Get in Shape and Thrive: Plan

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Seneca

We are here to inspire you to movement! As we begin in 2016 and we are excited even pumped about the possibilities the New Year brings. What inspires you about 2016? What are you hoping for? What are you dreaming about? According to usa.gov the top five New Year’s resolutions are: Lose weight, volunteer more often, quit smoking, get a better education, and get a better job. Are any of these on your New Year’s resolution list? If you accomplish one or more of these on your list what would that mean for your life? A 2007 study reported that 88% of New Year’s resolutions never get accomplished. Why? One reason is that we don’t understand the difference between a dream and a goal.

SanKalpa means – Kalpa is a way of proceeding or more revealing the role to be observed above or before any other rule. San means a concept or idea formed in the heart, so basically it means the determination or will of an intention or most commonly a resolution that reflects your highest aspirations. Swami Rama says: “On this path you must first awaken your Sankalpa, the power of will and determination. Overcome your resistance. Expand your capacity… you must order your body and senses to function under the leadership of your mind.” A sankalpa is a desire that you are absolutely determined and committed to achieve. In our western culture a goal is probably the closest thing that we have that is similar to a Sankalpa from the yogic lifestyle. You will have many Sankalpa’s in your lifetime and you should plan to achieve and refocus on a new one every 6-18 months.
“A goal without a plan is just a dream” if you do not have S.P.O. R .R.T.S. written out for each goal or Sankalpa giving you a way to gauge your progress and celebrate your achievements the likelihood of success is very low. Harsh but true if you can’t or don’t measure you will not achieve.
Specific: measure your success and progress in numbers, percentages, milestones, dates. For example, I will attend Yoga at Mind Body Balance for 55 minutes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Positive: the goal should be uplifting and positively phrased. Have confidence in yourself! We tend to rise to the level of our own self-worth. Picture yourself reaching your goal.
Obstacles: what obstacles might you encounter working toward your goal? What might come up that would prevent you from obtaining it? Take action to put contingency plans into place and resolve the problems before they occur.
Realistic: your goal should challenge you, but it shouldn’t be a fantasy or a day dream. Make it realistic so you don’t set yourself up to fail. Yes it should be a stretch and uncomfortable but it should be achievable.
Rewards: we stay motivated to work toward our goals when we know the rewards. What will be your rewards once you’ve accomplished the goal? A Thai Energy Session perhaps 🙂
Tangible: goals must be written down or else you’ll tend to edit in your head as you go along. Many people daydream about being healthy and what they want to accomplish goals written down are tangible and concrete.
Self-Serving: the goal needs to be yours and yours alone. It is alright to accept advice and suggestions from others, but you will be more motivated to complete your goal if it is something you truly want to do.

Now write it into a sentence and post it everywhere:
I will (verb/ action) by (date) because (motivation). I will evaluate my progress by (measurement). I will reward myself through (reward).

Work the plan of:
Coming to Mind Body Balance regularly with consistency no hit or miss
Connect with others on the Integrative Sustainable Movement plan at Mind Body Balance Community and volunteer in the Seva programs
Commit discipline yourself and be devoted to your practice leave scarcity thinking behind

Next Steps:
• Get quiet and decide what inspires you for 2016 and are you healthy enough to achieve it with zest
• Write a S.P.O.R..R.T. S. plan so that your goal becomes more than a dream
• Start by doing your work of healing through movement
• Get Inspired through Integrative Sustainable Movement because You Can Fix You

Questions to Ponder:
1. What will you do now?
2. How and when will you start?
3. What does it mean to have movement in your life?
4. What will change in your life if you take responsibility to your health?
5. How will it feel to be part of a community that is living life on many levels?

Affirmation
I am the one who creates who I am. I can forgive my past failures and be free to learn new healthy movement patterns that serve me today.

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Transform and Upgrade You Part 2

How do you deal with how you feel?

Emotions are both a gift and one of the most challenging things we will ever deal with in our lives. Emotions are a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with others.
Plutchnick’s wheel of emotions says there are eight basic emotions which experience:

• Fear – feeling afraid and also may be known as terror, shock, phobia
• Anger –feeling angry, also known as rage
• Sadness – feeling sad also known as grief, depression
• Joy – feeling happy also known as happiness, gladness
• Disgust – feeling something is wrong or dirty
• Trust – feeling a positive emotion. Admiration is stronger, acceptance is weaker
• Anticipation – in the sense of looking forward positively to something which is going to happen, expectation is more neutral
• Surprise- how one feels when something unexpected happens
Emotions can also be broken down into simple, complex and pure. Examples of simple emotions are:

• discovery/ anger,
• envy/expectation,
• wonder/ common place,
• happiness/ sadness,
• amusement/ weariness,
• courage/ timidity/ cowardice,
• pity/ cruelty.

Examples of complex emotions are:

• pride/ modesty/shame,
• closeness/detachment/distance,
• complaint/ pain/doing average/ pleasure,
• caution/ boldness/rashness,
• patience/ mere tolerance/ anger,
• relaxation/composure/stress,
• envy/ goodwill.

Examples of pure emotions are:

• fear/nervousness/security,
• togetherness/privacy,
• respect/disrespect,
• appreciation/envy,
• love/no love lost/hatred,
• hope/despair,
• confusion/being confused.

Feelings allow us to laugh, to love and to create. They create experiences in our lives… they are the source of our relationships. Emotions are rich! We have joy, anger, grief, pain…we have emotions so that we can have deep emotional relationships. So what does that mean…with all our heart, with all our love, with all our focus we develop relationships of purpose to connect, to love and to appreciate one another.
On the other hand, emotions can cause us some problems in our lives… a tremendous amount of pain in our lives. When mishandled and abused, emotions send us into a spiral because life is uncertain a lot of times. We do everything in our power as human beings to avoid pain and sadness, but let’s face it… life never plays by our rules, right?

Things don’t always work out how we plan them to. Any effort we may put forth to try to control our emotions is futile. Life breeds a whole host of emotions that we have to figure out how to manage rather than control. The loss of a loved one, abuse in a relationship, misguided emotions such as anger fear, guilt, and shame… if not handled correctly can lead us father and father away from how emotions are a gift in our life. The farther we get from living a purpose driven life the harder it is to manage our emotions. We are troubled. The closer we get to living a purpose driven life the more our life is transformed. We get lost sometimes in life. We are trying to get back to the part of our life that we feel connected to. It makes sense.

There are two important ways that we can make sense of this emotional journey that we are on. We can actually be transformed by the emotional journeys that we travel. They can draw us closer to that purpose driven life:

#1 Learn how to manage our emotions!

Why is it important for me to manage my emotions? Feelings are unreliable and uncertain. Have you ever felt that you were not sure how or what to feel at times. I really don’t understand myself. How I feel is unpleasing at times. I want to do what is right but I don’t do it, instead I do what I hate. I want to do what is good but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong but I do it anyway. Is it me or do you feel this way at times too? Seems like a picture of our lives…everyday right! What seems like the wrong thing feels like the right thing and the right thing sometimes feels like the wrong thing. In either case it comes down to your intentions. Sometimes what feels like the wrong thing is correct. My mentor Beth Shaw reminds me that comfort and change never come in the same sentence. For example, Sustainable Movement Practice (a.k.a. exercise) is at times uncomfortable and takes a consistent discipline so when someone says it is “easy” or isn’t hard to acquire a discipline, they are lying. Is hurt good for us in our life? It is a temporary discomfort that brings us to health. On the other hand what feels good is actually bad for you in your life. For Example, anyone that tells you that eating a cheeseburger loaded with toppings is not enjoyable they are lying. It is yummy, greasy, the bread is soft but it is 970 calories loaded with a day’s worth of fat. Not a great choice for your life and it will eventually lead you to pain.

