Monday Musings

Hello Monday. Another one in the works.

Monday, the day of the week that seems to garner the most whining, complaining and lamenting. It’s the killjoy of the week, the black sheep of the family,  the ugly step-child, or the stuff you stepped in on your shoe.

I’m never sure why Monday always gets such a bad rap.

Oh I know, the party’s over, right?

 

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Back to work, the grind, the no fun and games grind of the work week.

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Some of you relate….

Of course some of you get up with your positive pants on and head into work and you be like…..

 

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And with all the negative Monday talk have you ever wondered if…….monday3

Yeah, something to ponder.

But then, I’m over here like….monday.png

I guess for me it’s easier to embrace it as another day of opportunities and chances to do things.

It’s another day we’ve been given this amazing gift called, life, and we are complaining about Monday.

You. Are. Alive.

One more day to spin around the sun, see things, do things, feel, touch, love, and experience life.

Yes, you might view Monday as the armpit of the week, but don’t miss out on living while you feel that way.

Speaking of living….

Yikes. I seem to be meeting myself coming and going lately.  Working with my son for awhile at his business ( means being gone all day) training for my duathlon, maintaining the household/ life stuff, writing for this blog, doing research for mentioned blog ;), and attempting to work on my projects for my business leaves me feeling like I want another hour or two in my day, preferably to sit and be still for a moment.

Training is rolling along for the duathlon.

I took off Sunday morning to go run both legs of the course where the race will run. I’ve done it like. twice, since last years race. As I shared in a recent Instagram post, it’s not an “easy” 5k. I mean really, to me a 5k is a distance I’m just warming up in. But this 5k, literally out the start line, is on an incline and you head right into hills, big hills. It continues pretty much until they turn us around to head back, then there is some down hill work, but also more up and down action too.

Anyway, I wanted to be out there to get it under me again mentally as well as physically. The heat and humidity is just a part of what goes with my training so that adds to fun as well.

As I was heading into the final stretch I checked my watch to see that I had clipped a 10 minute mile… now for a lot of you that’s like…slow.

For a 50ish year old woman, I’m okish with that 😉 especially given the mile it had been. I saw my finishing time was close to what I did in the duathlon last year when I was in my peak condition and all I could think is… “I need to get my average pace down”.

I’m hard on myself. I expect a lot and I  have high goals. don’t like to feel like I’m not working towards improvement in what I do.

The beauty of athletics right? The sky is the limit on reaching new goals no matter how small or big they may be.

I reminded myself that my last mile was worth cheering over and a decent time on that course was celebratory too.

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Finished both run legs for the duathlon… smile time.

Of course I might’ve been smiling ’cause I knew food would be imminent. It’s not a good sign when I take off and my tummy is already growling.  Food never, ever tastes better than post workout and my hunger is deep, real, and needy.

Do you ever let yourself get that hungry? Trust me, you appreciate food on a whole new level when you are that kinda needy.

Speaking of food….

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nothing like finding a random snack hanging out in my purse haha I guess it beats having candy in there  or something of that nature.

In the category of things that make me go hmmmm.

Featured stories on the daily news leave me shaking my head.

  • daily interaction with your children will help them grow and thrive.
  • eating a diet with less processed food and sugars will help you lose weight.
  • exercise can help you feel and look better.
  • eating a diet high in vegetable and fruits can help prevent many cancers.
  • reading to your children will grow their vocabulary.
  • smoking can shorten your life, be aging and cause other health issues.

I mean, aren’t these “no brainer” kinda things? Common sense? Like you should just know this stuff? Maybe not but it always leaves me scratching my head when I hear stuff that just seems like you’d know to do it or not do it.

When I’m not trying to eat well and train for a duathlon….

Ok I’ve shared in other posts about my new little vintage business.   https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/    Believe it or not, it’s been a month since I jumped in the deep end and got my little space at a local shop. I’m so excited that the month has gone really well! I’ve sold a lot of things, I’ve also sold stuff online and picked up some custom orders too.

This is where I start thinking I need 8 days a week with 36 hours in a day…..

especially with the upcoming holiday season on top of it all.

Goodness.

I’ve got plenty of projects going on. I scored this cute little number the other day…

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I have a thing for these old phone tables. This one is unique so I was excited to literally stumble across it one day last week at a local thrift shop. I love the fabric on seat and it appears rather new so I’m working with it… I already have a vision for what the rest will look like so stay tuned.

Ok, it’s getting late for me and I need to wrap this up… but first..  this week when I was doing a shift at the shop… I saw one of the girls selling this…. I instantly related….

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I mean… really…. I do believe this could be true 😛  Coffee is a the soothing beverage of life. It can pat me on the back and remind me I can do great things haha

I do believe it could be my spirit animal.

Do you have one?  How do you feel about Mondays? Tell me something cool and interesting from your week.

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Things No One Told Me About Exercise

Exercise. It’s one of those subjects that when the topic comes up, people delicately shudder and walk off as if you’ve mentioned the plaque or some other horrible ill.

There are jokes made about pain and sweat and how hard it is.

There are comments about how “they should start to do something” or their “doctor told them to” or “my friend is trying to get me to go with them” and many other similar thoughts.

We can be challenged, made to feel guilty, or completely ignore the idea.

For some, just the mere thought of having to move their bodies in purposeful exercise makes them sweat.

