For most of my life, I never identified as a runner. I played sports and did pilates with yoga, but would only run while I was on the court or field, never in my own time. But in the December two years ago something changed in me. I had that realization that in your mid-twenties your body starts to behave a little differently. And that you can’t really just eat whatever you feel like and get away with it anymore. I was a bit of a couch potato and I realized something needed to change.
Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned on this journey so far:
You’ve got to start somewhere: To begin with, I couldn’t even run the 1-mile block around my house without walking parts of it. Which was embarrassing to admit to myself let alone anyone else but I soon realized I could change that. I kept on running that same block until I mastered it and once I had, I added a few extra roads in to make it 3 miles. Each week I would build on the previous and these days I can run 10 miles – a feat I never thought I could achieve!
Be consistent: It’s amazing how difficult running is to get back into if you let your habits slip for too long. I hibernated for longer than necessary last Winter and paid the price when I tried to get back into it again in Spring. One run every two weeks isn’t going to see as much improvement as three runs per week is.
Find what motivates you: If you’re snuggled up on the couch with a good book or a movie, it’s pretty hard to pull yourself away to go pound the pavement. You have to find the thing that motivates you. One thing that has helped me along the way is the saying “You’re lapping everyone on the couch”. It encouraged me that even if I went out for a short run, I’m still doing better than everyone who hasn’t run at all.
Make it measurable: As a goal oriented person, I find running so satisfying because it’s so easily measured. I use the Nike+ app so I can easily see when I’ve gotten a faster time on a run, run a longer distance or gained a new trophy.
Take a holistic approach: If you’re running a lot but then stopping to get KFC or McDonalds on the way home what’s the point? Food is fuel and you need to think about what you’re putting into your body. Research healthy recipes, take supplements, get protein into your diet and enjoy treats in moderation. It is OK to bulge on healthier fast food on occasions. And make sure you’re drinking lots of water!
Anyway, these are just a few of the things that have helped me along the way. I’m no expert by any means, just someone who is trying to stay active and healthy. As a side note – if running isn’t for you, why not find some kind of exercise you do enjoy? Join the gym or a sports team or do a martial art 🙂
So, I am ready to fess up about my foot.
A few weeks ago I decided to start working out with a trainer as a “splurge” for a little while. I figured it would be a good way to challenge myself during workouts that I wasn’t accomplishing on my own.
I had a couple of trial sessions with my trainer to figure out what worked for me. I made her fully aware of last year’s stress fracture and was explicit in explaining I can’t do things on the ball of my foot; I don’t wear heels anymore nor do I do lunges, etc. bc of the strain on the ball of my foot.
My sessions revolved around a lot of pilates, boxing, body-weight and combination moves with some free weights mixed in. All was well and I enjoyed training. That is, until my session 2 weeks ago.
In the last 5 minutes of my session, my trainer decided to do even more ab work than we had already done that session.
She demonstrated a Bear Crawl Plank (the position in the video) and I said, “No way. My foot can’t handle that.” She told me ”come on, you can do it.” And I pushed back again, “No. I really don’t think that’s a good idea with my foot.” And she urged me again. That’s when I got a little cocky and competitive, because I figured it’d be okay for a brief amount of time, and got into the position, all the while praying that my foot wouldn’t give out. Genius, right? I’m still pissed at myself…
No more than 20 seconds into a 45 second hold I got a sharp pain in my foot and switched to a 1-legged regular plank. I.was.pissed.
The only exercise I got the following week was an afternoon walk I took on Monday. I tried to work out that Wednesday and my trainer actually sent me home from the gym. When symptoms didn’t go away I went to see a new foot doctor figuring something was definitely wrong.
When the doctor brought out my x-rays and explained that I had strained apart the bone that I’d fractured in 2 last year, I was so angry and upset. Despite my best efforts I injured myself once again. Of course there were tears and failed negotiations to avoid the boot but he told me his preferred course of treatment and the boot for 2 weeks suddenly didn’t seem so bad.