Emotions are unreliable in leading us to which choices to make. They lead us in confusing ways. There is a way that seems or appears to be right, powerful, convincing—I’m here to say that it is a bad compass. The mind is powerful and it will work hard to be convincing. You don’t just wake up and whatever mood you feel guides you that day, month or year—it is a bad compass! Let the facts shape your feelings rather than the feelings distort the facts. Let the facts shape your feelings rather than the feelings distort the facts. There are times in our life that we feel alone, lost, wondering where the light and support is. Love and leading with our heart, forgiveness and listening to that quietest voice from our spirituality. Love is the key that opens the heart. You hold the key to your own dream. Family is the key to happiness. Why is managing our emotions so important? Emotions are unreliable. Family and mentors help us know if we are managing our emotions or if they are managing us. When we are off course, we are lacking spirituality (listening).

#2 Deal with how we feel!

If we don’t manage our emotions they are going to wreck our life and our emotions will control us. It is just this simple. We will be manipulated by our moods and guided by the moods we wake up with that day and people will take advantage of us. In fact, advertising and marketing agencies make millions of dollars playing off our emotions. They use emotions to push us to buy things we don’t need they get us fired up and excited about it. Think of that in-house vacuum salesman; he knows that if he gets in through the front door he has a sale. They show you how dirty your house is and how the vacuum could suck up moon rock. Or the u-verse and cable guy… they get in the front door but it is all about the sport packages. Who has purchased something on impulse? QVC loves all of us, right? If you can’t control your emotions you are like a city with no defenses. With no plan, if you can’t control your emotions you will be over run, manipulated, they will have their way with you emotionally and rule over you.

Emotions are very powerful and study after study has shown that E.Q. (emotional quotient) is actually more accurate at measuring success in your life than I.Q. (intelligent quotient) The opportunities and joy in your life come from your E.Q. and how you manage your emotions with other people is actually more of a predictor than your I.Q. Have you ever known someone who didn’t do a good job at managing their emotions? Someone who ruined a job opportunity because of a silly choice? Someone who destroyed their reputation in a moment of passion? Someone who destroyed their family because of a lack of self-control? People get lost and die because of their lack of self-control. It hits home in a lot of different ways. Ever grow up and swore you were never going to do something your parents did only to find in your family unit that you’ve created the same thing? Are words coming out of your mouth or behaviors are showing up that you witnessed as a child? You react how you know. If you aren’t growing, you are repeating. I swore I wouldn’t allow my anger and emotions get the best of me but those family treasures where waiting in the wings. This is how it works. I grew up with a mother that yells, name calls, hits and then goes into silent treatment to express anger… a dad that yells, and then cries to express his anger. Growing up in a German/ Hungarian household we are passionate people that express our emotions and aren’t as good at communicating. Over the years I have worked hard to improve my life skills of listening only to realize that what triggers me turns me into a yelling maniac (because this isn’t who I am at my best self). I need to allow myself to express emotion verbally and compassionately before it gets out of control and yet, I act it out by yelling or punching the pillows or through pillows. In practicing the lifestyle of a Yogi and the discipline of Pilates it has helped me to live a more balanced emotional life. I didn’t realize until recently that living with an emotionally passionate wife is scary to someone who grew up in a family that doesn’t express or communicate emotion. This was such a light bulb to me. I felt bad for him that he fell in love with a wife that is passionate about her emotions both in expression and communication. No wonder he doesn’t know what to do for me when I’m sad, when I’m angry, and when I’m frustrated. The only emotion that he knows how to handle is my joy and love. But he named it and now we can grow from it. I learned about Emotional Intelligence in 2000 which is really about perceiving emotions, understanding emotions, managing emotions and using emotions.
Here is a little chart that might help you decide where you are on the Emotional Intelligence scale.

Low Emotional Intelligence/ High Emotional Intelligence
Aggressive/ Assertive
Demanding/ Ambitious
Egotistical/ Driving
Bossy/ Strong-Willed
Confrontational/ Decisive
Easily/ Distracted Warm
Glib/ Enthusiastic
Selfish/ Sociable
Poor Listener/ Charming
Impulsive/ Persuasive
Resistant to Change/ Patient
Passive/ Stable
Un-Responsive/ Predictable
Slow/ Consistent
Stubborn/ Good Listener
Critical/ Detailed
Picky/ Careful
Fussy/ Meticulous
Hard to Please/ Systematic
Perfectionist/ Neat

The book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman is a great resource on this topic. It identifies what you don’t want to repeat in your life cycle and helps you to choose to make a better choice. Isn’t it better to choose to live a conscious life than to regret what you do when you are out of control that leads to ruin.

The truth is, no matter how broken and screwed up your life is, emotionally it takes just one encounter to change everything. The truth is no matter what you have lost in life it takes just one encounter to change everything. The truth is no matter how hopeless you feel it takes just one encounter to change everything. Emotions are strong, demanding but we don’t have to let them rule our life – put on a new truth – a new life. You have a choice. There is a conflict going on in everyone’s life all the time; in fact, it is seldom that we are without conflict. We often use phrases like this when we are in conflict: This is my family genetics, This is just me, I’ll always be this way, This is how I was brought up to be…… or you can transform and change the record—that’s your choice.

Take a picture of your life right now, what has you stuck in life right now, what emotion are you feeling, are you dealing with that emotion right now that you are struggling with? It might be a medical issue, depression, anxiety, job loss, marriage, worry, fear, maybe you’ve been unwell for generations –You can with one encounter change this course. How do you deal with how you feel?

Three things we should all do when we struggle in our lives are.

1. How you deal with how you feel? Give it a name (In doing this I would help my husband learn my emotions and develop clarity, as he can at times (because his E.I. is low) confuse the emotion that I’m expressing). What is holding you back in this life that you know is available to you. Conform or transform, what’s holding you back from that experience? Give it a name – nothing changes until we identify it- bring it to light and give it a name – grief, anger, depression, restless. For example, I’m struggling in my thoughts they are restless today and I am confused. Be driven by your emotions or by the spirit that lives in your heart- by identifying the underlying problem in life and naming it you take the problem in your life, shine a light on it and that it is the first step to being transformed.

2. Give it a frame take a picture of your life for a second, take a step back and look in the mirror, look at your life. Am I experiencing what it means to be transformed? Or Am I experiencing the life that is conformed? How do I know if my life is transformed? That is easy. Are you seeing these emotions around you in your life from others: Love, Joy, Peace, Patients, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control –if this is showing up in your life you are transformed and on purpose and if it isn’t I promise you it is available to you.

3. Change the Channel Time for a fresh start. Exchange the old record for a new record in your mind. A record of lies to a record of truth. “I’ll always be angry, it is just me.” “I’ll always be unhappy and grumpy, it is who I am.” These are a “record of lies.” You can exchange your grief for comfort. You can exchange your depression for encouragement. You can exchange your anger for self-control. You can exchange your worry for peace of mind and your hopelessness for hope.

I sometimes ask myself, “Why is this situation in my life?” Life is messy. Yes, I know this. I am reminding myself that I don’t want to Die in the Why but to make a choice to live in the What! I’m in this experience. I didn’t ask for this experience, in fact I swore it off but I ended up with it. Not because it is the right thing but because managed emotions and growth isn’t an option for all parties involved. This is bringing grief and great sadness into my life because it isn’t “going how I thought it would go.” Each day I remind myself that, yes, I’m experiencing suffering but I have a choice to how much suffering I decide to go through. I look for opportunities and know that this situation will qualify me on a different empathic level. Our MBB community comforts others in times of troubles so that they may one day comfort others in the future. MBB believes in enriching lives, loving life, sharing peace and seeking joy. Trust, no matter the circumstances. Channel your feelings and help other people because in fulfilling others this brings you happiness.

