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On November 7, 2014, I turned 43 years old. I’ve had an amazing life up to this point with many more good days than bad days. God willing, I look forward to many more years of life, experiences and growth as a person. I have learned a lot in 43 years through my own experiences and by observing others. I want to share 43 Life Lessons I’ve learned in 43 years that have helped to shape the person I am today. I am on a journey to continue to grow and become my “best self” in mind, body and spirit before I leave this earth. I am by no means where I want to be but I like to think of myself as “perfectly imperfect” and will continue to strive everyday to become better.

43 Life Lessons I’ve learned in 43 years (in no particular order)

  1. Things always work out the way they are supposed to
  2. Sometimes, you just have to say “no”
  3. God answers prayer. He will send you what you need, just at the right time
  4. Keep people around you who are what you want to be
  5. Figure out what you can do and stop saying what you can’t do (limit your excuses!)
  6. Not everyone is your friend, or wants to be your friend
  7. Your family is very important
  8. If Momma ain’t happy, nobody is happy
  9. You can’t help anyone, if you’re not happy
  10. Never stop wanting to be better
  11. Appreciate what you have right now, or you’ll never be happy when you do have more
  12. You’ll never please everyone, so stop trying!
  13. Other people don’t think about you nearly as much as you think (or spend time worrying about)
  14. Never stop dreaming
  15. You can have what you want, if you are willing to do the work needed to get it
  16. Don’t live life in the future (i.e. when I get rich, when I lose weight, when I get a better job etc.)
  17. Figure out what you love to do, then figure out a way to get paid to do it
  18. You really can do ALL things through Christ
  19. If you believe it, you can achieve it
  20. Gratitude is vital
  21. You don’t have to be like everyone else
  22. You always have a choice
  23. It’s okay to be vulnerable
  24. No one is perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes
  25. Quiet time and stillness, is necessary
  26. It’s more important to work on your spiritual life and inner well-being than it is to work on your physical, outward appearance (you’ll never accept how you look on the outside, if you’re not content on the inside)
  27. Everything is not your problem
  28. Be nice to everyone
  29. Fake it til’ you make it! Act as if you already have something that you want, before you have it
  30. Take others opinions with a “grain of salt” because everyone lives their lives based on their own experiences
  31. Your life is a reflection of your thoughts. Thoughts create things
  32. You can’t help someone who isn’t ready and willing to receive help
  33. Always do your best
  34. Spend your time wisely
  35. Sometimes you have to let people and things go
  36. You can’t have a list of things you’re looking for (i.e. in a mate) and not be those things yourself
  37. Do not settle for less than you’re worth
  38. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you’re not going to do it, don’t say it
  39. You will never find what you’re looking for outside of yourself. The answer is inside of you
  40. Silence is golden and it’s okay to be seen and not heard sometimes
  41. Worrying doesn’t make things better
  42. You can have it all but not necessarily all at the same time
  43. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it

This summer has been very relaxing (when I’m not working or “running around”) . I’ve been getting some much needed sleep and taking time to rest. That has all been great but with that has come many days I have not worked out and followed my normal morning routine. Some days that sits well with me and other days I feel very guilty! I’ve also noticed on the days I don’t pray, read the Bible, meditate and work out (my usual morning routine) that I don’t feel my best. So, I had to ask myself, is it worth going through the day feeling guilty and “off of my game”? The answer is NO!! It is a good thing to take some time off once in a while but for me, it causes me more stress than it’s worth, when a break goes on for too long. Cultivating my mind, body and spirit has become a habit and I have to maintain that in order to be at my best! If you want to be successful in life, you have to be willing to do things that most people aren’t willing to do daily. Success is a result of a daily pursuit of goals put together for weeks, years, decades in a row. If you want to lose weight and be fit, you have to eat right daily and stay active. If you want to grow spiritually, you have to study and work on your personal growth consistently. Sticking to my daily routine is imperative if I want to be my best self! It is very true that once you form a habit it becomes part of you. It’s important to remember that goes for good and bad habits. If you let bad habits go on for too long they will become part of you too. So, I’m going to stick with the good habits!

