Hi, my name is Sue, and I'm an exercise junkie. I use exercise to reduce my depression and anxiety. (Mic drop).
End of statement. I'm one of the millions of people who probably (I hope) looks fine on the outside, but struggles on the inside.
That's why I exercise and that's why I eat "clean". I have struggled with depression for most of my life. I believe in medication, therapy, meditation, and journaling- anything that can help you get out of bed and function.
For me, toughest aspect is being able to stick with behaviors that help reduce depression. I know- this sounds so silly. If it helps, do it, right? Well, the problem with depression is that you constantly feel like you can't- there are a lot of days where it takes all your energy just to get out of bed.
My mom has never had depression. She wakes up everyday, popping out of bed at 80 years old, makes the coffee, does the dishes, reads the paper, and simply just starts doing her day. She...
On average, Americans gained 1.5 pounds a month over the pandemic, which translates to almost 30 pounds in 18 months. Parents and essential workers gained 36 to 38 pounds over the pandemic, while 48% of millennials reported gaining-on average-over 40 lbs. More women gained weight compared to me, but women gained only 22 lbs to the mens' 39 pound average.
As a health and fitness coach, I totally get it. I was like everyone else. I didn't have a job to go to everyday, my kid didn't have school to go to. It felt like Spring Break...that never ended. I was acting like a Hobbit, heading into the kitchen for elevenses, then lunch, then tea, then dinner, then supper- you get the idea. If I had kept that up I would be writing a very different article right now.
The pandemic and lockdown left many of us without any structure. Our regular, normal, mundane, boring lives of taking the kids to school and going to work were turned completely upside down. Self-care blogs on how to...
Like everyone else, I am ready to put 2020 in the rearview mirror and take off as fast as possible in the opposite direction. The last year was...interesting...to say the least! Now that I'm looking back instead of being in the middle of it, I realize that I learned some stuff about myself.
Way back when I first got into fitness, I wanted to get strong. I wanted to be able to do simple things, like a straight leg push-up. I remember the first time I just plopped on the floor and pounded out 10 push-ups while working with a client. It was really cool to be able to do a push-up without struggling! the client being super impressed was a nice bonus, but I digress.
My goal for working out was always to get strong. A nice bonus was that I started to like how I looked. I've never had a very positive body image- which is why I LOVE the #bodypositive movement. My hips are too wide, my legs are too thick, my arms aren't toned enough...blah blah blah...The only part of my body that I liked were...
"I LOVE banging my head into a wall over and over and over again because THIS is the time when it won't hurt." Then we proceed to bang our head into that wall...just one more time...this is the LAST TIME....I really mean it...but I'm going to test it just once more, just make sure...and guess what? It hurt!
Sound familiar? Just this week I had kind of a silly realization about my face cream (No, nothing earth shattering- sorry to disappoint!). I finally realized that it wasn't very moisturizing. I thought about some of the other products I use and realized that the serum I out on at night is very nice, so maybe I'll try that under my sunscreen instead. You know what? It worked! Lovely dewey skin of a 20 year old! Ok...not really, but a big improvement. It helps make the sunscreen go on much smoother- makes the sunscreen look better- and it feels better. Desired results achieved. Woo hoo!
Now, how did I arrive at this mind blowing realization? I took a step back and...
Start with the "why" in mind. This is how great leaders inspire us. But what does that even mean? Start with the "why" in mind?
Simon Sinek describes his Golden Circle like this; we know our "what" (what I'm doing) and we know our "how" (how do I do it), but often times we don't know our "why" (why am I doing this?)
When it comes to fitness I would say most of us exercise because Dr. Oz said to be healthier, we should exercise. Or maybe our doctor recommended that we exercise to lower our blood pressure or blood sugar or cholesterol - all excellent reasons- but is that enough to truly inspire us to do something we don't actually want to do?
For most of us, the answer is no- it's not.
I have a close friend who just got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. To say she was bummed is an understatement. Now my friend has never been a big fan of exercise- especially cardio. She fights it tooth and nail! But as she was researching effective methods for managing...
