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Showing posts from November, 2009

Learn to Look for the Positives

I have been debating on what I wanted to talk about next. But a few things happened over this Thanksgiving Holiday that have made me seriously take pause and reflect a bit. Of course Thanksgiving is meant to be a day of thanks. It is meant to be a day to enjoy family and friends. I probably did not take enough time to truly enjoy the day as I should have. Especially in light of some sad news I received two days in a row.

Friday morning I sat down to check email, and the first one I read struck me hard. A very dear friend's husband has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They have only been married a year. He is only 34 years young.

Then on Saturday we went to have dinner with my former dance teacher and his wife, dear friends. We were told that he has prostate cancer and will be having surgery in December. 

Needless to say, I most certainly stopped to think about everything that I am so blessed to have. My husband and I recently celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. I am thank…

My Thanksgiving

Well, I made it through another Thanksgiving madness. I know the main focus of the holiday is supposed to be giving thanks. However, it seems to have become a holiday focused on devouring a bird and eating tons of casseroles and other unhealthy foods that you would normally never eat at any other time of the year. Somehow the holiday has gotten off track and everyone is so focused on "their" holiday traditions, "their" holiday meals. People think they HAVE to have this casserole or that casserole or the holiday is a bust. What happened to just getting together with family and friends and enjoying the fact that you are together?

As a vegetarian, Thanksgiving has become one of my least favorite holidays simply because the focus is on the consumption of a bird and all sides, for whatever reason, seem to require the addition of either meat, butter, or some other unhealthy component somehow justified because it's a holiday. Of course, I am being ever so slightly hy…

Missing the Beach Part II

After writing about Perdido Key, FL in “Missing the Beach,” I started to think that perhaps I made it sound like there was absolutely nothing to do other than sit on a condo balcony or sit on the beach and read. I really did not do the town justice. Those are just the two things that I find most relaxing and look forward to doing all year long. No stress. No worries.

For me, no stress and no worries also involves maintaining some sense of routine and normalcy. I get extremely stressed and irritable when my routine falls apart. So, yes, I exercise. Yes, I try to cook healthier meals. However, when I am on vacation, I find that I actually enjoy those things so much more. I'm on no one else’s time schedule. I'm much more relaxed and focused on enjoying every moment.

Maintaining a routine

While it is vacation, I do try to maintain a sense of normalcy with my routine, to include diet and exercise. I think that is important. I always feel better when I'm able to continue to get…

Missing the Beach

Fall is slowly giving way to winter. The cooler weather makes me reminisce about warm summer days and beach vacations. Not much beats the feeling of warm, soft sand between the toes and the rhythmic sound of the waves crashing softly. For me, the ideal vacation involves renting a condo on a white, sandy beach and spending my days under an umbrella, reading book after book.

My husband and I have found one spot that we both love to visit, Perdido Key, FL. It's about 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle, family attraction of Gulf Shores, AL. It's quiet, with no "main" strip of bumper to bumper traffic. There are only a few restaurants to choose from, and the condos are all on the beach and not towering.

We typically try to go over Memorial Day weekend. It's still very calm and quiet. The weather is pleasant with no threats of hurricanes. Renting a condo is ideal; it allows us to cook in almost every meal. This saves money and is also healthier. We also choose a co…

A Birthday Blog

Well, I had meant to start a blog about our beach trip to Perdido Key, FL this past May. However, it's my birthday so I thought I'd blog about that instead - that and I've not really thought out the Beach blog or pulled out the pictures I want to post. 

So, I actually managed to stay in bed until 9:20 this morning. That's a rarity. I was still fairly productive today despite sleeping in and it being my birthday. My husband and I cleared out a spare room to convert into my new weight room. So I had to test it out of course. Today was shoulders, chest, and biceps. I then did 30 minutes of step aerobics. There were the typical Saturday errands to run. I dusted the downstairs. Right now I am making myself some birthday cupcakes - spice cake with cream cheese icing. They are smelling divine.

While I'm struggling with the whole idea of getting older, I do recognize that I should be very thankful. Not only did I live one more day, I made it through one more year. I am healt…

Too Much of a Good Thing – Is it Possible to Over Exercise?

I will be the first to admit that I have a difficult time allowing myself a rest day from exercise. I have an all or nothing attitude with a propensity to over train. After a workout, I usually have a boost of energy and feel better. So, even on days when I am tired, cranky, or even sore, I push through so I can get that energy boost. The big “theys” of authority keep urging everyone to exercise more. Get off our duffs and be active. But for those of us who are already active (and overachievers at that), there is a potential to over do it. Can you really get too much exercise? Surprisingly, yes.

Over exercising can lead to Overtraining Syndrome. Athletes, triathletes, runners, weight lifters are all susceptible to overtraining. Even people new to exercising can get overly enthusiastic and over train, thus burning themselves out entirely. Exercising usually makes us feel good for various reasons, so why not do more and feel even better? Why not add on extra reps, extra miles and boost …

All Geared Up

I remember running fast and free as a child – often down a hill or across my grandparent’s expansive back yard. Imagine arms open wide, hair trailing, mouth wide open in a giggle. Running used to be something that I just did with abandon. There was no thought.

