Isla de Angela ~ gaining inner peace, losing extra weight

Permission to ROCK Slip

On this day, January 7, 2012, you, Angie, officially have my permission to ROCK the following 30 days of Bikram Yoga. This permission slip includes the following provisions:

  1. When your work schedule doesn’t allow you to attend a class, you have my permission to practice at home, (absolutely guilt-free). You have the tools and you have the desire so get in that heated bathroom and make yourself proud!
  2. Following a rough class, (everyone has them), you have my permission to be proud of the fact that you made it to class and stayed in the room. It’s yoga practice,– not yoga perfect.
  3. Most importantly, you have my permission to relax into your yoga bubble, taking one pose at a time, and taking to your knee when you have to. There’s no need to anticipate or dread any pose because you have my full permission to embrace each struggle as it appears then blow the memory away as you meet your eyes in the mirror and breathe.

camel glowing

Good Camel. Good Life.

Angie – I Give You Permission to Be Good to Yourself.

Love, Angie

She’s Been Spotted

You know how your mirror and camera don’t agree on how you look (I look soooo much better in the mirror than I do in pictures!)?  Well, it’s pretty much the same thing when you see a person that looks like you – ie. your Doppelganger.  My daughter and I (ok, mostly me) play the “Is-she-bigger-than-me-game”.  Basically, I’ll see a woman and ask her,”Is she bigger than me?”.  The point of the game is that I want her to say, “Yeah, Mom.  She’s bigger.” So naturally, I usually pick women that I think I’m smaller than – ha, ha (yes, I fix the game!).  Today, though, I met my match as they say.  She was even wearing a shirt that I own!  Even before I asked my daughter the question – I knew the answer.  We had the same body shape.  The same body size.  Close to the same height.  Our faces and hair are different, though!  If it wouldn’t have been rude, I’d have asked for a picture!  Ha, ha!

She’s actually the friend of a friend and is a perfectly nice woman.  I don’t want to have her body, though.  It’s a little hard to see it and know I look the same.  Not much else to say about it, I guess.  I know I’ll be running into her pretty regularly.  I’d like to ask my daughter “THE” question one day and have her be able to honestly answer, “Yeah, Mom.  She’s bigger.”… It’s a childish game, I know.  I imagine I’m not the only one that plays it, though!

Weight Loss Guru’s Through The Years

It’s been about a decade that I’ve been over weight and trying to lose it.  Like most women in the same boat, I’ve tried many programs.  They all seem to work for the period of time that I could  stick to them.  That’s always been the problem for me, though.  The sticking to it.  While none if them have been a sustainable life-style for me, many things that I’ve learned thru them/on them have stayed with me.  Many of the ideas, tips, etc, are what I’m holding on to right now.  Some of the things I’ve learned through the many diet guru’s who have passed through my life over the years:

6 Week Body Makeover Taught Me:

  • the benefit of eating 5 small meals a day
  • what a real serving looks like

Richard Simmons (yep, you read that right):

  • by cutting soda out of your diet you can lose 10-12 pounds

Suzanne Sommers:

  • eat protein, fats, vegetables, and fruit – just not all in the same meal
  • gave me my favorite beanless chili recipe

Rachael Ray:

  • the importance of everything in moderation
  • to not be afraid to venture off the written recipe

Geneen Roth Taught Me:

  • eat when you’re hungry
  • eat what you really want – just eat it slowly, mindfully, and joyfully – stop when you’re full (ie. listen to your body)
  • the binge – “Compulsion and awareness cannot coexist at the same time.”  Once you are aware that you are in the moment of compulsive behavior the “spell is broken”.  Now it’s a choice, not a uncontrollable force.

Dr. Beck:

  • it’s not okay to take it easy on the weekends and every special event BECAUSE – There are about 140 weekend days of a year, not to mention the numerous holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, showers, weddings, parties, restaurant meals, fairs, conferences, meetings, special occasions, and vacation days.
  • each time we “resist” an urge to fall of plan we strengthen our “resistance muscle” and each time we “give in” to temptation we strengthen our “give in muscle”
  • don’t veer from your plan unless you’ve “planned” to ahead of time (don’t decide to eat cake just because there’s one in the break room) and if you’re going to eat something high-calorie, fat, sweet, etc… make sure it’s a 10 out of 10 (something you truly love) don’t waste your recent efforts on a 5 or 6…

The Full Plate Diet:

