BLOG 212 DELI MEAT
A nice heart cold cut, lunch meat, whichever type of deli meat you favor, reading the labels of these pre-packed proteins is very important. There are so many types of deli meats from bologna to turkey breast, making a selection available for every taste bud. However, this “meat”, really isn’t just meat, rather, it’s a concoction of different by-products filled with chemicals. The fat and sodium in excess increase the health risks increase for developing Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, while chances of heart attack and stroke also rise.
Processed meats contain plenty of preservatives, hence their shelf life in your refrigerator. These particular preservatives are nitrates or nitrites. These are a potential carcinogen. All of the added flavors, smoking, salting, and curing the meat, have been linked to cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers processed meat, which is deli meat, to be a Group 1 carcinogen. Other additional ingredients include like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Those don’t sound like they are meant to visit the digestive system. It seems like a couple slices of bread with lettuce and tomato with whichever meat, would be a healthy lunch choice. So easy to make must mean too good to be true. Some meat labels say they have no artificial sweeteners or are uncured, but the label needs to say nitrates or nitrites free. We are easily lured by the words “natural” or “organic”, but further investigation needs to be done. Eating ingredients that we are unable to pronounce should probably be avoided. Bologna is basically a mix of sausage, pork, chemicals, and preservatives. In other words, avoid.
This doesn’t mean that you have to completely cut deli meat out of the picture. However, looking for low sodium options is important. One slice of typical deli meat can contain over 200 mg of sodium, and most sandwiches are layered with meat. It is interesting that the World Health Organization has found that eating just 50 grams of deli meat or any processed meat daily increases the risk for colorectal cancer by 18%. Anything packed and preserved has been transformed from its original taste for us to have easy access to and for manufactures to prey on our pursuit of convenience. Choosing a deli counter versus a packaged is also a better option. A person can also roast their own meat and slice it themselves. The more far removed you know where something has come from, the more you should remove it from your diet. In the end, hold the mayo and cheese, and tell the person crafting your sandwich that you will pass on the nitrates too.
BLOG 211 EX-NAY “CAN’T”
The word “can’t” should really be taken out the English language. It is a terrible word. Saying you can’t do something is telling yourself that you have doubt, that you are defeated, and that the barrier at hand is impossible. Using this word sets the wrong attitude and is a form of holding yourself back. Often times, you are choosing not to try, attempt, or take action. You have given up before the result can even be attempted.
At the studio, the word “can’t” is not allowed. Your body is capable of finding a way of what works. In a certain moment in time, maybe an exercise isn’t right for you be it the level or the mechanics. Just ask me, and I will show you what you can do. Yet, so many times after a demonstration the reaction is that you can’t do that. Even before an honest attempt, the game is already lost. Your body hears your mind and reacts accordingly. A negative attitude doesn’t equate to a positive experience and your mind will start to associate the workout hour with negativity. You can do something or say I’m choosing not to do that right now. This is a much better mind set and much better spin on the situation. Negative words make the brain negative.
When you say the word “can’t” your subconscious mind is searching for evidence, those why reasons that you cannot do something. The mind will make up reasons for your limitation. Using this word can be from fear that you are incapable of the task. You have to leave yourself open to the potential that you can do something. Mind over matter not losing before even playing. Be in charge of your mind and your body will follow. Fair warning, burpees may result from the use of the word “can’t” at the studio. I CAN do that
BLOG 210 DREAMING
Whether we remember it or not, we all dream. We might even dream up to 4 to 6 times per night. Sometimes we find ourselves entertained while other times we are left feeling disturbed after a bizarre dream. After all, dreams are stories, similar to movies playing in our head. They can be so vivid that we can actually wake up feeling happy, sad, mad, confused, or even scared. Dreams are most vivid during deep sleep which is called rapid eye movement (REM). During this time, the brain is very active.
Sigmund Freud believed that dreams tell us about our subconscious. Our thoughts, motivations, and unconscious desires are revealed. What we might think society perceives as unacceptable, we think and feel during our dreams.
Dreams are somewhat of a mysterious phenomenon, with some researchers saying they serve no purpose while others claim dreams are necessary for our mental health. They may have no connection to reality, but some experts have found that when restricted from the act of dreaming a person can wake up feeling depressed, anxious, have a hard time concentrating, experience weight gain, and overall feel a sense of tension. Dreams could just be night time stories that keep us asleep. Dreams help us sort out our life’s problems, process emotions, and incorporate our memories. A person can go to bed troubled by a problem and wake up with a solution. Re-occuring dreams might have meaning that help us discover our deepest fears and concerns. For example, a dream someone has over and over about falling off a cliff or being chased might really be about a hidden trigger or stressor. On the other hand, every dream can be unique and interpreted differently.
