More Nutrition And Diet Myths

Oh it’s been one of those weeks. Why does it seem like every time I turn around there is just another new version of craziness when it comes to diet, nutrition and exercise?

Sometimes, I don’t notice as much, but then when there is a lot of it I guess I’m more prone to thinking… stop… like stop it already.

Many times I’m glad I’m behind a computer when I see things so my eye roll isn’t apparent and obvious haha

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What’s got me bothered? 

Hmm, well I’ll tell you. Quite a few things. I guess I get troubled over information and shared ideas that people will gulp down as fast as a frog can gulp a fly.

I’m often horrified at how people believe things without their own research or fact gathering on a topic.

So what’s at the top of my list?

Can we please stop demonizing foods/food groups?

Really. Unless you have a medical condition, or a food allergy or abstaining from something just makes you overall feel better, then don’t get on the “exclude foods train” because Bob at work is doing it.

Worse yet are people who are on the train but have no idea why they are… like gluten free. Really, the only people who need to be on a gluten free diet are ones who have celiac disease.

Stop deciding foods are “bad” or that they offer no value.

Excluding entire food groups robs your body of essential vitamins and minerals not found in other foods you keep in your diet.

One of the worst things, like THE worst is how the diet industry has somehow made many fruits “bad”.

Fruit.

FRUIT!

Yes, I know I’m kinda yelling here, and yes I’m fully aware some fruits have a higher sugar content than others,

Big deal. Natural sugars found in fruits are not the same as sugars you get noshing on your donuts, cookies or candies. Or your 64 oz. big gulp soda.

Fruits are low calorie and loaded with so many amazing things for our body and really, you’d have to eat loads of high sugar fruits to make an impact on your health.

Stop demonizing fruit.

Is there a bumper sticker like that??

Listen you know what the enemy really is?

You… or more like you’re not controlling what goes in your mouth and the quantity of it. That is the problem.

Food is simply, food.

What we do with it becomes the bigger issue.

The magic diet bus.

Another one  bothering me, is constantly seeing credit given to a particular diet as if it holds the very unique and magical keys to unlocking permanent and successful weight loss.

Uh…if you believe that… I’ve got some diet pills to sell you…. 😉

All together now boys and girls, there is no great diet that is the be all and end all to successful weight loss.

I hate to keep throwing the same ‘ol science bubble around but here I go again…..

weight loss occurs, and only occurs, when there is a caloric deficit plain and simple.

Not because Diet “X, Y, Z” has made you lose weight.

You are simply consuming less calories, combined with maybe some purposeful exercise and that combination will lead to weight loss.

You’ve also most likely maybe made adjustments to some “non- essential” foods that has helped too.

And by that I  mean those extra snacks and treats you don’t need to live but make life worth living haha

Find what works for you, that gives your body real, nutrient dense food, and go from there. The idea is to do what is sustainable for you, for a lifetime, and not a few weeks or months.

And any plan that restricts, or eliminates foods is just not going to be long term sustainable. If it were I wouldn’t see people excited over having cheat days so they could feel normal again and have what’s been withheld from them. That’s a cycle you really don’t wanna be on.

You want a side of protein with that?

If there’s a marketing bus every company in the world has jumped on now, it’s the protein bus.

If it moves, let’s slap protein in it, and throw a big label on the package so the consumer who’s heard something about “getting more protein” will buy it up., even though they may not entirely know why. Kinda like the gluten free thing.

People really are sheep.

I mean after all, it worked for the “fat free” gimmick for years, right? I saw fat free on labels of products that would’ve never had fat in them to start with.  For example…A bag of jelly beans comes to mind ..

Honestly, I cannot tell you how many products that would never be a protein source I’ve seen on store shelves proudly displaying it “contains protein”.

Here’s a couple of my thoughts on this.

Protein IS important. It is the building block our bodies for skin, hair, cell growth, muscle growth etc

Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

There is also just a certain amount our bodies need and then excess is just flushed or stored as fat.

I swear by protein as the main thing in my meals that keeps me full, not sluggish and giving me that steady energy source….of course plenty of veggies and fruits go with that too to keep me full and give me all day energy.

Real foods with protein keep us satisfied longer and keep blood sugar levels steady ( meaning no crashing feeling)

The normal person has no trouble getting in their daily protein when they eat a balanced diet.

