You Can Get Fit!

Posts Tagged ‘milestones

Hey, gang!

Before we get to the recipe, can I share one little victory?

OK, maybe it’s huger than I make it out to be. Once up on a time, I was a runner. Marathons, even. I just did it because “everyone else did” around me. I abused my body nutritionally, and didn’t really follow a good training plan. I was young and dumb. (I like to think I’m a little bit wiser now… some days…)

Fast forward to my work injury, which also revealed a congenital problem, all dealing with my hip. Come to find out that all of the running I’d done was pretty destructive, without my knowing it. (Well… I knew that running while 50 pounds overweight, subsisting on beer and garlic fries, was also not the healthiest behavior in the world. Ah, youth is wasted on the young.)

September 11th of this year was roughly 18 months after the last time I had run (and after 2 hip surgeries, the second one successful). I went out for 30 minutes of 4 minutes walking, 1 minute running. It was hard. But I knew it was the right thing to do. I needed to get back in the game.

I’ve been building myself up since then, three times a week on the walk/run routine. Today–about a month since I resumed running–my half-hour consisted of 2 minutes walking/3 minutes running. In just that short amount of time! I’m hoping to get to a 4:1 ratio before the end of the month, and will keep you all posted.

Anyway! This is a recipe I tossed together yesterday via experimentation. Next weekend, I’m hosting a mini-yoga retreat for some friends at a neighbors’ cabin in the Cascades–another friend is doing the teaching, and I’m doing the mostly healthy cooking. Here’s the salad dressing I’m using, more or less. Modify amounts as you see fit. Make it your dressing for your tastes!

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mustard (I used Dijon)
~3 tbsp vinegar (I used red wine vinegar; white balsamic would also work well)
~1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small container, whisk the first 3 ingredients. Add the oil while constantly whisking (the mustard should allow the mixture to emulsify). Add any salt and pepper to your liking. Tarragon might also be nice, here.

This makes a small amount of dressing, true. It should scale up just fine…

I think this would go great on a simple romaine with fresh tomatoes and cucumber… but if any of you have other suggestions about a salad that you think would work well with this dressing, that would be great for a crowd–let me know!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday Tuesday……. so it was just last week that I wrote that “I’m going to save the world despite my current limitations” post. I have been doing a lot of writing toward the Big Goal, true.

But… deep sigh. I’ve been getting conflicting advice on how to deal with my medical issue (and I’m definitely out of time to save my college teaching job for the fall). Adding to that, just a few hours ago, I found out that what I thought was “just an old crown falling off an old root canal” is really a tooth that needs an implant. (I’m not that old, yet!!! And I won’t tell you how much it costs, since I’m still in denial.)

I’m just having so much trouble letting all of this sink in…. productivity, while not a standstill, isn’t too great. Sometimes I just need to be in the backyard and pluck weeds. Don’t we all?

Meanwhile, why not kick back for a few laughs and good things to think about:

1. When I’m in charge of the world, I’m going to paste this sign on doors everywhere.

2. This one’s hilarious!!! Batman!

3. 20 ice cream recipes. One of them is the easy and healthy frozen banana puree–I can vouch that it tastes fantastic!

4. Have trouble motivating yourself to exercise? Here are 5 ways to exercise even if you don’t like to exercise.

5. A push in the right direction for our educational system?

On a better note, today, I took a Bodypump class for the first time since my second hip surgery. I held up great! The lunges were the only thing that bothered me a tiny bit, and I just eased up. I’m going to try and add this to my weekly routine! This, plus two spin classes, plus swimming once a week, plus a short hike once a week… wait, wasn’t it just a month ago that I could only handle easy cardio and upper body weights? I have made big-time progress in recovering my body!

If you’re a Pilates diehard like me, and you’re on Facebook, search for the event 30 Day Challenge. It’s led by Mo Wolfe of Evolution Pilates on Long Island (in Bruce’s hometown!)–she’s challenging us to do some Pilates every day for the month of August. We’re a little over halfway there–come join us, if you can!

See you Friday with a yummy recipe!

I’m finding myself grouping these writing challenges together, so I don’t bombard you with two posts in a day… unless bombardment’s your style…

Which means you get bombarded with two writing challenge prompts at once. Again, if you’re just joining, this is part of the Trust30 Writing Challenge, 30 days worth of writing prompts inspiring us to trust ourselves and dig deeper.

Anyway, the past two days:

(tuesday 7 june) There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years? (Author: Corbett Barr)

The first part for me is pretty simple–in fact, I can come up with a bunch of answers. Primarily, I never knew that my little hobby, teaching a few fitness classes, would become entrepreneurial and change my life the way it has! It’s been great! So, I would tell myself to be persistent in the fitness and Pilates field, despite all of my higher education, and not to feel ashamed of working in a field that requires a lot less education despite my 8 1/2 years of school. I feel that I’m providing much more of a service to the world doing what I am, now.

