THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT WE FEED OUR MIND

It is such a crazy world right now. Political and religious conflict. Racial and economic tension. Something changing all of the time to continue or grow the conflicts. It is a tough time for America, the world, and for people who desire a world of peace and cooperation. For those of us who desire to be happy on a daily basis, it can be a tough task to maintain happiness and peace in a world of conflict. And as we know, happiness is healthy. Just as what we eat and put into our body matters, what we put into our mind also matters. I personally struggle and have struggled with depression since childhood. I have learned through much suffering that what I put into my mind first thing in the morning and throughout the day really matters to my daily happiness. First thing in the morning when I feed myself negative things like world conflicts, personal battles, past wrongs, or future worries I struggle all day with sadness, anxiety, anger, lack of clarity in my mind, and conflicts. I also tend to binge eat, become unproductive with my time, and consumed with self-pity. I can go so many directions based on what I watch, listen to, read, or feed myself with self-talk.

Intentional Feeding of The Mind

I had a close friend ask me once why I had quit exercising like I once did. Since I own a gym and design exercise programs, the importance of getting enough exercise is paramount to me. The answer I gave my friend was that I was too depressed and lacked the energy to exercise. And it was true because that is what I fed my mind with my own self-conversation. When this happens to most of us, me included, it is an autopilot action and not intentional. And that is the key to managing the things we put into our mind; it has to be intentional. Like finances, business operations, weight loss programs, and addiction recovery, the way we manage what we put into our mind through media and self-talk HAS to be intentional. If we operate with reactionary auto-pilot behavior, our chances of struggle grow. If we plan what we are going to read first thing in the morning, how we are going to manage negative self-talk in our work day, what we listen to in the car, and how we are going to spend our free mind time after work, our chances of being happy, fulfilled, and healthy also grow. Before going to bed each night, plan on how you will begin the day tomorrow with things that will feed your mind positive food. I currently start each day with the 20th anniversary edition of Chicken Soup For The Soul, and The Bible. Both have positive messages and reading helps to engage and activate my brain which helps me with clarity. I spend 10-15 minutes or so reading (5 minutes of each) before heading out for my walk/jog. During the exercise time, I try to intentionally focus on gratitude and things that are great in my life. For years I have had foot pain and this helps me to focus on the good and not the pain. On my way to work, I listen to audio instructional or motivational material that will help me to grow as a person, communicate clearer, improve my business, or focus my energy. Intentionally feed your mind good food.

Help Yourself To Some Good Food

I do not share with you how I begin the day because I am great. I am certainly no better than anyone who struggles in life. I have just studied and learned through experience how to manage my struggles differently. And I hope you do too. Intentionally feed yourself good mind food from the beginning of each day. Intentionally monitor when you are feeding yourself things that oppose your happiness and change that to the things that do. Intentionally take care of you. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

                        www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

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HOW TO BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE

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As most of you know, “Be Your Own Miracle” is what I end every blog with and what defines our mission. The words are self explanatory and has individual meaning to all of the people who choose miraculous over lifelong behaviors. Darla is a prime example of how one person’s health journey becomes a miraculous celebration of a strong and high functioning life. Darla was told to walk only short distances and to “take it easy” with exercise due to knee, back, and shoulder issues. She decided to take a different approach and to see how exercise could benefit her and not hurt her. She sought to lose weight, get stronger, and reduce pain. She struggled at first due to her age, metabolism, and being new to resistance training. And even though she ate perfectly, she did not lose one single pound for three months. Darla became her own miracle when she decided to NEVER give up on her goal of strength and great health. She kept fighting and slowly began to lose weight. She remained consistent and gained physical strength she had not experienced in years. Darla eventually lost about 70 lbs and is feeling much less pain than she has in years. She walks daily and still works as a teacher, helping adults new to this country read and write. And she did all of this after age 65. What does it mean to be your own miracle? Darla defines it and you can too. Please take care of your health and stay as strong as you can. There are many like Darla out there. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

STRESS, OPTIMISM, AND YOUR HEALTH

I work with many different types of people. Some are athletic and have a history of exercise while others are just beginning. Some eat healthy most of the time and others struggle to manage food and drink with boundaries. There is no question that exercise and what we eat are important to our health but that is just part of being an overall healthy person. There are so many factors that impact our health in a positive or negative way and we do not include these factors enough when addressing our health. And these factors do not matter if you have exercised your whole life or have always eaten in a healthy manner. Here are just a couple of things that deeply impact our health.

Stress

It is so important to manage emotional reaction to stress and the thought processes you have when placed in a stressful situation. You notice I did not say that we should manage stress differently. I read a lot where we should manage stress differently but I like to be more direct and specific. The stress will never go away. From my experience and what I observe of others, there will always be stress no matter who we are. The way we manage our response to stress impacts our overall health in either a positive or negative way. For years I would get upset when stressful situations would arise, trying to control the situation instead of my response to the situation. It did not work well. Learn to manage your stress response for your health. Each healthy practice that we engage in will help to manage our stress response but it begins with intentional mindfulness and self-awareness that the way we are reacting to stress could be healthier.

