Michael Jordan’s Winning Tactics

  1. Motivate yourself for the long-term.
  2. Bust yourself harder to achieve things than you expect others to do.
  3. Be completely present and focused on what you’re doing right now.

In a museum gift shop I bought a flat metal paperweight inscribed with this Michael Jordan quote:

Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.

You don’t need a pair of $100 sneakers to succeed in life.

Taking your lead from a champion is more like it to get empowered.

The tactic of focusing on the present moment I would say is the number-one strategy to adopt.

Come on how do you feel when you ruminate on the past or worry about the future?

It saps you of the energy to enjoy your life today.

As I’m fond of saying: today is how it is and tomorrow can be better.

Taking action today to move closer to your goal is a way to change how you feel about your current circumstances.

Focusing on doing one thing at a time on one day at a time is how you get to win 6 championships in 6 years.

It’s like what I wrote about in reviewing the Danica Patrick book Pretty Intense:

She tells readers to simply do One Healthy Thing. Then do the Next Healthy Thing. And the next healthy thing after that. And so on.

To be honest I’ve given up on thinking in terms of a 15-year goal. I do have a 15-year goal. I use a four-word mantra to talk about this long-term goal. That’s it.

Other than that I act like Michael Jordan and focus on what I can do today in the present moment to bring me closer to a goal.

I’m going to talk more about goals in coming blog entries.

Changing Habits

My epiphany with food and exercise occurred when I moved into a new apartment nine years ago.

In the 1q90s my weekly menu consisted of Velveeta mac-and-cheese (marginally OK when I added broccoli to it), hot dogs, hamburgers, frozen TV dinners and other cheap crap.

Not surprisingly I was 20 pounds overweight. That was my typical diet for too long. I kid you not I used to eat unhealthful food every week for years and years.

This hungry woman used to “treat” herself to Hungry Man TV dinners all the time.

So I can tell you that my story is living proof that it’s possible to change your exercise and eating habits at any point in your life.

I was 46 when I first started to lift weights and eat organic food.

I’m 55 now and feel better than ever.

I tell you this story to give readers hope.

I’ll end here with this:

Our lives are going to be too long not too short to put off doing what gives us joy and makes us feel good.

We should not have to live one minute longer in pain than we absolutely need to.

As a therapist once said: “Suffering for the sake of suffering is bullshit.”

The point is not that you have to be skinny or have six-pack abs.

The exclamation point is that feeling good feels so much better than being out of shape.

Good food as said can put you in a good mood.

I’m going to talk in the next blog entry about slowing down and focusing on the present moment.

A new documentary about Michael Jordan–the Last Dance–talks about 3 tactics he employed to win championships.

I’ll talk about them here because they can assist us in real life.

Getting Energy

Drinking water is universally touted as a cure-all for nearly everything.

One true thing is that drinking water gives you energy.

It’s too late when you’ve gotten dehydrated. Drinking water throughout the day can help you halt a drop in energy.

One other thing that helped me get my energy was to cook eggs for breakfast. Instead of relying on quickie granola mush as an everyday staple.

A surprise change that had the most effect was to exercise for a shorter duration in each workout session.

For five years I’d been lifting weights for 50 minutes or more in each session. This left me wired and tired at the same time.

In the last year I’ve exercised for 30 to 45 minutes in each workout. Since the routine is short I go at a more intense burst.

I can see that I’m more fit today than when I was dead lifting 205 pounds in 2014.

The older you get I think you will need to change how you exercise and the kind of exercise you do.

Strength training will help you maintain your weight.

Getting fresh air can give you energy too.

This can be taking a walk around the block. Or walking to a street where there’s a bench and sitting down for even just 10 minutes outdoors in the sun.

Pairing your protein food source with a whole grain can give you more energy too according to “10 Ways to get More Energy” in the May issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

Foods rich in iron and iodine can help too as per this magazine article. Black beans, lentils, tofu, and kelp are iron-rich foods. Kelp also has iodine.

