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Words to Live By #12

A very belated post today and it’s one that I have been planning to share for a bit. I’m kinda glad it’s a late post because it’s now almost time for bed and this is a good thought on which to end my night – I feel as though I need to shift my perspective a bit as I have spent part of tonight ruminating on things that get me stuck in my head. I hope this helps you to shift your perspective when you most need it, too.

 

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Words to Live By #6

This week’s Words to Live By consists of two images, both inspired somewhat as a result of my catching up on Jillian Michaels’ podcasts since the beginning of this year.

The first one is also a good reminder for me with respect to my nephews and is something one of my BFFs has often reminded me of when we talk about the role that I am fortunate enough to play in my nephews’ lives. Juli always reminds me that every kid needs just one person to believe in them, to take an interest in them, to be a role model for them, to encourage them. Then, in the event that I haven’t connected the dots, she says, “You, Narmin, YOU are this person in your nephews’ lives. Got it?”

Jillian Michaels’ discussed this very concept of positive role models in kids’ lives in a podcast in February. And it is absolutely true – kids need role models. They need someone to believe in them. They need someone to encourage them. To inspire them. To motivate them. To help them achieve their potential.

The first of today’s images for this week’s Words to Live By is a Maya Angelou quote and it is one I love.

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The second of today’s images for this week’s Words to Live By is another topic that Jillian Michaels covered in a podcast this year – it’s about the concept of forgiveness and the toll it takes on an individual who opts out of forgiveness. This really takes its toll and lessons the happiness that we can enjoy. It isn’t always easy to forgive. Doing so frees us of the anger and hurt that takes away from the happiness we allow into our lives. And if that isn’t motivation to learn our lessons and move forward then I don’t know what is.

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Two very different images for today and I couldn’t choose between them so I included them both. So talk to me. Are you a role model for someone? And is it easy for you to forgive?

And now I’ll just admit that these two topics are related. I know how high my expectations are of my nephews and I am always balancing that with my desire to give them unconditional love no matter what happens. Laura, I can see your face as you read this last paragraph. 🙂

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Words to Live By (#3)

This week’s installment of Words to Live By. My hope is something jumps out at you to serve as inspiration and grounding this week. My words to live by will include: “Be the change.” since this saying by Gandhi is my life’s guiding principle. Also, “Believe you can.” is resonating with me this morning.

Have a fantabulous week and choose your words wisely.

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Words to Live By (#2)

This week’s installment of Words to Live By is a good reminder of the things I can do for myself to create a calmer and more peaceful life. I hope this message helps you take a pause for reflection, too

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One Cup of Self Love

 

I had a great experience of positive reinforcement after I stood up for myself yesterday and received an apology today. As assertive as I consider myself to be and despite all the times I encourage my family and friends to stand up for themselves (especially my nephews), I sometimes fail to speak up and then have an extreme reaction à la “straw that broke the camel’s back”.

Well, this time, I spoke up and was rewarded with acknowledgment and an apology. Yay for positive reinforcement for handling things the way I ought to. Woot!

Ironically, after I had this experience, I was reading through one of daily emails that I had missed yesterday. It was a message from Brave Girls’ Club and I had to laugh out loud. It really is incredible how the Universe will slap me upside the face with obviousness even if I can’t see the forest for the trees. I’m glad for the knowledge that someone has my back and I’m really proud of myself for stepping into my power on my own yesterday. Though seeing the BGC message today was excellent reinforcement, too.

Here’s an excerpt from the message:

One of the hardest things in the world to do, standing up for ourselves, really does get easier with practice. It truly does. We all have the right to respect and freedom. Your life, your beliefs, your values, your dreams, your freedom is worth standing up for. Dig deep to find conviction in what you truly believe in. And when it gets threatened, stand up for it. If you don’t do it, who will?

Like I said, I didn’t read the above message until today and had I read it yesterday, my standing up for myself might have come easier – as it stands, it is pretty fricken’ awesome how this message showed up for me on a day when I needed it, even if I didn’t see it when I needed to – somehow, the message still got through to me.

My friend, Rachel Foley, took this picture of me as part of an “I Am…” photo shoot. I chose the word “focused” with a bit of help from my consultants (a.k.a. friends and loved ones). When Rachel sent me the link to my pics yesterday, I knew this is the image that will stay in my mind the next time I stand up for myself.

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Michelle Obama-esque arms

I am sharing a photo taken by my friend, the talented Rachel Foley. I didn’t realize how toned my arms were until I saw this picture and it is a good illustration of the old adage that “hard work pays off”.

