Swimsuit Season Is Upon Us

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It happens every year as stealth as a SWAT team going down on a crack house.

Swimsuit season arrives. You wake up one morning and it’s just….here.

Oh, you know it’s coming and you ponder it and you think of the mission of heading out to buy one. You wait for a note to be secretly delivered to you as in Mission Impossible kinda note…. this is your mission if you choose to accept it….

You set a date. You go armed feeling your best. You troll through endless arrays of swim wear. You immediately mentally discard the mass amount of pre-pubescent garments. You keep walking by the  screaming “I’m a floral arrangement” ones. You eyeball the barely there string cut ones and ponder if even a Victoria Secret model could pull it off.  I personally, keep moving right past the skirted ones and ones that offer more bra than I even wear on a daily basis.

Guys….sometimes I’m jealous that you just wander in and buy some board shorts and scamper on your way 😉

My selection levels drop greatly and from that point I begin my process of searching out a style I like, and locating the proper sizes.

Ok… the reality is this. I love bikinis. I do. No apologies whatsoever for that.

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First, I’m rather long and those one piece things never quite fit just right. And really, having a wet clammy swimsuit on my belly just isn’t where it’s at for me.

I like having my tummy tanned… maybe it’s shallow but I don’t really care. I love how free it feels to be in one.

This is my personal view point. What I’m comfy with. What I like.

That being done… it’s time… time to head to the dressing room. You know the dressing rooms I’m talking about, right? The ones with carnival house mirrors that distort you ( at least…you think…it’s the mirror;) and ghastly lighting that makes you look all white and pasty ?

This is where you find yourself pondering… “do I look this horrible in real life?”  and you have to resist the urge to bolt and run out the door…..

You… when you go on your hunting expedition should have in mind… what defines you…what you like….Obviously, you will pick something you feel comfy in ( as you should) and I hope you pick something that you can go out and rock in confidence.

That is key to anything you venture out in.

Own it. Nothing works better than confidence.

I know you’ve seen an overused slogan by fitness pages and diet machines asking “are you bikini ready?”  “do you have a bikini body?”

Here’s my take on this…. I don’t think a bikini or some fun suit should be relegated to a select group and that is all. However, please, no matter what style, bikini or otherwise, make sure you get a suit that fits well… that covers the right areas in a flattering way.

Meaning not to small. I always size up when I buy swimwear… and really…who knows…or cares…. if you did? What is more noticeable is if it doesn’t fit properly.

But let’s be honest… it’s hard to slip into something barely there and then wander out for public display. We are more than conscious of our body than anyone else and that’s a really vulnerable place to be.

Remember my post on body image? I, like all of you, have worked to embrace who I am in my own skin. The reality is, I’ve given birth to three beautiful sons. The reality is, I wasn’t blessed with skin that looked like I was never pregnant ( mad props to the few of you who got genetically blessed with that) I have some stretch marks and some loose skin no matter how much I’ve worked out or how good my eating, still remain. Honestly, being transparent with you, there are times it can bug me.

What I try and focus on is the positive… how my body has changed in such positive ways, how strong it is, the muscle I’ve built, the fact I have better abs now than when I was in my 20’s, and let’s not forget that my body can run for miles…. lots of positives to focus on.

And with those things in mind and a crazy dose of confidence, I bought a new one today.

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Mine is styled much like this, just with colored polka dots 😉

I saw it last year but it had sold out before I could get my hands on it. It’s mine now. It’s cute. And fun. And I don’t really care what anyone else will think.

I’m gonna rock that sucker for all it’s worth.

Let me remind you, summer fun and pools and beaches aren’t just for the cute, seemingly “perfect” group.

Life is meant to be embraced and enjoyed no matter what size or shape you are…. you don’t need some random person or idea to tell you that you can’t go enjoy your life. Get out there and do it.

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Obviously, girl on left is what society/media pushes today. Girl on right is definitely more mainstream….. yet she’s rocking a 2 piece 😉

Now tell me. Do you have a swimsuit horror story ? Do you struggle with buying swimwear? Is it something you enjoy or dread ?

