Just Call Me A Masochist

The first marathon and last race I competed in was over 5 years ago.  I ran the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon which was, from what I remember, exhausting yet exhilarating.  Leading up to the race I ran several smaller races, 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons to get in shape and prepare myself for the competition atmosphere.  The main reason for wanting to run a marathon was to do something I’d never done, challenge myself and get in shape in the process.  Years later I find myself with the same general focus, but a desire to mix it up.  I entered the 2013 Neusiok Trail Run- 21.5 miles (there’s also a 43 mile and 100k run), not quite a marathon, but enough distance feel every muscle aching for a massage.  You know how misery loves company?  When I asked my husband Oscar to join me he replied, “sure, I’ll do the 100k”.  Nobody loves a show off.

I’m looking forward to the race, just over 3 months, and I have much training to do.  Aside from following a marathon training schedule I’m incorporating swimming, kayaking, lifting, biking and of course trail work.  I enjoy challenging myself, setting goals, and pushing myself.  The race is in January which is a great way to start off the year.

For more info on the race details, here’s the link

http://www.neusioktrailrun.com/Welcome.html

Sabrina

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Something New!

I love new things. Bright, shiny, lovely packaging, new car smell, virgin territory, never been explored before- new.   There’s an intrigue and mystery that surrounds it.  I become ambitious of the new, especially how I feel about it and the effect and impact that new will have on my life.  This applies to just about all things new, whether they be relationships- the first kiss that melts your body.  Clothing- how did I ever exist before without these amazing jeans.  Technology-this IPAD has revolutionized my life.  Exercise routine, okay this is new about every four months but still entered into with the same ambition and excitement.  Then like all things you take it for granted, get bored and look for the next best thing.  This scenario plagues me a couple times a year when it comes to my workout routine.  At the moment, dare I admit it, I have become….bored.  A friend recently mentioned that I should trudged head on into reaching my weight loss goal of dropping another 20lbs by working out 2 hours everyday for the next few weeks.  Once my goal is reached its all about maintaining it.  I understand the logic of it and wish I had the interest to do it, however as I’m not training for the winter Olympics, more than likely it’ll last 2 days- at best 3.

So I ask myself, what is it I should do to keep up the motivation to stay healthy and active and stave off weight gain so prominent with the upcoming holidays?  The only answer I’ve come up with so far is to leave the gym.  Not permanently of course, but spend more time outside with activities that aren’t burning 800 calories, but nonetheless keeping me active and interested.  Lately I’ve taken to riding my bike which lends a sense of exhilaration and adventure.  I remember back in the day before I had a license, (over 18 years ago now) I loved getting on my bike and riding anywhere and everywhere.  My mom was an avid biker in her 30’s, mostly from necessity as we either didn’t have a car, or one that ran well enough to drive further than 5 miles.  We used to ride over 20 miles each way to the dentist office for our appointments, she’d haul ass with my baby sister riding in tow and a stereo in the front basket blaring Rick James’ “Superfreak”.  My other sister Kelly and I’d always scrambling to keep up with her.   It-was-AWESOME.  Today you need a car to get around most places, but in times when only a bike will do, well break it out!

I’m open to suggestions as to how you keep motivated and inspired.  Keeping consistently active I’ve learned is extremely important and armed with options, especially for personalities like mine that crave the variety and newness, it comes in handy.

The Daily Post

Most of us could stand to exercise more (or at all) and health and fitness blogs are beloved by those who are seeking to make a lifestyle change. It’s easier to stick to a new routine if you’re not doing it alone, and fitness blogs are great sources of inspiration and information. If you’re going to blog about fitness, here are some tips for how to do it well:

  • Set a goal. Tangible goals make sticking to a new routine easier – and they also make blogging about it more interesting. If you have a wedding on the horizon or you’ve signed up for a 5k, that sense of immediacy will give direction to your workouts and your posts. (Try using the milestone widget to highlight the countdown in your sidebar.)
  • Identify a personal challenge. What lifestyle change would you like to make that’s really difficult for…

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It Takes 30 Days To Form A Habit- So Make It A Good One

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I read somewhere, probably the internet so it must be true, that it takes 30 days to form a habit.  Depending on the intensity/enjoyment of the habit it may take less.  For example eating a Boston Crème Dunkin Donut may take 4 days to become a habit, whereas getting up at 6:30am for a morning jog may take 30 maybe 40 days.  Anyhow, below are a few small habits that could have a positive and lasting effect. 

