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December 10, 2013
…I decided to focus on interacting more with those around me rather than those online?
(from my cousins’ wedding a few weeks ago in Santa Cruz!)
…I woke up and thought only positive things about my incredible, amazing body rather than instantly the thought that “this is another day to work on eating better”?
…I lived with the expectation and hope that God was calling me to something tomorrow, in a year, in ten years down the line? How would I act differently and would that affect my life today?
…I spent time daily being thankful rather than joining in complaints with others in “casual conversation”?
…I actually lived what I say I believe and put others before myself?
…I gave as much energy to my last client of the day as I did to my first?
…You finished off your workouts with some killer finishers?! I think that’d be a good idea:
Do it. Just do it. Add one of these finishers to the end of your next workout for a great metabolic finish and muscle burner! There are 4 different finishers there to choose from, some time-based and others circuit-based. Google any moves that might be unfamiliar to you but many of you will know most the exercises. Enjoy the burn!
Are you pondering any “what if’s” these days? I’d love more food for thought. Have a great Wednesday, friends! Live well & be well,
December 6, 2013
And just like that…another week is gone. Life goes quickly! And with it already being the first week of December (can you believe that?!), it really seems like the end of the year is flying by.
Today marked the coldest day we’ve had yet in Calgary…Check that forecast out! Um…yeah. That’s -18 F, and that’s cold. But it’s probably pretty cold where you are, too. Even in CA where my family lives they are experiencing lows in the 30′s at night, which isn’t quite the same but it’s all relative! Cold is cold. Brr!
Needless to say, I’m doing a lot of running in between buildings and and from the train to buildings. But I’m staying warm thanks to some gear from Sportchek – some Canadian Olympic-inspired duds!
They are super comfy, feel different than my daily gym clothes and the top even has thumb holes! Perfect.
I’ve also been keeping warm in the gym by keeping busy! I’m loving short, full body, high intensity workouts lately (what else is new?) and finishers at the end of my workouts.
Other than that, it’s been a good week. Busy in the gym with clients and taking advantage of my free time with fun moments like getting a pedicure at the downstairs nail salon (trying to bring back summer on my feet!) and reading at home. We also had our (Irish!) neighbors over for dinner and then they suggested Settlers…best neighbors ever!
This should be a great weekend with a Christmas concert with my friend and in-laws tonight as well as my work Christmas party tomorrow night with Mikey! Should be a fun, Christmas-y themed weekend.
Got anything to get you in the Christmas spirit coming up? How’s the weather where you are right now? Do you like snowy winters or could you live in sunny, warm weather year-round? I do love back country skiing and can’t wait to get out and earn some turns. But I AM looking forward to Christmas down in California.
Have a great weekend, friends! Catch ya later with some workouts and hopefully some more life updates and good articles to report. Cheers!
Live well & be well,
November 27, 2013
Hi everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!
How’s your week been? Mine is flying by…too quickly, in fact – I thought yesterday was Thursday! I walked out for my 1 pm client expecting my usual Tues/Thurs client and not my Wed client – it threw me a bit but I recovered okay. I’m excited for Thursday night to come because it’s Thanksgiving! We are planning on enjoying our annual celebration for the night with good friends who are Canadian/American split and I’m so glad we’re in town for it again this year! Our friends are incredible cooks and I am contributing just a bit to the dinner table and can’t wait for the taste, the celebration, the friendship and fellowship, the community that this meal and time of year represents. Speaking of, there are many tips out there this time of the year for ways to NOT indulge, to “curb your cravings,” to balance out your fitness with fun foods, etc and I wanted to weigh in with my thoughts. Personally, I think Amber from GoKaleo sums it up best as far as my own thoughts on my approach:
My super simple guide to surviving the Holidays: 1. Go about your life as usual. Eat how you usually eat. Exercise how you normally exercise. Sleep how you normally sleep. 2. On the Holidays, celebrate with your loved ones. Enjoy the food that has been lovingly prepared, without guilt or shame. Eat what you want, and savor it. The end.
I also love this video from the great duo that is Fitness Blender and their balanced approach (and jokes and wine pouring at the end in their bloopers…):
If you took time to watch the video, and taking Amber’s words in the mix too, you’ll find that my approach is simple: enjoy the season. Enjoy the food, eat only what you love, don’t feel guilty over it, keep drinking water, move when you can and don’t worry about it. One day of enjoyment (and not “damage” – too negative to think of it that way!) will not alter your body just like one day of a solid workout and perfect nutrition will change it either.
It’s so interesting how our culture revolves around food. It’s a huge part of traveling (You hear Italy? You think pasta! pizza! red wine! Germany? Beer! Greece? Mediterranean goodness!) and a big part of our get together’s. I used to think this was too bad, but after thinking about it a bit, I can see it as a good thing. Food brings us together and community so often happens around that. What happens in isolation, even when it comes to eating? Normally negative things. People binge eat, or hide food or sometimes don’t eat at all. When we are together, enjoying people and community and deep relationships, we don’t fight for food, we don’t hoard it, we don’t worry about it. We enjoy it with one another! And that’s a good thing!
This article by Precision Nutrition also reinforces the idea that food should be more than fuel. It’s not just about making us leaner or bulking us up, or about giving us enough for our next workout. Check it out if you have a chance for a thoughtful read. If you are worried about going overboard, even after all that, my encouragement to you is to remember that you don’t need to go full blast, you don’t need to eat an entire pie, you don’t need to eat until you’re stuffed to the brim. Sometimes we feel the need to go crazy on these holidays with food because it only comes once a year, but enjoy it for what it’s worth and then move on.
