Posts Tagged ‘healthy-living’

Okay, so none of that makes sense…UNLESS….you are an English teacher like myself OR you remember the analogies section from standardized tests.  But really, I think it’s an appropriate association…don’t you?  Good.  Glad we agree 🙂

Today is FRIDAY!!!!!  Which means…Five Things Friday.  Today, sticking with my theme of associations, I am doing a Five WORDS Friday…which will actually be more like 20 since there are four words in associations….

1.  Treadmill Running : Ugh :: Outside Running : YAY!

I have not been able to run outside much lately.  It’s been incredibly snowy up here in the Northeast…and it looks like we’re going to get even MORE snow next week.  woot.  Truth be told – I am okay with treadmill running but I really would like at least ONE run outside a week.  Temps say it is going to be close to 50 this weekend – HEAT WAVE!!!!  I’m on that like peanut butter’s on jelly…..(did I mention I really like peanut butter?)  Truth be told, I don’t mind running inside that much…if anything it lets me catch up on my Sportscenter…..

2.  Sweat Pants : My go-to clothing choice of late :: Yoga Pants : Not my go-to clothing choice of late

Whatever your comfy clothes preference is…lately, I have a three pair of sweat pants rotation – for when I am home, obviously not when I am teaching (although that would be amazing if I could wear them to school!).

3.  Swimming : My First Fitness Love :: Swimming : Something I always use as a fitness basis

While that analogy might not make sense…if you think about it…any one of us that has had a first love/relationship/etc…we ALWAYS remember that ONE.  Everyone always says, “You’ll never forget your first love” blah blah blah….right?  In my case, swimming was and always will be my first love and most important sport I’ve ever been involved with.

The reason I use Swimming as a fitness basis is because it is probably the ONLY sport where you are required to use EVERYTHING.  I mean, think about it….running, you primarily use your legs….biking, legs….soccer, legs…well you get the point.  I always try to explain to my swimmers how people who make fun of swimming are doing so because THEY DON’T GET IT.  They don’t understand how difficult it can be.  The true swimmers don’t see the difficulty….that’s what separates those who can and can not.  I always tell them, “if it were easy, everyone would do it”.

4.  Vegetarian : Veggies :: Pescatarian : Veggies + Fish

I am a vegetarian who dabbles in the pescatarian realm.  Truthfully, I love sushi….and all kinds of fish…so I eat it when I am out but that’s about it.  I won’t prepare it for a home cooked meal.  I know, I’m weird.  We all have our things.  I still laugh when people get worried or upset after I tell them my food choices.

Pretty much always

It’s nice that it’s more and more common these days for people to be Vegetarians as well as more restaurants accommodating those of us who choose to go without meat.  I tried to be a Vegan…for all of two weeks….I just couldn’t do it.  I workout WAY to much and would have to eat non-stop for me to go Vegan.  Plus….I like cheese…and eggs….and, well….I like them!

5.  Exercise : Fitness :: Diet : Healthiness

My fitness is determined by my exercise just as my healthiness is determined by my diet.  While they are all intertwined, I think it’s safe to say without a clear idea of what we want out of all of these, we aren’t going to get the results we hope for.  Goals are excellent ways to start our path to fitness and healthiness.  My goals this year involve more races and trying new experiences.  I am incredibly psyched for the Tough Mudder in April.  I am also excited for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler earlier that month!

And while I may pretty much be at a point where I am maintaining my fitness level, that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to work hard to feel better about myself.

Just remember, you have a choice….we all do.  If you don’t like the way things are….do something about it.  You’re worth it.

Have a great weekend!

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While this is a pretty broad topic, I feel it’s safe to say….many people do not know their limits or boundaries when it comes to others.

Take, for example, when someone at the gym is lifting free weights and a fellow patron goes up to them to offer them their opinion about how and what they are doing correct/incorrect, etc.  There are a few issues with this situation:

1.  The person lifting didn’t ask for your opinion – although I am sure the person offering their opinion is an expert in the way of said exercise (please tell me you’re reading in to my sarcasm).

