Category Archive: Mindset Mostly

Jul 11

People who Workout Frequently are Still Just People

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.

The recent move to Nebraska is #19 for me.  I have an affinity for that number (Ka) so that’s cool.  We’ll have at least one, maybe two, more moves before we settle into a “forever home”.  There have been a lot of transitions for this small town, Maine girl, over the years.  I don’t complain – although there have been some assignments that initially concerned or scared me; one time when I hid from my husband so he wouldn’t see my cry at the news; three times when he watched me cry because we were leaving people I loved and I just couldn’t hide it; and some places I don’t care to ever return to.

 

For the most part, though, this is just a normal part of life for military families and it’s been pretty amazing.  I view every move as a big adventure. In talking to some of my friends this week, we don’t know whether we love it or hate it.  To be honest, for  me it’s a constant melding of both…

 

 

  • IT’S EXCITING 

There are new places to explore. New things to do.  New people to meet.  It keeps me from getting into much of a rut because nothing stays the same (except family – that’s the one constant, and SO very important).

 

  • IT’S STRESSFUL 

You, and every single thing you own (material things of financial value but most importantly, those things that have only great emotional value – the clothes you brought your babies home from the hospital in; their kindergarten drawings and homemade Christmas ornaments, etc) have to safely make your way across the country, or the globe.  There are new things and places to learn.  We need to find a new vet, new doctor, new dentist, new hairdresser, bank, grocery store, insurance carrier, and so much more.

 

  • IT’S SAD

We’re always saying, “see you later” (which is goodbye a large percentage of the time although none of us like to put it that way) constantly. Either you, or your friends are moving.  I’ve left my sisters (which hurt) and both of my children (which hurt even more).  I have honed an ability to disconnect from people and places.  Good and bad.  It can be hard to make friends. The situation sometimes hurts people because I don’t always cry when I say goodbye.  This transitory lifestyle has an up-side though.

 

We have friends all over the world.  We really do have a second (military) family.  We have the ability to not see people for years, yet fall into easy, comfortable conversation the next time we do talk.  It keeps me appreciative of things and relationships when I have them.  I know, for sure, everything in life is temporary.  Many people never realize this until it’s almost too late.

 

Ugh.

 

This reflective mood has been brought on by the fact that today I will go to a new gym.  My realtor gave me a month’s free membership to a local barbell club.  Perfect!  I’m excited but also super anxious. As much time as I spend in the weight room, and as long as I’ve been going to the gym, I’m comfortable in that environment.

 

It’s still not easy though.  People who work out frequently are still just regular people.  It’s a new place.  New environment.  New people.  I’m a private individual for the most part so none of this really thrills me.  Will I fit in?  Will this be a good fit for me?  Will I feel intimidated or make a fool of myself?

 

I want to go – but I don’t.  Know what I mean? 

 

I will. 

 

We’re busy and in the middle of a cross-country move.  It would be easy to say, “I can’t” and at least partially convince myself that’s really true.  But I’d only every partially believe it.  So I will get dressed.  I will make the drive.  I will take a deep breath and walk inside.  I will do my workout.  It will all be okay…it’s just a little uncomfortable.

 

Places don’t become home…

People don’t become friends…

Situations don’t become comfortable…

Unless we put ourselves out there.

Jun 09

What Do You Do When Life is Insane?

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

 

Things are about to get (more) insane around here.
My kids and grandchildren are all traveling to my house over the next 36 hours. We’ll have 6 adults and 5 kids. It will be loud and chaotic. It will be crazy. It will be amazing. I’ll be knee deep in babies and I’ll be loving it. We’re going to have so much fun.
 
They will all be here for a week.  #mycrewe
 
The same day they leave, I’m leaving. We all have a 6 am flight. I’ll be on the road for business for 2 straight weeks, holding a TSP webinar, and also indulging in an annual girls’ weekend between those commitments with 3 of my very best friends. #vegasgirls
 
I have to catch a red-eye home at the end of that trip, to have a closing on our new house. We will then have 3 days during which the packers will be here; everything will be boxed up, we’ll have our final home inspection, wrap up things in DC and hop in the truck and drive from here to Nebraska.
 
There will be a little stress.  #thisislife 
I’ll handle it by remaining steadfast in my commitments to myself.
 
