Since I switched things up last night and went in for a boxing class, I took today as a rest day.
A huge part of staying fit is exercising your mind by constantly learning new things and challenging yourself. That can mean trying to master a new skill, learn a new subject or adopt a new behavior. Whatever it is — it’s jarring the established connections already made in your head. There’s a bunch of research out there about how learning new skills keeps your mind sharp while you age.
I’ve been doing research on what FREE online education classes are available. It’s no surprise that you can find practically any subject and topic imaginable. No Excuse List lists sites ranging from languages to cooking and Business Insider listed out The 12 Best Free Online Business Courses To Take This Fall. I encourage everyone out there to pick something they want to learn this Fall and go for it.
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Rest Day – Thursday
Boxing – Wednesday
I’m not going to lie and say I was raring to go this morning. Getting up at 515A regularly is hard – I desperately wanted to hit snooze, roll over and get some more Zzz’s. But I can’t do that. I like the benefits of exercise too much to compromise and one hour of sleep isn’t going to make that much of a big difference in the grand scheme of my day. The only person that I have to battle with to get my butt up is me and I can handle me! I got this and so do you.
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about why we workout and strive to live a fit life. And then I ran across an article by Mark Rippetoe: Bodyfat and Age: Just How Important Is Thin? Think rationally, not subjectively, about bodyfat and it’s good food for thought. I didn’t discover my love of fitness until I was in my thirties – so I didn’t enjoy the 20 year old “i look super hot in this bikini stage” – and for me, the reason I strive to be fit goes way beyond vanity. I am reminded why I continue on whenever I see seniors who have lived a fairly inactive adult life struggle to do daily tasks because it has caught up with them. I don’t want that to be my path — and by staying active and continually challenging myself, I’m doing what I can. When was the last time you thought about why you workout?
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I struggled with my energy level this morning – I am still feeling sore from Saturday’s CrossFit workout and forgot to drink Natural Calm magnesium last night to help with my overall recovery. Lesson learned…
Four straight days of exercise has left me sore — My quads are so sore it hurts to walk down stairs — so today is a rest day. Rest and recovery is just as important as exercise in your overall health and wellness plan. It’s the times you haven’t taken enough rest time and aren’t on top of your game that you get injured.
This past weekend, the topic of body image was on my mind. I follow some modeling agencies on Instagram -one of the many fashion weeks has just passed and I kept noticing how thin the models look. Not healthy thin either. For a brief moment, I thought maybe my outlook changed because I am around strong women who workout and have muscles. Annie Thorisdottir and Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet are the type of women I see in the magazines and websites I frequent. But then I realized that wasn’t it – they really are too thin. Even my 12 year old daughter mentioned how emaciated they looked. It bothered me to see that this sort of look is still favored in the world of fashion. We all need to make sure we are having regular and real conversations with our kids about body image. Just the other day I read a post about a woman making sure her sons see her naked on occasion, so they don’t develop a warped sense of what a women’s body looks like….
- 11 Facts About Body Image
- For the sake of young girls, the conversation about body image needs to change (guest opinion)
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Have you ever heard of Eating for your Blood Type? I’ve been doing some looking into eating certain kinds of foods and the effect they have on different people and thought this was an interesting idea. There are some out there that say it has no effect – but I would imagine it has at least a little. They have proven that certain blood types are more prone to certain diseases, so why wouldn’t your genetic makeup and blood type have some effect on how your body responds to food. It’s definitely interesting…
3 things I’m thankful for daily for the next 5 days. Day 3…
1. I’m thankful for naps. I feel so much better after a good, relaxing nap.
2. I’m thankful for exercise. I love feeling strong and fit.
3. I’m thankful for coffee. No explanation needed.
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It’s either a rest day or an evening workout kind of day — we shall see!
