JANUARY 2012

  • MINDLESSNESS

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    My BFF sent me some food for thought this morning & I wanted to share.

     
    The article was in the latest issue of Taste of Home magazine:

     

    “If you always eat popcorn when you’re at the movies, you’re likely to gobble down the popcorn no matter how awful it tastes.  To prove this, scientists at the University of Southern California handed people entering a movie theater a bucket of either just-popped or week-old popcorn.  People who normally avoid movie popcorn ate much less stale than fresh popcorn.  But moviegoers who usually crunch away on the snack during movies ate the same amount of popcorn, regardless of whether it was fresh or stale.  According to the researchers, when you associate a certain food with a specific environment, you’ll eat and eat, no matter how awful it is.  For a happy ending, be sure to engage your taste-buds before mindlessly munching.”

     

    I usually take little stock in scientific experiements talked about in home magazines, but, the thing I most identify with, is this statement: “when you associate a certain food with a specific environment, you’ll eat and eat, no matter how awful it is.  For a happy ending, be sure to engage your taste-buds before mindlessly munching.”

     

    This is so true.  And, it reminded me of lesson 2 in Dr. A’s workbook companion guide, Living a Longer Healthier Life.  In it, he defines habits & discusses how we have the opportunity to change our habits if we truly want to.  From his book:

     

    “It looks something like this:

     

    Stimulus ———-> Action

    Saber-toothed Tiger ————–> Run

     

    It doesn’t take many intense experiences like these to engrain a response.

    Repetition can also create deeply rooted habits that are hard to change:

     

    Watching TV ——–> Hungry ———–> Bowl of Popcorn

     

    And soon enough:

     

    Watching TV ————> Bowl of Popcorn

     

    You may have just finished dinner when you sit down to watch TV with a bowl of popcorn, but the stimulus of hunger is no longer necessary.  A Habit of Disease has been born.”

     

    The best part is, this isn’t a doomsday scenario.  These habits we developed as children-most likely-can be undone or redone and turned into positive things.  We can make up new habits of health.  For instance:

     

    Wake up ———–> Workout

    Watching TV ————> Do ab exercises during the commercials

    Driving ————> Drink bottled water

     

    So start recognizing the habits of disease in your life, think of the foundational choices that support optimal health, and start implementing them in your daily life while subtracting the negative portions.  You can do it!

     

  • APP-ALICIOUS {PART 1}

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    Today I wanted to share some of my favorite apps with you.  I use an iPhone, so I’m not sure how many of these are available for Droid users, but I’m assuming most of them are.  If you have an iPod or iPad, you can use these, too.

     

    1. Instagram

    Instagram is such a fun app.  Come over & follow me {@karlijo77} if you have an account & leave me a comment letting me know your username & I’ll follow you back.  I love the filters, the daily photo challenges, and the social networking ease of this app.  A daily favorite, for sure.

     

    COST: Free

     

    2. SleepMachineLite

    I don’t use this one too often, but when I do, I LOVE it.  Every once in a while I have a hard time shutting down in the evenings & falling asleep.  I use this app during those times.  I love that it has many options {the wind sound is my favorite}, the ability to set a timer to shut off, and it’s not obnoxious {although I’m sure some of the sounds are}.

     

    COST: Free

     

     

    3. Pinterest

    You all know I LOVE Pinterest.  {Follow me HERE}.  It’s a great resource for all things creative & fun.  And, yummy.  And, healthy!  It’s the whole package.  An instagram friend recently attended a business seminar where the CEO of Pinterest was one of the keynote speakers.  He said this, “Our mission is not to keep you online, it’s to get you offline.  Pinterest should inspire you to go out and do the things you love.  Pinterest is the place to plan the most important projects in your life.”  Wow.  I LOVE that because I get it.  That’s what I use Pinterest for and although I spend 5-10 minutes each day pinning stuff, I’ve spent many hours since finding it actually working on & completing projects I found there.  I’d say it’s worth it.  Time well spent.

     

    COST: Free

     

    4. Dictionary

    I love to read & sometimes come across a word I’m not sure of-usually in something Jen Lancaster writes-like: torpor, cogent, petard, and dendrophilous. This app makes it super quick & easy to look it up without taking more than 20 seconds away from my book to do so.

