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Who’s joining me for the fittest year ever in 2012?

31 Dec

You didn’t think I would go into 2012 without a New Year’s Resolution fitness post, did you?

I’m going to be even more fit and healthy this year. 365 days of commitment – Strength training, endurance training, rest, mobility and lots of healthy eating for fueling. How can you join me in being fitter and healthier than ever in 2012?

Since you will probably quit reading after this list, here’s what not to do in 2012:
– Nothing/be sedentary
– Endless hours of steady state cardio
– Avoid lifting weight / lifting little pink dumbbells
– Overtrain
– Put bad foods, drinks and other toxins in your body
– Skimp on sleep
– Put yourself behind everyone else all the time
– Hold on to stress / let the small stuff stress you out
– Tell yourself “I can’t…”

Let me expand now by telling you how you can be fitter (and healthier!):

– Do something – if you are sedentary, start moving. I don’t care if it’s getting up to walk down the hall once an hour. Just be more active. If you sit at the desk all day, get up and pace while on a phone call, walk to the farthest bathroom in the office, take advantage of that free on-site gym…you get the picture. If you are pretty active, read on…

– Steady state cardio is pretty counter-productive if you are trying to get fit and maintain fitness. Your body adapts and it adapts FAST. You need to be doing a variety of training protocols, from short bouts of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to training longer intervals at about 80-85%. Save the steady state, long slow distance for endurance events. If you train higher intensity intervals, you condition your body to be better at the longer, slower distances, plus you get far more caloric burn from it. Bonus – less risk for overuse injuries (in case you haven’t had the pleasure of an overuse injury, once you have one it will plague you forever. You can still perform, but you’re going to feel the past injury in some way).

– Hello, Jane Fonda called and she wants her pink dumbbells back! You are doing yourself a HUGE disservice if you aren’t lifting actual weight. Fact, lifting heavy outperforms any other kind of lifting format (high rep, low weight = set yourself up to be disappointed again this year). LADIES, WE AREN’T GENETICALLY BUILT TO BULK UP LIKE MEN! Stop living in the shadow of that lie! Pick up heavy weights, give yourself just enough rest to feel a little uncomfortable, then repeat until your training session is over. Then get home and refuel!

– Don’t overdo it. Rest is essential for body mind and body. You will not get fitter or healthier if you run yourself into the ground. Define what rest means to you, be it some gentle yoga, a light bike ride or no workout at all and embrace the rest day! This includes sleep. It’s nearly impossible to be healthy without getting enough sleep.

– You will completely sabotage any effort to get fit if you put junk in your mouth. Looking and feeling good is about 80% nutrition-based. If you eat junk, you will feel like junk. Refer to my last post on 2012 healthy eating.

– You have to put yourself first when it comes to your health. You need to find an hour in your busy day to dedicate to yourself. It’s your time to focus on being healthy.

– Don’t let stress rule your life. Show stress who’s boss. Don’t let stress win. Most of what you are stressing over is not worth the health impact that stress has on you.

– And finally, don’t tell yourself that you can’t. You can get your butt off the couch and take a walk. You can bundle up and take a walk in less than optimal weather. You can give up wheat because you are gluten intolerant (you won’t even miss wheat in a month)! You can learn to like Kale. You can step foot into a gym without feeling embarrassed. You can go to a CrossFit gym and complete a WOD. You can run a marathon in October. You can stop letting your boss stress you out. You can take an hour a day for yourself. You can eliminate worthless tasks from your schedule to get more sleep.

So, are you going to join me in making this your fittest and healthiest year ever?

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Decisions, Decisions.

23 Oct

If you think about it, life is pretty simple. We either do something or we don’t do something. As the saying goes: “Making no choice is a choice” (William James, Psychologist). Why do we beat ourselves up over major and extremely minor life decisions (Should I drink the bottled water or the filtered tap water?).

Major decisions shouldn’t be impulsive, but they still boil down to do it or don’t do it (Take the job or don’t, move or stay, have children or be childless, should I have chemo for my cancer or try alternative therapies?) – Take a little time to gather facts, listen to your gut feeling, talk to your husband or wife to get their buy in, consider any other lives impacted, and just make a decision. But don’t waste time and drive yourself crazy with indecision. Just do it or don’t do it.

Regarding what kind of water to drink (bottled or filtered)…is it really worth any of your time to mull the decision over? Are you going to become dehydrated if you make the wrong decision? Will you be outcast by society? Will every police officer in the city come running to cuff you for the wrong decision? You have enough knowledge in your head from news reports, past experience and personal preference. Just order the bottled water or don’t order it. There’s always the filtered tap water.

