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Which Hard Would You Rather Have: Health or Illness?

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Stephanie HoaglundThere does not seem to be enough hours in the day lately to get it all done. My new job has me so busy and now that spring has sprung – there is so much to get done. I’m not alone in that feeling I am sure – we are all running at a thousand miles a minute now a days it’s hard to quiet your mind and slow down sometimes. I think that’s one of the reasons I workout – to have some time to really focus on how I feel physically. A few friends of mine recently made some comments about how I am always working out — well, first that’s not true. I work out regularly for about an hour five times a week. That leaves a whole lot of other hours during the week when I am not working out. However, after the years of doing this – it’s almost like an addiction. I crave a good workout for mental and physical reasons. I feel better when I move my body. Who doesn’t? Well according to a new study and the Wall Street Journal, a ton of people out there don’t exercise regularly 1 in 4 Americans to be exact…

“We are deep in a national crisis. We’re not sweating enough. We’re running away from sports. We’re fleeing from fitness.
The other day, the Journal’s Sara Germano reported on a mind-numbing survey from the Physical Activity Council which found…well, it basically found that 1 in 4 Americans didn’t exercise at all in the past year.

One in four. For a year. Yikes.”

It is a crisis – just look around suburban America. How many people around you are living less than healthy lives? We are all busy. We are all tired. We are all pushed and pulled in so many directions – but your health should be non-negotiable and top of the list of importance. Not only for you, but for the example you are setting for your children. They learn from what you say and do. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, just MOVE YOUR BODY! Go for a walk, stretch, do sprints – whatever. Do it and continue – it’s a long term journey with peaks and valleys.

It’s not easy I know- but have you seen people living with chronic illness or immobility? That’s not easy either. Which hard would you rather have in your life?

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What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.

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Know When To Ask For Help

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Clean-eating_thumbI’m not going to sugar coat my struggle – I am really slipping with my overall nutrition and can’t seem to muster the motivation or inspiration to re-focus and get back on track. So, I figured i need some real help. I made an appointment with the director of the weight management and human performance lab at George Washington University for later this week. He is going to do some lab tests after a 4 hour fast and then we can take a look at how to get me to where I want to be. It can’t possibly be this hard to get on track.

My thinking is that fitness is not the issue for me.  I need help figuring out a nutritional approach and he can help me get there. I realized this weekend — I need help, plain and simple. When you need help – ask!

I will be sharing the experience with you so we can all learn from it…

scope it outDon’t forget that March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month! I am running the Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life on Team Hoagie’s Heroes to celebrate my hubby’s 6+ years colon cancer free. Will you join us on Sunday March 22 or donate to the cause? Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life 

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Brilliant way to highlight our country’s serious infrastructure problem: America’s crumbling infrastructure: It’s not a sexy problem, but it is a scary one.

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Look fear in the face

Workout

  • Saturday: Cycle Scene 1 hour
  • Monday: 1 mile walk
  • Tuesday: Boxing 1hour

Solidcore: Pilates on Steroids

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I know I’ve been a bit behind in posting new updates for everyone. Real in person life has gotten busy – which is not necessarily a bad thing!

The next few posts will give you an idea of what I have been up to…

SolidCore in Ballston Saturday and Sunday, I did two a day workouts. Not because of any larger reason. I was given opportunities to step outside my comfort zone and try some new workouts.

Saturday

After my early boxing session, I tried [Solidcore] in Ballston.

What is it you ask?  Someone online described it as “Pilates on Steroids”. Ive never done Pilates, but I can tell you it was the kind of workout where I literally hated it while doing it but when it was over – i felt great and wanted to do it again to challenge myself to get the hang of it. You use a megaformer machine for the 50 minute class. It’s all slow, controlled movements focusing on core muscles. The classes are kept small so the instructor can give everyone the attention needed.  Depending on the movement, you would do a 4-6 count to ensure you are really working the muscle. Have you ever tried to go down in an lunge slowly to a 4-6 count on one of these machines? Talk about using core strength!

Megaformer at SolidcoreI’m in pretty good shape, and this was probably one of the hardest workouts I have done. I wanted to stop ten minutes into it. If you aren’t already in shape – this may not be the workout for you. They suggest that if you cant hold a solid plank for 1 minute or more, it will be too challenging.  I do not disagree with their suggestion. Almost from the start, I was sweating buckets even with no cardio and my muscles were twitching and I was shaking. As much as I didn’t like it – I loved it and that feeling. It meant that I was really challenging my body. Call me a glutton for punishment!

