Take It As It Comes

Standard

I have found that what it is I need the most, I dread doing the most. I discovered that in yoga class when I realized there were a handful of poses that made me extremely uncomfortable. After spending a few years working through them, it was obvious to me why it was so important for me to practice them anyway and not allow myself to bow out and make excuses not to do them. For awhile now I’ve known that I have to get back to some form of exercise. When my blood pressure was so high, I was honestly afraid to do anything that would make my heart pound any harder than it already did. Today though, I finally went back to the gym. I took it easy and only hit the treadmill for 35 minutes but you know what? I did it. I got there and I am not going to force myself to commit to a number of workouts a week. One day at a time is my motto now and that’s okay. No pressure. No need to meet unrealistic goals. Simply just one day at a time. What is your motto for the new year?

You Spent How Many Hours At The Gym?

Standard

I remember a time long ago when I went to the gym several times a week. I was doing kick boxing, bench stepping. You name it, I did it. No matter how hard I worked, my body seemed to stay the same. Several years older now, I finally get it. Too much of anything is never good and eventually, if you are like me, you will get bored and start to resent it. Life is about balancing the mind, body and spirit. If you want to improve and you want to grow, you have to continuously work on all three simultaneously. I have the same body I did 15 years ago without killing myself at a gym. I am the same weight and to be honest I finally feel completely comfortable in my own skin. Why did I feel so unattractive then and so fantastic now? What could possibly be the difference?  I guess what it all comes down to is you can change your body all you want, but if you’re trapped in the same mind, the same way of thinking, you will never notice a single difference. The mind, more than anything else, determines how you feel. Change your mind, and your body changes too. That is the order it worked for me.  I have started to balance weights, fun cardio, yoga and at the same time, spend time doing what feels good to my soul. Everything in moderation, focus divided between all three parts. That is the real secret to looking and feeling your best. And if I feel like skipping a class, I simply skip it without guilt and absent of regret. Sometimes a day floating in the pool is the exercise I need for my soul. Look inside to see what you need, that should guide your exercise for the day. Today, it’s yoga for me, where the mind, body and spirit meet on the mat as one. What is it you need to exercise today?

WANTED: Inspiration 

Standard

Who is the last person to unexpectedly inspire you? Most days it seems the majority of people drain my energy but once in awhile I come across someone who motivates me. I decided to try a class at my local gym. The woman teaching it has got to be a minimum of 68 years old. She has a smoking great body, is full of energy and sings the hippest songs as loud as she can through her microphone. Watching her have so much passion for the class is contagious and I find myself looking forward to those days the most. So, back to you. Who is the last person to unexpectedly inspire you?

You Write It Wednesday

Standard

What is YOUR favorite way to exercise? Do you bike, run, cardio, walk or do you not exercise at all? Of course my favorite way to spend time getting fit is yoga. It is challenging and I never know what to expect. From arm balances to binds to handstands, there is always something teaching me more about myself and especially my attitude. My gym just started a Zumba class and I am looking forward to tearing up the rug. Dancing With The Stars inspired me and I am ready to get my salsa on! How about you? What do you do to stay in shape?

To a Run or Not To Run. That Is The Question.

Standard

When is the last time you challenged yourself to do something you knew would be really difficult? Last night my daughter asked me to do a marathon with her. I just about spit out my drink. You know those shows you watch that use the sound of crickets when someone says something completely shocking and outrageous? Last night I heard the crickets.

Saturday when I was at yoga, the instructor asked us to lay on our belly and place one cheek on the floor. She explained, everyone has one side that feels better. Then, she asked us to turn our head to the other side and feel how different and uncomfortable it feels. The uncomfortable side signifies everything that is difficult in our lives. It also signifies anything we resist. I could feel that marathon right there beneath my right cheek.

I woke up today and I gave the whole idea some fresh thought. Maybe, just maybe, I could do a half marathon. Then I thought about all the training. My knees, my back, the time. Did I really want to take this on? I hate to fail. For me it is not an option so if I commit to this I have to follow through. Why would I want to? Well, for one, it is something my daughter and I could look forward to and experience together. It would help me get in shape. It would help me deal with stress. I also know all too well how good I would feel if I could check something like this off my bucket list. Did I mention my knees and my back? How in the world could I possible work around them and even more scary, how do I even get started. For me, starting something is always the hardest step. Once I get going and commit, the rest just falls into place.

So, I am leaving it up to a vote and if you vote for me to go for it then I expect some encouragement from the sidelines as I update my progress. So, what do you think? Should I do it? What would you do and why?

IMG_6650.JPG

IMG_6648.JPG

Commitment

Standard

I think for many of us, the word commitment makes us think of a relationship we have with another person. It means we are dedicated and loyal and focused on making that relationship the best it can be. I was thinking today that commitment can also mean the relationship you have with yourself. Are you committed to being a better human being and being the best version of yourself?

I went back to the gym recently. The older I get the harder it is for me to complete tasks that once came easy to me. Cleaning the house was a simple event and now I find it exhausting. Holding a handstand in my teen years was much easier than trying to get up in one now that I am in my forties. I realize that it’s necessary to have the best physical body I can to get me through the daily tasks of life. I have to find a way to keep my muscles strong and stay dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle so I can live my best life. It’s not about being a certain size anymore or looking a certain way, it’s about having the strength and energy to play four square in the driveway with my son or race my daughter to the car to determine who gets to sit in the front seat.

