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An Update on Sticking to It

So, I blogged back in December about the FitChicks class & my goal to keep going. Every other month, Sonya, the instructor, does measurements with a tape & calipers to give us a way to see how we are doing. I’m pretty sure Sonya doesn’t believe in just tracking your weight to measure your fitness. So, she pinches you with the calipers on your arm, stomach, & leg – not gonna lie, it’s kind of a painful pinch – to get your total body fat %, then measures your chest, waist, belly button, & hip levels.

I’m proud to report that I’ve done better at sticking to fitness than I have blogging. Sorry for the lack of posting! We had visitors & visitors & work in-between then a weekend away, so the past couple weeks have flown by. Anywho, my measurements last Friday showed an almost 2inch decrease to my hips & a 4.5% decrease in body fat! Yay for unexpected results! I honestly thought they would all be the same because I didn’t feel like anything had changed. It has become easier to try to keep up with Sonya & do less modifications, so I should have guessed there would be some improvement.

My main purpose is to encourage you to “Stick to It,” whatever it is that you are aiming for – whether it be working out, eating better, learning something new, getting or changing your job, whatever it is stick to it!
You may come up with your own unexpected results.

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Diet Schmiet

I’m about to rant. I’m going to preface this with stating that I am not an expert or nutritionist in any form; I am simply a girl who loves food & has opinions, and thanks to the internet, I get to air them out.

I think diets are overrated, seriously overrated. In fact, I think diets are nothing more than a socially accepted form of selective anorexia. Strong words, I know, but let’s think through this. Cutting entire things out of your diet just sounds kinda nuts to me. Whatever happened to everything in moderation! Is our self control that far gone that we can’t just say get a good mix of everything & not too much of one, but have to just nix entire food groups? That’s not going to get us all the good vitamins & minerals that come from all these different types of foods. Obviously, I’m not talking about the diet plans that help you keep track & balance if you are seriously having issues. Those don’t exclude random food groups for fun. I’m talking fad diets. Let’s review some of my favorites:

Low Carb: a carbohydrate is defined by Webster’s as “any of various neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (as sugars, starches, and celluloses) most of which are formed by green plants and which constitute a major class of animal foods.”  So here’s the deal, basically you are hating on a compound that is used for energy, structure, & all kinds of other things in our bodies. I think what you are really meaning to limit is either starches or sugar or both, but not all carbohydrates are bad. That’s stereotyping! And I refuse to deny myself completely of bread, pasta, & baked goods. They can’t be that bad if athletes load up on them before a race; we’ll get back to that.

Juicing: what did solid food ever do to you?! If you have teeth for chewing, then you are blessed enough to not have to deny yourself solid foods. And what about good ol’ fiber, he’s not offensive; don’t avoid him.

Diet drinks: are they really that much better for you sans sugar? They still have all the carbonation & acids & caffeine. Don’t chug them like they are water – chug water! 8 a day is not moderation – that much caffeine can’t be good for you. We seriously need to get off our caffeine highs. We’re a bunch of addicts. Mod.er.ation.

I honestly don’t even know all of the other crazy things people do to diet, but here’s a couple more nuggets for you to chew over:
-Why do think they are called “fad” diets? If it worked, it would be the forever diet. Fad is just one letter away from fat. Just saying.
-Balance & knowledgable choices are all you need to eat healthy – smarten yourself up at choosemyplate.gov .
-Aim for health, not a number on the scale or your clothes. Bodies come in all shapes & sizes, and if you are making good choices,feel good about yourself. The other half of that is
-Get up! Remember the carb loading athletes – they can do that because they are exercising a lot. If you are exercising, you are using all those good things you are eating, including sugars & carbs. If you are sitting on the couch all the time, maybe you should be more strict with what you eat because you aren’t using it.

In summation, eat a balanced variety. Exercise. Be smart. Be happy. Feel good. Love yourself. And cut out the dieting madness already!

