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Celebrate Change

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Celebrate Change even as we celebrate aging. Q4fit.com

This time of year is a busy one at our house.  For years it was, of course, back to school. Just like millions of families, it is time to get back on the bus to school and regular schedule.  But as it happens, time marches on. We no longer have kids running out to get school supplies. No fall boots to buy, no lunch bags to grab, backpacks are just for fun now, so that means we get to focus on other things.   

It’s funny how things change.  

Some days I really miss the chaos of getting three kids out the door to school.  There was comfort in knowing the routine. The kids knew what was expected of them and they knew what to expect from us.  The morning routines were crazy but expected. We all knew our jobs and we all knew what the day was going to start like. The end of the school day was always different.  With multiple activities from everyone in the house, I had one of those crazy big calendars on the fridge and the saying was “if it wasn’t in the calendar, it didn’t exist”.

Yup, times have changed so much.  

When we started out with our little family, we thought we knew what it would look like.  Boy, did we have no idea. There is no way on earth that I would or could have expected my world to look like it does.  But that is life. If all of life was predicted and expected, it would be so amazingly boring.

Now, two of our three kids live in their own homes.  Now, if we want chaos, we just invite them all home. And that is when I remember that sound and kind of miss it.  

Life is supposed to change.  We are supposed to learn to adapt to the new.  We are not supposed to get so comfortable in our own world that we start to become part of the furniture.  Change is actually the only constant you can depend on.

Like the fact that it was just Doug’s birthday.  Cake, candles, presents, special dinner, you know, birthday stuff.  But now the birthdays are so different. For one thing, we have a grandson and within the month we will have another grandbaby.  I am so amazingly excited. Talk about change. The noise is no longer the adult kids as much as it is all of us playing with the toddler in the room.

The other thing that is funny this year is that Doug is actually excited about this birthday.  He is 55 years young. Some birthdays are lots of fun. Some are supposed to be a party, like every birthday that ends in a 0…30,40, 50.  Some birthdays are a little harder to handle like …30,40,50. We, tend to put a whole lot of importance on that all-important number. How old you are has less to do with the number and more to do with how old you feel.  But, Doug has had fun with 55. In some places, he now receives a seniors discount. Oh man!

The funny thing about the discount is that I doubt he will ever ask for it.  Just because he is old enough to get it, he still has to ask for it. Like most things that we are entitled to, you still may have to ask for it.

The best part of this 55 age thing is that we are both so much healthier than we were most of the rest of our lives.  Since finding the gym and losing the bulk of our extra weight, we are in much better shape than we have been in most of our adult lives.  Had we been this healthy while our kids were young and doing that back to school routine, our world would have looked so different.

So, we look back at all the things we could have, would have, should have and realize that we still can.  Sure things have changed and we are not kids in our 20’s anymore, but we are now in the place where we will embrace that change and run with it.  We are celebrating the fact that Doug may be the oldest guy in our gym. Without asking, it is a little hard to know for sure. We may not be the fastest, strongest, most agile, compared to the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s that train alongside us.  But we are there doing it instead of living with the regret of giving up.

Embrace change.  Learn to love it.  Or at least learn to accept it.  Change is a good thing. Do all you can to never stop changing.

And…

Happy Birthday, Doug!

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. – Carol Burnett

Life Within Your Comfort Zone

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Learning to live stress free is to learn to live within your comfort zone. Q4fit.com

Most of us think we like new and different.  We want to try something out of the ordinary.  We want to get rid of the blah and mundane. That is why we travel, why we browse when we shop, and why we still check out the “new” sections on the music sites and movie websites, why we remodel our homes and watch shows about moving and remodeling our homes.  But, it is usually the tried and true where we seem to really actually want to be. Comfort is where we really feel at home and relaxed. But is the tried and true, the ordinary, the expected, the normal, really where we should be?

I’m sure you have read or heard the saying the ‘life begins outside of our comfort zone’ and for the most part they are right.

You will rarely try something new if you never try something new! Hmmm.

For the most part, we are willing to try new and different things as long as they don’t disrupt our regular routine too much.  New paint looks great and usually only disrupts the home life for a couple of days to a week. Vacations are there and then done.  New clothes are great when they are new, then they hang in the closet just like the rest of our things. And we slide back into our comfort zone.

But what happens to us when we actually want to try something new inside our comfort zone?

We want to change part of our world. For instance, what happens when we try to change the way we eat?  We want to eat cleaner. We want to lose a few pounds. We want to eat less salt, bread, meat, dairy, carbs, sweets, and the list goes on.  How do we change without changing?

