Sarah's Fit Blog

Day 4, 5 & 6

Posted in Live by Sarah on October 30, 2011

Oooeee these past few days have been filled with temptation! But I knew that they would…who starts a new plan to eat clean and switch up their workouts on a holiday week? Nobody said it would be easy, but there is no shortcut to any place worth going. Why wait to make positive changes in your lifestyle? Although I have set aside 35 days, my decision be healthy began over 10 years ago and I believe I have done just that. I made a drastic transformation in 12 weeks but I progress every single day. Who I am now compared to who I was 10 years ago is much more healthy. Even compared to last year, I am faster, leaner, and wiser. You really do learn something new everyday. It accumulates to a wealth of knowledge…just make sure that the knowledge you seek is meaningful to you and not useless.

Day 4 was a Thursday and that meant teaching 2 Powerflex classes, one at 5:30am and one at 5:45pm. When I have to teach in the evening I am much more conscience of what I eat throughout that day. Day 5 was a Friday. I ran a 10 miler and was surprisingly not as hungry as I usually am after such a long run. Probably My family carved pumpkins that evening and insisted on pizza, but I had a big salad and indulged one (small) slice. Day 6, I taught my Cardio Circuit class at then played tennis with some friends and put them through a few drills so we could all have a few treats this weekend (it is Halloween after all). We had a family Halloween party to go to last night and I had to fight temptation with all I had not to eat one of my amazing and famous pumpkin cupcakes I was assigned to make. I surrendered just a couple hours into the party. Today is day 7 and is half way over…I had a great run this morning but have another family party tonight and I will update you all tomorrow.


Tricks to Help You Limit Treats

Posted in Live by Sarah on October 29, 2011
Tricks to Help You Limit Treats:
What exactly does candy have to do with what Halloween is supposed to celebrate?  I know; eating candy and trying to stay healthy is quite scary.  Booo!  Not to worry, logging your calories on Halloween will be a breeze.  Whether you plan to avoid candy all together, have a bite or two, or go all out, here’s a list of tricks to keep you from eating too many treats.

Pick Your Poison
I hate going on record about how to eat something that has so little nutritional value, but the truth is many of you will succumb to the candy tactics of the day.  So instead of acting like the day isn’t coming, plan ahead.  Use Calorie Count’s
Candy Browser to determine which treat you will have.  Stick to eating one or two treats and if possible, go for the sample size rather than the full size. 

Give More Tricks than Treats
If you’re not going trick-or- treating with kids and are planning to answer your door, buy bags of small Halloween-themed toys like fake spiders, stickers, or stampers to give out in handfuls as opposed to candy.  If you must, buy one bag of candy to mix in with the other fun-filled items.  Keeping the candy separate may tempt you way too much. 

Don’t Overcompensate
Some people think exercising more will compensate for overeating on Halloween, but don’t fall into this trap.  Stick to your regular exercise routine and don’t overcompensate after indulging on Halloween.  The takeaway is that your diet and exercise is a lifestyle.  Eating Halloween candy is an anomaly and should not affect your daily routine. 

For a Limited Time Only
If you’re going trick-or-treating with kids, limit your trip to a set time so you don’t allow their buckets to get too full.  If the Halloween party you’re attending provides a goodie bag, eat what you want at the party and leave the bag there.  Throw out kids’ candy the next day.  Chances are you and the kids will eat more candy the night of Halloween than you should.  Don’t give them or yourself a reason to do that two days in a row. 

Not all About the Sweets
Getting dressed in a costume is not the only way to celebrate Halloween.  Cook a healthy Halloween meal with lots of protein and fiber. Make it festive with Halloween recipes and decorate with Halloween-themed place settings and invite friends over.  Adding games and sharing scary stories will round out the night and shorten the time you think about candy.  To keep your mind occupied, do arts and crafts.  Decorating mini-pumpkins or getting a Halloween-themed coloring book are a few examples.

Bring Your Own Treat
The kiddies have little pumpkin pails of candy, but what’s in your pail?  If you’re going to be out for more than an hour, bring your own healthy treats.  A bottle of water is a must, but also bring a piece of fruit or two, a bag of nuts, or any small snack that will keep you satisfied so that you don’t end up eating whatever other people have to offer, which on Halloween night is going to be anything but healthy.

Day 3

Posted in Live by Sarah on October 27, 2011

Wednesday was Day 3 and was clean as a whistle and sharp as a whip! I am feeling so good I finally have my momentum and my eyes are fixed on the prize. I am so filled with inspiration and motivation I could just crawl right out of my skin. Why is it so hard for me to live in the moment? Maybe it’s a Virgo thing, but I am constantly planning, expecting, brainstorming and seeking knowledge. The desire I have is overwhelming right now. I look to see what’s out there and what others have done, only to realize it’s a very fine line between envy and inspiration. Just look at any fitness competitor, business mogul, athlete, writer or saint. It reminds me of the quote “Jealousy is bred in doubts. When those doubts change into certainties, then the passion either ceases or turns absolute madness.” That is why I need to stay focused, persist in my direction, keep faith and be ready.
Back to the details: I woke at 4:30 hit the gym at 5am for some cardio, advanced step aerobics class (don’t laugh, not many can hang in this class) and some core work consisting of hanging leg raises, medicine ball sit ups, planks and stability ball balance work. My diet was oatmeal and protein powder for breakfast, pumpkin seeds as a snack, salmon and orzo for lunch, a mojo bar for mid morning snack and chicken breast with zucchini and a few tortellinis I snuck from my son (couldn’t resist). I also had some friends over and put them through an upper body workout. I drank all of my water and took all my supplements (multi, potassium, calcium, magnesium, Omegas and a probiotic) and got just the right amount of sleep. I am ready to kick Day #4’s ass!

