Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm Thankful!

Several months ago, I did a "Things I'm Proud Of" post. This time of year seems appropriate for a "Things I'm Thankful For" post. So here goes ...

I'm thankful for the wonderful, challenging, and fulfilling relationship I have with J.

Thanksgiving 2011
I'm thankful for my supportive, caring family. Although they live 1,000 miles away from me, we're still as close as when I lived near them.

My favorite people in the entire universe!
I'm thankful for the fabulous capabilities of video chat! My family and I just started using it, and we're so excited that we can actually SEE each other while we talk 1,000 miles apart!

My brother and his family on their web cam!
I'm thankful for my job that allows me flexibility and the ability to pay my bills on time.

Ed "helping" me work from home
I'm thankful for my health. I realized that since I've stuck to a mostly clean diet for the past year, I didn't get sick for 9 months! And when I did get sick, it was just a passing cold that was gone in a week.

Bringing healthy food with me wherever I go helps me stay on track
I'm thankful for my friends, both online and in person. They challenge, support, and motivate me.

Me with Krissy and her daughter, Kali
I'm thankful I have a platform where I can help others. I love hearing from people who've identified with something I've written, and then used it to make positive changes in their own lives!

FitnessRx Contributor
I'm thankful for the opportunity to travel and spend quality time with my loved ones.

Key West 2011
I'm thankful for my animals who bring so much joy to my life simply by existing.

So often, we focus on things we don't have or things we want but can't have. This year, let's focus on the things we DO have, and take a moment each day to give thanks for all the wonderful things we have in our lives.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Have you ever gotten to the gym, opened your gym bag, and realized you forgot an essential item? It's happened to me more times than I can count. I pack my bag the night before as a precaution, yet I still sometimes overlook important clothing articles. (I can't even begin to imagine how many things I'd forget if I packed my bag in my half-asleep state in the morning!)

As a result, I've trained in the following conditions:

  • Without socks
  • Wearing a regular bra instead of a sports bra
  • In Doc Martins
  • In flip-flops
  • Wearing my hair down instead of in a ponytail (forgot my hair band)
  • In long pants for cardio (which I despise) instead of shorts
  • Wearing jeans
  • Wearing shoes from the lost and found (relax - I remembered my socks, which prevented potential foot diseases)
Do you sense a trend with the shoes and socks?

Last week, I opened my gym bag and searched in vain for my running shoes before I realized I'd left them at home. Since I'd slept through morning cardio time (it was THAT kind of day), I hadn't followed the routine of taking my shoes off and immediately putting them in my gym bag after cardio. All I had with me that day were my 4" high heels and my flip-flops.

Cardio Attire!
I donned my flip-flops and proudly flip-flopped across the gym. It was a cardio-only day, so I didn't have to worry about dropping any weights on my poor lil exposed toes. I headed for the recumbent bike because the combination of the dreadmill and flip-flops seemed dangerous.

I completed my cardio without any mishap, and happily flip-flopped back to the locker room.

Gotta do what ya gotta do!

Have you ever forgotten an essential gym item? How did you improvise and still get your workout done?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Under the Weather

My latest FitnessRx article is about whether or not you should work out if you're sick. According to the research I did, it's okay to work out if your symptoms are above the neck. If they're below the neck, you should take some rest days out of the gym.

This past week, I've been battling a garden variety cold: sneezing, sore throat, coughing, and mild fatigue. I didn't have much energy (although that didn't stop me from doing some Christmas shopping!), and basically felt like pooh. After enthusiastically shopping for an hour or two, I was completely spent, and chilled on the couch for most of the day on Sunday.

On Monday, J had me do an Active Recovery workout because I still wasn't feeling up to par. Oddly enough, I left the gym feeling better than I did when I walked in. It seems like every time I'm feeling a bit under the weather, I have a good workout! Yesterday I did my regular workout, albeit apprehensively. But it went well and again, I felt better when I walked out of the gym. I'm glad I didn't skip those workouts!

Today is my normal cardio-only day, which allows my body to relax and rest a bit. I'm finally feeling better, so the weights better watch out because tomorrow I'll be ready to train hard again!

Do you still go to the gym when you have a cold? Do you feel better after your workout too?

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Dream Come True!

"A goal is a dream with a deadline."
~ Napoleon Hill

Being of a practical nature, I've never been too much of a dreamer. To me, dreams aren't reality - they're simply dreams. I'm more goal-oriented, because I believe in deadlines and in reality. Most of my life revolves around goals and not dreams; however, that's not to say that I don't have any dreams.

One of my dreams has always been to be in a magazine.

This past summer, I joined a leadership group, and through that, I was encouraged to take on some challenges. One of those challenges was finally finishing the Future of Fitness application for Oxygen magazine. I'd started the application last year, but didn't take the time to finish it (it's long!). With a group of motivated women encouraging and gently pushing me, I completed the application and sent it off to Oxygen.

I received two emails from Oxygen, confirming facts and information about me, so I was cautiously optimistic that my application had been accepted.

Yesterday, I heard through a friend on Twitter that I am in the December issue!!

How cool is this?!?!
I immediately checked Barnes and Noble and a grocery store, but neither had the latest issue in stock yet. Turns out, only those with subscriptions have received it so far. The issue should hit news stands around November 20th.

I'm still on cloud nine and can't believe that one of my dreams has actually come true!

The column under my picture!
I realized that I needed to turn my dream into a goal and attach a deadline to it in order to make it come true. Now it's time to make some new goals and take action to achieve them!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veering Off Plan

One of the benefits of having a trainer is that I have a set training plan that's designed specifically for me to help me reach my goals. I don't have to spend hours reading incorrect information on the internet and then using that misinformation to create a training program that may or may not be effective. My trainer already has all the knowledge I need in order to be successful.

Now the challenge is to actually follow that program!

I sat down with J and we discussed what happens when a client veers off a training program because she likes aerobics classes. We also discussed what happens when a client goes against doctors' orders and does an exercise she's not supposed to do in order to properly heal an injury just because she wants to "win" in class.

Do you find yourself adding extra things to your training program too? Are you guilty of taking some classes that aren't on your plan? Or of going for an extra run just because it's your favorite time of year to run outside? How does it affect your goal plan?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Could I Actually Do It?

What was your turning point that led you to fitness?

The topic for this week's Fitness Blog World is about a turning point that made me choose fitness and a healthy lifestyle. I tried to write this blog last week, but struggled with it, because quite frankly, there really was NO turning point for me because I've always been active and athletic.

Growing up, I played tennis and softball in leagues, and in high school, I attempted track, and was on the cheerleading squad and the dance team. In college, I dabbled on the tennis team for a year, and was a cheerleader for three years. Post-college, I joined a gym and took fitness and aerobics classes, weight trained, ran a bit (srsly, this was a short phase), and then took adult ballet classes for several years.

If there's any turning point regarding fitness in my life, I guess it'd be when I started competing in Figure.

Ever since I discovered a bicep in my scrawny arm during my freshman year of college, I was hooked on weight training. Although I wasn't very consistent about going to the gym every day, I trained hard when I was there. In 2005, when several people began asking me if I competed, I decided to look into it. After my initial reaction ("I have to eat the same thing every day for three months?! And I can't have cookies?! What kind of crazy person do you think I am?!"), I was intrigued enough to see if I could actually do it. Could I actually stand on stage in 5" heels and win a trophy?

Turns out I could.

My very 1st trophy
The second I stepped on stage, I was in heaven. The exact words that went through my head were, "I LOVE this!"

That turning point in my life led to some of the most rewarding adventures. Through competing, I've gained confidence in myself, learned to gracefully walk in 5" heels, smile through heartbreaking disappointment, met the love of my life, made some wonderful friends, and won a genuine Excalibur sword.

One of my most prized possessions
I've also learned how food affects my body and that I can be in complete control of how my body looks at all times. When I feed it healthy foods, I look and feel better. When I consume too much Halloween candy, I look and feel worse.

I love knowing that I have the knowledge I need to live the life I want to live. I love having such a strong, solid support system: J, my family, my friends (both online and in person), and the BoB ladies.

I wouldn't choose any other lifestyle over a fit lifestyle!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

FitnessRx Article: It's All About the Booty!

I wanted to share my very first FitnessRx article! I've been writing blogs for FitnessRx for several months, but I haven't written any articles until now. Sometimes I have a difficult time coming up with general topics for the blog, so I often ask my friends what kinds of articles they'd like to read in fitness magazines.

This past weekend, my friend Ani said she'd like to read an article about how to get a great booty. Since this is a great topic for all of us fitness-minded ladies, I wrote an article about it.


Do each set of exercises three times and then move on to the next set.

Set 1
15 Kneeling glute kickbacks
20 Bodyweight squats

Set 2
15 Standing cable glute kickbacks
10 Bodyweight walking glute lunges (10 each leg)

Set 3
10 Adductor isolation (sit forward in the seat and really squeeze your glutes with each rep)
15 Bodyweight curtsy lunges (10 each leg)

If you need to add more reps to the plyos in order to increase your heart rate, add more. But remember to squeeze your glutes with each rep for all of the exercises.

When you’re finished with the workout, spend some quality time on the stepmill or the stair stepper. Both of those machines also target the glutes and will help shape your lower body to be tight, lean, and toned.


Give the workout a try and let me know how it goes! And check out the full article on FitnessRxmag.com!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Don't Share My Food

Although I still have the Minnesota tendency of beating around the bush instead of being straight-forward about most things, there's one thing I have no qualms about sharing with people.

I don't share my food.

Ever. For any reason. Doesn't matter if you're two years old and as cute as a button, get your fingers away from my cookies!

All mine! But I'm more than happy to bake you your very own batch!
Some people may find it offensive that I declare this so openly; however, I always follow up with, "But I'm more than happy to buy you your OWN food." And that's true! I will happily buy you your very own chocolate chip cookie or egg white omelet or Twix bar ... but you can not have even a taste of mine.

J finds this hilarious, as I'm a total hypocrite and always want just a "tiny lil taste" of his food. That's because his food ALWAYS looks better than mine! Whether he's dieting or not, I always want to know what his food tastes like, but I freak out like a banshee if he even comes closer than two feet away from my food. I realize this doesn't make any sense, so I'm not offended when he declines to let me taste his oatmeal.

Even my two cutest nephews in the world aren't immune from this. I'm not okay with JJ dipping his fingers into Auntie Kari's sweet potato pancakes, but I will gladly make him his very own pancake.

The same mentality applies to Girl Scout cookies. When it comes time to order cookies every January, I ask J which cookies he wants, and the answer, "Oh, I'll just have some of yours" doesn't fly. I ask him specifically which cookies he wants and how many boxes he wants, because once his are gone, my 20 boxes of cookies will still be off-limits to him. It's not my problem that he ate 18 Samoas in one sitting and now has no cookies left. I will gladly buy him 15 boxes of Samoas, as long as he doesn't swipe any of mine.

Samoas are not for sharing.
I have no idea what prompted this mentality, and quite frankly, I really don't care. It's just how I feel. So I make up for being selfish about my food by being generous and buying other people their very own food. That's fair, right? ;)

Do you share your food? Do you expect others to share their food with you? Do you get offended when someone doesn't share their food with you?