I ran a 3-mile track run smack in the middle of a ridiculously hectic and scorching hot day. The whole run I thought, “If I didn’t have this half-marathon to train for, would I be running right now?” My answer was no. I really love running, but in favor of my training, I had to forgo a yoga class and a swim this week. I also had a super crunchy week since it was short to begin with. Top that with harp lessons, girls night, YL, and friend’s birthday party gone awry (the incident involved a car, a broken paddle, a ferry-boat, and super sunburned husband). Not to mention, I accidentally ate something dairy related and paid the consequences for two days.
You don’t have to run 13 miles to be healthy
Because my time is precious, I typically pick a small variety of blissful fun throughout the week that proportionately balances mental, physical, and spiritual health. This usually means exactly what my week entailed, minus the crunch factor and the sweaty stress run. This is because I do not believe that picking a sport will make you healthier, happier, or more hard-core. In fact, as you might have figured out:
- Limiting your diet will make you want what you can’t have
- Making a training plan will make you not want to train
And yet those are the first two things everyone does when they decide to get healthy: They say they want to eat better and exercise. This winds up being counter-intuitive to the actual bigger picture of health. I believe that the priority should be: I want to be healthy and happy. Then the rest will follow. If the priority is: I want to run a marathon, or lose 40 pounds, you could potentially loose the big picture of why you want to accomplish those goals in the first place.
The Roseto Effect: Happy & Healthy
Case in point: The Roseto Effect. Many books have talked about this small town in Pennsylvania that appears to be the healthiest place on earth. The town is virtually free of disease, boasts longevity, and people are ridiculously happy and content with life despite the fact that they smoke and work at the local quarry. Where does the fountain of youth lie? Community. Psychologists spent years researching the town trying to find the secrets to their health. Community was the puzzle piece that made it all work. People simply spent time together!
So I brought this back to my own life this week. I’m going to run this half-marathon, but I’m not going to lose sight of why I’m doing it: because I want to travel to Vancouver with my sister, brother-in-law, and husband (and I’m slightly obsessed with Lululemon). Ahhh yeah, that’s going to be a blast!
By the end of my stress run- I decided to devote the rest of the weekend to community. We hung out with friends, gossiped with the neighbors, and helped out with local chores. I weeded the yard, cleaned the house, purged our abode of all unnecessary items, did a few Goodwill runs, and brought us back to simple. A clean house, a well made dinner, a bottle of wine, and a husband who enjoys a hard day’s work just as I do. We are so blessed to have a life like this!!
Training: Oh! By the way- I did time my mile: 8:30. Better than I thought! I also ran 3-miles in 32:14. Not too shabby! And of course I did yoga: Made it to one blissful sesh with Susan this week. Gotta love her! How are you guys doing with your training?Read More
Ahhh I love so much when reoccurring themes pop up in my life. I popped onto my computer last night to find that two of my favorite blogs were on the same topic- and its one I needed desperately to hear. If I told you to simply BE GRATEFUL, you probably wouldn’t give it a second thought. Absent-mindedly you’d think, yeah I know. That’s what I thought too!
Listening is new to me right now. I’ve heard the same things over and over again without absorbing them. It’s like when you read a full-page of your book only to realize you didn’t actually comprehend it. That’s what I’ve been doing with gratefulness. Earlier in the week I listened to a podcast about it, considered buying a book about it at Barnes and Noble, in fact, all the time I think about how grateful I am for my life! Yet it wasn’t until last night that it all clicked into place. I simply needed perspective.
Smile with your Heart- a blog by an adventurous nurse with awesome zeal, posted an incredibly blunt article chronicling the emotions behind her recent trip to Haiti. Having seen true hope in the face of despair, she no longer has it in herself to feel sorry for a man who is impatient with airport security. YET- how many times have I been that airport security man? (ok woman, but you get my drift). How many times have I near about cried because my hot chocolate fell off my car as I pulled out of my driveway? How many times have I felt upset or troubled because a food product was manufactured alongside gluten (which I’m allergic to)? Talk about first world problems! (LITERALLY!).
Now this morning, I find that my awesome friend and co-Young Life leader wrote a post about being grateful while writing an excruciating term paper! Talk about hammering the point in!! (I GOT IT!! Thanks for the message!). Did you ever see the movie Bruce Almighty? I’ve always related to the moment when he is crying out for a sign and a truck full of signs pulls in front of him. He still doesn’t get it. Yep that’s me! Once again it all comes back to listening. It’s time to crack my ears open and stop being the one to chatter. Apparently big things are in the works here. I’m all ears!!
