Power of Compliments

Kind words are almost always appreciated and can certainly make an impression on a person. Flattery is fun but sincere remarks are the words that help encourage someone. It takes a strong person to step out of her comfort zone and recognize another for their note worthy characteristic. People of strength pulling up others will make the world unbreakable. ~trvw

Was the last compliment one that you gave or got?

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Motivation vs. Will Power

A wise man told me that there is no such thing as will power, only motivation. If we are motivated to have a desired outcome then we will find the will power to make it happen. This can apply to many things in life, especially when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. You might think that you just don’t have any will power when it comes to chocolate cake. When you see it and smell it, you just have to taste it…several times. Really?? What about having the motivation to fit into the appropriate size clothes, or the motivation to walk up stairs without wheezing? Will the idea of having great blood pressure motivate you enough to skip the second slice of pie for dessert?

Teaching your kids, co-workers, or friends that living healthy is achievable and maintainable can be beneficial to motivation you, too. It can help keep you honest about your food choices or the time you spend exercising.  You can encourage each other by making healthy choices and sticking to them as a team – a team always looking for new members to inspire!

It isn’t about being an Olympic athlete. You don’t need to give up your day job to log miles and keep a nutrition diary to be fit. (Some folks enjoy that as hobby though.) It is about finding something that will motivate you to want to be healthy. You are worth the effort and it’s an act of selflessness – NOT selfishness – when you take the time to take care of yourself. Do it now, because you can. -trvw

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Learning and Living with Chronic Illness

In the last few days I have had many questions about arthritis. Not exactly a topic I would chose to claim as an expert, but alas I am. It’s not a fun disease to deal with nor is there a cure. It’s also annoying because it’s your own body attacking your necessary body parts. As with many autoimmune diseases nobody really knows why this happens. There are theories that it’s heredity or that it is triggered by an infection, but there is no way to cure the nasty attacker.

One of the biggest misnomers about RA is that it only happens to old people. This disease strikes any age – usually females. The idea that it is an ol’foggey disease is because it gets confused with OA – osteoarthritis. OA is wear and tear on joints – which typically takes years to develop yielding a higher age group to posses the uncomfortable striker.

As the aging process takes place it seems we find that our friends and family discover unfortunate diseases, like RA, and are at a loss when it comes to dealing with it or offering support. What is it that you have been recently diagnosed with? Do you have a child or parent that battles with a disease and you are looking for support? It would be wonderful if you would share your story so this could be a place of support and information.

Dealing with a chronic illness requires a massive amount of physical and mental energy. A positive realm of support can be the best medicine and alleviate the a heavy heart when all seems lost. I look forward to your feed back and hope you have a pain free day. -trvw

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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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Necessary Evil

pillshotWhen it comes to managing an illness, the very medicine that adds comfort  and control to life can also strip away longevity. It is disappointing to think about how the medication that you swallow or inject into your body can be slowly killing you while at the same time it is adding value to your well-being in the short term. In order to live a better life, taking the potent poison becomes a necessary evil.

However, on a positive note, medicine is evolving all the time. Hopefully advances will be able to cure diseases and omit the need for drugs while correcting any damage done from taking medicine. I have been injecting and swallowing poisons since I was a child as a means to cope with rhuematoid arthritis.  It scares me to think what is happening to my body when I take something that is supposed to be helping me. At the same time I can’t let the RA continue to attack my joints and potentially cripple my valuable, active lifestyle.

The best way I deal with this issue is by trying to take care of what I do have. Take a look around at the people that abuse their health with excessive alcohol, smoking, or bad food. They are no healthier than I am. I focus on being happy and putting value to the life that I have. I have no choice but to put my fear aside and hope that my efforts will pay off. If I live with a positive attitude then I will get more out of my time alive then I ever will if I sulk and wonder what if.

It’s not that I never get worried about how the disease is controlling my fate or if I’m trading one evil for another. I have to clench my teeth and swallow my pride when I see my knuckles swell. Some of the scary thoughts that worry me I have to push away because I refuse to let them control me. Surrounding myself with supportive and caring people is one of the best ways to fight off the necessary evils in life. No matter who you are or what you are dealing with, there comes a time when you have to make decisions that will leave you wondering “what if?” Don’t live in the “what ifs” of life because the “what it is” of life is waiting for you to make the most of it. -pm

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Race Postponed?!

startlineRemember Melinda…the Surprise weight loss picture and article? She’s really into running and calls me occasionally for running tips. It really flatters me that somebody wants my fitness advice so I always make an effort to get back to her in a timely manner.

She called me the day before her half-marathon, but not because she was nervous – she was a tad ticked off. The weather forecast was calling for snowy conditions and the race had been postponed one week. “What do I do?!” she wondered.

If your race get’s pushed out don’t panic. One week difference won’t hurt you. If it’s much more than that you’ll still be fine – you just need to adjust a bit. The nervous tension (and agression you have because your training got jerked around) can be laid out on the road. My suggestion for running is to run light and easy, enough to let out some pent up energy. Don’t do a race, store up the energy and don’t risk the energy.

Forget about timing these training runs but instead just focus on keeping limber and pumped up for the real run. As the week moves closer try lower impact exercises like the EFX (elliptical) just to maintain. Continue to taper like it was the former week and keep a positive focus.

