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100 Ways of Fitness Day 45

Roses are red, you’re who I like. It’s a beautiful day, let’s take a hike!

Hiking in Washington has its pros and cons. Because everyone in the state enjoys it so much, there are literally hundreds of easy to find and get to hikes, most within an hour from Seattle. Chris and I could easily hike a different trail every week in a year and not even scratched the surface of all the possibilities. The problem is with hiking being a year round popular activity is thinking Valentine’s Day would prohibit folks from going hiking. That would be totally incorrect. Hiking on Valentine’s Day is ALMOST as popular as hiking the day before the Big Game when your team is playing (there were so many folks wearing their 12th Man shirts and even dressing their dogs in Seahawks bandanas or shirts. There was even a huge crowd of people at the summit with a 12th Man flag). So people here in Washington LOVE to be outside in nature. So if you go hiking on a weekend, there are going to be a TON of people, no matter what.

Today we went up to Bellingham area, to the Chuckanut mountains near the Puget Sound and hiked Fragrance Lake. It was a very enjoyable hike. Yeah, there were a few people around, more than I’d like to see. But it’s great to know I live in an area that has so many folks interested in connecting to nature.
I found one nerdy correlation in the wildlife we saw on our way up north while going through Skagit county. There were dozens of flocks of trumpeter swans in the fields. I know in some places these swans are threatened and they are protected in most areas, and I’ve heard that local farmers try to do their part to conserve the species, but on this annoyingly romantic day, I found it ironic that we were seeing them everywhere, and they are typically monogamous birds that mate for life. Say it with me “aaaaaawwweeee!” Actually, I’ve never heard a trumpeter swan before, but I’m pretty sure they go “hooooonnk”

I find it interesting that I love hiking, but the thought of getting out of bed, packing the backpack with snacks and driving “so far” is so unmotivating that I almost cancel nearly every time I plan a hike. Except once I’m there, it’s energizing, I feel connected, natural, and even tranquil (it’s odd that one of the more relaxing things I do is sweating and makings heart beat fast- I imagine most people would find that difficult to believe). I mean, it’s not meditation, but I am usually very much at peace in the woods.
This feeling is also connected to biking, morning workouts, swimming, and lunch time or bed time routine workouts (I try to work my glutes at lunch and foam roll/pilates in the evening). I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna! Don’t make me! I don’t wanna! Oh, this is fun. Why didn’t I want to do this? And I usually have a significantly great time. I mean, usually I see something that I find significant for me. Like the trumpeter swans today.

And hiking with Chris is great too. We were debating for a while on whether hiking is a great “new relationship” date, because I felt it was a more “long term relationship” date, but I think that has to do more with myself being deeply connected to nature, it being such a personal and almost sacred and spiritual thing for me, that I wouldn’t share it with someone unless I really enjoyed their company. But I have to concede that Chris was probably right, and as long as both parties are somewhat active, a hike is probably a perfect date (just no sex in the woods- don’t make me commentate on that).

So, how was everyone’s V-Day? Did you all do something that your heart will thank you for? Did you have a sweetie to do something with? Or did you simply take very good care of yourself, because you love yourself?

Have a great weekend, my friends!

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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

A few years ago I watched Groundhog Day and had an epiphany. It never actually sticks, but I am reminded every year of my lesson from the classic movie (don’t tell me you havent seen it- it IS a classic), and especially with this challenge, I wanted to share it with you and get some of your thoughts.

Bill Murray had to relive his day over and over until he got it “right”. At some point, he starts just doing things he’s always wanted to try, but he never had time, or never got around to it, and that’s when we start seeing a change in his character. He starts living his day to be the best because he’s going to have to live it over and over.

Every year on Groundhog Day, I commit to living each day like I’m going to have to relive it over and over again. I make the promise to make that day the best possible. It stays with me for about a week or two, and then it falters, but I’ve been thinking, with this challenge, I’m trying to do something each day to better my life as a whole, so why DOES Groundhog Day have to end? Heck, why does 100 Ways have to end? What if I do something each day that I will be grateful for for the rest of my life? How awesome would that be?

