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16 Feb

Weight Loss: A Creative Way to Keep Track

A Creative Way to Track Weight Loss

WELL, I DECIDED to lose that extra weight, and I wanted a way to keep track of my weight loss that would encourage me to keep going when I wanted to quit (which was about once a day). So I thought that maybe having an interactive visual would be the thing. I saw something similar on Pinterest (don’t we see everything on Pinterest?) and with my BRAND NEW CURIO by Silhouette America, I made my own version.

Simple, really. Two canning jars (pint size) with lids and rings, some vinyl, and my lovely NEW CURIO. Did I say I just got a new Curio?

Did I say I love my new Curio?

I cut two circles out of green vinyl for the tops and then the phrases “lbs. to lose” and “lbs. lost.” Then I put 50 (yes, fifty!) flat marbles in the “lbs. to lose” jar and as I lose weight, I’ll fill the empty jar as I empty the full jar! Make sense?

So here’s to day one. I’ll take another picture when I have some marbles in the empty jar.

Update: I’ve now lost seventeen pounds in two months. Want to know how? Low-carb. I have more energy, have lost weight (and inches!) and never feel hungry. It was a little rough getting started, as I got “Low Carb Flu,” but that went away in a couple of days, and now I feel much better than my old way of eating. And no, it’s not a super restrictive diet. I eat lots of veggies, albeit low carb ones, and plenty of meat and full-fat dairy. When I crave cookies, I make homemade peanut butter cookies with just three ingredients that satisfy. And at night, I eat a tiny slice of chocolate cheese cake. Yum!

What do you think? Do you have any special ways to keep you going when you want to quit before you attain your goals? What do you do?

10 Mar

Coping With Stress And Anxiety

stress and anxietyFeeling stressed or anxious?

These strategies will help you cope:

Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.
Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking) each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity (such as jogging or swimming laps), or a combination of the two.
5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find it’s more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
Recruit an “exercise buddy.” It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.

 

Taken from Anxiety and Depression Association of America

03 Mar

Anxiety and Acupuncture for A Healthier You

Anxiety and Acupuncture for A Healthier You

Anxiety and Acupuncture for A Healthier You

Is anxiety really necessary?

Anxiety in our fast-paced world seems to be something we all have to live with—but is it?  The health industry has seen the treatment in anxiety rise in recent years to an unprecedented high.  Today, 19% of men and 21%  of women worldwide experience some sort of stress-related disorder that requires intervention.

The problem is, what kind of treatment is effective for relieving anxiety and stress?

There are basically three types of treatments available to help alleviate symptoms: medicine, counseling, and alternative (naturopathic) treatment. Each has its adherents, its successes and its failures. This article will deal with anxiety and acupuncture, a method of inserting thin needles into the skin approximately half a millimeter away from a nerve, reportedly balancing the Qi (pronounced “chee”) in the body. Thousands of years old, this method is described in ancient Chinese medicine and is only now finding wide acceptance in the West.

 What does stress do to you?

When a person lives with unrelieved stress in his life, the adrenal, hypothalamus and pituitary glands cannot keep up with the body’s need for stress hormones, leading to physical and emotional or mental problems. Acupuncture has been studied to see if it can, indeed, reduce the level of stress by allowing the hormonal balance to be restored. Anxiety and acupuncture seem to be a workable pair.

 What does research show?

In a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology in March 2013, rats were subjected to an hour in the cold every day for ten days. Those who underwent the procedure prior to the stressor showed markedly less stress than did those who did not have acupuncture. Two other groups participated in the study: one, the control group who neither had acupuncture nor were subjected to the cold, and the other, a group subjected to the cold but treated with “false” acupuncture (that is, acupuncture applied in the wrong place). Neither of those groups showed improvement in their anxiety levels, measured by the elevation of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine in the blood. When these adrenal stress hormones are elevated over a long period of time the condition can become chronic.
According to Dr. Rachel Anderson, a licensed naturopathic doctor and certified acupuncturist, this situation can lead to other disorders as well, including depression, high blood pressure,  sleep problems, weight gain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, frequent infections, chronic pain, and more.
Whether you elect to go the route of traditional (modern) medicine,  therapeutic counseling, or naturopathic medicine and acupuncture, it’s important to see your doctor before your anxiety steals your peace, and possibly your life.