MBB was born out of love from both its founders Nick and Kim. They had enough love to give; to build one life transformed at a time until there were enough transformed lives that together the MBB Community was born. The MBB transformation takes you out the FOG (Fear, Obligation, and Guilt) of life and puts you into a life full of zest and conscious living. There are countless videos under our Watch MBB on our website (put the link here). Be that transformation for someone else. It only takes one encounter, so be that encounter for someone! Inspire them to take one more small step at a time lead them to strength… to transformation. Do You Want To Get Well? What are you waiting for? Become a member of the MBB community today. We Inspire You to Movement through services such as: Classical Pilates, Yoga, willPower & grace®, Fitness Coaching, Intuitive Eating, Workshops, etc. We change one life, one community at a time. We are your Global Integrative Fitness Studio of choice. Thank you for nine wonderful years of allowing me to live my purpose driven life!

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Transform and Upgrade You Part 1

Sometimes we find ourselves having a hard time forgiving, our mind is racing, we are overreacting to stuff, we are easy to anger and slamming doors, etc.

Are you struggling to find time for movement!

What would it feel like to find time and Money for Movement Services?

What if you found peace in your Mind, Body and Soul?

Do you struggle with relationships?

Does it feel like those closest to you know how to press your buttons?

What would it look like to find peace and reconciliation within your body?

Do you stand there asking who this person I see in the mirror is?

Finding the time to grow in your lifestyle is a challenge and it takes commitment to “self” and discipline to “self.” Life is busy- do you want to exercise more than 1-2x’s per month? What would your life look like and how would your health change if you made it your top priority?

“Transform” dates back to the 1800’s and means to make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance or character of. I’m so lucky to have discovered the Mind Body Balance Transformation. It changes your life from emptiness to fullness, from defeat and failure to victory, from insecurity to courage and boldness. Choose to Change and become all that you want to be! I like this song I Believe in Miracles by Deniece Williams. I also like two books The Four Desires by Rod Stryker and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I have read and re-read these books.

I’m not perfect. I make mistakes – I’ve made a mess and I mean a Hot Mess of my life at times… usually caused by what I think (or as like to call it, my I.B.S.C. (itty bitty shitty committee)). How I think influences how I feel, act and move and my “need to fix” makes a bigger mess than what was there before. What about you? Can you relate? Whether we have something going on in our lives that is small or huge, we are struggling so then we try to fix ourselves because we are feeling ashamed, guilty of the struggle we are having – we start this self-talk that goes something like this: “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I do anything right?” Am I close? This is why we need to work on upgrading ourselves. We need to transform, to change, to grow and to seek guidance in our movement services.

At Mind Body Balance we are in the transformation business. As individuals, we can’t transform ourselves alone. We need guidance from integrative fitness professional’s (they look at the body as a whole- mind, body and spirit), help, support, encourage and offer community (a sense of belonging).

There is a plan that is in place for us. Are you living a life that honors you? If you start to reshape your body, your mind will start to leave those old negative thought patterns that aren’t serving you and as you learn to de-clutter your mind, your heart will open to your spirit as you learn to listen to the quietest voice within yourself. Two more books that I find helpful in transformation are The Life you’ve always wanted by John Ortberg and Clutter Bust your Life by Brooks Palmer. My sister-in-law over the holidays shared a story about my four year old nephew who was asked to sit up at the table while he was eating. His response: “I’m trying to sit up but my body just won’t do it!” He is so smart. Sometimes we are living superficially; maybe on the outside we appear to be living a healthy lifestyle but on the inside we haven’t committed with our heart. We need to move beyond talking about it and apply it to our life in all aspects of body, mind and spirit.

We all go through varying stages of change. From “I Won’t.” to “I Can.” to “I May.” to “I Will.” to “I AM!”
To learn more about the stages of change visit our website at: http://mindbodybalanc.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Where-are-You-in-the-Stages-of-Change2.pdf
This is a natural process for us to go through. We have to be able to walk the walk and be willing to give our body, mind and spirit over freely to transform. I invite you to join us at Mind Body Balance over the next 90 days and Believe in Your Ability to Upgrade YOU. It is your choice though- Do you choose to be transformed are you all in?

Transformation is a journey – we start off full of anticipation; but on a journey we can expect to get tired and weary. It is a journey after all. So, you will need to find your grit to push through; as this is an endurance journey. The journey of lifestyle transformation reminds me of an ultra-marathoner. My first exposure to this was when I read the book Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Kamazes. To finish is to accomplish the goal (lifestyle transformation takes 21 months) so forget the past and press on… one present moment at a time because your health is worth it. There will be moments of triumph and there will be moments of struggle. Will you make the journey and be transformed? Only you can decide to do the work.

Something deep inside of us is broken. It is why we struggle. We wish we could be different. The truth is, we are enough and we were built to change and grow. Don’t be surprised by suffering because no one gets a pass on this, trust me. We all experience suffering throughout our life more than once. We must prepare ourselves for a journey, right? We don’t just go to the airport and expect to get on, arrive and expect that there will be a hotel or that we have the spending money for our vacation on a moment’s notice. No, we plan, save, reserve and enjoy. We don’t just go on a road trip by hopping in the car and going… I mean it might go well and it might not. Instead, we map out directions… when we will stop… how long it will take to get there etc.

Where do you want to transform your life? Pick a place inside of you where you feel you are struggling, have pain, feel broken- it is time to do some “inside work” not just external work. Goals take you from brokenness to blessing, from pain to strength and from struggle to calm when you are motivated by love and dependent on YOU. Your goals reflect loving others and your higher spirit, whatever that might be. If you could have fixed you alone, you’d have done it by now- pick a stretch goal, get disciplined and go for it!

Things that you will need for our journey are:
• You need your spirit to empower you- something greater than your willpower to motivate you. Some people stay in disease and weakness because they’ve grown accustomed to the “streets and neighborhoods” they live in. They’ve become accustomed to the pain and sluggish, foggy existence. They say things like: “It’s just too much effort to change!” This way of thinking gets my blood boiling because it isn’t true, folks. You can change but you have to put your big kid panties on and find your grit!
• Personal Perseverance – I have the power to transform! Some worry that they will never make it to the end of the journey. Worry is using your imagination to create what you don’t want. The idea isn’t to stop ½ way through the journey – to make true change you have to get vulnerable, dig deep, sift through the mud, let go of our first world problems and endure the challenge.
• Words to guide us- when we “do life” alone we make a bigger mess than need be. Destination is transformation but we need support and guidance along the way. You will succeed. Saying you forgot, don’t have money for health or don’t have time are excuses that you feed yourself because you lack discipline, commitment and personal power.

If we want life changing movement we have to change the way we think, we need a community to support us and one hour a week doesn’t do it. One tank of gas to drive across the country doesn’t work. A person standing alone is easily beaten by another, but a person supported by 2 or 3 or more cannot be defeated. On one side you have your pain or struggle and across the other side lie your goals, motivation and healing. “Doing life” together – transforms lives- this is Mind Body Balance at its heart. When you have other believers who are further along the journey than you to support you – you move from pain to peace.

Do Amazing things; as all things are possible. You Can Fix You! Do you want to Believe in you? Transform? Be your Best Self? Join the Mind Body Balance Community and Start your Mind Body Balance Transformation today! We Inspire YOU to Movement! We teach Yoga, Classical Pilates, Fitness Coaching, willPower and grace®, Intuitive Eating and a variety of Transformative Workshops. Download our mobile app from your app store today “mindbodybalancellc” and start your journey now! What are you waiting for?

