Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Straighten out your attitude

I hear so many times in a day that people don't have time to exercise..I have little patience with this attitude as I see the general population get larger, move less, and complain more about all that ails them physically. Let's get moving and do something about it! No time?  Really... take a look at your you really need to watch another episode of The Biggest Loser? Try to learn from the poor choices that put those people in the position they are in. Turn off the TV and use that hour to move! Quit farming on Facebook and get to the gym!
It all goes back to priorities and matter how long my to-do list gets, it can wait...I'll be at the gym! I look forward to my time being active and healthy, not just something that I have to do.  Make being fit part of your identity and find a way to enjoy being active, don't make exercise another thing to check off your to-do list each day.
Read a great post that really hits on a lot of good points regarding attitudes towards fitness and living a healthy active lifestyle. Check it out....

One last piece of wisdom...It is a lot harder to get in shape than it is to stay in shape so get in shape once and stay that way !

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lose it!

A huge part of a successful healthy eating lifetsyle transformation (note I did not say diet!) is accountability, most importantly to yourself and to others for outside motivation. A friend commented on her difficulty with "mindless munching," this easily a challenge to everyone! I have found it helpful to combat this by logging food, often if we know that later we have to admit we ate it we might decide not to eat it! Logging food is also helpful when getting started as you never really realize how many calories go in.... I have found the Lose it! app (free) on iTunes to be useful, take the time to customize the foods im the beginning and it then becomes easy. It will also calculate you macronutrient ratios for the day which makes it easy to recognize some of the issues (I was surprised how much fat was in my low fat diet). This feature also helps me work to stay on track for the recommendations from Tom Venuto to Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. Tom has written an excellent e-book with tons of information regarding creating healthy habits (read lifestyle!) with healthy calories and nutrient balance and a good dose of background information. I certainly am more able to comply and digest the information with  the reasons behind it. Again, a lot to absorb but excellent information.  His 'system' is loads of information and motivation to reorganize your eating habits, create goals and start an exercise program. It is not like any other systems that require you to buy their food and supplements etc. He also wrote another wonderfully motivating book The Body Fat Solution, read this when you are ready for a kick in the butt with a no nonsense get started attitude, dispelling all myths and basically letting you know it is all about you deciding to admit its up to you and commit!
A big part of your success making positive changes is being honest (accountable) with yourself. It takes hard work getting started but consider the benefits! Make the decision and move forward with a plan!
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Monthly motivation

Treat yourself to a Subscription to a fitness magazine for a burst of motivation when it arrives in your mailbox each month. There are quite a few options out there. My favorite is Oxygen Magazine, I read it cover to cover when it arrives and each page is filled with exercises or clean eating information, recipes, motivation. Other fitness magazines are out there but I have been loyal to Oxygen for years because it provides so much fitness info and motivation without any fluff. If you would enjoy a mix of fitness and other areas of interest for women try Women's Health, Fitness, Shape or Self Magazines.
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Sunday, July 18, 2010


Mornings this time of year are beautiful! Get up, get moving and enjoy them. Start with an early morning walk while the rest of the house is still snoring...Start your day on a high energy note (and I don't mean the chaotic, crazy high energy of the the children!). The early morning fresh air, sunlight (hello Vitamin D) and exercise helps get you going and provide you with more energy all day! Getting out of bed is the hard part but by the time you get back I promise you will have a bounce in your step and be glad you went!
Sometimes my walking buddy joins me...the pace may not be as brisk but the conversation is energetic and provides a great opportunity to catch up without pesky younger brothers interupting. These memorable times are the ones that remind you of all the things you are doing right!
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kicking some butt at the gym.

Just finished working up a new gym program for me and the hubby. Kinda sent him to the gym initially with some basics and unfortunatly don't get to go to the gym together. He has made great progress over the last year losing inches! He has been doing programs just based on the info he has absorbed from living with me all these years. I am excited to finally get a program organized for him to mix it up and break the plateau....we both need a new program. I have a feeling he'll feel a few muscles he hasn't felt before as we all stick with what we know and need to venture to some new and unknown to make forward progress.
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Push/Pull split program: Pull workout

Been doing upper/lower splits for quite a while now. Wrote up a new program with push/pull split. Legs and abs on opposite days
Here is my basic Pull workout I started with today but plan on modifying as I go...

Close grip lat pull downs
Low Rows
Straight arm pull downs
Low pulley Bicep curls
High Pulley Biceps curls
Reverse curls
Bent over over lateral raises (incline bench)

For a great reference book for exercises with incredible artwork and full of information for those who want to know a little bit more...Check out Strength Training Anatomy.

