Me.....being grateful for every thing, every breath, every day of this life

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Beginning Secrets and Success To Having a Balanced, Good Looking, Healthy Body & Peaceful Mind

“We all need to be healed in the highest sense by making ourselves perfect in mind, body and spirit.
The first step is to realize that this is even possible.”
-Deepak Chopra

We cannot just sit around and eat and drink whatever we want, even if we think it is healthy, there has to be some attention paid to what we consume and it is different for each of us. I am not sure if it was turning 30, having a baby or simply enduring a high stress year being a military wife, rich with 3 big moves (one international) while trying to adjust a toddler as well as myself and my marriage to this new life, etc? BUT something indeed, has sparked my newly found passion with nutrition and diet. I have always exercised. There have been very few times in my life when I felt like exercise was not worth it and each of those times, I quickly snapped back and KNEW in my intuition and bones, that exercise is for sure worth it, it is essential. Why would any of us want to be weak, frail or fat? It is only recently in my life that I have found the patience to sit down and actually read, and complete a novel. Never before did I have the mere discipline, interest or patience. With this new found calm I began my path toward my healthiest mind-body experience ever.

“To create health, you need a new kind of knowledge, based on a deeper concept of life.” -Deepak Chopra

I know what it feels like to be a food addict, smoker or drug addict, what ever kind of addict there could one cannot ideally rationalize why they are addicted to something. We all know there are choices in this life. Why do some people choose to take that pill, smoke that cigarette, eat that doughnut knowing full well it is detrimental to our inward self? Sometimes I wish we could see each of our inner bodies all the time. As though all of humanity were walking around completely see-through. It would be so much easier! If a pill addict could see what that drug were doing to their organs, if that heroin addict could see what that needle filled with toxins were doing to their brain, if that smoker were seeing what those cigarettes were doing to their pancreas, if that diabetic could see what those sugars were doing to their blood flow, I think we all might think twice before choosing our vices. It would be so much easier to not get hooked on something! And I think we all DO have a vice here and there, from time to time, in different ways. We are all the same, essentially. Sometimes though, it is not the bad choice of ingesting something like alcohol. Sometimes people become power drunk, money hungry, sex addicts, shop-aholics, even being anorexic or the feeling of denying our bodies of food or calories is a strong imbalance and/or addiction. We all must learn how to be, how to cope with life and stress and how to be our best at that. Some people do not care to try their best. I do care. And this is the journey I have begun.

“Health is not just the absence of a disease. It's an inner joyfulness that should be ours all the time-a state of positive well-being.” -Deepak Chopra

Quickly, I would like to touch more on addictions and why they happen, in my opinion. My opinion, however, has only been formed by reading the opinions and studies of other great doctors, psychologists, physicists and healers. To sum up addiction to me, it is feeling helpless almost a subconscious need to repeat some negative habit we blindly cater to, to keep ourselves from feeling any kind of discomfort or realism in our life and it completely prevents us from totally experiencing colossal, heavenly joy which is our nature and birth right. Seems simple enough, but it is so much more complex. Eckhart Tolle thinks of addictions as something in our body that is an energy or entity all its own, as though it is something our ego has created and is trying to actually take our rational and peaceful minds over. I believe we go almost insane in America trying to do it all and be it all. My favorite Doctor of all time, Christiane Northrup, M.D. said in her fabulous book called Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom, “A dead giveaway that you are overextending, rather than stretching yourself, is the inability to nurture yourself or rest without a drink, a smoke or overeating.” And most people, in one way or another, are addicts, like Anne Wilson Schaef says, “our society itself functions as an addict.” We constantly advertise and buy ways to “take the edge off, keep us busy with our fixes and keep us slightly numbed out and zombie-like.” In a fantastic book, mostly about how to teach meditation, called A Path With Heart (a great source for all teachers and instructors of any kind) by, Jack Kornfield, he writes, “Like Gandhi, we cannot easily change ourselves for the better through an act of will. This is like wanting the mind to get rid of itself or pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Remember how short-lived are most New Year's resolutions? When we struggle to change ourselves, we, in fact, only continue the patterns of self judgment and aggression. We keep the war against ourselves alive. Such acts of will usually backfire, and in the end often strengthen the addiction or denial we intend to change.” I dropped the book at this point and realized. Yup! That it explains it all perfectly. People go in circles, spirals, have the snowball effect when they try to treat themselves well, achieve their fitness or diet goals and ultimately end up within the same bad habits and sadness and in their unhealthy world once again. Me included. Until now.

