Dying Slowly

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“He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
die slowly.

He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
die slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.”
― Martha Medeiros

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Get Used To That Feeling

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“No matter how careful you are, there’s going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience it all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention.
Well, get used to that feeling. That’s how your whole life will feel some day.
This is all practice.”
― Chuck PalahniukInvisible Monsters

Waiting To Bloom

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin

I raise the white flag to surrender; as I finally make peace with my body, my face, my heart, my soul. My adolescent years were riddled with struggle, self-doubt, and internal warfare. A battle that ended with the shocking discovery that I was the enemy.

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I was constantly plagued by an internal dialogue; you’re not pretty enough, smart enough, or thin enough.

The repetitive chatter in my brain was a perpetual nightmare that played out every night and into the next day. I reluctantly succumbed to my ego and sought approval in all the wrong places.

I constantly searched for answers to stop the madness, but my peace came with a price. Although I couldn’t turn back time, I received the GIFT of wisdom.

I finally came to realize my painful struggle to fit in was crucial for growth as I discovered the true meaning of the Anais Nin quote:

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

And just like the flower, It’s beauty was well worth the wait.

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Trish

Forgiveness, Tolerance, Self Respect

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“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.”

Benjamin Franklin

Balance & Inner Calmness

A balanced inner calmness radiates from a peaceful center. It neither craves others’ approval nor rejects others’ presence. It neither pulls towards nor pushes away. It has a reverent attitude towards life and all its inhabitants.

~Donna Goddard

Live Life With No Regrets

When we live each day with kindness, compassion, and communicative love, there is no business left unfinished. There are no regrets or words we should have said, but didn’t. There is no need for closure or forgiveness or apology of any kind.” 
― Tyler Henry

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We Have This One Life

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“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.” 
― Lao Tzu

Wow, I love this quote!   We have this one life and it’s our job to make the most of each and every day.  How do you rate these three area’s of your life that are so important in regards to your happiness and quality of life?

  1. Health-  Take a moment and write down two goals at the beginning of each week that can improve your health.  Do you eat out too often, consume too many alcoholic beverages, sit too much?  The list goes on and on.  We all have areas of our life we can improve on, and your health should be number one on the list.  Try walking on your lunch hour, replacing a fast food meal with a home cooked meal, or perhaps replacing artificial sugar with honey.  There are endless opportunities each week to help improve your health by simply setting small goals, making small changes, and committing to them.
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2. Contentment – What is contentment?  Wikipedia defines contentment as:

Contentment is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind. Colloquially speaking, contentment could be a state of having accepted one’s situation and is a milder and more tentative form of happiness.

What areas of your life can you improve to bring about more contentment?  Analyze your work and home situation and determine areas that need improvement.  Small changes can sometimes make a tremendous difference in your quality of life. Practice gratitude each morning.  Be thankful for having a roof over your head, food to eat, and loved ones.  There are many people in this world praying for what you have at this very moment. Lose the act of comparison.  Have you heard the quote “comparison is the thief of joy?”  You’ll never be content by comparing yourself to others.  How can you adjust your attitude at work and at home to bring about contentment?  Take the focus off yourself and do small things for others this week and you may be surprised at how good you feel.

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3. Self confidence  How can you improve your self-confidence?  Take care of your appearance. Self confidence starts with feeling good about yourself.  Make it a priority to take care of your body with exercise and healthy food choices, wear clothes you love, and practice daily meditation.  Consider listening to positive affirmations on a daily basis. Your inner dialogue is a key to self confidence and contentment.  What do you say to yourself each day?

Remember we have this one life……

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Locked In A Bathroom Now What?

Have you ever been locked in a bathroom? It happened to me last week and I was surprised at the level of panic I felt when I couldn’t open the door. I was in a small 24 hour fitness facility. It was early morning and the gym was quiet. I remember seeing a few people on the treadmills as I walked to the group fitness room to set up for my class.

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I had already consumed over 24 oz of lemon water and two cups of coffee, so needless to say my first stop was the bathroom.

When I started to leave the restroom , I quickly turned the lever lock to open the door and it wouldn’t budge! I immediately felt a sense of panic, dread, and disbelief. I started beating on the door to get someone’s attention, but had no luck.

Then I started thinking…..What am I going to do??

Where was MacGyver when I needed him? If I only had some chewing gym, a paper clip or maybe a Swiss Army Knife, surely I could get out of this situation.

The lock looked like one of the privacy indicator deadbolt locks. It had a lever that when you turn it to the right it locks the door and shows “occupied” on the outside of the door.

The door was very solid with no play in it, so I immediately tried to push the lock with all my might to try to force it open. It wouldn’t budge and to make matters worse:

  1. I had no cell phone – I had left it in the group fitness room

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  2. The music in the gym was playing extremely loud- What if no one could hear me???

