Happy Monday kids!Where oh where do I start in today’s Monday Musings edition?Let’s start with one of my fav topics…. snake oil offerings…. aka health and wellness companies looking for those desperate to lose weight, along with their cash.When it comes to health and nutrition there are some guaranteed buzz words that will send me head on into the other direction. If you come at me with words like “cleanses “, “detoxes”, “fat burners”, telling me I need to get toxins out of my body, and that I need to spend my days drinking shakes or mystery drinks, I’m gone.Like yesterday, gone.I like to eat my food, not drink it.I get it. With the weirdness of the last few months people are stuck at home alot more.Feeling emotionally strung out they reach for the ice cream cartons and chocolate.”Quarantine 15″ is a reality for many people. Well, hopefully not that much. Life has been crazy and food, for alot of us, can be entertainment, comfort, or simply boredom eating. Being home extra time gives more opportunities to graze when we usually wouldn’t.No matter what your current weight situation, you don’t need to be cleansed or detoxed from your affair with ice cream or fries.Just incase you don’t know, cleanse and detox are buzz words for “starvation and being miserable “. I’ve never met an honest person who wasn’t ready to finish and get back to normal life from being “cleansed”. And the weight loss from it? Nothing but water loss, not fat.And I’ll say it again for the kids on the back row…..there is no such thing as a fat burner! If that stuff actually worked, everyone would use it and we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic.So what would I recommend? I’ll put it as succinctly as possible.Eating! Eat good nutrionally dense foods with adequate protein that satisfies you.Feed and nourish your body with good foods, don’t deprive it or eliminate foods it needs.And don’t forget to allow treats because life is good and you shouldn’t live deprived.You don’t have to starve to lose weight or feel constantly hungry.Movement!If there is one thing under used for our wellness, mental and physical, it’s exercise. Exercise makes us feel strong and can clear our minds. I do my most creative thinking during exercise.Don’t get caught up in thinking you “have” to do it to lose weight. Take the weight loss out of the equation.You can build strength, gain energy, develop more muscle mass, develop your cardiovascular system, and flex your creative mental energy without actually losing weight. ( do it often and frequently with my suggestions on healthy eating and it will happen) you should exercise no matter your body size because it benefits you in so many waysBut please, don’t get on the cleanse and detox hype bus in a quest to get to lose weight.Speaking of building strength….I have been making strength training a part of my physical discipline for awhile. This week I tossed a little more weight on my bar moving from 155 to 185lbs on my dead lift. I did 3 sets of 3 for a starting place. I was pleasantly surprised when I did it again yesterday, it didn’t feel as hard as I was preparing for. I look back to several years ago when I got 8 lbs dumb bells and they were a little work for me ha it seems crazy now since I use 25lb for alot of my arm work. Consistency does pay off.You… no matter where you are… have a starting place for your health and fitness. You just need to find it.Speaking of all things health I’m excited to be reading this book, Give Yourself More. I’m also excited to finish so I can write a review on it. This book takes women past “just” losing weight to learning more of themselves to giving themselves “more” in life. I previously did a book review on Georgie’s “Lean Habits For Weight Loss” ( find both reviews in my posts) which focuses on building healthy, sustainable habits for life long weight loss. You’ll find my review here on my page when I finish this book .Oh…..and if you never had a black Nitro brew coffee, you need to. 😉No how about some fun stuff? I’ve shared with you before that I have a little vintage furniture business. Of the many positives I ponder in this weird time we are in, is how it has continued to grow. I moved into a larger space in the shop,and became a retailer for a well known chalk paint company. It took off so fast I made the move to become a premier retailer (lots of perks with it) all within a few months. I put together my website and launched it. I’ve gained alot of followers and picked up lots of custom orders with new customers.My little hobby, this fun little side gig, has turned more and more into a thriving business.All during a time things were closed and nothing was moving.I used that down time to be productive, to work and accomplish new things. I firmly believed that things would get moving again and I wanted to be heading that way, ready.Guess you can say I never let grass grow under my feet.I’d challenge you in this time to find something new to learn, build a hobby or craft. Take care of yourself and maybe get into some type of exercise. Use this time as an opportunity of personal growth. Read, write, reflect.Ok you wanna see some of the things I’ve dragged home recently, don’t you? I love showing you pieces from days gone by 😊Harp media holderI transformed this cute telephone bench. She sold this weekend 😊Just a little snap shot of some of my projects, my many, many projects 😱So I guess I’ll leave you with this thought. Are you using this time to be productive in new ways? A lot of our lives and schedules may feel perhaps, a bit disjointed right now. We can look at it all in a negative way, or a way of accomplishing new things we haven’t done before.Tell me…. have you used this time to try new things or to learn something new? Are you focusing on caring for yourself in how you eat and move ?
