Just Another Fitness Fad?

I am tired of all the gimic-y fitness things going around lately.  Currently, there seems to be a market for owning your own fitness company, selling shakes, and promoting a “clean” lifestyle.  It’s all well and good but let’s look at the reality of the fitness movement – some of these folks use crash diets or various forms of starvation to achieve such results.  Where is the emphasis on being healthy?  Why is there so much  judgement on those who don’t “look” healthy?  I think it’s disgusting and disturbing that such hate is spewed out on women and men who don’t fit into a certain ideal or size.  It’s time to take back your voice, power, and your health.  It’s time to take back your time in the sun.  I think the first step is realizing the reality of your health and fitness level.  I will break down each section to open up the dialogue on what it means to have a realistic fitness plan.

Your mindset:  It is time to get real.  Put away the magazines, stop coveting those pins you helplessly pin on Pinterest, and stand in front of the mirror.  Accept who you are, your body, your beauty, and where you are right at this very moment.  Take stock of every line, curve, and ripple.  It is vital to love that person you see starring back at you.  Having a healthy and positive mentality will go a lot further than busting out another 35 minutes on a treadmill three times a week.  It is what will get you to your goals faster and trickle down through the rest of your life, creating greater change.

 

What is going in your mouth:  Counting calories, eating “diet food” and generally trying to eat less/starving yourself in an effort to slim down is the worst thing for your body.  I avoid buying any diet version of anything or low fat  dairy products.  It usually means there is more crap that you don’t need to ingest versus healthy fat  that your body does need.  The best guide to live by is eat smaller healthier, fresher meals more often through the day, and drink more water!  Avoid adding any extra salt, sugar or fat.  There are a lot of ways to add flavor without the other additives.  Bake or grill instead of fry, utilize garlic and peppers instead of salt – the list is endless.  I also throw in eating some avocado each day.  Of course the big one is limiting those yummy carbs.  That was my biggest sacrifice.  For some people it’s soda, but for me it’s pasta.  It was *so* hard at first but now I have taught myself how to have a healthier relationship with it.  This goes for bread and pizza too.  The other cutback was booze.  There is nothing wrong in having a drink or two every so often if you enjoy it.  Just be mindful of having too many.  Beer bloat is a bitch!  Love fast food?  Who doesn’t!  Sometimes all I want to devour is a cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake.  (Okay, maybe all the time.)  Moderation is key – remember it and live by it. Even if you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up.  In time, you will be making healthy choices regularly and wonder how you got along before.

 

What is coming out of your mouth:  No, I’m not talking about tossing your cookies.  I am talking about what you say about yourself, your goals, judging others, or judging yourself so harshly.  There used to be a SNL sketch with the guy talking to himself in the mirror before and after each show he did.  It was a hilarious sketch but we should stop to check ourselves out in the mirror and tell ourselves how awesome we are on a regular basis.  Even if it’s once a day, remind yourself how powerful you are.  This will help set the tone in your day and help keep your mind focused on your goals.  It also will help others around you who may have a terse word about someone else.  Planting that seed of positivity may help them second guess their accusation that is about to fly from their mouth.

 

Your health professional:  If you don’t presently have a health professional or see one regularly, you need to take care of that.  Women especially need to take their health seriously from a young age.  You need to see your primary care physician each year to make sure from top to bottom you are healthy.  This is more than just stepping on the scale.  They should run routine blood tests to rule out any other issues going on so you are ahead of the game.  Furthermore, it is most important that this person actually listens to you and respects you as a human being.  If you feel they are being condescending, find someone else.  Talk to your friends and loved ones who can suggest someone great.  They should be there encouraging you, not making you feel bad because you don’t fit in their textbook ideals.  The other doctor a woman should have is a gynecologist you can trust.  Your sexual health plays a key role in your overall health. Even if you aren’t sexually active, they will help keep you aware of what’s going on if anything changes or they find a lump in your breast.  Prevention is your best friend.

 

Your physical activity:  It really is as simple as that.  What are you doing to get active and stay active?  Realistic weight loss, as in losing inches and body fat takes time.  Pace yourself, work smart, and remember to have fun.  If it’s not fun you will not stick with it.  It’s that simple.  Take the stairs, park farther from the store, do squats at your desk, keep free weights at your desk – whatever you can fit in your life.  Don’t forget to add weight lifting to your routine.  A lot of people leave it out because they are scared to gain muscle mass.  You can’t get toned through cardio alone, or diet and cardio alone.  I’m sure Michelle Obama lifts free weights to maintain her awesome arms.  Start small and stay motivated.  Get some friends together to stay accountable for each other.  If you do decide to join a gym, make an action plan to be there 2-3 times a week.  You can do this.

 

Fitness can be a hard thing to navigate through, especially with the clique’ish fads, juicers, and the F word (fat) being thrown around like a weapon.  What is most important is how you feel about yourself, your health and your happiness.  Anyone can poke and prod their bodies just to appear thinner but at what cost?  Your health is most important.  Safe guard it,  and prosper.

