Sunday, February 13, 2011

This weeks's Aha moments!

Even though my newest diet does not require exercise in order to lose the pounds, if I have learned anything about weight loss over the years it is is nearly impossible to keep it off if you don't have an exercise regimen in place. Although, we have a gym here in our complex, another thing I have learned is it is more motivating to work out if you have to pay for it, so I joined the gym just up the road. I love the classes, especially Zumba. I feel like a complete fool as I gyrate and shake but it's a great work out and I am exhausted by the end.  One thing I have always feared and struggled with is strength training. There is something very intimidating about weight rooms! I think it has something to do with all the steroid enhanced muscle men I have to share the dumbbells with. I am also worried that I am going to sit down backwards on a machine or do something else humiliating so I just avoid this part of the gym entirely! Unfortunately, I have to pass it daily in order to go to the locker room and that's when a smiling, tone, petite man came up and asked me when he could start training me...UGG! Against my better judgment I agreed to a free training session. This of course lead to 10 paid sessions. I am truly grateful that I am being forced into the dreaded weight room, however, during my 1 hour training session twice a week I hate this little man. Even with his darling smile he means business and I am convinced he is trying to kill me. He ignores my whining and excuses and although there are a few things I have told him I absolutely refuse to do, I end of doing them anyway. UGG!

My first AHA! this week involved a new perspective on food, thanks to my arch nemesis, Terrance the trainer. He grew up in a very rural and poor area of South Africa. He along with the majority of the population here survive on a porridge like substance called "pap". It is made from ground maize meal and while it looks like mashed potatoes it tastes nothing like it...I think it is pretty bland and I don't particularly like the texture. It is often combined with a sauce, maybe something tomato based like chakalaka or a type of gravy or vegetables. The kids at Aurora (where I volunteer) eat it every single day for lunch. According to Terrance it can keep you full for hours! This combined with the fact that it is very cheap has made it a dietary staple and something this population may eat as often as three times per day! Although, Terrance can possibly afford a richer variety of food now he still prefers to eat pap with every meal! Food here is about survival. He would rather eat pap than a piece of pizza, as he will stay fuller longer on the pap! He laughed when I told him what food means to me! I am still not convinced that living on maize mill is nutritionally fulfilling so while I will not be changing my diet to pap only, I have changed my thinking about food. I may just have to paste the "Eat to live not live to eat" motto all over my fridge and cupboards!

My second AHA! this week was about the power of friendship and surrounding yourself with positive energy and enlightening people! Clearly one of my more dominant traits is that I talk a lot, and while I have always been sensitive about it, I have come to the conclusion that while I do talk a lot I also listen a lot! And with that I am constantly learning and growing. I have been fortunate to meet incredible people that have added value to my life. I am always amazed how I end up being surrounded by people that I need in my life at that moment. In Hawaii, I was surrounded by a group of down to earth, spiritual giants that not only strengthened my testimony but my family as well. In Arizona, I have friends from different periods in my life and each one has taught me something new and made me a better person. And now I have a great group of friends that fill my days and most importantly give me the needed support to become healthy! Lisa is the perfect balance of exercising and clean eating (yet still has moments when she accidentally eats 8 cookies instead of one, I love that about her). She introduced me to Tosca Reno and the Eat-Clean diet (which is a great compliment to the Flat Belly Diet) and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to food and exercise. Besides that she loves to shop as much as I do but has way more willpower and has taught me to only buy things I absolutely can't live without. She has a very calming personality and everyone knows I need that in my life! There are two more wives that just came recently and they two have talents and knowledge that can benefit me! I imagine that this would be a very different expeirence if I did not have built in friends! I have decided I can honestly live anywhere and be happy as long as I have friends to share the experience with! I have been lucky to make some really great friends here in the complex and at church as well. One thing about South African's is that they are very friendly and welcoming. It is quite possible to go to a party not knowing anyone and leave with 10 new best friends. One of my favorite things about being here is everything I am learning from all of the people that I meet on a  daily basis. It is a very fascinating world we live in and I am so grateful to be in the thick of it!

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