Diary of a Walker

Diary of a Walker

I love all forms of exercise, but I have come to the conclusion recently that walking will always have a very special place in my heart. It was the first real form of exercise that I ever fell in love with back while I was in high school.

Now that I am weeks away from giving birth, there are not to many forms of exercise that I can perform. This has led me to walk my little heart out. In fact, I have been participating in an eight week challenge that includes attempting to walk100 miles by the first day of summer. Thankfully, my doctors are very much on board with this goal and with some hard work (my miles are getting slower and slower by the day) I am more than half way to my goal!

**You can check out more info about this eight week challenge here.**

Lately I have been getting a lot of “I can’t believe how much walking you are doing”, and I wouldn’t be writing truthfully here if I didn’t tell you that this puts a smile on my face. Along with this comment, I also get the question of “How are you walking so much?”… so I thought it would be helpful if I shared with you today that all my “tricks” to getting in the miles that I have been lately.

      Walk your dog… my husband and I love our sweet Mollie and instead of using the end of this pregnancy as an excuse to hand of all Mollie duty’s to my husband, I’ve chosen to walk her myself while he is at work. And then on some days, if my husband isn’t to tired when he get’s home from work, we walk her again! Please understand that 9 times out of 10, I really don’t want to walk her, but I try to take it one walk at a time and this seems to really help with my motivation. Instead of making a commitment to walk her everyday multiple times a day, I just simply take her for one walk.

Walk your kids… pretty much, everything I just said about my dog, but instead about your kids! ust do it once, don’t over commit to distance or to how often you will do it, but instead just simply walk them. It can be in a stroller, with them on bikes or any other way you see fit!

Rainy day game plans… because you can’t think of the spring without thinking of rainy days. This means that some days I can’t walk outside because of my schedule. If I have a doctors appointment in the morning and it’s raining in the afternoon, my daily walk is out of the question, so what do I do? I walk in my living room to free videos. Some of my favorites include this one, this one and lastly this one. I included for you everything from a 15 minute 1 mile video to a 3 mile that includes upper body work. See, no excuses!

Find a friend… maybe your neighbor has really cute kids that will love your dog more than you do and maybe they will want to go for a walk once a week. Seriously though, I have been beyond blessed with our neighbors and the one specifically has become a very sweet friend who invites Mollie and myself on walks with her and her little girls. Since she has had babies (is pregnant with her 3rd) she is very kind and understanding that at times I need to slow down. In fact, she was with me when I had my first “Real” contraction last week and actually was able to identify it as that. I on the other hand thought it was just a weird pain and tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. Just picture me bent over on the street corner saying “no, no… I’m probably just a really big baby when it comes to pain”. Needless to say, we took a little break right about then and then she checked in on me that night after “it” happened two more times before our walk was over to see if I had the baby yet.

Leave the car keys at home… and walk to places that are less than a mile away. I love that we have a Harris Teeter just a few blocks from our home. I use this as an excuse to forget to buy olives at the store when I go grocery shopping on Monday’s so that I can need to go buy some on Tuesdays. Since it is such a light load to carry, I just simply walk up to the store and get in another mile just because! This philosophy also works if my husband are running errands around our “downtown” area. I encourage hm to park a bit further away and then we get in those extra steps by just doing what we need to do for the day.

Walk because it’s a nice day… because truth be told, this weather is fleeting. Every winter we all complain about the horrific winter and dream of sunny days. Well friends, those sunny days are upon us and they are a wonderful reason to get outside and walk. Some days I don’t want to, but then I think about the fall and winter that will be here before we know it at that is enough motivation to get up, out and walking.

Walking has become my dear friend yet again in life and I am so thankful for it. I may not be as fast as some or as sweaty as others, but for now, it’s purpose in my life is to keep me active and healthy and walking is doing just that. I want to encourage all of you to exercise in whatever way fit’s your lifestyle and attempts to get and/or stay healthy.

 

What is your favorite form of exercise?

If you are a “walker”, when, where and how do you prefer to get in your miles?

 

 

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Measuring Success

Measuring Success

The scale seems to be King in the world of Health, Fitness and Wellness. The truth of matter however is that those who have found success in said world, have come to the conclusion that the scale is only a very, VERY small factor in finding health and happiness.

Today I wanted to talk to all of you friends about this topic because I hear so many people agonizing over the fact that they are not happy with what the scale is telling them concerning their overall health journey. Why do we focus so much on the scale friends? Is it because it’s a solid number that we can easily compare to another? Or perhaps it’s due to the fact that measuring our success in this way is easy in that it only takes stepping on a scale. Not matter why we do it, I’m here today to attempt to convince you to start measuring your success in other ways.

