Saturday Snippets

Welcome to another edition of Saturday Snippets.

Short, sweet and easy enough to go down with your morning coffee and whatever you chase it with.

Speaking of short.. I’m gonna hit on that thought with exercise today. It seems when people think of exercise they have the idea it has to be long and drawn out.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good solid workout sesh and feel like I’ve not done enough if I come in under an hour. I love rides that I’m gone for awhile or days I did long runs and was gone for hours.

The reality is, sometimes we’re all short on time and we wanna get as much in our valuable time as possible.

Yesterday I got up and per usual had my list for my morning before me. I had to be gone from home by a certain time and knew I didn’t have my hour( plus) to spend hefting weights.

I spotted one of my HIIT workouts I have written down and decided.. hey a fast and furious 20 minute session is where it’s at today.

This one is all about using just your body weight, although I added weights to a few things to make it harder.

I alternated rounds doing pushups then renegade rows with my 25lb weights.

I used a 25 lb weight plate to do butterfly situps.

The beauty of these workouts is you can modify up or down depending on your fitness level.

( ok and maybe I just wanted to squeeze in a little weight work too 😉 )

It’s pretty straight forward after that. I set my watch to cardio, then knocked off as many rounds as possible in that time.

Today it was “only ” 4. Then I realize that makes 120 situps Haha

I ended just planking as long as I could after everything and not just 30 seconds which is ridiculously easy for me anyway. I made it to the 2 minute mark.

I’ll tell you these workouts always leave me feeling it and I need that. It challenges me in a different way. I know my time is short and I have to work hard, and I’m horribly competitive and want to do as many rounds as I can 🤣

You can make your own HIIT workouts up by using any combination of moves. It can involve having some weights or just bodyweight work.

Remember to warm up for about 5 minutes before starting, and good form is always key so if you start to tire or hurt slow it down or modify what you’re doing.

And if you are struggling to get into an exercise routine, 20 minutes is a short sweet way to get started.

It may not be easy, and you’re gonna sweat, but it’s short and you’ll be on your way to your day.

Tell me. What’s your favorite short and sweet workout?

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Saturday Snippets

Happy Saturday… another edition here for you to digest with your morning coffee. This weekend here in south Texas promises to be perfect… like sunny and mid 70’s… so I’ll be outside soaking it up working on some furniture projects. ( Did you miss my posts on my furniture shenanigans? Find them here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/23/steps-to-transforming-vintage-furniture/       https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

I soaked up a bit too much last weekend and got some sunburn… like it’s February right? how can that be. My skin reminded me it’s been hidden for months and not outdoors being exposed to the elements training…

I am good about using sunblock but I just got outside and lost in my work and kinda forgot to spray the stuff on.

oh well… I am rather brown now haha

And I will definitely make that the first thing I do before I spend the day working outside.

Today though I want to leave you with a thought. I saw this quote months ago and planned to do something with it..so here we are..

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I’ve thought often how people can be content sitting on the sidelines and just observing but never really taking the plunge into something.

Taking the plunge into their dreams, hopes, ambitions, goals, life.

For some reason they are held back… by fear? uncertainty? the unknown or “what if’s”?

All of us will have different goals, interests, desires etc.

A different “calling” on our life if you will

Years ago I would’ve never seen myself where I am today, nor would I have seen myself accomplishing things I thought only “other” people did.

Not only did the idea of running seem crazy, running half, full and an ultra marathon seemed completely and totally insane.

And a duathlon? Go run, then bike, then go run again.

No… no where would I have seen that coming. Like that stuff is hard.

Yet, because I kept putting one foot in front of the other, somehow, all of that unfolded unfront of me.

Were there times I doubted myself? Absolutely.

After a training session that didn’t go like I planned or feeling tired it could happen. I’d mentally talk to myself, regroup, and get after it again.

I DID have what it took to do those things.

I realized I’d never felt more alive being out on the road doing hard work than anything else I’d ever done.

