The 1st Step to Nutritional Freedom
Last month I introduced the idea of practice as a way of increasing our degrees of freedom in three domains that intersect with the work we do at the studio:
- freedom of movement
- cognitive and emotional freedom
- nutritional freedom
I illustrated the idea of habit formation with the image of a diamond needle cutting a groove in a record that gets deeper over time, so that getting out of the groove gets more difficult, and even when the needle occasionally jumps out of its rut, it is quite easy to slip back into the old groove. So how do we break free, or rather, how do we increase the degree to which we can exercise choice and gain some perspective on the way we relate to certain foods? Put more simply, what is the first, vital step we need to take in order to increase our nutritional freedom?
In one of my favorite fitness books of all time, Strength for Life, Shawn Phillips described Nutritional Awareness as “the Master Strategy – a practice – on the road to Nutritional Freedom.” When we are aware of what we are doing from moment to moment, we inevitably make better choices. Awareness is the pre-eminent method for stepping into positive change; we have to first know where we are standing right now in order to take our next best step. When aimed at nutrition, this means becoming aware of:
1. What we eat
2. How much we eat
3. When we eat
4. Where we eat
5. Why we eat
When clients approach me with questions about making change in their body composition (increase muscle, lose fat, lose weight, get thinner, stronger, etc.), the first suggestion I usually make is to start a food diary for two weeks. With the advent of smart phone apps like Weight Watchers, Lose It!, and My Fitness Pal, what was once a laborious process can be done in a snap. By the end of the two weeks almost everyone who completes it has several “ah-hah” moments about their eating patterns and is well on their way to identifying the five items above.
The information gathered alone can have a significant impact on our decision making process, but the part I love the most is the way it increases the amount of time we are aware of our bodies, our hunger, our energy levels and the way we relate to our food as well as the people with whom we dine.
If you are a person who wants to make a change in your nutrition, try keeping a food journal for two weeks via one of the smart phone apps mentioned above, or on paper. Consume what you normally eat and drink during this period, noting the amounts and the time of day if you can. The journal is for your benefit and you don’t have to show it to anyone unless you want to. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what you learned from the experience or to ask questions about the process.
Try one of our workshops on May 18!
STOTT PILATES workshops are open to clients as well as instructors and are a great way to learn about new programming, deepen your practice, and experience a great workout!
Each workshop is 2 hours long and will be taught by resident Instructor Trainer, Patrick Przyborowski.
- Pilates with Medicine Ball: 9a-11a
- Athletic Conditioning on the Reformer, Level 3: 1130a – 130p
- Matwork Flow Conditioning Sequence Workout: 2p – 4p.
Click here for a description of each workshop
If you are interested or have questions, please contact Patrick Przyborowski at email@example.com, or by cell phone at (937) 609-4170.
Space is limited to 12 people per course.
Welcome Annie Booth, Our New Instructor!
We are thrilled to announce that registered yoga teacher Annie Booth will be joining Practice as a staff member, effective immediately.
Annie, who has been filling in for Joy while she is recovering from her hip surgery, has agreed to become a member of the Practice staff. She will continue to teach the Tuesday evening Hatha Yoga class into the summer and is now working with individuals who are interested in yoga privates.
If you are interested in learning yoga in a group environment, or possibly in working privately with Annie to start or improve your yoga practice, feel free to contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go Red for Women
Sponsored by The American Heart Association’s Dayton chapter, and Five Rivers Metro Parks, “Ride For Your Heart” is a Sunday morning ride on May 11th. It begins and ends at Riverscape at 9 am, and follows the bike path through Beavercreek and Xenia. Mileage is up to 35 miles, but can be whatever the rider wants.
Proceeds to benefit the Go Red For Women initiative for The American Heart Association. Cost is $40 per rider, or $5 for anyone under age 18.
More info and registration, contact: email@example.com, or call Nancy Knickerbocker at (937) 477-1321.
Monthly Class Calendar and 2014 Rates
The Thursday CORE and 30-Minute TRX Express classes are discontinued for the summer starting May 8.
Welcome to Practice!
A warm welcome goes out to our newest member of the Practice community, who started with us in April:
Judy Duwell, Terri Francischetti, Ashley Mills, Melissa Smith, and Heather Weaver
We are thrilled to have you with us. Welcome aboard!
Role Model: 77 year old Ernestine Shepard Inspires Others to Fitness
Joy forwarded me this great video segment from the Huffington Post and the Oprah Winfrey Network. Ernestine Shepard is a 77 year old body builder who helps the seniors in her community get strong and stay strong!
“Age is Just a Number”
Research: How Exercise Can Help You Live Longer
From Gretchen Reynolds in the NY Times:
“An encouraging new study finds that exercise may slash your risk of heart disease, regardless of your cholesterol numbers or waist size.”
Book Recommendation: How to Be 10% Happier
Thanks to Barb Haley who sent us the link to this captivating book about ABC News Anchor Dan Harris who, after experiencing a panic attack while on the air, embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.
Here is an interview with the author on USA Today’s website:
What Comes After Planks?
Here is a very good article from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) on the function of planks and how to progress them once you have achieved an optimal level of trunk stability.
A Blog for Boomers
Juetta West was kind enough to send me the link for the Boomer Cafe, a site dedicated to news about and for the Baby Boomer generation. They have a health and fitness sections, where I just discovered that that Generation X (my “tribe”) is having more difficulty with obesity than their Boomer parents. Yikes!
10 Ways Death Can Make Your Life Better
Shawn Phillips, author of Strength for Life, is one of my very favorite fitness writers, industry role models and teachers. He writes a blog called Start Strong Monday that goes much deeper than offering tips and tricks on how to build a better body. In this recent posting he addresses the benefits of making time to contemplate our impermanence, and I think he is spot on.