Taking it all on…..!

Have you ever taken on someone else’s stress under the guise of helping them? A friend asks for help and you jump onboard, hoping to help alleviate their stress but unintentionally taking it all on? Sound familiar? Are you one of the helpers? One of the yes people who continually say yes to other people’s dilemmas thinking you can figure it all out, save them and have it all wrapped up and tied with a bow, happy feelings all around?

Stress is a killer – no matter if it’s your own stress or stress that you are taking on for someone else. Stress comes in many forms and can happen in many places – home, work, friend circles, finances, you name it – stress can rear its ugly head anywhere and anytime.

So you need to pick your stresses carefully. You need to help when you can but know when to back off for your own health. You want to make sure you are supportive but also protective of your own mental and physical health – because let’s be honest – stress can impact your ENTIRE body in one way or another.

Whenever you feel stress I would ask that you step back, sit down, take a deep breathe and:
1) Identify where the stress is coming from. Is it from outside forces or inside? Is it your stress or someone else’s stress?
2) Build strong relationships so you have outlets to talk about your stress or to deal with others’ stresses.
3) Exercise! Exercise has a positive effect on stress levels in the body – regardless if it’s your stress or someone else’s stress that you are carrying around.
4) Sleep. Sleep is restorative. Sleep heals. Sleep allows the body to reset after each and every day – stressful or not. Make sure you are getting your 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
5) If all else fails and you have stress that is inhibiting the life you want to lead – get help. It’s important to reach out and look for help when you need it.

Whatever your stress and where ever it is coming from….learn to manage it, learn to let go of stresses that impact your health and learn to say no when you need less stress in your life. Don’t take on everyone else’s stress. Be a positive force in other’s lives but most importantly, be a positive force in your own and live the health, happy life that you are destined to live. Peace.

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Home is where the workout is……

I used to be a gym rat. For hours at a time. I’d go into the gym and I’d teach multiple hours of aerobics classes or step aerobics and then I’d put in a couple of hours lifting weights and preparing for a bodybuilding competition. I felt like I LIVED at the gym. My life revolved around teaching classes, cardio workouts, weight workouts, prepping food for the right grams of carbs, fats and proteins for optimum muscle development and retention and of course, working out with others, spotting them and asking them to spot me so I wouldn’t hurt myself when lifting super heavy.

Then I had children. And each and every one of them CHANGED. MY. LIFE. For the better. When my kids were little and they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always told them the truth. When I was little, I wanted to be a MOM when I grew up. Of course, I did go to college and I did get multiple degrees and I managed to be employable all these years BUT what I truly wanted to be, what I felt that I was put on this earth to be, was a MOM. And I am so grateful that I am one. And that changed my outlook on life and how I wanted to spend my time. Which brings me to this post. I DID NOT want to keep going to the gym for multiple hours a day. All I wanted to do was be with my children. I had three in three years. What a riot having them all so close together and being immersed in all things little for so long. I was and am blessed. But to get back to this post…..I had to find a way to stay in shape without spending hours at the gym. I was able to find jobs teaching community fitness classes that did not take me away from my children for more than an hour a day but I needed more. So I bought a treadmill. And then I bought an elliptical. And then I bought a roman chair. And then I bought a recumbent bike. And then I bought a rower. And then I bought weights. And then I thought I should stop. Because I had outfitted a home gym. I could workout whenever the kids were sleeping. It was so freeing. I didn’t have to try and figure out when to get to the gym. I didn’t need to work around their school or sleep schedules. I didn’t need to go out in the wind, rain, sleet and snow. I could workout WHENEVER I wanted! It was bliss.

But then, over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to figure out which type of exercise machine actually worked the best for me. I needed to get rid of some of them as I was trying to downsize a bit and have less to take care of. So I gave one of those wonderful children the recumbent bike. I sold the elliptical and roman chair. And I was left with my weights, treadmill and rower. But my favorite piece of equipment for overall strength, muscle and cardio development is the rower! If you are looking to start acquiring your own home gym – buy quality pieces and check out Concept 2 – their rowers are the best.

My kids are all grown up now. But that home gym remains ready for me everyday and has helped me reach my fitness and health goals and reminds me that taking care of myself is key to being the best MOM I can be. Because, really…..it’s the only job I ever wanted. Peace.