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Budgeting: Fast Food vs. Wellness Services?

“It’s amazing how fast you can go through $7,000 with beer, pizza and The Gap.” –Ben Affleck

People groan at the words budget, exercise, and healthy food. Why? They relate sinking, depressed, deprived feelings to these words. Well, if you have these feelings you aren’t alone. To the vast majority of us, it denotes scarcity, deprivation and limitations; none of which seem pleasurable. Exercising usually means eliminating fun, pain, boredom, sweat, feelings of inadequacy, something we do when we are stressed out. This is not my idea.

My idea is designing a plan to achieve healthy (not magazine) bodies; reaching all those goals you would like to accomplish over time without the heroic effort. Movement should be an enjoyable process not a bitter, restrictive, fearful pill to swallow.

An action plan for fitness and healthy eating doesn’t have to be written in stone, it should be flexible, adjustable and one that reflects your values and your life. All of these decisions and commitments that you make give you the power to change so you don’t feel trapped.  You aren’t stuck.  It wouldn’t make sense to create a plan that made you feel stuck. You can change things if you are willing. 

The power of a plan is that you can decide at the beginning of every week or month how you will spend your calories burned/ your fuel you use, how much, when and how. Then when you add up your cumulative calories burnt for the week or month you see whether or not you want to change your decisions for the following month or design a plan that works for you.  Then, work your plan.

I happily move spending calories I burn in the wisest of ways!

Add up your last four week’s receipts of eating out. I would bet if you commit to eating just a portion of those meals at home, you could afford a Fitness Coach, yoga or Pilates very easily. Notice I didn’t suggest to stop eating out completely; just slow the pace a little bit so you can find some balance between eating and moving.

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Marathon Blog #6:

“Some people think that successful people are born that way. A champion Is someone who has fallen off the horse a dozen times and gotten back on the horse a dozen times. Successful people never give up.” – Jean Driscoll (8 time winner of Boston Marathon, Wheel Chair Division)

The goals this month are to build to a continual running time of 20-30 minutes. It’s all in the pace, folks. Time and patience are required to making it to your first marathon or, for that matter, any marathon.  You need to be at the start line healthy and ready to run. Focus on your form, pace and body sensing; not on measuring.  To establish a strong mental attitude regarding your running: keep track of your midweek runs, plan ahead, space your runs evenly throughout the week and have fun. This is a difficult time in your running program. You must remember what your long term goal is and keep in mind how far you have come!

Congratulations for coming this far.  We are about one third of the way through the training program.  It is time for a celebration.  Treat yourself to something that allows you to reinforce your success (i.e., body work (like a massage), yoga class, pilates, a quality vitamin, new running outfit). Just do anything; something that inspires you and makes you feel great, whatever that may be. Think about it.  For the marathoners, you should be able to comfortably and safely walk/ run about 13.1 miles.  Jump into a half marathon to test yourself.  For the half-marathoners, you should be able to comfortably and safely walk/run about 6.5 miles.  Jump into a 10K to test yourself.   Remember, the events/ races are there to test your hard work and to allow some fun, positive energy in your training.

Trail etiquette:                     
Stay on the trail and follow the marked trail
Leave no trace behind you carry out what you carry in
Run in single file in the middle of the trail
Respect closures/avoid trespassing on private land
Do not disturb or harass wildlife,
no ear pods or ipods please, be in the present moment of nature
Give courteous and audible announcements well in advance of your presence and intention of passing “on our left” and show respect when you pass
Yield to all bikers, hikers, horses, etc. Uphill runners yield to downhill runners, Slower runners yield to faster runners, move over but stay on the trail
Be friendly, let other trail go-ers know they have a friend. “Thank you.” “Hello, how are you?” “Beautiful day.”
Run in smaller groups, it is less intimidating to others
Run with a buddy and let someone know your plan
Thank your volunteers
Familiarize yourself with the course map and have one with you
Be patient with the conga line.  Yell out “Trail—to your left or to your right” the slower runner should stop, step aside and make it easier for the faster runner to overtake.

This is not an all-inclusive list by any means but it should get you in the right mindset come race day to use your social intelligence and to help preserve nature.

Field trip on week two. Start and finish at Silver Lake in Pinckney Recreation Area. From I-94, go to US-23 North, (it jogs in Ann Arbor, and actually joins up with M-14 for a while, but stay on US-23 North), exit on North Territorial Rd.(first exit north of M-14). Head west 10 miles to Dexter Town Hall Rd. Turn Right (north), go one mile and the park is on the left.

Our group run will meet at our Start/ head of our Trail Marathon (running on a softer terrain (such as dirt trails) is easier on our joints, but look out for hard-to-see bumps, holes, tree roots, etc. We will plan to run 5 miles in and 5 miles out.  This will give us just enough of a taste to see what we are up against come race day. This allows us to find the location and see how much time we need to allow to get there. This will also allow us to experience a good portion of the trail ahead of time so that we can practice our hill technique as a group and offer support. This isn’t going to be an easy race, but learning something new keeps our mind vibrant. It gives us zest in life. You are going to face challenges on this run.  Think of it as a new adventure that will help you grow. Remember this whole process of training for such an event was to learn about your body and yourself. Learning can be a stretch goal at times and bring up feelings that are uncomfortable; physically, mentally and emotionally. Allow yourself to evolve as a person and don’t self-deprecate. Remember, I asked Sherri to hold classes at Mind Body Balance for our convenience.  Many of the classes have been outlined to follow the items that will come up in our training. She brings us a holistic way to handle these non-physical aspects of our training.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” –Albert Einstein

Hills?  In SE Michigan? Yes!  This race in May has a few of them and they will bring a challenge to our race. Why did I pick a race with hills?  Because having them included in our training is a great way to build stamina for the Ambassador Bridge and coming out of the Windsor tunnel, etc. There are several techniques that I encourage you to train with in April. If you are doing long runs with me, then you’ll be doing the Munson hill with me too. You can lean into the hill, hinging from the ankle-joint (ankle will stay down) keeping the stomach strong to support the back. Focus your attention only a few feet in front of you. Don’t over-stride up the hill. Pump your arms and walk up the hill. Be patient, take your time get to the top and then you’ll be going down the hill soon  🙂  Let cresting the hill and looking back be satisfying.  Don’t shy away from the hill because (as the ladies that ran with me last Saturday found out) it isn’t as much work as you think it will be; especially if you use my favorite technique of going up laterally. Here is a key element to remember.  Do not overwork your legs.  Your upper body will need to work harder on the uphill and reduce your lower body effort (70/30). Relax, shorten your stride, and shift your speed down. Think of a car shifting to go up a steep hill, Pump your arms forward (start at the hips and bring the hand up as if you were going to throw an uppercut to your chin) and lean into the hill. Memorize this check list to use when faced with a hill: shorten your stride, lean into the hill, swing the arms up to the face, relax your lower half and keep your heels down.

Okay, so I mentioned that I’m a fan of lateral up the hill. Now you can go half-way up the hill one way and then switch to do the other half or if you have a lot hills in your run just do one hill one way and one hill the other so that you are working your body uniformly. Going up a steep hill is difficult.  If you overstretch your Achilles tendons you will tire out your calves quickly and keep you from moving forward with zest. So, turn your hips into the hill and move laterally up it. It is like a cross step up the hill with your heels down so that your Achilles tendons aren’t overstretched and the calves don’t get over worked. The beauty of it is that you are using lateral muscles of the leg, it is like using a fresh set of muscles. This allows our body to work one set of muscles for running and one set for going up the hill conserving our energy. So, turn into that hill and go up it half-way one way and half-way up the other way.  Others might look at you funny, giggle or call you a newbie, but guaranteed they’ll give it a try out on their next run and start laughing at how easy it is.

