Archive | February, 2013

My New Pink Rug

27 Feb

Ok, it’s not a rug…it’s a yoga mat! I finally went out and purchased one. It was really cheap, only $7 on clearance at Walmart – that store kind of makes me cringe a little…but regardless, super cheap deal! After a crummy day I decided I needed to lift up my mood, get centered, and let go some of the tension I was feeling. I have given yoga a try in the past and after having trained myself to enjoy sweat for so long, I had the toughest time finding enjoyment out of the lower impact, slower paced workout.

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I am not flexible by any means. This was one thing I’ve never been good at and mostly because I’m not the best stretcher. With doing more pilates and Blogilates, I have realized how it’s not really a matter of flexibility, it’s a matter of stretching daily and building muscle. I’ve felt more and more loosened up and can stretch a lot further already!

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So I thought I’d give yoga another shot a few days ago. Bad news was that I was having a hard time staying in one spot. I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t mentally focusing enough, or I was sliding around so much on our carpet, or if it was because I didn’t have a fun, happy, pink colored mat to look down at; I agree, I think I needed to try a mat!

I grabbed David some apples for the week on Sunday at the store and yesterday got a text saying how awful they were. Homemade applesauce anyone? So I thought perfect reason to stop by Walmart and check out their workout apparel and yoga accessories; and grab some ‘crisp’ apples.

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Photo credit: David’s Instgram

I not only got a mat but I got a few shirts ($5 for a decently cute top!), a pair of running shorts, and an active razorback tank. Working out in clothes that are meant to be worked out in is so much more fun than working out in an old t-shirt and shorts. I swear it made me feel stronger and more energized!!

When I got home, I rolled out my new pink mat and looked on the YouTube channel we now have on our Wii to find a video to do. I did 3 yoga videos and it felt so good! I will master those moves that I could barely attempt last night…my mat won’t let me down!

I think it will also come in handy when I do pilates, Blogilates, and any core work as it really does help keep me in place and when in planks or pushups or downward dog; my hands and feet stick to the mat so that I can focus on my form and not how my body is sliding in all directions.

Yoga gets a bad rap because it’s not seen as hard as a lot of other workouts and even I didn’t give it credit because if sweat wasn’t dripping from my forehead and I wasn’t laying on the ground exhausted, it wasn’t worth my time but moving from one static strength yoga move to another with grace and flexibility, while really breathing deeply and focused, really challenged me last night and my shoulders, back, arms, and legs are already feeling sore today. There are lots of different types of yoga; some focusing on breathing and relaxation and others focusing on core and total body strength. All very good workouts and worth giving a chance – just make sure you have enough grip underneath you because it really does help!

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I love the Yoga Solution workouts from Livestrong Women. Tara Stiles is so good about telling you what she’s doing and reminding you to “breath a lot” and do your best.

Have you ever tried yoga? Do you have a yoga mat?

Are apples hard for you to buy too? David likes a different kind of apple than I do and I swear I never remember what ones he liked the last time…

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10 Things A Runner Should Not Leave Home Without

25 Feb

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Man they fly by don’t they?!

Friday night I had an awards ceremony called the Addy’s for the local Advertising Federation of America, although we didn’t bring home any awards this year, it was interesting to see the work of some very talented designers in the area and enjoy one of the best dinners I’ve had out in a long time! With Lent, I went for the Vegetarian option (chicken and prime rib were the other choices), and I am so glad I did! I got a plate full of spaghetti squash, marinara, and a large grilled mushroom with a side salad, garlic bread, and a mini cupcake (and a half…my boss and I split an extra one that was left on our table during the intermission), it was delicious. I wish I would have snapped a picture but 1) I was starving because it was almost 7:30 by the time we ate so I dove right in and 2) it felt a little weird snapping a picture of my food in front of the other people at my table – but TRUST me it was awesome!

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I made these cookies today. They are full of protein; no flour, no eggs, no oil! They are pretty good but if you make them, expect them to be super doughy. They taste like a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie but the texture is definitely like cookie dough. Would be pretty good broken up into vanilla ice cream…I’ll have to try that! Mine didn’t end up looking as pretty as her’s but I followed her recipe to a T and she’s right, I tried the cookie dough before it was baked and it was NOT good but the baking really does bring out the sweetness and the chickpea taste disappears.

This picture looks really cruel, I did end up giving Gizmo a taste of the peanut butter...his puppy eyes always get me!

This picture looks really cruel, I did end up giving Gizmo a taste of the peanut butter…his puppy eyes always get me!

Yesterday we had some nice weather. I think it was somewhere in the high 30’s low 40’s but the sun was shining, the snow was melting, and it felt really nice having a break from the cold and wind. While on a walk I couldn’t stop thinking about how bad I wanted to just run but not wanting to set myself back right now, I stuck with walking which was still good! There’s no doubt spring will be the hardest time of the year for me to get through.

But while my mind is in runner’s land, I was remembering the pet peeves and mistakes I learned along the way on my journey with running.

Here’s a list of 10 things that a runner should not leave home without:

1) A good pair of running shoes: this is a must! When I first started running, my tennis shoes were from Kohl’s. They were just basic tennis shoes. After suffering from shin splints and knee aches, I went to a proper fitting at a running store and got a shoe that fit my foot and stride. If you have a proper running shoe, make sure you don’t go too many miles before replacing them. My Sauconys have barely any tread left on them and the meshing is all ripped, I love those shoes but it’s time to part with them when I get back into running. O yes, and they are now tie died from this fall’s Color Run…

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2) Warm Up: Whether this is stretching, yoga, walking; anything to get those muscles warm and loosened up. A gentle stretch and walk before going in to a run also helps to mentally get me in the zone.

