Positive Thinking and Exercise
Exercise, Foods, Choices
Exercise -The Want To Versus Follow Through
Exercise, what we all want to do, but never seem to get together enough energy or "umph" to do it. Something always finds a way to curb the desire, or stop us from doing what we know is necessary to stay healthy.
My husband and I live in Las Vegas Nevada, which subjects us to strange work hours, creating a hotbed of excuses to not work out, or exercise at home. We even possess an Ellipse (not cheap), and still had a difficult time setting aside a half hour a day to actively use it! He is involved in the entertainment industry (which I will write another blog on that matter), and works mostly night hours, flip flopping between 7:00 a.m., to 5:00 p.m., or 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. for equipment maintenance because he runs sound and lights for live bands at local casinos.
Needless to say, when he runs sound for some bands, it requires the hours of 5:00 p. m. to 5:00 a.m., and cuts a huge bite out of his energy. As for me, I have early days, but wind up staying awake until he gets home from his shift. At this point, neither of us "feels" like going to work out, or utilizing the Ellipse. So, what have we done to compensate, or correct the situation? Good question!
Exercise / Work Out - Gym
We, like so many people, did not feel like getting out of bed, eating healthy, and move to the exercise equipment whether at home, or at the gym. It takes determination and commitment. How did we do it? We started with talking about health issues that are either present, or could arise out of the lack of physical activity, and healthy diet. Research provided enough information in the negative effects of not taking part in healthy activity and eating that we decided the proof outweighed our own laziness.
The truth is, when it comes right down to it, all it takes is commitment. We decided that we would exercise three to four times per week for at least one hour, regardless of how we feel, how much sleep we get, or how many hours we worked. It is about goal setting, and committing to carry out the steps toward the goal. Short term goals are to exercise every day possible whether at home, or at a gym. Long term goals involving a certain amount of desired weight loss, muscle toning, or overall feeling of wellness.
Because we set our short term goals of exercising at least three days a week, we found it easier to get started and be consistent. As soon as we wake up, we decide if it is a day to exercise, or recuperate, however; we make the commitment in agreement to do something, even if only for fifteen minutes on the Ellipse. The first week was the roughest, but the following weeks became easier and easier. We do leave room for interruption or health (flu, colds, etc.), but we determine that at the very least we "have" to work out three times per week.
Taking note of results beginning the first week include how we feel "after" working out, compared to "not" working out. It is amazing how much alert we feel, and our energy level picks up. By the third week of consistently working out three times per week, we began to feel the necessity to continue. We skipped one week, and we both felt sluggish, and not so well, and we talked about it. That helps to reinforce the necessity to be consistent. It is like a promise to yourself, your own body to take better care of it.
Our positive choices began with the decision, and agreement to exercise at least three times per week. Ultimately, we have the desire to exercise every day, which will come eventually. But for now, it is enough to do the three day thing. One result the first week was a weight loss of two pounds. We figured if we continued, we had the potential to lose two pounds per week, and attain a reasonable weight loss in a comfortable amount of time. It is amazing how much better the body feels with a weight loss of just six pounds! One month of exercising three times per week.
At this point we were excited, and decided to take measurements. My husband had lost a total of 1 and 1/2 inches around his abdomen and hips. When he started, he measured 5' 11", and weighted close to 300 pounds. He had symptoms of Diabetes with high blood sugar levels, and high cholesterol, and suffered high blood pressure. My situation was high blood pressure at 185 pounds (when I should weigh around 110-120). My blood tests also proved to show borderline Diabetes, and high cholesterol.
The last time we went to our doctor, my husband had lost about 60 pounds, I lost 35 pounds, our blood sugar was normal, blood pressure was near normal, and cholesterol was way down, but still needs a little work. We had also changed our diet to limit the amount of starch intake, which involves pasta, breads, potatoes, and some forms of rice. Now, I have to say that we decided not to rule out those substances completely, but rather limited the amount to a very small portion. This way, the starch acts as a catalyst to spark the proteins, and fat burning processes instead of starving the body of the substances. It has kept us from "craving" the starches, and helped increase the metabolic processes to lose weight.
We started our process in June of 2014, and by November 2014 the results of good diet, and exercise outweighed any adverse health issues we both suffered. It is simple, and incredible, if given the chance. We are now committed even more to adding one more day of exercise to our regimen for 2015, with a goal to lose at least 30 more pounds (both of us) by June 2015.
It helps to have someone to work with in agreement, and commitment to support one another, encourage, and prod to be diligent in keeping in stride with set goals. I would also say that it is most desirable to set small, short term goals and meet them. If an individual sets goals to high, and can not reach that goal, it is disheartening, and one loses hope, will, and drive.
Positive thinking comes into the picture by taking into consideration that we all have tendencies to speak negatives such as; "I'm too tired to go", or, "My body doesn't want to move", or, "I'll go tomorrow". Likely excuses! The positive way to think is to consider the time involved. Plan for at least one hour doing a variety of exercises to target different parts of the body. Our regimen begins with a 30 minute stint on the Ellipse (easy on the knees), followed by stretches, and weights for legs, arms, back, abdomen. We follow that with 15 minutes in the steam room, and 15 minutes in the Jacuzzi, then shower and home. If we are at home, we get on the Ellipse for 30 minutes, and do stretches, and yard work, and Jacuzzi afterward. And...that is another thing, reward yourself. We either do something like visiting a new place, or try a new recipe for healthy food, and even try a new juice combination. Once in a while, we splurge with pizza, but regret it with indigestion and other body discomforts the day after.