Before getting to a few ideas on just how to do this, I want to say to all of you that I am not against weighing yourself. Instead, I just simply think that what you put all of your hope in is often what controls you. Putting all of your hope in a number on the scale can be very risky because weight does not accurately portray factors such as water retention, fat percentage verses muscle percentage and other metabolic issues such as hormonal changes. But let’s get to it…

Running/Walking a Mile – This is something I recommend to my clients often. Almost anyone can walk a mile! For this reason, measuring your success by walking or running a mile a few times a week and recording the time it takes you it something almost anyone can do. When you see that each week you are taking time off of your mile, you should surely be proud of the progress you are making!

Body Inches – Just about anyone who has had a gym membership has at some point had their inches taken in different areas of their body. I find this technique to be especially helpful for those who are losing fat or building muscle. It is so rewarding to see that you waist measurements have gone down while your arms or chest measurements are increasing. I also find this way of measuring success to be helpful if you are in a bit of a stalled period in your health journey.

An Activity – There are so many people in this world who are not taking place in activities that they really enjoy. This can be something like hiking, riding a bike, swimming in a public pool or taking a salsa class. Just because you haven’t reached you goals concerning your health and fitness doesn’t mean you should hold yourself back from enjoying life. By taking part in something you have always wanted to, you are pushing yourself to be healthy which most definitely qualifies as making progress.

Cooking & Eating – A huge step for many, many people in their health journey takes place in the kitchen. From choosing to cook more meals, engaging in something such as weight watchers or calorie counting, or even just making more healthy meals instead of your usual grilled cheese… stepping up your game in the kitchen can definitely be a way to measure your success.

Fitting into Clothing – A pair of goal pants is a wonderful idea for measuring your progress. Goal clothing can be anything you want it to be… a pair of pants, a dress, a strapless shirt to show off your tones arms. Any of these things will work and I highly recommend that we all do this regardless of any other progress measures you take! Because lets face it, who doesn’t want an excuse to go get some new clothes?!

Pictures – I think that taking pictures, preferably in the same clothing and the same environment, is a great way to track your progress and success. By doing this, you have something to look at and compare similarly to the way people appreciate the numbers on their scale. With pictures, you can see things such as fat pockets around the thighs, extra padding in your midsection, muscle definition in your arms and many other things that decrease and increase over time. Specially, these things do not show up on the scale so they make as a great way to measure your success!

Success is something that is very personal, is defined differently for most of us and something we should be looking for in our lives daily. Don’t limit your success because you only measure it in one way. Instead, branch out and look for it all around you.

 

Do you weigh yourself daily or weekly?

DO you find this to be helpful in your health journey or does it at times encourage you to emotional struggle?

What are some ways you measure your success in life?

Tone It Up

Are you bikini ready?

Honestly, being pregnant has seriously changed my priorities in life… health has taken over so many words in my vocabulary such as fit, thin, hot, fat and so many more. Now that I have a human inside of me, my goal isn’t to be any of those things or the lack of them. Instead, my goals consist of being healthy and happy, being able to wear my clothes comfortably, having energy, sleeping well, feeling good about things like my skin color and my water intake. I think most moms would read this and think something along the lines of “Welcome to the Club”.

I am very thankful for this change in mindset and although I know that once this little one is earth-side some of those feelings of ‘I want to be fit, I want to be hot’ will come back, they no longer have a home to come back to.

Anyways….. I have just shy of 10 weeks (or so) left in this pregnancy and I am ready to go out with a bang. Well maybe not a bang considering it’s getting difficult to tie my shoes, but you know… I’m ready to say good bye to this pregnancy on a very good note. It seems that every since week 22, my exercise has slowly but surely returned and I have more energy than people told me I would have, so let’s keep this good streak up shall we!

I signed up to do the 8 week Bikini Series (that starts today) through Tone It Up! Now although my goals are different than most of those doing it, I am excited to be joining a community of women who are putting their best foot forward in bringing in the summer months.

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Sign Up HERE!!!

The most exciting part of this challenge for me is the no-brainer it is. Every Sunday, this community will be given a a workout schedule for the week. Now, my ab workouts will definitely be modified and my ability to run is pretty much non-existant, however I positive that with a little creativity, I will be able to join in on this fun. I’m not exactly looking to win prizes, break records or be the poster child for this series, but I am looking to be held accountable and feel great with each passing day.

