This really big but little word.. Success (poem)

Success

If you want a thing bad enough,
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and sleep for it

If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it.

If like seems all empty and useless without it.
And all that you scheme and dream is about it.

If gladly you’ll sweat for it.
Fret for it, Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God for it.

If you simply go after that thing that you want.
With all your capacity,
Strength and sargacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity.

If neither cold, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain,
of body or brain,
Can turn you away from the thing that you want.

If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You’ll get it!

- Burton Braley

ReDeafined.. Fitting In and Living Between Two Different Worlds

“Not hearing enough but not deaf enough”- stuck between two worlds…

It’s been about 3 years ago I had my hearing re-tested and was told I needed hearing aids. Primarily for my left ear which showed the most dramatic hearing loss, but my right ear wasn’t hearing so great either. They don’t know what the cause for the loss is. Maybe due to a virus I had or potentially due to my auto-immune issues. The one thing they do know now, it that it is getting worse.

When I was 8 years old I had my tonsils and adenoids removed and tubes put into my ears. I don’t know if it was to help prevent ear infections, like they do now, or for whatever reason. I do remember one of the tubes didn’t come out on it’s own and when I was laying on the table in the doctors office I stared at the big E.N.T. on the door, and made up my own words to what those letters stood for. He walked in the room in his long white lab coat and pulled at the tube in my ear, it took several attempts. I thought it wasn’t supposed to hurt. It hurt. At that time I was most scared that I would lose my hearing, they assured me that wouldn’t happen. Not saying that this caused my current situation because I highly doubt it did, but just a little foresight into my future.

I remember someone once saying, “You talk like you have a handful of shit in your mouth.” because I mumbled, unable to hear how loud I was talking. Through my high school years people would tell me I needed to speak louder. In my head, I was speaking louder.

Fast forward a few years later. I decided I was going to join the Air Force and use that as my means to pay for college. It was during the physical they pulled my out of the line up and took me in to another room stating I failed their hearing test. Perhaps it was just that my ears needed to be cleaned out? They took me to a doctor and had my ears cleaned and brought me back for retesting. Once again, Failed. I was told the only way I could get a waiver to enlist would be if the doctor wrote a statement saying my hearing wouldn’t get worse. Of course, my doctor wouldn’t say that, not to them, not to me, and certainly not in writing to the Government. Unfortunately, my hearing got worse.

At this latest appointment, it was confirmed. They changed the settings on my one hearing aid, they stated again that they recommended I get a second for my right ear. “moderate hearing loss to lower tones”. I remember when I first got my hearing aid and how amazed I was at the sound of my doctor’s high heels clicking across the floor. I watched her feet and then looked up to see her smiling. Outside her office the birds sang SO LOUDLY! Then there was the time Scott, my husband and I were driving down the road with the windows open, and I asked him, “What’s that sound?” “You mean the frogs?” “Those are frogs?!” I said with delight. You probably wouldn’t understand that if the sounds of frogs to you are no big deal. But to me.. AWESOME!!

frog

I’m going to be honest here and tell you, there are times when I just wish I couldn’t hear anything rather than hearing sound but not being able to make out the words people are saying. But then I think of the things I CAN hear. Just sometimes it gets frustrating for me with saying, “what? I didn’t hear you.” and I know it’s frustrating to my family. Just this morning with my daughter I said, “Oh, there you are! Did you hear me calling you?” She said,”Yes, I only said ‘what’ a hundred times.”

In my everyday life when I didn’t have my hearing aid, I would mimic the facial expressions others did so they wouldn’t know I couldn’t hear what they said. Laugh when they laughed, smiled when they smiled, or nod my head as if I could hear them. Is that wrong of me to do? I don’t think of it as “lying” just preventing embarrassment or perhaps avoid fear of being left out of conversation and connection with others if they knew, getting a “never mind” in return. Once someone I worked with was speaking to me and I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Jokingly they acted as if they were doing sign language and spoke very slowly to me. They didn’t know about my hearing loss. They meant no harm, I know that. But I just wanted to tell them that I really couldn’t hear them. Another time, someone asked me what kind of Bluetooth device I was wearing…it was my hearing aid.

