I don’t know about everyone else, but it has come to my attention that my scale . . . the one I hide behind the bathroom door is officially a LIAR (and evil)! Maybe that’s it. It’s upset with me because I keep it hidden and out of sight and it’s getting revenge. There is no other reason why it would want to lie to me like this when I step on! Oh and it is such a BIG lie too! All women know exactly what I am talking about because I know your scale has probably lied to you at least once if not twice. It’s Monday morning, you are about to get in the shower (so you have nothing that could cause unnecessary weight), you step on the scale and BAM it spits out a complete untruth. A boldface lie! You are wondering why it would deceive you this way. Right? Everyone knows the best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning when your stomach is empty. So you’re not sure what went wrong. You did everything right and you get this lie. It is definitely angry with you about something!
Well, I am going to do something about mine. I will not stand for this treatment anymore and I am going to make the scale my friend again. First, for the next month it is going in the closet. We need some time apart for a while. There will be no more play time with me getting off and on at least 5 times, shifting feet, or alternating foot positions. I’m done with that!
Next, I am going to show that scale. I’m cutting out all of those holiday sweets that I have been consuming since Thanksgiving. Ha, take that scale! You’re gonna want to be my friend. Only apples and grapefruits for me. Yeah!
Did you say wine, margaritas? You got it, cutting back on that too and juice (especially Mango Lemonade and Trader Joe’s Pink Lemonade Italian Soda). That scale doesn’t know who it’s messing with. 100% pure aqua, H20, good ol’ fashion faucet fluid. Okay well maybe filtered.
Oh I am not done yet. No more french fries (for now)! Yep, I am getting out the big guns to take down the scale and it will begging for us to be friends again. I will not succumb to the fries calling my name or the delicious smell wafting from the door as I walk pass Five Guys.
Croissants for breakfast? No way! Who cares if they are buttery, flaky, come with different fillings and melt in your mouth. (Oh my!) They are out too and nothing but multigrain toast will do. Next thing I know, that scale will be rushing to be underfoot.
Finally, and this is huge. This will surely get me back into the good graces of the scale. I am going to start running, spinning and yoga-ing again!! Apparently, you lose tons of calories and fat from exercising! Who knew? If that doesn’t win it over, then nothing will.
I sure hope this works because I would hate to have to throw that scale out of the window and watch it splatter into tiny pieces. So, if you are fighting with your scale, maybe you too should try getting back into its good graces. But remember, everything in moderation.
As I approached the new year, I focused on searching for a renewed sense of balance in my life. With a new job that is both challenging and often stressful, I was beginning to lose my balance. I am a true Libra (if you believe in Zodiac signs, et al) and when my scales are crooked, so am I. If my work life is off, then so is the rest of my life. I pride myself on remaining positive, keeping positive people around me and maintaining a positive outlook. But for the past 6 months I have begun to lose that and it scares me. It makes me feel emotionally and psychologically helpless and I don’t like it. And I needed to do something about it quick if I am going to survive this job and be successful and if I want to remain sane. So I began looking at ways in which I can do this fast and economically. I am sure I am not alone and hope you too can use my “balance” tips:
Yoga: I am convinced that Yoga can cure a lot of things. Staying focused, breathing and being in a quiet space is the best for getting in tune with YOU! Identify a good studio with a variety of classes and levels. There are varying types and you want to ensure you partake in the one best for you. It really does help you regain focus. It doesn’t hurt that you are getting in shape too.
Meditation: Ah, this is always tough for me because I am always trying to do something or squeeze in another task during the day. Sitting still with my eyes closed, thinking and focusing is a challenge unless I am in on a plane (that is where I do my best thinking.) But, meditation is so great for the body and soul. It does help you get “in tune” with your life. Take a few moments a day to just sit and release. You will be amazed at how that can help you find clarity.
Exercise: Yes I know, I know, the dreaded new year’s resolution that we all make come January 1. But, research has shown that exercising or doing some form of physical activity helps reduce anxiety and stress. Upload some new tunes to your I-POD, take advantage of the deals gyms are running this month or buy some Tae-Bo tapes, and find an ideal time in your schedule. Get off the couch and get moving! I am going to take my own advice.
Create a vision board: I am a firm believer in positive thinking and visualizing what you want. It has worked for me before and so it is time to create a new one. Think about what you want today, next month or over a lifetime. Jot them down on paper and then grab magazines or newspapers and cut out symbols or visual objects of what you have written. Turn your words into a vision. Be specific. Place it somewhere you can visualize what’s on your vision board everyday.
Do absolutely NOTHING: The only thing that has helped me survive these past few months is I literally do nothing on the weekends. It would hinder me at times, but it was necessary to remain sane. Take one day and just do mindless things — go to the movies, play a board game, or do a puzzle. By Monday, you will have some renewed clarity and can make better decisions as well.