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If you are looking to vamp up your workout routine, I highly suggest you take a look at everything that will be happening with this challenge! I’ll be doing daily instagram posts to keep myself in the loop and accountable to the community and you can see all of it here.

I’m really looking forward to giving myself a mental break on the whole ‘how am I going to workout today’ thing all the while staying health this spring and early summer. So…. do you want to join me? Even though it started today, you can still join. After all, all we have to lose are some inches and a few pounds!

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Maybe this bikini series isn’t for you, but how are you getting ready for summer dresses and shorts?

Do you currently have any health goals right now that you either want to accomplish for either #bikiniseason or #babyseason like me?

I Don’t Want To Work Out!

Generally speaking… actually, scratch that! I never wake up in the morning thinking, “Man, I cannot wait to exercise today!”

What do I wake up thinking you ask…. well I’m glad you did!

  • I can’t wait to push the snooze button in 2 minutes… and then again in 7, and in 12 and. Wait a minute, I should probably just turn them all off now.
  • I wonder how many snapchat pictures I have from my sister?
  • When I have a kid, I am going to do the funniest and most ridiculous elf on the shelf poses!
  • I wish I liked coffee
  • I really think I’d be the first person to die in the Hunger Games.

I’m positive that is a pretty accurate representation… no shame here:)

So anyways… since I don’t pop out of bed in the morning ready and excited to exercise (especially not lately), I have to almost trick myself into exercising. And honestly, this is the worst time of year to have to trick yourself into exercising. Think about it… there is no chance I’ll be in a bathing suit this weekend or next, living in D.C. and not knowing anyone means I real don’t see people on a regular basis, and I don’t exactly L-O-V-E thanksgiving food so the chances of me over indulging are rare. So then, how am I pulling off this working out thing?

Well, I’ve kind of gotten back to the basics. I’ve been doing a lot of walking rather than running and am best friends with my hand weights lately rather than doing H.I.I.T. workouts.

It’s honestly been boring yet wonderful!

And quite frankly, I starting thinking. Mainly about why we work out… think about this for a second and give it a good and honest answer. If you weight was never to decrease, and your pants never fit any better, would you still workout?

Go on instagram and you will see thousands of pictures of women who have 14% body fat, defined abs and perfect hair. But what if that never was a possibility, what if you couldn’t reach your goals with exercise? Would you honestly, still take the time out to workout?

Sometimes we need a reminder to go back to the basics and remember just why we are doing what we do… so today, I have for you a list of 5 reasons that you should be working out and not a single one of them has to do with your weight and/or jean size.

5 reasons wo

  1. Improves longevity – in other words, you WILL live longer!
  2. Helps to prevent bone loss (can you say good bye osteoarthritis and osteoporosis?).
  3. Protects you from cancer, heart disease and stroke.
  4. Improves quality of sleep, and quantity as well!
  5. Relieves and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety!

 

So is it enough? It should be… for all of us. SO the next time you don’t feel like working out, the next time that run, walk or cardio workout DVD doesn’t seem appealing, take your weight and jeans out of it and think about the basics… think about your health and let that motivate you to exercise rather than your vanity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running Thoughts

My handsome fiance and I made a packed that we would both run 100 miles in the month of July. So far…. so good!

My original plan was to do 3 miles a day and then to throw in an extra mile here and there to get those extra 7 miles in throughout the month. I am feeling good (no past injury pain) and am enjoying my “me time” outside. But guys… this girl cannot turn off her brain. It seems that no matter how loud my music is or how breathy I am, the thoughts just keep coming. So I thought I would share them with you….

MT during MR

“My shorts are riding up, my shorts are riding up, my shorts are riding up, Oh hey… look at that cute puppy, my shorts are riding up”

“I don’t think Luke Bryan is singing about the type of shaking that is currently taking place, in his song Country Girls.

“Think up something really cute to use in an instagram picture later so you can brag to the world that you went running…. oh wait, no don’t do that! You need a picture for instagram and no one needs to see you running, or the aftermath that occurs when this running is over.”

“Oh hey, look… my socks don’t match.”

“I have waved at that lady for like 2 years now while running and she still doesn’t wave back… I only have 9 more weeks to get her to wave at me before I move. Maybe I should smile bigger, or maybe I should say hi… or maybe I should just keep running.”

“I wish frozen cheese sticks tasted like Ice Cream.”

“The Jehovah Witnesses are on that side of the street… don’t go over there Leah, you will stop and talk to them and you really need to finish this run. Oh, who am I kidding, go over and talk to them…. they are SO nice!”