Next gym day....Push....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Simple guilt-free Summer treat

Try this recipe (does it qualify as a recipe with only 2 ingredients?) for a guilt-free treat on a hot summer day!
Blend together 1 cup light/fat-free vanilla yogurt with 1 cup of frozen blueberries. Frozen are best because they thicken up the smoothie for more of a milkshake treat. You can add some vanilla protein powder but I found this to add too much sweet.
The benefits of yogurt are plenty....protein, calcium, active cultures (the whole probiotic craze). Greek yogurts are lower in fat and contain a greater amount of protein. Give this article a read for some great information on yogurt.
Blueberries provide numerous health benefits as well. Packed with antioxidants with all their benefits of protection against those famous free radicals. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of dietery fiber.
Another bonus is that our kids love smoothies, they have a great time tossing in the fruit and blending. We had to hold back our son while taking these photos so he didn't drink the smoothie!
Invest in a personal size blender (I found the Hamilton Beach single-serve blender to do well and easy on the budget.) for quick and portable blender treats.
Be creative with other fruit mixes as well for guilt-free summer treats. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Focus on food...

Been quite busy the last few weeks! Been soaking up some great information reading Tom Venuto's e-Book, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. If you are looking for a great book with all the information in one place this is it. Focusing on tweaking the diet again with the details that are provided in the book. Find that reading and working to incorporate new info really keeps me focused! Started logging foods again and working on analyzing and balancing macronutrients. Definatley need to up the protein intake some more! Have found the "Lose it" app on iTunes helpful but need to take some time in the beginning to create food/recipe lists for quicker entries later. The app will then calculate your macronutrient ratios and give you a calorie budget. Links up to online site for additional options and connecting with others for that accountability factor.

In the gym last month added drop sets to some shoulder exercises with some positive results. This month focusing on the back, lats, posterior shoulder.  Keep on pushing a little harder!

Serious Fruiting

My boys take their fruiting seriously...well not always! :) But both my boys will grab a snack from the fruit basket. Fruit comes in its own package with little waste so that pleases my older son trying to recycle and save the planet. Each week fresh produce is a large portion of my purchase at the grocery store including 5-8 pounds of apples! Summer treats include blueberry smoothies and watermelon (my favorite) and of course the occassional ice cream!
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I have always included supersets, trisets and giant sets in my
workouts. I always find I have so much I want to accomplish in a
workout and can't spend hours in the gym so supersets are a must. I
actually find the rest betwen sets seeming to be a waste of
time....why not work a different muscle while one rests? Probably the
multitasking mind of a mother at work... Supersets and giant sets
have benefits other than time, they also help keep the heart rate up
to keep the metabolism burning even hotter.
Pick a pair of exercises tha work different muscle groups, perform one
set of each exercise without rest between exercises and you have a
superset, and a third exercise you have a triset....another beauty
here...mix and match and you never have the same workout twice, the
variety is good for your mind and your muscles!
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Back in the gym this morning was a lot tougher than I expected....maybe it was the horrible heat and humidity we have been dealing with (though the gym is air conditioned...), more likely I just proved to myself loudly how much my dedication to proper fueling and hydration of my body really effects my ability to get a good workout! A few days with a more relaxed attitude about the diet in regards to a few 'treats,' and not the usual whole grain or low fat dairy products. Seems my 'machine' has really gotten used to the more premium fuel I have been filling the tank with. Back on track as my workouts and feeling good working hard are important to both my physical and mental health!
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Adirondack escape

Just returned from an excellent mini vacation to 4th Lake in the Adirondacks. What a great (and much needed) mental escape. Though I did miss my regular gym workouts (borderline addiction but what healthier addiction than a regular exercise program) everyone is just more active all day...hiking, fishing, swimming and even enjoyed waterskiing which I haven't done in years! I did take my Jungle Gym and used that for some resistance/bodyweight exercise for upper body/Back; what a great "gym" mother nature provides....surrounded by fresh air and can't beat the lake views and sunshine!
The biggest challenge to staying on track was the tempting foods that others shared while they too were on vacation...many people see this also as a diet vacation...calories and quality still count...need to stick with the cheat meal not weekend. Found a little less ab definiton than I had last week after working so hard and had really started to see results! Lesson learned! And very honestly the "treats" do not make the vacation but the times and the memories....
Gotta buckle down and get back to the clean eats and looking forward to getting back to the gym!
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