Chemistry Bonds and Valentine’s Day?

Encompassed by the walls of Hallmark cards, I embarked on a journey to select the perfect card for the loving people in my life on Valentine’s Day. I rummaged through endless lines of punny, corny and endearing messages found between the flaps of cardboard for at least a half hour before I settled. I grew impatient in my search for the perfect cards. Then, on my way out of the store I noticed one card I had left unchecked. Its top left corner peeked from behind the pink envelopes before it and seemed to give me a wink. (Weird, right?) I slid my sneakers across the carpet floor to give just one more card a chance.

It had an image of the periodic table on the cover and inside read, “You are the Sodium to my Chloride.” The former chemistry nerd in me jested at the pun. Though I found much enjoyment in reading this card, I did not select it as my chosen one, but it did get me thinking.

I began to think about the relationships between element bonds and human bonds. Was this card an accurate personification of what goes into forming real HUMAN relationship bonds? Now, I do not remember much from chemistry class 10 years ago, but what I do remember is that the entire premise of the subject is studying the composition of elements and their reactions with other substances.

If I were to translate this into the study of human chemistry, I would say it is a subject which studies the composition of personalities and their reactions to other interactions. When we say someone has “chemistry” with another person, what we typically mean is that Sally’s personality and Harry’s personality react positively with one another. The interactions between the two of them have made them feel a sort of closeness. Perhaps I would argue this is where the creation of a “bond” would come in. A bond comes out of furthering interactions between people in sharing similar experiences, having intimate conversations and going through challenging circumstances. Similar to the chemical interactions which create a bond, human bonds are then created.

I guess there is some reason to why we use terms like “bond” and “chemistry” to describe human relationships after all.

Still, chemical and human bonds can be broken if such interactions are no longer present. Maybe you and your partner do not share much anymore, you don’t trust one another, or you have given up on creating experiences together. The good news is, I believe bonds can be strengthened overtime even more simply than they can be broken. 🙂

This Valentine’s Day, I hope you took the time to look at the chemistry that you found between you and your partner and all of the interactions you both have created to manifest your unique bond. I wish for all couples, friends and relatives to keep up these interactions with the people you love dearly, and keep that bond everlasting.  ❤

 

Building Up Leg Strength

Men and women both look for ways to build up their lower-body muscles. The muscles in our lower-body are our largest and as a result, require the greatest amount of energy to build. So, instead of using that extra needed energy on researching the best ways to build leg strength, I provided my own personal proven method below! Give it a try!

Throughout the years, I have experimented with various weight-lifting, body-weight and cardio training exercises to build up strength in the lower-body. Many different exercises have been successful for this task, but the combinations below have proven to be most effective for me and my goals.

For the purpose of building strength in the leg, glute, hamstring and overall lower-body, try the below supersets! These exercises are comprised of a short cardio exercise, followed by lower-body-targeted superset combinations.

 

Cardio:

1 Minute Sprints (*Critical to sprint, not jog)

Repeat x3

 

1st Weight Superset:

12 Rep Leg Press

12 Rep Deadlift

12 Rep Straight-legged deadlift

10 Deep Squat

Repeat x3

 

2nd Weight Superset:

12 Rep Quad Extension Machine (Both Feet 90o with Legs)

12 Rep Quad Extension Machine (Both Feet Turned Outward at 130o)

12 Rep Quad Extension Machine (Pointed Toes)

12 Rep Hamstring Curl Machine

Repeat x 3

 

Finished!!

Perform this exercise once per week with an increase of 5-10 lbs each week and notice your lower-body strength increase!

 

Quality > Quantity Workouts

In college, have you ever had that friend who claimed to be at the library for 8 hours, pulled an all-nighter and still questioned why he or she failed their exam? I’m sure you have. Though it is puzzling to them, you knew they spent at least 6 of those 8 hours distracted by Facebook, Instragram and Snapchat. What was missing here? The quality of the time spent at the library. As a result, poor results.

Similarly with working out, some may assume the longer we stay in the gym, the better results we will achieve. However, what is the reality of human nature at the gym? We spend a lot of our time looking for the right song, taking a Snapchat of us on the treadmill to prove we were working out, talking to our gym partner, and watching the clock. At the end of the day, how much time was spent actually working out?

Alternatively, you can get just as good a workout in a focused 30 minutes as you can in a half-distracted 1 hour. A focused 30 minutes is quick and pushes you to up the intensity to get your minutes worth of sweat in. Maybe you only have 30 minutes to get a workout in but choose to skip because you believe it is too short a time and it would just be a waste. Not true! Quality > quantity.

Next time you get up to go to the gym, try this quick interval 30 minute full-body workout!

