Trivia Tuesday – Depression

frowing-fish

Did you know: Depression can be caused by a deficiency of Omega 3. And I don’t mean you need to add one pill of Omega 3 into your life…this is a SEVERE deficiency. So if you’re feeling a little sad…step away from the prescription bottle and pick up some fish and a handful of Omega 3 supplements. 🙂  And that’s what I learned in my Anatomy & Physiology class last night! Learning is fun!! 🙂

You can consult your personal nutrition guru for sources of Omega 3 or follow this link from U.S. News Health http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diet/articles/2011/04/14/8-easy-ways-to-load-up-on-healthy-omega-3-fats

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Live Well,

Kristin

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See a Mountain, Build a Staircase

Believe in You

 

Today, as I was wrapping up work, a coworker and I starting chatting about fitness and she asked me how I got started down the path of being fitness oriented. I’ll get into that later…but I believe she was asking because she may have been searching for a way to get her fitness back. Over the next couple weeks, I want to share a couple secrets that I have discovered over the past few years on my journey. Hopefully you can apply some of these to your journey or maybe they can help get you started on your own journey. Enjoy!

Secret #1: Acknowledge the mountain then build a staircase, one stair-step at a time.

When I first started out, I would look at pictures in magazines and fitness pros online and think to myself, oh man…there’s no way. “I might as well not even try” is what I would often tell myself. It would look like a huge mountain that I felt I needed to conquer NOW…no time like the present. Then I’ll start the ascent to the summit of the huge fitness mountain. A few days in I’d get overwelmed by the exhausting climb and tumble right back down onto a pile of soda, pop, pizza, and candy wrappers. Lots and lots of candy. I like Reese’s. Yuuuum. And Snickers….oh they are heaven.

Learn from my mistake, don’t try to conquer the entire mountain with one giant push. It takes more than that to get a baby out (so I’ve heard) and I’m pretty sure it’s going to take more than that to get the fat out!

My suggestion: Start with one stair-step at a time. My first stair step was going on a walk at least 3x  a week with my dog. I started with a walk around the block and my goal was 20 minutes. If one week I missed my walks or I didn’t make all 3, I said to myself “that’s ok, just keep building”. You’ll add a board to the step, knock some nails in tomorrow or next week, etc. Just focus on the step. You can do it. Self talk makes all the difference in the world. The world is full of negative self images and plenty of discouraging moments. Find peace and beauty in your own thoughts, after all, they are the only ones you can control! Whatever your first step is, focus on that step and not on the mountain. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the summit but make sure you enjoy the hike, too!!

Once I was in the habit (it took a few months, so be patient) and it was just ‘what I did’ I starting researching and looking for just the right lumber to build the second step. My second step was to run at least 20 minutes. And I didn’t qualify it. It could be a walk, run, walk or walk, run, lay in the grass to catch my breath, walk, run, walk, etc. I just had to make 20 minutes of faster than a walk. So I had my stop watch ready and only ran the time when I was running. Because I stayed with it and focused on my stairsteps, I recently finished a 5k in 30 minutes (my personal record). I can’t tell you how proud I was of that accomplishment. I built a staircase to a race! What!

Amazing. I am amazing. It’s EXTREMELY important to recognize and take credit for the work you have put in and what you have accomplished. No matter how big or small, YOU DID IT!  Live in THAT moment.

I’m happy to say that today, 2 1/2 years after starting my hike up the mountain, I’m loving the view and looking forward to standing strong and building some more steps to the summit!

What is your first step???

Love Yourself First,

Kristin 😉

PS – I have officially registered for the Bodybuilding.com 12-Week Transformation Challenge. Wahoo! I’m pretty nervous about it but excited at the same time!! I am hoping to add some muscle and define my shape. And basically, just be a bada$$. 🙂 That’s my ultimate goal. Check out my nutrition, workouts, and progress tabs to follow along the journey. 🙂

I Freaked-Out!

Today is Kickboxing. Teach class at 5am, work-out/take class at 6:10am. No problem. Class starts on time, I give instruction. I can’t breathe. I keep going and start breathing heavily. While students are at work on an exercise I move the mic away from my mouth and take a few deep breaths. Back on track, class is going well, students are working up a sweat. I can’t breathe. Again, move the mic and take a few deep breaths. No problem, I just need to bring it down a level, don’t be so intense physically while teaching/talking at the same time. No problem. Class is over.

Next class starts at 6:10am. I worked up a sweat, but didn’t get a great work-out so it’s my turn. During the warm-up, I have to bring down my intensity so I can catch my breath. That’s unusual. Well, I did just teach an energetic hour-long class. I’m sure that’s it, I say to myself. No problem. Keep going. My physical intensity is much lower than normal and my form is lacking in today’s class. This is not good, I’m a coach I should be doing well and setting a good example. But…I just can’t catch my breath. I forgot my water bottle, maybe I’m just dehydrated. During the break, I’ll make sure and get a good long drink of water. Ok, I feel better. Just keep breathing. Work-out over.

Time to get ready for work. I jumped in the shower at the gym. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe, what the hell, I can’t breathe. What is happening? I brace myself against the wall and sip on my protein shake. Deep breaths, deep breaths. I’m out and dressed and I can’t breathe again. Now, I’m getting pissed. I have had panic/anxiety attacks before and the key to not passing out is staying calm. If you get upset and really panic, your breathe will get shorter and shorter causing you to eventually pass out. Bad idea. I forego drying my hair and jump in the car and head to work. Before I start driving, I take a few slow deep breaths and send up a prayer. I feel…alright.