“When I get home I am going to drink like 6 glasses of water, it’s going to be amazing. Ut-oh, now I have to go to the bathroom. Stop thinking about water!”

“I hope someone on this block has their sprinkler on.”

“I wonder if people outside of America go for runs? I wonder if they have gym memberships? I wonder if they need to do their laundry tonight?”

So what do you think about when you run? I have a feeling that a lot of people think about some what similar things, but probably on a less ridiculous level. If you are a runner, do you use this time to “work through life”? I’ve heard of this before, but clearly it has never occurred.

 

July Goals

June was a wash for me… I had big plans, but only about 2 of the 1,000 I had panned out. I’m actually in Nashville right now (saying Good-bye to my favorite city in the world) and headed to the D.C. area on Thursday. And… I’m feeling sick 😦

It seems to be that my strep throat I had a week ago is resistant to the antibiotics AND steroids I was on so I am going to see my handsome fiancée doctor tomorrow in hopes of getting things finally figured out.

In the mean time… I am making new goals for this wonderful month. So I thought I would share them with you!

July Goals

Do you have any goals for this month?

Have you ever had a sickness that is resistant for antibiotics?

I am considering going the holistic route with this throat situation… have you ever done that if so how did you go about it?

The Nashville Workout

When I travel, working out is at times difficult. I want to spend as much time as possible with my fiance, so going to the gym seems like a major drag. Add to the “problem” that I am a bit of a cardio queen, and he likes to lift heavy so we end up going to the gym just to not hang out together… I’ll pass!

TNW

The last time I was in Nashville, my main squeeze took me hiking two days in a row. We did a pretty good job because by the end of the weekend we had hiked and walked a total of 19 miles… it was so gorgeous out that he managed to get a little sun burn on his face. Needless to say, I was a little bit more than “in love” with him and our weekend.

When that Monday rolled around, I was itching to be active. The weather wasn’t working in my favor so I knew I was going to have to get a little creative if I wanted to keep up my momentum. Below is what I came up with, and let me tell you… it is a GREAT workout!

The Nashville

The beauty of this workout is that you are only competing against yourself. Depending on your fitness level, you may be doing 1 burpee in a minute or you may be doing 20 in a minute. The other great thing about this workout is that you don’t need equipment to complete it. All you need is a stop walk or timer, yourself and a towel to wipe off the sweat from your face! You also get both a cardio workout through your above new friend as well as some serious toning moves.

With this weekend being a holiday 3 day-er, I see this workout making it’s way into my morning a time or two. I really love that this workout get’s me sweating and feeling good to go so that I can enjoy the rest of my day being active without having to worry about it being proper exercise.

I hope you all enjoy this weekend as well as enjoy this workout! I’m excited to have a nice 4 day weekend and will be enjoying some time in the sun and with family. Do you have any plans for this Memorial Day weekend? What’s your favorite way to stay active during the summer holiday 3 day weekends?

Travel Time Tips

Today I have the honor of introducing you all to a new friend. One of the really cool things about writing a blog is that I get to meet new people all the time who have similar interest. Recently, I was contacted by a woman who wanted to reach out to all of you and share with you some of her favorite ways to live a healthy life with children when on vacation. Since vacation season is approaching us, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for all of us to learn a few ways to make our vacations this year fun, relaxing and memorable all with out being full of regrets concerning our health.

Without further adieu, take it away Kendra!

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vacation

Eating healthy and staying fit is important for me as a wife and a mother. I have always tried to make an effort to keep myself and my family fit at our home. At the same time, I try to keep us healthy when we are not at home, such as when we are on vacation. This can be difficult, but it can be accomplished well. Here are some tips that I have learned over time that keeps us healthy while on the road.

I try to make it a priority to eat at restaurants that feature local products. People may seem surprised by this action, but I have found that it is quite beneficial for my family as well as the economy. There is no doubt in my mind that local food, such as fruits and vegetables, taste better than imported produce. I would venture to say that local products look and smell better. Restaurants that use local products make an effort to feature each one in dishes and salads. Furthermore, when these meals are created, they are done in a way in which the flavors are enhanced. I like that, and it certainly beats having a meal in which caloric sauces and dressings need to be poured on in order to give a sense of flavor to a customer.

