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"I am NOT a runner!" I spoke these words emphatically as I signed up for a Zilch to 5k class in 2013. My body's structural alignment isn't exactly straightforward. Medical professionals say things like, "Hmm, interesting." Something one might expect with interpretive art or exploring new cultures. I exercised: aerobics, dance, walking, etc., but running had been somewhat uncomfortable. An admittedly small, part of me wondered: Was I missing the "joy" of a morning run or the runner's high?
I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of cleaning ... you know, the break-out-the-bottles-of-stinky-chemicals kind of cleaning where my hands smell nasty even after washing and the air is filled with chemical scents. For me, "pine fresh" doesn't say "clean," it chokes out "I can't breathe!" and a headache to boot. Not to mention how much of the residue remains on my hands when cooking and eating.
Last November I had the privilege of dog-sitting for my beloved fuzzy cousin, Moose, the weekend before he was released from this world due to kidney failure. Moose, an 11-year-old yellow Lab, had not eaten the previous few days. He seemed happy and present, but his moving was slow and mopey. I took him and his brother, Jack, outside in the morning to exercise Jack with a game of fetch. Moose clearly wasn't up to it, but I brought a ball out for him to play his game of "roll ball in snow, eat ice off ball." This was very important pastime.
Like many others, I've never had great success in keeping New Year's resolutions. I love the idea: starting fresh, new energy, new commitment. But then, something happens, I didn't come through as I had planned and they fell to the wayside. I was struck with clarity about this while reading the book "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. In her year-long quest to find out what makes her happy and how to increase her happiness, Rubin writes about how the expectations with goals and resolutions are different. That sometimes the important distinctions get lost.
Here you are, heading straight into the holiday season ... with your brand new diagnosis of celiac disease? Food sensitivity? Or a diet shift? Navigating the myriad of food choices at the forthcoming events and finding foods safe for you? Feel daunting? I encourage you to set aside time to consider holiday events and plan ahead. Potluck? Not only bring a dish that is safe for you, but food you can get excited about and look forward to eating. That way, if there isn't much that you know is safe, you have a fall-back.
Who hasn't had the moment at the checkout counter when you feel a weird pang of discomfort? "Do I really even like or want this item?" The food industry has a lot invested in bending us to their will, $33 billion spent on marketing to win our "stomach share." Yes, that's a real food industry term. Their methods become our consequences to bear. This can have real effects on our habits and health.
Ahh, the pffft ... the cold against your fingers, the cool spray of the mist, the liquid pouring over ice. No, this isn't a winter's day at Lake Superior. This is the mouthwatering sound of a soda can opening. Hard to resist. If you were offered a drink described as 12 teaspoons of sugar, some chemicals, vegetable oil and yellow No. 5 in soda water, you might turn it down. Doesn't sound very appetizing and wow, is that a lot of sugar! Dress it up in a can with a pretty label, call it Mountain Dew and that changes the game!
"Diabetes." For some, an overused buzzword. For those managing it or working to keep it at bay, the response can be quite visceral. "Prediabetes." A term used more frequently lately. For some, this diagnosis can be a blessing in disguise. What is prediabetes?
"What you think of me is none of my business." This statement doesn't always speak to me. However there is a setting where adopting it not only benefits our individual mental health but also our collective well-being. The fear of being judged when one joins a gym, tries a class or a new type of movement can be a significant and a real barrier to moving forward with the desire to improve physical fitness, when one feels he or she doesn't belong.
If the thought of a long, sweaty workout routine is your idea of hell, you don't have the time, you haven't found a sport that fits, or, you are like me and your body has tossed in a few obstacles just to keep things interesting ... read on.