Tuesday, May 25, 2010
For today, I want to bring your awareness back to the nutrition component because it is one of those areas that so many find slippery. Getting enough calories is as important as getting too many. But even more critical is where those calories come from. The body needs plenty of fiber and nutrients to be truly satisfied. When you eat an excessive amount of high carbohydrate foods that are mostly empty calories nutritionally speaking, you are setting yourself up for cravings and disaster.
The recommended 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables is a very important component to maintaining and/or losing weight because, for one thing, the fiber in those foods helps to slow down digestion. As we eat our foods each day, if they are passing through us very quickly due to lack of fiber, the bowel does not get the time it requires to absorb the nutrients out of those foods. Secondly, fruits and vegetables are absolutely loaded with nutrients that our bodies need, which is another reason why it is necessary to do our best to work them into our diets. If weight loss is high on your list, I highly recommend that you consider this challenge. For one full month, make a real commitment to get at least 4 servings of vegetables and 1 serving of fruit every day. Yes, it takes planning, however, if you stick to this plan two things are going to happen. First, after a week or so you will stop having those weird cravings that seem to come out of the blue. Next, you are going to feel genuinely full and satisfied after each meal and consequently, your hunger will be kept at bay. These are both cornerstones to successful weight loss and to the added benefit of feeling energetic and vital. You see, when your body is getting the proper nutrition and that nutrition is being assimilated into your body in a steady and continuous manner, your energy levels must go up. By deciding to eat in this way you will feel better physically and the scale will begin to go down. You will be satiated and stop nibbling all the time and you will have more energy throughout the day, all because you chose to get adequate fruits and veggies into your diet.
Truly, we have been given remarkable bodies that serve us 24/7 in so many amazing and wonderful ways. It really is the least we can do to provide adequate fuel to this hard working machine. It wants you to be healthy, vibrant and energetic but it cannot be that without your commitment and cooperation. It always boils down to taking responsibility for your health and well-being because the truth is, no one else can or even wants to, do it for you. I’m afraid there is still no magic pill and chances are, there never will be. Keep a positive attitude, exercise regularly, eat your 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables. And don’t forget to give thanks to the powers that be for this body, for this opportunity to live life and for all the blessings we are so fortunate to have living in the good old USA. Life is uncertain so decide to cherish every minute, even the not so pleasant ones, for the alternative is ...well not really inviting, if you know what I mean. Happy mind, body and spirit fitness to all.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The human body we have is nothing less than miraculous. In addition, we have our minds and our spirits to assist the body; an ingenious combination. I encourage anyone who has found themselves in the position of nursing a broken bone or two to engage in regularly visualizing their bones mending, healing and regaining the full mobility of the affected area. Frankly, in my experience, I witness most people spending inordinate amounts of time worrying about all the negative possible outcomes versus trusting in the amazing healing powers of their bodies and of Spirit. It has been said, “The people who expect the best often get it.” Yet we have been trained to worry and doubt. And guess what? The same energies at work assisting us when we are ‘expecting the best’ are there working when are ‘expecting the worst’ too. And then we may create our worst nightmare instead.
Begin today to push those thoughts of worry and doubt aside. Start to replace them with dialog that is supportive and trusting such as, “I know that my body knows exactly what to do to heal these bones, to soothe my strains and to mend my sprains. It has been functioning on my behalf my entire life, fighting off all manner of challenges to my health and it does so with untold precision and wisdom. It can easily heal this injury and I am going to not only trust it to do so, but I’m going to envision that healing through the power of my imagination.” Secondly, do your part to cooperate with the healing process. If you need to be non-weight bearing, then by all means, stay off it. Do your part to participate fully in any rehabilitation and when that concludes DO NOT STOP THERE.
If you are unsure how to proceed further once your physical therapy has concluded, hire a certified Personal Fitness Trainer to assist on the next phase of your recovery. Too often people simply stop there and then within a few short weeks they are experiencing reduced range of motion, lack of stamina and their muscular endurance just isn’t there as they remembered it prior to their accident. Your body is not failing you, you are failing your body. We must be willing to build back the strength and stamina that was lost during our recovery so that a truly full recovery into optimal health is the end result. Often, what I do is visit clients at their homes and design a simple fitness program for them to do before they venture back to the gym. That is usually the bridge that is missing following physical therapy. After just a few weeks of in-home training once a week with me, plus a couple of sessions on their own each week, they are prepared to jump back into the lifestyle they once knew.
Be wise about your recovery. Use the power of positive thinking, as well as a professional who can bridge the gap between where P.T. ends and where so many drop the ball. Please do not settle for a lifetime of limited mobility and a diminished quality of health and life. Your body is always willing; now make the decision to get your mind and spirit on board with your recovery. Happy mind, body and spirit fitness to all.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
It never ceases to amaze me how creative, cunning and clever our minds are-- all without our conscious awareness. This programming goes way back to early childhood of course, thereby becoming embedded deep within the subconscious and deep within our habits of behavior. I have literally cruised along now for 51 years completely and utterly unconscious of my victim tendencies and behaviors. It’s a bit scary and extremely unsettling to think that this is not only possible, but is the norm for most of us bumping around on the planet today. It is quite soothing to know, however, that “when the student is ready, the teacher WILL appear.” Willingness plays a tremendous role on our personal journeys and we all find our way to willingness...well, when we do...or not.
