Monday, November 15, 2010

"I Didn't Believe It" or "What Is a Boot Camp?"

I started being interested in fitness in the early eighties and for most of the years since then I believed everyone should workout an hour a day.  Then ten years ago I did a few 12 week sessions of Body For Life and learned that four hours a week could be at least as effective.  Last spring my friend Brett sat in my office and told me that you can lose weight and get fit in 30 minutes a day three times a week with the right program.  I was skeptical.  For the last eight months I have done the research, taught the program and seen the effects in the participants and in my own fitness level, and I am a believer! What is the program?  At Fitmania we call it a Boot Camp even though it may look different than some other boot camp programs.  This protocol for fitness is definitely the best model for fitness for the next decade.

How It Works:
We have learned over the last dozen years that 20 minutes of interval training is much better then an hour of steady cardio for weight loss, metabolic rate and even for cardiovascular fitness.  That was why the Body For Life program was able to reduce the time demands.  You still had three hours  a week for weights but the cardio was reduced to three, intense 20 minute interval workouts.

So what about those three hours of weights every week?  Well, instead of using the same few muscles to get your heart rate up you get off the treadmill and use large multi-joint, multi-muscle movements.  You use (mostly) your own body weight and move in ways your body was intended to move.  In order to get the interval effect you move in timed segments as hard as you can instead of your usual sets and reps. I am finding this at least as effective as traditional weight lifting in building muscle for strength and toning.  When I started doing this kind of a workout I was pretty fit but I have never been more fit than I am right now. 

1. Time.  A maximum of 30 of work with a warm up and cool down takes 45 minutes 3 x week.  That is 2 hours and 15 minutes a week!  I still think getting out and doing physical activity everyday is good for body and soul, but go do things you enjoy as part of a healthy life style rather than spending all that time in the gym.
2. Metabolism.  Builds a faster metabolism far better than traditional programs.

3.  Less injury.  Because we use natural movement, synergistic muscle groups and little weight there is very little risk of injury.

4. Cheaper.  It's better than personal training for about $8 a class and you don't need a gym membership.  (If you still want one you can use the Fitmania gym if you are enrolled in Boot Camp for free.)
"All of the body's systems - digestive, circulatory, immune, and so on - are interrelated.  The common thread that binds them together is movement.  The faster the molecules of the body move the, higher the metabolic rate.  The higher the metabolic rate, the healthier the human being.  We are designed to run, jump, climb fall roll, and skip . . . If these activities hurt or cause pain, it is because we are violating some or all the laws of health." Pete Egoscue
Join us for One Big Boot Camp on Black Friday at 9am.  Totally free for absolutely everyone!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


"Taking joy in living is a woman's best cosmetic." -Rosalind Russell
Bulletin:  A person can be beautiful (handsome) and NOT be thin and thin is not necessarily beautiful. This is not a "Big Is Beautiful" endorsement because that isn't true either.  I am the first to declare that there is far too much extra poundage walking around.   Fat, in and of itself is not attractive. I'd love it if nobody had an extra pound, but beauty is much more complicated that weight or age or even genetics.

1. Beauty really is in the eye on the beholder, not because they are biased but because one who truly loves you sees you more like God does.  It's not that the beholder can't see our blemishes but that the beauty is so much grander and more obvious.  That is why some people become more attractive to us the more we know them.

2.  Cover girl, model beauty with all the make up and beautiful clothes is forgettable because it isn't real.  Manufactured beauty all begins to look the same and it doesn't feel approachable.  At the gym, and especially in my fitness classes, I watch people with all kinds of different bodies and they are in their workout clothes and sweating but they are beautiful and sexy (except the men prefer handsome and sexy).  The human body is always beautiful but there is something exceptional about these people.

3. Confidence, kindness, integrity, happiness  and a love of God and man simply creates an attractive aura.  This kind of a person is always trying to be the best they can be.  They take care of their body, improve their minds, make time for the spiritual and serve others.

4.  Now a note to men.  You already know that the woman you love is gorgeous but did you know you have the power to make her even more beautiful.  We are what we believe ourselves to be and you have the power to make her believe she is beautiful by the things you say and the way you treat her. We can do the same for the men.

"Each of us is what we believe of ourselves." -Anton Chekov

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Filling the Void

"Every human being is the author of his own health or disease." -Buddha
loathe diets and programs.  These books and programs have messed with a lot of minds and bodies so I never recommend or written one but a good friend and client of mine gave me some advice.  He said that when people are changing their eating habits they need a plan.  What to put in the empty tummy and on the shopping list, and they need it in writing.  I see his point.  So here are a few simple rules for getting back to eating like nature intended. 

Rule #1   Eat. We are designed to eat.  If someone is trying to gain weight or lose it the solution is the same: Eat and eat often.  Eat every 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  Always.

Rule #2  Eat real food.  A carrot, an apple, a chicken breast and almonds are all real food.  You know where it came from and there are no ingredients you can't pronounce, but do you know how a PowerBar is made?  You know butter comes from cream that comes from a cow but how do they make I Can't Believe It's Not Butter?  No one knows!  Can you pronounce all the ingredients in that meal replacement shake?  If it sounds like a chemical maybe you shouldn't eat it!  Scientists keep coming up with replacements for real food but coming up short.  They just can't compete with nature.
Rule #3  Eat protein, carbs and fat at each of your six meals.  I like Bill Phillips guide:  The protein should be the size of your palm and the carb the size of your fist.  Isn't that simple?  Now you can throw that food scale and calorie guide away.

Rule #4  Eat food as whole as possible.  Eat the skin of the apple, eat your grains whole, don't throw away the yolk of your egg and skip refined grains.

Rule #5  Get rid of added sugar. Sugar is a chemical and responsible for nearly all the extra pounds walking around America.  Artificial sweeteners are not good either.  Obviously if something is artificial it isn't real food, and I promise you it will not aid in weight loss.

Rule #6  Plan ahead.  If you don't plan those meals in advance you will be reaching for the junk that is so ubiquitous in our society.

There you go.  Six easy rules.  Easy to remember and you didn't have to buy a book or some pseudo food product.  Now go out there and live a healthy life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If Diets Don't Work Why Is My Friend Losing Weight?