If you’re more athletic than the normal person, or a serious competitive  body builder, your needs may be different.

If at all possible, you should get your protein from real food sources and not added supplements.

Protein rich foods include dairy like Greek yogurt ( 23 grams of real protein in a cup serving of plain) cottage cheese, yogurts,eggs, lean meats, cheese, fish, milk  etc

Protein is also found in non meat sources like veggies and beans.  I wrote an article on that… find it here….https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/22/protein-rich-foods-for-weight-loss/

Always strive to eat real food for optimal nutrition.

Well boys and girls, that will wrap up my rants for the day.

Uh… for now anyways.

Now tell me, do you have any favorite things that make you a little crazy in the world of health and fitness?

 

 

 

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Saturday Snippets

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

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

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

oh well… I am rather brown now haha

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

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

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

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

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

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

A different “calling” on our life if you will

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

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

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

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

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

Were there times I doubted myself? Absolutely.

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

I DID have what it took to do those things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life… is for participating.

Monday Musings

Hello world! and hello my faithful followers. Yeah, I’ve been absent for a bit… I’d say I’ve been lazy but that’s definitely not the case. Life is busy and besides the usual life stuff I’ve been busy working on projects for my vintage shop… and burning a lot of midnight oil working on projects.

Find my post on my journey here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

It’s crazy I do some of my best work late. I guess I like it ’cause it’s usually quiet, everyone is in bed, no one wants anything from me and I can happily focus on what I’m doing.

It’s really a very relaxing thing for me to work on my pieces. There is something tremendously satisfying watching something old, ugly, tired and often discarded as useless come to a new life again.

I wrote a post on that here…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/23/steps-to-transforming-vintage-furniture/

It takes me on adventures dragging it home….

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Of course, once I hit the pillow, my mind is still wandering in a million places and often the creative part refuses to shut down.

For instance, I just finished this little piece last night.  I had it in my shop hanging out for awhile in “as is” shape. Meaning, it’s original finish.

It looked like this….

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Kinda boring and dated. It had no back… a hazard of old pieces. Things go missing over time

But look now at it… I’m so in love with how it came out.

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Fresh white, some distressing, a new back with some cute Paris themed fabric and it’s not so dated anymore.
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And because I’m a girl….details.

Ok I’m gonna show you one more thing I scored this week. An amazing, beautiful, yet sad and needy piece that I can hardly wait to get my paws working on.

It was actually in a listing for two antique chairs I wanted. The lady offered me a generous and low price for chairs and basically said if I’d take chairs for that price I could have the desk for 10.00.

Yeah 10.00.

I’ll let you take a look at it….

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I know you’re wondering why I dragged it home, aren’t you? I love the challenge that awaits me! The opportunity to breath life into this piece. So here’s the deal… I never look a gift horse in the mouth. I’ve been messing with this furniture craziness for a year now. I have an eye for “the good stuff”. I could hardly wait to get this home, examine it really close, take inventory of what needed done and then do some research on it to see what I could find on it.

I knew the desk was really old just based on the construction and the wood. The wood is rough cut and more fitted and glued together in many places than nailed. The “mirror” is no longer that, but mostly glass that’s tarnished and long gone. Someone along the way painted it white. It’s original finish would’ve been stained oak.

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A peak inside… and yeah.. it has no back. Like… what the heck is up with things losing their backs??
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Once again… look at those details…

So I did some research and it turns out this piece was produced by the Larkin Soap company and dates somewhere late 1800’s.

Ironically, Larkin’s main production was soap and toiletries. The furniture was a “give away” for purchasing various products. They offered chairs, lamps, tables and the popular secretary styled desk. The furniture was massed produced at the time of rather ordinary type woods.

This is the Readers Digest version. I found the whole history to be rather interesting. Larkin was quite the savvy business man of his time and had an extremely lucrative business.

And here I am…. over 125 years later… entrusted with the restoration of this amazing and cute piece.

Of course I have a long check list lined out of what to do haha

I’ve also scored lots of other cool things, with which I won’t bother you here. I’ll share in upcoming posts some updates.

Oh and I did finally start a business insta page so if you like antique and vintage furniture and other cool stuff, follow me there at vintage_1964 to see other shenanigans I’ve got going on.

I have been up to other things too….

