Fitness/Exercise

Don’t Believe the Hype or the Memes

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Dont Believe the HypeI came across this posting on FB the other day –and it came at the right time. I have been dealing with a deep tissue tear in my back and just feeling a general fatigue and lack of motivation for some of my workouts. So, after reading this – I gave myself a pep talk and said -take a break from the workouts that aren’t bringing me joy and do something else for a while. Read it and see if it helps you too…

 

Don’t believe the memes, don’t take the inspirational posts as gospel, don’t destroy your body to save face:

Take a rest day. Take a week off, or a month, or even half a year. Do something besides lifting, find a new hobby for a while, or volunteer somewhere to help the less fortunate. Do something to make the world a better place, and not just yourself.

Or:

Have fun for once! You don’t HAVE to go hard in the gym every day. Some of the most miserable people I’ve ever met are people who make lifting their entire life, and for what? A $10 trophy? A jug of protein and a shirt that doesn’t fit right? Is all that really worth neglecting your kids over, blowing out your knees, missing big life events or losing your job?

The reality is that most lifters will never make a liveable income solely off lifting, and to treat a hobby in a way that overtakes your life is just about the worst thing you can do for your livelihood. There is no pension at the end of your lifting career. Lifting should be FUN. If you aren’t having fun with it, why are you doing it? So your friend doesn’t send you a T-Nation article that says you’re a ween for not wanting to max every day? Who cares.

If you’re burnt out, spend a few weeks doing Bodybuilding work, or take up hiking for a few weeks. Experiment with new movements, or become a cardio bunny. Put on an extra 5-10lbs. Who. Freaking. Cares. It’s your money, your time, and your body. Do what you like with it.

I will tell you this: I bet that taking some time off will help you rekindle that fire under your butt that you had when you first got into all this. Lifting will be there when you’re ready to go again, and 200lbs will always be 200lbs.

~Brandon Morrison

Are You Being Selfish Enough When It Comes to Your Health?

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I believe that the greatest gift you can give your familyI came across this blog post today: Who’s Really the Selfish One? and had to share it because it really encapsulates my perspective on how important my own health and fitness is to me and it totally aligns with the reason I even have my blog.  Taking care of yourself is not selfish! I hear too many parents in my area say they are too busy to exercise, they put their children’s needs way ahead of their own health needs and put themselves at the very bottom of their very long/never ending priority list.

My blog, Live Fit and Sore, emphasizes the importance of taking care of yourself no matter your circumstances…

  1. Most of us go through life thinking It could never happen to us.  Whatever that It is — but guess what? It does and has happened to people all around you. Cancer is affecting younger people more and more. We all know a few people who have suffered heart attacks at an early age. Name an illness or disease – I’m almost positive you will find people your age who have had to face it.  Research shows people fare better against a whole host of illnesses if they are in shape and relatively healthy.  And it goes without saying, you can’t take care of others properly if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
  2. What message and lesson do you want your kids to learn? I love that my kids understand that my fitness and health is a priority to me. I want them to grown up understanding that no matter how busy and hectic our life gets, I find time to workout. They also see me meeting great people and how the experience enriches my life. I want the same for them. I want them to know that you don’t have to get ‘old’ and become just a ‘parent’. I’m very proud of being their mom, but I am still a viable, important person who deserves time to take care of myself. I want them to think leading an active and fit life is normal as they grow and have families of their own. You don’t lose your person status when you become a parent —

This was one of the closing paragraphs of the blog post that I think we all need to consider: “Picture yourself twenty or thirty years from now. Are you happily playing with your grandkids and enjoying your life independently, or are you stuck on the couch or scooter, too achy and out of shape to enjoy this beautiful world and those in it?”

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Random Things On My Mind

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What's On My Mind

Let’s Get Our Kids Outside More

As a follow up to my previous post, I came across this article: Why You Need More Dirt in Your Life. The very first paragraph tells a huge story: “It’s estimated that children now spend less time outside than the average prisoner. This could have devastating effects: Kids need to be exposed to the microbes in the soil to build up their defenses against diseases that may attack them later. But it’s not just children, Paul Bogard explains in his new book, The Ground Beneath Us. The EPA estimates that the average American adult now spends 93 percent of their life indoors. As we retreat indoors, more and more of the earth is disappearing, with an estimated quarter of a million acres paved or repaved in the United States each year.” 

Kids are spending less time outside than prisoners!! It’s not uncommon to read about how little recess time kids are getting during their school day, but with the amount of homework kids are being sent home with -many kids simply do not even have enough time after school either. And on top of that, add in the technology addiction so many families are dealing with now.  What a recipe for disaster in more ways than we even know about.  I’m not sure what the solution is —  but putting an emphasis and importance on getting your kiddos outside should be at the top of all parents’ lists. It starts at home.

