THE DAY I LEARNED TO SEE

“The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see.” -Barry Neil Kaufman

For years I was blind. Until one day in late July 2001 when the temperature was 118 degrees in Phoenix and my temperature was well above that. I was angry and it was hot. And I had just locked my keys in my car at ASU West and even DPS could not “pop the lock” on my car.  So I had to walk ALL THE WAY OVER to the bus stop to ride the bus home to get my other set of keys. It was all of about 200 yards. As I angrily walked in the heat pouting about my keys, feeling self-pity about how busy I was I saw a man sitting at the bus stop. As I approached I could see that he had a white-tipped cane used by people who are without eyesight. I really didn’t want to be bothered because I was angry and feeling sorry for myself so I said hello and stayed to the side. He asked, “Can you do me a favor?” I thought “oh great” but said okay. He asked if I could describe the trees and the sky to him because he had lost his eyes when he was 5 because of a disease.  He said that he always remembers how beautiful the trees and sky were and likes to get other people’s descriptions. So I described. The desert trees and landscapes were various colors and all bore their own beauty. The sky had high clouds but was otherwise blue and clear. He said that many people have 20/20 vision but are blinder than he is because they do not appreciate the gift of sight and its’ ability to see natural beauty.  He told me to always appreciate my sight and the gift to see all things beautiful. My mood changed immediately and I began to make it a daily point to appreciate my gift of sight and the ability to see beauty. I did it today when I went for a run/walk with my dog. It was hot this morning and my feet hurt. I did not “see” that though. I saw the beauty of the trees, birds enjoying a cool bird bath and my dog Zeus’ look of unconditional love toward me. I saw all of my abilities, the beauty of the lake that I walked past, and how great it was to be able to exercise because some cannot. I saw how lucky I am to have so much love in my life, a business that I enjoy doing, and all of the other gifts that I am so richly blessed with. Most of us have chosen to be where we are at in life. We have chosen to lock our keys in our cars, live in the heat or cold, who we love and how busy we are. We also choose the way we see everything. I am asking you like the blind man asked me to see the beauty in ALL things. Do not be blind any longer! Start today. Be your own miracle!

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A Life Lesson In 5 Minutes

Some people believe that I am crazy, but I get up at 3am almost daily to get some cardiovascular exercise in to begin the day. Zeus (my Dachshund mix) and I head to the small park across the street from our house to get some running in on the grass, some burpees (I do those while he smells stuff), and other forms of High Intensity Interval Training. I often see my neighbor Ray out there for his morning walk before it gets too hot. Ray is a 73 year old man who walks with a pronounced limp, his right leg completely locked and unable to bend without excruciating pain. A lifelong grocery store employee who lost his wife to cancer last year, Ray is always friendly and willing to chat on his walks and today was no different. I like to pick his brain because of all that he has been through (deaths, prejudice, and physical pain) to learn what I can from someone more experienced than I at life. Today we were talking about the importance of staying busy. Ray admittedly suffers from depression because of the loss of his wife and although he does not have the 8 years of college that I have, he understands physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health as good or better than I do. “I have got to stay busy or I think too much about my wife, how much I hurt, or how sad I am.” I stated that I hope to work my whole life in some way because I know its’ good for me. He said, “You don’t have to have a job. I stay busy with housework, yard-work, and volunteering. I begin the day with exercise and gratitude for all the years I had with the most wonderful woman in the world, for my retirement, and for my home. I like a clean house, a kept yard, and I enjoy completing the projects around the house every day.” I have to tell you, I felt like I hit the jackpot with knowledge on how to live a happy and healthy life. I often study happiness, fulfillment, and how it affects our health but I rarely truly get to see it in action. Ray is a walking testament to the journals that I read.

  1. He begins each day with gratitude and exercise. He does not entertain ideas of not doing this because it makes him feel better. He does not do extreme exercise or overdo work around the house. He manages physical activities intentionally.
  2. He does not give into the pain in his body or heart.  Ray has severe arthritis throughout his body, lost his wife of 51 years last year, and admittedly struggles with depression. Despite this, he gives full energy and focus to how he can be happy and fulfilled TODAY. He does not worry about tomorrow or feel regret over yesterday.
  3. He understands the difference between fulfillment and pleasure. Ray does things throughout the day that help him to feel good about himself. While he does enjoy the pleasure of a good meal and other quick feel good things, he knows the importance of doing things daily that bring both fulfillment and pleasure to his life. Exercise, projects, and serving others are all keys to a healthy life, according to the research journals I read daily.
  4. He sees the good in all. Although he is in pain, he focuses on how lucky he is to be able to do so much despite his ailments.  And despite the loss of his wife, he focuses on all the good years he had with her. He still shares experiences with a smile when he speaks of her.
  5. Giving up is not an option for Ray. Ray continues to live his life despite challenges, pains, and heartaches. He stays resilient and he stays healthy, fulfilled, and high functioning.

