Change

With the release of our December/January 2016 issue, “Transitions,” last month, and the New Year upon us, it got me reflecting about change and life stages.

Editor in chief, Kris Costa, references a quote from Heraclitus in this issue’s From the Editor, “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change – ” In life change is constant and inevitable. In fact, besides death, change is the only certainty in this life. Change is present in all areas of our life, whether it’s in our relationships, jobs, society, or our character.

I used to be afraid of change, resisting it with every ounce of my mental strength. Every minor possibility of a change in my life would send me into a whirl wind of “what-ifs” that would paralyze me with fear. This year I struggled with the idea of change when it came to aging. I worried over the changes of time and how they have and will continue to affect my appearance. I thought about life transitions and how things won’t always be the same. One day I will be a mom. My body will change, my life will change, and my very dreams will change. Instead of being excited about this idea I found myself fearing it, almost dreading it. Not dreading being a mother, but dreading the changes over time, and how life seems to pass that much more quickly with little ones around. I was dreading that feeling a mother must get when her children grow up and no longer need her the way they once did.

Then I looked around at all my friends who have become mothers. I watched these women grow through our high school years, college, marriage, and now motherhood. These women have changed. They are no longer the same girls I knew in high school. Not once have I looked at their life and thought the changes they went through were negative. Instead, I marvel and admire these women who have morphed through the years into strong, intelligent, kind, capable, and beautiful women (inside and out). It is a beautiful thing to witness a person grow through so many life stages. It’s exciting to see how we will all continue to change and grow (and even age).

Eventually those friends that became mothers will be grandmothers, and I will be a grandmother too.  That thought scared me. I was scared about the changes that will take place in my appearance over the years, and the changes that will take place socially. Will the memories of my younger days make me mourn my youth and want to go back? Will the smile lines on my face fill me with sadness or will they fill me with memories of all the laughter I’ve shared with friends and family throughout life? What about the knowledge, wisdom, and experience I’ll have gained in my life? I don’t think I will want to go back to being naïve or wondering how things will turn out or sweating the small stuff. There are many things that can be gained in the older years. One is being established in both family and experience. Aging means learning what’s truly important in life, and it means you have weathered the storms of growth and change.

This brings me to reflect on the changes I have been through in my life. Every time I sense a change coming I fight it. But why? Every change I’ve made so far has been a blessing. I changed jobs almost 2 years ago. I was very unhappy in my old job but I was still fearful to take a leap of faith into a new job. It was one of the best choices I ever made. Switching jobs, getting married, buying a house, were all changes that have been essential parts of who I am today. Quite honestly, I am so happy I am not the same person I was yesterday, or a couple years ago. I am happy to be the person I am today. I am sure with the growth opportunities before me, I will like future me even more!

Without change, there is no growth. This notion has proved to be true in my life. Sure, there were growing pains along the way. I think growing pains come from trying to hold on to who we were (and how we looked) when we were younger, all the while life is moving forward around us. But where is the beauty is staying stagnant? Isn’t that why life is so beautiful, the inevitable reality that we all change both internally and externally? From innocent bald headed, sweet smelling baby, to wise, warm grandparent, every stage of life is precious. Every stage requires growth that can only happen through changes.

I think it’s time for me, and for you, to see change for what it truly is, an opportunity for growth, and to welcome it with open arms.

~Micha Wilhoite

Wandering Warrior- Qigong

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Wandering Warrior- Qigong

By Jill Roth


THE MARTIAL ART
This month we’ll be entering the amazing world of Qigong with the gentle guidance of Bina Bou. Bina is a certified instructor of Qigong and Tai Chi who enjoys sharing her knowledge with her students in Cave Creek and other locations in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

DEFINITION OF QIGONG
I began with Bina’s website (www.binabouchi.com), which answers the question “What is Qigong?” Long used in training for the martial arts, Qigong is described by Bina as an exercise “designed to cultivate your Mind,Body, and your Spirit; and revitalize your Chi, the life force energy, by deep breathing and synchronized movements.”Qi or Chi means energy—a resource so essential it is impossible to define or translate Gong or Kung means to cultivate—a practice or methodology.

Qigong, therefore, refers to the exercise of one’s internal energy, and is a path to Mindfulness. Intention – Attention – Repetition – Guidance.

