Euphoria if only for a day!

So spin class today was a “Piece of Cake” especially compared to Monday’s class (a.k.a. The Puker).  I couldn’t believe it when the instructor said class is over time to cool down.  The time flew by, without any worry of making it through the class.  After class I felt a surge of happiness and peace.  Given what is currently taking place in my life feeling happiness and peace at oh, say 8:45am is not a natural state for me.  I could state that this was caused by the release of endorphins after exercise (I do believe that is what it should be attributed to), but that would mean admitting that the hour of steady pedaling non stop with many bursts and what feels like a hundred up and downs is STRENUOUS exercise.  According to research, it has to be prolonged strenuous exercise to produce endorphins.  So that my friends is a sad omission for me.  Well as they say, the truth hurts!  At least I am on a good path to getting back in shape now.  I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t visualize the beach in class this morning, but I suppose I can concoct that image up all by myself.

My hopes are that all of this effort will have me ready for warm, beach weather….see what I mean?

Here’s to happy pedaling….on a breezy boardwalk somewhere soon!

I hope to be a brown CupCake after I’m on the beach for a few days!

Stationary Cycling – – – It’s a PUKER!

Funny story (at least I think so but I can laugh at myself)….I attended a stationary cycling class today, and well let’s just say I don’t think I had completely recovered from my recent illness.  Class was non-stop 45 mins to an hour of pedal, pedal, pedal, and up and down and burst, lean forward, sit back, lean forward, stand up, burst, down, up, down, burst, burst, burst…..well you get the picture.  Now this occurred very early (according to my time, seriously 7am) and my stamina lasted the entire class, I did sit down a couple of times when I could/should have been standing but for the most part was right on par with the instructor.  So then came the cool down, and get off the bike….wow what was that, the room is spinning now, hey why is it getting darker in here, oh, I know what is getting ready to happen, grab that bike and hold on tight!!!!  So I get the spinning room to subside a bit all while the instructor is stating you can move your bicycle to the back of the room (that’s what he thinks) and then I realize hey everyone else is moving so I better get it in gear (pun intended) and move that, what feels like 500 lbs bike to the back of the room and then go sit down on the bench (yes the bench, there is only one) while everyone else leaves the classroom.  This gives the professor the idea that I want to chat, I guess as he proceeds to then interview me about relations to my last name, well that would be my husbands name, but yes I can answer some simple questions (at least normally I can).  So finally I gather enough of my wits (oh did I tell you I was sweating bullets, I know not a pretty sight to picture, but hey its the truth and according to my prior post that is supposed to be good and promote, well being) to excuse myself and try and find the restroom, thank good that was an easy task.  So 15 seconds in the ladies room and I loose my breakfast and what little water I had managed to drink during class.

What a first class experience, I can hardly wait until my next class to do it all over again.  The one thing that did motivate me just a touch is when the professor had us close our eyes, yes while standing up on a stationary bike, how hard can that be right…..and we were listing to the Beach Boys “Kokomo” and visualize that you were riding on the boardwalk with the sun shining, ocean breeze and looking at all the surfers, that was pleasant, for about 10 seconds…and then he said “this my friends will help you ladies get into your bikini so in a few months time your butt and thigh area will be shaped up and looking good for the beach”.  I wasn’t quite sure how to take that comment coming from this particular professor but oh well, every bit of motivation helps.

Here’s to more dreaming of the beach, while getting into that bikini body, with NO MORE PUKING!!!!!

Study break time – in need of a hug!!!

OMG – “Social Statistics for a Diverse Society” and “The Craft of Research” may be the death of me tonight, if the inability to breathe doesn’t kill me first.  It is truly time to take a minute to clear the mind.  I really think I could use a hug right now.  A hug might just make it all better… least in my mind at the moment.

Interestingly enough there is a lot of research….(fits right into my required text reading) on the subject of hugging.  Like 10 reasons why you should have 8 hugs a day, or 7 reasons why we should be giving more hugs, or How hugging makes you healthier and happier.  I love the part in the last link “How hugging makes you healthier and happier” asks the question “Does Cuddle Therapy Work?”  The verdict is resoundingly positive to the point that there are actually places where you can go possibly even on your lunch break and pay someone to hug or cuddle with you.  That my friends may be just a bit much for me, paying someone for affection sounds a bit like a path that I don’t want to take, but hey people pay for massages so what’s a little cuddle to boost the oxytocin.