Honestly, I was in a similar boat a few years ago.

Then one day, like many people are, I was at a doctor appointment  for my yearly check up.  When he asked me what I did for exercise I told him I “used” to go for little walks but hadn’t done it in a long time. He encouraged me to do something, to at least get back into walking and to try and drop a few pounds.

I literally left his office that day, went home, took my first walk and pretty much never stopped after that.

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It wasn’t all fun and games.

I didn’t skip out and dive into my walks happy. No. I grumbled over it. I lamented being fat and “having” to exercise. ( gosh have I learned a lot since then) I hated being hot and I would’ve preferred staying in and doing something else.

I wanted to come up with reasons not to do it, but I’m kinda stubborn and when I get into something I get determined to make it work.

Yet somehow in all of the talk about the “how’s” and “why’s” for exercise, there’s a whole lotta things that never get mentioned.

Exercise IS hard.

In the beginning it feels like… death. You wonder why on earth you signed up for this fresh hell and how is it really gonna benefit you? Where are the results already?

Seriously, I’d dutifully go for my 2 mile walk and want, ya know, instant results, for my efforts.

Honestly though, I always did feel mentally better after I did it, so there’s that.

Exercise reminds you that you are really outta shape.

Admit it. Who hasn’t gone up a flight of stairs, tried to run for a short distance, or even gone for a brisk walk without breathing like a freight train and feeling like your heart is gonna come out of your chest.

Good times.

Yet I never got the memo that those were some of the awesome side effects I could encounter when I decided to pursue exercising.

I hated that feeling ’cause it did tell me I needed to work on what was inside of me as well as what was on the outside.

Let’s not forget  the other awesome side effects of looking like a red ripened tomato ’cause your blood is wildly rushing and you have sweaty hair plastered to your face.

You ache and feel muscles you never knew you had.

No wonder people run away from exercise.

Don’t do what you hate.

If I had a chocolate bar for the times I’ve had people come to me asking about exercise activities to do but they start with… “Ok, well like, I reallllyyy hate running. I mean, I know YOU like it and all but for me…well..no.”

I simply tell them, well then, don’t run.

Hey I never imagined I’d turn into a runner. That stuff is hard. But somehow, in some weird way, I started doing it and before I knew it… I was running.

I won’t lie. There’s a pleasure and pain pay off to it, but it’s always fiercely rewarding so I’m kinda loathe to give it up 😉

Find something you can enjoy and look forward to and then become the biggest expert at it you can. It’s that simple and it’s the best way to stick with it.

It eventually WILL pay off.

It will. Trust me. It won’t pay off after 9 days or maybe even a month, but it will. But long before you may see physical changes, you will mentally feel better. Going for purposeful exercise can clear your head, help you problem solve, and make you feel better overall. It’s a great day to unwind from your day or start it. I prefer and have turned into a morning workout girl for a variety of reasons.

Mornings are when people typically want/need almost nothing from me so I can take that time. I also feel like it starts my day in an energetic positive way… even if I may still be rubbing sleep out of my eyes why the sun comes up behind me. I am also smart enough to know it is easier to have excuses later in the evening than morning so I just make it my first priority.

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Shhhh is there something behind me? How I love starting my day

 

No matter what time you choose know you are making an investment in yourself and it will have pay offs.

You’ll actually start to look forward to it.

Really, you will. Once you’ve built it into a new habit it will become easier to incorporate it in your day and you’ll come to actually crave that time, even when you know it will be hard and it will be work.

You won’t mind that because you will come to understand that it makes you feel good and that’s a pretty nice side effect to hard work.

I honestly schedule appointments and other activities around making sure I have time for my training and some moments to get cleaned up and human looking  after I’m done . This is as important as anything else in my day and  I make no apologies for putting it on my agenda.

You shouldn’t either.

Some things won’t feel so hard.

Really. In the beginning when you are gasping for air like a fish out of water and your heart is pounding you may think you’ll never adapt.

You will.

Your body will begin to do all the miraculous things it can and make adaptations so the work “feels” easier but the reality is you are getting stronger. You’ll be able to walk or run longer, lift more and as you make progress you can ( and should) keep pushing on for more that feels hard again.

Years ago when I started doing a little lifting I had these cute 5 lb weights.

Yes, for real. ( I’d never let anyone get away with that now 😉 )

Anyway, I decided I’d make a big move up to 8 lbs. at the time, I felt it a little more. When that started feeling like nothing after a million times, I made a huge move to 15 lbs. ( go big or go home right?? haha)

I won’t lie. That was work. I could barely do 6-8 reps without deciding it was enough. ( girl arms)

I worked those weights a lot. I did what I could do and when I felt like I could add “just one more rep” before my arm fell off, I did it.

Obviously, I camped there for awhile gradually building in sets of high reps that kept me feeling it.

A while back, I realized the 15lb weights felt like the previous ones, like easy, no effort.

I got the small barbell, tossed on about 25 lbs and oh yeah, I’m feeling it again.

Seriously, the first time I could barely squeak out  3-5 reps before it was fail  ( meaning I couldn’t curl it one more time)

I just worked that in each time… I’d push for one more rep…

Now, I’m kinda proud to say I can do 3 sets of 8 before my arms are yelling at me. Even though I use heavier weight for other moves, the 25 is for single arm work and my arms are definitely earning their muscles haha

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Strength training isn’t just about lifting stuff, it’s about being strong for the other activities I’ve come to love.

