Losing 20 pounds – post 14

Hi All!

I appreciate everyone who has kept me going by asking me about my health journey and keeping me accountable! I will now start to blog more as I seek an agent for my book  :)

But here’s where I’m at.

I’m averaging weight-loss of about one pound of week. Sigh.

It’s beyond frustrating BUT what Don, my ex-fitness trainer husband has told me – my body is transforming the fat it’s stored into muscles as I work out and exercise. So, I’ve been staying off the scale for now so I don’t get overly discouraged. I could boost things up by dropping all carbs, alcohol, etc… but no, I’m not at that point right now. I just need a little patience, moderation and healthier choices when it comes to my diet and not expect anything overnight. I am shedding weight and I have never felt stronger in my life. My thighs are tightening every day and when I sit, they no longer want to spread out!

But for now, I’ve been staying off the scale, but I am due for a weigh in next week and will keep you posted – good or bad!

Something I’ve noticed, however, that I want to write about today is the extra time it takes to prep my food. Drive thrus are a thing of my past (except for El Pollo Loco) and that leaves me little options when I leave work at 11pm.

But, it’s all about planning.

I have learned to make a bunch of chicken wings at the start of the week to bring with me to work to snack on before, during and after. Also, I keep them on hand for a quick protein boost. I’ve learned to cut up veggies so I can grab and go, leaving me no excuse not to have them rather than having a bag a of chips or even a high calorie protein bar. I’ve learned limiting wine is not only smart for losing weight but also for boosting my energy. I’ve learned my skin likes less carbs and my tummy appreciates green things that come from the earth. I’ve rediscovered my love for artichokes, Chinese broccoli, mushrooms and shredded lettuce. And I forgot how much I love steak salads and dill greek yogurt dressing. Also, I’ve fully embraced my love for chickpea flour and have substituted it whenever a recipe calls for flour of any kind. Sour cream has been replaced by greek yogurt and nuts are a better snack than processed crap, so I keep those on hand for when I feel snacky…

Do you have any healthy eating tips to share? I’d love to know!! Meal prep is half my battle of being healthy and losing weight.

 

Quitting Diet Coke – uh oh

I’ve been dreading writing this post. In fact, a friend of mine just last night asked me about my Diet Coke addiction and I told her the post was coming, knowing full well I should have written it by now… Thankfully, she reminded me I shouldn’t wait any longer.

So here goes…

When I went to Palm Springs March 21-23, I allowed myself a few Diet Cokes. Hey, I was on vacation, so I gave myself a pass.

But then, I returned home and went without them for a bit but then allowed a couple here and there. I have by no means returned to drinking that dark bubbly liquid but I would say I’ve allowed about four or so and I’ve only been back three backs.

See, I opened the door and unfortunately, the timing sucks.  I remembered how helpful it can be for losing weight and if you’ve been following my other series, you can appreciate that a DC is helpful. If you opt for this soda, it has no sugar. And for me, it can tide me over all morning/afternoon, letting me have my first meal in the later afternoon without batting an eye and for intermittent fasting, that is awesome.

I should mention I don’t drink coffee so without it,  intermittent fasting is much more difficult.

BUT NO

I have to stop myself. I’m better off without it, keeping it in very small doses, for traveling and weddings and such :) so I just have to come up with another solution.

FYI I have not gained weight but I haven’t lost either.

The struggle is so real people. And for me, it’s daily.

Still weighing in at 141.

Stay tuned….

Losing 15 pounds post 4

I messed up this past weekend and when I stepped on the scale this morning, I looked down in horror to find it reading 141.

UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

So not only have I NOT LOST weight, I’ve GAINED!

When I was 25, I could eat a whole pizza and still lose weight. I don’t understand what has happened to my body. I had no idea metabolism could change this much.

But enough of this pity party for one.

I didn’t take it serious enough. I started the week off doing sit-ups and ended with pints of Baskin Robbins ice cream, bottles of wine and a second helping of spaghetti bolognese.

