Monday, January 30, 2012

Life as Paradox

Carrying extra weight makes exercise more difficult. In order to lose weight you need to get more exercise.

To fix our healthcare system we need less tests, drugs and surgeries (and more coaching on wellness). People in our healthcare system only get paid for tests, drugs and surgeries (and rarely for coaching on wellness).

(P.S. Wellness does not = low-fat milk)

Ironic, isn't it? Perhaps we shouldn't be trying to fix the problem, perhaps we should be finding peace among the paradox. Maybe this applies to all things like the economy and the environment as well as individual health and our healthcare system. Maybe, just maybe, if we can accept "life as paradox" we'd be better able to live in the space in between. After all if you run hard at a brick wall, you're likely to get knocked back a few feet and feel a bit of pain.

What am I really saying here? In the face of a big problem, do something (no matter how small) each and every day. 

If you want to lose some weight, walk five more minutes a day. If you want to fix our healthcare system, drink a glass water instead of a can of soda. If you want to help the environment, recycle the bottle (even if you have to carry it home to do so). You get the idea...

Sitting back and waiting for the paradox to change is a fool's game. Welcome the paradox. Then get up, take a step and give it a little nudge.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Role Models We Don't Need

Paula Deen has diabetes. With this diagnosis she joins the other 25.8 million Americans with this condition and is transforming herself into the diabetes spokesperson for a diabetes drug manufactured by Novo Nordisk AS.

I give her credit for encouraging people to cook more meals at home (even if those meals were less-than-healthy options). I give her credit for making her diagnosis public because it is always better to be honest with people. And yet, the whole thing doesn't sit right with me. Granted there probably wasn't as much money in her other choices. Going public with her diagnosis and starting a whole food and exercise regime on her show. Showing her fans there is another way instead of waiting for the quick fix of a pill to erase all of our bad choices.

Don't wait for the pill. Get up, get out and take a walk.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Five to Thrive

Today is the day! You're off to a new start. Ta-da! Look out world! You're ready to tackle your resolutions with vim and vigor!

Except, maybe you're not... As I've written before, I'm not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions. I think making huge resolutions on one particular day a year puts a great deal of pressure on us. Plus, most resolutions are black and white while we live most of lives in the spectrum of colors between black and white. In other words, change is good. Changing too much at once can be a challenge too far.

There is another way. Small, positive steps which add up and are easier to maintain. To help you get started, here are five things you can start today which will put you on a great path to better health and wellness in 2012.

  1. Measure. Drag out the scale and the tape measure. I think it is important that we each know where we are today. After all, you can't get anywhere unless you know where you are to start.  Weigh yourself and measure your waist, hips, thighs and chest. Write the numbers down and today's date. This is for you and you don't need to share it with anyone.
  2. Water: Start each day by drinking a big glass of fresh water. Our bodies can be dehydrated after sleep and giving your body the water it needs is a great way to start the day. Somewhere between 12 and 20 ounces will do the trick. 
  3. Walk. Each and every day go outside and take a walk. Start with however much time you can comfortably enjoy. Be it five minutes or twenty five minutes, so be it. Ideally, you'll walk at least 30 minutes each day. Break it up into smaller chunks of time if you need to. 
  4. Real Food. Consume at least one serving of real food each day. An apple, a handful of nuts, one-half of an avocado, a banana. If you need help identifying real food, consult the Real Food Hierarchy to show you the way. 
  5. Goals. Write down five things you would like to accomplish in 2012. Start school, a new job, lose weight, exercise regularly, read more, spend more time with family or friends, learn a new language, travel somewhere new. Again, you don't need to share it with anyone but you can! In fact, you can share your five things here if you'd like. I'd love to be inspired by your goals for 2012!

There you go. Five simple things to help get your 2012 off to a great start. Good luck and, as always, I'd love to know how you're doing so don't be shy. Stay tuned for regular updates to help you build on this good start.

As for my 2012, there are many things in the works. A new Cybercise will debut in a few weeks. We are making things more simple and will focus on our roots of online exercise videos. I'll be publishing a series of Vooks with a fun new version of Move.Eat.Be. I'm working with a great organization in Baltimore City to help them innovate a new health paradigm for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. And, there is a whole, huge endeavor which I'll share more about soon. Very exciting!

Thank you for your support in 2011. I look forward to a fabulous, healthy and happy 2012 with you.