You Can Get Fit!

Posts Tagged ‘happiness

Hi!

It RAINED here yesterday. What, do I live in Seattle? (ahem. OK, so I do.) Lots of rain.

But you know what? It had actually been sunny for a few weeks. (Alert the media! The Great Wet Northwest was sunny! Wait, it had been alerted. It was in the news.) And to me, the few days’ break in the sun is nice.

In life, we learn to find the joy in the sunny days as well as in the rainy days.

This past weekend, I attended Pilates On Tour, a continuing education conference for Pilates instructors (and practitioners) put on by Balanced Body Pilates. This was my first time at this type of event, and I was impressed! If you’re as much of a geek as I am about kinesiology, movement, and Pilates, you can get a small taste of what it was like to take courses from the gurus by watching podcasts at the Balanced Body website. I’m looking forward to the next Pilates On Tour!

And now, a few interesting and informative links for your entertainment (while I still have a network connection):

1. These chocolate bowls look easy to make, and would be great filled with ice cream (sinful) or sliced fresh fruit (better)!

2. Periodic table of heavy metal artists.

3. Fantastic idea: spiff up your ordinary cork board/message center with some vintage frames.

4. Here’s something I could definitely use: a vegetable cooking cheat sheet. Tells you how long to boil, steam, or saute a variety of different vegetables!

5. Have I mentioned Katie’s Snickerdoodle Pancakes before? If I haven’t, they’re amazing. Make them NOW. I’m going to try them in my mini Belgian waffler next. So tasty, you don’t need butter or syrup.

And with that… we’re having utility work done in our neighborhood in a matter of minutes, so I’m signing off while I still have a network connection! See you soon…

Hi, Friends.

I’m typically not much of a Wednesday poster, but inspiration struck (duck and cover!) and I totally felt the need to get this out to you.

While driving yesterday, I realized how much time I’d lost this past week wallowing over this freak vocal cord nerve injury. And before that, I’d probably done the same over the hip surgery that didn’t go well (in 2010) and had to be redone, plus some.

But why waste time crying over things out of our control? None of us are getting any younger.

It’s fine to feel sorry for ourselves, true. And I’ve found that sometimes, the current path just seems so unbearable that I just can’t find focus and have to chill out. But either to ourselves or others, it just becomes the broken record after a while. And just like a broken record, it continues on the same useless pathway. At some point, we have to pack up and move on as best we can.

Which is what I have done and have continued to do. And you know what? This approach has shown me opportunities I never would’ve imagined, if I’d been left to continue along my same road.

OK, so the Leprechaun of Ideas doesn’t jump onto your shoulder at 2pm every afternoon. (I wish! But then, we’d all be rich.) This takes some brainpower. But think of it this way: you’re developing awesome critical thinking skills!

Case In Point 1: prior to my first hip surgery (April 2010), I was running a fitness business with two corporate clients and a few private clients as well as teaching fitness classes for 4-5 gyms. I wanted to expand my business, but I didn’t have time to think about how to do that, or to do it at all… despite being married to an MBA in marketing. Surgery #1 led to complications and Surgery #2. After the requisite feeling sorry for myself, I got going and put my brain to work. I talked to other instructors. I did some marketing (and learned what does and doesn’t work in this area and field). I hired more contractors. I expanded my business to include other types of classes. I even tried a second business (which… didn’t work, but it was a great learning experience!). I now proudly call myself a small business owner!

When I was getting ready to teach again (that is, working for others), I almost didn’t want to let previous employers know I was available. I preferred having the time to strategize for myself! (Though, gotta say that I do like the steady income stream that I get from bigger companies.)

Case In Point 2: My current struggle. Just when I literally got my feet under me to teach again (and also got a college class to teach in the fall), I have a timeline of potentially three months until I can talk again. This hit me from out of nowhere–I didn’t anticipate this sort of limitation when I was dreaming up projects to take me into the end of the year and going forward.

But life has a way of throwing us curveballs, doesn’t it? And again… we can’t stand still while it blows past us. To me, that just isn’t living!

So, during the next few (loooonnngggg) months, other than non-work-related stuff such as improving my piano playing and cleaning up the jungle that is my backyard, I’ve come up with four work-related projects that don’t require speaking:

1. Getting my body back to the strength that it was before Hip Surgery #1 (which was the best shape of my life other than torn hip cartilage)

2. Make a new trifold brochure for my business, now that I offer Zumba classes, which may get me more corporate business (and plan a guerrilla marketing attack for the beginning of the year!!!)

