Thursday, March 20, 2014

Do the Opposite, like George Castanza!

First of all I want to acknowledge how beautiful and perfect you are right here, right now (Even you , George Castanza!- pictured below). It takes a lot of self love to be here now and relax into the body, despite the harsh judgements we may put on ourselves. It has taken me over thirty years to untangle self imposed warped-perceptions-of-self that have little to do with uplifting myself or loving myself. 

When I started to 'do the opposite', like George Castanza, and LOVE my self, and my body- I came up against a lifetime of hard judgements I created about how ugly, saggy, droopy and unattractive certain parts of my body were. Wow, I realized how much all those negative thoughts brought me down and drained my energy. As I've courageously learned to re-write those inner dialogues and replace limited thinking that down-talks me, with positive and expansive thinking, I am feeling more and more free to relax into the body I have right now... And you can too.

It all started last year when I met my (now) fiance. The love he showed, and continues to show me- challenged me to believe I was worthy of real love- and although it meant being open to receive HIS love- it ultimately meant learning to love myself first.... The more I practiced self love by thinking kind thoughts about myself and my body- the more energy I had to feel good about myself. I actually began to feel a new sense of confidence I had never experienced before. Below is a picture from last year when I first met my now boyfriend. I am standing on a wind filled balcony along the beach, truly feeling free in my mind, my thoughts and body...... And it feels good!
-April 2013-
 The Beginning of a New Romantic Love
Turns my 'Self Love' ability UP!
Once those heavy restraints have been lifted, we can begin to have fun in our bodies and try new things out, wether it be in our fashion sense, an exercise routine, or a fun new hairstyle. One thing is for sure, when you are hard on yourself with negative self talk, it is hard to see yourself as beautiful, let alone FEEL beautiful. When all my thoughts focused on how fat I was, do you think it was easy to get into a workout routine, or eat healthier? Hell no! In fact it made it harder to do things for myself that I knew would make me feel better about myself. I had no confidence because I was constantly beating myself up with my thoughts. But onward and upward!... The title of this post is about adapting a George Castanza type attitude into life. Try 'doing the opposite' for fun, or try it as a real way to create new changes in your life.

If you always do the same thing, the same way, chances are you get the same results... Maybe you want a pay raise at work, but never ask for one.. It may never happen unless you ask. Maybe you want to tighten your abs, or lift your booty- if you don't try new ways of finding what works for your body, you may never experience your body changing in ways that please you. But something magical happens when you change things up.. watch the video below for a three minute blast of fun, then continue reading for ideas....

To preface what I'm gonna talk about next, I do have to say that we can easily get hooked on constantly needing our bodies to be perfect, or to look like someone else's. It's a trap that pulls us in via media and magazines. I recall just a couple weeks ago I went onto the American Apparel website to look at swim suits and later became depressed because my body didn't measure up to the girls on the web site.. BUT THAT's RIDICULOUS! Those girls are just that- girls! They have not lived my life of forty-one years, in my body that has gained and lost large amounts of weight several times- and they are probably about half my age- lol! So lets stop with the comparisons, myself included.

Hitting a Workout a Plateau?

If you find your workout is leaving you with results that become blah or just don't seem to be making a dent in how you would like to see your body shaping up- try the opposite, like George Catsanza. I've tried it and it has worked amazing for me- and I wasn't even trying that hard- But I used to. Every week I would spend an extra four to six hours at the gym on various machines, especially the leg, butt and core machines. Oh Mm Gg... I would sweat and take so much time to ultimately find myself creating a body that I wasn't sure was the one I wanted! While I was focusing on specific areas, I was still creating a certain bulkiness that I just don't want. Don't get me wrong.. I love the gym and those machines have helped me to build muscle in areas that were otherwise saggy! But I noticed I hit a plateau and sought to change it up. 

It reminds me of a dear student who does yoga and body sculpt with me. She was also taking CrossFit, but wasn't sure if she was building the kind of body she wanted. She confessed her shoulders and thighs were becoming bulky. When asking me for advise, I told her to look at the bodies of her peers and teachers in her CrossFit class and consider if that was the direction she wanted to go in. After some thought, she realized all of the girls in her class did not have the long, lean look she was going for in her body. Since then, she did a George Castanza, and tried the opposite! She dropped out and has taken to supplementing her classes with me, by taking Pilates too! She can see the long, lean muscle tone and lovely posture of her Pilates teachers, and now has a better sense of what she would like to create in her own body. I am not disrespecting CrossFit by any means, those folks do amazing things, with mighty strength- and it looks like they have fun while their doing it! I have a great respect for students of CrossFit. It's just not for me, or my body.

The body gets used to us performing the same workout over and over- thats why Bruce Lee constantly practiced muscle confusion by changing his training routines constantly. Okay, I'm no Bruce Lee, but I teach a Body Sculpt class three times a week at a couple of gyms and change up the program each time. if we did the exact same routine each day, sure our bodies would become fit- but in order to target specific areas, we need to hit every angle and muscle by trying new things and working our bodies in different ways. 

All of this said, my book 'Confessions of a Spiritual Apprenctice' is coming out soon- Wooo Whooo!! 
I have deadlines to meet and just cannot spend hours upon hours slaving away that gym anymore- so I did a George Castanza and let go of my routine with heavy lifting and went back to a routine I used to do called 'Callanetics' by Callan Pickney. If your a Body Sculpt student of mine, you will know some of the exercises, as we practice them in class. I tell you- I think I found my new kind of workout and want to share it with you. It is feminine and powerful, challenging yet beautiful.


In the three weeks I have been doing the exercise video, my body has changed.... So much so, people are telling me outright, that I look different, my body looks longer and leaner. I have not done any of my usual gym workouts, no heavy lifting, no machines. I've only  taught my Body Sculpt and Yoga classes, which I perform with my students, along with Callanetics twice a week. There are actually two Callanetics videos. I am doing the advanced 'SUPER Callanetics' video, but I recommend trying the regular Callanetics video to begin with. Believe me, it is hard enough and there is plenty of instruction with the first one, and less with the advanced version. See below for amazing links to Callanetics students before and after pics, and a mini video of her - amazing!

Another George Catsanza thing I've done opposite with, is eat more carbs. I know, I know, I'm usually the no-carb advocate. But when we eat healthy carbs, they help the protein we take in create more muscle. And muscle tone is what I want!- Don't you? So I've taken to eating Ezekiel bread (available at Trader Joes or the freezer section of Ralphs). It is sprouted grains with high protein and the kind of healthy carbs a body wants, and can use. I used to only eat one slice per week and now I'm allowing myself to eat two -three woo whoo! lol- It may not seem like a lot, but it has made a difference to me. How can you change things up and 'George Castanza' your life?

Try doing the opposite, for a day, a week, or more and notice the amazing results you get.
Comment below and let me know how YOU have done the opposite and the results you are getting.


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I am not a certified nutritionist, doctor or therapist. 
Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in any
 lifestyle changes you may feel are questionable to your health. 
I am not responsible for any action you resume, You are- Make it pleasurable.

Check out these pics of peoples Callanetics results-

Here is a link to the amazing Callan Pickney... She is older than you think, and hotter than...
well, you'll see!

And the Callanetics Video/Book- 

I am not a certified nutritionist, doctor or therapist. 
Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in any
 lifestyle changes you may feel are questionable to your health. 
I am not responsible for any action you resume, You are- Make it pleasurable.
© Tuesday May Thomas 2014

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