Posted in fitness

If healthy food is beautiful, will you eat it? 

Is there something to be said about the appearance of our food? Is the reason why we all love and crave unhealthy food because of the appealing appearance? If all of us had enough money to eat at five star restaurants and have glorious and well-balanced meals prepared for us in beautiful presentation, would we be more likely to stick to a healthy eating way of life?

So I ask the age old questions… Do looks matter?

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Posted in fitness

It’s time for Broad Street

I’m not sure if any of you are from the Philadelphia area, but I live right outside of it. For the past three years now, every February and then every May I hear about this highly sought-after race called the Broad Street Run. It’s a simple 10-mile through downtown/ historical Philly. Why is this race so sought after, you ask? Because they handle it in a unique way – each February, approximately 2-3 months prior to the race day, they hold a week-long sign up for the lottery. This is no ordinary first come, first serve race. You have one week to enter your name into the running lottery and then shortly thereafter you are notified if you are one of the lucky ones CHOSEN to have the PRIVILEGE to run.

Now, every year I forget this race exists and every year I forget to enter the lottery. Seems silly because in comparison to a marathon, 10-mile should not intimidate me. So, this year for the first time since moving to the suburbs of Philadelphia, I am entering the lottery and you should too!!

–> LINK : http://broadstreetrun.com/

To any of you who do decide to enter – Good Luck! Wish me luck as well 🙂

Posted in fitness

Do it for your dog

The first month of 2017 has almost come to an end and it is clear that New Years resolutions are starting to fade as gyms get slower, workout classes don’t fill up as quickly, and fruits and vegetables are fully stocked in grocery stores. Why does this always happen? Why do so many Americans lose their motivation to stick to their healthy resolutions so quickly into the year… it may feel like a long month to you, but there’s 11 more that we’re ignoring!

I understand this wavering motivation, believe me… each and every day of my holiday break I woke up wondering if I would be easily driven to hit the pavement and get a few miles in or if I would talk myself out of it. I would tell myself it wasn’t necessary if I was not going to a family party or that as long as I did something that involved walking for a bit of the day, I didn’t need my morning workout. Then I wondered… what motivation technique could I use to push me on the days where I wasn’t easily self motivated? Then it hit me… well I guess you could say she licked me.

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My baby girl Kitt (she’s the cutie above) LOVES it when I workout. She loves running to my room after I finish my run and helping me stretch and cool down (AKA she licks the salt on my arm from sweating and sits right next to my leg so she can feel included, and probably because it’s warm). She not only loves it when I workout, but loves it when I take her too. Dogs, especially small dogs, can be ignored workout wise because if you don’t walk them they don’t get as crazy as medium or large dogs, so you don’t feel like you HAVE to walk them, but you do! She LOVES going outside and loves exploring. She may not be the fastest pup in the world and may not be able to go 5 or more miles, but a walk up and down the street makes her the happiest dog alive and guess what – that’s exercise for you too!

So when motivation is waning… take a long look at those beautiful little eyes of your favorite pup, get a leash and get outside!

Posted in fitness, Mental Wellness

The First Step is the Hardest

It’s never easy to start a new lifestyle. Everyone wants that immediate result or the quick fix, but nobody wants to admit that the real way to get lasting results and the greatest way to earn results is to do so bit by bit and day by day. Changing a lifestyle is not easy and nobody will try to claim that it is; however, it is effective and it is possible if you just take that first step and take another small step every day after that.

I am currently enrolled in three mini-series webinars at my work, mostly to get points towards our health program to try to earn a $100 gift card (if I’m going to be honest!). This week two of the three programs focused on what are called “micro habits.” Micro habits are exactly what they sound like, they are small habits that a person can add to their lives bit by bit until they grow towards a large, main life goal. For instance – when I set out with the goal to run the Philadelphia Marathon last November, I did not set my goal to simply run a marathon because if I did that I would have tried to run as far as I possibly could each week and I would have not only burned myself out and possibly injured myself, but I would have lost hope in myself that I could make it to that goal. Instead, it is advised to use micro habits to slowly build towards that eventual goal. This is the reason why marathon and half marathon training plans start you at 2 or 3 mile long runs and not 17 miles. They understand that if you build slowly, you gain confidence in yourself and are more likely to stick with the program.

So, now that you got a little “insider information” into how to effectively work towards a large goal – it’s time to do it! AKA — Here’s the hardest part, TAKING THE FIRST STEP! So get up, get out and do what you want the most, just do slow day by day and bit by bit. Be proud of yourself along the way and smile because you’re making a big difference in your life!

