Friday, January 27, 2012

31 Days to Better Health - Day 27

Happy Friday everyone!   The weekend is here! *woo hoo*   I am very much looking forward to 48 hours with my hubby.  My plan is to try to write as much of the posts for today, Saturday and Sunday’s as I can before Dan comes home from work tonight.  Since these January posts have been taking me most of the day to write I am not sure how much I can get done today but I am going to try to write most of the next three.  Wish me luck, since I know that I am going to need it.

What did you think of yesterday’s post?  Until I started talking to people and their food choices and diets I didn’t realize how common it was for people to stick rigidly to particular diets. While it was nice to not be alone, it was also sad since I had broken out of the trap but many others had not.  I hope something that I wrote helped you to look at food choices differently.  For those of you who are just joining us here is the recap of what we have accomplished so far to remind us all of how much we have covered during the first 26 days of January:

Day 1 – Defined Success and What is/was Holding Us Back
Day 2 – Determined our Purpose and Looked at Passion
Day 3 – Listed Our Goals for January
Day 4 – Listed the Things We Have Needed to Work on for a While
Day 5 – Looked at Optimism vs. Pessimism and Fear vs. Intuition
Day 6 – Practiced Conscious Eating
Day 7 – Hara Hachi Bu
Day 8 – Taking the Stress Out of Meal Time
Day 9 – Acknowledgments
Day 10 – No Excuses, Do it Anyway
Day 11 – Is it True?
Day 12 – Have You Really Connected With Someone Today?
Day 13 – Motivation is a Decision
Day 14 - Successfully Navigating Dinner at an Unfamiliar Restaurant
Day 15 - What Do You Want, Have You Asked?
Day 16 – Treating Others as You Wish to be Treated
Day 17 – Food as a Budget
Day 18 – Silence Your Inner Critic
Day 19 – Replace I Have to With I Want to
Day 20 – Identifying Your Rituals
Day 21 – Face Your Fears
Day 22 – Give Up the Diet Mentality
Day 23 – The Meaning and/or Purpose of Food
Day 24 – Trigger Foods/Situations/People
Day 25 – Words Have Meaning
Day 26 – Lose All-Or-Nothing Thinking

Decide to live as if:

This is one of my favorite topics as well as being one of the most powerful exercises in terms of making changes.  Once you understand what I mean by “deciding to live as if” I think you will agree with me. I hope that you are willing to give it a try to see what happens for you.

People often say that they will do something once they get motivated.  I wrote about this earlier in January, specifically on day 13 with my “motivation is a decision” post. However as we remember from that prior post you have to decide what you want and then put things into action which is why motivation is a decision.  Today’s post is also about decision, specifically about deciding to live as if your life is already exactly as you want it to be.  This means that we need to know precisely what we want first, and then the rest follows naturally. Since we will be putting together a vision board this weekend I thought this post was a great lead in to that.

A few days ago (day 25) we began thinking about what we wanted our lives to look like. We are going to take that idea even further today.  Go back to what you wrote in your journal about what you wanted your life to look like. For those who didn’t do those exercises I am going to reiterate them here:

Visualize your life as you want it to be.  The important thing is that you picture all the details of your new life.  Below are a series of question to help you see the details:

·         What do you look like in your perfect life? Are you slimmer or more fit? Do you dress the same? Do you carry yourself differently with this new confidence?

·         How do you feel in your new life?  What is your attitude toward challenges now?

·         What type of things do you do now?  Have your leisure time activities changed?  Are you home less often?  Maybe you are going to the Caribbean for a winter vacation since you are comfortable showing ore skin.  Really think about how life would change if you were truly happy with who you were.

·         Do you have the same job or career?  Maybe you don’t like your current job but don’t feel confident to change it.  What would you be doing if you loved yourself?

·         What do your relationships look like now?  With this new confidence is your love life better?

This is the fun part; we get to write our personal slogan.  This can be anything positive the sky is the limit.  Here are some examples of empowering personal slogans:

·         I can do anything that I set my mind to.

·         I will make good choices for my health every day.

·         Life is a learning experience and I plan to absorb everything that comes my way.

·         Every day brings a new opportunity to grow and change.

Now that you have a mental picture of your life I want you to take it even farther.  This is where we are going to live as if we are already that person which we pictured.  If you were living that life now what would change about your day-to-day life?  If you have never lived that life before then I want you to picture a healthy friend and imagine what they would do.  Really think about the details of your life and get specific.  Here are some questions to help you out:

·         How does healthy you start the morning?  Are you getting up and doing yoga, Pilates or going to the gym? Maybe you have a morning date with a friend in the neighborhood to cover a few miles and then get a plain tea at the local coffee shop.  Possibly you have a friend that you meet the gym for a morning exercise class or swim.  Imagine all the possibilities and write them down.

