Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Funkmaster: Music is the Stuff Dreams are Made of.

Earlier this month, I gave a brief review of the book Look Great, Feel Great by Joyce Meyer.  I know I said that I wouldn't give too much of the book away, but key #10 (Right Vision) continues to churn around in my head. 

One of her suggestions on how to keep a right vision is think and speak your reality into existence (p. 147).  The first part of Proverbs 23:7 says - "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."  What we see on the inside is just as (if not more) important than what we see on the outside.  Meyer goes on to give this suggestion:

Another excellent practice is to create a vision of the ideal you.  Carry this vision around in your head, and assume the role of the ideal you, as if you were acting in a play.  Say and do the things the 'ideal you' would do, instead of what the 'now you' does.  Soon, you will become this ideal person and won't be acting anymore.  (p. 149)

Which brings me to the music.  In my workout playlist, there are music selections that give me a vision of my "ideal self."  These are songs that represent something I want to do or someone I want to be.:

 (My ideal self will teach children again and show them how fun fitness can be.  Yeah, I know I've got learn HOW to do the Cha-Cha Slide first.)
 (My ideal self will have the endurance to run to this entire song.) 

 (My ideal self will be a certified fitness trainer and lead a "Sacred and Secular indoor walking/aerobics class.  I'm writing the routine for this one and Morris Day and the Time's "The Bird" in my head already.

(Another one my ideal self will run to.  Of course, I may need to be by myself when I run to that one.  I'm tempted to holler during the "ride or die" part when I'm just walking to it.)

What songs inspire your "Ideal Self"?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stinkin' Thinkin' Challenge: Week 3

Stinkin' Thinkin' Challenge, Week 3

Side one of card/paper:  Romans 5:1 - "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"

 Side two: I have been justified!

What did you learn from last week's challenge?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Morning Musings: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Sunday, July 22, 2012

Outside my window … a quiet morning.  For once the dude on the corner isn’t playing loud music, drinking beer, and honking his horn at every car that passes.

I am thinking...
about my already horrible weekend.  I wish I didn’t have to go anywhere today.  I know it’s just going to be more of the same.

I am thankful...
for good hearing.

In the kitchen...
  I had another binge yesterday, so I really shouldn’t eat anything today.  I don’t know.

I am wearing...
I haven’t gotten out of bed yet, so I’m still in my bedclothes.

I am creating...
My scrunchies are still selling very well (yay).  So, I’m still making those, plus I’m working on a crocheted tiger patter for the Auburn fans.  You would think that something like that wouldn’t be so hard to find.  The Roll Tide elephant was easy.  We’ll see how it goes.

I am church, then back home probably.

I am wondering...
if I seriously need medication.  No joke.  I’m seriously wondering if I don’t need Zoloft of Prozac or something.

I am reading...
In the Company of Others by Jan Karon. I thoroughly enjoyed her Mitford series.  This book, the second of the Father Tim novels, is not an enjoyable read.  But I’m going to finish it anyway.  It’s a shame.  Her other books were wonderful, but this one is downright confusing, and dare I say it,  boring.  Oh, well, everyone has an off day.  This is her one off book.

I am hoping...
that I get heard, really heard.

I am looking forward to... football season.  I’m looking forward to listening to Eli Gold call Bama games on the radio.  I’m looking forward to the Southerners reunion, and hope I can make it this time.  I’m looking forward to a potential drum-fest with some of the fellows from JHS.  Man, I miss playing snare.

I am learning… that I have given my power to people who definitely don’t have my best interest at heart.

Around the house... A little straightening up today.  I’ll do the deep stuff during the week.  Need to reorganize the craft closet again.

I am pondering...  the meaning of it all.

A favorite quote for today... Don't mistake my kindness for weakness, my ability to look over things as ignorance - but make no mistake, when I've had enough, I'm done!” – Author Unknown.

One of my favorite things... Reading.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Mon: Volunteering at Sav-a-life. Tue:  taking some of the family to run errands and such. Ripping At&T a new one AGAIN this week. Mostly working in the workshop and hopefully making some sales.

A peek into my day...

(My old Yamaha bass is dead yet again, and more jury rigging isn't going to help.  THIS is what I want to replace it with.) 
UPDATE  I did receive this coveted bass guitar as a late birthday present from one of my musician buddies about a month after this post was written.  GOD IS AWESOME! 

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook ( . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Facing the Pain.

This is in answer to the question:  What do you see when you look in the mirror?