Nightmares are bad dreams we don’t like. They stir up emotional problems, stress, and may be caused by illnesses or medications. The bottom line is that no matter how scary the dream is, it is not real. Lucid dreams occur when we are in between REM and being awake, so they seem extremely real. The brain is really active. Dreams don’t predict the future but can sometimes feel coincidental. Most of the time we don’t even remember our dreams. Imagine if we were able to remember all of our dreams. We might not be able to separate reality from what we dreamt. During REM it is possible that our brain shuts off the memory device so we only recall what we thought about just before we wake up. People who wake up several times in the night are more likely to remember their dreams. Sometimes just being conscious that you want to remember your dreams will help you recall them better.
There are different theories when it comes to interpreting our dreams, but think of them more as your brain’s free play time. It is entertaining itself as we sleep until we rise again and it’s back to work. Some say dreams do come true, but the truth is that we will never really know that answer. For now, it’s nice to believe that dreams really do come true especially when we are young and imaginative.
BLOG 209 OPINIONS
An opinion is judgment someone forms about something that may not be based on facts or knowledge. It typically relates to the quality or worth of something or it can be in the form of advice. The trouble with opinions is that they can hurt us or try to define us. We often hear that we are all entitles to our own opinions, but it is when we share them that can cause troubles. We let other people’s opinion carry merit regardless of the credibility or why they formulated this judgment. We all can relate to letting the opinion of certain people in our lives take reign while others we can easily brush under the rug. Frustrating, especially since at the end of the day an opinion isn’t fact.
It is the game we play of opinions that can socially cause turmoil for us. Your best friend, significant other, and family, all have their opinions. I think of the classic case of brining your new boo home to meet the family worrying what they will they of he or she. We often times pick out an outfit, wear our hair a certain style, wear certain brands, talk a certain way, or even act a certain way, based on what we perceive other’s opinions will be. The concept of not caring what anyone else things is a rare art form.
People will always talk. No one else’s opinion defines you be it that they express their judgment to your face or behind closed doors. Opnions merely make other people feel like they are superior. Don’t define your happiness by the approval rating others give you. You have to take the high road and understand that just because something or someone is good for them, doesn’t mean it is good for you.
In my own life, I want to please every client and personally and impacted by opinions of me. When you strive so hard to help others, it does hurt when a negative opinion interjects. Although few and far in between, I have to take the high road and grow from the statements. I’ve certainly gotten a lot tougher. But I’m a lot happier when I’m not dwelling or worrying about someone’s opinion.
Yes, this is an easier said than done concept, but we have to learn who we want to let in our circle of valued opinions. Define your judging criteria about who matters most when you give merit to any opinion. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. Even now you can have an opinion about what I’m writing about, but hey, I know that opinions are unavoidable and I’m the one who can control how I accept or reject them
Triggers can result from a situation that has or will happen and are usually associated with a negative emotional reaction. A trigger can be a flashback that sets off a memory that can send a person back to the moment in time of trauma. It’s a reminder. This reminder can cause an overwhelming feeling that produces anxiety, sadness, or even panic. Triggers can come in many forms that don’t have to be physical. For example, the date of an anniversary can be a trigger. Sometimes we can predict what will be triggers. For example, watching a scary movie might cause a person to re-live a trauma in their head. Even smells can set a person off. Certain people can be very hyper-sensitive to their triggers. For example, a person recovering from an eating disorder, might be triggered by celebrities and Instagram models that are extremely skinny when they see them.
When the original trauma occurs, we are in flight or fight mode. During this time, short term memory is faulty. The moment in time gets shuffled around and de-prioritized. The situation doesn’t get filed as past event, rather it remains recent and in the short term. This makes the memory easier to recall. Then when similar situations arise, the brain senses the stimuli and recalls the memory. The brain also falls victim to habits. So let’s say someone always smokes while they drive. The brain soon starts to associate driving with smoking, the two go hand I hand, and hence the habit has been formed. The brain then thinks whenever you drive you smoke, and driving becomes a trigger for smoking.
When it comes to triggers that cause us to emotionally eat or avoid exercise, we have to stop and think about the associations. Are the triggers internal or external? Internal would be memories, emotions, or body sensations. Examples include feelings of anger, frustration, feeling out control, feeling vulnerable, pain, sadness or anxiety. External would be people, places, or situations. These include arguments, T.V or movie shows, car accidents, smells, anniversaries, holidays, seeing certain people, or the way relationships panned out. Whatever the case, our why has to be handled and controlled. This involves breathing, grounding ourselves, relaxing, being mindful, and finding support. A life lived by the fear or triggers won’t work. But if you eat like its Thanksgiving every time you see a certain person, then the trigger needs to addressed. We can’t deny what we don’t want to face or we can’t move forward. Our journey is about growth and change, and also diminishing triggers that aim to harm us.
