Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The Weight Loss Chronicles: 3

                                    Image result for vintage dieting books

Getting In My Own Way

The thing is, being a double Libran (Libra Sun and Moon), I really am a bit of a people pleaser and  this totally gets in my way. One of my kids keeps saying: "stop being someone's Mum, Mum". Meaning: stop worrying about others, and just do your own life. Phew! That's a hard one. Librans, and especially double Librans, really prefer to get on with others. It's like an affliction, really.

And most Librans whom I know, and I am generalising here, we are incredibly helpful. Yep. Instead of doing what we need to do for ourselves, we will be helpful, instead. Because, actually, we are (most of us, anyway) nice. And kind.

                         So, this is my next new routine: just get on with my own life

This is what I've been doing so far, and I've written about it in previous posts, including this oneherea bit about waterand this :
  • have a sense of excitement about losing weight
  • make food look nice
  • wait for meals (this actually means 'no snacking'), but of course, sometimes I do have a wee snack. But I do endeavour not to.
  • eat off smaller plate
  • have a glass of water with meals 
  • eat eggs and drink water or tea when I'm doing le cafe thing. All those lattes love to stick to my body, so I am seldom having them
  • I've, mostly, cut down on fats. They like to hug my body too much. Butter is my bete noir (black beast) of foods
  • as much as possible, I've been eating foods which are low on the glycemic index. This means foods which do not cause me blood sugar problems. And delicious peanut butter has been replaced with Vegemite
  • I avoid, as much as possible, foods which have chemicals added to them
I do some extras in my routines:

I've had a morning routine for most of my life. But I've also had long periods, when I didn't. This is the current one:
  • a glass of warm water as soon as I get up. I intend to get into making it two glasses, or, 500 mls. Plus more before lunch. Why? you may wonder. Well, two of the most naturally slender people whom I know, drink a lot of water each morning. I figure that if it works for them.......
  • I mostly do a small yoga routine. Small. But doable. I do this particular sequence, or variations of it, because it's like giving your organs a morning massage. And it really helps with my blood sugar. Which of course, helps with weight management.
  • specific yoga breathing. I vary this according to the seasons, and this year I started a routine in autumn to boost my resistance to flu and viruses. So far, it's been amazing, and although I did pick up a virus, twice, each time it was minimal and only lasted a few days. (I also am a yoga teacher, so I have some tools up my sleeve)
  • meditation most mornings
And I've added some bits and bobs to my evening routine: 
  • an earlier dinner. I go out for a meal at a friend's one night a week. I teach a class there for 5 people, then we all gather around the table for nice healthy food and lovely conversation. (How lucky am I?)
  • But otherwise, I try for dinner between 4 - 5pm. This is because it gives a long period between dinner and breakfast. Have a 12 hour break overnight, between those two meals, has been found to aid weight loss. Many people do a 16 hour break. But.... I am not being so extreme. I do eat a scone each Monday evening when I'm doing mahi (work) at a healing clinic. 
  • drink two full glasses of water between dinner and bed. I used to do that, but, stupidly, stopped. Jon Gabriel, a phenomenal man who last an incredible amount of weight, and has kept it off for years, used this method to help lose weight. As one of his tricks. It definitely fills me up and stops evening snacking
  • I've been getting lots more sleep, as it's a great stress management tool
Exercise

Our diet is the means to losing weight. Who knew? This is according to 2017 - 2018 findings. I'm not sure what the next new findings will be, regarding the exercise - diet - weight connection. But, and these are important points:

  • when we diet, we can lose muscle instead of fat
  • when we tone our muscles, and thereby create muscle tone, as we diet, we are more likely to burn and lose fat rather than muscle
  • our muscles create shape, when they are toned. They also give us strength, and endurance
  • muscle burns more calories than does fat
  • there is a big connection between muscles and our body ticking over as we lose weight.
  • Muscle tone seems to have a big effect on our metabolism not slowing down as we reduce. If our metabolism slows too much, it is harder to lose weight.
So, I have been toning or light weight exercises, a couple of times a week. I haven't weighed myself lately, but, my trousers are getting quite baggy, so I know that the process is continuing. I look the same shape, but my clothes are telling a different story. And, for sure some squats, planks, and vigorous waving of arms with light weights, are having a subtle effect.





Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Having a Better Life

                                  Image result for vintage french woman in sarong                                                
Why write about a better life?

My blogging mentor, Sarah, pointed out that, although I had said on her facebook site, that this blog was about "Having a Better Life", I hadn't actually said in my blogs what a better life actually is. Nor had I put that on my heading, I might add. Sarah pointed this out twice, before her message finally sunk in. So, first I changed the Header on my blog site to point out that you-areunique is about having a better life, then I wrote this post.

I'm really grateful to Sarah, for pointing out what I had missed. It has completely changed my outlook on my blog, in such a positive way.