Everyone says diets don't work and yet they are ubiquitous.  It seems that every other person you know is dieting and the book stores always have a new program on display.   Let me tell you why they don't work and offer an easier alternative.   First let's be clear.  In this context diet means restricting of calories usually according to some prescribed program and often promoting a product you must buy.

Main Reason Diets Don't Work:  Going without enough food is like holding your breath under water.  No matter how strong your will, eventually you will surface and breath in all you can.  It is a biological and physiological response but a dieter blames themselves for not being stronger.  They end up feeling like they have failed (again), and their self-esteem takes a beating when actually they have done a very difficult thing! We are designed to eat, and when you fight Mother Nature you will always lose!

Contributing Problem:  About 1/4 of the weight you lose will be muscle.  Maybe more if you aren't exercising.  To make matters worse your body goes into a survival mode so it needs less to sustain itself.  All this means lowered metabolism which means need fewer calories to survive.  Now it is harder than ever to keep the pounds off.

Solution:  Eat.  I know it seems counter-intuitive but the solution is to eat and eat often.  Skip counting calories.  EAT SIX SMALL MEALS A DAY.  Real food rather than meal replacement products.  Balance carbohydrates like vegetable, fruits, beans and a little grain with a protein at every meal.  Bill Phillips suggests your protein be the size of your palm and the carbs the size of your fist.  Don't worry too much about the fats as long as they are good fats but please skip the added sugar.  Add short, high intensity workouts (HIIT) and make sure you are doing some muscle building workouts a few times a week.  Maybe try our boot camps.  They are the most time efficient way to get the best workout for fat loss.

Final Note:  On this program you lose weight and you are never hungry.  You reduce your chances of every bad health risk from the common cold to cancer, from hypertension to tension and depression.  It takes a little longer but the change is permanent and healthy and so much easier than a diet!

for more on this topic see:
"Eat To Lose Weight"

"Take A HIIT or What Is  a BootCamp"

Fast food is not just about calories.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

7 Ways To Look and Feel Younger

I will soon be 55 years old.  Is that old?  I just can't seem to grasp it.  Do I look it?  I don't think so but nobody my age thinks they look it.  Certainly no one wants to look any older than they have to.  Here are a few things I have learned about looking and feeling younger.

1. Exercise.  Years ago I read an article in Reader's Digest and the author said that if there is really a fountain of youth it is exercise.  I was swimming in the mornings at Gold's Gym for awhile and there were two men who swam at the same time.  One was an older gentleman who was obviously in the pool because it was about all he could do.  He mostly just stood or walked slowly in the water.  After all, he was old!  The other was very fit walked with a bounce, was cheerful and friendly and a fabulous swimmer. While one was old and one was not I eventually realized they were about the same age.  There are so many reasons why we look younger if we exercise but the main reason is, at a cellular level, we are younger! 

2.  Observe old people.  Watch how they move, stand, their mannerisms and even how they dress and don't do that!

3. Take good care of your face.  Use a gentle cleanser at least every night, moisturize and exfoliate dead skin.  High quality products are a good investment.  I
avoid the perfumed products at the mall.  Currently I use Nuskin products and a galvanic spa.  I also like  Dermalogica and my friend Debby had me try Aloette and I liked it.  I asked my favorite skin expert, Bonnie Sermon, what she would recommend for those on a tighter budget and she said, "I recommend BASIS cleaning bar, and Eucerin facial quality spf, and I think most Eucerin is okay.  Avoid mineral oil, talc, fragrance. The most important thing for most faces is a gentle cleanse, maybe a little witch hazel astringent, and a spf moisturizer in the day and one free of spf for evening".

4. Take good care of the rest of your skin.  Always use a body lotion or oil after you shower and occasionally exfoliate.  Use a reasonable amount of sunscreen.  I don't regret my time in the sun but I sure wish I had used sunscreen a little more often.

5.  Lose weight.  If you have extra weight lose it.  Even losing a little will make you look and feel younger

6.  Smile. This one is offered by my friend Kacey.  I don't practice this too well but Kacey sure does and she is a pleasure to be around.

7. Try new things.  Learn to ski or golf or fish.  Take a class.  Try sushi or go to a rock concert.  Go crazy and sleep on the other side of the bed!  Whether you will like it or not is irrelevant, it's the willingness to try that will keep you young. 
"You know you’re old when you‘ve lost all your marvels." Merry Brown

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Musings Part II The Retelling of An Old Story

"The noblest question in the world is, what good may I do in it?" -Benjamin Franklin
There is an old story that is often told.  It is about a boy (or an old man, depending on the version you've heard) and he is walking along the beach.  The beach is strewn with thousands of starfish which have washed ashore.  As he walks along he picks up starfish and throws them back to the water and to safety.  Someone asks the boy how he possibly hopes to make a difference when there are so many starfish on the beach.  As the boy throws a fish back he says, "It makes a difference to this one".

It is a good story as it stands but consider this:  maybe the fish is saved or maybe it is already dead.  Who could tell with a starfish?  Maybe it will just wash ashore again with the next tide.  Whatever the future of the starfish, the boy has BECOME something more because he made the effort to save a few starfish.

We go out in the world with the intent to make a difference.  Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't know if we have or not and sometimes we fail, but always we BECOME something more as we try.

Monday, July 19, 2010


"All of us are self-made, but only the successful are willing to admit it." Earl Nightingale
I am a disciplined person but it hasn't always been that way.  As a teenager and young adult I was very undisciplined.  I'll spare everyone the details, but trust me, disciplined would not have been the word to describe me.

After I had spent some time developing discipline a friend asked me, "how do you get will power?"  That was many years ago.  I was caught off guard and really didn't know how to answer then, but now I do.  We become a  person of will by building one small discipline upon another.  Start with one discipline - it can be anything valuable from flossing your teeth to praying or exercising daily.  Do it faithfully every day with the intent to do it forever. 
"True greatness always requires regular, consistent, small, and sometimes ordinary and mundane steps over a long period of time." Howard W. Hunter
When you have it mastered you add another and then another.  As you add disciplines make sure you are balancing the important things in life.  Do you have some for your physical health, your spiritual well-being, your relationships, the education of your mind?  Each discipline will carry over into other area's of your life and make you a stronger, better person.   So consider:

Becoming strong and fit.  Not just to have better looking and healthier body but because of what it will make of you.