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My Experience With The Paleo Movement

Hey boys and girls =)

Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? Speaking of such, I read a humorous article, ( while I was off relaxing)  that is driving todays post.

It got me to thinking I’d share my experience with the whole Paleo movement. Yes, that’s what the article was on and her thoughts about it… so funny… but best read while you’re not eating or drinking 😉

But first, the weekend. I did a quick little field trip up to The Woodlands and while there decided to go check out their not so little mall. Lots to see and do… lot’s to buy if you’re in the mood. I was such a good girl and only came back with this fun little denim jacket that I can hardly wait for fall to break it out.

The bonus? it was only 12.00 on the clearance rack.  Score.

Add some jeans,  a tank, and Converse, and it will be perfect for my lazy rocker chick look kinda days 😉 Fashion… my other hobby 😉

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This jacket…. yeah I’m fully aware it’s loaded with holes…. I love fun clothes =)

Now on with the show….

I do get asked if I know things about certain trending “diets” or food plans. I like it when I do and I can share my insights and hopefully that guides the person making that choice.

A few years ago I was invited to be a part of a local fitness challenge. I was excited ’cause for 90 days in the challenge we would do Crossfit so I’d have a new experience to add to my list. On that topic, in brief, I did enjoy it, I learned how to take things home and put my own “WOD” (work out of the day) together. I learned how to handle weights more, and a lot of them. I learned that my glutes really let me know they were there the day I back squatted over 200 lbs…several times 😉

I met some cool people, made a friend that I still have a close friendship with, oh, and I was doing this while I was also a couple months out from my third half marathon… extra calorie burn 😉

Did I continue ? No. I found it to be very pricey especially since I’m a pretty self motivated person who could go back to her routine and add what she had learned into it. I couldn’t justify the $$$.

Part of the fitness challenge that they had given us a heads up on, was in our last 30 days everyone would participate in this “whole 30/paleo” eating plan. We would weigh in and have body fat assessed and then do it at the end to check our losses.

Ok… I wasn’t crazy about what was coming… all the “Not haves” associated with it. But hey, I’m a team player, I had signed on for this, and figured I could do anything for 30 days. And as usual, I looked at it as a learning experience.

The day came, we did our weigh-ins, got our numbers and were given a list of “no” foods.

It was huge. It was daunting. I thought… “omg I’m gonna starve”

If you don’t know, major food groups are left out. No dairy products, no grains/pasta/rice/breads/bagels, no legumes, beans, peas, no sugars etc.

You do get unlimited veggies, meat, (bacon is heavily promoted?) some fruit, nuts and oils.

In my opinion, after a few days, this isn’t a lot.

I traveled with my own “natural” trail mix of raw almonds/cashews and some craisins thrown in (to ward off starvation)

I missed my Greek yogurts.

Yeah and I did mention I was also half marathon training….one day out on a 7 mile run I felt so fuzzy and light headed I wondered if I’d be able to make it home. It was later suggested to me to eat a sweet potato before I ran.  I’m not sure what my daily caloric intake was, but between Crossfit, running, and  greatly reduced dietary options, let’s say, it was easy to drop a few pounds.

I remember at one point walking in my pantry and thinking… ” I cannot have the majority of what’s in here” 😦

Ok so I’ll cut to the chase and give you my “pros/cons” on this food movement.

At the end of 30 days I had lost 9 lbs and dropped 2% body fat. On an already lean physique, I was definitely a well cut athlete.

I already enjoyed veggies but when they are what you can eat wheelbarrow loads of, you learn to eat them at ALL meals, and snacks (to prevent total death and starvation) This definitely carried over with me and it’s something I still do…. I eat tons of veggies and that’s not a bad thing. It taught me how to implement that into my daily nutritional plan.

I did learn, some foods, I didn’t miss. Some carb foods left me feeling bloated and I realized I felt better and it definitely kept my tummy flatter.

Abs truly are made by what and how you eat. A diet high in veggies, fruits and lean protein will help drop body fat revealing them more. When I want to really have them look more defined… I stay away from most breads/pastas etc.

