Posts Tagged ‘Quote of the Week’

Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror.” ~Byrd Baggett

I love this quote this week for so many reasons, but most of all because it’s a good philosophy for life. 

I don’t tend to hold on to things unless they have special meaning, but every now and then (like when you’re about to move) it’s good to take stock of your “things” and purge those that aren’t important.  I’ve never been a hoarder or a pack-rat, but as I go through the process of packing up my current home to get it ready for the move to the new one, it is the perfect opportunity to cleanse those things that I might be hanging on to “just in case.”  (Thanks, Carina, for pointing this out). 

I also don’t hold on to grudges.  I really don’t see the purpose of them, because they only affect you, not the other person in most cases.  Sure, I might be more cautious of someone who’s done me wrong, but I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  I feel like grudges just keep negativity in your heart, and who needs that?  I think it’s much better to just move on, look ahead, and leave the bad feelings behind where they belong.

It’s the same way when I haven’t stuck to my weight loss goals as much as I’d like to.  Why dwell on the failure and beat myself up for the shortcomings?  It only makes me feel worse, and will most likely prevent me from getting back on track sooner.  Since my last weigh-in on Wednesday, I really haven’t been tracking my food and I know I’ve made poor choices that have put me over my caloric goals.  I haven’t had the time to workout, because there has been a lot of other stuff going on.  I may not like what I see when I get on the scale on Wednesday.  But you know what?  I can’t control what has already happened, but I can control what is still in front of me.  Today is a new day and a fresh start to make great choices.  By looking ahead rather than dwelling on the past, I am empowering myself toward success. 

The one caveat to all of this is that I do think it’s important to keep a record of my progress.  I need to know where I started in order to celebrate all of the success I have along the way.  That’s why this blog has the “Bella’s Stats” page, so that I can look back and see my evolution. 

So, what’s in your windshield?

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Walking gets the feet moving, the blood moving, the mind moving. And movement is life.” ― Carrie Latet

I love this quote this week because now that spring is here, the weather is sunny and warmer (for now, unless the rain decides to come back) and it just feels so good to get out and move.  Plus, there are so many 5Ks that are available to take part in, which makes the competitive among us (including me) have something to work toward.  I’m really looking forward to my upcoming 5K – the See Jane Run.

When I read that quote I don’t necessarily think of power walking or event fitness walking for that matter.  I think of taking a walk to clear the head, rejuvenate the soul, and get the “juices pumping.” It’s something that I don’t do enough of – just take a walk for walking’s sake.  And it’s something that I’m going to try to do more of this week.

When I was young and we would have large family dinners, all of the men and children would take a long walk around the neighborhood to “digest” our food.  (Unfortunately the women were stuck at home cleaning the dishes and getting things ready for dessert.  We stuck to traditional gender roles when my Italian grandparents were still alive).  It was nice to walk around and take life at a slower pace.  Listen to stories the men would tell about the “good old days” and how much the neighborhood and city had changed since they were young.

I envy my friends who have dogs because they have a built-in reason to take a walk.  I’m sure that when they’re walking the dog at 5am in the freezing weather they envy me, don’t get me wrong, but it does seem nice to have that sort of obligation that builds in some movement to each day.  I’ve been playing around with the idea of getting a dog, and before I do, I think it might be a good idea to get myself in the habit of waking up a bit earlier than normal and taking a quick 10 minute stroll in the morning, as well as a longer afternoon walk.  In fact, I think that’s just what I’m going to do, beginning this afternoon when I get home from work.

So that’s my plan to get in a bit more walking this week.  Care to join me?

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I’ve noticed that people tend to make the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to losing weight and staying healthy.”

~~ Bob Greene

You may be wondering what the image I chose has to do with Bob Greene’s quote.  There are quite a few unhealthy habits that I could write this post about, because I’d love to break free from all of them.  But, right now I’m in the middle of PMS – the zinger zit, the killer headaches, the chocolate cravings, the emotional responses to seemingly harmless remarks, etc.  And the thing is, I get this way every single month.  Since my periods are always regular, you would think that I’d keep track of my PMS weeks so that I could prepare myself for it.  But I don’t.  Don’t ask me why, I just never have. 

