Category: Health + Fitness

What’s skincare? (& other stories)

By , November 14, 2017 8:56 pm

I was at the salon getting my eyebrows waxed and sat in the beautician’s chair after so she could show me some eyebrow makeup.

But first:

What kind of foundation do you use?

I don’t use any.

Oh! What kind of moisturizer do you use then?

Uh… none.

Do you use a lotion?

Um, not really.

What do you use to wash your face?

Sometimes soap, in the shower (but not that often).

So yeah, probably not the best audience for that $78 bottle of moisturizer (even though it felt amazing). But I would like to try something new for my brows!

Similar to Monday’s sentiment, there are probably a whole lot of things I could be doing to take better care of myself. Eek!

have been eating healthier. Yay! As a result, I have more energy (duh). But I also have a lot of work to do before some of my clothes fit again, and until I can run faster. I’ll get there. (But will I stay there? Muah ha ha. Ugh.)

Mentioning my diet reminds me of a conversation with a coworker. We were talking on the phone around lunch time and both of us were finishing up our meals. I told her I was having a peanut butter cup. She goes “I bet it’s some healthy, organic peanut butter cup!” It’s hilarious to me that people assume I eat über healthy because I am vegan.

It’s also hilarious to me that this brand of peanut butter cups actually is organic. That’s not something I shop for!

Speaking of work, I had more dreams last night about missing the train, then not being able to figure out the train schedule so that I could get on a later train to work (then somehow I ended up in a wedding dress). Is this better or worse than the dream I woke up to Monday, about a fatality I witnessed at an amusement park?

Ahh, commuting. Today’s train was late, and it was raining a bit. Whenever I commute to the office in rain/snow/bad weather, I think about a coworker who doesn’t come in anymore and how they often contact the people who do come in on days like this to say things like “the weather is so crappy this morning!” and “how was the commute?!” Annoying. And unnecessary.

Another reminder!

By , April 17, 2017 12:19 pm

So soon? Crazy!

I was scrolling through my Instagram recommended feed this weekend and clicked on a picture and was really disappointed by the text, which was that person making fun of another person they saw working out during their workout.


It really bugs me when people on social media* make fun of other people (strangers) they see working out (or doing anything!), and ESPECIALLY if they’ve included a picture of them. I know annoying things happen and it feels good to vent about it and have other people agree, but it’s just NOT COOL.

If what’s happening is a real issue of safety, or someone is heavily violating gym etiquette, get an authoritative figure involved.

Otherwise, I don’t want to read** about someone who does xyz too slow, has bad form, sweats too much, looks stupid in their gym clothes, and so on and so on. Unless it’s about how you’re helping them, focus on you! And support the other people who are out there trying to get healthy, even if they are annoying AF!

*Just do it offline! Vent to a friend!
**Ha ha, so don’t read it, right? I don’t – when I see stuff like this, I usually skip it. I just happened to see this on Instagram!

Random Thoughts Thursday 95

By , April 14, 2016 6:25 am
  • On Monday, Steven and I were outside filling up the bird feeders and when we got back to the garage I noticed an animal in the yard. Holy crap, it was Data! We accidentally left the door in to the garage open and he got out and was eating grass. Eek! I am happy he didn’t stray far (or run from me when I went to retrieve him).
  • Data has it rough at the new house, chasing the sun around all day. So much movement!


  • Last year at work, we were given a choice between receiving a monetary bonus or a time off bonus. The worth of each option was equal. I chose time off, since we have a long vacation coming up in June… then found out the next day that our close costs were WAY more than we thought, and that we’d have to pay in a lot on our taxes. Sigh. I felt stupid for making that choice, for a few months, but now? I am happy I did. The money stuff mostly worked out, and now I don’t have to stress about having enough time off for that trip in June, while I take afternoons off here and there.
  • This article (pdf here) about ConBody gym in Manhattan is interesting! Coss Marte is an ex-convict who was having trouble finding work after serving time. After a passer-by asked to join him and his friends in a workout that he developed in prison, he thought to start his own workout studio to teach his “prison-style boot camp,” regain his economic freedom, and employ other ex-cons who are struggling to find work. The studio has been very successful with 300 to 400 people a week taking one of the 40 classes offered. Great story of someone making a comeback and interesting workout idea – whole body movements you can do in a small space!
  • The mention of “boot camp” style workouts got me thinking about how a lot of those are outdoors (although not ConBody), so I guess that means no music? Music is a big tool in the classes I teach – I wonder what it would be like to teach a class without it!
  • This has really been a bit of a sh*t week for me. Stupid stuff going on at work, stupid stuff going on with our contractors, people being stupid… ugh. I hope things turn around.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 94


By , April 12, 2016 6:22 am

Ideally, this is what our fridge and counter will look like in the upcoming weeks before the Wisconsin Half Marathon…



Okay, ideally, they look like this ALL the time.

And actually, ideally, they don’t look quite like this… they look picked over, because I am eating this stuff, instead of other carby snacks!

Ahh, if only I had the same discipline in eating, that I do with working out. Baby steps!

