One more thought to share from the Golden Globes – Maggie Gyllenhaal talked about complicated women and how we are all complicated when it comes down to it. I love that way of putting it – complicated does not have to be negative. I am proud to be complicated – to me it means being interesting, smart, engaging, emotional, passionate, funny, compassionate, and strong. And I would rather be that any day of the week than easy. And Hats off to men who love complicated women!
“When I look around the room at the women who are in here and I think about the performances that I’ve watched this year, what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not,” she said in her acceptance speech. “Sometimes sexy, sometimes not. Sometimes honorable, sometimes not. And what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film.”
Today was my last day at XO. While my stay there was short, six months, I learned a lot and met some smart, sharp people. With that said -the role I had wasn’t a good fit for me. It was fine — but not challenging or engaging for me and I just don’t want to accept mediocre anymore. It’s time for me to jump into something new, challenging and fun. I have a few days off before I start on Monday. Here’s to new adventures – fear ain’t got nothing on me.
My sisters shared with me that each year they decide upon a mantra to carry them throughout the year. To motivate, guide and inspire them. A mantra differs from a resolution in that it’s word or short phrase that is repeated mentally, often used to aid in meditation. It can help set your intentions and re-focus so that you develop the habits and become the You you envision. Maybe you want to uncuff yourself from fear or be kinder. Whatever it is – choose it and refer to it often to help reset your thoughts.
Baby it’s cold outside – like 8 degrees without the windchill. Talk about a polar vortex in the Northern VA area. I swear last week, it was in the 60’s. Such crazy weather shifts, it’s no wonder I can’t seem to get over this chest crud cold I have had since right before the new year. You know what helps break up the crud? Exercise! This morning – we did a bunch of suicides and sprints in addition to 8 rounds of boxing. By the end, I was hacking up my lungs which was actually a good thing because it is clearing the gunk out.
Did you know there are some recent studies that show being cold can actually lead to weight loss and improved health? The Atlantic recently published, The Benefits of Being Cold, highlighting that perhaps year round warmth, something many of us enjoy regularly, may be affecting our body weight and health. Read the piece – it makes a lot of sense “Seven million years of evolution were dominated by two challenges: food scarcity and cold.” Today, for most of us, neither of those things are real challenges to us on a regular basis and our bodies adapt to changes – some for the better, some for the worse. So, while it’s frightfully cold outside – take time to appreciate being chilly and realize that it’s perhaps better for you.
- Adrenal Fatigue: My Advice To Anyone Suffering From Adrenal Fatigue
- Exercise and Youth: How Exercise Keeps Us Young
“The beautiful thing about growth is the ability to see our changes.”
If you haven’t yet, head over to like my Facebook community page Live Fit and Sore! I’ve been sharing all sorts of news, information, resources and inspiration over there as well as on here. I figured there can’t be too many ways to try to support and inspire others to live a life of wellness…
Tonight is the eve of Christmas eve and the stores were crazy today which made me feel better about being so behind in my preparing. When I went to Costco yesterday to pick up my holiday cards, the guy that rang me up told me that I wasn’t alone and then gave me a high five just for getting it done. I liked that attitude…and it was much needed. This past week has been stressful – in addition to my car needing a lot of work ($$$), Scotty has come down with bronchitis which will no doubt actually turn out to be walking pneumonia as usual. His immune system wasn’t great to begin with and seemed to worsen after chemo. He’s on some meds and hopefully will be feeling much better tomorrow. We have some serious gift wrapping to do tomorrow evening —
Someone mentioned yesterday that they really get a lot out of the quotes and motivational stuff I post. That meant a lot to me because the truth is I post them for me –and figure I can’t be the only one needing positive words and inspiration to help me focus on how great life is. I have had a ton of ups and downs the past year or so – as so many others have had – and I find reading others’ experienced words helps.
