January 30, 2009
Statistics have shown that during any given Super Bowl party, men and women consume an average of over 1500 calories. This is approximately a day’s worth of calories.
To burn it off, you’d have to run for two hours straight or walk for over three hours, which is about the distance of a half-marathon.
The not-so-surprising difference between men’s and women’s calorie consumption is that the women’s calories are from food (think nachos) and the men’s calories are from beer (think lite beer).
After consulting with my panel of senior advisors (my neighbor, my two friends and my sister) as to why this might be true, we concluded that it is because us women are bored. Basketball games bore us. I mean football. WhatEVER. And every woman knows that we don’t drink when we are bored. We do that when we are happy. Or stressed. Or feel like dancing. What do we do when we are bored? Altogether now, let’s say it! We eat!
Conversely, men, being the single-taskers that they are, are too into the game to eat while they are watching football. Sometimes they will eat at halftime but only if they are sure no nipples will pop out. As far as why they drink, they don’t really realize that they are drinking. Someone (another man) just keeps putting beers in their hands.
This explains the difference. But we all end up in the same stadium on Monday morning, which is bloated and filled with remorse at the low level of NCR (nutrient-to-calorie ratio or in other words, junk) food consumed.
Lucky for you ladies, I have a solution. At least for the females. It came to me suddenly yesterday morning as I watched my hard working, TV Reporter husband broadcast live from the Super Bowl queen of restaurants, Hooters.
It was an entertaining, if not integrity-laden, show, full of lively shots of babes tossing a (Nerf, thank God) football. Things, big things were spilling everywhere. I found I couldn’t look away, that’s how big they-I mean the show, was.
And my husband came home from yet another hard day of work and, being the trooper that he is, smiled the whole rest of the day. When I asked how his show went, his only comment was that the wings were really hot. I bet, at 7:30 in the morning.
Now I have nothing against Hooters restaurants, but if the TV stations truly wanted to increase viewership (and as a side benefit, keep us women from getting bored and hungry) we should start a similar restaurant. Here’s my ingenious idea to keep women out of the nacho dip. We could open a restaurant . Let’s call it Peckers. I read a similar idea somewhere long ago. I wish I remembered where, but it is brilliant. I think it is an idea who’s time has come.
We could serve foot long hotdogs and hire waiters based upon the size of their “pecks” and it wouldn’t even count as discrimination if we came right out and admitted we hired them based solely on their hot bodies.
If we had a restaurant like this to patronize, us girls could go there and watch Desperate Housewives and Sex In the City on giant-screen T.V.s.
Peckers could advertise during or better yet, sponsor, the Super Bowl and us chicks would all drop our chips as our boredom instantly vanished.
Until then though, I think the best anti-noshing strategy is for women to keep themselves at arm’s length distance from all finger food. Do Not, I repeat, DO NOT, sit down near the 9-layer dip on the coffee table.
Men, the only helpful tip I can give to you is to not hand each other consecutive beers, especially if you’re interested in auditioning for a job at our new restaurant chain. You’ll need to be in sPECKtacular physical condition to make the first cut.
January 28, 2009
Wait a minute.There it is again. Listen. It’s the faint plunk of yet another anti-aging miracle discovery plopping into the Science of Anti-Aging bucket. Scientists are discovering more ways every day to use substances that help us stay younger for longer.
Did anyone see 60 Minutes on CBS Sunday evening? Back in 1991 60 Minutes did a story about red wine and the French paradox. This segment featured the irony of how the French drink more red wine yet live an average of 30%longer than their American counterparts. Intriguing evidence for unusual longevity attributed to red wine molecules is provided by researchers from Princeton University who show France has by far the greatest percentage of centenarians in its population than any other country. According to The Wine Institute, the French drink 56 liters of wine per person per year, about 6.5 times more than in the U.S. And they live 30% longer! So, the question for the past decade has been, why? Watch the segment here.
I was a bit smug as I listened Sunday night because my Canyon Ranch doctors, Drs. Mark Liponis and Mark Hyman (They are not truly my doctors- I’ve never actually met either of them but their teachings have preceded them) they have been speaking of Resveratrol as a fountain of youth compound for several years now.