Until now.  Once I read that quote this morning, it really hit me.  I usually gain quite a bit of weight 2-5 lbs each month when I have my period, and I hate it.  But I’m not really doing anything to avoid it.  I tend to give in to my cravings, although I do eat the lower sugar/fat-free versions, which is a good consession.  I don’t really increase my exercise, though.  if anything, I exercise even less than normal, and this week is the time I should be exercising even more, to avoid that extra weight gain. 

So tonight after work, a nail appt., and the grocery store I’m going to make sure to exercise.  If it’s still light outside I’ll take a walk or ride my bike, but if it’s starting to get dark, I’ll do one of my DVDs and/or the Wii.  This week I have a lot going on each day after work, which usually makes it harder for me to exercise, but knowing that TOM is coming is motivating me to make sure to get those extra steps, pedals, and moves in so that  the scale won’t be as scary as it could be. 


What weight gain/unhealthy lifestyle cycle do you continue to do repeatedly that you need to break yourself free from?

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Life is full of beauty.  Notice it.  Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.  Smell the rain, and feel the wind.  Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

~ Ashley Smith

Last week, while I was on spring break, it was easy to notice all that life has to offer.  I had time to breathe, think, imagine, and dream.  It’s the weeks when work is hectic and days are filled with obligations that it’s difficult to appreciate the beauty in the small things. I shudder to think of how much of life passes me by without my noticing it, because I was too caught up in all the stresses and responsibilities.

So this week, one of my goals is to stop and recognize that it’s the details that make life worth living.

It’s the bee on a flower.

It’s the sun coming through the clouds after days of “endless” rain.

And yes, it’s even the patter of raindrops on the windowpane.

It’s in the look of awe from an 11th grader who just realizes what Gatsby’s green light means.

It’s in teaching my favorite book to a new group of students, knowing that it might be a struggle.

And yes, it’s in that stack of essays, once they’ve been graded completely.

It’s moving my body even when I’m “too tired.”

It’s pushing myself beyond my limits and feeling so proud.

And yes, it’s in being red-faced and sweaty after a grueling workout session.

It’s in tasting the first, ripe strawberry of the season, straight from the farmers’ market.

It’s in preparing tomorrow’s lunch tonight, because I feel so “on-track” when I’m organized.

And yes, it’s in tracking every single thing that crosses my lips.

It’s in the beauty of the written word, coming through my fingertips onto this blog.

It’s in the captivating book that I’m reading non-stop.

And yes, it’s writing blog posts even when I feel uninspired, knowing that I might inspire someone else (today, thankfully, wasn’t one of those days).

Take some time today to stop and notice the details during your workout, your morning trip for coffee, lunch at your desk, or on your commute home.  Then write a comment and let me know what you noticed.

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Dwell in possibility.”  ~~Emily Dickinson

This quote is perfect for me this week, since I have the entire week off, and I feel like the possibilities are endless.  I have no set plans, and nothing on the agenda other than to get as active as I can.

“Dwelling in possibility” is such a positive outlook, because anything can happen.  There are no limitations, other than those imposed by your own mind. In general, I believe that I try to dwell in possibility most of the time.  I love imagining what CAN be possible.  And this week, I’m lucky because I don’t have anything else to concentrate on so I can imagine, and dream, and most of all, DO.

Since I don’t have any set plans other than working out and organizing the house a bit, I’d love to hear your suggestions for how I should spend my time.  What would you do with yourself if you had a day off? I’m asking how you would spend a day off, rather than a week, because I want to make each day it’s own unique experience.

Keep in mind that it’s currently raining here (April showers bring May flowers, I hope!), so that does put some limitations on activities, at least until we see the sun again.

I can’t wait to hear your suggestions, and I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

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My philosophy to food and healthy eating has always been about enjoying everything in a balanced, and sane way. Food is one of life’s greatest joys yet we’ve reached this really sad point where we’re turning food into the enemy, and something to be afraid of. I believe that when you use good ingredients to make pasta dishes, salads, stews, burgers, grilled vegetables, fruit salads, and even outrageous cakes, they all have a place in our diets. We just need to rediscover our common sense: if you want to curl up and eat macaroni and cheese every once in a while – that’s alright! Just have a sensible portion next to a fresh salad, and don’t eat a big old helping of chocolate cake afterwards.” ~Jamie Oliver

Today’s quote comes straight from Jamie Oliver’s food philosophy on his website.  The reason I chose it is because I decided to bring my healthy eating lifestyle into my classroom.

