Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A not uncommon occurence

When Americans Think of Regrets, Love Tops List

Over time, missed opportunities outweigh mistakes, study finds

By Jenifer GoodwinHealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Whether it's the great guy who got away or the dead-end relationship that went on way too long, regrets involving romance are most commonly cited by Americans when asked about things they wish they'd done differently.
Researchers at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign surveyed 370 adults aged 19 to 103 about their regrets. Each was asked to describe, in detail, one decision they came to rue.
About 18 percent cited regrets involving romance. That was followed closely by regrets about family (16 percent), education (13 percent) and career (12 percent), finance (10 percent) and parenting (9 percent).
Women were more likely than men to have regrets about romantic or family relationships. About 44 percent of the regrets described by women were about relationship mistakes compared to 19 percent of men's.
"It speaks to something psychologists have known for a long time. Women are typically charged with the role of maintaining and preserving relationships, so when things do go wrong, it's very spontaneous for women to think, 'I should have done it some other way,'" said senior study author Neal Roese, a psychologist and professor of marketing at Northwestern. "It's how men and women are raised in this culture."
Men, on the other hand, were more likely to have regrets about work or education -- 34 percent compared to women's 26 percent, the study found.
Many of the regrets around work involved missed opportunities -- turning down a job instead of going for it, failing to take risks that could have led to a more fulfilling career. "There was a sense of frustration that a job doesn't reflect inner passion," Roese said of the study recently published online in Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Those with less education were more likely to have education regrets. And those with more education were more likely to have career regrets.
"As people rise higher in our culture, there is a perception of greater opportunities," Roese said. "Paradoxically, the more opportunities you have, the more ways you can see how you could have gotten more . . . Opportunity fuels the regret experience."
So does this mean you should quit your desk job to realize your dream of working with horses or sailing the world?
Maybe, Roese said. In the survey, people were free to describe a short-term regret or a regret that lingered a lifetime.
Short-term regrets tended to be about things people did -- say, accidentally hitting "reply all" on an email, or forgetting to call Mom on Mother's Day.
But the long-lasting regrets were more often about things that people didn't do, such as never expressing their feelings to a loved one or taking a career risk.
"When you look to the recent past, you are more likely to kick yourself for blurting out something inappropriate at dinner or buying something you couldn't afford," he said. "When you look back at your own past to long ago, you are more likely to see things you should have or could have done. A lost love. A job you could have had."
Over time, people rationalize their actions, explaining away their mistakes, Roese pointed out. But when it comes to inaction, people forget the barriers that kept them from taking the action -- they only remember that they didn't try.
"When people reflect on the past, which is what regret does, we ruminate about the things that didn't go well but we don't savor the good times," said Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago. "We are much more impacted by the negative stuff."
And though regret can be painful, a life without regret isn't only near impossible, it would lack a fundamental emotion that spurs people to avoid future mistakes.
"Regret is an essential part of the human experience," Roese said. "You should listen to the lessons your regrets tell you, which is quite often how you could have done things differently or how you could change things."
Everyone makes mistakes, Ferrari added. "It's how you get up, and how you rebound, that matters," he said. "Instead of letting regret dominate life, savor what you do have, and what did go right . . . We need to look more in terms of our strengths, and not our weaknesses."

This article is copied from MSN and I wanted to include it all.

At 25 I didn't have a lot of regrets. I had a marriage, a college degree, a baby on the way, and a decent life. I lived in the hippie days and I loved being fairly young and what I thought was in love.

At 35 I didn't have a lot of regrets. I had a marriage, 3 children, a husband I thought I loved, a home on the lake, some friends and a future with my family. My father had recently passed away but I was doing OK.

At 45 I had a ton of regrets. My life had imploded, my husband and the children were no longer living with me. I had drunk myself into ridiculous behavior. My mom had passed away. I lived with a young person who had not committed to me. My future--- well there wasn't one I could picture. And all of this terrible time had happened in the last 5 years.

 At 55 the regrets had nearly killed me. They hung on like spider webs to a moth. The things I had done to my children no parent would want to look back on. The young person was with me still but fully committed and yet I still lived in the past and in the regrets. For some reason he wasn't enough to get me past the terrible times I had inflicted on those I loved. 

At 65 I still haven't outlived the regrets. They have followed me and caused me to live in anguish and fear. They have inhibited my ability to feel joy and contentment. In short, they are my next goal. I must rid myself of them. I must.

I think it isn't uncommon for us as older people to have regrets. I think we need to constantly insert a leavening agent into the mix so they  don't control our lives. For instance, I am in my 22nd year with my younger person. I love him to death and he shows his love for me in many ways. Though I don't feel I deserve it, my children show their love also. I feel like I fought my way through the fire to get to where I am. I wouldn't have had my current love without all that went before. I have done everything I could think of including years of therapy to rise above the bad behavior in my past. Regretting it isn't helping at this point. I wouldn't be who I am without having gone through the fire. So maybe my first order of business is to concentrate more on the accomplishments and less on the regrets. I have an ongoing love, a resolve never to lose myself again, and a will to continue to be a loving and kind person instead of a selfish and self-centered one. 