There are some things in life that we can't control, and some of those things bring us pain.  Illness or injury bring physical pain.  Other people can say or do cruel things that cause us emotional pain.  And sometimes it doesn't take people at all; circumstances can deal us a bad hand and cause a lot of pain and suffering.  Not all of these events are necessarily traumatic.  Lots of small little hurts in our lives can add up to a general state of sadness or low-grade despair.  Sometimes the simple lack of stimulation from loved ones in our lives can contribute to boredom and loneliness, which can be some of the hardest emotional suffering to endure.
Joyce Meyer's book Look Great, Feel Great, p.  109
This is what pain looks like.  This is the pain I keep trying to get rid of. Yes, there are smiles in the pictures because there have to be.  Underneath is utter torment.  This is the pain I'm reminded of every time I look in the mirror.  This is the pain that hollers every morning "NOT GOOD ENOUGH!  HATED!  SHAMEFUL!  UGLY!  DIE!"  This is the outward manifestation of inner turmoil.   This is the product of feelings unfelt, love rejected, depression shamed and untreated,   and humanity unrecognized.  This is what I want to stop, to kill at any cost.

What I yearn for is not fashion model thinness, nor vain beauty that is fleeting (Proverbs 31:30).  Nor do I crave sex appeal (I'm too old for that crap, besides I'm not married anyway and most likely will never be).  What I want is the real me to emerge from these layers of damaged flesh and emotions.  What I want is a stable life--a life that shows the truth of God's divine promise of "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning."  (Isaiah 61:3)  What I want is to be heard, not shamed into a lonely corner of silence.  What I want is to never see someone else go through the same pain. 

This process of open truth is very painful.  I would rather be happy-go-lucky and continue to hide the fact that my life is not OK.  But that is a lie.  I can't help myself on lies and I certainly cannot help anyone else with lies.

What do you see when you look in a mirror?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Inspirations and the Stinkin' Thinkin' Challenge, Week 02

A little mojo for the day:
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

"There's no such thing as luck.  Luck is preparation that meets up with opportunity."  - Rush Limbaugh

"If anybody tells you that a workout should be easy, you should walk over to them and slap them in the face." - Billy Blanks

Take back your life so your life isn't taken from you.  --Biggest Loser Season 12, episode 4.

Better to have a big goal and reach half of it than to have no goal and reach all of it. -- Joyce Meyer

What I learned from last week's Stinkin' Thinkin' Challenge:

I struggle with the question of "earning the right" to be loved and cared for.  After all, I've not done anything spectacular or heroic to garner that type of care and concern.  However, as I read John 1:12 (NIV), I caught the phrase "... he gave the right to become children of God."  Did you catch that?  He, Jesus, gave us the RIGHT to become children of God. His love, his care is a free gift, ready for us to open and enjoy.  In other words, I don't have to earn the right to love and care; Christ GAVE me that right.


Now, the Stinkin' Thinkin' challenge for the week:

Write on Side one of your card/paper:

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." - John 15:15

Side two of card/paper:

 I am Christ's  friend!

Read over this several times a day for the next week, and let God speak to your heart. Please feel free to share any insights, questions, or prayer requests you may have in the comments.  

(Listen and receive)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Manic Monday: Jillian Michaels Talks Mindless Eating.

Y'all know that I'm a fan of The Biggest Loser. Former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels has a video podcast called "Daily Dose."  Although I don't agree with or support everything that she does or says, I find that she does have some good nuggets of advice.  And since she is a professional trainer and I am not (YET), I will share her content with you from time to time.   The steps she gave a caller in the video below is a very good way to begin to deal with emotional or mindless eating.

07/16/15 - Well, as you can see, Ms. Michaels has made this video "private."  Thanks, Jill, that's really going to help a lot of people.


To reiterate:
  • Look for cues that you really are hungry:  When was the last time I ate? Do I have physical signs of hunger?
  • If the answer is yes, prepare a proper meal and sit down to consume it.
  • If the answer is no, identify the emotions associated with your desire to eat.  Then, create a series of behaviors that are not food related. 
The steps I plan to implement are:
  1. Only eat at the dining table.  I have tendency to eat EVERYWHERE.  The only place in my apartment I haven't eaten is the bathroom (ew, that's gross).  Well, and not at the clothesline, but I can't eat and hang laundry at the same time.  :)
  2. Create a series of behaviors that aren't food related for when I'm craving:
    1. Pray
    2. Crochet
    3. Take a walk (either outside or inside walking DVD)
    4. Write a letter (yes, I still write letters)
    5. Read a book
    6. Find some social interaction
Well, that's a start.