     

    COST: Free

     

    5. TargetWeight

    I love this app because I didn’t want something that gave me lots of stats to remind me how close I am to my goal.  There are two different versions {under 20 lbs. & 20+} and you get whichever you choose.  Enter your height, current weight, goal weight, and date you’d like to get there.  Each day {or as often as you weigh in}, you put in your new number & it gives you a number on your phone face to remind you where you’re at.  Mine says 12 right now, meaning I Have 12 pounds to go to my goal.

     

    COST: Free

     

    6. Hulu+ & Neflix

    We don’t have cable/dish/direct tv, so our five channels feel a bit limited at times.  We did the Netflix & Hulu+ streaming instead and love them for the kids and for the shows we love to watch when we’re winding down in the evenings {like Psych, Drop Dead Diva, Community}.  I LOVE having the apps on my phone because I can watch while I’m on the treadmill, when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office, or when the kids or husband are using the tv for something else.

     

    COST: Free & Free {although you do have to have a subscription for both which is about $8/month a piece}

     

    7. 7 Little Words

    Do not get this app if you are easily addicted to word games.  I love it because I tell myself it’s strengthening my memory or keeping my brain & mind young or something.  I use this game when I’m waiting at appointments primarily, and it is a fun game that will surprise you with it’s entertainment value.  Kind of like a mad gab word find, of sorts.

     

    COST: Free {you can buy add on games for .99 each}

     

    8. MyFitnessPal

    This is a great & comprehensive app that allows you to track what you eat {even has the Medifast foods!}, what you do for exercise, and then helps you reach your goal.  It’s super useful and great to have with you all the time rather than waiting till you get home to be able to write everything down.  It tells you how many calories to aim for each day and can get pretty in depth as far as tracking.  I’m just learning with this one, but so far, I’m a fan.

     

    COST: Free

     

    {all images-other than the one of me & the screenshots of my phone-are taken via google images}

     

  • DON’T GET DESPERATE

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    I’ve been slowly reading a book called Made to Crave, by Lysa Terkurst.  {more to come on that later} and in it she coined a phrase that has become one of my mantras the past several months.
     
    “Desperation leads to Degradation.”
     
    This shook me deeply when I read it and then I continued to ponder in my mind & study in Dr. A’s Habits of Health, and feel it with my heart.  It’s true for me.  When I feel desperate, I turn to degrading behaviors.  Such as binge eating, staying up way too late, eating crappy-for-me foods, using food as an emotional crutch, being grumpy to those I love most, dropping the ball on my responsibilities, making excuses, the list goes on.
     
    Feeling desperate isn’t just a rare occurrence, either.  I can reach the desperate point if I’m any of the following: overtired, overstressed, bored, on a tight deadline, frustrated, in a hurry, sad, and/or just waited too long to eat, among others.
     
    Here’s the dictionary definition of degrade:

    de·grade

    [dih-greyd or, for 3, dee-greyd] verb, -grad·ed, -grad·ing.
    verb (used with object)
    1. to lower in dignity or estimation; bring into contempt: He felt they were degrading him by making him report to the supervisor.
    2. to lower in character or quality; debase.
    3. to reduce (someone) to a lower rank, degree, etc.; deprive of office, rank, status, or title, especially as a punishment: degraded from director to assistant director.
    4. to reduce in amount, strength, intensity, etc.
     
    So essentially what happens is this:
    I feel bad because I haven’t allowed myself to get enough sleep for several nights in a row {this is a huge one for me}, and I am running on little steam.  My kids are more needy than usual, I have clients that need my attention, and my laundry is piled up.  I am trying to finish a gift for a friend & a lesson for the church class I’m teaching.  All these things build up and suddenly-sometimes within a 30 second period-I’ve reached desperation.  I am in the pantry/fridge/cupboard and have consumed 650 calories without even tasting them or realizing what I’m doing.  After the 2 minute binge instant gratification wears off {within the 2 minutes it took me to consume}, I don’t feel good.
     
    I feel degraded.  I feel like the lowest character person ever.  I feel worthless, useless, more tired/grumpy/stressed/bloated, etc., and as if I completely ruined my entire day. Each time this happens, a little piece of my confidence is torn off.  It takes so long to build that back up that I seemingly can’t keep up.

