A Perspective on Life

Posted on

sunrise

I got a reminder this week about how precious life is and how little time we have on this planet. I got some bad news recently about a family friend. He has been getting very sick lately and had had multiple brain hemorrhages and the doctors suspect he may also have cancer. His health has been deteriorating for a while and he has attended multiple hospitals in order to get treatment for his illness. His family has been by his side helping him through the ordeal but it has been costing them thousands upon thousands of dollars. As a result, they are considering selling their house in order to pay the expenses.

Finding out the News

My mother called me to tell me the news of the family. I was pretty shocked when she told me. This was a family who always seemed to have everything in the palm of their hands. The family friend (the father) had a very high-paying job that afforded them an ample lifestyle. As a result, the mother never had to work and the children were able to have the finer things in life. They weren’t wealthy by any means but they were more than comfortable. My mother (who had to work) was always a bit of envious of their lifestyle. They always had nice things and it was clear that money was not much of an issue.

When I heard the news, I got a bit teary. I couldn’t believe some thing like this had happened to such a nice man. He is a well-respected figure in the community, and I’ve never heard of anyone say a negative word about any of his family. It just made me think of how little time we have on this earth. It reminded me of the importance of each day and how our health is one of our greatest assets. Without it, life would be very difficult or even unable to exist. It is amazing to think how something like chronic illness can affect us.

Thinking of Life

I have been kind of on a thinking streak since I heard the news.  I have been thinking about how we are all subject to life’s obstacles no matter what financial position we are in. Some of us may have ridden high for many years only to have something like ill health come and bring it all down. Some of us may have had tough upbringings and are still able to accomplish great things when older. The point is we never know what’s around the corner and sometimes the best-laid plans can go haywire. Like my family friend, he had worked hard to build a strong foundation for his family, but sometimes things change.

I am writing to tell you to make every moment count. Spend time with loved ones and be thankful for the time you have with them. Life is here one moment and gone the next. Taking the time to savor it is important and necessary to truly appreciate life.

Take Care,

Natalie

Photo by Komar

 


3 Things People Never Tell You About Losing Weight

Posted on

With the New Year among us it’s time to set our resolutions and it’s time to start working on improving our lives, or at least improving some aspects of our lives. I love the New Year because it’s a fresh start and it’s a chance for a new me.  I usually start working on improving myself in October when my birthday comes around and in January I go into full force with my New Year’s resolutions.

Since October I have been trying to change my lazy lifestyle for a healthier lifestyle.  I purchased new yoga and workout DVDs, I purchased cute new workout clothes and I am trying to make an effort to track my calorie intake and workout at least 3 times a week.  I am loving my new healthy lifestyle because I have more energy and I am also noticing a change in my body shape.  But let me tell you it hasn’t all been as pleasant as a walk in the park.

The end result of being cute, skinny and healthy is worth the effort but the actual process of eating an apple when you really want to eat French fries is not always a happy time. I definitely encourage everyone who wants to get healthy to change their eating and workout regularly, but at the same time I don’t want you to have any misconceptions about trying to live a healthier life.

The ugly truth about trying to lose weight

There will be tears.  Whenever you see a weight loss commercial on television for a new diet regime or a new piece of exercise equipment you always see the person after they have lost the weight and they always have a smile on their face.  Sure, it’s easy to do a happy dance when you lost 25 pounds; but what you don’t see is the process of trying to lose weight.  Those weight loss commercials never show you the tears, they never talk about the times that you went to bed hungry and the times that you wanted to eat a hamburger but instead you ate a salad.  Those are the tough times of the weight loss process.

It can be expensive.  The key to losing weight is to change your daily habits from healthy grocery shopping to counting your calories. You should not want to maintain your current lifestyle and try to lose weight at the same time, if you really want to lose weight you will have to make some changes.  In order to lose weight you have to burn more calories in a day than you take in, there are two ways to do this – eat less or workout more.

You will be hungry.  During the first few weeks of weight loss you will be hungry.  Snacking on fruits, veggies and nuts will help eliminate some of the hunger but until your body adjusts to your new healthy eating you will be hungry.  But don’t worry your body will adjust, after a couple of weeks your stomach will shrink and you will start feeling full with less food.  Substituting sugary foods and foods with a high amount of carbohydrates will help you lose weight faster.

Love Always.

Photo by NikkiL

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Get Healthy With These Small Changes

Posted on

In an effort to get healthy I have been making positive changes in my eating habits and trying to workout on a regular basis.  It would be a major understatement to say that this lifestyle change has been an adjustment in my life.  My personal motto used to be “There is nothing that a medium pizza and a bag of Reese Pieces can’t fix.” Now my personal motto is “Put down the pizza and walk away.”

I have traded in my medium pizzas for well proportioned meals and I have swapped the Reese Pieces for snack sized protein bars. I am making small changes in my life but they seem to be having a big impact. I feel lighter, smaller and I have more energy. I am enjoying my new healthy life and I look forward to the end result (aka losing 20 lbs by April 1, 2013).

Use these small changes to get healthy and be happy:

1. Drink More Water. You will feel full and it helps flush out the toxins in your body.

2. Exercise 3 Times a Week. Even if you only exercise for 30 minutes, it’s better than nothing.

3. Make your Workout Fun. Dancing and Zumba are fun workouts that burn a lot of calories.

4. Eat Smaller Portions. Get smaller plates, order a kids meal, do whatever it takes.

5. Eat Healthy Snacks.  Snack on fruit, nuts and protein bars, trust me your belly will be full.

6. Don’t Forget the Fruits and Veggies. Try to eat veggies with your lunch and dinner, have some fruit for dessert.

7. Have a Cheat Day. Treat yourself in moderation once a week, only 1 chocolate chip cookie.

8. Stretch on a Daily Basis.  Every day stretch out your limbs and your stress with some Yoga.

9. It’s Normal That You Are Hungry. Your body will adjust after a week or two, just ignore your belly grumbles.

10. Celebrate Your sSccess. Buy yourself something nice, don’t celebrate with food.

Love Always,

Enhanced by Zemanta

2 Bloggers answer – Why do you love running?

Posted on

Since I started eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis I feel better, I sleep more and I see some changes in my appearance (which is the real reason why I am watching what I eat and trying to exercise on a regular basis).  I started my new exercise plan with 90 days of yoga. I love yoga because it’s relaxing and it also helps stretch out my super uptight muscles. But honestly I am not totally physically satisfied.

Satisfying My Exercise Needs

I needed to find a workout plan that would help me clear my head and let out all of my mental aggression. Thanks to my Twitter friends Shannyn from Frugal Beautiful and Kate from Kate Moving Forward I was inspired to start running.  You may remember from one of my recent posts that running burns the most calories of all the at home workouts.  I asked these lovely ladies (and fellow bloggers) to sit down and talk with me about why they loving running and this is what they had to say.

Looking Cute is the Key to Successful Running

Kristina: When and why did you get into running?

- Shannyn: I started running earlier this year after I finished grad school. I started dating a guy who loves running & at first laughed in his face when he told me – I thought running was stupid. After I saw the cute gear, I bought it on impulse and then had to justify said impulse and found that the gear, the challenge and the little achievements were addicting!

Kristina: How often do you run and do you belong to any online or in person running groups or communities?

- Shannyn: I run 3-4 days a week and run races several times a month. My twitter friends who run are by far the best support group ever!

- Kate: I would say 2-3 times a week is pretty average. I am part of the Sweat Pink community and FitFluential community—both promote healthy fitness involvement and are great places for encouragement in healthy living!

Kristina: Did you experience any defeats when you first started running? If so how did you overcome them?

- Kate: During my first ½ marathon I struggled with some knee pain and soreness that made me want to give up. I spent a lot of time researching and reading blogs of runners to help me find a way to deal with the issue (ice and ibuprofen!). Don’t be afraid to reach out into running communities to get help and motivation when you find yourself feeling defeated.

Kristina: What is your #1 piece of advice for anyone who wants to start running?

- Kate: Do it! I would suggest using a Couch to 5K program to ease you into running so you don’t burn out or get injured.

- Shannyn: If you want to start running, set a goal, like a big race and commit to FINISH even if you’re not super fast. Knowing I signed up for a non-refundable race 6 months ahead of my start date to train with was key to keep going. I knew that I put a short term goal together that wasn’t too long to get bored or too short to be unrealistic plus the race itself looks like a blast.

Love Always,

Photo by lululemon

Enhanced by Zemanta

Experts say that egg whites are no good

Posted on

For the majority of my life I have been told that egg yolks are bad for us and that egg whites are the only good part of an egg; however recent reports say this is not necessarily true.

A recent article from Shape Magazine says that both egg yolks and egg whites are a healthy option because they both offer nutritional value.  Egg yolks are full of dietary cholesterol which is your good cholesterol and egg whites are full of protein which is very beneficial for lean body mass.  Eggs as a whole (both yolk and whites) are also full of healthy Omega 3 which is good for the brain and good for the heart. I didn’t know this but eggs have an antioxidant level that is equal to eating an entire apple. That doesn’t sound like a bad thing.

Who should I believe?

Nutrition 103

As I embark on my weight loss journey I have read a lot of articles and blog posts about healthy eating, nutritional value and portion control.  I have to be honest and say that reading about health and nutrition has done nothing but confuse me.  It seems that for every article I read about the benefits of eating eggs, eating green vegetables and eating healthy portions of fruits on a daily basis there is another article stating the exact opposite.

Some nutrition experts feel that eating a lot of fruit is not a healthy snack because fruits are full of sugar. However some other nutrition experts feel that eating fruit throughout the day is a healthy option to other types of sweet snacks.  Some medical professionals feel that snacking throughout the day leads to overeating and obesity while some other medical professionals feel that eating several small meals throughout the day is the only way to maintain a healthy weight. So who should I believe?

How about I just eat whatever I want to

Nutrition

I am not a nutritional expert or a medical professional and I am not really a person who likes to be told what to do; therefore I think the best way for me to lose weight and still be happy is to just eat what I want to…but within moderation.

It is a widely accepted theory by many nutritional experts and medical professionals that the only guaranteed way to lose weight is to burn off more calories in a day than you take in.  This means that I have to either eat foods that don’t have a lot of calories or I have to exercise on a regular basis in order to burn off excess calories.

I am eating foods with fewer grams of sugar and fewer grams of carbohydrates because sugar and carbs turn into fat if they are not burned off with exercise.  I have also started to drink more water throughout the day in an effort to flush out any toxins.  I started my “Save Yourself. Skip the Gym.” Weight loss plan 5 weeks ago and since then I have lost 3 lbs, I am happy and I have not yet been hungry.

Love Always,

  Photo by JustyCinMD

Enhanced by Zemanta