2. Unless you are a certified personal trainer….keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself…..and even if they are a personal trainer….that doesn’t always mean a whole lot.

As a fitness instructor and a coach, I am aware that my advice to people isn’t always what will work best for people.  I am aware, also, that not everyone wants my advice or opinion.  I often seen people at the gym doing the wrong exercises or wrong technique and some times cringe at their bad form.  BUT – it’s not my problem.

So now you’re saying..”but that’s not helpful…be a source of the solution and don’t be so passive to allow the problem continue”.  To that I would say….”you’re absolutely correct.  I am more than happy to help those that WANT the help…but if someone is carrying on and just doing their thing…who am I to tell them that they are wrong?”

More often than not, people feel as though they are being 1. helpful, 2. proactive, 3. caring, and 4. kind.

While I would say that these are all genuine feelings behind trying to offer advice….understand that if people want it…they will ask for it…..and if they don’t ask for it…..that is something they have to face on their own.

Many of the habits I learned in the gym and during sports or activities came from watching others.  I’ll admit though, I am incredibly proactive about improving and doing my best – it’s just in my nature.   In the case that people ARE looking for advice on exercise and/or advice with those you see doing the wrong thing at the gym….I have a few things that might help:

To the observer:

1.  Be patient.  If they want the help, they’ll ask for it.

2.  RE #1 – unless they are hurting themselves with the way they are lifting something or maneuvering equipment….let them watch someone else to figure out what they are doing wrong.

3.  RE #2 – if you are a fitness instructor with the proper technique and/or certification(s) – ASK THEM if they want some advice/help.  For example:  When I see someone on a bike before a class and it looks like their seat is too low or their straps are not tight enough on their bike…I say, “Would you like some help with that?” or “Does that bother your knees at all?” – in a NICE and non-condecending manner.  I also throw in, “If you try it this way, it might make a difference.”  People are much nicer to you when you don’t say, “Your form is all wrong…this is wrong…this is wrong…etc., etc”.

4.  When and IF they do ask for help…..be sure to tell them that your advice is merely based on your learnings/experience and that it works differently for everyone.  Remind them that they need to do what works best for them – not what works best for you.  As a fitness instructor and coach, I always tell my students and swimmers of the things I’ve done in the past, what’s worked for me, and what hasn’t worked for me.  With that, I also tell them that they should make sure whatever they do – it has to WORK FOR THEM.

 

To the person that is afraid to ask:

1.  DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP IF YOU AREN’T SURE.  I can not tell you how  many times I’ve had people say to me in a spin class, “I never knew how to adjust my seat”….or “I never knew that I would get a better workout this way”…or “if I had only known to buy new sneakers that it would’ve helped my joints”…etc.  I start every spin class (usually) with, “Do I have any new riders?”…especially if I have never seen them in my class before.  This usually helps alleviate some of the anxiety that people build up in their minds about “not knowing” what to do and “being afraid of looking like the newbie”.  EVERYONE HAS TO START FROM SOMEWHERE….You’re obviously interested in bettering your well-being….don’t be afraid to ask! 🙂

2.  Once you’ve asked for help…remember that you have to do what works for you.  IF a trainer or instructor tells you there is ONLY ONE WAY TO DO SOMETHING…more than likely they are incorrect.  THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO DO EVERYTHING (even in Math).

3. If you STILL can’t bring yourself to ask for help…..do your homework.  Observe others, read about fitness, read about healthy living, read about eating right.  Your health is on you.  OWN UP TO IT.

 

My questions for you are:

1.  Have you ever been approached by someone at the gym for advice?

2.  Have you ever given advice without it being warranted?

3.  What have you done in these situations?

 

 

I woke up this morning realizing that sometimes I leave some things unsettled.  I tout myself as this great communicator but sometimes I fall short…..I also recognize that I am not alone in this and that I should not be so hard on myself.

That being said, I wanted to kind of explain what this particular blog is all about….because I get the feeling that many of my friends who read this (read: non-blog friends), don’t necessarily understand why I write this blog.

