Your Fitness

Still thinking about getting started on a fitness program?Consider joining a group class for major results and major fun!Here are some benefits of working out with a group versus working out by yourself.

Qualified Instruction

Attending a class that is lead by a trained and qualified professional is a surefire way to learn the correct form of each exercise and can help you improve how you move your body to prevent injury or prevent making an existing condition worse. They also can show you how to modify exercises if you are at a different level than the rest of the class.

Variety

Just like women, group exercise comes in all shapes and sizes. There are already a large variety of classes available at most gyms and studios and more formats are being introduced all the time. You just need to try all formats to decide which best suits you. Some popular classes today are latin dancing, indoor cycling and mind/body classes.

Accountability

One advantage to group exercise classes is the accountability.If you decide not to attend classes, most likely your absence will be noticed. Consistency is huge when starting an exercise program and for this reason, the benefit of the accountability of a group exercise class will increase your results substantially. At RAM Fitness, we ask clients to sign-up in advance for classes to help schedule-in their workout. This adds another level of accountability to ensure your success.

Fun

Group exercise classes are a great way to have fun! If you are having fun, you will be more likely to go more often. Encourage other friends to join your class or make friends with the people around you. Many long-term friendships have been made with people just getting to know each other in an exercise class. Knowing that others know what you are going through will also help keep you coming back for more. And what could be more fun than a brand new fit and healthy body?

Come try out a group class at RAM Fitness! RAM Fitness offers a variety of small group classes to women of all shapes and sizes.

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Heart-Healthy Future

Painting in her studio in Artmongerz Gallery in Greensboro, Jacalyn Romano, did not have a specific direction in mind. Rich yellow and red acrylics over plaster lines and swirls turned into a sun’s light reaching into deeper blue and burnt sienna hues.

Then Jackie experienced the worst pain in her life. “A fire struck the center of my chest and I just couldn’t stop screaming,” she describes.She was taken to Moses Cone Memorial Hospital, where she was told she was having a heart attack. Dr. Thomas Wall, now her friend for life, realized how dire her situation was and acted fast. On July 13, 2010, Jackie had a triple bypass and heart valve repair.

“I still had paint under my nails,” remembers Jackie. “My sister, Rebecca, helped me clean them at the hospital.” The painting she was working on took on a new meaning for her.When completed, she entitled it “Just a Heart Beat Away.” To her, the sun now represents a second chance. Since her heart attack, Jackie has stopped smoking and is managing her type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol with good nutrition and exercise. This experience inspired her to create a new series of artwork, entitled “Matters of the Heart.”

Jackie is proud to share her studio space with other artists in what she refers to as “The Gallery that Gives.” Jackie donated one of her works to the 2011 Guilford Heart Ball and other artists from the gallery are joining her.

“If I could send a message to women in Guilford County, it would be to take care of yourselves even through times of turmoil, listen to your body and don’t let your fear of hearing bad news keep you from seeing your doctor and possibly heading off heart disease,” shares Jackie.

February is American Heart Month and Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s nationwide initiative fighting heart disease in women, the #1 killer of women in North Carolina and the U.S.

For more information visit http://www.heart.org/goredtriad and http://www.heart.org/guilfordncheartball.

Reject The Diet Mentality

Become an Intuitive Eater

It’s time for our next principle of Intuitive Eating—Feel Your Fullness—and I have a confession to make.I failed at feeling my fullness tonight.First,I worked late, not finishing up with my last client until almost 8:00 pm.It had been too long since lunch, and I found myself in quite the ravenous state by the time I was leaving the office.Second,I failed to eat without distraction.Because I am always two steps behind on meeting a deadline, I chose to eat dinner while writing this very article.Both of these decisions—ones that inhibit an intuitive eater from truly respecting her fullness—left me further away from satisfied than I would have preferred and teetering on the edge of stuffed.

I share all this for one reason: To remind you, my friend, that this journey is about progress, not perfection!Tomorrow is a new day.But in the meantime, let’s get an overview of this month’s principle.

Principle Five: Feel Your Fullness

The original intuitive eating pros—Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, define “feeling your fullness” as the ability to stop eating because you have had enough to eat biologically.Much like what happened to me, certain habits, such as becoming ravenous before you eat, staying distracted while eating, or feeling obligated to eat by well-meaning “food pushers”, can cause overeating. Additionally,the majority of chronic dieters don’t stop eating until the last morsel is gone, and this creates an inability to recognize a level of comfortable fullness.These “clean-your-plate” club members come by this honestly— either through a lifetime of meager portions offered in dieting plans or from well-meaning parents who taught that plates must be cleaned before you leave the table.