Now, however, running (exercising in general) is more like a production. I have to first get myself psyched up for the “task” at hand. Then there is the appropriate attire, especially when it comes to the right shoes. I also wear my heart rate monitor and that contraption includes a chest strap and watch. I have problems with my knee, so I have to remember to strap on my patellar knee brace. My husband refers to all of those things as my hardware. It gets worse though. If I'm running alone or at the gym, I also strap on my iPod armband and snake the cord through my top so it doesn’t flail around and tangle on my arm.

I pretty much have the same set up for step or floor aerobics, minus iPod; I even have separate shoes. When i…

Don’t Run With Tweezers & Other Running Lessons

So my “Wheaties” day was on a Saturday. Sunday morning I was still flying high thinking about how strong I was and how far I could run without feeling the least bit tired. Yes, I am a real athlete I thought. My weight workout was chest and back. Knowing how hard I was able to push myself the previous day, I did so again. After the workout, I refueled with with some fat-free cottage cheese and blueberries. It was another beautiful and unseasonably warm day, so my husband and I decided to take advantage and go for another run. We drove to another part of the river trails for a leisurely run.

I was clad with all my gear (another blog post I do believe):  heart rate monitor, patellar knee band, matching top and bottoms (very important), and my hat to keep the sweat out of my eyes (actually more important than the outfit). We started at a slow pace, but I was winded almost immediately, and there was not an inkling of a hill to blame it on. My legs felt like lead weights, and I could feel m…

Finding Motivation

Working out isn't always easy, even I will admit that. I workout 6 days a week, but there are definitely those days when it's a struggle to find motivation to do so. I'm only human. I have bad days at work, or I might get into a funk when we have a bout of bad weather. I think that in order to keep exercise in your life, you must tap into a source (or multiple sources) of motivation. Here is a list of motivators that I turn to. They are in no particular order.

Motivator 1 - Look in the mirror - I know, sounds vain, but try it. When I see the results of all of my hard work, it makes it easier to keep up with the hard work. When you lift weights, you can see your muscles growing, toning up, and taking shape. Motivator 2 - The boost of energy I get after a workout. I may be tired and cranky, but if I can just get moving, I feel so much better. It clears my mind. When you're working out, it's harder to dwell on the bad day. In some ways, cardio has become my medication.…

Must Have Eaten My Wheaties

Last week I started Cathe Friedrich’s October rotation for my weight work. For members of her forum, she puts together a new workout rotation each month that includes weight work using her DVDs as well as cardio, usually her DVDs as well but sometimes suggesting runs or bike rides. I have only followed her rotations once before. The October rotation uses weight work from her Shock Training System (STS) in an undulating method. I was really excited to see this rotation as I’ve been tossing around the idea of starting STS again – just not sure I’m ready to dedicate 3.5 months to the program right now.

Today was Disc 30 for shoulders, triceps, and biceps. The weights were supposed to be 85% of my one rep max for each exercise. I pulled out my workout sheets from my first go at STS and was hoping to be able to lift those weights. I assumed I had some strength loss since I completed the STS program in July. I had a lucky accident, however, and ended up lifting a lot heavier. This was most…

Failure = Recommitment to Exercise

This blog post comes on the heels of a tweet my husband posted. My husband’s views on exercising are a little different from mine. I exercise consistently six days a week including weight training and cardio. I don’t have any specific goals in mind either. He, however, is pretty much all or nothing and must have a goal set, like a race. From my standpoint, he over trains, burns out, then gives it up. It’s a cycle. Eventually he’ll find a new race to sign up for and start the process all over again. Well, the process has started…

After weeks of missing his morning master’s swim classes and not riding his bike or running because of weeks of rain, and zero weight training he decided to ride with some friends on Saturday afternoon. It was finally sunny and warm, although very windy. After more than three hours, I started to get a little concerned that he hadn’t made it home. When I called, he sounded out of breath and exhausted like he’d answered during the middle of the ride, which he nev…

You Don't Eat Meat??!!

My reasons
When people find out that I am vegetarian, you can see the wheels turning. One of the first questions I get is, “What do you eat?” Hmmmm, well, what do YOU eat? I eat the same types of meals everyone else eats, just without the meat. A lot of people ask why I stopped eating meat. They just can’t believe someone would not enjoy the taste of meat, that they’d be willing to give that up. That’s the key. I did not enjoy the taste. My mother always said I was just picky. Perhaps that is it. I also had a few very disgusting encounters with meat that just pretty much sealed the deal for me.

I firmly believe that if I can be healthy not eating meat, then that is how I choose to live my life. I don’t try to be preachy to others. In fact, my husband eats meat outside of the house. I don’t condemn others for eating meat, and I certainly do not find myself somehow more superior. If asked, I will try to educate others on the health benefits and debunk a few myths along the way. And, am a…