Fortezza, Umilitade, e Largo Core - Courage, Humility, and Largeness of Heart.

Monday, August 26, 2013

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit Emory this October

Why I support The Visit 2013 and why you should too.

For those of you who are Facebook friends with me, you may or may not have seen my posts on the Dalai Lama visiting Emory this October. I am on the Development Committee for this visit, which benefits The Emory Tibet Science Initiative. My mother's foundation supports this cause because of its focus on uniting science and religion. Among their goals is creating open dialogue between science and religion in the hopes of "bridging two worlds for one common humanity". They accomplish this by an exchange program between Emory students (who study in Dharmasala, India) and Tibetan Buddhist monks (who come to Emory to study), translating science texts into Tibetan, and developing cognitively based compassion training. The later is ground breaking and will allow for the scientific study (replicable) of meditation in many contexts. It also puts it into a format that can be taught in many contexts such as in schools or to battered and abused women/children. To learn more about it:

When the Dalai Lama visited three years ago, I arranged for an Endowment Level gift and was given unbelievable access to His Holiness (including a private lunch with HHDL, Richard Gere, and 20 other people). This year's visit will focus on secular ethics in the context of our citizenship in the 21st century Global Village.

Please consider visiting Atlanta and sharing in this life changing experience with me this October! If you are unable to make it, please consider making a donation to this remarkable project and spreading the word about this opportunity.

With love and light,

Friday, August 23, 2013

What is this Fitbit thing??

Many of you have seen me post extensively about Fitbit and have asked "what is a Fitbit?" and "do I find it beneficial?"
My answer is a resounding YES!

Many people are hesitant to spend money on a gadget and to compete with their friends when they have such a sedentary life. What people who are just joining us on the Fitbit bandwagon don't know: when Jeff and I first got our Fitbits, we barely got 5000 steps a day (Fitbit sets the initial goal as 10,000 a day). But what it has done for us is it has motivated us to cleverly find space in our day for walking more. i.e. parking further from the door at the grocery store or Jeff paces the hallway while reading his Kindle. And I know for a fact that when I don't have my Fitbit, I get lazy. It helps keep you honest. I am so very competitive (particularly with my husband Jeff) so we are able to push each other without nagging.

Some folks aren't certain if the competitive aspect will be good for them or damaging to their ego. A friend confessed, "what I do know is that when I fail privately I tend to give in to despair and quit. Quitting is particularly easy if no one notices." This is where Fitbit becomes particularly helpful. Your friends are able to cheer you on, (hopefully lovingly) taunt you, and send you messages of encouragement. Usually it's not necessarily cutthroat competition... unless it's between my brother-in-law David and I, in which case we tend to battle to the death. Ok, it's more like loving pokes.

Many friends have asked if my health outcomes have changed since I began? I have gotten so much stronger and have greater endurance since getting it. Before getting my Fitbit, I was barely able to walk the dog around the parking lot. Now I am able to walk all around my neighborhood! My sister-in-law, Sheri, has experienced similar results. That is not to say that we don't still have our bad days, due to our health, but we are getting through them more easily the stronger we get! 

Another question was "was your motivation weight, health, looking fine in your bikini, or...???" My primary motivation was getting strong in my post-Lyme life, however we purchased our Fitbits six months prior to our beach wedding, so I would be lying if I didn't include that as part of my motivation.

Having a Fitbit helps to change your behavior radically, which can be a very difficult thing to do. Since I've gotten mine, I've had some crappy weeks, sometimes from Lyme or sometimes because I'm swamped with schoolwork. But I continue to try to find ways to fit more walking into each day, thereby regaining some of the strength that Lyme stole from me.

Additionally, it has a journal section where I can record symptoms or events from the day (good and bad) to help track my Lyme journey. This is particularly helpful since I have "Lyme brain" and can't always keep track of it myself. It also has graphs to track trends: sleep, weight, activity, etc. My Lyme doctor finds this helpful in our monthly appointments.

 Caveat: Fitbits are incredibly easy to lose! Be prepared to be extra vigilant. I have gone through five so far (lost 1, wore 2 different ones into salt water, gave one to a friend who promptly lost it, and one of the replacements was defective) and I STILL think they are worth every penny!