There is not a single person who has inspired me to live a healthy life, per se.

Sure, I could say that after losing my father to cancer it inspired me to live a healthier life, and yes, this is very true.

I could also say that coming from a family that struggles with health issues, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, is what inspires me to live a healthy life, and again, this is also very true.

Mostly I think what inspires me to live a healthy lifestyle is, to me, it’s the only option that makes sense. 

I have talked in previous posts about the type of lifestyle I used to lead; drinking and eating whatever and whenever I wanted.  Exercising intermittently (or not at all).

Struggling with binge eating and bulimia from the age of 15 certainly didn’t paint a blossoming portrait of health for myself either.  Using food as an emotional crutch to deal with my generalized anxiety and feelings of shame is now a concept that scares me.

Much like an alcoholic in recovery fears to return to the bottle; I am afraid of the reality of feeding my emotions to starve my well being.

2007 2015

2007                                                                                                   2015

I also live a life of progress and an unknown destination.  The very idea of having a concrete “destiny,” to me, is foolish.  Life is unpredictable, and the only thing we have any control over is what we do today.

How can You live a Healthy Life of progress without a goal?

By its very definition, progress is a forward or onward movement towards a destination.  However, when it comes to healthy living, I feel that a goal, or an act of appointing, setting aside for a purpose, or predetermining, can stunt progress by its very nature.

How many people make the statement, “if I just weighed 10 pounds less I’d be happier”? Lots of people, right?  I know I’ve said it thousands of times and I’ve lost that ten pounds over and over, but guess what?  I wasn’t happier.  How can that be?  I got to my “healthy” destination, right?  I lost the weight, which is something I thought would bring me happiness, but still, it’s not enough.

If you’re someone who thinks like myself, you might soon begin to feel defeated, empty, and wind up thinking, “that didn’t work, so clearly my standards are too low ” or “I guess I need to do better than this, maybe I need to lose another 10 pounds?”

You may argue that this is where you would continue your progress, and maybe your destination will then change, but the problem isn’t making progress by losing weight but is that you put too much pressure on the outcome.  You predetermine that once you got to your goal, everything would be better and that you would be happier.

The reality is a letdown when you discover that you’re no more content where you thought you “should” be, and frustrated that there will always be more you “should” do.

I know that fundamentally there is nothing that automatically makes my life better by weighing 98 pounds versus weighing 125 pounds, other than the fact that I may (or may not) have a healthier BMI with one versus the other.

However, don’t even get me started on the problems with BMI numbers.  I have discussed my issues with disordered eating in more depth, but that’s not really what this post is.

It’s important for me to stress my point, which is, when we strive for a predetermined “ideal” of healthy living, or what we perceive to be our “stopping point,” we walk a fine line of losing sight of our journey. Our daily focus should be on making healthy choices in the here and now.  This scenario changes by setting your sights on a result which you may or may not be able to attain, be it physical, mental, or emotional.  We all should know that unrealistic expectations sign us up for a lifelong membership to “club misery.”  Period.

I also want to stress that when I say destination, I am not using the word interchangeably with the term goal. Goals, or the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired resultcan be made as a way to mark progress, but your goals should not be the be-all and end-all of your journey.  One can have many goals in their lifetime, all of which are attainable through continued progress.

So, again, when I’m asked: “Who inspires me to live a healthy life?” Well, I do, because I’ve been on the other side of good health before, and honestly, there’s simply no contest. Healthy living wins every time.  It’s my progress.  It’s a continuing goal.  It’s limitless, not quantifiable by any chart, and amazing.  It’s life.

can you make progress without a goal?

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Where do you find your inspiration for living a healthy life? Join the conversation with Jessica and Jill!

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Linking Up and Breaking Up.

A great thing about blogging is OTHER bloggers.  I LOVE linkups, and was happy that over the past couple of weeks, by expanding my personal blog reading horizons, I’ve been introduced to some fun new places to interact with other bloggers!

Today, I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for…


Thinking-Out-Loud2

 

How to breakup with your stuff.

For those of you who don’t know, I got married back in November.  My husband, Luke, is Scottish.  So, right now, I am in the process of packing up my life to move to Glasgow to live with him.  When I say “pack up my life” I literally mean, sift through the remains of all my days.  I have come to terms with the fact that I am somewhat of a hoarder.  NOT like a hoarder who hasn’t found their bed in a decade, but in the sense that I keep a whole lot of things I needn’t be keepin’!

