Reinventing Healthy Living | Melanie Carvell | TEDxUMary

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I don't know if you've ever felt like

this guy feels he came home from work

and he says to his wife I thought we'd

just slip into our jogging suits and

spend the evening watching TV sounds

pretty good actually doesn't it how many

of you are tired at the end of your days

we all are right how many of you have

physically active jobs or lifestyles

where you're running around with your

head cut off all day anybody a few few

lucky Souls here unfortunately most of

the activities been engineered out of

our lifestyles hasn't it

due to our labor saving devices and all

our digital distractions we have become

very inactive but the good news is we

can do something about it and hopefully

that will be our goal that will

accomplish tonight this cartoon always

makes me think of my dad I grew up in

the small town of Mott the spot where

the girls are hot I know southwest there

was other jingles but we won't go into

that but my my dad owned a bar in Mott

on Main Street and our family home was

about two blocks away from Rick's ins

bar and so he had his routine for 37

years he would head out into whatever

big car he was driving at the time

drives those two blocks to the bar come

home for lunch drive back afterwards

come home take a nap come back back and

forth probably about six times a day

he'd make that trip in his car to work

crazy very crazy but you know habits are

kind of tricky aren't they they're like

that they become kind of automatic and

part of who we are and we don't even

realize that there's an opportunity

maybe to do things a little bit

differently try this for me once just

cross your arms over your chest and now

moving forward from here we're never

going to do it that way again from now

on we're going to put our opposite arm

on top

feels kind of wacky sort of

uncomfortable habits are a part of us

and it is hard to change them but we are

faced with big trouble coming our way a

virtual tidal wave a tsunami of problems

and so it's so important for us to try

to develop some healthier habits we know

that most of us carry too much weight

we've got a big problem with obesity and

if you struggle with weight don't feel

alone because we're really all in this

together how much money do you suppose

we spend in the United States a year on

weight loss any guesses out there thirty

billion dollars so we're all in this

together it's a big struggle and the the

worrisome thing about obesity is that

it's really the canary in the coal mine

because where there's obesity several

problems follow one of the most

concerning ones is that by 2020 public

health officials are predicting that one

in three of us are going to have a

chronic expensive long-term disease

diabetes we spend a ton of money every

year on health care 2.5 trillion dollars

a year on health care more than any

other country in the world

what is Nike tell us to just do it right

like it's that easy

it isn't changing behavior is hard it's

tricky and you know it's definitely

something that we need to work on and

probably then one of the most concerning

things is the legacy that we're leaving

our children are more sedentary than

ever you know our kids don't always

listen to us at least mine didn't but

they'll never fail to imitate us and so

it's so important for us to set a good

example if we take care of ourselves

then there are going to be so much more

likely to do the same if we have a

positive relationship with exercise and

a healthy relationship with food then

they will as well so what gets us into

this big heap of trouble really it's

just five things now five things that

get us into all this

trouble are not surprising too much

eating too much drinking too much stress

too much smoking and not enough exercise

and although it's very concerning and

kind of depressing there's also great

opportunity here 80% of that 2.5

trillion dollars that we spend a year on

health care is because of lifestyle

factors things that we can control so

there's a great opportunity for us there

if we could get our arms around

developing a healthier lifestyle we can

prevent 80% of disease there's a new

criminal in town have you met them it's

the time we spend sitting on our rear

ends you know in the past couple decades

we've been pretty quick to shake a stick

out of smoker haven't we and say don't

you know those cigarettes are going to

kill you but it's very important for us

to realize that if we're not shaking a

leg ourselves we can't really point a

crooked finger at a smoker because our

relative risk is the same as smoking two

packs of cigarettes a day if we're in

active sitting on our rear ends saps our

energy and ruins our health and we're

doing more and more of it than we've

ever done

most Americans spend about 80% of their

days sitting and so it's something that

we really need to do take and take

charge of and do something about so

please don't take a seat when we have a

chair about a hundred things happen and

99 of them aren't good our circulation

slows to a crawl and when our

circulation slows down it affects our

whole body when we sit our fat burning

enzymes decrease by 90% our calorie

burning comes to a screeching halt when

you sit you burn about one calorie a

minute when we stand up and move around

we burned about seven calories a minute