  • increase the fiber in your diet – it makes you feel full – therefore you’ll eat less and fiber is calorie-free – therefore you’ll consume less calories making it easier to burn more calories than you eat in a day
  • when you eat more fiber you soon realize you need to drink more water – which is a good thing

Dr. Oz & Angela from the Green Monster Movement:

  • adding spinach (steamed baby spinach) to my morning smoothie is excellent for my diet with no noticeable taste

Bikram Yoga:

  • You can only find out what is possible with your body if you first conquer your mind. 
  • the importance of doing an exercise that you enjoy

Various Low-Carb Plans:

  • the importance of keeping pre-made snacks and meals in the fridge
  • that I feel good when my protein and veggie intake far out-weighs my carb intake
  • how insulin works in the body

Oprah:

  • stop eating at 7 or 8 each night and embrace that achy/rumbling belly when you’re trying to fall asleep – that’s what it feels like when your body is living off its fat reserves.  (yeah, probably not true but I like the image!)

and, of course, the piece de la resistance:

or maybe it's fat melting?

or… maybe it’s fat melting??? 

Those are the lessons that come to mind, anyway.  Those ideas along with “Eat Better.  Move More.” are the casual “rules” I’m following.  And I do mean casual rules – see previous post!!

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Eating Better.  Moving More. 

(Think I’ll go for an evening walk tonight – it’s perfect walking weather!)

~  Angie  ~

I’m Hard-Wired to Self-Sabotage Myself

It’s true – I struggle with just enjoying the present moment.  At present I’m feeling strong, healthy, successful, and proud of myself and the lifestyle improvements I’ve made in the last couple of weeks.  But that same “self'” constantly has to be reminded to NOT MEASURE my success, because when I start measuring… I start setting the bar so high that I can’t touch it, let alone jump over it!  I’m mean to myself like that.  But these pesky self-sabotage inclinations of mine are devious… They know I’m strong enough, smart enough, aware enough to not compare myself with other people and their successes – so these inclinations are trying to get me to compare myself to myself

So I’m trying hard to remember:  Don’t Let Comparison Steal My JoyDon’t Let Comparison Steal My JoyDon’t Let Comparison Steal My Joy…. Don’t Let Comparison Steal My JoyDon’t Let Comparison Steal My Joy Even Self-Comparisons!!

Apparently it’s not enough tha I actively strive to “Eat Better.  Move More.” My inner self keeps trying to compare yesterday’s Better and More with today’s Better and More.  That’s not what I’m aiming for, though, because eventually I’ll run into the wall of not being able to improve anymore or especially everyday and – BOOM!  I start feeling like a failure… The simplicity of my goals are designed to never let me fail (how great is that?!). Eat Bettersimply means look at what I’m about to eat and make a better choice.  Better can be anything from a smaller portion, increasing the veggies, leaving the condiments off, only eating half a bun, drinking water with my meal instead of diet pop, choosing a healthier option, eating  mindfully, eating slowly and really tasting/enjoying it, etc…  Eat Better does NOT mean Eat Better than yesterdayMove More – simply means move more than I have to or want to at any given moment.  More can be anything from going one more block when I’m walking, parking further away from the store, getting the mail or garbage cans before the kids do, and sometimes it’s as silly as taking an extra trip up and down the stairs for no other reason than to Move More.  Move More does NOT mean Move More than yesterday.

Sometimes I have to “trick” myself into making it impossible to compare yesterday’s choices with today’s choices.  I don’t check the time before I head out on a walk, I can’t walk the same path everyday, listen to the same playlist on consecutive days, or even listen to playlist songs in the same order each time I listen to that particular playlist (lest I compare how long I’ve walked by song order!).  I have to really try to make my Move Mores something that I can’t compare to previous Move Mores!  Silly, huh?

I’m also not weighing myself right now, not taking before and after pictures, not talking to friends and family about the improvements I’m making (other than my little ‘ole blog that no one reads!!), and not counting how many days I’ve been on track or days I’ve walked.  There are so many theories out there about whether those types of measuring techniques are helpful or hurtful.  I think that totally depends on the person and FOR ME… measuring can only bring me down (right now anyway).  I’m currently wearing a shirt that was a tad too uncomfortable to wear 2 weeks ago (just a tad, mind you)… that’s as close as I’m going to get to measuring anytime soon!

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Eat Better.  Move More. ~ The End.

