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14 Days of Ballads Countdown to Valentine’s Day 2012

September26

Top Rock Ballads

Growing up in the 80′s and more specifically being in High School at the end of the 80′s I consider myself lucky to have the best music for the hopeless romantic in me. The 80′s hair bands gave us such great music to dedicate to that special someone and more importantly, it gave us beautiful music to cope with break-ups. Being a  headbanger made it impossible to show true emotions but because the words were being sung by guys in spandex, high hair and more make-up than your sister; it was OK.

So as February started and the countdown to valentine’s Day 2012 started, I thought what better way to highlight those songs that had all the cool kids lip syncing into a beer bottles on weekend nights throughout their lost teen years. I picked one for each day leading up to February 14. I’m sure my list will differ from others but I’m confident that all would at least make the list 9 out of 10 times. And before anyone mentions it – some of the songs were post 80′s but not by much.

14 Days of Ballads Countdown to Valentine’s Day 2012

Day  1  Cinderella – Nobody’s Fool
Day  2  Journey – Faithfully
Day  3  Def Leppard – Love Bites
Day  4  Lita Ford & Ozzy – Close My Eyes Forever
Day  5  Poison – Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
Day  6  Warrant – Heaven
Day  7  Skid Row – I Remember You
Day  8  Bon Jovi – I’ll Be There For You
Day  9 Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
Day 10 Scorpions – Still Loving You
Day 11 KISS – Forever
Day 12 Guns & Roses – Sweet Child O Mine
Day 13 Metallica – Nothing Else Matters
Day 14 Tesla – Love Song

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My Top 5 Weight Loss Excuses

May13

We all like to make lists and I guess I do too. What I do hate doing however, is making a list of why I can’t or I should say don’t get something done right or fast enough. Many of you that have tried to do this and have taken your first step towards getting healthier and losing any extra weight know yourself that there are certain everyday “things” that deter you from or hinder your progress. As hard as some of this is going to be to explore, I am going to set my Top 5 reasons why I haven’t been able to succeed in the past.

  1. I’m doing it alone – This should be a no-brainer but I didn’t realize just how much it deterred me from succeeding in the past. But I guess when you have others living around you that snack all the time, drink copious amounts of soda and sugary drinks, eat out 3 times a week and just all around not living too healthy, you kind of fall into the same routine as them. I had to break that chain. I had to learn to say no,  don’t want anything from the deli or McDonalds. Instead of grabbing a glass of soda, go for water or diet soda. I really like the flavor packets that can be added to water much like  Crystal Light.
  2. Stress – I had no idea that stress was such a big factor in weight gain and hindering weight loss, no matter the method.  There are two ways stress can make you fat: you eat more when you’re worried about something and when you’re stressed your body makes more of a hormone called Cortisol, that actually stores fat. I recently went through a pretty bad divorce and the 8 or so months prior to the separation were the most stressed I had been in my entire life. I could see and feel the weight gain in lower stomach area..the old trusty spare tire. My clothes wouldn’t fit right, everywhere else stayed the same but Cortisol actually causes the fat to store and become lower belly fat. And it was and is noticeable.  Even though it’s a natural secretion during heightened stress it’s also used to maintain a healthy body but when the stress level is higher or prolonged it has the negative effect. What I have been able to do now is add an exercise regiment into my daily mix and when I do get stressed or even angry at a situation I have worked on a breathing technique and even some meditation. Just giving myself a quiet place to relax for 10-15 minutes and clear the head. Music will also help lower the stress level..so turn up the tunes.
  3. No Time to Cook – This one I am working on gradually, but I’m sure I’m not alone with this one. In a time when there are no such things as a 1 income household, commutes and bring home work, taking the time to make a meal seems so much easier to grab take-out on the way home or have something delivered. I was in that same boat. I work from home and I still didn’t have the time. I never really had a schedule fo when I would eat. I  just ate when I was hungry or worse when I thought I should eat. Now I am still eating when I’m hungry but it’s because I’m eating better and more structured. First thing after I wake up – or within 45 minutes – I try and have some type of breakfast, usually a Yogurt or a piece of fruit. You have to stoke the flames to burn the fire..so the sooner you get some food in your stomach the quicker the metabolism will kick in and the digestion process will start, which also starts the calorie burning. I also have not eaten take-out since I started, I am making sure I step away from the desk and go into the kitchen to plan a meal..and cook it. Not only have a felt a difference because I feel more full longer during the day but I have also started working smarter and not harder.
  4. I Don’t Drink Enough Water – It’s true, although I’m getting better at grabbing a glass of water when I can, I’m averaging about 6-7 16oz cups a day since I started this journey. But up until this latest weight loss journey, I didn’t drink nearly enough water. I just never thought about it..and come to think of it I wasn’t really drinking anything. No soda, milk, juice, nothing.. my body was never really hydrated.  So along with the lack of hydration, my body was always draining itself of nutrients and fluids it desperately needed. Water not only helps make you feel fuller during the day, so that you don’t eat out of boredom but it also  helps cleanse the body of toxins that can build up in your system. I am not preaching the whole 64 oz thing here, I think as long as you drink some water you’re better off than not drinking any at all. if you still have a hard time with it, try to do it when you first wake up, when you finish a meal and before you go to bed – that will get you in the habit of hydrating your body at crucial points during the day.
  5. Not Enough Exercise – I know that sitting watching a movie is a lot more fun than walking a mile and that was always my downfall. I didn’t exercise enough. Working from home sitting at a desk didn’t get me out moving about during the day and it just rolled right over to the evening. I have started off small. I am walking a mile 3 times a day and I am trying to stay focused to do a 10 minute stretching routine along with 10 minute warm-up and 30 minutes of low impact cardio each day along with body toning, muscle building weight lifting 3 times per week as well. I have more energy and I have also been able to rest better at night.

I am in no way blaming anyone else for my lack of exercise or the absence of motivation. I am responsible for everything I have done and that’s what is making this time much different. I looked deep inside and understand that there are no more excuses, no more “what ifs” just looking forward and not looking back. After all you can’t get anywhere in life walking backwards.

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Writer Jay Long

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