Downhill running.  Relax (quads and calves) and surrender to the speed. Let the leg and pelvis rotate as need be.  Come into your 100 curl.  This will protect the lower back and sacrum.  Take smaller steps, zigzag down the hill if there is enough room, relax your shoulders away from your ears, let your body-weight ride softly down on your heels using the back of your legs as brakes and stay off your toes, think of dropping your tail bone down to your heels. This is new terrain for us so be present, do our body sensing

Water, carbs, etc….thanks to our ultra-athlete/ MBB member (Mary Kapp) I’ve been trying out some water devices because it has become the time where we need to start bringing our own water and carb/ electrolyte replacements on our long runs and to our events.  You can’t always count on the supplies at an event, that it agrees with our system or that it is timed when you need it).  So far, I like the Amphipod handheld thermal lite 12 oz.  It retails for about $22.  Here is a link to learn more and/or purchase. http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/bottles-handhelds/handhelds/handheld-thermal-lite-12oz

I personally have found a great recovery when I fill it with coconut water (Meijer, Health Matters, Trader Joes, Whole Foods all carry this) and 2 oz. of my Body Balance liquid vitamin (purchase this from Sherri Eby). I’ve been testing this vitamin out at Sherri Eby’s request for about 2 months now. I was sold when I started to include an extra dose during my long runs. The recovery is amazing, no soreness at all :), no deep fatigue the next day (just an hour early to bed and a nap on Sunday and I’m like new). I’d been testing out some Gu (carb/ electrolyte gels) and Mary and Tressa have gone shopping for me as well (thank you ladies for spoiling me). Some of the gels didn’t settle well in my stomach and the ingredient label was a bit scary too. So, once again I went to our resident natural-path and asked her to whip something up.  Sure enough, she took that challenge on and accomplished it. The natural “gu” is superb and we are in the process of just finding a better package for it.  But the important stuff to know is that the stuff that goes in it is better than anything on the market 🙂 Five gold stars for Sherri!  Mind Body Balance will be handing out one container of this mix to each of you at the 10K (so make sure we know you are signed up by commenting on this blog, otherwise you will be left out).  If you like it then Sherri will let you know how to order more from her for future events and long runs. My second choice is Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel.

Upcoming events to sign up for:   http://www.solsticerun.org/  This is the link for our next race after the half-marathon. This event is on Saturday, June 25, 2011 in Northville, Mi. It is a solstice run to benefit cancer. This is a 10 mile run and it does have a requirement of keeping a twelve minute pace or we will be disqualified at the eight mile mark. This will push us to keep up with our training schedule 🙂 If this is too much pressure, or if you are training for the half in October, then sign up for the 10K. This race will fill up quickly and the deadline to register is May 15 for $40.  After this the rate goes up. This one has a really cool shirt.

http://www.moonlitformarrow.com/ this is a link for our following race which is Friday, July 8, 2011 in Greenville, MI  It’s a little bit of a drive so we should carpool. This is the moonlit miles for marrow run.  It benefits marrow and stem cell programs. This is a 15K (9.3 miles) trail run in the evening.  Again, this will take one of our training sessions off the pavement and onto a softer surface. The cost for this race is $37.90.

If you hear of other runs in our community or runs that you find that look fun. Please post them on our blog in the comment sections so that others can see it and sign up too. Make sure you include a link to the registration site for the race so that we can find it with ease.

Week #1 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1          Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run/ 10K Event
2 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run/ Field Trip Run
3 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run
4 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run/ Happy Easter no Group Run
5 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run and Sherri’s Class on releasing stress and creating beauty Pilates Pilates Rest and eat right our Event is tomorrow

 

Week One: Short run is 40/50 and a long run is our 10K. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Two: Short run is 40/50 and a long run is 10 miles. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Three: Short run is 40/50 and a long run is 9 miles. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Four:  Short Run is 40/50 and a long run is 4 miles. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Five: Short run is 25/35 and a long run is our first half-marathon. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

 In Chi Running or Walking by Danny Dreyer read chapters 10 and/or get caught up.

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Consistency is Everything!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle.

Wow, I think this is a very powerful statement. Do you know that it takes 21 days to change a habit and 21 months to change a lifestyle? If we are cruising along and we “fall down” on day 15, then the “21 days to a new habit” period starts over again.  The same goes for the 21 months.

Knowing how much fuel you use and how much fuel you put into your body is tangible, concrete. You can count it.  You can calculate your results with a small margin of error. Demonstrate this by keeping a journal for yourself.

Change your thoughts about your body and practice affirmations daily. If you are already doing this, do more of them and use them more often throughout your day.  Maybe even more importantly, stop that negative mind chatter.  Stop having negative thoughts about your body.  You can’t resent those that have mastered the skills of health, or have spiteful opinions of people changing their health for the better.

Give up:

 

  • Being a victim,
  • Resentfulness,
  • Anger,
  • Jealousy

 

Appreciate and love the body you have, and other’s bodies.  Once you’ve mastered your positive thoughts about your body, turn them into actions.

 

  • Quality movement
  • Quality nourishment

 

Start with a couple of  items, like taking a ten minute walk after every meal, then move to eating more vegetables during the week and watch how these small efforts bring joy to your life.  Watch how other health habits flow more easily into your life.  Notice how much easier work becomes.

At the end of the month, count the calories.  Add them up to the cumulative total that you’ve expended.  Have you spent more calories then you did before? If your answer is “Yes!” then congratulations on a job well done!  My movement calories are piled high with treasures for my body and I’m unloading them today!

Here is the secret. Keep doing this! Consistency is everything! A lot of us say “Alright! We made it!” and then we stop moving (after we just had amazing results) and just revert to our old, ingrained habits. Sometimes we think we’ve conquered the “mind thing” and don’t have to work at it any more.  No more affirmations.  Guess what?  We sink.  We “roller-coaster” again with our health and ask ourselves, “How did this happen?” Or we accomplish the thinking part, like the affirmations, and stop moving; like the affirmations will work like some magic dust over our body. Nope.  We need to go back to that tangible, concrete method.

  • Fuel in – Fuel out.

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Marathon Blog #5

Well our first event (The 5K) is just around the corner. Don’t forget to determine when you can pick up your registrations prior to the race. (You should already be signed up for this race) http://www.runshamrocks.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=31

I know we will be driving separately, but as the event gets closer let’s look for a good meet-up place. Make sure that you eat right before the race as well. Our pre- race chicken and veggie pasta would be a good choice to consider. http://mindbodybalanc.wpengine.com/newsletter_articles.php (scroll to the bottom to find many recipes that appear in The Balancing Act).

Also, make sure that you have signed up for your 10K or you will have to pay extra very soon. http://www.martianmarathon.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=61

Now that some housekeeping is out of the way, let’s look ahead to the next four weeks of training. It is time to start evaluating your long runs. Some of you may be natural pace setters and some, like me, might struggle with this area of your training.

So here are some things to consider:

  • After your long runs…

o do you just want to lie on the couch for a few hours,

o legs are tired or sore for a couple of days following the run,

o winded during the last few miles,

o feel nauseated, irritated at the end of the run.

If you answered yes to any of these questions you are probably running at too fast of a pace for your training right now and should consider slowing down.

  • Before your long run you also need to…

o make sure that you are getting enough sleep the day before,

o eating appropriately,

o are you drinking enough fluids before?

  • During and after…

o are you mentally preparing for the long run,

o dressing for weather conditions and

o are you running with a partner?

