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Appreciating communications central!

Friday, June 07, 2013

As I've been walking through the things I appreciate about the amazing human body I've been given (and you have been given one, too... limit one per person, lifetime responsibility to care for it)... I've been focusing on groups of elements, on systems, being kind of a systems gal.

Today I've got around to the communications system of the body... the nervous system. Yeah, those things that send messages to say "this feels good" or "ouch, already!" At the center of this web is the brain, interpreting the signals, and all our lives we've been recording (memory) and learning ("this leads to pain, don't do it"... "this leads to pleasure, do more"...). An incredible amount of inventiveness has come from the brains... just think of it: the very ability to type this, and for you to read it, take it in and get something from it? Doesn't that blow you away? It does me!

If I stay on that topic too long I'll get goose bumps! The creativity, the intelligence, the amazing things we do individually and collectively to satisfy a drive to LIFE fuller and more satisfying sometimes fills me with awe. It's a particular passion of mine.

I just started out the week to acknowledge and appreciate that the body is full of these systems, and that because it is so amazing, I need to take the best care of it I know how, and seek knowledge to continue this for as long as I'm blessed to be able to do so. And here I end up at my passion.

What better motivation for good nutrition, proper activity, hydration and sleep than to fuel one's passions?

Find your passion: whatever it is, won't it benefit from having your body well cared for? So LOVE your body, LIVE your life, FUEL your passion... and Spark on!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 6/8/2013 9:48PM

    Good blog, thought provoking too.

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WATERMELLEN 6/8/2013 5:59PM

    Our neurological wiring is truly remarkable . . . no matter how we wonder at computers, internet, smart phones -- the human body (which brought all of those into existence) is infinitely more complex. We are brains -- and we are so much more than brains. And: our brains work best with all the rest when treated to optimum rest, exercise, nutrition: which you are doing . . . reaping the benefits of the marvellous mood which results!

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DOGLADY13 6/8/2013 9:44AM

    Life is a miracle. I usually get caught up in that whole "wow" thing when I hold a new born baby, but it holds true all the time with anyone. Just looking at how our hands work, or how we can see. It's awe-inspiring. Thanks for the meditation!

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PATRICIAAK 6/7/2013 10:06PM

    How wonderfully God has made us.
Thanks for the great perspective.

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SUSANNAH31 6/7/2013 9:49PM

    This is a great series you are writing on the body.
And I am with you when it comes to being excited about creativity, intelligence, inventiveness of humans.
And for sure, that mind/body connection is so clear.
The better shape our bodies are in - the better our minds perform.


Comment edited on: 6/7/2013 9:49:43 PM

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LESLIELENORE 6/7/2013 12:36PM

    emoticon Gives me goose bumps!

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DLDMIL 6/7/2013 11:21AM

    I have really enjoyed this weeks blogs. I look forward to your insight and perspective everyday.

SPARK on my friend. emoticon

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DALID414 6/7/2013 11:20AM

    emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 6/7/2013 8:58AM

    This is such a fantastic blog! When motivation is lacking, I think THIS is what we need to really focus on . . . appreciating the marvels, the complexities, the wonder and awe of this body we have!

Right now my brain is saying, "Fueled up w/breakfast. Now let's get going for a walk!"

HUGS and have a great weekend.

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GABY1948 6/7/2013 8:56AM

    These blogs have been great! Thanks!

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KALIGIRL 6/7/2013 8:33AM

    Here's to fueling one's passions - if I could only figure out what they are...
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KELLIEBEAN 6/7/2013 8:08AM

    We take so much for granted about how truly amazing creatures we are.

Thanks for sharing! Good luck tomorrow. Looking forward to hearing about it!

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WORKNPROGRESS49 6/7/2013 7:50AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MJRVIC2000 6/7/2013 7:41AM

    We may have been given one body, but we have been given two lives. One will take you to heaven, the other one to hell. We must choose. God Bless YOU! Vic.

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MSLZZY 6/7/2013 7:28AM

    So LOVE your body, Live your life, FUEL your passion... and SPARK on!
My new mantra! Excellent blog! Thanks for sharing! HUGS!

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LEANJEAN6 6/7/2013 7:08AM

    but--eat what's in the bag Barb!-------walk past the trashy machine--Get it in yer mind !--LOL----Enjoy to-day my friend!--- Yer blog makes me appreciate the ol' body!-Lynda emoticon

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DEBRA0818 6/7/2013 6:50AM

    It's a really chicken and egg story sometimes: becoming more authentic encourages a life of moderation and health; removing the junk from my life encourages authentic feeling and thus authentic action, etc. They really do go hand in hand and, yes, it's more than worth it!!!

