Getting Real: Body by Stephanie

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Steph Hoaglund - April 2016I’ve been struggling lately — struggling to find the motivation and joy in my fitness routine and struggling to stay focused on good nutrition. In fact, the truth is I have all but fallen off the nutritional wagon. It started about two years ago if I am being honest – when I was laid off from my job and I went into a funk. I kept my work out routine up but started to slip and slide down with regards to eating. And although I don’t eat gluten or dairy on the regular, it has been creeping back into my weekly diet.  I’ve been frustrated with the lack of interest and attention my fitness instructors seem to display lately as well. One thing I know when it comes to me having a successful workout – I feed off of the energy and attention of my instructors.

It’s all added up to a perfect storm of frustration and lack of motivation and here’s the brutal truth: a 25+ weight gain over the past two years. My friends say “no way”, “you can’t tell” and other words of support when I share my weight gain frustrations but I see it.  And it’s hard to reconcile because of how active I am. I know it boils down to my lack of focus on nutrition. I do eat well overall, those salads I eat during lunch are real- I am a sugar addict and a carb snacker.  Evenings are the worst for me…

Add the lack of nutritional focus with the lessening motivation to really hit the workouts and training hard, it’s not going to end well…

I need help
Im HungryWhen I feel I need some help and guidance, I seek it out. So, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and met with a personal trainer, Body by Wayne, yesterday. I was nervous because I have never worked one on one with anyone. It forces you to be very honest about where you are. I never step on a scale and yesterday I had to.  We spent about 20-30 minutes talking about goals, my fitness & nutrition history and where I should be. Then I did a 20 minute fitness assessment so he could assess exactly where I was fitness wise. It included bench press, push ups, core work, and balance exercises. Afterwards, he said was very impressed, which was a relief because I have been working out for almost 8 years straight now!

It was clear after this first session, Wayne knows his stuff. This is his career and understands it’s a combo of cardio, strength and nutrition that will get the job done. When it was over, he printed out sample nutrition plans for me to follow and other information. He approached it like we will do this together, if I am game- we are a team.

So, what now? 
I agreed to take him up on his one week free Wayne Challenge which includes 3 free workout sessions. I also agreed to eating clean for the week, which means keeping a food diary.  He also gave me his rate sheet that offers different options and costs for training. So, starting today I am doing the Wayne Challenge. This morning at 6a, to kick it off, he sent me a Facebook message reminding me to plan for my meals today.  Ahh, accountability!

So there it is — the truth. The journey to be more fit and healthier is never going to be easy – life seems to get in the way. It really is a pain in the ass to be healthy when it’s so much easier to just go with the flow – but I’m not happy with where I am and it’s up to me to change it.

Stay tuned as I continue to share my Body by Wayne Challenge experience…

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Make People Feel Important

 

The Tarts Take Manhattan

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I have been so busy that I haven’t had a ton of time to update, which is good and bad. I often find posting in here a cathartic experience and one that forces me to stop for a few moments during the week and think – about what has caught my attention during the week, what is spinning around in my head – and document it for lack of a better word. So, it’s been well over a week with no entry – and I feel the guilt creeping up.

NY Tartan Week 2016

Rumor has it that I do have some Scottish genes from my fraternal grandmother, but in all honesty, no one would ever mistake me for being Scottish. That didn’t stop me and 10 of my Outlander friends from traveling to the Big Apple to celebrate the yearly New York Tartan Week yearly event, including marching in the parade down 6th Ave.  We had been planning this girls trip (dubbed Tartcon 2016) for more than six months as a way to get together beyond online. We had no idea that the leading actor Sam Heughan would be the Grand Marshall of the parade and cause thousands of other Outlander fans to drop everything and head to NYC too.

Here’s a photo gallery of Sam, leading the parade in all his handsome, dreamy glory – kilt and all.

