Surviving and Thriving a Healthy Holiday Season

20111129-064843.jpgThis time of year emotions can be intense. People feel pressure to do more than usual and schedules are packed. However, now is a great time to concentrate on getting exercise and eating a good diet. The weather can make workouts difficult, the holiday parties test temptation, and time crunches seem to double from now until mid-January. Take on the challenge anyway!

Focusing on making improvements will boost confidence and make it easier to manage stress. Healthy role models can be infectious! It can be a small challenge – an entire overhaul doesn’t have to happen overnight. Every bit of good effort will be just that! ~trvw

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Stop So You Can Go

Sometimes when we feel stuck and we are spinning our wheels so fast trying to get moving, we need to stop. Harness some energy, then give it another go. Pausing can let us establish our footing and power forward to reach our goals. ~trvw

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Thanksgiving Day Running Traditions

For years my sister and I would run our local Turkey Trot 5K race. It was fun to see people in town for Thanksgiving, be a part of physical activity on a day dedicated to expandable pants, and of course the awesome long sleeved t-shirt was great too. As the years went by and the race got big and popular the fun diminished. Crowds of people created a kind of chaos that forced runners to get shoved into each other, kids got trampled, and reaching the starting line took a special kind of patience.

Standing in the November morning cold waiting for a 5K to start by a time that I could normally run twice as far, eat, then shower became very undesirable.  My sister and I sat out a few and now we miss our annual long sleeved tee! Maybe we needed some time away or maybe we just miss the idea of overcoming craziness – isn’t that what runners do anyway? Whatever it may be, we’ve had some serious talk about partaking in our old family tradition.

We might avoid the major mayhem by doing a pre-run then joining the walkers. We could even talk our Mom into earning her first Turkey Trot t-shirt. Or we could get really crazy and run with the masses just like the good ol’ days. Whatever we decide the ultimate tradition on Thanksgiving day will remain in tact – running and family time will happen. -trvw

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No Whining!

nosignDo yourself a big favor and stop whining about your disease! Now that I have your attention please don’t think I’m a cold-blooded witch with no compassion, quite the opposite.  If you live with a chronic illness, sometimes the best things you can do to help yourself is to refuse to indulge in whining and complaining about how awful it is.

It is true that dealing with a disease like JRA or Type 1 diabetes is a pain literally and figuratively. It’s not fair and it has a laundry list of negative aspects. However, complaining yields counterproductive results. If you give attention to the bad thoughts and feelings you give power to them. You give them an opportunity to manifest into more negative thoughts which does nothing in your favor for feeling better.

Instead, put those lousy thoughts on the backburner to fry! Take a break from the bad feelings as a chance to tell yourself how strong you are for dealing with such junk – because you are! It takes a brave soul to handle the cards that you have been dealt, so pat yourself on the back and put on a smile for a change.

You deserve to sulk every now and then, but make it few and far between by concentrating on positive thoughts. You deserve to feel happy and feel good for being strong. It might not be easy to do in the beginning, but keep at it and it will get easier. You have much to gain by thinking positive. Positive thoughts manifest and your health will benefit too.

How do you cope when negative thinking creeps into your head? Let us know! If you need a jump start here are some tips from an article titled, “Positive Thinking Can Bring Good Health”. -pm

  • Look for a good role model. There is always someone who seems to be doing just what you want to be doing. Maybe they’ve scheduled exercise into their workday and switched from coffee to herbal tea. Learn from a successful friend, family member or colleague. Ask them how they keep healthy and follow in their footsteps.
  • Try some positive self-talk and avoid negative-talk. Take a minute to give yourself an ego boost. Repeat some motivational words out loud or to yourself. Negative talk, “I can’t do it,” “I’m fat,” is dangerous for your well-being and healthy goals. Try to avoid the negative self-talk before it harms you. Remind yourself that you deserve happiness and can make positive changes.
  • Get support. Tell your friends and family about your healthy habits. It helps to have an encouraging network.
  • Reward yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for your healthy efforts. Take a nice bath, get a massage, and enjoy a new DVD or CD.
  • Have a plan. Making a plan to exercise or eat healthy lunches with a friend can mean the difference of sticking with your goals or falling off track. If you’ve planned for an activity, you’ll likely stick with it. You may even find that writing down your goals and steps to achieve them can help you stay on track. Take it day by day or week by week. The process of writing down your personal action plan is a good way to keep you honest and watch your progress or pitfalls.
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Personal Training

runoutsideThere are enough runs, rides, and walks to keep you booked every weekend. They are a great way to stay motivated, socialize, and the entry fee money usually benefits a worthy cause. What about when you have crossed the finish line and just want to have a run for fun? Many athletes reach a point where they just want to train for the love of the sport, not for a competition.