I preface all of this with:  I USED to have a personal blog.  In fact, you could probably still find all of them (yes, I all of them – I had more than one).  On that blog I would write about the things that bothered me, why I was happy/sad/etc.  I was an open book….or whatever you want to call it.

It was all out there for the world to read….or all 5 of my readers to read 🙂

ANYWAY….A few years ago I decided I was going to shift my focus for a few reasons:  1.  No one needs to know THAT much about my personal life.  2.  Most people don’t really care all that much unless they are my close friends or family and 3.  I wanted to write about more interesting things….

I decided to write a blog about my fitness/healthy lifestyle.  (Note:  a follow up post is coming as to how I actually got IN to this lifestyle).  The thing is,…..some times I do share personal information about my life but I truly don’t believe it’s as bad as I’ve been informed of in the past.

To clarify….

This blog IS NOT:

-A blog about my close friends and family (although I do mention them from time to time).

-A blog about who I am or if I am dating anyone.  I share this blog with all of my friends on facebook.  I don’t even share if I am “in a relationship” on facebook.  People who know me know what my sitch is…if I have one.

-A blog about being sad or mopey.  Let’s face it – we all have bad days.  DON’T DENY IT.  If I have a bad day, I workout.  THEN, you’ll know about it.

-A blog about how you can change the world.  I am working on changing my own personal world every day – one step at a time.  I don’t have all the answers and neither does anyone else.  I am not always correct and I know that.  I make mistakes and I know that too.

Conversely….

This blog IS:

-A blog about my fitness journey and the experiences I have while on it.

-A blog about running, swimming, spinning, biking, yoga, and whatever other activity I get myself involved with.

-A blog that includes tidbits of my career – teaching or coaching or otherwise.  Those are healthy things that make me a happy person.  I don’t feel as though those things are too personal to share.

-A blog about my ability to stay healthy and happy POST Eating Disorder.  Many of you, who have not read my ‘about me’ section, may not even know I am a recovering Anorexic.  If you don’t – that’s an EXCELLENT thing.  It means I am living a balanced life.  If you just read that and can’t believe it – also a good thing.  I have worked hard on getting to where I am at in my life and it has been no easy task but all of it has been worth it.

-I blog about my experiences with health, fitness, and my ED because I hope to help someone by showing them IT IS POSSIBLE to recover.  IT IS POSSIBLE to be healthy and live a normal life.  IT IS POSSIBLE to maintain some sort of normalcy.

I make no apologies for the sharing of my information as far as health, fitness, and my ED.  Even if it only helps ONE person….that’s fine with me.  (note: I don’t believe myself to be a martyr, nor will I ever….don’t mistake that statement as a self declaration to being one).

I enjoy writing.  I enjoy working out.  I enjoy helping others.  I enjoy life.

So…..What’s It All About?!?!

Health.  Running.  Swimming.  Biking.  Spinning.  Music.  Reading.  Writing.  Teaching.  Coaching.  Experiences.  Challenges.  Opportunities.  Interactions.  Fears.  Failures.  Wants.  Desires.  Happiness.  Frustrations.

Sounds like a good list to me…..

My questions for you:

What’s it all about for you?

What’s on your life list?

Why do you blog?

 

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end….”

Without being too cliché……I feel that it is no coincidence that this song came on my pandora this morning on my way to work:

Indeed

Indeed

And yes, I am at school before 7am….usually I’m at school by 6:15 (at the latest)…..

With a few minor hiccups in the last couple of days, I am sad to report that today is my last day at the school I’ve been teaching at.  (Read:  I haven’t been fired, my job just ended…the teacher was out on maternity leave)

Today has been a roller coaster of emotions – thus far.  I am sad and nervous and happy and confused.  ALL THE EMOTIONS.  FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS!

At this moment, I am waiting for a few of my students to come back to school and play Just Dance with me.  Yup – you read that correctly.  Some of my students are coming in – on their day off – to play a video game with me.  It’ll be nice to end the day on a positive note.

Elsewhere – I am just trying to maintain some semblance of positivity.  I didn’t workout yesterday – a much needed rest day – but am back to running 6 or 7 miles this afternoon.  Spin class tomorrow and running again on Sunday.

