Healthy Holidays

13 12 2012

The holiday season is fast approaching. Christmas decorations are on the shelves, the must-have toys are advertised on TV, and images of sugar plums are dancing in my head. I enjoy the holidays, but sometimes the hustle and bustle can make me feel stressed and run-down. You would think the season would be a time of joy and excitement, but with the lack of sunshine due to the shorter days, my mood can tend to lean towards the gloomy side, if I am not careful. This is when I need to take care of my immune system to avoid getting sick.

Sleep is important. During the holidays my routine may be  interrupted by changes at work, get-togethers with family and friends, kids coming home, which then my concern is not only sleeping, but getting enough sleep. Personally, I know I need 7-8 hours of sleep to function during the day. If I am unable to reach the 7 hours, I try to take a half hour power nap sometime during the day. I have even taken 10-15 minute naps in my car. You would be surprised what those few minutes of relaxation can do.

Diet is a tricky thing for me to control at this time of year. When I say diet, I don’t mean I am trying to lose weight. By diet, I am suggesting a way of life. My goal most days is to eat as healthy as possible, knowing there will be days that I veer off course. But, I have found that if I am consistent with my diet 80-90% of the time, I can easily get back on track. So, when I am looking over the buffet of food I am tempted with only once a year, I enjoy myself in moderation.

Learn to say “No”. This is a suggestion where you do as I say, not as I do. I am not good at saying “no”. I enjoy helping others and want to please, sometimes at the expense of my own mental and physical health. During the holidays, it is easy to try to squeeze one more thing onto the agenda: one more gift to buy, one more cookie to bake, another party to attend. I am learning to think twice before committing myself to something I may regret and causes undue stress. I pick and choose want to do rather than what I feel obligated to do.

I love to shop. I don’t mind the crowds, but then I have never ventured out the day after Thanksgiving. Shopping online has become a great way for me to comparison shop, or to find an item that wasn’t available at the store, or to make a purchase when I don’t have the time to shop. One of my friends does all her shopping online. Another friend tries to avoid crowded stores that are packed with all types of germs. To each his own.

Exercise. Now, as much as any other time of year, it is important for me to keep up with my workout routine. It keeps me mindful of my eating, my sleep, my energy, and my mood.

Lastly, I need to set aside time for myself, time to relax. A good book, a bath, mediation can be forms of relaxation to rejuvenate and refresh. We all need to take care of ourselves. Listen to your body for signs of a cold or sluggishness and respond with some self care.

 Tammy’s Challenges

Mind: Attempt to sleep 7-8 hours per night.

Body: Maintain your workout routine as much as possible.

Soul: Choose to “taste” the holiday treats or share with a friend.

I would love to hear from you.  Contact me through email at Tammy@TammYoga.com and Facebook at TammYoga and Twitter @TammYoga.

Namaste

Tammy

 





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





TammYoga In Balance

15 04 2012

In Balance

I will be writing a new column entitle, TammYoga In Balance, for Tipp City Record Herald. This first column is a question and answer piece to introduce the column. It was printed on Sunday, April 8, 2012. A new column will be printed every other Sunday. I hope you enjoy following me. Please let me know what you think.

Look for the next column on Sunday, April 22, 2012.

Name: 

Tammy Shellhaas

Family (spouse and/or kids):

My husband, John, and I have been married for almost 29 years. We have two children: Ben, who graduated from Ohio State University and is currently serving in the National Guard in Afghanistan and Betsy, who is attending Ohio University.

Occupation:

I am an ACE certified personal trainer and yoga instructor at La Bella Viaggio in Troy.

Where you’re from and where you live now:

I grew up in Troy and currently live in Troy.

How you first got interested in health and wellness:

My initial interest in health and wellness began in college. I was overweight and did not eat right and began to educate myself on what I needed to do to make a change for the better. I started jogging and making healthy changes to my diet. When John and I were first married and starting our family, I took exercise classes and worked out at home to exercise TV shows and tapes I rented from the library. When our daughter was a senior in high school and we would soon be empty nesters, I made the decision to become a personal trainer. I knew I would need something to occupy my mind during this stage of my life. Once, I became certified and was training part-time, the transition to becoming a fulltime personal trainer and, eventually, yoga instructor was a natural progression. I enjoyed helping others to achieve their goals and share what I had lived and learned.

The most common fitness or nutritional mistake people make:

The biggest fitness and nutritional mistake I see is when a client makes a drastic change in diet or exercise at the very beginning. It is unrealistic to think that the goals they want to reach will be accomplished quicker if they skip meals or lift too-heavy of weights. I’ve been there, done that. It doesn’t work. And more than likely, they will not stick with it because they cannot do this long term.

The best advice you’ve ever been given:

There is no quick fix. Consistency to a healthy diet and exercise program will help you to achieve your goals so that you can maintain the achieved results. I had to learn this after many trials and errors. It may not be easy or fast, but it is possible and has greater results for success.

Favorite music to listen to when you workout:

I like most genres of music. I listen to oldies (Oldies are now the music I grew up with!), as well as, Adele, Rihanna, Pink, U2, Rolling Stones, and Lady Gaga. I recently downloaded Shazam to my phone, so, when I hear a song playing over the speakers at the mall, I can download it and add it to a Spinning playlist. So, it could be any artist, it just needs to catch my attention.

Future goals:

My future plans are to continue learning from my fellow trainers and clients to challenge myself and be the best that I can be. I feel I am doing what I was meant to do. I enjoy seeing my clients surprise themselves by doing something they never thought possible.