I came across this quote this evening…
“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”
It’s easy to say, but much harder to actually practice – what we can do though, is learn to recognize negativity as it starts to creep into our thinking and purposely drive it out. Here are some other ideas to put into practice to help you up your game: How to Stay Positive: 11 Smart Habits. I know some of you out there don’t believe that there is power in positive thinking or that setting positive intentions each and every day can help make your life brighter – that’s OK. Some of the quotes & inspirational sayings are bullshit for sure– but the ones that speak to me, I share. We have a choice in how we see the world. Life is challenging enough, why not face the challenge with inspiration and purpose?
One Direction stops by the Tonight Show Music Room to perform “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”
Boxing 1hour 6A
So here’s a gut kicker that happened to me today. Regularly, I go to my general practitioner for a med check and I for the most part I request that they don’t check my weight. As much as I talk about how the number on the scale isn’t necessarily an accurate indicator of one’s health and definitely not a definition of one’s worth – there are times when that number grabs a hold of my self esteem and drags it down a few notches.
I received an invitation to my GP’s medical website that has all of my health information and records. As I logged in, guess what was the first thing I saw? My weight. The second thing? That it was classified as obese. My files show one of my diagnosis is Obesity. I know I have gained some weight in the past year –and it hasn’t been from strength training. The past year definitely knocked me on my butt emotionally and I am no different than many others out there — I wasn’t interested in being diligent in what I was eating and eating crap made me feel better – at least at that moment in time. But.. even with that – there is no way I am obese. Intellectually I know this — even with my admission that I could stand to lose some poundage-I am not obese.
Even that pod test I did earlier this year didn’t put me at obese.
As I work to beat down the blow to my self esteem, it bears repeating that BMI is not a good indicator of health or a healthy weight — “We’re battering a ram into a brick wall trying to measure success through people’s BMI.”
Seeing that word OBESITY in black and white has added to the blah feelings that have been hovering over me lately. I’m exercising just as usual –maybe even at a higher intensity so I know that I have to put the focus on my nutrition. But knowing what I need to do – and doing it are two different things. I have to figure out what’s going on my head first — and I know it will click.
Pomegranate seeds are antioxidant rich, and have shown to aid in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. One pomegranate contains approximately 50 percent of your daily vitamin C, as well as pantothenic acid (B5), which may help with muscle cramping and prevent insulin resistance.
I find them to be very refreshing but not in the same way a grape is. They are less sweet than a grape, akin to a cranberry but not as tart in my opinion.
Looking for a new twist on a Thanksgiving side meal? Try making a Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce…
How to Deseed a Pomegranate
I’ve shared a few interesting links the past few days about health and nutrition in case you missed them…
A few posts ago, I shared how the fact that people are getting fatter and sicker became crystal clear after my recent trip to Disney. Seeing the reality of how fat people are outside of my microcosm is still on my mind.
“People are fatter and sicker than ever before.
Obesity rates have tripled since 1980 and have increased particularly fast in children.
The reason why this has happened is still debated among scientists, but it must be due to changes in the environment because our genes don’t change this quickly.”
I ask myself regularly “what can be done?” There is no one solution that will fix the issue, there are things we can all do on the regular to take control of our own health and wellness.
Take a Sensible Approach to What You Eat
I personally have experienced how eating a “Paleo” diet does work but I do not believe that it’s a one size fits all solution. It doesn’t work for everyone – although there is sound research behind the idea that if you eat real, natural, fresh food, the less processed or handled the better, you will see clear health benefits.
Does that mean you should never, ever, ever eat say Pizza? No. Life should be about having fun and enjoying a great meal or treat. Does that mean you should eat it all the time or huge portions? No. Use common sense. I am not a hard fast follower of the Paleo diet –and in the past few years, even less so. I do know that I feel better when I stop eating crap. My digestive system, my sleep, my skin, my mood and more– improve when I focus on the quality of food and not the quantity.
But I do enjoy ice cream, pizza and caramel and think that a weekly indulgence is important too. Be sensible and aware of what you eat and how it makes you feel.
Find something you like to do and do it – regularly. If that means walking, then walk. You like Zumba? Dance your ass off. Just MOVE YOUR BODY. 2015 is around the corner, but why wait to make a change in your life. Do 100 squats, 100 push ups, and 100 sit ups every day. Whatever – I am not a fitness snob. The key is to find something you like to do and do it. Don’t pick an exercise you hate. Guess what will happen? You will stop doing it before too long. If you like working out in a group setting, find one. Don’t set yourself up to fail and start slow. You don’t feel like you can keep up in a class? Then don’t. Go at your pace.
