Fitness/Exercise

Corporate America: The Crap They Eat

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I appreciate a free lunch like anyone else out there – but when you make healthy eating a priority, a free lunch doesn’t really mean much.

A few weeks ago, I was attending an in-house two day training session for work. Apparently, my company provides lunch when all day training is scheduled.  Being new, I didn’t know that – and because I am used to being a ‘picky’ eater, I am perfectly fine providing my own lunch – no issue at all.

Before arriving on my first day of training, I stopped off at Wegmans and picked up a salad. Lunch was provided for the rest of the group and it was the standard: Sandwiches, salad with croutons and cheese, a cream based soup and cookies and brownies for dessert.  Needless to say, I was happy with my salad even though it provoked a ton of comments and questions about my food preferences. All was right with the world.

Before the end of day one, the lady in charge of ordering asked me what my food preferences were. She seemed to not even grasp the idea of a food allergy if you ask me but I told her nonetheless.  I mentioned I don’t eat foods with gluten or dairy and suggested a salad as a good option if she were able to order something for me. She wrote it down and said ‘no problem’.

SaladI didn’t stop for salad the next morning – why would I? Well – I should have known better. Lunchtime came around – the lunch order arrived. Guess what was waiting for me? A bowl of lettuce – and to add insult to injury, with grated Parmesan cheese mixed in. I am not even joking – a BIG BOWL OF LETTUCE – iceberg lettuce!! I looked at the lady and she just shrugged and said I told them you didn’t eat gluten and walked away.

I don’t need to be coddled. I am perfectly fine fending for myself when it comes to my food preferences,  but when someone says they are going to take care of something, I figure – they will take care of it. Silly me – I was even more annoyed that the lady didn’t give a shit afterwards. Who the hell eats a bowl of lettuce and calls that lunch? Would she be ok with that for her lunch? Anyways …

Today my company held holiday lunch. There was nothing for me to eat. Not a huge deal, since I brought my lunch but it just seems to me when you are providing for a large group of people – at least a few of them would need some other options than fried, breaded, cream based foods. The salad they offered had cheese all over it again as well – there was absolutely not one thing offered that I could eat.  As I said, I wasn’t expecting different but it made me think about a few things…

  1. You can’t please everyone – I get that. However, if you are in charge of putting together a luncheon/dinner/party– at least consider those with food allergies or preferences. Salads (beyond just a bowl of lettuce) are great. Just offer the cheese and croutons on the side.
  2. Corporate America eats like shit. There was not even a crudité fruit platter offered instead of cookies/brownies for dessert.

Anyway, that’s my PSA for the day…

I wonder if this list of The 44 Healthiest Companies to Work For in America has the same problem?

Obesity: In Black and White

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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.

BMI Issues 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.

What Everyone Is Afraid to Say About Obesity 

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.

Read This

Blast Motion: Blast Athletic Performance Smart Video Capture

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Blast Motion - Athletic PerformanceOne of the unplanned perks of my blog is that nice business owners send me products or samples from time to time to try out. I get lots of offers for products and I definitely pick and choose which ones I accept. If it doesn’t align with what I believe or am about – then I don’t accept it even when most times, the vendors do not place any sort of expectations on accepting the product. For example, diet pills are not something I would ever review, recommend or promote. It’s not a part of living a healthy and fit life according to me… so it would be a no go.

The latest product I have been sent is from Blast Motion. It’s a Smart Video Capture tool that allows you to analyze, compare and share your movements.

From their website: Blast Athletic Performance

The easy to use app not only records as you move, but allows you to share your highlights instantly with friends.

  • Precision Motion Sensor easily and securely attaches to the waistband of your clothing
  • Connects to your iPhone, iPad or iPod via Low Energy Bluetooth.
  • Smart Video Capture tracks metrics while you move.  Video is saved into your personal history as shareable clips synced with movement data.
  • Detect key events and identify trends by viewing movement history.
  • Capture performance metrics and detect key events like acceleration, rotation and jump height.
  • Tracks and stores moves when the sensor is out of range
  • Instantly share your stats via Facebook, Twitter, and E-mail without leaving the Blast App.

I downloaded the app for my iPad/iPhone and am connecting the sensor to my tablet today. I can see this being a great tool to help with my oly lifts and some other HIIT movements. I will post a follow up with my thoughts in the next week or so, so stay tuned!

Thanks to Blast Motion for sending me the Athletic Performance Precision Motion Sensor.  Even though I received it for Free, there was no expectation on their part to influence my review. My opinions here are my own. 