Here’s to you and me finding a new sense of balance in 2010. I will keep you posted on my progress.
This is a different type of post for me, but after watching Michelle Obama’s speech a few minutes ago, at the Democratic National Convention, I was compelled to write this post. I generally don’t discuss politics and health on my blog. I leave that to the policy folks. However, something hits you every now and then that is a must say. I just wanted to give kudos to Michelle Obama and her mentioning the importance of providing not just health care to Americans, but mental health. Many people may not have even caught that, but when you are daily striving for improved comprehensive services for women, you catch words related to what they need. Rarely do you hear individuals, let alone policy makers and politicians mention mental health when discussing health care. It is usually general health care services, which are absolutely critical and necessary, but mental health services are just as integral to our health and well-being.
As always I just give the facts:
- Approximately 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. (NIMH)
- Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for ages 15-44. (NIMH)
- Mental illness is a chronic disease and is often overlooked as such.
- The burden of mental illness is underestimated in the United States and a study in 2005 revealed that the U.S. could be ranked #1 for global mental illness.
- Stress and anxiety from the environment such as poverty, violence, and lack of social support can lead to severe mental health problems.
As someone who has a background in social work and public health, it is sad to know that the number of Americans who suffer from mental illness is more than likely higher. Why? Because so often do people 1) recognize symptoms of mental illness, 2) acknowledge they have a mental health issue, or 3) seek professional help or talk to someone they trust about any mental health issues they may have. Services and resources in mental health are critical to the overall well-being of individuals. So remember to fight for these service too, when you are fighting for access to quality and affordable health care. When you treat the mind, you treat the body.
Again, I say kudos to Michelle Obama for just merely acknowledging mental health services this evening as important and necessary for women, men and children living in this country.
Yes, that’s right here I go again with another post on germs! Hey, I can’t help it! People send me emails about this stuff and I feel it is my duty to inform you all about anything that can jeopardize your health. So here is the latest . . . lemon slices in water from restaurants. Now you know how you will ask for water with lemon? To give your H20 a little zest? Okay, after watching this YouTube video, tell me if you will EVER do that again. Who needs lemon in their water anyway?!? I am sure I don’t have to remind you of the effects that “staph” and bacteria can have on women’s health. If you need a refresher, go to my post on “Germs, Germs, Germs.” from www.brightcove.tv posted with vodpod
One of my girlfriends and I were having a conversation this past weekend about the shapes of women and how weight impacts our self-image. She then leaned in and said to me, ” You know you are a pear.” I didn’t know what the heck she was talking about and so I began to argue with her that I was not shaped like a pear. I look nothing like a pear! Little did I know, that she was referring to the common body shapes of women: apple or pear. Where have I been? How had I not heard about this? Well, I did a little research and found that our body shapes really do have a significant impact on our health.
If you have an apple body shape, you tend to gain weight around your waist. Like the fruit the weight settles around your middle section. Apple-shaped women are also more likely to develop disorders like heart disease, diabetes, or breast cancer. If you are like me, a pear shaped woman, you tend to gain your weight around your hips, butt and thigh (that explains a whole lot). As far as health issues, pear-shaped women are more susceptible to osteoporosis, varicose veins, cellulite and eating disorders. These women also have a difficult transition through menopause. Well that’s just great! We pears have so much to look forward to — big ole’ hips and night sweats during the day.
Living with your shape
Okay now we know our shapes, now what? In a book entitled, “Apples and Pears: The Body Shape Solution for Weight Loss and Wellness,” Dr. Marie Savard sheds light on how to live with your shape. She explains how women can improve their health by learning more about their shapes and how they can feel better about their bodies. Dr. Savard also provides evidence in the book how our body shapes are related to differences in physical chemistry, hormone production and sensitivity, metabolism, and maybe even personality. If you really think about it, all of this makes sense as to why some of us respond well to certain diets than others, and why some exercises are great for you, but not for your friend.
A Few Tips for Your Shape
Some of you may be very aware of what works best for your body shape and for some of you this may be entirely new information. Regardless, here are a few tips provided in Dr. Savard’s book. For additional tips, I suggest you pick up the book.
Knowing your body and how it ticks is very important as you maintain your health and wellness. Understanding what exercises work best for your body type, what types of foods you should eat more of and knowing your family medical history, all have a profound impact on your health. Understanding how all of these and other factors work together to keep you healthy, is even more important. Whether you are a pear or an apple, embrace your shape with love and make it work for you. As I have said before, we are all a work in progress, whether it’s mentally or physically. That is why me and my pear hips are going to keep running up and down flights of stairs…because we still have some work to do!