And on my office well, cubicle, wall from last July is a New York Times article from last July quoting Dr.David Sinclair, a Harvard doctor who’s astounding research showed that supplementing with Resveratrol, mice showed a reversal in the aging process as well as possible decrease of age related diseases like diabetes. The wink-wink angle of the NewYork Times article was that researchers at Harvard only found this anti-aging effect if the mice were given the amount of Resveratrol that would equal drinking 1000 bottles of red wine per day, which might cancel out the benefits of, as well as the desire to, live longer.
As soon as this research came out, the mega pharmaceutical company,Glaxo Smith Kline purchased the rights to Resveratrol development for $720 million. That’s how sure they were of the future of Resveratrol as an anti-aging supplement.
Resveratrol is a molecule found in red wine as well as peanuts and some Japanese herbs and has been identified as a molecular mimic of a calorie restricted diet, something that has been proven to almost double our lifespan. That means we could all live longer (but not happier I’m guessing) if caloric intake is cut in half. Food deprivation is not going to be the next big fitness fad,I’d say, but a pill that we could take that may stave off aging would be an easy pill to swallow.
On 60 Minutes, they concluded by saying Resveratrol would be available in five years but since I am a good student, I did a bit of research and found that what is available today is Resveratrol as it is fond in the Japanese herb, Japanese Knotweed.
Many highly respected scientisits studying longevity are already taking Resveratrol in this form and are convinced that this microscopic compound will allow us to stay younger for longer and to offset age-related illnesses indefinitely.
Clinical trials are being done right now and probably will only be conclusive after another 90 years or so since the only true proof that this will do what we think it will do is to witness people aging slower and living longer. So if you are the type that needs more proof, sit back and get your rocking chair ready because it may be a long wait. Otherwise, get online and do some research and decide for yourself if you want to be younger next year, or next decade.
My advice is to memorize this word RESVERATROL (rez-var-eh-TROL) which will surely be more popular and immeasurably more effective than Geritol and unlike Geritol, which became popular as a sponsor of HeeHaw and The Lawrence Welk show, Resveratrol promises to do much more than make you feel good.
January 27, 2009
For someone who talks often about dancing every chance you get, I sure do go home and go to bed a lot.This past weekend was a good example. Conditions were perfect for dancing.
We were invited to a party that was waycooler than our usual Applebee’s date night. Our model friend was celebrating her 50th (even though she looks 30) birthday and is so euber-fab that she was featured in Oprah Magazine in a spread on women who give their age a good name. Her Dutch husband has a French accent, need I say more? There was a European contingent there that I could tell by the way they kissed both my cheeks, would be capable of staying up later than the time I get up in the morning. Plus the band was from THE city (and if you don’t know of which city I speak then you probably aren’t worthy either).
I had my first tickle of worry when I saw that it didn’t begin until 8pm, which is not too much earlier than the time when my body knows to start turning out lights and locking up doors.
But I rested up and I was still looking so forward to my night of dancing. I am such a sucker for the times when people go nuts on the dance floor and start crawling between each others legs and worming and basically progressively taking each funky move down a notch until we are all laughing too hard to qualify as still dancing. I love that.
And darned if, amidst all this grooviness, oh, around ten o’clock, darned if I didn’t feel my dance-energy-meter start to tick-tock a bit to the left. It was as if my dancing hem lost a stitch and the leg of my dancing pants was slowly unraveling the night ahead. I’d been unplugged from the dancing outlet and only had a few minutes of reserve dancing energy left! And the band was not even playing yet! So like the trooper that I thought I was, I went and ate half a tray of broccoli and assorted crudités and hummus and some popcorn to boot, hoping this burst of carbs would fuel me until at least the first song.
By 10:30 my belly was full, which unfortunately sometime acts as a precursor to sleep for me. And then big warning bells went off. I was tired of standing! Me, the Queen of Move! Move! Move, needed a chair.I just had to sit down, darn it.
Luckily my husband is a worse early bird than me so he always makes me feel perkier, with him yawning and looking at his watch and saying, “Huh?” when I talked to him. He is consistently, adoringly, more sleepy. Plus he never in his life voluntarily arrived on a dance floor unless someone was dragging him by a limb.
By this time, nearing eleven, when our 14 year old daughter called on my cell and unexpectedly needed a ride home, my husband and I nearly fell over each other in our rush to get to the coats from the coat rack. At the front door, we momentarily got wedged in the door frame like two of the Three Stooges,our haste to exit was that great.
