Monthly Archives: July 2014

It’s Actually Not All About You

What happens when we don’t think we’re good enough? We don’t go for it! Maybe ‘it’ is dancing or painting, theater or music. ‘It’ might be counseling or writing. Whatever ‘it’ is, when we don’t express it, we rarely think about the impact on others, but if art and music, counseling or a good book can change a life then the lack of those things changes lives as well.

Is dancing the gift you’re not expressing? ballroomLet’s assume it’s ballroom dancing. So many people feel joy when they watch ballroom dancers! That joy would be absent if not shared. What about partners? Would there be one less person able to share their gift? And then there are the people who are inspired by those who showcase their talent. You might be the one who inspires others to step into the joy of expressing their gifts!

Does your heart sing when you get to organize something? Are your home and office totally organized? The garage? There are so many places who could use your talent … Volunteer! Schools, churches and other non-profits can often use the help of an organizer whether it’s for events or for office systems. You would be such a gift!

Are you a natural at interior design? Can you walk into a room and see exactly what it needs to create a fabulous look? Maybe you don’t want a career in interior design, but there are many ways to share your gift. You could offer to help battered women, just getting on their feet, create beautiful space on a garage sale budget. There are probably young families that are just starting out (ask around at work or church) who could use some help fixing up their homes. Even non-profits, churches, nurseries, etc., might be interested in your skills. Think of the difference it would make to a woman starting out on her own to be able to enjoy her home … What a gift!

writingIs your gift writing? Tell your stories! I have a friend that loves to write and she tells the funniest stories! Most of them are about her adventures with her best buddy; her autistic nephew. She adores him and they love spending time together. She feels blessed by the joy he brings to her world.

I beg her to share her stories in writing but so far she hasn’t done it. When I think about the parents and families that are hearing the diagnosis of autism for the first time, I wish I could hand each of them her book of stories celebrating the magic of one autistic child … Now, that would be a gift!

I cannot wait for the day that her book hits the bookstores … It will be a runaway best seller. (You can say you heard about it first!)

What gift are you holding back from the world? And, when you hold back, or push away thoughts of your gift, how is your health impacted? Trust me, it’s not good. Stress is often silent and deadly. It is the leading cause of chronic illness in the United States.

Expressing our gifts is not only good for the world, it’s integral to good health. You would be less tempted to eat that bag of chips, pint of ice cream, tub of popcorn or giant piece of cake if you were feeding your soul by finding and expressing your gifts. Eating numbs the call to action and allows us to sit in sameness. It requires little on our part. That temporary satisfaction will keep us coming back for more until we decide to break the cycle. Step off the junk food treadmill and express yourself … You’ll be bringing joy to the world!

Would you like help finding ways to identify what feeds your soul and improve your health? As a health coach, I can work with you to develop a plan that will move you forward. I’m currently offering a Strategy Session for $97. You’ll come away with at least two strategies to improve the state of your health and ideas on how to make them work in your life. Drop me an email: nancy@healthworkskc.com

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices

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Sweet Dreams! 11 Ways to Boost the Quality of Your Sleep.

Last week I posted 10 Ways to Lose Weigh Fast! For the next few weeks, sleepI’ll be filling in the blanks by sharing ways to achieve each of those ten things. (If you haven’t read it yet, visit the post here.) Today I am going to focus on setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep.

Don’t have a problem falling asleep? You could be one of the people who fall asleep easily but toss and turn all night or are simply restless during the night without even being aware of it. If you don’t feel rested in the morning, you might want to try some of these suggestions for quality sleep.

  • Eliminate caffeine after noon. This doesn’t just mean coffee, but also soda, tea (black and green) and chocolate. Most herbal teas are caffeine free, but not all. Read the labels carefully. (If you drink soda, check the label. Caffeine isn’t just for colas.)
  • Limit alcohol to 1-2 drinks/day and not any later than three hours before bed. Alcohol might help you to fall asleep, but later it will act as a stimulant causing you to wake or sleep fitfully.
  • Develop a consistent sleep/wake schedule. Even when you go to bed late, it’s smart to get up at the same time on most days. Losing sleep one night will force your body to consolidate sleep the following night … so get up and out already! (This one is HARD! Especially on a day when you don’t have to get up!)
  • If you’re having trouble getting quality sleep at night, skip the naps or make them less than twenty minutes and before 5PM. According to the Sleep Foundation, even short naps can interfere, so try to wean yourself away from any naps.
  • Set up a pattern of behavior that supports relaxation prior to going to bed. Before you start relaxing, make a list of what you need to accomplish the next day. Many people find that putting your next day’s agenda together before bed gets their heads clear and helps them relax and get to sleep. People report that once they started doing this they were able to fall asleep quicker and quit waking up worrying about tomorrow.
  • Next, turn off your electronics and the television. The light from those electronic devices stimulates our brains just as we are getting ready to try to shut them down. Instead, read a book or magazine under soft light (avoid thrillers or depressing newspapers) and enjoy a cup of herbal tea. Find whatever it is that takes you away from the stress of the day and add it into your relaxation routine.
  • Quit with the games! My favorite thing to do right before bed was to spend a half hour playing games on my phone. No more! Ever since I moved my iPhone to the other side of the room and turned it upside down my sleep has definitely improved. And, since I read on my iPad, I’ve started reading articles in magazines instead. It’s all helping.
  • Since it’s important to have an environment conducive to a good night’s sleep, we’re going to move into the bedroom. Make sure that your mattress and pillow are comfy and try to keep the room’s temperature between 60-72 degrees. Does your partner’s snoring wake you? Either find a solution to the snoring or buy yourself some earplugs.
  • Here comes the big one. Most couples I’ve worked with have differing opinions on light/dark and noise/quiet. The experts I found all agree that darkness, as dark as possible, and white noise (a fan, waves, raindrops) is best for quality sleep. Any light signals the brain that it’s daytime and humans are hard-wired to be awake during the daylight hours. Voices or music from a radio or television enter your subconscious and bring you to a level of wakefulness that definitely doesn’t equate to a good sleep.
  • Sleep experts also recommend that you quit eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. If you are hungry, keep it to something that won’t cause indigestion and/or acid reflux.
  • Do you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Help yourself out by making the effort to find a comfortable amount of liquids to drink after 8PM. It will vary for everyone, but play with it and see what works best for you.