I came across a blog post by one of my CrossFit friends who runs Craic in MA – and it enhanced a previous blog post I wrote last week – how not judging others is one of the hardest behaviors for so many of us to do. Think about all the ways you judge things in the course of a day. A few examples like the weather, your outfit, how you feel, your hair – you make judgments on those things before you even leave you house in the morning. John writes:
“If your goal is lasting change then it’s going to take work. It doesn’t matter if you want the body of your dreams, more money in your bank account, a more fulfilling career, or in this case – to be more accepting of others for the choices they make.”
And that’s what I am trying to do — with a new job, new people to meet, I have decided to put my best foot forward and make some changes to how I react and respond in certain situations. The other day I was showing someone pictures from Facebook and they immediately made a comment about the way someone looked and I challenged them about it. It’s easy to sit back and decide who someone is without really considering what walking in their shoes may be like.
Here’s another good post about judging: Judge Not. Failing That? Learn A Lot. that may offer some insight. To be less judgmental day to day definitely takes awareness, practice and work, which is probably why many of us choose to focus on other goals.
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“Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul go into business together and this time it’s legal…barely. Find out what happens when Julia Louis-Dreyfus becomes a client, trying to offload television’s most coveted item, in this video starring three Emmy Award winners. ”
I came across this list from the book The Four Agreements. I think we would all agree that these 4 tips are a good road map for anyone but like most everything, not always the easiest to always act upon. But we should all at least try to live by them…
I’m off to start my second week at my new job – so far so good. It’s been an energizing experience so far and I am learning a lot – which is something that I love to do.
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I was overcome with how many people “liked” my FB post about Scott’s cancerversary. Reminds me how lucky we are to have so many people in our lives supporting and loving us. It was a great day all around including me getting my hair done – doing my hair and buying shoes are sure fire ways of making me feel fabulous any day of the week.
The gift that having to deal with Scott’s cancer has given me is Perspective. Perspective about what is meaningful in my life, how blessed I am, what is really important. I sometimes discard it and let insignificant things get to me – but I usually find my way back. But, how do you start gaining perspective and using it to filter your life experiences?
A huge life experience like an illness or a death can get you there but what if you want to start seeing your world differently without having to struggle?
I came across this post: Two Questions to Help You Gain Perspective which really spoke to me. The two questions they suggest asking yourself:
Question 1: If someone had a video tape of your typical day, what would they see?
Question 2: Based on your current actions and behaviors, where would you expect to be in five years?
At the heart of it, these two questions are about self reflection: having a vision and goals for yourself. For every situation and decision – ask yourself:
- Does this align with who I want to be?
- Am I around people who lift me higher?
- Is the situation I am dealing with worthy of an emotional investment?
- How does it make me feel?
I also find getting outside and closer to nature helps. We all are just a small part of a huge world. We get so caught up in a rat race which leads many of us to feel disconnected – something like taking your shoes off and walking through some freshly cut grass can center and bring you back. Research shows that taking a walk in a park can help boost your spirits as it connects you to nature.
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My brother sent me some info this week on Splenda. You know the made from sugar, tastes like sugar sweetener. My dirty little secret is I use one packet in my coffee daily. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine and I look forward to my cup of joe each morning. After reading these research findings- I’m going to have to find an alternative…
- Research Review: Is Splenda safe? This review points out that relatively low amounts of Splenda (100mg/kg/day) may cause weight gain and at moderate levels (300mg/kg/day and up), it has adverse effects on your gut, affecting both levels of gut flora and proteins.
- Splenda’s Many Secrets: Gut Flora Destruction, Side Effects This review suggests that Splenda negatively alters gut microflora in rats and may limit the bioavailability of drugs and nutrients.
- Splenda, Sucralose Artificial Sweetener, Could Affect Body’s Insulin Response This one talks about Splenda’s effect on the body’s responses to sugar (glucose) — which could thereby affect diabetes risk — despite the fact that it has zero calories.
Listen To This
The Hidden Plague with Tara Grant – Tara Grant, author of The Hidden Plague, stopped by to discuss a very common tongue twister of an autoimmune skin condition (HS) that no one is talking about, and how she was able to put it into complete remission by healing her gut with an autoimmune paleo protocol.