So how to be more grateful? Appreciate what I have, which is A LOT! I love my job, which is actually not very common. My husband travels quite a bit, which affords me time for all my Young Lifers. I used clean water in my tea this morning, which many countries don’t even have access to. I put a shirt on this morning that I haven’t even worn before while many people only have one (if that). I brushed my teeth this morning with fluoride hardly realizing that without that my teeth would have rotted out before the age of 18. There are so many large and itty-bitty things that I am thankful for, and remembering all of those things can make a HUGE difference! Afterall, some of the most desolate and poverty ridden countries are full of some of the most grateful and hopeful people on earth. Who am I to not feel the same way despite having so much?
It’s a beautiful life, and I plan on living and loving every second of it!Read More
An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body―General George S. Patton
I wanted to share with you a very well written blog (and a great website as well!). In this blog by Daniel Chidiac he really gets at the heart of the real health and happiness: Your body should be loved for the highly technical machine it is. It deserves respect for housing the only thing that is ever permanent: your soul.
Thanks Daniel for an excellent blog! Such a good reminder that we should be searching to feel good, not weigh less.Read More
I hit a wall. But that is what lead me here, to a place where I finally have answers that will hopefully shed light on problems I’ve seen faced by sooooo many people! And there ARE answers! People with IBS, Crohn’s, Celiac, or the perpetually undiagnosed CAN find out what is ailing them and make positive changes with their life! All it takes is a little bit of info and some positive life changes!
I have struggled with digestive issues on and off for the past couple of years. When “on”, I could easily slide myself into a stress funk (which makes it even worse)! I would think, I have appendicitis! A tumor! Something had to be seriously wrong judging by the intense stomach pain I felt. Only cuddling up in bed could provide me any relief. Over time I have researched and researched and researched to try to get to the bottom of what is causing my pain. After a three year struggle to get to the bottom of it, I finally found good news. In other words, we aren’t all doomed.
What the Experts Say (and can we believe them??)
After dealing with bouts of colon pain I decided I wanted to get to the bottom of it and try to rid it once and for all. I started with a few doc visits. After a lot of money and time, here’s what they had to tell me: Doctor number 1 tested me for Celiac (negative) and said I might be lactose or gluten intolerant. Doctor number 2 laughed it off as IBS (no cure, you’ll have it till you are 50-sorry!). I went to an Ayurveda Practitioner who chalked it up to stress as well as diet factors such as not enough fiber, and too much cheese and bread (common in the west). Lastly, I saw a Clairvoyant who told me that she could see that I was holding long-term trauma in my stomach. Alrighty, soooo stress, food intolerances, diet, and a doomed future…. I’m going to need more information.
Thus began my research online. On the web, there are thousands of conflicting sites that all claim to know how to solve digestive ailments. Google IBS and you will find advocates who say a Paleo diet is the true solution, or that the Mediterranean Diet is the cure. Some say low-fat, some say high-fiber; some say good fats, high-omega 3′s, low-carb or no carb. There are “experts” who say avoid fried foods, sugar, wheat, milk, and pretty much every other food under the sun. Exercise, take supplements, probiotics, enzymes, laxatives! Drink raw milk, no milk, no dairy. No gluten or no grains period! What advice are we supposed to follow? It seems that these “experts” aren’t any more knowledgeable than the general public! If we are to follow all of the advice that’s out there we would be on a water and vegetable only diet and a heavy load of supplements that will contradict each other! (Trust me, that is not the answer).
The Good News
After 3 years of complete agony, and the millionth google search about what my symptoms could possibly mean, I stumbled upon an excellent article in Natural Health Magazine. The article talks about food sensitivities, and although I have tried to eliminate items from my diet before without success, it gave an excellent piece of advice: get tested. After the author tested his mother for food sensitivities and discovered she reacted strongly to egg, removing that element from her diet gave her a whole new life.
I started looking up different means of testing, when I found a true gem. The IBS Treatment Center in Seattle. I read every testimonial on the site and found a ton of people EXACTLY like me, with the same symptoms, the same “life threatening” feeling that I was constantly feeling!!!! Empowered, I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Wangen and flew up to Seattle to see him. After a blood and stool/DNA test, I received my results this week. Like many before me I found some answers! Food intolerances.
I cannot even describe to you the relief! Gluten, Dairy, & Eggs (“The Big Three” as they are called) are my culprit. I eat all three of these things daily! Two days ago I revamped my kitchen, planned menus and am on my way to a new life! A life where I will be able to run, do yoga, go for hikes! I can’t wait to see the results from my new diet and hope to be pain-free in no time! I will let you know my results as I hit the 1 and 2 month marks. (about how long it takes for your digestion system to repair itself after the poison’s are removed). There will be some recovery ahead, but at least there are finally answers! I hope that my answers can be of some help to others going through the pain of discovering what ails them. It is a hard process, but there ARE ANSWERS! I promise!
I would be happy to talk with anyone that finds themselves in the same scenario! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good Luck! and Good Health!Read More
I just received a great article recommendation from a fellow CrossFitter. Check out this article on the importance of being self-compassionate: “Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges”. Remember, the most important thing you can do for your health, is to love yourself.Read More