I did do a new PR with my half marathon, but was that from my increased running training? Crossfit? Less body to haul down the road? A combination of all? Not sure….

The not so positive …

I don’t ever think entire food groups should be eliminated from your daily food plan unless you have health reasons to do so. It’s never cool to follow “a trend” ’cause someone tells you to do something. Women need calcium and in my opinion to toss dairy, is foolishness. Yes, you can get calcium from certain foods, but most probably won’t eat like that.

It’s all a bit cultic and has a high following…something which I couldn’t get completely comfy with.

Pricey: they encourage buying grass fed beef, butter, bacon etc. I still have a house payment so I had to make do with other fed beef and butter.

What defines Paleo is as broad and changing as the sunset at night. Some think one thing, others another. What’s the reality ?

Baking… I attempted Paleo “baking”. Sorry, nothing compares to a real cookie made with flour, sugar and other tasty ingredients. I grew up on total made from scratch baked goods so this was a super hard sell for me. My take? If I make real cookies and have a couple, I will really be ok. Even with Paleo “cookies” anything eaten in excess has calories and will contribute to weigh gain.

It puts you into this rigid diet category which, as you know, I’m not down for.

I didn’t understand the “eat in the Paleo way” then go have a day of “back to old eating” for fun…like why ? if the new way is awesome, why go back to pizza and beer ?

I do have concerns with the “eat lots of butter and bacon” thing that’s promoted.

Overall, what I took away was, I can handle a lot of weight(lifting) and I know what to do with it. I can do without some foods and its ok, especially if I feel better. An over load of veggies has tons of good benefits so that’s a big win. Maintaining a diet that is high in fruits, veggies, lean protein and healthy carbs is a good way for me to cut body fat, stay lean and feel good and energetic.  Some sugar in moderation won’t send me off the edge. Coffee should never have butter in it.

So to each their own. I know there are huge supporters of the movement. I tried it, made my own educated decision on it, and have found a happy medium.

That’s what it’s about friends, right? A happy place we can sustain, be healthy, not starve, and live our lives to the fullest.

So tell me… have you ever tried out or participated in the Paleo movement ? What are your thoughts ?

Freedom With Food

Food…. I think I may have mentioned before… I kinda like the stuff.

And I don’t mean stuff I shouldn’t eat (much) but the fact I appreciate and enjoy all the healthy good foods.

OK… disclaimer… this week I kinda got on a little baking/sweet treat binge. Chocolate chip cookies… peanut brittle … ( which I typically make at Christmas) but hey… I like shaking things up…

Can I just say… peanut brittle… is crack. That is all.

And this… when you don’t eat much sugar… and have “samples” of what you’ve made… it makes your tummy feel….bleh….

Is that a good or bad thing ?? 😉  I definitely am not tempted to eat much of it.

Food, I think we can all agree, is something we have total control over in our lives. Do we not ?

We have the freedom to eat when, how much or how little and what kinds we want to have. No one controls that.

To one extent, some use it as a source of power. It is the one thing they have absolute control over in their lives and sometimes it goes to the extreme, an eating disorder. It can also go in the other direction, eating what you want and how much with no accountability can lead to obesity and another type of eating disorder.

Food can definitely be a control/power issue.

Yet somewhere in those two extremes most of us are seeking to find a balance and order… a freedom with food that allows us treats on occasion but overall healthy eating the majority of the time to sustain life, give us optimal energy and health as well as maintain a ideal weight.

A couple years I started hearing about this rule… and well… if you know me by now… I’m a tiny bit rebellious against some rules.. especially when they involve food. Yet, somehow, this one didn’t repel me. In fact, it seemed to fit into my current philosophy on eating and getting all healthy and fit and stuff.

I started hearing about this thing called the 80/20 rule… meaning you eat good, healthy and balanced meals 80% of the time allowing in your week that 20% would be allowable for those things we really enjoy in life but have in moderation.

Birthday cake. A special dinner out. A couple of our most favorite, ever made cookies.

Just name your poison.

