Saturday, March 31, 2012

Guest Post: Inspiration Saturday with Shayna

Happy Saturday everyone!  It's my mama's birthday, Happy Birthday Mom!

I have been blogging since June, can you believe it?  And can you believe in all this time I've never asked any of my awesome blogging friends to do a guest post?!  I just occurred to me the other day and I got really excited about the possibilities.  So without further adieu, here's a super inspirational guest post from my good friend Shayna who blogs over at Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times!  Thanks Shayna :)


What Will Happen to Your Body Today?

Being a Penn State alumna and fan, the only logical place for me to be on January 26th, 2012 at 2 pm was watching TV (in my case, at Planet Fitness) to see Joe Paterno’s memorial service, and it didn’t disappoint.  I gained many new insights from the speeches about Joe’s life and legacy that day, but what has stuck with me the most is this quote:

“Is today going to be better or is it going to be worse? Because it’s not going to be the same”.

I love this. I aspire to think this every morning and to make the decision (then follow through on it) to make the day better! P.S. Yes, that was me crying on the elliptical- luckily, it’s the ‘judgment-free zone’. Phew. 

Okay, so I’ve decided to make today better. Now, how is that going to happen? The first step is to allow my body to work optimally so that I can enjoy the experience of the day.  My mom is a chiropractor and in her office while I was growing up, she had a bulletin board with little plastic letters which we changed weekly with a new healthy living quote.  At some point, the quote stopped changing and for awhile, we just kept this gem up there. It was worthy of its near-permanent status and will stick with me for life:

“If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?” ~Anonymous

Let’s think about this for a second.

So we want our bodies to function at their best in order to enjoy the day, each day, and create the life that we want for ourselves, then spread all kinds of goodness to others around us…right?  How do we do all of this?

I’ve been focusing on health in 2012 in a big way- eating better, training for the ODDyssey half marathon (inspired and motivated by Amber, a good friend since 5th grade),  and gaining a new awareness about my body- and I plan to make this ‘health kick’ a habit that lasts a long time.  I was really honored last week when Amber contacted me asking if I would write a guest post for the blog, and have been thinking about what to write for days. Well, here it is. My words of wisdom?

“Hold yourself accountable for what happens to your body”. ~Me!

Think about the foods you take in, exercise/energy you send out, being proactive (as opposed to reactive) when it comes to your health, considering the words that you say and the things that you do, and even the ways in which you will treat your body/taste buds/muscles as part of your new routine.

I love the concept of accountability when it comes to health.  Another quote is actually coming to mind (gotta love good quotes). I was involved with the Jewish organization, Hillel, in college and while at a leadership conference one Summer, this one struck a chord in me:

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?” ~Rabbi Hillel

So today (not tomorrow), think about your goals to make each day the best it can be,  then figure out just one way in which you can hold yourself accountable for what happens to your body.  Once you start measuring and seeing progress, you’ll feel great and you’ll want to keep going. That’s how I started making some good choices for my body and losing 19 pounds between January and March this year. Crazy, right? 

The key is that you already know what changes you should make (I did), and in most cases, you already know how to do them. It’s just a matter of kicking your butt into gear, writing goal-reaching activities into your schedule and holding yourself accountable for your body. SO GO FOR IT! You can do it :)

Here are a few ways to mark your progress and hold yourself accountable:
1. Foods you take in- Remember, everything in moderation. Set a goal to cut back, but not necessarily to cut out what you love completely.  Log it. If you have an iPhone or another smartphone, you can download an app called MyFitnessPal for free and log your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, water intake, cardio and strength exercise each day. It’s an accountability tool masked as a calorie counting calculator and it’s been a great one for me. Another way to measure healthy eating habits over time? Hop on a scale- I’d recommend just once a week (try it on a Monday for great over-the-weekend motivation to keep yourself on track)- and log your progress toward your weight goals. When you feel good, see #5 below.
2. Exercise/Energy you send out- MyFitnessPal is good for this too, but I’ve also been keeping a copy of my Training Plan for the ½ marathon taped up on the wall in my room and I’ve been logging progress with each run.  I love writing on the plan after a good run and adding up my miles at the end of each week. I also started logging the miles on my new sneakers when I bought them and it’s amazing to watch that number go up. Signing up for a 5k, a run, a walk, a class or another exercise-related event (especially with friends, and ESPECIALLY when a monetary downpayment is involved) is amazing motivation.  
   Sending energy outward can also include sending good thoughts and wishes to people who are close to you. What kind of energy are you sending out into the universe? My fiance, Kyle, and I have been trying to live with a ‘change your mind, change your life’ mindset. Not happy with something or someone? Change your own mind about the situation, look at it a different way and decide to make it better; it could change your life (or at least your perception of life)! Oh, and after you send out energy (exercise or otherwise), see #5. 
3. Being Proactive as opposed to Reactive- Feeling like something’s a little off with your body? Not sure what ‘normal’ should be? Do some research, visit a doctor, get testing done (and ask for copies for your own records) and get to know your body. After all, it’s the only one you’re going to get. Take care of it and if something doesn’t seem right, you know what you should do. Make a list of what needs to be done, then do it.  When everything’s checked off, see #5.
4. Consider What You Say and Do (and the information that others send you)- What goes around comes around. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be respectful. Don’t trash talk other people. Use your good judgment and your heart. Listen. Think. Take in any information that you feel is useful toward your goals. Let go of anything that does not align with your new lifestyle. Find mentors, teachers, heroes and role models of healthy living. Ask questions, observe, imitate in any way that jives with you, and have fun. Yeah, and make sure you see #5! 
5. Treat Yourself- Here it is! After all this hard work, allow your body to feel good. Eat dessert, get a massage, play a game, go out with friends, sit around and relax, have fun, get a manicure/pedicure, watch a movie, go for a walk, just enjoy. Don’t forget this step- it’s very important. If needed, plan treats into your schedule because you deserve them. 

