Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rest that purdy lil head of yours

Ah, I don't know what it is about Thursdays, but I always seem to blog on Thursdays. I'm sitting here enjoying my rest day with a nice hot cup of coffee and some acoustic Seether in my ears. Life truly cannot be better. I decided yesterday to do some extra in my workout so that I could take an active rest day today. Perhaps my reasoning behind that decision is a little bit selfish, but we all need an active rest day or two per week. Just as important as it is to work muscle, it's important to rest. Yesterday I had two more flowers filled in on my half sleeve tattoo and I hate working out the day after I get tattooed. It always feels like my skin is going to split in half, yes, I guess I'm a baby. Yeah, I know tattoos are not for everyone. I love them, the color, the meaning, and just how I can express myself through art directly on my body instead of merely hanging on a wall in my house. It took me a little over a year to decide on the design for this half sleeve and last night I really got to see this thing start to come together with the completion of flowers 6 & 7. I only have the large chrysanthemum on the top left, the honey bee, and then background. It looks like it will be complete right around my 30th birthday.  It is made up of 8 medium-large flowers plus one honey bee on my upper right arm.

You can see the start of it on the right. I have since had 4 more flowers colored in. Flowers are as such: Chrysanthemum (for my dad's birth month) will be colored yellow/orange (for my mom's birthstone color), two asters colored in pinks for my daughter's birth month and favorite color, two poppies colored in blues for my son's birth month and favorite color, 3 hawthorne flowers in reds/oranges for my husbands birth month and because I think he looks best in the color red. Last, but certainly not least is my honey bee. That bee is the most special part of this to me, it's for my grandma Beatrice (photo of her and me on the left from a couple months before she passed). Everyone called her Bea, so I felt that was the perfect small addition to sit atop one of the asters because she had never met my daughter (or my son for that matter). Grandma and I were very close. I lived next door to her growing up and I went to her house every single day. Looking back, Grandma Bea was indeed the very best friend I ever had growing up. She was always there for me at every turn. She was such a fabulous old woman. She worked hard, cared for many, and truly had a heart of gold. My son would have loved her, I just know it. They both share a love of animals, oh yes, he would have gotten along with her perfectly. Every morning as I waited for the school bus, Grandma would come out and hand me a 5 stick pack of Doublemint or Juicy Fruit gum.

Tomorrow I am having a new washing machine delivered. Not overly excited about this. It's going to be a lot of work getting that sucker installed. Why you wonder? Because my washer and dryer sit underneath the countertop in my kitchen next to my stove. This morning I took out all of the screws holding the countertop down and just need Don to help me move it. It's too large/cumbersome for just me to mess with without fear of breaking it. Plus... we could not find a washing maching the same height as our old one. Ok, so we found one, but it was the same brand and my husband was adament about not buying the same thing again for fear of the next one going kaput. So... we did find one we liked, but it's 2" taller... so that means we will be raising the countertop up. I guess it's not so much work for me, but my dad. Which I admit I fully feel guilty for asking him for help. He LOVES doing stuff like this. But as my dad gets older, I start to feel guilty for asking for help. He'll be 63 in November of this year, so it's not like he's a frail old man, but that's not exactly the point I'm making. I suppose it's a hard realization for me to see that my dad is indeed not Superman. Growing up my dad was like a super hero to me. There was nothing MY dad could not do. My dad was the best dad in the world. Some of the things he and my mom did for me when I was younger make me really appreciate them as parents. However, as I get older, I relunctantly start to see that my dad (and my mom) are human, they aren't superheroes anymore. It has been a very hard road for me to accept that my mom and dad won't live forever like I thought as a kid.

Trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, for me, has a whole lot less to do with eating and exercise and whole lot more to do with learning that life is indeed about living and it sure is short. Eating right and exercise can help, but if you can't accept who and what you are, as well as who and what the people are around you, life becomes a very negative place. It has, and will continue to be a rough road accepting the challenges life hands, and the ones I have been previously handed. The only way to walk that road is to put one foot in front of the other and just keep moving, just keep moving. Can't look back now, nothing positive in pounding out the details of the past.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dance your blues away

So many people suffer from anxiety and depression. I know well how crippling mental illness can be. I suffered from depression and anxiety for the better part of a decade. I would go to doctor after doctor after doctor. Only to have pills and more pills shoved in my face. All those pills were supposed to make me feel better, but they never did. I never got better, and I kept on a path of a downward spiral into shame and agony. One day I told my husband I was done being in such pain (both physically and mentally). I picked out a design for a tattoo and went and got my first very visible tattoo, right on my forearm. I wanted to remind myself that life is what I make it, that only I can pick myself up out of this tornado of torment. I started trying to teach myself to eat healthy at that point, but it was rough, really rough. I didn't really "get" what eating healthy meant. It took me a long time (nearly 2 years after that point) to really understand that eating healthy was actually very simple. Clean, whole foods with a short shelf life were and are my best bet. If it comes in a box and has a million ingredients, I just don't eat it. It has been about 3 years since I got that first tattoo, and about 1 year after I started understanding what I needed to do to fuel my body.

I feel better than I ever have in my entire life. I'm going to be 30 years young in a couple months, and I feel better at nearly 30 than I did at 20. I can't possibly get all the vitamins/minerals I need from food itself, so yes, I do take a supplement called, Shakeology. I started drinking that I believe about 10-11 months ago. It's full of all kinds of goodies, and gives me so much energy, I just love it!

