I’ve been taking some time off from blogging in case you haven’t noticed. I haven’t taken a planned break for years and wanted to reset. I’ve always blogged for the passion of it. To be able to share my own struggles, experiences, successes and hard work and have it help someone else – that’s my goal. That’s what inspires and motivates me. Learning about how others have succeeded has helped me throughout the years without a doubt. I don’t like to blog out of obligation and I guess that’s why I took a break. I just didn’t feel like writing. But, here I am again…
A few updates from the past month or so to catch everyone up:
I’ve been living large all Fall and Winter long. Not really paying attention to what I’m eating and like so many of us – hearing my inner voice tell me I shouldn’t be eating with abandon. And I have noticed that my lack of attention has slowly started to show on my body. So, when Wayne, my trainer, mentioned that we needed to start weighing me in again – because Spring/Summer is coming – it hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh SHIT. What? Why? Why? Really? Ugh…
I’ve been getting back in the swing of things with making sure I am getting enough protein and limiting the crap I’m eating. Exercise isn’t my issue. It’s CARBS. I love CARBS and sugar! Sign..
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month
As many of you know, my silver fox of a husband, Scotty was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age 37, so it’s a cause that hits so close to home that it is my home! March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon Cancer is survivable if it’s caught early, so know the signs and symptoms.
One again, Team Hoagie’s Heroes will be running the 2017 Washington DC Scope It Out 5K at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC on March 19th, We are celebrating Scotty’s 9th year colon cancer free. (He was diagnosed in July 2008). If you can, join us or support our Hoagie’s Heroes Team in Scope It Out with a tax-deductible donation.
With that said, I am beyond touched by the kindness of so many people that I have met. I have received donations from some wonderful, awesome unexpected people. It blows me away and truly warms my heart that the people around me are the best people in the world. Not that I had any doubt. I appreciate all the donations from everyone but here is a story that totally made me cry.
Title Boxing started last month having a monthly campaign whereas for every check in on Facebook, they donate a dollar to a charity. The person with the most check-ins for the month gets to choose the charity. I always check in as a matter of practice and I guess I was in the lead for a while. I had no idea, but a fellow boxer Donna saw my post on Facebook about supporting Team Hoagie’s Heroes. So, she set out to win the check in challenge and to surprise me, she picked my fundraising effort to donate to. When I sent her a note thanking her, she said,
“I saw your post about the 5k a couple of weeks ago and then heard that you and I were in a close race for the check-ins. I felt it was the perfect way to honor you and your husband. I am honored to be supporting you in some small way.”
How seriously kind and awesome was that? I’m blown away. I have met Donna a few times, maybe and yet – she did this. Now, that’s a stand-up person.
- Feeling Burned Out at Work? Join the Club
- I Was Perpetually Angry Until Joy Became My Goal
- How Exercise Shapes You, Far Beyond the Gym
Here I am at 530a sipping on my coffee – My plan was to head to a boxing session at 6a but just found out that my boxing gym is closed until Monday. The owner died unexpectedly. I didn’t know her well. We met just a few times. She was the mom of three grown boys and one of the boys ran the gym, so she wasn’t in the place all that often. I’m not sure why I’m sharing it — other than she was a mom who in my mind, was the glue that held her family together and now she’s gone. My heart breaks for them. And it’s another reminder how short and fragile life. None of us has tomorrow guaranteed. Do what it is that you need to do today. Share how you feel, reconcile with those you love, demonstrate your affection – you never know what can happen and you miss your chance.
- The case for treating sugar like a dangerous drug
- “Having ADHD and Taking Medicine for It is Nothing to Be Ashamed Of”
- This is Your Brain on Crafts
- When They Grow Up…
With each new season or yearly benchmark (back to school), I tend to take stock of things in my life. You know, breathe and see where I’m at.I’m in a really great place. Things are humming along quite nicely, but there is always room for change and growth…
Career wise – one thing I want to really focus on and work towards, is finding work that has real meaning and makes a difference. My new found relationship with St. Jude has confirmed to me that making a difference in people’s lives is the type of work I want to do. I want to know I am making a difference in the world, even if it’s in a small way.
Personally – I want to record my life less and live my life more. The past few weeks I’ve been around people who seem to be connected at the hip to their devices. The past few weeks, I’ve been focused on experiencing what’s going on around me instead of focusing on recording it. The art of creating real relationships is dying. Talking to people without a device at dinner or during a meeting seems to be rare and quite frankly, I find it rude.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a social media and marketing consultant after all. A big part of my job is being online, engaging and sharing information so I’m not going on a fast or anything. I am just going to be more conscious of using my device and not just automatically go for it.