What is wrong with us?
This surge of energy lasted until the car door closed and I was then overcome with a wash of disappointment in how boring we’ve (I’ve) become. I had a moment of comfort though, as our daughter hopped into our back seat and started spilling all the wonderful 14 year old minutae into the nighttime car-air and I realized this is where my mind now feels at home.
Then of course, the stripping of the pantyhose and climbing into bed, that is always nice. But that night, I expected more than nice from myself.
I suppose this is how people that I wrote about a few weeks ago-the “I Wish I Wanted to Exercise But I Just Don’t” people feel.
I know what Robert Browning meant when he said, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for.” We should all set our sights just a bit beyond what we think we can accomplish.
For me, I think this means that the next time, not that there’s going to be a next time since I wouldn’t blame anyone for not inviting us to their dance party, what with all my talk about the dancing! The dancing! Then not only do I not dance, I don’t even stay. I hereby resolve that I need to stay to dance ONE dance, even if it’s to the music in my head. God willing, if there is a next time, I will dance one dance.
Should I also mention that I did hear that this party really got cookin’ from midnight ‘til 2:30 which relieved me since there’s no way I’d have made it to midnight anyway, even if they served Starbucks. I was still glad to know that people didn’t immediately jump up on the tables and dance topless as soon as our car pulled away.
But I tri-gress (that means I triple digress).
So next lifetime, my promise to myself is, I can leave after one little dance. And any dancing fool knows that getting on the dance floor is the hardest part. After that, each song just keeps you magnetically fixed to the dance floor. Are you sensing any similarities here?
Those of you “WishIWantedToButDon’t” exercisers, promise yourself that youll do five minutes. And any person who’s ever even broken a sweat knows that, five dances, er, I mean five minutes is better than no minutes and more importantly once you get on the gym (or dance)floor it’s not so hard to stay for five more, then five more and so on.
So promise me you’ll do five minutes and I promise you I’ll stay for one dance and hopefully we can both wake up the next day feeling more accomplished and like we’ve reached something that we thought was beyond our grasp.
Now if I can just find a party that starts at 6pm so that the dancing gets going by 7:30 I will be all set. Hey! Anyone for dancing during the SuperBowl halftime show?
January 23, 2009
Please hold the line for the next available Wellness Coach.
Once again, I’m living proof for the importance of having specific goals and a game plan for accomplishing them and what can end up happening if you are not specific. Because I’ve become something I never even realized I set out to become. Turns out, I’m a Wellness Coach.
Evidently, I’ve been one for several years and no one ever pointed it out to me. Until yesterday. My friend from “ELLAY” (L.A.) who is much more on top of things and hipper than me, called for our bi-annual chat and referred to me in passing as a Wellness Coach. I looked at the phone like it had three receivers then asked her for the definition.
She rolled the eyes of her voice as she explained what my apparently retroactive job is (has been) and basically,it’s a life coach for your body.
Think of it as a hybrid, combining a personal trainer with a psychologist topped off with something similar to a Wedding Planner only not planning weddings but planning your dream body.
Maybe you’ve heard of Executive Coaches. They are hired to help you achieve your career goals. Then there’s Life Coaches who help you become less aimless. So Wellness Coaches help you get unstuck in the body department.
And the bodies that I see darkening the door of my gym are often times not that person’s ideal body and it’s not because they are lazy. These people are usually stuck in behavioral areas of their life that might be as simple as portion control, not enough sleep, night-time eating, drinking more than they know they should or not stretching the right muscles.
A Wellness Coach, my friend expostulated, helps clients identify specific (S.M.A.R.T. comes to mind, those of you more faithful readers may remember) goals that help them make behavioral changes that lead to winning that race, losing that weight or sticking with that workout routine.
Check. Check. Check. I do that.
So I love it when my friends tell me things about myself that I didn’t realize, like I discovered a few years ago I could lick my elbow after I saw my neighbor do it. Eye-opening, I can tell you.
So I’m hanging out a virtual shingle and I’m moving in above my virtual Workout World Store (open 24 hours.) I’ve decided to offer a sort of Wellness Lounge and share all my fitness secrets and open my fitness tool box for each of you to once-and-for-all get the body you know awaits you. My new (old) job will be mostly psychological and will start with an online “well-being assessment” to find out what floats or sinks your boat, what drains you and what feeds you.