 

I’m serious… keep at what you do… no matter how small it seems… and build on it. You’ll get stronger and the work in some ways, can feel easier.

It can really build your confidence

So you’re thinking, “well, I am a confident person without working out”. Yeah, I was too.  But when you start exercising and putting your body through vigorous work, it changes and you get stronger and you’re doing things other people tease and make jokes about, it will build your confidence even more.

When you set goals, sometimes bigger than you foresee being able to do, go through training, sacrifice, sweat, tears, exhaustion and a whole list of fun things, you’ll get it.

Train for and run a marathon, it will give you the confidence you can do anything. Trust me.

You’ll meet amazing people doing what you do.

So, I’m a little bit.. social.

I’m mentally seeing my hubby reading this choking, reading that last line to which he would snort and say… “A little?!?”

Ok well maybe, quite a bit.

Turning into an athlete certainly has brought me into different circles, and in those circles, meeting some amazing and talented people.

A few years back when I was selected to be in Runners World, “Runners Body” edition, https://sassyfitnesschick.com/runners-world-body-edition-feature/   I was privileged to share the pages with some amazing athletes scattered all across the U.S.  These were people I would’ve never encountered otherwise. After the magazine hit the market (Dec 2012) thanks to the world of social media many of us connected.  Many of us to this day, are connected and cheering on each others accomplishments.

Locally, I love knowing people who perform in similar sports as I do and having that common ground to discuss our fields of interest ( this often saves the sanity of our loved ones who may or may not be weary of hearing of our times, our negative running splits, or what technique is best for releasing worked muscle groups 😛 )

Knowing these people remind me I can always strive for more, to get more from myself, and to keep setting bigger goals.

My Ironman friends… well… are you even human???

Maybe… someday… who knows.

All that to say, you can meet some interesting people when you get out there.  And if you’re semi- social like I am… well it goes together like peanut butter and jelly 😉

Energetic. You’ll get more energy.

I will admit. That was a hard sell in the beginning. How… how… could I get more energy when I could barely drag my carcass off the sofa to go do something ?

This didn’t happen over night. However, the more I did, the more energy I seemed to get. It’s like exercise became the breeding ground for more energy.

Weird, I know, but it happens.

Just start, it will come.

That whole healthy thing.

Ok, I knew intellectually, before I started working out, that it had some health benefits. However, I had no experience with it.  This takes a little time but when you start eating better and exercising, it has positive results on your body, inside and out.

My doctor tells me each year at my annual check up my labs are boring and normal, which I think is a good thing.

My good cholesterol level is off the charts past “normal” to which he tells me is generated from all the exercise I do.

There’s a win.

My resting heart rate is usually dancing around in the 40-50 bpm range, thanks cardio and a whole lot of endurance training.

The things I do in my daily life are easy and I have strength to do things on my own and not need “help”.

Let’s not forget how exercise also constantly is generating new cells and growth which many believe is the best anti-aging medicine.

Find some posts below I’ve written on this topic….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/05/24/exercise-and-aging/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/24/aging-and-the-fountain-of-youth/

Have I sold you yet?

I hope, I’ve presented some valid ideas for making you want to build your own exercise plan.

I’ve written this article in a somewhat playful way to share with you things I never really knew or understood about exercise.

It IS important. It’s not just for weight loss but is good for our bodies. We’ve been made for movement. Find a post on that idea below…..

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/06/28/no-exercise-required/   and it’s valuable for our total health and well being, inside and out.

Do yourself a favor and start. Start small, start somewhere but get going. You can thank me later 😉

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After workout… when you can cheer for yourself for getting it done… and yes, you can 😉

 

Your turn…. how do you view exercise? Or how have you viewed it? Do you appreciate the benefits of it ?

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

 

Nutrition Vs. Exercise For Weight Loss

Hello world! Oh my gosh it’s been a crazy week. If you saw my last post you know I took the plunge and dived into “officially” starting a little baby business. Find my post here on that topic…..  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

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Doors in old buildings are really short! I’m like Alice in Wonderland 😉

Anyway, besides trying to make that all good and lovely, I’ve been trying to work on those old relic furniture pieces that I love bringing back to life to go in my little cozy room at the Vintage store.

In the mix of  all that you know I’m training for a duathlon. It’s official “official” as I actually paid the MONEY today to torture myself… I mean….. participate….. mostly in a field of athletes that are my kids age….

Yeah, I’m out there reppin’ the old people, cheer me on 😉

I’m pushing more on my training, but gosh, the weather is pushing back pretty hard too as in… heat and humidity.

I knocked out 24.5 on the bike Sat and followed it with a 2 mile run.  Sunday I took off on the duathlon course and ran the first and last leg of the race course.

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After my Sunday run…It’s just me in the parking lot so I can make my own sweat angel, right ? 😛

No matter how early I get out there, that sun is already waiting. But here’s what I’ve learned from past training in the heat. Come cooler weather, there are happy payoffs as my body now finds it wayyyyy easier to work, which typically means my speeds increase too.

Let’s see how that all plays out this year.

In other horrifying news…..

My Garmin bit the dust. As in… it’s not working for me anymore. Literally the face plate came off and I guess, weirdly, it likes that securely in place to make sure it all works well. This is my second one in 2 years.

