Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Encourage self love. What an amazing concept! But is it possible in this day and age to encourage self love when we struggle to love ourselves AND our bodies? We are constantly bombarded by images of what social media considers beautiful (which usually means wearing size 0, sporting bright white teeth, having flawless skin and shiny hair). Unfortunately, we tend to compare ourselves to these images and as a result, we often begin to develop negative feelings about ourselves. So how do we overcome these negative feelings and start loving ourselves, inside and out?
Below is an article about one woman's journey toward self love. It's called, "Seriously, let's end the war with our bodies." I loved her story for a few reasons. One, I could totally relate! As a personal trainer, I am constantly aware of my own body image because of the industry I am in. Two, I am training for my second Ironman so I am even more aware of my body because I need to fuel it properly for energy. I also need to train "smart" (this includes rest, recovery, interval training, cardio training and strength training) to ensure I develop stronger leaner muscles while preventing injury. Third, I loved her strategy of how to encourage self love!
1. Start by loving yourself just the way you are. This means loving everything about you and your body! i.e. Your wrinkles, your graying hair, your love handles, your thighs, your arms, your feet, your hips, your chest (no matter what size it is!), your freckles, your nose, your chin.......
2. Engage in positive and uplifting conversations about yourself. In other words, STOP the negative and depleting self -talk. Try this little experiment. Say something negative about yourself and exam how you feel. (You can either be in a conversation with yourself or with someone) Now say something positive about yourself and exam how you feel. Do you feel a difference? You may discover that you have more energy, you feel good, and you feel more alive. So why not continue to have those feelings and talk positive about you?
3. If you hear someone else talking negatively about themselves, turn it around. Tell them something positive about themselves instead or get them to say something positive about themselves.
4. If you are giving a compliment to someone and they deflect it, let them know that your compliment is genuine!
I challenge you to give at least one of these steps a try. It just might make a difference in how you see yourself and how you can help encourage self love.
Stay active and anything is possible!
PS. Here's the link!
Monday, January 12, 2015
It truly is amazing how fast time goes by. I am now in Week 7 of my Ironman training and already we are 12 days into the new year. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and were able to spend quality time with family, friends and yourself!
As we head into a new year, I am sure you have been overloaded by social media on topics such as detoxing, cleanses, weight loss, and goal setting. I know I have and I felt myself beginning to stress out thinking about what my goals were going to be for 2015! Then my husband forwarded an article to me called "Happy New Year! 12 Steps to Thriving in 2015. " It was written by Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief at the Huffington Post and was posted on LinkedIn. I was blown away by her article. It was the first one that I read this year that made me stop and re-evaluate what I wanted to accomplish in 2015. Her article made me reflect not on my financial or fitness goals, but rather on my personal goals. Her 12 steps were so simple and basic that I ended up changing mine to incorporate not one, but all of hers! Here is an overview of what I took out of her 12 steps.
1. Sleep more
2. Move your body
3. Meditate every day for at least 5 minutes
4. Let go of what does not serve you
5. Start a gratitude list
6. Turn off your devices at a specific time each day
7. Focus on your breath for 10 seconds
8. Pick an image that ignites the joy in you. (aka; Think of your happy place!)
9. Don't judge yourself or others and be more forgiving of yourself and others
10. Be kind and giving
11. Take the time to make a connection with others. (aka: Make eye contact)
12. Share your talents/skills within the community
It has been 10 days since I've read this article and already I have incorporated not one, but all of these 12 steps. Of course there are a few that I still need to work on such as #9, but I know with time I will get better as I continue to practice this every day.
As for the other 11 steps, they are simple and they really are simple! I mean, how hard can it be to go to bed earlier at night, even if it's just 15 minutes earlier? How lazy am I to not take the stairs instead of the elevator to move my body more? How busy am I that I can't afford to take 5 minutes to meditate or focus on my breath for 10 seconds? How selfish can I be to not write at least one thing that I am grateful for at the end of the day? How addicted am I to my devices that I can't shut them off or keep them in another room when I go to bed? How great do I feel when I think of my happy place, especially when I am stressed? How absorbed can I be to not be able to smile, or say hello to someone I pass by or make eye contact as I place my coffee order or open the door for someone? These are the questions I asked myself as I read her article and thanks to Arianne Huffington, I feel I am off to a great start for 2015 and I hope that you are too!
Stay active and anything is possible!
If you would like to read her article, I have listed the link below.
Happy reading and happy New Year!
Thursday, December 18, 2014
It is hard to believe that I am already on week 3 of my IM training (more details to come!). As part of my training, I read and watch videos each week to help educate, inspire and motivate me to train smarter, prevent injury and have fun! Today, I came across this article on Sparkpeople.com and thought this would be a good one to share as we enter into the holiday season.
The holiday season can be a very challenging time to maintain fitness goals and regular workout routines. We attend more social events that provide an array of delicious foods and drinks that we may not normally have or even think about having. We also tend to feel more festive (or more stressed!) and therefore we tend to let ourselves indulge. As a result, we may find our pants, skirts, or dresses becoming a wee bit too tight. If this does happen, it is important to not give up on your fitness goals! I hope this story will help give you a little boost to stay on track.
Happy Holidays and Happy Training!
How Do You Take Things One Step at a Time?
To put your pants on you need to take it one leg at a time. If you try putting both legs in at the same time, you are likely to fall over. (Although, I have never tried this so my myth could be busted... Myth Busters maybe? LOL!) To discourage the fall you lift one leg at a time putting it securely into the pant leg before you try putting the other leg in.
If you tried putting your pants on by putting both legs in at one time and you fell down, would you get back up? Or would you just go about your day saying forget it... I am going pantless? You would probably get back up, dust yourself off, and put your pants on again, this time putting one leg in at a time.
This is a lot like our journey. If you try to do too many steps at one time you may fall down. It could also result in knocking you down a few steps. But do you give up? Or do you say forget it, I am staying on this step and I am not moving?
Dust yourself off and keep on moving up those steps. This journey is not easy. But as long as you take it one step at a time you will reach your goal. And if that means falling down a step or two... as long as you get back up and continue on, you are already one step ahead! Because you didn't give up!
So never give up on your journey... never give up on your goals... never give up on you! Because you are worth it! Just keep on taking it one step at a time!
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Monday, December 1, 2014
It's been awhile since I posted an update on my IRONMAN training. As it turns out, I was way ahead of the game! I started my training a bit too early. So I took the rest of October and all of November to focus on my flexibility and balance and fine tuned my meditation abilities. I also registered for a 30 day yoga challenge that ends Dec 10th. But today my first program for the IM began! Here's a review of Day One!
5:00AM: 15 minutes of meditation
9:00AM: Read for 1 hour regarding form and technique for the bike and training strategies
1:00PM: One on One Cross Fit training session for 30 minutes. For this IM event, I decided to incorporate Cross Fit into my training so I researched CrossFit studios and discovered CrossFit Ville-Marie. As part of their policy, you have to register for 4 private 30 minute sessions before you can take the other classes. I can not stress enough how important it is to have the right form and technique when training and although I am a personal trainer, I still need advise and feedback on my own form and technique to ensure I am doing the exercise correctly.
3:00PM: 45 minute interval training on my bike trainer. It's amazing what you can find on YouTube! I came across a video of a group of cyclist riding through their city. The scenery was beautiful! Next video will be a bike ride in Mallorca!
4:30PM: 1 hour Core/Flexibility yoga.
My intention for this class was to focus on my breath and to be present. During the
meditation, I visualized myself biking the course!
That completes Day One.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
I came across this article on Prevention.com and loved it! I often have arguments with myself when I set my alarm to get up early to train. But I felt relieved and a sense of camaraderie when I read this article. So the next time my alarm goes off before the sun rises, I won't feel alone anymore! Enjoy.
Waking up at the crack of dawn to run, spin, or squeeze in some yoga is never easy. The ones who do it anyway? They’re not genetic mutants—they’re master arguers. Here’s a peek at the tug-of-war that goes on in every brain when the alarm blares.
In a dark, quiet bedroom an iPhone alarm disturbs the peace. Groggy exerciser fumbles for phone and squints in disbelief at the time.
1. Seriously? I swear I just went to bed.
2. Five more minutes. Okay, 10. I’ll get dressed fast…
Hits snooze. Cue snoring. Jump 10 minutes into the future.
