Have you ever been on the roller coaster of exercise and nutrition and found yourself doing a particular program for a while and then fall off? Thousands of individuals do this every New Year. You set your intention to make this change, and it seems to fade just a few months later. We ALL strive for lasting change.
Well, the New Year is not yet here, and we don’t need the New Year to make a permanent change. That “someday is today.” Let me explain. I’ve been in the fitness industry going on twenty years. Lifestyle, health, and fitness is my passion—rather, helping individuals find their path to becoming the best they can be in all areas of life is what I truly set my intention for, why I do what I do.
Going back to lasting change, I truly believe change in anything you set out to do has to start with your mind. Your thoughts lead to decisions and decisions lead to actions. Many of us have set the goals to change that are more surface laden and not deep rooted and concrete. Over my twenty years, I have had many clients come to me and set the goal of weight loss. I truly honor this, but I challenge all of my clients to get more concrete and specific as to what they want and “WHY” they want their goal. I believe with absolute certainty you need to be specific about what you want and why you want it. Your goal has to be mapped out.
What is the key ingredient to lasting change? What will this specific weight loss do for you in your life? Will this weight loss bring you renewed energy to get down on the ground and play with your kids? Will this energy bring you the self-confidence that you may have been wanting for so long in your life? Will this weight loss give you the vitality to enjoy your retirement in the coming years? Answering these questions shows you how specific you need to be. What does it truly mean from deep within you to obtain the goal you are after? What is the internal (personally for you and you only) and external (for family or another external reason outside of you) meaning as to why you NEED and WANT to conquer the goal you set out to accomplish?
Once you established your “WHY,” make it a concrete statement and place the goal in front of you where you read it on a daily basis and as a constant reminder of the importance of conquering this goal to make it lasting. It is a constant reminder of how badly you truly want lasting change. Put it on your bathroom mirror, in your planner, your fridge, etc.
Just like nature has seasons of change, so does life. It is inevitable that you will encounter the winter and with it the trials will come, but you will have the power of your “WHY” to help guide you through to find the springtime and ultimately your lasting change. Truly anything and everything that leads to growth in your life comes through challenge.
So, the next time you set out to establish the next area in your life of personal development, take the time to reflect “WHY” it is so important to you. Make this “WHY” statement concrete, very specific, and get in depth within yourself to find the importance of conquering it for lasting change. Just like in the weight room, to make a muscle grow, you have to continually do repetitions just like we do in the personal development area of our minds. Read your “WHY” statement through daily repetition. You become what you focus on.
By Ann Bischel, Mayo Clinic Health System
Got the flu?
Don’t worry quite yet. There are ways you can self-manage:
- Hydrate. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids, such as water, juice and warm soups, to prevent dehydration.
- Rest. Catch up on your sleep to help your immune system fight off the infection.
- Medication. Generally, you’ll need nothing more than bed rest and fluids. You also may consider an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce some of the aches associated with the flu. But in some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication. If taken soon after you notice symptoms, the medication may shorten your illness by a day or so and help prevent serious complications.
If infected with the flu, it’s important to take certain measures to ensure it doesn’t spread to others around you:
- Wash your hands. Thorough and frequent hand washing or an alcohol-based sanitizer are effective ways to prevent the spread of germs.
- Contain your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth or nose when you sneeze or cough, and wash your hands after. To avoid contaminating your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inner crook of your elbow.
- Avoid crowds. By avoiding crowds during the peak of flu season, you may reduce your chances of infection and spreading to others. If you’re sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever subsides to lessen your chance of infecting others.
If you do get the flu, remember these tips to help get over it quicker and avoid spreading it to others around you.
If you have flu symptoms and are at risk of complications, see your doctor right away.
Ann Bischel is a nurse practitioner in Express Care at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
By Melinda Gardner, APPLE Pregnancy Care Center
Today it’s early fall and the furnace kicked on for the first time. The leaves are turning and falling, and I’m pretty sure summer is over. And sometimes that can make moms panic because we all know what’s coming: Christmas. When you think of that, does it make you excited—or totally panicked?
I have a friend who told me once about how she spent weeks preparing for Christmas and felt like she was putting on this huge event. Everyone loved it—except for her! She was exhausted.
It really helps if you can put things into perspective. Ask yourself: What are the things that I love to do as I prepare for this holiday? What are the things that I don’t really want to do but do anyway? What is Christmas all about anyway?
