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4 Life Lessons To Take Away From Girl Scouts

4 Life Lessons To Take Away From Girl Scouts

Most girls join the Girl Scout for the friendship or for the cool uniforms. I was never hooked on the green vests with lots of badges, but my sister could never get enough of them. She was mesmerized by the squad goals, the badges and the cookies.

At 10 years, she joined the Girl Scouts for the first time and she managed to stick to them way longer than any of her friends, much to our parents and friends astonishment. Now, as an adult, she always seems to be more prepared for certain situations than I am.

Apparently, her years in the Girl Scouts taught her more than how to tie a knot.

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1. Women can do everything they set their minds on

Women are incredible! This is one of the lessons my sis seems to be taking away from the Girl Scout. Her leaders were never those boring, crazy old ladies who took them to the woods. In fact, my sister’s bunch never camped in the woods. They did camp in the backyard of their leader, who took this as an opportunity to teach the little ladies about managing a budget, getting help when they have an unwanted pregnancy and how to act when you have an eating disorder.

Those women, the scout leaders, managed to take their time to teach a group of girls about real life, while they were leading their own busy lives. One of the leaders had two small kids she was raising alone and a full-time job. And she was a leader for the Girl Scouts!

Over time, my sister saw that women are not the “weaker sex”, they are the “stronger” ones. They are able to manage everything, from a career to parenthood and still look sexy. By the way, one of the leaders always wore high heels and red lipstick! Always!

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2. Value the person, not her bank account or her race

This one is big and it kinda makes me regret not being a Girl Scout. In my sister’s group, there were girls from all types of families and with different backgrounds. While their leaders were teaching them how to use a badge holder and take pride in wearing badges – pretty useful for a future corporate worker – the girls were crafting lanyards and sharing personal stories.

Rich and poor, Caucasian, Latina or African American girls were having fun and learning how to join their forces to be a strong group. They also learned how to cut racism from the root and how to act when someone bullies a person. Even now, in adulthood, my sister and most of her fellow scouts are still friends. They still help each other during tough times and they gather for no reason to party together.

3. Work hard for your dreams

Girl Scouts are taught to be resourceful and this is very important in adult life. The scout leaders always push the girls to work hard for their own dreams.

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If one door is being closed, work on opening another one. Always have a backup plan. Being a Girl Scout also teaches the little ladies to persevere: they are often bullied for their silly songs and events, but this teaches them to fight for what they love and the ideas they believe in. Again, a great asset in adult life.

4. Life is meant to be enjoyed

When all your other friends are dating and drinking, being a scout is not going to make you popular. But it’s going to teach you that life is meant to be enjoyed and that drinking and boys are not the only ways to have fun.

Yes, scouts are goofy, but they do know how to party without alcohol. They know how to make someone smile and they know a good laugh can make a person feel better about life.

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Featured photo credit: Peter and Joyce Grace via flickr.com

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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.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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