So boys and girls, for fun today, I thought we would discuss the benefits of the elliptical machine.
Let me state, I usually prefer to be out on the road and not on machines, but there are times and places for everything.
Sometimes I use it as a warm up for strength training, about 15-20 minutes to loosen my old body up. Sometimes I use it at the beginning and end with weight training in the middle, makes for a nice solid workout.
The other day though, I just felt like slamming out a serious cardio sesh so I did a little over an hour on it.
The thing I love about that? It gives me the same exhausted, sweaty,exhilarating feeling I can get with a solid run.
Which I’ll take, since running is off my plate for now. 😑
It’s not all fun and games
In the comparison of running to the elliptical it works like this for me :
First 10 minutes on it…..”Oh my word, are we done yet? Why am I doing this??”
20 minutes in…..sweat has been free flowing for awhile, I’m keeping a steady pace, thinking “ok maybe I’ll do 30 minutes ”
35 minutes in, all of my favorite metal music in my ear, I’m totally in my zone thinking “hey I’ll just do 45 minutes….”
40 in, “I forgot how amazing this feels, I’ll stop at 50”
Then…..I’m hitting that hour mark….
Sweat in my eyes, blinded by it, heart strongly pumping, breathing hard because I’ve gone all out in the last minutes……
There is something so therapeutic about it, something cleansing and satisfying in the work of it.
Ok…but admittedly I’m a weirdo and you may not get the same sick thrill from it I do.
But can I share some positive benefits of tackling it for any time period?
Benefits of elliptical training
It can aid weight loss. A 30 minute session can burn between 150-400 calories.
It’s low impact. So if you have any joint issues it is a perfect non impact exercise that can pack a good cardio punch.
Offers a whole body workout. Not only using the stepping motion for lower body but using handle levers that work with the upper body give a total body workout.
A big boost for your cardio health. Love it or hate it, cardio exercise benefits your heart and lungs, strengthening them so they can do their work more efficiently with less work. Spending 20 -30 minutes on the elliptical will greatly help your heart.
Improves cardio stamina. A high intensity session of 15 minutes or moderate for 30 minutes will greatly improve cardio stamina. Building yourself up will also allow you to have more stamina in other exercises.
Helps to improve balance and mobility. Elliptical trainers are good for conditioning your body for better balance and mobility.
The Elliptical trainer workout also helps improve blood circulation. Better blood circulation helps maintain oxygen flow to all parts of the body. It boosts immunity, reducing the risk of diseases and chronic sickness. Good circulation also keeps the vital organs healthy and helps improve sleep quality. It also reduces your skin and hair issues.
Spending just 5 minutes on the elliptical machine can help you feel less stressed. That’s because exercising releases serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone. Serotonin has blood pressure-lowering or antihypertensive effects.
Doing low-intensity or moderate-intensity elliptical workout every day can have a positive effect on hypertension. However, you must consult your doctor if you are taking medicines for hypertension or have undergone major surgery.
Elliptical exercise is weight-bearing. This means your muscles and bones need to work to push the pedals. This causes muscle wear and tear, which is good for building stronger muscles and bones. This workout is great for people with osteoporosis and those with a high risk of fracture.
There you have it! Some positive and beneficial reasons to try out and implement an elliptical into your fitness routine.
Now your turn, have you tried one before? What is your take on it?
There are lots of “new” terms being thrown around in the last few months. Some I’ve honestly come to despise….social distancing anyone?
However, one phrase,although not newly coined, has been something overlooked in many lives. “Self care” is something that many have put on the back burner even before the global issue became a concern.
I think self care is even more relevant and important now than ever. With so many forced to stay home a new, weird daily life has formed for many. Our routines are displaced and many of us have tried to maintain normal activities as much as possible.
Yet, sometimes it requires extra effort to make it happen. I’ve heard many say how they are trying to get back in a fitness routine, that life has gotten them off track.
Oh do I understand about fighting back to get in an established routine! My year started off with my husband having cancer surgery mid January which turned into a 36 day stay because of various things. My workouts were hit and miss as my days were in a roll of waking up and heading to hospital and spending the day there. I had no energy to even contemplate it when I got home. I squeezed in workouts where I could and when I could dial up the mental as well as physical energy to do it.