(Oh, and if only we’d known all of the ills of trans fats and HFCS. I’ve found it so much easier to control my weight when I’ve seriously cut back those items, as well as processed foods. If I could only go back and tell myself to cook more and let loose experimenting in the kitchen…)

The hard part is what to tell the “five years from now” me. I’ve felt fairly stagnant the past year, and I hope not to have to use the same “hang in there, good things are yet to come” mantra I’ve been repeating over and over again. I’ve recently broken a few business barriers, so I hope to say… “2011 was a great year for the business, when we expanded from that tiny little thing to several corporate clients, but don’t slack off–remember the mental toughness you gained that year.”

Now, on to today’s prompt:

(wed 8 june) The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now. (Author: Mary Jaksch)

What am I most scared to do? There are a lot of things we’re all scared to do. For me, one of them is performing songs I’ve written in public. I used to do this every few months at a variety of events, with little fear. I used to readily perform for friends. But something happened over the past few years, and I am now fearful of solo public performance. I understand part of the reason (negative politics in a band where I played and sang a while back) but my response is so strong.

This past weekend, friends were over and asked me to perform (piano/vocal). I went ahead with it, despite recent allergy issues. I wasn’t at my best, by far, but I did it, and they were appreciative friends. Maybe this small performance took me a step in the right direction… I can only hope!

How far have you come in the past five years? I never would’ve expected to do what I’m doing now, and it’s wonderful! Share your story!

Hey, folks!

First, an update on me: I’ve had two physical therapy sessions post-hip surgery (surgery date: 28 Feb) and I’ve made incredible improvement! I’m doing one leg balancing, a bit of one-legged squatting, walking lunges–all sorts of stuff that I couldn’t dream of doing two weeks ago! I’m thrilled! (This will definitely help my weight loss goal!)

Today’s Trust30 writing prompt–if you’re unfamilar with the Trust30 writing challenge, check it out here–deals with personal beliefs. The prompt itself reads:

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it? (posted by Buster Benson)

A tough one for me! I think that as far as my beliefs go, there is at least one person close to me who shares my thoughts on everything. So, my response is a bit convoluted.

I am a biodiesel user–we own two diesel cars, and whenever we are near a biodiesel station, we fill up. Most people who use biodiesel do so because they really want to save the planet. For me, that’s a secondary reason… Many of the local (Seattle-area) biodiesel brewers use waste vegetable oil, and this really appeals to me: the idea of reusing someone else’s trash just makes sense. So I primarily use biodiesel because it’s a great use for what would otherwise be trash–I so appreciate this! (Not that I don’t care about the environment, but the logistics/reuse side really appeals to me, and I think this is what sets me aside from others…)
Come back tomorrow–I’ll have a great salad recipe!

Hi, everyone! It’s SUNNY!!! Hey, that’s great cause for celebration around here!!! (and cause for a ton of exclamation points, apparently.)

Today I’m talking about goals. Goals give me a reason to live. Otherwise, I’m just floatin’ around in the same-old, same-old day-to-day. One day doesn’t feel any different from the next. When I have a goal, I’m taking actual steps, making progress toward something BIG! 🙂 (Or something smaller. Whatever floats your boat. But, progress is good!)

Anyway, with another decade coming up in a few (about 3) years for me, I created a list of 40 “things” I want to have done by the time I’m 40.. just over 3 years from now. I’m going for more meaningful goals, things that will actually change me in a good way, not just “watch every John Cusack movie”.

And, I’m going to share them with you in four parts. Point being, you get to know me better, and–inspiration! Set your own goals and change your life!!!

In no particular order…

Goals 1-10
1. Create my own fundraising event I think it would not only make me feel good to donate to my charity of choice, but overseeing everything would grow my business skills.

2. Go three days (or more?) without laptop, phone, or TV Not too tough for me, as long as the weather’s OK and I can get outdoors enough. But I challenge many of you to do this! Go and actually read a book!!

3. Read at least 5 books on the “controversial and banned” list Speaking of books… I’ve been trying to read a handful of “outside the box” books to get me to think differently. I’m setting this goal (which I think is a pretty low bar) to read more controversial material.

4. Spend Christmas overseas Something we’ve been wanting to do for a few years, since Christmas in the US has little meaning for us. We’re thinking of hitting the Christmas markets in Germany.

5. Read Les Miserables in French I took a fair amount of French in college, and I still retain a decent amount of what I learned (I seem to be pretty good with languages). Almost 10 years ago, I bought a copy of Les Mis in French. I’m determined to read it (dictionary at my side).

