Where have I been? What’s been going on? I wish I could share some exciting details or news, but the truth is I have been lacking inspiration and motivation the past few weeks. Maybe it’s the election results, or the change of seasons- whatever it is, it’s been affecting me big time.
Now that the holiday season is here, most of us will be out socializing a lot more than usual. I get invited to a ton of Holiday Parties and Happy Hours in December and if I’m not careful, I start to slip back into old eating habits. I’m sure I’m not alone. Last week, during one of my Body By Wayne training sessions, I was bitching about how hard the workout was (something I do regularly). I asked Wayne why it’s so hard to stay lean and healthy. How come there isn’t a pill I can take to keep this way? I workout all the damn time –hard workouts, that challenge me in many different ways, but yet each time I go, it’s a mental and physical challenge once again. It’s not freakin’ fair, but the truth is — Fitness is rented. You have to pay that rent each and every day. And if it’s important to you, then you will do it.
What keeps me motivated to stay fit?
Here’s some insight into how I think…
- I have seen far too many older people become immobile and unable to take care of their most basic needs without help. For some, it wasn’t something under their control, but for the vast majority – if they moved their bodies and paid a bit more attention to their overall health when they were younger, they wouldn’t be that way. When I start to lament about having to workout, I remember this.
- When Scotty was sick with colon cancer, we spent every other Tues at Georgetown Hospital getting his chemo. I saw and met a lot of very sick people. Exercising is one of the best ways to prevent many cancers — and it’s an hour of of my day. One friggin hour! And if you can’t do a full workout – then just go for a walk. MOVE YOUR BODY. I remember our time getting Scotty well and the people I met.
- I live in the suburbs and I am seeing more and more, people my age ignoring their health. We are at the cusp of “no, we aren’t old” and “no, we aren’t young” and so many of take little time to take care of ourselves. We know how important it is – but tend to get wrapped up in everything else. I remind myself how important it is to take time for myself to take care of myself. Not only for my own well-being, but as a good role model for my kids.
After thinking about those three important things, how can I really not go and workout? Those aren’t trivial reasons and I have no real excuse to skip. Not to mention that I love the feeling I have after a good workout and the great people I have met through my fitness journey. Hopefully, the insight I shared will help motivate you to stop waiting and begin…
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I didn’t see any weight loss this past week, but I also didn’t see any weight gain – so it’s still a win. I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t bother me though. I have been on point, eating well, no crap snacking and exercising as usual. You would think my body would step to it and show results. Although in fairness, I am about to hit that monthly time, so it could be the cause of the lack of results this past week. I’m going to go with that and see what next week’s weigh in produces. My clothes are looser and I have had more than one person mention that I am looking leaner -so I am going to try my best to focus on those positives. It’s not easy though. I want proof!!!
I’ve been doing a lot of exercises to open up my shoulders and chest during strength training. Not only is my posture less than stellar in general, I also tend to pull in during boxing as well. I’m becoming more excited each workout to see the changes happening to my arms. shoulders and back.
I’ve also been mixing things up too. Solidcore has opened in Ashburn, so I bought their opening rate special and will be adding that to my weekly schedule one day a week. With boxing and Body by Wayne training — it’s a pretty well rounded fitness routine that includes Core, Strength and Cardio Work. With two rest days each week –which I know I get asked about constantly. Working out is my stress releaser – it’s hard to take rest days but I schedule them just like other stuff.
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This pic is me after my 30 min session with Wayne. I was crushed. Fair to say it was a very long day. I did a 6A intense boxing workout, then worked my day job, and then went in for my PT session (add in parenting duties too!) Wayne didn’t do anything I wasn’t comfortable or unfamiliar with — the focus was strength training – dumb bell arm work, back squats, push ups and a few other things, including a long session of db walking lunges. When I say long — I mean it felt like it was miles. After the session, my muscles twitched for quite some time, i drank a ton of water and I felt the soreness start within minutes. Now that’s a good session.. Wayne said that he could tell I was a ‘worker‘. Truth.
As for my clean eating — I am now on Day Three. The first two days weren’t that big of a deal, but today I woke up with a headache and just feel sluggish and cranky. I am warning everyone that interacts with me that cranky Steph has arrived. Fair warning to them all. I’m not starving, but I am craving sugar and carbs. To combat them, I am drinking water and/or herbal tea whenever I feel the cravings creep up. I am peeing a lot more thanks to that strategy…
Wednesday evening I got out the good ole crockpot and made some Cilantro Lime Chicken, which I figured would last me a few days but my family liked it too –so it only covered me for dinner that evening and lunch the next (because I packaged some up right after it was ready to eat!). I am going to make some more – it was that good!
As I sit here, I can feel the soreness every time I move. It’s not immobilizing or anything but it’s a sign that I worked hard. And although I am bit achey and cranky from this clean eating detox period, I can feel the excitement start to flood back with this challenge – which is a good thing.
