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Showing posts from 2012

How to be Inspiring

I meant to write this article a while back, but then we all heard of the tragedy in Connecticut and I had a hard time dealing with the overwhelming emotions spawned that day.  You see, above all other things, I am a mother.  My children are 6, 8, and 10 and are wonderful, frustrating, creative, difficult, funny, and loving children, usually all at the same time.  Because I'm interested in their physical health, I spent every Monday this past Fall teaching a strength class at their elementary school for about 40 other wonderful, frustrating, difficult, funny, and loving third and fourth graders.  We had a great time (most of the time, I admit there were some challenges) and I certainly learned a lot not only about teaching children, but teaching in general.  We finished up the class with a "deadlift meet" on December 10th.  On December 14th, I attended the PE fitness awards for all three of my children and saw many of my students there.  They wanted to show me their brace…

Oatmeal and Sausage

I'm in the middle of my first week of "trying-not-to-eat-like-a-human-garbage-disposal". And it is kind of hard.  Habits are hard to break and when you get into a behavior pattern, you will do things without even realizing it.  You will also have a hard time making decisions about the relative impact of your daily choices.  For example, having justified eating a big lunch from my local sushi bar a few times a week, it was hard to force myself to look up exactly how many calories I was eating because I had already classified this behavior as "good".  It doesn't mean I can't continue to do this, but once I took the responsibility of realizing that the two rolls I was eating for lunch were accounting for about 900 calories, I know that I need to dial it back a bit.

Monday was my first day and I started off pretty good with good healthy breakfast (oatmeal and turkey sausage with maple syrup, 215 calories), but then the inevitable happened.  I got hungry.  …

So, What to Eat?

In my last blog post, I presented my thoughts on diet and exercise and what to do if you want to lose weight.  And since I want to lose some inches from my waistline, I also presented a basic plan for myself with regard to the overall calorie and macronutrient intake I was going to start with for myself.  It is now a week later and by simply paying attention to what I was stuffing in my face, my pants are a tiny bit looser.

I'll tell you a secret that's not really a secret.  My clients often allude to the fact that they think I eat like a monk with tireless dedication to perfectly balanced meals epitomizing optimal nutrition.  Well, its not true.  At all.  I'm actually an unapologetic foodie with a sweet tooth and a minor diet coke addiction.  When I'm hungry and there is pie in the house, I have pie for lunch.  Likewise, the kid's Halloween candy stash is not safe unless cleverly hidden from my casual observation and we just don't keep chips of any kind in th…

Fattening Up for the Holidays

Every single year, the same thing happens.  We get through Thanksgiving thinking of it as a single binge before Christmas and instead, find our pants have gotten a bit tighter than we intended and have no intention of slowing down.  Its hard.  There is good food everywhere, the weather does its best to discourage us from getting outside and exercising, and the stress of the holidays makes it hard to keep a consistent schedule.  And so, we begin to put on a bit of weight.  I am particularly good at this, I believe one year I gained 10 lbs within a two week period and I don't think I was pregnant at the time.

Anyway, weight loss is something I discuss a lot with my clients.  There are a lot of gimmicks, fad diets, fad exercise programs, books, and lots of pills and powders out there that would have one believe that weight loss can be easy and the truth is, its not.  Its simple, but its not easy.  Before anyone gives me crap for having never been overweight, let me correct you.  I&…

Elementary School Fitness Testing

I'm about to start my seventh week of teaching strength to the third and fourth graders at my children's elementary school and it has been a great learning experience.  The class I'm teaching is part of the school's "clubs" program which is basically a series of special classes that the children can choose from.  These classes cover everything from art to music to physical fitness.  After volunteering with the PE classes last year, the PE teacher asked me if I'd like to teach a strength class and I gladly agreed.

I've talked a lot in other articles about how I feel that proper strength development is essential for kids, especially since they do not get out and play like we did when we were kids.  Additionally, sports injuries in children are rampant and usually the result of overuse injuries and/or a sorely lacking strength base.  However, the main reason I decided to teach this class at my children's elementary school was for one reason in parti…

The Trap Bar Deadlift

In my training practice, I work with a lot of different individuals with different goals, fitness levels, and body types.  I believe that strength is the one quality that transfers the most to other aspects of fitness and so strength training is a large part of what I do with my clients.  However, the challenge to find exercises that my clients can do both safely and effectively is one that I deal with on an almost daily basis.  The deadlift in particular can be a challenge to both teach and execute for a number of reasons and yet, it is my favorite loaded strength exercise for most people.

The problem with the basic barbell deadlift is that for a lot of folks, they can be dangerous.  Now don't get me wrong, I love deadlifting and its the one lift I use most often, but a lot of my clients are older and inexperienced with barbell training.  They often lack the balance, kinesthetic awareness, and/or posterior chain strength to recruit the right muscles to deadlift properly.  As fat…

My Tough Mudder: Part II

And now for the rest of the story.

At the conclusion of my last telling, we had traversed about 14 obstacles including a number of mud and water crossings that may or may not have been actual obstacles.  We had encountered three water/fuel stations including one with bathrooms (this is important for older people and those who have given birth at least once) and had stopped to wash the sand out of our shoes a few times.  One of our teammates, Suzanne, was starting to feel the effects of the cold made obvious by her shivering and her nose turning blue, and I, as our team leader (mother hen), made her put on a hat (swim cap).

The next segment was a longer running bit during which we encountered some rather friendly characters including three young men who were trying to get into the spirit of Halloween by carrying a pumpkin and a bag of candy throughout the race.  They very generously offered us some of their candy supply as they ran past with their pumpkin.   We were taking another cle…

My Tough Mudder: Part 1

Well, we finally did it. Team GeriAtrocities traveled to Society Hill, South Carolina early Saturday morning to complete the Tough Mudder Carolinas challenge and we were not disappointed.  There were eight total members on our team and we ranged in age from 39 to 46, four women and four men.  Two of our team members live outside of Charlotte and so did their training on their own.  The other six of us are in Raleigh and have spent the last 8 weeks doing some team training during which we practiced the specific skills and strength we would need for the race with obstacle training stations.

To condition ourselves for running AND strength efforts, we gradually increased the running distances between these stations as well as the total number of obstacle stations we included in each session.  We trained together once a week and started with six obstacle stations with a quarter mile run between each station.  Our last training session, the week before our challenge included fourteen obst…