If Only…

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The 15-year-old daughter says, “I want to start going to the gym.”

Incredulous, I ask, “Are you sure you want to go to the gym?”

“Well, I want the effects of going to the gym. Is there a pill out there that tastes like watermelon Jolly Rancher that will make me look like I work out?”

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Suggestion

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I’ve been pushing myself lately to be as productive as possible at work and at home: teaching, preparing for National Board Certification, participating in a video coaching study, painting, working on two books and publishing this blog daily.  🙂  Exercising in the morning actually makes me feel more energetic so that is how I start the day. The days end with cooking dinner and cleaning up.

But I’ve been feeling…unsettled….a bit anxious, even. If I don’t get to all my tasks, I feel down on myself. I’ve been feeling like the proverbial hamster on her wheel: running and getting nowhere.

A few days ago, I was waylaid by the flu. I gave a talk Thursday night to parents for Curriculum Night and then collapsed when I got home.

Of course, I was majorly bummed and nearly distraught: I don’t have time to be sick!

Bedbound, I realized the grace in being forced to slow down. Obviously, my body is trying to tell me something. Unable to clean the house, paint (properly), write or workout is a good exercise in just being. Illness has forced me to get more sleep and in stillness, I’ve watched the monsoons each night in all their glory: thunder, lightning and rain.

So, today, my Sunday Suggestion is to slow down. Maybe whittle a task or two off your “To Do List”

Say “no” more often. Ask for help. Take a walk instead of checking email. Hang out with positive, quality people. Plan a day to do nothing but enjoy yourself.

It might diminish the anxiety. It might help you find your center. It’s already working for me.

 

 

 

Appetite

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My husband of twenty-one years decided to lose weight. At 6′, he was at his all-time high of 220 lbs. The impetus for change? He saw a picture of himself that a friend took and didn’t like what he saw.

There are several ways to slim down: cut calories, increase physical activity (exercise!) or both. Hubby is choosing to cut calories.  Through research, he’s discovered that in order to reach his target weight of 180 lbs, he cannot go over 2,000 calories.

2,000 calories to a man who has eaten anything he wanted whenever he wanted is a drastic change.

In the past two months, he has stuck to this limit most of the time. He’s now down to 204 lbs. and finds the sacrifice worth it.

As with most things in life, what you do consistently will yield results: both good and not so good. When he chooses to eat a big slice of cake or ice cream, he foregoes dinner.

Doing the right thing is most painful when we think of our appetites in terms of what we are sacrificing, but we usually succeed when we focus on what we “gain.”

The Body

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Sitting around or lying around all day makes you weak. (Livestrong.com)

With the pervasive use of screen time, people are being increasingly physically passive. I heard this quote the other day that rang so true to me:

The body will become better at whatever you do, or don’t do. You don’t move? The body will make you better at NOT moving. If you move, your body will allow more movement.

— Ido Portal

Exercise, we all know, is good for the heart and the bones. It keeps your blood pressure in check.

 

As we train our newly adopted pitbull mix, I wanted to ensure we handled aggression in her properly.

“Dog exercise burns the dog’s excess energy and helps maintain the dog’s healthy state of mind. This is important because, in order to talk to the mind, you need to remove the energy from the body.”

Cesar Milan

I can totally relate to this! I need to exercise and (re)move energy in my body so that my mind can work better as well. Perhaps more humans (especially in cars and on the Internet) would be less aggressive if they exercised daily.

In the end, you only have one body and it’s your sole vehicle for moving about in this world. Help your body take you where you want to go.

Connect to Something Big*

 

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Daily painting challenge: August Wren Creativebug.com class

 

*From Ryan Holiday’s Thought Catalog:  Find a Way To Connect To Something BigMarcus Aurelius would look up at the stars and imagine himself running alongside them, he’d see them for their timelessness and infiniteness. Try that tonight or early in the morning and try to make it a daily practice. A glance at the beautiful expanse of the sky is an antidote to the nagging pettiness of earthly concerns, of our dreams of immortality or fame. But you can find this connection from many sources: A poem. A view from the top floor. A barefoot walk across the grass. A few minutes in a church pew. Just find something bigger than yourself and get in touch with it every single day.