Redefine beautiful!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Start with what you LOVE!

When I am wanting to live a bit more lean, I will wear clothing that moves.  This way I can do my exercises on the run.  A bit here and a bit there.  For my "go to" exercise I will do my  Plank Dogs Start in downward facing dog.

If you are wanting to lose unwanted and unhealthy pounds you must first shift your thoughts from, "I have to lose weight; This fat makes me feel like such a loser; or "I don't want to have to deal with thinking about this right now." to that of, "I enjoy everything in moderation because it makes me feel so much better to eat lighter."

Then move carefully and seamlessly to plank.
Instead of panicking and dousing your energy with fear, ("I'm afraid I will fail again.") it is time to calm down and give yourself a big hug!  Diets usually fail because of the state of mind of the dieter.  Most people think of losing weight with fear that they will suffer and be deprived.  Fear makes us become emotionally charged and the result is irrational assumptions of failure, suffering and overall negativity.  "I will have to stop drinking my wine; I'll never get to eat chocolate again;  I can't go out with my girlfriends!"

You can modify the plank by taking it to your knees.  You will  still want to keep your core muscles active and shoulders very stable!

When lowering body in chaturanga, keep your mid-section strong and straight!

Just for today, make the decision to NOT panic about eating or working out.  Instead, eat just a bit less than normal or make a better choice whenever you can.  Just for today give yourself permission to only workout for five minutes.  If you end up doing more, double hugs!!

End in cobra or, your back can handle it, upward facing dog,   Push back to  downward facing dog carefully and slowly.  The slower, the harder!

Monday, March 28, 2011

"I'm Back!" (Rebound Weight Gain)

It's the little things we do that create the big changes.

One of the most difficult aspects of my profession (fitness training) is when a client realizes ten to twenty pounds later that she has gained her lost weight back.  I would say twenty-five percent of my long standing clients have had this frustrating experience.

When in doubt: water, water, water!

It usually starts like this:

"I don't want to weigh in today.  I went totally crazy over the weekend and ate copious amounts of chocolate (or whatever)."  To which I reply:  "This is the best time to weigh in, so that you know where you are, now, as a result of going overboard and get focused again."  (Now I have to ask, why is it perfectly OK to check our blood pressure, cholesterol and our temperature, but not our weight?)

"No, I don't think I could handle it."

And on it goes, week after week until her favorite jeans have been sitting in the closet for a few months.  In the mean time, her denial about what is happening to her body is keeping her from wanting to be willful with her program.  Old patterns resurface like eating mindlessly while watching TV.  Or more excuses as to why she didn't go for her usual walk (link to my YouTube video's for a no excuse fast workout!) and opted instead to "deal with something more important" like putting stray photos into an album.

I alsways feel better when I have my favorite healthy, lean foods around to keep me revved and ready for action!
This well meaning woman then starts to justify eating two helpings of mac and cheese (or an extra large wedge of homemade carrot cake) because she "hardly ever eats stuff like that".  I am here to say that most women in the US eat more than they need to maintain good health.  So why do we think it is down right obsessive if we endeavor to moderate our caloric intake?

Discover new recipes that you can make easily.  This one from Ellie Kreiger, "the Foods You Crave" is fantastic.
I am going to dedicate the next few weeks to getting on or back on track with your fitness and diet and learn ways to stay the course even with the occasioned pig-out or lazy slump.

These were the pants she used to wear at the hospital.  Nurses are always giving to others, she started giving to herself

For now, take a good look at what and how much you are eating.  The best way to do this is to write it down.  And, please, this is not crazy and overboard!  We do not learn anything new without study and practice!

The sun will eventually come out and you will likely want to wear something that will expose your arms or legs.  Don't look at regaining weight as "all is lost and I'm a loser".  It is the small and doable steps that get you to your goal.

Oops, can't wear those anymore!  She has always made sure she enjoys her favorite treats, only now she has just a bit.

Remember Helen?  She almost slid and she got right back on the scale and began being conscious.  She is much happier with her leaner, healthier body and feels the small amount of time she puts into her body is time well spent!

We can do many things to work out, such as clean our floor.
The End

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Have you ever felt that way?  Powerless, that is.