Once he was home ( end of February) we had a couple weeks as we tried to get back to normal. He required some help and care and I was still focused on getting him settled back into home life. Work outs were sparse but I always felt better after.
Then when all the world weirdness started and days were a blur into another it made it a bit harder in some ways. I did however, have one thing going for me in that, I’ve always worked out at home. It meant digging deep into my discipline ( cause motivation can be a fleeting thing) and taking myself out the back door most days of the week.
There is a wonderful beauty of working out in my own little space. Whether I choose to hit the road
or stay in to do strength training or use the elliptical ( my surrogate running for now) I can do it. I’m not bound to someone’s arbitrary rules and my sweat is all that I’m dealing with. Not to mention, I don’t feel a need to look a certain way.
So how do you get back on track
You start. You start somewhere. You determine that you will do something that is positive for you. If you prefer mornings, know the night before what you are doing. Maybe it has to be later in day or after work. Whenever your preferred time of day is, set it to your schedule. You might set out clothes and accessories you need so you see them waiting. Don’t make any excuses to cancel out.
Engage your mind
I often have people tell me they admire my motivation. My response is motivation is fleeting. Yes, you can get motivated to do something but that feeling can quickly leave. Discipline however, that is what often drives me. I’ve disciplined my mind to push into what I know I need to do . Discipline feels powerful and controlled. It is the thing that moves me from merely thinking about it to actually doing it. To get started again, you need to mentally engage yourself .
Do what you love
Doing things I enjoy and that challenge me have kept me at it. If I find myself doing too many days of an activity that is making me feel…restless…I change things up. I always tell people they should have more than one activity, but no matter what they should enjoy those activities. If you hate running, don’t run. Brisk walking can give you lots of good benefits. Get back to the thing that makes you happy and you enjoy.
Take it easy on yourself
As I’ve been pushing back into more athletic activities, I’ve had a few moments of frustration feeling like I’m not where I was like, 6 months ago, and yeah that annoys me. However, I was out on the bike this week and I’ve been hitting really big hills I haven’t seen in awhile and I scaled them just fine so maybe I’m not the weakling I thought I’d been reduced to 😅
No matter what activity you may have gotten off track with, be kind to yourself as you get back to it. You might be surprised that you are in better shape than you thought.
Your self care is important
During these trying days, with conflicting information, disrupted life and schedules, lack of work for many, self care is more important than ever. It may not be about achieving a certain level of fitness as much right now, as it is about your mental care as well. Exercise is one of the best tools to combat depression and anxiety, as well as potentially helping you sleep better and overall feel good about yourself. I find I do my most creative thinking during exercise, as well as problem solving. Self care isn’t selfish, its necessary for you to be healthy inside and out.
How are you doing with self care during these trying times? Have you had a plan or do you need to get on board and get back to what you were doing?
We have a plethora of birthdays this time of year and yours truly is the cake maker.
My kids know they can request whatever kind they want and I’ll whip it up for them.
My middle son turned 28 May 1st. After a reminder I hadn’t received his request, did he wish for me to make him a boxed cake?
I got a link to a monstrosity of a 5 layer cake. Initially, I thought it was a joke. But then I’m always down for a challenge and dived into the project
Two brownie layers and three white cake layers.
Yes, that is buttercream frosting between those layers
11 eggs, three packages of butter, 7 cups of sugar, 10 cups of powdered sugar for buttercream frosting, 30 Oreos and brownies that get made with brownie layers to decorate on top and a partridge in a pear tree.
Ok I jest about the partridge 😉
I weighed it.
It weighed 13 pounds.
I don’t exaggerate.
13 pounds of ridiculous deliciousness.
You know what I’m afraid of? I’ve now set the bar to high and who knows what they will come up with next. 😄
Yes, there is a literal second dessert piled on top of this monumental cake.
The aftermath….it is a wee bit tricky cutting five layers.
Even my guys with the biggest appetites were out done by this cake.
