Monday, December 3, 2012

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Team in Training

Hello everyone,

I have been inspired by one of my best friends and her personal stories and connection to people with leukemia. I decided since I'm going to run anyway, I might as well run for a cause and what better way to help others than to see them get well because science is catching up, because the survival rate has increased dramatically and because the quality of life of those affected by blood cancers has improved.

I have a mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m participating in a sports endurance event as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. Like the other members of TNT, I will be raising funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. I’m improving the quality of my life by participating and with your support, I can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well.

Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures.

Please use the link in this email to donate online quickly and securely plus learn more about my progress.  You will receive a confirmation of your donation by email and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation.

On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support.  I greatly appreciate your generosity.
Thank You,


P.S. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. Thanks again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Emotional eating

Overeating is a problem that many people face every day of their lives.  While in the moment, a person will fill a void and feel a sense of satisfaction all the while knowing what a bad idea it is to keep on eating like this.  It is a battle fought in the mind during the meal and later can bring on a sense of failure and depression.  Are you there?  Are you feeling defeated by the desire to eat?

Eating is how we fuel our bodies.  It is how we put the nutrients into our systems to help keep us strong and healthy.  Unfortunately, somewhere along the way we begin to use food as if it was the cure to our illness; a cure for depression, loneliness, and boredom. We use food to celebration, enjoy the company of others, and sometimes, just because it's there. Most people know that this eating habit is bad and is only causing them harm.  They know, otherwise they wouldn't feel bad after the fact.  But how do we stop this cycle? 

I admit that I have indulged,on several occasions, on my favorite treat...Oreo cookies and milk, Yum! But that was back in the day when my body had rapid response to exercise and I really didn't have an issue with getting in shape.  I also didn't have a choice as I was in the Marines and, well, exercise was a part of everyday life.  However, when I tried doing the same thing 15 years later and after having had several kids I realized that...oh crap...eating a package of Oreos on a regular basis is not such a good idea anymore.  It will be sitting in my belly and on my hips for a long, long time.  

There are some simple tricks to help identify the reasons we eat and overeat and also ways to prevent these episodes from recurring and getting ourselves into better eating habits.  

Nutrition Journal.  I know, to some that sounds like a curse...ugh, "I have to keep a diary of what I eat, no way."  Well, yes way!! Keeping a food diary, at least for seven consecutive days, will help you identify exactly what you're eating, when, and maybe even why.  It may seem like a lot but we are working towards FIXING a problem right. 
Restock your pantry and fridge.  That means getting rid of all the junk food and sugary drinks. Those food items that tempt you to have more. The trickster foods that you can't put down after just one serving...yeah, those, get rid of them.  Don't finish it off, just get rid of it.  You don't need it!

Identify what triggers your eating. Very important attention!  What are you feeling when you feel like eating?  Are you stressed, tired, bored, lonely, angry, upset, sad, happy...what is it that gives you permission to eat when you're no longer hungry.  What are you telling yourself?  Is it "I don't care anymore," or maybe "I'm tired and I deserve this."  What negative or maybe positive thoughts are mingling in your head...if any.  Sometimes the eating happens so fast we don't even know what happened but something did happen, so let's figure out what that is.
Start to address the real issue.  After identifying how you feel when you overeat, then it's time to address that issue, but not with food. For example, 
stress- how about meditation, relaxation techniques, vent on paper-write it down, vent to a friend;  
tired- go to bed, take a nap, drink water;  
bored-get busy, go for a walk, start a craft or hobbie;  
lonely-go to the mall, call a friend, go to the gym...etc.  
Whatever it is deal with the situation or the issue with activities outside of your kitchen first because after the meal is over, the issue will still be there.
Start exercising. You had to know I was going to suggest this one. At home, the gym, outdoors,indoors.  There are so many activities to choose.  Find one you are comfortable with and start to expand from there by adding variety to your fitness routine.  Going to a fitness class at a gym is great if you need the motivation of others to get  you going; walking is not only free, but it is also a great way to clear your mind;  speaking of clearing your mind, consider Yoga.  Yoga improves posture, flexibility, strenthens and it is a great way to relieve stress; and I'm going back to my personal favorite, Spinning.  But any high intensity exercise will release endorphins which will give you that "runner's high," a sense of well-being, something to feel good about.

