Live To Win By Facing Your Fears!

Live To Win By Facing Your Fears!

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My Motto

November 19, 2020

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Starting Over

April 21, 2019

startingover

Well the saying above says everything about me.  

 WoW! 2015 is my last post.  I feel ashamed.  I made all these promises to myself that I would be accountable to my website and I have done nothing in almost four years!

Several things have happened since I have been gone from this site.  I lost several of my adorable cats to illnesses that came with age.  My husband did get two promotions during this away time.  He is now a Captain within his law enforcement agency.  So there have been some good times, and some heart breaking moments.

As far as training has gone, I got lazy and put myself on the back burner.  Not good!  There is a Body for Life competition and support group starting up.  I am going to see if I can still get into the group and should know something on Thursday, April 25th.  I need to start getting back on track and this would be a huge incentive for me.  Crossing my fingers.

I have come out of the closet and have now confessed my love of gaming!  I  am talking about MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing games).  I am currently playing; Star Trek Online, Guild Wars 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online.  Some can be played on consoles (think Xbox and Playstation), but I prefer to play on my PC.  I actually have a website for Guild Wars 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online .

I am also President of a gaming community called Valhalla’s Halls Multi-Gaming Community  We have such wonderful members from all over the world.  I am Kira Zeran, which is the name I go by in the gaming world.  It is something gamer’s do I guess to give another dimension between real life and gaming life.

Gaming is a great way to meet people.  You are not judged by your appearance or your wealth.  They accept you as you are.  They get to know you by your personality.  It is a genuine friendship.  Some of these people I have known for over 9 years!  We know each others ups and downs, and are always there to lend support.

So I guess you could say I am a gamer and athlete, the latter in development.  My goals at this time are to embark on this wellness journey.  I want to drop some weight and tone up by weight training.  I would really like to race in 2020.  The thoughts of running my first half marathon at Walt Disney World, Orlando, is still a goal I want to achieve.  I know this is all attainable.  I just have to focus and do my best to stay injury free.  I have a great support system and the equipment to make it happen.

I will use this website as it was intended to be.  A place to journal about my life as I reach goals I have set and the journey to reaching a balance between growth and achievements.

I want to leave with a story I read in a daily devotional on YouVersion:

Once there was a child that was enjoying playing in her sandbox.  Her father decided to take her to another place that she would enjoy even more.  She cried as her father picked her up to leave the sandbox.  She couldn’t understand why he would make her leave.

Her father tried to reassure her that everything would be just fine and he was taking her to somewhere better.  Those tears quickly dried up as they pulled up to a beach with endless sand and beautiful water.  The little girl laughed and screamed with excitement as she ran around the beach and played in the water.

So many of us have become comfortable or just plain scared to leave our sandboxes because we cannot see what lies beyond.  Sometimes God has a breathtaking beach waiting for us but we are crippled by fear and refuse to step out of the sandbox.

Well, it’s time for me to leave my sandbox………..

 

Moving it forward…..

June 14, 2015

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The statement above is one I have been asking myself for way to long.  I have not been doing what I need to do to be closer to who I want to become.  I have been doing just the opposite!  I started this blog to hold myself accountable on my journey to a better life…… physically, mentally, and spiritually.  I need to lose weight and have procrastinated to the point I have gained weight.  Mentally the only reason I am not stressing or going out of my mind is because I have changed my sleeping pattern to staying up all night and sleeping during the day (so peaceful at night, but so wrong to do!).  Spiritually is probably  the only area I have come close to making some changes.  I have been reading my daily devotionals and Bible readings on YouVersion.  However, I can’t say that I am really grasping what I am reading.  It is like I am just going through the motions, which really does not bring me closer to God, my higher power.

So where do I begin?  I always answer this with one baby step at a time.  Getting back on track and/or making changes in your life requires small steps to adjust to the changes.  That is not to say that some people have not had to make drastic changes overnight or in a short time frame.  I just lost my mother-in-law about 5 weeks ago.  The moment of her death, life changed, especially for my husband.  Some changes are sudden, but when you have changes that you can space out, one day at a time is the best thought process to put into action.