     

    It’s a vicious cycle. {I made this graph to illustrate}


    But, it’s one I’m aware of.  Every single day since I read that line, I’ve said it to myself.  Sometimes multiple times.  Oftentimes when I’m feeling overstressed or tired, or at my wits end with a situation in my life.  ”Desperation leads to Degradation.”
     
    It doesn’t always stop me from eating something I shouldn’t or staying up too late another night or making a bad mommy decision.  BUT, a lot of times it does.  It stops me in the moment & I ask myself: “Am I hungry?  Tired?  Stressed?  Completely overwhelmed?”  I can usually think through & talk myself out of the bad behavior that I’d have made previously in a similar situation.
     
    And that, my friends, is what I call PROGRESS.
     
    So I want to encourage you not to allow yourself to get desperate.  If you feel yourself getting close to that edge, don’t let anything push you off.  Don’t allow yourself to be degraded-especially not by you.

     

    You are worth so much more.

     

  • MISCELLANEOUS MONDAY

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    1. We took a family vacation this past week & got back last night.  I am madly trying to get back on track in several areas {program included} and have a massive headache that makes going off program-even for a few small things-totally not worth it.

     

    2. Right now at our house we are totally into the show Community.  It makes me laugh so stinking hard and we watch a few episodes each night.  What shows are watched at your house?

    3.  With the start of a New Year, I know LOTS of you are wanting to start some sort of new program/diet/routine/fad on the market.  Why not try Take Shape for Life and have me as your FREE health coach? I’d love to help you reach your goals & for a limited time {like til the end of January}, you can receive some awesome benefits for getting started.  And, ME as your coach.  How cool is that?!

    Email me: zkyoufit@hotmail.com or visit me HERE.

     

    4. Planning a star wars themed birthday party around here right now.  Finding lots of cute ideas, but trying to stick to the low-key style party.  Loving Pinterest for ideas, as always.

     

    5. Something to think about.  Crazy, eh?  Find out where you fall here & by taking the client profile.  Spread the word.

  • RESOLUTIONS

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    Confession: I think resolutions are mostly a “set yourself up for failure” type gig.

     

    However, I’m a big, huge, enormous fan of setting goals, so I like to set a couple at the beginning of a new year.  Because I also LOVE new beginnings.  A fresh start.  A new slate.  The beginning of a new year just oozes possibility for me.  The chance to be better at something, anything, all things.

     

    I used to set several {read: 10-20} goals at the beginning of a new year and without fail, I would end up getting 100% on 1 if any.  I’ve always done one thing right when setting goals, and that is to write them down.  That is key.  Think it, write it, do it.  Because I set & didn’t accomplish so many in the past, I’ve learned to downsize in the goal department.  A girl can only do so much, right?

     

    Now my philosophy is something like this:  I pick a word for the year that is a main area or thing I’d like to work on & focus on the for the entire year.  Then I set one goal in each area of my life {physical/emotional/mental/spiritual}, one goal as a couple with my husband, one goal as a wife, one goal as a mom, and one goal as a family.  So, this ends up being 8ish goals.  Sometimes they overlap.  I think about them, write them down, make a game plan for how they’ll go into action, and get to work.  I don’t set myself up for failure anymore, either.  I take them one at a time.  I start small.

    For instance, my physical goal for this year is to consistently move more on a daily basis.  This is the large overall goal.  The smaller action steps to reach this goal are evaluated on a weekly basis.  This week I am choosing to walk for 30 minutes each week day.  Today I also had an impromptu dance party in the kitchen for 20 minutes with my boys.  It felt good to move spontaneously like that.  It was fun to enjoy movement with them & to watch them having fun & laughing.  Next week I may choose to continue walking 30 minutes each day or I might choose to walk 15, jog 10.  I may choose to do a stretching routine every day.  It’s about being flexible and keeping the overall large goal reachable by making small steps every day.

     

    It works for me.

     

    *Also, I’m doing a Confess Healthy Choices challenge/photo play-a-long & would LOVE for you to join me.  Find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram {username: @karlijo77}.  Pinterest too, if you just can’t get enough of me!  Add your own healthy choice photos & label them with the hashtag #chcdaily so I can come see!  Share your thoughts on resolutions & goals and what you’re focusing on in twenty-twelve.

     

    Happy New Year!!