So I am really excited to be writing this, because having a better life was always what my blog was supposed to be about. But, somehow, I seem to have gotten a bit lost. How could I possibly have done This Big Mistake? Well typical me, I think about all angles of something, get writing about all of these subjects, then forget to actually state the obvious! So, here goes:

What is a better life?

I think that this is something that is so personal to oneself. And, I think that it has to do with:
  • what is a better life for you/me/whoever?
  • why aren't you/me/whoever doing it already?
  • what can we do, right now, towards our dream life?
So, lets ponder this:
  • again: what would be a better life for you, or me? (being a bit more specific, now)
  • better than what? 
For me, that would be: better than it is now. Why? Because I'm not really doing all of the things which I would love to do, in order to give myself the life that I would love. Hardly any of them, actually.

But I do know exactly what my Dream Better Life List would include:
  • travel each winter to a warm country during the coldest, wettest months in New Zealand (this has been a lifelong dream). I could go, say, to Bali, or a Polynesian island, and teach some specialist yoga courses there to pay my way.
  • take a large workshop at least four times a year on deep esoteric aspects of yoga. I taught such seminars for year, then stopped. I have resumed teaching these workshops, but would like to do more 
  • be more involved in the healing community which I'm part of
This is just a starter. For me, there is definitely more. And, all of it is achievable! So why on earth aren't I doing what I know that I need to do, to Have A better Life?

What is stopping me? Or you?
  • sometimes, I do think that it's all about having time to do things
  • not only having time, but also sometimes, for some things - it's just not the right time
  • and, sometimes we need to change a lot in our living environment just to be able to achieve our dream life
  • sometimes we simply need to make changes in other aspects of our life
Honestly, so many options to consider, before The Dream Life happens, especially on a big scale.

I am excitedly pondering the massive possibilities. 

And, I am definitely interested in anything that anyone else has to say about all of this. 


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Are you a planner, more spontaneous, or.....?

                             Image result for vintage french woman organised

Are you a planner? Or, do you "go with the flow?" Be more spontaneous. Or are you somewhere in between?

My guilty habit

I overplan. Yes, I do. With my youngest I would be staring her in confusion when she was a teenager, in the mornings just before school, when she was teenagering (you know what I mean....), instead of just fitting in with the plan. That list, in my head. That sequential plan of me getting a ridiculous amount of things done, before we both went on our way, for the day. The plan that she knew nothing about.

Nor did my eldest, a generation older, know that they were supposed to fit in with my list of the time, when they were young. Probably because I never told them. I just quickly did whatever, trying to get them to school, and me to work.

Why are we this way?

Why do I do these things? And why don't you, the people who don't? Is it insidious programming from early childhood, which makes us the way that we are? It actually could be, in my case. But I am quite sure that all of my many sisters and brother, are not that way. Nor all of my children.

I am often spontaneous. Yes, I am, friends and family. But, in a more planned way. So if someone contacts me on the day, and says "coffee at Fiesta cafe?", (guess what I'm doing today.... spontaneous coffee coming up), I then drop everything and go for coffee, a chat and a laugh. Otherwise, I get up with a plan in my head and methodically set about doing everything. Do I do it all? Not always. But I mentally plan to. That is, I have it in mind to do everything that I have allocated to do, for that day. But I don't always get it all done. Of course, I don't.

But being a bit of a planner, makes me the sort of person who can be counted on to do this and that. For example, I almost always turn up at The Maori healing clinic that I work at, and go to meditation on another night. Unless I am sick, or am working.

In my early years I was the eldest of 5, and I was Mum's helper. Which is how it always is in a big family. (bonus = you learn pretty quickly how not to be selfish) And so when I became a young mum, myself, it was easy to quickly step into a routine. We first lived in a small flat in an old villa on a beautiful beach, where I wanted to be asap, each morning, with baby. But I learnt pretty quickly that wee one needed a routine in her early months, and I guess that I just automatically fell into a system, no doubt from hidden memories of being the eldest when I was younger.

But, I wanted my kids to have a freer life, and so, part of our routine each day, was, as much as I could manage it, was them playing with friends.

How can we change?

I guess, really, that we have to want to change, with anything, before we can even think about it. I have often thought of all the lazy days on the beach that I missed out on, because of that darned list that I had for the day. The movies, the plays, the being carefree. All of the things that I didn't do, but, in retrospect, I wish that I had (sigh)

I want that life. That more spontaneous, more full of laughter, life.

I think that I should make it a priority.

I have a new "rule". Or is it a plan? For spontaneous people whom I know, I shall quickly contact them and see if they are free to do this and that, on the day. As suggested by a spontaneous person.

What would be your choices? Plan? Be spontaneous? Or a bit of each? What suits you best?


The Weight Loss Chronicles: 3

                                     Getting In My Own Way The thing is, being a double Libran (Libra Sun  and  Moon), I really am a bit ...