So that is what I am doing.  Taking it one day at time….baby steps along the way, to get back on track.  I am going to use the fantastic treadmill I have, eat clean as often as possible, read my bible daily, and journal here about my feelings, my workouts, my regrets, my accomplishments and all.  This may be boring reading for some, and I accept that.  This is for me and anyone out there that may relate to starting over or are on a journey to a better life.

If you have a blog about getting back on track with life’s goals, let me know and I will follow you.  It’s great to have a support system!  Wish me luck as I get off the bench on this journey I had started awhile back.  It is time to move forward and get my life back on track.

Bingeing

May 13, 2014

We all have those day: Up late at night, hungry and are craving sugar or something salty. There on the shelf is a bag of chips and some ice cream in the refrigerator!! Next we know, we are sitting in front of the TV eating all these calories to no avail.

You go to a party and know you should be eating all the healthy snacks (like veggies, fruits, grilled chicken) but the temptation is just to great and you end up eating the little sandwiches made with real mayonnaise and while you’re at it, nibble on the dessert as well!

I’ve been there. Haven’t you? When you stay to a strict, clean, eating plan eventually your body is going to crave what it misses. It always strikes at just the right moment when those certain forbidden foods are made accessible.

There are several ways you can avoid the dreaded binge monster:

1) Ask yourself why you are bingeing. Are you craving sugar, salt, etc? Are you eating out of emotional feelings? Are you a late night snacker? Are you feeling pressured into eating?

2) If you know you are prone to bingeing, then have a plan.

3) Clean out your cupboards

4) Have some raw veggies or fruit available to snack on

5) If you have to have chips, crackers, etc., read the serving size. Put only that amount in a dish and slowly eat it.

6) Allow yourself one cheat day (or cheat meal) a week. If you are craving chocolate, or dessert, or pizza, etc., go ahead and have it. The cheat day/meal could also be because you are going to a party, out to dinner, etc.

7) Don’t ever feel pressured into eating what you know you can’t control. This is your chance to do something for yourself. Don’t give others that control. Stand up for yourself and choose accordingly.

8) Remember after you binge, it’s always a little more difficult to get back on the wagon. At least I find it hard. I feel so disappointed that starting back seems a little more difficult, which brings me to number 9.

9) Forgive yourself!!!!!!!! We all make mistakes. It’s going to happen to the best of us. Be strong. Log what you ate and move on. Check it off as a cheat day and get back in the saddle.

10) Log your food. By logging your food you will see all the calories you consumed for that day. If you are right at your calorie maximum intake, that in itself may keep you from bingeing.

11) Pray to God (or your higher power) for help. There is much greatness in the power of prayers. God will help you stay the course and when you fail, he will be there to put you back in line.

Just remember, bingeing is part of the recovery process. It didn’t take you overnight to gain weight and it’s not going take you overnight to loose it. We will hit rocks along the journey and then need to pick ourselves up and move forward, not backwards.

The Biggest Loser’s Biggest Lies

April 30, 2014

This is a great article about the Biggest Loser and what is actually happening on the show. It’s not all it appears to be!

Bill Phillips Fitness News

Biggest Lies

In the wide, wide world of ridiculous diet and weight loss BS, The Biggest Loser’s ‘weekly’ weigh-ins take the cake. If you’re familiar with the TV show then you know it’s not uncommon to see the contestants lose 12 to 20 lbs a week from their exercise and diet efforts. The first time I saw this, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been researching, practicing, teaching and writing about health, weight-loss, and fitness for over 25 years and I’ve never seen weight come off that fast. It’s something that I get countless, continuous questions about, from my students, clients, and even doctors.

“How on earth are The Biggest Loser participants losing so much weight so fast?” That’s the question that is so often asked. As it turns out, the answer is: “They aren’t.” Let me explain…

You might be surprised to discover that there is a closely guarded secret to those…

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Happy Birthday to me :)

April 27, 2014

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Happy Birthday to ME!

