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Things I’m Grateful For

09/22/2010

Beautiful Readers,

In my last blog I mentioned that you can’t process fear and gratitude at the same time. Apparently, your brain won’t let you. Therefore, I recommend that you pick your favorite one of those emotions and focus on that.

But sometimes when your dog rips up your couch and you’re sure you’ll never find a new one that fits in your apartment, or the dress you were planning to buy for weeks, suddenly isn’t in the window anymore–or something worse than either of these, arises–it can be hard to think of things to be grateful for.

Counting your blessings when you’re deep in it is an art, for sure, but if you have your list at the ready and you practice refocusing your panicky nature to things you enjoy more, I know from personal experience that you’ll get better at it.

So just to get you started, here’s my abridged list of things for which I feel grateful:

All kinds of dance classes
Living near the subway
Healthy and reasonably well adjusted children
That womens fashions have changed in such a way that I don’t have to wear a corset or girdle and that sweatpants, sneakers, and sweatshirts can be worn outside of the gym
Rain
Snowflakes
Salsa playing out of car windows
Steel drum in the subway (far more rare now than it was in my NY childhood)
Oil painting
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Coffee (even bad coffee)
My imagination
The bond humans share of tirelessly wanting to have their world improve
Romance
Poetry
Really good indie rock
Netflix
Money (having some–no particular amount of it-just like the stuff overall)
People who give well meaning advice
The awesome variety of opinions and points of view about what matters in life.

Now you try!

Thanks for reading,

Alix Florio
President; beautiful fitness

What, me worry?

09/16/2010

Beautiful Readers,

worry. Fret. Stress. Panic. Fear. Concern. Consternation. Agitation. Anxiety. Angst. Nervous. Tense. Like Eskimos have words for snow, we have a whole vocabulary of words to describe different ways of feeling uptight. This means one of two things. Either we love this stuff so much we preoccupy ourselves with it, or we spend a whole lot of time this way and we are hoping that if we can define it, name it, and tell others about it, we might get some help.

I’m guessing it’s both. We love the rush of instant energy that nervousness brings because it makes us feel powerful in situations where we feel powerless or afraid of something or someone. It’s the juice that gets us mammals going when we need to flee- so really stress is our friend in many ways. And since I always Ike to try to help a little in this blog- that’s my first bit of advice. Accept that stress is totally natural and that a healthy stress reaction is 100 percent normal, and not something you should try to eliminate. (as an aside, there are NO parts of you that should be eliminated).

Next, I’d wager that unless you are on an active campaign to keep your stress situation-appropriate, I’d bet that yours is getting play in circumstances where it may not belong. Late for work? Stress. Said something dumb? Stress. Those are examples of situations where stress is common but inappropriate.

Obviously a fight or flight reaction doesn’t help you apologize to your boss any better, or take back something you’ve said more effectively, if anything it leaves you tongue tied and floundering. But yet, it feel so right at the time.

Could it be that your feelings are betraying you in some situations? Im afraid they are. If you remember that our instincts are designed for much more primitive environments than 2010 would allow for, it makes sense. Our experiences may take place in Gogo Sushi but out instincts were honed in primordial jungles.

The real life stress situations like the examples mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg too. Humans are remarkable relative to other mammals in many ways, and one of the coolest ways is that we have supurb imaginations about the future. Its the thing that allows us to build rocketships and mix chocolate and mint in gelato.

So guess where most people spend most of their stress-energy? In total fantasy. Sure, if you have this big brain and a highly sensitive escape response why not have some fun? Bored at home? Why not worry about whether or not you’ll have thighs like your mom? Bored at work? Hmm….maybe you’ll get downsized. Or maybe no one likes you. Or maybe you blew your chance at promotion when you told that slightly off color joke last week? Not so bored anymore, right?

Statistics suggest that 90 percent of the stuff that we worry about never really happens at all. So why worry? Because we don’t believe that statistic. Try this exercise- for a day or two try writing down anything you worry might happen…and see if it ever comes true. I’d bet most of it doesn’t, and as much as our brains may prefer the comfort of the dark ages, I also think they can be trained and taught-so maybe a little proof on paper that a lot of that future negative outcome predicting is just, well, wrong, can help.

Also, I recently read that the part of your brain that is responsible for fear does double duty as the center for feelings of appreciation-and here’s the trick-it can’t do both at once. So maybe next time you find yourself thinking through some unlikely disaster try to refocus to something you feel grateful for. Aunt Linda’s apple pie instead of monsters in the closet.