3) …some bathroom meditating…another must! Before a run if I wasn’t able to go to the bathroom, I knew my run would be shot. Even if this meant waking up a good hour before heading out in the mornings, I had to get that in. It’s not fun to have a bad run based solely on this issue. Definitely not something you want to suffer through!

4) Good ear buds: I absolutely hate running with music when my ear buds constantly fall out or get blown out by the wind. I went on Amazon one time and got a really nice pair. Not only was the sound exceptional but the buds stayed in even on the windiest days…until I listened to my music a little too loud on too many runs and they blew. Time for a new pair! I’d love to get some of those cool new sweat proof, wireless ear buds like Jay Bird or Iron Man makes…anyone have those and swear by them? It really is a huge pet peeve of mine when I have to constantly fix my ear buds!

5) Clock: Knowing when I start running and when I stop makes me continue to set goals and stay competitive with myself to push a little further each run.

6) A pre-run snack about 45 min to one hour before hand: You.MUST.fuel! If I had a snack much under an hour before my runs, I would get side cramps so I would try to eat my snack or a small breakfast with plenty of time to digest and make sure I get in #3 🙂

7) A bottle of water: If you are doing a long run or it’s really hot, this would be good to take with you, otherwise you will want  (and need) it when you are done.

8) Music: There are some days I just want to enjoy silence, but there are other times when I need music to keep me going and pump me up. Even these days when I am walking by myself, music keeps me going so I don’t get bored or think too much about what I am doing. The mind is a powerful thing and if you get it to stop thinking about quitting, you will keep going!

9) www.mapmyrun.com

10) A goal: No matter if you are going out for an easy, leisurely run or to train for an upcoming race, having a goal keeps you going and on track. If I set out to run 4 miles and get around to the 3rd and want to stop, it was harder to quit and most days a lot easier to just do the last mile because I knew how good it felt to hit that goal. My goals were always set on my PR’s but signing up for a few races will help you as well.

I hope if you are a runner, these tips help to remind you of some important things that I think are necessary to enjoy running as well as meet your times/distances. If you are considering taking up running, this list will help you get yourself, mind and body, ready to hit the pavement.

IMG_20130222_110850I have a Christmas cactus at work that was given to me by a coworker who moved away, the plant was not doing too hot for the first 2 years but recently it’s been really taking off! I think I finally have my blinds filtering just the right amount of light and I now have this flower and 6 more blooms ready to go! My mom has an amazing green thumb but that is one thing I have not found yet. We did landscaping last year and minus the summer drought and the crazy rabbits who ate my hostas down to the roots, I am pretty sure I will have to re-landscape it all this year!

Maybe down the road: ISSA Certification

22 Feb

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I really enjoy doing and trying to figure out what I want in my life, besides being a mom.

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I realized that I really like helping people reach their goals; whether it’s just being supportive, motivating, teaching, or learning together. Healthy living is a passion of mine and I love when I can share that with someone else.

Blogging is definitely a way that I can pursue that joy but sometimes I really wish I had some real knowledge on training in addition what I’ve learned on my own and from my personal experience.

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So I started researching.

I looked into information about registered dieticians, nutritionists, as well as personal training; all to see how hard financially and mentally…as well as physically…each of these would be if I decided I wanted to add on a part time situation in the future.

The most realistic for me is to get certified as a personal trainer.

I looked at a few of the gym openings around the area and the requirements for personal trainers, group fitness trainers, and health coaches. Health coach is ideally where I’d want to go with it but it’d start with getting certified as a personal trainer. Most of the trainers’ bios had a few different personal trainer certifications listed including ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) Certified.

I continued researching, thinking, and talking to David and a close friend whether this would be something I should really go forward with.

I requested more information and not only got an email full of information about the program but also a phone call that evening from a very nice man who wanted to talk more about my interest in the certification courses and have a person of contact.

The course is all online. You pay (kind of a hefty fee) to get your materials sent to you and then you follow the course over the next – up to – 8 months. After you pass and get your certification, you have it for 2 years and then after you can do their continuing education programs to keep it up.

Without going into too much detail about the program, I decided, with some help from a close friend who has recovered from HA and was ISSA certified; that right now is not the best time for me to pursue this goal.

Sometimes just being in the healthy living blogosphere makes dealing with my recovery a little harder. Someone who can’t run much of anything right now without reversing my recovery, it can be hard to read about someone’s 10 mile run or the new running shoes they tried out. Getting my certification to be a personal trainer not only puts me in an already vulnerable state but it could also be detrimental to my main goal (future Baby B) right now. Throwing myself into that world will only set me back.

Goals are meant to be set and achieved but this is one goal that will have to wait. Once I am a mommy, I can reevaluate this goal and see if it still fits into my life and if I’d still get the same joy from it as I think I would now with our lives consisting of just the 2 of us and my nights are currently spent kind of selfishly.

When talking to the man on the phone last night (if you are looking into getting your ISSA certification, I spoke with Frederic, he was super nice!!), I explained to him that I am interested in more information and possibly pursuing this in the future but am jumping the gun right now as we are trying for a baby and I don’t know what the future holds. He completely understood, was not too pushy at all, gave me his contact information for the future, and even wished us luck on our “baby-making” –His words.  I imagine I am the first to tell him that because he seemed a little frazzled but handled it very professionally!

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Today I am a healthy living blogger, someone who wants to share my daily journey through life and hopefully help a few along the way do the same. I want to continue to learn, step out of my comfort zone, and live my life. Just because I can’t pursue this goal right now doesn’t mean I won’t, it just means that I have a bigger more important goal that I want to achieve first!