Regrets seem to be a part of life. But learning what is important from them is also a part of life. That I will celebrate.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I am still learning.

Raise Metabolism

1. Build muscle. Since fat is burned in your muscle, you want to activate as many muscle fibers as possible. Weight training increases lean muscle mass, which raises the amount of calories your body uses, even when you're at rest. What's more, since there's less fat in your body (and your muscles), blood moves better so you have more energy -- without eating more food. So if you haven't been incorporating strength training into your fitness routine, now is the time to start!

2. Start eating! "Your body is a 'refuel as it goes machine,' which simply means it needs to be consistently fed to provide energy to live," explains Mark MacDonald, author of the bestselling book Body Confidence. "This type of consistent feeding stabilizes your blood sugar levels and creates internal hormonal balance" -- and that keeps you from packing on the pounds. His advice: Eat within an hour of waking to kick-start your metabolism. Then keep eating every three to four hours ending an hour before bedtime.

3. Nosh on protein at every meal and snack. Protein has a greater metabolic boost than fat or carbohydrates. Biting, chewing, swallowing and digesting food takes energy -- it's known as the thermic effect of food and it can burn up to 30 percent of the calories on your plate. The more complex the food (think steak, legumes and fibrous vegetables), the more calories you burn as it travels through the digestive tract. Protein also contains leucine, an amino acid that prevents muscle loss when you're dieting. A simple strategy: For a quick and easy snack, keep peanuts in your pocketbook, trail mix in your desk drawer and hard-boiled eggs in the fridge.
4. Get moving. Interval training with bursts of high intensity cardio will stoke your metabolic rate and keep it humming for hours. So instead of logging in your regular half-hour on the treadmill at a steady 4.5 mph pace, try the interval option or hit the road and take advantage of changes in the terrain. Run in the sand or up hills and use landmarks to signify a change of pace. And squeeze in extra calorie burning whenever you get the chance, advises Gerbstadt.

5. Drink water. Studies show that people who drink 8-ounce glasses of water eight to 12 times a day have higher metabolic rates than those who drink four. Want to lose an extra 6.6 pounds a year? Drink half a liter of water before breakfast. According to researchers at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., people who downed water before their first meal of the day consumed an average of 75 fewer calories at breakfast than those who didn't drink up first.
I have decided that this is a good list of things to do if possible. Unfortunately, I am one of those who copies things like this from the Health segment on MSN and then doesn't do all that I can to follow the guidelines. I have always been a water drinker. But you know, I'm realizing that just because I have a large glass of water around doesn't mean I drank it. I don't pay attention to how much is actually going in.
I also have started to move around more. I am so sedentary that my picture could be in the dictionary under the word. I am doing physical therapy and that is a big change from just sitting but it isn't nearly enough to have an aerobic benefit and to build muscle. I began in the pool. And I love the pool stuff. But now I am working on some non-water machines and they are much harder. I am pushing myself a little to try and build. But I'm aware there is a lot to do to build muscle.
The eating thing isn't as easy as it sounds. Just eating won't do. Eating things that are good for me. I'm exploring that with my daughter the chef who has lost 60 pounds. And yes, she is a real chef. Anyway I am learning from her. It helps and I'll share things I find with you.

I love steak. Well cooked on the grill. And I love low fat hamburger meat. And I am looking for a good recipe to share with you guys. Soon!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I went from too little to too much

I keep thinking there must be a happy medium in life. I have decided to quit looking for it however, because it is taking too much effort. My physical therapy at the Results Therapy Center has been a true life saver for me. I was looking at becoming a cripple in that I had a terrible time moving about. The knee had healed badly and my spine was the worst it has ever been. Constant misery. But I am happy to say that the trips to the therapy center and the work I have been doing is a huge help for me. I am moving about much more easily and am even more willing to get out and do things. I used to love to shop. But that was many years ago. Since I got a computer I had begun to shop almost totally online. But you know what happens then? No walking. No feeling items to see if they are what I really want. No trying anything on. And the shopping has resulted in a mound of money spent on things I really can't use.

Now I am getting out for short shopping trips. A run to the grocery store is a short shopping trip. But I am not ready for the after Thanksgiving madhouse. Now I am doing some stuff outside in spite of the really and truly hot weather we've had. Now instead of laying around, I'm sitting around. I am amazed at how the apathy and lack of stamina snuck up on me. My mother used to tell me that she had emphysema and I didn't believe her. Sure she had smoked for 54 years. But she was short of breath just walking to the kitchen. Now I've discovered that I was at least partially correct. I am short of breath after climbing the steps to the upstairs in my home. I find myself putting off trips up the stairs because of that. But it's good for me to go up stairs. I need to do more of it, not less. Or at least work toward a happy medium.

The problem of too little to too much is coming into play. I have a dental appointment today. Tues, Wed, and Fri I will go to the Physical Therapy sessions. All of these things are happening in the middle of my day. My energy levels are not such that I could put in a full day of activity yet. So when do I do the things I need to do? At home? Both inside and outside the house? The happy medium would be nice if I could just get there.