We all need to remember that it’s not about “the stuff.” It’s so easy to think we need piles of presents. We spend more than we want to. We panic that it isn’t “enough” but really, it’s too much. Your children want YOU—your time, your presence, a mom or dad who isn’t stressed and unavailable.
I grew up in a family that really valued each other. We had traditional things that we did every year that made the holiday special for us. Certain Norwegian food (It’s usually white!), he Norwegian candleholders at each place at the Christmas Eve table that we lit as we sang “Silent Night” together. My dad read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke before we had dinner. These things are all really easy and don’t cost much money, but they made our celebration so special and uniquely ours.
Guess what? You can start your own traditions right now.
- Decorate Christmas cookies with your kids. (play music of course)
- Pick a Christmas CD that you always listen to together. (We decorate the tree to the Amy Grant Christmas album—the old one!)
- Help your little ones make gifts for someone else. It’s great to teach them the joy of giving.
- Watch a Christmas movie together. We love Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. It’s a Jim Henson production and so funny.
- Serve at a food bank or community table together or ring the bell for Salvation Army. It’s so satisfying to see your child learn to care for others.
- Go for a walk during a snowstorm. Make snow angels. Have hot chocolate.
- Stop—think—enjoy your family.
- Go to a Christmas service and worship together.
Have a blessed, peaceful Christmas season with your family.
Melinda Gardner is the executive director of the APPLE Pregnancy Care Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She is a wife, mother of two adult daughters and grandmother of one special little boy.
By Dr. Lynn Thompson
Stress is defined as the organism’s response to environmental pressures or demands either internal or external. The causes of stress in humans can include any event that the individual perceives, consciously or unconsciously, as a threat. It has been reported that at least 90 percent of all diseases are related to stress and the lack of the coping skills to alleviate the long-term reactions. This particular time of year has special risks for uncontrolled stress.
This time of year we find to be more stressful from lack of sunshine, increase in sugar consumption, and “family” or community traditions. We live in an area around the 45th north latitude and as such are very limited on the direct sunlight during the winter months. Stress can present as depression (also increased in the winter months). When the skin does not have enough sunlight, Vitamin D is not manufactured. If you do not have adequate sun exposure, you should include good sources of Vitamin D in your diet from egg yolks; raw cow milk; fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, and herring; shrimp; chicken liver; and orange juice.
Ironically, orange juice is very high in sugar. In a one cup serving (8 ounces), OJ has 124 mg (milligrams) of Vitamin C (more than 100 percent of the US government’s Recommended Daily Intake of about 60 mg/day. Research dating back to 1999 recommends an increase to 120 mg/day). Dr. Linus Pauling discovered that Vitamin C is needed by the body to fight bacteria and viruses. Glucose (simplest form of sugar found in the body) and Vitamin C have similar chemical structures. There are times when the body can confuse sugar and Vitamin C. When the blood sugar level reaches 120mg/dl, the body’s ability to destroy the bacteria and viruses is reduced by 75 percent for the next four to six hours. Here are some not-so-sweet facts about sugar, just to name a few.
- The average American consumes 100 pounds of sugar per year. Crazy, right? It is even crazier when compared to the mere 8 pounds of broccoli the average American consumes annually.
- The other white powder. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
- Sugar is hidden almost everywhere, especially in processed foods.
- Sugar in disguise: corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, fructose—watch out for the “ose” at the end of the word!
- Refined table sugar (aka sucrose) lacks vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In fact, your body has to tap into its precious mineral and enzyme stores to process it.
- If your body does not properly digest sugar (and simple carbs for that matter), it contributes to candida overgrowth. If you are not familiar with candida, it is worth a Google or Bing search.
- It feeds the bad guys. Sugar contributes to an acidic environment, which cancer and other diseases love!
- It contributes to Type 2 diabetes.
This time of year, many of us celebrate religious holidays and overindulge in spending, eating, and lack of sunshine. Rather than participate in activities that increase stress levels, take a deep breath, go for a walk, have an attitude of gratitude, enjoy a hearty laugh, and share a healthy, low-sugar meal made with love and joy.
A cheerful heart is good medicine.
Dr. Lynn Thompson holds doctorates in chiropractic, naturopathy, and homeopathy. She has been involved in healthcare for forty years. Dr. Lynn resides in Foster with her husband, John, and travels extensively around the United States presenting classes on health and wellness utilizing essential oils and nutrition.