Posts tagged ‘fat’

March 4, 2012

Pick A Topic

by Zen Gray

Zen Gray asking questions?Since I took a little hiatus from my blog, I keep thinking about what I should write next. So much has happened and I’ve got so many topics and questions to choose from. My list looks something like this:

1. Pre-wedding and post-wedding habits and observations.

2. Holiday family stress and the escape tactics I’ve used.

3. Recognizing my personal weight gain/weight loss habits in my significant relationships.

4. Feeling stagnant and getting fatter.

5. Getting psyched up for “the diet” and how it affects my husband, friends and family.

6. Renewal of faith in exercise.

7. The importance of keeping in the right heart-rate zones.

8. Jumping from one diet philosophy to the next.

9. How can you know what works? How long do you give a program before you determine it’s not right for you?

10. When tragedy strikes, how do we comfort ourselves?

11. When should you go with the flow and when should you MAKE things happen?

12. Should we keep questioning our choices? Or accept all we do and just move forward?

13. Rituals. Morning time, daytime, before bed. How important are they?

14. How hard should we try for a baby? What will THAT do to me, my body, my career, my life, my relationship?

15. Are these even the right questions?

See what I mean? There’s a lot of stuff rolling around my brain. And this is just a SHORT list.

I’m trying to dedicate at least one hour a week to blogging right now since I’ve decided to apply for a PhD in Positive Psychology (HOW COOL IS THAT?!!!! RIGHT???!!!) and I have to study for the GRE now, on top of doing my taxes, teaching group fitness and of course personal training and my freelance writing gigs. Yeah, yeah, Gray… you’re so busy. Pffft. I just need to dedicate some time ON MY CALENDAR to writing my blog and I’ll do it. The calendar really is a magical thing when used properly.

OK, that’s it for today since I have to teach a 6:30am spin class tomorrow morning. I’ll have to explore some of those ideas a little more next time… but would love it if I got some feedback about what would interest YOU.

Love and thanks,

~Zen

 

 

March 30, 2011

“I Don’t Feel Like It”

by Zen Gray

It’s not often that I do my hair and make-up.

Jessica Simpson in a baseball hat

Jessica Simpson wearing my work attire.

I’m lucky in that I get to wear sweats and a baseball cap to work practically every day so when I’m not only tired, but busy, AND dolled up for some meeting I had… I REALLY don’t want to go to the gym and get my workout in and get all sweaty and gross. But you know what? Even though I bitched the whole way over there… I felt great and so proud of myself after that workout. I even did a personal best on chest press. Go me!

It really helped that David was ready to go when I got home. It would have been very easy for him to talk me out of the upper body workout we did tonight. All he’d have to say was, “Would you rather (fill in the blank)?” And I would have done it. I’m really thankful that I can count on him. I wish that everyone had such a supportive partner and/or buddy.

 

 

 

Which makes me ask the questions:

  • Is your significant other HELPING you?
  • If not, can you find a way to get them on board your program?
  • Can you turn to friends or family instead if your partner is just not on your “get healthy bandwagon” just yet?

I know sometimes it sucks to get yourself to the gym. Try to have all your workout gear ready to go before you can justify your way out of it… and get some support from SOMEONE. Because when it comes down to it, you’re NEVER sorry you exercised, are you?

 

March 29, 2011

Radio Show

by Zen Gray

Last week, Sophia Venable from LA Talk Radio had me on her show.

Zen Gray on LA Talk Radio

I just listened to the podcast and laughed to myself because we’re both so passionate about health that we segued a gazillion times: relationships, weight loss, anorexia, bulimia, aging gracefully, cosmetic surgery, eating tricks to make you feel full, artificial sweeteners, alkalizing the body for health, how dogs help you live longer, finding time to exercise, slowing metabolism, hormones, scale vs. measurements, kids’ fitness, being a role model for your kids, chronic dehydration, and more. We definitely could have talked for several more hours and still kept up the frenetic pace. It was so much fun! (Click here if you’d like to listen.)

All of those topics rally around that which I have dedicated my life’s work: to living a healthier and happier life.