So, what did you get out of this?  See any step you might want to take?
UPDATE: Jillian is back on The Biggest Loser  (yay!), but Daily Dose is no longer being produced (boo!), but the old episodes are still on YouTube.

UPDATE #2 (06/16): Jillian left The Biggest Loser AGAIN.  Not sure if Daily Dose is available any more.  I think the well's run dry, y'all.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Scripture Sunday: Post for Sunday, July 15, 2012

James 2:15-17 (King James Version)

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Listen to it in the Message Paraphrase or as I call it "The Homeboy's Translation":

Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

(I don't think I need to add a thing to that. )

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Crimson Elephant: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Saturday, July 14, 2012

Outside my window … Humid air and bugs, bugs, bugs.

I am thinking...
about how I’m going to make it through the next six months.

I am thankful...
for my 4 year chip I got at Celebrate Recovery last night.  I’m thankful that my phone bill is paid this month.

In the kitchen...
  Whole wheat biscuits tomorrow.

I am wearing...
Minimal sleepware.

I am creating...
Finishing up a Roll Tide Elephant for a customer.  Still making hair scrunchies.  They are selling very well.  Hope to keep on selling them.

I am going...Now?  to sleep.  Tomorrow?  Church.  Don’t know what other adventures await me.

I am wondering... about how people can be so wishy-washy. I know I have issues too, but good night!

I am reading...
actually, I’ve been listening to Michael Hyatt’s leadership podcast “This is Your Life.”  It’s been very educational and frustrating all at the same time.

I am hoping...
that I soon see the answers I need.

I am looking forward to...
getting in some workouts this week.

I am learning… that to honor and respect someone does not mean that I have to subject myself to be mentally bullied by them.

Around the house... ???

I am pondering...  still pondering the question of what is healthy in my life.

A favorite quote for today... I heard a commercial for Dodge where the guy talked about how eco-efficient his truck was because it has a sensor that powered the engine down when he was on the highway. I have one too. It's called a TRANSMISSION!” -- Me

One of my favorite things... The Rick and Bubba Show….most of the time.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Mon: Volunteering at Sav-a-life and hopefully getting groceries. Not sure about the rest of the week.

A peek into my day...

Finishing up another one of these.

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook ( . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Funkmaster: Music to Make Your Workouts Groovy

Last week, I talked about inspiration and motivation. One of things that inspires me to keep moving even when things aren't going so well is music.  A good tune also keeps me going when things are going well and makes them go even better.  This week, I want to share a few songs that pump me up and make me smile.  Enjoy!

Ricardo Sanchez-Grano de Mostaza

(Loose Translation:  If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, says the Lord, you would say to the mountain move and it will move.  Move, move.) 

Not only am I moving the spiritual mountains through faith.  But I'm also moving this mountain of fat towards disintegration!

Carman & DC Talk - Addicted to Jesus

An oldie but a goody:  This song is a not-so-subtle reminder that I need to daily choose to trade my addiction to food into a radical addiction to Jesus.

Weird Al Yankovic - White and Nerdy

This is my life's theme song that reminds me that I don't have to be like everyone else.  I'm learning to like being me

What songs pump you up or bring you joy?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Little Voice in Your Head: The Stinkin' Thinkin' Challenge, Week 1

Before I dive into this subject, I thought I'd share a funny clip with you.  Pay special attention from 3:20 to 3:35.  Enjoy.

Funny huh? My personal favorite was the Weed, California joke.  But anyway, time to get serious.

Let's talk about the "little voices in your head" and what they mean to us.

I was watching a documentary on youtube about a young girl in a group treatment facility for anorexia.  I was fascinated by a statement one of the girls made: 
There’s someone who lives in your head, but she’s moved the real you out of your brain and just sort of left a tiny bit of it and she controls your brain and everything you do.
First, this quote answers your question:  Why is she watching videos about anorexia?  She's fat.  I watched them because  1) I envy these girls for their appearance of discipline to simply not eat and/or to exercise excessively (I said I envy the discipline, not the disorder) and 2) because I wanted to understand the mentality of someone who was dangerously thin, yet still thought they were fat.