·         What does this new healthier you have from breakfast?  I am sure this person isn’t skipping breakfast or having a Danish, but what are they eating?

·         Now it is lunch time for healthier you, what are you having? Do you routinely pack your lunch so that you have control over the quality of your food and the ingredients or do you know all the healthy options near your office?

·         Are you getting outside with part of your lunch break to get in extra steps into your day?

·         Speaking of steps are you taking the stairs instead of the elevator?  Healthier you would do that right?

·         Do you pick up the phone to talk to a colleague or do you walk to their office to discuss the topic at hand?  Maybe you suggest a walking meeting to discuss the latest project you are working on instead of being stuck in the office or in a conference room.
·         Are you working late or are you heading out of the office early enough to go to the gym, jog around the harbor, do some gardening, or some other healthy activity?  Healthy you wouldn't go home and sit on the couch watching TV every night do they?

·         What types of food will you be having for dinner?  Do you eat at a specific time or do you wait until you are hungry? Do you have your meals planned for the week or do you stop at the farmers’ market or grocery store on your way home to pick up what is local and in season that cook what looked good that day?  When you cook are you making intentional leftovers for lunch the next day?

·         After dinner what will you be doing?  Maybe you do a little yoga to wind down, or you could be meditating.  Are you reading a book, going for a walk, or catching up with a friend?

·         Are you getting 8 hours of sleep now that you are healthy?  Does this mean that you need to get into bed earlier than normal? This may be required if you are now going to the gym or exercising before work.

·         What are your weekends like now?  Do you make plans with friends to stay active? What specific activities do you take regularly engage in? 

Did my questions give you an idea of what you need to think about?  The goal is to think about every facet of your life and how it will change when you are living the life that you want. I hope you understand the level of detail that you need in order to make this work. Please take time to answer the questions with as much detail as you can.  Really get into this exercise.  If it helps imagine that you are an actor playing a role and try to get into this new healthy person’s skin.  If you answer the questions with great specificity it will be much easier to put these things into practice tomorrow.   Okay I just heard the collective groans when I said “put these things into practice tomorrow.”  You didn’t think we were going to stop at thinking about it did you?  Thinking about this stuff won’t help you if you aren’t willing to do the work. Sorry, but life really doesn’t work that way though it would be if it did.

Today’s exercise which you will start today but will continue for at least a week and hopefully will become permanent:

1.       Write the answers to all the questions above in your journal. Add as much detail as you possibly can to make it easier for you to follow through with the actions.  It may take you a few days or a week to get all the details down on paper, but it will be time well spent.  The act of thinking about how you would live differently and then writing it down will help crystallize the actions in your mind.  It will also help you with the upcoming vision board exercise.

2.       Now start to “live as if” you life were always as you want it to be.  The only caution that I will give you is if you new life includes a lot of exercise and you are currently sedentary that you start slowly.  If you are over 40 years old, or have more than 30 pounds to lose go to the doctor for a physical to make certain that you are healthy enough to start exercising.  However even if you are over 40 or have more than 30 pounds to lose you can move more.  Start with easy activities like walking more.  You can start immediately making dietary changes.

3.       Before you do anything ask yourself what the “healthy you” would be doing?  The idea is that you need to put healthy habits into place before you will get healthy.  There is nothing magical about being healthy it is the state that naturally results as an effect of a many healthy decisions and resulting actions.  Did you notice that we are back to the law of cause and effect again?  When you do healthy things you will become healthy.  If you don’t like your health as it is now that is a sign that you need to make some changes and only you know how drastic those changes need to be based on your current physical condition.

I hope that this exercise caused you to get out of your comfort zone. The entire idea is that everyone’s health (current condition) is nothing more than the result of their recent decisions.  All of us have the power to change our condition but to do that we have to be willing to make different choices.  You can make small changes or you can make big changes. The results that you get will be in direct relation to the amount of change you make. This is why I keep pushing you to make big changes.  The benefit of big changes is that you see results faster and that encourages most people to stay the course.  Please know that getting healthy is very simple.  All you need to do is consistently make good choices and before you know it life will start to change.  I know you can do it!  J

Progress on my goals:

1.       Newsletters - Thursday was also hectic but I did get in 30 minutes working on the newsletters.  Not as much time as I wanted but better than nothing.  L
2.       Body Bugg – I continue to wear my bugg and I have gotten back into using it the way I had intended when I purchased it.  Go me!  J
3.       Date with Dan – Dan and I have been going for a walk each night after dinner.  Thursday we extended our walk and added a trip to the grocery store to the outing.
4.        Measuring calorie dense food – I am making a little progress on this but I really need to focus on it with every veggie meal to help my body absorb the fat soluble vitamins.
5.       Working on my business – I spent an hour attending a webinar Thursday evening.  It is always good to see what the competition is up to.

