Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mindful Movement

Hi there! Thank you so much for your patience. I apologize for not getting my Friday post done yesterday.

Today I'd like to focus on mindful movement. I've spoken with you before about using my exercise time to meditate sometimes. Meditation is one of the things that makes my exercise routines very pleasant. I don't meditate all the time, only when I really feel a need to, but I plan to increase my mediation practice over time.

I thought we'd do something a little different this week. The video I selected is a yoga video for beginners and guess what...we're going to learn  yoga from both sitting and standing positions. I really enjoyed the pace of this video and hope you will to.

While you are exercising, please be mindful of how the exercises make your body feel. Make sure you are well hydrated and also have water near by just in case you need a sip during your workout. Also, remember to breathe deeply while exercising. You want to get all that good oxygen rich blood flowing throughout your body. I hope you find this workout to be both a little challenging as well as relaxing.
This workout routine is approximately 25 minutes. Do as much as your body feels comfortable doing and if you want to do more, maybe combine portions of other routine or start from the beginning and do this routine again.

Onward and Upward, my friends! :-) Be well.

Gentle Chair Yoga Routine

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Video

Greetings Everyone! I have not forgotten you. It's been a busy week and an even busier day today. Right now it's 12:08 my time and I am exhausted. I'm going to get some housework done that I wasn't able to do earlier this week. I'm also going to find the strength to get my workout in before bed, at least a short one.

How did you like last weeks video? Sorry for the delay on this weeks video. I just need to catch up a bit. Clearing the clutter helps to clear the mind:-)

Hope you are having a wonderful day/night. I will post our weekly workout tomorrow...or should I say later today. Until then...

Onward and Upward!!!

Friday, April 22, 2016

What I Like and Don't Like So Far

Greetings everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful Friday. I can't complain. It's raining here and I'm feeling very happy...almost festive. I've been looking forward to writing today's post. I wanted to talk about what I like and don't like about the videos so far. Please feel free to chime in anytime you like. :-)

As many of you know I've been taking it slow. I like low impact exercise with short spurts of low level intensity to bring my heart rate a little, but not too much. I've been posting videos of various levels, nothing too high, also some for those who are able to do more. I had a lot of difficulty keeping up with the dancing video, but it was a great fun. I also struggled a with the walking video when they increased the speed. Other than that, I rather enjoyed the walking video. Did it pause with you much? It paused on me several times which I did not like. I used the time to walk in place until the video started up again. It wasn't too bad. I noticed a walking video that appears to be endorsed by the Heart Association. I'm going to take a closer look, try it out for a few days and if I like it, I will post it.

I'm still noticing changes in my body and ability to move better. Still not that much change in my size though I do look a little better in my clothes. What I've noticed most is my increase in energy. Just the other day my phone rang while I was in the kitchen. I didn't have it with me so I did a quick dash around the corner to get it. Let me tell you, a few weeks ago that would not have happened. At best, my dashes were in very sloooooow motion. This time, I got to the phone right at the third ring and I wasn't the slightest bit winded. Impressive. Slow and steady wins the race, but if I don't win, I will at least make it to the finish line.

Today, I'd like to step back a little and post another chair exercise video featuring stretches and light cardio. I like those kinds of videos best. I've incorporated more of the walking and stretching videos into my daily routine than anything else. Does it sound bad for me to admit that I like to lengthen my workout time by starting and ending with stretches? I noticed that I get so much more time in and it doesn't really feel like it. Right now, I'm fluctuation between approximately 20 minutes to an hour depending. Not bad, huh...

Are you drinking enough water? I feel so much better when I drink a glass of water before working out and when finished. I keep water nearby just incase I need a sip during. Staying well hydrated really makes a difference. Just like proper breathing makes a difference. So get your water in and get your breathe on.

Okay... Here's this week's video. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great weekend. I'll be posting again soon.

This week's video is 40 minutes long. Only do as much as you are comfortable doing. Happy moving :-)

 40-Minute Seated Chair Cardio and Strength Workout

Thursday, April 21, 2016

It Takes More than Just Exercise...

I just finished watching a video, "The Made Who Ate Himself To Death." It was such a sad movie. At the end I found out he'd lost the battle to obesity. I'm still affected by what I just saw. Damn! I think about how hard it is to eat right. I still fight the urge to stop at fast food places especially during evening hours. And to be completely honest, I don't know if I would be doing as well if life changes weren't needed for my son. What if he didn't have gut issues? What if he didn't develop seizures? Would I have been strong enough to make the changes that I've made?