3. Shut UP, Chimes! I have GOT to change my alarm sound.
Hits snooze for a second time. Turns over.
4. Maybe I can skip today. I went yesterday.
5. You’ll regret it. Just get up.
6. But I went yesterday…
7. Yeah, you should sleep. Sleep makes you skinny.
8. But you’ll feel like crap later.
Defiantly snuggles deeper under the covers.
9. When did my bed get so comfortable?
10. When else are you going to do it?
11. Ugh, fine. I’ll go. There’s no falling back to sleep now anyway.
12. Damn it, Chimes! I said I’m getting up.
Finally gets out of bed.
13. The SUN isn’t even out yet.
14. Coffee… must get coffee…
Fumbles through drawers.
15. Does this match? Whatever, at least I’m going.
16. Thank GOD for caffeine.
Still half-drunk on melatonin, workout begins.
17. This sucks. Why am I doing this?
18. Okay, just go slow. Better than nothing!
Halfway through the workout
19. Ah, yes, finally: Endorphins!
20. This song rocks—totally going to Spotify it.
21. I’m awesome!
22. Life is great!
23. I love everyone!
24. So glad I didn’t stay in bed!
25. Woah … did I wear that?
Sunday, October 5, 2014
What a beautiful day for a run! It was sunny, clear skies and the air was filled with the wonderful smells of Autumn. I got in a great 3 mile run and an hour powerwalk right afterwards with a client.
Which leads me to share with you my biggest challenge training for the IM. Not only am I doing my own training, I also have clients that I physically train with. i.e. powerwalk, run and strength train. So I try and incorporate my own training program with theirs. Therefore today, I ran 3 miles (at a relatively a fast past) to my clients house and then we powerwalked for 3 miles right after.
My legs were quite sore after the run and the powerwalk so as part of my recovery, I take a 15-20 minute epsom salt bath as soon as I returned home. Afterwards, I made a huge vegetable stir fry with black rice, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, celery, spinach, garlic, and loads of spices!
As for my 21 day cleanse, so far so good! I have managed no caffeine, dairy, meat, sugar or alcohol. I have no side effects and I'm starting to feel real good overall. More energy and less bloatedness,
Today was tough. I had no desire to train but I pushed myself to run 3 miles at an easy pace. Quite often, the first 10 minutes of training are the toughest. But afterwards, I am good to go! Today was no different. I started off with an easy pace and once my heavy legs loosened up, I picked up my pace and continued. I felt great afterwards and as always, I was so happy that I got in my training.
For my recovery, I ate a tablespoon of almond butter, jumped in a cool shower for 10 minutes and then had leftovers from my vegetable stir fry to tie me over until dinner.
For dinner, I cooked a huge pan of vegetables (eggplant, celery, onions, garlic, carrots, white beans, and diced tomatoes) with a variety of spices. (cumin, cayenne pepper and crushed red peppers) I have to admit, this dish got rid of any congestion I may have had!
I found the cleanse challenging today because on Friday nights, I always enjoy a few glasses of fine red wine. Tonight, I had non - alcoholic beer. The bad news? The beer tasted awful and it was not natural! I did not read the label closely and when I did, I found it was full of coloring and other processed ingredients. The good news? I still refrained from having red wine!
Weekends can be very hard to be discipline and train. Family obligations come up, chores have to be done and who doesn't have social events to attend on the weekends? And sometimes, weekends are great to do absolutely nothing! So, how does one motivate himself/herself to train when there are so many other "better" alternatives? For me, it was putting on my bike workout clothes and then doing my house chores while wearing my bike workout clothes. I discovered early on in my training days that there is something about wearing my workout clothes that motivate me to workout. But today, I discovered something new. I found that I was actually doing my chores faster! I was making it a part of my workout! I will definitely have to try this little experiment again. If I can make doing chores more fun and get them out of the way faster, I will have more time for the other alternative options to my weekends!
PS. Due to the rainy weather, I completed my scheduled 30 minute bike ride on my trainer at home.
Today is my day off! Yahooooo! But will still make sure that I get in my 10,000 steps! That is a must, no matter what.
Scenic views on my run!
Stay active and anything is possible!