That is the million dollar question. Most of us want to change only part of ourselves without affecting the rest of our routine.  The truth is that change is difficult and it won’t come easily.

I remember way back when I wanted to lose weight for the zillionth time.  The thing that I did differently was that I hired a personal trainer. ‘That was the ticket!!’  ‘This was going to be the magic that would make it all happen!’ I went to her a few days a week.  Worked really hard when I was there. But like everything else I had tried over the years my weight wasn’t moving.  Ugh

The problem was that, yes, I was willing to give up a few hours a week to training, but I wasn’t ready yet to change what I was eating.  Oh, I thought that the exercise was going to be burning enough extra calories and after all, if I didn’t eat more and I burned more calories, that should the the magic equation, shouldn’t it?  

Calories in vs calories out!  Easy Peasy.

NOT

Just like the rest of the things in my world at the time, I was comfortable enough, but not willing to do the hard things like adjusting my food.  So change a little, but not enough.

Kind of like going to a new restaurant, but still ordering the same thing because after all, that is what you like.  Then why go to a new restaurant if you aren’t willing to try something different to eat?

Comfort

So, now we see that we have a problem, we don’t want to go too far outside of our comfort zone, but we don’t want to get stuck there either.

I have an idea that may help.

If you are really ready to make a change, then change.

I think the reason we get our minds ready for change when we;

  • see something new,
  • go somewhere new,
  • taste something new,
  • smell something new,
  • feel something new
  • but then never do something new.
  • we go back into our comfort zone and forget how great that something new made us feel.  

So change your perspective a little inside your comfort zone.

If you can change your environment inside your comfort zone I believe it will help you to remember what and why you are changing.  Here is what I mean.

  • When I started to drink more water, which I have never really liked, I used a different glass.  I had fancy glasses getting dusty in my china cabinet, so I used one of them. It made me feel fancy.  With water, of all things.
  • Sometimes, I sit at the dining table for a boring Tuesday night dinner.  It makes me feel like a night out.
  • I even use my china for supper sometimes, just to change things up.
  • One of the favorite meals for our kids when they were little was breakfast for dinner.  They thought I was crazy.
  • We have had a picnic in the backyard, with and without kids,
  • eating with camping plates,
  • by candlelight,
  • and even with no tv or music.

The point is to change without changing will not get you to where you want to go.

Something as simple as eating with the “good china” helps you to remember that you are worth it and that you are willing to do something different inside your comfort zone that begins to change your comfort zone.

So do something a little different that reminds you;

You are worth it

You can stick with it

You can do it

You will do it

 

As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal. – Robin S. Sharma

 

Beware of the Chair

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Multi-generation family sitting on devices instead of out playing. Get out of the chair. Q4fit.com

I have been going to the gym now for several years.  But let me make something clear, I am not one of those people that show up at a big gym and comfortably set into my own routine.  I am not one of those people that just go pick stuff up, put it down, do that a few times, head to a machine, adjust it and go for it, and so on for an hour or so.  Nope, not me. Having said that, I can do that, I have on occasion done that, but it would never be my workout of choice.

I am very much a team player kind of person.  I like doing things together with other people. I have played on several teams in a variety of sports and done all sorts of classes. But as I get older, I am finding that the drama that some people thrive in, I just can’t handle.  So I am torn between being that independent person in the gym and the group activity kind of person. Good thing there is no deadline to choose and I may never actually have to.

I will just continue to look for that perfect workout.  If it actually exists.

After all of that, I am totally loving the new gym that I am going to.  For me, it offers a little bit of everything that I want. The classes are small, and I have the option of doing drop in too where I can be independent, yet never totally alone.  This is feeling really comfortable for me. I also have been going to another type of gym. A little circuit training, well sort of. It is boxing in a circuit. It is a quick 30 minute, I am rarely alone, yet there is only one person per station at a time.  The levels change all the time and it is together yet not all at the same time.

I tell you this because it is more important than ever before to make sure you are moving your body.  I have heard it said that sitting is the new smoking. That is not cool. We spend more time looking at screens than doing most other things.  Kids are on screens before the even go to school and it doesn’t go away when you are finished your work day, our pads and phones, as well as tv’s and computers, are always just a click away.  Even our seniors are online because that is the way the world communicates but if you are anything like me, I can’t walk and text, chew gum, or much else at the same time. So, we sit. A lot.

