I don’t rewatch movies very often, but the one movie I find every year is Groundhog Day. Who can resist the combination of classic Bill Murray and Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog? There have been various interpretations of the movie, but let’s look closer at this movie from my view and with respect to transformation of ourselves from a fitness standpoint.
What did Phil do every more, day after day, when his alarm clock buzzed at 6:00 AM? I can guarantee you he didn’t make it to an early bird Warehouse fitness class with Marc, Jeanine or Paul! He did walk from Cherry Street Inn to Gobbler’s Knob every morning, but he wasn’t quite seeing the glass as half-full with his snarky attitude:
Rita: “What did you do today?’
Phil: “Oh, the same-old, same-old.”
Perhaps Phil could have benefited from changing up his fitness routine in addition to walking-like an Insanity or Bootcamp class, or a T25 video in his room. I will, however, certainly count his daily walk toward his presumed 10,000 steps a day (keep those FitBit trackers going team!). Did Phil also maintain a healthy nutrition plan throughout the day? Let’s take a look.
We all know how Phil feels when he wakes up and yells, “Don’t mess with me, pork chop! What day is this?” Well, Phil, I hate to be the one to break the news to you…it is Day 2 of your 21 Day Challenge and you have 19 days to go. Isn’t that how you feel sometimes? Like, I so cannot do this for 21 days, but you do! Overall, Phil is on the right track with protein-especially in the morning-even if he indulges in a pork chop! But then he completely falls off of the wagon when he continues throughout his day:
Phil: “Hi, three cheeseburgers, two large fries, two milkshakes, and one large coke.”
Ralph: “And some flapjacks.”
Phil: “Too early for flapjacks?”
Yes, Phil, it is too early for flapjacks. And you should have substituted that milkshake for a Shakeology shake (also, skip the fries too and add some fruit). Mrs. Lancaster, the innkeeper of the Bed and Breakfast he wakes up in every morning (for 8 years, 8 months and 16 days), does consider some menu changes:
Phil: “Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?”
Mrs. Lancaster: “I don’t think so, but I could check with the kitchen.”
Isn’t that how we feel sometimes when we go out to restaurants? Fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t foreign food groups. It’s déjà vu all over again with menu choices…Maybe I should ask my waiter to check with the kitchen next time for healthier alternatives.
Phil’s approach toward food continues with dinner.
Ned: “So what are you doing for dinner?”
Phil: “Umm..something else.”
I don’t share in his lack of enthusiasm for nutritious options. There are a multitude of healthy recipes that the Warehouse members share on Facebook. In fact, I can’t wait to try recently posted recipes for the breakfast egg “muffins” and the cauliflower casserole. Yum!
Phil could also probably use some coaching about his alcohol intake:
Phil: “Can I have another one of these with some booze in it?”
He could have used a hint from Nickie: Use the yellow carb container for your daily amount of your favorite wine! And remember to drink water, water and more water!
One might also think that his overindulgence would eventually make him concerned about his health metrics:
Rita: “Don’t you worrry about cholesterol?”
Phil: “I don’t worry about anything.”
Tracking such results as cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI are an essential part of a fitness regimen. If you join a Challenge Class at the warehouse, your BMI, weight, and inches are tracked! What a deal!
Spoiler Alert!! If you have seen the movie, you know that Phil really isn’t working to change his health and nuitrition, but he finally does get a few things right and is able to escape from the reoccurring time warp.
As one movie critic mentions of the protaganist, “He becomes a better Phil, not a different Phil.” This mindset resonates with me as I start off 2016 with a renewed focus on my health and nuitrition. I don’t want to become a different person, just a better person.
How are you going to spend your next 6 weeks transforming as we wait for spring? Are you going to live everyday like it is February 2 – Groundhog Day - all over again in the shadow of the same-old, same-old, or are you going to commit to make some changes?
Am I right, or am I right? Bing!
Simplify: verb (used with object), simplified, simplifying.
1. to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier: to simplify a problem.
What does that definition of “simplify” mean to you? Does it mean to eliminate what isn’t necessary (clothes, emotional baggage, stress)? Does it mean to learn to say “no” when you feel obligated to say “yes”? Does it mean to try to be organized (emails, desk, junk drawer, car trunk)? Does it mean to learn that less is more in multiple aspects of your daily life? Does it mean to get rid of stresses in your life by exercising more?
In last month’s Tales from the Member Trenches blog, I suggested going through your closet to get rid of those clothes you don’t fit into. Simplify. I am proud to report that not only did I get my closet organized, it has stayed that way for a month! Here’s to hoping I can keep that up as the months go by! That somewhat simple task put me on the right trajectory to kick off 2016.
As we start the New Year, make a resolution to simplify. This could be a resolution to start doing something,
to stop doing something, or to continue to do something.