The weather has been less than inviting and it just makes me wanna stay holed up in the morning drinking coffee…

But no…. I’m a good girl and try and get some kind of workout in. Right now, I consider myself in more of an “off season”. With the duathlon behind me, I haven’t been pushing as hard.

I’ve really been spending some time hitting the heavy stuff and focusing on that several times a week. I usually try and warm up with 15 mins or so of cardio…rowing or boxing… and then weights. I think I’m a weirdo but my body responds quickly to it so I guess there’s a bit of reward to keep at it. Not only that, it’s so empowering doing moves that previously may have felt “heavy” but now I do with ease.

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Gotta love a chilly morning that makes you work up a sweat

That organizing thing….

It is still on my list to keep cleaning out drawers, closets etc. I mentioned in a previous post the whole cultic Marie Kondo thing going on got me to trying her folding methods.

Don’t look for me to go all minimalist, but I do like a lot of her ideas.

I just need more time in my day for things! Anyone else out there?

I’m a list maker and if I can keep to doing that I am far more likely to accomplish an exact number of tasks in my day. otherwise, sometimes I can be all over the place ( my mind is a whirling place many times 😛 )

And finally….

The chilly wet weather has had me experimenting with some new soups and tasty food.

this soup was hearty and loaded with flavor. I doubled up and made a big pot of it. I used really big carrots and cut into large chunks for my non carrot loving people. I added warm French bread and it was perfect for a cold night.

https://www.littlebroken.com/2016/10/11/one-pot-chicken-stew/

And the chicken stew was amazing as well.

Try one of these out if you need a tasty cold weather meal.

Your turn, tell me what’s new with you. Tried any new recipes lately? Are you sticking with your exercise even if it’s cold where you live?  What keeps you motivated to stay with it?

Monday Musings

I was feeling kinda lazy and toying with not writing and then I thought about you, my 1.5 readers. I thought about you and how you’d be bleary eyed over your morning coffee looking for todays Monday Musings  and then it wouldn’t be there and you’d be mildly disappointed…ha… so here we are.

I do have a  few things I’m musing this week… as in….

How the heck do I have a 30 year old child now? Well, not a child a man for sure, but you know what I mean.

Tomorrow, he officially turns “30”.  For some reason he’s been dreading it like he’s now gotta sign up for AARP and get fitted for dentures or something.

I find myself pondering where 30 years rolled off to? I think I’m to young to have a child this age 😛

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A homemade 3 layer German Chocolate Cake

My first born son.

Sweet, kind hearted, gentle, ridiculously off the cuff funny, smart, ( he used to toss the directions for Leggo kits and just build them from sight), he impresses me with what he can teach himself and what he knows, he’s beautiful and comes in at about 6’5, a combination which often makes the opposite sex pay attention.

He’s also married and going to make me a grandmother again with a beautiful little girl in the spring 🙂

This is the gentle, compliable, laid back child that convinced us it was so fun we should have another one.

Enter my strong willed, stubborn, head strong, out spoken, bold second son. You know the shopping cart that refuses to go the right way and is constantly careening everywhere and you gotta keep a firm hand on it at all times? Yeah.  This child may be more like me than I want to admit… but he’s another story 😉

I joke it’s good the oldest one came first….

Life moves along and I think one of it’s biggest markers/milestones is watching your children grow up.  I’m blessed for sure with what I’ve been given and am so thankful to watch him celebrate another life milestone.

I realized this week sometimes I underestimate myself

Not often, but I do.

When I was asked before Christmas to offer up a wish list, it was on my mind to ask for heavier free weights. I have a variety of weights I use depending on what I’m doing, everything from light 15lb for higher reps, to a 35 lb kettle bell, and Olympic weights for all the other fun stuff. I had asked for 20lbs thinking that would be enough of a move up to make me work a bit harder than the lighter ones I used mostly for arm work

I did get the requested 20 lb weights.

What I realized is in the past months, the time I’ve been working out, my arms have gotten stronger than I realized and the 20 pounders felt, well, a bit breezey. ( Iguess tossing all that other heavy stuff around added up :-P)

As in, I easily curled off 12 reps without missing a beat. I knew if I wanted to be challenged more I’d need to up the weight. So I went to athletic store and played with the 25 and 30 pounds. Even though I use a 35 kettle bell, it’s usually with both hands so the single 30 was heavier for single arm work.

