Release Your Essence, Boost Your Performance

mudderOn October 8, 2016, I ran my first Tough Mudder with my friend Cynthia ( a Legionnaire 3X Tough Mudder participant). Due to my fitness level, I hadn’t seriously exercised since I had my third child. I knew that there were going to be a lot of obstacles, especially the ones that require upper body strength, and that I would have to skip those. The distance also worried me. Ten miles is a half marathon and I am not trained for it. I went back to running two to four miles per week in the past few months but not regularly to the point that I can pretend to be trained.

So I’ve been there for the past two months –because it was getting close–thinking, anticipating about where I can fit my training into my busy schedule. The day of the race arrived and I hadn’t done much, probably because I know the most powerful way to get through this. It is what I teach and practice most daily: mindfulness, connecting with the space within yourself where your energy consciousness lies, your essence, and anchoring yourself in the present moment. Plus my unwavering faith that I would do fine.

When you are in that state, you just go with the flow and that is the key to highest performance. Your body has already learned the movement with training.  The brain delivers the messages to your muscles, the mechanics behind the motion and the feeling of gravity to apply the right amount of strength. I also knew that the body follows the mind. Just an example: when I set a goal of running six times around the track, I notice my body gets tired around four to five rounds because I am close to the end and I am starting to battle internally, talking myself into pushing and going a little bit longer. The same happens when I set a goal of running ten rounds.  Around eight times I get the same self talk.

For the Tough Mudder, I decided not to look how long the distance was–it varies from ten to twelve miles–and did not look at the obstacles. So when we registered and they handed us a map, I shoved it into my sport bag. I was not interested in knowing. I will be in the moment and go with the flow of what was coming. The race started and that is exactly what I did. Even in front of the obstacles, I did not think twice about how I was going to get over it. I just went, and grabbed the first hand coming my way, the first shoulder. I was getting this done!

To my amazement, I stayed in that state of mind for the duration of the event. What seemed like a two and a half  hour race was actually four hours. In that state of mind, time took on another meaning. I ran about seven out of ten miles and did twelve out of twenty obstacles, which exceeded by far my own expectations due to my level of fitness. At no point did I feel exhaustion or that I had to stop. I had my mind set on pulling through, one moment at a time.

It’s when I finally passed the finish line, that my body felt heavy again, tired and cold . That cold rinse off outside didn’t help much. The next shower was the best shower I ever had and the two slices of pizza afterward: heavenly. Mindfulness is the secret to high performance and exceeding expectations.

Maintaining an Active Lifestyle

We just gave you a slew of information about how you can lose the baby weight. While this may appear to be something you do for you, you don’t have to go it alone nor could you. With a baby around, you are never alone anyway.

But don’t forget, the baby will soon be a toddler and then a pre-schooler. We suggest becoming an active family, something that not only helps you stay slim, but also sets a good example for your children.

We suggest:

  • Do the food shopping and cooking with other members of the family.
  • Plan family activities around exercise or events that require movement.
  • Choose one physical activity each weekend and take turns with other family members when making the choice.

By taking turns and engaging in the activities together, not only is everyone happier, variety is added to the routine. Above all, you are not only exercising happily, you are creating family memories.

Here is a list of ten FUN things you can do with your family:

  • Spend the day at a water park.
  • Take a walk on the boardwalk or just through the neighborhood.
  • Play paint ball.
  • Go sailing, kayaking or rowing.
  • Go to an indoor rock climbing center.
  • Go roller skating at a rink or just outdoors.
  • Spend time at a local playground and pack a healthy picnic lunch.
  • Go bicycle riding.
  • Participate in one of many public park activities.
  • Put on some music and dance.

What do you like to do?  Share your ideas with us! We’d love to hear them!

Shopping is Exercise

While you are finishing your Christmas shopping, be cognizant of all the exercise you are getting. Yes—if you are on your feet for a few hours and you do it right—shopping can be good for you.

First, park your car far from the mall so you get some extra steps in there and back.  Do this even if you see a great spot right near the entrance! If you crave a treat while shopping, do pass up the Cinnabon stand and vie for a Skinny Latte instead.

Then, before you leave, make sure to walk around the mall one last time, with the heavy bags in tow.  If you follow our advice, you will likely have burned more calories than you took in. Now, that’s a successful shopping day!

Just Dance

We think of dancing as a way to have fun. We go to dance clubs and dance recitals. We enjoy watching Ellen DeGeneres open her show that way. We engage in the activity, we view it, and some of us even take lessons.

We probably have dancing on our minds right now because our next book signing will take place at a dance boutique. But we do think that the world would be a better place with more dance.

When you dance, you are moving your body the way it wants. When you put the music on, it is liberating. You are connecting with your inner self and expressing what is deep inside. When you dance, you let go of restrictions and feel free. And doing so allows you to connect with other people.

Exercise need not be boring. Just dance, and you will finish that cardio in no time!

The Razor Blade Myth and Other Reasons Why We Should Favor Healthy Halloween Treats

imgresIn 1985, Best and Horiuchi published a journal article titled the “Razor Blade in the Apple: The Social Construction of Urban Legends” contending that threats of tainted Halloween candy have been widely exaggerated.

Today, we shy away from baking our own treats or giving out fruit, for example, because there is a lack of trust, even though the danger has been blown out of proportion. Instead, our children bring home pillow cases full of hermetically sealed  store-bought candy. While stockpiling candy may not appear to be a healthy thing to do, Halloween does invite a lot of walking, so while the sugary treats will certainly be present, at least there is exercise involved.

As adults, we can do things to encourage healthy eating, even on a holiday like Halloween. When we give out treats, we can favor healthier varieties in sealed packages. We can veer towards  pretzels,  nuts, popcorn, granola or non-food items. The holiday is two weeks away so we have time to create a solid strategy and stick with it.

An occasional treat is fine, but Halloween invites overkill with days of rationing and bargaining ahead. Giving out healthier options is not trickery. It is simply the smart thing to do.