Simply Does It

Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to get healthy? Do you want to feel better? As I’m looking on the Internet and seeing all of the different food sites and ways to make watermelon taste different, grapes taste different, apples taste different, it occurs to me that perhaps what we’re missing is just a simple simplification of our life in the food area. Simplifying your food choices instead of putting in a lot of time and effort into prepping food that is already healthy and whole is the key to becoming healthy and whole from the inside out.

What does it mean to be healthy from the inside out? It means whenever you decide to put something in your mouth you first think about how it will affect you on the inside. How will it affect your heart? How will it affect your lungs? How will it affect your liver? How will it affect your kidneys? How will it affect your overall well-being from the inside out?

When you start approaching food as a health partner that’s when you’ll achieve true health. Food that is overly prepared is food that is in a state of unhealthiness for you and your body. Simple is better when it comes to health and if you want to lose weight, if you want to help get over any health problems that are caused by excess weight or interactions of food or food allergies – simple is best.

What are simple foods? Simple foods are any whole foods that do not require much preparation if any – walnuts, pecans, almonds, berries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cucumbers, zucchini- anything that you can grow – anything that you can buy in its natural state just harvested and anything that is without added fillers and additives with words that you can’t pronounce – these are the foods that are going to help heal you from the inside out.

When you start approaching food like this the pounds will melt off and you’ll feel lighter because you are lighter and you’ll feel better emotionally, mentally, and physically too.

Sometimes when we simplify our food choices and we realize what that does health wise to our bodies it morphs into simplifying our lives and decluttering and being more mindful of what we need and what we don’t – which provides you with a much cleaner and happier life for your body and your home.

Wishing you a happy, healthy future as you journey towards health by simplifying from the inside out. Peace.

 

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Change Your Mind – Change Your Life

Anxiety. Panic attacks. Stress. Past trauma. Guilt. Excuses. “You’re just like your father.” “You’re just like your mother.” “You’ll always be like this.” How do these feelings make you choose a specific path when you experience them or hear these phrases? How does it affect your health – mental and physical? How do you change the way you react to these issues/experiences on a daily basis?

The best way to create your future is to create new mental pathways through meditation and letting go of the past. Empower yourself and DON’T wait. You can’t wait for things to happen to make yourself happy and healthy. You have to grab the future by ditching your past. Imagine your future. Imagine new experiences. Imagine your successes. Imagine eating health. Imagine running. Imagine laughter and friends. Imagine you loving yourself for who you are. By imagining what WILL happen in the future you are charting a new course for your future. Your imagination and feelings will create a new outcome for you and open up a whole new landscape for you to embark on a life that you could not think of months ago.

But it has to start with you. You have to take the lead on this one and change the negativity of experiences that haunt you and impede your healthy outlook for your own future. You have to start now in order to re-write your future history. If you let your habits consistently take over each and every day, your routine will continue to evoke the same emotions over and over again. If those emotions are holding you back from achieving what you want in life, let them go!

Train your mind through meditation to look towards the future and to discard excess past baggage that slows you down and takes you down the same path each and every day. Don’t hold on to any of it. Now is the time to take a hold of your future and become healthy inside and out. Do it for yourself and imagine the possibilities of where you will be in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or a year. Imagine it and do it. I wish you the best as you heal your mind and body and become the best you that only your imagination can take you. Go along for the ride. Imagine it. Experience it. Ditch your comfort habits and reach out for something bigger and better than you could ever dream of. Peace.meditation-quote

Here is a book and meditation guidance that can help you change your habits and grow towards mental health and happiness!



Check, check and check, please!

What’s your to-do list like? Is it short and sweet? Long and painful? What do you want to accomplish today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year? Are you in a dead end job? A dead end relationship? Somewhat satisfied in where you are and where you’re going but deep down know that something is missing and that there is MORE out there for you?

Do I have your attention? What are you doing to make sure that you live the ONLY life you have well? To the fullest? With excitement and wonder? If you are constantly making lists, checking off little achievements, slowing making your way to the END of your list that yields – what? The end of a life?

High school graduation – check
Job after high school – check
College after high school – check
College graduation – check
Committed relationship – check
Marriage – check
Children – check
Mortgage payment – check
Car payment – check
Promotion at work – check
More money to buy more stuff – check

and the hamster wheel keep turning without any of us being the wiser because we think this is what life is SUPPOSED to be like. But is it? Is life just a series of checks and accomplishments – plodding to the eventual senior citizen status and then the finality of a life lived OR is there something else out there for us?