Lesson learned – I can simply no longer rely on my body to do what it did in my twenties. It needs my help now. As I enter my forties (I’ll be 41 in August,) there are things about my body that I have to accept.

It doesn’t mean I have to accept it and roll over though.

So without wasting anyone’s time with more words, I will write again in a week or so and this time, with serious action and hopefully, a much better report.

(I better because my husband and I are going on a little desert springs getaway after some deadlines we have and I will be getting in my bathing suit… wait, what?!)

Have faith, will lose

#losingtwentypoundsdamnit

Losing 15 pounds post 3

I feel like screaming.

It’s been two weeks since I started my #losingfifteenpoundsdamnit journey of healthier eating and living but the results have not been what I expected.

I haven’t lost a damn pound.

I haven’t gained one either but still.

Not one pound?!  How is that possible???

I’ve forgone tortillas for lettuce wraps. I’ve swapped out licorice for strawberries. I’ve tried to kick it up a notch in yoga and I’ve walked to do my errands. I drink sparkling water at ever meal.

But still, I have somehow not shed one damn pound.

Well… fine then. I am not going to take this sitting down.

But okay, body, I hear you. You want me to work harder and give up more of my unhealthy habits. I know the amount of white wine I consume is certainly not helping my plight and neither is the bread addiction.

Oh, how I love my bread but damn, I have to accept it can’t be a daily thing for me anymore. Multiple-times-a-day-thing if I’m being honest. And power yoga twice a week is not enough. It’s time for me to take my husband’s exercise tips to heart and take my workouts to the next level.

I thought I could get by with minor changes but my body got a good laugh with that one.

Not again, though. It’s on.

I will not look at the scale again for two more weeks but I will definitely be trying harder.

Stay tuned…

#losingfifteenpoundsdamnit

 

Make Healthy A Habit – Day Three

As I was planning the list of errands I wanted to do today, I thought about how I would often bike ride instead of drive when doing errands but haven’t really done so in a while.

I realized it’s because the weather has gotten colder. And the day’s sunlight has shortened. And well, it’s been raining.

And then I felt like laughing at myself.

Really? Am I that soft that I can’t handle a little adverse weather conditions while on my bike?

I did not want that answer to be yes so I bundled up and hit the streets. My husband came along for the ride and we got all our errands done. In the rain. On our bikes.

At one point, we talked about how exercise shouldn’t only be when it’s convenient. Since biking is one of my favorite forms of exercise, I asked myself if I was going to do it only when it was easy.

A problem I think I have with making exercise a part of my life is that I only do it when I feel like it. When it’s convenient for me. But that’s far from being a healthy habit.

Today was a step in the right direction though. (See the picture above. Me in all my layers.)

While I don’t plan on exercising every single day, I do plan on staying healthy and incorporating it into my week –  whether or not it’s convenient.

Make healthy a habit. #makehealthyahabit

 

**For the original idea, please visit here.

Acupuncture

A month ago, I was at the Abbott Kinney Street fair with my boyfriend. We had come upon a booth for an acupuncture school. He had tried it before and as for myself, having read some Chinese philosophy, I had been intrigued in the past about this type of medicine but had yet to experience it. This school was offering free assessments and herb acupressure on the ears, which by the way, say a lot about you. As does your tongue. So we both decided to give it a try.

My boyfriend’s assessment went very quick. Extremely quick, actually. He was finished before my intern even got through asking me preliminary questions as she felt my ear lobes. After some time later, I had learned I had a slow pulse and needed more protein in my diet, big time. My intern acupuncturist had me captivated with information about our mind, our blood and our health. She knew and learned so much about me by simply touching my earlobes and looking at my tongue. I could have sat there for hours but I saw my boyfriend’s patience in the bright sun wearing a little thin so I tried to wrap things up. Before I left though, she gave me her card and an offer to try acupuncture for free at her school’s clinic.

