My Intention is to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

Thank you for your support.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

My body has Divine Intelligence

I love affirmations. I work with them from time to time. A few years after my hysterectomy I taped the following Louise Hay affirmation to my monitor. Since I started my training, I’ve been repeating it out loud:

In the infinity of life where I am,
all is perfect, whole and complete,
I recognize my body as a good friend,
Each cell in my body has Divine Intelligence,
I listen to what it tells me, and know that its advice is valid,
I am always safe, and Divinely protected and guided,
I choose to be healthy and free,
All is well in my world.


Well, yesterday I listened to my body after it told me to focus on the Mountain Pose. This seemed rather simple. When you think about it, the Mountain Pose is the foundation of most poses. So, my training will improve if I focus on the foundation or core of my body. Well, I discovered that the mountain pose was a bit more challenging than I thought.

First of all, I spend way too much time on my butt in front of a computer. As a matter of fact, I should call my program, Computer to 5k. Lol! Over half of my waking day is spent sitting in front of a computer. So, simply standing still for some time was challenging. I could feel the tension in my shoulders, thighs, and lower back. I had trouble keeping my breath deep and even. I worked on variations of the Mountain Pose for 30 minutes yesterday. I feel a little soreness this morning so obvious I used some muscles that need strengthening. I worked on the Mountain Pose first thing this morning and I plan to do this every day next week. Check out some of the benefits of the Mountain Pose:

Improves posture
Firms thighs, knees, and ankles
Relieves sciatica
Firms abs and buttocks
Improves balance

I am grateful for the advice.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Spirit Never Dies

The Day the Lady Died is a poem by one of my favorite poets, Frank O'Hara. For whatever reason I started thinking about this poem while sitting in the CVS parking lot last night. You know how certain memories are frozen in time and you remember every little detail. I love this poem because it isolates this significant moment in his life (the day Billie Holiday died) in time, detail by mundane detail. Well, I’m sitting in the parking lot and I started thinking about this poem and then my mother. I miss her so much. I need her this week. Tell me I can do this, mother. Tell me not to give up, mother. I need someone to listen to me and encourage me.

Am I searching for something outside of myself ? I am my biggest cheerleader. I no longer need my mother’s validation. The spirit of my mother, her confidence in my abilities, her love for me was nice. I enjoyed it for the brief time we spent together. I can still feel it and channel it and feed upon it. But, is it really necessary to do so? The ultimate lesson is that I do not need it at all. I never did. It was an illusion…just like the surreal feeling I get when I read Frank O’Hara’s poem. The truth is spirit never dies. Billie Holiday's spirit. My mother's spirit. My spirit. The part of me that I thought was dead is still alive. I demonstrate it each time I get out there and walk.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where is the joy?

Today I was dreading my work out. I took some time to sit quietly for a while. I meditated and prayed. I thought...be careful what you ask for and laughed. This is exactly what I wanted. The strength and energy to get out and exercise. The movitation and determination to complete my goal. I am going to face my fears head on.

I am afraid to sweat.
I am afraid to breath heavily.
I am afraid I'm going to succeed.
I am afraid I'm going to fail.
I am afraid I am going to make a fool of myself.
I am afraid I look stupid.
I am afraid of losing weight.
I am afraid of my expectations.
I am afraid of letting myself down.

You know...even if all of the above is true...even if all of the above happens or doesn't happen. I press forward. I will not give up. I am going to make it to that finish line! And so it is!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

To eat or not to eat, that is the question

I'm working on learning how to get maximum results out of my walks. As I've written before, I'm not having a good week energy wise. So, I'm going to try the following eating guidelines for the rest of the week and see if it makes a difference:

  • Eat 2 to 4 hours before a workout.
  • Eat 400 to 800 calories at your pre-exercise meal.
  • Choose high-carb foods that are low in fat and have a moderate amount of protein.
  • Drink at least 10 ounces of water or sports drink 2 hours before you exercise.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let it go!