Becoming a millionaire.   Not just because the money would be nice, but because of what the process will make of you.

Becoming the perfectly attentive and loving husband or wife.  Not just because a loving marriage is wonderful, but because of what you will become in the process.

Becoming well educated.  Not just to impress other's with your knowledge but because of what the effort will make of you.

Becoming one who knows God as a friend.  Not just because of what it will make of you but because of what He can make of you.

To use an old simile, becoming the master of our will is like climbing a mountain.  As we master each new discipline we see there is always something else.  Thank goodness there is!  I am not who I want to be yet.
"We must all suffer one of two pains, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of regret weighs pounds." Jim Rohn

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eat To Lose Weight

"He who waits until circumstances completely favor his undertaking will never accomplish anything." Martin Luther
If you want to banish belly fat, you've got to do something fairly counter intuitive: eat.

Research shows that dieting too intensely or tracking every morsel too closely creates the perfect conditions for adding belly fat, not subtracting it.

A new study tracked the tension levels of 121 female dieters for 3 weeks. Those who followed a strict low-cal eating plan -- consisting of prepackaged meals totaling 1,200 calories a day -- experienced a significant rise in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol.That can spell big trouble when it comes to belly management. Cortisol tells your body to store more calories in your midsection, exactly where you don't want it. On top of that, feeling stressed-out can make sticking with any weight loss plan feel darn near impossible.

For a long time we have heard about how weight gain or loss was all about calories consumed verses calories spent. Well certainly that is part of the picture but evidence is mounting that what and when we eat might be at least as important. One thing is certain - being hungry is not the answer to weight loss! The increased production of cortisol is not the only reason to eat to lose weight. Here is why:

1. Being hungry will lower your metabolism while eating increases metabolism. The faster your metabolism is the more you can eat without gaining weight.

2. Hunger is a natural mechanism to make sure you eat, and eventually you will, and when you do you are much more likely to overeat and eat the wrong things.

3. If your weight loss program involves being hungry all the time you will eventually give it up. It just isn't very fun being hungry!

4. When you are hungry you are more likely to feel tired and sluggish. You are less likely to want to move and of course moving burns those calories.

So how do you eat and lose weight? Try this:

1. Eat first thing in the morning. It doesn't have to be a lot. Remember your body has gone a long time without food.

2. Eat often - every 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

3. Include protein with each meal. Good options are raw nuts, beans and lentils, fish, chicken, string cheese, and of course, the fabulous egg.

4. Eat real food. Avoid chemicals, additives, hormones, sugar and sugar substitutes.

5. Don't over-eat! Remember you get to eat again in 2-3 hours.

"We must all suffer one of two pains, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret." Jim Rohn

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chocolate Is Sexy (And Healthy)

A lady I know says you won't get fat eating chocolate. She has a chocolate store and may have a bias, but I believe there is truth in that statement. I encourage my clients to eat chocolate, even those wanting to lose weight, because I believe it to be an aid in weight loss. Besides tasting good and curbing appetite, check out these benefits of chocolate.

1. Lowers Blood Pressure. Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at Tufts University recently found that hypertensive people who ate 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day for two weeks saw their blood pressure drop significantly, according to an article in the journal Hypertension. Their bad cholesterol dropped, too.

Antioxidant and Improves Cholesterol. Studies have shown heart benefits from increased blood flow, less platelet stickiness and clotting, and improved bad cholesterol," says Mary B. Engler, Ph.D., a chocolate researcher and director of the Cardiovascular and Genomics Graduate Program at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing. These benefits are the result of cocoa's antioxidant chemicals known as flavonoids, which seem to prevent both cell damage and inflammation.

Improves Skin. German researchers gave 24 women a half-cup of special extra-flavonoid-enriched cocoa every day. After three months, the women's skin was moister, smoother, and less scaly and red when exposed to ultraviolet light. The researchers think the flavonoids, which absorb UV light, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin, improving its appearance.

Improves Brain Power. Preliminary research at West Virginia's Wheeling Jesuit University suggests chocolate may boost your memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain. Chocolate companies found comparable gains in similar research on healthy young women and on elderly people.

Mood Enhancer. According to the research of Dr. Stephen Warren, M. D., dark chocolate is loaded with key neurotransmitters like tryptophan, serotonin and dopamine. These nutrient chemicals in cocoa can lower the risk of depression, as well as suppress one's appetite and block the pathway that leads to food cravings. Additionally, phenyl ethylamine (PEA) improves mood, which in turn decreases food cravings. Food addiction is like drug addiction; consequently, cocoa can minimize food cravings and addictions by delivering the right chemicals.

Better Sex. Italian researchers wanted to know whether chocolate truly is an aphrodisiac. In a survey of 143 women published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, those who ate chocolate every day seemed to have more sex drive, better lubrication, and an easier time reaching orgasm.

"Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world's perfect food. "
Michael Levine, nutrition researcher

Now not just any chocolate will do. I recommend high quality chocolate with a cacao content of 70% or more. I also like to find chocolate that has "whole" sugar in it (i. e. evaporated cane juice, raw cane sugar). My favorite is Green & Black's 85%. They also have a 70%. Theo is another favorite brand. Both are available at Fred Meyer. The Co-op has Equal Exchange and a large variety of other brands if you want to experiment with something new.

"All of the evil that people have thrust upon chocolate is really more deserved by milk chocolate, which is essentially contaminated. The closer you get to a pure chocolate liquor (the chocolate essence ground from roasted cacao beans) the purer it is, the more satisfying it is, the safer it is, and the healthier it is." - Arnold Ismach, The Darker Side of Chocolate

Friday, June 18, 2010

Take a HIIT or "What is a Boot Camp?"

"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere."
-Frank A. Clark
At Fitmania we have been pushing Boot Camps. I can't speak for all programs but let me tell you what they are and why they are so good at Fitmania.

