for years, sometimes successfully (oh the pure bliss) and sometimes not (damn brain won't SHUT UP!!!!!!!)   It takes practice and the more frequently I meditate the more auspicious the experience. 

Recently I have been aided in my journey to the abyss by using binaural beats from a soundtrack.  Now I researched binaural beats/tones and found that the majority of the scientific data says it’s hogwash.  They say that there were no significant differences in brainwave frequencies between using binaural tones, soothing music/sounds and nothing.  Needless to say I was bit disappointed that, one they don’t work and two, that I fell for an alluring marketing scam.  (Ok, ok, I only did a little research initially, but have done more since!  Call it a desperate impulse buy!!!)

With that said---I still honestly like using the soundtrack. It gives me something to focus on.  It provides me with the bridge to transverse into a state of total, and I mean TOTAL relaxation!  And it gives me some really brilliant sensations—sorta like a psychedelic high as I focus on what feels like, to me anyway, like colorful, electric sparks twisting and turning and gently pulsating through my brain and eventually my whole essences. 

I was initially bothered by some pretty caustic headaches. But this went away once I turned the sound down.  I also am finding that, like a song on the radio, my brain is remembering the tones, so throughout the day I can replay the tracks on my mind when I need a quick fix!

There are lots of binaural tracks out there should you chose to use them.  I have the Omharmonics 1 series offered thru Mind Valley (omharmonics.com).  But am seriously contemplating creating some of my own. Happy meditation!

 Om Mani Padme Hum……… Namaste
 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Random Awareness


The greatest awareness comes slowly, piece by piece.      
~~M. Scott Peck

So the other day at the gym I had this little burst of self awareness.  Not sure how it came about, but it started me thinking about lots of random stuff at the gym as well as throughout my day.  I thought it would be fun to post the inner workings of my sometimes twisted mind when I am working out or adjusting to the life style changes that I am trying to make.  So here goes a list of very random things that have popped in my head over the last few weeks…

·         I’m getting stronger
·         I have to tie my sweat pants tighter
·         I like meat (beef) but it doesn’t like me (heartburn city)  
·         Vegetables really are gross, but I can tolerate some better than before but keep those damn brussel sprouts away from me!
·         OMG I hope I’m not a grunter when I’m lifting
·         Water is pretty yummy
·         I really like working out, why is it so hard to get me to the gym?
·         Yeah baby, I’m gonna be able to do someday that real soon
·         When one does not eat sugary stuff for awhile, fresh hot ewy-gooey chocolate chip cookies can make you VERY nauseated!
·         OMG how does she keep going and going and going?
·         Complex carbohydrates can fix irritable bowel syndrome (teehee)
·         My back hurts whether I am exercising or not, so I might as well exercise
·         I can put my hands on the side grips of the recumbent bike without my butt rubbing on them now
·         I would rather exercise than go to work
·         Two bites and I’m full, how does that happen?
·         Wow, it’s been 30 minutes already
·         I am a sexy beast!

So what random things pop in your head when your exercising????

The Road


             
“It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”  ~~~Unknown

It’s been nearly two months since I started my new health plan.  I can tell you that it has not been easy, nor has it been that horribly difficult.  I am proud to say that I have lost 18 pounds and am beginning to feel a bit better most days
It’s nice to have an objective, independent support person to help guide me in the right direction, provide words of encouragement and mostly reassure me that I am on track.  But I know that there will come a day, a day much sooner that I anticipate, that I will have to forge ahead on my own.  That’s the hardest and scariest part for me really. 

Eating healthier and even the exercise is not the biggest hurdle for me.  It’s maintaining the positive mindset and not giving in to the path of least resistance, which got me to this unhealthy state of living.  It’s realizing that whatever story we tell ourselves will become our reality.  That’s the hard part!  So I am trying desperately to re-script that story by using different strategies to keep me on track and to reinforce the changes that I am making. 

I’ve turned my facebook page into basically a vision board—collecting and posting motivational quotes and uplifting, positive pictures.  I’m trying to shut down the negative self talk and to let the stresses in life go.  I am starting to engage in activities that I enjoy and planning (and dreaming) of those things I want to do.  I am distancing myself from the people and things that bring me down.  I have rediscovered and am practicing in earnest meditation, which my friend, has made a HUGE difference in just a very short time. 

Though it may be silly to some, hard to understand by others, for me being in the right state of mind just makes everything easier!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Expectations


One may miss the mark by aiming too high as too low.
~~Thomas Fuller


Have you ever gone to the movies, been really, really excited from all the hype and reviews only to walk away utterly disappointed?  That’s sort of how the first week of my new plan went.  Not quite up to the expectations that I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I am still very excited and committed. I just expected a different outcome.  Especially considering how hard I worked this week!  It was a tough week with lots of new adjustments. 

