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Author: Coach Sid

Buddy

Buddy

A while back a gentleman told me that he knows our food choices are important because of his beloved dog, Buddy. Buddy’s fat to muscle ratio had increased, and he wasn’t moving as well as he used to. He tried to walk Buddy more in an attempt to burn off some of the excess pounds, but Buddy didn’t have much energy. 

Worried that something was seriously wrong, he took Buddy to the veterinarian. One of the first questions the vet asked was what Buddy ate. The vet sent the gentlemen home with a prescription for dog food, a sample for Buddy to try, and a list of healthier over the counter dog foods options in case Buddy didn’t like the prescription. It worked. Buddy burned fat and gained energy, and now begs the gentleman for his daily walks.

Many of us have also seen our fat to muscle ratio increase and our energy level decrease. There are many components of health and wellness, and they all complement each other. If you’re focusing on one component and not seeing results, you might not be addressing that component correctly. However, there’s a chance you’re overlooking a different component that is actually the one that is preventing your progress. If you need some help along your journey to a healthier body, please don’t be afraid to reach out to a health coach or other nutrition or fitness professional for guidance. They may help you see the big picture and help you devise the right strategy to address all of the components. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week.

Huh?

Huh?

Are you being heard?

As a child, my mother always took me to the same place to get my haircut. It was conveniently located, affordable, and the two hairdressers that worked there were very friendly and fast. While it did have many positive attributes, there was one serious downside for me—they couldn’t understand what I was saying. I tried my best to communicate with them using hand gestures to help illustrate my request. It never worked—I always came back with the same haircut. Sometimes it was a little shorter than others, and sometimes way too short, but it was always straight all the way across. If it looked good, it would have been great, but it didn’t look great —I hated it. 

After getting another one of those dreaded haircuts, I decided to take matters into my own hands. It was time to cut my own hair. I set up mirrors all around me me so I could see the back of my head. If you’re cringing right now, it didn’t turn out half as bad as you’re imagining. My amateur haircut looked surprisingly decent.

After realizing what I had done, my mother decided it was time to try a different hairdresser next time. It wasn’t fancy, but it was perfect for me. I recall the first time I went in and my hairdresser asked what I wanted. She asked follow-up questions and summarized her goal. I had found someone who listened to me. 

If you’re currently seeking help from someone that is unable or unwilling to understand what you’re looking for, feel free to look for a better fit.  

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week. 

It’s Okay

It’s Okay

Have you ever tripped, bumped into a hard surface, or done something else that left you throbbing with pain only to insist seconds later that you were okay? Did you ever act like moving was easy when it was the hardest thing you could do?

How many times have you heard a response to “how are you?” that didn’t include the words good or great? We have a tendency to insist things are dandy—even when they may not be. 

No one wants to be labeled a Negative Nancy or a Pessimistic Peter, but constantly insisting that things are wonderful when in reality they aren’t has its own drawbacks. It’s challenging to find the energy to fix a problem when you are spending so much time and energy convincing the world that you’re doing great. 

I realize that it isn’t appropriate in polite society to unload your burdens onto colleagues or acquaintances. However, hopefully you have at least one person in your life that you can be truly honest with. Maybe it’s a friend, family member, coach, trainer, or therapist. If you are lucky enough to have one of those people, don’t be afraid to ask them for help. It’s okay to acknowledge that you’re not okay, because acknowledging the problem is the first step to overcoming it. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week.     

It’s Easier

It’s Easier

Have you ever made a choice to do something because it was easier in the moment. However, you later regretted that choice because you didn’t learn or grow? Maybe you wish you had accepted the cooking lessons from your grandmother instead of zoning out in front of the tv — because now you find cooking intimidating. Maybe you wish you had given your new bike a try instead of insisting that you preferred your tricycle — because now can’t use the free bikes to get across campus at work. Maybe you wish you had signed up for your company’s softball team — because they had so much fun and developed great relationships. Sometimes choices that make life easier in the short run make life harder in the long run.

It’s usually a lot easier not to exercise. Exercise is challenging and — let’s be real — most of it’s uncomfortable, but if it’s done correctly, it will make your life easier later. 

Invest in your future, and choose to exercise today.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week.  

Common Ground

Common Ground

A family friend likes to tell a story about how her daughter and her daughter’s best friend met. It wasn’t friendship at first sight. Far from it. In fact, they were quarreling so much in Kindergarten that the teacher called a “parent teacher conference” with the two young girls. The wise Kindergarten teacher had them sit there and talk until they could find something they agreed on. It took a while, and a lot of ground was covered. Eventually they came to a consensus— they truly detested brown nail polish.

Out of that small commonality, a friendship blossomed. Sometimes you may not hit it off with your future best friend right away. Sometimes people grow on you. 

You may have the same experience with exercise. Just because your first experience with a certain type of exercise wasn’t enjoyable, doesn’t mean that you’ll never grow fond of that very same exercise. Is there anything about that exercise that you did like? Can you focus on that and give it another shot? 

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a safe and healthy week. 

Bulk

Bulk

Are you hesitant to start weight training because you’re worried you’ll get bulky? I was.

I can recall the first time I was in a weight room. I was a freshman in high school, and our P.E. teacher spent a week with us going over various exercises. The weight room at my high school was small—roughly the size of most apartment complex gyms. Still, we all crammed inside as our teacher taught us how to use the equipment and gave some people the opportunity to attempt the exercises. I wasn’t interested. I associated weight training with bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I didn’t want to get bulky.

I now know that strength training is an art form, and bodybuilding is just one method of strength training. There are many different schools of strength training. Gaining the kind of bulk I was afraid of requires eating and exercising extremely strategically.