Here again, it is about positive choices!
Making good food choices helps our body adjust and function properly. We have learned that sugar, and carbohydrates are the enemy not calories. So, we needed to make further adjustments to our eating habits.
Ketogenic diet takes us back to the basics of eating what is good for our bodies, not based on the so called "Food Pyramid". Studies have shown that a healthy diet is one filled with dark green leafy vegetables, good fats found in real butter, or lard, and dark fatty meats, mostly fowl, pork, lamb, or beef, and some fish like Tuna. Other good fats include animal fats, Avocado oil, cream, Macadamia nut oil, Mayonnaise, Coconut oil, Coconut milk or Coconut cream.
The good above ground vegetables to eat are; Asparagus, Artichokes, Eggplant, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Green Beans and Kale.
Try to stay away from too much fruits, because of the sugar content. Berries are great, along with nuts like Almonds, Brazil's, Hazelnuts, Macadamia, Pecans, Pine-nuts and Walnuts.
Bake with Almond flour, Coconut flour (it is a little grainy though), Hazelnut flour or other nut flours.
One more thing, stay away from sugar...deserts, doughnuts, iced cream, cake and other sweets that can elevate blood sugar. Sugar and carbohydrates cause the pancreas to produce insulin which in turn causes bad fat retention (belly fat).
Anyone who wants to avoid the possibility of Diabetes, or who has Diabetes can avoid sugar with a healthy substitute that does not have an effect on blood glucose. Xylitol is on the market now as a sugar replacement, recommended by our physician. It tastes just a little different, but it is has sweetness equivalent to sugar, and has no aftertaste. Health food markets carry the product, but we purchase ours through Amazon.com, where we found 5-lb bags that would last even with baking. I used it to make muffins, bread, berry pie (using almond flour to make the crust), and the taste was incredible!
It seems to us that Xylo-Sweet is the purest form to use, and it can be used in baking, for coffee, and even Berry Smoothies! If you do choose to use this, start with a little and work up to what you would normally use of sugar. Once your body has adjusted to it, you won't want to go back to sugar! It's an extremely healthy and important choice.
Xylo-Sweet - Sugar Alternative
An all natural sugar alternative that does not affect blood sugar levels, no after taste, maintains relevant sweetness compared to sugar.
Positive Thoughts - Positive Actions
Each individual is unique in body, and thought, so it might be a good idea to analyze what the goals are, and ways to achieve them. One person may need to approach the exercise program in the afternoon, another would prefer mornings. Not everyone will want to use a particular type of exercise equipment, or any at all. Some people just like to get out in nature, breath the air and jog, ride a bicycle, or take long walks. The point is to aim for a positive, thinking of something that sparks interest in actually being active.
When my eyes open in the morning, I do leg lifts, arm lifts, and sit-ups before I get out of bed. It gets the blood flowing and oxygen in my blood so I can wake up and get energized. Movement is the key. Just get moving.
Instead of dwelling on how tired one is, the positive thought of how good it will feel after the activity, and look forward to the end result. A friend once told me to place a photo of a desired outfit, or bathing suit on my bathroom mirror and refrigerator. Every time I would not "feel" like exercising, the photo would remind me what my goal was, and I would be encouraged to be consistent. Much to my surprise, it worked!
If an individual likes the type of movement he or she is doing, such as biking, hiking, walking, or going to a gym, it is more likely consistency will prevail. So, instead of saying "I don't feel like it", say, "I will do it!" Replace "I'm too tired", with, "It will give me energy."
Why Exercise Regularly?
Which choice sounds like it would be the healthiest action?
Whether you decide to exercise at home or at the gym of choice, it is a matter of choice to determine and be committed to short term goals. Short term goals such as exercising at least three days per week, maybe a half hour each time, or one hour makes it easier to commit to longer term goals.
Long term goals are what you look forward to such as weight loss, muscle tone, or just on over all feeling of good health.
Eating the right things helps in metabolism, and weight control, as well as a positive attitude. Thinking positive with self statements or reinforcements as reminders of how good it will feel to get into that bathing suit by summer, or a favorite outfit, maybe even show off for a certain someone helps maintain commitment.
It is a matter of choice, but it has to be put in action, then the process becomes routine, and feels wrong when exercise and correct eating is not met. It helped my husband and me, so I hope that this helps to encourage someone to make the choice, and commit to it. You will not regret it!
My husband stopped working out for a while, later discovering that not only was he beginning to gain weight again, but his back was also hurting. After returning to the gym, he discovered that working out helped to strengthen his back muscles, reduced stress, and got his heart rate back in a good rhythm. Even doing a few exercises every day at home will provide some important health benefits!
Gym and Equipment Photos: credit to Free Digital Photos, retrieved January 8, 2015 from Free Digital Photos Online at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Food photo: Marilyn Fritz
Video: Benefits of Exercising Regularly, Retrieved January 10, 2015 from YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YAtvXzgyZU