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This is how I used to feel after holidays -- full to the point of buttons busting loose.

It’s coming. Only nine days away. It’s like that black storm cloud you see in the distance and you’re excited because storms can be really fun to watch, but it’s also a little scary—What if the power goes out? What if trees blow over? What if there’s so much rain that the streets flood?

Thanksgiving can be sort of like a storm—yeah, it’s cool that you get friends, family, and food all at once, but it’s scary… You want to try everything because how often do you have some of those things? And you don’t want to offend anyone, right? But at the same time, you can easily overeat to the point of feeling sick and then continue the trend of overeating due to leftovers. And then it continues after that because now you’re so used to stuffing yourself that you need to continue, right?

NO!

This is where the real reason for this holiday needs to become THE highlight. It’s called “Thanksgiving” because you’re supposed to give thanks for what you have and what you can do. Focus on being thankful for the fact that you have food on the table, but enjoy only enough to satisfy your hunger, not throw yourself into a coma. Focus on being around friends and family and catching up; not the four different desserts that are on the table. You can always make a pecan pie if you really want to, it doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving, but how often do you get your cousins, your sister from out of town, and your grandma all under one roof these days? Focus on the fact that your body helps you walk, lift things, run, take a bike class, go up and down the stairs, do pushups, and do everything else physical that you are able to do. Focus on respecting your body—overfeeding it is not healthy. You should be focusing on fueling yourself, not gorging yourself.

I’ve had problems with Thanksgiving and Christmas in the past. I was—and still battle with being—an emotional eater. I remember dreading, really, truly dreading Thanksgiving and Christmas solely because of the amount of food that would be present. I had a terrible case of bulimia, which caused me to eat and eat and eat until I felt sick, and then I would get rid of it,
usually through trying to exercise as many hours a day as I could without making it too obvious as to what I was trying to do.

Thankfully (see! thankful!) I’m in recovery and the holidays aren’t as hard. Why? Because I’ve trained myself to do a few things that I have found to help me relax a little. Let me share with you what I do.


Kelsey’s Holiday Eating Tricks

  1. I eat really well and exercise hard each day for a week or two leading up to a holiday. This way, my body is used to eating cleaner, whole foods, and my body feels strong and toned. When it comes to the holiday, I’m more tempted to eat well because I’ve done so well for one to two weeks and my body is used to eating well so it craves the good stuff and fills
    up a lot faster (and feels like crap) when I eat the not-so-good-for-me stuff.
  2. I work out hard the morning of a holiday. Always. I do a combo of weights and cardio because it really makes me work hard and feel strong. I’m always more mindful of the damage I do with food afterward, too. If I’m going to work out that hard, why fill up on junk food?
  3. I try to stick to homemade foods only. As in, if someone brings cookies they bought from the store, I pass on them. I’d rather splurge on a homemade piece of pie that I rarely get to eat as opposed to filling up on foods I can buy any day. Plus the homemade stuff tastes so much better!
  4. I try to fill my plate up first with the healthier options: sweet potatoes, turkey, salad, green beans, and corn. If I’m still hungry, then I’ll go back for items that are a little richer or heavier (and not as good for me). This way, I can’t eat as much. Most of the time, though, that healthier stuff is so good that I eat a lot of that and then have to force myself to save room for a little dessert!
  5. I try to stay away from alcohol, or I just have one drink. And I try to make it something I rarely have—like a specialty drink my dad or sister will make. Depends on your preferences, of course, but I would rather fill my belly with good food than beer or liquor. Plus, the drunker you get, the more you eat, and the sicker and more bloated you feel the next day. Gross.
  6. Bring something healthy or if you’re the host, ask people to bring at least one healthier dish, like a big fruit salad or veggie platter with salsa or hummus.
  7. Be mindful of how many sauces and dips you’re digging into. The cheese spreads, bean dips, cranberry sauces, and gravy boats add on A TON of calories without you really realizing it.
  8. I eat a good breakfast full of fruits and whole grains and good-for-me fats. I’ll usually start with a big cup of coffee, at least two pieces of fruit, and then maybe a piece of peanut butter toast to fill me up.
  9. I go into the food frenzy with the mindset that I’m not going to eat everything I see, but I’m not going to call anything off-limits. If something looks good, I’ll have a bite. Don’t scoop a huge heap of something you’re not sure about on your plate without having a small taste first. And the moment you start saying, “I’m going to have pie,” is the moment
    your brain has decided it’s going to trick you and make you OD on it. So just tell yourself to try things that look and sound good, but to go slow.
  10. I end the evening with a cup of green tea (no sugar) and a walk. It helps me digest.

