Sunday, February 28, 2010

Minneapolis Blogger Meet-up Recap

Saturday was a healthy blogger meet-up at The Beat Coffee House in Minneapolis.

Thank you SO much to Jen over at Prior Fat Girl for organizing it! I was nervous about meeting all these new people-- there were close to 40 women who came! Most were bloggers, a few readers, all wonderful women, all sharing their stories and all on a journey.

I came away feeling renewed and inspired by the great people I met!

At my table were Jenny, Audry and Ann who writes over here

Also at my table was Megan who I had met the day before for lunch! She is a reader who found me through Healthy Tipping Point and was happy to see I was local! It was the first time meeting a reader for me and she is super cool!

It was a beautiful day, with great coffee, great gals and the sun shining in!

Amanda from Another Prior Fat Girl spoke about her journey--
Love that shirt Amanda!

Lindsay from Another Prior Fat Girl talked about her journey as well. Everyone in the room could relate to a portion of all they said.

Both of these blogs were take off's from the original Prior Fat Girl Jennifer.
She is A-Maze-ing. She claims she is not a public speaker, but I think otherwise!!

As I was taking photo's and listening away, I had a blueberry scone and some french press coffee!

Next up was some activities! Jen had us each take an index card and write out one of our fears, anonymously. They were piled on a table in the front and each table came up front so every girl could read a card to the group.

It was a wonderful exercise & even though I read what someone else wrote, that fear had been present in my journey at some point. It goes to show, we are all more alike than we think!

Mpls bloggers Melissa, Cindy, Alexa and Sarah read our fears!

Why am I looking down? Hmm..

Next on the agenda was writing a letter to ourselves and where we are now on our journey and then in 6 months Jen is going to mail them to us! Wow, what a powerful exercise! I could have written much more, but just gushed a lot of encouragement and some goals that I am working on now, so in 6 months I can see, yes, how far I have come!!

Met these completely kindred spirits Samantha and Cindy

Finally got to MEET the wonderful gals: Amanda from Another Prior Fat Girl

And Jen the hostess with the most!!

Then, we were sent home with a big bag of goodies and samples and COUPONS (yippie!) from the sponsors of the event! I can't wait to dig into all the goodies in there and try new things!

Smart Food
Barney Butter (LOVE the squeezable packs!)
Funky Monkey
Mom's Best Naturals
Better Balance
Light life
Fiber One
Amy's Organic's
Saiba Smart
& Orgain!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Legs Do it: Hip to be...

Hello blog world!! I normally don't post on the weekend, but I wanted to let you know what I am doing for the last 2 days of my Legs Do it Challenge!!

Saturday= Stretching
Today, since it is GORGEOUS outside, I am heading out for a run (go cardio, go!) with my sweet Jacket from my Monster Dash half marathon, you can read the recap here!

Then when I get home I am tackling some serious stretching for runners, specifically my hips here at Yoga Download. It's Hip Opening Flow #4 with some gentle poses like these:

I am so grateful for being able to do yoga at my house any time with sites like and Yoga Download!! It makes it convenient and simple, especially when your a little new to yoga like I am!!

Sunday will be the last day in the challenge, at least officially, I hope you continue to challenge yourself and push to better yourself and your fitness! Remember:

There is no finish line!

I am doing Body Pump for Strengthening and because I have a serious love affair with it!
I would like to think I look like this when I do Body Pump:

But alas, I look more like this:

I am happy that I am at least doing it!! Knowing that you guys are reading and seeing what I am doing for the Legs Do it Challenge has really helped me stay on track and stay positive, so no matter what I look like when I am doing it, I am doing it and that's what matters!!

Congrats for following through on this challenge and all the other ones that are out there!! Happy Saturday and I hope you have a beautiful weekend and a great start to your week!

Here is a little guy who has a leg challenge of his own.
Aw, I iz in luv with puppy pirate!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Process is its own Reward

Last week, Caitlin asked her blog readers to post 10 positive qualities about themselves.
I wrote these 10:

I love how #8 actually turned out to be a smiley face, I have NO Idea how that happened!! And #10 turned into a bit of a pep talk for myself. This was a few days after my big... Leap of Faith.

I haven't really talked about that on the blog yet, I have referenced it over the last week and will be posting in depth about it on Monday! Basically I made a decision a while back and have acted on it, setting the stage for even bigger changes to come! Right now I have about a million irons in the fire and am excited to see where they all go and what happens!

