You Can Get Fit!

Posts Tagged ‘success

Hey, Snowflakes!

(Or, maybe I shouldn’t call you snowflakes. I want snowflakes to go away. Ever since I moved here 8 years ago, I have learned that snow slows down life, and keeps me from doing what I want and need to do. Perhaps there’s a lesson for me, here… but I refuse to slow down.)

In the past 2 days, we’ve gotten probably 5 inches of snow at our house. So far… it’s been manageable… but I must say I’m looking forward to Wednesday, when it’s supposed to warm up enough that things will melt (since hardly any roads get plowed around here). I have to get back to my January goal of running 50 miles–the gym treadmill gets the job done, but it’s psychologically a lot harder!

Which brings me to today’s topic:

Did you make resolutions? And how are they holding up?

I think I mentioned earlier that I’m not a resolution fan, but I did set a goal for myself to run 50 miles during January. Note the specificity: I didn’t say that I want to be a better runner or that I want to run more, but I set a specific mileage goal.

And that’s what I’m here to tell you today. Specificity of goals helps you achieve your goals. Want to improve your diet? Rather than saying “I’ll eat more fruits and vegetables”, aim to eat 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Want to start working out more? Rather than telling yourself “I’m going to go to the gym more often”, make a goal to go to the gym 4 days a week. Get the picture? Whatever your goal is for lifestyle improvement, there’s a way to make it more specific.

Which, in turn, makes you ultimately more successful! Good stuff!

Keep up the great work!

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So… I’m not one for resolutions, for the same reasons as everyone else… (you go all-out for a few weeks, and then what? Strong and steady in the long run is what’s gonna win, right?)

I’m also not much of one for this “new year” business. It’s just a day on a calendar. (It’s a great excuse for a celebration, but aside from that… why save all of your do-gooding until the beginning of the year? I got back in town on December 27th at 12:30 am… and recommitted to my fitness plan on December 27th. That was my “new year”.) Every day, you wake up with a new opportunity to do something healthy for yourself!

That said, I’m taking a cue from Chris Brogan, an online business guru, and I’ve come up with my word to set the tone for the year. What’s one word (or, a few, if you can’t come up with just one) that you want to focus your life on this year?

My word, this year, is comeback. It didn’t hit me until this morning how dedicated I’ve been in my return to my former self, as though the past year and a half have been a mere bump in the road. (In the past 20 months, I’ve been through two major hip surgeries–the second to fix the first–and then got seriously ill last summer, and needed months of recovery and rehab to get through the effects of that.) Now, I’ve returned to teaching several group fitness classes per week, and I’m starting half marathon training again… in other words, I’m well on the road to the former me.

Along the way, I’m taking a lot of time to think about whether or not I want to continue along this same journey, or if I’ll modify it slightly–but the key focus is getting my body back in line again. And it’s doing fine, so far! (with a fair amount of effort! This doesn’t come for free!)

I really believe that having a long-term focus–even on the scale of a month, or several months–helps us plan what we’re going to do on a daily basis. And that helps us live healthier, happier lives! All good, eh?

So, what is your word for the year? How will you set your tone for the next several months?

Hey, gang!

Hope everything’s well! My theme of the day (week?) is gratefulness. My body has been through so much the past 18 months or so… including two major hip surgeries (the first one didn’t go so well). No one really knew how I was going to recover, but I was given the green light to do anything, as long as it didn’t hurt beyond the usual residual soreness.

Guess what–this former marathoner has been RUNNING for the past two weeks!

(OK, so right now, my definition of “run” is “walk 3 minutes, run 2 minutes, repeat to total 30 minutes”–and it’s really hard for me–but after so much time away from running, this is my way to build back up.)

I am so GRATEFUL that my body is able to do this! I had no idea if running was ever going to be an option again. I’m taking it slowly and not jumping ahead toward marathons yet–thinking of 5K’s in my future, in case my body isn’t up for distance–but I’m just happy to be moving the pavement under my feet.

Here are some interesting tidbits for this week!

1. Ah, how stalking has changed.

2. Oh boy. What our pets do while we’re away.

3. Fruit salsa with homemade cinnamon chips–great healthy recipe for a party (or…. to mosh the whole thing by yourself)! I’d love to try this with regular salty chips, too, since I love sweet/savory combos.

4. It’s getting to be that time of year–how about some homemade pumpkin butter?

5. Have you tried oven-roasted chickpeas? If not… you’re missing out. Cheap, easy, healthy snack! Here’s a recipe for an Indian-spiced variety of chickpeas.

Have a great rest of the week! I’d love to hear what all of you are grateful for! It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of our day-to-day lives–let’s think of things to be thankful of in the grand scheme of things!

You know what, friends?