So, turn off the electronics, quit guzzling liquids (especially caffeinated ones), turn off the television, close the black-out curtains and get a good night’s sleep!

For more info on quality sleep, visit www.sleepfoundation.org and/or http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/

Sweet Dreams,

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices

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Do These 10 Things to Lose Weight Fast!

 

Health & Nutrition Community Neighborhood Wellness Stress ReliefMove. Leading a sedentary lifestyle leads to weight gain, hinders weight loss and is responsible for many chronic diseases. Get up and move. An easy way to start out is to walk out ten minutes and walk back. If you do that every weekday, you’ll add 100 minutes of exercise to your week. Increase to 15 minutes each direction and you’re at the recommended minimum of 150 minutes a week!

Tratrackck. It sounds worse than it is. I recommend MyFitnessPal. You can use it as an app on your phone and/or on your computer. Wherever you use it … Use it! Studies repeatedly show that people who track their food lose more than those who don’t. Trust me, it’s can be an eye-opener!

waterDrink. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Not only does being hydrated keep your skin silky, it helps your digestion and with flushing toxins (including fat) out of your system. Each person has to find the right amount for them. Some days you’ll need more than others. Set a reminder to have 16 ounces every two and a half hours from 10AM to 5:30PM.

Unplug. Hunplugaving your face in your phone or tablet all day and night gives you the sense of being busy but in reality you are sitting, disconnected from family, nature and pets. Putting down the devices typically means you’ll move more, interact face-to-face more, read and be more peaceful. Learn to check social media and email on a regular, but less constant basis. Your friends might be annoyed to start, but they’ll soon adjust to your new schedule. Also, the blue light emitted from device screens signals your brain that daylight is coming. Uh-oh, it’s 9PM and your brain thinks daylight is coming. You’ll sleep better if you put it down!

sleepSleep. Experts agree that when your sleep is disrupted it can be challenging to lose weight. Not only does your fat-storing hormone, cortisol, kick into high gear, but you are less able to handle stress and not being well-rested causes errors in job performance which causes stress which causes cortisol to rise which … You get my drift. Sleep.

fruitsandveggiesAdd. Add in good, whole, healthy foods. Greens, veggies, beans, whole grains and fruits. Your body will love you! (Just make sure you track them in MyFitnessPal.)

Subtract. Reduce, with the goal of eliminating, processed, prepackaged foods. That even means those frozen meals you can buy that pretend to be home-cooked. They’re not home cooked. Make a plan to cook at home more often. It’s not too bad if you create a plan.

kids kites connect playPlay. Have fun. Schedule it. What does fun look like to you? Is it girl’s night out? Date night? Do you like wine and paint parties? Paintball? Playing with your dog? Taking your kids (or your nieces/nephews) to the park? Don’t have kids in your family? Why not become a big brother or sister? It’s fun to go to the park and just watch the kids play. They are so joyous! … Just don’t look creepy.

Connect. Spend time with family and friends. Go to church, join a community center, or find clubs or MeetUp groups with members who enjoy similar interests. Again, research shows that connection is a factor in living a healthy lifestyle. It’s not always easy to make connections, but it is worth it in the long run.

scale weightWeigh. Record your progress. Some people say weigh daily, others say weekly or even monthly. You have to find what works best for you. I like to weigh every day because I get to know what causes the fluctuations. If I got on the scale once a week and saw no progress or even gain, I’d be discouraged and it might have been caused by the extra salt I had the day before. When I weigh daily, a small gain doesn’t signal the end because chances are it will go the other direction the next day. I get used to the high/low range and I watch that to know if I’m headed in the right direction.

So, ten things that you can implement right now to lose weight. Can’t do the all this week? Pick three this week, three the next and four the next … done!

Want a bonus? Only eat meat at one meal a day and make it lean, organic and/or grass-fed. If you choose fish, buy wild caught. Your body will be happy and so will your wallet!

Blessings,

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach

Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices™

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