 

IMG_4497

My general workout attire.  It’s from my, “I could care less about expensive fitness clothing” collection.

IMG_4531

I use the 5lbs weights with some cardio routines.  IMG_4533
I use the 10lbs weights with squats, lunges, and all upper body routines.

 

Advertisements

Review: Eucerin “Professional Repair”

IMG_4522

 

IMG_4521

I received the sample in the mail of Eucerin’s Professional Repair lotion.  It’s marked for extremely dry skin, so I used my tiny sample on my elbows and what was left on my heels.  I did not find that it lived up to its name.  My skin on both areas was not any more repaired than when I use my Target store brand lotion that is geared toward dry skin.

The Eucerin product retails around $7 in both powerhouses of Target and Walmart for 6.8 fl oz.  That is just crazy really.  It’s not gold, it’s lotion.  My 32 fl oz bottle of lotion retails around $6, and I get it from Target.   I won’t be making a switch any time soon.  I found something that works great for my winter dry skin.

What are you using that works for your skin?

Those Two Magic Corners

With Winter finally coming to a dramatic close this past week, we are left with the memory of bitter temperatures, snow days, and potholes.  It can be a very frustrating season for some people for various reasons.  Not much sunlight, shorter days, very cold days, getting snowed in, running out of bread, milk, and eggs can contribute to forms of depression.  What about those who find this season emotionally draining?  For some, it’s hard to find happiness getting through the holidays, even with an army of family around.  Are you making time to exercise those important muscles?  I’m not talking about your quads or some latest fitness fad.  I’m talking about your smile.

How often are we shuffling around too busy with life’s demands and forget to smile?  There are times where it can make a strangers day, week, or even their year just to experience a warm, friendly smile.  It makes them feel welcomed, appreciated, and a part of society.  It can be more powerful than anything else.  This transaction can happen anywhere too.  Whether you are buying a cup of coffee or casually walking through a park – let friendliness win.  These small steps can impact not just your life, but those around you.

With a new season in bloom, Spring brings wonderful opportunity with its longer, warmer days,  and Italian Ice.  Are we doing more than just the usual Spring Cleaning?  How about we challenge ourselves to Spring Clean our attitudes.  Leave the doldrums with Old Man Winter and put a smile between you and that attractive stranger.  You never know who that other person could be in your life, so take a chance.  It will start a chain reaction to others that is free with no requirements.

If you have a friend or acquaintance you haven’t heard from in a while, why not make contact?  See that stressed out Mom in aisle 6?  Offer her a friendly grin with empathy.  That may be something she desperately needed all week.  Do you know someone who needs this reminder?  Definitely pass it along to them.  That small phrase, “I was thinking about you” can mean a lot to someone and put a much needed smile on their face.

In our modern time, it is so easy to get lost in the functions of your smart phones or tablets.  It is very easy to avoid making eye-contact anymore because we are adapting the ability to walk, talk, chew gum, and text on our devices.  Social contact is being smothered by technology, and it is evident in the way most people treat each other in every day situations.  I have seen people so hardened by being bothered because they had to look away from their hand held device for a mere 10-15 seconds.  Let’s make a conscience effort to reconnect, reflect, and encourage a smile.  Happiness is not that hard to find if we are willing to look for it.  Make a strangers day and yours will be made as well.

 

IMG_4518Early morning baby deer friend.  I said, “Hey,” we made eye contact and then he or she went back to eating.

 

On and Off Again?

It is a reality that in our modern age that meeting that special someone may require an internet connection.  So many people  are just too busy to get out there and meet people the old fashion way.  I know a lot are also tired of meeting people in the bar/club setting, and don’t feel you can easily meet someone at the grocery store.  I will agree that meeting someone in a bar is likely to not end well.  Drunk decisions tend to not be the best decisions.  That is why I feel there are a lot of positives and more possibilities to meeting people online.  You are able to get a feel of who they are, their interests and goals faster than meeting once and having intermittent phone conversations and endless text messages that seem to go nowhere.  But what happens when those online relationships never get off the ground?  They go in circles for a variety of reasons, and can sometimes go on for what feels like forever.

I do feel that with keeping that distance between two people, it is a safety net for one or both parties.  There is minimal risk in getting hurt if all you two are doing is trading words typed through a computer for what feels like ages.  I also feel that sitting behind a computer gives some a sense of confidence that they would never have in person.  They would never have the guts to talk to the woman of their dreams or the man of their dreams if they encountered them in a bookstore, grocery or a bar.  They would have missed that chance entirely over their own insecurities and fear.  Who wants to be rejected?  It’s not a nice feeling at all for anyone.