So you will grab a notebook and start keeping a nutrition journal, you will restock your pantry and fridge with nutritious foods, you will work on identifying and addressing the issues that trigger overeating; you will begin an exercise program. Right? Not yet.  There's one more thing.  

I have to ask, how badly do you want to stop feeding your emotions?  How badly do you want to get in shape?  How badly do you want to be healthy and live a healthier lifestyle?  Until you decide it's time for a change, this list will be completely useless.  It is up to you to make a difference in your life.  Start Now!

Stay Well,


These sites are useful for logging/journaling and learning, if yo have some personal favorites, please share them:

Journal:  MyFitnessPal - MyFitnessPal is a diet and fitness community built with one purpose in mind: providing you with the tools and support you need to achieve your weight loss goals. FREE!!

Learn and Share: Iowa Avenue  Iowa Avenue Is A Dynamic Healthy-Living Social Community Connecting People In A Meaningful Way For A Meaningful Purpose. It's About Health, Fitness, And Weight Loss, With A Little Fun Thrown In For Good Measure. It's Free!!

Learn:  Cool Running  

Our beginner's running schedule has helped thousands of new runners get off the couch and onto the roads, running 3 miles in just two months.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pre-Holiday Fitness Plan- Start Now!

Many people give up their normal wellness routine or put off starting until after the holidays; the good old New Year's resolutions that start the first week in January and end about 8 weeks later.You know how crazy things get in January when everyone suddenly realizes they ate too much over the holidays and "starting now, I'm going to get my health under control" and its all high energy, high motivation for a while.
Unfortunately, it doesn't last and then you're back to square one- finding excuses for not exercising. Yes, you're busy with work, the kids, life, everyone is busy doing something pretty much all the time. Is that ever going to change? Will you ever have "extra" time? You have to make time, it belongs to you. I've said it before, take care of your body and it will take care of you. How else will you fight disease, seasonal and life threatening? How will you stay strong enough to do your job, take care of family, and simply to enjoy life.
I do realize we eat more, not just during the holidays but during the cold season. Personally speaking, I sometimes struggle to find warm and cozy meals and snacks that are within the boundaries of healthy nutrition and it can be a bit of a challenge. There are times I give in to a thick, creamy soup or a rich dinner meal just because steaming-hot foods are inviting when I'm cold. Another common threat this time of year is the "cookie exchange parties" I love so much, not just because there are hundreds of delectable, home-made cookies but also because I love the social time with friends. I wouldn't want to hurt someone's feeling by not trying their cookie. Thank goodness I manage to keep those parties far apart. I already know I have to create a deficit of calories and fat intake in my meals and I work extra hard at the gym to keep up with my added caloric intake. It happens.
Instead of thinking of this time of year as an opportunity to give up or not start a new routine, let's put a positive spin on the season. If you are already following a wellness plan (eating healthy, exercising, getting enough rest, managing your time) these tips are for you:
  1. Continue to manage your time with your to-do list, your family or personal planner. You have to keep the balance and not let yourself fall behind in the name of the holidays.
  2. Increase your exercise routine: Add more high intensity exercises, more aerobic and anaerobic activities and increase your weight lifting by a day, a few pounds or a few extra sets. This next six weeks you should be working harder and burning more fat and calories.
  3. Find healthy substitutes for your meals and snacks, particularly during the cold days and nights: some ideas for warm snacks are Hot Cocoa with Whipped Cream instead of Marshmallows; hot herbal tea at night; oatmeal; broth soup; cooked vegetables; baked apple with raisins and a little brown sugar and spices make a very tasty dessert, a bowl of whole grain cereal with warm milk….
If you are not following a wellness program and are thinking to start in the New Year—why wait. You deserve to do this for yourself, especially during these busy weeks – getting started means:
  1. Prepare a Gym bag and fill it with a water bottle, iPod and headphones, hand fruit (apple, orange), protein bars, a towel and your workout clothes –KEEP IT BY THE FRONT DOOR or in the car!
  2. Set aside 1 hour as many times a week as possible, at least 4 times a week, to go to the gym, go for a long, fast walk, to exercise with a video tape at home, to be active in your own back yard. It doesn't matter when, where or with whom, but make it happen.
  3. Make a list of all the healthy foods you know you need and stock up your pantry with fresh fruit, oatmeal, hot cocoa, pudding, whole grain cereal, granola, brown rice, unsalted nuts.Stock your fridge with 1% or fat free milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, frozen vegetables, 100% fruit juice. You decide, but read that nutrition label and make sure you are not eating foods that are high in salt, sugar, fat, instead opt for high in protein and fiber and of course whole grain.
Results – the benefits are obvious but I'll give you a hint—you will, no doubt, feel bettermore energizedmore alert and in the end you will be one less person talking about a New Year's resolution. Why wait until January or until Monday, START TODAY! Start NOW!
Stay Well,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Pain! No Gain! Right?!?