As I face the fact that I am deaf in my left ear (without the help of my hearing aid), and I am also losing my hearing in my right ear, several things go through my mind. The most prominent was a car accident I was involved in when I was a teenager. It was a bad car accident in the mountains of Utah. They said we were lucky. They said we should have gone right over the guard rail, down the mountain to the railroad tracks far below. But we didn’t, and they don’t know why. In this car accident, I had smashed my head on the right hand side, knocking myself unconscious. When I came to and the paramedics were there doing their evaluation. “What is your name?” I couldn’t remember. I told them I didn’t know but if they said it, I would know what it was. “What year is it?” Again, the same response, “I don’t know.” Do you know what his name is?” They pointed to the young man I was on a date with, ” I don’t know. But if you say it I will know it.” Then my sight began to darken. I said, “Something is wrong. I can’t see anything.” They reassured me, by telling me they were right there and that we would be moving shortly to get to to the hospital. My sight came back in but then as I watched them, I observed… I couldn’t hear what they were saying and I began to panic. “What are you saying?! I can’t hear what you are saying! Do I sound funny? My S’s… Sssssssss, my S’s sound funny! Do you hear me?!”

utah guard rail

This car accident had more than a huge impact in my life than I would have ever thought at the time. It was when I decided I was going to become a Firefighter/EMT/Paramedic, it was also when I decided if I was going to lose my  sight, my short term memory, or my hearing… I would least want to lose my hearing. I justified this with even when I lost my sight, I could still hear what others were doing, what they were saying, the sounds and tones of their voices were comforting. It was with the loss of my hearing when they were attempting to communicate with me and I couldn’t understand them.. it scared me, made me feel uncomfortable, and …alone. How ironic is it that I became a firefighter/emt and “lost” that, and I am slowly losing my hearing as well. The thought makes me chuckle in a sad sort of way. Though I realize it isn’t the end of the world now, is it. Not even close!

As I continue to develop my skills as a Personal Trainer business owner to help people with their health and fitness, and my skills as a Professional Speaker to help others get through tough times in their lives, I seek out ways I could also use this hearing loss to help others. I began to research and find out what I could do and I ran across this article. Nothing to do with how I could help people with the exception of helping others to understand how it feels, or at least how I feel, but one part of this really hit home, 

Deaf people communicate in a variety of ways, so you shouldn’t assume that all of us know sign language or can lip-read. On any given day, I use speech, sign language, and written English to communicate. I choose to speak because it makes things easier for you, the hearing person, who usually will not have the patience to converse with me otherwise. That said, I absolutely hate it when people come out with a variant of the compliment, “Oh, but you speak so well!” The problem with this statement is twofold. First, it’s condescending. I don’t want to be praised for acquiescing to society’s idea of how I should speak or sound. 

I do not know sign language. My daughter has suggested we take a sign language class together and I considered it for a while but decided against it for communication purposes with her, but, perhaps it would help in communicating with others? This is where the “not hearing enough but not deaf enough comes into play”. Is this something I really NEED to do to fit in to both worlds? Seeing as I think I am doing pretty okay with what I know and can do right now, I don’t think so. The only thing I can ask from both worlds is to be patient and that goes for anyone whom is deaf, hearing, or who speaks a different language from someone else. Just be patient because we all live in this world together and I understand how frustrating it can be trying to communicate with someone who communicates differently than you do.

Human Disconnection- The Unseen Energy String That Connects Person To Person- Broken and Restrung

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Don’t Belong Here by Alena Beljakova is part of a series of images that deals with the increasingly insulated and disconnected nature of modern urban life. This particular image is an effective allegory of the modern condition- it shows human disconnection from each other and also from nature. 

 

I was speaking with a lady the other day and asked her to use one word to describe how she feels about her relationships. Her response was, “If I had to pick one word, it would be… disconnected. I don’t feel like I have any real friends, certainly not anyone I would feel comfortable confiding in. Sure there are places on social media sites where I have ability to contact with past friends from high school or past fellow employees or even current employees, but I feel if I lost the ability to go online, I wouldn’t be missed, no one would care. I actually think I’d be forgotten rather quickly. I’m married but I don’t feel connected to my husband in the way that I feel we should be connected. I’m pretty sure that if you asked him what my interests and hobbies are, he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Sad isn’t it?”

Unfortunately, I bet there are a lot of people who feel the same way. Maybe not exactly but with social media, more people are trying to make connections while sitting behind a computer monitor and a keyboard than ever before. Personally, I myself have felt a sense of disconnect in childhood, my teen years, my early adult years, and even fairly recently.