I’m more than 1 week into my 2 week Boot Sentence and am doing everything I can to let my foot heal quickly. I’ve upped my calcium (and brought back small amounts of dairy into my thyroid diet), I haven’t seen the inside of a gym since I got sent home from it 10 days ago, and am staying off of it (read: staying on my ass) as much as possible. Oh, I’m also diligently taking my pain meds that make me loopy / borderline drunk.
So here’s where I need advice. When people ask what happened and hear the story, their 1st question is, how quickly did you fire your trainer? I actually don’t how to handle the situation. I feel like she should have listened to me when I said no 2 times and perhaps even shouldn’t have suggested that move knowing what my limitations are with my feet. At the end of the day I still did the move and am completely responsible. I should’ve ignored my competitive inclinations and stuck to my guns. My gut told me no and I didn’t listen.
I haven’t resolved anything with her yet because I’m not sure what to do. I know I need to have a serious conversation with her, especially before I stop wearing the boot so she understands the scope of what that little exchange did to me. If I continue working out with her it’s going to be a no-negotiation relationship when I say no. On the flip side, if I start working with a different trainer, I’m not sure I’m ready for the potential awkwardness of seeing my old one around the gym, assuming I get back into a fitness routine somewhat quickly.
So that’s the story.
What would you do – keep the same trainer? Get a new one? Forget it and train yourself?
I mentioned the other week that I recently recorded a podcast for Lifestyle Accountability show.
One of the questions he asked really stuck with me. (I’m paraphrasing) – “How do I decipher all the noise in the health & wellness industry?” Oh how I loved that question. I could have ranted the entire show just on that one question!
The thing is……….. I don’t really know if I’m successful at weeding out the bullshit. There’s so much of it at any one given time! And it comes in droves (especially as we get closer to summer! i.e. “bikini season”). And everyone thinks they’re right. Everything is the latest and greatest, and if you’re not on board you’re missing out.
18 years in the industry
Folks—if this frustrates me, I can’t imagine how it frustrates those who are just beginning their wellness journey. In the 18 years I’ve been lifting, I’ve watched fitness & diet crazes come and go. Atkins diet, Southbeach Diet, Zone Diet………… Step Aerobics, Thigh Master, Tae Bo……………..
Now I’m watching things like Paleo, Gluten-Free, Shaklee, Yoli, P90X, Crossfit, Pilates and Insanity run their course.
Even something as simple as natural peanut butter…………… When I first started eating natural peanut butter, there was maybe one brand available in supermarkets. And the purpose of natural peanut butter was that the one and only ingredient was PEANUTS!
Fast forward to today.
Just the other day I was shopping and needed to pick up some more PB. There was NO SHORTAGE of “natural” peanut butter on the shelves. I grabbed a jar of Skippy out of curiosity, turned the jar around, and what to my dismay……..
Sugar, Palm Oil, & Salt…………. “technically” still natural, but NOT the way natural peanut butter was intended to start out. I feel like every fitness or diet trend generally starts out with good intentions, but the waters get muddied the more popular they become.
I’m not going to sit here and claim to have all the answers (clearly I don’t), but I will say that part of my answer during the webcast on how I weed through things is K.I.S.S.
Keep it simple friends. Take any diet or fitness fad/trend, whatever you want to call it, and the pure foundation of each and every one remains the same—eat right, strength train, and cardio vascular activity.
The amounts, intensity, and length of time will vary by the individual. And THAT is what makes it a journey. THAT is what you learn through your own trial and error. There is no quick fix. There is no “one” answer or program that will work right for everyone.
Those are my only words of advice.
- Keep it Simple
- Lead By Example for your loved ones
- Take Baby Steps on your journey
Along the way, you’ll hear me talk about lifting weights. You’ll hear about my attempt at calling myself a runner. 😉 You’ll see foods that I like to eat that are fairly good for you—AND actually taste good! I’m sharing with you what I find enjoyable and what works for me, but as I said we’re all different. I know this journey can be a frustrating one, but stay the course, and keep it simple.
And in the great words of Public Enemy—Don’t Believe the Hype.
So it occurred to me yesterday that I have exactly TWO MONTHS until the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. I haven’t run for distance since September. And it’s been even longer since I bought myself a new pair of running shoes.
