Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hour of Power

For some time now, I have been a fan, well I should say a "sometimes fan", of Anthony Robbins. Robbins is a relatively famous motivational speaker who is most well known for Long weekend intensive workshops where people come to learn how to "get rich". But Robbins throws them a curveball when, basically, he explains that getting rich is wanting what you have and having what you want. The reason I bring Robins up is that recently I listened to one of his  workshops on tape. It was a seven CD set. But somewhere within the first CD Robbins talks about the "hour of power". After he explains what the "hour of power" is, he tells you that if you do this every day, forget everything else that's on the seven CD set, you will be a success. What is the hour of power? The hour of power is the first hour of the day. He suggests you get up get dressed put on your walking shoes grab your CD player or Walkman or iPhone or whatever and get outside and take a walk. For the first five or 10 minutes of the walk is warming up, you do what he describes as your "gratitudes". Think of all the things and people in your life that you are thankful for and reflect upon them. Secondly, focus on your breathing. Breathe in for 10 seconds hold for 10 seconds and breathe out for 20 seconds. This activates all kinds of things within your body including your metabolism. It helps to flush the toxins from the system. Once you get your breathing down and activated continue to breathe deeply but also consider your goals, future wants, needs, hopes and dreams. Visualize yourself already achieving these dreams. Remind yourself of your one-year goal five-year goal and 10 your goal. Ask yourself what you're going to do today to realize those goals. This practice helps you to stay focused. And then it's time to crank up your workout. Pick up the pace. Go little faster and as you move faster do what Robbins calls "incantations". Incantations are not positive state positive thinking statements but rather verbal  manifestations of what you want. If you're overweight or if your goal is to achieve better fitness, he suggests you say something like this, "nothing tastes as good as it feels".  You repeat these incantations for 10 or even 15 minutes as you keep your work out at a level of around seven or eight out of 10. According to Robbins, saying these incantations as you move, as you're physically active, gets the idea "into your blood", actually changes your physiology. 
That's it! that's all you have to do To get your day started right and begin the process of realizing your dreams. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

50 pounds passion is not about losing weight

50 Pounds to Passion is not about losing weight, it's about expressing who you are at your core. It's about self acceptance. It's about learning to become the person you were born to be. 

The more I have delved into the process of losing weight, the more I realized how important it is to transform not only my body but my thinking. This process has not been an easy one. It's a painful process to realize who you are, and who you are not. 
It has occurred to me that writing this blog may not be right for me to be doing at this time. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of blogs out there that are much better at giving advice for weight loss than this one. (Caloriecoach.com is one). And yet, I persist. I persist because I know that there are other people out there like me. People who are searching for clarity and passion. 

Last weekend I gave a workshop based on the book by Seth Godin entitled The Icarus Deception. In his work, Godin challenges the reader to express the artist from within and risk the pain that goes along with it. As the world becomes an increasingly complicated, fast-paced place to live, it is ever more important to step forward and define our roles as leaders and "expressionaries". 

One of the key components of the book is not just to read and understand the thing, but also to take action. 

This is a command that is easier said than done. I am currently in the process of struggling to unfold just exactly what that means for me. These considerations take time and effort. It means brutal honesty. It means trimming off the fat with a sharp knife. All I can say at this point is that I hope there is a happy ending. And I hope you stick around for the ride. Thanks: Timo

Thursday, May 30, 2013

a whole new twist.

here i am, (left) after leading a "primal body painting" workshop.
when i started this blog a few months ago, i knew one thing, that i felt weighed down. i wanted to walk on this earth with lighter footsteps and suspected that letting go of the stuff that wasn't serving me would lead to a life filled with more passion. i focused first on my own physical weight. i figured that would be the most obvious place to start. i could see that. i could change that (i thought). so i studied nutrition, walked, exercised, breathed, juiced, dieted and everything else i could think of to "lose something", (weight). and i did lose something, and in the process, gained something. i gained a new way of being that was new and different, and one that i was maybe not ready for. 

changing can be scary. it takes you out of your comfort-zone. and that's great. it's where you need to be. but you also have to be aware of what is happening. the trick is changing on all fronts, all at the same time. not just body, but mind and spirit too. because the more fabulous you become, the more fabulous you have a right to be. 

but just as in the "cargo" poem i posted the other day, there's more to it than letting go of the stuff you don't want. you have to unload the stuff you love too! you have to give your gifts, your cargo, away! because carrying the "good stuff" around with you can weigh you down just as much as the other stuff can. 

this is such an important lesson to learn. one that has had me blocked for weeks. finding your passion means giving it away (as fast as you can). it gives "50 pounds to passion" a whole new twist. It means unload 50 pounds of art every day. It means deliver your cargo! Lighten the vessel so you can fill it up again with something new. 

Yes, the other "to do" list is still there. Of course you are going to care about what you eat, how you think and the daily practices that keep your spirit in tune. But now add those things to the mystery of giving of yourself to others in an unbridled way. Unleash your creativity. Be present. And become the embodiment the best person you can be: vibrant, vital and filled with a passion that only comes through giving.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cargo


Cargo
A Poem by Greg Kimura (for Malidoma Somé)

You enter life a ship laden with meaning, purpose and gifts
sent to be delivered to this hungry world,
and as much as the world needs your cargo,
you need to give it away.
Everything depends on this.

