Yoga Is The Ultimate Workout

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I always tell my personal training clients that if you can only do one or two workouts a week then “make it a yoga class.”

Many people are intimidated by yoga. That’s understandable when you see some of the challenging poses posted on social media or streaming on your computer. There is a common misconception that you have to be extremely flexible to do yoga.

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However yoga can be a deep spiritual experience for one person and simply a workout to improve flexibility for another person.  Most gyms or yoga studios offer a wide variety of classes such as beginner, intermediate and advanced.

The many benefits are improved muscle tone, flexibility, balance, focus, and core strength.

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Most gyms and fitness centers offer a variety of yoga classes or you can try YouTube for a  Beginner Yoga Class. Consider adding yoga to your current workout routine and check out my article Preconceived Ideas and Yoga .  Who knows -it could become your new favorite workout!

Ten Steps To Halt Binge Eating

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Binge eating is a disorder that can lead to poor health and emotional issues.  Some of the symptoms include gorging on large amounts of food in a short period of time, continuing to eat when full,  and the inability to control eating habits.  Psychological issues can arise from guilt related to weight gain, hiding food, and embarrassment over gorging. www.helpguide.org lists some specific behavioral and emotional symptoms of compulsive overeating that include:

Behavioral symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating

  • Inability to stop eating or control what you’re eating
  • Rapidly eating large amounts of food
  • Eating even when you’re full
  • Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret
  • Eating normally around others, but gorging when you’re alone
  • Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes

Emotional symptoms

  • Feeling stress or tension that is only relieved by eating
  • Embarrassment over how much you’re eating
  • Feeling numb while bingeing—like you’re not really there or you’re on auto-pilot.
  • Never feeling satisfied, no matter how much you eat
  • Feeling guilty, disgusted, or depressed after overeating
  • Desperation to control weight and eating habits

Binge eating can lead to social isolation, anxiety related to meals, and many health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.  Prevention Magazine reports,

“Binge eating is a psychological disorder that usually has much deeper roots than a simple food craving,” says Mary Ellen Sweeney, MD, obesity researcher at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

“Binge eating is literally stuffing feelings down,” says Mary Froning, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Washington, DC. As long as we’re eating, we don’t have to deal with feelings such as anger, anxiety, or depression, say doctors.”

Try these 10 steps to help you overcome binge eating:

  1.  Consider listening to positive affirmations daily related to overeating and self-control.
  2.  Make a point to eat something healthy at the beginning of each meal.  Try a smoothie, juice, or glass of water before meals and a binge. If you have additional cravings for something processed or junk food afterwards, allow yourself to eat it without guilt. However, make an effort to eat it slowly, focusing on mindful eating by enjoying each bite and savoring the taste of the food.
  3.  Set a timer to extend your meal time to 20 minutes. Practice drinking fluids in between bites and counting how many times you chew each bite.
  4.  Don’t stock unhealthy items in your home.  Therefore, it will require more effort to leave your home to go purchase the binge food. If you give into a craving, buy small portions.  For example, if you have a strong desire for ice cream, buy a pint rather than a half-gallon. 
  5.  Stop dieting and avoid starving yourself throughout the day.  Get in the habit of eating regular meals and try to balance each meal with protein and healthy fat. Healthy fats such as walnuts, coconut oil, and avocado help fill you up and stabilize your blood sugar.
  6. Lose the all or nothing attitude.  If you binge, learn to accept it and consider starting a journal to jot down your feelings. Did something happen at work?  Are you anxious or stressed for some reason?  Learn to detect behavioral patterns and determine ways to alleviate stress before it builds and becomes overwhelming. Perhaps take a walk outside or call a friend or loved one.
  7. Make a list of what you can do to improve your health and consider adding one item on the list each month. Make sure each item on the list is doable and something you feel strongly you can achieve. Examples can include: I will eat breakfast every morning for the next 30 days, I will eat a green food item with one meal each day, I will try to get at least 6 hours of sleep each night.
  8. Treat yourself once a month by doing something non food related that you enjoy. It can be as simple as going to a movie with a friend or buying yourself something nice such as a massage or new clothes.
  9. Consider getting a physical and a comprehensive blood workup to look at any deficiencies or medical issues.  It may be helpful to start a multi-vitamin to help ensure you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need on a daily basis. Always check with your doctor before starting any vitamins or supplements.
  10. Therapy can help disclose and work through hidden issues that may be causing emotional turmoil and overeating. Many therapists are covered by insurance and now offer online therapy in the privacy of your own home.  Other options include self-help books and group therapy.

