Mental Health

Does Midlife Have You Wondering What To Do With The Rest Of Your Life?

Does Midlife Have You Wondering What To Do With The Rest Of Your Life?Does Midlife Have You Wondering What To Do With The Rest Of Your Life? by by Jennifer T. Grainger

Although midlife is generally defined as the years between 40 and 60, just as with any other maturing stage of life, there are those who start sooner and those who start later.

Your birthday age is not what determines your entry into midlife. It is the feeling that something is missing in your life; feeling dissatisfied with your life, but finding it difficult to know what you'd rather have instead. There becomes a strong inner desire to take charge of your own life-to become your own authority.

Did you Know 50% of Women 50 and Older are Single?

The current generation of women, sometimes referred to as Baby Bloomers, are the first group of women that encompass a big percentage who have the financial capacity to be on their own. They often find that their ability to direct their lives without feeling supervised or monitored by "the man of the house" to be very freeing.

Studies show that during a woman's midlife, changes take place in brain chemistry which cause her to view her life very differently. What was OK before is no longer OK . . . just because it isn't! Seeing things in a new way, and wanting to do things in a new way often meets with resistance from family and friends who demand from her reasons as to why she is feeling the way she is. Being unable to rationally defend her feelings sometimes leads to her feeling emotionally distressed.

Some Questions That Pop Up as You are Entering Second Adulthood.

- When is it my turn?
- When do I get to live my life?
- Is this all there is?
- What's the point?
- Why am I here?
- I don't know what I want, but I know what I have isn't it!

I should be happy with how my life is, but I'm NOT?"

I met an 80 year old women in a class I was teaching at the local community college. She had been married her whole adult life, caring for her husband and 8 children. Her husband was ill and she was feeling guilty because she had been wishing her child would move out, and that her husband would die so she could finally have her own life. (It is never necessary for someone to die in order for you to live the life you are meant to live. There is always a way to liberate yourself.)

She raised her hand to ask a question. "Is it really OK for me to think about what I want for myself?" With that question, at age 80, her "midlife" transition had begun.

It's Normal

The good news: whether you are 30 or 80, if you are having these type of thoughts, you are experiencing the kinds of thoughts and feelings that are a normal part of entering the stage of growth that Gail Sheehy, author of New Passages, calls your Second Adulthood.

The bad news: because this generation of women is the first to tackle this transition head on (rather than fade into the background as many of our mothers and grandmothers did) there are not many role models to rely on as you face what feel like sink holes, sheer cliffs, dense fog and intense feelings of confusion that often lead to feeling STUCK!

Help is Available

Because of the huge population of baby boomers entering midlife, there are books, workshops, life coaches, women's groups, etc., focused solely on the midlife woman's transition.

I have recommended the books listed below to my clients:

Navigating Midlife: Women Becoming Themselves, Robyn Vickers-Willis

Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood, Suzanne Braun Levine

Not Your Mother's Midlife: A Ten-Step Guide to Fearless Aging, Nancy Alspaugh and Marilyn Kentz

Bring it On! Women Embracing Midlife, Christine Carter Schaap

Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd

Awakening at Midlife, Kathleen A. Brehony

If Not Now, When? Reclaiming Ourselves at Midlife, Stephanie Marston

Facing the Challenge of Transition

Although the midlife transition is normal, it is still a challenging chapter in a woman's life. If you have a few close women friends to talk to, and you begin discussing the distressing thoughts and feelings that you are experiencing you will find you are not alone (that is, if your friends are honest!).

A women who faces the midlife transition with an attitude of daring adventure, a confident attitude, and a belief that the best is yet to come may find the journey daunting, yet worth it when she experiences the deep satisfaction of coming into her own Authentic Self.

