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September 12, 2011

Have a Perfect Day!

I have an online friend who is a personal trainer in the DC area. Every day he tweets these encouraging posts like, "Have a perfect day!"

Union organizers have a special affinity with personal trainers because our job is on some level the same: people want to improve the quality of their lives, whether at the workplace or in their own bodies, and we are charged with motivating them to do what it takes. Yes, you have to *do things* to achieve the results you told us you want. We can help you. We can give you the tools. But in the end, you have to move it!

I thought of my friend Errick today because at several points I was very tempted to eat something out of my program and I resisted, making the choices that are in line with my goals, because I replayed Errick's favorite line, "Make today a perfect day!" in my head. He was a point of decision prompt, even though he wasn't right technically at the point of decision.

Errick has an athlete he trains who tweeted that her co-worker was making fun of her for working out over lunch. Now that's almost a prompt to *not* engage in healthy behavior!

Are you more likely to work out at lunch if everyone else at your office does?

I am lucky that our office has developed a culture of health. We do different activities: we run, play basketball, bike, do yoga, dance, do Pilates, box, etc. But we all value physical activity. And we are the freakshows on the non-overweight side of the new normal curve.

Social support means so much. When I say I'm popping over to a noon exercise class, I'm met with approval. One colleague is going for a run at her lunch. The other is hitting the gym. We work better all day (and into the night very frequently) if we take time to take care of ourselves. And we'll work longer years if we are well enough to do so.

Social support means so much. That's why regular counseling and group work helps people lose weight. Knowing you're accountable to someone: that's the difference.

Short case in point: I live near a beautiful path, for biking and walking, by the River in Philadelphia. There is a fellow I walk with often who walks his dog in the evening. When he sees me wearing my black beat up slides instead of my proper running shoes, he reads me the riot act:

"That is bad for your feet. Your ankles, heels, knees, and back. You're going to have long term injuries unless you wear proper shoes!"

I laced up my proper sneakers today because I was afraid of running into my pal Carl and having him call me out on my inadequate shoddage.

I do my best. I live in the real world and it's hard and that's why I value things like my friend Errick's tweets reminding me of what I really want.

Oh yeah. Sit up straight. Roll your shoulders back and down.

Posted by april at September 12, 2011 5:54 PM


Re: shoes: The mildly ironic bit is that your running shoes are very likely worse for your feet than the slides are, because it alters the way we run. Do a search on "barefoot running" or "minimalist shoes", and you'll see what I mean.

In general though, the cheaper the shoe, the better it is for your feet.

Posted by: Gregg M. at September 13, 2011 9:36 AM

Wilco ;) !

Posted by: Michael at September 13, 2011 5:13 PM

I'd love it to be more normal to take a break to stretch and not have people goggle at me for it! I'm veery uncomfortable with peer pressure, either way... like peer freedom most! I only work on mondays, but I work for 9h straight, no (real) break. I can stretch at my workplace or slowly freeze. It helps if I go for a run before work, and yes, sit up straight, bring my shoulder to the side and down. (I never got why I should bring my shoulders back, but I suppose it works for most people? I like the idea of lengthening my clavicles, but I'm getting off topic...) Actually I wanted to tell you how great your blog is and how multi-applicable the info is: I'm sick with laryngitis and can't get solid food down, but I can get lots of nutrients from food anyway. I just take a shot of carrot juice with flax oil, several shots of acerola juice and make "broth" with brewers yeast, parsley and sesame oil (my 0-6 dealer), not cooked of course. Sometimes I add a little organic beef broth. Works fine and looks pretty, served in tiny glasses and nice soup bowl!

p.s. if anyone knows how to bump up my minerals without adding substantial amounts of carbs/protein/fiber, I'd be glad for advice. Substantial meaning: triggering digestion or kickin me out of ketosis.

Posted by: Marianne at September 16, 2011 3:30 AM

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