BLOG 207 DENIAL
Denial is the self-belief that something isn’t true. It’s refusing to believe something is true that is being requested or that has been told to you. Denial is a defense mechanism. A statement made is just not true. The situation being faced is just too uncomfortable to acknowledge. Even if there is overwhelming evidence, it just isn’t true to you. Denying that something is wrong is a way to cope with an emotional conflict, stress, or with pain. Living in denial when it comes to your health leads to procrastination, worsening of conditions, and the inability to take proactive measures facing the truth.
Denial is the complete opposite of acceptance. It’s hard to deal with life when it doesn’t happen the way you want it to. It the biggest way we lie to ourselves. It is actually the first defense mechanism we learn and use. For example, when we ate the chocolate we weren’t supposed to and mom or dad asked if we did, we shake our head no even though we scarfed it down. The problem is that avoidance doesn’t make the problem go away. It can help the immediate emotional state of mind, but it can also do more harm then good in the end. Pretending something doesn’t exist doesn’t apply to the real world because we can’t exist in an imaginative state.
When our sense of control is threatened, we go into denial mode. Common scenarios include addiction, eating disorders, illnesses, financial problems, or relationship troubles. It takes a strong character to face these realities and deal with them. Living in denial of a medical diagnosis leads to a race a against time for your health. Living in denial about an addiction leads to high risk for poor health and risky behaviors.
It’s hard. I get it. No one wants to hear what is wrong with them or what they need to do. Problems don’t just go away though without addressing them face on. Therefore, on our fitness journeys, we have to address our health circumstances face on. We have to get to the “heart” of the matter. When I read someone their measurements, it’s facing fears and telling the truth that has to be told. Denial is only a temporary band-aid. It’s time to let the wound be exposed, become the better you, and build the character to be strong, fit, and an inspiration to others who have yet to face their truths.
BLOG 206 CRYING
Shedding tears. Weeping. Wailing. The act of crying results from an emotional state which could be pain, sadness, anger, or happiness. There is a connection between the neurons and the tear duct (lacrimal gland) which comes from the current emotion. When we were babies, we cried to communicate, but as adults we often try to hold back the tears. We might feel ashamed to cry or weak shedding tears in front of someone else. Statistics say that women cry 3 times a month and men at least once. Humans are the only animals to cry tears. There are 3 types of tears.
1. Reflexive tears: contain chemicals
2. Continuous: keep eyes lubricated
3. Emotional: responding to happy or sad
But crying can be healthy. Sometimes letting your guard down is just what the body needs. When you cry, you release tension. Tears contain toxins, so you are releasing them. Crying then improves your mood. It has a calming effect. When we cry, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which helps you relax. We feel better after releasing these chemicals. Tears also help cleanse the eye. When someone else notices you are crying, it can be nice to be consoled. Emotional tears release endorphins and oxytocin which make people feel good and reduce pain. You can fall asleep more easily after a good cry.
It isn’t easy to let go and show raw emotion for some people. For others, crying is just part of how they express themselves. Our emotions take a toll on us and crying is our body’s way to release. You have to let your body communicate and not be silent. I’ve seen a multitude of tears at the studio both happy and sad. Our fitness journeys are a whirlwind of emotion filled with joy, pain, truth, and realness. Sometimes this reality hits us and we are proud our ourselves, mad at ourselves, or just ready to change and be open to that concept. Don’t be ashamed of your tears. But hey, let’s aim for those happy ones. You deserve to be happy, and you deserve to shed happy tears. You are strong tears and all, so let that crying just happen. It’s natural to cry.
BLOG 205 PROCRASTINATION
Delaying and postponing. Stalling. Avoiding an issue. Procrastination is the choice to do what is more pleasurable rather than what needs to be accomplished. It is choosing the less urgent task over the more urgent task. It’s that last minute attitude. From everyday chores to an academic assignment, sometimes delaying the task despite the consequence, ends up being the decision. Some people are habitual procrastinators, other wouldn’t dare touch this uncharted territory.
Most of us procrastinate to some degree. We give into the impulse of ignoring a more important task. Sometimes we feel guilty about doing this, and other times we even pass up opportunities to reach our goals. For someone who procrastinates, a to-do list is just out of the question. Sometimes we procrastinate just because we think something is boring. Other times we just would rather do something else.
