Tuesday, November 16, 2010

27 - It's not a magic number, but still feels great!

Twenty-seven pounds!  Yes, I am very proud to report that after what appeared to be an endless PLATEAU of non-weight loss, I am finally down another couple of pounds, bringing my total weight-loss to date to twenty-seven pounds.  This method of weight loss has not proven to be the "Speedy Gonzales" method by any means.

I'm hoping, however, that it will prove more like the case of the tortoise and the hare ...

And hopefully by changing my life-style in small increments rather than by following some radical diet plan, I will be able to keep the weight off once it's gone, and have a healthier lifestyle pattern.

So, here are 27 things I have been doing differently that are all helping me to have a healthier lifestyle, some of which are contributing to my weight loss:

1).   Almost entirely switched from white flour to whole wheat flour.

2).   Endeavouring to eat 80% fruits and vegetables and 20% starch and protein every day.

3).  Trying to remember to DRINK LOTS OF WATER!  (although I often forget this one!)

4).   Walking every day - a brisk walk of between 3 and 4 kms.

5).   Drinking 2 oz of Noni Juice everyday.  It tastes hideous but Dr. Oz highly recommends it.

6).  Taking my multivitamin every day.

7.)   Taking 100 mg of B6 every day.

8).  Taking 25 mcg of Vitamin D every day - which, by the way, comes in the form of a soft chewy chocolate so I consider it my chocolate fix for the day.  (Most days this works, although once and a while I feel the need for a bigger chocolate fix!)

9).  Taking my EstroSense everyday - a herbal blend that includes calcium, green tea extract, indole 3 carbinol (an extract from cruciferous vegetables), sulforaphane (broccoli sprout extract), turmeric (curcumin), milk thistle extract, rosemary extract, and lycopene (tomato extract) - all of which is supposed to do wonderful things for me.

10).  Sneaking veggies into everything!  Especially having veggies ready to snack on around 4 in the afternoon when I suddenly feel at my munchiest.  And trying to get the most "bank for my buck" with veggies in that I'm trying to focus on those veggies that are really crunchy and satisfying to chew.

11).  Eating an apple a day.  Yup, I know it's simple.  But it has really become something I look forward to as an extra treat during the day.

12).  Taking my metamucil once a day ... maybe this TMI, but the thing is, I have struggled with irritable bowel syndrome for most of my life and this really helps.  Also, it's supposed to help lower bad cholesterol so it seems like a good idea to take it.

13).  Wear bright colours every day.  The thing is, I love colours and it cheers me up to wear bright colours.  Maybe this sounds weird to stick this in here on the list of healthy life style choices, but if wearing a bright colour helps me feel better about myself and my day, then I figure it's a very inexpensive, painless way to help myself.

14).  Making myself find something humourous every day about my life.  Seriously (or actually, not seriously!), I sometimes forget to take a light-hearted approach to life and laughter really is great medicine!  So, I'm trying to focus on the funny side of life more often and I'm sure I'll lose weight by exercising those laugh muscles!  As a result, I am finding myself noticing more funny and peculiar things that come across my path during the day and I take great delight in sharing them with my husband so we can both have a  good laugh at the end of the day.  Like this hotel sign and the random weirdness of the picture ....

15).   Eat less, exercise more.  Yup, it really is that simple!

16).  Think about my husband's needs more than my own.  Once again, perhaps an unusual thing to throw on a list about healthy living, but healthy living does include mental health and one of the drawbacks of not having children, is that I can become a bit to self-absorbed sometimes.  It's really good for my mental health to think about someone else's needs.  It also makes it much easier to do my daily tasks (like laundry, house-cleaning,  and washing dishes) with a cheerful attitude when I look at them as ways to help Mr. Magnolia's life become easier, rather than just chores that need to be done.

17).  Okay, I admit it, I'm pretty much stumped at #17.  I can't really think of too many other things - except maybe to repeat the DRINK MORE WATER one since that seems to be one I have to constantly repeat to myself.  Maybe by the time I've lost 50 pounds, I'll have come up with 50 inspiring things to help with my healthier lifestyle.  But for now I guess I'll have to stick with 17 .... unless perhaps, I include one more ...

18).  Take time to celebrate the victories!   Yup, whether it's another pound lost, or another day of positive thinking, I am taking time to celebrate the victories along the way.  I am celebrating the fact that I am feeling stronger and healthier than I have in a long time.  And even though I don't want to get all obsessed with numbers, I am celebrating that there are 27 less pounds now that I have to lose than when I started!  :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marvelous Monday - A Bird in the Hand

We have the joy of living quite close to a beautiful botanical garden - the Royal Botanical Garden in Hamilton, Ontario.  Along with a number of exquisite formal and informal gardens, the RBG consists of 2400 acres of natural land, and 30 km of hiking trails.  It is one of our favourite places to go to enjoy spring flower displays in the incredible Iris Rock Gardens and the Lilac Arboretum.  But it is also one of our favourite places to go for a Sunday afternoon hike all year round.

We spent a glorious Sunday afternoon there last week.  The sky was blue and the autumn leaves were still full of colour.

The particular hiking trail we chose that day runs along an inner harbour, so periodically along the way we caught glimpses of the water through the trees.

And at one point, the trail took us right down to the water's edge.

We saw lots of birds and animals, like this nuthatch, flicker and this noisy little squirrel who gave us quite a scolding for venturing into his territory!

And we had a great deal of fun feeding the very tame little chickadees who love to take seed right out of your hand!

You know the old saying "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" ... a great reminder to me to practice being content with what I have instead of constantly wishing for something more, or something different, or someone else's life that looks more glamorous than my own.  

So this Marvelous Monday, I am especially thankful for Sunday afternoon hikes, for sweet little chickadees, and for all the other "birds" that are in my hand ... the blessings that are already part of my life that I sometimes take for granted.

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
remember that what you now have
was once among the things you only hoped for."

Epicurus, Greek Philosopher (341-270 BC)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My sweet budgies are adjusting well to their "winter quarters" in my bay window.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Marvelous Monday - Wonderful Parks

It's been several weeks since I posted a "Marvelous Monday" but I've been thinking all day about how much I'd like to write this one and finally now have a moment to sit down to the computer and blog away to my heart's content!

Yesterday afternoon, we spent some blissful time hiking in one of our favourite local parks.  Short Hills Provincial Park is an amazing 1600 acre park filled with hiking trails, waterfalls, beautiful trees and peaceful meadows.  Some trails are designated strictly for hikers while others are multi-use trails for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skying, and horse-back riding.  Though Short Hills is a favourite of ours, we often take it for granted instead of realizing what a treasure it really is.  I'm so glad we have access to fantastic greenspaces like this.  As my husband puts it, spending time in nature allows us to shake the "clinkers from our thinkers!"

Here are a few shots from our energizing hike on a brisk autumn Sunday afternoon:

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”   
-- Raymond Inmon


“Walking:  the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.”  
-- Carrie Latet


“When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body.  I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out.”  
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.”   
-- G.M. Trevelyan


“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.”  
-- Paul Dudley White


“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.”   
-- Aldous Huxley  


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