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I started lifting weights during my school years, when I ran track.  I’ve had muscular arms for years. Growing up, I was very self-concious about them. But now in my 40’s I am happy to have them, trying to keep them and will flaunt them as long as I can 🙂 Here are some of my favorite arm exercises. These exercises will tone and strengthen your arms. Not only will you look good, it will help you feel better and stronger when you do your daily activities.

Dumbbell Arnold Press- Stand with two dumbbells position in front of shoulders, palms facing body and elbows under wrists. Initiate movement by bringing elbows out to sides. Continue to raise elbows outward while pressing dumbbells overhead until arms are straight. Lower to front of shoulders in opposite pattern and repeat.

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Pushups –Lie prone on floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Raise body up off floor by extend arms with body straight. Keeping body straight, lower body to floor by bending arms. Push body up until arms are extended. Repeat.Resistance can be reduced by performing push-ups with knees bent on floor or placing hands on elevated horizontal bar, in between narrow doorway, or edge of elevated surface.

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Exercise Band or dumbbell Bicep Curls-Position two dumbbells to sides, palms facing in, arms straight.With elbows to sides, raise one dumbbell and rotate forearm until forearm is vertical and palm faces shoulder. Lower to original position and repeat with opposite arm. Continue to alternate between sides.

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Dumbell Shoulder Lateral Raises-Grasp dumbbells in front of thighs with elbows slightly bent. Bend over slightly with hips and knees bent slightly. Raise upper arms to sides until elbows are shoulder height. Maintain elbows’ height above or equal to wrists. Lower and repeat.

Dumbbell-Lateral-Raise

Tricep Dips-Position your hands shoulder width apart on a secured bench or stable chair or floor. Move your booty in front of the bench with your legs bent and feet placed about hip width apart on the floor. Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to always keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Now slowly bend at your elbows and lower your upper body down towards the floor until your arms are at about a 90 degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position.

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Tricep Dumbbell Kickback-Kneel over bench  with arm supporting body.  Grasp dumbbell. Position upper arm parallel to floor. Extend arm until it is straight. Return and repeat. Continue with opposite arm.

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Workout for summer!

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I decided to change up my workout routine between April and September. Every few months, I like to change up my workout, so my body and muscles  are “confused”. The weather’s getting warmer and I plan to be outside as much as possible this Spring and Summer. So, I will be adding some outdoor time to my workout. I only like to exercise outdoors when the weather is nice 🙂 I am sharing my workout routine for the next three months, in hopes it will help inspire you as well as help me to remember what my plan is 🙂 Please feel free to try any of this or integrate something into your workout routine.

I am adding more weights to my workout for the summer. I have been doing a lot of bodyweight and cardio exercises for the last several months.  I hope add more tone to my muscles and get more lean with this change. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

I workout Monday-Saturday and rest on Sunday.

Monday/Thursday-Upper Body Circuit (15-20 Reps of each exercise-Perform one circuit with no rest-1-2 minutes rest between circuits-4 circuits total (if I wake up late and don’t have enough time, I will do 2 or 3)

Standing Arnold Press

Push-ups

Seated Cable Row (at home I use exercise bands)

Dumbbell Kickbacks (I use 10lbs or 5 lb weights)

Seated Dumbbell Curls  (I use 10lbs or 5 lb weights)

Abs

Tuesday/Friday-Lower Body Circuit -15-20 Reps of each exercise-Perform one circuit with no rest-1-2 minutes rest between circuits-4 circuits total (if I wake up late and don’t have enough time, I will do 2 or 3)

Dumbbell squats

Jumping split squats

Leg extensions (with exercise band)

Hamstring curls (with exercise band)

Stiff -leg deadlifts

Standing calf raises

On Wednesday, I will go for a walk/run (about 1 hr). If it rains, I will go to the gym for Cardio.

On Saturday, I will do bodyweight exercises, Cardio, Yoga or Pilates and Abs

A week with no meat!