The trouble is that procrastination is often times associated with laziness. Since you aren’t acting, you aren’t doing. You really have to turn this behavior around and you can. Forget about past procrastination and forgive yourself for your old ways. Focus on doing, not avoiding and start being a committed person. Start having a proactive attitude. Maybe you need to ask someone to hold you accountable. Having someone to check up on you can help. Hey, I am your accountability for exercise. Think of it as peer pressure. Also, reward yourself for being timely and doing what you set out to do. Buy that new toy for a job well done. Think about how good it feels to actually finish something without stress. Choose don’t force yourself to take action right away. Change your mind set that you are now powerful by taking ownership on these tasks.
Your fitness journey is empowering no matter how long it took you to call me and sign up. for some, they say they took 6 months to make the call. It’s the realization that something has to be done….NOW. When we start acting more and doing more, we become more and start to live life. Don’t add more worry or stress that can be completely controlled by you. Procrastination is self-inflicted agony. You owe yourself and your body much more than that. So take today as your day and make the most of what is on your plate. This brings a fresh energy and the future is wide open to embrace.
BLOG 204 INTUITION
Intuition is your instinct. When you use your immediate feeling versus conscious reasoning, that’s intuition. We understand or feel something immediately. We don’t need proof or evidence because we just know. It can be a great gift as a human. When we have that gut reaction, hunch, premonition, or third eye, this magical phenomenon helps us steer through life. The brain is on autopilot. It is nonconscious thinking. But the question we have to ask ourselves is if we should go with our intuition??
For example, when a relationship is developing, we make hunches about how that other person is feeling about us or how we feel about them. When taking a test, we might problem solve better if we just go with our first thought. Intuition is like the first impression that we make. On the other hand, making impulsive intuition decisions when it comes to financial circumstances might not be the best. There may not be a right answer, but we feel we know what the answer is anyways.
Sometimes not having reasoning or proof and following our intuition leads us down the better path. Many people meet me and I have to trust that they will follow their intuition that I will help them. Yes, there proof in my testimonials, but how can I prove a certain number on the scale will appear?? You won’t know until you try and prove the result to yourself. I think every relationship starts and ends with intuition. However, when it ends, we sometimes have proof that the other person isn’t “the one”. We have to wait for good old intuition to finally kick in to walk away. I’ve found that listening to my gut usually turns out better. Facts are facts but sometimes, I know my mind is on my side and wouldn’t head me down the wrong path.
When it comes to your health, intuition tells you that you don’t feel right and need to do something about it. You don’t have to have statistical data to tell you that your chronic fatigue is the result of lack of movement for several years of sitting at a desk job. Your intuition for your health is like the yellow light before you hit the read. Then when you listen to your intuition you the green light puts you into action. Even when you aren’t being measured on your fitness journey, your intuition tells you that you need this and is working and serves its purpose. Your mind and intuition are on your team, so sometimes don’t fight the good fight against yourself. You are so much better and deserve so much better than that and my intuition told me that
BLOG 203 WORRYING
We are never certain about what the future will bring us. Our mind becomes occupied by worrying until the future unfolds. Left in a situation we cannot control or are unable to take action upon, we resort to worrying about the possible outcome ahead. Uncertainty is not easy to embrace. In fact, sometimes we envy other people who can be so non-cholent and care free. But working only makes us more anxious and miserable. Worrying doesn’t just have a simple off switch for some of us. Being overly concerned about a problem or situation isn’t going to make it go away or suddenly reveal the answer. We are overcome by a fear of impending doom. Suddenly we feel ultra-sensitive. All this based on “what might happen”. For some worrying can become completely irrational.
Chronic worrying is not good for our health. The nervous system starts to release the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone can raise blood sugar levels and triglycerides. Heart beat can race, a person can become dizzy, headaches and fatigue set in, you become irritable, the body starts to ache, sweating can start, and you are just filled with nervous energy. The immune system eventually becomes suppressed, digestive disorders can occur, and heart attacks can even happen.
As a queen of worrying, I’m working on coming to terms with the chronic trouble in my life. I have learned that worrying doesn’t change the outcome. I can’t worry to make the magic answer appear. For me, I’ve turned to eucalyptus and lavender oil to suppress these feelings. Melatonin at night helps. When I am not in control of the outcome, I feel terrible waiting and wondering. Keeping busy and building patience are also useful tools. Talking it out also helps. Sometimes having someone talk you off the ledge and being a voice of reason can help.
One thing we can try to not worry about is our health. Take the important measures to be active and to eat right and then you won’t have to worry about surgeries, doctor visits, and possible diagnoses. We can only control what we can control, and the rest we don’t need to worry about put rather let the scene unfold as it will. The outcome will come when it comes, but in the meantime, release positive endorphins from exercise, and take care of what business you can…. and that’s your body.