My students (11th graders) recently wrote an editorial essay on Childhood/Teen Obesity, and I provided them with several articles talking about Michelle Obama’s campaign, statistics about childhood obesity, etc.  My colleague and I chose the prompt because it was timely and we are both committed to living healthy lifestyles.  My colleague is the epitome of a health nut – he eats lean, works out all the time, and probably has not an ounce of fat on his body.  I find it awesome that he and I both care so much about this topic, even though we’re on different sides of the spectrum when it comes to body weight.  It just goes to show that anyone, at any weight, can take control of their health and make it a priority. The prompt asked them to come up with some solutions that they and their school could make to help solve this problem.  I told them that this topic is obviously near and dear to my heart (since I’m obese), and I wanted to make sure that they were all armed with the knowledge to prevent the obesity epidemic from growing, since they are the future of our country.  They took my words to heart and wrote some very eloquent, insightful essays.  I was amazed at how much the students had to say, and that very few of them were judgmental.

To take things a step further and to entice them to bring this information into real world practice, I offered a 3-tiered extra credit opportunity.  Here’s how it worked:

To earn up to 10 points:

  1. Go to Jamie Oliver’s website (see link) and sign the petition. (Make sure you read it before you sign it).  Print  the page to show proof that you signed it.
  2. Log into one of the discussions on the message boards on his site and add a thoughtful comment to the discussion.

To earn up to 15 points:

  1. Watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC on March 26th @ 10pm (see link).
  2. Write at least a 1/2 page response to the show, including your thoughts on his ideas and proposals.

To earn up to 30 points:

  1. Go to one of the food/recipe websites (see attached links).***
  2. Find a healthy, nutritious meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) that is low in fat and calories.
  3. Print the recipe (to be turned in later).
  4. Cook the meal for your friends or family.
  5. Take photos of yourself cooking and eating the meal as “proof” that you made the meal.
  6. Turn in both the recipe and the photos (you can email them to me) to get credit.

***I gave them Jamie Oliver’s “Recipease”, the Food Network Healthy Eating, and Eat Better America.

  • Those who have a C- (70%) or less in class can do all 3.
  • Those with a B- (80%) or less can choose 2.
  • Those with an A or B can choose 1 of these to do.

I was so happy that so many of my students chose to do the cooking challenge.  Many of them did it the night after I posted the extra credit option, and shared lots of fun recipes.  I got one email from a mother of twin boys who are both in my class, thanking me for creating this assignment.  She thought the information was terrific, but liked the fact that she didn’t have to cook dinner for two nights that week even better.  Another set of girls in my class decided to do this together and were planning on making an night of it – three of them were going to cook a meal, a side, and a dessert together, then watch movies and have a sleep over.  How fun!  The assignment is due on Tuesday, so we’ll see how many more students make food for their family and friends.  A side benefit to this assignment is that I get a ton of new recipes to look at.  🙂

I’ve watched both episodes of the Food Revolution show, and I have a newfound respect for what Jamie Oliver is trying to do.  It is never easy to bring change to people’s lives, especially when you’re telling them that the way they’ve been doing things is going to kill them.  (Seriously, I was shocked when I saw the lunch ladies serving pizza to the children for breakfast.  Breakfast!!!)  I’ve always thought Jamie was a good chef, but he really seems to have a calling to make sure that America gets healthier.  I admire him for that and hope that his message of healthy eating spreads like wildfire.

If you haven’t seen the show and would like to catch up, you can go here.  It’s definitely set on my DVR, because I’m really enjoying it. Here’s the preview…

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The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” ~Mark Twain

I spent most of this weekend getting my house in order; a bit of spring cleaning, if you will.  Even though the weather was nice, and it would’ve been nice to be outside, it really helps me to have a clean house.  When things are in order at home, I feel better about life.  So since I had some time this weekend, I decided to get into spring cleaning mode and get to that “nitty gritty” stuff that I don’t usually do – the baseboards, the windowsills, the inside of the refrigerator. I just took each room one by one, until the entire house was sparkling clean.  A nice side benefit of all this cleaning (besides and organized house) is that I earned 4 Activity Points on Saturday and 8 Activity Points on Sunday.  WhooHooo!