The other day in my boxing class, I noticed one new lady was struggling to figure out the combos and getting frustrated. At the end, I just went over as a fellow boxer and reminded her that the point is to keep moving, so if she couldn’t keep up with the combos, just punch. She will get it eventually. You don’t have to be better than anyone else next to you – do the best you can. And be open to trying new things. Who knows you may find you like it.
Think and Focus on Moving Forward
No one is perfect. We have off days and slip and slide all over the place. The important point to remember is it’s NEVER too late to get back on track. And don’t let fear hold you back.
I spent the good part of this morning in a dentist chair getting drilled, polished and thoroughly entertained. Entertained you ask? Yes – I found a new dentist who is quite friendly and funny and also has the coolest most updated dental technology I have ever seen.
I have been lax in getting my butt to the dentist the past year and as I am reflecting upon how fast the year has gone by, I knew it was time to start addressing my long to do list of medical appointments that I have put off.
A friend recently said that he likens visiting the dentist to bringing your car in for service. You know once they lift the hood or in my case, once I open my mouth, it’s going to be expensive!
I have a few silver fillings which are starting to deteriorate, so those needed to be replaced. And I have a cracked tooth which needed a crown on it pronto. So that was what I was dealing with this morning – good times.
Did you know that poor oral hygiene is a contributor to many systematic diseases?
“There is strong connection between oral diseases and NCDs, namely, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Studies have linked periodontal disease, which is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums, with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Patients with diabetes who have periodontal disease have two chronic conditions, each of which may affect the other. The treatment of periodontal disease contributes positively to blood glucose control. Oral cancer is among the world’s most common cancers and tobacco use and excessive alcohol intake are the two major risk factors associated with the life threatening disease.”
“A study carried out at the University of Central Lancashire suggests that dirty teeth could be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. A study of brain samples from deceased patients with dementia showed an unusually high level of porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacteria commonly associated with gum disease.”
So, while we are all so busy whitening our teeth and making sure they enhance our beauty, there are more important reasons to ensure you take care of your teeth!
It was 6 years ago, during my last trip to Disney, I started to get my ass in gear and began taking care of myself. Having just gotten back a few days ago from my family’s latest trip there, it became clear to me how many people in the world need to do the same.
Before I go off on a rant about my observations, I want to preface it with the following: Everyone, no matter who they are, what size they are, where they come from, how much money they make, deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.
It seemed to me that something like 80% of the visitors to Disney were overweight. Every park, every hotel; There was an exorbitant amount of seriously obese people everywhere I went. And 9 out of 10 people who were using scooters, were obese.
I guess I live somewhat of a sheltered life in that my social circles – it’s not the norm. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of people who could stand to lose some weight and/or get moving but that’s not what I am talking about. The shock was how many out of control obese people were there. Before someone points out that it’s an economic thing – these were people visiting Disney! It’s not exactly the definition of affordable.
There are a few things that upset me about seeing this microcosm of our world:
- For a majority of the morbidly obese, something in their lives is out of control. It’s not about the food, it’s about what’s going on in their head. To see how many people are so out of control in their lives was shocking.
- I understand that everyone has a story and you can’t tell what’s going on in someone else’s world by looking, but it appeared that many of them seem resigned to accept their circumstances. They are obese, it is what it is and they ‘live’ with it. They eat the processed, crap, junk food as if that’s how you should eat.
- To add on to my second point above, renting scooters instead of walking isn’t going to help anyone’s situation. I pointed out to my daughter that the average human skeleton isn’t designed to carry a ton of extra weight. It’s hard on the knees, feet – joints in general so I understand the reasons for renting a scooter but there were so many of them in the parks during my visit. So many of the obese people I saw were also in scooters.