But the world forgets its needs,
and you forget your mission, and
the ancestral maps used to guide you
have become faded scrawls on the parchment of dead Pharaohs.
The cargo weighs you heavy the longer it is held.
Spoilage becomes a risk.
The ship sputters from port to port and at each you ask:
"Is this the way?"
But the way cannot be found without knowing your cargo,
and the cargo cannot be known without recognizing there is a way.
It is simply this:
You have gifts.
The world needs your gifts.
You must deliver them.

The world may not know it is starving,
but the hungry know,
and they will find you
when you discover your cargo
and start to give it away.

Monday, May 27, 2013

50 Reasons Why Being Fit is Awesome

  1. because it gives you back your childhood freedom of being able to run, jump, and PLAY
  2. because it gives you confidence
  3. because confidence is sexy
  4. because exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy
  5. because being fit tells the world that you care about yourself
  6. because it feels awesome to know you look good in clothes
  7. because it feels even more awesome to know you look good naked
  8. because it feels damn good to put your mind to something and achieve it
  9. because knowing that your body can handle just about anything you throw at it is powerful
  10. because you will inspire others
  11. to do what others think you can’t
  12. to do what YOU think you can’t
  13. to feel comfortable in your own skin
  14. because exercise helps control stress
  15. because healthy is the new skinny
  16. because good nutrition will stack the odds in your favor
  17. because doing something for your health right now feels better than “someday I will”
  18. because you’re worth it just as much as anyone else is
  19. because putting the right foods into your body makes you feel amazing
  20. because you will have more energy than you ever thought you could
  21. to sleep soundly at night
  22. to wake up every day ready to face the world head on
  23. because becoming fit will give you what it takes to tackle any challenge
  24. because your children look up to you and will model what they see
  25. because fitness and good nutrition is the ultimate anti-aging treatment
  26. because you will be able to keep up with your kids and grandkids
  27. because it feels amazing to climb a flight of stairs and barely be out of breath
  28. because exercising teaches you to live in the moment
  29. because healthy food fights cancer cells from ever forming
  30. because your chances for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer will plummet
  31. because it feels so good not to have “get in shape” on your New Year’s resolutionlist every. single. year.
  32. to feel proud at a doctor’s check-up instead of fearful
  33. because healthy food makes you feel energized and satisfied instead of run-down and stuffed
  34. because sex is more fun when you’re fit
  35. because busting through your own walls and limits feels so good
  36. because it makes you feel like a badass.
  37. to live a long and fulfilled life
  38. to open up a whole new world of experiences
  39. because it feels powerful to know that you are in control of your body
  40. because you are not sentenced to poor health just because of your genetics
  41. to know what the best version of you looks and feels like
  42. because having muscles makes you feel strong
  43. because you might find a physical activity that brings you great joy
  44. because it will teach you to make time for yourself
  45. because excuses are just fear
  46. because real courage is being afraid of something and doing it anyways
  47. to know what it feels like to set your mind to something and achieve it
  48. because good nutrition and exercise are natural anti-depressants
  49. because it makes you stronger on the inside, too
  50. because good health is FREEDOM

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

cloudy morning reflections.

pay attention to how you feel. notice what works and what doesn't work. stay focused on your goals. drink water. walk. hear the birds and smell the air. make a point to meet new people. spend time doing something ordinary with an old friend. make plans for the future that are fun and challenging. borrow something and then return it. treat yourself from time to time. be content with who you are and what you have, then work to make things better. say thank you for dinner. listen to a child. learn to sing a song. take the long way home. adjust your expectations. be carefully what you wish for. be as generous as you can. don't be afraid to change who you are. change who you are.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

we should dance

we should dance, we should travel, we should get out of our comfort-zone and try something new. know what that means? scaring yourself. feeling awkward. moving ahead, into uncharted territories. giving the gift that is you. being creative. taking chances. being dramatic. looking someone in the eyes and smiling. :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

be content.



i have decided that discontentment can be a hazardous mindset. always wanting more (of anything) leads to a feeling of not having enough now. which can lead to hoarding, over-eating and sadness. even wanting more health, lusting for fitness or the body you had in high school can lead to a roller coaster of emotions and set one up for disappointment. setting goals to reach the "perfect weight" is setting the sites too high. take a look around you sometime, look at the people in the store, in line at the dmv or at work. probably every single one of them wants to lose more weight, to improve their health, to look like the people on tv. well guess what. that's not gonna happen.
if they are lucky, and if we are lucky, we will lose 10 or 20 lbs. that's it. (for starters.) take it! be happy with it. congratulate yourself! you win! you've done something most people will never be able to do. don't beat yourself up and be dissatisfied that you haven't lost 40 or 100 pounds. that stuff is for made-for-tv reality shows, not real life. don't be confused. be happy. sit with your success for a while. pat yourself on the back. then just stick with your program, because now you feel better and are a success story. BE CONTENT. live with it. then later, when you are bored and looking for something fun to do, challenge yourself to lose 10 more or to hike to a higher place or learn an instrument. but first and foremost: be content! 