I come from a large family. As a child we moved around a lot. Because of that, I didn’t see a need to make friends, since we weren’t going to be there long anyway, and I always had my brothers and sisters around me, always had someone to play with or go do something with. As a teen, I led a very different life than what one would consider “normal”. I still moved around a lot, I wasn’t with my large family anymore though. I went to school and worked, and partied a lot which sometimes got me in trouble. That lifestyle carried over into my early adulthood except I started making connection with people who some would consider friends and to others may seem like friends of convenience… Until I had my son. My son was my everything. Now as an adult, It is something I am working on with my studies of Spirituality, Meditations, and changing my beliefs with personal development. I had a “best friend” (outside of my husband). Our connection, her dad and my mom had the same drinking problems and we loved music. We met Freshman year of High School. We lost contact when the two of us moved to opposite sides of the Country. She hired a private investigator to find me and it was AWESOME! We remained in contact with each other up until September of last year making visits back and forth to see each other, phone calls, and emails with photos attached. Now, her phone number no longer in service. I get no response to emails sent. She always thought my birthday was 3 days after the actual date. She would call, I would laugh and tell her, “you missed it AGAIN!” This year, I heard nothing from her. I keep waiting to hear from her, longing to restore that one important connection. I don’t think I will ever lose the hope that maybe someday she’ll pop back up again.

So, what is “Human Connection” or the feeling or sense of “connection”? 

Some would say it is the feelings of belonging, of love, and empathy. The feeling that a person has something in common with another person, that they fit in, maybe needed, desired, cared about, that they are good enough and worthy of that connection.

Image“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ― Brene Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

Image“That’s what Jamie didn’t understand: it was never just sex. Even the fastest, dirtiest, most impersonal screw was about more than sex. It was about connection. It was about looking at another human being and seeing your own loneliness and neediness reflected back. It was recognizing that together you had the power to temporarily banish that sense of isolation. It was about experiencing what it was to be human at the basest, most instinctive level. How could that be described as just anything?” Emily Maguire

Studies have shown how very important human connection and human contact (socialization) is. It is one of the human needs we must have to thrive and grow. Without it, we would wilt away. “If you aren’t growing, you are dying.” is the quote that runs through my head. We need to connect with others to enhance our strengths, challenge our differences, to inspire, and… to be happy.

According to doctor John Cacioppo, Ph. D. “The desire for connection is so irrepressible that people imagine relationships with important social others, or indulge in “social snacks” (e.g., photos of loved ones) and surrogates (e.g., parasocial attachments to television characters).”

I hope you take a few moments and watch this video: The Case For Human Connection

The Case for more human connection

I found this interesting because personally I don’t drink alcohol. I believe everyone else I know does. This is how they socialize with each other and to be quite honest, even though I don’t think I would be any more fun, or anything with added alcohol, I don’t get invited to go out much, and I have stayed home many weekend nights while others are out at bars and clubs. Does it bother me? I guess, sometimes. I’m finding more human connection in groups I have actually met online through Meetup.com or by attending seminars. But anyway…

Back to the lady I was speaking to, one thing I noticed about the response I received was that this lady, said that she goes on social media sites, but she feels that if she was unable to connect to the internet, that no one would even notice or care that she wasn’t there. It was though in essence she was saying, that if she passed away, no one would care, perhaps no one would notice. Do you see why she chose the word, “disconnected”? 

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What if she did “disconnect” from the internet and got involved in other things offline? Would that solve any of her feelings of being disconnected?

Perhaps this story of a man who “unplugged” for a year could shed some light.

I was a little bored, a little lonely, but I found it a wonderful change of pace. I wrote in August, “It’s the boredom and lack of stimulation that drives me to do things I really care about, like writing and spending time with others.” I was pretty sure I had it all figured out, and told everyone as much.”

You might want to read that. It probably doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would. Or, maybe it will. (smile). I really enjoyed this one. 

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I’d like to end this blog entry with a thought. We all must have human contact. It is up to you whether you decide to have it all via the internet and social media sites, or all in person with face to face interaction, or a little of both. Whatever you chose, the best way to have the most meaningful connections is to nurture them. Listen to the people who talk to you and be interested in what they say. Try to experience and meet new people by branching out your interests. The lady that I spoke with and the problem she had with the disconnect from her husband, I had to wonder if he felt the same way about her. My son told me last weekend “Friendships are work” and he is right. Making and maintaining real human connection and friendships does take a lot of work. Nothing worth anything comes easy and when it comes to expanding your consciousness and your connection with others, it won’t be easy… you know what they say…IT’LL BE WORTH IT!

Feel free to connect with me on:

facebook – facebook.com/jenniwhipple

twitter: @jennicoolwhip

Instagram @jenniwhip

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stumbleupon- jenniwindtalker 

 

 

 

Need a “Plan B” for when your “Life Sucks!”

