I am hoping this blog inspires a desire in you to be at your physical potential. Losing weight in 2013, and setting up a lifestyle that allows us to keep it that way! I want this blog to allow me to motivate and to be motivated!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Motivational Video - Overcoming Adversity

Garden with some tulips and narcissusImage via Wikipedia
  2010 has come and gone;

I made it through this past year. I think largely because I used journaling, blogging, and my friends to support me. It has been difficult to say the least. I am in a better, stronger place than I was this time last year. I am hopeful for the future because I have decided to start actually looking at improving my life rather than just surviving it. I have also seen a big improvement in my attitude since starting a new gratitude journal - that is a wonderful thing to do if you do not already. The gratitude journal is for strictly positive experiences and thoughts. I have realized that it is overwhelming how many things I have to be grateful for.
A Wild Cherry (Prunus avium) in flower.Image via Wikipedia

I want to add one last statement that I am dwelling on as I set resolutions and goals for 2011: If a human being has done it - then most likely YOU can too!  (5k's, furniture refinishing, pay down debt, permanent weight loss, repair a marriage etc.)
Spring forest near Planina (Slovenia, 2008)Image via Wikipedia

We can do a lot more than we think we can!!!!!!
Get inspired and plan for your successful New Year!
1. make a list of your accomplishments from 2010
2. make a list of what you want to throw away from 2010
3. get clear on what you want to accomplish in 2011
4. set small goals to get you there
new year mexico city 2009Image via Wikipedia

Monday, December 27, 2010

mind/body/spirit: Potter's Christmas 2010

Christmas is for giving

And for showing that we care,
For honoring the Christ Child
With the loving gifts we share.
The wise men gave of riches;
The shepherds, faith and love.
Each gift, in its own measure,
Was smiled on from above.
Let every gift be treasured;
Not always size or price
Determines the extent of love
And willing sacrifice
Handsome gifts with festive trim
Bring smiles of sweet content,
But modest gifts of humble means
are ofttimes heaven sent.
Whether it be large or small,
Each gift will share in part
The message of true Christmas joy
If given from the heart!
(Written by Iris W. Bray)

Spirit:filled with gratitude

Jake, Leo, and Logan on Christmas morning!
I am so grateful for my sons. They are growing up and I know that this is how it has to be. Christmas is a great time to see them enjoy themselves and I soaked in all the family time I could get.
They loved their gifts and both expressed gratitude. I tried to look at the holidays as a time to create positive memories & I kept that in the back of my mind the whole time. I feel like all the overeating, overdoing presents, and family togetherness all added up to a very traditional and enjoyable Christmas. Giving of myself and doing so much cooking, decorating, and cleaning was all worth it when Logan came up the stairs on Christmas evening and sat down on the top step. I heard his voice quietly say "thanks Mom". I asked "for what"? He said "for everything".

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mind: We ARE what we DO!

Snowy sceneImage by David_Turner via Flickr
Patterns are the indicator of what we really think...   We are what we repeatedly do. True change for how others perceive us is based on changing what we do on a daily basis. Start with small changes. For example if you do not like the idea of being perceived as cranky or grouchy by your loved ones. Change one pattern. First become aware of a  pattern of behavior that might contribute to other's perceptions (i.e.pointing out a negative when a positive is brought up). Once you admit a negative behavior pattern then you can effectively attack that behavior. Change just that one reaction, and in time that "grouchy" perception of you will fade. Move on to the next individual behavior and work on changing it. Real change is a process that takes as long as building the original perceptions did. If you build gradually by altering one behavior at a time then you will more than likely reach your goal of transformation. By realizing (for example) that you do not have to go from being considered "lazy and/or unhelpful" by your family to a "relentlessly active hard-worker" all in one day -should relieve you from a defeated attitude.