I have found that in my case, the mentality of the obese and the anorexic is shockingly similar.  I have often felt that I was under the control of an "alternate" me.  No, not disassociation or demon possession, but a fracture between the outside me and the inside me.

The outside me is the one people see; the people pleaser, the chameleon fueled by the fleeting strength of the false bravado of someone without a care or need.  The real me, the inside me, is the me I one I want to see when I look in the mirror and I'm shocked when I don't. She is strong and healthy, has friends and is free to express needs

Then there's "HER": the mediator between the inside me and the outside me.  "HER" is the taskmaster who yells in my head:

"unworthy of love" 
"fat, ugly, lazy, disgusting slob!"
"Only a two pound weight loss, that's not good enough!  YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!"
"Who do you think you are?!"
"You might as well give up and eat. EAT! EAT! EAT!"

"HER" propels me toward junk food like a junkie toward crack, all the while soothing me with the lie of, "It will get better.  This is the last time you'll have to do this."

In all this, the real me gets lost; locked deeper and deeper into a prison cell--a limited space with no prospect of escape (much less thriving).

So, how can we heal?  First, it cannot be done alone (I don't care what the self-help books say).  There are steps we can take, but we must have help, support, and accountability.  We need help to completely change our minds.

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]."  (Amplified Version)

III John 1:2 says - Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. (Amplified Version)

Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions.  Our spirit and soul must be well and balanced in order for our bodies to be well and balanced.  Only when we use God's Word to begin to think of ourselves the way He thinks of us, can we really be free from the taskmaster that destroys our mind, crushes our will, and mangles our emotions.  This changes aren't instant.  They happen one day at a time, one thought at a time.

Rodney Holmstrom, the National Encourager Coach for Celebrate Recovery set up a "Stinkin' Thinkin'" challenge earlier this year.  I would like us all to participate in it.  All you need is index cards or pieces of paper and a pen.

Write on Side 1 of your card/paper:   "Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12

Write on Side 2: I am a child of God!!!

Read over this several times a day for the next week, and let God speak to your heart.  Please feel free to share any insights, questions, or prayer requests you may have in the comments.  Let's do this!
(Good body image begins with a good state of mind.  Warped thinking produces a warped body image.)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Scripture Sunday: Post for July 8, 2012

Romans 10:1-13 (King James Version)
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Want more info?  Click here.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Curds and Whey: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Saturday, July 7, 2012

Outside my window … Muggy darkness begging for a “frog stranglin’” rain.

I am thinking...
about how tomorrow is supposed to be a day of rest, but I’m going to be so busy.

I am thankful...
for God’s love and favor.

In the kitchen...
  I had some really good meals today with both raw and cooked veggies and good chicken.  J

I am wearing... Minimal sleepware.

I am creating... Crocheted hair scrunchies.  I’ve already sold a few and hope to sell more.

I am going...Now?  to sleep.  Tomorrow?  I’m playing for FUMC’s early service and then playing at our morning service.  Depending on how I feel and how much rest I get, I may play at evening service.

I am wondering...
how to implement the changes I need to make.  I’m taking it slowly, but these are changes I feel that I must make in order to fully live the life God has for me.

I am reading...
Read a great blog entry encouraging a consistently healthy lifestyle.  It’s here:

I am hoping...
that I will conquer my fears and truly live.

I am looking forward to...
leading worship with some of my friends from FUMC-j’ville.  I played with them at Celebrate Recovery yesterday.
I am learning
… that I need to learn to take things from my “bag” of strengths and use them.

Around the house... Straightened the apartment today.  Only going to do the minimum tomorrow.  I really need to rest (if I can).

I am pondering...  I spent the last week focusing on what is not healthy in my life.  This week, I am pondering what IS healthy in my life.  God has answers for the total man, and I want to be totally free.

A favorite quote for today... “Have you ever just looked at someone and knew the wheel was turning but the hamster was dead?”  Someone’s status on Facebook.

One of my favorite things... Cottage Cheese (weird, I know, but true).

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Mon: Volunteering at Sav-a-life. Tue-Wed:  taking some of the family to run errands and such.  Thurs:  ???   Fri:  Getting my 4-year chip at Celebrate Recovery before I dip out and take my sabbatical.  All while working on more things to sell.

A peek into my day...

(small curd, full fat please). 

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook ( . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Funkmaster: Music to Make Your Workouts Groovy

Before I knew I had any musical ability, I loved music.   My childhood was marked by songs that meant something.  Whether it signified an event, or brought out emotion, music has carried me through all the good and bad times.  It's no different with my workouts.  Music not only helps me keep a decent pace (unfortunately, I can become easily distracted), but the rhythms and words can boost my mood and put a little "swang" in my stride. 

