Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Do not let where you start define where you will end up."

 
The biggest obstacles in your life are the barriers your mind creates. Worrying will never change the outcome. When you can no longer think of a reason to continue, you must think of a reason to start over. And do not let where you start, define where you will end up; only your actions and willpower determine that. Source: http://www.marcandangel.com/

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A kick in the rear - the good kind...


Yesterday I went to another class at Sassy Fit (I had purchased class package deals for Sassy Fit a while back, and am almost through my first deal!).   Let me sum up the result of last night's class in six words:

A GIANT KICK IN THE REAR.

(Note: this is the censored/polite version of what I'm trying to articulate...)


Yesterday's class was definitely rewarding (we had an awesome and enthusiastic instructor who is in amazing shape, which definitely inspired me!), but it was also very difficult.  As a college athlete and an experienced Summer boot camp attendee, I am used to getting my a** handed to me and pushing through workouts without much struggle (I actually like this kind of thing, and sort of and thrive off of it).   However, last night I walked away from last night's class thinking: "Holy s***.  I am glad I attended that class, but BOY do I need to get my butt in gear."  It occurred to me that because I have not been pushing myself (strength, cardio, and endurance wise) on a regular basis, that the class was THAT much harder for me.  I realized that if I started pushing myself regularly in all my workouts, I probably would not suffer as much in class.

DUH.

Last night was what I called a GOOD kick in the rear - the healthy kind that motivates and inspires you to stay focused on your goals.  As I continue my Summer Health Challenge (please comment here to let me know if you are participating and how it's going!), I am glad to have had these "mini discoveries" to keep me grounded and thinking ahead.   If I really want to get great results, I will have to push myself and consistently make my health a priority. I hope you will join me in this effort! 

Challenge question of the day:  
Why would you NOT make you and your health a top priority?  What are hurdles getting in the way of taking care of YOU?  How might you be able to tackle them?

Starting the day with downward dog

Don't you wish your morning looked like this? (Photo Source)

Today I woke up, walked out of my room, and went straight to my yoga mat to go into downward dog.  I immediately felt my body really waking up - that did include a few aches and pains, but the good kind.  Last night I did another brutal workout at Sassy Fit and knew that I'd be incredibly sore the next morning.   It felt so great to open up my back and stretch my hamstrings at the same time. 

The release of tension in my body was also symbolic of releasing tension in my day.  This morning, all I could think about was the overwhelming list of things to get done at work and felt anxious and unsure how to proceed.  As I was in downward dog, I thought "Margie, just let it go.  Your worry (and pain) is exiting your body right now..."  I felt my mind gradually quieting down.

I've always heard that downward dog is a very effective pose that has a lot of benefits to your body and overall well being.  I was able to find an article that highlighted a few - pretty impressive!


The role of downward facing dog is vast. Done properly and consistently, the most noticeable benefits include:
  • Stronger hands, wrists, low-back, hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon
  • Decrease in back pain by strengthening the entire back and shoulder girdle
  • Elongated shoulders and shoulder blade area
  • Decrease in tension and headaches by elongating the cervical spine and neck and relaxing the head
  • Deepened respiration
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Increased full-body circulation
So glad I started my day this way! 

Article Source: http://www.active.com/mindandbody/articles/Pose_of_the_Month__Downward_Facing_Dog.htm

Monday, June 25, 2012

Habits getting in the way

Today I read another great post from marcandangel.com entitled: "12 Habits Standing Between You and What you Want."  I wanted to share a few that stood out to me

Tolerating the influence of negative people. – Sometimes we forgive people simply because we want them in our life, and sometimes we let go of them simply because we have had enough.  Saying goodbye is one of the most painful ways to solve a problem, but from time to time it’s necessary.

 Expecting constant bliss. – True happiness is not found just within positivity, it is found within reality, which means accepting the fact that both positivity and negativity coexist.  Trying to be 100% positive all the time is wanting to be an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down.  However, when we recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the same one ocean, we are able to let go and be at peace with the way things are, which leads us to happier, more productive places in the long-term.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.

Being overly critical of yourself. – If you feel like everyone is judging you all the time, realize that we often feel this way when we are too busy judging ourselves.

What is one thing holding you back from getting what you want?

One thing I have asked myself in the past is the following:

"Do you believe you have the power to achieve you goals?"