I talked to a good friend yesterday. She just found out that she gained weight at her last doctor's appointment. Some of the health issues that were once getting better are worsening again. Her doctor is talking about giving her a gastric balloon. I guess that's better than going under the knife. She seems to be okay with it. I am going to support her whatever her decision. This is just another reminder of how difficult it is to win the battle against ED let alone the war.

I think about you guys all the time and I wonder how are you really doing. I listen through the silence hoping to somehow hear your answers as you read my posts. I'd love to know where you are in your journey and if there are any words of encouragement I can offer. I share my story though my story may not be anything like yours. I offer hope as I continue to find my way. It's not easy and it damn sure takes more than a little exercise to make it all better. For me, working towards beating Ed has been having to make efforts that surpass my wildest imagination and sometimes beyond my ability. It means being able to withstand not having the support that I'd hoped for from family and friends. Do you know, that I have actually asked friends to help me by way of encouraging me to not eat if they hear me munching over the phone late night. It didn't happen. And in some cases they encouraged me to eat more. That's okay, I had to figure out a way to help myself. That's when the premeasured snack came into play. Have you tried that by the way? Or does something else work for you? Maybe you haven't quite figured it out yet. Don't give up.

On Fridays I post exercise videos just to share some ideas and encourage you as well as myself to get moving and keep moving. I've actually found it helpful. Do you? I hope so. I don't ever want to be one of those people who say, "If I can do it, you can do it." I believe you can do it, but that has nothing to do with what I can or cannot do. I believe you can do it because I believe when you work through the crap that started this process, you will see that you are worth the effort and with that you will succeed. Don't give up.

There's going to be hardships and times of smooth sailing...hills and valleys. You know like I know. It's not easy, but necessary. You can't clean things unless they get dirty. You can't fix what doesn't get broken. You can't appreciate good if you don't know bad. And you certainly can't embrace peace if you don't know what it is to come out of chaos. In all things there is something to be gained. It could be experience, knowledge, courage... Whatever it is, when you gain it remember to apply it to your life so you don't keep falling back into the same trap time and time again. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. I am a lover of knowledge, but I didn't always utilize what I learned. Using the knowledge that I've gain through hardships has really made a difference. Glad I finally figured it out.

This post goes out to my friend who is struggling, but still fighting the good fight. I am with you my friend and I hope that you find the strength, courage and ability to get through today. Don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. I pray you receive the support you hope for and deserve. This is just a momentary set back. You will wake up to a fresh new start. Don't give up.

Keep fighting the good fight, my friends. Don't give up.

Onward and Upward!  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Want To Take A Walk With Me?

It's finally Friday! Time to kick back for a moment and relax, but don't relax too long. I don't want to miss today's new workout video :-)

I've always heard that the best full body workout is walking. It's low impact which makes it an ideal exercise for people of all ages.

How would you like to walk a mile in about 15 minutes. It's never to early or late in the day. You don't have to change your clothes. You can take this walk while your kids are napping. You don't even have to leave your home or office. Believe it or not I found a video for walking. That's right a video for walking. Who knew?

Tonight we are going to start with a 1 mile happy walk. Sound's pretty good right? Let's go!! 4...3...2... :-)

1 Mile Happy Walk - YouTube

For dinner tomorrow try oven baked sweet potato fries. I served them last night with a breadless burger. I put a link below for the recipe. With this recipe you may want to play around with your oven temp, thickness of fries and time. I cut my fries a little thin, placed then in a 425 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. There were a couple casualties, but all in all the fries were delicious. I did not make the cashew mayo.

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries + Cashew Mayo

I hope you enjoy this video and even more...I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Onward and Upward!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

How Helping My Child Has Helped Me

I'm sitting at my desk thinking of what to do next when I notice the time. It's time to prepare a snack for my son. I think I might prepare a little something for myself as well.

A quick dash to the kitchen and I find a bit of fresh fruit and a few chips for my son while I get a bowl of my new favorite snack, Skinny Pop. Skinny Pop is a wonderful gluten free treat that is light on hips as well as the pocket.

