I had an amazing opportunity to attend a speaking engagement with the Dalai Lama about a year ago. Unfortunately, I chose not to attend because I had already committed to something else. Thankfully, one of my fellow fitness professionals did go and brought me back some literature and my now, very worn out, “seeds of compassion” bracelet.
Although the bracelet is slowly fraying away, I still hold the words and information close to me. I have them posted on a bulletin board in the studio and look at them frequently. Especially when things aren’t going the way I envisioned them or I just need a little reminder that life isn’t always problematic.
Life is full, unpredictable and what you make of it. A healthy life is one that balances life, work, play and pleasure and allows for the natural ebb and flow of day to day circumstances. Although the following words of the Dalai Lama were geared toward our interactions with children, I believe they apply to everyone at any point in their life. We all need to remember:
When we wake up to make a promise:
“With an open heart and joyful mind, I promise to practice compassion- to be kind to myself and to others and, especially, to be kind to every child whose life touches mine, from near or far, for today and always”
ALL DAY LONG REMEMBER TO:
Be Kind & Consistent
Part of living a healthy, compassionate life is to be fulfilled both physically and mentally. You may have amazing work ethic when it comes to staying fit, but lack compassion or the ability to let go of things that in the long run, can make you sick. I truly believe the 8 words above summarize it all and should be screamed out off of the rooftops for all to hear.
Think about it: Do you practice planting the seeds of compassion? Are you taking care of the physical and mental you? What is is that you need to change or do to make it happen?
In health and compassion- Amy
PS- one of my other all time favorite quotes: “Live, Laugh and Love!” My next tattoo is going to have this in it!!
Now that I have your attention I can relay some very important advice on a recent article that was published in Time magazine: Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin – TIME: http://tinyurl.com/m9l26h
About 10 years ago, I would have lost my mind and become enraged, angry and out of control over such an article being written. Thankfully, I have matured and can see both sides of the fence. Although, I couldn’t disagree more with the article and some of its facts, I can appreciate the argument and do understand where some of the misinterpreted information may be coming from.
Our fitness industry is full of information that sometimes gets misconstrued in the eyes of the consumer- like the writer of the aforementioned article. Hell, if we were able to convince everyone what we know works, there wouldn’t be diet books, weight loss programs or for that matter very much need for our services because everybody would be on the same page. We, the fitness industry, are still trying to convey our message to those who will listen, and articles like this do not help us with our mission.
Listen to me: EXERCISE DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT!!!!! It burns calories, improves cardiovascular function, decreases risks of developing certain diseases, improves your ability to live a long and prosperous life, helps with stress relief, improves cognitive function (see TIME article for this one supporter of exercise), increases bone density and muscle tissue, plus just feels amazing if you let it into your life.
Exercise comes in many forms and is appropriate for any person, at any level, of any gender, race or physical capacity. The fitness industry has options for everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone gets put into the proper programming for their ability, motivation levels or fitness goals. A professional fitness trainer will take all of this into account and provide proper training, education and motivation for each of their clients.
Additionally, diet, which seems to be the main topic of discussion in this article, can account for more than 50% of the consumer’s results. Yes, exercise may invoke a hunger response, but a knowledgeable consumer will know better than to shove more than their needed daily calories into their mouths or indulge in crappy, non-nutrient dense foods post exercise.
It’s always been about balance: eat more, weigh more, eat less, weigh less. Can you eat less and lose weight without exercise? Yes, of course. Will your muscle’s atrophy (shrink in size and make you look like a saggy, bag of bones with a flat ass) by dieting alone without exercise? Yes, of course. Not to mention missing out on the wonderful side effects of regular exercise. ACSM, AHA and all the leading organization tout regular workouts on most days of the week for a reason. It works!
Bottom line: you need to move your mass, eat a balanced, healthy diet that supports your daily efforts and works within your current fitness abilities and motivational efforts. I’m sorry many people don’t enjoy exercise or moving their body parts. I’m also sorry that society has created drive thrus, remote controls, sedentary jobs, video games, microwaves, cable TV and all the other indulgent activities we all take advantage of.
This article was just a giant excuse in my opinion. Yet another reason for consumers to not exercise or place blame on it being too hard and/or not effective. Weight loss is 50% effort, 50% diet and 100% percent commitment. Yes, that is 150%. Genetics, lifestyle and motivational levels will effect your percentages. I’m sorry you weren’t blessed with mile-long legs, a cute button nose and all the things your genetics didn’t give you. What are you willing to do, what can you do and what should you do? Three important questions to ask before you start your weight loss journey.
Don’t let this article discourage your exercise efforts, personal training sessions or investments in your health. Exercise is a tried and true method for weight loss and improved physical capacity. Exercise does not make you fat rather, it’s the other pieces of effort that do.
PS- The worst part of this article is the piece of fat turning into muscle..this is not possible. Muscle tissue grows with specific exercise, and fat tissue shrinks as we burn off extra calories, therefore body composition changes. We can’t morph tissues- although that would be cool!!
PPS- If execise made you fat then how do you explain all the fitness professionals who walk the talk?
AAHH stress. A five letter word we could all use a little less of sometimes in our lives. I’ve had my share of it this summer and thought it was more than appropriate to share these funny, little tips that came from an unlikely source. My grandmother recently moved into a retirement community and these commandments just happened to be part of their August newsletter.
Funny thing is, the moving of my grandmother along with her illness and other incredible tidbits that went along with it are the same reasons I’ve had such a challenging (stressful) summer. Ironic and amazing all at the same time. I consider this a sign of a valuable lesson that I’m being taught in my life, not to mention the valuable information I get to pass along. So here you go:
The 10 commandments for Reducing Stress:
1. Thou shalt not be perfect, or even try to be
2. Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people
3. Thou shalt sometimes leave things undone that ought to be done
4. Thou shalt not spread thyself to thinly
5. Thou shalt learn to say no
6. Thou shalt schedule time for thyself and for thy supportive network
7. Thou shalt switch off and do nothing regularly
8. Thou shalt be boring, untidy, inelegant and unattractive at times
9. Thou shalt not even feel guilty
10. Especially, though shalt not be thine own worst enemy, but thine own best friend
These are all excellent tips to help remind us that life is too complicated, full and ridiculous at times. We must learn to let go of some things in order to get other things done, but still take care of ourselves and be healthy. Couldn’t have said it better myself..well, I would have put in the bit that exercise is a proven stress reducer, too.
Here’s to a stress-free, fun-filled, energetic and playful rest of your summer!
PS- I’m an expert at 3 (more like too distracted), love to indulge in 6, need to work on 10 and resonate with number 8 from time to time. How about you?