I swear I will continue the last post, but first, this post:

6 Oct
I posted this on Facebook, but wanted to share with a wider audience:
Steve Jobs and why I am scared: That procedure Steve Jobs describes in the Stanford commencement speech (insert the endoscope into the esophagus, through the stomach and into the pancreas to get pancreatic cells) – I had that procedure. It’s called an ERCP.
I was 19 or 20 when it was done. At the time, I had bouts of acute pancreatitis for unknown reasons. Don’t know if they were checking for cancer, but they were trying to find the reason that a person so young would suffer with a disease that usually strikes long-term alcoholics.
Several similar procedures would also render docs clueless. My mom and I rationalized with the Gastro-specialist that the cause may be my diet – high in refined carbs, low in fat and protein. That’s what the diet fat was those days. “You’ll lose weight by eating low-fat, hidden sugar cereal, a plain baked potato or spaghetti with only marinara sauce!” Gosh, I wish I had known then what I know now about food.
Anyway, this is when I first started learning to cook. It took years of learning to cook, learning what may cause pancreatitis symptoms and so on. It was when I discovered a lifestyle of clean eating or whole-food eating. But by then, my gall bladder had started failing. The pancreas and the gall bladder work hand-in-hand in digestion, but you can live without a gall bladder (you need the pancreas). Don’t know if that was caused by diet also, but one would think that if diet cause the pancreatic problems, it could have caused the gall bladder to fail. Let me tell you, a bowl of Kashi cereal or rice would set off the typical gall bladder attack pain…forget the fats that “they” say causes that pain. Shocking, I know. That stuff is supposed to be good for you, right?
Now, I’m not one for surgery. I don’t believe anyone should have surgery unless it’s a life or death situation or every other possible avenue of treatment has failed. Other avenues were failing for me and it was beginning to look like a life or death situation. During one attack in which I was pretty sure I was dying, I went by squad to the ER. My blood pressure was 190 over something like 120. My pulse was also very high (if you don’t know already, I’m the walking dead when it comes to heart rate – it’s so low, it created a panic situation in the hospital when I was in for a stay prior to the gall bladder surgery). Yet, they couldn’t diagnose the problem that night.
It wasn’t until the latter hospital stay, mentioned above, that the problem was detected. Hallelujah! Don’t you hate it when you know you have a medical problem and medicine can’t prove it!? During the 45 minute consult with the surgeon, he emphasized how serious my pancreatic problem was. It would eventually stop working and I would die. The pancreas is a little bastard of an organ. I opted for the surgery. I continue a very clean, whole foods diet, currently eating mostly under the Paleo model (animal protein, nuts, other good fats, few vegetables and fruits for carbs and no non-veggie carbs). Again, what “they” say about the inability to eat fat after the removal of a gall bladder has not been true in my case.
Am I saying that Steve Jobs had cancer from his diet? Absolutely not. Nor am I saying that I would have had pancreatic cancer if things had continued on with the acute pancreatitis attacks. More than likely, I would have died from chronic pancreatitis. Hearing Steve talk about the procedure reminded me of this serious medical issue that I had and all the steps I took to overcome that issue. I guess that, like Steve, I’m a fighter and I don’t accept that fate I’ve been handed. I hope that you all have learned at least one lesson, if not many from Steve Jobs – live and enjoy life to it’s fullest, don’t accept pain and suffering – overcome it, and grow from what you have learned. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones, as I am, thankful to have good health.

My pick for articles of the week regarding nutrition news

12 Aug

Please read and digest. If you decide to alter your diet, remember baby steps work best to adhere to the changes.

This writer expands on Gary Taubes’ book “Good Calories, Bad Calories”: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/08/carbohydrate-hypothesis-of-obesity.html

This writer makes the case for spending a little extra money on farmer’s market and organic foods (If you spend the money upfront, you spend less on the back-end with medical bills resulting from an unhealthy diet): http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/08/affordable-food-doesnt-have-to-kill-planet

This article focuses on the consequences of eating non-organic chicken (non-organic chicken is full of antibiotics…in addition to creating antibiotic resistance, antibiotics can kill good gut flora, causing a host of gut-related conditions such as IBS): http://www.fastcompany.com/1772693/poultry-farms-that-go-organic-immediately-lower-risk-of-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria

Another Science Daily post worthy of a Blog

3 Aug

Killer Carbs: Scientist Finds Key To Overeating As We Age

from Science Daily

Read this…esp. if you fall in the 25 – 50 age group!

Note from Kelly: Not all carbs are bad, so pick wisely and adjust for your level of activity. Sedentary individuals will have a lesser need for carbs (as well as overall caloric intake) than athletes.

This is a really interesting study on diets and the brain!

3 Aug

Why diets don’t work: Starved brain cells eat themselves, study finds

from Science Daily

The take-home message: Make healthy eating a lifestyle! Fruits, veggies, nuts, good fats, goods cuts of meat, good dairy, adjust for food allergies, have a little black coffee and red wine occasionally (the drier the wine, the better) and stay away from the processed foods. Your body AND you brain will thank you!

There’s a lot of false info in the media and on the web…

27 Jul

Here’s just one example of “lies and mistruths” reported on the web (see link below). I agree with nearly everything the blogger says, except in some cases, I don’t believe that writing down everything you eat is necessary, but ONLY IF you are only taking in fruits, veggies, non-processed and healthy cuts of meat or seafood, some dairy, calorie free drinks, healthy fats and limited healthy grains. This means, nothing fried, no added sugars, nothing processed and no cased meats. It’s almost impossible to eat too much if you eat like this. HOWEVER, if you like your daily cola, iced mocha, after-work cocktail, fried, processed or sugary foods or a lot of starchy carbs, it’s better to track what you eat. You might be surprised and want to make some changes to your diet!

9 Surprising Health Facts: http://www.livestrong.com/blog/blog/9-surprising-health-facts/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=110726

NOTE: Fitness Kelly can help you learn to develop a lifestyle of healthier eating and living. Contact me for more info.