Work It Out: Sticking To It

Here are my tips for sticking to & maximizing your work-out routine: 1. peer-pressure, 2. monetary pressure. So, basically, pay for a group class. Brilliant, I know, but motivation is my biggest struggle. Here’s the story:
Sam comes home from a dentist appointment the first week we are in ABQ and hands me a post-it note. It says Fit Chicks and lists a name & number. I give him what I’m sure is a loving look and ask if I’m supposed to read anything into this. He says a girl at the dental clinic gave it to him to give to me. I’m still skeptical as to how the subject of my fitness came up at his dentist appointment, but days later, when the boredom had set-in, I gave the number a call to see what this was all about. The boot camp girls’ group meets 3 times a week for an hour in the mornings. Still more days later, I finally decide to try it out. My first class was small (& free to try out), but the atmosphere is very supportive & accepting. The non-stop combo of cardio, weights, & floor work was challenging, and I had to take a breather toward the end. All the girls were commending me on not throwing up like most people do at their first class, like I said, supportive & accepting. I didn’t get back to another class until this Monday, due to the snowy trip & some work stuff. Monday, I paid up for the classes I would be in town for the rest of the month & worked my butt off despite being already a bit sore from skiing Saturday and getting all the high hearts & clubs in the card game Sunday night. It was a bigger class Monday, so more people to keep up with. Tuesday, I couldn’t perform any movements involving leg muscles without groaning. I made it back this morning & did work again. We’ll see if I can walk tomorrow.

Anyway, the point is I noticeably work harder when I have other women around me to spur me on. Sorry, Sam, I already know you love me and will let me slack off. The thoughts vary between “if they can do it, so can I” & “come on, Kim, you don’t want to look like a quitter.” Also, having already paid for the classes makes it a “for sure” as opposed to a “maybe” on the mental calendar. I AM going to FitChicks today, not I could go. Those are my super-obvious tips for keeping up a good exercise routine, so go ahead & commit & get to work! If I can do it, so can you…trust me!

Preparedness

It was apparently not a strong-point for me this past weekend. Not only was I stranded by the weather, which was admittedly worse than expected, but I was also under-clothed with an unprepared vehicle as well. Geez! In order to help keep you from the same mistakes, I researched some winter tips on different topics. So instead of this:

You’ll be more like this:
Check out more of Glamour mag’s winter outfit ideas.

Click the pic for Elle’s winter skin care tips, and here are some DIY winter skin care ideas from care2.com.

Keep that pooch safe & warm with tips from the AKC. Jack will be getting some winter gear very soon!

Last, but not least, prep that car! You have no idea how annoying frozen up wiper fluid can be when you are traveling – extremely annoying. Fill it up with undiluted, cold weather appropriate fluid asap, as well as checking the other important points in the article. We certainly don’t want you breaking down or having your car look like that ↑!

To recap, dress warmly (& waterproofedly), save your skin, protect your pooch, & prep that car! Oh & soapbox: wash your hands! That is the best way to prevent illness. Remember especially to wash them before touching your own face, mouth, nose, or food – keep those cold & flu bugs out.

Have a safe winter, lovelies!

Work It Out: A Game Of Cards

So, those who know me know that I am not really into working out.  I do, however, try and am encouraged by my sweet hubby.  A big part of my problem with working out, besides the lack of motivation, is the lack of mental involvement. I get bored easily with exercise. However, last night Sam and I wanted to try to be healthy.  It was too late to go to the gym and too cold to go outside, so we came up with a game that I thought was pretty darn great!  We took a deck of playing cards and assigned a work-out to each suit as follows: hearts were lunges, diamonds were sit-ups, clubs were push-ups, and spades were mountain climbers.  The premise was you would complete as many of the suited workouts as the number on the card; face cards were 10, and aces were 11. With push-ups and sit-ups, the numbering was one-to-one, but with lunges, it was one per leg as one and mountain climbers, 4 foot switches as one. Therefore, a king of hearts would be 10 sets of lunges, or an ace of clubs would mean 11 push-ups. Then, we halved the deck and went to work. Sam ended up doing 3 of mine (totaling 29), putting me at 23. The best thing about this work-out is that it adds an element of suspense; you could even make it a competition with timing or something if you were more evenly matched. You can also change your type of activities and the number of reps that equal one point to personalize. Give it a shot next time you have repetitive-work-out-induced boredom. Everybody loves a gamble!