AOL Build Event: OutlanderSeeing the Outlander Stars

As part of Tartcon, we were able to see the OL cast at the Apple store in SoHo (although I was too short to really see anything).  The following day, Scotty was able to pull a few strings and get two front row seats reserved for me and my friend Mandy to watch Outlander Cast: AOL Build Interview.  I was able to fan-girl for a few short minutes and then it was over. Mr Heughan did make eye contact briefly (I quickly got flustered and looked away) and shook my hand (which was soft but a bit on the cool side). Then – it was over. I never saw Mr Heughan in person again. Sigh…

New York Tartan Day Parade

On Sunday, we were able to march in the parade as part of the Outlanders United group. Normally this would be fun, but it was cold and rainy. Most of the marchers were not prepared for the weather, including me. I did have a hat and jacket on but boy, my hands were frozen by the end. Not to mention, something had upset my stomach big time so I was struggling to finish the parade, so I could run off to find the nearest restroom (TMI).

Tartan Day Parade 2016

There is something really endearing about the parade tradition. People gathering together, for a common cause/theme. It’s a very old fashioned tradition and even though it was rainy and cold, the energy surrounding the event was palpable. There were doggies wearing special tartan sweaters, bag pipes, traditional Scottish gear, lots of kilts and of course WHISKEY!

After the parade, was the after party at Papillion Bistro. I wasn’t feeling 100% and I looked like a drowned rat – so I wasn’t in the most festive, partying mood. Despite that, I made the best of it and spent the next few hours with some lovely, amazing friends and some serious Scottish lovers drinking lots and lots of water. (Well – I was drinking the water anyway).

After the party, we walked over to the Director’s Guild to watch a special screening of Episode 1 of the Second season of Outlander. Well, that was the plan anyway. One of my friends, Kathy and I were so cold and over it all, we decided to pre-order pizza (Johns Pizza) and leave the screening early to pick it up and enjoy some carbs, water and down time in our hotel room.  Think about the constant activity and noise I was being barraged with the past few days – I needed some down time. Living in the suburbs is not good training for being in a big city. You tend to forgot how loud and always on the go it is. It’s not a bad thing, just not something I am used to.

There were a ton of other activities and moments I shared with my amazing group of friends this weekend. Imagine 11 of us (some just meeting in person for the first time), all hanging out for 4 days together. There was fun, good food, Whiskey, great memories and a lot of support. There were also a lot of strong personalities in one group, but we all got along amazingly well.  This was the sort of trip we needed -getting away from our lives for a few days. Our wonderful lives that are full of husbands, kids, jobs, real life responsibility and enjoyed each other’s company with love, laughter and support. Each of the women on the trip has a story and personal experiences. After this weekend, I think we all found something magical and powerful in one another and combined.  And after it was all said and done, we ended up adding two new Tarts to the group as well.

 

Cadbury Mini Eggs mean Easter in my House

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Happy Easter to all of my friends who celebrate! In my house, Cadbury mini eggs are a sign of Easter and spring. I am powerless over them –once the bag is open, the bag is empty. Mmmm…

Easter 2016
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Fancy Facial Time: HydraFacial at NOVA Plastic Surgery

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Hydro FacialLast month, I was asked to visit NOVA Plastic Surgery to try out one of three treatments (I was given a choice) and share my visit and experience via social.  I firmly believe taking great care of your skin is an important part of living fit and sore. As we get older, we have to do more than just rely on good genes and youth. Getting regular facials and other treatments should be done regularly, not just as an occasional treat.

I also believe investing in good, high quality skincare products is important too. I currently use products by SkinMedica but have also used Skinceuticals (which is sold at NOVA Plastic Surgery) in the past and highly recommend either.

After researching and talking with the staff there, I opted for a hydrafacial.  I was considering doing the BBL facial which uses a laser, but after they looked at my skin and the lack of overall sun damage, they suggested going with the hydro facial. So, that’s what I chose…

What is a HydraFacial? 

Hydrofacial HydraFacial MD is a deep facial cleansing treatment that utilizes natural plant extracts, peptides, acids and earth minerals to deeply hydrate, nourish and energize the skin.

No part of the body is exposed to the elements as much as your face – UV rays, wind, smoke from cars, what we eat, make up, normal wear and tear – all fill your face and pores with toxins and debris. This can give you a dull tired look, making your skin sensitive to breakouts, blemishes and age spots.

The 20 minute HydraFacial MD treatment revitalizes your skin by cleansing, exfoliating, extracting impurities, and restoring essential nutrients.

My Thoughts

The treatment took about 30 mins and other than some slight stinging from some of the products, it was painless and fairly relaxing.  During the treatment, the esthetician was very good about explaining to me what each product was and its benefits and making sure I was not in any pain.