Posted in fitness

Make Fitness FUN

Nothing is worse for motivation than fitness being perceived as a chore. The real question is, why do we make fitness a chore? When you were a child, what did you do for fun with your friends? Let me guess some answers include — going outside, playing basketball (maybe a little friendly competition through HORSE?), playing hide and seek, competing in a riveting game of tag or maybe just running around through a local playground. Our idea of fun with friends was fitness, we just never recognized it as such. So why did things change? Why did growing up mean fitness had to become monotonously running on a treadmill while listening to the same playlist day after day? The truth is – IT didn’t change, our MINDSET changed! And we can change it back!!

Earlier this month, I took a weekend trip to Tampa, FL to visit some friends from college. A mere two days before my plane took off, my one friend sent me a Facebook message with a link and a text saying “want to do a 5K fun run this weekend??” And wouldn’t you know – the link was to the Insane Inflatable 5K! A race I have wanted to do for months now, but never found anyone who had the same mindset that a 5K could actually be fun. So, we did it! And boy did I feel like a kid again!

Nothing is quite as exhilarating and hilarious as a bunch of grown adults flopping around endless inflatable obstacle courses. I must admit – the kids present were much more coordinated than us, but it was clear that we were having a heck of a lot more fun! Why is that?Because as adults, this isn’t the normal. We don’t typically run around for fun through obstacle courses. We don’t get to act silly and wacky on a regular basis anymore, life has gotten in the way. Then on this day, for a mere hour, we were allowed to be kids again. We were allowed to be silly and ridiculous and have the time of our lives.

What I want you all to take away from this is that this does not have to be a rare occurrence. This could be the normal instead of the abnormal. Find something active you love doing and make fitness fun again!

Posted in fitness

Mission Accomplished!

A little under six months ago, I set out on a journey to compete and complete my first ever Marathon race in Philadelphia. This past six months has been a whirlwind of pain, endurance, and dedication and this weekend it all paid off! I have officially completed the Philadelphia 2016 Marathon and now get to rock the title of MARATHON FINISHER!

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I must say, running a marathon is no joke. Yes, there are months and months of training that go into completing one successfully and yes, I did that. However, it is not until you get on that course and run those full 26.2 miles that you truly understand what it all means and what it truly takes. Running a marathon is complete and utter self-control. It means having 100% control over your self-thought, your self-doubt, and your self-confidence. It means ignoring everyone around you that’s slowly giving up and walking or saying they can’t do it, and continuing to remind your mind and body that you can in fact make it across that finish line.  And with that control, you make it across the finish line and feel more pride in yourself than you could ever imagine!

Posted in fitness, Mental Wellness

Love > Shame 

Step 6 in Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas’s Training Jounral – Body Image and Respecting Yourself

I am not going to lie to you all and preach at you that I am some perfect human who has never once shamed herself or her body. If I told you that or pretended that was even slightly true, I would be doing a disservice to myself and to you all, as are each of you if you are not admitting to the fact that in your past you have shamed your body.

Body shaming is not something to deny happened or something to be ashamed of admitting happened, but something to admit, embrace and move through and forward on from. It’s something that many people can relate to and have experienced before. It makes us human, just like a lot of the faults I have talked about previously, but it means we have something to work on. It means it is time to admit to these negative thoughts and work towards conquering them. If you can get control of your mind and diminish these negative thoughts – you can do almost anything!

This isn’t easy and this isn’t fun. It’s hard work! But it’s worth it, 100%.

Speaking from personal experience, no more than six months ago I loathed my body. I thought I was overweight, flabby, disgusting and unlovable. I thought the reason people kept walking away from me was because of my appearance. I thought I was pushing people away because of my thickening arms and cellulite-covered legs. Then one day, instead of staring at my image in the mirror and telling myself all the things that were wrong with my body, I stopped. I turned around, grabbed my workout gear and got my butt to the gym. Day by day I reminded myself that hating my body was going to do nothing for me. Hating my body was not going to make my arms get toned or eliminate the cellulite from my legs. The only way I was going to see progress was if I took action. And that day, six months ago – I did exactly that. I threw on my workout clothes, tied up my sneakers and ran. Now, I’ve been running ever since and I am starting to feel wonderfully about my body. (Key word – STARTING).

Six months have gone by in which I have been working out on average 5 or 6 days a week and I’m still not 100% in love with my body. But hey – I’m loving myself and my body 100X more than I was six months ago when I was doing nothing but hating on my reflection. I’m not saying start running today and it will fix all your problems. What I’m saying is – start working now so that you can begin your journey towards loving your body, because in order to change your thoughts, you need to change your actions.

#Live&LoveYourself