I returned to the gym!  YAY me!  I gave it my all! I pushed through the burn, the gasping for breath, the feeling that my heart would explode and the after workout rubber legs!  I even managed to conquer the obstacles that stood in my way of getting to the gym—the heat, the locked door as my pass key would not work, the fear of pain returning to my back.  None of that stopped me!  I logged 300 minutes of strenuous activity my first week back.

My nutrition was right on.  Well, maybe not right on, was told I need to increase my calorie intake a bit, up the protein and eat MORE veggies (ugh). But it was good in that I ate only healthy items.  I forged my way past what the family chose to eat.  I managed to consume breakfast and lunch 5 out of the 7 days. I got 80 oz of water in everyday!  And most importantly didn't feel deprived or have the urge to splurge.

I kept a positive attitude ALL week. Diverted the negative talk and complaining.  I did well all week!

I was excitedly anxious as I went to see the doctor today for my first follow up visit since we made our health plan.  I climbed on that scale, my smile faded and my heart sunk like a ton of bricks!  With shoulders slumped I trudged down the hallway no longer eager to meet with my doctor. The thoughts that flew through my head made me dizzy!  I was frustrated and dishearten.  I just wanted to turn around and run away.  He was going to be upset with me.  He told me firmly that he would help me if I was willing to put forth the effort.  I did! I did!  But he’s not going to believe me and I'm going to be on my own again.

He walked in the room with his nose buried in my chart, jumped on the computer and compared notes, he looked at my journal.  He hemmed and hawed as I sat there defeated.  Then slowly he looked up and a grin covered his face and his eyes sparkled with approval.  Said I did great, 2.5 pounds gone.  I looked at him still puzzle, 2.5 pounds humph, I was expecting like 5 pounds at least after all I worked so hard! 

We talked about how my week went and what I was doing well, where I needed to make some improvements and about my frustration and disappointment.  I soon grew to understand that while expectations can motivate us they can also defeat us.  So what I need to do, what I will do, is follow the plan we developed with the only expectation being by doing so I will achieve my goal.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A New Partnership


It is not only one person's work, it's really a 
partnership and collaboration...
--Christo


Ugh! Went missing again didn’t I?  Boy, can life get busy, or at the very least perceived as busy!  The truth is I haven’t been so busy that I couldn’t write, or exercise or do a lot of things I should be doing.  I just slipped back into that sloth mode again, finding comfort in wasted time on the computer, napping and indulging in ice cream.  Basically I’ve been taking the easy way out.  Ok and not facing the harsh reality in that damn mirror!!!!  I’ve been quite good at being elusive to that Lady in the Mirror these past 6 weeks or so.  She stares out at me and I turn my back or scamper away.  I am not ready for another tongue lashing from her! 

However, she has out smarted me once again, that Lady in the Mirror!  She snuck into the doctor’s office with me today!!!!  She brought the interrogation speech with her and tattled on me! Humph…  Except this time I’m not upset, not in the least.  I have a new doctor who is wonderful and providing me with his ACTIVE support and we put together a really great plan today that will get me where I need to be sooner than later!

It’s not that I don’t have support at home, because my family has been wonderful.  But the thing is with family and friends, they want you to be happy.  So when you’re in the motivate mode they cheer, when you start to slip they give a little push, and when you slip some more they back off because they don’t want you to feel bad (or yell at them!)  But my doctor, while he wants me to be happy, he first and foremost wants me to be healthy!  And this man is so much more tactful than that Lady in the Mirror! We all know it’s so much easier to be ‘nice’ to someone you’re not close too.  There will be no pulling the wool over his eyes, as blood tests and scales don’t lie. He told me that if I am willing to put in the work then he is more than willing to give me the time, the tools and direction to keep me on our plan. 

So I am going to take another stab at making some much needed lifestyle changes...  I know. I know, I’ve said it before how many times!?  But the domino effect of poor choices, denial and self pity are taking a toll on my body.  I will no longer use my body screaming in pain at the simplest tasks, my lungs burning from lack of oxygen, the weather (oh my has it been HOT!), icky vegetables, time, emotions or the hundreds of other, sometimes quite creative excuses not to get healthy!  I am returning to the gym, I’m going back to what was successful for me before as far as food choices and exercise and I AM NOT giving in to what everyone else thinks is healthy for me.  I have a plan!!!!  A real, solid, do-able plan with a safety net should I falter.

I am excited to start this endeavor and finally reach my health and fitness goals....  And I am oh so happy to have an objective partner to keep me honest and on track!

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Love Affair


Why is it as we journey through life we inadvertently lighten the load, only to find that what we left behind was of great value???  I’m not talking about just old relationships and lost friends, but of ideals and pleasurable pastimes. 

