You Can Get Fit!

Posts Tagged ‘risk-taking

Hey, Y’all!

So, I made it back before the end of the month. Aren’t you proud?

I’ve been slogging through recipes and, as I said before, I’ve been rather uninspired. But one that struck me (ouch! OK, maybe not that hard) last week was another one by the lovely Chocolate Covered Katie. She has healthified so many recipes and adapted them to a variety of special diets–vegan, gluten-free–but that’s not what matters to me. What I care about is that they still taste good, and that she uses real food, not something synthetic!

I won’t steal her thunder, but I’ll post a link to the recipe that I’m going to make again either today or tomorrow (time-pending). It’s a bean-based (yes, you read correctly) pie that really does taste like a cinnamon roll! The only thing that I’d consider remotely unhealthy is the presence of white sugar. Everything else…. I don’t hold back and let myself have dessert!

I make it in a square container (pi R squared…. ha, whatever) and I didn’t even feel the need to add any icing. She does provide an icing recipe if you’d like even more sweet goodness. Here’s the link:

Cinnamon Roll Pie

Try it!

Now, on to point 2, inspiration: I read a lot of books, several I like, but right now, I’m reading a book that I cannot put down. It’s the first book by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, called Pour Your Heart Into It. It tells the history of Schultz’ joining the company, leaving the company, rejoining, etc etc… but he also adds in his inspirational tidbits, phrases such as “what if I hadn’t made that second phone call to convince X that this was the right move? Imagine where the world and the company would be now. I”m so glad I took that risk.” and so on. (I’m totally paraphrasing, but you get the idea!) I think of these types of things all the time, but the way he and his co-author write… really inspire my entrepreneurial side! Great stuff, highly recommended.

So, now you have something to bake and a side of coffee to read this weekend! Get on it! 🙂

Hey, you guys!

When’s the last time you had FUN working out? Be honest, now……

Have you tried a gym class? (OK, I’m biased. I teach these gym classes, and most times I’m in front of a group, I truly am having fun leading the group!)

When I talk to people at the gym about the classes, one of the top reasons I hear for not trying a certain type of class is….. FEAR. Fear of not doing it right. Fear of feeling too tired. Fear of looking like a complete idiot.

Well, for one… there’s a reason I don’t teach Zumba! (I dance like a white girl. I got rhythm, but…… believe me, my hips don’t got the moves.) But–I’ve gone to a few Zumba classes! And I’m not afraid. Because people aren’t looking at you. People are focused on themselves, and they’re focused on having a good time! So, don’t think that all eyes will be turned in your direction!

OK, so now that your first fear is out of the way, what if you can’t do it? That’s why the instructor is there to help! Just come a few minutes early to class and talk to the instructor. Tell him or her that you’ve never been to this sort of class before, and ask how they can help! Ask how the more challenging moves can be modified, if necessary. Build a relationship with the instructor–we love this! Take breaks during the class if things get too rough, and there’s no harm in leaving early if you need to. Start with 30 minutes the first class, 35 minutes the next week, and within a few weeks–you’ve built up to making it through the entire class! Go, you!

Now for fear number three: what if you can’t do it? OK, y’all: look at any group fitness class. Is it full of perfect people, executing each move perfectly? 99% of the time… NO! So, unless you’re injuring yourself (and, hopefully your pre-class discussion with the instructor has eliminated this possibility) who cares if you look like you belong in So You Think You Can Dance? Just do your thang! Keep on moving–your calories don’t care if you have the choreography 100% perfect, they’ll still burn!

So hopefully I’ve inspired you to run, walk, ambulate in some fashion… to a new group exercise class. Try it out, bring a friend…

And if you’ve had a spectacularly fun experience, talk about it below!

Howdy!

I’m finally resurfacing from reading the virtual piles of Steve Jobs articles, here to see you all again. As a business owner, I very much admired his keen sense of really knowing his clients, and especially knowing what his market wanted before they themselves knew. He truly changed the consumer electronics game especially in the past 15 years.

I read an anecdote on a site in the past week, where an author described having visited a big box electronics store in 1999, when the iMac came out (you know, the ones that came in different colors). The author overheard a customer expressing her disappointment that the store was out of the tangerine-colored iMacs, since they would best go with her drapes. Now… that’s design innovation.

Enough of the business chatter–but before I move on, I’ve used these events as motivation to expand my corporate fitness clientele. One seems like it’s going to be a sure bet (though lots of paperwork on my end) while the other may take some convincing. But–stay outrageous, my friends, in this one precious life that we have. What one step are you going to take today to change your life?

(It can be simple… eating one more vegetable serving than normal, exercising when you didn’t feel like doing so… trying a new exercise class and maybe making it a part of your ongoing routine… calling up an old friend that you haven’t talked to in ages…)

Here are some ideas to get you started, including some healthy and not-so-healthy recipes: (hey, you gotta just have fun sometimes)

1. Healthy crockpot recipes at Skinny Crockpot

2. And now, for something less healthy: cookie dough recipes that are safe to be eaten raw.

3. Awwww! Totally cute.

4. Ohhh, so many fun indoor Halloween decorations! (You didn’t think I was done with Halloween last week, huh?)

5. Recipes for homemade condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, chipotle sauce)

OK–now, it’s time to go and do something outrageous with your life! What’s it gonna be?

OK… I’m getting toward the end of this writing challenge, and some of the prompts are feeling repetitive. I guess that’s good, since that means I’ve given thought to many of the deeper issues they’re probing? (Dealing with many health issues will do that to you.)