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A pound of flesh

As I approach my birthday, I realize I am unlikely to achieve my goal weight of 100 pounds. I have been sitting at 101/102 pounds since October and although my monthly measurements continue to show improvements, my weight is pretty much staying the same (today, I’m at 101 pounds).

I’ve mentioned to friends that Jillian Michaels says that the last 8-10 pounds are the toughest because those are considered “vanity pounds” and our bodies are at a healthy weight at this point.

It was helpful to see Get-Fit Guy’s article entitled How to Track Weigth Loss? (Hint: NOT on the Scale!). The article talks about body fat percentage, waist-hip circumference, and visual analysis as alternates to the scale. And all three of these tools indicate ongoing improvements for me – even the fact that I’ve gone from size 2 pants in November to size 1 pants in February is a good indication that my body continues to tone and change.

As I was packing last night for Mexico, I tried on some capris that I wore without a belt while in Mexico and on a cruise last year and realized that NONE of my capris fit without a belt anymore – and several don’t even need to be unbuttoned/unzipped for me to put them on or take them off. LOL

In all seriousness, I am using these experiences to reassure myself that 100 is just a number and one that I will likely achieve at some point this year and that even if I don’t, I am in the best shape of my life and that is something to celebrate on my birthday and every day.

So on that note, Brave Girls’ Club has a great message for me (and maybe for some of you): Your life is enough. You are enough. You do enough. You have enough. You are loved enough. You are amazing enough.

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How to fit into size 1 skinny jeans

My new size one skinny jeans laid over top of my old not skinny size five jeans.

If you aren’t counting calories, but are trying to lose weight, I highly recommend you check out MyFitnessPal.com (also avail as a smart phone app). It will help you track your daily food and exercise and in a few days/weeks you’ll be able to see trends and make informed choices about food.

If you’ve calculated your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and are feeling a bit overwhelmed about your daily calorie limit, don’t be frustrated. I was at 1,800 calories at my peak consumption and I managed to bring that number down to 1,200. It didn’t happen overnight and it shouldn’t – our bodies are designed to change gradually, over time, and with a sustained effort that becomes part of our daily habits and way of life. So, don’t put too much pressure on yourself and set small, achievable goals (like losing a pound a month or moving up in the number of reps or the amount of weight you use for a specific exercise over a designated period of time.)

Work your way to your ideal caloric intake and instead of relying on diet alone, make sure you also add in exercise because the more exercise you do, the more calories you can consume (just don’t go overboard if your ultimate goal is to lose weight).

Also, if you are just starting out with returning to exercise, it’s possible you will need to eat more food because your body is using fuel for different activities. Do some research to determine healthier foods you can replace with current choices (like whole wheat instead of white pasta) and make small changes – to quote an overused phrase, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Try to reduce your overall caloric intake a little bit at a time and combine this with healthier food choices and more exercise. Ultimately, your goal should be to get to the caloric level recommended for you based on your BMR and to consume that many calories a day (you HAVE to consume at least your BMR – don’t cut calories by not eating what you have to in order to sustain yourself. Your BMR is the amount of energy your body has to expend just to sustain your life – it’s what it uses to keep you alive so, please, please, please consume those calories. Every day.

Get your calorie deficit by working out – so if your BMR is 1,400, then eat 1,400 calories a day and exercise around 200 – 300 calories per day (approx. 30 minutes of cardio will achieve this for most people).

You need to burn 3,600 calories to lose a pound so if you burn 300 calories per day, it will take you 12 days to lose a pound. This is assuming you do not take any rest days. I recommend you take at least two rest days a week if you are just returning to workouts – again, because your body needs to change gradually and you are more likely to stick to habits if you feel like you have some choice around them and if they don’t feel like obligatory items on your checklist. And let’s face it, most people CAN’T workout every day – it’s not a failure, it’s reality.

So, here’s my suggestion for most of you…workout 3-5 times a week to start, try to increase that to five times a week gradually (maybe over several months). If you can, do a combination of cardio and strength training – if you can’t do both in each workout then aim for a 2:1 ratio cardio to strength (so if you are working out three times a week to start, do two days of cardio and one day of strength training and if you are working out five times a week then do three days of cardio and two days of strength training).

I’ll share more tips as things come up in my conversations with some of you and also as I think of stuff.

(Note: all of the info in this note is based on my experience. There’s no medical/scientific research or data that supports it and everyone’s experience is different so you need to take time to figure out what works for you and make adjustments along the way.)

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