and if you think that that is not enough for you, do something nice for someone else and that will multiply your contentment. and maybe the something nice that you do for someone else is to truly be who are. maybe your gift is yourself, a song you wrote, a flower you picked or grew, a funny hat you wear that makes people smile. do your best to do your duty. and let your duty be to serve your community through self expression and love.. all while being content.

you may not be the beauty queen of the prom, or the movie star on the big screen and the person telling jokes in las vegas or the man walking on the moon. but MOST of us are not that. most of us are the guy at the check-out counter who has a band on the side, or the park ranger who loves to watch good films and may dabble in movie-making on the side. be content with who you are in the place you are. take the "i'm okay and you're okay" approach.

here's some information i found at the mayo clinc on happiness:

people who are happy seem to intuitively know that their happiness is the sum of their life choices, and their lives are built on the following pillars:
  • devoting time to family and friends
  • appreciating what they have
  • maintaining an optimistic outlook
  • feeling a sense of purpose
  • living in the moment

Friday, April 26, 2013

a search for passion is a winding road.

ultimately, this blog is a search for passion. it is a search for joy. it is a search for contentment. i thought that starting with the physical element, by way of nutrition and (i must admit) "dieting", that i would be able to see the change and have a leg-up on bringing body+mind+spirit into balance. i assumed that because i could see my weight in it's physical manifestation that this would be the most logical place to start. now i know that i was wrong. you can't just work on one isolated area at a time, when trying to bring a whole into balance. you need to work on the whole.

changing one's life is a holistic challenge. it's a juggling act. tweak a little here, tweak a little there. it's a process of simplifying. I like this quote that a close friend sent to me this morning:
The world is so complicated, tangled, and overloaded that to see into it with any clarity you must prune and prune.”  
-Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night A Traveller
to prune and prune is what this blog is about. to simplify. to find foods that heal and eat them with no more interest in the result than knowing that this is the correct action to take. just as washing the car is correct action. focusing the mind is the first step of focusing the body/and vise versa! it all starts getting very zen. there just seems to be no way around it. another item the above mentioned friend sent this morning was this link about the process of meditation.

Monday, April 22, 2013

take action. (my first video post)


coffee vs. green juice


i have been struggling to get back on track. falling off the health wagon with a pizza here and some toast there has really screwed me up. having lost the weight, and then re-gaining some back, i really FEEL the difference. in every step and in how i move and think. part of the fall comes in letting coffee slip back into the equation. this is easy to do, as many diet websites encourage coffee as a good choice to drink and  some even suggest it has weight loss and insulin-stability factors. but! i have noticed that when i drink coffee in the morning, i do not drink a green juice. it is one or the other, as they really don't work well together. and missing out on the green juice is a bad way to start the day. coffee is sort of a false start, giving quick (nervous) energy instead of the slow sustained energy my body learns to crave.

here's some news i found on green juicing:

Green Juice

Green juices are a bit different than fruit and non-green vegetable juices in that they are rich in chlorophyll and low in sugar. Chlorophyll is a magical biomolecule, which allows plants to absorb energy from light. Yes, I know how COOL is that. Therefore, chlorophyll is HIGHLY energetic, which is why it is such a valuable supplement to our diet since most all foods are completely VOID of any life energy at all! Yes, if the food has been cooked, or has been manufactured, it is a DEAD food.
Chlorophyll’s ability to make us buzz is not the only thing it’s good for though. With a molecular composition very similar to hemoglobin, chlorophyll helps to purify the blood, build red blood cells, detoxify and heal the body, not to mention provide us with a quick source of energy. In addition, green juices often contain powerful detoxifying agents such as cilantro, which have even been shown to impact heavy metal toxicity. Therefore, the GREENER the BETTER – richer in nutrients, antioxidants, and cleansing properties.
(source: http://www.theholykale.com/2013/01/is-green-juice-the-new-coffee/)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Key To Good Health Is 'Peace Of Mind'



Good nutrition and exercise may be important, but the secret to good health and long life is all in your head, according to the Dalai Lama.

After participating in a Peace Walk at the Peace Bridge in Derry, Northern Ireland on April 18, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, gave a talk at the "Culture Of Compassion" event at Ebrington Plaza. During the discussion, His Holiness -- who quite literally wrote the book on happiness -- shared his wisdom on the importance of stress relief and compassion in achieving good health.

"Warm-heartedness is a key factor for healthy individuals, healthy families and healthy communities," he told the audience.

The Dalai Lama called for early childhood education in moral ethics, or as he calls it, "education for warm-heartedness," and discussed how positive well-being can contribute to vitality and longevity.

"Scientists say that a healthy mind is a major factor for a healthy body," His Holiness said. "If you're serious about your health, think and take most concern for your peace of mind. That's very, very important."

The spiritual leader went on to spread his message of tolerance, compassion and non-violence, and answered questions from the audience on such subjects as poverty, global conflict and the importance of maintaining a sense of humor.

