First, I have to start with a story in my NO DUH/IT’S ABOUT TIME column:“A new study finds that more than 50 million “quite healthy” Americans have been mislabeled as obese or overweight thanks to an over-reliance on BMI as a measurement of health, the Los Angeles Times reports. “This should be a final nail in the coffin for BMI,” says A. Janet Tomiyama, lead author of a study published Thursday in the Journal of Obesity. Tomiyama and her team looked at the blood pressure, glucose levels, cholesterol, and more of 40,420 people. They found 47.4% of people with an “overweight” BMI and 29% of “obese” people were actually healthy. Conversely, more than 30% of people with a healthy BMI were surprisingly unhealthy. “Obesity is just a number based on BMI, and we think BMI is just a really crude and terrible indicator of someone’s health,” Tomiyama says…”

Let’s look at those numbers – almost HALF of overweight and almost A THIRD of obese people actually were healthy. And almost a THIRD with a “healthy” BMI people were unhealthy. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times – you cannot judge a book by its cover. Now, it doesn’t say anything about the people’s muscle mass, but the numbers are still staggering. The article notes, “A coauthor of the study recommends people focus more on eating well and exercising regularly than strictly on weight.” THANK YOU.


Now, how did I do on my weekend challenge? I would say pretty darn good. I made a conscious decision to eat better and not drink as much, and I did rather well (especially for Superbowl weekend).

I have to say that taking a painting class with my niece was the highlight. I thought she would be nervous or lose interest and she was far from it. She dove right in, listened, watched, and produced a beautiful painting. We had great conversation on the way over and she impressed me with all the topics she discussed. This one experience covered so much of the challenge – be generous, smile like I mean it, enjoy one simple pleasure, help someone else, and I would add be inspired, be present, and especially be grateful. It was such a joy to spend that time with her and be a part of her first time painting. When I dropped her off she went up to her room and came back with a gift for me – a ring she bought from a street vendor in New York. I was really touched. I wore it the rest of the night. And before the night was out she was already texting me to see when we could go again and could her friend come. I told her first one was a birthday gift, if they have the money I would make the time. She asked me to find a painting they could do, so I guess she has the money!

From my challenge I continued to write 3 things I was grateful for each morning; so much better than flipping through Facebook or reading emails. I got in 2 yoga classes like I planned and a dog walk on Sunday. I got to watch several sunrises and sunsets. I did some homework assigned by my life coach, and of course it was awesome. One thing in particular was cool – a TED Talk on emotions and music. I am a huge music fan so this wasn’t even like homework. After I finished watching the talk I was inspired to watch a video I own about the making of Pink Floyd’s album “Wish You Were Here”.  

I was not a fan of Pink Floyd until a few years ago when I watched a documentary on the making of “Dark Side of the Moon”. I was a bigger fan after watching “Wish You Were Here”. Why did I like it? Let me explain…

The video showed how the band struggled after “Dark Side” to create as a unit and of course reproduce the success of the previous album, all the while dealing with a lead singer who was starting to tune out due to excessive LSD use. At the time I was struggling at work in a non-collaborative environment and I watched in amazement as the band pulled together and produced a wonderful, heartfelt album that was a tribute to their friend, who they had to let go, and a commentary on the record industry that was bullying them into another hit. They worked with a photographer and an illustrator to bring the album alive through pictures and film. I thought it was a remarkable testament to a group of people all on the same page (although not without arguments) working collaboratively to bring a common goal to life. This was NOT what I was experiencing at work, at least not with everyone. There were several people I would have liked to let go due to their ineffectiveness. But I so enjoyed the process when it was firing on all cylinders, it made me realize that I never wanted to work in an environment that was not collaborative, and set the tone for my future work.

What do my painting experience and “Wish You Were Here” have in common? You can’t collaborate and create if your senses are dulled and you are not fully present. Knowing I had to take my niece to paint I was fully present, my mind was clear, I wanted her to have a wonderful experience, and we created collaboratively. The lead singer of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, dropped too much acid and essentially fried his brain (although he may have had some mental illness going on as well). He could not collaborate or create. His bandmates came to the painful realization that in order for them to create, they would need to leave Syd behind.  

Last weekend I was feeling more like Syd—disconnected, dulled, and unable to truly collaborate or create through senses that were muffled. This weekend I felt like the remaining members of Pink Floyd—alive with ideas, clear thinking, and making the most of all experiences. And it was so much more rewarding! I think I will challenge myself with the challenge every weekend (see Friday’s blog for more info on the challenge).

How are you feeling? Creative and collaborative? Or disconnected and dull? If it is the latter, it might be time to examine your lifestyle. Clear your mind and body, reconnect with Spirit. What would your life be like with more collaboration and creativity? What could the world be like with more people collaborating and creating together? That’s what I want to be a part of.  

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