Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hidden blessings

I was watching a show that had a young girl with chronic pain so bad that her doctors prescribed so much pain medicine that she continuously overdosed. It was really tragic to see.

I think of people like this girl and others that have terrible illness and I'm so thankful for the health I have. I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue, which has been life changing. But, not all in a bad way. Through this illness, I've learned how blessed I am! I enjoy every day I can get up, work, exercise and live my life. Some people can't.

I am so thankful that I can go for a run. Some people can't. I'm not fast and because of my illness, it's really tough. I don't see a lot of progress. I have to work a lot harder to reach my goals. But I can work. I CAN run, bike, swim, jump. Some people can't.

My doctor told me it would be like starting from scratch every time I workout. He was not that far off target. But since my diagnosis, I've been able to run half marathons, do countless sprint triathlons, an Olympic distance triathlon, mountain bike all over creation, and now I'm planning on my first half Ironman triathlon! What a gift! Do you feel like exercising and health is a gift?

I learned that most people with my 'condition' are considered disabled. They have trouble holding down a job. I'm my own boss, so I'm able to control my working hours. If I'm feeling ill and need a nap, I can take it. What a blessing!

So, on days I'm feeling bad about myself because I don't run fast or see much progress, I think of that. On days I don't feel like running because I'm tired or lazy, I think of the people who would give anything just to get up and walk for a few minutes. Those are the days I put on my running shoes and thank God for a body that can do it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Don't bargain for wellness

Have you seen this commercial: a lady is looking at cheese cake. She’s bargaining in her mind, thinking all of the things she could do to counter act eating that one piece of cake. Jogging in place for 10 minutes or maybe going up and down the stairs for half an hour. The list goes on…

Sound familiar? I think most of us have been there at some point. I have to admit, it’s been a really long time since I’ve done that, though. Why? It doesn’t work!

Let me break something down for you. Let’s take one small piece of cheese cake and let’s say it has 400 calories. If you eat that slice on top of your daily allotted calories because you plan on burning it off, you’ll have to do the equivalent of running 4 miles.

What if you go out to eat for that cake and decide to have some nachos and cheese before your meal, plus the cake at the end? We could be talking some extreme calories here, but let’s be conservative: 400 calories for your appetizer and 400 for dessert.

Be honest, are you going out for an 8 mile run after dinner just to ‘break even’?

I’m NOT telling you to cut out all desserts and appetizers. If you want that cheese cake, eat the cheese cake! Enjoy every delicious bite and don’t feel guilty. But work it into your allotted daily caloric intake. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll do an extra 8 miles on the treadmill to burn it off! This mindset is outrageous, depressing and simply put; you will fail at your quest for wellness.

If you don’t know how many calories you need, there’s a great website that can help. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

I’d like to leave you with one last thought; moderation is the key to success. In anything, including dessert or even exercise, moderation is key.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fitness dreams

We recently relocated from Indianapolis, IN to Yuma AZ. It's funny because lots of people warned us about the hot desert weather. Duh, right?

We heard from so many people how terribly miserable we would be. We went for it anyway.

We've been here for eight months now. It's mid July-summer in the desert. I can now tell you that yes it's hot. It's the desert. But 115 degrees in the Sonoran Desert is not as bad as 98 degrees in Indianapolis. One word: humidity.

I look at this and I think about the other areas of my life. People usually mean well when put a damper on our dreams. But sometimes we have to take the challenge and go for it anyway.

Everyone telling you it's crazy to train for a marathon? Go for it! No one you know would ever do a triathlon - even better reason to do one! Dreamed of teaching Zumba? What are you waiting for?

Don't be afraid to take a leap of faith and do something you've always wanted to do. Don't let other people's fears hold you back!

You'll be glad you went for your dreams!