Happy 4th of July, too!
This will be me for the next few days . . Have a GREAT Week!
Happy 4th of July, too!
I'll be at the beach with family for the week, so you may not be hearing from me. I'm also working on some changes to the site that I'm excited about! I hope to get back to you soon from a new home!
Love, love, love thinking this while the sweat is pouring down my back - which happens a lot these days during the hot, muggy days of June. (and I don't even have to be exercising to have the sweat trickles)
Someone recently asked me to questions:
1. How do you stay motivated?
2. Why on earth would someone want to actually exercise on a regular basis?
1. Motivation is a funny thing. Some days you really have it and some days it seems to hide under a rock until you coax it out. I think, for me, exercise has become such a habit that I don't think about it too much. It is just something I do, and, fortunately for me, I like to exercise. I also know how much better I will feel afterwards, so that's pretty good motivation when my head just doesn't want to play the game. I also know that if I force myself to get moving, even if I don't feel like it, within 10 minutes I'll be glad I did.
My main goals for exercise and keeping up a workout routine is to be strong and healthy. I'm sure I used to just want to be "skinny" or look good in a bathing suit. These days, as I get older, and try to fight off the poor genes I've inherited it is much more about keeping fit and healthy inside and out. I think if those are the main motivations the rest of it will take care of itself.
The other side of the equation on motivation is what I call the "outside" motivators. For me it is all about the music. Nothing gets me going and keeps me energized more than a really good playlist on my IPod or teaching a class. I also like to download books to my IPod - that will keep me walkingor on the elliptical longer than I might in silence. I know some people like the silence of a run or walk with no music. I swam laps yesterday and the silence of the pool was a really nice change and opportunity for some good quiet. Some people like to wear fun clothes for exercise and have that as a little motivation.
Often other people are what motivate me. This happens all the time and in a lot of different ways. In a competitive way, if someone is beside me on the treadmill it will make me step up my game to meet their pace or pass it. If someone tells me they swam so many meters in the pool, you can bet I'll swim at least that many on my next swim. I know this is probably a character flaw of mine, but I am admitting it!
People also just motivate me in general. The fact that they make the effort to come to one of my classes makes me work harder. They make me put in more effort to make sure they get something out of their hour. Even when I am taking a class, the other participants motivate me. Seeing someone running, walking, biking or simply being active, motivates me. The key is to get out, away from the TV, and off the couch! I like to see other people motivate me as well.
Whatever it is, I think it is key to find what gets you moving and stick with it. Sometimes you just have to fight through the humps to find the motivation, but it's there and you'll be much more energized and more motivated next time you are looking under those rocks for your motivation.
2. I think we all know why I exercise. But why am I an instructor? Besides, the fact that I love it, it's so much fun and is my passion, this question made me think of someone I met about a year and a half ago. A new person came to one of the bootcamp classes I teach. She hadn't been exercising since having children but wanted to try it out since her children were now in preschool. Well, I loved having her and I watched her progress over the next few months from walking to running, using no weights to lifting dumbells, barely completing a push up to tackling them on her toes. She was a regular at every class! She then came to another gym I am at and after a little encouragement she was participating in spin classes, body sculpt and other classes. It's not all about physical transformation, but her toned arms and legs are fabulous and she has this bright beautiful smile and just glows with confidence. What a difference 18 months, a new habit, sweat and motivation can make!
That is a prime example of why I do what I do! I love the people, what they bring to the table, learning from them and being inspired.
On a completely different note, another thing I LOVE to do is read. I am constantly looking for a new book to read. This is what I am reading now . . . and am looking for suggestions for beach reading.
So, what motivates you? Why do you do what you do? Any good book suggestions??
I'm headed to the beach in seven days. Yikes! That's just next week. That should be some sort of incentive for me to get in gear and think about getting bathing suit ready. In preparation, I am eating a rice cake while I type. Honestly, it's been a bit difficult to eat as clean as I should with NOT having a regular schedule these days because of my boys baseball craziness. Also, let's face it. I tend to get a little more relaxed and let things slide this time of year. However, never fear. . . . this month's Women's Health magazine appeared in my mailbox today with a cover article claiming to get me bikini ready in 7 days. How did they know it was perfect timing?
So, beginning tomorrow this is what I am to do:
Sunday: eliminate all processed foods. "If you can't pronounce the ingredients, the food is off-limits." Don't I preach that all the time anyway? I will be shopping in the produce aisle and eating foods that have mothers.
Monday: lay off the sauce - and they mean the alcohol. We all know what the alcohol does. It dehydrates us, fills us up with empty calories and then has the nerve to give us the munchies. I'll have none of that - until I get my toes in the sand, that is!