 

Another year quickly goes by and I find myself celebrating another birthday (which beats the alternative!).  I look back at my last birthday and remember so many things that use to get to me, that I have now learned were just simple stepping stones in life.  So what have I come away with to start this new year?:

1) Laugh more often.  It’s not always as bad as it seems.

2)  Smile at others.  Just a simple smile can brighten someones day.

3) Be thankful for what I have.  So many are out there homeless and lonely.  Be thankful that I have a roof over my head and friends and family that love me very much.

4) Don’t be so hard on myself.  We all have our “bad” days and those days don’t last forever.  Pray. Ask God for guidance and strength and always look forward, not behind.

5) Self Image.  I am not perfect.  As a matter of fact there are more imperfect people in this world then there are “perfect” ones.  I may not like the way I look, but there is always someone who has it worse than I do.

6) Goals.  Set mini goals and strive for them.  When one is completed reward myself.  Set medium time frame goals and long term goals.  The bottom line is set goals which are achievable to feel good when the accomplishments are fulfilled.

7) Don’t complete a goal doesn’t mean to give up.  Brush myself off and get back in the game.

8) Say ‘I love you” more to those that are close at heart.  You never know what tomorrow may bring.

9) Remember those important dates in someone else’s life.  Like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, milestone dates.  It takes just a minute to send a card or pick up the phone to  let them know you are thinking of them.

10) Don’t pass up the little things in life.  Some of the most beautiful discoveries are the most precious moments that quickly pass us.

11) Take a moment, daily, to thank God for all the greatness he has bestowed upon myself and my family.

12) Take better care of myself.  Eat cleaner, workout, journal and reflect on the good things more often.

13) And most important, love myself.  I often forget to do this because I am constantly criticizing myself.  I am a child of God and I have a purpose.  I may not know what that purpose is, but there is a reason I was made in his eyes.  Everyday I shall start the day with three positive self reflections and end the day the same way.

This is just a list I have for myself, and others may find it helpful as well.  Life is to short not to rejoice in the moment.  If you have some other thoughts you live by, please share.  I’d love to hear them.

Unwritten

January 22, 2014

“Unwritten”

As I was on my treadmill last night, a song came across my iPod that I hadn’t heard in quite a while.  I started listening to the words and felt myself inspired.  It’s Natasha Bedingfield’s song, “Unwritten”.  The song was released in November, 2004, so it’s nothing new. But the words of the song say it all.  To me the song is about writing your book on your life.  It’s about letting go, making mistakes, and growing from them.

There is a part where she sings the words, “I’m just beginning….The pen’s in my hand…Ending unplanned”.  For some the journey on their book has begun.  For others the journey is right around the corner.  We all have the pen in our hands to choose the chapters we want to write.  Maybe it’s about accomplishments , failed desires, achieving goals, or self struggles.  Still, you are the main character in your book.  The choice is yours.  The ending is unwritten and only you can write that chapter.  So think about this, if you had to write a book about yourself, what would the title be?  What would your chapters consist of? 

I am still writing my book and of course my title would be easy to guess…..Live To Win!  Live to win is about my journey through all my fears and learning how to turn my life around so I am a better person and can help others move forward.  Live To Win is about winning over the struggles in life.  It’s about releasing my inhibitions, letting go and living my life to the fullest.

Maybe it’s time for you to start your book…….. 

Here are the words to the song:

Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten

I am unwritten,
Can’t read my mind
I’m undefined
I’m just beginning
The pen’s in my hand
Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your innovation

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten, yeah

Oh, oh

I break tradition
Sometimes my tries
Are outside the lines, oh yeah yeah
We’ve been conditioned
To not make mistakes
But I can’t live that way oh, oh

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
drench yourself in words unspoken
live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
the rest still unwritten

(Gospel)
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open *****
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open *****
Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten

The rest is still unwritten

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in pets

January 8, 2014

What is Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma? 