After losing my father to cancer in 2011, I started to realize just how crazy “things” are.  I mean, not to be morbid, but staring at all of my dad’s belongings really made me think, “why do we need all this crap?”  Sure, some things make you happy (for a while) or enhance your health, but honestly, I’d say (purely speaking for myself right now) that 95% of what I’ve been holding on to for the last decade or so, has got to go, like, right quick.

stuff

Life liquidation.

I know there are a lot of tips and tricks out there for sifting through your years (or decades, in my case) old crap.  However, my situation is that I am leaving the country and most of my belongings have been lingering at my family home for decades.  I know, it’s terrible, but whatevs, I’m dealing with it.  You may not be moving to another continent or even leaving your current place of residence, but if you’re looking to make some space and declutter your life, here’s my tips for success.  Since you know, I’m finally successful at getting rid of s***.

  • If you haven’t used it in 18 months, toss it.  Also, if you cannot see a use for this in the coming 12 months, toss it.  
I have literally had this in my possession for 24 years.

I have literally had this in my possession for 24 years.

  • If it’s from an ex, you should have burned that item the minute they burned you.  Laugh, rip, burn.  Repeat.  Actually, just get a shredder, no permit required.

hell. yes.

  • I know they say, “some things never go out of style” — yeah, some things really do.  If the only time your clothing item in question could be given any sort of love is for a casting call for a movie made 2-3 decades before today’s date, toss it.  Of course, there are exceptions…
decide, you will.

decide, you will.

  • It’s of sentimental value.” “My grandma gave me that for my sixth birthday.” Okay, believe me, my house is practically flammable at the moment packed with these types of items.  What are you to do when faced with this dilemma?  I was a super nerd, and hit up google to see what professional organizers suggest you should do with items like these.  Check it out.

So, as you can imagine, I’ve been having a deranged photo shoot and texting my childhood friends all kinds of cray items.  I think that doing this is SUCH a good idea.

bye bye.

bye bye.

I haven’t limited my digitization of goods to just toys and clothes, no, I have been burning old CDs and DVDs to my spare hard drive as well (I totally need my Cardigans tunes!)  I also realize that, I’m probably the only person in the free world who has not burned my CDs and DVDs to an external drive.  I feel like such a winner, because I have finally joined the audio/visual club!

john bender gif

Do you keep a lot of stuff? How do you determine what stays and what goes? Do you think I’m crazy?

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Battling Ropes Rule!

Happy Tuesday!  I love Tuesday, because it’s the day to link-up with Jessica and Jill for #DishTheFit and talk about amazing things!  This week’s (optional) topic is “Try Something New”.  It’s earlaay in the year, so people are still venturing out of their comfort zones and trying new things.  At least, I think.  I mean, it is February now, so it’s possible that the doors of “new opportunities” are metaphorically shut for some, but DON’T stop believing!  Get up and try something new!

What’s new for me?

I haven’t tried too many new things over the past 6 months, well besides gaining weight and being stressed, but wait, those aren’t new things for me.  However, one thing I had been wanting to try is BATTLING ROPES!  I finally got to try them last week, and can I just say, HOLY CANNOLI I LOVE ‘EM!  Maybe I have a MMA Conditioning Specialization in my near future? I always need me some CEUs!   Okay, I need to calm down, but seriously look at how much fun you could be having right now!

you whip your ropes back and forth.

You can burn up to 115 calories in 10 minutes during a battle rope workout – that’s pretty awesome, too!  I would have taken selfies, but I was too busy whipping the floor with both hands!

What are battling ropes?

Battling ropes are 25-pound ropes that work out your back, legs, arms and core.  To use them you place them around a heavy beam or pole and pull them straight toward you. Standing with your feet hip-distance apart, pick up the end of each rope and bend your knees slightly and let her rip!

You can do loads of different moves to create a full range of motion, but regardless of how you work the ropes you will be sweating and feeling the burn!  Here’s a recommended list of battling rope moves, courtesy of DailyBurn.  This one is RIDICULOUSLY tough, but kicks your ass, big time!

battling ropes burpee

whoa! (courtesy of DailyBurn)

Have you tried anything new lately? Have you tried battling ropes? Join the conversation with Jessica and Jill and #DishTheFit! #FitFamLove!