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I’m pretty sure my Garmin isn’t gonna work this way.

Am I just hard on the poor things or do they have a short life?

I got the Garmin Vivoactive HR when it first hit the market. I love that it tracked all of my activities and even some I knew I’d never use….hello…golf?

It also tracked my heart rate which was a feature I really wanted. As my training increased, I watched my resting heart rate drop lower and lower ( remember your heart is a super important muscle that gets worked and strengthened too. A lower resting rate means it has to work less hard)  and in other non-athletic things it was synced to my phone which gave me at a glance info on everything from incoming calls to my socials and a bunch of other nifty things.

I feel crippled without the thing right now. My arm bears obvious signs of our relationship….

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I’ll keep you posted on how this plays out….. meanwhile… no stats to track which bothers me ’cause it’s a constant carrot in front of me working for better times and not to mention, tracking my distance…

( as this post goes live this morning, I spoke with Garmin and they are gonna hook me up with the newest Vivoactive Garmin… yay! I promise a report on the new model )

Onto todays topic….I have one….

it seems lately I’ve caught convos from people who are  riding the ongoing wagon of losing weight and attempting to change the lifestyle they live.  Eating and nutrition now days to me, seem cut and dried. I guess my understanding has grown over the past few years of what good nutrition is and what the  hype and nonsense are that ultimately won’t work.

I remember last year my husband coming home from his yearly check up and discussing his convo with doctor and telling me… “you aren’t going to like what he said” as I gave him a blank look to which he responded… “he said exercise won’t make you lose weight”

My response was… “He’s right”.

It’s a common myth that if you exercise you will easily lose weight and have no worries.

diet-

Don’t misread me here… exercise is great and our bodies are made for movement. We’ve become a lazy, sedentary, “please make it as easy and effortless as possible for us”, world.  All things set aside, we need exercise just for the health of our bodies, not for weight loss.

The first and foremost way to losing weight, keeping it off, and living a healthy lifestyle is to eat a proper amount of calories to support your (personal ) lifestyle. Eat to many calories, you’ll gain. Create a deficit and you’ll slowly lose. Exercise or not.

This is the smart way to go about it.

There are other factors that are invisible calories. Or things we don’t think we get many calories from.

Sugary drinks and alcohol being two big offenders.

When someone mentions they are trying to lose weight but aren’t being successful, but drinking is a part of their lifestyle, I can assess that is a possible link that’s hindering them. Alcohol packs a huge punch of calories and has high levels of sugars and carbs. And let’s not forget all the negatives it has on the body, in general.

And then there are sugary drinks, sodas, juices, fluffy coffee drinks with whipped cream and all that stuff. Do that frequently enough it will hinder your weight loss efforts.

I think these areas people often turn a blind eye to not wanting to see that those beverages contribute to their lack of success.

Your body requires a certain number of calories a day to live and carry out the activities you do.  You must eat and drink within the right perimeter for your needs, and if weight loss is the goal, you must create a small deficit each day to accomplish that goal.

How exercise ties in.

I wrote a post recently called No Exercise Required.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/06/28/no-exercise-required/

I laughed when someone told my husband they read it thinking I was gonna tell them they didn’t need to exercise.

Exercise is important overall for our health. It is not the magic thing to make us lose weight but it can be a helpful tool as you’ll obviously use more calories in your day which can help contribute to your deficit as mentioned above.

Do enough vigorous exercise all week and you’ll most likely find it easy to not just lose weight but maintain it as well.

Well, I mean, as long as you don’t use your exercise as a reason to justify eating more otherwise, you’re gonna be losing the battle.

Having a good nutrition plan in place alongside strong vigorous exercise (most) days of the week is a good combo to lose weight.

Thankfully, I’ve never fallen into the mindset that I just ran or biked a million miles I can eat all the food. I eat enough to satisfy my appetite and leave it there.

So when I hear someone talking about their weight loss struggles or lack of success in that dept, naturally I inquire as to what purposeful exercise they participate in.

When I get a response of they do “some things” or they walk around the block a couple days a week, this is not the kind of exercise that will be a helpful tool to weight loss goals.

The recommendation here in the U.S. is 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week. I think this is a great starting point but if you want to see changes, you need to work on kicking that time up.

And like it or not, cardio exercise is the thing that drives fat loss. Most people don’t like cardio work because this is when they come to the quick realization of how out of shape they are. Cardio is like brisk, quick walking, running, cycling,  rowing, jump rope or any other activity that makes your heart and lungs really work.

So what’s gonna help me lose weight?

Both. However, your diet needs to be what you are most diligent on. Going for a 2 mile walk then thinking you can go grab a donut pretty well negates anything ( caloric) you just did. Yeah, you’ll feel good for getting out and have your head cleared and maybe come up with a creative solution for a problem but you won’t be helping your weight loss goals.

When it comes to exercise, go ahead and be prepared to get a little uncomfortable. It’s ok to feel that way, and you will till your body starts getting stronger and adjusting to the new demands you put on it.

Eating healthy and sensibly ( at least 85% of the time) ’cause you know.. ice cream or cake… or whatever floats your boat… root beer float? there’s life going on too… eat right and make a diligent effort to workout vigorously ( most days) of the week and in a slow and steady way, you will see weight loss.