Then it really comes down to accountability. You accountable to me. We make it happen.
If you want to find out how to map out a plan of action then you’ll want to hang out in my Wellness Lounge. I’m launching it in a few days. It will include the initial assessment, with eight weekly calls for only $79 a month, it’s a bargain.
I’ll send more details in the next few days. It starts February 1st. Stay tuned for the Lounge Launch!
January 21, 2009
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. You have to lift weights. And they have to be heavy. As a personal trainer, this is called conditioning for acute and temporary muscle failure and fatigue. Meaning I push you to lift such a heavy enough weight that you can’t do one more perfect rep. Then you briefly rest until you are ready to do it two more times. At which point you should be pooped.
The harder this is for you to do, the greater the gains in strength and conditioning. Meaning, as in most of life, the challenge equals the reward.. And the greater the challenge, the bigger the reward.
If I am in a particularly giving mood, I offer people in my indoor cycling class the option to get off their bikes at the end of class and do twenty push-ups. Many say no thank you meaning fat chance, which I accept if they have a doctor’s note. But otherwise, I really want them to try it. The harder it is for them, the more strength they lack and the more vital this type of work becomes. Often in class, women don’t want to do their push-ups for fear of someone looking at their backside. Which is a whole ‘nother blog post but I can only say there ain’t no men worrying about us looking at their derrieres, so ladies, get over worrying about what other people think. I tell my kids, the good opinions of other people are none of our business.
Anyway, back to weight-lifting.
For most exercisers, aerobic work is the easiest. You don’t need an expert to tell you to get cardio. You do need a drill sergeant to make you lift to muscle failure.
It is hard but the rewards are mighty.
Moving on from weight-lifting, I have to mention before I forget: Did you notice Michelle Obama’s intermittent poor posture? When she remembers, she stands up to her true height but most of the time she has what posture pros describe as SWAY posture or what I call Starbucks Posture, which refers to the way people walk out of Starbucks when they are rounded down over their four dollar cup of coffee.
I’m guessing the First Lady has always been self-conscious about her height (and I bet we couldn’t get her down on the floor for push-ups either.) Because she is exactly the president’s height and out of modesty, I think she has always slumped forward. This is just what I spy with my fitness eye, no more.
You may think I am being overly critical or superfluous, but there are several studies which show that this posture (which is technically called a forward head carriage and a dropped front panel with rounded shoulders) contributes to decreased performance. Look at all fast runners, they have a forward tilt to the entire spine but they are never rounded at the shoulders and their chins are straight ahead, not down.
Not only that, the Starbucks posture limits respiratory patterns, making breathing less efficient.
My advice to the First Lady? Stand up tall, no matter who you are tower over, even if it’s the president of the United States.
January 20, 2009
Today, I think of my dog, Winston, who often pauses from licking his paw or some other less mentionable body part and looks off into the middle distance (of our living room) and takes a moment. From the look on his face I assume he is either reflecting on some majestic dog memory or more likely, he is just taking a moment. By that I mean, he takes notice of no more than this moment right now; feeling the air on his nose, the comfort of his home , the fullness of his belly and the underrated, often overlooked magnificence of this passing minute.
Today I think many of us took a moment, a long overdue moment, as we watched our new president being sworn in, along with millions of Americans standing in the freezing cold of our nation’s capitol. I like to think we were all in the zone. Meaning we were all aware of being united in a moment of historical transcendence.
In fitness I refer to it as the ZONE and the best way I can describe the ZONE is to say that the ZONE is the flowing part of any journey. And really the journey is the best part, not the getting there. The getting there is overrated. Ask anyone who has recently retired. The journey is where “in the zone” resides.
There are several components to the ZONE and it all starts with having a goal, a clear goal. For many of us watching this morning, our clear goal was CHANGE. We all wanted change.
The next requirement for feeling the Zone is feeling at one with our actions (or in this morning’s case, at one with our vote), otherwise known as fusion of mind and body.
Third we all have to listen to ourselves. Exercise-wise, this means if something hurts when you jog, then you stop jogging until you it doesn’t hurt. It’s called listening to your body. Listen. It’s that simple.
