My featured workout song this week is Cher’s “This is a Song for the Lonely.”
Good beat, great lyrics, and a song that allows me to get lost in my cardio of choice.
I’ve always been a bit different. From the time I was a young child, I’d move towards a person in pain, not away. I wanted to find a way to help, whatever it was.
In college, I started volunteering with a local rescue squad. As a first responder, you learn to ignore your fear cues and move towards dangerous situations. Learning how to respond reduces your own fears and allows you to override your brain’s desire to run away. Since that time I’ve always been the person who calls 911 if I see something off. If I think there’s a problem, I don’t sit back. I do something.
Sure that means I get into other peoples business. The thing is, if their business is loud enough for me to hear, if it’s in a place where I can see it, then it’s become my business. I’ve heard over the years, “why do you do that? Someone will call 911. Why get involved?”
Guess what gang, I am someone. I am the someone who is seeing the situation and deciding it needs some additional help. While you are walking away because you don’t want to get involved, there’s a person hurt and bleeding who needs help.
You are the link to that help.
In March of this year, a young woman was murdered by a co-worker at a Lululemon store in Bethesda, Md. While she was being stabbed, employees at the Apple store next door were listening through the wall, trying to decide on a course of action. They chose not to get involved.
A young woman died.
Earlier this week, former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested on multiple counts of sexual assault on a child. As of now, it looks like Penn State employees knew about the abuse and did not report it to police. (Note- very graphic description of the charges.) Penn State head coach Joe Paterno and others have said they did what was legally required of them. That was the bare minimum. By not digging further, by not stepping up and being somone, an untold number of children have been hurt.
It is a pain to get involved. You risk your health, your job, and potentially your life. Ask yourself this: if it’s you needing help, what would you want done?
You’d want someone to step up and help. You are that someone.
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It’s been a heck of a week in Central Texas. As of today, over 1,400 homes have been destroyed with 34,000 acres involved. Through the tireless efforts of firefighters in the region, the blaze is at 40% containment.
With Texas under multiple fire warnings, you’d think that people are being careful. Yet daily you can watch careless smokers flicking ash out the window or tossing cigarette butts. The fire danger remains frighteningly high. Don’t just use common sense- demand that others act in a safe and responsible manner this weekend.
This weekend is a great time to step up and help others. 9/11 is used by many as a Day of Service. Volunteering is a great way to honor the service of the police and fire rescue personnel who died on September 11. This weekend, take time to reach out and help your neighbor.
American Red Cross- Central Texas is taking donations
Capital Area Food Bank is taking non-perishable food items
Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management. Phone # to register for FEMA assistance is 1-800-621-3362(FEMA).
Many companion animals have been displaced. Austin Pets Alive, Austin Humane Society, Town Lake Animal Center, and Bastrop Animal Control are all on the ground in Bastrop helping find missing animals. Animals are being sheltered at Austin Humane Society and Bastrop Animal Shelter.
As of today, no animals from the fires are being adopted out. Every effort is being made to reunite displaced animals with their humans. Animals being offered for adoption are only animals who were all ready in the custody of animal control.
If you are missing a furry family member- DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE! Pets are amazing survivors. Even animals who were locked in houses that burned have found ways out. Keep looking!
Austin Pets Alive is taking in non-Bastrop animals from other shelters in Central Texas. This is being done to alleviate crowding in those shelters. Both Austin Pets Alive and Austin Humane Society are providing medical care to injured and ill animals right now. Donations of medical supplies are greatly appreciated. Additionally, there are MANY animals needing new homes! Check with local animal rescue groups this weekend and adopt a new family member!
Here’s hoping for a safe weekend in Central Texas!
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Texas has been praying for rain. We got fire.
Since Saturday, September 4th, the Central Texas area has been battling multiple, very dangerous wildfires. Over 14,000 acres are burning, and over 400 homes have been destroyed.
Fire is a primal fear. It moves faster than any man. It leaps highways and explodes trees into flame from a distance. In an instant your life is gone. If you are lucky you’ve managed to escape with important papers and documents. If you are lucky you escape with your life.
Winds are expected to be very high today, keeping the danger up. Even if you are in an area where there are no fires currently, keep an ear on the news. Small brush fires can blow up into major events with these winds.