Health and Fitness – My boxing instructor, Alex, took some pics of me boxing this past weekend. I have been feeling like I haven’t seen any actual physical differences since I lost some weight and added in more focused weight training. These pics tell a different story for sure. I’m so glad he took them! I see a big difference which means the varied training I have been doing combined with being more conscious of what I am eating is working. It’s sad there is no special pill we can take to get in shape — but there isn’t so we all need to focus and put in the work.
My advice to those in the same boat – force your friend/spouse/kids to take your picture even if you don’t want them to. Seeing is believing when it comes to weight loss. Remember, we don’t always see things the way they are!
- 13 Signs You Are Magnesium Deficient… & How To Fix It
- Your Diet Might Be Causing Anxiety and Depression
Lots going on — which is why I am slacking on updating often. My day job has been in the midst of a lot of change – my awesome boss has decided to leave, our CEO resigned and we are moving offices -which will add a sucky commute to my work week- all in the span of a few weeks! Talk about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, not to mention the kids are now out of school for the summer and my puppy, Trooper, has been away for two weeks getting some serious obedience training. We miss him terribly and have been all excited for him to come home and yesterday the trainer texts asking if they can keep him an extra week at no charge, so they can work with him on tracking. So – I would say he’s doing well with his training and we can’t say no –but man, we miss him.
Oh, and HB is done with middle school. It’s hard to believe my little baby is now heading to high school. I have mixed feelings about it all. I just really cant get my head around the fact that she is growing up so fast. She is now officially taller than me. I keep having flash backs of little moments when she was a baby and it really does seem like yesterday. Then I am reminded that it was a very long time ago when she tells me I don’t understand anything and how could I embarrass her so much by <whatever it is that particular day>!
As for my fitness life – I’m down another pound. Seems like that’s my MO. Slow and steady. That’s 11 pounds down and about 3% body fat lost. I’m really happy with the progress. I feel so much better and you can see a lot more definition in my body. It’s the protein I tell ya! Eat more protein! I’ve been enjoying my 2x a week sessions with my trainer, Wayne. I’m doing some strength training I have not ever done before and he seems to enjoy trying to figure out how to make me sore. Every session he has been asking me how are you feeling and I have said, a bit sore but nothing major. Well, this week – my calves were SORE. When I went in for yesterday’s session – he seemed to revel in it a bit more than he should and proceeded to have me do a very intensive upper body circuit that left me shaking. It’s been interesting to work 1:1 with a trainer. It takes a few weeks to get acquainted. I guess you can say it’s like dating. At first, it’s all nice and once you are more comfortable, the real sets in. Well – we are at the real point. In a good way of course – He is pushing me and I am seeing results. Which is the point – and it has reignited my motivation. So I would say it’s been money well spent.
Then of course there is [Solidcore] and Boxing — a well-rounded fitness cycle. Some people ask me how I find the time to do it all and still take care of stuff in my life. Well, it’s a good question. Some of it is getting up super early to get my work outs in. Some of it has to do with asking for help. My hubby knows it’s important to me, so he does his part to help the gears run. And finally, my kids know that it’s just what Mom does and I hope they take my lead and continue to be active throughout their lives. It’s about 5-6 hours total out of each week if you think about it. There are MANY hours in a week – 5 or 6 is nothing – and we all deserve ME time. It’s my therapy, my time to hang with my friends, listen to some good music, challenge myself physically and mentally, and set the example I want to set for my kiddos. How can I NOT find time – ya know?
It’s January, which means we are all being bombarded with lots of articles about how to get healthier, more fit, which diet works best etc… Keep in mind that new research suggests that there is no one diet approach that fits all. A few months ago, Science Daily published ‘Healthy’ foods differ by individual that highlighted that we all metabolize food differently and a personalized approach is what will work best long term for anyone looking to improve their overall health and wellness. I’m sure that most people don’t need research to prove that -we have seen it personally.
“Ever wonder why that diet didn’t work? A new study tracking the blood sugar levels of 800 people over a week suggests that even if we all ate the same meal, how it’s metabolized would differ from one person to another. The findings demonstrate the power of personalized nutrition in helping people identify which foods can help or hinder their health goals.”
I see it each and every day – I have a ton of friends who eat like crap but don’t gain a pound and it seems that I can’t eat a cookie without putting on a pound. It is what it is -and in order for me to maintain a certain level of health and wellness, I need to be very mindful of what I eat. It sucks but it is what it is. You can’t change genetics.
Related articles about the same study:
- This diet study upends everything we thought we knew about ‘healthy’ food
- Foods May Affect Each Person’s Blood Sugar Differently, Study Suggests
Now, let’s be clear though, this study doesn’t mean you can eat all the crap you want if your body metabolizes it quickly and be uber healthy. Eating processed, high in sugar foods are not good for anyone no matter who you are, so a solid foundation of whole, natural foods is still key for long term health and wellness. You can’t be at your best if you eat crap food. You may be one of those ‘lucky ones’ who doesn’t gain weight when you eat crap, but you won’t healthy and at peak performance where it counts.