~ Angie ~

Walking Playlist (approx 122 BPM)

I’ve found that making a walking playlist of songs that have similar BPMs (beats per minutes) really kicked up my walking speed.  I spent WAY TOO MUCH time searching through my iTunes library looking for songs with a similar beat to Pink’s Raise Your Glass, which is slightly faster than I’d walk without a push, but now that I’m done I’m so glad I did it!  (I tried to use 2 different programs to help find the BPMs but they were a horrible waste of time.)  I eventually found over 4 hours of music that met my needs and broke them up into 4 playlists.  Without further ado –

I’m pleased to share my Walking Playlists!  I hope someone finds them useful! 🙂 

~ Walk with the Girls – 20 Songs ~

According to You – Orianthi

Born this Way – Lady Gaga

Circus – Britney Spears

The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga

Fighter – Christina Aguilera

Firework – Katy Perry

Forget You – Glee Cast / Gwyneth Paltrow

Girl Next Door – Saving Jane

Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani

I’m a Slave 4 U – Britney Spears

I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry

Keeps Getting Better – Christina Aguilera

Man! I Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain

Mercy – Duffy

Raise Your Glass – P!nk

Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson

That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain

Walk Away – Kelly Clarkson

We R Who We R – Ke$ha

Who Knew – P!nk

~ Walk & Dance – 16 Songs ~

Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

Dynamite – Taio Cruz

Fergalicious – Fergie

Funhouse – P!nk

Just Dance – Lady Gaga

Let it Rock – Kevin Rudolph

Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane

Love Shack – B-52’s

More – Usher

Only Girl (In the World) – Rihanna

Shut Up and Let Me Go – The Ting Tings

SOS – Rihanna

Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

Stronger – Kanye West

Tik Tok – Ke$ha

Your Love is my Drug – Ke$ha

~ Walk & Rock – 17 Songs ~

Alive – POD

All American Girl – Melissa Etheridge

All Fired Up – Pat Benatar

Animal – Def Lepard

Baby Hold On – Eddie Money

Boys are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy

Bring Me to Life – Evanescence

I’m Feeling You – Michelle Branch & Santana

Old Time Rock & Roll – Bob Seger

Paralyzer – Finger Eleven

Photograph – Def Lepard

Rockin’ the Night Away – .38 Special

Seven Nation Army – White Stripes

Stand Back – Stevie Nicks

Sweet Child ‘O Mine – Guns N’ Roses

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet – Bachman Turner Overture

You Shook me All Night Long – AC/DC

~ Walk It Sexy – 18 Songs (To make you feel sexy – 🙂 ) ~

Her Strut – Bob Seger

Shakin’ – Eddie Money

A Girl Like You – Edwyn Collins

Unbelievable – EMF

Are you Gonna be my Girl – Jet

You Really Got Me – Kinks

I Need to Know – Marc Anthony

Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner

U Got the Look – Prince

Don’t Cha – The Pussycat Dolls

Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield

Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones

Smooth – Santana & Ron Thomas

A Girl Like You – The Smithereens

Hey, Soul Sister – Train

Caught Up in You – .38 Special

Well, there they are! 

I also made one huge playlist of all the songs that I call ~ Walk Forever ~

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~ Moments of Joy ~

Isn’t it wonderful when you ABSOLUTELY enjoy eating something that is ACTUALLY HEALTHY?  For me it’s my daily cup of Red Grapefruit Slices.  They make me incredibly H*a*P*p*Y!  Another such moment of joy is when I treat myself to a Diet Vernors – h*e*a*v*e*n*l*y sigh… (Diet soda/pop is bad for you, I know, but it’s BETTER than regular soda in my book and BETTER is BETTER!)  Vernors is made in Michigan and isn’t widely distributed.  It is the best Ginger Ale on Earth, though.  Really, I jest you not.  🙂

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If something is important to you, you’ll find a way.  If not, you’ll find an excuse.

Eating Better and Moving More

~ Angie ~

Walking

So, I’ve been walking.  I figure if I’m going to do it I should get as much out of it as I can so I googled “walking tips”.  Considering that walking is a pretty basic action for most of us, there’s way more info out there than I expected (entire websites!).  I did pick up a few good tips and realized that I was doing a couple of things “wrong”.