We lost power this last weekend.  Fifty-five hours of dark, cold, quiet.. so quiet.

We had a party to go to on Sunday and I felt like my hair was greased to my head.  I'd jumped into our hot tub trying to feel fresh.  Yuck, it was luke warm.  (Get over it, whiner!  There are people in Japan who would give their I-teeth to have your suffering!)

You know what?  The perspective helps, but, let's face facts, it can also make you feel worse that you feel crappy and shouldn't.

This is a photo of myself taken on Monday night.  Randy hooked me up with an ineffective book light we'd purchased the night before.  He finally clipped it to a baseball cap and stuck it on my head so I could read the last pages of the book I'd been reading:  "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest". 

It was interesting;  neighbors, that we had at best perfunctory conversations with before the storm, were suddenly like family.  We shared our "wealth" with each other.  They had the ability to charge my phone in their car, we had a pool, thus water for flushing toilets and bathing.  We also had fire wood and gas in case one wanted to heat a kettle for coffee.  They had a connection with someone at PG&E.  They had a few bottles of wine or vodka.

I thought about my best friend, Celeste, who is so not like me.  She plans for a month's back-packing along the Pacific Coast Trail as a leisure trip.  She lives in a cabin with very little amenities.

Who would I go to if the going got rough?  Her.  She'd put me in perspective.  She'd love it.  Finally a world without the Internet or the comforts of heat warming us without having to haul wood or several blankets draping their weight upon our bodies.

I am spoiled rotten.  I am used to the comforts of being a kid who grew up with mid-century advancements and I have known of nothing else.

I know we must be prepared for the very real possibility of not having power, but that doesn't mean we are powerless.  Take the time to prepare for a life without electricity.  Learn to live without it and to appreciate the amazing sound of nothing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Secret Life

When I was young, I wanted to be an artist.

I drew this of myself when I was 17.  I held a mirror up to my face.

This is my husband before he was my husband.  He loves to fish.  It helps me to paint when I am angry at him.

This is Rosa, my younger son's girlfriend.  Painted when she had just graduated from high school.  

We all have something about us that most do not know about.

He also loves to watch baseball.  That is where he is right now, in fact.  Spring training in Arizona.

I love to hike and this is of a photo of me taken by my best friend.

I didn't have the kind of parents that understood the value of being an artist so they encouraged me to make art my hobby and to focus on my typing skills or how to keep my knees together while sitting.

The hills around my home are like my friends.

Don't get me wrong, now, I had great parenting, just no artists in the family and therefor no positive reinforcement for my passion.

Rocky and Boomer.  
In my secret life, I am an artist.  Mostly I paint with acrylics and I almost always paint people; especially ones I know.

A fantasy phase I went through when I was 18.
I just started this painting of Kirby.  I have painted her before.  She and my oldest son had a three and a half year relationship.  It helps me to paint when I am feeling sad about something.

What is your secret life?  What is it you love to do, but aren't recognized for it?

I am curious...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Your Choice

Today is a new day and it is your choice on how it is experienced by you.

This is Tickle's my cat.  From the very beginning, she has lived on her terms.   Her reality is what she decides it is.

Yes, the world is what it is.  Most of what happens is beyond your control, but the way you see it is within your control.  You get to choose your experience.

Just for a moment suspend all doubt that you don't have control over your experience; your productivity, your weight or fitness level,  your personal power!  Guess what:  you have one hundred percent choice as to how you view yourself within in the world.

She's won the hearts of those who seemed resistant to her charms!  (Here with Jordan and Rocky)  Well, she is the most adorable little cat ever to be born!  No offense, that is just how she sees it.

Do you see yourself as the victim of circumstance?  Stop!  Look closely at what is really true and then transcend your negative thoughts and be present with what is and what is possible!

When you live life on your terms, true to yourself and your highest standards, it will not matter what is going on around you because you will be free to choose your experience and what you do with it.

"I am fantastic. aren't I."
You can choose to see opportunities and possibility.  You can imagine your ideal life and see what is needed in order to achieve it or you can moan and complain that you are a victim of circumstance.  All it takes is a nudge, a reminder, a shift in your attitude as to the way you see yourself within this world!

The choice is yours.