Today is the day to make a healthier change in your life. It doesn’t matter your starting point, whether you’re a total couch potato or an IronPerson… we all have something we can do, right? Even if it’s increasing our water intake… not eating sweets after 9pm to avoid the slippery slope… taking that first step out the door toward the habit of a daily walking routine.

Too often, though, “today” becomes “tomorrow”. Which slips into the territory of “sometime”, or “when work is less busy”, or “when I’m not in crisis mode”.

For many of us, these words are veils for fear. Maybe you drink your daily coffee with a hefty dose of cream. You know you should cut back… uh… “tomorrow”. 🙂 But what so many of us are really saying is that you’re afraid of the change. It’s not so much that you’re afraid of the flavor of the coffee without the cream, but afraid of the idea of deprivation.

And so many of us feel that “cutting back” on our dietary luxuries involves deprivation.

Therein lies the key. Break the connection between making changes in your diet and the concept of deprivation, and that may help allay some of your fears. Oh, there are so many opportunities for healthy, flavorful food out there! In no way do you have to deprive yourself!

Rather than “cutting back”, you can approach your new eating habits as merely “making changes”. And since I have you here on the internet, might I suggest a few healthy food blogs to drool over start your healthy cooking adventures:

  • I love Chocolate Covered Katie’s healthy vegan desserts. Most of them, you’d never know they’re vegan!
  • Anne of Fannetastic Food is studying to be a registered dietitian, and has some great recipes of all sorts (though I’m really jealous of her weather right now, gotta say)
  • Great recipes and photography–as well as a tribute to oatmeal–at Kath Eats Real Food.

Many of the recipes in the above links are easy to put together, and they’re all healthy. Why not get started now? It just takes a single step…….

Let me know how you’re doing in the comments below!

(NB: this post was partially directed at myself… but replace “fears about healthy choices” with “fears about conquering new business project”. I need to reread this post on a daily basis!)

Hey, yo. My brain is running a mile a minute: can you help me catch it?

So I’m a former teacher, long-since been bitten by the “inspire our future leaders” bug. (And I’m still a Pilates instructor, and have mentored a few folks toward fitness career changes over the past year… some things just don’t change.)

But my morning podiatrist’s appointment inspired me further.

If you’re familiar with my story, you know about my childhood struggle with extreme obesity. Recently, I’ve been feeling the long-term effects: it’s been hypothesized that so much weight and so little activity as a child may have contributed to my abnormal hip joints (recently requiring two surgeries), to my abnormally-shaped foot bones and arches, and I learned today that the fat pads in the soles of my feet are leaner than normal… ya think that 80-100 extra pounds during development could’ve stunted the extra cushioning in the bottom of my feet?

No wonder my feet ache when walking around all day, even at a normal weight and in good shoes!

That aside, the media repeatedly tells us of the ills of childhood obesity (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc etc). But even if the child has great intentions and reverses their behavior, there could be long-term musculoskeletal effects.

And this is the message that I’d love to get out to the world.

But I don’t quite know how.

This little ol’ blog isn’t the proper forum. I’d love to talk to schools… and maybe I’ll start there.

So, I guess this is Goal #41 on my “40 by age 40” list… and in my opinion, it’s a pretty darn important one. You think?

Long time, no see! It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen you last–sorry! All of those writing prompts totally burned me out…

But I really want to share with you my progress over the past month! Remember a month ago, when I set that big goal to lose 10 pounds and tighten up overall? (I’d just finished 3 months on crutches after a major hip surgery, so I was feeling really out of shape…)

I took some follow-up pictures yesterday to compare with those I took a month ago. I can’t believe I’m posting swimsuit pics on the internet… scary… but here goes:

This was me on May 21, 2011:
me in may 2011

Compare that with me on June 24, 2011:
me in june '11

(Apologies for the wet, just-out-of-shower hair!!)

So, a little slimmer, maybe? I’m down the 3 pounds that I gained after the surgery–some days, the scale registers 4.

In any case, things are moving in the right direction! I’ll continue towards my goal of 10 pounds down total (meaning, 6-7 more pounds lost) and firming myself up in general by following the same plan:

  • Cardio daily, at least 30 min. I’m restricted in terms of what I can do, but as my strength builds, I can (and have been!!) increase intensity.
  • 3 upper body weight sessions per week
  • Daily Pilates, at least 30 min
  • I’ll add in some walking as it feels OK–it’s functional exercise!
  • Cut back on, but not eliminate, fats and simple carbs
  • 5+ servings fruits and veggies daily.

I’ll revisit this a month from now with more photos! It’s a great non-scale way to measure your progress (in addition to seeing how clothes fit and taking measurements).

How are you all doing with your health and nutrition plans?

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!!!)


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