Hiking….its always an adventure

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I’ve fallen back in love with hiking. I mean I’ve loved being outside for as long as I can remember whether it was playing outside as a kid, bike riding, messing around with my horses or whatever. I am an outside kind of girl. But lately my love has to be hiking.

Hiking challenges you. You can stick to the easy paths or take adventure by the horns and opt for the trail in the woods. You open yourself up to the reality of what you are willing to do verses what your body is capable of. Sometimes you fight your brain for control of the situation, sometimes your heart takes over. But, in the long run you are glad of the choices you have made for it gives you strength both mentally and physically to do it all again.

20130520_115112Join me on my adventures–I truly hope you enjoy visiting these hiking spots with me and find serenity in the photos.

I’m beginning to understand “Healthy CHoices”

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I have a “healthy choice” victory to share.

This evening I was ‘browsing’ the fridge, freezer, pantry for something as a snack. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted and I was just about to go for my daughter’s ‘drumstick’ ice cream cones when I remembered a great quote:

“if you are truly hungry you will eat real food”

I thought about it for a minute and I satisfied my REAL hunger with REAL food–carrot slices, celery and hummus. It was so good! And satisfying! And actually proud of how far I have come.

Now I am not saying I would’ve had a major issue if I had chosen the ice cream. The reason I am proud of my choice is I am beginning to understand the “why” of choosing to eat healthy. I am learning to evaluate if I am bored/tired/stressed or if it is a physical need for food.

Give yourself the power to make these kind of decisions by having good food ready to eat–the carrots and celery were ready to go since I had prepped them for work last night. Take the time to have real food easy to choose–its worth the prep time!

Best wishes for healthy choices!~Janice

 

Disclaimer: Images are from Google Images–my thanks to their creators!

Choose REAL FOOD…..your body will thank you!

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  I love to eat! I may not eat alot  of it but I want real food when I do.   I want it to taste good AND be good for me. 

I’ve come a long way in my thinking about food. In the past when I was ‘dieting’ I could divide it into two groups: diet/ non-diet or healthy/unhealthy or good food/bad food.  Now, food is food. There are better choices than others but its just food.  My improved way of thinking: follow the 80/20 rule–if you eat healthy 80% of the time then you can splurge 20% of the time.  Most days for me its close to 90-100% healthy but I no longer beat myself up if I want something less than stellar nutritionally.

I’ve never had an eating disorder but this is the healthiest relationship I’ve had with food.  Its not the enemy. Depending on your choices it can either nourish you or harm you in the long run. But its a matter of balance. If you cut back on/ cut out  any of the major groups (carbs, fats, proteins) your body will suffer; it needs all 3 to be in balance and function smoothly. We need carbs for energy; without them our body breaks down muscle and then fat storage to produce it. We need (lean) protein for muscle development and repair. We need fat (the healthy kinds) for neurological functioning and healthy skin, hair and nails.  The “diet plans” that eliminate these things are ultimately doing us more harm than good.

What I propose is we eat more F.O.O.D and less C.R.A.P. !! The closer the food you eat is to its natural form, the better it is for you. I know most of us can’t spend all day cooking from scratch and may have to rely of some pre-made foods but choose fresh food whenever possible. You will be able to control the amount of salt and sugar you add as well as cutting back on preservatives and chemicals.  Go for “real” food over substitutes. I use real sugar in my coffee, its only a few calories more but I am avoiding the chemicals in substitutes. I use real butter, albeit whipped butter, and not margarine or spreads. The important thing to remember–using a little of the real thing is much better, in my opinion, than artificial ones.

One of the things I try to do to avoid using processed food is to have a “prep day”–I cut up and bag veges (celery, carrots, peppers, etc), I thinly slice chicken breasts and pre-cook them (grill or oven) so they can be added quickly to salads or meals. I try to use things in multiple ways–cutting up veges for snacking and cooking saves time and effort rather than doing it daily.  I try to make up food and store it in the freezer when I can–I make individual calzones ( usually spinach or broccoli), burritos, beef,vege or turkey burgers and whole wheat pizza dough. This way its ready to go and all I have to do is grab it and go.

I’ve started making food in jars. I love my ‘Fridge Oatmeal’ and I am planning on making “Salad jars” as well. They are great for grab and go food–no heating required so you can eat them anywhere.

The thing to remember is: eat real food that you enjoy. Eat it in moderate portions, choose wisely most of the time and your body will thank you for it. You’ll have a leaner healthier body that will amaze you with its ability to keep you in top form no matter what the challenge!