Interestingly, I read that sea salt is far better than the regular table salt so often used.

The Bailene fine sea salt can be poured into a salt shaker and used like regular salt.

Lastly I’ll quote the Bazaar article:

“A recent study found that consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables for just two weeks had significant mental health benefits with participants reporting that they felt more motivated.”

This according to Samantha Boardman, M.D.

Status of 3-Month Challenge – Update

Hmm _ forgot I scheduled this blog entry and wrote 2 entries with the same title 🙂

On January 14, 2020 in this blog I wrote about the 3-Month Challenge I wanted to achieve.

My goal was to cook my own dinner 4x per week and do a walk-run on the treadmill 1x per week.

On March 17, 2020 the gyms in New York City were forced to shut down along with the retail stores.

As far as my goal of cooking dinners 4x per week this has been achieved.

In the time of the pandemic and living indoors it has been easier to cook dinner nearly every night.

My concern is how the changed nature of living life during the pandemic had disrupted anyone who was using the Changeology 5-Step 90-Day Action Plan to realize our goals and resolutions.

In this extraordinary time each of us needs to act kinder and gentler towards ourselves and others.

I live with the belief that everyone living on earth is doing the best we can with what we were given in life.

No judgments–that is the way to move forward–to live with no judgments.

Before the pandemic hit I had started to use the treadmill. I continued to lift weights.

Now that everything has changed I understand what it feels like to have your life upended by a circumstance outside your control.

I will talk about this more in the next blog entry.

Status of 3-Month Challenge

In January I wrote here my 3-month challenge:

To cook my own dinners 4x per week. To do a walk-run on the treadmill 1x per week.

On March 17, 2020 the gyms in New York City shut down because of the coronavirus.

My goal of using the treadmill was put on hold. I had been using the treadmill before that.

Since January I have been cooking my own dinners. Since March 15 I have cooked my own dinners at least 5x per week.

Forced to stay indoors it has been the perfect time to cook my own dinners.

It’s healthier to cook your own dinners. That is it’s healthier to cook nutritious food.

Red meat and other meat should be avoided.

I have chicken once a week. A salmon filet twice a week. Scallops once a week when I’m able to get them. Tofu-and-broccoli once a week. Some kind of squash once a week. That gives me one free night. With this main dish I have some kinds of vegetable.

I don’t ordinarily eat a lot of whole grains. I have a container of full-fat Fage plain Greek yogurt with organic blueberries and some honey after I do a workout routine.

In the morning I scramble organic eggs and veggies for breakfast. For lunch I have a salad–I try to have a salad at least 4x per week–or 5x per week when I’m able.

For a snack every day I have organic fruit–berries or a banana or a Fuji apple or a pear when in season.

In the coming blog entries I will talk about the current research that proves what I’ve been writing  in here all along: the food you eat can improve your mood.

For more on this you can buy the TIME special edition magazine The Science of Nutrition.

Chris’s Workout #4

Upper Body:

Body Bar Frontal Raise to Upright Row

Dumbbell Bent Over Wide Row

Resistance Band Bicep Curls

Triceps Dips Off Box – use sturdy dining table chair

Bicycles – do slowly

Shoulder Taps

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Lower Body:

Sit to Stands Off Box with Dumbbell – dumbbells at shoulder – can do off side of coffee table

Squat Jacks – body weight exercise

Dumbbell Donkey Kicks

Dumbbell Fire Hydrants

Toe Touches – Legs stay up

Toe Taps – can be done with your toes only – you don’t need a Bosu Ball

Chris’s Workout #2

Upper Body:

Briefcase Row

Elevated Push-Ups [do regular push-ups when elevated are too hard]

Kneeling Dumbbell Curls

Band Bent-Over Triceps Extension

Dumbbell Alternating Lateral and Frontal Raises

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30 Second Jumping Jacks +

Ab Leg Tucks [keep legs elevated]

Medicine Ball Squat to Throw

 

Lower Body:

Dumbbell Squat with Dumbbells Held Off to Side

Dumbbell Bridge

Band Romanian Dead Lift

Disk Slider Hamstring Pulls

Dumbbell Calf Raises [on platform]

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30 Second Butt Kicks +

Ab Crunches

Jump Side-to-Side [16 jumps total] +

Russian Twists with Feet Elevated

 

How to Do the At-Home Exercises

I don’t list the number of sets or reps. It’s up to you what you want to do.

