Saturday, August 31, 2013

Change Your Mind, Change the World

Walking Away-Good Exercise ;)

It takes discipline, courage and determination to set and work toward your goals.  So, what happens when you're in pursuit of a goal and all of the sudden you have that lightbulb moment accompanied by an overwhelming urge to change your mind.

(me having lightbulb moment under giant lamp)

Is it okay to bail?  What is the difference between quitting and changing your mind?

I struggle with this often.  There is no better feeling than having a plan mapped out and being able to recognize that you are on the right track to accomplishing what you set out to achieve.  Likewise, there are few things more frustrating than being halfway down the path and realizing the plan is taking you in a direction that is no longer where you want to go.  How do you know if quitting/redirecting is what will serve you best?

Look at the big picture.  Have other situations in your life changed?  Has pursuing this dream caused you sadness, stress, anxiety?  Does it have a negative impact on others in your life?  It's reasonable to accept that working toward anything worth having isn't going to be easy all of the time.  It isn't going to be fun at every moment and sacrifices are sure to be necessary, but if you take a step back and notice that what you are pursuing isn't serving you any longer, isn't filling you with positive energy and keeping you motivated and driven, then take a new direction.  It isn't quitting if you are redesigning your plan.  Think of it like this:  If you built a house 20 years ago, at the time it was probably state of the art, new mechanicals, modern design and decor.  However, if you haven't touched it in the past 20 years, today it probably looks dated.

(pastel couch, anyone? source)

The floor plan may not seem functional.  The mechanicals are in need of repair or replacement.  The furniture and window treatments may look like a sun-faded version of something chosen by Rainbow Brite.  Does that mean you should keep everything as is and live with it because that's what you wanted 20 years ago?  Should you toss a grenade in the window and head for the hills?  Mmmm'no.  But you can certainly redirect your plan.  Look at your options.  Renovate, remodel, sell and buy new.  If you can't afford it, even better!  You get to devise a plan to reach the goal to afford it.

(find the silver lining :) source)

At some point we all need to reevaluate and redirect our paths.  When I was 6 I wanted to be a cashier at Big Bear and a astronaut when I grew up.  Nothing wrong with that, but in pursuit of my dream, other ideas and adventures lead me in new directions.  When you know better, you should do better.  Take the time to look at your situation.  What about it serves you and make you an improved, more confident, more joyful version of yourself?  What exhausts you, frustrates you and drains you?  Is it possible to eliminate the latter?  If it can't be eliminated, can it be redesigned or improved?  If it can't be changed at all, can you change the way you look at it?

Schedule some time every few months to take inventory of how the different aspects of your life make you feel.   Then purge it, change it or change your perspective about it.  Please, please, please don't carry on and let it take the best of you.


Friday, August 30, 2013

I hate to brag, but my adrenal glands are amazing!

My Unsolicited Opinion

I love trying new things and putting concepts and ideas to the test.  I'm not into gimmicky fad diets like The Champagne Diet or The Baby Food Diet (which I'd be willing to try and review for fun if I have a few volunteers to do it with me ;).  However, I love reading books about fitness and nutrition and putting others' theories to the test.  It's a science experiment that serves a purpose (as most do).  I just finished reading The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy.  When I grabbed it off of the library shelf I found the title to be a little impudent and I was pessimistic that the author would be able to offer any sound advice that we hadn't already heard a dozen times.  A client had asked me about it, so I checked it out anyway as I like to offer an informed opinion once I've done my due diligence.

Once I began reading, I became a fan almost instantly.  The 'diet' is composed of all of the foods we should be eating anyway.  The purpose of this plan is to take 28 days to focus on resetting your metabolism through eating foods that nuture the adrenal glands and help repair thyroid function.  Whether or not that is that end result, I saw a nutrient dense meal plan that was patterned in a way that might not make me lose my mind.  The foods that are to be eliminated on this plan are ones that don't sit well with me anyway, so I thought, what the heck, I'll put it to the test.  I found some recruits to participate with me and we started last Monday.  This plan consists of 3 phases that you cycle through in a week and continue with that cycle for 4 weeks.  Mon-Tues=Phase 1, Weds-Thurs=Phase 2 and Fri-Sun=Phase 3.

This plan does have a few forbidden items.  There is NO:

Refined Sugar

I may be forgetting others, but those are the big ones.  Know that in the book she does an excellent job of explaining the Why's of those no-no's, but I'm just giving you the super condensed short recap, so know that there is good reason, and should you care to research it farther, you can get the book here.

Those of us participating have over a week into the program now and here is what we've concluded:
On average, everyone lost roughly 2.5-3 lbs the first week and many of us were down 4-5 lbs by day 11.  We have people of all different shapes and sizes participating and everyone seems to be losing at about the same pace.  Most have reported having more energy, less bloating and better skin tone.  Everyone has had there moments of hunger.  The most difficult part for most of the participants has been eliminating caffeine.  A few people have reduced their caffeine intake instead of eliminating it.  They are still seeing positive results, but most have cut it out completely per the plan.

This is how we do it:

First, let me highly recommend downloading the app that accompanies this plan.  It is such a great tool for meal plan and grocery shopping.  It also offers helpful tips and has a section with FAQ's.

Phase 1 is lots of fruits and grains, which some had no problem with and others felt very hungry (myself included), I seemed to burn through those carbs quickly which left me ready for a snack almost immediately after my meals.  Thankfully, this plan has an app available with helpful tips that you can refer to if you feel like you need a snack or a boost.  The food was tasty and my phase 2 looked like this:

Grains like oat groats and brown rice.  Fruits like apples, grapefruit, blackberries and peaches.  Pretty much any veggies in unlimited quantities.  I was a little hungry the first day, but quickly learned to plan ahead by having sweet potatoes and beets prepped as you can have unlimited quantities of these on Phase 1 and they are quite filling and offer a great energy boost.

Phase 2 (Wednesday and Thursday) is lean protein and non-starchy vegetable based.  You have protein with each meal and snack and the veggies that you eat are mostly green and lower carb options.  I liked this phase better than the first one because I didn't get hungry as fast.  I did miss the fruit, but other than that, I didn't mind phase 2.  

Many of the participants liked this phase the least.  Without fruit, they missed that little sweet bite throughout the day.  Never fear, another helpful hint was posted on the app to save the day:

While all other fruits are banned, lemons and limes are fair game on phase 2.  The book has a recipe for lemon-lime sorbet that it so refreshing!  You can have it on any phase and it works well as a slushy too.  I made a batch and poured it in my Tervis tumbler for hard times ;)

Phase 3!  The glorious Phase 3.  Friday is the kickoff of a 3 day fiesta of the most divine part of this program.  On phase 3 you add healthy fats to your meals and snacks.  You also have fruit with breakfast and lunch and a grain with breakfast and dinner.  You always have a lean protein with breakfast, lunch and dinner, but on Phase 3, you have a few more options.  This is the phase that keeps you sane and helps you carry on!

The meals are much more filling in this phase.  If you have any major life decisions to make, I encourage you to make them on this phase.  The healthy fats give you a much clearer head :)

Conclusion thus far:

While I'm not quite half way through the 28 days of this plan, I'm already a fan.  It's full of nutrient dense foods.  Hydration is encouraged.  Many things that shouldn't be consumed by most of the population are excluded and it's designed with short term and long term goals in mind, which I think plays a huge role in people sticking with it and not quitting!  The fact that they are seeing results is encouraging as well.  The word is spreading fast around the gym and I have new people hopping in on this plan every week.  I love having a group of people to practice this lifestyle with.  It's such a great support system.  We are going to have the healthiest adrenal glands in the Mid-West!