For me, I am making resolutions to have more patience, to be more understanding, to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty, and to hold gratitude in my heart and in my mind every night when I go to bed and when my feet hit the floor in the morning. As my parents have gotten older and have faced health issues, I am learning to be grateful for what I can physically do every day-even things that seem simple to any of us such as walking up a flight of stairs (something my father can no longer do safely).
So, as part of my resolution to be grateful about my physical health, I plan on increasing my efforts to exercise and follow a healthier nutrition plan. When I use the excuse that I don’t have time, my husband reminds me that it is a matter of prioritizing my efforts to exercise daily. He considers his time in our home gym, or when he plays basketball twice a week in the morning at the YMCA, as his first meeting appointment of the day. What a wonderful mindset to have. If I had a 5:00 AM meeting at work, I certainly wouldn’t skip it, so why would I consider skipping the gym?!
I plan on focusing on believing that it is alright if everything on my ‘to list’ is crossed off as complete (but my exercise and nutrition will be on my list every day!). It might mean that I have to set my alarm earlier in the morning to get up and hit my downstairs gym, but it will also mean that I will be thankful as I watch the sun rise over the horizon as I am on the treadmill…and I will remember to smile….
I will focus on believing what I tell my team at work: it isn’t about perfection, it is about progress. So, what is the first thing on my list for 2016? Simplify my life! Say ‘no’ more! Clean more closets and junk drawers! Exercise my body and my mind (read more!). Simple, little things can lead to great results.
What is your plan for 2016? Do you have new resolutions? Continuing resolutions? How do you plan on focusing on being your best that you can be? How do you plan to simplify your life to get there?
Here’s to a new year of progress, simplification and happiness! Santé! Prost! Salute! L’Chaim! Salud! Cheers!
This may be TMI, but its reality. The sad and lonely dress still hangs in my closet. Neglected. Unworn. The tags are still on it. It is still shiny and new as the day it followed me home. JTLYK, it deserves it. It really should have known better.
It had whispered to me when I walked by it in the store last summer. “Buy me”, it pleaded. “You’ll be able to fit into me by the time you have that important business trip. I promise. Plus, I’m on sale! You can’t push me aside now,” it gleefully added as it jumped into my shopping cart. My defenses were down. I couldn’t resist. BTW, it was the right color – black (what else??) - and it would look so cute with my new heels. There was some truth to what it said….I was working out…it will fit me in a few months, right?
Perhaps I should have known better. IDK what I was thinking! Why did I listen to that smooth, sweet-talking dress? Did it catch me at a weak moment? Did I have more than one glass of wine over my weekend lunch outing? What kind of person am I to allow this to happen…and not just once, but on multiple occasions?
Last fall, the dress’ cousin, Miss Me Jeans, spoke to me in a very similar way, but OMG she was soooo pushy. The fleur de lis on the back pocket just flapped her jaw at me in the dressing room as she glared at my mom jeans. I couldn’t get her to shut up until I got out my credit card. “Fine,” I screamed under my breath through clenched teeth. “If I buy you and if I promise to exercise every day, will you just leave me alone?” I pleaded, “You have been all up in my grill for over a year now, ever since my daughter thought you would look cute on me. I can’t listen to you anymore!” Although I tried to use my inside voice, I know that the woman in the dressing room next to me heard me loud and clear. So, B4YKI, the jeans were in a shopping bag and shoved into my trunk. I would not allow it to talk to me that way for another minute.
I can’t be the only victim that this happens to, can I? HBU? You all know what I am talking about. The whispers, the snide remarks, the outright screaming, “BUY ME NOW. I PROMISE YOU WILL FIT INTO ME AS SOON AS WE GET HOME!!!” We all cave in to the pleas. Can’t we just respond, “CTN?” The clothes would find someone else to persuade.
As soon as I get home from such shopping sprees, I unload all of my packages onto my bed and can’t wait to try on my new clothes again in the comfort of my own room. But wait a minute; I still have a muffin top over my Miss Me Jeans. Weren’t those 10 pounds supposed to melt away with my excitement on my drive home? I did not LOL when I looked in the mirror. And by all means I was not ROTFL. I was, however, ROTFC (crying) trying to stuff my muffin top into my jeans. Not such a fun shopping expedition after all. I mumble, “WTF” as I walk to the pantry and drown my sorrows eating potato chips.
I now have an area in the back of my closet devoted to such neglected items – the little black dress, the cute Miss Me Jeans, the soft summer shirt that my “big muscular shoulders” can’t fit into. I can’t get rid of them yet even though I know they all talk to each other behind my back. “She promised she would work out every day. She promised to drink Shakeology. She promised to lift weights.” They cry out in exasperation, “She is so SITD and definitely OTL.” On second thought, maybe I could donate them which would lesson some of my guilt and would make someone else feel even better! That would be a GR8 idea!
It isn’t their fault they were so sweet and innocent-looking. They thought they were just trying to help me. But I love myself for who and what I am-I am Athena, remember? I am strong and I am real! I am not a Barbie-doll with an unrealistic shape.