After all, we all want today to be better than yesterday. So how will you hold yourself accountable for your body today?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Ramblings

Tomorrow is Friday, YAY!  I swear, every week I'm just living for the weekend.  Although this week wasn't too shabby...

Monday I whipped up a new recipe (post to come!), a creamy tortellini dish with mushrooms and artichokes, and Dave and I did some relaxing.

Tuesday was awesome.  I went to visit my favorite chiropractor, Dr. Sandy!  She is such a healthy inspiration and I always leave feeling happy and relaxed.  Next was a 4.5 mile group run!  I can't stop saying it, I love running with a group!  Then I attended a serious tuna feast at Heather's house.  One of my friends caught a huge tuna this past weekend, so we got to chow down!  It was so fresh and everything was so delicious.  I love random week night hangouts with our big group!  Oh and I started reading The Hunger Games, already hooked!

Wednesday Dave and I attended a happy hour for young civil engineering professionals in Conshohocken.  It was nice to catch up with some people I hadn't seen in a while and grab some post work brews!  We also ended up hanging in the driveway with all the neighbors when we got home.  Looking forward to more of that as it gets warmer and warmer!

Today I went on my first run with my new Garmin strap!  My dad installed it for me, he's the best at that stuff!  It was so comfortable, SO much better than the original strap.  I'm so happy I made the purchase, well worth it.  I busted out 3.5 miles, really pushed my pace, and I didn't walk, even though I got a side stitch right before the big hill.  Like a boss!

And tomorrow is Friday!  This weekend is going to be filled with a lot of fun... and a 7 mile run!!!!  As Heather says, my heart is full :)

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

Did you have a good week?  Any fun plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Half Marathon Training: Week 12

Week 12:
- Tuesday, better than nothing arms & abs
- Thursday, 3.13 mi around my neighborhood, 33:10
- Sunday, 6.2 mi (10k) on the Schuylkill River Trail, 1:02, 15 min dog walk
- Total Mileage = 9.32 mi

Goals for week 13:
- Treat my shin splints & purchase a pair of compression sleeves or sock: A+
- Workout 5 times: C+

This week started out slow.  I was waiting out my shins for the first part of the week, which lead me to laziness and not getting in the five workouts that I was shooting for.  Oh well.  Life goes on.  I did do a great job taking care of my shins with lots of icing, rolling, and rest.  And my friend Shayna (Happy Birthday!) told me about a great deal on compression socks, so I ordered 2 pairs for $25 each (regularly $50)!  I thought the deal was over, but it looks like it's still going on, so go check it out now!  I got a pair of black and a pink pair!

Another fun internet purchase this week was a new wrist strap for my Garmin.  The original strap is so chunky and either it's too tight or too lose, both of which bother me while running.  And one of the the pins keeps trying to escape!  It's kind of annoying that the pin would be coming loose on such an expensive piece of equipment after minimal use, but I love the watch and the reviews for this strap all say they wish they bought it way before their original straps broke because it's just so much more comfy than the original.  So I think it will be worth it!  Review of the new strap, coming soon!

After waiting out my shins, I had some great runs this week!  I had been having a lot of tough runs lately, they felt so hard and I was dreading them, this week was just what I needed!  Thursday I was just excited to be out running without any pain.  On Sunday I ran my longest run yet!  I was kind of getting nervous for my 6 miler since I struggled pretty hard during my 5 mile run the week before, so I went to my running group and begged someone to join me.  I ended up with the best running buddy!  She offered to carry an extra water bottle for me on her belt (how could I say no?!), she paced me, gave me advice, and cheered me on.  And she ran ODDyssey last year so she told me about her experience.  I ran significantly faster than I would've by myself and felt great!  We ran the Schuylkill River Trail, which was flat, scenic, and new to me.  And it was supposed to rain, but never did.  So overall I really couldn't have had a better Sunday run :)

Goals for week 13:
- Run 3 times
- Arms & abs 2 times
- Yoga 1 time

2 months till my half mary!  So crazy!