If after a month you feel you aren’t seeing results, you may want to track everything you eat and drink to see where the weak areas are. Seeing it in black and white works better than mentally dismissing something as “not that big of a deal.”

Remember most of all, the biggest key to success is to keep moving forward and not giving up.

Tell me what things you’ve found that work best for you? Have you found the right balance of diet and exercise to met your goals?

Monday Musings

Welcome to another edition of Monday Musings where I let my thoughts out to play….well most of them… some need kept under lock and key haha

Here we are in another week and I’m ready to take no prisoners, carpe diem and all that, right boys and girls?

I ended my week yesterday by knocking out some miles on the bike. I always say it’s  not the “miles” but what’s IN those miles that really counts.  Sometimes it’s both as well.

Usually when I am training for something I do what I think of as “pieces” I’m putting together for a puzzle. I work sections and gradually put them together till I’m doing all of a long run or ride etc. Training for the duathlon has many pieces for me.  I had thought last week after finishing a particular section of road with some big hills that I’d branch out farther and start adding more miles and getting more time out on the road where the race is held.

But then…..

I had this great idea that I was just gonna go out and do the whole thing on Sunday. No pressure to ride fast or capture new PR’s or anything like that. Just ride,  get the course under me mentally and physically again.

I mean… if I started feeling like an old lady and needed to stop and rest under a tree I could, right? ( ha for the record I didn’t 😉 )

I know I have a good strong physical base so I thought if I got the whole thing under me, it would definitely give me a good idea of how hard I can start pushing myself.

I got about 5 easy miles in before I headed to the main road that took me all the way down, then back that encompasses the whole course.

I’m just gonna say… it’s work…ok? This race isn’t listed as the toughest in the state for nothing.

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I’m smiling ’cause I’m on top of the last hill of many AND that I set a new PR on this one and the one that drops off on the other side

So I did it. Did the whole thing. Finished with 22.5 miles although the mileage for course is a little over 16 beastly miles.

It was a good ride and I feel ready to really push into my training in these upcoming months.  And I do love getting back into the thick of training…. the tiredness that only comes from a hard workout, the fierce hunger I can only experience once my training increases, the solid night sleep where you can move the house from under me ( try it!) the increased strength and power I grow into again as my body adapts to the heavier training, getting more chiseled as I drop some body fat, setting new Pr’s… I love it all.

All that work though makes me hungry….

I had to venture to the store over the weekend ’cause ya know, I like to eat. And so do the other random people who wander into my house.

On a side note, it always amuses me how one of my married sons can venture into my pantry or ‘fridge and complain about what’s not there.

Like…dude. You’re married you have your own home and pantry…stock it with whatever junk food you wanna find.

Anyway… I went to the store. I was out of a lot of produce and I start to get concerned when I don’t have fresh stuff… well not really…  I wanted donuts too 😉

So I do all my shopping, find a lane that is open, and get the process rolling to get out.

The bagging part always makes me edgy.

Will I get a good bagger? Will I get the cashier having to do both? ( I usually jump in when that happens) or will I get someone who didn’t finish bagging school?

I got a bagger and a checker who didn’t make it out of bagging school.

Obviously.

Let me pose this question…. shouldn’t bagging groceries be a common sense act?

It should right?

Bananas should not be tossed into a bag with other things piled in on top. Chips don’t get tossed in with canned goods. Frozen foods and produce shouldn’t all be thrown in my freezer bag.  Bread shouldn’t be “pushed” into an already full bag.

Yet I watched all of those things happen… horrified… like I’m paying for this food you are bending and smooshing everywhere.

I paid, thanked them both, and left. When I got to my car I was rearranging my stuff. Does anyone else do that?

Tell me, IS bagging groceries a common sense activity?? Or is it a skill reserved for a few?

The joy of people watching

So I couldn’t help but noticing people when I was out…. noticing on a day topping into 100 degrees why so many were wearing … jeans??

My legs won’t see jeans till Oct… maybe…

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My fav jeans. Why do old people offer to buy me new ones?? haha for the record this pic was taken in cooler weather

 

I can’t think of anything more hot to wear than denim from waist to ankle. Maybe I’m weird… ok well you could take the “maybe” out…. but I just can’t do it.  Summer means cool, light, breezy, enough to be legal, fun clothes for all these sweltering hot months we’re in.

I’m just not in the “jeans in hot weather” club.  That my friends, are what shorts are for.

Can you believe it’s July already?

We’re gonna be celebrating the 4th in a couple days and that means food, and maybe a little more food.

 

I found this amazing looking baked bean recipe that’s gonna be on the menu, among other things 🙂  The chocolate coffee/mocha brownies have been requested and I will make a double batch having learned from my previous experience a single batch was not enough.

I’m sure there will be watermelon and I will have my once a year participation in eating hotdogs. 😛

We won’t be purchasing any fireworks as there is a ban on them since we’ve had no rain and everything is so dry here.

July also means birthday month for yours truly so there will be a post on getting another year closer to my senior breakfast discount as well  thoughts, observations and life lessons learned from the year gone by.

You know I gotta keep you posted on my furniture shenanigans…..

I finished this little table off yesterday and I love it so much. It’s had lots of positive feedback and I’ve had a couple people come look at it….20180630_193835

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Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before….