Related Link: Initial Press Release: C Spire and Blast Motion Partner to Offer State-of-the-Art Motion Technology Products to Improve Athletic Performance 

Fake It To Make It So

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I have always said I wouldn’t sugar coat my wellness journey – there are ups and downs. I seem to be in a valley right now…

I’m having a rough time as of late. I feel beaten up.  I have just a sense of blah around most things in my life right now. I’ve been trying to sit back and reflect on it though. Could it be the mid-life crisis that people talk about?

I’m in my early 40’s, although closer to mid 40’s than I sometimes realize – I’ve been in the VA area since 1996. I’ve had ups and downs career wise. I’ve gotten married, had kids, and helped my husband battle a serious health issue. I live in a nice suburban area, own my home – my kids are fed, receiving a great education, have family that loves them. Same can be said about me – I have a great husband who is my biggest champion, my kids are amazing – so, why do I feel lonely and unfulfilled lately?

fake-it-till-you-make-it

I feel unconnected and bored – not really feeling close to many people around me. I‘m having issues staying on point with my nutrition as well. I feel like a big blob and have been making excuses for eating crap.

I believe that in the idea “fake it until you make it“, surround yourself with positive people and words. Being down and being around a bunch of Debby Downer people and thoughts doesn’t do anything to help pull you out.

Positive Life

What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?

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what would you tell your younger self

I saw this posted question the other day and it made me pause. It’s an interesting question to ponder.

Now that my daughter is entering her teen years and has started to experience all that goes with it, it has put me in a reflective mood. She has already begun dealing with friend drama, body image worries, and embarrassing parents.  I want to let her experience things without being a helicopter parent, but also benefit from the knowledge that I have. I didn’t have a picture perfect childhood and want to do whatever I can to prevent her from experiencing some of it.  I see traits in her personality that mirror mine and it worries me sometimes.  I know there is only so much I can do as her mom – sigh…

As for me answering that question – I would tell myself to not let fear control my decisions. I was always so scared of being uncomfortable, craved stability and that made me so rigid. I saw things one way and that was it – wasn’t open to trying anything new and was so scared to just take a chance.  How about you?

Oh and I would definitely tell myself to start exercising as an outlet for stress – I often wish I was in shape from the onset!

11 Things I Wish I Could Say To My Younger Self

Be Proud

 

Weightlifting Girls Say The Darndest Things…

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For those weightlifting ladies…A video from Catalyst Athletics highlighting all the awesome things weightlifting girls say…

My personal favorite line “you probably would have made that if you had a pink shirt on…

Shit Weightlifting Girls Say…

Have you ever eaten Pomegranate Seeds? 

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pomPomegranate seeds are antioxidant rich, and have shown to aid in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. One pomegranate contains approximately 50 percent of your daily vitamin C, as well as pantothenic acid (B5), which may help with muscle cramping and prevent insulin resistance.

I find them to be very refreshing but not in the same way a grape is. They are less sweet than a grape, akin to a cranberry but not as tart in my opinion.

Looking for a new twist on a Thanksgiving side meal?  Try making a Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

How to Deseed a Pomegranate

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Obesity: What Can You Do

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I’ve shared a few interesting links the past few days about health and nutrition in case you missed them…

A few posts ago, I shared how the fact that people are getting fatter and sicker became crystal clear after my recent trip to Disney. Seeing the reality of how fat people are outside of my microcosm is still on my mind.

“People are fatter and sicker than ever before.

Obesity rates have tripled since 1980 and have increased particularly fast in children.

The reason why this has happened is still debated among scientists, but it must be due to changes in the environment because our genes don’t change this quickly.” 

I ask myself regularly “what can be done?” There is no one solution that will fix the issue, there are things we can all do on the regular to take control of our own health and wellness.

Fatter-People-Slimmer-Gadgets

Take a Sensible Approach to What You Eat

I personally have experienced how eating a “Paleo” diet does work but I do not believe that it’s a one size fits all solution.  It doesn’t work for everyone – although there is sound research behind the idea that if you eat real, natural, fresh food, the less processed or handled the better, you will see clear health benefits.

Does that mean you should never, ever, ever eat say Pizza? No. Life should be about having fun and enjoying a great meal or treat. Does that mean you should eat it all the time or huge portions? No.  Use common sense. I am not a hard fast follower of the Paleo diet –and in the past few years, even less so. I do know that I feel better when I stop eating crap. My digestive system, my sleep, my skin, my mood and more– improve when I focus on the quality of food and not the quantity.

But I do enjoy ice cream, pizza and caramel and think that a weekly indulgence is important too. Be sensible and aware of what you eat and how it makes you feel.