Tuesday: get a fiber fix - they tell me to not nix the carbs completely. Add flaxseed to yogart or almonds to a salad. If I'm having a carb craving I'll have to go for quinoa, barley or brown rice. I think I can handle that.
Wednesday: burn, baby burn - and I thought they were talking about exercise. No, this tip is to feed the metabolism by eating small meals throughout the day. I'll aim for 300 - 350 calories each and limit two snacks to no more than 150 calories each. No big portions!
Thursday: banish bloat. No they're talking! The tip is to lay off the broccoli, peppers and onions and eat more cucumbers, spinach and asparagus. It also says that potassium rich bananas and oranges help get rid of water. That's something new for me. I didn't know that trick, so I'll be following that one from now on.
Friday: flush it out - as in drink lots of water. This is an oldie but goodie. It says to drink four to six liters of water every day. Also, to sip it slowly so it actually enters the bloodstream rather than filtering straight through causing many multiple bathroom trips. This one always gets me at night.
Saturday: befriend protein - Haven't I even written about this? A really good, protein filled breakfast fills us up and keeps us from snacking later on. Breakfast with protein is key for me to keep the rest of the day on track.
Well, there wasn't anything too crazy in this bikini ready article. There is no fasting, drinking hot lemon water or cayenne peppered drinks. It doesn't even tell me to go crazy on the cardio and work out for hours a day. It all sounds pretty sensible.
I think some of the best advice on looking and feeling slimmer in a bathing suit, or anything for that matter, is to focus on posture. Getting rid of the dropped shoulders, sagging boobs (if you are lucky enough to have any) and belly pooch do wonders!
This will be my "go-to", get beach ready in a week, fix. I'll let you know if I'm feeling bathing suit ready by next week!
What do you do before a beach trip? Any good tips? How do you get ready for the bathing suit?
In the "blog world" lots of folks will post about WIAW. This is actually stands for What I Ate Wednesday. The writer will take you through breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I thought it would be a little more interesting to show you What I SAW on Wednesday.
Wednesday was the day I decided to take the boys to Six Flags. This is always a really big day for my youngest son. First of all, he loves rollercoasters more than he loves me. He absolutely cannot get enough of them. Secondly, he loves the fact that he gets to get in free. (His school issues a free ticket after proving he has read a certain amount of pages throughout the school year). I, personally, add another leg to it and make him read more before I take him. Last summer I promised a trip to Six Flags when he finished his last Harry Potter book. He read diligently every day and finished the book. Due to unforeseen circumstances (my not checking the schedule and realizing the park closed at the end of the summer when I decided to finally go!) we did not get there last summer. Believe me, it has been a recurrent theme of my broken promise for a complete year. Not to make the same mistake, I decided to get there early in the summer this time. My youngest has a memory of an elephant and cuts no slack, so none of that this time around!
Somehow this day made it really feel like summer. As today is the official start of summer I am now ready. . .
What starts your summer? Anything special give you that summertime feeling? My new Summer anthem is a new song by Little Big Town called "Pontoon" . . . check it out!
I just love watching old movies and TV programs. One of my all time favorites is Leave it to Beaver. I try to share this love with my boys, but they don't quite see the humor. If you watch these older shows from the 1950's, have you ever noticed how tiny the waists are on these women? Of course, they are always immaculately dressed in heels and pearls to do their housework, too, which always gets me. But I digress. These women were not getting up for an early morning run before frying the bacon for their family breakfast. They were not scheduleing a pilates or yoga class. They didn't have to! Their day was filled with on-your-feet, physical activity in the name of housework. I bring this up because I was recently reading about a new British study that revealed that in the 1950's a woman's average waist size was 28 inches. Today that average waist size is 36 inches. The study concludes that a large part of that increase is due to the amount of work perfomed in the 1950's and the lack of such work today. Back then there was no Roomba vacuuming the living room. There was only the 25 pound push vacuum cleaner. The study pointed out the difference in the amount of energy it took to prepare a meal - there were microwaves, drive thrus, and going out to eat was not a weekly affair. There were no dishwashers afterwards for clean up. It is definitely called housework for a reason. These women were moving and working all throughout the day.
Another point is that most families relied on one car that the husband used for work. Therefore, dear ol' Mom relied on her own two feet to get herself to the bus stop or to the store for the shopping. There was no computer to occupy hours of sitting time and no online shopping or email.
The study found that the normal, everyday chores burned at least 1000 calories a day. Today, the energy expenditure has seriously declined and we are obviously eating more. Back then the average caloric intake was around 1818 and today is 2,178. Today the food may not be prepared with whole mile and high calorie butter, but there is still more of it!
