One Simple Thing that Can Transform Your Body

waterI don’t write a lot about water.

It’s an easy thing to take for granted.

Here in the U.S., we turn the handle of a faucet and clean water spews forth. We drink it, bathe in it, swim in it, and flush it away.

How often do you stop and truly appreciate this incredible gift that is so critical to your life and wellness?

It’s a little mind-boggling that something so simple that we acquire so easily is so vital for all known forms of life. You can go a long time without food—as long as you are hydrated. The only thing you need more than water to sustain life is the oxygen that you breathe.

I love the factoid that water covers 70.9 percent of the Earth’s surface, and the human body contains roughly the same percentage. It feels like cosmic connection.

To function properly, your body needs between one and seven liters of water per day, depending on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and other factors. Most advocates agree that about 2 liters (6 to 7 glasses) of water daily is the minimum to maintain proper hydration.

Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world, but about one billion people still lack access to safe water.

I am grateful that I have more than I need at my fingertips, and that I pay so little for it.

How much water do you drink?

Most people forgo water for coffee, a soft drink, or other beverage.

Today, I encourage you to think about water—the water that makes up your body, that you drink, that you wash your hands and dishes in.

And don’t just think about, but actively appreciate it.

Appreciate the sensation of it on your skin, the cool smoothness of it on your tongue, the beauty of light shining through it, and the benefits that it brings to each cell in your body.

In the hustle and bustle of your holiday errands, appreciate the peace of consciously sipping a glass of water.

Appreciate this substance that is so simple, yet so profoundly important to your wellness—and getting the body you want.

As Dr. Masaru Emoto from Japan has shown, water molecules are impacted by our thoughts, so imagine the benefits of the water you are drinking when you appreciate it.

Now how does that water taste?

How much more willing are you to reach for another glass?

Today, drink to your health.

Together we can do it!

Want to share the gift of water this holiday season? Here are a list of organizations making a difference.

banner4My blog is moving! On Thursday, I will be shifting my blog to my new website LoveYourWaySlim.com. For the next month, I will post both here and there. To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

10 Ways to Improve Your Day

While I’m in Charleston, South Carolina, this week participating in and presenting a couple of workshops, I thought I would share a few of my favorite blogs.

This one is from the fabulous Kristin Barton Cuthriell.

  • Smile at everyone you meet.
  • Write down at least two things that you are grateful for today.
  • Do something physical. (Get rid of the excuses. My friend who works out regularly will be running three miles, while my aunt who has had a stroke, will be sitting in a chair doing her foot exercises. One is not more difficult than the other. They both will be pushing themselves appropriately. What can you do?)
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Do something nice for someone else. (This does not have to be time-consuming. Sometimes it does not take a whole lot of effort to improve someone else’s day.)
  • Plan something that you will look forward to doing. (An evening walk, a dinner out, a vacation.)
  • Set and accomplish a goal. (Yes, accomplishing this list definitely counts.)
  • When you become upset or frustrated, remember that whatever it is that is bothering you may not matter next year, next month, or even tomorrow.
  • Pray
  • Take at least fifteen minutes to do something that you find relaxing. (Observing nature, talking a walk, meditating, taking a warm bath, listening to music….)

Let go of bitterness today and let life in.

Kristin Barton Cuthriell, M.Ed, MSW, LCSW

Kristin is a licensed psychotherapist and educator currently working in private practice, counseling individuals, couples, and families. She utilizes a hope based cognitive behavior approach to therapy and other empirically validated treatments to help individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and difficult life transitions. Prior to entering the mental health field, Kristin spent a decade teaching first, third, and sixth grades. She received a BA in Education from Virginia Tech and went on to earn her Master’s in Education and her Master’s in Social Work. Kristin also enjoys speaking and writing and is currently working on a book designed to help people live more fulfilling lives.

You can read her blog at http://letlifeinpractices.com/

The Best Reason to Be Happy

So often we feel like there has to be a reason to be happy. Often that reason is out ahead of us. We tell ourselves that we will be happy when we lose weight, get that job, have a certain amount of money, meet that deadline, recover from an illness, etc.

How would your life be different if you could let yourself just be happy anyway? How would it be different if you could be happy on your way to losing weight, getting that job, meeting that deadline, recovering from that illness?

Every moment that you deprive yourself of feeling good is like putting yourself in jail and refusing to set yourself free, even though you have the key in your pocket.

Wouldn’t it be better to be happy now?

And if you really need a reason to be happy, what reason can you use? Regardless of what else may be going on in your life, some reasons to be happy anyway might be:

The sun has risen.

• You are receiving these words.

• Someone somewhere loves you. (Probably a lot of someones.)

