My Spin on “It Takes a Village”

My Spin on “It Takes a Village”

It takes a village to raise a child.

It wasn’t until I became a parent that I fully understood, and came to love that saying. Just knowing “it takes a village” made me feel like there was somebody, and possibly even several somebodies, out there on my side, rooting for me. It made me feel not so alone and not quite so worried that I was screwing up my own little human.

As a parent you need to select your village wisely. Take one wrong piece of advice from the village idiot and you’ll be getting the parental stink-eye from a lot of other folks out there.

I don’t feel “it takes a village” is relative to just parent’s though. It’s important to have a village of support when you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight. I take my tribe selection seriously!

I carefully choose the people that I take advice from and who I let into my weight loss bubble. Funny my saying that since I blog about most of it publically, but that’s not what I really mean. When you talk openly about trying to lose weight or change your habits you get input, asked for or not, valued or not. People like to give advice and help. Mostly it’s with a pure heart and good intentions.

I will listen to a lot, from a variety of people, but I only actually take a few people’s advice to heart, adding them to my village. You know what I mean. We all have well intended friends and family who still think the cabbage soup diet is the way to go. Those people would be on the “smile and nod” list and only shown property on the outskirts of town. Whereas hearing what works from a friend who really understands the craziness that is my head, that advice gets filed in the “good stuff, remember that!” and lives nearby in the village of my mind.

Weeding out the village idiots from the village people () can be a tricky and sometimes uncomfortable job. It’s not like they walk around with “I give bad advice intentionally” on their foreheads and sometimes they’re people who you are close with, be it emotionally or in proximity.

I have had office mates who I’ve had to uncomfortably tell “I really appreciate your trying to help but I have a team of people I am working with and it really overwhelms me to receive so much advice. If you wouldn’t mind I’d like to just follow what I’m doing and not get any further input.”

Man, that conversation is a hard one to have. It’s not nice. It has potential to make them feel bad and then you feel bad and nobody wants to feel bad.

Putting yourself first is hard, but important. You and your village are truly vital to your success.

My mental neighborhood starts with the people at Novarum, a health center in the Netherlands. Although I graduated from their bi-weekly sessions over two years ago, I still consider them an integral part of my success thus far. I also know they are there, just a phone call away, should I feel myself sliding down a slippery slope into old habits.

boxing moms

Me and Carolyn prepared to spar

 

Down the road from Novarum lives my pal Carolyn. She just simply gets me. I have interaction with her almost daily and she understands my kind of crazy. And believe me, it’s a special kind of crazy. We all need that one friends that just gets it. On top of being my mental collaborator she’s my sparring partner and workout buddy.

 

 

Me and Hilary, my village grocer

 

My village grocer is Hilary. She’s studied food, is passionate about food and is vocal about food. She’s the delicate balance of information, as I need it and can handle it, and advice. What I love best about her though is that she is always respectful of my boundaries.

 

Cindy, one of my trainers & me – at the gun show

 

Living in their own quiet cul-de-sac are the trainers from my gym. They shout encouragement to me as I tear through my workout. We laugh together when they say “burpees” and I reply with “I hate you”. They intimidated the hell out of me when they first moved into the ‘hood but after giving them a chance I know they want me to succeed just as much as I want to be successful.

 

 

And the best part about my village is my own home. I have the biggest cheerleader kissing me hello and goodbye every day. My husband, Marco, is one of the most understanding, supportive people I’ve encountered throughout my life. He’s seen me struggle with every aspect of the health game, so he knows it’s difficult. He encourages me in a non-pushy way, which can be a delicate dance. He eats what I want to eat because he knows I’m trying to be healthier. He’s gotten on the exercise bandwagon with me when I didn’t have anybody to work out with and we enjoyed it together. He believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself. There is no better villager than that. Get one of those in your town as soon as you can.

Christmas party

Marco and me

 

What kind of neighbors make up your own mental village?

My Spin on “It Takes a Village”

Magical, Mental, Endorphins

I distinctly remember what I felt like prior to getting help for some food issues and previous to working out regularly. For a while, as I mentioned in this post, I avoided being with people, even people I liked. It was a dark, dreary, terrible way to feel every single day.

Now post-workout I also try to avoid people but for a whole other reason.

My name is Sarah and I am an endorphin-aholic.