It seemed reasonable and sound, right ?

The other alternative thrown around I never got into the idea of, mainly ’cause it seemed so counter productive….

Cheat days.

A  day set aside to eat whatever and how much of whatever… with no guilt.  What if I didn’t feel like cheating that day ? What if my craving for a cookie hit…. on a different day ? Not only that, but why shoot an entire day down the toilet…not to mention how it will make my body feel.

No….. that seemed like not the best fit for me.

So over time… I’ve eased into a unstructured plan of eating although honestly at this point I probably eat more of a 90/10 rule. Not to be restrictive or crazy… I just feel better when I eat well all the time.

In an athletic way… food fuels my activities and sustains me for what I do.. as an athlete I understand I have to eat well to perform well.

You know why this idea works ? there’s such a freedom to allow you to enjoy eating what you like and to find your own healthy balance. And if you’re like me and don’t care so much for rules… this allows you to develop your own.

And no, you won’t go all crazy and eat stuff you don’t need…. after all you’re a smart grown up aren’t you ? But you can build your own plan and you will learn to be selective about the food choices you make and really determine what treats are worth having. Hint: a treat is something to have occasionally.

And as you do that you’ll find a new freedom with food you’ve never had. You’ll have power, but in a good way.

What works for you ? Have you ever tried one of the “food rules” ?

Love Yourself And That Whole Self Esteem Thing

Love yourself.

Yes, I went there with that.

And no, I’m not talking about it in a narcissistic way, but a healthy value of who you are and what you bring to the world.  Confident in your skin and loving yourself, warts and all. However, we can often be our own worst enemies when it comes to valuing who we are.

You don’t have to look far today to be inundated with magazines and the internet showing you pictures of “how” you should look and what the “ideal” image is. Media seems to scream at us from all angles.

It largely seems directed towards women, but I know you guys get it too.

Almost seemingly, perfect, flawless, toned and non-defective bodies glare back at us.

No stretch marks. No loose skin. No scars, blemishes or imperfections. Thighs with space big enough to drive a truck through. Large breasts, tiny waist and equally balanced hips are offered up on the body buffet challenging us to up our game to reach that goal.

Guys, you might deal with the perfect 6 pack abs,  (big) strong arms and shoulders all the while being challenged to not have an ounce of extra flesh around your waist… you have your own challenges too… I get that…. and don’t leave you out of this equation.

Honestly, it can mess with those of us who have the best self-esteem and confidence levels.

How does one achieve such standards of perfection? More importantly, does it even exist ? And bigger question yet, do we want it ?

A few things that are obvious and clear but I’ll go ahead and state. These people often make a living by their bodies and what they look like, they have been in fitness/health industry awhile so it’s important to maintain a standard. They have to absolutely live a particular lifestyle to maintain their bodies and what they’ve achieved.

Nothing wrong with that, it’s just a higher calling than most of us will ever embrace.

Ok, and then, let’s not forget, photo shop does a pretty good job at shaping things up too before our eyes view it.

Whatever…. we see it. And it can leave us feeling defeated before we leave the starting gate.

Getting comfy in your own skin really does let you appreciate others beauty without crippling your own self-esteem. That is a process that takes time and certainly not learned over night.

I think in life lessons learned it’s important to get ok with who you are. Your flaws (real or perceived) imperfections, or other things that make you feel “less than” valuable or worthy.

Please pay attention: none of those things make you broken…. or lacking…. or flawed.

It does reflect your life and what you’ve lived and gone through.

Your story. Your own one of a kind story.

Every mark or scratch, scar, birthmark, the way your body is shaped, the angle of your jaw and set of your eyes…. all those things make you uniquely you.

Yet… we can struggle in it.

Watching my teenage daughter grow up is vastly different from having teenage sons. Body image is obviously huge among these young girls trying to grow into their own confidence and budding self-esteem which is often at an all time low.

If there is one thing I want for her is to teach her to love and embrace herself and not fall into the comparison trap, the trap that leaves us feeling like we aren’t good enough, adequate or whatever, although I know it just goes with the teenage years, heavily.

