Fitness Fridays

I’ve decided to plan and schedule my blog entries here.

Fitness Fridays will be the theme of the nutrition blog topics.

I’ll post on Fridays blog entries about fitness and nutrition.

The fact is:

Infirmity is not inevitable in old age.

Lifestyle habits are a significant factor in whether you remain healthy or progressively decline into ill health.

A while back in the blog I wrote about the book How to Be Well. After going on the book author’s website, I submitted a form to talk with a health coach.

For a customary fee you can get individual advice. An action plan is created for you to follow. Two weeks later there’s a follow-up talk to see how it’s going.

The fee is actually cheaper than other nutritionists charge. A 6-session package costs more. I opted for the 3-session package.

Folks: carbohydrates are my enemy. After talking with the health coach, I threw out all the grains and granola packages in my kitchen.

My plan involves scrambling eggs with veggies to have with avocado for breakfast. It’s entirely possible that having granola for breakfast had been one of the culprits in my mid-life fatigue.

You can go on the Dr. Frank Lipman (the author)’s website to research the options for talking with a health coach.

I have no guilt in having gotten rid of the grains. Bye-bye.

In one week, I will report back on how it’s been going.

Having 5 Commitments

Easily over five years ago I read a Leo Babauta book where he told readers to list their 5 Commitments in life.

This approach made great sense to me. In the spirit of talking about recovery I want to riff on choosing and committing to 5 areas.

Do this for the sake of your mental health and physical well-being first of all.

As I head into my fifties and go through changes at mid-life the benefit of having 5 Commitments resonates with me more than ever.

It’s called a routine: adopting healthy habits that you engage in every day or every week.

This isn’t to say that the focus of your life won’t ever change. As you get older, you’ll need to improvise as you go along.

I find myself at 53 engaging in a form of woodshedding, which I talked about in one of the first blog entries in this Flourish blog.

While isolating inside because you’re afraid to go out your front door isn’t healthy I say:

Enjoying your own company when you’re alone in your apartment or house is imperative.

As I’ve started journeying through mid-life I can vouch for the positive health benefit of needing more time for yourself to rest and engage in recreation.

You need to rest after going out socially or having a long, hard day at your job.

The key to maximum productivity in your personal life lies in the beauty of honoring your 5 Commitments.

My 5 Commitments are art, music, fashion, books and writing, and exercise.

Making time each week to do something involving these 5 things I love has been the way to feel healthy and be happy at mid-life.

What are your 5 Commitments?

In coming blog entries I will continue with the focus on careers.

Yet I will apply this wisdom to everyday life.

Living in recovery doesn’t have to be so hard. Even if you’re in pain that’s when doing the things you love can help you feel better.

That’s it exactly: focusing on the 5 Commitments that bring you joy.

 

Changeology: Perspire Step: Update

My New Year’s resolution I’ve recorded in here a few blog entries ago.

I’m using the 5-step Changeology method for achieving goals and resolutions.

So far I’ve advanced to Step 3: Perspsire.

This is where you’re engaged in the new healthy behavior that replaces the old habit.

How have I fared in executing the sub-goals?

For 3 out of the 4 weeks I lifted weights at the gym 2x/per week. One week I exercised at the gym only once that week.

The goal I had of bringing salad food and fruit to my job to eat healthier has been achieved every week so far.

I’ve eaten salads 3x/per week like I had expected to. My goal is to have fruit for a snack in the afternoon going forward to complement the goal of eating salads.

I can make no excuse for not having gone to the gym 2x/every single week.

I offer only this explanation: my mother is old and needs my help at times. Faced with this reality I will have to help her out when I’m able to.

Months ago in this blog I gave Tips for Caregivers.

Then I talked about how no one at any mental health organization is addressing the reality that adult children are becoming caregivers for our parents.

You’re supposed to deal with managing your own life at the same time you’re caring for an elderly parent who might be in ill health.

Nobody cares about this because they’re advocating for young adults and parroting baseless anti-stigma rhetoric.

Instead of actually taking action on equally pressing concerns: the needs of older Americans living in recovery who are becoming caregivers.

There. That’s it straight up. I’ve spoken this truth. When there’s no one else to act as a caregiver it falls on you to do double duty.

Alas my goal of using the treadmill 1x/per week hasn’t happened either.

I would like to start executing this sub-goal next week.

In the coming blog entries I’ll talk more about the Changeology method.

