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Easy As Pie: A Poem On Happiness

Easy As Pie: A Poem On Happiness

The great Julia Child once said:

“One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.”

We might not master the art of cooking, but this quote reminded me that life works the same way. Sometimes things go awry and yet we still have to go along with it. We are the ones expected to find a way to fix it and to make it “taste” better. This is not something easy to do but we can always find solace and comfort in the sweetness of words.

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Some days, I wish life would be as easy as one, two, three. It’d be nice if life was as easy as following a recipe, but because we’re all different, it would need to leave some room for a twist, to make it personal, and add our very own flavor. It should be delicious. Life is sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, and (at worst) bitter, but then easily fixed with some spices and tasty tricks. It’s something that needs to be made by us with all the things that we are. It can’t be a take-away or a ready meal because you still have to make the adjustments for yourself – a little bit more of this and a tiny bit less of that.

I wish life was as easy as pie. If it really was, I think my very own recipe for happiness on my bad days would be something poetic like this:

The Recipe For Happiness

If happiness was a cake
I’d simply start to bake
To give my life a sweet taste to enjoy
And fill my mouth with a ton of joy.

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Yet, it happens too many times a day
That I let unhappiness walk my way
And feeling comfy in the midst of my blue mood
It decides to stay and I decide to brood.

And for too many days and too many nights
I just cry while it sneakily turns on all the lights
And casts a shadow upon my heart so dark
That sometimes I almost forget about the spark.

But then I remember what it takes
To get rid of all these painful aches.
I get up and stumble with one foot in front of the other
My inner dreamer finally finds a temporary shelter.

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And so I put on a nice apron and get going.
Indeed, I would start something out of nothing.
I take a bowl and I take a spoon
And of course, I put on a good tune.

All the ingredients are somewhere within
What’s worth cherishing and what’s worth the bin
It just takes a good scale to find the right balance
And only keep under the light all your talents.

I peel my problems away
And place them on a tray.
Then I chop my worries in pieces
And color sprinkles my bruises.

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I stir and stir and wait ’til it stops being so heavy
And when it all lightens up and my mix is ready
I let it cook up and melt all my troubles
While happiness burst like golden bubbles.

I grab a bite and say a little thank you.
Indulging in gratitude for not being so blue
And for having within me the little tricks
That somehow showed me the way to mix and fix.

Nothing can be too bad or too dark
If you do it right from your heart.
It can be easy as pie
If you just give it a try.

Your ingredients are all waiting and ready
You just need to make your own recipe.
Happiness is a cake
So simply start to bake.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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