That being said, what would you do today if you knew you’d have to relive it over and over again?

And I know the photo doesn’t exactly work with the theme, but it’s just hilarious and wanted to share.
Happy Groundhog Day!

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Yoga: 1 PJ: 0

Today I got a 10 class pass to Hot Yoga Inc for $10. It was too cheap to pass up. To start off my one month of yoga, I decided to do their Yin yoga class, which was their supposedly “easiest” class as it consisted of stretching and the heat off.

It still sucked. First, I thought it was an hour, it was actually 90 minutes. And the stretches weren’t that difficult, it was the holding of each stretch for a VERY long time that nearly killed me.

I love pigeon pose (or swan as they called it this class). But holding pigeon for FIVE minutes EACH leg?? Kill me.

And even with the heat turned off it was uncomfortably warm.

But I am committing to this for a month. So when they asked how was it after class, I told them honestly “it was horrible. See you tomorrow”

I truly truly hope this gets easier and by the end of the month I’m holding pigeon for ten minutes and enjoying every minute of it.

Yoga, you may have won this particular battle, but you will not win the war!

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In Case of Emergency, Hug a Goat

“In case of emergency, break glass and hug goat.”

It’s no secret I’ve had a pretty rough week. Chris Topher and I were supposed to go play with goats last Saturday, but I read on the farm’s website they required reservations for tours and we didn’t hear from them in time. I was a pretty sad panda.

But then, the zoo’s training mentor group announced they were going to have a luncheon workshop at the Family Farm. Which is where the GOATS live!!!! I spent about an hour and a half playing with GOATS!!! And I got PAID for it!!!!

Alyssa and I were teamed with Sparky, the youngest goat in the herd, and we were trying to teach him to kiss our cheek (by licking and getting his wonderful smelly goat slobber all over me). You know, for Valentine’s Day. Because nothing is sweeter than a goat kiss!
We got as far as Sparky kissing our hand near our face, but not quite an actual kiss ( I swear, Alyssa, I’ll go up the next two weeks and teach that little guy to kiss us or die trying! I’m getting a fracking goat kiss for Valentine’s Day!). Which is fine. Because I spent the afternoon playing with GOATS!!! And I got PAID for it!!! Because it’s my JOB!!!

I’m going to try to see if Diane, the Family Farm keeper, will let me just stop by one lunch break once in a while to get a snuggle in. Because of everything I’ve done this week to deal with my emotions and frustrations, playing with goats has been by FAR the most therapeutic activity.

I just need a baby goat behind glass so when I’m in a sour mood, Chris can run over, grab the goat and breathe easy knowing everything is going to be fine. Pattie has her goat….that would be AWESOME!

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Glutes, There it is!

Glutes, there it is!

I have been spending about 20 minutes during my lunch break doing these all week. I hope to make it a habit and maybe get my knees back on track in time for biking season.
20 each donkey kicks
20 each fire hydrants
20 each side leg lifts
20 each lower leg lifts
20 each lateral walks
20 monster walks front and backwards
10 each pistol squats, being super duper careful that my knee doesn’t go over my toe, and right now I’m holding onto a wall for dear life
20 physio ball glute bridges
20 each single leg glute bridges
20 each single leg deadlifts
30 second side plank each side
10 each single leg sit downs

Again, it takes me about 15-20 minutes to complete the routine. And I’ve been spending about 5-8 minutes with my foam roller each night, trying to go up in time each night. Aiming for 10 minutes tonight.
I will get my knees bike ready or i will die trying!

Beauty and Beast Mode

Beauty and Beast mode

I have a secret love for creating Fandom workouts. So last week, in a casual passing tone, Erin Martin said it would be fun to do a Disney workout. Yes. Yes it would!

So I created one. It was a fairly easy workout. I mean, we exercise in the elephant basement for crying out loud. I made our medicine wall balls out of recycled basketballs and duct tape. And Dumbbells out of kitty litter containers. We’re pretty basic.

