Remembering All Levels of Fitness and Goals

I’ve written a post similar to this one before, but I felt like I wanted to discuss this topic again in light of the new program that is beginning at our boot camp. We have a 6 week fat loss program called the “Sexy in 6” which continually proves to provide much success toward the women who join; for no other reason than they put in a solid effort and commitment, and keep their goals in front of them at all times as they get closer and closer to success.

Yesterday I decided I was going to participate in the program, and a requirement of the program is to record your weight and your measurements. Truth be told, I stepped on the scale for the first time in months and had a bitter taste of reality. There is a 15 pound difference from where I was in the summer to where I am now.

Yesterday I was so disappointed in myself, but today I woke up feeling more determined than ever to change what I saw. This, I have come to realize, was inevitable. Since the summer when I began to be so overwhelmed with the changes in my life, the regular bad habits crept back in:
wine, beer, deep fried foods, chips, ice cream, and NO consistent physical activity.

Disgusting for a person who knows better but…

I am human and made unhealthy choices when stress dominated my life.

I had an interesting experience yesterday while I was taking my measurements, one that has definitely happened to me before. A woman from the program caught sight of me, and stated
“If I had a body like that I wouldn’t need to be on this program”

Now, as flattering as that may be the reality is every body has their own goals they are working towards
And that’s exactly now I responded.

I know as a female we sometimes use comments like that as compliments for other women, but I have always found it to be completely the opposite. It is so important to validate ANY goal that a woman makes with regards to her health and fitness level. Because otherwise, what we’re saying is that they’re done. Perfect. No need to set any goals, or challenge themselves in any way to be a better version of themselves.

And that is simply not true.

There are always ways to improve yourself, and to be a healthier, stronger, more confident, deserving version of you.

I’m going to propose a challenge to the women out there today:

Try to embrace others who may have goals similar or different than the ones you have set. Try not to pass judgement, or assume that body size or higher numbers on the scale makes a person more deserving of working towards change in their lives. Try to remember that every one has their own demons they’re working through, and what you can do is stand behind them and work with them to reach their full potential; Their full potential, not yours or anyone elses.

Because after all, that’s what makes being united as women so inspiring. We’re all different and have our own strengths. So it should only make sense that our goals may look different as well.

So yes, I do have some weight loss goals added to my list of fitness accomplishments for 2014:

*10 pounds by Feb. 22nd

*15 total by April 1st.

*Fitness Photoshoot in May

*1/2 Marathon at the end of May.

What have I started to put in action to reach those goals?

NO
Alcohol for the next 2 months
Chips, Ice Cream, or other JUNK for 2 Months (once it’s out of my system it’s less likely I’ll be craving them excessively like before)
Sitting on my ass 5-6 days a week

YES
High protein, and Complex Carb intake. After two weeks, taking in carbs ONLY post workout (healthy carbs… not chips haha)
Packing more lunches for school
Making more dinners at night that carry over for lunch!
Running 3-5 K twice a week for the month of Jan–> Increasing to 5-8K for February
Kickboxing once a week
Train (and work out) at Boot camp once a week (sometimes twice)
Gym 2- 3 times (depending on schedule and what I’ve also done during the week)
Begin morning yoga routine again

MY ACCOUNTABILITY
My friend, co-trainer, and fitness partner: Rosie
THIS BLOG–> I’m putting it out there for you all to read to know I’m bloody serious

So there you have it peeps. I’ve made my goals, I’ve posted them for others to see and now it’s time to start my journey towards being a better, healthier version of me.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I'm on the right. Rosie is on the left.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I’m on the right. Rosie is on the left.

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Fighting Cancer with Fitness: A Guest Post by Melanie Bowen

Recently, I was contacted by a reader who came across my blog. She emailed me, and asked if she could do a guest post on my blog to share the benefits of incorporating fitness into lifestyles of those battling serious illness. Here’s the Article, following by a brief description of who Melanie is, and how she’s come to study this area.
Enjoy!!

Fighting Cancer with Fitness

Exercise is an excellent means for keeping both the mind and body active. Maintaining a safe and comfortable level of physical fitness during cancer treatments can actually help reduce some of the negative side effects by increasing joint mobility, lessening muscular atrophy, staving off bedsores, enhancing blood flow and even assisting with daily bodily functions, such as excretion and respiration. Additionally, as you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which actually boost your mood.

Light Exercise: Light Stretching

It is essential to find the balance between strengthening the heart, lungs and muscles without placing excessive strain on the body. The following exercises are ideal for patients undergoing aggressive treatments for mesothelioma or other more serious forms of cancer.

How You Should Feel?

You should feel comfortable with your breathing and not winded or breathy. You can still carry on a conversation with long sentences or possibly even sing a song. Stretching helps to improve flexibility and increases circulation. Stretching may reduce swelling while delivering feelings of calmness and well-being. It can also help you to sleep better, thus reducing fatigue. Simple movements, such as reaching the arms overhead or bending the body forward, help to keep the muscles supple and elongated while increasing overall range of motion.

Moderate Exercise Recommendations

For patients who are actively recovering and beginning to gain strength, moderate exercise carries many benefits. One great example of a moderate exercise is water aerobics.

How You Should Feel?

You may notice the breath quickening. However, you should not feel out of breath. You can still carry on a conversation, perhaps with shorter sentences, but not be able to sing. After about 10 minutes, you may begin to break a sweat. Taking part in water aerobics is a great way to build muscle and control your weight without placing too much impact on the bones and joints. It strengthens the cardiovascular system while allowing you to increase or decrease the intensity as needed. The water produces 12 to 14 times the amount of resistance as training on land, but you won’t feel overheated, as the water helps to cool the body.

Advanced Exercise Recommendations

For patients in the later stages of recovery who are able to use fitness to regain strength and improve their overall physical condition, weight lifting should be undertaken with caution.

How You Should Feel?

Your breathing is quicker and you are unable to sing. You can speak in short sentences and may begin to sweat after a few minutes. Weight training is excellent for maintaining and developing muscular strength and endurance . Building lean muscle mass helps to support fat loss as well. This is ideal for those who have suffered from cancers such as prostate, stomach, intestinal, head, or neck, as these types all lead to a significant decrease in muscle mass. Start with lighter weights or begin on resistance machines. Gradually increase the weight or the repetitions, as you feel stronger and more comfortable with the technique of lifting. Seek assistance when transitioning to free weights.

Remember that you will most likely feel quite fatigued after beginning a new exercise program. Start slowly and pay attention to your body. Always listen to and follow your doctor’s recommendations to ensure that you are exercising at a level that is appropriate to your current condition.

About the Author
Melanie is currently a Master’s student with a passion that stems from her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis. She often highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. To read more from Melanie, visit her blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.