Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Physical Health - Say No to Fad Diets

As I age I find myself more concerned about my health. To prove this point, a small group of 3 women, two of which with children my exact age and one who is closer to my age, were standing behind me in church before the service began talking about their fad diets and how much they lost or wanted to lose and what health reasons they had for doing so. I thought to myself, "Is this going to be me in 20 more years when my children are may age now?" and I also thought, "Will I be this concerned about my body in 20 years?"

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The answer is No and Yes.

No, in 20 years, as long as I take care to educate and train myself, I won't be obsessed with fad diets and X-number-of-day programs. I don't believe those are healthy for you.Image result for fad diets not healthy
Image result for fad diets not healthy


Yes, I will be just as concerned about my physical health as I should be. I want to be here for another 20 years. I want to be healthy and active for another 20 years. I want young adults to look up to me the way I look up to them and ask, what's your secret?

I won't say that I tried every fad diet known to man.

There is no secret. It's that I eat right all the time, not for some X-Number-Of-Days and I take my vitamins, a multivitamin every day, not some drops you add to water for so many days, and I exercise in ways I find fun.

In 20 years I probably won't have this blog, but I hopefully will have my body. Healthy choices start now.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mental Health - Art of Shawn Coss

While May is the official Mental Health Month, I saw this post (a few months late) and had to share it.

I find art to be a beautiful and dramatic form of expressing feelings there are no words for. When it comes to mental health, art is a great way to share what's going on up there.

A friend shared this art on their facebook timeline, and perhaps you have seen it because it has 3.1million views, but Shawn Coss illustrated a few mental illnesses for Inktober and it speaks to people.
       
Every year thousands of artists get involved with Inktober, where for 31 days of October, you ink a drawing for each day.
I decided to go off the usual prompt and focus on mental illnesses and disorders.
Major Depressive Disorder

I'm sharing the depression one because it shows the fight it takes to just get up when you feel like you are being dragged down.

Bipolar Disorder

And also the bipolar one, because I have several friends who are afflicted with this.

Go HERE to see the rest. Go to his facebook page and follow him if you want to see more of his work.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Forgiveness

Image result for missing puzzle piece

I've known a piece of the puzzle was missing for a while.

When these words were spoken, they hit me in the heart. They even left me with an action step.

"Just as we exercise and eat well for the health of our body, we practice forgiveness for the health of our soul."
Three things I have to say.

1. Forgiving yourself is the first step to loving yourself and having happiness.Image result for forgiveness

Oh man. This one is tough. Not forgiving yourself is a surefire way to fall back into your old ways, your old hurts, your old habits. I've been dealing with a cycle of depression and pain, and while it is not clinically bad, at the heart of it is this inability to forgive myself for the hurt I caused myself and for the guilt. I chose to stay in a state of wallowing in heartache. I did not accept the truth. I chose to blame others for my feelings. That doesn't make any sense! And it doesn't solve any problems. The answer is Forgiveness.


2. Just as there are no levels of love, there are no levels of forgiveness. It's a sliding scale.

I have done research on the types of love. The problem all researchers get into is how to define and classify love. They break things down into 3-6 categories, then when two of them interact, they call that another form of love. It's all true and well and good, but just as the eyes can see variations in colors into the millions, so love feels and is different in variations outside of those combinations. There are more intense colors and more intense feelings of connectedness than can be classified.

3. You have to PRACTICE.

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Love in a marriage is hard to maintain. You have to work at it. That's because it is beyond the emotional highs that got you there. The love changes. It becomes something more comfortable and less exciting. Forgiveness requires that you practice it to do it. It is beyond the emotional lows that got you there. Forgiveness is more than the quick "I'm sorry" that slips out when you break someone's prized vase. It requires that you choose to actively not remember, yet still learn from it. It requires that you not hold something over another. You let it go. Don't hold grudges.

That being said, I find it easier to forgive others than myself. It's easier when the hurt you feel is caused by some small infraction.
Image result for forgiveness

The same holds true for yourself.

Never are my students more mad than when they are mad at themselves. That disappointment shatters your world. The fact that you are less than you thought you were, when your self-esteem crumbles, it breaks you. But you have to forgive yourself. Sometimes that means talking to others that you were angry at. You might see the folly of your feelings.

So what's my action step?

Well, I need to stop blaming my feelings on a sweet, innocent person who has no idea that I am projecting my feelings onto them. See, I assume they would feel and react as I would if our roles were reversed. I admit that I would act terribly and feel some negative things. But without asking or talking to them, I'm left with speculation and assumption. That's foolish. People are all different. I might find it easier to forgive myself if I am absolved from my thoughts that this other person would react negatively to me.

Your action step is to Extend Forgiveness, not when you feel like it, or when you feel like they deserve it, or even wait until they ask for it. Extend it now!