 

Adding more strength to my day

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I know muscles are important. Really I do!! But it is something that you need to be ready for and commit to for LASTING Effects. Muscles do more than just burn extra calories, they provide support for our bones and protection for our organs.

Well, this week I started using the weights again. Its kinda like riding a bike; once you get back in the game you remember how to do it. The first day was tough, even though I had ‘working muscles’ from yard work it was not the same. Its a little different when you focus on individual muscles instead of using muscle groups.

Yesterday I did a more involved routine….and although I only did one set of each exercise it was until “failure”–I couldn’t do more with proper form. And you know what? I really enjoyed it and there was no soreness today.  My goal is not to become super toned and have a competition body but I am looking forward to more definition and strength.

Who knows–I might even get strong enough to arm wrestle the boys…..

 

 

 

(Disclaimer: Images obtained from Google Images–my thanks to their creators!)

I’m not skinny, I’m not fat…I’m just me!

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I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately: why do we define ourselves by our size?  We let the media and others tell us who we are and what is acceptable based on the number in our clothes and on our scales. Intellectually I know I am much more than that but it’s almost a kind of “self prejudice” on how I treat myself.  Would I be a better person if I were a size 2 or 4 (instead of a 6 or 8)? I think not! I WAS a loose size 4 (on bottom) at one point after having my kids and I was not any happier-in fact I may have been more crabby because I was so focused on food and exercise I did not leave myself time for having fun and relaxing.

The funny thing about losing / gaining weight? In our minds we are still the size we HAD been when we started until we see ourselves in a picture or try on new clothes.  After I had my daughters I went back to Weight Watchers to get back on track and focused….and I did well. Almost too well because I got so thin people started to comment on just how thin I was…and yet I was not at the “goal weight” determined by WW.  I think I finally got a grasp on the change when my husband pressured me into getting some new clothes since mine were getting “a little baggy”. I resisted because I wasn’t at goal and didn’t want to waste money. Finally I went to a local consignment store so I could get smaller ones and save money; I was shocked! I had been wearing a snug size 10 when I started but had to keep on trying smaller sizes until I got to a size 4…yes, quite a difference but in my mind I was still that size 10 girl.

I still have issues with certain words like “fat” and “skinny”–both are words that can hurt and cause harm.  Who determines what size those words reflect?  My interpretation of “being fat” more than likely will not be the same as someone else of a different size (both smaller and larger). WHAT DOES IT MATTER??  Our exterior is only temporary, its something that can always change with healthy eating, exercise and a great support system. It doesn’t describe or capture who we are inside, what makes us unique from anyone else.

But the words– those are harder to erase the effect they have on someone. Fat, skinny, beanpole,brickhouse,tubby….

They are words that can be used for bullying.  I cringe when I hear someone say “look how fat/skinny that person is!” Even when someone changes how they look they can still be influenced by those hurtful words.  Think before you comment–people are so much more than their size. If you need to judge then do it based on how they treat others and themselves. Evaluate them on their ‘heart’ and the compassion they show others….but never on size!

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  Images do not belong to me, they were found on google images, my thanks to their creators.

Modesty–has it become extinct?

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Maybe its just me but I have an issue with modesty, or  really its the lack there of.

I see so many people that have no problem exposing more skin than the world really needs to see.  Maybe I’m too modest but I don’t think that women and teenage girls need to practically bare their chests to be considered attractive. Whatever happened to leaving something to the imagination?  I think much of the image problem is the media, both print and TV/cable that promote the idea that being sexy means showing as much cleavage as possible to be the norm.  Seriously-do I really need to be able to look down your shirt to find someone beautiful? There just has to be a limit to what is considered appropriate exposure.

When you look back on old pictures of starlets and those in the public eye you saw more than just skin; there was class. Sexy was an idea, a feeling of confidence in your self worth. It was there, just not the “in your face begging to be noticed” kind. Clothes were more tasteful and gave a hint, not over exposure. Just tight enough to be playful and suggestive but still modest.

So what has changed in the last few decades? I think alot has to do with music videos and reality shows–you can get away with a whole lot more on a cable show like MTV or Jersey Shore than on public TV where things are more closely regulated.  I remember my niece (who babysat for us) not understanding why we didn’t allow the girls to watch or listen to Britney Spears or other singers like her. We had to explain that was not the image we wanted our girls to think was normal and acceptable behavior. Don’t even get me started on what cable shows promote as normal and acceptable behavior for women.

We need to claim back what is considered sexy. Strong confident women who know their own worth. Clothes that accentuate our curves and individual beauty without showing all we have. Sexy is an attitude….I think its time to make it classy again!

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