It only matters what works for you.

Archive for October, 2012

A scheduling approach I bet you haven’t been using…

Gentlemen-fair warning, this post is directed squarely at the Ladies.

You may have noticed that I’m fond of TED presentations. Here is another one.

Alisa Vitti shares her own story of how she learned and managed and overcame her struggle with PCOS and other hormonal issues, and that is a fascinating story on its own. But that  isn’t the only thing to take from it.

Have you ever considered your personal cycle when setting your work schedule?

I certainly don’t. At least, I never have. I think I plan to start.

Consider that along with what is going on in your ‘lady parts’ as she likes to say, those chemicals are affecting every other part of your body as well.

Even your brain.

Every woman knows that the menstrual period effects the brain. Sometimes it makes us crazy, or tearful, or just plain mean. Sometimes it encourages us to eat quantities of chocolate that we aren’t willing to admit.

What if it also meant that it was the time that the two sides of our brain were most connected to each other? What if it were also the time when we are most able to connect to our gut instincts and make course corrections on our lives?

I never thought of that.

Alisa also reports these considerations:

The follicular phase is when we have the most, best access to our creative energy. That would be the best time for starting new projects.

The ovulatory phase is the time when our communication skills are at their height as is our energy. Contract negotiations anyone? Presentations? New customer meetings?

The luteal phase brings us to attention to detail. Time for organizing. Tasks when you really need to get down to specifics and pay attention to the little things. To do lists? Business plans?

What an amazing possibility. Alisa finishes saying that women give birth through the body. Obvious, but if you think about it, that could mean so much more than just babies. Her ending question is one I’ll pass along to you.

If your body was restored to perfect vitality, how would you use it to be a change agent?

I’ll certainly be giving that a lot of thought.

How do you fight programming?

I just read this article about a young woman who has shared a mostly nude photo with the world. Her picture can be seen in her own blog, with her audacious (and somewhat profane) commentary. I applaud her attitude and her bravery and her desire to work with those younger than her to help build their confidence.

But that isn’t really what I want to talk about here.

What I want to talk about is the ugly vitriol that you see in the comments after the original blog. The sheer number of people who spout that everyone could be thin if they would just eat properly. And exercise enough, which according to some is an hour every day. That there are millions of their tax dollars being spent because people don’t have any self control.

I don’t know whether to be furious or despondent.

Is it my fault that I was 43 before I could get the right medical test to show me that I have a thyroid condition? (Which got worse with each and every low calorie diet I suffered through?)

That our medical system isn’t set up to even find food sensitivities?

That because things were never treated I destroyed my adrenals?

Yet the media and the main stream medical position continues to tell us that diet and exercise is the One True Solution and that there is no possible other excuse or reason for being a disgusting fat slob who is going to take up half their seat the next time they fly.

I’ll tell you this. I have more will power than any of those self righteous bigots who post that ugliness. How many of them have spent endless months hungry to absolutely NO EFFECT? How many of them have spent their free time for years tracking down alternate possibilities? How many of them have to swim against public opinion EVERY DAY but manage to stay sane and have some kind of functioning self worth?

How can we fight the programming distributed by our own medical industry? Who is pulling their strings that they won’t even review their own data and see how wrong and completely damaging their advice and methodology is?

Well meaning bullying

Did you see the brilliant rebuttal by Jennifer Livingston to the bullying letter she received about her health?


I got into a ‘discussion’ on Facebook with someone who felt quite strongly that the letter was just one man’s opinion, not bullying.

I’d like to respond with a definition:

Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

The way I see it, this letter writer used his perceived influence as someone with societal norms on his side to influence (and intimidate-using her local influence and failure to conform to norms as a point of shame) this lovely woman to the behavior that he thinks she should display.

What is really special about this story isn’t that it happened. Things like this happen every day. People think it is ok to comment on the contents of our grocery carts. People think it is ok to walk up to us on the street and point out that there is something ‘wrong’ with us. Random strangers will point out that we’re really fat. Like we somehow missed that.

What is special, and memorable, is that she stood up to fight back. She didn’t hang her head or just take it. She used her public platform to do exactly what a good role model should. She fought back. She stood up, not only for herself, but for others who don’t have her visibility, or her thick skin.

She says two things that I want to highlight.

You don’t know anything about be but what you see on that outside.

Don’t let your self worth be defined by bullies.

I applaud her for taking a stand. I hope she continues to serve as a brilliant role model.

I also want to share this brief interview, because she says some good things, and her husband is giving beautiful unqualified support, just as it should be.