Next is concentration. To get in the Zone requires focus on the task at hand.
Also a sense of control is important, meaning you feel in command of what is happening and that we have the resources we need to move forward.
Next, it’s important to lose your sense of self-consciousness. Don’t be afraid to feel free and uninhibited. Get crazy.
Finally, be on the lookout for JOY. It’s known as an autotelic experience. Often times, you will find it in the simplest daily happenings,like a sunset, a bird at a feeder or the way the snowflakes land on your window, but you have to be watching for it.
If all of these components are present, then you will experience a sense of transcending time, which is exactly what the ZONE is.
Ask anyone who’s a winning athlete and they will describe a moment of timelessness. This is the Zone.
Before now, I’ve always talked about being in the Zone from a fitness angle, but from my experience this morning, I am hoping that we all can connect with (and stay in) a bigger Zone. The Zone of brighter times for America where we all can better sense what “enjoying the journey” means.
After all the journey is the best part of it all. And today was the first leg of the trip.
January 17, 2009
Being a football linebacker is a position that requires a player to have some bulk and power. In order to bulk up most efficiently the ambitious linebacker would ideally skip breakfast, work out for 3 or 4 hours, eat nothing right afterward, then have a light lunch of carbohydrates followed by a huge meal for dinner and then dessert right before bed. I know many women who actually eat like this on a regular basis. They are not linebackers. They just think this is the way to Slenderville.
Skipping breakfast might seem like a good idea to save on calorie consumption, considering that you might not be hungry especially if you ate after 8pm the night before.
But the exact opposite is true. When you don’t eat breakfast your metabolism responds by slowing down and burning less, in spite of how active you are, and especially if you are athletic because the demand on your system is greater, so the conservation effort will accordingly be greater.
If you want to bulk up or take up Sumo wrestling, eat nothing early in the day and more and more as the day goes on, finishing with the junky carbs late at night.
Now if you’d rather NOT look like a linebacker,, eat a breakfast of protein (eggs come to mind and the new rules are that they are fine to have 5 times a week as long as your cholesterol level is in range) and some complex carbohydrate like whole wheat toast and some fruit. Lunch should be more lean protein and a cup of fiber-filled complex carbs. If you work out (and if you did not, lie to me and tell me tell me that you did) it’s important (to not storing fat) to consume some food within 20 minutes after your workout. This 20 minute window is the cut-off to keeping your metabolism revved up. The best thing to have would be a liquid protein, preferably whey, which is the most readily utilized protein by the body, but any other lean protein will suffice. It needs to be a 2-1 protein to carb (grams) ratio to restore what was lost in the workout session. You don’t need more than 200 calories. Think of a cup of yogurt, a banana with one tablespoon of peanut butter or a HEALTHY smoothie. I specify healthy smoothie because many smoothies that you see in stores or restaurants these days qualify as milkshakes, so don’t kid yourself. Know the sugar and calorie count and before you slurp. Then dinner. Dinner should be finished at least three hours before bedtime. Make it a big salad with a sprinkle of crushed flax seeds. Watch out for evil dressings that are fat-laden. Read the label. More lean protein and as much healthy veggies as you want. Then turn out the dining room light, close down the kitchen and avoid pre-bedtime eating like the plague. Make an announcement to your family. Tell them you are finished eating for the day. There’s something about saying you are finished with something that I like. It’s as if there was an allotted amount of something and now it is gone. Don’t say “I’m done.” Announce that you are finished. I bet you will like how it sounds too.
January 16, 2009
Many people have a part of their brain that so wishes they wanted to exercise, but truthfully they don’t want to do it whatsoever. They wish they wanted to. They want to want to. They just don’t want to. And they are sometimes jealous of people who DO enjoy exercise.
Hear the good news, all of you that fall in the Don’tLoveItButWishIDid category of exercisers; My guess is that one in a hundred people actually LOVE the physical act of exercise. The rest who say they love exercise really are in love with how they feel after they exercise or how their body looks from exercise or the flood of well-being that arrives by the time you peel off your sneakers. But I think those Exercise Lovers who proclaim that it feels good, actually have located a switch in their head that turns off the procratinator/complainer switch. They instead turn on the “Oh, I feel edgy to get that feeling that I love after I sweat “ switch.
