Feel Good Friday

Socializing is Key to a Healthy Life

WOOHOO!  It’s Friday and who’s ready for the weekend?

Have you ever opted to stay in on a Friday night or maybe even the whole weekend avoiding being social?  I know sometimes we need rest and me time, BUT did you know social networking enhances your well-being?  Your mind and your body can actually react negatively to not socializing for more than a day.   Are all the introverts cringing, I know I was.  Yes, we are a little shyer and seem to flourish with more alone time than others, but the truth is if you isolate too much, it could lead to loneliness and reduce your quality of life.

Some of the best healthy lifestyle coaches will tell you having a great network of friends and family can boost happiness and health, as well as make you feel more connected to the world at large.

If you don’t make time for social commitments, you can’t build deeper connections with people.  You are at risk of missing out on memorable moments and good fun.  Here are some things which happen to your body and mind when you don’t socialize for more than a day.

1. Poor Self-Esteem

People who continuously isolate themselves day in and day out, tend to develop poor body image and self esteem over time.  Think back to those middle school years, I know for some a painful memory.  The truth is that a girl’s self-esteem peaks at the age of 9 years old and only 4% of women describe themselves as beautiful.  Something as simple as socializing could make a difference.

2. Depression

Studies show depression can be associated with isolating yourself and not socializing for more than a day at a time. Now, I am not advocating going out to happy hour every day, but it’s important to talk with co-workers, phone a friend, or attend a fitness class, so you can see people you know and care about during the day.  Believe it or not,  if you don’t, your mental health could suffer.

3. Loss Of Reality

According to an interview published in the Huffington Post, if you binge watch TV shows (of any kind of show) when they come to an end, it can trigger depression.  Why?  The inability to decipher between fiction and personal reality and when you tune into media too often it can interfere with the brain.  Personally, I think it would take a whole lot of BINGE watching.  What do you think?

4. Body Chills

Did you know you can literally feel chills from isolation in social circles.  If you aren’t surrounded by warmth and comfort, and you are isolating yourself regularly, you might notice a decrease in body temperature and increase in body chills.  Okay, I am ALWAYS cold so I am not sure I buy this one and yes I am an introvert.

5. Decreased Ability To Learn

Studies show lonely people are less able to do well with puzzles and mind games, due to the rewiring in the brain. I do puzzles ALOT to help re-wire my brain from the MS lesions and seem to do just fine.  Doing a puzzle with a friend would definitely be fun but I do enjoy the quiet time with my puzzles.

6. Decreased Sense Of Empathy

A research study shows people who are lonely are less empathetic than happier, socializing people, when shown pictures of pleasant and unpleasant scenarios.  According to this, when you isolate, you’re changing your brain and may hinder your ability to feel and love as well as others can.  Lonely = less empathy?  I always thought you would have more because you could understand the feelings others are having in unpleasant situations.

7. Inflammation

Did you know when you isolate, it lowers your quality of life which can cause depression and stress, which then shows up in the body as inflammation. Inflammation can lead to bloating, increased risk of illnesses, digestive issues, and inability to function.  Or it could be symptoms of a bigger problem?

8. Shorter Life Span

According public health professor at the University College London, being socially isolated for more than one day can lead to a shorter life which actually means dying at a younger age.  I have heard of people dying from a broken heart but it is usually when someone they love has passed away.  So, do we die from the isolation or the fact we are sitting on our butts, eating junk and not physically active?  Think about it, aren’t you more apt to be social when you are feeling good, after a walk or some type of physical activity?

9. Reduced Resilience

Whatever your reason for isolating, remember social interactions are crucial for a person’s happiness. Close, loving relationships and social interactions lead to the development of resilience, coping skills, and higher self-esteem. We all want to have high self-esteem, right?

Now, don’t shoot the messenger because I am not sure I agree with all of these things.  I do believe staying home too often, not being around people (family or friends) can have a negative impact on your life.  Talk a walk and interact with people.  It’s worth getting out more and making plans with friends, family, and co-workers.