Day 2

Posted in Live by Sarah on October 26, 2011

Day 2 is crossed off the list and it was another whirlwind. I woke up at 5am, hit the gym for a Cardio Circuit class and cranked out another 20 minutes on the ARC trainer and about 10 more minutes of abs because I was feeling good and my iPod was pumping out pure awesomeness! I headed back home to get ready for work, kissed my husband and son and headed out the door after I pounded a Syntha6 protein shake (peanut butter chocolate flavor…deLISH!) Work is mundane and the office was too quiet, which usually leads to snacking out of boredom, so I decided to head home early. For lunch, I tried the new Lean Cuisine Veggie enchilada (not bad for processed food). Then I made a few calls that got me all sorts of anxious so I took my pup for a jog in the rain to think things out. Afterwards I picked up my boy from daycare and we ran a few errands. We came home, ate some edemame and peanut butter and snuggled. It was a Tuesday, or Taco Tuesday as my husband calls it. I insisted on cooking them this time because he likes everything authentic….in other words, red meat and full fat everything. I used ground turkey from Harmon’s and used low sodium seasoning, black beans, fresh tomatoes, sweet peppers, low fat sour cream and Newman’s Own organic salsa. While the boys used tortillas, I put everything on a bed of lettuce and it was excellent! My son and I made about 5 different houses out of legos before bedtime as I wrapped up some emails and chores, I watched my favorite show “I Used to be Fat” and hit the hay. Day 2….a success!

Day 1

Posted in Live by Sarah on October 25, 2011

Day 1 actually took place yesterday, but I have been spinning my wheels so fast, all I did was blink and it was Day 2. I did manage to take a couple photos. Please forgive the quality, I need a new camera in the worst way!

Here are what my abs look like on a daily basis. Give or take some water weight here and there. This is where I really want to see the change. I have been genetically blessed with muscular arms that respond quickly to any weights I pick up, and my legs…well, I have had issues with them since I was a pre-teen, but I have come to appreciate the not-so-simple fact that they have taken me so many places and carried me distances I wouldn’t have dreamed I was capable of. So let’s leave the legs alone because they don’t deserve critique or criticism. And my butt? Yeah, it’s big and muscular and I am damn proud of it!

Anyway, back to the abs:

This is what the scale said yesterday morning:

141.5 pounds and 23% body fat. EEK! It’s all good though, the numbers are only going down. I would love to write that Day 1 was flawless, but it was not. I gave into temptation as I passed the candy dish at work and I did not eat any fruit. Otherwise my diet was so-so. I know I could have done better, but rather than beat myself up for not being 100%, I am making up for it today. I know what my weakness is and I refuse to let it get the best of me.

5 weeks countdown!

Posted in Live by Sarah on October 23, 2011

In just 35 quick days, my family and I will be headed to San Diego!!! While on this mini vacation, I want to feel and look my best. You’re invited to join me these next five weeks during my transformation. Nothing major, just cleaning up my diet and burning a few more calories each day as well as filling my mind with happy thoughts and positive affirmations. My hope is to inspire others as I set small goals, overcome challenges and shed some light on common mistakes people make in their efforts. Wish me luck and stay tuned. I will post the dreaded “before” photo tomorrow 🙂

Do something for the kid in you every day

Posted in Live by Sarah on October 21, 2011

For most of us, we began to compete in a sport because it was fun. For some it made us feel like a kid again. For others, it was pure stress relief, social connection, a way to lose weight, get out of the house, learn something new, and the list goes on an on.

When the training/competition gets tough, or we get tired, injured, burnt out, we are lost. A negative energy can become a block for something that at one time brought us so much joy. This time of year is common for this to happen . So what to do?  Take a step back, take a break! Get off the bike, hide the Triathlete magazines, lose the heart rate monitor, and training log and go to the park and watch kids living in their moment. You will (re)-learn so much!

They’re not worried about how long they play, if there is a sprinkling (or torrent) of rain, if they ate enough for breakfast or remembered to mix their sports drink correct. They eat when they are hungry, play until tired, rest a bit (or a lot) and go back for more. They laugh, they sing, they scream, and those ear-to-ear grins are constantly plastered on their faces.  Remember when you lived like this? Remember when even your sport felt like this?