I'm not having a good week. Today was a struggle. I think it has to be my diet and hydration. I have the motivation. However,I do not feel as if I have the energy I need. It could be mental. When I turned the corner to go up that little hill, I wanted to cry. I huffed and puffed my way up and felt like I was going to pass out when I made it to the top. Not good. After I did my crunches (10), I did some meditating.

When I sat down to blog, I could feel the tears. The same thing happened yesterday. I don't know why I didn't let them fall. I know it's emotional and not physical. As a matter of fact, I feel energized right now. Yet, I still feel like crying. Why? Whatever it is, I need to let it go.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Labyrinths

I fell in love with labyrinths over a decade ago. Today, while doing surfing, I ran across some information about labyrinths. I immediately started thinking about my training.

A labyrinth is a symbolic journey, I read, to the center of yourself. Aha! Light bulb. The Hidden curriculum rears its enlightened head once again. Yeah, I already know this 5K walk is a symbolic journey to the center of myself. The truth is I am so afraid of what I am going to see when I get there.

There’s a small labyrinth near my house. I think I’m going to spend some time there this weekend.



It's not what you know about the path, it's how you walk it...
-from the Matrix-

I can do this!

Brutal! Awesome! I just returned from my walk. I feel so grateful right now. I can't believe I am really going to do this.

My playlist for this week:

Real - The Tommies
I was created to worship - Bishop Andrew Merritt
I want to know your ways - Fred Hammond
We're Blessed - Fred Hammond
There is a balm in Gilead - The Clark Sisters

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Breakfast for Champions

Breakfast has always been a challenging for me. When I was a child, I never wanted to eat breakfast. I wasn't hungry. All my life I've heard...breakfast is the most important meal.

I'm working on it. Anyhow, yesterday during my nutrition class, I made a note to research adrenal glands. I can't remember what the instructor said about them. However, here's an important piece of information that probably pertains to me:

But I’m not hungry in the morning...

As your mother probably told you, breakfast is important. But maybe you don’t feel hungry in the morning, and if so, it could be for the following reasons:

  • Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which has appetite-dulling effects, begins to enter the bloodstream at a fast rate first thing in the morning.

  • Decreased liver function, which can accompany adrenal dysfunction or a heavy toxic burden, can also dampen morning hunger.

Even if you don’t feel hungry, having a nutritious breakfast within an hour of rising — preferably with protein — will provide energetic benefits to your metabolism and cortisol levels that last throughout the day.

Source: http://www.womentowomen.com/adrenalfatigue/adrenalglandnutrition.aspx


I guess my health coach was right about telling me I need to have my breakfast within one hour of waking. I've been slacking off so this is a goal for this week.

Week Three Preview

My training plan for Week Three:

Monday – 18 mins.
Tuesday – 15 mins.
Wednesday – 24 mins.
Thursday – 15 mins., 15 crunches
Friday – off
Saturday – 30 mins.
Sunday – off

My shopping list:

Apples
Avocadoes
Lettuce
Chick peas – I’m going to make hummus
Blueberries
Protein shakes
Cheese
Black beans
Tuna

I was reviewing my notes from the nutrition class. I am going to purchase some Kombu.
It’s a sea vegetable you can add to your beans to add flavor and extra minerals. It also
Helps with digestion. I’m going to use it in some black beans.

I made a note to research adrenal glands.

Other updates include my bedtime and the watch. I tried going to bed at 10 a few times.
I found myself waking around 4 am. Sometimes I was able to sleep until 7, other times
I just got up around 5:30, meditated, stretched, and started my day.

The watch. I can’t figure out how to use the timer. I also realized that since I am wearing
Headphones I wouldn’t hear it anyhow. I’m sending the watch to my brother in NY. Lol!

I will work on my playlist later on this afternoon.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Week Two Wrap Up

Today was I scheduled to walk 30 mins. I was so nervous about it. Again, I was allowing my mind to get me so worked up about it. Am I going to be able to walk that long? Why did you start this crazy venture?

It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning. I have to walk 30 minutes today. I had to yell at myself to quit worrying about it Are you ready to go out walking now? No! Then, shut up about it, I told my mind.