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I opted for the 25’s because it’s hard enough, and when I add more reps I really start to feel it. Doing renegade rows with them I REALLY feel them.

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Don’t know what a renegade row looks like? Here you go. It’s a little work for a lot of your body

Needless to say, I’ve got some new arm goals for this year 😉

The holidays are behind us, time to get productive again…

Meaning, I need to get back to flipping my vintage and antique furniture! My daughter in laws were asking me what I’d done lately and I’m like…uh nothing….

Tonight though, I finished off a chair that’s mine that’s been sitting waiting for a new seat and waxing over the paint. I love this old chair, it’s legs and weathered details. I bought it in horrible condition for 10.00. It now looks pretty, distressed, usable and cute with my old Sligh desk I refinished last year.

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I love the spindle back
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I love the legs 🙂

Want to read more about what I do in my uh…spare time? Find my posts here…

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/23/steps-to-transforming-vintage-furniture/

In the way of really, really cool things….

Do you remember, way back in April of last year, there was a Southwest Airplane that the engine blew out on ? The pilot, a woman named Tammie Jo Shults, calmly, successfully, navigated and landed the plane to safety with only one engine and a hole in the cabin after a window blew out.

Here’s the super cool thing.

I’ve gone to church with her for years.

I remember one summer doing VBS ( vacation bible school) with her and finding out she was a pilot and being in awe of that…and then finding out later she’d been a Navy fighter pilot.. the first woman to do so.

I mean, really, that seemed like a crazy, cool kinda job.

Needless to say, when that day happened and we heard about it, but then it got really closer to home when we all started hearing who the pilot was.

I tell you all this because this morning she shared her story during the morning worship service.

Before she spoke they played clips with  air traffic control and her in the cockpit during that unnerving flight while pictures of the plane were shown.

To say it was moving is an understatement.

Soft spoken, well articulated with a good sense of humor, she shared her personal insights from that day.

Already a strong and committed Christian, she gave a beautiful testimony of peace and trust in God during that time. She said “I realized quickly that today could well be the day I meet my Maker” but then she said” I also knew we were still in the air and flying but somehow knowing the truth that it could be a possibility, a calm settled over me as I began to do what I needed to do. ”

This is the calm steady voice you will hear on the audio tapes from that day.

She jokingly said one of her sons friends had commented “Your Mom is so calm!” and his response was, “No she’s not, you should see her when I leave my dishes in the sink!”

She talked about the unsure, scary moments when the engine went out, the cabin losing pressure, smoke in the cockpit, not being able to hear, see, or breathe, how horribly loud everything was and how badly the plane was shaking.

She wondered if it would be able to stay together to fly. With one engine gone and parts of the plane destroyed with it, she said the left side was essentially like having an “anchor in the air”.

She talked about the pain she still feels knowing a woman lost her life that day and how she has kept up with her family. She mentioned passengers that she said were the “true hero’s that day” and her crew that did an amazing job at handling such a difficult situation.

Listening to her speak about that day was not only interesting to hear her personal account, but also to here her share about her steady and unwavering faith in God even in the midst of such turmoil and difficulties was encouragement to us all.

I can’t top that…..

What a story, right?

I’ve got a busy week ahead and ideas for new topics to bring you. One post I’m looking forward to writing is a comparison post on low carb vs. keto. Are they the same? Different? What are the good and not so good points on them? And lots more ideas as well.

Your turn… what do you have going on in this new week of a new year?

 

 

Monday Musings

Happy Monday beautiful people! It’s really Sunday evening as I write this, and I’m  finally finding a moment to sit down after a long busy day and catch my breath.

Football has been on all day and of course all my men must keep the sound at a level that resembles being at the actual football game.

When the games are over, the sound comes down, it’s then I’m reminded how nice a quieter house is.

With everyone here I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family…. even if they do have the football games ridiculously loud 😉

Family.

It’s hard to not reflect on how blessed I am with my family. I have an amazing, wonderful husband, great kids, my sons wives, grandkids ( another on the way arriving in the spring!) and my daughters boyfriend who after 2 years of putting up with her 😉 is also family.

I’m grateful for who we are as a group. For the love, laughter, silliness and uniqueness of each person.  I guess I’ve become even more appreciative in a world where so many families aren’t like that, who are mean spirited and cut throat to one another, where jealousy and petty things take place over the value of relationships. These behaviors are so sad to me.