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  3.  There were only a few people in the club

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  4. I was at the end of the hall where very few people go unless they are going to that particular bathroom (which now that I was locked inside- showed occupied on the other side)

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I continued to bang on the door and put all my weight up against it as I relentlessly tried to open the lock. NO LUCK! Suddenly I started to feel a bit claustrophobic.

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Why did this have to happen to me????

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After yelling and banging on the door for quite sometime, I finally heard someone come up and ask me if I was locked in, and needless to say, I was relieved! He told me he would make a phone call and get someone there to get me out.

And believe it or not, I got out in time to teach my class!

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This made me wonder about other situations like this. I later found out this happened to someone else at this same club and they were locked in the bathroom for a couple of hours! I heard the owner ended up giving him some free gym time for his pain and suffering. It’s definitely a frightening experience especially if there are no windows and you are in an isolated place. And with my luck, I’m sure it could happen again. Therefore, I did some research and found out this actually happens quite often.  One man got locked in a Burger King bathroom

An Oregon man is suing Burger King for backing out of a ‘meals for life’ deal.

Curtis Brooner says the fast food giant offered the deal because he got locked in the bathroom for more than an hour at a restaurant in Wood Village last month.

Brooner’s attorney Michael Fuller told KATU that his client went to pull the door and it wouldn’t open.

I did some additional research and did not find any useful information on how to get out when you’re locked on the inside of a bathroom without anything you could use as a tool to pick the lock. Therefore, I’ve vowed to avoid public bathrooms as much as possible and only use bathrooms that have multiple stalls with no locks on the exit door.

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Boost Workout Results With BCAAs

BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are three of the nine essential amino acids including leucine, isoleucine and valine. The essential amino acids can’t be made by the body and therefore must be acquired through the diet. Research studies report that BCAA’s help to promote muscle growth, aids in recovery and reduces muscle soreness.

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Per Dr. Mercola, What Are The Best Food Sources Of BCAA’s

BCAAs are found in a number of healthy protein-rich foods, including organic grass-fed beef, wild Alaskan salmon, pastured egg yolks, raw grass-fed cheese, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and nuts. One of the best sources, however, is whey protein concentrate, which has one of the highest concentrations of leucine.

The typical requirement for leucine is 1 to 3 grams daily. However, to optimize its anabolic pathway for muscle growth and repair, you need as much as 8 to 16 grams of leucine daily. One 3-ounce serving of whey protein has 8 grams of leucine (compared to just 1.6 grams in salmon or 1.4 grams in egg yolk).

This likely explains why whey protein concentrate has been found to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and has been called the ideal fitness food when consumed just before or after a workout.

Try to get your BCAAs from your daily diet by incorporating salmon, grass-fed cheese, pumpkin seeds, pastured eggs and nuts if possible.

However, consider using a whey protein concentrate if you are short on time or on the go. This can be a convenient way to add BCAAs to shakes, oatmeal, and yogurt for post workout snacks and meals.

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Make sure when selecting your whey protein to look for a pure, high, quality product. Many protein powders can contain high levels of lead, arsenic and toxic ingredients. Check the product on the Clean Label Project website:

www.cleanlabelproject.org

Inform Consumers

  • Use state of the art laboratory testing to expose the best and worst performers through our 5-star rating system
  • Provide certification and on-package seal of approval so consumers can see past flashy marketing
  • Create an online marketplace for consumers to buy the highest performing products

Aging With No Filter

I’ve officially been calling myself a “snow bird” for the past several years.  My husband and I travel to Florida during the winter months each year to escape the cold weather and enjoy some quiet time at the beach.

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Although I thought I would be bored to tears and miss home; I’ve learned to embrace this time in my life.
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Now that I’ve accepted the fact that I’m considered a “senior” and a snow bird, I’ve found myself reflecting more on the aging process.  It blows my mind that in two years I will be sixty!?! Where has the time gone??  I still feel like I’m only in my forties and have to remind myself often that I’m now falling into the DREADED categories of: senior, geriatric, old lady, over the hill etc.  Yes, if you live long enough, not only will you have to deal with gray hair and wrinkles,  you will most likely be subjected to ageism.  Merriam Webster defines

Ageism:

Definition of ageism 

prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly

 

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Sociology In Focus reports:

Becoming older is a privilege denied to many,” the saying goes. But, are you excited about getting older? When I ask my students this question they often say things like, “No way!” and follow with a list of negative stereotypes describing older adults as sick, unhappy, slow, and sexually inactive. How do so many of us, including myself, come to this conclusion?