==> I WILL WORKOUT. If I don’t make it to the gym, I’ll run, play on the playground with the babies, dance, or do something with my exercise bands.
==> I WILL FIND SOME TIME TO WRITE every day – even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes before I get out of bed.
 
….because if you only work on your goals when life is uncomplicated and not stressful, you’re never going to work on your goals.
 
xo

Jun 03

Alpha Maiden for the Month of June

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

 

My friend, Jordan, hosts a site designed to inspire, support, and empower women. She puts it this way:

 

Alpha Maiden‘s Mission is to empower women to become physically strong, mentally tough and to develop the skills and tactics to stay safe.

 

Jordan asked me to be her Alpha Maiden for the month of June.  I was humbled, and flattered. I accepted immediately but then (as I typically do) I began analyzing everything.  AM I an Alpha Maiden?  What does that really mean?  It took me a week to drill through everything and write something on the paper.  When she published the bio, she said,

 

l am so excited and honored to announce the Alpha Maiden of June.  She is one of the strongest (in mind and body) women I know!  From riding choppers to practicing Krav Maga and being a business owner too – she’s about much more than what we see at first glance.

 

I love that!  We ALL are so much more than we appear at first glance.  We all have a back story; it’s just that not everyone knows (and not everyone is entitled to know) that story.  Several of my friends and I, after having bared our souls to one another, have asked, “What if, instead of meeting people, we met their stories?”  What if we were able to know what someone had been through?  What their life experiences were?  I think we would have very different relationships!  We would be more kind and compassionate to others.

 

I am sharing, here, what I wrote for Alpha Maiden both to create a permanent record for myself but also to reach as many people as possible.  To teach.  To help.  To inspire if possible.

​To be honest, I’ve had a difficult time with the title “Alpha Maiden”.

Am I one?  If so, why?  What makes me so?

Oh, there are the “obvious” things I suppose.
Those things on the surface that people like to look at.
The accomplishments.
The list.

Between 45 and 52, I’ve competed on the figure stage several times. I finished my master’s degree:  was certified as a holistic health & fitness coach, in nutrition from two different agencies, and as a mindset specialist. I’m closing in on a 300-pound deadlift and I will have that by the end of this year.

I am managing two very successful consulting businesses and spending a couple hundred days each year on the road.  I published two books and started practicing Krav Maga. I have been a military spouse for over 22 years; a military mom for 15.  Neither is a job for the weak. I’ve kissed my husband and both of my children as they headed off to war. I cried, at some point, every day they were gone.
​I have a lump in my throat just typing that.


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I continue to ride my dirtbike and chopper.  I’ve flown half-way around the world to scuba dive.  I did a 26.2 mile ruck, wearing combat boots, and carrying a 52 pound pack.  I am smarter, stronger, more physically fit, and more confident than I have ever been in my life. I am a grandmother to 5.

To be sure, it’s a decent list with some pretty bad ass accomplishments in a relatively short period of time.

None of these define “alpha ” for me, personally, though.  It has to be more than that.  ​


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I am a survivor.  

From the time I was 6 months old until I was 26, I was physically, sexually, and emotional abused. I was told routinely that I brought such things upon myself; that they were my fault.  At times I believed it.

They really weren’t my fault, though.
I know that now.

I kept quiet for too long.  I refuse to be quiet any longer and let other women feel like they are the “cause of their abuse”.  I won’t let them think it’s “their fault,” they “deserve it,” that they are “alone” or “the only one”.

They aren’t.
I’m not.

This has happened to many women.  It’s happening now.  Maybe to your sister, mother, or friends.  Maybe to you.

It’s a discussion we need to be willing to have.  

If someone else can use my voice as a beacon, I provide it.  There is hope.  I’m here.

I am a warrior.

I have been a warrior from the beginning (a name my sister gave me) and I carry this shield with pride.  My battle has frequently been for others.  I have, quite literally, taken the hit to save someone else.  I was the person who broke the cycle of abuse at home, not because of what happened to me but because it had started to happen to my sister.  I was a single mom for a few years after finally getting out of a physically abusive relationship.  We lived on welfare and food-stamps.  I remember one time when my son and I had nothing but a 50-pound bag of potatoes to eat.  I fought, not for myself but to make a better life for my children.

I have struggled with self-confidence and shame my entire life. I struggle to feel good enough – in my skin, in my head, in this world – to feel like I’m “worth it”…even still, sometimes.