Let's face it. If you liked working out, you wouldn't be looking at ways to "fit in" fitness into your busy schedule.
I LOVE to workout- like it's my favorite. I even use working out to procrastinate. Whenever I have to sit down at the computer to tackle something techie thing like editing video (yuck!) or updating my website (yuckier) I always somehow manage to decide that I MUST take a walk to get my Vitamin D right this second!
But there is a method to my madness. When I use a Fitbreak to procrastinate it actually helps me get back to work. Plus I end up being more productive because I'm more focused. It takes half the time to get my tasks done then if I just sat there staring at that stupid blinking cursor.
My method of procrastination is actually very helpful. I quick walk after lunch clears my head and helps me get re-energized for an afternoon of sitting at my desk. Friday afternoon I had to finish up some assignments and take a few quizzes and I could not...
What? No way! You mean I can get ALL the awesome cool benefits from exercise in only 10 minutes?
You mean I can exercise for only 10 minutes and still raise my metabolism? Lose body fat? Increase energy?
Is this a trap? Like the good old bait and switch? "You only have to exercise for 10 minutes today, but tomorrow it'll need to be 2 hours!"
Nope, this isn't a trick or a trap. There's real hard science proving that 10 minutes of exercise is just as effective as 30 minutes. So ditch that "all or nothing" attitude and let's look at the benefits of 10 minute workouts, or as I like to call them- Fitbreaks!
1. Boost your Mood and Brainpower
Have you noticed that at the beginning of a task, you’re focused and productive, but after a while, your attention starts to drift? Well sure- everyone's does- that's why you go to the kitchen looking for a snack! Instead of searching in the pantry for something to get your head back into that project, do a 10 minute...
This morning my iPad wasn't working- no sound. I checked all the usual spots- maybe the airpods or headphones were connected or maybe my speaker was connected. Nope- all "normal".
Next I did something very unusual. I turned it off. I powered it down and let it rest. Guess what? It worked. A few hours later I turned it back on and now I'm listening to lovely music as I work at my desk. Magic!
Normally this type of incident would send me over the edge. I'd poke some buttons only to get more frustrated with not being able to fix the problem because honestly, I don't really understand how the thing works in the first place, and that would get me even more frustrated. Then I'd probably start looking for a replacement, assuming that the contraption is broken beyond repair and once again being thankful that I have Apple care for just this type of situation. Yes- I have a slight tendency towards over reaction.
This time though I stayed calm, simply turning the thing off and...
“Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage” ~Ananis Nin
I don’t think of myself as courageous. Other people think I am because it’s so easy for me to get up in front of people, but for me, that’s not me being courageous. That’s me having the best time ever!
To me, courage is speaking from our hearts and staying true to ourselves. In order to be courageous, we must know ourselves, accept ourselves, and be courageous enough to live our lives in a way that honors who we are and what we stand for.
Now this might be kind of a heavy subject coming from a Health and Fitness Coach, but I think it takes a special kind courage to take care of ourselves.
Many of us know we should be doing a better job of taking care of ourselves. More exercise- less Netflix, more veggies-less pizza, more water-less wine, more sleep- less caffeine, we get it! I’m sorry, but my idea of a good time on a Friday night IS Netflix, pizza, and a...
"If you want to win the Lottery, You Have to Buy a Ticket"~Sue Spencer, adapted from Elizabeth Gilbert
I watched the first few minutes of Eat, Pray, Love last night and was reminded of this quick little parable:
“There's a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, "Dear saint-please, please, please...give me the grace to win the lottery." This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated statue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, "My son-please, please, please...buy a ticket."
If You Want to Win the Healthy Lifestyle Lottery, You Have to Buy a Ticket
We want to be as healthy as possible. We want to have the energy to do the things we love to do. We want to feel rested from a good night’s sleep. We want to enjoy our lives. Well my friends, you’ve got to buy the ticket.
I wish I could wave my magic fitness fairy wand and...