The aging population (i.e., individuals 65 and over) around the world is growing. In the U.S. alone, one in seven persons is now an older American, and this number is expected to double by 2060. As we’ve previously discussed here at Sociology In Focus with other concepts (seasonstime, etc.) aging is also socially constructed.

A Youth Obsessed Society

The U.S. has often been described as a youth obsessed society. Some have argued that aging is a fate worse than death. During 2014, nearly 13 billion dollars was spent on plastic surgery with the bulk of procedures performed on women 40 and older. The sale of anti-aging skin care products is also a booming business. U.S. consumers now spend more on anti-aging medications than on drugs for disease. Clearly people are feeling pressure to maintain their youth.

It’s no wonder that once we pass the ripe old age of thirty-nine, many of us turn to desperate measures such as Botox and plastic surgery. Therefore, along with our shrinking self-image comes a multitude of other potential issues such as an increased risk for health problems and immobility.

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  Heidi Godman Executive Editor,  of the Harvard Health Letter  reports:

Loss of mobility, which is common among older adults, has profound social, psychological, and physical consequences. “If you’re unable to get out then you can’t go shopping, you can’t go out with your friends to eat dinner or go to the movies, and you become dependent on other people to get you places. So you become a recluse, you stay home, you get depressed. With immobilization comes incontinence, because you can’t get to the bathroom, you can develop urinary infections, skin infections. The list goes on,” says geriatrician Dr. Suzanne Salamon, an instructor at Harvard Medical School.

The cascade of negative effects that comes with immobility can often be prevented or limited, according to a review in today’s JAMA. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham looked at dozens of mobility studies published over the years. They discovered common factors that lead to loss of mobility, such as older age, low physical activity, obesity, impaired strength and balance, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. Less common red flags included symptoms of depression, problems with memory or thinking skills, being female, a recent hospitalization, drinking alcohol or smoking, and having feelings of helplessness. Individuals with one or more of these factors is at risk for immobility.

 

A greater risk of health issues and immobility reinforces the importance of optimizing your health as you get older.  For this very reason, I’m fortunate to be employed in the health and fitness industry that requires me to stay active and make healthy food choices.

However, along with that comes a increased focus on body image by my peers and clients.  It’s common to see images of young, muscular, fit people in health and fitness magazines, fitness infomercials, and television ads etc.  Furthermore,  most of my co-workers, and clients are in their early thirties and forties. Therefore I’ve begun to question how do I continue to work in the health and fitness industry at this stage of my life. How do I fight to keep up with a society that is consumed with youth, appearance,  and selfies?

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As a fitness instructor I constantly hear women comparing themselves to others, complaining about their age, scrutinizing their bodies, appearance, and fitness level.  Over the years, I’ve seen many resort to plastic surgery for breast implants, liposuction, face lifts, and Botox.  I on the other hand have decided against any nips, tucks, or enhancements.  I know it’s crazy, but I’ve accepted that I’m getting older and I’m determined to age gracefully the “good old-fashioned way!”

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At this stage in my life, I’m surprised that I find myself comfortable with my appearance, my body, and my fitness level.  I actually have more self-confidence than I ever had in my 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. My goal is to simply age with style and grace.  I plan to take care of myself by simply exercising and making healthy food choices.

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Simply put, my goal is to promote healthy aging.  I truly believe “age is just a number.”  Your lifestyle, food choices, and activity level play a huge part in how you age. The picture below is a picture of me and my dad when I was in my thirties.

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This is me age 35

Now fast forward twenty years to my current picture below at the age of 58. Yes I have wrinkles around my eyes and I look older but that is a part of life.  My point is that many people simply stop taking care of themselves as they get older.  It’s typical to slow down once your children are gone and we transition from a busy work career and family life to empty nest and retirement.  It’s this sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices that causes rapid aging, weight gain, and increased risk for disease.

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Although many experts report that losing weight after forty will make you look older, the truth is weight gain makes you look older.  Quite often as we age, weight accumulates in the mid section, which can put strain on the heart, muscles, and joints.  Ultimately these lifestyle choices increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes. The key is to maintain a healthy stable weight as you age.  It’s the yo-yo dieting and the drastic weight loss that causes the face to look drawn and appear more wrinkled.

 

So how do we maintain good health and a more youthful appearance as we age?  How can we live life in our golden years without filters, Photoshop, and going under the knife? As much as we would like to believe in magic weight loss pills and procedures. There are no tricks; these methods don’t work.

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We all age and no amount of liposuction, face-lift, Botox, or weight loss gimmicks are going to make us look twenty again. Learn to love yourself, your wrinkles, your age, and your life experience.  The answer to aging with no filter is simple.  All you have to do is work hard, eat right, and don’t give up.

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For more tips on aging gracefully check out my article, Age Gracefully With These Five Tips