• You are alive this moment of this day.

• You have some form of nourishment available to you.

• You have clothes for your body.

• You have a body that is working well-enough for you to understand these words.

• There is an abundance of air to breathe.

• No matter what your state of wellness, your body is knocking itself out on your behalf.

• You have at least one thing that you’re really good at and enjoy doing.

• You have a lifetime of experiences that are unique to you.

• You see the world as no one else does, and your perspective is valuable.

• Even if it seems the same, this day is different from all the others that have come before.

• Streams and rivers are flowing, and ocean tides are rising and falling.

• Chances are you have an abundance of clean water to drink.

• The Earth is spinning and producing resources to support life.

• There is an abundance of beauty in the world if you will just look for it.

• The sun will set and will rise again tomorrow.

How can you add to this list? What is in your life right now that you can use as a reason to be happy? Are there people, places, or animals that you appreciate? What about your body is working for you? What do you find beautiful? Where are you abundant?

How happy are you willing to let yourself feel right now? How can you let go of whatever reason is holding you back?

Together we can do it!

Weird—and Wonderful—Ways to Work-In Wellness

While I’m away at coach training, I’m re-running a few of my favorite blogs that you may have missed.

Many people are so focused on the time that they don’t have for wellness that they miss all the small opportunities they do have to work physical and emotional wellness into their day. Taking advantage of these tiny moments can boost physical and mental energy, and generate a sense of well-being.

Here are some ideas for slipping in your wellness fix—just don’t worry about what some people may think. Isn’t your wellness more important than a few seconds of potential judgment from a stranger, friend, family member, or co-worker?

Minutes Matter

Do you ever stand there and wait for your lunch to heat up in the microwave, or that pot of water to boil, or cup of coffee or tea to brew?

Don’t just stand there! Even doing a few minutes of exercise can give you an energy boost. And those minutes add up. Do them throughout the day and before you know it, you’ve gotten in a 15 to 20 minute workout.

Take that minute or two and do counter push ups, lunges, toe raises, and squats. You can also dance or march in place.

I only got caught once dancing in front of the microwave in my work break-room. At the time my co-worker thought I was a little weird, but she also noticed when I started losing weight.

You can do these and other exercises at work while on conference calls if you have a headset or speaker phone. Just do your push up off your desk. You can even throw in some planks. If you’re wearing a skirt or a dress, however, you might want to have an office door to shut!

A mini-stepper or pedal exerciser can fit under your desk and are also great to do while you’re on the phone.

House Work Aerobics

Have you ever worked up a sweat cleaning the house? You can make it even more aerobic by doing lunges while vacuuming, or each time you head up or down stairs, go up and down an extra time. You can do single shoulder presses with your bottle of cleaning solution as you walk from surface to surface.

Be creative—but safe—as you make your house sparkling clean.

More Wellness While You Wait

All the time we spend waiting in line adds up, so take advantage of it. Meditate, pray, or practice appreciation while in line at the grocery store.

What can you appreciate? How about the sheer abundance of food that we are blessed to choose from, or all those workers who keep the store clean, the shelves stocked, and those check-out lines moving? How about your favorite foods? There’s a lot to appreciate at the grocery store if we just take the time to look for it.

And if you are willing to look a little weird, you can get in stretches, toe raises, or lunges while you wait.

You can also meditate while waiting for your doctor or mechanic. Feeling a little tired? Shut your eyes and rest for a few minutes as you wait.

Doing the dishes and other repetitive tasks are also a great time to clear you mind and tune in to your spiritual side.

Tube Time

How much time do you spend sitting and watching TV? How about taking each commercial break to get in a few sets of exercise? Keep some dumbbells, balance board, or other fitness gear nearby to make it easy. Or sit on a stability ball and build your core strength as you watch your favorite show. Why not throw in some crunches during the commercials?

Reconsider Lunch

Lunch is a great time to get in a workout, but you may not have time to hit the gym. What can you do?

Bring your workout gear, change clothes in the bathroom, and plug an exercise DVD into your computer. No time or place to change? Are there stairs in your building? See how many times you can go up and down them in the time you have.

Or strap on your walking shoes and head outside. Even a walk around the block can clear your mind and bump-up your productivity in the afternoon. Grab a co-worker to get in some social time, too.

Post Positive Messages

Wanting to shift your mindset, but no time to journal? Post affirmations, things you appreciate, and other positive messages on your computer screen, bathroom mirror, or above the kitchen sink. Every time you see them, remind yourself to take a moment to breathe and shift to a more positive thought.

What’s the Alarm?

Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer to remind you to drink water, eat a healthy snack, focus on an affirmation, take a moment to clear your mind, or do 10 jumping jacks.