There are those of us that thrive with checklists and the sameness of our routines….and that’s ok. There are those of us that thrive on spontaneity and throw caution to the wind……and that’s ok too. What my musings are about today is – don’t get caught up in the monotony of life and never spread your wings to try something new – at least every once in awhile. You can have both – a life that is predictable for the most part but also spontaneous sometimes. Add some spark to your life and plan some adventures. It’s harder for introverts to do this – I know because I am one. I tend to stay close to the routine – work – yoga – read – bed – work – yoga – read – bed……you get the picture. But it’s because of this that I realize that I might have to step outside my comfort zone and make sure that when I do look back on my life, I feel that I have lived my life well – that’s what counts.

So sit down and reflect on what makes your life unique and special. Write down some of the things you want to do and check them off! Accomplish what you want in work and home life but add a little spontaneity to your life by exploring the possibilities – whether that is around your neck of the woods or totally outside your comfort zone.

Possibilities that you may want to consider:
I want to start investing my money
I want to start a fitness routine
I want to start meditating
I want to start yoga
I want to start eating healthy
I want to have more family time
I want to have more time for me
I want to travel
I want to learn to knit
I want to learn a language

Whatever you want to do, whatever you’ve been thinking about, it’s time. Take chances and live. Peace.



Easy Does It.

I like easy. When it helps my life. When it gives me more time to do the things I like to do. When it helps me get healthy. That’s why I always look for things that will make my life better, within reason of course.

I just got the Insta Pot. You can get one here:

I like it for the ease of cooking and baking (ok – more baking than anything). Did you know that the insta pot can make pizza dough? And artisan bread? Sign me up! Also JAM and Jelly!!! It’s fun and healthy – try it and free up some time in your life while making something healthy for yourself and others to eat!

I also like the Echo Dot. I used to have the large Alexa but when Alexa went to the great tech beyond, I decided not to purchase her again. But I missed Alexa and all the ways she made my life easier. Like telling me the weather every morning, searching for recipes for me, playing my favorite songs while I bake or workout……so I got the Dot.

I think I will like it as much as Alexa. I hope you find things that work for you in your busy life. Things that will help you find more time for yourself and others. Things that will help you get healthy and fit. These are just two of my picks for today. Wishing you an easy, happy day! Peace.

 

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Life gets busy

Busy can take over in positive or negative ways. You can be busy at work and feel like you’ve accomplished so much in a day. You can be busy at home and feel like you’ve barely made a dent in what needs to be done and vice versa. Busy – negative or positive – can impact health. We don’t really think about it but it can.

Being busy all the time, focusing on one thing for too long, translates into putting your health and fitness on the back burner sometimes. It’s very easy to do as we get into the rhythm of working and maintaining a home, relationship, parenting, taking care of aging parents, whatever YOUR busy is. All of the sudden we’ve been busy and we’ve gained 5, 10, 15 or more pounds. Our fitness levels have gone down. We huff and puff as we walk. We reach for unhealthy food choices. We spiral down an unhealthy path for way too long – thinking as soon as I’ve crossed this off my “to do” list – I’ll start exercising or I’ll start eating better and preparing meals or I’ll partner run/walk or I’ll bike or I’ll……you get the picture. But see what we are doing? We are putting ourselves LAST! As soon as this, that or the other thing is done THEN I’ll start putting me first and making sure I am healthy and fit.

You have to stop that. I have to stop that. We all have to stop it! Life is short. You want to prepare NOW to be a healthy middle age person and senior citizen. You don’t think it’s coming but it is and if you want to enjoy ALL your years – you need to start now and take care of you FIRST – not LAST!

Here are some items that I think will help you – feel free to let me know what has worked for you or what is working for you now! The power of positive community with all our positive tips and support can make a huge difference in all of our lives. Peace.








My feet!

Health – what does it mean to you?  For me it means doing the things I love – walking, running, biking, yoga, Zumba – anything that helps me keep fit and healthy!  BUT with all that activity can come the dreaded plantar fasciitis.  Which, if you’ve ever suffered from it, you know can set your fitness and health back quite a bit.  It impacts all movement – every step can be painful enough that you are sitting instead of standing and sitting instead of walking, running, biking or anything!

A lot of people suffering from plantar fasciitis end up going for custom orthotics.  Others try any and all heel and arch supports and many go from one pair of shoes to another – searching for the holy grail of pain free walking.