Right! That is what I learned when I joined the U.S. Marines and went to Bootcamp. My Drill Instructors (DIs) had no problem reminding us ME (because it was all about me) that they really didn't care that "it hurt" there was no stopping.  Mind you, they were not actively participating, their job was to yell and remind us what losers we were for even considering stopping.  I remember during a run saying "I can't breath" and her response was, "if you can't breath you shouldn't be talking" -- can I just tell you how fast that shut me up?

I have Staff Sergeant Halsey to thank for my pain. She was the meanest person I ever met, at the time.  Little did I know, she was training me to be the best of the best.  Anyway, to her I was just part of the dirt I was eating when I was face to the ground doing mountain climbers.


So, I taught my first Bootcamp class last Saturday. I wasn't sure who would be crazy enough to show up on a Saturday Morning but alas, six people came to class and we decided to go with Tabata training instead.  It went really well and I hope those numbers will increase as word gets out. I worked as hard as I always do because I can't let them see me weeping just because I'm in pain...ha ha!!

My issue is the level of soreness I felt 24 hours later. OMG as my teen daughter likes to say, I was, still am hurting. See, this is what happens when you stop exercising.  I've been running, walking, and engaging in some activity, but nothing like what was going on in GTMO.  So much so that I've gained a few pounds in the process, and by a few I mean more than five! UGH!!  Oh yes my eating habits are definitely not the best, yet...working on that, but what really affected me was my exercise routine and more than that, stress.

Now that I'm home, I'm starting to work/teach, have committed myself to doing a 1/2 marathon in February, I sort of have to get it together.  I am one who pushes others to get up and go and not wait until "Monday" to start anything so I will live by my own words.  I did, however, have to give myself time to be mentally prepared, time to unpack, get the kids settled, get into a routine, etc.  I feel I'm there now.

Since running outdoors between 3:00 and 6:00 AM is not an option, mainly because I don't feel comfortable being out there all alone, running through a park or empty lots, while my family sleeps. Freaks me out.... anyway, it's not an option. But since I'm up so early I might as well go to the gym at 5:00 am and do something there, I'll add that to my routine, maybe twice a week,  I will become a regular at my new gym.

As for the soreness, well, I'm still in some pain and I welcome the pain because it reminds me of what I've accomplish and what I need to continue doing to get and stay in shape.  That's right, no pain, no gain!

Have you fallen off your workout and nutrition wagon? What are you going to do to get back on it?

Hint:  Set attainable goals, journal everything, be accountable, just go--do something!

Stay Well,


Monday, October 8, 2012

Running, Chafing, lessons learned

Chafing, according to Google's definition is "to make sore by rubbing" against an article of clothing, for example.  In my case the chafing occurred as a result of rubbing skin. That's right! I decided it would be a great idea to go for a run in the middle of the day when the temperatures where in the 80's. Why not? It was hotter in GTMO at 7:00 AM and I ran plenty there.

Difference? Being prepared.  Nothing feels more uncomfortable than to feel your skin burning while you're running and knowing full well that you still need to go home.  When the burning begins two miles into the run and you have at least one mile before you can feel relief, it hits you. This is going to SUCK!!

Sweat drips from all over the place and every drop feels like fire. It's like pouring salt or lemon juice on an open wound, over and over and over again. What the HECK was I thinking???

I finished a three mile run in 31 minutes. Probably the slowest run since I started seriously running three years ago. Shameful is what that was but at the time, the pace was not of concerned since I still had to get home and it didn't matter if I ran or walked, it was going to burn just the same.  I ran for a bit pulling my pants down between my legs, surely that must have looked interesting to the motorists.   Then I adopted this side to side hop/run thing to help keep my thighs from touching each other and causing further damage.

Oh it gets better... I finally made it home, almost in tears. First things first... a shower. Of course, right, that should be a huge relief...yup.... EXCEPT when you soap up immediately and realize that the soap feels like someone just poured lemon juice in your eyes! Did I mention this was a great run through a beautiful lake with awesome paved and unpaved trails? Really, it was.