Being around people and having close connections can be such a joy in life, so try to embrace it and find a happier balance between solo nights and those with others.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Weigh to Goal

Fact or Fiction?

Today is weigh in… yes, I am still on the roller coaster weight loss journey.  I have been blessed with a loss every week since I started back to Weight Watchers so I am praying for another one today.  Some weeks are just a little (.2 pounds = a stick of better, right?) and then some weeks it is over 1 pound.  Would I like to see the rest of the 19 pounds (to goal) go away quickly – YES!  But the truth is, it isn’t going to happen quickly and I need to practice patience.  Definitely not a strong point of mine.

I came across an article by Jena Pincott in the Huffington Post with some good tips if you are experiencing some challenges on your weight loss journey.

Let’s see what you think…

  • Does your digital scale have ONE or TWO decimal places on it?  According to a study by the University Of Utah, when participants received a weight range instead of an actual number – they lost up to 4 pounds in just 3 weeks.  Exact number participants actually gained up to a pound on an average.  Okay, so now it is the scale’s fault. (I like the fact I can blame it on the scale.. LOL)  The fuzzier the feedback, the more room to interpret the information.  The lesson: If you weigh yourself daily, even normal fluctuations could throw you off. Instead, get on the scale weekly and use a range as a goal (“I’d like to lose 5 to 10 pounds this year”).
  • The wrong milk?  Really! A study led by Mark DeBoer, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Virginia, found children who drank skim or 1 percent milk gained more weight than those who drank 2 percent or whole (full-fat) milk. He points out the same link — fattier milk, lower body-mass index — has also emerged in large, long-term studies on adults.) DeBoer’s theory is milk fat, compared with other calorie sources, makes us feel fuller, longer — so we consume fewer calories overall.  The lesson: If you’re a milk drinker, try whole or 2 percent in lieu of reduced-fat milk. A large Swedish study found among normal-weight women, those who drank one or more cups a day of whole milk had a significantly lower chance of gaining weight than those who drank reduced-fat milk.  Okay, so I don’t drink milk (no dairy with the current restrictions) and I use almond milk creamer in my coffee – can I blame that?
  • You Eat At A Crowded Table – This isn’t my problem since it is only Rob and I for dinner or I am eating by myself.
    The lesson: “Sit next to slow eaters, they can help you pace your eating, not the speed eaters who eat like they grew up in a family of 12.”
  • Bulk Shopping:
    This used to be my problem but now at the end of a week, hubby always says the fridge looks empty and it is.  The pantry is stocked but I moved it to the utility room in the basement so I don’t see everything at once.  I go to it when I need stuff for dinner.  Looking at ready-to-eat multipacks makes you overindulge. Stockpiled food is consumed twice as fast as other food in the house.  The problem is simple: Bulky packages consume too much kitchen real estate; we see them every time we open the cupboard, for instance. Visibility translates into impulsivity, and, before we know it, we’re eating more than we intended. The lesson: Out of sight, out of mind. Move multi-unit packs of food out of the kitchen and into the basement, freezer, underground bunker…wherever clusters of bright labels won’t catch your eye.

The truth is I have been sticking with what works – measuring everything and tracking. I’m afraid not to because it is when I stopped the pounds slowly crept on.   Yes, I have issues IBS as a result of the MS.  Yes, I tend to retain fluid for some unknown reason.  I have been pushing myself with my Fit Bit to walk at least 5,000 steps a day.  Not the ideal for weight loss but so far it is all I can manage.

What will you blame for not losing or maintaining your ideal weight?   The miserable winter weather? What is your excuses to justify your yo-yo scale.

I would love to hear what you have to say about all of this.. Share your thought.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

What’s Your Story?

rewrite-your-life-story

Happy Monday!  Are you dreading heading into work?  Are you longing for the weekend already?  Is there something you want to do but fear and doubt is keeping you from stepping out of your comfort zone? I had a rare Sunday off yesterday so I enjoyed church and an afternoon of football.   I took the time to write out a plan for the week so that I can change my story!