 

One of my favorite fitness women, Cathe Friedrich, dishes on a few superfoods for the upcoming feast of the bird (and yes, cranberry sauce is on there, but she does admit that it’s high in sugar and calories) and also which pies are your best bet and why—can you guess which ones are the worst for you? It’s not a fun answer, but I’m sure if you’re honest with yourself, you know them.

So… What goals are you setting for yourself for the day of food? What are you thankful for? What are your tips and tricks for getting through holidays that revolve so much around food?

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Me and Lawrence! (Please disregard my tired eyes and lack of makeup.)

I attended my first big fitness conference this past weekend. For those of you counting, yes, that makes three fitness-related events in the past three weekends. And I LOVE it! Friday
morning I woke up at 3:55am and left Grand Haven with my mentor Marcia and our fellow fitness friend Becky for Chicago. Well, Rosemont, Illinois, actually. Rosemont was the host
site for SCW’s Midwest Mania, which is a three-day event held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It was a huge hotel with two levels of conference rooms and ballrooms, where the bigger workout classes were held.

I was immediately overwhelmed, but excited when I walked in and stood in line for registration. After I checked in, I was given a lanyard with my class and room schedule on it. Before the
conference started, I had to register online and pick my classes according to the MM catalog I got in the mail. There were a least a dozen classes held during each hour-and-a-half block during the day, putting us in class from 7:30am to 5:30pm. On Friday, Becky and I both had BODYVIVE at 7:30am. It was all right; I definitely like BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT better, mostly because this was a little dance-y and a little too low-intensity for my liking. I didn’t mind it, but I wouldn’t necessarily choose it as my next Les Mills certification.

My second class was High Performance Swiss Ball Training, which, I’m going to say right up front, was disappointing. When you see/hear “high performance,” you think “high intensity” and “hardcore.” This was not. Looking back, I’m glad it wasn’t and I did learn some great new core stability moves, however, the lecture itself and how we had to work with a partner was not my favorite. The Swiss Ball is basically a stability ball—one of those big inflatable round balls. The lecture was very technical, people asked a lot of questions, I couldn’t follow everything as well as I would have liked, the guy rambled a bit, and then when we got into partner work, I wasn’t a big fan of my partner. Like I said, though, I enjoyed the moves—they
definitely worked my balance and core to the extreme. The moves are nice to have in my fitness arsenal, that’s for sure.

Third class of the day was Per4mance. It’s an intermediate to advanced level class tailored a little more (in my opinion) toward athletes because the exercises are more focused on speed,
endurance, change of direction, and plyometrics. The only equipment necessary was a set of eight orange cones and medicine balls. This high-intensity class was all about running around the cones, making figure-8s, changing direction at the cones, jumping over the cones, running backward or with high knees, shuffling, tabatas, and suicides. It was definitely a challenge, but one that made me feel like I was back training for soccer again! The medicine ball work at the end was a challenge, too; we had a partner (this time she was awesome because it was my fellow Powerhouse instructor Melanie) and we had to lunge and throw it to one another, do twisting ab-pass moves with it, bounce it, and lots of other moves that involved upper body and core strength. I enjoyed it and left sweaty.

After lunch (and a quick shirt change), Marcia and I headed to the famous Keli Roberts’ BOSU HIIT class. I was first introduced to Keli in an old Kathy Smith kickboxing VHS. I liked her moves then (and found out this weekend that she choreographed that workout) so I was pumped to try her BOSU workout. I’d never done an entire workout on the BOSU. But it. Was. AWESOME. Marcia and I had such a great time and man, was it tough. With a BOSU ball and a small 4lb. weighted ball, we got an amazing workout. We jumped, squatted, lunged, and push-up’ed our way through an hour, working ourselves into sweaty messes. It left me with some amazing choreography, a renowned love for Keli, a desire to buy a ton of BOSUs and start a class with them, and really sore quads and hammies.

