Archive for healthy lifestyle

Befores and Afters and Begin Agains

Posted in health & fitness, training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2016 by runmyssierun

 

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Ohhh you know what I’m talking about… many of you have been there. We may not all be blessed with the fortune that Oprah has made but too many of us have felt the yoyo weight loss/weight gain/ sigh weight loss attempt again curse she and many other celebrity icons AND regular joes (like me) have.

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Stage 1:

  • THE REALIZATION = OMG! What happened to me? Who have I become?
  • THE EXCUSE = I don’t have time to take care of myself. I don’t have the money for a personal coach. I had a child/I have children/I work too much or odd shifts or I go to school and then work and then kids and then spouse and then… (insert random personal favorite excuse here)
  • THE DECISION = you make the decision to either accept the excuses or embrace the change needed to go onto Stage 2.

Stage 2:

  • THE CHANGE = You do what you gotta do.
  • THE HABIT = You continue what you did so it becomes a part of your life.
  • THE WOW = You notice the improvement and encourage yourself to keep it up
  • THE STRUGGLE = (this is optional) You become comfortable in your new habit and begin to allow yourself to slide and break habit every now and then… eventually going back to becoming the person you used to be – aka square one

Many of us have those frighteningly disturbing “before” pictures. You know… the ones that get hidden, deleted, cropped or photoshopped or all of the above. And a few of us have those proud “after” pictures that get framed or become profile pictures for the world to ohhh and awwww about and secretly become jealous over. But studies show that a large percentage of those “after” shots rarely remain in the after position for very long.

A very large percentage of us don’t look like our after pictures for the remainders of our lives. For whatever reason, the optional struggle frequents the majority of the human race who found themselves in Stage 1 to begin with.

Rather than focusing on the “why” and blaming this or that and placing fault on those who struggle, I’m going to turn this around on all of us.

I STRUGGLE. I AM CURRENTLY STRUGGLING.

I have been told to eat this and not that. I have been told to focus on cardio. I’ve been told to focus on weight training. I’ve been told that 20 minutes a day of exercise is all that I need. I’ve been told that I need to set aside 4-6 hours of my weekend to commit to a workout. I should try becoming vegan. I should try this Pre-workout. I should stay away from pre-workouts. I should/shouldn’t  use advocare. I shouldn’t use any pills/chemicals/drugs. I shouldn’t eat red meat. I should eat more red meat. I should lean out. I should bulk up. I should do crossfit. I shouldn’t do crossfit. I should focus on sprints at my fastest. I should enjoy the distance at a comfortable pace. My point is that I’ve been told so many contrary things by so many contrary athletes and coaches and THEY ALL WORK. Absolutely none of them were telling me lies or false truths.

See, the root of everything they’ve all told me is simply that they are doing SOMETHING. just go do something, anything – so long as you keep doing something and make it enjoyable and part of your life, you won’t likely have to find yourself giving up and starting all over again.

As for me, I find out this week what the doctor’s results are and how I need to prepare for the future of my workouts. I am prepared mentally for it now.

Because I was out for such a long period of time from my workouts, I have gained weight, lost muscle, lost cardio endurance and lost confidence. The reconstruction of my inner power has been a slow process but has been successful. Successful enough to push through my BEGIN AGAIN stage. No one enjoys yo-yoing. Don’t be a jerk about it. Encourage me and everyone you see struggling. Turn it around and make the struggle extinct for us all.

We can plan to be consistent in our health and fitness programs. But let’s face it… #$%@& happens and sometimes we can’t control outside factors that impact our priorities. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be consistent in our encouragement to each other so we can reach our goals again… together? I hope Oprah succeeds. I hope I do, too. And you as well.

One more week… count down begins! I wonder if my bike misses me as much as I miss it.

 

 

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Stress, Signs of Stroke and staying sane while training

Posted in training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2016 by runmyssierun

This last month has been quite eventful. If your life is anything like mine, events can be a bit overwhelming. Balancing everyday life, family, work and training is always a challenge so adding any type of unplanned occurrence on top of what already beats you up can quickly beat you down. I can’t say I learned a new lesson from it but I can say a lesson sure was reinforced this month and culminated to a point to where I had to force myself to step out of the Capital of Texas Triathlon.