While everyone has Qi, most people don’t know how to tap its potential for healing and stress management. Qigong training allows practitioners to learn to relax and develop their mind-body connection. Through slow and gentle movements, Qigong has the practical benefits of providing balance and enhancing the body’s own natural healing—benefits which are documented in numerous medical publications.

With this background on the Qigong tradition, I attended one of Bina’s classes. To warm up, the group of about 24 gathered together in a large circle. You could feel the effervescent energy rippling around the room. We started with some wonderful, uplifting music and reflexology for the feet. We accomplished this
by walking in a giant circle, first on our toes, then on our heels, followed by the outsides of our feet, and finally on the insides of our feet. Next, we continued to walk while kicking out to the front, and then kicking our tushes, kicking out sideways, and lastly, marching with our knees up high. The room was filled with smiling faces, exuberant walking, and good cheer. Oh, and did I mention that the participants in the class ranged in age from 55–83?

Qigong can be used for its martial, healing, or meditative aspects. Bina says that Qigong is the mother of all martial arts, and that with slight variations it can be used for each of these goals. According to Dr. Jwing-ming Yang, a well-known teacher and author in the field, there are two separate trains of thought in the Qigong schools focused on martial arts. One, Nei Dan, believes that one should build Qi in the body and then have that spread to the limbs to increase their martial effectiveness. The other, Wai Dan, follows the belief that you should build up the Qi in your limbs and then have it flow inward to your internal Qi. This type of Qi can be used to “energize the skin and the muscles, enabling them to resist a blow without injury.” Both schools teach that by harnessing the focus of the mind (Yi), you can send Qi to the muscles and increase your fighting effectiveness. The progression of acupuncture theory also increased the effectiveness of Qigong as a martial art. By gaining a thorough knowledge of the acupuncture meridians, a Qigong practitioner would know the most effective cavities to hit and the necessary depth at which to strike. This combination of knowledge had made for a formidable martial art.

The meditative aspects of Qigong can be as simple as enjoying the focus and stress release of the movements, or as in-depth as the intense Marrow/Brain Washing, a level of training revered and kept secret from all but a handful of practitioners in every generation. To learn more about this area you can read the Marrow/Brain Washing Classic by Da Mo. Da Mo wrote this book about energizing the brain and attaining enlightenment after nine years ofseclusion in a Shaolin Temple.

Bina Bou has focused her practice on the healing properties of Qigong. I was impressed by how her students were brimming with health. Don’t be mistaken— many of her students have faced and overcome health obstacles that would have stopped others in their tracks. Take, for example, Debra, who developed a serious illness and was having difficulty with stamina and balance. Debra had been in a wheelchair before she started working with Bina. After a few months of Qigong practice, Debra was helped to the extent that she is now walking freely. But more on this later; back to the class…

Read the rest of the article and get facts about Qigong on pgs. 40-43

By Jill Roth
JRothHeadshot

Self- Worth: The Cost of “Being” is Free

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Self- Worth: The Cost of “Being” is Free

By Kaiden Blake


Self-worth is the fuel that enables us to live out our lives to our fullest potential. Most people, however, are living on “empty”—too preoccupied with the day-to-day to notice the flashing red light on the dashboard.

MIND

The truth is, we can’t think our way to self-worthiness. The human brain is programmed to navigate the world by way of processing information in a logical, dualistic format. For example: this is right, that is wrong and she’s a woman, he’s a man. When our mind tries to conceptualize the notion of self-worth, it’s automatically subjected to the realm of duality. Using our minds alone to understand our self-worth is like trying to stargaze with a pair of binoculars. Since self-worth is such a delicate and unique factor in each individual person, it needs to be honored as such. The mind insists on sequestering us away into nice, orderly groups, but surrendering to that method and mentality is harmful and unrealistic in regard to the deepest parts of ourselves.

The mind resides very closely to the ego, which is one of the most powerful detractors in our mission to achieving a sense of worth. The ego is never satisfied, and so our minds work overtime to try and compensate. When that happens, over-thinking and self-doubt are guaranteed to take over. Our minds will replay old tapes of who we thought we should be and will resurface all of the projections others have placed on us. It will re-hash doubts, insecurities, mistakes, and poor habits we’ve clung onto throughout our life. We’re rendered useless if we’re living in that headspace, as we’re taking on an imaginary script—a dialogue between fear and lack. We must see through this illusion, knowing that we’re far greater than to submit ourselves to the never-ending egoic cycle that readily offers itself to us. Instead, we must create our own script.