But we come together every week and chat and workout! And some of the girls have started going to a gym to workout more. In fact, I received a compliment from Alyssa Borek‘s trainer who told her her squat form was terrific. And she credited me for that. I loved hearing about you and Kim Szawan telling your trainers about Bootcamp and them asking you where and you’re like, um, the elephant basement. It’s the cool new club where all the cool kids workout, don’t you know?! But I love how Monday nights are Zoo Bootcamp night. And Erin wanted a Disney workout. So by gosh, she got one!

I think I’ll try to create a Disney villain workout. Double Ursula unders. Gaston goblet squats.

I’ll definitely create a Doctor Who workout, for Susan Burchardt. AndStephanie Forbes Miller wants me to create a Monty Python.
I’ve got some work to do! Haha!

Great work, ladies! Keep coming back. It works if you work it.

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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I just finished listening to one of my favorite books, a truly inspiring book called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver.
It’s about the author’s project of living an entire year from food grown or raised themselves or from local sources. They raised chickens and turkeys for eggs and meat and grew, well, just about everything. She made her own cheese and pizza dough from items purchased at farmers markets or her neighboring farms. She even canned and froze her produce so they could survive on the fruits of their labor throughout winter.
It’s inspiring to say the least. She really did her part to reduce her carbon footprint and eat sustainably. She supported local farmers and encouraged others to do their part as well.
However you have to keep in mind that the author did this project knowing full well she was expected to write a book from her experience. So she was a little more than motivated to make it work. In fact, that was her JOB for the year. It’s like an actor saying it’s easy to stay in shape- of course if it’s your JOB!
For the rest of us that live in areas that can’t grow everything we need all year round and work and have tons of other obligations, it’s a little more difficult.
But it did inspire me to look at my habits and make some changes for a better world.
I’ve already started Meatless Mondays, which as I understand, can help save about a million barrels of oil a year or something like that. Which is insane. But Meatless Monday doesn’t guarantee that my food is not traveling a great distance to feed me. Are there other ways Chris and I can inspire folks to eat local, sustainable, and green?
Enter my new challenge idea-
Washington Wednesdays and Farm Fresh Fridays.
Washington Wednesday will be the day out of the week where everything we eat comes from Washington. So as local as we can get. I like the idea of finding new and exciting entrees right in our own backyard, so this seems like it’ll be almost enjoyable. Salmon is almost a given, but I look forward to exploring my vegetable options too and even some special treats (Theo’s chocolate anyone?). The true challenge will lie in ensuring not only in eating clean and local, but healthy as well (did I say Theo’s, I meant Growing Washington CSA).
Farm Fresh Friday- well I don’t think we’ll have an issue with healthy or clean eating but the true challenge is to ensure its FRESH, so again, locally sourced. I feel this will take a bit of detective work to ensure our meat is as sustainable, organic, and local but I’m definitely up for this challenge as well!
I need to do some more preparing, which is fine bc even Ms. Kingsolver took three or four months before starting her project. I hope to be ready to start in late March or early April. Only question is, who’s with me?

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100 Ways of Fitness Day 23

“Fitness is like climate change”

I told Chris I was stealing this lovely nugget of a gem that he came up with, and while he said it was fine, I’m backtracking and giving him credit where credit’s due.

I was in a fairly good mood during the day. I got to sleep in a little, had a good laugh at a comedy routine on Netflix, had a great personal training session at Experience Momentum. Even enjoyed the WOD. In fact I more than enjoyed it- it was super-mondo fun with Kate Stein, Marie and Chrissie and I competing against Chris, Brent Kuester, Danny, and Giancarlos. We lost, but just barely (it ended up being 7 rounds for the boys and just 10 reps short of 7 rounds for the girls- soooo close!). And then a few of us joined in with Bob Park‘s 5:30 class warmup, with his special ladder of coordination exercises. So all that should have easily trumped the “devastation” that followed. But if you know me…..