9f2088487cd4489a877a3ca7c0734aaeWhat does this have to do with “my story”?  Well, I was thinking.  I know – scary but when I do, things start to happen.  I am especially excited on the rare occasions brain fog is not invading my space.  Several months ago, I set a goal with a date and yesterday helped me to realize I needed to stay the course even when the going gets tough.  I have  been on a mission to get my business and my life back on track.  It seems to be working – business is picking up, the number on the scale seems to have a mind of its own and I am learning how to work within the parameters of my health issues.   Is everything going 100% according to plan, NOPE!  So why am I excited about the small changes?  My mindset changed and I am relying more on God for his guidance then LISTENING for an answer.

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I have been stretching out of my comfort zone.  I have been looking for the lesson to be learned in each perceived negative thing as it happens.  I am sharing my story – the good, the bad and the ugly.  There was a great article in the Huffington Post about writing your LIFE story.  I used to think my story was long, uninteresting and full of boosting which resulted in not being of interest to anyone. I was so wrong.

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Here are some tips to help you tell YOUR story:

1. Your 3-Sentence Life Story.  What to write: Try to summarize your life in two or three sentences. Take your time. Think about your past. For me:

Overcoming a life filled with addictions.  Gaining my confidence. Love my life. Blessed with a loving hubby, amazing daughter, family & friends.

2. Your Crucial Incident (or Incidents)  What to write: Choose one or more of the sentences below and write a page or two that begins with that particular sentence. Just write for yourself and for your clarity of mind.

Sentence 1: I was just a kid, but…

Sentence 2: I tried my best and…

Sentence 3: In that moment everything changed.

Sentence 4: It was shocking to find out that…

Sentence 5: It was the proudest day of my life. I couldn’t stop smiling when…

My sentence would be #3 with #2 a close a second. I relive moments often wondering if I had made different choices or reacted differently if my life would be different, would I be where I am today OR the person I am today.  The “what if” in your life can be the thing holding you back!

3) Your Secret Why.  What to write: Take a minute to think about the previous two exercises. Then, finish this sentence:  “I’d like to really understand everything that led me to _______________.”   What truth is important for you to get at? You have a structure (your three sentences), you have a crucial event (that may have caused or contributed to your life story) and now you have a purpose—a reason for writing which let’s you learn, enjoy and even be surprised by the story you’ve been waiting to tell yourself and—maybe, just maybe, the world, as well.

Some days, I struggle with what to write and today was one of them.  I LOVE blogging and sharing my strengths, hopes and experiences with people.  My hope is through my story, I might touch their lives.  I believe each blog has a message – even if only one person reads it and it helps them or  brings a smile to their face – it was worth it.

Write your life story and then if you don’t like it – rewrite your destiny. Share with us, if you want.  Let’s use CELEBRATE and ENCOURAGE you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Blogging, Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Your Life Story

rewrite-your-life-story

It is Friday and I am looking forward to the week-end.  I know, everyone is right?  For some reason today, I am a little more eager.  It could be that I am off on Sunday (with hubby) so we get to watch football together.

I have been on a mission the last two weeks to get my business and me back on track.  It seems to be working – business is picking up, the number on the scale though small is going down and I am feeling better (most days).  What changed?  I would say my mindset but I also found myself relying more on God for his guidance then LISTENING for an answer.

I have been stretching out of my comfort zone and telling my story (kind of).  Then I saw a great article in the Huffington Post about writing your LIFE story.  My story always seemed long and I never thought it was of interest to anyone but here are some great tips to help you tell that story:

1. Your 3-Sentence Life Story.  What to write: Try to summarize your life in two or three sentences. Take your time. Think about your past. For me:

Overcame a life filled with addictions.  Gained my confidence. Love my life – hubby, daughter & family.

2. Your Crucial Incident (or Incidents)  What to write: Choose one or more of the sentences below and write a page or two that begins with that particular sentence. Just write for yourself and for your clarity of mind.