Friday, April 19, 2013

moving out of your comfort zone

as strange it that sounds, once we start to change the way we live, get healthy and lose weight we will begin to move out of our comfort zone. we will no longer be the ordinary person on the street, eating at a fast burger place and watching tv. we will be the extra-ordinary person who eats an enlightened diet, is conscious of who she is and where he's going and active pursuing dreams and passions not watching them on tv. prepare yourself for this. prepare yourself for how great you are becoming every day. breathe into the moment, like a broadway star about to go on stage. this is your moment.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

know your reasons. stay in the moment.



we all have our own reasons for losing extra weight and getting healthier.
here are a few of mine:

1. having more energy to do the things i love.
2. clearer thinking in an unclogged mind
3. boost of confidence.
4. improved self awareness.
5. clothes fit better, feel better, and look better.
6. the ability to join friends on hikes and physical activities.
7. correct blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels.
8. more fun at doctors office when getting health reports.
9. knowing about nutrition is cool.
10. improved sex life.
11. sharing "how i did it" stories with friends and strangers.
12. more flirt-ability.
13. enjoying the changing scenes of nature on my daily walks.
14. shopping for clothes and food becomes and adventure.
15. improved self-esteem, self confidence and self worth.
16. relieving family and friends worry about my health issues.
17. the knowing that i am respecting my body as a temple.
18. being an example of health for others
19. dancing the tango is more fun when your thinner.
20. knowing that discipline is an important part of life.
21. not limiting myself: discovering new things and going to new places.
22. more open the possibility of being loved because i love myself.
23. renewing my fabulousness factor.
24. fitting into my seat on an international flight to somewhere edgy.
25. being the best i can be just because i can!


reasons for staying overweight:

1. the comfort of staying the same.
2. the ease of being invisible socially.
3. the glorious feeling of being out of control.
4. fitting in with mainstream america who eats too much too often.
5. i won't intimidate anyone with my good looks.
6. because ice cream tastes so good at night
7. cheap bad food is every where and so it's so easy to eat.
8. i have a good excuse for not being happy.
9. i enjoy beating myself up on a daily basis.
10. being over weight, and out of shape is easy.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

look within


If you start your physical transformation from a place of caring about yourself, loving yourself enough to treat your body well and stop abusing it, the changes are so much more likely to be permanent. You won’t be on this constant quest for something you can never find, but instead you’ll just be doing what feels truly good every single day. You’ll jump off the endless cycle of Must-Fix-Self–>Work-Hard-To-Fix-Self–>Yay-It’s-Better-But-Not-Perfect–>I-Give-Up–>I-Hate-Myself–>Repeat. Instead, you’ll fall into a daily routine of self-care, which will lead to a physical transformation that will be permanent and APPRECIATED by you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

find the perfect weight for you.


find the perfect weight for you. accepting who you are means choosing to become the weight that is right for you. don't make your goal an unrealistic one that is only intended to satisfy some fantasy expectation of who you used to be. and don't diet. diets don't work because dieting is not a long-term solution. if you diet to lose weight, you'll gain the weight back once you get off the diet. you need to "behave your way to success". and set specific goals!

  • remember that losing weight requires a change in thought and behavior, so set goals for your emotions and weight.

  • don't set vague goals like, "I want to lose some weight." be specific: how much weight do you want to lose? how do you want to feel? close your eyes and visualize yourself after you've reached those goals. use this visualization to feel commitment and inner strength.

the journey

Your journey will be much lighter and easier if you don’t try to carry your entire past and future around with you. Take a break. Let go of your obsession with yesterday’s struggles and tomorrow’s to-do list, and simply enjoy the beauty of what’s right here, right now. Sometimes you have to stop thinking that some new richness will fulfill you, so you can fully experience the richness that's already yours.

Monday, April 15, 2013

happiness


moving forward is about staying in the moment.

being grateful for where i am.

taking care of myself just for today.

forgiveness. understanding.

and knowing that the mystery of life (and it's challenges) is a gift.

walk more. breathe more. give and be love.


Friday, April 12, 2013

failure is an option.

i don't know who said that "failure's not an option", but it is. some folks say repitition of failure leads to success. if so, that's great!  but for today, failing is good enough for me. for today, trying harder isn't and option. re-thinking it isn't an option. i am just going to fall all the way down too the bottom of the steps, and tomorrow? well, as miss o'hara says in gone with the wind, "tomorrow is another day."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"leaning" towards yours goal.

leaning in the direction of your goal, is a choice we make 10 times a day.

sometimes i don't feel like being on a "diet". i don't feel like being perfect. but i also don't feel like going back to where i was, heavy and lethargic. in these cases, i am learning a new technique called "leaning". instead of asking what i should eat to "stay on my diet", i ask "which way would i like to lean today, toward a healthy body that functions better that the one i am in today, or towards the unhealthy body, the one i had before?" framing my decision in this light feels more like a nudge in the right direction, rather than a black and white ultimatum. i use my imagination and visualize the way i want to go. in this case, using the image above, do i want to go to the left or to the right? the action i take today determines that. but it's not like i have to cross a finish line or win a prize, just move in that direction. and i know that if i move in that direction most of the time, eventually i will get to that place.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

thinking about food.

