Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fitness Is Something You Do, It Is Not Who You Are

“Full effort is full victory.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

 

Our athletic abilities are a gift, a gift that has an expiration date.  They are something we should feel grateful for, and not something we should take for granted.  We should cherish and nurture them, and use them as a tool in our relationships and our every day lives, but certainly not as something to bring us down.

Your fitness accomplishments, and appearance for that matter, do not define you as a person, they do not make you better or worse than anyone else, nor does it mean you’re less kind, less giving, less loving or less intelligent than anyone else.  Don’t confuse your lifts or your abilities in the gym with your identity.  Fitness is something you do, it is not who you are.

We need to remind ourselves that our opportunity to make ourselves more physically fit is a gift, as is the opportunity to improve our mental fortitude.  The fact that we get to share these moments with people we care about is also a gift.  

Enjoy these gifts while you have them, but remember that they don’t define you. 

Allow fitness to empower you and lift you up.  Let it provide courage, or drive and determination, and enjoy the moments of progress…because we ALL make progress.

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For more information, check out:

Your 1-RM Doesn’t Define You…

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Are you a victim of “FITSPIRATION”?

IS YOUR OBSESSION REALLY AN ADDICTION?

It’s unlikely to hear people brag about their addictions to alcohol, cocaine, gambling, or other behaviors that we would all undoubtedly deem as detrimental to health and well-being.

“But what about other addictions—unhealthy obsessions that masquerade as conscientiousness, dedication, devotion to something “healthy?” How often do you hear people proudly telling others about their obsession with the gym, their ever-progressively restrictive dietary protocols, or the fact that they’re tied to their Blackberries 24/7?”

THE BOTTOM LINE

These obsessions are not healthy.  They don’t make you healthier, stronger/better, or more dedicated—they make you SICK.  They make you a STRESS ADDICT, and expose you to a whole host of negative health consequences.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU’RE ADDICTED TO STRESS

At first, the stress you are creating for yourself feels really good, which makes you think that what you’re doing is good for you. Truthfully, this behavior is creating inflammation in your brain and disrupting your brain chemistry, adrenals, thyroid, and probably sex hormones, too.

Eventually you’ll reach a point where the only way you can feel normal (not even happy, just normal) is to create just a little more stress for yourself. And then more. And then even more. (You’re basically developing a “tolerance” to stress.) And the more you get immersed in this cycle, the more your health, happiness, and quality of life take a sharp decline.

“You’ll be depressed, or barely keeping the depression at bay. You’ll be anxious. You’ll be irritable and irrational. You’ll start feeling like things are moving too fast, that you’re barely keeping up, that it’s all unraveling quickly. You’ll feel more isolated, so you’ll be less social. And the only thing that will keep you feeling even remotely like yourself is more of the same stress-inducing behavior.”

PRACTICE REAL DEDICATION

Take time to REST and RECOVER when you need it.

Create a healthy relationship with food. You should be able to enjoy a night out, or a”cheat” meal without guilt, remorse, or  punishment.

Find a balance between your career and your quality of life. Don’t become too busy making a living that your forget to make a life.

Know when to ask for help. Acknowledge when you’re taking on too much. Admit when you need to take a break.

Remember, you are responsible for your health, and part of that responsibility is maintaining a healthy relationship with exercise, nutrition, and hard work so that these pursuits don’t cross the line into addictive, unhealthy behaviors.

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For more information, check out the following article:

Lies We Tell Ourselves

Do You Know the Difference Between Rest and Recovery?

Nothing to really summarize here, just read this article!

Are You Recovering, Or Are You Just Resting?

How late-night text messaging, and email is destroying your sleep

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Those of you who use tablets, smartphones, and other devices with self-luminous electronic displays before bedtime are subjecting yourself to major disruptions in your sleep cycle.

THE PROBLEM

Research has demonstrated that nighttime light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin, the major hormone secreted by the pineal gland that controls sleep and wake cycles.

A reduction in melatonin at night is associated with subjective levels of sleeplessness, and has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer, impair immune system function, and possibly lead to type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and heart disease.

THE SOLUTION

The key to improving sleep is to reduce one’s exposure to blue light, the type of light that is mainly responsible for melatonin suppression.

One method of blocking blue light is to use a program called f.lux, which makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

This program can be installed on computers, iPads, and iPhones, and may have a significant effect on your melatonin secretion when using these devices at night. The best part about this program is that it turns on automatically in response to the daylight in your particular time zone, so there’s no need to remember any adjustments to the screen.

Where f.lux falls short is it’s inability to block all artificial light sources that suppress melatonin production (i.e. normal room light).  So, experts recommend a more fool-proof solution.

Amber-colored goggles are one of the only tools available to completely eliminate all blue light exposure at night, without ‘going off the grid’ and powering down your entire house after 7 PM.

The cheapest and most popular option is the Uvex brand, but if you wear eyeglasses you’ll need to get a wraparound pair like the Solar Shield brand. Both can be found at Amazon.com.

If you think you may benefit from any of the solutions mentioned above, please use the links above.  Purchases will help support ongoing research.

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For complete analysis, consult the following article:

http://chriskresser.com/how-artificial-light-is-wrecking-your-sleep-and-what-to-do-about-it