After SolidcoreMy friend, Mastaneh, who set up the class for us and who I was mad at the entire time (Just kidding!), felt the same way afterwards — we left with a love/hate feeling. A few days later, I am still feeling the burn. Not the “oh my gosh, i can’t sit down” type but the “that really works” type of soreness.

I would definitely go again if there were one closer to where I live. For now, It may have reignited my motivation to do yoga again and try a Pilates class.

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[Solidcore] Create the Strongest Version of Yourself

Let’s Talk About Gluten Sensitivity

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People ask me why I limit how much food I eat that contains gluten.  When I eat gluten I don’t feel well.  I become fatigued, my eczema starts to flare (which is also connected to eating dairy), and I start to gain weight.  I even find that my migraines come back when I eat too much. I used to be a lot more strict and avoid any and all foods that have gluten, but I have relaxed my focus a bit but it is not without consequences. I am sure there are those out there with no issues with eating gluten on the regular, but not me. I do think however that everyone out there should detox from gluten for a week or two, and then add it back in. See how your body responds.

Think about it – from age four months on, we have been fed foods that contain gluten. Oatmeal is one of the first foods kids try and it is a staple of breakfast choices. How do you know how your body responds to gluten if you have never gone without? You don’t know any different. If you are trying to lose weight, or suffering from symptoms you cant resolve, the first thing I would suggest is to detox. Start eating fresh, whole food for 12 -14 days and then add things back in one at a time. You will most likely find the culprit.

Gluten sensitivity can come in a spectrum of forms

“The gold standard for identifying gluten sensitivity is the elimination diet, in which a patient strictly eliminates gluten for three to six months and then reintroduces it, monitoring the effects.”

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Workout

Friday: Boxing

Saturday: CrossFit (back squat)

When is it good enough?

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There are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I want done lately. I had almost a year ‘off’ from the corporate life, which meant that I could take care of things on the regular. Now that I am back working full time, in an office, it has been challenging to adjust what needs to get done. And I have been finding it hard to spark up the energy to do some of the ‘other’ things – like write. But I am not a quitter, and I know that the spark with reignite if I keep at it.

As I am trying to juggle all of the things in my life, I keep asking myself When is it good enough?   

When Scotty got sick, I gave up the idea of an organized, super clean house. It just wasn’t possible and that has stuck years later. There is always a basket of laundry needing to get done and one needing to be folded in my house. There will always be stuff on my kitchen counters. I realized that my house has four different people living in it – and I can’t keep up. It just isn’t that important in the grand scheme of my life.  And my house is clean enough…

The other day I was looking at some old pics, before I started working out. I noticed how different how much stronger and better I look now comparatively. But yet, I find myself thinking I’m not good enough. My fitness level is not where it should be, my body doesn’t look like I think it should. In all fairness, I own that I have slacked off being 80% Paleo. I am more 60% now –and I can see the differences and it’s been gnawing at me. I am aware that I am my own harshest critic. I am also not the kind of person to sit back and wallow. I need to be challenged and seek out opportunities to learn, so I will never be able to just settle. But – will there ever come a time when I will be able to acknowledge how far I have come?

Which makes seeing untouched pics of ‘famous’ people re-affirming…

Boxing Buddies

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Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.Dalai Lama

Workout

  • Tues: Boxing: 1 Hour
  • Weds: CrossFit: 1 Hour

 

Happy Valentine’s Day: Kill It With Kindness

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Happy Valentine’s Day – I would prefer to call today Kindness Day! As I have said, I don’t need a day set aside to show my love for my husband and my family. The real moments where we show care and kindness are the ones that matter to me. When Scott notices my phone isn’t on the charger and puts it on there or when my kids help me out just because they know I would appreciate it are things that speak to me and affirm that I am loved.

Kindness To celebrate I am going to Kill Today With Kindness. Any opportunity to be nice or help someone else out -I am going to do it. Heck, every day should be kindness day. If you set your intentions on that each morning, it certainly makes it an attainable goal.

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Workout

Boxing: 1 Hour

Tween Girls: Why Do They Have to Lose Confidence?

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Do you ever think about the things you liked to do as a kid? Do you remember how often you had art class?  How you were given time to be creative and innovative?

10374198_10152142761973741_2036474420_nI used to write plays when I was in grade school. They weren’t long or elaborate, but I loved making up stories. I also loved to act. I took acting classes for years – and then – the tweens. I lost confidence, had trouble fitting in, gained a ton of weight, and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV. I lost touch with all those of the creative things I loved to do and it’s been a struggle to find them again.  Growing up, my Mom was a single divorced mom – before so many other parents divorced, and she worked a lot.  My sister and I didn’t have a lot of parental oversight to push us to get our butts outside and play and she wasn’t able to take us to after school activities. It’s not a matter of blaming, it’s just the way it was.  Once I hit my teens,  I was picked on incessantly and was very lonely. I am sure today – I would be considered medically ‘depressed’, but back then – it was considered a stage I was going through.

