Thursday, March 31, 2011
This time of year is jam packed with friendly get-togethers, office parties and family celebrations. All of which are exciting on one hand and somewhat problematic on the other. For many of us who work hard all year to stay fit and watch our weight, these are challenging times indeed. No one wants to gain 8-15 lbs. between Halloween and New Year's Day, but millions of Americans will do just that. Now, more than any other time of the year, it is crucial to be mindful, stay active and work out a few techniques to prevent becoming one of those statistics.
If a regular training schedule is not something you have locked into your weekly plan, do it and do it now. Those who are on track with this, kudos to you and for heaven's sake, keep it up. Two to three regular workouts each week are mandatory for maintaining one’s health, energy level, weight and sanity. There is absolutely no health insurance available that is more valuable or effective than having a consistent fitness routine. People who exercise regularly have over 50% fewer visits to their doctors per year. Many people say, “I don’t have time for that.” I say, “If you don’t make time to take care of yourself now you will eventually face a future fraught with illness, low to no energy and unbearable amounts of stress.” It sounds blunt or even cruel but it is the truth and the truth can set you free. Often however, not before genuinely ticking you off.
I don’t know many people who genuinely want to be held fully responsible. Unfortunately, there is just no other viable alternative. The majority do not want to take responsibility for their health and well-being but there simply is no one else who REALLY can. It seems easier to ignore the symptoms and hand our power and problems over to the medical professionals. But in the long run, this is a recipe for disaster. I’m talking about the quality of our lives, not just in this red hot minute but projecting down the road 10, 20, 40 years from now. It is my plan to be one of those people who are clear minded, vibrant and independent late in life versus one who has to sit, incapacitated and watch life go by because of being too busy to care for myself as I need to. How about you?
#1 Tool: Get to the gym or on your treadmill, exercise bike or stepper and treat that time you have allotted for exercise as the valuable and critical self-care time it is....nothing takes precedence over that time. NOTHING!
#2 Tool: Eat a healthy meal before attending each party. Go there fully satisfied with the clear intention that you will be extremely selective. Choose the smallest plate available. Review the entire food selection before making your choices and then take tiny little tastes instead of large full servings.
#3 Tool: Sit down and pay attention to the enjoyable foods you are savoring. Eat slowly and mindfully.
#4 Tool: Alcoholic beverages are nothing more than empty calories and are void of any nutrients. They are high in sugar and contain an enormous amount of calories. If you wish to have them, drink them slowly and alternate a glass of water or sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime so that it will feel more ‘cocktail-like.’
#5 Tool: Remember the reason for the season. Savor the abundance of brotherly love, family, connection to God, Spirit or the Higher Power of your choice. It’s really not about gorging our bodies but rather about honoring our eternal lives. Bask in opportunities to share in the diverse relationships these gathering afford, spanning from acquaintances to your most intimate love. Spend this time connecting with those who mean the most to you and that means connecting with yourself as well. Happy mind, body and spirit fitness to all.