If A Tree Falls In The Forest

By Laura Moncur @ 11:02 am — Filed under:

There is an old saying:

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

It’s a philosophical question that asks whether the human experience of something is necessary for its existence.

I ran into an example of that yesterday.

I was updating my Apple Watch. For the update to work, the Apple Watch needed to be charging and the iPhone needed to be nearby it. But I wanted to exercise. I wanted to take the dog on a much needed walk. The update was taking WAY too long, so I went on the walk anyway.

Without my Apple Watch.

Without my iPhone.

Without a watch of any kind to measure the time I was out.

If A Tree Falls In A Forest from Starling Travel chose a route that I have done many times that usually gives me a twenty minute workout and is about a mile, but I still felt uneasy.

If a workout is completed, but a gadget is not there to measure it, did it really happen?

Throughout the entire walk, I consoled myself. “I know I did the workout. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t get recorded on my Apple Watch activity tracker. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t get recorded on Runkeeper. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know exactly how long it took me.” All the while, I was uncomfortable because this workout wasn’t being counted in the variety of ways I count my workouts.

My workout was completed and my watch updated and even a day later, I’m still bothered. Why is it that my workout must be documented in order to count? It’s a conundrum that is even more baffling to me than the tree falling in the forest.


With The New Day Comes New Strength and Thoughts

By Laura Moncur @ 9:02 am — Filed under:

I love this motivational poster:

With the new day comes new strength and thoughts. from Starling Fitness

It reads:

With the new day comes new strength and thoughts.

  • Eleanor Roosevelt

I have been doing yoga every day for months now and it has really helped my back. I wrote back in April 2014 about how my back had become weak:

I strained my back just walking yesterday. I didn’t pick up something too heavy or twist wrong. All I was doing was walking. THAT’S how weak I’ve become. But I don’t know how to get back to my weight-lifting regime without setting off my exercise bulimia.

The answer was, I didn’t. I haven’t gone back to weight-lifting. My exercise bulimia has been held back, and I’ve been able to strengthen my back with yoga instead of weight-lifting. The slow and patient movements of yoga don’t seem to set off my exercise bulimia and I am stronger.

Sometimes, I only do yoga for five minutes, but I get my body on the mat every day so I can keep the habit. Just like walking the dog every day, I have been able to incorporate it into my routine. Just like the poster says, with each new day, I have new strength and new thoughts. I am so grateful for my recovery and it comes from making sure I hit the mat every day for at least five minutes.


Seek And You Shall Discover How Strong You Are

By Laura Moncur @ 3:36 pm — Filed under:

I don’t know where I got this Saucony ad, but I thought it was so beautiful that I kept it.

Seek and you shall discover how strong you are from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Seek and you shall discover how strong you are.

The truth of the matter is that as long as you keep trying, you are not defeated. The minute you give up, is the moment when you fail. Keep seeking.


Take Three Deep Breaths

By Laura Moncur @ 10:03 am — Filed under:

I found this motivational poster in a magazine, but I can’t remember where I got it.

Take Three Deep Breaths from Starling Fitness

It reads:

When you mind starts to wander, take three deep breaths to bring your focus back to your goal.

The truth is, that never helped me. Deep breathing is something everyone said that I should do when I was angry and it never once helped me to calm down and certainly never stopped me from bingeing.

It’s recommended so often, however, that I suspect that it must work for some people. Deep breathing exercises were first proposed as healthy by Dr. Herbert Benson in the 1970s. He had researched the benefits of meditation on the brain and suggested that deep breathing is what caused the relaxation response.

Meditation HAS helped me to relax and when I do it every day, I don’t binge as much. I like the recommendations from this site about it: Harvard Health Publications: Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response

  • Choose a special place where you can sit (or lie down) comfortably and quietly.
  • Don’t try too hard. That may just cause you to tense up.
  • Don’t be too passive, either. The key to eliciting the relaxation response lies in shifting your focus from stressors to deeper, calmer rhythms — and having a focal point is essential.
  • Try to practice once or twice a day, always at the same time, in order to enhance the sense of ritual and establish a habit.
  • Try to practice at least 10–20 minutes each day.

Putting fifteen minutes of meditation on the top of my priority list every day has helped me tremendously, but I don’t do deep breathing during the meditations. Maybe there is something to this motivational poster, so I hope it helps you.


My Own Two Arms and Legs

By Laura Moncur @ 8:12 am — Filed under:

I understand some of this quote:

There is... nothing greater than touching the shore after crossing some great body of water knowing that Ive done it with my own two arms and legs. Diana Nyad from The Quotations Page

It reads:

There is… nothing greater than touching the shore after crossing some great body of water knowing that I’ve done it with my own two arms and legs.

  • Diana Nyad

I feel the same way about walking and riding my bike. I loved it when I rode my bike to work everyday because I was able to get myself to work without a car. I didn’t depend on the bus or a functional vehicle. Even though I owned a car, I was able to get to work without it. And if the beast ever gave out on me, I’d STILL be able to get to work and bring home the bacon.


Our bodies, when they are strong, give us a feeling of independence. We can do it. All we have to do is wake up a little earlier and we can get ourselves there. I think that’s what Diana Nyad was talking about. Knowing that she could get across that water without needing a boat is a feeling of strength and independence. I’ve never felt that about water, because in Utah, we never have enough water that it’s an impediment to where we’re going, but I have CERTAINLY felt like that about my own two feet.