We all decided this…the cake and brownie layers were delicious enough to just make independently. The eggs, real butter and buttermilk made it a light, airy melt in your mouth cake.
The brownies had lots of eggs giving them a cake consistency and with all the cocoa powder they had a good chocolate flavor.
Think you wanna try it? Find it in my Homemade Cake folder on Pinterest!
Welcome to another edition of Monday Musings, an eclectic gathering of my random, yet sometimes thoughtful reflections.
You never know what’s gonna come out of my head…..
What on earth?
Unless you’ve been in a cave, it seems like people have lost their minds with the current situation regarding this virus.
I’m not camping on this topic long as I feel the majority of us are overwhelmed and saturated with it all.
Thank you media for contributing to hysteria that has led to people literally ripping store shelves bare and hoarding things they don’t need.
This aisle usually has paper products at my store…..
Hold on…I’m going somewhere..
I made a trip to the store the other day for a few things I actually ya know, needed.
One of those items was a vitamin I’ve taken for several years. It never occurred to me that the vitamin section would get hit and so many things wouldn’t be there.
Here’s my thought about that.
You can’t decide to throw some vitamins at your body in the moment of anxiety thinking it’s gonna “help” you fend off something.
If you want to help yourself, it needs to be something you do every single day
Eat healthy, natural foods. Drink plenty of water, exercise, get rest, and depending on your personal needs, then use vitamins if needed.
The best way to keep your body and immune system strong is to take care of it daily.
Not in an impulsive moment thinking it will be some kind of quick fix.
Rant over….stay healthy out there. Wash your hands and be smart.
Speaking of exercise….
If you’ve followed me for awhile you know that I kinda like running.
Unfortunately, I’ve had a crappy injury that’s kept me off of it. I’m still cycling and strength training but I miss the hard work and satisfaction of putting those miles in that running gives me.
I’ve used an elliptical in the past and it was the closest thing to running I could do without actually, you know, running 😛
I set out trolling all my local online sale sites watching for someone to sell off their “better idea turned towel and clothes holder.”
Not to hard to find I might say. I just had to wade through mediocre ones that were to much and then the nicer ones, if well priced, got sold or they were to far away etc.
The other night I found a Nordictrack, a short drive down the road from me, selling for only 50.00.
I couldn’t respond fast enough. This time I was the one quick enough to get the prize.
The couple told me they had each gotten a gym membership and it was never used. This originally 800.00 machine ( she had the receipt and manual in a bag for me) had all the bells and whistles on it.
I happily loaded my game on the trailer and hauled it home.
I got it all set up….today was my maiden voyage on it.
Gosh, it felt awesome to be working hard like that again.
Heart pounding and sweat in my eyes…good times 😁
Do you like ellipticals?
On topic of healthy lifestyle
In other recent events in my life, hubby was in the hospital for a number of weeks so needless to say I found myself frequenting the hospital cafeteria for more than shots of coffee.
I have to say their food selections were nice and varied.
Often though, I hit up their salad bar. It offered a good selection of colorful greens and other veggies with protein options too. I got some dressing in a container so I could control what I had. ( remember dressings can contribute a huge amount of calories to a otherwise healthy salad) it was a satisfying and filling lunch.
I wrote a post before addressing the myth that is perpetuated suggesting healthy food was more expensive than fries or burgers ( The Cost of Healthy Eating) You can also check out my post (Weight Loss and Salads and Salad Bar Strategies)
On average I paid 4.00-5.00 for my salad. ( you pay by weight) those cucumbers and chick peas were heavy!)
On one day I just wanted a burger and fries, because, why not? I paid 7.50 for it.
The bottom line is, we make our choices. You choose to eat healthy foods or you don’t.
Not only do I have plenty of colorful veggies, eggs and chick peas covered my protein.
In ways of things fun and not stressful, how about a look at a few of my vintage projects?
One of my other plates I juggle is a growing vintage business which involves flipping often old,sad and falling apart furniture.