Often times fear is the #1 thing in the way for me.  I want to run an 8K, lose x pounds, read a book, or accomplish a big task at work, but deep down inside, I sometimes fear not getting there.  That fear leads me to giving up instead of believing in myself that I have the power to accomplish what I want to (if I make it a priority).

Monday, June 18, 2012

I run because I can


Squeezing happiness into a Monday


It's safe to say that a majority of people do not like Mondays.  The weekend is over, you're back to work, and you're most likely exhausted and avoiding a few tasks.

Today I decided to turn my Monday around by deciding right off the bat that I was going to make it a great day.  This meant:
  • A really productive day at work (check)
  • A really tough workout after work (note - it was ass kicking)
  • A super yummy and healthy dinner (I am so in love with arugula)
  • Watching the most recent episode of The Bachelorette (Sean, please just leave the show and marry me now)
  • Drinking (one glass) of my favorite Pinot Noir by Clos du Bois (so lovely)
  • Stretching out on my yoga mat to avoid sheer pain tomorrow morning (fingers crossed)
As I end my day, I am proud that I pushed myself to take care of myself today and put fun into my Monday.  I deserve it, and so do you!

Yes - exercise makes you feel better!

Today I got a newsletter that couldn't have been more relevant to my recent Summer Health Challenge post!  Enjoy...

3 Ways Exercise Makes You Feel Better
When we talk about the benefits of exercise, looking better gets the most attention.

Burning off unwanted pounds is a great thing, but let's not overlook a more immediate benefit of exercise.

Exercise transforms how you feel—with a quickness.

It's true. While weight loss takes time and extended effort, all it takes is one workout to begin reaping the reward of a more energetic and capable body.

Here are the top 3 ways that your body will feel better with exercise:

1) You'll Have More Energy
How are your energy levels these days?

(And I'm talking about natural energy, not energy manufactured by caffeine.)

Do your eyes pop open at the sound of your alarm? Then do you bounce through your day with a spring in your step?

Or do you hit snooze half a dozen times before getting up and dragging through your day?

While you may not instantly feel like the Energizer Bunny, your energy levels will dramatically increase once you begin a consistent, challenging exercise routine.

How does spending energy create more energy?

"(Exercise) literally creates energy in your body. Your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger," explains Samantha Heller MS, RD.

Research consistently concludes that regular exercise increases energy levels and reduces fatigue.

2) You'll Have Fewer Aches and Pains
When your life becomes sedentary (this means you are inactive for most of the day) then you'll quickly find your body developing aches and pains.

You'll feel it when you stand up - a throb in your back, creaking in your knees and stiffness in your legs.

This is pain due to underuse.

Your body was meant to move!

Movement improves flexibility and range of motion, and releases natural pain-reducing endorphins, which means that, with a regular exercise program, you'll be moving smoother and with less pain than ever before.

3) You'll Feel Happy and Confident
It's hard to understand how 30 to 60 minutes a day spent on exercise is able to completely transform how you feel about yourself. But it does.

Think back to the last time that you accomplished something. Maybe you performed well at work and received kudos from your boss, or you finished a project at home that took weeks of your time and concentration.

Do you remember how that accomplishment made you feel?

You stood a little bit straighter, you smiled easily, and deep down you felt alive with excitement.

When challenging exercise becomes a regular part of your life, feelings of happiness and confidence also become a part of you.

From now on I want you to forget the idea that exercise is nothing more than a means to achieving a slimmer body.

Instead, look at exercise as a complete life enhancer.

I'd love to get a call or an email from you.

Reach out to me and I'll show you how to integrate a consistent, challenging exercise routine into your lifestyle so that you'll begin to reap the benefits of an energetic, more confident you.

Don't wait to begin enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle - call or email now!

SOURCE
Email: info@seattlebootcamp.com
Phone: (855) FIT-CAMP
Web: Visit My Website

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Summer Health Challenge - join me!


This month I've been thinking about my overall health.  I realized that while I feel good about myself and consider myself a "healthy person" (generally speaking), that I have not been living as healthy of a lifestyle as I'd like to.  One area in particular is exercise and body (fat) composition.  I've been an athlete my whole life and have always felt proud of being a strong woman who enjoys fitness and pushes my body hard during workouts.  When I am exercising regularly, I feel stronger, more confident, and healthier overall. 

My problem: over the past few months I've lost a lot of muscle mass and don't have the strength I used to.  I don't FEEL or look fit (to me).  In thinking about this Summer, I realized that now is the perfect opportunity for me to make my health a priority.  For me, there is never a better time to get my body moving than during the Summer.  I spend a lot more time outside than normal and always end up feeling healthier in the end.