Stand up for yourself- Literally

Your body posture can affect your mental state. What are you telling yourself by the way you sit and stand and move?

I recently watched this great 20 minute video by Amy Cuddy about the research they have about body posture and how it can affect, not only how others see you, but how you see yourself. If you go around hunched over, drawn in, making yourself small, then you do, in fact, make yourself small.

There is evidence of course that women are more likely to engage in ‘small’ body posture than men. A lot of the things we’re taught about how to be ‘lady-like’ involve smaller postures, like crossing your legs and holding your hands in your lap.

As part of my owning my space I’m working very hard this week to embrace bigger postures. Stand up straighter, let my arms swing a little wider. No hunching. Its a little challenging, but I’m up for it.

Of course, smiling is one thing I don’t have to work on. Do you smile a lot? You really should. That’s one I already knew about. See, smiling, the act of engaging those muscles in your face and the limbic system behind them? That really can make you feel better if you’ll just make yourself do it. So I mostly smile all the time.

 

Me and my leaf chipper…

Or, about green drinks.

A few weeks ago I went to a conference and heard Kris Carr speak. She’s a cancer survivor and is passionate about being healthy. I don’t subscribe to everything she champions, but you don’t have to to find things to embrace. She made a brilliant point: “The body changes every day, the choices have to change with it.” I absolutely believe that. If something isn’t working, change it, even if it used to work.

She talked a lot about green drinks, hence the title. It just so happens that despite my great life upheaval in 2011 and purging my belongings twice, I own a juicer (or as I refer to it around here, my leaf chipper). It was still in the box, unopened, yet it moved with me. Twice. Most unlikely. So when Kris talked about green drinks as a great way to make one healthier change, I gave it some serious though. It is alkalinizing. It is a way to get the benefit of many of those veggies without having to actually eat all of them. It didn’t feel like too big a change for me to make.

So I tried it. I promised myself a week. A month later I’m still doing it. The juicer now lives on the counter permanently. I juice every other day and keep the other half in a glass jar in the fridge until the next day. Yes, of course fresh juice every day would be best. Or twice a day. I’m not ready to invest that kind of time yet. Maybe later. Maybe not. A day old fresh juice is a heck of a lot better than no fresh juice, which is what you always get when you push a new change too far too fast.

I don’t like them. I won’t pretend that I do. I don’t think they taste good. But my body LOVES them. I wake up every morning and think “let’s go down and have our green drink” before I even get all the way out of bed. Sometimes in the afternoon I’ll drink the other half in the fridge and wind up juicing again the next morning. I may be about to do that again today. I’m not perfectly sure what effect they are having on my health. It hasn’t been that long and health benefits are often slow. I do know that I am able to give myself a lot more slack in how I handle other things knowing that my veggie needs are getting met more often than not. And with the permission to cut myself more slack has actually come the ability to be more consistent in making better choices.

I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

I know you’re going to ask, so what do I put in the drinks? I use cucumbers for the base, I add some random mix of kale, dandelion greens, bok choy, and lime. I think the lime tastes better than lemon. I also add the stemmy pieces from bunches of lettuce so they aren’t wasted. I don’t put other fruit in. I don’t eat a lot of fruit because of the sugars so I’d rather enjoy the flavor by itself rather than trying to dress up my greens. Yes, I’m treating the green drink as a medicinal. Whatever it takes to make it work is my philosophy.

I feel good about the change. It’s working for me. And I never have to try to figure out a way to make kale palatable for me. Because that was really going nowhere.

Too big? Too bad.

This weekend I had a wonderful Epiphany.

All my life I’ve been told I’m ‘too big’. Well, mostly they mean ‘too fat’. I’m not going to dispute that fat is a very accurate descriptive adjective for me. But ‘too big’ really encompasses so much more than that, and the programming doesn’t stick to what is meant, it’s always about what you internalize.

You think you’re so smart…

You always have to use those big words all the time…

You’re such a show off…

I never fit in. But I learned to play small to TRY. My poor little girl self never had any idea what it was she was doing that made everyone mad all the time. Didn’t everyone read books and increase their vocabulary? Wasn’t everyone smart enough to figure things out? Was doing your own thing really showing off? Was I really that intimidating at 8? 12? 18?

I don’t know what the truth was for anyone else, but I got a lot of feedback that told me I was too big, too much, too everything. That being big was unacceptable and I didn’t deserve to be myself. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Too bad.

Now that I have realized that I have been taught to play small? I am done. If you don’t like the amount of space I take up in the this world? Then I invite you to go be unhappy about it elsewhere. Because this is my space and I’m going to take as much as I want.