Today I’m sharing three things you can do for yourself to improve your health and fitness for your mind, body and spirit in less than 800 words.
Determine to include yourself in your life. I saw this card (below) by an artist named “Leigh” (http://www.curlygirldesign.com/) at a fancy boutique in Connecticut in 2006 right after my husband was laid-off from his job.
We went on a weeklong vacation and stayed with family at their home. It was a very scary time for us and although I knew my husband had the chops to find another awesome job, the specter of only eight weeks’ salary to cover our mortgage and health insurance for a family of five was terrifying. The card was a piece of art and it cost $6; its sentiment is empowering. I bought it. I enlarged it and hangs in my office.
We came home from that trip determined to make it through the layoff with optimism, not obsession, and to come out better than we went going in and we did. He started his new job on my 39th birthday with not one day to spare.
What has already happened to you in life is done and over. Decide to do something now for yourself today that is good. Do it again tomorrow and the day after that and own it like a boss.
Body: Get Up, Get Down, Repeat.
I started working out again Sunday and my mood instantly elevated and has stayed there. I have an extensive personal background and interest in fitness, health and nutrition. Yes, you can love Cap’n Crunch and be healthy. I have a lot of gear, but that’s because I love exercise gear. Do you have a question? Throw it at me in comments.
Here’s an awesome FREE! app for keeping track of your diet and exercise. “MyFitnessPal” <– click there for link. My SIL lost all her baby weight using that app in three months. I’ve been using it and I adore it. The sense of awareness and accountability it instills is amazing. It confirmed for me this: I don’t eat enough. More on that later.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is get up right now. Stand up, inhale, lift your hands over your head, exhale and lower your hands back to your sides and sit back down.
Do it again.
One more time.
Feel that thumpa-thumpa? That’s you. You just burned probably 3 calories.
I do all sorts of things: aerobics, strength (mostly floor work and for many of us our own body weight and gravity pose enough resistance) and yoga.
Sunday I worked on the elliptical trainer. I did High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). To keep this description high level, it goes from a “0” being sitting to a “10” being an all-out sprint from a rhino or chasing after a baby-napper every two minutes (two slow, one high).
I have a heart-rate monitor (HRM), I use it. Is an HRM essential? No, but it keeps me honest. Just starting is essential. I will write about the benefits of exercise soon.
Start small, finish BIG.
I’m a weirdo: sometimes I do squats when I unload the dishwasher. I double up the stairs, I stand on one leg when brushing my teeth. I’m not normal, but I’m also not at all overweight.
Keep a journal, write this stuff down; you don’t have to step on the scale now. Numbers don’t matter, how you feel is what matters. When you write it down, you commit.
Cravings last 14 minutes. Beat the 14 minutes and you beat the craving.
Be sure you’re eating enough. Sounds like a nice problem to have unless your body does what it’s supposed to do: goes for the muscle (lean body mass / LBM) first for fuel because LBM burns calories the best. You definitely don’t want that, because you will lose your tone. I know this personally.
Drink lots of water. Your skin will love you for it.
Spirit: Gratitude. Express it Often.
Thank your body for what it always does: functions even if you think it’s dysfunctional. And especially if you stood up and raised your arms. Thank your awesome legs, your amazing hips, your kick-ass shoulders and your freakin’ lungs for getting you through every day. Do you stop, ever, to contemplate what a MIRACLE it is to simply be alive? The genius that goes into all our cellular functioning? It’s mind-boggling.
Thank your laugh lines for keeping you sane. Go ahead: look in the mirror and say, “I LOVE YOU LAUGH LINES” and mean it.
As I always say, “the quickest facelift is a smile.”
“Never take life too seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway”
True! I LOVE that! Thank you, I need that tattooed sometimes. Gah… I see all these blogs, A, written by these people, half my age…”Author of …” And “written screenplays…” And I smile with excitement for them all at the wonderful opportunities that have before them. The Internet, all this technology… Many of these people are filled with enthusiasm and fearlessness. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong… Maybe the Internet isn’t as terrible as I fear. So hard to be so open-minded about all that with kids… Want to protect them… Uh-oh… I’m thinking again. It’s good though. Feeling a breakthrough coming on. Again. 😉
My kids are 14 and 16 and I still protect them from the internet. There is so much that they can go wrong with.
A couple of years ago, my daughter told me that someone wanted her to meet him somewhere. It was someone that she had only spoken to on Facebook. I freaked and called the police. Apparently he was part of an Afghan ring. Friends of mine said that I should have arranged the meet and gone there with some friends and shown him what it is like to try and do that and break his legs. I am not a violent person though. I could never willingly harm anyone. Unless he actually did something to her, in which case I would go to prison for the rest of my life. But any parent would do that.
As long as you keep an eye on them, then they will be fine 🙂
That is creepy, A. Yes, I am a hawkMom. Glad you reported that man.
I am feeling the urge to start taking care of myself again. I get so preoccupied with work and stress that I don’t stop to enjoy life. Thank you for the post! I am on myfitnesspal my login is redhotwritinghood. Do you mind if I add you? What is yours?
I think I am mjtfield. Please add me. This is the kind of social media I can handle. 🙂
I think the urge is Spring, but I also think it’s something in us demanding change.
I do too. The sun is out and its warming up (in some places lol) It just makes you want to get outside and do something!
yes. God bless the sun. ❤
I just found you…and I love, love, love your posts. I read them and I am instantly happier…and amused. Thank you for your insight, honesty and comic relief.
Jessica! Oh! You are wonderful and most welcome! I am so glad you found me. How did you find me?
I try to be positive. It’s a choice, you know? Sometimes are easier than other times…
I heard in yoga the other day, “lies are never funny.” Which makes truth humorous at times, doesn’t it?
I save some of the dour for the fiction, which is veiled autobiography, truth be told. But I even try to weave the funny in that… it’s not a deflection, but a well-honed coping skill.
Please come back! 🙂
I happened upon your PMDD post while on a web search for hormonal imbalance information. I read that post, then moved to the next, and the next, and the next…and here I am. I think you have me hooked 🙂 Thanks!
Yeah… Hormones. That’s when we need the comic relief most. Oy. Thank you!!
I have a calendar with the the living life poster. Leigh is fabulous. I want to make collages like she does, but in my own way of course. I love the words she puts words and images together. Very inspiring! I follow her blog, etc. You might like to check her out. http://www.curlygirldesign.com/blog/ * https://www.facebook.com/curlygirldesign?ref=ts&fref=ts * http://www.curlygirldesign.com/
CURLYGIRL! that’s who that is!! thank you, LC! she is amazing. I’ll add her info to the picture. I don’t have the card anymore; I sent it to my SIL when things were rough for her. xo
and YES! make your cards. i want you to design your own fonts, Lil. I have a cousin who knows someone who does that… lmk if you ever want to learn more.
YES! Health and fitness – pour moi? 😉
natch…! here’s the funny thing: New Years Day is the wrong day for fitness revolutions. we are still in winter. I think March first is a better time. So many people are telling me offline and via ‘net that they are feeling the urge to surge these days. the sun… the weather… so much. but the fitness clubs have it all wrong: SPRING, not winter. by 2/1, most NYear resolutions are toast. hot, steamy, sourdough toast.
Wait. You mean I can still eat Cap’n Crunch? 😉
you can, but shit, it’s got a ton of sugar in it. i ate a bowl yesterday for a snack and i logged it into that app and HOMAIGAAAD, it caused a surplus of my sugar FOR THE DAY. i was like…. DAMN YOU, CAP’N! so the lesson for me is: eat it on an exercise day. yesterday was my off day. rats.