Opportunities can abound in daily life for teaching…for instance…. one day we are driving along and she says…

“Do you think my thighs are big ?”

It is the moment in life when you think… “OMG do I have to answer this?” and for a brief moment I feel pain for all the dudes who have ever had the female in their life ask them “do these pants make my butt look big?” and they get that deer in the headlights look about them….seeking escape….

But I’m driving…and can’t escape….

I take the easier way out…. and say… “How do you feel about them? And why would you say that?”

She launches into how her friends have thinner ones and one had commented on hers…. the reason now for the question… the question that has caused her to view herself in a different light.

I ask her if her legs let her dance, kick and jump? run? walk? Were they strong for the things she did in her life?

She answered yes….

I reminded her I didn’t have “skinny” legs but I was ok with that…. they were strong and muscled and had carried me many miles running and done several long distance races. They were big, but powerful, and I liked the strength they had. She has always been proud of my running accomplishments and immediately got what I was saying.

I told her she needed to be proud of her strong legs and know that all of her life she’d be seeing women who would be shaped in different ways and that she couldn’t compare herself and decide she was “lacking” in some way. She needed to love herself and appreciate her own unique beauty of who she is.

I can admire another woman’s beauty, without compromising my own self esteem or feel like I’m inadequate.  I can appreciate the gifts she’s been given while not devaluing my own.

I want my daughter to be able to do the same. To  know her own beauty and worth because when she does she will be able to build other women up and not tear them down. To love herself means she will be able to love more fully.

The same goes for you, my faithful reader.

I personally believe I have a Creator.

I love a particular verse in the Bible that says “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”

I take that to mean…. I’m just rather cool and awesome how I’ve been put together….. and so are you.

Be comfy in your skin…. love yourself. Maybe you’re on a journey with some specific goals…it’s ok… love who you are  and where you are right now as you travel along.

Have you ever struggled with these issues? Do you now ? How do you deal with it ?

Running On Food

Hello World!

So after nearly being washed away for what seems like eternity in the great and awesome state of Texas, it’s a wonderful treat to have some sunny days showing up in our lives.

I want to be out in it…. like a large lizard…. laying on a rock…. basking in it…

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Nothing wrong with that, is there ? 😉

Actually, my version of digging the sunshine and drinking it all in looks more like this….

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A little Mustang mischief going down… what a fun way to enjoy a long over due sunny day =)

Suffice it to say, after more rain falling on us than we have seen in years, and weeks of grey skies, there’s a new appreciation going around for some sunshine…..Happy dance that this weeks forecast offers up lots of the beautiful stuff……

Now on with the show…..

I was having a convo with a friend the other day in regards to how many calories swimming burned in comparison to running.

I was pretty confident that running was the top calorie torcher over other cardio activities .

On average and keeping it simple running gets you about 100 calories per mile.

Swimming is based on an hour time period and varies. A 130 lb person swimming free style in that hour can burn 590 calories swimming fast, 413 swimming slower.

Obviously in running some will be able to run more miles in that time, thus burning more calories. It’s a good ballpark estimate. I just love everything running does for me besides burning a few calories.

Ok, I don’t know about you, but I know I can definitely run for an hour, not sure on the swimming for an hour 😉 it might be on my future list to be able to do that……

As my running “career” progressed and my miles increased one of the recurring comments I get is…. “oh, you can probably eat anything you want!”

Perhaps that’s true. The implication is in some ways, I can eat whatever random foods I want, I guess maybe I could, but I don’t .

I’ve never been one of those runners who “run to eat” or “run for desserts” or “run for beer/wine” … maybe I’m a weirdo…

I guess ’cause my running was born out of my quest for getting fit and losing weight that I never understood WHY I’d put myself through that intense workout to only come home and fuel my body with crappy foods.. It seemed so ….counterproductive.

Maybe it’s good that I trained myself in that way ’cause even after marathons and crazy stupid long runs, when hunger hits, I try and take in good foods in modest servings.

Not to mention my food intake on any given day is determined by what my training is for that day. Obviously, a 4 mile run will require less fuel and calories than when I run 20 miles.

