Sunday, May 24, 2015

30 Days of Fitness & Food on Social Media

This is a season of transition for me. There are good changes in the works but the balancing of all the responsibilities is making it quite challenging to live up to the standard of excellence I desire for my life. Typically I would be okay with just surviving for a season but so much of the past year has been about surviving. I will no longer be content to just survive through more change. How is that modeling a positive healthy life to my children? How is that inspiring my friends to live fully? Those last two questions have been really sticking with me and my default response to just survive through the season of change is unacceptable. I have to find a way to live up to my personal standards of honoring my God, modeling a positive healthy life to my children and inspiring my friends to embrace a full beautiful life.
We have all seen the memes about people who post pics of their food on Instagram all the time and the gym selfies on Twitter. It's easy to laugh at but social media is a powerful tool that can be utilized to create personal accountability. And for every person who find the picture of your breakfast annoying there are more who will like it and possibly think, "hmm. . . I should make that." For every sweaty selfie you post you have the potential to make someone say "Maybe I'll go for a walk today."
For the next 30 days while I thrive instead of survive this season of transition I will be posting my meals, snacks, drinks and workouts on social media. Before you roll your eyes too hard you should know a few things. This is real life. You are not going to get perfectly plated gourmet meals that no one in their right mind has time to cook on a Tuesday night. You are not going to get a perfectly poised and paint brushed pic of me pre or post-workout. No. This is real life. What you will see are breakfasts that get you out the door. You will see lunches that are packed and eaten at a desk crowded with papers, a laptop and an iPhone. You will see Dinners where the pots and pans on sitting dirty in the background because if I have to clean the pans before I get to eat my dinner will go cold. You will see workouts where my furniture has to get moved to make room for my long frame in our crowded small house. You will see sweaty pics of me looking proud and tired after long runs and hard workouts because I do not glisten, sparkle or shine when I am working out. I sweat and I work hard for every drop of that sweat that drips off my brow and soaks through my shirt. This is real life. I'd love to have some of you join me over the next 30 days. Use the hashtag #CatchExcellence on Twitter or Instagram and I will find you. I will like, favorite, comment and re-tweet that stuff because people making positive life choices is the good stuff. I'd love to have you follow along too. Who knows, in the process you might get a few fitness tips, easy healthy recipes or a few laughs because life is messy and sometimes you just have to laugh. Together, let's Catch Excellence.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

25 Days Later - Are the losses from Autumn Calabrese's 21 Day Fix sustainable?

It's been more than 21 days since the last day of my 21 Day Fix day. I can literally say "Been there. Done that. Got the shirt."  When I started the 21 Day Fix program I joined the Beachbody Challenge. By tracking my progress and sharing the results with Beachbody I got free swag. Works for me! Who doesn't love free? I was so proud of my accomplishment when that shirt came I totally could not wait to wear it so I rocked it at my daughter's track meet on a beautiful spring day.

So where am I now that it's been 25 days since completing the program? I'm excited to say that many of the positive habits established over those initial 21 days have stuck in some form or another and I realized I learned a few things along the way that I didn't expect.

I am hovering right around 160 pounds. That puts me in a healthy weight range for my height. I'm a tall girl. That is a few pounds up from where I finished the 21 Day Fix. I am okay with this for a few reasons but in the end it is still a maintained loss of 10 pounds. I am pleased with this.

  1. I am not eating much more along the lines of the 80/20 concept. Eight percent of what I eat is good well planned healthy food. The other 20 percent are incidental cheats when life can't be helped or planned cheats to keep the peace in my family. 
  2. I am not watching my salt consumption quite as much. I've really picked up running since wrapping up 21 Day Fix. I need to be mindful of my electrolytes.That is content for a whole post all by itself but for now let's just say I am not one of those cute girls who sparkles or shimmers after her workout. Nope. I sweat.
  3. Weight displayed on the scale can change anywhere from 2-5 pounds in one day. This is one reason I was so intentional about when I weighed myself during the 21 Day Fix.
Changes I've made to my life after completing 21 Day Fix.
  1. Eating 5 -6 small meals in a day.
  2. Intentionally taking time to eat.
  3. Intentionally drinking water throughout the day.
  4. Drinking Shakeology daily.
  5. Working out 30 or more minutes at least 5 days a week. 
  6. Saying no to sweets
  7. Eating candy and other treats in moderation. I am capable of having one small slice of pie or a small handful or candy.
Things I learned after completing 21 Day Fix.
  1. I am a different person when I don't eat on time. It isn't pretty.
  2. I am a happier person when I workout. Miss a day no big deal miss 2 and well it isn't pretty.
  3. Just living a positive healthy lifestyle will impact the people you have in your life.
  4. Stress makes me not want to cook or eat but if I do either it isn't good food for my body.
  5. Plain water can be made delicious with simple additions that don't make it unhealthy.
  6. My portions were way to large even with healthy meals.
I've moved on from this program and have selected my next but I see myself coming back to this soon. I enjoyed the accountability and how intentional I had to be. It isn't about control but guidance and intention. Now I'm working on Insanity The Asylum Vol. 1. It's a little bit of research for work since it is very sport conditioning based. I have a love hate relationship with it right now just like I had with preseason conditioning training for soccer many years ago. Once an athlete always an athlete I guess.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Every year, every month, every day, every breath is a gift.

For a long time I hesitated to share parts of my life out of what I thought was respect for other's personal stories but what I was missing was that I have a role in those stories. That role makes part of the story mine. Stories are powerful. They are at the center of how we build relationships with people. By limiting what I shared I was limiting the opportunity to build relationships with people. There were many days when that idea of respect was stopping me from opening my computer to put words to something going on in my life. It is possible to respect someone's personal story details while not locking down your own story.

I'm challenging myself to be more open about my personal story. It's scary. When you hand over part of your story to someone else it's a risk but it invites them in to have a role whatever that role may be for that page or chapter. I want to invite more people into the story. You will see more small glimpses in to my story beyond fitness, beyond health and into life. If they speak to you, lovely. If they don't that's okay. If you can relate please join in.

A few years ago not long after my mom's birthday I was distracting myself from worry by picking wild violets in the warm spring sun while my mom had surgery. We found out later she had kidney cancer.  There was a reason I was afraid. This year I'm excited that she gets to make her way down the coast to celebrate her big brother's birthday. I never much cared for birthdays before that. I did not like making a big deal of them for me or anyone else but when I realized just how much a birthday symbolized I could understand. A birthday is not simply a celebration of the arrival of that person on earth. It is a celebration of the gift of having them as part of your story. You get to thank them for the role they play in your life. You have an excuse to love all over them being who they are. It's an exercise in gratitude and a chance to mark the chapter in our story.

Every year, every month, every day, every breath is a gift.