We all can learn from the simple, humble man that I see on his morning walks. Exercise, do things that fulfill your soul, serve others, and practice gratitude. See the good in all things and worry only about today. Live fully and intentionally like Ray does. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

 

Financial Incentives as Reward For Your Health Choices?

There are so many research articles on health and the behavior that drives us to make unhealthy choices despite consequences. One article published in Endocrine Today and written by a highly regarded Nobel Prize winning researcher studies how behavior and economics play a role in health choices. Tryggvi Thorgeirsson, MD, MPH shares how our thoughts are broken down into fast thinking and slow thinking processes. We do so many things automatically which utilizes and develops the fast thinking processes more. This includes for many of us our health choices; the way we eat, manage stress, and think about exercise. Dr. Thorgeirsson shares research on how financial incentives (money prizes), exercising in fun environments, and group rewards have proven to be effective incentives for short term healthy lifestyle management. According to the doctor, this will utilize our already highly developed fast thinking process and help us to make healthier choices based on the rewards.

Opinion (not that you asked for it lol)

While I agree with Dr. Thorgeirsson on many of his points, it is my experience that most healthy lifestyle plans often end or become inconsistent when there are financial incentives. Many of us who have lived in unhealthy ways for many years know how complicated and difficult the behaviors are to overcome. But one thing is clear, we are driven by external cues because of our fast thinking that create the unhealthy behaviors we engage in. Food, shiny stuff, praise or acceptance from others, and other external controls help us to manage our internal moods, sense of self, and happiness. But according to research, it is a false bottom that eventually will dissipate when the shine wears off, the cruise is over, the money is spent, and the food is eaten.

Treatment Options

If you struggle with making impulsive decisions that lead to poor health choices, there are good treatments available. Dr. Thorgeirsson hit the nail on the head when he shared with us how fast and slow thinking processes work. Research shows that learning how to slow the thinking processes down, having boundary based food plans, and supportive exercise programs all are helpful for staying on a long term healthy lifestyle plan. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), meditation, and other mindfulness based therapies have proven effective in helping people slow down impulsive thinking. Whether its’ food, drugs, alcohol, sex, spending, or anything else, it is wise to have a plan and to think through the health choice. Please get help if you need it. I did and it works.

Please Pretty Please

Our health is so important to every aspect of our lives. Finances, relationships, and our personal happiness are just some of the things that will be impacted negatively with an unhealthy lifestyle. Please address your health choices and begin as soon as possible to help yourself live healthier and happier. If we can help email miraclesfitness@gmail.com

BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

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STRUGGLE WITH HEALTH COMMITMENT? WE CAN HELP!

With the current state and potential cost of future health insurance, it is going to be VITAL to take care of your health for your own future in a proactive manner. The traditional medical model has not been real successful with keeping people healthy and in fact, it may be doing just the opposite. Research is showing that the more medications you take for your ailments and conditions, the more likely you are to live in a struggling, unhappy, and unhealthy way. Even more research tells us that if you exercise, manage food with boundaries, and respond to stress in healthy ways you are likely to live with less disabilities, be higher functioning, and happier. And it will save you a ton of money on future health care costs too! There are many people who know they need to exercise but are intimidated or do not know how to use the gym equipment. It is important to know what you are doing and to feel safe doing it. Miracles Fitness offers years of safe, nonjudgmental exercise programs in a welcoming environment. We believe in a healthy (not extreme) approach to exercise and nutrition and we have helped hundreds of people begin and stay on an exercise program for life. Our prices are $100’s below other training facilities and you NEVER need an appointment. If you are outside the Phoenix Metro area, our online program is helping people all across America learn how to exercise in a safe and healthy way. Please begin as soon as possible! Your future finances, health, and happiness depend on it. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

ALL B4 AND AFTER

RESENTMENTS AND PHYSICAL HEALTH

I grew up in a home where resentments were common. We lived in a small town where certain jobs, people’s children, and religions were favored and I was conditioned to be resentful toward them. I held onto these resentments for years and still battle them on occasion, even though I have not lived in the town for 24 years. It drove much of my addiction behavior, depression, and aided greatly in my unhealthy mental and physical functioning. I was miserable physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I had no idea at the time how much damage I was doing to myself but more and more research is showing the damage that resentments can do to our physical health.

