You Can Get Fit!

Posts Tagged ‘weight loss

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?

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!

So, I’m setting a Big, Audacious Goal for myself. A year ago, I woulda thunk this was nothing. But things happen (and I’m not just talkin’ ’bout “hey, I felt like coming home from work and watching Jersey Shore and eating pork rinds for months on end” things…) that we can’t control, and we have to work around those things. In the end, those of us who do something to correct our deviation from the path are better people, no matter how far off-course we’ve gotten. It doesn’t matter where you start, you can always get stronger!

you can do it!

As for me–if you’re just joining the blog today, you probably aren’t aware of the ongoing hip saga. My “thing that happened”. Between a work injury (cartilage tear) and congenital problems (femoroacetabular impingement) I’ve ended up with two hip surgeries over a ten-month period. My last surgery was at the end of February, and I’ve just gotten back on my own two feet over the past week or so.

You can imagine that rehabbing from all of this is going to be a long road, but considering my fitness level going into it all (and between the two surgeries!), I know I’m strong enough to conquer this, physically and mentally. I am still a Pilates and fitness instructor (though considering the lingering pain after this last surgery, I had my moments of doubt that I’d ever get back at it, again!)

I went from “that girl who thought nothing of teaching 4 spin classes in a day” to “ten minutes on the elliptical”. But from here on out, every day is a new day. Each day presents opportunities to get fitter and stronger, assuming that I make the right choices (and believe me, I have the motivation to do so!).

Here’s my new mission: to lose 10 pounds healthfully. Meaning, it won’t happen by the end of this week, or even by the end of the month! But I’m feeling a little… fluffy after the layoffs here and there. The scale’s actually only up 3 pounds since the second surgery, but my clothes are definitely tighter. But–10 weeks of not being able to do any cardio??? (Now I can do it! So pleased!)

My safe’n’sane methods to help shed the grease and tone up:

  • Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. I’ve been doing that for a while!
  • Limit fatty foods and sugar. I don’t want to eliminate, because life would be no fun!
  • Pilates daily, at least 30 minutes. I am a Pilates evangelist and believe that I wouldn’t be able to move half as easily in my body otherwise.
  • Cardio per my PT protocol at least 6 days per week, and follow my PT strength exercises.
  • Upper body weights in the gym twice a week, with a third round at home.

There… I think I can handle that!

While I’d really love to lose the weight, my main goal is to get strong again and be back doing the activities I love. So–keep on reading and following along… and I’ll tell you how I’m doing!

Happy Sunday, friends! I hope all is well in your world. This week, Mr. You Can Get Fit and I will be celebrating ten years of marriage! He is still my very best friend. 🙂

This Sunday’s list is healthy-habit themed, as are the blogs the posts come from. I recommend perusing their other posts, as well! Anyway, here’s this week’s list of health-related posts:

Do you have trouble motivating yourself to exercise on a daily basis? Gabriela from Une Vie Saine addressed this very topic, and you can read all about it here on her blog. Useful comments from readers as well, and cute kitty picture!

Katy’s tips for a healthy lifestyle at A Healthy Shot of Life. A very realistic list!

Corey at the Runner’s Cookie, who is studying sports psychology, has written this post about self-talk, and how exchanging the negative for the positive can affect not only our outlook but also our performance. Great stuff!

The benefits of breakfast as well as some ideas for nutrient-dense, lower-calorie breakfasts from Tessa at Amazing Asset. She and I have a similar history: once we learned the calorie counts of our normal foods, we cut back (good), but then, we started cutting back too much. It took me almost ten years to find my healthy balance, again.

Blah–here in Seattle, we’ve barely had a few signs of spring, and it’s back in the 40’s and downpouring again. But we’ve had a few days (few being the operative word!!) of sun and 50’s, so I truly believe that spring is coming! Maybe! Maybe? (I know that those of you in Florida are probably hating me right now! 😉

Whatever your weather… make the best of it! See you soon!