Changing our diets due to my son's dietary needs has been a huge benefit for both of us. Not just the foods we eat, but how we eat and when. I've always believed children should have a reasonable eating schedule, however, I did not always add myself into the equation. In recent past it wasn't uncommon for me to prepare foods for my son and nothing for myself. Self starvation was a key factor for me then. It took me leaning to love myself before I could add myself to the healthy pot. Now that I have, I continue to develop even more love for myself. I am able to reap the benefits from the decisions I make for my son. What's good for the goose IS good for the gander.

I often think about where I've come from so I can fully appreciate where I am. When I prepare foods I always prepare enough for two, even if my eating is not in the forefront, it's still part of the plan. I've also become more sensitive to bad habits like wanting to get something to eat everytime we go out, even just to run a few errands. Fortunately with awareness and effort I've managed to reframe from doing that lately. Just today while my son and I were out I felt the urge to grab some fries, but I didn't. Eating a healthy meal before going out helped a lot. The ultimate push is my desire to be a better role model for my son and to implement a healthier eating schedule for both of us.

Anyway, to make a short story just a little bit longer :-) I just wanted to say that I'm really thankful for the changes that I've had to make on behalf of my son, because it opened to door way for me to find the strength to make healthy diet changes for myself. Changes that I never thought I'd be able to make. It never hurts to have a little inspiration.

What inspires you to do good things for yourself? If you can't think of anything, than allow yourself to be your own inspiration. When you truly love someone you don't want to do anything to hurt them. That goes the same for self. If you truly love yourself you will not want to do things that hurt you. It starts of slow and picks up momentum as the love you build for yourself grows.

Choose to live well my friends. Love yourselves, be inspired.

Onward and Upward!

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Work In Progress: Inspired to "Move"

Greetings everyone! Happy Friday again. Have you noticed how fast the week has gone by. It seems like I just posted a Friday video a couple days ago. Hmm, I guess time does fly when you're having fun.

How has your week been? I've been thinking of you guys and hoping that you are continuing to be inspired to take a healthier path and create a healthier you. You deserve it!

So far, it has been an absolute joy writing the Friday posts. There's so many exercise videos out there, more than I could have imagined. What I appreciate most are the variety of videos available. There's a little something for everyone and it's free. It doesn't get much better than that. :-)

Have you ever heard of or experienced a weight loss plateau? I've heard of it, but sad to say I've never exercised long enough to experience it. At least, I don't think I have. According to some fitness gurus changing up fitness routines in small increments weekly helps the body to continue losing weight. I've also read that changing of diet over time will help also. Okay, I can see the possibility of having long-term progress when making periodic changes in diet and exercise.

What does this mean to someone who's just starting out with daily exercise and doesn't diet?

Well, I certainly enjoy doing different kinds of exercises. Keeping the same routine gets real old, real fast and for someone like me it's an easy out when I get bored. That's why I make my exercise efforts about the whole body, mind and spirit as opposed to just weight loss. Does that make since? I mean...shouldn't weight loss be part of the prize? You buying a $1 scratch off and winning 10 bucks. Frankly speaking, I don't get that excited when thinking about weight loss. As a matter of fact, it can be a trigger for binging and/or starving. When I think of weight loss only it becomes overwhelming, larger than life, and impossible to imagine, especially when I have so much weight to lose. Every part of my being contributes to the weight loss madness. And then I quit. I quit because I've exhausted myself and have fallen into deep depression. I'm not taking that route this time. No. This time It's going to be different and this time I will succeed.

Success is already at hand because I am focusing on the things that matter most to me which are the things that make me exited about this process. I get exited when I think of my clarity of mind, body feeling stronger, posture's getting better, eating healthier, having more energy, clothes fitting better, happier calmer moods, less hot flashes, lower blood pressure, clearer skin even and oh yeah...there is an added bonus, I'm losing weight too. Booya! 

My daily workout routines are awesome. I'm not locked into doing the same routine every week. Which is part of the reason I look forward to exercising. I do different kinds of workouts while focusing on different areas of my body. For example... Last week I concentrated more on my lower body. This week I'm all about my upper body. That doesn't mean I'm no longer working on my lower body. I've just changed my lower body routine and returned to lower reps. In the meantime, I've increased reps for my upper body. Next week will be vice versa. I will return my focus to the lower body, increasing the reps for my most recent lower body routine. I'll change the routine for my upper body and starting that routine at lower reps and so on... Get it?

Food intake...

