You vs You

I have not been feeling well the last couple of days. It is most likely a combo of weather changes and stress.

Stress is one of the number 1 killers of your immune system. To save you all the boring (or fascinating to Geeks like me) science behind stress and your immune system I will use the following analogy to explain how stress makes us sick. Imagine stress in your body as a light switch. When we are stressed out our body gets switched on. This is good. I mean we all need light when it is dark right? And we all need to remain focused, alert, and calm during times of stress. But what happens if we do not turn off the switch? Our light burns out.

If you are like me, you go, go, go, go, go and have little time to relax. In other words, I forget to turn off my switch and my light burns out. I’m left with a weakened immune system and I am more vulnerable to germs. It is gross I know, but true. So here I am not feeling well. Typically a workout is all I need to feel better. In my head I scream go to the gym, but my body does not agree. It becomes a battle between mind and body. It is you vs you!

We need to listen to our bodies. We also need to listen to our mind. So how do you know when to listen to your body and when to listen to your mind?

1. I evaluate my thoughts! Are my thoughts negative and destructive? If I am thinking things like, “you are so lazy”, or “I am such a bum”, I will only feel bad about myself. This is not helpful. If I can think, “you deserve to rest”, “you are making healthy choices”, I will feel more able to relax.

2. Next I listen to my body. How do I feel? Are these aches soreness of working out or do I ache because my body needs to rest. Workout soreness should only linger for 2-3 days following a workout. Your body will hurt in the area you worked out. But if my back hurts and I haven’t worked out my back in 3 days that is my cue, I need to rest.

I love rating scales. Like from 1-10, so I use this to gage where my body is at.

3. I ask myself how my body feels on a scale of 1-10. 10 is “awesome, great, ready to take on the world”! 1 is “terrible, sick, pathetic, weak”! I think that 7 is normal, for me! So while I am fighting myself to decide if I need a workout or not I evaluate where I am at on the scale. For me, a5 is “I could make it to the gym but not workout as hard, maybe decrease my weight”. A 3 for me is “take a break, stay home, and relax”!

4. If I evaluate I am below a 7, and not feeling myself I also question what does my body want or need today? Last night I wanted Mac-n-cheese. It is SO not healthy and SO not something I typically eat but my body wanted to eat that. Perhaps it is a comfort food and I wanted that comfort so I ate it and I was no longer craving that meal.

5. Balance is the key. I cannot let my body win that battle every time. Today, although still not feeling my best I am craving bad food. But my mind knows what is best and I will allow those thoughts to make sure I fuel my body with fruits and vegetables today, not unhealthy comfort foods.

Honor your body. Treat it well. Constantly pushing our bodies will wear us out. I am an advocate for physical activity and frequent movement as long as we let our bodies rest. I also advocate for healthy and balanced eating, but if we don’t allow a cheat every now and then we can become mentally drained. We need healthy eating and physical activity, but we also need rest and relaxation. Today I chose to let my body recharge and tomorrow I have a new day to make it to the gym. Rather than a you vs you situation make it a You LOVING You situation!

20131228-142339.jpg

Advertisements

New Year, New You – For Real this Time!

A new year is a great time to evaluate yourself during the year before and commit to making changes.  I am sad the term “New Years Resolution” has a such a negative connotation.  Millions of Americans set a New Years Resolution and within 90 days , Millions are no longer committed to their goals.

I think it can be important and necessary for self-growth, to evaluate where you are and where you want to be.   We can make this evaluation any day of the year, but I like the idea of a fresh start, a fresh you.  I think people give up on their New Years Resolution due to 5 barriers.  But do not fear, you can commit to your Resolution this year, and you can make your change a lifestyle change.  Here are 5 tips to overcome the 5 barriers to keeping to your New Years Resolution.

1.  Lack of progress –  We are a society of instant results and instant success.  But in life instant gratification rarely happens and when it does, do we really appreciate it?  People that win millions of dollars in the lottery in an instant are more likely to spend all their money in a few years whereas people that work hard and consistently over time to earn millions of dollars are more likely to pass millions of dollars down for generations to come.

  • Tip: Remember life is a journey.  You are a journey.  You will be different tomorrow if you allow yourself to grow and change today.  You WILL NOT notice the change when you wake up, but if you look where you are after 6 weeks, you will be different, 6 months you will have grown, and a year later you will be a new you.

2.  You lose focus – You forget why you set this New Year’s Resolution.  You lose sight of your Why?

  • Tip: Learn and Memorize your “Why”?  Your why is your purpose for setting this new goal.  Do you want to be healthier for your children?  Do you want to pay off debt to no longer be a slave to someone else?  This is your motivation.  When you start to lose sight remembering this purpose will help you stay motivated and focused.

3.  You feel alone in your journey – Perhaps you told everyone your New Years Resolution was to work out 5 times a week and those individuals were encouraging and supportive.  Some maybe even agreed to go to the gym with you, but then, after only a few weeks in, they stop.  You suddenly are left alone to motivate yourself and it can be scary to walk into the gym without your buffer and your friend.

  • Tip: Write down your Resolution and put it where you will see it!  A good friend of mine uses a Vision Board and it hangs on a wall in their house to see everyday!  Although it is a great to have a workout buddy or a friend to share your new you with, this Resolution is about YOU, not them.

4.  We do not plan for the unexpected – Yep it is inevitable, something dramatic, upsetting, frustrating, and overwhelming will come up.  Work responsibilities can pile up and you will have to work longer hours, or maybe your child has more homework then expected.  This will throw a kink in your plans and it can be hard to continue to plan for that New Years change.

  • Tip: Have a DAILY Plan – When I first started working out I scheduled my daily workouts on my calendar on my phone.  I was specific in time and focus.  For example, Monday I scheduled 30 minutes cardio on the Stair Mill and wrote down the 8 back exercises and 3 core exercises I would do at 5:00 pm.  An alarm would remind me “Yo, get off your bum and go to the gym!”  There are days when I had a million things to do and my plans interfered with gym time, however if I scheduled time for the gym, and had a plan I was more likely to go and feel good I got a workout in.

5.  We suffer in silence – in other words we do not ask for help.

  • Tip: Ask for help!  YOU ARE NOT THE EXPERT!  You are not expected to know everything.  I had a goal to start sewing, but I sat down to sew and I was TERRIBLE!  I had to talk to people that had more experience in this craft and I had to read and study how to sew.  If you are in the gym and do not know how a machine works, ask!  (I mean sometimes those guys behind the desk look really bored, so make them earn their paycheck).  Or if you want to know which workouts are best for your back check out YouTube.  A great website to get workout advise, get workout plans, and view how to do an exercise is http://www.bodybuilder.com.

You can have a New You whether you start today or January 1st.  What is your New Years Resolution?  Now let’s get started to committing to the new you!

Please email Stephanie with any questions or additional support.  Stephanie can be contacted at stephanie.waitt@yahoo.com.

20131228-132406.jpg