What's the point in bringing all this up? I'm not quite sure. I guess just to point out the difference in the times, how it affects our health, how being active (no matter the type of activity) really counts AND to say that new is not always better.
In looking into the 1950's I ran across the following article. On this point, I will definitely say that new IS better:
The Good Wife’s Guide.
Extract from Housekeeping Monthly, 1955.
When was the last time you cleaned your house head to toe? In heels and pearls? Are you as crazy about these old shows as I am?
This cartoon is dedicated to a friend who recently told me she spent an entire year searching for the perfect butt exercise.
It's Friday and that makes me very happy. I'm also pretty pooped so I am happy to be sitting down typing. I am also very happy to have finally showered for the day! I've spent most of my day hot, sweaty and smelly. I can't say I mind it all that much, though. All in the name of fitness, which also makes me happy. This brings up a question I've been asked a few times this week: Who often do you work out? Do you exercise every day? Do you take a day off?
Well, every day can be different - some days I do more than others and some weeks are more active than others. I do try to do something active on most days. That's just me, though. I know some women who exercise lots more than I do and others who work out 2 - 3 days a week.
I will say that a lot of my workouts are actual "work" that I do as part of a job, so I tend to not really count them. This "work" doesn't really feel like "work" to me because I love it, and I am thankful to be able to lead fitness classes as "work" and actually love what I am doing. (of course the down side is that it surely doesn't pay as much as a normal 9 - 5 job, so I realize how fortunate I am.) Bottom line is that some people exercise a lot more than I do and are a lot "crazier" than I am and others are not as "crazy".
This week went like this:
Monday: Taught an Interval Class at Blast900;
45 minutes on elliptical, 10 pull-ups (assisted, but
working on it!) 5 minute abs.
Tuesday: 60 minute Spin class; 20 minutes yoga; one on one
Wednesday: Taught outdoor Bootcamp class; Swam 35 laps
Thursday: Took Blast 900 class (which is like a high intensity
interval class on steroids!) followed by training
to teach more of these classes
Friday: Taught outdoor Bootcamp class; Taught Body
Sculpt class; one on one training with a client
So, you can see why I was so hot and sweaty today. I was outside working or indoors working most of the day - AND I failed to mention I also went to one of my son's baseball games in between, where I promise there wasn't a bit of shade in sight. I did try to stay away from people so they wouldn't smell me!
So, that was my week. Sometimes I throw a run in or more swimming or some tennis. It all depends on the family's schedules, what the boys are doing, how much free time I have and how many clients I have during the week. As tomorrow is Saturday and I have up to 4 baseball games tomorrow (and that's just with 2 sons home!) I will not get in a workout, but will spend plenty of time sweating in the sun . . .
So, what do you do? Are you a lot crazier than I am? Or do you think I am crazy? It's all relative, you know! And do you sweat more one one side than the other? Little known fact I discovered about myself today-
And the Banjee winner goes to Lynn S. Shoot me an email as to which Banjee you would like! YIPPEE! CONGRATS!
Have you heard or head about all the Soda hype in New York City? Well, if you've had your head in the sand lately, I will jump on board here and tell you what's been going on. The mayor has found a way, he thinks, to fight the growing obesity epidemic by banning the sale of large, sugary beverages at local restaurants. Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed to prohibit licensed food establishments in the city from serving its customers drinks sugary drinks like colas, lemonade and punches that are larger than the 16 ounces.
Of course, folks could purchase another round of the smaller size but there would be NO MORE what I call GINORMOUS cups that are in the movie theaters, mall food courts or every QuickTrip on every corner. The City Board of Health has to approve this proposal and at the time, there seems to be a strong indication that that will occur sometime in September.
A couple of objections to the proposal are that milkshakes are not included in the proposal and that the restaurants can still offer bottomless refills - even if in a smaller cup.
This all makes me go, hmmmmm. It hits on something that absolutely makes me crazy and I've had it on my "to post" list for a while. I am amazed at the difference and huge increase in portion size of colas. (Here in the South any "cola" is known as a Coke, so I many just type Coke and you'll know what I mean) Anyway, remember the little glass bottles you used to get at the gas stations? Weren't they awesome?! And they were such a treat! When we travel now and find the little bottles of Coke we always get one for the boys as a fun treat. Compare that little 8 oz bottle with the crazy size plastic bottles of drinks that you are forced to purchase now, if you want a soft drink. You are forced to get a 16.9 oz, 20 oz or 24 oz drink. That is entirely too much of a good thing for it to be a treat! The amount of sugar doubles and triples and it is amazing what all that soft drink sugar does to the body . . . just look walking around on the street and it's pretty obvious.
So, there, that's my vent on the overwhelming and unnecessary growth of portion sizes of what should be considered a treat.
Back to NYC, the mayor and city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, say they are proposing the ban because obesity has become a health crisis and because sweetened soft drinks bear a disproportionate share of the blame for making people so fat. Obesity kills 5,800 people every year in New York City, considerably more than the number of U.S. troops who died in the entire Iraq War, the health department said. Diabetes, a disease that can be linked to obesity, kills another 1,700 people. Another 2,600 are hospitalized for limb amputations necessitated by complications of diabetes.
“The sugary drinks are the item that is most closely associated with the growth of this epidemic,” Farley said.
The rule would apply to any beverage with more than 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are both around 100 calories per 8 ounces.
Of course, there are two sides to every story so in reading about this issue I ran across an author who calls the ban "silly".
Kyle Wingfield says the ban is silly for a lot of reasons, one is that it is arbitrary with having a 16 oz cutoff which will merely push the manufacturors to produce 15 oz bottles. He also calls the ban inconsistent. "A 20-oz. bottle of Coca-Cola, with 65 grams of sugar, would be outlawed but a 21-oz. chocolate milkshake from McDonald’s, with 111 grams of sugar, would still be legal because it’s considered “dairy-based.” " He also says it will be ineffective. He asks, "Why would someone who wants his sugar not just buy two 12-oz. cans of a sugary soft drink rather than that 20-oz. bottle (and end up drinking more)?" He also has a beef with the fact that at restaurants, refills will still be allowed.
Mainly, though, he states a simple observation: "If people wanted something done about obesity, and specifically about obesity linked to the consumption of sugary drinks, wouldn’t more people stop consuming sugary drinks?"
He also points out that if 1/3 of the population are drinking sugary drinks and if the other 2/3 of the public do not want to pay for the problems of obesity, then the answer would be to place that financial burden on those who are suffering because of their behavior.
I can definitely see both sides to this argument. I see that there is an absolute problem and I appreciate New Your actually addressing it and attempting to take action. I also see that it will not be a true solution to the problem. But, what's a nation to do? Unfortunately, it all starts at home . . . What are your thoughts on this issue? Is there a solution?PLUS all this talk about the obesity epidemic, poor food choices and all out lack of will power in our nation brings me to ANOTHER really bad choice. Burger King wants you to try a new item on its menu. A Bacon Sundae. Really????
The salty-sweet dessert clocks in at 510 calories, 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar.
I'm sorry, not to offend anyone, but WHO would order this? I'd really like to know! My boys can't get enough bacon, but even they would stop at putting it on their ice cream.
What are your thoughts on the soft drink ban? Helpful? Crazy? When was the last time you put bacon on your ice cream?
I was recently contacted by a representative from a great company called Sprigs, http://www.Sprigs.com, to see if I was interested in trying out one of their products. Well, of course I was! So, look at this cool Big Banjee I received in the mail! If you are wondering what this is, it is a really cool device that fits on your wrist to hold your necessaries while you are on your run. Why didn't I think of this?
This little thing is called a Banjee Wrist Wallet and is perfect for any of you who run, walk, stroll, walk your dog, bike, or do ANYTHING that requires you to be "purse free" and still be able to have your keys, phone, credit card, money or some such necessary with you.
I was asked to choose a couple of colors from the website, and let me tell you, it was a difficult choice! There are tons of fun colors and combinations to choose! Since I use an IPhone I chose the Big Banjee, but there is also a small one for those who do not need the larger size. The fabric is nice and lightweight and absorbs any moisture.
I decided to try out the Big Banjee the other day for an afternoon run. I normally do not like to run with my phone because I don't like carrying it. Sometimes, I have to but I always get annoyed switching it from hand to hand. On the Banjee there is a nice zippered pocket my phone slid right into. There is also a foldover type pocket for keys. I loved this as I either have to tie a key to my shoelace or put it in the little runner pocket of my shorts, but I'm always afraid it will slip out. I slid the Banjee on my right arm. I will have to admit my wrists are a little puny so I had to slide it more up my arm, but it was no problem. As I was running in the afternoon it got really hot and I got really sweaty, but the fabric was breathable and stayed comfortable.
I think it is a great solution to being active outside and staying hands free! If you are walking your dog you can even put your little baggie right in the pocket. How cool is that? As I said before, why didn't I come up with this? So, I'm really liking my Banjee and their great idea.
