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McGoff: Take care of your most valuable asset

March 14, 2012
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Indiana Lawyer Commentary

By Sharon McGoff

mcgoff-sharon McGoff

Do you remember your first car? Do you still have it? Most likely, it has long since died and you traded it in for a new model, many new models ago. But, what if you were told you could have one car to last your lifetime? How would you have taken care of that first car? Would you have regularly taken it in for maintenance, washed and vacuumed it, put quality gas in the tank, kept it garaged, and driven it reasonably so as to not stress the engine? You likely would have taken extraordinary care of this car, knowing it would be your only means of transportation for your life.

Compare this car to your own body. This is the first and only body you have, right? You can’t trade it in for a newer model when it wears out, yet we are not kind to our bodies. We don’t maintain them to keep them strong, alert and healthy; we don’t drive them reasonably; we don’t put good fuel in our tanks; and we survive on low quality and quantity sleep, all of which put an undue amount of stress on our body’s engine. We all have excuses for not taking care of ourselves: too busy, too tired, don’t know where to begin, don’t know how to relax/de-stress. Let’s get past these excuses, one choice at a time.

“I’m too busy to exercise.” Small steps go a long way. You don’t need 30 or 60 minutes at one time to exercise. Exercise in any amount gets your heart pumping and keeps your arteries flexible and malleable, preventing heart disease. To fit incidental exercise into your day:

Take the stairs and not the elevator. If you work on the 28th floor, take the stairs to the fourth floor, then take the elevator the rest of the way. Each week, tackle one more floor.

Walk for 15 minutes before work, at lunch or after dinner. Park far away from the building you are going to.

Walk to your co-worker’s office instead of calling or emailing, and schedule walking meetings.

If you watch TV, do 10 pushups, 10 situps and 10 squats during each commercial.

At your children’s activities, instead of sitting, walk for 15 minutes, do 15 toe raises, 15 squats, and 15 pushups against the bleachers or wall.

Play with your kids when you see them outside – remember hopscotch and HORSE?

In your office, sit in your chair and stand 10 times; put your hands on your desk and do 10 pushups; hold your arms out to the side and circle them 10 times in each direction for a minute.

“I’m too busy to eat healthy.” With the time it takes to drive to a fast food restaurant, wait in line, order and pick up your food, you could have made a healthy meal. A few ideas for each meal:

Breakfast: Low fat/low sugar yogurt with fruit; whole grain/high fiber cereal with skim milk, egg whites and whole grain toast.

Lunch or dinner: Make a large bowl of salad with pre-cut vegetables on the weekend to enjoy all week. Buy pre-cooked chicken breasts to pair with the salad and use barbecue sauce instead of fattening dressing; to serve with vegetables; or to slice in a tortilla with salsa and low-fat cheese. Make boxed macaroni and cheese without butter and with skim milk, canned tuna/chicken and vegetables.

Snacks: Fruit and raw vegetables, low-fat string cheese and Greek yogurt. These snacks are high in fiber and protein, which keeps you satiated longer.

“I’m too tired.” Numerous studies prove exercise actually increases your energy. Even if you feel tired, exercise for at least 10 minutes. If you don’t feel energized after that time, it’s not your day. Also consider how late you stay up and whether that time is well spent and worth living in a tired and worn-out body.

“I don’t know where to begin.” First, get clearance from your doctor and find out if you have any restrictions. Once you are given the “go,” start slowly. You didn’t gain weight overnight and it won’t go away overnight, but it will go away with each healthy choice you make. Slow and steady wins the race! Incorporate incidental exercises into your day, as described above, and begin with 15 minutes of daily walking. Gradually increase the time each week by 10 percent. Write the exercise in your calendar as an appointment that will not be missed, much like an important client meeting.

“I don’t know how to relax/de-stress.” Of course you do! All you have to do is BREATHE. You can do that, right? Breathing doesn’t take extra time or resources, and you can do it anywhere, anytime! Here’s what to do: inhale deeply from your belly, counting to four, letting your belly expand, hold your breath for one count, and exhale completely for eight counts. Repeat until stress subsides.

If you have five minutes, find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and take several slow, deep breaths to clear your mind. Continue breathing deeply and repeat the word “one” to yourself as you exhale. If you get distracted, just bring your focus back to the word “one.” Remember, you can’t always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.

Unlike your first car, this is the only body you have. Make a commitment with yourself to take care of it, one choice at a time. You are worth it!•

Sharon McGoff is a graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, a certified personal trainer and health fitness specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine, and a certified life and wellness coach with WellCoaches, Inc. She owns Fit 4 Life Coaching and welcomes your questions or comments at Smcgoff@comcast.net.
 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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