I had a very interesting thing happen to me yesterday. Before I go into what happened, I need to back up a bit and tell you, I have been married for going on 18 years to a man who is very intelligent, creative, hard working, loyal to myself and his family, and gives his best in all those things that capture his attention. We have lived in the same home for the past 12 years, we have 2 dogs, Bitxi (pronounced Big C) and Indigo, or we call him Indigo Jones (or “ Indy” for short), and our orange tiger striped cat Xipilli, “Zip” is his shortened name.

We have 2 daughters who live at home, and a son who is doing well in college. We both have decent paying jobs, he HATES his, and I feel unfulfilled and unchallenged in mine, but they pay the bills and feed the family. Doesn’t sound all that bad does it? Besides us both not having satisfying jobs.. at least we HAVE jobs and that is something to be grateful for!

Yesterday, I was at work and had just gone on my lunch break when I get a call from my husband telling me he was 50.5 miles away from home, in front of a convention center in downtown Chicago, and the tire on our vehicle blew out. We had just had all four tires replaced on the car but the company who changed the tire said they couldn’t get the spare to go back in so it was sitting back home in our garage. With all the stuff he had with him at the time, there was no room in the car for it anyway outside of the spare tire area.

He told me he needed me to leave work, go home, which was 25 miles in the opposite direction, get the spare, and then bring it to him so he could change the tire. Did I mention he was in downtown CHICAGO in front of a Convention Center?! There was no way they were going to wait for me to do that before they had, or the Chicago police saw him there, and had him towed! I called our “Roadside Assistance” program through our insurance and they said they would tow the car for 15 miles for free, but after that, it would be $4-$5 per mile. When I relayed this info to my husband, he said something that burned in my mind for several hours. He said, “My life just fucking sucks!

Immediately I took that personally, as if it were because I wasn’t doing enough. Then I began thinking about all the people in worse situations and began to really get irritated with the fact he could even think that, much less say that to me. I believe a previous me would have launched on him for making a comment like that. Thankfully I have evolved enough and have grown enough to look past the words and go deeper into what he was saying. It isn’t that his life sucked, it was the situation that he was in at that present time that “sucked”, and that is something, if he would have said, I would have agreed with. The fact is, the situation I was in at that time sucked as well.

Due to health situations with my MS and Hashimoto’s and with my daughters (broken bones, degenerative disc disease, and muscle spasms) I have sometimes had to miss work or leave early to get to a doctor, therefore, my attendance at my “unsatisfying employer that pays the bills”, has been less than exceptional.

In fact, I was fearful (another word for FEAR is STRESS) that by having to leave early, I just might lose my job! Losing my job would no doubt have a trickledown effect in other areas of my life, AND in my family’s life. As I sit here right now, I am waiting for my boss to call me in his office. I’m not lying about that either. While I wait, here is something to think about, if you think your “life sucks”, it’s your own fault. This isn’t meant to demean you or make your feel bad, but you are 100% responsible for the happiness in your life, not your mate, not your parents, not even your favorite fluffy animal or bare butted piggy… you are baby!

Where you are in life right now is a direct response of your thoughts, actions, and beliefs. If you are dissatisfied with your life, only you can change what needs to be changed to get the results you desire in life and make it not so SUCKY. The fact is that I am in an unfulfilling job, which is 100% my doing, I get that. But I don’t go around emptying other peoples buckets (have you read HOW FULL IS YOUR BUCKET? By Tom Rath ) ,because of my lack of doing to get myself into a more emotional, spiritual fulfilling position of earning money. I know the only way to get that is to get myself around those who have the life I desire and do what they do. Therefore, I am off to find those type of people. :)

This situation gave me the opportunity to share something with my daughter. My concern of the potential situation of losing my job. I also shared with her that if the feared situation happened; maybe something better would come my way. Because regardless if it was due to my own attendance or not, things come at exactly the right time. No doubt it would cause me to change my current path (of least resistance) and open my eyes to what else is out there.

And so along came the question… What am I waiting for? I can make the choice for me to step out on that ledge and turn my Spirituality and love for people into my career, or I could be like the majority of the population that waits for life to happen to them as if they have no control and then scream out “MY LIFE JUST FUCKING SUCKS!

I’m making my choice and making my life…let the adventure begin! Hell no! I’m not quitting my job, I’m not talking being spontaneous and thoughtless.. I have kids that rely upon me!