So I’ve been camping on this idea for awhile now and after a particularly strong and energetic week I decided to get it out, dust it off, and talk about it.
Between physical therapy and those single leg presses ( do you hurt after doing them? they ask.. all 30 reps….Me…nooo.) ok then add ten more, 40 reps per side with your 165lb weight.
I like how they challenge me.
Plus, add the strength training I do at home, it’s been a vigorous week. My deadlifts are at 185 with me currently doing about 3 sets of 4. Baby steps ya’ll…baby steps…I mean this is literally picking up 185 dead weight straight off the floor…not bad for the old lady group 🤣
My workouts include body weight work as well as using a kettlebell, dumbbells, and weighted bar. Resistance bands come in handy too.
I didn’t start here, I’ve come along way from my little 8lb dumbbells from several years ago!
I do talk a lot about the importance of strength training, for women and men, and the crucial role it can play in our lives.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be old and weak.
Old may happen, weakness doesn’t need to.
Why strength train?
Let’s define that first. Strength training can be accomplished using just your body ( we all have those!) And with the obvious, weights for lifting. Both are done to build more physical strength
Strength training is the best way to increase muscle mass, keep body fat at bay, and increase overall strength.
Even in todays world women who participate in formal or consistent weight training is extremely low with many opting only for cardiovascular exercise. If you’re a woman, you shouldn’t be avoiding weights, and you should take strength training seriously.
Let’s look at reasons why
* you will get physically stronger. If there is one thing I love about how my workouts carry over into my daily life, it’s being strong and very capable to handle anything. I love being able to move and lift things without needing help.
Not because I want to feel tough( well maybe a little 😉) but because it’s rather empowering.
I often help customers unload equipment at my sons engine shop. I love the looks I get when I tell a man I will help unload.
One guy…”well it’s pretty heavy…I mean you look strong but it’s heavy..”
I didn’t tell him I was more concerned he wouldn’t be able to deliver on his end than mine.
A well trained womans body is as capable as a man. Strength is not gender specific.
Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent on others. Increasing your strength also means daily tasks and routine exercise will be less likely to cause injury.
Do you know….. research concludes that even moderate strength training can increase a womans strength by 30 to 50 percent. Research also shows a woman can develop her strength at the same rate as a man.
You’ll lose some fat
Studies show the average woman who trains 2-3 times a week, for two months, can gain nearly 2 pounds of muscle and lose 3.5 lbs of fat.
And for the record…you don’t turn fat into muscle….the times I read that in places…nor can you claim gaining weight as muscle after working out for 2 weeks. It takes consistent work and time.
You’ll gain strength without bulk
For whatever reason, if there’s a myth out there regarding women and weight lifting, it’s this.
They worry about getting “bulky”.
Sorry ladies, we just don’t have the genetic makeup for that to happen. We lack the hormones and honestly we aren’t gonna eat enough and workout hard and long enough to even come close.
What will happen? You will develop muscle “tone” and muscle definition and that’s a huge win.
You will decrease your risk of osteoporosis
Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) this coupled with adequate dietary calcium is our best defense against osteoporosis.
You can improve your athletic performance
No matter what you do, strength training can not only improve your athletic ability, it can protect from injuries as well.