There are times when I doubt myself because I think, “Who am I? I’m not a doctor. Maybe I need more schooling before I can really give any advice…” But listening to that show made me realize that I actually know a lot of stuff and that I barely scratched the surface of information I have archived in my brain during that interview.  I know that I can always learn more… but I don’t have to know EVERYTHING before sharing strategies that I’ve tested out either on myself or my clients, right?!

Overcoming that inertia, the inaction that comes from thinking about criticism or failure, is a mental exercise that I’ve worked on my entire life and I’m sure I’ll continue to do so. When I was a senior in high school, I read and loved Shakespeare’s Hamlet because he was the classic example of the plight of the intellectual; thinking about all the angles and outcomes and preparing for every scenario so much that you just might end up doing nothing. And having a family of lawyers, the phrase “cover your ass” is liberally and possibly over-applied in my life, too.

I’ve been taught to worry about what might happen and how I could prepare for possibly risky situations. But if I’ve learned ANYTHING in my life… it’s that you can’t possibly prepare for every single outcome and sometimes it’s better to just DO SOMETHING and have faith that you can correct mistakes as you go along. Preparation is great, certainly, but not at the expense of inaction. The most successful people out there are the ones that aren’t afraid to make TONS of mistakes.

How’s this for a great quote?

Wayne Gretsky quoteSo true. Thanks, Wayne 🙂 I’ll get back to writing my book now.

March 24, 2011

Swearing Like a Sailor

by Zen Gray
I hate cell phone Painting by Arisa Niwa

"I hate cell phone" Painting by Arisa Niwa

Although belting out “F*CK!!!” feels inescapable sometimes, I make it a rule not to do it at Disneyland.

Since I’m definitely not at the Magic Kingdom today but dealing with a smart phone that refuses to download any of my email, I am letting many colorful phrases roll off my tongue. (Yes, I’m talking to you T-Mobile and MyTouch HTC!!!!) I know I’ll eventually get this resolved and I’m usually very composed — but it’s been four months now and I’ve reached my patience threshold.

Just as I was about to throw this infuriating device against the wall, David came home from work. I must have had a crazed look on my face because his eyes got really wide and he immediately grabbed the puppy and went for a walk. By the time he got back, my head was in my hands and I was making noises like I was in a bad martial arts flick.

I got up to take a shower and by the time I got out, David was on the phone with T-Mobile customer service. Listening to him deal with one of their reps made me laugh and even though we haven’t made any progress, I already feel much better. I love him for adding levity to a frustrating situation and for being able to keep it together while I’m losing it. And he’s totally amused by my uncharacteristic freak out.

It’s so nice to have someone help me with my balance when I can’t quite seem to do it on my own.

Time to go for a walk 🙂

 

March 23, 2011

Is This Normal?

by Zen Gray

cartoon scale

When looking at the computer, are you sticking out your chin and neck a bit?

Do you sometimes get a pain in the back of your shoulder or neck? (Hmmm.)

Do you slouch?

Is one side of your body stronger or bigger than the other?

Have you ever had low back pain?

Are you getting less than eight hours of sleep?

Are you slightly overweight?

Are you really overweight?

Are you exhausted at the end of the day?

Do you eat to feel better?

Do you eat because you’re bored?

Do you eat because you’re lonely?

Have you gained weight since you’ve been in a relationship?

Have you gained weight because you’re not in a relationship and you want to be?

Do you like wine?

Do you like chocolate?

Do you like pasta?

Do you like pizza?

Have you always had a weight problem?

Have you never had a weight problem before now?

Are you getting older and feel like your body isn’t responding like it used to?

 

Today I had a client ask me if she was normal because she answered “yes” to a few of these questions.

Of course, I told her she was a total freak because the rest of us are eating whatever we want and walking around pain-free in our skinny jeans.

 

 

March 18, 2011

Everyone’s Got Stuff

by Zen Gray

It’s a beautiful sunny Friday… and the day after St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve noticed a few hung-over people at the gym today but not many.

