Friday, July 24, 2009

A Cheap and Easy Stress Reliever

Ever had one of those days when you have so much to do that you don't even know where to begin? Or when you have so many thoughts and emotions swimming in your head that you don't know which end is up? I know what that's like! When I'm stressed out or something is bothering me, I sit down and write. Getting my thoughts on paper helps me identify my stressors and come up with solutions. Plus, it just feels good to get it all out!

If you don't do so already, I recommend keeping a journal and writing in it regularly. Writing for just 10 to 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your stress level and your mind-set. Many members of my online program use their Fitness Diary for this purpose, but you can also do it the old-fashioned way — with pen and paper.
Need some ideas to get started? Here are some topics you can write about in your journal:

Your day
. Simply writing down a play-by-play of your day can get your thoughts flowing and steer you to other topics.

Your goals

. Writing about the person you want to be and the life you want to live can help you visualize your dreams and come up with a plan for making them real.

Specific problems or worries

. Write about the things that stress you out or events that have upset you in the past. Describe how these things make you feel — and why — and brainstorm a list of actions you can take to counter these problems and feel better.

Priorities and to-do lists
. This is a must for all you multitaskers and responsibility jugglers! When you feel overwhelmed, write down all the things you have to do and prioritize them.

What you're thankful for
. This might sound cheesy, but trust me — it can help you think more positively. Your life will always have room for improvement, of course, but taking time out to acknowledge and appreciate the good things can help you put everything else in perspective.

When you're writing, resist any perfectionist urges. Don't edit yourself, and don't worry about spelling or how your prose sounds. You're not writing for posterity, or for anyone else's sake — you're doing it for you.

- Jillian Michaels

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Moving on...

A lot has been going on the last few weeks. As a lot already know, my husband and I are separating. I know it comes as a shock to a lot of people, because we love each other, and always have a blast together, and seem like a great couple. I have mixed emotions about it, as he genuinely is my best friend, but sometimes when the intimacy and "in love" feelings are no longer there, it's a waste of both our time to try to keep up appearances in order to not look like failures in front of our friends and family. It's been like this for over a year now. I think the only thing that's hard is seeing each other BE intimate with others and wonder why we didn't or couldn't get back to that again. Guess it falls under the "shit happens" category.

My heart, mind and body have NOT been healthy the past few weeks. I haven't been to the gym, haven't exercised, haven't been eating right, and have been battling insomnia. Some of the events of the past few months had finally taken it's toll on me. I lashed out like a dog that had it's last beating by someone. It was nasty. This past Tuesday and Tuesday night was the worst. I fell into such a deep depression, Ry was worried about me. I honestly think I had on some levels a nervous breakdown. I spent most of the evening into morning just crying and shaking so bad, it made me sick to my stomach. I spent time clung to my son's stuffed animal "Balto" curled up in his bed, just looking around, feeling like I failed him as well. I know it's no one's fault, and I'm being too hard on myself, and yadda yadda yadda, but it's hard to deny those feelings. (I'm sure I sound like a complete nutcase right about now.)

I finally settled down around 5am Wednesday morning, but called into work, as the crying and being sick had dehyrated me, and I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I fell back asleep, and Ry and Crusher kept me in good spirits for the day, being total angels, and I thank them SO much for that.

Time to move on. One plus is I got the 2nd job I wanted, and start Monday night. Hopefully work, and keeping myself occupied will help me through all this, because time alone, and spare time just isn't my friend these days. Gives me too much time to "think and sink".

A week from today I'll be on the road and arriving at my parents in Minooka, IL, a southwest suburb of Chicago, outside of Joliet. My cousin is getting married. Seems a lot of relatives have been getting married. It's hard, because my sister and I will be the only "divorcees" on that side of the family. True the cousins and stuff have left to be seen, but everyone on my dad's side have been married 20+ yrs, and most 30+ yrs. I told Ry yesterday, I guess in the back of my mind, I thought when you're with someone for that long, this 1-2 yr rut is nothing, but then again, it's not like it's getting any better. We're just better as friends. I feel like a stepping stone in some ways, but there are things in me that need to change, and things for him that need to change, and if they don't, neither of us will ever have a long lasting relationship with somoene.