Ok, in all fairness I do have a “dive into the deep end” mentality when it comes to taking things on… but to take a middle aged non-athletic woman and turn her into an athlete?

It didn’t happen by sitting on the sidelines observing life and others who were doing it. It required me getting out of my comfort zone and getting stretched far beyond limits I thought I had.

I wanted to participate in life…in the things that made my heart beat fast and made me think again what wonderful machines are bodies are and how they can be trained to do amazing things. I wanted to participate in challenging my perceived limits.

And I wanted to savor what it felt like doing it, not just merely watching or thinking I “couldn’t” do it.

I have big goals ahead for myself. I am far from content sitting back and not continuing to push and work for more.

I will never be the one spectating, sitting on the side lines.

I want to be in the mix of something that challenges me more whether it’s athletically or learning new skills that I don’t know.

Which one are you? Where do you want to be? It’s never to late to make changes and set new goals.

Life… is for participating.

Who Am I?

I read a post recently by two bloggers who are really hustlers in the blogging world. They write with a purpose to help other bloggers be successful at what they do. They offer tips, tricks and ideas on every aspect of blogging.

Some of it to me is well, really, common sense.

Blogging at it’s most basic concept ( in my mind) is casually chatting with a friend over a  cup of coffee.

I talk and chatter, as the blogger, and the reader gets to engage by commenting and responding back.

Blogging isn’t complicated when you know the direction you wish to go, then set out to be good in that direction of what you feel called to write on.

Oh. And ideally not bore your readers into an early death. Boredom is the kiss of death.

Please, please, please I don’t wanna be boring haha

In one of the posts written by the author, they discussed being you, authentically you, with your readers. ( I promise, I don’t hold back) but they indicated sharing about who you are so when the reader comes to your posts they have a better idea of who’s behind the writing.

So that being said, I thought we’d step away from our usual programmed affair and I’d bring some “real me” stuff into it.

The blogging world

it still kinda surprises me when people follow me whether it’s via Word press, e-mail, or on my social media accounts.

Part of me is still like…. they want to read my stuff. How cool IS that? Maybe because in a world with millions of people, and so much clamoring at our attention, it’s nice to know people will take some of their valuable time to read my posts.

So.. thank you…

I’ve always enjoyed writing in one way or another. Words come rather effortlessly for me and ideas often clamor to escape my head. As I’ve moved along in this it has become easier and easier to find my voice and use it.

Basically, I can speak my mind.

I “toyed” with the idea of starting a blog for several years ( AH! do you know how daunting that seems?! and IS for someone who is not a techie person? )  but when a small local paper I was writing health and fitness articles for unceremoniously gave my little humble area to a …guy…. and thanked me and sent me off….

Well… let’s just say anger, annoyance and irritation were just the catalyst to move me to blog world. I have always kinda been that way… make something bigger and better than what I thought was so good before.

And really.. what’s better than going from your local town and surrounding areas… to having the entire world be able to read my ramblings?

So within a few weeks I had figured out all the basics to get my page set up , found some tutorials for things that were stumping me, and well, have faked the rest haha

No, not really. I am a quick study though so that helps.

With a bit of nervous apprehension I hit that publish button on my first post and well… here I am 3.5 years later…find my very first post here….

I’m still learning and I’m open to being taught new things in this process.

I don’t overthink things or make the idea of blogging into more than what it is.

I’m not hung up on all the techie stuff and trying to figure which SEO’s will propel me into the mainstream of reading.

Although, thanks Google, my post on the keto/dash diet has consistently sat in the top  search positions for awhile now…. so there’s that 😉

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/21/keto-and-dash-diet-review/

Mostly, though, I just like to have fun with writing. And hopefully educating… and motivating… and offering up a healthy dose of sassiness while I’m at it.

Besides being a writer, who am I?

I have a quick wit, I’m far to sassy for my own good at times, sarcasm can be a second language, I laugh at things I probably shouldn’t laugh at, I’m clever on a lot of levels, I will tease unmercifully with people I like, I’m to soft hearted sometimes, but can be as tough as nails when I have to be. I’m stubborn and a bit hard headed but it can serve me well at times.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to use my voice and not shy from it, but have learned the value of remaining silent if I need to be.