You will reduce your risk of back pain, injury and arthritis
Strength training not only builds stronger muscles but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. Strengthening the low-back muscles can help in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and strengthen joints.
Will reduce your risk of heart disease
Weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. When cardiovascular exercise is added, these benefits are maximized.
Weight training can help with peri menopause symptoms
During midlife women have often put on weight, become more sedentary, and do not exercise which can enhance the symptoms women complain of during the years of peri menopause and menopause.
Fatigue, hot flashes, low mood or depression, weight gain and muscle aches and pains and other issues are often complained about. Strength training can often help combat these symptoms or offer some level of relief. Strength training decreases body fat, increases muscle mass, and optimizes hormones, not to mention, getting stronger is a great mental boost too.
Finally, it’s never to late to benefit
Women in their 70s and 80s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.
Adding strength training to your weekly exercise ( 2-3 times a week) man or woman will give you great benefits that will help you in all areas of your life.
Your turn.. is strength training a part of your week? What benefits have you seen doing it?
Happy Monday boys and girls… here we go again! A week behind us and a new week of adventures ahead.
Since it’s Monday, I think it’s appropriate we talk about M&M’s.
Candy. Yeah I know.
You like hanging out with me ’cause I’m sane and sensible when it comes to health and fitness and treats are an allowable part of a good life.
But there’s a story here…
You see our local store has been hawking them like crazy for weeks now.
Why? I’m not exactly sure. But they are everywhere. On the end of every aisle and literally all down the center of store right before check outs with huge signs that say
“BUY 1 GET ONE FREE!”
They have them in baskets right where you pay with the same sign.
Ok, I just can’t be tempted that easily. You gotta come at me harder. I mean I do have many moments of temptation in the store but can usually dodge stuff like that.
The checker the other day was prompting me…
“Don’t you want some? I mean, you get an extra bag”
Me: “No, I still have candy from Halloween, Christmas, and Easter laying around” ( I didn’t buy any for Valentines day)
I’ve managed to avoid temptation until I realized they were peddling a new flavor…. which would be Crunchy Mint.
I bought into it like a fish going after a June bug. A girl can only take so much pressure, right??
Chocolate and mint are in my opinion, have the right kind of relationship going on
This is evidently one of their new flavors you/we the public get to have a say in. Let me say this about them… have you ever had the Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookies?
Yeah… like little crunchy, chocolate morsels of ground up Girl Scout cookies. They are up there in ways of tasty deliciousness. Vote for these little suckers to stay around all the time.
Ok and I may share with the fam… maybe….
Anyone tried these?
A deep thought provoking question for you
Hubby shared something last week, one of those meme’s that said something like ” being an adult is a lot like trying to fold a fitted sheet”
Well, the topic of folding fitted sheets got more discussion than the actual funny intended meaning of the post.
Which got me to thinking… weird.. I know…
I pretty much stated how I felt about folding fitted sheets. I find them annoying. I can fold them, my mom and grandmother taught me well. It’s just I don’t spend any amount of time trying to “get them right” or perfect or whatever.
Sometimes they might be a loosely tossed folded ball hahaha
Not really. The point being, I find it largely irrelevant. I don’t care if they are folded right or just clean and put away. I understand no one is patting me on the head if I do it “right” nor do I get an award for being awesome at it.
I’m to much of a free spirit to worry about many things, that being one of them. I’d rather get on to something more fun.
Lots of people though, seemed to take their folding fitted sheets pretty seriously. I guess the older I’ve gotten the more I seem to not worry or get hung up on a lot of things that don’t need so much of my attention. The sheet thing just got me to thinking about it.
How I’d rather get done necessary chores, in as quick a way as possible while keeping a clean, organized home, so I can get on to stuff that’s fun and enjoyable to me.
As in I like a clean house, but it’s not something I love doing. I like the final result but I don’t get a thrill out of.
I save that for flying off hills on my bike 😉
What camp do you fall in? Are you super particular with sheet folding? Or do you just hit it and get on with life ? Or are there other things that you prefer not to do but get done to move on with something more fun?