3. Keep going on the….. (book) that I write in spurts. Since I’m oh-so-experienced in rehab (plus 500-hour Pilates certified), I’ve been working on a… document, in laymans’ terms, to help people recover from injury using Pilates-based exercise. I need to redouble efforts.

4. Lower priority, but script videos. I intend to create a YouTube channel of short videos that, once again, use Pilates-based exercise to help people reduce pain in various parts of their body. Big goal of mine in life is to help the world feel better without pharmaceuticals! (Ironic, given my masters’ degree in pharmaceutical chemistry…)

See? It takes a little bit of the gerbil running in that mental wheel, but you can come up with some fruitful projects that will get you toward your life/career goals, despite current limitations. (Try to make your projects meaningful, rather than, say, learning Swahili. Unless you are absolutely taken by the Swahili language, and by all means, go for it!)

Maybe by the end of allllll of this… I won’t need or want to go back to working for the man at all. Now, wouldn’t that be a hoot? Having had illnesses and injuries that supposedly take me out of work for a combined few years, but during that time, I end up generating a successful income stream. That would be amazing, and it’s my goal.

I encourage all of you to share this with anyone who’s going through a rough time in life! Any rough patch can be turned around… and can lead you into more exciting territory!!

I posted this about a year ago. But with college and school graduations going on, vacations aren’t far behind! It’s high time we revisit these ideas.

So, you’ve been sticking to your plan—eating well, exercising regularly. Great! But along comes the vacation you’ve been looking forward to for months. What do you do?

Don’t lose hope! Do not abandon ship!

Rather than giving up on your fitness agenda while you’re away, keep your eye on the long-term prize! Here are a few ideas that will keep you going, whether it’s for fun or for work.

1. Take a stroll to see the local sights. When you whiz through the neighborhood in a car, you barely get to see what’s around you. Instead, if you go for a walk or run, you have more leisure time to take in your surroundings. Walking the ‘hood around my hotel is one of my favorite activities when I’m staying somewhere new. And it gets the heart pumping faster, it gets you out in the sun, and it makes you feel more refreshed and alive! (Makes you feel less guilty about that extra ice cream, too.)

2. Do try the local cuisine! But remember that it doesn’t have to be the sauce-laden specialty. Many of us vacation along the coast in the summer, and coastal regions are known for grilled fish. I’m just pointing out that some of the tasty local foods are actually healthy and potentially lower in calories than what you’d have at home. However, please don’t sacrifice trying something local and yummy if you think it will “wreck the diet”. You only live once, and if you’re good most of the time, it’s OK!

3. Please enjoy yourself on the vacation, and don’t stress out about losing weight! That is to say, this might be a better time to focus on maintaining your weight rather than losing. As I said earlier, this may be your only time visiting this part of the world, so live it up! On the other hand, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… right. 😉

When you get back from vacation, your same healthy habits will be there, waiting for you! (They might be jealous that they didn’t go on the vacation.)

How do you all stay on track when you’re on vacation?

Urgh. Not only am I a day behind on writing prompts, but I slacked on my Recipe Friday promise to you! It’s all for good reasons, I tell you: I’m still dealing with the aftermath of business growth, and I’m working through some offers to teach Pilates at a few locations, not to mention hosting a few friends a few times for dinner this weekend (hey, the house stays clean-ish)… So, I owe you two posts today!

Again, two writing prompts in one. First is from Friday:

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours? (Author: Fabian Kruse)

Ah, I think I take the opposite of this post to an extreme. I have such a nonconformist, “adult goth” mindset that I really want to be unique, almost to the point of making myself obsolete and/or working myself to the bone. For instance, when I write music, I’m constantly trying to think of “brand new chord structures” (yeah, right, what hasn’t been done before?). More practically, in terms of business development, I sometimes find myself thinking of really “unique” business angles in the fitness industry–those niches that haven’t been used before. Then I remind myself that maybe there’s a reason that people haven’t pursued these niches, or that maybe people have tried and failed at these niches (no market). There’s a reason that people around the world at M&M’s, drink Coke, etc etc. Rather than try something in the same sector but totally left-field different, why not create something just marginally different?

Just saying that in some cases, imitation can be good, and I need to convince myself of that.

(What was I saying about brevity a few days ago?)

(saturday 11 june) These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? Put yourself in the shoes of the you who’s already lived your dream and write out the answers to the following:

Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel?

Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes?

Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are?

Now Do. The Thing. You Fear. (Author: Lachlan Cotter)

You know, I’ve met a lot of fearful people recently, moreso that I used to. I think we’ve become a nation of wimps. I like to think of myself as a relative risktaker: I have enough safety nets in place for myself, I have relatively little debt, so why not go ahead with it?