Lots going on – lots to be hopeful for…..I am lucky.  Not a day goes by where I don’t acknowledge that.

And I’m not talking about the Britney Spears album….because….well….as catchy as some of those songs are…..I just can’t with her…..I just……can’t.

“The Zone”, as I like to call it, can happen at any point – running, spinning, yoga, reading, writing, eating cake…..you know…the usual things.  There are many zones for people.  It’s that feeling you get when:

-you are truly focused on what you are doing

The Cake-centered Focus

-you block everything out and can actually FEEL good that you are making headway in something you’re working on

-you feel good all around

-nothing can distract you

In case you didn’t know….Chuck Palahniuk wrote “Fight Club”

It’s when I’m in MY zone that I feel amazing!  This happened to me during my run last night.

Surprisingly – I have been sleeping really well in the last few nights (unusual for me this time of year) and I have felt incredibly good all day.  Not sluggish or anything.  While I feel there is probably a different contributing factor to this…which I’ll talk about another day….I was up for a good run yesterday afternoon.

After practice – I took to my treadmill and made my way through 6 miles.  I probably could’ve kept going but I am trying to limit my running so I don’t overdo it.  I have had some issues with slight plantar fasciitis in my left foot and lately my left knee has been bothering me a bit.  Most likely from overuse – therefore I’ve decided to be an adult and not push myself to a breaking point.  I learned my lesson the hard way when I torn tendons in my left foot last year…..

But I digress……6 miles.  I got into my zone around 1.3 miles in.  I know this because I checked the treadmill.

So now you’re probably wondering, how did it feel for you?

You know how people talk about runner’s highs?  And those endorphins?  And all that jazz???

See that Quote?  Totes Magotes.

I do my best thinking during these runs when I am “in my zone”.  I feel the most accomplished.  Granted, yesterday I was on a treadmill but I still got the sense that I was accomplishing something.  I don’t think it always matters where you are when you’re doing it…just that you’re doing it.

I’ve been in the zone with writing before too….where hours will pass by and I’ll write 20 – 30 pages of whatever novel I’m working on at the time.  I love when that happens.

I get “lost” when I’m in the zone……

Questions for you:

When are you in the zone?

What are you doing when you are in your zone?

Do you even know what I’m talking about?? ha 🙂

Remember the time you went to workout and saw the lady with the 80’s fitness gear on….only to notice (and feel badly for) her boobs are hanging out….?

No?  Oh wait, that’s because it wasn’t you – it was me – and it happened yesterday.  :-/

Need a picture?  (it took so much of me to NOT take a picture of this lady)…..

Like these – only she wasn’t wearing a bra….and she didn’t fill it out quite like the people in this picture…..

Now – before you all go getting upset about me being judgmental…..that’s not the case.  I truly felt bad for her.  People were snickering at the gym.  I was just doin my thing on the treadmill.  If that’s what she wants to wear – more power to her for feeling confident enough to do it.

I did, however, start to make a list in my head of things people should probably NOT wear to the gym.

How many of you have seen people at the gym in jeans?  Or even sandals?  Don’t lie – you know you have….

Obviously, you should workout in whatever you feel most comfortable in….but that doesn’t mean it’s the best.  Workout clothes are designed to help your skin breathe.  All of those sports clothing manufacturers don’t employ people to think of new technology to help with clothing and comfort for nothing…..I’m just sayin’.

So here is my list of no-no’s for gym attire – at least – if you’re actually at the gym to WORK OUT…..

1.  I think this goes without saying but – Jeans.

First of all – it’s one thing to go to the gym for a quick 20 minutes and “pump some iron” and I can see the reasonability if you really don’t have time to change your clothes but if you are going to the gym between the hours of 6am and 8am or 4pm and 8pm on a weeknight…..you are probably not too jammed for time.

This chick didn’t even change her top OR shoes!