There are also many potential benefits of strength training that go beyond physical appearance. These include performing activities of daily life more safely, reducing your risk for cancer, improving your mood, increasing bone mineral density, and improving your posture. 

If you’re not familiar with the art of strength training, it’s ok. There are many qualified fitness professionals that would be happy to set you up on a program that works for you and helps you achieve your goals—whatever they may be. 

Happy strength training, and thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week. 

The Struggle Is Real

The Struggle Is Real

As many of you know, October is breast cancer awareness month. This month many organizations throughout the world host events to promote awareness and raise funds.  Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers, and I think most people would agree that these events are important and encouraging.  

However, I know from working with people who were being treated for or had survived other types of cancers, that breast cancer awareness month can be challenging because they feel overlooked. One person I worked with explained that after her diagnosis of another type of cancer —including a dire prediction that she would have less than ten years to live —she was given a goody bag with pink breast cancer ribbons and pins.

Struggling with a chronic condition isn’t easy: whether you are suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, back pain, etc. For those of you who are currently struggling with your health, please know that many recognize your struggle. I know that I do. 

You matter. Take care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Just like there are a lot of people that care about folks with breast cancer, there are a lot of people who want to help you too. As John Watson once wrote: “Let us be kind, one to another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.”

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week.  

Don’t Mess

Don’t Mess

“Don’t mess. Don’t mess. Don’t mess with the best, cuz the best don’t mess. From the East to the West, the Ladybugs are the best!” This was one of several cheers my soccer team, the Ladybugs, would yell before running onto the field.  Despite having a name that wasn’t at all intimidating, we were pretty good. Maybe not always the best in our league and certainly not from the East to the West, but we were good. 

Other teams tried to mess with us. On more than one occasion, we watched as girls spit on their hands before lining up after the game to shake our hands. There were times when some of the other team’s players refused to shake our hands at all and just walked past our outstretched hands. I even recall one time when the other team’s coach refused to shake our coach’s hand. 

Our coach taught us to always take the high road because “The best don’t mess.” I’m not quite sure what the other team hoped to gain from such behavior. If anything, the other teams’ attempts to mess with us brought us closer together. It made us a stronger team. 

I realize being messed with as part of a group is a lot easier to tolerate than individual scrutiny. 

Has anyone said something or done something to make you question whether exercise is right for you? You don’t always have be a winner to have a winning attitude. If you’re still feeling some fear and uncertainty, I encourage you to seek help from a fitness professional or health coach. It is our job to bring out your best and remind you that The Best Don’t Mess!

  Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week.

Vacation

Vacation

Trying to be healthy on vacation!? It ain’t easy!!!

This past weekend I visited the State Fair of Texas (yee ha!) for the first time. I was also sharing it with out-of-town family. I asked many people for advice on what to do at the fair. I quickly learned that fried food is one of its main attractions. The fair offers tons of deep fried foods —  from the classic options: french fries, corn dogs, cheese curds, and funnel cake to the unique options: fried coke, fried twinkies, fried fettuccine alfredo, fried cream corn casserole, fried fruit, fried cake balls, fried burritos, fried shepherds pie, etc.

I wanted to enjoy the fair without eating any fried food. I knew this would be a challenge, and it would take some planning. After about a twenty-minute internet search, I learned that you can bring food to the fair. I also learned that, though a little harder to find, you could purchase nuts and grilled corn at the fair. Also, I ensured that we would have a big healthy breakfast right before heading to the fair, and I selected a healthy restaurant for lunch that was on the way home.

I can honestly say no one in my group ate any of the fried food. One of my family members commented that visiting us reminds her that being healthy on vacation is doable. Doable, yes—easy, no.  

However, the point of this story is not to say you should always have the healthiest foods all of the time regardless of the circumstances. That isn’t realistic. The point is that with a little planning, you can make better choices, and consciously choose when to occasionally indulge. 

If you need some help strategizing how to be healthy on your next vacation, don’t be afraid to ask a fitness professional or healthy coach. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week. 

I’m Busy, So busy

I’m Busy, So busy

I had the pleasure of knowing a lady who had this special presence about her—she never seemed rushed or distracted.  She confessed she hadn’t always been like that. She used to work around the clock. Her husband, who made enough to support the family, encouraged her to retire or find a less demanding position. Even though her busy schedule was harming her health, she resisted. Her loving husband— desperate to help her—painted a morbid picture. He said that she would work herself to death if she continued doing what she had been doing. 

Deep down, she knew he was right. Her endless hours on the job were taking a toll on her body and her relationships with loved ones. Ironically, she could have also done better work if she hadn’t put her health at the bottom of her priority list. She pictured her tombstone reading,“She was a really hard worker.” While this seems dramatic, it was the wake up call she needed. 

Many of us are really busy—even if we aren’t working. I know many retirees who have schedules that are packed to the brim. 

Being busy isn’t necessarily good or bad. What matters is how you are spending your time. Are you spending time on things that are actually important to you—things that help you have more good days? Or are your days filled with busywork—things that don’t serve you or those you care about?

I encourage you to reevaluate how you’re spending your time. Maybe you realize that you can find a better use of the hour or two you spend each week following celebrity gossip. Maybe you realize that watching people cook on television has led you to mindlessly eat in front of the TV instead of inspiring you to cook a special meal. Maybe you realize that spending all of your time caring for others has left you depleted, and it’s time to dedicate some time caring for yourself too.

You may find that you’re able to make more time to exercise, prepare dinner, or sleep when you let go of some of the unnecessary things clogging up your schedule.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week.