After a very cold week, the weather was beautiful. I decided to go walking along "the professional path" as I call it. It's a path where people walk, jog, and cycle. I like it because there are quarter mile markers along the way. I was nervous. 30 minutes is the longest duration I've had to walk since beginning my training. I had a little trouble during the last 10 minutes. My hands starting getting cold, and my lower back started to spasm a bit. I was so tempted to stop. I refused to let my mind tell me my body couldn't to it. I ignored all that fear and kept on walking. I focused on my breathing and my stride and completed my session like a champ. I walked a little over 1.25 miles! I couldn't believe it.

I stood along the river for a while and stretched and gave thanks. Then, I went to my favorite little spot, meditated and watched the ducks for a while. It was a beautiful ending to a rather stressful week.

***

I attended a nutrition class this morning. A lot of the stuff I already knew. For the most part, I am disappointed in the class. I like what she said about being in tune with your body, listening to your body, and asking it what it needs.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Stretch it out!



Stretch It Out, Sheila!

I have pain in my left hip and low back. I just learned it’s my hip flexor and psoas muscles that are giving me a little trouble. I’ve this issue in the past. I was going to the chiropractor and massage therapist on the regular. The good news is that it’s not as bad as it was months ago. I think this area is just weak and not used to getting a good work out. I’m stretching but obviously not enough. I’ve been lazy about doing the Moon Salutation. I’ve been doing various poses and stretching. I haven’t been sore so I thought I was good in the stretching area. I take my time and stretch during the day, right before my walk, and immediately after. I’ve read that many underestimate. The importance of adequate stretching. I do not want to be in that category.

Today is an off day so I’ll focus on stretching. Oh, I also need to pay better attention to hydration.

I did a little review on the muscle anatomy last night. The major muscles used when walking are:


The muscles of the legs; the calves - gastrocnemius and soleus, and the upper leg-the quadriceps and hamstrings.
The muscles of the hips; the adductor and abductor muscles, the hip flexors, and the gluteals.
The core muscles; the rectus abdominus, obliques, and the spinal erectors.
The muscles of the upper extremities and shoulder; the biceps, the triceps, and the deltoids.


Source: http://www.thestretchinghandbook.com/archives/stretches-walking.php

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cheap Watch, Expensive Lesson.

I purchased a watch yesterday. This is major. I have not worn or own a watch since July 15, 1998. This is the day I took my mother to the doctor and he told us there is nothing else he can do. It was time to call hospice. She was so weak and frail. I broke my watch helping her get out of the car. I remember helping her get undressed and back into bed. I sat with her until she fell asleep. I noticed my watch was missing. I walked into the kitchen to find my father sitting at the table trying to fix my watch. He was crying. “Don’t worry about it, Dad.” I said. Now that I think about it, what was it? The fact that my watch was broken or that my mother was back there dying.

Since that day, I haven’t worn a watch. I’ve looked at watches over the years, considered buying a watch, but never did. Well, I’ve been looking at watches and considering purchasing one for almost two weeks. It’s bothersome to pull out my iPod to maneuver the stopwatch feature. So and decided the time (no pun intended) is now. So, this, my friends, is part of the hidden curriculum I wrote about last week.

I’m reading The Shack. The main character calls the grief he carries (over the murder of his young daughter) The Great Sadness. While reading this book, I realized I have my own Great Sadness. My mother’s transition was a pivotal point in my life. I stopped caring. Grief hovers over me at times like a big, black, dark, thunderous, dangerous cloud. I built this wall around my heart and distracted myself from it. I also think my desire to please my mother (even though she wasn’t a demanding person) superseded my desire to please myself. I started living my life on the surface. Hmm…all this from buying a cheap watch?

I must confess, folks. I’m still not sure I’m going to wear it.






Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Too Blessed to be Stressed

What a day, what a day, what a day! I had a doctor's appointment this morning. I'm doing well, keep up the weight loss, reduced dosage on one of my meds (yippee!), see you in four months instead of three (yippee!). I shared my 5k goal. She was impressed and said it's ambitious. I left her office with the Compliant Patient of the Month Award. Well, see what my blood work looks like in a couple of days.