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#DishTheFit

Happy Tuesday!  I hope that all is well.  I have had a crazy start to the new year and not a lot of time to work on my blog.  Not cool.  However, I’m so delighted that I finally have time to link up with Jessica and Jill for #DishTheFit this week.  I always enjoy being a part of this link-up and hate when I have to give it a pass.  This week’s optional topic is “TOP FIVE ALL TIME BEST HEALTH AND FITNESS DECISIONS”.

As I have mentioned before, I didn’t always embrace life with the open (mostly) healthy arms I do today.  I used to not exercise, drink and eat too much, and various other not so healthy things.  Nowadays I have embraced a much healthier lifestyle in every way.   So here they are, in no particular order!

  • bpm3Falling in love with Spinning.  My friend, Aspen, is an amazing Spin instructor, and after loads of coercing three years ago, she finally twisted my arm to come and try a class.  Admittedly, I did NOT love it the first class.  My butt hurt, my legs hurt, and I was dying through the entire hour.  However, after two more classes I was totally hooked!  For all you anti-cycling people out there, your butt WILL stop hurting, you will get stronger, and you will LOVE it.  Trust me.  I loved it so much I became an instructor and will be one for the remainder of my days!

 

  • spin Collage Juicing and blending stuffs.  I have been a picky eater most of my life.  I was always terrible about getting the right amount of fruits and veggies into my diet.   Then I watched the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and was SO blown away by Joe Cross and his reboot that I started to make my own juice.  Fresh juice is honestly THE BEST.  It is better than any candy or processed baked good; it’s refreshing, healthy, and pretty!  I know a lot of people think it’s time consuming and a big clean up, and well, it is, but when you think about the benefits you’re getting from that juice it should totally outweigh the “pain in the ass factor” it presents.  Smoothies and protein drinks are another great way to get fresh fruits and veggies into your diet daily.  I have not looked back after making this big lifestyle change.  Cheers!

  • Becoming a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. This is, by far, what I am most proud of myself for accomplishing.  I am completely passionate about fitness and health and dedicated to understanding how to help others while helping myself.  I am working on a coaching certification at the moment, because I want to have the whole package to offer my clients.  If you’re studying to become a NASM CPT, I have a great study guide and exam tips here.

 

  • Lifting weights.  I used to be a cardio only kind of gal.  I’d run or use a stairclimbing machine for an hour, but I wouldn’t TOUCH a weight or machine.  While preparing for my CPT exam, I began to realize just how absolutely important strength training is for metabolism, posture, body composition, and disease prevention (hello, who wants osteoporosis?  Not this girl!)  I now lift weights (and bodyweight train) 4-5 days a week.  It has changed my body.   If you’re like I used to be, go out and buy some 5, 8, and 10 pound hand weights and start lifting.  Here’s an awesome upper body workout put together by yours truly!

 

awesome arms 1

  • Starting my blog!  Nothing has made me more motivated or held me more accountable than starting Beets Per Minute!  I am so very proud of myself for building this little blog into a (maybe only SLIGHTLY) bigger blog over the past 6 months.  Blogging has helped to get me through some very rough times over the last year and a half.  I love connecting with other bloggers and being part of various #FitFams, like this awesome one that Jessica and Jill have created.

 

fitnessblog.jpgOh, I’m also super proud of these as well…

ah yeah.

ah yeah.

 

What are your top five fitness and health decisions? Join in the conversation with Jessica and Jill and join #DishTheFit

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Embarrassing Experiences

Happy Tuesday!  Are you in full holiday swing?  Me either.  Whatever, don’t worry or anything, I mean there’s still time to get it together.  It’s sort of embarrassing that I have absolutely no holiday spirit this year.  Speaking of embarrassing, that’s what today’s optional topic is all about over at one of my favorite link-ups, #DishTheFit with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers, “Embarrassing Fitness Experiences”.

Embarrassment is one of life’s most painful, yet humbling, emotional states.  Let’s face it, we’ve all done something that makes our cheeks and ears go red and leaves us searching for the nearest rock to reside under permanently.  However, when these blunders occur professionally, it can make a moment seem like an eternity and make you feel like every fabulous thing you’ve ever done will forever be forgotten.

