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Under Pressure (Peer Pressure)

19 May

Do you remember the days of peer pressure in school? Where you felt the need to be “cool” and probably did and said things that you’d rather not remember? Maybe you started smoking when you were a teen. Maybe you picked up a potty-mouth vocabulary as a way to communicate with your friends in a way that they could understand. Ahhhhhhh…those were the days. But those days are over now, right? RIGHT?

Not really. I’d argue that those days are very much not over. I am fascinated at how people change their ways of behavior when in a group setting as a way of fitting in, even as adults. I am amazed at how easily people are persuaded to make choices that others think that they should make.

The other day, I walked into an exercise class that I was trying for the first time. It took me about 30 seconds to realize that I, in fact, had forgotten to wear my $200+ workout outfit.“Is it just me?”, I thought. Yup, it was. I literally took a look at EACH person in the class and saw them EACH wearing a very fancy (and expensive) brand of exercise wear. The irrational part of me thought,” Wow. I really don’t belong here. Maybe I should go shopping for some new clothes after this class!” Thankfully, my rational brain kicked in and realized, “It does not matter if I have a certain brand of workout gear on or not! I am here for me and not to impress everyone else!

This kind of peer pressure is rampant when it comes to eating unhealthy foods. How many times have you gone into the break room and found a few dozen donuts, bagels, cookies, or cupcakes? People bring in their leftovers from birthdays on any given day. Maybe there is a set day of the week for ” treats” to be brought in. When I was working in schools, I know that this was true. Every Thursday was Bagel Day. You had to get there early to ensure that you could get a warm, doughy, cream-cheese-slathered-bread-donut before they were all gone. I was always there early, excited beyond belief for a chance to eat a bagel. Do you know what? I ate that bagel every week and while I felt satisfied in the moment, I always felt famished by lunchtime. At the time, I never made the connection as to why I was so hungry later on.

We have learned to equate rewards with junk food. How is eating junk food rewarding? It has no nutritional value! It makes our brains foggy, makes us more hungry, makes our blood sugar spike and crash, and makes us overweight, yet it keeps us coming back for more. 

I recently performed in a show (I since and dance like the people do on GLEE) and while it was fun, it was a stressful and mentally/physically demanding time. It was difficult to “find the time” to eat properly. I was personally eating on the go and struggled to try to bring my own healthy options with me to rehearsals. 

Do you know what was brought in by other group members? COOKIES, LOLLIPOPS, and MORE COOKIES! While I appreciated the gesture, I had to decline those items. Was it easy to turn down a box full of ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies? No, it wasn’t easy to turn down! Was it was a choice that I needed to make for my own well-being? Yes. Were others offended that I didn’t eat the cookies that they brought in? Nope. More for them.

I’m not saying that people should never have treats or never celebrate occasions with food that makes them happy. However, I am proposing that we do not need to celebrate every occasion with unhealthy food. Especially at times when we really need to take care of ourselves.

Let’s find other ways to celebrate as groups. Let’s treat ourselves to a group hike, a massage, or a night out bowling instead. We can all influence each other to make healthier choices. Most importantly, we can do what is best for us and not for other people. Take ownership of your own behavior and personal health and soon you will be feeling better than ever! Everyone in the office will want to know your secret. 😉

As always, feel free to leave comments or message me at:

healthcoachmeg@gmail.com

for guidance or advice! 

In Health,

Meg 

Using ‘Pinspiration’ to Meet your Weight Loss Goals

15 Mar

Have you heard of …

   ?

It’s one of the newest and hippest websites working its way up the popularity ranks. It has a social networking component to it like Facebook or Twitter, but ultimately, you create your own Pinboards. But what is a pinboard, you ask?
 
Remember the days when you spent hours with glue, scissors, and a stack of magazines, making collages? You made collages for school projects, to inspire yourself, or to display your love of Leonardo DiCaprio (okay, maybe that was the tween version of me, circa 1997). 
 
A pinboard is kind of like that, except there’s no mess or assembly required, since it’s done virtually. And in lieu of old magazines you have the whole web to use at your disposal. Sweet, right?
 
You can design a Pinboard about anything and name it yourself. People make pinboards about anything that interests them: recipes, weddings, party planning, photography. Sky’s the limit.  
 
You can even use pinboards to help you meet your health goals. 
 
It has been proven that setting concrete goals and visualizing them can help you to meet them. Search “healthy meals” or “exercise” in Pinterest, and you’re instantly flooded with images of toned bodies, tantalizing and healthy recipes, and suggestions for exercises to get the body that you’ve always wanted. It’s instant inspiration. 
 
Pinboards look something like this:
 
If you haven’t yet, meander over to Pinterest and start pinboard to help you meet your health and wellness goals! Transform the swirling ideas of what you want in your head into concrete, tangible, and inspiring pinboards.