I can find the strength to walk away from the beckoning voices. I can continue to exercise and practice an 80/20 lifestyle. The next time I hear whispers from clothes on the store floor, I’ll be all, “Don’t make me go all Carrie Bradshaw on all you all! TTYL. I am OMW to The Warehouse. CUS!”
Are you ready to join me in my pledge to donate or sell those clothes talking behind your back? There will always be another sale at our favorite boutique or department store. We will find the right jeans, or the right little black dress, again. I have learned to buy for the body I have, not for the body I might think I want at those weak moments in the store. So, join me today and clean out your closets and dressers! Get a jump start on your new year’s resolution to SIMPLIFY while continuing to love YOURSELF for who you are today!
Over the last month I have had issues with a colleague at work. Not just run-of-the mill ‘can’t we all just get along’ work issues. Issues bad enough that they can’t be ignored and that have required me to meet with the HR department multiple times. No one likes to have those types of meetings. I have never experienced anything like this in 25 years as a professional. I haven't been able to sleep or function as I normally would. I wake up in the middle of the night or I don't fall asleep. The stress I am feeling starts to also have physical manifestations - a twitching eye, sleepless nights, stomach pains, and migraines.
Some days I think I have it rough and that I am ready to throw in the towel and quit. Some days I don't think I can handle one thing at work. To add fuel to the fire, the stress then starts to snowball and makes me think of all of my other “problems”. How can I get my kids to where they need to be for activities after school? How are my sisters and I going to care for our aging parents? Am I really going crazy with all of this?
This stress affects me and I don’t like it, but I struggle with how to get back on track when I feel that I am so far down a path of no return. I lose perspective and it feels like déjà vu all over again. My days get longer at work. I stop making exercise and going to the Warehouse a priority. I stop having Shakeology for breakfast. I stop taking the stairs at work. I stop wearing my fit bit. I stop being able to just breathe.
And then I stop and try to put it all into perspective with what others are going through in life. My issues are really small in comparison to what has happened to others I know. Financial struggles. Health issues. Personal losses.
I find myself softly singing “Lean on Me” to myself in times like this. This classic by Bill Withers has stuck with me since college when my roommate used to play his album all of the time. It serves as my own personal anthem in times of stress.
What else do I do to help me through these days, weeks, months? I reach out for calming mantras. Breathe in. Breathe out. Count to 10. I try to find time to make it to a Combat HIIT class so I can take out my frustration on a punching bag.
I drink a glass (or two) of red wine with a close friend who listens and knows when to talk.
I take a run down a gravel road wanting to scream at the top of my lungs (and sometimes I do just to make sure the coyotes know that they do NOT want to mess with me today). I alternate blasting my angry music with my calming music. I cry. My Warehouse family has helped through some tough days-whether any of you know if or not.
I realize that what I am experiencing is just a bump in the road. It is something that I can try to change and try to take control of. I acknowledge that my problems are real, but how ‘real’ are they in comparison to what others are going through? I know that there are friends and family members with bigger things weighing heavily in their hearts or on their minds. There might be others who need me to be strong, who need my shoulder to cry on, and who need me to help them carry on.
Perspective is an effective word. It helps me turn the focus inwardly from me and outwardly toward others. I know that what others are going through is so much more. By no means am I minimizing or trivializing the depths of angst, sorrow and stress others feel in comparison to my issues. But when I keep my issues into perspective and ‘walk a mile in someone else’s shoes’, I know that I can be stronger for others when they need it. A mountain in the road may feel so insurmountable that it may seem it can never be climbed over. A valley so deep may seem as though the other side may never be reached. Singing a song probably isn’t going to help some of the issues my family or friends are dealing with, but we are all here to help each other get through the good times and the tough times.
The sun sets and then the sun will rise again. We have been given another day to try again, to look at issues with a different perspective. Another day to find somebody to lean on. Little by little, step by step, we come out of the darkness.
*This post is dedicated to Deb Larson and her family. May you know that everyone at the Warehouse is here if you need somebody to lean on.
Lisé Freking is our resident Warehouse member blog writer. When she isn’t in the “member trenches” in Zumba, Bootcamp, Insanity, Tank Top Arms and more, Lisé enjoys time with her husband and their three children. Lisé has been involved in sports as long as she can remember: tennis, swimming, track (including shot and discus) and softball. Most recently, in addition to Warehouse classes, Lisé enjoys at least one good mud run obstacle course challenge a year! Lisé also enjoys a hot beach, a good book, and a cold drink in her spare time. She earned her undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Badgers!) and her law degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She currently is an attorney-turned-marketing strategist at Thomson Reuters (25 years and counting). Look for Lisé’s monthly blog articles: “The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth: Tales From the Warehouse Member Trenches” on www.nickiecarriganfitness.com.