Wellness Wednesday - How far have you come?

Over on Instagram, I shared a video of a portion of my workout today. I was doing something I haven't felt 100% confident with for a year. Here's the video:

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Lateral step-ups are something I haven't done for at least one year, I did step ups this high a few times within that same time frame.

If you haven't been following along, 1 year ago I was in taper for my first marathon. 11 months ago, Reactive arthritis flared it's ugly head after a stomach virus. 10.5 short months ago, I would've cried thinking about doing lateral side-steps because I couldn't put weight on my knees to walk to the bathroom.

After mentally wrapping my head around the pain and lack of movement, shutting my brain up, and listening to my body, I am happily doing thigh-high lateral side steps today. I've put in a lot of work, mentally and physically, and have made sure to eat mostly healthy foods to ensure my progress was not derailed. Wellness Wednesday is different and the same for everyone, to be healthy.

Looking back is the only way to know how far you've come, it's a bench mark with memories and emotions that fuel you to your goals.

How far have you come, what's the one thing that you think of when you're doing something challenging? 

Wellness Wednesday - Holidays are coming

wellness-wednesday-fitnessHEYYYOOOOOOOOO!! Wellness is a HUGE passion of mine, and today is Wednesday, so yeah, Wellness Wednesday is now going to be a (possibly regular) thing!

All of the links in this post are original, unsponsored, unaffiliated. This is a post about something I love, and want to make sure as many people see it as possible. Click a link, I won't have a clue!!!!

This year I’ll be avoiding the holiday weight gain with the help of the workout program Lightning and Thunder, by Jen Sinkler and Team Moyer: Angie Brambley-Moyer and Tim Moyer. I am fortunate to always be somewhere in a bikini when the rest of the nation encounters Winter, so that’s additional motivation for avoiding holiday weight gain other than the avoiding the tightness of gained weight in the favorite pair of jeans.

I'm just one person, so I bought the Athlete Edition, for $99. bundle_all

I began the Beginner section of Thunder and Lightning a few weeks ago, and I am IN LOVE with the variety of workouts each training day, as well as the premise behind the program: for athletes wanting to be athletes. I’m not doing a bikini body workout, because I want to look as strong as I feel in all of my clothes, not just a bikini. I’m also not training for anything specific, but this program gives me overall athletic strength so I may choose a different sport with confidence I’ll have a decent amount of strength to get through it. Some of the workouts include items you’d see professional athletes doing in their daily workouts, which just shows that muscle groups need to be mixed up every day instead of solely focused on.

I also love that there isn’t a designated muscle group workout each day, because you work every muscle every day. The cardio is “SAQ” Speed, Agility, and Quickness, and I love it because I can see myself using these techniques to build my daily activities. If you’re ever at my house, you’ll appreciate knowing how to quickly change direction while walking to avoid getting tripped by a cat. The cardio can honestly be done anywhere, you’re not stuck on a treadmill (which always makes me motion sick if I have to exceed 2 miles), or a stair master!

I’ve done a lot of training programs; I’ve bought Beachbody type DVDs, hired personal trainers, and did my fair share of online programs that bikini models put together. Every one is different, and each is for a different person. I’ve found that staring at a TV is horrible for my neck (and yours!) while trying to do various workouts, and that even though a personal trainer is writing a program for your specific abilities, it’s focused on just getting stronger for the goal you give them. The bikini body programs were awesome, because you can envision yourself getting to that shape, but I’m built like an athlete, I thrive in athletic situations, so it’s about time I’ve found a program that is for my body! I love lifting weights, and always have, so this program is really great for me!

Jen has other programs, which I’ve been intrigued with before but have not FALLEN IN LOVE IMMEDIATELY with therefore never purchased.  Because she’s included a beginner and intermediate program, I actually have 6 months (24 weeks) worth of workouts for a LOT cheaper than you’d find ANY where else. 6 months, for $99. Seriously, find something better at a batter price! {Have I told you yet I love a bargain?}

I do have a generic meal plan I follow every day, which will keep my workouts fueled without deprivation, and keep my waist size where I want it: IN MY PANTS, not having over the edge. It incorporates 2 meal replacement protein shakes, 1 protein bar, 1 big meal, 1 dessert, and 2 snacks every day. All of my food is dairy free, soy free, gluten free, corn free, and as organic as possible. This is how my body needs me to eat, otherwise it gets angry and makes me be in a lot of pain. If there’s a big gathering where this plan needs to be tweaked, I plan on my meal, dessert, and at least 1 snack to come out of that. I have an ideal calorie range in mind, but as a minimum calorie intake. I don’t have a maximum calorie intake because I’ve learned over the years how to eye ball what my body needs, and just feel it out each day. I’m not looking to be a cover model, I’m looking to fuel my athletic endeavors, so deprivation is out of the question for me.

