Posts Tagged ‘health and fitness

I am no superwoman, and if you have superpowers please let the rest of us know where you found em’. They would probably help us avoid temptations, lazy days, and failures. Since, I have yet to acquire any power that I would consider “super” not to mention, “super human” I sometimes fall subject to couch-bound days, ice cream, and a lack of productivity.

I made it to day 29 of PUSH and feel pretty fantastic about that! Today I came up with a “mantra” to repeat to myself whenever I start to slip from my path to success. The mantra I chose is “stay in forward motion!” To me, this means continuing to take steps forward toward my goals, everyday. Did a coach or teammate ever say something that helped you stay strong when times got tough? Maybe a mentor of yours has a key phrase that represents them. What could you remind yourself in order to “stay the course?”

Tomorrow will be my last word-y post on this site. After that, I will be posting a link to my new site. The new site will be a little bit different. It will still hold some of the same elements as “iAMincharge,” but with a little bit lighter, more informal tone, and plenty of pictures! Get excited!



When my alarm blares that dumb iphone harp noise almost every morning and almost always before 7:30am, I rarely welcome the electronic instrumental cacophony. Each Tuesday and Thursday it sounds at 4:52am, and all other days I usually set it with the intention to run around 7am. Funny thing is, the only time I hop up with intention is on Tuesday and Thursday–when I rise before the sun. On those days, I teach a Cardio Fusion class at 5:30am and know that I have people counting on me to give them their solid sweat for the day. The other 5 days it is always a gamble whether or not I will actually get up at the time I planned. Similar thing with these blog posts–I told you all I will finish and blog about these 30 days; so, I am. Build a fortress of accountability and you will succeed in your goals.

1. Get a success buddy. You have a goal? I bet you know someone with a goal. Propose to them the idea of keeping one another accountable. Maybe you would like to start a blog and your friend would like to build an online business? Starbucks has wifi; have a working coffee date. You want to lose ten pounds and your boyfriend wants a six-pack? Do your cardio together. Log your workouts and food on myfitnesspal. Ok, those are totally both examples from my life; my creative example-generating skills are clearly off today. Whatever your goal is, find a goal-oriented friend and take on to-do’s together!

2. Keep a written record steps along the way. Food journals, to-do lists, measurement recordings, and success diaries are all perfect for tracking how you’re doing and identifying where to go next.

3. Make a public proclamation. HELLO INTERNET! I AM TELLING YOU NOW THAT BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR I WILL HAVE A SICK-NASTY (THAT MEANS COOL) FITNESS AND HEALTH WEBSITE WITH 500 SUBSCRIBERS AND WILL WEIGH UNDER 140 LBS! Something like that, or something less obnoxious will do. Don’t keep your goals a secret. Because then your successes are a secret; and secrets are no fun unless they involve birthday presents or parties.

4. Make a contract. This, to me, seems only necessary if you REALLY need a push. If so, write your goal, when you plan to achieve it, a reward for when you achieve it, and a consequence for the slight chance you don’t.

5. Join a like-minded group. Feeling less than fit? Join a group fitness class. I’ll skip the preaching about benefits of group x because you probably know that this will turn into a 1000-worder if I’m not careful. Need to boost that GPA? Find or form study groups, and actually study. It is so empowering to be surrounded by people who share your goals, passions, and desires (this is the main reason I love endurance sport events; not because I am ultra-competitive, but because I love the positive fit-minded atmosphere).

6. Use social media. I just used my blog to tell you that I WILL achieve my goals, and I use it to update you on my progress. When I am done writing this, it will go straight to Facebook and Twitter. Share your goal-related thoughts on the same forums where everyone else shares their last meal and current geographic whereabouts. I care more about you getting an ‘A’ on a paper or making it to the gym than I do that some girl I graduated with not enjoying her shift at 7-11. Delight me with positive posts, pretty please.

Follow these steps and make things happen!

I am making things happen, by the way. In the next week, my site will no longer be iAMincharge.wordpress.com. I officially purchased a domain and will be claiming my own space on the internet. Stay tuned.

First, I want to invite you to join one of my 3-week challenges that were presented on 7/22 &7/23. Comment on one or both of those posts for a chance to win a Starbucks card. Sign up at any point this week.