In the days of my youth I loved to ride my bicycle.  I road everywhere and anywhere, sometimes out of necessity, but usually for the pure joy it brought me.   So what changed?  Life and priorities I suppose.  Though to this day I do not know why I would put my health and fitness on the back burner!  Well, in truthfulness the reality of that is youthful ignorance of the consequences associated with the poor lifestyle path I chose to take. Then life just snuck up on me and cycling was the farthest thing from my mind!

In my quest to return to better health and fitness I have thought about cycling again.  My kids were all recently talking about getting bikes and I thought well, maybe I should too.  So I did it!  I bit the bullet and bought myself a bike!  My little blood clot scare certainly has lit the fire under my ba-tootie!!!!   Let me tell you, she’s a beauty, a very delightful blue and she’s shiny and sleek, she’s contemporarily retro and oh so inviting.   Yup, I am definitely in love! 

Sunday I went on my first real bicycle ride in almost 27 years!!! I mounted her saddle and headed out the gate and down the road.  I was flooded with emotions.   Oh the joy to the feel the breeze rushing past me, my hair swishing, my face tingling.  I tilted my head back and closed my eyes for a moment and just took it all in!  I was flying, it was utterly invigorating!  I couldn’t help but to smile.  I thought to myself, “I LOVE MY NEW BIKE! I can do this ALL day!!!” 

But as we all know love has its ups and downs!  Moments later my thighs were burning with searing pain in my quadriceps muscles.  I pushed on for a ways, well, a very short way.  I just could not pedal one more rotation.  I stopped along the road side, thoroughly disappointed that my body would not respond.  Was I that broken that I could only ride a half mile?  How could that be?  I wasn’t short of breath, my heart rate had barely risen, I just had no legs.  Then the tears started, as did the pity party.  I wanted to go around the block, just one time! (Mind you I live in the country and the block I chose was a little over 6 miles)  When I rode the bike at the gym a year or so ago I was going 12-15 miles at a hefty clip and now I could barely go a half mile.  I was so distraught and angry with myself.  I was absolutely, completely, without a doubt disappointed in myself!

After a short rest, I trudged on. The exuberance of riding had vanished.  It hurt, it was hot, it was not so fun.  Now it was about redefining my goal and pushing through the agony of my inefficient and out of shape leg muscles.  So, it was pedal, pedal, pedal, rest, make it to that tree, that irrigation tower…  Oh and then there was this little hilI.  That might as well have been an 11,000 ft mountain!  I did not make it around the block, but I did manage about 4 miles including the mountain in the middle of corn county.
   
Once back home I put Blue away and slowly wobbled up to the house on legs of jello.  As the pain diminished, I once again began to smile and plan my route for tomorrow.  I still LOVE my new bike and I am determined that Blue and I will have a long, HEALTHY and happy relationship!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Interrogation


So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete 

realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving 
everything defined as other than yourself.
---Alan Watts 


That Lady in the Mirror glared at me with disgust the other day.  It was more like revulsion really.  I abruptly jumped back with a startle and then sighed as I knew an altercation was brewing.   Let me tell you it was NOT pleasant!  That Lady was brutally honest to the point of being harsh at times; brought me down to my knees with tears stinging my face.  As I sat all crumbled on the floor, silently sobbing, she interrogated  me on my lack of motivation, my own self half truths—ok ok, lies (yes, I still hear her even now!) and bombarded me with relentless facts of where I am headed if I don’t fully commit and make the changes I know I must! 


There is a harsh realization when one sits down and really contemplates the effects of being obese, especially after a scary emergency room visit, for, of all things, blood clots in your arm!  After the Lady scolded and slapped me back into reality I have totally lost any empathy for my woes.   For me, now, after that horrifying ER jaunt, that self compassion—the ‘oh it hurts, it’s hard, my back, my knees, ick veggies…’ is just yet another string of whiney excuses to make my brain happy and avoid the pain of making the right, the healthy choices that are ALL oh so obvious, but oh so hard!

While I have started making some small changes, I now realize before I can make serious changes I must accept and love myself for who and what I am…the good, the bad and all the ugly!  I also acknowledge that while small changes are good, big changes are what it’s going to take to get me where I need to be, where I want to be. Winning that battle will not be easy, but there are things I can do to ease the pain (and please the Lady in the Mirror).
 
I read a wonderful book a while back, Buddha’s Brain, by Rick Hanson, PhD and Richard Mendius, MD.  It talks about the neuroscience of how our brain functions, yet makes a clear delineation that the mind functions separately, and that to change one, you must change the other (and how to do it).  So what does that have to do with all this?  Well, I’m all about easing the pain of any difficult situation, and facing the reality that I am fluffy hurts!!!!  So, while I do not believe in diet fads and quick fixes I do believe that I can change my brain and my mind and transcend into healthy living again.