First, a little about HIIT or high intensity interval training. A HIIT session consists of a warm up period of exercise, followed by six to ten repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise or rest, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The high intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity. There are a lot of approaches to HIIT, including Tabatas and what is sometimes called the Little Method. A typical HIIT session would not be longer than 20 minutes. HIIT is much more effective than an hour of cardio because it increases metabolism and burns fat faster. It also increases both anaerobic and aerobic thresholds, which makes it the rare workout protocol for both sprinters and endurance athletes.

Another kind of exercise is resistance training (weight training) which builds muscle and also increases metabolism, burns fat and increases strength. Body core and balance exercises are a critical part of this training.

Our Boot Camps use strength training to create a HIIT workout so you get the benefits of both at the same time. Three workouts a week for less than an hour, including a warm up and stretching, gets maximum benefits. This is why I often say it is the most amount of fitness for your time.

Additional facts about our Boot Camps:

  • You will learn exercises you can do anywhere
  • Every workout is a little different and never boring
  • Workouts are held outside if at all possible
  • The sessions are three weeks and then one week off
  • We have 6:15 am, 9:00am and 6:00pm. While you are enrolled you can attend whatever times you want and as often as you want
  • While enrolled you have free use of Fitmania's gym
  • While enrolled you are encouraged to attend the stretching/yoga class which is free to you
  • All Boot Camps are for men and women
  • Each workout you attend enters you to win a free 7 day cruise
  • Because chocolate can be a health food we have chocolate tasting the last day of each session
  • Each three week session is only $99
New sessions starting:
  • 9:00 am Monday the 21st
  • 6:00 pm Monday July 5th
  • 6:15 am Monday July 12th
For more on HIIT see
For more on metabolism see
For more on the benefits of muscle see
"Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow."
-Mary Anne Radmacher

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Too busy to eat? Try these idea's.

One of the keys to weight loss and over all fitness is to eat, eat, eat! Being hungry is bad, bad, bad! Now having said that, we must remember to do it right. That means we eat 5 - 6 times a day, small meals always including some protein and fat. (For more on why see The problem most people have is how to do that when we are busy, traveling or running kids around. My friend, Tom Hunt, has built a great metabolism and is a firm believer in eating often. He also travels a lot. With his help I offer the following idea's

Buying food on the go:

1. Boiled - in the shell - eggs. Excellent protein, will keep for 7 days without refrigeration. Grab a bit of hot sauce to flavor it and it makes a good lunch. Available at Maverik and Flying J.

2. String cheese - carried by most C stores.

3. Smoothies - carried by most C stores - look for Odwalla, Naked or Bolthouse. Check for the one with the lowest sugar, drink half and eat some nuts. Save the other half for later.

4. Nuts or peanuts also available at C stores, usually small packages are cheap. Good protein, good fats - they do have a lot of calories, but good ones. Raw are better but you will probably have to buy a larger container.

5. Trail mixes - look for those with just nuts, dates and raisins. Those with cranberries and tropical fruits will have added sugar. Avoid the ones with M&Ms and yogurt pieces.

6. Jerky - good protein, but the additives that are in most of the jerky is very questionable so I actually try to avoid them, unless they are prepared naturally.

7. Be adventuresome! Try canned seafood. Things like kippers, sardines, smoked oysters clams and tuna are excellent for Omega 3s and protein.

8. Dried fruits like raisins, apples or dates. If I have a road trip one of my first stops is just a grocery store and get some fresh fruit and a bag of carrots.

9. I am not typically a fan of meal replacement bars but as Tom says "There is a place for these bars for the person on the go-go-go - just read that label." They are always too sweet, too processed and hard to digest but here are two I found at Costco that had a pretty good protein to sugars ratio and natural ingredients: Kashi TLC and Mrs. May's Trio.

What about fast food? I am not a fan of fast food but fast food has at least three distinct advantages: Their ingredients are published, the food is the same everywhere and it is fast.

1. All of them have salads with good fresh ingredients. But if you are going to slather the salad with dressing - well you may as well have a burger and fries.

2. McDonald's is one of the few places that use fresh, in-the-shell eggs. Not on the menu, but you can order a side of eggs - ask for round, not scrambled. A side is two eggs off the grill. About $1. Minimal grease used to cook them on the grill. Decent for breakfast.

3. Wendy's has excellent chili - high protein, whole beans, good flavor, low calorie - combine with a plain potato - makes a good cheap meal.

4. Taco Bell or del Taco both have soft chicken tacos. They use real chicken, lettuce, tomato, tortilla - they are small (and should be) but you get good protein, less than 200 calories, and tasty when you add some jalapenos and hot sauce.

5. Really gotta have a burger - Burger King has their junior whopper for $1. Get two of them, no cheese, no mayo, no catsup - they come with lettuce, tomato and onion - get mustard and a side of jalapeno. Throw away one set of buns and put all the meat and veges under the other set of buns - got a big burger with veggies - think protein and some veggies for very little $$. Cut the carbs more and throw away both buns, cut everything up and eat it like a salad!!

6. Subway has 5 or 6 sandwiches that are low in fat - and you can easily figure the calorie count. Ask for extra vegetables

7. Quiznos torpedos are fairly low in carbs - their tuna is excellent with minimal mayo mixed into it.

Bottom line on fast food is to know what they sell, what is in what they sell, and the calorie, protein, fat counts. If you want to lose/gain weight, gain muscle you have to know your intake. For the fast food industry it is there in front of us for the taking.

Knowledge is power.

Thanks Tom!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Change and Flexibility

"They must change often, who would be constant in happiness." (Confucius)
I have recently become a den leader for Cub Scouts and a fitness merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts. When I mention that to anyone they smile (smirk?). It must be obvious that I am not a natural choice. The den leader thing might be a stretch but I was impressed with the Boy Scout information and requirements for the merit badge. It is current and consistent with latest in fitness information. Your 12 year scout knows or will learn the four components of fitness. Do you know them?

Here they are:
Cardiorespiratory (think heart, lungs, treadmill)
Strength (think weight training, bulging biceps)
Body mass (think body fat percentage, scales, diets)
Flexibility (think "I don't have time for that!")