(29:45 – What Splenda does to your gut bacteria…and your weight!)
Yesterday’s soccer game was so thrilling and even though the USA team lost to Belgium, I am still in awe of how awesome our players are. I had no idea how awesome soccer players are in general –great athletes and amazing to look at too. That’s a great combination for sure. I love when world sports’ teams compete –it brings out our national spirit. Everyone rallies together and cheers the team on. It’s unifying and exciting and it was much needed especially after the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby this week that clearly divided the country.
It was definitely tough getting up this morning for my Power Boxing class. I am enjoying it but it’s hard on my body at 6A, especially after a tough and hot yoga class yesterday. One thing I have begun to notice while boxing is the variety of intensity found among the boxers. There are a ton of newbies that are still not comfortable really beating the crap out of the heavy bag. At least I think they are newbies — I wonder how much benefit they are getting when they don’t hit hard or really move during the workout time. My feeling is that you are there to work – so go as hard as you can. Maybe that’s as hard as they can go but I doubt it — I think it’s as hard as their mind allows them to go. This is really where the CrossFit training and mentality serves me really well. I go at full intensity when it calls for it — and I don’t quit and I am finding that a lot of people outside of CF don’t necessarily subscribe to that.
Have you had a chance to read this NYT feature: Is Obesity Ok?. It’s such a touchy subject that is tied to so many emotions that it’s tough to really get to the heart of it. The health implications of obesity are not OK – but obese people are worthy of respect and kindness, just like everyone else out there. But does respect mean you don’t show sincere care for their well being and talk to them about addressing the issue? Obesity is a public health issue and causes a whole host of other health issues. Sometimes honest conversations can sting even though it’s coming from a place of concern, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t happen.
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Today’s yoga class theme was all about listening to your body which was quite timely as I have been following an interesting discussion in a Master’s CrossFit Group (+40 years old) all about feeling like you need a break and adrenal fatigue.
Here is the post that started the very active discussion:
It’s the first time since I started CrossFit over 2.5 years that I feel like quitting. Since I became menopausal, I’ve had to deal with one issue after the other. The most prominent is adrenal fatigue. My body has said “enough!” Thankfully I’m able to do my best to follow the suggestions from professionals. Just a few days back I received more discouraging news so I feel like throwing the towel in. I sure hope I don’t stay in this place too long. Anyone else out there having this experience?
I think this happens to a lot of folks actually and may be the reason behind my recent break from CrossFit. I was starting to really struggle through the workouts – my body was unusually sore, and I just lacked the energy and motivation to really push. I also was gaining weight and losing interest in something that at one time was the source of so much fun in my life.
I think we are conditioned to ignore certain signs and feelings – the attitude of pushing through the pain or suck it up. There is an element to that in life, but there are also tell tale signs when it’s something more than simply needing a push. It’s the time to quiet your mind and really pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. If you love something and gradually you start to see your enthusiasm for it die down — stop and take a look at what’s going on. Chances are there are signs that will lead you to figure out what’s going on. But you have to stop and listen!
CrossFit is a wonderful method to get in shape for everyone, however a 20 something year old is very different than a 40 year old athlete. The body has had twenty more years of use and for some, abuse. There are lots of physical and chemical issues that come a long with aging that there is NO way to compete on a truly equal level. CrossFit is full of young kids and it’s important for the Master athletes to keep their ego in check and realize that the only person they can equally compete against is themselves. But what happens is you see that young whipper snapper pushing through – kicking ass and your inner voice starts to speak louder, demanding you step up. You have to train that voice to shift perspective and push for progress. For me – I have to remember to stop and ask myself a few questions: Am I having fun? Am I learning? Is it working?
For me, the right thing is to take a break from CrossFit and the programming at the gym I was at – try some different approaches and find my inspiration and passion again. I hope this encourages you to take time daily to quiet your mind and listen.
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