But I am preparing with investigation so that I will make that change that will bring more happiness and fulfillment into my life. My husband, on the other hand, well, he’ll have to dig deep and figure out what his passions in, though I believe he already knows, and he will also have to make those changes or continue with the self disabling mindset he has fallen into.
“You cannot fix the problems in your life with the same mindset that created them. Change your mind, change your life.”

Spring Spiritual Cleaning- The Eulogy

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I probably won’t be adding may pictures or “fluff stuff” to this post because in all reality, it is about my Spiritual growth and journey for the month of April. If you can believe it, I haven’t gone to the gym more than 2 or 3 times this month because I have been putting more into the growth within than the external growth with weights. Now, that being said, I still have been doing my deep breathing exercises, yoga at home, nature walks, and meditation.

I have been learning a lot about myself. I was advised one of the best things that we can do is to write our our eulogy. In doing so, we can almost see the legacy that we will leave behind. Initially I had no idea where to start with writing my own eulogy. It was with the help of a blog I found Art of Manliness, yeah, this is obviously a blog directed at men but, what the hey! I didn’t see any, “No Girls Allowed!” signs hung anywhere and if it helps me get to the next spiritual stone I’m trying to get to, so be it!

Writing the Eulogy really did get me thinking about those things we sometimes think about, sometimes we forget about. I began to think about the people who came into and influenced me in my life. The lessons I learned. The dreams I had, ones I achieved and ones I grew out of when I realized I didn’t want them anymore.  

It’s a great exercise to do. It will help you to reevaluate the life you have lived thus far, and maybe help guide you in what you would like to accomplish, or what relationships you’d like to repair since you have the opportunity right now. For some this exercise will be easier than for others. For me, I found some parts were very difficult. Regardless, I’m glad I did it.

 

Spring Cleaning your “Top Three” for Psychological, Physiological, and Spiritual Health

The next four weeks can be magical for you, if you allow them to be! Take your own journey or follow me in mine, phenomenal things are about to happen! (I believe they will, therefore, they will!)

The beginning of April marks the first part of the second quarter of the year. It is a time when some people do their Spring cleaning, not just of their house, but of their mind, body, and spirit as well. For the next four weeks I will allow myself to experience a cleaning of self and will end in a renown re-discovery of who I really am. 

I decided to do this when I found myself feeling a pull from within a few months ago. I won’t go into details but I just knew it was time for me to reconnect and ground myself. Confused yet? Well, imagine this.. “Can you imagine waking up today without your past history of doubt, fear and the perceptions that limit you or keep you stuck in repetitive patterns? Can you imagine being able to design a deep and meaningful future based on your soul’s greatest expression and your heart’s deepest desires rather than on old, outdated, unmet needs and beliefs?” Now do you see where I am headed? Obviously, this is only reflecting in the realm of my spiritual self but I am expecting more to come!

“Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to life in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.” – Debbie Ford

 Debbie Ford has written several books, the one I will be using is: 

COURAGE for my Kindle. 

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“Most of us think about courage as something we do, something we think, or a decision we make. But a warrior’s courage is a gift that we receive at birth. It is a level of consciousness that, whether we have experienced it or not, must be held close, developed, and savored. It is a state of being. When you are standing in and being courageous, you don’t have to ‘do‘ courage. When you are doing courage, you tend to muscle through a situation or decision, which you have probably done before. This muscling through is not the kind of courage that transcends the moment, because it is more often than not sourced from fear, from ‘I have to’ or ‘I should.’ Instead, a warrior’s courage is poignant, purposeful, and directed toward where change needs to be made. And, as you will see throughout this book, when you experience a warrior’s courage, being and standing in the presence of it, you are clear that the rewards for letting it lead you are infinitely greater than the risks. You were born with this courageous warrior inside of you. In your imagination, you see her as sacred and holy, beautiful and empowered. She is filled with strength, clarity, and confidence, born ready to participate in the world, to face and conquer her fears, and to reunite with all the other powerful, playful warriors out there.”

 

Yes, I will also be cleaning other aspects of my life. I already started with what I call, “The Cleanse of the Fakey Facebook Friends”. You know what I’m talking about. I was one of “those people” who had over 2000 “friends” on facebook. Granted, most I had met at competitions, conventions, seminars, and the like. Others were “friends” of theirs who just liked what I posted, i guess. Either way, I went through and unfriended about 1300 people total. When no one tried to re-friend me, I actually felt good because initially I thought perhaps some people who get way too emotionally tied to their social media friends or followers would be upset or something. If that happened, they never let me know. Slightly off topic but can you believe they actually have a Facebook Poster? “Show your house guests, family, or roommate how popular you are on Facebook with a poster showing all your Facebook friends! Have up to 2000 friends printed on a 20″x40″ poster for just $20. Think that will impress Mom and Dad?” Wow.