Unless you’re in the mood for monsters, and then, run with it. And in some ways, which is scarier? The idea that there are monsters lurking, or the idea that the world is monster-free and that you are creating most of the monsters yourself?

Thanks for reading,

Alix Florio
President
Beautiful Fitness

Eat Like You Mean It

09/01/2010

Beautiful readers,

Quick, what’s the difference between snacking on Potato Chips during your commute and snacking on take-out Chana Masala?

Twenty two dollars and seventy five cents. And maybe a ghee stain on your shirt. And about 30 percent daily value of iron, vit. A, vit C and protein.

If 10 dollars more for chick peas instead of Lays and a potential 12.75 for dry cleaning instead of brushing a few crumbs off your blouse seems like a lot of extra effort, then the rigors of eating well will shock you, because the extra cash and mess is just the tip of the iceberg.

But then, you knew that clean living would require commitment. Nothing in life worth having is free, and eating wholesomely, is no exception. The rewards? More consistent energy, better skin, and maybe a longer life with fewer diseases. Net, worth it.

Though if you have ever been on a road trip in the United States and tried to avoid white flour– you probably lost, involuntary, anywhere from 8-20 pounds depending on the duration of your trip. Or if you have ever been to a mall food court looking for a lowish calorie, low fat, low sodium, nutritionally balanced-ish meal, you may have ended up buying “sides” at more than three different purveyors and may have totally forgone protein.

In a recent class I took, full of pretty normal people, I realized that in a consistent effort to eat well I had truly become one of those food freaks I used to make fun of. The morning of the first day of our 8 hour class I unpacked my snacks. Yogurt, green tea, nuts, dark chocolate, and put them where I could get to them easily. So from day one, my desk area looked like an outpost of Whole Foods.

On our first break, I’d return from down the block with hummus and roasted vegetable sandwiches on seeded multigrain rolls or messy whole wheat tortillas with eggs with spinach, while tidier others neatly enjoyed compact little egg mcmuffin like things and granola bars. I dined like Falstaff in a room full of Laura Petries.

I even risked ostracization for my dietary convictions. During a break some of the ladies bonded over their interest in different brands of popular cupcakes, but when it was my turn to share my girlish love of creamy white frosting, I admitted that I had never bought one, nor wanted to, nor craved them. I was instantly ashamed of my food geekyness. I was not invited to lunch.

But then, as a good friend recently reminded me, eating well, though challenging, is like camping as opposed to sitting in your climate controlled home…one involves bugs, dirt, carrying things, building things, and vulnerability to weather, whereas the other is easy and effortless. But yet, because of those challenges, not despite them, people still like camping, even though they may not be absolutely sure why.

Eating wholesome food, like camping, just feels good, and thats a good enough reason to do most things in life. Perhaps it allows us to connect to our more primitive nature, which we are frequently asked to deny, allowing us to revel in the disorder of an authentically un-mcmuffiny world.

And despite a little fleeting social friction, my dietary vigilance shares good company with two groups of people I really admire for their burning desire to live well: old folks working to prolong their lives so they can do more of whatever they like to do, and the grateful survivors of various diseases who have honestly faced their own mortality. People who, like really, want to live as much as possible. Just try to tell them that their lunch should be neater.

 

Thanks for reading,
Alix Florio
President
Beautiful Fitness

EZJumper: review

08/11/2010

Westchester is a wondrous strange place. On my last trip out I had the privilege of taking one of the best kIckboxing classes I have ever enjoyed, followed by one of the best Pilates classes. Both taught by the same instructor Fran, at the Dobbs Ferry NY Sports Club.

These exciting classes were followed up by an equally exciting introduction to the handsome inventor of a product that, at first, seemed very much like a gimmick designed to separate well meaning fitness enthusiasts from their money–the EZJumper.

During the short break between classes, Fran had described the virtues of a jumprope that doesn’t require you to jump. In fact it “doesn’t go under your feet at all” she animatedly explained. She was thrilled. Even though there was no jumping the jumprope-y device allowed you to feel like you were jumping rope because you could move your hands around in a jumprope-like way.

Fran was so excited she demonstrated the rope swinging motion with her arms at the edge of the weight room, while showing me all the different things you could do with your feet if there was no rope there to trip you up. Scissors, lunges, and a fast back-and-forth switch were all possible now in rope-less freedom.

I was skeptical about the thrill of what seemed like the removal of the business end of rope jumping until, as good fortune would have it, Sammy Black himself, Inventor and Engineer of the EZJumper, as it says on his business card, drove up in his shiny sportscar to say hello to my new friend Fran.