Jennifer T. Grainger is a self-discovery coach specializing in women's midlife transition. She works with individuals as well as with groups in her 6-month Midlife Women Finding What's Next TeleProgram. Self-discovery is a daunting journey that definitely deserves support. Learn more about Jennifer and her services:=>

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Maintain Your Exercise Routine with Nine Training Tips

Maintain Your Exercise Routine with Nine Training TipsMaintain Your Exercise Routine with Nine Training Tips by by Trina Rowe

A well thought out exercise program and proper nutrition equals being physically sound and healthy. Sounds simple enough, right? But how do I start? And what type of exercise program is really best for me, based on my age, body shape and size, abilities and time constraints? And how do I know if I'm making progress?

While that can be a lot to digest at once, the path to good fitness and health doesn't have to be complicated and difficult to travel. With the proper guidance, exercise plan and the right equipment, anyone can find their own way to fitness and health.

First, there's one key point we'd like to make - the difference between "physical activity" and "exercise." Physical activity is simply any movement that uses energy. Walking up stairs, lifting boxes, folding laundry are all movements that use energy and involve different parts of the body.

Exercise is defined as "physical activity that is structured and done at a specific intensity for a length of time." We engage in exercise for fitness and health benefits, to improve some components of our physical well-being - cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength or endurance, flexibility, body composition, etc.

A proper exercise program combines aerobic activity and strength training with stretching. The American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control recommend 30-40 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise for 30-40 minutes most days, combined with 2 days of resistance/strength training per week.

A fitness program that includes regular exercise and increased physical activity, can add years to your life and life to your years. But proper exercise is most important to fitness and health and a well-balanced body. Many people are looking specifically at changing their eating habits to lose weight and get in shape, but that's only half the battle. In order to get the maximum benefits from a healthier diet, an exercise program needs to be developed and followed as well.

Some of the benefits of both Aerobic and Strength exercise include:

Aerobic Exercise
- Increases the level of oxygen to the lungs and bloodstream.
- Improved fitness and health with decreased blood pressure.
- Increases immunity to disease, by circulating and draining the fluids in the lymphatic system.
- Lessens our body's fat stores because they are being used to fuel our activity level.
- Strengthens and builds up the heart muscle and our bones.
- Improves the endurance level of the cardiovascular system.
- Helps to detoxify the skin due to the promotion of sweating.
- Conditions the lungs so they're better able to handle everyday activity.
- Improves the flexibility and strength of muscles throughout the body.
- Decreases the risk for developing heart disease.
- May help with the alleviation of stress and improve our overall mood.

Strength Training
- Increases our body's bone density and strength.
- Helps to develop tendon and ligament strength.
- Helps to intensify our body's fat weight loss process.
- Increases the body's metabolism and overall fitness and health.
- Boosts our body's stamina, energy and endurance.
- Helps increase the body's coordination and balance.
- Gives our body greater muscle strength, tone and firmness.

As you can see, an exercise program is good for your overall fitness and health in so many ways. And if you're trying to lose weight, exercise raises your metabolism, which allows your body to burn fat instead of storing it. If the activity level is maintained, this will help you keep your weight under control. Getting in at least some form of exercise every day is an important part of everyone's path to fitness and health, and your well-being.

Need help working out an effective exercise plan? Visit us at the Bauerfeind Performance Center in Santa Monica, CA. The new Bauerfeind Performance Center is helping athletes raise their potential throughout the Los Angeles area. Discover more Training Tips at

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Reasons Why People Are Overweight

Reasons Why People Are OverweightReasons Why People Are Overweight by by Jill Smi

Why are we overweight? This question has been asked many times and we all have different answers. The most common is because we eat too much, especially junk food, and exercise less. It is easy to say, I will lose weight and keep it off. Reality is that when we eat more calories than we can use for energy, our bodies store fat. The issue is whether we are seriously committed to change our lifestyle, adopt healthier habits and exercise more. After we gain weight, we find difficulty losing it. There is hope. Increasing our fat burning metabolism will help us lose weight.