and so you wonder well how much of a

difference does that make

eight-hour day at work a big difference

if you're a lawyer or an accountant and

you spend most of your day in front of

your most of your eight-hour day in

front of a computer you'll probably burn

about 1,500 calories on your work at

your work if you're a barista in the

coffee shop we're talking more like 3000

calories so what we do throughout our

day how we move throughout our day and

if we can interrupt sitting makes a huge

difference for us our bones get softer

our muscles get weaker and probably one

of the most important things is our

productivity really starts to flag how

many of you have an energy draining

about the middle of the afternoon we're

so tired without that blood flow our

brains just don't work as well either so

we know that being active makes us

healthier that is critical but sometimes

I don't think we give enough emphasis to

some of the other benefits when we take

time to take care of ourselves and be

physically active it is one of the best

antidepressants that we can ever go on

it improves our mood it improves our

sleep and I don't know about you but

when I take time to take care of myself

and get some physical activity in I'm a

better wife I'm a better mother I'm a

better employee and probably most

importantly I have an energy than to

give to others as well and we all know

that serving others is one of the best

ways that we can really add meaning to

our own life and that's what really

makes us happy so so important and then

how many of you want to be smarter many

times we underestimate the value of how

exercise affects our brain affects our

cognitive and intellectual skills it is

critical when we exercise we stimulate


factors that actually build brain cells

and also have a special effect on a

small area of our brain called the

hippocampus the hippocampus has a big

job it's the area of our brain that

controls learning memory programming

processing and as we get older the

hippocampus starts to shrink well we can

keep those losses to a minimum if we

stay physically active and exercise is

really the only thing that's been shown

to decrease our chance of developing

Alzheimer's by 70% remarkable exercise

also helps the right and left side of

our brains work together let's give it a

try I want you all to stand up for me so

we're going to start with our right arm

and it helps if you count with me

here we go pretty simple one count out

loud - you've got it three four five six

you've got the right arm you got it okay

left arm is little trickier here we go

one two right here three four five six

right arm one more time simple as pie

one two three four five six the tricky

side left arm one two three four five

six are you ready to put the right in

the left side of the brain together

bring it on

are you ready okay here we go here's one

here's two here's three four five six go

ahead and have a seat

did you have to think a little bit about

that I had to practice that a lot before

I was willing to get up in front of a

group and do it but exercise challenges

our brain in many ways and so important

for us so if you're a student and you

have an exam coming up one of the best

things that you could do is take a half

hour break and go for a swim or a bike

or a walk or a run it will help you to

retain everything that you're trying to

learn so we know what we need to do we

know how powerful a healthy lifestyle is

and how it can add years to our life and

more importantly life to our years but

how do we get ourselves going the best

fire is not the one that somebody else

slides but the one that we like from

within us and when we talk about

motivation what it is what it is and how

to get it how to keep it oftentimes what

I see is that people wait for that magic

moment and we think that when we get

there and life is easier things settle

down a little bit that we're going to

start taking care of ourselves we think

that when our kids get to school when

our kids get out of school we're going

to start taking a little bit of care of

ourselves when the wind stops blowing we

are going to go for a bike ride right

when it finally warms up we're going to

get out there and go for a walk when it

cools down we're going to get moving but

we know don't wait that there is no

there when things are going to get

easier there's no magic moment we need

to do something on a daily basis to take

good care of ourselves to invest in

ourselves physically spiritually

emotionally if we want to lead

meaningful lives I think another thing

to think about too is that many times

people think that first we get motivated

and then we start moving but really it's

opposite if you want to build your

willpower if you want to build your

motivation you need to do something

positive for yourself and motivation

follows every

time you make a choice and we are

confronted with choices all day long to

be more physically active every time you

do something positive motivation follows

it doesn't come first but it'll follow I

like to think of it as motivation 1.0

2.0 on 3.0 where we really want to get

to so motivation 1.0 is when we start

taking a little bit better care of

ourself because somebody tells us that

we have to maybe it's an employer maybe

it's a death threat we just had a heart

attack or we just got a diagnosis of

diabetes so 1.0 is something or somebody