2.  Which leads me to my next no-no:  Dress shoes and/or sandals.

Now listen, there ARE some sandals that people can wear to run/cross train.  Heck, there are even sandals that can be worn when biking.  But really?  REALLY.  What is this all about?  You find sandals and/or dress shoes more comfortable than sneakers?  Don’t even get me started on the ladies who I’ve seen wandering around the gym in high heels.  Oh – it happens.

Ladies….WHY?!?!!

Here’s a combo of BOTH!

3.  Wearing anything that doesn’t breathe.

One would certainly hope that when you are heading to the gym, the goal is to sweat – even just a little.  The good thing is that there are plenty of lower cost breathable clothes out there (Thank you, Target!)  When I first started to workout – I didn’t like clothes that “stuck to me”.  I tended to wear a lot of cotton t-shirts and mesh shorts.  While there is nothing wrong with that outfit combo – I found a few issues with it:  1.  I am a heavy sweater (wool, in fact!) and because of this – my t-shirt would end up soaked.  If I wanted to lift after a run, I’d have to go change my shirt and/or I’d get cold really easily.  2.  The sweat lines were unsightly – let’s be real here, no one wants to see your sweat stains.  3.  I found myself rolling up my shirts or pulling down my shorts because everything was just a bit out of place.  As a result – I turned to tight fitting workout clothes that were incredibly breathable and it was AWESOMESAUCE!

Not Pictured: ME – plus I don’t look like ANY of these people in real life

4.  MAKEUP/BIG JEWELRY/HEAVY PERFUME

OHHHHHHH doggy.  Are you ready for this one?  This is listed under my pet peeves.  WOMEN or men (I don’t judge) who wear makeup to the gym.  WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING?!  First of all, it’s really bad for your skin to wear makeup and then sweat….do you know what that does to your pores??  Hellllllooooo blackheads.  Also….why?  Just……WHY?????  I think I basically make my point with these two pictures:

So now my questions for you are:

Did I miss anything?

What bothers you at the gym?

What would you have done with the lady in the 80’s gear?  I mean, no lie – I could see her boobies…..no lie.

 

Subject for discussion:  Working Out When You’re Tired

Question:  Yes or No?

Obviously there is some debate.  In my experience, I’ve found that I always feel better after a workout – even if I am tired.  But then there is the double edged sword – you could make yourself more tired and then not be able to do it the next.  OR there is always the possibility that you go to workout, even when you’re tired, and can’t work as hard as you’d like.

Thoughts???

People who know me well know that I don’t take many days off – I do better at scheduling them in now than I used to but there is something about having done a workout that gives me a sense of accomplishment that I can’t get anywhere else.

Some days, I am just incredibly tired.

Some days, I start to feel tired as the day winds down.

Some days, I am anxious to get in my workout.

Lately, it’s been the second of the three.  Thankfully.

When it’s the first of these three, I typically will not exercise that day.  Usually this occurs at the end of the day.

When it’s the second of these three, I typically go to the gym and tell myself “if I still don’t want to do this after 2 miles, I will stop”…..I usually don’t stop.

If it’s the last of these three, I am usually running somewhere after school or doing a double workout.

Yesterday….it was a combination of #2 – which led to #3.

It was my last full day at school yesterday so I was a bit emotionally drained.  It’s tough to stay “up” for the kids when you know you’re going to miss them so much.  Needless to say, I had a spin class to teach last night and I knew I’d have an hour or so to kill beforehand.

I decided I’d run BEFORE spin class.  And I did.  It took me nearly 3.5 miles to find my stride but I did 5.5 easy (Sunday I did 6 at an 8 min pace – which is fast for me these days).  I then felt SO good that I cranked it up during Spin class and kicked my own butt.  It felt good to sweat as much as I did.

Say what you want about sweating (which I admit, I do quite a lot of….don’t judge)….but it’s good for you, it means you’re fit, it also means you’re healthy, and above all else – I know I’ve kicked ass when I sweat.

By the end of the night – I felt accomplished.  Tired, yes…..but a helluva lot better about myself and that I am going to definitely reach my goals sooner rather than later.

Questions for all of you:

Do you still workout when you are tired?

Do you sweat when you workout?  If now, how do you know you got a good workout?

What do you do if you don’t workout?