Yeah, chopping that tree down was far over due. I also decided for the month of April, I will stay off Facebook and my email. My only communication will be through my phone ( gotta really know me to have that #) and through my Twitter account for brief interactions.

You may be wondering where fitness and health fit in here. Healthy nutrition is the best way to give your body the balanced nutrients it needs to work and function properly. We touched base on this before.Obviously cardiovascular exercise in the amount of 20-30 minutes a day and strength training.. I will also add in my meditation and Yoga (I’m getting better!), and I am still working on my Reiki as well.

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Spring Cleaning the top three; Mind, Body, and Spirit (psychological, physiological, and spiritual) takes a cognitive effort, daily focus, and a willingness to grow, learn,and let go of all that is “cluttering” up your life…inside and out.

So there you have it. This is the plan for the month of April. I welcome you to walk with me, and who knows, maybe transform your OWN life.  Thank you for reading, as always, your comments are welcome! 

Please share this with those whom you feel may benefit from the information.

 

 

 

8 Easy Ways To Stay Focused On Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Recently I was speaking with someone who seemed to have lost their motivation for going to the gym, eating healthier, and improving their overall fitness. They stopped their food journal, went to the gym MAYBE two times a week if they didn’t get it in their head to not go when they left the parking lot of their employer, if they did that, they kept their appointment time one time that week. In short, they lost their WIT(Whatever It Takes)!

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That’s right, they sank down the hole and lost their connectivity to why they began their journey in the first place. So, let’s say you are one of those people. This was the #1 reason people flop on their journey. Not lack of trainers and coaches, not lack of gym choices or places to workout or buy healthy foods, not lack of hope, or not enough knowledge according to the American Psychological and their survey called Stress in America. It was lack of willpower. Oh, I know you aren’t but let’s pretend for a moment that you are. How would you get it back? How would you motivate yourself to get back in to the swing of things and get your your WIT’s back?

1. Whatever It Takes: It may sound corney but the first thing to do is to get your mindset right. Where ever your mind goes, your body follows. So, before you even start to think about excuses, this is when you tell yourself “WHAT EVER IT TAKES!” You say this over and over. Get your physiology into it, use your arms, your legs, your torso and say it like you mean it, because you DO mean it, don’t you? Of course your do!

2: Review your goals- Are you setting SMART goals? Oh PLEASE tell me you are at least setting your goals! How can you get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going? I’m always surprised when I’m in a consultation with someone and I ask them what their goals are and they respond with very vague, “I wanna lose weight.” type of goals. No. That won’t work! You need to set SMART goals! Write them down, look at them every day.

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3: Try a Vision Board- A Vision board will tune your brain into where you want to go. More and more people seem to understand the impact visioning can have on not just health and fitness successes but in many areas of your life. I prefer a board you have in your home that you look at each day, but Pinterest has certainly helped with allowing people to create and access boards where ever they are. No Excuses!

4: Stress Relief – There is no doubt whatsoever that stress can be a major energy zapper! Think about what your body feels like when it is stressed. All the muscles are tightened, and usually stress is something that most people allow to affect their bodies for a long period of time, not just a few minutes. There are many ways to relieve stress, from quiet walks in nature, to meditation and yoga. Even aromatherapy and massage. Learning stress coping techniques such as deep breathing will also help alleviate stress. 

5: Plan ahead – Oh it sounds so simple doesn’t it? let me tell you what, it sure helps with you already have that intention in your mind that you are doing what you set out to do! If it’s a workout, lay your clothes out in advance. If it’s dietary, advanced food prep ( and take it with you) is the best way to stay on track and avoid getting things on the run when you are hungry or want munchies. 

6: Make it a ritual or appointment with yourself. If your goal is to go running every morning, work it in to your morning routine or ritual. If it’s after work ( when people tend to be more tired) DO NOT GO HOME AND SIT ON THE COUCH OF DOOM!! Take your workout clothes with you and either change at the gym or, in the restroom of your employer and go straight to your running start point, or gym. We all know that if you’ve worked a long hard day and you come home and sit on the couch, it’s like your butt get’s super glued to it. Don’t do it!

7. Share your goals – Find an accountability partner or let others know what your (SMART) goals are. Ask them for help..only if you REALLY want it though. Some people will ride you like a horse if you tell them your goal is to go to the gym 5 days a week and you miss a day because you are sick (really sick).

