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Posts Tagged ‘exercise

Back in highschool, I did what I wanted; I didn’t pay much regard to the wants or needs of others. And then I went to college and realized how easy I had it back at home. My mom did the dishes, my dad mowed the lawn, my teachers gave me step-by-step plans for success, and my friends usually said yes to everything. High school is a far cry from the real world. In the real world of college I had to wash my own dishes (in an often puke-scented mop closet); I maintained my own space (I know maintaining an 11ftx8ft dorm doesn’t seem like much, but with two long-haired clutzes living in that space it got pretty messy); I kept a planner and sought  resources for academic help that were never mentioned by professors in lecture; I made friends who were busy and learned to prioritize. Last year, I began to really appreciate the occasions when someone said “yes” to helping me out and began to pay it forward. I was definitely a “no man” for the first 18 years of my life and am now more selfless.

Selflessness is an admirable trait right? Right…ish. It can be what allows you to make the days of others or ruin your own day, day after day. I want to use my best friend Elyse as an example of someone who could back off the yesses on occasion and probably gain some peace of mind from doing so (btw Elyse is one of the few specific examples I will ever give in my blog because she totally takes my self-improvement talk like a champ). I have witnessed this girl give the shirt off her back to someone, volunteer for hours on end when she could have been working for money, and leave almost every social event to shuttle her siblings around. She is a classic “yes man” and gets great reward out of helping others. On the other hand though, Elyse gets little recognition from many of the people she helps out, little time to spend with friends, and little time to herself. Because I care about her success and her happiness, I notice that sometimes people take advantage of her giving nature. I think if she would balance her yesses with nos, she would benefit academically, physically, and emotionally from taking some time for herself. If you are a “yes man” you probably could to.

We all know I am big on balance: balancing workouts, eating, and life. Surprise, surprise, balance is the bottom line of today’s post. Try responding to requests/invites with your schedule and overall happiness in mind. Will saying no to helping with a neighbor’s garage sale in favor of a beach day with family end in major negative consequences? Probably not. Will saying yes to a professor who would like you to come in for extra work on a paper instead of going to party with friends change something in your life for the better? Potentially.

On another note: I am officially starting my own challenges (both challenge 1 and challenge 2) today. I ran 7 miles this morning and have been tracking like a good girl. It’s definitely not too late to start. If you follow the instructions provided at either link any time this week, you are eligible to win a Starbucks gift card. Let’s end summer in the fittest way possible!

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I always forget to write my yearly goals on Friday! So here they are a few days late:

  1. Weigh in 130lb range
  2. Get 500 subscribers to blog
  3. Earn money with blog
  4. Become Beachbody coach
  5. 3.5 GPA
  6. Write for IDS
  7. $3000 in savings, $3000 in checking
  8. Take social spring break
  9. Hold house position
  10. Have something published

So there’s that, and here’s this…a cool tid bit from one of my fave health newsletters:

Natural Ways to Curb Appetite.

Have a fabulous evening!

I know this is long, but keep reading–the prize is at the bottom, like a cereal box.

Day 23 began before the sun rose; I woke up at the booty crack of dawn (3:45am Chicago time! Thankfully 4:45am “my” time) to run the  Rock n’ Roll 5k in Chicago’s Grant Park. Most athletes at this event competed in the half marathon, a 13.1 mile feat. One of the amazing athletes happened to be my sorority sister, Michelle, who raised nearly $8000 dollars for cancer research (she was the TOP fundraiser in the Chicago area) and killed her first ever race out of love and compassion for her mom. Seriously Michelle, you are an inspiration. But Jeremy and I decided to forget about training plans and Gu packets, enjoy a quick 3.1 miles at my favorite event ever, and enjoy cheering on the whopping 19,000 that tackled 13.1. What a fun, fitness-filled day it turned out to be! Jeremy and I both did better than we expected to do, completing the lake-front course in about 21:00 and 24:00, respectively. After we finished, fueled up with protein bars and bananas, and socialized with a few other 5k competitors, we watched and cheered on the half-marathoners at mile 6 (I also admired their cute running attire). Then we got foam roller messages, enjoyed a free concert from Cobra Starship, and gave Michelle sweaty hugs as she crossed the finish line. I love runners, running events, oh, and running swag.

I want to thank you all for allowing me to complete the task for day 23 of PUSH. Chalene wants me to make a promise to someone that I will complete my goals. So guys, I promise you, I WILL reach 500 subscribers on my blog by creating a more exciting, inviting site and WILL see my weight to the 130 lb range by tracking my calories, practicing portion control, and exercising often. That was easy.

Now, for the crazy cool, crazy rewarding, crazy simple challenge(s):

Challenge 1: Track it 5lb challenge- lose 5 pounds, in 3 weeks, in 5 steps

More than 66% of Americans can reap health-related benefits by dropping 5 lbs (If you are at a healthy weight or don’t feel this challenge is for you, see Challenge 2, tomorrow). I am going to provide you with the steps you need to safely and effectively lose some extra pounds and feel more fit.

Step 1: Calculate BMR by clicking on the link. This number will tell you how many calories YOUR body uses just by functioning on a daily basis. For example, a 5’5″, 140lb, 20-year-old women burns 1,406 calories per day. The average American woman is 5’4″ and weighs 165lbs; she burns 1,503 calories per day. Knowing how many calories you are burning without exercise allows you to determine the number of calories to eat and burn through exercise each day.