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A nice little improvement, hmmm? Once I got the top sanded down I decided the ebony would be a nice change but I did it light enough so the wood grain would still show through.  It’s fresh and crisp and ready for years of service. This is a Mersman antique table, I thought the fold out part was rather cool. I literally picked it up on our trip to Canton last month as we were heading out of town.  It was like it was just sitting there waiting for me haha I’m glad we found each other 😉

Oh, and in other exciting news, I sold several pieces this week so that always encourages me to keep on going. Heaven knows I’ve got plenty of projects waiting for me to set them free from ugliness 😉

Ok that’s a wrap on today’s edition… there’s a lot more I could blab on but… we both have lives to get to, right?

Have an amazing week beautiful people!

Ok it’s your turn to weigh in…. thoughts on my question of bagging food… is it common sense to bag groceries a particular way?  Will you wear jeans when it’s hot? If you live in the U.S. what will you be doing for the 4th of July? Any fun foods or treats?

No Exercise Required

It was early morning and I was still bleary eyed, sipping on my first wonderful cup of hot coffee slowly coming to life.

For the record I’m not “anti” morning. I mean most weeks I’m out on the road running or cycling while people are still crawling outta bed. On the other hand, I may just prefer to cuddle and be alone with my coffee for a bit till the fog clears my head 😉

I am more of strong night owl if I had to label myself … anyway…

I’m waking up, laptop in front of me as I do a final read through and edit on my post before launching it into the world and blog land.  I do my level best to make sure you, my faithful readers, don’t stumble through to much of my ramblings haha

And can I take a moment to say thank you?

However, you follow me, whether through e-mail, Facebook, IG, Pinterest or on WordPress, thank you for taking your time to read what I write.  I know our time is valuable and I appreciate you taking yours to read my offerings.

I will always attempt to make it worth your while, to keep it sassy, and hopefully to educate, inspire, or challenge you.

Now, where was I?

Waking up, drinking coffee and proofing my post… yes that’s where I was. So while I’m doing that, the morning news is on and the morning commercials.

Sweet heavens.

It must be the cheapest time of day to advertise ’cause obnoxious car sale ads are on along with ads for medical clinics, lawyers and all kinds of other services I can do without hearing about that early in morning.

All of them are so… loud. So very, very loud.

Anyway, this weight loss commercial comes on advertising how you can lose weight with some miracle something or another and “no exercise required!!”

I guess that’s where my still sleepy, yet slowly coming alive brain kicked in.

I thought, how is that a good selling point ? But then I realized, to a lot of people, that IS a good selling point.

Lose weight and you don’t have to exercise? Heck yeah.

I get it. Exercise is work. If you do it right, it’s hard work.

Of course, if you’re out of shape it really feels like hard work. Your heart and lungs are screaming at you and you get all red and you are breathing way to hard so of course a weight loss offer of no exercise might seem like a good deal.

oxygen

 

It’s just not.

Let’s just forget losing weight here as we discuss this. Really, exercise shouldn’t be what you do to lose weight, it’s really what you put in your mouth and how much of it that matters more.  Exercise can just support those efforts.

Exercise offers so much more to us than being a weight loss tool. Think about how you feel when you leave your house on a nice evening to go for a short walk. Chances are it gives you time to think, clear your head from the day, brain storm ideas, and just unwind a bit. When you come back in you probably feel rejuvenated and refreshed, even if you may be sweaty 😉

In time, you most likely will want to walk a bit further as you start to really enjoy it and look forward to it.

Maybe going to a yoga class let’s you feel more connected to yourself, makes you more aware of your body.  For me, yoga definitely slows me down, but it also let’s me have some time that is a bit more quiet and reflective.

Whatever activity you may enjoy, if you get started in it, you will most likely enjoy many benefits that have nothing to do with losing weight.

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Remember, your heart is a muscle that needs work too 😉

 

 

So…get this…..

Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning.  Even 10 minutes of activity changes your brain.

Jumping on the treadmill or cross trainer for 30 minutes can blow off tension by increasing levels of “soothing” brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. What’s fascinating, though, is that exercise may actually work on a cellular level to reverse stress’s toll on our aging process. according to a 2010 study from the University of California—San Francisco. The researchers found that stressed-out women who exercised vigorously for an average of 45 minutes over a three-day period had cells that showed fewer signs of aging compared to women who were stressed and inactive. Working out also helps keep us from ruminating “by altering blood flow to those areas in the brain involved in triggering us to relive these stressful thoughts again and again.

I wrote a post on exercise and aging… find it here….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/05/24/exercise-and-aging/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/24/aging-and-the-fountain-of-youth/

It can help with depression. Research suggests that burning off 350 calories three times a week through sustained, sweat-inducing activity can reduce symptoms of depression about as effectively as antidepressants. That may be because exercise appears to stimulate the growth of neurons in certain brain regions damaged by depression.

Exercise can improve our learning. Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals called growth factors, which help make new brain cells and establish new connections between brain cells to help us learn. Interestingly, complicated activities, like playing tennis or taking a dance class, provide the biggest brain boost. You’re challenging your brain even more when you have to think about coordination. Like muscles, you have to stress your brain cells to get them to grow.

It improves self-esteem and body image. You don’t need to radically change your body shape to get a confidence surge from exercise. Studies suggest that simply seeing fitness improvements, like running a faster mile or lifting more weight than before, can improve your self-esteem and body image.