Optimism

There are so many health benefits to an optimistic view of life. Pessimists tend to have more depression, physical ailments and disabilities, and struggle to work through life’s problems in a healthy manner. There is a direct correlation between depression and many diseases of the body including heart disease and many cancers. The ability to respond in a healthy way to difficult events in life such as a health scare will also be impacted by your outlook. Your overall quality of life and functioning improve with optimism.

“In a study on a population of elderly subjects of both sexes, aged between 65-85 years, Giltay et al. noted that dispositional optimism predicted less probability of mortality in general and of cardiovascular mortality in particular. These data have been confirmed in a subsequent longitudinal study on a population of males aged between 64 – 84 years in which an inverse correlation was reported between dispositional optimism and the risk of cardiovascular death.”

“It has been demonstrated that in the presence of severe pathological conditions, optimistic patients adapt better to stressful situations compared to pessimists, with positive repercussions on their quality of life. For example, in a sample of patients who underwent an aortic-coronary bypass, optimism was significantly and positively associated with quality of life in the six months following the operation [39]. The optimistic patients in fact presented a more rapid clinical improvement during the period of hospitalization and a quicker return to daily routine after discharge from hospital.”

Optimism is not what people traditionally consider positive thinking but rather a true belief system where the individual trusts that there will be a good outcome from events in life. Optimism has even been the key to people living healthy in horrible conditions such as concentration camps or as a prisoner of war. Believe that you have the skills to work through life’s curves and remember that you have worked through things in the past that were difficult.

It is so important to take care of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. I was told once that our lives are like a table, with those four areas the legs that hold us up. When one of those legs are out of balance, the whole table (our body and mind) is out of balance. Please exercise and stay as strong as you can. Manage your emotional responses to life events by being present with yourself and by management from the inside out. Improve your mental health with the first two, through study of self and by being honest with what you struggle with. Be careful with what you give energy and focus to and check yourself often to make sure you are giving energy to love, success, service, and learning. If you struggle get help like I did. Do it as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

WHY YOU SHOULD EXERCISE IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH SMOKING, WEIGHT, AND OTHER UNHEALTHY THINGS

More and more research is coming out about the importance of exercise especially if you struggle with things like weight, smoking, and other unhealthy habits.                   Exercise Benefits to Those Who Smoke                                                                                      In smokers, exercise in numerous studies has shown to reduce the risks of lung disease, heart disease, and mental decline. Research also shows that if you exercise regularly, quitting smoking becomes easier. In addition, you can actually begin to reverse the damage done to your body by smoking within just a few days of quitting.

Exercise Benefits to Those Who Battle Weight Issues                                                              It is no secret that obesity is unhealthy and leads to chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, mental decline, high blood pressure, many cancers, joint problems, and depression. Many people struggle with weight and approximately 30% of our population is classified as obese. Personally this is a lifelong struggle for me as well. If you struggle with managing your weight, exercise is vital to maintaining your health in the long term. Exercise will:

  • Reduce your risk for chronic disease. Exercise reduces high blood pressure, increases healthy cholesterol and decreases unhealthy cholesterol. The combination helps reduce plaque on artery walls and gives us a healthier heart.
  • Reduces impact and risk of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance goes down when you exercise, and your cells can use the glucose more effectively. Exercise can also reduce complications from diabetes like heart disease.
  • Improve mood. If you struggle with an unhealthy depressive mood, exercise will help if done correctly. You can actually exercise in a way that treats the depression and reduces depressive episodes. Exercise can also improve self-esteem and give you a sense of accomplishment. The key is to not overdo exercise and to approach each exercise session with self-talk that will lead to success.
  • Help you sleep. Poor sleep is associated with multiple health conditions including obesity. Exercise helps you fall asleep faster and deeper which will also improve concentration and your ability to make healthy decisions.
  • Keep you physically strong. Many of us battle things like binge eating and addictions. Being physically strong is so important to combat the damage done by the unhealthy habits. Keep battling what you struggle with but exercise.

Our health choices impact us and those who love us in so many ways. If you struggle with habits that are unhealthy, please exercise while you do battle against them. Your loved ones, your happiness, and your body will thank you for it. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

COOL AND CRAZY HEALTH FACTS

I got this from http://www.crazyhealthfacts.com and thought it would be cool to share.

