Tuesday, April 30, 2013

You Are Beautiful, Just the Way You Are

Something that has always bothered me is how much we focus on weight as a social standard in our society. This is especially true for women. To be considered "beautiful", "successful", or "desirable", we must look a certain way or be a certain weight.

This morning I read a story about a blogger bashing an NBA cheerleader regarding her weight. The worst part of this story is the passing of judgment that is the norm in today's world. The other bad thing is that this judgment is thinly veiled in backhanded compliments, which is really just cattiness, not compliments. It's not just the blogger or the story that bothers me. It's the deeply entrenched values that seem to rule us, run our lives, and govern our society.

Judgment is a tool to drag others down and inflate our self above our brothers and sisters in this walk we call life. It is meant to manipulate, to injure, and to pad our own self-esteem. It brings down another's spirit, even going as far as to negatively change their view of themselves. Additionally, it gives the one passing judgment a falsely righteous sense of self, and falsely empowers one to believe they are "better" than another.

Dangerous doesn't even begin to describe this practice of judging our peers. It holds great power over our lives and our self-worth. By passing these quick judgments, we also avoid going beyond the surface and creating meaningful relationships. We rob ourselves of the opportunity to improve our lives, we sow unhappiness, and we reap discontent.

Cattiness is part and parcel of judgment. It is the "zinger", or the stab at someone that delivers whatever judgment we have made. Oftentimes, it's cloaked in a "compliment" (that really is NOT a compliment), or delivered in a way to make us feel like we're not directly insulting a person. It's underhanded and devious.

There are a multitude of body shapes and sizes, as well as a multitude of reasons why a person may have those body shapes and sizes. It has been studied in depth and proven that genetics do play a role in this, although it's not completely known exactly what role. Medical conditions play a huge role in affecting body shape and size, and actually make it more difficult to change that. I personally have friends and family that struggle with diabetes, chronic pain, thyroid disorders and depression. All of these and many more have a significant impact on weight. Why would I take it upon myself to make a surface judgment about someone? I don't know that person or what is going on in their life, so it's not my place to judge. It IS my place to offer a smile and a bit of encouragement.

The effects of judgment, cattiness and negativity are astounding. No, I haven't conducted any scientific studies or done in depth research. But what I have done is observe these effects in my own life and the lives of others. The hurt and rejection have a cascading effect, going from the lowering of self-worth all the way down to depression and suicidal thoughts. (No, I personally am neither depressed nor contemplating suicide. Just a disclaimer.) That kind of power should never be used against another person. But it is, every day.

I don't know about you, but I know that I want to change this. I'll even go so far as to say that we have a responsibility to change this. But how? We change the conversation! To remedy this culture, a culture of judgment, cattiness, and focus on weight as a social standard, we MUST change how we speak and how we behave.

We need to begin to treat each other with compassion. It should not matter a person's body shape or size. We ought to show love and kindness to our brothers and sisters in life, in all things. We should be offering encouragement, and showing that no matter what, YOU MATTER.

To change the conversation regarding body shape and size, we need to start talking about being healthy, not getting "skinny". Being healthy, in body and mind, is of much greater importance than being "skinny". I know from my own experience that when you are healthy, you are happy; and when you are happy, your world no longer revolves around your shape or size. "Skinny" is a very relative term, and I've always believed that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. When you are healthy and happy, you love yourself more and you lose those negative thoughts about yourself.

We need to change our SELVES! We need to release ourselves from the power of judgment. From now on, the judgment of others no longer carries any weight in our minds. From now on, we will offer only compassion, love and encouragement to our peers. We are changed!

Let me close by saying to all of you out there, whoever you may be, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING AND PERFECT, just the way you are.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Over the last few weeks, our house has had our share (plus some) of the sicklies! I was having some gastritis issues first, then we got hit with a stomach virus! :-( The little man got that first, then passed it to me. I feel like I have been run over by a freight train.

This would be why I have been absent the past little bit. I hope to be getting back to normal by sometime this week and therefore back to exercising! But hey, stomach issues are a good way to lose weight quickly :-P Not exactly the healthy way though....oh well!

I will post more once I'm back up and running (literally and figuratively, haha). Hope everyone else out in bloggy world is doing well :-)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Parties, Cake and Speed Work

Today has been a great day. I got to spend the day with family and great friends.