Now this next statement is thick and so I will type it, standing alone...but if you are like me, you may need to read it a few times, copy it down and try to understand it well over time. This, from my favorite author of all time, anywhere:
“The tension between your efforts to disregard the signals your energy system provides you and the continual flow of these signals to you is the origin of every compulsion, obsession, fixation and addiction.” -Gary Zukav

Gary also says In the book, The Heart Of The Soul, regarding addiction, “Your attraction to food and reliance upon it for relief of painful emotions, is an attempt to create the meaningful and satisfying life you were born to create but without doing the necessary work. It is an illusory shortcut that leads to physical dysfunction. It delays the inner work that needs to be done, but does not remove the need to do it.” Tell it like it is, Mr. Zukav! He is so gentle and kind. He explains so well how we all mess up! And gives us a good reason why we do. Now for the work part........fixing allla DAT!!!

“In a serious or life-threatening illness, there can be many layers of imbalance concealing the depths where healing exists.” -Deepak Chopra

-Having a baby saved my life. I believe, although it was not a planned pregnancy, that my higher self, my wise third eye, my subconscious chose that path and I excitedly followed it. It was not even a choice for me, while pregnant, I took better care of myself than I ever had in my personal history. After having the baby, I fell off the healthy wagon a few times but now, I am fully back on and have never been healthier or happier. So having that gem of a baby, and also looking in the mirror this past winter at my 191 pound body really pushed me toward feeling the golden light of pure health and my best wellness. I said to myself, this is it. I am fed up. No more. I have to figure out why I look this fat, feel this bad and am tired all the time. So after having Doctors tell me to cut carbs, hired a personal trainer, and not seeing much for results within the past 6
months to a year, I started to study nutrition. It is a big world and I have much, much more to learn. But I had to blog about my progress now, so far. Every time I find good information that works for me, this struggling soul, I need to share the good news!!!!!!!!! So after all that working out I was doing, burning my body at the gym 4 days a week or more. Countless hours on the elliptical, thousands and thousands of lunges, crunches, squats and weights and then coming home and still not being able to put on and zip up my fattest of fat pants, I knew it was NOT exercise, alone that was the answer. NOT get me wrong, I still go work out. But hardly. I now try for 3-4 hours a week of mild and gentle, ENJOYABLE exercise. Calm Yoga, walking, jogging and light gym workouts, tossing them all up so as to not get too tired, burnt out or bored with any one thing. This is just great for endorphins, keeping synnovial fluid moving, preventing arthritis, the list goes on...but it is NOT about burning calories.

The two books on Nutrition that have literally changed my life (and my sister's) are: Master Your Metabolism by, Jillian Michaels (yes, the chick from Biggest Loser, but it is so not like the show). And The Abs Diet For Women by, David Zinczenko (he is the editor in chief for Men's Health Magazine and his book about this subject for Men was such a smash hit he researched and wrote one for women). I wont drone on about why these books are key and so good, but the reason they are is because they both include ground-breaking NEW research on nutrition and why all the diets you could ever do in the world never work and why people stay fat. Between these two books, I have learned how to eat so much better and burn calories while SITTING STILL. I have learned to reset my metabolism by eating, eating, eating but in gooood ways. I mean, great ways! I am never hungry. I feel better than ever. My eye prescription did not change (for the worse) this year for the first time in 24 years at my most recent yearly eye exam. My skin looks better. My hair looks better. My sleep is better. And so far, I have lost twelve pounds in the first 3 weeks of changing the way I approach food. I am in the 170's for the first time since I had a baby. I was 165 pre-baby (which felt fat to me then) and have never gotten back to that since. Now, I know having a baby changes your body forever, which I celebrate. But having a baby who is now 2 and a half years old and I cannot keep up with her? Now that is some crap! I am only 30 years old, a former Yoga Instructor, happy and have never had any serious medical conditions. BUT I was addicted to chocolate chip cookies and such when we had our last big home move and I was throwing back a few too many cocktails or wine at night to ease all that stress as well.

“To have a renewed body, you must be willing to have new perceptions that give rise to new solutions”
-Deepak Chopra

I am providing "before and after" pictures for those who wish to share this weight loss and happy lifestyle journey with me. But not until I get more toward my goal weight, which is: 140 pounds. For a woman of 5'8”, I do not think this is a drastically low weight.....but it is a drastic lifestyle change for me to have to lose 50 pounds. Join me wont you? Becoming conscious about nutrition, addictions, weakness, complete mental peace, diet, exercise, and overall glow of happiness is what I am all about forever. And this is what I have recently learned and some of how I have started (for those of you who wish to know):