That's easy. I don't diet. There's no bigger deal breaker than a diet. I chalk that up to having been on so many diets in the past, starting in my preteen years. Having to cut back on all the food that I love and watching my parents eat sweets in front of me. Too much. I'm not going to live a life of restriction. As you know, my son and I are gluten free. This is due to his seizures. By the way, he's doing very well, only having one seizure in the last 10 months. Going gluten free freed me from eating rice, breads, pastas, and potatoes almost daily. That change alone has breathed life into my healthy transition. Not only that, but I've rekindled my love with veggies. I was once a vegetarian. I'd gotten away from my veggie ways when I married a meat and potatoes man. I don't want to go back to being a complete vegetarian, but I do appreciate having a larger variety of veggies in our diet.

Another aspect of not dieting...I don't want to take my diet all the way down to salads everyday, not this early in the game. If that is something I naturally want to do later on, so be it. I want to eat regular foods so I can learn how to develop a healthy relationship with food. I like the way I'm eating now because I'm eating healthy portions without feeling restricted which means I have less desire to binge. As I continue on this journey, I believe my diet will continue to change for the better. One day I will eat more salads and will still be able to have a piece of fried chicken without blowing up like a puffer fish.

Okay, enough about that. Let's move on to the video. This week we're going to be doing a little dancing. One of the things I love most about this video is the obvious fun they had while making it. Be sure to check out the protein bar recipe at the end of the video. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks delicious. The video lasts about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Keaira LaShae - Dance Workout for Beginners

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Oh Joy...Oh Joy! [Sarcasm]

First of all, please accept my apology if you find this post offensive. It is not my intention to offend anyone. There are many factors to being a women and I for one am open to discussing those factors, one of which is our monthly cycle. If you are uncomfortable with this type of discussion, please do not read the rest of this post. Thank you.


I have experienced many pluses since starting exercise regularly. My moods have been better. My body feels better. I think I look better. And I sleep much better. I genuinely enjoy my exercise time, most of the time. There's an all around good feeling when doing something good for myself, especially not giving up on myself. There's another unexpected gift that I didn't count on. One of the things I asked God for included turning back the hands of time so I could look and feel more youthful. I was blissfully unaware that my request would include the rejuvenation of my menses.

I know this may be an uncomfortable subject for some, but it's one worth speaking on.

I started my cycle at the age of 10. I won't bore you with the details about that. Thirty-five years later I found myself praying to God to release me from the gift that keeps on giving. How ironic that I would receive a double dose of my special gift every December...Merry what? Yes, I speak of the dreaded red dollar days, period, being on-the-rag, or what I so lovingly referred to as my beloved dash, which I experienced approximately every other month. At least that's what I called it in my 50th year as I gracefully flitted into perimenopause, a state in which I've relished the thought of for some time. I won't be the one to tell you transitioning has been easy, but I will say I believed I weathered the worst of it and was finally coming into the home stretch. And then... I thought that train was coming to a screeching halt. Instead it looks like I've been scheduled for a few more runs. I am not happy about this. Oh well, that being said, my symptoms are much milder in comparison to my youth. I attribute that to exercise and healthy changes in diet.

Here's an article I found about the positive effects of exercise for women experiencing perimenopause and menopause. Exercise Recommendations for Menopause-Aged Women

While I'm on the subject, how do you handle cravings during that time of the month? Do you fight them or allow yourself to feed the savage beast inside? I used to struggle with cravings and that feeling of being a bottomless pit every month. Some months were worse than others. I bring this up because I've not yet read anything that discusses this issues for women having eating disorders. Do men go through cycles of cravings or is it just us?

It didn't matter how much progress I made, binging always occurred during my time of month. I never spoke on it. I treated it like a separate entity. I guess I didn't see the relevance or even more of an honest answer, I didn't want to admit it. I was afraid to talk about it because I didn't know what to do about it. It's much better for me now that I've admitted this is a real problem for me. Solution...recognizing the foods I crave during that time and finding healthy alternatives. I have the standard kinds of cravings. Usually I want something sweet, salty and crunchy. In the past I would eat things like chips, dip and chocolate in large quantities. Now I eat healthier combinations, a sort of trail  mix if you will. I like to combine raw baby carrots with peanuts and raisins. Lovely combination. Sweet, crunchy and satisfying. Another delicious combination is dried fruit like apples, pear, mango or prunes accompanied by a small piece of cheese on top of a triscuit or bagel chip. I recommend a triscuit or bagel chips because they offer more bite and longer chewing time, which gives my mind time to sense that my stomach is getting full and I actually get a little tired of chewing too. You may want to use cucumber instead of the triscuit or bagel chip. Pick a healthy solution that works for you.