David and I are four weeks into our diet/workout plan and I’ve lost an average of 2 pounds per week. (I started at 147.9 lbs and now I’m 140.5 lbs.) I’m quite pleased with those stats since I wasn’t sure how my body would respond to the gluttonous cheat hour… but apparently, you can’t do that much damage in an hour because still I’m losing weight and feeling pretty good. I have to add that I’ve started teaching more classes, though, and I’m definitely sweating a couple more times a week than just my evening workouts with David.

But… oh, man I’m sore. I wake up sore in my low back every day.  And I’m not sure if I can place all the blame on that chiropractor that first “adjusted” my back. A few years ago, I was given a free adjustment from a chiropractor (even though I had no back pain… I was told it was a good “preventive” thing to do). And within a couple weeks, I was walking tilted side-ways with so much pain that it took me 45 minutes to get from the adjustment table to the floor. That doctor told me that my new shoe inserts were causing the problem.

Now, before I get all the chiropractors upset… let me just say that I went to orthopedic surgeons and acupuncturists before another chiropractor that one of my client’s recommended showed me how to do a couple exercises that fixed the problem in a couple days. The second chiropractor, Dr. Gary Jacob, was fantastic and knew what he was doing and didn’t even have to touch me to help me. He looked at the x-ray the first place did and said, “Oh! You’re one of the few people that has kind of a 6th lumbar vertebrae… actually, it’s not a fully formed L5 that act like two separate vertebrae so it can slip around once you’ve loosened it up. You should have never been adjusted… and now you’ll have to tighten up your low back again. Don’t bend forward for two weeks and do these couple exercises…” He said it was some kind of Spondylolistheses, which is Greek for “slippery vertebra”.

Awesome, right?

That was four years ago when I first had the problem and I’ll ALWAYS have to do these exercises and be aware of my low back issues. So even though I’m a personal trainer, even though I’ve done triathlons and marathons, even though I’m active all the time… I’ve got stuff. We’ve all got stuff. And yes, I’ll have to deal with it all the time and it’s a pain in the butt (or the back) but I figure it’s just like brushing my teeth. I just add it to the list of things I’ve got to do every day and I don’t take it personally and I don’t let it hold me back. Sure some people have it better… but I’m thankful because a lot of people have it a lot worse.

***If you’ve been bitching about some of your stuff, I challenge you to change your perspective. Take a moment to consider how much worse it COULD be and try not to make your stuff some kind of “the-world’s-against-you”conspiracy to hold you back from better health, love or prosperity. THEN, take a moment to be thankful for all the great stuff in your life!***

If you practice this perspective shift on a regular basis, I promise you’ll enjoy a much happier and more fulfilling life.

Wishing you lots more great stuff,

~Zen

March 17, 2011

For Love and Money

by Zen Gray

Have you ever lost sleep worrying about the bills?

The reason why I’m bringing up financial issues in this blog is because I believe that money troubles are another symptom that life is not in balance. And when life’s not in balance it WILL affect your body… and NOT in a good way. Studies show that if you stress, you’ll gain more belly fat. Other studies show that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll eat more. And still other studies show that if you and your partner don’t have money strategies that mesh, then it’s the number one cause of divorce! For those reasons, let’s talk about money.

Thankfully, I haven’t felt the sting of credit-card debt for a while now. But I’m re-reading a book called Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker and he talks a lot about your “financial blueprint” – the unconscious money strategies you’ve learned that are either working for you… or they’re not.

I grew up in a middle class family and I was taught that talking about money was “tacky” and there were never budgets. My mom would often buy a bunch of clothes on sale and bring them home and we’d take back what wouldn’t fit. I don’t remember one discussion about money when I was growing up except that I was told it’s rude to ask about money. Oh, and I used to win coloring contests as a kid and was told to “put the money in the bank”. I vaguely remember having this savings account and then my great grandmother left me $1000 which was added to the savings account– but when I went to pull out money in college, my parents told me that they used it for my tuition. That seems totally fair — except for the fact that I thought it was mine to use for what I wanted so I felt like I saved my money… for no reason. I’m SURE that experience carried over into my adult life because until recently, I’ve never had a savings account. Why would I? On some emotional level, it was pointless to save.

I’ve never been that great with money but I was blessed with a family that really took care of me. The only problem is that I didn’t learn effective financial strategies on my own and quickly got into debt once I left home. After YEARS of turmoil, I’ve finally started to educate myself about how to MANAGE my money. Eker suggests opening a “Financial Freedom” bank account where you deposit 10% of all your income (after taxes), to create a “Financial Freedom” jar in your home to deposit SOMETHING in it every day (even if it’s just a single penny), and to have a “play” account or jar with 10% of your income. Lastly, he wants you to open up four more accounts for Long Term Savings For Spending, Education, Giving and Necessities. Here’s the percentages:

10% Financial Freedom Account and/or jar

10% Play Account and/or jar

10% Long-Term Savings For Spending Account

10% Education Account

10% Give Account

50% Necessities Account

Even if I just have one dollar, I’m supposed to manage that dollar!  Eker says, “This action alone will send a message to the universe that you are ready for more money. Of course, if you can manage more, manage more.”

To keep my sanity, to whittle my waistline, to build some wealth, and to keep the peace with my fiance — I’m willing to give it a try. Of course, there’s a bunch of other strategies that I can implement, but I’m starting small so I can feel successful at mastering one thing at a time… much the same way I train my clients.

Perhaps because I’m a Taurus, I picture myself as a bull psyching myself up by taking small steps, then slowly they become bigger and faster and soon I’m this powerful force that can bulldoze my way through any obstacle. Of course, sometimes there’s a pretty red scarf waving around and my attention gets diverted but that’s just a part of the game. Sometimes we get distracted, sometimes we spend too much, sometimes we have a cookie… we must simply refocus and try again, right?!

To your health, wealth and happiness!

~Zen

March 15, 2011

Shake it up

by Zen Gray

“What is the perfect protein shake?”

Today I participated in a focus group for protein shakes and we were asked that very question. There were a bunch of trainers seated around a table and we were asked our opinions about current products on the market and what changes, if any, we’d like to make to a new product.

Wow, where would you start? Since my typical client is an overweight female over thirty —  I’d like one that tastes great (of course), is made with REAL dark chocolate (a strong antioxidant that lowers blood pressure), low in NATURAL sugar (no cancer in my sweeteners, thanks!), and low in calories (because almost everyone is trying to lose extra body fat). It would help if there were plenty of calcium (to combat osteoporosis) and some fiber (to help one feel full). Perhaps a sprinkle of vitamins and minerals (since most people don’t eat enough veggies) and a reasonable price (so we can afford to look and feel good) would be fabulous, too. I also added that I’d like to see some healthier packaging without plastics. (Recent studies are finding that to some extent ALL plastics are endocrine disruptors — read that as “man boobs”, low sperm count, hormone-related diseases like breast cancer, and excess belly fat.)

Of course, my perfect protein shake doesn’t exist yet… but they’re getting closer. I haven’t actually tried the brand, Rockin’ Refuel, but was given a coupon to go get a free sample. (Click on the picture if you’d like to see more info.)

I was impressed that they use real milk from cows not treated with hormones along with whey protein, natural sugar (fructose), and it’s a solid 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein, which is great for post-workout muscle recovery. They said it costs under $2 per bottle, which is not bad either.

Before today, I hadn’t put a lot of thought into the perfect protein shake… but I’m getting a lot of feedback after posting the question on facebook. EVERYONE has given me a different answer so it’s clear there’s a lot to choose from out there.

I just wish I had some now because David and I are ready to hit the gym with our brutal “day 2” workout this week… and it would be nice to see how I felt after a swig of this stuff. Guess I’ll just have to stick with my post-workout egg whites, veggies and teaspoon of olive oil.

Do you have something to add? Would love to hear it.

Rock on,

~Z

March 14, 2011

“How was your year?”

by Zen Gray

That was the greeting from my accountant today when I saw him about my taxes.

My first response,”Great!” needed an amendment —  “in many ways, however, not exactly the best year financially.”