If your race got pushed out more than a week, try to go back to the same point from your training schedule and follow the miles and taper. However, if the race is too far out you might be better off to sign up for another one to avoid over-training. Good Luck!!! -pm

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Friends Forever

friendpactFriendships are important for a healthy lifestyle. Having good friends that you can count on, and vice versa, adds quality to life. A good variety of pals is a great way to learn new things and to share common interests. As adults, sometimes we get caught up in the schedule of work life and family so much that sometimes we forget that our friends are important too. Family is certainly #1, but don’t forget that it is important to yourself, and to your friends, to nurture those relationships.

When we are younger our friends influence us a lot. As we grow up and become more independent sometime we confuse needy and necessity of good friendship relations. Nobody needs to have a “negative nelly” around 24-7, but  seeking out supportive, positive pals is necessary for many reasons.

For example, I have a cool friend that I know from high school. This person and I were more acquaintances in school but got to be closer post-grad. Now we send each other fun stuff snail mail and text messages out of the blue just to cheer up the other ones day or to say “hi”. It’s neat! It feels good to know that my silly card cheered somebody’s day up; and in return it is so nice to feel like someone cared enough to take time out of their day to drop something in the mail because they thought I might like it.

I try to take notes from my good friends and reciprocate it to them and spread it to my other friends. I have always valued friendship, I know I make mistakes but I do my best to be a friend that a person would want to claim and keep. Here’s to all my pals: Thank you for being a friend!!! -pm

 

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BIBO – Beauty In Beauty Out

swanThere’s no denying that people are attracted to beauty. I like to think that anyone can be beautiful externally and internally. Maybe that’s just me being a wishful thinker seeing, as I’ve never saw myself as any beauty queen. Outward beauty definitely radiates from within and when we feel good inside it shows outside.

Pump all the iron you want, but if you don’t exercise on the inside then there is going to be an out-of-balance. The same goes for the opposite; if you do all the work on your soul and neglect your physical body, you aren’t maximizing your potential. Some people take vanity to the extreme, fussing over hair, clothes, and physique, but forget that the inside needs a bit of TLC too. We need to work on our attitudes and the way we treat each other. In contrast, there are people that feel that foregoing all physical appearance will make them better on the inside. But when we work on our outsides in a manner that isn’t extreme self-absorption, but in a caring, respectful way, then we are able to feel confident about our appearance – and confidence is attractive.

Do your best to be your best. I strive to be fit for life and that requires me to work out my insides and my outsides. Am I beautiful? Perhaps it lies in the eye of the beholder, maybe more on some days than others. I am what I am…but it’s not all that I CAN BE. Be beautiful. -pm

Here are a few ideas for exercising your inside and your outside.

Inward

· Positive self talk

· Help others reach potential

· Try new things,

· Explore the world around you,

· Keep learning

Outward

· Exercise

· Eat well

· Dress for your age and body type

· Change your hair

· Smile

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Happy Valentine’s Day

heartshapes2Valentine’s Day, by Wikipedia’s definition, is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. To celebrate the day of amour an exchange of love notes, Valentine’s, are shared amongst lovers. Whether the day of romance takes a hit on your heart or bank account, it never hurts to have a reason to love.

Love has health benefits, both physically and psychologically. Physical contact, such as romantic intimacy or even holding hands, releases the hormone oxytocin . A chemical that creates a feel good sensation that can last for 48 hours in a man and up to 14 days in a woman! Whoa, that’s a long time. Love also has a positive impact on cardiovascular function and improves blood pressure according to an article on MSN Health.com. Couples that are married are reported to having longer, happier lives.

The health benefits of love are fun facts to learn and live by. Did you know that being in love can make you smarter?  I had heard this fact but I thought it was because you have to be creative trying to out-wit one another or win a quarrel. The truth is that:

Falling in love induces a calming effect on the body and mind by raising levels of nerve growth for about a year. This hormone-like substance helps to restore the nervous system and improves memory by triggering the growth of new brain cells.
(Sify News 2007.)

Maybe you’re a sucker for love, or perhaps you’d rather have a sucker than be in love. Love isn’t always easy to come by so if you’ve got it cherish it and enjoy the benefits.  If you still are waiting for Cupid to strike you with his arrow, don’t be too quick to dodge the dart.  -pm

 

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Thoughts Become Things

The book The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is worth a scan regardless if you are already a positive thinker; and certainly read it if you are not.  It focuses on the power of thought and most of us could use a course on taking control of our thought processes.  In today’s world we want to control the things that we can’t but neglect the things w e acutally have power over. Yes, you have power to direct your thoughts. If you don’t like the events in your life, how about changing them?  Nothing happens overnight.  With time you can retrain your brain to think better.  Skeptical minds must pause and give the alternative process a chance to prove their worth. Thought can do many things like build character, enhance health, attract success.  Just the practice of having better, happier thoughts will lift your spirits.

It’s not “magic” or any New Age theory but just making a decision not to entertain thoughts that do you damage. One example is that when someone is rude to you then we tend to play the episode over and over, thus growing the bad thought by feeding into it’s need for attention.  The bad thought sprouts like a vine, It spreads to more bad thoughts which intensify and even stretch out to others around you.  It’s like a cancer. However, you are human and have every right to feel.  When someone is rude and hurts you, feel it-but quickly move the thought to a better one.  Let the good thought be the one that buds and grows out to you and the people around you.

Take it from an optimist in training, small steps are the key to making any change stick. The idea of happy thoughts outweighing negative ones sound good. However, getting them to present themselves more often than not seems too good to be true. If you don’t try you will never know what you might be missing.  If it doesn’t work at least you were happy while you gave it a try. -pm

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