I met back up with my boyfriend, who I had to find by calling his cell since he drifted away, which I don’t blame him, and together we talked about what happened to the other during all the earlobe touching. I then learned why things took so long for me. I need to be healthier. His intern told him, and I quote, “Your ears are very healthy. You are a very healthy person.” Needless to say, my intern did not tell me that.

Fast forward to last week when I brought the coupons my boyfriend and I received at the booth to his house and made an appointment for acupuncture for both of us. We were fortunate to get the same time and day and while he saw a randomly assigned intern, I requested the girl I had met at the fair.

And now for today. After quickly jogging her memory about who I was, the intern acupuncturist remembered meeting me and told me she was glad I came in to give this a try. She did a much more thorough analysis of my health this time. Her questions were those many doctors don’t ask, which I found intriguing because of my sudden awareness of how important they really are. Questions such as, “How’s your libido?” “Do you eat a lot of protein? “How thirsty are you throughout the day?” “Do your fingernails show good blood circulation? Let’s see… They do!” (You can press down on your nail beds and once you release the pressure, if they return to regular color quickly, your blood has good circulation.)

After a great and LONG conversation, the intern checked my vitals (all good!) and then had me put on a gown. I laid down on my chest, with my arms on my side, and she did a procedure called CUPPING. It was fascinating to experience. In certain places, after heating a cup with flame and moving it over my back with the help of oil, she would leave it there and it would create a suction of sorts. Once it was removed, it felt great. I have two red circles on my back right now, which she said will happen if I have toxin-stuff to be removed. So, yeah, I have toxin stuff. This was then followed by four acupuncture needles being placed in various parts of my body. It was a jolt when a couple of them went in but the other two I barely felt. An energy aromatherapy of sorts was used during some of this process as well.

Before I left, I was feeling better just thinking about the information I learned today and how I wanted to implement it into my daily life. I told my intern so and knowing I’m on a budget, she advised me to spend my time and resources on herbs and vitamins right now, to help clean my system and get my pulse and blood moving along better. She also advised some herb treatment that could help with my OCD, which makes me ecstatic because not one doctor I’ve seen for OCD has offered a natural medical solution to this problem. I thanked this intern several times as she slipped me her card and email address, advising me to see her whenever I wanted to discuss my process or do some more cupping or acupuncture.

I learned more in this hour-and-a-half long visit than I have in years at other doctor’s office visits. And I’ve never had a doctor’s office visit that lasted this long!

With the healthcare situation being what it is in the US right now, with primarily government, pharmaceutical companies and health care insurance firms deciding what’s best for us, I can’t think of any better time than now to begin to learn about alternative medicine.

But I have to walk the talk.

From now on, I’ll be writing one blog post a month detailing my experiences with Chinese medicine, alternative medicine and my adventures in the world of yoga, which is something I’ve added to my life recently but have yet to get serious about. It’s time now though. I want to do it.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
– Lao Tzu

7 days of November ’12

THE IDEA…

As those who read my blog know, I love giving myself little projects that help make me think outside the box, do new things and add some fun and excitement to the daily activities that are part of my life. Last December, I did a month-long project where over thirty-one days, I did things I didn’t typically do and then the following April, I gave myself themes for each day of the month to learn and/or do something new. I loved doing these and now, I decided to do another project, which I like to call…

7 Days of November 2012

Over the course of the next seven days, starting tomorrow, November 18, and continuing until Sunday, November 25, I will be doing tasks contributed by a certain group of seven people whom I respect and are a part of my life. I asked each one to come up with something for me to do for a day, as long as it didn’t cost too much and didn’t harm myself or others. And all seven of the people I asked not only decided to be a part of this project with me, but contributed thoughtful ideas that I’m super excited about, and to be honest a bit nervous, to implement over the next week.