I’m extremely social and feed off energy of others. I don’t usually meet a stranger which works well for me on a daily basis.  I love meeting new and interesting people who have something different to bring into my life. Basically, I prefer not to stay in my same social “bubble”.

I’m random. If I wanna do something I do it. There’s adventure in that.

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Why yes, yes I’ll do a random selfie showing off my new nails and promoting a current blog post on my social stories.

I don’t go with the flow and I find conformity largely boring.

I’m not afraid to jump into a new challenge or take on something I’ve not done.

I’m Texas born and bred, I’ve never left the area or gorgeous state I was raised in. I’ve seen my town grow way to much, way to fast, but it’s still home and I can’t dream of being anywhere else.

I got married, had kids and made permanent camp here.

As weird as it is, all my kids are adults now, some married, and I’ve got some precious grandbabies too.

I’m a homey kinda person meaning I enjoy things like cooking and baking ( from scratch) I was taught the ropes by a mom and grandmother who knew their way around a kitchen and taught me the art of not just cooking but doing things that make a home, “home”.

Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday and I love the creativity of decorating and creating fun visual areas through the house to look at.

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A small snap of my favorite Christmas treasure… my antique cardboard Christmas village with original Barclay skaters

My daughter in law told me one year that my house was the kind where people should be able to come in and roam around looking while eating cookies… such a sweet compliment.

I love black coffee and on some days I drink copious amounts of it. Coffee is my legal drug 😉

In my mid 40’s I started dabbling in exercise. The bug kinda bit when I turned into a runner… yeah… who accidentally starts running? haha

The trend continued as I fell more in love with exercise and how I felt. I learned more about myself and what I can do in the process. It was a heady experience knowing what my body could be trained to do.

Along came cycling and now who would’ve thought, I’ve turned into a multi sport athlete.

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Out doing what I love….

I was working on losing some weight and the exercise regime certainly helped. So did learning more about what I put in my mouth. It has been a slow determined process but I’ve taught myself a lot about nutrition and now willingly make better food choices for my overall health and wellness.

I started sharing my experiences on social media, people were interested and started following me, which lead to me wanting to branch out and do more, thus began my blog.

And well, here we are.

The main focus I have here at Sassyfitnesschick, is to talk sane, sensible, and practical health, nutrition and exercise.

There is so much nonsense when it comes to these areas and I want to be a voice of sanity in the tidal wave of craziness.

I want people to know they don’t have to suffer and go through extreme things just to lose weight and get fit. I want to teach that they can slowly adjust eating habits and patterns that will lead to permanent changes. Or that exercise can start slow and easy ( as it should)

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I just feel bad when I see good people desperately clinging to things that will ultimately get them nowhere or worse, spending LOTS of money of products that promise them the golden ring but all they do is throw away their money and are still fat and unhappy.

Of course there will be some times I’m just gonna talk about life because as I’ve shared with you, there is more to me than “just” my passion for sharing sanity in the realm of health and fitness.

I’ve shared about my new adventures in flipping furniture and how it’s turning into my little side business… I’ll continue to share my passion with you.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

Of course there are also so many other awesome topics to write on you can bet I’ll be bringing more real life to you as well.

Most of all thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments.  Thank you for being a part of my world through my writing.

Thank you…some of you out there.. who have the same witty spunk I do. I like you …. you’re my tribe haha 😛

I appreciate you all and look forward to sharing more adventures with you in the future.

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Loved this shirt… nothing happens unless we hustle… right?

There Is No “Try”

There are many words or slang in the English language that either annoy me, bother me or trouble me.

I thought if I had to see or read a post with “Bae” in it one more time, I’d vomit. If there was ever a contest for dumbest slang words, I’d nominate that one.  There are of course others that could make the list.

Then there are clever words that were kinda amusing as I watched my daughter in law use the word “clutch”

She would use it in a situation and ask my son or myself, “did I use it right?”  that alone was entertaining.