1. The grocery list– Seems simple to stop in the store for just a few things and end up at the checkout aisle with a cart full of stuff you didn’t intend on getting but looked good.  You ever hear people remark “it’s all up here” while pointing to their head?  So is everything else and it gets crowded, so bring a list.  I recently went into the store for half and half…$79 later and the clincher- I forgot the half and half.  Also, be sure to eat before you go so it’s easier to resist temptation.

 2. Measure your steps– As vast majorities of people lead very sedentary lives.  There is a lack of daily mobility with walking in particular.  You are considered “active” if you get between 5,000 to 8,000 steps measured on a pedometer daily-most only do about 3,500.  So test yourself.  Clip a pedometer to the hip of your jeans or slacks, and without changing your routine, see where you measure up.  If it’s in the 3,500 range or lower, challenge yourself to increase that number every day until you’re at or over 10,000 steps, which is about 5 miles.  Share it with your co-workers and have a contest.  The one with the most steps come Friday at 5pm gets a free Starbucks Coffee on Monday.  Pedometers nowadays are so cheap, you could pick one up at Target for about $5.

 3. Get Your H20 Early– Now there’s a lot of people that don’t enjoy plain old water.  We all know the benefits of drinking water: cures dehydration and promotes clear skin, aides in the relief of headaches, refreshing after a strenuous activity, etc.  A good way to get ready for a day of getting your 8 glasses of water?  Start when you first wake up.  Before you eat breakfast, take a shower or get dressed, head to the kitchen and get a cold glass of water.  You’ll begin to crave water as you go about your day especially if you consume drinks like coffee which dehydrate you.

So try these for the next month and see how you feel.  Soon these will be solid habits you no longer have to think about and will just be second nature.  It’s about making small changes, as we all know there’s a lot we could improve, but all in due time.

Sabrina

Support Old MacDonald- Save Moola!

The notion that in order to eat organically you need to have the surname Kardashian or Aniston, shop at Whole Foods or the organic aisle at your local supermarket is not true.  The best place to get fresh local produce is your nearby farmers’ markets.  For those not living in areas that have farmers markets I’ll get you in a minute.

In many cities throughout the states, downtown areas will host farmers markets through the spring and summer months once sometimes twice a week.  This offers you the opportunity to buy delicious- locally grown fruits and veggies which in turn directly supports your local economy and keeps the farmers in business.  Also, you might be able to find a local farm which many times allow you to purchase direct- a wonderful way to get learn about what and where your food is grown, get recipes and meet the farmers.

It’s also just as important to buy what’s in season as it is to buy locally.  Ever wonder why you see tomatoes at your local grocer in the dead of winter?  Often tomatoes are picked green and stored with the use of chemicals to “ripen” them up giving them their traditional red color.  However they’re usually bland lacking the delicious, sweet, crisp taste as it would if allowed to ripen on the vine.  Yet stores stock it because consumers are used to getting tomatoes year round despite being a seasonal fruit.

Now if you’re in an area that lacks a farmers’ market or you find buying organically at the supermarket is too pricey, which I’ve honestly experienced, start your own garden!  Sound overwhelming?  It doesn’t have to be. Many people think you need a large backyard in order to have a garden; however you can turn your porch, patio or balconies into a mini market.  All you need is some flower boxes, soil, water and sun.  Stop at the nursery and get tomato plants, bell pepper plants, herbs, whatever you like, and begin to enjoy the benefits of eating really fresh food and saving money.  You’re also keeping it green by not driving to the store, using bags and all that good stuff.