I asked if he had an EzJumper with him I could try,,and within minutes I was tearing into the plastic packaging of the quite handsome looking, black matte, nicely weighted set of ball bearing handles, each connected to about three feet of plastic tubing, with small weighted rubber knobs on the ends. A pair of them. Which answered my first question about a no jump jumprope-it was a set of handles and plastic cords-thus no middle.

Still skeptical, I gave it a try in the parking lot (a perfect location because you need a little clearance) and after the first few turns of the ropes- I was hooked. The pair of handles and cords quickly fell into what was a surprisingly satisfying and intuitive spinning rhythm making me feel like an expert jumproper and after a very short while I figured out how to add my feet naturally to the mix for a fun and flexible upper and lower body workout, that I am now convinced, as Fran was, may actually have a lot more fitness potential than regular jump-roping.

I can imagine the EZJumper successfully used in fitness classes (though the necessary clearance could be a challenge in a crowded classroom), and the experience of turning the weighted ropes offers a fun complete upper body workout (which i normally don’t enjoy much)because of the constantly changing resistance, that could be terrific for folks at home, or for seated mature exercisers.

My rating for this product: 3 of 4 sneakers

Pros: portable, well made, novel, fun, provides good exercise, appropriate for all fitness levels
Cons: needs a little space

Good Bad Boys and Crazy Stable Girls

07/13/2010

Beautiful Readers,

It’s been a while since I wrote–and there is actually a very good, very personal, reason for that, which I won’t go into. But let’s just say, as one disaffected young lady in my Williamsburg Brooklyn oil painting class did “Oh. Drama. I get it.” Now this young woman is 20 if she is a day, and I am, um, not– but whatever her age I certainly like it that she seemed to feel that a little drama in life was like a thunderstorm– something to be expected sometimes and not a disaster of any epic proportion.

And now for my little secret. I love the part of me that, with two kids, a house to run, and a normal adult life to lead, is still passionately engaged enough in my world  that sometimes things can go a little haywire. I like the part of me that gets swept up –or can even be thrown off kilter sometimes, by life events.  And you can’t convince me it’s bad. In fact I believe that if you want to be authentic, flexible, resilient and strong–it can be essential to let life toss you around a little–not try to control it all.

Of course there has to be balance. I always loved the idea that I would be all June Cleaverish by day, cheery and muffin-makey with my kids and significant other, and yet never turn into an automaton or end up with a medicine cabinet of “mother’s little helpers”, burying every emotion or desire not appropriate to that role so deep that I could no longer even see them anymore. But I equally love the idea that at night (or when the kids are not around) I could have a whole separate and different world, one wholly inappropriate for children–one that was more wild and free and creative and honest and uninhibited than any child of mine would ever want to know about. And, frankly, I have kind of got that, or at least the makings of it and the desire for it–now I just need to make the time.

And I have a male counterpart too. You know the smoldering male who is tough and ornery, and lives life by his own terms and really doesn’t care about the rest? I like him too. We all do. But in my world this man by day can do what I do, and collect himself, take care of business, and manage the rigors of a reasonably presentable home and care about the details of a family. And then by night…well, it’s a whole different thing. And I’m not just talking about sex–but the whole great big sexy adult world opened up full of subtlety and bawdiness and passion.

I have read blogs written mostly by moms about  parenting/self  balance and a lot of what I have been hearing is that you need to incorporate elements of each into both–but after 12 years of this parenting thing, I’m afraid I disagree. Kids need and want full 100 percent parenting when they are with you–they like it conservative, regular, and, well, boring, for the most part–and frankly, what I have discovered at least for myself is that some kind of integration of  that plus a more “sexy” personality just doesn’t really work.

And if it did work, what would that even look like? Wearing stillettos while you breastfeed? Witty banter with your significant other, 9 year old, and 12 year old, at the dinner table? Flirtatious innuendo during Barney? It just doesn’t make sense. Kids don’t like that stuff nor can they contribute to it. And what I have seen for the most part in this world where we like to think that we are “ourselves” in front of our kids–is that there is a large part of us that doesn’t get any play at all.

And I’m afraid that eventually, for some couples, that part of them starts to go away– and they begin to  feel “old” in the, bad, zombie-like way. And among couples where the younger more irreverrent alter-ego seems to have a strong will to live–the incompatibilities between these personnas can cause real problems in family life– unless they get enough time alone both together, without kids, and apart, without kids.  