I've designated Fridays as a day to share from my playlist.  Some of the music is sacred, some is secular, and some is downright silly.  So, here goes:

Open the Eyes of My Heart by SonicFlood is one of my favorite warm up songs.  I usually start my walks off with it.

Honkytonk Badonkadonk by Trace Adkins makes me want to work on my junkless trunk, but then I change my mind.  It keeps menfolk from leering at me if I just keep my plank butt.

If this doesn't get us to MOVE IT, nothing will.  :)

What are some of YOUR favorite workout tunes?
Update (07/25/14):  OK, so I didn't do this one very long, but I still find ways to share music with you.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Library Thursday: Look Great, Feel Great

Book: Look Great Feel Great: 12 Keys to Enjoying a Healthy Life Now.

Author: Joyce Meyer

Info: Copyright 2006 Warner Faith Books

Where: Purchased at America’s Thrift Store in Rainbow City, AL

Availability: Most bookstores. Libraries ( I know that it is available locally at Jacksonville (AL)  Public Library, Anniston (AL) Public Library’s main branch and the County’s Bookmobile), and of course

Why: Recommended by friends.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 smileys):  J J J J

What are the 12 Keys?:

  • Let God Do the Heavy Lifting: The Myth of Willpower
  • Learning to Love Your Body: Stop spending all your time with someone you hate.
  • Mastering Metabolism: Stabilizing the burning of calories.
  • Exercise: What it does and what it doesn’t do.
  • Balanced Eating: Not just counting and measuring.
  • Water Your Life: Getting juice in the joints.
  • Mindful Eating: Getting back to simple beauty of eating at the table.
  • Curb Your Spiritual Hunger: If you’re full of God, you can’t be full of anything else.
  • De-Stress: Turning off the pressure cooker.
  • Right Vision: What is your inspiration.
  • Make it Easy: How to take it one day at a time.
  • Take Responsibility: Stopping the blame game.
What I Like:

I like the fact that Joyce was 63 years old when she wrote this book (she is now 69). So, she not only had life experience, but the maturity to write in clearly, candidly, and realistically. She did not make pie-in-the-sky promises of rapid weight loss and an instant new life. She wrote a no nonsense, common sense approach to a life of health.

I like her recommendation to read the entire book first, then reread, implementing the steps one at a time, and not moving on to the next chapter until the current one was thoroughly put into practice.

I like that it’s not a "diet" book. This book not only addresses food and exercise, but it hits deeper issues such as body image, stress reduction, spiritual renewal, and rest.

I like that each chapter has suggestions on how to take action on the 12 keys. In other words, it’s not just "do this, do that." It actually tells you how.

The only thing I don’t like is that all of my questions are not answered. But that really isn’t a negative.  It' makes me dig more.

Now, you know I’m not giving too much away. I want you to read the book.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Workout Wednesday: Tips, Tools, and Reviews

Product:  Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds Express.  DVD with stretchie band.

Where bought/available:  Bought at Wal-Mart, also available here from

Why:  Recommended to me by my sister, Clara

I bought this video a couple of years ago because I liked the idea of an inexpensive way to get fit at home.  Plus, I had been a member at a gym before and got really tired of paying a monthly fee to feel like I didn’t belong.  Yes, fat people DO belong in a gym…until skinny people show up and give you the "go to the bad place" look to which I reply…well, never mind.  Anyway, so I bought the DVD and took it home to watch it before I tried it.  The moves seemed simple enough and the tone of the video was uplifting.  So, I tried the first mile and got through it unscathed; tired but unscathed.  I eventually worked up to all the miles of the first workout or all four miles of the second workout.  Here are my findings.  But first a little about Leslie (or as I call her “Miss Perky”).

From her bio:  Leslie Sansone has always been concerned with fitness. Seeing people struggle and fail on fad diets and exercise regimens, Leslie was determined to make exercise accessible to all. Part of her formula included taking the intimidation away from exercise. That’s where the idea for In-Home Walking™ came in. If she could remove all of the factors that usually turn people off from maintaining a regular exercise program–expensive gym memberships, other gym-goers, strenuous exercise that leads to burnout, fancy work-out clothes, expensive exercise equipment–she knew that she could develop a program that people could stick with.
Rating (on a scale of 1-4 smileys): J J J + 1/2

The Good: 

1.              Simplicity:  the moves are not extremely difficult, but they do get the job done.

2.              Adaptability:  If a move is too advanced, she does give the option of simply marching in place.  Also, the intensity of the moves can be adapted to your fitness level.