- They are passing bad habits on to their children. Obviously, being at Disney, there are a ton of parents. It was clear that children are growing up learning their parents’ bad habits. Many of the obese adults I saw had children who were also dealing with their own obesity issues.
- While everyone is free to live the way they want, it’s a fact that obesity costs everyone. “The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illness are a staggering $190.2 billion or nearly 21% of annual medical spending in the United States. Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14 billion in direct medical costs.” PhitAmerica compiled 10 Flabbergasting Costs of America’s Obesity Epidemic that really highlights how obesity isn’t just a personal issue.
While I am totally for splurging while on vacation and Disney is a great place to do that – it is possible to eat healthy there…
The resort we stayed at Port Orleans: French Quarter had a fridge that had containers of fresh fruit and veggies available during all hours in their restaurant. I also noticed that each ‘quick snack’ store also had some options available. Also, if you have any special dietary needs, you simply ask for the Chef. The Chef will come out to discuss your needs and try his/her best to accommodate what you need. We tested it each and every morning with my son’s gluten allergy. I also brought some single serve Justin’s Almond Butter with me so I could dip fresh apples or celery in it for a quick, healthy breakfast or snack during the trip.
So, what’s my point? It was shock to me to see how many people are so out of control in their lives that they let themselves go to that extent. It was shocking, sad and made me angry too. We all have to take personal responsibility for who we are in this world.
Is the obesity epidemic caused by lack of education? is it because of economics? Is it generational? Yes, yes and yes but does that make it right? No.
We need to participate in the discussion and come up with innovative, strong ways to address it – together.
We are headed out on a much needed family vacation for the next few days. The kids are out of school and we figured what the heck. We haven’t had a long family holiday in a while. I’ve been super stressed out and not feeling myself, so hopefully it will be just what I need to bounce back.
Before I go offline for a few days – I wanted to mention something that has been in the news the past few weeks. Body Image…
Recently a bit fuss was made over the change in looks of actress Renee Zellweger and of course there are countless gossip columns that live to ‘report’ on the fading youth of some of America’s beloved celebs. Just a few weeks ago, I highlighted the photoshopping of Camille Leblanc Bazient and what message it sends to young women who look up to her. A fellow CrossFit athlete/blogger explained the harm it can do in a recent post:
It’s ingrained in our culture and it has taken a toll on everyone. We all need to take note and push back as much as we can when we see examples of this. It’s true that little ripples make big waves…
- Runway Models=Anorexic Size 6=Plus Sized?!
- A Mighty Girl Spotlight: Talking with Tweens and Teens about their Bodies
- Julia Roberts: In Hollywood, Not Getting Plastic Surgery Is a ‘Big Risk’
- Tues Boxing
- Weds Boxing
I regularly read the musings of an entrepreneur, writer James Altucher. He seems to have a really good perspective and gives good advice.
How do you prepare for a good death?
I think we live in four dimensions at the same time.
The physical world, where we can get stabbed in the heart and bleed. The emotional world, where we can get stabbed in the heart and cry.
The mental world, where we can get stabbed in the head and get demented. And the spiritual world where we get stuck living in the past, filled with regret and anxiety.
Stress is the knife of the emotional world. Stress leads to inflammation of the cells (again, I’m a doctor).
The major causes of death in the US: heart attacks, cancer, strokes, Alzheimers – all caused by inflammation. And then diseases caused by smoking. Don’t smoke.
If all you do is work on ways to reduce stress, avoid time travel (obsessing on past and future), and of course, don’t smoke, then you will start preparing for a good death.
Everyone wraps themselves in their dramas: their friends, their family, their divorces, their failures. We build up a mythology of our misery. The pantheon of people who “did this to us”.
Can you take a break from that for today? Just today please. And then maybe tomorrow. If you can’t, then text me why.
Because the truth is:
Nobody did anything to you.
Except your mother.
I did a workshop with a great life coach more than a decade ago, which focused on how people create their personal narratives, and she said she had a rule that she would only tell a story to other people 3 times and after that she’d let it go because to keep re-telling gave it far too much weight and life and kept her from moving on. I try to remember that rule when there is drama in my life; it really does minimize stress, regret and anxiety.