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On Saturday the 14th, our family lost it’s patriarch. The death of this great man was not a great surprise. Our great Lord took about a month for his loved ones to get used to the idea of living life without him. However, no matter how much in advance notice you are given, when the death of a loved one happens, it still hurts and the lives of those who remain are forever changed. Being so relatively close to the deaths I had already experienced made me go toe to toe with some dark moments I probably wasn’t ready to deal with yet.

I guess I had wanted to convince myself that I had healed and that I could overcome the pain and grief that death brings that I found myself holding in emotion and trying desperately to show nothing but strength and determination. Truth be told, I’m still pretty squishy and soft inside. Clearly the stress got to me.

Early last week, I noticed my right ankle was swollen. It concerned me but thought little of it since I had been traveling so much lately. Because of time constraints, we had gone through a Jack in the Box drive thru and I ordered a teriyaki rice bowl on the 13th (a  day before my father-in-law’s passing) and that night had two beers at The Cure concert we attended. I chalked the swelling up to a combination of the hours sitting, the MSG in the to-go order and the beer.

On May 17th, the swelling had not stopped. In fact, it got worse. So when my left side became numb and my hands got tingly and the headache throbbed and my vision blurry… I knew I couldn’t ignore the symptoms any longer and I was in danger.

KNOW THE SIGNS OF STROKE (click here for the symptoms)

I calmly told one trusted co-worker what was happening to me. I told her what I was going to do and to check in on me at a specific time. I instructed her to tell my husband what had been happening if she did not hear from me because I did not want him to have additional worries until I knew exactly what was going on with me. I went immediately to my cardiologist.


I can’t thank my medical team enough. Many of them are athletes themselves and understand all too well the emotions, concerns and questions I have as it pertains to my health and well being. Coupled with their medical knowledge, I go to them just as often or more than I go to my triathlon coaches and gurus.

Not one of us are immune to the dangers of heart disease or stroke. And just because we can finish marathons or triathlons or gazilliathons does not make us less of a candidate for heart attack or stroke. 

Doc told me that he was very impressed with the way I had changed my life to make better food choices and incorporate fitness into my daily life style. However, there comes a point where sometimes genetics becomes a bigger player in many of our lives and medication is needed to better control your health. Next week, we will have a clearer picture on the blood clots that plague me but until then, it is best that I sit this next triathlon out and cheer on my courageous triathlete amigos from my home.

10257690_10154247617120068_4653284247583456940_oCapTexTri is one of my absolute favorite triathlons to do. It is one of the best courses, incredibly well organized, publicly cheered, fun-filled events in Texas. Whether you are a first time triathlete or a seasoned champion, this one is always a favorite event for both and everyone in between to participate in. Best of luck to all this weekend!!!

And again, let my lesson sink in. None of us are immune. Get checked up regularly and listen to your body. Last week at Ironman Chattanooga, a very experienced triathlete fell to cardiac arrest during the swim portion of that triathlon. As I look back at my own experience in Galveston, I now see the signs during my own swim and how it could have ended so much more tragically than a simply DNF. Everything happens for a reason. I truly believe this and will do my best to remember not to fight the signs from God too much from now on.

 

Namaste

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2014 by runmyssierun

For two and a half years, I have been under the guidance of several different coaches. Each of them unique in their teachings but all similar in their connection with me and my goal. Another similarity was that every week, they always sent me an email of the week’s workout and a short snippit of advice on how to keep myself centered and focused while my workouts and life tend to wreak havoc on everything I had planned.

Another similarity? Every single one of my coaches have referenced the use of yoga as a foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

I had a good little history of yoga and incorporate many of the poses and stretches into my workouts. I first started practicing yoga when I was desperately trying to keep my miracle baby. I completely changed my lifestyle, my eating habits and my mental state. However, there have been many years since then and I haven’t done a good job of keep up with my yoga until just recently.