- Science Compared Every Diet, and the Winner Is Real Food: Researchers asked if one diet could be crowned best in terms of health outcomes. If diet is a set of rigid principles, the answer is a decisive no. In terms of broader guidelines, it’s a decisive yes.
I still have David Bowie on my mind – It was clear that he was born to be an artist and it showed in everything he did. What an amazing talent the world has lost…
I have to get something off my chest – What is up with “Girl Push ups” aka GPUs? First off, there is no such thing as a girl push-up (a push up but you are on your knees). For those that automatically do these type of push ups without even attempting a standard push up – YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET ANY STRONGER or ANY BETTER AT PUSH UPS! Stop doing them this way. It irks me to see and it irks me more when trainers don’t correct or encourage people to do them the correct way. There are modifications that can be done that will get you stronger and are not ‘girl push ups’. I can’t tell you how many times I look around my boxing class and I am one of the very few women who are actually doing a true push up.
When you get a chance read this “Girl Push-ups” Aren’t a Thing. If you don’t have time, here are some key points to realize:
“Many people don’t realize that the push-up requires more than just the chest and arms. It also activates the shoulders, upper back, abdominals, lower back, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Your body needs to maintain a plank position throughout the movement, requiring a straight and tightened core from neck to toes. Push-ups are awesome for full-body development and everyone who has the right moving parts should do them.”
How do you train for Push Ups?
“To train for push-ups, you need to do push-ups or a movement so truly analogous that there is no practical, functional difference other than the resistance experienced by your body. This means that you need to force your core into a tight, steady plank while experiencing resistance on your chest/arms and moving between contracted/extended arm positions.”
I am constantly urging my friends to do modified push ups instead of on their knees. It means that they change the angle or widen their legs as they are going down. If they insist on doing knee assisted push ups, I give them a disappointed look and then challenge them to do as many modified push ups as possible before going to their knees. They will NOT get any better at push ups doing GPUs – period, end of STORY!
As a side note: where did this idea that girls can’t do real push ups come from? Is it from the same urban legend creator as the girls can’t do Pull Ups myth? I can do both and know many other women out there who bust the hell out of both of those myths! We need to rethink how we encourage people to do push ups. I wonder if knee assisted pull ups (GPUs) are how young girls are encouraged to approach push ups day to day. I am going to ask around and see if this is the case and then share information about the modifications that should be encouraged instead. It only takes one person to start a ripple of change…
Here’s another great write up about Why Knee Push Ups Won’t Make You Any Stronger that includes alternative movements that will get you stronger and on your way to being able to do a full proper push up.
We decided to adopt a puppy. We have been thinking about it for a while – and the kids are at an age where they can help at least a little with him. So, without further ado – Meet StormTrooper aka Trooper. He’s a 5 month old White German Shepherd and full of energy. He calms down nicely though and seems to be scared of everything around him which is a bit of a bummer. I am hoping it’s the new surroundings and he needs time to warm up. Almost everyone that has seen him, has shared that German Shepherds were their favorite dog growing up, and they make good family dogs. I’m going to enroll him in training in January which should help. He’s super smart and already sits and fetches – and we are training him to sit and wait at feeding time. We figured with the kids out of school for a few weeks, it would be a good time to get used to him being a part of the family. It will be interesting to see how he’s going to be next week when we all go back to our regularly scheduled routine and he will be alone for a block of time during the day.
Post Holiday Reset
Let’s talk about the holidays shall we? I have been out of control eating. I consciously know that I shouldn’t be shoving 80 bazillion cookies in my body, but it doesn’t seem to matter. The past few days I have been getting back on track though – becoming more mindful of what I am choosing and my plan is to start eating according to the Whole 30 approach in January.
The Whole30 program is a good option for those looking for a way to do a healthy reset or discover what food sensitivities you may have. For those interested in learning more about it, here are some great Whole30-related resources, compliments of Melissa Joulwan, author of the Well Fed book series, including 4 weeks of food plans, no recipe required meal ideas, motivational tips, and more.
One of the great things about doing the 30 day program is you can break your sugar habit if you follow the program religiously. It’s not easy, but craving sugar is one of the biggest issues for most people. Once you break that, which makes the first 10 or so days of this program the most challenging, you will begin to feel completely amazing. Your skin, your hair will look healthier. You will sleep better, wake up feeling better. Food will taste better. The list of benefits goes on and on.
In the coming year, I am going to spend more time working on my flexibility and mobility. I can feel the tightness in my shoulders and neck and have been having issues with my lower back. Nothing serious but I am smart enough to know it’s only takes an off balance move or a quick jerk and I could be feeling more than tightness. I started rolling out my shoulders and back with a Lacrosse ball after my boxing sessions. I have been introducing some friends to the painful joy of myofascial release after my sessions to. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t realize how important and effective it can be. I know many people use a foam roller, but I have found that using a Lacrosse Ball gives you a deeper roll out which is what my tired, tight muscles need.