Most people have tried many diets, such as quick weight loss diets with the hope of loosing that unwanted fat, yet failed to keep the weight off. Why? Because quick diets are not the answer. Think for a moment, we did not gain all that weight in one week, but gradually, right? Therefore, we can lose that unwanted fat gradually and keep the weight off. This is why it is so hard to lose fat and to stay slim with those quick weight loss diets. Some of these diets are so extreme that leave you feeling hungry, weak, and the end is that instead of promoting a healthy eating habit to lose weight, you end up cheating and eating until you satisfy those cravings. Back to our original question, why are we overweight? People are overweight for different reasons: eating too much, lack of exercise, slow fat burning metabolism, retaining water, eating too late, eating unconsciously while watching TV, eating the wrong foods. We tend to eat for emotional reasons too, as we relate food as calming our nerves. Sound familiar? Sure, we feel fine while eating, but is this the answer to calm our nerves? No. Definitely not. Anxiety can drive us to eat more and see food as an ideal comfort.

How to resolve the overweight issue?

First, we recommend you take a conscious decision of examining your eating habits and consult a physician to check your health before starting any nutritional program and exercise plan.

Second, keep a daily record of what you eat, drink at least 8 glasses of water, have green tea to increase your metabolism, consume lots of vegetables and fresh fruit, avoid junk food and heavy sugary products.

Third, learn to say no when friends or family members offer you second or third servings.

Fourth, keep a firm decision and a positive attitude to lose that unwanted weight, visualize the new you.

Fifth, contact friends who will encourage you to lose weight and motivate you when feeling down. There is always someone ready to keep you motivated.

Whenever you feel eating for anxiety, think twice. Stop for a moment and ask yourself, "am I really hungry or is just an emotional excuse?" Instead of eating impulsively, try to drink water or have a cup of green tea, go out for a walk, or contact one of your friends for motivation.

Remember you are not alone; there are many people trying to lose weight and helping each other is the most valuable tool. Others have lost weight and kept the weight off. I did it, so can you! Believe in yourself, you are special.

Learn about arthritis cures and temporal arthritis at the Health And Nutrition site.

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How To Keep Comfort Eating Under Control

How To Keep Comfort Eating Under ControlHow To Keep Comfort Eating Under Control by by Sandra Prior

We've been fed a lot of research in recent years showing that we eat for all sorts of bad reasons - from boredom, depression and loneliness to anything we consider a celebration. The only good reason to eat, is feeling hungry. However, nutrition experts are acknowledging that emotional eating isn't all that bad. To crave comforting foods when we have negative feelings can help us cope.

It is the norm in our society to mark special occasions with food. Few of us have ever had a slice of cake at a colleague's birthday party because we needed the nourishment. You can give yourself permission to eat just because you're sad or happy, or because it feels good, but you need to do it with restraint.

You don't have to deny yourself comfort food, as long as you don't overindulge. It's easier to exercise this kind of moderation if you are aware of what you're doing and why.

Don't Crumble

If you use food to cheer yourself up, be aware that's what you're doing. Treating yourself to a few chocolate cookies with your coffee after a tough meeting is fine if you realize that it is in fact a treat - and so you can stop before you've eaten so many you feel utterly miserable again.

Unless it's controlled, eating as a way of rewarding yourself quickly becomes a way of punishment yourself - adding self disgust, weight issues and a bloated stomach to the worries you were trying to alleviate. Identifying the underlying emotion can also help by giving you ideas for alternative coping tactics. Do you reach for those chocolate biscuits when you're bored? Lonely? Anxious? Keep a record of the times you eat for comfort and your feelings at the time. Once you uncover your eating patterns, you can control them by finding constructive ways to deal with your problems, such as talking about them. Visit dietitians or psychologists if you need help with the process.

What's Really on your Plate?

Psychologists say emotional eaters often chide themselves for lacking willpower when what they really lack is self awareness. Getting to know what your emotional eating triggers are will help you see that it's more than the sight of a delicious cream cake that weakens your healthy eating resolve. Maybe it's really depression - and dealing with that will increase your chances of sticking to a good diet.

