BLOG 198 Laughter
Remember that scene from Mary Poppins where they float to the ceiling and sing the song. “I love to laugh”?? It’s my favorite. Laughter is good for our mental and emotional well-being. It truly is medicine for our mood. We are positive and smiling when we laugh, and it just feels good. When we laugh, we take in more oxygen, increase our blood flow, and use the muscles in our face and body. This means we are burning calories. Laughter is a mild workout. When we laugh, we are in good company and it’s nice to enjoy those moments and memories together. Some of my favorite times with Carl (my husband) is when we laugh so much my eyes start to water and I might even cough. I feel my abs. Laughter is stress reducing. Less stress equates to less demands on the immune system. Endorphins are released and we feel good.
Laughter balances the mind. It is an antidote to stress, pain, and negativity. We used to laugh all the time when we were kids. We would get a case of the giggles and not be able to stop laughing. In adulthood, we tend to take life a lot more serious. We should be frequently laughing to let go of our problems, supporting our mental and physical health, and enhance our relationships. Laughing is free and fun. Some of my favorites hours during the day are spent laughing and exercising with all of you. I think laughter enhances the sense of teamwork and promotes bonding. Laughter sets aside distresses in your life. It really shifts your perspective to feel less angry or anxious or even tired. The increase of blood flow equates to an increase of energy. We like a good sitcom that makes us laugh and it’s why comedians become so popular. When you share a laugh with someone you connect. It’s a moment without that cell phone that you interact and engage with someone. When my dad comes to workout with the other men his age, I love walking the hill with them as they exchange jokes. I think it is why that group is so close and encouraging. Laughter is playful communication that strengthens relationships.
Find the natural laughter in everything. Smiling is contagious. Laughter isn’t something we do it private, rather it is shared. In a world that might disagree on politics, religion, or other elements, laughter sets aside those discrepancies. You don’t have to be a lighthearted or playful person to enjoy laughter. Sometimes just hearing others laugh can make us laugh. We like to share stories about something that made us laugh. I encourage all of you to laugh more this year. Life feels a lot better with a smile.
BLOG 197 EXPECTATIONS
We all have expectations each and every day. We have beliefs that something will happen or should be achieved. We forecast the results like the weather girl and project the future like a psychic. We believe that if we do this, then that will happen. These expectations are sometimes met with such confidence that when the outcome doesn’t match, disappointment hits hard. When the world of any situation doesn’t live up to your expectation, you are let down, discouraged, angry, frustrated, and just plain upset be it sad or mad.
Why do we do this to ourselves?? Why do we expect to lose a certain amount of weight?? Why do we expect Mr. or Mrs. Right to always know what we want?? Why do we expect a pay raise, amazing service, low prices, fast answers and solutions, fast internet, and right here right now, for so many of life’s circumstances?? Then when the scale doesn’t read back what we want, he or she didn’t meet our relationship hopes, the food took forever to come out, the tires cost way more than what we were planning on spending, the boss didn’t email you right back, the website is taking way to long to load, and we have to wait in a long line at the grocery store, well…. our expectations have not been met.
Uncertainty makes us anxious to create expectations in our minds. Sometimes our expectations are so unrealistic, we set ourselves up for failure or self-destruction. We believe that someone or ourselves will behave or perform a certain way, and when they or we don’t do so, emotions get to the best of us.
Any of this sound familiar on your fitness journey?? You expect that you have been working out and eating right that the pounds should be melting off and the scale should read back leaps and bounds of major weight loss. The truth is that the scale will never meet your expectations. The data driven mindset likes to exaggerate itself in our mind. You somehow think that a candy bar can be worked off in 20 minutes with that jog?? No, it’s going to take so much more than that. The reality is that you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Yet, you continue to expect to do this over and over again.
This is why I preach lifestyle change and daily choices that are realistic expectations and demands you place upon yourself to better YOU with or without a scale number. I get it. I get that when you feel like you aren’t losing fast enough or any at all then what’s the point?? But what you don’t see is your blood pressure lowering, your lipid and blood profile improvising, your cardiovascular system smiling, or your liver and kidney saying thank you for not making us work so hard?? So stop setting expectations that have led to your love-hate rollercoaster to no-where expectations about weight loss. It’s a daily grind, full of daily choices that need to be reasonable, attainable, and most of all…. doable.