It brings me tremendous satisfaction to make things pretty again…like this custom order I just finished this week…
Here’s the before:
And the after:
This turned out so cheery and is such a happy piece. My customer…”oh my gosh, I wanna cry, it’s so pretty!”
Makes my day.
I got this super cool piece last week. Its an old wash station. It does have a seriously abused marble top but I’ve got plans to spruce that up.
I think…it would repurpose to make a great coffee bar. At first I thought it would make a great pastry table but it is a bit short for that. How would you repurpose this cute piece?
Then there was this.. I love old telephone benches. I can’t keep them around, a good problem to have..
This is how I got it….
Boring magazine holder…
Turned kitchen utility crate 😛
Enough of my creativity for now… I got more projects this weekend
And before I go…
Isn’t it pretty? And it’s really black coffee. I love the nitro cold brew from Starbucks. It has no cream, the nitro gives it the smooth creamy foam and it slowly settles and swirls down through the coffee until it’s black. It packs a powerful caffeine punch, yet is ridiculously smooth and satisfying to my soul
My current guilty pleasure 😉
Your turn…..tell me…how are you doing out there? How is your piece of the world doing? Have you tried the nitro coffee? What’s new with you?
Do you ever see clothes and the size is listed as “one size fits all”?
For a woman it’s almost the kiss of death meaning the garment may or may not potentially fit you like a sack..
If you’re a woman like I am, at 6’0 the probability is even greater.
Except now it’s a much shorter sack haha
Why then do people try to approach exercise/fitness and nutrition in that manner?
There is no one size approach. I know with so many new diets and exercise trends hitting the market its easy to get swept into thinking you have to follow one of them to “be successful”.
Let’s not forget social media with the constant barrage of same old fitness poses, looks and “ideals”. That alone can be overwhelming to alot of people.
With all of that in our face, where do we start?
First, it may be trial and error. You try different things till you find something that sticks with you.
Not what your neighbor or sister does. Not what you saw on social media that tells you you’re supposed to do, but the thing ( or things) that you want to go do. The things that make your heart race and make you feel alive.
I can’t tell you the times I’ve had people tell me they admire what I do but “they don’t run”
Ok well then, don’t run.
The things that make me feel alive and I enjoy are mine. They may be yours too but they don’t or won’t necessarily be something you choose.
Being out on the road whether it’s running or cycling, working hard and putting in the miles, is my jam.
I love being able to challenge my body, push beyond comfort zones, and dig deeper into myself. It’s crazy satisfying.
And yes most people I know think I’m crazy for what I do.
Find the thing you love, and pursue it to the point people jokingly tell you that you’re crazy.
Bodies are different
Even though we are all designed the same, how we look, how our bodies will develop with exercise and good nutrition, will all be different.
We all have different genetics that determine our bodies development. Your best body won’t look like someone else’s best body and that’s ok! Embrace who you are and celebrate your own unique qualities. Be compassionate and loving to yourself. You don’t need to look like the girl or guy next to you at the gym and comparison is the thief of joy so don’t do that.
Listen if there’s someone who has struggled at times taking a rest day ( from workouts) it’s yours truly. This is most true when I’m training for something. I intellectually know a rest day or two is neccessary and beneficial, but I hated taking them.
Now I understand the value more.
Give yourself permission to rest.
Here’s a big misconception. Looking healthy and feeling it aren’t always the same thing. There’s such a focus on “looks” today that we over look healthy as a feeling, an overall well being. Learning to eat well, with healthy foods, allowing for some treats, and exercising in a healthy way is nourishing to our mind, spirit and body. Yes we want to “look” healthy, but feeling it is even more important.
The energy you have for your days, the ease with how you do activites, the appearance of your skin, hair, eyes, how you feel overall and then yes, how you look on the outside all add up to total health.
You don’t always have to go all out
I’m saying this to myself too. I love workouts that are challenging. But doing ones that are shorter or a notch less than what I usually do is ok too.
I feel like that doing yoga. It’s such a different kinda of strength workout but it’s not like how flying down the road feels. It brings me down and reminds me there are times it’s ok to not be going all out.
Same for you too. Find times to do activities that aren’t your full speed ahead usual ones.