Speaking of moving on…I am ready to move! No, not homes or locations (although I feel open to God directing us anywhere!), but to move out into the wilderness and camp there for a bit. I am itching for an adventure. I know we’re traveling soon, and I cannot WAIT to be with my family, but my soul is longing for the mountains. To explore, to push through fatigue, to accomplish something with a team (or Mikey, my ultimate teammate), to get some good use of my gear. This video is just fueling my fire and my passion for the company Patagonia. I love the sustainability route they continuing to walk down and was inspired by this video (about 30 min long, but worth a watch if you have the time to check it out!):
And where are we traveling soon? To California! We are south-bound this Friday for my cousin Tim’s wedding down in Santa Cruz, one of my favorite beach towns for what’s sure to be a great family celebration. A trip so close to Christmas is a fun event, and helps chunk up the long, full weeks leading up to that break. I can’t wait to get on a plane and head to San Francisco Friday!
Thoughts on how you approach the holiday season food- and fitness-wise? Anyone got any outdoor adventures planned soon? Share with me so I can live vicariously through you until we get out to the mountains!
Have a great rest of your week and Happy Thanksgiving, friends! May you experience, as Paul did, the secret to being content in all things. As he said in Philippians 4:11-13,
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Let’s give thanks not FOR everything but IN every circumstance. Thankful for you guys!
Live well & be well,
PS – looking for some running gear and a good deal? Zensah is having a sale on their compression socks starting at 8 pm Thursday night! I’m a big fan of their gear (you can see my reviews on my YouTube channel!) and just wanted to pass it along!
November 18, 2013
(image source) Hey guys! Long time no talk, hey? Feels like it’s been a while since I blogged and I wanted to touch base and say hi today as the week begins!
As I wrote towards the end of last week, my weekend was filled up with lots of learning as I was in an Exercise & Cancer course at the University of Calgary Friday night and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am – 5 pm. Hence the reason I was not very present on social media (which was nice, actually!) as I was in a classroom setting with other fitness professionals and researchers. I learned a lot through the different sessions, including detailed information about the effects of chemo, radiation and surgery treatments on the body, the side effects and late-effects post-treatment, different medications and heard from people from all kinds of disciplines. Although much of the information was quite detailed, I wanted to share my top takeaways from the course that I am very grateful to have taken that apply to everyone, cancer survivor or not!
1.) Do what you can. In other words, it’s important to think about all that you CAN do during treatments, even if it doesn’t seem like much. I know many stories of people who, because of intense fatigue, could only get up to go to the bathroom, and even that was a struggle. Daily life tasks become extremely difficult, and the recommendation of 10,000 steps daily or the 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week is absolutely inconceivable. BUT…can you walk around your kitchen table once today? Great. Can you walk your son to the bus stop and make it home okay? Awesome. Do you have the strength for a weight circuit but at low intensity? Go for it! Do.what.you.can, and the little bits of movement truly add up and will make your recovery better and your energy levels higher.
2.) Move more. This ties in to the first point, but just reiterating the value of movement. Don’t worry yourself with “exercise” or even “physical activity.” Instead, think about ways you can simply move more in your daily life. This, along with “eat real food,” has always been my fitness mantra. Move.more.
3.) Listen to your body. I think one of the hardest things I went through with Mikey during our cancer experience was the loss of life before cancer. There is a real loss of what used to be compared to now what is, and, as it was for us, it can be very hard to not compare your “new normal” to who you used to be or what you used to be able to do. We all do this, and I think women especially compare (my biggest struggle? Comparing to the body I used to have, the way my muscles or stomach used to look, even though I am still active and fit and healthy now). But many people’s bodies drastically change, their energy levels plummet and life looks very different than it did pre-diagnosis. So respect your energy that day, listen to you body and only do what you can handle. Some days that will be more and others that will be less, and that’s okay.
4.) Trust the research. Without a doubt, 100% of the time, the research shows that exercise helps. Bottom line. In fact, as compared to many drugs it’s proven to help as much and sometimes more than the drugs. It IS a magic pill! It can be scary to trust your body again post-treatment and the fears and worries that weren’t there before now are, or are multiplied. But trust the research. Even 5 minutes a day of mild to moderate movement is proven to give you a physical and psychological boost! Many people can lose as much bone density in their treatments as a person does in 10 years of life! Yet another reason to strength train, starting with body weight and progressing to light weight and then adding pounds on. So, after talking with your health care team for clearance first, trust the research and take that first step to move more.
Of course it’s different as you move through a new phase of life with hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, treatments, a change in work and pace of life, etc, but moving while on treatment and the benefits it has for everyone also apply to the general public. Sometimes we feel (or are shown in the media) that exercise needs to be intense, like P90X or Insanity or CrossFit. Those modalities are all fine and great for many people, but the pressure to move need not be there – you don’t have to be extreme! It’s whatever you can do, that day, simply focusing on more movement and trusting that the little increases are not only good for you but contributing to a better quality of life. And that’s what it’s about, right?
Ultimately, exercise should enhance our quality of life, not make us more stiff or leave us wiped out with less energy to enjoy the rest of our daily life activities. So whether you are on treatment or off, struggling with managing a busy household or staff at the office or are coming off an injury, remember those tips above and implement them on some level into your life.
Do any of those thoughts resonate with you? Tell me a highlight of your weekend!
Thanks for letting me share my journey with you! Loving all I’m learning and seeing how applicable it is across disciplines and yet specific to people dealing with an illness specific to how their body is dealing with it. I’ll be back later this week with more life updates and a workout on the blog! Have a great week, friends! Live well & be well (and go move more!),