Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Map It Out

You are lost - now what?                                                    
After we take a look at ourselves in retrospect of a long journey and see where we are in life, either with our diet, our health or any other area, a lot of times we are not happy with where we have arrived. Unsure of how we got to this point in the first place, it’s even harder to find our way back to the place we liked before.  Now we are lost and don’t know where to begin to find a way out. Per example when I was graduating high school the teacher asked us to write down where we see ourselves in the year 2000 (it was 1986). I thought I was going to be this competent business woman wearing a skirt suit with my hair in a bun. Instead, in the year 2000, I was actually graduating from the Police Academy.
One thing to remember is the happy picture we had in our minds in the first place. What did that picture look like? Where were you? How did it feel? And where are you instead today?                     
This thought process can also be transferred to when we look at our health and our bodies. When we start working on ourselves to become the person we want to be, it is easy to get frustrated and lose sight of any victories we have gained so far. The changes that were planned are harder to implement than we think and we expect results much faster than we see them. “Rome was not built in one day” is the phrase that comes to mind. But why don’t these words make it any easier to accept the pace of our success rate? 

First of all we need to forgive and accept ourselves.
          Second, we need to be patient with ourselves.

It’s funny how we expect other people to be patient and forgive us but we don’t give ourselves that courtesy. 
If it is health that needs improvement, remember that it is a natural transformation.
  1. It takes approximately two weeks for your body to realize that a change is happening; either in diet and/or exercise. That means give your body at least two weeks time to notice what you are doing before you give up.
  2. Also, it is widely known that it takes 60 days to break a habit. If you are trying to break a habit of eating before bedtime, then you have to implement eliminating eating before bedtime for that amount of time before concluding that it is not working.
  3. The good news is that it only takes 21 days to create a new habit. Did you notice that programs or product companies give you a trial period of 21 days? It’s so that you have enough time to try it before you change your mind and find it’s not working for you.  
To eliminate a bad habit is easier done when replacing it with a new habit, because it takes less time for us to get used to it. Does that make sense?

The bottom line                                
  • Don’t give up trying to find contentment after only two weeks or less.
  • Make a list of things that you want to eliminate or change.
  • Then write down what you want to do/be instead.
  • Think of the steps you need to take to get from A to B (e.g. to get from an unhealthy body to a healthy body, replace french fries with asparagus)
 Once you have the road map to health, create small milestones and check them off as you arrived there. Milestones can be anything like having gone one week without fried foods. Or arrived at 5lbs less than when you started. As you focus on your map and your milestones of healthy steps, your focus is also shifting away from the unhealthy things that you don’t want in your life. The things we focus on in life manifest themselves and before you know it, you arrived at the goals you have set for yourself (e.g. looking like Barbie). Make yourself reminders if you need to. But mostly, after you conquered each milestone, reward yourself.
Preferably do it with non eatable things -
but how about a new movie? 


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Why are you not motivated?

By the time we graduate high school, we think we know ourselves pretty well. We know what kind of job we would like to do, what our favorite meal is, which clothes suit us, and activities that are fun to do. We also know what kind of people we like to spend time with.
But then something unfortunate happens and suddenly we chose not to do the things we like. Maybe we started to feel bad about ourselves. In our head we might think we are just not motivated or tired. Maybe we are too busy to do it or don't want to take the time. Where does this thought come from?

In life, when we are younger, we have all these exciting expectations and ideas that we want to make happen. We are full of energy and excitement. We have goals and ambitions that we set and strive for. We have had no bad experiences that tell us we can't do something. But then stuff happens; suddenly we are thrown a curve ball and have to solve a problem before we can take the next step toward our goal. And then there comes another hurdle, or obstacle, that we  need to overcome to continue on our road toward our goal. Pretty soon, we have had to move a lot of things out of the way so that we forgot what road we were on in the first place. Things had to be done in order to stay on the path and that lead onto another path. These little side steps can really throw a person off their original thought process.
Years down the road we sit there and wonder why we feel so  overwhelmed and exhausted. "How did I get here in the first place? And why do I feel so unmotivated?" We lost focus.
While we lost focus, we also were too busy to do the things we like, spend time with the people we like, wear the clothes that suit us, and move toward our goals. The only thing we didn't do was take care of our own cognitive well-being. Now we are not content anymore and don't even feel good about ourselves.
Discontentment can lead to depression. Lack of motivation can be one of the symptoms of depression. Now, I believe there are two types of depression: 1. Chronic depression, which has to do with neurotransmitters and a chemical imbalance in the brain and needs to be treated. 2. Circumstantial depression, which was caused by discontentment and uncontrolable circumstances and events.
The second one can be mended without medication and may be fixed faster than the first one, but it requires work. 
When we are unmotivated caused by depression, we tend to let ourselves go and distract ourselves from the problems we are having to deal with. It's just easier to look the other way. As a result of that, we neglect our health and mind. Maybe we start eating to feel better. We stop doing any type of activity or sports because we don't feel good about our body or don't even have the energy to do anything. We don't come around other people because we have the believe that we would not be good company anyways and we don't want to gloom everyone else. There may be many other reasons for not doing anymore what we used to like.

