Random Thoughts on Fitness Motivation

forget_skinny_im_training_to_be_a_fit_badass_tshirt-ra718fce5394041f8a511321e917dd203_8naz3_324

My Tracey Anderson DVD’s have been collecting dust on my shelf for over a year now. Have you tried them? I want to start training again and be the best me ever, but I’m feeling just a tad bit overwhelmed (to say the least). Do I start running again? Should I include yoga every day? How can I make time to go to my FREE office gym and take some classes? WHY don’t I make time to go to my FREE gym in my building at home? How about the pool that’s open for the season? Why don’t I just walk to work and home every day? At least I have my dog to walk. Such questions to ponder on this late evening.

What gets you motivated and how do you stay that way?

10 Healthy Movie Theater Snack Options

519M0CdkL4L

I fell off the wagon last weekend when I went to the movies and reverted back to my teenager self who just had to have popcorn and candy and soda. UGH! I mean, really, what is it about movie theater popcorn that is just so appealing? I’m not an at-home popcorn eater, but when I step into a movie theater, it’s like I turn into a popcorn savage beast.

Despite trying to live a healthier lifestyle, I failed big time. I know one of the major reasons I turned to unhealthy snacking options is because I did not have a plan. I decided after feeling so guilty that I would come up with healthier alternatives to my movie snacking. Here are some some snack options that I will be bringing along with me in the event a snack attack sneeks up on me at the movie theater again. Perhaps, in the future, I can be more evolved and not even feel the need to snack at the movies (HA!). Do you like to eat at the movies? What are your go-to snack options?

271156-grapes009886

Grapes and Babybel cheese – I love the combination of grapes and cheese. These Babybel mini cheese rounds are easy to pack and unwrap. They are a great snack to have around. cinalmonds

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds – I have a huge bag of almonds that need to be used. One of my plans is to roast some of them to have as snacks. This recipe looks easy and seems like they would keep for awhile. Almonds satiate easily and keep you feeling full for a longer period of time without having to consume too much.

popcorn

Low Carb Popcorn – I just came across this recipe, but I am willing to try it out. Hopefully it is a good substitute for my movie popcorn obsession. Paleo-Nut-Butter-Cups-Reeses-Peanut-Butter-Cup-Substitute

Paleo Peanut Butter Cups – I cannot wait to try this recipe out. I love to freeze my peanut butter cups. I think they are so much tastier that way.

gummy bears

Low Carb Gummy Bears – I’ve been having a love affair with gummy bears since forever, so you can guess how excited I was to come across this recipe. I cannot wait to try these out!

raisinets

Spiced Paleo Raisinets – Raisinets are another of my go-to candy choices at movie theaters. This recipe looks really yummy and will probably taste good frozen.

candy

Low Carb + Gluten-Free Maple Walnut Candy – Candied nuts usually remind me of holidays (though I like to eat them year-round). This recipe looks like something that I can eat year-round without feeling guilty.

chips

Brussels Sprouts Chips – I inadvertently made these before as one tends to do when roasting brussels sprouts. You can’t help from having some pesky leaves from falling apart. It was a happy accident. Here’s a great recipe if you want to make them on purpose.

kale chips

Baked Kale Chips – When it comes to veggie chips, it can’t hurt to have more than one kind. For variety, here’s a recipe for kale chips. I can only imagine it will do more good than harm to eat one too many of these.

ING-tangerine_sql

Tangerines – I love having these around because they taste good, but they also freshen up a space. I can’t imagine anyone complaining if you peel one of these open and the nice citrus smell wafts across the room.

Fitness: Bikram 30 Day Challenge – Day 30 Update

happy

I completed my 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge on Saturday, March 14. I started this journey because I wanted to add fitness as a daily habit and thought yoga would be a good place to start. And, that 30 days of Bikram yoga would be challenging as well as attainable. Now, here I am, happy to have accomplished my goal, but even happier to have gone through my journey. It wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it.

As I’ve said before, Bikram yoga is a 2.5 – 3 hour daily commitment. I started when I did because I knew that I could make the time for it. Sad to say, but it is not something I can keep up every day now. This is the only negative thing I’ve found with it.

When I started the journey, I was way out of shape. I had not worked out in a really long time and desperately wanted to make it a daily habit. But the thought of it was just too daunting (I hit a major wall after I completed my one and only marathon a few years ago). However, I committed and I made it. Here are some of the things I’ve learned along my journey.

It’s mind over matter – During class and during a particular pose, you will often hear a teacher say “Make up your mind and just do it.” This is so true. When I decided to commit to 30 days, I made up my mind that I was going to do it. I also posted daily on Instagram. During class, if I started to think too long about a pose, I would go back to this mantra of mind over matter and just do it. I think this could apply to life as well.

You will find time for the things that you make a priority – You know that saying, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse?” Well, this is so true. Before Bikram, I would tell myself I had no time for exercise (not even 30 minutes), yet I managed to find 2.5 hours a day every day for 30 days for Bikram. Why? Because I made it a priority. I had to juggle some days, but I always made it to class. I even made it to class when I was feeling so ill that I had to spend almost the entire day in bed, except for when I went to class.

I am a happier person when I exercise – There is scientific evidence that endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. I have always felt better after every class. On days that I was feeling lazy, this is one of the things I would remember to tell myself to get to class and it usually worked.

Small steps can lead to big things – I started my yoga journey on a mission to accomplish doing it for 30 days straight. Now I am on a mission to do it for 90 days straight. And, it has given me the confidence to start my running again as well as try other forms of exercise. Like they say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Since I’ve completed my 30 days of Bikram, I’ve started to practice at another studio. While I really did love hot yoga, I wanted to learn other forms as well. My new yoga studio has classes ranging from Vinyasa to Ashtanga to Forrest, as well as other forms. So far, I’ve tried Vinyasa and Yin yoga and have enjoyed both. I want to keep a daily practice so I am seeing what works best for me. This journey to health is a lifelong one in which I will continue to challenge myself. It may not always be easy, but I will make sure to always make it worthy.

Do you practice yoga? Do you workout regularly? What keeps you motivated?

Fitness: My 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge – Week 3

photo 3

{Little yogi in training — though it looks like she could teach me a thing or two}

Today is the third week of my Bikram challenge. You can read about week 1 here and week 2 here. I would like to tell you that it gets easier, but it hasn’t so far. Sure, I can do some poses that I could not do in week 1, but I find that each class is different because there are so many factors to consider.

Such as, what was I doing right before class? How did I feel? Was I rushing from work to get to class? Did I have to do something right after class? What was going on with me that particular day? What did I have to get done soon?

But, that is all part of the challenge of yoga. It is not just about getting my postures right, but also getting my mind right. And, I find the latter is the more difficult of the two. The positive benefits of my practice have been better sleep and more confidence. Going into it, I was not sure what to expect of myself. Physically, I did not feel ready, but are we ever fully ready for anything? I am definitely glad I’ve taken it on, despite the often times challenging time constraints. Namaste.

Fitness for Lovers and Friends

rs_634x1024-130918125105-634.Tracy-Anderson-Gwyneth-Paltrow.ms.091713

{Workout best buddies Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracey Anderson}

First of all, do you workout? If so, do you do it alone or with a partner (meaning a friend or significant other and not a trainer)? I’ve done both. I can’t really say which I like better, I guess it depends on my mood at the time.

There are obvious reasons why having a workout buddy is great, such as:

1. Accountability – Try to get out of a workout daily; easy enough when it’s just you, but much more difficult when someone else is counting on you.

2. Fun Factor – If you like trying new things or feeling stuck in a rut, a partner could help you get out of it and make it more fun.

3. Connection – Working out with someone else creates a great bonding experience whether you are hiking or cycling or boxing.

Here are some fitness ideas I’d like to share over the next few months.

partner-yoga6

I’m signing up for Bikram yoga with the husband. Wish me luck as we try to get through asanas and tree poses together!

corporate

I just read about my friend’s Air Fit experience. Sounds like fun and I can safely say I would definitely need some help getting up on those fabrics.

orig

It’s safe to say, not all cycle classes are the same. You have your traditional spin classes, the ever-popular Soul Cycle, and there’s Fly Wheel. This would probably make a fun friend-date in lieu of the typical drinks and dinner. Or, better yet, have your cake and eat it too: why not go to a class and then have drinks and dinner. Without the guilt!

tumblr_mhlsejZAhA1rhwredo5_500

J and I took dance lessons for our wedding reception. And, we’ve taken a salsa class here and there, but never really stuck with it. I’d like to get back in the swing of things (pun intended) and try to do this again on the regular. This would also be fun to do with some girlfriends or group dates. Then, you can go show off your new moves afterwards and dance the night away (admittedly, aside from weddings, not something I’ve done in a long time).

celeb-fitness-friends-kelly-moore-410

Girls who box together, bond together? I’ve never tried boxing in my life, but I’m not opposed to trying it. I think it would be fun to take classes with a girlfriend. You can hang out and relieve stress all at the same time.

Adco-articleLarge

I’ve taken tennis lessons before, but it’s been a long time. I’d love to get back in the game and try again. This would be a really fun sport to take up with friends or your partner.

couple-hiking-valley

Hiking is always a good idea to do with others. The first time I hiked up Runyon Canyon in LA, I was so determined to get to the top, but I probably stopped not too far from the starting point. LOL.

Finding a Fitness Routine Part 2

photo (16)

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” ~ Bill Gates

I had a scary thought yesterday —– exactly one year ago from yesterday, I was thinking how Facebook was celebrating their 10 year anniversary. 10 years! (11 now.) Where did last year go? And today! Today is February 5th! We are in our second month of the year already! What the what?!?

Needless to say, I have not followed through on any fitness plans I had. Okay, maybe a tiny bit — I’ve been going on longer daily walks. I know they say walking is really beneficial, but I feel like I need to do more. I’m not really sure what’s holding me back. Laziness, true, but surely I cannot possibly be that lazy?

Well, then. I would like to outline my fitness plans here and perhaps it will help keep me more accountable. Also, I want to document the process (on the world wide web, no less) so that maybe it will help one soul have the motivation to make a change, live a healthier life or have a good laugh.

Here is what I will do for the next few weeks and I will check back here weekly if you want to follow my progress. Or, join me? Let’s do this!

2/7 to 3/8 : 30 Days of Bikram Yoga

I’ve made several attempts with Bikram (and other yoga practices) in the past. Long story short, it’s made me feel better than not, but I’m not sure why I stopped. My short term intention is to complete 30 days. In the long run, I would like to create a daily yoga and meditation practice.

2/9 to 4/12 – Couch to 5K

I’ve talked about my running history here. It’s humbling to go from C25K to half-marathon to marathon and back to C25K, but it doesn’t matter where you start (again). As long as you are taking the first step and making progress, that’s what counts.

2/9 to 4/12 – Daily 60 Minute Walks

I enjoy walking once I’m doing it, but I have a problem getting motivated to get going. I need to get over myself and keep thinking about all the benefits. Maybe I will make a list to hold on to.

And, there you have it. Short and simple. I’ll catch you back here next week!