I use a nutrition program that I have found to work for me, after all of the years chopping, prepping, cooking, tupperwear'ing, and trying multitudes of proteins from retail stores. Now, I've finally found a training program that I seem to really like, so I'll update you once I get through the first 12 weeks!!!!

**What are you doing to avoid the holiday weight gain? Any tips you always stick with when venturing out for a gathering? Have you done one of Jen's programs?**

How to Not Overeat

Happy International Be Happy Day!  In doing preparations for my first half-marathon, I read the book Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance, by Matt Fitzgerald.  Since I'm training for my second half-marathon in preparation for my first full, I decided to read the book again.

I've found a lot of the information beneficial to everyone, not just endurance athletes, which the book is geared toward.  For example, there's a section of managing your appetite and "How to Not Overeat:" 1. Learn the difference between belly hunger and head hunger 2. Clean out your kitchen of the low-quality temptations 3. Use smaller dishes 4. Spoil your appetite 5. Keep healthy foods handy 6. Plan for temptation 7. Avoid distracted eating 8. Limit Variety

Under each are tips and ideas of how to manage your appetite better.  There are three more books in my Kindle Library I 'must' read, so I better finish this book!

Since I love food, and can do a great job eating what's in front of me, there are times I eat faster than I should and regret it later when my belly is swollen, and I move slowly.  I'll keep my self in-check and hopefully not look like this:

What are your go-to books?  Have you read a Matt Fitzgerald piece?  What do you like to eat a LOT of?

Travelling healthy lifestyle #TravelFit2014

After a 48 hour vacation, I've come to realize the essentials of travel for me:Running gear: Experiencing any city on foot gives you a perspective unlike any other, and running through any city in the morning gives you space unlike any other time of day. Running gear requires a lot of room and is the reason you pack a giant bag versus a backpack for a 48 hour trip. Tip: Tie your running shoes to the outside of your bag and no one will make you shove them into your bag if you're flying. Water bottle: Most establishments don't care if you're carrying a water bottle, in fact most outdoor venues (concerts, ball parks, etc.) allow you to bring in an empty water bottle to refill at drinking fountains. Target Field in Minneapolis had Gatorade containers of free filtered water to dispense into water bottles all over the ball park for the All Star Game a few weeks ago. Tip: Backpacks or cross body purses will hold water bottles, even those tie string backpacks free up your hands for wandering with hot dog in hand. Gallon jugs of water: Buy gallon jugs of water at the local drug store for $1.50 and stock up your water bottle every time you're at your hotel room. Or shove one into your backpack and be hydrated the whole day. Bonus points if you carry an empty gallon jug into ball park and fill it up for free. (I have not done this, but it just occurred to me how awesome this would be for families!) Purse Food: Staying hydrated only goes so far, you also need nourishment if you're walking all over. Las Vegas is the perfect example, throw some healthy snacks in a ziploc bag and stash in your day bag and have a bite every hour. Not only do you save money from eating over prices food, but you save time on waiting for a table and stay healthier by choosing a healthy option. I always carry dried cherries, some sort of nuts, and a protein bar. I have dietary allergies, so 1/3 of my luggage is always food and I'm not wasting time buying it or looking for it. Compression socks: Walking around for hours can be brutal, save your feet (and possibly your shins) by wearing comfortable walking shoes and compression socks. I sleep in knee high compression socks after each day I'm in Vegas and after each race day regardless of location. Tip: As long as it's not liquid or a gel, you can carry food on to an airline. Stock up on other snacks at the local drug store if you're sharing or will staying for long enough to buy in larger quantities.

What are some travel tips you have, or necessities you have to have along?

Lifestyle Accountability - Podcast

I was very surprised, flattered, and honored, to be asked to participate in a podcast for 'Lifestyle Accountability'. I had never participated in such a thing before! Adam Bate asked me because of my healthy lifestyle which I share on this blog. It is a "daily podcast where [they] inspire people to take action and make healthy changed to their lives by sharing the stories of others."Before responding to the request, I did some research and I was very pleased. So I agreed, nervously, to participate! Find more about this amazing Podcast here. Find the podcast which I was the guest here. Let me know what you think!!