( for the record, it means exactly what you need, exactly when you need it)

Slang.

Then there are normal words that trouble me when I go to write them ’cause I feel like a first grade kid again having to think them through….. “Am I spelling it right???”

Restaurant, Wednesday, February, Rhyme, Rhythm and a plethora of others make me slow down my typing skills. ( for the record, I just had to very carefully, methodically, type those out 😉 )

And they let me have a blog………

But there is one tiny little, easy to spell, almost innocuous word that can always trouble me.

Try.

 

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It’s defined as …. “To make an effort or attempt to do something

Now you’re probably sitting there tossing down your morning coffee rubbing sleep from your eyes wondering why I’m over here hating on such a tiny word.

Try.

Maybe because when I hear the word used it comes along with conditions.

I’ll try to be there…..

I’ll try to get the time off…..

I’ll try to call…..

I’ll try to make the meeting….

I’ll try to come by…..

I’m going to try and go to the gym….

I’m going to try and get up earlier to workout….

I’m going to try to eat better…..

Are you seeing it? when you use the word “try” you’re leaving yourself an out, a way to commit but still escape responsibility or follow through if you decide you’d rather not.

If someone tells me something and they use the word “try” in it, I’ve already dismissed them as not being serious about what’s being discussed.

They are giving themselves a way out.

They are going to “attempt” or “make an effort” to do something but there’s a strong probability it won’t happen.

Hey, I’m not pointing fingers. I’ve used it before too. Maybe that’s why I can say this, maybe I see it a bit more clearly.

Do or Don’t.

Do or don’t. Skip the “try”.

Yes, I understand it requires commitment to go in one direction or another but at least it’s decisive.

But let’s take it out to our commitment to ourselves.  When we say we are going to “try” and eat better, start an exercise plan, go to the gym, get to the doctor etc. we are giving ourselves an out, a way to escape from the self inflicted torture we are setting ourselves up for.

Exercise can be work, hard work.

Losing weight involves making different choices and learning to eat better foods and perhaps leaving some behind.

Going to the doctor who is going to tell us that we are over weight and need to lose some for our health convicts us. Well, hopefully it does and you listen and take steps to change things.

The whole process promises to make us… uncomfortable.

No wonder we throw in the word try when it comes to lifestyle changes.

To try something is to accept the possibility of failure. If you set out to do something, the possibility of failure doesn’t enter your mind.

I remember after I had finished my ( I think, third, half marathon) the thought came to me that now was the time for a full.

At first, I dismissed it as craziness and endorphins from running my best half yet.

The idea persisted. But gosh, that’s a full 26.2 miles of hoofing it along on my own two feet!

That’s a pretty long way.

It didn’t take much for me to commit to it. I knew it was time. I knew I was ready.

I signed up and found the training plan I wanted to use.

It hit me one day not long into my eagerness to pursue this new adventure.

The dialog went something like this….

“What, and I mean WHAT are you thinking?? 26.2 miles!” ( this would be my logical brain speaking)

My free spirit , not sane part of my brain responded, “Yeah, I know. I get that. It’s pretty long. I can do this.”

Logical brain… “you’ve not really thought this through. You are trying something you’ve never done. It’s long. It’s hard. What if you fail? What if you can’t do it?”

That brought me up.

I was trying something I’d never, ever considered in my life. I must be insane. Who signs up for a 26.2 mile run???

What if I couldn’t do it? What if logical brain really WAS right?

You know what I did?

I stomped logical brain down, never let myself consider again that I couldn’t do it or would fail at it, trained my butt off, and ran my first marathon that year on one of the hottest November days Texas had seen.

It was brutal. But I finished with the goal to do one again the next year.

I had never been more physically wasted, tired, drained ( physically and emotionally) ever in my life.

It was exhilarating.

Taking on and training for a marathon, it gave me the confidence I could do anything, that I can try anything and that I can take on the world.

