Mindful Eating

19 11 2012

“Food and emotional nourishment are intimately bound together in the depths of our unconscious. Just as you might fill an inner emptiness with food, so you can reject or deny your needs, and therefore reject food, in the misbelieve that the smaller the body the less the longing for love.” Deb Shapiro, Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Eating mindfully is not a diet or special formula for weight loss, but a way to live in the moment and notice behaviors that may not be serving us. Most of these behaviors have become habitual reactions to common triggers we encounter throughout our day.

One trigger may be stress. Stress is our body’s way of redistributing energy: our hearts start to race, our blood sugar rises, and we are more alert. This is good if it is for a short period of time, but our lifestyles have put our body’s stress mode into overdrive. This causes the adrenal glands to produce higher than normal levels of cortisol, which has been linked to increased weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area.

Sleep may be a cause for some that deal with weight problems. Too much or too little sleep has been proven to increase hormones that affect our ability to read the signs of hunger and fullness.

There is no easy or quick way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You may need to go deeper into your current patterns for dealing with stress. Do you eat to feel better? What feelings do you associate with certain foods? What foods do you eat to suppress feelings of anger or loneliness? What is preventing you from breaking through these habits?

Tammy’s Challenges

Mind: Examine your feelings about your body, relationships, and other areas of your life. Are these feelings true? Begin to notice negative thoughts running through your mind and replace them with life-affirming thoughts to heal those feelings. It may not be easy at first, but you may be surprised at the thoughts that may be keeping you from being the person you would like to be.

Body: Focus on a healthy body. Find exercise that you like to do. Realize that what you are capable of may not be what your spouse or friend is able to do. Your body is built different, you are at different places in your life, but you are doing what you know to be best for you.

Make room for plenty of rest.

Explore ways to reduce stress: yoga, meditation, journal, etc., and incorporate them regularly into your daily life.

Soul: Spend time to discover your passion. What do you enjoy doing? What do you do well? Explore your passion and share it with others. Send that positive, loving energy out into the world.

How are you taking care of yourself?

Namaste

Tammy





Leg Exercise is Important

17 06 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on June 10, 2012.

When meeting with a new client at the gym where I work as a personal trainer, I will ask them to give me a little background on their past exercise experiences and future goals. What I hear most is the desire to firm up, get healthy, and lose weight.

The legs and buttocks make up the largest muscles of the body. Working these muscles not only tones and strengthens, but also increases the metabolism. Leg exercises are a must for strength, flexibility and functional mobility.

Leg exercises promote working the largest muscles and muscle balance, while remaining healthy and pain-free. Proper form is most important to avoid injury and build muscle strength.

One of my favorite leg exercises is the squat. The squat requires the gluteus, quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles to work, which strengthens the leg and supports the knee.

The squat: If you are currently working with a health care professional, you will want to consult with them before trying the squat. You do not need a gym or special equipment to perform a squat. For a beginner you may want to stand near a wall or chair for support. • Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead • Tighten and pull in abdominal muscles • Lower body as if sitting in a chair, slowly • Stop when legs are parallel to the floor • Hold squat for a few seconds • Now press through the heels and return to standing position • Repeat for 2–3 sets, 8–12 repetitions each • Rest 60–90 seconds between sets

The easiest way to minimize stress on the knee is to be aware of the positioning of your knees and toes during the exercise. Simply, keep your hips from moving forward when your knees are bearing the load. If you ever feel knee pain, you need to stop. The knees are very complex joints and are highly susceptible to damage. Did you know, when we are standing, the knee carries approximately 80 percent of our body weight?

Functional “real life” movement is something we want to maintain throughout our lives. The squat will help you keep the strength and flexibility in your lower body to be able to bend down to pick something up. You will be glad you kept up with your squats!

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: No trans fats – read the labels of everything you eat.

Body: Do three sets of squats, three times a week, with a day of rest in between.

Soul: Write down 10 things that make you happy and smile.

I would love to hear from you. Email me at
Tammy@TammYoga.com, visit my TammYoga Facebook page, or tweet me @TammYoga.

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





Spring Has Sprung!

4 05 2012

This is my article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on April 29, 2012.

Hi, my name is Tammy Shellhaas. I am a yoga instructor/personal trainer and I would like you to join me on a journey to challenge your mind, body, and soul. Every other week we will explore a new aspect of a healthy lifestyle. My hope is to offer new information, or a new perspective to what you already know, or reintroduce an idea that may have been forgotten. So, let’s get started…

Spring has sprung! I mowed the grass for the first time this season. It is early, but I am thoroughly enjoying the weather. Flowers and trees are blooming. Spring is a time of new beginnings. Many of you may be thinking of beginning an exercise plan and considering walking or running. These are great options to increase cardiovascular fitness, lose weight, and reduce other health risks. But, where do you start?

Before you start any workout program, check with your doctor. Then remember to start slow. Exercise should be a part of your lifestyle, not something just to help you reach a certain weight or fit into a piece of clothing.

Find something you like to do. Remember, everyone is at a different stage of fitness, has different goals, and different likes. You will look forward to exercising when you enjoy it and you will be more apt to continue.

There are great beginner programs to coach you to reach a goal of 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathons, and full marathons. Google “0-5K”or “0-10K” and you will find programs which help you to gradually and safely reach your goals. There are even inexpensive smart phone apps to talk you through your runs while listening to one of your favorite playlists.

Need inspiration? Find music that makes you want to move, sing, or just makes you feel good. Download the songs to your smart phone or MP3 player and get moving. You can even Google playlist suggestions to walk or run to.

Don’t go it alone. Ask a co-worker or your spouse to join you. I bet your dog could use the walk, too.

Once you make the decision to start, you will feel better mentally and physically. It is a journey. Enjoy the journey. Notice your surroundings: listen to the birds, feel the breeze on your face, and smell the food cooking on the neighbor’s grill. And be grateful for this journey.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Plan the next day’s meals the day before or plan for the entire week.

Body: Walk a little faster and lighter during your normal day. Pull in the abdominal muscles, hips over your feet, land softly, and pick up the pace. Notice how you feel a little more confident and self-assured.

Soul: Greet everyone with a smile.

I would love to hear from you.           Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy