Hello world 🙂 As I’m writing this it’s at the end of the weekend…. a weekend that has been near perfect weather. A weekend that has breathed the promise of fall and changing seasons and all things cozy.
Forget the fact it’s still warm enough for shorts…..
The sun was out and after so many weeks of mostly rain and dark cloudy days, this sunny weekend was a balm for my soul and I know, many others.
This meant some long overdue work outside in the yard and it was wonderful to just be able to work outside in the sun and feel the wind on my skin and hair.
There was some time spent cutting grass…. I don’t mind using a push mower and honestly enjoy the work of pushing it everwhere. We’ve got a lot to cut so it can keep me busy.
The electric company was also out cutting trees back this week and left some oak trees cut laying off the side of the road. Well, actually, it was down the hill…. so it was run down, grab chunks of wood, and back up the hill with it.
Me… I’m thinking… I should go get those, drag them home, and get hubby or my son to get the chain saw and cut them into more manageable pieces that we can use later for our fireplace ( eventually we’ll get one or two cold days :-P) and I love having a fire on those cold dark nights.
So I apprehended the red flyer wagon laying around my grandkids use occasionally and loaded it up and dragged the wood back home.
Uh… yeah.. it was a little workout haha
It was overall one of those satisfying, working weekends.
Don’t over look the fact that doing some extra movement outside can be a fun part of keeping fit 🙂
Oh… but then… food.
When I’m not doing athletic things or other activities, I am a wicked baker. So there’s cookies…..
I made two kinds. Hubby had requested oatmeal raisin but then I just wanted something chocolate …so…..
I’ll share recipes below. Find all of my tasty dessert recipes on Pinterest. ( you can also find lots of exercise tips and workouts too 😉 )
I’d never made a chocolate cookie recipe where you melted butter first, then stirred everything else in. I loved how fast and simple these were and sooo good too 🙂
In other weekend fun….
One of the things hubby and I enjoy doing is going for breakfast dates at a local place in town. The building is old. It’s not fancy. During the winter it can be stupid cold in there ’cause their heat is sketchy at best. On any given morning you’re hoping you can score a table because the place is packed and sometimes you are wrestling for the last fork in the utensil holder.
The food is good and the coffee is too.
This past week I couldn’t help but again get distracted people watching and observing.
Couples, families, friends meeting for coffee the place hummed with a low key activity and bright energy.
It’s one of the cool things about living in a kinda smallish town… the local eating place. The place that isn’t fancied up… it’s just down home cozy.
That’s one of the things I love about my home town. These small areas that still feel “homey” in the mix of growth and things changing so much.
Not only can you meet new people but it’s often a place to catch up with friends you may not have seen in awhile.
For a social person like me….well.. it’s a good fit 😉
Oh… and so like… Halloween is this week.
Stay tuned… perhaps in next weeks post I’ll have a pic of my costume. Let’s just say I’m putting my own spin on Glinda the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz.
Am I the only one who mooches candy of their kid while you’re out making the rounds to houses gathering candy? Please tell me I’m not 😉
Actually now days I’m mooching it off my grandkids hahaha
Of course once Halloween is over, it seems like things are full speed to Christmas. My kids have already begun to present their gift lists to me.
How early do you start shopping ?
And finally… that approaching duathlon…
Got a solid brick training session in on one of my days last week. Out on the road in the dark early morning, fog still in the air, I really wanted to be inside drinking coffee.
But somehow, there I was, out on the road taking off for my first run. I kept it short. A 2 mile run, followed with a 10 bike ride, then a 2 mile run.
I’ll tell you, it’s always that last leg that I have to intentionally and purposefully dial in on my mental muscle. I guess because at that point I know I’m close to finishing and I have to remind my legs, we aren’t quite done yet.
I have to stay focused and sometimes that’s hard when I know finishing is so close!
I’m actually anticipating a training week ahead that doesn’t involve wet stuff outside! Although I know race day can offer up anything, I’m hoping for perfect weather like we had last year.
That’s a wrap for this week….
It’s another busy week ahead with lots going on. What will be keeping you busy? Have you tried any new recipes? Had any new adventures?
I read a post recently by two bloggers who are really hustlers in the blogging world. They write with a purpose to help other bloggers be successful at what they do. They offer tips, tricks and ideas on every aspect of blogging.
Some of it to me is well, really, common sense.
Blogging at it’s most basic concept ( in my mind) is casually chatting with a friend over a cup of coffee.
I talk and chatter, as the blogger, and the reader gets to engage by commenting and responding back.
Blogging isn’t complicated when you know the direction you wish to go, then set out to be good in that direction of what you feel called to write on.
Oh. And ideally not bore your readers into an early death. Boredom is the kiss of death.
Please, please, please I don’t wanna be boring haha
In one of the posts written by the author, they discussed being you, authentically you, with your readers. ( I promise, I don’t hold back) but they indicated sharing about who you are so when the reader comes to your posts they have a better idea of who’s behind the writing.
So that being said, I thought we’d step away from our usual programmed affair and I’d bring some “real me” stuff into it.
The blogging world
it still kinda surprises me when people follow me whether it’s via Word press, e-mail, or on my social media accounts.
Part of me is still like…. they want to read my stuff. How cool IS that? Maybe because in a world with millions of people, and so much clamoring at our attention, it’s nice to know people will take some of their valuable time to read my posts.
So.. thank you…
I’ve always enjoyed writing in one way or another. Words come rather effortlessly for me and ideas often clamor to escape my head. As I’ve moved along in this it has become easier and easier to find my voice and use it.
Basically, I can speak my mind.
I “toyed” with the idea of starting a blog for several years ( AH! do you know how daunting that seems?! and IS for someone who is not a techie person? ) but when a small local paper I was writing health and fitness articles for unceremoniously gave my little humble area to a …guy…. and thanked me and sent me off….
Well… let’s just say anger, annoyance and irritation were just the catalyst to move me to blog world. I have always kinda been that way… make something bigger and better than what I thought was so good before.
And really.. what’s better than going from your local town and surrounding areas… to having the entire world be able to read my ramblings?
So within a few weeks I had figured out all the basics to get my page set up , found some tutorials for things that were stumping me, and well, have faked the rest haha
No, not really. I am a quick study though so that helps.
With a bit of nervous apprehension I hit that publish button on my first post and well… here I am 3.5 years later…find my very first post here….
I’m still learning and I’m open to being taught new things in this process.
I don’t overthink things or make the idea of blogging into more than what it is.
I’m not hung up on all the techie stuff and trying to figure which SEO’s will propel me into the mainstream of reading.
Although, thanks Google, my post on the keto/dash diet has consistently sat in the top search positions for awhile now…. so there’s that 😉
Mostly, though, I just like to have fun with writing. And hopefully educating… and motivating… and offering up a healthy dose of sassiness while I’m at it.
Besides being a writer, who am I?
I have a quick wit, I’m far to sassy for my own good at times, sarcasm can be a second language, I laugh at things I probably shouldn’t laugh at, I’m clever on a lot of levels, I will tease unmercifully with people I like, I’m to soft hearted sometimes, but can be as tough as nails when I have to be. I’m stubborn and a bit hard headed but it can serve me well at times. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to use my voice and not shy from it, but have learned the value of remaining silent if I need to be.
I’m extremely social and feed off energy of others. I don’t usually meet a stranger which works well for me on a daily basis. I love meeting new and interesting people who have something different to bring into my life. Basically, I prefer not to stay in my same social “bubble”.
I’m random. If I wanna do something I do it. There’s adventure in that.
I don’t go with the flow and I find conformity largely boring.
I’m not afraid to jump into a new challenge or take on something I’ve not done.
I’m Texas born and bred, I’ve never left the area or gorgeous state I was raised in. I’ve seen my town grow way to much, way to fast, but it’s still home and I can’t dream of being anywhere else.
I got married, had kids and made permanent camp here.
As weird as it is, all my kids are adults now, some married, and I’ve got some precious grandbabies too.
I’m a homey kinda person meaning I enjoy things like cooking and baking ( from scratch) I was taught the ropes by a mom and grandmother who knew their way around a kitchen and taught me the art of not just cooking but doing things that make a home, “home”.
Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday and I love the creativity of decorating and creating fun visual areas through the house to look at.
My daughter in law told me one year that my house was the kind where people should be able to come in and roam around looking while eating cookies… such a sweet compliment.
I love black coffee and on some days I drink copious amounts of it. Coffee is my legal drug 😉
In my mid 40’s I started dabbling in exercise. The bug kinda bit when I turned into a runner… yeah… who accidentally starts running? haha
The trend continued as I fell more in love with exercise and how I felt. I learned more about myself and what I can do in the process. It was a heady experience knowing what my body could be trained to do.
Along came cycling and now who would’ve thought, I’ve turned into a multi sport athlete.
I was working on losing some weight and the exercise regime certainly helped. So did learning more about what I put in my mouth. It has been a slow determined process but I’ve taught myself a lot about nutrition and now willingly make better food choices for my overall health and wellness.
I started sharing my experiences on social media, people were interested and started following me, which lead to me wanting to branch out and do more, thus began my blog.
And well, here we are.
The main focus I have here at Sassyfitnesschick, is to talk sane, sensible, and practical health, nutrition and exercise.
There is so much nonsense when it comes to these areas and I want to be a voice of sanity in the tidal wave of craziness.
I want people to know they don’t have to suffer and go through extreme things just to lose weight and get fit. I want to teach that they can slowly adjust eating habits and patterns that will lead to permanent changes. Or that exercise can start slow and easy ( as it should)
I just feel bad when I see good people desperately clinging to things that will ultimately get them nowhere or worse, spending LOTS of money of products that promise them the golden ring but all they do is throw away their money and are still fat and unhappy.
Of course there will be some times I’m just gonna talk about life because as I’ve shared with you, there is more to me than “just” my passion for sharing sanity in the realm of health and fitness.
Monday, the day of the week that seems to garner the most whining, complaining and lamenting. It’s the killjoy of the week, the black sheep of the family, the ugly step-child, or the stuff you stepped in on your shoe.
I’m never sure why Monday always gets such a bad rap.
Oh I know, the party’s over, right?
Back to work, the grind, the no fun and games grind of the work week.
Of course some of you get up with your positive pants on and head into work and you be like…..
And with all the negative Monday talk have you ever wondered if…….
Yeah, something to ponder.
But then, I’m over here like….
I guess for me it’s easier to embrace it as another day of opportunities and chances to do things.
It’s another day we’ve been given this amazing gift called, life, and we are complaining about Monday.
You. Are. Alive.
One more day to spin around the sun, see things, do things, feel, touch, love, and experience life.
Yes, you might view Monday as the armpit of the week, but don’t miss out on living while you feel that way.
Speaking of living….
Yikes. I seem to be meeting myself coming and going lately. Working with my son for awhile at his business ( means being gone all day) training for my duathlon, maintaining the household/ life stuff, writing for this blog, doing research for mentioned blog ;), and attempting to work on my projects for my business leaves me feeling like I want another hour or two in my day, preferably to sit and be still for a moment.
Training is rolling along for the duathlon.
I took off Sunday morning to go run both legs of the course where the race will run. I’ve done it like. twice, since last years race. As I shared in a recent Instagram post, it’s not an “easy” 5k. I mean really, to me a 5k is a distance I’m just warming up in. But this 5k, literally out the start line, is on an incline and you head right into hills, big hills. It continues pretty much until they turn us around to head back, then there is some down hill work, but also more up and down action too.
Anyway, I wanted to be out there to get it under me again mentally as well as physically. The heat and humidity is just a part of what goes with my training so that adds to fun as well.
As I was heading into the final stretch I checked my watch to see that I had clipped a 10 minute mile… now for a lot of you that’s like…slow.
For a 50ish year old woman, I’m okish with that 😉 especially given the mile it had been. I saw my finishing time was close to what I did in the duathlon last year when I was in my peak condition and all I could think is… “I need to get my average pace down”.
I’m hard on myself. I expect a lot and I have high goals. don’t like to feel like I’m not working towards improvement in what I do.
The beauty of athletics right? The sky is the limit on reaching new goals no matter how small or big they may be.
I reminded myself that my last mile was worth cheering over and a decent time on that course was celebratory too.
Of course I might’ve been smiling ’cause I knew food would be imminent. It’s not a good sign when I take off and my tummy is already growling. Food never, ever tastes better than post workout and my hunger is deep, real, and needy.
Do you ever let yourself get that hungry? Trust me, you appreciate food on a whole new level when you are that kinda needy.
Speaking of food….
nothing like finding a random snack hanging out in my purse haha I guess it beats having candy in there or something of that nature.
In the category of things that make me go hmmmm.
Featured stories on the daily news leave me shaking my head.
daily interaction with your children will help them grow and thrive.
eating a diet with less processed food and sugars will help you lose weight.
exercise can help you feel and look better.
eating a diet high in vegetable and fruits can help prevent many cancers.
reading to your children will grow their vocabulary.
smoking can shorten your life, be aging and cause other health issues.
I mean, aren’t these “no brainer” kinda things? Common sense? Like you should just know this stuff? Maybe not but it always leaves me scratching my head when I hear stuff that just seems like you’d know to do it or not do it.
When I’m not trying to eat well and train for a duathlon….
Ok I’ve shared in other posts about my new little vintage business. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/ Believe it or not, it’s been a month since I jumped in the deep end and got my little space at a local shop. I’m so excited that the month has gone really well! I’ve sold a lot of things, I’ve also sold stuff online and picked up some custom orders too.
This is where I start thinking I need 8 days a week with 36 hours in a day…..
especially with the upcoming holiday season on top of it all.
I’ve got plenty of projects going on. I scored this cute little number the other day…
I have a thing for these old phone tables. This one is unique so I was excited to literally stumble across it one day last week at a local thrift shop. I love the fabric on seat and it appears rather new so I’m working with it… I already have a vision for what the rest will look like so stay tuned.
Ok, it’s getting late for me and I need to wrap this up… but first.. this week when I was doing a shift at the shop… I saw one of the girls selling this…. I instantly related….
I mean… really…. I do believe this could be true 😛 Coffee is a the soothing beverage of life. It can pat me on the back and remind me I can do great things haha
I do believe it could be my spirit animal.
Do you have one? How do you feel about Mondays? Tell me something cool and interesting from your week.
So today is my birthday, the day I came crashing into history. Another chance to spin around the sun once more. The older I get the less I view that as something I’m entitled to. It’s a gift pure and simple and one worthy of celebrating, appreciating, and giving thanks for.
Before I get going on this I do wanna give a shout out to Chunky Tribe Creations for working with me on creating this fun birthday tank using one of my signature hash tags. She was super sweet and went out of her way to be helpful with my…uh… unusual request. Find them on Facebook and check out their page. Black is one of my favorite colors and I love how the pink and white compliment it and pull it all together.
I “technically” won’t roll to my new age until the evening of my birthday, according to my mothers meticulous record of my birth day.
I love how vintage, old and cool my baby book looks now.
I’m vintage. Nifty.
You can see I came into this world longer and bigger than most of my petite 6 or 7 lb counterparts.
I kinda never slowed down and grew into all of my 6’0 height by middle school… awkward at best and not knowing what to do with all of me.
Fast forward a very good number of years and I am more than comfortable in my skin and taking up all my space on this planet.
I don’t shrink back, try to be small, or less than anything I am.
I guess that’s one thing about getting older, right? Getting to where you know who you are and owning it. Making no apologies for anything or to anyone for being yourself.
It’s a matter of simply being comfortable in your skin and embracing and loving yourself.
And yeah, it’s really ok to love yourself. If you don’t, how do you expect others to?
Age brings wisdom… or so they say….but there won’t be grey hair to prove it
I guess you don’t get to this point in life where you haven’t learned a thing or two… or at least you should have. I have a lot of younger friends and I enjoy their enthusiasm, energy and zest for life. It sometimes doesn’t take long though for me to realize in chatting with them that I do have words of wisdom and advice that I can offer. Sometimes I relate to situations, other times it’s a matter of just being able to see things in a more clear, objective way.
Hey, I guess age does have it’s benefits, right?
My daughter in laws often tell me the same thing, that they appreciate my wisdom. I love that they come to me when they need advice, counsel, or to just talk.
I think being older often lets you see things in a more objective manner, to discern them differently or a little more rationally.
I’m not afraid to use my voice
I think when you’re younger, you may hold back or not feel comfortable speaking your thoughts, ideas, objections or view points.
Being older I’m not afraid to let go, or to hold back. I’ve learned silence can be powerful but I’m not afraid to speak my mind and call it like I see it either.
I can see black and white, but I also know there is a grey ground too when it comes to topics or thoughts and ideas.
Having a blog and being active on social media has certainly given me a broader platform to use my voice and to speak out loud, to live out loud, and that feels powerful.
Speaking of power….
getting older means you know yourself better, what you can do and accomplish and you’ve learned what you’re made of by now and that’s pretty empowering. The more struggles, trials, life learning events and other fun stuff you go through only builds and strengthens you in a deeper way.
My first tattoo ( ha and supposedly, “only” tattoo) was a wrist bracelet that says “strength”. It is one of my life words. When I see it, it’s a constant reminder of what I’m made of, what I’ve been forged by, and that I have strength for all things I deal with in life.
I have earned this in these years of my life, this deep strength.
Don’t sweat the small stuff….
If there’s one thing I quietly observe in the world around me is how often people waste time on things that don’t matter. They waste time on unnecessary drama with people they love when they could be loving them or enjoying that time together instead of camping on stuff that just doesn’t matter.
Through social media I often observe people throwing dirty laundry and drama out for the world to view. It’s rather sad, but more sad is that they are wasting time that could be spent loving, laughing, and appreciating the lives they have together.
Remember, none of us are entitled to anything. Don’t squander it over the small stuff that doesn’t matter.
I’m older and I’m really ok with that….really.
I had to laugh the other day when my daughter asked my age and came in a number of years behind where I am.
She said” I’m sorry Mom, I just forget, I don’t think about your age!”
And I don’t either. It’s rather irrelevant to me. I do what I want and do what makes me feel good, alive and what’s fun.
I don’t ever plan to be hindered by some age card or held back in any way.
I have to roll my eyes when I see some copy and paste post going around about older women and how they look at 20 something aged women wishing they were still there or looked like them or whatever… hahaha… no.
Don’t get me wrong. My 20’s were great. I was happy, I was happy with life and all that stuff. I was starting my family and tending babies and running a household. Life was good.
Life is still good.
But the reality is I’m in better physical shape now then I was then. I’m also way more confident, stronger, smarter and in touch with myself than I was then. I know what I’m about, what I want, what I don’t want.
I don’t wish to be something I used to be, to do so only takes away from what I am now.
Reflecting back on this past year….
As I write this, I’m thinking back over this past year, ways I’ve grown, things I’ve accomplished and learned.
In the ways of my family, they’ve grown and some have married, started new households and new jobs. I’ve graduated my final one from high school last year and watched her start her second semester of college. I celebrated another year with a man I’ve been with most of my life now.
I not only went out and trained for my first multi-sport event last year, the duathlon, I took first in my age group. Never would I have seen myself doing that, yet I did, and I’m going after it again this year.
I also stumbled into a new hobby/new business at the beginning of the year as I started flipping old antique furniture. I had zero experience with it but it turns out I’m pretty good at it and people like it so I’m gonna see where it continues to grow to.
Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks??
I guess on the topic of getting old I can just say that I’m unapologetically me. I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, yet there are others who love every weird, funny, smart, quirky, sassy vibe about me.
And that’s cool in both directions.
I’ve learned other peoples problems or hang ups they may have are their own, not mine. It’s irrelevant to me and my life.
I will never march to the beat of someone else’s drummer. I will always go against the flow and I will never intentionally conform to someone else’s standards or thoughts.
Now on with the celebrations….
Ok so I’ve kinda been working the birthday thing all week, even though as I write this, the 11th is the “official” day.
I think birthdays are worth celebrating no matter how old you get.
Cake… heck yes. My daughter made me an amazing German Chocolate one that we all devoured. Toss some ice cream on it too.
I love presents and all those unexpected treats. No, I’m not to big for gifts.
Speaking of gifts… my daughter knows of my Converse love and gifted me with these lovelies to sport around. How pretty are they ??
Of course I shared with you in my Monday Musings post this week, hubby totally surprised me with a Go Pro, to which I’m in the process of assembling and getting all put together.
Then it will be off for some adventures with it. 😉
Being older has some other advantages…..
Like… I have no idea what the most popular mini van, “sport” van, or SUV is no days… I traded mine in for a Charger R/T Max almost 2 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I know more about it’s 0-60 abilities than I do features on new vans 😉 #nomoremomcars
I skim into the grocery store peacefully getting what I need while I pass Moms with kids hanging off baskets or crying babies. Bless them but I’ve been there, done that, free now.
I can come in a total mess from a workout and get ready in record time. Although my mane of hair definitely takes the longest, I learned a long time ago less is more with makeup. All the things young women go through now days with makeup, I’ve got no time for that. You’ll just have to look at my awkward “un contoured, un bronzed, un highlighted” face 😉
I’ve got more “me” time. All my kids are grown, self sufficient, get themselves up and off for work, tend to their own needs, or better yet they live in their own homes. I can do things during the day I want to do.
I can stop for a coffee and read on the patio at my local coffee hangout…one of my fav leisure activities. Coffee, reading, and people watching.
Also, another birthday puts me closer to getting a Senior citizen discount on my breakfast… so there’s that 😉
In the year ahead….
I’m not gonna get all deep and introspective on you. My approach to my new year is simple….
Take no prisoners.
Take challenges, take risks, work hard, don’t be afraid to fail when attempting new things, seize new opportunities, live fearlessly, believe strongly in myself in what I can do, love with abandon, let go of what is useless, embrace the things that matter, be kind, accept some things are what they are, work hard, and never let age be an excuse to not accomplish something new.
I think that’s a crazy fine way to head into another year of being #50ish.
It was early morning and I was still bleary eyed, sipping on my first wonderful cup of hot coffee slowly coming to life.
For the record I’m not “anti” morning. I mean most weeks I’m out on the road running or cycling while people are still crawling outta bed. On the other hand, I may just prefer to cuddle and be alone with my coffee for a bit till the fog clears my head 😉
I am more of strong night owl if I had to label myself … anyway…
I’m waking up, laptop in front of me as I do a final read through and edit on my post before launching it into the world and blog land. I do my level best to make sure you, my faithful readers, don’t stumble through to much of my ramblings haha
And can I take a moment to say thank you?
However, you follow me, whether through e-mail, Facebook, IG, Pinterest or on WordPress, thank you for taking your time to read what I write. I know our time is valuable and I appreciate you taking yours to read my offerings.
I will always attempt to make it worth your while, to keep it sassy, and hopefully to educate, inspire, or challenge you.
Now, where was I?
Waking up, drinking coffee and proofing my post… yes that’s where I was. So while I’m doing that, the morning news is on and the morning commercials.
It must be the cheapest time of day to advertise ’cause obnoxious car sale ads are on along with ads for medical clinics, lawyers and all kinds of other services I can do without hearing about that early in morning.
All of them are so… loud. So very, very loud.
Anyway, this weight loss commercial comes on advertising how you can lose weight with some miracle something or another and “no exercise required!!”
I guess that’s where my still sleepy, yet slowly coming alive brain kicked in.
I thought, how is that a good selling point ? But then I realized, to a lot of people, that IS a good selling point.
Lose weight and you don’t have to exercise? Heck yeah.
I get it. Exercise is work. If you do it right, it’s hard work.
Of course, if you’re out of shape it really feels like hard work. Your heart and lungs are screaming at you and you get all red and you are breathing way to hard so of course a weight loss offer of no exercise might seem like a good deal.
It’s just not.
Let’s just forget losing weight here as we discuss this. Really, exercise shouldn’t be what you do to lose weight, it’s really what you put in your mouth and how much of it that matters more. Exercise can just support those efforts.
Exercise offers so much more to us than being a weight loss tool. Think about how you feel when you leave your house on a nice evening to go for a short walk. Chances are it gives you time to think, clear your head from the day, brain storm ideas, and just unwind a bit. When you come back in you probably feel rejuvenated and refreshed, even if you may be sweaty 😉
In time, you most likely will want to walk a bit further as you start to really enjoy it and look forward to it.
Maybe going to a yoga class let’s you feel more connected to yourself, makes you more aware of your body. For me, yoga definitely slows me down, but it also let’s me have some time that is a bit more quiet and reflective.
Whatever activity you may enjoy, if you get started in it, you will most likely enjoy many benefits that have nothing to do with losing weight.
Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning. Even 10 minutes of activity changes your brain.
Jumping on the treadmill or cross trainer for 30 minutes can blow off tension by increasing levels of “soothing” brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. What’s fascinating, though, is that exercise may actually work on a cellular level to reverse stress’s toll on our aging process. according to a 2010 study from the University of California—San Francisco. The researchers found that stressed-out women who exercised vigorously for an average of 45 minutes over a three-day period had cells that showed fewer signs of aging compared to women who were stressed and inactive. Working out also helps keep us from ruminating “by altering blood flow to those areas in the brain involved in triggering us to relive these stressful thoughts again and again.
I wrote a post on exercise and aging… find it here….
It can help with depression. Research suggests that burning off 350 calories three times a week through sustained, sweat-inducing activity can reduce symptoms of depression about as effectively as antidepressants. That may be because exercise appears to stimulate the growth of neurons in certain brain regions damaged by depression.
Exercise can improve our learning. Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals called growth factors, which help make new brain cells and establish new connections between brain cells to help us learn. Interestingly, complicated activities, like playing tennis or taking a dance class, provide the biggest brain boost. You’re challenging your brain even more when you have to think about coordination. Like muscles, you have to stress your brain cells to get them to grow.
It improves self-esteem and body image. You don’t need to radically change your body shape to get a confidence surge from exercise. Studies suggest that simply seeing fitness improvements, like running a faster mile or lifting more weight than before, can improve your self-esteem and body image.
It may keep Alzheimers from setting in. The Alzheimer’s Research Center touts exercise as one of the best weapons against the disease. Exercise appears to protect the hippocampus, which governs memory and spatial navigation, and is one of the first brain regions to succumb to Alzheimer’s-related damage.
Is that enough evidence for exercise?
Those are some pretty convicting reasons to exercise, right? Yet not a single one of them have to do with losing weight. The point being, exercise benefits all of our body, soul and spirit.
Exercise is a good tool to help with weight loss but as you’ve seen it offers so many more benefits to keep us healthy and whole.
It shouldn’t be viewed as something you don’t “need”. Our bodies are made for and are designed for, movement. So many of our modern day illnesses and health issues could be helped and improved with regular consistent exercise.
What exercise has taught me
ok admittedly, a few years ago when I was an out of shape middle aged woman, I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of vigorous daily exercise. As I mentioned earlier in this post, it’s hard, and it’s really hard when you’ve been doing nothing and then start doing “something”.
I purposefully made myself go walk each day. I dutifully walked 2 miles. I did it no matter what was going on, some days I had to fit it in at different times, but I did it.
I did it enough it turned into a new habit. One day I got brave and actually went farther. One mile turned into another, before I knew it I was running some, and then, well the rest is history…
Exercise was certainly a good discipline tool. Those scheduled daily times on the road disciplined me to getting up and making a commitment to something.
That discipline eventually carried over into other areas of my life.
When I trained for my first marathon I learned a lot more about discipline, sacrifice, and some serious hard work. Honestly, once you run a marathon ( I actually went on to do more and eventually in 2014, a 50k) you develop the feeling and attitude you can take on the world.
I learned more about concrete goal setting, short and long term.
Exercise has built my confidence in what I can do and what I’m capable of doing. This translates far beyond what I do on the road.
The more I’ve grown athletically, the more I’ve seen that transfer into my daily life.
Becoming mentally strong dealing with physically activity has given me a tough mind in dealing with life.
I shared in a recent post about my yearly check up with my doctor. My HDL ( good cholesterol ) was 75 on the lab report. It should be mentioned the highest number they had as “good” was 39. My doctor just gave me a level look and said… “it’s from all that exercise you do”. So exercise is good for stuff like that 😉
I’ve also learned I can do some of my most creative thinking out on the road. It’s a time to process, discard, think and get clarity.
It’s taught me to get out of my head, get out of my way, so I can see what I’m made of. I’ve learned I have strength I didn’t know I possessed, mentally and physically
Oh yeah. and somehow along the way of learning that, I lost weight and got decently fit.
So yeah, you do need to exercise
So if you’re one of the “anti-exercisers” 😉 I hope I’ve given you something different to think on. Find something you enjoy and want to do, then commit to getting good at it. DO it often enough and frequently enough and it will turn into a habit, a good one at that.
And then, before you know it, you too will have lost some weight and be getting decently fit too.
Your turn… tell me… do you wish you didn’t “have” to exercise? Do you wish you could lose weight and get all the benefits without doing it, or are you at a place where you love it and would miss it? Have you ever considered exercise as beneficial to you in ways besides helping with weight loss?
Sometimes in the mornings I just want one or two. That’s it.
I don’t binge on them or eat a half a bag. I have the discipline/self control/ whatever you want to call it to have a taste and put them away.
In fact unless some of the others who live in my household eat them, I will often throw half a bag away when they’ve sat for awhile. ( here’s a nod to all the preservatives that keep them alive and well haha)
Since I am selective in how I eat them I expect them to be good, ya know? With the most recent purchase it appears they have somehow changed up the donut recipe, and not for the better.
The donuts are like… sponges. Chewy sponges. Sugar coated chewy sponges.
They are awful. Hideous. Not worth wasting calories on.
I’m contacting the company and asking them what they’ve done to my little white, fluffy tasty treats. I’m going to whine and cry and ask them… why?? Why did you go and mess with a good thing?
Incase you don’t know, the donut should be rather light, fluffy, and kinda melt in your mouth with the powdered sugar.
It should not be like chewing through a kitchen sponge.
I guess that’s one way to break me from them, right?
I’m done whining now….
Ok maybe I don’t really need them after my doctor appointment this past week.
Yes, everything is good. I don’t talk much about this but I have hypothyroidism.
I really never mention it ’cause 1) I don’t want to be defined by anything and 2) it’s not a big deal to me as I see my doctor yearly to monitor my TSH levels and I take my meds like a good girl. I also think eating healthy and exercise help as well.
But besides my check up on my thyroid he runs a whole panel of blood tests. He got to my cholesterol and said “Your HDL ( the good kind of cholesterol) is 79.”
It should be mentioned here that the highest level the lab has as, I guess, an “optimal” level is 39mg.
He laughs and calls me an over achiever and then says “it’s all that exercise you do that drives it up”
Consistent, daily, vigorous exercise is the best way to help your good cholesterol levels. So if you struggle with cholesterol issues, you might want to consider trying to get more purposeful movement into your week.
It’s not only good for your cholesterol, but all of your body as well.
In my furniture adventures…..
Ok this isn’t like, furniture, but it is old and crusty. Look how cute this old window screen turned out with some additions to it 🙂
I did score this vintage buffet this week. Other than some veneer damage on top ( ugh, which I’m removing) it won’t have much repair work to start transformation.
Actually this little piece will be adorable as a coffee bar or a entry way piece. There are so many ways to repurpose buffets.
In the past few weeks I’ve finished off a few chairs and a cute table. I have several things on the list for the upcoming week, including the buffet. Hubby has told me I get nothing else… but he accompanied me on a run for some stuff this past weekend haha
Seriously. I’m so grateful for how he supports all my craziness and adventurous ideas 🙂
I promise a peek at the buffet when it’s all done.
When I’m not doing furniture….
I’m slowly working my training back up in preparation for the duathlon later this year. I think if there’s one thing I’ve had to learn as an athlete is the ebb and flow of a training season. It is SO hard to give up a high level of fitness, to be at a peak, and then come off that and have to start building it again.
Not that I’m “out of shape” not even being in peak condition I know I can still do more physically than most people. I have a good physical “base” to build on as I start my training. I just kinda wish I could always stay at that level although I know my ( or any athletes) body isn’t designed to always be in such peak condition.
So I’ll start increasing my training, building each week, and celebrating as I conquer new goals.
I’ll start with a brick session today ( bike/ run) and gradually add those workouts in twice a week. There will be specific long rides and on foot, mile repeats working on kicking up my speed a little.
And in the mix, I’ll keep up strength training to keep my body strong and balanced for my on road activities and because I like having some muscles too 😛
I’ve written a couple posts on that… find them here…….