When we suddenly neglect our healthy diets, activities, and exercising, we are not doing our mind a favor. In fact, this will only snowball into bigger and more problems. When our health is affected, we limit ourselves in the things we can do. When we are eating healthy food, we give our brain the nutrition it needs to think healthy thoughts. When we go for a walk or exercise,(or do things we like) we release chemicals in our brains that will help us feel better (endorphins are called the "feel good" neurotransmitter). Once we have and do the things that our body needs to function at the most productive level, we can think of solutions to better our situation and feel the way we used to.                
My thought is if we feel unmotivated, we should take small steps to better ourselves. Start with eating healthy food for better nutrition. Then start walking. You don't have to fit into a sexy outfit right away. Just start moving and get your blood circulating. It's amazing how ideas will flood into ones mind and  solutions will pop into ones head that could make circumstances better.
The biggest part with guiding thoughts is meditation. You can pray while you walk or paint. Keep focusing on the solutions, not the problems. When you focus on problems, you will get more problems. But if you focus on what is good right now and how to get more good things, then more good things will come.
It might sound simpler to say than to do. But everyone can take 10 minutes out of a busy day and just go for a quick walk.
Whatever your focus is, that is what you will find. If you go into the wilderness looking for a tiger, you will find a tiger. We need to focus on the things we want, not what we don't want.
Once you start seeing how your mind shifts, you will start getting more motivated doing the good things for yourself.
Give it some time, maybe a couple of weeks or a month. You didn't get to this state over night either. When you start giving yourself the good things you once did, you will feel and see how you deserve to be treated well. You treat yourself good and you will find others and life itself will also treat you well.
The important thing to remember is, as long as you have a healthy mind, you have the ability to make positive changes and better your life and your circumstances. Your circumstances should never control your state of mind and and your happiness or even stop you from doing what you like.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

So Many Supplements to chose from: which are good? what works?

…is that there are so many products out there and everyone claims theirs is the best. But how do we know it’s true? Everybody’s body is different and reacts different to chemicals. What might work for you might not work for me. Per example, someone told me that Hydroxicut worked great for him, but it definitely did not work for me. (Some other people also told me they did not have success with fat loss on Hydroxicut). The way you eat also makes a difference if anything will work.
Sometimes trial and error will tell you what works for you, but do you have the time to research all that yourself? Whatever you do, always make sure you follow the instructions on the bottle and the advice of your doctor. You also have to be very careful when combining supplements. Make very sure they can be taken together. Definitely do not take 2 supplements that have the same ingredients such as caffeine. You will overdose and the result will be opposite of what you want. You will stress your body out and release cortisol (stress hormones) and your body will store fat. You also do not want chemicals that have bad reactions with other chemicals. The best thing is to stick to the natural ingredients. Usually a fat burner can safely be taken together with a thermogenic because it usually targets water weight. Check with a nutritionist or personal trainer first when you chose which ones you want to combine.

Here are some supplements that are natural or also naturally produced by your body:
  • CLA (fat burner)
  • L-Glutamine (produced by the body, restores muscles, energizes)
  • Green Tea (natural ingredient to burn fat and antioxidant, fights free radicals)
  • Potassium (helps the muscle absorb the water and balance sodium)
  • L-Carnetine (very effective with green tea to block fat and give energy)
  • Dandelion Roots (diuretic, anti-inflammatory, prevents water storage)
  • Holy Basil (calms your body down and reduces production of cortisol)
  • Omega 3-6-9 -and/or the Omega 7 from New Chapter is a good one to take- (good for replacing bad fat with healthy fat, restores skin elasticity, lubricates joints, good fat is needed for the body to take up the vitamins)
  •  BCAA's (amino acid chain; helps build lean muscle while burning fat)
  • Joint Soother (combination of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM for joint lubrication and repair)
  • Ganoderma spore powder (very effective, brings oxygen to the muscles and helps with muscle retention and repair. Especially good for older people who have trouble retaining muscles) 