It just makes me want to hold closer those I love and what we have. I don’t mean “perfection” because not one single person or family is “perfect”… that also is an illusion many try to present…. just learn to love perfectly with not perfect people.

But really though, if you don’t take care of your family, at the end of the day what do you have? The world is a rough place, love those who are yours, over look faults, be patient with weaknesses, set loving boundaries, speak truth, love fiercely and  value the uniqueness of those who are your tribe.

Ok I’m gonna get off my soapbox now 😉

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Speaking of family… for me Christmas and family are closely tied together.

This past week I’ve gotten all my Christmas decorating done and my massive tree all decorated.

All 13 feet of it.

It’s got over 400 lights, 180 feet of silver beaded garland, and 100’s of ornaments. It took pretty much every ornament I have and my 6’0 body hanging precariously off the very top of a 6’0 ladder… but it’s done.

It is really, I think, the most spectacular tree we’ve ever had.

I love turning all the lights off at night and just sitting in the quiet house before I go to bed and just looking at it.

I find those times peaceful as it lets my mind unwind and wander and reflect on so many things. It’s a practice I’ve enjoyed for years and I find simple joy in it.

Here… I’ll let you have a sneak peak at it all….

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All of the glass ornaments that were my grandmothers and moms go at the top for safe keeping 🙂

 

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How beautiful is this?

Long before you young whippersnappers had that crazy little Elf on a shelf thing going on, I had this little guy be a part of all my Christmases…which are getting up there now 😉

According to what I was told a long time ago, these little guys came on dish soap bottles back in the dark ages.

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My grandmother was the one who got them ( a green and a red one) the green I retrieved from an old tub of my mom’s where Christmas decorations go to die. Although faded and more worn looking I dragged him out and he has a spot on my primitive toy tree ( I’ll show you later )

The red one comes out every year to quietly perch among the branches of my tree.

I don’t have to do anything with him, move him around or pose him in a bowl of cereal.

He’s just a quiet sentinel marking another Christmas in his family.

I love having things from my childhood past to share with my kids and grandkids. Those things evoke feelings and memories of Christmases long ago and the people I loved who I shared them with.

I hope these traditions continue a long time in my family.

 

But on the topic of trees….

I somehow, in the past few years, have managed to have more than one tree. I’ve got little theme trees that I haven’t been able to resist doing.

A primitive toy tree surrounded by my old rocking horse obsession. A cool black and silver tree that holds all my kids ornaments they lovingly brought home from school projects years ago, a silver tree that holds tons of little glass ornaments that date back to my great grandmother. It’s so vintage looking… I love it.

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This tiny tree is only about 2 feet tall. In a old wood crate it’s surrounded by old glass  ornaments who are “wounded” and can’t hang on the tree anymore.

A few years ago I got a pink one. Sorry, I’m a girl and pink is like one of my favorite colors. It’s in my kitchen and it’s all gingerbread and candy themed and my granddaughters adore looking at it.  It’s full of whimsical sparkly play candy and garland although I do buy various colored candy canes to add to it.

I think I’ve got like five theme trees around my home… but hey! It’s better than being a crazy cat lady, right??

In other news….

in a busy month with not only usual life activities, but holiday preparations as well it might be tempting to skip your workouts.

May I suggest something short and sweet that also brings a punch ? HIIT (high intensity interval training) is hard work in a short amount of time.

Got 20 minutes?

Here’s an example of one I did last week.

10 push ups

10 burpees

10 jumping squats

20 jumping jacks

20 mountain climbers

30 sit ups

30 second plank hold

Do as may sets as you can in 20 minutes.

It was a cold morning when I did this. I was sweating at the end. I managed to get 5 sets done. I was thinking that didn’t seem like…a lot.. until I realized I had done 150 sit ups in those 5 sets. I do butterfly sit ups with a 25 lb weight plate to make it a little harder.  I do a longer hold on my plank as well.

It’s important to remember that you can always modify a workout to your current physical abilities.  If you’re stronger, add some weight or push a little harder.

If you are just starting out, reduce reps if you need to and go at an easy pace.

Short, powerful workouts are very effective and if you are limited on time, they offer a high energy boost and get you on your way.

Visit me on Pinterest and find more short workouts on my fitness boards.

Ok and you know I need to leave you with something tasty….