Going for it!

By , March 26, 2016 6:08 am

When we were putting things away in the storage room, I came across my box of one, two and three size too big work pants and jeans and said “Forget it! I am getting rid of these!”


So I did!

And hopefully, I don’t regret it.

Especially with all those peanut butter cups in the house!

(I still need to go through packed up things that still fit and see if there’s anything else to get rid of – I imagine there will be. I think there may be another box or two of things that are too big, as well, that I can donate.)

No More Ms. Yo Yo

By , February 3, 2016 9:40 pm

Please, please, let this stick. 

I’ve lost a decent amount of weight since the fall, and kept it off for a few months. I feel great.

And I want to keep feeling this way.

But I don’t know how.

I’ve yo-yoed in my weight for years. Not from following fad diets – just from going on and off with binge eating.

I’ll be eating well, with daily indulgences and no restrictions, but being careful with seconds and too much snacking then I just… stop… caring… and start binge eating again. I exercise the same amount, but you can’t run your way out of a poor diet. And the weight comes back.

I can’t pinpoint what makes me stop caring to anything.

It’s so frustrating.

I’m determined for that not to happen this time. I am sick of being Ms. Yo Yo.

I know it’s going to be hard. I think it will come down to getting out of the moment and seeing the big picture – which, of course, is something I am not so good at in most facets of life. But I need to get better about making decisions for the future and not necessarily for the moment. And not making such rash decisions. I’ll get there.


Notes like this in my office are my attempt to remember what’s ahead!

It’s a lymph node

By , January 29, 2016 6:34 am

I had my first mammogram, guys! And it didn’t hurt at all! But I did black out a bit…


Two weeks ago, I found a small lump between my right breast and armpit. I wasn’t too alarmed about it, but I took it seriously.

I asked my snister to feel it up the next day and she agreed that I should have my doctor check it out. So I did. I saw my doc last Friday and she was pretty sure it was a cyst, but recommended getting an ultrasound and maybe a mammogram to confirm.

I’ll leave out the (details of the?) part of the story where the receptionist looked at my health care card last week and told me she’d never seen it before and made me panic. And how much trouble it was to make sure the place doing the tests was in network. Sigh. I hope it isn’t always this difficult to use our new health insurance. And I can’t wait to see the bill… anyway…

I had the mammogram and ultrasound yesterday afternoon. The lady doing the mammograms was so nice! And it didn’t hurt at all! But it was really warm in the room, and by the time we got to the second to last one, she asked if I was feeling okay – I must have looked flushed. I told her yes, that I was fine to finish, but as we were setting up for the last one, I started to black out. I couldn’t see, but she helped me get out of the plates (ha!) and lead me to the chair. I was looking all over for it with my arms and couldn’t find it! Freaky!

She was really helpful and sat me down and opened a window to let cold air in, and got me a cold cloth for my head. I got my vision back quickly but then my ears felt like they were plugged with cotton balls and I couldn’t hear well for a bit. What. The. Heck. It was so odd! But like I told her, if I was going to black out someplace, I’d want it to be a hospital. Ha.

When it happened, I felt dizzy like I do when I take WAY too hot of a bath. But that doesn’t cause me to lose sight, then hearing. Odd.

After sitting and drinking a cup of cold water, I felt well enough to finish, so we did, then I sat in the waiting room for awhile, and the lady who did my mammograms checked up on me to make sure I was okay – she was such a sweetie.

Then someone else got me ready for the ultrasound (where I oddly felt cold, after being so hot!), and the doctor did it and showed me that it’s just a lymph node. Lymph nodes are usually higher up in the armpit, but it’s totally fine that this one’s hanging out there, and I only need to have them check up on it if it gets bigger. Cool. It also might just be inflamed and go away.

It may seem odd that I did all this to get it checked out but I found the lump the same day a family member had a double mastectomy. So… yeah. Gotta take care of yo’self!

Designated lift zone

By , January 22, 2016 4:31 am

Last year I wanted to focus on doing more strength training at home and not just rely on getting it in 2-3 times a week teaching class.

That was a bit of a fail.

I did 18 strength workouts at home last year. Compared to teaching 117 classes. Better than nothing, for sure, but I didn’t put in the effort I could have.

But! I can already tell this year will be different!

Something about having a designated space in the basement, where all the weights are set up together, near the bikes, makes me more likely to use them. I get off the bike (or home from a run), and head right over to the weights. And I enjoy it.


We had this weight rack and bench in our bedroom at our townhome, but it felt inconvenient to use, and we definitely didn’t have this much space. I am getting stoked about setting our equipment up in the basement at the new house! We have a decent size unfinished basement to use (this is just part of it):

150813roomforequipment1 150813roomforequipment2

And I am also stoked to show you guys more house pictures when we close (maybe in a week?!).

Anyway. I think this is a case of setting myself up for success. I didn’t last year, but I’m going to this year!

Random Thoughts Thursday 83

By , January 21, 2016 6:23 am
  • Hmm, so much for a no chip manicure. My thumbnail chipped on the fourth day. It has a crack in it though, so maybe that’s why? The other nails are still doing great.


