Better Than Nothing

Run

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t always feel like exercising.  Most of the time I’m game as hell but there are occasions that I’m not in the mood or just don’t have the time.  So I make time and get in the mood.

Even if all I can spare are 15 or 20 minutes.  It’s something.  And something is always better than nothing.

Last night was a busy night and I didn’t have a ton of time but I fit in 15 minutes on the elliptical, 190 squats (from the 30 Day Squat Challenge) and 15 minutes of (semi-intense) yoga (wait, is yoga supposed to be intense?).   By the end of it all I’d fit in more than a half hour workout.  And I felt good.

So, if you’re running low on time (or not in the mood) try to fit in a 20 minute mini-workout: a walk or run or bike or hike, yoga, weights, elliptical or stationary bike.  As long as it’s something.

~Fit Bitch

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Dear Diary

Apple

Whenever people ask me to help them get on the right path to lose weight or begin to live a healthier lifestyle their first question is always “What should I do?”  Aside from me lecturing them on all the benefits of exercising and healthy eating, I suggest that they keep a food journal for (at least) one week.

Of course there are the non-believers that don’t think that keeping a diary of all you consume (food and drink) will make a difference, but believe me, it does.  It is a practice that was suggested to me when I was a teenager and overcoming several eating disorders.  I’ve also journaled here and there over the years and, trust me, being accountable for all you eat and drink will really open one’s eyes.

We go thru each day not always realizing what we’re eating or how much we’re eating and it certainly adds up.  I guarantee you, if you record EVERYTHING you eat and drink for one week you will be surprised at how much extra you’re putting in your body.

Many people graze while they work or even while they’re preparing dinner.  Some snack more and more throughout the day.  And, a big sabateur of weight loss is drinking your calories.  Many of us don’t realize how many calories we’re drinking each day – from all those coffees, or lattes and especially alcoholic beverages.  I am a practitioner of not drinking my calories.  There are many-a-night when I’d love to go home and have a nice bottle glass of wine but I almost always pass because I don’t want the extra calories.  I try to save my wine drinking for special occasions.

‘ “You would be surprised at how easy it is to forget how much you have eaten in one day! Just jot down the foods and, if possible, the approximate calorie count.” According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Obesity Education Initiative, keeping a food diary and an activity diary is one of the best ways to help both weight loss and weight management. You can include your diet, your daily exercise, and your weight goals. ‘

Once you have had the opportunity to review your intake for your week you will have a better grasp on your habits and calorie intake (everything adds up, so don’t forget your condiments) and from there you’ll be able to work to making better choices, to being be more aware of when you’re grazing or snacking, of how many of your daily calories are coming from your drinks, and you can move forward to eliminating some of the unneccessary calories and having better portion control.

Happy Journaling.

~Fit Bitch

Avoidance

woman-neck-pain

Mondays and Thursday nights are usually my 3 hour gym sessions in the week.  Although I work out at least 6 days a week, Mondays and Thursdays I head straight to the gym after work.  I spend two hours in the actual gym and then do an hour-long intense Zumba class.  While in the gym I rotate between sets of cardio, weights and abs (and now, of course, incorporating squats from the 30 Day Squat Challenge).  Mondays and Thursdays I usually feel pretty accomplished.

But the last few days I’d been flip-flopping on whether to go last night (Thursday).  I have a pulled or strained muscle in my neck and it’s been giving me grief since the weekend so I thought maybe I should take some time to rest and recover…at the very least not spend 3 hours at the gym just irritating it.  So, after much debate with myself I ended up heading home last evening and working out there.  I was only going to do my squats and some yoga but I figured I could still incorporate some cardio into my session so I popped in the Pure Cardio DVD from Shaun T’s Insanity collection, avoiding 2 or 3 of the exercises to prevent further injury or irritation to my neck.  I also did 155 squats and finished my regime with a yoga video that worked my body but relaxed me as well.  When I had finished my workout I was sweating nicely.  And I felt good.

It would have been so easy for me to take advantage of a little bit of a sore neck and just plop down on my couch for the evening but I never want to get to the point where I’m making excuses not to exercise.   (Again, I don’t condone exercising with severe injury or illness and I’m not an expert.)  And to be honest, my neck feels a lot better today.

