A helpful/encouraging/SUCK IT UP! link of the week

Here’s a link that I stumbled on today. It’s from a fitness/healthy/nutrition/lifestyle blog called Fitness Spotlight, titled “How to Win the Mental Battle.” Summarizing bullet points are as follows (quoted from the article):

  • Health and Weight loss is simple – Follow the basics of healthy eating and be active daily.
  • You have 100% control – Now live your life the way you want to. If you don’t like something the way it is now, either do something to change it up or stop focusing on it. Take action or let it go.
  • No more Excuses, No one left to Blame – Don’t look for someone to take the blame, there is no blame anymore. Don’t beat yourself up, you are not to blame for anything. Forget the past, and focus just on what you need to do right now!
  • “Wake Up” and Live in the Moment – Don’t be asleep like most. Take action on purpose…just don’t react to anything that comes along. Take time to just live and experience life all around you. “Watch” yourself from a distance, and release your attachments. Be Free!
  • All you have is actions and results – Failure or success is non-existent and doesn’t matter anymore. Just keep taking actions and moving forward in life on moment at a time. You will become whatever you focus on….so focus on making things happen.
  • Enjoy the Journey – That is what life is.…and we only get one turn (as far as I know). Don’t live for regrets or be left to wonder “what if”. Make anything happen, dream big, try anything….if you think you can, you will!

I really liked this post because it deals with all aspects of health: physical, mental, and emotional. To some, it may sound a little Jillian Michaels-esque with the “ain’t nobodies fault but your own” attitude. However, sometimes we need that (or maybe I am just speaking for myself?).

That negative self-talk that can occur in relation to healthy mind/body/soul is self-defeating, agreed. But when someone writes it all out in a blog post, ain’t no excuses and ain’t no where to run when they say “you have 100% control of your life.” Time to take a little accountability for our own actions.

Amen, brother!

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Life update: August

Well it’s certainly been a while-a while since I wrote last, but I’m just gonna go with it!

The internship is really getting down to the end here with about a month and a half to go. For a while, I was counting days, contemplating how many hours, weekends, nights, drives to work! I had left until graduation day on September 3rd. I re-read my journal just to see all the things that we’ve accomplished, barely made it through, and successfully Triumphed (with a capital “T”) over since mid-January.

Then, I realized, Christine, counting days? Really? That’s so…negative! And my inner voice was totally right, whadidya know? Counting days is like building up the end date in my mind, it makes every day until graduation worse because it feels like an eternity until the next day begins. Does that make sense? It’s like when we were kids and we made those red and green Christmas-count-down-link/chain things out of paper. It made Christmas day this highly anticipated event, and then when it came, and went, it was like, that was it?

So until graduation, I am vowing not to count days, not to look at the automatic countdown timer on my Mac. Instead, I want to enjoy each day as it comes and really savor the last bit of the internship. Believe it or not, inner self, there is an end to this thing and you will have appreciated the whole thing in hindsight. (I talk to myself sometimes. Don’t worry about it. We’re cool with it. Haha!)

Not just in hindsight…heck, I knew that in foresight before I even began it in January. Yes, it’s been a hard and long road. Yes, I’ve had battles with others, friends, parents, us (me, myself and I), but it’s all been worth it.

Isn’t that what we always say in the end?

C.S. Lewis: Screwtape Letters

This was a hard book to get through. As with Mere Christianity, Screwtape is not a read-for-a-few-hours-type book. No. Instead, I had to read a chapter, then take a little break, do some pondering (insert Zoolander quote) and then read a bit more.

One of the chapters talked about the subject of “spirituality” and how it can lead us astray away from Christ. This isn’t anything new, but it really caught me off guard. It got me thinking…is yoga a type of “spirituality” that could lead me astray?”

Between the “ohmms,” talks about inner peace, and discussions about focusing on the present, I could see how someone could be lead astray. Yoga is so peaceful and soothing, who wouldn’t want to experience that in their life? Yoga is so here, so now, so tangible. Whenever I leave a Yoga class or finish a DVD, I experience an inner peace that I only experience through Yoga.

But, wait. Shouldn’t we be experiencing that through prayer and church instead? Why is yoga the only way to get to that “inner peace” state?