As our long runs increase, factors that can make them more painful are:

o dehydration,

o insufficient fueling of your body,

o walk breaks that were too short or too fast,

o general fatigue because of our hectic American lifestyle,

o maybe your short runs were to close together,

o the pace you were running was too aggressive.

According to the Running USA Website in 2004, the average marathon time for men was 4:24:35 (approx. pace 10:15) and women 4:55:21 (approx. pace 11:15).

Listen to your body! You will hear me say this over and over again. Rest and recovery are very important.
You must allow enough recovery. If you do not, you will not become more fit, you will just become more tired. Your body needs time to rest and recover in order to get stronger and improve.
Don’t be a slave to your program. Be flexible and respond to what your body is telling you. If you went out, were too aggressive with your pace and your legs are feeling sore, allow yourself to put an extra day of rest in-between your runs; or just go out for your run and (instead of running) walk the time or distance instead.
Yes, we need to plan our workouts and not cut corners but we also need to be flexible so that we can listen to what our body is telling us. In case you haven’t noticed a pattern yet in your workouts, let me point out that you always have a recovery week each month. So, if you feel stiff, tired, and sore then allow an extra day of recovery before your next run. If you miss a session or two (I know I have because of weather) then don’t try to “play catch-up” and do extra the following week. This is a recipe for injury.
Don’t go rogue and start running every day because you love the added endorphins and how your body is feeling. Remember your schedule has rest days, recover weeks and progresses for a reason. Stick to it. Spread out your runs to avoid over-training. Have patience, listen and learn. You will not improve your running technique overnight, but you will progress gradually and those baby steps will add up to something great.

Our first race is coming up and you will have some pre-race-day jitters.
The positive energy will get to you.
The competition (even if you aren’t there for the competition but for the fun of it) will get to you.
You’ll get start-line jitters. Running in a crowd can make you want to run faster than your pace, especially when 100’s are passing you,
Learning how to take water from an aid station can be a little unsettling. Rest assured that these events are practice for the marathon event that you choose. After a couple of events, you will feel comfortable, confident and your anxiety will reduce.

Remember, pacing yourself is important. Give yourself the talk test you should be able to speak in sentences without feeling winded. Finding the right pace is difficult, but you should be able to maintain a pace throughout your training run.

“To climb step hills requires a slow pace at first” –Shakespeare, King Henry the Eighth

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run
Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run
Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run & Sherri’s Health Class
Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run

The two rules of perseverance: Rule #1 Take one more step. Rule #2 when you don’t think you can take one more strep, refer to Rule #1.” -H. Jackson Brown Jr., American Author

Week One: Short Runs are 40/50, Long Run is 6 miles Your interval times for all runs will be five minute warm ups and cool downs and then six minute jog with a one minute walk.

Week Two: Short Runs are 50/60 No Long Run because we will be at the event running a 5k Your interval times for all runs will be five minute warm ups and cool downs and then six minute jog with a one minute walk.

Week Three: Short Runs are 40/50 Long Run is 7 miles Your interval times for all runs will be five minute warm ups and cool downs and then six minute jog with a one minute walk.

Week Four: Short Runs are 40/50 Long Run is 8 miles Your interval times for all runs will be five minute warm ups and cool downs and then six minute jog with a one minute walk.

In Chi Running or Walking by Danny Dreyer read chapters 7-9.

Here is your third event to sign up for: http://www.trailmarathon.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

You will want to sign up for this race by March 15, 2011; otherwise you will have to pay extra and may not make it into the race. They do have a runners limit for both the full and half of 1,000 runners. You will be signing up for the half. This course is going to be challenging, you will get dirty and you will need to bring your running etiquette with you (I’ll spend more time on this in our next blog). By May 1st you will have been in 3 races (5k, 10k and half). You’ve come a long way baby!

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How to get from your starting point to where you want to be!

Yes, Andy Stanley is still inspiring me so bear with me. After listening to Andy Stanley present at The Global Leadership Summit in 2010, I had to read his book The Principle of the Path. It offered some insight into my personal life and made me wonder about my health, and my client’s health as well. Why is it that smart people with admirable life goals often end up so far from where they want to be regarding their health and well being? Why is it that so many people start out with a clear picture and or living a healthy lifestyle and yet, years later, find themselves far from their desired destination of “healthy body?” Why do our expectations about our own health and fitness level often go unmet?

I’ve sat with many clients who have cried, wishing they could go back and have a do-over, living differently, but we can’t.  As the line in the country song goes, “When your hourglass runs out of sand, you can’t turn it over and start again.” Experience is our most valuable commodity. This learning from experience eats up a lot of years, it steals entire stages of life, it leaves us with scars, pain, and regret. This regret creates powerful emotions which can drive us right back to the behavior that created the regret to begin with. Whenever a client talks to me about weight, there are always big emotions, fear and pain.

I’m not giving you a 12 step program to follow or a guarantee that will fix your pain but I do hope to bring your attention to the fact that some big emotion is floating in the background of your life and the lives of those you love. If you can find the courage to look for this emotion, and bring awareness to it, without judgment, than you have done the most difficult part of the journey to regaining your health, your life, your happiness. Once you’ve located this emotion you can then leverage it for your benefit.

Clients come to me and they want me to hold all of their responsibility to becoming healthy. Ultimately, I can guide them, but I can’t do the work for them. I can lay out a yellow brick road or a prudential path to better health, but there are sure to be road blocks and detours that they’ll be faced with. 

My clients always hold the best answers.  They already know the solution; they just need help with direction. This will take time, a change of direction and patience. Remember, there is no quick fix when one day you wake up and find that you are hundreds of miles away from were you want to be. I often have no idea how I will help the new client that comes to me for help. Their latest health scare just reveals where they are and where they aren’t.  It also reveals the path that they were on.

I don’t “fix” or hand out a 12 step “to-do” list, but I do know that if we choose a path of unhealthy lifestyle habits eventually we arrive at an undesirable destination. A health scare just speeds the trip up. Every path has a specific destination.

Proverb (27:12) “Lord, help us to see trouble coming long before it gets here. And give us the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.”

It takes a lot of courage to face your health and fitness issues. It takes a lot of courage to admit your starting point; but we all have one. Mine came when I realized that I had gone from a size 2 to a size 12 and was wondering why my back issue (crushed T12) was getting worse at the age of 32. Why was I having hormone issues and facing type 2 diabetes just around the corner?  I knew better.  I knew how to live a healthy lifestyle.  I wasn’t raised to live unhealthily. I just chose a path that didn’t include self nurture. I had to pay attention to my health, when I see old habits coming back I have to change direction because it is the direction of our life that will determine our destination.

I’m definitely not perfect.  I often learn from mistakes only. But, I do have some questions that I want you to consider. Why do you make choices that give you short –term happiness over long-term happiness? Why overindulge for a short term high instead of years of good health? Why do I have to have my way now rather than wait and really have my way later? Why do I have to sit in front of the TV now every night instead of playing with my children, grandchildren and being fit enough to enjoy traveling the world later in life? Why do I knowingly choose paths that take me where I’ve already decided I don’t want to go? Are you allowing your brain to sell you on things that you want to do rather than what you ought to do?