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8. Track your progress – One way I have found to work is by using a journal to write in each night that I did was I was supposed to do. I label how many days in a row and how I felt before and after my workout or ate my foods. I write the time of day, the date and the day. For food this is a great way to recognize how your body reacts to certain foods during the day. Some people use a calender and put a big red X on the day they do what they should have done. The visual part of that is that you don’t want to break the success chain of big red X’s. 

 

The Non-Fragile Art of Not Giving A Fuck!

Originally posted on The Progressive Self:

 February 10, 2014 by Jason Demakis

…About the wrong things, of course! How many times have you allowed yourself to remain stagnant because of fear of other people’s opinions in regards to your path? Here’s an article telling you why you not only need to stop doing this, but also why no longer doing so empowers you into domains of personal growth and progress beyond the bounds of everyone else who’s still too terrified of what other people are thinking! The “secret” to unconditional happiness and gratitude actually begins with not giving a fuck!

People Are Judging You RIGHT NOW! What Are You Going to Do?!

“We’re often afraid to tell others exactly how we feel, because we are afraid of what others will have to say about how we feel.” -Abraham Hicks

Let’s set something straight from the get go: the majority of people who have higher goals and…

View original 2,244 more words

Women should lift weights, but do they REALLY need to lift heavy?

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I just got through reading an article directed toward women saying that they need to lift heavy weights several times a week and to, “Put the 5-pound dumbbells away, just put them back in the corner where you found them. Light them on fire while you’re at it.”  It also mentioned the picture in the fitness magazine of the woman standing on one leg on the bosu while lifting a 5lb db is not the workout they (women) need. I’m sorry, but if you ask me, women, or anyone for that matter need several different types of workouts from weights, to cardio, to yoga and pilates. I congratulate the women who take the time to find a workout they love and work it into their busy schedules to do 3-5 times a week!

It even went on to say, “ANYTHING you read in any women’s fitness magazine is suspect. Actually, it’s not just suspect — you can be guaranteed that they’re feeding you inaccurate trash.” Wow. That’s a pretty bold statement. I’d tell the lady who wrote that article to check out Oxygen Magazine. It’s what got me started toward my first Women’s Physique Competition! Certainly NOT inaccurate trash!

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I’m the third from the right in the lavender suit. This photo was taken at the OCB Midwest States Bodybuilding Competition in November 2006 at the Egyptian Theater in DeKalb, Illinois.

So, let’s back up a bit and think about where this person is coming from and what exactly the message they are trying to relay is. Obviously I have no idea who this lady is that wrote this article or what her credentials are, but I think she was a little off base generalizing that every woman who wants to workout should,”put several 45-pound plates on a 45-pound barbell and deadlifting and squatting “. I agree that women should lift weights IF they are cleared to do so by their doctor. There are conditions of which lifting HEAVY weights as the person in the article advised every woman should do, is contradictory to what is truly beneficial to a persons health.

Instead of reading the article I read, I would recommend my clients read something more like this:

8 REASONS WOMEN SHOULD LIFT Or this Why Women Don’t (But Should) Lift Weights

I really liked #7 in the 8 reasons article, “As you age, you are at risk of losing both bone and muscle mass. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis because the body no longer secretes estrogen. Resistance training is an excellent way to combat loss of bone mass, and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis.”. Notice it said “RESISTANCE TRAINING”, not “LIFT HEAVY”. By the way, you can also do your own isometric resistance training if you don’t have access to weights or is you are rehabilitating an injury. 

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Iris Kyle MS Olympia  (multiple times over)

Lifting weights does have many benefits as we know, and by now most women are aware that they will NEVER look like Iris Kyle, the Ms Olympia (unnatural Ms.Olympia that you see on TV as opposed to the Natural Ms. Olympia Jodi Miller) by lifting some weights. Besides toning, tightening, and shaping the muscles into looking gorgeous body parts we all find attractive, they offer many benefits that are happening INSIDE the body that we can’t see!

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Jodi Miller, PNBA Natural Ms. Olympia 2012

Of course, if you are a woman looking to compete in Bodybuilding or power lifting competitions, obviously YES! You will have to lift heavy! That muscle doesn’t just multiply like bunnies mating! The people you see on stage take their sport very seriously and they work at it every single day. It takes hard work and dedication along with eating the right things, getting enough sleep, and more. That is INTENTIONAL muscle gains. They don’t lift what is heavy to them every single day though. High rep/lower weights and low rep/higher weigh days are worked into their workout routine along with how may sets and how many exercises for each body part.