As I began to share with my friend that my husband had to leave last week to work in Florida and that my 82 yr. old mother, who I just helped to move near me, was turning out to be more of a handful than I had anticipated, she looked at me and said, “What do you get out of telling me this?” I was a little stunned by her question, thinking “Well, I’m just filling you in on what is happening in my life.” Then all at once I could see the victim stance I was in and could ‘see’ the truth of what I was doing. Ouch! You see, I preach all the time, “There are no victims, only people in the habit of blaming others.” Double ouch! There I was trying my best to manipulate her into feeling pity for me and my ’oh so sad’ situation. You know what? All at once I could see that what I was doing was just the biggest load of crap. The fact is I know full well that I have the power to change my perspective, to choose to see any problems as the opportunities that they always are. I tout myself as the eternal optimist and there I was I catching myself red-handed saying, “Oh poor pitiful me” in a manipulative, almost sneaky way...yuck! She agreed that what I saw myself doing was victim behavior and said she had watched me behaving that way for a very long time. There it was, an unconscious victim mentality I had learned from my mother. If I wanted to change, it would be entirely up to me to “do the work”. I asked her what “the work” was and she said, “You must become an observer of your thoughts, deeds and actions, ever watchful for exactly this type of stance. When you see yourself going there or catch yourself in the act, stop and ask yourself, ‘Is this what I really want to do or who I want to be?’” I admit feeling a little sick inside knowing that my ‘work’ was seriously cut out for me. But the good news is, I can clean this up. As I do, the benefits will so outweigh the hard work. Of this I am very certain.
I have spent my whole life striving to be ‘real’ and somehow missing the mark--and knowing it on a very deep level. I talk a good game but some of my life does not reflect the truth of my talk. I genuinely want to have my life mirror who I want to be; a loving, peaceful, compassionate person who has no ulterior motives...none. I now know what I need to do and I am willing to do the work to achieve my goal. Thank goodness I am aligned enough to attract wonderful teachers that can assist me on my journey. Life is a gift and I truly do not wish to squander it. I want to be the peaceful, loving support to others that I believe I came forth to be. But I want to do so with absolutely no strings attached...and I will. We are truly never finished becoming and I know that’s a good thing. I’m far from complete, knowing there is really no such thing. Yet I’ll continue striving toward that goal every day. As long as there is life in me I will progress, continue to expand and grow. I will do this with as much joy in my heart as I can. Happy mind, body and spiritual fitness to all-- including me.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
First of all, something like 85-90% of viruses and bacteria are ‘anaerobic’ by nature which means that they thrive in an ‘oxygen deprived’ environment. A sedentary body steeped in worry and stress is the ideal environment for these bugs to not only get a foothold, but to take up residency. When we worry and when we live under constant stress, we naturally breathe in a ‘fight or flight’ manner. This means we are taking extremely shallow breaths. As we breathe this way, we are only utilizing the upper 1/4 or 1/3 of our lungs. This allows old, stagnant air to be harbored in the bottom of our lungs, which creates a prime breeding ground for germs. Then as we remain sedentary, our bodies are functioning with minimal oxygen, again creating a happy environment in which bacteria and viruses can thrive. One very effective solution is to inhale and exhale especially thoroughly and deeply on a very regular basis (3-4 times every few hours). Be sure to fully empty the lungs of all old air with each breath and then refill them to maximum capacity. Also, any type of regular aerobic exercise (2-5 times per week for a total of 180 mins/wk.) forces the body to cleanse the lungs thoroughly AND floods the body with large quantities of oxygen for the duration of the activity. This is an excellent way to safeguard your body and to force bugs to leave...oxygen in, bugs go out--they are not happy living in all that lovely oxygen.
Another very important, but often overlooked, component is the duration and quality of sleep that you provide for yourself each night. This has a tremendous bearing on your immune system and its ability to fight off incoming threats. Be smart and turn off the TV and computer and get yourself 7-9 good solid hours of rest every night. Not only will you be healthier overall, but you will find that quality sleep permeates every aspect of your being from your outlook on life in general, to your productivity, to your relationships...it’s huge. Next, Vitamin D and C have been proven to bolster the immune system. Considering that we rarely get enough sun exposure during the winter months, most of us are especially deficient in Vitamin D. These are reasonably priced supplements and are readily available at almost every store from grocery to drug. Also, go outside and get some FRESH air. Seriously, when we are continuously cooped up in a closed environment breathing stale, recycled, dry and heated air it simply isn’t conducive to vibrant health. So, even though it’s cold, step outside for a few minutes each day and take several deep, cleansing breathes. Bundle up and take a short walk when you can find a safe area free of ice and snow. Finally, it only makes sense that we need to be eating a balanced, healthy diet high in vegetables, fiber, fruit, and lean proteins, and to be conscious of drinking plenty of pure water. Taking care of yourself means being mindful, loving and responsible. But, oh my goodness, the payoffs are SO worthwhile! We all know people who seem to go from one cold to the next all winter long. If you don’t want to be one who suffers, do yourself a favor and be proactive about your well-being. Happy mind, body, and spiritual fitness to all.