Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself." ~Harvey Fierstein

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Create a workout play list.

Listening to music while exercising can keep your feet moving as well as provide some entertainment and distraction to an otherwise dull workout. Songs with a faster tempo will make you move faster, without you even knowing it's happening. I have created play lists for races ranging from a 5K to a marathon, thinking carefully about what I might be encountering at each time of my run. For example, at the time when I should be hitting a big hill, something like "Stronger" by Kanye West is set to start flowing through the headphones, reminding me that I CAN do this!

Picking songs based on BPM (beats per minute) is easy with software like this BPM Counter. Or there are sites out there, like Running Music Mix that give you some songs with the BPM listed. On my gym play list, I have a nice combination of songs with a range of tempos. One of my readers asked me to share one with you so here it is:

"I Got a Soul (But I'm Not a Soldier) - The Killers
"Forever" - Chris Brown
"Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand
"Bad Reputation" - Joan Jett
"Move Your Feet" - Junior Senior
"Stronger" - Kanye West
"Tik Tok" Ke$sha
"Suddenly I See" - KT Tunstull
"Just Dance" - Lady Gaga
"Wake Up Call" - Maroon 5
"Party in the USA" - Miley Cyrus
"What a Feeling" - Peter Luts and Dominico
"The Cup of Life" - Ricky Martin
"Footloose" - Kenny Loggins
"Pump It" - Black Eyed Peas

Please share your play list too! I'd love to hear what you are listening to and what is motivating YOU...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quote of the Week

"You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." ~ Henry Ford

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday's Fun Fitness Fact

If all 600 muscles in your body pulled in one direction, you could lift 25 tons.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Use positive affirmations.

We all have those days when we stare at our to do list with wide eyes, unsure of what to accomplish first. It's such an overwhelming feeling, isn't it? What if there was a way to turn your thought process around, focus on each task, and get things accomplished? That is where positive affirmations come in...

Thinking positively helps you to feel more confident so you can accomplish more. Instead of listening to that negative "you can't do can't do that" voice in your head, you can think in a positive way and actually get it done! Just repeat your affirmation in your head or out loud if no one else is around. I'd hate to cause you to look crazy in front of your friends and/or family.

My "go to" affirmation is "Good luck follows me wherever I go. I am blessed" but you can make yours whatever you'd like. I use other simple ones like "You can do this" and "Focus on the now". It does sound cheesy as heck but it also works wonders. People often ask me how I juggle as much as I do without complaint or worry. It's because "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me" 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday's Fun Fitness Fact

Exercise allows you to eat more.

5 pounds of muscle burns more calories at rest than 5 pounds of body fat. Basically, the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. And, of course, you also burn calories while you're actually exercising.
This means that "cheating" with a cookie once in a while isn't going to take you back 10 steps.  It doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want whenever you want, but you can afford to enjoy some of the things you really like when you exercise regularly. Regular exercise makes it easier to get away with those things in moderation.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Strengthen Your Core

I am sure you've heard people (especially me) talk about the importance of doing core workouts. But, what in the world does that mean...? Is it just sit ups and crunches...? In OPTP's "Achieving Core Stability" Newsletter, it is defined in this way:

The body's core muscles, also known as the trunk, are made up of the transversus abdominis, lumbar multifidus, diaphragm, and pelvic floor muscles. The muscle groups encircle and support your spine making them the most intimately involved groups in spinal stabilization. (Think of them as a brace for your spine.) They also play a crucial role in communication with the central nervous system and brain. The strengthening of functional muscle groups (core muscles) leads to a more sophisticated neuromuscular system and improved lumbar spine support.

Sounds technical and important, right? Well, it is. Core instability can be a major factor in back pain and a contributor to many sports related injuries. When I was injured while marathon training and went to Physical Therapy, one of the first things noted by my therapist was that I had a weak core. I started working on that and haven't looked back. Some people even joke that I am the Queen of Core now and I get lots of emails about how I managed to get a flat belly after having three kids. I can give a one word answer for that:


(Note: Cutting fat is still important in ridding yourself of that tummy jiggling. Core exercises will strengthen the underlying muscles which will show up as "6 pack abs" once you get your healthy eating in line.)

