Energy and persistence conquer all things.
I’m writing this post as I sit with my family, watching the KC Royals personify this perfect quote by Benjamin Franklin. Although I am a lifetime resident of ‘The Paris of the Plains’ I’m not really a big fan of watching sports on TV but these games have even caught my attention.
What I’ve seen as in these games the past few weeks is, I think, a lesson that we can take away from the series. I see these young men working hard, pushing themselves to the limit, hanging in there even when they encounter difficulty. I can’t imagine the pressure they must be facing – but they’re doing it!
And I feel … Inspired
I find myself considering where I can push a little harder, where I can be a little more persistent. I won’t ever play in a World Series game but I can do my things a little better. I can give a little more. I can win.
What about you?
Every day you are faced with decisions that seem mostly insignificant to the outcome of your life. Do I floss? Should I have a salad or a hamburger for lunch? Supersize or regular size? Soda or water to drink with my meal? Speak a kind word or not? Read something or watch TV? Read a Facebook post or get my work done? You get the picture.
There are obvious good choices, and on the contrary, there are obvious poor choices. Most of us don’t even think beyond the choice. There has been an eastern movement which focuses on awareness of living in the present, which certainly has its place (which I will address in a different post), however not to the determent of who we say we are and who we envision ourselves to be.
You might say, Aaron, come on, putting sugar in my coffee isn’t a reflection on who I am and who I claim to be. And I would challenge that statement. If you claim to be a powerful, healthy, strong, ______ (you fill in the blank) person choosing to add something to your coffee isn’t “bad or wrong” – but is out of integrity with who you choose to be?
We have to look at what we call the “micro-decisions” of the addition of sugar, not just the here and now of the choice. If we add 15 years of sugar to our daily coffee, the “macro-result” is certainly a whole lot of wasted calories and could lead to extra pounds, addiction, skin issues, hormonal issues, diabetes – even mental issues.
Whereas sugar in moderation isn’t necessarily going to send you to a convalescent home. My point here is that the little choices in life are what make up who you are in the long run. The small choices add up. Is one cigarette going to kill you? Not likely. However if you continue to make the micro-decision to smoke, what are your odds of death? I know that smoking might seem like an obvious threat to your health but what are the less obvious micro-decisions in your life that go against who you say you are? What are the micro- decisions that you make that go with who you say you are? You are still a vital living being and the beauty of your life is that you can change it on a dime, and begin to make good micro-decisions that lead you toward optimum macro-results – the big things you want out of life.
As I’m faced with decisions every day, I constantly stop and think what is the macro-result of this micro-decision? If we never cross paths again I want to make sure that I leave you with a litmus test to challenge your micro decisions against your ideal you. And remember, your micro-decisions create your Macro-Results.
Lately it seems like almost half of the articles I read are about someone’s opinion regarding how we should weigh. Either it’s that we’re too fat – and can’t possibly be healthy with all of that extra baggage (and we shouldn’t ever, ever forget how ashamed we should feel about that) or it’s that we shouldn’t worry about our weight at all, just be happy wherever we are. Sometimes the message is even about shaming thin people (a friend of mine who is blessed with a very thin frame told me that a stranger once approached her at the gym to inform her that she must be anorexic).
Realistically, all you have to do is look around a little to see that humankind comes in all shapes and sizes; yet to hear the chatter one would think that your body is only acceptable if it falls within a few points of a particular BMI.
For example, this woman in the UK has decided to ‘get fat’ in order to prove to all of us how a person can not be happy and overweight. Of course she is clearly missing that factors other than ‘laziness’ often come into play with regard to one’s weight like genetics, medical conditions, and psychological factors. She stands by her assertion that there is no valid reason to be fat (clearly she lacks mercy and love for her fellow man).
That’s why this short article was a refreshing read, the author tells us to focus on fitness instead of size and points out that a very thin person can have health problems just as a heavy person can be relatively healthy.
I can attest to that from my own life. When I was young and thin; I smoked, I never drank water (my drink of choice was a highly caffeinated yellow beverage if I remember correctly), I ate fast food daily – rarely even looking at a vegetable, I drove everywhere, and participated in zero exercise. I may have looked just fine on the outside but I assure you that I was not healthy, in fact I was often sick with a cold or general malaise. Today I could absolutely stand to lose a few pounds (I’m working on that) but I drink a ton of water and not much of anything else, I eat gluten free so my carb intake is limited, I consume lots of fruits and veggies, and I walk three miles almost every day (in addition to my Minute Movements) sometimes I don’t even get in the car for days. Regardless of the number on the scale or on the tag of my jeans I am positive that I am living a healthier life today than I was twenty years ago.
I’ve also found that focusing a number doesn’t seem to be the best method to attain sustained fitness. It’s too tempting to do something drastic (that will eventually result in backsliding) or to get overwhelmed and give up completely. Our philosophy is that by mindfully taking small, positive actions several times each day you will achieve success in any area of your life.
I would love to see us (ALL of us) switching our focus from outward shape to a focus on TRUE health. I’d love to see us recognizing people for all that they are – their hearts, their souls, and their character. I’d love to see the day when we recognize that we are all wounded in our own special way and begin to treat each other (and ourselves) with compassion.
Stop worrying about the numbers.
Since Minute Movement headquarters is in Kansas City (and many of our early members are also from Kansas City) I thought we’d go with a Royals / World Series related post today.
With five games scheduled for the next week, I anticipate that a lot of Minute Movers will be sitting around – a lot! Sitting isn’t only bad for you during work hours, it’s always a good idea to move around a little bit.
So, let’s play a game – while we watch a game. Okay?
I found this drinking game (stay with me here) highlighting the World Series and it looks like fun. But,since we’re a health program – instead of drinking every time (for example) Lorde’s “Royals” is mentioned / played during the telecast, we’d like for you to do your favorite Minute Movement exercise for 15 seconds. And when the game recommends that you ‘shotgun a whole beer’, do an entire (one minute) Minute Movement.
If you send us a video of your Minute Movement World Series game we’ll enter you into a drawing for a free Minute Movement t-shirt (double entries for videos of Minute Movements AT a game!)
Let’s go Royals!
Minute Movement really is a simple program but we don’t want anyone missing out on the incredible benefits of the exercises. So, today I’m going to cover the steps to take to truly Maximize Your Minutes!
Choose your Exercise – Be sure you are familiar with the exercises for the day (which you can see in your daily email or on the member page) so you can quickly choose the exercise you want to do when you hear your alarm. If you’re feeling a little stiff and sore, you might want to choose the Peaceful exercise and if you’re feeling exceptionally strong or have a lot of pent up energy an Energized exercise might be right for you.
Gratitude – We’ve found that it’s really helpful to take a second to think about what you are grateful for and hold that thought in your mind during your movement.
Deep Breath – Completely fill your lungs and squeeze out the stale air in order to prepare your body.
Timer – I like to keep a timer set at one minute on my smartphone at all times, that way all I have to do is open the app and press start when it’s time.
Engage the whole body – Even though we focus on a specific body part each day, it’s very important to use your entire body for each movement- especially your abs.
Breathe – Keep your breath slow and controlled throughout the minute.
Increase your intensity every 15 seconds if you can, but be sure to listen to your body too – Minute Movement is about mindfulness as much as it is about commitment, and hey – no stopping before your time’s up – Go to Zeros!
When the time’s up – take a deep, cleansing breath and get back to your day!
I hope you are starting to see the awesome benefits of Minute Movement.