Category Archives: Physical Fitness

Personal Spring Tune Up 2016

 

Spring Self_Tune Up
Source: Pixeltango

It’s April, and where I live that still means snow, wind, and toques. However, April also means happier moods thanks to more daylight hours, warmer weather, and the anticipation of the end of snow for at least a few months. It’s wonderful to watch the city transform from dark and white, to brown, to green and colourful.

Each Spring I do a massive decluttering of my place. During Winter months I tend to accumulate a lot of unnecessary things that get tucked away on shelves, in baskets, cupboards, wherever I shove items, that’s where they stay until a pile topples over or I need to find something I hadn’t needed all winter long.

The beginnings of this season usually involves home owners dedicating their weekends to readying the garden and lawn; and getting their vehicles prepped for Spring. I was thinking this morning about how we tend to prepare our possessions for a new season, but we don’t often prepare our bodies and minds for the changes in nature.

I don’t handle our Northern winters very well, especially because I am dependent on public transit. Nothing kills your joy faster than walking after dark, in dirty snow, bundled up for the cold weather. So when Spring arrives I look forward to new activities and revisiting old ones. This takes some thought and preparation.

Your Turn!

The following can help prepare you for a great Spring and Summer season; don’t let another year go by where you coulda’ shoulda’, woulda’, but didn’t.

Deep clean your home and your vehicle. Great weather means great company and nothing helps people clean faster than knowing someone is coming to your home. Here is a website with a variety of tips, schedules, and information on getting organized and maintaining a clean home. If your vehicle is a mess of fast food containers, empty coffee cups, and paper products; then a spring clean up of the inside of your car is a good idea. Set aside a few hours to clear everything out and take it to the car wash where you can clean both the inside and outside.

What’s your yard, garage, and shed looking like? If it’s a mess, schedule time to tend to these areas. It is absolutely necessary to schedule a date and time to get these things done otherwise we will always find other things to do or procrastinate to the point where we are no longer left with choices. No one likes fines from by-law officers for something like not keeping up your yard, a task that would have only taken at most an hour.

http://springcleaning365.com/

SPRING-IS-NEAR

Rejuvenate your body. If you’ve neglected your body all winter or want to get prepared for more physical activities, it’s important to ease back into it. If you are going to pick up running or switch to outdoor running, be prepared in order to decrease your chances of injury and increase your opportunities for success. Here is a link to Runners World online where you can find information on training, dressing for the weather, and footwear. The link to Olivas Trunk Unlocked leads to a great article on spring cleaning your body.

http://oliviastrunkunlocked.com/2015/05/22/spring-clean-your-body/

http://www.runnersworld.com/shoe-guide/runners-world-2016-spring-shoe-guide?cid=OB-_-RW-_-CHRR

http://rw.runnersworld.com/training-plan-finder/

Another important way to prepare your body is to eat seasonal fruit. If you are able to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables and shop at farmer’s markets, great, if not, then the grocery store chains will have to do. The good thing about buying in-season produce is the cheaper price. Spring and Summer seasonal foods are often on sale or the prices are lower. I know I’m looking forward to cherries, peaches, nectarines, grapes, and watermelon. These items are quite pricey where I live. During the off-season peaches and nectarines are $3.99/pound.

https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce

whats-in-season-spring

After eating heavy foods all winter, the body might be in needs of a cleanse. There are a lot of exaggerated claims made by companies who sell body cleanse and detox products, but the truth is there is no need to go to extremes to cleanse the body when switching to a healthier eating regime. If you do decide to do a program, I recommend looking into The Masters Cleanse and Wild Rose D-Tox. With the Master’s Cleanse you are limited to 10 days of a mixed lemon water drink whereas the Wild Rose D-Tox allows you to eat a variety of foods from a list; you won’t ever be hungry on the 12 Day D-Tox program.

http://themastercleanse.org/

http://wildroseproducts.com/en-CA/kits/d-tox-program

If you’re not into cleansing and detoxing, but know that your body is in need of a change from a diet of heavy foods, and processed goods a great place to start would be clean eating. This link will give you a simple breakdown of the clean eating lifestyle.

http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/food-health/food-and-health-news/what-is-clean-eating/

Check your finances. Sunshine means spending lots of time on patios, going to sporting events, and bring-a-side-dish bbq’s. This also means spending more money. Take a look at your spending habits from the past 3 months. Aside from necessary bills and payments, what did you spend most of your money on? If you aren’t happy with where you spent your money during the winter, try making changes for spring and summer. Try making a budget, it is easy to over spend during the warmer months when there are a lot more recreational and social options available.

http://www.daveramsey.com/home/

spring planning

Closet Check. It’s time to switch clothing and bring out items you haven’t seen or touched in several months. Try on your clothes to see if they still fit. It’s annoying when you plan to wear an item only to find out that you’ve either gained or lost weight during the winter or what you thought was a great item last year no longer looks good to you. If you no longer want the item, get rid of it. Save your closet space for things you will actually wear.