The objective isn’t to think our way to self-worthiness—the objective is to choose what we think about. This is paramount to our success. Though our thoughts often seem like innocent static noise, they’re hard at work at creating our reality. Since our thoughts have a profound effect on our psyche, they evoke strong emotions within us. Because we’re highly emotional beings, emotions can often seem to create our reality. While we want to fill up our lives with positive, life-affirming emotions, it’s unhealthy to live vicariously through a purely emotional state. Making decisions based on emotions alone is like building a skyscraper on a loose foundation. Next time you find your mind racing with unwanted thoughts or emotions, try to snap yourself out of the false created reality. Your true inner self never wants you to feel less than, for you are far greater than your thoughts and emotions.

BODY
Don’t ever believe that bodies are things that happen to other people. While everyone is aware of and acknowledges they have a body, few embrace them—and even fewer really listen to them. Self-worth is just as important on a physical level because our bodies are the vessels that carry our souls. We have a right to our bodies, and our bodies have a right to be treated in our highest regard.

We’ve been programmed from a very young age what to feel about our bodies. Television, media, and society have dictated what’s attractive, what fashions are acceptable or unacceptable and the implications they have, and how we’re meant to view the bodies of others. Because we’ve been fed that script, we’ve forgotten to not only live with our bodies on our own terms, but we’ve forgotten how to really tune in and listen to our bodies.

Here are some questions to ask yourself. Please answer honestly; your ego will want to rear up and get defensive, but the first step to true healing is being fully honest with yourself.

– Am I comfortable in my body?
– Do I feel comfortable in my body around others?
– Am I expressing myself for me, or for the validation of others?
– Do I treat my body well through my thoughts and actions?
– Am I putting harmful toxins, chemicals, and food in my body?
– When was the last time I did something positive to celebrate my body?

Many of you who answered those questions will realize how often our bodies fall by the wayside on our list of priorities. The truth is, our body never lies. Often times when we feel under the weather, our truest “self” is trying to get our attention by the only means it knows how. Instead of writing off every headache, stomach ache, or sense of unease, try to tune in to the feeling and let your body give you a message. Though many will scoff at the notion of listening in on the body, many people have overcome lifelong illnesses by doing so. It’s a matter of being fully in sync with the body. The healthier we treat our bodies and the more aware of them we are, the easier it is to prevent anything untoward or harmful from entering or permeating our lives.

It’s important to be gentle with ourselves and to acknowledge the uniqueness of our bodies. Every single being on this planet is a divine miracle. Life here on Earth has a habit of getting in the way of our inner knowingness of how incredible we are and how much potential each and every one of us has to offer. Our bodies are the vessels that enable us to reach for our dreams and to connect with others in the most wonderful of ways. Instead of taking on others’ projections of your body or your own insecurities, try celebrating your body. Know that you’re worthy and deserving of great health and opportunities. And most importantly, worthy of self-love.

SOUL
Like our mind and body, our self-worth on our soul level stems from within—not from outside sources. It doesn’t come from jobs, credentials, or monetary gain. Believing in oneself can certainly pave the way to gain those things, but how we adorn our lives on the outside cannot fulfill the need within. It only, at best, can give us a sense of complacency. One of the biggest blocks to achieving self-worth is giving our power away to others.

Because of the constant chatter from our egos and the harsh world we live in, we lose faith in ourselves. Once we fall out of touch with our innermost sense of self, we base everything on outside sources. Instead of seeking approval from someone or something else, try asking yourself for it. And when you answer, try listening. Pay very close attention to your gut instincts. If you’re still feeling lost, ask the universe for a sign. Signs and confirmations can come to us in the most unsuspecting of ways—words we pick up at random, songs that come on the radio, or something we overhear in a passing conversation. One of the best tools we have is to simply listen. When human beings struggle, we often lash out—either out of frustration or desperation. When we really sit with ourselves and let go of all the noise from our thoughts and ego, we’re able to more easily get a firm grip on the situation or question at hand.

