Friday, January 17, 2014

Alphabets of Fitness: E is for Equipped

Everybody has been made wonderfully equipped with a purpose.

Everybody has a story. Everybody wants to accomplish something. Everybody comes to a point where they might experience doubts. Everybody finds a reason to hope. Everybody uses that hope to encourage themselves.  Everybody uses that encouragement to continue on. Everybody continues on and finds the door to their goals cracked open just for them to enter. Everybody enters and shares their experiences. Everybody experiences something. Everybody’s something is different. Everybody has different ways of handling that something. Everybody sees that something from a different point of view. Everybody’s point of view is based on their own system of beliefs. Everybody’s system of beliefs is either self-made or culturally grown. Everybody has a culture. Everybody’s culture is their own. Everybody owns their own mind. Everybody’s mind features its own thousand words. These are mine:

1,000 words Equipped For Me

I had just gotten to work and was waiting for an elevator and when it opened, a young lady I have been acquainted with in the past also entered as well as another woman trying to get to her point of interest. The familiar face looked and asked how I lost so much weight. The unfamiliar woman asked how much weight I’d lost and I told her that I lost 80 pounds. When explaining that diet and exercise were the biggest contributors to my new present self, the familiar threw many doubtful statements my way. “No you didn’t. You got gastric bypass.” “Don’t believe what she says. Ain’t no way somebody could lose so much weight that fast.”  “She is lying. She was probably bulimic or anorexic.” 

To be honest;  this was never my intention. I just wanted to feel healthy for a couple of reasons. There is a big difference between climbing up a flight of steps and panting like you just ran a five mile race or going up a flight of steps and not breathing uncontrollably, but as you normally would from brisk walking.  There is also a difference between getting on a treadmill and running for a few minutes and your ankles and knees starting to hurt because you are carrying so much weight on your body, or running and not really feeling the stress on the lower extremities of your body. But there is also a difference between eating something and your whole entire body becoming swollen from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet or eating something and the normal processes of the intestines occur and you excrete and defecate as you ought to.

I wish I could say I did do gastric bypass; but I did not. I really did diet and exercise and in just nine months, I lost 80 pounds. 

Natural over bypass any day!  Bypass requires the consulting of a doctor as a new lifestyle might.  But with the doctor, they will prescribe you medicine as well as put you on meal restrictions you have to now stick to so you do not have any complications after the surgery. A nutritionist however might put you on a meal plan that can help to benefit your life and also to form new eating habits that are in line with your fitness goals. Bypass requires overnight hospital stays.  Working out only requires rest to heal the stressed out muscles and bones; in your own home and in your own bed. Bypass will come with a huge bill. You might get a bill from the gym, but with all the free YouTube fitness programs available, you can actually lose weight in the comfort of your own home without a gym membership. Wherever you live, you have a chair or a staircase. Use the staircase to do step aerobics by just going up and down the same step for like 20 minutes or so, to your favorite song list; or use one of the chairs in your home as a base to do triceps dips. Use the floor before your television to do squats and pushups while watching your favorite sitcoms. No computer is even required. Maybe you can use on of those Heart rate monitors to calculate how many calories you are burning just from getting into the swing of things in the comfort of your own home.

About the anorexic and bulimic statement; No, I am not any of the two.  I did however begin my program on a very strict diet that I put myself on. I gave up eating rice, pasta, bread, meat and drinking alcohol. It might shock people including yourself if you start a diet of this sort, but the real shock will be how much weight you begin to lose and in such a fast period of time.   But first things first, you must be mentally prepared.

How I began; I fasted and prayed for one whole day, the day before the day I gave into my new lifestyle.  Without prayer, your new lifestyle may not work so make sure you include God into the challenge you set for your own self.

Here is something to think about. A non-meat eating diet is not a starving yourself diet. Yes, you still can get protein from other sources. Your body is well equipped to handle other forms of protein. Here are some you might want to try.

Cottage cheese or peanut butter
Have some with your fruit. How delicious is a cup of these two protein sources that are even healthier than pork chops or sirloin steak?  You can still have your protein and eat it too. I am begging you to try a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Delish!!! Or take some of that cottage cheese and have it with cantaloupe or honey dew. Not only are these two ideas tasty, but they also serve as great meals. Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner; Hmmmm!!!!

Beans or Nuts

Okay so you are making a salad and usually you cut up fried or grilled chicken and put it in your salad. Attention! Please note that chicken is meat. Yes, it is poultry. Poultry is meat. So if you are giving up meat, you are also giving up chicken.  How about some garbanzo beans or almonds? You would not believe how tasty it is with some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette sprinkled atop it. Add some Goji berries as well which can be a nice replacement for a tomato if you are willing to try something different. Sunflower seeds, pistachios, split pea or lentil soup. Great sources of protein!

Eggs or Soy

Okay so you can have scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu. Preferably the soft tofu because that is the best type for beating; and you can add some of the same wonderful ingredients to it. But wait, instead of bacon, how about salmon?  If you have never had a bagel with smoked salmon, you do not know what you are missing. Tastes great. But let’s hold the starchy bagel and opt for something else like a slice of whole wheat toast or a spinach wrap. If you must have the egg however, why not try it soft or hard-boiled?  Have one with a bowl of cut-up fruit.

Protein bar or shake

So many different protein or granola bars out there. My favorites are Luna Bars. So many different flavors to choose from that have less than 30% calories from fat in it. Special K makes pretty good ones too that are also healthy and filled with 9g or more of protein to keep you full until your next meal which is hopefully lunch as opposed to the snack in between. But if you must snack, how about a protein shake?

 I love Spirutein. Also, a lot of different flavors that you can choose from that have no sugar added besides that natural sugar of the main ingredient. It is powder based, so add it to some fat free or dairy free milk and enjoy. If you are going to use dairy free, make sure you get the ones that are also sugar free as opposed to vanilla.  

Naked drinks are pretty decent too; not to mention that they are packed with a plethora of vitamins and nutrients your body needs; but,  lots of sugar. But make sure to remember that the label might say the bottle serves two people so the calorie content is doubled if you drink the entire bottle.  Make your own instead.

Why not add half of two different fruits, a vegetable like spinach or kale and some plain organic yogurt to the blender with a little bit of dairy free milk and ice and blend to make your own smoothie?  Tastes even better knowing you made it yourself.

Finally Seafood

Who said you had to go vegetarian to not eat meat?  Why not make it a pescetarian diet instead? No meat but all the fish and seafood your heart can desire.  But watch out; remember that some of the shell fishes of the world are very high in cholesterol.  So let’s not have it every day. But do add it to your weekly meal plans.

Everybody; Again?

Everybody is equipped with a mind to set it to whatever they want to program it to do. Everybody has abilities they have been fully equipped with to step up the game. Everybody has a heart equipped with desire to make things happen according to their own vision. Everybody however is different; so everybody might not be able to hold forts down in the same manner. Yet, everybody does have a mind of their own and goals of their own and with that in mind, if fitness is yours, let’s make your 2014 resolution take a smooth sailing flight to your final destination; your goal.
Now that we have settled on the idea of what we are equipped with, here are some links and other  ideas to get jiggy with:
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope this post inspired you in some way and I also hope to see you back here for more alphabets of fitness. Feedback is requested. If you found this post helpful, please let me know. And if you have some pointers that might be beneficial to others, please share because everybody is always looking for new and exciting ways to enhance their workout and diet experiences; including me!
See you soon!

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