Know When to Take a Knee

Even though I’m in damn good shape, I have to continually remind myself that it’s OK to scale. I’ve been taking [Solidcore] for some time now and it continually screws with my head. What happens is that when I do scale during the 50 minute class, I am hard on myself afterwards. As I was driving back from class this morning, I started to beat myself up about scaling a few moves. Then, I purposefully thought about how far I have come since I first tried this type of hard workout. And reminded myself, scaling isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I don’t have to compare myself to anyone else taking the class. They aren’t me. They aren’t built like me. They don’t have the same challenges. They have their own.  I’m sure it won’t be the last time thoughts like these creep up, but like any other skill – practice makes better. I have to make a conscious effort to switch the filter that I am using.

Why You Should Never Feel Bad About Modifying Your Workouts

Things Happen For a Reason

As a few of you know, I am currently enjoying downtime from working full time. I have a few clients that I am consulting with, but nothing that is taking up all my working hours. What you probably don’t know, because I don’t really talk about it, is that my son just hit his teen years and is having some challenges. I am told that the issues he’s dealing with are very common, but nonetheless are very challenging to handle as parents. We want to help him the best we can — but as I am finding out, there are some things he either needs to grow out of and will come as he matures and there are other things he needs guidance now more than ever. A dear friend told me yesterday that perhaps this break in my employment is the opportunity that is needed to help guide him and be there for him more. Her words “He needs you”. And now I have some time to be there for him –give him more structure, spend more time just being around him. This break happened because this is the time he needs someone there for him most.

I wish an instruction manual came with both my kids. Scotty and I are trying to do what we think is best – which I guess is all anyone can ask of us but I gotta tell you, parenting is hard.

What a Teenage Boy Needs Most from his Mom

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No Bullshit

 

 

Nature Can Help Put Things In Perspective

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My long term work contract ended about two weeks ago and this is the first time in a very long time, I’m not employed. It’s unfamiliar and strange to not have something to get up and go to each morning (even if that means working from home). People have been telling me to enjoy it — relax and just go with the flow. It’s amazing how hard that is for me. The first week was nice, but now that I’m heading into the third week, my mind is starting to go deep. Lot’s of thinking about what I am going to do next. More like – what do I want to do next. I’m lucky that I’m not dead broke (yet) and we have health insurance. I suppose that gives me a bit more breathing room and freedom, but at times I certainly don’t feel that way.

Never Have Enough NatureI grew up with a mom who worked all the time –and I mean ALL THE TIME. There was, and based on my Mom’s current schedule, still is NO DOWN TIME with her. Even entertaining the thought of being home for a bit is uncomfortable. So, I’ve been living in a state of being uncomfortable which is well, uncomfortable. To help, I’ve been exercising and walking Trooper. I have always been told when you are feeling stressed or out of sorts, head outdoors. There is something calming and grounding about surrounding yourself with Nature. So, it goes without saying I’ve been doing my fair share of visiting Mother Nature lately for sure.

And as an added benefit, spring in Virginia is absolutely gorgeous. I’m lucky to live within walking distance to a really cool park, the W&OD trail. It’s the perfect place to walk Trooper, and soak up all the signs of spring. Even the smells are amazing.

I’m not saying that my walks are solving my problems, but they are certainly helping put things in perspective and are making me just feel better. So, my advice is if you are feeling like there is a big weight on your shoulders or just stressed, take time to get outside. Take your shoes off and walk around in some fresh cut grass, head to a park and swing, or heck, just garden.

As Thoreau said, “We need the tonic of Wilderness. We can never have enough nature.

Here’s a taste of how gorgeous Virginia is in the spring…

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March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month Which Means I Run a 5K

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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

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month - Scope It OutAs 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.

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Bone Conduction Headphones: Are they right for you?

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Aftershokz HeadphonesMy brother recently told me about these cool headphones that use bone conduction to transmit the sound, sending the vibrations straight into the top of your jaw and from there to your inner ear and brain. The company, Aftershokz, originally started making bone conduction headphones for the military and now they are offering them to the public. After hearing how much my brother loved them, I went to the website, checked them out and ordered the Trekz Titanium Wireless model. Here’s what the website has to say about this particular model…

“The lightweight and comfortable Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds. Bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features deliver premium music play and crystal clear calling without compromise. Designed with athletes in mind, Trekz Titanium are sweatproof, secure, and will allow you to hear your surroundings – no matter where life takes you.”

They arrived late last week and so far, I am loving them.  They don’t have crystal clear sound quality (you compete with outside noise after all)– and that’s ok with me. I love that I can wear them comfortably and still hear things around me. And they are comfortable. I have found that after a while with regular headphones that go in your ear, i have to move them around because they become uncomfortable. These fit nicely on the outside of the ear, and I haven’t really needed to readjust them that much as I move around. They are bluetooth and rechargeable. So far, I have gone 2-3 days without having to recharge them.