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Appreciating the girders and struts

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Continuing the theme of "body appreciation week", today's focus is on the bones and skeletal structure: the girders and struts that hold us up, give us our essential bits that the muscles move and the joints hold together.

I appreciate the bones I HAVE, teeth, too... which help me chew and swallow and contribute to being able to give my body the nutrients it needs to build those bones, muscles, et al. Not the ones I "wish I could have". Each of us has the body we've been dealt, and should cherish it, appreciate it, and tell it "thank you" in ways that mean something to it.

Anyone who deals with bone loss, or ever broke one, knows how important bones are to living fully! Me? Yeppers, I'm one of those "lucky" older women who has had measurable loss in bone density. One of the ways I thank my bones lies in not drinking carbonated beverages. I read about what it does to the bones.

It is also why I do impact exercises (running) as well as low impact ones (biking, swimming, elliptical)... I read that impact exercises strengthen the bones and can even lead to increased bone density. Haven't yet see medical proof of an increase... probably due for another measurement this year, but the rate of loss slowed.

Which brings me to something as an aside: I ended up with a surgery on a gland that was misbehaving. This was discovered in part due to that bone loss. As part of appreciating the body, it makes sense to take it for the check ups that identify what's leading to problems, and taking corrective action if possible.

LIFE is good. Having a body to LIVE it in? The best!

Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRICIAAK 6/6/2013 8:31PM

    I can tell you've 'boned up' on this.

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DLDMIL 6/6/2013 5:09PM

    Have to keep our girders and struts strong and well fed, so that we can continue forward in our lives. Great blogs this week Barb.
Thanks for sharing.

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Comment edited on: 6/6/2013 5:09:41 PM

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EMMACLAIRE5 6/6/2013 1:05PM

    Let's hear it for our girders & struts! Thanks for reminding me to be grateful for all the stuff that still does work the way it's supposed to!



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LESLIELENORE 6/6/2013 12:09PM

    My bones are made of lead. lol.

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_LINDA 6/6/2013 10:29AM

    I have very bad bone density (yet another disease in this body -osteoporosis), so much so its led to two permanent breaks in my elbows. I have always done cardio, but not as good with strength training, and now I am limited to 5 lbs maximum for lifting with my artificial elbows. I am on medicine to try bring it up and yes, I do high impact cardio as well. I do appreciate that what is left of my body still works hard and allows me to do intense workouts and be as independent as possible.
Spark On indeed!

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WORKNPROGRESS49 6/6/2013 10:06AM

    emoticon for the reminder!!! emoticon blog!!

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GABY1948 6/6/2013 8:31AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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1CRAZYDOG 6/6/2013 8:14AM

    We only have one life, one body so it is definitely up to us to make the best of both!

I can say too that I haven't seen studies substantiating it, but for ME, weight bearing exercise and lifting turned me from having osteoporosis to a normal bone density scan! I aim to keep it that way. Not easy with thyroid disease because the thyroid meds leech calcium, so getting my weight bearing exercise and incorporating enough calcium w/Vit. D and magnesium is essential to maintain bone health!

Let's face it . . . at 4 ft. 10.5 in., I cannot afford to shrink in height, which happens with bone degeneration!

HUGs and thanks for this great blog.

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KALIGIRL 6/6/2013 8:06AM

    Here's to listening to the body! I too appreciate the girders and struts - amazing how they can ache when the bone marrow is being rebuilt - wonder if they let us know when the calcium is too?
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ROXYZMOM 6/6/2013 8:00AM

    Thanks for the reminder...I gotta start taking calcium again!!

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 6/6/2013 7:51AM

    Great body appreciation blog. We all have some imperfections that are harder to love than other parts. By completely accepting our bodies just the way they are, even our problem areas, we can love and care for our bodies even better.

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DEBRA0818 6/6/2013 7:47AM

    One of the reasons I love living in Florida -- Natural Vitamin D almost every day (not this week, it's been raining steadily from tropical storm moisture). Taking care of ourselves now could mean years of healthful vitality!

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MSLZZY 6/6/2013 7:06AM

    Take good care of those bones! Guess I will need to have a bone density test done.
Thanks for the reminder and all the good information!

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MIZCATHI 6/6/2013 7:05AM

    Your focus and self care is incredible and I notice how you look for ways to stay motivated. Thanks for the reminder that our bones are essential! I stopped drinking diet sodas at least 16 years ago. I sense it's made a huge difference in my general health.

