Saturday, June 27, 2015

Confederates and Rainbows

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
~Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches.

One flag is coming down and another is being raised.

One, although a part of history, is viewed as a sign of hatred and inhumanity.

The other, in all of it's vibrant colors, is a sign of love and acceptance.

And both are steeped in controversy.

I suppose I understand how Southerners look at the Confederate flag as a part of their history, but if you think about it, the Nazi flag is a part of German history and you don't see those hung proudly throughout the country. It was a time when the south was, well, wrong, and so lost the war. But unlike most Germans there are still people who believe they weren't wrong and dress up in cowardly white robes to spew their racist and ignorant ideas.

I heard a comedian recently state that if he sees a Confederate flag in a bar he knows two thing: he's going to hear the words "son of a bitch" repeatedly and there is probably a goat on the property. I'm sorry, but no one associates the Confederate flag with high intelligence. Think about it. If you went into your mechanic and they had one flying you MIGHT let him work on your car. If you went into your doctor for surgery and he proudly pointed it out in the operating room you might wait for a second opinion.

And then there is the rainbow flag. A sign that love wins. I apologize, but I see the controversy over that flag as stupid as the Confederate flag.

People are posting that it defies God and the Bible. People are claiming that they "don't believe in it" like it's in the same category as Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

What is unreal or wrong about two people in love, willing to make a commitment to each other? What is wrong with wanting the same rights as a couple and as a family no matter who you choose to be with?

The Catholic church's new Pope seems much more enlightened than many average Americans. Just because someone told you that a book written centuries ago should be interpreted a certain way and never rethought, reevaluated and, in many ideals, disregarded as antiquated has created a version of bigotry that seems okay in the name of religion.

I can give you four interpretations of any Dr. Suess book.

I know I'll be told I'm wrong, I don't understand. So please explain it to me if you can.

Because I just want everyone to be happy, feel safe, and live without fear for the color of their skin or who they love.

"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
~William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well

Friday, June 12, 2015

I Challenge You

"When faced with two equally tough choices, most people choose the third choice; not to choose."
~Jarod Kintz, This Book Title is Invisible

Have you ever been asked, "Are you up for the challenge?" Are you?

I'm giving some great women (who are putting their trust in me) a month long challenge that I hope will transform the way they live their daily lives.

I'm asking them to eat consciously, move daily and think about their health. Do you do that?

I've started a program I'm calling Healthy Reboot and it means just that, reboot your lifestyle in a healthier fashion. There are three areas of focus:

1) Eating consciously. What that means is simply thinking about what you're eating and why. What are your bad habits, for example, late night TV munching or overindulging in restaurants? And most importantly, are you eating the right things for your body to stay healthy?

I HATE the word diet. When you tell someone they need to diet, I don't care who you are, it's a depressing thought and they immediately think about everything they can't eat. There are no taboo foods. It's all about a balance.

2) Exercise. Move. Be active. Do you know that the starting goal on a Fitbit is 10,000 steps? That's the baseline goal. For one month, I'm asking my clients to move every day. Whether it's swimming, biking, yoga, an exercise class or simply mowing the lawn or walking the dog, I'm requesting something that moves the body every day. Could you commit to that? Do you already?

3) Coaching. As a coach, it's my job to ask the right questions and try to help with anything that might be a source of sabotage or trigger points that trip someone up. Often just talking about your health and what your goals are will keep the idea present and in perspective, making it easier to obtain. Also knowing that nothing happens instantly so making sure those goals are reasonable, not unattainable to the point of frustration.

I'm also your biggest cheerleader, motivator AND task master. I am the person, besides yourself, that will keep you accountable and help you when things don't go as planned or your train gets derailed.

It takes, on average, a month to make or break a habit. So that is what I'm offering, a month to make good habits and break bad ones. Of course, I'll also be available when needed after the month but if you're determined you can reboot your lifestyle in a month.

Get out of your comfort zone and explore your potential.

Do you need a reboot?

"The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun."
~Benedict Cumberbatch

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Body in Motion

"I'm in great shape. I'm 30 years old, and I feel like I'm 29."
~Jarod Kintz, A Zebra is the Piano of the Animal Kingdom

Diet and exercise, two things that tend to go together like burgers and fries, strawberries and whipped cream, vodka and tonic, wine and....anything. You get the idea.

People are always looking for the quick fix, magic potion or secret wonder food that will shed the pounds. They want to combine that with the ultimate workout, one that is quick, cheap and promises the ripped beach body.

Well, brace yourselves, I'm about to give you the AMAZING answer to that pesky weight problem.

Drum roll, fanfare and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

Move more and eat less.

Expecting something else?

Having just finished a nutrition program I can tell you all about proper nutrients, portion size and what foods to avoid. And as a past fitness instructor I can take you through a workout that would rival the Biggest Loser.

But is huge lifestyle revamping the way to go or can people modify and tweak what is comfortable for them to encourage a lasting change? Fad diets are only proven to create a yo-yo society when it comes to weight and the convenience and price of fast food have the world packing on the pounds.

I'm not an advocate for cutting everything you love out of your life or starting an exercise plan that you will ultimately burn out from.

My family loves onion rings so when we go somewhere we know they are "worth it" we get a basket and split them between all four of us. It works out to maybe two per person. Perfect.

Years ago, when I was teaching multiple hard-core classes every day, I was constantly in pain and always hungry. I couldn't eat enough to keep my weight from plummeting. I had a six pack and guns for arms and I was miserable, popping Advil like tick tacks.

I'm certainly not saying if that is your goal you shouldn't go for it but if your goal is to be fit and healthy in a realistic way there are so many options. Just small diet changes and finding activities you enjoy can be the simplest of answers.

Of course, some would say that if you hate exercise why do something you hate. True enough. If you hate jogging don't commit to a running schedule, chances are you'll fail. But too often someone's hate of exercise only gets a jump start when a potential or real medical problem comes to play. Don't wait until you're pre-diabetic or dealing with heart disease to make a change. Not to mention the absolute fact that exercise can act as an anti-depressant. Who doesn't need a bit more happiness?

I remember reading an interview with a pretty buff actor who simply said his secret was to work up a sweat somehow, once a day. Might seem unrealistic in a busy life but it's not if you redefine what working up a sweat is. It doesn't have to be an hour of Body Destruction Combat Crossfit Whatever. That stuff is great when you can fit it in. But it can simply be a brisk walk with a dog, yard work or doing a quick 20-minute routine that can be easily thrown together.

With long days and warm weather, the timing couldn't be better to find what could become your next healthy hobby. Swim some laps, jump on a bike, grab some high energy tunes and go for a walk/run, hike your nearest trails or sign up for something completely out of your norm; yoga, martial arts, horse riding, Zumba, whatever sparks your interest.

Say to yourself, "I've always wanted to try _______" and see what pops into your brain. Don't wait until a doctor is saying it's necessary, make it necessary for your life now.

What do you have to lose?

"If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with."
~Deepak Chopra