Today's walk was the most challenging so far. 24 minutes. It was cold. I really didn't eat right today. For breakfast I had oatmeal and grapes. For lunch I had popcorn and a Full Throttle. I just have a ton of things on my mind. Excuses, excuses, excuses. It really doesn't matter what's going on. I need to take care of myself. I will take care of myself. How many times do I have to say this??? I'm annoyed that I'm annoyed. Lol! No matter what, I am determined to stick with my training plan. Period.

So, I went out about 6:00 pm. I walked farther than I've ever walked. Again, my mind started playing tricks on me. I felt like I was walking too far. Even though I set my timer to go off at the halfway mark, I looked at it to make sure it was working. This is when I started to falter. My legs started getting heavy, my back a little stiff, my face cold, my nose started running, and my breathing was erratic. I was doing fine until then. I focused on my feet, started swinging my arms, and listened to the lyrics blasting from my headphones--Justin Timberlake's Sexy Back. There you go, Sheila! I got my breathing under control and finished my walk triumph. I'm so proud of myself! I came in the house and did a little victory dance.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations, Mr. President!

It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.
Barack Hussein Obama
The 44th President of the United States of America



Monday, January 19, 2009

Week Two Playlist

I’ve read that there’s a science to choosing an effective workout list. Since I purchased an iPod, I have to admit I enjoy working out to music. I’ve been reviewing workout playlists, but I really can’t get into all that BPM (Beats Per Minute) stuff.

I’ve been told my playlist is all over the place—gospel, rap. Lol! For the most part, Gospel music is my thing. I love Gospel. For the most part, I choose Gospel songs because it is what I like. Being someone who believes in multi-tasking, I figure I can worship and workout at the same time. Come to think of it, there are many who consider physical exercise and working out a spiritual practice. I’m beginning to feel the same way.

I choose my songs, first, based on the motivational messages I receive from them, and then the beat. My process may not be the textbook process but it works for me. I have to admit I’m digging the hip hop and rap songs I’m finding on others’playlists. They’re ostentatious, all about ego and self-confidence; it’s exactly what I need when working out.

My Week Two Playlist is as follows:

Golden – Jill Scott
Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake
Stronger – Myron Butler & Levi
How do you want it – Tupac
Keep Your Head – Kirk Franklin
First Love – Kirk Franklin

Let’s do this!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Week Down

Nine weeks and some change to go! What did I learn this week?

1. I am truly committed to accomplishing this goal
2. I have a lot of supporters
3. I'm in better shape than I thought
4. I don't drink enough water

My training plan for this week is as follows:

Monday - 20 mins.
Tuesday - 10 mins.
Wednesday- 24 mins.
Thursday - 15 mins.
Friday - off
Saturday - 30 mins.
Sunday - off

***

I survived being a bit out of my comfort zone this week. When I was in the seminary, we had to do this exercise called -- I am here to be seen. I hated this exercise. I didn't want to be seen. I am a very private person. This is the first time I realized I preferred to be in the background. Anyhow, this was part of what the New Seminary calls the hidden curriculum. The lessons behind the lessons. Some of us were entering the Seminary to change, save, heal others, when the truth of the matter was we were embarking on a journey to change, save, heal ourselves.

I sense a hidden curriculum in this journey. So far, it has been interesting to watch myself. It has been quite comical. I'm having so fun entertaining myself with myself, if that makes sense. Lol!

Today is an off day. I'll do some stretching, work on my meals for the week, and cue up a new playlist.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Post

I went shopping for running gloves today. Apparently, cotton is the enemy when you're working out. I also purchased a t-shirt that supposedly keeps moisture away from your skin. We'll see.

Today was challenging for me. Most of it was mental. I started focusing on how far I was walking, thinking about how I never thought I could walk this far, I then saw my old self, in pain, remembering how I could barely make it out of the Jeep and into the Chiropractor's office. Then, I heard myself huffing and puffing. I needed to quickly get out of my head. Once I did, I was fine.