Have you made any commitments to yourself lately? Have you been able to keep them? I’d love to hear about it.

What The Hoop

Standard

Some of you may be thinking, I hope she’s not going to talk about her hula hoop again but come on, you knew this was coming. I am proud to say I can now hula hoop to the left and right with either foot in front. Yeah, I can even do it on one foot. What I will tell you is this. I have been doing it now faithfully for quite a few weeks. The minimum is usually 15 minutes a day but sometimes I make it to 35 minutes. When would I have time you ask? Believe it or not, I hula hoop when I am talking on the phone, even watching tv. Sometimes I jump up and hula hoop each time a commercial comes on.

I am happy to report my body has changed. I am seeing a waist where all my life I had none. My core is a lot stronger and I don’t have as much back pain as I used to doing certain yoga moves. In fact I am able to do poses I wasn’t even able to do before. It’s been a wonderful way to get stronger when in the past planks were excruciating for me. Yes it is weighted but only 3 pounds. It has been worth my time and effort and the multitasking is quite amusing. Even the kids are trying to come up with new challenging ways to use it.

If you are looking to tweak your mid section and strengthen your core in a fun, pain free way, I highly recommend you give it a try. 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there really add up. I am ready to take it to the next level and order one with a tad bit more weight. Thanks for suffering through my review but you knew it was coming.

I’m Going to Try Something Insanely Different

Standard

The things we do to improve ourselves is an endless list of ridiculousness followed up by even more ridiculousness. Is that even a word? Anyway, my daughter had a genius idea of how I could go about getting a waist. Even as I write these words I am laughing because how in the heck at 43 do you get something you had never had before when it comes to your body? I’m not giving up pizza or chocolate so please don’t panic.

From the time I have been very young I have always been a normal weight but never ever had a waist. So why am I desperately holding onto the dream even now? I have no idea, but it is true what has been said about always wanting what we can’t have. Maybe that is the problem right there. I’ve never believed it was actually possible for little, tiny me to have a waist. All the little, tiny parts of me were put into my height so who was I to hope there was a little extra tiny left for that are between my hips and chest.

The question is this? How bad do I really want a waist? We are going to find out. My daughter absolutely swears by the weighted hula hoop. She has been using it for sometime, and I must admit I see a huge difference but she is 15. I’ve got years of eating bad crap, loose skin from giving birth to 40 lb. babies and did I mention I am 43? I am going to give it a try. I can already feel the bruises stretching across my hips but I have tried everything else so why not give this a try too. One of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein is this:

20140430-175420.jpg

Time to try something different!

Sometimes You Just Have to Try Something Crazy

Standard

There I was, sitting on my bed on a quiet Sunday afternoon when something caught my eye on Facebook. It was a picture of two little girls doing a flexed arm hang and on, of all places, their fireplace. One of the things I love about my house is that everything is so big…tall doorways, high counters, and lucky for me a very high fireplace. And the beauty in having a very tall mantle and a very short body makes the idea of hanging from the fireplace seem like a fantastic opportunity! So I found myself stretching and gearing up for my moment of fame. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but at least I found something to add to my Try Something New Each Week List! Who says it has to be something big like jumping out of an airplane. It’s fun searching for new ways to “live” each week, and having fun should definitely be part of the equation. Purely for your enjoyment, and hopefully perhaps to bring about a giggle, here are some pictures…

20130224-204512.jpg

20130224-204537.jpg

20130224-204558.jpg

This Girl is on Fire!

Standard

Everyone has a theme song right? I think it probably changes from day to day. Lately, I’ve been feeling really good and every time I hear Girl On Fire I feel like I am back in my twenties. I stand a little straighter, I smile a little wider and I have this incredible urge to get on the treadmill. Some things cannot be explained because for years I have physically dragged myself to the gym, and just the sight of a treadmill would zap the motivation right out of my body. So, we had a snow day yesterday and I was sitting in my room when my daughter walked in blasting music from her new iPhone. There it was, that song I’ve grown to love. Then it happened almost instantaneously. I jumped up, turned my treadmill on, and I was running. In fact I kept running and running until I actually thought I smelled smoke, because remember I was the girl in that song and this girl WAS ON FIRE! Atleast that’s what I thought until my treadmill came to an abrupt stop from overheating. That’s what I love about this treadmill. It magically turns itself off right about the one mile mark. That wasn’t going to stop me though. I headed out to the kitchen where my lovely daughter was helping cut up peppers for dinner and I thought it was a perfect time to show off what I learned in Zumba earlier this week..

Everyone knows I love country music and years ago line dancing was one of my favorite past times. What they didn’t know though, was that my body stayed completely frozen from the bottom of my neck to the top of my hips. That is until my lovely zumba instructor warmed us up through this movement that was new and foreign to my stiff body. We were arching our back, then contracting our abs and finally I was busting a move. So, there I was dancing behind my daughter as she cut the peppers, popping my mid section like an old pro. I was moving to the left of her, them moving to the right, chopping peppers to the beat of the music while she shot me her best disgusted look, while trying to secretly video tape me on her phone and conceal her laughter all at the same time. I finally got it and it felt great, and sure I was over exaggerating the movement and acting a little crazy but so what? I was getting my groove on to Rhianna and Lady Gaga until all the fun came to a screeching halt……yes, I threw out my back! That is the little reminder I needed that I am NOT in my twenties regardless of what song is playing in the background. It was fun while it lasted though, and I can’t wait until I’m feeling a little better so I can do it all over again!