I will not be listing the ideas here at this point. But each day over the next seven, I invite you to read my blog daily or however often as you prefer to see what idea I was given and how it went after I experienced it. As usual, I will start a fresh page for this project. (The two other previous projects also have their own page, as listed to the right on this screen…)

I will say a few things though before I embark on this next project of mine.

Each person I asked means something to me.
Each person I asked is someone I care about and someone whom I wanted to contribute to this project.
Each person I asked put a part of themselves into their idea, which makes this week-long project extra special for me.

The players are:
my sister, my brother, my boyfriend, my dear college friend, my writing partner, my close friend of the past eight years and a prior boss of mine who has become a dear friend to me over the past seven years.

Their ideas will be revealed as my week-long blog unfolds but I will leave you with these thoughts about tomorrow, the first day of this project.

This idea comes from the man in my life. He’s taking me to his gym and teaching me some workout moves. Now, I’ve only been to a gym perhaps two times in my entire life but he’s well versed on working out and has a beautiful body to show for it, so I’m excited. If nothing more, it will be interesting and I’ll get to see what he does five days out of the week.

Question though. One shouldn’t wear jeans and converse to a gym, right?

DAY ONE

Today, I kicked off my week-long project with the idea that came from boyfriend. His plan was for me to go to the gym with him and go through a work out routine.

Now I should preface this with some facts. He loves to work out. I don’t. For those who know me, they know this is not what I like to spend my time doing. But I went today because that is what this week is all about for me. I asked some important people in my life to give me a task for the day and then, in turn, I would do it. My hope is for these things to help me see life through their eyes and also offer me the opportunity to experience new things that perhaps I wouldn’t otherwise…

So I went, to an actual gym. And I did some machines and picked up weights and used a StairMaster and actually did what people call a “plank” and sure, it was all interesting and I entered the gym-goers world and while I felt like a fish-out-of-water, I rolled with it, mostly to experience what my boyfriend does five days out of the week, but also to give it a try for myself. Also, I know it’s important to him. Exercising does intrigues me but to be honest, I would much rather do it at home or in my neighborhood…

So, does this make us incompatible?

I suppose that depends. But first a story.

A friend of mine told me about a date he went on this past week. The girl he was having dinner with asked him about the things he was looking for and thought he should have handy a list of the attributes he wanted in a woman. But he didn’t. And I don’t blame him. He did tell me, however, that HER list didn’t have much to do with the actual person she was looking for. Rather, it had to do with the money in his pocket and the awards on his wall, so to speak. I thought it quite astute on his behalf to be able to identify that this woman held rather shallow values and my friend, whether he knows it or not, is anything but shallow. And he helped me realize something…

It’s cool the guy I’m dating likes the gym. I really don’t care either way, as long as he’s healthy. Going today was a fun and novel thing to do for a random Monday afternoon but I think, for me, I’d much rather walk and jog around my neighborhood, continue to careless about sweets and do some situps in my bedroom than go to a gym. That’s where I’m at. But now I know what he does and what his routine is and his beautiful body shows his efforts. I’m glad it means something to him. And I’m glad he shared it with me. And while I hope my body remains physically appealing despite not going to the gym, I can’t help but really hope it’s my mind and who I am that matters most…

DAY TWO

Today, the idea for my project comes from my sister. She works at a coffee shop right now while she learns and prepares for her goal of opening up her own restaurant. And she loves coffee. She’s a true Sicilian, as is everyone else in my family. Coffee is plentiful and pouring daily in our household and after dinner, it’s a staple and thoroughly enjoyed… except by me.

I have never really had a full cup of coffee. Sure, I’ve had some tastes here and there but I just don’t care for it. The smell is fantastic but the taste, not so much. I’ve always preferred a diet coke after a meal or in the morning.

