My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for Abdominal muscles

Weight, waist and food challenges

I had gotten up at 4:45a.m hastily pulled on my workout clothes and sneakers not so much as a declaration of my intent to exercise, but more so as a warning to both body and mind that spontaneous “exercise-like” activities MAY take place. My primary task was that of cleaning, but cleaning can provide great work-out opportunities.

I was on the far end of the room and had bent to pickup something, on my way up I had turned my head slightly and in so doing saw the mirror across from me. I gasped and stared at a figure very much like myself on the other side of the room — still slightly bent over — but the figure was different in that its middle section was spilling over the top of its pant. I froze, eyes only moving, darting left to right, up and down, then to my middle section, then left to right, up and down then back to my middle section, totally shocked by my muffin top.

I straightened, examining my side profile — something was terribly wrong, for it seemed that my middle section had grown vigorously bearing much resemblance to my protruding back section, and my back section was protruding much less than I remembered.

I stood, baffled. Then I quieted my thoughts and continued my cleaning. Mentally I started back-tracking my activities over the past few months determine to find what had gone wrong. I felt betrayed, for only two months ago I had made a decision to get my body “holiday-ready”. That meant I had those two months to tone and build more muscle so that during the holidays my body would be its own 24-hour-fat-burning machine to provide balance for any over-indulgences.

That had not worked, my body said OVER-INDULGENCE in bold, large letters. The last two weeks’ over-indulgences of blueberries muffins, delicious large ones; cold and creamy, melt-in-your-mouth almond and coconut ice cream; moist and must-have-been-made-in-heaven strawberry pound cake; and those perfect pies with the flaky crust — sweet potato, pumpkin, pecan … and certainly not enough “exercise-like” activities, had produced some undesirable results.

I’m not obsessed with my weight, at 140 lbs and a height that varies depending on my choice of elevation, the experts say my weight is normal. But abdominal fat can adversely affect our health, as a matter of fact I learned that it’s important to watch our waist number.

I believe in striving to be healthy. Sometimes my quest for healthy living is easy and at other times it’s a challenge. It’s been a challenge for the past few weeks.

As I write this post, even though I am not hungry, I had nuts and a cookie and I’m thinking about the coconut ice cream that is in the fridge. I’m also thinking about those delicious homemade waffles my brother brought over this morning. I’m thinking it would be really nice to have them with scrambled eggs and crisp, crunchy turkey bacon. I’m wondering what happened to the last piece of sweet potato pie, I don’t remember eating it. I’m wishing that I had not eaten all the turkey neck bones last evening, those had been sooo good. I’m thinking about food — delicious, pleasurable, satisfy-me-now comfort food — but I’m not hungry.

Discipline reminds me that physical food should feed physical hunger, so I have to say no to eating for the rest of the evening and re-enforced the need to get back to a consistently healthy lifestyle.

Yet the holidays are far from over, and tasty goodies will taunt and tempt us with whispers of “Come, have some. That’s all? Come, have some more. You know it’s ok, it’s the holidays.”

Though I will still allow myself a little over-indulgence once in a while, I understand that moderation is key, as I become ward of my waistline, watcher of my weight and exercise willpower in my choices.

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In pursuit of my six-pack

I walked into my cardio box class slapping my abdomen. “I still don’t see my four-pack” I said to our instructor. I’m talking four-pack because I don’t have a six-pack commitment. He smiled and said “I see a four-pack coming in”, he’s so sweet. He turned to one of my friends and asked “don’t you see a four pack?”, she looked at me and rolled her eyes in disgust.

My friend is full-figured, she has been blessed with front AND back “stuff” in abundance. She’s alright with it though, her attitude is that she has “stuff” that others pay good money to get. However, she is committed to and passionate about her exercise routine. She has a goal, so she hits the gym 4 to 5 times a week. Her goal: she wants to be “tight”, Serena Williams kinda tight. I’m much leaner, not as committed. I go to the gym twice a week and on other days I sometimes dance around the house and do these little twists to trim my waistline and feel satisfied that I got in added exercise. My goal: (in spite of all my noise about four packs) is to have fun, be healthy.

It’s important to know our goals and their priorities, in every area of life. If we don’t, we can find ourselves living more challenging and chaotic lives as we try to keep up with what others are doing. It’s important to know ourselves, our bodies and those difficult targets we set that can be achieved only through sacrifice.

When we know this, we can better manage ourselves and allot our time in view of our priorities. Exercise is important to me but it’s not my no.1 priority, there are other muscles I’m striving to develop, other areas to nurture into health, and these too take time.

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the “6-inch challenges” life serves up

Some months ago i started a cardio box class. This was not by design, I showed up for my regular class after returning from vacation and had no idea that there had been a switch in classes and times. This unexpected switch, however, has turned into something that I really love. The class is a total body workout of arms, thighs, buttocks and of course, abs. Let me say that even though I have a flat stomach I’ve absolutely hated any form of abdominal workout because it always caused back pain. So, during that first class and many, many, many other classes that followed every time our trainer announced that it was time for “6 inches” I dreaded it.

This exercise simply required me to extend my feet and raise them about 6 inches off the floor and hold it for a period of time. I could not do it. I had decided to just do what I had been doing for years whenever my exercise classes included ab work, just lie on the floor and do nothing. But with some prompting and instructions on how to protect my back,  I tackled the “6-inch challenge” and have developed stronger abdominal muscles and lessened my back pain.

As a result of this class and this exercise, I have started labeling things in my life that are challenging, that I procrastinate because of fear, or that may stretch me in ways that I may not be willing to be stretched at the moment as “my 6-inch challenge”. I’ve learned that it’s possible to overcome  challenges in our lives if we are willing to tackle them and stick to the process.

As 2010 approaches, I am in the process of identifying my personal 6-inch challenges, so that next year will be a time of personal growth and development. Whatever your challenges may be, I’d like to invite you to take this journey with me as we travel the path of spiritual, physical, mental and emotional growth, for just maybe, we may lose some of the negative and develop and strengthen the good stuff that resides in all of us.

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