February 12, 2010
QUICKIE TIPS FOR COUPLES
* THE F WORD-
DO YOU USE IT? I MEAN THE WORD “FINE” AS IN “Everything’s FINE, Honey, I don’t mind if you go on that golf weekend in Vegas” Be sure you don’t say everything FINE when it’s not. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the mat over every dish left in the sink, but try to be open about how YOU are feeling.
* Don’t Interrupt-
My husband reminds me not to interrupt by saying nicely to me, “Let me finish” and then I remember to let him finish. My personal friends could learn a thing or two about getting a word in edgewise here.
The first five minutes when you greet each other should be a whine-free, nag-free zone. These crucial first moments set the tone for the entire evening.
So if you had no plans for Valentine’s Day….Now you do.
February 12, 2010
If you are married, have you maintained romantic intensity even after years together? Let me tell you, staying at your goal weight is an easier thing to do. I was reminded of this topic in a New York Times newspaper article called Reinventing Date Night For Long Married Couples.
The bottom line is, us old married folk are going about it
all wrong , even if we go out with other couples for pleasant dinners or to the movies most weekends.New research from brain and behavior researchers say quality time together is still not enough to prevent a relationship from getting boring.
The sexperts (I’d like to be a fly on their bedroom wall,if they are the so-called experts!) say we can rekindle the flame that we wistfully remember from our first dates together by reinventing DATE NIGHT, but not just any date night, it has to be an innovative date night.
Put on your thinking caps, girls, because dinner with the Smiths every other weekend does not count. In order to rekindle the fire, it has to be a new and different activity that you both enjoy.They call it brain science. When we try new activities, these experiences stimulate our brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine.
These are the very same brain doo-hickies that are doo-hickied in new romance.
Remember?When you can’t stop wondering what he’s doing right now, what shirt he’s wearing, replaying the entire dialogue from last night’s phone conversation.
Remember those days?
Any way- the article implies that just by doing new things together (and that means at the same time,Men) may reignite the tummy butterflies by actually restimulating the brain’s chemical rushes of early love.And I can’t stop myself from recommending any number of fitness activities.Here are some couple’s fitness suggestions:
Pool -as in Pool Hall, not swimming,which leads to wet hair
thus negative chemical surges about your mate’s hair
and every respectable town has a pool hall or at least a VFW.
Trapeze (NYC has a location for beginners, talk about butterflies)
Jumping on the trampoline
Swinging on a swing set
Hide and Seek (!!)
A Game of Tag
Get the idea? I dare you to try one new adventure this week.The sexperts say “You don’t have to swing from the chandeliers. Just go to a new part of a town or take a drive in the country.” I say amp it up one more notch. Take a sexy picture of yourself and send it to your mate, and see what happens.
But my main point is that Everyone feels better when they move their body.Find an activity you both can share.Surprise your mate. Maybe you will surprise yourself.
Happy Valentines Day from my Workout World.
February 12, 2010
MARITAL MOOD TIPS
* My definition of foreplay differs from my husband’s.If he unloads the dishwasher, I am EXCITED.He on the other hand would be revved up if I accidently got tangled up in my pantlegs and stumbled around the bedroom with my drawers at my ankles.Go figure.
My point is that men and women have vastly different needs.Do you know what your mate’s top three needs are?You need to know.Whether you meet them or not is another blogpost.
Why,why, why do we need to know, you women ask? So that we stay connected, of course.It is my humble opinion that unmet needs are the biggest cause of trouble on this earth, whether it is in the Middle East or in your kitchen.Think about it.
So have a little conversation this weekend. Don’t interrupt (That’s also another marital fitness blogpost).
Ask each other What are your top three needs in your relationship.It might be physical affection, help around the house, to be heard without interruption,to have a half hour of peace and quiet,surprises,daily laughter(Women, don’t be surprised if the S word comes up.Here’s a hint.Men like it)
I hope this has you reevaluating your connection with the person you’ve flossed your teeth next to a thousand times (I hope you floss together.Flossing is so important to cardiovascular health.Yet another fitness blogpost).
If we are committed in our marriage then it deserves some tuning-up, just like with our car maintenance even though it’s driving smoothly. An oil change every 4000 miles(or is it every 6000?This isn’t one of my needs but it sure is for my husband)) keeps the engine revved up.
My Take Your Marriage On A Walk fitness CD program can give you a more structured 8 week Couples
Personal Training(walking ) program if you’d like to tune up your marriage! Ignore this if you are “need-free” .
Otherwise, CHECK IT OUT
February 12, 2010
You can drink some hot cocoa. You can wear your thermal underwear, build a fire in the fireplace, do shots of whiskey or turn the thermostat up. All of these strategies will help you take the edge off the cold weather. But the most authentic body warming technique to get yourself and keep yourself warm has always been and always will be EXERCISE.
Put your hands on your cheeks right now. Are your fingers cold? Try 20 push ups and check your cheeks once again, I bet those fingers are warmer.
I’m speaking just from a “warming up your tootsies” angle but there is even more scientific reasoning for exercising, even in the winter.
“If you can’t walk a quarter mile in five minutes, the chance that you’ll be dead in three years is three times higher than if you can’t. It’s a BIG deal.” This is what I remember Oprah’s guru of health, Dr. Oz, saying one day last season. It was such a powerful statement to me that it stuck in the part of my brain that remembers things I want to remember, like the 2 days a month my cleaning lady, Saint Vicky comes or the entire published workout routine of President-to-be Obama or like the date my year end bonus is put through. Important minutae, I call it. Sometimes the snow sticks, sometimes it melts. Same with my brain.