Then there’s life in the hill country
Nothing makes my day more complete than coming home and realizing two of my goofy dogs have gotten a wild hair to dig out under the fence.
Nothing really makes my day more complete than one of them coming home looking like this….
The sad thing is, he’s so goofy. This isn’t his first time. Or his second time. I wasn’t feeling super happy with him at this point… the next day and hundreds of dollars later he came home… much happier than when he went in.
Goof head. All he had to do was stay in his safe yard and not go running through miles of rugged country and he wouldn’t have to go through that.
But before that unexpected surprise
I had been out shopping and gathering ideas for some of my furniture projects I’ve been working on
You will just have to wait and see what unfold with this scheme 😉
Oh but I did collect some fun new goodies this week! The best part, they’ve all been super cheap.
this little piece I got from a girl selling some random things out of a storage building. I knew it was old but took it and knew I’d research it more when I got home. It was 15.00 so I was willing to take a chance on it. It’s an old school beverage cart/ trolley. How clever right? They actually used to use carts for teas and other drinks. I love the little drawer that I guess, held utensils. I also got a cute solid wood accent table that I have ideas for, I just need to get to it.
I’m excited to have several pieces I’m working on that will hopefully be ready to go to new homes in the next week.
Sunday I picked up some chairs that I came across. I haven’t really gone after chairs as I haven’t been sure exactly what I would do with them. But these were so cute and old and she was selling them for next to nothing, I couldn’t resist.
I couldn’t resist, especially since I immediately had ideas bouncing through my head for them.
ok what I love most of all is how perfectly, horribly needy they are. It’s my idea of perfect project pieces.
If there’s one thing I get a lot it’s comments on my smile and this week I guess I heard it more than usual.
So I’ll just say this to the questions I get often.. yes my teeth are naturally like this and no I never had braces 😛
I’m a good girl and see my dentist twice a year for cleanings, floss most of the time and eat foods that keep my mouth healthy.
Are you good about flossing? We all should be 😉
Speaking of food…..
I came across this tasty looking recipe a day or two back. I haven’t made it yet, but think it will be on the menu sometime this week.
Have you whipped up anything new this week? What new adventures have you been on? What are you most looking forward to in the week ahead?
The question came at me again. I get a lot of questions but this one comes up often….
“How do I get abs?”
Realistically we ALL have them. The strong muscle structure that supports our back and inner organs come as standard equipment on all human bodies.
I know what the well intending person means.
How do I get defined abs? ones that show and pop ?
This really depends on your goal, what you’re wanting to achieve. For many people on their weigh loss journey, just losing fat off of their belly is all they want. Less around the waist, nothing rolling over the top making that awkward “muffin top”. Less around the middle is better for your health even if you don’t care if you ever see a defined ab muscle.
Excess fat around the belly can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Aesthetics aside… losing it off your middle is in your best health interest.
But… what if you do care and want to see those clear cut and chiseled ab muscles ? or muscles of any kind?
You ready ?
It takes work, dropping enough body fat and having a wicked eye towards your nutrition.
Muscles are simply not visible with to much fat.
There’s this little saying that ab’s are made in the kitchen and it’s true. What and how you eat definitely comes into play in the muscle game, especially with your abs.
And what you eat is crucial to dropping fat while striving to maintain muscle mass.
But in the process of losing weight it’s important that you are building muscle.
If you diet down without building a solid foundation of strength and dense muscle tissue you’ll end up “skinny fat” ( it means you are under lean, your body has less muscle than fat) , weak and unhealthy.
What does that mean for someone wanting to have muscles that show up ? It means even if you are packing some extra weight, you are working on building muscle. It means you have a good strength training plan to build muscle mass while you work at cutting fat… so when you’ve slowly and steadily dropped that… you will have a muscle base to show up.
No matter how thin you get, if you haven’t built the core muscles in your abs you won’t have the results you are wanting. In fact if you haven’t built muscle anywhere, it won’t be there when you drop the fat.