It may keep Alzheimers from setting in. The Alzheimer’s Research Center touts exercise as one of the best weapons against the disease. Exercise appears to protect the hippocampus, which governs memory and spatial navigation, and is one of the first brain regions to succumb to Alzheimer’s-related damage.

Is that enough evidence for exercise?

Those are some pretty convicting reasons to exercise, right? Yet not a single one of them have to do with losing weight. The point being, exercise benefits all of our body, soul and spirit.

Exercise is a good tool to help with weight loss but as you’ve seen it offers so many more benefits to keep us healthy and whole.

It shouldn’t be viewed as something you don’t “need”. Our bodies are made for and are designed for, movement.  So many of our modern day illnesses and health issues could be helped and improved with regular consistent exercise.

What exercise has taught me

ok admittedly, a few years ago when I was an out of shape middle aged woman, I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of vigorous daily exercise. As I mentioned earlier in this post, it’s hard, and it’s really hard when you’ve been doing nothing and  then start doing “something”.

I purposefully made myself go walk each day. I dutifully walked 2 miles. I did it no matter what was going on, some days I had to fit it in at different times, but I did it.

I did it enough it turned into a new habit.  One day I got brave and actually went farther. One mile turned into another, before I knew it I was running some, and then, well the rest is history…

Exercise was certainly a good discipline tool. Those scheduled daily times on the road disciplined me to getting up and making a commitment to something.

That discipline eventually carried over into other areas of my life.

When I trained for my first marathon I learned a lot more about discipline, sacrifice, and some serious hard work. Honestly, once you run a marathon ( I actually went on to do more and eventually in 2014, a 50k) you develop the feeling and attitude you can take on the world.

I learned more about concrete goal setting, short and long term.

Exercise has built my confidence in what I can do and what I’m capable of doing.  This translates far beyond what I do on  the road.

The more I’ve grown athletically, the more I’ve seen that transfer into my daily life.

Becoming mentally strong dealing with physically activity has given me a tough mind in dealing with life.

I shared in a recent post about my yearly check up with my doctor.  My HDL ( good cholesterol ) was 75 on the lab report. It should be mentioned the highest number they had as “good” was 39. My doctor just gave me a level look and said… “it’s from all that exercise you do”.   So exercise is good for stuff like that 😉

I’ve also learned I can do some of my most creative thinking out on the road. It’s a time to process, discard, think and get clarity.

It’s taught me to get out of my head, get out of my way, so I can see what I’m made of.  I’ve learned I have strength I didn’t know I possessed, mentally and physically

Oh yeah. and somehow along the way of learning that, I lost weight and got decently fit.

So yeah, you do need to exercise

So if you’re one of the “anti-exercisers” 😉 I hope I’ve given you something different to think on.  Find something you enjoy and want to do, then commit to getting good at it. DO it often enough and frequently enough and it will turn into a habit, a good one at that.

And then, before you know it, you too will have lost some weight and be getting decently fit too.

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I love and anticipate my workouts now, physically and mentally.

 

Your turn… tell me… do you wish you didn’t “have” to exercise? Do you wish you could lose weight and get all the benefits without doing it, or are you at a place where you love it and would miss it? Have you ever considered exercise as beneficial to you in ways besides helping with weight loss?

Strength Training And Every Day Life

So I’ve been kinda lazy lately… you know with the writing thing. Sometimes I just feel like there’s to much up there in my brain and it’s all clamoring to escape and in turn it comes out with multiple ideas and story lines. Sometimes, I’m just lazy and don’t want to be still long enough to write.

That my friends, is the usual more likely culprit.

It’s hard for me to contain myself at blocks of time to sit and write. Probably why I will never be the next Stephen King or whomever.  It’s why I  remove myself from home so I don’t start thinking about the projects beckoning me to come play with them,

And if you’re following me then you know what I mean by projects, my antique furniture flipping adventures. I have my list of what I’m doing with each and seeing that by my laptop makes me want to go get creative. And yeah, I’ve heard you. You want a post on my furniture flipping shenanigans and it will be in the works. It will be a fun post on some of my recent projects and what I’ve done with some of them.

So, I remove myself to get creative with words for awhile, ’cause you know, use it or lose it.

I mean, in actuality, I’m not really you know, lazy. I can be selective about things I give my time to, is that different?

Over the weekend I was sharing some stuff with hubby, namely how my legs were tight and whining that I needed to be more diligent to rolling them out on my pvc pipe to keeps my muscles loose from what I do to them.

Rolling on the pipe is the poor mans equivalent of a deep tissue massage.

Yes, I willingly hurt myself to get my muscles loose to keep doing the things I do.

Mind you, I like what I do. The running and cycling and lifting heavy things with doses of boxing and rowing in the mix.

I like it.

But putting my body through constant rigors also demands that “after/before” self care that goes alongside being athletic. Sometimes I get lazy with that too.. I will admit it…

So I get these words from hubby “You need to remember you aren’t indestructible”

Me: ” Uh, yeah, I tend to forget that” hahaha

I’m not reckless, I’m just a bit fearless and don’t like backing down from things. I do believe there is a difference.

So with a nod to the reminder I’m not indestructible, I’ll seque into the topic for today, building strong bodies.

Today was strength training day. This usually unfolds for me with my time involving some type of cardio warm up for 10-15 minutes then spending the remaining hour (ish) on strength training, using my body and weights.