for months i have been thinking about food. writing about food and talking about food. i know what's right and i know what's wrong, what i should and shouldn't eat. still, with out taking massive action very little happens. and taking massive action can lead to burn-out and binging. i saw a circle diagram a long time ago and on it was the list of the cycle of diet failure. it looked like this:


this is what i have been trying to avoid doing through out my nutritional eating plan. easier said than done. warning: doing a cleansing juice fast can lead to the undoing of your new eating program and lead right back to an " i deserve to eat attitude".  for me it is difficult to walk the line between obsessive healthy eating and a life where food is just part of the day. i can't forget about food, because i have to eat it. not eating it leads to the cycle. but obsessing about it is also problematic because this is unsustainable as well. looks like i am still in search of the balance.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

like a bird hunting for a worm, you have to work for it.


well, i may be onto something here, as this is the third blog post on the same topic: laziness. in conversation with a friend today i was discussing the topic in the context of not only food but life. about being tired and the times when one doesn't feel like choosing the right foods and then have to chop and prepare them or when one doesn't feel like going for a walk and she reminded me that there is so much joy in these processes. for instance, taking a walk and noticing that what was no more than a little seedling yesterday was a flower today. these simple pleasures, that are the food of life, are lost when we choose instead to stay home and sleep or spend just a little longer checking our facebook profile updates like status. and then she said something that may stick with me for the rest of my life, she said, (in regard to whole living practices)
"health is my first job. just like a bird needs to go out a catch a worm to eat in the morning."

i love that: "it's my first job". my first job is to take the action required to keep my body+mind+spirit in good working order so that i may truly be present and serve in some way on this planet. you have to work for it. that's very different from being lazy. in our culture we are taught that you earn money (or acquire money) and then you are entitled to buy things. the more you have the more you can get. you can have what you want, pre-fab food, a sedentary lifestyle,and mindless consumption. why? because you can pay for it!
to have stuff is to prove you are worth stuff. more stuff = more self worth. really? i could get into the whole hoarding culture thing here, or obesity/self worth thing here, but that's not really the point. it's simpler than that:

matthew 6/26
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

mindful action


yesterday's post included the word lazy. "don't be lazy" was the message.
and although this is the point, i believe the way i presented the information was incomplete. but also the way our culture perceives laziness, and busyness is loaded with trap-doors. there is a "you gotta win" thing connected with everything these days. happiness is associated with winning, which implies being better than the next girl or guy. but life is not a race. it is a path.
there is a finish line, but it is not owning the biggest house or being on the cover of Vanity Fair. no, the finish line is death. our task, if life is a task, is to find purpose and passion along the way. life is about connecting with ourselves so that we can better connect with others. (first take the thorn out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.)

it is easy to let thing get complicated. it is difficult to keep thing simple. simplicity is the key. but don't get confused. simplicity is not being lazy about how you think or what you do, rather, it is being diligent about taking mindful action.

the body+mind+spirit is one. meditation does not always mean sitting on a pillow in a quiet dimly lit room, it may mean saying yes to the right things to eat while letting go of the urge to satisfy one's "love me now flavor sensation of corn chips and chocolate". not being lazy means doing your homework, shopping and chopping, walking out the door with a 2, 4 or 6 mile goal on your mind. it's not only knowing what you should do, but taking the action to do what you should do.
mindful action. being present in the moment. moving more & eating less.  simplicity.        connecting with others.   taking risks, doing new things. becoming our bigger selves. sharing our gifts.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

dont be lazy


this kind of poster, this kind of thinking, is easy to post on a blog, but hard to do in real life. real life is hard. it is usually filled with unforeseen challenges, deadlines, due dates, parking meters, easy-access junk food, and hard to find whole food. after month's of steely resolve and planning and doing the right thing, it's temping to find an excuse to slip back into our old, bad habits. a little at first and then a little more. it's comforting to move in familiar ways and feel the dull comfort of a clouded mind. but! we have been down this rosy garden path before and we know where it leads: unhappiness, self-loathing and eventually a certain kind of disconnected-hopelessness. 

so, if you must, rest!  but not for too long! stay connected and re-connect to those who are moving in the direction that you want to go. then, pick up your pace, appreciate what you have and take a few deep breaths. yes the path you have chosen is harder and steeper, but it leads to a better place. have faith. 

And most important of all: DON'T BE LAZY.

(ps: there is an important addendum to this post here)
 

Friday, March 29, 2013

faith in yourself (and where you're going)

Amanda Sizemore, farmer, handling the crops that survived devastating rains.
i don't think about faith much. haven't used the word in many years. i don't tend to say things like "ya gotta have faith!". i always thought that was more of a christian-thing, referring to of course to "faith in god". but as i have considered what keeps me from meeting my personal goals and staying on track with my health, i have decided that it is not lack of willpower or lack of desire, but rather a lack of faith.

change is difficult. even when it is change for the good. even when it is self selected change. changing the way you think about food, how you prepare it how much you eat and when and where. and focusing daily on gratitude and goals and breathing and walking. all change for the good. and the results are good too! the slimming effect is good. more energy is good. but, alas! sometimes exhausting. i begin to wonder "how much longer can i keep this up? will my dreams come true? is it all worth it?"

and this, my peeps, is where faith comes in. faith in myself. not faith in some far away place or person or idea. faith in being alive today. faith in knowing that good things will sprout from the seeds that i labor to plant today. faith like a farmer has faith!