To rid myself of all the medications, I also started exercising. I used to be that girl who snubbed exercise. I just didn't see the point in it, I honestly did think it wasn't necessary to be healthy. Wow, I was so wrong. When I don't move my body and do at least a little something,  I feel tired, lethargic, and VERY grouchy. Exercise make me a better mom and wife. Days when my kids are up in my throat screaming at each other and I want to pull my hair out, I wait for my husband to get home, head to my bedroom, and pop this little gem in:

40 minutes later I can handle the world again, I feel fabulous, energized, spunky, and most importantly calm. Exercise produces endorphins that are similar to morphine; the "runner's high" is a great feeling. It helps give you such a positive outlook on life! Like you can do anything, run to the moon and back :) Don't like exercise? Then clean your house, put on some uplifting music and CLEAN! Better yet, dance and clean, or just dance. Grab a broomstick, one of your kid's stuffed animals, your kid, or significant other and just DANCE. Have a good time, exercise isn't about torturing yourself, it's about having a good time. Exercise is all around you, rake your yard, mow the lawn, plant some flowers, take your kids to the park, play in your own yard with your kids, just move!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kris Kross will make ya, JUMP JUMP

I'll make ya bump, bump wiggle and shake your rump! :) Today is time for going back in time a few years. Today's challenge is bound to make you feel like you are back on the playground and feeling like a schoolgirl/boy!

Before we can get on with today's challenge, you'll need to do 4 simple things:
  • Put on some comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely
  • Lace up your trainers/sneakers.
  • Grab a glass of water
  • Go to your child's room and grab one of these:

Yes, a jump rope! Jumping/skipping rope is a fabulous way to get some great cardio and really get your heart pumping. Jumping rope doesn't have to be boring, there are so many variations you can do. For today, just do something simple, whatever is comfortable for you. I challenge you to do 500 skips today and record how long it takes you. Keep this because you'll want to try and beat that time next time you challenge yourself to 500 skips! A little over a year ago when I first started my journey I could barely get 500 skips in 10 minutes! Now I'm well under 5 minutes when I hunker down and challenge myself to do this!

So go on, what are you waiting for? One of the cheapest, easiest to obtain pieces of cardio equipment is probably on the floor of your child's room. Go on, do it!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Parachute pants, cool. Parachute arms, not cool.

Ok ladies... (yeah, maybe men have this issue sometimes too, but I think more ladies than men!) Do you avoid tanktops or anything strapless? Is your upper arm still waving, but you actually stopped waving ten minutes ago?

We've all been there, but never fear, for I have a solution! It's true, you can't spot tone fat away. To get rid of fat, you MUST, simply MUST do cardio, get your blood pumping, a good sweat flowing, and most importantly your heart rate needs to be up. However, shedding fat is only the first part of the equation, you need to build up the muscle under that layer of fat as well. I have a routine here that I found in SHAPE magazine to help you get started (a guilty little pleasure of mine, love that magazine!) Try this workout. Don't be discouraged if you can't do the entire thing, take it slow, do what you can and work up! Also remember you can modify to your level, if you aren't sure, just ask and I'll help you! Tomorrow, a lil surprise challenge :)

Always remember, no matter how much exercise you do, you can eat right through it! You are what you eat, so watch portions, and work hard. You'll be seeing results in no time!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I can't lose weight alone

There are a million excuses as to why people can't lose weight or follow through with their goals. One of the biggest excuses is they can't do it alone. I say to you this, let me help you! I've got all kinds of ideas ranging from things for extreme beginners to people who are wanting something more extreme. You do not have to go through this journey alone, the biggest successes come from having support in the goals you are trying to accomplish.

Talk to me, I can help you write down attainable goals and I can help you with accountability to stick with those goals. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

You are what you eat!

Yesterday I challenged you to add in just 2-3 minutes worth of simple exercises each hour during your work day. Today, I am going to ask you to challenge yourself a little further. I fully believe that we are what we eat. Tonight, or even tomorrow, I'd like you to sit and think of what you are consuming on a daily basis, and pick one, just ONE thing to either eliminate or reduce for just one full week. There is no need to do everything at once, baby steps people! Your body was not built in a day, you will not change every bad habit in one day either. Here are some examples:

  • Soda, diet or regular. Can you cut it out entirely for one full week? Or if that is too much in one go, if you drink 3 per day, cut it down and only allow yourself one 12oz serving per day (a 20oz bottle is more than one serving!) If you like fizz, try sparkling water with lemon or lime added.
  • Sweets such as cookies. Do you find yourself endulging in a sweet after dinner every night? See if you can cut that out. In place of a cookie try making yourself some sugar free jello for after supper. Or even better, eat a banana, some peach slices (not that heavy syrup stuff from the can, REAL peaches), grapes, apple slices, etc.
  • Beer, wine, alcohol. Cut it out entirely and save it for one glass of pure heaven on Friday or Saturday night. Or if you can't do that, cut back to just one small serving per day.
  • Coffee additives. Maybe you put 3 tablespoons of cream in each cup of coffee. Try cutting your sugar/cream in half. Chances are you might not even notice!
These are just a couple of examples of things you can reduce or try to eliminate for just one week. You  might be surprised at how great you feel after one week!

They like me, they really really like me!