I’ve always run in Nikes in the past, but I thought I would give Brooks a try this go round. I just ordered these puppies this morning!
I’m looking forward to taking these puppies on a test drive in the very near future! And of course I’ll share my thoughts with you. I need to get my butt in gear, and a new pair of kicks always makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning. 🙂
Before I get to our Fitness Friday workout, a little side bar. I planned on doing a “gym survival” post in the near future, but I needed to deliver this PSA sooner rather than later. 🙂 (It’s actually more of a funny anecdote than a PSA). Ladies— we ALL think we can sing. And I think it’s awesome when we’re “in the zone”. But please………. PLEASE refrain from BELTING OUT the song playing in your headphones while others are trying to lift. 🙂
I was doing seated bar bell presses this morning.
And I too wear headphones to lift. There was a girl beside me working out who decided she was going to belt out her song so loud I heard it OVER the song I was listening to! Scared the shit out of me and I couldn’t concentrate because I just wanted to giggle. I ended up cutting my set short just to get away. #ittakesallkinds
A reader recently e-mailed me to ask what I do for my HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). I always do my cardio AFTER lifting, and I normally switch it up and do either the bike, the elliptical, or the treadmill. I thought I’d share with you the treadmill workout I did this morning:
- Walking – 5 minute warm Up
- Increase speed – 2 minutes comfortable jog (I did a 10:30 pace)
- Increase speed – 30 second sprints (I did an 8:00 pace)
- hop off the belt for 30 seconds
- hop back on and repeat 7x’s
- Decrease speed – 2 minutes comfortable jog
- 3 minute cool down
What are your plans for the weekend?
Do you have any gym “pet peeves” if so, what are they?
What would you do if someone was belting out a song like Julia Roberts in that scene from Pretty Woman in the middle of the gym?
We all know the importance of eating breakfast. That has been drilled in to us pretty heavily by now. However, I also know that I, for one, can very easily fall back in to my non-breakfast eating ways if I’m not careful.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m huge—HUGE on leading by example. Especially when it comes to my daughter. Unfortunately, even the best of intentions, and the constant leading by example can be challenged as your kids get older and develop more of their own ‘voice’.
Gone are the days of mickey mouse pancakes. I miss the days of Ants on a Log being Ants on a Log.
Now it’s just celery and PB with raisins. 🙁 Back in the good old days, Mickey Mouse and Ants on a Log would get the child excited about breakfast, now there’s no fooling the child who is almost 11 going on 20.
When she tells me she’s not hungry in the morning, I can’t argue it. I’m not hungry either! And nagging about breakfast being the most important meal of the day—well, that’s something she’s heard before. She could probably recite my breakfast “stump speech” for me these days.
I remember when I was younger. My mom would bring breakfast to my bed room – protein shakes, eggs, etc. I was so annoyed by that because I didn’t want to eat anything. This was middle school. When I went back home for high school (after boarding school), I always looked forward to my mom waking up in the AM and making me breakfast – and I could ALWAYS rely on her!! Every morning, my little “french toast” creation – She is the best person ever, and I love her. She helped me so much. – This sounds weird, but it’s because I was going through the transition to gluten, dairy, wheat, sugar, nut & fruit free — that was tough!
So how do I manage to get the child to eat breakfast in the mornings? Here’s some tips that have worked for me:
Consider it Morning Family Time – I’ve found this to be not only beneficial from an eating breakfast standpoint, but from a family standpoint as well. Waking Kelly up just a few minutes earlier to have her come, sit down, chat, and get a game plan together for the day has really allowed us some quality time before the day gets going and craziness takes over. And it has become second nature that while we have coffee and eggs, she slurps up some applesauce, or eats a banana and drinks some milk.
Tweens Still Like “Fun” Breakfasts, Just More of the “Big Kid” Variety – Kelly likes to feel all mature, and yuppy like. 😉 So I’ve found that sipping on a smoothie or perhaps yogurt parfaits are more her style these days.