Lifestyle changes take time
They really do, but they are worth the time and effort invested. Don’t jump on the snake oil trains of “lose weight get fit in 90 days” nonsense.
It takes time, slow and steady, but the results are satisfying and worth it.
Focus on what your body can do
Again, being constantly bombarded with images of what we “should” look like or what size our ( insert body part here) should be or shouldn’t be you may be left feeling like you’re lacking or should be “better”
Recently I’ve read articles on stretch marks, cellulite, not having skinny thighs, getting a thigh gap, and let’s not forget how…. over the top tired I am….. of seeing huge butts in my fitness newsfeed.
Bigger butts are on trend now. Lucky me Haha
Seriously though….none and I mean none of that stuff matters when you’re running, cycling, doing yoga, lifting weights, rowing whatever it is.
The last thing on my mind when I’m grinding out miles are any supposed “flaws” I have..
I am aware though of how my body moves. How it responds to what I ask if it. The way it feels to pick up a bar loaded with weight. How my legs work to pedal strongly up huge hills or run up them or when I can simply use my body weight in planks or side planks or difficult yoga positions
Those are the things that matter.
Stop obsessing over size
When I first started on my health journey 8 years ago it became a game to get smaller.
Where it is important to be aware of weight gain, you shouldn’t be hung up on sizes.
The more I’ve grown knowing myself the more I realize it’s not about being small. I’ve built a strong, powerful body and I celebrate that.
Focus on building a healthy, strong body, not the smallest size or some arbitrary number on the scale.
So as you move along on your health and fitness journey remember you are unique. Your needs are unique. Your body will respond to what you do in different ways from someone else. There is no one size approach. Find what works best for you and go after it.
Tell me have you ever tried fitness or nutrition approaches that were not good for you or weren’t a good “fit”? What has worked best for you?
Measurements are like ya know, super important. I need to get the size of pieces for a variety of reasons so it really, really frustrates me when people post items for sale and don’t give any measurements.
For instance, I saw a gorgeous china cabinet. It didn’t look huge as so many are. I asked the guy and I got back “it’s 54″
So I responded back, ok its 54 inches tall? How wide?
I get back…”no it’s 5’4”.
This my friends was obviously his height. This was the only measurement I was offered to determine my decision on making a purchase.
I can’t tell you the photos I’ve seen where people are using their body parts or small kids as units of measuring.
Recently I saw a kids play house. One of those “free you come move it” things. The guy is standing by the door with his arm raised to the top of door.
This was so you would understand how tall it was.
Problem here big boy is I don’t know if you’re topping out at 5’8…..or a bigger whopping 6’4….
How is this helpful to me???
My favorite by far was a table with a part of a leg in the pic. I honestly thought the leg photo bombed the pic…
Then I read description and it said…”table goes up to my knee”
You really have no idea how I laughed. I kept that photo and I pull it out on days I want something to send me into wild giggles.
Like Karen I have no idea what the distance is from ground to your knee…for real.
All this to say…is it really that hard to measure something with ya know, the typical measuring devices?
And speaking of measuring things. This week I was again wondering who on earth determines how much of hair products to use in your hair.
Conditioner often says to use something “the size of a quarter” and work through hair, Like… that isn’t a whole lot…
I bought a hair conditioner this week and it said to use 2 pumps… which is nothing… I mean come on Bob I’ve got enough hair for three people that whole “2 pump” thing isn’t going anywhere with me. More like 2 pumps per section of hair haha
Obviously, this cannot be a one size approach to everyone but I’ve been left wondering how they determine that usage for customers..
I’m in denial…..
April is almost half over and Easter is rapidly approaching.
I have not bought one single chocolate egg, not one stuffed bunny, or plastic eggs for the kids to do an egg hunt.
I have a million baskets to make.
Yes, my adult kids still like getting baskets.
One year, and may I add, one year only, I had thought to be clever and make couples baskets.
I mean, the married ones live in the same house and all right? It shouldn’t be a problem.
Ha. Oh no.