Ugh.. see what I mean? I keep going toward the negative, instead of looking forward to the positive. We're going to stay living together, and it's not like we're pushing through for the divorce papers. One thing I do know is that no one except Ryan and I know the whole story of our relationship. They may have bits and pieces, or THINK they know, but they don't. I won't tolerate anyone talking bad about him, thinking it was his fault, nor will I tolerate the opposite. He will always be my family. He IS my family here. I may bitch about certain things that irriate the hell outta me, but in the end, he's a great guy, and just like I know he wants the best for me, I want the best for him and just want him to be happy.

Anywho... so that's where it stands right now. I'm not moving out, nothing is being disrupted, just now we've finally, openly said what we've both been feeling for a while, and now we can both get on with our lives how we want and with who we want. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and words of encouragement and support. You rock!!! If I don't seem fine, don't worry... I will be. Obla Dee Obla Dah, Life Goes On! Peace out!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Don't Speak

No Doubt - Don't Speak lyrics

You and me
We used to be together
Everyday together always
I really feel
That I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe
This could be the end
It looks as though you're letting go
And if it's real
Well I don't want to know

Don't speak
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me cause it hurts
Don't speak
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me cause it hurts

Our memories
Well, they can be inviting
But some are altogether
Mighty frightening
As we die, both you and I
With my head in my hands
I sit and cry

Don't speak
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me cause it hurts (no, no, no)
Don't speak
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me cause it hurts

It's all ending
I gotta stop pretending who we are...
You and me I can see us dying...are we?

Don't speak
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me cause it hurts (no, no, no)
Don't speak
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me cause it hurts
Don't tell me cause it hurts!
I know what you're saying
So please stop explaining

Don't speak,
don't speak,
don't speak,
oh I know what you're thinking
And I don't need your reasons
I know you're good,
I know you're good,
I know you're real good
Oh, la la la la la la La la la la la la
Don't, Don't, uh-huh Hush, hush darlin'
Hush, hush darlin' Hush, hush
don't tell me tell me cause it hurts
Hush, hush darlin' Hush, hush darlin'
Hush, hush don't tell me tell me cause it hurts

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Live in Joy

Just for a moment, live in joy. Forget about what should or should not be, and just let yourself be as you are.

Let go of the need to need. Feel the reality that you already are enough, and that it is truly magnificent.

Do not worry about what will be or what won't be. See and feel the limitless beauty of what is.

Taste the eternal freshness of now. Live fully the boundless miracle of existence.

What you authentically feel now, you feel always. This moment is the most valuable opportunity you've ever known.

Live in joy now. And carry more joy forward as each moment passes.

-- Ralph Marston

Read more:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Just a short note...

... to say I haven't been able to really read anyone's blogs, write anything or catch up this week with anyone. Just a lot of things going on, and hopefully one day I'll get the chance to sit down and play catch up and update you guys and gals.

Just wanted to stop to say I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

P.S. Here's what came through my email today with my daily "Jillian" email. Enjoy!


Exercise: Good for the Body, Good for the Mind
by Jillian Michaels

It may come as a surprise to you that I don't love to exercise. Sometimes I actually hate it. But I do it anyway, because the rewards far outweigh whatever discomfort I feel during a workout. Regular exercise leads to better health, more energy, a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, and a longer life. But it isn't just the physical benefits of exercise that push me — it's what it does for my mental health.

The mental-health benefits start right after you exercise. Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you complete a workout? That you feel relaxed, or even euphoric? That mood lift, often called "runner's high," comes courtesy of natural morphine-like chemicals called endorphins. Exercise floods the brain with endorphins, which help to relieve pain, enhance your mood, and relieve stress.

But the feel-good effects don't stop after the endorphin rush subsides. Over time, exercise provides a major boost to your confidence. As you start working out and getting stronger, your sense of strength in other aspects of your life will naturally flourish as well. To put it another way, if you can survive my workouts, you can do anything — and when you feel that sense of empowerment, nothing will be able to stand between you and the life you want to live.

A Natural Antidepressant

Not convinced that those dead lifts can lift your mood? Check this out: A growing body of research suggests that exercise can relieve symptoms of depression, including sadness, irritability, stress, fatigue, anger, self-doubt, and hopelessness. It's unclear exactly why, but researchers think that exercise's effect on endorphins and other mood-lifting neurotransmitters may be at play. Exercise also lowers your levels of the stress hormone cortisol and helps you to sleep better. Okay, I think that's enough reasons to work out — now get to the gym and start feeling better!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

13 Big Fat Dieting Myths

by: Melanie Thomassian

Wouldn't you agree the diet industry is saturated with unhealthy weight loss misconceptions? This has helped lead to an explosion of behaviors, which do little to encourage good health and well-being in the long run.
I hate the fact that in our day and age for some people "health" equals "fad dieting!"
In truth, there's no quick fix. Being healthy is a constant and ongoing battle. But, rather than listening to the latest lies from the "diet gurus", perhaps we should be trusting our gut instincts a little more.

