health and wellness Archives - Life Coach Library

The 12-pounds of Christmas

coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library

…tis the season to get chubby, fa, la, la, la, …….what?

For many this is the case.  When being festive translates over-eating, over-drinking, and over-spending those extra pounds seem to just show up one morning, and omg, what happened? While we’re there, can somebody please explain to me how eating a 1-pound box of chocolate turns into a 3-pound weight gain?      Just asking for a friend.

There are always options in life.   If you’re like me, not engaging in the holiday indulgences is not one of them though.  Which leaves us two other options:

A: Eat, drink, and be merry until the jeans don’t fit and it’s not so merry anymore  

B: Earn dessert with some extra workout activity.

As busy as life can be, traveling for work, having kids at home, it’s mid-November and too damn cold to go for a walk or run, here are 3 work outs you can do in your own living room or a hotel room.  All you need is the decision and commitment to not give into the 12 pounds of Christmas.  

#1. This ain’t just a booty call!

These exercises not only tighten the tush but they incorporate multiple muscles.  They build lean muscle tissue which torches calories during the workout and has a great afterburn (burning calories even in a resting state).  You can do all three exercises in 15 minutes while watching TV .  If you have hand weights, feel free to use them, but if not don’t sweat it, you’ll sweat plenty without.  For each exercise, do 10-15 repetitions, rest for 30-45 seconds, and then repeat 2 more times, for a total of 30-45 repetitions for each exercise.

#2. Get ready for family and in-laws!

If you’re one of those people who would rather go to the dentist than spend the holidays with your in-laws or even your own family, burpees will not only help keep you trim during the season but is a great way to vent all of the stress and angst that may build up in you.  Before, during, and after.   If you’ve never done burpees before, here’s a link to a quick You Tube video, Burpees for Beginners. These suckers scorch calories strengthen the entire body, and boost endurance Try and do 5 sets of 10 with 45-60 second rest periods in between.

 Forgive the crudeness but I’ve also heard these referred to as barf-ees.   Do about 30 of them and you’ll completely understand why!  Maybe that’s why their associated with…..never mind.  

If you’re super ambitious, alternate sets of burpees with push-ups or planks.

#3. At the core of everything is, well, your core!

Core exercises don’t just flatten your belly, they make you stronger and better at doing most other exercises.  Strong core muscles also improve your balance and stability.  The root of many body pains and injury’s stem from a weakened core.  The plank is the mother of all core exercises.  There are many variations of it, and they’re all super tough.  You read that right, they’re all super tough.   I’m a realist who won’t try and candy-coat it.  They engage over 20 muscles and work more than just your core.  Your arms, legs, shoulders, back and glutes will all get some of the love.   Here’s a couple of variations and the internet is prolific with plank choices and videos.  Try and hold each set for up to 60 seconds, then take a short 30 second break and start again! When you do this work out, shoot for as long as you can up to 30 minutes.  

Try a plank drag. It burns a ton of calories.  You’ll need a smooth floor surface for these.  They are like the stationary plank above but put a towel under your feet.   Try “walking” with your hands while dragging your feet, which should slide.   Depending on the size of the room, one trip back and forth is one round.  Shoot for three rounds to get your heart pumping and rev up your metabolism. 

Side plank: Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other.  They should be completely extended. Using your forearm and elbow to hold your body up while remembering to hold your abdominal muscles tight.   Don’t forget to breathe.  Lift your hips up so that your body is in a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

Side to side plank:  Start  with a basic plank.  From there, push yourself up, and place one hand at a time on the floor.  Make sure you keep your abdomen held in tight and do not let your back arch.   Try and stay in a straight line and do not let yourself sag in the middle.  Slowly use your hands to walk, (like you did in the plank drag) but allow your opposing leg to bend and use gently use that foot to walk across the floor. 

No one is saying this is easy and if you’re not already in an exercise routine, it may not be particularly fun either.  But hang in there, and it will be both before long.   While there isn’t any instant gratification here, you’re doing it because there is SO MUCH instant gratification everywhere else.   Remember that. 

If you feel like you’d do better with a boost of motivation and accountability, talk to a health & wellness coach.  They’ll not only help you get and stay on track, they’re skilled at helping clients overcome the beliefs that have interfered with or even sabotaged success in the past.  With a coach you will not only meet your goals faster than on your own, you will learn how to make your success permanent!!