The point is that by executing the 5 steps in the order you’re supposed to do them you have a better chance of achieving your goals and resolutions.

Step 3 of Perspire lasts 30 to 60 days.

Like I said slow and steady wins the race.

In the next blog entry I’ll detail 3 Tactics for Achieving Resolutions that I think can make the difference between success and failure.

 

 

 

Top Fitness and Nutrition Books

The following is a list of the top fitness and nutrition books along with cookbooks that I own and refer to in my own life:

Ballerina Body – Misty Copeland

Body for Life for Women – Pamela Peeke M.D., M.P.H., FACP

Foods for Health – Barton Seaver and P.K. Newby Sc.D., M.P.H.

The Organic Food Shopper’s Guide – Jeff Cox

Shape Your Self – Martina Navratilova

Strong is the New Beautiful – Lindsey Vonn

The Top 100 Fitness Foods – Sarah Owen

Transformation – Bill Phillips

What the Fork Are You Eating? Stefanie Sacks M.S., CNS, CDN

Cookbooks:

The Inspired Vegan – Bryant Terry

The Kitchen Shelf – Eve O’ Sullivan and Rosie Reynolds

Vegetables Every Day – Jack Bishop

Verdure: Simple Recipes in the Italian Style – Gioietta Vitale with Robin Vitetta-Miller

Inspiration and Perspiration

Thomas Edison is quoted along the lines that achieving a goal is “One percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

The Changeology Step 3 of Perspire lasts at least 30 days. It’s followed by the Persevere and Persist steps which round out and end the 90-day action plan.

Two prior goals I’ve already achieved using the Changeology method.

One was to wear makeup every day to my job. The other was to wear jeans to my job only 2 days a week. In fact I rarely wear jeans at all to my job anymore. And I do apply makeup in the morning before I go there.

Controlling the environment as regards these two goals was simple:

Placing my makeup in a cosmetics case and keeping the case on the bathroom sink ledge for easy and quick access.

Storing the jeans in an out-of-the way rack. Placing the pants front-and-center hanging in my everyday closet.

While I buckle down in the Perspire step I’m going to write in here about other fitness and nutrition topics.

I want to write about these things to give readers hope.

There’s a lot of confusing, conflicting, and downright contentious information about health that is passed off as the only right approach to living your life.

Remember: my claim to fame is that I wrote a book titled Left of the Dial. I see things differently and think differently from most people.

What I know to be true is that a dose of common sense is required when tackling problems that seem insurmountable.

Isn’t a 90-day action plan a short time frame in which to accomplish a goal that has the potential to become permanent for the rest of your life?

In a coming blog entry I’m going to focus on how I lost 20 pounds as a young woman and kept most of that weight off.

In fact I weigh the same at 53 as I did at 40. This indicates I know something about which I speak.

You could get toned lifting all the dozens of diet books that are published each year.

My goal is this: to empower readers not only to dare to dream but to actually do what you dream of.

More on how I lost weight and kept it off in the coming blog entries.

Changeology: Step Three: Perspire

In the third Changeology step of Perspire you start to act on your goal or resolution.

Here you use techniques: rewarding, countering, controlling the environment, and helping relationships.

My goal was to go to the gym 2x per week and eat salads 3x per week at my job. This week I was only at my job two days and I did have salads for lunch on those days.

Last week I trained at the gym twice. This week I’m going to the gym 2x as well.

Along the way you’re supposed to reward yourself for achieving your sub-goals leading to the destination goal.

Countering is engaging in the health opposite of the prior behavior. Controlling the environment is the way to reduce the temptation to revert back to your old habit(s).

Helping relationships are the bonds you have with your change support team members while working on the 90-day action plan and beyond the 90 days.

Controlling the environment in terms of bringing food to my job is as simply as placing the insulated tote bag where I can see it in the morning. For quick access to it to store the items in and then dash out the door.

A member of my change team is a personal trainer.

From reading this you can see how the 5 steps of the Changeology action plan play out in detail.

I have a friend whose goal is “to be healthier.” That raised a red flag with me.

Your goal has to be S.M.A.R.T. How exactly are you going to execute your plan if you only have a vague notion of what you want to do that isn’t supported by specific measurable achievable relevant and time-sensitive sub-goals?

Trust me when I tell readers that the Changeology 5-step action plan has a greater probability of working than simply wanting “to lose weight” or “to be healthier.”

I’ve already achieved 2 other goals using this method. And I haven’t reverted back to the old behavior since achieving these goals.