Resentments and Our Physical Body

I heard once, “When we harbor anger and resentment against another, we are only harming ourselves.” This could not be truer. Research conducted in recent years shows how much resentment can actually harm us. Heart disease, cancers, organ disease, brain disorders, immune system, and even bone health are all impacted by resentments. When we are angry for a long period of time, we release chemicals, hormones, and toxins into our body that are harmful to every part of us. Resentments lead to more physical disabilities over time and less fulfillment, happiness, and a lower functioning life.

Ending the Resentment

The importance of letting go of resentments and anger quickly cannot be overstated. If you say “I don’t care, they did me wrong” you will end up being the one who suffers. It is so important in our lives to understand we have control over the way we respond to life events, people, and organizations that may have not been fair with us. From my experience, most of the time it is our beliefs about being done wrong that is the biggest obstacle. Focus on your own behavior, the way you communicate, and allow others to be who they are. Manage yourself by doing things in your life that bring you fulfillment and happiness. Serving others, staying busy with creative projects, and focusing on the gifts in life you are grateful for are ways to help to manage resentments. It is a daily work and so important to our lives. Be wise with your health today. Be forgiving. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

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Help With Mastering The Self Saboteur

There are many topics that I discuss with you about health and most do not include diet or exercise. Although diet and exercise are vital to our health if done in a healthy way, there are many who struggle with getting on or staying on a healthy lifestyle program for more than a short time. I believe that most of us know that exercise and having boundaries with food is necessary to great long term health, so I try to address the struggle that many go through to stay on a health focused lifestyle plan. Today I want to address the subject of living with conscious intent when it comes to our health.

The Voice In Our Head

That little voice inside our head is the biggest obstacle to staying on track with exercise and nutrition habits. The people that I see who struggle to keep the commitment to healthy habits will feed the talk that sabotages the goal. “I’m too tired,” “I don’t feel up to it today,” and “I can make it up tomorrow” are just of the few of the self-sabotaging internal conversations that people report as they struggle. This sabotaging conversation with ourselves is often a decades, old habit that we agree to and becomes automatic without ever a question or debate from us. We go along with anything that the saboteur voice wants and we have done it for a long time. I struggled with this for years and did not even have the awareness that I was doing it. And awareness of self sabotaging talk is truly the key to overcoming the struggle you have with staying on track with your health practices. . .

Becoming Conscious With Your Health Habits

Self awareness and consciousness are so important to every aspect of our lives. Whether it is money management, the way we communicate, healthy food choices, or staying on an exercise program, conscious intention is vital to our success. Tons of research has shown that having a financial plan, food plan, exercise plan, and even communication plan will lead to a more successful outcome than not having a plan at all. But if you plan to exercise tomorrow and sabotage the plan with self-talk the next morning, then the plan is no good. It is vital to execute the plan NO MATTER WHAT and to feed the conversation with yourself that creates successful outcomes for you. It takes practice and a “one day at a time” mindset but when you learn through self awareness that you can do what you struggle not to do, the struggle becomes less and less. My client Jacqi is a perfect example of this. Jacqi has been a good friend of mine for 20 years. For the whole time I’ve known her, I have tried to talk her into exercising, with little impact. This is because I could never talk her into something that the self-saboteur could so easily and automatically talk her out of. When Jacqi began to address the way she communicated with herself when it came to exercise, everything changed. Today, after not exercising for most of her life, Jacqi is among the most consistent people in the gym training. And when I mean consistent I mean she has not missed a single exercise session since December of 2015. Four days a week for almost 19 months! She feels so much better about herself and exercise and it begins each day with intentional consciousness and self-awareness of what she is saying to herself when it comes to exercise. She still does not love it but her internal conversation is directed to success not sabotage. She has become miraculous!

Be Your Own Miracle!

If you struggle to stay on a healthy exercise and nutrition plan, please examine the conversation you have with yourself when it comes to self-sabotage. Feed and cultivate the conversation that creates success for you. You can overcome anything with the right words. Start with your own. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

 

NEED SOME HELP WITH YOUR HEALTH? WE ARE HERE

Would you like to become one of the hundreds of people who have become miraculous with Miracles of Phoenix Fitness? We are a different type of health and exercise education program in that we believe in a healthy, collaborative approach that focuses on client strengths without shaming weaknesses. Miracles Fitness has helped individuals from 18-92 get stronger, live healthier, overcome challenges, and live happier. And we would like to help you too! For the month of July, we are taking 20% off our already lowest in the industry prices for all of our programs. Home, gym, and online programs all will receive this discount and we would like to eliminate any barrier which prevents you from getting healthier. Can’t afford it? We will work with you to make sure it is within any budget. Can’t make appointments because of our schedule? We eliminate any need for appointment and will accommodate any time you need. Afraid of gyms? We specialize in people who are new to the gym and feel uncomfortable because of past experiences or crazy exercise programs. Our environment is welcoming, nonjudgmental, and supportive. We truly want to serve you and help you obtain good health. Please start as soon as possible. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

marieb4afterAnne

Chrisspudz

DarlaJuan

miraclesfitness@gmail.com

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Early Life Years and The Impact on Choices