Grab a frisbee or a hoola hoop and a bunch of friends and run circles in the neighborhood to fill your heart’s void. If it’s winter, have a snowball fight, make a snowman or go sledding. Get the idea? Breathe, laugh, take a nap. A few days of this, and any training blues you may have felt or little aches and pains will be lost memories and when you hit the bike again for intervals or lace up the race flats, it will be with a renewed fresh focus and joyful energy sure to give the second half of the season something to look forward to with excitement!

I am a firm believer that you should do something every day that brings out the kid in you. Live in the moment and enjoy every moment. Be free and learn new things. Pop in some sugar free bubble gum and experience the magic of youth.


While I was Running

Posted in Live by Sarah on October 4, 2011

(this is the piece I am thinking of submitting to Runner’s World magazine, so please feel free to comment or critique).

While I Was Running
I’ve witnessed many things, made some important decisions and have learned valuable lessons while running.

I’ve seen deer, horses, a fox and many dogs, cats and birds, some of them as road kill and they never cease to scare the crap out of me! Once during a trail run, I ran right over a snake; I never went back to find out what kind of snake it was, but just to be entertaining, let’s say it was a big fat rattler! I have witnessed the most beautiful sunrises, a contrast of colors in the sky and many gorgeous phases of the moon. My favorite is a full moon bigger than you’ve ever seen it before hanging over the city for everyone to see. I’ve seen an awry of clouds. Some have even stopped me in my tracks in awe. I’ve been blinded by the bright hot sun and feared rolling ankles in the pitch black. I have drooped to my knees in tears and gratitude as I ran past a rehabilitation center and witnessed a young man, about my age, with his parents and Physical Therapist learning how to walk again. Of course I waited until I was around the corner to break down, but I look up and thank God every day for my abilities.

I’ve been sunburned, rained on, snowed on, pooped on (by birds of course) and stepped in who knows whose poop. Speaking of, nothing ruins a run like having to go half way out. And nothing turns it right around like a strategically (dare I say, miraculously) placed porta-potty that you stumble upon during such an emergency! If you are a runner and claim to have never had a nearly-pooped-your-pants experience, you’re full of it…literally! I’ve had bugs fly into my mouth, up my nose and in my eyes. Once when I was little, I was chasing a chicken and it kicked a rabbit turd right into my mouth. Luckily I survived and am here to tell you about it this childhood memory. I’ve splashed in puddles, nearly hit by cars, run through red lights and sprinted through yellows. I love slamming my fist onto the trunk of unaware drivers who don’t look and roll right past the sidewalk into my path. Maybe next time they will stop at the line and look for pedestrians.

I’ve heard the sound of alarm clocks buzzing, children laughing, angry men yelling, women singing, baby’s crying and teenagers partying into dawn. I’ve been honked at and whistled at, but nowadays the compliments I get are on how cute my dog is! One young man stopped me to ask me out to dinner. Really?? What if I was a serial killer! I have been scared out of my wits by the sound of dog tags and paws fast approaching me, cars slamming on their brakes and slamming into other cars. I once witnessed a woman run a red light and t-bone another car. I ran to help the car that got hit and everyone was okay, then to the woman who hit them and she was completely dazed and bleeding from her head. I preceded to the nearest gas station and old them to call 911. Once I knew I had done all I could do, I ran back home. About an hour later I was driving past the scene and saw the woman sitting in handcuffs under arrest for drunk driving.

I’ve smelt bacon cooking in the morning and cigarette smoke from passing drivers. One of my favorite routes was past a Krispy Kreme. Nothing motivates you to run faster and harder than the beautiful aroma of fresh glazed donuts in the morning. The business eventually folded and a bank occupies the building now, but I swear I can still smell those little round bastards every time I run past that spot.

I’ll never forget one morning; I was feeling particularly strong and grateful. I had just been in a serious car accident the following year and my birthday was the next day. I was thinking about life in general and how precious it is and how lucky I felt to simply be alive. When I got home, my future husband called me to tell me to turn on the news, I watched in horror just as the first World Trade Tower collapsed. How coincidental that I had this sense of fear and vulnerability just as these terrible events were taking place. So when asked if I remember where I was when 9/11 occurred, I certainly do. I was running and I was not alone.

It’s a fact that running is a natural endorphin producer. It’s the runner’s high and I am absolutely addicted to it. It’s also my way of sorting out my problems. It gives me time to think about everything that is going on in my life and provides mental clarity. I was while I was running that I decided to move past a friendship that was weighing me down, when it was worth it to stick it out at a job I wasn’t happy with and how long it was gong to take me to peruse my dreams. While I was running, I realized what my dreams even were! I know this sounds strange, but after many years of toggling the idea, it was on one particular run that I finally decided I was ready to have a child. My mom always told me I’d never just one day say “I’m ready” but this is the one and only time my mother was wrong. It was the best decision I ever made.

I have been running for a little more than 10 years now. That is a lot of ground covered and experiences had, but even if these things were the last of the things worth sharing to occur, I’d still run. Running is my pause button, my first resort and my last resort. Running is who I am and what has made me, me!

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