I took a before and after pic (shown below) and what you should notice is how refreshed and dewy my skin looks after the treatment. It’s been a few days now, and my skin is slightly peeling  (which is expected) and has kept the glowing and refreshed look. My skin feels softer and I have been complimented many times on how great my skin looks.  I asked how often people go get one of these facials and was told many clients get it on a monthly basis. I can definitely understand why — it really does refresh your skin and you leave feeling relaxed -which was an unexpected bonus.

I recommend giving it a try if you have been wanting a facial that cleans deeply and revitalizes your skin.  The staff at Nova Plastic Surgery could not have been friendlier and nicer as well. They took the time to talk with me about my skin and evaluate which treatment to go with and I was never made uncomfortable.

 

Hydrofacial

 

Thanks to NOVA Plastic Surgery for inviting me in to try the Hydrafacial treatment. Although I did not pay for the treatment, there was no expectation on their part to influence my review. My opinions here are my own and I would recommend the treatment and NOVA Plastic Surgery. 

The Magic You Were Born With

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PinkI 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.

Pink QuoteWhen 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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Its never too late to start chasing dreams.

 

Convenience Delivered Right To Your Door

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Have you tried a meal delivery service?  I came across a Facebook posting this morning asking for reviews and experiences and it got me thinking about the different options and services that are now available to make healthy eating easier and accessible to more people.

The author of the post is looking for “something easy to cook, healthy, budget cautious, and also easy to order/skip – as this will only be something they use when they have busy weeks.”

We have been trying a few meal service delivery systems, and so far Home Chef is my favorite! I have tried two others, but Home Chef is the only one that allows you to choose your meal (from a selection) for the week. It is priced reasonably, and the two meals we’ve had from here were EXCELLENT, and EASY – with each step timed out perfectly.  We also tried Green Chef, and have Hello Fresh in the fridge right now. Green Chef was good, but it is very expensive and I hated the packaging (everything was thrown in a box vs. packaged by meal).

More and more people are looking for ways to enjoy the art of cooking without having to do the time-consuming part of deciding what to cook, what ingredients are needed, and how much of each ingredient they’ll really need. Instead, they are opting to receive a box with everything needed for their meal, along with a recipe explaining how to prepare that meal. Convenience delivered right to their door.

I asked some of my friends if they tried food delivery subscriptions and why. Here’s what my friend Britt shared:

Britt, 28 North Carolina 

I tried Blue Apron, but found it a bit too ‘cultured’ (the food options were odd). My husband and I decided on Hello Fresh. We tried meal planning and it just became too time consuming. Hello Fresh does the meal planning for me. I don’t have to grocery shop which is a huge time saver, and they send just the right portion sizes so we don’t waste food.

Share your thoughts if you have tried a meal delivery service…

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You are amazing.

 

 

2016 Scope It Out 5K for Colon Cancer Awareness

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March is Colon Cancer awareness month, and that means it is time to run the Scope it Out 5k in DC on March 20th! I’ve run this race for years.

2016 Scope it Out 5K

You can join (or donate to) our team, Hoagie’s Heroes, by visiting this URL: Scope It Out 5K

 

DATE 
Start: Sunday, March 20, 2016 @ 9:00 AM (EDT)

ADDRESS
Near Freedom Plaza 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington , DC 20004

Join us and help celebrate Scotty’s 7+ years of being colon cancer free!!

Are you at risk for Colon Cancer?

if you are at risk for colon cancer, have any of the symptoms below, or are 50+ please go get screened for Colon Cancer. If caught early, colon cancer is beatable! And more and more young people are battling this horrible disease, so it’s not just a cancer for those ‘old people’. Know the risks, the symptoms and don’t let your guard down.

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in the stool, which may make it look dark
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

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Easy Roasted Chicken

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I’m committed to cooking dinner more as a way to eat healthier once again. Yesterday, I made a roasted chicken using a long ago Roasted Chickenbought, but never used Dutch Oven.  I had no idea how easy cooking and cleaning up it could be.

Here’s the base recipe I used:  PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN.
I lined the pan with onions and about 90 minutes later, I had an awesome, tasty roasted chicken. And – even better, there is enough chicken to make dinner for the family tonight too.  The hardest part is finding the time to make it since it takes a while to roast.