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WATERMELLEN 6/6/2013 6:56AM

    Back bone. Funny bone. Gotta bone to pick with . . . ?

Love those metaphorical bones too!

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RAPUNZEL53 6/6/2013 6:45AM

  I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my early forties and I am living with it. I never had any symptoms and still don't luckily. Good Luck to you! I rarely drink soda now but I still drink coffee though less than before. I gave it up completely but then I would fall asleep driving to work. So I started back but instead of two mugs I have one every morning.

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LEANJEAN6 6/6/2013 6:43AM

    It's where we live--in our body---good body appreciation Barb!-Lynda emoticon

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Appreciating the ropes and pulleys

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Today's body appreciation system are the ropes and pulleys that allow us to be mobile. OK, rough analogy, perhaps, but I'm talking about appreciating our muscles. There are so many! From the ones that make facial expressions possible to the ones that enable us to walk, run, swim and bike... to the ones that Olympic weight lifters use to clean and jerk.

Without our muscles, we'd be a big pile of goo with bones inside (we'll get to those later!) So today, whatever shape you think you're in, give a little thought and appreciation to those muscles that respond to our demands. Give them the fuel they need, good protein, calcium, and hydration, for muscle needs water. Breathe, for muscle needs oxygen.

And get a bit of exercise, for those muscles actually like to be put to use!

LIFE is good! Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 6/6/2013 6:54AM

    Love the feel of my back muscles after a set of lat pull-downs! And, of course, the absence of back flab under a form fitting T shirt!! (OK, the ol' vanity muscles is in top shape!!)

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PATRICIAAK 6/5/2013 9:34PM

    Great to be good to our bodies.

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SUNNY1432 6/5/2013 9:20PM

    Good thoughts! emoticon

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DOGLADY13 6/5/2013 8:50PM

    It's amazing how responsive our muscles are. We start working them in ways they aren't accustomed to. They complain for a short time and then just get down to the business of doing their job and getting better and stronger while they are at it.

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LJCANNON 6/5/2013 6:10PM

    emoticon Great Analogy!!

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LEWILL1982 6/5/2013 2:40PM

    Great analogy! Someone shared with me the idea of "sip and stretch". Drink your water and get up and move around.

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SIMONEKP 6/5/2013 2:14PM

    awesome

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DLDMIL 6/5/2013 2:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRS.DOYLE 6/5/2013 1:57PM

    My Pilates teacher is very good at explaining anatomy to us. The stretching and exercises make more sense when we understand what is happening to the muscles.

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LESLIELENORE 6/5/2013 1:52PM

    I was thinking about feet today. They are pretty absurdly fragile if you stop to think about it.

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DALID414 6/5/2013 12:23PM

    emoticon

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MIZCATHI 6/5/2013 10:52AM

    Great thoughts and reminders! Muscles are so important, and I want mine to support me for the rest of my days.

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1CRAZYDOG 6/5/2013 10:03AM

    Here's a big shout out to my awesome muscles! It IS an amazing system that allows our muscles to function!

Hugs and smiles. Here's to moving and getting those muscles strong and fired up. After all, they're the furnaces in our bodies that burn the calories too!

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KALIGIRL 6/5/2013 9:44AM

    Here's to listening to those ropes and pulleys and luxuriating in them
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CELIAMINER 6/5/2013 9:43AM

    Great advice! Time for some more water.
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GABY1948 6/5/2013 9:06AM

    emoticon emoticon and informative blog! Thanks!

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DEBRITA01 6/5/2013 8:45AM

    emoticon to our muscles and all they allow us to do!

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LEANJEAN6 6/5/2013 8:00AM

    Ya gotta work those muscles or they seize up-----good info--Lynda emoticon

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MSLZZY 6/5/2013 7:53AM

    Words of wisdom and a great way to look at how our wonderful bodies are made. HUGS!

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Appreciating the hinges

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

This one is brought on by various things: my foot talking to me last Saturday. MJREIMERS mentioning a knee issue. MOBYCARP and his ongoing recovery from foot and leg issues. And since ANDI571 kicked off the idea of focus on individual body parts in her response to yesterday's blog, today's little reverie is devoted to the body's joints, i.e. "hinges".

Knees, elbows, necks, ankles... all the joints in the body, down to the wrists, fingers and toes... looks at all those moving parts! Observe a baby discovering the wonder of controlling his or her tiny body. Ever notice your child suddenly seeming older one day? I remember this clearly. Particularly in infants, what I found was that this seeming older was triggered by them having learned a new motor control skill: holding up their head, focus of the eyes, flexing of the fingers.

