Archives for March 2016

Has listening to the “experts” confused us right into being overweight and out of shape?

Just when you thought it was safe to cook a healthy meal “someone” decides for us that we are doing it all wrong.   I sure wish this “someone” or the so called “experts” would make up their minds or maybe we just need to stop listening and trust our common sense instead.

Social media and the internet provides us with more than enough information about the latest diet trends and fads.  There are scores of before and after photos, recipes, exercise plans and countless promises of weight loss and tight abs.

There is so much information out there that it is paralyzing.  It’s like putting a child in the middle of a giant toy store and telling them to pick one thing.

Cue major meltdown.

Yup..I feel like this alot…

 

They changed the rules AGAIN???

Despite all the knowledge being passed out and research being done  we are still facing an epidemic of obesity and inactivity.

What is the answer?  

I think it is different for everyone.  One size fits all doesn’t work here ( actually it doesn’t work anywhere).  We all have different lifestyles, different needs, picky kids, allergies, varying budgets.  The one thing we all have is the ability to slow things down and listen to our own wisdom and what works best for us.

The best advice I ever heard in regards to eating came from author Michael Pollen who said:

Eat real food

Mostly green

Not a lot

If you can only do two out of three of this list then I would suggest you pick: Real food and not a lot.  The mostly green part would be great but take that to mean all veggies and fruits and it may be easier.

Learning from our past may be the best new rule

I  noticed something very interesting when  I was looking at some old group photos of my grade school classes. (Yes this is when we walked to school in the snow, uphill…both ways. 🙂 )

Out of a class of 20-25 womans health children there were only one or two overweight children .

What has changed? 

  • We actually did walk to school or rode our bikes and believe it or not we also walked home for lunch and back.  We played on the playground while waiting to go inside in the morning and after lunch.  We had recess and we played after school.
  • We had a milk break in the morning but never snack
  • At home we never snacked after dinner. Ice cream was a treat
  • We never had soda in the house
  • Eating in the car was unheard of and fast food was rarely an option
  • We ate at the table. In the kitchen.  Always
  • The food was on the stove or the counter and not the table.  If you wanted seconds you actually had to get up and get it.  You either didn’t make the effort or got distracted by the family conversation and realized you didn’t want seconds after all.

So basically we got a lot of exercise and didn’t have food available all the time.  Treats were just that, treats. The kitchen was where we ate, no where else.

Pretty simple.  Don’t get me wrong there were things that needed improvement.  Adults routinely had quite a long cocktail hour every day, white bread was the norm and the amount  of butter used would make Paula Deen look like she used it sparingly.

I’m not about to wear a dress, high heels and my pearls everyday to cook much like they did in the fifties and sixties ( well Mrs. Cleaver did!) but I can reclaim some of the great habits and traditions from those times.  Sure is simple, easy and more importantly worked well because it sure looks like despite some great improvements we may have “new and improved” ourselves right into being overweight and out of shape.

All because we listened to those who keep changing the rules.

Every time I tie my shoes I remember some valuable life lessons!

Every once in awhile I get a life lesson that continues to serve me well beyond what is normal.  Or I should say what people consider normal.  Normal, I hope , has begun to have a wide range of meanings but that is another topic.

For me one of my early life lessons came when I learned to tie my shoes.  I was five and heading to kindergarten. My parents had successfully taught my older siblings the fine art of shoe tying so this should be easy.

Except that it wasn’t.

I just could not get the concept of making a bow, wrapping the other lace around it and pulling it through, tightening it and ending up with two bows.  Even at that age I thought whoever designed this process had made it way too complicated.  This might have been a predictor for my poor math skills but who knows.

I’m not sure if it was a requirement to learn this before I headed off to school but it seemed like it at the time.  Everyone kept telling me it was soooo easy.  That statement would be followed by a demonstration of how easy it was and my attempt to copy it which always ended up with untied shoes. ( obviously this was way before velcro shoes)

I don’t remember stressing about it.  I remember thinking that it was really no big deal but evidently my parents thought perhaps I would be considered “not bright” if I couldn’t even tie my own shoes at school.  In any case I was saved by an angel of a next door neighbor, Dorothy Drewes who offered to teach me “bunny ears”.  What 5 year old can resist “bunny ears”?  Five minutes later I was tying my own shoes with two bunny ears crossing over and making the bunny ( well his ear) jump through the bunny hole.

Made absolute sense to me.

Run quick before she ties our ears in a bow

Run quick before she ties our ears in a bow

So I learned early that there is almost always a different way to do things and sometimes it is easier.  Also it helps if you give it a fun name and make it fun.

Never thought a thing about it or bothered to learn the “right way” until I was in college and one of my friends saw me tie my shoes and she was appalled and amused that I was still doing it that way.  So I tried the “normal” way and gave up.  I had better things to do and could do it way faster xanax with bunny ears.

Even though it was done in good fun I didn’t like the teasing and I learned that people don’t like to see things done in new and different ways.

That didn’t stop me. I continued to do things in new and different ways that made people sometimes shake their heads and ironically  those things are now the norm.  I guess I was ahead of my time.

Fast forward to my children learning how to tie their shoes. Settling into my protective mother mode,  I refused to teach them bunny ears and made my husband teach our daughter “the right way”.  Since my hubby traveled quite a bit I had Sarah teach her sister and then Julie taught her brother.  I knew I couldn’t save them from being teased for something or other at some time in their life but it was NOT going to be about how they tied their shoes.

That may have been a mistake ( teaching them the “right way”) because a little later I realized the real life lesson was: Be unique, be who you are and love yourself for it and anyone who doesn’t like it can take a hike.

So with a tiny bit of remorse and wistfulness, I wish I had taught my kids to tie bunny ears..it could now be “our” thing.  All my children are now rolling their eyes and thinking “seriously Mom”?child-542146_1280

As I coach women to “Kick Ass as they age”  I think back to those “bunny ears” and understand ( and see it often) the many different ways for each of us to kick ass in our own way.  There is no “right” way to do it.  Some of us will be loud, some quieter.  There are those women who want to rediscover the “daredevil” and bungee jump or skydive or get a tattoo and others will want to write a book, learn a language or even go back to school.

Being healthy isn’t  all about eating and exercise.  A big portion is feeding our spirit with what makes us come alive and not giving a hoot what somebody else might think.  It’s being active in every part of  our lives and forgetting what things are “suppose” to look like.

So go out and wrestle that rascally rabbit and tie his ears into a bow ( send photos)  Or just tie your shoes differently!

I would love to know what simple  event in your life keeps teaching you life lessons.

Now go out and be healthy today in every way!