How are you feeling about your progress so far?  I hope you feel like you have made a few lasting changes this month.  J

Random Thoughts:

I just saw a commercial that caught my attention. The commercial was for Special K and they are trying to tell people that you can lose up to 6 pounds in 2 weeks.  Really? Let’s do the math on that shall we.  To lose one pound by diet alone you have to reduce your intake by 3,500 calories which means 6 pounds equals 21,000 calories.  If you are going to lose 6 pounds of fat in 14 days that would mean that you need to reduce your calorie intake by 1,500 calories per day.  Unless as a woman you are eating approximately double the amount of calories that you need the math on this just doesn’t work from diet alone.  Commercials like this annoy me because they are misleading.  *ugh*

Why is it that time passes so slowly when we are younger but seems to speed by the older that we get?  Does this happen to everyone or is it just me?

Did you take time to hug the people who you love today?  I try to remember than I never know when or if I will be seeing people again and that I want them to know how much they mean to me.  I always hug people when I leave and I make certain that they know how much I care.

If today were the last day of your life what would you do?  When you look at life this way most of the things on our to-do list would melt away.  In my mind the only thing that matters are the important people and relationships in our life.  With this in mind I try to give something to others every day.


Have you made any progress writing acknowledgements?  I hope you are working on this exercise and enjoying it. I find that it helps me stay positive and recognize the things that I do every day.  Here are my acknowledgements:

·         We had a delicious dinner Thursday night that was also fast to prepare. It always makes me very happy that I can make healthy food that my husband loves and it is even better when I can do it quickly.
·         Even though today was busy I took the time to check on my parents and take in trash cans for one of my neighbors.  None of us should ever be too busy to do a little something for others.  Life is always better when we take time to be kind.
·         I somehow managed to write almost three posts today by staying focused on the task at hand.  It is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to something.


My food on Thursday was not terribly exciting.  I started my morning with a green smoothie.   There is nothing like raw kale in your breakfast to give you a jolt of energy.

 I had grapefruit for a snack

 Lunch was a bowl of mushroom barley soup which I poured over raw baby spinach.  I flavored this soup with lemon and smoked paprika to give it a Spanish flavor.

Dinner was a quick “stir fry” (no oil) of red onion, garlic, minced ginger, vegetarian oyster sauce (which is basically mushroom sauce), a splash of mirin (Japanese rice wine vinegar) and touch of stevia, straw mushrooms, baby corn and shredded kale. I served this over black rice and topped it with sesame seeds. 

Happy thoughts:

Have you gotten into the habit of writing your happy thoughts?  I find it helpful to remind myself how often things go well and that I shouldn’t take these things for granted.   As always there are so many things to be thankful for that I almost don’t know where to start. Here are my happy thoughts:
·         Our weather on Friday was magnificent. It was 63 degrees here by noon.  I am amazed by the winter we are having weather wise.  It is definitely starting to feel like spring here.  Last night at 10pm it was still 49 degrees.  Is it really January in Baltimore?  A girl could definitely get used to this weather.
·         Dan has been getting home from work a little earlier all week.  I think he has been home before 7:30 the entire week and that is a minor miracle at our house.
·         You may not remember but I told you weeks ago that Dan bought me a new laptop earlier this month because my other one was locking up when I had Dragon open.  Yesterday the headphone adaptor arrived so that I can start using Dragon again. I am very much looking forward to less typing in my future.

·         I received these great photos today from one of my friends at the marina.  I love the photo of the harbor in the morning fog at the top of the post.   This photo is our boat taken from our friend’s powerboat. Since we haven’t been to the marina in a while it was very nice to see our girl.
·         Today is one of those days when I am very happy that I overcame my frugal ways and bought the Vitamix.  When dinner time arrived I had no idea what to make but soon decided that a vegan crème soup was in order.  Less than 5 minutes later we had a hot bowl of Crème of Spinach and Artichoke Soup.  It is days like this when my Vitamix is priceless.

Signing Out:

Friday was an extremely productive day and that felt really good.  I didn’t get all three posts written but I did get a lot Saturday written and part of Sunday so that was excellent. I chatted with my buddy Louis for quite a while and we are going to try to coordinate getting together tomorrow which will be great.  Since Louis lives in Delaware we don’t see him as much as we would like to.

I am so happy that the weekend has started.  While I have no idea what we will be doing I am looking forward to time with my hubby and seeing my buddy Louis. I hope you have some fun planned for your weekend. Talk with you again tomorrow.  J


  1. This really stood out to me. I'll be putting this question into practice.

    "Before you do anything ask yourself what the “healthy you” would be doing?"

    1. Christy,

      Thanks for letting me know! I think "deciding to live as if" is one of the more powerful ideas I have ever encountered. It played a large part in how I changed our health around.



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