Sentence 1: I was just a kid, but…

Sentence 2: I tried my best and…

Sentence 3: In that moment everything changed.

Sentence 4: It was shocking to find out that…

Sentence 5: It was the proudest day of my life. I couldn’t stop smiling when…

My sentence would be #3 with #2 a close a second.  No, I won’t share it with you, NOW but in a future blog.  I relive that moment often wondering that if I had made different choices, how different my life would be OR would I be where I am today and the person I am today.

3) Your Secret Why.  What to write: Take a minute to think about the previous two exercises. Then, please finish this sentence; I’d like to really understand everything that led me to _______________.   What truth is important for you to get at? You have a structure (your three sentences), you have a crucial event (that may have caused or contributed to that life story) and now you have a purpose—a reason for writing that will let you learn, enjoy and even be surprised by the story you’ve been waiting to tell yourself and—maybe, just maybe, the world, as well.

Some days I never understand why I am lead to share certain things in my blog and today is one of them.  I LOVE to blog and share my strengths, hopes and experiences with people hoping that through my story, I might touch their lives.  I believe that each blog has a message for someone and will help someone – if only to bring a smile to their face.

Write your life story and then if you don’t like it – rewrite your destiny.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel, Weigh to Goal

Innocent Reasons For Weight Gain

Woman Stepping onto Scale

Another week of roller coaster weigh ins!  UGH!  I came across this article from Jena Pincott in the Huffington Post which helped me to come to grips with this week’s weight loss journey.  Let’s see what you think…

  • Does your digital scale have ONE or TWO decimal places on it?  According to a study by the University Of Utah, when participants received a weight range instead of an actual number – they lost up to 4 pounds in just 3 weeks.  Exact number participants actually gained up to a pound on an average.  Okay, so now it is the scale’s fault.  The fuzzier the feedback, the more room to interpret the information.  The lesson: If you weigh yourself daily, even normal fluctuations could throw you off. Instead, get on the scale weekly and use a range as a goal (“I’d like to lose 5 to 10 pounds this year”).
  • The wrong milk?  Really! A study led by Mark DeBoer, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Virginia, found that children who drank skim or 1 percent milk gained more weight than those who drank 2 percent or whole (full-fat) milk. He points out that the same link — fattier milk, lower body-mass index — has also emerged in large, long-term studies on adults.) DeBoer’s theory is that milk fat, compared with other calorie sources, makes us feel fuller, longer — so we consume fewer calories overall.  The lesson: If you’re a milk drinker, try whole or 2 percent in lieu of reduced-fat milk. A large Swedish study found that among normal-weight women, those who drank one or more cups a day of whole milk had a significantly lower chance of gaining weight than those who drank reduced-fat milk.  Okay, so I went from 2% to Fat Free creamer – can I blame that?
  • You Eat At A Crowded Table – This isn’t my problem since it is only Rob and I for dinner or I am eating by myself.
    The lesson: “Sit next to slow eaters, they can help you pace your eating, not the speed eaters who eat like they grew up in a family of 12.”
  • Bulk Shopping:
    Okay, so maybe this is part of my problem. Looking at ready-to-eat multipacks makes you overindulge. Stockpiled food is consumed twice as fast as other food in the house.  The problem is simple: Bulky packages consume too much kitchen real estate; we see them every time we open the cupboard, for instance. Visibility translates into impulsivity, and, before we know it, we’re eating more than we intended. The lesson: Out of sight, out of mind. Move multi-unit packs of food out of the kitchen and into the basement, freezer, underground bunker…wherever that cluster of bright labels won’t catch your eye.

The truth is that I stopped doing what worked – measuring everything and tracking.  Yes, I have had issues with my IBS.  Yes, I have been retained fluid for some unknown reason.  Yes, I have been spending a lot of time sitting intend of walking .   I will blame the miserable winter weather for that one.  All just excuses to justify the yo-yo scale.

I would love to hear what you have to say about all of this.. Share your thought.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!