After all, you can’t pull the wool over the tax guy’s eyes.  I’m not sure when I learned the habit of always answering in an upbeat, positive way. It’s probably a Tony Robbins thing. Sometimes, I really am great — but sometimes I’m sure it’s part “fake it ’til you make it” and part, “I’m sick of hearing people whine about their problems. Why don’t they focus on solutions?” I want to be a person that focuses on succeeding… on possibilities.

I’m pretty proud of the fact that I paid off all of my debt last year. However, 2010 was more about personal rather than financial triumphs. Last spring I was SICK of attracting men that I just couldn’t end up marrying. But I had kept their old love letters and photos in what I called the box.

All innuendo aside, the box was full of love, obsession, heartache, good hair days, great tans, romantic gestures, some questionable fashion choices and, of course, drama. I always thought I would hold on to the box and finally throw it out after I got married.

Realizing that I needed to make some changes, I took a second look at that ominous cube of memories. Why was I holding on to these things? Did these reminders serve me in some way? Was I afraid of getting rid of these love tokens? I think I was scared that I would never find that intense passion again and perhaps I would have to just be content with the fact that someone loved me once that way… even though each relationship had been broken and was clearly not what I wanted anyway.

Keeping that box, I realized, was EXACTLY like settling and I was NOT READY to give up on love.

As soon as it was gone, I felt lighter.  (Oddly enough, I effortlessly lost a few pounds, too.)  And a few months later, I met David — my own personal super hero. (I’ll have to tell you about his special powers in another episode.) A few months after that, I ran my first marathon in Honolulu, got engaged and got a puppy!

Yep. I’d say it was a very good year… even if I’m not quite ready to retire just yet.

February 17, 2011

Post Valentine’s Glow

by Zen Gray

It’s the day after Valentine’s

And all through the house

Are goodies of chocolate

given by your spouse.

We know the boys mean well though, don’t we? My fiance managed to find me dark chocolate covered almonds, which are tasty as well as heart healthy with antioxidants, flavanols and magnesium.

Are you still nibbling on chocolate treats or have you banished them yet? With my fitness competition diet in full swing, I admit that a little chocolate felt totally decadent on Sunday night (when we decided to celebrate Valentine’s.)

It’s so interesting how my perspective shifts on things like food and exercise. For example, I used to think that running 2 miles was quite an accomplishment. Now after running a marathon, I think that 2 miles is a decent warm up. With my food consisting of chicken breast, oatmeal, protein powder, brown rice, yams, white fish and green veggies, now I think that marinades and sea salt are totally indulgent. Weird.

And then I wonder, “Is it normal to think about food this much?” For those times that I’m in the best shape, I have to say that planning my meals becomes a necessary evil. I’m sorry to say that great abs don’t just happen. At least not to me or anyone I know, especially for those of us celebrating more than one 29th birthday. (Have I mentioned that I plan to be perpetually 29? At least for ten more years. Then I will claim to be in my early thirties until I have to get cataract surgery.)

I’m realizing that much of my motivation for diet and exercise comes from wanting to LOOK youthful. (Apparently, I’ve got some vanity issues but I’m trying to be honest.) But I also have this devotion to balance:  celebrating life (with food!) and maintaining good health.

I don’t want to be one of those starving actresses who look AMAZING on the red carpet because I think that takes too much work and it negates one of my favorite parts of living – dining with family and friends.

I just saw Moulin Rouge again and I think that Nicole Kidman looks gorgeous in those corsets – but she gets paid a lot to be hungry.

Perhaps if I had her lifestyle and wardrobe, I could easily amuse myself with week-long spa treatments and trips to exotic islands instead of food.

Or how about Natalie Portman in Black Swan? I hope that most women walked away from that movie realizing that her character was sick and her body unnaturally thin because that is what is expected of a prima ballerina that devotes her life to ballet.