In addition to learning how to listen, let go of what you’ve been conditioned to believe about yourself. Connect yourself fully with the entire universe itself, and ask: “What is it within me that can make a positive, profound impact on the world?” Include yourself when you think of the world and the people around you. Instead of separating yourself and feeling isolated, know that you play just as important a part as everyone and everything else. In the highest truth, there is no separation. Once you step back into your power and cherish yourself, you’ll notice yourself going with the natural flow of life rather than against it. By fully actualizing your self-worth, you’re gifting yourself the ability to use the wings you’ve always had but forgot along the way.

Be you, and fly to great heights like I know you can.

AFFIRMATION
“I honor and respect my truest self and all of the complexities that are within me. I am whole, worthy, and able. I have the confidence, freedom, safety, and security to fully be me at all times. I will not let my own ego or the words and actions of others to disempower me. I trust and believe in myself, and I am fully capable of accomplishing my dreams. I am me.”

Read it on page 17-18.

Kaiden Blake
Blake,Kaiden
Kaiden Blake is a recognized internet personality and artist, is currently anticipating the release of his forthcoming book. Kaiden’s incredibly strong bond with his fans, inspire personal empowerment across the globe.

 

MISS DEMEANOR- Willpower, The Not So Invisible Force

MISS DEMEANOR
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Willpower- The Not so Invisible Force


 

It calls to you like a sweet lullaby, lurking beneath the pasta and cereal, but you remind yourself not to give into the temptation. Regardless, your hand reaches for it anyway; without the consent of your brain. Just as your finger-tips touch the plastic wrapper of the last chocolate bar in the cupboard, your brain finally takes hold and snaps your hand back into your jean pocket. What is this invisible force that has hastily retracted your hand from indulging in sweet surrender?

That force is called willpower. It comes in many different strategies and many different forces, yet sometimes it does not even come at all. Sometimes when we are in need of it most, the will-power to not do something is nowhere to be found.

There are many people who feel that willpower has a mind of its own, but in reality we are the ones who hold the neck of it. We are the ones who steer it in the right direction and steer it in the wrong direction. There are plenty of us out there that have enormous amounts of willpower, but believe that we have none. This is because willpower can very easily be wrongly directed. Often times, people believe that they could improve their lives if only they had a little more of that willower we all have instilled within us. The truth is that willpower is not
as invisible as we think. It lives within us, waiting to be utilized in the healthiest way. It would be easier if it went dormant for decisions that do not benefit us, but that is not the
case. The key to willpower is using it for the right things and sometimes this process takes people years, but it does not have to be that way.

Personally, I struggle with the willpower to make the right decisions every day of my life. There is not an hour that goes by throughout my day when I do not reference the back of my brain and ask my willpower a couple of questions. The problem for me is not whether or not I have willpower. I know I have the willpower and I know that the willpower that I have is not weak. I struggle with steering it in directions that are best for me. There are many times when I take a situation and pick it apart to pieces, looking at the positives and the negatives, sometimes for hours. I contemplate what the right decision is and by the end of the day I know what the right
decision is. Seems pretty straight forward, right? Knowing the right decision and then just to do it! However, that is nearly ever the case. The right thing to do is usually the hardest and often times, I lean towards the opposite direction. It is my willpower that then hits me in the face, spins me around and shoves me towards the route that my mind knows is best.

As a young woman, I am faced with challenges each day and I am persuaded into following the wrong path. For years, I let my heart hold me by the neck and override what I knew was the best
thing to do. Whether the decision was staying in a friendship that was unhealthy or a relationship that was damaging, there was always something that my heart and my head were fighting about. If there is one thing that I have learned thus far in life, it is that barely ever do my heart and my head agree. What my heart wants, my brain often knows better. Life is a constant battle between emotion and reason. If we can find a way to let our willpower settle
this ongoing battle between the two, only then may we find peace. I believe that, with practice and a little bit of willpower, that battle can come to an agreement. It won’t be without a little blood, sweat, and tears, but it will be worth it. There is nothing worse than feeling like you have no control over your mind, body and soul.