I decided to measure my body fat. And so begins my ultra long digressive saga about my fracking body fat.
In September of last year I started a Thanksgiving Shred so I would feel confident and smoking hot in a bikini while vacationing in Hawaii for thanksgiving. I had hoped to get down to about 18-19% body fat. I started at 21% so while I knew it’d be hard, I thought it was doable. I busted ass, performed a different exercise challenge and killed that, tried paleo for a month, and ended up on the week I was leaving at 22%.
Meh. I wasn’t all that upset. I still rocked out in my bikini and skimpy dresses. And felt damn good! I knew I’d get my ass in gear when I got home and make 18% fat my goal for 2015.

I don’t know if December was just unkind to me or if I ate candy canes and fruit cake in my sleep, but it was rougher than I’d like to admit. My willpower to resist temptations, especially at work, has seemed to plummet. But I accounted for these splurges and entered them and even with the added treats, I was hitting or even going under my caloric goal. So, I shouldn’t worry? Right?

Well I worry because it seems the second I STOP worrying is when my fat comes back with a vengeance.
So I measured myself. And got 25%. TWENTY-FIVE!?!?!

When I started Biggest Loser last year, I was around 28%. By the end of April I was at 22% and for a quick moment during the summer I was actually down to just below 20%. It probably had to do something with me giving up breads, cereals, and artificial sweeteners (which I still avoid to this day). But now I’m all the way back up to 25?!?! What kind of bullshit is this?!?!

I’ve noticed my weight has also been creeping up. But one things I’ve been really trying to do is stop worrying about the stupid scale, so I’ve been weaning myself from weighing myself daily to every three days and hoping to stretch it out to once a week. But when I saw the scale read 165 lbs, I freaked the F out and my anxiety has started me weighing every morning again. Wasn’t I JUST 155 last month? I mean, I know I’m trying to gain muscle but I am seriously seriously doubting that I gained that much in 4 weeks!

So I looked at MyFitnessPal to see where I’ve been going wrong. And as far as staying on target for calories, I’m not going wrong. I have consistently been meeting my caloric goal everyday for the past month. Even when I sneaked goodies, like pie. I did see two things that sent red flags: 1) I’ve increased my intake of red meat. I have allowed myself this “luxury” because I discovered a place that provides locally sourced, grass fed pasture raised beef and bison. But it has increased my intake significantly and that’s a good amount of fat. And 2) I’m not being anal retentive about logging my meals and (I guess this is 2.5) my macros have been pretty wonky.

But I am eating better. I AM working hard! So why am I not just not seeing results, but feel like I’m regressing?

So Chris was pissing me off with all his positivity. But he did say something that struck a chord with me. He made a connection to fitness and conservation.

“Isn’t looking at the scale and calibrator and basing your entire outlook on what it says each day a lot like saying climate change isn’t real because it’s cold. Today. Where I live?”

I stared at him.

“What?” He asks.

“Yes. Fine! Yes, it’s exactly like that!”

Yup. Our fitness journey is like climate change. One day’s reading is not the finality of where you are or where you are going.

And like climate change, one should look at all the information and find underlying trends:

  • My size 6 pants still fit
  • I am definitely getting stronger
  • Weight is up
  • Body fat is up
  • Trying to balance budget on groceries and eating clean, lean, and Green. Each month I get better at it, but it is REALLY hard!
  • Work has added stressors
  • I am eating more red meat
  • I am not measuring precisely every minute item I put in my mouth
  • I have weaker resistance to temptation
  • I am snacking (even though lightly) later at night
  • I am averaging only about 75 oz of water a day
  • I am sleeping on average 5 hours a night
  • I spend more than 3 hours a day on Facebook or Netflix.
  • I am not taking weight loss supplements anymore (I see this as a positive though)
  • I don’t have a specific challenge participating in like Biggest Loser

I know it’s a pretty exhaustive list. I also know I can’t change EVERYTHING on that list overnight. And frankly, that’s a lot like climate change also. We will not fix all of those issues at once either. But if we take a couple issues at a time and just like fitness, healthy lifestyle, and the idea of 100 Ways of Fitness, create better long-lasting habits, we will see progress and we can make this a much better world.