I never lived it down…no one wants to share their chocolate 🤣
So besides baskets I’ll also be planning a tasty menu to feed the crew
I’m torn between traditional Easter food or going all southern and throwing a brisket on the grill.
I made this recipe last year and it was a huge hit….
I have a hard time being inside when the weather is so perfect outside. Whether it’s working in the yard ( I cut miles of grass today with a push mower) working on my furniture or exercising, it makes me feel so alive to be in it
I’m looking forward to longer rides and serious sweat again.
No matter how I mix up my workouts, being outside is always the best. I mean seriously, the world becomes my gym.
It doesn’t get better than that.
Ok your turn! Wanna weigh in on the shark song? What are your Easter plans? Do you enjoy working out in the “outdoors”?
Short, sweet and easy enough to go down with your morning coffee and whatever you chase it with.
Speaking of short.. I’m gonna hit on that thought with exercise today. It seems when people think of exercise they have the idea it has to be long and drawn out.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good solid workout sesh and feel like I’ve not done enough if I come in under an hour. I love rides that I’m gone for awhile or days I did long runs and was gone for hours.
The reality is, sometimes we’re all short on time and we wanna get as much in our valuable time as possible.
Yesterday I got up and per usual had my list for my morning before me. I had to be gone from home by a certain time and knew I didn’t have my hour( plus) to spend hefting weights.
I spotted one of my HIIT workouts I have written down and decided.. hey a fast and furious 20 minute session is where it’s at today.
This one is all about using just your body weight, although I added weights to a few things to make it harder.
I alternated rounds doing pushups then renegade rows with my 25lb weights.
I used a 25 lb weight plate to do butterfly situps.
The beauty of these workouts is you can modify up or down depending on your fitness level.
( ok and maybe I just wanted to squeeze in a little weight work too 😉 )
It’s pretty straight forward after that. I set my watch to cardio, then knocked off as many rounds as possible in that time.
Today it was “only ” 4. Then I realize that makes 120 situps Haha
I ended just planking as long as I could after everything and not just 30 seconds which is ridiculously easy for me anyway. I made it to the 2 minute mark.
I’ll tell you these workouts always leave me feeling it and I need that. It challenges me in a different way. I know my time is short and I have to work hard, and I’m horribly competitive and want to do as many rounds as I can 🤣
You can make your own HIIT workouts up by using any combination of moves. It can involve having some weights or just bodyweight work.
Remember to warm up for about 5 minutes before starting, and good form is always key so if you start to tire or hurt slow it down or modify what you’re doing.
And if you are struggling to get into an exercise routine, 20 minutes is a short sweet way to get started.
It may not be easy, and you’re gonna sweat, but it’s short and you’ll be on your way to your day.
Tell me. What’s your favorite short and sweet workout?
It’s amazing what can be found there if you time it right.
Yeah, you have to wade through the usual cheese graters, random glasses, candleholders, tired picture frames and whatnot to get some cool nugget but I find the hunt as fun as bagging the game.
Anyway, I was waiting for the door to open last week (’cause they don’t open till that clock hits 10 ya know 😉 )
They had racks of markdown winter clothes out front, I guess giving us something to do while we waited. I had noticed this leather jacket hanging right on the end of the rack
I tried to ignore it.
I have enough black, rocker chick type jackets. I have a thing for them and they in turn, work for me.
But it was just hanging there like it was waiting for me to find it…. and then I thought.. I think it’s my size…
“just try it on” the little bad voice in my head whispered
I pulled it off the hanger, slipped it on, and of course, it fit like a glove.
And it was black. And it had all the zippers and snaps, and cool stuff I love on those jackets….
I casually asked the lady what the price was since there wasn’t one on it.
Her reply… “Oh, it’s 3.99 but all that is half price today.”
I blinked twice… and popped the jacket back off the hanger into my waiting arms.
2.00? You’re coming with me baby.
Ok, I don’t always find cool clothes… I don’t really look for them. As stated, I’m usually after discarded goodies I can flip for my shop. Sometimes, I’ve got an armload and other times I’m left empty handed.