My fifth class was one I had been looking forward to for weeks: BODYCOMBAT. One hour of intense kicking, punching, and jumping to some awesome music. I was really tired and my muscles were screaming by this point, but I completed the workout proudly and with a smile in the front row. The instructors were cute so that definitely helped push me to work harder, but I have to admit, it was a hardcore workout. It’s definitely something I want to look into getting certified in, that’s for sure.

I had to break for a shower after that. I’m pretty sure I could smell myself at that point. Four of the five of us ladies got ready and headed down to our last class—the Yo-Chi-Glow
masterclass—together at 6:30pm. This is when I officially met the much-talked-about Lawrence Biscontini. Marcia has been raving about him ever since I met her because he’s this great mind-body yoga-T’ai Chi instructor (in addition to many other workouts). I needed that hour of yoga and T’ai Chi to let my body relax and begin to stretch out. Lawrence greeted us as we entered, smiling and happy, as he handed us a green glow bracelet to put on our left wrists (to signify “heart”) and a purple one to put on our right wrists (to signify “wisdom”). Hey, I love glow-in-the-dark bracelets so I already liked the man! He was so much more, though. He, of course, knew Marcia and it was fun to see him interact with people. He was a wonderfully kind man and his combination of yoga and T’ai Chi was lovely. It was very relaxing and tested my balance as well as my ability to slow down and move with my breath. If you’ve
never tried T’ai Chi or Yo-Chi, I suggest you try it if possible. It’s extremely relaxing. Lawrence went above and beyond and for the last 15 minutes he turned off the lights so only our wrists glowed as well as the candles on the stage. It was really cool to see everyone’s hands moving slowly and glowing. I finally started to understand Marcia’s love for harnessing and releasing her Chi.

A long-awaited big buffet dinner followed the class and it was much needed. I hadn’t eaten a real meal all day because it’s so hard to digest something more than some pretzels or fruit when you’re doing a bunch of high intensity workouts. We (all five of us, that is) went to bed around 9:30pm, with me on the floor, trying to rest our worked-out muscles.

Saturday morning I started with a cup of coffee and Lawrence lecture “Cream Rises.” It was all based on his book with the same name and it was just what I needed. It’s focus is teaching—how to be a better teacher in the fitness industry. I soaked up as much as I could like a sponge and beelined to buy his book as soon as class was out. Lawrence, being the wonderful man he is, signed my book and took a picture with me. I have a feeling we’ll be in touch…

Marcia, Becky, and I attended one more class before we agreed that we would leave and it was a good one—Corebar. Trade marked overseas, this lat-pull-down-looking bar is weighted (in 2, 4, or 6 pounds) and was designed to fit nicely behind your back and easily held in your hands. For the next 45-50 minutes we jumped, punched, twisted, squatted, lunged, and did core stability exercises holding the bar. It was dripping by the end because the core moves were not easy. The music was pretty good—it fit most of the moves well—and the two women instructors were pretty BA. Although I did raise my eyebrows at the fact that they were wearing Puma tanks and pants and Nike shoes. Contradiction? Yes. Oh well. They were foreign. If that can somehow neutralize the mistake. It was a great class to end the weekend with.

A quick shower and haphazard packing job later, we were on the road back to Michigan. Looking back, I’m glad we left a bit early. I’m not sure my body could have handled another three or four workout classes. And the crowd was getting to me—lots of pink, lots of makeup, lots of bling-bling, lots of tight clothing. It just wasn’t me. And the vendors were nothing special. Sure, there were things on sale, but nothing amazing. I did buy some new gear, though, which was nice. What I tried workout-wise helped to give me a better idea of what I can do, where I want to get to physically, what I like, what I don’t, what I need to start doing and using, and where I could possibly go class-wise and workout-future-wise. This past weekend, just like the BODYPUMP training the week before and the Turbo Kick certification two weeks ago, reminded me how much I love working out, love teaching, and love the world that is fitness.  It all makes me smile because even though my body aches every time I go from sitting to standing and my back needs some major TCL, I would do it again next weekend. And I can’t wait to teach tomorrow. And I can’t wait to start teaching more. And get certified in more specializations.

In conclusion, this weekend was great. Will I do it again next year? It depends on what will be there, who’s going, and how much it costs, because it’s not cheap or super close in location. Am I glad I did it this year? Absolutely. It was exactly what I needed. In conclusion, I am happy with where things are going for me and my fitness career, and this past weekend was just another stepping stone for me.