Here’s the prompt from yesterday:

(tuesday 14 june) Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow. (Author: Colin Wright)

I feel like I’ve already answered this before… I must say, throughout the past year recovering from my medical mishaps, I’ve truly discovered mortality. It’s funny, throughout childhood, college, and my 20’s, I always felt “not old enough”, as though I could while away the days without a worry in sight. Then, one day, something changed: I felt as though I was chasing time and had to make every minute count. There was no transition between the two phases. I’m not saying that I feel “old” by any means, just that I very much appreciate the life that I have.

And I’ve mentioned the “one thing” I want to do in a previous post, so I’ll leave it at that.

Now, for today:

(wed 15 june) When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?

Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future. (Author: Bridget Pilloud)

I’ve had several of these, actually, and these experiences are gratifying, exciting, terrifying, refreshing… this is why I seek them out. They are moments of true self-discovery, and ways in which we truly live.

One of my first “self-blossoming” moments (other than acting/musical performance in high school and college) was my first experience as a college professor. Ten years ago, I was a full-time, tenure track faculty member at a community college, in charge of all organic chemistry classes and labs–that’s a lot for a 27-year-old! I was flattered to be given all the responsibility, I was terrified to have the responsibility (as well as a group of students learning solely from me), yet at the same time I was excited to wield the chalk in my own hand and lead the class using my favorite teaching techniques. It was a job where, some days, I was just a few pages ahead of the students–but that was part of the thrill.

I try to be a thrill-seeker in life… moment by moment. It makes us feel alive. (I’d love to hear other people’s thrill-seeking moments!!!)

I write a LOT. My goal is brevity, today.

Anyway, here goes with today’s prompt:

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say? (Author: Eric Handler)

While I have several ideas, foremost in my mind is–go out there and be willing to take risks, and to be YOURSELF. Stand out from the pack every now and then (or more frequently, if that’s your style)… live life with no regrets.

How’s that for short’n’sweet (but a powerful thought)?

Go out and live life your way! I’ll have a tasty recipe for Recipe Friday tomorrow!

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 Kiva.com 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?

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!

I loved this quote from the January 2011 SELF magazine. I aim to live my life this way, and I hope that you all will, too. It’s overstated, but life is not a dress rehearsal…

Be Fearless
If you make only one resolution this year, let it be to live boldly. You control the moment: Rather than cautiously test the water, dive straight into life with freeing abandon. Imagine the person you want to be and the life you want to live, then simply commit to them. Believe in yourself. Embrace your beauty. Discover a new passion. And whatever you do, wherever you go, don’t be afraid to make a splash.

(in memory of Robert from college who passed shortly before Christmas, and Mark, a regular band sub, who passed last week)

We made it through the first week! How are your goals holding up? I’ve been doing great eating my 5-a-day!

Here are a few great posts I’ve found over the course of my surfing this week…

Benny The Irish Polyglot writes a great guest post at Location 180 about Sticking To New Year’s Resolutions. I especially love this: have something that you can feel proud of TODAY. Set a goal for yourself that you can accomplish soon! (What’s yours? I have a semi-secret business I’m working on… launching with a client before the end of the month!)

If you want to get started with yoga but don’t know how or where, More Than A Stretch offers a link with 10 free yoga videos for beginners.

Kate from Eat The Damn Cake talks about guilt.

A brilliant idea from Pride and Vegudice: if you use your blender or food processor to make homemade nut butter, don’tcha hate leaving the dregs behind that you can’t scrape out? Well… here’s a solution: add some yummy stuff and turn it into a shake! Waste no more!

May you have a happy, healthy beginning of 2011! Keep after those goals!

I’ve been stymied, recently, by “what do you want out of life” and “what are your goals in life” articles. That’s a big question, right? My first kneejerk response is easy: I want to nourish my body and exercise regularly, but that’s merely a means to an end. There’s a big picture in life—there are lots of fun things out there—and we have so many choices, sometimes it’s hard to choose when asked what we want to do. Heck, I still am not entirely sure what I want to be when I grow up.

So, it struck me earlier today to reframe the question, and it’s made it easier to decide on at least the smaller level. I have a hard time dealing with the status quo (why be like everyone else?) and feel constant need for change, so even if my tweak is a small one, I feel like it’s a step in the right direction.

My reframing is this: instead of “what do I want out of life”, ask “what would I change in my life” or “what am I dissatisfied with in my life”. And then, figure out how it could be changed. This could clearly work on so many levels:

  • If you’re dissatisfied with your weight, start exercising and/or improve your eating habits.
  • If you’re dissatisfied with the amount of sleep you get, try watching ½ hour less TV and put that time toward shut-eye instead.
  • If you’re dissatisfied with your bank account, cut back on little things (cook less meat at home, which has led me to discover great lentil recipes; don’t drink fancy coffees; use your library rather than buying books; you get the picture)
  • If you’re dissatisfied with your relationship with your significant other, ask yourself: when was the last time the two of you sat down and had a serious, non-confrontational chat?
  • And so on.

    No, it is not easy. But you’ll find it to be personally rewarding (and occasionally financially rewarding). I recently was feeling in a social slump (regular friends, I love you guys! don’t worry!) and joined a choral group in which I knew no one. Took a risk, went to that first rehearsal almost a month ago, and sang in two fantastic Christmas shows with them last night. I figured in the worst case, if I hated the first rehearsal, I only lost one night. But these ladies are fantastic, and I see myself developing long-term friendships.

    So, what does it hurt to take a small risk, or to create minor, temporary discomfort in your life to create BIG, REWARDING change??!?! I guarantee you’ll love the results.

    What kind of changes have you all made recently? Do it, do it!!!


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