Bring out all of your summer items and put away the winter gear. I have a large Rubbermaid container where I place out of season items. This way everything is in one place and I won’t have to go searching for it 5 months from now.

http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/wardrobe-basics/wardrobe-basics-checklist

Spring List 2016

Get Creative, Get Going. No need to be house bound when the weather is great. Tap into your creative side, or dust of your bucket list. What are some things you’d like to do or try this summer? Be intentional by writing it down, or take a step further by writing it down and making a commitment by registering or paying ahead for these activities. Maybe you want to do more golfing, or run in a foot race. How about an overnight or weekend trip? It might even be something as simple as starting a garden in your yard. The choice is yours.

http://www.mylifelist.org/

https://www.bucketlist.org/

http://www.raptitude.com/2009/09/how-to-make-a-life-list-youll-actually-do-a-comprehensive-guide/

However you choose to spend these next few months, may it bring you peace, good memories, and personal growth!

 

Fit Guy Fat: Lessons Learned With Grace and Understanding

 

My Personal Trainer Is Killing Me

We’ve heard the complaints: Personal Trainers are evil! They are mean, bossy, and pushy! They’ve never been overweight so how could they know how we feel and what we go through?

There might be personal trainers who fit these descriptions, but from what I’ve noticed; a number of people who have a dislike for personal trainers and their profession, have all failed at successfully losing weight or achieving any significant fitness goal.

We need to be honest; personal trainers are there to challenge their clients mentally and physically. They are not there to babysit us or do the work for us. I’ve had personal trainers in the past, some were great, some were a waste of my time. What I liked about having a personal trainer was the accountability that came along with having someone design a program for me with the expectation that I would follow it during the week until our next one-on-one session.

If I had to guess why some personal trainers develop a lack of sympathy or compassion for overweight and out of shape clients it is because they’ve heard every excuse possible from people who don’t want to do the difficult work of changing their habits and routines. I hate exercising and any time I’ve paid for personal training services I’ve informed the gym staff to pair me with someone who has a lot of patience for an overweight out of shape crybaby like me.

I do as I’m told to, but I don’t do so quietly. I’m that woman at the gym who sometimes mumbles swear words under her breath and looks as if I am ready to roll over and die while engaging in exercise I’ve deemed “too hard” for me. Yup, I tremble, sweat, and swear. I’m never quite sure which is worse, the grunting weight lifter, or me the whimpering, mumbling, shaking lady who creates a backlog of annoyed lifters as they wait for me to finish.

Personal Trainer Personal Lies

There is a new show in on A&E as of January 2016 called Fit To Fat To Fit. The purpose of the show is to help personal trainers experience what it’s like to be overweight and have to lose weight. It is meant to help trainers develop more understanding and compassion for what their clients have to go through. According to A&E, this show is “A ground breaking new series that follows personal fitness trainers from across the country as they undertake the most extreme weight-loss experiment ever: by forcing themselves to gain weight, they aim to better understand the struggles of their obese clients as they lose the weight together.”

Listen and learn. Don’t let your stubbornness, ego, and pride ever prevent you from achieving a necessary and important goal in life.

Personal Trainers Are Fun

A trainer shouldn’t need to have been formerly overweight in order to help clients. People who have never had a trainer don’t want to accept the fact that we, the clients, still have to do the work. It’s uncomfortable having someone tell you what to do and how to do it, but personal trainers are teachers and we are the students.

As I continue to focus on my One Word for 2016, grace, I am reminded to have grace towards people who don’t understand the struggle of weight loss. I can’t expect people to know what it’s like to have to develop a new way of thinking, eating, and moving if they have never been obese. With grace I am able to decrease my feelings of anger and frustration that occur every time someone makes an oversimplified suggestion or assumption about ways to loose weight.

Grace allows me to not focus on personal trainers who haven’t yet arrived at a place of compassion or for those who have become tired of hearing repeated excuses from clients. Grace means not being hard on myself when I have skipped a session or didn’t stick to the workout schedule for the week. Grace means not being discouraged when the scale or a measuring instrument doesn’t reflect the numbers I want to see.

Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle or run further and quicker, grace needs to be included in your transformation. Kindness and compassion towards yourself and your body will keep you going unlike self-punishment which never leads you to a place of healthiness.

God Before Family Always

 

Choose Healthier Snacks for Children

This is a strong blog post title and a strong statement, but it is something I believe in strongly. I don’t apply this to those who are under age. When you are still a child, then you are under your parents control and should do as you are told to do. I have never believed that God holds children accountable for the sins parents place upon them.

I came to accept this belief during a life changing a-ha moment. If I remember correctly, this occurred while I was reading Luke 14: 25-35 when I was a student sometime around my first year in college. For the first time as an adult I sensed the possibility of freedom from destructive generational habits and sins that had strongly affected my ancestors and myself. In reading this passage I had learned the opposite of what I had been taught in church; I was in fact free to not have to give into sinful or unhealthy behaviours influenced by generational familial sin. YES! THANK YOU LORD FOR THIS BLESSING!