BODYPUMP 79 Training Recap

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

My awesome group - BODYPUMP 79

Ever wonder what fitness instructors really have to do to be able to teach certain classes? It’s not all peaches ‘n cream and fun stuff—it’s a ton of real, nitty-gritty, note-taking hard work.

This past weekend I attended a Les Mills BODYPUMP certification course. It was three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) for a total of 25 hours. Yes, that’s right—25 hours of BODYPUMP. There were 10 of us, not including our instructor, and I only knew one person (my mentor and fellow instructor, Marcia). (Let me continue the parenthesis for a second—Marcia is awesome. She’s 60, teaches 22 classes a week, is a vegan, and is just straight-up amazing. And ripped.)

Let’s back up a second. What is BODYPUMP? It’s a one-hour weight lifting class. The format is the same, as in, the tracks are always in the same order: Warm Up, Squats, Chest, Back, Triceps, Biceps, Lunges, Shoulders, Abs, Cool Down. Ten tracks, each 4:30-5:30 minutes long. You use a barbell and load your own weights between tracks. The thing that makes BODYPUMP different is that you’re lifting weights in a very controlled way. The counts aren’t all singles (up, down, up, down); sometimes you move slowly for four counts, sometimes three, sometimes two, sometimes one, and sometimes a mix of those. You do singles and bottom-halves, overhand and underhand grips, close and wide stances. There is a ton of variety in one hour and seriously, if goes so fast. And the music rocks!

Friday started right away with each of us signing up for a song right away. I chose Lunges. That was a bad choice. No matter if you have a barbell on your shoulders or not, five minutes of lunges hurts. And it hurts even more when you do have a barbell on your shoulders and you’re 7 songs into the workout. Goo. After that, our instructor Barb told us what the weekend looked like and then she led us in a BODYPUMP class. I fell in love with the music instantly and knew this was going to be a good mix from the start.

That afternoon we started to break down the Les Mills’ coaching principles and practiced the moves as well as our chosen tracks. Nine hours after we arrived, Day 1 was over. As I drove back to my parents’ place to practice my track and eat some leftovers that my Mom saved for me (thanks, Mom!), I reflected on the day. I had been terrified all day. I was the youngest, but I was not the least experienced, which was nice for a change. There were some surprises: there were actually three men in the group (Erik, Jason, and Rob—we women are so glad you were there!); some of the others there taught other Les Mills classes; a few people drove over 3 hours to be there; BODYPUMP has colors: red and black; and everyone was ridiculously friendly and there wasn’t rivalry or anything crazy between people(I had a few nerves about that).

I barely slept that night thanks to nerves… and an uncomfy bed, but oh well there. But seriously, I kept thinking choreography and singing and counting beats until I fell asleep. Welcome to being a fitness instructor.

Day 2 started with a little time to practice and then presentations. So basically, we took another BODYPUMP class, only this time we each presented/led our chosen song in front of everyone and were graded on it. My legs shook as I presented, partly due to nerves and partly due to fatigue. My right knee was really tired and I kept feeling jolts
of pain along the sides, but I did it and did it pretty well. After presentations were over, we went through everybody’s evaluations, took notes, and watched snip-its of our performances (yep, Barb took video of each of us). After some more honing and toning of our skills, both form and coaching-wise, we had our challenge.

I had heard of this infamous challenge from Marcia. She raved about the last activity of the weekend—this challenge. It’s an all-out, hardcore physical, balls-to-wall challenge. She said it was a blast, but tiring. All I kept thinking was, “Wait… I have to do this challenge and then present again this afternoon!? How the heck am I going to do that!?” But I dropped the fear and went all-out. After an easy-paced one-mile run outside (which, of course, it was 80 degrees and sunny the entire weekend), we went back inside and were paired up. Patti and I were partnered up together (shout out! She’s a Step teaching chica who rocked some pretty awesome pig-tail buns), which ended up being perfect as we lifted the same weight as each other.

There were five stations, each consisting of two exercises. We had to complete the outlined number of reps per exercise and do as many rounds as we could until it was time to switch. And oh yeah, we had to lift as heavy as we could. The exercises included: chest presses, weighted dips, jumping lunges, weighted lunges, weighted squats, weighted sit-ups, shoulder presses, clean & presses, bicep curls, and upright rows. It was tough, but so, so much fun. Do you know how strong you feel after you lift heavy for 25 straight minutes? It’s amazing. I forgot about my legs shaking in the morning and the fact that I had to present again in a few hours. I just lifted and sweat and help coach my partner.

