1. Such sadness and senseless tragedy lately. It hurts my heart. One of my walking routes takes me past a store that has an American flag displayed and lately it's been more half-mast than full. I know I am not alone in thinking how will this change, when will it end, it seems so overwhelming when there is tragedy, sadness, pain, and frankly evil happening in so many places.
Last week I literally said out loud maybe a meteor (ala Armaggeddon) wouldn't be such a bad thing but that is not the answer and I started to think about Mother Teresa's quote, "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." It's a less overwhelming a way to think and though offering prayers and good thoughts is IMHO a lovely and comforting gesture. We can do more. We must do more.
Some ripples each of us can make...
* Smile at people (really smile) and say hello.
* Listen to people. We often say, Hi, How are you?" on autopilot, next time stop and really listen to the person's answer.
* Power off the devices a little more and enjoy trees, air, flowers, the people in your life. I work online so it's hard I know but commit to a little less Facebook and a little more face to face.
* Cut people slack. Stop blaming and shaming. This essay says it way better than I could ever.
* Cut yourself slack. Be kind to everyone and that includes you. If you have a rough day in your getting healthy or weight loss efforts and maybe not the best choices are made. Assess the why, make a plan, adjust the sails and move forward. No beating yourself up.
* Find a cause you care about and donate time or money. If you can't do either even giving a like or share or retweeting something you believe in can help. Social media algorithms mean charities (or bloggers like me) who share online free resources don't get our pages seen as much as say a big company that pays to be at the top of your newsfeed. So don't underestimate the simple power of you hitting the like button which helps raise page views. This website will tell you if your charity of choice is legit.
A few fun ways to give I have taken part in...
Food for Pounds
Reverse Advent Calendar
* Clean out the garage, closets, etc and let someone else get use of that "stuff" donate or have a yard sale and do something good with the proceeds. I love to donate used books to the Senior Center. Books are $$ treats and hard on social security, fixed incomes. Maybe those art project supplies for that Pinterest project you aren't really going to do could go to your local Head Start. Board games could be used at the local VFW. Call and ask your food bank, homeless shelter, senior center, VFW, Head Start, animal rescue, what they might need, you just might have it.
* Donate blood. Some patients after gastric bypass may have iron deficiency anemia so it wouldn't be not be a good idea to donate blood but if your blood levels are normal it should not a problem to donate (talk to your Dr.)
* Make a couple of these bags and hand them out (or give them to the local shelter to hand out)
2. Yoga. I am not a exercise class type person normally but I decided to give it a go and a few months ago when an "Intro to Yoga" class was offered at a local studio I signed up and went. I knew there would be things I would love and things that would make me feel uncomfortable but I made a vow to myself I would see the 6 weeks through and then after decide if it was for me or not. I walk (hike on occasion), dance in my house, and a few other things from time to time but I have group exercise anxiety... I always am moving left when people are moving right. Now I am still doing that a bit (I am a unique snowflake) but yoga class is helping me. Everyone comes to their mat at a different level, with different skills, knowledge, flexibility, perhaps old injury, body size, age, etc. and that makes your practice yours despite being in a room of people. It really mirrors life if you think about it, we all together in this world but our journey is our own (well isn't that zen of me) Anyway... I love it and highly recommend it...
How it's helping me...
Body-mind connection for lack of a better term. It's helping me understand how much space I take up in this world. Something I have struggled with post weight loss.
Balance and core strength - BIG TIME. It's doing things for my body my other forms of exercise were not doing.
I'm breathing better. It literally opens up my chest and I feel like I am getting way more air in.
Helping me chill and center. I have an ADD brain, it's on 24/7 and something about my time on that mat brings me peace.
Tons of other things too... I'll share more in a future post.
A few things you must have...
The best mat you can afford. I bought a $14 mat at TJ Maxx for the first couple of classes and my knees were not having it. I had a birthday Amazon card from last year I hadn't used all of and ended up ordering a really great Manduka mat (I read a lot of articles and reviews and it's an awesome one) and class was so much more enjoyable after. They last for years and years so I think worth the $ if you want to make it part of your life. The black thing next to it is the sling bag I carry it in to class. I love it because it has a zipper pouch for my hair ties and my ID and I can leave my purse in the trunk.
2 Blocks, a strap (not pictured, help in adapting moves, my studio has plenty so mine are for practice at home) and a blanket.
If you want to try yoga at home first there are great free apps, free youtube videos, awesome DVDs (Abby Lentz will be teaching class at Your Weight Matters this year) and I personally love my Yoga Fan (I was the queen of flash cards in college so these speak to me) and help me remember what that "twisty move" I like is really called.
3. Will I see you in Washington DC next month for the Your Weight Matters National Convention? I hope so. I'm getting excited. I'm super jazzed about the speakers Brian Wansink does this amazing research about how the environment affects our health and weight. Dr. Scott Kahan just spoke at the First Lady's Partnership for a Healthier America event (I'm a total fan girl), Dawn Jackson Blatner and Jasmin Queen (ABC's My Diet Is Better than Yours winners) have some awesome and really easy ways we can make healthy changes that will really make a difference but won't have hating life (because life is short and we should love every minute of it) and that's just a few of the 50 topics. I am doing a couple of lunch table talks. Looking forward to meeting those who opted for those.
Tons of great exhibitors too. If you are wanting to try before you buy some of the awesome new vitamins or protein powder Celebrate Vitamins is offering this is your chance. Our exhibitors bring lots of samples to share.
There is still time to join us. For info: www.YWMConvention.com and if you are a medical professional needing CE credits the meeting offers up to 16.
4. Something fun Your Weight Matters is starting to do is share workout playlists on their blog. I love having some new tunes to walk or listen to while beating my body opponent bag Bob up. So share 1 hour-ish of your favorite tunes that get you pumped up and yours could be featured in an upcoming blog. Here's July's Playlist, shared by yours truly, a mix of some oldies and current favorites that I've been walking around the neighborhood to this past month.
5. Watch for a fun giveaway beginning VERY soon here on the blog and one on my Instagram. Giveaway fun makes me feel better too.
Sending a cyber hug to all.