Before I dropped the weight, my knees and ankles complained, but kept on doing their job. As I dropped the weight, and started feeding the body the fuel it needed, they complained less and less.

Nowadays when I overdo exercise, they can "talk" to me afresh. It is important to respect their messages. They may be saying "I need more time to recover." This is especially important to me as I "mature"... the body may need more time off to recover than when "we" (my body and I) were younger. So, no, let's not freak out over slipping an extra rest day into the training cycle from time to time... or putting in a swim for cross-training. Dropping back to a slower pace. Something to say "thank you" to the joints and to let them know you're listening to them.

If it's all about balance (LIFE), then aren't the hinges an important piece of that?

Today's reminders:
* Drink your water
* Eat what's in the bag
* Gentle with the exercise (it's a short "run" day)
* Remember to take your breaks at work
* And pause to breathe, listen, and appreciate the body, especially those joints!

LIFE is good. Spark on. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPTIMIST1948 6/5/2013 7:15AM

    I was confused by title. But now I get it. Great thoughts as always!

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PATRICIAAK 6/5/2013 12:16AM

    I'm VERY aware of my 'hinges' - 43 years of arthritis makes this so.
However, I believe in keeping going - like the energizer bunny (in slow motion).

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DOGLADY13 6/4/2013 9:31PM

    Indeed, our "hinges" are so important. When they aren't in good working order, we creak, squeak, moan and groan.

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DLDMIL 6/4/2013 9:06PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ANDI571 6/4/2013 1:02PM

    Tweaked the back yesterday. I was getting out of the truck and my ankle just barely turned on the small hill next to the driveway. I am not sure that I like what the old body is telling me, lol. That being said, I was thinking earlier about it. I think I so easily tweaked it because I have let to much muscle disappear. So I need to baby it until it is better, then do something so it doesn't happen again.

Thanks for the reminder of how important our body is to us, and how at every age, we need to know our limits on top of trying to improve it.

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LJCANNON 6/4/2013 12:12PM

    emoticon I definitely have learned to listen to my Body!! The messages it sends have changed over the last couple of years.
When I walked for any length of time before I lost weight, my knees would say "We hate you. We hope you die."
Now, when I am getting close to Over Doing something, they say "We are still here. We COULD make your Life miserable if we want to."

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MIZCATHI 6/4/2013 11:52AM

    Knowing your body is the key to good health!

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MIRAGE727 6/4/2013 11:34AM

    I started to become one with my body about 4 months into SP. Since then, I've taken it to a new level as I'm a runner now. I was injured because my meniscus was compensating due to tight quads & no glute power, combined with IT band & hip flexor weakness! Add the fact that after I bought my new road bike, it was personally fitted by a Triathlon expert! He actually had an angle rule, measuring exactly what perfect angles my leg positions should be in! Yep, in the scheme of things, every bit of our body is a part of the whole symphony!
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GABY1948 6/4/2013 9:00AM

    emoticon reminders here!

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DEBRITA01 6/4/2013 8:46AM

    Listening to and respecting our body is so important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle...sometimes I forget that. emoticon

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KALIGIRL 6/4/2013 8:25AM

    Here's to learning to listen to our bodies!

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KANOE10 6/4/2013 8:22AM

    Great advice. As we age we need to respect those joints. I am feeling them more and more, especially when I increase my weights.

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LESLIELENORE 6/4/2013 8:12AM

    I have arthritis in my feet, so I have to respect those hinges orthey punish me. Thanks for reminding me to respect them.

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WATERMELLEN 6/4/2013 7:12AM

    Excellent! I had a super intensive gym workout Saturday followed by four hours of extreme gardening Sunday: and my body (that is me!) requires some recovery time! Especially the old knee and back hinges. Thanks for reminding me to listen and respect that!

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LEANJEAN6 6/4/2013 7:12AM

    Love yer blogs--They inspire me that emoticon I CAN do this!--I hear yuou with the weight on the joints--Lynda

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KLMEIRING 6/4/2013 7:07AM

    emoticon emoticon

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I have declared this body appreciation week

Monday, June 03, 2013

It is very easy to take our bodies for granted. Love 'em or hate 'em, we just expect them to be here and perform for us. They are where we LIVE, after all, and like our homes around us, they can become "invisible", "taken for granted" or we can find ourselves seeing only the problem spots.

Saturday's race got me thinking in this way. I knew I had treated my body badly. My tantrum-y mind had taken me down the path of the bingey foods for a week. And those bingey foods just don't have the nutritional punch my body needs. So, yes, I'd abused it.