Today, though, my sister’s idea was for me to go to a coffee shop and order a real coffee drink and give it a chance. I thought it was cool to get an idea about what she and so many others like and also, to buy a product she knows a lot about and sells daily. So, I just happened to be talking to a friend of mine, who also loves coffee, and mentioned this to her. She suggested ordering a sugar-free vanilla latte from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. There’s one right on my way home so I stopped there and decided to give it a try. It felt weird not to order an iced or hot tea, as that’s what I always order in a coffee shop, but I went with it. As I walked to my car, I enjoyed the heat in my hands as the wind slapped against my face but I was scared to taste it for fear of burning my mouth. Do they come out so hot you should wait? I seriously don’t know. But I waited about ten minutes and then took a taste.

Yeah, it tasted like coffee. I really liked the frothy vanilla milky foam on the top though and drank that down quickly but then, the coffee hit… and well, I found myself slowly taking sips over the course of the next hour. Granted, I was doing something at the time but still, it took me a while and I only got through about half of the cup. And I ordered a small.

All in all, it was cool to try something new, and I learned I really like frothy vanilla milk, but yeah… I probably won’t be ordering another one anytime soon.

DAY THREE

This one comes from a dear friend of mine whom I met in college. We no longer live near each other nor do we get to see each other too often but she will always remain close to my heart, for many reasons. Her idea came to me as a choice. I could either give a television show she likes a chance “Downtown Abby” or read a book she likes “50 Shades of Gray” – both being two things she knows I don’t normally watch and/or read.

I dig this idea because it made me go outside my normal zone with pop culture, something I know next to nothing about. I’ve heard a little about the television show but I opted to go with the book because I know it’s tremendously popular and I’d like to talk to her about it after I read it.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something I can do in just a day’s time. I’m currently rereading “To Kill A Mockingbird” and being inside that world, I’m hesitant to jump into another world at the same time. So this particular day will be a bit prolonged. “Fifty Shades of Gray” will be the very next book I read though and a future blog will be written all about it… so please stay tuned!

DAY FOUR

The idea for this day came from my brother, a married father of two. He asked that I put others before myself, such as if my mom asks me to do something, I do it even if I’m busy… His motivation is for me to “begin to understand a big part of what its like to have a child and or husband.” So… what better day to do this than Thanksgiving?!

It was much more difficult than I imagined it would be. I like to move on my own schedule. That’s just how it is and I’ve set up my life to allow me to do that. But today, things were different. Normally, I wouldn’t start cooking until it was closer to the time I planned on eating but my mother loves to prep and get things done early so when she wanted me to peel the potatoes at ten in the morning even though we were eating around 4 in the afternoon, I did it. No questions asked. I also did all the dishes that were dirty at the time and prepped the green beans too. I felt good because I love my mother and I want to do things for her. So this was no big deal. It got tricky though when my boyfriend and siblings and relatives got to the house – who to focus on?! I didn’t know. So I chose my boyfriend and mother primarily for this exercise and tried my best to do what they needed and even tried to figure it out in advance before they had to ask. I may not have succeeded as great as I would have liked, but I did learn an important lesson…

It’s difficult to be a parent.

Now, this may seem odd considering I haven’t even mention kids yet but I do have nephews and the two of them were around. I do typically put their needs above my own when I’m with them out of my desire to do so, not because I’ve been told to do so, so they aren’t really a part of this exercise. But, they have helped me realize I prefer to be an aunt rather than a mother. With marriage, I don’t believe when one gets married they need to lose their identity or alter their life to the degree of never putting themselves first and I truly want to be married. BUT when one does chose to become a parent, then, well.. another person should truly come first, especially when one’s children are babies and young kids because they’re solely dependent on their parents and that’s a great responsibility. Actually, I think being a parent is the greatest responsibility one could take on for oneself.

Now, I’ve been blessed with parents who not only put myself and my siblings first while we were growing but still do and I’ll forever be grateful. In fact, I wish they would put themselves first now but they don’t.