The hubby got to stay home today for a change, so we enjoyed some family time. Little man decided he did NOT want to sleep in today, so we were up and at 'em pretty early. ;-) That gave us lots of time to watch cartoons play and have fun. Then little man and daddy went and had some guy time, and I went with my mother-in-law to a baby shower.

We had a great time hanging out with family and friends, and celebrating a good friend and her new baby boy! He is so precious, and his big sister was so excited to help open presents. We are just so excited that their sweet family has grown again. And of course, the party included lots of goodies, and cake :-) BTW- it was the cutest cake ever and it would have been evil to not have some.....and it was SO worth it!

Since I didn't eat so healthy today (possible understatement of the year), I decided I needed to make up for it with some serious exercise. When I got home, little man and daddy were still out doing "man things" (their words, not mine, lol!) so I headed out for a run.

I recently saw on (I think) the Runner's World website about a "100 Step Fartlek" that is supposed to help decrease your mile time. Since I can always use some help in that area, I decided to try it. Also, to be quite honest, I have been getting a bit bored/frustrated with just a normal run. Here's how it works (disclaimer: please know that I did not think this up on my own, I got it from somewhere on the web, and I think it was Runner's World....or Pinterest....haha):

10 minute warm-up
10 steps hard running (counting each time the right foot hits the ground, or the left foot, just use only one to make sure you get the full number of steps and not half)
10 steps easy running
20 steps hard running
20 steps easy running
and repeat, increasing each time by 10 until you reach 100
5 minute cool down
The instructions also included that one you master this, you can then continue after the 100 and start over backwards. So you would start with 100 steps hard running, 100 steps easy running, 90 steps...all the way back down to 10 before the cool down.

I thought I might try to do the increasing and then the decreasing steps too, but I got to 100 and knew that was it for me! Lol!! I am still proud that I made it all the way to 100! Here's what my Garmin said after the run:

I know that my overall pace wasn't all that great (10:44 min/mi), but look at that max pace!! 6:18!!! That's the best I've ever had. Previously, my best had been roughly 8:30 or something like that. Wow! That made this run one of the most fun in a long time. I think I'll have to do runs like this more often.

After my run, I did 3 circuits of my strength training routine, and a short yoga sequence (14 minutes). Whew! Momma was one tired girl.

I'm not even going to tell you what I ate today....it was just not great, and we'll leave it at that :-P But hey, hubby made dinner, so I'm not complaining one bit about that!! ;-)

How do you deal with going off target on eating? Do you make up for it with exercise or do you let it slide? Also, what's your favorite run routine?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

House Cleaning and Sports Playing

Whew! What a day....

This was me today. It was time for house cleaning!! After running some errands first thing this morning, me and little man (but mostly me) spent the day cleaning the house. Picking up, scrubbing, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, putting up clothes, straightening up and all that good stuff.

According to one of my favorite calorie-burn calculators, I most likely burned upwards of 400-500 calories today! Which is a good thing, because I have no energy left to exercise :-)

We took a break from cleaning to go outside and play football and basketball with our friends in the cul-de-sac.

My little man is on the left, with his friend and his friend's dad.

Of course, I helped to chase the ball around when it got away from him, so got some more activity in with that.

How about food?
Breakfast: Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereal
No morning snack since we got up late and therefore ate breakfast late :-)
Lunch: Subway 6" bacon, egg and cheese flat bread sandwich., Dr. Pepper
Afternoon snack: hummus and pretzel crisps
Dinner: rotisserie chicken and potato casserole (yum! My favorite!!)

How did your Saturday go?

Friday, August 31, 2012

New Reading Material & A Walk/Run

Hallelujah!!! It's Friday :-)

The thing I'm most excited about today is my new reading material...

YYEEEESSSSS!!! I love getting new issues of Runner's World! It's my favorite magazine. If you couldn't already tell. Hehehe....

It inspired me so much, I decided I needed to go for a run today. And I haven't even opened the magazine yet! Lol!!

I hit the road with a new mommy friend who is trying to get back into jogging. We had a great time getting some exercise, girl time, and chatting! We did a walk/run for 2 miles, then she headed home and I did another mile of running.