My next session is Sunday, so stay tuned…
After sharing my last post, I read this article: I’m a Fit Chubby Girl and I’m Sick of People Telling Me I’m Unhealthy which I thought was relevant and timely. While I see the point she is making, I am not necessarily of the same mindset when it comes to my own health. For me, I don’t want to be the chubby fit girl because I know mine is caused by the nutritional choices I have been making. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a fanatical nut about it all either. It boils down to I am not happy where I currently am and I don’t feel my best. If the author feels she is at her best –more power to her. Healthy living is what matters in the end – not the number on a scale. Keep exercising and moving your body on the regular.
I was trying to figure out what really bothered me about the latest Kim Kardashian instagram image. It’s her body, so what do I care if she wants to show it to the world. But yet, it still bothered me. Then I read something posted by Pink today on Twitter that captured what I was feeling:
“Shout out to all of the women, across the world, using their brains, their strength, their work ethic, their talent, their ‘magic’ that they were born with, that only they possess. It may not ever bring you as much ‘attention’ or bank notes as using your body, your sex, your tits and asses, but women like you don’t need that kind of attention. In the quiet moments, you will feel something deeper than the fleeting excitement resulting from attention, you will feel something called pride and self respect.” -Pink
It is absolutely her right to show her body off and be proud. I just can’t help but think about what happens when her ‘looks’ stop getting her attention. What happens then? More plastic surgery, treatments, perfect lighting to keep up the facade? I would imagine that when your fame and career all stem from how you look – you get wrapped up and it consumes you.
When I saw her IG posts, I didn’t stop and say oh, i wish I was just like her. Quite the opposite actually, It bothered me. It felt cheap, unnecessary and an over the top cry for attention. It also angered me – my teen daughter sees images like that all over the place now and in her still forming mind, she begins to think that’s worthy of attention and worthy of emulation.
It makes parenting that much harder…
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My entire family went and saw the new James Bond pic, Spectre over the weekend. I will be the first one to admit that the entire Bond genre does not embrace the idea of positive female role models. It doesn’t scream feminism by any stretch of the word. However, like anything, it is fantasy fiction and for me, I am able to get lost in the mindless action without being offended. I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the Bond Girls was actually a Bond Woman who was sexy, hot and desirable. Monica Belucci, who at age 51, became the oldest Bond Girl in the history of the series with her role in Spectre. She’s a gorgeous woman regardless of her age, but the fact that Bond romanced her was a different twist we had not seen before.
Daniel Craig who plays Bond is in his late 40s and no one bats an eye when his character romances 20/30 year olds. It became very clear to me over the weekend that it’s a pervasive cultural feeling, even in the younger generation. During the Monica and Daniel love scene, my 11 year old son leans over to me and says “she’s old, Mom.” That comment stopped. me. in. my. tracks. Here’s my son, whose mother has a career, is independent, strong, and liberal, felt the need to not only notice, but remark about the age of the female during the scene. It didn’t even occur to him that Daniel and Monica are pretty close in age and their romantic exchange is a more likely occurrence in real life.
We talked about it the next day – I mentioned that I was surprised by his remark and wondered why he didn’t mention how old Daniel Craig looked. He shrugged and said, well everyone knows he was old. He added that he thought she was beautiful but she was old.
My son didn’t make the remark with bad intentions. I think he was remarking about something that struck him as different because he rarely sees an older sexy woman being romanced in the media.
And maybe, if it becomes more and more common it won’t need to be something to comment on…
I think this whole appropriate attire issue is getting out of control. My daughter is now constantly questioning what she can and can’t wear as she gets ready for school- instead of worrying about learning. Pencil skirts are NOT ok because it outlines the butt, and skirts have to be a certain length, leggings can’t be worn without a long shirt…. the list goes on and on. It’s getting out of control – It’s now a distraction to her and me. Are we really at a point where young men can’t control their thoughts and actions if a classmate is wearing yoga pants? If that’s the case – it’s bigger issue than just the clothing being ‘suggestive’.
And it doesn’t stop there — rules that ban innocuous super heroes because they are categorized as violent super heroes… School Reportedly Bans Girl’s ‘Wonder Woman’ Lunchbox
We are creating an environment with too much padding and expecting it to stop what ails the world. It’s not yoga pants and Wonder Woman lunch boxes that’s the problem. It’s this pervasive culture of putting the responsibility on the female to keep it all in check as opposed to teaching both boys and girls how to treat one another with mutual respect.
And it’s happening in schools all over the country — bare shoulders are against the rules in some schools. How the heck is a shoulder distracting to someone??
Even this summer, HB attended an amazing camp but the rules stated the girls had to wear one piece suits or wear a shirt over their bikini –but the boys were able to wear just their swim trunks. When I went to pick up my daughter, it was one of the first things she told me about — and asked how come the boys didn’t have these sorts of rules?
It’s a good question –
Who doesn’t love Tina Fey – not only being super funny, but also subtlety showing the lengths women go to conform…
I mentioned that last week I visited the GWU Weight Management and Human Performance Lab to check out the lab and get some tests done so I can really figure out what the key is that will help get me where I want to be.
Todd Miller who runs the lab and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise Science and was kind enough to offer me some testing so I can share my experiences with anyone interested in experiencing the lab.
Todd ran me through a series of tests and then we sat down, reviewed the results and discussed ways to get me where I want to be.