Running Is The Washing Machine of the Mind

By Laura Moncur @ 7:37 am — Filed under:

I love this motivational poster from RunWiki.

Running is the washing machine of the mind from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Running is the washing machine of the mind.

I am not running right now. It has caused increased hunger and the desire to binge in me that last two times I tried increasing my daily exercise to running, so I have just been walking for twenty minutes a day instead.

That doesn’t mean I don’t miss it.

In fact, every month or so, the thought, “I should bump up my exercise to running a little,” comes to my mind. Sometimes, I think that thoughts like that are my disease talking to me, trying to make me sick again. Sometimes, I think that I will eventually need to increase my exercise in order to get to a healthy weight. Twenty minutes of slow walking while the dog smells everything on the street and five minutes of yoga a day just doesn’t seem like that would be enough.

The most important thing for me to do is avoid behaviors that make me want to binge. Whether that behavior is eating certain foods that make me want to eat MORE, saving my calories for a big meal, or running every day, I need to avoid them in order to stay healthy.

But it’s so tempting.

It’s tempting to run again because that motivational poster is RIGHT. Running IS the washing machine of the mind in a way that walking isn’t. The rhythmic pounding of my feet on the treadmill is soothing and relaxing just as much as it is difficult. I am continually tempted to go back to running, even though I know it will make me want to eat the world.

I don’t know what is right.

I guess eventually I will need to increase my exercise and since running was so good for me before, I might have to go back to it and learn how to exercise intensely without bingeing. Until then, I will continue with my walking and moderation. I’ll have to learn to wash my mind another way.


The Only Bad Workout You Had

By Laura Moncur @ 10:04 am — Filed under:

I love this motivational poster from Gymaholic.

The only bad workout you had is the one you didn't do from Starling Fitness

It reads:

The only bad workout you had is the one you didn’t do.

This is so true. Consistency is FAR more important than anything else. You don’t have to kill yourself in the gym. You just need to get your butt in there EVERY day. Weeks of easy workouts are better than one intense workout and weeks of avoiding the gym because that’s where the pain happens.


All you have to do is show up every day. If that means walking on the treadmill at 2 mph for twenty minutes, then that is MUCH better than not showing up. Doing anything is better than doing nothing.


Reach Higher

By Laura Moncur @ 7:22 pm — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster on Facebook the other day and it really spoke to me.

Reach Higher from Starling Fitness

It reads:

If you are losing your balance in a yoga pose, reach higher. It will steady you. This is true, not just in your practice, but everywhere in your life!

This advice has helped me when I’m trying to hold a pose in yoga. I feel my body elongate and the pose has more length to balance, making it easier.

In life, I have constantly and vigorously reached higher. I don’t know if it has helped me or not. Sometimes it seems that when I relax and let things happen naturally, they work out better than when I’m constantly striving. Perhaps I just don’t know how to properly “reach higher” in life. Maybe it has less to do with pushing myself and more to do with making myself a better person.


Apple Watch Goals

By Laura Moncur @ 8:43 am — Filed under:

This commercial for the Apple watch is quiet, calm and shows EXACTLY what it’s like to have an Apple watch for your fitness goals.

It is always there, counting every movement and step, right down to bedtime when you do a few jumping jacks to close out your circle.

More than that, it tells me of my text messages and phone calls, even when I’ve left my phone in the other room. The Apple watch has become so important to me that I have done strange things like accidentally left my phone at home because I don’t carry it around with me everywhere I go anymore. I also had a bizarre anxiety when I left my watch in the car while I kayaked, swam and road in the motor boat last weekend. I would have gotten lots of credit for all that activity, but I didn’t want it to get hurt by the water. It’s resistant, but not waterproof, and FAR too precious to lose.

The Apple watch went from a fun toy to a desperately needed item in my daily routine within a month. I am so grateful for it and it was worth every penny I saved to buy it.


Every Pose Is A Beginning

By Laura Moncur @ 8:10 am — Filed under:

I have been practicing yoga for the last two months. I’ve been watching some videos on YouTube to get started:

I have been doing the same few poses every day for two months and I’m getting pretty good at them. Today, I was feeling a little bored, so I decided to try Eagle pose and I was SHOCKED.

Eagle Pose: Every Pose Is A Beginning from Starling Fitness

Image via: Eagle Pose – We Are Yoga

I suck at it.

Every time I try a new pose, I am a rank amateur. I am a beginner. Just because I have been able to hold Downward Facing Dog without my arms shaking and losing my balance, doesn’t mean I am good at Eagle Pose. Every pose is a beginning.

Honestly, that’s how life is. Every new thing we try is a beginning and we are rank amateurs.

The funny thing is, I didn’t get frustrated like I did when I was first starting yoga. I got excited. I had gotten a little bored with the poses that I had worked on lately, but this Eagle pose thing was HARD, and somehow, that was a GOOD thing. When I first started yoga, I was VERY frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t hold most poses for more than five seconds. I had to keep starting over to get my full 20 seconds of hold. Today, however, I had a tiny jolt of adrenaline from it. Here was something that I couldn’t do and I knew that if I kept trying for a couple of months, I COULD do it. I just needed to keep trying. It was beautiful.

The next time I realize that I am a rank amateur at something in the “real” world, I’m going to remember this. I’m going to recall that jolt of excitement that says, “This is HARD! And that’s a GOOD thing!”

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