Now guess which one is the most neglected. I know I tipped you off but it is flexibility. I am as guilty as anyone about stretching. Too often I workout for 60 minutes, and stretch for five, if at all. Even with my clients I am far too lax about the flexibility. When we do strength training correctly it can improve flexibility but that is not enough. Typical stretching routines are good but do you know what is really good? YOGA! Yoga has been perfected for 5,000 years. Look at these benefits of yoga:

Physiological Benefits of Yoga
■Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium
■Pulse rate decreases
■Respiratory rate decreases
■Blood Pressure decreases (of special significance for hyporeactors)
■Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) increases
■EEG - alpha waves increase (theta, delta, and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation)
■EMG activity decreases
■Cardiovascular efficiency increases
■Respiratory efficiency increases
■Gastrointestinal function normalizes
■Endocrine function normalizes
■Excretory functions improve
■Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
■Breath-holding time increases
■Joint range of motion increase
■Grip strength increases
■Eye-hand coordination improves
■Dexterity skills improve
■Reaction time improves
■Posture improves
■Strength and resiliency increase
■Endurance increases
■Energy level increases
■Weight normalizes
■Sleep improves
■Immunity increases
■Pain decreases
■Steadiness improves
■Depth perception improves
■Balance improves
■Integrated functioning of body parts improves

Psychological Benefits of Yoga
■Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
■Mood improves and subjective well-being increases
■Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase
■Social adjustment increases
■Anxiety and Depression decrease
■Hostility decreases
■Concentration improves
■Memory improves
■Attention improves
■Learning efficiency improves
■Mood improves
■Self-actualization increase
■Social skills increases
■Well-being increases
■Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
■Self-acceptance increase
■Attention improves
■Concentration improves
■Memory improves
■Learning efficiency improves
■Symbol coding improves
■Depth perception improves
■Flicker fusion frequency improves (whatever that is)

Biochemical Benefits of Yoga
■Glucose decreases
■Sodium decreases
■Total cholesterol decreases
■Triglycerides decrease
■Cholinesterase increases
■Catecholamines decrease
■ATPase increases
■Hematocrit increases
■Hemoglobin increases
■Lymphocyte count increases
■Total white blood cell count decreases
■Thyroxin increases
■Vitamin C increases
■Total serum protein increases
(Contributed by: and

It is yoga that has kept me mobile and agile. Whether standard stretching or yoga everyone can improve their flexibility. When we have good flexibility we move with more grace, look younger, and it's easier to put our socks on! Perhaps in some way it helps when we are asked to do something outside our comfort zone, like be a den leader for eight year olds.

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius,
power and magic in it. Begin it now. " (Goethe)

Note: (because I believe this is important I have added a yoga based stretching class Tuesdays @ 7pm. Cost is $5 a class. No need to sign up in advance just come. I will do this as long as their is interest.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Egkrateia and Sugar

Egkrateia is a Greek word and means "one who holds himself in" or "the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions". Like any other addiction or habit, if it owns us then we don't own ourselves. Sugar is both physically and emotionally addictive. Like alcohol some people can have a little here and there and are fine but for most of us it is a problem. Americans eat an average of 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day! To put that into perspective imagine yourself sitting down with a sugar bowl and a teaspoon and eating 22 teaspoons full. Sugar is a major culprit in causing or advancing:

-gum disease

Artificial sweeteners are not the answer either as these are typically as bad or worse for our health as sugar and perpetuate the craving for sweets. Try these things instead:

1. Eat frequently. Never go longer than 3 hours without eating. When we are hungry we crave the simple carbs like sugar and when we are hungry we have less power to resist.

2. Eat protein with each meal. It will keep you satisfied longer.

3. Drink a lot of water. The need for water can be easily confused with hunger or food cravings. Herbal teas can also be helpful. Try rooibos. It is a little sweet, good for re hydrating and a pretty red color.

4. Keep some frozen berries on hand and some vanilla yogurt (a lower sugar variety like Mountain High Lowfat Plain or Vanilla or Nancy's). When everyone else is having dessert thaw those berries and put some yogurt on them. It is way tastier than cake!

5. My personal favorite. Develop a taste for very dark, high quality chocolate. Make sure it is 70% cocoa or more. Try Green & Blacks or Theo's both available at Fred Meyers in the natural food section. A little piece of that with some raw nuts can satisfy for hours.

Keep at it and someday you will walk by the dessert table knowing that it has absolutely no power over you because you are "egkrateia".

Monday, April 19, 2010


I spent some time at the Veteran's Home last week. I like going, I like the men there and the opportunity to do some little thing for them. It is a good place to learn a few things, too, like setting priorities, the value of taking care of yourself and about the topic for this post, TIME.

"Most men do not set priorities to guide them in allocating their time and most men forget that the first priority should be to maintain their own spiritual and physical strength; then comes their family . . . then their professions, and all need time. " Harold B. Lee

I hear so many people say they need to exercise but just don't have TIME. The sense you get is that they are busier than most people. No one says, "I have so much TIME on my hands I might as well exercise"! Everyone is busy.

Exercise doesn't take take time, it gives you TIME. It sounds counter-intuitive but here are three reasons why:

1. When we exercise we are mentally sharper and more effective in our day to day activities. We will also tire less easily (at first you might feel more tired but it will pass) So we use our TIME more effectively.

2. Being sick takes a lot of TIME. Exercise greatly improves the immune system and helps prevent everything from the common cold to cancer.

"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." Edward Stanley
3. People who exercise live longer. That will give you some TIME.

If you feel that you need to sacrifice your exercise TIME for the sake of your family here are three more thoughts for you:

1. Weight and health issues are a heavy burden and your children are learning about fitness from you. They will follow your lead.

"Do you expect, forsooth, that a mother will hand down principles which differ from her own?" Juvenal
2. It isn't fair to burden your adult children with your care because you didn't take care of yourself.