Donations are needed for both pets and people.
Central Texas Red Cross is taking donations. (Monetary donations only, no goods)
The Bastrop Animal Shelter evacuated 160 animals. Austin Pets Alive has taken many of those animals in. Donations are badly needed. On a personal note, this is the group I work with. All these animals coming from Bastrop aren’t vaccinated. So we are having to vaccinate them. Any little bit helps.
Austin Humane Society took in animals from Bastrop as well. They don’t have a plea up yet, but I imagine they will.
If you’ve got friends in Central Texas, keep them in your thoughts. If you live in Central Texas, be safe!
(Update- The large dogs from Bastrop are at Austin Pets Alive. Free adoptions today. Cats and small dogs are at Austin Humane Society. Both groups need donations BADLY. The animals from Bastrop are not vaccinated. Monetary donations will help both groups pay for vaccinations. )
(Update 9/6/11- Donations are still badly needed by animal rescue groups. As strays in Bastrop are being found they are being brought to various Austin shelters and groups. Erica with the Bastrop Animal Shelter has a lost and found registry for the animals in Bastrop. If you are missing a pet or have found a pet, please call her at 512-629-3159.)
Update 9/6/11- Number to call if you had animals left behind in Bastrop UPDATE: SEARCH FOR ANIMALS INFORMATION: NEW NUMBER: 512-332-8814
Per Kristine Dupuis: The Bastrop sheriff’s department is taking volunteers to help rescue animals left behind!!!
VOLUNTEERING IN BASTROP INFO: PLEASE GO TO THE CONVENTION CENTER OR PARK ACROSS FROM POLICE STATION, ADDRESSES BELOW.
Per Daisy the Starfish Thrower Just spoke with Bastrop County EOC. They are directing animal search volunteers to go to the dog park across from the police station in Bastrop. Address is 104 Grady Tuck Lane. Their phone # is 512-629-3159, but the mailbox is full.
Jennifer Ripple Convention Center — 1408 Chestnut St 512.332-8984
One of the easiest ways to start cutting unwanted calories from your diet is to reduce sugar. This is a no-brainer for most of us. Sugar is a treat food, plain and simple. It’s not something the human body is used to consuming in bulk, it’s designed as a source of quick energy, and bottom line is we eat way too much of in the US.
Thing is, the manufacturers are sneaky. They know sweet is a trigger for higher consumption. So they hide sugar in a variety of ways by changing the type. Take a look at some of the types of sugar out there.
I imagine some of those caught your attention. Take a look at the boxes you have in the house again. Do you see rice syrup listed in the first three ingredients for a child breakfast cereal? Guess what, that’s sugar. Yes it’s “healthy”, yes it’s organic. It’s still sugar. If you are looking to reduce calories then this is something you can look at cutting back on.
As you start looking more, you’ll find sugars in all kinds of products from ketchup to breads. Take a look in your pantry. How many sugars can you find right now? Let me know.
It’s easy to defend a position you agree with. It’s harder to defend a position you disagree with. Learning how to defend against points you think are wrong is often used in rhetoric classes, law classes, and debate teams.
There’s good reason for that. Being forced to look at the other side challenges you to look past the statement, “you are wrong.” It makes you actually look for information that backs up your point, while still allowing you to acknowledge the validity of the opposing argument.
I got myself all revved up about a subject that I consider myself quite knowledgeable about today. When my point was challenged, by default I started to drop back into the mindset of I’m right, you’re wrong. The thing is, there’s some good points being made by the other person. I’ve got two choices, either stick to my guns and default to “you’re wrong” or step back and look at the other point of view.
This weekend is a research kind of weekend. I get the chance to expand my horizons and potentially tighten up my position on this issue. It’s a gift.
Your challenge this weekend: take time to research an opposing point of view. Look for information which proves the opposing point. If they say the moon is made of green cheese, go look for information which proves it. Understand the argument, look at their facts and take an unbiased approach.
Are they actually right?
This is how you learn. Don’t be afraid to challenge your own perceptions. Be willing to be wrong. You just might learn something.
It’s easy to get so focused on what should be happening that you forget the fun of rolling with what is happening.
