Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Is it Time to Break Up?

If your playlist doesn't occasionally move you to tears, dump it like a bad boyfriend. Just break up. You need a playlist that will support and inspire you!

I'm so old that my first playlist was on a Sony Walkman, the cassette kind. That's right folks, I used to run to a mix tape. I'd run around Memorial Park in Houston singing, "Let it Be Me" at the top of my lungs. I didn't mind all those looks I got; I was inspired! I picture Phoebe when I imagine myself back then.

For the last couple of years, I've been exercising in front of the TV since I exercise at home. However, since I've gone back to running, I've realized that it just doesn't distract me enough. And it doesn't make me want to move my feet. When doing hard things, we need inspiration.

I decided to use beats per minute (BPM) to help me build my playlist. The easiest way I could find to do this was with an app. After admittedly minimal research, I chose Tempo Magic Pro.  I like it because not only does it analyze your BPMs, it can adjust them without ruining the song. You can actually y adjust them while they play! I have a lot of music on my iPod, so I don't tend to adjust the BPMs that much, I just look for songs that have the beat I need.  Using BPMs made it easier for me to add intervals to my playlist. When a faster song comes on, I match my footfalls to the beat. I push hard through that fast song knowing I can change tempo with the next one. It keeps me pressing forward. In case you also want to move beyond the mix tape, here are a couple of tips:

  • Your playlist should reflect you. 
  • Add your favorite songs first. 
  • Search your device for songs of a certain BPM. What you find might surprise you! I added "Timber" by Ke$ha because I just love the beat, 
  • Add inspiring songs. Don't underestimate sentimental value; I added Carrickfergus to my cool-down because it reminds me of a heart-warming time in England and a group of people dear to my heart. 
  • Add some just fun or silly songs or old songs
  • Order your list and see what's missing. I decided I wanted a longer warm up, so I front loaded a couple of slower songs. 
  • Try to start and end on an inspiring note.  
  • Shape your BPMs like a bell curve if you're building an interval mix.
It's your turn! Break up with that bad boyfriend playlist and get a fresh start. Shake it off. You know you've hit it when you're running along and you tears are running down your cheeks while you sing, " I am a woman on a mission. Nothing CAN stop me, I'm stronger than ever! I'm gonna see it through." 

Here's my current playlist. Be warned, some of the songs are a bit "colorful." If you will take a minute to share your  playlist with me, I'd love to pick up some new inspiration. On your mark, get set, go!

1. Fight Song - Rachel PLatten BPM 88
2. Proud - Heather Small - BPM 103
3. Let's Get it Started -The Black Eyed Peas - BPM 102
4. I Want Candy - Biggest Loser Workout Mix - BPM 144
5. On a Mission - Miss G - BPM 90
6. We are the Champions - Queen - BPM 63
7. You Gotta Be - Des'ree - BPM 94
8. Shake if Off - Taylor Swift - BPM 160
9. All About that Bass - Meghan Trainor BPM - 135
10. I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz - BPM 91
11. Timber - Ke$ha - BPM 130
12. Everything is Awesome - Lego Movie - BPM 141
13. Good Girls - 5 Seconds of Summer - BPM 142
14. Beautiful - Christina Aguilera - BPM 75
15. Mountaintop - The City Harmonic - BPM 63
16. Carrickferghus - Loreena McKennit - BPM 60

Friday, July 3, 2015

You Are Worth It - Links for Inspiration

(Part 1 is here)

If you read my post from a few days back and are interested in trying some new things for yourself, thought I'd share some of what I'm looking at. Before I do, however, I want to tell you that my 2 secret weapons are unfortunately, not really available to share; they are my teen daughters, Pepper and Sunshine.

Pepper has been quite regularly sharing in my body weight strength training, including being the person to hold my feet for my curl-ups and being the person who convinced me that I can plank!  She has also cooked a ton of delicious and nourishing food this summer! Sunshine has been very encouraging of my running, in particular, and saved me this very night. She came in when I was in the toughest part of my run and so "Way to go, Mom. You have this." How I needed that!