I have been my own sort of experiment these past few years. I see magazine pictures of people like “before/after” but I don’t know them. I don’t really even know how they got to where they are today. But I do know myself and understand what it’s taken to get me where I am and the fact it’s taken time to achieve it, and I know it will take more time and discipline to further myself.
You have to understand, I am a fairly ordinary woman who has done this on her own with no coaches, trainers or anyone else. I work hard, read a lot, use things I think are helpful for me, reject what I don’t think is helpful and I’ve continued to move forward a little at a time.
Do I want to be stronger ? Yes. Do I know I can have better muscles and definition? Yes. Do I understand because of where I am now it will take more disciplined work and time?
Of course I do. I’m ok with that since I know it’s a process.
The same goes for you. You won’t have visible results without a strong foundation. You will need significant muscle mass before you see abs and work before you see other muscles.
But hey, remember in the process, you are getting stronger for living your life and that is a total bonus 🙂
What about you? Do you seek a strong, muscled or what people refer to as a “toned” look? Is that a goal? Or are you happy just being strong enough to cart the groceries in with less trips to the car ? 😉
I’m a wee bit competitive. Ok, well depending on who you ask, perhaps I’m a lot competitive.
That’s not a bad thing, right? I’m a fierce competitor against myself and when my sons were younger and we had those side yard football brawls my middle son and I could either make a fierce team, or we were angling to take each other out as opponents 😉
That being said, when I’m around guys and they start talking about muscles and flexing their arms, I need to stop flexing mine 😛
I mean, why can’t I do show and tell along with them ? ** note to self: don’t flex when you have more muscles… and you’re a girl….**
Seriously though… muscles are for girls.
In the beginning of my fitness journey, that never really crossed my mind. In the beginning it was all about losing that fat.
I guess I never pondered much the idea that there were muscles hiding out under the fat. Or that once it started to go away, I’d see those muscles that had been growing and changing.
But then one day I realized I could see definition in my arms, legs and other parts of my body. It’s taken time.
I often have women ask me what do I do or how can they get arms like mine? It’s usually said in a teasing way but they are serious.
I simply tell them I practice lifting heavy things.
I am kinda surprised how many women still worry that if they lift some weights they will be transformed into some kind of bulging hulk.
Listen, you won’t spend enough time lifting, and lifting heavy, or consuming the large amounts of food needed to get to that point.
You can get shaped, lean looking, and that illusive “toned” word that gets thrown around.
I was telling someone the other day when the whole arm convo was going on… go get weights that you can curl about 6-8 times before you can’t curl them again. Those are heavy enough for you to start with.
Forget those dinky little 2 lb pink weights… I’m not even sure why they were made. And even 5 lbs…forget it. Your grocery bags you carry in weigh more than that. The idea is to work and tax your muscles forcing them to grow and change.
Find your starting point and work from there. In the picture below is how I’ve progressed along the way…. and looking back… if I knew what I know now… those 5 lbs wouldn’t be there. Missing in the lineup are my 8 lb weights as a part of the group.
These are my free weights I work with…35 being the one I primarily use. It’s hard for me, don’t get me wrong. It’s work. And that’s ok. The 15lb ones I use when I’m doing high reps. ( for the record I’m just showing one of each… they all have mates 😉
Now when I work with the bar I lift a lot heavier for things like squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and moves like that. I also have a bench that I do chest and leg work on.
I do strength training a couple times a week.. nothing crazy. Of course my other athletic activities have definitely contributed to muscle building. Running and cycling have really built my legs.
Alright, but other than muscles shaping our bodies, what about practical ways we use them ?
That strength you build is essential to the tasks you take on every day. Lifting, carrying, moving, pushing, whatever it is, you need to be strong for those tasks. The practice of lifting heavy things prepares you for your daily life.
During Christmas, I had to carry my nearly 40 lb grandson blocks to the Christmas parade we were going to because we had to park a distance away from parade. I was easily able to carry him. Why? that weight was something I was accustomed to handling… I had practiced it enough that it was easy for me.
