Redefine beautiful!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

31 Days to Fit and Fabulous

Facilita' d' uso!  Easy does it!

Today's post is dedicated to Jan and to Ms. Bucket of a few months ago.

Begin by chanting this mantra:  I am all I am right now.  I do what I can.

Jan of bobbypin'sboardwalk blog wrote to me of her dislike of cooking and/ or preparing food.  Her angst came from her "all or nothing" view about her "diet' and as a result, she'd sabotage her efforts in losing a few unwanted pounds.  Because she ate mostly fast and "convenience foods", she felt whe was already a failure  and this made it difficult for her to maintain any kind of progress as she always felt like she'd already "blown it".  Feeling like a failure is the worst place to be when making any kind of lifestyle change, especially when it comes to a woman and her body!

The truth is, because of all the "diet" books out there with hundreds of pages of recipes and cooking instructions, we've become afraid to eat normal!  Normal just isn't good enough when we should be juicing our own wheat grass and eating raw, organic, vegetarian, vegan, whole, slow, cruelty free, hormone free,  free range, free trade, free from additives.  Holy cow!  It is no wonder we end up hating food!  Only to binge on it in order to fulfill our own worst nightmare: we are weak and undeserving.

The reason I have a section on organize is because most of our eating issues are bottled up stress and anxiety about how others perceive us.  Do we measure up to the standards we read about in the magazines and see on television?  I have given up on the media for the most part as I have found so many contradictions.  I subscribe to one new magazine as it  shares several points of view on a particular subject or story and has very little commercial advertising.  Thus, I don't have to look at skinny women in airbrushed displays telling me I should use this product to make me be all that.

Organize your own personal lifestyle.  Who are you when it comes to eating and exercise?  Are you the kind who enjoys an hour or more at a gym diligently sticking to a program?  Do you hate to sweat and have achy muscles?  Do you love to lay around on your off time or take a ten mile hike?  Do you love the tastes and textures of a variety of foods and look forward to new recipes or are you mostly a creature of habit and like to eat the same things day after day?  Getting to know yourself with regards to your body is key in creating a lifestyle strategy you can live with forever.

Write a small paragraph to yourself starting the first sentence with:

  • My usual day of eating looks pretty much like this...
  • My ideal exercise program would be....
  • In order to have the kind of body I desire, I am willing to change ...
Once you see who you really are, stop beating yourself up already!  You are who you are.  And you are perfect because you are YOU.

Drink water and water type beverages.  More, more, more!  Just do it.  This part is easy if you don't think too much about it.

Exercise should be simple and prescriptive today.  When I say prescriptive I mean the exercise should be corrective in some way.  Movement is the most important type of exercise you should be doing.  Moving with purpose and intensity is the best especially if the movement could be balanced for all of your muscles.  Since most movement is imbalanced we need to correct our muscles with weight or resistance training as well as stretching muscles that get tight from over-use.

Most people that workout  are not aware how important balance is,  For example, the strength of the muscles of the pectorals or chest should be in balance with the strength of the muscles of the latissimus dorsi or back.  Without making this too complicated, when you perform push-ups, try to perform the flexing phase (as you are releasing back towards the floor, bending your elbows) slowly, concentrating on using your lat muscles. As it gets more difficult for your chest, bring your knees to the floor or closer to your hands, as you push up and bring knees off the floor or farther away when you come back towards the floor.  In fact, practice right now.  Stop reading and get on the floor for twenty of the best push-ups you can do!

Make the practical and simple exercises the ones that you perform regularly if you are not sure or don't yet have a program that is consistent.  Start with my video and make it consistent.  Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Learn about your body in it's simplest and most effective movement.  Increase your intensity each day you exercise.  Eventually increase the repetitions you perform.  The idea is to be consistent!

Calories count and you know how I feel about that.  Make them count, people!!!  Make a pact with yourself that no matter what, you will honor yourself with the best of the bunch no matter where you happen to eat lunch.  If you are dining at a fast food place, think for a moment what your best choice might be.  I'm not talking about those awful dried up salads with dressing packets, I am saying that if you insist upon a fast food place keep your choice light.  Look at the nutrition information, they all have them now, and go lighter than you usually do.  Perhaps even a bit healthier, while you're at it.   Small changes add up!!  Remember Helen!  A great book, Eat This Not That, has hundreds of better choices when it comes to fast or junk food.

Here it is in a nut shell:  Eat only what YOU REALLY WANT.  Eat less of it.  Eat less junk as much as possible.  Eat more vegetables whenever you can, even the tiniest shifts make a huge impact.  A little trick:  Drink 16 ounces of water before you eat.  Trust me, this works.  Just do it!!

I would like to offer a small suggestion here.  How about you try to cook just one good meal a week?  Just for kicks and giggles.  No pressure to do it right, just for the heck of it.  This is simply to bring you back to being in love with food again.  When you love food, you savor it and enjoy the whole experience, at least some of the time.

My zucchini pancakes made savory and with the blossoms!

Imagine there's no diet.  No shoulds or shouldn'ts.  No bads or goods.  No rights or wrongs!  Imagine there's no fit police watching your every move.......(sung to John Lennon's Imagine).

La vita e abbastanza grande!  See, life is really quite grand!  Now, go to it!


  1. Fabulous post. I am reading Paul McKenna's book on changing your eating habits for good, and he says exactly as you say. Thankfully since moving to Spain where lunch is the most important meal of the day, I cook fresh food everyday. I don't think I've eaten fast food in the 10 years I've lived here. If I'm on the run, I'd much rather stop for a healthy "tapas" than something fast food.

  2. I shall get Paul's book, Vanessa.

    It would be so great to have "Tapa's" hangouts here that were convenient and somewhat quick. Love that style of eating.

  3. This is by far the BEST post I have ever read in reference to weight and health. You have me really thinking. By the way I wanted to post earlier, but my mother buzzed and wanted me to go to the doctor with her and, of course, go out to eat. She chose Wendy's. SO -- I chose the chili, even though I really wanted the sandwich and fries. I THINK it was healthier.

    I am really thankful to you for helping me, and I will write the paragraphs, as you suggested. Love that idea. I also found your videos on You Tube and was impressed. No fancy equipment required!

    OK -- so as you can see, I'm thinking now, viewing this as a way to avoid more failure. I can't say I'm going to get out of my comfort zone because I am not in a comfort zone. I'm trying to find "my" zone, and I believe that's what you are encouraging me to do.

    Yes, this could work.


    OK if I share this post on my blog tomorrow? I love it!

  4. Thanks Jan,
    Look forward to keeping the ball rolling through the weekend in my Saturday post. oxoxox

  5. "Prescriptive"...a great way to look at exercise. Makes a lot of sense. I found the paragraph on balance helpful as well. Oh, and those zucchini pancakes! Yum. Pretty platter!

  6. Awwwwwwww - love blooms between Jan and Debra - two of my favorite ladies.

    You are doing a knock out job with these posts.