Let’s all just get this clear, your heart pounding in your chest is not the most cozy feeling your body will experience. So. I am not asking you “Don’tLoveItButWishIDid” People to change something impossible like your eye color or your political party or to solve quadratic equations. Just kindly consider DOING IT. Just Do It.
Acknowledge all the while that you are putting on your sweats that, as that as Dr Phil says, “You don’t have to like it, you just have to DO it.” And if that sentence doesn’t seem to aptly scroll across the mental banner in your mind, try this one: “NO CHOICE.” Tell yourself it is not an option to NOT do it.
I read with interest this week about Barack Obama’s commitment to daily hour plus workouts that he does six days a week. And he’s not just shooting hoops either. He has a vigorous challenging, well-rounded workout routine. Folks, if the president of the United States can find time to exercise- and his schedule has got to be busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest, then we all surely can demand the same for ourselves (although I know your BUSY).
These past few weeks at the gym, I have noticed with pride many women working out even though we’ve had snow delays and frigid weather that requires an extra ten minutes of windshield scraping just to get to the gym. It does not go unnoticed, either by me, nor your arteries.
I like to think of my exercise routine the way a mother thinks of getting up in the middle of the night with her crying baby-I just don’t care about the agony. Because it gets me back to being me. When I think back (far back) to getting my babies back to sleep in the middle of the night (and I had twins when my son was 22 months old so I remember it well-I was busy come to think about it), afterwards,I’d climb back in bed and think to myself, “Whew, that wasn’t easy but not doing it wasn’t an option. Now I can relax.”
I think I hear your muscles crying. Better go put them back to bed.
January 9, 2009
This past Monday was the high point of my fitness calendar year. If you took a poll on when people begin exercise programs, then any Monday after a major holiday would rank in the top few. Throw in that the month is January and obesity is at an all time record high and if you’re one of the lucky few who got your period last week, that adds even more people who are embarking on a fitness/ dieting regime this week than at any other given time in the history of the earth.
I call it EPR-Exercise Program Resuscitation syndrome, otherwise known as “here we go another friggin time” or “I can’t believe I let this happen to me again.”
The noises in the orchestra pit of my head have been warming up for this week since December 26th.
Classes are packed and my peeps are sweating enthusiasm- it’s all as it should be.
But who is exercising this week is not as important to me as who is going to be STILL exercising in one month.
The reason this matters to me is that people, and by people I mean YOU, people need at least 21 days to establish a good habit or to break a bad habit. Not to mention that it only takes 72 hours to fall off the habit wagon.
Why do you think rehab programs are always 28 days? And what’s 28 days compared to 28 years of habit? How many more years are you going to kid yourself by saying you can have that occasional drink or 6, or that you can actually maintain your self-control just this one time and be able to open the bag of Doritos and have just the 110 calorie portion size which is really only 4 and a half chips?
The real reason you should give your new resolution three weeks minimum without letting yourself off the hook is because that’s how long it takes to form a new rut in the grooves of your brain. It also takes at least that long before the bad habit crevices get spackled over. The sad news is that those old habits may never fully loosen their grip on your head.
Some people have an easier time with this three week commitment than others. But from the fallout that I typically see come February, I can say with some confidence, that most of our brains are hard-wired to do as close to what we did yesterday as possible.
Those of you that’ve regularly exercised for years know that occasionally you find yourself in your Easy Spirit sneakers , strapping shut the velcro even before you’ve decided whether you really feel like exercising or not. It’s just what you did yesterday, for hundreds of days.
March becomes a critical benchmark for anyone who has struggled in the past with sticking with exercise.
As I’ve said in the past, you have to be SMART (see my December blog posts) about your goals.
To heck with saying you want to be healthy. What’s that mean? That you want to strengthen your cardiovascular, skeletal and respiratory systems? So what. That you’ll appreciate it in several decades from now when you’re old means nothing to any of us.
It’s too exhaustingly vague.
Not only do we have to be specific, but we also have to repeat (over and over ) the new good thingies and we have to be strong for three weeks to stop the old thingies.
Thoreau, who would’ve been on the cover of Oprah magazine had he lived in this century, or maybe not, come to think of it, since Oprah is the only one on the cover of Oprah magazine. But he’d definitely make it ON the Oprah show. Thoreau once said, “A single footstep will not a pathway make on this earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.