Secondly, it’s day 27 and I am gaining confidence by the day. Today is all about gaining even MORE confidence. I am the first to admit that my confidence level has gone down a bit as I have gotten older; this may be because the more life I live, the more talented, amazing people I meet and therefore, feel lesser in comparison to them, or perhaps I have made more mistakes and am afraid of making them again. Whatever  the cause of my drooping confidence is, it is no excuse for allowing myself to feel inferior. Here are the 5 steps to improving confidence that Chalene presented today :

  1. Do something scary. I have done several scary things since starting PUSH; I emailed strangers for tips on blogging (I obviously didn’t reveal personal info, it was just the idea of engaging in discourse with someone I knew nothing about that was slightly daunting); I purchased my own website; I disclosed my weight loss goals to the internet community. I had never done, or even thought of doing any of these things prior to the start of these 30 days. What fear is holding you back? Take measures to conquer it.
  2. Seek knowledge. This is something that is in my blood. At 8-years-old, I was reading about presidents, the solar system, and anything that sparked my interest. Today, I read books, newsletters, blogs, and magazines about topics that I want to know more about. Right now some topics of choice are obviously blogging and weight-related health. We are never done learning.
  3. Live with authenticity. Honesty is the foundation on which I build my values, priorities, and goals. I can’t lie about or fake much of anything. So, when I do something, love someone, learn something it is with 100% of my being. 50%-ing life is hardly living.
  4. Run with stallions. A few days ago I talked about surrounding yourself with people who strive to succeed and support your achievements. Hold your inner circle to a golden standard. Befriend someone you can learn something from, encourage your current pals to hop on the success-wagon with you.
  5. Talk it out. I rarely shut up and it sometimes gets me in trouble; but more often than not, it allows people to understand my point of view, it allows me to take a load off; it allows my thoughts to be heard. Don’t keep to yourself, the world wants to hear your opinions and ideas!

Take one of these 5 steps today and start shining!

Is it wrong that I am kind of sad that it is day 25 already? I don’t want it to be over! I could just be emotional because my music didn’t work in class this morning and I came home to a dog freaking out because of the much-needed thunderstorm. Why can’t thunderstorms relax small white dogs like they do the majority of humans?

My post today will reflect a different interpretation of day 25 than Chalene intended, as it is mostly about having your spouse on your side through goal setting and life changes. Since I have no spouse, I obviously won’t be telling you my opinion on how to deal with them (not to mention that most 19 year olds don’t really have an opinion on how to deal with spouses, regardless). I will rather, cover appreciating yourself and others on a daily basis.

I just talked about keeping fit friends; so if you have them, appreciate them. As you make healthy lifestyle changes you are displaying appreciation for your body and life. The people who support those changes should also be appreciated. Make “friend dates;” call them just to say “hey;” connect with good people you may not have talked to in a while. For those people you see almost daily, surprise them with tangible expressions of gratitude on occasion. Leave notes; show up to meet them with coffee help them out without being asked. They will notice and you will feel amazing for making their day. When it comes to family and partners or people you live with, it often helps with reaching goals if you’re on the same page. A common life priority list is ideal. Take time to discuss your priorities with those you live with to avoid conflict and gain support.

Luckily, I keep basically nothing to myself so those close to me are clearly aware of my priorities. That makes it so much easier to remain true to myself. Stay honest with others; stay honest with yourself.

If you haven’t seen my posts from the past couple of days, check em’ out. We’re talking fit bods and prizes here, people.

Day 24 asked me to examine the people closest in my life and their effect on me. Today, was slightly difficult because I am at home and my friend group will change in 3 weeks when I go to IU. For that reason, I dog-eared the page as a reminder to revisit it later. A couple of key points that I want to highlight are:

  • Surround yourself with people who encourage, support, and celebrate your successes
  • Positive people attract positive people
  • Positive people achieve positive things

Allow me to clarify a few things from the bulletpoints: 1) Spend the majority of your time with people who want great things both for themselves and you; limit time spent with people who make the same mistakes repeatedly, can’t seem to get motivated, or minimize/inhibit your success. 2) There is nothing I enjoy more than holding a conversation about excitement for a particular topic. I just like getting excited about things; whether it’s heading back to school, a new fitness routine, or lima beans…if someone is talking excitedly about it to me, I can’t help but catch the fever. On the other hand, I know plenty of people who really don’t have anything nice to say about too many things. You probably know someone like this: it doesn’t matter what you say you like, do, or want, they oppose the idea and often with uneducated opposition. Look at things with a positive eye, require the people you keep closest to do the same, and you might find your vision in life getting a bit sharper. 3) As your vision grows sharper, you are able to seize opportunities and effective accomplish things. A frequently made mistake in this point is thinking naive people achieve positive things. If we remain in the dark about challenging topics, we will never have the knowledge to push further and achieve more; that is, we never even know there is more to be done in our life. Dig deep and find your full potential, know that you can always go a step further in anything and then take the measures to do so.