Personally I truly like the reason – HUGS MAKE US FEEL GOOD!!! and in addition to the fact that one of many health benefits are HUGS LOWER OUR BLOOD PRESSURE!!!  When we embrace, we immediately reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol produced in our bodies. Hugs also make our bodies release tension and send calming messages to the brain.  There is scientific proof that hugging is beneficial.

“You know that soothing, warm, loving feeling you get inside when you hug someone close? That’s Oxytocin. It’s a hormone released in the body and brain in response to affectionate touch, hugs…. In fact, oxytocin is sometimes referred to as “the bonding hormone,” “the cuddle hormone,” or even “the love hormone.” Not only does it feel really good when it’s released into our system, it’s REALLY, REALLY good for our physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Oxytocin (think affectionate touch and hugging):
· Promotes feelings of calm and nurturance
· Promotes feelings of trust, security, and closeness
· Counteracts stress
· Lowers blood pressure
· And helps to regulate sleep patterns  (count me in)

If you haven’t already, begin to notice the difference between the kind of hug that only allows touching between our shoulders and upper torsos, and the kind of hug where our chests and bellies touch. That’s an oxytocin hug. Pull them close, soften your belly, let your breathing be slow, full, and relaxed, and imagine your presence reaching out beyond the perceived boundaries of your body to embrace them completely….by Joshua David O’Brien

That is the kind of hug I am in search of right now….a slow, long, fully relaxed good ole’ chest and belly hug.

Hug 2

The only thing that would make that enticing hug even better would be if it was on the beach with a warm breeze blowing, sun shining and the waves lapping at the shore over my toes.  Now that’s what I’m dreaming about!!!!

feet kiss

Beating the Winter Time Blues – a.k.a. BLAHS!!!! –

Well, my first and foremost solution for beating the winter time blues would be, uh DUH plan a trip to the beach where it is warm and sunny!  Unfortunately that my friends is not always a viable option to do daily, so after a bit of research I found these five tips to beat the winter time blues that sound quite attainable and reasonable as an alternative solution.

Strategy 1: Eat A Healthy Diet

Food affects your mood. When and what you eat will largely impact whether you are energized all day or lethargic and tired. Plan to eat regular meals and snacks that are high in protein and low on the glycemic index. This will keep your blood sugar stable and provide a steady supply of nutrients to your system throughout the day.

Action Step: eat clean today. 

Strategy 2: Act on Your Goals 

Studies show a link between disciplined behavior and happiness. Women who exhibit healthy behaviors like maintaining a schedule, working towards a goal, not smoking, exercising and eating well have far less depression than women who do not.

Action Step: do one small thing that will move you closer toward your goal. 

Strategy 3: Sweat

Exercise isn’t just for staying fit! Vigorous movement elevates the feel good hormones, strengthens immunity, cleanses the lymphatic system, purges the body of toxins through sweat and statistically makes you happier. Plus the positive mood effects last for hours.

Action: move for 20 minutes today. 

Strategy 4: Relax

You work hard! There is always something to do! Don’t be afraid to say no to extra opportunities and just take some time for yourself. Read a book, do yoga, sleep or do something you enjoy. Remember that relaxation alleviates stress and leaves you with focused energy, so taking that time to recharge is a great way to be a top performer in all areas of your life.

Action Step: Take a block of time this week just for YOU. 

Strategy 5: Get Some Sun

Most people know that our bodies make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight but did you know that the sun elevates your mood, too? When the days are shorter and darker, it’s easy to get depressed from lack of sunlight – without even knowing why! Sunlight releases chemicals in the brain that make us feel good and boosts the immune system.

Action Step: Go for a walk on your lunch break & get some sun. 

VCG member sent me a note today with a nice pic that I really believe is very fitting for this post – you can be the judge….leave a comment of your thoughts!