Life is busy. Put it in perspective.
This is what matters. It matters that you exercise most days of your life. It matters that said exercise is frequently of an intensity that makes you question if it’s perhaps too much. It also matters that some days of the week you perform weight-bearing activities. That matters a lot.
It matters that you enjoy all this exercise, so it also matters that you try different things, never stopping until you land on one or two or three activities that make your heart pound and your brain zing! And it matters that you care. Care enough about yourself that you want to seek out these sorts of activities, think enough of yourself to do them. But, it also matters that you don’t think only of yourself. It must matter to you that you are around a long time for your children, and you must care that you won’t burden them by being sick all the time from things you could prevent right now by caring more about yourself. It is selfish to do otherwise.
Keep a grain of salt nearby.
Are you one of the millions who helped clear store shelves of green coffee beans after Dr. Oz suggested they might help with weight loss? Do you have raspberry ketone in your cabinet now, too? Oh, hold on to your love handles—now it’s capsicum extract that helps you burn more calories during your workout…if you eat something that has it in it before your workout. The miracle weight loss products change almost as fast as the scrolling headlines on Oz’s website. What strikes me is: All these “weight loss” agents require eating. I don’t know…is it just me? Or did weight loss used to mean get out of the kitchen and into the gym?
Oz is a highly intelligent and likeable man. I believe from what I’ve read about him (and from watching him talk) that he truly aims to impart important health information to as many people as possible. So there’s nothing malicious going on here. However… In order to get the masses to watch your show, you have to do a certain amount of kowtowing to what the masses want to see. And therein lies the rub. We can watch Dr. Oz and The Doctors, but we must then do our own research and be educated consumers. When we watch these shows, we have to assume—we MUST assume, it is our responsibility to assume—that some amount of kowtowing has been done. To the product makers, to the sponsors of the program, to the nature of those who watch daytime t.v.
Get out of your head for a minute.
So says my highly motivational spin instructor (who might not have known that gem was working till now…). What I get from that—my spin on it, if you will—is “be in the moment.” That also happens to be one of my resolutions this year.
It’s so simple, really, the idea of just being. Being present. Focusing on what is happening right where you are. Yet we are a multitasking society, so we sort of forget how to just focus on one thing. Now going back to one thing at a time has become my resolution; I bet at one point I resolved to get more things done at once! Oh well….
Jeanee’s fitness story.
At a brunch date in 2005, I listened to Karen’s stories about training clients and teaching classes in her neighbor’s loft. At the time I had a membership at the Y I rarely used, and before that, I belonged to an “artsy” gym where I exercised in spurts. Most of my workouts felt directionless, and no one cared whether I pushed myself or slithered off the elliptical machine a little early. I realized I was missing two elements that are now crucial to my exercise routine: accountability and socializing! I signed up for weekly personal training and group Pilates with Karen, because I knew she would care about me showing up, working hard, and enjoying myself.
I have plenty of body hang-ups and areas I’d like to improve, but envisioning a better figure doesn’t motivate me. The fulfilling relationships with the ladies I work out with are what get me off the couch. I have many good reasons not to blow off my scheduled workout with Karen: I know that she’s hired a sitter, that her free time is precious, and that we’re going to swap stories and laugh while I plank. I also like to attend the same yoga classes each week with teachers who take a spiritual approach. They’re almost like my gurus, so if I ditch, I miss out on wisdom I can use on and off the mat.
Put your goals where you can see them.
Think this one through, because the answer you choose might be staring you in the face every day for a year or more. What one word or phrase should you write on a piece of paper and place on a wall at eye level so that you will have no choice but to see it every single day?
Mine: Be responsible for the energy you bring into the room.
It’s on a small, pretty piece of paper on a cork board about 2 inches above the screen where I am currently typing. I don’t just see it, I read it, every day, actually multiple times a day, and it helps.
My basic recipe for a little something green in a glass.
Throw these things in a blender, and you’ll feel amazing! Not to mention it will curb your hunger for pre-lunch snacks you shouldn’t be getting into.
- 8 oz light/diet cranberry, grapefruit, or other juice–but make sure it’s VERY low sugar (maybe 5g). Better yet, mix a little water in with less juice.
- A generous handful or 2 of spinach or kale (I use baby spinach or baby kale for a little sweeter flavor)
- 4 or 5 baby carrots
- 1 heaping Tbsp Arden’s Garden Power Fuel (or other green powder of your choice)
- Handful of frozen blueberries, mangoes, strawberries, or other fruit
- 1/2 to a whole banana (to your taste!)
If you leave out the frozen fruit, just make sure to add some ice for texture. Play with the ingredients a little and you’ll find a blend that tastes just right to you. Enjoy!
Resolve to spend your money on the right things.
Some things I don’t skimp on, and I don’t think you should either:
- Skincare products (If you can’t eat them, why would you put them on your skin?)
- Healthy foods
I guess in my 41st year I’m acknowledging that I’ve been working since I was 11 years old, so if organic apples cost $6 instead of the $3 for heavily sprayed ones, I’m going for the organic variety.
Revisit your old brilliant ideas.
You know how your mom’s old purses are so old that they’re trendy again? I have some shoes I just know will have a second life one day. So I’ve been thinking this concept could pertain to old ideas you’ve had as well. We search and search for new theories and motivation, when sometimes it might do us just as well to look back at our old things and ways to get trendy new inspiration.
Old dusty cookbooks you never open anymore—they used to be your favorites, so check out what you used to make. For us, the cookbooks have evolved from “10-Minutes Meals” to “101 Vegetarian Meals” to “Quick-Fix Vegan.” But once in a while we’ll crack open an old one and find a recipe we used to love—back when our spice rack held dried oregano, dried basil, and garlic salt (and that’s it)—and we’ll dress it up, make it vegan, and see if it’s our taste buds that have changed or our taste for fancier cooking.
The era of always seeking a reason
I set out to do a thorough discourse on the blood type diet, but I just don’t care enough about it to exert the energy. Maybe that gives you a sense of how I feel about it.
If you know me or have read my previous posts, you can guess that I could take or leave the whole theory that you should eat according to your blood type—and it is just a theory, without much in the way of evidence to support it. According to the diet’s founder Dr. D’Adamo, I should “focus on lean, organic meats, vegetables and fruits and avoid wheat and dairy which can be triggers for digestive and health issues.” Well, isn’t that eye-opening. Who decided this guy had something enlightening to tell us?
Trust your trainer–or find a new one.
You are dissatisfied in some way by your body. I get it. If you train with me, it is now my problem, too. But it is NOT my fault.
Here is something you should never say to a (good) trainer: (Said with ‘tude) I don’t know, you tell me. You’re the trainer.