….I hate it when Chris is right….

Drink up, Me Hearties (Your Water, That is)

I’ll admit, water consumption is not my strong suit!
So any help on this endeavor to keep myself hydrated and reap all the benefits of drinking water I’m all ears! Or eyes. Or whatever.
But some of these muddled infusions sound downright tasty!
I have one that I use that I really like too- cucumber, lemon, ginger, mint, and strawberries. I’ve also tried a lime and cilantro infusion that wasn’t too shabby either.
Do you have a favorite water infusion? Let us know!

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Having trouble drinking your daily water requirements?
Each of these recipes make 2 quarts.

10. ALL CITRUS – Slice 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 lemon into rounds, then cut the rounds in half. Add to jar and proceed with muddling, add ice & water….

9. RASPBERRY LIME – Quarter 2 limes; with your hands, squeeze the juice into the jar, then throw in the squeezed lime quarters. Add 2 cups raspberries. Muddle, add ice & water.

8. PINEAPPLE MINT — Add a sprig of mint to the jar (you can throw in the whole sprig; or, remove the leaves from the sprig, if you prefer to have the mint swimming around and distributing in the jar). Muddle the mint. Add 2 cups pineapple pieces, muddle, add ice & water.

7. BLACKBERRY SAGE — Add sage sprig to jar and muddle. Add 2 cups blackberries; muddle, add ice & water.

6. WATERMELON ROSEMARY — Add rosemary sprig to jar & muddle. Add 2 cups watermelon cubes; muddle, add ice and water.

5. CUCUMBER, LEMON & MINT — Add a sprig of mint to the jar and muddle. Add 1/2 sliced cucumber & 1 sliced lemon; muddle, add ice & water.

4. ORANGE PINEAPPLE — Add 1 sliced orange and 2 cups of pineapple chunks to the jar; muddle, add ice and water.

3. LEMON LAVENDER — Add 1 sprig of lavender to the jar, muddle. Add 1 sliced lemon, muddle, add ice and water.

2. STRAWBERRY MINT – Add a sprig of mint to the jar and muddle. Add 2 cups sliced strawberries, muddle, add ice and water.

1. GOOD OL’ FASHIONED LEMON WATER – Add 2-3 sliced lemons to a jar. Muddle, then add ice and water.

I hope these recipes inspire you to keep up that water intake, it’s one of the most basic things you can do to improve your health!

100 Ways of Fitness Day 19.5

Day 19.5
Wellness isn’t just doing good for your body
I have a confession to make. While I work hard to take care of my body, I do a horrible job of taking care of something I am actually deeply concerned about- my smile.
Today I had a dentist appointment to fix a cracked tooth I received last month. I really don’t like the dentist. I mean my dentist is really nice and awesome, but I’d rather visit my gynecologist for my yearly exam than have someone prodding around in my mouth for over an hour. Siriusly.
But I don’t take care of my teeth good enough. I brush them twice a day but God knows how long it’s been since I’ve flossed. I only use mouth wash when I’m about to kiss chris or after eating garlic or onions.
I have created such horrible dental hygiene habits and gotten away with them for so long that it’s hitting our finances hard now that I’ve had to have 5 root canals in four years. And it STILL hasn’t changed my habits. Something has to change here, folks. And you are the perfect group to help me do it!
I wasn’t going to pass on writing about tooth health bc I don’t do it well, but then I realized if I post this and write about this as something I need to work on, then I’ll have 20-30 folks reading this that will expect me to improve on this habit. And that will motivates to DO SOMETHING!
Damn accountability group!
I go back in two weeks for the crown and then I set up my cleaning for mid April. Yes our challenge will be done but my goal is for them to say they can tell a difference between my visit today and three months from now.
Challenge accepted!