So I guess as respect to my body I try and offer it healthy goodies pretty much all the time. Getting into that habit makes it a part of your permanent lifestyle change.

However, this is one complaint I hear from new runners who might be looking to drop a few pounds. “I’m running… but I’m just not losing weight”

Let’s consider if you run 3 miles ( and that’s running 3 miles) that you’ve burned the average 100 calories per mile. This is simple math so I can help you out here 😉 you’ve burned around 300 calories.

But, what if you stop at your fav coffee shop on the way home and grab a grande Carmel Macchiato treat… or whatever similar floats your boat ? The grande size is 304 calories…. you’ve just negated your calorie burn from your run.

I’m not saying you haven’t done something positive for your body, I’m saying if you want to lose weight it’s important to understand that running is a great fat burner, but you need to be aware of the foods you consume and how they fit into your day in your quest to drop weight.

Adopting a healthy attitude about fueling your body no matter what sport  or activity you pursue will help keep you strong and fit and help you reach your health goals.

What tips have worked for you losing weight and exercising ? Do you have a favorite after workout treat you enjoy ?

Hocus Pocus Weight Loss

Hey boys and girls =)

So as life goes, and as I mentioned to you in yesterdays post on Motivation, I get inspiration and ideas from you, my 1.5 readers, and as mentioned, I love the fact that through my journey I’m able to motivate and hopefully inspire others to make lifestyle changes.

Yesterday, it presented me with a perfect opportunity for a new post.

But first, this disclaimer on how this inspiration occurred.

I’m gonna have to reveal I was in a store, in pursuit of a dress, I had seen the day before and I was back after it.

Like a hunter pursuing it’s prey.

You see when I’m not in full blown athletic mode, I delight in being totally feminine and have a weakness for cute dresses 😉

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How cute and summer fun is this ?? I don’t usually care for orange…but it’s the right…orange… and plays up my tan. Not to mention the style is a homerun in my opinion =)

Hubby will now know I have a new dress 😉 Oh well…. I’m confident he will like it too haha 😉

Now….on with the show…..

After I had apprehended the dress and was ready to legally wed it, I wandered to the counter to make the transaction that would make us a permanent couple. The sales lady was one who has waited on me often and she is around my age.

She has often asked me what I “do” to look like I look. I’ve freely shared with her… and when I led a fitness challenge last Fall with 4 people she kept up with my stories I wrote in a little local magazine that tracked everyone’s progress.

I haven’t honestly seen her in awhile… till today… and I noticed she was remarkably thinner.

Of course I commented and told her I hadn’t seen her in awhile and noticed that she had really lost some weight.

She told me…. “when I talked to you during the time you were leading that fitness challenge it made me really think about things. I saw everything you had been doing and what you were doing with those people and I decided one morning that today was the day. I was going to do it!”

I commended her and said she looked good… and she responded “well I’ve lost more than…. a little weight… I’ve lost 42 pounds in 15 weeks.”

Ok… so at that point…. I kinda paused a bit……

That’s a good bit of weight to drop in such a short time…

One red flag showed up in my lil head.

She proceeded to tell me her doctor ( one locally in town) had this “diet” through her spa clinic  and she had decided to follow that .

I listened as she rattled off things like no fruits, only certain veggies, “high” protein (8 oz. meat a day)  using “their” products, no natural or refined sugars, ( limited artificial sweeteners??) no breads, no carbs etc…

( red flag 2 is going up in my head)

Till I finally blurted out…. “What do you eat??”

She pulls a small bag of chopped cucumber out of her drawer.

“well, I snack on things like this” (like….there are almost zero calories in that)

Ok I’m all for veggie snacks…. but I wanna eat whatever the heck kind of veggies I want….not only certain ones.

She tells me she has “their” oatmeal for breakfast, one of their protein bars for lunch (eek that’s it ??) and some chicken and veggies for dinner… “and then there’s some supplements…..those….help. It’s amazing how little food you need.”  ( I feel my breathing getting shallow….)

Now…. that third red flag is up.

