"Be more concerned with your character
than your reputation, because your
character is what you really are,
while your reputation is
merely what others
think you are."
Get Psyched for Summer
5 Tips to Get Fit at HomeBy Summer
By Ian Cohen
The 15-Minute Stress Buster
By Kathy Smith
Taking time for yourself each day, even as little as 10 to 15 minutes to relax your mind, is as important as stretching your physical body.
At home, on the road, and at work, our senses are constantly being assaulted. If it's not the demands of a spouse, a friend, a child, a coworker, or other drivers, then it's the discordant clang of radio, television, billboards, traffic, or construction. Someone or something is always there to intrude.
So ubiquitous are these intrusions that most of us aren't even fully aware of them anymore. Our bodies and minds have accommodated the onslaught through a process called sensory adaptation. In essence, we become kind of numb to the pain. But conscious of it or not, we're still in pain, and the pain still takes its toll.
At least half a dozen times in the last year I've heard friends say, "I'm so burned out. I just feel like I can't give to anybody anymore."
Words of desperation. They indicate that these men and women, like millions of others, have been defeated by the assault. By not giving themselves frequent vacations from the blare, they left themselves vulnerable to its cumulative effects. And like it or not, they're now forced by burnout to do what they didn't do all along: recharge their batteries.
A better approach is not to wait until the problem becomes acute. But how? In a perfect world, everyone would be able to get away to a spiritual center for a periodic silent retreat (though in a perfect world we wouldn't have to). In fact, not until you actually go to a place where voices and media are forbidden do you realize how loud our lives' usual cacophony is.
The days I've spent in absolute silence, communing with my own thoughts and the sounds of nature, have been utterly rejuvenating. Able to move at a slower, more natural rhythm without having to worry about verbal communication, I found myself experiencing the simple joys of living. In a dining hall with others who were similarly practicing silence, I even seemed to chew my food with additional care and was more attentive to its tastes and textures. Every activityreading, walking, bathingI performed with greater mindfulness. By that I mean the awareness of this specific moment, the here and now, as the place deserving of my complete presence. What bliss.
Alas, five days of silence every month or two isn't very realistic for most of us. But neither is a daily solitary walk on the beach or in the woods. A more pragmatic antidote to the pace and noise of daily living is to create your own peace through meditation.
Dozens of studies have concluded, time and again, that meditation is an effective method of reducing or even eliminating the physical consequences of stress. Practiced regularly, meditation lowers heart and respiratory rates and strengthens the immune system. It can improve diabetes and arthritis, anxiety and depression, migraines and obsessive-compulsiveness, as well as many other disorders.
For many, the word meditation conjures up images of Buddhist monks sitting with their legs crossed in a painful yoga position, motionless for days at a time. But meditation doesn't have to be exotic to be effective. Personally, I derive immense benefits from 15 or 20 minutes a day of simply trying to focus my attention. Sometimes I sit cross-legged, sometimes on my knees, often in a chairbut always in a place that's as quiet as I can make it.
I begin by closing my eyes and taking a few deep breaths, slowly in through the nose and slowly out the nose, to initiate the relaxation process. Then I actually focus my attention on my breathingon the air going in and out, on the places in my body that the air touches. Every few seconds my attention will wander, led astray by a thought. As soon as I become aware of that, I gently try to refocus on the breathing. Even after as few as 15 minutes, when I open my eyes, I'm noticeably calmer, more ready to face the day's challenges.
There are, of course, numerous other methods of meditation. Some people focus their attention on, say, the point of contact between their hands; others stare at fixed objects or on geometrically symbolic designs called mandalas; still others repeat specific sounds called mantras. What all these methods have in common is the goal of mindfulness. After you've achieved mindfulness, even for just a few moments, you'll understand why it's so important. Living in the here and now, as opposed to the there and thenwhich is where we spend most of our timefeels pretty wonderful.Better still, mindfulness is a moveable feast. It can go where you go. So even as the hubbub and discord continue on all sides, you can remain an island of sanity by creating your own five minutes of peace.
Kathy Smith is one of the most admired fitness and wellness leaders in America, with 16 million workout titles sold worldwide. Her latest creation is Project: YOU.
Congratulations to Our New May Success Stories: Martin and Astrid U.