So check out the farmers markets, or start one of your own.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things, that’s what life’s all about.  Check out LocalHarvest.org for farmers markets.

Enjoy!

No Membership Needed!

Every January it never fails, one of the top, if not the #1 New Year’s Resolution people make is to get in shape and lose weight.  Folks tend to go strong for 60 to 90 days before they start to taper off because they get burnt out.  Yet ironically, due to most gym contracts, continue to pay fees for a place they no longer frequent.  This is crazy, but all too often the reality.

Truth be told, though I personally enjoy trips to the gym, 30 of the 41 lbs lost were without the use of a gym.  It was really a lifestyle change.  For instance instead of driving to work I walked to and from 15 blocks each way, and living in Hoboken NJ we generally walked EVERYWHERE.  I substituted water for soda, especially as I was crazy thirsty.  When we ate out I’d I split the meal in half saving it for dinner, which almost never happened as my husband with his irritatingly high metabolism would eat it after having devoured his own meal. Took the PATH train into Manhattan and explored the city and its wonderful sights and parks.

Once pounds began to shed I incorporated enjoyable activities such as hiking and jogging, then kicking it up a notch I sported 5-10lb hand weights.  Be creative, if you hang with your girls at the bar or clubs- mix it up and invite them river rafting, on a downtown walk exploring shops, bike riding, whatever gets you out.  Bottom line, the gym is a great place to get your fitness on, but if you’re on a budget like I was, or feel your routine is stale, find new ways to have fun and break a sweat.  Don’t wait until January, start today, right now.

11 Years & 41 LBS Later

In January 2009 just having relocated to the East Coast, living in West Long Branch New Jersey I began to notice the full effects of my poor lifestyle choices on my body.  I got on the scale which read the highest it has ever read for me: 200 lbs, give or take a few ounces.  I couldn’t believe it!  I knew I’d gained weight, but 200?  We spent 9 days or so traveling by car with my family and husband from California to New Jersey and along the way we stopped at about a dozen Waffle Houses which became my favorite dive diner, hands down.

When I left Cali I weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 186.  Even that was an exceptionally high number that I fluctuated with over the last 7 years, but 200 was unfathomable.  Often you hear people describe their turning point for making major positive changes in their lives.  Well, 200lbs was mine.

Four years later I’m down to 159lbs and still dropping the weight.  I’ve managed to lose the weight slowly without engaging in crazy diets (one of the reasons I got to 200 in the first place), watching what I ate and exercise.  Good old fashioned exercise.  Many times I’ve wanted to take the easy way out and get plastic surgery, however there were two problems with that.  One, its expensive, and two, I’m deathly afraid of having my body cut open and manipulated unnecessarily.  I don’t blame people for having weight loss procedures such as liposuction or gastric bypass, I just don’t believe things like that will help people keep the weight off and deal with the underlying issues that lead us to put on the weight in the first place.  Which more often than not is emotional eating.

For the next several months, I’ll continue to document my journey to getting to my health goal which is somewhere between 140-145lbs.  I hope you will come to use this blog as a tool- one that will give provide ideas and inspiration to shedding your excess weight and discover new ways to motivate you and inspire you to motivate others.  People should learn to  enjoy their lives and become healthy and active participants in life rather than sitting on the sidelines.  There’s no joy in being overweight, being too tired to play with your family, too embarrassed to go swimming, and avoid activities that would otherwise bring you excitement.

It’s not always easy for me to get motivated, I struggle often with image issues and negative self-talk.  At times I feel guilty when I splurge and eat ice cream or foods that aren’t good for me.  But I also remind myself that everything in moderation.  I continue to compliment myself when I look in the mirror and see progress.  I’ve found the road to a healthy lifestyle is a long one, but it can be great if you put in the effort and find ways to make it fun, and most importantly surround yourself with positive, supportive people.

I look forward to reading your stories, tips, advice, suggestions, and see what your goals are, etc.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Sabrina-