 I found this excellent slide show that shows over a dozen different moves that will help you to get your core strengthened, thus decreasing your chance of injury and making it easier to perform well in all things physical. Remember to start slow and work yourselves into these new exercises. They won't be easy at first. But when you start to notice that you are standing straighter, walking better, and people are checking out your hot abs as you walk around the pool area this Summer, you'll be glad you did this.

Good luck!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed." ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Those darn fast food ads...

Don't those ads make that food look so yummy? Even I, with my staunch "I will not eat fast food" attitude, have felt hunger pangs while watching the crisp lettuce and juicy tomato slice fall onto a Whopper while thick crunchy fries dance around in the background. Fast food joints spend big bucks to make our tummies growl and our inner selves to say "Hey, that looks GOOD!" and then, out loud to say "Sweetie, can you run out and get us some food?" (Sadly, I remember the days of being pregnant with my middle child and sending my husband out for a Sheetz schmuffin at 1am....)

While surfing the internet this afternoon, I found this site that cracked me up. It is all pictures showing the advertised food next to what you really get when you order it. When you feel the need for a little bit of that "oh so delicious" junk they are advertising on tv, take a look at that site and i have a feeling you won't feel quite so hungry...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Fake it 'til you make it

Do you want a healthier lifestyle? To lose weight? To get into those "skinny jeans"? Perhaps, you've wanted that for a long time. If you were truly committed to change, then you'd be there though, right? Not necessarily. Change takes time. And work. Lots and lots of work. Just wanting it is not enough. You've got to go for the gusto and make it happen.

This is where "fake it 'til you make it" comes in to help. Look in the mirror. Are you where you want to be? More than likely, unless you are in that 10% of "happy body women", there is something about your body that makes you unhappy.

So, fake it. Live the life of the woman you want to be. Eat those healthy foods. Spend some extra time in the gym. Love yourself. According to Dr. Oz, after 6 weeks of "faking it", you will begin to be naturally motivated to continue your regime of healthy living. I honestly think it takes a little bit longer than that, which is why I made my Fitness challenge into 10 weeks.

Here's how I managed to fake it...

When I started going to the gym on a regular basis, I felt like I was out of place - a chubby girl trying to stay afloat in a sea of fitness and health. I would glimpse myself in the mirror next to the "perfect" body and feel like I would never get to that point. In order to blend in at the gym, I became a chameleon. I bought some cute workout clothes, got a new pair of shoes, and dived right in. I said "hello" to the people working at the check in desk; I struck up conversations with people on the machines next to me; My confidence, it seemed, tricked my fellow "gym rats" into thinking I was, indeed, fit. Oh, silly people...

I was a complete faker.

I went to the store and bought organic foods. I looked at labels and started tracking what was going into my body. When I was out to eat, I looked up the nutritional information ahead of time and on many instances, asked for half of my meal to be wrapped up before it even hit my plate. I had all my health conscious friends  fooled into thinking I was "one of them"... Tee hee hee...

I was a complete faker.

With the help of Couch to 5K, I slowly went from being a walker on the treadmill to doing a run/walk. Instead of spending my weekends laying around on the couch, I started signing up for 5K races. With my fancy shoes and adorable workout clothes (that, by the way, were feeling a little looser than they had when I bought them), I had everyone thinking I was a runner. What fools...

I was a complete faker.

Then, it happened. It happened so fast. It happened and I am so happy that it did.

It was a little over 2 years ago. I was in a Cardio Kick class. During these classes, I would typically position myself near the front so I could see the instructor. Plus, if I was in the back, it was much too easy for me to sneak out. *wink* In the main room, there were mirrors on three of the walls and I would find myself looking in them, mostly at the people around me.

Something you should know about me is that I am a people watcher by nature. It interests me to see what other people are doing, if they are keeping up with the class, and how they look, in general. I would very often compare myself to them. "Oh man, that girl has nicer definition on her arms than I do..." "If only I could look like that woman..." and on and on and on.

On that day, I looked into the mirror and spied a girl with a much nicer body than me.  I thought to myself "If I looked like that, I would be so happy." Then, I took a second look and realized that I was looking at myself. It was so surreal. I did a double - no make that a triple - take. It really was me!

I had faked it for so long that I had actually become the person I wanted to be. I really was an exerciser. I really was a healthy eater. I really was a runner. From that moment on, there was no looking back.

So, start faking it today and see if you can surprise yourself too...