Hello boys and girls… and hello Monday. As I’m writing this ending out the week, I guess I’ll start with our weather and how we’ve been dancing into the 100 degree temps this week.
I should be used to it after living my entire life in the South.
I should be used to going from warm, sunny, pleasant, perfect days that are enjoyable to be outside, to the weather turning crazy hot in an instant leaving those mild days a memory till fall rolls around.
Maybe I’m mean, but I think, really, the weather reporters don’t need a job when all they do is show a picture of the sun shining all week and the temperatures listed at 100-102.
I mean if you have nothing else to share, you don’t need to be there telling us nothing has changed. 😛
Exercise and the heat
Once those temperatures start getting hotter again, I know I’ll be feeling it in my workouts. I am pretty acclimated to training outside but when there have been months of mild weather, it does take me a few weeks to get used to the heat and humidity again. Even going out early, like 7-730, it’s already warm, often hot, and then there’s the humidity along with it.
This turns most workouts into a crazy sweat fest. No one. And I mean no one, takes my offers of a hug when I come in from working out.
Of course if I’m not out running, then I’m doing this….
Needless to say, I try and become a little more aggressive with my hydration during these hotter days. Once I learned how to check my sweat rate, I was amazed at how many pounds of fluid I could lose in a training session. Anywhere from 2-5 pounds depending on the temperature and duration of my workout.
I learned that I needed to replace those lost pounds with 16oz of water for each lost pound and then keep drinking to maintain normal hydration.
I know the drill and do it. And I’ll have to stay on top of things since it appears summer is gonna be really hot as I get my training ramped up for my second duathlon in November.
The race organizers just dropped the date this week for it so I anticipate that registration will open soon.
I tell you this… once I cough up money for an event… there is no backing out and it gets me more motivated knowing I’ve made that commitment.
Of course nutrition will be as important as ever….
I whipped up my own tasty salad to take with me when I worked with my son this week. I shared in a previous post I’ve been helping him some at work so instead of running out to a drive thru for a salad, I put one together that’s cheaper and tastier.
Spinach, cherry tomatoes, avocado, green apples, grilled chicken, feta cheese with a lime vinaigrette dressing.
Seriously though as the weather gets warmer I love the lightness of salads and how they fill me up but don’t make me feel lethargic like eating a more carbohydrate laden meal would.
Of course with salads, you can make endless combinations that won’t get boring. When making your own just make sure you add plenty of protein in with your veggies and add in variety of textures and flavors. Watch the dressing you use because you can add 100’s of calories to a healthy meal.
I hate seeing people trying to make a better food choice with a salad and then drowning it in Ranch dressing. At that point, a sandwich would be healthier and offer way less calories than a salad covered in so much dressing.
Consider using dressing on side and dipping your fork into it or look for dressings that have a low calorie content. Better yet, whip up some of your own for a tasty treat.
So I’ve got these other projects….
I have a room my now married son vacated so I decided I was going to paint it this week when I scored paint for 5.00 a gallon. How could I not??
I hadn’t used this particular brand so I wasn’t sure exactly how the paint would be. It turned out to be as thick and covering as a big name brand I always buy. I had brushes so my total purchase here was 11.65 for this little room project.
I’m almost done ’cause I wanna get back to some of my furniture projects I’ve got going on. I have one really needy chair waiting for my attention and a cute vanity I’m eager to get started with.
Ha… I have plenty of projects waiting for me. I don’t NEED any other projects, yet I keep my eyes open for anything cute or unique that comes along and needs some help.
Painting, writing, training for my duathlon, life stuff, some extracurricular “work”, I also finally got a business page launched for my vintage furniture… ah… sometimes I’m busy.
Iced coffee. That’s where it’s at during the summer months for me. My baristas usually have it served up before I’ve made it through the line.
If you get coffee at coffee shops I seriously hope you appreciate the young people behind the counter who are serving up your coffee. They put up with more in their days sometimes than you and I will ever have to. I have unfortunately seen several instances where customers acted in sad, deplorable ways because something wasn’t “right”. I believe of course, if I’m paying for something that it should be what I want. I also believe you can express yourself in a courteous way if there is a problem with your order.
It is disturbing to me how some people seem to view themselves as “above” those behind the counter and can therefore speak in ugly ways.
That’s just… not… cool.
Drinks need food…
Last week was Memorial Day in the states and I shared some recipes I’d be experimenting with on the family.
One that was a huge hit was a brownie recipe….
Mocha brownies with coffee cream cheese frosting.
The bad thing about them? I should’ve doubled the recipe as there were battles breaking out over who got the last one. I had to laugh when the recipe said to refrigerate left overs.
Left overs. Right.
They were beyond amazing. If you want the recipe, find it in this post….