I’ve realized a bit ago, having children isn’t the path I want to take. Perhaps it’s my love of life and spontaneity and freedom to do as I please that has led me to this decision but regardless, at least I’ve identified that I don’t want children of my own rather than pretend I do or have them without fulling realizing what that means. I think parenting is one of the most difficult challenges an individual can face. But perhaps it’s also the most rewarding as well. No matter how you look at it though, it’s the greatest responsibility, as I’ve said, and I wonder what this world would be like if only those who truly wanted children had them and those who don’t, did not…

DAY FIVE

My friend Jim, who was once my manager at a restaurant I had worked at previously but has since become a good friend, gave me the idea for today. He knows I am an Independent, who leans toward Libertarianism, and that I do NOT care for the job my current president, Barack Obama, is doing. We often have great political discussions though, typically disagreeing, but still, I believe we respect each others opinions and agree to disagree more often than not.

But naturally, he gave me a political suggestion for this project of mine. He asked me to find five positive things to say about President Obama and post them on Facebook. I did this and now, will post them here as well. While I’m sure “Barry” is a great person, I struggled with this one, but here is my list and it’s all true…

5 Nice Things I can say about President Obama
1. I respect his pro-gay marriage stance.
2. I deeply respect his repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”
3. He seems to be a family man and I think that’s wonderful.
4. I love that he’s an Apple user!
5. Although I disagree with him on most things, I respect his desire to do what he thinks is best.

DAY SIX

The idea for this day comes from my writing partner, who has been a friend of mine for about fifteen years. Before I write what her idea was, I’d like to tell a little story because it helps me understand what she wanted me to do and so perhaps, it will help my readers. I should preface that this idea is more abstract than tangible so I had some freedom on the “how” of implementing the idea into my day. But first, my story…

About a month ago, I noticed my friend hadn’t called to make a writing date in quite some time and also hadn’t responded to my texts, calls or emails over the course of several weeks. So, finally I sent her a text that said this was odd and I was worried about her. Within twenty minutes, she called me to say sorry about dropping off the face of the earth and that she had been working a lot but wanted to write so that was cool with me and we made plans to do some work on the upcoming weekend. Then, as we were hanging out and getting into our writing groove, her roommate, a young sweet girl, told me she had been fired from one of her jobs. I responded by trying to find the positive side of it, something I typically do I guess, because my friend then said, “See, Christina. You’re not someone to call when one wants to have a pity party and feel down about something. You don’t let them, always trying to see the silver lining. Sometimes you just need to feel bad and you’re not the person to have around when doing that.”

Ok. That’s interesting. I paused… and thought about it. And you know, I suppose she’s right. I like to see the positive side of things. I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of person and yes, I don’t like pity parties. Not that I want people to be soldiers, there’s a time to grieve, but really, why focus on it? I told my friend, “Yeah, okay, but I’m one of the first people you call when something good happens. Why? Because I truly enjoy it with you.” She then paused. And a minute later, smiled.

Now, her idea for me was: “I know u don’t like to wallow in pity and I’d like to see you try”…

I had no idea how to do that so I decided I would research the “depression” stage because she had mentioned it and gave me the example of accompanying someone through it without finding a silver lining. Well, I had some work to do that day but finished around 9pm and my plan was to hit my computer and get google’ing as soon as I got home. But then, as I was driving home, I realized I didn’t need to.

As it so happened, I WAS around someone that day who was not really enjoying the job they currently had. Perhaps it was on a subconscious level, but I found myself feeling their pain for a little bit but sure enough, before I knew it, I was telling my friend why their job was lucky to have them and that not all things are bad about it, such as… and I went on. My friend then said, “yeah, I think things are going to be okay.” I don’t know if they will be, but that’s not the point.

Yes, my friend wanted me to not see the silver lining in everything, but bottom line is that’s not who I am. I’m a positive person and I choose to live my life from a place of positivity. Take it or leave it. Some things aren’t negotiable.