 

1 Minute Sprint

50 Jump ropes

12 Bicep curls

12 Shoulder press

12 Chest press

12 Lunges

12 Squats

12 Stiff-legged deadlifts

Repeat X2

Why Dieting Doesn’t Work

Have you ever procrastinated for an exam, crammed the night before and performed well on the test the next day? I’m sure you have! Good for you! However, one week later, if someone asked you to recite back the material you had learned, could you? There is a less likely chance. So, why is this?

When we are focused on one single goal and put all of our energy into achieving this goal, we are spent when the goal is reached. We cram all of this information in our head to get that A on the exam, but have zero commitment to retaining the information once we have obtained what we wanted.

Similarly with dieting, we are so focused on the short-term goal of losing 10 pound by the end of the month, for example, we are not focusing on the long-term of sustaining that weight.

This is why dieting doesn’t work.

How often do you hear family, friends, those in the workplace disappointed that they cannot lose weight or if they lose weight, they gain it right back. It is because of this lack of focus on the long-term, and too much of a focus on the short-term.

Rather than dieting, we must strive to maintain a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, and this is the ONLY WAY to guarantee we can keep that weight off.

Believe me when I tell you, in the past, I have tried every diet known to man and with much success, in fact. Conversely, though proven to be successful, I promised I would never “diet” ever again. It is not the problem of the “diet” but the term itself has a connotation that implies, “I just have to do X for X period of time and then I will be happy.” It is a destructive way of thinking and cyclical.

Would we rather live this life of being seasonally fit and seasonally happy with ourselves, or would it be more productive to develop long-term lifestyle that will ensure we will never have to diet ever again?

You tell me.

It took me a long time to realize why I was unhappy with my body, and it was because of this cyclical mentality. For months I would diet and obtain the “perfect body” for summer, spring break, my birthday, but thereafter, you will find you are only more disappointed when that goal is obtained and you are not putting in the equivalent effort to maintain it.

Let’s start this journey together.

The first step in changing our lifestyle to lose or maintain weight, is the simple promise to ourselves that we are not dieting, we are adjusting our lifestyle for our health. That mentality alone should relieve the pressure that dieting inherently produces. And in turn, the depression and disappointment it ultimately results in.

Secondly, let’s take a look at what we consume during the day, and assess what is a craving and what is a reasoned food choice. We will simply want to recognize these moments of weakness and resist them one at a time, day by day. You will quickly see that very resistance will encourage you the next time, proving that you ARE capable of abstaining from that doughnut, pounds cake, or cookie. You go!

Lastly, it is the simple fact of perpetuating these habits and always looking for new ways to educate ourselves on food and health, and actively look for new ways to improve our lifestyle.

This should all get you excited to begin your new LIFESTYLE! The weight may not come off as quickly, but patience is key to any great product. Always remember the old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” And honestly, if it had been, perhaps it may have collapsed much sooner than later. Okay, sorry for the mediocre collapse-of-the-Roman-Empire joke.

Begin with these small steps. Update on your progress. If you find yourself in a moment of weakness, don’t worry! Just let it go, and keep going! You got it.

Quick Morning 10 Rep Stretch/ Strength Workout

If I cannot make it to the gym in the morning, I do my best to at least get one set of this quick and easy stretch and strengthening workout in (No weights required).

10 second hold- Quad Stretch (each leg)

10 seconds hold- Cross- body stretch

10 seconds hold- Arm-behind-the-head stretch

10 reps- Squats

10 reps- Straight-legged hamstring stretch

10 reps- Army crunches

10 reps- Shoulder raises

10 reps- Lunges

X 1 rep

Hopefully this gets you feeling energized for the day! Enjoy!

 

Question: If You Were To Invite Three People to Dinner Who Would They Be? – Alive or Dead

Upon recent conversation with my significant other, we had discussed the three people (alive or dead) we would want to invite over as a dinner guest. I’m sure throughout life these choices have changed and will change, as if it were a lifetime- long game of musical chairs. Currently, off the top of my head, at this time of in life, I have selected—Barbara Corcoran, Brene Brown, and Oprah (though, originally chose Tupac Shakur for somewhat similar reason).

Although it seems like a strange pairing of people, I feel each of them add a unique perspective given their life work and experiences.

Barbara Corcoran is a notable real estate businesswomen and investor on the popularized show, Shark Tank. My own real estate interest aside, Barbara Corcoran’s mindset, creativity and street-smarts is what is most admirable. Her success story tells a tale of a fellow Jersey girl from modest beginnings rise above challenge and build a real estate empire through her creative wits and lessons from her mother. This crediting to her mother has been especially interesting, paralleling the manner in which her mother raised Barbara and her 10 siblings with her own future business achievements. One story in Barbara’s memoir, Shark Tales, which stood out to me had been her mother’s ability to single-handedly get all of her children washed and clothed in assembly-line fashion. The efficiency of her parenting presented the impression that being a parent was her business and she treated it as so. Furthermore, as someone whose mother is also a great motivator in my life, I take to this accrediting on a sentimental note as well.