(I should mention that this weekend wasn’t all about drudgery – on Saturday I got a facial and then got to spend the evening with my nieces, who were staying over my parents’ house.  The facial was a necessary indulgence, because I keep breaking out around my chin (never had a pimple in high school, but suddenly in my late 30’s my skin is behaving as if I’m 14).  It felt good to get the pampering treatment that was also good for me.  Spending time with my nieces is something that happens too rarely, so it was fun to be goofy with them).

The reason I love this week’s quote is that it can be applied to any seemingly daunting task in life.  What seems overwhelming at the start can be broken up into smaller bits, and accomplished little by little.  Just like weight loss.  I have 140 pounds to lose, which is daunting.  But, I just focus on the weekly weigh-ins, and I’ve lost 4.5 pounds in the last 3 weeks (ever since I changed my Points).

I guess in many ways, this weekend was about “spring cleaning” my life, and I feel so refreshed and renewed.

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A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~~Larry Elder

Mondays are notoriously the day when many of us start over – whether it’s recommitting to a food plan, promising ourselves we will get back in the gym, or making sure we are good to ourselves on our quest to become healthier.  This Monday, I’m definitely doing all of these things.  I haven’t gotten off track, necessarily, but after 4 days away from home and a couple more without much in the house, I am so glad to be back into my normal routine. I want to use today, the start of a new week, to restart all of my goals.

To that end, I packed up my gym bag last night (because I knew I wasn’t going to wake up early this morning, with the time change), and plan on going straight to the gym after work today.  I’m getting back on the treadmill (after much too much time away) to get on track with my RLR training.  After that, I’m going to do some ab work and ball exercises at home, because that’s one area that I’ve been sorely neglecting in my workouts.

I was browsing around the web last night and found myself on Lululemon’s site.  I can’t fit their clothes yet, but they are definitely among the brands of activewear “goal clothes” I want to purchase when I get down to their size range.  I found this great information on goals that I thought I’d share:

(Click to enlarge).

It’s all common sense, but I love the way they go about putting it together.  This is one cool company.

Still need some inspiration?  I find so much motivation in this awesome “manifesto” that Lululemon has created:

What will you do to make it a goal-filled day?

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” —  Charles W. Eliot
I  chose this quote this week because I’m looking forward to our Bloggy Beck Book Club on Thursday.  I hope that many of you will be able to make it, because I’m really getting a lot out of reading the book. I’m learning a few new ideas, as well as having other ones reinforced.  It’s really helping to give me the skills I think I need to be successful with weight loss.
I also love this quote because I love to read.  I agree completely with the sentiments that  it expresses, so much so that years ago I decided to teach English because I hoped to impart my love of reading onto my students.  Each year,  there are always a few students who discover a love of reading, or the love of a specific text, and each time it happens it makes me smile. 
If you’re interested, you might want to find me on Goodreads so that you can see what I’m currently reading. 

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Breathe.  Let go.  And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”  ~ Oprah Winfrey

This quote from Oprah is a great reminder that when I’m struggling with something in my life, all I need to do is nothing.  Just breathe.  Just take a second to myself and see how it all plays out.  I’m a very “take charge” kind of person, and I like being in control, so letting go isn’t easy for me.  But I have found that in my times of greatest stress, letting go is the way to calm down.

This week off is like one long, exhaled breath.  I get time to myself without too many plans, so that I can center myself.  My plan is to refocus myself.  I want to remember how much I enjoy working out and exercising and being active.  I sort of lost that “fun factor” for a little while, and I’m excited to get it back.

I’ve slowly come to a few huge realizations about myself and this weight loss journey, which I will share with you in time.  I’m still working through them and figuring out how it all fits. I find that in the moments when I give myself a break, I find the most clarity. I’m hoping that’s true this week, as well.

The photo I chose above is so serene and peaceful and really makes me want to do some yoga this week.  So I’m going to.  I may end up doing a DVD at home, but I’m hoping to make it to the yoga studio to do some Bikram, because I still have a few sessions worth of credit there.  I may even go today.

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