And as challenging as trying to manage both sides of myself can be, I feel privildeged to even have this problem to figure out. Trying to manage it has been an elaborate and sometimes painful process for me as I try to discover  how to live in two worlds without screwing either one up – but I would never ever trade it for living in just one. And if I work it all out the right way–I promise to let you know. And if you know already–please fill me in.

Thanks for reading,

Alix Florio

President – Beautiful Fitness

www.beautifulfitness.com

Boys to Men

06/12/2010

Beautiful Readers,

You know who I am concerned about? (and I don’t mean this facetiously at all). Men. And the boys who will someday become men.

Ok–I can already feel my stress level rising as I write this, just waiting for the criticism to start pouring in, but seriously, there is an elephant just walking all over the room if you are willing to see it.  Just a couple of generations ago- men were overall, happily running things in public life, not because they were bossy and mean, but because it had always been that way. They got paid more than women, and women liked that about them. They felt important. They felt rewarded. They felt acknowledged and proud.

Enter feminism, and “feminists” and Womyn (for those who don’t know–this is a spelling used by women who resent that the word wo-MEN is a derivative of the word men), who then gave their daughters a world of Girl Power. Dad’s jumped on the Girl Power bandwagon too–intending to support their daughters–but sometimes the sons in those families were left behind in all the fanfare.

Men’s clubs, boy’s schools and men’s colleges were quickly dismantled, and all kinds of women’s groups and networks and business alliances started cropping up. Suddenly any group of men, who preferred to hang out together without women, were treated by society as if they represented some kind of conspiratorial nuisance, designed to undermine the opposite sex.

Meanwhile,despite obvious inequality in public life, as the feminist movement began, there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that girls needed more support emotionally than boys did, or that women needed more social support than men. And after years of correcting for what I agree was a public world unbalanced in favor of masculine success–I believe that now it  may be time for males to have their equal share of social admiration, and the fact that that statement feels inflammatory is absurd. 

But if men are undersupported then where is the opposing movement of Boy Power or ‘masculinism’? My guess is that after years of hearing about the miseries of being female–the smarter, kinder men and boys, the one’s who could change history, may after so much public show of the pain of feminine oppression, be afraid to hurt girl’s feelings by just demanding equality of public praise. And you know how much men like hurting women’s feelings, right? Or how men feel about   making women angry? Think about it.

Also,  to add to the mix that men are taught to be stoic, and perhaps would be more ashamed than women to admit that the lack of public interest in nurturing a healthy masculine ego had fallen by the wayside in favor of all those powerfully supported women. Plus helpful role models for boys are in short supply. We all know that there are way more good mothers than good fathers out there–so the odds of a boy finding an older man to offer them consistent support and comfort is very small overall.

 Of course there are some exceptions, and we are all familiar with a handful of awesome dads, but really–there’s a reason we all know them– it is because they are an extraordinary group. Just in terms of numbers, women are  doing a far better job of caring for kids than their male counterparts. And while I believe that some of this is evolutionary it is hard not to believe also that it may be easier for women to parent because they have had better personal support for their sex from mothers and from society, which allows them to  endure the ego-squelching rigors of caring completely for another person. A catch 22 for men if there ever was one.

I started thinking about this recently because all of a sudden, like a bolt of lightening, it came to my attention that I really don’t understand men much at all, and I want to.  I have been given tomes to read about women, their experience, and how they are different than men, what makes them tick, and how to make their lives better, but I only realized recently that I have never once read anything about the masculine experience. And frankly, as far as I can recall, growing up, this absense of knowledge seemed utterly normal to me. 

What’s weirder still is that I strongly suspect that if I were to have suggested that I was interested in understanding the workings of men as a child, someone would have laughed at me. Or thought I was trying to suck up to the male half of the species in some unflattering way. Damn. And what is even more shocking to me is that not even one of my male professors or teachers ever seemed to think that learning about them was a good idea either–or at least never said it out loud.

So for the last week I have been reading voraciously about men– and the male experience. I have been absorbing everything I can find from online forums and  journal articles.  It is fascinating to me–and excruciating all at the same time, for my lack of understanding of how men see the world has been profound. It is also not my fault. The inner workings of men was consciously hidden from me and the young women I grew up with. As I read about the masculine world I find myself fascinated by all the things I did not know, and disappointed by the well meaning intellectuals who kept this stuff from me and my female (and male) friends. I regret that the older women who all along knew about how men are different than women– how men particularly like to be admired and hate to be told they’ve made a mistake,  never told these secrets to their daughters and sons because they had come to believe that making men feel good was in some way pandering to the enemy.  

So now what? Well, I’ll start with my son.  He is getting older. He’s 12 now, and I know that sometimes he feel insecure because he is being raised in a world that tells him that women come first.  First, I may apologize for my ignorance about him and how he works. Second I’ll tell him that it’s ok to feel like sometimes girls are getting over these days, and that it isn’t fair for anyone to get over, and that there is nothing wrong with him if he feels annoyed by it. Third, together we will plan out what to do, like revolutionaries, together in partnership. And if my maternal instinct serves me correctly– through this planning and honesty, he will better navigate the ‘girl power’  world he is being raised in, ready to tackle this new kind of inequality with unapologetic assertiveness and confidence, and then after that– the rest is up to him. After all, he is the young man, whereas I am a woman, and what changes he would like to see in the world to support his sex should, respectfully, be left to him and his buddies, all of whom I admire enormously.

Thanks for reading,

Alix Florio

President —Beautiful Fitness

The ‘enjoy the suck’ diet: Your ultimate weight loss solution.

05/26/2010

Beautiful Readers,

As you may have gathered from the title–I have a weight loss plan for you. And  I 100% guarantee it will work. In fact I am living proof that it works and am enjoying the considerable fruits of it right now as my formerly tight denim shorts become looser and looser and looser with a speed that makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland after drinking out of that little bottle on the table. And it’s a good thing it works too because I am petite everywhere (everywhere), so Zaftig  or even “plump” never really works for me so well, I tend to look more, like, fat.

Well so here we are. What, you ask, is my super-special-secret diet tip ? What is the regimen that can allow someone who weighs more than they’d like to be absolutely certain to lose weight all the way down to their ideal size? And if  weight loss is so easy to accomplish why has everyone not followed this unique and extraordinary plan? The answer to the last question is simple. Everyone does not follow a weight loss plan because for the most part–it sucks losing weight. And there is really no way around that.

Tips and tricks:

1. Consume less calories and just deal with the suckyness. I know, I know, it definately isn’t a trick anyone wants to learn, but it really is my number one tip for weight loss. And I’m sorry for that. But, seriously,  in order to succeed at losing weight, you really have to actively want to lose it, and you have to retain this idea for more than just the few minutes while you are noticing that skinnier people walking around are not eating the same cookies you are. You have to be willing to accept that no matter what diet books or infomercials may tell you –the sucky deprivation feeling is an integral part of the process–in fact it is somewhat in proportion to the amount of weight you want to lose . Learn to enjoy the self-control.

2. You are not going to starve to death.  You think I am kidding? Not at all. You know what your brain is great at? Finding you things that are edible as often as possible and making sure you to eat them. You know one of the most brilliant ways your brain does that? It convinces you that you are in danger of starving to death every damn time you pass up food or get a little hungry. Your food-finding brain is like the perennial Jewish mother who honestly believes that you will starve every time you refuse food. Look, it makes sense,being normally hungry can be a sign of health, and losing interest in food can suggest real illness or depression–so being hungry is great–it’s just eating all the time that’s not. Be hungry sometimes. More if you want to lose weight. It’s ok.

3. Drink a ridiculous amount of green tea. This is the only bit of advice I have for you that sounds even a little like a classic diet trick.  Green tea contains some caffeine which speeds your metabolism (though not so much that you are feeling completely neurotic all day if you drink it steadily), and we know that drinking lots of anything can act as an appetite suppressant, but in my experience there seems to be more, in terms of the weight loss benefits too–though I couldn’t honestly tell you why it works. There has been some research into green tea and weight loss, but  I have not been wildly impressed by any of it. I do however, personally, believe that it has made a huge difference in terms of the amount of weight that I have been able to lose at any given time. There are also abundant health benefits associated with drinking large quantities of green tea and no potential for overdose, so I figure if I think it’s workin for me–why not.  I tend to drink approximately 5 cups a day. Here’s a link to a 1999 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition drinking green tea and a possible link to increased weight loss.  in case you’re interested in seeing some of the research about this.

4. Exercise and take a multiple vitamin and fish oil supplement every single day. Since I am clearly going out on a limb telling you that you should just deal with the pain of eating less–risking that you might actually stop eating and thereby harm yourself–it is now time for a test. If you feel that you are eating so little that you lack the energy to exercise every single day– you probably need to be eating more. It is a balance. And that balance includes making sure that you are consuming enough calories to function properly throughout your day and have some left over for exercise. Like really, every day. I think the steady exercise routine helps keep you honest–leaving you no haziness about how often you have exercised in a given week– and if you focus on weights and cardio–it’ll help keep your energy up and will burn calories. The multiple vitamin and fish oil is important all the time and especially important while you diet.

