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! 

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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!

Add Through Subtraction

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 A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools” -Spanish Proverb

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” – Bruce Lee

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” -Winston S. Churchill

“My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” — Bill Gates

“The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither.” ~ Confucius

When working with patients and customers, I have heard it countless times: “I’m to busy” or “I just do not have the time”.  I talk about the changes they can make or go about things differently.  However, they revert back to those reasons.  From one perspective, these reasons make sense.  We all have stuff to do.  We all wish we had more time.  We all feel overwhelmed and overworked at times.

However, at the root of it, WE ARE NEVER TOO BUSY.  I hate to be a cliché here.  But, we all have 86400 seconds in a day.  Every single person on earth has the same amount of time to take advantage of.  However, we have a choice to decide on how to use that time!   I have been reflecting on this a lot lately.  How did we become so busy?  How did we become so overwhelmed?  Why is it that most people cannot manage their time well or be the most productive they can be?

From experience and observation, I have learned that we are a DISTRACTED society.  Over the last few years, we have gained access to an unlimited amount of activities to take our time away from us.  We have countless choices of TV shows, books, websites, restaurants, video games, and cell phone apps just to name a few.  We sabotage ourselves out of doing the work and important activities required to make changes and settle for distractions.  It’s so much easier to turn to social media or watch a movie instead of working out or making a diet plan.

I am not a saint when it comes to this.  I had a difficult time writing this post today. I found myself scrolling through my social media and watching videos online instead of writing my thoughts down.  I took a nap this afternoon. I wasted time and can’t get it back.  However, I recognized that I slipped up.  I am committing myself to limiting time and money wasters, as should you!

I recommend that you “Add Through Subtraction.”  We all have the same amount of time given to us daily.  We cannot pay attention to every single thing and think we will accomplish it all.  Make sure you’re using your time wisely.  How you ask?  First, recognize where you have extra time in your day.  Do you tend to mindlessly browse social media for hours on end?  Do you watch TV once you get home from work until bed time?  Do you tend to oversleep when you not have anything planned for your day?  Chances are that you do.  Next, reflect on what you are willing to take out of your life.  Consider cutting social media down to fifteen minutes a day.  Or, choose to watch only one TV show at a time.  Or, limit your sleep time only to the recommended eight hours.

On a side note, you can apply “Add Through Subtraction” to other aspects of your life.  Feel tight on your money?  Take a look at your expenses and cut anything that you don’t use or isn’t necessary.  Viola!  More cash in the bank. Feel as though you have friends who waste your time or are not reliable?  Or, are you pulled in a million directions by having a large group of friends?  Cut the ones who do not support you or make time for you.  Then, you can put more time into the friendships that actually mean something to you.  Sound harsh?  Maybe.  But, in reality, you are making yourself a priority and making your friendship a privilege, not a right.  Only you can decide how to use your time and resources.  Make sure you’re using them wisely.  Above all, Eat, Move, and Improve!

 

FIND YOUR DRIVE

Have you heard about the term motivation? You most likely have.  Motivation is our drive to action.  We can be driven by money, prizes, or rewards (external motivation).  We can also be driven by our inner thoughts, dreams, or goals (internal motivation).  Why am I speaking about motivation on a nutrition & exercise blog you ask??  Because, motivation determines ALL we do, especially eating right & exercising.

That’s right, we all have a certain degree of motivation toward eating right and becoming fit.  Everyone has a different motive.  It can go from becoming healthier to just fitting in an old pair of jeans.  It can go from losing 50 pounds to running a marathon.  Most importantly, you need to find YOUR DRIVE.

Find what moves you to action.  Find what you’re longing for.  Write it down.  Think on it every day.  Finally, ACT on it.  Work toward your goal daily and continually remind yourself of your inner drive.  Remind yourself of your drive on those hard days.  I guarantee you will have difficult days.  The secret is to stay hopeful and motivated on those them.  In the end, it will be worth it!

As Always, Trust Your Gut!