Exercise will keep you alive and alert for longer than if you don’t do it. That should be your intrinisic reason for exercising, but if not, you can do it to just warm yourself up, both motivations get the job done.
When the snow piles up, the way it has around town this past week, the one way to keep your inner thermostat revved up is through exercise.
I know that getting to the gym is a pain in the glutes. Putting on exercise gear, then a few outer layers, then trudging to the car, scraping it down, holding but trying not to touch a steering wheel as cold as ice, then making it to the health club- ain’t for sissies.
But if you can break a sweat on the days it falls into the single digit weather zone, then your body will thank you. Your mind will be clearer and the winter slime, as it’s known around our house, will vanish.
It’s good for your skin too. When the temperature drops, my skin starts feeling like sandpaper. And I’ve never been good with following the directions on the labels of all my moisturizers. I end up putting night cream on in the daytime, eye cream on my cheeks, face cream on my legs, foot cream on my hands and chapstick under my nose. But if I exercise, I notice my skin feels less dry.
This is, of course, if I drink lots of water. The way you know you are drinking enough water at this time of year is if you have to pee within 20 minutes after finishing your workout.
Go have a big glass on me.
February 6, 2010
Sneaky Super Bowl Snack Strategies
Tips for not making dumb food decisions
1. Think About The Consequences of Your Food Choices and Make Mindful Decisions About What You Eat or Don’t Eat.
Most dumb diet decisions happen when we we aren’t actually making decisions at all. When I polled my indoor cyclists about whether they had an action plan for this Sunday, handling the Super Bowl food, they blinked at me and shrugged. We just do stuff or we don’t do stuff. Then (Monday morning) we pretend that if we don’t think about consequences, there are none.I also call this compartmentalization-Think Tiger Woods. Or Bill Clinton.
People who are successful at losing weight recognize that the little decisions they make everyday end up being important, so they make them mindfully. They rehearse in their mind saying “No thanks. Doctor’s orders.I’ve given up thousand calorie junk food. But it DOES look scrumptious, thank you for asking.”
2. Set Yourself Up For Success. Create Opportunities To Make the Right Decision
Do this by bringing healthy appetizers to your party. Or not making calorie laden bombs.
Delay technique. Get in the habit of delaying, even if it’s only a minute or two, between an impulse to give in and actually doing something there’s a good chance you’ll regret.
So if a simple “no I said I wouldn’t eat that,” isn’t effective, then tell yourself: “Well, maybe I do deserve it, but not yet. First I’ll set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes. I’ll drink a big glass of water, and then read the front page of the newspaper and then maybe do 2 sun salutations. Then if I still really want it Ill have it. Nine times out of ten, in a fe minutes the urge will have passed.
3. Visualize Consequences.
Another effective trick is the same thing I do if I don’t feel like brushing my teeth. Tempted to skip your workout? Don’t just ask yourself “do I want to go to work out now?” Because of course the answer is “hell no!”
Instead, ask yourself the same thing you ask yourself about skipping brushing your teeth-Will I make up this up later in the week? Will I feel like it more later? How do I feel after I miss a few? Do I really want to lose momentum and feel guilty and like crap? How virtuous will I feel after wards if I just suck it up and work out ?
When considering taking the first chip from a plate of supreme nachos, do you ask whether it’s worth an extra five to ten miles on the treadmill in addition to what you usually have to do? If you indulge, will you feel pleased with your self or will you still want another chip when the first one is gone?
Successful dieters ask themselves questions such as this all the time. They don’t always get the answer right, because imperfection is inevitable and even necessary. The tip is to never stop questioning.
4. Butterfly Effect-Little Decisions Add Up
Suppose you have a very important but challenging goal, like saving money for your 3 kids college education. You may realize, theoretically, that it’s going to take a lot of effort, but do you make all the small decisions you need to in order to get there?
It’s a tough reality to acknowledge that life is about trade-offs. You don’t get to have it all. Pretending this isn’t true can mean not having the funds when your kids head to college.
5.Not to Decide is to Decide
If you often think whimsically, “I’d love to take a Zumba class someday” but instead you sit home wathing re-runs of Seinfeld, then really you are deciding that you’d rather watch tv than learn Zumba.
These sort of decisions don’t feel like decisions, though, partly because if we really put any thought into it, we’d never make them. Would we really squander our precious time on this planet doing things like checking our Facebook status every five minutes or watching two consecutive hours of The Office reruns?
6. Still Making Dumb Decisions? Shrink Yourself!
No, not literally. Mentally. Better yet, if you can afford an actual shrink, go see one.
If you’re making consecutive bad decisions, maybe it’s not just a question of willpower. You may have one conscious agenda- to eat healthier and get in shape. And an entirely different subconscious one- to never feel unloved, or to distract myself from how I’m feeling, or to stay invisible.
Ask yourself if your dieting has a pattern. When do your actions contradict your intentions? Do you always overeat after a visit with your in-laws? Do you overeat when your hubby returns from a business trip? You may have a self- sabotaging loop that plays in your head to encourage these self-defeating behaviors. It’s beneficial to learn how to tune into these conversations. A trained therapist can do this. Once you can hear what you’re telling yourself, you can start questioning some of the ridiculous things you play on the loop in your head.
But you already knew all of this. I’m just sayin’.
What are YOU doing after the Super Bowl???
See you Monday.
February 6, 2010
Statistics have shown that during any given Super Bowl party, men and women both 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 (even if it’s 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, where we are 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 last year 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 flat 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.