Ok besides the daily practical part… having strong “toned” ( and muscle is what gives you that look) arms is high on the list for many women.
How to go about it? First, understand it takes time. You can see in photos below how my arms have progressed… but it’s within a span of several years…
OK…so you know it takes time. Go get yourself some weights, start slow, but make sure they are heavy enough to make you work hard.
Oxygen magazine online has some great exercises with helpful tips and proper form photos for doing various arm exercises.
** oh and on a side note. You can use all kinds of things at home as weights if you can’t/don’t want to buy any. Milk jugs filled with sand work great…fill to the limit of what you can “lift”.
Spend a few days a week consistently working your arms and you’ll never consider buying clothes to cover them up again 😉
I have a friend who always tells me….
“I’m glad you don’t look like a runner” the first time that surprised me ’cause I’ve had perfect strangers assume I am.
What she meant was that I don’t fit the typical profile… if there is such a thing as one… (see my Runners World page on that topic)
Well, first of all, blowing me out of the running for any “normal runner” profile is the fact I’m 6’0 tall. I’m definitely an easy target and I’m often paced off of… or targeted to overtake ha
Yes, my legs are long and my stride is one to some of my much smaller counter parts two strides, I’ve had to deal with the fact I’ve got a lot more…. body… to move along and my pace might not ever be that of my smaller, whippet thin running companions. I’m just stupid happy to be in the club…..
Besides, those obvious things, I pack a decent amount of muscle and that is what my friend means. She likes that I have muscles…. more than the average person/runner …..I kinda like it too 😉
As mentioned in another post, a few years ago, I started doing strength training on days I couldn’t run because of really bad weather ( I hated the treadmill and found it to be sooo boring) so I started doing my own “routine” I’d do some boxing and some weights. Nothing crazy, but enough to give me a decent workout. I’d do it a couple times a week.
Well, it kinda stuck.
Over time I tried to actively incorporate that into what I do. In the beginning I was a kinda ….uninformed.. runner. I am pretty much self taught, read voraciously, and do a trial and error thing.. if it works for me I keep it… if it doesn’t I toss it out. I shamelessly talk to people who are more experienced and knowledgeable. It’s how I’ve learned.
So imagine my total delight, when I started seeing articles and suggestions that runners needed to do more than “just” run. That strength training/cross training was beneficial on so many levels. I was ahead of the game!
Overall body strength for those last, long hard miles.
Not to mention, it’s good to work all muscles in your body not just running muscles.
I think my body responds well to some weight training, I don’t go all crazy with it. And genetically, I might have something going on that helps. But I do know I am more aware than ever of how all my body works together running and how I am aware of the strength coming from other areas and not just my legs/glutes.
Of course, being strong and having muscles helps greatly in my daily active life too =) and let’s not forget… summer and tank season 😛
So what do I do ?
It’s all stuff I have at home. I have weights of all sizes which I use for upper body ( I really do prefer them over machines as I feel like it’s a little harder and makes me invest more of myself) I spend some time on that as well as core/ab stuff too. Squats of all kinds are my newest fav move….weighted and not weighted. I also use a jump rope and love explosive move exercises like jump squats….. which are not recommended to do a high volume of and then go wear heels 😛
and yeah, I end with a plank. I’m up to 3 minutes which makes me feel
super bad ass crazy sweaty and breathing harder than an old horse out to pasture when I finish.
The most recent thing I’ve picked up working on is a single leg deadlift.
BOOM. There’s a move that singlehandedly kills your ass haha.
Seriously, it totally isolates one hip/glute area, develops balance (yikes) I do think I need a lighter kettlebell than my 35lb one to do this move with. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with this. It’s one of the harder things I’ve tried.
Basically, if I have only 30 minutes I cram it with constant movement…. if I have more time… I put more in. I prefer 45- to an hour if I can.
Ah……… all for the progress of becoming a better, stronger runner 😉
If you run do you strength train? Cross train? Tell me what you’re up to incase I wanna try that too 😉