Random Thoughts on Fitness Motivation

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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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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?

Soul {Food For Thought} Sunday

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{Lake Michigan}

There are always going to be people who will try to bring you down, even those who are closest to you. Just remember that it’s not about you, but a reflection on their own thoughts. If it gets to be too much, then know you have the power to step away. It’s not worth having negative people in your life. Have faith in yourself and follow your guts, more than likely it will lead you in the right direction. Even if you can’t see the forest for the trees. You are enough and your dreams matter. As someone once told me, “It’s none of your business what other people think of you.” Word.

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity.

It’s your place in the world; it’s your life.

Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”

{Mae Jemison ~ Physician, astronaut and the first black woman to travel in space}

Fitness: My 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge – Week 4 Update

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Today marks the 28th day of my 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge. It seems just like yesterday that I started, yet I can see just how far I’ve come in 4 weeks. My body is still adjusting and I still have some poses I cannot do, but it has done the one thing I’d hoped to get out of it — it has motivated me to continue working out. I will write more about my yoga journey once I’ve completed my 30 days, but today I wanted to touch on motivation and habit in relation to my goal.

Studies have shown that it takes anywhere from 20 – 254 days to form a habit, with the average being 66 days depending on the goal (i.e. the easier the goal, the shorter time it took to make it a habit). With my yoga challenge (that sounds like an oxymoron, huh?) coming to a close in 2 days, it’s hard to say if I’ve formed a habit. I can say that I’m motivated to keep going. My ultimate goal is to exercise at least one hour daily.

As I’ve mentioned before, Bikram is a huge daily time commitment (about 2.5 – 3 hours a day). I know that I cannot keep that up because I have too much else going on. Let’s face it, how many of us can devote 3 hours a day to exercise?  I do want to keep a daily yoga practice though, so I’m considering my options. I am thinking of continuing my yoga challenge, but going to a different studio, where they have classes that are 45 minutes or an hour long. This way, in the future, I can try to do a mix of Bikram and other forms of yoga throughout the week. Until then, I want to just be as present as possible and work as hard as possible on my last two classes. Namaste.

P.S. Bikram Challenge week 1 update

P.P.S. Bikram Challenge week 2 update

P.P.P.S. Bikram challenge week 3 update