~ A Few Walking Tips ~

  • Chin up with your eyes forward, not looking down.
  • Shrug once and let your shoulders fall and relax, then roll your shoulders slightly back and down.
  • Keep your stomach tight – as if you are bracing for a punch but don’t hold your breath.
  • A controlled arm motion can lend power to your walking, burning 5-10% more calories.
  • Bend your elbow 90 degrees.  Hands should be loose in a partially closed curl, never clenched. 
  • Keep your elbows close to your body – don’t “chicken wing” (like speed walkers in movies).
  • Avoid overstriding, which is taking longer steps to increase speed. Overstriding is inefficient.
  • Rather than lengthening your stride, to increase your speed, take more and smaller steps instead.
  • While walking, your forward leg has no power – the back leg is what is driving you forward.
  • Pay attention to get the full power out of the push from the back leg and make sure your foot is rolling through the step from heel to toe.
  • It’s very important to cool down after walking.  Simply slow your pace to lower your heart rate and return your breathing to normal. 
  • Stretching is equally important after your walk.  Spend 5-10 minutes stretching your large muscles.

Curves Simple Stretching Guide

Curves Cool Down Stretches

Those are the tips I found helpful – BUT I AM NOT A DOCTOR, nor do I play one on tv.  I found that while I was walking if I did a “mental head to toe scan” that I kept finding areas that needed improvement (such as my shoulders weren’t back or my abs weren’t tight, etc…) Later in the evening I could really “feel” the difference that following those tips made.  My abs felt as if I’d done a lot of sit ups for one thing!  I know that by making those adjustments that it helped me to burn more calories than I would have otherwise. 

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Moving More and getting More out of it!

~ Angie ~

Sunday’s Small Successes

The day did not start well!  My dog “attacked” me:  We started off on a walk, stopped to talk to a neighbor, as I was turning around he YANKED me with all of his 80 pounds, my ankle caught between the sidewalk and grass, and I fell full force onto my knee and hand. I was so pissed and a bloody mess! Grrrrr…..  I promptly went home to pout and nurse my bruised ego.  I buried my head in the computer for a few hours… Then…… here comes the successful part…..

  • I sucked it up and went for a walk with my daughter.  My goal was 20 minutes but we didn’t take a watch and by the time we returned home we had walked for 40 minutes!  Whoo-hoo!  WINNING.
  • After the walk I let myself get too hungry – we all know what that means – I was ready to eat just about anything… I held it together though and ended up with tuna and cucumbers on lettuce leaves.  Hadn’t had tuna in a long time and found it surprisingly satisfying.  WINNING
  • After dinner it was only a little after 6 and I was out of energy, ready for bed, and NOT feeling up to cleaning the kitchen, making the lunches for school, taking the garbage to the curb, and preparing the Crock Pot Tortilla Soup for Monday’s Dinner.  “Eat Better.  Move More.” rang through my head and about an hour later it was all done and I was in bed awaiting the MTV Music Video Awards to start (I just wanted to see what the Gaga would open with which was very interesting!).  WINNING
  • Lastly, I’ve had a great week of Eating Better. Moving More.  That made me curious as to what the scale would say on Monday morning… BUT, for me, that’s just not a good idea.  I’m feeling successful, strong, proud, and healthy right now.  Since there is a 50/50 chance that the number on the scale could rob me of those yummy feelings why risk it???  For me starting to monitor my weight again would be a very slippery slope…
It's just a number

It's just a number

I don’t need to know right now… I am not that number.  This journey is about so much more than that number and what I weigh.  It’s about my health, my future, my energy level, my kids, my husband, my self-image, and so much more… WINNING

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~ Moments of Joy Over the Weekend ~

Watched a few movies this weekend.  Really enjoyed Switch (Jennifer Anniston, Jason Bateman).  The reviews weren’t very good but I think they had great chemistry together, it made me laugh, and get teary, too (sniff, sniff).  I give it a *** out of 4.

Also watched How Do You Know (Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson).  Again, not the best reviewed movie but it was cute and it did have two clever quotes:  When asked if she ever drank alcohol she said she followed her dad’s rule of: “Never drink to feel better.  Only drink to feel even better.”  Wise advice, I thought.  I also liked:  “Don’t do anything half-way unless you’re willing to be half-happy”.  Overall I give it a ** out of 4.

Well, our checking account is low, the food in fridge getting low (and I’m sooOooOOOooo tired of the choices!), but I managed to not spend ANY money and NOT add to our credit debt while still feeding us 3 decent meals a day!  Payday, is Wednesday… It’ll be a challenge to stretch it until then but I WILL DO IT!

M finally got a hit during his game on Saturday (he’s been struggling).