There's a physical reaction, too, that gives those cream cakes a hold over you. When someone is feeling bad for whatever reason, the body reacts by trying to produce more serotonin - the brain's natural feel good hormone. Because carbohydrates increase the level of serotonin, your body craves them as a short cut to restoring your emotional equilibrium.

Hidden Ingredients

Emotional eating habits can usually be traced back to childhood. Parents often use food or sweets as rewards, which conditions people into thinking of them as nurturing, comforting and pleasurable. Children are often given treats to help them get through something unpleasant. Knowing what you're really looking for may stop you expecting it from food.

Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at

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We Will Never Be Defeated




When dark forces make camp we stand strong. We are strong, we are valuable and we are resourceful.  Dark forces will not prevail because we are ever strong. We will not be defeated.



But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened." 1 Peter 3:14


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Women and Exercise - The Basics and FAQs

Women and Exercise - The Basics and FAQsWomen and Exercise - The Basics and FAQs by by Sarah Cohen

There are plenty of reasons why women should exercise, but some aren't as obvious as others.

To decrease anxiety
To increase flexibility
To build bone density
To increase lean muscle mass
To improve athletic performance
To control weight and eating habits
To increase cardiovascular health
To increase motor coordination and balance
To decrease risk factor for heart disease, uterine cancer, breast cancer and diabetes

But what constitutes exercise in the first place? There are two main types of exercise:

1. Cardiovascular Exercise walking, running, biking, swimming, rowing, water running, dancing
2. Strengthening Exercises weight training, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, exercise bands

Osteoporosis - The Silent Thief
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes a decrease in bone mass density, resulting in weakened bones that are vulnerable to fracture and deformation. It's referred to as the "silent thief" because fractures are often the first symptom - though by then, the disease is often very advanced. Fractures commonly affect the spine, hips and wrist area. Approximately 12 million Americans are affected by this disease, and it's estimated that nearly 40 per cent of U.S. Caucasian women and 13 per cent of U.S. Caucasian men aged 50 or older will experience at least one fragility fracture (caused by osteoporosis) in their lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions About Women and Exercise

How does Exercise Help Increase Bone Mineral Density?

Exercise can help to build up your bone mineral density. The vertical trabeculae in the bone are the "weight bearing" structures, and their density can be increased with exercise.
How Does Exercise Decrease the Risk of Heart Attacks?
Regular exercise can alter your cholesterol in just a few months. As little as 30 minutes a day can decrease your LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and increase your HDL (Good Cholesterol).

What is the Best Form of Exercise for Weight Control?

For the majority of the population, a combination of both cardiovascular training and weight training is the most efficient way to control your weight. Recent research shows that a shorter period of interval cardio training (20 minutes divided into alternating 30-second intervals of intense and easy cardio training), along with a 30 to 40 minute weight training program produces the best results in terms of decreased body fat percentage and an increase in lean muscle mass.

How Early Can a Child Begin Regular Exercise?

Children of all ages can and should be exercising regularly. The rates of American childhood obesity are alarmingly high (tripling from 6.5 per cent 20 years ago to 19.6 per cent today). Heavy weight-bearing exercise should be avoided until after puberty, but cardiovascular activity is encouraged at any age.
How Can Walking or Running Alter Premenstrual Symptoms?

Just as our heart and muscles adapt when exercising, so does the endocrine system. Exercise can cause the ovaries to adapt by decreasing the level of estrogen that they produce, which can lead to a decrease in fluid retention, breast soreness, and irritability. Exercise also releases "feel good" hormones called endorphins.

How Does Exercise Help Pre and Post-Menopausal Women?

Studies have shown that exercise helps to relieve and prevent many menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal and urinary irritation, insomnia and depression. Post-menopausal women who exercise are half as likely to develop diabetes.

As a Chiropractor, Kinesiologist and a Personal Trainer Dr. Cohen has ten years experience in athletic training and rehabilitation and is currently working with runners and triathletes at the city, varsity, national and professional levels. Dr. Cohen has been a guest speaker for trainers and athletes at the Toronto and Whistler Can-Fit-Pro Conference, HSBC Triathlon Series Awards Event and Running Room Clinics on various topics including running biomechanics, training techniques and injury prevention and treatment.