I refuse to accept limits, though, and it doesn’t matter if those are placed by someone else or self-imposed.  I was afraid of public speaking; now that’s what I do for a living.  I’m afraid of heights, so I climb.

If anyone else can use my strength as an example, I offer it. I’m here.

I am an Alpha Maiden 

because at no time, have I ever considered myself a victim. I refuse that label and the limitations it would imply.  I went through some stuff but even when life was horrible, I knew somewhere deep in my soul that I would get out. I didn’t know how but I knew I would.  I vividly remember laying on a grassy hill when I was 12 or 13, dreaming with my eyes open, that everything would be okay…and it is.

Remembering where I came from, and that many are still in that place; I am obsessively passionate about living every single second of life and about coaching others on possibility.  I’ll try just about anything but I don’t just want to learn.
I want to teach.  It’s at my core.  When I learned to scuba dive, I continued until I was a Dive Master, certified to teach others.  I’ve taught basket-weaving, human resources, conflict management, leadership, scrapbooking, retirement & financial planning, and even taught a couple of people to drive motorcycles.

Family & FIT
is an online community where I teach people how to embrace life by setting an example through mindset, sustainable nutrition, and movement. In that order.


Mostly mindset is a tagline I frequently use. #MostlyMindset

Mindset really does matter most.  Mindset, more than physical strength and toughness is what makes me an Alpha Maiden.  It was mindset that allowed me to survive the situations I’ve been in.  Mindset that kept me going.  Mindset that refused the title of “victim”.  Mindset that drives me to share with others.

Let me be clear, mindset isn’t a bunch of meaningless affirmations.  It isn’t perpetual optimism.  It’s not “being happy all the time”.  Mindset isn’t feeling one thing but telling ourselves we should feel something else.  It is about doing the best we can, with what we have available (time, money, strength, fortitude, energy) at the time.

Mindset is realizing we are in control.  

I couldn’t stop people from hurting me when I was a child.  I could escape into the safe recesses of my mind, though.  I could make myself physically tough so the abuse wouldn’t hurt as much when it did come.  I could hide.  I could plan.  ​I could wait.  I could, eventually, speak.

We are stronger, smarter and more capable than we give ourselves credit for. Mindset matters most.

If anyone can refer to my mindset as their inspiration, I give it freely. I’m here.

-Debbie

 

 

May 21

Action Begets Action

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

Is there something you dread preparing for, but actually love, once you’re “doing” it?

 

I’m currently updating my behavioral profile and organizational leadership course. I’ll be presenting this in a few weeks.

Every time a customer asks me to teach this class, I groan. Ugh. Not that…..

 

It’s not outlined in regulations or law, like so many other things I teach. It’s not clear cut. It’s about behavior, human relationships, interaction, connection, and emotional intelligence. This stuff can be difficult and messy.

 

 

 

 

Yet, I haven’t taken this class off my curriculum list.  

 

Why?

 

Because, every single time (without exception) I teach this class, I really get into it and it ends up being one of my favorite things to teach.    

 

 

 

Some times (not often to be honest because this is an engrained habit for me) I don’t feel like going to the gym – yet, once I’m inside and I start moving – I feel great.

 

I’ve never regretted making the time to exercise.

I’ve never regretted teaching this class.

That’s one of my issues with the “If you don’t like to do ‘this’; if ‘this’ doesn’t make you happy, just don’t do it. Just quit – on the studying, the book, the relationship, whatever doesn’t thrill you every single second.” mentality. If that were the case, I would simply be scuba diving every single day, and laying on the beach. Unfortunately dive gear, traveling to, and/or living in exotic locations with the kind of diving I like to do, costs money.

 

Sometimes you have to put in the work, you have to trudge through the challenging pieces to get to the easier patches.  Sometimes things don’t get easier but you get stronger.  

 

 

ACTION BEGETS ACTION:  WHETHER YOU “FEEL LIKE IT” OR NOT

 

Being outside your comfort zone is – well – uncomfortable……

 

<3

May 14

Mother’s Day: It’s Not About Me

Family & FIT  |  Debbie Hatch

My husband and I were talking about Mother’s Day, on the plane, yesterday.