I did another marathon, and then a 50k. If you’ve followed me for awhile then you know I also have gone on to do a duathlon and am training for my second this year.

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When you remove “try”  you can do big things

I would have accomplished none of that if I hadn’t been determined and just set out to do it.

I never allowed the idea of failure to come into my mind again.  Training and then doing it made me victorious no matter what. It really comes down to our “state” of mind, what we believe, what we focus on.

I never approached it as I’m going to “try” because that would give me an out, a way to say, “hey, this is hard, I’m old, I don’t have what it takes, but at least, I tried!”

No. I know I would’ve hated myself for caving into such things.

I would challenge you to remove that word when you approach new or challenging goals or plans in your life.

Contemplating a new exercise or a new goal? Maybe you are going to find healthy recipes or join a class.

Think of how you use  the word “try” in general, but specifically when it comes to new challenges. Don’t allow “try” to be your escape hatch.

With a different perspective you might find yourself removing obstacles and doing amazing things you never thought you’d accomplish.

 

Have you thought like that before? Have you thought you’d “try” something fully knowing you might not commit to the process?

 

 

Weight Loss And The Non Supportive Partner

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As I sit here rolling around ideas and topics to bring to you in this post (’cause there really are so many things to talk about, right? )  my mind is taking a little different bend on an area that might not be discussed often but it’s something that  I know some people deal with.

I talk a lot about weight loss, healthy ( sustainable) ideas to achieve it, exercises to support it and keep you fit, but what about the person who is trying to lose weight and get on a healthy lifestyle but has….

A non-supportive partner ?

What does one do when their support system is non existent or sabotages their efforts? I have to admit, this is a complete foreign concept to me as I’ve been blessed with a husband who has always been supportive of my efforts of anything I do, and not just losing weight.

Of course his position has always been… ” I love you no matter what size and shape you are” and good thing ’cause I’ve been many sizes and shapes in our 35 years together haha 😛

Seriously though, I’m glad he’s always felt that way, but never opposed to me improving either.

He’s more likely to chide me now days about not eating enough on my heavier training days than anything or give me a hard time if my day has been busy and I haven’t eaten in awhile.

In our time together I experimented with some different things along the way and he let me do my thing.  I got on the current path I’m on ( you know the sane, sensible, non crazy, sustainable lifestyle path) and that has just been a path that totally blends in with my family and has allowed me to stay successful.

I know not all people are as blessed to have such a support system. Cleaning out things in my moms home recently I came across a “Dieting Journal” she had started one January.

**Sigh** isn’t that when everyone thinks they should start? Anyway, I will share more about her insights in a later post but she had written something that I always knew because it frustrated her and always contributed to her not being successful.

Some of her struggles were wishing that my dad would be more supportive and helpful to her on her attempt to lose weight. I think he had a thing for heavier women, but I also wonder if he fell in the camp that if she did lose a lot of weight she’d be more attractive to men. ( this is a common problem at the top of the charts problem for people with non supportive partners)

He had a thing for junk food and he had ways of offering that at a point you’d finally give up and say ok ( like when he would offer me Peanut M&M’s 😛 )

She continued writing that he didn’t help her struggles and almost seemed to double up efforts to offer her foods that didn’t contribute to her being successful and how discouraged she was. At the time, they were on the go a lot and she writes about the fast food on the go and feeling like her day would be “lost” because of the foods they would eat.

So what do you when you have a non supportive partner and are trying to adopt a healthier way of living ?

What do you do when those around you say “you’re fine just the way you are”?

Well, yeah you are fine, but let’s be real. They aren’t the ones dragging your flab around, are they ?

Of course the implication is they love you “however”, but again, refer to my previous thought. They aren’t dealing with your clothes not fitting, or you feeling out of breath with simple tasks, or the fact you can’t bend over and get to your shoe to tie it, or how it all makes you emotionally feel. Nor are they considering your overall health.

I’ll sketch out a few ideas/suggestions that might be helpful.

First, ask why your partner or those around you don’t want you to do it? It’s ok to listen, but don’t let that sway your decision to be about what you want to do.