What about the other side of modern dating with this influx of online dating?  The disturbing amount of people who are either married or are already in committed relationships with other people that pretend to be single?  It can be very obvious when you encounter a married man or woman.  They usually aren’t looking to get serious in any way possible.  They want to meet up in areas that are not local to where they live, or where they may run into someone, or they only want to spend time at your place.  The flip side, they will only want you on their time and the “relationship” may not materialize in the real world.  They are always too busy for you, and refuse to make time. These people use all available dating sites, free or paid, trolling for whatever they can find.

 

Tips to avoid pitfalls:

  • Utilize Google Search:  Most people are not crafty Bond villains and use the same screen name for just about everything  – even personal and professional emails.  If you have met someone who you think is the bee’s knees, check them out.  Empower yourself with knowledge so you aren’t just another notch on their belt.
  • Is there really chemistry?:  Be mindful of who you are talking with.  If they immediately are demanding you send them endless pictures of yourself, some of which are semi nude, drop them.  It’s disrespectful and they are only after one thing – plus you aren’t the only one they are engaging with in that manner.  Look for that natural flow of conversation, even if you are only talking about something simple.  If you click, let it grow.
  • Real Time Dating:  When you first meet someone, you should look to connect in person as soon as possible.  Let’s break this section down first.  If he or she is coming off as a creep, do not bother with them.  If he or she gives you a bad vibe, do not bother with them.  Are you getting the idea?  Use your better judgement.  People give neon sign like clues about who they are.  It is up to you to read them.  Learn to ask them questions about who they are and what they are looking for in the long run.  When I say connect in person as soon as possible it should be in a very public location and it should be very casual.  Why get stuck through an entire dinner with someone you don’t actually like?  Don’t get mixed up with someone who would rather waste your time than work to build a life with you.  You are important and your time is just as important.
  • Practice safe sex:  I can not stress this enough!  Condoms are a lot cheaper than raising a child.  Plus, you won’t have to take a pack of condoms to court over child support or custody issues.
  • Are you happy?:  It is a simple question.  Does this person make you happy?  Do you look forward to your conversations together or spending time together?  If yes, then great!  I wish you all the best.  If not, start preparing for an exit.  Life is just too short to continue going around and around again.

There is a lot of truth to the saying if someone is serious about you, they will make it known and they will make plans with you in both the long and short term.  This is true for any medium of where you can meet someone.  Remember to take care of yourself before you start losing it to someone else.  Be aware, be empowered and let love find you, not the other way around.

Tea & Crumpets

I don’t need to have a daughter.  I treat myself like a doll already.  I love to dress up, do hair and makeup and put on some high heels.   Happy International Women’s Day!  In the immortal words of Missy Elliot, “Make that money, don’t let it make you, girl!”

Power on!

IMG_4418IMG_4424 IMG_4420

Lent Your Way?

This year is really flying by!  I can’t believe we are already in March and it’s time for Lent.  I am not Catholic in any way but I have always been fascinated by how Catholics and the, “I’m only Catholic on holidays” Catholics celebrate this religious process.  The basic concept is denying yourself something for 40 days in an effort to draw you closer to God.  It’s not Biblical but it is what they believe.  I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t broken Lent within a week or actually avoided eating meat on Friday.  I wanted to take this a step further to see if people can go without something important to them for any time period all in an effort to draw themselves closer to God?  There are so many things we do on a daily basis that are such a habit that we don’t even realize we are doing them.  Humans are ritualistic and forget to function on thought sometimes because it takes too long to break cycles.

What if we challenged ourselves to spend a few days trying something else?  Doing something new or letting go of a vice that may be killing us in an effort to pull closer to God?  And for those who don’t or refuse to believe in God, doing all the same just to find some peace of mind or clarity?  I am not saying to do this for 40 days at a time but start small.  If you smoke, go a full day without cigarettes.  If you are a heavy drinker, cut back to once a week.  If you have a gym membership that you barely use, make an effort to start going once a week.  There are very big and small ways in our lives that we can make changes to find balance.  It all comes down to if we are willing or not.  I have challenged myself to get a lot of the stuff done around the house that needs it before it gets too warm outside.  I like to do yard work in late Winter/early Spring versus trying to hump around all summer in the heat.  I want to fully enjoy Summer this year.  My smaller more personal goal, not just for 40 days, is to spend more time each day with God.  I have found myself doing too much other stuff and then realized it’s just stuff.  I felt empty.

What will you be inspired to do?  Maybe it is time to let go of those old pains, get that big final cry out?  Maybe it is time to try something new – almost anything new!  Cliff diving in Mexico might not be your thing but wearing a dress for the first time in years might be your start.  Going on that first date, deciding to take things to the next level, planning to get married or working toward making your relationship or marriage stronger versus throwing in the towel, or remembering why you have always loved that person no matter what and finally making your lives become one.  It is never too late for any of this.  You are the starting point.

Whether it is for Lent, one week or one day, you should strive to cut away the old bad habits.  That is the only way new and positive habits  will enter your life and stick around.  What will you try today?

 

IMG_0928