It generally makes me sad. I can’t talk to my mom because it puts her at risk when I do. Domestic abuse is a very real and immensely complicated thing. Please don’t judge, or give advice. You have no right; and neither do I at this point. Please don’t say, “she should just leave.” It’s not that easy. She has. Multiple times.  It breaks my heart but I remember, vividly, how much it broke her mother’s heart.

 

 

That’s not my point.

 

My point is, I don’t think Mother’s Day is about me.

It’s about her.

It’s about MY mom. It’s about YOURS.

I don’t think I should feel guilty that I have children, that they are healthy; nor that they themselves have decided to have, and are able to have, offspring. I’m not a selfish person but I don’t think the day was created to make those who can’t (or don’t want to……….no, not everyone wants to be a parent. Surprise!) have children, feel “less than”.

 

 

 

 

I can’t imagine a life without my children;

I wouldn’t be alive without my mom – and a whole string of moms before her.


Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate OUR mothers.
Birth or otherwise.

 

This is not just my opinion. In at least one version of the historical start to Mother’s Day, it was created by a woman who did not have children, herself. Like so many things, it wasn’t about cards, flowers, or gifts. It wasn’t about commercialism. It was about care.

 

It is a day to celebrate the woman who gave birth to us, or raised us, or took the roll of our mother. It is about the woman / women in our lives who made a difference.

Your mother may not be with you any longer; and you may miss her very much. When I’m gone, I hope the day is not sad for my children. I hope they view it as a day to remember me, even more often than they normally do.

 

I hope they get together and reminisce about all of the memories we made and that they will know, without one single question, how very much I loved them. I hope they’re happy we shared some life together.

 

 

 

 

 

You may adore your mother, or despise her. You may blame her for all of your shortcomings; or praise her for a hand in your accomplishments. She may not have done what you think she should have as a mother, or even a person. Or perhaps she was amazing and you strive to be exactly like her.

 

Maybe you mothered her more than she did you.

 

But she IS your mother.

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe today we take 24 hours off from judging other women for the way they mother? Maybe we say, “She’s doing the best she can with what she has (money, time, emotional ability, background, energy, etc).

Happy Mother’s Day.

Jan 10

More Than Just a Body

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T. 

I’m sharing this with my daughter’s permission.  We’ve been talking a lot about goals for the coming year.

 

Professional.

Educational.  Personal.

Health – body, mind, and soul.

 

These are Jessica’s thoughts about her health goal and I couldn’t be more proud:  about her statement, her feelings, her goal, her vulnerability, her honesty.

 

“I have had comments made about my body. I’ve made comments about my body. I have a lot of days where I avoid the mirror… because I hate my body and the sight of it. Trying to put on pants that I fit into last month but don’t now makes me break down and sob.

When I’m self-loathing, it might be more helpful for me to also remember that my body’s been through a lot.

 

It’s carried twins, to term.  

It’s healed from two cesarians, a hysterectomy, and hip surgery.

It saw me through military basic training.

I’ve had an article written about me (by a stranger at a waterpark) because I was playing with my children rather than hiding in a chair under an umbrella.

I ran a 5K last year.

I was brave enough to pose for photos for my husband’s birthday. Not only did he love them. Not only is one of those pictures being used in the photographer’s calendar.

But…

 

But…

 

I felt pretty.
I liked the way I looked.
I didn’t hate my body.

 

For 2017 I’m working on more of that.

I want to change some things. I want to start exercising – so that I can feel healthy and have more energy. I want to eat better, for the same reasons.

 

I want to like myself. All of me – as I am now and as I will be in the future.

 

I refuse to wait until I’ve lost a certain amount of weight before I think ‘I’m worth it’.”

 

Wow!  How powerful is that?  How amazing would it be for us to like ourselves as we are now, even as we work toward future goals?

 

We are so much more than a body.  So much more than our accomplishments.  Multi-dimensional beings with hopes and dreams.  Let’s embrace all of that.

 

Jan 05

My Body. My Business.

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.

I am sharing this photo and personal message because Molly’s article spoke directly to my heart this morning.

I believe all of this.  I stand with the 10 women in the article, and the hundreds more who are coming online with #GGSFlawless

 

When I was a young girl, I was told I had “man calves” because they were so muscular. As I grew older people frequently asked me if I was a runner. I wasn’t but I liked that comment better so I always said, “yes’.
I was called “bucky beaver” at school because of a severe overbite. Kids could be mean back then – I had ice balls thrown at me, I was pushed down stairs, I was laughed at and ridiculed. In fact, that comment bothered me so much I had my upper jaw, voluntarily, broken into 5 pieces and my bottom into 2, once I was an adult. Everything was wired back together and it took months to heal.

