Thursday, October 29, 2015

Be What You're Not

"I'm not who I pretend to be, even when I act like myself."
~Jarod Kintz, This Book is NOT FOR SALE

Halloween, the only day when grownups not in the entertainment industry can get dressed up and be someone else. I admire the creativity of so many DIY people on Pinterest or hanging out on the plaza of the Today show.

Adults often feel strange about dressing up.  Kids are used to it. Childhood is spent playing superheroes, playing house, being a vet to stuffed animals or giving out "tickets" to the kids in the neighborhood breaking the rules. Don't forget the ever popular Barber (who hasn't cut another kid's hair?).

For adults who we are in reality can be too much at times. Our kids could have us troubled or frazzled, our jobs could be torture to go to every day, or our love life could be anything but loving (call me if any of those resonate).

We pretend to be happy. We pretend to be brave. We pretend to be confident. Adults spend a fair amount of their existence already pretending but usually for all of the wrong reasons and rarely in a cool costume.

So for one night to be a zombie, a superhero, a bubble bath or even some sort of "sexy" whatever (because in reality you never dress sexy) is liberating and fun. It's pretending without guilt. It is, for one night, honest pretending.

Be creative, intriguing, naughty, mysterious, outrages or silly. Have a grownup treat and trick yourself out. Find your inner vampire, rock star, vixen or annoying politician.

Have fun!

Happy Halloween.

"I don't feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.
"There, there," said Piglet. "I'll bring you tea and honey until you do."
~A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Play On

"I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny."
~Dr. Suess, The Cat in the Hat

When do we forget how to play?

Recently I was watching a baby squirrel chase the birds on our deck. Mom or Dad was precariously perched upside down munching on the birdfeeder and junior was having a blast shooting across the rail to make the birds fly away. I've never seen an adult squirrel do that.

When do we lose our love of silliness? I know not everyone does. I know adults who still build with Legos. You see the swarms of people at Comicon or the adults who love Disney World even though they don't have children. But typically as adults we don't make it a habit to play.

When was the last time you stopped, on your own, to get an ice cream cone? How long has it been since you climbed on playground equipment? When was your last raucous game of dodgeball?

My family likes to do mini-golf marathons and, on occasion, take over a public tennis court where we play something only very slightly resembling tennis (which is okay-real tennis would be much less fun).  But we lose sight of the need to do such things when life gets busy and stresses build. Isn't that when we need it most?

I glanced at an article the other day about how adult horse riders should learn to ride like pony club kids. Kids don't judge themselves harshly or criticize every stride. They just ride and have fun.  Adults forget that fun aspect.

I ride with an amazing 65-year-old woman that ends every lesson with such an appreciation that she has the opportunity and ability to still ride a horse. Sometimes she is so happy she cries tears of joy. So I can be obsessing over any number of perceivable minor mistakes but when she starts her thankful dialogue I have no choice but to put them aside and join her in being thankful to have the ability to do something I so love and provides so much fun.

Because even in activities that should be fun we put pressure on ourselves to do it perfectly. How many golfers do you know who sometimes come off of a course feeling defeated rather than uplifted? Unless you're hoping to go pro soon maybe take a breath, take a look around, and enjoy the moment. Take the pressure off, relax, and play.

I beg everyone to find something to do that lets you relax and play. If I remember correctly play time was the best part of kindergarten. It should be the best part of our grown up years as well.

"Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Change for a Lifetime

"No one ever drowned in sweat."
~U.S. Marine Corps

I heard something today that I hear frequently when speaking to friends or clients about weight, "If only I were built like you."

I often wonder how to take that. Is it the impression that I can down a cheeseburger and fries five nights a week and still, miraculously, stay thin? Is my physique all about genetics and have nothing to do with exercising regularly and picking better eating options most of the time?

This week I've been bad. I usually do some form of exercise six or seven days a week. With the rain and just not being ready to set foot in the soulless gym I will only get five. Today was a day I opted to work on a project when I wasn't seeing clients and I have already reprimanded myself for it.
I did go out to lunch with my oldest son and I'll admit I was tempted by the crab sliders and sweet potato fries. But today was a lazy day so I went with the light cup of soup and half salad (yet swiped a few fries from my son).

I grab lunch with friends I ride horses with and they'll admit that I usually order my large salad with dressing on the side. (And to be clear this salad is all vegetables and an egg. There is no cheese, croutons, or other items that ruin the value of a salad.) But on occasion I know that won't cut it. I'm craving carbs so I'll get the wrap or, so bad for you crab smothered pretzel. And that's okay. It's only on occasion.

That's what I tell my clients, food is okay. If you deny yourself what you love you will only sabotage yourself later. We all do it. The key in life is moderation, portion control and common sense. If you love ranch dressing get it on the side and drizzle with your fork. If you crave sweet potato fries get a small order and share them with whoever you're with. But if you can simply make better choices, find the healthier options, by all means do that. And PLEASE READ LABELS! Too many adults are awfully unaware of what exactly a portion size is and what a calorie count can quickly rise to.

And as I also tell my clients, you can't move too much. With our busy lives, no one has the time to live at the gym unless you work there. But don't we all have time for at least one 20 minute walk a day? It benefits both the mind and the body. Better yet, squeeze in three walks, or four. Add on deciding to always take the stairs, park farther away or pace while you're on the phone. Just move your body whenever time gives you the opportunity. It actually helps.

So yes, I'm a smaller person. No, that is not from genetics. Yes, I have to actively try to maintain that.

Yes, you can do that too.

Maybe I can help.

Ask me about Healthy Reboot.

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
~Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto