“F” Words

 

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“I’m talking about pursuiting it in your heart! Like believe in it! Having faith! 100%! That whatever it is you set out to do, that you can do it!” – Eric Thomas

“If you don’t trust, you will die physically if not emotionally.  To do anything in life, you must have faith” -Tony Robbins

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” -Steve Jobs


I recently read a book that totally changed by perspectives and priorities. “The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck” is a highly acclaimed New York Times Bestseller by Mark Manson. Don’t let the vulgar title fool you. this book is chalk full of real advice and a fresh perspective. For the most part, Mark explains that most peoples cares and priorities are out of alignment. H suggests that society teaches us the wrong things to care about. These lessons include but are not limited to being liked all the time, following all the rules, having a ton of things, and making a boat load of money. He stresses that putting too much emphasis on these things will ultimately leave people empty and hating their lives. After reading this book, i came up with my own “F” words to live by.

Faith– Having a belief bigger than myself provides me with a strong positive outlook despite challenges. I believe things will turn out well no matter the circumstances.

Focus: Life becomes what we focus on. We have unlimited choices, options, people, etc. to define our lives. Our mood and out look will even change depending on what we focus on. We can choose to focus on the positive aspects and be optimistic even in the most dire of circumstances.  It may just be harder to find sometimes.

Family: Love them or hate them, your family will always be around. They are there when we are born and most of the time stick around until the end. We all have a unique connection with our family from day one and should celebrate that fact.

Friends: Our friends are basically an extension of our family. They fill in the gaps that your family cannot. They understand and empathize your situations and can be trusted to always have your best interest at heart. The best of friends pick you up and love you when you are at your lowest.

Food: Most people do not realize that food fuels your body. It is like gasoline for a car. Foods provide so much of what our bodies need each day- water, energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals just to name a few. If you want to feel better and look better, prioritize choosing quality and natural foods in your day.

Fluids: Our body is made up of 60% water. Let me say that again, we are made up of 60% water!! So then, why is it that we do not drink enough h20?? Simply put, most people do not prioritize water for one reason or another. Maybe they think it tastes bland. oO, they don’t “feel” thirsty. The fact is, we are really bad at identifying thirst. We are usually dehydrated by the time we feel thirsty. Or, we confuse thirst for hunger and eat excess calories.  Do yourreelf a favor and drink more water and low calorie drinks.

Fitness: Our bodies are meant to move. They are designed to move in all directions and ways. Why then do we stay at rest in front of our tv or at our desk? Because it’s easy of course! Well, lack of motion is detrimental to your body and mind. When we exercise, we improve our physical body. Exercise even improves our mood and clears our thinking. Go out and move!

Society has become a world of unlimited options. We have so much at our fingertips and can access virtually anything we please. But its important to focus on the important facets of a healthy individual. Prioritize these “F: words and see how your life changes! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!!

(Re)Discover Disney

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I am a product of the 90s.  Looking back on that time, it seems like it could not have even been real.  There were some wacky trends and popular brands.  We had neon colored jackets, boy bands, and some wacky cartoons.  I loved growing up in this time period.  It was like a fantasy.  Any children’s toy and program took you to an entire different world and inspired your imagination.  During the 90s, Disney was a powerhouse in the cartoon movie business.  It came out with classic movies, probably too many to count.  Now, it continues to wow audiences and grow exponentially over time. love Disney for many reasons:  It has memorable characters, feel good movies, and lines I could quote for days.

I have started looking back on past works I experienced as a child.  I have read books from my high school years and watched kids movies from growing up.  It is giving me a new, fresh perspective. on things  I have become aware of new themes and lessons these works have waiting for adults in their stories.  I  Above all, Disney movies always had underlying messages.  They always carried inspiring and positive messages for their viewers intended to improve their lives.  Below, I explain some of my favorite core themes Disney consistently uses in its content and have come to appreciate recently.

Life is No an Easy Journey: Life is tough.  We find ourselves in difficult situations and sometimes do not know what to do.  It is important to acknowledge that life is not easy and we will go through difficult times.

“Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.” –Rapunzel (Tangled)

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” — The Emperor (Mulan)

“Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” — Grandmother Willow (Pocahontas)

“Change is good.” — Rafiki (The Lion King)

“The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability.” — Remy (Ratatouille)

Be Brave: These difficult life situations move us to act.  We can choose our path and how we approach life difficulties.  Sometimes, being brave is the most important action you can take.

“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” — Zeus (Hercules)

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” — Winnie the Pooh (Pooh’s Most Grand Adventure)

“Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.” — Merida (Brave)

“I’m only brave when I have to be. Being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble.” — Mufasa (The Lion King)

“Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.” — Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)

Choose Happiness:  Optimism and happiness is a mindset.  Happiness does not come from outside or external sources. It comes from you. The way we think about our lives and world creates happiness.

“Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own.” — Donald Duck

“Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.” — Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)

Hakuna Matata” _Timon & Pumba (The Lion King)

“Just think of happy thoughts, and you’ll fly” -Peter Pan (Peter Pan)

I’m Feeling happy, which is a big deal for me” -Marlin (Finding Nemo)

Just Try: The abundance of choices in life make it easy to be lazy.  The internet, food delivery, and the convenience of home make it simple to never leave your front door and try new things.  Fear and the unknown occur when we have to do something new.  But, we cannot go anywhere if we stay where we are!

“All it takes is faith and trust.” — Peter Pan (Peter Pan)

“You control your destiny — you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems.” — Merida (Brave)

“Life’s not a spectator sport. If watchin’ is all you’re gonna do, then you’re gonna watch your life go by without ya.” — Laverne (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

“Believe you can, then you will.” — Mulan (Princess Stories)

“Today is a good day to try.” — Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Obviously, these are just a few examples of the powerful core themes Disney portrays through its movies.  Can you name others? Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Attitude Over Everything

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“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”  -Winston Churchill

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude” -Scott Hamilton

“Having a positive attitude in a negative situation is not naive… it’s leadership” -Ralph Marston

I have learned so much about attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives in the last year or so.  For starters, they are at the root of how we think and see the world before us.  We make assumptions, snap judgments, and decisions based on these foundational perspectives.  Our attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives develop as we grow and experience events in our lives.  They are essentially at our subconscious level always feeding us thoughts and viewpoints of our outside world.  Eventually, they go on autopilot and work behind the scenes as we navigate throughout our day.

At the same time, our instilled beliefs and attitudes about the outside world come from an internal source.  They come from inside our hearts and minds.  In fact, our beliefs and attitudes make us feel in certain ways.  A negative attitude makes people closed off, stressed, and even afraid to make decisions.  A positive attitude creates an open mind, joy, and peace.  Even so, our attitudes make our physical state different. I’m sure you have seen someone who is sad- head down, clenched muscles, frowning.  Now, think of someone who is happy- bright eyes, smiling, head up, full of energy.  Therefore, certain attitudes not only change the way we view the world, but our outward appearance and demeanor reflects our inner world.

The good news- your attitude is a choice!  Just like how you choose your clothes, friends, or meals, you can choose your attitude!  It does take some work.  But, in the end the results are worth it.  If there is a negative belief you would like to change (I will NEVER be able to lose weight), focus on replacing it with a new positive, empowering one (I haven’t found how I can lose weight YET).  Use these methods:

  • Speaking your new attitude repeatedly out loud with emotion
  • Write out your current, negative attitude.  Cross it out & write in your new one
  • Post positive pictures and saying in places you spend a lot of time
  • Speak with positive people and ask for encouragement
  • Listen to positive music

 

Do you have other methods to change your attitudes?  Comment them below.  As Always, eat, move, and improve!

Rise Up

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The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise. -Miguel C Cervantes

The greatest glory in living lies not in ever falling, but in rising every time we fall” -Nelson Mandella

We never lose our demons, [Mordo]. We only learn to live above them. -The Ancient One, Dr. Strange

You will, at some point in your life, be confronted with some kind of adversity.  It’s more often than not a universal given.  Some people would disagree with that statement.  But, life was not meant to be easy.  Obstacles and difficult decisions present themselves when we set goals and go after them.  The bitter truth is that we all fall.  What matters most is that we pick ourselves up again.

This concept can be applied to health goals.  Say you are looking to lose weight.  Along your journey, you find yourself in this situation.   Dessert was way too tempting at the restaurant. You decided to treat yourself since you are out with your friends.  The next day rolls around.  Because you had dessert yesterday, today wouldn’t hurt right?  A snowball effect occurs. The discipline and food choices haven’t been easy. Now, the discipline has fallen away and bad habit takes over. You have fallen off the proverbial “wagon”. So, you revert to your old habits.  In this case, you have two choices: keep falling behind, OR rise above your obstacles.

Consider sticking to a workout routine.  You begin with high expectations.  You have energy and motivation to get started. You are loving your workouts.  They are fun and exhilarating.  But, at some point, you plateau.  The workouts aren’t as fun anymore.  Your energy isn’t there.  You’re not seeing progress as fast.  Your’e discouraged.  What do you do?  Stop going or rise above?  I’ll give you a clue: it’s the latter.  Decide to rise above the negative feelings and doubts in your mind.  Once you do, you will enter the next level of progress.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

Live Like Hawking

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“It matters if you just don’t give up.” – Stephen Hawking

“I understand you need more help.   And if there is – someone – who is prepared to offer it – I won’t object, as long – as long as you continue to love me.  -Stephen to Jane Hawking, A Theory of Everything

“There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.” -Stephen Hawking

While growing up, I had heard the name “Stephen Hawking” thrown around in the media and conversation several times.  I didn’t know who Stephen Hawking was or why he was famous.  Recently, I did see Stephen Hawking in several TV commercials.  I also viewed the movie based on his adult life called “The Theory of Everything”

In summary, Stephen Hawking is one of the most influential and famous scientists of the 20th century.  Hawking began his journey as a Theoretical Physics student at the University of Cambridge in the 1960s.  He wanted to find out the meaning of life and how  it came to be.  Through his college experience, he began working on his PhD thesis.  Hawking barely studied since he was so brilliant.  During his tenure at Cambridge, he caught the attention of Jane Wilde and they fell in love. Everything seemed to be going well.  However, Hawking’s story takes a wild turn from here.  At age 21 and admisdt his fisrt breakthrough, Hawking gets diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gherig’s Disease).  Ultimately, Stephen loses the ability to manually move his muscles and quickly becomes paralyzed and dependent on Jane and others.

The inspiring part is that Hawking’s story only begins there.  Stephen continues his work and studies at Cambridge gaining his doctorate in Theoretical Physics.  He writes many books and makes several breakthroughs in the field.  Hawking becomes world famous.  He marries Jane Wilde and they stay married for 30 years and even raise 3 children.  At this time, Hawking is in his 70s when Drs. told him he wouldn’t survive 2 years at 21.  How did he overcome these massive odds and become one of the most recognizable scientists in the world?  I have a few ideas you can use yourself:

Stay Positive:  Throughout the movie, we see Hawking go through many physical and emotional struggles/ stages in his life.  When Stephen gets his diagnosis, he shuts himself away from others and becomes depressed.  He quickly realizes that choosing a negative attitude wasn’t helping his situation.  He gets hospitalized several times and even goes into a coma for a short period.  Despite these challenges, Hawking stays positive.  He jokes and has fun with his children quite often.  He travels the world and enjoys the many wonders it offers.  A positive attitude can change an unbearable and desperate situation into something hopeful!

Ask For Help.  One scene in “The Theory of Everything” portrays Hawking in bed about to go to sleep with Jane.  He says quietly “I would understand you need more help.   And if there is – someone – who is prepared to offer it – I won’t object, as long – as long as you continue to love me.”  Jane responds with “Of course.  For infinity.”  At this time, Hawking was becoming one of the most known scientists of his time.  He has written several publicized works and gained some sense of fame.  It would have been easy for him to have an inflated ego. It would have been easy for him to have confidence in his abilitie and figure everything in his life was working.  However, he was still realistic and humble in his nature.  he understood that he could not do it all alone.  He knew that everyone, especially him, needed others to survive and to move forward in life. He decided to be vulnerable and honest to his wife Jane.  She happily accepts the offer and they recruit help.

Do What you Can.  Life is unfair.  It can be cruel to many people.  It can take away much more than give back.  But, we are strong as individuals and as people.  For those who lose much, they focus on what they can do over what life has stolen from them.  Hawking may have lost his movement and muscles, but not his mind and ability to love what he did.  Stephen continued to explore his theory and cosmetology as a whole.  He studied and wrote.  He spent time with his family and the people he was closest with.  He focused on what made him special and didn’t allow his debilitating and progressive disease to stop him.

All in all, I encourage you to live like Stephen Hawking.  When life throws you curveballs, stay positive, ask for help, and do what you can.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Find Your Peanut Gang

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“Few people are successful unless other people want them to be.” -Charlie Brown

“There is never a heavier burden than great potential” -Linus

Charlie:  I can’t stop thinking about it, Linus. After all the humiliating disasters she witnessed this year, why would she choose me? Was she feeling sorry for me? I don’t want her to choose me just because she was feeling sorry for me. I have slightly more dignity than that.

Linus: Charlie Brown, it might be time to consider the wild possibility that you’re a good person and that people like you. But you know, you’ll never really know the answer, unless… [you ask her]   -The Peanuts Movie

I’m a product of the 90’s.  In my opinion one of the most unique decades in recent history.  This time period gave us brightly colored neon clothes, boy bands, and some of the most unique and popular toy brands ever.  Anyone who knew me growing up can tell you that I ate up many of those memorable TV shows, movies, and music.  I enjoyed watching Pokemon, Power Rangers, Transformers, and many others and played with my toys for hours.  One of the most popular cartoons and comic strips was “The Peanuts.”  Although this comic strip debuted in the 1940s, it continued to stay popular into 2000 until the author, Charles Shulz, decided to retire.

“Peanuts” centered around a lovable, kind, and compassionate boy, Charlie Brown.  Charlie desired to be the most popular and most talented student in school.  He wanted the spotlight and wanted to be the best he could be.  The comics followed him as he made attempts to try new activities and survive school with his friends Linus, Peppermint Patty. Lucy, Sally, and even his beagle Snoopy among many others.  Despite his efforts and desire to be better, Charlie Brown continues to fail and embarrass himself in front of his friends.  To add insult to injury, most of his friends had specific talents.  Lucy was a natural born leader.  Peppermint Patty was a great athlete.  Linus gave great advice and had wisdom well beyond his years.  Even Snoopy had a fantastic and wild imagination.  He uses it to write about his character, Flying Ace, and his battles against the Red Baron.

I recently watched the newest addition to the Peanuts franchise, “The Peanuts Movie.”  As expected, the film followed Charlie Brown as he works to impress his friends and a new girl at school.  Throughout the film, Charlie continues to fail and embarrass himself. When it seems that Charlie Brown is a hopeless case, he makes a huge realization.  Charlie Brown always thought he had to be talented, confident, and smart to be popular.  Through several interactions, he realizes that those factors don’t matter.  Charlie is still liked and accepted by his friends.  They like him for who he is instead of who he is not.  Charlie Brown is a good person.  He cares for others, works hard, and has unwavering honesty.  Once Charlie makes that realization, he achieves the confidence to talk to his crush, the Little Red Headed Girl.  During their conversation, the girl reinforces that Charlie is a kind, honest, and compassionate person.

Ok, so I know that was a strung out explanation.  But, I feel it was necessary.  I wanted to set the stage for my message: “find those who see the best in you.” You will interact with MANY people along your journey.  Some will like you, some will not.  That’s a hard truth to swallow.  Some people will try to bring you down and focus on what you are not.  The sad reality is that some people feel they have to impress these people.  I even had that belief in high school: “If I get the attention of the ‘cool crowd’, I will gain their acceptance and ultimately build up my confidence.  Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into a group of people or an individual, some people just won’t care.  Instead, find people who like you for you.  Find those people who support you and cheer you up.  Find those people who give you their time, honest opinion, and effort in return.  Invest your time, opinions, and efforts in return.  Relationships will flourish and you will become your best self.  You may be surprised of the result.  As Always, Eat, Move and Improve!

Marketing Misdirection

 

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“Fast food chains spend a large amount of marketing to get the attention of children. People form their eating habits as children so they try to nurture their clients as youngsters.”-Eric Schlosser

“You can take a 2 pound bag of sugar, and slap a label on it that says “100% fat free,” and while factually true; this is unbelievably misleading” -Jason Vale

“Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need” -Will Rogers

 What Marketers Want: Currently, everything is marketed to some degree. Products are marketed. Services are marketed. They get advertised in many forms: radio, commercials, written ads, posters/ banners, demonstrations, trade shows, etc. Marketers and advertising agents WORK HARD to gain your attention. Once they gain your focus, they tell you what they want you to hear: “buy this”, “use that,” “switch to us.” Thier main goal is to get your business and make you a loyal customer.

What Consumers Want: Consumers want different things than marketers. Basically, we all have needs or wants that need to be satisfied. Each customer has differing wants and needs. For the most part, consumers want CONFIDENCE AND HONESTY. They want products and services that meet or exceed their expectations and match what is promised by marketers. When it comes to food, consumers want safe, tasty, and unaltered foods. They want foods that are “non GMO”, “all natural”, “fat free”, “gluten free,” “guaranteed to help lose weight”, etc. They also want foods “low in fat”, “sugar free”, “low in calories”, or even “organic.”

 Claims to Question: The trouble is, most marketing terms do not have a standard definition. Marketing, labeling, and advertising is a creative and artistic aspect of business. Therefore, it is open to interpretation. Marketers use keywords and hot topics to gain consumer’s trust. Many food manufacturers develop their food products by switching out ingredients to satisfy these claims. Sometimes, they add harmful or unhealthy ingredients in their place. Therefore, it becomes difficult to know what you are actually getting. Here is a short list of claims to be cognizant of:

  • fat free
  • gluten/ lactose free
  • diet/ sugar free
  • 100% organic
  • low in calories
  • all natural

Pay Attention Here: Instead of trying to interpret the claims on the front of the packaging, use other information to determine your grocery options:

  • The Nutrition Facts Label companies are required by law to include all nutrition facts about a food in detail
  • Minimal Packaging: most of the time, foods with less packaging tend to be high quality nutrition foods
  • Minimal Ingredients: Foods with a low number of ingredients are less altered
  • Ingredients you can Recognize: If you can’t read an ingredient, it’s probably an artificial chemical and does not benefit you

These are definitely just an example. Please share any other claims to question or tactics to identify healthy foods below! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!