By no means do I have the whole process figured out, but that’s what makes life so interesting. The fight is what we get up for in the morning. The human body is capable of experiencing so many
different things, so many great things and so many terrible things. Life can truly be so incred-ibly intriguing and beautiful if it is utilized in the right way. That energy that pushes a person to run the last mile of a triathlon or the force that drives a person to pluck the strings of a guitar is the same energy that creates the burning sensation on your lips when you kiss a lover or that crippling sensation that pulses through your veins when you lose a friend. Those are the things that true willpower thrives on and will grasp onto. If you believe in
yourself and have faith that you are capable of achieving your goals, true willpower will follow.

It is funny how many people believe that willpower is this invisible, mysterious force that science cannot define. Willpower is defined by what you make of it. You can use it to stick a needle in your arm through beat up veins and bruises or you can use it to write the last page of a midterm exam. Willpower is not so much invisible, but more so waiting for you to sculpt it into what you want it to be. Life is what you make it. So is your determination, ambition and willpower. Make the right decisions and do what is best for you in your life. Other people can
help you find where to channel that energy, but at the end of the day it is up to you and no one else. When you’re lying in bed at night thinking about everything in your life, remember that you are in control of a lot more of it then you think.

~ Alexandra Costa
Allie Costa
Alexandra was born in Red Bank, New Jersey and moved to Scottsdale, AZ with her family in 2002. She is currently pursuing her college degree in English and Psychology.

Willpower: Practice Makes Perfect

Willpower: Practice Makes Perfect
By Dan Ronin

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I remember one night long ago. I was in my back yard practicing Iaido (Japanese sword form) and having difficulty with how the cut ended. No matter how many times I practiced the cut the end was less than satisfactory. My practice finished with me feeling despondent about my ability. It made me question whether or not I had it in me to be a competent Martial artist and if I was wasting time that could be better spent doing something else.

The following nights I continued to practice again and again and again. After doubting myself I decided that it was the practice that made me a martial artist, not my ability. If I continued to practice the only thing that could happen is that I would improve. But why? Why not. Who cares? No one. What difference does it make? Not a thing, except to me.

Ask any athlete, martial artist, artist or anyone who really specializes in something, how they became as good as they are at what they do and you will probably hear, practice. That is generally speaking not what most people want to hear. More than that, it is very difficult to dedicate yourself to regular practice sessions.

You really have to find whatever it is inside of you that will constantly renew and restore your interest in what you are practicing so that you don’t quit. It seems that in today’s world if we can’t become an expert in 20 minutes it isn’t worth it so we give up. Some people are fortunate enough to have a natural ability toward something. The rest of us have to try harder!

One of the most important lessons I have learned is the lesson of perseverance. No matter what happens in life we have the power in ourselves to overcome the hardships and adversities placed before us if we simply carry on. Quitting or giving up is the polar opposite of willpower. Willpower is the well you draw from to help overcome adversity. You are correct in your beliefs no matter what you believe. By that I mean; If you don’t think you can do something, you are right! If you think the task is too hard or the distance too far, it is! However the opposite is not only true but more powerful then most people can imagine. You can never give 110%, the math is bad. You can give 100% though and I challenge you to.

Next time you are doing something you may not be fully into, try giving it 100% and see if it makes a difference. Through the power of your will you can accomplish anything you put yourself 100% into. It starts by setting a goal and seeing yourself accomplishing that goal. Once you set a goal and do something everyday towards that goal you will reach it guaranteed. However there is more than that. Once you learn the strength of your will you can direct it where it is needed. If you truly want to meet someone, go to a certain college or work for a certain company it will happen. Beyond that once you fully understand your potential you will realize that there is nothing you cannot accomplish if you apply yourself. In addition if your will is strong no one can coerce you into doing something you don’t want to! Learn to harness your willpower and your life will change forever!
-Dan Ronin
RoninDan

Dan Ronin has trained in the martial arts for over 30 years. He is a combat veteran who served as a Military Police Investigtor in the Army for 8 1/2 years. Dan offers classes in Counter-Attack self defense for open hands and weaponry, as well as disaster/emergency preparedness.

Contact Dan at dan@roinproducts.com or 602-373-9630

Venues- Antigua

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Venues-Antigua

By Kris Costa


 

Antigua and its parishes are home to some of the world’s most magnificent beaches! White sand, crystal blue water, and picturesque sunsets abound on this beautiful island. But that’s not all.