Here are some fat burner and Thermogenics that worked for me:
  • Jet Fuel (also has a cortisol blocking ingredient, very effective for me) 
  • AMP (give great energy) 
  • Cutt and Cutt-2 (fast fat burner with weight training) 
  • Tight (and Tight extreme) (fast fat burners with weight training) 
  • Max Lean (helps cut fat and controls appetite) 
  • TherminXX (thermogenic - this in combination with Jet Fuel is very effective) 
  • Thermogize (stronger effect, made me more hungry though) 
  • ZMA (testosterone booster that helps with strength in the gym and energizes to complete a good workout, also burns fat)
  • *Hot Rocks (I would not recommend them but are effective if you exhausted other choices. However; too many chemicals and hard for your body to metabolize; reactive with other supplements)

We need nutrition in order for our body to function properly. Vitamin is one of them and is essential for breaking down protein in your body. Without vitamins, your body cannot use the protein and other nutrients you put into your body. Fruit has vitamins. But we also know that fruit contains a lot of sugar and sugar will turn into fat if it is not used as energy by our bodies. However, we still need the vitamins. When you go to a Vitamin Shop and find yourself some vitamins, make sure they are not hard pills. Hard pills are harder for your body to break down and your stomach acid will eat up most of it before your body can use it. What do you do? You could eat all the fruits or use liquid vitamins. Or you can juice your fruits or make smoothies. The trick to avoid gaining weight or not loosing weight from all of the sugar is to have your fruit before 2 pm
Any Questions? I will be glad to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

If you would like to try the Ganoderma Spore Power capsules, they are available at www.shelahmj.organogold.com They were a tremendous help in my last Figure Competition at Venice Beach Memorial day 2012. 

Dr. Fuhrman

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Let's go do something......

We all like to plan to get together with our friends. We can go to the beach, or shopping, or to an amusement park, or - Hey, let's go out to eat.
But don't we already eat anyways? Since when did eating become a recreational activity?
I did not know what to do with the suggestion when I first came from Germany. Going out to eat is usually to celebrate an event. I learned that people do it here just to spend time.
I watched people grab a snack before they go out to eat because they don't want to get hungry waiting for their food. Isn't that ironic? Is it possible to just "cook together" as an activity and then enjoy what we created instead?
I think we put too much power into the hands of other people by allowing them to decide what ingredients and quality will be added to our dinner. I would like to have a say how much salt or which type of oil is added.
Knowing that American companies use sodium as a preservative, I would rather leave off the salt altogether. Most restaurants are serving meals with three times the daily recommendation of sodium. If you are unaware that sodium leads to high blood pressure, you have just been informed.
And oil in itself is not a problem, especially olive oil. But once it's heated, it becomes hydrogenated fat and a problem. Studies show that hydrogenated fat (also known as trans fat) is cancer causing. 
I just went out walking with my friend. She is a vegetarian and after our walk she wanted to pick up some food. We went into a Taco place and she ordered a vegetarian salad inside a Taco Shell. First ingredient she mentioned: Refried Beans. I guess she did not know that those are made with lard, which is a fat from Pork. 
I believe it is scandalous that consumers and customers are not properly informed about ingredients and how their foods were prepared. 
Although I am not vegetarian, I used to be one and still am a very picky eater. Since my competing in Figure, I added chicken and turkey to my meal plans. If any of my food had anything with pork in it, I would be very upset. (I can taste pork immediately.)
Call me spooked but I rather make sure I know what is in my food and prepare it myself. And if you want to get together and do something, let's bake cookies.  

Especially fun for Halloween =)