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I recently had oral surgery, so I was forced to eat soft food diet for at least 3-4 days.   I decided to use the time wisely and cut out meat for a week. I’m not a big fan of cutting foods completely out of your diet because I think you’ll want those food more, end up cheating, then feeling guilty.  I believe in having everything in moderation, so you don’t ever feel like you’re depriving yourself. I do think that if your goal is to lose weight, you need to cut out certain foods until you reach your goal weight. Well, after cutting out meat for a week, I found that I actually liked the “detoxing” benefits. A detox basically cleanses your body, and makes you feel like you are bursting with energy and on top of the world! I think I’ll continue to this every now and then in the future. Maybe I’ll get to the point where I’ll “detox” more than a week 🙂 Here are some benefits of detoxing.  I did experience many of these myself during that week.

– more energy
– clearer skin
– weight loss (if needed)
– brighter eyes
– a stronger immune system
– greater mental clarity
– increased self-confidence
– and when necessary a great boost against illness.

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Living a healthy lifestyle consists of taking care of your mind, body and spirit. For total body wellness, you have to nurture all three. Here are 9 tips for healthy living.

#1 Variety is the spice of life-If we all looked exactly the same life would be boring. Get into the uniqueness of you.

#2 Appreciate your body-Establish a positive relationship with your body. Your body is the most valuable asset you will ever own. Begin viewing your body as an instrument and not an ornament. Learn to appreciate your body for what it can do, not for what it looks like. Make a list of those things you like about your body.

#3 Pamper your body-Take a long hot bath and sooth yourself. Spoil yourself by getting a massage.

#4 Exercise-Studies have shown that when people participate in even moderate exercise, such as walking, they feel more connected and better about their bodies.

#5 You can’t judge a book by its cover-There is a lot more to you than what you look like. Your appearance is not your identity. Make a list of your traits that you really like. Think about the people you admire and look up to. You admire these individuals because of who they are, not because of what they look like.

#6 Surround yourself with support-Seek out others in your life who value you for who you are and not for what you look like. Find people who exhibit a healthy relationship with their body. Avoid those who tease or are constantly focusing on their weight.

#7 Throw away the scale-Constant weighing usually turns into a negative experience that leads to dissatisfaction and obsession.  The number on the scale has nothing at all to do with who you really are.

 #8 Mealtime equals family time-Studies have shown that families that eat meals together have a lower occurrence of eating disorders. Making time to eat together as a complete family can be difficult with all the family’s divergent responsibilities and activities but mealtimes may be one of the most important events of the day. Mealtimes together allow family members to check-in with each other, model appropriate eating behaviors, and provides a forum to resolve conflict both within and outside the family.

#9 Be a good role model- Try not to express dissatisfaction with your body in front of your children. Seventy-seven percent of children first learn about dieting from a family member, usually a parent. Studies have shown that parents who displayed dissatisfaction with their body were more likely to have children with body image disturbances when they became adults. Discuss with your children the ridiculous nature of the media’s portrayal of body image and encourage them not to buy into it

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Sooo, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. I am committed to posting on a more consistent basis and getting this site up and running again. I love the creative outlet it gives me as well as getting fitness info. to anyone who reads my posts! I have also started a FB page (wanabfitnow).  I hope to reach more viewers this year and hopefully I will inspire and motivate others to be healthier and live a healthy lifestyle. It’s not always easy but it’s worth it!

Each year in December, I take time to make goals for myself for the coming new year, in every area of my life. I’m going to share my 2013 fitness goals.

My 2013 SMART (Specific, Meaningful,Attainable,Relevant,Timely) fitness goals  are…

Take fitness classes (yoga,Pilates and Cross fit)-I’ve already started on this one. I signed up for 3 months at a local Yoga studio. I took my first class this morning and it was great!  I also did some research and found a gym nearby that does Cross fit classes, so that might be next.

Be more consistent with my eating and stick to one “cheat” meal per week                                                                                

Do a 5k or 10k run (I set this goal for 2012 and didn’t do it, so carrying it over to 2013:)                                                      

Be more creative and committed to helping others with their health/fitness/wellness      

Work on eating even “cleaner” and toning  more, so I can do a fitness photo shoot in the Spring or Summer

Please feel free to share  your goals here. I hope you will visit my site and I look forward to sharing more personal experiences, workouts and motivational fitness info. for your mind, body and spirit!