It’s a little chilly out so the heater is on in the car. I can’t breathe. My next feels tight and I’m getting closterphobic. I flip the heater off and roll the window all the way down, breathing in the cool crisp morning air. Ahhhh..that’s better. Wet hair + cool crisp air = not recommended. But in this case, it was necessary. More deep breaths. I’m fine.

Here are a couple key points to surviving an anxiety attack:

1) Keep your eyes open.

Often times during a work-out or high-stress moments, it’s common to lower your head and close your eyes to refocuse. However, I strongly suggest you DON’T do this. The reason being is that if you are short of breath (for instance, during intense exercise or during a ansiety/panic attack) oxygen to the brain is already limited. Then if you close your eyes, you will typically become disoriented and risk tripping or losing your balance. If your head is bowed down to the floor, you’re rushing blood to your head. Blood-rushing to head + Losing your balance = disaster. Keep your eyes open and look up. It is wise to shorter your diaphragm to decrease stress on it and regain your breath, so bending over to do this is fine…just don’t close your eyes. 🙂

2) Stay Calm.

This is a difficult request, I understand. Obviously, your body is currently spasming out of control. The key here is to keep your mind calm. Talk yourself through it as if you are watching someone else have an attack. What would you say to them? Breathe. Deep, consistent breaths (prevents from breaths speeding up and becoming short). Breathe. Count down from 10, slowly. Now slow your breath. Keep your mind calm. If you start going to the worst conclusion and thinking, I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Help meeeee!! Your body will follow your mind and freak out even more. This is bad. The mind is a very powerful weapon and tool, use it to your advantage. If you have children, how do you calm them down? Use the same tactics on yourself in these stressful moments.

3) Have a “key phrase” or something on ‘stand-by’ or start praying.

Whichever tactic you prefer, find what works for you. Most people have mantras or something they recite to themselves for motivation purposes, resisting cravings, reminders of goals, etc. You can do this same thing with stressful moments. It’s been about 6-7 years since my last anxiety/panic attack, so I didn’t exactly have something prepared. I went on a mission this morning to find some mantras that would work in stressful situations. Here’s what I came up with:

– Worry Less, Smile More (force yourself to smile when approaching an attack and then breathe deep)
– You Got This, Don’t Worry
– Look Up, The Sky is Not Falling

And my favorite

-You are a fighter and tougher than this. Deep Breathe In, strong breathe out.

Live Well,

Kristin =)

Personal Mantra

Hard to overcome cravings on the weekends? Don’t have the energy to exercise? Develop a personal mantra to repeat to yourself whenever you are feeling down in the dumps or unmotivated!

My personal mantra:

If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done. (i.e. get out of bed at 5am!) Sometimes, I shorten it to: Do something you’ve don’t do! It took me about a year, but I’ve been working out at 5am consistently for the past several weeks and even teach a 5am yoga class now!!!

YOU CAN DO IT!!

Another personal mantra:

“Fighters don’t quit, fighters don’t whine, they don’t complain. They do the work. DO THE WORK!” -Adapted from something Dolvett said to a contestant on Biggest Loser. I repeat this mantra when I feel lazy! =)

What’s your personal mantra???

Here are some of my favorites:

Healthy Attitude

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” – Charles Swindoll

ATTITUDE is such a vital piece to a healthy mind. Whether it is a good attitude or a bad atttiude, it has the power to change your whole perspective and outlook on life. A bad attitude can make things seem so much worse than they really are and can ruin a day that could otherwise have been a progress day.

Here’s a test: For one whole day – commit to having a positive attitude and putting a positive spin on EVERYTHING. Be ridiculously positive. And then see if at the end of day, what kind of mood embraces you at the end of the day.

In order to have a healthy mind and thus a healthy life, it is important to have a healthy attitude. This doesn’t mean you have to be dillusional and oblivious to the cruelities of the world. However, making an effort to see the positive in life, in ourselves, and in others has a healing effect on our minds and souls. For example, I teach children’s gymnastics. When I first started, I would have kids run about aimlessly, make noise, and be all sorts of out-of-control. I got angry and didn’t understand why they wouldn’t just listen! I yelled and banged my hands together, put them in time out, etc. Nothing worked. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to keep teaching, but I couldn’t deal with these darn kids!

I took a step back and realized that maybe it wasn’t the kids…maybe I just had a negative outlook and it was effecting my reaction. I reflected back to when I was their age and my most principle mission at that time. It was to have fun, laugh, play, be goofy. These kids were not acting out on purpose, they were executing their mission. As their teacher, I saw it as my responsibility to help them achieve that mission and if at the end of it they could do a cartwheel..then super. If not, at least they had fun!

Once I changed my attitude and perspective to teaching gymnastics and incorporated it in my classes, everything changed. The kids listened because they wanted to know what fun activity was next. Their teacher (me) was the goofiest person ever and they loved it..so they wanted to follow the teacher around (fixing my runaway issue). It was fabulous. I changed my attitude and started listening to the children as well instead of demanding a one-way audience. Sometimes they acted out because they were scared of a skill but too embarrassed to admit it, sometimes they were bored, didn’t hear me or understand what I wanted and didn’t know how to ask for more direction. All of these insights have made me such a better gymnastics teacher and would have never developed if I had kept my bad attitude and refused to change.

Attitude is everything. It can lift you up or bring you down. I believe it is the number one key to have a healthy mind and thus a healthy life.

Live Well.

Kristin