If it’s your partner there could be a lot of insecurity or worry. Maybe talking and reassuring them could go a long way to gaining their support.

Jealousy could be a bigger issue and one that’s harder to get around. They might simply not want you to get the attention it may bring.

Express your concerns. Tell those you love you want to do it to be healthier for yourself and for them ( it should always be about you first) this can be hard if you’re in an overweight family and everyone sees it as “normal”. It may be harder to convince them that you are doing it to have a healthier life.

You may have to just shoulder it on your own. However, in the process you’ll be gaining will power of yourself, after all, you and you alone controls what goes into your mouth. That is something no one can make you do.  It also falls on you to develop an exercise regime. Again, you are responsible for getting your body moving each day, no one else.

On that thought, you may need to stand firm from those in your life who might try and sway you from not doing it.  Make a list for yourself of how it makes you feel, and what your future goals are. Arrange things around your exercise time and don’t let other things try to knock it out.

Making healthy lifestyle changes in the mix of non-supporters can be hard but sticking to it will only develop your mental strength as well.

Go into it with a real mentality. People will offer you food you don’t need that won’t support your goals. They won’t be cheering for your exercise efforts. They won’t acknowledge the physical signs when your hard work begins to pay off.

It would be great if we got that encouragement for our efforts but it’s real life and we don’t. You can cheer for yourself as the pounds drop off and you slip on smaller clothes.

Assume that sometimes there could be someone who will attempt to make you feel guilty over the changes you’re making.

Honestly, that’s their issue. You… need to have none of it. Their issue is theirs. You just keep doing what you’re doing.

Learn to be direct. It’s ok to say no thank you to foods or drinks you don’t want. It’s ok to pass if you don’t believe it supports your efforts or if you just flat out don’t want it.

You don’t need to point out “you’re dieting” or “trying to lose weight”.  A simple no thank you is enough.

Try to keep this in mind….

many non-supporters have their own health/weight issues. Seeing you out there nailing it and becoming slimmer and more fit might just rub them the wrong way.

Again, it’s their issues, not yours. They may have their own insecurities or body image issues. That is for them to deal with, not you.

Be clear with your partner on what you need and what that support looks like. As in “please don’t leave my favorite cookies laying around” , “understand my workout will be the first thing I do in morning” or whatever it is.

Ask them to get on board with you. Maybe set up a friendly challenge to compete with each other.  Maybe he doesn’t need to lose weight, but might need to start moving more. Find something that might get you both going.

Keep your goals in sight, whatever that looks like for you. Motivational quotes, pictures, clothes anything that reminds you of what you’re doing.

Teach your partner about healthier food options, while letting them know they can still have some Oreos along the way too 😉

Finally, as much as you might want support, if you have to accept you won’t get it, remember you are totally worth the efforts and investment into yourself with healthier eating and taking time to exercise. Don’t get discouraged but maintain your focus on your personal goals. Hopefully, with some time and consistency, you will get a support team on your side to celebrate with you.

Have you had struggles with this? Have you lacked support in your quest to get healthier or starting an exercise program? How did you deal with it? Were you able to stay the course or did you quit ?

 

Sweet Sleep

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Sleep. Sometimes we get more of it. Sometimes we get less. Often there are things that distract us from resting peacefully. Sometimes we sleep like the dead.

We know we need it, yet we tend to burn the candle at both ends. I am more of a night owl than anything. Yet my alarm and rise time is 6’ish each morning and I know that. I’ve disciplined myself whether it’s a weekend, school is off or on, or whatever, to get up at the same time.

So when I make choices to stay up late, I understand I am eating into my rest time.

Sometimes, I don’t care 😛

Another way to understand your need for rest? Turn into an endurance athlete and you will welcome pillow time 😛  I have my deepest sleeps after long training days.

This is how I’ve learned to consider “rest and sleep” as valuable as how I eat or train. Sleep is crucial for our bodies, athlete or not. I’ve learned if I’m going to train well, I need to make sure my body has proper rest to heal and recover from what it goes through. Sleep is as important to health as eating well and getting exercise.