Have Their Favorite Breakfast Foods Always on Hand – This is where compromise needs to take place at times for me. While I prefer a breakfast of oats & eggs, Kelly would prefer to have Frosted Mini Wheat’s, or Go-Go Squeeze, or Fiber One bars. While I’m not a huge fan of these options, it sure as heck beats not eating anything at all. Plus, they are good ‘on the go’ for the days I can’t get her out of bed early.
Parents – Do you have trouble getting your tweens to have breakfast? What’s worked for you?
I’m not going to lie. I ate lots of crap and drank lots of beer this past weekend. And I don’t regret a single minute of any of it.
Even as I sit here with a stomach bloated like I’m 5 months preggo—I don’t regret it. I had FUN. In the past I would sit here and beat myself up. And truth be told—I would weigh myself incessantly, convinced that this feeling of general “fatness” was permanent and won’t go away.
Fast forward to the here and now when I’m older and wiser—and I can tell you that it will indeed pass. (no pun intended) That’s not to say that I don’t sometimes have to quiet the freak-out voices in my head. I do need to remind myself that this feeling is temporary.
So what do I do differently after a weekend of cheese fries and dark beer? Nothing.
You saw that right. Nothing.
I hope I don’t disappoint you by saying no, I don’t go on some sort of week long detox where I live on green juice. Or that I slug down apple cider vinegar like a boss.
What I *DO* ?
- Resume Regularly Scheduled Programming – Get right back to your regular regiment. Eat clean, exercise, etc. Pick up right where you left off.
- Increase Water Intake & Add Some Lemon Juice – I’m the biggest offender of not drinking enough water. But after a weekend of salt-laden treats, I almost *long* for it. Adding lemon juice to the water does several things—for me, it helps me drink more water. I’m not a fan of plain water, so having a little bit of “tang” to it helps keep me interested. But, on the more technical/healthy side of things—lemons/lemon juice are great for relieving digestive issues (i.e. bloat & constipation).
- Set. The Beer. DOWN – I’m not going to lie. I like beer. And wine. But the adverse affects aren’t worth it. Limiting your alcohol intake is key. So after coming back from vacation, I normally give myself at least two weeks of no wine. No beer.
- Reduce Sodium & Increase Fiber by Eating Milder Foods – This goes hand in hand with resuming your regular diet. If you normally eat well, then by getting back to normal, you’re automatically increasing your consumption of “the good stuff” and reducing your consumption of the “bad”. Not rocket science, right?! I like my salads. I normally eat very bland. My idea of going “wild & crazy” with my salads involves the following: no dressing, maybe adding some slivered almonds, and some plain broiled chicken seasoned with Mrs. Dash. Parrrrtttayyyyy!
- Magnesium Supplement – I need to thank Coach Julie for this little tip. When she was working with me, I mentioned how awful my “time of the month” can be. She suggested I take a magnesium supplement to help with the bloat, and I can’t tell you how much of a difference this has made for me!
So there you have it. Nothing wild & crazy. No living off twigs & berries. And for the most part its all common sense. As long as we don’t head in to full on freak out mode (stress bloat is REAL people!). What’s listed above should help you start to feel a sense of relief within a matter of a few days.
What’s the craziest hangover/detox/cleanse concoction you’ve heard of or actually consumed?
Today has been a bit of a sad day. Not for any particular reason, but it’s just been one of those days where the world felt a little less rosy than normal. So I thought it’d be good to drag myself out of the funk with a list of my favorite things that make me happy right now. So here we go:
The Happy 100:
1. Finding new gluten-free cafes and restaurants in every city I go to (today I went to Federal Deli for the first time!)
