Saturday, January 12, 2013
Get shakin' or turn into bacon!
Get off your butt to get out of a rut!
When the going gets tough, strut your stuff!
Crummy mood? Put down the food!
Less talk, more walk!
Forget the funk-- move your junk!
Feel like a lump? Grab a rope and jump!
Acting lame, get in the game!
Just whining? AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Have you ever watched a little one get all caught up in the excitement of learning and mastering a task--taking that first step, putting the puzzle piece in the right place, realizing that letters make a familiar word?
When the world is new, challenge is just part of the landscape, and working at mastering everyday challenges provides enormous satisfaction.
How sad that we sometimes grow to resent our challenges, the very sparks that used to add excitement and passion to our lives! I see this every day in those who resent the trying aspects of their jobs or their relationships.
Today I will work on creating a culture that embraces the challenges that life presents. We all have the opportunity to experience each moment as the one that teaches us something valuable about ourselves and helps us become the best we can be!
Monday, March 09, 2009
Have you ever heard of a tragic scenario and thought, "There, but by the grace of God, go I?" Maybe it was of a head-on collision that killed numerous people because a driver was using a cell phone. Or maybe you heard about a child who drowned because the parent got involved with something a looked away for mere minutes. Once I was outside talking to a neighbor in the yard when my seven-year-old decided to "fire" some clay in the microwave. When I walked in the door, the kitchen was filled with smoke. Fortunately, I got there in time before the innocent art project burned the house down. But luck is not always on our side.
In my new career path, I have had an insider's look at the consequences of unhealthy lifestyles. As a cardiovascular sonographer, I use ultrasound to get pictures of the hearts, veins, arteries, and carotids of people of all ages. What I have seen confirms what we have heard from medical reports for years.
Once a man suffered irreparable heart damage from years of alcohol abuse. The muscle of his heart had become so thin and ineffective that it was only pumping at about 15% of what it should have been. His small children had found him unconscious--having lost control of his bladder and bowels, and they were the ones who called 911. I still pray that he somehow was able to get a heart transplant, the only way to extend his life long enough to see those little ones grow up.
You know all that stuff you hear about the dangers of smoking? It's not just lung cancer, but serious heart problems and circulatory problems that result. Did you know that smoking can increase the plaque that builds up in your arteries and lead to heart attacks and stroke? It broke my own heart once to see a patient who was paralyzed from a stroke, lying motionless in a hospital bed. Her eyes responded to sound, but her body could not move, and she could not speak.
Most of us are fighting obesity, some for the sake of appearance and others for the sake of health. Two of my siblings had heart attacks in their forties, and, at the time, it shook me up enough to lose the 125 extra pounds I had been carrying my adult life. It's amazing how easy it is to lose the motivation of fear and to slack off about exercise and healthy eating. A decision of "just this once" can turn right back into an unhealthy lifestyle before you know it. I speak from experience.
I wish everyone could take a look at their own insides and see the sometimes frightening realities that lurk just beneath the surface. Is that fatty meal really worth the piece of plaque that may break off and go straight to the brain, landing you paralyzed for the rest of your life? Is that pack of cigarettes so good that it's worth the risk of leaving your children without you to guide them to adulthood? Is throwing caution to the wind and not taking your diabetes medicine, exercising, and controlling your diet worth losing your legs and your eyesight?
Seeing these realities has hit me much harder than reading about them. I'm writing this blog to remind myself that while life may look like a roll of the dice, we do determine much of our luck by the choices we make along the way. Of course, we all hear of the rare 90-year-old who smoked a pack a day and beat the odds. But much more typical are the innumerable stories of regular folks who thought nothing bad could happen to them.
Monday, February 23, 2009
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
When I first started listening to the 24-volume audio set of the book, JOHN ADAMS, I thought to myself, I'll never finish this. It's just too historical.
But since it was a Christmas gift and my favorite NPR station was in the midst of an interminable fund-raiser, I recently decided to give old John a whirl.
Gradually, I found myself lured into this 18th century patriot's world: his love for his wife, his personal vanity, his disappointment in his ne'er-do-well alcoholic son, his hurt over the betrayal of friends he trusted, his awareness of his own aging, his resolve to become more disciplined in his studies and exericise, his concern about finances, his determination to make a mark on the world, his desire to be a positive part of the pages of history.
With only four more cds to go, I am already missing John Adams, a President I knew little about before my extended visit with him on my commutes to and from school, hospital, and work.
I am struck by the similarties between his time and ours-- the corruption and ego that permeates government, idealism that is struck down by the punishing weight of reality and inertia.
While we fancy ourselves quite different from our forebears, at the core so much of being human is the same ol' stuff.
One of my favorite quotations is, "History is not destiny." But with the comparisons that exist between our time and Adams', I am inclined to question that truth.
For history NOT to be destiny, we must employ an action verb. Unless, we muster our resolve, formulate a plan of action, and stick to our goals, I see that we probably ARE destined to repeat history. Changing destiny on any level requires action and commitment, and it is a fallacy to assume otherwise.
If we keep the same eating habits that led to our parents' obesity, we will keep the same obesity and harmful effects to our health. If we maintain the same prejudices our ancestors lived by, we will propagate the discord that exists in our society and our world. If we don't change, we doom our children to the same destiny we inherited.
One of the misfortunes of middle age is the perception and reality that there is little time left to do all that must be done to make a difference.
The moment to act is now. Destiny is fast approaching.
Monday, February 16, 2009
NO MORE PENCILS,
NO MORE BOOKS.
NO MORE TEACHERS'
When most of us finished school, we grabbed that diploma and mentally or physcially dumped at least one textbook in the garbage, intending never again to look at that heinous subject. You can go 50 years--or a lifetime--without thinking about a geometry theorem, an object of a preposition, or electrons and protons.
Many people approach weight loss the same way: Reach the goal, "graduate," never have to think about it again. Right.
The hardest part about reaching a weight loss goal is maintaining it. I can remember thinking, "Oh it won't be hard for me because I can't imagine not exercising every day for an hour, and I definitely would NEVER GO back to my old eating habits. Nosiree.. I have CHANGED."
For everyone, life eventually interferes and tests the depth of one's resolve.
When I started back to school, my time constraints erased from my calendar the hour a day I had set aside for exercise. My constant companions were not my gym buddies, but rather other students and hospital workers whose days are brightened with any excuse for a celebration involving food.
I never abandoned my goals. But maintaining my nutrition and exercise habits has sometimes taken a back seat to other pressing demands. While 12 pounds doesn't seem like the end of the world after losing 125, my clothes are tighter, my resolve is weaker, and I feel less confident in every way. Notably, I have had several recent opportunities to talk to people who have expressed a desire to lose weight. In the past, I would have shared my success in an effort to help them and show them what is possible. Lately I just keep quiet. I guess I feel like I should be perfect in order to have something to offer.
Bottom line, I know that "If I keep on doing what I'm doing, I'll keep on getting what I'm getting." Bad habits, a lack of commitment to exercise, excuses for poor choices will definitely lead to decreased confidence, weight gain, ill health, less stamina, more regret.
It's time for me to nip this behavior in the bud. On May 11, I graduate from school with a degree and training that will help me create a whole new professional life. At that time, I want to be where I was physically and emotionally when I was on ELLEN a year ago.
I have 12 weeks to reach my goal of losing 12 pounds. That may be a bit ambitious, but I can give it my all. When I take my diploma this time, I'm hanging on to all I've learned, however difficult it was.
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