And on to Challenge 2:

This is a 3- week endurance challenge for anyone looking to improve heart health, be able to exercise more effectively for longer periods of time and challenge their body. This can be done in conjunction with Challenge 1 from yesterday, or alone. Again, I am not a doctor or personal trainer, but rather, a fitness enthusiast looking to inspire others and gain some companions on my fitness journey. All you need to complete this challenge is a light set of dumbells (3-7lbs) and perhaps running shoes or whatever gear you need to complete your cardio of choice.

Step 1) Sign up and friend me on Myfitnesspal. You will be tracking your exercise on this simple site. (There is also a smartphone app for on-th-go tracking).

Step 2) Move your body 7 miles a day, 3 days per week. This can mean walking/running/swimming/elliptical-ing/etc. I would reccomend bumping it to 10 miles if you choose to bike. Here are a few options to track your distance:

  • drive off a path with your car before heading out
  • download a GPS smartphone app like Nike+(you don’t need a shoe chip and it works on a treadmill), Endomondo, WalkTracker, MapMyFitness, etc.
  • 1650 yds/1500m= 1mile of swimming
  • Walk/run/rollerblade/ride on a track 4 laps=1 mile

Step 3) Complete the following muscular endurance routine 2x per week (click links for examples and feel free to comment on this post with questions):

Modify anything that is painful. Make sure that your doctor believes you are healthy enough to complete this workout/program

Step 4) Log workouts on Myfitnesspal. The muscular strength routine can be logged as “strength training” for 23 minutes and “calisthenics” for 15 minutes

Step 5) Follow my blog by clicking “Follow” in the top right of this page. Don’t forget to friend me on MyFitnessPal, log workouts and comment “I DID IT!” on my post on August 16th for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Two from the challenge will win!

Comment below if you’re in!


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


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.

On the topic of having a diet yesterday, I wanted to share this because it is simple, true, and effective.

Hungry Girl – Friday Newsletter.

Day 21 of PUSH is one of my least favorite simply because it confuses me a little but I’ll give you the gist of it and then dish up my day for you.

Day 21: the 80/20 rule. If you have done any dabbling in diet books or articles, you have probably heard at one point or another the concept of eating healthfully 80% of the time and less than beautifully 20% of the time. Chalene goes beyond applying this idea to food intake by relating it to life in general. She explains that 80% of your efforts will yield 20% of your results. As I write this now, Day 21 is clearing up for me. The big breaks, the major strides, the life changing moments often come from a single string of events, not the web of effort you put into specific tasks. Take my blogging goal for example, right now I am clearly still in the research phase because as I spent hours yesterday trying to figure out the best way to purchase a domain and download software and basically do everything that involves self-hosting a blog. All of these little tasks that are taking up so much time are not going to get me 500 subscribers. My writing, the photos to come, the easy stuff will get me to that point. But we cannot neglect the seeminly less important 80% of work, as it is the foundation, just not the direct recipe, for 80% of our success.

Today I woke up ravenous! I taught three classes in three hours last night and followed them with only a smoothie since it was kind of late. When I woke up though, I had that, “my stomach is eating itself” feeling. I had planned to run to teach swim lessons this morning but after filled myself up with a 550 calorie fruit and rice cereal bowl, I knew the running was better left for the afternoon. Biking sounded more stomach-friendly, so biking it was. After teaching lessons and riding my bike 7 miles, I was ready for lunch at about 12:30. But I stared in the fridge for about 15 minutes and couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I munched on fresh cherries for a few minutes and finally decided on a veggie burger patty with fat free sharp cheddar cheese. I finished my lunch off with “ants on a log,” if you didn’t have this as a snack when you were little, I would say you’re not American but I am going to give you a chance to redeem yourself by trying it today.

The super-secret “ants on a log” recipe: celery, peanut butter (I used pb2), and raisins (I used a dried fruit/seed trail mix)–Spread the celery with PB and sprinkle with raisins. YUM!

It’s my last day of Max Recovery during my 60 day Insanity journey. When I finish that, I’ll take a 4-mile or so jog and enjoy the sunshine at the pool!

Happy Friday!

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