As I do any other night, I prepare my snack in advance which gives me something to look forward to and curves my need to binge. If this method does not work for you, keep looking for what does. Like me, you may have to try a couples things before you figure it out.

Remember to drink at least 6-8 8oz. glasses of water per day. It's important to stay hydrated and drinking water also helps to curb your appetite.

I was not a water lover, so I used a few tricks to help me get the water down until I learned to love it.

Tip for the day: Add a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange juice to a glass of water. Garnish with a slice of fruit. It looks pretty and is great for special occasions. I sometimes add a sprinkle of cool-aide (original) into my glass of water. Another great way to add a little color and flavor to a glass of water without adding sugar or expense. You could also freeze fruit into ice cubes and put that in your water.

Onward and Upward!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Exercise: Reflection and "Moving" Forward

Hi everyone! Happy Friday!

How are you doing? Did you have a good week? I hope so and if you did not have a good week I hope together we can find healthy ways to deal with the stresses and usher in the joys.

Two of the things that help me the most when getting through stressful times is prayer and affirmations. I pray all the time, that's a given, but I don't always remember to do my affirmations. So on those days when I'm feeling a bit weathered or flat out defeated, I go to my bathroom mirror and repeat the affirmation that is still taped at the top. Remember what it is?
"When I say I love you, I mean I'm committed to working to love you even when it's hard."

I chose this as my long standing affirmation because in all relationships, when one loves they try harder and even harder still when committed. So I am committed to working on loving myself as well as being committed to the relationship that I'm building with myself.

Once the affirmation begins to sink in, I make an effort to remember all of the wonderful changes that have occurred since the beginning of my journey; all the wonderful blessings that have come out of the hardships and how good it feels to have gratitude for it all. Not easy...I know, but doable. Before you  know it gratitude will be a way of life.

I haven't talked much about my personal exercise routine and where I am with that. Shorty after the new year I started feeling less inspired to exercise which had nothing to do with my son's gut issues. A profound feeling of listlessness came over me and it was hard to shake. I will say that my son's gut issues did take my attention so I didn't give much thought to why I felt the way I did.

With each day that passed I thought of more excuses not to exercise. Even in all of that, I continued to make the effort to exercise at least every 3-4 days. Something inside would not let me quit. I couldn't. I've worked too hard to get to this point and I wasn't going to turn back. I struggled for about 2 months and then the clouds began to clear and the sun shined again. What on earth was that experience?! Well, as I ALWAYS say...hindsight is 20/20. Looking back over my journey I realized that I started exercising regularly approximately 6 months ago. So what's the catch? I have a long standing pattern of running out of steam for exercise or anything healthy in about 3-4 months. Everytime I've ever started an exercise/weight loss program I've always quit around that time. Guess what...January was about the 4th months of my current exercise effort. That explains it. What's even better...I didn't quit. SHAZAM! Have I broken the cycle?

YES! I am still exercising! And better yet, I'm back to exercising everyday. That's right. Thank you God! I am still on the road to recovery and doing it better than ever. Now that's not to say there won't be more challenges, but what counts today is I've come fact to face with a pivotal point in my journey and I'm still kickin' it. Yeah!! [doing my happy dance]

Whew! That was a great celebration! Okay, back to work. I haven't forgotten. Today is Friday and it's time to share another exercise video. Did you like the last one? I hope you tried it and are encouraged by it. Do something wonderful for yourself everyday. One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is quality time and moving our bodies is a perfect way to do that. When the body becomes accustomed to healthy movement it's easier to want to keep moving. Take it slow. One day at a time, one move at a time. Feel the good energy flowing through you and around you. Make this time a special time just for you or share this time with your family and friends. Whatever works for you.

There may be a few of you who want to amp it up and do a longer routine. One great way to do that is to combine this week's and last week' s videos in one routine. Start with the stretching and then go for the cardio. Together they make a great 30 minute workout.

I hope you grow to love movement and how good movement can make you feel.

Today's video focuses on stretching the body which is an excellent way to fall in love with movement.

Okay, here we go. This week's video...

Don't forget to suggest your favorite workout videos, healthy recipes and/or food prep ideas in the comment section below. Thanks! :-)

Onward and Upward!