Saturday, January 31, 2015

Do you have a Lenita?

Yesterday as I walking from my office to the copier, I passed our Activities Coordinator who was handing out plates of crisp nachos with a side yummy cheese sauce to our participants (I work in an Adult Day Center for people with dementia.). 

She held a plate out to me. "Hey Lisa, do you want one?"

I shifted the papers I was carrying and extended my hand, "Sure!"


A stern yet playful voice came from behind me.  I spun around and there stood my co-worker Lenita.  I hadn't noticed that she was in the room. 

"What do you think your doing?"  Her stern yet playful voice asked.

I paused for a moment looking Lenita directly in her eyes.  I turned my head and looked at the plate piled high with delicious crunchy chips and ooey gooey cheese sauce dripping from them.  Slowly, I turned back to Lenita - head tilted, looking at me through her long batting eye lashes and face glowing with one of her encouraging smiles.

Without turning back around I said, "You know what?  I'm going to have to pass, but thanks for the offer!"  Before the words were fully out of my mouth, I threw my arms around Lenita's neck in a hug of gratitude.

You see, Lenita plays an important role in my work day.  She holds me accountable on my healthy living journey, specifically on my work day snacking.  I never specifically asked her to play that role.  We just connected on that topic as both of us strive to make healthy choices and she naturally became my Miss Accountability. 

I'm lucky because she works in our Physical Therapy gym which just happens to be between my Day Center and the Employee Lounge.  So if there is cake in the break room, I have to walk past Lenita to get a piece.  There have been times when I'm headed for the vending machine and Lenita doesn't even see me walking by, but I see her!  Just seeing her is enough to make me turn around and head back to my office and my lunch bag filled with healthy snack options.   

Lenita is playfully stern and honest.  She is never mean or downgrading.  She is encouraging and uplifting.  When I get passed her and she catches me eating a piece cake, she doesn't make me feel bad because there are times that she'll go for the cake, too!  Instead she talks about how we'll do better next time.  And we always do!  I so appreciate the important role that Lenita plays in my life.  She keeps me moving in the right direction. 

Do you have a Lenita?  If not, take a moment to think of the people in your workplace.  Is there someone who shares your interest in making healthy choices?  Is there someone in the lunch room who is munching on fresh veggies and fruit rather than chips and pizza?  Lenita and I never specifically talked about her holding me accountable, but you may need to ask someone to help hold you accountable. 

Another way to find your Lenita is to be a Lenita for someone else.  It is often easy to spot those who are trying to being healthy and struggling a little bit.  For a week they are packing healthy lunches and then the next are back to hitting the drive-thru every day.  They talk about their walks after work and then don't mention exercise at all.  You know who I am talking about!  Comment on their good choices.  Ask them to go for a walk with you over lunch or after work.  You will find yourself being lifted up by your actions of lifting them up.  Pretty soon, they will return the favor.

After I walked away from those chips yesterday, I returned to my office and grabbed an orange from my lunch bag.  I took my time peeling it and popping each juicy sweet piece into my mouth.  It tasted SO good and I felt SO good about the choice I had made to eat it . . . thanks to Lenita!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The TV Commercial Workout: A WIN! WIN! WINNING Idea for my Teenager

This weekend my teenage son and I tried something new . . . and we LOVED it! 

My friend Dana introduced me to the idea of creating a TV Commercial Workout.  A very simple yet fun and effective concept!

Here is what you do:

1) On a piece of paper or index card, make two columns.

2) In the first column, write a list of types of commercials - car, restaurant, cell phone company,  insurance, TV promos, bank, etc.  Be sure to include miscellaneous! 

3) In the second column, write a list of exercises - jumping jacks, squats, plank, bicep curls, twists, jog in place, high knees, etc.  You will need to list as many exercises as you have types of commercials writing them lined up evenly. 

4) Sit down to enjoy your favorite TV show.

5) As soon as there is a commercial break, JUMP up and start MOVING following the guide that you just created for yourself.  For example, we paired restaurant commercials with jumping jacks.  Every time there was a commercial for Subway or McDonald's, we did jumping jacks.  Every time there was a cell phone commercial, we dropped into the Plank Position. 

My son and I did a TV Commercial Workout during the fourth quarter of one of the football games yesterday.  I'm sure he thought I was a little crazy at first, but he agreed to play along.  After only the first few commercials we were sweating and giggling and completely out of breath! 

Half of the challenge was figuring out what some of the commercials were actually advertising.   It was hilarious when we thought we knew and started one exercise only to discover that we were wrong and had to switch in the middle. We cracked up when we would each think the commercial was about something different.  I almost ended up with a black eye when I started to drop to a Plank just as my son started a side leg lift.

The TV Commercial Workout was a
WIN . . .
I realized that between church, homework, a nap and the football games, my son would have nearly zero movement in his day.  By the time I figured this out, I knew I would never hear the end of it if I tried to drag him away from the football game.  With this workout, he didn't miss a single down!

WIN . . .
Both my son and I got an excellent workout!  I can't remember the last time I did so many jumping jacks.     

One thing missing from our day yesterday was us spending time together.  If I would have sat down to watch the game with him, I would have been asleep in five seconds.  Not only did we spend quality time together, we had a lot of fun! 

IDEA for my teenage son!  A very simple yet fun and effective one!

Love my family!