How do you handle yourself mentally knowing you will gain weight during the holidays?

If you’re really upset at temporarily gaining a few pounds, just remember that your weight is not an ethical issue. You’re not poisoning babies or something equally bad.

Try to get some perspective on your situation. I mean that literally. Try to consider this problem as if it belonged to someone you care about, not you.

If you wouldn’t hate someone else for gaining 5 pounds that they’re going to lose after the holidays when they get back on track with their eating plans and workouts (or even if they don’t), then why would you hate yourself?

If it turns out that your real reason for being upset is that you’re angry at yourself for not reaching a goal or maintaining perfect self control, then I’d suggest learning some techniques for self forgiveness, and understand that if you berate yourself for not being perfect, you’re likely to have even worse results.

If you’re willing to read an article on ‘messing up,’ I suggest Stephen Guise’s article “The Hidden Cause of Downward Spirals.”

Remember: We’re not robots!

What exercises can you do using a towel?

There is an entire range of exercies you can do just with your body weight; I suggest reading up on calisthenics or search the term “bodyweight exercises” for examples. Once you’ve exhausted all of those ideas, and you feel you need something additional, here are a few things you can do with a towel:

  1. Shoulder roll-outs; also called “shoulder dislocations.” Using a towel that is a bit shorter than your height, hold the towel horizontally in front of you, grasping each end, pull your hands apart, and keeping your arms straight, raise your hands straight up and attempt to lower your hands down behind yourself to your butt or lower back. Now return to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions. This will gradually increase the range of motion in your shoulders.
  2. Towel curls. Stand straight, perhaps with your back against a pole or wall for support. Grasp each end of the towel and place one foot in the middle of the towel. Raise your hands toward your shoulders, bending your elbows. You can vary the intensity of the curls from light to very heavy by changing how hard you press down on the towel with your foot.
  3. Hip and hamstring range of motion: Lie flat on your back with one leg straight on the floor. Wrap the towel around the foot of the other leg and raise your leg toward the ceiling, pulling the leg upward with the towel. You may eventually be able to pull your leg almost to your chest this way.
  4. Find a door handle or upright post. Wrap the towel around it, squat down with feet directly below the door handle, and lower yourself away from the door, straightening your arms. Slowly bend your arms, pulling yourself toward the anchor point, engaging the muscles in your upper back. Repeat.
  5. If you have a chin-up bar or similar place for doing pull-ups, you can start training yourself to do one-arm pull-ups by wrapping the towel over the bar and hanging onto it with one hand, while gripping the bar normally with the other hand. Do your pull-up workout this way, alternating hands on the towel every set. Gradually lower your grip on the towel further from the bar, over the course of several months. This will decrease the amount of assistance you get from the “towel side,” and you’ll get a harder workout on the “bar side.”

I’m sure there are 100 more ideas that you can find online. These are just the ones I thought of while avoiding starting my morning workout for a few minutes! Good luck to you.

How do you come to terms with the fact that you’re just ordinary?

I was asked “How do you come to terms with the fact that you’re just ordinary?” 

My answer is: Help others.

Very few people actually do this. That means that you’ll no longer be ordinary. In fact, you may appear to be extraordinary in the eyes of those you help. You can help build houses, give blood, raise money, visit isolated folks in nursing homes, staff phone banks. The need is literally endless.

Another possible side effect of helping others is that you’ll stop worrying so much about whether or not you’re ‘just ordinary,’ or how you appear to others. Knowing that you are contributing to the world can help you worry less about how others see you. 

Do a web search on ‘volunteer opportunities near me.’ you’re almost certain to find something that appeals to you.