2. Cozy nights in bed watching TV
3. Waking up to find my cat sharing my pillow
4. Planning mine 2018 Japan trip
5. Counting down to our Sydney holiday in 3 weeks
6. Day trips to the beach
7. A cider in the sun after a long day
8. Making the perfect playlist and discovering new music
9. Unashamedly having Drake, Haim, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde & Katy Perry all on the same playlist
10. Fan girling over Katy Perry
11. Playing Candy Crush (I’m stuck on level 245 if anyone has any tips)
12. Going for a run with Jeremy
13. Listening to podcasts in the car
14. iMessage group convo’s that are solely for Harry Potter discussions
15. Finding the perfect and most relevant lists on Buzzfeed
16. Planning a future where I own a German Shepherd and a British Blue cat
17. Never getting sick of Japanese food
18. Never getting sick of dumplings
19. Saturday morning bagel club (we go to Best Ugly bagels)
20. White nail polish
21. Discovering new TV shows (latest love is The Americans)
22. Coconut oil
23. Wearing Nikes, Chucks or Vans instead of heels
24. Wearing sportswear instead of dresses
25. Avocado on toast
26. Being so content with being at home doing nothing
27. Getting home from work and getting straight into pajamas
28. When someone you admire/ respect follows you back on Twitter
29. Friends you can do nothing with but still have the best time
30. Talking about Harry Potter like it’s real life
31. Debriefing with friends after every New Girl episode
32. Counting down to seeing Catching Fire at the movies
33. Cheese platters
34. Friday nights at home with wine and an early retreat to bed
35. Fairtrade, free range, organic cafes
36. FaceTiming with friends who moved away
37. The cold side of the pillow
38. Candles that smell like something edible
39. Collapsing on my front lawn after a long run
40. Roast veggie salads with an overload of feta
41. Vulnerable conversations
42. Old movies
43. Finding an album you can listen to on repeat (this year it’s been Bastille, Bad Blood for me)
44. Really salty peanut butter
45. Being a regular at a cafe
46. Running downhill
47. Cherry blossom season
48. Planning everything we want to do at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea
49. Long email chains about all things Japan
50. Book club
51. YouTubing videos of cute cats and dogs (it never gets old)
52. Giving my cat tummy rubs (he never bites/scratches)
53. Carrot sticks and hummus
54. Almond milk
55. Going for walks on my lunch break
56. Getting a fringe trim
57. Harvey Spector
58. Being on top of the washing
59. Green tea with strawberry
60. The smell of almond flour
61. Managing to get a screenshot on Snapchat
62. How amazing water tastes after a long run
63. Secretly competing with friends on Nike+
64. Tempura vegies
65. Having a husband that’s super skilled at shaping my eyebrows
66. Finding new Instagram feeds to follow
67. Bonding with people who love The Wire
68. Bonding with people who don’t love Two and a Half Men
69. Guilty pleasure TV shows and movies
70. Listening to your favorite song on repeat
71. Leisurely mornings
72. Checking your favorite websites and Twitter first thing every morning
73. Sneaking your own treats into the movie theater
74. Waking up and realizing you have a few more hours left before your alarm will go off
75. Strawberry season
76. Checking the Timehop app every day to reminisce
77. Hello Kitty everything
78. White on white on white clothing ensembles
79. Stripey tops
80. Super friendly dogs
81. Introducing friends to new TV shows or music
82. Gin and tonic
83. Eggs benedict
84. Still not so secretly loving Mary Kate and Ashley
85. Steve Carrell
86. Getting overly emotionally involved in the lives of fictional characters
87. BBQ season
88. Supporting handmade
89. Watching any interview by Ellen Degeneres or Graham Norton
90. Short fingernails
91. Winged liquid liner
92. Wrapping your bedding around you like a cocoon
93. Crispy green apples
94. Home made burgers with avocado, jalapenos and hot sauce
95. Recreating restaurant meals at home
96. Getting mail
97. YouTube compilations of the best Vines
98. Funny animal GIFs
100. A deep sleep
What features on your happy list?
Does Living Fit Make It Harder to Accept a Medical Issue?
I’ve been thinking about this over the past few days. And after having my follow up appointment to my surgery on Wednesday, I felt compelled to sit and write my thoughts on the matter.
We’ve all heard it said that doctor’s make the worst patients. I’m going to add “fitness enthusiasts” to that list also.
In running the appointment and the conversation with my doctor through my head, I kept coming back to the fact that all throughout our appointment, I kept mentioning, “I take good care of myself” or “I always try to live a healthy life”.
Okay Julie, she gets it.