We were rewarded with a long lunch, which I spent lying in the sun on the concrete steps overlooking the river. When we returned to class, we practiced layering in verbal coaching cues in addition to our instructional/choreography cues. It was tough because there’s a lot going on: moves changing, counting, paying attention to the beat and lyrics, watching your class, coaching, and motivating. Before we left nine hours later, we presented a second time and were given a new song/track to memorize to present the next day. I got the Chest track. Oh…And no, I didn’t shake as badly when I presented Lunges the second time 🙂

The third and last day arrived after another poor night of sleep. I was physically and mentally fatiguing, but I couldn’t help be excited to see my new friends and knock the last day out of
the park. I was once again nervous, but presented pretty well. It was nice to go closer to the beginning, too. After we all taught our tracks, we did the same thing as the day before—gathered in a circle around the TV (campfire time!) and got feedback. We moved on to practicing each move individually so we could really nail the posture, positioning, and form. We continued to practice and sum up the two and a half days prior before one last final presentation. It was exciting and a bit emotional as we all took to the front of the room and cheered each other on as we taught our tracks. We really had become like a family of sorts.

As we packed up, we got our grades for the weekend (there were three possible) and some overall feedback from Barb. Since I had one of the shortest drives home, I was one of the last to go. So… what does one do after 24 hours of BODYPUMP in three days? BODYCOMBAT! One of the guys, Rob, was an instructor of this kickboxing/karate/muy thai program and I had been wanting to try it for some time now. We all know how much I really, truly LOVE kickboxing, so when he offered to teach me a song or two, I jumped at the chance. Four or five songs later, we had kicked, punched, and jumped ourselves into a sweat. My muscles were tired, I felt my abs, and I smiled broadly as I pelted Rob with high-fives and thank-yous. Holy cow, what a great way to end a weekend.

I ended up passing the class, which means I know have 90 days to videotape myself teaching BODYPUMP 79 and send it in for evaluation before I can become officially certified. A lot of hoops to jump through, but ya know what? The weekend was awesome and totally worth it. Not only did I make good friends, I learned more about my physical and mental self, learned a ton about how to be a better fitness instructor, and realized that yes, yes, YES, this is what I want to do with my life—introduce people the wonderful awesomeness of fitness. Because I love it. I really do.

Motivation Monday

Posted: October 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Now playing at my gym: BODYPUMP 79

I just had my BODYPUMP certification class this weekend and I came to a conclusion on this Motivation Monday: Take a BODYPUMP class.

Yep, I’m promoting Les Mills. Do it. Take a class. I may be sore and tired, but all I can think about is teaching at 5:30pm today. Not only will you sweat and feel strong after it’s all done, but the music rocks, we instructors know how to make it fun, and you get to weight lift with a group of cool people.

Too nervous about an hour of weight lifting? Try another class. But do it. Actually take a class. Talk to people at the gym or your friends who go to other gyms and see what workout and which instructor people are talking about. Pay for a day pass and go. Let go of your fears and step out of your comfort zone. Only then will you start to see results as you realize what you can do and what you do really like.

Classes I recommend besides BODYPUMP: Spinning, Kickboxing, Zumba, Pilates, and BODYCOMBAT.

 

What’s your favorite fitness class right now? What makes an instructor one who makes you come back to class?

Motivation Monday

Posted: September 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

I loves me some superheroes!

Hey-o! How was your Fall weekend? Was it chilly and full of apples!? Seriously, I just loves me some apples. I have some WHOA fun facts and crazy awesome people to bring you some motivation for your week. Time to hit you with some knowledge!

What the!? Yen Nguyen left war-torn Vietnam in 1975 and started running to get in shape in 1996. She now averages two marathons or ultras a month and just hit her 400th
marathon-or-longer race
in September 4. “Running was not a choice until I came to America. During the war, we were constantly in fear. This sport has taught me what
freedom really means.”