Therefore, many members of the clean-your-plate club turn on autopilot when they pick up the fork. That is, they eat until completion, or until the food is gone.To break this unhealthy pattern, it is often beneficial to move to the opposite end of the continuum, which means becoming more mindful, or even hyperconscious, of eating—not a place you want to live forever but long enough to break the cycle.

One of the first steps away from “autopilot eating” is conscious eating, which Tribole and Resch have broken into a series of stages.First, pause in the middle of a meal or snack and take a time-out for taste and satiety checks (something I obviously forgot to do!).Ask yourself if the food tastes good, or are you just continuing to eat because it is there? Check your fullness level, much like you Check your hunger level prior to eating.Do you still feel hungry? Or is your hunger going away and satisfaction setting in?

Once you finish eating, ask yourself where your fullness level is.(See the sample scale.)Did you reach comfortable satiety or did you exceed it? The more you become aware of your fullness level at satisfaction, the more you will know when a bite of food is your last—a most important step in respecting your fullness.Don’t get discouraged if this takes time.The important thing is you are on the road to recovery and not still signing-in at the clean-your-plate club for every meal.However, the flip side of this is there is no rule that says you must leave food on your plate.If you are hungry and not yet full, eat it all and enjoy! The key is to become conscious, learn how to respect fullness, and be free from the shackles of dieting.

Ten Core Principles of Intuitive Eating

by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R. D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace with Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Feel Your Fullness

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

7. Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise–Feel the Difference

10. Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition

Cindy Mondello is a Licensed Professional Counselor and founder of Restoration Place Ministries, a local nonprofit organization offering significantly-discounted counseling services for women.For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, call 336-508-8573 or visit us at http://www.restorationplaceministries.org.

Reject The Diet Mentality

Become an Intuitive Eater

Principle Four: Challenge the Food Police

In our quest to become Intuitive Eaters, we will focus this month on the fourth of ten principles: learning how to challenge the food police. In the world of dieting and eating, there are specific “voices” which influence the way we think, feel, and behave in regard to eating. In light of our limited space here, I will introduce you to the two most important voices: the Food Police–which is only harmful–and the Nurturer–which is only helpful–in determining the success of becoming an Intuitive Eater. To learn about the other voices and how they can help or hinder your journey, read chapter 8 in Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

Developed through dieting, the Food Police is a strong voice that judges how “good” or “bad” you are in the area of eating, and it almost always surfaces with a verdict of “guilty.” The highly critical Food Police inspects every eating action. What thoughts are being promoted by your police? Here are a few common ones: Sweets are bad for me. I should never eat after 6:00pm. I should never eat anything that has fat in it. Cake is bad. Carrots are good.

It is important to realize that the Food Police is not only alive and well within our own private thoughts, but also in our culture, where even non-dieters experience eating angst. In a random survey of approximately 2,000 adults, nearly half reported feeling guilty after eating food that they enjoy! So be aware that the Food Police lurks in the shadows of society, in the comment of the well-meaning friend or family member who says, “You’re not going to eat that, are you? I thought you were trying to lose weight!” However, we must realize that just because someone makes an inappropriate comment does not make it true.

On the other end of the spectrum, where the Intuitive Eater is found, you hear the voice of the Nurturer–soft, gentle, and nonjudgmental. It never scolds or scrutinizes and is one of the most significant tools to becoming an Intuitive Eater. It will provide coping statements to counteract the harsh accusations that the Food Police can hurl. The following are examples of what our Nurturer might say: It’s okay to eat a cookie; eating a cookie is normal. When I overate today, I wonder what was really going on with me that I needed more food to comfort myself. Losing weight is a slow process, and I will choose to be patient and celebrate the successes along the way.

So remember, even when you reject dieting (principle one), honor your hunger (principle two), and begin to make peace with food (principle three), if the Food Police isn’t subdued, you are on a slippery slope headed back to bondage.Rid yourself of the negative voices that have been buried in your psyche for so long, and instead choose to nurture yourself with gentle truth. By listening to your instinctual signals, you’ll have the chance to form a healthy relationship with food!