First of all, what IS sleep?

Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings.

Sleep is an important part of your daily routine—you spend about one-third of your time doing it.  Quality sleep – and getting enough of it at the right times — is as essential to survival as food and water.  Without sleep you can’t form or maintain the pathways in your brain that let you learn and create new memories, and it’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly.

Stages of sleep.

There are actually two basic stages of sleep.

REM (rapid eye movement) and non-rem which has 3 stages. You cycle through all stages in a night with increasingly longer REM periods closer to morning.

Stage 1 rem sleep is the change over from wakefulness to sleep.  It is a short period of relatively light sleep.

Stage 2 non-rem sleep is a period of light sleep before entering deeper sleep. You spend more of your repeated sleep cycles in stage 2 sleep than in other sleep stages.

Stage 3 non-rem sleep is the deep sleep you need to feel refreshed in the morning.  It occurs in longer periods during the first part of the night. You are so relaxed this is when it would be very difficult to wake you.

REM sleep occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep.

Your eyes move rapidly from side to side behind closed eyelids.  Mixed frequency brain wave activity becomes closer to that seen in wakefulness.  Your breathing becomes faster and irregular, and your heart rate and blood pressure increase to near waking levels.  Most of your dreaming occurs during REM sleep, although some can also occur in non-REM sleep.  Your arm and leg muscles become temporarily paralyzed, which prevents you from acting out your dreams. ( Isn’t that freaky?! I always just thought it was a weird feeling I had)  As you age, you sleep less of your time in REM sleep.  Memory consolidation most likely requires both non-REM and REM sleep.

How much sleep do you need?

Sleep and sleep patterns change and vary as we age and there is no “magic number” of sleep that works for everyone. We are all different and have different needs and requirements. Most adults need 7-9 hours a night. A few may get by on less and do fine. Others require more.

Cutting your hours during the week thinking you can “make it up on the weekend”? No… there is no making up sleep. Try to get adequate rest during week so you don’t feel a need to make it up.

Getting good rest is vital for your overall health and wellness.

Below are a few suggestions for a good nights rest:

Set a schedule – go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day but no later than a few hours before going to bed.

Avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day and alcoholic drinks before bed.

Avoid eating big meals.

Relax before bed – try a warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine.

Create a room for sleep – avoid bright lights and loud sounds, keep the room at a comfortable temperature, and don’t watch TV or have a computer in your bedroom.

Don’t lie in bed awake.  If you can’t get to sleep, do something else, like reading or listening to music, until you feel tired.

See a doctor if you have a problem sleeping or if you feel unusually tired during the day.  Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.

Of course there are lots of “smart” ways people are tracking their rest time now days.  Smart phone apps, bedside monitors, and wearable devices ( like smart watches, fit bits etc)  all give us a look at how our rest time goes. I have a Garmin Vivoactive HR and for almost a year now I’ve been able to track my sleep patterns ( among a lot of other things!)  seeing my data can convict me if I feel I need more rest, or confirm that yes, I did indeed rest well last night.

Sleep is one of the essentials we all require for a healthy productive life. Make sure you are taking steps to get adequate amounts to have strong, alert, energetic days, every day.

 

 

What’s Your “Why” For Good Health

 

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What’s your why?  Why do you do what you do? All of us have “whys” for things we do in our lives.

Let’s take that to our health and fitness goals.

Why do you want to do it? Or why are you out there every day going after it ?

More energy? Better health? To do something you’ve never done? To build your confidence? To daily activities easier? To be strong and empowered?

If you are like many I talk to, they want to but haven’t nailed down their “why” for getting fit or losing weight.

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I think, it’s a reason many people start, stop, and quit.

I was talking to a young woman the other night. She’s half my age. The conversation started that she didn’t believe I had ever been heavier or not fit. ( my daughter had informed her of that 😛 )

I’ve taken pictures since I started my health journey because it tells a much bigger story than numbers on a scale.  I showed them to her.