1.Take a personal inventory of perceptions that other's have of you that you do not like.
2. Become aware of a behavior pattern that might fuel this unwanted perception of you.
3. Admit that it is a negative behavior that needs to be changed.
4. Consciously decide to have a different behavior when you would normally have indulged in your normal pattern.
5. Do not move on to changing another pattern until you have completely dealt with and eliminated the first one.
6. Complete personal change one behavior at a time.
Note: some people will never change their perceptions of you --- no matter what you do.
Also it matters more what behaviors that you view as negative for yourself than what other's think.
You have to want to change! The fact is if you perceive that the pattern is negative in other's mindsets than it is probably really bothering you, and needs to be addressed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
...and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mind: WW points and new strategy/Body: 2 good recipes to try and work-out schedule/ Spirit: facing difficulties

 Well 2 solid weeks of not calculating any WW points and not journaling about what I have been eating has yielded a solid 5 pound weight gain. I took this pleasurable break to see if I could do as the French women do ( you know the book Why French Women Don't Get Fat). I wanted to eat what I wanted and fully enjoy it and try not to over-eat. Well apparently I want to eat more than I want to burn off- hehheehee. Plus I did enjoy some wine and beer in the past 2 weeks -  oooh and not that light beer or 65 calorie water/beer --- I had the real stuff - I am talking about rich full flavored Lager. I have to say that this is a mental learning comprehension of facts experiment that has taught me this: I need a routine and a tool for not over-eating: which happens to be  WW points and a regular exercise routine. I am gonna focus on my achievements and not get so bent out of shape when I don't follow everything to the letter. A lil splurge here and there is acceptable. Using my mind to construct a doable way of eating w/out driving my self crazy --
Here is my guide for weight loss:
Consume 4-5 points for breakfast
& a 2 point snack
then 4-5 point lunch
another 2 point snack
Then 8-10 point dinner

Simple and doable!
The healthier the food the better!

2 nutritional recipes to fuel  your body:
4 point breakfast:
Toast 2 pieces of whole wheat (50 cal. a slice) bread
scramble 3 egg whites
Melt a slice of red. fat cheese over the egg whites
smear on 1 tblsp. of light mayo

4 point dessert: 1/6 of pie is a serving
Reduced fat graham cracker crust
Mix in a bowl:
Free Cool whip (regular sized container)
1 block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup of sugar
Poor into crust and chill in fridge for a couple hours

Now I want to share my work-out routine:

weightsImage via Wikipedia

-I start with bicep/tricep/ shoulder work with a 10 lb. weight in each hand (2 sets of 20)
then machines for inner/outer thigh, quadriceps, and then leg press
-I move to the cardio machines for 30 minutes on the Eliptical Machine and 15 more on the treadmill
-I follow this with abs and push-ups and a deep stretching session
- Doing this 2 times a week
 and Spin Class 2 times a week
plus keeping active in general is the goal!

Spiritual need for prayer-
I am successfully putting on an outer impression that all is well- but I am struggling with a personal betrayal in my life. I have been asking God what I am expected to do in light of this reality!?
Following Jesus as an example would lead me to the dark night that He was betrayed by Judas- He still called Judas "friend".
(Matthew 26: 46-56)
Jesus was faced that night with unanswered prayer, and betrayal but still had compassion.

I think with betrayal you can either;
cram it down in your insides and pretend it doesn't exist,
pretend that it is not really what it is (call it a horse when it is a donkey),
or truly see it in a different way- with compassion toward the sinner and their inability to stand firm against the powers of darkness- of Satan (wordly reasoning).

My ego is bruised but my eternal soul is in tact and I am fortunate to be the peacemaker this holiday season.

Image via Wikipedia

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

mind- gratitude/ body- exercising/ spirit- Jesus

My new journal is a great outlet - I have been really focusing on the positives and hoping to attract more positivity into my life! Gratitude is a very uplifting feeling!
January firstImage by Crystl via Flickr

Love this quote:

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
-Marcel Proust

 I am also learning to change my perspective toward the difficulties that life brings and this poem sums it up beautifully:
Be Thankful For...

by Author Unknown
Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary
Because it means you've made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

Exercising has been wonderful for my stress levels this past week- I did weights 2 X's and ran on the treadmill with the weight work-out. I also did Cycle (spin) class 2 x's last week as well. It makes all the difference in the energy and stress levels I experience. Plus making a reward of a nice hot bath afterwards is a great addition to my schedule.

