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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Be resolute...

Well here we are, January is right around the corner. You know what that means. Yep, time to make your resolutions. Don't want to be left out of the talk on Jan KNOW everyone will be talking about their resolutions, so you'd better decide now what yours will be. I am sincerely hoping you read that with the amount of sarcasm I was typing it with...

I know it has been an entire year (well almost) and many of you may have forgotten MY New Year's Resolution so I thought I would re-post it for you.  Happy reading..and happy New Year!


New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone!!! My hope is that it will be your happiest and healthiest one yet!

One key to making this happen...NO MORE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!!!!!! Yes, you read that right.  Stop making them!!! I made one years ago and have stuck with it ever resolution was to never make one again.  "But Michelle", you are thinking "how else will I reach my goals?"
Well, I didn't say that you couldn't or shouldn't make changes and aim for your goals, but it is absurd to think that just because it it January 1 (or a Monday or any other arbitrary day) you will somehow magically stick with those changes.  Why do you think that only 10% of the people that make resolutions actually stick to them?? Because they were the only ones READY to make the changes!!!! The fact is, you will stick to them when you are READY.  So if you feel you are ready to do it today, well then do it. If you felt you were motivated and ready on December 27th, then you should have started it then...and not waited until may have lost that spark of motivation and deep desire to attain your goal.  If you are ready 2 months from now well do it then.  My point? Making resolutions when you are not ready to embrace them is a sure fire recipe for disaster and just plain stupid.  Not only will you fail to stick with the plan, you will be much less likely to attempt that (or any other) change in the future.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yes you CAN!

Cashier: "I wish I could eat this healthy."
Me: "You can."
Cashier: "I know."
Me: "Well..."
Cashier: "I usually just eat things I can grab fast."
Me (with a puzzled look as she is scanning my raw vegetables): "You can grab these fast."
Cashier: "My 2 month old makes it hard for me."
Me: nothing..just a smile

Well, what was I supposed to say? She had all of her excuses lined up already.  Raw veggies, doesn't get much quicker than that. Blaming someone else for your eating habits gives away your power of choice.  You are at their mercy, you eat what they tell you to eat, or what they allow you to eat.  No wonder she can't eat the way she wants.
Any time you say that someone else 'makes' you do something, or any time you name someone else as a 'reason' why you are doing something or why you cannot do something, you are giving away YOUR power.  In your head you are just trying to escape the blame (really the responsibility) for the situation in which you find yourself.   Whether you realize it or not, you do not believe you have the power to make the choice. Subsequently, you never WILL make that choice.  It is time to realize this and take full responsibility for where you are as well as for where you are going.  YOU are the only one that puts food into your mouth. YOU are responsible for your choices and actions, and therefore the results of your actions as well.

 More than once I have heard people discussing this diet or that diet and commenting that "anyone can do it". Citing that it isn't restrictive and you can eat anything you want.  Hmmmm...yes anyone CAN do that.  In fact, most people are doing that NOW. That would be why the majority of the US population is either over weight or obese.  More than 66% of our population falls into this category. Here's a hint: if the majority of people are following a certain 'diet', it isn't working.  It is making them fat, so step away and do it quickly.  The other part of the 'diet anyone can do' mind set that frustrates me is this--why would someone feel that eating healthy is hard, or something that not everyone can do?? That mindset is exactly what is keeping people from eating healthy.  Apparently choosing healthy foods is something reserved for only a select few.

Here are two rules for being healthy. Learn them and live them.
1. YOU are responsible for what goes into your mouth, no one else.
2. No, you CANNOT eat whatever you want (no matter what that infomercial tells you).

Pretty simple, right? The sooner you own the fact that YOU are the one that got you where you are now, that YOU are the one that keeps you from getting where you want to go, the sooner YOU can get yourself where you want to be.  You are your worst enemy or your best asset, the choice is yours.  Damn, there is that word again 'choice'.  Own the choice, own the result.