And you know what else? It uses cool new technology. THEY ARE COOL! 

Should You Try These Headphones?

If you run a lot outside with music and always leave one side of your headphones out so you can hear around you, these headphones are for you! Or the kind of active person who likes to hear what’s going on around you in general, go for these! If you are a audiophile and into really super crystal clear sound or are the type of person who puts your headphones on and zones out from the world around you – these are probably not going to be the right headphones for you right now. With technology constantly improving, that could change… so, keep your eye on the space because who knows, the next iteration could address those issues.

By the way: I was not asked to share info on these headphones. I just ordered them independently and really like them.  I will revisit my thoughts about them in a month to follow up on how well they have performed.

Want even more info? Here’s a good recap of these headphones from The Verge: Are bone conduction headphones good enough yet?

Aftershokz

Image by Aftershokz

 

Kindness Benefits the Mind and Body

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It should go without saying, but it’s more important than ever to look for ways to help each other out in our own neighborhoods and globally. Look for ways to lift each other up when possible -even if its simply a kind word and approach things with the best intentions. And, sometimes we need to remind ourselves that most people in our lives try to act with the best intentions even if they annoy us. And above all — BE KIND. Kindness Matters always. 

Health Benefits of Kindness

Kindness Benefits the Mind and BodyDid you know there is scientific research that proves being kind and generous is actually good for your health? When you do something that makes you feel good, your body makes Oxytocin, which then releases nitric oxide which dilates your blood vessels and reduces your blood pressure!

Research has also shown a link between being kind and your body releasing dopamine, which helps with your mood and aids in giving you a sense of euphoria and eases anxiety.

Here’s some good info on Why Being Kind is Good for your Health to drive the point home even more…

On a related note, I do not share much related to religion here, however, this was a story and a lesson about kindness and support that should resonate with us all, especially now as we are seeing an increase in hate crimes and mean spirited politics…

 

“Let me tell you the secret of Judaism. When you warm other people’s hearts, you remain warm yourself. When you seek to support, encourage and inspire others; then you discover support, encouragement and inspiration in your own life as well. That, my friends, is “Judaism 101”.”

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No Mediocre

Fitness is Rented and Needs to Be Paid Every Day

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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.

Fitness is RentedNow 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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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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Determination is your responsiblity

Discover The Spice: Sumac

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Sumac - SpiceI’ve been meaning to share a find I recently made: the spice Sumac.  My friend Mastaneh had us over for dinner a few months back and we had seriously, the most delicious grilled chicken kabobs. They were flavored with Sumac. I had never heard of it — but apparently it’s a commonly used spice in the Middle East.

From my research, The sumac bush, native to the Middle East, produces deep red berries, which are dried and ground into coarse powder. The spice was long used in Europe to add tartness to many dishes until the Romans introduced lemons to the area. While it’s less common, the berries may also be sold whole. Ground sumac is a versatile spice with a tangy lemony flavor, although more balanced and less tart than lemon juice. A small sprinkle also adds a beautiful pop of color to any dish.

It also has antioxidant health benefits and is an anti-inflammatory. I was able to find it at Whole Foods, but like almost anything – it can be found online via Amazon too!

I sauteed chicken thighs, onions and garlic and add Sumac to the chicken as they are cooking. It’s so so good even my kids like it. And the leftovers even keep their flavor which is a bonus. Here are some ideas for using Sumac when you are cooking!

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Get Out There and Socialize

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Halloween Party 2016I went to two get-togethers last weekend — I had so much fun. I was told quite a few times how in shape I looked.  It was a much needed affirmation that the hard work I’ve put in has been working. I’ve found, at least for women- we need visual proof before we really believe that we lost weight or toned up. Well – the pic on the right gave me the visual proof that I needed to see my results. (and that’s my friend Tank with me!) And, make no mistake — it’s been tough. Varied training 5-6 times a week and watching what I eat. Could I be even more careful with what I am eating? Yes – but I need balance, so it will have to do for now. I’m not training for the Olympics or anything. It’s important to keep your perspective in check.

Live Fit and Sore -FriendsI also was reminded that I need to make sure to spend more time with friends. I get so focused and busy with work, kids and ‘life’, that I tend to brush off plans friends try to make with me. I know it’s shocking but I think I am an extroverted introvert when it comes down to it. I really do love being around people but it drains me –so I also love spending time alone so I can recharge.  And Napping – napping is my favorite. But I felt so happy and loved being around friends. So, I’ve made a commitment to step outside of my comfort zone and accept more invites to hang out with friends. It’s so easy to decline –so I’m not going to go the easy route. It’s a lot less fun.

Halloween

And of course Halloween was yesterday! Here are my kids’ costumes. Each year, HB makes her own and this year was the best yet. She was a pineapple!! And I’m sure you can guess what Nate Dogg was…

Halloween 2016

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