But Victor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search For Meaning”, a philosophical book about his time spent in Nazi concentration camps, can perhaps illuminate this concept better than I:

“We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — P.65-66”

I choose my own way, and it’s paved with positivity no matter what road I’m on.

DAY SEVEN

This idea comes from a great friend of mine, who is my fitness guru, my healthy eating resource and all-around exercise Queen. If I have a working out or eating healthy question, I can turn to her with confidence that I will not only get a correct answer but a reason why it’s correct.

She knows though that I have a carb problem. Bread, potatoes, rice… love ‘em all. I can eat all three of those things, daily. My friend, however, has helped me understand why that isn’t the best idea and I’ve tried to make some adjustments to my diet.

But yes, my name is Christina and I’m a carb-aholic.

And so comes her idea:

1. eat ONLY: fruits, vegetable, proteins and legumes. You are allowed to ask me if you have any questions. That means no carbs (other than fruit) just in case you had any sort of confusion on this.
2. not eat anything after 9pm at night
3. work out for one FULL hour, like 1/2 hour cardio and 1/2 hour strength, or whatever you want. No, walking does not count.

4. read some sort of articles on health and fitness so improve your overall knowledge.

Well, I must admit. By 9am, I had already failed at this.

My nephews were over that morning so naturally, I was awoken around 8am. On a Sunday, mind you. And about an hour later, I heated up some leftovers in the microwave because sometimes I like leftovers early in the morning. Kinda odd though, considering I hardly ever eat anything more than fruit before noon, but nonetheless, I heated up some food and as I was eating, I started telling my mother about my no carb day. A few moments later, my mother looks into my bowl and says, “Rice is carbs, you know.”

Wait. What? That can’t be right? It is? Oh crap. Of course it is!

So I basically failed at this before I even began. Shame shame shame. I attempted then to try to start from there but the day had already been tainted and I failed to even remember the rest of the day’s activities I was supposed to do, so I made a decision.

I get a do-over.

Please check back on Thursday, November 29th, for this idea to come to fruition because I will be cooking dinner for my parents that day and it will be extra challenging for me to cook a full meal with NO CARBS…

Ways to exercise without going to the gym

Sometimes, in the name of health, you just have to force yourself to do things you really don’t want to do.

Things like quitting smoking. Brushing your teeth. Flossing. And my personal Achilles heel, exercising. What I particularly find unappealing though is exercising in a gym. I should disclaim I’ve only been in an actual gym a handful of times, and that’s counting the little one-room thing an apartment building I lived in had, but I know enough to know I don’t like them. Anyway, as those who read my blog know, I recently, in an attempt to stay healthy, tried doing a routine of exercising at my house, one put together by a workout enthusiast friend I have who knows her shit, but I grew bored with the whole repetition thing and didn’t care for how much time I had to devote to doing it. So let’s just say, it wasn’t for me.

I have, however, for many years, done something I like to call “forced exercise” – exercise done during time you would be using anyway to do something else but now put exercise into that equation. For example, I routinely take the stairs rather than the elevator. I figure, I’m going up, so why not do a little exercise in the process? For me, it works perfect and I was thinking, in case there are any others out there like myself, why not share some of my ideas. So here goes…

WAYS TO EXERCISE WITHOUT GOING TO A GYM (aka FORCED EXERCISE)

1. TAKE THE STAIRS instead. Though mentioned in the paragraph above, it’s truly the best way to force yourself to exercise.

2. LIFT THE HEAVY BOXES yourself.

3. STRETCH whenever you are sitting. Repeat every ten or twenty minutes for however long you happen to be sitting.

4. WALK don’t drive if it’s less than a mile. (And for the real adventurous, JOG.)

5. SCRUB YOUR SHOWER, don’t just spray and wipe.

6. BABYSIT any child under four. For bloated days, make it two kids under three.

7. CARRY heavy things around while you do whatever it is your doing.

8. When you TIE YOUR SHOES, why not do a few SITUPS? You’re basically in the position.

9. Give those you like MASSAGES.

10. DANCE while you clean.

11. And always PARK in the first spot you see, whether or not it’s the closest.

exercise!