else knock knock knocking on the door

saying hey lady troubles the foot and we

need to make a change

motivation 2.0 we're getting a little

bit closer to being more internally vote

motivated that's when we start taking

better care of ourself because of the

sticks and carrots so a stick might be a

little sharp stick poke Ania might be

your insurance company who says because

you smoke you are going to have to cough

up another $250 a month on your

insurance premium and sometimes getting

hit in the wallet is a motivator for us

to change or maybe the carrot that gets

you going is some type of reward and it

might be your employer who says if you

do this fitness challenge we're going to

give you some extra dollars to spend in

your health savings account but at some

point no matter how sweet and crunchy

the carrots are or how sharp those

little sticks are that are poking us

that doesn't always lead to long-term

behavior change - and some research

shows that incentives can actually

backfire on us when we incentivize

people with money or prizes or whatever

it might be we had a fitness challenge

at work we all got a little activity

tracker which is a wonderful tool to

keep us all accountable and then we were

rewarded along the way when we reach

different milestones for taking

steps but guess what a couple of our

employees figured out that if they put

their Fitbit on top of the dryer when

there was a full load of clothes in

there and ran it the whole cycle they

got 30,000 steps out of the DIA even our

own CEO clipped his Fitbit on his

hunting dog of all things so rewards and

incentives sometimes can backfire on us

but motivation 3.0 is where we all want

to get to and that's developing that

internal motivation and that's when we

can look at something that at first

glance seems like a lot of work and

maybe a little bit of a negative but we

can find the joy in it and we find the

value in each day when we take a little

bit better care of ourselves that

trickle-down effect where everything

falls into place a little bit better

because we are living life fully charged

this little hen she has about graduate

level motivation I think she says I

don't think of it as laying an egg I

think of it as lowering my cholesterol

so obviously she's finding the positives

in the work that she has to do she's a

little smug about it but when we're

trying to change behavior we know what

doesn't work when we know kind of the

things that help us out a little bit

more I like to think of it like the F's

and the arse

the F's aren't very helpful somebody is

trying to force us to make a change it's

not too motivating is it autonomy our

autonomy is probably our number one

motivator it has to be our idea doesn't

it for us to be successful they always

say knowledge is power and we can lay

all the facts out on the table but

having the facts on the table without

really doing anything about them and

moving to action isn't all that helpful

either is that we can scare someone


and that might keep them going for a

while but doesn't lead to much long-term

success and then there's always guilt

right we can we can do things when we

feel guilty about it but that isn't very

inspiring either so we know that these

things don't help us very much

individually or if we're trying to work

with others people we manage patients

were working with we know that that that

they're not very inspiring so what does

help us change behavior what gets us on

the right track it has to start with a

positive attitude if you want to move

forward it's critical that you start

from a good place of a solid self-esteem

self-love optimism spirituality that

spirit of grit bring it on

how hard can it be we've got to start

there so the ars are so much more

helpful than the f's

the first one is routine you know our

human bodies really crave rhythm and

routine when we get into a routine of a

healthy habit that becomes automatic and

it really serves us well a girlfriend

that I run with at 5:30 in the morning

sets herself up for success the night

before she lays all her clothes out she

has the coffee in the coffeemaker ready

to go all you have to do is push the

button the cereal bowl is out with a

spoon everything is set to go the alarm

goes off and she's up and running she

doesn't even think about it she's off

the door out the door but if my alarm

goes off at five o'clock and I think no

where did I put my running shoes did I

leave them at work or are they in the

car or and isn't that all it takes for

us to kind of get in the gumption trap

and we're going to hit the snooze and

probably go back to bed getting those

healthy routines makes a huge difference

for us to be successful who are your

reinforcements who is in your

cheerleading squad as human beings were

designed to connect with our community

we need each other and that's why things

like Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight

Watchers and

support groups really help us succeed

because we need each other if you want

to fail at whatever you're trying to

achieve whether it's running 50

marathons before you turn 50 or writing

a book or quit smoking if you want to

fail keep it a secret you'll be much

more likely to fail if you want to

succeed talk about it and people will

say how's that book coming and then you

better get the thing done right it's so

important in fact the National Weight