Indoor Cycle Class at a Gym Category:Indoor Cy...Image via Wikipedia

Exercise: Exercise can help decrease feelings of anxiety and can give you a sense of well-being. It boosts the oxygen and blood flow to the brain helping it to relax regularly. It also enhances well-being through the release of endorphins, the brain's feel-good chemicals. Research shows that as little as 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week can provide significant anxiety relief.
from: http://www.lifemojo.com/

In conclusion for this tour of my growth and well-being - let's get spiritual:
* Jesus really is the reason for the Season!  Unless you make a concerted effort to really think and pray about that then this season becomes a time of over-eating, selfishness, and materialism. I can feel some positive changes that come from studying the Word, more prayer time, and giving my time and gifts to others during the holidays. Christmas music is such an easy way to focus on Jesus- but you really have to let it overtake your thoughts and use your mind's eye to picture what the songs depict. Meditating on those images and the birth of the Messiah are great gifts that you can give yourself during the season.

Stained glass window depicting the birth of Je...Image via Wikipedia

Thanksgiving and GettingImage by wgbhmorningstories via Flickr

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Body/ Mind/ Spirit:Christmas Tree

I definitely started not to have a Christmas tree that was 6 foot and highly decorated due to the fact that I live with 3 males who couldn't care less. But then I thought well I enjoy the glow of a Christmas tree and it is fun to come up with a theme to decorate the tree. It is also a creative outlet for me by deciding artistically where each ornament should go and what kind of materials to use (ribbons etc.) This year I changed the look  by adding green ornaments and a gold ribbon- Looks more fancy this year as opposed to the more rustic looks I have done in the past. I am very pleased and feel that the Christmas tree feeds all our needs ; Mind: thinking, planning, deciding on decorations and placement of them - Body: the job can be a work-out with all the reaching, stretching and placing everything just so - Spirit: Sitting back and gazing at a "job well done" while absorbing the soft lovely glow and shimmer of the beautiful celebratory ornaments. Ahhhhhh. Nice- fills you up!

The Christmas tree is definitely a holiday tradition that will endure. It is simply good for you! Here are some more lovely trees to enjoy:

Christmas treeImage via Wikipedia

American Christmas TreeImage via Wikipedia
An artificial Christmas tree.Image via Wikipedia

Saturday, December 4, 2010

mind: I am getting a handle on changing my perspective!

Let The Dawn's Joyful Colours Reflect on Our D...Image by -RejiK via Flickr
Well let me start by saying something about my last post-   I was not referring to a Christian (moral) set of "rules" when I was talking about rule following. I was talking about the endless checklists- and (supposedly motivators) food logs that I make. Okay stay with me, I also make chore charts, and wear a pedometer to track how active I am. All these things can be very helpful --but my friends I am in a rut!!!! I had been so hard on myself everytime I didn't complete a list or stick to an exercise log or God forbid did not do every last thing on my chore chart (which happened a lot), that the enjoyment in life was being sucked right out of it!

I know God does not want me to feel sad, depressed and guilty! So I decided that there was nothing wrong with the life that the perfect heavenly Father had given me--- It had to be the way I am living it!!!

So I started with my last blog entry in my efforts to start changing my perspective on myself.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it was last week to not keep a single log, checklist, or any other form of self torture.  I just lived! and I did however buy a brand new daily journal (a lovely lime green and yellow journal with a fresh set of pens) to record my experiences, my joys and my thoughts on gratitude.
Tree on the beach. Golden Gardens Park, Sunset...Image by Wonderlane via Flickr

I had some moments where I really embraced some of the lovely things in my life; my youngest son's affection, a good laugh with my co-workers over a couple of cartoon characters that myself and the other Physical Educator "act like" and resemble, a thankful moment when my oldest son arrived home safely after a drive across town in the dark, a few funny pet moments, and some wonderful potato soup on a cold rainy evening.  I knew my perspective was shifting when I found myself being really thankful for my fitness center, lol. I realized that I have great health, great kids, a very nice home and wonderful friends.

My biggest moment that seemed to truly be a reward (like a big hug from the Lord)- came on 3 different occasions. My co-worker had said "you are such a good person and you always put your kids ahead of yourself. You could not really do anything truly bad because your conscience won't let you". This brought tears to my eyes and I felt like I didn't deserve her endorsement on "goodness".
Then to my astonishment when out to a nice dinner with 2 of my best friends I was being told "you are the best  mom that we know, and you are always choosing to do the right thing" - okay this was followed by "don't blow it now" , but I still felt unworthy.
There was a third moment that floored me and I was re-telling the above 2nd incident to a friend (and joking that I had them fooled) when this person stopped me and said "you really are very good".
Friendship, Göteborg, SwedenImage via Wikipedia

