Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This Is Why I Like to Workout!

I saw this post and just had to share it.  We all have a wonderful opportunity to lead by example.  The little ones in our lives watch what we do, not necesarily what we say.  The author is talking about a daughter, for me it is about all the impresionable young girls (and boys) in our lives!


10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out

by brynnharrington on November 19, 2013

Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me. She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over. “Come on! Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation! Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties! PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!”

“THAT DRESS?” My brain couldn’t focus on an image of some random dress hanging in my closet. All I could think about was my three-year-old daughter hearing and trying to process those words.

My daughter’s little brain is making sense of the world every single second, taking in verbal and non-verbal cues about how things work and what things mean. And when it comes to exercise, I want her to grow up seeing it as a joy, and not a utility…as a gift, and not a chore…as an opportunity, not an obligation. I want her to do it for the love of it, not to fit into a dress. I want her to grow up knowing that…

1.Strength equals self-sufficiency. Being strong – particularly as a woman – is empowering. It will feel good someday to be able to carry your own luggage down the stairs if the airport escalator is broken, and it will be important to have a solid shot at outrunning a stranger should you meet one a dark alley.

2.Fitness opens doors. Being healthy and fit can help you see the world differently. The planet looks different from a bike or a pair of skis than it does from a car or an airplane. Out in the elements you have the time and space to notice details and meet people and remember smells and bugs and mud and rain and the feeling of warm sunshine on your face. And those are the moments that make up your life.

3.The bike is the new golf course. Being fit may help you get a seat at the table. Networking is no longer restricted to the golf course, and the stronger you are – and the more people you can hang with on the road and trail – the more people you’ll meet.

4.Exercise is a lifestyle, not an event. Being an active person isn’t about taking a class three times a week at the gym. It’s about things like biking to the grocery store and parking your car in the back of the lot and walking instead of taking a cab and catching up with friends on a hiking trail instead of a bar stool.

5.Health begets health. Healthy behavior inspires healthy behavior. Exercise. Healthy eating. Solid sleep. Positive relationships. These things are all related.

6.Endorphins help you cope. A good sweat session can clear the slate. You will have days when nothing seems to go right…when you’re dizzy with frustration or crying in despair. A workout can often turn things around.

7.Working out signals hard-working. The discipline required to work out on a regular basis signals success. Someone recently told me they are way more likely to hire marathon runners and mountain climbers because of the level of commitment that goes into those pursuits.

8.If you feel beautiful, you look beautiful. Looking beautiful starts on the inside. And being fit and strong feels beautiful.

9.Nature rules. And if you’re able to hike/run/bike/swim/ski/snowshoe, you can see more of it.

10.Little eyes are always watching. We learn from each other. You may have a daughter—or a niece or a neighbor or a friend – one day. And that little girl will be watching and listening to everything she you say and do. What messages do you want her to hear?

I’ll never talk to my daughter about fitting into THAT DRESS. But I will talk to her about what it sounds like to hear pine needles crunching under my feet and what it feels like to cross a finish line and how special it is to see the world on foot. I will talk to her about hard work and self sufficiency. I will teach her the joy of working out by showing her I love it. And I’ll leave the rest up to her.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Oh Pumpkin, My Pumpkin!

I love the flavor of pumpkin, so this food season is a little slice of heaven for me!  In the past, I was the first one in line for the pumpkin scone as soon as it appeared at Starbucks.  Now, I find them dry and not worth the calories.

So I have been in search of a pumpkin fix that meets my (ridiculously) high taste standards.  Last weekend we went to a restaurant and I tried their pumpkin pancakes.  I sent them back, too rubbery.  The weekend prior I really cracked up my hubbie.  First we ordered a pumpkin roll, which came out so gooey it was disgusting.  Then I asked for an order of their pumpkin toast, which I didn't eat because I couldn't taste the pumpkin.  Then I asked for a pumpkin muffin, which I picked at because it was too sugary.  Hubbie said - "give it up Dear!"  He was right. :-)

So this morning I created a pumpkin pancake batter and thoroughly enjoyed some pancakes (with light butter) and real maple syrup.  I am completely satisfied and happy!  The calories were high for breakfast, but I won't eat lunch and am planning a big salad for dinner.  An hour of cardio will happen today too. It all balances out.

One other pumpkin treat I "invented"......take the plain canned pumpkin, add stevia and pumpkin pie spice to taste.  Set it in the freezer for an hour, take it out and enjoy a fun version of "pumpkin" ice cream.  Of course it is not ice cream, but it is full of flavor, cold and creamy and only 80 calories for a whole cup!

Desire to satisfy my taste buds.  Dedication to keep trying to find the right flavor treat.  Discipline to carefully enjoy. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's the Holidays - Let's All Hang in There!

It is the most wonderful time of the year!  I love the holidays and yet, of late, I find myself feeling overwhelmed with activity and obligation.

This year, I am going to approach things differently.  My husband and I agreed we would protect our Sundays so we would have 50% fewer weekend "things" we needed to do.  We are making a concerted effort to simplify this year.  We have been tapering off the number of gifts we purchase for Christmas for several years.  I am committed to NOT gaining weight this season, which means I will taper off the number of treats I consume.  Nothing will cross these lips unless it is 100% certified completely worth the extra calories!

This season, I have a distinct focus, and that is little Nathan Reid Massa, born on November 14th.  He is my nephew's son, which makes me a Great Auntie.  I know I have always been a great aunti to our 17 nieces and nephews, but now I officially a GREAT AUNTIE!  Tee hee.  When I met him Friday afternoon, I told him I was going to hold him all day on Thanksgiving, and that real soon I would get to be a babysitter.  He is a precious bundle of perfection and wonder and we are so blessed to have him in our lives!  He represents such a beautiful component of my healthy journey - love, health, promise for the future and pure joy!

So, what will your healthy focus be this season?  I hope it is something as wonderful a little Nathan!

Desire to seek balance.  Dedication to my new grand nephew.  Discipline to honor carefree Sundays.