when i went looking for a "faith" image to accompany this blog post, i was afraid of what i might find, and all my fears came true. it was mostly churchy-imagery with hookey slogans attached. but when i changed my search to "faith in where you're going" it lead me to the image you see above and to the story of two farmers, Jeremy and Amanda Sizemore who know about faith:
Storms swamped their fields with rain that sometimes totaled 3 or more inches in a day. In May alone, the area absorbed a record-breaking 9 inches. So much rain makes it logistically difficult to get in the fields to plant crops, and it creates a perfect environment for pests, fungi and other diseases. The Sizemores estimate their revenue came up about 50 percent below expectations because of lost crops. But they never quit, and they plan to come back bigger next year. “Farming is more about having faith in what you're doing than having control over it,” said Jeremy, 35. “If you ain't got faith, you ain't going to last long.”
so as i move back into my body and eating the right stuff that nourishes me, "the whole me" rather than feeding my diseases, i have to give thanks to my faith for keeping me on track. because just as mr. sizemore says,"If you ain't got faith, you ain't going to last long.”

for the rest of the story about the sizemores go here.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

in a search for passion i discovered seth godin.



in my ongoing search for authenticity, creativity, passion and "doing the right thing", i have been following the blog of permission marketing guru seth godin. his concepts of how things work now are boldly different from anything else i have read, and putting these ideas into practice takes courage and commitment. i thought it was unfair of me to keep all these ideas to myself, when i am sharing so much of what i am thinking about, and when i read today's blog post by mr. godin at 3am this morning, i decided it was time to share the wealth. how, you may ask, does this stuff go with body+mind+and spirit? and my answer is, i'm not sure. but i suspect that it does. these are uncharted territories we are marching in these days and we all need to take the responsibility to be leaders (says seth). reading seth's book entitled "tribes" is part of the reason i decided to write this blog, to take risks, to share, to create, to say "here, i made this". whether you are a marketer or a mother, i hope you find this new information inspiring. here is some of what seth has written:
What matters now:
  • Trust
  • Permission
  • Remarkability
  • Leadership
  • Stories that spread
  • Humanity: connection, compassion, and humility
All six of these are the result of successful work by humans who refuse to follow industrial-age  rules. These assets aren’t generated by external strategies and MBAs and positioning memos. These are the results of internal struggle, of brave decisions without a map and the willingness to allow others to live with dignity.
They are about standing out, not fitting in, about inventing, not duplicating.
TRUST AND PERMISSION: In a marketplace that’s open to just about anyone, the only people we hear are the people we choose to hear. Media is cheap, sure, but attention is filtered, and it’s virtually impossible to be heard unless the consumer gives us the ability to be heard. The more valuable someone’s attention is, the harder it is to earn.
And who gets heard?
Why would someone listen to the prankster or the shyster or the huckster? No, we choose to listen to those we trust. We do business with and donate to those who have earned our attention. We seek out people who tell us stories that resonate, we listen to those stories, and we engage with those people or businesses that delight or reassure or surprise in a positive way.
And all of those behaviors are the acts of people, not machines. We embrace the humanity in those around us, particularly as the rest of the world appears to become less human and more cold. Who will you miss? That is who you are listening to .
REMARKABILITY: The same bias toward humanity and connection exists in the way we choose which ideas we’ll share with our friends and colleagues. No one talks about the boring, the predictable, or the safe. We don’t risk interactions in order to spread the word about something obvious or trite.
The remarkable is almost always new and untested, fresh and risky.
LEADERSHIP: Management is almost diametrically opposed to leadership. Management is about generating yesterday’s results, but a little faster or a little more cheaply. We know how to manage the world—we relentlessly seek to cut costs and to limit variation, while we exalt obedience.
Leadership, though, is a whole other game. Leadership puts the leader on the line. No manual, no rule book, no überleader to point the finger at when things go wrong. If you ask someone for the rule  book on how to lead, you’re secretly wishing to be a manager.
Leaders are vulnerable, not controlling, and they are racing to the top, taking us to a new place, not to the place of cheap, fast, compliant safety.
STORIES THAT SPREAD: The next asset that makes the new economy work is the story that spreads. Before the revolution, in a world of limited choice, shelf space mattered a great deal. You could buy your way onto the store shelf, or you could be the only one on the ballot, or you could use a connection to get your résumé in front of the hiring guy. In a world of abundant choice, though, none of these tactics is effective. The chooser has too many alternatives, there’s too much clutter, and the scarce resources are attention and trust, not shelf space. This situation is tough for many, because attention and trust must be earned, not acquired.
More difficult still is the magic of the story that resonates. After trust is earned and your work is seen, only a fraction of it is magical enough to be worth spreading. Again, this magic is the work of the human artist, not the corporate machine. We’re no longer interested in average stuff for average people.
HUMANITY: We don’t worship industrial the way we used to. We seek out human originality and caring instead. When price and availability are no longer sufficient advantages (because everything is available and the price is no longer news), then what we are drawn to is the vulnerability and transparency that bring us together, that turn the “other” into one of us.
For a long time to come the masses will still clamor for cheap and obvious and reliable. But the people you seek to lead, the people who are helping to define the next thing and the interesting frontier, these people want your humanity, not your discounts.
All of these assets, rolled into one, provide the foundation for the change maker of the future. And that individual (or the team that person leads) has no choice but to build these assets with novelty, with a fresh approach to an old problem, with a human touch that is worth talking about.
I can’t wait until we return to zero percent unemployment, to a time when people with something to contribute (everyone)  pick themselves instead of waiting for a bureaucrat’s permission to do important work.
read seth godin's whole blog post and/or subscribe here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

finding helpful resources.