Anyway, I finally got myself cleaned up and decided it would be best to wear long pants to protect my hurting skin.  I little baby powder and it felt much better.  So what happened? This is not my first run in any temperature, what went wrong?

#1 I did not even think about preparing for my run.  Preparing means drinking lots of fluids (and by fluids I mean water) the night before, having clothes, shoes, socks, sports bra AND my anti-chafing stick ready.

#2 I spent the morning unpacking, sitting, standing and feeling defeated.  The run came in when I felt like I was going to jump out of my first floor window. I realized I needed to go do something physically active that would help me think, it was totally an impulse run, still.... the anti-chafing stick, hello?!?

Lessons Learned:

#1 Prepare, plan, stick the routine, keep your gear organized. That way there is never an excuse to not go running or worse yet, to end up running and with chafed inner thighs.

#2 Don't let your circumstances, stress, the recent move (that's me), or anything else (excluding emergencies and illness of course) keep you from doing something just for you---walk, run, yoga, meditation, sleep.

Running... well, I have a new goal. Can I just act like a teenager who just found out she's going to see the latest teen idol (whomever he is these days, I'm so out of it now that my teen is away at college).... OMG, OMG, OMG.... I'm going to be a princess in February!! Tee hee hee hee!! Woot! Woot! I gotta text my BFF!! OK there. WOW a lot of words and nothing concrete was ever said.  What I'm trying to say is that I am going to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando next February.  YUP! I signed up, I will make my travel plans shortly and I will be meeting some of my awesome and inspirational friends in Florida to run 13.1 miles just because we can and I am thrilled to have a goal, and this is a huge goal for me.

OK. There now. Go get excited about your goals. I don't care how small you think they are. Own them. They are YOUR goals.

My training will begin in a few weeks but in the mean time I will continue running a few days a week just to keep up the routine and trust me, I will never again run without using my anti-chafing stick. By the way, you can also use any deodorant that is not a gel or spray.  It has to be the white deodorant most people avoid because of the clumping and stripes it leaves on your clothes. Trust me, it works, I rub that anywhere skin touches skin or sports bra touches skin.

I will keep you posted on my progress. If you're working on whatever... share it! Tell me about it!

Stay Well,


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Moving, Stress, Life

The Marina, GTMO Cuba
Moving back to the U.S. has been so challenging. I will have to classify this as one of the most stressful moves we have ever had. We have moved with him, without him, with an infant, with grown kids, across the state lines and across the states... they are all stressful in their own way, but this time around things just didn't fall into place as they should quickly enough.

I guess that's what happens when you move from the simple, few options, slow pace world of Guantanamo to the extreme opposite world of Washington DC.

To make matters worse for me I have not been teaching fitness classes, at least not to a group.  However, I have been focusing on taking additional courses and getting certified to be a ProTrainer with FiTOUR, Yay for me!! I have applied for jobs and hope someone will give me a chance to show them my stuff.  By the same token, I'm not desperate.  I am taking my time and know that the right job teaching or otherwise will present itself at the right time.


We finally have a house. We have an address.  Whew! It took so long to get it all together. I was so stressed with the process of buying this house I thought I would have a breakdown. I can honestly say that many times I just felt defeated. I wanted someone else to come in (say the Housing Office, a distant cousin maybe) and make some decisions for me.  I am surrounded by family and friends right here in town and many more at the touch of a button, an iPhone button, but still I felt like I was alone in making decisions. Bottom line, I was sweating the small stuff.

I reached a point of enlightenment. Took a deep breath and smiled, it also helped that I started reading funny books and watching funny TV shows. I felt the weight of my stress leave my tense body and just rolled with what was presented to me in the moment. I did not worry about past decisions, did not worry about the "what ifs" and focused only on present time. I had to do this for me because I know my kids will appreciate having a mommy who was here with them, in the moment.

This is our move-in week! I am so excited I could hardly wait to see the moving truck pull up to the house.  Yes, I am looking forward to unpacking. I'm looking forward to fall decorating because it's just not the same without the 50 degree weather. I'm looking forward to Halloween, fall foods, and getting settled.  The more excited I get, the more excited the kids get to move...AGAIN!