Today's Shopping List
1. Tilipia
2. Red grapes
3. Red pepper
4. Eggs
5. Cheese
6. Tomatoes (I already have lettuce)
7. Low Carb Fuze
8. Cauliflower
9. Gala apples (my favorite)

Sleep and StretchZ

I went to bed earlier last night. Well, at least, early for me. I am usually up until 1 or 2 on a Friday night. Last night I was in bed around 11. I guess I really don't need much sleep because I was up around 5. I got up for a bit, stretch, tried to go back to sleep. I tossed and turned for about 30 minutes and decided to get up. I did some more stretching and meditation.

This coming week I do plan to be more disciplined about getting to bed at a decent hour. I am setting my bedtime at 10. I'm up as late as midnight during the week, and I begin working at 7:30 am! Some of the time I'm up late grading papers. Most of the time I'm goofing off on the Internet. No matter what is going on, it's going to be lights out at 10 for me.

Switching gears, I discovered this cool app on my Touch last night--StretchZ. It contains stretching routines you can do right at your desk. Since the majority of my waking hours are spent in front of a computer screen, this will be a great way for me to get in some stretching.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Beginner's Mind

Earlier today I read a post about approaching a fitness program with a beginner's mind. This post really resonated with me. This week was all about surrendering to the process. I did my best to follow my plan.

For instance, on Thursday I was scheduled to walk 10 minutes. The ego kept telling me it wasn't enough. I could go longer, the ego said. I'm not going to get any results walking 10 minutes, the ego continued. I'm perfectly capable of walking longer.

This isn't the point, ego! My goal is to complete this plan with as much compliance as possible. The plan obviously works. Others have used it with much success. So, I completed my 10 minutes knowing I was physically capable of doing more.

Thank God It's Friday

Today is an off day so this entry will probably be a bit of rambling.

First of all, I'm glad today is an off day because it's cold outside. I've done some stretching today. I'll do a bit more, read up on nutrition, meditate, and do some more stretching.

In addition to walking yesterday, I did a little strength training on my upper body.

My rant of the week has been exercise gear for big, fat, overweight, plus-size, whatever you want to call it, people! Why is it so difficult to find decent gear? I need a good bra with some support (don't laugh). Is that so hard to ask? I don't have the time to go on about it know.

Speaking of support, it's interesting to observe the way people are being so supportive (or not so supportive). You can also get the glimpse of the mindset of people around you. Are they encouraging? Discouraging? I don't need anyone around me right now that is going to support me in making excuses!

I have been getting a lot of inspiration (and information) from reading other blogs.

I guess that's it for now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside!

I can already feel the difference in my body and it's only Day Four. I conquered that last incline, no problem, today. The only challenge I had today was the weather. It's cold! I've got to get better gloves and pants for my workouts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Three's a Charm

I just completed my 16-minute walk for today. Whew!

When I was working with a health coach, I was having a small meal every 2 or 3 hours. While I was walking earlier, I reminded myself that I need to get back into this habit. It was working for me. The more structure I set for myself, the better off I'll be.

Well, my lunch break is over. Bye!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Two Day

I only had to do five minutes today. I walked around the block. It took me 6:43 minutes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Publix 5K Run/Walk - March 28th

It's official. The Publix 5K Run/Walk. March 28, 2009. Grant Park. 9:30 am.

See you at the finish line!

Healthy Eating Plan

My Healthy Eating Plan


I’ve been doing some research and realized I do not have an eating plan. Since my goal isn’t weight loss (it will be a byproduct of my fitness goal), I haven’t given it as much thought until I read on one of the sites I just visited. So….here’s my written plan…for this week.

I'm amazed at the detail in some of these training programs. Most of them are for runners so I guess they have to be. Anyhow, I'll save those thought for another entry.

