Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Surround yourself with like minded people....

I remember reading this advice at some point along my journey. It was an article that was expounding on the values of a good support system on the weight loss journey. At the time, believe me, I was not interested at all in a "strong support" system. I am, by nature and genetics, a loner. I am not a talker. Although I do have fun with people when in social situations and I do not shy away from them, I am very much comfortable being by myself. If my husband is away for a few days, I can honestly spend 24 hours or more without talking to anyone.

I have always considered myself a strong person, one who really did not need help from others. I think I have always been this way.

Lately, however, without my realizing it, I have started to build a very strong support system. I have people that I can talk to about my primal/paleo struggles. I have people that encourage me to try new physical challenges. I have friends I email about the mental battles. There are people I "know" on-line that have been helpful in my pursuit. I have noticed that having this support system has made the journey more palatable.

Someone asked me what motivates me to work out. I would say that surrounding myself with like minded people has definitely helped me put myself out there. I thank each and every one of them for the part they are playing in my life. I hope they all know how important they are to me.

I would encourage you all to find people in your life that will encourage you, support you, inspire you. Seek them out and surround yourself with like minded people. Take it from a lone wolf, it is amazing how much it can help.

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." -- Winne the Pooh

Monday, February 27, 2012

More on the stair climb....

Yesterday was an emotional day for me and it led to a bit of a sleepless night. It could have been the adrenaline from the physical activity of the day. It could have been my brain just working through some of the emotions. Whatever it was, I decided I needed to make another post about it.

First let's talk about the start of the race. I really was not ready when I found myself on the start line. I had not taken a moment to mentally prepare for the "GO". You start individually at the line and this guy holds you up for a few seconds for the gap between climbers. I was still fumbling with my iPod when he said "GO". I want to say "WAIT" but I went. I climbed and was a bit out of sorts and overwhelmed for a few flights, feeling that I wasn't going to finish and how much I was going to fail. I took my first break at some point around floor eight and had to pull myself together. I changed the song on my iPod and did a little self talk. I then started again and did pretty well until floor 20 or so. I only did a few minor breathing stops until I hit floor 26. My training had only been 25 floors at a time and it was at that point that I really had to tell myself that I could do this. It was about this point that I started taking a couple of laps at the landings every 2nd floor to breathe deeply.

Around floor 40, when I should have been happy that it was almost over, I started to comtemplate doing my breathing laps at every landing but I knew I didn't need to do that. I knew at that point it was just a mental fight. So, I kept up the every two floor mark, even if the laps at the landings became long, I still kept it up. At this point too, I no longer noticed what song was on my iPod. I was just climbing. I was just going to finish and I did. My trainer, Kristin, and a couple of others were there at the top to meet me. I knew they had finished well before me but I did so appreciate them being there. I even let her hug me, sweat and all. (If you know me, you know I am not a huggy person, especially when sweaty.) I had made it! How fast, I had no idea but I was pretty share I had come in around my goal.

I realized at some point last night that in my post I never officially stated what my time was. I talked about surpassing my goal but not the actual time. Now there are people that I did share both my goal and my actual time with. I tried to figure out why I would share with some but not with others.

Although I am very proud that I did this climb, I guess a bit of me was a bit disappointed that I could not even target a "normal" time. You see, my target time for the climb was somewhere between 30 and 40 minutes and I completed in 29:04. This is more than twice as long as the average person on my team. BUT it is faster than the time I thought I was going to do.

It is also amazing that I even attempted to do this. It was not that many years ago that I would have been gasping just climbing to the third floor apartment that my friends had. I would not have even thought that 56 floors was a possibility.

Next year, I am going to work on this and have a goal of cutting 5 minutes off of this time. I think that is in the realm of possibility. I will do this again and I will improve my time.

I do want to note that I was on a team for this climb. Everyone on my team was very supportive and I do appreciate that. I also raised more money for the American Lung Association than I thought was possible. I have some very generous friends. I also had so many friends that were supportive in so many ways. All in all, it was a good day yesterday....a very good day.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I did the 56 floor stair climb today...I had a range of times that I was shooting for and I am proud to say that I beat the lower end of that range by 56 seconds and the higher end of the range by 10 minutes and 56 seconds!

I am very proud to say that I accomplished this!

As my tea "fortune" said in January, "Happiness comes when you overcome the most impossible challenges." I did that today. I really did.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Not worrying about what others think...

