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Stop The Creep

Three Topics – One Theme.

Summer Panic
Summer is creeping up and all I keep hearing is “I’m not ready!” It’s like everyone is preparing for a fitness competition and feel the need to cram to get into shape. Well, it’s officially creepinJune. I think it’s safe to say that there are not going to be any miraculous changes in the next few weeks…nor should there be.

Your “beach body” should be your everyday body and aspiration.

The Summer Spiral Trend
This infamous trend, which I equate to the Holiday Spiral Trend, is trying to get in shape really fast and then gorge yourself for the next 2 ½ months to then feel the gnawing need to go on a “super diet” after the summer to get the extra weight off.

No, no, no. Here’s the thing – the summer is the perfect time to be more active than ever. Enjoy the outdoors, sweat a little more, eat more fresh veggies and fruits…and yes, have that summer cocktail. You’re burning more calories, so enjoy. But, as always, it shouldn’t be all or nothing.

Keep the creep in check, as you would every – other – day.

Find The Sexy
While teaching this past Saturday at Fitness Factory, I was admiring the ridiculously fit body of a women the fitness director was training. I watched him work her hard and she killed it. I finished my class, and went into his office where they were chatting. He said to me “She thinks you’re sexy.” I kinda giggled to myself and thought “she thinks I’m sexy?!” Here I was admiring her. I was so taken back by the thought that she looked at me with pure appreciation of the hard work another woman is doing to look good, as I was doing of her. I told her I thought she was sexy too & her body rocked and how much I appreciated her offering positive reinforcement vs. immediately being judgmental – as women tend to do. You have all experienced it – you see a fit, good looking woman at the gym and you immediately start creeping on her.

Let’s find the sexy in each other and let other women know it. It will brighten your day and hers.

Make Life Easier
Time is not on my side. It literally creeps up on me. I turn around and Wa-BAM, the day is over. It’s the time suckers that kill me – the food shopping for the unusual organic brands, meal planning, preparing and eating (that takes time too).

I have decided to simplify my life to free up more time. Here are some gems I have found that not only give me back some of the clock, but makes so many other aspects (read: stress, frustration, mindless thinking) a little easier:

Just Farmed:  “…a seasonal, organic and sustainably farmed local produce fresh farm box delivery company” that delivers once a week, straight off the farm, right to your door. For a mere $35/week (that’s what I spend on drinks during soccer practice). https://www.justfarmed.com/

Amazon Fresh – for all those Fresh Direct luvas out there – this choice selection includes a little extra special sauce. Prices are excellent, organic choices are abound and if you order at 9 pm, you can have your groceries delivered to your door by 6 am. No joke. They deliver in recyclable bags, which you simply leave out when your next delivery is scheduled. And there’s no gimmicky delivery schema. Over $50 and it’s free. Oh, and first time customers get a smokin’ good deal.  Just google “Amazon Fresh Coupon”.

Plated. I am a little biased on this one, as my husband is the CMO of the company, but nonetheless, it has changed my life. Complete, healthy, sustainable, pre-measured meals with recipes… delivered right to your door step. Take it out of the box and cook it in an average of 30 min. And taste? De-Lish. Takes all the guesswork out of picking, shopping, creating recipes and overall time creeping. It’s almost fail-proof. And it has opened my eyes to so many new food choices vs. rotating the same 5 meals every week. Here’s all you need to know (and a discount): Plated In A Nutshell

No. No kick-back on these suggestions (well, it does help my husband’s bottom…. line, that is 😉 I just like spreadin’ the wealth of good finds.

So let’s stop the creep and keep it movin’.

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Give To Live

giveThe holidays are synonymous with giving – which is often more about the gifts under the tree.  I have tried to make it a point to teach my children to be grateful and to appreciate what they have, recognizing that others are not as fortunate. I explain that doing an act to help others can be so fulfilling. What I have found in this journey is that every deed connects to another and has beneficial effects to our health and the health of others.

It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone, smiling at the cashier during the insane Christmas buying rush and maybe even buying someone a cup of coffee in line next to you.

Recently, my daughter bought and made presents for the members of Sage Eldercare in Summit to help brighten their holiday. The reaction from the elderly was tranquilizing. One woman, who was the spitting image of my grandmother, did not hesitate and smothered both my children in kisses and hugs as if they were her own grandchildren – even so much as trying to offer them money! I left the facility bawling.

There is a scientific benefit to good-doing. A “helper’s high” could help you live a longer, healthier life. Think about the rush you get after helping someone – and the effect it has on that person’s life. Research shows that when we act on the behalf of others, we help them feel greater comfort and less stress. The same goes for the do-gooder – along with a sense of gratification of helping someone.

The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love (yes, that’s a real thing) created a comprehensive investigation of altruism. Two large studies found that those who volunteered were living longer than non-volunteers. In fact, there was a 44% reduction in early death among those who volunteered a lot.

When we stress, physiological changes happen to our bodies that cause our heart rate to increase and our immune and cardiovascular systems to be weakened, making us more susceptible to abnormal cellular changes. Good deeds help us reduce stress by thwarting this effect. The high we get from helping creates a lowered stress response and improved immunity (higher levels of protective antibodies). It is said to also affect beneficial brain chemicals. Oxytocin, a feel-good hormone, levels go up when we do something good, which helps relieve our stress hormone levels. It has also been proven to lower blood pressure and have an overall calming effect. Ultimately, creating a positive emotional state through do-gooding may help lengthen your life.

So for this holiday season, counteract any negativity generated from the hectic-ness of the holiday season with positive emotions and good deeds – it will change you and the world around you. Just think of the trickle-down effect.

Happy holidays.

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  • Cara

    The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up – mark Twain

  • maria

    This is a great blog entry! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Oxoxox

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F The Holidays

So yes, the holidays are coming up. Do. Not. Panic.

I always find it interesting that people feel they need to “prepare” themselves for the holidays and surrender themselves to inevitable weight gain. Why? What’s changed? We are faced with temptations every day – what makes one day of Thanksgiving and one day of Christmas (or, in some cases, 8 days of Chanukah) so different?

It’s all hype, people.

It is society creating a situation that only helps them later find perfect topics for main stream gossip magazines or the next “diet” craze. There’s a reason January finds a surge of New Year’s resolution gym memberships and new clients for Weight Watchers. We are supposed to gain weight. We are supposed to lose control. According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the holidays – the pounds just add up year after year making holiday weight gain a contribution to adult obesity.

Stop the madness.

Two months out of the year should not dictate a loss of control. I’m gonna re-tell a little secret I have revealed in the past: It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s about making the right choices 80% of the time and indulging the other 20%. It’s about balance, self-control and discipline; wanting to feel good inside and out. It’s about portion control. It’s about choosing the foods that make you feel good, not the ones that make you irritable, exhausted and bloated.

So, you eat a bit more on the actual holiday. Eat less the next day and balance it out. Or exercise an extra day that week. The same you would do on any other regular day of the year. Eating should be an enjoyment in life – not something we forbid ourselves and then binge when we finally allow ourselves to eat. Binging is an unfulfilling cycle that will never end.

I have been the same size for nearly 10 years (minus 2 pregnancies with extremely large babies). And, there are days I have single-handedly done some damage on a ½ gallon of ice cream. The difference is it didn’t send me off on a binge. I had what I wanted and moved on. I realized I feel better when I am in control of what I eat and when I feed my body with good foods and nutrients. I feel lighter, happier and healthier.

It’s not rocket science. Enjoy the holidays and rock that crab dip. Then get back on track.

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