Many people don’t understand why anybody would want to run a marathon. A lot of miles go into preparing for such event. It can be ever harder to get people to understand why a runner would want to get up before daybreak and take a long run without being “in training” for an event. Lots of people partake in fitness for the sole purpose of keeping fit and the exercise relationship stops there. There is nothing wrong with that one bit. However, certain people find a special connection with their sport. Some explain it as a spiritual part of their life, a type of meditation.

While some athletes train and race constantly, others lose some of the racing romance. This is ok – it doesn’t mean that a runner is no longer a runner or that if you aren’t racing then there is no point in training. In fact some believe that avoiding hard core races can be a healthier choice. Covert Bailey , author of Smart Exercise recommends that the best way to avoid overtraining is to never actually run in a marathon, but training for one is just fine he suggests with a tongue in cheek tone.

The most important thing to realize is that if you are fortunate enough to find a sport that you can connect with, then keep doing it for the personal satisfaction involved. Forget feeling that if you do not compete you will be lesser a runner, biker, swimmer, boxer – whatever! Remember why you began the sport. Think about the feeling you get from moving your body and appreciate the fact that you can move. If you aren’t enjoying the crowded races, or pushing yourself really hard is no longer your idea of a good time, take some time out from organized events. There is certainly nothing wrong with a little personal training once and awhile. -pm

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See and Do To Improve You

barbiecarLife is more pleasant when we feel purposeful and appreciated. That seems like an obvious statement; however, many of us spend the majority of our lives accepting a lifestyle that does nothing to make us feel appreciated or like we are serving our purpose. We continue to go through life not understanding why we have no motivation, we develop poor health, and we can’t understand why we have a negative outlook on life.

We feel ripped off. We feel like we deserve the house on the hill, the Barbie mansion – complete with Corvette, and the ugly nanny keeping it all in order. I believe that our health is a reflection of our internal well-being. Not 100%, but I do feel that there is some ailment that can be alleviated if we felt more purposeful and appreciated on the inside.

If I could blink my eyes and make it all happen with the flip of my ponytail I would gladly make the world a healthier, happier place. I can’t, but you can. At least for yourself. You have to believe that you deserve the best and make efforts to achieve the best. I’m not by any means a pro at this. I’m in training – I want a better life, I want to make life better for the people around me and I will do everything in my power to live better. “O, Yes I Can Live Better” has some good reasons for thinking in a more positive light.

Internal and external health and beauty are all tied together (BIBO article). Improving our health helps us look better outside, makes us healthier inside, improves self esteem, all are building blocks to being a happier person. When you see yourself living better, you can take steps toward getting there. Same goes for finding purpose and appreciation in your life. If you envision it you can begin to take steps toward achieving it. Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want, just be willing to seek it out. Zen Habits posted an article about How to Find Your Amazing Work. Maybe there are pointers there that will help you. Keep your dreams alive by any means possible and they will transpire. That’s what I’m banking on, anyway! -pm

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The Power of Visualization

fairycastleDaydreaming can be healthy. It is a way to escape, relax, or pass the time while waiting in some dreadful, long line.  Instead of letting some chaos raise your blood pressure try to mute the mutter and daydream. Your imagination might spawn a vision that could turn into a reality.

How about seeing your shoes strike the pavement quick and light, or envision your perfect swim stroke slicing through the water like a hot knife through butter? Hold and repeat. It’s said that “creative visualization has been used as an effective tool in healing” and “that Channeling the power of visualization and clearly focusing on your ultimate goals can help in pushing you toward a higher success rate in terms of accomplishments.” You can read more on the benefits of visualization at Ezine Articles.

 Daydreaming or visualization is good to practice in all aspects of our lives. Focusing on the things that we want to achieve and playing that out in our minds gives life to our dreams. We get to practice with out failure. We can drive the dream car, cross the finish line, or sail into the sunset without reservation. Holding those images in our minds and in our hearts sparks us to take physical action toward turning those dreams into a reality.

Life can be hard but some say it doesn’t have to be. I’m holding that in my mind along with a full day of visualizations that I hope to make a reality. Daydreams are great, hold those visions in your mind but don’t forget to wake up long enough to make them happen. -pm

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Passion and Purpose in Life, What to “Be”

pathIt seems that my whole life I have been trying to figure our what I want to “be”. I’ve always known that #1 on my list was to “be happy”. Beyond that has been a struggle. Trying to narrow down what I am supposed to “be” in this life is a challenge personally.  Determined to “be” something I went to college, worked in my field of study, but still felt I was lacking in knowing my purpose. So I studied personal growth; I read the The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, sought out tips from The Secret, and I did learn valuable insight to apply toward living a fuller life. But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

A few things that I do know are that passion drives purpose. In other words, if you are passionate about something and know how to apply that passion every day then your purpose will unfold naturally before you. Trying to do something every day that leaves you lifeless and bored will never result in bliss. What we are meant to “be” is yielded by discovering the passions that we are each gifted with.