Step 2: Create close-to an 850 calorie deficit each day. To begin we have to revamp calorie consumption. You will eat around 1200 calories per day. If this seems like an itty-bitty amount, try eating 4×300-calorie meals throughout the day to keep your energy up. My advice for limiting calories? Plan meals, track meals, enjoy meals; that is, try to think ahead about and even write down what you are going to eat a day ahead time; join myfitnesspal , friend me on the site (don’t worry, I can’t see your weight or what you eat, just your exercise and pounds lost), and use it to track the foods you eat; eat the healthy foods that make your body happy.

Step 3: Work out! You’ll be sexy and I know it. To determine how many calories you should burn through exercise complete the following equation:

BMR-1200 calories= diet deficit

example for the average American woman: 1,503-1200= 303 calorie diet deficit

THEN

850-diet deficit= necessary calories to burn through exercise

example: 850-303= 547 calories

That final number is the amount you should be burning 6 days per week through exercise. It may seem like a lot, but the average woman can torch that amount by doing Zumba for 50 minutes, power walking for an hour, or interval training for 45 minutes.

These steps leave enough wiggle room for a day off of exercise, as long as you stick to 1200 calories.

Track exercise on myfitnesspal, as it will provide with calories burned.

Step 4: Commit. Tell a friend or family member what you’re doing. Write your goals and numbers down. If you hate the idea of tracking online, you can do it in a journal by looking up calories in food and calories burned online. It is simply easier to rely on a website to do the calculations for you. Finally, subscribe to my blog by clicking “Follow” in the top, right-hand corner and comment on this post making a promise to me; hey, I made two to you, above!

Step 5: On Wednesday, August 16th, comment on my post of the day with “I DID IT!” and two challengers will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card if they have been tracking on myfitnesspal (I say, nothing is wrong with the occasional iced coffee with soy, we all need our vice!).

To recap:

1) Calculate BMR- signing up and plugging in weight and height on myfitnesspal will do this for you. 2) Eat 1200 calories a day- myfitnesspal almost always suggests that number for a goal of losing 1-2lbs per week; the site allows you to look up what you eat and track the specific foods and serving sizes in your diary. 3) Work out! This is a challenge, so working out 6 days a week should take some determination and focus, not to mention scheduling. Make it a non-negotiable part of your day, like brushing your teeth. Track activity /minutes exercising on myfitnesspal to see how many calories you burned. 4) Commit already! Grab some friends, make a promise and join me on this three-week journey to forming fit habits. 5) Follow my blog, friend me on myfitnesspal, and comment on my blog post August 16th for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card!

I am no doctor or personal trainer; I just love fitness and improving my health and want to inspire you  and provide you with simple steps to do the same. If you complete these three weeks with me you WILL adapt healthy habits and WILL have the chance to win a Starbucks card. I know what it feels like to need a push in the right direction, a companion on my fitness journey, or a cut-and-dry plan for success; here are all three of those, friends. I want you to do this with ME! Please share this with friends and anyone you know, the more healthy, happy people we have in this world, the merrier.

Tomorrow: Challenge 2 for those in a happy, healthy, weight range.

*Your doctor should confirm that you are healthy enough to participate in this challenge before you commit.

Happy Monday everyone! I am starting this week off with a strong momentum to accomplish! I am reading the book PUSH by Chalene Johnson, which at this point, I have no idea if I have blogged about; however, some searching through the archives will be done and if I have, in fact, neglected to post about this brilliant life-changing read, I will definitely do so in the near future. Anyways, one of the major concepts addressed in the book is finding your soul-mate workout. What this means to you is totally subjective as you may be a fitness guru who loves almost anything that brings about a solid sweat, or you may be someone who’s worst nightmare is being required to do anything beyond mat Pilates– and even getting there is challenge enough. I would definitely put myself in the former category when I take into consideration the group fitness classes that I consider entertainment, the way I examine any given area for ample amount of sidewalk-age on which to run , and the overflowing exercise DVD collection taking over my basement shelves. Just don’t ask me to shoot hoops or join you on a stair stepper.

Although I love sweat sessions in almost any form, there is one workout that hypes me up more than any other and has for the past six years: Turbo. I love Turbo. There is a group exercise version (TurboKick), the first DVD version (TurboJam…this format helped me shed 35 pounds six years ago when I first began my fitness journey), and the ramped up DVD version (TurboFire…the one I chose yesterday and felt myself delightfully challenged by the quick pace). My love for Turbo led me to lose weight, become certified in it, and teach it for a year at Purdue University.

My hometown is very unfamiliar with the concept of Turbo and I would LOVE to change that. It is a brilliant cardio routine incorporating kickboxing, a little shaking it, and a lot of great music. Nothing revs me up more than that siren signifying the quick burst interval known as “the Turbo” in the middle of the workout, the interval proven to increase calorie burn after completing it, the interval lasting 1-2 minutes followed by a drink break. YouTube “TurboJam,” “TurboFire,” or “TurboKick” to see what I mean.

Turbo is my soul-mate workout for so many reasons but the primary reason is that no matter what condition I am in, I can always turn to it for a solid workout. If my knees are sore, I don’t have to jump. If I am tired, the warm-up is energizing but I can still do the movements at my own intensity level. If I have mountains of enthusiasm for the day, I can get super into the music, sound effects, and exaggerate my movements. My body knows I am in for a good workout when it begins with shoulder-rolls (the first move in a Turbo warmup). I encourage you to try the format by attending a TurboKick class, trying a DVD, or even following along with a YouTube clip for a little taste of the Turbo action. If you don’t love it, hey, everyone has their soul-mate workout–find yours.

My Soul-mate


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