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

....so much up against to stay sexy......ugh

So, from my other blog you just found out that cortisol caused by stress is NOT our friend. In fact, you tend to store fat in order to protect your body. Yes, the body is very smart how it heals and repairs itself. We have to understand the mechanisms so we can work WITH it and not AGAINST it. LIke my motto goes: Workout smarter - not harder!!
As we get older, we have more obstacles to get over in order to keep our perfect body image alive. There are hormones, muscle loss, energy loss, kids left-over foods we don't want to throw out.....LOL  But if we have that knowledge, we can do something about it. Year by year we go through a lot of hormone changes already, such as testosterone changes and estrogen levels lower at a certain age. Estrogen helps with the distribution of fat and also is something we have to be mindful of. When our stress level increases, cortisol level raise, which makes your body store fat. As our muscles deteriorate because we go up in years, our metabolisms also slow down. And if we get our own plate of food, we do not eat someone elses also.
Knowing all this now, we just have to adjust our lifestyle a little bit. Don't eat the kids left-overs, give them to the pigs or dog. Keep your stress down, that includes good stress, too. A hard work out elevates cortisol also. So keep your workout at a medium level and give your body time for recovery in between. With a heart rate between 65-70%  of your m/hr your body burns fat. Anything higher, your body first will burn the glycogen in your muscles and then your muscles. Frequent breathing exercises and yoga will help your body learn to relax and keep the cortisol down. You know what that means - better weight and fat management. You will keep your body happy and release endorphins creating a happy and content feeling.
Lift light weight to maintain your muscles and keep your skin from sagging (although there is more to sagging skin.....)
The main thing is to stay happy. With happy thoughts you attract more happiness into your life. Focus on the good things in life and enjoy the activities you get to participate in. I believe that is the main reason for life and the core to a happy one.
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Shaping myself up

So I went walking again with my friend yesterday. I woman has to keep her shape up. Oh speaking of Shape Up, I have my heart set on a pair of Sketchers Shape ups. I have been browsing and looking and comparing. I like the pink/silver/white ones that you can also jog with. Well, I did not have a pair yet (and still don't) so I wore my Champions and brought my jump rope. That worked well too. I love jumping rope, the results are fabulous and it gets my heartrate up in increments which burns fat more efficiently. So, I am going to make sure I will have a pair of Shape ups by next week. It's now on my "To Do" list and my wish list. That means it's in my head in two spots and taking up a lot of brain space. This brain space has to be recovered very soon because I have a demanding job that needs all the brain space I have available. However you like to keep yourself in shape, just do not neglect your body because you will feel it later. By the way, my friend also swims in the ocean with the turtles. As some of you might know I live on Hawaii. Well, I am not as brave as she is. And during our walk yesterday, she told me how the turtle bit her in the finger. I am also leery about what's in the ocean, but if it bites me, I am out. hahhahahah But when she found that huge spider in the convertable, she freaked and all bets were off. hahahhaha We had to take my car to the walking park. So, Happy Shaping up day and walk. Wishing you all well and good health

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

So... you say have no time?

Well, since you don't have time for your health, you probably don't have time for exercise, right?

Americans are in such a rush and hurry to get no-where fast. But once they find themselves on their back, suddenly there is the time to think about how we used our time. We have to remember our main reason for life, and I do not believe that I was created to work harder and longer hours to make other people rich.
Yes, it goes against what most people say and have learned in school......

So, who has time to work out every day? Not many of us except those of you who are determined to get in shape. For the rest of us - how can we lose weight or make our hearts stronger? There is a reasonable solution…
If I told you, that there is a way, where you only need to train  twice per week…
Would you do it? How bad do you want to lose weight or get in better shape?
Our bodies count calories Per Week. It takes 3500 Cal to lose or gain one pound. If we then cut down our calorie intake and burn a lot of calories only one or two days per week, it will already make a difference in the total at the end of the week, provided that we do not eat more on the other days to make up for it. So, if we normally eat 1600 calories per day, that makes 11200 calories per week. This is the amount of calories (in this example) that we eat and keep our weight consistent. Now, if we only eat 800 calories once per week and burn a thousand calories that same day (which will come from our fat-tank), we
will have an intake of 10400 calories that week minus what we burned exercising. So, we will have 1800 calories less (or 3600 if you exercised twice) than we normally eat and burn. At the end of 2 weeks, we will have 3600 calories (or 7200 for twice a week)  less of our normal intake. (Understand that this is only an estimate. You can also work the Termogenic effect and burn more, all depends on WHAT you consume. ) Technically we will lose about 2 pounds or more every month. That is progress!! If you can have 2 fat-killer days per week, (Tuesdays and Fridays would be great), you can lose two pounds every other week. It would take you only 6 weeks to lose 10 pounds. And your heart would get a nice increase of demand, which will strengthen your heart (of course, you should consult your doctor first).  There are many 45 minute to an hour programs out there which are very effective. I have tried them myself. At first it seems impossible, but you will be surprised how quickly your body adjusts to the demand.
Now you have the knowledge, the rest is up to you.
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