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Mental Health



Stress is Contagious. Here’s How You Can Protect Yourself

For the most part, we know what causes our own stress: work, family, friends, the usual culprits. But what happens when your stress isn’t caused by a direct influence on your life? Then, unfortunately, you’re suffering from secondhand stress.

stressed

It can happen to anyone. For example, if your close friend is going through a rough situation and shares it with you, you may experience stress symptoms even though nothing has changed in your life. Sadly, this is a real thing. Stress is actually contagious.

Alicia Clark, Psy.D. told Shape Magazine this happens because empathy for others is hard-wired into our system. It’s thought that when others around us feel stress, our brain picks up their cues and mimics them, creating stress in us, even without an actual cause.

This is unfortunate news for those who already suffer from stress. Stress can be damaging to your health, including affecting arteries in such a way that may cause heart attacks and strokes.
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Jillian Michaels Teaches You to “Maximize Your Life”

Everyone knows Jillian Michaels as the butt-kicking, brutally honest trainer on “The Biggest Loser” who can help contestants shed hundreds of pounds. She has a no-nonsense approach to exercise and healthy eating—which she’s written best-selling books about—but she’s really known for getting to the root of why so many of us are overweight and tackling the psychological issues around eating. That’s why I was so excited to get the chance to see her live!

For the second year in a row, Jillian is traveling around the country, speaking to thousands of loyal fans. She launched her Maximize Your Life tour in Denver, Colorado, earlier this month. The experience is described as this: Jillian shows how to harness your potential, kick-start your goals and live an exceptional life—sharing her keys to health, success and happiness. No hype, no false promises: Just results.

jillianmichaels

Tickets for the Maximize Your Life tour start at $25- and you can get a special VIP ticket for around $175. A VIP ticket includes the best seats in the house and a special meet & greet session with Jillian after the show. If you’re wondering what else you’ll get for the price of a ticket, here’s a few facts about the show and a preview of what Jillian shares with the audience:
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How the Gift of Presence Can Help You Lose Weight This Season

Holidays can be challenging, especially when it comes to the variety and amount of food you encounter at gatherings. That’s why this can be a time of year you look forward to, and yet dread. If you struggle with your weight, should you do your best to make peace with the scale? Or should you avoid it all together; after all, you can always start again with the new year, right? Instead, we say plan accordingly.

Remaining present can be a challenge. Knowing what to expect this time of year and planning to approach it a bit differently can make a big difference in maintaining your weight and experiencing more peace, love, and joy (with yourself) this time of year.

christmas eating

Retrofit offers a personalized approach to weight loss and a sustainable, healthy lifestyle by identifying the key challenge(s) individuals face when trying to lose weight anytime of year. Each client takes a Lifestyle Patterns Assessment (LPA) developed by Dr. Robert Kushner, a weight-loss physician with decades of experience. The pattern(s) identified for each individual allows the Behavior Coach (or Weight Loss Coach) and client to work on the area(s) keeping him or her from being successful at losing the weight for good.

Clients are rarely surprised by their LPA results; they usually know what they should do to lose weight and make healthier choices. We use the patterns identified to build successful strategies. In short, the Behavior Coach helps clients close the gap between what they know and what they actually do, providing encouragement along the way.
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Your Seasonal Depression is Real and it’s Easier to Deal with SAD Than You Think

I’m not afraid to admit I get a little bummed out as summer transitions to autumn, and then to winter. The perfectly named Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is an affliction of which I’ve always suffered, but for the longest time I thought I was being an overly sensitive wimp. After a mild and jovial summer, the cool air that gusts melancholy over the Midwest in early September had me wondering if I was about to get SAD again, if it was a legitimate condition, and if so, what I could do fight it.

SAD

I shot our resident mental health expert, Brooke Randolph, LMHC an email asking her about SAD, and she revealed that after two decades of speculation, SAD had officially been classified as a common disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In 2008—before SAD was an official diagnosis—Brooke wrote, “Our natural response to the seasonal changes only becomes a disorder when the distress is in excess of what would be expected from the stressor (seasonal change) and/or when it interferes with functioning in more than one key life area.” For example, if seasonal change begins to negatively impact your responsibilities as an employee, student, or partner, you probably have SAD.
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Hiking Everest and 450 Miles Across Spain Helps Kay Cherryholmes Find Her Way to Health

By Kay Cherryholmes

One day I googled myself and I was caught off guard by a blog link that had me tagged as one of his Top 10 Most Inspiring Athletes of 2010! I had met the guy while hiking and considered him a dear friend. At first I smiled; feeling like I had somehow been a positive in his eyes, then almost immediately it read that he met me while hiking in Nepal to base camp of Mt. Everest and that my BMI was that of a mack truck!

everest kay

Instantly real tears fell. Not tears of his writing, but tears of truth about my struggle to achieve fitness. Who was I kidding? Mostly myself it seems. I grew up a competitive gymnast. I was always on a scale and measured my success based on a number that ranged between 114 and 119.

Fast forward from age 14 to age 44 and I had been married, divorced, raised two children as a single mom, and was completely disconnected from the fitness I knew as a young adult. My mind, however, continued to crave challenges, even in a 230-pound body. For all the struggle that it took to walk up into the Himalayan mountains 80 pounds overweight,it never began to stop me. He wrote that it was my perseverance that got me on his Top 10 Athlete list.

I always describe myself from the shoulders up as a ‘Michael Phelps type‘ and from my shoulders down more of a ‘John Belushi type’. I am part extreme athlete, part party girl. Too much brie and wine and not enough cardio.

After more than a decade of athletic events where I have fought with the struggle of weight in competition I decided that my next adventure would be a 450-mile walk across Northern Spain; the Camino de Santiago. It is a spiritual pilgrimage that took me through the heart of many regions in Spain. Once again I would carry the extra weight on my body and an additional 30-pound backpack with all the necessary gear I would need in my 40 days of hiking.

camino santiago

I wanted to remove myself from all of the excuses at home that get between me and a stronger, more fit body. I left behind the wine, cheese, friends, family, dishes, laundry, job, dog, television and my comfy new couch. They’d all become specks of home reality in my rear view mirror as I landed on Spanish soil. I would be forced in to my own mind and body for hundreds of miles and countless days. I wanted answers and to be accountable to myself. I would have no other choice but to face the dragons in my head, that for decades have defined my mindset and impacted my choices.
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