- The Best Tool for a Deeper Self-Massage
- Hurts So Good: A Beginner’s Guide Self-Myofascial/Trigger Point Release
I really didn’t want to get up and workout this morning. I had such a hard time falling asleep last night and when I did, it was after 1AM and I was restless. I am normally a solid sleeper so not sure why it was so tough. When the alarm blared at 5:00AM I hit snooze – thankfully my internal dialogue started fighting the battle against the ‘sleep monster’ who wanted me to stay in bed. It sounds corny but I name that pull to stay in bed ‘the sleep monster’. The pull seems to have such a strong personality and the ability to talk people out of working out it deserves a name.
When I first started working out and needed to get used to a super early wake up time, I found that having everything ready to go the night before was key in making it easier. I also purposely refused to talk to myself when the alarm went off. That’s when the internal dialogue starts to convince you to go back to sleep. So – I found that being almost like a robot –alarm goes off, get up without even thinking and go get ready. No questions, no excuses, no chance to find a reason. And like a skill, it takes work but the more you practice – the easier it gets. I am proof of that – I got my butt up this AM, even though I didn’t want to and it would have been easy to hit snooze. I know I was going to feel better physically and mentally when my workout was done and guess what? I did!
The point is if you want to reach your health and wellness goals, you have to work at it – each and every day-even if you are in shape. There is no way around it – with the type of lives most of us live, the less than stellar choices available tend to be much more convenient which makes focus key.
- Doctor’s Orders: Prescribe Exercise To Patients, Make Physical Activity A Vital Sign
- Talks to help you manage stress: Sometimes life can feel like a bit of a mess, but these talks are here to help you de-stress.
One of the reasons that I continue to live healthy and fit is for the example it sets for my kiddos. We do all this stuff so that they are active and healthy growing but many of us let our own health fall by the way side. We have lots of excuses related to not having enough time. I have been really vocal about calling bullshit on that excuse but the past week I noticed something else…
Many times during the week, when I go box – I see parents either drop their kid off to a boxing session or sit on the bench and watch. Same thing happened when I took my kids to Rebounderz. I was the only parent jumping around the trampolines and having fun and getting exercise with my kids.
I don’t understand this at all — why not join your kids in an activity or if you drop them off at soccer practice, why not walk around the fields listening to music? Just MOVE YOUR BODY. You don’t have to go at it hard like some of us do but instead of sitting their on the sidelines watching your kid during a boxing session – put on a pair of gloves and join them. Not only are you helping yourself, you are spending time with them and setting a great example. So, stop sitting on the sidelines. Life is too short, kids grow up way too fast and you are allowed to make time for yourself! Who knows – you may even find it’s fun!
Here are some related parenting and kids fitness resources to talk about with your kids:
- How to teach your kids about sugar
- 25+ Ideas to Exercise with Kids
Rewind the Future
As a fitness enthusiast, I crave challenges and variety to stay inspired. But as committed as I am to living fit and healthy, there are times when I feel my momentum and enthusiasm start to wane. It happens to the best of us from time to time. These “exercise humps” are usually a sign that it’s time examine what’s going on in your life, reconnect with what motivates you to live this way, and make changes to your current fitness routine to push you through.
Here are a few ways I get re-inspired to get over an exercising hump:
Remind myself why it’s important.
It’s not easy to live fit and healthy. It’s a choice you have to make each and every day. When I find myself looking for excuses to skip a workout, I go over my personal reasons for living this way. My reasons are varied but include looking and feeling great and preventing immobility as I age.
Add spice to my current workout routine.
Most of my workouts are created by my trainers or instructors, but there are ways I can add in my own touch. It’s what I call making them ‘spicy’. For example, during a boxing session, I may add in an extra move to one of the runs, or focus on speed vs intensity during a round.
Try something new.
Some exercise humps happen because you are bored. However, if you’re open to trying new things and aren’t afraid to be a beginner at something new, there are an infinite number of fitness methods to cure boredom. Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Hiking, CrossFit, Boxing, Cycling, Trampoline…the list goes on and on. Pick one or more to try on the regular to keep you engaged and energized.
Ask for help.
Getting frustrated with the lack of results? There are a lot of experienced and friendly experts out there, online and in person, that can help. Some offer free articles and advice online, while others may make themselves available in person. For me, the best advice and inspiration usually comes from my own network. However, no one else knows when slumps start to develop, so you have to be proactive and make seeking out advice, advice and inspiration a habit.
Everyone hits a wall during their fitness journey. Even the most dedicated athlete has to shake things up once in a while. So, the next time you find yourself hitting a fitness slump in your own routine, recognize it as a sign that something needs to change and change it.