Squamous cell carcinomas are malignant cancers originating from the lining cells of the mouth. They are locally invasive and often recurrent. Only 5-10% of tumors arising in the gums (gingiva) metastasize (spread), but cancers in the tongue often metastasize to local lymph nodes. Cancers that originate from the tonsil metastasize quickly to the other tonsil, lymph nodes of the throat and other parts of the body.  (VCA Animal Hospital)

 I am trying to inform pet owners on this form of cancer to be sure your pet doesn’t end up like mine did.  If you are reading my posts, I wrote a post about my cat Chocolate.  This is what he died from.  I wish I would have been more aware of the signs of this cancer.  I am going to include some links to different websites that have the information about this form of cancer.  This cancer can only be treated if found in its early stage.  It is very aggressive.  Even if diagnosed early, the cancer can be removed but radiation treatments must be performed, and even then there is a high chance the cancer will return.  There is more success rates with dogs, but cats don’t have as high of a survival rate.

I hope these links help:

Feline oral squamous cell carcinoma: An overview

 

Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma | The Veterinary Cancer Center

 

Oral Tumors – Squamous Cell Carcinoma | VCA Animal Hospitals

 

The National Canine Cancer Foundation

My Little Angel, Chocolate

January 8, 2014

“Chocolate”

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Let me introduce you to Chocolate.  One of my many kitties I have and love like a child (I have no children so all my pets are my kids). He was the sweetest cat!  He never complained.  He never growled or hissed at other cats that would enter our home.  He was an easygoing kitty, that was as handsome as can be. How he got the name Chocolate…well it started off as just a nickname that happened to stick and one he accepted.  Since he accepted it, and you know how cats get to make the final decisions, we accepted it as well.

I rescued him about 15 years ago.  The cutest kitten you can imagine!!  He was a very passive cat that loved to play and got along with other four-legged critters well.

This past year he was diagnosed with diabetes.  It got to the point where I had to give him insulin injections twice a day.  He was such a trooper about it.  He never flinched and would just settle down to get his injections.

Around December 23, 2013, he stopped eating.  I went to our veterinarian, Dr. Alford of Live Oak Animal Clinic and had his glucose level checked, which was low.  He was given fluids and dextrose.  I was also given some pills to help stimulate his appetite.  He was eating for a couple of days and then stopped all together again.  Back to the vet I went.

His blood sugar was low again and he needed fluids.  The vet started wondering if he had pancreatitis.  On Thursday, December 26th, I made an appointment with an internal medicine specialist, Dr. Meeks, who is with Affiliated Pet Emergency Services in Gainesville, Florida.  Our appointment was on Monday December 30th.  Until then I continued to give Chocolate his medication and fed him Hills Prescription A/D wet food through a syringe.

Monday finally arrived and we were able to see the specialist.  Blood work was taken, ultra sound was performed and vital signs were taken.  Basically all looked well, except that some ulcers were found in his mouth. Dr. Meeks explained that these ulcers can be very painful and that this was the reason he was not eating.   Since he was not eating and was very dehydrated, the doctor wanted to keep him in the hospital for the next 24 – 48 hours.  I hated to leave him, knowing he would be scared, but I also knew it was for the best.

They kept him on IV fluids during the night and gave him other medications (like pain meds and antibiotics) and tried to see if he would eat.  He did not.  Dr. Meeks informed me the next day that since he was still not eating that a feeding tube needed to be placed.  While he was sedated, she looked closely in his mouth and found an inflamed area under his tongue.  His tongue also felt hard in some areas.  She biopsied the area and the feeding tube was placed.  The tube went through an area in his neck down into his stomach.  I was rest assured that this was not painful or uncomfortable for him.  He was left in the hospital overnight again and I awaited for the update the next day.

Dr. Meeks called to say that Chocolate could come home (this was January 1, 2014).  He would need to be kept on the feeding tube and that I would have to feed and medicate him through his tube.  I was so nervous about all this but knew I had to be strong for my little boy.

Chocolate came home and was so happy.  He was purring like crazy and saying “hi” to all his other buddies.  When I had to do his first tube feeding I was so nervous it made me nauseous, but we got through it.  I made a calendar of all his feeding and medication times.  I was literally up during all times of the night but it was worth it.