-I got a juicer and started to quadruple the amount of nutrients into my body (a juicing-made-cheap and easy-blog will immediately follow this blog)-more, nutrients, healthier insides, better equipt to lose weight.
-Drink aloe with juice. Just think of how healing it is for us externally, even better internally.
-Found a good meditation practice that I was not struggling with, and stuck to it.
-I started counting calories....and eat what is exactly appropriate for my current weight, not too low, not too body going into starvation mode and getting fatter, yay!
-Forgot about cutting all carbs and sugar, your brain needs both of these to function well.
-Drastically cut back the amount of wine I consumed (limited to 2-3 glasses at a time MAX, and NOT every day) and cut off liquor and beer (it 'ain't that hard peeps, and I will still have a very rare cocktail here and there, so its not the end of the world)
-Don't smoke, it literally kills your pancreas and will to live, and I stopped hanging around, or giving too much energy to anyone who does (not totally cutting them off or judging their journey, just completely understanding my priorities in life now)
-Gave up coffee and switched to Green Tea or Chai, cold and hot, EACH and every time I want a snack, I first reach for a tall glass of water or ice tea and down it and then 9 times out of 10 my snack craving goes away and I then feel more energy and happiness. I still will have a rare cup of coffee (cuz I love it) every now and then if it has been a few weeks or whatever, I just completely stopped the serious addiction I had to it.)
-I gave up sugar in my tea, cereal and oatmeal for honey or agave nectar.
-Buy only organic & free range meats and eggs, syrup, cereal and whatever else I can find.
-Do not buy anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup or MSG they wreak havoc on your brain and digestion, why make life harder? READ LABELS! Usually you only have to read labels once and then you remember what you like to buy.
-Bananas, don't throw away when they go brown, peel and freeze them. (what I learned from working in gelato is that they are better to freeze once they are almost, but not yet, bad) And then put them in smoothies and juices you make at home.
-If you want unhealthy food, limit it to one meal, one day a week as a cheat meal...and enjoy.
-If you want cookies, ice cream, cake or a dessert, make it at home and control what goes in the recipe and therefore your body.
-Buy whey protein and learn how to use it well to burn calories while resting.
-Drink a lot of water....c'mon just force yourself.
-Sleep as much as you can, melatonin can help with this occasionally.
-Exercise a little but regularly.
-Get a massage once month (if you cannot afford it, there are millions of ways to barter with a
-Enjoy life.

I could go on and on why these things are all so essential, especially meditation. Shoot me a comment if you have a question, doubt or frustration, believe me, I have been there, done that, tried everything. Oh there is so much more to come people!!! God wants us to be abundant and start doing that with yourself if you are not already. Manifest your dreams, no one else will. And I will see you all in a bikini this summer and every summer after that. YEA!!!!!!

“Enchantment is our natural state. This day cannot last without you to keep it alive. Will you give it a chance?” -Deepak Chopra

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quote from Elizabeth Gilbert

I have a fantastic blog coming up very soon about juicing and additionally healthy diet and weight management. But until then... I am being quiet. I have an over-articulated life at the present. While I love and adore all people, love meeting new people regularly and all those who I am honored to stay in touch with, I need some time of quiet and respite from writing. I never profess to be a professional writer. But, I have taken the words and presentations I used for nearly a decade as a Yoga instructor and formed them into my blog. Listen, I cannot stay quiet for long. I love sharing what I have learned, to help me along life's path, with others, with the whole world! But I have felt compelled tonight to simply an excerpt from a new author/book I am loving. The much acclaimed book Eat, Pray, Love has fallen into my lap. And it spoke to me, it helped me and has made me start to feel a little more free. Chapter 60, a bit from it. See below. Maybe it will help you, should you have had some sort of a similar experience in your life: having trouble getting over something, feeling guilt from, letting go of or coming to terms with.
Tonight I was blessed to enjoy the words of Elizabeth Gilbert and I thank her....

He had typed:

1. Life's metaphors are God's instructions.

2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the infinite. Now, let go.

3. The day is ending. It's time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.

4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is God's response. Let go, and watch the stars come out-on the outside and on the inside.

5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.

6. With all your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let him go

7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.

8. Watch the heat of day pass into the cool night. Let go.

9. When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It's safe. Let go

10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.

......Then I shut my eyes and said, 'Dear Lord, please show me everything I need to understand about forgiveness and surrender.'
......I thought of how many people go to their graves unforgiven and unforgiving. I thought of how many people have had siblings or friends or children or lovers disappear from their lives before precious words of clemency or absolution could be passed along. How do the survivors of terminated relationships ever endure the pain of unfinished business? From that place of meditation, I found the answer-you can finish the business yourself. It's not only possible, it's essential."

With love, Becca