Do you wear compression socks?  Do you wear them while running or just for recovery?  Do you like running alone or with a buddy?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday in the City

For Vday and our Anniversary, Dave got me some tickets to see my favorite band.  Since we were already headed into the city, we decided to make a whole day of it.  We started out at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Dave hadn't been in years and it was my first time!  And Devon came to join us!  There was a lot of art that I loved, some of it was simply breathtaking.  And then some of it was not my cup of tea... a lot of the abstract art was lost on me and honestly I couldn't look at another serious religious painting.  And if you ever head to the art museum, take a few minutes to stand outside and laugh at all the people that do the Rocky dance when they get to the top... aka every single person that climbs the stairs!

My pictures don't really do the art justice, especially the paintings, but I'd definitely recommend going to check out the museum!

Our next stop was a small spot in Northern Liberties called North Third.  The decor was funky and the food was tasty.  And so were the cocktails hehe.

After trying to battle our food comas, we headed over to our last stop, the Electric Factory to see Dr. Dog!  They are my favorite band.  They're from Philly, been around for a few years, but never got super popular on the radio, which I'm sorta not that sad about.  I've seen them four times now and they never disappoint!  I didn't bring my camera into the concert, but Dave snapped this one on his phone.

I hope you had a fabulous weekend!

Have you been to any art museums lately?  Seen any good concerts?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Half Marathon Training: Week 11

Week 11:
- Monday, better than nothing arms & abs workout
- Tuesday, 3.70 mi in a close by development, 40:01
- Wednesday, 5.01 mi in the park, 57:26
- Friday, 2.04 mi with Dave, 21 mins
- Sunday, 3.03 mi in the park, 33:15, 15 minute dog walk
- Total Mileage = 13.75 mi

Goals for week 11:
- Run 4 times: A+
- Arms & abs twice: D

Well I got my 4 runs in this week.  I really didn't want to run Friday or Sunday but Dave helped me out with some motivation!  I was really excited about getting 4 runs in 2 weeks in a row... but now I have super sore shins.  Womp womp!  I think it could be adding too many miles too quickly, running too many hills, or possibly the result of some drunk jogging (to the train on Saturday) in crappy shoes.  Maybe it's a combo of everything, I don't know.  Right now I'm just praying that the soreness will go away soon and I won't be plagued with shin splints!

My plan of action, some good old RICE!
- I will decide how must rest I need by listening to my body.  I'm trying to decide if running 4 days a week is actually in my best interest in general.  Maybe I just need to trade a day for some cross training.
- I haven't done any icing yet, but some people swear by it, so I'm in.
- I just put on a pair of my tallest (fairly tight) socks.  I intend on buying a real pair of compression sleeves or socks in the near future!
- Elevation, lay around with my feet up?  You don't have to twist my arm!
- I've also been doing and will continue to do lots of stretching and foam rolling.

I'm pretty frustrated, but I am learning what works and what doesn't and hopefully this doesn't set me back too long.  We'll see!

Other thoughts from the week:
- I need to really start considering what I'm eating before I run.  Burping up Chipotle while running 3 miles is not a good time!
- With the weather being so ridiculous warm for March, I think I need to start carrying water with me.  I'm finding myself wishing I had some, when I didn't really think about it before.

Goals for week 12:
- Treat my shin splints & purchase a pair of compression sleeves or socks
-  Workout 5 times this week (running or not), I don't really want to make running goals when I know it may be better to rest... we'll see.

Have you ever had shin splints?  How did you deal?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Baltimore Getaway

Dave and I wanted to do something special for our 2 year anniversary so we nabbed a livingsocial deal and headed to Baltimore for a night!  We both hadn't been in years and figured it would be nice to get away, check out the Inner Harbor, and go see the fishies at the aquarium.  The weather was fabulous, I really can't believe it's March!  It was 70 and sunny when arrived, which was perfect for strolling around the harbor.  We grabbed dinner at a nearby Frank Sinatra themed steakhouse and then had a blast meeting up with Dave's friend Michael, who lives in Baltimore, to grab some drinks and check out the bar scene at night.  We hit up the aquarium the next day, which was super sweet, definitely worth checking out.  The jellyfish were my fave, they're so cool.  Overall it was an amazing trip!  Yay for overnight getaways and online deals!


The rest of our weekend was filled with takeout, movies, and relaxing... oh and a ridiculous day of partying in the city for St. Patty's Day!  I decided to leave my camera at home so it didn't get damaged in the shuffle, but I'm thinking it was probably for the best to leave the day undocumented hehe.  I hope you had a fabulous weekend!

What's your favorite semi-close overnight getaway?
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