"Sad Girl"

STRESS is your body's way of responding to demands. It isn't always bad.  When I'm preparing for a long run (10K or more for me) or a job interview I feel a certain level of stress.  My senses are heightened, I work harder, move faster to get things done=good stress.  Then there's the bad stress.  That's when I stop functioning, can't sleep, feel muscle aches, and can't think.  That kind of stress we MUST recognize and correct ASAP!  I want the adrenaline rush of the good stress that will help me unpack and get my new home settled in less then a week, guaranteed.  In fact I probably wont sleep but it will not be because I'm upset but because I'm so excited that I just need to keep going.

To help me now and in the coming months I started reading a blog called Abundance Tapestry where the author, Evelyn, helps her clients find peace within themselves.  I ran across one of her recent articles, actually, I get her updates delivered to my inbox and just recently received this one "How to Meditate Easily." I read through it and realized she was addressing me. Not being able to shut my thoughts down, that's where the problem lies.  I can probably only mediate for a few minutes at a time before my brain begins planning something but I'm working on it. She has helped me in the past, probably during other moves...ha ha! But this time I am really feeling the love.

So I must ....

-continue to exercise!
-continue to eat healthy!
-make time to play with the kids and meet the neighbors!
-make time to relax, wind down and sleep!
-make time to meditate!

Stay Well!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Running to work!

"running trail"

I have been out of work for two months now and literally feeling a little lost and somewhat insignificant. My passion is to work with people, help them make and reach goals, make them sweat! 

While I'm in this very long state of transition I have been running. Doing Pilates and core strength. I have to do something to maintain my sanity :-)

I hope to start teaching again soon or I just might stop random people at the store or the street and making them GET DOWN AND GIVE ME 50!!

But seriously, I have to stay active on my own. Must stay motivates and strong!

What types of exercises do you do that do not include a gym or equipment?

Off for a walk... Through the store of course!

Stay Well, 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Say I CAN, Say I WILL...

I was thinking....

"When you recognize that failing doesn't make you a failure, you give yourself permission to try all sorts of things." ~Lauren Fleshman, American track and field athlete

We are so darn hard on ourselves.

We start our day thinking we're going to fail and therefore there's no point in trying.

Sometimes we just don't bother to give ourselves a break.


It's something we just do to ourselves. So how do we stop the cycle of negative I cant's?

Well I think one way is to begin by changing those pesky words in our minds.  Start saying I can but don't set a time limit.  Don't say I can next week because that's just setting yourself up to fail. Instead say I can and I will (health permitting) and then just go do what you set out to do.

When I speak with someone who wants to lose weight, lots of weight tomorrow I remind them that it is NOT possible to lose a lot of weight or body fat over night, rather take your time and go at it slowly and you'll find yourself feeling healthy before you notice the weight loss.

Magazines with perfect everything in pictures are most damaging.  Perfect marriages, perfect husband, perfect kids, perfect homes, perfect skin and body.... come one people. Seriously now. NO ONE IS PERFECT! No man, no woman, no kid.. no one!

The grass is always greener on the other side. Then you go to the other side and find out that it's astro turf! Ha! 

  • Start by loving who you are and what you have. 
  • Keep in mind that some of things we complain about are "first world problems."
  • Write down goals, share them with friends and family. Let them know what your plans are for improving...whatever it is you wish to improve.
  • Be proactive, plan in advance and plan with a positive goal in mind.
  • Don't ever say I cant or I'll try just say I WILL!

Believe me. I've spent some time living the military life, married to the same guy, and raising 4 kids. I have had my share of "I wish I had her life" moments and then found out I was glad I didn't have her life.

It's time to forgive yourself a little more and give yourself a break. Learn to love yourself and you will become a much happier you.

Love this quote:

Stay Well!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Guantanamo Bay Cuba

Celebrating our world Tuesday.  These are but a few of the 1000's of photos I have from our tour in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Enjoy!

Childs play in the waves at Windmill Beach

A quiet day. Marine Site inlet.

Bouy 6 on the bay.

The docking pier at the Marina.

Sunsets. Always beautiful.

If you wish to learn more about life in Guantanamo Bay visit

Click the picture below to see more photos from around the world!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wellsphere(r) Healthy Living Tips

I love getting healthy living tips in my inbox. I like how it gets me going, gives me new meal and exercise ideas and just motivates me to do what I know I need to do or just motivates me to move.  I'd like to share one of my favorite emails... Wellsphere(r) is a website full of great information about many different topics relating to healthy living and wellness. Go check it out. You'll like it too.

