How Do You Know If You’re Actually Strong?

hiking_failI workout fairly regularly and would consider myself strong-ish. I mean, I’m no bodybuilder, but I’ve moved past the sissy dumbbells. However, I have recently become aware that being strong at the gym and being strong in real life are two very different things. It’s similar to being book smart and street smart. You might think you’re strong because you can lift objects with cushy handles, but using your strength in real life is a different story!

Are you strong or do you just workout?

Splitting Logs

For those of you city-dwellers who have never been faced with this survivalist task, it’s much harder than it looks. Sure, it’s easy swinging an axe and getting it stuck in the log. It’s another thing entirely to have enough strength to power right through the log.

Going for a Hike

Once you find your rhythm, walking, or even running on a treadmill is fairly simple. Going on a hike in the great outdoors is yet again, very different! You will be thrown by the uneven terrain and the fact that you’re actually travelling beyond a stationary spot like in your gym. Embrace the added benefit of fresh air.

Moving Quickly for a Long Period of Time (aka Endurance)

Activities may include rowing (an actual boat) or paddle boating. Basically, anything that requires cardiovascular activity. It’s one thing to have the strength to do something for a short stint. It’s another to have the endurance to paddle around a whole (small) island.

Pulling Yourself Up

I may have discovered the difficulty of this task at the gym, but it definitely applies to real life (survival) situations. Sure, it’s easy when you have your legs moving you from one point to another. It’s much more difficult when all you have is your arms. My arms may look strong, but when put to the test, they don’t do so great. I’m regretting not playing on the monkey bars more as a child.

 

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My Personal Trainer is Trying to Kill Me (and Yours Should Too)

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Apparently it’s considered a win when you have trouble walking back to your car after a session with your personal trainer.

Personal trainers are clever. They push you to the point where you start wishing physical harm upon them. Yet, they’ve also rendered you immobile and unable to carry out any of your sinister plans.

Then you think to yourself, “Today’s rough, but tomorrow will be better.” Wrong. Apparently things will  get worse before they  get better. And you decided to wear heels to work. That was a mistake. Once you start getting that carefree feeling back in your legs, BAM! It’s leg day again… What’s the point of having nice legs if you can’t even use them? I’m currently working on a way to sit down without using my leg muscles. It’s not going well…

How to Make the Winter Less Blue

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Well, we’re right in the think of winter and chalked full of grey days with little to no sunshine. How to you keep yourself from crawling into bed and waiting for spring? I’d say reading this blog is a pretty good start. Right, more steps.

Change of Scenery

I’m not talking about taking a trip (although, if you can, I highly recommend it). I’m simply referring to getting your butt off the couch and going somewhere. Anywhere. Sitting by yourself and wallowing in the dark gross day is not going to help you. Where do you go? I recommend going where other people are. However, if you’re not an extrovert like myself, this may not be very beneficial. Plunk yourself down at a coffee shop or a book store with a bunch of people (you don’t have to talk to).

Bring the People to You

I find one of the hardest things about the winter months, is forcing myself to go out into the cold world and do things. Well, have I got a solution for you. Don’t do it. Bring the event to you. Throw a dinner party or a movie night or whatever type of low-key, low maintenance event you prefer. I also suggest inviting people that can bring things and/or are frequently known to bring hostess gifts.

Plan Events to Attend

The easiest way to force yourself to socialize with the world is to put it in the calendar. If it’s booked (and you already paid for a ticket of some kind), you’re more likely to go. If you wait for the weekend to arrive before you start thinking of what to do, chances are, the planning will appear to difficult and you’ll settle for a sweat pants party for one.

Preparation is Key

Buy yourself a good winter coat. One that goes past your butt and will keep you warm even if you’re sitting in a cold place. I also like to keep a small blanket in my car to keep me warm until Ole Betsy warms up. I’ve also found that once I finally spring for a warm coat or a good pair of boots, it starts to get warmer and I have less need for them…

Staying Skinny Beyond Swimsuit Season

Everyone talks about gearing up for swimsuit season. As summer approaches, it feels like everywhere you look, you see another ad or another article about “achieving that bikini bod”. So what do you do if, by some miracle, you do achieve that coveted bikini bod? What do you do when swimsuit season is over? As you pull out your box of chunky sweaters, you start to wonder if anyone would notice if your flat abs went away. Maybe no one would notice, except you.

Once the leaves start to change colour and sweater season is in full swing, it becomes harder and harder not to forget everything you worked so hard for and dive head first into a big ‘ole pumpkin scone. You start telling yourself that carbs are worth it. You start to think that eating whatever you want will make you happy. Don’t do it! Sure, you look fabulous in tights and a chunky knit. Don’t you want to look good in everything? Don’t you want to hold onto those jealous glances?

Think about everything you sacrificed to look as good as you do. Do you really want to go through that again next year? More importantly, do you really want to put your family through that again? I think they’ve suffered enough of your, ‘I need sugar! Where’s all the sugar?!’ rampages (see previous post).

Now, put down that brownie and hit the gym!

Sugar: Resistance is Futile

donut_1After eating healthy for the past few months, I can now say with confidence that it doesn’t get easier. Eating healthy is not for the faint of heart. No matter how many cups of water and unsweetened green tea you drink, the sugar cravings don’t go away. Although, the frequent trips to the restroom somewhat help to keep your mind somewhere else. I find the only thing that really works to keep your mind off food is to stay busy. The minute you sit down for a breather, you’re thinking about how long until your next cheat meal. Word to the wise, plan your cheat meal carefully. I’ve too often wasted a sweet treat on a cookie that really wasn’t worth it.  Continue reading

Eating Slowly: A Lesson in Patience

apple_dinner_timeAs I venture further down the road to better health and wellness, I’ve made a few changes in my life. Along with cutting out unhealthy foods, I’ve learned to eat slower. Although eating slower does wonders for your digestion, it is not an easy thing to get used to. For someone with little patience and a love for food, chewing food until it’s fit for a baby bird is pretty close to torture. Continue reading