It’s strange and true that I’m a woman and I’m obssessed with having muscle.

I would like to swat with a pocketbook every female person who is afraid to lift weights because they tell you they’ll bulk up.

Those people will make any excuse not to exercise. Then they’ll go to the supermarket to buy a 6-pack of Slim Fast to try to lose weight.

Losing weight should not be the goal you have for exercising.

Ask yourself: Why do you want to lose weight?

To feel strong and powerful. To be able to carry home bags from the market.

These are better indicators than “I want to weigh 127 pounds”–some mythical number you’ve decided you must weigh to be happy.

A person should exercise to feel good. Period. End of story. A research study revealed that women who lifted weights felt better even when they hadn’t lost weight.

So there. My personal trainers over the years have offered this advice I give to you today:

Base the number of sets and reps on how much time you have that day to work out.

Doing a shorter routine is better than not doing a routine at all.

Use foam roller to stretch before and after the workout session. Warm up before and cool down after.

Incorporate HIIT into your exercise. Perform High Intensity Interval Training. Not too easy and not too hard.

You shouldn’t be able to have a conversation with no trouble while you’re exercising. You should need to exert effort to speak to get the benefit of HIIT training from your exercise.

Have a recovery snack after the workout routine. I have a container of Fage plain Greek yogurt the full-fat kind. I mix in organic blueberries and swirl in raw honey in the yogurt.

Strange and true too is that I prefer to do fewer reps and lift heavier weights. Instead of doing more reps with lower weights.

I kid you not I’m obsessed with how cut my biceps are.

 

Chris’s Workout #1

You can watch YouTube videos to see the correct form.

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Upper Body:

Band Chest Press

Kettlebell Row

Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension

Band Bicep Curl

Kettlebell Upright Row for Shoulder

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Medicine Ball Slams – 16 Slams +

Band Core Rotation [Use the leg of a dining table should yours be secure]

30-Second Fast-Paced Step-Ups – I have a platform with two risers for each side +

Alternating Leg Raises Slow – 3 Sets

 

Lower Body:

Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Kettlebell Swings

Dumbbell Single-Leg Romanian Dead Lift

Farmer’s Walk with Romanian Dead Lift

Calf Raises

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30 Seconds Jumping Jacks +

Plank Tucks

30 Seconds High Knees in Place +

Alternating V-Ups

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

I want to talk about getting fit and active while living indoors.

In the time of living through the pandemic the health of my body has become my number-one priority.

Good to Know:

On the Dick’s Sporting Goods website you can buy real-deal dumbbells. Refrain from buying the Made in China dumbbells sold on Amazon.com.

My 15 pound dumbbell set was delivered in only 3 days from Dick’s. The total cost was $55 dollars.

I’ve decided to post here some of the workout log exercises my personal trainers have given me to do in the last 2 years.

For one year so far I’ve lifted weights at home on my hardwood floor for 25 to 40 minutes total in each session. For mostly 2X/per week.

I only go to the gym to run on the treadmill.

My trainer at the gym creates a 2-section routine for me to use. Upper body and Lower body exercises that alternate with each other on different days.

I complete 12 sessions of the current routine. Then the trainer creates a new routine for me. And so on. And so on.

Doing this I have been fortunate to remain fit if not active living through the pandemic.

Faced with the option of talking a long walk outside [it was sunny and warm!] having to gasp for air under a bandanna I chose to life weights indoors.

In the coming blog entries I’ll give some of the exercises.