I have permanent nerve damage in my chin because of the surgery.
My parents’ nickname for me as a kid was “beanpole” because I was slender. Since then, I’ve been called “too muscular” “too big” and “manly” more times than I can count. When I was lifting in a gym in Mississippi, I had headphones on but my battery was dead so I could actually hear everything. Two guys in the weight room were talking to one another and one said, “Don’t worry about her dude. (I was lifting more than they were) She’s not really a woman anyway.” I’ve worn long sleeve shirts and sweaters because I didn’t want anyone to see my muscular arms.

 

I’m now in my 50s and I’ve said – out loud – more than once and to more than one person, “I hate my face”. I don’t like the wrinkles. I don’t like the bags under my eyes. I don’t like the grey hair. And, I’m not alone. Last year, American women spent over $2 billion on anti aging skincare products. That doesn’t include injectables or surgery.

How about this statistic? We spend about $60 billion on fat loss products/supplements. $60 Billion!! A year.

 

Don’t misunderstand me. I absolutely have physical goals! There are things I want to change/improve. I have strength, educational, and personal growth goals that I’m working on, too. I do not believe that accepting yourself, as you are right now, means settling. Not at all. It also doesn’t mean “giving up on yourself”, throwing in the towel and exclaiming, “Oh, well. This is just the way it is, I need to learn to live with it”.
It does mean being okay with the fact that you ARE right here, right now, as you work toward future goals.

Work on the things you want to work on but make sure YOU are the one who wants to work on them: that your goals aren’t being handed to you because you’re “supposed” to do xyz.
Your body is your business. Your journey is your own. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to anyone else. Work hard to be a better version of yourself…not the women in your newsfeed. Not me. Not your sister or best friend. YOU.

It’s hard!

I’ve asked the women in my private FB group, several times, to tell me what they love about their body. It’s hard for most people! Some of the ladies couldn’t think of anything at all. I’ve also asked them to tell me what they dislike about their body. They have no problem coming up with that list.

Fact is: “When we let other people define our standards and ideals, we hand our power over to them. We’re riding high when they tell us we’re beautiful. We come crashing down the moment they tell us we’re……” [insert your “too”. Too fat, too big, too skinny, too muscular, too tall/short, too lumpy, too much of this and not enough of that].

 

Time to face the mirror. You know what? This body, with all of it’s muscular parts, its dimples, moles, and scars has gotten me through some tough shit. A lot of it. Very well……..

 

I picked this picture specifically because I truly did not have one single concern about my body, my face, or anything else when my husband snapped it.
The photo was taken in March. I haven’t edited (or even cropped) it. My husband and I were on a dive boat in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. I was doing 5 or more scuba dives a day. I was in heaven!!!! I cared about having my equipment ready to go before it was time to dive. I cared about getting underwater as quickly, and as much as I could. I cared about capturing videos and pictures of the world I love so much. I cared about my dive buddy, cuttlefish, sharks, turtles, and crocodiles. I cared about eating local food, the sun, the dolphins, keeping my dive log up to date.

How my body looked did not cross my mind even once in that entire ten days.

 

if you feel comfortable, share a picture of your flawless body.

Dec 18

What Season are You In?

Family & F.I.T.  |  Debbie Hatch

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This picture, like the audio file, has not been edited, touched up, or filtered. They’re both just me.

The way I look (after a 90 minute hot yoga class, anyway).

The things I think about.

I’m not crazy about the fact that the banner shows only my eyes, and the wrinkles around them but – unless I’m going to continually filter photos, or wear a mask (I am not), it is what it is.  I agree with Madonna in her 2016 Woman of the Year award acceptance speech at the Billboard Women in Music event:  Society acts like aging is a sin.

“The anti-aging market is estimated to be worth $191.7 Billion US Dollars, globally by 2019.”

 

Going through some old computer files today, I found both. I recorded the audio back in January 2016. Some people get their ideas in the shower – I get mine right after a good yoga class and/or while I’m driving. My intent, a year ago, was to write a blog about the fact that we move through seasons in our lives. I wanted to write it and I wanted it to be “well thought out” “brilliantly written” “researched” “perfect”.