8 years ago I was a much softer, fluffier version of me. I was also quite a bit heavier.  My arms were soft with no muscle definition as were my legs.

I hadn’t looked at the photos in awhile so it was like a rapid fire look through my transition of the past few years.

Change definitely takes time.

Then she asked me..

“So why did you do it? What made you start?”

I have my own “whys” for getting started on my health and fitness journey.

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My check up with my doctor that year was my turning point. It became my “why”.

I knew I was packing pounds I didn’t need, and I knew I wasn’t getting the exercise my body needed.

I also knew my family history and that my mom and grandmother were both obese and had many health problems associated with being to fat. My grandmother had a heart attack at 50.  Her and my mom had high blood pressure and diabetes. My mom eventually developed kidney issues, having two transplants and ultimately being on dialysis. My father, although having really no contact with him, I knew he was overweight and had diabetes. He ultimately died of a heart attack.

I was 46 the year of that check up.

Knowing I was still healthy and had the power to change things settled on me.

My “whys” became so I didn’t walk the same paths as family members before me. To be healthy for myself and for my family.

My “why” for starting was fairly simple and uncomplicated.

Lose weight. Stay healthy.

I had no idea the journeys I would go on in the upcoming years.

I guess the rest, is history. I made the choices I did and in that I found activities I love and have become passionate about.

Never, ever would I have thought I’d become a runner. Or a cyclist. Or that I’d be pursuing both at the same time for a race.

I’ve learned to eat more good foods than not. It’s all worked together.

My “whys” turned into, “why not’s”.

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She started telling me her story, one that is familiar to me now as many people have similar ones.

She just wanted to lose weight.  She wanted to get back to working out.

So I asked her… “Why? Why do you want to?”

One of her first responses was “well I want to get back to the weight I was in high school”

I told her that was great, but what was so wonderful about that weight?  Did she think it would make her happier or more successful? Why did she think that was a reason for getting started?  (And for the record, your high school weight was great when you were 17 but it might not be where you need to be today in the body you are in now)

Talking it out for a bit she finally admitted “well I know I was pretty thin and wasn’t taking care of myself like I should”

Maybe that isn’t a good why reason.

We kept talking and she said “well I would like to lose weight because I’ll just feel better about myself, and doing that makes me feel more confident”

Ok, good reasons. Now we were slowing getting somewhere.

She talked about her son and how she wanted to be healthy for him and how she wanted to be able to do things with him. She mentioned how she bought him all these healthy foods and she didn’t focus as much on her own nutrition.

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I asked her why she thought taking care of herself wasn’t a priority. (note… you get no bonus points in life for putting yourself on the back burner)

We continued talking and brainstorming as I listened to her share her story with me.

She finally admitted she needed to consider her health as a priority as much as her sons was.

Now… now we were getting somewhere.

She was getting to her “why” for wanting to do it. More than just a vague acknowledgement of wanting to lose weight.

We all need to come to the point where we can answer our own “why” for wanting to lose weight and get fit. Then we must begin to remove the excuses that keep us from moving forward to our goals.

It might be fun to think of getting to your high school weight or losing 10 lbs before a class reunion but is that going to be enough to get you going?

To keep you going ?

You have to examine it beyond a surface thought of “I just want to lose weight” to a deeper level that will keep you motivated to reaching your goals.

Making your own list of why you want to get healthier and fit is a good way to move towards making it happen.

As you make a list think of how losing weight will help you. How will you feel? What will you be able to do easier that you can’t now? What health needs do you need to address? How will losing weight improve them? How do you feel about yourself right now? Would losing weight help you with a more positive attitude about yourself?

You can apply similar thoughts to getting fit and eating better.  Losing weight doesn’t just change our bodies, but it changes how we feel about ourselves and that in turn affects the rest of our lives.

Getting to your own reasons for why you want to lose weight, get fit or stronger and healthier is a key step to actually accomplishing those things in your life.

What was your “why” reason for weight loss and getting in shape?