Reject the Diet Mentality

The counselors’ convention was held in a 600,000 square-foot hotel with huge lush gardens and cascading waterfalls—so beautiful that one might forget she was inside. That is, until four days had passed with no fresh air. Sometime during that fourth afternoon it occurred to me that while it looked like I was spending time outside, the truth of the matter was I needed fresh air. I needed it immediately…and I needed lots of it!

This simple experience of mine illustrates a very important concept. Deprivation of any kind—whether of fresh air, sleep, touch, or other things—can cause ever-growing cravings to spin out of control. And this is especially true of food, where “shouldn’t” and “can’t” cause an avalanche of cravings that quite often lead to binging. The next key to freedom in Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch’s intuitive eating program is principle three: making peace with food.

Principle Three: Make Peace with Food.

Making peace with food means giving yourself unconditional permission to eat. When you rigidly restrict the amount or type of food that you eat, you will inevitably begin to hunger after even larger quantities of that very food. However, there is way to stop this vicious cycle: give yourself unconditional permission to eat. In essence, stop grading food as “good” or “bad.” Eat what you want without “obligatory penance” (for example, “I will eat ice cream tonight but run two extra miles tomorrow.”) While this idea is unsettling to most women who have been ensnared by the shackles of dieting, your need and propensity to overeat will be eliminated when you truly make peace with food.

Authors Tribole and Resch state, “Many of our clients discover that the very foods they prohibited and craved are no longer desirable once they can be eaten freely.” This has been proven true for my clients as well. For example, when “Sue” began to give herself unconditional permission to experience “forbidden” foods, she tried a scone from a local bakery—something her diets would never have allowed. However, upon eating it, she found it to be very dry and tasteless and ended up throwing most of it away!

So make a decision to make peace with food, and like Sue, say goodbye to your forbidden food fight! Above all, remember that this process is just that… a process. The pace at which you proceed needs to be one in which you are comfortable. The main requirement before moving forward is that you are consistently honoring your hunger. Then follow the authors’ suggestions and find success with this third intuitive eating principle.

How shyness affects your life.

“The shy person misses out on friendships and opportunities” – Author unknown

What is shyness?

Shyness is the feeling of being uneasy around people-mostly strangers, those in authority, persons of the opposite sex, or even your peers.

How Shyness affects you life.

By withdrawing, not speaking up, or being so preoccupied with self that you don’t pay attention to others, you may leave the impression that you are stuck-up, unfriendly, bored, or even uncaring or ignorant.   Only do that to those that you do not like and do not want to associate yourself with.  When your thoughts are on yourself, it is hard to concentrate on the discussion at hand so, you pay less attention to the information you are receiving  then what you fear most happens-you appear foolish.

You basically locked yourself in the prison of shyness and have thrown away the key; therefore, you have let opportunities pass you by and you accept items and situations that you really do not want-all because you are afraid to speak up and express your opinion.  By doing that you lose out on the joys of meeting new people, making new friends and doing things that can enhance your life. Others lose out too so they never get to know the real you.

“The shy person imagines that others think little of him”-Author unknown

Overcoming Shyness

This takes time and effort so behavior can be changed, first of all, stop worrying about whether the other person is evaluating you.   If a person childishly poke fun at you, understand that he has the problem.   “He belittles his neighbor lacks sense.”  Those whom are worth making friends will not judge you by your outward appearance but, will judge you for the person that you are.

You can overcome shyness by

  • Wanting to change and believing that change is really possible
  • Replacing negative thoughts with positive action
  • Setting realistic and meaningful goals for yourself
  • Knowing how to relax and cope with anxiety
  • Rehearsing a situation beforehand
  • Gaining confidence by progressively successful experience
  • Remembering that differences of opinion exist and that others err too
  • Practicing to increase skills and learn new ones
  • Reaching out to show love and to help others
  • Dressing tastefully and acting with confidence
  • Relying on the help that God gives
  • Being involved with christian meetings and in sharing your faith with others

Making a start

Learn to be more social such as saying hello in shape fashion or form because there is 7,000 ways to say hello to a person (really there are 7,000 ways to say hello) and start up a conversation.  Remember when you are having a conversation you are responsible for the 50% of the communication; saying ” that didn’t come out right ” will help you to relax and continue with the conversation.

Just be you and make sure that you wear clothes that are comfortable plus clean and pressed.  Do not stress so much when trying to speak to a person, just speak to them as you known them for years.  The more you practice and the more you do it the more sociable you will become.