You may ask – isn’t it easier and just as healthy to buy an already Roasted Chicken at the store? Well – take a look at the ingredients in most of those chickens and decide for yourself.

I challenge you all to give it a try — and let me know how it goes.

Be Inspired

Nothing is the scariest thing of all

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Depression: A Serious Teen Issue

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If you are a parent of a tween or teen, take the time to read or at the very least read the excerpts from “A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy” by Sue Klebold: 17 years after Columbine, the mother of one of the killers finally tells her story. Depression presents itself in many ways and leaves open many paths that influence young kids to pick the wrong way.  A friend who may have some outlandish ideas, some mean kids at school — all things that for most adults seem innocuous, to a kid who is currently struggling to develop into who they are, with raging hormones, identity growth issues and other maladies that plague the teenage, can be a recipe for tragedy.

I imagine many of us parents can identify with Sue Klebold in many ways. We all struggle with how to speak to and address our kids’ issues. Do we write them off to typical teen angst or do we push further? And we have found that each child is so different that there is no formula that works for all. If we push on one and it work,  the same approach causes chaos with another. Parenting is hard and there is no perfect way to get the job done –or is the job ever done?

Both of those boys were depressed as are many other young kids today. Depression is a serious issue for not only the young, but all of us. It’s the reason that many are asking for depression screenings to be included in routine check ups: Why Depression Screenings Should Be Part of Routine Check-Ups

“Depression is as much a primary-care issue as chronic physical conditions, like diabetes or hypertension. It’s also intimately linked to physical health—managing a lifelong physical condition also requires consistent mental-health management.”

Read this

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Its a choice

Laugh

Happy Birthday to Me!

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IMG_2981Last week was my birthday. It was an awesome day that started off with a good 530A workout. I try to always exercise on the big day as a way to thank my body for hanging in there. Of course, I took a nap when I got home because waking up before 5a is just not OK. I woke up to a wonderful homemade breakfast. HB made me a feast fit for the health conscious queen that I am, including gluten free toast with an owl design made out of fruit. It was awesome and yummy.

In the evening, my friend Mandy invited me to go into DC and check out a panel discussing Behind the Scenes of the Walking Dead. And yes, Andrew Lincoln - The Walking DeadAndrew Lincoln was there!  It was really awesome to hear more about how the show is made —Greg Nicotero, executive producer, director, and special effects makeup supervisor talked about the process to create the zombies. It was clear listening to him how much he was born to do what he does. It fascinates me to listen to people who from an early age found something they are passionate about and get to do that thing every day as a career.

The next evening, Scotty and I enjoyed a steak dinner at DC Prime. It was so amazingly delicious and we came home to cut into my yearly Carvel Birthday cake with the kiddos.

 

Happy Birthday

It was a lovely weekend that ended with a super bowl party over at a friends house with friends that have been in my life for over 20 years.  Coincidentally, this past weekend I came across this article: ‘I have lived over half of my life’ : Writer Miranda Sawyer on the quiet desperation of a midlife crisis.  I had never thought about my age in this way, but thanks to this writer, I have spent more time than I care to admit thinking about it.  It’s scary in some ways – to think that half of my life has been lived but on the other hand, I have had a ton of great experiences and lessons and it has led me to the life I lead now – which is pretty damn good. (see birthday weekend as an example.) She makes some good observations that I can certainly relate to although not necessarily because I agree or it’s been my own personal experience.

It also speaks to something that has been on my mind – quite a few of my friends are splitting up. They are separating, divorcing, up and moving across the country – doing some reflecting on where they are in their lives and deciding it’s not where they want to be anymore. For some, it was a long time coming and best for everyone involved. For others, it hit them like a sucker punch. They were not ready for the life shock that hit them – and are now trying to recover. There is something about hitting middle age. We are not the same people that we were in our twenties (at least I hope we are not), and the things that some people chose during their younger years are not the right things for who they are now.  There is no right/wrong about it – even though I know it happens, it still causes a bit of a pit in my stomach.

Watch This (and Laugh)

Hansel and Zoolander Talk Politics (and Fashion) on SNL

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Follow Your Bliss

 

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