The people in the world that we see as successful, rich, and happy have figured out how to use their gifts with passion and as a result the rewards follow. Paul McCartney has been so successful because he loves music, he has a gift for it and for entertaining. He took his gift, passionately used it, and the rest fell into place. If you know your gifts then don’t be afraid to apply passion to drive yourself to the level that you long to “be.”

Using your gifts and applying passion don’t have to be full time, part time is ok – so long as you are letting the gift you’ve been given bring you, and potentially others, happiness. While you are fueling those gifts with passion, then eventually, spark by spark it will explode and you will “be” what you are destined to “be”.

Now, for me and maybe many of you, the problem is not understanding happiness. I know that it’s isn’t solely in a big bank account, or by external circumstances. It’s by igniting passion. It’s by using your gifts passionately and generously. My problem is unveiling gift(s). Trying to discover if I have at least one gift that I can “be” and how to power it with passion as a means to make a difference in my life and in others.

I have big dreams and goals in my life. One of the many is that I want to reach and inspire people to excel by the words I write. I take steps every day to develop my writing and hope that it is a gift with real potential, so that I can “be” an appreciated writer. Some people are lucky because they have a clear vision of what they are destined to “be”. Others have to dig some and that is ok. It’s a journey that teaches along the way – so be sure to notice that the stepping stones advance you in your journey and they aren’t just obstacles to slow you down. Do everything in your power to discover your gifts and passions with the same zest that you will use to maintain them once you have found them.

Any step forward is an advancing step regardless of it’s size.  Even a small percentage of gain will eventually add up over time.  Zen Habits must have read my mind with the latest article titled, “The 5% Trick: Finding Passion and Purpose in Life. One of the tips for taking action discusses the 5% Statement:

“My favorite tool at this stage is the 5% statement, created by Nathaniel Branden, who is widely considered to be the father of the self-esteem movement. It works by allowing you to take steps in small increments. Trying to change completely overnight, as some might suggest, often creates fear, uncertainty, and resistance.”

The universe is full of possibilities. We must see what we want before can attempt to grab it. If it’s unclear then make it your passion to find your passion. Fight for living your life with purpose the way it’s meant to “be”.      -pm


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Surprise!!! Motivation to Weigh Right Now!

melindaIn the last post titled Weigh Right Now I suggested that one way to keep motivated was to study up on how other people make life changes.  This is a picture of Melinda. Don’t let the adorable smile fool you, she is not a model or advertising for any products. It’s merely a photo of her progress. I’ve known Melinda for several years and she’s always enjoyed being active.  We’ve cycled together and been on nature walks, too. Like many young women she faced obstacles to stay on the fitness track as she went about living her life.

The details of life, including moving, injuries, budgets, and work, created  issues that sometimes got in the way of a fitness routine. Melinda was determined to get fit for a healthy life. She is the kind of person that likes to be healthy so she can do the activities that she enjoys, not to be the skinnest girl in the room.

When Melinda e-mailed her picture titled “Surprise”, I could feel her enthusisam. I asked her if I could use the picture in hopes to encourage other people. I have also asked her to share some notes with readers about her weightloss. Her scheldule is pretty packed, workouts are a priority – but she promises to share some of her tips soon. She keeps saying, “I feel great!” I want other people to feel the same excitement.

If you have questions for Melinda about her success please e-mail If you have suggestions that have worked for you please share. Inspiration is for every body! -pm

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Focus on Fitness

sunrunFocus helps us move toward our goals. Fitness being an important part of many peoples’ lives, I wonder what helps different people maintain a focus? Many athletes have a race or performance that helps them maintain a focus. Visualization is a big tactic for athletes and anyone focusing on a particular goal. What about if you don’t compete? What helps you keep your focus?

Some people are compelled to keep their cholesterol and blood pressure low so that is a valuable motivator for them. Of course there is the battle of the bulge that keeps many people on track. Many people are compelled to keep their bodies functional – bend over and tie shoes, vacuum, mow the lawn, till the garden – and that drives them to keep care of their bodies.  All of these are good reasons, but is there more? If you don’t garden or your vitals are all in check do you just forgo fitness? Do you take for granted that it will always be easy to ties your shoes or run out to the mailbox?

Simple tasks in life are dependent on how well we care for our bodies. If we don’t keep them conditioned then over time the simple things we do, may not be so simple. Many people think that because they don’t have any desire to run a marathon then they don’t need to get any exercise.   The truth is that we all need to exercise our bodies so we may carry out the live that we work so hard to enjoy.  Finding a focus that propels us toward our fitness goals is helpful. It helps keep us on track.

Share what helps you put a focus on fitness. More than one motivator never hurts. -pm



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