Hey, I get that. I’ve learned it doesn’t take tons of food to deal with your hunger and satisfy your bodies needs. But then there is a point where you’ve crossed that line of not enough food.

Then she deals the final blow……

“Well, they really discourage exercise for awhile”

I am pretty sure at this point……. my eyes…..were bugging…..out.   In fact, I know they were.

All the bells and whistles  were now going off in me. I wondered how many more warning flags were gonna fly before my head exploded. I was kinda chewing on my tongue at this point….

I guess I was looking a bit blankly at her and she said….. almost whispering…. “well, the calories are so low, they want you to conserve your energy”

Seriously. The times I deserve an Oscar. Or an Emmy .Or some kinda statue for keeping control of my face… or the things that threaten to fly outta my mouth.

I hear myself ask…. “How many calories a day are you eating?”

To which she responds…… “I was afraid to count them in the beginning…. I’m not sure it was even 1,000.”

WHAT? WHAT?

I felt my head getting light just imagining it…. I said…. ” How did you manage to work? or do anything?”

She admitted in the beginning it was difficult…  I cannot even imagine.

I couldn’t help it…. I told her to be careful dipping her calories that low it didn’t mess with her metabolism.

She looked kinda blankly at me…. maybe it was the lack of carbs to supply energy to her brain…. and I knew she didn’t get it.

She said she wanted to get to exercising but that she hadn’t had the energy to do so.

I bet…..

With calories that low I’m surprised she could work and think all day long. Actually she probably couldn’t. Your brain can get very foggy with a serious lack of carbs.

She did look good. She probably doesn’t need to lose anymore weight. I hope when she comes off their “program”  she keeps it off.

Can I say this ?

First, I’m surprised a doctor would honestly put someone on such a restricted, low calorie diet. This lady was not horribly over weight, or into the “obese” range where they sometimes do drastic things for quick loss. I think of this as hocus pocus weight loss… now you see it… now you don’t.

Please hear me that I’m not shooting down her efforts. I applaud her for wanting to make changes. But if you’ve learned anything about me at this point it’s how much I hate this stuff.

Things that cost people money…a lot of it. Losing weight shouldn’t cost you a lot of money. Go buy honest food.

She also paid for the privilege to starve and buy their “supplements” and “food”.

I do hope when she’s off the program she will be able to keep her weight off eating normally again. This is the BIGGEST problem with these types of “diets”. Once you start adding real food back in, your body responds accordingly, especially when it’s been deprived.

This ( to me) falls into the category of those weight loss hype things. You pay big money, for their stuff, and yeah she lost weight, but she could’ve done it safer, and been more comfortable doing it ( not starving and dealing with all the consequences that come with drastic food deprivation) even if it took her a little longer to reach that goal.

Along with this program, they’ve not taught her about sane nutrition or allowing exercise to be a part of her fitness regime. I’m assuming as she is allowed more calories, she will have the energy to exercise.

Please….please tell me… I’m not the only one horrified that you aren’t taking enough food in during your day that you can’t even workout???

Hocus Pocus weight loss programs abound right now in this country. Most are simply after your money. Lots are sold by your next door neighbor….who knows nothing of nutrition or weight loss….or what’s in the products she/he is selling you.  In this case, a doctors office offered up this great program….yikes.

Anyway, I’ll save my rant on Multi Level Marketing trends for another post.

Weight loss….slow….steady…sane….eat real food….toss in some physical activity… the only way to make it a permanent lifestyle change.

Have you ever participated in a rapid weight loss program? What were your results? Did they last ?

Motivation. Who Motivates Who ?

Somehow when I started my fitness journey a few years ago, I never saw the ripple effect that my journey would cause.

Well, truth be known, when I started I never saw myself as a runner, much less one who would in those next few years run marathons and an ultra marathon.

That mighta freaked me out more than a tiny bit. You just don’t indicate to a middle aged woman carrying extra weight, who isn’t working out, much less doing anything that looks like running that she will eventually be doing races that top 31 miles….yeah… it could’ve evoked the freak out mode… or made me laugh hysterically…..perhaps a combination of both.