here is a link to coachcalorie.com which is a great ongoing source for eating right and staying fit. of all the sites i have discovered this one makes the most sense. although the good info is surrounded by lots tacky ads, check it out. you'll find helpful info like this:
You make the choice every day as to whether you will follow the plan or not. Here are some examples of these types of goals:
  • I will decrease my calorie intake by 500 calories a day, for the next 10 weeks.
  • I will eat lean protein with each meal and replace processed carbohydrates with whole ones, 90% of the week.
  • I will exercise no less than 5 times a week for at least 40 minutes at a time.
  • I will add a cup of vegetables to each meal every day for the next 10 weeks.
  • I will increase the amount of miles I run by 1/4 mile each week for the next 12 weeks.
  • I will decrease my soda intake by one per week.
  • I will start bringing my own healthy food to work 5 days per week for 12 weeks.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

shifting gears


when i started this project, 50 pounds to passion, my intention was to bring my life into balance. and when i looked at my life i could see that the most obvious place to start was with my body, because this weight imbalance was the "easiest" to correct because you can see it in the mirror. i changed the way i ate and increased my level of physical activity. now i feel better and i do have a better sense of self. all good.


but now as i struggle along with this effort, i am aware of some of the stumbling blocks to my success: i'm hopelessly under-employed.

why is this a stumbling block? because when i am there i am so bored i can focus on little else than where my next little treat might come from and at the end of the day i feel like i need to reward myself with food and drink just for making it through the grind of it all. on the contrary, when i am engaged in activities i enjoy, writing, editing video, solving a graphic design challenge or collaborating on a project with creative people i respect, the last thing on my mind is food.

if my goal is to find passion, and find balance i am going to have to resolve this issue. but there are few places to turn to get the answers. when everyone says "follow your bliss", i think to myself, "wow, i have followed my bliss in the past and it has lead me straight to the poor house". so in these next few weeks, i intend to maintain what i have started with diet and exercise, but my blog posts will be more focused on setting new goals, and finding new roads to accessing a healthy, happy life.

Friday, March 22, 2013

what type of juicer should i buy?

There are 5 main types of juicers, or juice extractors. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Centrifugal Juicers:

Centrifugal juicers are the most common type of juicer that you will find in department stores. They are often upright and cylindrical in shape. They extract juice from fruits and vegetables by grating them into tiny pieces, then using a sieve to “spin” the juice out of the pulp at high speeds (in a similar manner in which a salad spinner extracts the water from washed greens).
Advantages: Centrifugal juicers are much faster when making juice so they are more convenient. They usually have larger “mouths” so you don’t have to cut up fruit as much which means less prep work. They are sometimes easier to clean than other types of juicers. There is a huge variety of centrifugal juicers on the market that can be had on any budget.
Disadvantages: Centrifugal juicers generally do not perform well when juicing leafy greens. If you are serious about making green juices, then look into masticating or triturating juicers. Centrifugal juicers are not as efficient at extracting juice from pulp (resulting in wetter pulp) and they may produce foam in the juice and speed up oxidation.
Examples of centrifugal juicers include the Breville Juice Fountain series and the ever popular (and budget-friendly) Jack Lalanne juicer.

Masticating Juicers:

Masticating (aka “single gear”) juicers use a screw-type auger to grind, crush and “chew” fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. It distributes the juice and extracts the pulp into separate containers.
Advantages: Masticating juicers do a much better job at juicing leafy greens and vegetables than centrifugal juicers, and they produce drier pulp – which means they extract more nutrients. These types of juicers usually last much longer and come with longer warranties – up to 10 years or longer. Masticating juicers can also be used to make nut butters, sauces, baby food, pasta and frozen banana ice cream as well as fruit sorbet.
Disadvantages: Masticating juicers have smaller “mouths” so there is more cutting and chopping of fruits and vegetables when juicing. It takes longer to make juices with these machines than it does in a centrifugal type juicer. Masticating juicers have more parts and take a little longer to clean up after. They cost more money than centrifugal juicers, although high-end centrifugal juicers may cost the same as a mid-range masticating juicer.
Examples of masticating juicers include the Omega 8005/8006 series and the Champion brand juicers.

Triturating Juicers:

Triturating (or twin gear) juicers are high-end juicers and are considered to be the best ones on the market. They work similarly to a masticating juicer but the motor runs slower, which preserves maximum nutrients and promotes efficient juicing. They also have two, interlocking “screws” that grind, crush and “chew” produce in order to extract the juice.
Advantages: Triturating juicers are the best you can get. They are the most efficient juicers and extract the maximum amount of juice (and nutrients), which results in the driest pulp (fewer wasted nutrients). Like masticating juicers, triturating (twin gear) juicers can be used to make nut butters, sauces, baby food, pasta and fruit sorbet.
Disadvantages: Triturating juicers are high end machines so they come with a high end price tag. They are not as quick and easy to use and some force is required to push things like carrots into the gripping, twisting gears.
Examples of triturating juicers include the Green Star brand juice extractors.