"You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.” -Amelia Earhart

Don't know what I am talking about? To be honest with you, there is a lot that I am uncertain of, I am certainly stepping into some unknown with the Leap of Faith, BUT, come back on Monday and I will talk all about it... What I can say right now is, listening to your inner voice (instinct, gut feeling, God's voice etc) is one of the best ways to move forward on the right path...even if you can only see a little bit ahead at a time.

Tell me: What is something that you have followed your gut on this week?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Legs Do it: stretching & snack

I have to say that I have taken to eating a snack in the evenings and it is my new FAVE thing!
It's super simple, but I love the combination of the flavors:

Whole wheat english muffin, almond butter
and Raw Blue Agave Sweetner.

The butter & sweetner melt juust a little bit when you toast the english muffin, it's so yummy. It actually causes the Blue Agave to pool up and slip around on the top. It is such a great little snack and helps me feel fueled for our last week of my Legs Do it Challenge!

Wednesday = Stretching:
I am really loving the 13 Yoga poses for runners. By doing these and foam rolling, I can tell that my normally tight back and hips, are loosening up! I am going to go through the series twice again and then repeat the 20 min hatha yoga session from last weeks featured Yoga Download. It's the Gentle Hatha Yoga and is a slide show, with PDF and audio guide!

Good Luck with all your workouts today--
It's mid-week, let's make the most all that's left!

The BIG question

A friend of mine recently asked me, "Do you like your life?"

My first response was "What? What do you mean?"

I had never been asked that before and ever since the big question was popped I can't get it out of my head.

Do I like my life? My second answer was a little more concrete: "Yeah, I like my life. I mean, I am not happy with a few things, but overall I like it. I have great friends, I am happy with a lot of my habits, I love my blog and am working on goals."

Still the question stuck with me for weeks. I was BOTHERED by the fact that I couldn't answer yes or no even given a few disclaimers. I mean, it bothered me for weeks and I asked everyone around me the same thing... Do you like YOUR life? Do YOU like your life?

I knew I had to do something about the fact that I couldn't readily answer YES, or NO! I dream of my life this way or that, I think that if I could pick the life I wanted, like a build your own pizza, there would be a few more toppings I would add, and a few I would leave off!

Wait. Can't we pick the life we want? I believe we can. I believe we can send the pizza back and demand they take off what I didn't order, what I can't swallow and won't pretend I like.

One we will be happy with?

Can't we chose to better ourselves, chose to live what we believe & follow our dreams even at a price -- sometimes especially at a price? If I am not happy with a few aspects of my life why am I not doing something about it? A few aspects of my life, during this short little stint here on earth is a big deal. And if I think it's a big enough deal I can change those.

I can make those changes. To be brave, step forward and say what I want.

I can say that I am NOT going to :

over eat anymore
date that person
fill a void with clothes, food, boys or drinks
settle for less
stuff myself into this mold
keep my mouth shut
treat myself poorly
deny my true self
take it out on my body and on others.

And then I can act on these things and NOT do them. I can do better things in place of them and build my own happy life, with the toppings I want.

This is hard to do, I know because there are circumstances we all face, some of us every single stinking day. And they can be huge, they are giants, they are looming and it seems like we can't get away. There's no money to do what I really want, the job market is in the can, I feel all alone, it's pointless anyway, what if it doesn't work, what if I fail?

I believe with faith in God that he has our best interest in mind, for our best life ahead of us, that we can overcome all obstacles. Staying on his path and listening to him give us direction will always be the right path. It won't always be the easy one, but sometimes with a lot of hard work, a bit of planning, help from others, often with sacrifice and always with a leap of faith, we can do it.

So, Do you like your life?
Do you think we can pick our lives or are our hands dealt?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jeff Galloway Method

On one of my runs over the weekend, I used the run, walk Jeff Galloway Method. I hadn't been getting enough running in or cardio at all for that matter, so I wanted to have a nice relaxing and moderately easy run! By using the Jeff Galloway Method, beginner runners, non runners and those recovering from injury can ease back into a safe running routine based on their own ability.

Here is what Galloway says:

"By alternating walking and running from the beginning, you speed recovery without losing any of the endurance effect of the long one[run]. Start with jogging one to two minutes and walking two to three minutes. As your training level increases you can adjust your run/walk ratio to running 5 minutes/walking one minute on your long runs."

My run was refreshing and surprising in that I didn't need to walk as much as I was prepared to! But I allowed myself to because there was some cool stuff happening down around the lakes where I run. Minnesotans LOVE the outdoors and it doesn't take much warmth or sun for us to head out and enjoy some winter activities!

I think the olympics were inspiring a lot of people to hit the ice rink at Lake of the Isles! There was a pretty rowdy hockey game happening in the rink next door as well!