***As always, before you start ANY fitness plan or program we always recommend getting a physical evaluation by your doctor and let him in on what your goals are. 

 

Medicine is not health care, food is health care. Medicine is Sick Care. It’s time we see it for what it is.

                                                                  Let food be thy medicine- Hippocrates

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I noticed it a while back, how the foods I consumed effected my health. When I ate certain things I felt sluggish, tired, had no energy. Sometimes the foods I ate, I swear would cause my my MS/ Hashimoto’s symptoms to act up and I would take notice of how after I ate things I know I shouldn’t have eaten, I would get migraines or aches and pains. It’s one of the reasons I really started looking into the bigger health benefits of eating properly.

This is video of Dr. Terry Wahls and how she reversed her MS through nutrition.

I began taking control over my symptoms through the management of foods. I once belonged to several groups on FaceBook that were either MS groups or Hashimoto’s Groups because I thought it would be great to know and support others who were dealing with the same issues I was. I got out of most of the groups and have only stayed with the ones that supported a healthy diet as one of the means of handing the symptoms. There were actually some groups where some of the people boasted about how obese they were yet would carry on about what very unhealthy food choices they were making. There were other groups it seemed as a means for people to complain and get attention. positivity wasn’t popular and very few seemed to appreciate it. Members would compare their symptoms and side effects from the meds they were taking. Some of those in the group when i would ask about their diet, I felt as though I would get one or two who would support my question but many many more who would I felt would attack the fact that I would even go in that  direction. That food could be at least part of the problem. For someone who is into health, fitness, and wellness, I was certainly in the wrong place. Often times I would wonder, if a medication was causing someone to experience worse symptoms, why would they not only continue with that medication, but pile another one on top of it. Then I got educated about Big Pharma… 

There’s no money is healthy people, and there’s no money in dead people. The money is in the people who are chronically ill. That is why some companies stopped the research and development of antibiotics and instead focus on heart disease, high blood  pressure, and diabetes medication. They focus on the day after day, long term money makers. Not the 7-10 day short term, every so often non money makers. This is why we are running out of antibiotics. That, is a whole separate blog though.

Have you ever heard someone say, ” this pill is for my diabetes, this pill is for my cholesterol, this one is for my high blood pressure, and this one is my steroid for my auto immune disease”? Maybe you haven’t heard it JUST like that, but believe me, there are people out there saying something very close to that same statement. What I found shocking is that some people are so  stuck in their ways, they’d rather take these pills every day, sometimes a couple times a day for the rest of their lives than to make changes in their diet and exercise routines that could not only stop the progression of these diseases, or even potentially start to reverse them! They’d rather take these pills that they pay who knows how much for, for for the rest of their lives than to make the changes they could make which would help them to FEEL better, have a better quality of life, and enable them to do more than they have in a very long time.

The thought of that dumbfounded me, I just couldn’t understand that. Could it be that people are really willing to put chemicals in their bodies, for the rest of their lives which could actually lead to a shorter life, a more painful or less enjoyable life, because they simply do not have the motivation they need to make a lifestyle change that they KNOW would be better for them? And the answer is, yes. Why?

I think that is also a good question. For some I think it could be because it is just easier to take the pill and not think about the long term effects. For others, they are confused. They have no idea where to begin with lifestyle changes. The only nutritional information they have stems from the food pyramid or the “my pyramid” that they are taught while in Middle School Health class. They don’t understand the benefits of taking control of their health and learning how their bodies work and how to properly supply them with the right foods and nutrients.

Why don’t people make the changes they should that are better for them? The the reason is…. Watch and listen as Douglas Lisle explains the Dietary Pleasure Trap:

They want pleasure with the least pain and the least effort. Two of the websites mention in the above video was PCRM and one of my personal favorites (as a former Firefighter ;) ) Engine 2. Both have ways of making your today’s better and your tomorrows more secure.

Even with diseases that we KNOW can be controlled with simple changes in diet, like shopping on the outside isles of the stores. In the places where the produce is sold, people still walk in the supermarket doors and instead of turning to the right, right where the produce is at, the go to the center isles where the boxed, processed “food like” items that contain very little, sometimes no real food what-so-ever or to the frozen fake foods because they want food and the want it now.. or worse, they stop off at the local FAT food store and get the Super Size combo fried meal even when they KNOW it’s a bad choice!

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I challenge you to stick with a healthy eating plan for 30 days. No fast foods, no processed foods. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, lean protein meats if you aren’t vegetarian…for a month. It’s an adventure in healthy eating and living!