Average speed for all 3 miles together was 12:54. Which is not bad for 2 miles that included lots of walking, and considering the heat that we had today (what happened to the nice fall weather we've had the last week or two?!?!).

Mile 1: 13:28 - maybe about half to three-quarters of this mile was running.

Mile 2: 15:08 - I think only about a quarter to half of the time running in this mile.

Mile 3: 10:04 - I only took a very short walk break during this mile, so almost all running.

It felt so great to get some outside activity, even if it wasn't much. At least I still burned close to 300 calories!

So how does that balance with my eating today? Well....
Breakfast: Cinnamon Life cereal, Coca-Cola (don't judge me :-)...needed caffeine)
Morning snack: cheese cubes (forgot to pack my grapes today...)
Lunch: about 3/4 of a Chick-fil-a sandwich (with extra pickles!), about 3/4 of an order of fries, and a sweet tea
Afternoon snack: small piece of cookie cake (a friends birthday celebration at work today, and it was totally worth it-so good!)
Dinner: Taco salad - a few chips, ground beef with taco seasoning, and cheese

I'm not sure yet what I plan to do this weekend. I should probably work up a training plan sometime soon so I have something to follow. I've been thinking about doing that for a while but I just haven't done it yet. I think it would be good so that I have a goal and something concrete to do instead of just going to do some exercise each day. In fact, I think I'll work on that tomorrow :-)

What are you planning to do this weekend? If you're celebrating the Labor Day holiday, are you planning on having a splurge day or having a healthy celebration? I'm hoping to do a little of both!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Little Helper

I had a little helper today to workout with. Little man decided it would be fun to workout with mommy! It was so funny :-)

Not sure why he's doing a headstand, because I definitely wasn't doing any of those!

When I was doing jumping jacks, he was standing beside me jumping up and down just as fast as he could go. And when I was doing push ups he came over and stood on my hands! Silly boy!!

My workout consisted of 30 minutes on the elliptical:

Then 3 sets of my strength circuit. I'm fixing to do a 35 minute set of yoga to relax the day away.

For food today, I was pretty good. Except for all the caffeine....
Breakfast: Cinnamon Life cereal, cup of cappuccino
Morning snack: cheese cubes, cup of cappuccino (I forgot to eat my snack on time so didn't have my full snack so that I wouldn't be too full for lunch)
Lunch: hamburger, cheese, pickles, bun (leftover from our yummy dinner last night)
Afternoon snack: skipped.....I brought Greek yogurt but when I went to get it, it was expired so I definitely threw that away
Dinner: small piece of lasagna, 2 pieces of bread....I mostly wanted the bread, lol!

I was so tired today that I couldn't make it without gallons of some caffeine. Luckily my little man made my workout easy to get through once I got home from work!

Now I'm off to do my yoga and put little man (who is now grumpy little man) to bed!

Is anyone else as excited for Friday as me? :-)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Hump Day

Yay for being halfway to Friday!

I didn't have a whole lot of time for exercise today. Little man decided that he didn't want to take a nap today, so he was a pill this afternoon. But still the cutest little pill :-)

As little time as I had, I was able to squeeze in 20 minutes on the elliptical. I had planned to do 30, but sometimes life just happens, ya know?

I was going to do a set of yoga after dinner, but I think I'm going to settle for BED! Lol!! I'm sure I could use the exercise, especially considering the lunch I had, but I'm more tired so I'm choosing that. :-)

My food choices today were mostly good, except for lunch.
Breakfast: Cinnamon Life cereal
Morning Snack: grapes and cheese (obviously this is one of my fave snacks in the whole world...if you couldn't already tell)
Lunch: Calabash shrimp with cocktail sauce and french fries (Showmars!), oh and sweet tea ;-)
Dinner: hamburger, cheese, pickles and bun

I'll admit that I had a super craving for some shrimp, so I may not have eaten the healthiest lunch. Shrimp is very healthy, but the fact that it was fried probably negated the health-factor a bit haha! I did have a side of fries, but I only ate about a quarter of what they gave me. And I had actually ended up eating lunch pretty late in the afternoon, so it lasted me till dinner and I didn't have to eat an afternoon snack.

I'm working on a post for later this week about healthy snacks, so make sure to pass on any ideas you think should be included!

What are your fitness plans for the remainder of the week?