Antigua has something for everyone. A popular cruise ship destination, the port city of St. John will not disappoint, as it offers brand name shopping on Market Street as well as island original creations on the streets which extend past this port street center. The bustling duty free port is known for glistening jewelry, fabulous beach attire and colorful island creations. Additionally, Antigua boasts many historical landmarks and local points of interest. A quick drive through the local parishes will quickly endear a feeling of belonging as one can see children walking from school, local businesses in action, and even a game or two of soccer amidst the islands sugar cane plantations.

Hotels are plentiful along Antigua’s gorgeous coastlines and range from quiet and personal to teeming with activity. If your choice is to spoil yourself with activity based accommodations, water sports or sailing, Antigua has it. If your whim is more in line with complete relaxation amongst beautiful flora and romantic charming moonlit dinner, Antigua has that too. Whatever your preference, Antigua’s enticing turquoise waters will beckon your every call. All is yours on this fantastic island which offers many activities in an unpretentious atmosphere. Never obtrusive, simply available to tend to your every need, Antigua’s most endearing resource is its people. Charming, accommodating, playful, polite, seeing them is like coming home. On an island where there is virtually nothing left to wish for, Antigua’s friendly people top off the most wonderful of experiences. You will arrive a stranger and leave with friends, and you will always remember their smiles.

A r t w o r k , c u l t u r e , m u s i c, entertainment, restaurants, even a casino make this island a superb choice for every vacation taste. For those of you who just cannot bear to depart this lovely island, there are still a varied amounts of land acquisition opportunities. Hmmmm, now there’s a thought.

No stranger to the pallet, Antigua local cuisine is mouthwatering. Typical local dishes include salt fish, eggplant, local lobster, a variety of vegetables, seasoned rice scalloped potatoes and plantains. Antiguan butter bread is a main staple, with its soft buttery flavor. The bread pudding is not to be missed for dessert!

There is nothing quite like an outdoor massage while the trade winds blow, and Antigua’s hotels will pamper you at your whim. At their organically appointed spas, some even constructed in Gauguin cottages on stilts and draped with crisp white curtains blowing in the breeze, Antigua spas take indulgence to a new level. Of course, Antiguans are just as happy to bring comfy tables, linens and oils to your room terrace to provide your spa service as you listen to the waves break on powdery shores.

Antigua’s sister island, Barbuda, is 27 miles off Antigua’s North Coast. This coral fringed island is renowned for its tranquility, crystalline waters, deserted beaches and lobster. Easily accessible from Antigua aboard the Barbuda Express ferry, or an any other number of boating options, Barbuda can also be reached in less than 10 minutes via VC Bird international airport.

Article continues…. Pgs. 15-16

-KBC
KBCHeadShotEd

SOUL FOOD- Fried Ice Cream

SOUL FOOD
Fried Ice Cream
SF-Fried Ice Cream

Ingredients:
• 6 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
• 1 Cup Graham Cracker crumbs
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• 1 Egg
• 1 T Half-and-half
• Vegetable Oil (enough to make ¼-1/2 inch of oil in bottom of pan)

The Process:
1. Scoop Ice Cream into balls and freeze for two hours.
2. Mix Graham Crackers and cinnamon.
3. Roll ice cream balls into the mixture and refreeze for at least 30 minutes.
4. Beat egg and cream until well blended
5. Roll Ice cream balls into egg mixture and reroll in graham cracker mix.
6. Freeze until firm.
7. Freeze until firm. Heat oil to 375 degrees, fry until coating begins to brown. About 10 seconds.

To make homemade whipped cream. Whip 1 Cup of heavy whipping cream, 3-4 Tablespoons of confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until fluffy.

See the article on pg.45.

-Jill Roth

Roth,Jill

Ask The Trainer- Holiday Willpower & Dieting

Ask The Trainer- Holiday Willpower & Dieting
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How many of you have ever wished for more hours in the day? I think most of us at one time or another have felt the pressure of too much to do and too little time. There are only 24 hours in each day. What if you could use all 24 . . . every single day? Just think about how much more you could accomplish! Of course, you have to train yourself to function without any sleep. You have to eliminate that wasteful use of 8 hours each day. One third of your day . . . unnecessarily spent with your eyes closed.