Wheatgrass Juicers:

If you want to juice wheatgrass, then you should get a dedicated wheatgrass juicer. Centrifugal juicers are not appropriate for extracting the juice from grasses, and masticating juicers are not the best option either. Wheatgrass juicers are specifically designed to do this job.

Citrus Juicers:

Citrus juicers are specialized to extract juice from citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes. Obviously, they are not suitable for making green juices. Citrus fruits can be juiced in centrifugal, masticating and triturating juicers so it is not necessary to get a separate citrus juice extractor if you are getting one of these other units.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is setting goals, setting yourself up for failure?

Just when i began questioning the whole process of setting and being side-tracked by goals i came across this blog post by Dr Mark Hyman.
Eat better, exercise more, learn more, love more, love better, be a better son, father, friend, be a better doctor, reach more people, heal the planet, end obesity, starvation, and global warming – ARRRRRGGHHHHHHH!!
It’s enough to make me want to stay in bed and watch movies on iTunes. How can I do all of this? How can I wake up and figure out what do to first, second, or third? How can I achieve even one of these things?  I actually fail all the time.  There is absolutely no way I can achieve my goals.
Our culture is awash with endless pressure to do more, do better, be skinnier, be richer, be happier, be fitter, and be healthier.  We are offered endless lists of what do to, how to achieve more, reach our dreams, lose weight, attain the five steps to immortality, find the seven ways to stop wrinkles, or how to lose 100 pounds in ten days.
We go for these promises because we have this innate yearning to grow, to evolve, to improve, and to be better.
I am in the change business, the transformation business.  I want people to feel better, live well, be happy, be awake, be alive, and to be healthy.  I have to set goals for myself, and I help others to set goals for themselves.
Unfortunately, this leads to inevitable disappointment because we can never reach our goals.  And once we do reach some desired result there will be another goal that will grab our attention.  It is hard to do, but I have found that if you give up your goals magic happens. (go to the blog post here)

Monday, March 18, 2013

maintainence


it's been a few months now, and i have lost 30lbs, improved my well-being and had a lot of fun along the way. i started with protein smoothies, moved to fish and veggies, began walking, got a juicier, lengthened my walks, started using the juicer and did a lot of research on setting goals and quieting the mind. i started packing my own healthy lunches for work, making big batches of lentil soup to eat when ever i didn't know what else to eat and i began to have a re-newed confidence in myself and my ability to make positive changes to my lifestyle habits that with last a lifetime.

today, i am on a brief vacation away from home, so of course their are many disruptions to my usual patterns. i also celebrated a birthday. but i am pleased to say that i have done so mindfully.
not to my usual strict codes of conduct, but with loving gentle self compassion. bending some of the rules, some of the time, while knowing that the path to health remains a gentle slope, is a good way to let your body and ego mind know that the beautiful world we live in with all the complexity of dark chocolate, and coffee, and a perfect slice of pizza on the street is still there to be enjoyed. (without guilt).

the time and effort i have put into improving my body, mind and spirit, is not lost when i break from my rules for myself. rather, my long term goals are very much in sight as i take little detours along the way.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the future and food

to celebrate my birthday, it flew north to spend some time with a friend in the bay area, land of the original fruits and nuts. i'm enjoying my stay. people seem smarter here. more open here. more connected here. so it does not surprise me that they are ahead of the curve on food consciousness too. every body up here knows exactly what i am talking about when i go off on probiotics and integrated nutrition. even my friend's healthy young son, a berkley student, was talking about white fat cells vs. white fat cells and how it relates to weight loss. it seems the next generation will have a whole new wealth of information about body science to help guide their nutritional choices (thanks in part by all the research that has gone into space travel)

the future of food is changing. experts are predicting that by 2030 nearly half of americans will be obese. the fat will get fatter and the strong will get stronger. it's a matter of educating ourselves, changing life habits, and demanding healthier, whole food options from our schools, stores and eating establishments.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

30 pounds to passion (i'm getting there!)

i have now lost 30 pounds, turned my diabetes around and have perfect blood pressure!
to day is my birthday! i started this blog and my new improved 50 POUNDS TO PASSION lifestyle just a little over 3 months ago and have now i have now dropped 30 pounds, turned my diabetes around and have perfect blood pressure! the first thing i see when i look in a mirror or reflective glass window when i am walking down the street is no longer my big belly protruding from my body, but someone i barely recognize: the new improved me!

i am so happy to know that there are a few individuals out there who are following me on this journey and even joining me in it. it pleases me to know that i have inspired others to take action towards a healthy, more passionate life. but i really do want to reach out to more people out there who are suffering now the way i was just a few months ago. feeling hopeless that the medical community's idea of fixing diabetes and obesity is just prescription drugs and lighthearted encouragement to "exercise". i want to reach those people. can you help me?

for my birthday gift today, would you forward this link to 3 people you might know who could use a dose of improved health in body+mind+spirit: 
https://www.50poundstopassion.com 
thanks for being here. thanks for caring. and thanks for sharing!