First, he measured my height and weighed me and then had me stand on a the Body Composition – BIA machine that measured my weight, body fat etc using electromagnetic pressure contact, not unlike the scales and other machines readily available. Then we used the Dexa machine…
Body Composition – Dexa (or DXA) -The gold standard for body composition assessment. The DXA scan uses a low-dose x-ray (approximately 1/10th the radiation of a traditional chest x-ray) and provides information about bone mineral density, fat, and fat-free mass in to specific regions of the body with an accuracy of ±2%.
After that test was complete, which took maybe five or so minutes, it was time to test my Resting Metabolic Rate – The resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the amount of energy (calories) a body burns while at rest, which accounts for approximately 70% of the body’s daily energy expenditure. This is the amount of energy needed to perform vital body functions such as respiration and circulation.
After the testing was done, Todd and I talked through the results. I gained some weight in the last year and half. It was as much as I had thought – so while that’s not great news per se, it wasn’t shocking and it confirmed my own sense of where I am. The good news… all the fitness I do – does make a difference whether I am at an optimal weight or body fat %. I am fit — and the weight i gained, once I lose it – I should be in the ‘good’ categories all around.
- Bone density is good.
- My RMR is high. That means I burn a lot of calories just being.
- I have a good amount of lean muscle mass.
I’m not going to discuss my actual numbers here – they are irrelevant to anyone but me. What I will share is that we talked about how much protein I need based on my lean muscle mass and what would be my optimal amount of calories to get me back to where I will feel most comfortable. The thing is my goal isn’t about being super lean. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin without being crazy about every little thing I eat or drink. I did that years ago – and it consumed my life. My goal is to be healthy and fit – not an Olympian or champion competitor. I am living this way so I am able to move, have fun, try new things and age without the fear of being immobile. That is what I discussed with Todd – he made some suggestions on what would be a reasonable caloric and protein intake per day to get me there. As for exercise, I clearly don’t need help in that area. I am fit!
The one thing that caught me off guard is how much protein Todd suggested I eat per day: 146g He based it on how much lean body mass I have. I am not sure how one goes about eating that much protein in a day but i have been trying without upping my overall suggested caloric intake. It’s been quite a challenge – the closest I have gotten is 96g.
I have also begun to track my fitness and food intake using fatsecret.com. Todd sent me an invite and he can monitor what I am eating from time to time to give me advice. Check it out –so far I am liking it.
One of things that has always confused me is why is it so hard? Todd explained that most of it is simple math – which is not hard but it is hard to put into place. Knowing that there is science and data behind what we discussed helped me leave the lab with a sense of an actual plan to get me back to where I will feel comfortable. Before that, i have just guessed at where I am and how much I need to eat. With Dr Miller’s suggestions, I feel confident about being able to do it.
I will keep you posted on my overall progress – the good and bad of it as we head into Spring and Summer.
So here’s a gut kicker that happened to me today. Regularly, I go to my general practitioner for a med check and I for the most part I request that they don’t check my weight. As much as I talk about how the number on the scale isn’t necessarily an accurate indicator of one’s health and definitely not a definition of one’s worth – there are times when that number grabs a hold of my self esteem and drags it down a few notches.
I received an invitation to my GP’s medical website that has all of my health information and records. As I logged in, guess what was the first thing I saw? My weight. The second thing? That it was classified as obese. My files show one of my diagnosis is Obesity. I know I have gained some weight in the past year –and it hasn’t been from strength training. The past year definitely knocked me on my butt emotionally and I am no different than many others out there — I wasn’t interested in being diligent in what I was eating and eating crap made me feel better – at least at that moment in time. But.. even with that – there is no way I am obese. Intellectually I know this — even with my admission that I could stand to lose some poundage-I am not obese.
Even that pod test I did earlier this year didn’t put me at obese.
As I work to beat down the blow to my self esteem, it bears repeating that BMI is not a good indicator of health or a healthy weight — “We’re battering a ram into a brick wall trying to measure success through people’s BMI.”
Seeing that word OBESITY in black and white has added to the blah feelings that have been hovering over me lately. I’m exercising just as usual –maybe even at a higher intensity so I know that I have to put the focus on my nutrition. But knowing what I need to do – and doing it are two different things. I have to figure out what’s going on my head first — and I know it will click.
We are headed out on a much needed family vacation for the next few days. The kids are out of school and we figured what the heck. We haven’t had a long family holiday in a while. I’ve been super stressed out and not feeling myself, so hopefully it will be just what I need to bounce back.
Before I go offline for a few days – I wanted to mention something that has been in the news the past few weeks. Body Image…
Recently a bit fuss was made over the change in looks of actress Renee Zellweger and of course there are countless gossip columns that live to ‘report’ on the fading youth of some of America’s beloved celebs. Just a few weeks ago, I highlighted the photoshopping of Camille Leblanc Bazient and what message it sends to young women who look up to her. A fellow CrossFit athlete/blogger explained the harm it can do in a recent post:
It’s ingrained in our culture and it has taken a toll on everyone. We all need to take note and push back as much as we can when we see examples of this. It’s true that little ripples make big waves…
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