Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book Review: Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.

Happier is a book written by Harvard educator Tal Ben-Shahar.  In spite of his lofty position, it is a relatively easy read.  Ben-Shahar does a couple of things that I really enjoyed in the book; he describes well designed research about "Who are the happy people" and "what do they have that keeps them that way".  He also uses personal stories to animate the realities of daily happiness. 

This is not just a "THINK Happy and You Shall BE Happy" book. Ben-Shahar recognizes that some conditions really do not lend themselves to happiness. And yet, perhaps there are some little tweeks one could make to make life a bit Happier!

He discusses practical ways to be happier in work, relationships, and school. He presents thought-provoking exercises called "Time-In's" that are a wonderful way to interact with the information being presented.

He discusses ways to address the growing problem of depression in our college students. I love his idea of teaching kids how to enjoy learning so college and career choices are not harmful to their emotioal wellbeing.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in taking control of their own happiness. It makes me want to put on some Bobby McFerrin... "Don't Worry ... Be Happy ..."

P90X Day 3

Goooood Mornin' San Diego!  I am diggin' the P90X Lean Workout. The first day was Plyometrics which is all core workout. It was intense and I had to slow down at the end of almost every exercise. You will definitely want your water close because you work up a sweat pretty fast.  This is NOT the Tony Horton of Buns of Steel... my error on that. This guy is great though. I expected it to be all serious, but he is FUNNY! He has a really nice way of keeping you engaged and motivated through out each DVD.  He only has three other people working out with him, and at least one is female. I was BEAT after the Plyometrics workout and felt sore the next day, but in that really good way. I have an injured rotator cuff so I was very aware of going slowly with upper body movements, and I was so happy that after the workout my shoulder has felt BETTER than before.

The second day on the Lean program is the Cardio DVD.  It started with a good yoga warm-up that quickly got my heart rate up. Then alot of the workout was Taebo/fighting moves or sports moves which took me a while to get into because they are not moves that I am familiar with. I found that if I stopped and watched the move a couple of times I could copy it fairly easily, but I was still a bit awkward. Again I was careful with shoulder moves and did no damage to my rotator cuff.

I have not got on board with their exact diet since we still have holiday food around. I am making healthy options though for me and the family... orange chicken with green beans and brown rice. And, okay, I did have a little slice of the pecan pie that my sister made for me (it tastes JUST like my grandmother's, so I could not resist).

I am not sore today; drinking lots of water, and taking my Mitrochondrial Renewal Kit vitamins from Xymogene.  I feel really energized and am looking forward to today's workout!!

I hope you all have a Happy Healthy Day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

P90X Evaluation

Day 1
'Tis the season of Gratitude and Change. I feel thankful for my amazing family and friends. I also have tremendous gratitude for having found my calling in Anti-Aging medicine. I get to do two things that give me great joy. I get to help people look better and feel better. Life is Good!

At this time of year many of us are already considering what our New Year's Resolutions may be. Over the holidays we may be expecting some changes in body shape that we will then want to change again come 2011. So, I've decided to get a jump on the best ways to get in shape.The P90X program has been getting alot of attention, including mine, so I decided to try it out for myself and make a fair evaluation of it for the over-40 crowd.

This program was created by Tony Horton. Do you guys remember him?  He did one of the early Buns of Steel videos. It was my favorite one, so I'm already a fan of his workout style.

I ordered my P90X kit on and I've just opened the lovely white box. Clever! First thing I see in BIG print on the inside of the box: "This is your gym for the next 90 days."  OMG, I'm so excited!

There is a nice little book titled Nutrition Plan. It looks like I'll need to spend a little time reading up on their portion approach and the three phases they will take me through. Then there are recipes, meal plans and a handy daily journal for 16 weeks of notations.The recipes look good and not too complex.

My next little goody is a poster: "Decide. Commit. Succeed." I like that. What I'm not so thrilled about is the fact that I'm supposed to take a BEFORE picture, but girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

Next up, the Fitness Guide. Their first instruction is to "Forget 'I Can't' and say, 'I presently struggle with'." Okay, that seems like a good reframing, and I'm going with "I presently struggle with not enjoying exercise. So, I'm really hoping this is FUN, Tony"!  Most of the workouts are about an hour and 15 minutes.

Uh-oh. Now I see they want me to buy THEIR supplements: a multivitamin supplement, a recovery formula with 40gm carbs and 12gm protein, some protein bars with 18 gm protein (I've never met a protein bar I really liked), then their creatine formula, their whey protein powder, and finally their joint support formula (glucosamine, collagen, and MSM). Well folks, I'm going to use the equivalents of my choice in substitution of BeachBody products.

The Prep section has places to note "Before" and "After" measurements, how to take proper before and after photos, how to take a Fit Test, and a place to note your pre- and post- program results. 

Now I need to decide between the 3 program options: P90X Classic appears to be the regular "kick my butt" approach, P90X Doubles says to me  "Masochists Start Here" and P90X Lean appears to be screaming my name as it promises MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOSS!  My decision is made.

Finally, the Piece de Resistance... the DVD's!! The beautiful beach bodies themselves burning it up on video!

Maybe you want to be proactive and get started with me now.?
Or perhaps you want to read how I do before investing?

Alrighty. I'm ready. BRING IT!!

I'll let you know how it goes.