I think I’ve been holding back from public performance of my piano/vocal songs, but I even did that for a few friends last week. (What was the risk? They weren’t going to go all over Seattle telling the city how terrible I am.) Not performing at coffeehouses has been more a logistical issue of finally getting around to repairing my amp (taking it to a store), but right when I realized that I needed to do so, I got caught in the throes of expanding my business–which always comes first.

So, I’ll perform for more friends before the end of the year, definitely. It wasn’t that hard.

In terms of other fearful things: I’ve done some cold-calling to market my business (but need to get around to making a trifold), I’ve quit careers that weren’t right for me…

Probably the scariest thing right now is parting with money (since income is low) to do fun things (like travel) while my health is OK. I’ve had enough health problems to scare me out of procrastination, yet whenever I look at airfares to anywhere, I put aside the laptop. I’m too scared to commit to forking over thousands of dollars, knowing the several months I’d be semi-working and waiting to replenish the stash (hopefully). I keep pretending that the explorer that I am has just as much fun sitting in my living room each day, looking at other peoples’ pictures. Sigh.

I write a LOT. My goal is brevity, today.

Anyway, here goes with today’s prompt:

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say? (Author: Eric Handler)

While I have several ideas, foremost in my mind is–go out there and be willing to take risks, and to be YOURSELF. Stand out from the pack every now and then (or more frequently, if that’s your style)… live life with no regrets.

How’s that for short’n’sweet (but a powerful thought)?

Go out and live life your way! I’ll have a tasty recipe for Recipe Friday tomorrow!

Ten years ago today was one of the best days of my life, when I married my best friend.

just married

wedding party
I really appreciate our close friends who helped support us: Mike, Diane, Joe, and Mike. Thanks, you guys!

gorgeous backdrop
A gorgeous arbor in a spectacular setting. We held the wedding, reception, and dinner at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Marin County, CA.

wedding ceremony
The same arbor was the backdrop for the ceremony. I wanted to keep the guests in suspense and didn’t walk down a center aisle. Instead, Bruce entered from stage left down some stone steps, and I entered from stage right on a horse and carriage (clop-clop-clop). Pleasant surprise for the guests!

foot and petals
Gotta have the artsy shot, eh?

reception
Having fun at the reception. Even though our guests came from all walks of life, there was never a dull moment, and they all chatted easily!

***

I will never forget this day. It was perfect… just like the one I am married to. (Awwww…) Some girls get lucky, and this one truly did. Happy anniversary to us!

(we’ll return to less self-indulgent content in a few days.)

First of all… Happy May Day! Finally progressing toward the longest, sunniest day of the year! Woohoo!

I neglected a recipe of the week this week. My lame excuse: I made a fantastic palaak paneer (Indian curry spinach with cheese) and I’d love to share it. Thing is, I didn’t take any pics, because the pureed spicy spinach-tomato sauce looked like… well……. use yer imagination. ICK. But believe me, it tastes incredible!!! So, I may just post it anyway, with the caveat of no pics (since it looks so unappetizing).

Are You Always Happy?

Back on topic: to me, a major aspect of fitness and wellness involves being happy–with yourself and with your environment. There are so many people that I see who appear unhappy–trudging through life in gloom and doom. What fun is that? So, I seek out activities that keep me cheerful.

happy sun

I have a friend, however, who is the perpetual spreader of cheer. Everyone should be happy all the time! he says. And… I’ve questioned this. Should we always be happy? Certainly situations arise that irritate us, upset us, or annoy us. Should we just brush those off and say “oh well, let’s just be happy?”

In some cases, if the situation is minor, sure. But in a more major case, I think we, as humans, should experience the emotion. It feels unnatural to, say, have a death in the family and immediately “just move on”. It’s OK to be sad, for a while, to pay respect to our feelings. (Just try to get back into a good mood as soon as possible!)

Emotions Make Us Interesting People (for better or for worse!)

Besides, just as a monotone speaker sounds one-dimensional, I imagine that if our brains only experience happiness, our thought processes might start becoming one-dimensional. (For similar reasons, I sometimes read nonfiction books written by people I don’t think I’ll agree with. I frequently learn something!) So yes, a majority of the time, happiness is good for us, but occasional dips into other emotions are natural for our minds and bodies. I think we’re more interesting people if we experience a range of emotions!

That said, I truly do feel we should seek out cheap thrills–things that make you happy at low cost. What have you experienced lately that has made you bliss out?


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