Turning Lemons into LemonadeI'd been walking before every night class and feeling a lot better. But yesterday my boss said he's promoting a guy in my department who'll finish his MBA before I will. What a total world-class jerk my boss is! I've busted my butt for that promotion! He'd said it was mine. Talk about getting shafted! I thought about dropping out of night school, but that MBA is my ticket out of here.
I steamed for a couple of days, smoked too much, wore out the remote looking for something decent on TV. No luck. Then I dragged myself off the sofa and took a long walk. The more I thought about my situation, the madder I got — and the faster I walked. Before long, I was sweating like a snowman in July, but feeling better with every step. (Note to self: Exercise eases my tension.)
That night, I decided to stay in school but take fewer classes. It'll take longer but I'll have more free time and a lot less stress. And since I'm not going to be promoted, I won't stay so late at work. Maybe I'll even join the neighborhood softball team. Hey, maybe this isn't so bad after all.
The Power of Positive
How did Joe replace his negative thoughts with positive ones? Looking at the glass as half full takes a mind shift. We can learn from negative experiences and use them for positive results. Can you think of a time when you didn't get something you wanted or deserved? How did that make you feel?
Write those feelings down on the left side of the chart below. Can you think of a way to look at the negative situation as if the glass is half full? Record a potential positive outcome on the right side. If you can't think of anything, re-read Joe's story. Then create a scenario on the left and create a positive outcome on the right.
Run Away from Negative Thinking!
You may have to deal with people who are extremely negative. Don't let them pull you down, even if you have to find new friends who will support and strengthen you.
Speaking of getting stronger, regular strength training helps increase your metabolism. Try these simple exercises at home. Just moving your own body weight can build and strengthen muscles that you haven't used for awhile. Gradually add light hand weights or use a resistance band to challenge your muscles.
Try these new, simple exercises at home.
Tightens and shapes the front of thighs
Sit on a sturdy bench or chair. Place your palms against the chair for support. Straighten one leg while keeping your foot flexed. Keep your other foot on the floor.
Hold this position for a count of two, then lower your leg. Do one set of 8-12 repetitions with one leg, then repeat with your other leg.
Strengthens front of arms
Sit with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight and stomach tight, with your palms facing your thighs. Hold dumbbells or even cans of soup or vegetables for weights. With one arm, extend the dumbbell toward the floor. With the palm facing up, bend your elbow to bring your hand toward your face. Lift the weight until your hand is even with your shoulder.
Slowly lower the weight to the start position. Repeat 8-10 times. Change arms and repeat the sequence.
The Power of Positive
Check Your Choices
Last week we talked about foods that contain cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat. Now, let's focus on food choices that are lower in cholesterol and saturated fat — and better for you. Think about which of these healthier foods you'll choose this week.
Food Shopping Tip
So many food product options, so little time. That's why the American Heart Association created its Food Certification Program. The distinctive heart-check mark is one way for you to quickly and reliably find foods that meet criteria for heart-healthy levels of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over age 2. For more information, visit www.heartcheckmark.org.
Remember, becoming more active is a process — and it's today that counts. Focus on being more active one day at a time. Make it a priority. Before you know it, days turn into a week and weeks turn into a month. Be sure to add up the number of minutes you're physically active this week. Then, reward yourself with something that says, "Way to go! My plan is working!"
Staying on Track
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This content was last reviewed on 7/5/2012.