To make a deep physical path we must walk again and again. To make a deep mental path we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
4% of your waking hours is all you need to commit. This equals five hours a week. That leaves you 96% of the rest of your waking hours for all the other stuff in your life.
If that sounds like too much, aim for 1% which is 90 minutes a week or twenty minutes a day.
Write down a 20 minute workout plan. Jogging in place or knee-lifts, push-ups, squats, sit-ups or a walk around the block. Be specific and stick with it for the rest of your life. Promo it around the house. Build it up to something bigger than what it is. Give it a name, make sure everyone in your house knows about your regime. Drop it’s name into as many household conversations as possible so that when you mention it even the dog cringes. Call it the “Sophia’s Salutations” or “Bob’s Belly Blasting Belt Buckler”(only if your name is Sophia or Bob). How about the Daily Dozen or Fanning The Lifespan or Up with Me? Something flashier than How Can I Avoid Getting Diabetes but not so flashy as Abs of Steel which might psyche you out before three weeks is up. I bet Thoreau had a morning regime. Thoreau’s Yoga Flow or something like that.
Woody Allen once said. “I’m a firm believer that when you’re dead, naming a street after you doesn’t help your metabolism.”
I’m not sure what he had in mind when he said it but I think he meant
Do it today and be specific.
What can you do today that will make you feel better about yourself ?
And as a bonus, it might just help your metabolism.
January 8, 2009
I woke up last night, jolted awake by a random, shocking realization as is my typical fashion. This thought was actually a personal fear that the New Year’s Resolution message that I have been hammering into anyone’s brain who will listen to me might give some readers the impression that I
was on one shore of the fitness river, waving madly at all of the rest of you over on the distant other shore, over where discipline is a dirty word, where decrepitude reigns and slovenly habits rule.
I want to go on the record by saying that if I have given anyone the idea that I’ve got it all figured out and have achieved every goal I’ve ever set for myself, and then you are mistaken. I admit that I did manage to train myself to do one and a half pull-ups (really they were chin-ups, the homely, younger cousin to pull-ups) for about a week or so last year. But only because I blabbed about my desire to do a pull-up and because I spoke this intention out loud to my children who can guilt me into doing anything, including having one less glass of wine or getting off the phone, which up until now, no one else has been able to force me to do. But the pull-ups are gone now, just like many resolutions that we’ve all made in the past and still continue to want without actually being able to achieve.
The impression that you truly should have about my prostheletizing and me is that we are all in this together. I am no closer to contentment than any of the rest of you.
I like to think of it more like we are all out in the middle of the fitness river, having swum off of the shore of slovenly ways but not quite having the strength to dog paddle our way to those visible, yet distant resolutions awaiting on the far horizon.
I guess that my hope with all of my New Year’s cheerleading is that you will be inspired not by me, but along with me, to make some changes and to never give up.
After all, I still consume probably 80% of my calories standing up and I swing wildly between restrictive eating and eating like a horse, depending on what day of my cycle it is and this is despite my awareness that I’m still doin’ that thing I do!!
My parents, who are both now in their seventies have a twin-sweater set of matching age-related illnesses.
Mom with high blood pressure so acute she is blind in one eye along with cardiovascular disease and Pops with his diabetes and two artificial knees. Could all of these diseases been prevented by making some small daily changes decades ago like exercising regularly and eating lean proteins and tons of dark green leafy vegetables? Yes.
Why didn’t they? The very same reason we haven’t managed to make our own little changes. We are human. We are each struggling individually, but in a universal way, with those lifestyle issues we’ve always struggled with.
It comes down to HABITS.
Much of lifestyle is habit. Habits are just what we did yesterday and the day before that and the day before that.
So my hope is that we all, together, can examine what little things we do and see if just for this year 2009, if we can stick with a 21-day time span to get what Canyon Ranch calls the Butterfly Effect.
Little changes that we make on a daily basis-Do I order waffle fries or the plain baked potato? Do I sit down and watch Oprah or hop on the treadmill? Should I do five minutes of exercise or no minutes? – These decisions can have a profound effect on whether we live as long and stay as young as we hope.
So Happy New Year one more friggin’ time.
Hope to see you on, or near, the distant shore.