I have recently started to follow a new blog. I have found a lot of her blogs to be helpful and insightful. She posted a blog about not worrying about what others think (read it here).

It got me thinking about how a few years ago, I pretty much decided that I had to stop worrying about what others thought of me. That decision led me to be able to do many things that I would not thought were realistic in the past. I posted a comment to this blog and I would like to expand on it here.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was able to focus on me and healing myself.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was able to say “NO” and able to stand up for myself.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was able to take the first step to fitness by donning a swimsuit and go to the rec center pool.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was able to join a gym and work out at a variety of things.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was able to start liking myself.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I took a two week solo trip and went to the many spectacular places like the Grand Canyon and experienced so many things.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was able to start walking, running, playing and enjoying being outside.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was able to start talking to others and finding so much support.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was able to be honest with friends about what the changes I am making in my life.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was able to ignore the experts and start to figure out what works for me!

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I started to participate in charity events and raise money for good causes. (Tomorrow a 56 floor stair climb for the American Lung Association!)

When I stopped caring about what other people thought, I was actually able to start loving others.

I think it is a good thing to stop thinking about what others think. Honestly, I find that most people are self absorbed and not really thinking about you. Sure, there are exceptions but I think you find a lot of support among your friends for positive lifestyle changes you are making. If not, maybe you need to reconsider your network of friends.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." --Dr. Suess

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Eating Manifesto

I have been struggling the last couple of days...all because of the damned scale. I am taking a break from weigh in Mondays for a month. I am only hoping this does not back fire on me but I am going to do it. I am going to keep blogging and reading to keep my head on straight.

I found a new site via some FaceBook pages. In particular, the woman who wrote the cookbook Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Like to Eat did an interview at I haven't listened to the whole interview yet but I am doing the assignment at the end of the write up and that is to create an eating manifesto.What are your guiding principles and intentions when it comes to eating and your relationship with food?

As they define on that site, a manifesto is “declaration of principles and intentions.” The questions they give as a guide to help you in creating this are:
  • How do you experience pleasure with food, physically, emotionally and socially?
  • Why do you choose to eat as you do, not just in terms of what you eat but how and when?
  • What do you eat for the sake of?
  • How do you make choices?
  • What is the relationship you choose to have with food?

Here we go:

Lynn's Eating Manifesto

My basic principle for eating is to focus on nutritionally dense foods, to seek foods that will nourish my body efficiently and fully. I will eat when hungry. I focus on how my body is feeling and what cues I am getting from it. I will NOT eat if I am not hungry, even if the clock says it is time to eat. I will NOT be stressed by the need to eat six small meals throughout the day. If the cues from my body indicate I need them, I will eat them but I will not force myself to eat this way because "it's what the experts say."

I will see food for what it is, fuel and nutrition for my body, and NOT for what it isn't, an emotional release. I will experiment with new and different nutritionally dense foods. I will seek colorful and flavorful whole natural foods. This will NOT be the year of eating lettuce and chicken breast, unless that is what I feel will satisfy my nutritional needs at the time. I will NOT be afraid of good fats. I will avoid things that do not have nutritional value. The majority of the food in my diet (as a lifestyle) will NOT have a label or a list of ingredients.

I think that is about it for now. I will tweak this at points if I think I am missing something.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Some thoughts from my magazines....

I read a few magazines...sometimes quite a few. I like to read them in the bath tub as I don't have to worry about getting them wet....and since bubble baths are definitely a passion of mine, I read quite a few.

Tonight I was feeling a bit stressed about some things so I took my cup of mint tea and glass of water and headed to the bath tub. I read through two magazines and have a few things to ponder. Note that I do not "believe" everything I read but I do think they give me some things to think about.

The two magazines I read tonight are Women's Health and Weight Watchers magazine. I still have a few months on my WW magazine subscription and do find stuff in the magazine even though I am no longer a member of WW.

Here are a couple of things to ponder. First, I noticed that there were several themes in common in the magazines. They both had articles about pizza and how to make it healthier. Neither of them included making the crust out of cauliflower (something I may try this week). It also made me think of the zucchini pizza crust I used to make. I may have to figure out how to paleo-fy the concept as it did include a cup of whole wheat flour. I will post if I figure out how to do it without the flour.

