My6inchchallenge's Blog

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

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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.

Relationships — Love is in the air

The romance of February can be addictive. But what if you don't have someone special to share that time with? Enjoying the alone time, spending time with friends, doing what we love can enhance the month of love. on my 6 inch challenge blog

"He loves me, he loves me not"

This morning I was reminded once again that this is the “love” month. This evening, in an email from Callaway Gardens, the subject: Have You Made Plans For Your Valentine Yet?  — an invitation to take advantage of the “Rekindle the romance package”. It seems that some form of love is in air and even though I do not have someone special with which to share a trip to Callaway Gardens, I insist on enjoying this time.

I have friends who worry about me, they say I’m too picky, my standards are too high, I need to “give” a little. Even though I appreciate their concern, I believe that when one is considering a life-time commitment it would be foolish not to be picky, not to have high standards, and not to refuse to “give” on those principles that are important to you.

So how does a single girl, who does not date around celebrate the love month? Here are 6 suggestions:

1. Spend time with your girl friends. There’s nothing like the ease and camaraderie of close friends.

2. Don’t be afraid of aloneness. Do the things you love and set the atmosphere you enjoy.

3. Spend time seeking God and bask in the greatest love you’ll ever experience.

4. Show love to someone who can give you nothing in return. Give a gift or a card to a stranger.

5. Treat yourself to flowers or buy a plant, my favorite – the orchid plant.

6. Pamper yourself. You can do this at home. Light candles, run a bubble bath, put on a facial masque, turn on music and relax.

Places of Inspiration-The Art of Inspiring Change

About six months ago I started attending another church. This place has become one of the greatest sources of inspiration and influence in my life. A friend asked what I liked about the church and I replied that even though I found the teaching very profound, it was the simplicity (sincerity) and practicality that drew me.

I told her of a series we had done in December entitled “Before You Begin Again”.  Lessons taught on making and sustaining changes in our relationships, changes in our lifestyle to affect levels of fitness and health, and changes in the way we view money, were all very insightful. But, this statement inspired me more than anything else “Just be kind, it costs nothing to be kind”.

That may seem quite elementary, but the truth is profound. I also remembered as a child one of my favorite bible verses was “And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

I believe the reason that statement affected me was because I realized I had strayed from the core of that message. For years, I have protected myself by not allowing most people to get too close to me. I have experienced moments though, when my heart must have escaped that protection, because those were the times I lived my best life.

As a result of being inspired and challenged, I’m allowing my heart the freedom of tenderness as it learns again, that living is about opening its door and genuinely loving and caring for others.

Offensive Positions – When Something Within Cries, “Attack!”

Resist the Attack Mode

"Life's not a game, don't live it offensively."

The year is still young, and in spite of resolutions to grow, change and do better, we can find ourselves already taking familiar positions of offense. Offensive positions have once again been taken in families, among friends, with co-workers and even in churches. Familiar emotions of anger, bitterness, resentment and even envy have taken their places, and the calm resolve with which we may have determined to respond to challenges disappears, and in its place there is a voice that cries, “ATTACK!”.

With frustration, we realize that we handled this better,  just yesterday, but the lesson here is that growth and change is no one-time victory. We can’t declare victory without vigilance in maintaining and protecting it.

I’ve found that being honest with myself is always the best approach to uproot and avert the re-emergence of negative emotions and bad habits. These are the steps I take to make sure that even though I may have lost a battle today, I can regroup and refocus so that I can have victories tomorrow.

Take time to look at what I’m feeling and what the real issue is

• Be honest, no matter how ugly the truth

• Take action. Talk it through and be willing to own my part in the conflict

• Be willing to listen

• Be willing to forgive

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We Just Need Three “Good Men”

Men of honor needed. As we seek to find the "good" in others may we also work on developing those "good" characteristic in our selves. On my 6 inch challenge blog

Yours, mine and hers

In a recent conversation with my mom she instructed me to be on the lookout for three good men; “one for me”, she said, “one for you and one for your sister”. We both laughed at the comment at the time, but I also remember her saying what I have heard so many others say, it’s so hard to find “good men”.

It’s interesting to me that even though we have so much, we talk so often about what we lack. Lack of resources, of money; lack of jobs – good jobs, of education; lack of men – good men, of women – good women; lack of relationships – meaningful relationships.

With so many family members, friends, and acquaintances who are single it seems a bit selfish to be concerned only about us three. What would happen, I wonder, if we all decided to become the “good” that we seek in others.

We may long for honesty, authenticity, kindness, generosity and compassion in others, but what if we made it a priority to develop these same characteristics in ourselves. We may desire to be loved, respected and even cherished but if we examine our lives are we showing love and respect to the people who are in our lives and the people who cross our paths.

I would like to think that if we concentrated on becoming the “good” that we desire in others we’ll find that we become, better mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, spouses, friends, and just maybe the “good” that we desire will be available in abundance.

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