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What's So Comforting About Comfort Food?

What's So Comforting About Comfort Food?

What's So Comforting About Comfort Food?
By Stephen G John

Whether you've just been dumped or had another tiff with your boss at work, nothing makes you feel better than comfort food (and maybe a little wine). For decades, scientists have bent over backwards trying to come up with distinct differences between foods that affect your brain chemistry and foods that make you feel better.

The foods that belong to the latter group are known as comfort foods. While there are foods that make us happy by affecting our physiology (for example, chocolate can produce phenylethylamine, otherwise known as the love drug that is very instrumental in helping you fall in love), comfort foods make us happy on a psychological level (and on a physical level too if that girth around our waist is any indication.)

It is easy to see why comfort foods are something we can't do without in our lives. For one, they are reminders of happier times, particularly our childhood. When we eat cupcakes for example, we are reminded of happy family occasions in the past or the food itself is a tangible reminder of our youth so we remember how it felt like to be carefree.

Comfort foods can also be associated with a specific loved one: For example, if you ate mac and cheese with your father when you were young and considered it the ultimate bonding moment with him, chances are you'll always crave a bowl of mac and cheese whenever you feel the need to be close to someone who is far away or long gone. This various triggers make comfort foods specific to individuals because we all have different memories.

Among other things, comfort foods also help us bond with friends and family because of the shared memories. You know what they say about how the food tastes better when you love the company you're sharing it with.

Studies done on how comfort foods as well, show that they affect both men and women differently. Females tended to reach for sweet and sugary foods like ice cream while males tended to go for savory foods like steak and potatoes. The study also showed that men tend to see comfort foods as a reward while women tend to feel guilty after indulging in their favorites.

If any of you watched Ratatouille, you'll remember that scene where the food critic took a bite out of the ratatouille that was served to him and it immediately triggered a long-forgotten memory of how his mother served him the same dish when he had a bad day at school and how he felt better after just one bite. As for women, this guilt they feel may actually be good because regular intake of comfort foods in response to stress, which women are prone to doing often can be unhealthy so the guilt basically prevents them from bingeing again.

Talking of comfort foods, what exactly are those that people love to imbibe when they're feeling down in the dumps or in despair because life can be too hard? Pizza for one, is on the top of almost everyone's list, especially one wherein the dough was left to rise for two days and rolled out with a wine bottle before being soaked in special, homemade sauce. Next on the list is macaroni and cheese which has become so versatile you can get them in all kinds and still feel like you've been wrapped in a warm blanket during the winter. In the sweets department, there's ice cream (particularly chocolate and vanilla sprinkled with mint chips) and chocolate cake.

And lastly, there's also your burritos and Southern fried chicken and mashed potatoes. But since most people can't get enough of pasta, you can also include in this list spaghetti with red sauce, chicken pot pie and puddings. Basically anything with carbs and fat are high on the list because carbs increase your serotonin levels and fat which is actually the reason why you feel "comforted."

It's always good to know that when you feel blue, you can always count on a cupcake or two. For great comfort food recipes, you can visit FoodPlus here and feel better fast.

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The Fun of Fantasy Football

The Fun of Fantasy Football

The Fun of Fantasy Football

Fifteen to eighteen million people play fantasy football every year-and the numbers are growing rapidly.

In fantasy football, you "draft" or auction an imaginary team composed of real-life football players (this can include NFL professionals or college players). They then score points based on their actual performance in real games.

Your fantasy tournament progresses in much the same way as the real football games. You go head-to-head, competing against another opponent each week.

If your team scores the most points by the end of the season, and has the best win-loss record, you win.

Fantasy football was invented by Danny Dulac, one of the organizers of the Raiders. He thought of it during a road trip to the east coast, and by the time he got back, he had fleshed out many of the rules and was "ready for kick off". Today, there are thousands of websites, magazines and software that are dedicated to fantasy sports.