I’ve evolved a lot in knowing what I want over these past few years getting fit. I finally know where my “loves” are and what makes me feel alive. That is, being outside and going at 90 on foot or bike. I’ve also learned the  weather can shut those activities down and strength training was always a good plan B. But then I started understanding how important those days were to my other activities and strength training days stopped being the ugly step sister.

Strength training is important for you too

You might be reading this thinking it’s not so important for you, but really, being strong for life IS important for you. My training time takes a small part of my day. The rest of it, I’m on the go doing life. Sometimes, it’s heavy work.  I like to be able to do tough stuff on my own. I will freely admit to wanting to be able to handle it without waiting for someone ( and boy do I get frustrated when I have to!)

I don’t mean “oh, I can get it done and grind it out” I mean, I like doing it with ease, and there is a difference. The stronger you are, the easier things are.

It makes me laugh every time I go get some big piece of furniture and get on the end to lift it when I get the warning:

“It’s heavy”.

I kinda like being underestimated.

Now I’m not reckless ( see my comment above on that) nor am I stupid. I hear the warning, I engage my body just like when I’m lifting stuff in training, preparing for the weight of it, and it turns out to be a piece of cake.

Why? I practice getting strong so when I’m doing life, those things are easy.

Same for you. You are doing life and I’m pretty sure encounter things that require you to put some energy into your activities. When you practice it, then in real life, your body just does what you’ve trained it for.

I’ve upgraded

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Curling up a bit more now days to build those arms.. I’ve made progress.

 

 

I didn’t start off this way. It’s what I remind people when I get asked about my journey and where I am. I didn’t wake up one day and just grab the heavy stuff. No, I had these baby 5lb weights that looking back were, really, useless. I mean I carried several grocery bags at once weighing more than 5 lbs why would I think that would help. I then made the “huge” jump to 8lbs and that offered a bit more challenge esp on high reps. I stayed there for awhile till it felt to easy.

I then upgraded again. I remember the trip to the sports store. Hubby bought me what I wanted, 15 lb little suckers. I could just do about 6 reps before my arms were shaking.

Perfect.

That’s what you need to do as well if you start. Find something you can barely do like 6-8 times and start there. That’s a challenge for you.

Over time that got easier although my 15 lbs are my go to for high reps. I have a variety of things  I use including a 35lb kettle bell that I use for everything from kettle bell swings to deadlifts to single leg deadlifts and everything in between.

This weight works for me ’cause I can use both arms to toss it around but I cannot curl that weight with one arm.

I have however recently upgraded to curling like 25 lbs so I’m kinda excited over that.

And by that I mean I’m in the “curl 6-8 times before arm falls off zone” and that’s good ’cause it’s gonna make me work harder and well, build my girl arms some more. I rest a minute, and go at it again.  And it’s almost tank top season and I live in those so the arms get some decent exposure 😛 time for that hard work to hang out in the sunshine haha

It’s a progression

When I talk to people they always feel overwhelmed like they need to start where I am or their friend or whatever.

Uh. No.

It takes time, energy, patience and a whole lot of stubbornness to keep at it and for your body to grow and adapt to the changes you put it through.

You cannot jump in where someone else is.

You can find where you are, what you are capable of and start there. As I always suggest find a weight that is hard for you, that you have to really work at doing those 6-8 reps on. Even in the beginning if it’s all you can do at a time, start there. You most likely will be able to do those reps, rest a bit and do another set two or three times.

My weight progression has been gradual and I still have tons of room for growth and improvement! I have lots of body building friends who spend way more time lifting than I do, but then, ha they spend a lot less time on cardio than I do 😉 In time I will slowly and steadily increase what I do. Of course my goals are also different from those who have a focus on body building.

Get your equipment

You can use things as simple as milk jugs with some water in them and lift those, adding as little or a lot as needed. You can add sand too.

Craigslist  and local sale sites have  a plethora of “better ideas” people are looking to unload for cheap. I’ve spent very little money getting stuff, and no, I don’t go to a gym. I work out with lawn equipment and  my projects in a building with no heat or air. This is probably good as it keeps me acclimated for my outdoor activities. But there have been mornings I could see my breath in the air and I will just say that metal is crazy cold.. but I do it.

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One of my projects photo bombing me 😉

 

 

 

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My toys

Of course, using just your own body is the perfect way to build more strength by doing body weight exercises that can work specific muscle groups.

Some life thoughts

You may never care about having a defined muscle, although, they are cool to have. But do you know the reason so many people are in nursing or care homes? They lack muscle strength to get out of chairs or off the toilet and a whole lot of other reasons as well. As we grow older, our skeletal muscles tend to wither and weaken, a phenomenon known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia, which begins to appear at around age 40 and accelerates after 75, is a major cause of disability in the elderly. Exercise can help counter the effects of age related muscle loss. We begin to lose muscle mass as we age and if we aren’t actively using them they can become weak and not support us in the normal daily activities we need to do. That might be a good reason to schedule some active strength training several times a week, right?

If you need help getting started, look around you and see who’s out there doing it and learn from them. I shamelessly pick brains of people who know more on things I’m interested in to learn from them.

And of course, there’s always Google search and the internet too, right? Just find your place where to start, make it a commitment to yourself several times a week and then break out those sleeveless tops 😉

Tell me, do you do strength training? what do you incorporate? Or, do you want to get started in it?