3. Your life is important to those who love you and dying early will leave a hole in their lives.

Do what you need to now to prevent being in a nursing home later. You don't have TIME for that.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

11 Ways to Be Happy(er)

All we really want is to be happy in this life. We make every choice according to what we think will make us happy. Many of our choices make us feel good in the short run but actually damage our happiness in the long run. For example, we might feel like we would be happier if we skipped our workout, watched TV and ate ice cream. For a few minutes of pleasure (which is usually less pleasure than we thought it would be) we trade self-respect, disappointment with our self, some more unwanted weight and a belly ache to boot. Look around you and you will find that the happiest people are the ones who know how to delay immediate gratification for a greater and lasting happiness. No one works out and then says, "I sure wish I wouldn't have done that!", but how many times after some unscheduled self-indulgence do we regret it?

"Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness
-St. Augustine

Now, with the idea in mind that happiness takes some effort, here are a few idea's on how to be happy(er). If you have been following this blog some of these suggestions will sound familiar.

1. Exercise for the happiness effect. Okay, you know this one is coming so let's get it out of the way. Studies continue to show that exercise works better than anti-depressants. And you don't have to be depressed to feel the happiness effect of exercise.

2. We are happiest when we are growing. Do something hard. Self esteem is earned, not an inherited right. Do things that give you a feeling of accomplishment. For years when my esteem or happiness was low I would pick a hard hill, usually the road to Tablerock, and ride my bike to the top. The options for hard things are limitless. You could run in a local race, serve someone you would rather not serve, take a class. Join a gym??

3. Fill your mind with happy things. Drastically limit the news, talk radio, television, Internet junk, etc. These things are all negative. Replace those things with things that are motivational and inspiring. Keep good audio programs in your car and a good book on hand.

4. Sleep for happiness. Get enough sleep.

5. Eat for happiness. Eat often and avoid simple carbs to prevent changes in blood sugar which in turn causes mood swings, irritability and stress.

6. Find happiness in the moment. Having six kids and all that goes with it I learned to multitask pretty well. Now I am un-learning it. We miss the joy of the moment when doing two things at once or doing one thing while thinking of what we will do next.

7. Find happiness in quiet. Find quiet time everyday, to just think and be.

8. Express gratitude for happiness.
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great thing but like a wise man once said, "silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." Verbalize your gratitude to those who need to hear it.

9. Spirituality brings happiness. Studies repeatedly show that people who pray and feel they have a personal relationship with God are happier than those who don't.

10. Relationships affect our happiness. Give priority to close relationships. Surround yourself with uplifting people, avoid negative ones and avoid people who stomp on your dreams or goals.

11. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is something we choose. Choose it everyday.

"You are one of the noblest of God’s creations. His intent is that your life be gloriously beautiful regardless of your circumstances."
-Richard Scott

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Fable

This is a re-posting of the most important message I have written. It could change your life!!

After a discussion in Sunday School my husband leaned over to me and said, "I don't believe God put me on earth to be mediocre". That seems obvious enough, even mortal parents want more for their children than mediocrity. Why then do we settle for so little so often?

Consider this fable: "There once was a caterpillar who did not know what she wanted to do with her life. She wandered aimlessly until she saw another caterpillar hanging upside down on a branch caught in some hairy substance. She said, "You seem to be in some trouble. Can I help you?" "No," said the hanging caterpillar, "I have to do this to become a butterfly."

"Butterfly? What is a butterfly?"

"It's what you are meant to be. It flies with beautiful wings and joins the earth to heaven. It drinks only nectar from flowers and carries seeds of love from one flower to another. Without butterflies the world would soon have few flowers"

The yellow caterpillar exclaimed, "It can't be true! How can I believe there's a butterfly inside me when all I see is a fuzzy worm? How does one become a butterfly?"

The hanging butterfly said, "You must want to fly so much you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."

Life offers so much! There is so much to do, see, feel, touch and especially be. Helen Keller said, "Either life is a daring, joyful adventure or life is nothing." Of course that kind of life requires giving up the comfortable mediocrity of being a caterpillar.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is It Fat Skinny or Skinny Fat?

Dieting? One of every four pounds you lose is probably muscle. Studies show that this is what happens to people who just cut calories as well as people who cut calories and do cardio exercise (you know, walking, running, cycling, hiking, etc).

Not dieting? You still may be losing muscle. Adults lose 1/4 - 1/2 pound of muscle a year. This is serious!

-muscle protects us from injury
-gives our bodies shape
-improves immunity
-helps us sleep better
-increases metabolism
-prevents diabetes (muscle is a major clearance site for circulating blood glucose)
-protects bones from osteoporosis

. . . there's more but you get the idea.

Of course the solution is resistance training (you know, weight training, pumping iron, etc). But it's important to do it right for maximum benefit and to prevent injury. So here are a few tips:

1. Make sure your form is correct. You will probably need help with this. Find a knowledgeable person to watch or train you, or call me. It's what I do. Even weight lifting veterans need someone to check them once in awhile. One thing that will help is to know which muscle you are trying to work and then focus on that muscle. Don't just look around the gym at other people for examples. My many hours in gyms has taught me that a good majority of people in the gym don't know what they are doing.

2. Slow down. Especially in the negative, or with gravity, phase in each repetition. Always keep that weight controlled, slow, steady.

3. After each set give the muscle about a minute to recover, but don't just sit there. Make it an active rest. Do an abdominal or body core exercise between each set.

4. Allow at least two days before working the same muscle groups again.

5. Vary your routine. In fact, don't have a routine. Variety is the spice of life and the best way to make the most of your workout time.

6. You can adequately build muscle with any number of sets but make sure you fatigue the muscle in the last set. If you want to build muscle faster go to failure, pick up a lighter weight and go to failure again. For some exercises you will need a spotter to help you and prevent dropping a weight on yourself. Please never sacrifice good form to do more weight, reps or sets.

7. Be consistent. You have to work a muscle twice a week to make progress and once a week to maintain it.

8. Drink lots of water.

9. Always eat before a workout and within 30 minutes after working out. Make sure you include protein.

"Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness."
- Earl of Derby

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Keep That Lost Weight Lost!

You've heard it before. Diets don't work! A sad statistic is that 90% of people who lose weight gain it back and usually more. It doesn't have to be that way.

