Change Your Water ~ Change Your Life

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My Summer Adventure

Did you ever hear the saying ‘if you always do the same old, same old – you will always get the same old, same old?’ So OK that was me – never really trying anything new and adventuresome in the past few years. Same old thing week-in and week-out!! Always had an excuse – I can’t do that because it costs too much, or I don’t have the time, or it will take up to much time, or my bones are too old or why do something once that I will never do again or I won’t be good at it or it’s not the right time? BLAH-BLAH-BLAH! When is the right time?

I think I was always fascinated with scuba diving – when someone else was doing it – until I saw my friend Gregg’s pictures from Malaysia. And then I was blown away and knew I had to dig deep, find the courage, find the money, find the time, find the right instructor and jump off the ledge (or the boat or the shore) and just do it!

So that is what I did – I joined a scuba diving certification class, took that plunge and am now ‘certified.’ What a great feeling to know you can do something out of the norm and be successful at it. How do I judge success on this one – well I made it home alive and a giant catfish didn’t swallow me up.

Now for those that don’t scuba you are probably asking what it was like? Day one in the pool was great – of course we were only in water 4 feet deep – you can’t get too nervous about that. Day two in the pool was, well … let’s say I had some ‘issues.’ When Leslie said ‘OK – now we are going to the deep end of the pool’, my reply was ‘you guys may go – I am staying right here.’ I eventually did go to the deep end as I felt really stupid hanging in the shallow end with all my gear surrounded by little kids!

Ok not bad but the big challenge was only a few weeks away – open water certification – in a big old lake. You do realize that lakes don’t really have sides like a pool does to hold onto – right? And the lake isn’t going to be anywhere near as clear as a pool – right? And you do realize you are going to be under the water at around 20 ft. deep – right? Pretty scary – right? Hell – yeah if you let it get to you! But here is where the power of positive thinking comes in – reinforcing the lessons you learned and trashing all the other crap talk.

So our class made it through and came home ‘certified’ and we had a blast doing it. See during the weekend we were all on a level playing field – inexperienced and in deep-water to boot – but each one of us was anxious to be successful at something we had never done before, beat down those fears and show ourselves that we can conquer new worlds – at any age.

Will I ever get to Malaysia or anywhere in clear, ocean water to try my hand at scuba diving? Couldn’t tell you but what I can tell you is that taking a trip was never the goal of this whole excercise – the goal was to get outside myself and do something unusual. Try it – you will be surpriZed how great it feels.


Oh Those Pesky Habits!

So today Kansas City is getting their first real snow of this winter season. It sure is beautiful out there! The dogs are loving it. I love it also. I can stay safe (off the roads), shovel snow at my leisure knowing the house is toasty with the fireplace roaring. But there is a big difference for me between this year and last year when it comes to a ‘habit’ I had during a snow storm.

Last year the little voice in my head would have told me ‘hey, it’s snowing and you are expanding energy outside – walking the dogs and clearing the driveway, therefore you need to treat yourself well.’ Treating myself well meant eating food I knew wasn’t good for me but tasted oh so good on such a day. I had gotten into the habit of doing just that – extra treats, with loads of extra calories and tons of extra additives and preservatives.

So what kind of treats you ask? Wal-Mart is just down the street very close and easy to get to even in the snow. You know they have these awesome popcorn shrimp at the hot food counter for only $2.00 for a big cupful. If you catch them early enough they are scrumptious and they are easy to eat as you walk around the store! I must say though that treat alone is probably 600 calories. Now off to the frozen pizza aisle. Not sure the brand but I know the box – roasted chicken and garlic, flatbread pizza – family size. The entire pizza probably has 1000 calories (yeah I have checked) but I won’t eat the whole thing. I will eat at least 1/2 (it is flatbread after all – less crust), then I will pick off some of the cheese on the other 1/2 and give the dogs a little well deserved treat, the crust not the cheese. The cheese and chicken are mine. I grab a can or two of cat or dog food to make it look like I am not just feeding myself. Perfect – I am now ready to reward myself for having done so little – but it’s snowing!

Last thought before I head home: ‘can I make it to the liquor store?’ I mean you can’t have a snow day and all that pizza without a bottle of wine to top it off, now can you? Just wouldn’t be right. And red wine is good for you – right? So yeah I make it there and then home. Oops – did I forget a green vegetable – oh well I will double up tomorrow! I am all set – I have my food, I have my wine and boy do I have my calories. I resolve to do 10 or 20 squats later to balance out those carbs.

OK so that is just one day of REALLY bad choices and letting old habits get the best of me. But that one day on top of all the other days brought me to a place I didn’t want to be or like to be at. I had gotten into the habit of saying ‘just for today and tomorrow I will start off with better eating habits – I promise!’ Except that didn’t happen and eventually none of my clothes fit well and most didn’t fit at all! But it’s not just the clothes. It’s about how I felt about myself and the slope is slippery when you hope to have another 30+ years of super health but your eating habits are eroding those years, one day of bad choices at a time.

Then that all changed when I meet my personal Take Shape for Life coach – Tina. I heard her amazing story, we talked, I thought, we talked some more and I came to that all important personal decision that enough was enough. I needed to take control, I needed to change my habits and I needed to start looking at food in a whole new manner. My new bible Dr. A’s Habits of Health by Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson talks about motivation. Is your motivation to solve a problem i.e. get back into those clothes with the tags still on them or to create a desired outcome i.e. overall better health forever. He calls this ‘optimal health’. If the answer is get back into those clothes then you may succeed but you won’t be creating new habits to improve your health and live longer.

Check out Dr. Anderson’s (Take Shape for Life Medical Director) health assessment for diet, exercise, emotional health, lung health, BMI, BP & cholesterol, medical conditions & family history. Click on the link ‘You Are What You Eat’ and take the test. Let me know how you scored!

I welcome your comments and insight.


Starr Hall: Social Networking

Great in-person presentation and workshop today by the world-renowned Starr Hall at the Sprint Campus in KC. So she convinced me to get a blog going and said it was easy but I am already confused. Working through all the terminology and learning how to use is all will be a challenge.  Received a copy of Starr’s book: Get Connected, the Social Networking Toolkit for Business – anxious to get started reading.

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