No, you cannot eat whatever you want.  Well, ok technically you can, but that will not help you reach your goals.  Well, unless your goals are to fall somewhere in between so-so healthy and completely unhealthy.  If you are looking for optimal health then it is time that you just face the facts.  Eating whatever you want is not the way to go. Look at it like this: everything you ingest becomes a part of you. A part of each and every cell in your body. If your goal is optimal health choose optimal foods.  Ahhh, that sneaky word again. Everything comes back to choice.  Choice and responsibility.  Own them.  You CAN eat healthy, you can BE healthy, you CAN reach your goals.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Can the Bulldog Be Saved?" the cover of the November 27, 2011 The New York Times Magazine questions.  As a lover of Bullys as well as the mother of one, my interest was piqued.  Well, that and the fact that the picture of the sweet baby on the cover looked just like my Bartholomew. I peeled the pages open to find the article and devoured it.

The gist is this..bulldogs have changed over the years. Writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis interviewed some who cite breeding practices to be at fault for the move from taller, leaner more athletic bodied dogs to shorter, heavier less agile ones. In an attempt to create a certain aesthetic, health may have been compromised. The article cites this as the reason for many problems afflicting the breed- heart disease, respiratory issues, birthing/reproductive difficulties, abnormal tooth placement, thyroid issues, skin allergies, digestive disorders, cherry eye, dry eye, hip, elbow and knee issues as well as altered gait.  Some see these health issues as a threat to the longevity of the breed. Can we 'save' the Bulldog from this? Sources cited in the article do believe that the Bulldog can be saved but only if new standards are set and criterion put in place to select for taller, leaner, healthier dogs.

 As I am reading this I actually started to laugh, yes laugh. I couldn't help but to see the parallel between the bulldog and the human.  Both were leaner and healthier not all that long ago.  Both continue to pass on traits that could compromise the health and well being of the entire line.  I'm laughing because for SOME REASON this is something we should be soooo worried about for the bulldog, but NOT the human??? WHAT??!!!! PETA and veterinarians alike are pushing for the American Kennel Club and Bulldog Club of America to change judging standards to favor the physique of a healthier, more resilient dog. They see this as a better representation of the breed, the ideal, if you will.

I am all for making anything healthier, that is for sure but why not start with ourselves? Why must we be so concerned about dogs and have so little reverence for humans? When a dog's health and longevity is compromised we do something about it, yet when our own health and longevity is compromised we just change the standards so we don't look so bad.  WHAT?!

Instead of looking deeper in to this situation we have chosen to modify our definition of what is normal or healthy for humans..but not for dogs? Why does this make sense? Oh yeah, that's right- IT DOESN'T!!!!! Clothing companies have modified the definition of their sizes.  I KNOW I am not smaller than I was in high school, but for some reason I wear sizes that are much smaller than I did back then.  All of this in an effort to keep people from feeling bad about themselves.  Changing the size of airplane, movie theater and car seats as well? Yep, wouldn't want anyone to have to squeeze in too much.  If we were bulldogs PETA would argue that we are endangering our line and that we should do something to stop moving further in the direction of total demise. Denizet-Lewis says:
"Jemima Harrison, the director of "Pedigree Dogs Exposed," told me it is possible to produce a healthier phenotype in most breeds pretty quickly (in three to four generations). ..."If breeders were willing to breed dogs with fewer exaggerated characteristics and judges in the show ring began rewarding those dogs, change could happen."

So, might it also be possible to change the direction of the human population? I certainly think so, but it will NOT happen on accident.  Continuing in the manner in which we have will find us in the same place as the bulldog. Just as the ideal bulldog may be redefined, we too must redefine the ideal human.  When I say 'ideal', NO I am not talking the Hitler-esque 'ideal'.  I am talking about a healthy individual.  Healthy physically and mentally.  We are responsible for the continuation of a healthy human population.  Today is the first step..commit to making a change for the better.  Lead by example for your family and friends.  Be the shining light of truth regarding nutrition and exercise. If we commit to starting NOW we can begin to undo our own demise.  If not, well...I don't want to go there.

Someone once told me that when you point your finger at something, you have 3 fingers pointing back at you. Let's stop pointing our finger at everything else and talking about what is wrong with IT, let's look at the 3 fingers pointing back at us and let's start with what is wrong with US!