Second, they both had articles about outsmarting your DNA. That is, even though there are things that are determined by your genes, your environment and choices impact many more things about your health. Of course, it is important to understand how your parents' health can raise your risk to certain things.

A few other things I noticed as I read through the magazines:
  • A nutritional scientist suggest mint tea before bed to alleviate cravings for sweets. Well, I was glad I had my cup of mint tea by my side.
  • Planks beat crunches for strong abs.
  • Studies show that smoking can impact memory. Thankfully, I have never smoked but I thought it was interesting.
  • Recovering between exercise sessions is essential to fitness (sleep, low key movement on off days, water intake, etc.).
  • There is a "diet guru" that suggest that some food choices could be like gateway drugs and cause you to start craving unhealthy foods. Really? Sugar intake, for example, causes you to crave more sugar? No duh....I could have told you that!
  • 3.2 million of people in the US commute more than 90 minutes a day! Wow, I am glad my commute is about 30 minutes each way, total of about 60 minutes. If you can, you should try to vary your route as your brain can be lulled into just autopilot. For me, that was interesting as I can believe it based on my own experience. I am going to think about this.
  • Walking backwards on the treadmill can help with back pain. I don't suffer from back pain but I have lots of friends that do. May be worth trying if you do.
  • There is a recipe for braised lamb with smoky tomatoes, orange and fennel that I want to try.
  • Another recipe I want to try is balsamic chicken with peppers.

I guess that is about what I want to share from my reading tonight.

By the way, part of my stress was caused by the scale so I am going to step away from the scale for a few weeks and see I can manage to focus on success other than the scale. I will not be reporting results from the scale tomorrow and it will be okay.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Upcoming challenge

On the 26th, I am doing a 56 floor stair climb for the American Lung Association. I am getting very nervous about it. This is a huge challenge for me. Heck, I remember a day where two to three flights of stairs would have been daunting to me. I am glad that I now physically fit enough to even consider doing this. But I am still nervous.

I was doing 56 to 60 floors on the stair climber at the gym for a month (until the New Year's crowd came in and it was impossible to get on a machine). Now as part of the training this week, I did a 25 floor climb with a friend (well, actually my evil trainer that talked me into doing the stair climb). The first 25 floors kicked my butt. THEN WE DID IT AGAIN with only
the elevator ride down and a short walk as a rest.

I did all 50 floors that day but I cannot say that I liked it. My breathing was hard on the first round and on the second round I felt my legs. This Monday I am going to do it again as practice. Then Sunday will be the real thing.

It is for a good cause and I am proud to say that I raised a bit of money for it. That part does feel good. I am just hoping that I finish. I guess at this point I don't even care if I am the last person on the stairs as long as I finish.

Please think good thoughts for me. I am going to try to keep in mind what I posted on my FaceBook page:
56 floors isn't unmanageable. Start at the first floor and just tell myself I will go up one floor. Then at the second floor, I will do one more and so on. Pretty soon I will only have one floor left...and I will then get to the top.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I want a bagel.....

Yep, I woke up this morning yearning for a bagel. I'm not going to have one though. I do know that it is an emotional response to the scale. You see, I stepped on the scale when I should not have this week. The scale weighed me over 8 pounds lighter than the previous weigh in. I thought to myself this can't be right. So, I stepped on it again and lo and behold I was 10 pounds heavier than the previous weigh in. WTF? Scale must be broken.

So, I bought a new one yesterday and this morning it shows me as being up 3 pounds from last week. UGH! So, was the old scale broken for a some time and I really am not losing as I thought I was? I don't know. I just don't know. So, I wanted a bagel this morning.

I guess that is a good thing about living primal for me in that my emotional eating is cut down. I typically would respond to an emotion by craving starchy sweet or salty things. I am not eating those starchy sweet or salty things so I can't respond to emotions by eating. I am not giving in. I want to be consistent and see what happens.

So, I wanted a bagel but I did not eat one. I went for a walk with the dogs and then came home and climbed stairs up and down to prepare of the American Lung Association stair climb coming up. I am trying to learn that the scale is just a number. It is going to move up and down and should not define who I am or how I feel. I am trying to be consistent in my diet and workouts so that I do not bounce from one idea to another just because of the scale. I know I feel good. I know I have more energy. I know my clothes are looser. I am committed to the primal journey.