Healthy Cooking: Focus your entrée on vegetables
Select a vegetable main dish, and add other foods to complement.

Exercise: Try interval training
Do bursts of vigorous or intense activity for 2-3 minutes, followed by 3-4 minutes of moderate activity. Repeat.

Organic & Sustainable: Watch for pests:
Watch for the Japanese beetles to arrive when the morning glory vines start to climb.

Weight Loss: Applesauce is a fat substitute
In a baking recipe, use applesauce in place of 1/2 the fat to create a low-fat baking recipe.

Fitness for Moms: Set an example
Your children take their cues from you, so show them how important it is to make regular exercise a part of their lives.

Healthy Eating: Avoid packaged foods with added sugars
Check the ingredients for any kind of sugar, sucrose, glucose, dextrose, corn syrup, honey, and fructose.

Strength Training: Sore is normal
It's normal to feel sore when you first start strength training.

Read more healthy living tips at

Stay well,


Thursday, August 30, 2012

My new gym

After leaving Guantanamo Bay, Cuba I knew I would go back to work teaching fitness somewhere, I just didn't realize it was going to take this long.  WOW.  I first started to NOT exercise after moving and spending more time house hunting than doing anything truly physically active. If I could burn off a few pounds with my mental and emotional activity I would be in great shape.

I spent three weeks so far below my normal level of energy that eventually I started to feel the weight on my shoulders or maybe it was my belly...hmmm I have to look into that, but anyway, it was too long and at my young age, I can't afford to gain weight over night because it takes a lot longer to get it off.

My only activity had been walking the dog morning and night. It was a 45-60 minute walk up hills and down streams but still not where I was.  Then I graduated and got myself this new, world friendly, green gym.  Check it out...

This is actually an uphill track. It's where I work my behind, legs and Oh My Gosh my thighs.  I don't Love it! I love it! well it's tough and it hurts to RUN up hill but I do it..most of the time.

This is my flat, paved trail where I catch my breath after the uphill run. Here I do sprints, lunges, bunny hops, squats and more nice, easy runs.

This jungle gym is excellent for upper body and core strength. There ain't nottin' I can't do here!! Ha ha! So push ups, pull ups, inclined push ups, raised leg crunches, plank.. the list goes on. It did not cost me a dime to get this baby installed. 

My point. We usually have all that we need to stay in shape, the only thing missing is MOTIVATION! And once I found mine, once again I opened my eyes and there it was. My new Gym!!

Go out and find yours and then share your routines, maybe I can steal some other ideas :-)

Stay Well


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chilling out and enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon

I've been looking for one of these days for a long time now.  I love to lay on my hammock and recharge.  On this lovely, Sunday afternoon I found my time. Everyone was busy doing something else inside the house, at the park, around town.  I took advantage, left the dishes and laundry to fend for themselves and took in the breeze and the rays.

I work hard all week long. I deserve this time but somehow I manage to put everything else before my needs.  Time to make some changes.  Life is too short to waste it doing dishes.  After teaching five classes, running 6-10 miles, and working 30+ hours interpreting, social working, talking I am way overdue for a little break.  Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy every bit of everything I do, my body, however does not agree with the constant running.  Even if it did... why not take a break, it's called, RECOVERY!

In an effort to help my body perform to the max in the upcoming week I need to allow for recovery time.  This is time well spent recharging, rebuilding, and reenergizing.  I think I have a date with my new hammock not just on Sundays but maybe I can steal a few minutes every day.  Is that too ambitious? I guess I'll find out...  Go chill out!

Stay well,


Monday, January 16, 2012

Just keep moving.... keep moving

Every once in a while I feel like calling it quits.  I am just so tired of waking up early, washing gym clothes, washing and drying my hair, rushing to get ready for another workout.  Sometimes I'm just tired of being happy and being positive or motivating others. Sometimes, I'm just tired.

But I'm an optimist, a fighter, hungry for happiness and always searching for whatever will put me back in that zone of happy energy.  I challenge tired days and fight off the desire to just sit and do nothing because I realize that in the end I will not feel any better if I stop moving.

Today, as I do every day, I woke up at 5:15 am.  My body is programed to wake up at this early hour to prepare for either a class or a run.  Yes, EVERY DAY, I wake up early and I have to decide within a few minutes, if I am going to get up and get moving or stay put and maybe, sleep a little more.  Well, I can decide all I want, once I wake up, I'm up and I can lay there all I want, I am now awake.