Five Steps To Reach Your Goals

Image_thumb.jpgDo you want to lose a couple of pounds, improve your health,  or maybe change careers? Get rid of the all or nothing attitude.  How many times have you started a new diet, a new exercise program, or attempted to learn a new skill just to give it up a week later? This type of behavior makes it difficult to be successful attempting new endeavors or attaining goals.

It can be overwhelming to change behaviors that move us out of the comfort zone Psychology Today reports, in the article:

5 Benefits of Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Each of us has our own “comfort zone” which, more than an actual place, is a psychological/emotional/ behavioral construct that defines the routine of our daily life. Being in one’s comfort zone implies familiarity, safety, and security. It describes the patterned world of our existence, keeps us relatively comfortable and calm, and helps us stay emotionally even, free from anxiety and worry to a great degree. Creating a comfort zone is a healthy adaptation for much of our lives. But so is stepping out of our comfort zone when it’s time to transition, grow, and transform.

But experiencing a little stress and anxiety now and then is a good thing, too. If all you ever do is strive to stay wrapped up in your little cocoon, keeping warm and cozy, you may be missing out on quite a lot–maybe no new experiences, no challenges, and no risks. And looking at the bigger picture of life, if you can’t step out of your comfort zone you may experience difficulty making change or transitioning, growing, and ultimately, transforming; in other words, all those things that define who you are and give your life personal meaning.

Therefore, it can be uncomfortable and a little frightening to step out of your comfort zone which makes changing an unwanted behavior quite a challenge. We all tend to be drawn towards the familiar:  friends, family, home, favorite places, habits,  etc.

So what can we do to finally lose those last five pounds, change career paths, finally follow through on resolutions for the new year?  Follow these five steps to change:

  1. Start a journal to jot down all the positive factors of the behavior change in order of importance.  Keep your journal handy to review daily and make notes on ideas to facilitate the change.  Write down what’s working and any ideas you have on how to incorporate change into your daily routine.
  2. Do research on the specific behavior that you want to change. Make a plan to journal any ideas you get that will help you reach your goals.
  3. Determine your NUMBER 1 reason for change and write it down. Put it on the fridge, bathroom mirror, or somewhere you will see it everyday.  The will serve as a constant reminder and help you associate behavior change with positive results..
  4. Write goals according to the SMART acronym that are specific, measurable, relevant and time bound. An article on Mindtools.com lists SMART as an acronym used to help set goals:

“Professor Robert S. Rubin (Saint Louis University) wrote about SMART in an article for The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He stated that SMART has come to mean different things to different people, as shown below.

To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:

Specific (simple, sensible, significant).

Measurable (meaningful, motivating).

Achievable (agreed, attainable).

Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).

Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)”

 

5.Visualize success by utilizing a mantra, meditating, or simply imagining how your life will be different once you reach your goal. How will you feel when you try on new clothes after losing 10 lbs?  What benefits will you acquire from a consistent exercise program?  Imagine walking a flight of stairs without gasping for air or running a race after giving up cigarettes.  Success can be yours by working consistently towards your goals. Each day you are successful, you will become stronger, and closer to permanent change.

You can achieve anything with hard work, determination, and a plan. Create specific goals and set a time frame for attaining your desired results. Get rid of the all or nothing attitude and replace it with the mindset of taking one day at a time.  Visualize your success and create the life you’ve always dreamed of living.  You can do this!  For more ideas on how to reach your goals  check out my article Visualize it …Then Just Do It!

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Drop And Give Me Zen

Life passes by in a flash and there is nothing we can do to slow it down. Learn to appreciate the small things that bring you joy. Make each day count by practicing kindness, patience, and compassion. Learn to let go of anger, resentment, and regrets.

Determine what’s important to you by setting priorities. It’s not about the job, impressing others, social media, or material items; none of that will matter in the end. It’s about learning to savor the moment, making wonderful memories, and celebrating each day with those you love.

 

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Let Us Work Together For Peace

”I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.” ~ Gandhifacebook-20160103-081552