Watch this video…

1 Mar

…and try to tell me that this 11-year-old boy does not have more insight about the food system in our country than a majority of adult Americans.

“Some people say that organic or local food is more expensive, but is it really?…It seems to me that we can either pay the farmer or we can pay the hospital.”

Not only is Birke Baehr smart, but he is a charming, confident,animated, and convincing public-speaker as well. The young man gives us a concise look at the abysmal state of our food system in the United States. He always tells us how to make better choices.

Aim Cupid’s Arrow…at Yourself

1 Mar

Above: Graffiti on the side of Jo’s Coffee in Austin, Texas. Can you smell the roses? The conversation hearts? The CHOCOLATE(Oh my!) and other temptations? Yep, Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

It’s been said that Love conquers all. While I believe that’s true, I obviously believe that Health conquers all as well. As far as I’m concerned, the two go hand in hand. If you love yourself, you’ll give your body the respect to treat it to a healthy lifestyle. If you are healthy, you will be able to love others and yourself fully and truly. This is a cycle and I don’t think that you can have one without the other. Love is wonderful, but if it’s not a HEALTHY love, what’s the point?

On a personal note, I have found love and respect for my body through various support systems and programs, including the one that I coach for. It has not not always been that way. Unfortunately, I didn’t always care that much about what I ate or how I treated my body. However, I found that once I started eating more healthfully, I was able to think more clearly, become more productive, and focus more on the things that matter most to me: my friends and family.

Cupid works in mysterious ways. Whether or not you have a Valentine this year, it is important to love yourself first, and the rest will follow. Work, kids, and everyday responsibilities can have a way of driving us nuts. Instead of dwelling on negative things in your life , count your valentines.Find those people in your life that bring love and light into your life and tell them just how much you love them.

H-Two-Oh

1 Mar

It’s probably one of the first words that you learned as a child: Water. Whether you call it “wawa” like the 2-year-old version of yourself, “H2O”, or just plain “water”, you know it’s good for you. It aids in digestion, keeps your skin supple, and we’re mostly made up of it anyway. Yet, sometimes is just seems so bland or hard to drink.  As a society we continue to shy away from it in lieu of high-calorie, sugar-ridden fruit juices and sodas. I challenge you to drink more water, starting today. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Get a water filter.

Filters come in various shapes and sizes, but they all do the same thing. They make your water taste more pure and remove chlorine and other heavy metals from your tap water. Whether on your faucet or in your fridge, filters are an economical way to know that your water is safe. PUR even makes flavored filters in case you need a boost of flavor.

  • Know your temperature preference.

For me, I’m a room-temperature kind of chick. I’ve found that in situations where I’m forced to drink ice-cold water, I drink way less of it. That brings me to my next point:

  • Plan ahead

If you don’t know how much water you’ve had, how do you know how much more you should drink? Planning ahead allows me to make drinking water easily. Invest in some sturdy BPA-free waterbottles with the oz. clearly marked. Fill them up to the amount that you need (I’ll address this next) and “VOILA!”, you’ve taken the guesswork out of the whole thing. Planning ahead also allows me to let my cold water from my fridge cool down to my temperature preference (see above).

  • Know your needs

The amount of water that you need per day is dependent upon a number of factors. If you’re not sure where to start, try taking this simple quiz to find out:

http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm

  • Liven it up with Citrus

Fresh lemons and limes are perfect calorie-free additions to water. Go bold, go big, go citrus.

Hopefully this helps all of you water-loathers out there. Raise your glass (or a BPA-free bottle) and drink up!

Imagine yourself living a healthy life…

1 Mar

What do you want for your life? 

Have you achieved all of the goals that you once set for yourself? Have you become the person that you’ve always wanted to be on a physical, emotional, and mental level? Most of all, are you happy?

These are all questions that people probably don’t ask and you and you certainly don’t ask yourself. Or maybe you may ask yourself these questions everyday, wondering why you are lacking something in your life. If you’re at either of those extremes (or somewhere in the middle), I want to help you get where you want to go. We all deserve health and we all deserve to be happy.

Maybe your health is bringing you down. If so, you probably know most of all that if you don’t have your health, it’s hard to have much else. Health is all encompassing and if it’s in jeopardy, it has the power to control your life instead of you.  Maybe your health is in danger, but you don’t know it yet. Maybe you’re just trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I hope to inspire and motivate both others and myself through this blog. We all need to share and support one another. We all need to visualize what we want and then communicate it to both ourselves and to others. Let’s talk. We’re all in this together!

I hope to share health articles, links, videos, pictures, and insight to help you along the way. Feel free to contact me at healthcoachmeg@gmail.com

In health,

Meg

Welcome!

1 Mar

Health Coach Meg

A Blog About Health, Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness

My name is Meg. I’m a Health Coach.

Need help starting your journey? Have comments or suggestions?

I’m here to talk at:

healthcoachmeg@gmail.com