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Get “unstuck” with Association and Disassociation

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Written by Wendy Cope, Personal-Growth & Recovery Coach, www.healthytothecore.net

Have you ever noticed when a friend comes to you for advice about a situation it is so easy to offer great ideas and solutions to them, yet, when confronted with our own it is much harder to see clearly and come up with practical answers? The reason is we are generally observers for our friends and when we observe, we can think more rationally. We are disassociated with our friends’ challenges. In our own situations we often become our situations. We feel everything, and we get stuck. We are associated with our own dilemmas.

Disassociation:

When we disassociate with something, we are more detached. We have the ability to observe. It’s like watching ourselves on t.v. or from afar. We only see and hear what is going on. We experience feelings about the situation, but not like the characters we are observing who are feeling the powerful sensations.

Be mindful that disassociation has nothing to do with the mental health diagnosis of “dissociative disorder”. Dissociative disorder is characterized by:

* The splitting off from consciousness, as in amnesia or mental blocking.

* Not remembering or connecting to a feeling as a coping or defense mechanism.

Disassociation in this article means to observe a situation to gain a different perspective and decrease the intensity of negative feelings associated with it, both mentally and physically.

Association:

Association is when we relive an experience. We are in it and see everything around us from that perspective. We feel the feelings in what seems like real time. We have other sensory experiences. What we see, hear, smell, even taste, as if it were happening right now. Association is when we are being the active participant.

Try it….

Think of a time you were very happy, like a graduation. What pictures do you see? Are you watching yourself walking across the stage to get your diploma or are you walking across the stage to get it? Whichever one you answered, try to see it from the alternative perspective. Which one feels more intense? Is it happier? Does it feel different physically? Which feeling would you rather have? If you are like most people, association feels much happier. It is usually more sensory, and physically triggers endorphins that add to the emotional experience.

Now think of something that was disappointing, maybe not getting a job you really wanted. What picture do you see now? Are you watching yourself open the mail and reading some type of notice or are you standing there with the reject notice in front of you? Whichever you answered, try it from the other perspective. Which seems less intense? Is there a difference in how you experience it physically? If you are like most people, disassociation takes the sting out of rejection and makes it easier to look at it logically.

When is it best to be Associated or Disassociated?

Unfortunately, research has found that many people disassociate with happy memories and associate with unpleasant ones. That is backwards!!! When we are thinking of something pleasant, we will view it more positively when we are associated in it. It will create positive thoughts which will make us feel happier. When we feel happier, we physically become healthier. Our heart beat settles and our blood pressure calms. If we take a moment to slow down and experience other sensations, (sounds, smells, sights…) it will enhance the feeling even deeper. This can be a powerful tool when trying to get motivated.

Dissociating from unpleasant memories or experiences decreases the emotional pain, depression, and anxiety that often accompany them. When we become an observer (vs. participant) we can see things from an objective viewpoint, and release emotion attached to an event. In my experience, this release has a positive impact both emotionally and physically as well. I have combined this with other techniques to decrease the intensity such as “dimming the lights” and “lowering the volume” (heck, hit the mute button) and “making the screen smaller and fade out”. These tools are powerful because they decrease or eliminate the sensory connections, which is what the unconscious is more likely to hold on to.

It’s never wise to get stuck in one mode or the other. Pain is not comfortable, but it can be part of an important learning and growth experience. When person gets stuck in disassociated mode, they analyze everything rationally but will not experience a range of emotion and are not better off. They should learn how to associate into their feelings, at least some of the time. When someone is so associated with their pain, they relive it over and over, even if unconsciously, and it becomes problematic. It can increase anxiety, depression, and lead to self-destructive behaviors. They would then benefit from learning how to disassociate from painful experiences.

Brown, S.. Psychology Today. Retrieved fromhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pathological-relationships/201211/dissociation-isnt-life-skill

Hall, L. M. . NLP Mentor. Retrieved from https://nlp-mentor.com/association-dissociation/

Author unknown, World Trans. Retrieved fromhttp://www.worldtrans.org/TP/TP1/TP1-119.HTML

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