Let me preface this by letting you know I work out at my office. I am fortunate enough to have a gorgeous, fully equipped gym, complete with enthusiastic trainers and classes, in the lower level of my building. This has its perks. My fortune continues in having a boss that lets me workout during actual “on the clock” hours so I can avoid the gym’s busy periods. Did I mention I love my job and my boss?

I knew exercise was supposed to make you feel better, “they” said. But we all know how “they” can be. “They” have a lot of fickle opinions that change with the wind and the wind seems to whip in a new direction every two weeks.

They were right about endorphins though and I am here to be a witness!

If you’ve never been on an endorphin high let me tell you what you’re missing out on. Imagine taking the tingle of a first kiss and gently mixing it with the excitement of that big drop on a roller coaster and then add a twist – a generous twist – of that adrenaline rush that comes along with your ultimate song being played in a club and you know you’re about to cut a rug. Mix all of that up, add a shot of espresso and voila, that’s how good my post workout endorphins make me feel.

Oh, and they make me chatty (okay, chattier).  How unfortunate for the poor souls who innocently step into the elevator with me post exercise- all ‘dorphined up.

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Sarah and Carolyn enjoying their well deserved endorphins

In the elevator heading back to our desks, my workout buddy, Carolyn, and I have been known to high five one another for pushing so hard stating, “man you killed it today, you ran!”… and then we just continuing to high five every other passenger in the elevator, celebrating our victories. They had no choice. They must high five.

This is endorphins.

Wide eyed and unsure of what just happened, the innocents would step out on their floors and continue with their day. We smiled widely and waved farewell to them (only to later resolve to stop doing that to people, lest we lose our jobs).

Even on days when I didn’t feel like working out but made myself go, I would be awarded with my endorphins. When I can’t be my own cheerleader, it’s like they’re telling me “way to go Sarah, you did it and we’re proud of you.” They rush over me and they simply just make me feel good. They make me feel proud. They make me feel happy. They make me feel alive and strong.

If you’re on the verge of starting an exercise routine or are just entertaining the thought for somewhere down the road please, please just do it. If you can’t because you just aren’t there, mentally, trust in the endorphins to take care of some of your mental health. Take that one little step and get your endorphins running.  You will be so glad you did.

Feeling Fraudulent

Feeling Fraudulent

fraud

Fraudulent – that’s how I feel sometimes when people ask me how I’ve lost any sort of weight. It’s not that I’m not telling them the truth or that I am being dishonest, it’s just that the story is so involved.

Generally when people ask me about it, it’s after I’ve been to the gym and I’m standing there all aubergine in the face, sweat beads glistening drenched in sweat, and so pumped up on endorphins that I have a perma-grin nailed to my face.

I usually say what I’m doing right now, right this very moment of my life. I tell about my weekly routine but I feel like I’m shortchanging them somehow. I feel like I make it seem simple and that it’s just something I up and did one day, no prep work, no negativity, no failures – just that a gym opened in my office and “poof” I was there.

That’s of course not how it happened at all. Or did it? I mean, yes, the gym opened in my office and the very first day I was down there introducing myself to the trainers and setting up a meeting for my team to see all the shiny new equipment but is that really my story?

Unless asked, I tend to leave out the part where I had cognitive behavior therapy to deal with some serious food issues – binging, hiding food, shaming myself. I had issues that no book, website or friend could help me with. I needed the pros!

I leave out the eight month time span where I was in such a dark, anti-social place that I stopped eating lunch with my colleagues, people who I really liked, and spent my lunch hours in the office sandwich shop, table at the window, back to the world, nose in a book – any book. I even read crappy books just to not have to make eye contact. I may as well have draped a “do not disturb” sign down my back, as if it weren’t obvious enough.

Thoughts screamed in my head but I looked peaceful.

I feel like a fraud because what in the hell do I really know? Yeah, I’ve lost some weight and kept it off for the past two years. Yes, I am in the best physical shape I’ve been in for a very long time. Yes, my head feels like it is on straight for the first time in my adult life. Sure, I’m really happy with what is happening right now. I feel like I have unlocked the door to a healthy future for myself and I feel like I will never turn back.

But what does all of that even mean to somebody else?

Do I have all of the answers? Not hardly! Do I still struggle? Hell yeah! Am I at my goal weight or perfect weight or even close? Nope. So who am I to say anything?

I’ll tell you who I am.

I’m somebody who likes to share just in case there is some part of me or my story people can connect with.