3.              Real people:  Everyone in the video is not bone thin.  There was even one 70+  year old man working out in the video. (A couple more cute guys around my age in the mix wouldn’t have hurt, but I digress).

4.             Variety:  The moves were varied (especially in the four mile walk) and the music changed as the workout progressed.  Plus, there were two workouts on this one video.

5.             Economical:  This video wasn’t expensive (around $10) and is even cheaper now on

6.               Music:  The music didn’t sound like it was “written by an appliance.” (got that one from Greg Proops, but it so describes some music.  But you’ll hear more about that when I talk about podrunner)

 The Bad:

1.            The chatter:  OK, I know it’s an instructional video, but this chick never shuts up!  Her constant chatter sometimes gets in the way of the instruction and she loses count or lets a move go on too long.  Her Aflac duck laugh grates my nerves, but it doesn’t detract from the actual workout.

2.              Rhythm Nation:  This may just be a personal problem, but on both workouts, she uses a piece of music in which the tempo and emphasis (musicians call them accent notes) changes constantly.  In other words, because I am a band nerd (BLOW SOUTHERNERS) I start every move on my left foot; easy to do because all the music is in four beats.  The section that changes makes that impossible.  Most people won’t be bothered by this, but it aggravates the stew out of me (where’s ONE?).

3.             The Stretchie Band:  I’m glad that the band came with the thing, but they only use it for a few minutes in the 3 mile workout and not at all in the 4 mile.  Also, she asks you to use the band while you march (?!)  This takes too much concentration and coordination, so I either just do the band without the marching, or do the marching without the band.  She needed more options for using it.

4.             A Technical Nit Pick:  Most DVD’s contain index marks or chapters to help you find a specific place in the film.  The marks are at the beginning of the workout and the stretch at the end on both workouts.  I think there should be chapters at each mile like there are on her newer videos.

So, all in all, this is a very good video for beginners and can be made very intense for the more advanced.   If you are a beginner, I would recommend gradually working up to all the miles.  For advanced users, up the intensity.  This would also make a great rainy day workout.  So, try it and let me know what you think.

(here's a preview of the 3 mile walk)

(and a preview of the 4-mile walk)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

In Defense of "Mojo"

Sitting on the couch, laptop perched on my knees.  A sigh breaks the deafening silence that permeates my apartment.  What’s wrong with me?  I’m not lazy; I work hard.  So, why, oh why, can’t I get myself together?  I just need some motivation—I need to get my mojo  back.

That has been the crux of my sliding toward relapse concerning my health.  I’ve been waiting for some outside force to propel me to try again—to be committed again.  I’ve been aching to know someone cared before I started to care about myself.  However, I’ve recently (as in yesterday) learned that it doesn’t work like that.  The word mojo is defined as “an uncanny personal power or influence.”  Hmm, personal power, personal influence.  Reminds me of a scripture:
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.  - Psalm 42:5, King James Version
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God——
soon I'll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He's my God.  - Psalm 42:5, The Message Paraphrase

My lack of motivation, or mojo, was because of misplaced hope.  I had placed all my hope in others rather than in God.  I hadn’t given myself enough credit for having the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit within me (see Galatians 5:22-23).  Part of that fruit is patience (longsuffering) and gentleness.  These are not just attributes to develop towards others: they are the way we should treat ourselves as well. 

Now, I am not saying that we don’t need others for accountability and fellowship, because we do need them for mental and spiritual health (see Ecclesiastes 4:8-12, I John 1:7).  But there is a difference between motivation and inspiration.  Inspiration from others is essential for our minds, motivation is what takes the inspiration of our minds to create action in our bodies.  Only we can truly motivate ourselves to action. 

I am inspired in my health walk by the success of others.  I like watching The Biggest Loser to be inspired by the success stories of the contestants.  I like reading health blogs, and listening to inspirational messages.  They keep me from giving up in my mind.  They remind me that it can be done.  I only need to take the inspiration and use it to fuel the motivation I get from God’s Word and His Spirit.

 So, what or who inspires you?  How does it help you motivate yourself to action?

(I know it's a little crass, but it's so funny...and true)