When the heat is on, we often want to eat less. Make sure you choose healthy options and take in fewer calories than you burn. Experts say that produce is at its at its peak in summer. You can load up on fruits and vegetables and not worry about doing damage, or adding pounds to your frame. Here are dietician’s picks for some of the best, healthiest foods for summer.

Chilled Soups

Chilled soups like gazpacho or cucumber-dill that contain lots of chunky vegetables are a great way to start a meal.

Research shows that a low-calorie, broth-based soup at the beginning of the meal will fill you so you eat less at the meal.

Watermelon

Half of the watermelon comes from water. It’s a wonderful way to satisfy thirst and a yen for something sweet.

Grilled Veggies

Try keeping a plate of grilled onions, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, asparagus, and garlic in your fridge.

Salads

Salads make for quick, healthy meals — with no recipes required.

Low- and No-Calorie Beverages

Beverages can be the Achilles heel during summertime because we need to drink lots of liquids to stay cool, but liquids quench thirst and don’t usually impact our hunger, so choose drinks that won’t blow your diet.

Fruit-Based Desserts

Ditch high-calorie desserts and opt for naturally sweet treats that can tame the most ferocious sweet tooth

suggestsions:

  • Grilled banana sundaes made with low-fat ice cream
  • Grilled pineapple with rum and pecans
  • Grilled white peaches with blackberries and honey
  • Frozen, dark, sweet cherries
  • A chocolate-covered frozen banana
  • Frozen grapes

Summer is here!

Are you ready for summer? Is your body ready for summer? Time to ditch the heavy clothes and enjoy the outdoors. If you’re not quite ready to shed those clothes, here are some tips for summer to get  you ready and in shape.

Hang your favorite summer outfit where you’ll see it every day. 
Dig out an old favorite that you’ve longed to fit into again, then put it in a prominent place so that your goal of wearing it stays top of mind.

Let your family in on what you’re up to. 

Tell your co-workers and tell everyone about your weight-loss mission. Telling people keeps you accountable. Accountability is a motivator.

Kick off your efforts with a token gift to yourself. 

Buy yourself a gift that will help you with your efforts, for example walking shoes, a pedometer, a nice workout outfit, even an iTunes gift card so you can download your favorite workout tracks. The idea is that now, you’re invested in yourself. ”

Take advantage of longer days. 
More daylight hours means more time for physical activity outside and off of the couch!

Skip the elevator.
Taking the stairs at work or any building can help you shed pounds and maintain your cardiovascular health.

Eat breakfast. 
Eating a healthy, fiber-filled breakfast can curb hunger for up to 18 hours a day, so you don’t crave simple carbs and sugar, and you’ll also eat less at lunch and dinner.

Cut 100 calories a day. 

Be diligent about finding ways to trim a mere 100 calories from what you eat every day, and this subtle change can add up to about 10 pounds lost in a year.
1. Swap regular soda  for water.
2. Trade your morning latte (a 16 ounce with whole milk can have 220 calories and 11 grams of fat) for coffee with reduced-fat milk (15 calories, 0.6 grams fat) or black (4 calories, 0 fat).
3. Have a cup of watermelon chunks (46 calories) in place of a bag of Sun Chips (140 calories, 6 grams fat).

Have a drink.
 Instead of soda,juice or alchohol, which can be packed with empty calories, reach for wate!! If you find plain water too bland, no-calorie flavored waters are a good choice. So is seltzer with a dash of juice. You can also fill a pitcher with filtered water and sliced frui

Snack before you eat your meals. 
Having a snack about 20 to 30 minutes before you sit down to eat will help, so you don’t feel like eating as much. But be careful what you snack on. Grab a small handful of walnuts or a piece of fruit. That’s not only because of their filling fiber, but also because nuts and fruit both contain antioxidants, which play a special, if somewhat indirect role, in weight loss too.

Fill your plate with summer fruits and vegetables.
Brightly-colored fruits and vegetables are chock full of the antioxidants we just mentioned. And, let’s not forget, they’re rich in fiber and low in calories (provided you don’t drench them in high-calorie dressings or toppings) so you can eat heartily without worrying that you’re “overeating.”