In an effort to hold myself accountable, I decided to get a small journal at Target.  For the past week I've spent some time brainstorming ideas for my health plan.   Examples include more grocery shopping, going on morning walks with Lucy, booking friend + exercise dates, using my fitness Groupons, and more.

What I am NOT doing:

1.  NO RULES.
I am scratching things like: "go for a run 3x a week; no eating after dinner; give up sweets; do yoga weekly."  These are all parameters I've set in the past that have caused me to fail and wind up feeling disappointed.

2. NO START AND END DATE.
In the past I've always said things like "lose 5 pounds before my trip to Phoenix" and let me tell you - it doesn't work.  While it helps some people to have a target date for added motivation, I have found it puts too much pressure on me and when I don't meet the exact goal, I beat myself up instead of celebrating how far I've come.  Thus, my only time related goal is to make my health a priority this Summer.

What I AM doing:

In addition to brainstorming a healthy list, I am going to track my progress (no matter how long it takes) at the beginning by taking a few measurements.  How my pants fit and having decent muscle mass is much more important to me than what the scale says.  I am also already at a healthy weight and BMI, so weight is not as much of a concern for me.   This week I'll be taking measurements of my arms, waist, butt, thighs, and bust to see if there's any change by the end of the Summer (which I'm hoping there will be!).

Lastly, I am going to keep my health journal going by recording daily entries that answer the question "what have a done for my health today?"  Yesterday, my entry included a walk with my friend Marianne and cooking a healthy dinner.  Today,  my entry already includes a morning walk, 3 mile run at Discovery Park, and getting things done around the home!  My hope is that by the end of Summer, I will be able to look back at all of the effort I have put into exercising and making my health a priority, and celebrate!

What will health mean to you this Summer?

This week my challenge to you is to think about your health and one area of your health that you'd like to focus on this Summer.  This could be anything from getting more sleep, walking more often, cooking healthy dinners at home, or trying out a new exercise.   Join me in making health a priority!

A little Bonterra


Yesterday I was at QFC and grabbed a bottle of Bonterra Chardonnay.  Let's be honest, it was on sale AND had the cutest label ever so I of course snatched it.

I was very happy with my find!  My friend Shawna came over for dinner and we enjoyed it together.  About the wine:

Chardonnay

Mendocino County

Among the many fine Chardonnays, ours stands apart for theof its fruit flavors, derived from grapes raised organically along the Russian River. 

A hint of oak complements the freshness of fruit and the evident notes of green apple, pear and citrus. Our wine is aged for several months to develop a rich, creamy texture that gracefully balances its fruit-forward character. 

Source



Monday, June 4, 2012

Caffeine free living!


Last Tuesday, I decided to give up caffeine cold turkey...for the foreseeable future.  I know - crazy, right?  During a recent trip to Colorado, I was chatting with my cousin Robin about our caffeine consumption and I somehow felt inspired to just take the plunge.  I got back from vacation last Monday night and began the adventure on Tuesday morning.  Yes, the headaches set in right away.

In the past, Robin and I have both nixed caffeine for 21 days (during a cleanse) and have definitely felt better overall.  Some benefits we've experienced:

1- better sleep (including falling asleep faster and staying asleep during the night)
2- stable mood (and feeling more calm)
3 - more energy (especially during the afternoon slump)
4 - saving money (goodbye $4.00 latte!)
5- better skin 

The above reasons all influenced my decision to give up caffeine last week - especially the sleep and $ factor.  During the past few days, I have fallen asleep so much faster - and more importantly, have felt my body saying "I'm ready to go to bed - now!"  Before, I had to almost force myself to magically "shut down" and fall asleep.   Such a refreshing change.

Another element (of caffeine free living) that I like the most is the idea of taking control of my body and how it's designed to function, as it relates to energy that is NOT fueled by caffeine.  My friend Sarah (one of our fabulous Wellness Divas) once said "I don't like the idea of my body being addicted to or dependent on something."  I love Sarah's point. Is it really a good thing if I need coffee to get through my day?

Today I came across a fantastic article online with a post by a guest author, Patrick, a triathlete who decided to nix caffeine and share about his experience.  I LOVE this article.  In one part, he talks about creating a different type of lifestyle or "routine" without coffee.  Instead of starting his day with coffee, he starts it with morning yoga/stretching (substituting a 15 minute coffee ground mess with taking care of his body for 15 minutes).