I was one of these people.  I used to teach high impact aerobics on a cement floor at a gym.  It took its toll over the years and yes, I tried everything!  Orthotics of all different kinds, arch supports, heel supports and the dreaded cortisone injection (which only helped for about 5 days).  I’ve spent more money on shoes than I care to dwell on.  But I think I’ve found what works for me and I hope it works for you too.  The shoe that I can walk in all day long, run in, garden in, MOVE in are FitFlops.

FitFlops come in sandals, sneakers and all sorts of styles. I’ve determined that spending money on quality shoes that help me do the things I love, is worth it. I hope you find pain free walking with this style of shoe. If not, maybe another type will work for you – like Orthofeet – which some people swear by for their foot pain. Whatever you pick – pick something so you can start being healthy and fit again. Life is too short to have foot pain on a daily basis. Peace.



The Sun and your health

We need vitamin D and if you are light skinned or a red head – you need even more than the average person. Granted you can get your daily allowance of Vitamin D from the sun but the sun can cause skin damage and skin cancer.  So Vitamin D is one of those powerhouse vitamins that people need, especially if you live in a climate that has long, dark winters.  Vitamin D regulates cell growth and keeps your immune system strong. – something we all need as we interact with lots of viruses and bacteria on a daily basis.  Vitamin D also can protect our bones and who doesn’t need strong bones? – no matter what age you are!

BUT in order to get the full benefit of vitamin D, you have to have magnesium too.  Magnesium supports absorption of Vitamin D so it can work optimally in your body.  And the bonus for magnesium is it helps with anxiety and calming the mind.  I always recommend that you get your vitamins and minerals from whole food choices but sometimes we can’t do so because of the time of year.  So always discuss supplementation with your health care provider.

For those of you that have access to fresh greens and fruit year round – Mayo Clinic provides this useful pdf (https://www.mayoclinic.org/documents/mc5129-0709-sp-rpt-pdf/doc-20079085) for more information on foods that have needed vitamins and minerals in them.

Be proactive for a healthy future.  Be your best everyday by choosing the best foods, vitamins and minerals, along with healthy exercise.  Peace.Image result for health

 

 

 

 

 

The art of decluttering your life

I know I’ve written about decluttering your life back in May because I think that is the way to go.  But having just gone through a parent’s death and the remaining parent’s downsizing, I’ve seen what can happen if you feel happy and healthy with LOTS of possessions around you.  So here is another take on decluttering your life…….

Health.  Fitness.  Mindfulness. Calm.  All of these come to mind as I help my mom downsize after the death of my father.  A lifetime of memories, childhood pictures, mementos, weddings, births, deaths….all flash by in an instant as my mom painstakingly goes through untold bits and pieces of life.  And I want to support her and help her through this process of downsizing from a home to an apartment……but it’s hard.  My stress level was up from all the packing and decisions that had to be made.  My fitness and health were not great as I snacked on the go and didn’t fit in my workouts.  My mind was buzzing, thinking about this and that.  I was far from calm.

Clutter, collections, furnishing, etc…..MAY cause a decrease in your health, in your fitness level, in your mind.  In order to be healthy throughout the body – you have to do what makes you happy, what makes you calm, what makes you fit and what makes you healthy.  That might mean different approaches for different people.

I can’ take a lot of stuff around me.  In fact, after helping my mom, I went home and cleaned.  If the artifact I was holding did not elicit strong, positive memories it was in the pile to go.  I will continue to de-clutter my home throughout the weeks and months ahead.

I’ve also started to de-clutter my closet.  How many pairs of pants and shoes do you need anyway?  I figure 7 nice work outfits for Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter and I’m good to go.

And workout gear?  I’ve accumulated way too much of that that sits unused or workout clothes that are not my go to clothing anymore.  It’s time to go.

Each time I put something in the pile to go, I felt an immense relief.  I felt lighter.  I felt less stressed and much calmer.  But for others it might be the exact opposite.  Some people cherish collections that they’ve bought over a lifetime (think china, spoons, miniature dolls, etc….) They may need these things around them to validate their life.  And that’s ok.  It is not my place to judge anyone who feels calm and happy around their lifetime of treasures.

It’s your choice what you need to do in order to have a healthy, calm, stress free life.  What works for one person may not work for another.  Take a look at your life, find what works for you and work towards a healthier you – your future self will thank you!  As for me – my new motto is below.  Peace.

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