And the reality is that what happened to me has nothing to do with how healthy my lifestyle is or isn’t. There’s no rhyme or reason to ectopic pregnancies. It’s just that shit happens.
Perhaps I got a little too cocky because of the fact that I AM healthy as an ox. I ended up sharing a tad too quickly with folks that we were expecting. And now we’re having to back peddle and let them know we’re not. We won’t make that mistake again.
In processing the loss, initially I couldn’t understand *why*. Why did this happen to us? What did I do wrong? How could this be happening? What do you mean it can’t be fixed? I felt like I had failed. My body had failed ME. And in turn, I failed the baby, and Alfie. As someone who is so driven, strong, and completely bullheaded, experiencing failure was NOT in my vocabulary.
Couldn’t I just accept the fact that sometimes these things don’t work out? If statistics show that 64,000 people every single year end up having ectopic pregnancies, obviously we’re not alone! And just the outpouring of emails from my readers shows it hits very close to home, ALOT.
The reality is that no matter how fit you are, how “clean” you eat, how much you run or lift-
You’re not invincible.
Not even a little. That was a hard pill to swallow, friends!! (at least for me it was)
But I WILL say that being healthy most likely quickened my recovery time. It really didn’t slow me down very much (only a few days), and for that I’m thankful. I’ve also walked away with a new found appreciation of the body and what it’s capable of doing, as well as it’s capability to adapt.
Only time will tell if mine has bounced back from a reproductive standpoint, but I do know that from a fitness standpoint I’m my old self again.
What about you, do you find it hard to accept an illness, injury or medical issue?
First and foremost, I need to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your outreach after my last post about our Angel Baby. The comments, emails, and messages on Facebook warmed my heart! It comforted me to know that I’m not alone in this experience AND all of the stories about this happening to other women, but then they go on to have several babies afterwards truly lifted my spirits! I’m looking forward to Alfie and I getting to try again soon!
This week’s workouts have been virtually non-existent. After Monday’s surgery, I was told I’m not to lift anything over 2-5 pounds for 2 weeks. (Yeah right!!! My PURSE weighs more than that) However, I haven’t been trying to go be all Hercules either. The most lifting/workout I’ve been getting has been lifting and moving boxes. Each evening this week I’ve been packing the car full of all of our “stuff”, and getting it to the new house. We’re still living in an unfinished project in the sense that we don’t have our closet organizers in yet to hang clothes, and I’m still trying to find places for everything in our kitchen, etc. etc.
My stomach isn’t sore anymore at the 3 places where they did incisions (2 off to the side of my abdomen, and one in my belly button where they removed the fallopian tube), so I’m going to lace up my running shoes for some jogs this weekend! I’m going to love jogging in a new environment!
I’m hoping to move some of Alfie’s gym equipment in to the basement of the house in the very near future so that I can just lift at home, but until then I’ll use resistance bands, and hit the gym I belong to on the way home from work in the evenings.
Over the weekend I need to deep clean our townhouse, and paint the bedrooms so they’re ready for our tenants to move in June 1st. After that, we should start to get back on a schedule and in to the swing of things!
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Fitbloggin next month, you’ll actually have the privilege of meeting Adam personally! He’ll be discussing podcasting strategies at the conference.
Have a great weekend loves!!
Today is the big day. At 2:00 the code enforcer will be coming to inspect our house and tell us whether or not we’re approved for our occupancy permit. If we get the green light, we’ve decided our moving day is Monday!
Currently the townhouse is a big ‘ol mess of boxes & books everywhere, so I’ll be so glad to finally get in some sort of organization mode!
This week’s workouts were again, sporadic in nature. But I’ve been sort of liking not having a plan. I’ve been heading in to the gym and just winging it. With everything going on, it feels good to just go in there and not have to think. I have a general idea of the body part splits I want to do, and I’ve been just playing it by ear and going with the flow.
This morning I had an awesome back & bicep workout and I thought I’d share it with you because, well, it felt good—AND—I feel like it’s been forever since I shared a workout with you!!
If you try it, let me know what you think!! And what’s on your agenda this weekend??