You can do it. I cheer you on in any goal or resolution you have in the New Year.

Changeology: Step Two: Prep

In Step Two: Prep you write down your S.M.A.R.T. goal that is Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Time-Specific.

Using my resolution as an example:

Specific:

To gain back the energy to cook my own dinners 4 times per week. To continue to exercise at the gym through the spring.

Measurable:

Lift weights 2 times per week. Pound the treadmill once per week.

Buy food online. Bring food in Rachel Ray insulated tote to make lunch at my job. Have salads 3 times per week for lunch. Eat only organic chicken. Bring fruit and yogurt to job to have as a snack.

Attainable:  This is realistic as I’m not seeking to lose 50 pounds in one month or do some other extreme thing.

Relevant: The goal is one I set. It wasn’t a resolution that another person imposed on me or wanted me to achieve.

Time-Specific: The Changeology method has a 90-day time frame for completion.

The other prime objective in Step Two: Prep is to ask people to be members of your change support team.

This week I’m going to enlist a fitness professional.

Coming up next week I’ll report on Step Three: Perspire.

 

 

New Year’s Resolution

My goal is imperative and I’ll tell you why:

My father at the end of his life had stage 3 colon cancer that spread to his liver.

Though I don’t know that this type of cancer is can be inherited I’m not taking my chances..

It might not seem fair that hard work is required to succeed at a goal.

It takes mental work; physical work; emotional work; and spiritual work to get what you want in life.

My goal is to gain energy and achieve peak fitness.

The sub-goal is to have salads 3x per week for lunch.

To do this I will order food online and bring it to my job in the Rachel Ray insulated tote.

I’ve long advanced in this blog that eating healthful food can improve a person’s mood.

Two other goals I’ve achieved so far have contributed to having an elevated feeling.

They have been acted on using the Changeology book plan.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about Step Two: Prep

Sempre Avanti Questo Stagione

Always – Forward This Season.

The holidays can be a time of enforced outward mirth when inside you’re just low or actually feeling depressed.

You might look back with regret on what you did or events that happened in your life  or goals you didn’t achieve.

You can be grieving that your loved ones are gone too.

I received a generic holiday e-mail greeting:

“A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You and Yours.”

Yes: A published writer dashed that off and they couldn’t come up with a more distinctive message?

The truth is the holidays aren’t often bliss–these days can be a burden to get through.

Which is why if you have a New Year’s goal or resolution like I do, you need to execute a plan with a better chance of success.

When the holidays are over, you don’t want to experience another letdown like failing to make good on a resolution.

Only maybe it’s not you–maybe it’s your method that hasn’t worked.

This is why I’ve decided to record my own resolution in here to give readers hope.

I’m going to share the 5 Steps of the Changeology method with you.

In the coming blog entry I’ll detail my own New Year’s resolution.

Sempre Avanti,

Chris

 

 

Changeology: Step One: Psych

On the upper right of this blog where there’s text I inserted a new quote. It’s well worth it to read and remember the quote.

Here it is in case you can’t see the quote right away on your cell phone screen:

“Proceed as if Success is Inevitable.” – Unknown

This week I’ve started Step One–Psych–in the Changeology book. There are five steps total: Psych. Prep. Perspire. Persist. Persevere.

Step One is where you get in the mental game to psych yourself up to achieve the goal you’re going to set for the 90-day time frame.

My goal is to eat more healthful food for lunch and to save money on buying lunches. So, I’m going to bring food from home instead of buying food outside.

To do this I ordered a purple Rachael Ray XL 10 Gallon Insulated Tote. It arrived at my door. Wow–the tote is huge. I’m going to use it anyway. It folds, so will be convenient to take back home folded up.

With the holidays here I’ve been exercising only once a week on Sundays. At the start of the New Year I intend to go back to the gym to lift weights 2x per week. Plus hop on the treadmill one day a week in the winter.

I’ll stick with this one goal of eating more healthful food and ordering food online to bring with me to my job.

First up is keeping a food diary which I’ve been doing for three days so far. I’ll keep the food diary for 7 days.

Next week I will start Step Two: Prep.

I’m so impressed with the Changeology book that I’m giving a copy out as a Christmas gift.

Using this 5-Step method I’ve been successful so far with 2 goals I wanted to achieve.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race. It’s a cliche because it’s true: Slow and Steady Wins the Race.

My hope is that by sharing my own goal-setting plan I can empower readers to reach for your dreams too.