And yet, it performed very well, despite this mistreatment, and it slammed home the lesson: appreciate it, love it, look at how much effort that body puts in FOR YOU!

And in appreciation, I spent the weekend honoring the body with the things it needs: healthy foods, in appropriate quantitys, clear, clean water, sleep, and moderate activity (OK Saturday morning I stretched the "moderate" a bit).

This work week, the take away motto is to remember to appreciate the body and treat it well, as though it were a separate person... would you treat your roommate the way you've been treating your body?

And that's the overview. Today:

* There's a bag full of healthy food ready to tuck in the back pack. emoticon
* Also in the bag, a change of clothing for work, as I'm dressed for a bike ride commute.
* I'm guaranteed my exercise with that commute. emoticon
* Remember to hydrate. emoticon
* And get to bed on time! emoticon

LIVE life today. YOU are worth it! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CASEYTALK 6/4/2013 6:56AM

    Along with this are the things we SAY to our bodies that we would never say to a friend. Why do we speak to ourselves as if we were an enemy? "You are so worthless! You can't do anything! You idiot!" It is hard to treat ourselves with the same kindness and understanding we give others.

The scale went the wrong way for me this morning. It is taking a lot of effort for me not to abuse myself. Instead, I am going to try to see what went wrong and change what I can to improve.

Treat yourself gently and with kindness.


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PATRICIAAK 6/3/2013 11:26PM

    Super blog!

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MJREIMERS 6/3/2013 10:20PM

    You are 100% right! Good luck with your body appreciation week and I can't wait to meet you on Saturday!

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1CRAZYDOG 6/3/2013 8:53PM

    Our bodies definitely are amazing, awesome and cool! Hugs and thanks for this wonderful blog.

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DLDMIL 6/3/2013 2:52PM

    Thanks for sharing a very insightful blog. emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 6/3/2013 1:34PM

    emoticon You are so right!

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DALID414 6/3/2013 11:32AM

    emoticon

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LJCANNON 6/3/2013 10:25AM

    emoticon Great Reminder!! I need to Bookmark this and read it again Friday Evening!!!

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CELIAMINER 6/3/2013 9:29AM

    You're off to a fabulous start! I abused my body over the weekend foodwise, but the ol' bod kept moving through vigorous hikes in high heat and humidity. Time to get back on track.

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DEBRITA01 6/3/2013 9:27AM

    So true...we often take our body for granted and tend to focus on it's flaws when, in fact, we should be grateful for this marvelous machine we've been given. We need to keep our bodies in good working order and that requires maintenance work and loving care. Thanks for a good reminder to start this week! emoticon

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ANDI571 6/3/2013 9:04AM

    I am with you too.

I will start with these arms that I constantly complain about. These arms are the ones that held my baby not only when she was well, but when she was sick. These arms are the ones that helped take care of my parents when they were sick. These arms are the arms that have given numerous family and friends hugs when they needed it. These arms that I constantly complain about have given me miles and miles of work, and I don't show them the appreciation they deserve.

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MIRAGE727 6/3/2013 8:45AM

    Thanks for sharing, Barb! I'm with ya!
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CONCHA77 6/3/2013 8:33AM

    Here's to a happy and healthy new week! Nice blog :)

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PMRUNNER 6/3/2013 8:06AM

    We take so much for granted, thanks for the reminder to appreciate it while we have it!

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HOT4FITNESS 6/3/2013 8:05AM

    You hit the nail on the head here. We are HIS masterpiece, fearfully and wonderfully made. Let us make sure we are polishing and caring for this precious body God has given us. Our Bodies do Amazing things for us.

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GABY1948 6/3/2013 7:47AM

    emoticon Have a great week!

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LEANJEAN6 6/3/2013 7:42AM

    Wow!--treat the body well--It's the place we live in--the only place we have!--I must remember that--paste it in front of my face!--Thanks Barb!----

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WATERMELLEN 6/3/2013 7:37AM

    Our bodies are so forgiving, and so resilient, and so appreciative of every good thing that we do for them!

"Ahhhh, thank you! That's what I needed!!"

Assuming that this is International Body Appreciation Week you've declared . . . I'm going to join you!

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ROXYZMOM 6/3/2013 7:33AM

    I love this blog!! I had the same week!! My life has been such a roller coaster and mt body has not been the top priority. Thanks for writing this and inspiring me.

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DOGLADY13 6/3/2013 7:28AM

    emoticon

Here's to a banner week of loving our bodies!

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