One week though, I had decided that there was nothing I needed/wanted/ could use. I was on my way out and did a final “drive by” down the frame aisle. I saw a lady holding a sampler.
A “sampler” is what girls used to do back in the day, practice their sewing. It could contain things like numbers, ABC’s, simple pictures etc. I love them and have several in my home.
How had I missed these the first time???
I lurked around looking at random things hoping she’d discard it and walk off.
I snatched it up and also a smaller one on the floor next to it.
My first thought was that they were so heavy. They were framed in glass, double glass.
My second thought was… these look really old.
I didn’t hesitate, but scooped them up, paid the clerk the 11.67 they came to and left.
Outside, I eagerly examined them and came to the conclusion, they had to be real because who would go through such trouble to preserve something that wasn’t that old unless, well, it really was??
And why were they tossed in with the cheapo frames on the floor?
I have questions.
Who would get rid of these? Why would someone take such effort to preserve them to only have them land in a bin of cheap frames and art work? Why was something so old, obviously antiqued, so cheap??
They fit right in with my love of old cool things. And I got both for 11 dollars and some change.
It was my lucky day 😉
Before we leave this topic….
Hubby and I went to a big flea market yesterday. I found a bunch of cool goodies, but this table, how cute is it?
I love these old school tables. The claw feet always help me to date it. They just don’t make such detailed furniture anymore.
This is going to go through a lovely transformation… I promise to show it off when it’s done 🙂
When I’m not flipping furniture……
Spring time also means birthdays in my family. My daughter in law requested a chocolate cake I make with strawberries. It’s a family favorite…
Honestly though, the frosting I could just eat out of the bowl. With an entire pack of real butter and rich chocolate, it melts in your mouth.
I’ll give you a minute to just stare at it and imagine….. haha
Well, I did make some healthy side dishes for the meal… that helps right?
There are lots of recipes for asparagus and tomatoes but I kinda do my own thing. I toss the asparagus and tomatoes together with some olive oil, crushed pepper and sea salt, plenty of fresh garlic, and then roast in oven turning frequently till it’s all tender. I added fresh parmesan cheese at the end.
It’s like heaven.
It should also be noted that we were celebrating her birthday early ’cause next week her and my son will be in… Ireland….
and it should also be noted I will be watching my 2 year old granddaughter while they are gone.
She’s like 2 going on 20.
She makes me laugh and she does crazy things.
She’s my spirit animal.
I’m grateful that I’m an above “average energetic” grandmother ’cause it’s gonna be a busy 9 days 😛
And in some final what on earth?? thoughts….
I heard a story on the news recently that made me just wonder … wonder why on earth it even needed mentioned.
It was about some actress or some famous “ish” person “coming out”….
What was she coming out about?
She has stretch marks.
Yes you are reading correctly. She was coming out that she had stretch marks a common normal thing millions of people have.
I was scratching my head at how this was newsworthy and I guess on some level she had felt this had made her less than a person or something like that.
This is what our world has come to. That our value is based on surface things. That if we are somehow “flawed” there’s something wrong with us.
Listen, you may be genetically blessed and not have a single one. You may have done every thing possible to not get one and boom, there they are.
It’s not just that. You don’t have to look far to see that besides stretch marks, cellulite ( again something millions have, even skinny people) is another damning factor making you less than worthy.
Let me just state this incase you need reminded.
Those things don’t define you nor do they make you less valuable.
I can tell you this. When I’m on the road running or cycling or when I’m lifting heavy things, the last thing on my mind is my stretch marks. ( and yep I got some with pregnancy) they don’t define my strength and power. They don’t affect my performance. They don’t keep me from wearing running shorts and a sports bra or a 2 pc swimsuit.
And I hardly let them bother my self esteem.
We live in such a shallow world where such surface things can define us or reduce the value we feel for ourselves. Society. social media and beauty magazines do a good job promoting this crap.
This is just a reminder that you, and your real or perceived flaws are fine just the way you are.
Now… tell me…. do you go to thrift stores? Do you like finding treasures others have cast off? With the arrival of spring, what’s your favorite outdoor activity?
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
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”.
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
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..
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.