Happy Friday.

~Fit Bitch

A (Simple) Trick to Get Motivated

There are some days that I don’t feel like exercising.  Not many, but some.  And even though I say I’m not going to work out that day, one simple little trick that gets me in the mood is to get into work out gear.

Let's Get Physical

Let’s Get Physical

It doesn’t seem like a big motivator but it is.  Once I’ve put on my gym clothes and my sneakers I am rarin’ to go.  I figure, hell, I’ve already made the effort to get dressed for it so I might as well go ahead and get it over with.

It’s not often that I’m not in the mood to hit the gym but there are days when I’m exhausted or just feeling blahhh.  But, I find that no matter how crappy I’m feeling or how tired I am or how uninspired I am, as soon as I am dressed for the occasion of exercise my mood changes and I am inspired and motivated to sweat.

And when I’m thru, I think, “what was I whining about?  I feel fantastic.”

~Fit Bitch

Squat Challenge

Squats

In addition to my workout sessions I’ve been participating, this month, in the 30 Day Squat Challenge.

My boyfriend and I had seen it on Facebook and decided to go for it.  The first day wasn’t so bad.  50 squats is no biggie.  And, although I could feel a little soreness the next day, I felt good. It wasn’t until that night and the following day that I felt like I got hit by a truck.

Hey, I’m used to vigorous workouts and doing squats – I’ve completed Insanity twice – but I still felt quite a biit of stiffness and soreness after the first couple of days.  But it’s good.  It means that I worked it.  I made the effort and I continued.  Today is a rest day but last night I completed 140 squats while at the gym and even tho I’m feeling the burn and getting a work out with this challenge, I haven’t had that initial soreness again.

After last night’s 140 squats and 3 hour gym session, I woke up this morning with cramped calves so I am being smart and doing yoga tonight.  I am definitely looking forward to to stretching and bending and relaxing all the muscles I terrorized worked yesterday.

~Fit Bitch

 

A Key to Good Health

Cartwheel

I used to get sick…a lot.  I’d get colds and the flu and almost every year I’d end up with either pneumonia or bronchitis (I’ve had lung issues since I was a baby).  When I was younger I missed a lot of school and when I was really young I was in the hospital several times due to illness.

I hate getting sick.  I’m sure no one likes it, but when I get sick I’m a big whiny, sniffly baby.  It sucks.

One thing I’ve learned since I started exercising faithfully: I don’t get sick.

My boyfriend has been sick quite a lot this past wintery season and he’s commented several times that “You never get sick.  Even with all your health problems, you don’t get sick.”  And he’s right.

He and I have been together almost 5 years and in that time I have been in fairly good health.  When we first started dating I had a nasty throat infection and a weird bug that caused my whole body to ache to the point that I could barely stand up to go pee.  And last year I had bronchitis for 9 weeks but it wouldn’t have gotten to that point if dirty old men in my office would learn to cover their mouths when coughing.  But other than that I have been in good health, especially after being around so many sick people: coworkers, family members, boyfriend, friends.  I’m very fortunate that I have maintained good health.  But anyone can do this.  Exercise is a key.

Doing something that feels good and makes you healthier (the same can be said for sex, y’all!) just makes sense.  Start with a vigorous walk if you have to.  But start somewhere.  I don’t know if every person will get to the point of craving exercise like I do but if a little bit of physical activity a few times a week can help stave off “that cold that’s going around” then why would you not want to get moving?

Studies have shown that regular exercise significantly increases life expectancy and improves overall health. It’s never too late to improve your health through regular exercise.

~Fit Bitch

It is a Lifestyle Change

No Excuses

I often have friends ask me what they can do to lose weight.  Obviously I always state the obvious: Eat healthy and exercise.

These are pretty much the two major changes one must make in order to get healthier.  There’s no magic pill or potion that will do it for you.  If there were, I’d be walking around looking like Jennifer Aniston.