When you start looking for time to work wellness into your day, you may be surprised at all the time you really do have.

I’d love to hear how you work wellness into your busy day.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

More Tips for Practicing Appreciation

In Saturday’s blog, I presented information on how appreciation is similar too, but different from gratitude and pointed out five tips for practicing appreciation.

But how do you know when you are raising your positive anabolic energy? Pay attention to your emotions. Abraham advises looking for any feeling of relief as an indicator that you are shifting your energy.

For me this means starting to feel more at ease, being more present and peaceful, and having those feelings build to contentment, satisfaction, love, and ultimately joy. It is the pinnacle to get to the point where you are absolutely and completely in love with life and are eager for more

Any improvement in your emotions is letting you know you are shifting to a more anabolic state.

Here are some more tips for practicing appreciation.

Make it a game. One of the keys to practicing appreciation is to lighten up and let go of taking life so seriously. In a less serious state, you are more willing to play and let anabolic energy flow.

Ways to make appreciation a game are to:

  • Think of things you appreciate that start with every letter of the alphabet. For instance, I appreciate Apricots, Bananas, Cashews, etc.” (Humm, must be time for breakfast!)
  • Or pick one letter and see how long you can make the list. I’ll give an example with the letter O. I appreciate oranges, orangutans, ostriches, oscillating fans, openers, onions, olives, organs (both those in my body and those that play music), ovens—you get the idea.
  • Or pick a taste you a like and think of everything you appreciate with that flavor. For instance, salty. “Popcorn, pretzels, pistachios, nuts of all sorts, roasted vegetables, etc.”
  • Or pick a topic and think about everything about it that you appreciate. I love reading, so an example would be, I appreciate the feel of the paper under my fingers, and the play of words, and the images and new worlds that are evoked, and the creativity of the writers, and the way I can get carried away in a story, and all the things I learn from books, etc.

Appreciate yourself. This can be a tough, particularly when you are beginning to practice appreciation. But truly, if you don’t appreciate yourself, why would anyone else appreciate you? Here are some ways to do this.

  • Appreciate your body. Get away from how you look if that hangs you up and think about all the amazing things your body does for you every day. Start off appreciating your external body. For instance, appreciate your toes because they give you balance and your feet that help you move from place to place and enable you to do almost everything. Appreciate your ankles and calves for being flexible and enabling you to walk and run. Appreciate your hard-working knees that take the impact of every step you take, etc.
  • Appreciate your internal functions. Your heart for pumping blood and the life-giving oxygen it supplies to every part of your body. Your brain that is interpreting so much data every second and enables you to function, etc.
  • You can also appreciate your personality, or things that you know, your gifts, your talents, etc.

Appreciate others. Focusing on the people in your life and looking for all the things you appreciate is a powerful exercise that can change relationships for the better. Start with the people who are easy to love and work up to those people who make you cranky. When you let go of those things that annoy you, and instead focus more on the things you admire and appreciate you are seeing those people more as Who they really are.

Appreciate things about your life. What do you appreciate about your relationships, your work, your play, your home, your environment?

Appreciate things about your world. Is your life better because you have central heat and air? Appreciate it! Is your life better because you have windows and air to breathe? Appreciate it! Running water, indoor toilets, even your toothbrush are things that may get taken for granted, but add so much to your life.

Appreciate what you eat. A powerful exercise for optimal wellness is to focus on appreciating your food as you buy it, prepare it, and each bite as you eat it.

Practicing appreciation is about mindfulness, being in the present, getting the most out of your life right now, and acknowledging the magnificence of All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) that has facilitated the creation of everything about your life and world.

What can you do today to practice appreciation?

Together we can do it!

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

Accountability

Accountability for December 28, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

Had my first post-surgery appointment with the doctor yesterday and he confirmed that I am recovering remarkably well. He even expressed surprise at how well I’m doing! I attribute this to the power of a positive mind-set, minding the doctor’s instructions to walk and drink lots of water, and eating well most of the time. As my accountability posts attest, perfection is not required for fabulous results!

I have permission to slowly go back to my regular workouts. My body will let me know if I am doing too much.

Did get in all my walks yesterday, and ate clean until we joined friends for dinner and drinks. I splurged a bit on two drinks, a few bites of my husband’s French fries (they were worthy!), a couple of bites of the macaroni and cheese appetizer, and a bite of peanut butter pie. All in all, I think I did pretty darn well.

Did stay up probably a little too late (thus the tardiness of my posts this morning), which I think contributed to the headache I went to bed with last night, but I feel great this morning!

Looking forward to getting a gentle workout in today, as well as a couple of walks!

 

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions and have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.