My biggest challenges are hydration, breakfast, and late-night snacking. I don’t eat breakfast. I’m not a morning person. So, the last thing I want to do in the morning is eat. A few months ago, my doctor recommended these protein shakes—AdvantEdge Carb Control Ready-to Drink Shakes. My favorite flavor is CafĂ© Caramel. Anyhow, since August, I’ve been drinking these shakes as a meal replacement. I’ll continue doing this.

Now, weekends are totally different. Most of the time, I skip breakfast or eat junk. Whatever we’ve had for dinner is usually what I’ll eat or go to IHOP. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I’m a night owl. While most people are settling down for bed around 8 or 9 in the evening, I’m melting butter and popping corn or eating chips. Sunday I bought two boxes of those 100-calories snacks. They’re usually the last thing I reach for when I want a snack. We’ll see how I do this week. I have some sugar free popsicles. I have some apples, blueberries, and walnuts.

I saved the best for last—my water intake. Don’t forget to drink your water, Sheila! I’ll keep a bottle of water on my desk and drink water after my meals.

I’m not worried about lunch and dinner. I’ll go back to cooking on Sundays. Yesterday, Crystal cooked—salmon, green beans, chicken, cabbage. She also made some low carb peanut butter cookies. Oh, and egg salad. My back up meal when I don’t feel like cooking—tuna or a salad.

Okay, I’m done.

Baby Steps

I'm back. I just completed my stretch, 10 minutes of walking, and stretch for the day.

Today's walk was better than yesterday.

I took my sneakers out for a test walk. I walked for about 20 to 25 minutes. It was cold! Plus, I had all these professional runners and walkers zooming past me. I told myself right away not to get off on the wrong start by comparing myself to others. I am going to do the best that I can do. This is all that I am asking from myself and the Universe.

Today it was just me, my tunes, and the pavement.

Peace~

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stretching

Namaste! The stretches I planned to do aren’t working for me, so I decide to what feels right for me—yoga.

So, I did two sequences of the Moon Salutation. I am pretty confident this will give me an effective stretch:

Mountain pose
Prayer pose
Half moon pose

? pose – whatever it is called, I did it. (Sorry Kelly).
Goddess pose
Triangle pose
Lunge pose
Squat Pose

Oh, I also did a few minutes of the Cobra pose.

Okay, I’m good to go.

See ya!

My Playlist – Week One

My Playlist – Week One


Can’t Give Up Now
– Mary Mary

My Day – Canton Jones

Jesus Walks – Kanye West

Imagine Me – Kirk Franklin

Every Little Step - Bobby Brown

Show Me What You Got – Jay-Z


I'm going out for a test walk in a few hours.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Couch to 5k Training Plan

Okay. I've been reading and researching and I think I've found the plan for me. According to this plan, I will be physically ready for my event in 12 weeks. Here's Week 1:

Monday - Walk 10 mins.
Tuesday - Walk 5 mins.
Wednesday - Walk 16 mins.
Thursday - Walk 10 mins.
Friday - off
Saturday - Walk 20 minutes
Sunday - off

I purchased my sneakers today--Asics Gel-Cumulus 10. They're featured on my page. Big shout out to Jill for recommending the Big Peach Running Co. They do a great job helping you choose the perfect walking/running shoes for you. "The Fit Process" is pretty high tech. You step on this thing that looks like a scale and it shows you how your weight is distributed on your feet and this other technical stuff I don't remember. Truthfully, I just wanted to hear the bottom line--how much? I do remember I have low arches and bear most of my weight in my heels. Next, you get on this treadmill, they study how you walk (or run), and they tell you which type of sneakers are best for your feet. Asics Gel-Cumulus 10, While/Steel Grey/Red. They feel great.

The Starting Gate

This year I have decided to do something I have always wanted to do—participate in a 5K marathon.

I begin this year so grateful to God and the universe. I did a lot of healing last year. Last year I did something I have always wanted to do -- yoga classes. Yoga lead to water aerobics. As a result, I am 40 pounds lighter and counting!

Yesterday I was pondering my next fitness goal, I decided to go for something big, really challenge myself. Well, here I am and this is it. A 5K walk.

The time is now and I’m ready to go.