BLOG 234 COMPARISON COMPLEX
Getting stuck in a hole of comparing yourself to others can wreak havoc on self-esteem. Confidence in question leads to poor self-worth. In today’s social media imaged filled culture, one can find themselves lost scrolling, clicking, and then thinking about how they shape up to what they see. For example, when it comes to fitness, you can tell yourself from that start that your goal isn’t about the weight loss numbers. Then you look at a feed of so many before and after photos, only to find yourself wondering why your results don’t add up the same. At work, you compare your performance to others so that you feel productive or purposeful. In school, you become competitive with grades. At restaurants, you look around to see what others have ordered. Parents compare themselves to others. They question whether their child should have a cell phone or not because their friend’s child is the same age and has one.
We can become so busy worrying about others, we loose sight of ourselves. We start to blame others for our own actions. When we have done the best job that we can there is no need to compare to anyone else. You have to be proud of yourself, otherwise you never live up to what you expect. That leads to depression and a downward path to negative thoughts. You actually limit yourself when you compare yourself to others because you are basing your potential on someone else’s.
All of this means that it may be time for a social media detox. It many be time to water your own grass and not worry about your neighbor’s. Don’t resist the past and accept where you are and aspire for where you want to be. Life might have been messy or bumpy, but the straight and narrow path doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness. Lack of adventure doesn’t mean success. You are writing your own movie, and the ending isn’t fixed. There is more to come, so play out the scenes how you want to see them. Be grateful instead of always wanting more. Maybe you aren’t meant to have more. Don’t let fear guide you. Comparison is a form of fear. It is not being confident in your own self to be strong on your own, no matter where that leaves you in the line-up. It is okay to be inspired by others, but don’t compare yourself to their aspirations. You are you. You have to be nice to yourself and learn to ignore the bully in your head. It’s time to be happy and to be free from comparison. So let those scores go, you are the winner of your own life.
BLOG 233: AIRPLANE GERMS
The thought of sitting in a plane for many hours, just screams germs. Everyone is sitting in an enclosed spaced, breathing recycled air, and then there are people who cough and sneeze in this air. Traveling during the holidays also is the time of year for colds and the flu season. Some studies say you are 100 more times likely to catch one of these while up in the air. Switching seats from the sick person next to you is not always an option. Being mindful of what you touch with your bare hands is always a good idea to be highly cautious of. Think about the number of people who are using the same bathroom on the same flight. Think about all the items with luggage, shoes, and matters of personal hygiene that are all in one location.
In between flights, under the constraints of time, the flight staff might not have had enough time to thoroughly clean. Between all the seats, seatbelts, and buttons that people touch, there are a lot of places to wipe down. Going row by row, aisle by aisle, is not always possible when trying to stick to a timely flight schedule. So the germs just stay there and then next layer of germs now enter to make matters worse.
There are shared earplugs, blankets, and pillows. There are so many germs and many people eat the airplane food not even considering to wash their hands first. There are only one or two bathrooms and a line so hand washing gets neglected. Planes are actually pretty old too. Some of the very planes we fly in today are over 20 years old. That means unless the upholstery and additional seat belts have been readily replaced and refurbished, the germs just keep piling on. People become tired and fatigued and then careless with their germs. There are also children who don’t cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze and put their hands in their own mouth and noses only to continue to touch parts of the plane.
We have to be ready to fly with our germ protectant force ready. Have hand sanitizer ready, bring your own pillow and headphones, and try to avoid touching any common areas with your bare hands. Staying hydrated and making sure to take a multivitamin to keep immunity up is important to come prepared and try to avoid catching something in the air. Travel is fun and safe, but not free from germs. You never want to arrive at your destination feeling sick and unlike yourself.
BLOG EATING OUT VERSUS EATING AT HOME
BLOG 232: EATING OUT VS EATING AT HOME
Almost a daily decision we face is what to eat….followed by where?? Eating our or eating at home is a daily choice with both pros and cons among these options. Sometimes this choice is a matter of taste-buds or it can based on budget. We have to eat to live, but what we eat is the topic of our mind’s conversation on a regular basis.
Going out for food can be a nice treat, a normal part of one’s day, or as part of a celebration. There is a social aspect that brings people together. It’s nice to see others outside of the work or home setting. Eating out provides the opportunity to eat foods you wouldn’t normally have or to try something completely new and popular. There’s no preparation, just order and eat. There might be coupons or specials to take advantage of. There are also plenty of different beverages to select from to wash down the meal. There’s no clean up, it’s normally faster, and it’s easier to please a variety of people with different needs and food preferences. It can be a nice break from a routine. However, dining out usually involves eating foods higher in fat and sodium. This portion distortion has paved the way for the obesity epidemic. The idea of convenience overshadows health and nutrition.
Eating at home
When eating at your own place, the cost is lower. You are not paying for the labor, rather, you are doing the work yourself. It is a way to socialize as you prepare the meal and can have many helping hands. It is easier to accommodate to needs (allergies, time, or getting everyone in one place). Eating with children can be less stressful at home versus at a restaurant expecting them to behave. You can even cook extra or more to have as leftovers later. Freezing large portions is meal prep conducive. Cooking at home can also give a person the opportunity to feel accomplished by pleasing and providing for others, as well as making new recipes or food from scratch. You also know what you are putting in your food with all the ingredients and what the food is cooked in. You are better able to serve yourself just until you are full or to have the willpower to not overeat. You are able to be in our space, use your own pots and pans, and then appreciate the work you have done.
Everyday involves eating and no one can say they don’t think about food at some point on a daily basis. The trouble is that food is so much more than just eating, rather, there is an entire emotional and psychological component involved. In the end, what we put on our plate, be it out or at home, will affect our health. The freedom of choice can sometimes be more agonizing than rewarding.
BLOG 231 COMFORT FOODS
Food that makes you feel good. Food that provides well-being. Food that is home-cooked and a reminder of childhood. Food that is usually high in fat, sugar, and carbs. After a hard day or bad experience, we start looking forward to a particular type of food. Most people can name their top 3 go-to foods. The food alters our mood by comforting our emotions. Maybe it was a terrible day at work and you can remember your mom making you hot chocolate and brownies when you came home from school and had a bad day. So now you associate hot chocolate and brownies with comfort, consoling you after a troublesome time.
Some people say tuna melts, some say macaroni and cheese, some even say creamed spinach. We crave these foods because the fats, sugars, and carbs activate the brain’s reward system. This brings pleasure. It is a form of emotional eating and using food as a coping mechanism. It also makes us feel like we belong. Comfort foods are reminders of good times with family and friends. Think of Thanksgiving. Making turkey and stuffing and having the whole house warmed with this smell, is a reminder of this time of year and gathering with loved ones. Comfort foods are a momentary indulgence
Your gut talks to your brain. Eating these foods can help deal with stress and intense situations, for the time being. Eating becomes an urge driven by emotions and moods. We know that deep down eating won’t solve the problem, make the feeling permanently subside, or settle the issue at hand. Yet, living in the moment can be human nature to just feel better. The problem is that the mind makes the connection that food is making you feel better and suddenly this become a habit to reach for, no matter how or big or small the dilemma. What was once a “sometimes” method to just get through a bad day has become a every Wednesday after the staff meeting you hate, treating yourself to dessert and happy hour. The cycle continues. Our relationship with food is complex, but don’t make it even worse by overusing and abusing a comfort method. Emotional eating rarely leads to weight loss or fitness results.