 I put all these moments together later and had a joyful cry that made me feel like I was wrong -- there are a lot of people that really believe that I am a valuable person who is truly "good". I am humbled and happy to have felt their adoration. I allowed myself to really take it in and feel it. Although, it makes me want to be better, I know that I am already leaving a positive impression by trying to make the right decisions.  I have ate some good food and exercised for the joy of moving my body, and had some wine and beer, lots of laughter, continued to serve others and have tried to live in the present tense-- great week ---THAT IS JOYFUL LIVING!
holding handsImage by annstheclaf via Flickr

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mind/Body/Spirit: No more rules and guilt!

Cover of "The Shack"Cover of The Shack
I have prayed for and been working toward a change in my life.
It sorta hit me over the Thanksgiving holidays - I have been searching and not really finding any solid reasoning to motivate change.
Then it dawned on me that I had just completed a book "The Shack" and I had finally watched the movie "Eat Pray Love" (two media I had been drawn to and were really on my list of things I wanted to do). 

In my prayer time I listened (meditative state) and I heard this -- No More Rules and Guilt!! This is after watching a movie which empowers the viewer to let go and learn how to live a life of pleasure! This is after reading a book which stresses a "relationship" with God over rule following!

I want to examine a few cultures that seem to "have it right"

The Italian Lifestyle: library.thinkquest.org
The Italians take a lot of pride in their cooking. They usually eat their main meal at midday. They have big meals, such as a pasta meal, which
is followed by the main meal of either meat or fish. Another popular meal is risotto, a rice plate with vegetables. The most popular meats are veal and pork. Cheeses are also important. They are either eaten alone or used in other meals. Pizza is a popular snack and is also eaten as a light meal. Fresh fruit is a popular desert. Traditionally, wine is served with every meal except breakfast.

Not only is food important - but so is a laid back lifestyle with the importance of family stressed. Italians can be passionate with greetings and arguements. Being expressive and living life to the fullest are charactaristics found in an Italian lifestyle.

Shot of Spaghetti BologneseImage via Wikipedia
Now let's turn to Mediterranean way of life:
Paraphrased from  Mediterraneanlifestyle.blogspot.com
Mediterranean lifestyle is all about how to enjoy the simple things in life- the sea, sun and fresh air.They also like to eat well and after centuries of cooking they have developed unique delicious tastes..The main ingredients are olive oil,fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of fresh herbs.All that is well complimented by wine.What people are really talking about is a lifestyle based on the lives and eating habits of the people based on the north coast of the Mediterranean coast.From Spain in the West to Greece and Turkey in the East, the various cultures have developed diets based on using large quantities of olive oil, fresh vegetables, fish and the unstinting consumption of wine. You would be surprised to know that the first cook book was written for the ancient Athenians,where mealtimes were pleasurable affairs where the spirit as well as the body was nourished.They have continued this mealtime philosophy of relaxation and enjoyment amongst family and friends.
The Mediterranean diet lengthens our lives. A Mediterranean lifestyle is something that is not just about the diet but also nature.The weather is fully enjoyed by the people while sitting and talking in the Mediterranean sunshine,while sipping coffee or having a meal.The long gatherings around the table lead to long philosophical conversations about life.
Mediterranean lifestyle is simple, vibrant,colurful,sunny and tasty."
98/365: ♫ Red, Red Wine...Image by rogersmj via Flickr
French lifestyle:
from http://www.frenchliving.co.uk/   
The French genuinely do live for their food. They plan their day around mealtimes and look forward to those moments around the table with family and friends.

A French lifestyle is a relatively easy and healthy way to live – it’s all about choosing good quality, fresh ingredients and taking time to enjoy them. This may mean spending a little more but the flavours are far superior. Also, everyone knows that a freshly cooked meal rather than a processed ready-meal is a far healthier option, and considerably more enjoyable."
The French take time to "get it right", and enjoy life to the fullest as well.

Table de Image by sophiecarnay via Flickr

These cultures have these things in common;
A love of good quality food and wine
A love for family
A love for enjoying life (taking the time to relax)

I think I have been approaching life in too regimented a fashion.
I want to spend more time doing things I enjoy with and for the ones I love the most -- My family.
I also want to eat better, move more,and pray when moved to.