The idea of putting God before your family is still a concept and biblical truth that is difficult for some Christians to accept. There are many people who can and will quote scriptures about listening and doing what your parents tell you to do. I always tell people that those scriptures only apply if your parents and family members are guiding you in God’s truth. If your family is helping to lead you away from what God has commanded or steering you away from the individual calling He has placed on your life, there are no excuses: God. Before. Family. Always!

One area that I have firmly chosen not to follow in my family footsteps is health and wellness. I am overweight and despite my 30 pound weight loss in 2015, I am still in the obese category. I have an obese mother who at 5’1 was a size 18 and weighed over 200 pounds when I was in junior high and high school. She weighs less than that now due to diabetes, but she is still medically obese. I remember my mother being in denial about her weight.  As a teenager I explained to her that our doctors’ scale was fine, and that our doctor was not lying about what the scale reported.

The Klumps: Family Obesity

Growing up I had a very unhealthy diet and it continued into adulthood before serious health problems and surgery forced me to alter my eating habits and food choices. I fell for the misconception that being fat or obese was genetic. If my mother was obese, well, that is why I was obese. A lack of proper information about weight control allowed me to believe I couldn’t help but be obese.

It’s easy for us to convince ourselves that we can’t become healthier because of our family habits, but as I wrote in the opening paragraph, only children are under their parents control. If you are an adult, you no longer have to follow the family tradition of eating unhealthy foods, living in the bondage of eating disorders and disordered eating, or living an inactive lifestyle.

A New Look At What Family Really Is

If your spouse doesn’t want to exercise, oh well, exercise on your own. You don’t have to have second and third helpings of fatty foods and dessert just because your grandmother put the food in front of you. We are taught that food is love, but another way to show love is to respect the boundaries of others. If your family loves you they will respect your desire to not eat in excess. Some relatives will be upset with you, they might be insulted that you only wanted a tiny amount of the food they cooked, and yes, they might even gossip about you to others regarding your eating style, but these are possibilities you will have to accept with strength if they do occur.

You might be family, but you are the one living in your skin, living in your body. If your family is not going to care about your health, then it is up to you to love yourself enough to care about your own self.

Self care is healthcare.

QUESTIONS: Does your family have unhealthy habits that you’ve noticed? Are there family or generational habits that you need to cease in YOUR OWN life?

ACTION: Pray over your family, for the Holy Spirit to work through everyone and for an end to any unhealthy habits that have developed in your family. If you are in the midst of developing a healthier lifestyle but lack the support of your family, pray that they will become an encouragement to you. If you have any anger, bitterness, or jealousy towards relatives, ask God to soften your heart enough to extend forgiveness, understanding, and grace towards those who don’t support you and those who refuse to change. prayer for conflict resolution

How Intentional is Your Health?

Intentional Health

 

One Word 365 is an alternative to the long list of New Year’s resolutions that North American’s often make on January 1 of each year, and forget or fail at by January 2nd. With One Word you choose to instead focus on one word for the entire year. This provides the core of what you’d like to be the main emphasis and motivation.

One Word_Intentional

For 2015 I chose the word ‘plan’ and then after about a month I realized a better word for my goals and desire would be ‘intentional’.

To be intentional is to have in mind and/or make plans with the purpose of attaining specific end goals. I came to the awareness that my life needed to be intentional. I wanted to know what my real intentions were for engaging in various activities in my life: work, volunteer, religious practices, making purchases, everything. In the beginning it was difficult to stop and ask myself, “Why am I doing this? By doing this, what am I expecting?” Over time these simple, yet deep questions help me to add and remove many things from my life.

In the area of food and fitness I realized my impatience and desire to achieve quick results were the reasons why I wasn’t progressing towards my goals. I was looking into eating plans that would get me the fastest results instead of the healthiest results. I devised physical schedules that I knew would take off the most inches of fat in the shortest amount of weeks. However, by being intentional I was able to stop and honestly evaluate the motivations for my choices.

Throughout this year I’ve been able to prevent myself from making my injuries worse. What made this year different from the past was being able to discipline myself enough to pause and self-evaluate. When you are making healthy changes in your life an important question to ask yourself is, “Why have I made this choice?”, followed by, “What do I think I’ll personally gain from this choice?”, and finally, “Is there a healthier way to achieve the desired result?” You’d be amazed at how these three simple questions coupled with prayer and quiet meditation can reveal so much.

Whether it is a food plan or physical fitness goal, stop and ask yourself serious questions about your true motivation. If your reasons are not good for you, don’t beat yourself up, simply take time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help move you towards a way to achieve your goals without causing physical and emotional hurts to yourself. The answers may not come quickly, but if you want to become or remain healthy, you will accept the fact that anything that is good for you takes time.

I_Am_Intentional

QUESTION:

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why have I made this choice?
  • What do I think I’ll personally gain from this choice?
  • Is there a healthier way to achieve the desired end choice?

ACTION: Take time to look at some of the activities in your life that you find emotionally or physically taxing. Stop and ask yourself the three questions above or similar self-motivational questions.

 

Additional Resources:

101 Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Before it’s too Late

How Self Motivated are You?