Monday, September 20, 2010

8 letter word for health

I am a big fan of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle. I have always wanted to be the kind of person who did them, as it always seemed to me that those types (the ones who could do them) were more intelligent; more sophisticated, and knew more about current events. There have been several times when I have sat alone at a cafĂ© sipping cappuccino and racking my brain to try and figure out a five-letter word for “aromatic resin” or a four-letter word for “rope fiber” only to end up over caffeinated and none the wiser. It was not until a recent trip with my mother that I finally became one of “those people”.

My mom and I discovered an ipad app that lets you download archived crossword puzzles from the times. What that meant to us was a thousand different Mondays. For those of you who don’t know, Monday is the easiest and they move up from there. My mom and I went loco. We played on the plane, in the car, at my aunt’s house, before bed, instead of a nap, in the morning, at lunch. We couldn’t stop and we got good, real good. We even tried out a few Tuesdays and Wednesdays too. When I got home I kept right on going with my crossword mania and even though I am doing them solo now I am still rocking the house. I figure if I keep this pace I might become one of those Sunday people too! Then last night I could barely finish a Monday. I got stuck, really stuck. After about 60 minutes I realized it was useless (the left corner would have to stay blank), my bed called to me and I fell into a deep, deep sleep.

In the dream I was walking through a crowded gym. There were all these really fit people. There were women with six packs and toned yoga arms. There were buff dudes doing pull ups with 50lb weights tied to their ankles. There were elderly women with smiles on their face while jogging and even older men doing perfect versions of downward facing dog. It seemed as if I had stumbled upon the gym of perfection. These people were fitness gurus. I knew them. They were healthy and strong and confident. They worked out and it was as effortless as if they were born in the gym. I looked down at myself and I felt bloated and weak. I tried to do a push up but fell to the floor. I tried to run but the air turned into a thick fog, as thick as molasses and I couldn’t move. I was stuck and all the pretty fit people started to point at me. “You’ll never do Monday again”, they screeched, and that’s when I woke up.

The point of this dream? Have you ever imagined yourself as the kind of person who loves to exercise? Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be a yogi? Have you ever visualized yourself stronger or fitter or faster? Have you ever put someone on an imaginary pedestal because they were in better shape than you? That’s what I was doing when I assumed that people who can do the NYT crossword are smarter than me. Yes, I am sure that many of them are smarter than me (probably more than many) but a whole lot of them are just more practiced than me. That’s all those fit people at the gym are too, just more practiced. They weren’t born in a gym and this is not their first day. They have been doing it for a long time and that’s why they smile while they jog and bench press so much and touch their toes. They are not better or prettier or cooler, they just work out more.

So if you want to be the kind of person who likes to exercise, well then you had better start practicing. And if you find (like me) that you practice for a few weeks, feel great and then get set back (maybe you get tired or you can’t walk as far one day or you have to lower your weights) don’t worry. It takes awhile to get to Sunday, it doesn’t happen overnight. If you are wavering on a Monday and find that you have to leave a few clues unanswered, let it go. You have already become the person you wanted to be. You already are and always were; you just weren’t practicing. 8 letter word for health = PRACTICE.

Be Good to your Body, it’s where you Live

Monday, September 13, 2010

The grass is always greener

Recently I was given the opportunity to change something about myself. It was not to be a permanent change, only lasting about three months but it is a part of me I often complain about. You know, that part of you that you wish were like someone else. If you don't know what I'm talking about then rock on, you are awesome! If you do happen to know what it feels like to wish you had longer legs or bigger eyes or straighter hair, then please read on, this one's for you.

Anyone who knows me, has ever gone swimming with me or been camping with me will know that I have curly hair. I have the kind of hair that is difficult to brush. Not because a brush wont run through it (it’s true) but also because the moment a brush touches my locks, my hair frizzes out to gigantic proportions as if I sat around all day rubbing balloons on my head.

I have always wanted straight hair. I want the kind of hair you can run your fingers through and they wont get caught. I want to be able to workout and not have the frizz created from my sweaty locks become nests for small birds. I want to be able to cut fringe and have it lie across my forehead rather than stick straight in the air. Ok, so now that you know what I have always wanted, you will understand that I was ecstatic when I found out that a friend’s salon did the one and only Brazilian Blowout.

A BB, if you haven’t heard about it, is a treatment for your hair that will give you Jennifer Anniston hair for three months. I’m in, sign me up, do you want my first-born?

Fast forward to me in the salon with super straight shiny hair. “This isn’t going to last", I protest. "I know that the moment I have a shower, my hair will curl again.” The fine folks at the salon reply, “Sarah, it will last, trust us. Your hair is straight, be it in rain, sleet, sun or snow, frizz will no longer find you."

They were right. I have showered and swam and worked out and danced. I have been to the Midwest and back and my hair is straight. It still has some of the messy Sarahness about it (because I don’t own a brush) but it’s definitely straight. And here is what I have learned:

I don’t have very much hair. It’s fine and sparse and when it’s straight, that’s more obvious.

My straight hair is very flat (because there’s not much of it) and it clings to my head more. I bought a volumizing gel last week to try and make my hair bigger (Yes, I get the irony)

For my cousins wedding last week I used a curling iron to make my hair… more curly (wow, there’s a lot of irony here today)

Clips and barrettes just slide out of my hair; there is no nest to hold them anymore

When it’s dirty, it looks really greasy and dirty. When my hair was curly, I could go days without washing it and it only looked better with time.

When I work out now, my hair hits me in the face and pokes me in the eyes. My old hair didn't move very much.

There are obviously some good things too. It’s really easy to put in a pony-tail and it’s super neat to watch it dry without curling and yes, when I sweat or spend time in the Midwest, it does not frizz but ironically as noted earlier I have spent a good amount of time trying to make it more like the hair I used to have.

Isn’t it funny how the thing I hated is the thing I miss?

What do you wish were different about yourself? Do you hate your nose? Your nose is probably perfect for your face and if you had a different one, it would probably look really awful and you wouldn’t be able to smell as well and you might start snoring so much your partner has to sleep in the den. Do you hate your legs? Too short you say? Well if they were much longer you would hurt that much more when you fall, or in middle school you would have felt gangly and awkward or you would never be able to find a bicycle that didn’t hurt your knees. Think your ankles are too big? Tiny ankles are going to break easier and walking on rocky terrain will be difficult.

Our bodies are made for us. This is who we are and I want everyone to take this week to stop hating what they were given and praising it instead. The grass is always greener. That means that whatever thing you spend so much time hating would be the thing you miss when it’s gone. Why not save yourself that hassle and start missing it now. Start loving it and telling it why it’s awesome and promise that even if you try to change it for short periods of time (three months) you will never call it mean names again.

Be Good to your Body, it's where you Live