The key is probably letting go and doing what fulfills you and gives you pleasure.
These things guide you to naturally do for others and to stop stressing so much about goals and expectations.
Just live life and really enjoy the moment.

Looking at a beautiful sunrise as I am writing this :-) 
life at 10000 feetImage via Wikipedia

Slowing down - sipping coffee and enjoying the morning. I hope you start to "let go and let God" more often too.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Colorful MorningImage by Indy Kethdy via Flickr
Let it Be : the BEatles
When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,

speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,

speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,

there will be an answer, let it be.

For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,

there will be an answer. let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,

shine until tomorrow, let it be.

I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,

speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Body/Spirit: Thanksgiving thoughts and poem

Thankful.Image by RunnerJenny via Flickr
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and I am feeling a strange mixture of sadness and hope. I enjoy seeing everyone in my family and I look forward to the great food. I also know having gratitude is important part of observing the holiday. I do feel grateful for a refreshed feeling in the mornings (when God gives a fresh start). I feel grateful for my home and my furnishings (heat and air, and all the creature comforts that I have become accustomed to). I feel grateful for my general health and the health of my children. I am grateful for my friends and all those people that care for me. I am grateful for delicious food prepared with love and kindness. I intend to think about all these things. I love the simplicity of the following poem and how it captures the beauty of this upcoming holiday:


For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

spirit: Prayer for living beyond yourself

Holy Spirit,Image by kelsey_lovefusionphoto via Flickr
Dear Lord
*Please help me be aware of my influence over my family.
*Please help me think before I speak.
*Please help me be aware of the things I am doing for man's approval and help me do only the things that please you Lord.
*Please help me remember to spend more alone prayer time with you Lord.
*Please help me trust you God and your promise (help me feel "clothed" in Jesus).
*Please help me see you God as "Daddy"- meaning the most loving, nurturing, parent who wants what is best for me.
*Please help me look inward for guidance, refer to the word more and strive to live Your will -- not my own.
*Please help me realize that the Holy Spirit is "in me" and is powerful. Help me connect wth and be more in tune with the Holy Spirit that is inside me.
*Please help me remember that the Holy Spirit only can defeat the desires of the flesh- I cannot with out YOU Lord.
*Please help me know living without the connection to the Holy Spirit is fruitless - the results are always negative.
*Please help me surrender to the Holy Spirit so I can live beyond myself.
If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]
(Galatians 5:25 AMP.)

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (KJV)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mind- We can learn things about our emotions through our Dreams

Chain in sunset
I have read some stuff on dream interpretation sites this morning because I had an unusual dream (that I have had before incidently). The dream goes like this: I feel a knot in my neck (left hand side), and press on it and something is sorta poking out - so I get a grip on it and pull it and to my surprise the object easily begins to pull out. As I get about an inch of it out I realize that it is a chain (bigger than a typical necklace but not a large work chain). A chain that is metal and shiny and I am amazed that it pulls out without causing any pain. then when I get the foot long chain out (I notice that my neck looks like it is bulging out on that side) I see more sticking out of my neck--- I pull it out but it is a pink shiny metal chain, and this continues; I pull out about 5-7 chains of various sizes and colors. When I am finished -- I am relieved.

weird right--?

So here is an example of  what I found to be the most consistent interpretation:
 Pulling is a very physical kind of human action and suggests thoughts and stressors that are exerting influences on you. Often pulling something out  links with conclusions that you have drawn from some situation and particular thoughts that you are focusing on.
KEY WORDS :  realization, overcome, frustrated, hasty, conclusion, premonition, ideas

Also here is what chains represent:

To see chains in your dream, signify your need to break free from a routine, old idea, or a relationship. If you are being chained, then some part of you is being forcefully put in check.You are being held back from what you really want to do.

I have found that pulling these objects out of my neck symbolizes that I am trying to make a special effort to calmly deal with a big stressor and the stressor I am wanting to "get rid of by pulling it out of me" is represented by the chains - the chain represents emotional pain that I have felt from a recent continued betrayal. I just want to get rid of the pain but I know I am going to have to continue to deal with it and find ways to improve my life in spite of an unhappy relationship.
I want to find ways to free myself from the pain I am currently feeling in a way that is pleasing to God. I want to pull the pain out and replace it with the joy that God intended for His children to have.