Holy wow! Amy McDonaugh, 34, has been legally blind (she has partial vision in one eye) since age 22, and won the May 2011 Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati with a time of 2:58.
Which workouts burn the most… during and after?
Spinning
(45-min. class)—519 calories burned during; 190 after-burn affect
Interval running (60 min.: 20 one-min. sprints, two-min. rest between each)—515 calories burned during; 75 after-burn affect
Steady running (30 min., 70% effort)—485 calories burned during; 35 after-burn affect
Walking (40 min.)—369 calories burned during; 49 after-burn affect
Strength training (50 min., two-min. rest between sets)—161 calories burned during; 14 after-burn affect
Circuit training (19 min., 30-sec. rest between sets)—109 calories burned during; 25 after-burn affect

 

The Anytime Fitness Co-founders’/Editors’ Note from this Month’s Get Active! Magazine
“The fitness industry is too obsessed with ripped biceps and toned abs. While everyone wants to look better on the outside, what happens on the inside when you exercise regularly? Let us try to describe the feeling.

“Think back to some of the big projects you’ve completed in your life: re-painting a room in your home, creating a garden, completing a lengthy report for high school or college, or finishing an important project at work. Or consider smaller tasks, like mowing your lawn, organizing your garage, or helping your son or daughter finish a school science project. Each of these tasks took serious effort, but you were gratified by a sense of accomplishment and pride when it was over. When we finish something—even something as routine as mowing the lawn—seeing the completed task makes us feel better about ourselves because we earned it.

“This is the same feeling you get after every single workout. It’s like taking a syringe of energy and self-confidence and injecting it into your body three to four times per week. It’s this
internal reward—the regular dose of accomplishment and pride—that turns regular people into fitness addicts. And when we feel better about ourselves, we make better decisions, have healthier relationships, and become more productive or proficient at work and play.

“It’s perfectly acceptable to use personal vanity as motivation, but looking better in the mirror is just a positive side effect.

“It’s the calories of the soul that will change your life.

In Good Health,
Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen, Co-founders”

 

*Did you know that…
…Exercise focuses the brain…
…Exercising while learning boosts test scores…
…Aerobic exercise can increase brain size…
…Exercise keeps the aging brain sharp…
…Work our in the morning for a better night’s sleep…
…Exercising after meals helps control blood sugar…
…Yoga can settle dangerous irregular heartbeats…
…Exercise elevates your mood and can help relieve symptoms of depression…
…The chemical reaction that you get from smoking weed can also result from eating high-fat treats like ice cream and potato chips by activating endocannabinoids, the same chemicals in the brain that are triggered by ingesting marijuana…
…70 is the average number of side effects listed on RX drug labels. Antivirals and antidepressants have the most; drugs for the skin or eyes have the fewest…
…Water is a waist slimmer, endurance enhancer, headache stopper, and kidney saver…
…Patients who took up a 10-week running program reported a drop of about 40% in the quantity and intensity of migraines…
…33% of restaurant workers who reported not separating common allergens (such as eggs, wheat, milk, and nuts) from other foods…
…Peppermint may numb nerve endings in the gut and decrease pain for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)…
…The average number of extra calories women eat after only four hours of sleep per night compared to eight per night is 329…
…The best dogs to have as running buddies are muscular dogs with lean frames are built to go the distance. Think border collies, Irish setters, standard poodles, and Weimaraners…
…80% of cardiac woes are preventable…
…You can safeguard your heart with these tips: have more sex, drink wine with dinner, skip the salt, snag enough sleep, get a move on, calm your mind, and floss every day…
…Even one little cigarette may be enough to narrow blood vessels and cut off blood flow to the heart…
…There’s no proof that antioxidant supplements offer any heart benefits, according the American Heart Association (AHA)…
…There ARE all-you-can-eat snacks out there: air-popped popcorn, raw veggies, steamed artichoke, and fresh berries…
…A study found that those who kept a daily food logs lost twice as much as those who didn’t…
…To beat bloat avoid excess salt, limit foods like broccoli and beans, and add lemon to your water (it acts as a natural diuretic)…
…Ginger is an alternative Rx for motion sickness, fruit juice is an alternative Rx for a hangover, a hard-boiled egg is an alternative Rx for a headache, and parsley is an alternative Rx for stinky breath…

 

What’s your main goal for this week and how are you motivating yourself to achieve it? For me, it’s learning all of the choreographed moves for BODYPUMP by this coming Saturday and I’m doing that by practicing EVERY DAY!

Motivation Monday

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Take it. Grab it by the hand and run with it. Don't look back.