As a mom now, I see a shift in my own tween-age daughter – her interest in her looks and fitting in started a year or so and it seems to be intensifying. I am thankful that she’s not the target of bullies or mean girls, but she has mentioned that she’s doesn’t think she’s popular and doesn’t have a lot of friends. Wearing my Mom hat,  I talk to her about quality vs quantity of friends and offer her words of encouragement because heck, I like her! The reality is though, there are so many outside influences on our daughters that I feel sometimes it’s hard to overcome.  Does it have to be this way for young girls today?

Do young girls have to lose their confidence and sense of empowerment just because they mature?

I’d like to think that the world has changed, but look around – some things have changed, but much has remained the same. There are so many articles and research out there detailing how young girls ultimately grow up to be women with low confidence and find they have less opportunities than male counterparts in their personal lives and careers.

Here’s a few recent articles for example:

Talking about the issue is definitely a start when it comes to addressing the problem, but more focus needs to be on teaching our daughters AND sons about valuing people – male AND female. Parents need to walk the walk/talk the talk as well. However, since men are in many positions of leadership around the world, maybe the wives and daughters out there need to put much needed pressure on the men in their lives to encourage them to lead the change.

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Boxing: 1 hour

Birthday Wishes Warm The Heart Or Something Like That

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Boxing with AlexI was sincerely touched by all of the people in my life & social sphere (in person and online) that took time out of their day to wish me a Happy Birthday yesterday. I don’t really grasp the reach and impact the stuff I share and the digital media work I do  – and it becomes clear on a day like yesterday.

I started my day off with some exercise. Each year I make sure to get a workout in on my big day —  to thank my own body for being so dependable. And to make it even more fun, my dear friend Maria bought me a tiara and a “real women box’ tank to wear for the occasion.  And yes, I wore that tiara throughout the entire workout!

Then I headed into work – and went out for a steak dinner in the evening. Nothing extra fancy but a great day overall. My kids made me some spectacular gifts and Scotty was attentive as always.  When your life is good – what more can you ask for?

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17 of the BEST kid insults!

Kindness Matters

Woman Walking Through Target Noticed Something Out of the Ordinary Going On. So She Took a Picture. ‪#‎kindnessmatters‬

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Awaken the Beast

Symptoms of a Personal Boundary

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Beauty in NatureA big challenge that I have been facing lately is confronting the fear I have felt about taking the next big step in my career. I have a lot of doubts and anxiety about whether I could handle the next level but with this new job, I decided to just jump into it. Yesterday, my brother David sent me a quote he said reminded him of what I am currently feeling:

“To be clear, the goal is to feel the emotions caused by your state of ignorance, not to dismantle them. This is because your emotions powerfully indicate that you have hit a personal boundary”  Excerpt From: Jason Apollo Voss. “The Intuitive Investor.” SelectBooks, Inc., 2010. iBooks.

I need to feel the emotions because they are a symptom of a personal boundary: My doubt and lack of confidence in my experience and abilities. This year I am committed to breaking through this boundary and moving onto the next one. Life is full of personal boundaries waiting to be taken on if you think about it.

I want you to take time today and read this: Lottery Tickets: Grieving for a husband.  It’s definitely not an easy read. It’s a heartbreaking story, but so beautifully written that you will be better having read it. Her story is very intimate, you can feel the heartbreak and sadness but there is also hope — it’s a reminder that life is short, family is important and love is grand.

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Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, And Jimmy Fallon Go Head-To-Head-To-Head In Historic Lip Sync Battle: 

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Workout

Boxing 1 Hour

It’s Not About The Food

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Flowers Today marks my third week at my new gig and although I am still very green with knowledge, I’m feeling at home. There is a ton of work to be done and I have the opportunity to make a real difference to the company. I was thinking this weekend, that I feel better. I’m starting to re-engage with some things that were losing my interest which to me is a sign of things getting set straight in my life.

Now for the brutal honesty  – my focus on eating has gone way off the deep end. I can’t really even say I am following paleo at this point. I’m kinda all over the place. I know what I need to do but finding the drive to do it has been tough the past few months. I’m not going to lie either – it has affected my waist line too.  I will need to really stop and listen to figure out what’s really going on with me. Why am I ignoring what I know I need to do? It’s not that the food is so delicious that I can’t control myself –it’s not about the food.

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Fresh Start Fresh Mind

Workout

  • Saturday: CrossFIt
  • Sunday: Boxing
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