For those who have been following my month of deciding to incorporate exercise into my life, I hope I don’t disappoint you too much. For those who haven’t, please see my former blogs exercise? and exercise. for a recap of my exercise adventure.

Soooo…. I meant well and I didn’t exactly fail at it, but I didn’t fulfill my goal as much I would have liked.

Here’s the truth. I wanted to exercise three times a week but in reality, I pretty much did it once a week.

Here’s what happened. I hate routine. I really do. No excuses but at first I thought I could do it every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and after the first week of that, I thought to myself, “Christina, you hate routine. Just do it any three days out of the week.” So the second week, I altered the days and then forgot when exactly the new week began and the old one ended and what days I did it and so on…

But I did keep exercising, sort of, if once a week counts? In my world, I’ve decided it does.

Yes, I set a goal but then determined it was wrong for me and so… I changed it. Roll with the punches right? I try not to be too rigid but I also try not to give up. So, I’ve decided this…

I like jogging/power walking and doing body crunches (who knew!) So, I’ve altered my goal to fit my needs and it’s this – exercise at least once a week, try not to eat carbs after ten at night (I love sandwiches and work late so this one is especially hard for me) and walk as much as possible.

Three days a week? It just isn’t me. If I was trying to drastically lose weight or something, I’d be more rigid but the reality is I’ve already lost about three pounds doing just this and that’s enough for now so it’s just about being healthy and that’s something I want to do everyday. In particular, less Diet Coke, I’m down to about one a day on most days, less carbs, more cardio, more walking rather than driving if possible, less sugar and wine and stretching every day.

And you know what, I feel better after this month regardless of routine or not. It took me a bit to find my exercise groove, but I’ve found it and I like it. And it’s here to stay. (But I will write another blog about this six months from now to let you know the latest in my exercise saga…)

exercise?

Okay, judge all you want, but I will admit I’ve never really exercised.

Well, that is until today. Sure, I’ve done situps in my bedroom and have walked to the beach and even took a yoga class, once, but exercise has never been something that’s interested me. At all.

That is, until now. As many may relate, when one gets older, exercise becomes more and more important, if for nothing else than to circulate the blood. But also, as I’ve noticed, one’s metabolism can start to slow down. Now, I’ll disclose that I have been fortunate to have had a hyper metabolism all my life but lately, I feel that it isn’t at its peak anymore and this has really bothered me. To each his own, right? But I’m also motivated by wanting to be healthier and keep my body in prime shape. So…

I turned to one of my closest friends, who not only knows practically everything there is to know about working out, but she’s beautiful, toned, fit and has a body a supermodel might kill for. And she’s been so good to me. I truly wonder what I’ve done to deserve such an amazing friend… In fact, I tried to cancel today and she wouldn’t let me off so easy… Thank God! She’s been so supportive in trying to help me, since I had told her about my concerns about all this, and I feel so lucky to have someone like her in my life… But on to the exercise part right now.

She worked me out today. Power walking, jogging, lunging, stretching, crunches, weights, cardio, you name it. I had to ask her what a crunch was because I had no idea. And she showed me how to apply this all to a daily routine and how to do it right. She taught me about eating well, how best to exercise, what to wear when doing so, and so on. She even explained what cardio meant to me, since honestly, I would fail a test if that was the essay question.

And you know what…

I feel great. It was tough though. By the end, I was practically begging her to stop but tonight, I feel good. And motivated.

Regardless of whether you want to lose weight, be more healthy, tone up or just plain feel better, exercise is really great. There is a reason doctors always recommend it and I’m finally starting to realize that…

My goal is three times a week. But this is quite a new thing for me. So check back next week when I write a blog about my first seven days of exercise…