Eat dessert in the afternoon.
Dr. Oz says, following a big meal with a sugary-dessert, produces a surge of insulin which in turn socks away all the calories you ate at dinner as fat, so you do not want to do this at night before going to bed.

This is my arm 🙂

Today’s post is about something that’s near and dear to my heart. I don’t like to hear other moms say things like “I don’t have time to work out”, “I’m too tired”, “I work full time” etc, etc… The bottom line is, you can keep making excuses, or find ways to get fit (once it is a real priority for you).  I am a mom and work full time too but I make it a PRIORITY to work out. It’s not my most favorite thing in the world to do but I get up earlier than I have to in the morning (6 days a week), so I can get my workouts in and I’m done for the day!  If you’re ready to make yourself and your health a priority, here are 25 fitness tips for busy moms (from The American Council on Exercise).

1. Put Yourself on the CalendarEvery weekend sit down and set times to workout throughout the week. Pre-planning gives you time to make adjustments and make it work!
2. PLAY with Your KidsThe towels can sit in the basket a little longer, get up and be the tagger!
3. Workout at the ParkThe park is an outdoor gym waiting to be used! There is nothing like getting in some step-ups, tricep dips and push-ups at the picnic table.
4. Keep a Resistance Band in the CarA resistance band is the perfect addition to the half of your house you take in the car. You’ve got 15 minutes until practice is over – why not!
5. Pre-Plan Your WorkoutsKnow what you want to achieve each week, making sure you have a balanced workout.
6. Use a Fitness DVDEspecially with little ones, there are days when you just don’t make it out the door. Have a couple workouts that you like and can pop in during nap time.
7. Pack Your Lunch TooPack your own healthy lunch so you can avoid the fast-food run during your lunch break.
8. Create a 30-Minute, At-Home WorkoutThe unpredictibility of the day sometimes presents little windows of opportunity that we didn’t expect. When it does, be prepared with a workout that is ready to go.
9. Play Date for Kids = Fitness Date for MomsWhile it may not run as smooth as a group fitness class in a gym, it gives you the opportunity to workout with friends. Milestones and gossip can all be discussed during sets of squats and lunges!
10. Embrace the PlankOne of the best exercises to work your back and abs and all you need is yourself.
11. Don’t Indulge in your Children’s SnacksLeave the cookies and macaroni and cheese for the kids. A few handfuls here and a few bites there leads to unwanted pounds here!
12. Develop a Support SystemSurrounding yourself with people who encourage and support your fitness goals is crucial to your adherence.
13. Get Your Z’sSetting a bed time for yourself can be the difference in being a happy and healthy, energized mommy.
14. Use WeightsLifting dumbbells is not going to make you look like He-man. Resistance training is key to being toned, reducing body fat and increasing bone mineral density.
15. Find a Gym with ChildcareIf finding a sitter is what keeps you from working out, sign up at a gym that offers it.
16. Find What Motivates YouMaybe it’s your 20-year reunion or the competitor within, know yourself to move yourself.
17. Maximize the HouseworkScrubbing is no easy job, put some muscle into it and keep it continuous for a squeaky clean workout.
18. Challenge the KidsWhat kid doesn’t want to do something “better” than mom? Set up an obstacle course in the yard or put on your helmet and “tour de France” the neighborhood.
19. Do What You LikeIncorporate activities that you enjoy! If you enjoy it, you will find a way to keep doing it.
20. De-StressDon’t laugh, it is possible! Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. Looking for something more – try some Yoga or Tai Chi.
21. Use Your BabyIncorporating your baby into your workout provides some extra resistance for you and fun for them!
22. Set an ExampleMonkey see, monkey do. Don’t be surprised when your kid(s) join in your living room kickboxing workout and have a blast.
23. Invest in Your ShoesWhether you are jogging, walking or taking a class, wearing the proper supportive shoes for the activity will help prevent unnecessary injuries.
24. Set GoalsWhether you want to get in 3 workouts this week or complete a 5k, setting goals will keep you on track. Hang your chart next to the potty chart, and you both get prizes!
25. Love YourselfYou have the most important job in the world and you are awesome! Believe it and feel it!