Control Registry has studied people who

has successfully taken weight off over a

long term and have found that the most

common denominators are peer support and

accountability we have to be able to

recover don't we many times life throws

a wrench into what we're doing and we

really need to be able to bounce back

it's kind of like that smoker who's quit

smoking and they're doing really well

and they haven't had a cigarette in six

weeks which is a tough thing to

accomplish and then they have a terrible

day and they have a cigarette and what

happens while they say gosh you know I'm

a big loser I might as well smoke the

pack and go down with the ship was it

that one cigarette that hurt them not so

much it's how we react to it if you can

react to a slip-up it or a failure and

say who cares I'm human

peanut Buster parfait is one on sale and

I had one and I'm not gonna let that be

the excuse to let the rest of my my diet

go to the birds so so important to

forgive yourself

many times people get frustrated they

say you know I took two steps forward

and one step back it's so frustrating

but what is two steps forward and one

step back it is still one step forward

right and if you are on the wrong road

with your nutrition or your fitness or

your stress level or whatever it might

be you can turn around right you don't

have to take that road all the way to

Dallas Texas you can turn around and

Rapid City and come on home so forgiving

yourself and moving on is probably one


the most important things reframing is

taking something that on first glance

looks a lot like hard work and turning

it around and looking at it with a

spirit of gratitude I challenge you to

look at your to-do list

moving forward from tonight and rather

than saying I have to do this and I have

to do that

change it to get to replace that half -

with get to every chance you get we can

say I have to stop at the grocery store

because I have to go home and make my

family supper tonight I get stuff at the

grocery store as I get to go home and

make my family supper tonight I have to

go to church tomorrow no you don't have

to you get to there's so many people

that would love to have a chance to

practice their religion and they can't I

have an exam that I have to study for

tomorrow oh I have to study no you don't

you get to you get to attend college

there's a million people who take your

place in a minute I have to go for a run

no it's a gift and to get to and in

closing I think one of the experiences

that brought gratitude to the front of

my life was being able to compete in the

national traskon championships and one

of the first years I competed they held

them in Florida Clermont Florida and

whoever thought that the national

triathlon championships in the middle of

July was a good idea I don't know it was

a hundred degrees in the shade Hunger

percent humility humility with there was

a lot of humility in the air too

especially with me humidity I meant to

say that that's part of the story it was

a tough day but there was also a lot on

the line on the line was the chance to

make the national triathlon team and

then be able to go to the World

Championships but at the same time the

weather conditions were such that they

were really warning us be careful we've

hauled a lot of people off to the

hospital with heatstroke and heat

exhaustion so the first thing is a mile

swim jumped into the lake and even that

was in the upper 80s got out of the

water not the best swimmer in the

world's I was in about 37th place I had

some wood to chop to catch up if I was

going to make the top 10 but I can ride

a bike I got on my bike went to town

passed a ton of people really trying to

keep my hydration up and and I got off

the bike in second place so I was I was

thrilled with that but I all it was also

cautious I was also very cautious that's

where that humility comes in because I'm

not as strong of a runner

I went from second place to third place

to fourth place to fifth place to sixth

place to seventh place to eighth place

and had two miles left to go and I had

the worst attitude in the world I was

sure that my chances of making the

national team were going to go down the

drain and then I caught up with a young

man that was running on a prosthetic leg

and was really struggling we both were

really struggling and I remember

glancing at my watch and seeing that I

had been out there for about two hours

20 minutes two hours and 20 minutes but

I knew that the physically challenged

division had started about two hours

before me so this young man had been out

in that heat for over four hours and as

I passed him I reached over to him and I

touched him on the shoulder and I said

you look beautiful

and he said you look beautiful too and

we both just looked like hell but I tell

you what I got my rear end in gear and

crossed that finish line in eighth place

and made the national team in of the

eight years that I had the blessing to

be able to compete in the world trials

on Championships it was that year that I

want a bronze medal for Team USA and who

did I have to thank but someone who

showed me how important it is to be

grateful for what we have to do when you

practice gratitude on a daily basis you

are standing on a very firm ground in

which you can move forward so can you

fit more activity into your everyday

it's so important that we do our lives

depend on it thank you