Hotels have really stepped up in terms of responding to the needs of customers who require healthy foods and healthy living activities. There are a number of establishments that have fitness equipment that people can use. Some may have a pool, walking paths, bike rentals, weight equipment and tennis courts. However, I do not assume that each and every hotel has what we need while on vacation. Therefore, I call ahead to various hotels before I book to ensure that we will get what we need and did so for our upcoming trip to Orlando. With so many places to stay, finding resources that are sort everything out are a huge help. Additionally, many hotels do not carry healthy food options in mini-bars. I do two things in response to this. First, I refuse the mini-bar key. Second, I make sure to bring in healthy snacks on our trip. If we need more, we can stop by a local health food store for more treats.

Everybody knows, or should know, that drinking water is important. This is especially true when traveling. Although a vehicle can be extremely comfortable, and a plane ride can be thrilling, the fact remains that it is easy to get dehydrated in both of these types of transportation. In addition to this, I have found that doing activities and visiting attractions can really slow us down, and this includes our children. Drinking water keeps us hydrated and active. I make sure that we have a cooler stocked full of water bottles. We can drink it whenever we need to.

There are times where it is fun to be silly. We try to have silly tournaments and games while on vacation. It helps keep everyone loose. Sometimes, we have competitions to see who can hold their breath the longest in a hotel pool. Other times, we run around at a secluded parking lot playing tag. The options are nearly endless, and it is a great way to get some exercise.

The biggest help I have found on vacation is to stick to a routine. We have a routine at home, and it can work while we are traveling. We stay active and eat healthy while we are a journey. We have never regretted that. It is great to be healthy and fit.

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I can’t thank Kendra enough for taking the time out of her busy day to share with all of us these great ideas of how to stay healthy while vacationing. If you are anything like me, you want to read more of Kendra’s healthy living ideas and I know she would love to hear from you. She can be reached via email at kendratravel3{at}gmail.com.

March Marathon Madness

Happy Monday Friends…

I have been running and running and running. And I am sooooooooooooooooo proud of myself! My fiance and I are running a 1/2 marathon in about 7 weeks and it’s crunch time. But guess what, I don’t know what I am doing… ha!

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What I do know is that I’ve made improvement. In fact, Saturday I ran 6 miles. It wasn’t quite how I had planned it to go, but I did it non the less.

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I also know that stretching is vital to my running… in fact, I have been spending about 10-15 minutes before my runs stretching and then another 15 minutes after stretching. If I don’t, well I’m miserable the next day! Yesterday I created this little sequence and I think I’ll be adding it to all of my run days, because my goodness does it feel good!

Sunday Stretch Sequence

It’s amazing to me how much running long distance takes out of your core, shoulders, back and triceps. While running, I have to remind myself to draw my shoulders into my core, to relax my hands instead of clenching them and to keep my chin up.

All in all, I am having so much fun failing. I’m pretty sure part of it is do to the fact that right after I fail, I succeed!

But I still don’t know a lot… like should I run more than 5 miles at a time other than my weekly long runs?

My feet hurt… is that normal or do I need new shoes?

I know that much of my running struggle is mental, should I push through pain to get over the mental or should I give into the mental once I get to a certain point physically?

And let’s be honest, there are so many questions I have. So please feel free to tell me all about your running experiences. If not in the comments below, please consider emailing me at thekitchenrevolution(at)outlook(dot)com.

5 Favorites

 

Hey friends… today I have for you a video, about my favorite things recently. This took me FOREVER to get up and working, and honestly it never would have happened if it wasn’t for my sister.

Before we get to the video, I just wanted to do a little check in for all of you. As I said in this post, this year for me is all about making my lifestyle a healthy one based on what makes me feel and good. This means that there has definitely been some trial and error so far this year however it has all been leading to me understanding what makes me feel best as well and how my body works over all. This isn’t the first time I am saying this and it won’t be the last…. we are all so very different that different people do best on different diets as well as with different exercise regimens.

This week has been busy since the kiddo’s haven’t been in school and my workouts have been a bit different than usual. This has lead to some bloating and over all fatigue. For me, this has been a great reminder of what works for me and what doesn’t. The more snacking I do, the worse I feel… one snack a day for me (usually around 3) is about all I can handle. I also thrive on cardio every day, even if only for 20 minutes. I am loving my strength training 3 days a week (H.I.I.T. style) and feel like it is really changing the shape of my body. S at this point, me attempting to workout like someone else would be counter productive and you should feel the same way. Gve your unique body what it needs!

My eating has been all over the place this week. It hasn’t necessarily been bad, but definitely not consistent. I have had a bit of an upper respiratory thing happening and my taste is definitely off. This can and will be improved hopefully starting this weekend.

Now for the video… these are the thing I mention in it.

5 Favorites

And here my friends is the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGCIs-Ao4x8&feature=player_detailpage