I will also encourage you to maintain healthy eating habits during the festive season of Christmas and all that goes with it however there are going to be tasty treats to eat as well…..

My daughter in law found this recipe and suggested we should try it. We are quite the dessert lab rats around here haha

These are delicious and will probably be added to our list of favorites. Don’t take my word for it, go make it and see what you think.

My cookie baking and candy making will be getting going soon so I’ll share some of my favorites with you in an up coming post 🙂

So tell me… are you ready for Christmas? How goes the decorating? Are you done shopping yet? Do you have a favorite Christmas item or recipe?

 

 

Saturday Snippets

Welcome to the first installment of Saturday Snippets! I’ve had this idea bouncing for awhile and am finally getting it out.

Uh… what’s a snippet?

It’s a small piece or brief extract of information.

I decided this might be a fun forum to post a new recent recipe, a healthy tip that might not need a whole post, or just sharing a quote or thought I may have come across.

But overall, it will be a short and sweet post that will offer something positive, informative or maybe thought provoking and it won’t take but a moment of your time 😉

And on that note… today’s snippet…..

priority

 

Time. It’s something we all get the same amount of. How we choose to use it is where we differ.

When it comes to health and fitness, specifically exercise, it seems that is the thing most often heard as to reasons why someone isn’t exercising.

It’s not that they/we/I/you don’t have the time, it’s just something that we may not choose to make a priority.

Move exercise into “priority status” like having a meal, brushing your teeth, being at work on time, watching tv or playing on the computer, meeting a friend for coffee or anything else you do in life that you may set aside as important.

Do this often enough and you’ll find you do indeed, have the time to exercise.

 

 

The Road To A Duathlon

Today’s post is a compilation of thoughts, reflections, and an overall recap from my recent duathlon.  I largely write this to exercise my mind and the emotions that come from not only doing this type of event, but the months of training and ultimate finishing of it as well.

It is perhaps, hard to explain. It’s easier to understand if you’ve ever undertaken a similar event but really, for anyone who does this, or triathlons, we all have our “whys” for what we do.

It’s the thing that puts us out there not just for the race but the months leading up to it.

So, if you wish to continue, get comfy and go along on the ride with me. I promise to not bore you with stats and stuff like that 😉

Maybe you’ve never entertained the idea of something so crazy, or perhaps you’ve wondered if you could do it and are sitting on a fence pondering that idea. I’ll just say this… anyone… can do anything they determine they are going to do.

You might not be the fastest or most skilled but by damn, you can do it if you determine you’re going to.

How did an ordinary woman get to this point?

Seriously. It’s a thought that’s danced through my head on more than one occasion.

Somehow a middle aged, wife, mom, grandmother, jack of all trades, previously non-athletic person turned into an athlete. And not just one who plays with one sport, but a duathlete.

I’d have to say it’s largely come from chasing down one goal after another. Once I saw I could do something bigger than I thought I could do, I’d set the bar for another goal, yet larger one.

Although I hated being sidetracked a couple years ago with an Achilles injury, that’s what put me on the bike more. I could cycle and get those miles I craved I wasn’t getting from running. Turns out all that running made me super strong and pretty capable on the bike, not a bad thing.

I kept at the bike as I healed. I learned and practiced. I shamelessly talked to anyone who could tell me what I needed to know. I kept increasing my miles and riding hard terrain.

I wanted to do the duathlon the year I was still recovering from my running injury but when it got to the time I needed to be training, I just felt like my leg wasn’t ready for running.

Last year everything was in place for me to do it.

I invested myself heavily into training, practiced transitions, did brick sessions once or twice a week ( run/bike, or bike/run) to train my body to the demands of shifting from one activity to the next.

Race day I went out and did what I’d trained myself to do. Being my first multi sport event I felt like such an inexperienced baby but I got it done.

And done enough  to place first in my age group. I secretly hoped I’d be good enough to place but hadn’t voiced it out loud.

Overall, it was a good experience and I set my sites on 2018 and doing it again.

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I love the excitement of picking up a new race number.

Same game, new year, new adventures.

As I began training this year I at least understood more of what was involved and required of me to do this event. This duathlon is a championship race and it’s listed as the “toughest in the state.”  They tell no lies about this.

I knew the physical demands as well as mental demands.

There were however, new life things I didn’t have going on last year in competition with me for training.