J and I had our 17th wedding anniversary.  No funds for a REAL celebration but 17 years and I still really love that guy!  I think that’s pretty awesome.

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Not every day is good, but every day has something good in it.

Eating Better.  Moving More.

~ Angie ~

They’re Baby Steps but They’re Steps!

I caught myself being nice to myself today.  🙂  My inner conversations aren’t always kind (whose are?) and today I heard myself “sticking up to myself” if that makes sense… I’ve had a great week of keeping things in perspective – not setting myself up to fail – celebrating the small steps I’ve begun to take – and not letting my energy fall when I made a less than desirable decision.  I’ve already shared some of my earlier accomplishments this week but this “being nice to myself” went a little deeper than just the physical accomplishments.  For example:

One of my boards on Pinterest is a Vision Board containing pictures of emotions I’d like to feel – like success, pride, or pictures that I want to experience the emotion the picture depicts or inspires in me.  Here is one such picture:

Confidence

Confidence

She is considered a plus-sized model.  I think her figure is gorgeous and her confidence is something to aspire to.  I long to feel as comfortable in my skin as she seems to in hers which made me realize that my true weight loss desires aren’t unrealistic.  What I mean is that I’m not longing to be stick thin.  I’m longing to be healthy, confident, and comfortable.  AND I’m now willing to take the journey as the marathon it is and not the sprint I once felt it had to be.  That observation and acceptance of it is one of the ways I am being kinder to myself.  I’ve released how unrealistic the dream of returning to my weight 18 years ago, before kids (ridiculous, I know), was and how what I truly desire to reach is a comfortable, sustainable weight.  I don’t even have to put a number on what that weight is – I think I’ll just know when I’m there and it will fall on a number that I can sustain without it having to control my life (ie… how much to eat, when to eat, carbs vs protein, excessive working out etc…). 

Another couple of baby steps in the right direction happened with my simple goals of Eat Better and Move More.  In both of those actions the key words are Better and More.  Both of which are obtainable because they don’t restrict my behavior to having to be perfect or else chalking it up to an automatic fail.  So this week I made the kids Rice Crispie treats to go in their lunches.  I used a square pan, took a half-inch sliver down one side for myself, and then cut the rest into 9 squares (3 for each of them during the week).  I wrapped mine up telling myself that if I wanted it tomorrow I could eat it – no guilt.  Well, I didn’t want it the next day, or the next, and 3 days later I sent it to school with my son.  I felt no deprivation because I knew I could have had it whenever I wanted it.  Later in the week I made caramel, white chocolate, toffee, and pecan covered apples.  Yum.  I, again, didn’t jump at the instant gratification and told myself I could have one later in the evening if I still wanted it.  Well, I did still want it. I ate half of it.  I ate it slowly. I enjoyed it.  I was fully satisfied after half and THAT was a much Better choice than eating a whole one.  Better = SuccessComplete Deprivation = Failure.

As far as Moving More – I would like to do “something” physical for 20 minutes a day – I can do anything for 20 minutes, right? Walking seems like a good start but I only did it once this week… BUT I did do a lot of physical work, cleaning, organizing, and sweating in the house 3 days this week.  I moved “More” and didn’t limit the “More” to having to be walking in order for it to be a success.  I also encouraged myself to do just 1 More thing everyday while I was working.  If I was ready to quit I told myself, just one more drawer or fold that last load in the dryer… basically just do 1 more thing.  More = SuccessHAVING to do 20 minutes of typical exercise or else = Failure

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Those are just a few instances in which I found myself being kind to myself by not holding myself accountable to a level of perfection that is unobtainable and certainly unsustainable.  I’m very proud of this week’s baby steps.  Yeah, Me.  Eat Better.  Move More.  I don’t see how I can fail to improve my life if I keep doing those two very simple things…  Eat Better.  Move More.

~  Angie ~

________* * ANGIE * *________



They say that muscle is heavier "by volume" than fat is, which means 5 lbs. of muscle takes up less space than 5 lbs. of fat within a body. I'm a believer. This totally explains how your clothes begin to fit better even though the numbers on the scale aren' t moving very fast.



This is GROSS. I know. But I'd rather see the fat HERE than on my body...


Each time we “resist” an urge to fall off plan or not exercise we strengthen our “resistance muscle” and each time we “give in” to temptation we strengthen our “give in muscle” making it easier to either "resist" or "give in" next time.


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