I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the Wegmans to come to Westchester. Just take a look at their example of what it means to be fresh when it comes to salad.
This is what Wegmans calls the living salad bowl. It’s actually a salad bowl that’s living that you could take home, leave in the light and it grows until you’re ready to eat it.
Next time you see a salad offering anywhere else and they say it’s fresh just think about what Wegmans is doing with their salad. And the best part is it’s only $2.99. Then just go to the salad bar, pick some toppings, and you’re good to go. It just doesn’t get any fresher than this
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“Welcome the Burn”- Harry Otto, Fitness Instructor at Lifetime Athletic Health Club
In my last blog, I discussed the challenges of being a “lighthouse parent”. To review, lighthouse parenting as described by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg in his book, Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust: The Lighthouse Parenting Strategy allows children to ride the waves, while providing guidance so they don’t crash into the rocks. This style differs from helicopter parents who are constantly hovering anxiously overhead, or snowplow parents who would remove the rocks from the ocean. I think we all can agree that hovering and plowing are not best, but rather being a lighthouse parent is something we should strive for. Despite the fact that I am a child psychologist and a relatively mindful human being, I struggle in my ability not to nag, hover, or snow plow when it comes to my own parenting style.
So the question is why? I think the reason is that I struggle with the “burn”? What do I mean? When I start to let go or not hover, I start to feel anxious and instead of embracing the nervousness (the burn), I want to do something to get rid of it (i.e., nag).
However, I don’t do this in all aspects of my life. In contrast, when I am at the gym and taking a class like “Extreme Limits”, I welcome the burn. I don’t drop the weights, but instead I see the burn in a positive light. I see it as evidence that my body is changing (in the right direction).
So how can we apply this to our parenting?
1. See the burn associated with letting go and not hovering as a positive, as a sign of growth. Reframe the experience of anxiety in a positive manner. See for example, your heart pumping and the tightness in your stomach as a sign that you are going in the right direction. Yes, it can feel scary to let go, but we always need to remember the very big picture (the 50 year plan we have for our children).
2. Just like I wouldn’t take on too much all at once at the gym (I don’t pick up 40 pound weights when I am only used to 10 pounds), similarly start small. So for me, maybe, I will still nag and hover about the bite plate (equivalent to 40 pounds for me), but I will try to step back about what socks my son has chosen to wear (10 pounds).
3. Although you need to start small, you can’t go too small (reducing hovering by .1%). Lifting 1 pound weights at this point won’t change my body. So although starting small has merit, if we go too small, we won’t achieve the changes we are looking for.
4. Remember that by picking up the weights regularly, it gets easier. I remember when I could only pick up 5 pound weights, but now after consistently doing the work, I can lift more. By consistently making an effort to hover less, it will be easier to parent more effectively.
5. I will follow Harry’s instruction to “pick up the dumb bells in order to make my arms lighter”. Now on the surface that doesn’t make sense. How does adding weights to your arms make your arms lighter? However, Harry was right. When I first did the exercise with the weights and then did the exercise without the weights, my arms felt not only noticeably lighter, but stronger. So how does that translate to parenting? If we do the hard work now, later on it will be easier.
In summary, we need to reframe the burn we feel when we let go (not hover) as a sign that we are on the right track. We need to make a commitment to the work, knowing that eventually it will get easier. Furthermore, we need to remember that the burn may feel uncomfortable, but if we embrace it and don’t drop the weights, we (parents and children) get the positive results that we all are looking for.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Please check out my website at drbaruchfeldman.com for additional blogs and articles and follow me on twitter at Caren Feldman@carenfeldman.
If you are interested in learning more about lighthouse parenting I recommend, Dr. Ginsburg’s book, Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust: The Lighthouse Parenting Strategy.
In addition, great news, if you missed my flash webinar: Be a Beacon: Lighthouse Parenting for All it is now available online at Expert Online Training’s website.
Simply put, 25 participants, divided into 5 groups of 5. The group that changed their leg routine every workout but kept their max weight goals constant showed the greatest gains in size and strength. This was a small control group size but a well put together study.
Although blood-flow restriction weight training uses light weights, it puts a lot of strain on your muscles. Sometimes too much, Norwegian physiotherapists suggest in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. They describe the case of an athlete who developed such bad muscle damage after one session of blood-flow restriction weight training that he ended up in hospital.
The Norwegians refer to a 31-year-old ice hockey player who had been operated on his kneecaps 11 months earlier. They were helping the athlete to regain his strength, but didn’t want him to use heavy weights for strength training. They were worried that his cartilage and knee joints wouldn’t hold up.
So the therapists decided to to try blood-flow restriction weight training with the athlete. They restricted his upper leg muscles with a cuff and got him to do leg extensions: first a set of 40 reps with 12 kg, and then another 4 sets of 15 reps at the same weight. The man rested for 45 seconds between the sets.
Two days after the training session the man developed extreme muscle pain and was admitted to hospital. When the doctors measured the concentration of creatine kinase in his blood it was 12,400 units/litre. A count of 10,000 is usually when doctors sound the alarm. This is the level at which the amount of muscle protein released by damaged muscle cells into the blood is enough to start causing kidney damage. Doctors call this rhabdomyolysis.
The man stayed in hospital for 3 days, during which time the doctors put him on a fluid and electrolyte drip and encouraged him to drink a lot. Once his creatine kinase level started to drop the athlete was allowed to go home.
The researchers think that blood-flow restriction weight training can lead to “high metabolic muscle stress”. Even after regular strength training some beginners experience a rise in creatine kinase levels. Apparently this can also happen with blood-flow restriction weight training, even though very light weights are used. Looking back, the athlete should probably have done fewer sets, the therapists suggest. They should have built things up more slowly so that his body had more time to adjust.
The Norwegians were inspired by the Kaatsu training principles which were developped by the Japanese sports scientists Yoshiaki Sato. They read about Kaatsu, and tried the approach for themselves. Sato himself also learned that Kaatsu training is not without risk, and wrote about his experiences in The History and Future of KAATSU Training. [Int. J. Kaatsu Training Res. 2005; 1: 1-5.]
Sato discovered Kaatsu in 1966 when he had to remain kneeling during a Buddhist ceremony for so long that the blood supply to his calves was cut off. He realised that the sensation in his calves was similar to that felt after training – and so he came up with the idea of training with restricted muscles.
In 1967 Sato almost died as a result of following his own training method: “Numbness in my leg due to my reckless Kaatsu training routine became so severe that I was hospitalized”, he writes. “Up to that point I had ignored the numbness in my legs during training and continued with my training despite the discomfort. At one point, however I began experiencing an acute attack of shortness of breath. I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism.”
The training had led to the formation of blood clots, which blocked the blood vessels in his lungs.
Restricting the blood vessels is a fine art, Sato writes. “When too much pressure is applied, the skin may turn pale, and if exercise is continued while too much pressure is being applied, thrombosis may occur. It is quite difficult to reduce blood flow by the appropriate amount in order to achieve beneficial effects.”
Over the course of the years Sato has learned by trial and error what works and what doesn’t work for Kaatsu training. In 2003 he developed the Kaatsu Master, a set of equipment “which allows more precise pressure control and safer training instruction” [see above]. When Sato wrote his article there were 240 certified trainers working in 140 institutes in Japan who were capable of giving instruction on Kaatsu training. If you are still thinking of trying out blood-flow restriction weight training, it might be an idea to get in touch with them first.