Namely, a 4 day a week job that took up leisure time.  Yes, I could still get in training on most mornings, I just didn’t have as much time to extend those sessions.

Running. Straight up, running was harder this year. I think there are a variety of reasons, but it is what it is.

Because of that I didn’t push myself as much on it. Yes, I knew I could do it. Would it be ultimately what I wanted in time/pace etc? Maybe not but I’d just have to be good with it.

I kept to my cycling and training on the hardest roads I could find. Hills are definitely one place my strength really shines and since the duathlon course was loaded with some hard monster sized ones it made sense to keep my physical and mental training honed in this area.

The struggle is real.

As race day approached, mixed with my usual pre-race nerves was the overwhelming feeling of…

“What am I doing??”

I found myself wondering if something might come up and then I wouldn’t be able to do it. Like .. “what if I got sick?”  haha something every athlete worries about before an event.

I questioned my training. I questioned my abilities. I questioned if I had what it took to do it ( which is kinda laughable considering I’d done it last year and I’d been training for it this year)

I remember pouring out all my angst to hubby to which he responded….

“You know you can do it. Just go and do it. When you cross the finish line it will be amazing. I don’t even know how you do what you do.”

Somehow those words settled me.

No matter what, doing it, and seeing myself across the finish line was all that mattered.

Quitting was never an option.

Race time….

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Early morning warming up… finish line I got my eye on you

Needless to say like any athlete with an event coming up, I stalked the weather hoping it would be…well… decent.  I’d trained in all kinds of weather but really, who doesn’t want race day to be prime?

Temperatures were promised in the mid-50s with a chance of rain… afternoon rain.

ok well, to me the promised temps were decent… I could still work up a sweat with that.

However, weather you know, has a mind of it’s own…..on the way to the race it started raining some.

Ok no worries. Except once I got there in the early morning dark it appeared the rain wasn’t interested in waiting till the afternoon. Intermittent showers were our friend through out the morning.

Not only that, the comfortable, warmish weather shifted with some arriving wind knocking it into the mid 40’s.

Now we had some rain, wind and much colder air.

All of the athletes were being warned to drop the PSI in their tires, to watch their speed and to be careful on corners.

I was grateful that the rain didn’t daunt me, that I had spent time in it training…. but still… I understood the roads were slick and I also understood that meant a newer level of caution.

Of course I’d dressed more for warmer weather but thankfully had my waterproof cycling jacket on ( which was a bit to warm for the first run leg) I tossed it when I transitioned to the bike…. which made for a colder than anticipated bike ride being wet and flying down the road at rapid speeds.

None of that mattered…. this is what we had for the race…. deal with it.

As I was running the parking lot warming up in the breaking dawn with rain coming down on me one of the police officers stopped me and said “are you sure you want to be out here doing this?” I laughed and told him there were probably a few of us who might think being home, comfy with a cup of coffee, would be preferable to being out at 630 on a cold, wet morning shaking out our legs and nerves pre race.

But then I added….” you have to understand that every single one of us out here might be a wee bit insane. It’s that insanity that has us here and will drive us to finish today ”

He gave me a big laugh and told me to please be careful out there as I went loping off.

And I still stand by that. Being a little crazy is what keeps you out there and is the undercurrent to getting the work done.

And nothing…nothing… feels better when that insanity brings you across the finish line.

The first leg of race, the 5K was just crappy and I knew it would be. It wasn’t my best time and it wasn’t anything that impressed me. I just focused on moving through it knowing I’d close ground once I got on the bike.

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Working that run… evidently the lady drafting me had the same idea about sleeping on the run 😉

 

 

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Nothing but a sea of bikes in the transition area, A cold and wet morning.

I moved through transition as quickly as I could. I think this year I had it about 1:15. Not only are you transitioning into new gear, preparing for another sport, I believe your mind has got to transition as well.

As I knew I would, once I took off on bike I started covering ground and picking off other cyclists. This became as game as I settled into the ride. I was trying to not think about how much colder it was as I sped down the road in shorts and a sleeveless cycling jersey.

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Those clips were slippery that day….

As the miles disappeared I knew I was getting close before we would turn and head back.

The miles with the beastly hills were what I still had to tackle. Only today they were wet and dark looming like large, formidable sentries in front of us.

This however, was home turf and I felt comfortable in it.

As I got closer to the first huge hill that is my nemesis, the one I have a love hate relationship with, I could see it littered with cyclists… all pushing their bikes up.