So I did nothing for 11 months!

 

That’s the thing with perfection. It doesn’t exist and when we refuse to move until things are perfect, we end up doing nothing. Great reminder and life lesson right there!!

 

So, today, I’m saying screw it and publishing “as is”. Perfection doesn’t exist and because I wanted to “work on this”, I did nothing with it for almost a year.

 

 

The fact that I am not the same person in my 50s I was in my 20s makes sense of course!  We’re okay with that – except when we start talking about our physical selves.

The “but I used to….” statements can consume and depress us if we fail to realize we go through seasons in life.

 

“Before I had kids, I used to…..”

“Before I got married, I used to….”

“When I was in high school/college/my 20s, I used to…..”

“Before the surgery, I used to…”

 

But those things did happen.  We’re not in the same place any more.  Why do we spend so much time trying to “get back” to what we used to be?

I refuse to let my age (any age) give me a free pass to let myself go, but I do realize I can “only” be the best 40, or 50, or 80 year old that I can be – at no point will I return to 21.

 

We’re staring a new year in a few weeks.  I don’t make resolutions but a lot of people do.

I DO set goals.  Rather than even trying to go back, I prefer to focus on going forward.  “I got married.  I had kids.  I spent 20+ years working my ass off to be successful in my chosen career.  I did put others before myself.”  Okay.  So….

 

At THIS point, right now, with this background, these injuries, this life….

At THIS starting place, what do I want to change?  Where do I want to go from here?

 

If you are ready to go forward, I’d love to work with you.  I will start extensive business travel, again, in January and my competition clients will increase at that point too but this is super important.  I am going to take on a very limited number (only 10) of new clients to being working with me on January 1st.  If you’re interested in getting more details, please email me.

Nov 21

This BS About Surviving the Holidays

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.

The days are shorter.  There’s a nip in the air; although I have to say it seems warmer, everywhere I’ve been recently, than is typical.  The airports were packed yesterday.

It’s the week of Thanksgiving.  Already.

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First, let me say this. Many people struggle through the holiday season.  Some are alone and feel isolated; some struggling with money, stress, relationships, or any other number of things.  Some people have lost family members, jobs, homes, or love in the past and the holidays can reopen those wounds.   This may result in a case of the blues, or clinical anxiety and depression.  Please don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from a qualified mental health professional if you’re struggling.  That’s not what this blog is about.

 

I want to talk specifically about the “Survive the Holidays” madness.  In fact, I have so much to say, I’m breaking this blog into two sections! 

 

Part I:  The Craziness Itself

 

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If I had a dollar for each of the “survive the holidays diet”, “3-day ‘pre-detox'”, “wrap”, “cream”, “pill”, “powder”, and/or “shake” messages I’ve seen come across my FB feed, in the last couple of weeks, I would have enough to celebrate Thanksgiving on a dive boat in the South Pacific with several of my friends and family members.

 

 

I typed, “Survive the Holidays” into Google and netted 18,900,000 results (0.31seconds) and another 338,000 when I added “how to” before that phrase.   And a “pre-detox”?  WTH?  Yup, it turns out that really IS “a thing”. That garnered me 656,000 results.  Check it out on google but keep your money in your pocket.  Your liver, intestines, kidneys, and lymphatic system are your body’s natural detox organs.

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But, I digress.  On to surviving the holidays…..

 

Why do we worry about it?

 

PARTY!!!  From now until after January 1st, there will be parties, at work and within our other social groups.  It has been proven that we eat more in groups.  Everyone else is eating.  We eat mindlessly – putting food into our mouths, washing it down with tasty beverages, all while we’re talking.  That plate of food is gone before we can even muse, “Yum.  Meatballs!  I need this recipe.”

 

FOOD!!!  There are tasty treats everywhere.  Pie.  Cookies.  Donuts.  Egg nog.  Mashed potato with gravy and sweets with marshmallows.  Fudge and chocolates.  Wine and spiced cider. Cake.  Stuff we only see at this time of the year, frequently made by people we love.

 

NO SUN!!!  The days are shorter so we feel less motivated to exercises when it’s dark as we get out of work. Oh my gosh, I’m really struggling with this one!! It’s starting to get cooler – adding that to the early darkness, we feel more like curling up on the couch than going to the gym.  It also leads to craving more warm and hearty foods.  We drink less water than when it’s warmer outside.