I can't give them to you but please do find a couple secret weapons of your own! Meanwhile, here are some links to what I've been loving lately:

Food and Recipes:

Totes "Tortilla" Soup
Triple Almond Scones - oh. my. goodness. Just do it.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimchurri
Paleo On the Go Restaurant Tips - so helpful on the road
The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook ($3 on Kindle; not much of a gamble)
Eating Well Quick Mediterranean Recipes



Nerd Fitness Beginner Body Weight Workout
Kenda's Trail Runner's Strength Training Workout (also mostly bodyweight)
Navy PRT training information
Hotel Work Out - this has helped so much this summer. I do mine on the front lawn of the hotel. I'm that awesome.
The Strong Knees Workout

Help for Working out!

Fitbit (how I love thee). We've been in a relationship 6 years. Any fitness tracker, really.
Tempo Magic - makes it easy to build a playlist for your workout.
Simply Yoga
Fight Song by Rachel Platten - makes me WANT to run!
Shake it Off by Taylor Swift
All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor

General Helpful Information:

Beginner's Guide to Paleo 
Weight Watchers International
Fooducate's Scanner App - get your nutrition info into a tracker instantly
Calm is an app that helps you do just that

If you try any of these things out, let me know how they worked for you. Now put down that phone and put on your trainers!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

You are WORTH It.

I am back on the losing train again, Woo, WOOOOOOOO.

This is typical of my journey. Work hard, not get a lot of results, get discouraged, gain a couple of pounds, come back to it and bam! Something works.  I have not given up in about 10 years of this battle due in large part to the encouragement of those around me like my dear friends Gina, Anna, Colleen, Will, Christine and my indefatigable Weight Watchers leader, Carolyn.

I had a long conversation with my internist about my weight loss journey a couple of months ago. He said that, with my family history of extreme obesity and terminal diabetes, the cards were stacked against me. He also said that I must not give up my efforts. Even if I am maintaining my weight or losing at my typical glacial pace, I am still staving off the health problems that will inevitably come if I begin gaining weight. He pointed out that though I am yet significantly overweight, all my insides are healthy. My cholesterol reading is in the normal range, but could be a lower number; otherwise, I'm in great shape. I exercise more than most "normal weight" people. I have no known health risks outside obesity. He credits that health to my having waged this weight loss battle almost continuously since 2005. Hearing this, I made a decision then and there that I will fight with renewed vigor.

When school got out, I determined to use my time flexibility to build in more exercise and research eating styles that might support me. Clearly it is not just a numbers game for me. Once again, I was drawn to a modified paleo approach to eating. (Here's a good synopsis of it if you're interested). I also set up a spreadsheet to track my intentionality in this quest to "level up my life."  It's not pretty but it's functional and here if you'd like to see it.

These two changes--additional exercise and modified paleo eating--  have made a difference for me! Since our last day of school, June 8th, I have lost 7.4 pounds. It was apparently enough to  push me down a size; my pants, loose at the end of school,  were literally falling off me at at last weekend's ball tournament. What's more, I feel more toned and am so much stronger. I have a fitter frame, suddenly, and I can feel it on the inside! I have not had a weight this low since 2010, and I will soon blow those "lows" right off the charts.  Next time I will post a few awesome resources for you.

This was a lot of personal detail and I have said it all to underline one thing: We must never give up on ourselves. I am worth it; You are worth it. If people around you aren't saying that to you, call me up. I will say it.  (1-512-983-1390) You have time to spend on your health. (Yes, you do.) You have a right to surround yourself with support. You can make choices that are better for you. Small changes can really add up and you can make those changes because you are worth it. 

Here it is again: You are worth it. You are more than a number on a scale. You deserve a life worth living. You deserve a healthy future. You matter.

Please let me hear from you and how you are waging your battle for greater healthfulness. We are stronger together.