“You’re not as dumb as you look.”

A couple of years ago, while I was attending a Kinesiology lecture, I got very interested in a particular part of the discussion.  The lecturer was talking about the science of resistance training and it was so interesting.  I looked like a pro; I was taking notes, nodding my head, and genuinely hanging on every word that came out of the speaker’s mouth.  So, naturally, when the floor was opened up to ask questions I thought, “I’m going to ask something and engage in this lecture.”  So, I raised my hand, along with countless others, and was eventually called on to stand up and ask my question.  I knew in my head that what I was asking was a legitimate question and one that would be useful to apply to everyday life.  So, there’s me, standing up, looking all confident – here it goes,

Me:  “What’s the difference between an 8 and a 10 pound weight?”

Lecturer:  “Two pounds.”

Me: “Oh, I mean, I know it’s two pounds, but what’s the difference physically?”

Lecturer:  “Still two pounds.”

Me:  “Hahaha.  (They’re laughing with me, not at me…)  Let me rephrase, what is the IMPACT of using a 10 pound weight vs. and 8 pound weight?”

Lecturer:  “There we go, it’s…”

Honestly, in my head, that question made sense, but when I stood up, openened my mouth, and the words came out even I was like,  “omg you just sounded like a total airhead!”  I held my own though, because I am REALLY good at laughing at myself.  I approached the lecturer after at the cocktail hour and asked, “hey,  what’s the difference between asking a question incorrectly twice the same way? Nothing.”  I introduced myself and we both laughed it off.   Handle your blunders with swagger and nobody can touch you, my friends!

A shoe in?  A shoe out.

I have been an indoor cycling instructor for several years now, and have done or said countless ridiculous things over said years.  However, one instance happened early on in my instructing days and it was so ridiculous, someone had to leave the class to pee she was laughing so hard.  So, when I first started instructing it was primarily as a substitute. Sometimes I would just be attending class myself and they would ask me to fill in on the spot.  One evening, I was at the gym to just work out on my own, when I was asked if I could fill in for an instructor who was stuck in traffic and wasn’t going to make it.  I agreed, but didn’t have my cycling shoes with me. There was a couple of pairs of shoes behind the desk, but none of them were my exact size.  I’m a size 7 and the closest size they had was an 8.  I went with the 8, thinking it would totally be okay for the 45 minutes I was using them.

So, I came in, and started  the class.  The shoes were a little loose on me, but I actually started thinking, “I should get a bigger size, these are so roomy and feel great!”  Moving ahead, about 25 minutes into the class, I added some sprinting intervals into the climb we were working on.  I was moving along, confidently saying, “add a little more gear/we’re picking this hill up/push”  This is when it happened; as soon as I started my sprint, MY FOOT CAME OUT OF THE SHOE!  I’m so not kidding.  So there I am, with my shoe-less foot at a 90 degree angle, trying to slow down my other foot, which was currently at a 110 cadence. It. Looked. Ridiculous.

more so than this.

The only part that saved me from total ruin was that it was so funny that even I couldn’t stop laughing at myself.  I don’t know why I couldn’t have just used my sneakers that day, but I learned from that point on, that friends don’t let friends wear cycling shoes that don’t fit!  It’s always a plus if the instructor leads a class NOT wearing over-sized shoes.  Lesson learned!

We’re only human

I have plenty of other embarrassing things in my vault, for sure, but when I first read the topic for this week’s link-up, these two incidents stuck out in my mind the most.  Nobody is perfect and people make mistakes and have mishaps all the time.  It’s what makes us human!  The best way to handle embarrassment, I feel, is to be able to laugh at yourself and take something from it.  Does this mean I’ve stopped forming questions like a jackass?  Um, no, I can still sound pretty ditsy most of the time.  Seriously, you should have seen me playing scrabble a few weeks ago with my English major sister, her Ivy League educated journalist boyfriend Walter, and my bookworm smarty-pants husband.  Let’s just say, I’m nothing if not entertaining!

What’s your most embarrassing fitness story? How do you recover from an embarrassing moment? Let me know and join in the conversation at www.thefitswitch.org and www.jillconyers.com and #DishTheFit!

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