Team Beachbody's Insider News
As you may have heard, the sixth anniversary of the first Beachbody order was Wednesday, May 11th, and to celebrate the occasion plus the launch of his new blog, Carl Daikeler, Beachbody co-founder and CEO, chose to spend an hour with the people that make it all possible: the Beachbody community. This chat was hoppin'. I was dizzy just being a fly on the wall. In honor of the six-year milestone, I'm bringing you the full scoop: Who stopped by?
TUFFWOLF, TINA1228, MARYCECY, MOODLE, AZTLGRL, VIRGINIA,CAUSTICMUSE,
Carl also had some questions from the group about Success Stories. Bottom line, people (and this is straight from Carl): Beachbody is looking for more video success storiesfor all of the programs. Send them in. Each month when there's no submission, another bucket of "Video Success Story" cash goes uncollected, so step it up. Check it out at the Success Story submissions pageand yes, "after" video, accompanied by "before" and "after" photos qualifies! And playing the flute or doing other hobbies is okay, as long as you're working out somewhere in the video as well. Beachbody will edit the material into a cool videoyou just need to supply your comments and footage!
Suggestions? Carl loves them. You can send those to email@example.com, and someone will pass them along to where they need to go.
Amber Otto and the folks in Customer Service got a shout-out from the gang on handsaying they should get a raise. They are fine bunch indeed. In fact, VIRGINIA put a big thank you out to the whole Beachbody staff on the boards recently.
Carl also gave the group a big scoop: Beachbody is talking to FitTV about putting up the WOWY stats on their screen in a special promotion in the next few months! So WOWY stats and photos would scroll at the bottom during workout shows. Plus, they're talking to them about doing a two-hour documentary on the making of P90X! And for those wondering, Beachbody TV may come backbut only on streaming video through Team Beachbody. LOTS of stuff in the works! What a chat. Thanks to all who stopped by to make the sixth anniversary something special!
Team Beachbody folks weren't finished. They ALL went on to WOWY at 6 PM PT and came close to the record without even trying. TONY HORTON, KATHY SMITH, TEIGH and GILLIAN and DEBBIE SIEBERS joined 24MR1, ABSMOM, ABURKE, ALLYBABY, AMATHYST, AMYWAMY, AZORKA, BARBARA, BELLAMUCCA, BESTME05, BIG50, BLAZE, CEWMONT, CHAZ01, DANAK, DADDYDOG, DAVE76, EEYORE66, and MANY otherstopping out at 130 people at 6:24 PM PT in cyber super gym. What a night!
Speaking of anniversaries, I have to mention an amazing thread from DIVAM called Reclaiming My Body. She went from 205 pounds with Power 90 to 135 with P90X! With almost two years, 29 pages, and over 2,000 poststhis thread is a perfect example of the kind of support that has brought this company from one order six years ago to the generator of life-changing success stories it is today. Congrats to Beachbody!
Recipe of the Week
Spinach Salad with Turkey
Folks, we need recipes. Your recipes. Healthy recipes. We know you've got 'em. And if you're sticking to the top tiers of Michi's Ladder, you're eating something out there that's good for you while you're losing all that weight. So why not share those delicious concoctions with your Beachbody pals? Go ahead and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. And here's the best part: if we use your recipe, we'll mail you a free T-shirt!
Meanwhile, here's a scrumptious salad, packed with protein, and a cinch to make!
4 Tbsp. orange juice
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 tsp. olive oil
12 small cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Add all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients and drizzle dressing on top while tossing gently to combine. Serves 3.
If you have a recipe you think is both healthy and delicious, send it on over to us at email@example.com. If we publish your recipe, we'll send you a free Beachbody T-shirt!
Would you like more recipes? Log in to Team Beachbody to enjoy more healthy recipes made with fresh ingredients that will give you energy and motivate you to stick with your diet.
Not a Team Beachbody member yet? Just click here to learn how to get your FREE recipe book today.
Tip of the Week
Soft Drinks: Just Say No
By Steve Edwards
Go easy on the soft drinks, even diet sodas. They're the worst things you can consume, since they're loaded with empty calories. Drinking a soda a day makes it virtually impossible to have a balanced diet if you are trying to lose weight. Drinking a lot of carbonated sodas, especially colas, also has an adverse effect on bone strength. This is still somewhat controversial, but there is no doubt that soda alters your body's pH levels, especially dark-colored sodas that are loaded with phosphoric acid. This means that you should avoid, or at least cut way down on, diet sodas as well.