"If I've got correct goals, and if I keep pursuing them the best way I know how, everything falls into line. If I do the right thing right, I'm going to succeed." Dan Dierdorf

Monday, February 6, 2012

Three weeks of losses!

Yep, the scale is down another 1.6 pounds this week. AND that is with being snowbound on Friday, not out much on Saturday, and SuperBowl Sunday! I am happy with this!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

BUT they told me....

Yeah, on this journey of fitness/health, I have heard a lot of things. Whole grains, more fiber, low fat, less calories, more calories, do cardio, lift trip around a supermarket and you can see so many conflicting things (high fiber pop tarts, low fat cookies, gluten free bread, sugar free ice cream, baked cheetos, low sodium options, diet shakes, diet bars, teas making health promises, pills of all sorts). Late night TV you hear of so many promises of how you can lose weight, gain muscle, get tone...all for three payments of $19.99 if you are one of the next 100 callers. Hypnotists, nutritionists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and more all professing that THEY know the key.

Believe me, I have heard it all. I have even tried several of the options and fallen for a few of the scams. I have tried so much. A few years ago, I finally gave all the fads and hype up. I decided to focus on whole foods and whole grains. I avoided processed foods. Sure, I stumbled at times. I tried a couple of proven weight loss programs (weight watchers -- which I KNOW does work for some, South Beach -- another one that I know people have seen success with) but nothing seemed to work for me. I focused on counting calories. I used a bodybugg to count calories out. I worked out. I did hours of cardio. I lifted some weights but focused on cardio. After all, it was all about calories in versus calories out....wasn't it?

Well, 2012 has been,. so far, an eye opening experience. It started with a 10 day detox, during which I really gave up a lot of foods to the point that for three days I was only eating a few select vegetables and fruits. Surprisingly, I felt good during the detox. I felt energetic. I was sleeping well.

Since that detox, I added some foods back in but have decided to leave some foods out of my daily intake. I do not, for instance, eat grains. I do not consume dairy. I avoid legumes.

I am focusing on nutritionally dense foods. What is the point of eating something that is not going to add something to the health of my body.

I do eat though. I eat meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some fruit. I generally do not buy processed foods (ESPECIALLY if there are ingredients that I cannot pronounce or if there are more than 5 ingredients).

I still drink and only a cup a day.

I am eating more fat. I know that is a scary thing to read if you think that my primary goal is to lose weight. BUT the fats that I am partaking in are GOOD fats -- avocado, coconut, ghee.

I am eating when I am hungry and not eating when I am not. This is definitely one area that I am still working on.

I am not on the elliptical for hours a day. I am walking the dogs. I am doing kettlebell workouts. I am lifting heavy things. I am trying to keep my head in the right place.

I am looking at this as a lifestyle change. I do not intend to lose weight and then go back to my old ways. I feel good and isn't that what it is all about? I mean, really feeling good, energetic, happy?

THIS seems to be working for ME. I am not sure it is the prescription for everyone. I think we all have to find what works for ourselves. It has been a frustrating journey for me but I do feel hopeful as I look to the future.

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Some rambling thoughts on a snowy day

So, this week I surpassed one month without any artificial sweetener or adding any type of sugar. For me, the biggest change has been with my coffee. I still drink it but I am either drinking it black or with coconut milk. AND I like it. I don't love it but I like it. The other thing is that I am not even considering diet soda.

I am definitely keeping an eye on labels of anything I buy. Who knew you had to worry about sugar in chicken broth (WTH??)?

What am I accomplishing by this? Well, for one thing, I am not experiencing the cravings for sweet starchy things throughout the day. Whether this is due to other changes or eliminating the artificial sweetener, I am not sure but I am happy about it.

I do not drink as much coffee throughout the day. In fact, most days I am happy with one cup of coffee in the morning with herbal teas in the afternoon. I like hot drinks. They make me happy but it is nice not to be filling my body with caffeine over and over throughout the day. I think I am sleeping better.

I feel better about not putting these processed and/or artificial compounds in my body. I am committed to real and nutritiously dense foods. These items have no place in my new commitment.

Well, I will admit there are still times that I would like my old non-fat latte with two splendas but I don't. I try to figure out why I am craving it and deal with it. Most of the time I think it is just the habit of having one (such as on the way home from a Sunday morning kettlebell class).

Life is a continual process of remaking ourselves.