One Question to Ask: Being someone who is very much an action-taker, what would be your advice to someone who is alternatively learning and preparing for action but is struggling to make the leap? What can they do to begin closing that gap between learning and taking action?

 

Brene Brown is an American research psychologist and story-teller. I am a newer follower of Brene Brown, having listened to my first book of hers, The Power of Vulnerability, a few months ago, but have followed her work quite diligently thereafter. Brown’s psychology focus is in that of shame and vulnerability. Such topics are definitely a hard listen, but Brown makes light of much of these topics through her own personal stories and kind-hearted nature in her delivery. It is important to have Brene Brown at the dinner table because of how much of an impact her work has had on truly becoming more comfortable with myself, my past and my relationships. Her work has allowed me to forgive myself for not being perfect and, conversely, and somewhat ironically, soak into the opportunities that come with imperfection. Her good-natured delivery has allowed me to laugh off things that have brought me worry and feel more normal in feeling a certain way by exposing the folly of us human beings in believing it’s “just me” or “I’m the only one” feeling this way. It’s not just us.

One Question to Ask: What do you do when you feel you are taking something too seriously?

 

Oprah is an American journalist, media-mogul, businesswomen and motivator. In reflecting on why I would want Oprah to be at my dinner table, I think back to the book report I did on her in the 5th grade. It shook me. The trauma and tragedy Oprah had endured herself at a similar age was something I could barely read about and she had to experience it. Through all of the abuse and loss she experienced as a child, she grew up to now be one of the most influential and wealthy women of our time. What she was able to achieve in her life, never discouraged by her failures, is a testament to her mental strength. Furthermore, I have always been fascinated by the way Oprah conduct an interview, from the linguistic quality of the questions she asks to her genuine engagement with her guests. As a writing creative myself, it is interesting to dissect the reasons behind the pairing of words, and how Oprah has been a master of this to intentionally prompt her guests to share intimate experiences. This is a masterful craft, not a skill that can be executed by just anyone. Oprah has made such word-play her expertise, just as a musical artist does so similarly to prompt listeners’ emotions.

One Question to Ask: How can we ask better quality questions to enhance our connections with one another?

 

Ask yourself this question! Who would you invite

Feel > Think

I recently heard an Abraham Hicks talk about relationships and connection. Hicks spoke about the relationship between physical distance and emotional distance, arguing there is no correlation. I suppose this can be illustrated by that friend you may not speak to everyday or see even every month, but we you are back together, it is like there had never been time apart.

However, in a romantic relationship, she mentions we sometimes have differing expectations to see our partner more, talk to them more, etc. in an attempt to sustain connectedness. It is understandable to feel some sort of disconnect or distance when there are lags in the time spent together, but she discusses the relation between energies and human connectedness to disprove such dire need.

She argues that the energies we have harbored from the initial spark in connection have been due to our own independent energy, which had attracted the energy of the other from the get-go. As a result, a common connectedness is formed. We have felt this connection inherently because it is our connection with ourselves, essentially, which allowed us to feel the connection to another person with a similar connection within themselves.

Her point being that as long as both partners are sustaining their own energies within themselves, they can only sustain a connection with one another regardless of distance and time apart. Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low, right?

I thought this was such an interesting concept to think about. I believe this goes back to condition and how many times we wish to gauge the connection in our relationships by what we do for one another, what he or she bought the other, the hours spend together, when in reality, connectedness is within ourselves. Though these are important component to relationships, they are conditions of one person influencing another. Rather, Hicks is arguing that we must more importantly have that influence over ourselves and maintain our inner connection in order to feel the connection of another.

As a tip to people who are looking to feel more connected and loved by their friends, family and partners, Hicks encourages us to FEEL rather than THINK. What that means to me is, visualize your love for your partner, for example, feel that warmth, feel that jump in your heart, feel their touch. That is the love of your partner, and that is connection you manifested. If we could all channel this sort of intimacy in our relationships, how could we ever feel disconnected? It would be difficult to.

STILL! This practice alone is definitely a discipline and is not easy with all of the chaos that goes on in our daily lives, but it is our job to recognize that feeling of disconnect, regroup with ourselves, do not think question or worry about this feeling, but rather, accept it and begin the practice of feeling and channeling the energy and love being emitted from your partner, whether you are with them or not.

I almost picture it like a phone trying to get a signal when turned off. It’s not going to happen. If we cannot have a solid charge and connection with ourselves first, we cannot expect to be capable of sending out our receptors to find a connection with another. We must first GIVE power, strength and love to another in order to feel and ACCEPT power strength and love from another.