 

I had a weekend full of thoughts. Not just your typical everyday, simple thoughts. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want in life (my friend calls it our quarter-life crisis) and since I’m such a wordsy girl, I turned to quotes for guidance and comfort. Lots of quotes. They get through to me in a way that people can’t. So in honor of my thoughtful, wordsy weekend, here are a bunch of quotes that are both life- and fitness-relevant. I hope they inspire  you to take charge of your life, whether it is your physical, mental, or emotional side.

“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” -Arnold H. Glasow

“If you can’t you must. If you must, you can.” -Tony Robbins

“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” -Ayn Rand

“Ninety nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.” -George Washington Carver

“You will become as small as your controlling desire: As great as your dominant aspiration.” -James Allen

“Running and science draw on similar traits—stamina, ambition, patience, and the ability to overcome limits.” -Wolfgang Ketterle, Nobel Laureate and MIT Professor

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” -Lance
Armstrong

“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” -Bruce Lee

“Just go out there and do what you have to do.” -Martina Navratilova

“Other people can stop you temporarily. You’re the only one who can do it permanently.”Zig Ziglar

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle

“The best way out is always through.” -Robert Frost

“Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” -Muhammad Ali

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -St. Francis of Assisi

 
What inspirational and motivational quotes do you find yourself turning to in times of struggle?

Foodalicious Friday

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

I ❤ watermelon. Nom nom nom.

It’s the beginning of a holiday weekend, which means one thing for most people: lots of food and drinks.

I know it, you know it, your mom and grandma know it and still bring three dishes each to the family gathering. You see the cheesy potatoes and wow, you haven’t had those in a long time. And oh, your dad’s margaritas! And oh man… your sister made your favorite fudgey brownies. Wow. So much good, homemade food. What’s a person to do? Naturally, most people get nervous. So you start to plan ahead—“Okay, I’m just going to have one brownie. And one small scoop of potatoes. And no margaritas.”

What do I say?

A few things.

1. It’s okay to go in with a plan. But make it a reasonable one. Let yourself have one or two of your favorite dishes and skip the so-so ones. Or try a bite of each and vow to keep it at that.
2. Tell yourself that if something doesn’t taste awesome, you’re going to throw it out.
3. Don’t get drunk. It makes you want to eat everything.
4. Fill up on a big serving each of fruits and veggies sometime before the eating festivities begin. This ensures that you’ve already eaten something good for you and it fills you up, too.
5. You may not have time to work out, but you can move around a lot. Sit far away from the food table. Offer to be the one who parks in the farthest spot. Be the person who makes multiple trips up and down the stairs to get the groceries or help someone unload their stuff. Take a walk with a family member you haven’t seen in a while to catch up.
6. Have a bottle of water with you as often as possible. Sometimes the need to feed comes from the general want of having something in our mouths. Sounds awkward, I know, but it’s true. That and your hunger pains really could be dehydration sounding off.
7. Let others mob the food table first. By the time you get up there, you’ll have thought more about what you’re hungry for and depending on how hungry everyone else is, you may have to take less than planned portion-wise in order to save more for others.
8. You’ve heard it before and I’m going to say it again: Eat. Slowly. I struggle with this myself, but eating slower, as in breaking between bites and really chewing your food, helps you realize when you’re full before it’s too late. We’ve all been there when we’ve stuffed our mouths and 40 min. later feel sick because we ate too much. Slow down. Breathe. Taste the flavors.
9. Careful with the dressings. Eating food as it was prepared (or as it is naturally—raw!) is part of the experience of eating. The flavors aren’t masked by sodium and sugars.
10. Offer to help clean the dishes and do it with a cup of hot tea by your side. Standing won’t allow the food to settle in one spot, you’ll be moving a bit (which is always a plus), and the tea will help you digest everything you just ate. Plus, it’s nice manners. Especially if you didn’t prepare any of the food.

I personally follow all of the above (just ask my Mom!) when it comes to family food-crazy weekends (like last weekend and this weekend). I’m the first to admit that it’s not easy to stay away completely from the homemade treats and I wouldn’t want to, because how often do I really get to eat those things? Not often. So I enjoy. Just slowly and in moderation. And I seriously do throw something away if it doesn’t taste amazing.

 

What are your tricks for holiday food fests? Hope you all have a fun, safe Labor Day weekend!