We have come a long way for tending the farms for all the hours that the sun is up.  We rush to and home from work where most of us sit and then sit some more. If we have active jobs, we drive home and sit to relax.  Then spend the weekends sitting again to unwind.

Our lives are becoming more and more sedentary.  We need to change this.

Change won't happen on its own, we need to make a firm decision to want to change and then do it.  For some of us, this is going to be tough. There are large groups of people that have never been particularly active.  You remember those kids in school that were never very good in gym class. Maybe that was you. Ok, but you are not in school anymore.  Nobody cares if you got chosen first or last. It doesn’t matter what color team you were put on. What matters is that you get up and move your butt.

I have talked about this before.    Do What You Want to Do, Are You Moving But anything worth saying is worth repeating.  It doesn’t have to be joining the local Gold’s Gym, that can so intimidating. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t have to involve any membership.  It just has to include moving your body.

The internet is full of people trying to sell their program, which is fine, but you don’t have to do that if you are just starting out or starting out again.  There are so many free ideas out there just spend a few minutes doing that.

But, the most obvious thing to do is to get up and walk.  Really it doesn’t cost anything, you already do some walking in your day, just do a little more.  When you are ready, add a little more to it. Add some other activity, look around, there are literally hundreds of ways to get active.

If you want to add a reason to walk look toward walking for a cause.  There are so many really good charities that do walks for fundraising, you can do two things at the same time.

Don’t just sit and come up with reasons not to do it.  

  • The time will never be perfect.  
  • There will always be something else to do.
  • The weather won’t always cooperate.
  • The shows will want you to watch it live.
  • You may feel uncomfortable.
  • You might even work up a sweat.
  • You might have to say no to something.

But, it just might be the beginning of doing something really great for you!

 

Exercise, prayer, and meditation are examples of calming rituals. They have been shown to induce a happier mood and provide a positive pathway through life's daily frustrations. – Chuck Norris

 

Believe in the Steps

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Old Ways Wont Open New Doors You Need to Believe In The Steps Q4fit.com

Let’s pretend you are starting a new ‘program’.

  • You have done some homework and the program seems to be what you want right now.  
  • You have done some background and its not a fake program.
  • You put your money down,
  • sign on the dotted line and
  • say to yourself “This time it’s going to work for good!”
  • And a few weeks later you are frustrated.  

Sound familiar?

For most of us out there, we have done this many times. And even though we failed to complete the program, we will inevitably do it again.

“The Program” can be just about any program.  A program to get more social media attention, a new business startup program, a way to make more money on the side, or even a weight loss program.  The whole idea of signing up for a new program is great. It shows that you are ready, willing and able to be a lifelong learner. When your mind is still learning, you will continue to expand your horizons and grow as a person.  And that is a great thing. But, it can also be more than that. It can be a sign that you are not satisfied with where you are in life and that can be both a good and bad thing.

So as you start that new program maybe it’s time to have a new thought;  maybe, just maybe you don’t have to believe in the outcome, you have to believe in the steps.

I know that may sound a little backward, but if you are trying yet again to start another program,

why not try something really new, like a new mindset.

It may actually be time to stop with the old thinking that has gotten you to the same place and try new thinking and new ideas, after all, isn’t that what you signed up for?

Most of us are stuck in a rut.  We want to get out of that rut, we really do.  We are willing to try something new, but as soon as our own self-doubt starts to appear, we fall right back into the same patterns as before and we fail or just stop.

I am just as guilty as you at this.  Even though we want to change. Even though more than anything to get out of this rut, we simply slide back each and every time.  

There is good news though.  If you are still reading this then you, like me, are still willing to take the risk and try yet again.  As long as I am still willing to see that the change I want is possible, then I am still willing to try.

So, here is my advice; that new ‘program’ you are starting, this time, jump in with both feet.  You don’t have to drink the whole jug of kool-aid, just drink what they tell you. Don’t second-guess the process, just do the steps.  One small change at a time. One day at a time. One small action at a time. Or a big action, whatever action the program tells you.

If you are taking the time, money, and effort for a new program, do what they tell you!!  That is not really that complicated. Just do what you are told. Whoever made that program has put a whole lot of work into it. You liked it enough to sign up, so do the program. If at the end of the program, you haven’t succeeded the way you had hoped, you can honestly say that you gave it your best shot, but if you don’t do just as the program says, you don’t actually know if that program works for you. You may be able to look back to where you started and actually see the progress that you didn’t expect.  So stick with it. You can do it!! We, here at Q4fit believe in you!!

 

Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th. – Julie Andrews