Why are we guilty of sometimes not seeing the potential in ourselves of what we can do? I can tell you….where I am now…. and what I’ve learned…. I can flippin’ do anything I choose to.

It starts with believing you can. When the idea first came to my head that I was ready to take on a full marathon (which was after a particularly good half marathon race)

I did get that clutch in my throat…. and that brief thought…. “OMG! 26.2 miles to run?? What am I thinking??”

I was thinking it was time. I was thinking I was ready. Three half marathons under me had prepared me and given me confidence.

I never, ever, let myself entertain thoughts I might not be able to do it. Ever.

Every run, every time a run got longer….even as those numbers began to dip into territories I’d never been before. The more I did… the more empowered I felt…..I learned to simply stare it down…. take it on… and look at the next goal.

Running has shown me that huge goals are meant to be taken on, conquered and new ones set. Knowing you can run long distances honestly gives you this tough tenaciousness that carries over into the rest of your life.

Yet, as I mentioned in my opening line, I never realized as I pushed on to my goals, somehow, I’d motivate a few other people out there to start looking at their lives, their health and fitness.

I started posting my runs and workouts on my Facebook page early on. Not to brag. Not for approval from anyone.. Not for anyone really but myself. Talking out loud, putting down what I had done, or better, what I was going to do was my self motivation AND public accountability… people ask if you did something crazy!  And I didn’t want to say I hadn’t done it!

It really came down to another avenue of holding myself accountable.

But then… something weird started happening.

I’d get messages or comments asking about running. People wanting to start and figuring if I could do it so could they… nah….seriously… I was a real person they could talk to. Just recently, again, more messages. I LOVE encouraging people to hit the road =)

I started getting questions on eating and proper nutrition. Fielding questions on crazy diet scams (which I secretly love sharing with people on the reasons WHY they don’t need that stuff…ok maybe it’s not so secret 😉

I led fitness challenges and helped people figure out what exercise and nutrition things worked for them.

I had men and women asking if I’d hold them accountable for what they were setting out to accomplish.

All ages from young adults to older than me adults 😉 it seems like no matter where you are in life, you really never get to a point where you don’t want some encouragement in your endeavors.

Not only that…. I think my straightforward no nonsense approach on things resonates with a lot of people… or maybe it’s my off the wall snarky humor ? 😉

Whatever it is…. somehow my pursuit of health and fitness has gotten people to think and more importantly, move.

I can think of nothing more rewarding than to hear from you all about what you’re doing, what you’re wanting to try out. I love that you share your struggles with me ’cause you know I’ve had my own. And when I hear how you’ve lost weight and you’re  eating better and feeling good mentally AND physically? Have I told you how good that makes me feel ???

Come here…. get close to me… I wanna tell you something….

You. Motivate. Me.

You do. I know so many of you will inquire of me and what I’m doing…. you’ll offer words of encouragement (thank you) in  a way you have expectations of me and where I do things for myself, I know it motivates you too.

I think this really came home to me one day when I was out on my final long run before my 50K. I wasn’t running for mileage that day, it was a time run of 5 hours.

I found a message posted on my Facebook wall when I got home from a friend that said she’d really been struggling with getting her workout done and she remembered I was out for a 5 hour run and she thought if Cathie can run for 5 hours I can get this done!

Yeah… I love that stuff.

Don’t get me wrong here…I really am a lay on the couch and eat chocolate fairly motivated person.

But you motivate me to want to bring you sound sensible fitness, nutrition and health information. I want to challenge you to live beyond what you think you can do.

I believe good nutrition is KEY to not only overall health but getting your body to where you want it. Because of my interest in that, and my disgust for all the over hyped “diet” and “health” crap out there and your genuine seeking and asking questions, it’s motivating me to  want to get a nutrition degree so I can really preach at you…. don’t worry I’ll still bring you the reality on the over hyped stuff 😉

So yeah, thank you for motivating and challenging me, as I challenge you. After all we’re on the same journey together.

That ripple effect… who would’ve thought ?