Here are 13 of the fattest lies about dieting:

1. You don't need to exercise to lose weight
Obviously you can lose some weight without exercising, however the best way to lose it and keep it off, is to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise. The simple fact is this, exercise is important regardless of your current weight.

2. Skipping breakfast helps you lose weight
In actual fact, studies indicate that when you cut out breakfast, you're more likely to take in extra calories later in the day to compensate. And, it's not good for your metabolic state and mood either.

3. Eating late at night hinders weight loss

At the Dunn Nutrition Centre in Cambridge, volunteers were placed in a whole body calorimeter, which measured calories burned and stored. They were given a large lunch and small evening meal for one test period. Then a small lunch and large evening meal during a second test period. Results revealed the large meal eaten late at night did not make the body store more fat.

So, it's clearly not when you eat that's important, but the total amount you consume in a 24-hour period.

4. Certain foods are "good" others are "bad"
This one drives me insane! It's pretty obvious that some foods are better than others, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts etc. But, don't try to tell me I can never eat a piece of bread again...that's just silly! Moderation is the key.

5. Low fat foods are better for you

If a product claims to be "fat free", more than likely you'll find the sugar content is skyhigh. Remember, "fat free" doesn't necessarily mean "low calorie" or "calorie free." To get a clearer picture of what you're eating, check the nutrition label carefully.
It's also worth pointing out that a strictly fat free diet isn't necessary - you do need some fat in your diet - just try to avoid trans fats where possible, and replace most saturated fats with unsaturated fats found in healthy oils, avocados and nuts etc.

6. Fruit juice is as good as eating whole fruit

My motto is to eat foods as close to their natural form as possible, and fruit juice doesn't really fall into this easily. Although not inherently bad for you, you'd certainly be much better eating the whole fruit, rather than taking in empty calories from juice.

7. Weight gain is inevitable as you age
Admittedly, metabolic rate does drop with age, but simply eating a little less would fix that. The problem for most people is that activity levels decrease as they age. So, if you want to make sure you don't gain extra pounds with each passing birthday, increase your activity level and watch your calorie intake.

8. Quick weight loss is best

In truth, slow and sustained weight loss is much better. That way you're more likely to lose excess fat, not muscle. And, you should be able to maintain your weight loss long-term.

9. Weight gain is highly likely when you quit smoking

While it's true that some people do gain weight when they stop smoking, this isn't the case for everyone. Nicotine is said to increase the body's metabolism, however this effect is small, and isn't a good enough reason to put off quitting.

10. Losing weight will solve your problems

If you have problems before losing weight, unfortunately they'll still be there after the pounds are gone. So, what should you do? It's important that you get real with yourself about the source of your difficulties, then set realistic goals to help you achieve what you want in life.

11. Everyone gains a few pounds over the holidays

It is 100 percent possible to enjoy your holidays and still lose weight, or at least stay at a constant weight. How? By eating in moderation. If you assume you'll gain weight during the holidays, it's a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Start out with the right mental attitude instead, and be positive about what you can achieve.

12. It's my "slow metabolism" which prevents weight loss

Unfortunately, people are becoming increasingly more sedentary, and it seems likely this is a crucial factor in the increasing problems with weight gain.
BBC Health report:

"Scientists have measured the exact amount of calories overweight and healthy weight people burn while sitting or lying quietly. This was done by measuring the amount of oxygen breathed in and the amount of carbon dioxide breathed out.

Results from these studies have consistently shown that overweight people use more energy to keep their bodies working. This is because they have larger bodies with bigger muscles and internal organs.
However, after taking into account differences in body size, lean and obese people have been shown to have similar metabolic rates."

13. Fattening foods lead to rapid weight gain
In actual fact, real weight gain is a pretty slow process. If you eat a very fatty meal and the scales are saying you've gained a few pounds, it's highly likely this is due to fluid. If you hang in there, and get back to eating healthy again, those few extra pounds will resolve themselves.

What's the biggest dieting myth you've ever heard?