I study the subject of life span development extensively, including my own history. As a health coach and educator, I see the importance of proper conditioning in the body, in the mind, spiritually, and emotionally. As someone who has a Masters’ Degree in Counseling and who is trained as a behavioral health therapist, I see how early life conditioning plays a role in the way the adult copes, responds, and believes. And while many will say that everything is “just a choice,” sometimes there are so many hardwired predispositions, beliefs, and coping mechanisms, that it is more than just a mere choice. Research is showing more and more how heavy the impact can be as an adult if we choose to cope with life in ways that are unhealthy during our early childhood and teen years. Turning to food, drugs or alcohol, and sex as a way to deal with life’s problems greatly increases our chances of “needing” to do that for years to come. Many of us were taught this by family and fed with food we had no control over. A lot of us were abused, had addiction issues with parents, and had nowhere to turn. We were given no other healthy coping skills by those who taught us what to believe.

How To Make A Different Choice

While lifelong struggles with unhealthy coping skills are extremely hard to overcome, they are not impossible. If you are ever on social media, you can see daily how people have changed their lives in extreme ways. Losing a large amount of weight, getting health and confidence, educating themselves after struggle, and overcoming addictions are some of the stories you can see regularly on the internet and other forms of media. So it is possible. I have studied a lot of people who incorporate huge change in their lives and there are similar traits among them. Here is what I’ve learned.

  1. They all take 100% responsibility for their lives. While they are strongly conditioned by early life practices, they become laser focused on how they can be successful and they quit placing any responsibility for themselves outside of themselves.
  2. They all have bad days and start over. They do not continue the cycle as they once did and get back to practicing healthy habits after a day where they may not have.
  3. They are open to the feedback of qualified people. People who make big changes in life may have once been hypersensitive to feedback and would feel attacked, even when it was not true. But they learned to be successful it is necessary to not take things personally and to be open to people who can help you. Support does not always tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear.

Please understand how important your health is and how you may have been conditioned by yourself and other. to cope with life in an unhealthy way. There is nothing more important to our overall functioning and happiness than our health. Take responsibility for all aspects of your health, start over immediately after an unhealthy day, and be open to people that can help you. You will be surprised how different making a choice becomes. STAY RESILIENT! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

GREAT RESEARCH!

A study published in The American Journal of Medicine is showing how important it is to stay strong as we age. The study followed 3695 people over a 15 year period and all of the men were over age 55 and the women over age 65. Researchers found that participants who had greater muscle mass were 20% less likely to die, had fewer overall disabilities, and functioned at a higher level than those with less muscle mass. You do not have to be perfect, a bodybuilder, or a gym rat. But it is important to stay strong for longevity and quality of life.

The second article that I will share reveals how important your outlook is when exercising.  Researchers had two groups who exercised in the same manner but were told two different things about the exercise. One group was basically told it was a “workout” while the other was given music, told to be social, and were educated regularly about the benefits of the exercise. The second group not only had better results physically but also made better choices with nutrition. “The way we see the world creates the world we see.” Please see exercise as beneficial. Most of the time exercise is more about learning how to cope with uncomfortable situations in life more than anything else. Learn how to work through 30 minutes of discomfort with exercise and it will help you learn how to deal with a lifetime of uncomfortable situations. Our coping skills need a workout too!

Please do your best to make an effort to care for your health today. Move some vigorously but safely. Mange what you eat most of the time. Your organs, joints, back, brain, and those you love will enjoy it. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

PLEASE HELP YOURSELF!

It is important at any age to exercise and to be physically active. As we reach our forties and fifties however, it may dictate whether or not we live high functioning and happy or with chronic conditions and misery. A study published by The National Institute of Health (NIH) identifies eight chronic conditions that are greatly reduced by being fit in midlife. Those conditions are congestive heart failure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and colon and lung cancer. Remaining fit throughout middle age helps us postpone and shrink the amount of time we may have to spend living with chronic illness. Other studies have shown that living with long term chronic illness greatly increases depression and decreases our ability to enjoy the hard work we have put in to enjoy retirement the way we should. We do not have to overdo exercise or join some insane workout program to reap the benefits. Moderate exercise including strength and aerobic has great benefits in short spurts and for less than thirty minutes a day. It is SO IMPORTANT to find the 30 minutes a day, especially in midlife. Up to 85% of people do not exercise in populations over 50. There are many reasons for that so if you need help getting on an exercise program, get it. Find a program that is safe and supportive. It will save your finances. It will save your happiness.  It will save your life.  BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com