The following questions are very important to me and I ask all my clients: Do you need to be as ripped and lean as a leather-clad Hollywood action heroine? Are you willing to do all the work and miss out on all the tasty food that everyone around you is eating? If the answer is no, then I think we should stop comparing ourselves to the photoshopped, air-brushed, professionally dressed, primped and coiffed Hollywood elite. If looking at fashion magazines makes you feel ashamed or disappointed with your body — then stop it.

I just pulled a few images of some of my favorite celebs I think look sexy, happy and healthy: Eva Mendes, Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johannson and even Queen Latifa.  I’m pretty sure that most of us could still be thrilled to look like this, right?

All I’m saying is, you’ve got choices. If you want to be shredded like Angelina Jolie in an action film, then go for it. But don’t bitch about how hard the workouts are or how you can’t have pizza anymore. (And depending upon your body type, you might STILL not get the results you want because you’re not Angelina.)

My goal right now is to do ONE fitness competition and know how to share that knowledge with anyone who wants to be that disciplined, too. After the competition, who knows?

I guess I just want to be healthy… and for me that means enjoying celebrations with my sweetheart and my family, my curves, my workouts, discovering new healthy vegetable dishes and even the occasional cleanse to balance out some festive eating. But I know that I can’t get down to 12-13% body fat for a competition if I celebrate too much.

But what’s Valentine’s day without a little chocolate as well as a lot of love?

February 8, 2011

Day 1 Stats

by Zen Gray

My coach for the fitness competition finally sent me my first menu after weeks of “Well, I haven’t officially started the diet yet so I may as well have dessert.” I’d love to post my new eating plan here but part of me feels like it’s his proprietary information. I think I can mention that I’ve never bought rice cakes, yams or fresh white fish before today, though.

I also took measurements and weighed myself at the gym (because I don’t own a scale). Those I CAN post, but don’t really want to. I’m saving the ghastly “before” bikini shot until after I have a redeeming “after” pose from the competition.

5’8″, 147.9 pounds

Measurements (in inches):

Bicep:  11.5, Chest: 34.5, Waist: 28, Hips: 40, Thigh: 21, Calf: 14.5

I haven’t been this mushy in a while and I’m excited to get back on track, if not a bit terrified of the strict regimen I’ll be following. You know what else is terrifying? The outfits these fitness competitors wear. I don’t think my friend Nicole will mind me posting this one because she’s AUCTIONING this archery number. If you’re interested, check out her facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/nicolemoneerguerrero2

Nicole actually WON in this outfit. It’s pretty hard to imagine that anything could make her look bad, but I can’t imagine prancing around in a beddazzled bikini, Mary Poppins’ boots and a weapon reminiscent of Robin Hood. She looks great, however, I have serious doubts about pulling something like this off in front of an audience. What will MY outfit look like?

I’m also told these ensembles usually cost over $1000.

(Oh, here… let me help you pick your jaw up off the floor.)

Now, as if I didn’t have enough pressure with this goal already, let me add ANOTHER element to this; my fiancé David HATES the idea of me walking around in a tiny swim suit and stripper shoes (in public, at least).

When I told David my big fitness goal for 2011, “Honey, I want to do a fitness competition this year and be the leanest I ever have in my life!” — he was less than thrilled.

“Oh great. You’re going to strut around on stage and have even MORE guys lust after you!”

Wow. Ok. Thanks for the support, babe. (Not that I didn’t love his assumption that I have legions of men drooling over me constantly.) I really didn’t expect that kind of reaction. I thought he would be excited to have me look all ripped and sexy (albeit unnaturally tan and oily).

I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. It’s typically my client’s spouse or boyfriend that sabotages their weight loss efforts because of fear. EVERYONE is afraid of being left behind, of being unloved, of not being enough for the spouse who is now hotter than YOU.

How would YOU feel if your sweetheart started dieting and working out? How about if their workouts took priority over time you used to spend together? What if you wanted to cook his favorite meal but he told you that he couldn’t eat it?

I think we’d all like to say that we’d LOVE it if our love took some initiative with their health, but if it’s a new habit, the change might rock the boat a little. I try to tell clients to gently remind their spouses that they love them and that they’re doing all this hard work so the relationship can get even better. (Do you feel like having sex MORE or less when you’re in better shape? HELLO?!)

So, taking my own advice, I told David that I loved him and I’d love it if he’d like to join me in the “Quest for My Best Body of 2011.”

I promised him that I’d give him a private preview of my outfit, too.

January 25, 2011

I Heart Cupcakes

by Zen Gray

I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to start a diet I usually give myself a few days of “preparation” before I actually begin it. Unfortunately, my few prep days typically turn into, “Oh, I better eat this now because I won’t be able to while I’m back on the wagon…”

I’ve noticed this lovely phenomenon happening last week. While waiting for my coach to get back to me about what fitness competition I’m going to do, I’ve been having a food free-for-all. I know once I’m committed to a diet that I’ll stick to it, but that eating plan hasn’t officially started, so I’m in limbo land where chocolate cupcakes dance upon my counter tops.

Perhaps that doesn’t sound like such a huge deal since I still workout and teach spin classes every week.  But even as an active person, high carb/sugary food messes me up. It’s not just the added pooch (which I could contribute to monthly hormonal chick stuff) but increasingly pissy moods and aches here and there.

I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, but there it is. I eat lots of chocolate sometimes. And David, my fiance, loves me so much that he wants to get me WHATEVER MAKES ME HAPPY. He sees my face light up at the mention of dessert. So, I have to try DOUBLY hard to say no… both to him and to myself… when I’m being more strict with my diet. He’s what you’d call an enabler… and I love him for it. Ha! And that’s one of the reasons why love can make me fat.

BUT because David loves me so much, he has made a deal with me. As soon as my coach sets the fitness competition date (one of my New Year’s Resolutions), then we’ll start whittling down my body fat and David promises to refuse my pleas for dessert when I’ve committed to a strict dieting phase. (I must note here, though, that my competition diet WILL include a cheat HOUR once a week so I will be able to eat dessert… just not as often as I’d like.)

So, here’s my question to you:

If you’ve gained weight in your relationship, are you being enabled or are you the enabler?

As you know, I won’t judge you no matter what. I believe that everyone has struggles. It takes courage to fess up to your weaknesses or mistakes and then ask for help. If you’re dealing with some issues, talk to SOMEONE about them and look for guidance. Even the best athletes in the world need a coach, right?

Sending love to you and all your perfect imperfections.

~Zen

January 11, 2011

Where did all my friends go?

by Zen Gray

I love being in love. I get all wrapped up in it sometimes and disappear from the world in a sappy pink bubble o’ love. I’ll find ways of spending more time together with my sweetheart and put off something that I’ll “just do tomorrow.”

Because doesn’t sleeping in together sound so much better than getting up for a workout? Isn’t celebrating with a little wine is so much more appealing than just having water? Doesn’t cuddling on the couch feel so much more comfy than taking a walk after dinner? And it’s no big deal if I just call someone back tomorrow, right?

With that kind of logic, I not only gained weight while being in love but I lost an important part of my life. Friends I used to see and talk to on a regular basis went weeks or even MONTHS without hearing from me.

Sound familiar?

Thank goodness for Facebook or I’d never catch up with some people. (Ugh… that’s just wrong.) I’ve already made a lot of progress where friends are concerned… but this year will be different. Better! This year, I’m putting friendly get-togethers and phone calls on a calendar and scheduling them like any other important appointment… because at the end of the day (or at the end of my life!) they are just as important. I don’t want to let my amazing friendships just fade out.

Many of my friends, I’ve realized, are people I’ve met while doing the things I love. I have gym friends, dancing friends, karaoke friends, sci-fi movie friends, charity friends, self-help seminar friends, nutrition friends, new-agey friends, sorority friends, school friends, friends of friends, and friends that I’ve just randomly connected with at the oddest times. (My best friend, Jen, met me while I was on a first date with some guy over 12 years ago… can’t even remember his name now.)

I understand that I can’t keep everyone as a close friend all the time because people ARE busy after all. But I think connecting with friends is like reconnecting with oneself… and that’s an important part of living a balanced life.

Love you, my friends 🙂

~Z