But today was a little different.  I woke up, stayed awake but did not move from my pillow for another hour.  I didn't have  to teach anything but I knew I had to run.  Not sure if my running buddy was going I got up and got ready, just in case.  Yes a little workout buddy pressure doing it's job.

At 6:30 am I ate a little honey... it's one of those little tricks recommended by Runner's World Magazine, meant to give you a little boost in energy without adding too many calories or fluids.  It works for a short 3-4 mile run.  I ran one mile with my Lab, Honey and felt sluggish, pushing harder than usual and not really going very fast.  I turned around and went home.  I just wasn't IN the run.  I ran two miles at nine minutes per mile.  While that may sound fast for a beginner, for me it was a little on the slow side, but worse than that, it was hard and I felt like I was dragging the entire time.

Despite feeling like I didn't want to run to begin with, actually felt more like I wanted to turn back after the first 1/4 mile and like I couldn't wait to finish the two miles, I realized that getting up and moving this morning was important for several reasons - #1 maintaining the momentum of a daily routine; #2 I felt energized;  # I did something...I kept moving.

Moral of the story -- it doesn't matter when you decide to exercise, do what works for you, pick a time and just go with it.  Do it enough and your body will get you out the door for you.  It becomes sort of an addiction, a GOOD habit you'll want to keep doing.

Just keep moving... know that you could either sit out or BE IN the game.  I chose IN!

Stay Well,

Common sense disclaimer:  Don't ever ignore your body's natural signals of illness and disease.  My tiredness wasn't disease, simply laziness, didn't want to go alone, boredom. Know when you're experiencing fatigue, exhaustion, and follow doctor's instructions to help you recover and get you back in the game.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Time for fitness after the holidays

New Year, New You!!!

OK, well, it's not that simple.  Ha! I wish! But for the new you part you actually have to do some work.  My goal just before the holidays is to make it through the events without gaining weight.  The only way to make this work is to exercise more than usual and TRY to make good food choices.

My problem wasn't the food ... those adult beverages can be worse than most meals!

Anyway, I took some time off in December to go visit family in the states... in many states.  Driving long distance with the kids usually means eating and drinking not so healthy foods.  Sure I could have made better choices but remember, we live in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and we don't have most of what you take for granted in the states so I gave in each and every time.

I ran twice, walked several times and drove for 10 days, at least 3 hours a day.  I put on a few pounds, nothing to cry about considering.

Now we're back on island and it's time to get back on track.  Knowing very well it would be a painful week, I hit the ground running.  My goal coming back was to do some type of activity every day for 7 days because once I'm on the road to a successful fitness routine there's no turning back.

Day 1-- Diving for one hour
Day 2--Spinning and Core work and Latin Dance Fit
Day 3--Total Body Conditioning (aka HIIT)
Day 4--Run 4 miles and Latin Dance Fit
Day 5--Total Body Conditioning
Day 6--Pilates
Day 7--Hiking the Ridgeline with the dog

Done! This is truly extreme and most of what I did I had to do because it's my job so my motivation was my desire to motivate others and lead my students on a path to healthy living.

What can you do? Starting from scratch? No problem... here are some tips to get you started:

1. Track/Journal - either use an online program such as (also available as an App) or use a notebook.  Write down your activity and food intake.  This is a helpful habit because you can see your strengths and weaknesses, therefore, helping you to make better choices.  It's motivating to see progress in writing.

2. Get Moving - Start exercising or increase whatever you're currently doing.  Walk further or faster, run, swim, bike, attend classes, get a buddy, share your goals with family and friends, dance... keep moving everyday and each week add resistance, time, or distance.

3.  Eat to fuel your body and not to feed your cravings.  Eating six meals a day keeps you energized and satisfied and keeps you from hitting those pesky, mid-afternoon, pitfalls.  When I say meals I don't mean 300-400 calorie meals... three meals should be your main meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner and the other three should be snacks ( fruit, yogurt, pudding, vegetables, cottage cheese, etc...)

4. Get some rest and recover.  Your body and mind need rest.  Sleep well, sleep in, and allow your body time to recover.

5.  Stay hydrated.  I know juice, coffee, tea all contain water but you should just drink water and avoid the excess calories added with flavored drinks.  Just drink water.

I hope these come in handy but if you have other questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

Stay Well,