How many times have you eaten the whole bag of potatoes chips and said, “I don’t understand why I did that? What was I thinking?”  I’ve done this before and I don’t understand some of my decisions.  We can’t understand our heart. We are corrupt.  Our brains have the ability to lie to us, create actions based upon those lies and then defend our lies and actions with ridiculous excuses. Getting the Courage to tell ourselves the truth is downright terrifying, but the truth is liberating and weight is lifted from our shoulders. The reason I lie about my health is……….. The real reason I won’t exercise is…………. The real reason I eat so much is…………the real reason I can’t afford wellness services is……………The real reason I quit doing what I love is…………….. Andy sums this up very elegantly “When you are willing to come clean with yourself about the uncomfotable truth behind your choices, you’re on the verge of freedom. We can never be free as long as we’re in the habit of lying to ourselves about the reasons behind the choices we make and the paths we take. Telling yourself the truth will free you to move from where you are to where you want and need to be”

When we make a choice, we choose a path and every path has a destination, the direction we chose, not our intention, determines our destination. Information, insight is not enough.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the lord with all your heart leans not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him; and he will make your paths straight.

Find a Fitness Coach that will help you cut through your emotional fog that clouds your decision-making environments regarding your health. Every big decision has an emotional component behind it.  Every big decision takes you down a path that will impact your future. Life is too short to allow the emotions of the moment to direct your health toward a direction you will later regret.

Success is sometimes admitting that you have no idea what action to take concerning a particular issue or situation. Successful people know that they are in uncharted territory and they should seek other’s advice; people who have experience in that area. It takes a lot of confidence to say “Even though I’m in charge of my life, successful in so many areas of my life, I have no idea what to do on the issue of my health and fitness level” I often hear, “I’m the head of my company, department etc. but I’m just not sure what plan of action I should follow for movement.  Can you help me?  I partner with them and we develop a plan of action that meets them where they are at that moment. Often they report back that they’ve been humbled, that they are a better manager to their employees because of it and that they are ready, begging to start the next step in the action plan.

Our decisions to live an unhealthy lifestyle (the one’s that we make privately and independently) are judged by others, and affect other people as well. Even when we pay attention and choose another path or direction to improve our lifestyle to one of health we are judged by others, and affect other people as well. Yes, you are an adult and you can make your own decisions, but it affects your family, your co workers, and your friends. When your health goes south, you aren’t the only one affected.  Your parents, friends, spouse / life-mate, children, coworkers…, all who have come in contact with you, suffer. Every decision that you make that hurts you, also hurts those that love you and depend on you the most. So many times, clients are afraid to have a family discussion about what they need in order to make a lifestyle change (i.e., help with cooking, cleaning, watching the children etc. so that they can exercise) and they want to go it alone or use it as an excuse not to make a change. When we make a bad choice or choose a bad path and we realize we’ve made a mistake, who do we go to for advice about how to make a course correction? Who do we go to for advice about how to dig out of the hole we’ve dug ourselves into? If the decision we make will be seen, judged, and felt by these individuals why not involve them from the beginning? Nothing remains a secret.

We go to run across the yard to play with the dog or our grand children and can’t make it because we are out of breath.  We end up in the hospital on father’s day with a heart attack.  How in the world did you end up here? How do we get ourselves to concentrate on the things that matter? Self-deception doesn’t accomplish much, but it is a path. What has your attention now? Who has your attention now? There is no one but you at this very moment while you are reading.  Don’t lie to yourself. You know from your own past experience.  Be honest.  Why is it that you just don’t find the time to exercise; to get around to your health; because of the other less important stuff?

THINK!  HONESTLY, A LOT IS AT STAKE!

Take a moment out of your hectic life and ask, “What I am devoting my attention to right now? Is this a special item that deserves my attention?”  Don’t imprison yourself in your unhealthy body. I know that this is not where you intended to be.  Disappointment creates powerful emotions.  I know poor health is the last place that you wanted to be and that a life of disappointments creates powerful emotions that take over our life.  No one in our society is immune to these emotions. Regardless of what your goals, dreams, wishes or wants were or are, set a course for improved health today.  Change your direction today.  That will set your destination. Remember, “Knowing/ Awareness” doesn’t make the difference but “Doing” does. Start exercising today.

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Marathon blog #4

So many of you are off to a great start! What I love most about the stories that you are sharing with me is that you are making this training your own. You are all listening to your bodies, having some light bulb moments and acknowledging the emotions that come up along the way.

For example, some of you are learning the art of a warm up… That if you just race off from your start point, mindless, you get cramping in your calves, wheezing, etc. (if this happens then slow down). Remember, you should start-off slow and build speed over a five minute period of time and during this time you shouldn’t feel any tension, cramping, your breath should be full.

I’ve heard about the “a-ha” moments, stretching at the end of your workout. For those of you that workout with me on Saturday, you find that even though it is your long run, you aren’t that sore & tight the next day or two. This is because we do a good stretching program at the end. If you skip your stretching program at the end then your body starts to speak loudly until you listen and give it some much needed “love.” You can’t skip this. It must be part of your routine.

I’ve heard stories of: the run was great but afterword’s I was angry, I was happy, I am amazed I did it, I’m proud, I’m fearful to start to exercise, I’m embarrassed to exercise with others, etc. You are certainly going to learn a lot about yourself during your training times. Look, you have nothing but time while you are out in nature. This is fun. This isn’t about punishment, judgment, competition or having an expectation. This is about learning about yourself, your body, being healthy, enjoying the outdoors, having fun with others during movement, exploring yourself and personal awareness. Please don’t put yourself into a box that you create for you.

Be patient and allow yourself some grace. As you become more efficient, work on your technique you will have a sense of joy and as this joy increases so will your efficiency in your running. I know I rocked my 5 mile run on a very cold day. I felt great. I enjoyed it but then came my short runs the next week. I felt okay, but I wasn’t looking forward to them. Remember, our mind is like concrete; sometimes it’s visualized as a road block. Our body is fluid. I’m always trying to create a fluid mind to match my body. Running is inexpensive, running goes with you anywhere, and running clears the mind chatter and helps you keep it in sane perspective.

This training needs to be fun. You need to be having the time of your life whether you picked walking, running or a combination of both (that’s me). Your heart will beat stronger, your bone density will improve, and you’ll burn calories and increase your cardiovascular efficiency. A lot of people get injured while running and never make it to the start line. Why? In my personal opinion it is because they over-train (going beyond what the body is capable of), attack their training with the same stress they live daily, have poor alignment and use poor running technique.

This is why we offered you some additional services such as Sherri Eby to help with holistic health and emotions. Chi Running by Danny Dreyer will help with your running program. We like Danny’s philosophy because it fits with our philosophy of movement at Mind Body Balance. Please make sure that if things are coming up during your running that you strongly consider using one of these additional services for a period of time. I know that my breathing is limiting me (still working on expanding my respiratory muscles from my old injury) I’m rereading my Chi Running book to remind me of good form so that I run with mindfulness. I’ve shared with many of you some of the things that I say in my mind “Breathing in I Smile, Breathing out I smile”, “Inhale God’s Word, Exhale his Love”.

I’ve shared some running techniques based on what I see in your running form when you pass me on the trail. By the way, I’m glad that you pass me because when we get together you shouldn’t feel obligated to go at another’s pace. We are all there to support each other. Chat before and after, maybe during, but the bottom line is to first listen to your body and feel what it is telling you.

Please don’t make your training program about peer pressure, wanting to be the fastest, trying to prove your value, wanting to keep up with the Jones’, etc. This is about you and you define your own success, no other. Danny Dreyer talks about Master Xu in his book and I love the saying “Let your mind do the work….let your body relax.” Your running should be with ease. You should run down that trail as if you are the air that blows through the tree leaves, you should leave no foot prints behind, and your energy should be united between body, mind and spirit. The process of this training is your goal. The events are just fun social gatherings for us to have community with one another.