But so often I hear “I don’t have time to exercise” and/or “I don’t have time to eat healthy” (I’ve also heard “I don’t like vegetables/fruit” and “eating healthy is too expensive”).  The best response I’ve ever heard to those excuses comes from my man, fitness God Shaun T “If you’re not willing to make the change then you’re not ready to lose the weight.” (Okay, it may not be verbatim but it’s the gist.)

IF YOU’RE NOT WILLING TO MAKE THE CHANGE THEN YOU’RE NOT READY TO LOSE THE WEIGHT

I believe this wholeheartedly.  If you are wanting to lose weight or get healthy then nothing will stop you.  Nothing stopped me.  Nothing has stopped me, not even doctor’s orders** (I am NOT condoning this!!  I mentioned in my About page that I have an exercise addiction and I wasn’t kidding.).  About 6 years ago I was working three jobs (1 full time of almost 50 hrs a week and 2 part time jobs that took up my evenings and weekends) and I always made time for exercise and eating right.  If that meant I’d have to fit a work out in at 10 o’clock at night then that’s what I did.  If It meant I’d have to get up extra early to make a healthy lunch then that’s what I did.  If I were travelling I would research the hotel and see if they had a fitness room and healthy menu options.   There really is no excuse why one can’t make healthy choices.

**To clarify what I mentioned above, I had surgery this past fall and I was told not to exercise for 6 weeks.  When the surgeon told me this in consult I had a panic attack.  I was not happy.  Exercise is my life.  What was I going to do not being able to exercise for a month and a half??????  What I did was compromise.  My surgery was on a Thursday.  I returned home from the hospital late Friday and recovered until Saturday.  By Sunday I was out walking.  I walked everyday from there on, regardless of the weather.  Regardless of how I felt.  And after a few weeks I added the eliptical back into my routine in addition to my walks.  NOW, that being said, since my surgery wasn’t a major one I had the ability to stay active.  If someone has a serious surgery or medical issue and have doctor’s orders not to exercise then be smart and heed his/her advice.  Talk to your doctor about what you can do to maintain some form of regimen if you’re a nutjob like me.

As for healthy food being more expensive, sometimes that is the case.  It’s unfortunate but it’s true.  However, isn’t it worth paying a little bit extra?  Because, y’know, that Big Mac ain’t free.  And I’d rather go spend money on fresh fruit and veggies and healthy grains then go to McDonald’s any day.  Isn’t it more satisfying knowing you’ve made a healthy decision than not knowing what you’ve put in your body?  I know people who spend up to $9 on their morning coffee but then bitch because a salad cost $4.50.  Uh, hellooo??   The end justifies the means.

We all have busy lives.  Some people have kids.  Most people work or are in school.  Some people volunteer.  But you know what?  There are millions of people whose lives are exactly like ours (busy busy busy) yet, they makes the time to exercise.  They make the time to make healthy meals.  They find a way to make the most of their money to make healthy choices.  It can be done.  I’m proof.

THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS.

Welcome!

I’m a new fitness blogger.  I’ve blogged on life and love and fun and games but this is my very first post as a fitness blogger.

I’m not an expert.  But I am a living result.

Several years ago after an accident and some medication helped me pack on the pounds, I discovered how much weight I’d gained and was astonished.  I’d seen a photo of two girls…one I’d recognized but the other I did not.  I said “who is that fatass?” and realized, oh crap!  That’s me!   That was not a good feeling.

When I asked some of my closest friends why they didn’t tell me how big I’d gotten they replied “We thought you knew.”  Obviously, I did not.  But, in that very second of seeing that photograph I decided that I would change.

I revamped my eating habits and started working out a few times a week.  I had an eliptical at home and started off with 20 minutes a day (I still verily believe that 20 minutes a day can save your life).  Eventually that 20 minutes grew into longer and longer periods of exercise (I would hop on with a good book and before I knew it an hour and a half had passed).  Eventually, I was down 65 pounds.

I’ve kept the weight off.  I’ve built up muscle and energy and stamina.  I started running….something I hadn’t done since high school and I became hooked on exercise.

I am not perfect.  I’m not super skinny.  I still haven’t reached my “goal weight”; but I feel good.  I am proud of my accomplishments.  I am proud that people look up to me and see me as a “role model.”

I am a Fit Bitch.  Hear Me Roar.