I loved the insights in the article and hope to experience a few of them myself.  Don't get me wrong - I love coffee and don't think there's anything "bad" about drinking it, but I am looking forward to seeing how I feel and how worth it it might be.  I'm also writing about it here to hold myself accountable!

7 diet mistakes


Today I read a fitness e-newsletter that had reminders about mistakes people make when dieting, or in general.  The email subject was: "7 reasons your scale won't budge" - hmm.

I liked these pointers because they are straight forward and something many of us can relate to.  I look forward to keeping these strategies in mind this Summer as I continue kicking up my fitness level and focusing on nutrition a bit more.

The 7 Deadly Dieting Mistakes
It's a common problem. You've been on a diet for weeks and aren't losing weight like you thought you would.

It may be because you're consuming more calories than you think.

Keep reading to discover seven sneaky habits that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Mistake #1: Forgetting Liquid Calories
It's easy to forget that the things you drink have calories - some more than you'd think. In fact, some beverages have more calories than an entire plate of food.

It is estimated that around 20 percent of your daily calories come from what you drink. So as you drink your juice with breakfast, rehydrate with a sports drink at the gym, or drink a glass of wine at dinner, think about the calories you're adding.

For calories' sake, it's best to avoid all sweetened sodas, sweetened or flavored coffee drinks, sweetened tea, and smoothies. Replace these high-calorie drinks with water, skim milk, and unsweetened herbal tea. Because while they taste great, liquids generally don't satisfy hunger, so they are just empty calories.

Mistake #2 Meal Skipping
Many dieters think they'll cut their calorie intake by skipping a meal, usually breakfast.

But this is a mistake.

Research has shown that those who skip breakfast actually weigh more than those who eat three meals a day. Skipping a meal usually causes you to eat more calories during the day because you will end up eating even more food later in the day because you're so hungry.

So aim to eat three (or more) meals a day. A healthy breakfast that will keep you feeling full all morning contains protein and fiber. An example would be whole-wheat toast and an egg.

Mistake #3: Oversized Portions
Just because restaurants load your plate with a mountain of food doesn't mean you should eat that much at home for a normal meal.

Remember that your stomach, like your heart, is the size of your fist. Don't think you could fit much food into your fist? You're right. And contrary to what mama taught you as a child, you don't have to eat all the food in front of you.

To eat a little less, use smaller plates and eat slower so you know when you're full. Also, remember that portion control also applies to healthy foods, as they, too, contain calories.

Mistake #4: Too Many Extras
A salad is a healthy, low calorie option. At least until you add dressing, bacon, cheese, and croutons.

These add extra calories fast.

One tablespoon of dressing contains 75 to 100 calories. With that in mind, it's no wonder grilled-chicken salads at a fast-food restaurant can have more calories than a hamburger.

Mistake #5: Blaming Your Genes
Many people give up on dieting or think there's no hope when it comes to meeting their goal weight because of their genes.

Just like you may share your father's hair color or your mother's eye color, there is a small chance you also share your parent's body type. However, this is no excuse for doing nothing about trying to lose weight.

Stick to your diet and exercise plan and you should definitely see results.

Mistake #6: Eating Without Thinking
It happens to everyone. You're tired after a long day and you just want to veg in front of the television or read a good book. Unfortunately, mindlessly eating is often involved. You may think that since it's not on a plate it doesn't matter, but every bite you take counts.

When it comes to a successful diet, make rules for appropriate times to eat. And don't always feel the need to eat when relaxing. Try sipping on water or tea, chewing gum, or simply don't put anything in your mouth.

Mistake #7: Eliminating All Treats
Dieters often become overzealous in their plan and completely rid the house of all the food they enjoy, whether chips, sweets, snacks, or any high calorie food.

This commitment may last a few days until you can't tolerate it any longer and you overindulge on what you deprived yourself of.

A better plan is to allow yourself a treat every once in a while.

Remember that everyone makes mistakes, but be smart and don't let these common pitfalls keep your from meeting your weight loss goal!

Reach your fitness potential faster by coupling your good diet with a challenging exercise program. I'm here to motivate, instruct and encourage you to reach your goal.

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will truly improve your quality of life.

SOURCE
Email: info@seattlebootcamp.com
Phone: (855) FIT-CAMP
Web: Visit My Website