Many people don’t know this about me but I had five miscarriages in between the birth of my first born and my second child. There are seven years between them. And a lot of tears, self blame and heart break.

It was during my last pregnancy – through desperation – that I went completely vegan and incorporated yoga into my life. And I had a very healthy, happy, handsome baby boy. 🙂  In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that because I was able to focus my positive energies on my pregnancy and keep myself clear of worry that I was able to reduce the stress that had harmed me before.

For this reason, I felt an immediate connection with this last week’s email from Coach W and her reference to an “ocean of Love and Mercy” while using visualization techniques in yoga.

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I’m not quite sure why but there are still a lot of people who think yoga is religious… ok ok… I’ll just come out and say it.. some people that are very good friends of mine believe that yoga is anti-Catholic (There is a difference between spiritualism and religion but I dare not go there with them). For that reason, I understand why some other people around me are a bit skiddish to tout about the benefits of yoga.

What yoga does for me:

Stretching – the deep stretches that I get from yoga are far beyond what I saw on Jane Fonda’s exercise video tapes in the 80’s or Olivia Newton John’s music video.  Because of my cycling and leaning over into aero position for long periods of time, I tend to favor this pose…

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It’s also super great to do about 3:00 in the afternoon when you’ve been at your desk all day with a tough assignment.

Focus – yoga requires me to be in tune with my breathing and the way that my body reacts to each pose. I must pay attention to every single detail. I tend to keep my eyes closed during many of the poses and when my eyes close… I dream… BIG. And that’s usually when the big picture comes back to me.

Strength – When I was pregnant with my miracle baby, I guess I coerced hubby into doing yoga with me thinking that it would be a bonding moment for us. I underestimated his competitive spirit when I saw that he had to reach farther, stretch further, bow lower, etc than I was. He ended up having surgery as a result of the injury he gave himself for that. *This is part of my reasoning for distancing myself from uber competitive people.  I’ve never considered myself strong with a six pack… but when I do yoga, I immediately feel my core engaged, my posture is better… I feel taller, stronger, confident.

Peace – every now and then, I get too wrapped up in the drama of the world around me. Worrying is such wasted energy. An hour of yoga with meditation is honestly all it takes to rejuvenate my inner spirit.

so with that… I’ll share her wisdom with you now

Just like ocean waves come and go; you are releasing yourself from the situation in hopes that if it comes back around again, hopefully you can see another side to it and grow from it

Want to know more about Coach W? Click here to see her videos and follow her blog. We are mid season into her Triathlon training group but if you ask now, you may be lucky enough to get into her next class. https://www.facebook.com/fitfreakslikeyou

And remember that I have had another great coach, too!!! She’s a maniac 😉

Here’s some info about Coach Sandy’s triathlon training team. http://www.lifestyle-fitness.org/

Both have facebook’s and websites with more information.

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As someone who is dealing with cancer, a caretaker of a loved one dealing with cancer, an athlete trying to find balance between training and civilian life… or just any ordinary extraordinary human being, yoga teaches us to be still and listen to our body and what it’s telling us. It is so easy to be consumed by worry, stress, problems, bills, our job, our “what ifs”. We forget to live in the now and see the gifts that we have in the palm of our hands right now, this very moment. And if we don’t watch it, we’ll take those gifts for granted and they’ll vanish without much notice. Taking a few minutes out of your day to develop a yoga habit will not only make you develop flexibility, strength and agility… it also allows you to find inner peace and happiness and gratitude.

 

 

Rainy day reflections

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by runmyssierun

Resolution Road cometh early:
* I will not take my self so seriously I forget to live, laugh, and love
* I will continue to push for my health and my family’s
* I will make as many resolutions and goals and list need to achieve success rather than accept defeat or failure
* I will lead by positive example whenever possible: I will follow positive examples whenever given
* I will do more to remember than forgetting ( except when it comes to spelling and cheesecake)
* I may or may not consider myself crazy for this years fitness goals but if I do? Well that’s okay because they are still getting not just done but DONE RIGHT!!!

Thank you to Cheryl who shared these thoughts with me and my run group. She said it better than I ever could have.

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