If you're not a new runner, but are trying to utilizing a run, walk method to increase endurance, increase your speed during the running portions. For instance if a good pace for you in a 10 minute mile, you will want to try running faster ( a nine minute mile pace) during this kind of training.

That feels very similar to speed work, but the difference is the time and distance you are running at the faster pace. This method would have you running farther in distance and longer in time during the fast running segment. Speed work is most always sprint distances or under 800 meters.

But I sure felt fast! Hello cardio, my dear friend!

Have you used a run / walk method when you are getting back in the saddle?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Legs Do it Challenge: Week 4

Happy Monday and happy home stretch of my Legs DO it Challenge!!
Thanks to everyone who has taken part and been encouraging me! Woot! Now Legs go...

Monday: Sculpting
Warm up!
15 Burpies
2 min of jumping rope!

The Chair Chiseler (thanks!)
Placing one foot on the chair in front of you, push through the opposite heel and drive yourself up while you push your arms back slightly, working the triceps. Return to set position. Do 12-15 reps then Switch sides, do 2 sets each side with a 60 second rest between.
To make it harder, pulse the leg behind you as you contract your tri's!

Partial squat/curl
Begin in set position, balancing on one foot with the other knee slightly bent and foot a few inches off the ground. As you bend your grounded knee, coming into a partial one legged squat curl your hand weights toward you and then release and back to set. Repeat 12-15 reps on each side, 2 sets.

If your like me and the balance thing stinks! You can do one set like this and one set on each side in a regular squat, curl. OR if your feeling ambitious like me, do 2 sets of each variation. Take THAT Monday!!

Back leg sculptor
Kneel on all fours and lift on leg in the air behind you, bending the knee at a 90 degree angle, with flexed foot, lift your leg straight up and back, squeezing your bootay to lift the leg as high as you can. Add three little pulses at the top and then in a controlled motion bring back to 90 degrees. Perform 12-15 reps switch legs, repeat. 2 sets, with no rest between sets.

(feel free to critique my form-flex that foot Mary!!)

I love calf raises yes I do, I love calf raises, how 'bout you?
40 Calf raises on your stairs, a box or aerobic step!
You can even use the leg press machine at the gym to do them!

Plank with lift:
You can either do this on your hands, with arms fully extended or you can do it on your elbows. This will work your abs at the same time as your legs, so be sure to engage your abs and be constantly lifting those hips, high as you do this move.
Lift on leg in the air, in a slow controlled motion, foot flexed on the way up and pointed on the way down. You should shoot for 2 counts up and two down, no faster. Remember to breath, lift and engage! Do 15 reps on each leg!

(I must be thinking about ice cream, because I am sure not lifting my hips!)

SO, that is all I am posting today, because that is all I have time for!!
On a not so side note, I have some VERY exciting pieces of news, but I am going to wait a bit to share it...I have eluded to the first part in a few posts lately but want to wait for the right time to share it with you guys!! I will say that it has a bit to do with each of these posts:

With Resolve (that's a cop out cuz it's hidden in my resolutions)
And here in my food blogger week: a post on Preparation

There are little pieces of my news all throughout my blog since my Trip to Germany in November! The trip was a bit of a catalyst for some things-- all good!! I will be sharing a few different parts as the timing becomes right and I know I can go into detail!

DO YOU have any great news lately?
Share! Tell! Let's build each other up!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Size Healthy!

Congrats to the Amazing Grass winner: Number 32

She said:

Congrats Megan! You get to try it now and thanks a ton for following. It's so cool to hear that people like reading my blog-send me an email with your address!


Angela over at Oh She Glows wrote a post about size based on a reader asking what size she was. Angela has an extremely healthy outlook on weight issues and eating for your health! She told the reader that she is "Size Healthy" posted pictures of pants and tees that she actually wrote that in, over the size on the tag!!

She asked all of us to take part also-- Check out the original post here and see how you can enter her contest by taking a sharpie to your fave jeans and embracing your Size Healthy!

I had taken to calling my skinny jeans my "strong" jeans because when I am strong and fit, putting them on make me feel SO great! Last night, I Healthified two of my favorite pair of jeans, only to discover that I spelled healthy wrong on the first pair! LOL! But, it still serves as a reminder.

Changing our thinking is always more than half the battle! Negative thoughts turn into negative self talk--so start with your mind and renew your outlook from the inside out.

Start viewing your size as size healthy
telling yourself you love eating your veggies
say that you are light as air when you are running

Soon your positive, healthy talk will be how you start to see everything!

Are YOU going to Healthify your Jeans?
What are your favorite healthy affirmations?

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Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.