 

STRESS, ANYONE?  We are under more stress to get it “all” done.  We have our regular commitments and responsibilities but now we also need to find time to go shopping, make food for and attend the increased gatherings, and ensure we are actively carrying on family traditions.  Stress increases cortisol which can suppress the immune system, increase blood pressure, and increase fat storage.

Recipe for disaster

BUT….

 

Do we need to worry about it?

 

I was actually shocked to find that numerous studies, conducted since 2000, show:

 

Holiday weight gain actually averages 1-2 pounds vice the 5-7 we frequently see reported.  

That said, it’s not all great news.  Even though it’s only 1-2 pounds, we typically don’t shed that extra weight later.  Next year, it’s another 1-2 on top of this, and next year, and next year.  The other thing worth noting is that, while there’s less weight change than many report, there may be increases in body fat.

New Year to Thanksgiving

Asking the right questions:

 

I.  If studies show the average weight gain is 1-2 pounds, why do we hear higher numbers then?  

 

II.  A better question might be:  where are you hearing the higher numbers from?

 

Answer:  Marketing based on fear that YOU will gain 5-7 pounds and you “shouldn’t”.   You’re hearing this stuff from companies that have some type of weight loss or “health related” product to sell you.  Marketing 101.

 

III.  If you do gain a few pounds, is it a “disaster”?  Probably not.  Will you be thrilled?  Maybe not.  Can you mitigate it starting now though moderation?  Probably.  Can you change it later though consistent application of reasonable nutrition and exercise habits?  Probably so.

 

Calling it a d.i.s.a.s.t.e.r. might be a tiny bit melodramatic.    

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The holidays are times when most of us get to see family and friends we don’t see all the time.  We take more time to relax, chat, talk, and laugh.  These are all fantastic things!

The holidays are not something we should try to “survive”.

 

*****

Be sure to check in for Part II tomorrow.

That will cover my top 12 suggestions for enjoying the holidays without just surviving them.

Oct 29

All Usually Leads to Nothing

Family & FIT  |  Debbie Hatch

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Ever notice how “All or Nothing” most typically leads to nothing?

 

There are very few things in life that should be looked at in absolute terms.

Always.  Never.  100% or Nothing.

 

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There are some, of course.

When I was helping supervisors write job performance standards, it was okay not to let the Pharmacist kill, through the improper filling of prescriptions, “no more than one” person per quarter. We didn’t ask the Pilot to “crash only a few planes” each year.  Doctors were expected to remove the correct body part EVERY single time.

 

So, sure, some things have to be absolute.

But very few.

 

NOT HAPPINESS… … …  screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-10-28-40-pm

 

In fact, the more we polarize our thinking, the more likely we are to become depressed.  To quote Paul Martin from his 1998 book, “The Sickening Mind:  Brain, Behaviour, Immunity and Disease”, “For a healthy emotional life, it’s not more extreme happiness we need, but more balanced emotions.”

 

Not all or nothing, but something in the middle. 

 

AND MOST CERTAINLY NOT OUR DIETS OR EXERCISE!. screen-shot-2015-07-12-at-6-35-29-pm

 

Unfortunately, many of us view them with this mindset. You know what I’m talking about:

  • If I can’t get to the gym every day this week.  I might as well not go at all.
  • I can’t spend a full 30-40 minutes working out today.  Why bother working out at all then?  What’s the point?
  • Ugh.  I ate donuts in the office this morning.  My diet is screwed.  Might as well start again tomorrow.  Or better yet, why not next Monday?

 

Health and fitness are NOT all or nothing propositions.

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Success is found somewhere in the middle!!

 

  • I had salad and cannoli last week.
  • I drank a lot of water and two glasses of wine.
  • I ate meat, veggies, AND bread.
  • This past month, there were days I went to the gym and lifted heavy for an hour, days I dragged myself in and did the bare minimum for 15-20 minutes, days I took self-defense classes, days I did yoga, days I did bodyweight exercises in my hotel room, or went for a jog, and days I sat on my ass because I was just exhausted.

 

It’s what we do – over time – that matters.

Consistency is key. 

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Doesn’t matter what you do, or for how long.  Do something.  Where you are with what you have available, at this point and in this place.

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