We had our routine down with the feedings by now.  I spent hours brushing and snuggling with him, telling him how much I loved him and that I knew everything would be fine.  We would figure out the problem, get the right medications and or surgery done, and he would be all well.  Chocolate stayed by me a lot.  I would get on my computer and he would lay his head down on my computer mouse on top of my hand.

Friday, January 3rd, I received a call from Dr. Meeks to go over the test and biopsy reports.  Most of the blood work came back fine, but she did believe that he had pancreatitis.  And then I could hear her voice change and knew all was not well.  The biopsy which was conducted on his tongue came back as a malignant tumor.  Basically Chocolate had cancer…….a very aggressive form of cancer.

It’s called Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Dr. Meeks called an oncologist to see if there was anything that could be performed but since the tumor was so far advanced there was nothing that could be done.  Chocolate could be sustained for 2 – 4 weeks on a feeding tube with medication, but that is not how I wanted my little man to live.  He was to precious and special.

Friday evening I spent the day and night brushing him and giving him kisses all over.  He purred and was happy.  He romped around the house making sure everything was fine and then he would come back to me.  We snuggled and gave nose kisses…..and he purred.  I made sure to keep him on his pain meds to keep him comfortable.  I continued with his tube feedings and let his other meds (mostly antibiotics) slip away.

Saturday, January 4th, 2014 @ 11:46 AM, Chocolate, my precious little angel, was put to rest.  I actually had my head on his chest, petting him to ease his nerves, and heard him purring.  I listened to the purr with every precious second………and then it stopped and I knew my little angel was gone.

For two days I was in a state of deep depression.  Every where I looked I saw him……and the purr……..that last minute purr before he passed haunted me.  Knowing I heard him take his last breath stabbed at my heart.

I had Chocolate cremated and will have his urn close near me.  For all you pet owners our there that have lost a loved one, you know my pain, and I know it will ease and the memories I will always have.

Til then……..I will have to wait to meet him at rainbow bridge, along with my others that have passed on.   I miss you Chocolates…………………

rainbowbridge

Incline Training for Weight Loss

January 2, 2014

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Incline Training is one of the best ways to burn fat and lose weight. Despite whoever told you, you have to run to lose weight, they were wrong. Walking at an incline over 21% at 2 mph can be just as effective as running flat at 6 mph. Here are some benefits of Incline Training:

Heart Rate: Your heart rate at a 24% incline and 2 mph is greater than 0% incline at 6 mph. The greater the incline the higher your heart rate will go. Incline training is one of the best ways to train your heart without having major impact on your joints.

Fat Utilization: Research shows at a incline of 21% and 2 mph, fat is the primary source of energy, burning 6.5 kcals per minute. When walking slowly on a steep incline you will become oxidative, which means you will burn from your fat stores and not from your previous meal.

Fat Test Study:

  • 0% at 6 mph burns 360 calories – 57 from Fat
  • 21% at 2 mph burns 296 calories – 194 from Fat

Muscle Activation: 18% incline and above is where all the magic happens! In fact, from 15% to 18% you have 30% more muscle activation. Most people have a hard time turning on the glutes, but this is a great way to activate them. Not only will you burn more calories when you have more muscles, but your weight loss will look better. At 27% incline and above:

  • Glutes are engaged 100%
  • Hamstrings are engaged 73%
  • Calfs are engaged 90%

Variation: Variation in your training allows for creativity, enjoyment, progression and specificity. Performing variations like skips, side shuffles, backwards walk will increase your calorie burn and muscle activation. Do not exceed 24% incline on any side movements on an incline due to the shear forces it puts on the knee.

  • Workout: Side Shuttles at an incline (under 24%) are a great way to target your inner/outer thighs.

Don’t worry if running is not in the books for you, or even if it is, Incline Training is a great way to mix up your workouts, burn fat, activate your muscles, decrease pressure on your joints and increase your heart rate.

 

Article from: http://blog.ifit.com/incline-train-weight-loss/