Remember when you were young and your parents would measure your height and mark the wall? If you tried it again the next day or week or even month there would be no perceptible change - but if you waited six months you could see the progress. This makes a perfect metaphor for any kind of human improvement like gaining knowledge, growing spiritually, developing a relationship, taking a vitamin or permanent weight loss. Human beings are not able to make huge changes and maintain them. We just aren't designed that way. All personal growth or improvement happens a little at a time. The key is to make changes one at a time with the intent to make it a permanent change. Of course weight will come off more slowly but it will stay off. Here are a few idea's. Pick one or two, work on it until it becomes a life style change and then move on to something else.

1. Exercise everyday! Well six times a week anyway. Even 20 minutes a day. Anybody can can find 20 minutes! Just put on your shoes and walk out the door. Everyday. Never miss. You wouldn't think of not eating everyday! Everyday. Decide this will be part of your life forever and then do it! Everyday.

2. Cut high fructose corn syrup out of your diet completely. Yes it is made from corn but you won't find HFCS in nature and it's bad, bad, bad. I won't list all the ills associated with it here, any google search will give you that. Let it suffice to say that it contributes to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, suppresses the chemical in our bodies that tell us we are full and more. Besides soda (for more on soda see older post "Don't Hate Me - I'm Just the Messenger"), it is found in many otherwise healthy foods like yogurt, whole wheat bread, food bars, vitamin water drinks and sports drinks. Condiments such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, pickle relish and most salad dressings. It is also in candy, and other "snack" foods, especially food marketed to children.

3. Here's some other bad stuff. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fat. Think shortening. Now imagine a big scoop of that in your children's peanut butter, a Costco muffin or chicken McNuggets. The food industry is doing better with this one, but check your chips, cookies anything fried, and of course, your peanut butter.

4. Avoid fast food. First of all it is fast. If we actually had to make that meal we might find we just aren't that hungry. Worse is what is in it. The food is manipulated and filled with chemicals from farm and ranch to the time it is placed it that (hopefully) recycled bag. Consider the McNugget. It has 38 ingredients including several that are completely synthetic, butane and at least one known carcinogen.

5. Eat breakfast. Make sure you include a protein like eggs. (See older post "Eat and Lose Weight")

"Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible - and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you." Dieter Uchtdorf

Monday, February 22, 2010

I Stumbled On Something Powerful!

I have always been a believer in goal writing. There is plenty of research to suggest that the most successful people both personally and professionally are goal writers. I know from my own experience that it makes all the difference, but still progress was slower than I would like. And then about three years ago I came upon a goal writing technique from Brian Tracy. On his audio program he called it "Ultimate Goals". I call it "Goals On Steroids". The success I found with this program was incredible! My personal growth was accelerated in every area of my life. Of course that increased my happiness since we are always happiest when we are growing and progressing. Here's how it works:

1. Get a spiral notebook and write down your 10 - 15 most important goals EVERYDAY. Never miss a day!

2. Each day write them from memory without referring to your previous list. This will be a struggle the first few times but will help crystallize what it is you really want. Find wording that inspires you. After the first few weeks this process will take you less than five minutes.

3. Write your goals as if you have already accomplished them. "I have excellent posture" or "I spend time educating myself everyday".

4. Always write them in the affirmative. Write "I am financially independent" rather than "I am debt free" so the focus is not on a negative like "debt".

5. You may have no idea how each goal will be accomplished but write them anyway.

6. Set a deadline when possible as in "I will be able to wear that little black dress by December 31st".

7. Make sure you have set goals in each of the important area's of life. I like to place them in order of my priorities. My first goal is spiritual, then family (social/emotional), physical, financial, etc.

As you try this program miracles will happen in your life. In some cases it will seem as if super natural forces are at work. Everyone who I know has tried it has found that it works. Unfortunately many people are content in the mediocrity of a comfort zone. Don't let that be you. There is not much fun or excitement there, whereas, there is excitement and success in abundance in the world if you reach for it.

If you decide to try this I would love to hear about your experience. If you have questions contact me or read chapter 15 of "Goals!" by Brian Tracy. In fact, go crazy and read the whole thing.

My favorite quote is by Helen Keller. She said, "Either life is a daring, joyful adventure or life is nothing." Now go get 'em!

Leave a comment here, contact me at Fitmania 345-2377, by e-mail or Facebook.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I love to wear high heels. Spiky, strappy, sexy 3-4 inchers. My good friend Dr. Randy Lowe, an excellent podiatrist, tells me "just keep wearing them and I will fix your feet later". I am actually pretty careful about how my shoes fit, how long I wear them and I have a lot of muscle in my legs so I don't plan on needing him for that, but it makes me think about health care in America. We have become a society that wants to indulge now and fix it later.

A massive amount of our health care dollars are spent on type II diabetes, obesity related illness and addiction. All three of these are totally within our control to prevent. Then there is cancer, heart disease and hypertension (high blood pressure), to name a few, which we have a large deal of control over. For example, consuming the amount of sugar in one can of soda a day is enough to increase your chance of pancreatic cancer 70 percent! You know CANCER, the big C? It just isn't worth it in pain, suffering, death or dollars. And that is just one example.

Sometimes people will say, "I just can't give up sugar" or "I just can't give up my Dr. Peppper" and I think, "are you kidding me!! People have given up heroine, alcohol, cigarettes and even sacrificed their life for their fellow man, I am sure you can give up sugar! If you don't care to change something in your diet, that is fine, but it isn't because you can't.

Health care reform has become a major political and social issue in our country. There is a problem and while we are blaming insurance companies, congress, and the medical community maybe we should look in the mirror and see if we are part of the problem. I don't know what congress should do but I do have a pretty good idea what you and I should do. “Of course it's the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.”(Margaret Thatcher)

1. Lose that weight. Just do it. Start today. No excuses. You can do it just as well as anybody else can. Tomorrow you will just be one day older. It you need help getting started call me. It's what I do.

2. Get fit. Determine which five - six days a week you will exercise and then never miss a workout. Lot's of people do it and you are no busier than anyone else. If you don't know how to get started call me. It's what I do.

