Write it down

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It is really easy to claim you eat healthy but until you really keep track of the food you eat you can’t be too sure.

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Jim had a recent trip to the doctor where he discovered yet again he has high cholesterol. He’s actually known this for years but to the doctor who looks at the blood work it is quite a discovery. So Jim gets advice to change his diet and start exercising. After this visit Jim did something different, he downloaded My Fitness Pal to start a food diary. He said that once he started writing down what he was eating it became a little harder to have junk food because now he is accountable. Since he’s started logging his food Jim’s lost 8 pounds, pretty impressive because he hasn’t increased his exercise.

 

Once Jim told me about it I decided to give it a try. While writing down what I eat didn’t steer me away from the Fruity Pebbles I did manage to stay away from the chocolate treats. So far I’ve learned I consume too much sodium and I need to increase my protein. And I have to agree with Jim I do feel more accountable now that I’m logging what I eat.

 

Now we both get to see if this helps us both stay mindful of what we eat during the holidays.

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The first steps

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In February I thought I might never run again. Now I am open to the idea that I may never run the same way again.

 

Last weekend I decided it was time to lace up the shoes and go for a run. Okay- go for a jog. Okay- go for a really slow and short shuffle around the block.

 

Jim and I were shooting for about half a mile and we went just a little longer. I have to say after sitting out for this long half a mile was enough to make my calf muscles really sore. And yes to answer the question you are thinking of asking my ankle did feel tender both during and after the run.

 

Today we went out again, this time we made it almost a mile. After today’s run I am confident that I won’t be going much longer distances for a while, I still have quite a bit of rebuilding of muscles and confidence to do.

 

I think the confidence will take longer than the muscles. As Jim and I were running I kept imagining falling. Then after my imaginary fall all I could think about is how badly my leg hurt when I injured it.

 

As with all healing it takes time. But these two runs mark the first steps of healing.

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How’s your spiritual health?

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Let’s go to the gym and get our sweat on.

 

The cool thing about working out is tangible results. If you have a goal to trim your waist, you will notice a difference when you slide into that pair of skinny jeans. If you have a goal to run faster, the time on the clock will show faster mile splits.  If you have a goal to lift more weight, when you place five more pounds on the bar and lift, you’ve done it.

 

Physical fitness is just one of the part of being a healthy person. It is also the easiest to measure.

 

When we start talking about the more fuzzy things like spiritual fitness most of us have no idea where to start. There isn’t a gym membership for spiritual health. It is also something that you can’t easily quantify. How do you measure if you spiritual health? How do you define if you have more meaning and purpose in your life?

 

Some people think of church and religion when they hear the word spirituality. For me spirituality is something that falls outside of the scope of church and religion. I’ve never been much of a churchgoer and I’ve never followed any religion, however I’ve studied several of the world’s religions. Now I try to incorporate aspects of different religions into my life.

 

In many ways I still don’t know how to “work out” to get stronger with my spiritual fitness. But I do understand what things make me feel more spiritual and connected to the world and the people around me.

 

Running, surfing, and yoga.

 

These do much more than just help me strengthen my cardio and get toned. When I run, surf, or do yoga I feel more connected to the world around me. In a pose, riding a wave, and finding my stride I have moments where I focus so intently on what I am doing, the rest of the world dissolves.

 

Those meditative moments of being rooted in the present are few and far between. But in those moments where I am in the flow, the world is perfect. In those moments I reach a state of peace and perfection. I also strengthen more than my body, I strengthen my heart, my mind, and my soul.

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Why do I work out?

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The weather is finally getting nice. So I’ve had the chance to wear shorts. What I discovered when I put on my shorts is they don’t quite fit as nicely as they did last summer.

 

I guess that happens when you spend a long winter not exercising. I’ve been trying to eat healthy, though I don’t always succeed. And I know that working out plays a role in body shaping, which helps me fit into my clothes.

 

This got me thinking, why do I work out? Is it to look a certain way? Or is it to be a healthy person? Or perhaps it is a little of both.

Amica

Roll with it baby

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In 1992 I was at Queens College, we were practicing volleyball. I went up for a hit or a block, I can’t remember that part. What I do remember is rolling my ankle and hobbling off the court. After, I lay down on the floor and propped my feet against the wall and thought it wasn’t so bad. After practice I walked across campus went to my dorm room and started to get ready for my weekend. Somewhere in the hours after rolling my ankle it got really bad. The end result a trip to the ER, X-Rays, no broken bones, but a pretty bad sprain.

 

(Looking back know I can’t believe I walked home on an injury but in the mind of an 18 year old……well we don’t always make good choices when we are 18.)

 

Fast forward to 2014.

 

My knee is stronger. I still have pain but nothing to stop me from working out. I’ve been doing yoga, strength training, cardio, and some light running.

The weather in New England has been rather temperamental this winter, so finding nice days to run has been challenging. Earlier this week we had a nice winter day, the temperature was in the 30s, there was almost no wind, and most of the snow had melted. What a great day for a run.

 

About two miles into the run, disaster. Out of nowhere I rolled my ankle. No ice, no snow, no rocks. I was on steady ground. Somehow I took a step and the next thing I knew I was on the ground.

 

Usually I run with my phone, but for some reason this time I left it in the office. I couldn’t call for help but I knew lying in the parking lot was probably not a very good idea, so I hobbled to the middle of the street to flag down a car. Thankfully someone pulled up and drove me back to work, where my co-workers quickly got me to the ER.

 

This sprain feels much worse then the one I got 20 years ago. It might be that I am older and can’t recover as quickly. It might be because I am smarter about the healing process.

 

Looking back on how 20 years ago I was walking and playing ball a few weeks after my injury really strains the spirit. But healing takes time. So I am trying to stay positive, at least moving around on crutches is a great workout.

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