Sooooo, because they are such a cool company they have offered my readers, you, a couple of ways to get one of these must-haves! First of all, I'm offering a GIVEAWAY to one of you. YIPEE! Just give me a comment on which Banjee you would like. How easy is that? I'LL HAVE A RANDOM DRAWING AND ANNOUNCEMENT ON THIS FRIDAY! Make sure you CHECK BACK IN ON FRIDAY!
Secondly, visit the Sprigs.com website and enter the coupon code MDF20. It is good for 20% off of orders $30 and over and 10% off orders under $30. THIS OFFER EXPIRES JULY 6th. Check out their website for other cool stuff, too.
I hope to hear from you on your Banjee choice. Don't forget to check back on Friday . . .
Where do you put your keys while you run? Do you find yourself running in the heat ofdo
Sometimes a couple of rainy days are just heaven. It can simply slow your day down and give you a chance to re-group. It definitely puts a hault to baseball games, so I am taking advantage of having two whole days to be home, re-stock the refrigerator and prepare a couple of healthy meals. Yesterday, in lieu of two to three baseball games and having the boys eat some form of meat between buns, I made the following recipe. I added a side of sauteed spinach, fresh corn and pasta on the side. I also added grilled shrimp so I would have some leftovers!
SEARED SCALLOPS WITH ROASTED TOMATOES:
3 Cups Grape Tomatoes
1/2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 lb. sea scallops
Preheat Broiler. Arrange tomatoes in single layer in shallow roasting pan. Lightly spray tomatoes with cooking spray (I use olive oil spray). Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; toss to coat. Broil 10 minutes until tomatoes start to brown.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.Add scallops to skillet and cook 2 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Serve scallops with tomatoes; sprinkle with basil.
(Calories 204; Protein 29 grams; Fat 5 grams)
Here's another recipe that I intend on eating for lunch all week. Too bad I didn't take a photo because it looks just as good as it tastes1!
CHICKEN AND FETA TABBOULEH
3/4 Cup cooked bulger
1 Cup boiling water
2 Cups chopped skinless boneless chicken breast
1 Cup chopped plum tomato
1 Cup chopped English cucumber
3/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 Cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 Cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 Cup chopped fresh mint
2 T lemon juice
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp bottled minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
Place bulgar in medium bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Combine chicken and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add bulgur to chicken mixture; toss gently to combine.
(Calories 296; Protein 28 grams; Fat 9 grams)
Lunch today was a salad with leftover grilled shrimp, cantaloupe and a little feta. Very light, fresh and good!
Enjoy your Monday!
What do you do with rainy days?
I will have to admit to having a grown, middle-aged (yes, I have finally admitted that I am, indeed, middle-aged. If you missed it, I discovered it with you all in a post here!) crush on Sting. Honestly, look at him! Amazing! He has an amazing yoga body.
Last night I was invited to see Sting perform. Since I had an early Friday morning bootcamp class I almost caved. I'm so glad I didn't! He was so good! Not only did he sound amazing but he was incredible to watch. He moved so easily around stage and has that lean, strong look of an athlete.
How about that for yoga?
I had known Sting was a big Yogi and known as an aficianado of yoga, but wanted to look into his background with his practice. He and his wife Trudie practice tantra, Ashtanga and Jivamukti yoga. He said he needed to be fit because constant touring taxes the body. Initially, he was skeptical about yoga, which he thought was nothing but navel-gazing. But as he began practicing, he found that yoga offered many physical and mental benefits. When Sting was in his late 30s he was fit but couldn't do a lot of the Ashtanga poses. That intrigued him and he began to take the practice more seriously. He says he started yoga late, but is certain his regular practice is actually reversing his aging process. In fact, Sting’s entire band performs yoga together before their shows to increase cohesion and team spirit.
Some of the benefits for him can be the same for us. He says it gives him more energy for his daily tasks. He also vouches for the mental and spiritual benefits. He says his goal is to become more liquid, fluid and sinuous. (I'm saying he has reached that goal!) Aging gracefully with good posture is one of his goals, as is mine. My own practice has taken a backseat lately. Watching Sting move around energetically and effortlessly gives me a reason to make the time for it again. Sting also mentioned how yoga helped his sex life. Since I consider this a family friendly blog and I can't imagine my boys ever reading anything I've written regarding sex, I'll just stop right there and let you do your own research.
One great thing about yoga, whatever type you practice, you can do it anywhere, anytime. I took this photo while at the beach recently. We looked out our window and saw this fella going through his poses while balancing on the railing. A perfect example of practicing yoga anywhere! (Also, I've been waiting for the chance to use this photo!)
Do you have any crazy crush? Do you practice yoga regularly? What's your favorite benefit?