The Dog Days of Summer

It’s the end of July, and the summer has been way too summery. While we did have quite a few relatively nice days, the heat and humidity have pretty much negated those glorious few days.

While I try to be as motivated as the next person, the weather can seriously affect me. All I can say is that asthma can really derail my workout plans, and make me feel like lying on the couch all day. But, even though I feel pretty crappy, I do try to go in my basement early in the morning and workout. It’s not like taking a “real” walk, but it’s better than nothing. I do what I can.

However, motivation can be really hard to sustain while at the same time feeling pretty unmotivated, so in case you too are having a summer “lack of motivation” period, I thought I’d share some good quotes with you. What do you do when the weather is insane and your usual workout routine has been derailed?

How Much is Enough?

I’ve been thinking about greed, and the perceived necessity for us to “have more”. So much of what we see and hear is geared toward making us feel the need to buy more. Advertisements are everywhere; from the Internet to television, movies, radio and magazines; all pushing us to buy buy buy. The underlying message is that unless we buy, we’ll never be happy. But, of course the truth is that happiness cannot be bought.  I seriously doubt that anyone found the meaning of life and true happiness in a new pair of jeans, or even in a new house; much less in more of what we’ve already got.

I am not a huge consumer of products, but I too have my tipping point. Because I’m a writer, I firmly believe that if I only find the exact, magic pen, I’ll be the author of the all-time, best novel. So, yes, I’ve been known to be seduced by more than one fancy-looking pen, waving at me from the display case, promising me the great American Novel. Rubbish, I say, all rubbish; but there they are, glowing at me from the case,whispering promises, and sometimes I simply can’t resist.

But can more make us happy? Does buying a new pen really fulfill all my needs? The answer to this is of course not. Like most people I’ve fallen into the trap that if only I had this or that, I’d be the happiest person on earth. Advertisements are created to make us think that. But, ads by their very nature are lies.

What do you think? Do all the “things” in your life make you happy? Do you think that if you were able to buy all the products you want to that you would be happier? Let me know.

Toxic People

I think that I’ve touched on this topic before, but it really bears repeating. Toxic people can make your life a living hell; especially if you live with one or more of them.

How can you tell if someone is a toxic person? Well, here are a few traits they seem to have: they are controlling – everything is “A OK” as long as they are in control – of you; they are jealous – if you find yourself hiding any fact that you’ve done well at something from them, you’ve definitely got a toxic person in your life; they lie – not just little white lies that we all use to make other people feel better (yes, that haircut is just wonderful!) but lies for basically no reason, just to lie; they play the victim – in any situation (even if it doesn’t apply to them) they are the victim; they gossip – consistently; they are greedy – what is it that they can gain from any and all situations; they always come first – with no regard to you; they are negative – you know those people – they could win the lottery and still find a way to flip it to the negative side; they are arrogant – and put you down all the time just to prove they are better than you; they are always right – if you disagree you could be in for a violent argument.
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-signs-that-theyre-toxic-people-even-though-you-dont-feel-like.html

So, if you, like me, have to deal with a toxic person on a routine basis, what can you do to protect yourself? Yes, I do mean protect yourself. The lovely part of toxic people is that they can ruin your life. When someone else insists that life is terrible, everything is worse for them regardless of what is going on in your life – oh, the doctor thinks you may have cancer? Well, that will impact their life much more than yours; and you had better realize it and provide them comfort and support – forget about your comfort and support! The examples could go on and on…so, what can you do for yourself?

Well, I’ve found that if I use affirmations on a daily basis, I can force myself to believe that I am not personally responsible for the toxic person’s feeling of victimhood; negativity; or necessity to make me feel “less than”. When in those situations, I find that I can more easily “consider the source” and not let it influence how I feel about myself. Another thing that I’ve found to be really helpful is that I’ve begun to turn my attention to things that matter to me. I’ve finally come to realize that I can’t “fix” them, but I can “fix” myself. In order to do that, I’ve begun to spend time changing the things about myself that I feel need improvement. Not improvement to make the toxic people in my life “happier” (if there is such a thing), but to make myself happier. The more I do this, the more I find that these people don’t affect me nearly as much as they used to. In fact, I’ve been feeling better about myself lately than I have in years. There are other things you can try, and you can find them at the following websites.
http://zenhabits.net/toxic/
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13750/5-tips-to-help-you-deal-with-toxic-people.html

So, I hope that this has helped you with the toxic people in your lives. Let me know how you cope with them.

Motivations for the “but it’s summer!” Crowd

The last few days have been unbearable.  The humidity has been hovering around 100% with no rain in sight.  I’ve been having a problem with breathing – asthma can be a bear.  So, I haven’t worked out in a few days.  However, I got up today and decided that has to change.

So what if I can’t go on my usual walk because it’s unsafe?  I have walking DVDs to follow.  There is never only one option.  Seriously, I have a bunch of workouts to chose from.  Just because I don’t want to risk one thing, doesn’t mean that I can’t do another one.  Sometimes all we want to do is use excuses to sleep late, but that never got anyone anywhere.

Is There Such a Thing as Drinking Too Much Water?

I keep seeing articles stating that you can die if you drink too much water. I wondered about that, since it can be difficult to drink enough water, so how can you drink too much? When I researched this question I found the following information:

It can be possible to drink too much water; however the scientists are quick to say that it’s not too probable. One way could be if you drank too much while exercising (such as running a 26 mile marathon), but running that marathon slowly while drinking a great deal of water. Because your body was diverting it’s processing to other organs, the kidneys may not be able to deal with a great deal of water in a short period of time.
http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=2047

According to Web MD, you would have to drink gallons and gallons of water to drink enough water to kill you. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/water-intoxication
The actual problem with drinking too much water is that the sodium level in your body could drop; so you can’t die from drinking water, but from dropping your sodium level. What they’re saying is that if you were drinking a lot of water while sweating a great deal, the sodium level could be lowered. That being said, the ability to die from this is still considered extremely rare and if you’re a regular person, exercising at a normal level, you really shouldn’t worry. Here are some more links regarding this issue: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyponatremia/basics/definition/con-20031445

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000394.htm

So, go ahead and drink at least eight glasses of water a day or more if it’s hot out, or you’ve been working out. This is not anything to lose any sleep over. Stay hydrated!