Exercise

Its Never Too Late To Start Over Find something you like to do and do it – regularly. If that means walking, then walk. You like Zumba? Dance your ass off. Just MOVE YOUR BODY. 2015 is around the corner, but why wait to make a change in your life.  Do 100 squats, 100 push ups, and 100 sit ups every day. Whatever – I am not a fitness snob. The key is to find something you like to do and do it. Don’t pick an exercise you hate. Guess what will happen? You will stop doing it before too long. If you like working out in a group setting, find one. Don’t set yourself up to fail and start slow. You don’t feel like you can keep up in a class? Then don’t. Go at your pace.

The other day in my boxing class, I noticed one new lady was struggling to figure out the combos and getting frustrated. At the end, I just went over as a fellow boxer and reminded her that the point is to keep moving, so if she couldn’t keep up with the combos, just punch. She will get it eventually. You don’t have to be better than anyone else next to you – do the best you can. And be open to trying new things. Who knows you may find you like it.

Think and Focus on Moving Forward

No one is perfect. We have off days and slip and slide all over the place. The important point to remember is it’s NEVER too late to get back on track. And don’t let fear hold you back.

 

Obesity at Disney: A Snapshot of Our World

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It was changeconfront6 years ago, during my last trip to Disney,  I started to get my ass in gear and began taking care of myself. Having just gotten back a few days ago from my family’s latest trip there, it became clear to me how many people in the world need to do the same.

Before I go off on a rant about my observations, I want to preface it with the following: Everyone, no matter who they are, what size they are, where they come from, how much money they make, deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.

It seemed to me that something like 80% of the visitors to Disney were overweight. Every park, every hotel; There was an exorbitant amount of seriously obese people everywhere I went. And 9 out of 10 people who were using scooters, were obese.

I guess I live somewhat of a sheltered life in that my social circles – it’s not the norm. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of people who could stand to lose some weight and/or get moving but that’s not what I am talking about. The shock was how many out of control obese people were there.  Before someone points out that it’s an economic thing – these were people visiting Disney! It’s not exactly the definition of affordable.

There are a few things that upset me about seeing this microcosm of our world:

  1. For a majority of the morbidly obese, something in their lives is out of control. It’s not about the food, it’s about what’s going on in their head. To see how many people are so out of control in their lives was shocking.
  2. I understand that everyone has a story and you can’t tell what’s going on in someone else’s world by looking, but it appeared that many of them seem resigned to accept their circumstances. They are obese, it is what it is and they ‘live’ with it. They eat the processed, crap, junk food as if that’s how you should eat.
  3. To add on to my second point above, renting scooters instead of walking isn’t going to help anyone’s situation. I pointed out to my daughter that the average human skeleton isn’t designed to carry a ton of extra weight. It’s hard on the knees, feet – joints in general so I understand the reasons for renting a scooter but there were so many of them in the parks during my visit. So many of the obese people I saw were also in scooters.
  4. They are passing bad habits on to their children. Obviously, being at Disney, there are a ton of parents. It was clear that children are growing up learning their parents’ bad habits. Many of the obese adults I saw had children who were also dealing with their own obesity issues.
  5. While everyone is free to live the way they want, it’s a fact that obesity costs everyone. “The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illness are a staggering $190.2 billion or nearly 21% of annual medical spending in the United States. Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14 billion in direct medical costs.”  PhitAmerica compiled 10 Flabbergasting Costs of America’s Obesity Epidemic that really highlights how obesity isn’t just a personal issue.

While I am totally for splurging while on vacation and Disney is a great place to do that – it is possible to eat healthy there…

The resort we stayed at Port Orleans: French Quarter had a fridge that had containers of fresh fruit and veggies available during all hours in their restaurant. I also noticed that each ‘quick snack’ store also had some options available. Also, if you have any special dietary needs, you simply ask for the Chef. The Chef will come out to discuss your needs and try his/her best to accommodate what you need. We tested it each and every morning with my son’s gluten allergy. I also brought some single serve Justin’s Almond Butter with me so I could dip fresh apples or celery in it for a quick, healthy breakfast or snack during the trip.

So, what’s my point? It was shock to me to see how many people are so out of control in their lives that they let themselves go to that extent. It was shocking, sad and made me angry too. We all have to take personal responsibility for who we are in this world.

Is the obesity epidemic caused by lack of education? is it because of economics?  Is it generational? Yes, yes and yes but does that make it right? No.

We need to participate in the discussion and come up with innovative, strong ways to address it – together.

Body Image: Let’s Take a Stand

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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…

Girls LEarn to Hate Their BodiesRecently 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:

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet: Strong, Real, and Less-Than-Perfect

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… 

Be Inspired

Rule Your Mind or It Will Rule You

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