What “should” be happening right now is that I should be in Austin, dealing with temperatures of over 100 degrees. I should be plugging away at my computer, working on writing projects, and networking to build clients for my training business. I should be fretting about the state of my kitchen, or getting my car serviced, or, or, or.
What is happening is I’m in Colorado helping out my parents. I get to reassure them that their various sick cats are all being well cared for. I get to enjoy cooler temperatures. I get to work on writing projects in a new environment and find new inspiration to help drive me forward.
I can chose to see this trip to Colorado as an imposition, or as an opportunity. This is how it is with most things in your life. You can see them in a negative light, or start looking for the positive elements. Now it won’t always be possible. There will be times and places where you will struggle to find positive things. That’s okay. The key is to constantly look for good things in tough situations. This is what helps you build mental resiliency over time.
The best way out of a bad situation, start to accentuate the positive my friend.
It seems some days like there’s a whole industry out there built around telling you that your past actions have no consequence.
You can lose all that nasty fat in 30 days. You can restore your credit in three months. You can find forgiveness for all your past transgressions. You can recapture and fix your past for the bargain price of $3,999. In short with enough hard work, you can find a way to fix a broken past.
Now to an extent, this is true. You can actually undo years of damage to your body with an sound nutrition and exercise program. You can find forgiveness if you are willing to give a sincere apology and make amends for your past acts. You can even pay various agencies to go back in time and edit out your mistakes. That may cost you a little more than $3,999.
What you can’t do is ignore your role in generating those situations in the first place. You can’t erase the memory of someone you’ve hurt. Time may ease the pain, it may not. There’s an indelible mark left in place. Years of yo-yo weight loss will leave you with damage to your body. Surgery may correct loose skin, but it will always come with scars. It’s another mark you’ll have to live with.
We get so obsessed with hiding these scars, and avoiding the painful actions of the past that we forget the valuable lessons they contain. The scar on your knee reminds you to pay attention when you run. The anger in the eyes of a former friend reminds you to consider the impact of your actions on others. Stretch marks from years of weight gain are the badge showing that you’ve figured out how to lose the weight.
Your actions good and bad will have consequences. Those consequences will always be a part of your life. Trying to hide from them dishonors you and the people around you. Step up, face your actions, and honor the scars physical and mental which make you the person you are today.
One of the cornerstones of the Body-for-Life program is the Universal Law of Reciprocity. In essence, part of helping your lose weight and keep it off is remembering to reach out and help others. It can be as simple as an encouraging word to someone who’s struggling. It can be paying tolls for the people behind you. The key is doing something for another, without expecting anything for it.
Developing this attitude of gratitude helps pull you out of your own drama. It gets you focused on helping others, and by doing that you help yourself. When I started my fitness and weight-loss journey, I made a point of including daily Universal Law of Reciprocity (ULR) work into my program. I literally had as part of my daily plan, “encourage X today.”
The key thing here is that this is a specific, focused action. It’s not just a blind status update saying. “great job!” It’s something with a purpose behind it. I see a lot of folks these days who post the status update of the day. You know the one, “if you believe in cause X, put this as your status.” The thing is, does that status update really help move anything forward? I mean it’s not much work or thought for you to do a copy and paste. It’s a bit like grabbing a shotgun, closing your eyes, spinning in a circle, then pulling the trigger and hoping you hit something.
You might, but it’s probably not going to be real pretty when you open your eyes.
The goal isn’t to show the world how much you care. The goal is to take action and make a difference for someone. A genuine kind word to one who is struggling has the potential to change a life. Too often, I think we lose track of what it means to give back. It means a sacrifice. Sometimes it’s a small one, a few minutes of your time. It may be bigger, in the form of money to a cause you believe in. It may be a half day volunteering. It may be picking up the phone and listening for a few hours to someone who’s hurting.
Some days people may know it’s you reaching out. Some days it’s you operating behind the scenes. Those are some of my favorite moments of ULR in action. When you can quietly work on the back end to make something come through for a person who needs it, that’s a great feeling.
The next time you update your status to reflect the cause of the day, ask yourself what you can do to really make an impact. How can you take that off the cuff action and really make a difference in the world around you?
Great changes happen one small act at a time. That’s how you lose weight, and that’s how you build your way to a happy and meaningful life.