Typically, I don’t post on Thursdays. But I saw this infographic today, and just had to share… more reasons to get our bodies moving!!

Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

I’m not talking about the alcoholic sort… (though those certainly add up, too!) I’m talking about the luscious, creamy, yummy…… “coffees” that we’ve grown to love.

Come on… we know they’re “coffee drinks” and not coffee… even I, a true-blue black coffee drinker, occasionally get a hankerin’ for something made with caramel, hazelnut, and white chocolate. (Yummmm. That sounds so… dessert-like!)

Are you drinking your calories?

Consider this

According to a Starbucks website, a 16 oz caramel frappuccino contains 440 calories and 18 grams of fat. Wow! How many of us have this as just part of our midday snack?

If you had one of these every workday, that’s almost 2500 extra calories per WEEK!

You don’t have to be spartan

I remember back in my early weight loss days, all the books that said how easy it was… just trade your usual (ooey, gooey, buttery, cheesy) dinner for a poached chicken breast and steamed broccoli. Oh–and you even get to season it with lemon juice! Seriously, did these writers not know their audience? How did we get so overweight in the first place? You can’t make that sharp a transition!

What I’m trying to say is that if you’re downgrading the coffee drink calories, don’t go cold-turkey. Maybe try getting a smaller one for a few weeks, or try getting half the number of syrup pumps, or one without whipped cream… you have many calorie-reducing possibilities! Then once that feels like second-nature, take another reduction step. After a while, you might find you’re quite pleased with a black coffee with a splash of nonfat milk, and maybe a pump of sugar-free syrup–easier on the budget, as well! (But once again, don’t force yourself there immediately if you’re getting triple-whip chocolate bliss.)

But, don’t take forever to downgrade.

So, you’re slowly making progress toward leaner, healthier coffee drinks (or… substitute anything for coffee drinks: appetizers or cocktails with your friends, dessert choices…) by making one change at a time as outlined above. Just don’t take too long at each plateau, or you’ll never see progress. Make goals for yourself: maybe you’ll be drinking only 3 fancy coffees per week, and those being nonfat lattes, in four months. (Not that you can’t drink coffee, but maybe the rest is just plain ol’ coffee!) Be proud of your accomplishments when you reach your goal… just don’t reward yourself with a trenta caramel brulee frappuccino. 😉

Do you guys like fancy coffee drinks? Do you try to make them healthier, or do you just go for it when you get them? Me, I’ve become so budget-conscious that I only drink fancy coffee drinks less than once a month, so I just get whatever I want as a treat!

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?

Hey, y’all! We’ve had so much wonderful sunshine here… sure hope the weather has been gracious to you!

So,, how have your workouts been going? Have you been doing the same-old, same old workouts, getting the same-old, same-old results? Zzzz. Yawn.

yawning kitty

Maybe I’m not the first person to tell you this, but your body and soul CRAVE change! (And not the kind you get from the vending machine.)

You’ve all heard the old saying about the definition of insanity, right? The insane person does the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Are you this person in the gym, seeing the same results?

I used to be this person. Running used to be my only form of cardio, with occasional stationary biking if my knees bothered me (but to be honest, I really didn’t like it). I lifted a weight or two because it was good for me. And I was getting nowhere.

But then, I started taking spinning classes at the gym. (Fun! New form of cardio to mix in!) And I started doing step again–am I the only one who started this in the early ’90’s, way back? I fell totally in love with Pilates and made it my life. I was having fun and getting leaner!

Bottom line: Explore your options, and find a variety of forms of exercise. (A gym class, outdoors, gardening, cleaning house–whatever gets you moving!) Attempt to find 2-3 forms of cardio and strength to cross-train your body throughout the week, rather than trudging through the same type of exercise. Even more ideally, the exercise is functional, mimicking our daily activities.

So there’s your task for the week–change up your activity! (I’ve been laid up post-hip-surgery for weeks, and I think I may have permission to add stationary biking to my upper body weight repertoire in the next few days! Hey, it’s an exciting change for me! Read this space for progress…)


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