6. Serve/volunteer at a soup kitchen Easy enough to do, but I’ve never done it. I feel that I need this experience.

7. Take an ethnic cooking class Of course, I cook all the time. But I cook my variation of ethnic dishes. I’d love to learn from someone native to the region. (I have a Groupon for an African cooking class in downtown Seattle that I’m going to use in the next few months.)

8. Be part of a flash mob (thinking of trying to create my own—Pilates?) OK, this one’s kind of superficial. But it just looks fun! I don’t know how I’d find out about other people’s mobs, but I might try to randomly create a Pilates class that other people could join, out in the park, over the two days of summer we have up here.

9. Make a loan A small contribution that can make a huge difference. I can’t believe I haven’t started researching this…

10. Successfully grow and eat a vegetable This is something I’ve (half-heartedly) tried and failed a number of times!!! This time, I will conquer you, Gardening. I’d love to not have to pay for some of my produce.

So, I’d say these are pretty reasonable mountains to climb in the next 3 years… I have 30 more that I’ll reveal over the coming weeks. For now… what are your goals?

At the risk of sounding like a weight-loss infomercial…

This was me in 1989:

very large Brooke in high school

Now, there were a bunch of ups and downs that got me here, but this was me, working with a client in early 2010:

thin Brooke with client

This was a story I documented in a guest post on Susan’s blog last year, but why not share it again here?

Growing up, I thought I was destined to be large forever. Almost all of my friends were thin. What I didn’t realize at that age was that they played more outside, while I stayed indoors and watched TV. Food was a reward for me. Even entering double-digit age, I had “baby fat” that I was going to “grow out of” at some point. I had a few close friends, but was largely unpopular at school (except for a few years, when I learned to overcome my shyness).

I was still large in junior high, high school… finally, not too long before my 16th birthday, something clicked. I don’t remember what my trigger was, but I knew I wanted to make a change. My grandmother was constantly being put on weight loss plans for her health, so we became weight loss buddies together. This worked great. Unfortunately in 1990, a 1000-1200 calorie/day diet was deemed “normal”, which set me up for disordered eating later.

At my highest weight, I was pushing 240 pounds (at 5’7″.) At my lowest, I was 120. I struggled to maintain that weight, but really wanted to, because I felt I “should”. I was hungry all the time. When I moved away to college, I had ups and downs with weight in a 15-pound range, which barely showed, but I really beat myself up over any gain. I didn’t spend much time in my apartment, because my eating habits had gotten so disordered and strange that I didn’t want my roommates to know.

And then, my last year of college, I got a place to myself. If you’ve ever been a victim of disordered eating, you know how relieving this is–you don’t have to hide from anyone, anymore. I could eat my 1/2 bagel breakfast, go for a few miles’ run, eat my two apples throughout the day, and come home and eat a baked potato with fat free cheese at 10pm. (Sometimes with black beans–I needed nutrition, after all.)

My body rebelled and put on weight after this in grad school, when I started truly eating again… and I couldn’t take it off. (Screwed up metabolism, anyone?) Again, I thought I was destined to be a large person–either that, or starve to death in order to be thin.

During one of my heavier times, I met my husband (we’ve been together over 12 years!) and he loved me for who I was then, not for being ~50 pounds overweight.

But since then, I started working out smarter. More strength training. More Pilates. Not wimpy weights, either–I work out hard. Building lots of lean tissue. I started actually getting a real metabolism, for the first time in my life!

And when I did so, only about 30 pounds overweight, I decided to start working as a fitness instructor and share my enthusiasm with others who share my struggle. It is such a joyful line of work, especially given my background.

I’ve continued to streamline my body over the years, and I’m at the point where I can eat the occasional treat without it affecting my weight! (I never thought I’d say that. Nor did I think I’d consider fruits or vegetables as treats!)

Just over a year ago, I suffered a setback, and I’m powering through and hoping for the best: I had surgery on my hip to fix an on-the-job injury, and needed a second surgery a few months ago to take care of things that weren’t entirely resolved. Unfortunately no one knows if my hip will make a full recovery. But, all we can do is make the best with what we have, and I have plans even if things don’t work out 100% for my body. I hope I can return to my “groupies” at the gym, one of these days…

So–there’s my story! (Thanks for reading all my blabbing.) I must say, I feel a trazillion more times comfortable in my body than I did as a kid. How has your self-perception of your body changed over the years?

So, “they” say that one of the ways to actually achieve your goals is to make them public, right? Well… here I go.

A few days ago, I was talking with a fellow fitness instructor friend, discussing our colleague T, who was diagnosed with breast cancer toward the end of last year. Several of T’s friends–and hopefully T–will be participating in the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk this fall.
pink ribbon

All of our friends have been asking for donations, but as a fitness instructor with a long-term injury (read: pretty much jobless), I’m unfortunately not in a position to give cash. How can I help????