What? You don’t think you can do that? You don’t think it’s healthy or the right thing to do? Well, how else are you going to achieve your goal of getting more accomplished in your 24 hour day? Just decide you are going to do it and summon up every ounce of willpower you can muster!

Of course, we all know how the above scenario will turn out. Your willpower may get you through one day without sleep, but the true needs of your body will soon take over and you will fall asleep. And it was NOT the fault of a wimpy willpower!!! In fact, it had nothing to do with your willpower whatsoever.

The definition of “will” is “the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action.” Willpower, then, would be the control of that decision making process. Obviously, the main emphasis in that definition would be on the word, “control.” And herein lies the answer to the universal complaint of all dieters: “I just didn’t have the willpower to continue.” “I fell off of the truck. It’s all my fault.”

Let me make it very clear right here that I strongly believe in personal responsibility. One needs to understand that actions have consequences and we reap what we sow. That being said, however, we need to examine the control factor with willpower and diets.

Most diets are designed with deprivation in mind. The HCG diet, for example, is built on severe calorie deprivation where the dieter must eat only 500 calories each day. Since most adult basal metabolic rates (BMR) are above 1200 calories, this is destined to fail. Your BMR tells you the amount of energy (calories) your body NEEDS just to function. That means sitting on the couch all day, breathing, but not moving. So if you are providing your body less than half of what it needs to function, what do you think will be the result? Do you think your body, which desperately wants to survive, knows that you are simply trying to make your gut smaller by consuming only 500 calories? NO!! Your body knows that in order to keep functioning, it
MUST find nourishment quickly. So it sends the appropriate hormonal cascade into action that signals hunger. Starvation, in fact. Ignoring that signal becomes impossible. It has nothing to do with your decision to lose weight. It has everything to do with the control of the hormones and the central nervous system that environment.is hard-wired for survival. It is not the dieter’s “fault” that they “fell off of the truck.” The fault lies with the diet that is completely counter to supporting the body
in a healthy way.

Think back to my ludicrous suggestion that you could “will” yourself to stay awake 24/7, without any sleep. You, of course, rejected that idea as a valid solution to getting more done each day. You knew that not getting sleep is harmful to your body and to your productivity levels. The only ending to that scenario is one in which the body takes over and controls the situation. Your willpower means nothing at that point, right?

So why do we insist on diets that are just as ludicrous, just as harmful to our bodies . . . and believe that we can “will” them to work for us? Restricting calories severely, eliminating an essential food group, or even excessive exercising in order to “purge” are all misinformed ways to approach weight and fat loss. They are destined to fail and will not provide the long term result of a healthy body that really is what we are all seeking when we go on a diet.

Consider my opening example again. What would be a better approach to accomplishing more in each day? We might focus on improving efficiency and effectiveness throughout the day instead of just adding hours. Who is in control in that situation? We are. We can decide to write a chapter in our new book instead of watching that mediocre sitcom on TV. We can meet by webinar at work instead of traveling to each different location. Making choices and utilizing our decisions to “initiate actions” give us the opportunity to work on our willpower because control is appropriately ours to exercise in each situation.

Now translate this same idea to losing weight. What is in your power to control? How can you use your willpower to help? Instead of working against your body by depriving it of certain macronutrients and consuming too little, work with your body to help it function at a higher metabolic rate and encourage it to release its stores of fat. When you eat quality ingredients and include a lean protein, a complex carbohydrate and a good fat with every meal, you send a signal to your body that it can have confidence it will receive what it needs and it won’t starve. In an atmosphere of abundance, your body will willingly release fat and not feel the need to store more. You can then use your willpower to focus on eating quality and not giving in to overly processed, sugar-filled, non-nutritive food. And your body will support you in this pursuit instead of taking over control because it feels threatened. There is no need to “fall off of the truck” because you, your willpower and your body are all working towards the same goal of being healthy !

Read the original in our Holiday issue; http://joom.ag/rZkb

Email your fitness questions to Dianne at: DBailey@TheConditioningClassroom.com
Diane Bailey
Dianne Bailey pic
Dianne has been providing professional weight management and sports conditioning training for individuals since 2002 and opened The Conditioning Classroom, a private personal training studio, in 2006.