This is how it works. You have a fantasy league with 8 to 12 teams, with players drafted at the start of the season. Depending on the league you join, you start with a clean slate every season or have a permanent partial roster (these players can't be included in the annual draft). Some leagues will have you keep the entire team and just draft rookies. At any time during the season owners can change their team by firing some players (that's life) and hiring free agents who were not drafted. You can also trade with other teams.

The scores are based on how the players do in their weekly NFL games. For example, a player gets 1 point for making 25 passing yards, 10 rushing yards, or 10 receiving yards. He gets a whopping 6 points for a touchdown (unless it's a passing touchdown, where he just gets 4). Errors can also affect your score. For example, every interception that is thrown subtracts two points. This also applies to fumbles.

Defensive scores are a little harder to compute, so some leagues opt to compute the scores primarily on yards. (They say it is more realistic and mimics the way an actual game works.) Defensive statistics such as sacks and fumble recoveries are then subtracted. To get the number of touchdowns, the total score is divided by a particular number (sometimes 80 or 100). Then any field goals made by placekickers are added to that score.

It's a very exciting game and adds a new dimension to the already popular game of football.

Author Bio is an online resource centre that includes topics such as sports and fantasy football.

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Face Your Fears

Face Your Fears

Submitted by: Sandra Prior

It may be a natural response to avoid what we find scary - but that doesn't mean it's the best response. When people with phobias dodge whatever it is that fills them with terror and anxiety they usually compound the problem - sometimes to such an extent that it eventually cripples their lives. And that is worth avoiding.

Specific phobias (excessive fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations) can affect up to one-third of the population at some point in their lives. Data released last year from a Stress and Health Study conducted nationally from January 2002 to August 2004 shows that 9,8% of Americans will suffer from agoraphobia (excessive anxiety about being in places or situations that may cause panic attacks) at some time in their lives and 2,8% will suffer from social phobia (the excessive fear of experiencing humiliation or embarrassment in a social context).

Despite this frequency, few people seek treatment. Most people only seek treatment when the phobia becomes severe and interferes significantly with their personal lives, career or interpersonal relationships.

Panic Mode

The definition of 'phobia' is 'a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it'. This 'solution', however, soon becomes part of the problem. Avoidance and control behaviors become a handicap, forcing people to use up time, energy and attention that could be better spent on other things. People with a phobia become adept at avoiding that phobic object or situation so they never face the fear, which then becomes more intense and causes the avoidance to be more extreme.

Gradually the sufferer's life may become increasingly restricted and governed by the phobia. For example, socially phobic people learn to avoid social situations that lead to anxiety. They may eventually avoid public-speaking engagements, eating in public or using public toilets. Over time the person avoids almost all social encounters and may even become housebound.

A phobia may also become inclusive of other things related to the phobic object or situation. A person who has a phobia of furry dogs may start to fear anything furry, and then can't even look at a picture of furry dogs or other furry objects. As more and more situations and objects are avoided, the sufferer's world starts to close in.

When phobic disorders go untreated they can lead to secondary conditions such as depression, other anxiety disorders, substance abuse and even suicide. Many people with social phobia become dependent on alcohol or sedatives and use them to reduce their anxiety.

Face the Fear

Two popular treatments for phobias are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy. There is no good evidence that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for specific phobias. CBT, however, is useful in the treatment of both specific and social phobias. With CBT, people are gradually exposed to their feared situations, beginning with the situation they fear the least. In people with social phobia, CBT can be used to correct dysfunctional thoughts about fear of failure, humiliation or embarrassment.

With CBT it's important that exposure is graded and repeated, as forced and quick exposure is likely to reinforce the phobia. Treatment is also not dependent on knowing the cause or root of the phobia. By just recognizing and diagnosing the symptoms, treatment through CBT can be very effective.

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You're devoted. You don't let the bad things defeat you. When the bad things knock you over, you get back up again. Stay devoted. Remain undefeated. Dark forces and obstacles can not keep you down; you will make it because God is with you. 


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