3. Replace the junk you consume with the beautiful things that nature has to offer.

You can do this! You are more powerful than you can imagine! But you won't know that, or how very much it is worth it until you do. Let's fix it now and indulge in a very long and healthy life.

"When you are tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you." Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Matilda's Metabolism and 8 Ways To Improve It

Consider Matilda who has lost weight and now desires to maintain a certain weight. She has determined that she needs x number of calories everyday to do that. That works but as time goes by she notices she is gaining weight so she reduces her calories. Again that works but more time goes by and she finds she must reduce her caloric intake again, and then again and again and pretty soon she is living on carrot sticks!

And then there is Fred who decides that he will get his daily allotment of calories by eating Oreo's. He is sure he has consumed the right number of calories and yet the pounds pile on.

Here are two examples of why calories in verses calories spent is only part of the story about weight loss. What has happened to Matilda is that her metabolism is slowing and so she must reduce her calories. A better way would be for her to increase her metabolism. Here are eight ways for Matilda to do that.

1. High intensity interval training (HIIT). Besides it's fat burning effect it appears to increase growth hormone (a good thing) and increase metabolism. Interval training should always be done after a meal as your body can begin eating into muscle as glucose levels drop. (for more on intervals see previous post "More Fit In Less Time or Step Away From the Magazine")

2. ALWAYS eat breakfast!! Your metabolism slows when you sleep and eating breakfast gives it a kick start. You have been a long time without food. If your cells do not get fed they learn to function on less food and that means a lower metabolism. You may not feel like it at first but keep at it anyway and soon you will be waking up hungry.

3. Eat five to six times a day, every 2 1/2 - 3 hours. The actual act of eating and digesting builds metabolism. After a while your body will realize it is going to get fed and will let go of some of those pounds of fat. (see previous post "Eat and Lose Weight")

4. Resistance/weight training. More muscle equals higher metabolism. Without weight training adults will lose as much as a 1/2 pound of muscle a year.

Those are the big four. Here are some other idea's:

5. Get spicy! Spicy food has been shown to increase metabolism.

6. Get enough sleep.

7. Drink a lot of water.

8. Reduce stress. Stress increases cortisol which increases fat gain- especially belly fat. Daily stresses of life are hard to minimize very much. It is always good to re-evaluate and see what we can change and sometimes the only thing to do is change our attitude. What helps me is to realize I have a certain number of things to do and I can do them feeling stressed or I can do the same things with cheerfulness and find joy in the process. I have learned that multi-tasking is a sure way to suck the joy out of an activity and increase stress.

What about Fred? A subject for another post.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Don't Hate Me - I'm Just the Messenger

Of commonly consumed legal substances, next to cigarettes, soda maybe be the worst enemy to our health as a nation and to many individuals. I could write pages about the evils of soda but I 'll just post enough information to cause you to put down your Big Gulp and think.

1. Whether it's regular or diet, soda makes people fat! All it takes is one can (remember when twelve ounces was a serving of soda?) a day to considerably up your odds of being overweight. Here's why:
Regular Soda
One 12-ounce can of sugar-sweetened soda contains 150 calories and 40 to 50 grams of sugar. Added to a typical US diet, one can of soda per day can lead to a 15-pound weight gain in a year.
Diet Soda A study in 2005 by the University of Texas Science Center found that one diet soda a day increased your chances of being overweight by 41%.
Diet or Regular If you drink at least one soft drink every day, you could have more than a 50% higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome according to a study in the American Heart Association's journal. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions which includes excess fat around the waist. Researchers found the risk was high whether you were drinking regular or diet soda.

2. With metabolic syndrome comes other health risks like high blood pressure, problems with insulin and abnormal cholesterol levels. If you have these factors your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke increases. Again the risk was high whether you were drinking regular or diet soda.

3. Osteoporosis
Soft drink consumption, whether diet or regular, is a major factor that contributes to osteoporosis. Soft drinks make your bones weak and brittle three ways:
-Carbonation- carbonation is an irritant to the stomach. Our bodies pull calcium out of the bloodstream to cure this irritation. The blood must replenish its calcium supply, so it pulls calcium from the bones.
-Phosphoric acid- Sodas are high in phosphoric acid, which has been long linked to osteoporosis.
-Soda often replaces a calcium-containing alternative, such as milk or water.

4. Drinking soda has a detrimental effect on our teeth. While the high sugar content of soda causes tooth decay, the acid in all soft drinks easily dissolves tooth enamel.

5. Many soft drinks contain caramel coloring to allow them to have their dark appearance. The chemical polyethylene glycol is used to achieve this dark color. Glycol is used in antifreeze. Scientists are concerned that this caramel coloring may be a carcinogen.

6. Yellow #5 is a common dye used to color soft drinks. Reactions to the consumption of this dye can include indigestion, anxiety, migraines, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance. It has also been linked to childhood obsessive compulsive disorder and hyperactivity. Its use has been banned in Norway, Austria, and Germany.

7. Caffeine addiction.

Hate it? Love It? Requests for future subjects? Leave a comment!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Fable

After a discussion in Sunday School my husband leaned over to me and said, "I don't believe God put me on earth to be mediocre". That seems obvious enough, even mortal parents want more for their children than mediocrity. Why then do we settle for so little so often?

Consider this fable: "There once was a caterpillar who did not know what she wanted to do with her life. She wandered aimlessly until she saw another caterpillar hanging upside down on a branch caught in some hairy substance. She said, "You seem to be in some trouble. Can I help you?" "No," said the hanging caterpillar, "I have to do this to become a butterfly."

"Butterfly? What is a butterfly?"

"It's what you are meant to be. It flies with beautiful wings and joins the earth to heaven. It drinks only nectar from flowers and carries seeds of love from one flower to another. Without butterflies the world would soon have few flowers"

The yellow caterpillar exclaimed, "It can't be true! How can I believe there's a butterfly inside me when all I see is a fuzzy worm? How does one become a butterfly?"

The hanging butterfly said, "You must want to fly so much you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."

Life offers so much! There is so much to do, see, feel, touch and especially be. Helen Keller said, "Either life is a daring, joyful adventure or life is nothing." Of course that kind of life requires giving up the comfortable mediocrity of being a caterpillar.