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This is a sun shiny pic of the “hill”… it looks more formidable grey and wet

My mental game had been pretty strong at that point, but seeing all those people pushing their bikes up, well that can really start to do a number on my mind.

I’ve never, ever since I started riding that beast had to push my bike up and I didn’t plan to start anytime soon.

I locked my mind down, looked directly at the road in front of my bike and plowed up that hill past them.  I think at that point if anyone had gotten in front of me or challenged me on anything,  I could’ve taken them on my mental game was just that strong.  I got on top of the hill, and began to prepare for the second one which was just over the top of the one I’d just climbed.  Again I had to dodge people pushing their bikes up.

I had a brief moment to let the bike do the work before we hit the final back hills. As I came around a curve that was so familiar to me, and prepared to fly up a hill, there were cyclists walking their bikes down saying the spotters had encouraged people to walk down.

Ha. Not likely.

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This was a slippery slope on duathlon day… slowed things down a bit… I only hit 39.5 mph coming off it 😛

I got to the top and prepared for the descent down the back of the hill… again coming back I had to pass people pushing up. Once again I locked my mind down… set my focus directly in front of me and shouldered into it.

The two spotters at the top were like… “wow, nice work ma’am” ha I hardly had time to acknowledge them before I was flying off the hill again, now on my way back to the start line.

A few miles from getting back to the transition area I was aware that I was oh so cold, my feet felt numb and then out of the blue stabbing cramps in my quad, up into my hip, wrapping into my hamstring.

I’ve never had that happen before.  Thankfully I was able to stand up and keep riding and work it out without having to stop.

It was debatable for awhile.

Cold. Cramps. Wet.  Battling mental demons along the way. So many battles that day.

The end was closer. I fought for this thing and I would finish it out.

And finish I did. The last run was a surprise in that it was longer than last year (ah) so where I thought we’d turn and head back…well… no.. we got to keep going for a bit longer.

When I finally got to the stretch and could see that finish line, the big red numbers with the race time, the announcer calling my number, saw my husband patiently waiting for me, knew my months of work was about to pay off,  it was worth it.

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The most non glamorous pic ever… yet one of the most beautiful to me as it represents the finish of what I started. At this point I’m moments away from crossing that finish line after a 3.10 mile run, a 16 mile tough ride, and a 1.5 mile run.  Emotions are running high.

It was worth the months of training, the early mornings, the tired legs, the days that left me exhausted, the doubts were crushed, and once again, there was that overwhelming immense satisfaction in stepping across that finish line.

It makes me weep every time.

My emotions run high as it all culminates  …. the proverbial icing on the cake… my own personal victory.

And well, it was pretty cool to check my stats and see it showed me as first in my age group. 🙂

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So cold, wet, hungry and tired…  but I’ve got some smiles for this….

I’d never entertained that because I just thought my time wouldn’t be so impressive. Once they posted times for both genders, I could see that my finish time was what some of the 20-24 year old guys placed in … so there’s that 😛

So what’s next?

I don’t have any plans of slowing down or sitting on the sidelines watching life. I’d love to do at least two duathlons in 2018. I’d also like to ease back into distance running  and maybe cut my teeth on a half marathon again. It’s technically now “off season” although I don’t see myself not training. I will add in an extra strength training day ’cause muscles are nice to have in a variety of ways. 😉 Not just that, it’s freaking cool to be strong and being strong is what helps me get through the tough part of these events.

I am such a baby in this world of multi sport events so I have plenty of room to grow, learn and improve. I guess that’s what keeps me coming back, knowing I can constantly challenge myself.

And finally, I’ve gotta say thank you to my amazing family, my husband and kids, my tribe who love me, encourage me, tell me I’m crazy, and are so proud and supportive of what I do. My husband who willingly gets up at crazy hours to go with me, who endures the weather, takes pics, and is the smiling face I’m looking for when I come in, who buys me food and coffee when I’m frozen and starving….. his support is crucial to what I do.

And of course my friends who love me, cheer me on and also love telling me I’m crazy… I appreciate all of your encouragement and support  🙂

Thank you for sharing in my recent adventures by reading this post! Your turn, tell me about your adventures…what you’ve done or what you may be planning to do. Do those dreams ever just scare you a little? How have you felt when you accomplished something you’ve never done?