  • Ha ha, I am such a liar!!! I wanted to give the MBP bracelet to Mom or Christina when I saw them last weekend, but I didn’t want them to suspect it, so I asked Bobbi to text me when she was checking in on Data that she saw him playing with the bracelet at the house. Only, I sent her that photo and actually had the bracelet with me the whole time. Ha! My mom and snis were totally tricked when I showed them the text from Bobbi, and I laughed really hard when I got a text from my snister when she found the bracelet in her purse on Monday at work. Buah ha ha. Ha. Ha.


  • Still no close date on the house! It’s all dependent on when the appraisal comes back, if it requires any repairs, the seller signing some clause, then a request for clear to close. And all those timelines are up in the air. I kind of feel like we’re just going to get an email that says “Your close date is tomorrow!” and I am going to respond with “I can’t go tomorrow, I’m in training/with a client!” Sigh. But we’re moving forward with some stuff, like deciding on appliances. And getting quotes from movers. Whatever. I am chill about it. It is what it is.


  • This tiny little pink hat didn’t even fit Bobbi’s youngest daughter’s head! Gosh, I really messed that hat up. Bobbi’s daughter said she’d like a hat, in purple, if possible, so I made her one, in hopefully the right size. Look how fun the yarn pattern turned out!


  • The super awesome thing about our new house is that it’s 5 miles/a 10 minute drive from Bobbi’s house. We’re practically neighbors!!! YAY!
  • Did you guys see this article (pdf here) about the new Mio trackers that will track your steps, as well as your heart rate and give you a combined score they call PAI – Personal Activity Intelligence? The idea is that people need more than a goal of 10,000 steps a day (did you know that goal is from a campaign from Japan… from the 1960s?!) – they need to focus on getting their heart rate up, too. So these Mio wearables track both and give you the PAI score, which you want to keep above 100. It’s cool that you’ll actually get credit for things that don’t include steps (like riding a bike). I am not surprised to see something new from the wearable/trackable industry. I see so many people wearing these things, it makes me wonder when the bubble is going to burst, and people will lose interest. Gotta come up with something new to track, to keep people engaged!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 82


By , January 8, 2016 12:45 pm

For the entire year, but especially January:

To all the friends/family/acquaintances/strangers you see beginning or restarting their fitness journey – BE ENCOURAGING. BE KIND. BE PATIENT.

People succeed when they’re part of a supportive group of people sharing a similar goal (in this case, becoming healthier). Be part of that group for them. It’s hard enough to be consistent with a fitness routine. Don’t make it more intimidating for beginners.

If you’re working out for the first time, starting up again, or trying to ramp intensity up – BE ENCOURAGING, BE KIND, BE PATIENT – with yourself.

It will be hard at first. Know that with consistency, it becomes easier. Don’t dwell on what you could do in the past. Life is static and we change. How boring would life be if we didn’t have continual hiccups giving us an opportunity to demonstrate our resilience?!

I’ll never forget the January a few years ago when I decided to redeem a Groupon for a few classes at a local kickboxing studio. I was stoked – I love kickboxing. I ended up being disappointed.

The instructors made a judgment on my abilities before they spoke to me and put me in a group below my abilities and left me there. No effort was made on their part to find out I’d done this before – although I think they quickly realized I had, yet they still didn’t challenge me, reach out to me, or communicate effectively with me. Did they not want to put any effort in me, because they thought I was some “resolutioner” who wouldn’t take classes again? They certainly made me feel that way.

As someone regularly attending fitness classes and on the heavier side, I was frustrated with their judgment, but it encouraged me to work harder (and yeah, I never went back, because the atmosphere was obviously not right for me).


And they can suck it, cause now I teach my own fitness boxing class. Nope, not bitter. Ha!

I doubt it would have that effect (to work harder) on everyone, though. What about the people who were starting out there for the first time, as their first workout, in a long time? How would it make them feel? How about some communication with the new students? How about making people feel welcomed? How about asking them about their goals, strengths, weaknesses and contraindications?

I’m grateful for that experience, because it taught me to never be that way as a personal trainer. To never judge someone new, no matter the time of year.

It also made me realize one of the coolest parts of my personal trainer job – being a cheerleader! I get to see my students work hard, grow, accomplish their goals and set new ones, and I get to cheer them along. How cool is that?! Rah rah!

But you don’t have to be a personal trainer to be a cheerleader. You can CHEER and be ENTHUSIASTIC for anyone and yourself! Remember that friend who mentioned starting a fitness routine? Inquire about it. Feeling frustrated with how hard your workout was? Be enthusiastic that you gave it a go, anyway. It WILL get better.

And please, PLEASE, keep in mind that there is something different for everyone. Don’t brush off the fitness program someone decides to do because it’s never what you’d choose, or because it wouldn’t be challenging for you. Don’t be pushy about what you do, or judge people for not being able to do what you do. How boring would life be if we all did the same thing?!

Ok, preaching over.

But one more time: rah, rah!

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