Yeah, I believe that it has the potential to lead people away from Christianity and into a world of secular “spirituality.” But used properly, yoga can help you zero in on the present day and alleviate your problems. There are many studies with terminally ill and chronically ill patients who use meditation and yoga as a way to decrease their pain…and it actually works.

I found this website, called Holy Yoga. It unites Christianity with Yoga, allowing Christians to connect to Christ via the ancient practice of rhythmic body movements and pose-holding. Now that’s a union that I can stand for!

Note to Self: Please Slow Down

Last night we at dinner we had amazing conversations about food (raw, organic, vegetarianism, etc), western medicine, and the importance of physical activity. Kinda weird to have these deep conversations (food ethics) while consuming a meal. Made you re-think about getting seconds on your soup ‘n salad.

Y’all know that my roommate is a raw food connoisseur (for health reasons, not ethics), something I know almost nothing about. I know it basically consists of eating a lot of pureed things, smoothies, salads, cold stuff, but that’s as far as my current state of knowledge reaches.

This morning I was making my oatmeal, as I have eaten oatmeal every morning for the last 8 years or so, and I realized “Oh my gosh, there’s no microwave.” Made sense with the raw food thing and all.

Let me restate that. NO. MICROWAVE.

I ’bout had a freak out moment. How would I cook the frozen vegetables I just bought? How would I make popcorn? More importantly, how would I prepare my oatmeal!?! Forget about the definitions of cook, make, and prepare, since they completely dissolve when we talk about microwaving or making mashed potatoes from a bag of dehydrated potato flakes and milk. And completely disregard what the microwave has done for nutrition and the American waistline. But I use it all the time to reheat, heat, deheat food. Alas, I digress.

What’s a proactive female to do? I hastily read the directions on how to cook oatmeal on the stove. Laugh at me, fine, but I never needed to prep oatmeal on the stove before. Why do it the slow way when you can do it the fast way, right? It actually turned out perfectly and I was happy. Well, still am happy.

I started thinking about how the lack of microwave might actually be a good thing, it would help me slow down, not be a rush, enjoy life more. I felt enlightened, empowered, and I enjoyed it.

I continued “slaving away over the hot stove” for my oatmeal (like it’s soooo hardl). I poured my oatmeal into my bowl when I saw it. The microwave. Above the stove. And I felt like a nincompoop on a stick. Dummy.

Lesson: slow down, you’ll see things much clearer. The fast way is not necessarily the best way. Life lesson.  🙂

Just for Today

I saw this in Dear Abby’s column this morning in the newspaper. It’s completely relevant to whatever goals, thoughts, and things you want to do in 2010. I personally don’t make resolutions, but that’s a topic for another day.

Enjoy.

“These are adapted from the original credo of Al-Anon.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once.

I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I’ll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

Just for today, I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I’m a smoker, I’ll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully — if only just for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it’s only around the block.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

The prayer of St. Francis (of which there are several versions) contains a powerful message:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

“where there is hatred, let me sow love,

“where there is injury, pardon;

“where there is doubt, faith;

“where there is despair, hope;

“where there is darkness, light;

“and where there is sadness, joy.

“O Divine Master,

“grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

“to be understood, as to understand;

“to be loved, as to love;

“for it is in giving that we receive,

“it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

“and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.”

New Beginnings

Wow, what a heavy title for a humble blogger like myself.

But really, I like starting anew. I like the new year. A new school semester. A new book.

The start of the race has so much potential, who knows what time you will get if you don't try?

It’s like that event, thing, or time has the potential for so many wonderful things to happen. For so much positive change. It’s almost like anything can happen. If it actually snowed in Central TX (though it has twice this winter so far, weirdly enough), then I could compare new beginnings to a blanket of freshly fallen snow, pure and innocent in it’s initial beginnings.

I also like purchasing a new calendar, a new 2010 monthly/daily planner (Note: I don’t do the hourly one, ew gross. How fast can you say micromanager?) It’s a blank slate. Then you start filling in birthdays, events, wedding dates (!), and it gives you so much to look forward to.

Optimism forms the foundation of my being. Can you tell?