Which made me set a new goal: by July, increase the readership of this blog, so I can have a blog bake sale big enough to donate a sizeable amount (at least $100!) in honor of T, my grandmother, and anyone else who has suffered/is suffering from breast cancer.

So, there’s my goal.

How you can help: Retweet this post, post it on facebook, encourage people to read and subscribe. I’ll do my best to provide interesting content (any ideas for what you want me to write about? comment below!), and stick with me at least ’til the summer–that’s when I plan to hold this big fundraising shindig. 🙂

Let’s go, let’s get this par-tay started!

Why do you want to lose weight? Think about it. Is it only because your doctor told you so? Is it because of a nagging spouse, “you were thinner when we met in high school”? Or a relative who wishes well, but finds just the wrong way to show their concern?

Let me tell you that weight loss won’t work unless you do it for you. You have to be the reason that you’re losing weight. You’re not doing it to make anyone else happy. They might be pleasantly surprised as a side-effect, but you need to be the primary reason for your weight loss, right? You are worth losing weight and taking care of yourself!

Since Day One, I’ve always realized that I am most important in the weight loss game. Even so, back then, my motivation was superficial: when I was a teenager losing weight, I was thrilled to be able to wear cute clothes, just like my friends did. So, I kept myself in mind while losing the weight, but with vanity as a higher priority (hey, I was a teenager!). Now, while I’m still the focus, it is for different reasons. I keep my weight in a healthy range because I have had a few knee surgeries, and I wouldn’t think of putting too much weight on that leg. Nor would I think of eating too much junk after a health scare early this year.

Whatever your motivation, make sure that you make your healthy changes with you as your top priority. What are you doing for your health today? (Me, just like most Tuesdays, I’m eating all vegan/no processed food.)

Have you ever had a day, an hour, a moment that you were having so much fun, you didn’t want it to end? Wouldn’t it be great to experience a lot of these moments? (Oh, and best yet, if we could get paid for them!)

I’ve been reading a lot of goal-setting blogs and books recently, including Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. Ferrazi’s focus is more on networking, but he writes a great chapter on goals and finding your mission in life.

You might be thinking by now—wait, isn’t this a health and wellness blog? But think about it: if we aren’t mentally fulfilled, it’s hard to get started on improving our physical health. I believe the body and mind together need to be healthy!

That said, how do we “find our dreams”? I’m still working on fine-tuning my own, and I’m afraid to say that you won’t read a book, wake up tomorrow morning, and find instant clarity. But here are some things to get you started:

First, try to let go of any expectations of what you “should” be doing. Several of my college classmates grew up in families of physicians, so it was expected that they would earn an M.D. as well—even if they were not interested in pursuing medicine. Yet, there they were, sitting next to me in organic chemistry class. Sometimes, even if you excel in a field, if you dread the work, maybe it’s not work you should pursue.

Now that you’ve cleared any expectations from your mind, sit in a quiet place with your favorite writing implement and a piece of paper. Write down anything that comes to mind that excites you, no matter how silly it may seem. Include in that list any activity (remember, we’re including the abstract and ridiculous) in which you’ve totally lost track of time.

After you’ve been writing for half an hour or so, look back over your list. Do you notice any themes? Any common threads? Hey, you’re hopefully closer to identifying your passion!

Now, go for it! Do you have any contacts or friends in that field that you can talk to, about how to get started? In the end, their advice might fine-tune your route slightly off your initial path, but you will undoubtedly learn a lot along the way. And whatever you do, it’s far better than sitting around with unrealized dreams! (Yes… even the silly ones.)

So, what are the dreams that you are pursuing? I’d love to hear about them!

Some days, it seems like life is a never-ending to-do list. And when you look at that list, it feels like we get farther and farther underwater. Worse yet, you’re trying to fine-tune your healthy choices, adding more exercise and fresh veggies into the mix. Doesn’t it just make you feel so far behind the curve?

Hang on! Before you drown in a pint of ice cream, I have a better exercise for the soul. Take out a piece of paper and a pen. Or pencil. Or crayon – whichever you prefer. Think back over the past six months, and write down all of your accomplishments. Come on… we all have them! I’m not just talking about health and nutrition-related accomplishments – anything that just makes ya feel good. You were the best salesperson in your department last quarter? Hey, awesome! You drank two of your big waterbottles every day last month? Rock on! Anything that makes you feel good about yourself, just write it down! Now, look back over your list and realize… hey, I have accomplished a lot of great stuff over the past several months!

This is a great tool for any of us when we’re feeling stuck in a rut, worthless, and gloomy. It just might provide you with the boost of positivity you need to get yourself going on the right path again!

Now, it’s your turn: if anyone wants to brag about their spectacular accomplishments below, here’s your space!

I'd love to connect with you! Find me on Facebook, follow me on twitter, or sign up for email updates below!

Join 19 other followers

Top Rated

Brooke is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to