I’m somebody who likes to help, if I can, even if I am not perfect.

I’m somebody who likes everybody to partake and feel part of the team. I don’t like to see somebody to sit on the sidelines because of their insecurities when in their heart they want to be in the thick of it all.

I’m somebody who gets real joy out of seeing other people succeed.

That’s who I am.  And now you know. And now, I do too.

My Spin on “It Takes a Village”

How to Choose your Best Fitness Trackers and Health Gadgets

Home remedies for weight lossAll we need is a fit body, active mind, hygiene life, desired structure and remainders that help us to reach our goals and motivate so as to set new check points.

Whether it is fitness or good structure, technology trends have proven support to achieve targets.

The process of emptying pockets to purchase bulky exercise equipment is no more required, exercise from where you are and check the result in your hand with the various Health and Fitness Gadgets available.

Here is what these fitness and health gadgets do:

  • While you walk they count for you and show the steps taken
  •   Track your steps and stair and will provide a complete report
  •   Will rate the amount you eat and what you weigh
  •   Will measure the intake and expenditure of calories
  •   Measures distance travelled
  •   Time spent
  •   Built-in apps powered by walk
  •   Counts aerobic steps taken

Features of the fitness and health gadgets

  •   Portable
  •   Durable backup
  •   Long lifetime
  •   Smart
  •   Cheap

With such features how one can go away with bulky equipment rather than opting for these advanced technology benefited Fitness and Health Gadgets. There are varieties of fitness trackers, fitness monitors, fast track accessories and fitness scales that performs multiple tasks, of which, the one that best fits the requirement can be chosen.

My Spin on “It Takes a Village”

No Longer Just for the Rich and Famous: All About Personal Training at Home

 

beautifu9Ordinarily, if your alarm app tried to wake you up at 6 a.m. on a cold January morning to get you to go to the gym, you would probably think nothing of turning it off and going back to sleep. What if it was your personal trainer at the door ringing the bell, instead?

You would have no choice but to get up. A personal trainer visiting people at home could be the best way to stay with your fitness goals.

Even 10 years ago, believing that everyday people could afford a house call by a personal trainer would have been a stretch. The personal trainer business has changed now, though. To begin, there are more trainers looking for work now than there used to be. They have had to cut their prices to stay competitive. The troubled economy has something to do with it, too.

Personal trainers don’t have a bottomless supply of well-heeled clients anymore. They need to compromise and train ordinary people to get by.
Officially, house calls cost about $100 a session. Many clients, though, manage to easily work the price down to $75.

The economy is slow and it’s a buyer’s market. The smaller fees that house calling personal trainers charge isn’t as much of a sacrifice as it might appear, though. They do get to keep it all. If they offered their services at a gym, they would split their fees with the management.”

Like everything else, home personal training has both positives and negatives.

For clients receiving personal training at home, the experience can feel like telecommuting – you need to give up the lively environment of a fully equipped place for other benefits. When you call in a home personal trainer, you no longer get access to high-tech gym equipment, saunas or group exercise sessions.

People who love their home sessions, though, feel that it’s a fair trade-off. If a house-calling personal trainer can get them to stop making excuses, the arrangement can achieve more than the best high-tech gym.

For personal trainers in this business, visiting people at home is a step down. They need to carry heavy exercise equipment to people’s homes, make do with low-tech tools and help people work out in unglamorous environments – messy homes with pets and children running about.

People try all kinds of ways to make home personal training even more affordable.

Even $50 and $75 sessions can add up very quickly. Many people are able to afford home sessions because they don’t engage their trainers for long. People often consider in home personal training as a way to get fit for a wedding, an important party, an interview or the beach. They haggle, put a package deal together and pay for it in advance. You can get a weight loss plan together at $1200 for 25 sessions. Many people can afford this price level.

It’s possible to get this kind of training for half or quarter this sum, too. You just need to rope in a couple of friends with everyone chipping in to pay for the whole package.

One needs to consider the safety angle

Many home training businesses exist to help people find trainers. They have trouble, though, when male clients insist on being sent female trainers. Usually, such requests are turned down if the male client is home alone.

 

About the Author

 

Jessica Watts is a retired high school gymnastics instructor. She likes to spend her days painting the next masterpiece and blogging about her insights online. She recommends to get a weight loss plan instead to consider in home personal training as a way to get fit.

 

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