Learn what your body can and can’t do and teach your body new skills and habits. Danny Dreyer’s techniques make sense on so many levels I really hope that you get his book as I recommended in the very first blog and absorb every page. I know mine is well used.
“Principles are deep Fundamental Truths that have universal application. Principles are guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value” –Steven Covey

Your reading for this week is to cover the next three chapters in Chi Running by Danny Dreyer (chapters 4, 5, 6 by months end) these chapters are on form and technique. Danny’s principals are very similar to those that Joseph Pilates left us (Centering, Control, Concentration, Flowing, Precision, and Breathing) remember Joseph called it Contrology (the complete coordination of Body, Mind and spirit). So with this said, you should be spending your time on form these next four weeks and listening to your body. For example, if I start to get tense while running or something starts to “talk” I start to walk until I can correct my form, quite my muscles and relax.

I send it good thoughts. I don’t get mad or discouraged. Instead I ask it what it needs, why do I need to carry this tension, can I let the tension go, my left side isn’t tracking right because I have numbing or I’m a little sore the next day. How can I work on my technique to help it, etc. While the table below offers suggestions, please use your best judgment and listen to what your body is telling you. Maybe you need to walk the long runs and not shuffle at all. Maybe you need to stay with a different interval then what is recommended but can still go the time and distance. All of this is fine, giving you permission to listen to your body. Just stay healthy, injury free and consistent with your program; helping you find the balance that works for you. If you get discouraged go back and re-read the blogs because they offer great suggestions and serve as good reminders.

Week # Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Short Run Yoga Short Run/ Yoga Pilates Pilates Long Run Breathing Active Rest/ Nap
2 Short Run Yoga Short Run/ Yoga Pilates Pilates Long RunBreathing Active Rest/ Nap
3 Short Run Yoga Short Run/Yoga Pilates Pilates Long RunBreathingSherri’s Class Active Rest/ Nap
4 Short Run Yoga Short Run/ Sherri’s Class Pilates Pilates Long Run Breathing Active Rest/ Nap

Week One (intention is Body Sensing) a short run is 30/40 it is a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down with a 2 minute shuffle/ jog or fast walk and a 3 minute walk. The long run is 4 miles same warm up, cool down and interval.

Week Two (intention is Breathing) a short run is 35/45 it is a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down with a 3 minute shuffle/jog or a fast walk and a 2 minute walk. The long run is 5 miles same warm up, cool down and interval.

Week Three (intention is lean/ posture) a short run is 35/45 it is a 5mintue warm up and 5 minute cool down with a 4 minute shuffle/jog or fast walk and 1 minute walk. The long run is 6 miles same warm up, cool down and interval.

Week Four (intention is effort with ease) a short run is 30/40 it is a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down with a 2 minute shuffle/jog or fast walk and 3 minute walk. The long run is 4 miles same warm up, cool down and interval.

If the above mentioned intentions don’t make sense, then please consult your Chi Running book. Focusing on your reading and working on your form will go a long way and help yourself create a strong base in which to grow on.

Now is the time to sign up for your second event: The 10k. And guess what? You’ve already gone the distance. “Yes, You Rock!” http://www.martianmarathon.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=61

Make sure to register before March 2nd or you will have to pay extra!

So everyone is asking me who is going to the March 13th event: the 5k. If you are going walking or running, please comment below so that everyone can see and help inspire those that are sitting on the edges looking in wishing they had the courage to sign up too. I confidently know that all of my clients can walk a 5k. so please join us it is for a good cause.

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What is the wise thing to do?

Recently Andy Stanley has inspired me to do some self evaluation. I was recently preparing for a leadership conference this year.  When you enrolled early you were gifted a book entitled The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley. Two weeks before the conference my excitement was building and I thought I probably should give it a quick read before I attend….you know, so I’m prepared and all…..

Of course, like many items that grab us, we always say “If only I had this earlier in life.” But, the truth is, I probably wasn’t ready for it until now.  He said in his book “You can overspend, overeat, and overachieve, but you can’t over-live.”  Lets look at this for a moment.  We all know that our time is limited on earth, right? You would think this would inspire us to look at our life differently, but instead, we all spend our lives asking for more time instead of evaluating how we invest our time we already have.

I think a better idea to ponder would be how to use our current time.  For example, what do you do with all of your extra time? You might be thinking, “Well, I have no extra time.” But, for you parents, I bet you thought you had no extra time when you were single.  You found time for your first, second, and third child. Where did all that “time before children” go?  Away?  Where did your life go? 

I get clients all the time that say, “I know I should take care of myself but I just don’t have the time!” WHAT?  Think about your past experiences (family history your own health history, etc), your current responsibilities (parent, care giver, productive citizen, etc.), your future hopes and dreams (grandkids, children in college, trips in the golden years, etc.).  What is the wisest way to invest in your health?  Now, you are all smart enough to know how to manage your time, see were your time-wasters are and to understand that time is life.  But, often times, we don’t prioritize our health until it is too late.

I see clients that routinely, for years, ignored this very aspect of life.  Then finally something happens in their life and their health gets pushed up the ladder to the top rung. They, of course, are often looking for a quick fix (a magic pill) and get angry that I can not accomplish their goal (reduce pain, lower cholesterol, lose weight, etc.) in just a handful of sessions. It is almost as if they are laying there, thinking, “This won’t work, this isn’t helping me.”etc.

At this point, I tell them, “The body is fluid and has the ability to repair, heal and change over time.  The mind is concrete.”  In other words, if you are saying unkind, negative things while we work together, we should just stop working together.  You are working against your body and you “know” that it won’t change.

You aren’t ready to change your lifestyle until you are ready.  You are only ready when it has nothing to do with the externals floating about in your life.  In one, or even five sessions you aren’t going to see this big difference other than you may be sore and realize that taking back your life is going to be hard work.  Sorry to be the barer of bad news but…  It’s the truth. 

If you allow your exercise sessions and the small lifestyle changes to accumulate… now you are talking about real movement that has a measurable benefit in your life. I know we are a society that wants immediate gratification.  Because exercise doesn’t supply this it is easy for our mind to “fight to be right” and say things like, “It will not hurt if I miss one day.”  Healthy lifestyle factors have a compounding effect.  Consistent, small investments of time have a value.  In the end, that time makes a difference.

If you are like me, you live and learn.  I’ve found myself, many times, wishing I could go back in time and actually listen to my father’s advice.  But I can’t go back.  In fact, we can’t go back for many things such as living, loving, re-prioritizing….the critical aspects of life.  We cannot go back and make up for our mistakes or lost time. You know you’ve done it with your health.  In fact, at the beginning of every year I see it.  Many clients wanting me to brow beat them with outrageous workouts, trying to make up for “that lost time of exercising” in their life.  It’s as if logging 2-3 hours a day makes you feel “in control.”  You’ll feel you’ve regained your footing, then you’ll wake up the next day and have a hard time getting out of bed or you injure yourself.  And so, the brain says, “See, I told you we shouldn’t be doing this.”

Your health matters.  It is one of the top five things that matter in your life and you can’t make up for lost time.  Two of the biggest crises’ that Americans face today are obesity and metabolic diseases; both of which stem from making decisions.  We eat too much.  We spend too much on trends and magic pills.  It isn’t because we make too little income or have too little time.  So we look for others to blame for our behaviors like fast food, finances, employers, etc.

You know something about cars, right?  But most of us don’t work on them by ourselves. You don’t expect your mechanic to make wise suggestions and decisions about your car without first knowing how the car works, right? You don’t try to make wise decisions about your family’s finances without first seeking out a financial planner and knowing the laws and principles that work in these areas of your life.  So, why then, would you not seek help in mastering your health? How would you expect to make wise decisions?

Make a health care team for you today that includes:

  • You,
  • An integrative fitness professional,
  • A doctor that respects movement and nutrition,
  • A physical therapist if needed,
  • A nutritionist and
  • A “body-work” professional.

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