5. Get 7-8 hours of sleep – or as close to it as you can. Here is one of the cruel jokes of dieting. It is really hard to sleep when you are hungry. Almost impossible. and if you are dieting in a way that you will lose weight–as mentioned in tip #1, you are going to feel hungry. However, study’s show conclusively that lack of sleep will result in elevated Cortisol (stress hormone) and that elevated cortisol will make you feel hungrier (in that desperate–’I'm going to die’ way) and also make it harder to lose weight. So do what you can to get sleep–one tip is to eat  a little more at night. From what I have read, despite the suggestion that eating more at night somehow makes people gain weight–there’s no real reserach to suggest that that is actually true, whereas there is plenty of research about lack of sleep and weight gain.

So that’s really it. No magic. No drugs (except caffeine). But I can honestly proimise that having dropped 5-10 pounds this way again and again, if you are willing to just deal with the pain– it will work for you too. There is nothing about this plan that is unique to metabolism or lifestyle. Less calories, daily exercise, a lot of tea, enough sleep, and voila. So enjoy the suck comrades–and the looser pants that come with it.

Thanks for reading,

Alix Florio

President – - Beautiful Fitness

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

05/10/2010

Beautiful Readers,

Want to know what I think is the singularly most important thing in the world next to love? That’s right. Respect. The good old-fashioned kind. Self respect. Respect for others. Respect for the planet. Respect for your family, your pets, your plants, and pretty much everything you come into contact with. Want to know why? And no, it’s not some totally airy-fairy reason, either. I think respect for all that stuff is so important because, frankly, that stuff is all you’ve got. And you only live once. And if you don’t respect those things now– you really won’t get another chance.

respect is sometimes hard to come by in these parts. You may have to re-learn it. At some point (like maybe in your tween years) you learn that rolling your eyes in disrespect for everything around you shows that you are savvy despite your age and that what you’ve got now, just isn’t enough for you, because you deserve better. Your new-found blase attitude indicates to your disaffected teen self and to everyone around you, that you expect “more” from life–whatever “more” is.

You are encouraged by the media, society, and maybe even your parents, to believe that it is your job on earth to make things “better” in some palpable way and to reject the status quo. No blame for this. I think it’s  just part of the natural push of evolution to make kids want to strive for a better life than their parents had. Thing is–this idea that it is our responsibility to “improve” the world in some way suggests that the world is in need of improving. Of course the world is not particularly flawed–or at least I don’t think so. I personally believe that things are getting neither better, nor worse, on earth.

Trouble is, particularly in America, respect for history, tradition, stability, longevity and anything or anyone that was around before you were born,  is in relatively short supply. It is easy to become terribly unbalanced in the ambition/dissatisfaction-respect/contentment continuum. All ambition and little respect is the norm as I see it. Respect is unexciting by nature because you can really only respect things that you know already. I mean, I guess you can have a healthy respect for the unknown future or for fate (if you believe in that) but,  really, respect is all about loving  what you do know and already have right now. Boring, right?

Successful wellness requires a really healthy sense of respect. Caring for your body (and, by association, your mind) can feel a lot like a tedious chore–the process is not showy–and no one is really all that impressed by the 100th time you do 40 minutes of cardio. It does not always result in the wildly impressive visible resulsts that you see on tv or in magazines (though, I guess it can, if you are focused on that), but in the end, after you have come to look the way you want more or less, the rest is just maintenance. And maintenance is by nature boring for the ceaselessly ambitious.  It does not stroke our ego any more than brushing our teeth does.

However, like the poster I have seen many times on dentist’s walls, “You only need to brush the ones you want to keep” exercising regularly and eating reasonably well, is important in caring for what you already have. Maintaining a regular, balanced, and therefore, successful, fitness regimen begins with a healthy respect for yourself and a willingess to take care of your basic, normal and unglamorous  needs for exercise, sunlight, positive nutrition, and self-nurturing through relaxation and conscious peace of mind.  And while these things may not buy you a new house, get you to a better career, or help you impress your friends, they will allow you to enjoy the benefits of feeling good,  a more balanced approach to life,  a calmer mind, and a greater appreciation for the respect you owe to yourself, which can help you to respect all other things in your life more.

Thanks for reading,

Alix 

President;  Beautiful Fitness

www.beautifulfitness.com


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