  • Because of today’s alarming obesity rates, this generation of children will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. Scary!
  • 1/3 of all cancers are preventable.
  • Smokers can lose 1/3 of their everyday memory.
  • 33% of those who drink four or more caffeinated beverages, such as soda or coffee, daily are put at a higher risk for sleep apnea
  • Stress causes or complicates 90% of all diseases.
  • There is an iPhone app that can actually fix back pain
  • Just adding movement into your daily routine can increase your level of fitness. Being sedentary is dangerous!
  • On average, right-handed people live 9 years longer than left-handed people.
  • The adult human heart weighs about 10 oz.
  • Out of the 206 bones in the human adult’s body, 106 are in the hands and feet.
  • The amount of teenage cosmetic surgeries has nearly doubled in the USA between the years 1996 and 1998.
  • During a sneeze, all of your bodily functions momentarily stop, even your heart.
  • Over 40 million Americans have “chronic halitosis,” which is a condition causing bad breath that never goes away.
  • There are 5 million scent receptors located within a human beings nose.
  • Very high amounts of stress can actually stunt a person’s growth.
  • Reading in dim light will not damage your eyes.
  • Eating a meal with strong aromas will cause you to get fuller faster.
  • The body’s largest tissue is skeletal muscle, which accounts for approximately 45% of body weight in men and 36% in women.
  • Every single muscle fiber is thinner than a human hair strand, and can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight.
  • There are at least six universal facial expressions. They are: happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, anger and surprise.
  • The brain operates on about the same amount of power needed to light a 10-watt light bulb
  • Every 36 hours the lining of a humans stomach is replaced.
  • The approximate length of a human esophagus is 25 centimeters.
  • A person that blushes easily is known as a erythrophobe.

 

BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miracleosphoenixfitness.com

GETTING THROUGH LONELINESS FOR YOUR HEALTH

Many of us feel all alone in this world and with nowhere to turn. As an entrepreneur with my own vision, a step-dad, and follower of  Christ I often feel alone in many environments. Recent research is showing that loneliness is as hard on the body as smoking. Loneliness is a cause of depression which we know is not healthy if we struggle a lot with it. While I value my alone time, when it becomes loneliness it becomes depressing and unhealthy. So what does one do when they are lonely, depressed and want to feel better? Here are a few things that I have found through both research and experience that I hope helps you.

  1. Create a life flow. There is rarely anyone who can have someone around them 24 hours a day. During those times of day when you know you will be alone, INTENTIONALLY plan an activity that you enjoy and brings fulfillment. I know people who do artistic projects, collect coins, write, or build things. Being creative is both good for your health and happiness.  Find yours.
  2. Serve others who may be suffering.  Helping others who are struggling with something is one of the best ways to get out of our own heads. It could be volunteering at a senior citizen facility, animal rescue, residential treatment center for addiction, or shelter for abuse victims. There are limitless opportunities to help others. Find your way to do so.
  3. Exercise. Movement is vital to our brain function, overall well-being, and happiness. If you can find a gym, exercise group, or running/walking friends, that is best. 90% of the people in a gym are friendly and great to be around. I have made some amazing friends belonging to a gym. If you cannot join a gym or do not have others to exercise with, exercise anyway. Put on some happy music and move for about 30 minutes. Give energy only to exercise and you will feel better afterwards. It works every time.
  4. Value time with others. On those occasions when you do have time to spend with others, enjoy every minute of it. Listen to the other person to listen, not to respond. Be fully engaged and turn off electronics. Express to them how much you valued the time with them and look forward to it again.

The key to all of this is self awareness and the knowledge that you struggle with depression when alone at times. The need to manage the depression with healthier options cannot be overstated and is vital to your health. Get professional help as well and talk to someone if necessary. Be alone no more and lonely. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

IMPROVING TIME MANAGEMENT TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH

One of the biggest barriers that I have witnessed to achieve the great health and lean body many desire is poor time management. I hear on a regular basis, “I don’t have time because I work 50 hours a week and have a family. But there are others that can achieve the health goals and lean body you desire with the same barriers. What is the difference? They have made their health and fitness a priority in their lives and manage the time they have free accordingly. Many gyms have daycares, you can exercise with the family, teach them good health and nutrition practices etc. Watching television, playing on social network sites for hours and other “time wasting” activities will not get you to the healthy and lean body that is your goal. And even more important, your family will have a healthier, stronger, and happier person to love. Please manage your time to include exercise and good nutrition. Your life and family will be better for it.

Exercise: In the space below, please list how many hours per week that you spend with the following activities:            As always, please communicate clearly and honestly.

Activity                                                                                   Time Spent

Work:

Preparing for work (shower/hair/makeup etc.)

Commute to work:

Sleeping:

School/Education:

Recreation with family:

Recreation with friends:

Watching television:

Eating/meal preparation:

Reading:

Religious/Spiritual:

Other:

Total Hours Spent:

 

 

There are 168 hours per week (24 hours x 7 days). Subtract your total above from 168. How much time per week do you use on the activities you listed? ________   Are there areas that could be used more efficiently to assist you in your goal of a healthier and lean body?

 

Exercise: In the space below, please list 5 ways you could spend your time more efficiently to assist you in your goal of a healthier and lean body.

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

 

 

Are you engaging in any unhealthy time management practices? Examples could include working too much, spending too much time in the bar, watching too much television etc. Please list them below.

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

I hope this helps you to manage your time in a way that includes exercise, meal prep, and study. The person who learns to manage their time in a productive manner for their health is the one who will see the most benefit (obviously). There is no more important thing to our lives, overall happiness, and outlook than our health. Spend your time wisely for your own good benefit. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com